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.