Saturday, January 17, 2009

Raglan Jumper

Pattern: V Necked School Jumper by Rita Gulliver
Yarn: Jaeger Matchmaker DK
Needles: 3,25mm and 4mm
Mods: None

The yarn for this jumper was given to our knitting group by a local teacher who had to clear out a cupboard in the art department at her school and wondered if we could make use of it or it was all going in a skip. There were bags and bags of stuff, some of it not useable but a few real gems. There was 350g of this Jaeger Matchmaker yarn which, after I had washed, dried and rewound it, was as good as new.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Finishing up

Thank you for the nice comments on my last post about my shrug - it was a real relief to get something wearable after all. I always have niggly doubts about projects while I'm knitting them, as generally it will be the first time that I am using a pattern and even though I can measure pieces against myself you never really know how garments are going to fit until you finally try them on.

There has been a big change in the weather, the frosts and chill have been replaced by wet and windy weather, so today has been spent cosily indoors - drinking tea, sewing up the school jumper for Feed the Children that I've been working on and listening to Victorian murder stories.

I don't know of many people that like sewing up as much as I do, most knitters of my aquaintance seem to detest it, but I like the process of turning those separate, unidentifiable pieces of knitting into a finished thing. The raglan sleeves on this pattern provided nice neat edges to follow. Hopefully I'll get the collar knitted on and the last seam sewn up this evening.

Raglan seam

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Pattern: Shrug by Debbie Bliss (free pattern from Prima)
Yarn: Bargain merino DK
Needles: 3,75mm
Mods: Made arms slightly longer

About a week before my Mum's 60th birthday last year, I decided to make a shrug to go with the dress that I'd bought to wear to her party. About a month after the party, at which everyone had a thoroughly good time, I finished knitting the shrug. Having sewn up and tried it on, I have to admit to being a bit disappointed with the results and it ended up languishing at the bottom of my work basket waiting to be blocked. The languishing period seemed to correspond with my lack of enthusiasm for both blogging and knitting. I don't know that I'd blame the shrug, but it certainly didn't help.

A couple of days ago, I decided to rescue the shrug from it's baskety confinement and do something with it. Thankfully, a bit of blocking seems to have done the trick. The front is still quite stretchy and looks better held together so I added some hooks and eyes (that belonged to my Grandma, from a pack bought lordknowswhen for the princely sum of 7p) to create a join as inconspicuous as possible.

It turns out that I actually quite like it afterall :)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Year of the sock

While browsing my favourite knitting shops for sale bargains to spend my Christmas money on, I happened to notice that the lovely Dee is running a Sock Club for 2009 and, although not strictly in the sales (although there are savings, so that's alright) and maybe costing a leeetle more than Santa brought me (although I am worth it, so that's alright too) this seemed to fit in perfectly with my knitting plans for 2009 - i.e. having shipments of yummy yarn sent to me without me having to lift a finger so that I can make lots of lovely socks. So I've joined! Hurrah!

Saturday, January 03, 2009


The last couple of new years I have compiled lists of all the books that I have read during that year and what I thought of them. This year though, there doesn't seem to be much point. I have been reading The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox for what seems like forever and the only book I remember having really enjoyed this year was Matter by Iain M. Banks. Oh yes, I have just been reminded that I liked Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman as well. But I sure that is it.

So, in the absence of current reads to list, I am doing the Big Read meme doodah that others have been doing and hopefully it will inspire me to actually read something in 2009.


1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Underline those you intend to read.
3) Italicise the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them.

1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6. The Bible (I did start reading this in French at school, but didn't get much beyond Genesis)
7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye – J D Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34. Emma – Jane Austen
35. Persuasion – Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50. Atonement – Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52. Dune – Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
73.The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses – James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal – Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession – AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens (I only like the Muppet version)
82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94. Watership Down – Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

My total is 44. A couple of things spring to mind about this list. Firstly that most of the ones I've read seem to be from the childrens' section, which I think says a lot about me. Also, that there aren't many entries that I can honestly say I loved. I've never heard of some of them, but there are a fair few that I do want to read - and even have sitting on my book shelves waiting patiently for the day I get around to them.

Lastly, I actually did something knitting related today. I knitted half a sleeve on the jumper and then blocked my shrug, which I'm hoping will be nice to wear to work as the temperature in our office can be a little erratic.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Cold sheep

Between Christmas and New Year we decided to go to the Lake District for a couple of days, as although the weather has been wintry it has also been dry and clear of late, perfect for walking in the hills and we have never been ones to be put off by a bit of cold. Camping in winter is the best thing, if you have the right gear. The campsite was relatively busy for the middle of winter but it was still quiet on a night and there was a real spirit of adventure about the place, particularly in the morning after it had got down to -9°C during the night.

After a coffee and hot breakfast, we set off to High Raise (762m) returning via Seargent Man and Stickle Tarn.

It was a beautiful morning - the temperature didn't get above about minus 2 all day, and I discovered at lunchtime that the lettuce in my sandwiches had frozen.

As we got to the top of High Raise, the clouds started to set in and they stayed for the rest of the day, which was a shame but made for some good navigation practise over the tops. On the way down, we saw this handsome chap who posed for a photo.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Well hello... if anyone bothers reading here any more, I'd like to wish you a Happy New Year and hope that you had a nice, peaceful Christmas.

I have been meaning to blog for a while, but after a break it feels like I should have something really momentous to show for my time away, and quite frankly, I don't. I started knitting a shrug, finished knitting the shrug, sewed up the shrug, tried on the shrug and then left the shrug in my work basket to await some blocking, and forgot about it. I then started knitting a jumper for charity, which is such a simple pattern and should really have been finished long before now but somehow Christmas and holidays and stuff has slowed progress to decidedly slow speed, but hopefully I'll have something to show for it very soon.

Very kind friends sent me some very nice knitterly things for Christmas, piccie below, and I have £25 to spend on wool from my Mum, so I'm off to hit the sales!