Monday, 30 November 2009

More Projects Started

I have started another couple of Christmas present projects. The navy is a hat and scarf set for my nephew in law but as I can only knit navy blue aran in the daylight I have started my niece's jacket. The pattern is from The Knitter magazine and is knitting up nicely so far but I have yet to tangle with the more complex cables that are on a chart as opposed to being written out.I am going to adapt it to long sleeves and not as shown on the photo.

Thanks Lynn for your web link for my cat aroma problem. I came down this morning and either I have got accustomed to the smell or it has faded away overnight. I did liberally spray everywhere yesterday and had a scented candle burning all evening so maybe that is something to do with it.Needless to say I didn't open my door last night to go out to the bin I left the rubbish bag sitting in the kitchen for disposal this morning instead so Oscar didn't get the chance to nip in last night for an anovernight kip.

I have woken up this morning with a cough and a bit of a cold. Hardly surprising really when you consider that I was sitting at the Knit Club yesterday wearing trousers that were wet from the knee down and then I got soaked through again on the way home.

The flat screen to my PC has decided to go on the blink. I starts off all white then fades to pale grey and then black when I switch it on. It doesn't go any further than black until I turn it on and off a few times so it's definitely on it's way out. I still have my old large type screen upstairs with my old PC so I will have to try to get my son or someone to bring it downstairs and connect it for me until I can get a new flat screen for this PC. I have tried leaving the screen on standby and it still goes off. If I go into the other room and leave the PC running when I come back the screen is blank again and I have to start the on/off dance again. I am never very lucky with all things electrical. It's at times like this that I miss having a man about the house.

I must do some housework and then try to push on with the navy hat and scarf before the light fades to electric. Mummy Christmas's hands are getting a little weary from all of this knitting. I really miss my crochet.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Finished Hoodies

The baby hoodies are finally finished. They seem to have taken me ages to knit. I have knitted a 4" square and that is ready for the next time that the washing machine goes on. I can then tell whether they will shrink in the machine or not.

The wool in the bottom photo is from the Yarn Barn in Shaw. The Navy, yellow and orange is destined for 4 knitted hats with a duck motif on and the beige is for an aran type jacket for my London niece. I have cast on and done about 10 rows of the twisted rib with cables. The pattern is from the Knitter and all the cables are on a chart. As I have got older I find I am increasingly befuddled with charts and I do wish that they would give me the choice of written instructions or a chart. Once I fathom it out then I will write out the pattern long hand and then get on with it a lot faster. I suppose it depends on how you learned to knit. The younger knitters seem to prefer a chart but then their minds are a lot more mentally agile than my poor old tired little grey cells. I prefer a chart for fair isle type knit and crochet but just not for lace and cables.

Today I went up to Bolton to the Knitting Noras Knit Out. It will probably be my last one until the New Year as they are held on the last Sunday in the month and so the December one will be so close to Christmas that I doubt anyone will want to go to that one. The weather was atrocious and I got my trouser legs wet through and discovered half way there that my ankle boots let in water. I didn't actually manage to get any knitting done in the cafe today as I was chatting to a new member and to Sylvia who was there with her foster baby. It's good to get out of the house for a change even though the journey took a long time and I got wet through for both journeys. Sunday services on public transport are not as frequent as I would like and so I spent a lot of the day hanging around tram stations and bus terminals. My knee and back are now protesting loudly. I really must make more of an effort to lose some weight after Christmas as carrying this extra weight is making me breathless when I walk.

My flat screen on the PC has turned temperamental on me and so I think that I will have to buy a new one. It won't turn on half of the time and when it does I have a pale grey screen that gradually goes dark but still doesn't give me any pictures. I have to switch it on and off a few times to get a picture on the screen so that can't be doing the on/off switch a lot of good.

I woke up this morning to not only the cheeping of the smoke alarm (it chirps when it is too cold) but the aroma of cat widdle. Next door's cat shot in last night out of the cold and must have been taken short during the night. He is normally a very clean cat so it was a surprise to smell cat wee this morning. The trouble is that I can't find it. I have felt around the carpets but can't find a wet spot and as my sense of smell is not that good directionally I can't pinpoint which areas smells the strongest. I have squirted everywhere liberally with Fabreeze and pray that it will have faded by the morning.I will not be feeling as sorry for him on cold nights in the future if he is going to repay my hospitality with smells.

The meal on Friday was lovely. I go out to dine so infrequently that it is always a big treat for me. Unfortunately Louise could not come with us as she and the boys have got bad colds. She sent a lovely present of some scented candles and smellies for the bath for me.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Crochet Book Photos

Photo heavy blog today to cover up for the fact that I don't have much knitting to report.

I think that I will make quite a few garments from this book The Crochet Closet by Lisa Gentry if not for myself then certainly for my nieces. I like the front cover cardigan but would have to see how I could adapt the sleeves to make them without the bell shaping. As the garment is worked side to side it wouuld take a bit of figuring out.

I like the blue double breasted jacket,the rust one button cardigan,the blue one button short jacket, the white peplum jacket and the long purple coat. I won't be starting any of these before Christmas but keep an eye open in the New Year.

Sorry about the quality of the photos as the book is very shiny and the weather is wet and dull so not the best circumstances to be photographing anything really.

I am looking forward to my meal out tonight although it will be just me and my niece as Charlie and Finlay have both got colds as has Mum so she isn't coming with us as planned.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

A Present To Myself

Back to normal today after yesterday's visitors. My brother and sister in law called with a present of track suit bottoms and my son called with my card. He had already given me my present of a Freeview box when I bought my new TV so it was lovely to see him and chat to him for a while. Today my present to myself arrived. I had to order some books as part of Christmas presents for my family and as I had a voucher to spend at Amazon I slipped in a crochet book for myself. I had seen a few of the designs from it on Ravelry and thought that I might like it. It is the Crochet Closet by Lisa Gentry and when the light is better tomorrow I will let you see some of the designs. The books didn't get delivered until 5pm and it was a bit dark to take photos successfully so I just quickly snapped the front cover. I will have a good browse in the book after dinner.

The baby hoodies are now both finished. I just have to sew the smaller one up, block it out and sew buttons on both of the jackets. I will have to knit a swatch, measure it and then put it in the washer to make sure that the jackets won't shrink if Louise machine washes them. As I used wool that was given to me without labels I am not sure what it's exact content is. It feels quite woolly so I need to know if it will shrink if she puts them in the washer.

I think after that I will start on one of the aran hats that I am making for my nephews in law for Christmas. My new crochet patterns are calling to me but the elves in the cellar that Ailsa seems to think that I have are busy helping Santa this year and so I will have to do all of my own knitting so I am afraid there is no time to get distracted by some crochet unless it is for Christmas present washcloths.

I had a really good birthday yesterday. Birthdays are more special to me than Christmas is especially since I have grown older. It is the one day that people get in touch and wish you Happy Birthday. Those text messages,cards, Facebook messages, e mails and comments on my blog mean far more to me than people buying me presents. I have never really been a materialistic kind of girl wanting expensive presents etc. I am just chuffed when people remember that it's my birthday. Christmas I have to share with everyone else but my Birthday is mine all mine.

Time for a bit of dinner now and then back to the knitting treadmill. I am hoping that there is something interesting on the TV to hold my attention whilst I cast on the hat. I can knit far more when I am enthralled by a TV programme and those are increasingly hard to find these days. By the time I have ruled out the repeats, the stupid banal reality, quiz and cookery programmes my TV viewing is rather limited. If I am ever reduced to watching daytime programmes such as Jeremy Kyle then please shoot me!

My neighbour, Julie, popped in with a box of Milk Tray tonight so guess who will be pigging out tonight. Knitting and Chocolate what could be better? Crochet and Chocolate of course!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Will You Still Need me, Will You Still Feed Me

Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I am 64? Well I hope so because today is my birthday and I have reached the young age of 64. When I look at the photos I wonder where did all the years go. I can remember vividly having my hair cut that short and my Mother's horrified face. I had long hair down my back and went from that to the urchin cut on the photo. She almost cried and said I looked like a boy. I grew it out again very soon afterwards. Where did I get those eyebrows? Is it any wonder that they are now almost bald through over plucking?

Inside I still feel like a giddy young thing but I had to chuckle this morning when I was trying to pick up my blood pressure tablet and flirted it onto the floor. My mind may be young but my fingers certainly aren't. Why is it though that a tablet meant mostly for the older generation has to be the size of a Hermeseta? My son was crawling under my PC desk the other day whilst he was plugging in the Freeview box that he bought me for my birthday when he gave me a couple of pills that he found round the back of the desk. Ah so that is where they went to.

I am so in love with my Mary Jane shoes that my nieces bought for my birthday. The look so normal from the top but have that cheeky bright pink sole. A bit like me really - normal on the outside but kind of kooky on the inside. I needed a pair of shoes to wear with skirts and dresses as since my spine and knee ops I seem to live in a pair of trainers and I wanted to be a bit more feminine on dress up days.

Charlie's jacket is finished bar the buttons and is drying on the blocking board. Sirdar's idea of 1-2 yrs is a bit on the large side but be will grow into it. In contrast I have started the smaller jacket 0-6 months and that seems spot on for size. I have finished the back of that so hope to have it completed before the weekend when my wool for my Christmas knitting should arrive.

I got my patterns from Kay's crochet yesterday. I know that you can't seen them very well from my photos so I have put the link to the site in my blog title. I like Kay's patterns as they use UK terms so there is none of the wondering what worsted thickness is that I have when I use US patterns. She is very prompt with her deliveries and the bonus factor is her patterns are a bargain at £2 each. I have bought a new Tunisian crochet hook and pattern from her as I saw the baby jacket that Bev (Nothinmuffin on Ravelry) had made and liked it so much that I decided to give it a try. Doris Chan's new book will have Tunisian and Broomstick crochet in it when it arrives in June so I need to brush up on my skills for that.

Thanks to everyone for their e mails, e cards, cards, comments and messages on Facebook. I love Birthdays even though it does mean I am more decrepit that I was yesterday.

My brother and sister in law will probably arrive soon but until then I am going to put my feet up, have a coffee and carry on knitting. First though I had better tidy up and wash the dishes as my family are very houseproud unlike me!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Pyjama Day

I have decided to make today a Pyjama Day. There is nothing wrong with me I just don't feel like getting dressed. I am not going out and no-one is calling (well not that I know about anyway) I will shower and change into new PJ's later.

The knitting continues slowly and I have finished off the larger hooded jacket for Charlie and have started the back of the smaller jacket. Thank goodness I saved the smaller one for last as I feel like the jacket has taken me forever to knit and I am getting rather bored with it now.

The wool shown in the bottom photos is what I bought from Habiknit on Saturday. The larger balls of aran are destined to be Irish Hiking Scarves with matching hats for my nephews in law, the cotton is for washcloths and dishcloths. The cream wool is for a pair of house socks for my sister in law if I get the time before Christmas. My niece e mailed me yesterday and wants me to make 4 hats with duck motifs on them so I guess I will be knitting on the night shift from now until Christmas.

Today as promised I am showing off the contents of Inside Crochet magazine that I bought on Saturday. The magazine has a passion for motifs and the scarf on the cover is another of them. Thankfully this issue doesn't have any more. Previous editions of this magazine has been so motif orientated they have annoyed me.

My niece liked the long short sleeved jacket except for the dangerous looking scarf dagger and the hump sleeves but both of those can be changed. The beaded cuffs may be very pretty but a definite no no for me as I cannot handle minutely small glass beads with my arthritic fingers.

The vest top is not for me but could appeal to my younger uber slim niece. The pink fair isle slipper socks are the pattern that I bought the book for. As soon as I have finished all of my Christmas kniting they are on my "me" list. I doubt if I would bother putting the soles on them. I would probably leave them as socks.

The grey sweater is pretty but I am not sure about the dodgy seaming at the neck cable edge. I would have preferred the cables to go all around seamlessly as they do on the bottom and sleeve edgings. The lacy gauntlet gloves are something that my older niece and daughter in law would love.

The shrug I think is rather boring plus it is done in tunisian stitch with a double ended hook so buying the hook would bump up the price of the shrug before I started with the wool. The scarf is also in Tunisian crochet and I may do that as I have just bought a hook from Kay Jones that I could use for the scarf.

The red jacket is really ugly. Another tunisian crochet one. I just can't say anything nice about it - sorry if you like it but I can't find one thing about it that I like. The 3 blind mice are adorable and if I was into crocheting and stuffing small toys I would make these. I am afraid that amigurumi is not something that turns me on at all. Unless I had small children they are not something that I would make.

I have received my new patterns from Kay Jones today but more about those tomorrow. I may have stitched up the larger hooded baby jacket and stitched the buttons on by then so will have a photo of that to show as well.

Time for a cup of coffee with those Loose Women. I watched Gok Wan last night and he was styling a 72 yrs old lady. I want a Gok to help style me as I am feeling decidedly frumpy these days. Pipe dream that bit as I don't have the money for new clothes and as I rarely go out can't see the point. He might make me feel more positive about myself though and help me to make the best of this ageing sagging body. Enough of that - it's time for coffee.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Big Matinee Jacket

A couple of Christmas ago I was given 2 packs of super chunky wool but as there was only 600 grams in each pack I didn't know what to make with them. I made the grey fleck up a while ago into a striped short sleeved jacket and decided to make up the cream yesterday as I was going stir crazy with all the knitting I have been doing lately. The jacket hasn't turned out quite as I envisioned it but that's sometimes the case when I make things up as I go along. I would have preferred a longer jacket with longer sleeves but my wool ran out. hence I have christened this jacket my big matinee jacket and I am sure that it will keep me warm during this winter. Better on me than languishing in my stash. I could have made a waistcoat but I don't wear the ones that I have made previously. I like something with a bit of a sleeve even though in this case it is short.

I started off using a baby matinee pattern to get the increases in the right place and then just kept on increasing as set on the yolk until it was the right size. The bottom bit was a bit of improvisation to try to eke the wool out a bit more by making it lacy.

Yesterday I went up to Bury and found Habiknit and bought a few bits which I will photograph tomorrow. I also nipped into WH Smiths and picked up the latest copy of Inside crochet. I will put some photos of that on the blog tomorrow. I bought it for the pattern of some long slipper socks which I will get around to for myself one day.I had a little wander around but then the rain started pelting down and I came home. As I waited to cross the road a lovely bus driver whooshed through a puddle and drenched me from head to toe. Luckily I was on my way home at the time.

Today I went to the farmers Market that they had in the village. They have had a couple so far this year and I hope that the bad weather and lack of customers today doesn't put them off coming back again. I didn't buy a lot and had gone mainly for the lamb. I took the photo to show my purchases. I thought that the stick of sprouts might make you laugh. Apparently if I keep them somewhere cold then I can just cut a few off as and when required. I also bought a West Indian Lamb Pattie ( a pasty to most people) and am looking forward to that for my lunch.

I will resume my knitting today. I am on the last sleeve of the larger baby jacket and my niece said she things that Louise will want hoods on the jackets so I have a bit more to knit before I can start the smaller jacket. My niece is going to the yarn Barn next week to get the wool for my London niece's jacket so I will carry on with the boys knitting until then. I still have a lot of knitting to do before Christmas.

Cup of coffee time now and then it's upstairs to remake the bed and do some hoovering. I don't think much knitting will get done today as I have a pile of washing and ironing to do before I can sit down.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Could Only Happen To Me

Not as much knitting done yesterday as I would have hoped due to a strange circumstance. I was merrily knitting away after dinner last night when I looked up and something flew into my eye. It landed right in the corner of my right eye next to my nose. I put down my knitting asap as this thing showed no signs of flying away again and I had to prise this little thing away from my eyeball. I then flicked it away and so didn't see what it was. My eyeball was stinging and it brought tears to my eyes. I was hoping that it wasn't a wasp or a bee as I am allergic to them. I looked in the mirror and could see no obvious damage apart from redness and a watering eye.

I went back and looked around but couldn't see any sign of this offending insect. I tried to continue to knit but gave up for a while as my eye was sore and watery. A little while later I saw the insect. It was a Ladybird! I kid you not. A Ladybird at this time of year. Now I know the answer to where do Ladybirds go in the winter - they come in my house and fly into my eye! It seems none the worse for hitting my eyeball and is at the moment happily crawling up the lampshade. I just hope that it doesn't want to launch itself off into flight again.

If you have followed my blog then you will know that I knitted the letter Y some time ago for a knitted poem. I got this notification today

The Knitted Poem Arrives in Manchester!

A rare opportunity, too, to see inside Manchester's Edwardian water palace - Britain's best-loved restoration project - a miracle of stained glass, emerald tiling and carved wood. The knitted poem will be on display in the former Ladies Pool. Look down from the fabulous balconies, or get up close, to see the woollen marvel that over a 1,000 volunteers created.

Poets Linda Chase and Vona Groarke will read poems at the Victoria Baths on 22nd November alongside the knitted poem. (3pm).

Poet Deryn Rees-Jones is coming down from Liverpool to see the knitted poem and promises to read some poems too.

This is a FREE event.

The Victoria Baths is on Hathersage Road Manchester and the exhibition is open from 12 -4pm

I was going to say that it is a nice sunny day today but obviously I should have blogged sooner as it is now raining again!

Thanks for your comment Lynn. I do, unfortunately, have plenty time on my hands to knit and crochet so for me I don't think that I work all that fast considering the hours at my disposal, If I had full health, or a partner to share my life, then I would be glad to knit and crochet less and live life more but one has to make the best of the hand that you get dealt. At least I can look back on a full and active life up until the last few years and God willing I will resume it again one day soon.

Time for a coffee and a knit whilst I watch Loose Women. Maybe I should wear my glasses for protection in case the Ladybird decides to dive bomb my eye again !

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Ooh La La

No I have not gone all French (although I do have French ancestry amongst other things)) Ooh La La is the title of a Sirdar Baby book 347 that I am using to knit hoodies for Charlie and Finlay. I have also found out from the Internet that the jacket is not only in the book it is also sold as a single pattern 1813. The book has many lovely designs in it but as usual is a bit heavy on the girls patterns. There is a nice modern wide striped sweater in there that is nice and boyish.

I have now knitted the back and almost 2 fronts of the larger jacket and if anyone recognises the wool that I am using then please let me know as I have no idea what it is except it is too woolly feeling and not soft enough to be baby yarn. I will have to give the jackets a good soak in conditioner before I pass them on to the babies.

Today is "Hang on to your bonnet weather". As if it wasn't bad enough this week with torrential rain now we have got tree uprooting wind that is hurling small items around the garden and down the street. Brr. Think I will stay in, wrapped up nice and warm with my knitting.

Thank you Boltoncrafter for your lovely comment yesterday. I have to be formal as when I clicked on your profile there was no name there. As I have said before I do appreciate the comments that all of my blogger friends leave for me. It brightens up many a dull dreary day to know that someone actually reads my blog!

I am getting withdrawal symptoms from being away from my crochet hooks for so long but I know that once I pick one up again then my knitting mojo will grind to a shuddering halt and I still have many Christmas presents to complete before I can indulge in a bit of crochet fever.