Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year!

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for sharing your lives me me again in the last 12 months. I know we have all been on emotional roller coasters for various reasons this year and the friendship and support we have shared has meant a huge amount to me.

Tonight I will not be staying up until midnight, I am sad to say, as I will still need to get up at 2am and 6am starts my day still - so I will be tucked up in bed and fast asleep but I wish you all a fantastic time whatever you are up to and hope that the New Year brings Peace and Happiness for you all.

Lots of love, Sarah, Ted and the rest of the mad house xxxx

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Secret Santa

This year rounds off the secret Santa circle as we will all have bought and received gifts from each other. My lovely box arrived yesterday and I really enjoyed my goodies from Allison. A huge thank you for all of my pressies and also for organising it again this year. I just thought I would show you a quick piccie and I look forward to seeing what each of you received.

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and joyous New Year. Much love, Sarah xxx

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Still plodding along!

Sorry I have been quiet for a while, to be honest I have just been very tired and didn't have much to say except moan about how tired I am so I decided to just be quiet!

I can now show you some pics of my mystery shawl which now has the name  Cornish Rhapsody

I am also knitting my first paid for garment which will be the sample for the yarn company pattern (so I believe) and is by the same designer as the above shawl but is a much simpler pattern for a shrug. In all honesty I loved the shawl better even though it was a lot more knitting and much thinner yarn. Sadly I won't be able to show you my knitting of this one until the pattern is released next year.

That is all I have for now - told you I didn't have much to shout about at the moment. Ted is still here in case you thought that was the reason for my quietness and yes he is plodding along in his own sweet way. At least we can all look forward to the Secret Santa swap soon and that will guarantee blog posts from us all!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

New shelf.

I guess you are wondering what on earth the title is about and why I am excited by a new shelf! My kitchen 'project' began 6 years ago but was not quite the finished article as we needed a tiled area behind the Rayburn. I really wanted a shelf to go above this and so we put off getting the tiles until the shelf was sorted (which we never got round to). Finally I ordered the shelf earlier on in the year and yesterday it was fitted.

I can't tell you how happy I am with it and I know it doesn't look amazing from the picture but it really is lovely and will look even better when we have tiles on the wall. It may take a while to get the tiles though because it isn't easy to go out at the moment with Ted still so ill but we will get there eventually - I am a patient girl really!

I am sure you are wondering how Ted is getting along and until last week things were not so great as the diuretic tablets were not working and his tummy was swelling up again resulting in me needing to get up at 2am to let him out. The cardiologist decided that the only solution would be diuretic injections 4 times a day and it was our last hope really. So I have to give Ted injections at 7am, 1pm, 7pm and 2am everyday and he has tablets as well at 6am, 1pm and 6pm. I have to confess I now go to bed at 9.30pm because I just fall asleep otherwise and I am more than a little shattered most days but Ted is responding and is feeling much better. We don't know how much longer we have but he is a joy to have every single day.

On the knitting front I have finished the mystery shawl test knit and can't wait to be able to show you the whole thing. It is a lovely shape and size and really quite large so perfect to wrap up in and feel 'sparkly'. I am feeling at a bit of a loss after 4 weeks of monogamous knitting on this project and so whilst it was blocking I managed to cast off the second 'Sweet jazz' scarf (pictures to follow) that I was using as car knitting for a while. I have picked the brown shawl back up again but have switched to my chiagoo needles so I can at least see the stitches better - I will keep you posted on that one.

I think I may have bored you all senseless by now so will pop off and leave you in peace. Take good care of yourselves! Sxx

Monday, 17 October 2011

Pink and sparkly.

This has been the theme of the week here! I am moving along as quickly as I can with my test knit and I can now tell you (I think) that it is for the mystery shawl KAL from Yarn addict so if you fancy joining in that would be fab. You need 800m of lace weight (sparkles are optional) and some beads for the edging.  I also bought myself a chiaogoo lace needle to try as I have heard they are amazing (plus I didn't have a spare needle). The pattern for me has been great so far and I am almost at the edging but for the KAL they are only on clue 1 this week.

Also I can spill the beans that our Yarn dyeing friend has been having a go at some fluff for spinning and she sent me some pink sparkly to have a go with!

It is, as always, a fab colour and really lovely to spin. I am hoping that I am spinning fine enough to get a  little lace shawl but will keep you posted.

Finally here is a rather rubbish picture of the firmaments shawl - I have too many stitches on the needle to stretch it out but I am sure you can get the gist of it? The little blue bits are where Dee has marked the start of the rounds and I wanted to leave them in until the end.
That all I have this week but hopefully I will have more to show you once my mystery sparkles is off the needles. Take care of yourselves this week, Sxx

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Payback time.

On Friday (last week) I was lucky enough to go to 'the world largest coffee morning' at a friends house. I took along a few beady bracelets and a button necklace to add to the craft stall and brought home a jar of chilli relish and some lemon curd plus a lovely handmade notice board for Lottie. It is one of those that has ribbons on to tuck things behind.

The reason I was so excited to go was that back in the summer I was lucky enough to receive a half finished shawl from 'Posh yarns' Dee as she decided it needed a new home - she wasn't ever going to finish it! I asked her what she would like as a thank you and she said that a donation to Macmillan was what she would like best. So it was with much pleasure that I attended on Friday in order to fulfil my promise to her.

What is this shawl like I can hear you asking? It is chocolate brown (like Ted) and has alpaca in it. The pattern is called firmaments and is a circular shawl. Dee had knitted to the final section of the circular pattern 'fountain lace'  but I couldn't work out which row she was on so I carefully took it back a few rounds to the increase where I could start this part from the beginning. There are 517 stitches per round so the going was fairly slow but it kept me company whilst we were over in Norfolk at the end of the summer. The light is amazing over there and I had no problems but back home the dark yarn on my knit pro tips were a nightmare so it will have to wait a while longer to be finished.

I am also doing a spot of shawl testing at the moment in a really pretty pink sparkly yarn but I am not allowed to show you just yet as it is a bit of a mystery but you are going to love it!

I saw my friend again this week and the coffee morning raised over £700 so I think that was a really fantastic event and I hope they do it again next year.

I will try to get a picture of the shawl but it is usually dark when I get the time to blog so will have to try harder - sorry. I will leave you with this though:

This is what happened when I didn't get the new lawn laid because I needed to wait until the scaffolding was done with!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Spinning adventure!

Firstly Lottie was fine on the train - she had her phone and it only takes 1 1/2 hrs from Crewe to Euston and on pain of death her father was there on time to meet her! He brought her home in the car on Sunday so all was well - didn't stop me worrying though!

So Saturday morning saw me rootling through my Ravelry groups and spying a spinning chair for sale here in Cheshire. Saturday lunch time saw us pootling through an Autumnal Cheshire right across to Frodsham and back again in time for the Grand Prix Qualifying. We decided to take Ted out for a drive as he loves to go riding in the car and in the absence of walks is the only countryside he gets to see these days. Sadly the last couple of days has seen a downturn in his wellness but we have increased one of his tablets and are off to see the vet again on Thursday.

I am now the proud owner of a spinning chair and it is just the right height for me to spin at so this means I should be able to do a bit more without feeling like I should be bent double when I get up. What this space...... Other than that I don't have much news to share apart from the fact that I didn't get to go to Zumba in the end firstly Dave booked a loft survey for insulation to be fitted and then my Tooth broke and I landed up at the dentist with a temporary filling and the promise of a root canal filling next week - so much joy to look forward to! This next few days is action packed - log delivery tomorrow, vets Thursday and loft insulation fitting Friday. Next week I have the chimney sweep and the dentist, not sure I can cope with all this much fun!

I will be back with more excitement soon! Sxx

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Today I went out!

Sounds silly doesn't it but life is quite restricted at the moment. Today was the first day of the Embroiderers' guild 21st anniversary exhibition - you may remember I was in charge of the last couple of exhibitions but since I am now 'retired' from the committee I was just a spectator and went along today to take a look at the work that was on display. Along with a couple of my own bits of work were some stunning examples of other peoples. Sadly I can't share it with you as it was a 'no pics please' event. There were also about 4 stalls selling goodies - buttons, beads, patchwork and my favourite 'The threshing barn'. I may have happened to make a couple of purchases as it would have been rude to pass by and not, I thought you might like to see!

Looks like I was missing a bit of sparkle from my life so I added some in the form of yarn - each of the above is sparkly but am not sure it shows completely in the picture. Please don't think in any way that I am actually short of yarn because I am not but it is always nice to come home feeling you have something to get excited about. Plus actually going out to something that isn't a vital trip (ie food shopping or taxi service) is a luxury I am a little short on at the moment. I have 1 more trip up my sleeve for Monday - a beginners zumba class for an hour and boy do I need the exercise! If you hear there was an earth quake in Cheshire on Monday morning then you will know who to blame. Also whilst I am taking blame that terrible rain on Saturday was down to me as well - I might have been having a bit of a sing a long to the ipod whilst I was finishing stripping the border in our bedroom and the house was empty aside from Ted and I - Dave drew the short straw and went to visit Nottingham Uni although secretly I think he enjoyed his day out. He also managed a trip to Canary wharf on Monday to visit a customer so he had a really exciting time!

Lottie is off to visit her Dad this weekend - it doesn't happen that often so it is worth mentioning! She is going on the train by herself, a move I have resisted for a while, but in another year she could be off to uni so I had think carefully about that whole independence thing and since I will be putting her on at one end and her Dad 'should' be there to meet her I am hopeful it will be ok? Am I over protective about this or not being careful enough here - your thoughts on this one please?

Monday, 12 September 2011

Happy Birthday Ted & Della!

Today is my doggies 9th birthday - obviously it is also his sisters 9th birthday too!

I have to admit that I wasn't sure we would be celebrating today but happily we are. Della is fine with no health problems other than a bit of middle age spread (think we are sharing that) and here she is:

Time for a nap after her scavenge in the garden for windfalls. Ted is most upset as you can see because I managed to get to the 1 apple that had blown down from next door into his patch. I am sure he will perk up later once he gets his chewy stick.

Happy Birthday to you both! Much love from us all! xxxx

Tuesday, 6 September 2011


Well I have to say it has been a bit of a shock coming home at the weekend - what happened to that lovely half light at 6am and the 6pm warm breeze? It is still dark at 6am (today the bats were still out) and it looks like it is time to order the logs and light the stove.

I was reading my last blog post again and I must just put the record straight - that amazing view is only available from the top of scaffolding and not in my house, all we have is a small glimpse between the roof tops from our bedroom window. Sorry if I misled you on that!

Today Ted had a check up at the vets again to make sure his kidneys are ok with the new tablets and all is ok except we need to reduce his dose a little just to be safe - his fluid has now all gone from his tummy and he is very perky (he wasn't keen on the heat). In fact he is so perky the little monkey is stealing my green tomatoes right off the plants! I am not complaining in the least.

Knitting wise I am doing a bit of finishing as the project I had planned to do was a) later than expected and b) the pattern was not what I had in mind! I am quite glad to be finishing off a few things instead and hope to be able to show you my progress soon.

Hope all is well? Sxx

Friday, 26 August 2011

Into Orbit!

This week I have finally finished my Orbit shawl which is for Lottie and has been OTN for a few months - the i-cord edge took ages but I really loved doing it.
We have been a bit busy having solar panels put up for the last couple of weeks and yesterday Lottie and I ventured up the scaffolding to take some pictures. It is a good job because today it is raining and so not that great a view.

The view from the top of our house to the sea:

We have panels on both sides of this roof as it is east and west facing

Whilst we were home last week Ted had a visit to the vets for his check up and his kidneys have gone back to normal levels now so they have given him an extra diuretic tablet of a different kind and his tummy has come right down now - he seems happy and although he can't get over excited about things any more he is plodding along so I can't complain too much except about the 6am starts to the day but we have had 2 extra months now and next month will be his 9th birthday - I feel very lucky to have had him in my life this long and take each day as a bonus.

Must dash now as I have scaffolders to make tea for - more soon! Sxx

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Iffy Squiffy

So here I am in my favourite place, 'sort of' on holiday - Lottie is in Italy with her Dad and Dave is working albeit from the kitchen here instead of his office at home! Ted made the journey across the country in the back of the car quite happily and has his fan keeping him cool along with a new gazebo to give him some shade in the garden. There will be no walks along the beach and paddling for us as it would be mean to leave him behind and he would know where we were going (he can read minds)!

So my project to keep me company is my Ifigenia shawl kit, somehow I managed to get my first choice - make a plan! I must admit that this is my most challenging knit ever! My first few rows were knitted and tinked so many times but I have found that a magnetic row marker and a highlighter post it keep me on track and I also have a couple of stitch markers placed between the edging / mesh section and the split between the 2 chart pages - the theory being if I have the right number of stitches in each section I only have a partial row to tink back if something is amiss. I have not done true 'knitted lace' before and this is certainly a challenge.

Hopefully I should have more progress later in the week but for now I am going to enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Finally finished!

So finally my latest round of pattern testing is done - it is the cowl and wrist warmers for the same e-book as the scarf I did before. I have enjoyed both of these patterns and would recommend the warmers to anyone with a passion for mittens (yes that could be you Allison). The only thing I found is that it turns out I am a bit of a seasonal knitter and mittens in July messed with my mojo! They are a great way to knit in the round without doing socks and will be fun to wear as it gets colder.

Tonight I am hopeful that I will manage to snag an Ifengenia kit in the posh sale - it is a mid week extra like they did with Tilia and you all know how much I loved that shawl (3 times was my record for making that one).

I am still knitting the i-cord edging for the orbit shawl (it took a back seat for a while) and also working on the blooming shawl and the new sweet shoppe shawl - you see it is shawl knitting weather right now and I love them! More soon, Sxx

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Oops I did it again!

It is not often these days that I have the house to myself, this morning I was up at 6am as is now the norm here but then at 6.30 I made him indoors his cup of tea (7am is usual) and we began the day - by 7.50 we were in the car and off to the station with London Euston the days destination (sadly all I got to do was a drive by and drop off) and then back home to the empty house that is just Ted and I, Lottie had caught the school bus at 8.20 and is off to Manchester on the train later for an afternoon of Shakespeare's 'As you like it' and then dinner with the rest of the group.

I on the other hand will have 2 different station runs later - one to Crewe for him indoors and the other to Nantwich for Lottie.

So as a small treat to myself I sat down with Ravelry and my breakfast and did a little surfing - I was only looking you understand but I found the prettiest pattern called 'Sweet Shoppe' and I was sold, I have a pretty skein of NDS Dazzle HT that would be perfect! The pattern is printed, the needles ready and waiting, I just need to wind the yarn. Must knock a few things off the to-do list first though.

More soon once I get started - I also have some more testing to show you as well.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Life in baby steps.

Gosh I am finding this hard work, every day watching to see what more I can do - measuring, counting heartbeats, drinking wine before bed and then up again at 6am. Currently I am testing another pattern for Yarn addict a pretty little cowl and wrist warmers but they are not enough to make me forget why I am feeling this way.

And then I poke my head through the door and this is what I see and my heart melts and I know why I feel like I do.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Grumpy day!

Do you ever have days when you feel grumpy but don't know why? Hmm today is one of those days. Ted and I went to the V E T's again today and he had some tests to check his progress and they have upped the dose on his heart tablets but other than that we are doing ok. At this point they can't say how long we will have with him most likely months rather than years but I am just seeing everyday as a bonus in the hope that they pass along quietly for a while before things get too bad. Ted has cheered up a lot since last week so he must be feeling better for now.

Tomorrow I am teaching 3 classes for the 'Holiday at home' week that the churches in our village are running for the elderly. Not sure how they are going to enjoy button bracelets and easy beading but we shall see. Am off to pack all of the bits I will need to do this and grump around a bit more, hopefully I will be back to 'normal' soon.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Daisy daisy!

I am all done with Daisy - she is blocked and finished.
I am back to knitting on the orbit and blossom shawls again so hopefully more progress soon. Tomorrow we are off to the V E T 's for a scan and progress check hopefully all will be moving in the right direction - no brekkie for us in the morning though! More soon....

Friday, 24 June 2011

Ho hum!

Its Friday again and it has been a bit of a week here to say the least.

Poor Ted has spent most of the week at the vets as he has a problem with the right side of his heart not working correctly. He will be on tablets from now on and we will be visiting the cardiologist regularly. Poor thing now has shaved bits again where they have been scanning him and a swollen tummy due to fluid retention. Hopefully we should have more news next week.

So knitting has been a bit hit and miss and I have just made a mistake on 'blooming' shawl - grr that usually only happens when something is amiss in life! Daisy is plodding along nicely and the weekend is upon us so hopefully plenty of knitting should do the trick.

Also my dishwasher has started to make a very odd noise - hope that isn't about to go pop as well? Back soon, Sx

Friday, 17 June 2011

Blooming shawls!

This week saw me cast on for the daisy shawl from Yarn Addict and I have had the yarn (a previous sock club one) and beads picked out for this for a while and was just waiting for the pattern to be released. I have had to undo this 3 times this week!!!!! Normally I don't have to do a lot of unravelling and it is not that the pattern is too hard either it is just that I can't seem to get my yarn overs at the ends of the rows correct, I keep missing them out and I have no idea why. At one point I did make a monumental mistake and had twice as many stitches as I should have had, so I have kept undoing and redoing things and the stitch count is now correct.

Also waiting to get going is the 'Blooming shawl' as pointed out by Allison. It is so pretty and I have a wonderful skein of lace weight alpaca that Allison dyed for me to do the Spriteling with but then we found out you needed sock weight so plans had to change. This wound ball has sat near me for weeks waiting to be knitted and when I read that the pattern was inspired by peonies and I had just cut mine and brought them in so they didn't get spoiled by the rain then I had found my answer!
I am not sure how you knew Allison but I don't think it could be a closer match.

I am waiting for my new addi lace needle to arrive so I can get knitting properly but it looks like it is going to be so soft and warm - another amazing yarn base from the sugarhippo! More soon once I have something to show you! In the meantime happy knitting.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Testing testing

Last week turned a bit mad again as Lottie was on 'study leave' but her exams had finished so I was busy ferrying her around and taking the opportunity to do a bit of shopping with her as well.

Along the way I also cast on for a pattern I have been testing for 'Yarn addict' and I managed to finish it in a week which I was pleased about. This pattern will feature in her forthcoming lace ebook and I can recommend it as an enjoyable pattern.

Later on today her Daisy shawl pattern will be released for the knit along so I will be casting on for that I hope.

Lottie is back to college this week and starting A2 work so hopefully 'normality' should return soon - haha! More on knitting along and pattern testing soon I hope!

Friday, 3 June 2011

Quiet here!

It has been a funny sort of week this week - it spent all day holiday Monday raining so it was at least an opportunity to enjoy a bit of happy knitting time followed by weigh in day on Tuesday - lost a lb this week (6 1/2lbs total). On Wednesday Lottie and I had a trip to Chester - more clothes needed for college!!! I also managed to get an extra couple of 4mm needles for 2 projects which are on the horizon soon. Thursday was just taxi day as Lottie had revision sessions at college for the last of the AS exams and today I have just delivered her to her boyfriends house for the day! I expect she will have her head back in the books again over the weekend as well. I also managed to spray all of my horrid 'mares tails' that have sprung up in my garden since the grass was sprayed to kill it off - apparently 'roundup' doesn't work on them so a more vile concoction was required - not something my garden man wanted to do for me!

So what have I been amusing myself with this week? It is the Sushi shawl along 6 - orbit shawl. It is a Pi shawl which I seem very drawn to at the moment and I have been quietly knitting my way through the dreaded 'Britain's' got talent?' this week not paying attention to the rubbish I have been subjected to (can you tell I am not a fan?) in between all of the other nonsense that seems to be going on around me in my crazy world. So here is my progress so far:
Ha you will not believe what has just happened here - the tyre on Dave's car has just burst while it was sitting on the drive! I made an excellent start to swapping the tyres over but try as I might the wheel nuts were immovable - Green Flag came to the rescue and swapped it in a few minutes! From this:

To this:

Thank you Green Flag man!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Blocking along!

Finally I finished my Spriteling KAL last weekend but need to wait to block it until I had been and bought some 'blocking boards' aka foam mats from Tesco (I think I will go and get a second set next week).

The sheen on this yarn is amazing and I love the colours so much, thank you Allison for dyeing the best yarn ever! I loved this KAL and really enjoyed it, the only issues with the pattern were when I was too stressed to concentrate properly (it was always billed as an advanced intermediate knit) and I found that in a couple of places you really needed to be on the ball to get it right so for me it was user error and nothing more. I will probably knit another of these at some point but I have a few things to finish first.

So whilst the blocking bug is still around I also washed and blocked my Amore shawl that I finished ages ago this is a 'Posh' yarn and the pattern was really easy and simple to do - the shawl has already been well worn over the winter by both Lottie and me (I have another on the needles for 'us' as well) and we love it.

Amore shawl:

This has been a strange week here as it has been AS level exams this week with 1 more after half term - lots of 'to and froing' and a bit of stressing. I have been knitting away on my 'Royal Wedding shawl' and am now half way across. More on that one soon...... Sxx

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Turned into and odd week!

Last Wednesday I recieved an email about test knitting from Alice at Socktopus (I had volunteered ages ago) and so it turned into a very busy time for sock knitting I completed my test sock in a week and have now sent off my notes.

This was supposed to be my size but it appears that Jitterbug (the only one I had off the list) knits up a little larger than regular sock yarn - note the hairy leg belongs to 'him indoors'. I ran out of the colour I started with and as I only had small amounts of other colours this is how it turned out - not a hit as far as the yarn is concerned but the sock does not feature in the book I was only required to test and proof the pattern.

Tuesday morning was weigh in day and hoorah I lost 3 1/2lbs bringing me to a total of 5lbs in 2 weeks - I still have a long way to go but at least it is going!

Todays nightmare is having my kitchen units repainted they looked like this

Can you see how the knots show thorough? It makes the units look dirty but they aren't at all!

Poor Ted and I are shut up in the lounge while the painting and banging goes on in the kitchen - there isn't supposed to be banging so I am not sure what they are doing! Anyway I have printed out the final clue for spriteling and I am about to get going so will be off now, must see if anyone needs a drink first though or I will forget once I get knitting!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Odd day!

I am having a strange day today - not sure why but it definitely feels odd.

It started out with a trip to Stoke on Trent and a weigh in at Rosemary Conley (lost 1 1/2lbs) then I had a sneaky trip to Emma Bridgewater where I purchased 2 mugs (in Easter designs)and a union Jack jug (to go with my tea pot), followed by a quick trip into Tesco for a few bits. Once I was home we had a quick 300 cal lunch and then Dave went back to his office and here I am sat at my laptop feeling - I am not sure what!

I have been taking some pictures of my kitchen as there is a problem with the knots coming through the paintwork and found this picture from xmas I thought you might like:

This is Ted with a couple of his presents. The bone did not last for more than a few minutes though!

Sadly I need to retake the kitchen pics as the knots just look like my kitchen needs a good clean - this is why I hate them showing thought the paint as the doors look like I have just not cleaned them (which in this instance is not true). Am off to try again now - hopefully I will be able to show you what I mean!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Catching up with myself!

Sorry to have been gone so long but life got a little hectic, first there was Easter and then we were visited by 'inlaws' and Lottie came back and then it was the Royal wedding and the 'inlaws' went home again and then we had to pack up and trek back across the countryside. We stopped to draw breath and then back to school and work and tons of washing and unpacking to get sorted and organised again

So here we are and it is Thursday already! Before we went away I managed to block my Pi shawl but couldn't get a picture so finally here it is.......

Also before we went away I was almost finished with clue 2 of the Spriteling shawl but managed to make a mistake whilst sitting waiting with Lottie to get picked up (note to self do NOT knit complicated patterns whilst in an emotional place). At that point I was then against the clock as we had changed our plans and decided to leave home on the same day. Chaos ensued until the car was packed and we had set off. I left the spriteling behind as I wanted to get going on my Royal wedding shawl. I managed to also get my 'car knitting' to the point where it is no longer car knitting whilst we were on the way - I need to find another plain pattern to work on to replace it!

Whilst we were away I made ok progress on the Royal wedding shawl and I managed to complete all of the repeats of the first chart (more on this project soon). I was slowed down by the arrival of the visitors as much of my time seems to pass feeding them and making tea - does everyone else have this problem?

Once we were home again I fixed my mistake on the Spriteling and managed to catch myself up with clue 3 - the only issue I had with this was the last 4 rows trying to place the extra markers and working from the written instructions and not the chart (how did I cope before charts)!

So here I am caught up with my knitting and washing but not quite the rest of the housework! Did I mention that I hate housework??????

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Mystery shawl

It is not too late to join the Spriteling mystery shawl KAL and there are 2 ways to join - either via ravelry or the socktopus website. You can search on ravelry patterns for spriteling and there is a spriteling mystery shawl KAL group to go with it. The clues come out fortnightly with the second one due on Friday - it runs until sometime in May.

I have to admit this is quite a challenge until you get going and 'into' the pattern and I have used both the chart and instructions to get going. I haven't quite finished the first clue yet as I was struck down by this horrid bug going around and was too ill to knit anything - I am hardly ever too ill to pick up the needles for something!

I did however manage to cast off my Pi shawl yesterday - pics to follow once it is blocked. The yarn was amazing to work with and I shall be casting on more of this soft and fluffy yummyness once I decide what to make. I have loved this Pi shawl even though it was a bit of an experiment - I added a hearts pattern from another Pi shawl I had seen but had a section of plain knitting in there as well (it would have been better with more hearts). Am off to wind my Royal wedding yarn now as I want to get that started soon as well!

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


There have been a couple of questions for me to answer from the blog so I will start with those - firstly yes hands up I do have a Smart Car (a bit like marmite!) and I really love it - it does indeed have a personalised number plate which was swapped over from the blue car that died - a gift from the past that I did not want to part with. Secondly silk hankies ( not the nose blowing variety ) are made from the fibres of degummed silk cocoons that have been laid out on a square frame and there are many layers in one hanky which you can peel off and spin separately (there are a few how to's on utube if you have a look). It is like spinning a cloud, they are so soft and light, hence the tiny spindle to do it on. Because you need to prepare the fibre so that it is a 'thin roving' before spinning it seems quite quick to spin up but I am not sure how long it will take for me to spin enough for a shawl (will keep you posted on that). The lovely shawl pins were from the 'Ingrid De Vane' stall at the NEC but I know she does lots of other shows so keep an eye out for her - they were on offer if you bought 3! Knitting progress: The Pi shawl is mid way through the last heart repeat and so I am hopeful to finish it soon and show you. I also cast on for the Spriteling shawl KAL over the weekend, the chart I printed out on draft and I may have to reprint it as it is quite complicated so I have been working from the written directions but I am at the point where it would be easier to use the chart. I have to say that this is quite different to other shawls I have done and is coming out nicely using some very pretty 'sugar hippo' yarn........ see what I mean?

I am using a 4mm needle for this because even though the pattern said 4.5mm I thought that the fabric was a bit too sloppy when I did the swatch. The smaller needle makes the stiches a little smaller and gives it a better drape rather than just floppy. I think that it is because the yarn has silk in it and is a little less 'fluffy' than an all wool yarn. I must add here that I do not normally swatch (I know I should) but I was so excited to try out the swatch pattern that I gave it a go and am glad I did because not only did I switch yarns I also corrected the needle size to give a better fabric - something I would not have done otherwise! I am sure there is a lesson to learn here but I have my hands over my ears and I am humming a tune!

Right now I am off to find some dispirable aspirin to gargle with as my throat feels like the lining has been stripped out - hope I can catch it before worse things come out!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Show time!

It isn't very often that I get let out to go to a show (it is a good job really) but my friend Sylvia and I went on the train to the NEC. We had a great day and so I thought I would share with you some of the lovelies I bought (I know that I like to see what others do so thought you might like to see mine?):
As you can see I have an extreme crochet hook to go with the extreme knitting needles I bought the last time I was let out, some shawl pins, a fabulous skein of silk lace weight yarn and a dinky little silk spindle - there are a few other bits of threads and fabrics as well that I bought but they aren't as exciting to look at. It would seem that I have developed a bit of a thing for silk at the moment - before half term I bought some silk hankies for knitting with (a la yarn harlot) but was not sure I was sold on it once I got going. Whilst I was at the show I was looking at the stall of Rachel Powell as she had an Ashford traveller there and I was talking to her mum who was a beginning drop spindler - there was a jug of the prettiest spindles on the table and whilst we were having a drink I said to Sylvia that I really loved the little silk spindle with the unusual markings. Now being an enabler she said to me well we can go back and have another look so we did and it was just waiting for me to buy it! Needless to say I have been spinning the silk hankies instead and it is coming out so fine and pretty. All I need to do is to work out how to dye it and bingo! The end of this week is the start of the spriteling KAL and I can't wait to begin, my second swatch is almost finished and I need to wind the skein as well. Last week seemed to be a bit busy what with the show excitement and the new patio being laid, all it needs now is the grouting and I can show you as it is all covered up at the moment. More soon .......

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Lots to share!

Well this week has just whizzed by and it is almost weekend again! On Sunday we went to Reaseheath - our local agricultural college to see lambies being born - so cute as they wobbled on tiny legs and so amazing to think that the fluff we knit and spin starts out like that.

Monday was one of my occasional beading classes and was great to see my ladies again even though all they really need is inspiration and encouragement!

On Tuesday I had to take my lovely little car in for its first service and whilst it was there they even washed it for me!
I don't think I actually showed you my new car last year but here she is in all her shiny-ness. It is such a tiny car but doesn't feel small to drive and because it is the Brabus version is sooo quick as well. Anyway the service itself was only about and hour and as it is quite a trek to the garage they let you stay in the coffee area to wait. With a whole hour to kill what does a girl do? Well she gets out her ipod complete with knitmore girls podcasts (I saved 2 episodes for this purpose) and her 'car knitting' and sits there quietly watching the world go by. No questions and no funny looks! Dave rang me at one point to check I was ok and not too bored and asked quite casually what I was doing and when I replied I had my ipod in and my knitting out his reply was - I knew you would be doing that but just wanted to be sure.

Now in order to be ready for the spriteling KAL Allison did me a custom dye in her yummy new alpaca and silk lace yarn so it was with some disappointment we received the swatching instructions saying sock weight yarn. I had a rummage in my stash and found some pretty sock weight that I bought way back but was again disappointed once I had swatched it - the pattern is just lost, back to the drawing board again.

How pretty is my custom dyed yarn though - it needs a pattern now to do it the justice it deserves.

Thursday was Embroiderers' Guild and we had a visit from Maggie Grey - she was an amazing speaker and I felt very inspired by her talk. Am off to the NEC next Thursday to the stitching show (there will be knitting as well) so that should be fun.

Today I have been to collect sheets of acrylic for Lotties' design project (and they did fit into my tiny car), I then delivered them to college so that she could start making it today - phew that's it for this week I think...... more soon!

Have a great weekend girls, Sx

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Wheely good fun!

After hearing from our good friend Allison about her spinning wheel I was prompted to get mine out again from behind the sofa! Strange place to keep it I know but it got put there at Christmas so it was out of the way and hasn't ventured out again - it was lucky this year as in the past it has been put out in the cold of the garage but having bought her a new flyer a couple of years ago she has become much more lovable to work on. I gave her a good oil and she is much nicer to spin on so I have picked up the fine spinning I began when I first got the new flyer.

Also happening at the moment is the picking back up of the garden makeover. We had some serious work done about 2 years ago including a new fence and removal of a lot of horrid bushes and shrubs plus a huge rockery that was very out of shape since before we moved in. The whole project stopped when Ted became ill and was never picked up again as the chap doing it was so busy and then I started my job and so life moved on. The time has come to finish things off so we can enjoy our outside space this year so this week I have made a million cups of tea and been on hand to make sure things are done how we want (today I have a day off as my 'chap' is doing something else ) but it will continue again tomorrow.

I have also been knitting away on my Pi shawl and am starting another set of the hearts I have added - each round has 576 stitches now so it a little slower especially as I am also doing the pattern but I love it. I too am waiting for the shawl knit along from socktopus - the requirements are out soon so I can find the right needles etc. At least it will give me a project to really focus on as the clues come at fortnightly intervals, all other knitting will have to fit in around that.
I think that is all of the news for now, more on the spinning once I have finished the second half of the batt!

Friday, 4 March 2011

Lamb Cam

Just to continue with me baby lamb obsession at this time of year I have been watching this:

I haven't yet seen any born but they are fascinating to watch especially the lambs in the next pen - they climb all over the little ramp thing they have. Just wanted to share this with you all!

I am off to see my beading ladies this morning so that should be fun! Back soon Sx

Monday, 28 February 2011

Long journey home!

Yesterday we left Norfolk at about 12pm and arrived home at 7.30pm - that is the longest time ever it has taken us to make that journey! The reason for this excessive time was the brakes on the car overheated - we had only just had them replaced but one of the rear calipers (the one that wasn't replaced) jammed on. We were picked up by Green Flag and they actually managed to fix the problem at their garage (I think the guy didn't fancy a 9hr round trip). We sat in the waiting room - Lottie, Ted and I while the nice man (watched by Dave) did the work necessary to get us back on the road. I did however do quite a bit of knitting on my 'car knitting' project which is another Sweet Jazz. I managed to knit and hang on to the dog and then carried on once we were back on the road. At the moment it is difficult to take pictures as it is working on ever shortening rows on a circular needle (looks like a bundle of yarn) but I will be able to show you once all of the stitches are picked back up again.

My Pi shawl is mainly plain although I have added a band of lace hearts and will add another once the next set of increases is complete - it is not complicated and is as 'EZ' suggests very easy holiday knitting - I can do this one without looking whilst I am on the plain rounds. It is made from some very soft 'Angora lace' - I love this yarn and am hoping Allison will dye some pink yarn for me?

Today was a bit odd as Dave is away for a couple of days at a show in London and true to form I have wound more yarn and cast on another project (I seem to do that when he goes away). I am doing another 'Amore' shawl, this time for Lottie as she took to wearing mine!

Hopefully tomorrow will be a good day for pictures so more then! Night night, Sx

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Norfolk Knitting!

I have to confess there has not been as much as I would have liked owing to the fact that the start of the week was someones birthday and we had a 3 day visit from the 'in-laws'. I am not complaining as it is always great to see them but it does involve quite a bit of cooking so not much knitting was done apart from 4 rows on my 'pagona shawl' which were promptly undone as I missed a vital yarn over and couldn't pick it up! Since then I have been relaxing with my Pi shawl but it would seem not to be very photogenic (Lottie said it looked like a hat!) due to the fact the it has a lot of stitches on the circular needle.

We did however have a lovely visit to the new yarn shop in Holt where I bought some extra knit picks needles and a longer cable (promptly swapping the shorter one on the Pi shawl) plus a pattern book for a Debbie Bliss jacket that Lottie would like. I didn't actually buy any yarn (please sit down) although there was some lovely NDS BFL (my favourite) and Fyberspates yarns and I did look at the pretty Noro lace weight but I managed to resist for now! The lady who owns it is lovely and if you are ever in this part of the world then I recommend a visit.

That's all for now.... back home again soon, Sx

Friday, 18 February 2011

Friday Frazzle!

Hi all this is just a very quick post - we are off on hols for half term as it is 'him indoors' birthday next week!

I have however finished both the bobble socks and the 'Polly Jean' socks this month but have found it hard to find another project to stick with! I have several more pairs of socks plus a couple of shawls but nothing that is grabbing my continuous attention. This is a bit of a problem as I can't decide what to take with me.....

Hopefully I will decide soon and let you know whilst I am away - who knows I might even manage a picture (fingers crossed).

I also had a surprise parcel of bamboo yarn this week and I have a couple of ideas kicking around but more on that once half term is over. All I can say is it is wonderful to have such a generous friend even if she does lead me astray when it comes to joining things.

Happy half term girls!

Monday, 7 February 2011

1, 2, 3, Bobble!

Friday night saw me sat on the hearth rug whilst supervising the fire counting 1, 2, 3, bobble over and over in an attempt to find a missing stitch - this was to provide much hilarity for Lottie as she saw me chanting aloud. Needless to say I couldn't find the stitch and had to undo 2 rounds of bobbles - these little monsters take ages to do grrr!

Also hindering the bobble process was a rather sick and grumpy Dave, he is off to the Docs today for antibiotics as there is no other solution left for the vile tonsillitis!

I really like these cotton socks and have put them aside for long enough - it turns out they were cast on in October 2009 but put aside for other things! I will finish them very soon, I need to finish them to save my sanity. Thank fully I have finished the bobble part and just need to finish the rib and do the heel...... maybe tonight.

Also will someone please do me a huge favour and buy some of the lovely new yarn Allison has just put in her shop as it is taking all of my will power not to go and buy it - especially as I will be needing new sock projects very soon!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Mitten Madness!

Having finished my Sushi shawl last week I then went on to cast off the second pair of fingerless mittens from my lovely red sugar hippo yarn. I had promised these to Lottie but still need to add the ribbon and buttons to them. I then decided that the next pair were for me only this time I have made them using a 4mm needle as I have for Lottie's - the first pair I made grew quite a lot and are quite sloppy now (I only have small hands and feet). Also trying to be clever and speed things along I thought that 2 at a time might be a good solution! Not so for me - it turns out that I can go much quicker on solo items and 2 at a time takes much more than twice the time to finish!

As you can see the first pair are a lot larger than the ones I did on 4mm needles - these are a much snugger fit but are unworn as yet, I need to finish the ribbon and add the buttons. I must also add that I have washed the first pair as they got a bit grubby due to the fact that I wore them for everything including dog walking. The yarn is lovely and very warm and soft, both were from Allison's shop I might add!

I am currently finishing the bobble socks that have been on the needles for well over a year now, the bobbles are fun but a little slow so as an in between I have cast on a Pi shawl using some angora lace weight (my latest purchase from it is an amazing yarn - so soft and warm and I can't wait to have enough knitted to show you how pretty it is!

I am hopeful that the socks will be finished this week so that I can pick up another pair and get some momentum on the 'Finish it Feb' goal but I am worried that I may get distracted as I have just found another pair of socks that I really want to cast on and also the Pi shawl is very inviting as well - must concentrate on finishing socks!

Thursday, 27 January 2011


I have finally cast off and blocked the sushi shawl and I must admit it is a relief! Firstly I was worried as the yarn seemed quite hard as I knitted (it was BFL so was expecting soft) but after a little soak it does feel much nicer. Also I have never knitted from a sock roll before and the knitting seemed quite bumpy (like knitting with an unraveled jumper) but again these have gone with the soaking and blocking. I reached a point for about a week where it didn't seem to grow at all (this is why I avoid rectangular shawls) and this is why the monogamy was vital to finishing as I probably would have picked up another project in order to see progress. But I did enjoy the pattern as I could memorise all but the centre part and even that became familiar with time. On the whole I have really enjoyed this project and I now know that if I am to do rectangular items I must try to be more monogamous and not get distracted. So last night I picked up the cast on mitten and carried on, the next pair will be 2 at a time I think.....must finish mittens before February as I am having a month of finishing off pairs of socks - I have rather a lot of unfinished ones on the needles - again a bit more monogamy should pay off! Any one else care to join me in 'Finish it Feb'?

Tuesday, 18 January 2011


Now you know me by now and you know that I usually have about 3 or 4 items that I am actively working on at any one time. Well January is monogamy month and besides the second sweet jazz which is my car knitting I have been fairly monogamous - except that I cast on for another pair of mittens. These however are just hanging around though waiting for me to finish my Sushi shawl along (SSA5). I am not sure however that monogamy makes me more productive - that was the test really. It would seem that I only pick it up either when I am avoiding a household task I hate or at the start of the evening before dinner is made.

Routine in our household means that dinner is served quite late (not by my choice) and so I often have an hour before I have to go and start pan bashing. There is sometimes an opportunity to sit down mid way through for a few minutes and I know when there has been socks on the go that they would often have a couple of rounds added at this point but it would seem that if there is anything that needs a bit more attention then this time is not used productively. Conclusion to be drawn from January is that I need both a patterned item and a 'no brainer' on the go at all times. Hey I think that means that the monogamy may be over ..........

PS If you haven't had a look at Allison's online yarn shop then please do - there are some yummy yarns to be had and although I love to have my pick of them I am also happy to share the yarn love and let you top up your stash - there is plenty to go around!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Whizzing by!

It has been a week since my last post and I am not really sure where it went! Firstly there was unpacking and washing and then a trip to Chester with Lottie. Thursday was back to school for her and required a cake to be baked (honestly I don't remember teachers allowing cake into lessons when I did A-levels) then it was the weekend which meant the annual xmas tree collection for the Scouts and Guides and then Sunday was just gathering ourselves together for the coming week.

I have managed to knit most evenings so my Sushi shawl along is growing steadily. This project arrived at the door on Christmas eve and so became, unusually for me, a monogamous project (with the exception of car knitting which doesn't count). In fact if you can keep a secret I have signed up for the SSA6 as well! The one thing that I really love about this is that I can remember most of the pattern - it is only the bit in the middle that changes on each row. I was not sure I liked it at first as the yarn seemed a bit stiff but it has softened up a lot and I am sure once it has been blocked it will change a lot more. I do have lots of other project that I need to show you - the light here is not at all good today so I will have to try again soon. Am off to go for a walk with Ted now as we both need it! More soon.....

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Happy New Year!

Finally we are home and so as promised here are the pics from my fabulous box

There was some pretty yarn to make a frothy scarf, a kumuhimo kit and a cross stitch kit plus a yummy welsh dragon and something I have always wanted a welsh love spoon. There was also an amazing hand made shawl, hat and mits - Lottie and I are fighting over the hat and mits!

Thank you Barbara for a lovely surprise box and thank you all for taking part again this year. I have enjoyed being a part of your lives for the last few years and look forward to the promise that this year holds. We have all had some rough times and some happy ones as well and it means such a lot to be able to share it all.

I wish you all a peaceful and prosperous 2011 and will be back again soon once I have a little more order here Cheshire - how does unpacking make so much mess? Sxx