Saturday, 31 January 2009

Where have the last 40yrs gone?

Almost 40 yrs separates these two photos. Where have all those years gone? It really doesn't seem that long since my baby was that small and now he is a 40yrs old man. A husband, step dad and grandad as well.

last night I went with my neighbour Julie to my son's 40th birthday party. It was a typical bikers celebration. Loud music plenty of booze and general high spirits. Some people are intimidated by a room full of leather and tattoos. I have never seen as much tattooed flesh since I watched Miami Ink. That aside what a great bunch of people they are. They openly show affection for each other and there was not one bit of trouble throughout the whole evening. They may drink and party hard but they know how to handle their alcohol and remain civilised. A direct contrast to what most people would suppose. Not once voice raised in anger the whole evening. I could see that my son was touched by the amount of people who took the trouble to travel miles to come to his party and the love that they showed to him as they greeted him on arrival.

I got told over and over by different bikers what a great son I have and how I had raised such a good man. After some of the negative words my son and I have had recently it was so good to be told that I didn't do everything wrong and I had done my best to raise him the right way. It was so good to know that he is held in such high esteem by so many people. I,of course, am biased as I think my only child is wonderful as most mum's do.

Julie, my neighbour, came with me and although I didn't manage to find her a hairy biker as promised she did seem to have a good time and we have said that we will organise her a big party for her 40th at the end of this year. Not sure if she wants a biker do but she might get one!

Needless to say not much knitting has been done. I had a visit from Vicky yesterday, which was very enjoyable, to discuss an upcoming crochet project.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Still not happy with my knitting

I still don't have enough wool for the 4th pattern option that I chose so I have now introduced a strip of plain grey to try and eke out the fleck wool. I know I could have knitted a sleeveless top or a waistcoat but these are garments that I never wear so no point in knitting any of those for myself. The garments is knitted side to side so at least the stripe will run down my body and not across!

I can always use it as a house jacket to keep me warm if I don't like the finished effect.

I am posting some photos of the finished Swirl cap that I made for my friend Jennifer. I gave it to her in pieces as it was to have the brim stiffened. Jennifer preferred it without the stiffening in the peak so has assembled it without peak plastic. The free pattern link can be found on a previous blog post. I know it is on ravelry and called swirl but the rest eludes me just now. Jennifer has given me the name of the wool I used. The wool is by RYC and is called soft lux. It's 64% extra fine merino, 10 angora, 24 nylon and 2 metallic fibre. The color is called "sable".

The smell of the cat wee has faded but the smell of the Jeyes fluid that I used to counteract the wee smell is now starting to get on my chest as well as my nerves. I think a good re-mop is on the cards so hopefully I can get rid of Jeyes and replace it with Lavender.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Unravelling once again

Last night's knitting is unravelled for the third time. The pattern that I started last night had the same problem as Monday night's knitting and the crochet pattern that I started today. There would not have been enough wool. I am starting again with the old Phildar pattern shown in the bottom and praying that there will be enough for this pattern. The wool was part of a Christmas present from last year and I can't get any more of it. I have 600 grams but the yardage is not good. I think that it is more of a super chunky than a normal chunky.

The cat wee smell is diminishing but I could still smell it when I came back in from shopping this morning. The smell is now mixed with Jeyes fluid so I am not sure which is the worst smell! I am going to re - mop everywhere with a lavender smelling disinfectant and hope that it gets rid of both smells.

I think that it will be a little while before I let Oscar in the house unless I keep my eyes firmly glued on him in the future.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

The Culprit

I went to knit club last night at the Kings Arms. A good time was had by all. I came back and found next door's cat Oscar lurking in the porch. I let him and gave him a drink and he scuttled off to sleep in his hidey hole somewhere in the house. I went to bed later and completely forgot that Oscar was in the house. I woke around 5am to the overwhelming stench of either cat spray or cat wee. If you have ever smelt an un-neutered tom cat then you will know what I mean.

I came downstairs and let him out but at that time of the morning I was still half asleep and I had a quick feel about but could not find any patches of wet. I went back to bed and when I got up this morning the stench was even worse. I have therefore spent all of today scrubbing and cleaning every place I can think of but I still haven't discovered that tell tale wet patch. My throat hurts and my cough is back courtesy of a cocktail of disinfectant and a full bottle of Fabreze. The sad part is that even after all my efforts I can still smell cat wee !!!

He may look like an angel but Oscar is not my favourite cat at the moment. I have had cats of my own who have had accidents but I have never smelt anything this bad and can't find it. I swear it is in every room. Either that or I am losing my sense of smell.

The good side of it was that when I was cleaning the spare bedroom I tidied up my stash of part balls of wool and sorted them into colours. My head is now buzzing with ideas for shawls in shaded purples and lilacs or shades of green. There is always granny square shawls to use up all of these oddments. I need another pair of hands for all the things that my head plans.

I started knitting some of my stash at the Knit Club last night but after using up 100 grams I realised that I will not have enough yarn to complete that pattern so I have unravelled it. That is the only trouble with keeping wool in stash. Invariably you have not bought quite enough for what you now want to make and the chances of getting anymore are very slim.

I am going to have a shower now and settle down with a different pattern for my knitting and hope that the smell will fade from wherever it is coming from soon and fade from my nostrils.

I commented on Jam & Jerusalem's blog that she was making me feel guilty with all of her spring cleaning. I am not feeling guilty now as I have cleaned every surface that I can. I hope when I get up tomorrow that the stench will have faded. I have had all the windows wide open all day to try to blow it away.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

We are going to be Naked Knitting Calendar Girls

I have just got back from the monthly Knit Out of the Knitty Noras. I had a very enjoyable afternoon of knitting in great company. Glad to see such a good turnout there today. Lisa and Vicky have come up with a wonderful idea to raise money for charity. The idea is a naked knitting calendar for 2010 to hopefully raise money for Christies. Christies is our local cancer hospital and as some of the Noras have had personal experience of needing treatment at the hospital and the rest of us have had close friends who have had need of the hospital's services it is a cause dear to our hearts.

Lots of ideas were bandied about today and Vicky was taking notes as to some of the suggestions as to what the format should be. Plenty of unusual ideas for photos. Some practical and some more bizarre. We are all up for the tastefully photographed naked knitting themed photos and have got quite a number of volunteers from our group willing to disrobe and knit in aid of charity. I have volunteered even though I am not exactly in the first (or second) flush of youth and am built for comfort and not for speed. I may need far more balls of wool or a larger piece of knitting than some but I still want to be involved as I think it's a great idea.

If you click on the blog title it will take you to the Naked Knitting blog. Please support us and follow the blog which will update you to our progress. I hope that you will buy a calendar or a few, and tell all your friends once it is published.

The doubled hat is finally finished. As you can see it is black on one side and grey on the other. I posted the link to the pattern on a previous blog. It is a very warm hat. The crocheted cream hat is for myself. I have made it to match the scarf that I had bought for me for a Christmas present. The pattern is also available free from the net. It is called Divine hat can be found either on Ravelry or from

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Hospital appointment? Then take your crochet with you

I had a hospital appointment yesterday for my knee. I have to have a scan before they can make a diagnosis but the knee specialist seems to confirm the spinal specialist's opinion on the torn cartilage theory. I have another appointment in 4 weeks provided that I have had the scan in between. The fact that I now have metal bits in my spine seems to be a cause for concern. I hope that I don't magnetise and stick to the roof of the scanner during the process! Surely they have used non magnetic pins and plate in my spine. Gosh I do hope so.

I always take some crochet with me when I go to the hospital as I have 10 mins on the metro plus 30 mins on the bus journey to and from the hospital plus any time spent in the waiting room. I find it much friendlier than poking your fellow passenger with a knitting needle on a crowded bus or in the waiting room. I started a hat for myself and have managed to get a fair bit done on my travels.

Last night I did a few more rows on the doubled hat (barely discernable on the photo) but have still an inch to knit before shaping the top. This hat has taken me longer to knit than it took me to crochet the Sambuca jacket.

The jacket has now gone home with my niece. She came to touch up my dark roots and went home with a Sambuca. That's a fair swop.

A bit of housework for me now and then rest with a few more rows on the hat. I really would like to see it finished off by tonight. It's so tempting to just carry on and finish the crochet hat. I now know why I like crochet so much - instant gratification.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

My knitted snake draught excluders

A little while ago I was approached on Flickr to give permission for one of my photos to be used on a web site. They wanted the photo of my knitted snake draught excluder that I made quite a long time ago. I gave permission and it is on the web site which you can see if you click on the blog title.

The snake is now is a sorry state having lost both of his wobbly eyes but is still doing a sterling job keeping the draught out from behind my front door. I think perhaps it is time to make myself another one. I crocheted a couple of draught dogs for my son and a striped knitted snake. I have posted photos of the draught excluders when they were in their prime.

The doubled hat continues on its very slow progress. I think I have knitted about 5" now so have another inch and a half before the top shaping. I do hope that I manage to finish it tonight as I feel a bit bored with it now.

I will take some wool to make a crochet hat to the hospital with me tomorrow. I have my knee specialist appt and if I take my crochet then I am usually in and out in record time. If I don't take it then I get in the 2 hour waiting queue. The bus journey takes over half an hour so I will hopefully get a bit done during that.

I went to water aerobics today and the instructor is a friend of my son and also a biker. She was laughing when I told her of my wind up with my son about my buying a motorbike and sidecar a la Two Fat Ladies or Wallace and Grommet. She has agreed to continue the wind up by telling him that I have asked her for motor bike lessons!

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Slow progress on the doubled hat

The progress on the hat knitted double is very slow. I have now knitted 3" but in fact that is 6" of knitting as for every 2 rows the hat grows one. The basic idea is that you knit one round but slip the 2nd colour and then you purl one round slipping the first colour. It is not quite as simple as that as it involves a lot of yarn forward and yarn back. If you look carefully at the second photo you can see what happens if you knit when you should have slipped. Notice the one black stitch on a grey row? By the time I noticed that I was about 2" up the hat and have decided that a bit of cosmetic darning will be in order later over that rogue stitch. If you click on the blog title there is a link to the Blue Blog and the free pattern for the hat. I am not putting the stripes on the hat this time.

When I was packing away my knitting last night I noticed that all of my finger ends were black and blue. Then I looked at my bamboo needles and the points were also stained. The dye has come off the Diploma Gold black wool and onto my hands and needles. I just hope that it doesn't run into the grey when it gets washed for the first time. Eek. Hopefully it's just a bit of excess dye which sometimes happens with black. I have used black Diploma Gold before for a sweater and crochet jacket for my niece and that dye didn't come off, well I don't know about the washing but it didn't come off on my hands when I was working with it.

The great news is that the oven door clip appears to have stuck to the glass door overnight and the door has now been put back on the oven. Yeah I have an oven door that looks normal once again. The real testing time will be if the epoxy glue can withstand the oven temperatures ( the packet says it can).I used the bottom oven last night with a bit of trepidation but so far so good. Fingers crossed for me girls as I really can't afford a new double oven right now.

The sun is trying to shine although snow is once again forecast for later. The trees are dripping with rain or is it melted frost? I hope that it stays dry for today.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

More Sambuca photos

More photos of the Sambuca. The strangely coloured ones are ones taken with my web cam which alters the colour quite a lot. Whenever I put garments onto Flickr I invariably get asked for photos with me modelling the garment which is a bit tricky as usually the garments are for other people who are far smaller than I am. I haven't made the Sambuca too small for me. It is for my niece who is a good couple of sizes slimmer than I. If I made it for myself I would make a larger size of course. I am not showing the jacket off to it's best. I will try to take a photo of my niece wearing it when she picks it up.

The first photo is of a hat I started last night for Chris ( my soon to be nephew in law). I made him a doubled hat last Christmas but although he loves it as it is so warm it was a bit on the large side. I have restarted it using pure wool double knit this time instead of aran thickness. It will be very slow progress as you can see. I have to knit 2 rounds for every round that it grows in height. I think it is fascinating how it is grey on one side and black on the other and yet knitted at the same time. It is from a free pattern from the net. I will try to find the link tomorrow when hopefully I will have done another couple of inches on the hat so you can see the technique better. If you know anyone who hikes then this is the warm hat for them.

I found my last year WIP sock yesterday and attempted to do a few rounds on it but I found myself lacking in enthusiasm. The wool splits badly and I have to keep retracing my stitches. I don't know what else it is about that sock but I just can't seem to get on with it. I have made 2 other pairs since I started that sock so it isn't that I have lost my sock mojo altogether.

My brother is coming back today to see if the hinge for the top oven door has stuck properly overnight. We tried yesterday but didn't leave the epoxy glue long enough time to set so let's hope second time lucky.

The snow of yesterday has vanished and today we have sunshine although there is no warmth in it. It makes me think about Spring and whether to try once again with vegetables in pots this year. I started the year before last and was marginally successful but my back pain limited me somewhat. Last year I didn't bother as I knew I was going into hospital and would be unable to tend them properly. Unfortunately my little plastic greenhouses that I left outside have developed tiny holes in their covers with the cold weather. I think I can buy new covers so I will have to search online otherwise I will have to line the holey tops (sides are OK) with some clear plastic.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Sambuca is finished

Sambuca is finished - well almost. I call it finished when I have finished crocheting. As you can see it is now blocking a wee bit to flatten down the pattern and pull the bands into shape. My niece didn't want the wrist bands putting on the sleeves or the bottom bands on the jacket so I left it with the scalloped edge. The pattern is Sambuca from Doris Chan's Amazing Crochet Lace book. As my niece is smaller than I am I will try it on tomorrow and see if I can take photos of it in wear. The wool is Patons Diploma Aran and is actually more of a deeper red and not the scarlet as it appears on the photo.

This morning I have been busy scrubbing the oven out. I HATE that job. I don't know of anyone who does. My top oven outer door fell off some weeks ago and I have been waiting for some glue to stick the clip back on the door so it can be replaced.My brother rang to say he had some resin glue that should be suitable and is coming this afternoon to try to fix it for me. He has a beautiful home and they never have a thing out of place. I have therefore been doing a blitz on the kitchen as anyone who knows me knows I am a bit on the untidy side. I am not dirty but I do tend to leave things on worktops instead of putting them away in the cupboards. I hope that I can tidy the lounge and whizz around with the Hoover before he arrives. Whew.

It's Dolly Partons's birthday today. She is the same age as me. Not that we resemble each other much apart from both being bottle blondes! I used to have a decent pair of boobs at one time but they have got lost in the rest of my body fat these days.

I must decide what to make next. I think I will make the cream hat to match my Christmas present scarf. I am hoping to go to Knit Club at the Kings Arms tonight and much as I love going there I have to admit that I find the lighting a bit dim and have to work with light colours.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Jen's hat is almost finished

I have finished Jen's hat as far as I can go at the moment. The peak as you can see is in two halves and is waiting for Jen to get some kind of stiffening to be sandwiched in between the two brim pieces.The pattern suggests plastic but that seems rather drastic so I will leave it up to Jen to come up with either plastic or a suitable substitute. I think that you can see the gold lurex running through the wool on these photos. Jen does know what wool it is but just gave me 2 balls that didn't have labels attached to them so I can let you know what it is later. The pattern is a free down loadable pattern from Ravelry Swirls Cap by Sophia Kessinger. I shall take my crochet hook to the next Knit Out ready to crochet the two brim pieces together once ther stiffening is inside. There is a choice of trim. Jen can either have a flower or a band which has a button either end.

My niece came today and tried on the Sambuca so I know how much more I need to crochet for the right length. Hopefully I will have finished that soon. She also brought a new lamp that I need for dark or close work. She was passing B&Q so I asked her to pick one up for me. I find it very difficult to see to read etc unless I have a brightish light.

One of the problems with growing older - dim eyes! I see in the newspapers that we will no longer be able to buy 100 watt light bulbs anymore at most major stores. Apparently the government is dictating to us that we have to lower our wattage whilst at the same time agreeing to a third airport to be built in London. I have to struggle to see with my dim energy saving light bulbs and yet they can play far more havoc to the world by allowing more planes in the sky. Hopefully someone on E Bay will make a fortune selling 100 watt bulbs. I am as conscious as the next person about my carbon footprint but when I can't see to crochet - well that's a different matter altogether!

June (Jolive on Ravelry) has finished her version of THAT bolero and hers has come out great. She has a photo on her projects. She has used double knit whereas I used a fine chunky and hers is a much better fit than mine ever was. That's the only trouble with using US patterns just exactly what is the thickness of Worsted. In some patterns they say Worsted 3 thickness and I always assume that is DK but when they say Worsted 4 thickness I always presume they mean Aran. I downsized my hook to get the tension correct with my chunky but obviously the pattern works so much better in double knit. Well done June!

Not much crochet done last night or today for that matter. My left wrist started to really pain me last night so I decided to give the crochet a rest for a few hours. I hope that I will be OK later tonight as I would like to finish off the Sambuca soon.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Sambuca progress

I have settled into making the Sambuca from The Amazing Crochet Lace book by Doris Chan with a huge sense of relief. I know I have uttered many a naughty word about Doris's patterns before I got used to her way of writing things but after my recent so called easy jacket I welcomed her pattern with open arms. I am back to sanity. I am back to enjoying my crochet. I think the pattern is working up rather well and am pleased with how it is progressing.

The last photo is my revamped totally re done version of the bolero. I am not saying where that pattern came from as I would not want to inflict pain upon any other crocheter. It still doesn't fit quite right but any imperfections I will just live with. At least now I have a garment that I will wear. June - I do hope that the bolero that you are making for your daughter fits better than mine did.

My cough continues to improve and I had a good night's sleep last night despite dreaming I was learning to ride a Harley Davidson motorbike. I wasn't very good at it and never actually went anywhere on it as I was having difficulty starting the bike as it was too big for me. Even in my dreams I can't become a trendy motor biker. I wasn't even wearing leathers in my dream or a helmet. Now there is a thought. I pity anyone driving behind me and having to view my large leather coated rear end if I ever decided to take up biking :) I would need one of those " wide load" stickers! I think I would be better with a Wallace and Grommet or Two Fat Ladies motorbike and sidecar. I could borrow Buster to ride the sidecar and we could both wear leather earflap helmets. My sidecar would probably be full of wool on my way to a Knit Out!

I am feeling more limber after my water aerobics yesterday. The exercises don't seem like I am doing much, at the time, but I have found my arm and shoulder mobility has been more limited since I had to stop going to class for the last six months.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Chunky bolero - the revised version

Whew. I have finally finished the chunky bolero to my satisfaction, It hasn't been blocked as yet so forgive the many times unravelled appearance. I am not going to give the designer any credit for this as the only thing that remains the same is the flower motif! Everything else has been revamped and revised. I am undeterred. I am going to start another bolero from this book so I just hope that all the problems are limited to one design as the one I plan to do soon is by the same designer. This time I shall be more aware of any potential problems and be on the alert.

I had 5 balls of Patons Diploma aran left over from the February lady sweater I made for my niece at Christmas so I decided to start the Sambuca jacket from Doris Chan's Amazing crochet Lace book. As it is worked top down I will just work the length of the sleeves and body as far as I can. It is more openwork than any of Doris's patterns that I have tried in the past so it will be interesting. My niece likes the openwork look so the lacier the better for her. She is a teacher and their school colours include red so that is why I have made so many red things for her.

I haven't finished the hat as yet as I could not see my crochet for tears last night. I was watching CSI and could not believe that they have killed off Warwick Brown. I know that the actor Gary Duordan has had some trouble with drugs in his private life but I think firing him from CSI is a bit drastic. They could have left it so that he could have come back once he sorted his life out.

I went to water aerobics for the first time since my spinal operation. I looked at my swimsuit and decided it looked a bit grey and faded so decided to wear my tankini. I finished up laughing through my exercises as the top and the bottom kept parting company letting my jelly belly flop out. I looked like Winnie the Pooh. I will either have to look for a new swimsuit or wear the faded one next week. I felt sorry for the ladies behind me as the bottoms rode up into a wedgie for most of the class and with my figure that is not a pretty sight! Pooh belly and cellulite bum are things that should be kept firmly under cover. Nevertheless I enjoyed my class despite the coldish water and the breeze across the water.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Swirls Cap

This is a cap I am making for Jenn one of my fellow Knitty Nora's. The pattern is Swirls Cap by Sophia Kessinger. It is a free download pattern on Ravelry. I am not sure what the wool is as it doesn't have any labels on the balls that she gave me to use. What doesn't show on the photos is that it has a subtle gold lurex thread running through. I still have the peak to make and the trim. I shall be leaving the actual finishing to Jenn as it has to have a piece of perspex cut to fit and stitched between the two layers of the brim. Jenn sews so she understands exactly what is meant by this. Once the perspex is in place then the two peak pieces are crocheted together with a slip stitch but if Jenn can't manage that then they could easily be stitched together possibly with a blanket stitch.

I have finished all of the pieces of the revamped redesigned chunky bolero and will stitch them together later and hopefully reveal the new improved model tomorrow.

I went to the doctors this morning. I have struggled with this cough since well before Christmas and just cannot get rid of it. The doc says it is not a chest infection and has put it down to a flare up of my asthma. I am now on a different inhaler and some antihistamines to dry up the excess mucus. If there is no improvement in 2 weeks I have to see him again. He said he was concerned that the cough had lasted this long but was reluctant to prescribe antibiotics when there was no obvious sign of infection. When I told him I was upset about the fact that it has taken over a month to refer me to the knee specialist he said oh sorry the typist lost her husband suddenly and was off for a month and so no typing for done over Christmas. Why did they not get a temp typist in? Maybe it's because they are dealing with confidential patient information.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Chunky bolero - revision time

Here I go again. Jan the unravelling queen! This is the revised version of the body of the crochet bolero. As you saw in the last blog post photos it is impossible to put a sleeve head that is fully shaped as a set in sleeve into a body that has virtually no shaping apart from a few sts at the armhole. The result of that as you saw yesterday was a huge surplus of sleeve head that refused to lie right.

I went to knit club last night at the Kings Arms and managed to re crochet the top of the back and one front. This morning I finished the second front and sewed it together to check for fit. Now I have to redo the sleeves but this time I will do them my way without the pattern. Funnily enough I have more success with fit for myself when I do things "freehand" without a pattern. I have always been a visual crocheter. When I was young I would look at a photo or at something in a shop and go home and make a reasonable copy. Naughty of me I know but when I was younger I had no idea of copyright etc and anyway mine would, of course, not be an exact copy. I did get asked once by a friend how come I could afford to shop at ***--- on my salary which I took as a huge compliment to my crochet and copying skills!

I had a lovely night at the Kings Arms Knit Club. I hadn't been for some time. I am such a wimp about travelling alone on public transport after dark so only go when I get the offer of a lift, Cheers Charlie for the lift. It was good to meet up with the regulars and we also had loads of newbies so the snug was packed with ladies and the occasional man all knitting away (except for Rachael and I who were crocheting) Good to see Charlie and Marie feeling a bit better as they have been plagued with illness for a while.

I had a better night last night and only woke myself up twice coughing. I have an appointment tomorrow morning with the doc so let's hope that he can suggest a miracle cure. I have tried so long to shift this cough with inhalers, shop bought remedies and home made honey and lemon concoctions to no avail.

Monday, 12 January 2009

My chunky bolero is no more

By the time you read this bolero jacket will be a pile of balls. What should have been a very simple jacket to make has turned out to be an ill fitting nightmare. I kept thinking that the sleeve heads would not fit into the body and I was right. You cannot fit such a shaped head into a non shaped armhole without excess crochet. As you can see it has ugly bulges all around the armholes that no amount of blocking can help. I cannot just undo the sleeves a bit as they are worked top down. I have decided that I don't like the way that there is hardly any body armhole shaping so am going to unravel the back and fronts, once again, back to the armholes and put some shape into them. Wish me luck as I unpick yet again! This time I am going to remake it MY way.

I am off to the knit club tonight. It will be a welcome break from my frustration about this jacket. I had a bad night once again with my cough. I had to ring the docs today. The hospital rang me this morning as a follow up to my spinal surgery and asked how I was getting on with exercise to shed some weight. I told her that I am still waiting for my hospital knee appt as I can't exercise as my knee is still twice the size it should be and I have difficulty bending it. She said to chase up the docs and see when he sent the letter off to request my knee appt.

It turns out that they sent the letter on 6th Jan! I went mad as they got the letter from my specialist on the 28th Nov. I am seeing the doc on Wednesday about my persistent cough and why it has taken him so long to send my referral letter off. I am in a catch 22 situation. I am supposed to be exercising to shed weight but I can't because any exertion sets me off in a coughing and wheezing frenzy. I can't bend my knee or put too much weight on it which makes even walking a bit difficult. I should have started water aerobics last week but was reluctant to get cold and wet with my chest the way it is. I might have risked it had I still had the car and could have gone door to door.

I am off now to reduce the bolero into unravelled balls yet again !

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Well it didn't take me long to break that resolution

It was all my friend Sylvia's fault.It was her idea for us to meet up in Bury to have some lunch and a natter. She dragged me kicking and screaming (OK I added that bit in for dramatic effect) to the wool stall as she wanted to buy some wool.

I was wearing my Christmas present scarf and beret and it has to be said that wearing a beret is not my best look (Imagine Victoria Wood with her beret pulled down and you get the picture) so I decided that if there was a match I would get some cream wool to make a more wearable hat to match the scarf. I forgave myself for that but then I spotted the red wool at a bargain price. In my defence the wool is intended for a crochet jacket for my niece so that is within the rules of my New Year's resolution not to buy any more wool as I did say unless it was for someone else. But I am guilty as charged for buying the cream wool for a hat.In all my stash I just didn't have the right shade of cream to match the scarf and you can't have me walking about in an odd coloured hat.

The multi blue crochet jacket that should have been the easiest jacket in the world to crochet has once again been unravelled, I finished off the back and the fronts only to realise that I didn't have enough wool left to crochet the edgings. I muttered a few words that a navvy would be proud of and unravelled each piece back to the armholes and then shortened each piece by 3 rows. I have finished the fronts once again and have the back to finish off yet again. One day this "quick" jacket will get finished, Whew. I will say this for James C Brett's Marble chunky - it unravels beautifully!

Friday, 9 January 2009

Can you see it now?

Close up of the 2 mistakes - can you see 2 chains in one space? Above it is a twisted stitch.

It's arrived - but was it worth the wait?

The Interweave Crochet Winter 08 magazine has arrived, I had waited impatiently as most of the US had received their copies and were raving about it. I have to say though that although there are a few nice things in it I find the garments are very disappointing in my opinion. Ravelry forums are raving about the front cover jacket but to be honest I can't exactly see myself swanning around Tesco with that huge bow around my neck!

They have a couple of nice scarves but I don't like the thrummed mitts unless I lived at the North Pole. Too thick to be worn in an everyday situation unless I was throwing a snowball. Nor can I see myself wearing all those ruffles around my neck. There is a lovely afghan but it is in Tunisian crochet so my wrists would not be able to support the weight as I crocheted so that it out for me.

The shawl is very ethereal and usually I shy away from anything that is spidery as I make mistakes in the chains.I get the chains twisted no matter how hard I try. It was heartwarming to find that they make mistakes too! If you look carefully at the close up photo of the stitch there are actually 2 mistakes in their sample so I don't feel as bad about my crocheting anymore :)

I do like the Chullo hat and fingerless gloves, the blue Snowdrops scarf and the mitred squares scarf. There is another lacy scarf but that is done in hairpin crochet which is another thing that I have not tried as I don't feel like the expense of buying a hairpin lace loom for something that I may only use once.

I have re-crocheted the back of my bolero jacket and have started one of the fronts.