Sunday, 8 February 2009

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

Saturday, 8 November 2008

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 Hibiscus

and a ball of Sublime extra fine merino wool DK to finish of a pair of Corazon mittens for a Christmas present

and 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 present

I 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)

Sunday, 28 September 2008

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 Skeins

bought 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.

Saturday, 6 September 2008


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!!!

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

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.

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)

Friday, 4 July 2008

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?!

Sunday, 8 June 2008

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)