Saturday, March 31, 2007

Molly's socks......Phew!

I got a lovely email from Thistlerain (aka Molly) from the knittyboards, thanking me for her socks. What a relief - she loved them! and she said they fitted. I am so relieved! Molly doesn't have a blog, so here they are, on my feet just before I sent them.

Pattern: Knitty Universal Toe Up
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Dafodil and Opal Uni (shade?)

Time to Knit: Too long!

I also sent her a needle roll, just like this one, now listed in my etsy shop (pic is a link).
Today I we went yarn shopping, and to meet up with two lovely knittyheads, Kat/Koshka and Charlotte/LittleMy, both really really nice chatty people. Great company. We went to Yarn in Beeston and Heath's Country Store in New Ollerton. Both are great shops, the second sells fabric too! It was esepcially nice that both shops have quite different stock. These are the spoils. The fabric is destined to be needle rolls I think, to add to my stock.

This yarn is Super Soxx by Lang, and I just love the colours. It'll be socks for me, at last. I'm thinking of using the Jaywalker pattern, after seeing Charlotte's today.

And finally, some of you may remember that I'm keen to get a few ideas out of my head and into a pattern. This project was abandoned, the colours just weren't working. This is the current one. 350 stitches on 3.25mm needles. What was I thinking??

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

New etsy items!

I don't really like promoting myself here, but I thought you all might like to see......

I feel a bit awkward selling to people I know, but it's always nice if they feel like they can mention me to their pals!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Moonshine update and my fabric problem......

So you may remember I am knitting Moonshine, from Rowan Classic Style, using Sirdar's Denim Aran in Aspen. I would once have called myself a yarn snob, but, I love this yarn, despite it's acrylic-ness. Its a great cotton blend, and although most of the colours are a bit wishy washy for my taste, the newer ones are great, well saturated shades. Anyway, I digress. I've been kniting this since well, since this book came out, last autumn. I've missed the boat for this winter, so it's kind of gone on the back burner. It is a slow (due to the double moss stitch), monotonous knit that seems to go on for ever. I think it's going to need a lot of careful blocking (when do I ever do that??) as all the pieces I've done so far (the back, one sleeve and half a front) don't sit squarely when I lay them out. I'm not sure why, my knitting is correct, I'm sure. But, it will be great when its done, and be the knid of item I hope to wear a lot. Here is the half knitted front.....

And here's that yarn I bought last weekend although the project is covert!

My lovely friend Amanda warned me a while back that fabric was addictive as yarn and she was right. I think I have a problem. I bought this is JL yesterday and I need more. I just love it's kitschy cottagey feel. And only £5 a metre. If I wasn't so broke my mum had to fill my car up yesterday (Before you all panic that James, Daphne, Velma, Monty and I are about to starve, I get paid on Friday and mum bought us a big bag of organic veg yesterday too, not that that would help the catties!) I would have bought the whole bolt!! So far, it's been made in to a little surprise treat to go into my package for the lovely Molly.

Here too is a selection of the fabric that came home from Ripon last weekend.... As you can see, I clearly don't need more fabric.

I hope you all have lovely spring sunshine streaming through your windows today, just like we have. Happy Sunday everyone.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

How did my boy fit into these??

We have just got home from a lovely weekend with James' mum who lives in Ripon, North Yorkshire. It's a lovely part of the world, and I just love it. Anyway, James' mum is bracing herself to move so is trying to clear stuff out. We spent this morning going through boxes and she gave me lots of fabric, which will come in very handy! I'll take some pictures when I get a chance. We also found these, which she made when the boys (James and his older brother Rich) where born. So, getting on for 30 years ago for one of them. I held one up to Richard, an ex-Royal Marine and it's so hard to picture them fitting into these tiny clothes! I think they're beautiful and she told me she's saving them for her grandchildren, which is so exciting. Only she might be waiting a few years yet! Speaking of childhood, Amanda, the horse in my last post is Tutti Fruiti, a childhood friend rather than a vintage find. My aunt bought him when we were small, and mum has kept him carefully ever since, although he has no tail, bridle or saddle! I think he was much loved. Tutti Fruiti was an ice cream flavour when we were small, that was kind of synthetically fruit flavoured with bizarre little bits in it. We clearly liked that too!

On Saturday morning, I took myself off to Knaresborough to Sheepish, one of my favourite yarn shops (the new website does not do it justice yet). Despite having no money whatsoever I managed to spend £15 on some cotton, a pattern (can't show you, it's for a present!) and Rowan's Studio number 3. There is a lovely cabled tank top pattern which is next on my list... The people as always, were lovely and very complimentary about my Icarus. What I particularly like is that they leave you alone to peruse and stand in the corner gossiping instead. Perfect, I can be left to my own thoughts when yarn shopping! Gosh, that sounds really anti-social, but I'm sure you knitters know what I mean!

After that we went to Wetherby for the horse racing. Despite being horsey (and ridden race horses for a chunk of my teenage years, and owning an ex-steeplechaser) I've never been racing. Yorkshire however, has a huge racing culture. I loved it! The boys were keen on the gambling, and I admit it was fun, just a pound or two here or there. I insisted on deciding on my horse by actually looking at them in the parade ring. It reminds me why they are such a big part of my life and I'd struggle if I had to give them up. They are just amazing creatures. I took some random photos, these horses don't have any significance except they reminded me a bit of Mont.

They are so strong and powerful, yet on the most part graceful and kind. One got loose on the track at the last race and legged it around the track, ears pricked, tail in the air, clearly showing off and enjoying himself!

And lastly, James' mum gave me these daffs, unusual don't you think? Really frilly in the middle..

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Thistlerain/Molly, the sock knitting goddess

I have recently participated in a Knittyboard sock exchange and my partner is the lovely Thistlerain, real name Molly. I am yet to post her socks, but they are very very nearly ready. We agreed to be a bit flexible on the date. I received mine from Molly today. They are absolutely amazing. I am in awe of your knitting Molly! These socks are knitted in lace weight yarn, you know, like shop bought socks. They are just amazing. Molly has chosen a beautifully soft, alpaca silk blend (80/20) in a lovely green colour. She has included a great cuff and reinforced heels. Thank you so much Molly, for all the time it must have taken you. I am slightly hesitant in sending mine, they are truely amateur in comparison. I really hope Molly isn't desperately disappointed. Molly also sent a lovely package of Rambouillet yarn (I'm told a bit like Merino), which I will photograph when I have good light, gorgeous bath treats and girl scout cookies! Which is so cool, I've never had them before, a real American Institution. I'm sorry to say I can't photograph them............ :)

Here are some photos. I apologise for the poor light and I'm sure you all know how difficult it is to take good photos of your own feet!

Also, my knitting group pal, Jazz, has just started blogging. The link to her blog, Two Sticks and an Afro is on the right, go check it out........

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Since you asked so nicely.......

....I have some new pictures of our catty girls to show you. But first, some pictures of my latest etsy offering. By the way, do you like my little gallery on the right there? Clever huh (although etsy just gave me the code!)?
I used some of my recently enhanced fabric stash, to make up a needle roll, lined with white fabric. I'm particularly pleased than I managed to bind the edge of the pocket. I thought it just looked a bit more professional that way.

I wondered if I should list the pattern as well as the finished item. I think that maybe knitters are crafty enough to want to make their own roll? Am I trying to sell to a limited market?

And now, my cards have their own labels. I had them made up with the name of my shop, with space for me to sign my name. This was my colleague Karen's idea. She likes the way I sign my name with a little n rather than a capital.
So here are our girls this morning. They're both feeling a bit sorry for themselves, they spent the day at the vet on Thursday being spayed. They're both sporting massive bald tummies where the vet had to shave them! The nurse said we had to keep them quite for a few days. Not a chance I said!! Little do they know they'll be allowed out in a few weeks....

Velma finds a cozy patch in the (Clean!) lundry on the spare bed. You might be able to see her poorly eye, which the vet says will never be 100%. We think she had an infection whilst still with her mum.

Typical Daphne loves a roll around on the floor! I bet you're pleased to see sun-lit photos at last!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I bought fabric AGAIN (and I had a great weekend)

So I just couldn't help myself, I bought fabric AGAIN. I think us Brits struggle to find nice fabric that is actually available in the UK. In the States there is such a huge selection. One online store I found had a postage of $30. Somehow, I think not. Anyway I found the Cotton Patch. The only place I could find with a good selection and decent amounts of fabric available. However, this is not a valid reason to buy lots of stuff is it? Especially with no intended projects! Sorry if these photos are a bit flash-y, it did mean that the colours are accurate. This first photo shows them all, a selection of Rowan fabrics with a random pinky-red pack thrown in (botton left corner).

These below are Rowan fabrics, the left is Amy Butler 'Coriander', I think and the right Kaffe Fasset 'Floating Flowers'.

These are Kaffe Fasset 'Arbor' and Amy Butler 'French Wallpaper'. Aside from the colours it may well have been the names that got me!

The service from Cotton Patch is great, very quick and well packaged. As for projects, answers on a postcard people, OK?

I had a great weekend, too. On Saturday I had a riding lesson from a freelance instructor, Jeni Chilton. I haven't trained for AGES, and Monty and I are really really rusty. So, I decided it was about time we had some help to get back on track. She was great, really helpful and terribly complimentary about Mont. It is always nice to hear good things about you pride and joy when he is an aging, more than slightly arthritic thoroughbred! She concluded that Mont knew everything he needed to know and that we just needed to have occassional lessons to nag us and help us remeber what we already knew. This is great, I have spent years carefully working with Mont, slowly training him and teaching him quite physically difficult things. It's great to know it's all stuck in his head. It also reminded me how unfit I am too. Promted by this, and the fact I have put on weight since I have stopped riding every day, I went and bought soem new tracksuit bottoms and trainers on Sunday. Then I joined the local gym yesterday. Induction on Thursday, I'll keep you posted.

Also on Saturday, my old buddies from school came to stay, so we could see Kate in 42nd Street at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham. Kate is already staying with us. I'm sure she wouldn't mind me saying the story is rubbish, but the dancing is just amazing. The most energetic, spectacular tap dancing I have ever seen. With some clever lighting and mirror thingies going on too. If it comes near you in the UK (it's touring after leaving Broadway in New York) go and see it. We had a lovely evening, with cocktails first, then the show, then noodles in Wagamamma's, then a bottle of wine at home. We were up into the early hours talking. Perfect evening. I love my girls. I thought my uni friends new me well but this lot have been my friends for 15 years. So much to catch up on. Here they are, Kate, Zoe and Paula, respectively. Sorry for the grainy photos, serve me right for getting the camera out after a few glasses of wine, in the dark!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I Made a Curtain!

Ok, so maybe these would qualify for the world's most boring photos but I am so pleased with how this curtain turned out. I made it to coordinate with the Ikea spotty/paisley bedlinen that we (and everybody else!) has. My friend Kate who I have known since school, is staying with us for a few weeks while she's in a show in Nottingham. This gave us great incentive to clear out and re-organise the top bed room. Hence the curtain.

This is my first attempt at a curtain, I've only done a blind so far. I had help from Laura Ashley's book of Home Decorating (1985!!). The nice girl in John Lewis was so helpful too. Despite me repeatedly telling her I was going to make it up as I went along! If it hadn't been for her advice I would have come home without half the bits and pieces! It goes from floor to ceiling in the dorma in our attic. Shame about the wallpaper. Never mind, it's on the list!

A great thing happened to me yesterday. Well, great for me. One of the Professors at work (Behavioural Ecology) asked me for some help (as a Biochemist) on his grant application! Woo! How chuffed was I!! After recent convidence issues, this made me feel so much better.

OK, I'm going to stop blowing my own trumpet now.... :)