Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bordering on

Work is progressing on the border of the curved shawl. I am probably about two thirds of the way around and I think it's looking ok now I have sorted out which threads of yarn to knit into to join on to the main body. The first few repeats of adding a border always seem to be a bit trial and error with spacing.

Hopefully I should be able to get this done and blocking at the weekend. I didn't have any recipient in mind when I started making it, I just liked the pattern, but a friend of mine has had a bit of a sad time lately, so I'm planning on giving it to her to hopefully cheer her up a tiny bit.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


The Earl Grey socks are done! It is a really nice pattern and I like the softness of the Garnstudio Fabel sock yarn, so I'm really pleased at the way that these have turned out. If only they hadn't taken me quite so long to knit! Yes, I have been distracted away from the knitting by the art lately, but I have still been knitting away.

I know it seems a long wait for dull grey socks, and I'm sorry - but I like them :)

Next: The (even longer) long awaited curved shawl border!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Picture a day

The new blog is up and running at for my paintings, drawerings and scribblings and ideally will be updated everyday. How long I can sustain this, I don't know, but I'll give it a go.

Please be kind :)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

I hope that everyone reading this had a very Merry Christmas and Santa brought you everything that you asked for. I did pretty well with the gifts, particularly in the chocolates and biscuit areas, so I am looking into the future and predicting that my trainers are going to be seeing a bit more use in the near future. Either that or I will be hitting the sales in search of jeans in a slightly bigger size.

Well then. So 2007 has passed away - with quite a flash and a bang last night thanks to the neighbour's fireworks - when did this become such a part of new years celebrations? It took me ages to persuade Mr C to come out from under the sofa. Grrr! But anyway.... and we are now into 2008. A whole new year filled with promise and without any mistakes in it (to (mis)quote Anne).

As is traditional I have been looking back over the last year's accomplishments and casting a critcal eye on them.

So. Knitting. 2007 was definitely the year of lace. Although there has not been so much of anything of late and I still have the second Earl Grey sock and the circular shawl on the needles (oh, and a bit of a crochet blanky done).

Swallowtail Shawl - first lace. Prettiest lace.
Cabled hoody - finished at last! Phew.
Zebra socks - not especially impressed by the stripnicity.
Lambchop - Probably my favourite knit of the year. Now residing in my sister's cupboard. Ah well.
Cherry leaf shoulder shawl - in pale green Posh Yarns Eva. Turned out very nicely.
Bayerische socks - Boo! to the Sock Hater.
Tank top - very handy for work. A black one would be even better.
Forest Canopy Shawl - great present for step mothers.
Clanger - very cute, very pink.
Dobbin aka Sheldon the Turtle - great pattern. Definitely want to make more of these in different colour combos.
Felted slippers - fun to knit but tedious tedious tedious to felt to the right size.
Seashell socks - the merino yarn didn't like it in the washing machine. Oops. If only the felted slippers had felted this easily. T'uh.
Artemis top - looks nice on the hanger but could do with a bit more shaping to make it a bit more flattering.
Devan - I really liked making this and was very pleased with the way it turned out. This was my favourite non-lace, non-toy knitting this year. Last year. Um.
Ugly socks - hmmm.
Earl Grey socks - on the heel. Am really liking Garnstudio's Fabel sock yarn. It's very fine and soft. Using smaller needles gives a very comfy sock indeed.
Circular shawl - still on the go. Now I have all the needles I'll ever need I shall be able to finish this shortly. Promise.

Not as much as last year, but the lace knitting is a bit more time consuming than plain. That is my excuse and I'm sticking to it. I think next year I will try to use up some of the contents of my stash that has been waiting around for the longest. I had thought that while I was off work over the holidays I would get lots done, but it doesn't seem to have worked out like that and I've been doing other stuff instead, like reading, cooking and drawing. I think the knitting will return once I get back into the routine of work (boo!) again.

Next. I read some books.

33. Assassin's Quest - Robin Hobb (current)
32. Royal Assassin - Robin Hobb ***
31. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens ****
30. The Amber Spyglass - Philip Pullman ***
29. Assassin's Apprentice - Robin Hobb ****
28. The Tale of Beatrix Potter - Margaret Lane ****
27. Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier *****
26. Girl With a Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier *****
25. Cat Confidential - Vicky Halls **
24. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling ** and a half
23. The Crystal Cave - Mary Stewart **
22. We Need To Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver *****
21. The Subtle Knife - Philip Pullman ***
20. The Good Life Gets Better: Panning for Gold - Dorian Amos ***
19. Friday's Child - Georgette Heyer *
18. Rilla of Ingleside - LM Montgomery ***
17. The War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells ****
16. Yarn Harlot - Stephanie Pearl McPhee ***
15. A Game of Thrones - George RR Martin *****
14. Do You Remember The First Time? - Jenny Colgan ** a warning that you shouldn't read books that come free with magazines.
13. What Katy Did - Susan Coolidge *** + an extra * because I loved this book as a child.
12. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson *****
11. The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde ***
10. The Phantom of the Opera - Gaston Leroux * but I deduct that * because of Andrew Lloyd Webber
9. The Remains of the Day- Kazuo Ishiguro ****
8. Moonset - Louise Cooper ****
7. Northern Lights - Philip Pullman ****
6. Eclipse - Louise Cooper ***
5. Hide and Seek - Ian Rankin **
4. Knots and Crosses - Ian Rankin ***
3. Artemis Fowl - Eown Colfer ***
2. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood *****
1. Bleak House - Charles Dickens *****

I think my favourite book would be a choice between The Girl with a Pearl Earring and Cold Mountain. They are completely different though, so I can't decide. Read them both.

What else did I mention? Cooking. I did a fair bit of baking this year, mostly trying to bake decent cookies. I still haven't managed it but considering the size of our Christmas goodies stash and how I really shouldn't indulge so much if I want to fit into my clothes, I don't think this is a hobby that I should be persuing!

Drawing and painting. I have to confess to being a doodler. Give me a pen and paper and I will scribble. I was given a lot of super arty stuff like paints, instruction books and posh paper for Crimble (I think the rellies were a bit relieved that there wasn't any knitting stuff on the list!) and I have made a decision (which in itself is unusual!) to try and improve my skills, particularly with watercolours. I am thinking of starting a painting blog separate from this one to keep notes on my progress and encourage me to paint regularly. Today would be a good day to decide, as I could do a drawing a day. Maybe. We'll see.