Thursday, August 31, 2006
I finally plucked up the courage to cast on Flood yesterday evening and have completed two of the 14 row pattern repeats. Not sure why I had jitters about this sweater as its not my first. I am hoping to get this finished in 2 weeks time to take on holiday with me. The yarn is pretty chunky so knits up quite fast.
Rosalind is going really well and i'm loving the colour combination. I estimated that I would need about 3 pattern repeats and have just started the second. It is such a nice knit, not too simple the boredom sets in but still easy enought to watch tv whilst knitting.
I have knit one pattern repeat for Wind but have put it aside to get Rosalind finished as this is a autumn/spring scarf and Wind is definetely a winter scarf.
I have my Fave Colour Swap pals parcel all wrapped up and ready to post tomorrow. I hope she likes the things I have chosen. Fingers crossed!
Sign ups for Secret Pal 9 begun to today, I have been so intrigued reading blogs of participants of SP8 that I signed up right away. I seem to have enough swaps etc on the go at the moment,
International Scarf Exchange 3, Hot Socks, Sock Wars and I am hoping that Knitters Tea Swap starts up again soon.
I am promised new batteries tomorrow so as long they are bought I will show pics of wips.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
The bread cook up lovely and I am beginning to think that there won't be any left for Monday so am attempting bread rolls tomorrow. If may not look much but believe me it lovely.
If anybody out there has the Nigella Lawson Domestic Goddess book and hasn't yet made Granny Boyd's Biscuits, you must. They are really good, if fact they are so good half of them had vanished before I had a chance to photo them. Me thinks Karl might have had something to do with it.
Flapjacks have been cooked but are still cooling, more photos tomorrow.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Knitting has taken a back seat today as I decided to spend the weekend baking. Something I love doing but just don't seem to have the time or inclination to do much of. Today will just be a small amount with the bulk tomorrow. Planned bakes include flapjacks, fairy cakes, chocolate sponge cake, chocolate biscuits, danish pastrys (cinnamon and almond) and cheese scones. I think now is the time to point out that we are having family over on Monday so it won't just be myself and Karl eating these goodies.
As we speak I have a syrup sponge pudding boiling away on the hob and bread dough prooving on the side next to it. I have never attempted to make bread before, well not properly, I have a bread machine but I really wanted to get back to basics. I nearly managed to do all the kneading myself and only called in Karl after 7 minutes or so. I am so proud of my dough that I even took a photo to share with you all.
And for those of you wishing to join in this baking extravaganza these are my can't live without books.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
I suppose you want to know about the free yarn, ok, I ordered a couple of balls of Rowan Plaid in Sea Mist from MCA Direct as I didn't want to run out when I knit my jumper and the company I got the original lot from have sold out. The parcel arrived today and they had sent me Sea Thistle instead, a lovely colour but not what I wanted. I e-mailed them and they said to keep the yarn sent by mistake and they would send the correct out asap. I give them 10/10 for customer servive as I sent the e-mail at 4.30pm and got a reply within 10minutes. The problem is what do I do with 200g of Rowan Plaid? Any suggestions.
I also received some Sirdar Pure Cotton and Sirder Breeze cotton as I have joined the Monthly Dishcloth KAL.The colours aren't great but they were reduced so worth it for experiment knitting. Everyone seems obsessed with knitting dishcloths so I'd thought I would see what the fuss was about. If it's as good as the hype then I may have to order some Sugar n Cream from the US. This months discloth has a lighthouse on it so I'm definetely trying that one especially as we are off to stay in a lighthouse next month.
Of late the knitting has almost seemed a chore, my mind just hasn't been focused enough but that is all in the past now. I had worries about returning to Uni as I had missed alot of last year because of the Chronic Fatigue but I am now retaking my 2nd without penalty and feel much happier about. I know it means another of study but atleast now my grades with reflect my ability. This has mad so much of a difference that i'm itching to pick up the needles.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Pattern: Unst from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Opal Rodeo Cotton shade 1174
Needles: Brittany Birch 2.25mm dpns
I have cast on for the second ribbed sock and completed the leg and am ready to do the heel flap. Hopefully it should be finished by the end of the week.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Friday, August 18, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
I received the Rowan plaid that I ordered at bargain price after some discussion with the company as they didn't have my first choice, so now I have 10 balls of Sea Mist (to make myself a jumper, undecided which at the mo', from Rowan Plaid Collection and 6 balls of Creeper (for some reason only 5 made it into the photo) to make myself a hat and scarf from the same book. I can see a very cablely autumn and winter ahead, that is why I have joined Conquering Cables.
Yarn was purchased yesterday and I have a project in mind for it but as I am trying to clear my ufo's I won't cast on anything new until September.
Here we have 2 balls of Debbie Bliss Merino Aran (shade 004) for Fetching, 2 balls each of Debbie Bliss Merino DK (shades 004 & 002) to make Rosalind. I am really excited about this project as it encompasses my two loves; knitting and science. I have been yearning after a brown scarf for a while now and when I saw this lovely dark rich chocolate brown I knew I just had to get it. It took me a while to match it up with the green but I think they look great together. There is also a pair of 8mm bamboo knitting needles for use with the Rowan Plaid.
Speaking of scarves I joined the International Scarf Exchange 3 earlier this week. I am having an obsession with scarves for the moment so thought it was a perfect swap to join. I also joined Sock-a-month 2, as with the amount of socks I knit this should encourage me to get them finished. I have decided on my pattern for the Mystery Sock KAL, it is called 'Wonky Lace Socks' and uses Cascade Fixation - a yarn I have been wanting to try for a while.
I will be wrapping up all the presents for my Fave Colour Swap pal tomorrow and they will be posted out shortly. I just have to felt and block the Special Companions giftbag for her and then all will be done.
and when boyf asked why I was taking a picture of a carrier bag I told him about the sheep challenge, he then proceeded to and take this picture (apparently the white/grey blob is a sheep in his PC game).
I think will try and get Unst finished tonight as only have a small amount of the foot and then the toe to finish. Then that gives me two weeks to finish two socks (and a bag, but I'm not too fussed about finishing that) until I'm UFO free.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Anyway you're probably thinking 'what does this have to do with insomnia'? Well the answer is anxiety. I wouldn't call it stress, more nerves. You see I have my annual appointment at the Royal Brompton Hospital on Wednesday and every year I get really really worried about it. It isn't the actual appoitment/visit that worries me. The visit comprises a short, painless ECG, height, weight (can be painful lol!) and blood pressure readings with dr (althought this year I am also due for an Echocardiogram but they don;t hurt either). What worries me is the impact on my life that the outcome could have. Life as I know it could change completely. Now, this may seem melodramatic, and it may be so but at the beginning to 2003 I had an operation (the dr called it a non-surgical proceedure, i beg to differ, i had genral anaesthtic whilst they did a glorified angiogram) which didn't quite work, but it didn't matter as things weren't as bad as the drs thought. All was good. What worries me is that there are no 'non-surgical' options left. If things have deteriorated then i'm looking at major surgery. What is strange is that it isn't the surgery that scares me the most, but the impact it will have on my life. My recovery will be slowed down with the CFS so how do i cope with my final year at Uni etc. My boyf HATES hospitals, how will he cope with me being in one for any peroid of time and mostly, my Mum coped with it all when i was young on her own, will she cope now shes older (no offence Mum if your reading I know you're not old but your not 32 anymore.)
These are the things that go through my head at 5am in the morning. It has kind of become an annual ritual that gets worse each year, as each year I think THIS is the year. There are no guarentees with medicine, many people with my conditions have had many more complicatons than me and although there is a great support group for us (GUCH) sometimes I find it easier to stay away as seeing people of my age with the same problems in a much much worse place than me can put the fear of god into me, on other days it came make me realise how lucky I am, but the bad feelings stay longer than the good.
I suppose I should really subtitle the blog 'The ramblings of a Neurotic Knitter'. Hey maybe that should be my new blog handle 'neurotic knitter'.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Just a quick query though, how do you block felted i-cord? or don't you? I just draped mine over the airer and let it dry and am hoping after some use it will straighten out. That's one UFO that is pretty much done now, just another 5 to go.
I just ordered some Rowan Plaid (now discontinued) from here for £3.50 a ball, which I think is bargin central. I have the pattern book and have been meaning to knit Karl a jumper for ages, so now I have his xmas pressie sorted. I know the whole jumper for boyfriend curse but after 3 years of living with me he can survive any curse. I also got some for me to make a couple of cable scarves. I love the pattern in the book but will make one smaller as don't think I need two scarves over 2m in length. I am really excited about this as I have been wanting to make a cable scarf for a while but the Irish Hiking Scarf just doesn't seem to work for me.
I'm biting the bullet and going into uni tomorrow to do some revision as, being honest, it isn't really happening whilst staying at home, the lure of daytime tv and knitting is just too great. I'm lucky that Karl works just off the library so he will make sure I don't abscond to Starbucks and knit all day, no matter how much I plead that I will study whilst there. I am to be chained (metaphorically that is) to the library all day. Oh joys of genetics and reproduction.
I have also found somewhere that sell Sugar n Cream and ships to the UK! I can see a rather large purchase once my student loan comes along in Sept. I really fancy having a go as making washcloths and think they would be a good idea for pressies for my uni pals, along with some nice soap. Cheap but thoughtful! I couldn't believe the colours, they are so many and they ae so vibrant. I have lots of projects in mind but I MUST finish my UFOs first.
Will post when bag is felted.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
I have also joined UFO August in an attempt to get the UFO's I have done and dusted in time for September. I have decided that I WILL NOT cast on another project until these are finished. It is such a great feeling when I have to change the % bar on an item, and even better when it is moved to the FO's section.
I have joined two cool sock kals since last blogging, Sock Wars (sign-ups until 8th Sept) and Mystery Sock Kal (sign-ups til Aug 14th). Sock Wars looks great fun as it involves knitting a pre-determined sock pattern as quick as you can and then posting it to your 'target' to 'kill' them before you receive a pair socks killing you. Your target then sends you their unfinished socks and their target becomes your new target. Confused? It's easier than it sounds...go check it out! The great thing is it doesn't start til Sept 22nd so won't interfere with my UFO August.
Mystery Sock kal, involves finding a sock pattern on the net which doesn't have a picture with it and then knitting it. It will be great to see what socks turn up. I have a few prospective patterns.
I have been busy crafting and shopping for my Fave Colour Swap secret pal, and just have a few finishing touches to the parcel before posting. I am trying to work out how best (and with minimum disruption to my wrapping)to send abroad. I will probably put it all in a nice pretty box, wrapped up etc., then put that into a cardboard box wrapped in brown paper, that way there is quite a bit to get through before the parcel itself it ruined. I don't want it to arrive looking all tatty. This is the first swap I have been involved with so am quite apprehensive about it. It has been great fun and I can't wait until they receive the parcel to see if they like it.
I am off to London on Wedneday for my annual check-up at the Royal Brompton Hospital. I was really looking forward to visiting Stash Yarns but they are closed that week - just my luck! I do however get to spend the day with Mum, shopping on the King's Road, having a nice lunch and no doubt buying some yarn in Peter Jones. The Bluebird Epicerie sellMighty Leaf Tea, so I may get some of that, as I am hoping to join the next round of Knitters Tea Swap, so fancy seeing if it is worth the money. If it is nice I can get some more for me and my swap pal mail-order at a later date. I may also have to pop in Lush and get my secret pal something as there are no smellies in their parcel.
I have made quite a bit of progress on the Booga bag and just have the i-cord handle to do now. I think I put on a DVD and attempt to get it done. I wonder how soon knitting 6' of i-cord becomes boring? I'll tell you next time, the prospect of 6' is so daunting, i'm only 5'2", so its almost 1' more than my height. Oh well no use putting it off.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Today we had to take Pepper to the vets and sadly he had to be put to sleep. He had developed a cancerous tumour in his neck and this had either spread to his spine or was compressing his spinal cord and when we woke this morning he had completely lost the use of his back legs. We decided that it was not fair to let him suffer just because we wanted to keep him with us a little longer.
He was just over two years old and in hamster terms he was an 'old man', however, he was sweet, kind and active until the end. He was loved by everyone who met him due to his sweet temperament and gentleness.
He will remain in our thoughts and will be hugely missed.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
I do, however, have a fo (and a half). At long last my Coast wrap is finished. I am loving how it feels and can't wait until Tuesday when i will wear it to the Cambridge KTog. I will get photos of me wearing it then
One of my fave things about it, is the buttons. The buttons allow it to be fixed at the front so the look is almost ponchoesque. I found the perfect buttons at Woolly Workshop, which is quick becoming my fave on-line store along with Get Knitted. They are designed by Debbie Abrahams and hand-made from ceramic. They are lot lighter than the photo suggests but due to really grotty weather I have had to take photos inside.The half fo I referred to is a completed sock. I know have 2 completed socks, of which i have to knit their partner. I am loving the most recently finished. It was knit with Cherry Tree Hill Supersock (shade Northern Lights) using their Ribbed Supersock pattern. The yarn is much brighter than in photo but thats artifical light for you.
I have joined a kal for the Nancy Bush sock book, Knitting on the Road, which knits a sock from the book every two months. The sock for Aug/Sept in Unst and so have cast on this, and will finish the lone socks partners, between these kal socks. I am using Opal Rodeo Cotton (shade 1174) to knit the Unst. It is a lovely pattern using Shetland Columns and Arches lace pattern. I have slightly altered the pattern by knitting a plain 2x2 rib instead of the patterned rib suggested. It was purely a personal preference, i prefered the look of it that way. I would show you a photo of my wip but blogger doesn't want you to see it. (damn thing can be so annoying sometimes).