Thursday, 1 October 2009

Test knitting a sock

So the called went out on Ravelry by Lottie Lodge that test knitters were needed for a pair of socks and I thought "Why not!" so said I could do it and the pattern was duly sent. There are always a few small problems that the designer has overlooked and it helps to have things knitted by others just so that it all works out as the designer plans.

I started with some Wendy Mode 4 ply in a deep red that I had as the design has a distinct cable pattern and verigated yarn can hide small but perfectly formed details like that. I started with a swatch and that seemed to be fine. I was knitting the wide version but the yarn really wasn't playing along. It started off wide and just got worse and worse. I kept checking to make sure that I hadn't managed to get more stitches into the design but no, it was the yarn.

This is it just bofre starting the heel and it's already wide, by the time it was up and over the ankle I was very baggy. I suppose that I'm used to knitting socks with sock yarn which can be more tightly spun, but this was 50% wool and 50% acrylic and has quite a lot of loftiness to it and I think that once a critical mass was reached with the sock it started to have it's own rules.

Anyway I knew that there was no point on carrying on so I started again. This time I'm using Schoppel-Woll Zauberball in a lovely long repeat of reds into oranges and browns and back again and it is behaving much better.
From GlamGirl Knits

I have one finished and am cracking on with the other so hopefully by the weekend I should have a lovely new pair of cabled autumn socks to wear, just as the weather turns.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009


Where has the past few months gone? I have been drifting again and haven't been keeping track of time. This past few days I have been trying to get stuff sorted to sell on ebay again. I figure the onset of autumn and the general crappiness of the summer weather might get people on their 'puters again. So far all I have listed is books, and books and a few cds but I'll break into some of the bags and start to pull out the clothes and nick nacks that I no longer need. Which is most of it if I was to be honest.

I think that I really want to get rid of most of my stuff but at the same time it's a comfort to know that it's there. It has nothing to do with how much things cost me to start with but I suppose that it's filled a bit of my house for so long that I'm not sure what I'd do with all the space: make more room for the things that I actually use and need I imagine. I'm not sure that I am a hoarder as I don't keep broken or useless items (but I suppose it depends on your definition of useless) but everything I keep has got a use, I just don't use them. So I am going to try and get rid of just about everything and the stuff that doesn't sell I'll donate to charity or freecycle. Might even have a yard sale next spring if I have anything left.

I wonder why there are those that amass stuff and those that find it easier to keep things simple, uncluttered. I definitely amass but what is the trigger for that? There has to be an element of security in having things about you, even if you don't look at them or use them, but what starts it off? As a child I had lots of toys and was messy. As an adult I am still messy and still have lots of things. Not many clothes but just things, books; that I don't read, yarn; but I am beginning to use that more and not buy so much 'new' stuff and other things.

This is rambling and not really getting me anywhere, but I am curious about the amassing of junk and why some people do and some don't. And can a person swap from being one to the other and not feel as though something of them has gone.

Monday, 20 July 2009

On the Plinth

I am going to be standing on the plinth in Trafalgar Square, London for a whole hour on Tuesday 21st July from 6am. It's part of an work of public art called One and Other by Antony Gormley - the man behind the Angel of the North, Another Place and Field. He plans to fill the plinth for 100 days with members of the public who are being chosen randomly from all parts of the UK. Those overseas can apply too but since you cannot choose when you get to go on to it you do kind of have to know where you might be in the next couple of months.

I've been trying to come up with a fab thing to do but since I do not have a cause to sell or anything to promote I shall probably just do some knitting and have a look around.

I'm kind of excited as it's a big project but made of individuals so it has that unconnected element too.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Busy Doing Nothing

Working the whole day through,
Trying to find lots of things not to do

Oh where has the past month gone? I was made redundant 6 weeks ago and I still haven't really done anything. I potter in the garden. I fill in job applications and I pretend to be really busy. But in reality I am just sitting here, perving the internet and doing very little. I should try harder to do something.

Well, that's a bit of a fib, I have been doing a few things. I have finished off a couple more small projects for the WIPs Wrestlemania. So far my total stands at sewing on the handles of a bag, finishing a pair of socks, performing surgery on a bear/mole/peanut/potato creature (don't ask it just gets messy) and finishing off a crochet octopus. I have also made great strides on my Cathode sweater and have finished the body and the ribbing and have just, this very night, started on the sleeves. I also did a bit of tidying up and found a couple more projects to add to the ever growing pile of WIPs. I have also reached a decision about my Topsecret sweater that has been languishing since November 2007 - it's going to be unravelled and I shall use the yarn for something else. I'll never wear it even if I were to finish so better that I make something I'd want to wear. So I have knitting successes to boast about, it's just the rest of things that is a bit poo.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

And another one goes

This is my Garter Goth Jacket - it's a large child size. I had worked out how to up size the pattern from the original design and started, then realised that I did not have a recipient for it but thought that I'd carry on just in case.
From GlamGirl Knits

It sat, or rather flumped in the WIPs bag for a while. I took the needle to use for another project and I suppose at that point I should have known that this was a goner. Still I did nothing. today I was hunting through the bag to find another WIP to finish off and made the decision to frog it and be free from it forever.

It put up a fight, the yarn is that slightly fluffy stuff that catches on the ends of the rows,and I had to break it 3 times but I finally managed to wrangle it.
From GlamGirl Knits

I like the way that it stripes so will re-use it on another project - I was thinking that Hanne from Knitty might do very well.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Another one bites the dust

Yay - got another one of my projects finished. This time it's the green woolen bag that I finished ages ago except for adding the handles. Well they are not done and it's all green and red and FINISHED
I also played with Abomination Bear who is currently being bashed up in the washing machine so I'll know later today if my surgery worked and I added a fair amount to my Green and Lumpy Cathode.

Monday, 6 July 2009

First one down

Thanks to WIPs Wrestlemania I have managed to finally get the BFF socks by Cookie A onto the mat in into submission: it's only been a year.

and a side view

The yarn is Knit Picks Dancing which is a wool, cotton and nylon with added elastic and is a great summer weight sock yarn. I think that the colourway is Hula but I misplaced the ball bands before I got all of the details onto Ravelry.

They are a great fit. I didn't make any modifications except for twisting the cable the other way on one of the socks. Not that it's visible because of the variegated nature of the yarn but I know that it is there. I am very pleased with them and are wearing them as I write.

Now I just have to get a few more things done - might deal with the abomination bear today. I won't show pictures just yet as it's not a pretty sight.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

WIPs Wrestlemania

Attentive readers of my lovely blog would have noticed that I often rattle away that I have loads of things to finish and that I really should do them and that I will not start anything new until I have finished at least one thing and that I really, really would do this but I keep getting distracted. Well I have signed up to WIPs Wrestlemania 2009 on Ravelry in an attempt to actually get some of this rouge and random projects finished.

Basically through out July the aim is to get as many unfinished projects finished - it really is that simple. I'm starting with a over half made pair of socks - my BFF that have been languishing for many a month now. This is how they are now

Hopefully I should be able to report, very soon, that they are a wearable pair of socks

After I finished them, I have a load of small things that need sorting. Most of these are simple little things like a leg for a tortoise, 3 legs for a bronty, sewing the lining up of a bag, knitting the mate to a sock or two, that kind of thing. After I get the amateur (the way anything with more that 60% complete) stuff sorted then I'll tackle the bigger things that have been lurking.

Wish me luck

Sunday, 28 June 2009


I am sorry that I have been missing in action recently. Nothing terrible happened but I just didn't have much enthusiasm for things. Been tinkering and sort of knitting and all those things that I'm really good at that mean I don't actually have to do any work of any kind. I'm bored with that now though, so have decided that this is the week when it all will change.

I'm planning on finally getting a website sorted out for selling my vintage and retro knitting patterns. I had a look around, asked a few people, read a couple of reviews and have come up with Mr Site as the most likely candidate. I like them as they offer a hosting plan, there is blog space and I can upgrade the site if it becomes super poplar and I need more space. Everything seems nice and simple and simple will be best for me as I am so easily distracted.

I'm just working out what colour schemes I fancy and how I want the menus to work and I will also have a mountain of scanning which I'm not really looking forward to but needs to be done. I also have to think about the pricing structure and what the postage costs will be too.

I don't have the cash at the moment to buy the package but I should get my redundancy money through by Tuesday so hopefully will be online by next weekend with a taster of what the whole site will look like.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Odd music

I've said before that I never used to listen to new music but then found which has given me a whole new world of music that I love. I have come across some new things but it's also great to hear that so many others share my excellent taste in music.

That said there have been a few changes to blip the biggest of which is video streaming. Basically they have signed up with Youtube and now when you search there are a whole load of vids that come up first before you scroll down to the plain music. I don't mind this as it has brought up a whole new element to my listening that I had never considered before. In the past couple of weeks I have heard incredible rough versions of Elvis classics, Green Day wannabies, classical music played by ham fisted muppets, junior high school productions of Grease (is Grease suitable for junior highschool?) and every other musical horror known.

But I have also heard amazing versions of fabulous music that I would never have discovered as well. Delicate and unusual versions of Jimi Hendrix classics, small scale bands that really should be signed, nervous classical performers who delight the soul and just a few crazy people to perk up the day. So next time you hook into go on the public channel and see if there are any treasures that you weren't expecting.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Sheffield Knit in Public Day

Saturday 13th June 2009

I am organising the Sheffield World Wide Knit in Public Day so I just want to shout a bit about it and where and when and what to bring.

The event was started a few years ago as a celebration of and for knitters (and crocheters). I knit in public every day as I travel on the bus or wait for things (usually buses) and it usually raises an eyebrow and sometimes elicits a comment from a curious and/or friendly bystander. But there are many knitters and crocheters who don't do their thing in public, which is a shame and they are missing out on being thought of as genuinely odd (which is a good thing) so this event gives them and all of us a chance to knit together: look on it as safety in numbers. Besides which we are armed with pointy things too!

So this year the main day is Saturday 13th June and we are holding the event in the Peace Gardens in Sheffield city centre from 11am to 3.30pm. You don't have to come along for all of the time, I know that everyone has things to do but just pop on by and say hello with your knitting if you are in the area. If the weather is not so good then we shall encamp to the Winter Garden and have fun there instead.

Please bring along with you your yarn/wool and needles and hooks and have fun in the sun. I'm going to bring along some spare needles and yarn so interested guests can try the joy of knitting themselves - it's always worth trying to convert more to the cause.

There is some public seating in both areas but feel free to bring along your own chair, stool or blanket if you want and sit on the grass.

There are cafes nearby but if you want, you could bring a picnic (no alcohol though as it's against council rules). There are free public toilet nearby and I hope that we have a grand day

Friday, 22 May 2009

Feeling better

Whoa - that last post was far too depressing for words so I am just going to do what I have been doing all of my life with depression and just sweep it to one side but will quickly say that the past week has been horrible and I have felt very very bad.

However, things are far more perky now and I have manage to get a handle on what is happening and am feeling much better. Really, the ostrich impression is a great trick but then what ever the problem is, mugs you later on so probably better to deal with it straight away.

Any-way, this past week I have been knitting socks for Sock Wars, have started a version of Shelley Kang's Blankie, have started another blanket and have actually started on sorting out my stash. Yes, I know, I always say that I should/have/will sort out my stash but I have actually started. I have got most of it in one place. It is now sorted into lace, 4 ply, double knit, aran and chunky weights. Now I need to get some boxes to put it in (I do so love Poundland). As they go into the boxes I'll start photographing them properly and then get the snaps onto Ravelry.

I've also realised that I have random bits of yarn that I no longer want or need so am going to wait until I have everything sorted and then get rid of the excess. Most of it is odd balls of acrylic and a little bit of fun fur type stuff so I should not miss it. I might knit up some things for charity but I never seem to have the time.

I have also been trying to organise a Knit in Public event for Sheffield and will keep you posted once I know what is going to happen.

Friday, 8 May 2009

I'm lost

Not sure where I am, nor what I am doing.

Almost as though I'm static and things are moving around me.

I want to engage with the world again and not feel so blawgh.

I would like to be able to see a future world where I feel settled.

I do not want to feel as I am at the moment but the hill is too high and I can't see the top.

What it at the top of the hill?

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

The great pattern destash . . .

. . . has started

I will be trying to list at least 10 of my collection of knitting patterns on ebay everyday. At the moment I also have a load of postcards and some other bits and bobs.

Have a looky see here and grab yourself a bargain.

I know this is complete and utter self promotion but this is a blog, which does rank as being one the most self obsessed activities that a person can carry out so I think that I am entitled to a bit of "BUY IT NOW BEFORE I RUN OUT OF MONEY AND HAVE TO SPEND MY OLD AGE EATING CARDBOARD AND GRAVY" pleading should be just fine.

So here is the link to your knitting pattern happiness and a few other things too.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Slightly Obsessed

I came across this on the wonder that is Twitter and I have become hooked.

I'm terrible at finding new music for a whole load of reason but mostly because I can't stand 'modern' radio stations. In the old days DJs knew their place, they were there to tell you a bit about the band or song and then play it - no chit-chat, no thinking they were funny but really they were just crass, no anecdotes about their girlfriend/mum/dad/dog/boyfriend/bus driver. They had a job to do and that was that. But something changed and everything in radioland went tits up and suddenly there were 1000s of 'personalities' out there all thinking they were funny and that their opinion mattered. I blame Steve Wright.

So I stopped listening to radio and my musically knowledge became trapped in the past with only a few things managed to penetrate. But now I have access to thousands of other people's choices with all the wonder and variety that music has to offer and I love it.

Check me out on - for more of my eclectic choices.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

A Re-cap

Ages and ages ago I started in Summer Smackdown - we're heading into summer now, so it shows how long ago it was (August 2008 in fact). I was in the advanced socks category, the lace scarf, the lace stole and the bookmark event.

It probably didn't go quite as one expected as I never managed to get a pair of socks or even the yarn to start the killing again for the socks and it took me ages to finish off the stole, although the scarf was banged out relatively quickly but I only lasted a single round in that. Things went quiet and the organiser decided that since there was a recession that it was probably better to stop the contest, or at least not up date things so people got bored and wandered away. But she did start up another knitting battle (Day of the Dead which I also took part in). Anyway earlier this month one of the other competitors from Smackdown started things going again to see if there was anyone who just wanted to finish the game and it seems that there are several of us who did.

So now I have a person who will get the socks and have managed to get them to a quick finish - probably another day depending on how the bus trip goes. There is also someone who wants to finish off the stole match, however, I have managed to 'tidy' the half sent stole that was sent to me away and I am not sure where it is. So I have started again and last night I managed about 2.5" so only another 76" to go.

Wish me luck ;o)

Sunday, 19 April 2009

My Artfire Studio is open

Well i have finally managed to get my act together and have finally got some things into my Artfire studio.

So far all I have is a few vintage sewing patterns and a couple of pieces of vintage clothing but I shall be adding more sewing patterns, old postcards, old photographs and my dear but underused collection of vintage and retro knitting patterns.

To give you a sneak preview of the patterns I have this many Paton and Baldwin patterns ranging from the 1930s through the the early 1970s
From GlamGirl Knits

There are over 500 there and I have at least 2000 patterns to find new homes for, so please check back into the studio at regular intervals and I might just have the thing you are looking for.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Spring Vines in Blue

Yesterday I started on Spring Vines by Dao Nguyen using a right bargain of a yarn buy - 12 balls of Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo for less than a fiver. Atkinsons in Sheffield have got a fair amount of this "unbranded" yarn in (and others) at the moment and it's £4.99 for 500g. Not entirely sure if I like the yarn but I'm going to have to like it as I am knitting the Spring Vines for the the Sexy Knitters Club KAL and I also got some in purple for Intolerable Cruelty.

Anyway back to Spring Vines. The pattern is a bought one and I'm not usually a pattern buyer since I have enough vintage patterns to build a house from but I wanted to join in with the KAL and I wanted to do something that isn't socks or small things. The pattern is a bit of a mish mash with some of the numbers not quite adding up but there seems to be enough scope to make do.

I started with the back and got about 15cm in but realised how sloppy but purl has become and so frogged back and started again but working it in the round. I had a moment of panic when the stitches didn't add up. The front is 4 stiches bigger than the back but I think that'll not really nticed come the finished article.
From GlamGirl Knits

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Is that a crime for a knitter to say she has too much yarn?

I have too much yarn.

Far too much. I was sorting bits of it out yesterday, well trying to find something completely different but thought it might have jumped into one of the yarn bags, and I have realised that I have far more than I want. Is that a crime for a knitter to say she has too much yarn?

I think that I have, or more likely I have too much junk stuff that I don't really want. I want a stash that is gorgeous and lovely and a joy to look at and use. I want to be able to knit an entire garment from the same type rather then cobble it from bits that I have laying around. I want to be able to see it all, in one place, so I make the right choice about what I want to knit rather than dredge through bags trying to get all of one kind together. I want to be more organised.

If I can get the living room sorted and tidying before the weekend I might start the grand sort through of the yarn on Sunday. If the weather is nice I shall take bits of the stash out into the garden to photograph them nicely and then list them properly on Ravelry and then put them in clear bags and then but the bags of 4 ply, double knit, Aran and chunky separately and then they can get stored in the cupboard.

So there that's the plan.

It won't last of course, I shall get distracted, or bored, or start knitting random things, or reading things but it's a plan.

And a good one at that.

Monday, 30 March 2009

My word I have actually cracked it


I have finally found a help site that can teach my obstinate brain the basic mechanics of crochet. I am not sure how I got there, some sort of Divine intervention possibly but I found Hook and Needles lurking on the web. I had been trying to teach myself for ages as I thought "I can knit. I can spin. Why can't I crochet?" Anyway I found this tutorial, which led to this one and then to this one and finally I have found the grail of amigurumi projects. Nibbler

To start with though, I'm just taking it easy
This was my first attempt, just a simple back and forth single (in the UK double) crochet. For my to sort out my tension and how to hold the hook and yarn.
From GlamGirl Knits

Now I'm not the sort of person who would knit 1000 scarves before moving onto trickier knitting patterns so I'd be blowed if I was going to crochet 100 mats - apart from anything else what do you do with them? Anyway I had a hunt through the magic of the Ravelry pattern search and came up with the pattern for an Easy Peasy Mouse
From GlamGirl Knits

I am so very proud

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Blue Bag

I am bad - I completely forgot my friend's birthday so was hunting around for a quicky project that I could knit in a jiffy and so settled on the One Skein Felted Purse by Flo Burdick from One Skein Wonders or my Blue Bag.

I had some Cascade Wool 220 in a bright turquoise colour and some bluey purpley greeny Freedom Spirit by Twilleys which I know felt beautifully so I went for it and produced this little beauty.
From GlamGirl Knits

The flower is just a random felted fancy as the pattern on the original pattern is a bit of a bore as there is far too much casting off to worry about. Anyway they went through the washing machine and came out like this.
From GlamGirl Knits

I added a tab so I can sew on a popper for the closure, the original pattern has a magnetic button but I couldn't find any. I shall post it off at the weekend and hope that she likes the jewel bright colours.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

40 Minute Panties

So this is not a joke but how many of you have 40 minutes panties or knickers? I have. You all know what I mean by 40 minute panties. It's that lovely pair of knickers that you have. They feel soft and are snug to wear, they might have a flash of laciness and are oh so sexy. They hold the bits back that need it and they make you feel fabulous.

For about 40 minutes.

Then all you want to do is get them off. The first signs will be when you are on public transport and helpless. They start to magically shrink on you. Instead of holding back your belly they slide under the bulge and you are left feeling flabby instead of sleek. Or sometimes they just start to wander. For me, usually it's that they start to wander up. I am left with that oh so elegant look of having to reach behind and tug them from my arse-crack surreptitiously. Usually it involves a trip to the bathroom with some frantic tugging and settling them on my hips with the threats that they are not to ride up again. They behave for a few minutes then get bored and have to start wandering again.

I think it's because they love the attention. They absolutely love to be the centre of attention. When you are in the shop looking to buy, they are coy but pert with it: they know you want them and are playing hard to get. Then when you succumb they are still soft and gentle, you might get them out and carress them waiting for that special day when you can wear them for the first time.

So the day arrives and you put them on all proud and strutty in your lovely panties and you forget that you are wearing them because they are so perfect. Then after 40 minutes . . .

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Not good

On Thursday my computer died - well not completely dead, it just wouldn't start up. I think I might have got a killer bug but won't know for certain until the guys from the university computer help place get in touch.

So the truly stupid thing that I realised as the system was crashing, was that I probably have NONE of it backed up. Nothing really, so all of my photos, my random musings, my ebay turbo lister, everything might well have gone. What a dope I am. To make things even worse, I hassled my sister to get an external as she is a great photographer and has thousands of images on her flakey machine. And she got one, but I didn't. In the word of that great philosopher "DOH!!!"

So I beg you, I implore you, I plead with you, I pray you, I entreat you, I beseech you that YOU make sure that all your important documents, and that includes your photos and random crap are all backed up onto spare discs and even an external hard drive if you can afford it. Hell, even a few memory sticks would do.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Lizard Ridge Blanket

Just a quicky.
From GlamGirl Knits

It's growing and geeting bigger and I still love knitting it. I have learnt to knit backwards, not tinking but instead of turning the work after the short rows I now reverse knit the stitches. It is making it so much easier and quicker. I sort of found it out myself and then looked on the pattern page and found this link on how to knit in reverse.

Go on, try it - it's easier than it sounds.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

What a week!

I am, currently, an archaeologist. It's a job that I find mostly interesting and have stuck at the longest so far. However, the form of archaeology that I do isn't the Time Team stuff. This is my profession and I am more likely to be working on a construction site than not. Commercial archaeology in the UK is intimately tied to the construction industry and since that has died a death, archaeology is beginning to suffer too.

Well on Friday I was offically told that I would be made redundant on at the beginnig of June. And it was a shock but not a surprise. The company I work for has been trying to find work but there just isn't any so I completely understand the need to shed staff if they are going to survive. They are a business and will have to work hard in the next months to avert more job losses.

So there you have it. I have become a statistic of the credit crunch but am already looking for work. As I said there's not much in archaeology but I have office skills, and project management skills so who knows where it will all lead. I am also going to make a bigger effort to start selling things on etsy and folksy and de wanda and artfire and the other crafty websites. I am also going to build a website for me - that will have some of my photos and craft stuff on as well to see if I can generate some interest in what I do.

Friday, 6 March 2009

My Stash and UFOs

I am almost embarrassed about my yarn stash. I have listed on Ravelry over 100 entries but I have more to add. I am equally embarrassed about my unfinished projects that are scattered about the place too. I need to get a bit more organised and actually start using up the stuff that I do have and the project that I have started. So I have a plan . . . (I always have a plan)

From now on I will do a maximum of 4 projects at a time.

A small thing that I can take on the bus and do to and fro work. This would probably count as something like socks, mittens/gloves things in that general category. Basically anything portable and not too complicated.

Then I shall have a garment on the go. This can be an adult or child thing - anything like a sweater, skirt, dress. You catch me drift. This will be knitted at home so can involve complicated instructions or loads of colours.

Then there will be the long, long term project - the blankets or afghans, bedcovers, carpets. huge things that can get pretty boring if you are only knitting them and only them day in, day out.

And my final project group will be the frippery stuff, the things that I see and go "Oohhh" then pick up yarn and pins and start straight away.

The stuff to start with will be stash busted - but it might produce some interesting colour ways as mostly I don't have enough of a single yarn to knit an entire garment. But I have enough to be able to jig things around a bit.

First though I'm going to start with the project I have hidden around the house. Hence starting the BFF socks again (small thing for the bus). This afternoon I dragged out my Lizard Ridge knitted from JC Brett Chunky Marble (long, long term project), I'll hunt down the Topsecret sweater I start last year and almost finished but didn't quite (garment) but until I get rid of all my WIP I shall not start a frippery.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Starting Again

A while back in the mists of first gettting back into knitting I started a on BFF socks by Cookie A. They were started in Knit Picks Dancing and I really enjoyed knitting the first one. But I got sidetracked by sock knitting battles and I put away my stretchy sock for another day.

Well that day has come. As part of my continuing battle against my UFOs I dragged the yarn out and started again. One of the reasons for putting them aside was because they were too stretchy and I kept meaning to either knit a smaller size or do them on a smaller needle. I have taken the smaller needle option. They are now being knitted on 2.25mm and hopefully I'll actually get a pair that I can wear.

I'm just knitting from the toe of the finished sock and I know the yarn is very crinkly but it's also very stretchy and it doesn't seem to matter. I started them on the way to work on the bus this morning and have the 1 inch of ribbing done already.

This is it before the act of frogging
BFF sock
Now it's just a slither of ribbing waiting to become a sock.

Finished at Last

I have actually managed to finish a decent (okay, baby) sized garment.

Ta-DAAAAA and here it is . . .
From GlamGirl Knits

It's a Pinwheel Sweater - which is free so even better.

The yarn is 7 Veljesta Raita by Novita (sorry for those that don't folow Raveley) ((Why not? It's free you know?)) and the pattern is really easy to get through. It's knitted in the round with gaps left for the sleeves which are then knitted down once the main part is finished.

The pluses are:
that it could be a really quick knit (I took so long because I got distracted) as I got the main part done in a few days
it's completely customisable as everything on it can be changed so you can make it in any size.
any weight of yarn can be used so would be get as a multi-coloured stash buster
I learnt to do a crochet provisional cast on for the sleeves and the edging is a great i-cord thingy so no casting off

The minuses?
I don't know anyone who has a baby that it would fit

Monday, 16 February 2009

New things

So I have been playing around with a few ideas for things for me to make and hopefully to sell. I love bags and have played with a few designs and stuff and I thought about patchwork but not the detailed handstitched ones. Those would take too long for me and also cost too much, although many are beautiful. So a few days ago I did the easy thing and ordered from ebay 2 sets of 6" squares.

One pack was plains and the others patterned with mostly flower mixtures. But they looked good together although it took me ages to get the pattern right. I didn't want any of the same patterns touching at the corners nor any of the plain squares. But just to make it that little bit more tricky there were odd amount in the packs but hey - I got it sorted.

I am not an experienced quilt maker but I can machine stich in straight lines and I will then back the wrong side with wadding and then a plain sheet. After that's all been done I'll machine a quilted pattern onto it and see if there is any interest in it. Hopefully this could be the start of a different tangent in my life but if not I have an pleasant throw to snuggle under when it gets cold.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

One World One Heart Winners

Yeah - I have done the semi-impossible (okay not at all impossible, just a bit dull) and have managed to select the winners of my giveaway.

I have contacted them by email so am looking forward to sending out the hearts.

Thank you to everyone who dropped by and who entered my draw. I really enjoyed seeing the variations in the different crafts that we practice and the different skills that we have. Some people have amazing talent and we love what we do and that is the main thing. To create something with love makes it special for everyone involved.

I hope that everyone had a grand OWOH and I am already planning for next year. Does anyone know if there are anymore of these types of giveaways where there are loads of lovely blogs to be looking at?

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Closing my giveaway

As I am absolutely shattered and really need my sleep so I shall be closing my giveaway tomorrow morning at 8am. That's a GMT time zone and technically it will be the 12th for me but still the 11th in the far west (like the US and Canada). I'll make the draw a short while after using the random number generator thingy and hopefully post to the winners there and then but might have to wait until later - it depends on how busy I am in the morning.

Make sure that you add your comment to that post - not this one to be in with a chance of winning one of my knitted and felted hearts
From GlamGirl Knits

So there is still time to enter and good luck to everyone.

Friday, 6 February 2009

UK Swap Goodies

I lurve getting presents, well who doesn't? And after a week of being away I came home to find a parcel waiting for me with my neighbour. It can be a bit hit and miss whether the postie takes it there but hurrah hurrah he did and now I have goodies.

My partner, Nic has knitted a lovely pair of blue mittens for me from Colinette Skye.

They are a fabulous colour and fit wonderfully well. I tried typing in them but it all got a bit messy but my house is FREEZING.
She also included a book on Country Crafts that has a section in on spinning, dyeing and weaving: all things I am interested in. There was also some lovely Hand Food hand cream because I need things to help with dry hands from being outside all day. There were also some hot chocolate drinks, but the lite kind to help in my rather none existent diet - it's tricky eating well when you're away from a kitchen.
And finally there was a lovely skein of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock DK yarn in the Wild Cherry colourway.

So all in all a fabulous stash of pressies and just what I needed after a cold and dull week away from my lovely little house.

OOo - I forgot to add that there is still time to enter my One World - One Heart giveaway. Please follow the link and add your comment.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Things to do in a hotel room (Pt 1)

As some will know, I have been working away from my lovely little house in Sheffield and am currently spending the week dabbling in holes in Gloucester. Before the new year I was there for a couple of months and now I am there for another few weeks but possibly a month and this is making me very sad.

I have been trying to get my act together and start making things to sell on the wonders of etsy, da wanda, folksy and misi and the like as well as trying to set up a website selling copies and originals of my vintage knitting and crochet patterns. But being away from home has disconcerted me and I find my time is spent perving the web for craft things, tweating and generally not feeling very good about things.

So I have decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and actually get some of those random crafty idas I have bopping around into place and see what I can do in a hotel room.
And this is it (well one of the things)

Granted it's not amazingly pretty but it does offer so many potentials.

I got the fibre from visiting Get Knitted yesterday on a day off. I then used my plastic lunchbox to layer the fibre in and added a little of the complimentary shower gel to the boiling water from the kettle which was then dribbled over the fibre mat. A bit of jigging back and forth with my fingers and the mat was strong enough to take out the box and rub on the shower tray. I haven't got any bubblewrap (well it's not something that you'd usually carry around with you is it?) so I thought that the raised bits on the tray would do. A quick rinse through with cold water and a roll in a towel, then I put it on the radiator to dry.

The felted bit works well enough but the shower gel was difficult to rinse out completely and I was a bit heavy handed in the shower tray section of the proceedings but otherwise I am very happy with the result.

Next week I plan on bringing the fibre with me again along with a baking tray of some sort and some bubble wrap and see what I can get up to.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Ruffy Neckwarmer

This was knitted up for a swap that I am in and I hope that my partner likes it, or at least has a friend who might like it.

I have had the yarn - Gedifra Capriola - for ages and could never find a decent project for it. It's one of those super bulky, sort of flat felted look yarns and this ws multi coloured too. But I saw the Little Ruff in One Skein Wonders and realise that it would do for a ruff or neckwarmer.

Well this is the finished results and I like this alot

I changed parts of the pattern. The original calls for an aran weight but I used bulky and increased the needle size to 10mm. I then only cast on 14 stitches and on the short rows did a differing pattern. On one side it's a 2 and 4 short row repeat and on the other it's a 2, 3 and 4 repeat. I think this has made the neckwarmer sit better without being too floppy - but I would say that ;o)

Anyway it is done and I shall hopefully post it off tomorrow if I can slip and slide my way to the post office.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Inappropriate Content

I have been spending the afternoon have a trawl through the One World - One Heart giveaways and every now and again a screen flashes up and block the page with "INAPPROPRIATE CONTENT" scrawled over it. I'm working away at the moment so am in a hotel/b&b in Gloucester and obviously the guy has it set that there is a filter on (which I don't have a problem with) but a thought struck me on this: some blogs must be just dripping with porn and perv and other "questionable" things. Although I have to say I have no problem with porn and perv in the right context I'm a little freaked with it on a set of crafting blogs?

Surely there can't be that many porn craft sites out there? Or are there whole nooks and crannies of the web filled with yarn laying provocatively, a come hither and fondle me look in their strands. Or fat quarters piled on each other having the time of their life. Or rolls of thread in all sizes and shapes being threaded through sewing machines, bending to the will of their master. Or vintage images bare and naked waiting to be transformed under someone elses bidding.

Oh come to think of it now . . .

BTW - remember to check out my own OWOH giveaway - I promise to get better photos up this weekend

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Dangers of Crossing the Road

She had been wearing her headphones and not heard the car coming. Now it was too late

Don't forget to drop in on my One World - One Heart giveaway

Monday, 26 January 2009

On the Road Again

Well not exactly on the road, more on Kingsholm Road in Gloucester. Yep, I'm back to the delights of sunny Gloucester, probably for the next few weeks. It's a bit annoying as I am trying to get my house sorted and the garden will have to be dug over soon and I have a bunch of knitting things and spinning things and sewing things to be getting on with. Doesn't work realise that I actually HAVE a LIFE!!!

Anyway I have been remarkably lax with updating on my knitting recently so here is the tally at the moment:
I am in the final stages of getting a pinwheel cardigan finished, it just needs an arm and a half sorting out and then it's done.
I have most of a knitted dinosaur finished but it needs 3 more legs and then sewing and stuffing
There is my attempt to knt a vintage 1940s bra that is coming along very nicely but I have no real idea if it will fit me. So far I have almost a whole cup done.
Then there is the 1940s snood that I finished but kept fogetting to get elastic so that I could finish it properly and now it is probably somewhere in the depths of my bedroom
And finally (I had to get there at some point) I have just started another vintage garment - this time it's a sleeveless pullover that I am attempting to knit in the round but it's not co-operating and I was too tired to fight it. I only started that today so so far all I have is the ribbing and a few rows done but I thikn that i can work out the pattern for the round. The yarn is a fugly brown tweedy thing that has been cluttering up my stash for a while now and this project seems to scream utility wear and what better colour than brown for utility wear?

Oh and forgot about the mountain of hibernating WIPs that I am doing my best to ignore. I keep reasoning that they are either too big, or too close to finishing to bring with me to Gloucester. Yea, I know.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

My One World - One Heart Giveaways

The giveaway is now closed but please still leave a comment if you like and please check out my other pages

Hurrah Hurrah - I have finally managed to get myself sorted out and created some lovely knit and felted hearts for One World - One Heart.

I am going to give to 7 lucky people one of these knitted and felted hearts

They are about 7" across and make fab pot holders or are just a decorative item. The main heart will always be red but I might include some blue stitching, or even yellow or something else entirely.

If you would like the chance to get one of these lovelies then please leave a comment on this post (please look through my other posts but and feel free to comment if you like). Make sure that there is a way that I can get back in touch with you to say if you have won.

I love this idea and am planning on visiting ever person who is taking part - not just for the giveaways but because I think that this is what the internet is for - finding new friends and discovering new ideas.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

One World - One Heart goes live

Here's a swift update for those that might be reading. There is a blogging event called One World - One Heart that has started. Basically it is a way for us to read other blogs that we might not have read before and find new friends through the wonderful medium that is the world wide web.

The sites that are listed on the main One World One Heart site are giving away some freebies for those that comment on them (there's will be a particualr page that you should comment on). Hopefully it will introduce you to other sites and get people looking back onto yours (if you have one).

I will taking part once I am back home - I'm working away until later in the week and didn't manage to get things sorted before I left. But please check out the link and if you can add your own to the ever growing list of participants.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

The BIG 4 OH

Yesterday, or today depending what time slot you are in, was my 40th birthday. I got thinking about what I wanted to change in my life and how I wanted things to be going forward. I have made the decision to move from my job. I am not happy there and haven't been for ages so it seems better to make plans to leave than be unhappy and dreading going into work every day.

I'm not going to jack in a perfectly good job, especailly in the present fiscal situtaion that the developed world is going through, but I am making plans to move on. My real plan is to become more crafty and offer a range of different products for sale, gradually concentrating more and more on the craft stuff. A few years ago I would never have thought about this as an avenue but my re-introduction to knitting has made me realise that I am creative, that I can sew, that I do finish things and that I do have some pretty good ideas about colour and design. I know that it's going to be hard work and because of that I need to get other things in my world sorted but I have also started on those too so it is a move in the right direction.

They say that life begins at 40, but I suppose that you can change your life at any point (I did when I went off to university at 27). But by 40 you have a pretty good idea of where you are, what and who you want to be, and hopefully the life confidence to get it underway.

I do not know what the next year will bring for me. I could be sitting in a year's time in the same job and still talking about moving on. Or I might have truly taken off and my craft products be doing well. Or it could be a bit of both but I shall continue to dream and plan and try and sort out things. Happiness in life is the most important thing, whether you get that from your family, your lover, your crafts, your friends or anything, but you have to be happy to thrive. and I plan to thrive.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Felted Purple Flowers

I was playing around with yarn, tinkering with the idea of a felted flowers type of thing. I had tried the one in One Skein Wonders but it just didn't look right so I tried again with an improvised pattern based on that. These were knitted using Rowan Lambswool DK (a discontinued yarn) and if you are wanting to felt them afterwards them make sure the yarn felts

And here they are

They came out okay and I might play a bit more once I have some time free.

Basically it’s a cast x number of stitches on needles a couple of sizes larger than you would need for the yarn. Knit front and back every other one. Then knit a few rows, or knit and purl a few rows, or even do some ribbing for a few rows. Then increase again whenever you fancy. Knit a few more rows and cast off in whatever weird and wonderful way you want. For one of them it was a cast of 1 cast one 2 cast off 3 type of affair and the other was a cast off one cast on 1 cast off 2. That’s how the bobbles are formed. Then roll it up and stitch it down into a flower shape. I then threw them into the washer on a sheets and towels cycle and they came out as they have.

Friday, 9 January 2009

One World - One Heart

I found this through the delights of linking from blog to blog. I always think of my web browsing as some sort of Tarzan (or Jane (or Cheeta if you prefer)) swinging from branch to branch and limb to limb as they navigate their way through a fascinating but sometime inpenetrable jungle of stuff.

Anyway, I digress, I came across the One World - One Heart blogging project and thought that it seemed like a good idea so will be joining up for it on the 19th January. Basically, as I understand it, all of the participating blogs are giving away things to those that comment on the blog post. I haven't yet decided what I shall be giving away (aren't I a little tease?) but it will be knitted and I think that I shall give 10 of whatever it is I shall be making.

The great thing is that I will be visiting the other blogs and see what is available to snaffle too.

The project runs until 11th February and on the 12th the winners will be notified.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Box of Fun

My lovely fella asked what I wanted for Christmas ages ago and since we had decided that we were not going to spend much over a tenner on each other I said that I'd really like to try and learn to spin. This came from us visiting the delight that is Wingham Wools at Wentworth during the summer and me getting far to carried away in the various sheds of stuff that they have there.

So I pointed him in the direction of the website and said the most basic sindle would do because it seemed folly to spend out on a 2 minute wonder.

So Christmas morning (just) arrives and he wants me to open my gift - he loves giving presents and I usually have to restrain him from going over the top so I was really pleased that he managed to contain himself and only get what I suggested. I was dreading that he had splashed out on a spinning wheel but my fears were unfounded.

So this is what he got for me

So far I have just been fiddling around as the last time I tried spinning was when I was a school over 20 years ago but it is a basic thing - just twist the spindle and draft out the fibre and a yarn type of thing will be produced.

This is my first attempt - I haven't finished it yet but I think that it's a good start and I am inspired to continue.

I said that I would knit him something from my first attempt but since he doesn't wear gloves, hats or scarves it might just have to be a pair of underpants - that way he won't blind anyone.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Cracked it - finally

I can hardly believe it but I have finally finished the dreaded "Smackdown Stole". I have been battling away at this since August and have finally finished it so hurrah hurrah.
stole 1

The stole was almost finished a short while back but I noticed that something had been nibbling on it - not moths thankfully - so had to frog back almost half of the stole and start again. But now it is done and I am so pleased.

stole 3

I have it now packed up and ready to post off the the US in the morning where my victim can finally have her soft and warm stoley death

Saturday, 3 January 2009

The Stash

Why or rather how is it that I seem to have collected a huge amount of yarn but not enough to actually knit a single garment from?

Today I have been trying to sort out my stash as I am planning to not buy any until I have used at least half of what I have already - unless it's for a particular garment that someone else wants me to knit. So far I have amassed over 100 types and most of it sock yarn or 4 ply but there are a few other things in there too.

In my main cupboard I have a bookcase that I sawed the end off so that it fitted and it works really well as the case is divided into blocks. Each of the blocks has a number and that has been added to my ravelry stash page so that I can find it if needs be. Once I have it all recorded then I'll put all the different weights together so that even if I don't have enough for a complete garment I can at least mix and match to get it gone but I can see that I'm going to be knitting loads of socks, shawls and scarves this year.

To help bust the stash I am also going to try and knit a christmas present a month for the next 12 months. I have the January project already sorted as it's going to be a felted handbag, possibly for my niece but possibly not.

Friday, 2 January 2009

New Year - hurrah!

Not quite sure why it's a hurrah but I am going to try and be more postive this year and not let little things get me down. Obviously I will still wallow in the disappointment of the big things but not the wee things.

So that's it my only resolution but I am going to try and knit and craft more.

I am going to try and not buy any yarn, well not until I have halved my stash. I really hadn't realised what I have been collecting over the past year and it's a bit scary. There will be lots of small projects, only because I rarely bought more than a couple of balls of wool but I shall try my best to get half of it gone. To help me I have started a campaign to knit 1 christmas present a month for the nest 12 months so it won't be a last minute job in December.

The room clearing has kind of stopped but once I have finished here I am going to start again. At least I can now get into the back room and the floor has been swept and vacuumed for the first time in over a year so that's a good thing.

I have many, many things to record and talk about but for the moment it's just clearing more space and taking stock.

Have a happy, hearty and healthy New Year and I wish you all the best