Saturday, 28 April 2007

Tired - but no longer stressed

Wow! Am I glad that's over! ;0) It actually went surprisingly well. 17 of the 24 children invited turned up, the bouncy castle was HUGE and kept them all amused and I actually made just the right amount of food - they ate plenty and we only had to bring just a little bit back with us. DS really enjoyed himself and that's the main thing, so all in all, it's been a good day.

However, I'm totally shattered now! I didn't finish the sock for DS until 1.30 a.m. (I must be mad!), I've been on my feet since 9 this morning cooking food, running round after the kids, etc. AND I'm feeling edgy because I've gone a *whole* day without doing any knitting! *LOL*

Plus, this morning the postie brought me a skein of Fyberspates bluefaced sock yarn, Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac and Stephanie Pearl McPhee's Knitting Rules - and I haven't been able to drool over them all day! And now I'm home, I'm too tired to really take in what I'm reading. *rolls eyes*

Never mind, there's always tomorrow - as DH has just said, at least I can have a quiet day then. So I reeled off a list of the jobs I have to do that I've postponed from today - 3 loads of washing, hoovering, visiting dad, a trip to the pet shop for rat food and litter, not to mention all the visitors who have promised to come by with presents for DS, plus opening all the presents and cards DS had from his party today. Oh well, pass me another G&T ..... another couple and my list won't seem so bad ;0)

I am sooooo stressed!!!

I'm too stressed to post any WIP pics at the moment, even though I'm dying to show you a photo of my White Lies Designs Madeleine Shawl Jacket WIP. I took the WIP pic last Sunday but it doesn't help that DH has been hogging the PC all week so I can't upload the photo! ;-(
I've made quite a bit of progress on the knitted-on border since then, so will probably post 2 WIP pics on Sunday, sort of a before and after - before and after stress that is. ;0)

And the reason I'm so stressed? I've been (trying) to organise a party for my son who is 5 on Sunday. The party is tomorrow and he's invited 24 of his friends. So far, 15 have RSVP'd but there are sure to be others who just turn up anyway. We've never had 'proper' parties for him before so I'm not quite sure of what I should be doing! ;0) My son decided he wanted a bouncy castle but doesn't want any party games. Now, is a bouncy castle going to keep 15, possibly more, 5-6 year olds occupied for 2 hours? I think not, but what do I know?! And then there's the food.... How do I work out how much to make? We're vegetarians but that's not a problem nowadays with Quorn ham and chicken alternatives. Plus we've got plenty of egg and cheese. But how much? That's the problem. (We spent £££'s in Asda tonight! *rolls eyes*) Chances are we'll be living off cheese and egg sandwiches for the next month! But I suppose it's better to have too much than not enough. And why is it that no matter how much I put in the goody bags, they still seem to be half empty?!

And as I'm sat here typing this, I realise that I still haven't finished the socks that I promised my son I'd make him to wear to his party. I've only got 14 rows of rib to do ........ looks like I'll be up way past midnight! *rolls eyes*

(I suppose I should be grateful that he even wants to wear my handknitted socks!)
(Plus, I shouldn't make promises only 2 days before the big event!)
(I wonder would it be considered "wrong" to knit whilst at his party? I keep getting jittery feelings - 2 and a half hours of not knitting. *shock* I could finish the border on Madeleine in that time! *LOL*)

Anyway, I'm off to have another G&T - hopefully that'll help me de-stress!

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Sahara FO

I finally decided on short sleeves for Sahara and finished it last week. I wore it to our knitting group yesterday and it felt really comfortable so I'll definitely be knitting another one but with long sleeves so I can wear it in the cooler weather.

This took 8 x 50g balls of Sirdar Just Bamboo and the needles I used were 5mm Knit Picks Options and 4.5 mm Denise Interchangeables.

The pattern is available to purchase from

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Traffic Stopper socks and Posh Yarn S.E.X.

I finished these on Tuesday evening - 'Traffic Stopper' socks for my almost-5-year son. It's Regia Cotton Top Color #4075, using 2 x 2.5mm Addi Turbo circs. He's a size 10-11 shoe and I had a little bit of yarn left over. I liked the feel of this yarn as it was knitting up and found that it's got quite a bit of stretch in it too. He loves them and wore them to school on Wednesday, and Thursday .... in fact, he hasn't taken them off since! They'll start humming soon! ;0)

And this lovely yarn is the result of S.E.X. at Posh Yarn's sale last Sunday. It's all Emily sock yarn - L-R - Surf 'n' Turf, Canary and Carnation. They are such lovely vibrant colours, unfortunately the photo doesn't do them justice, they are so much more vibrant IRL.

Also today I finished Sahara but haven't been able to get a decent photo so that'll have to wait till the weekend. I'm really pleased with how it turned out and think I'll get a lot of wear out of it with the short sleeves.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

I've had a good weekend

I have had such a good weekend - I feel relaxed and refreshed (for a change). :0)

Yesterday, I went to Abergavenny craft market and came away with 4 balls of sock yarn - DS chose the 2 balls on top - he has such a weird taste in colours, ranging from shades of grey one week to every colour of the rainbow the next!
I've already started to knit the Regia Cotton socks for him and the colours are so much more vibrant IRL.

Here's a close up of the Trekking - it's such a beautiful rich colour. My dad and my DH have both said how much they like it. This is supposed to be for ME! I think I may have a fight on my hand here!
While I was in Abergavenny, I decided to update my wardrobe - black/grey doesn't really cut it when the weather is so warm and summery. I ended up buying 2 cotton/linen skirts (1 brown, 1 pale khaki), a pair of cotton trousers (khaki) and a shirt (very pale khaki). I am being very daring - the skirts are *so* much shorter than I'm used to ..... to mid-calf. *LOL* I usually wear skirts to my ankle, so I consider this to be showing way too much flesh!!
And the warm weather helped me to make up my mind about the sleeves on Sahara - I've decided that I'll get more wear out of it with short sleeves, so I knitted the first one while watching Dr. Who last night. I'll do the second one tonight, with the aim of wearing it to work next week. It'll probably snow now .....!
Today, I've had the house to myself because DH and DS have gone to an American Car Show at Billing Aquadrome, Northampton. They left at the ungodly hour of 6.30 a.m. so I was happily snoring away when they went! ;0)
While they've been away I've managed to get shed-loads of work done - When I got up, I took the dogs for a lovely walk around the lakes, then I did three loads of washing and managed to get it all dry. Next, I waged war on the knee-high dog hair in the house and for once didn't clog up the vacuum - YAY!!. I finally finished the pair of pink/orange socks I started about 2-3 months ago. I watched the comings and goings of a robin to our shed - I think he must be building a nest, going by the amount of twigs in his beak. I'll try to have a sneaky peak next time he leaves. I listened to a CD I bought for £5 at Asda on Friday - Johnny Cash, Lonesome in Black, 40 songs on a double CD - and the majority of them I haven't heard before. :0)
Finally, the thing that cheered me up the most, today I bought some more yarn from Posh Yarn's One Off Sunday sale, even though I promised myself I wouldn't. ;0) After much deliberation and dithering, I bought three lots of Emily yarn - Carnation, Canary and Surf 'n' Turf. Can't wait to see them IRL. Probably won't let on to DH about this little lot, though! *LOL*

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Socks, socks and more socks .....

I think I may give up knitting garments (i.e. sweaters, cardigans) and just concentrate on socks, that's all I seem to be knitting lately. I'm now on my 33rd pair since February 2006 when I knit my very first pair and I'm just addicted.

I'm going to a craft fair at Abergavenny Market tomorrow - to buy sock yarn - even though I've got more sock yarn in my stash than anything else *rolls eyes*.

My nearest LYS in Pontypool is due to stock Regia sock yarn at the end of this month and has asked if I'll knit some samples to go in the window - they didn't have to ask twice! The more people I can entice into sock knitting, the better! ;0)

And my second-nearest LYS in Cwmbran has some sock yarn in but not yet on display - I may go there tomorrow and offer my services to knit some samples - I just can't seem to get enough of socks.

I knit loads of socks for gifts but my sock drawer is bulging and I'm probably going to have to move onto a second sock drawer (hubby looked shocked at this sugggestion! LOL!) because I have enough socks at the moment to have a new pair every day for a fortnight - I just figure I'm helping decrease global warming because I'm not using the washing machine and detergents so often. :0) LOL

I've just signed up for 2 new sock KALs. You think I'd be bored of them by now .... but no, I don't think I ever will be.

And with the new More Sensational Knitted Socks book to keep me occupied, perhaps I'd better start looking for a third sock drawer ........

Friday, 13 April 2007

I'm Singing in the Rain

Well, not exactly, it's been gloriously sunny here today but that's the song I've been singing while knitting my current socks. ;0)

I'm using Posh Yarn's April sock club yarn (Lucia) called "April Showers". When I first saw this yarn, I wanted a pattern that would look like ripples on water. Then I saw the "Scrolls" pattern on page 95 of More Sensational Knitted Socks. It's a 14-row pattern, and every row is a pattern row, but I'm really enjoying knitting these. This pattern has such a great texture to it as well, it's almost 3D IRL.

I'm quite tempted to make the "Travelling Vine" pattern for my next pair in Sirdar Town and Country - I've got 2 gorgeous green balls of this in my stash. A friend I used to work with years ago is 72 next week, and her favourite colour is green, so I think I'll make them for her.

Valerie, I'm glad your Posh Yarn came today, it's always nice to have a squishy pink parcel in the post. :0) Is yours the same colour? I know Dee said they'd all be slightly different.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

All sorts of stitches

These are my Summer Sunset socks, knitted in Opal Prototype yarn bought from an e-bay seller in Germany (see previous post for details) and knitted using 2 x 2.5 mm Addi Turbo circs.
I finished these on holiday last week and they softened up wonderfully after washing.

Next, stitches of a different kind. This is Robbie the Rat who has decided to start taking his stitches out now we've taken off his sock/sweater. It's 10 days since he had the op to remove a tumour and is due to go to the vet to have the stitches removed but at the rate he's going, he'll save me the vet's bill! The lump was much larger than the vet originally thought, hence the alarming amount of stitches (10 I think). But he's healing well and is back to his old self.
(btw - the dirty hand belongs to DH!!)

These are the socks I'm working on at the moment - my first pair from More Sensational Knitted Socks. I'll give you a clue as to which pattern it is ..... I have an annoying little habit of singing songs depending on the name of the yarn/pattern I'm using at the time. For instance, while knitting Anni's 'Falling in Love' sock pattern, I kept singing "falling in love again, what am I to do, can't help it" in a sort of Marlene Dietrich accent. I'm not sure if she ever sang it, but that's what kept going through my head! It drove DH potty ;0)

Anyway, the song that's been accompanying the knitting of these socks is Marvin Gaye's "I heard it through the grapevine".
(but without the silly accent this time!)

Any ideas which pattern it is? It actually looks slightly different to the one in the book, possibly because they've used plain yarn.

Anyway, enough of my eccentricities - ;0) - I'm knitting these with Posh Yarn's Lucia sock yarn in the March Hare colourway (March's sock club yarn) on 2 x 2.75 mm Inox Grey circs. I wasn't over-fussed on this colourway originally, but I have to say it's grown on me and I think it suits the pattern. It's a 12 row lace pattern and is knitting up really quickly. I'm almost at the heel and hope to have these finished tonight so I can start on Posh Yarn's April club yarn - April Showers - tomorrow. It's a lovely mix of watery blues and greens and I have two patterns from More SKS that I'm dithering over at the moment. Perhaps by the time I've finished these, I'll have made up my mind. ;0)

Monday, 9 April 2007

Feeling refreshed after hols in West Wales

We arrived back home last Friday after a few days away in West Wales. We stayed at Mulberry Cottage, Plas Llanina near New Quay and were just 150 yards from the beach. It was peaceful and secluded and the cottage we stayed in was immaculate - wooden floors throughout, brand new kitchen and a wonderful king size bed that I wish I could have brought home with me. It was fantastic being able to stretch out and not be anywhere near DH - or have him stab me with his toes! ;0) A totally gross thought - but it happens more frequently than I care to think about!
There was a lovely patio area out the back surrounded by woodland which was a lovely sun trap. Here I am, getting my priorities right ;0), and finishing off a sock.
This is Buster - I think he's just spotted a squirrel .....

Jason, Jared and Lexi (under the table) taking a break from football .....
Jason, Lexi and Buster (in the cart) enjoying a stroll across a deserted Llanina beach - in the background is New Quay - you could walk across to it an hour either side of low tide.

Buster enjoying the early morning sunshine (and probably just spotted another squirrel!) .....
If you look closely, this bird is collecting Lexi's fur - these birds will have the best insulated nests for miles around. It was fun watching them come back for more ..... ;-)

And me, Jared, Lexi and Buster on Cei Bach beach which was just over the pebbles from Llanina beach ..... we stopped at a lovely pub on the way back for a lager (well, it was after 12.30 pm!!).
The only downside to our holiday (I knew it was too good to be true!) was that there was another cottage above ours - it was an old granary building that had been divided laterally - and one of the people staying there snored.
*Really loudly*
I'm a very light sleeper and I just couldn't get to sleep. All I could hear was this person snoring. They just didn't stop. I tried stuffing paper in my ears, but nothing helped.
On our first night there, it took me until 2.00 am to get to sleep, 4.00 am on the second night, and 2.30 am on the third. By the second night, as I was tossing and turning (Jason and Jared had no trouble getting to sleep *rolls eyes*) I was busy devising a painful death for whoever it was doing the snoring ..... I'd stab them with one of the extremely sharp kitchen knives. No, I'd bludgeon them to death with a blunt instrument. No, hang on, perhaps it would be more satisfying to throttle them slowly with my bare hands ..... Needless to say, I'm evil if I haven't had my sleep. ;0) *LOL*
If we go again (which I think we probably will) I'm definitely taking a set of ear plugs. :0)

Monday, 2 April 2007

Knitting-related find at 'Next'

It's the first day of my annual leave today and while out shopping earlier I popped into Next. Look what I found to keep all my bits and pieces in - a make up roll for £7.50.
There is so much room inside, so I'll be able to keep all my stitch markers, scissors, cable needles, etc, all in one place.

And it was only £7.50!!

Sunday, 1 April 2007

More on Sahara

Not the best of photos, but I've just finished the neckline on Sahara. I'm really pleased with how this has turned out. :0) It fits really well and I feel nice and comfortable in it.

I'm still not sure yet but I think I'll probably go for a long sleeve on this.

Anyway, I'm off to knit some more socks till I can make up my mind. ;0)

I am so easily pleased :0)

I really am easily pleased. ;-) DH fitted a new kitchen window today and this is now the view from it.
It's so clear, it almost looks like there is no glass there at all. I keep going to have a look out. Yes, I know that's sad! But it's so good to be able to see out of a window without having to look past all the smears and imperfections.
So now no smears, no runs, no condensation-which-has-dried-and-left-smears.
I keep humming the song "I can see clearly now the rain has gone ...."!
I must admit that I had my doubts about whether he'd be able to fit a double-glazed window, but fair play to him, he's done a brilliant job!