Saturday, 31 July 2010

Islington Mill Knit Out

Today I went to the Islington Mill Knit Club. There were not many people there today . Perhaps they heard that I was going ;-) It was still nice to get out and about and near the cafe were some lovely flowers in tubs which I spent a while looking at. It was such a surprise to turn the corner of what is essentially a cobbled mill yard and find an oasis of colour. Hundreds of different coloured flowers in hanging basket and tubs. I wish that I had taken some photos for you to see. The mill is being done up and they have the builders in at the moment.
Some people who usually come to the Knit Club had to work and some were on holiday so I picked a quiet day to go down. I did take the bag of knitted and crocheted baby garments with me as Sylvia's daughter, Kath, was there and she can take them up to her Mum's for me. She will see her Mum next week whereas I won't see her unless I get a taxi up there. Some of the little cardigans I have made will fit the foster baby very soon as he is growing like mad and I didn't want to hold on to them any longer in case they were too small when he got them.
I gave Kath the faulty ball of Violet Green Gossamer and she is going to try to dye over the patches of white and perhaps ply it double as it is spider fine. I would never have made use of it and I don't like things languishing in my stash if I don't think that i am ever going to use them. I would rather pass them on.
I started a small slim crocheted scarf with some wool that Sylvia gave to me and will take a photo of it tomorrow. I think that I am stalling from starting the fine crochet. I am sure that if I get started then I will be OK. I might make a start on winding one of the skeins into a ball tonight so at least I will be part way ready to start crocheting.
I have put a photo of the old jacket pattern that I got the idea of the 3 coloured knitting for the baby jacket. I have also put the pattern stitch there so that you can see the method and perhaps add it to a pattern of your own sometime. It is a great way of using up those odd balls.
Funny sort of day today. One minute the sun comes out and the next minute it is raining. At least it doesn't seem as cold as it was yesterday. Whilst I was in the knit club a big wasp landed on my back and wouldn't fly away. Rachael had to try to bat it off my back when I went outside in the courtyard. It must have been attracted to the flowery top I was wearing and got confused thinking that I was part of the hanging and potted garden outside. Thank goodness I escaped unstung as I have a bad reaction to wasp and bee stings. Not bad enough to carry medication but one time I did finish up in A & E for an injection after a wasp stung my arm a few times. I was carrying washing in from drying outside and the wasp must have been in the folds of the garments.

Friday, 30 July 2010

3 Coloured Jacket Finished

I have finished off the little chunky 3 coloured jacket. It has turned out a bit smaller than the plain blue one that I made before.I think it is because of all the slipped stitches in the pattern. I have probably pulled my stitches tighter than I do with stocking stitch. This time I decided to put a neckband on instead of the hood. I hopefully have enough wool left to make a matching beanie hat tonight. I decided not to put the navy blue, or are they green, buttons on it and went for a pale blue button instead. The wool is very slightly fluffy but it is acrylic brushed so shouldn't irritate a baby's skin. I used 1 ball of each of denim, pale blue and white Wendy Monaco. I have another ball of the denim blue and hopefully enough bits of pale blue and white to make a beanie hat. I will eke it out by making a longer brim in the denim blue and possibly the crown decreases also.
Not sure what I will start tomorrow at the Knit Club. I do so much chatting, especially since I haven't been for a while, so something plain to crochet or knit is on the agenda. I can see another evening spent pattern browsing.I can spend far too long on leafing through my patterns. You would think that by now I know everyone of them off by heart but I do forget what is in the pattern books and magazines. I should have a mammoth browse and then catalogue on line which garments I have liked in which books and that would save me a lot of time. When I am browsing for something in particular I always see the patterns that I meant to make but at the time of browsing I am looking for an entirely different pattern and so I carry on looking and forget all about those patterns until I browse again. I am going to write a list and then it might jog my memory. Knowing me I will lose the list.
I am hopefully going to the Islington Mill, ,Salford tomorrow to the monthly knit/crochet meeting of the Kings Arms/Islington Mill knitters. My niece is otherwise occupied this weekend so I will taxi down there and back. She has promised not to forget me on Monday night to give me a lift to the Kings Arms knit club although she did tell me to remind her on Monday morning this time.
I am still bracing myself to start my fine crochet. I think that I might need a deep breath and a stern talking to myself before I launch myself into it. I have been rather spoiled of late by making baby clothes which are instant crochet fixes and I know that I will have to concentrate like mad on this fine crochet. That is why I am stalling so much from picking up the hook and diving in. It has been such a long time since I crocheted anything so fine so I might need a safety harness!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

3 Coloured Jacket

I am making another little jacket with oddments. I am using the same pattern as the hooded one from my previous post but this time I think that it will just have a neckband. The pattern stitch is from an equally old pattern for a ladies jacket pattern. I call it fake fair isle.
It is simply one row in each of three colours all the way through. It looks like Fair Isle as every knit row is K1 then put the yarn to the front as if to purl but instead slip one stitch then put the yarn back and knit the next stitch. Every reverse row is simply purl, The next right side row the slip stitch goes where the knit stitch was and the knit stitch is where the slipped stitch of the previous row was. Slipping the stitches with the wool in front leaves a little bar. The alternating slip stitch Fair Isle effect comes from using the three colours, I have tried to go as close up as I can with the second photo to show you what I mean. I am using denim blue, pale blue and white.
I am trying to finish off the baby things as there is a possibility that I will meet up with my foster friend Sylvia's daughter on Saturday at the knit out at the Islington Mill Salford. If she is going to be there then I can give the bag of jackets to her as she goes to visit her Mum most weeks. Otherwise I will have to take a taxi up to Sylvia's to deliver them before they become too small for the baby who is growing fast. He is now almost 9lbs.
When my niece came yesterday she brought me 3 lovely almost new good label tops that she has got too slim to wear any more. One is from Monsoon and is in a sheer patterned teal coloured chiffon and has a beaded trim at the V neck and a matching vest in plain matching colour for underneath the sheer top. Very pretty. I thought that the tops wouldn't fit me as even when she put weight on she was still smaller than me. Luckily they are made of stretchy fabric and although one is a wee bit tight on the arms the other two fit really well. A welcome injection of colour to my wardrobe and something new for me to wear. Don't get me wrong I do have lots of clothes but most of them are from when I was working and are now too small. I am not getting rid of them as they are my normal size and hopefully once this knee business is over I will get back down to my normal size. My normal size is still plump but not as fat as I am now. I will never be skinny. I have not been skinny since my late 30's.
I haven't done much in the way of knitting or crochet as I have been nodding asleep on and off today for some reason. I think it's because the weather has turned cold and miserable. I am far livelier when the sun shines and it is warm. All I have to do is sit in my new armchair and recline it slightly and my eyes shut. I don't know what my neighbours are thinking about me always nodding in full view of passers by. I think maybe I should try sleeping in the chair as the moment once I get in bed at night I wake up and toss and turn for ages.
Time for a coffee and try to stay awake to do some more knitting on the foster babies jacket. I can't understand why it is taking me so long to knit it as it is on 6mm needles and is chunky wool.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Are They Blue Or Green?

After I finished the knitted hooded jacket I went upstairs to my button stash left over from my Wool Shop days. I couldn't find any denim blue coloured buttons (the jacket has photographed lighter than it really is) so decided on some navy blue pearlised ones. I don't know if it's a trick of the light or I have gone colour blind but now they are stitched on the jacket they look positively green in some lights. Sylvia will have to sew some other buttons on if she thinks that they look a bit greenish. When I tilt the buttons different ways they keep changing colour.
I didn't do any knitting or crochet yesterday as my bones were aching. Not just my knees but also up my wrists and arms. I have days like these. I call them my little flare ups. The weather has turned a lot colder even though it was sunny in parts yesterday. The combination of the weather and my house cleaning probably did it for my bones.
I think that I have managed to get rid of my old recliner armchair. I put it on the Freecycle again and got an answer this time. Someone is supposed to be picking it up tonight. I do hope so and then I won't be dodging around it in the front room anymore. I was getting desperate to get rid of it as it takes up too much room since my new recliner got delivered.
I haven't wound my Laceweight wool yet as I didn't think that too much wrist action was a good idea until my arms stop aching. I have a ball winder but if the ball gets overlarge it decides to go all lop sided on me. I don't want any breaks in the yarn so don't want to divide it into two balls per skein. I will persevere with my hand balling. It will take me back to the many times in my youth when I either had to wind or hold the skein for my Mum and Aunties as all of the wool came in hanks in those days. My brother and I used to run and hide if we saw Mum reach out an unwound skein from her knitting bag!
I have started another knitted baby jacket with my oddments so I will try to finish that off before I wind any wool. My niece saw the Laceweight wool today and remarked how thin it was. I do hope that I haven't bitten off more than I can chew with it. I think it will be one of those projects where I work on other things as well as the fine crochet.
I went out on a coffee date yesterday. I had seen his photo and wasn't overly impressed but then I thought don't be unkind he might be a lovely person. I should have gone with my first instinct. He was OK to have a chat to but I don't think that he was smitten with me either as we had our coffee then went our separate ways with no mention of further contact. Whew. I wouldn't have gone in the first place but he lives in my small town so I didn't have to travel to meet up with him. Back to the drawing board again! I probably scared him half to death anyway as he was only a small, quiet nervous type of guy and I am an overlarge hit em between the eyes kind of lady.
My niece took me up to Tesco today and although I didn't buy much it was nice to go and choose some fresh food as the last couple of times I have had my order delivered. It's very convenient having it delivered but I seem to wind up spending an awful lot of money and still not having much fresh food in the house! I do hope that my son's friends come back from their holidays soon and they can sort me out with a mobility scooter. I miss the independence of going out to the local shops.

Monday, 26 July 2010

The Hospital Saga Continues

As I have not heard anything from the hospital about my knee operation I decided to give them a ring. I got the ever helpful (touch of sarcasm here) secretary of my surgeon. She said that she had no idea when I would be sent for as my surgeon has just had an operation and is now on holiday to recuperate. He has cancelled all of his ops for the time being. Jolly Good Show. I bet that he didn't have to wait for his operation or get cancelled twice. Things are looking grim. I just hope that his operation was a minor one and not something that will keep him off work for a long time. This news will disrupt the family one again as if my op isn't in August then my niece will have gone back to work (she is a teacher and off at the moment). She was going to stay overnight with me when I first come home. If she is back at work then she won't be able to do it. At least my son won't have to cancel their family holiday with their grand daughters in August as I will be able to have Buster again. His other dog is lovely but she is like a whirlwind, knocking into everything and everyone, so I can't look after her as she is too energetic. She dived in the house on Sunday and everything flew off the coffee table as she swished it with her strong tail. Buster seemed very happy to see her and went off with her in the car without a backward glance.
My son is in negotiation with his friends for my mobility scooter but they are on holiday at the moment. At least if I get one of those then I can take Buster for a walk. Not in the woodland that he is used to as the paths are muddy with stiles at the entrances. I can take him to what used to be a children's playground as the seats are still there, even though all the swings and slide have gone, and it is grassed so he can play ball on it. I wonder if he will walk along side me or hitch a lift in the foot well or the scooter? He is a bit too big to fit in the shopping basket on the front. Hee Hee
I am still cleaning up today.It takes me such a long time these days to give the place a good clean. I managed to change my bed without trouble as I can walk all around that bed. The double bed in the spare room that Buster sometimes sleeps on is really awkward. It is pushed against the wall on two sides. Have you ever tried to remake a bed whilst sitting on the mattress. Not an easy task believe me. I can't kneel so I had to lie on the mattress to tuck in the corners of the sheet which isn't easy with a fat body pinning down a lot of the sheet. I got into some very unusual positions,
I am knitting the old pattern in the photo with some Wendy Monaco in a sort of denim blue but making it without the ties at the neckline. I didn't take a photo as the jacket is all in pieces at the moment and I still have the hood to knit. The pattern is from a booklet called 50 Best Sellers of the year and was given free in the Woman magazine on September 19th 1964. I do like my old patterns. They seem to fit so much better and are far easier to understand.
I sorted out the odd balls of baby wool into two storage trays. As you can see no matter how many jackets that I have already knitted and crocheted I still have a lot of wool to work on. I have more girl colours than boy colours at the moment so the foster baby girl will be getting some more jackets for winter.
Time to get back to my cleaning although I may sneak a mug of coffee first, I have almost finished the upstairs cleaning but still have all the downstairs to do and the staircase Whew. I am knackered already and I am going to Knit Club tonight as well.
I had better stop nattering and get some work done or I will not be ready when my niece calls.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Interweave Crochet Summer 2010

These are some more photos from the Interweave Crochet Summer 2010. I haven't taken photos of everything just the garments I think are the most interesting. As usual there are just a few that I will crochet for myself. It's not so much that I don't like the other garments I just feel that they are not for my age group or my fuller figure.
I like the little pink Marilyn Twin Set by Sarah Barbour. Well I like the jacket. The top is too flimsy for me to wear. It has a low back which fastens with gaps between the buttons and would show a bra. It is crocheted in quite fine wool but on a 3.50mm hook so that isn't so bad.
The Agora Totes by Lisa Soutendijx are not something that I would make for myself but they are very pretty for someone younger to make and use.
A lot of people on Ravelry have said that they like the Helena Jacket by Margaret Hubert. It is based on styles from the 1880's but it's not for me as being fuller figured I don't like any extra width across my shoulders. I suppose that it could be made without the gathering at the sleeve head.
The Cool Wave Shawl by Sheryl Means is in Tunisian crochet. Maybe one day I will get my tension correct with Tunisian and make something like this.
Even though the Charlotte skirt is by one of my favourite designers Doris Chan
the style isn't for me. I think that it's a young persons style. It's too openwork for me. I know that it is meant to wear over a skirt but I am so clumsy that I would get hooked up on everything as I passed by.
The green Mirth Sweater by Annette Petavy looks like it could be a useful addition to anyone's wardrobe. Not sure that it would suit my body shape but on anyone slimmer it could look great.
I have the same feelings about the Cowslip skirt by Bonnie Paul as I did about the Doris Chan skirt. Lovely on someone young and slim but as I am neither of these things sadly not for me.
The Forest Reflections Shawl by Lisa Cleveland is very pretty. It is crocheted in fine wool but once again a large hook is used. I am sure that it would grow quite quickly on a 5mm hook. I can see myself making this when I am Christmas present crocheting.
The Moth Wings Shrug by Mimi Alesis is very pretty for a teenager or a young lady. Although I can admire it I can't wear anything so small and snug fitting. I can think of a few people who it would really suit.
The Lodestar Tunic with it's granny squares reminds me of the 60's for some reason. Again I like it, but not for myself. I think once again that it's a young person's style.
The black Peaseblossom Tunic is a lovely lacy garment by Kristen Omdahl. As it is long enough to cover up my wide bits it is a sweater that I can wear. With the right clothing underneath it I think that it would suit all ages.It is crocheted in fine wool but with a 3.25mm hook. Very Pretty.
I have missed out a few things. There are another 3 sleeveless tops and a tunic. A Victorian style bracelet with ribbon threaded through it and some different samples of afghan squares. There is an article on double ended crochet and some table mats to make if the technique is mastered.
The cover shawl I showed you a photo yesterday so I have not repeated it today.
Buster has now gone home. My son and daughter in law called for him this afternoon. They had their other dog with them so Buster was happy to see her and glad to have someone to play with. I still have some knitting to finish off before I house clean tomorrow to rid the house of dog hair. I don't feel like starting that tonight. I have a bed to remake s that's enough for now.
I doubt if I will start any of the fine crochet tomorrow as I will be cleaning and then going to the Kings Arms Knit Club later as my niece has very kindly offered me a lift. The lighting in the snug is quite dim and I can't concentrate on a new pattern and chat at the same time so I will take something very easy with me tomorrow.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Avid Odd Ball Crocheter

I think that I have found my niche in life. I get immense satisfaction from turning part balls of wool into something. It seems to give me greater pleasure than buying expensive wool and turning out a garment. I think it's my background of make do and mend. Re-using things until they drop to pieces. They say that you learn from your background and mine was certainly frugal in many ways. My mother could turn out a great meal out of bits of nothing, Sadly I didn't inherit her culinary skills but I must have her genes for the crafting.
My aunt was a tailoress and used to unpick and remodel clothes. She was very popular during the war years when clothing was scarce. She would take the good parts from adults dresses or skirts and make things for me out of them.
This little jacket that I have just finished is once again the free cardigan pattern by Rindy Carpenter but made larger. The main part of the wool is Magi-Knit DK from James C Brett shade YW2 which has all the lovely shades of Autumn. I eked out the wool with oddments of gold ,green and brown. My oddment jackets aren't meant for 'best' but just for useful extra warmth for playtime or night time.
I had a couple of nice surprises today. the first was my copy of Interweave Crochet Summer 2010. I love the cover Midsummer Night's Shawl by Lisa Naskrent. Like the Kristen Omdahl patterns it is done in Laceweight but on a 4.25 hook which is not a UK size so I will have to work out whether to use a 4mm or a 4,50mm hook. The pattern looks quite complicated but is actually only a 4 row pattern so I might have a try at the pattern stitch as I do like the shawl. I will take more photos of the magazine tomorrow. There is an openwork shawl in Tunisian that you might like Bev. One day I will master it. I wish that I lived closer to Bev and could join her Tunisian lessons.
My second nice surprise was that not only did my neighbours cut my hedge for me they offered to walk Buster. I wasn't sure that he would go but he is used to their two dogs. He actually went with them. Admittedly he didn't stay out with them long but he did come back puffing and panting so at least he got some exercise. He is getting rather bored with me and my ball throwing so it was nice for him to have a walk, I think that he will be glad to see my son tomorrow. When he got home he barked like fury to let me know that the ice cream cart was on it's way. I swear that he can hear the chimes a few blocks away.I would have taken a photo of him eating his cornet but it was gone before I could get the camera out. He then sat and waited to eat the rest of my ice cream.
I haven't done any crochet or knitting today so far. I have been busy with other things. I had an old friend contact me on Facebook and we exchanged a few to and fro messages and caught up with some news. We drifted apart some years ago, for no particular reason as people do sometimes, and so it's nice to hear from her again.
Coffee time now and I think that I will browse in my patterns to find something small to make until Buster goes home tomorrow eve and then I can start on the Laceweight.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Blue and Red Hooded Baby Jacket

I am trying, once again. to make inroads into my small ball stash. Every time I make something I think that's some wool less but my stash doesn't seem to go down at all. I swear someone adds odd balls to it during the night. My friend Sylvia is one of the culprits. Every time I visit she adds a few more balls to my stash. I use these for her (and her friends) foster babies so I don't mind that bit.
The pattern today is another free pattern from Ravelry. Baby Hoodie by Bonny Jacobs. I had to alter the pattern as my version was coming out huge. That's the trouble with using US patterns I am still never sure quite what their wool weights mean. I managed to salvage it and it looks reasonably like the pattern except that I didn't have any multi colour that toned for the sleeves and I ran out of red wool for the hood so it had to be striped. Still that's the beauty of crochet. You can always salvage something by amendments. It was constructed in a strange way. I had to make the yoke and then the hood before I added the body and the sleeves. I suppose that was because the button placket stitches had to be incorporated into the body.Thankfully I had printed out this pattern whilst I still had a working printer. I really do miss not being able to do that at the moment. I will have to ask the family for a new printer for my Birthday in November. If I want something large then they all join together instead of several small presents.
My red wool came from Violet Green today. I would have preferred the wool to be variegated as it is for a shawl but after the episode with the hand dyed yarn that was patchy I decided to go with a commercially dyed yarn for safety. I sent them a note saying that I was disappointed with their other yarn but I can't be bothered to send it back as that would mean a long walk to the Post Office plus a long wait in the queue. I will just give it to Sylvia's daughter who does a bit of dyeing and see if she can re-dye it and use it up somehow. She also spins so perhaps she can twist it together to make it thicker.
I was asked this morning by an online friend who is in his 30's. Why is life so hard? I couldn't really answer him on that one. Life has thrown me some curve balls in my lifetime and sometimes, at the time, I have thought that life is a bit unfair. All in all though when I think of my Parents and Grandparents and their struggles with poverty, ill health and of course two world wars then I think that I shouldn't complain as much. Although I am in pain I do have modern medicines to help with that and the promise of modern surgery to make my life easier. The one thing that old age has taught me is to be thankful for what I do have and not be bitter about what I don't have. I don't have a lot of money but then I don't have the kind of lifestyle where a lot is required. I still have my faculties mentally (although some would argue about that one) and am able to immerse myself in doing something that I love which is crochet. Whilst I can still do that I am reasonably happy. Yes I would love to own a car, go on holidays abroad and stuff like that but to me they are luxuries and not the necessities that today's younger people seem to think that they are. My Parents and Grandparents had very little in the way of luxuries but yet I grew up surrounded by love and that, to me, is more important than any luxuries.
Today is a bit cold once again so the old knees are complaining. I am going to take a warm shower and then settle down in my new chair, if I can beat Buster to it, and have a relaxing day as per usual. I think I am half way to being a recluse Ha Ha. I do get to sit in the window and wave at my neighbours and I do have a lovely view of trees at the back when I am in my garden so it could be a lot worse.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

B.I.C.O Number Two

Baby It's Cold Outside number two. As foster babies spends a lot of time in car seats being ferried to contact with parent(s) they just need a warm jacket to wear rather than needing a more substantial jacket if they were riding in their prams. I had 4x50 grams of Wendy Monaco in a Eucalyptus green in my donated stash. As the jacket took almost 150 grams I decided to make a little hat with the remaining ball. I didn't trim this jacket with a contrast colour as nothing that I had really toned with it and I didn't want to use a white trim again. The jacket looks rather grey on the photos for some reason.
I am working my way through my donated stash bit by bit but I still have a lot of stash that isn't suitable for baby wear due to it either being mohair content or hand washable. I just can't settle to anything big or complicated whilst I still have Buster. He is sleeping at the moment as he is tired from a mammoth ball throw and catch session in the garden. It is colder today but at least it's not raining. Well not yet anyway.
I will probably start another baby jacket today. If I make a few in different sizes then I can start making something else once Buster has gone home. He will probably get picked up on Sunday evening. I should be going to the Bolton Knitting Noras monthly meeting on Sunday but it takes me so long to get there and back that I don't like leaving Buster so long on his own. Another factor is that my knees have been painful this week so I just don't fancy walking up to the tram and back. When I get my scooter that won't be any help as the metro have banned scooters from going on the trams, The buses may take a small scooter but because I live on a hill I think that I will need a big scooter so I won't be able to use it on the bus either.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside

The title is not a description of the weather. It's the name of this crochet baby jacket. The pattern is a free one from Ravelry and I made this version from 100 grams of a rather thick Aran weight wool. Teddy Camelot Wool Blend Aran Shade 020 that I bought from Habiknit in Bury. It is such a simple easy pattern that it is no wonder there are many versions of it on Ravelry. The buttons are not what I would have chosen but as nipping out to the shops for buttons isn't an option these days I make do with what I already have in. All the blue buttons that I had were all the wrong shade or the wrong size.
It is for the foster baby boy so if Sylvia has any better buttons in her stash then she can change them later. I just don't like giving things to people without any buttons.
I have added some extra chain to the sleeves this time as the last couple of jackets that I made the sleeves seemed a bit on the short side. This time they look a bit long so I have turned them up a bit. The last foster baby had long arms but as this baby is so small at the moment there is no telling how long his arms will be come the Autumn.
The rain has started lashing down again and I have had to close the patio doors as I think I have a blockage in my gutter above the door and it is sending a waterfall down the window. My son clears them out every now and again as I get a little weed garden growing in the gutter. The TV has now gone off. That's the trouble with Sky cable TV. Any sniff of torrential rain, thunder or lightening and the darned thing goes off. Apparently the rain blocks the signal from the satellite, You would think with all of today's technology they would have come up with a solution to that by now.
I will probably start another Baby It's Cold Outside jacket tonight. I don't want to start anything large until I can concentrate once Buster goes home again on Sunday. I have to pick easy patterns as I lose my place when I keep picking the crochet up and putting it down again 5 minutes later when Buster jams his ball under the coffee table or under a chair. If I don't retrieve it for him he scrabbles and makes nail marks on everything.
Today it has varied from torrential rain to sunshine. One minute Buster and I are out in the garden playing ball and the next he is curled up on the sofa letting me do a bit of crocheting. He has, unfortunately, taken a fancy to my new recliner and every time I get off it he gets on. It has the better view of the street that he thinks that he has to guard. It's either that or he just loves the body warmth in the chair when I get out of it.
I am resting today as my knees are a bit painful. I am not sure if it the weather that affects them but some days the pain is bearable and others it's not. I think that it is the dampness from the rain as much as anything.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Laceweight Has Arrived

The laceweight from Violet Green arrived today. I am absolutely thrilled with the colour of the Blackberry and the wool Grignasco Merino Silk 2ply Lace Yarn. I am not very happy with the other colour or the wool. That's the trouble with ordering online you never seem to get exactly what you think that you ordered. The colours are actually far deeper than the photo and the Titiana Cashmere/Merino/ Silk Gossamer in Midnight Red is actually more of a maroon. The bit that I am unhappy about is the patches of cream that seem to have missed the dye altogether. It looks like where it was tied hasn't taken the dye plus is looks a bit ruffled up and unravelled looking in my opinion. I think this wool will get stashed and I will choose another colour for the shawl. The red cost £4 a skein more than the purple and yet doesn't look as good a quality. It is so thin that I will probably use it doubled for another project and hope that the cream bits get hidden in the work.
Today has been a busy morning. Not only did the postman arrive but the order from Tesco did too. Fortunately Buster was in the garden digging his way under my steps as his ball had gone underneath them and defied all attempts to dislodge it. He didn't notice that I had closed the patio door on him and he didn't see the delivery men as they didn't ring the doorbell.
We did manage to retrieve the ball in the end after a lot of fishing about underneath the step with my walking stick and a lot of digging on Buster's part. Fortunately we had just finished before the torrential rain started.
I have managed to finish off the knitted cardigan for the foster baby boy. The wool is Sirdar Snuggly DK shade 0411. I am not keen on the brown buttons but I didn't have the right shade of cream or beige. Sylvia can always change them if she doesn't like them. I made this cardigan a little larger ready for the autumn although with this cold weather the baby has been wearing a cardigan every day. I have started a bit of crocheting as my wrist is aching from the knitting. I also have developed a pain in my arm between my elbow and my shoulder. It's probably because I haven't knitted for a while.
It's time for a coffee and to watch Loose Women. I will have another browse on the net to find a better colour for my shawl. I think that I prefer the Grignasco wool so I will see what other colours they have in that. I don't mind the dark purple as that is for the cover cardigan but I am more of a rich jewel colour type of person and maroon just doesn't thrill me at all.

Monday, 19 July 2010

A Glimpse Into My Wardrobe

Ages ago I decided to catalogue the sweaters I had stored in my wardrobe. I soon got very fed up as I realised I had far too many to take photos of each one individually so I gave up and put them back in the wardrobe, These are just a few photos that I kept. Most of these are a little on the small side but being the optimist that I am I refuse to part with them on the grounds that I may wear them again one day. The yarns that they are made in are mostly discontinued and far superior to the ones that I can buy these days so I will keep them even if one day I have to unravel and remake something with the yam. The red, turquoise and cream sweaters were made from Emu Perle which washed like a dream. Patons used to make a Pearl DK and that was a good washer but not quite as good as Emu. The bright pink was Patons Classic mercerised cotton another great hard wearing cotton and the lilac is Sirdar Wash and Wear crepe which really does wash and wear forever. All of these sweaters are another reason why I don't knit or crochet as much for myself as I used to. Hopefully once I resume my social life again, after my knee ops, I will get the chance to wear them again. I tend not to wear anything around the house that I have to hand wash and take special care of.
Buster is getting extremely bored with me now as it has rained today and we have not been able to sit in the garden and play ball. He did have something to watch this afternoon when Hazel came to mow my lawn. As he is not good with strangers I had to keep him in the house so he contented himself by growling and trying to intimidate her through the patio door and the front bay window. I always have to apologise for his behaviour when people call. He doesn't bite but he seems to enjoy scaring people half to death by going up close to them and staring at them. He chooses the people who don't like dogs to do this with. Once he sees that they are a bit nervous of them it makes his day. People who know him just ignore him and he gets bored and lies down.
I got an e mail today from Violet Green saying that my wool has been dispatched so that should arrive in a couple of days. That all depends whether they have sent it by parcel post or Home Delivery. I am in no rush as I am not starting it yet.
I have almost finished the cream and brown fleck knitted baby cardigan. I am up to the bit that seems to take for ever, The long button band for a V neck. I find them a bit tricky to measure, Too long and they drag the fronts down and too short and they pucker the fronts up! This little cardigan seems to have taken me ages to make but I am hindered by Buster. He has now found out that he can put his tennis ball under my new recliner and get it jammed underneath. This maroons me as I don't want to use the mechanism in case I jam it with the ball. I hope that he soon gets fed up of this game and goes back to wedging his tennis ball under the coffee table. At least I can hook it out from under there with my walking stick. I feel sorry for him as he is getting pretty bored, Even though he can go in and out of the garden at will it is not the same as a good long walk to tire him out.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Knitting At A Snail's Pace

My knitting pace has slowed down to a crawl. It's amazing how much of my time Buster demands during the day. When he lived here with me he was much easier as we had a routine of morning and afternoon walks. Now that I can't walk him he needs occupying during the day. We have just come in from a ball throwing session in the back garden. He gets very bored if I don't entertain him. He is used to having the other dog to play with him when he is at home so I suppose life is a bit boring for him here.

I would have done more knitting but I started a double breasted baby pattern last night which was knitted by row counting to space out the buttonholes. I started with one front and realised that it was going to be another short jacket. I decided to unravel it and start a different pattern that was longer in the body. I have started a larger size as the premature foster baby is growing like mad and is almost 8lbs now. I am making larger sizes now so that he will have some cardigans for the autumn/ winter time. The wool is Sirdar Snuggly DK that Sylvia gave me to use for the baby. I still can't get back to the boys knitting. I have decided that it is the colour that I have fallen out with. I have some different wool to use for them so I might start something different and hope that I can have better results. The other wool that I have is a blue random so I can get away with just knitting stocking stitch which will be quicker.

The weather is strange today. One minute it is sunny but windy and the next minute the rain is coming down hard. I am glad that the rain came as it forced Buster back indoors. He was getting very puffed out with the ball throwing but wouldn't give up. Maybe now he is a bit tired he will have a nap and let me do some knitting. I hate to say the C word but I will soon be starting knitting and crocheting for that and may not have time to fit in cardigans for him then. I also want to make some more hats for the homeless and shawls for the elderly.

Even if my fine wool arrives I am not going to start my crocheting until Buster has gone home. I don't want him to shed hair on it or get his paws tangled up in it and break the threads. He is a bit clumsy around the house and is always putting his feet in my wool and dragging it around the lounge before I can untangle him.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Hey - Isn't This My Chair ?

As a family we tend to pass possessions between us. My old recliner belonged firstly to my late ex Father in Law and we inherited it after his death. When my Son got his first house the recliner went with him before coming back to me when he got married and moved house. When my son first got Buster as a bewildered, beaten, half starved, 10 month old pup, who had already had 3 owners, he had attachment issues and wanted to be with people all of the time. This chair was in my son's bedroom and the pup claimed it as his bed as he would not stay downstairs on his own.. Ten years later he came into my front room today and saw the chair minus it's usual covers and cushions that had previously disguised it. It took him about ten minutes of sniffing it before he curled up on it and promptly went to sleep. As Buster is here with me for a week I am hoping that no-one does want the chair this week as he is so happy to have his old bed back. Animals never forget. If I could take him for a walk he would go exactly the same route as we used to walk and stop at the same spots for me to throw a ball or a stick. It's like he has never been away. He just falls right back into the same routine.
My neighbours would walk him for me but because of his insecurities he won't let a member of the family out of his sight and go with them. He will have to make do with some ball throwing in the back garden for exercise. The dogs from next door will probably come through the hedge to play with him over the weekend.
I have finished off the little knitted cardigan for the foster baby boy. .It took me most of today to sew in all of the tails. I always forget that bit when I start knitting the cardigan. It's worse than making stripes and granny squares. It is a good way of using up oddments of wool though. I have had the pattern for years and I doubt that it is available. It is Robin 15278. I have made this pattern many times and it works just as well using darker colours. I made one for a friend's baby in dark red, dark blue, aubergine ,black, maroon .and gold. She said every time he wore it people stopped to ask where she bad bought it.
I am still hoping that now I have returned to my knitting that I might finish off the hooded jackets. I have really gone off the colour and I think that is half the problem.The wool that I have ordered for my fine crochet probably won't come until next week and even then I won't start it right away as I don't want it covered in Buster hair.Anything dark or with wool attracts Buster's hair like a magnet. I will make something else smaller if I can't bring my self to knit the hooded jackets.
Buster has now gone to sleep right in the middle of all of the left over balls of wool from the baby cardigan. Cheers Buster! I just hope that he doesn't tangle them all up. It's almost time for his dinner so the sound of his food hitting his dish will wake him up and then I can move the balls of wool from the sofa.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Fine Wool Crochet

I have been knitting in my new chair as you can see. I am making a baby cardigan and have made the two fronts as well as the back but I haven't taken photos as yet. I love this pattern - well I do until I have to sew in all of the tails! It is so useful for using up those tiddly bits of yarn. The only fault with the pattern is that the cardigan turns out rather short and I always forget this fact until I have made the back. Perhaps I should write on the pattern to work more rows.

I rather like Crafty Andy's suggestion that my chair needs a mini bar. I am sure that the manufacturer could have put one in the arm rest. Perhaps I should write them an e mail with Andy's suggestion. Drunk in charge of a recliner chair - now there is a thought Ha Ha.

I have been studying my Fine Crochet book and have decided today after perusing lots and lots of web pages of stockists of lace weight to order some Grignasco Merino Silk from Violet Green. I worked out the yardage of several lace weights and decided that this one was value for money at £12.99 a skein with 1,400 metres on each 100 gram skein. I will no doubt be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome again by the time I have wound 2 skeins of this wool. I do have a ball winder but it doesn't like it when the ball gets too large. It starts going all lopsided. Some of the lace weight is so expensive. I have no doubt that the yarns are lovely but the prices are a bit rich for my pocket.

I will probably need a Valium and a couple of glasses of rum and coke to fortify myself when I start crocheting something this fine as I have been spoilt lately by only crocheting thicker yarns. The finest yarn that I have used lately has been 4ply. Gulp.

I went up to the shops today and just managed to miss the down pour. It would rain when I have just paid to have my windows cleaned! I felt sorry for the poor lads as they had to clean a few years of grime off the bedroom windows as it has been a long time since I had a window cleaner or used the hose the wash them down. They were very good and even cleaned inside the porch and the kitchen window for me as I can't reach either of them any more. I used to have to kneel on the worktops in the kitchen to clean the windows so since my knee problems I just haven't managed to be able to do that.

I will let you know when my wool order arrives and post photos on the blog. I had better polish my magnifying glasses for the first chain row and all of that counting. As the order probably won't arrive for a few days I will indulge myself in a bit of thicker crochet and knitting until then.

Buster is supposed to be arriving tomorrow for a week. I still have the old recliner in the lounge so there is not much room for him to chase about. I called in the charity shop today to see if they did want it. They said leave a message with the van man. I said I did that yesterday and he hasn't got back to me. Everyone says Recycle as much as you can but it isn't that easy. No-one seems to be interested in this chair even when it is free on Freecycle. It's a shame as there is a lot of life left in it and it is in better condition than some of the furniture for sale in the charity shop. I am getting Freecycle mails as I am typing and someone is even offering an old brush! I wonder if anyone will want that?

Next door's cat is waiting at the patio doors for me to let him in. I am not letting him in tonight as the last time he came in he sprayed somewhere and I couldn't find it and the whole house stank of cat spray for about a week. Sorry Puss you are not coming in again. I think that I have a sign on the patio door saying all cats and dogs are welcome here. They don't seem to bother anyone else.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Crochet So Fine - Kristin Omdahl

The new book by Kristin Omdahl arrived today. There are 21 projects in the book so I have just chosen a few of them to show you. My first reaction when I opened the book was WOW. They are such pretty designs. I fell in love with the front cover sweater the moment that I saw it on preview and the Diamonds shawl is to die for.
As for the rest of the designs I will just let them speak for themselves. I just know that I am going to be making many designs from this book in the future. I am not sure which one I will be starting with. I will have to think who is it for, what colour would they like and then find some suitable yarn on the net. I am sure that a lot of my family will be having Christmas gifts made from this book. I am so glad that it has arrived early as most of the yarns used are quite fine and so any of the projects will take a while to crochet.
The things that I haven't shown are another shawl, a bag, a chain hat, a cardigan, an openwork hairpin sweater, a neck warmer, and a beret,. Everything in the book is beautifully photographed in close up with several views of each garment. Lots of books don't give front and back views so you are never sure what the whole thing looks like. Anything I have missed off on the blog will be on Ravelry as I saw most of the designs on there before my book arrived.
I am so in love with my new recliner chair. I started some baby knitting last night just to test out the chair for comfort whilst knitting. I was fine. I am sure that I must have been sitting at an angle with the other chair and that caused me to have so many problems whilst knitting. The only thing that happened was that I have an ache in my upper right arm today. Maybe now I can finally finish off the boys hooded jackets!
I haven't had any replies from Freecycle for the old recliner. I phoned a couple of furniture charities today and they weren't interested either. It seems bizarre that I can't even give a chair away when it still has life left in it when I know lots of people don't even have an armchair at all. I can't even ask any of my neighbours to take it to the landfill for me as they don't have cars large enough. Maybe my son will have some ideas when he calls tomorrow.