Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Pssst!...

Look what I just ordered...

Should be here Friday...

Just in time for my three weeks off work...

Do I need to tell you how excited I am?

:-D

Sunday, June 25, 2006

First Dye-O-Rama Sock

Just a quick post to show the first completed sock made from the yarn my Dye-O-Rama pal, Jeni, sent me. The toe, heel and ribbing is from some navy I dyed, the rest is all pure Jeni! :-) The colours are a bit more vibrant in real life but the flash made them glow scarily bright so this is the 'natural' light version. (The natural light ain't great here today!)

This yarn is super-soft and gorgeous, I can't wait to finish the second sock so I can wear them. Roll on winter...

Le Tour De Fleece

It seems to be the weekend for good ideas! Other peoples' good ideas that is, my own brain is a barren wasteland. :-)

First there was the Knitting Olympics. I competed and completed and all was good.

Next, the Knitting World Cup. I sat this one out as I knew I'd be horrendously busy at work and my challenge was just to survive. I have but only just! ;-)

Now there is Le Tour De Fleece.

For the three weeks of the Tour De France spinners everywhere will be challenging themselves. Mine will be to spin up the 'clown' tops I dyed a while ago. I want to knit a pair of socks out of it. So I need to spin roughly 100gms in three weeks, doesn't sound like much but I haven't been a particularly dedicated or productive spinner lately! Also, I may (hopefully!!) finally be getting a spinning wheel and then my challenge will be to learn how to use the wheel to produce my sock yarn. Sounds tough to me! At least I will be on hols from work for duration of the challenge which is going to make it a whole lot easier! :-)

So, c'mon spinners! Join up and compete for cycling/spinning glory! :-)

(I do actually like watching the Tour de France - bit geeky I know!)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Saturday Sky

Sandy's come up with another brilliant idea! Every Saturday pop outside, take a photo of your sky and post it on your blog. Simple and beautiful. Here's my Saturday sky - an action shot complete with a starling streaking across the frame!

A Quick Cute Knit


This is Baby Tart from Knitty. Knit with James C Brett Top Value 100% acrylic on 3.5mm Addi circ and 5 dpns. This is also for my work colleague's yet-to-be-born baby which is due late August. My colleague only has two weeks left at work and I'm on leave from the 3oth so I wanted to get her gifts finished asap. Phew! Done it!

The model is Gav, named after Gavin Wanganeen, a recently retired brilliant player from Port Power. Seemed quite the most appropriate name. I did like Steph's suggestion though - Schnoz - Gav does have a rather large nose! (Gav the Bear that is, not the original!)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A Beary Good Birthday

I love a birthday that goes on and on! A parcel arrived from Australia today and contained a mascot teddy bear for the Aussie Rules football team I support - Port Power. I haven't decided what to call him yet. Thanks Meg for such a great pressie! Any ideas for a name?

Here's a pic of Bear, who came to live with me last week, getting to know his new Aussie mate!

C'mon the Power!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Fab Birthday Card

I forgot to blog this earlier. This is the birthday card made for me by my best mate's Mum. She's just got herself a fancy pants, all singing, all dancing sewing machine that does embroidery and has obviously taken to it like a duck to water!

Thanks Faysie!

All Cabled Out

The cabled baby cardi for my work colleague is finito!

It was knit with Sirdar Snuggly DK 100% acrylic in cream on 3mm and 4mm needles. Overall a fast and enjoyable knit but I changed the placing of the cables on the front of the cardigan as they would have disappeared once I began the sleeve and neck shaping. I haven't done a brilliant job with the ribbed band, I could probably have done with picking up less stitches than the pattern specified because its a bit wavy. It looks okay though and I don't think it will look so bad when worn by the (yet unborn) baby.

My work colleague specified an 'aran-type' cardigan in a traditional cream colour and we both decided that wooden buttons would look nice. The buttons came from Dragon Yarns and it was the first time I'd ordered from them. Very fast and efficient service. They have loads of nice buttons too.

With all the other things I 'should' be knitting I've, of course, started a pair of socks with my gifted Dye-O-Rama yarn. It is gorgeous, yummy and scrumptious to knit with and feels really nice on! I've done the toe and heel in navy merino I dyed myself because I didn't want to mess up the stripes. I think it fits in really well and looks like its 'meant' to be there! :-)

I can't possibly be over-enthusiastic in praising these colours. My pal called it Autumn Carnival - perfect! They are super-gorgeous and I think these are going to be socks I wear almost constantly. Is it nearly winter yet?

Thanks again to Jeni for doing such a fab dye job!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Happy Birthday To Me!

I've been like a five year old kid waiting for this birthday because I knew I was getting this...


Beautiful isn't it?

I also received a 'Birthday Speshul Secret Pal 8' parcel yesterday (perfect timing!) which contained this most handsome Bear hand knitted (of course) from alpaca/silk yarn and a lovely card. What a fantastic surprise and very much appreciated. Thank you very much SP!

I love Bear. :-)

** edited to add: guess who I share a birthday with? Much more exciting than Boy George! **

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Almost Forgot!


I love this time of year!

Those are inches on the tape measure and this is not the largest strawberry we've picked today but , uummmm, I ate the others before they could attend their photo shoot. :-)

Baby Cardigan Progress

I've forced myself to concentrate on the cabled baby cardigan this weekend and, not surprisingly, have made some real progress. The first picture shows the back and sleeve one and the second picture shows the front and sleeve 2 in progress. I'll get sleeve 2 finished today and also want to pick the stitches for the front and neck band - all 200 odd of them... blurgh! I'm using Sirdar Snuggly DK in cream. I bought way too much yarn but Mum has said she'll buy the excess off me. Your eyes don't deceive you, the cables don't line up over the shoulder. I changed the cardigan fronts because the pattern as written meant I would have lost the cables once I started the decreases and that wouldn't have looked good!

My current 'commuter' project is the French Market Bag from Knitty. Yarn and yarn use idea courtesy of my SP8 spoiler. The Coldharbour Mill yarn is fabulous to work with and is definitely going to be added to my 'buy lots more from these guys' list.

The next project I must start on (and soon!) is the bookmark for my bookmark exchange. I think I've pretty much decided what to do I just need to decide on the colour scheme.

Anyway that's it. Not a lot to report but with the warm weather and a mad, mad time at work, not a lot is being done during the week. Roll on July when I have three whole glorious weeks off work (except for the one day conference I have to go to.)

Friday, June 09, 2006

A Beautiful Evening

The moon over 'my' meadow...

just because it is lovely! :-)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

One Man Went To Mow

Went to mow a meadow... but why did it have to be mine?

Okay, so the meadow doesn't actually belong to me but I can see it from my window so that makes it mine, right?

Here it is about an hour and a half later.


Sigh!

But my house smells like freshly mown grass... yum!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sunday Hodge Podge

First, a picture of the fields at the back of my house in all their early summer glory. They'll be mowing this soon I suppose which is such a shame because its so lovely like this.



I've lost count of the number of times I've re-started this cardigan for my work colleague's baby which is due late August. I think I've finally found a pattern I like. Its getting a bit close to crunch time so I'm going to have to stick with this one and knit like a dervish to finish it by the time she goes on maternity leave. My colleague asked for an aran pattern and the traditional cream colour as she didn't want anything too babyish. This is being knit in the 6-9 month size and is a pattern from Prima that I found in Mum's pattern stash so I have no idea when it was published.

Books! Three arrived from Amazon this week. I'm drooling over these first two and I'll probably be using the dyeing book to produce yarn for mittens from the other. I was a little surprised to see that they sometimes use Rit dyes in Yarns To Dye For. Its nice to see them use something that anyone can get their hands on though. I've seen dyeing done on blogs that used Dylon and I've been meaning to have a go. I like my acid dyes but it doesn't hurt to try different things.

The third book is Traditional Fair Isle Knitting by Sheila McGregor. This is a brilliant 'techniques' book. It gives a potted history of the traditions of Fair Isle (and Shetland) knitting and how to design a sweater but the best part of the book is the pattern section at the back. They are simple graphs made with dots denoting the pattern allowing your imagination to run wild. Its up to you to decide which patterns to combine and which colours to use. The yarn beside the book is what I dyed yesterday to try out designing a ski hat. Its really hard not to work on the swatch! I must finish the baby cardi first. I must. I must. I must!!

Friday, June 02, 2006

It Is Friday

And I'm posting - how weird is that?

My swift arrived from P&M Woolcraft yesterday and I had to open it because it is my birthday gift from Mum and she didn't know what a swift was and wanted to see it. (I thought if I made that a really long sentence you'd believe I had to open the parcel :-P) It is a beautiful thing. I have to wait another 12 days before I can have it... dang!

I finished the Wavy scarf from Knitty last Monday and have only just got around to photographing it. This is for my bestest mate ever, Meg, whose birthday was... uuummmmmm... 3 days ago. I'll be getting your parcel in the mail Monday Meg, promise!

I've started spinning the wool and viscose tops I dyed a couple of weeks ago. I quite like the way this is turning out. I'm not being too careful as I want it to be slubby and thick and thin. I've yet to decide whether or not I'll be plying it but I probably will.

I've decided to take the Pomatomus socks off the needles because I'm going to knit them on smaller needles (2.5mm) and I have a few other things I need to get done first. One is the cabled baby cardigan for my work colleague and the other is my new 'secret' project for my SP8 pal. :-) I won't be saying much about what I'm planning on sending to my pal as I have a UK partner this time around and I have a sneaking suspicion that they read my blog. So... shhhhhhh!