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Preview: all knitting, no sleeping

all knitting, no sleeping

It does what it says on the tin!

Updated: 2015-09-17T01:14:06.226+01:00


I'm Back!


Well, after a fairly long hiatus from blogging, during which time I was wondering whether to give up blogging altogether, I have decided to carry on as long as I can. I enjoy updating my blog - the hardest bit is finding the time to do it! Work is manic at the moment and I'm getting home quite late in the evenings. This leads me to feeling that I'm neglecting my family, so I'm trying to spend as much time with them as I can at the weekends.Anyway, the past week's snow has meant that I got to spend more time with the family - I had 2 "snow days" off work last week because we had so much snow that I couldn't get to work. This is what our back road looked like at the beginning of last week -And the front / main road - there *is* a road under there somewhere! ;0)At least the dogs enjoyed it. Sabian likes to eat it - 0bviously not the yellow snow! ;0)and try to catch it as it's coming down.Whereas Chance just likes to chase Sabian - until Sabian starts to chase him!At least my days off work have been spent wisely. ;0) I managed to finish Hibiscus by Marita Rolin, made with 275g of Manos Silk Blend on 3mm, 3.5mm and 4mm Knit Picks needles. I modified the pattern by substituting a scoop neck for the original button-down neckline. I am *really* pleased with how it's turned out and know that I'll get a lot of wear out of it.Of course, I *will* have to wait for the weather to warm up a bit before I can wear it - it's snowing quite heavily again this afternoon and shows no sign of easing up. *rolls eyes* Snow is nice for a couple of days, quite a novelty, but I've had enough now! LOL[...]

Super Secret Santa, SEX and FOs


Get ready for a photo-heavy post. I've been gone a while and I have lots to show you. ;0)I recently took part in a Secret Santa swap on the Crafty Threads n Yarn forum and I thoroughly enjoyed it. My parcel came from Franney and she did some spot-on stalking - I couldn't have chosen better for myself. Thank you Franney! :0)She sent me a gorgeous project bag in scary Halloween fabric (which she made herself).In this bag were 2 balls of Louisa Harding Grace - silk/wool mix - in the most gorgeous blue colour which is becoming a scarf as we speak. ;0) I'm knitting the Opera Scarf pattern on 6mm needles. Mine isn't as "open" as theirs but I love how it's knitting up - the sheen on this yarn IRL is amazing and it's very warm too. Ideal for a scarf (plus it matches my new winter coat perfectly).Now, me and Franney share an interest - we both own pet rats - and so she made me a hammock for my ratties in the same fabric as my project bag. How fab is this?! It's lined with fleece fabric - and my 4 think it's the bee's knees - they're so comfy, I now have to physically remove them for playtime! *LOL*This isn't the best photo, but I can assure you that this hammock is so well made, and much better than anything I've bought from a shop before.Be warned Franney - I'll be sending orders your way in the future! ;0)Just in case you were wondering, the dogs weren't left out either - they received a bag of Pedigree treats but being the big fat greedy pigs they are, they've eaten them already so I don't have a photo to show you! *LOL*Right, back to me! ;0) I also had the most fabulous pair of mittens - again made by Franney (she's so talented) - to wear when I walk the dogs.They have a flap on the back so I can whip my fingers out when I need them - how ingenious is that?!They are very warm - and again match my new winter coat perfectly. :0)Also in my parcel was this fab "knitted" mug - way cool! and I've wanted one for ages - some shortbread biscuits and some Green and Black's spicy chocolate, which unfortunately didn't last long but was absolutely delicious. :0)Franney also sent me some buttons to match the yarn, a Ravelry badge and some stitchmarkers. Once again, thank you Franney - it was a wonderful swap!I went to Get Knitted in Bristol today for a course on Professional Finishing with Debbie Abrahams. However, when I arrived at 10.05 a.m., I was told that the course had been cancelled because Debbie was ill and I should have had a phone call to let me know. Obviously I hadn't *rolls eyes*. But the day was not a complete waste of time because GK offered me 20% on any purchases I made to make up for any inconvenience. I wanted to buy some Knit Picks Harmony needle tips anyway and a "few" other things just happened to fall into my basket while I was there. *LOL* ;0)I got some Mirasol 'Hacho' to make this pattern (Hawaii)some Manos del Uruguay silk blend (luscious!) to make Hibiscusand a ball of Sublime extra fine merino wool DK to finish of a pair of Corazon mittens for a Christmas presentand some needle tips, patterns etc. - "just because" - *LOL*Now, just so you don't think I haven't been doing anything at all while I haven't been blogging, here are a couple of FOs - ;0)my 3rd pair of Corazons - again for a Christmas presentI LOVE this pattern. :0)It takes me about 6 hours to knit a pair of mittens and people think you've sweated blood making them! *LOL*Finally, I made my son this scarf - from Morehouse Farm Merino - I still need to add some "smoke" coming from his nostrils but it's 99% done -I'm Welsh, need I say more? ;0)[...]

The one where I finally update my blog


I thought it was time I updated my blog. I just don't know where the time goes lately - if I'm not in work, I'm out walking the dogs and I can't seem to find time for knitting, blogging or anything else really.These 4 are keeping me busy at the moment -The black and tan GSD is Sabian, 4 years old, who came to live with us last month. He's 4 years old and gets on so well with our other dogs - Chance loves playing with him and they spend loads of time rolling around the floor "yodelling"! ;0)I have managed to do some knitting - I finished my Cassidy hoodie ready to wear to the iKnit day at the beginning of this month - you saw that photo in my last post.I finished these socks for my dad at the end of August - I was soooo glad when they were finished because he's a size 10 shoe and they seemed to go on FOREVER! ;0)Also, I made these Monkeys - I intended to give them as a Christmas present but I'll probably end up keeping them for myself! The yarn is from Skeinsbought at Wonderwool Wales earlier this year and is lovely to knit with. They are such a vibrant colour and I think they'll really cheer up what, according to the weather people "in the know", is going to be a very cold, snowy winter.[...]



(image) Right, please excuse the cheesy grin but OMG! She touched my sweater! And she was so sweet! What more can I say?! She's a normal person. And a knitter! Fab!

DUDES! Honestly, I was shaking when I spoke to her! And all I could say ? .................

Hi, I brought you some beer. I'm not weird, honest! I just read your blog and thought you liked beer.

Honestly! What am I like?!


In true Mike Myers fashion - I'm not worthy!!!

Another sad farewell :0(


RIP - Toffee.

Unfortunately, another sad post about the loss of another beloved pet. :0( That's the trouble with having small animals whose life span is just 3 years max. :0(

Two weeks ago, Toffee went to the vet to have a wound stitched. I think it was an abscess that had become infected. Unfortunately, although he was eating and drinking and still running and climbing around his cage, the wound wasn't healing so I took him back to the vet last week. The vet said the wound was healing (slowly) and suggested re-stitching. Unfortunately, I had a phone call in work to say that Toffee didn't wake up after the anaesthetic. :0(

He was 2 years 8 months when he died and we really thought he'd make it to the grand ole age of 3.

(image) (image)

Nibble has really been missing him. He spent the first 9 months of his life with Toffee as his sole companion and although he now has Smokey and Strawberry for company, I think he does miss Toffee.

Sorry for the depressing post. :0( I will be back with some knitting content SOON. :0)

Happy Birthday to You!!


a la Stevie Wonder.Or Happy Birthday to Me at least! Because today is my birthday. :0) Yes, I'm 37 today.And although I had to work today - until 5pm!! :0( - I'm feeling pretty chilled. ;0)DS picked me a flower while on a walk with the dogs yesterday (what a sweetie!) and then bought me chocolates and wine (ably assisted by DH) at the local supermarket later the same day.Yarn-wise, a package from The Loopy Ewe - what good timing :0) - a birthday present from myself ;0) - arrived today, containing the following -Loopy Knit Notes for Socks (so I can keep track of who I'm knitting for, what size, what yarn, etc.), a Loopy Travel Mug and Fiesta Baby Boom sock yarn, although this is so squishy and lovely that I think it's going to be a Forest Canopy Shawl rather than socks - I just don't want to hide the lovely colours away. ;0) I'm really into blues and brown at the moment. :0)Elsewhere in my knitting, I received an e-mail recently from Black Hills Wool asking if I'd like a sample pack of their yarns. Well, would I ever?! No need to ask me twice! I said yes, and a week later a sample pack of their worsted weight yarn arrived with me. I made this - the Binary Cable hat (link for those on Ravelry) or it's also in this month's Simply Knitting magazine.It's lovely yarn, quite soft for 100% wool even before washing, and apparently shower-proof if you don't wash it, so what more could I ask for when walking the dogs?!I also finished my first ever Monkey socks - for me. ;0) Using Shelridge Farms Soft Touch Ultra in colourway 'M' from Socktopus (although M isn't in stock at the moment). Lovely yarn - very soft and squidgy to knit with. ;0)I can honestly say that I can now understand the obsession some knitters have with this pattern. ;0)I really enjoyed knitting this pattern, it was a very quick knit, easily memorised after 2 or 3 pattern repeats.I've now started a pair for myself in a gorgeous shocking pink colour, but more on those in a future post. ;0)Finally, I thought I'd leave you with some pet pictures.When we have a new dog join our 'pack', we know they've really settled in with us when they feel they can just jump up and sit on the settee without feeling guilty. ;0)Well, here's Chance making himself right at home. :0)I have to say that we've been lucky so far with the rescue dogs we've taken in. They've each had their problems but Chance has probably been the worst so far and definitely the most time-intensive.He hates small dogs with a vengeance and lunges at them whilst on (or off) the lead. Needless to say, we don't let him off the lead while out on walks. ;0) He was starved in his former home and killed a kitten whilst there, so this has probably led to his hatred and lust for small animals. :0( Not really his fault, just a product of his poor upbringing. :0(That said, in the 3 short months he has lived with us, he has learned to live with our rats - we have 4 and he now sits in front of their cage, happy to watch what they're doing without lunging at them. NO WAY, however, would I let them out for 'free time' in front of him, but it's a start nevertheless. ;0)He has been attending basic obedience class for the past 5 weeks and is coming on really well. Last week, we started half obedience and half-agility and he has taken to it so well. He will also now sit before we give him his food and sits and waits to be called in and out of the Jeep when we take him out. In the home environment, he's so loving and is excellent with our 6 year old son.He's still hard work, no denying that ;0) - but I'm sure he'll be worth it in the long run. After all, how could you resist a dog that looks THIS handsome?![...]

A trip to the frog pond


And a very enjoyable experience it was too, for a change. :0) I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. ;0)Two years ago, I bought the yarn to make Minnie from Rowan Magazine 39 - I loved everything about this design - the wide, faffy sleeves, the lacy-ness, everything.I ordered the yarn (Rowan HandKnit Cotton) in Shade 319 - Mango Fool - but I think I was the fool for believing that the shade I saw on my PC monitor was correct. It's actually nearer "Toxic Orange" than anything I saw on my monitor, but never mind, it was still a lovely pattern. *LOL*Within 3-4 months, I had knit the back and 2 fronts. (including bobbles and yarn-overs galore)I then discovered (maybe a year after buying the yarn) that maybe I didn't love it as much as I thought. *rolls eyes* Okay, no problem, I'd omit the sleeves and wear it as a slip over. TWO YEARS later, and it's still in my WIP bag, no further on. :0(So last week I decide to bite the bullet and frog the yarn. I thought I'd be really upset - all that wasted time and energy - but no, it's actually a relief to have gotten rid of it. ;0)This makes me wonder if I'm not more of a process knitter than a product knitter (I think that's what the Yarn Harlot calls it, isn't it, when you prefer the process of knitting rather than the end product?)Anyway, whatever the technical term for it is, I've frogged the yarn and re-wound it into yarn cakes ready to be knitted into this -Nerissa by Sarah Hatton from Rowan magazine 41 - I also have enough Rowan Hand Knit Cotton to knit another summer top from this magazine, but that can wait for another blog post. ;0)(I said that yarn colour was 'toxic' didn't I?!)Elsewhere in my knitting life, I have finally finished the HipKnits Project Club silk cardi, although whether I'm totally happy with it has yet to be decided. This is how it's supposed to look, with a button at the neck (I have yet to buy that button, btw ;0) ).A friend on another forum suggested that for women with 'lady lumps' (*LOL* I love that description!) perhaps a button under the bust would be more flattering. So, here's what that would look like.What do you think? At the neck ...... or under the bust?Honest opinions, please! I'd like to hear what you really think, rather than what you think I'd like to hear! If you think I look like a fat and frumpy sausage, I'd rather know about it. ;0)Thank you. :0)[...]

FOs and more pet pics ;0)


Firstly, as a break from all my pet photos ;0), here are some things I've recently finished.This jacket is from Stylecraft leaflet #4205, made for DS (age 6) using just under 1 x 400g ball of Stylecraft Special Aran with Wool (80% acrylic, 20% wool). A quick and easy knit, finished just in time for last week's heatwave! *LOL*And I finally gave in and made a Baby Surprise Jacket (by Elizabeth Zimmerman). I did not understand the pattern at all - before, during or after knitting it! *LOL* But it's very effective. I used Bright Dyes 100% merino 4ply on 3.5mm needles. I made a hat to match and think I have enough left over to make some bootees.On the needles at the moment is a pair of socks, feather and fan comfort shawl, HipKnits project club silk cardi, and about 4 other things that either need finishing or frogging. I haven't quite decided yet but more about those in a future blog post. ;0)Now on to the animal pics. ;0)This is Chance, a 3 year old GSD who came to live with us (via German Shepherd Rescue UK) at the beginning of last month, just a few days before we lost Buster. He wasn't house trained, lead trained or very well mannered :0( but he's coming on in leaps and bounds now. We've been in touch with a wonderful trainer - John Bills of Gelert Dog Training - and he's now a pleasure to take out on walks and have in the house.This is what he looked like when he came to us - a dirty, unbrushed coat, caked in mud and poo underneath him, and was petrified of anyone touching his legs/belly. You could see every single bone in his body. :0(Within the first week he was housetrained, allowed me to trim away all the matted bits of fur and remove the dirt, and now he now loves to be brushed. Thank goodness for the Furminator I say! :0)He's getting on really well with Lexi and Snoopy, although he can be a bit boisterous with them on times but Snoopy puts him in his place quickly enough!And now on to furry creatures on a smaller scale. ;0)We have 2 rats at the moment - Nibble 8 months old and Toffee 2 and a half years old. As Toffee is now quite old for a rat (they usually live about 3 years), we decided to get 2 baby rats so Nibble won't be on his own if/when the worst happens. After years of buying from pet shops - and suffering the consequences in the form of tumours and breathing difficulties :0( - we contacted a breeder in Cheltenham and was put on the waiting list. A few months later, these little cuties came to live with us.They are about 8 weeks old in these photos.This is Strawberry - a ruby eyed Himalayan Rex. His whiskers are really curly and his coat will become curlier as he gets older.And this is Smokey - his coat is extremely silky and soft at the moment.After some initial "argy bargy", they are now all getting on extremely well.Their favourite place to sleep at the moment is in the top hammock, all piled on top of each other.They are really friendy and love nothing better than coming out for "free time", running around DS's (well covered) bed and having cuddles.[...]

A Tribute to Buster


BusterRIPJune 1996 - April 2008We had to make the heartbreaking decision to have Buster, my beautiful GSD, put to sleep on Monday, 7th April, just 3 days after we came back from holiday with him and only 2 months before he would have been 12 years old. :0( He had twisted his stomach that afternoon and although he could have had an operation, he would only have had a 30-50% chance of survival. I felt I didn't want to put him through it, as he probably wouldn't have had a good time post-op what with needing his cart to get around and also his spine was starting to fuse together in places (according to x-rays the vet took that evening).He was a beautiful old dog and I'd like to share some photos of him with you.Me and DH (then my boyfriend) had just moved into our first house together and DH decided he wanted a German Shepherd. He'd had one as a child and loved the breed. I wasn't too sure (my parents had always had Yorkshire Terriers) but I went along with him anyway.DH chose Buster - but Buster chose me! What I mean is, considering he was supposed to be my husband's dog, he bonded with me instead. ;0)This is Buster at 8 weeks old in 1996. He was a very good puppy, easily house trained, although slightly highly strung and very protective of the family.I took him to training classes up until the age of 1 year old and he passed his 'final' with flying colours.Don't be fooled and think he was by now perfect though, it didn't last - when the postman delivered his training certificate and rosette a week later, he chased him up the road!He discovered his love of lying on the furniture at an early age -19972007One house move and a pregnancy later, Buster had appointed himself 'protector of the baby'.When I was pregnant, my nan was extremely worried about having "such a big dog" in the house with a new baby and told us we should "get rid of him". I was having no such thing!Buster was 6 when DS was born in 2002, and I spent a few days in hospital following a caesarean. DH brought home blankets, clothes, nappies, etc. which smelled of the new baby to get Buster used to the smell.We brought DS home in his car seat, put him on the floor, Buster had a sniff and since that day we never had a problem. DS was taught to respect our dogs and knew not to tease, annoy, pull, climb on them, etc..Buster loved the beach and I always remember the look on his face when we took him there the first time - I've never seen a dog 'smile' so widely or bound across the sand so fast! He loved it and looked so happy.Although he was never keen on the water and refused to go swimming. ;0)He loved to be close when I was napping, and in fact spent all of his 11 years sleeping next to me on the floor in the bedroom....... and on the bed (even my pillow!) when I was out. ;0)When he was about 8 years old, he developed CDRM (a degenerative spinal problem). It didn't cause him pain but he did start to drag his legs around a bit. This didn't become a problem for him going for walks until he was about 9 or 10, when we decided to buy him a cart. DH and I were a bit dubious, thinking that there was no way he'd take to it and we'd probably end up sending it back.But did he prove us wrong! The first day we put him in it, he raced off up the road with a big silly grin on his face. He loved it. :0)He became a bit of a celebrity on holiday in West Wales (where we go regularly) with everyone wanting to know why he had it, where we got it from, etc.And he went from being a dog who didn't like people approaching him, to actually going up to people so they *would* make a fuss of him. :0)He was a wonderful dog - protector of the family,minor celebrity and giver of kisses and unconditional love.He was my constant companion for nigh on 12 years and I don't know what to do with myself now he's gone. :0(Buster, you are missed.x[...]

I'm Back!


As it's been almost a month since I last blogged, I thought I'd post a few photos just so you know I'm still around. ;0)This is one of the reasons why I haven't been around as much lately - Snoopy, a 14 year old lab cross, who we adopted from Many Tears Rescue in Llanelli two weeks ago.As you can see, he found his spot straight away - ;0) - and has settled in with our other dogs very well.He's the first dog we've had who has liked to cuddle up to other dogs when he's sleeping.Not to be left out, Lexi thought she'd give it a try too. ;0)Buster, however, still refuses to cuddle up to anyone. But he did at least agree to have his photo taken next to Snoopy. :0)I finished the Sirdar Click cable jacket yesterday, although I used Sirdar Peru Naturals instead, Machu Picchu colourway. I used 10 balls of Peru - the pattern stated 16 balls of Click.I love this jacket. It's very warm and comfortable to wear, and I think I'll be getting a lot of use out of it.I did a slightly smaller collar than on the pattern (2 inches less of rib) because I never feel comfortable with a huge collar around my neck.This was a very quick knit, even with the cables up the front and back. I started it on the 16th February, worked on other projects as well, and finished it on 22nd March. Altogether, it took 8 days to knit and sew up.I also finished the 2nd baby blanket for my cousin, same details as previous blanket. This one only took 3 days to complete - I'll be able to knit this in my sleep soon!And because I've finished a few projects, I thought I'd cast on straight away for my next one - the HipKnits Project Club cardigan kit. It uses 500g of HipKnits Silk Aran for the main colour (a beautiful deep blue), has a fairisle band around the middle using 100g of variegated silk aran (Splash) and is knit from the top down. I've only managed about 10 rows so far, which doesn't exactly make for an exciting picture. ;0)[...]

A lucky couple of days :0)


Yes, I certainly have had a lucky couple of days, and I am very grateful to whoever it is "up there" who's looking over me. :0)Last sunday, I won the The Yarn Grove's prize for the Under Cover Club afghan which I finished in December 2007. I loved receiving the squares to knit each month and the finished afghan has certainly kept me warm since Christmas - it's been sitting on the back of the chair in the living room, ready to keep me warm on a cold winter night or when I've been shivering with the 'flu. :0)And this morning, DH woke me at 1am to tell me I'd won the lottery. I was just about to start shouting at him for waking me up *just* for a tenner (three numbers), when he told me I had 5 numbers!!! I got up straight away at that! I have won .... £1,373. Not enough to give up work and retire ;0) but enough to pay some bills (and pay for our holiday at the end of next month) and have some "guilt-free" spending at Wonderwool on 26th April. :0)I've had a stupid grin on my face all day!And finally to some knitting. I finished my Sockamania socks for February some time last week but my didn't take a photo until today - and then my camera died on me and I haven't been able to find my batteries. *rolls eyes*These were made with Fyberspates merino tencel in Sherbet colourway on 2.5mm circs and I love them. :0)I'd also like to say thanks for all the comments I had on my last post. The dog coats will be sent off ASAP to keep the dogs warm at Many Tears but unfortunately I haven't been able to get any further on my Sirdar cable jacket. I've been working on a commission for the company (Sirdar) which was for a stocking stitch summer top with (very) short sleeves. No problem. Or so you'd think!It's knitted in Just Soya, which is lovely yarn but has been causing me major problems. :0( My tension was out, so I went down to smaller needles, then the knitted fabric looked very "bitty" and uneven. Even DH mentioned it! I'll be ringing them tomorrow to see if it's the yarn they've sent - or just me!And look away NOW if you've just eaten. LOL! DH, who is 6 in April, has just lost his 2 lower front teeth and wanted me to blog about it! His new teeth had come through before the old ones came out, so I'm hoping they'll all "line up" eventually. ;0)Ready?Eww! Yet he thought it was sooooooooooooooo cool to have his teeth and gums on show on the 'net!Oh, I almost forgot. I was nominated recently for a "You Make my Day Award" by Belaybunny. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I have to nominate 10 people in return.The ones I nominate so far are:Aknita - Queen of the Forest Canopy Shawl! A Very, Very Nice Person! And As I'm not so well travelled myself, I love to see her holiday pics. :0)Posh Yarn - I love Dee's yarn and I love reading her blog too. I'm Very Jealous that she lives in a place I would LOVE to live myself!CJ - who nominated me in the first place, and who is another lovely person I've met IRL. I am in awe of the fact that she has started sewing clothes for her little ones. They are just soooo cute (clothes and little ones!). I can't sew a straight line to save my life !BlueADT_Knits - This one is for a fellow dog lover who resuced a puppy and gave her the best life she could have wanted. :0) I've followed Blue's illness for a while and was very sad to hear she had passed away. :0(I'll be nominating more people later and letting them know that they've been nominated. :0)[...]

Where does the time go?


I really don't know where these last few weeks have gone. It doesn't help that a bout of D&V one week and 'flu the next have left me feeling weaker than a wrung-out dish cloth. :0( But enough of my whinging! Onto the FOs and WIPs. ;0)I finished the first baby blanket for my cousin at the beginning of this month. I used 2 x 100g balls of Stylecraft Special DK, yarn held double on 6mm needles.One down, two to go ......I finished these socks for my son, also at the beginning of this month. This was a ball of yarn I've had in stash for ages after I did a swap with an online friend. It had no ballband on it, so could be anything really, but from the feel of it I'd say it's Opal. I used my usual toe up pattern on 2.5mm needles.I've almost finished this month's Sockamania pattern - Simply Love. Again, this yarn has been sitting in my stash for ages just waiting for the right pattern to come along. And here it is.The yarn is Fyberspates Merino Tencel in the Sherbet colourway, which reminds me of Battenburg cake so you can imagine what I've been obsessing about since starting these! ;0)I love the twisted cable on the rib, too. It was a bit difficult to start with - twisting through the backs of loops - but wasn't too bad once I'd got going. It was worth it because it really finishes the socks off nicely.In between my first and second Sockamania sock, I made this - Regia Silk Colour on 2.5 mm needles. Again, this was yarn I swapped online and I really must buy more - it's lovely to knit with and feels great on the foot. I managed to get a nice long leg from the first 50g ball too. The second one will be started once my Sockamania socks are finished.The newest Knitting magazine arrived yesterday before I went to our knitting group meeting in Pontypool. There was a lovely cable jacket on the back which kept nagging at me the whole time I was there, so I popped into my LYS on the way home and bought some wool to make it. They didn't have enough of the shade of Sirdar Click Chunky I wanted, so I went for Sirdar Peru Naturals in the Machu Picchu colurway (# 0553).It's the first time I've used this yarn but I really like how it's knitting up, it feels a lot softer than it does on the ball.I'm using 6.5mm needles as recommended and it's knitting up nice and quickly, which is always a bonus. ;0)At the knitting group yesterday, I didn't get much knitting done because I was teaching 2 new members, Alison and Ruth, how to make toe-up socks. .However, I did manage a few rows on another dog sweater - this time in Bergere de France Sport in a khaki colour.On the topic of dog coats, I'd like to say a very big thank you to Alison and her mam who knitted some dog coats to be donated to the Many Tears Rescue in Llanelli.Alison made this one.And her mam made the other three. The blue one is extremely soft and I just want to keep stroking it. ;0)So thanks again for all your work in making these sweaters - the dogs will really appreciate being toasty warm when they're wearing them. :0)[...]

Now where did I put that pattern ..................... ???


These past few days I've searched the whole house, high and low, 2 or 3 times in each room, searching for a pattern - King Cole #2242. I've had this pattern for over 20 years and now I've been asked to knit another 3 blankets, I've lost the blooming thing. I posted on forums to ask if someone might have a spare copy - they don't - and I've e-mailed the company (who probably won't be able to get back to me until next week).

It was only after e-mailing the company that I found some photos I'd taken of the blankets I made last year, nice close ups. So good in fact that I could see how many stitches I had OTN and from there work out the pattern. It was a toss up between sl1, k2tog, psso or k3tog on the pattern row - I went for the sl1, k2tog, psso in the end because it looked more like the photo. ;0)

And this is what I have at the moment -


2 of my cousin's friends have had baby boys recently and one is due next week. She wants me to knit three blankets in a fortnight! She's got no chance! I have, however, agreed to get one done within the next fortnight and let her have the other 2 as soon as I can. (I do have a life, you know, and DS and DH demand to be fed occasionally!)

I've been knitting dog sweaters again for Many Tears Rescue in Llanelli, South Wales. They're short of Labrador-sized sweaters at the moment so I'm using some Sirdar Country Style DK in Teal that I've had in my stash for over 2 years - it was originally bought to make me a cardigan but by the time I got around to using it, I'd gone off the pattern!


And I'm only 10 rows of rib away from finishing these socks for my aunty. Remember the merino/tencel ones which I'd promised her and then kept myself? Well, these are to make up for it. ;0)


The yarn is The Yarn Yard Soulmates sock yarn in the Arm in Arm colourway. I have 50g of the variegated left over and 10g of the solid so I should be able to make another pair of socks for myself out of that. Excellent value for money, I'd say.

My Fearless Foray into Fair Isle Continues


Yes indeedy, I have overcome my fear of fair isle and, following success with the Corazon mittens in December, I decided to purchase a few patterns from Red Bird Knits - I got Andes, Bird Foot and Winter Dreams.In my stash, I had some Regia 4 ply in 'King's Blue' (aka navy!) which went perfectly with the January 2007 Posh Yarn sock club yarn in 'Twinkle'. I can't believe I've had this lovely PY yarn in my stash for a whole year and haven't used it. I loved the colours of it but it just didn't seem right with any pattern or even plain socks for that matter. However, when used as the contrast yarn for this pattern, I think it really hits the spot. :0) I'm so glad I waited for the right pattern to come along. :0)This is knit top down - I know I've been obsessed with toe up for the past however-many months, but I thought I'd make an exception for this pattern. ;0)This is the inside of the heel flap - I'm about to start the gusset shaping.And here's a close up of the pattern. I'm using 2.75 mm Knit Picks circs to get gauge of 8.5 sts per inch. I finished my Cascading Leaves shawl on Friday evening - here it is blocking.I love the way it's turned out. :0) It's just the right size - 66 inches wide x 37 inches deep.Started: 9th January, 2008Finished: 18th January, 2008Blocked: 19th January, 2008Yarn: 155g of Posh Yarn Lucia in the "Deluxe" colourwayNeedles: 4mm KnitPicks OptionsPattern: Cascading Leaves by Vicki MikulakI did 13 pattern repeats and had 363 stitches on the needles at the end. It took about 10 minutes to knit 1 row.And this is the gorgeous Perl Gray shawl pin which I bought from Purlescence. It's just right for fastening my gorgeous new shawl. :0)[...]

Where have the past 2 weeks gone?


I can't believe it's almost 2 weeks since I last blogged - the time has just flown by. However, it does mean that I have a few FO and WIP pics to show you.I finished these 2 dog coats in December but didn't around to sewing on the buttons until yesterday. The patterns are from K9 Knitters and the coats will be going to the Many Tears Rescue in Llanelli, South Wales. This is the rescue where we had Lexi, our GSD, from.These coats are small and medium-sized and are made from 100g of Sirdar Countrystyle DK on 4mm needles.I made this coat yesterday - pattern again from K9 Knitters - this time using 300g of Sirdar Bonus Chunky. It's quite a large coat and would probably fit a Labrador or small GSD. The others are quite small - Yorkie sized probably. ;0) My knitting group - The Bag Ladies - have agreed to knit some more as Many Tears are desperate for knitted coats for their rescue dogs at the moment.This is my first FO of 2008 - a PSP sock for a friend of DH. It's made with 10g of Opal Rainforest Tiger (4 ply) using 2.5 mm Knit Picks circs and I made the pattern up as I went along.The second FO of 2008 is another multi-directional scarf (I gave my mint-choc-chip one away as a Christmas gift).This one is made with 1 skein of Colinette Jitterbug sock yarn in the Tapis colourway using 3.5 mm Knit Picks needles.I finished these socks yesterday - Anni's January Sockamania pattern.It's a lovely drop-stitch rib pattern and knit up really quickly. I used Fyberspate's merino/tencel sock yarn in the Rusty Spoon colourway which was given to me as a gift in a Christmas swap on the Knitting Haven forum.I love the colours and the sheen on this yarn. I think it really goes well with the pattern. I knit these toe up on 2 x 2.5mm Knit Picks Options circs and did 60 rows for the foot and 96 rows for the leg - I like a nice long sock. ;0)Initially, I had promised these to my aunty but I loved them so much I couldn't part with them. *LOL* However, to ease my guilty conscience ;0) I'm going to cast on a pair of socks for my aunty later today - using this yarn .....Soul Mates "Arm in Arm" from The Yarn Yard. It's 100g of variegated and 30g of the solid blue. I'll use the solid for the toes, heels and cuffs.I also picked up this colourway for myself - Naughty but Nice - I love it. :0)Finally, I'm making myself the Cascading Leaves shawl by Vicki Mikulak.I managed to get my mitts on a 200g ball of Lucia in the Deluxe colourway (lovely shades of purple) in Posh Yarn's new year sale and thought this pattern would be ideal. I love knitting with Lucia, it's such a beautiful yarn.I'm using 4mm Knit Picks Options circs and am probably about halfway through. I'm hoping to make the shawl slightly larger than the pattern as I think I've got plenty of yarn.Anyway, time to go and wind some yarn ready to make my aunty's socks. ;0)[...]

2007 - A (Knitting) Year in Review


Well, here's the truth - in 2007 I knit 112 items. :-0 It may sound a lot but it really isn't because 36 of these items were 12 inch afghan squares, which took next to no time to knit. ;0) Here's the list in total - 28 pairs of socks, 2 single socks as shop samples, 36 afghan squares, 4 dog sweaters, 3 children's cardigan, 1 child's sweater, 2 scarves, 1 baby cardigan, 3 bags, 8 adult sweaters, 3 shoulder shawls, 1 pair of baby mittens, 2 pairs of adult mittens, 3 wash cloths, 1 lap blanket, 2 afghans, 1 adult cardigan and 2 baby burial gowns.Phew!!!Some of my favourite FOs this year have been - 'Falling in Love' socks (pattern by Anni Design) using Posh yarn Lucia in the 'Kiss Me' colourway. I finished these in February and they were my first attempt at toe up / short rows, which I now love. I haven't done top down since.'Ula' v-neck cardigan knit in Colinette Iona, an aran-weight yarn, finished in October. I love everything about this yarn, from the silky soft feel of it to the gorgeously deep colours (this one is Salty Dog). My first Forest Canopy shawl, finished in September, using Posh Yarn Emily in the 'Fells' colourway. I gave this as a gift to a lady I used to work with. I've since knit another (also in PY Emily) and have plans to knit a third, this time in PY Lucia. Corazon mittens from Knitty, finished in November, using RYC Cashsoft DK. I decided that I wasn't going to be afraid of fair isle any longer and this is an ideal first pattern. I knit 2 pairs of these (one for a gift, one for myself) and will probably make some more eventually. The Cashsoft yarn is luscious to knit with, buttery soft, and even lovelier to wear. :0)And finally a multi-directional scarf, finished in November, using Bright Dyes 100% merino 4 ply (lovely yarn to knit with). This is such a quick and simple pattern but so effective when finished. This was eventually given as a Christmas gift so I'm now knitting one for myself in Colinette Jitterbug sock yarn.Amongst the items OTN at the moment I have the Henley Perfected sweater (from Interweave Knits) in Rowan Bamboo Soft, Moose Ridge socks in HipKnits blue faced leicester, feather and fan shawl in Artesano Alpaca, and a multi-directional scarf in Colinette Jitterbug. Photos to follow next weekend. ;0)[...]

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!


Happy New Year!

2007 has been a really good year for knitting. I've kept a list of everything I've knitted and can't believe how much I've done compared to last year - over 100 items so far! Admittedly, quite a few of those have been socks and afghan blocks, so that's cheating slightly, but still, not a bad little haul. ;0) I'll be posting some photos tomorrow of my favourite FOs.

My knitting this year has also become more sociable - I've met lots of new (and good) friends, via the Crafty Threads forum and by setting up a knitting group locally - The Bag Ladies of Wetherspoon's, Pontypool. At our Christmas meet, we worked our way through the cocktail list and we were soooo rowdy, I'm surprised we didn't get thrown out! We even managed to get some knitting done. *LOL*

To anyone who stops by and reads my blog (and leaves a comment) - I'd like to say thank you! It means a lot that you like to see what I'm making.

Anyway, a happy new year to everyone - I hope 2008 is a good one for you all. xxx

My Christmas Present to Myself


This is the Under Cover Club afghan I've been working on for the past few months. It's made with O-Wool organic 100% yarn on 6mm needles.

I did a row of single crochet around the edge to finish it off using Cascade 220 yarn in the Fern colourway.

I am soooooo pleased I managed to get this finished today, although I've spent all day sewing the squares together when I really should have been doing other things. ;0)




Aunty's Afghan, a Hat for DS and some WIPs


(image) I finished my Aunty's afghan yesterday and I'm really pleased with it. :0) It's going to be so difficult to give it away - ;0) - but I know she'll appreciate the work that's gone into it. I just hope she hasn't redecorated her bedroom in the past few days as it matches the colours perfectly!

I used about 9 balls of Cascade 220 100% wool for the squares and 1 ball for the border, with 5mm KnitPicks Options needles. Four of the squares came from the Great American Aran Afghan book, the rest came from stitch dictionaries.

I've been fed up recently with DS's hats not covering his ears so I searched on Ravelry last night for a pattern using Cascade 220 (I have rather a lot of it!) and found this pattern - the Norwegian Star Earflap hat - so made one for DS this morning. It took 3 and a half hours from start to finish! It was a very clear pattern and easy to follow. I made a child's size 21 and 1/3 inch hat on 5mm needles.

I fancy making one for myself next, but using different colours. I love Cascade 220 yarn because it has such good stitch definition. :0)

(image) And finally the WIPs.

DH's friend wanted a sock for his PSP - the one he bought from Argos was very loose and his PSP kept falling out so he asked if I could make him a nice snug-fitting one.

I dug out some left-over Opal Tiger sock yarn, cast on 44 stitches and am now about halfway through. It looks *way* too small at the moment but stretches quite a bit, and fits nice and snugly so I think he should be happy with it.

(image) (image)

And this is the second instalment of the HipKnits Project Club. These are the Moose Ridge Socks by Chrissy Gardiner and are a really enjoyable knit. I'm using 2.5 mm needles and 100% cashmere HipKnits sock yarn.

Ewwwwwww! (not even remotely knitting-related, sorry!)


Ewwwwwww! # 1 -

Why is it that even though German Shepherd dogs are supposedly mega-intelligent and extremely easy to train, Buster insists on sleeping on my pillow, even though I bellow "GET OFF MY PILLOW!!!" at least 10 times a day?!

He is a bit of an old man at 11 and a half now and so we are pampering him a bit,
but still ......................

.................................... lying on my pillow is just taking the mick!

It's no wonder I keep coming out in spots.

*rolls eyes, shudders and goes "ewwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!" *LOL

Ewwwwwww! #2 -

Why is it that when anything "yucky" needs to be done, DH is nowhere to be found?

DS, now 5, has been potty trained for years and independent on the toilet since I can't remember when, so why does he choose tonight to sit on the toilet and say ....................................

DS: Mam ....... I've got poo stuck to me ............. get it off ..............

Me: Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You'll notice I haven't included a photo of this one!! *LOL*

Come on, guys! Give me a break!!

Don't you know I've still got Christmas knitting left to knit!!
I haven't got time for ANYTHING else!!!!!!!!! *LOL*

Oh Christmas tree ..............


Christmas is fast approaching so yesterday we decided to put up our Christmas tree. DS helped with putting the baubles on the lower branches. I've gone for a mainly red with a bit of gold theme this year. It hasn't turned out too badly so I'm pretty pleased. :0)

Considering I haven't blogged for over a week, I don't have a lot to show you I'm afraid. I'm halfway through a chunky jumper for Sirdar (2 sleeves to go) and I've just started the next instalment of the Hipknits project club which is a pair of cable socks in cashmere sock yarn.

Unfortunately, these are my "lunch time at work" project and that's where they are at the moment - in my drawer in work - so I haven't even got a photo of those I can show you. They are very nice though. ;0)

What I can show you is my aunty's afghan, which I'm making as part of her Christmas present. I've spent most of today sewing squares together - there are 16 altogether so it's getting a bit boring now to be honest!

This is where I was just before lunch - all the small squares joined, just the long rows in between to sew up now.

I'm using mattress stitch to join the squares as it seemed to give the neatest finish. I did try a crochet join but it didn't look quite as tidy. I'm hoping to finish the sewing this evening and then there's just the edging to knit. I'm really pleased with how this is shaping up at the moment and I hope my aunty will like it too.

And finally, here are some photos of Nibble - he's really growing now and has settled in with Toffee really well.

He's started to come when we call his name and likes to have a roam around the living room in the evenings.

Here he is checking out his surroundings ................


More Mittens and a Mint Choc Chip Scarf


(image) I think I'm obsessed with the Corazon mitten from *LOL* This is my second pair in less than a week.

I had a lovely relaxing afternoon watching the classic film It's a Wonderful Life (with James Stewart and Donna Reed) and knitting the first mitten.

I decided to go with black and cream (instead of black and red) because it will match my new winter coat perfectly. :0) Who knows, I'll probably knit a black and red pair as well, just because I love this pattern so much. ;0)

(image) I'm making the 7.5 inch diameter ladies medium size and it fits me perfectly. I'm using RYC Cashsoft DK (again from stash *polishes halo*) as it's extremely soft and very warm to wear.

The only change I made to the pattern was to use 2 circular needles (Knit Picks classic circulars) instead of DPNs - I just find circs much easier to work with.

Hopefully I can get the second mitten finished tomorrow and I'll have lovely toasty hands on the drive to work. :0)

(image) I finished my mint choc chip scarf yesterday, made with Bright Dyes pure merino 4 ply yarn.

I love how the garter stitch feels (very smooshy!) and the way the stripes knitted up nice and randomly.

I used almost every last bit of yarn and have a scarf that is approx. 5 inches wide by 60 inches long.

I used 3.5mm Knit Picks Options circs.

I was hoping to be able to show you the cute dog coats I made recently but I still haven't sewn the buttons on. (Been too busy knitting mittens!) Hopefully I'll get those done some time next week. :0)

Another Competition Win and Fabulous Fair Isle


Yes, I'(image) ve won another competition. :0) My luck has been *so* good lately - if only I could win the lottery!

At the beginning of November, I won 2 tickets to the craft show in Cardiff. Then on Monday this little chap arrived in a blue Bergere de France bag. Now, I can *vaguely* remember entering a competition (in Knitting magazine, I think) where I had to give the translation of Bergere and say what 'lamb' was in French. The second prize was a BdeF lamb. I won! YAY!

Now my first BdeF lamby has a friend - so no need for DS and me to fight over him any more. I've now got my own!! ;0) *LOL*

(image) And on the knitting front, I'm obsessed with fair isle at the moment. I never used to like it but recently thought if I can do lace, cables and socks, then I can do fair isle. *LOL*

So here is my first "proper" go at fair isle. There is a second mitten but I forgot to take a photo before I sent it off (it's for a swap). Please excuse if this photo is poor quality - it was taken on my mobile phone.

Anyway, this is the Corazon Mitten from Knitty. I used 3.25mm and 3.5mm Knit Picks circulars - wonderful little things :0) - and RYC Cashsoft DK (from stash - how good am I?!!). These mittens almost didn't get posted - they fit me perfectly - but seeing as how I've got (lots) more Cashsoft in my stash, I've decided I will knit myself a pair in black and red. They are so soft and very warm, just the thing in this weater - it was minus 2 here last night when we went shopping :0( .

I was surprised at how easy this pattern is and I managed to strand the yarn without any puckering of the fabric. Each mitten took 2 days to knit - probably a maximum of 5 hours per day - so hopefully this time next week I'll be wearing my own. :0)

I'll be back tomorrow with some FO pics - dog coats and my mint choc chip scarf ...........

Competition Now Closed


Blimey - you lot are quick! The correct answer was that I was going in the wrong direction on the 3rd triangle - my right hand edge should've been straight but it was way skewiff! I had 6 correct entries so I'm going to ask DS to pick 3 names out of a hat. Hang on a minute while we do this ................................



And the winners are .......................

Nautical Knitter
and Ladybird Linz

E-mail me your address at and I'll send you some 4-ply sock yarn and the pattern tomorrow. Try not to make the same mistake as I did though! *LOL*

Competition - Spot the (Deliberate) Mistake


Okay, here's a competition for you.

If anyone can spot the (deliberate) mistake on my mint choc chip multi-directional scarf, I'll send you enough yarn (from my stash - unused) to knit one of your own.

I am sooooo annoyed with myself about this. I've just had to undo everything I've done today. Aaaarrrgghh!!!

Entries close next Sunday - or before if anyone guesses the correct answer. :0)