Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Green Doesn't Grow the Patio-Oh

And it's a hat trick ! Here we are on WIP Wednesday 38 - and you can find loads of mainly yarny goodness on this theme over at Tami's Amis.

My post is not so much on the yarny but a yardy theme instead: we used the fabulous unseasonal hot sunny weather over the weekend to wake the garden up from it's winter sleep and spring mess. Like a grizzly bear, it was somewhat grumpy and unyielding, but we had our way with it in the end. All we have to do now is hope there are no late frosts ......

And this is the progress on the Waves of Leaves shawl: I finished the last repeat as per the pattern, but decided the shawl wasn't big enough - the pattern is written for 4ply/fingering. So I'm on row 12 of the next 24 row repeat ..... That odd black spot is Inky sticking his nose in to see what's going on.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Signs of Age #1

So Friday being Big Housework Day, I tend to turn up the music quite loud, as it energizes me. I've been listening to Heart recently when I want to be active, because it's quite a good mix of music (I think); the kids also seem to be familiar with quite a lot of their playlist.

I was listening to them sing along today, and asked for clarification:

''You're spinning right round baby right round like a what did you say ?''

Mini Diva: ''Like a wrecker, Mummy''

Destructo Boy: ''Like a rhythm, Mummy''

So I explained what a ''record'' was, in this context, and was greeted with open disbelief and laughter.

And the version my kids are more familiar with:

I give you the chipmunk version because perhaps it seems a little less ...blatant ? than Flo Rida himself. How cartoon animals singing it is more OK, I can't explain.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

WIP Wednesday 37: 1st Shawl

Wow, a consecutive WIP Wednesday post ! Having received the lovely laceweight Malabrigo in the colorway 'Jewel' from Susie over at Useless Beauty, I had to instantly find something to make with it.

Searching through Ravelry, I found this free pattern for a shawl: Waves of Leaves. It is written for 4ply yarn, but I really think it will suit the yarn color, so I am knitting it on 3.75mm needles:

The first photo is taken with flash, the second without.

One of the attractions of this pattern was that it had written instructions as well as the ubiquitous charts. However. There is no point giving written instructions when there are not only errors, but they are not clear. Hence two ripping backs to the start - one when I was well into the second set of instructions for the main body.

So I learned to read the charts. These too are oddly set out, which took me a moment or three to understand/visualize the overall picture they were supposed to be showing me. As it happens, this too was not quite as it should be - it ws only while browsing the completed shawls of others on Ravelry that the photos illuminated my darkness, and I now understand exactly what my goal is.

If I didn't think the pattern was the perfect match for the yarn, I would have ripped it back and made something else, in protest. The yarn itself is lovely - very soft, with the slightest of halos; it knits up easily.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Seekret Projeckt: Success !


I dug the sewing machine out in order to complete the Seekret Projeckt last night - DH asked me wouldn't it just be simpler to buy a gift and avoid all the swearing that accompanies the sewing. But of course, it wouldn't be unique if it was a shop-bought gift, would it ? And I didn't actually start to swear - much - until I somehow broke the sewing machine needle ....

Still, it is finished - and on FO Friday, no less ! - washed and ironed, ready to travel today. Either I'm really, really bad at sewing .... or else we are dealing with an unusual body shape; definitely an endomorph .... Here is a Jenuwine Fashion Shoot:

The model dressing:

And the complete 'Look':

Milly the Monkey, rescued from oblivion, and dressed to impress. Happy Birthday, Rebecca !

Wednesday, 13 April 2011


WIP Wednesday 36. Ha ha ! I have managed to be doing something to blog about for work-in-progress Wednesday again - I must be on a roll.

Such a shame then that I can't actually show you a photo of what I'm working on, as it is still the Seekret Projeckt. It's going slowly because I have little or no motivation to do anything; Mini Diva is coughing and hacking, Destructo Boy has a perennially dripping nose - and I have a sore throat and headache, surefire advance warning that I too am coming down with something ...

the not-so-seekret mess of a projeckt in progress

I can show you a photo of the prize that will be starting its journey to Holly, winner of my April Fool's contest:

Holly loves the color pink in all its forms

I have taken photos of the contents, but I can't decide whether to show them: if Holly reads the blog, then she won't have a surprise ....

Don't forget you can gawk at more knitted and crocheted marvellousness by using the links over at the meme hostess' blog, Tami's Amis.

Monday, 11 April 2011

And the Winner is ....

After a little tech help from Mimi and Mags, I managed to not only use a random number generator, but take a snap for proof - the winner of my 2nd Annual April Fool's contest is Holly Priestley! Congratulations, Holly !
And her entry was:

Knitting time today
Knit one, Purl Two, Yarn Over Time for nothing else

There were 20 bona fide entries - thank you to everybody who entered; I loved the wide variety of styles and thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone's poetry. I am so impressed that your creativity doesn't stop at knitting/crocheting .... the entries can be seen here.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Springing Out

Yesterday night I cleaned house. This had 2 beneficial side effects: firstly, getting up to a spotless house is a great feeling; and secondly, I don't have to do it all today. Except to vacuum again - I don't know why the darn dog isn't bald, with the amount of fur he sheds.

This is a particular plus because the sun is out again and it is going to be a fabulous weather day; here are a couple of photos of what's on my patio right now - and how late too, as our daffodils and narcissi are usually out during February ...

The brightest of primulas:

And the wallflowers are just about bursting into flame ....

It is the last day of term, and the kids and I have been desperate for the holidays to start - we are all dragged down and out by the long grey cold winter; and my father will be back next week,which they are hugely excited about ....

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Gloating Along

LinkLooking forward to a respite after the daily blogging of 2KCBW ? Expecting me to be burnt out having said all I have to say ? Ha ! I bite my thumb in your general direction - you don't get off that lightly. I always have something to say, as DH knows to his cost ...

Firstly, I want to say thank you to the fabulous Eskimimi for all the stuff she did: concept, organizing, buttons, banners, topics etc for Blog Week. I thoroughly enjoyed it - I have have a good nosy snouty poke round lots of blogs that were new to me, and have added loads to my Google Reader.

I even scored most satisfactorily in a concrete way, which I was not expecting; I 'spect you can hear me gloating all the way from here. On Day 1, Janine was saying on her blog Where The Nodding Violets Grow, that she really disliked the Stylecraft Sirocco yarn in the colorway 'Pineapple' she had; I offered to re-home it ... 2 days later it was on my doorstep:

And to make it fairer, I sent Janine some of my handmade soaps.

And then Susie over at Useless Beauty mentioned as how she didn't like the Malabrigo Lace that she had; I offered to trade for it, as I've never seen it and it's reputation is quite mythical. She didn't quite bite my hand off, but here it is:

It is incredibly soft; the colorway is 'Jewel'.

So I want to thank these two generous ladies for increasing my stash so nicely. Which is not involved in my current project ... it is a Seekret Projekt so here is a Seekret Foto:

The completed section of the Seekret Projeckt:

But looking at it ? It needs ribbons. Trailing thin ones. Attached somewhere, somehow.

Don't forget, you have til midnight Friday to enter my April Fool's contest ....

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Your Knitting and Crochet Time 2KCBWDAY7

Your Knitting and Crochet Time 2KCBWDAY7

Write about your typical crafting time. When it is that you are likely to craft – alone or in more social environments, when watching TV or whilst taking bus journeys. What items do you like to surround yourself with whilst you twirl your hook like a majorette’s baton or work those needles like a skilled set of samurai swords. Do you always have snacks to hand, or are you a strictly ‘no crumbs near my yarn!’ kind of knitter.

So I posted earlier this week about my 'corner', which is where I usually knit, and have a cup of tea on the go. I most often knit in the evenings while watching TV, since it makes me feel productive and so much less of a vegetable. If the kids are watching TV in the afternoon, and I can't bear it anymore, I sometimes knit in my bedroom whilst listening to the radio.

I will also take my knitting anywhere where I think I will be waiting for some time, or somewhere I might feel I could multi-task ie, chat with someone whilst knitting: so I'm quite happy to take my knitting most places. I've even been known to knit on long car journeys, which DH likes as it means I'm not paying any attention to his driving, but the kids do not like as they can't sit in the back imitating me by screaming ''We're all gonna die, OMIGODSLOW DOWNWATCHOUTFORTHATTRUCK, we're doomed !" DH's whole family are speed demons drive like maniacs enjoy the challenge of the open road.

The only proviso about my 'mobile' knitting projects is that they have to be either almost totally mindless or at a stage where I'm so familiar with the pattern that they can be regarded as mindless: so no super-complex lace or cable patterns, or projects where I'm at the point of decreasing for the armholes/neck etc. This may on occasion entail starting a whole new project just for it's mobility.

Which is not the same as portability: but I have a lovely large bag that can hold everything I might need, that I take to places where I might be for some time ..... otherwise, since I have a (hand)bag in which I could lose the kitchen sink, I just bung whatever I'm working on into that ...

Don't forget, to find other participants in this year's Knit & Crochet Blog Week, just pop 2KCBW followed by the relevant day into Google ....

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Something to AspireTo 2KCBWDAY6

Something to aspire to 2KCBWDAY6

Is there a pattern or skill that you don’t yet feel ready to tackle but which you hope to (or think you can only dream of) tackling in the future, near or distant? Is there a skill or project that makes your mind boggle at the sheer time, dedication and mastery of the craft? Maybe the skill or pattern is one that you don’t even personally want to make but can stand back and admire those that do. Maybe it is something you think you will never be bothered to actually make but can admire the result of those that have.

For Christmas last year, my good friend Ania gifted me a pattern she thought I might like. It is somewhat of a Greek gift, however: she had purposefully attached some strings - boo, hiss. It is the Starflower Estonian Lace Baby Blanket by Hazel Roots.

Thanks to DH's Xmas guilt, I have a marvellous yarn that I think will really suit the pattern:

Araucania Ranco Multi, 3 skeins from Twist in Woodbridge.

However (you knew there'd be a fly in the perfect ointment, didn't you ?) this pattern means that I will have to learn some new things. Yes, that's right, that was the plural: things. I do appreciate Ania's confidence that I can learn more than one thing at a time, but I am not convinced ....

I will have to learn a provisional cast on and grafting; these seem minor in comparison to what has really been holding me back as far as making this pattern goes: it is charted. I keep telling myself it is no different than learning musical notation, it is merely symbols instead of words: and as a tarot reader, you would be entitled to think that maybe this whole concept would come a little easier to me ....

My only other aims this year are to knit something from the 'Victorian Lace Today' book and/or a lace shawl.

Friday, 1 April 2011

And Now for Something Completely Different ! 2KCBWDAY5

And now for something completely different: 2KCBWDAY5
Experimental blogging day to try and push your creativity in blogging to the same level that you perhaps push your creativity in the items you create. There are no rules of a topic to blog about (though some suggestions are given below) but this post should look at a different way to present content on your blog.

There once was an old woman from Suffolk
Who decided to challenge the blog folk:
Submit me a rhyme
By the end of this time
This contest is no April Fool's joke !

Have a go at winning this contest
It's easier than knitting a lace vest:
Simply comment in verse
(For better or worse!)
Sit back and relax, read the rest !

2nd Annual April Fool's Contest: All you have to do is leave a comment in a form of (original) verse, eg.rhyming couplet, haiku, sonnet, iambic pentameter, epigram, etc to have a chance of winning a fabulous Mystery Prize selected by me !

Go on, have a go - it cannot be worse than mine !

Open to international entries
Closing date Fri.8th April, 2011
Winner will be chosen by random number generator.
Winner will be announced on the blog.
Please make sure I can contact you for your address.