Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I'm Back!

Well as Mum reported I've been off the air for a while now due to the joys of Technology and 'The Blue Screen of Death' that killed our computer for a while.
As you might guess I am now back on-line and have upgraded to the new Blogger whilst I reinstall my settings etc. Don't you just hate computers with all the stupid things they do? I have lost all my favorites, my e-mail contacts, some photos (thankfully most had been backed up but my knitting FO photos are history, may they rest in peace) and 95% of my knitting file - patterns and reference points I wanted to keep. My e-mail is now playing up and I am sorely wondering why we spend so much time associated with such annoying things as computers.

But then I found Kiddley. Now Emily isn't quite old enough yet for any hands on craft sessions but this site is great for ideas that are really getting me even more excited about the thought of them than I already was!

As for everyone I've had a busy few weeks leading up to Christmas and was defeated by my Christmas knitting despite starting them so early. And there aren't any photos of them as they were no sooner finished than wrapped! There are other FO's to look forward to, well one at least but I will leave that for later as the dishes need doing and since the dishwasher died about the same time as the computer (not a good month at all!) I can't just leave them to the last minute, just the last 5 minutes or so in this case seeing as it's quite late. Anyway enough waffling for now. There will be more later as usual but I'll leave that for another day!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Merry Month of Making!

Hello again! Long time since I posted last but it has been a busy month as you will discover!! Lots of FO's to show you and I'll start with the knitting.

Here Emily is modeling one of my first knitted items for her - again it's taken her ages to grow into it! It was such a simple little poncho to make (pattern from Simply Knitting magazine ages ago!)

Next Emily is modeling Mummy's Little Arrowhead Shawlet, yes I am aware it is more her size than mine but it is as the pattern stated. I do kind of wish I'd made it longer then the pattern suggested but at the time was far too impatient to see the finished item so cast off and hoped for the best during the miracle of blocking!

And some close ups of the shawlet (pattern from 'Sweet Somethings - staff projects' on Interweave Knits website).

Don't you just love the colours in the yarn? This was one of my cones of 4ply from the Colinette Millshop so am not sure what colourway it is - lots of plums and berry shades so may be 'Summer Berries'? And plenty of yarn left!

Again using up some of my Colinette stash and seeing as the weather has been getting colder I made myself some mittens using this pattern from kpixie. They're not quite as long as they should be as I misread the pattern but the size is OK for my hands - nice and snug and warm! I had forgotten how fiddly mittens were to do things with - I don't think I've had mittens since I was little!

I've also finally made some socks! Again for Emily (due to the fact that won some sock wool on eBay and hadn't realised that it was a 50g ball and not enough for me!) and with more wool left over for another pair for her! Not bad out of one small ball. This was the best shot I could get with her wearing them - not great I know but she just would not stay still for me! These were made to measure as well as I couldn't find a small enough pattern for her (or rather it was a case of either too small or too large) so too measurements and worked the socks out using Knitty's Universal Toe-up Sock formula.

And in case you wanted a better look here you go... along with the sock yarn I won.

Now... enough Knitting, on to my Spinning!

I've been enjoying the spinning loads and have aquired a pile of lovely bits to play with over the month but I'll tell you about them later - I think you've enough to look at so far as it is! Below you see all the yarn I've produced so far:

The white/cream is some piled Cheviot in it's natural colour, it's roughly DK to Aran weight but is not overly evenly spun - there are slubby bits here and there.

These two day-glow looking yarns aren't really as bright as them seem. The flash has seemed to make the colours glow so much. I'm not entirely sure what type of wool this is, Mum and I think it is Merino just by the shine to it and the softness it has but I could be wrong. The predominately red ball was spun and piled first and as a result is less even and has more odd slubs here and there than the greeny-blue one has which is actually quite even. I meant to photograph them before I wound them into balls but I forgot so you don't get a really good idea of the colours but if I tell you that they're both a mix of red, yellow, green and blue you'll get an idea. Not that you couldn't really guess what colours they were anyway!

And what will I make with just over 100g of again DK / Aran weight yarn? Why a bright winter hat for Emily! You will probably note that I am finally evening the scores a bit an Emily is now getting more knitting done for her! And despite my early start there is still Christmas knitting to be done - not too demanding projects but still I shall leave you here and get back to my current WIP's:

  • Fluffy pink hooded cardi for Emily knitted top down and in one piece (no sewing up - hooray!);
  • Red Marble Metis for myself;
  • Autumnal cardi for Emily (needs frogging a bit but yarn is so awful to pick up stitches with that am avoiding that task for a bit!);
  • Tank Girl top from one of the Stitch n Bitch book that is still waiting to be finished - may just be finished in time for next Summer!
  • And of course the Christmas knits which I won't mention here in case of Spies!!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Oh and by the way....

You Are 60% Weird
You're so weird, you think you're *totally* normal. Right?But you wig out even the biggest of circus freaks!

Yet Another New Baby!

I've been a bit busy the last few days so I'm a bit slow to tell you of my exciting news! This is no reflection on the news but...

I've got my very own Spinning Wheel!! It's a little Westbury wheel and is neat and well thought out with a balanced wheel and I've also got a Jumbo Flyer and Lazy Kate to go with it! No you may think I've been too busy spinning to be able to tell you this but you are far from the truth. As a condition of DH buying the wheel for me for Christmas I must have a serious sort out of my clutter - no easy task as I am an undeniable hoarder! So far so good though, I've put new shelves up for all my books and have had a rethink of my storage solutions that is a better use of space but it's not easy to fit all this into the day whilst looking after DD who is being seriously active and curious about everything. And on top of all that I've been trying to keep the wood pile filled up and sawing up logs every other day, or so it seems! See what I meant about who the DIYer in our house is!
I went over to Mum's to go and pick the wheel up from a lovely couple in her Spinning Guild and spend some time there getting the feel for my wheel - hardest part was getting the tension right. Until we got that right neither Mum or I could really get it spinning nicely. Anyway there's a load more stuff I'll need to learn to get this right so don't be expecting any hand spun goodies for a while yet!

We did have a go at dyeing yarn as well whilst I was there using 'Easy-Peasy Dyes' (which really live up to their name) and some unwanted 4ply white yarn that was 75% wool donated from My Mum-in-law who was clearing out her stash. We did 3 lots. This 1st one was done in the microwave with red and yellow and zapped for 10 minutes and then overdyed with blue and zapped again- not too garish a result!

This one was done on the hob and sat simmering for half an hour like something out of Macbeth: "Hubble Bubble.... etc" as Mum kept saying in suitable old crone tones (not her normal voice I hasten to add before you get the wrong idea!). This was meant to be 'Sky Blue' according to the recipe book (yes, you can get a recipe book for the dyes!) but looks more like a Sea Green. Anyway the general plan is to use it for a shawl of some sort, not sure which yet. Mum also has 4 hanks of hand dyed in a lovely shade but I'll leave it to her to tell you about that.I have been trying to fit some knitting in as well as everything else and have some FO's to show that are in the process of being blocked, etc so no photo of that just yet but really I'm itching to get my hands on my wheel!

One thing that I have joined up to is the Warm Hands KAL and have already nearly done a pair of Fetching. It's such an easy pattern I'm not surprised that everyone is making them but if I make them again I'd make some adjustments for me, namely to make them a bit longer as they just about cover your wrist and I like them to be longer. Plus I found the picot cast off seemed to curl over and was a little too loose for my little hands to I unpicked them and did some k2togs to make them a bit snugger for me and did an ordinary cast off, pretty though the picot was. The yarn BTW is Colinette Skye from the bargain bin so no idea what colour it is but, and this is really cool, the pink shades formed a spiraling stripe that wound it's way up the mitten. As DH said it's like a Helter Skelter. But then he did also say I'd left the fingers off the mittens!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Look at my new Baby!

I have accepted Alice's challenge to flash my stash and, based on an idea one of the girls in my knitting group suggested, decided to put DD's travel cot to good use for this. Here it all is:This actually is quite frightening to see it all in one place at the same time and I can't believe that I had enough tp virtually fill the cot! Whilst I was filling it I kept remembering more places I had yarn stored (or more acurately hidden!). There are bits that have a designated future use which makes me feel a bit better about it and one thing that is likely to be an upcoming project (believe it when you see it - I have been saying this for months!) is the following lot of blues: These are destined to become a Perugia throw as in the ones Colinette make up kits for. It was originally going to be based on the pattern but then the actual pattern was printed in issue 2 of Knit Today which has advice from Colinette's very own helpfull Diane! Anyway there should be enough bits for it there - assorted mohairs, Colinette Giotto in Jay, Tagliatelle in Sea breeze, Mercury in Fresco and lots of other blue bits that were in the stash. All I really need to do is sit down and work out what colours and yarns I want where!

There was one good thing about getting all the stash out was thatI could put it away better and have now pretty much organised them by colour so there is a box of greens (as shown above)
and a larger box of pinks as a result of having a daughter I suppose (shown below).
There is a box of blues but as most blues are in the Perugia project bag all the eyelash and fluffy yarns that I got as a bargain in work have been piled in with these - what I'm going to do with them all I don't know but then maybe DD will love them when she's older! The rest of the stash has been put away based on the fact that I can get jumpers/ cardigans/ etc out of them or that they're nice yarns but I didn't photograph them I'm afraid.

Seeing it all like this makes you realise quite how much you have and how much there is still to be knitted up and yet I still yearn for more! Anyway maybe this weekends outing will slow that down ( I was going to say stop it but who am I kidding!) as I will be hopefully picking up my Christmas present from DH - a spinning wheel!!! More about that later. But for now I leave you with a challenge - Will you flash your stash Artis-anne; Alice and Frankie

Saturday, October 21, 2006

FO's and assorted Goodies!

Firstly I'd like to introduce young Ella who is posing outside our village church - simply because the colours in the yarn reminded me of the red sandstone used in the building (and it was tidier than my garden and brighter than my house was at the time!). I finished it on Wednesday night about 11pm and impatiently blocked it heavily with the steam iron. Blocking was like magic - you started with a lumpy mass of knitting that looks more like a bunch of grapes than a shawl and then with a little stream and heat the mass grows and blossoms into what you see below! I am addicted with lace now - if only to see the magic of blocking each time! So very satisfying!

Don't the colours look so warming in this shot? Like smoldering embers and ideal for these autumn days!

Next we have not really a new FO but one that Emily has finally grown into! The pattern is from a Sirdar kids Denim book (can't remember which one as a friend has the book at the mo) and was knitted up in Sirdar Denim Chunky in a lovely girly raspberry ripple colour. I knitted it in the 1-2 year size and it was massive on her at 1 years. Now a few months on it is a little better but still big but doesn't she look cute in it? If I had my way she'd wear that all the time!

As you may have read with Artis-Anne we, along with my Mum-in-law (Hi Lil - when are you getting a blog?!) went to Colinette for a visit. This had been planned for months, before we knew there was an open day on the Saturday (frustrating as Saturday is my only work-day) and we were eagerly awaiting it! Mum and I were supposed to be not spending much at all but were no use to each other as the voice of reason and Lil really pushed the boat out with her shopping which did include some of the Tao silk and the Parisienne kid mohair... and my Christmas present!! Finally I have some, or I should say will have, some Tagliatelle for a jumper! I did buy some Point 5 for a friend and managed to grab some of Colinette's new sock yarn - Jitterbug in Sahara. I was tempted with their other new yarn (the name of which I've forgotten, begins with 'C'!) a lovely soft merino DK weight yarn and liked the patterns in the accompanying book but restrained myself as I couldn't afford that (Boo!).

So along with the sock yarn (that Emily is modeling above - she did it herself!) I bought ...

. . . . 3 cones of 4 ply. Right to left: a pinky plumy shade (possibly Summer Berries?); a blue cone that in the daylight seems to have every other colour possible including plums, yellow, orange, green and so on; and finally a green cone with lilac shades all to play with for lacey stuff. I've no idea of the yardage on the cones, just the weight but have decided to chance it with the pink and am already trying this out as a possible shawl (probably small!) and have co-ordinating beads to play with on small items such as Perdita. Also in the shopping bag was a copy of the Westcountry pattern book for future use! In the photo you'll also see the Twillies Freedom Spirit pattern book which I got the other day having seen pictures of projects from it in magazines and finally succuming to the lure of it! There are a few possible future projects in there and the yarn itself is really nice and there is already 1 ball of it hiding in the stash pile.

One final point - last Saturday in work to celebrate National Knitting Week (and promote knitting) we were allowed to knit in the shop and as a result I showed some colleagues a really simple shrug pattern that would not be beyond any of their skills. Now this week I discovered that most of the staff have been making this shrug or were about to!! I am well pleased with that and here is the pattern I gave them!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


I too have been Tagged. So, Five ways Feminism has affected my life...

  1. I have been brought up with encouragement to try new things regardless of its traditional gender orientation. I was taught how to sew, cook, clean and do DIY with no implication that these were womens or mens role in life.
  2. I have worked in a male dominated occupation and was the only female in this role at my depo. I was accepted as being good at my job and 'one of the boys'. As a result of this job I was the main bread winner when my Husband and I bought our house and this was not resented by him.
  3. I have had the freedom to raise a family and be a stay at home Mum and not have to conform to having to have a career. I can be a Mum without loosing my independance and freedom ( as much as possible with a 17 month old!)
  4. Despite being a House Wife the cooking and cleaning is not just done by me. These tasks are shared by my DH who also does his share of raising our lovely daughter. This is not done under pressure but accepted as a normal way of living. As it is it falls to me to do the traditional male job of DIY as DH has no real idea of what to do!
  5. Reading other peoples thought on this subject has made me realise just how far feminism has come and how much it has given us - a voice, independance and equality. If only every woman in the world could say that.

Anyway that's getting a bit deep and drifting into deeper waters than I intended. Normal knitting wittering will be resumed as soon as possible but first I should Tag others.... If you want to join in please do, leave a comment and let me know!

I will add this thought for you:

What kind of knitting needles are you?

You are "turbo" charged.Fast moving and classy, you get things done with power and grace. Your expensive tastes can be deceiving, since what you really value is quality and efficiency. As you're careening around those corners in life, finishing a dozen knitted objects each month, stop and smell the roses. Don't miss the beauty of process!
Take this quiz!


Make A Quiz More Quizzes Grab Code

Not really sure if this is me at all!
I will post again later with some FO's - I'm on the homeward stretch of Ella and will show her off as soon as possible!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Oh Yes...

As Cherry pointed out I have forgotted to mention why there is a deadline for Ella. I'm off to a Christening on the 22nd of October and really want Ella to complete my outfit so I really can look like a Yummy Mummy rather than a Slummy Mummy.
I know it really is down to a confidence thing and want to be able to look fabulous in my very own hand made shawl and have envious eyes made at Ella just to make me feel better about myself. And why not!
Anyway this is not getting Ella finished now is it? Back to knitting!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ella update!

Am very nearly at the point of spliting into the 2 seperate points and so far am feeling confident about the progress. At least I can now watch TV as well as knit this!
Everything else is on hold until Ella is complete and blocked - I've my Knitting Night tonight and I'm sitting here thinking of it as one night less that I can knit Ella as I certainly can't natter whilst knitting this! Back to knitting more of 'Tank Girl' tonight I think even though I'm still not sure about the colour for me. But as someone suggested it can always be a present for someone!
Anyway am off to knit some more!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Oh help the Yarn Monster is loose!

Oh Dear as Emily would say! Oh dear, oh dear my bank balance is in for a bit of a battering.
Having been very good (well sort of good) and not buying lots of yarn lately (I'm not including the fleece I scavenged for a donation as it is not really a yarn yet and it was for charity!) I have just gone and bought some more. And we've a trip to the Colinette Millshop due on either the 18th or 19th of this month! More temptation!

It's not like I need it at all but the Yarn Monster within has said - Must have, must buy! And so I gave in to temptation.

Mum has not set a great example. You may hear tales of me leading her astray but she was first having bought some luscious merino worsted handspun (so nice she's hiding it from me - and no that doesn't mean it will be a Christmas pressie for me! Joking Mum!) and then raved on about the delights of real natural yarns making my red 'Marble' acrylic yarn seem less appealing.
Plus I am at the moment knitting with pure wool lace weight yarn which is superb and soft so I am not unaware of the lure of natural yarns.

So with all this floating round in my head when I saw a bargain pack of Sirdar Salsa (with Merino!!) in work it was of course snapped up. Plus I was kind enough to think of Mum and grab one for her - but I got choice of colours!

And then, having been reading a borrowed copy of 'A Gathering of Lace' by Meg Swansen, which is so lovely and a must have book even if just for looking at at marveling at the work involved in the shawls and items inside, I have been filled with a desire to do more lacework - shawls specifically. And when surfing through e-bay I found lace-weight 100% pure wool from the Ukraine (which sounds a fantastic place that I've wanted to go to for ages) I just had to buy it. And the good thing is it's not any of the colours I always go for it is . . . Violet! Hopefully that will be nice.

Don't you just love International mail? I do! I'm now expecting 2 globe-trotting parcels from the Ukraine as mentioned and Hong Kong as well (more bamboo needles!). I think parcels are exciting enough as it is but foreign ones have the different stamps which for me makes it more exciting!
Anyway I've rambled on long enough and Ella is calling me! 14 days until she needs to be complete and blocked! Better get a knit on!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Twice the wittering!

Well I've finally decided the time has come to create a specific blog about the mischief my little daughter gets up to and so "Educating Emily" was born!
Hopefully I'll be able to rope DH into running that with me so we can log all our little one's exploits!

p.s. As far as knitting goes I'm still slogging away with Ella - onto the 1st repeat of the 2nd section. Okay I thing for 3 days of haphazard knitting! I'll keep you posted though!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Look what came in the Post!

Crafty Drama Queen has been very busy and sent a prize to celebrate her 50th post on her blog - Thank you very much! Inside was a ball of Gladrags, some vintage buttons, a seaweed soap and a lovely hand-made pouch and stitch-marker - and all in various shades of Blue! Thank you for such a kind and generous gift! And she sent a lovely knitting notelet with the gift as well, wish I knew where she found those!

Now on to my knitting creations. My lovely little Emily has a thing about emptying the contents of my handbag all over the place. So I decided that she could do with her own little bag to play with. So this was created:

The handles are bangles and it's some DK weight yarn knitted with some Eyelash yarn that was in the stash pile. It's not really much of a stashbuster but it is really cute. It's just about big enough for a few of Emily's essentials - a dummy and a small toy person and that's that! And DH says that it's the cutest and best thing I've knitted so far, definitely his favorite! Not that he wants one for himself he adds!

I'd like to introduce you to my new model - Hattie. Rescued from the bin at work I think she must have been fighting because she has a broken nose but she sits patiently to model my hats. This latest one is knitted in Colinette 'Point 5' (I've no idea what colourway it is) and the pattern is from their 'Artyfacts' book.

I'm really quite pleased with it. It was a super quick knit on 12mm needles and took less than a day to knit up and it left me with exactly half a ball so I can make another one. Which is good as I think it may have ended up in my pile rather than the Christmas present pile!

Now on to the saga of the Giotto top. Since I last posted I've found another pattern that only needs 3 hanks to knit it up with. This is it:

It's from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer '06 and is another really quick knit on 9mm needles and is in the exact same colourway as I have. I'm a bit worried though as so far it's looking really small and I've rather a lot of yarn left over with just the sleeves to knit up. I think I may frog it and knit it up in the next size after all the model in the photo doesn't have quite as much in front as I do!

I've also finally started Ella. I've had the yarn for ages now but I've been putting off starting it in case I made an enormous mess of my lovely yarn. But so far so good. I think I'm getting the hand of the pattern and it's growing well. I can definitely seen myself getting addicted to knitting this!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Spinning a Yarn (not original I know!)

As I promised I will tell you about my spinning exploits. Mum had borrowed an Ashford Traditional from her local guild and so I thought it would be rude not to visit her with my fleece and get her to show me how to spin it up. And so she did.
I was really surprised how much difference using different fleeces made. I tried with one of her e-bay fleeces (Cheviot possibly) which was in her words s***ty and it truly was a pain to spin with as it didn't seem to want to flow or spin with ease at all. So we switched to another fleece and the difference was noticeable straight away - more lanolin on the wool (Mum did say she may have washed the other fleece too much) and easier to draw out (using technical terms - I think!).
My fleece is a shetland merino cross and is a lovely deep chocolate colour and is full of lanolin and lovely to spin with. I was going to photograph my attempts but I'm sorry - after Mum-in-law said "What's that? Is it meant to be like that?" I'm too shy to show it to the wider world. It is rather rough and slubby but don't let all these spinners fool you - it isn't that easy to get a perfect yarn especially if you've only got a duff drum carder to card your fleece with meaning that all the knots and grass etc is still in the fleece as you try to spin it into some from of hand made loveliness.
And in connection to this I've just had a call from the Ranger at Tam O'Shanters Farm offering me half a fleece!! Have a look at this! This is my fleece, or at least the type of sheep it comes from but none of the sheep at the farm have four horns - too young perhaps? There are pictures here of the yarn knitted up as well. Will wait to see what state the fleece is in, hopefully no beasties or too much muck, after all these are sophisticated urban sheep we're talking about here!!

On the knitting front I've not had a great week. I borrowed a friends Colinette pattern book and it has a pattern for a tie front cardigan in Giotto and it only takes 3 hanks, just the amount I had in the stash pile. So I eagerly cast on and flew through the knitting up - a day for each front and back. Then came the sleeves. And worryingly the pile of yarn left was looking dubiously small for 2 sleeves. Anyway I cast on and knitted up the 1st sleeve realising that there was not going to be enough yarn for the last sleeve let alone sewing the thing up.
It was a lovely colour knitted up - such a lovely autumnal curry colour. Double checking my tension found that mine was out by an extra stitch and extra row. But still it must have been a close call to be able to use only 3 hanks - unless the yardage is not quite the same in the sale room yarns. So now do I:
a) try again on the same size needles;
b) try again on larger needles;
c) knit something else (even though I now really fancy a cardi in this colourway) or
d) try to get another hank that matches?

Answers on a postcard to.....

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

FO's as promised!!

Here we go - Emily's little dress has been completed and Emily duly wore it today when we visited Tam O'Shanters Farm near us. It a lovely Urban Farm which is lovely for little ones with sheep, rabbits, goats, ducks, hens, pigs, donkeys and ponies and is run on a charitable basis. I will show you the photos of the dress in a moment but first I'll tell you about their sheep (keeping the knitting theme going!) - there are lovely Manx Langhorns which have a lovely chocolate brown fleece. I asked the ranger what happens with their fleeces as I was a spinner (well - I didn't tell him how badly I spun!) and would be interested in the wool. So he took my number and is trying to find the fleece that he thinks is around somewhere for me!! Just think, wool from Birkenhead's finest (and probably only) sheep!

Anyway back to the knitting. Here we have the dress as modelled by Emily:

As usual she will not sit still for her photos but here is the dress again (well one done from the same pattern) but this time modelled a few years ago by myself!

Other FO's on the catwalk? Here comes Odessa as modelled by our model of the month Emily. Note please how she is about to yank the hat off and throw it on to the floor. It was this or a boring photo of the hat on the floor!

Right, I will tell you all about my spinning and show you my attempts but it has taken me so long to get these photos up on blogger that I really am feeling too tired to type more tonight. Besides DH is itching to get back on the computer to play! So for now this is it and I will report on the spinning soon, hopefully with news of the Manx fleeces!! Fingers crossed there is still one around or its a long wait until next July when they're sheared again!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Honest, I have been busy!

I've only just realised that I haven't posted for a while. And really I have been busy and do have some FO's to show you all.
Firstly Odessa is finished. The colours look great and the pattern is lovely but I'm not sure about how it looks on - which is no bad thing as really it's not for me! Thats hat number 2 done for Christmas! Hat number 3 was underway (another Madge in Colinette One Zero) but I was having one of those days when my lace was just not working so I frogged it in impatience, plus Mum did want her needles back so will have to ask Hubby to get my Christmas present (small circular needle set) early in order to be able to make more Christmas presents!
Current WIP is a Pinafore dress for Emily and it's an old pattern I found in my Grans house after she died and it is one that I wore when I was a little girl. Once it's done I'll try to post a photo of me in mine and Emily in hers!
Anyway am determined to finish the dress tonight so will sign off and post again tomorrow hopefully with photos of the FO's and of my spinning effort!! More on that later as well!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Wednesday Weather.

Well, OK, not really weather but it was a great sunset that light the sky wonderfully! And I can't believe how slow I've been to update the blog, I have been busy doing nothing it seems.
If you've read Artis-Anne you will have already heard about our little trip to the Trefiw Woolen Mills and their Spinning and Weaving House which was very inspirational. Needless to say I did come away bearing fleece - one an un-dyed Shetland Merino cross in a lovely deep chocolate brown, lovely and soft and full of lanolin; the other a bag of dyed unknown fleece in moorland shades of greens and heather purple flashes. Both bags will need carding before their spun - when that will be I do not know as I really would need to prefect my technique first. It was just the temptation of buying bits of sheep to play with (without meaning to sound rude!). Then my car broke down due to wet weather (?) and I had an extra night of knitting and nattering at Mum's but my mind was not with it for knitting. To clarify I started another of the little Colinette Tagliatelle vests for Emily with some yarn Mum had left over and totally got confused over the measurements and did the measurements in inches rather than centimeters eg 12" rather than 12cm and did not question it even though it looked enormous. This has since been frogged and corrected but not photographed yet.

As far as knitting seems to be going at the moment I feel as if I'm in a bit of a rut. The Tank Girl top from S'n'B Nation is so simple it's boring (the pale blue rib body); Odessa (variegated blue shades) is growing too slowly for me right now and I suppose I have a bit of Cast-on fever - happy to cast on new projects but it's difficult to motivate myself to work through them. Admittedly the photos are a bit old and the back of the tank top is done and Odessa is marginally bigger but I don't really feel excited by these projects too much (I do like Odessa but it's a potential present so has the air of a chore about it).
Ah well, I'll just keep plodding on and I'm sure I'll feel better about them once their finished.

And as for Emily - well, she liked the spinning at Trefiw as she got to feel bits of different fleeces and I think it's given her ideas! I'm sure it won't take her long to figure it out!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

We're having a Food Festival on the Wirral this Bank Holiday Weekend and I had a quick visit today. It was mad busy and not overly pushchair friendly as it was that busy but we still enjoyed ourselves (at least Emily did once we found someone selling ice-cream!). Now I'm not one to really go on about my marvelous baking and am not known to buy everything as green and organic as possible but just look at these:

I got proper mucky carrots and parsnips as well as lovely apples, radishes, chillies, Cumbrian pancetta and some lovely creamy Lancashire Blue cheese.

How about this for a beer tent? I think it looks like Hagrids home out of the Harry Potter films or at the very least a cross between a wizards hat and a wigwam!

And just look at what Emily was bedecked in today:

And I was wearing my Giotto vest top:

I'll be back with more knitting news after I finish rushing round for the Bank Holiday!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ooopps, I've done it again!

As you may know if you've been reading Artis-Anne I've been to the Colinette Millshop Yet Again!! Some of the girls / ladies from my knitting group were going and I was invited. Tempted as I was I said No - no money and would have the baby with me (not fair to the girls to have Emily running round and whinging ruining their trip out!). I thought how strong willed I was being!!
Then my Mother-in-law (Hi Lil!), also a keen knitter, mentioned she was going to visit Colinette. My DH then said Why don't I go with her? He'd give me money to spend! What would you say?

So of course I went - it would have been rude to refuse the kind offer of yarn money my DH offered. And when we arrived who did we see coming out as we were going in but my Knitting Group! Who, after Emily had smiled her best smile and flirted, said that they wouldn't have minded Emily joining them on their trip. Well at least I know for next time!!
Emily enjoyed herself again - running round looking at (and cuddling) all the yarn and pulling them all off the shelves again. She seems to have a preference for the bright colours and 'Point 5' and other woolly yarns. I at least had a shopping list this time so knew what I wanted and did actually stick to my list.
Firstly a hank of Tagliatelle for a top for Emily:

The colour is great and will go with lots of things Emily already has including her Hippy Purple cords!
Nextly I wanted 3 hanks of 'Giotto' in a golden colourway for a moss-stitch vest top from Femme Fatale, the name of which I've forgotten. I very nearly got some which were curry coloured with flashes of rich green but then realised how much of the yarn I've bought lately has been green. I had fancied a colourway with more colors in it - I think it must have been 'Pharaoh' but being on a Sale Room budget I struggled to find 3 that I liked and that matched well enough. Then Emily found one for me, sounds daft but she pulled out a hank and I liked the colour so I've ended up with a golden curry colour.
Lastly I knew I wanted another hank of 'One Zero' for Christmas Present Hats and found one that will match someone's scarf I made last year - problem solved. Then I found a lovely hank of 'Skye' that bellowed Autumn which had to be rehomed to my stash and will probably be a hat for me!!

Not long after I got home Mum arrived for a little visit, a visit that solved by Baby-sitter problem for my Knitting Night. Mum would join me and her DH would do the honours and mind Emily (no problem really as she's a good little sleeper). Oh and Mum arrived bearing goodies - namely some luscious laceweight 100% wool yarn in the richest flamey colours (I had read of them being described as 'Molten Lava' which is very apt) for my very own Ella! Thank you Mum!!!

And then off to our Knitting Night - Mums first knitting group! I think she enjoyed herself - we've a lovely group in New Brighton, all very friendly and welcoming but I think all the conversations flying all over the place took some time getting used too! It's definately not a group that you can do complicated knitting in! Chris, my multi-talented friend did a quick spinning demo for us after we told her how little luck we'd had with it. She took one look at our attempts and said we'd been on the right track all along! We'd mistakenly thought that the yarn automatically wound itself onto the spindle. So we've been talked into trying it again and she's loaned us the spindles for longer!
Now a quick update on FO's - the Giotto vest top has been completed and Emily's vest top has been whizzed through - started Monday night and finished Wednesday (could have been quicker if we hadn't had such a busy few days!) I will update you with photos soon with a FO Festival but really want to get back to the current WIP - the 'Tank Girl' top from the 1st Stitch 'n' Bitch book - the back is very nearly done so I can hopefully present a feast of FO's soon enough!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Oh Dear!

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Acrylic.While you are very versatile, your plasticky countenance can be offputting. You are very good with children but can become a pill if left alone with them too long. You are very flexible but don't give in to manipulation.
Take this quiz!

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