Monday, December 24, 2007

Wishing you all a very merry christmas!

Time seems to have got away from me and I have only just finished writing my christmas cards which although technically under the wire is very very late.
The reason for my tardiness is my Reindeer quilt which I finished last night. The pattern suggested using only the hands of children under 10 but, I decided to have one copy both Mario and my hands and make it into a proper family quilt. Rudolph's antlers are made from a copy of each of the childrens hands.
In october I imagined that I would have loads of gifts made but the reality is that I only managed two ( well the kids got slippers but, they have been wearing them for a while now!)
The Hemlock Ring for BlueGreenWorld it is in Cascade 220 which I bought from a very nice lady on Ebay.
I really like the design and had thought that I might make one for casually throwing over my sofa but, I shall put that idea on hold for a while as it was definately one that needed concentration. the dark colour was a nightmare in the evenings so it was one that had to be played with during the day. It blocked really well but subsequently bumped up in the middle after being wrapped. It has been opened and was a hit with both its recipeint and her very aloof cat Jack who actually let me stroke him once he had given it a good sniff.
The other present was for J it is the swallowtail shawl from the interweaves magazine. Totally breathtaking when it has been blocked. It also has the advantage of using less than one skein of the Jaggerspun. This is definately one I will make again though with beads rather than nubbs as they really slowed me down.

I hope that you all have a wonderful,peaceful christmas and that the New year brings you everything you need.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Oops I forgot to post!

I hadn't realised how long it had been since my last post. I seem to have had a terrible cold for several weeks with a cough that I just can't shift. I have dusted off my sewing machine and have several christmas inspired projects ( I have to say the quilt mania magazine has a lot to answer for) started hopefully that will be finished in time for christmas there are somethings that have been completed but I would have to say I have started more than I have finished!
The finished projects in order of appearance are an Advent Calender for my friend's little boy Tobey.
I had a jag of making these about 3 years ago when I made for all the children I knew but, that was before Tobey was born. His mum put in a request last year but I couldn't find a nice one.This one was waiting for me in my local shop funny how that sometimes works. It only took me an evening to put this calender together. Though I have to say by the time I got around to posting it advent was already under way. It's late arrival hasn't stopped it from being popular with Tobey!

From Santa with Love Quilt. You might remember this from last year, I just ran out of time so put it away. I am really glad I did as I have come to it fresh and the embellishments that I found to go on it are perfect. I think I have mastered machine quilting though it doesn't look proffessional yet the tension is right which is a vast improvement on what has gone before. I am putting my new found skills to use on Anna's Starrey night another quilt from earlier in the year.

The Harrogate slippers are finished, you wouldn't think 24 rows could take so long but they were not very interesting to knit just garter st also I was a couple of rows short on both Oriana's and Inigo's so had to send off for some more yarn which was really annoying. Elenya has the stripey, Inigo the red and Oriana has the flowers. It took three machine washes to get them to the right size and Elenya's are still a little big I would have to say that the sizes are over generous. The children love them however, and my mum and the childminded children are also looking longingly!
I have cast on Gretel by Yolanda in the Lang SilkDream wool and silk I bought in Belgium earlier in the year aren't I good using stash.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Isadora Duncan Eat your heart out!

I know it has been a little quiet on the blog front, time seemed to run away from me not that I have a lot to show for it. I got my invite from Ravelry ( I nearly missed it as my email ate it as spam) for any of you who haven't joined yet it really is fantastic. Free patterns,links to thousands of other patterns which you can queue up for things you would like to make in the future and wool information plus loads more. Browsing has taken up quite a bit of time as I dream of all the things I could be making.
I managed to pull something in my shoulders and neck so ended up having to take a break from knitting which lasted nearly a week. It has been suggested that it could be down to how I was reading my lace chart.I say nearly because one morning Inigo said he needed a hat so I whipped this one up to give to him at the end of school. He was absolutely chuffed to bits jumping around the playground shouting "my mummy made me this hat! " It really is nice to be appreciated.

I finished the last clue of Secret of the Stole on Sunday. I still don't know the theme of it but apparently all will be revealed on Friday. Let me tell you -it is long. The last few clues felt like I was wrestling with a giant anaconda it would insist on twisting around on itself and trying to choke the life out of my yarn. I haven't actually measured the length but whilst blocking it took all of Elenya's bedroom floor. It is really quite lovely and very unusual it has crossed swords in clue 6 so my end guess is escalibur as I thought the begining clues looked a bit like light on water when looking at other people's work.

The final perk of the last couple of weeks was my trip to Harrogate on Saturday. I went armed with a shopping list this year as last time I ended up buying loads that I didn't need. In fact nothing that I bought last year has actually got finished how bad is that. The interweaves pattern book I hadn't intended to buy but it just kind of called to me. The other one I did. The yarn is a bit dreary but there are a couple of amazing patterns I had seen it advertised on the back of a couple of the knitting magazines one in particular caught my eye though a picture of it escapes me.

Well a girl can never have enough sock wool and this is nice........

Buttons for the Tilted Duster- they are bigger than stated in the pattern but I think they will look really striking - if not I will have to think again.

These weren't on my list either but I thought the kids would like a pair of these each and they are quick and easy knitting which is always good.

The only thing that I didnt manage to get was the wool for Venezia pullover from last winters Interweave. I had envisaged being able to play with the different balls of wool which was why I hadn't already bought the stuff on line. Anyway I was disbused of that idea and ended up shelling out £8 for a shade card. They did however have another pattern Autumn Rose also by Eunny Jang which is a really sexy shape. I now have that book on order from amazon. I will decide when it gets here which one I am going to cast on.

The photo isn't great but,this is a really amazing xmas bauble. I saw them last year and was tempted. Anyway the upshot was when I got home I wished that I had bought it so here it is(maybe get around to it for next year!!

This fabric was for the reindeer quilt on the front on this months quilt mania. The idea of using the kids hands for antlers appeals to me. I shall try and draw around them over the next couple of weeks even if I don't get it finished for this year.It will be nice to have a record of their hands as they are now. Elenya is so close to being a teenager she probably would object next year anyway.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Cherie Amour and other stories.

What can I say, I just love this sweater!! I think it is probably the nicest thing I have made all year. I finished it a couple of weeks ago and I have lived in it since.

It is warm enough to wear with a vest top, soft enough not to itch and to top it off it is really sexy! a great combination. I would make it again as it was quite straight forward the only thing I would do differently is lengthen the waist.It is a little short without a good yank! If you are planning on making this measure under your bust to your jeans belt.

Another clue for the secret stole is completed. I have given up on trying to make head or tail of the hints, as they all now relate back to the older answers.
I am sure it will all become apparent in the next week or so anyway. The knitting of bubbles is at an end or very nearly which I am glad about as I had to really push myself to get through yet another week of them.

The tilted duster is plodding on quite nicely. I have finished the fronts, back and done the ribs for the sleeves. I had to take it down a needle size as on a 6mm it was the consistancy of a string vest - very unattractive. The yarn is very similar weight to the cascade 220 if anyone wants a snippet to compare against their stash just drop me a line and I will send you a bit.

MysticWater I signed up for this weeks ago but had decided I probably had enough to do and I would perhaps buy the yarn for it when I went to Harrogate. Hah!! After seeing other peoples beautiful work I just had to get busy. The yarn is zephyr again in ice blue. I had wanted the agean but I really like this and as I have some lovely cotton that tones with it I think I will be keeping this one for me.
This is the first chart of clue one, and as clue 3 came out today I have quite a bit of catching up to do.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Hint four - ok I am totally lost on the clues!

There was mutterings by one lady that the result might be Elizabeth but, I can't really see how the stole would tie up into that so I shall just have to wait and see. It really is pretty - it just shows it doesn't need to be complicated to be very effective.
Half term went by in a bit of a blur. I was childminding over the holidays which made it very busy. The pumpkin carving was hilarious. If you can imagine 6 children all armed with a spoon. I have only just managed to rid the dining room of all the seeds that mysteriously flew into the air.

There was tonnes of pumpkin flesh so I christened the bag of maple sugar my cousin brought last year and made pumpkin pie. The rest ofpumpkin is in the freezer ready to make another which I will do as it was delicious.

The ghosts were fun to make - I got the idea from a friend and even the little ones could manage it. The ones in the picture are just the few that Oriana and Inigo made so quite popular.I think we will make angels at christmas.

And finally Inigo became a beaver. This is a big thing for him as it is the first activity he has done separately from Oriana. The second week he had to go and make friends with "strangers" which he found very stressful we forced him to carry on going and I think he is going to settle in well. She has been settled in Rainbows for a while but initially was dragged screaming there every week.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hint three- I just don't know

Well I completed the clue but the hint is beyond me. Where on earth, would you find the class of people in hint 1 residing. It could be stately home - palace would be monarch as it is only the Queen who actually lives in a palace. Most of the big properties are owned by the National Trust these days. Anyway I will have to wait and see on this one. The stole itself is really lovely, it is so delicate, I am hoping it won't go off on a tangent like MS3. Which although I like now it took a little getting used to.

My yarn for the tilted duster arrived. Nowhere have I seen the colour done justice.It is a lot darker than the photo shows. It is the colour of heather on the moors, purple with flecks of green. I photographed it on my lavender bush so you could see how purple it really is.I still don't think the colour is right.Although the skeins are beautiful, it really is frustrating that the whole lot needs winding into balls before I can cast on the first stitch.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Hint two -Lady!

Wel I have completed hint two and I have to say it is quite pretty though not very stretching as a knitting project( hence the reason it is finished so quickly). The crosses in the pattern remind me of space invaders and the lines of holes as firing weapons neither of which I am sure the designer envisaged when she thought the stole up judging by the clues. I am looking forward to Hint three so roll on Friday!Not that I don't have anything to do - I am just about to shape the arm holes for the knitty jumper so I definately feel I might finish it for my enforced schedule.
The turquoise thing is done! It actually has been for quite a while and I have worn it lots but,it has just been difficult getting someone organised to take a photo. Elenya took this she did take a better one but I managed to delete it. Sorry Elenya! The pattern was from Elann. Very easy though if I was doing it again I would do it on a longer needle as the 24" that was stated turned out to be a bit of a struggle!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Hint one -Aristocracy

Well at least I think that is the answer to the first hint of The Secret of the Stole. It has been a very straight forward pattern so far, I am not sure if that is because the MS3 was like a baptism of fire in the chart reading department or because the Nautical knitter has kindly added a stitch count to each row where there are more than 10st before a change in pattern. A very good idea as you don't have to stop and count. I am putting my beads on with a crochet hook for the is one as well although it is a little fiddly I do think in the long run it is easier as again you don't have to stop and move beads along. If you are wondering why it isn't straight on the needle that is because of the cellotape holding the needle together from when Oriana stood on it. I did toy with the idea of sending off for another pair but with yet another postal strike underway, they may not arrive until the stole is finished.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Cherie Amour

I wasn't going to have a lot of things on the go before the sos but hey.This is just lovely.

I started it on sunday and I am just about to switch needles for the very fitted waist. I am knitting three strands together and the colour is amazing just the thing for autumn, I have put a deadline of Nov 5 on it as I really think it is perfect for bonfire night. Work is very hectic - lots of money to buy more wool - did I say that?? The upshot seems to be that I seem to only be able to manage a couple of rows in the evenings before my bed calls me. Luckily it seems to be growing really nice and fast. which is just as well as the SOS starts tomorrow!!

Friday, September 28, 2007

That looks nothing like a Tilted Duster!

I was half way up the back to the lovely Tilted Duster when I decided I really didn't like the yarn for this project. ( It didn't help that Mario thought it was the same yarn as I had made him a jumper out of). So to the frog pond it went. I have ordered the Berroco needed from the States so will have to wait impatiently until it arrives. In the meantime I thought I would use the turqoise up on this. Elenya saw it and said she liked the bag.........It is not a bag! You have 3 inches worth of guess until it is finished.

My yarn arrived for the Secret Stole Lane Borgossia in Olive very lovely but maybe a little too fine so as a back up I also bought some JaggerSpun Zephyr in Sage also pretty. I might go mad and do a swatch but I wouldn't hold your breath.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

So not to bore you.

I finished my first christmas present yesterday. Just as I was about to cast on the next one when I realised it would make for a boring couple of months if I couldn't show you any pictures. So for blog harmony I have cast this on. The yarn is a pure wool that I bought about a year ago from Coldspring mill( I love that place!)I have no idea if I actually have enough yarn or not so the whole thing may fall prey to artistic license.

I saw this on thursday and have fallen in love with it. It is in the new knitty. I spent thursday at cold spring mills and I found this yarn which is a perfect colour for it. It is I think, Twilleys Freedom spirit in Fire which is in DK so completely the wrong gauge but, I am going to add a cone of plain red that is in the stash and hopefully that will work.

I rushed out yesterday to buy the 9mm circular that I needed and had absolutely no luck so I shall have to buy some online this week. It is like a self fulfilling prophecy - no body goes to yarn shops - yarn shops dont have what you want.
I have also bought the yarn and beads for my secret stole. You can't see the yarn?? well that is because the post around here still seems to be quite bad and although it was ordered over a week ago it still hasn't got here. Elenya's bunny finally arrived with her on friday she was a very happy girl.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The last couple of weeks.

The time has just sped by. I realised that the blue acrylic left over from Oriana's school cardigan had been breeding in the back of the cupboard. So I made Inigo a tank top. I still haven't used it all up so what exactly I was thinking when I bought it I just dont know. We spent the last day of the holidays at flamingo land which was lovely. It was a grey day when we set out. I think a lot of people had stayed home so the queues weren't too bad. Elenya is tall enough to do all of the rides but the littleuns were about 3 inches to short for many things which was a bit frustrating for them though they found lots to keep them amused.

The children went back to school on Tuesday. Because it was E's first day at high school Mario took the day off. We spent the day wandering around Borders. Very agreeable!
I started making my first christmas present-very organised this year. Shame I can't show you!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Pink Post.

First things first. I won!! KnitYoga had a competion on her blog and I won this really cute little pin. I thought the little figures were metal when I first looked but they are really stiffened felt embellished with beads and sequins. Very sweet I can't wait to wear it.
Carolyns shawl was finished last night as you can see it has at least one admirer ( just as well she likes cats!) The picture with Tigger is a truer version of the colour.

Ok, it is official I think I have a lace addiction. MS3 is drawing to a close and I really have enjoyed doing it. Knitlesstolife told me about this Secret of the Stole if you are interested it starts October 5th
so I have signed up for that and I have also joined The victorian lace today group
which brings me neatly to my next bit of news. My mum gave me money for my birthday as this is all the lovely loot that I got.

I love the Britanny needles and am trying to collect a whole set though they seem quite fragile next to metal ones infact, Oriana stepped on my knitting bag just after I finished my stole and the 3.5 now have a crack in them. The heere be dragone shawl was mentioned whilst I was doing the MS3 and as we all like dragons in this house I decided I just had to have the pattern. I am now looking around for a bright red suitable for a dragon. The Victorian lace today has such beautiful patterns I am just drooling over them all. Elenya asked me how many shawls I need. The answer of course is none but who can resist?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Duckling becomes a Swan.

Well I have caught up and passed the finish line. I finished knitting the MS3 monday night and up until the last stitch I really didn't like it. I had decided to do the wing as I wanted to follow the mystery to the end, also I knew if I had to knit the same again I would be shoving it in a drawer. I knew I had learnt alot. When I started it I could manage ten rows in a room by myself,in perfect silence. Then it got easy enough that I could do it in company. I had enjoyed the experience it is wonderful to check in with several thousand people every day and all be doing the same thing.
I have done lace patterns before but, I haven't done lace. So last night was my first blocking adventure it was a bit of a nightmare as I couldn't find my pins and I was blocking onto a towel. It still isn't perfect, I might have to get the iron out later. I have to say it was worth it because by the time the stole was stretched out flat on my floor I was in love. The pattern is unusual and probably not what I would have chosed but, it is so delicate I can't wait for an occasion to wear it.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Wonderful Week in Wales

We, being the five of us and my mum, have just had the most wonderful week. It is the fourth time we have been and each time we have stayed in the same cottage. Unfortunately (for us)the cottage is going to be lived in permanantly so we will be staying somewhere else next year. we have all come home totally rested. We spent several days on Aberdovey beach in both good and bad weather the kids have become crabbing fiends- they just love it. we also visted the Animalarium there were loads of pets that had been abandoned on the 29th July i.e the start of the school holidays. I could have come home with lots of lovely rabbits, guinea pigs, raccons and especially this little guy.

He was kept in a garage for the first year of his life so can't speak but was totally up for being cuddled and fussed. I am not usually a bird person but he really was cute.
We also had a wonderful day in Portmerion. we walked miles, the little village is lovely but the woodlands surrounding it are just gorgeous they have rhodiendron bushes as large as trees amazing.

Mystery Shawl becomes Swan Lake
The other good thing about a week away was the amount of knitting I got done. I finished clues 4,5 and 6. It was revealed at the beginning of clue 5 that the theme was Swan lake.of course mine is grey so more ugly duckling!

Pretty Pink PI Shawl
I also started this pi shawl I made two last year one for me and one for the Rowan knitting exchange. This one is for my oldest virtual friend Carolyn. She knows that she is getting it as she chose the wool and then sent it from canada to me to knit up. I am knitting it on 8mm rather than the 6.5mm that it suggested on the pattern and the effect is more dramatic. The photo doesn't do the colour justice it is a proper barbie pink very lovely

Sorry to you all for having to scroll down so far, I am sure blogger used to wrap text around the pics but it doesn't seem to anymore.

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