Monday, October 30, 2006

Wrist Warmers II

Just to prove that I can finish something on time, once at least... this is the other pair of wrist warmers that I managed to squeeze out of the Noro Silver Thaw - they are for Kirsty, who is visiting tomorrow along with hubby and the gorgeous Lily-Rose.

So, if you'll excuse me, I have to now rush off and start tidying the house up ;)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


I think I now see how the unfinished project thing happens. Today I offered to make some wrist warmers for a friend who is coming to visit next Tuesday - this has to take priority over the shrug, which will then be put down again...

I should probably learn to keep schtum ;)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Unfinished things

I have some projects on the go that seem to have been abandoned lately. I'm not really sure why I do this - I am in the middle of something, enjoying it and then one day will put in down and start something else instead. The put down thing then languishes in my knitting bag, or draped dangerously over my work box next to the cat scratching post and seems destined to stay there, even though I was enjoying making it. So, after a trip to John Lewis and purchase of some Rowan Kid Classic for to make the Ruffle Scarf from their new magazine, I decided that I wouldn't allow myself to start this scarf before I had finished the crochet mohair shrug.

So here is the shrug progress, I think I'm probably about 1/3 of the way there, although it's difficult to tell because it's a vastly different size to the original (I may decide to keep it as a shawl / throw rather than making it up into the shrug because I think the sleeves may be too long and there is no way on this planet that I could undo it now and start again!!).

And this is the Ruffle Scarf with the yarn I picked (red certainly seems to be in for me this autumn, I picked up a red cord skirt and two red tops while shopping last week too...hmmm).

And one last pic before I go :)

We went to Chester Zoo last week, which was very good and I really felt that the animals were well looked after and happy in their enclosures. This was my favourite, the Capybara! So cute and especially easy to photograph - they don't move much!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bodnant Gardens

On Tuesday we visited Bodnant Gardens which are always stunningly beautiful. The garden is between Llandudno and Llanrwst - where there is, I believe, a very nice yarn shop although I resisted the temptation to stop and have a browse. I know this seems strange, but the weather was getting a bit misty and I wanted to see the garden before the rain really started coming down!

There were still many late flowers in bloom, the rose gardens looked and smelled wonderful, and much autumn colour and berries too.

As usual, I got totally carried away snapping pics of everything in sight, so big thanks to Rob for not getting too bored. All the photos will be in my gallery pages soon, as soon as t'internet starts behaving itself (and I upload the right folder this time....)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


The first couple of days of our holiday proper were spent in North Wales, at Betws-Y-Coed, which is one of my favourite places. It has a nice campsite (the Riverside, open March till end of Oct), nice pub with outside seats and heaters, and lots of outdoor shops to browse.

On Monday (while NOT AT WORK ha ha ha!!) we caught the bus (with very friendly bus driver) to Capel Curig and walked back to Betws via Llyn Crafnant (always pretty) and The Grey Mare's Tail waterfall. The walk was 11,5 miles but not particularly hilly.

We passed lots of old mine workings and relics of industrial days, all overgrown and reclaimed by nature. The men that worked in these places must have thought that their walls were so solid and the industry would last forever, and yet not so very long a time later, here I am wandering through their ruins looking at the plants and trees that have taken hold.

It always makes me wonder how long it would take for all the things we take for granted, like shopping centres, motorways and so on to disappear if the people did. I think I've seen too many films, as it's usually around this point that I start thinking about zombies and get scared... anyway back to Wales.

You can't really tell on this little picture, but the white blob on the left of the tree is a sheep that was taking a nap on a rock. So cute!!

Saw lots of white welsh sheep and these two - which I think are Jacob sheep (although my sheep spotting talents are minimal to say the least.)

Wrists of warmth

One completed wrist warmer.

It is very nice and warm indeed, and I have cast on straight away for the left one. I have decided not to try and work out the reverse chart pattern, as it's not very clear on the finished piece, plus a bit tricky to work out and I am slack.

It took a bit of effort of match up the colours for a matching pair, but I really wanted them to look the same. There is also going to be enough yarn to make a second pair in more green and orange tones. These might make good presents, or I might keep them all for myself!!

Still the weather is not quite cool enough to really require wrist warmers, it was nice enough over the weekend for us to sit outside.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday the 13th

I've just noticed the date!! Right that's it, I'm going back to bed.

Come on Autumn

Have started on the 'Hurry Up Spring' wrist warmers, although I think I should rename mine 'Come on Autumn' as I am knitting them in expectation of chill clear autumnal days with a nip in the air. The weather forecast is quite warm for the weekend, but turning chillier next week so I am hoping to have them finished so I can wear them out and about on my week off! Yes, I have holiday!! I can't wait, I'm so looking forward to having just a week of pottering around doing our own thing.
The wrist warmers pattern calls for 4,5mm dpns which I knew would be difficult to get locally, so I'd planned on trying the two circ method which many people rave about. However, my local supplies shop (which is more of a craft and sewing trimmings shop than knitting although they do stock some yarn and needles) didn't have what I wanted. I managed to get one long circular needle with which to make my wrist warmers using the Magic Loop method.

My first trial run using acrylic wool mix yarn (left over from Samuel's tank top) wasn't entirely a success, I got the method ok, but ended up with nasty ladders down the sides where the cable of the needle seemed to pull apart. Undeterred, I have cast on with the Silver Thaw and this is the progress so far:

It's not too bad, I think, although the Noro isn't looking quite as fabulous as I was hoping it would. I'm not sure about the little flecks of colour and I was expecting there to be more overall variation in the shading. It is certainly softer than the Kureyon though, which is something.

I have colour coded the chart to make it easier to read and I am also a little unsure about what happens when I get to the thumb, but until I get to that part I shall try not to think about it too much.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Smock Jacket

The Smock Jacket from Celtic Knits by Debbie Bliss:

The yarn is Debbie Bliss Merino, which was lovely to work with - very soft. I have a sneaky feeling it will shrink slightly in a washing machine, so maybe isn't a good choice for a toddler knit, but hey ho, it's done now...

The pattern is good fun, because there is little bits of interest on each piece as well as the main fancy work on the front panels, there is smocking on the back, the cuffs and the collar. I spotted a couple of mistakes in the pattern, one in the front cabling pattern which would have meant the main cables shifting over, so was obvious. The other is the lengths of the front skirt sections are not the same. One is 5" and the other is 5 1/2" - I didn't notice this until I came to sew it up and by then it was waaaay to late. Hopefully it doesn't notice so much in my finished jacket. I also changed the bobbles from her instructions, as they weren't as bobbly as I wanted.

I didn't do the embroidery as I thought the design was busy enough as it was, and chose the pale buttons to brighten it up.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Holm Moss

Today we went for a walk around Holm Moss (11,5m). The walk starts from the 'Isle of Skye' Road between Oldham and Holmfirth - why it is called this I don't know but you certainly get to see a lot of sky.

The walk goes up Black Hill and we were amazed to see the new grass growing up there. Apparently the peat landscape isn't natural to the area but a result of over grazing by sheep and the harsh climate, so they sowed it with grass seed a few months back.

This is what it looked like about 2 years ago:

And this is what it looks like today:
Some difference, eh? I don't really know whether I like it with the green, it doesn't look quite right to me - but I suppose if that's what it's supposed to look like then that's ok, but I just have this feeling that it's one of those 'we've screwed something up, so we have to mend it' moments and in hindsight the best course of action would have been to leave well alone.

The sheep took one look at us and went careering down the hillside at full tilt in a very alarming manner, but they made it down in one piece thankfully - well, three pieces.

A tranquil scene at the bottom of the valley - and my feet were much better today in my boots, which I was very glad to be wearing as a stomped through the bogs while Rob was having to pick his way carefully to stop his trainers getting wet. Ha ha :)

Small hat invasion

I braved town during my lunch break last week and bought some buttons for the jacket. I liked the slatey look of the black buttons, but as the yarn was darker than I'd like anyway, I thought the paler buttons brightened it up a bit. It is for a child after all.

The embriodery on the smocking pattern was attempted, but the knitting is busy enough without spots of colour, so I took it out.
The jacket is now blocking, and looks pretty smart.

I have already started planning my next project, which I think is going to be a pair of wrist warmers, made from some Noro Silver Thaw that I picked up cheap. I don't have any 4,5mm dpns, so am going to attempt to learn how to knit in the round on two circular needles. It doesn't look so bad (famous last words). I know I ought to do a bit more work on the DB hooded jacket for me, that's been languishing at the bottom of my knitting bag for a year. Ah well.

So what I have I been doing? I've been knitting small hats. They are remarkably good fun to make, and for a worthy cause too!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Stashalong Over

Yes, my three month stashalong ended on the 30th September. I was quite surprised that it took me four days to realise. I had seen some scrummy sock yarn on the AY forum gallery earlier today and thought about buying it, then thought, oh no I can't....wait a moment.... and the penny dropped *cue evil laughter*

I suppose my stashalong was a success in a way. I didn't get any more yarn that I was allowed to under the rules of the stashalong and bought yarn for myself twice, and one of those times it was just 1 ball to finish off a project - the other stuff was part of the SSS, my Posh Yarn lace club yarn and some sock yarn which was a present from a friend. Totally beyond my control...

I think the main result has been to realise that I am honestly not going to use a lot of the stuff I have been hoarding in bags in the sideboard and it is time to let it go. Some will be going to K9Knitters for their doggie coats and the rest will be going to the charity shop.

Now...after all that charitable talk, I feel the need to shop...where did I put my credit card?! *more evil laughter*

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Well, I finished sewing up the jacket on Thursday night. I rummaged through my button collection and didn't have anything suitable to use and decided it was late and I was knackered so I went to bed. I went to bed dreaming that in the morning I would get up early and go into town to get the buttons and finish everything off. I woke up late, I needed to pack, I needed to clean the kitchen, I needed to take the cat to the cattery, I needed to get dressed, I needed coffee, we needed to be off by 10. I didn't get buttons, I left the jacket on the back of an arm chair and forgot all about it until we were half way down the M6. I know... I am a doofus. It's still there, untouched, five days later. I think all the pressure of knitting it quickly has put me off it. Knitting shouldn't be a chore - so I am reading Bill Bryson's Walk In the Woods and getting away from it all in my head.

But anyway, we had a great weekend at Centreparcs Longleat. It was lovely to see my school friends and their families again, we meet up once a year or so - it used to be at weddings, but now all but one are married we have to organise other events. Centreparcs is good because we can get a couple of villas next door to each other and booked activities and swimming means that there is plenty to occupy the days and laugh about. The swimming pool with it's slides and outdoor water rapids was the best (there was some debate as to whether it was more or less than 15 turns round the rapids on Sunday night before we headed to the spa pool) and I now am battered and bruised all over. I banged my knee on my desk drawer at work today (shitty bad day it was too) and smiled to think of how I came by my bruise. Those are the only bruises worth having :)

And I was chuffed to bits to see that Lily-Rose was wearing her Opal Carnival cardigan and to hear that it is her favourite item of clothing. How cool is that?!