Thursday, February 23, 2006


It's been a strange week. Marred by the dreadful experience of Saturday evening. I don't even want to talk about it really. But it has to be done I suppose. And what was this awful experience I had to endure? It was a 50th surprise birthday party. Any party is a party I don't want to go to. I just hate them. Give me a restaurant or a club any day. Though have to admit my clubbing days are long now now....

But a family party where you know nobody that has more kids than adults is frankly just too much to bear. And it gets worse. As if having crap music isn't bad enough (yes I'm a music snob too!) there was a KARAOKE machine. Oh lordy, it really couldn't have been any worse. Not getting the invite and being at the wrong place didn't help much either. Or even knowing that it was a party rather than drinks at the guys house! We left as soon as we possibly could, ie once the karaoke started.

Some of you may be wondering what on earth I'm on about. But coming from a teeny weeny family with no siblings you just cannot imagine what horror a big family party is for me. I am still recovering now. The nightmares will go soon. I hope. I expect if you were part of the family it would have been fun, or even if you owned some of the millions of kids that appeared to be there, it might have been a welcome outing. But for me, it was just pure torture. Frankly I'd have rather gone to the dentist then gone and given blood. There aren't enough words to explain the horror :0(

I shall not mention it again. Except to say the only good point was that I wore my Ribbon Twist jacket to it. Nuff said. Pattern is Willow from the Rowan Ribbon Twist Collection. Same book as the lovely Beth hailed from.

Knitting wise I've another FO - yep another pair of Lorna's Laces socks are done. They are a very lively colourway called Uptown and remind me of 70's disco. And no, I'm not old enough to have been clubbing back then. But I've seen it on the telly.

And I've started yet another sock. They are so calming. Much needed in this recovery time.....This one is in the Vegas colourway and is 6ply so will be housesocks. I've never managed to get 6 ply socks snug enough for trainers but they're brill at keeping my toes warm in winter, which seem to be permanently cold. Not surprising really, as it was just snowing here!

Deep is going well. I'm on the arms now. I ended up shortrowing the front shoulder shaping so undid the back so I could shortrow that and so do my usual 3 needle bind off. For some reason I couldn't get my head round the shaping of the back combined with the rib when I first came to it. But it was rather late at night though and my poor brain had obviously gone to sleep. Its all done now though the short row shaping was harder than usual as the pattern had neck shaping to consider as well. It looks great so far. Though the thought of picking up all those stitches for the border is not good.......

I've had a few balls of sock yarn arrive to keep me occupied. My lovely DH said I could have 6 balls. I thought he meant for my birthday but he meant for Valentines. So I could hardly argue could I? And quick as flash I found some sock yarn online I wanted.

The lovely Opal Handyed was from Get Knitted. Thank you Sue for the lollipop and pen. Much appreciated!

Some Lana Grossa that Mary had recommended as being very soft. I've 2 more balls on order from Germany but they're waiting on one of the colours. These ones I got from Ebay. I just love those colours. Very spring like.

Laura is all sewn up, seams pressed and just needs a couple more buttons sewn on. Sunday seems to be a real good day for sewing up. She is definitely looking very good and has been tried on several times. I'm sure I'll manage a pic of her next post.

Hopefully by then all memories of that darned p***y will be long forgotten and normal life resumed. Whatever that may be ;)

And finally a message from Thunder 'well of course I'm enjoying this!' All snuggled up next to daddy with his ears being played with. This is bunny bliss ;)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Doing My Own Thing

As you can see, the back of Deep is finished. I didn't get anywhere near as much wrist and arm ache as I expected, which will be due to the lower cotton content. This is a good thing as I really enjoy knitting with Summer Tweed. The downside is that I've done no more on River as I've been quite happily knitting away on Deep.

I managed to sneak in this fab FO - a Beanie hat from Simply Noro using my remaining ball of Shinano. DH wasn't that keen on the pattern in the book but I knew it would look good and was proved right. It's a fab hat. Hopefully though it will be getting warmer and I won't get to wear it much.....

I've also finished my Lorna's Lace's Uptown sock. And casted on for its sibling. And so discovered I've managed to turn the cast on for the ribbing inside out.......which means the cast on row doesn't match the sibling. But I'm leaving the 2nd sock 'correct'. Of course if I had done a 2x2 rib, I could have simply turned it inside out. However, on a K3P1 rib its not that simple. Hopefully it won't show too much once I'm wearing them. But as they're not twins anyway shouldn't be too obvious. Annoying though eh - thats the beauty of knitting - always something to watch out for and new to learn. Where knitting is concerned, its always a continual learning curve. Guess thats part of what makes it so interesting.

I've bought very little yarnwise recently, but managed to nab this lovely Opal Cotton Rodeo sock yarn on Ebay. I wish they did 50g balls though, as I can make a pair of trainer socks from just 50g easily and like having lots of different coloured socks.

That darned cheeky rabbit Thunder gets worse. The other day he was sat snug as a bug in a rug squashed in between my DH & me on the sofa. Then he flies into the air and lands on my latest Rowan knitting mag that I was actually working on!! And proceeds to carry on sitting on it whilst washing himself.....I could hardly believe my eyes. I whipped him off it quickly before he realised that he was indeed sat on what in his eyes are bunny treats, ie. paper and card. Is my rabbit weird or do they all EAT paper and card? Not just nibble or chew, but actually eat it!

Which brings me on to explain a bit about my weirdness. Being a most independent Taurean, I'm not really into joining things and group activities. So I'm happily letting the Knitting Olympics go straight over my head. Me, I just like to do my own thing. Which the eagle eyed of you may have sussed out already. Seeing as I never join knit-a-longs or Secret Pal or anything like that. I rather like being peculiar and weird you see. It makes me happy :) Plus the minute I have a deadline I'm not interested anymore and all the fun goes for me. It's either at my own pace or not at all. Told you I was weird.

Finally, I'll leave you with a shot of my flowers that were for Valentine's Day. I chose them myself and got them a few days beforehand, before the prices went skyhigh and the choice gets limited. They're gorgeous and smell beautiful.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Pretty In Pink

I wish I could explain why my Marakesh bag has been waiting a week just for her lining to be slipstitched in. But I can't. I mean, once I actually got a sewing needle out and some thread it only took 10 darned minutes! And now she's all finished and I have another FO. And very purrty and ever so nice and I'm very happy. A perfect holiday bag me thinks. I've taken a close of the toggle so you can imagine how I was using the large Chibi to force the cord through.......and of course how I ended up putting it right through my finger. It has now healed up perfectly!

I guess all these 'it will only take 10 minutes' just add up don't they. Which would explain the pile of pressing/sewing up thats starting to back up - yet again......

Laura is still awaiting sewing up, though all pressed and ready to go. Elspeth is all knitted up now and half pressed, needs the other half pressing then sewing up, then the dreaded crochet border. Lordy lord - oh boy I just can't wait for that!

However, proper knitting has been going quite well thank you very much. I started Deep once the knitting part of Elspeth was done. Boy doesn't Summer Tweed reek? I like knitting with it though, even if DH does object to the smell. Last night he asked why I didn't wash it first. Funnily enough it seems to bother him more than more than me. The first night of knitting it went wonderfully well, till the combination of cotton and non-stop ribbing took their toll and I got wrist and shoulder ache. So that was the end of that for the day. Now I'm knitting just for a short while a day, till I get just the slightest inkling of a twinge, then I finish the row and put it down. No point doing myself any damage is there. It will get done, but will take a while.

So of course then I had to think what else to start. No cotton of course, preferably something with wool. I decided on River in Cherry Tree Merino Laceweight which has been on my list for a while. She is very pretty but also quite slow going as you do have to concentrate. Well I certainly have to. And it doesn't take too long before all that concentration starts to bore me......

So then I have a sock to turn to. A lovely and soft Lorna's Laces I've been dying to knit. I love the colourway. Nice and bright - just the way I like them ;)

At the weekend I managed to pop into JL briefly to have a look at the new yarns. And rather disappointing it was. All I came out with was the Tuscan Retreat book. And that was it!!!! This booklet is lovely, however Holiday yarn is very expensive indeed. I nearly fell of the chair when I worked out the lovely Lucia would cost almost STG100 - and I'm only a UK 8/10!!! Hmmm. I do like the yarn but am a bit worried it will snag too easily. There is a nice bag pattern that only uses 4 balls but again, will it hold up being made up into a bag? Not sure I'm afraid. I'm just so glad I stocked up on Cotton Tape in the sales. Much nicer, better brighter colours and not so snaggy. Not to mention cheaper!

Last but not least. I have to mention it though frankly I'd rather pretend it doesn't exist. Yes, I saw the frankly digusting Glimmer Print. I didn't even want to touch it. It just looked horrid. And when I did, it actually made my skin crawl! Yuck. It really was foul and how you could wear that on your skin I really don't know. A terrible disappointment and I'm almost embarassed for Rowan - its the kind of yuckky yarn I'd expect to come from cheap & nasty acrylic/nylon yarn companies. But there you go, I guess my reaction is definitely on the extreme end. Thats me all over really ;) I would print what my DH thought of it, but it is far too rude! Yep, he thought it most gross. And of course this all put me off the pattern booklet for it, as it just reminds me how ghastly the yarn is.

But, on the plus side, the 2 new RYC yarns are GORGEOUS. Natural Silk Aran and Luxury Cotton DK are definitely Rowan quality and I loved them. The pattern books were definitely not me but as they're standard Aran and DK yarns not a problem, I can happily sub them.

So good job I have my stash to go on with isn't it! My purse is very grateful is my DHs wallet ;)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Wait Is Over

Wow - for the first time I got my Rowan magazine early. Yes folks, Rowan 39 arrived on Saturday and boy was I excited. It is full of lots of good stuff, some I'll definitely want to make, some I won't, and some that will probably grow on me. But for sure there is enough in there to please most people. And if more classic stuff is your thing, then there are loads of RYC booklets out plus some new Jaeger ones. They don't do much for me I'm afraid, but wouldn't life be so boring if we were all the same?

Me, I'm excited about the new Holiday yarn which I can't wait to see in the flesh. Its chunky which is always a plus for me and I've seen a couple of the patterns for it that really do it for me. The other new yarn, Glimmer Print, is umm, how can I put it..... different!!! What's with the gold in yarn?? But I'm sure people will like it, its just so not my cup of tea. But I think you could probably sub Cotton Tape for Glimmer Print so I may end up getting the booklet for that too.

Back to Rowan 39. Straight away Deep caught my eye and I have some Summer Tweed stash in Lilac that would be fab for this. I won't be doing stripes, just a nice plain version. All that ribbing doesn't look like fun, but I shall persevere!

Nicole is the funkiest 4 ply pattern I've seen. It says you need 4 balls but I might be tempted to try and get away with 3 as I've already got some in my stash. As most of you know, pure cotton and me really don't get along too well so I'd prefer to use my stash rather than get any more. Rowan is notorious for over estimating yarn requirements which is a good thing, as its very rare that I run out. A lot of the time I end up with a ball over.

Sea Horse is a great design, but its in Cotton Glace so I'd probably do it plain in Linen Drape - using up more stash and avoiding chronic arm ache from all that darned cotton!

Bliss and Jewel are the designs in my favourite Calmer that have caught my eye. Both are very 'pretty' designs though, so whether I'll end up making them I'm not sure. I generally don't do 'pretty' too well. But they both keep talking to me.... I just can't visualise me wearing them at the mo.

The Vina Bag is just beautiful. Unfortunately I don't have enough in my stash to make it, or the colours I'd like, so it's on the possible list for now. I just can't justify the cost, especially as I haven't yet finished a HK Cotton bag from Rowan 37 I started last year......yep, its that cotton arm ache again :(

There is also another beautiful new wrap Victoria in KSH in this mag. I still have Birch on my list but am sure I've got enough Cherry Tree Lace to do both, as of course I'm allergic to KSH. So all in all a fabulous mag - these designs are just my top favourites! A welcome addition for this issue is the new easy reference guide which is just fab. Verdict - LOVE IT!

Knitting has been going really well. Elspeth has one front, and I'm currently on the other. Laura has a collar so now needs sewing up and buttons added. I had a dippy day last week and just couldn't follow a pattern, so picked up my Regia sock and finished it the following day. Thats the great thing about 6 ply yarn - it knits up ever so quick. So another January FO!

Thunder says hello and isn't it about time more pics were posted of him. He really is the sweetest rabbit and we are just so lucky to have him. Here he is munching on his absolute favourite, organic celery! I'm just so fed up with taking indoor pics and having to use the flash. I want nice bright days so I can get some decent pics without flash! Then I could show you my lovely Cotton Rope bag Marakesh which is all done too. Maybe next time!