Sunday, 30 November 2008

Sunday misty Sunday

I have had to make a little cosy for my new phone. It is very slim and shiny and has a tendency to slip out of my pocket or slide down and disappear into the depths of my bag. Now in it's cosy I can spot it and it seems to cling to my pocket lining. The button is from my late mother's button box and is, I think, a button from one of my late father's work overalls.

The February sweater is growing a little. As you know I changed the order of the knitting so now the 2 sleeves are finished and I am working my way down the body. I still haven't decided if it will be my Christmas cardigan or gifted.

The grey jacket is progressing and I am now half way up the second sleeve. The ribbing has to be added to the jacket body and the sleeves, the neckband and the button borders so there is still a way to go.

Last night and early this morning it was still very misty. Not as bad as Friday night when it was freezing fog. I looked out about 10pm and watched Mr Fox leisurely strolling in next door's front garden. He then visited mine briefly and strolled across the road to the house opposite for a rummage in the bushes in their garden. The reason I say Mr Fox is that I am used to seeing a smaller fox in my back garden, who I thought was female, but this one was much bigger with a longer bushier tail. We live quite near to a small woodland so it's not unusual to see various wildlife around and about but I can't quite get used to the rats that occasionally cross my path. Fortunately they don't venture into my garden very often due, I think, to a large colony of cats belonging to various neighbours who are always on a night patrol.

I went to the monthly Knit Out of the Noras today but I will write more abut that tomorrow.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Knitting New Mittens and Gloves

One of my books from Amazon arrived today. I was ordering books and a DVD for Christmas presents when my hand accidentally hovered and then pressed add to basket on a couple of books for myself. My Tapestry Crochet book is still to arrive but this one came today. Knitting New Mittens and Gloves by Robin Melanson (click on Blog title for more details)My excuse it that the pair of lacy gloves on the front cover would be ideal, in black, for my daughter in law and there are several others in there that would suit her also. Not that there is any in there for me - Hee hee.I do lie so beautifully at times!

The last photo is my birthday pressie from Vicky. I shall enjoy the heady perfume of the Lush shower gel and reading my quote of the day from Stephanie Pearl McPhee in 2009.

My crochet progressed a little more last night and I am on the second sleeve now. The February sweater is progressing also and now has one completed sleeve and a couple of patterns on the second. I really like this and am tempted to finish it for my Christmas sweater and make the intended person something else as a gift. Well it not as if she knew it was for her and I will have balls of wool in the same colour left over! I had debated between 2 patterns for her anyway so I will just make her the other one. I am in a naughty mood this week. First I add books for me to my Amazon order and now I am high jacking presents! Turning 63 hasn't done me any good at all!

I am hoping to go to the Knitty Noras knitting club tomorrow and thankfully I have a lift as our group usually take any new books to the club so that everyone can have a browse. I will have 5 to take so would be rather loaded up on public transport.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Big book of Crochet

This is my second birthday book. Big Book of Crochet (click on blog title for link) It has 120 projects tucked between it's covers. A lot of afghans and baby blankets, some baby clothes and bibs, a couple of hats, scarves and shawls, some novelty items and bookmarks, cushions, a few garments and even some doilies for those of you so inclined. I have put a few photos up today but there as so many, many more. Definitely a book for those who love afghans and blankets. Once again apologies for the sometimes fuzzy photography. I seem to have developed a very shaky camera hand.

I went to the hospital yesterday. An interesting journey by public transport highlighted by going on a scenic bus ride through war torn boarded up parts of Salford that I didn't know existed. After losing the will to live I eventually arrived at the hospital an hour or so after setting off from Manchester. I obviously chose the wrong bus as it is only a few minutes down the road usually. Luckily I had started off really early so I arrived to keep my appointment by a whisker.

Coming back was equally as interesting as my metro tram broke down and we all had to get off and watch the pantomime of the tram being rescued and shunted off somewhere. I managed to get a seat on the next tram (it was now rush hour) and was holding on to the rail as I was on one of those flip up seats for the elderly by the doors when this handsome young man put his hand on the rail and held my hand for a split second. Of course, he did it accidentally, but as I explained to him that I was very flattered at my age for my hand to be held, even for a split second, by such a handsome young man and we had a bit of a giggle about it.

My hospital appointment was enlightening as I got to see the x rays of my spine adorned with it's new finery. The screws were a lot larger than I had imagined and I now understand why I have this trouble with bending to get into a car as three of my vertebrae are now acting as one. the specialist did say that this will improve now I am fit enough to start some gentle exercise. He had to strip some the muscles in my back to perform the operation and that is what I will need to build up again. He said slowly but surely I will regain more mobility in my spine. He said I can never jog, do star jumps, trampoline. sky dive or bungee jump ever again. Now how did he know that was on my list of absolute musts? Yeah right! I am limited to water aerobics for the present time so have applied to rejoin the B.E.A.T.S programme for a monitored exercise regime.

I am being referred to a knee specialist. if you remember several weeks ago I injured my knee retrieving a crochet hook from under my coffee table. At the time A&E said they could see nothing wrong and told me to go home rest, elevate and put ice on it. The specialist yesterday looked at my X rays, examined the knee and announced that in his opinion I had torn my cartilage. That's me isn't it. I don't do things by halves.

No crochet or knitting to report on today as I was treated to a lovely cake and coffee by Vicky for my birthday treat. We went to Slattery's. If you are ever in my area I suggest that you give them a visit. They have the most wonderful selection of chocolates, chocolate novelties,wines, chutneys, jams and cakes in the shop downstairs. I am going to have to pay another visit and browse for some Christmas presents. Slattery's is famous for making several celebrities wedding cakes and one of the Royals if I remember rightly. I know that they definitely made Wayne Rooney's wedding cake.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Creative crochet

Thank you to everyone who sent me cards, e mails, Ravelry messages and blog comments for my birthday yesterday. I had a brilliant day finished off with a lovely Italian meal courtesy of my niece Vic and friend Louise.

As promised I am posting some photos of my new crochet books as I have absolutely nothing to report on my knitting or crochet as I didn't pick up a hook or a knitting needle yesterday.

I will start with Creative Crochet by Darla Sims. This book will be useful for those of you who have lots of bits and bats of similar colours that you don't quite know what to do with. I like some of the patterns but I wouldn't feel like buying wool especially for any of the garments although my eyes are drawn to the purple cardigan I must confess. I think it is a book that might come in useful if I can keep my eye on the sale items of 1 or 2 balls that I see and like but can't quite think what I would make with them except a hat. I should probably decide on a colourway and stick with that. These designs could look rather messy if I got the colour wrong or too many colours instead of shades of one.

Darla Sims uses a cut and tie method of joining in her colours and prefers to move her colours about in a slanted fashion mid row rather than do complete rows. I don't think I could bear to leave all the knots tied at the back so it would turn out to be a darning in frenzy for me if I made anything from this book.

I must apologise for the quality of my photos today. In my defence I will say that it is rather dark this morning so I had to put the light on plus the book pages are rather shiny. I have posted an Amazon link to the book (click on the blog title) should anyone like the book and want to buy it.

I am glad that a couple of fellow crocheters managed to get hold of the Glorious sweater book that I am crocheting from at the moment. That is a book well worth getting hold of if you can find it.

This afternoon I am off to the hospital for X rays to see if my spine has healed up correctly after the op. I am going to see if I can get them to refer me to someone about my knee which at the moment is causing more problems than my back is.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

21 Today!

I'm 21 today, 21 today, I've got the key of the door, never been 21 before. Well that's a lie for a start I have been 21 twice already and had the key of the door for a long time and now I am 21 for a third time. Next time I am 21 it will be for the 4th time and I will be 84 so I might not be blogging then. Technology will have moved on and we will all be using something else. I come from a line of long living women on both sides of the family so unless fate intervenes I hope to he around bugging you until at least my 90's. You poor things!

My brother has called and thankfully I had showered and got dressed before he arrived but he did, of course, catch me with my breakfast dishes unwashed and the hoover out. Why do people never call when the house is all straight? He managed to get his foot in my trailing red wool so the February sweater almost lost a few rows. The photo is of the sleeve. I hate circular needles so am re-jigging the sweater and doing the sleeves first and seaming them rather than having to pick them up and knit circular as per the pattern. Those of you who know me well know I never do anything the "right" way.

My brother brought me these 2 crochet books and a CD of Alan Jackson,who I really like, for my birthday. I had a lot of his tracks downloaded on my old PC and in the transfer from one PC to another I lost a lot of tracks and Alan Jackson's tracks were amongst those. I will have a cup of coffee,listen to my new CD and peruse my new books. I will post photos of anything in them that is particularly scrumptious tomorrow.

I am off out tonight for a meal with my niece and friend Louise. What a lucky girl I am. I love birthdays. Come on now - all together - 21 today. she's 21 today, she's got the key of the door only been 21 twice before!

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Dark wet Sunday weather

Apologies for the very dark photo of Buster but today's weather is filthy and dark. We woke up to a bit of snow being washed away by rain. I hate this dark dismal weather. I am sure that I suffer from the SAD syndrome in a mild form as this kind of weather really affects my mood. I find it so hard to be cheerful on a day such as today.

Buster is still not a happy doggy. He clings to my ankles as if I am going to disappear at any moment. Yesterday he was very naughty he cocked his leg at the door and started to relieve himself. He got scolded for that and put outside for a few minutes.He has never done that at my house before so I think it's a sign of distress. I have enjoyed his company but walking him for the last 2 days has played havoc with my back and knee so I am hoping that my son will want to take him home again after his weekend away. I thought that I was making good progress with my back but I think I need a course of physio before I can regain full mobility. I will ask at the hospital on the 26th. I am going to get them to take another look at the X rays of my knee as it is far from healed and still twice the size that it should be.

My crochet is still progressing I am on the second front of the cabled cardigan. I am knitting the February sweater in between to lessen the strain in my wrists. There is not much to show at the moment as I am still on the garter stitch yoke. If you click on the title of the blog you will be able to see what is should look like when it is finished. It's a free pattern by the way and I know. like me, that you like a free pattern.

The sun is feebly trying to shine and it looks like the rain has stopped so I think I should get out of my PJ's and take Buster out before it all goes dark and dismal again.

My niece came yesterday to give my hair roots a top up so I can appear in public again without the aid of a hat to cover up the dark roots! At my time of life I should be going grey or white and then I wouldn't have such a big problem. My mother didn't go grey until she was in her 70's so I must have got her genes. My brother is just starting to go grey now and he is almost 72.

Friday, 21 November 2008

My baby is back home

As you can see Buster is back home but it may be only temporary. He barely knew me when he came through the door. Not the ecstatic welcome I had been expecting. He is not settling and was glued to the window looking for my son to come back and get him until it went dark and I closed the curtains. As you can see from his face he is a sad doggy.

I took him for a walk this afternoon and although he seemed to remember where everything was he was a very subdued dog. None of the excitement that he used to show chasing a stick and paddling in the stream. He did all of these things but seemed rather lack lustre. I think he misses having my son's dog Skye to walk and play with him. He just plodded along behind me instead of dashing ahead with his tail pluming as he used to.

I have him until Sunday so I will have to see how he is for the next couple of days. I was looking forward to having him home again but I don't want him to be miserable. I think he prefers to be in a family home with another dog.

Crochet is progressing slowly as I have been preoccupied getting to know Buster once again. I am knitting in between the crochet to rest the wrist, I have started the February sweater which is an adult version of Elizabeth Zimmerman's baby matinee. Nothing much to show at the moment as I am on the garter stitch yolk and the work is bunched up on the needles as it is worked from the top down. I can't knit on circular needles so I think the stitches are going to get very cramped before I increase to the correct amount of stitches.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Round the post crochet is playing havoc with my wrists

I was looking forward to some crochet after the aran knitting but I am suffering for my longings. I had forgotten how crocheting around the front and back posts to form the aran cables can play havoc on the wrists. Strangely though it is my left wrist that is suffering the most. I do put a strapping on it but I find that it slows my crochet down as I keep getting my work stuck to the Velcro fastening on the wrist strap! I am still progressing quicker than if I was knitting but I will have to alternate with some knitting to rest my wrists.

As you can see I have reached the more complicated cabling for the shoulder area and have done almost a half of that.

I have unpinned the aran knitting from the blocking boards and am still convinced it will be a bit on the small side. I am considering making a belt (optional on the pattern) just to hold it all together at the waist as I doubt the single button will hold it all together as a warm jacket. The wool was quite lightweight for an aran thickness. If you want to make a light aran then choose Wendy Serenity Aran as it has a tremendous yardage but make a larger size as it worked up small for me even though I normally knit a bit looser than pattern tension.

I have decided not to go to Harrogate to the Knitting Exhibition. I would have to go by train on Thursday because of having Buster over the weekend. I would really love to see all the exhibits but I am supposed to be on a no buy for wool until I have finished all my Christmas projects. I will allow myself to buy some wool but only if it is destined for a present for someone else but I think I would get waylaid and tempted if I went to Harrogate. How can you go to a place like that and not buy?

Monday, 17 November 2008

Whew - I think the aran will fit

As you know I have agonised over whether this aran will be large enough for my niece. I have finished it and blocked it out and provided it doesn't go any smaller when it is dried I am sure it will fit - but just not how it should fit as per the pattern. This will be a slim fitting jacket and not the baggy chunky jacket that I think she is expecting.

I have therefore started another jacket for her. It's cabled but it's crocheted. I chose one of the patterns that I featured yesterday from the book Glorious Crochet sweaters. Mattenylou - I hope that you find your copy of the book. Laurie - I do hope that you didn't throw your magazine away and yes I eventually did get rid of all the holly leaves even though the binmen gave me dirty looks for weeks as I kept filling up my dustbin for weeks. Cat - I hope that you manage to get hold of a copy of the book. I am sure that I saw one for sale on E-bay not long ago.

I am looking forward to doing a bit of crochet after doing that aran knitting. I still have to go back to knitting socks before Christmas but perhaps I should knit a few rows every day in between the crochet.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Glorious Crocheted Sweaters

This is one of my favourite books. I bought it some 20yrs ago for a couple of pounds from my local book store. When I queried the price I was told - It was ordered and then we discovered it had US crochet terms so no-one wants to buy it. How times have changed. Nowadays I can't buy a book that isn't US terms. I wanted to show that crochet isn't all openwork shawls and granny squares. This book shows many garments made in aran style stitches. I have made all of these garments photographed on here - some a couple of times and they make lovely warm jackets. Just in case you like the book and are lucky enough to find one on E-bay it was published by the Sterling Publishing Co.Inc. New York in 1989 and is edited by Nola Theiss. This book was one of my first introductions to multi coloured crocheting which is now called Tapestry crochet. I made many brightly coloured diamond patterned mohair jackets as was the fashion in the 90's. I also knitted some with colourful birds and flowers. Those were the days! I was unafraid to walk the streets wearing my technicoloured dream coats.

Why have I got the book off the book shelf now? Well after my aran knitting which I am still convinced is going to be on the small side I decided to have another go at making a cabled style jacket for my niece but as time is pressing on this next one will be crochet cables instead. The grey wool in the bottom photo is what I am going to use although I still have 5 balls of the never ending aran wool from the knitted jacket left. I am trying to make the collar of that jacket but having trouble trying to make my short rows on the collar look neat. If I can't get it looking right their way then I will unrip and do it my way. At the moment it is looking very uneven and amateurish. I may make a belt to hold the jacket together as it isn't really loose enough to wear as a swing jacket.

I should be doing some housework today but what the heck - I want to finish off this knitted aran as I am chomping at the bit to start some crochet.