Friday, 31 December 2010

New Years Resolutions

Normally I'm a big fan of New Years, but this year I'm feeling a bit 'meh' about it all. I can't help but feel like nothing ever changes from year to year and am reminded of a Nine Inch Nail lyric 'I believe I can see the future, as I repeat the same routine'.

So, I have been setting myself some challenges to complete over the coming year. Most are craft related.

I have signed up to complete an 11 Shawls in 2011 challenge being run on Ravelry. I've already queued up more than eleven and doubtless more will be added to the queue, so I'll just pick whatever I fancy at the time I guess. In order to prepare, I have finished the Muir stole I've been working on for a while (well, it's off the needles, but I won't block it until I am back in my house). This left me with a bit of a gap between finishing that and casting on for the challenge, so I started a simple little kerchief in the beautiful silk yarn I received in a swap a few months ago. I'm going to be casting on for the Hemlock Ring Blanket for another KAL on the first though, so I'll have a lot of work to do before I can get shawl-ing!

I would like to blog much more, so I'm committing myself now, here in writing, to posting a minimum of two entries per month.

I'd also like to loose more weight, but that's a personal thing, not a craft-y thing.

Have a fantastic New Year everyone, and here's to achieving all our goals in 2011!

Saturday, 25 December 2010


Merry Christmas anyone who reads this! I hope your day is fabulous!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

What is this?

Seriously - I'm knitting for pleasure, insted of someone else's deadline - I've leveled my mini mage to 65 from 60 - I'm finding time to update my blog...

Could this be a two week holiday?!?

I think this could!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Does size really matter?

So, I've finally finished the handmades for my swap, but I've just realised that I forgot to take photos of it all before I wrapped it. Never mind, hopefully my partner will.

I also received the new ball of yarn I needed for Ian and Emily's baby blanket. It's been a while since I last worked on it, due to running out of yarn and having so much other stuff to work on, but when I picked it up I remembered how pretty it really is and I was really excited to get to work on it again. So, of course, that's when I ran into the problem.

I have no idea what size needles I used.

The pattern calls for 2.5mm needles. I definitely used an interchangeable needle, so I definitely went up a needle size or more since the smallest interchangeable I have is 3.5mm. But I can't remember if I used the 3.5mm or went up a little higher to the 3.75mm.

I'm going to try the larger size first as I'm thinking it'll show better if it is wrong. But I'm not too sure how much difference a 0.25mm difference is going to make. If it is the wrong size, will it matter?

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Better get my skates on!

Finally got around to ordering what will hopefully the last skein of yarn needed in order to finish the baby blanket I started months ago for Ian and Emily. There has been talk of us having Christmas drinks after kung fu one week and it's likely it will be the last time Em will go to fu until after the baby has arrived and I'd like to gift the stuff to them both together and before 12th February (which is the due date), but it does mean I'll have to get my backside into gear and get knitting and finishing! I'll porbably have about two weeks to get it all done. Gah!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Growing as a knitter

This week has been horrible in general and right now I'm kicking back with a glass of wine and hoping to catch up on some serious sleeping.

I've been so tired all week that I haven't done much knitting at all. I did do a couple more rows on my Muir stole last weekend, but in the evenings during the week I haven't done more than a few rows of stockinette on the Colour Swap handmades.

But I wanted to post in order to celebrate the creation of my first item done from my head and not from a pattern.


I shall definitely be taking pictures of this one to post once the parcel has been received (it's a secret swap) as I'm quite proud of this. I still have the finishing and a pair to make, but I'm just so pleased that it worked the first time.

In other ways, I got my other swap parcel this week and it was quite fantastic:

Saturday, 6 November 2010


I am spending this weekend mostly in London. I drove down last night - first time I've ever driven on the motorway in the dark. It wasn't too bad, apart from when it was raining so hard I couldn't see anything - that was very scary. I am down here because I will be going to see Bill Bailey tonight. Yeay.

I decided that I would only bring my Muir stole with me, so that I could concentrate on getting back into lace knitting. However, this seems to mean that I'm not going to knit anything while I'm here. I don't know why this is proving so hard to pick back up. I love the pattern, adore the yarn and am thrilled with the results so far. But I also keep telling myself I'm not sure where I stopped (this may not be true - I'm 98% sure I finished a pattern repeat and didn't start the next and am pretty sure thst actually looking at it would tell me) and that I'm very tired and will probably make mistakes (this is possibly true, but mistakes can be fixed.

I should just suck it up and get on with it, right?

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The little things

So I haven't updated for a while, for two reasons. Firstly I finally accepted that I needed to take a break to get better. And a part of that was not really wanting to use the computer in general (I didn't log into WoW for two weeks and basically missed the whole Hallow's End event). I am starting to recover (it's been three weeks so far) but I currently have the lung capacity of a 90 year old chain smoker. The second thing was that I've managed to stay busy in a quiet, relax-y way.

I've been trying to learn how to use my camera better in order to take good pictures of my knitting. This was inspired by a new project. While my head was a bit all over the place for the last few weeks, I realised that I needed to have small, easy projects to get done for a sense of accomplishment insted of lounging and complaining about not being able to knit complicated lace in teeny tiny weight yarn.

This was one of the results:

It's a teeny tiny baby bootie! It's so cute and a really quick mini project. I did make the pair for it as well, but I haven't sewn it up yet (this one is still missing buttons too). Then I felt the need to cast on for some more, of which I have only completed one. I've also managed to make up an aviator style baby hat (it's kinda steampunk-y and awesome) with the left over February Lady Sweater yarn (I ended up tinking back
and reknitting the odd stockinette section - even after un-knitting it, I'm not sure how it actually happened...) and made one and a half of the handmades for the next colour swap (I'm hoping to have a set of three done and hoping even more that one will successfully be the first thing I've made without a pattern!).

I've also had the central heating all installed. Granted this didn't involve me doing much aside from getting grumpy with not having the house to myself when I just wanted to lie on the sofa and trying to stay out of the way. But it does mean I now have a wonderfully warm house. Every day I've been luxuriating when I get up or when I come in from the cold.

Tonight I'm going to attempt to go to kung fu. This will be the first exercise I've done in three weeks and I'm not sure how it will go with the lung capacity and all. Wish me luck.

Friday, 22 October 2010

What the...?

A while ago, I was unable to finish my February Lady Sweater due to running out of yarn 4.5 rows from the end. I set it down (on the naughty step) and left it for a while. Then I needed to buy some more of the same yarn, but in a different colour and decided to suck it up and buy an additional skein in the colour of my sweater.

It arrived today and I picked my sweater back up. I decided to extend both of the sleeves by a few extra rows of garter stitch. I really like big blocks of garter to compliment the lace sections and I had done less rows the first time around to try and save yarn. So I grew both sleeves by 7 rows. Then I deicded to enlarge the bottom section for the same reason.

So I've unpicked the bind off and knitted two additional rows. Then I found it.

About four rows down and for four stitches, there is a random bit of stockinette amongst the garter.

What the...?

Now I originally knit this section of the sweater about 4-5 months ago and I have NO recollection at all of putting a random bit of stockinette in. And I'm sure thats something I'd remember.

Now do I leave it (it's unoticeable to anyone who doesn't know to look for it) or rip back for the sake of continuity?

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


I'm not very good at not being well. Normally, I just ignore it til it goes away (well, ignore it in so much that I whine about feeling ill constantly, but keep doing everything I normally do).

It always seems that when I get really, properly, can't do anything but curl up by the fire and hope for a quick death ill, it's never at a convenient time.

Right now I'm ill, really, properly ill. Swollen tonsils, aches in all my joints, temperature, too much pain to even KNIT ill (and you know that i'll, right?). Except that tomorrow Ofsted have decided to visit the school. And it's the Centenary celebrations for Guiding in the evening. And then Thursday is also Ofsted. And then it's Friday and there's no point in taking the day off.

So this virus can go take a running jump. I don't have time for it.

And I want to knit again.

Saturday, 16 October 2010


When I get a cold, the bit before hand goes through a few stages. First, I feel kind pants for a few days - I can feel my sinuses filling up and I feel headachey and run down. Then I sneeze continuously for a couple of minutes - this is the real start of the cold. Then I feel pants in general for a number of weeks.

I just sneezed forteen times in a row.

Hello Cold.

Another kind of cold I am experiencing at the moment is the 'central heating will be in in a week' kind of cold. The kind of 'it's colder in my house than it is outside and it's October' kind of cold. One more week and this should be over. But it's going to be one seriously cold week. A week charaterised by my desire to cart my duvet everywhere (I love love love my duvet).

Have I mentioned I dislike the cold??

Tonight's post is bought to you courtesy of a copious amount of red wine.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Chugging Along

I'm sure I've been busy, but when I sit down to think over what I've actually done this week, I'm not sure I could say.

Both stoles are moving along at a steady pace. I'd like the pace to be a little faster as I have so much I want to be getting on with, but I never seem to get the time. I'm still not sure I actually *like* the Raspberry Dream stole. The knit itself is quite good fun and I'm liking the opportunity to stretch my knitting skillz (l33t) with the k7tog, but I'm not sure I would actually wear it. Nor can I think of anyone I could gift it to. I'm still loving Muir though - it's so stretchy! This one is going to block out massive! Unfortunately as I only have a month to knit the Raspberry Dream stole (well, no one's going to come after me if I don't finish it by the end of October, but it's a month long KAL), that ones taking priority.

In other news, I have more facemask in my fridge than food. I also have facemask up my nose, but thats a whole other issue...

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Two Stoles

I guess life has been getting in the way of blogging. Thankfully not getting in the way of the knitting though.

I cast on for Muir ( ) last week using the finest laceweight I have ever used (Grignasco MerinoSilk) which has 1500 yards to the 100g skein and took me just over two hours to wind into a ball by hand. I'm really loving both the yarn and the pattern - it's complicated, but once you hit the stride it flows nicely and it's wonderfully stretchy. It's going to block out to be huge, which is what I was looking for.

And I've joined a KAL (thats a knit-a-long) for October which is for Raspberry Dream Stole ( ). For this I'm using Knit Picks Gloss Lace - I bought this in a bright red colour called Fiesta with no idea what to use it for because I was so happy to find a UK stockist of Knit Picks yarn. It feels more like sock weight at the moment - mostly because of the comparison to the extreme cobweb weight I've been using - and is otherwise everything I thought it would be. Cheap and cheerful. Not that thats any bad thing particuluarly. The pattern is going quite quickly. I cast on maybe four hours ago and have done the set up rows and the first 14 rows of the first chart. I worry though that this means it's not going to be as wide as I like my stoles to be. I'm still trying to decide if I want to rip it out and try to add an extra repeat to the width. It'll be nice to try and keep up with the KAL thats running too - having lots of people knitting the same thing as me at the same time. Yeay.

Aside from knitting, this week has been a little weird. Due to one thing or another I've ended up doing no excercise at all. Up until last night when I went out to Rawkus with Slava. We danced a lot. Like a LOT a lot. Feeling it today as well!

Monday, 27 September 2010

All a bit too much

Sometimes living on my own just plain sucks.

On Saturday I was trying on a dress I haven't worn for a while when the zip got stuck. I couldn't do it up the last inch or two or pull it down at all. Luckily I decided to wear it out anyway and then somehow managed to get it back off without having to cut it off later that night, but it would have been handy to have someone to help.

Then yesterday I had stinking hangover from hell. Now, I am of the opinion that a hangover is fully self inflicted and therefore deserving of no sympathy. But it would have been amazing to have someone make food for me (and maybe give me a little sympathy).

And today, I have just seen a spider on the wall near my back door. Spiders I can mostly cope with (I ignore them til they go away) but this one is roughly the size of my foot. It is at least as large as the tarantulas I've seen in the zoo. I'm not happy about this and I want someone to come over and get rid of it for me. Not kill it, just get rid of it. Instead I shall pretend I never saw it.

Also, I feel really quite ill. I almost never get indegestion - if I'm going to get ill it's going to be a cold/run down/headachey. But I've had a horrible stomach ache all day and it's just getting worse. Goin to curl up in bed and wish that today never happened.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


Was going to do a whole post about blocking but instead, I am going to sulk. And whine. And complain.


Because I just run out of burgundy Cascade 220 4.5 rows from the end of the sleeve. Four. Point. Five. Rows.


Sunday, 19 September 2010

Lucky Shopping

I've trodden on something sticky which is now on my slipper meaning wherever I step I'm leaving little sticky patches. Unfortunately I didn't notice this until after I'd put the washing machine on.

I've been feeling a bit 'meh' this weekend. Kind of despondent and unable to pull myself out of it. But I went shopping today and bought a new suit jacket which is a size smaller than the size I thought I was. Plus I tried on a pair of trousers in the smaller size and could get them up, do them up and didn't have horrid fat rolls (though sitting down would have been an issue). It's funny - I know I've lost weight - apparantly more than I thought - but I don't see it when I look in the mirror...

I also went into Primark intending to get some socks and came out with some socks and a winter coat. It's very pretty - purple grey and black checks.

And now I'm updating this while watching Criminal Minds and with a purple face. This is because I'm wearing face mask, not because I'm ill or angry or similar.

These things should make me happy.

My lack of motivation to do anything that needed to be done this weekend has resulted in me finishing and casting off the Echo Flowers shawl. I will need to do the sewing in and blocking this week. Then I picked up the stitches to finish the last sleeve on my February Lady Sweater and now only have 14 rows of garter stitch to do. I'm worried about the amount of yarn I have left though, it might not make it.

See, ven when I'm unmotivated, I manage to get lots done.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


For the past week and a half I have, except for Tuesdays and weekends, been coming home and having a nap for an hour or two, then getting back up to do whatever evening activity I have to do. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Obviously a better solution would be sleeping more at night, but there's so much to be doing. It's quite nice to be able to sleep for an extra little while, but I am very bleary when I get back up - probably not a good state to be driving in!

In other news, Echo Flowers is progressing at a still slightly slow rate. I've completed the ten repeats of the flower chart I had planned to do (the pattern calls for eight repeats for the shawlette version and thirteen for the shawl - I'm going for somewhere in the middle, but I think I may have more yarn than I thought and probably could have done at least one extra repeat) and am just over halfway through the border chart (row 11 of 16). Should be done by the weekend I think. Hopefully.

Work got a little challenging this week. A student had a meltdown in front of me on Monday - it was a very emotionally fraught situation to be in. I ended up with a bottle of pinotage, but still stuggled to sleep that night. I've spoken to the student since though and they are doing ok now.

The weather is definitely on the turn - it's cold in the mornings, the evenings are drawing in, the leaves are starting to drop and the spider webs are clogging up my garden path. I typically love autumn, it's my absolute favourite season. From starting to wrap up in hand knits, curling up in front of the (fake) fire with a hot chocolate listening to the wind whistle around the house, stomping through the crunchy leaves like a five year old and the colours. Oh the colours are some of my favourites too. After Echo Flowers is done I have a plan for a Muir () stole in a chocolate brown, and I have a skein of autumnal coloured Touch 2Ply yarn which I haven't decided what to make with yet. Unforunately so far, this autumn has just been wet. Very, very wet.

Still, I'm curled up with a blanket and a decaff coffee. Almost there...

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Craft Night

Friday night is our craft night. Last night was no different - I packed up my Echo Flowers Shawl and headed over to Lisa's house. I managed to forget my camera, but I did have my phone with me (ahh, the joys of smartphones...)

This was where my knitting was at when we started*:


After liberal application of this:


and some of these:


(courtesy of Lauren's awesome baking skills).

And this was the state of my knitting when we called it a night:


I guess there are some evenings when excellent company and a glass or two of wine is more important than even knitting is.

*You can tell this is a mobile picture, especially when I point out that the yarn is slate grey...

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Things I have learned from work...

1. The first day back of a new school year is not the day to break in a new pair of heels. Especially when you normally wear flats. Like 'everyday' normally.

2. Work really cuts into my knitting time. During the holiday it was a bad day if I managed to only do one repeat of a 8 row repeat. Since Monday I have managed to do three rows. And that includes the purl rows.

3. In order to function properly at work, I should not stay up late raiding. However, staying up late raiding is more fun than being fully functional at work.

Sunday, 5 September 2010


I've spent a good portion of the day thinking about how I would like to take more pictures of random things. Friends and gatherings, baking, knitting, random things. I tend to only take pictures of my FO's and I should change that.

For example, on Friday I baked peanut butter cookies. They were tasty. Then I took most of them (I say most because obviously you cannot offer food to people without tasting it first) to a friend's house and fed them to people. While we crafted. It was good, but I have no pictures.

Knitting-wise I have taken to making shawls. I'm really enjoying lace work in general, it's very satisfying and mostly quick.

Like Annis, a crescent shape shawlette, knit from the bottom edge up using short rows and a lace and nupps border.

Using Madelinetosh Sock Yarn in Terrarium, a beautiful foresty mix of greens and browns, it was knit up in about five days.

Taking quite a bit longer was Aeolin, but in fairness this shawl is about five times the size.

This was my first attempt at nupps and was mostly successful. It's such a huge shawl, I wear it as a hip scarf for my belly dancing. The beads are a matt size 6 seed bead from John Lewis which are a slightly darker shade than the yarn.

At the moment I'm working on Echo Flowers in a slate grey merino and silk mix from BC Garn. Pictures to follow when I break my camera out more often.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Quick Note...

Just a quick note to celebrate the fact that I have finally finished my Reading Mitts fingerless gloves. I've been working on these since about September, and they've been almost finished since October, but other projects kept getting in the way. Now they are finished, which is good as it's very cold outside!

In other news, I am learning how to crochet! So far, I can do the basic chain stitch, a double crochet stitch and a triple crochet stich, but now I'm a bit stuck as the resource I bought only has these sitches in and I need more before I can even think of trying the most basic patterns. Plus I haven't yet found a pattern I want to make.