Friday, July 29, 2005

Yarn Overdose

For anyone feeling a bit jealous of all the lovely yarn I got yesterday at Get Knitted, don't worry, I'm now paying the price of spending 2 hours in a warehouse filled with yarn. My asthma has gotten really bad and I did not get a good nights sleep last night and have felt lousy all day. I feel like a kid that ate too many sweets in the sweetie shop. And it's made me realise that the idea we had of moving to St Ives in Cornwall and opening a yarn store just isn't going to happen. You can hardly keep everything wrapped in plastic bags can you, or say, sorry, we don't stock that - I'm allergic to it!

But to cheer me up I am lovingly looking at all my yarn and DH has helped me wind the balls of Colinette Skye so I can start a felted bag in the new Stitch 'n Bitch Nation book. AND we've started winding the huge hank of Cherry Tree Hill Merino Lace. It is still a huge hank and still oh such a small ball of yarn.........looks this this one will be a long job. Could be months before I manage to actually start knitting with it!

I might try the lovely Denise Needles with the felted bag pattern. They arrived today and look ever so useful. I like all the putting together and taking apart. As does my DH who really is the greatest ball winder. More patient than me, thats for sure.

I know I said yesterday I wouldn't mention my rather surprising yarn buying yesterday, but Linda spotted the lovely Calmer in Chiffon hidden amongst it all. Can you believe it was £14 for 7 balls! This really was the bargain area. The Summer Tweed I got was even less per ball and is for a bag from 25 Bags to Knit. And the odd skeins of Lorna's Laces had a third off so perfect for me as they'll make a pair of trainer socks. Well, they will when I actually knit them:)

So now I've explained it I'm sure you can understand how I ended up with 2 carrier bags worth of yarn. Too good an opportunity to miss. So for anyone planning a visit on the next open day, you might find the bargain bit just a little bit emptier....... but it really is so worth a visit. It is just great to be able see all the yarns in the flesh and I saw the actual real Noro shade cards - I wasn't even sure they even existed. Fabolous.

The needle holder Sue gave me with my purchases is lovely and very handy for storing needles that you're using. And the pen is just perfect for pattern notes. If another pen should find it's way to me with my next order it would not go unappreciated (hope you're reading this Sue;).

And for everyone fed up with our lousy summer in the UK, a pic of a beach I took in Cornwall which proves we do actually have a summer. Just not sure exactly when.....

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Oh Boy Have I Been Bad ;)

It's happened. Finally. I've been to Get Knitted In Bristol. DH is off work for a few days so offered to take me. So I checked if it was OK with Sue and we went today. Took us an hour to get there but very well worth it.

I was doing OK to start with. Honest. I only had some Cherry Tree Hill Merino Lace to do the famous Birch shawl as I'm allergic to the lovely KidSilk Haze and some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn in the gorgeous Somerset colourway. THEN I FOUND THE BARGAIN SALE YARN. Oh dear. It was all downhill from there. I'll say no more but I ended up with 2 carrier bags of yarn.......

I got the chance to look at the new shade cards while I drank tea (lovely tea thanks Sue) and wow there is some good Rowan stuff coming. Some definitely different stuff and so many books it'll take ages to get my head around them. I cannot wait until Rowan 38 arrives now. I'm practically salivating at the thought and went to sleep dreaming of Big Wool last night.

I got an email today saying my Denise Needles were now on their way. They'd been delayed going through customs due to all the recent atrocities. Not surprising really. So maybe they'll arrive tomorrow and I can play with them. Yippee!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Only One Week To Go

Yep, it's that time again. The much awaited Rowan 38 is due out on Monday 1st August, with lots of new yarns and books!!!!!! It is just so exciting for Rowan addicts. New yarns to play with....... for anyone desparate to see the front cover, it's on this site. Although I saw the preview leaflets out of the corner of my eye it's not the same as actually getting the real thing drop through your door and into your lap.

A big thank you for the comments on my photos. Photography is another great passion of mine and it's lovely to have compliments. Weird though, since leaving London I don't do as much as I used to. I find it very solitary and you do end up looking at absolutely everything as if through a camera lense. It can get very surreal. And if you're doing parties or anything organised you tend to feel very detached as the photographer. I guess as my DH and I do almost everything together I tend not to get the time that I used to. I still manage to take hundreds and hundreds of photos and am always at least a year behind printing them. I print everything myself - could never trust anyone else to do the job! See, I'm a control freak.

That's what I like about knitting. You control the whole process, from beginning to ed and every decision you make affects the outcome. The great thing about knitting though, is that you get to wear it cool is that.

I popped into Hobbycraft today and picked up some Rowanspun DK in the sale. Got 10 skeins cream, 2 blue and 2 green. Aren't the colours lovely? Just couldn't resist it. Also went to John Lewis but I'm waiting till next week and all the lovely new yarns.

What terrible news at the weekend about Sharm El Sheikh. Of course that was where we spent our holiday in May. We didn't stay in Naama Bay itself but went shopping there frequently. It was always absolutely packed in the evenings. Just awful.

So far I've been in Sri Lanka when a bomb went off near the airport. I was actually en route to the airport at the time. Was rather glad to be going home! I met my DH in Bali then 6 months later it was bombed. And now Sharm. What a crazy world. At least we always have our knitting.......

Saturday, July 23, 2005

A Day At The Zoo

Well as you can tell we finally made it to Bristol Zoo on Friday. DH finished a job on Thursday that he thought would take 2 days so he didn't have to go to work. And what a lovely day we had. It was really good fun and ever so enjoyable. I'm a bit peculiar about zoos as I worry if the animals have the right surroundings and are happy, but they are very good at conservation here and what they've done to most of the zoo is amazing. Many of the areas are very natural and it was great to see a huge gorilla munching on some grass growing by the rocks. My favourite animal has to be the Red Panda and I'm so glad I got some great pics. The little darlings can be such elusive creatures. Just won't sit still for a photo shoot will they.

After our trip we were very hungry so decided to eat out in town, but first had to stop off at House of Fraser. Yarn before food of course. I picked up a few balls of Jaeger MM Aran in the sale that will be great for bags and accessories. I realised I had no Aran wool in my stash the other day so it will come in very handy.

They had previews of Rowan 38 and some of the new books. I tried ever so hard not to look. I really want to wait until no. 38 drops through my letterbox so I can have a really good look. I know that they have some new 'felted yarn' which has no nylon in it which I'm really pleased about. It looks quite interesting. Can't wait to see the pattern book that comes with it.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

A Sore Arm

Uh oh. Arm is aching now from last nights knitting. Thought it was too good to be true. I can't usually knit too long with cotton and there are an awful lot of stitches on the halterneck top. Times like these a circular would have been better me thinks. Never mind, I'll leave it a few days till it's ok then just go slow.

My replacement bamboo Addi's for sock knitting arrived today and I can't wait to try some of this magic loop larky do. But of course I should finish my lovely surf sock first. Decisions, decisions eh. With the needles came another Addi sweet and I gave it a very evil look. I blame its brother for the eye swelling allergy trouble I had the other day. I shall give it to my DH. He has no problem with allergies - lucky him.

My eyes are fine now and the trip to the dentist for a check up was good. I felt really lousy yesterday but feel much chirpier today.

Yesterday I got the new Stitch 'N Bitch Knitter's Design Journal and I'm rather impressed. It's the kind of thing that makes a fabulous pressie but as I have no birthday coming up, I got it myself.

I've also ordered some Denise Needles as a pressie from my DH for completing his tax return. Believe me, after finally completing it they're a well deserved thank you.

Today's pic is a mobile phone cover that I knitted using up some leftover Noro Kureyon. Yes, the phone is hiding inside and keeps my keys from scratching the screen when its in my bag. Very handy.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Just One of Those Days

They happen sometimes don't they. Just one thing after another, nothing major - just very irritating.

It started off yesterday when we had to cancel our trip to the zoo as it was pouring with rain. My DH was off work yesterday so we'd planned another lovely day out. Alas, it was not to be.

Today my lovely postie brought me a parcel from Kangaroo who I often use. I'd ordered some Addi Bamboo Circular's to fuel the sock making addiction and some discontinued Lurex Shimmer for my bag making addiction. But the needle was a metal one, not bamboo AND it was very bent. Oh dear........

Then I emptied the washing machine to find everything covered in bits of paper. DH is in big trouble! Again.

Next I decided to cancel a mag subscription totally as trying to get the DD set up correctly seemed to be too much for both the company concerned and my bank. Between them they've managed to reopen two direct debits that I'd cancelled with both the company and the bank. I give up!

Then when my naughty DH came home early as we have to go to the dentist, he took one look at me and asked what was wrong with my eyes. They've puffed up and gone all lumpy. An allergic reaction to something, but what? Could it be the Addi sweet that came with the now I look like I've been in a boxing match and have to go dentist looking all weird.

On to some knitting news. Not much I'm afraid but I'm now on the main body of the halterneck and have joined the tops. Here's a pic of what it looked like last week.

I was cheered up though by looking at the pics from Jane Ellison's new Noro book, Naturally Noro. Can't wait for it to come out. I just love her designs.

What a day.......

Sunday, July 17, 2005

A Purse and Some Beads

It's been a gorgeous few days. Yesterday we drove to North Devon and went to the beach at Westward Ho!, followed by a visit to the yarn shop in Bideford. Well, it would have been rude not to. I only bought a ball of RYC Cashcotton 4 Ply though for yet another pair of socks.

Then we went to the beach at Woolacombe which is totally fab and very beautiful and had a paddle in the sea. I was a very happy bunny. They had some lovely surfing shops so we were in shopping heaven. I managed to find some Animal pale pink suede flip flops that I've been trying to find for ages so was very pleased to find them in my size.

I cast on for my second sock but haven't got too far with that. My halterneck top is going along nicely, but a bit slow. So I thought I'd start on a purse I've been meaning to make for ages. It was really quick to knit and I'm so pleased with it. It's based on the Snapper bag and purse pattern from Rowan 35. I used 4 Ply Cotton instead of Cotton Glace though. As you only need small amounts it's a great way of using up odds and ends. No doubt I'll end up with a few in different colours. They're great for holidays too when all you need is a small purse. The beads are large clear Jaeger ones from MCA Direct who sell them cheaper than anywhere else I've seen. For some reason the pic looks better with the zip open - who knows why?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

A Busy Bee

Well what a couple of busy days I've had. Tuesday I went to a John Lewis workshop on using Sequins and Beads which was good fun. Although I've used beads before I hadn't used sequins so now I have another skill under my belt. And I left John Lewis without buying anything - how good is that!

Yesterday I went to a Knitting Club in Puriton, Somerset which is a lovely village about 20 minutes away. It was ever so nice to knit and natter but have to admit the drive there and back was just horrid. It was just so hot in the car I thought I was going to melt. I did a bit more on the Buckle Bag from Rowan 37 which is waiting patiently for me to finish it. It's knitted in so many pieces though that I've had to start labelling them. Otherwise I know exactly what will happen.....

Getting the buckles for the bag was a real challenge. Nobody seems to sell them. Our local haberdashery store told me their supplier is unable to source any and recommended I get some cheap belts or bags. So after wandering round all the cheaper shops I finally found a bag that had 7 - yep, seven of the darling buckles on it in exactly the right size. So to the absolute amazement of one assistant and the total bemusement of the other, I asked for a pair of scissors and promptly cut off all buckles leaving the shop with the remainder of the bag. I was happy. I didn't have to cart around a bag all day!

I'll leave you with a pic of Rosie, our african grey we had until almost exactly a year ago when she flew out of a kitchen window when she heard a neighbour drop a plate. It was really hot at the time so we had our windows open. So to any bird owners - be very careful in this hot weather. We never thought Rosie would fly off either.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Time To Move On

Well, last night I ended up frogging the front of Sophie. I'd love to say it's the patterns fault and not mine, but no, it definitely was me having a mad half hour. Sometimes I think that if a 'quick knit' doesn't work out, it just isn't meant to be. Oh, and did I mention, I haven't got enough yarn to finish it!!!!!!!!

I'm a little bit short as I'm making it all one colour. So whether it gets finished or totally frogged depends on whether I can get another ball in the same dye lot or not. I'll try John Lewis and maybe a couple of other online stores but that will be it. I don't mind if it doesn't get finished now. I've lost interest now. I've moved on.......

I started a halterneck top in Rowan 4 Ply Cotton in Allure 119, a very pale pink which is now discontinued. The pattern I'm using is a freebie one for Rowan International members and it's worked from the straps down. It's the first time I've done one that way and and I'm really enjoying it.

I finished my lovely sneaker sock and it fits perfectly and will be fab for my trainers. Well it will, as soon as it has mate of course.

Talking of trainers, I got 2 balls of Cotton Braid in Klimt from my very kind and generous friend Linda last week and wow - doesn't it match my trainers brilliantly! So of course I will have to make a matching bag - not yet of course, I'll have to wait until I'm sure that my brain is back in fully functional working order!

Friday, July 08, 2005

I'm A Bamboo Knitting Needle

I knew it. As soon as I started doing the quiz I knew what I'd be. And I was right. How cool is that? I love this quiz. I refuse point blank to knit with anything other than bamboo and preferably Inox Bamboo. I just love the feel of it. Warm and smooth and oh so comforting.......which has been very necessary the last few days.....Have a go yourself with this link:
What kind of knitting needles are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I'm now not sure if I did have a stupid half hour on Sophie from Linen Print Collection or not. I redid it and guess what - same thing happened again. So I 'fixed' the pattern so it matches the back. I'll see how the right front goes. If it goes wonky again, then it's a problem with the pattern but at least I know how to fix it now. What a pain! Oh, and I might, just possibly, run out of yarn. I used part of a ball for my Strawberry Stripe Bag thinking that I needed 3 balls for Sophie when of course when I actually went to make it, I realised it needed 4. Will be a close call that's for sure. Ho hum.

It has been a lovely day today, very hot and sunny, so we went to the beach and ate chips on the pier and I won a cute Tigger soft toy on the machines. I just love being so close to the sea. There is something so magical about it. And I can never resist trying to win a new Eeyore or Tigger ;)

Custard wanted to say hello so here he is, just after working out how to escape from the maze we built him.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Iris Shrug - Rowan 35

Well, here it is - finally!!! The lovely Iris in one of my favourite yarns Calmer. And I love it. I'm just so pleased with it that it has replaced Hike as my current favourite. It's extremely comfortable and snug and just perfect for the traditional British summer we're having (ie cold and rainy).

I went to see my mad knitting friend today and she said it was the best thing I'd knitted. However, she said the same about Hike.......DH was also very impressed when he came home and I was wearing it and he was suitably gushing. He is a very well trained knitting husband. If only it wasn't just the area of knitting he was so well trained in......but we can't have it all can we?

Last night I had a stupid half hour and didn't notice I'd made a mistake on Sophie from Linen Print Collection so now I have to frog some of it back which is most annoying. I haven't had to do that for a while. That'll teach me to get so carried away!

It's been a difficult day following all the bombings in Central London this morning. I worked in the City of London for many years so have been wondering about all my ex colleagues and friends. Lets hope tomorrow brings better news.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Chilli the Chinchilla

Hello. My name is Chilli and I am a very beautfiful 4 and a half year old silver chinchilla. I got fed up waiting for my mum to post my picture on her blog so I thought I'd do it myself. Mum says that I am very expensive these days but she hasn't sold me yet, even though I do bite her finger every now and then. It's not my fault really, I can't help it if I'm grumpy and unsociable. I've always been that way.

Everyone that sees me 'oohs' and 'aahs' and says just how beautiful I am. I have to admit this is very true, I am gorgeous. Not like those two noisy brothers that live next door to me. You should hear them - what a racket. They destroy everything in their cage - including their wooden house and their hanging plastic tube they sleep in! They're the only chinchillas I know that have wooden parrot toys in their cage to destroy!

Not me, oh no. My cage is immaculate. Lovely and clean and tidy. I do have a habit of chewing the bars on my cage every now and then - drives mum nuts. No idea why really........

I love my daddy to bits. I'm a real daddy's boy. He lets me sit on his feet, climb on his shoulders and best of all, lets me sit on his head!!!!!!! Of course I don't bite him while climbing on him, but do manage a lovely nibble of his ears and whiskers.

I am addicted to monkey nuts but am only allowed them once a week!!!!!! Mum says this is because we have very delicate digestive systems, but I think she's just being cruel. I mean, that darned hamster Custard gets treats EVERY single day! And he gets let out of his cage every day too. I'm only allowed out for supervised playtime. Just because I love to eat electric cables, skirting and anything else I can get my teeth into, but it's hardly my fault is it! It's not like the old days when I lived with my wife Snowflake (RIP) and we had our own room. We totally destroyed that room, but mum and dad didn't mind, well not until they decorated anyway.

So here I am, and boy ain't I adorable? Just remember not to put your fingers in my cage!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Surfs Up!

Well, I fully expectd to be updating you on the wonderful yarn I'd brought in the John Lewis sale yesterday. Alas, this was not meant to me. Although we did come home laden with JL bags, it was full of household goodies and not yarn. How can I knit with that? All I managed to find was some lovely pale pink Rowanspun 4 ply. And that was it!!!!!!

So, to get over the disappointment and shock I ordered some Regia Cotton Surf sock yarn. This time in a groovy pink/purple/yellow colourway. I only used it for the first time on Friday when I started some ankle socks. They look really cool so far and I'm happy. I was a bit worried that knitting with cotton might make my arms ache like they usually do, but no, it's lovely and soft. Maybe because of the wool content.

The colourway no. is 5417 and a mix of ecru and blues. I think they'll look lovely with my pink Vans.