Friday, 30 October 2009

C'Mon Universe - Here I Am

Well I did my bit and I asked the Universe for a man as suggested by the media. I kept my requirements suitably vague as I don't want the Universe to think that I am being picky and asking for a George Clooney lookalike. I did throw in a few special requests though. I know I am a bit of a chubster myself but please send me a man slimmer than me as two heavyweights in a relationship is one too many in my view.

As usual I watched Loose Women today and laughed out loud at Cilla Black who said at her age she was grateful for a man with a working prostate. I know the feeling Cilla. I might be getting on a bit but there is still a fire in the furnace and I like to feel that I could be whooshed off my feet by a man who doesn't require the aid of medication.

Thanks to everyone for their words of encouragement. Especially thanks to Belicious whose blog Crochet Therapy is one that I follow. If you click on my blog title you will see that she has awarded me with an Ultimate MeMe award. As soon as I work out how to put it on this blog I will award mine. Not an easy task as some of you peeps don't have a blog so that I can honour you! Belicious has had her ups and downs over the last few years but always manages to keep a good sense of humour throughout. Mattenylou, I wasn't looking for the last would be romance - he found me which made it such a surprise. Too bad that it doesn't seem to have worked out as he did have the right potential plus the bonus of good looks. (Sigh) Never mind folks lets see what the Universe as in store for me. Maybe I should have set a time limit. Something along the lines of I would like to meet him in the next year before I get decrepit.

Talking about feeling decrepit. I got my Bowel Cancer testing kit in the post. I know that it is a good idea and I shall be participating but the fact that they underlined the age group asked to participate made me feel like some dodgy old OAP. I will not give you any details as you could be eating whilst reading but I am not looking forward to the excitement of plastic bags, poo sticks and general fertling about in things unspeakable. I know it is all part of caring for my general health, and is a very important test, but it is a part that I would rather not mess with. I used to have to change my son's nappies with a bucket close by to heave into. I managed marginally better with my late cats litter trays and the doggy doo doo's on the lawn.

Tonight I am poised to pick up my knitting needles and start my niece's chunky jacket. I have finished off the All Shawl, pattern free on the net from Doris Chan, that I have made from a part machine cone that was given to me by someone clearing out their late mother's attic.I had to continue increasing the shawl in the set manner as the pattern is written for an aran weight. The pattern is very forgiving though and provided you fiddle about with the placing of the edging pattern can be made to any size. I will probably start some crochet to work in between the knitting. For once I don't have anything on the hook at the present moment.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Spare Man Theory

As the weather gets damper my arthritis doesn't like it and so I tend to spend too much time in front of daytime TV. Whilst that is good from a crochet point of view it is not always good for my morale.

Today as I watched Loose Women they were chatting about the fact that every woman should have a spare man somewhere in their life that they could fall back on if Mr Right doesn't turn up. A friend to be a companion in your old age. That totally depressed me today as not only do I not have a man in my life I can't even think of a male friend who could step into the category of spare man.I have a few very interested married men who would love to step into the role of part time lover but that is a whole different story.

My recent would be romance seems to have withered and died before it ever got off the ground. I can't blame it on a date going wrong as we never got that far. I must admit though that although he was complimentary he was a tad elusive and didn't like the fact that I complained about his lack of attention. I am used to guys trying very hard to impress me with loads of phone calls and e mails etc. He blamed pressure of work for the lack of phone calls and the fact that there was a sea between us that prevented us dating easily but I am reading between the lines here and wondering if he was quite as separated as he said he was. Call me suspicious but I seem to have cornered the market in "separated" guys over the years whose wives had no idea they were separated and so whenever I see the word separated these days I immediately think are they separated by the width of the bed?

Another depressing fact on Loose Women was a discussion on the theory that in order to get ahead in show business and commerce then Sagittarians are the most successful. All fire signs have drive apparently. I am a Sagittarian so where did I go wrong? Is my drive in the wrong place? All I can say is given half the chance there is nothing wrong with my sex drive but I don't think that is what they are talking about! The answer came perhaps in the Alan Titchmarsh show where he was talking about Failed Potential Syndrome where you do not achieve what is expected of you. Aha I now have a syndrome to blame for my failure to make a success of the life expected of someone with my upbringing and brains. That's true of me. I chose not to take up the Uni place that was offered to me which could have altered the whole course of my life. I was a timid teenager and the thought of going off to Liverpool Uni, where I would not know anyone filled me with apprehension. I missed the Fresher Day as I was in hospital having my appendix out and so lost my allocated place in the Halls of Residency which just put the top hat on it as far as I was concerned. I would have had to find somewhere to live outside the Uni. If fate had not stepped in and burst my appendix I might have had a very different outcome in life. I meant to go the year afterwards but I had started work by then and thought that I was in love and so I never went.

Alan Titchmarsh then went on to discuss the Power of Positive Thinking and how that works on turning your life around.I have read books on this subject and do try to think positive but I have a very hard job convincing myself that I am a somebody. I finished both of these shows feeling more of a failure at life than I had done when I first got up this morning. There is nothing like a few 'cheerful' daytime shows to bring out my inner lack of self confidence. I need Gok to boost my self esteem.

I have finished the baby cardigans from the Kay Jones pattern 91. I had a lot of amending to do as the pattern is in 4ply and my wool was double knit. I don't have as many pattern row repeats and my frill is a bit too full. They are a bit of a hotch potch but I am sure they will get worn sometime.

I will take a few lines to say thank you to my regular readers who cheer me up daily with their comments. I will just mention the recent ones so please don't be upset if I don't mention you by name. Your contribution is valued if not mentioned today. First of all thanks to Jody Blue for visiting my blog and thanks to Onlymuttix for your comments on the Naked Crochet post. I thank you for the promise of mentioning the calendar on your blog and would love to read your blog so please leave me the link. I am so thrilled that you found my blog through it being mentioned on Google readers as a recommended blog. Maybe I am not such a failure after all.

June, I would love to go wool shopping with you sometime but alas we are not that blessed with good wool shops near where I live. I have quite a journey unless I want to shop on Bury Market or at Abakhan in Manchester. I wish I could turn back the clock and shop in my own shop once again. At least there I could have found what I wanted without searching the shops and the net.

I am off now to watch a bit more TV and to try asking the Universe to find me someone. Apparently you can't ask for Brad Pitt (such a shame) you just have to ask in general for the type of man that you want and he will appear. According to Noel Edmonds (OK I know he is a bit weird) it worked for him so I will give it a whirl. Watch out Universe this positive thinking Sagittarian with Failed Potential Syndrome is going to give you a shout tonight. I hope that you are listening !! Yeah right. With my luck the Universe will be out to lunch when I ask.

Maybe I am not a complete failure. Doris Chan left a lovely comment on Ravelry about the white Cinnabar cardigan that I made for Sylvia's birthday so maybe I can do something right after all. I just suck at love, romance and finding the right guy. Actually I don't think I am rubbish at love and romance I am just rubbish at the finding him part. Matchmaking hints on a postcard please.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Yarn Shopping in Shaw

I have just got home from a trip to Shaw to visit the Yarn Barn. It is a lovely shop and I could spend all day in there and probably spend all of my pension but fortunately today I was shopping with my niece who was buying wool and pattern for her Christmas jacket. She has chosen a long line car coat in a rich maroon shade knitted in Sirdar Click. We didn't manage to find a pattern quite like the jacket my other niece has seen but I can be making this present until we find that.

I took a photo of the shop window but unfortunately there is a lot of back shine so you can't seen the wonderful display that Sirdar has done in the window. Really tempts you in to buy the patterns and wool. Sirdar used to do my windows from time to time when I had my shops and it was always a crowd puller. I could spend all day in the shop browsing patterns on their squashy sofas. All that is missing is a good cup of coffee but if they laid that on then people would never leave.

My purchases were small as you can see. Three crochet patterns, a couple of balls of wool for baby Finlay James and the stuff that you always need. Black and white cotton, sewing needles and a chunky cable needle for the car coat. The cardigan in Lyscordet might get made up one day using a box of black Lyscordet that I still have in my stash from my own wool shop days.

The All Shawl has grown a bit more but as it is in 4ply and on a 4mm hook it is taking a lot longer than the previous shawls that I have made. I have started the 2nd baby cardigan but will wait until all of the pieces are made to stitch them together and make the frilled edging.

There was a lovely old fashioned butcher's shop in Shaw so I bought a pork chop for tonight's dinner and a couple of chicken breasts for tomorrow's dinner. It is lovely to see a successful butchers where all the stock looks so clean and fresh. It was like shopping in a farmer's market.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Happy Birthday Sylvia

I should have said Happy Birthday Sylvia yesterday but I didn't want to put photos of her birthday cardigan on the blog until I was sure that she had actually received it. I should have met up with her in Bolton yesterday for a Birthday lunch but as most of the buses were on strike I decided against it. I wasn't having a good knee day so long waits at bus stops didn't seem so appealing. Sorry Sylvia. We will have to have a Happy Unbirthday another day.

I met up with Kath, Sylvia's daughter, in Manchester last week to give her the white Cinnabar cardigan by Doris Chan that I had made for her Mum's birthday and to get the Regia 6ply sock wool that Kath had got for me from John Lewis. To add to the problems of the bus strike there was also a postal strike so I didn't want to entrust Sylvia's present and card to Royal Mail. I made this cardigan in the week when I said I wasn't crocheting much. I know that Sylvia sometimes reads this blog so I didn't want to spoil the surprise. I should have consulted with Kath as she has knitted her mum a cardigan so Sylvia now has two new cardigans. I am sure that they will both come in very handy.

The shawl I am making is also from Doris Chan. I was given some part machine cones some time ago and decided to make an adaptation of the All Shawl. I took it to the Kings Arms last night so it has grown a wee bit since this photo was taken yesterday.

I am continuing with the baby cardigans but tomorrow I am going to the Yarn Barn in Shaw to get pattern and wool to start my nieces Christmas presents and as they will be knitted then my projects will slow down considerably.

I must remember to watch How To Look Naked with Gok Wan tonight just in case my calendar photo gets a quick flash. I watch him anyway as he is so inspiring. So much better for a girl's morale than that dreadful Trinny and Susannah who just attack peoples fashion sense. Like they look good enough to give advice anyway. Their fashion sense is dreadful. If I don't catch the programme live I watch it on the PC on Catch Up TV. I don't have a fancy TV package that allows me to record stuff from the TV so the Catch Up online comes in very handy for me. I watched Gok on Loose Women yesterday plugging his new book. I hope that my niece buys it so that I can borrow it! My one peeve with Loose Women is that is isn't on Catch Up TV. When I wrote in to complain they said it was because they hold competitions and that it is sponsored. Well 60 min makeover has competitions and is sponsored but that is on Catch Up TV so come on ITV get Loose Women on Catch Up TV.

My horoscope said I was going to have a romantic surprise today. Well the surprise so far is that there hasn't been one! Perhaps my handsome prince has got delayed with the bus and mail strikes. I think he must have a dodgy Sat Nav and lost his way altogether. I shall live in hope for the rest of the day and die in despair this evening when nothing happens ;)

Monday, 26 October 2009

Woman's Weekly Knit and Crochet Special

Tonight I went to the Kings Arms, Salford Knit Club. It felt good to go there tonight as I have missed a couple of weeks. I really enjoy the company there. Great bunch of people plus the joy of knitting in a pub that always makes us feel so welcome. Somehow it all makes for a different atmosphere to the usual Knit Clubs. Not as many people there as usual but we had a good natter and a good laugh.

I have started an All Shawl with a part machine cone that I was given and will have to adapt as the cone is a mere 4ply weight and the pattern is for much thicker yarn. I will improvise when I get to the edging pattern. I wanted some mindless crochet for the Knit Club yesterday and tonight. I cannot concentrate on anything too complicated whilst chatting.

I have also started another baby pattern by Kay Jones. Once again I will be adapting as the pattern is for 4ply and I have double knitting yarn. A minor detail that I will work on. I will use the pattern stitch from this new pattern but use the stitches and rows from the pattern I have just made with a bit of improvisation to make it a V Neck. All will be revealed when I take photographs tomorrow.

The photos today are from the Woman's Weekly Knitting and Crochet Special Autumn 2009 that I bought yesterday from WH Smiths in Bolton. It has quite a few garments in there that I like. One is the grey shawl collar cardigan which is crocheted and I like the striped baby all in one with a little hat which I will adapt to make a sweater. The crochet duffle coat is another pattern that I like. There is also a pattern for a knitted Noddy doll and a Thomas the Tank sweater in the magazine.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Fringed Baby Jackets by Kay Jones

I have finally finished the two fringed baby jackets for a friend's foster babies. After all of the boys that have been born lately it is so nice to have girls to crochet for. I have put the link to the pattern site in the blog title. The jackets took 200 grams of white acrylic by Sarah Louise and 50 grams of Lilac Wendy DK which has a lustre in it. The pattern is one of Kay Jones number 152 and has the advantage of being written with UK terms.

Today I went up to Bolton to the Knitting Noras and spent an hour or so crocheting in the Costa Cafe. Not such a good turn out today as a lot of members were either away or doing other things. My niece gave me a lift there and back which was a God send as my knee isn't liking this damp rainy weather. She did some shopping in M&S whilst she was waiting for me so I fear that I am to blame for her being led astray by a new pair of winter boots and a handbag. Blame Auntie Nettie I don't mind if you do. I bought a new knit and crochet magazine ( yes another one) whilst I was in WH Smiths and will post photos of that tomorrow.

We didn't get up to the wool shop in Ramsbottom yesterday as my niece went out for a night on the town with the girls on Friday night and so ,quite rightly, decided not to drive on Saturday as she had consumed a few units of alcohol on Friday. She is off school on half term this week so we are going to the Yarn Barn in Shaw one day. I like that shop as it stocks my favourite Sirdar Wash n' wear which is ideal for babies. They have the most wonderful garment displays in the window and big squashy sofas for pattern browsing.

My friend Dee told me that she has seen an advert for How To Look Good Naked with Gok Wan and it flashed a photo of me from the calendar. I am a bit confused though as she said I was in the middle of two other ladies so not sure that it was me as I was photographed on my own but she insists it had my face on it! I will have to tune in on Tuesday to Channel Four and see if I get my two seconds of fame on National TV. I am surprised that there was room for other people either side of me (if it was my photo). Surely the size of me would fill the whole screen!

Friday, 23 October 2009

More Sock Wool

Yes I know. I have quite a few balls of sock wool in my stash but ever since I made a pair of socks for my niece in these colours I have been on the look out for some for myself. My niece bought her wool online from Angel Yarns but the trouble it took to get them and the length of time she had to wait put me off ever ordering from them again. I ordered from them at the same time and eventually after a couple of months wait I had to demand a refund to my credit card as my goods never turned up and every time I asked about my order I was fobbed off with some silly story. My friend Kath managed to find them for me at John Lewis in Trafford Park. As these are 6ply and the pair of socks I knitted for my niece knitted up quite quickly there is a chance that a pair will be on my feet this year as opposed to I don't know when with the other finer sock wool.

I have been crocheting away with the two baby cardigans and I have only one more sleeve to make before I embark on the stitching up and finishing. Hopefully I will finish them tonight but as they have to be fringed around the bottom edge it might be at the weekend.

Tomorrow I am hoping to go to the wool shop in Ramsbottom with my niece and on Sunday it is the monthly Knit Out of the Knitting Noras. Lisa and Vicky are on Tower FM radio today. You can see the promotion that Tower Radio have given the Naked Knitting Calendar by clicking on the blog title but I must point out that they have spelt Christie wrong in the title. My two friends who phoned me to tell me about this said that they have been advertising that the Knitting Noras are coming on the radio this week since Monday but I only heard about it yesterday.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Crochet Today Christmas Edition

There I said it. I typed the C word. According to Ailsa Christmas is 64 days away!!

As promised here are some photos from the Nov/Dec edition of Crochet Today. Pretty though some things are I honestly cannot see myself making a gingerbread house, ornaments or a rippled frill for my Christmas tree. Nor will I be hanging any of those Christmas stockings.

The white sweater is attractive in a holey sort of way as is the swing cardigan but I don't honestly think I would wear either of them.

The matinee jacket, pram rug and those lovely baby slippers are the patterns that I bought the magazine for. The green mitts and scarf look a little bulky to me. The granny square afghan pattern is a bit superfluous as surely by now everyone can make a granny square so who actually needs a pattern for an afghan in squares?

I think the ladies slippers are unspeakable but I can see the gifty gloves getting made. There are also patterns for earrings, a crocheted drum (WTF!) and a twirly scarf that I haven't bothered to photograph and a truly awful mans hat that is just a long strip gathered along one edge to make the crown which makes it look rather bulky. The guy wearing it looks suitably embarrassed.

All the pieces for the larger baby crochet cardigan have now been made and I have just started the back of the smaller one. Last night I was so engrossed in the two episodes of the new NCIS Los Angeles that I could not get around to stitching the cardigan up and fringing it. I am a massive fan of NCIS and was wondering if this new spin off series would be as good but I was hooked. I never knew LL Cool J could act. He is great as Sam Hanna. I will definitely be watching this next week.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

New Crochet Magazines

I am posting a few photos of the projects from one of my new crochet magazines to distract you from the fact that I haven't done a lot of crochet over the last couple of days. I have done a wee bit more than the photo suggests and am in fact on the second sleeve of the first baby cardigan. I have done the larger one first so the next one shouldn't take me as long. Both of the jackets have a fringed edging so that should be fun - not! try as I might my fringing always looks a bit on the bedraggled uneven side.

I had to nip into Manchester today so I went into WH Smiths and bought two crochet magazines. Inside Crochet and Crochet Today. I will preview the projects in Inside Crochet first as the other magazine is full of the dreaded C word. No not the rude one the Jingle Bells, Santa Claus C word. Shhh if I don't say it out loud then I will have more weeks to make presents. La la la, humming with fingers in ears, and not looking at Ailsa's blog (Not Enough Time to Craft) with her countdown days to C. Ignorance is bliss La la la!

I like Elvira the cardigan by Annette Petavy. I looks a close enough stitch to be warm even though it is crocheted in 4ply and the stitch is very pretty.I always think downwards stripes in a pattern are flattering. The Scallop scarves by Nicki Trench are quick to make yet pretty and warm and will make good last minute presents.

The man's scarf Forest Walk by Lisa Naskrent is a close imitation cable type of stitch scarf which I think would equally suit a lady who perhaps isn't into lacy scarves and wants something a it more substantial. The jury is still out on the hooded Stroll Jacket by Rebecca Velasquez. As you can see in the photo there is a view of the jacket laid flat and the jacket flares out over the hip line which is something I am not sure about for me. Nor do I like the very flared sleeves ends. I would have liked to see a photo of the model standing up to see just how much flare there is over the hips. Magazines are guilty of taking the most photogenic shots rather than shots that show the jacket as it really is. Maybe someone on Ravelry will make it soon and then I can see it on a "real" person. The hood looks absolutely enormous. As my Dad used to say big enough to keep the rain off a small village!

The Chevron Tunic by Marlaina Bird has a nice shape to it but I don't like the use of the different colours. Reminds me of the garments you make when you don't have quite enough wool all the same colour so you dip into your oddment bag to introduce some other colours to eke the wool out. I think the pink chevron stitch on one front looks decidedly odd.

The Masonry Jacket by Kira Delany has got a rather vintage look to it. I can remember wearing a similar jacket in my youth. The jacket has one of those high necked collarless necklines when it is buttoned all the way to the top a bit reminiscent of the Beatle jackets in the 60's.

Carmella Caterpillar by Nicki Trench is very sweet but I don't make crochet toys. I can see it's cute appeal though.

There are a couple of bags, one fulled or felted (UGG) some crochet freesia and a horrendous purple diamond tunic which looks OK on the flat but about ten times too large for the model in the photo making it look UGG. The front cover Bejewelled Tank Top by Monica Welle Brown is OK for shape but what are they thinking about with those odd sized buttons? I think it would look far better without those or a least use buttons that tone.

I will preview Crochet Today on the blog tomorrow when maybe I can bring myself to utter the C word. La La La .