Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Birthday Trip

It was my son's birthday on Sunday so we took a trip to the Seaside. He always wants to go to the seaside which, considering his birthday is in November, is sometimes a trial. This year we were very lucky and the weather was beautiful. It was sunny but cold.

We went to Lulworth Cove in Dorset. We had tried to visit there in the summer but it was absolutely packed. We couldn't even get in the car park. On Sunday, however, it was lovely. There were people around walking dogs and a few people, like us, just visiting the beach.

If you look on the hill in this photo there is a little monument type information thing. I walked up that hill to that monument. Unfortunately, I was so shattered by the time I got to the top that I couldn't read what it said!

For Thomas Hardy fans, I think this cliff looks like the one where the sheep dogs rounds up the sheep and guides them off of the top to their death. Cheerful hey.

This is my snazzy artistic shot. I don't quite know how I managed this one but I think I just took the photo into the sun. All of the photos where taken on my phone so I am quite pleased with them. I have to admit that my OH took the top two while I was slogging up the hill. It gave him an excuse to stay down at the bottom.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Stonemason Socks

Here is the heel view of my Stonemason Socks by Ashley Knowlton. I did these as a test knit. I struggled a little at first because I have never attempted cabling on a sock before and found it quite difficult on DPNs. I watched a couple of videos on YouTube and learned to cable without a needle. This made life a lot easier and I then really enjoyed the pattern.

This is the view from the top of the foot. The pattern is beautifully written (do you say that about a pattern) and easy to understand. I will definitely knit the other as soon as I have got my act together.
As you can tell from the photos, the stock has not been blocked yet. For those of you on Ravelry my project page is here.

I used Araucania Ranco Solid for the sock. It is a lovely light lavender colour which is not really showing up in the photos. I really liked knitting with this yarn although it did have a tendency to split when I was doing the cabling. I would definitely use it again.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Busy week

I have had a super busy week and it has taken me the last four days to get over it. As you know, I did my trip to Fanderson. I then went to visit my daughter in Manchester with my sons. We did some shopping and went on the Manchester Eye. How touristy. As you can see, it was quite high but I managed to stifle my screams. It was quite nice because we got a pod to ourselves.

The giddy heights of Manchester

After our day trip to Manchester we then went to Cardiff to see Dr Who Live. What a great show. The music was great. The monsters lurked around the audience which was great fun. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos once the show had started

Dr Who Live

At the weekend I did my big trip to London with my son. As I think I mentioned before, he won a competition to design an alien space craft for an online game for Sarah Jane's Adventures (a spin off of Dr Who). We travelled up early on Saturday and made our way to the BBC.

Paddington Station

I dropped my son off at the BBC and then, of course, had to entertain myself until 5.30 pm. I headed for Oxford Street. I originally come from Greater London so I get so excited when I go back. It is so vibrant and full of life. I went to John Lewis to buy some yarn (a story about this to follow) and then to Liberty's. I loved Liberty's. I had forgotten how hot it is in the shops there. I had to stop constantly and take on fluids. I got back to the BBC at 4.00 pm and was absolutely exhausted.

BBC White City

On the Sunday, I dropped my son off again but this time the novelty had worn off a little for me. It was pouring with rain and I had forgotten that nowhere opens until 12 noon on a Sunday. After wandering around for a while I telephoned my OH for assistance and some tips of where to go. He pointed me in the direction of the British Museum. I hadn't been there since I was very young and I loved it. I wandered around for about four hours and didn't actually see anything. I went in every room and sat in various places. I had a drink in every cafe there and spent a lot of time people watching. I left there with a couple of books (History of the World in 100 Objects and The Book of The Dead) and a promise to myself to return with the family (whether they want to or not) so that I can share my excitement with others.

Entrance hall at the British Museum

When I collected my son he was so enthused. He had had a brilliant time. He had shared his ideas with like minded people and learned a lot from them. He felt as if he really fitted in. Who could ask for more than that.

I did manage some knitting. I need something to keep me sane. Knitting posts to follow.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

FAB - Fanderson convention - TV21

On Saturday I took my eldest son to the Fanderson Convention at Bristol. This is a convention for all fans of Gerry Anderson. For those of you who are still in the dark, he is the creator of Thunderbirds, Supercar, Fireball XL5, Space 1999 and UFO to name a few. The convention took place over the weekend but we only went on the Saturday.

The photos are a bit blurred I am afraid. They were taken on the run. My son is autistic and we do everything at 100 miles an hour. He was so thrilled to be there because there were people that had worked on the original series. We also got to see Gerry Anderson himself, although we weren't allowed to ask for his autograph. They had models of various space ships and puppets but none of the main ones.

This is Sam Loover from Joe 90.

This is Parker from Thunderbirds

This is the cockpit from Thunderbirds. It is the cockpit of Thunderbird 2. But alas no puppets!

This is the Eagle transporter from Space 1999.

They had rooms with screenings of peoples favourite episodes. It certainly was an eye opener for me. The people running the convention were extremely friendly and it was well organised.

On the way back, while we were in Bristol, we had to stop at Get Knitted. It was almost compulsory. Although I couldn't hang around for very long, I had a lovely time. I squeezed loads yarns and looked at various pattern books and needles.

It was a lovely day out. I got to spend quality time with my eldest son, somewhere he really enjoyed going and where we were accepted.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Who won a competition

My son has won a competition for Sarah Jane's Adventures. He is going to London for the weekend to spend time with game designers and some of the Dr Who production team. How exciting! We are very proud of him.

Unfortunately it means that we cannot now go to the matinee showing of Dr Who Live in Cardiff on Saturday 30th October. I have three tickets. If anyone is interested let me know. The tickets could be yours.

I have now put them on ebay. Here is the listing.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Sock it to 'em

I don't know if I have ever mentioned the fact that I have three strapping sons and all of them love knitted socks. This, alone, would keep me busy knitting. As soon as I have finished one pair, another pair is needed.

In itself, it wouldn't be such a bad thing except that all of my sons have such large feet. They are sizes 17, 12 and 11 respectively. Yes, it is like knitting wind socks!

I try to keep a pair on the go all of time but sometimes, I don't really knit much of them. I should make a pact with myself to knit at least ten rounds of a sock a day but I know I am not that disciplined.

Here is my latest pair of finished socks in the largest size. I knit a very basic sock pattern but do them on 3mm needles instead of 2.5mm and extra rounds in the foot.

I try to use stripey yarn because it makes it a little more interesting. My eldest son only likes blue, my youngest likes really bright colours and my middle son just loves any that I knit him. Who could refuse to knit the socks when they are so well loved!!!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Button Love

I bought me some buttons.

I don't normally have a button stash and only buy them as and when necessary. I like to look for the buttons when I have finished the project. It is a treat for finishing!

I couldn't resist these buttons from a local supplier. The buttons are ceramic but I figured that if I was handwashing anyway, it wouldn't matter.

Look at these...

And these .....

And not to forget these .....

Do you have a button stash?

Friday, 1 October 2010

Wow it's October

Where did the last six weeks go. Sometimes, I think you get out of the habit of blogging and then lose a bit of confidence. But here I am. Starting again. Hopefully some of you are still around to read this.

I have been working on a test knit of the Garden Cardigan by Jennifer Thompson.

This cardigan was a pleasure to knit. The instructions were clear and straight forward. The photo is a pre-blocked one as the weather has been appalling. I hope that a lot of the irregular garter stitch will come out in blocking and the leaf pattern will be more apparent. I made this in Sublime Soya Cotton in Nettle which I bought in a sale at Get Knitted. I think, when I do this again, I will do it in a wool mix rather than in cotton. I think the stitches would be a lot more even (or am I kidding myself). I hope to post some more photos when I have blocked it.

Monday, 16 August 2010

NOT the Apple of My Eye

I've had a really grotty week, technology wise. I am a Mac owner. Loud and proud. I have always bought Macs because of their great machines and their outstanding customer service. I have been proved horribly wrong. I have had an iphone for the last eighteen months. I was encouraged to download the latest 4.0 software which was brilliant except that it made my phone go like a pig. It was so slow that I could have delivered an email myself before it did. When I contacted Apple about it they started by saying that they couldn't do anything about it but after a bit of whinging they helped me restore my phone which gave me its original speed. Thank goodness.

Two days later I woke up to find that there was not electricity supply to my Time Capsule (a backing up type Apple thing). I telephoned Apple again. They admitted that they did have problems with the Time Capsule and were replacing some within certain serial numbers but mine wasn't one of those so, well, tough. Apparently mine wasn't one of those that has an electricity supply problem, although clearly it does. I can have a paid repair, which is virtually as much as a new one or just suck it up. (It is all over the internet now that these things break after eighteen months, which is exactly the same age as mine and doesn't seem very good value for money. Unfortunately I bought mine before people started taking them back.)

Now my eighteen month old macbook is getting strangely hot. It then makes load fan noises until I turn it off for it to cool down. Because I didn't buy the extra applecare at a further 25% of the cost price for another two years, it is out of warranty. I must now drive nearly fifty miles to the nearest Apple store to get them to look at it and have a paid repair. I cannot believe that it is going wrong after eighteen months. I object to taking out an extra warranty when I am paying so much for the original product.

BOO HISS APPLE . POOR SHOW. Buck your ideas up and stand by your products.

Also I missed the deadline to take part in The Blog Hub's swap on Ravelry. Doh.

Now I have stopped whinging I will post about knitting. I have lots of wips at the moment. The latest is Evie by Kim Hargreaves. This is going to be a long project because it is 4ply. I got a lovely colour which is a type of warm, bluey grey. I love the colour. It is in Thrown Together.

It is a 1920s/1930s type pattern and looks absolutely lovely.

As you can see, the photo was taken in the evening so I have quite a shadow but the colour of the yarn is fairly accurate.
Here is the pattern up close. I am really pleased with it so far.
I thought it would be a good project to take to knitting club because it is just knit and purl but I was wrong. We all talk far too much to concentrate at all. Next week I will have to take some finger knitting!

Friday, 6 August 2010


I have recently cast on quite a large project. It is a coat. I bought the yarn about a year or more ago from John Lewis so I paid full price for the yarn. I know, don't faint.

It is in a Debbie Bliss book called 'Winter Essentials' and it is called Camille. I really love the pattern and was so excited about the yarn. It is such a good colour.

I have to say that now I have started I am a little disappointed with the yarn. I am using Debbie Bliss Donegal Chunky Tweed. As you can seen, it comes in skeins so I wound it into a ball first. Within the first three rows I got a knot. I really hate this. I don't mind a knot if the yarn is really cheap, but when I have paid a lot of money for it, it really bugs me. This is not my main complaint though.

My main complaint is the way the yarn behaves when you are knitting with it. It twists up. It is really difficult to describe but it seems to twist more than it should so that every couple of rows I have the hang the needles and knitting from the thread for the yarn to unravel it. It is a real pain. I have never had this before, although I don't have an extensive knowledge of different types of yarn. I read on fridica's blog about her Debbie Bliss yarn unravelling but mine is the opposite problem.

Is there anything I could have done wrong with the ball winding? This coat is going to take forever if this is going to happen. Has anyone else had this problem before? It has really put me off of DB yarn and knitting this pattern.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Hat on Head

Here is my beautiful daughter in her hat. As I have explained, it is not the lovely lacy, floppy beret I promised her but it doesn't look too bad.

She says that it sits better if she puts some hairgrips in but she took them out for photographic purposes.
She was also quite happy to have her photograph taken and it was not under duress at all.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Of cabbages and kings

I will launch straight into my progress on my hat or the floppy beret to give it its proper title. Do you remember how I crowed about how it was a piece of cake after I had got past the initial casting on and pattern rows? Wrong.

I think it is probably a good thing to post the disasters as well as the successes so here goes. As you will remember, I struggled to cast on this hat and start the initial pattern. I did it a couple of times and got it wrong, so when a friend's mum offered to start it for me I jumped at the chance. She started it and I took over. It went really well until it came to the decreasing bit. Try as hard as I might I could not get the pattern and decreasing to work. When I counted the stitches I had fourteen extra. How does that work! The pattern had worked out ok up to this point. I ummed and ahhed and decided to do the decreasing in stocking stitch. I got it down to the amount of stitches it should have been then followed the pattern for the decreases. There. A tah-dah moment but no quite the one I would have hoped. Never mind. I put it on my daughters head and it was massive. If I had left a hole in the top, she could have worn it as a dress!

I put it in a 40 degree wash to shrink it just a little. Nothing happened. So I stuck it on 60 just for a short wash. So here you have it. A completely felted hat.
I could have done it all in stocking stitch and it would not have mattered. You cannot see any of the intricate lace pattern that was there. Promise. I suppose the lesson learned has to be to start my own work so that I know exactly what is going on and am more able to deal with any problems, should they arise (who am I kidding). My daughter said that she will wear it anyway (although there seems to be a reluctance on her part to try it on). I don't want a pity wear!
On a more positive note, here is my son in his stripey sweater. It was quite a hot day yesterday but he powered on through and put it on for his photos.
As you can see, it does fit. Just. I am not sure how long it will fit for.
Despite his posture he was actually quite happy for me to take photos of him. I might make him brush his hair next time but I didn't want to push my luck.
I have been jiggling the blog page about a bit so bear with me, it is definitely a work in progress.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Bag and bonnet

Here is a hat I am knitting for my daughter. It came as a kit from and Stitch and Craft Fair. I couldn't get to grips with the pattern at all and it ended up sitting in the bag for about a year. Finally, a friends mum started it for me and did the first pattern set. Since then it has been plain sailing, although the hat seems to be massive. It is called a floppy beret.
It is a beautiful yarn. It is called Silkwood Halo and is 70% angora and 30% wool. It is my first attempt with circular needles and it hasn't been too bad, now I have the hang of it.

You may have heard rumblings from Rowan International members about the free gift this year with the subscription. Normally it is a small project with some yarn. It is always quite exciting when it arrives because it gives you an opportunity to do project you might not normally choose and use a different yarn. This year they changed the free gift to a bag. A project bag. The sock is included for scale.
I think everyone was quite disappointed with the bag and made their feelings known on Ravelry on the Rowan group. I was a little disappointed but as I had not renewed until January this year, it was my second gift in a year, so it seemed churlish to complain. Anyway, Rowan have listened. Yesterday I had an email to say that they will be sending out an extra gift of a Winter Kids pattern book. Yay for Rowan.
I decided that I would take my bag out for an airing at the local knitting group. I went with my socks packed in it because a) it is impossible to knit anything intricate at knitting group as we all talk far too much and b) it is really a rather small bag. I also popped my phone and purse into the bag. On the way there I had to stop for petrol and had also been tasked with buying the milk and biscuits for the group. When I went in to pay it was easier to take the whole bag in rather than pfaffing around trying to find purse and phone. When I got to the counter I put my milk and biscuits on the counter and the assistant asked whether I would like my bag packed. Oh no, my Rowan chic had been reduced to supermarket shopper!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Stripey sweater - FO

The stripey sweater is finished at last. I am actually quite pleased with it although it seems to have taken forever. The stripes at the top didn't match up quite as I would have hoped but it was an adaptation of a pattern for a plain sweater so I am not really surprised.

It took absolutely ages to sew all of the ends in but it did give me a real sense of achievement when I had finished. It is one of those patterns that was really very easy but that didn't stop me going wrong. As I have said before, I think I just relaxed too much with it.

The really silly thing was that I promised my husband a stripey sweater too (obviously before I knitted this one). He has mentioned that he can't wait for his one now. Bother.

PS. You are right fridica, I did omit that vital piece of information. It fits but quite snuggly. Well, quite a bit snuggly. I would have preferred it to be a bit bigger on him but I will make him wear it anyway! But truthfully, he loves it (or says he does). I think the family is just amazed that I finish anything and that it is wearable. I will try to get a photo of him in it.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Chunky cardigan

Here, at last, a finished object. It is a cardigan for my OH. As you can see it is dancing with happiness. Yay.
I hadn't realised that the yarn was so prominently striped. This is truly apparent by the way the stripes are not matched up at all at the front. I think it gives it that rustic informal look.
It is knitted using Sirdar Peru which I bought really cheaply from Kemps. I quite enjoyed knitting this and it grew really quickly. It took me ages to finish it off though because it has been so hot and it is such a big cardigan.
OH took the photos yesterday between the rain showers. Yes, he did lay it on the grass. He actually took loads of photos. It was like 'Chunky cardigan's tour of the garden' so I limited it to these ones. I think I shall have to practice my photography otherwise I am always going to end up with 'artistic' shots of finished objects.
On a different note altogether, we have areas of our house that definitely belong to my OH, the loft being one of them. He becomes decidedly twitchy if I go in the loft. He says it is because only half of it is floored and he is worried I might slip. Well, you've guessed it. Yesterday his foot came through the ceiling. Fortunately it wasn't in our bedroom which has recently been replastered but it was in the ensuite bathroom. I was actually quite pleased because it means that the bathroom moves up the list of rooms to be decorated and we hopefully won't have to put up with the avocado and rust medley much longer. Still, if it was that easy, I would have thrown myself through the ceiling years ago!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

And now, the end is near

I mentioned that I had bought some foam squares from the Early Learning Centre to use for blocking the stripey sweater for my son. This project has been hanging around forever. I will definitely be pleased to see the back of it! Anyway, late last night I blocked it and here it is.

Look at my lovely, brightly coloured foam squares. I am not sure if I have blocked it correctly but I did loads of searches online and followed instructions. I wet blocked it by soaking it in water but I wonder whether it would have been better to have pinned it then sprayed it with water. I am actually past caring if it fits him or not. I know that sounds terrible. Have you ever had a knit like that? Look at all of those ends to be sewn in. On second thoughts, I would be quite miffed if it didn't fit.

I had plans to put it outside to dry today but it rained on and off all day so it is in the lounge with me for the moment.

I have also joined in with my first knitalong. I spotted it on Crafty Cripple's blog and fell in love with the Centrique shawl and the 'In my Blood' colour of the yarn. I was easily led astray (it doesn't take a lot). It is also my first ever shawl pattern so I am really excited about it. I am just waiting for the needles to arrive in the post and there will be no stopping me. I hope!