Monday, 31 January 2011

I'm Taking The Day Off

I think that I overdid the tidying and house cleaning yesterday. Perhaps the final straw was bringing the big Knitmaster 360 knitting machine downstairs which along with it's ribber and many attachments weighed far heavier than I remembered the last time it was moved. I haven't used this machine properly for about 20 yrs and have forgotten so many things. It also needs a clean and oil to get it moving properly again before I start knitting anything on it. Fortunately I have all of the manuals belonging to the machine so I will have a mammoth reading session before I embark on any knitting.

I prefer to knit by hand but as I am not a lover of hand knitting very fine wools I think that the machine will come in handy for lacy tops and cardigans for summer wear. I also would like to see if I can design a combo lacy knit centre with a crochet edge shawl in fine wool. I also used to make small lacy baby cardigans in very fine wool which are great for newborns.

I was so tired last night that after my shower and dinner I just collapsed into the chair and didn't pick up any knitting or crochet. Even though I was in bed for just after midnight (which is early for me) I zonked out until the postman woke me up at 11-15am.

He brought my Crochet Sweater Book by Sylvia Cosh which I have been looking out for quite a while. I balked at paying the £30 that some sellers were asking and was lucky enough to spot this book at the World of Books for £2.90. I paid more for the postage than I did the book.

I don't know why I didn't buy this book the first time around but maybe it was because when I look at the printing date it is 1987 and yet the styles are more reminiscent of the 60's and 70's. Perhaps I deemed them to be a bit dated when the book first came out. I love so many of the designs in there but there are quite a few dolman sleeved sweaters in there which haven't as yet made a come back. I have fallen in love with the cardigans in shades of purple and fawns. I am already going though my stash to see what colours I already have and what I would need to buy to compliment the stash colours. The cover sweater is actually worked in stripes or variegated coloured strips and stitched together and another one is worked in squares like patchwork and stitched together. My mind is whirling about using oddments. I think that the trick will be colour co-ordinating and that is what Sylvia Cosh and her crochet partner James Walters did so well. They started off using natural dyed wools using things like onion skins to give subtle colours for their crochet.

I love the child's striped sweater but not sure about the large sleeves which still have a dolman look to them. Maybe I could make the sleeves in the conventional manner instead of adding them on as in the pattern.

There are also quite a few poncho type shawls and sweaters with texture and colour which although beautiful some of them are too bulky to be flattering. Sylvia has a great love of large bobbles within the crochet which aren't exactly flattering to a larger sized figure such as mine.

I think that I am going to put my feet up for the rest of the day and try to pick up some knitting. I am still in the house cleaning mood but my back and knee say 'Not today thank you' Hopefully I can continue tomorrow.

Sunday, 30 January 2011


I must be feeling better as I have been tidying up since I last blogged. Not a stitch has been knitted or crocheted which is very rare for me. My back is hurting but otherwise I am fine. I think that my anti depressants must have finally started to work plus the swelling in my knee has slowly started to go down. Maybe finally I am turning the corner. My specialist did warn me that it could be up to twelve months before I regained full mobility in the knee so maybe I was just being too impatient.

Sorting through patterns and books isn't easy when you have as many as I do. As you can see from the bookcase those are just my knit and crochet books. The two boxes underneath are just two of five boxes. I have now sorted baby patterns into one box. Ladies single leaflets into another. One has old Phildar and similar books, the other has my old McCalls craft magazine from the early 60's which are now falling to bits but I still love them. The last box now houses my machine knitting books and patterns as I hope to start to use my big knitting machine again soon.

I also found my Mum's wooden sewing boxes up the end of the cubby hole under the stairs where I keep my pattern boxes. I started to tidy those out. I always thought that I inherited my hoarding tendencies from my Dad but now I know that I got a double dose. I got my Mum's hoarding instincts as well. If I ever want to make any i cord knitters with 4 small nails and a wooden bobbin I know just where to find my wooden sewing thread bobbins from. I never had one of those plastic soldier i cord makers when I was a kid. My Dad used to just hammer 4 small tacks into a bobbin and my Mum would give me a blunt sewing up needle to hook the wool over with.I told you before that I come from a make do and mend generation which is probably why I still find it hard to throw things away that might come in useful one day.

I just had to share some of my very old crochet patterns with you. I am sure that many of you remember the fashions of the 60's and 70's even if you didn't wear any of them. I didn't make a lot of them for myself but I used to crochet for a boutique in the 60's so a lot of patterns are from that era.

Time to go back to my cleaning and tidying. At least after 2 days I am up to putting things back today. Previously if you had come to my house in the last couple of days you would have been surprised to see that I was in such a mess. It's funny how when doing a big clear out it always looks far worse than it did before you started. Or is that just me?

Anyway it's time to get back to work. Hopefully by next week I will get around to the upstairs. Whew. I have let things slide around the house for the last couple of years and now I am paying for it. I will never make the covers of House Beautiful but at least it will be a lot tidier. Wish me luck I am going back in, pass me the duster!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Two Parcels Arrived Today

For once the post didn't bring me any wool or books. It brought me a hand held steamer and a set of plastic shelves. I am impressed with both of these deliveries as I only ordered them on Tuesday evening.Well done Amazon (or rather the people who use Amazon to sell things through).

I managed to work out how to put together the shelves but they do look a bit crooked in the empty photo. They came without instructions and labeling them 'easy to assemble' doesn't work with me. I am clueless - tell me which end is up! I am using them to tidy up all the odd balls that I have of baby wool. If I take them upstairs into the stash room they tend to disappear without trace and I find that I am buying more of certain colours as I think that I don't have any. My plastic shopping bags and scruffy cardboard boxes have gone now in favour of plastic trays. One day I will replace the trays with storage boxes with lids although I do find that deep boxes just tangle up the wool unless it is in see through bags. For now, at least, I am pleased with this bit of tidying. I now only have the things, that I am working on at the moment, in the lounge.

The only trouble is that I now need to tidy up the upstairs stash room as some bags of wool have wound up in there from the dining room.I will just leave that for another day otherwise I might get too tired if I tackle too much work at once.I am not the young girl that I once was who could rip through cleaning the house in one day.One room at a time will do for now.

I haven't read the instructions for the steam cleaner yet but as soon as I tidy up the havoc that I have caused by re-organising the dining room I will have a try. Why is it that when you are tidying up and changing things around the house looks far worse than normal. It's usually at this time that unexpected guests arrive so at least today I have been spared that. As I said yesterday I can't give the house the care and attention that it needs and deserves so I am hoping that a steamer will get into little places that I can't reach. There seems to be enough attachments to give a great variety of cleaning processes. I will let you know how I go on when I start steaming later on.

Needless to say there has been no knitting or crocheting done so far today. I have progressed to 3 full patterns on the back of the charcoal knitting so things are moving a lot faster since I typed the pattern out in large print. I resisted the temptation to go back to the easy peasy garter stitch on the huge needles but if I do some more cleaning I might resort to no brain knitting tonight.

Time for some upbeat music and a whizz around with the hoover. I think that I must be feeling a bit better this week as I am actually noticing what needs doing and instead of turning the other cheek I want to do something about it. I will probably write to you from my sick chair tomorrow when everything aches!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

What A Difference Bigger Print Makes

I picked up my knitting last night rather reluctantly due to be it being evening and the fact that I am knitting a dark colour. However with my new larger instructions I am quite happy and am progressing a lot faster. I no longer have to squint along the colours and many sizes to find out what I am supposed to be doing. I wish that there was a choice of larger printed knitting patterns as there is with reading books. It is no longer a chore to knit this cardigan. The pattern isn't showing up too well on the photo but in real life the cable pattern shows up quite well. It would look more distinct in a paler colour but my niece only wears blacks and greys most of the time.

Amazon continues to play catch up with my orders and today I got 2 CD's and a DVD. None of them are the latest ones but ones that I have wanted for a while. I love Priscilla, Queen of the Desert especially this version with Terence Stamp and this was on offer for a bargain low price so I could not resist it. Blake Shelton is someone I had not heard of until couple of years ago as I am not a great country music fan. I do like some country though and Blake's style of singing just appeals to my ears. As to the Disco Anthems - well I just like zippy music to put me in the mood for cleaning. Disco and reggae always put me in a good mood and seem to energise me enough to do a bit of housework. I suppose the music reminds me of my clubbing and dancing days which are long behind me now.

Talking about housework I have ordered a hand held steamer. I am hoping that the steam will get into the corners that I can't get to and, as I don't have much elbow grease strength at the moment, make things a lot easier to clean. I find it difficult to bend these days so low cupboards are a trial to clean. I am also hoping that it will work wonders on my neglected oven too. I will let you know if it works and everything sparkles. Hopefully it will arrive this week although the post is very erratic at the moment.

I am a little disappointed with a couple of the books that arrived today. Once again I must have not read the write ups correctly as I expected the Socks Two book to be for adults but more than half of the book is for children. The Wire Jewellery book is a bit fanciful for me. I wanted to know how to make beaded bracelets and plainer necklaces in knitting or crochet whereas this book has tiaras and strange looking wide bracelets and chokers. I learned more about how to do what I have in mind from You Tube videos.

The Crochet Coats book from Annie's Attic is one that I have looked at many times and balked at the price as it only contains 4 coats. However I saw it on sale on the Book Depository site and bought it. I must admit that I like all of the 4 coats so that makes the price more acceptable.

Thanks to dshood for your lovely comments. I am glad that you found the blog and like it. When I write my blog I always hope that I do inspire others to knit or crochet the way that other peoples blogs and work inspire me. I hope that you manage to work your way through your stash. That is my aim for this year but I do keep getting sidetracked. I am always so busy. I don't know just how I ever found the time to work. As for my style of writing I just type what is in my head at the time which is why sometimes it doesn't make a lot of sense. Everytime I open my blog I think 'I have not much to say today' and then I proceed to write half a novel!

I have been browsing on the vintage knit lady's pattern web site today and she has put some vintage knitted baby patterns on there that I don't have. I think that I have managed to replace most of the old Patons baby patterns that I lent out and didn't get returned to me.

I got a message today to say that the crochet hearts have arrived in Spain. I will look forward to seeing how they display them in the Art Gallery for Valentines Day.

I wish that I could dance as I am getting in the mood with this Disco Anthems CD. Burn, Baby, Burn Disco Inferno. My head is nodding like mad and my body is having a jig about on the PC chair. Come and join me in my Disco Fever tonight and join me in singing I'm Every Woman. Now where did I put those flashing Disco Lights?

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Coloured Printing on Pattern Instructions

I started my younger niece's cardigan on Sunday evening. The colour is dark but I had my craft light on but what I struggled with most was reading the pattern. Sirdar have a habit of changing the colours of the number of stitches to correspond with the different sizes. This sounds like a good idea but for someone with eyesight problems it's not. I have difficulties in reading pale colours on a white background and the fact that the print size on the pattern is quite small really slows me down. Once I have completed a pattern repeat or two I can usually work out the pattern without reading every row. After going wrong a couple of times and starting to get annoyed I decided to type out the pattern in large print and just typing the size I was knitting and not multi sizing. I haven't gone back to the knitting since I have done this but I am sure that it will make life a lot easier. I think that is another reason why I like using older patterns as the print was larger and the patterns easier to read.

I was lucky enough to be offered a lift back from the Kings Arms knit club last night from my niece and as I couldn't have concentrated on a new pattern especially in a dark colour whilst I was there I started another project. I already had the Wendy Moiselle in stash and decided to make use of the new pattern that my niece bought for me on Saturday. I am now smitten with this easy garter stitch and will have to drag myself away from it to resume the charcoal grey knitting. I am really enjoying this bit of easy knitting. It's what I call knit and natter or no brain TV watching knitting.

I wanted to go to the Kings Arms last night so that I could give Marie the 14 hats that I had made as she works near by the Big Issue and will drop them in for me. I knew that she was going to be there last night which made it important that I went. I think that I will start going every two weeks instead of every week and then I can afford the taxi fare in both directions. I also gave the baby knitted matinees to Phil the barman and I think that he liked them, well as much as any man likes baby clothes ;-)

It was quite a good turnout at the Knit Club last night and I had a good time. I love being in the company of like minded knitty friends as spending a lot of time on my own I love the feeling of being able to chat about what I like the best. Knitting and crochet isn't a subject that a lot of my other friends are really interested in and can't quite share my enthusiasm for it.

Today I tidied up the baby wool colours that I keep downstairs in the dining room and sorted them out into colours. One tray has the girly colours and white, whilst the other tray has the blues and multi colours in it. I have another box but that contains the wool that I am using now for the two projects that I am working on. I do try to keep the lounge as tidy as I can ( I usually fail) and keep the balls out of sight. I don't like keeping them upstairs as it annoys me having to go upstairs in the stash room everytime I want another ball. The baby wool colours tend to get a bit lost in the stash room as there is usually only 1 or 2 x 100 grams of each colour so I prefer them downstairs in trays where I can see them. I keep thinking that I should look around for a free or cheap set of drawers to make things look tidier in the dining room.

Tonight I should return to the charcoal knitting but I am enjoying the big needle knitting so much that I will have to drag myself away from it.I need to do the charcoal DK first in case I need to buy an extra ball. There is a lot of wool in Patons Diploma so it may not have as good a yardage as the wool specified on the pattern.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Lazy Sunday

I have had a very lazy Sunday so far. It was the local Farmers Market today and I had meant to go there for some bread and meat. However, I turned over when the alarm went off and woke up again after 12. Although the market is technically open until 4pm I find that the bread sells out very quickly and has gone long before noon. It is gorgeous French bread and I am sad that I have missed buying some.

It is now 3pm and all I have done so far is have some brunch and wash the dishes.It is a very dark and dismal day again and I have put my SAD light on to try and clear the fuddle from my brain.

Last night I crocheted 2 more hats bringing the total now to 14. I think that it's time to take a break from hat making although I will make more now and again. These hats won't make it to the Big Issue this week so I may have time to fit in another couple in between my other stuff.

Today I am in the position of starting a new project. I have so many things to make it's just a matter of deciding which one to start first. I may start two of them this week and then I can swap from one to the other so that i don't get too bored with one colour. I do like to have more than one project but at the moment all I have is a snoozing baby 4ply knitted jacket and another snoozing crochet mini shawl somewhere in the drawer. As neither of those are urgent then starting something new is a big temptation. I will let you know what I decided tomorrow.

All the SAD light is doing is annoying my eyes so I think I will resort to a cup of strong black coffee instead and I just watch a bit of TV although I might nod off if I do that. Yawn. ZZZ

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Yarn Shopping

Today I went yarn shopping with my niece. We went up to the Yarn Barn in Shaw.I love going to that shop if only to see the loads of display garments that she has on the wall and in her window display. They really make you want to make them when you see them finished. Much better than just viewing a pattern or feeling a ball of wool. It was the best kind of yarn shopping for me as I didn't spend anything. My niece was choosing some more wool for me to make her a second long chunky jacket. I made one for her last year and used Sirdar Click chunky. I don't know what happened whether it was the wool, the pattern or the way I knitted it but it dropped and kept on dropping until my niece now wears it as a dressing gown. This time we have chosen a yarn that feels more substantial but it is still soft. I am making a smaller size anyway as she has lost quite a bit of weight but I am considered juggling about with the needles to use a couple of sizes smaller to tighten up the fabric this time around and give the jacket a bit firmer tension. I often do this. Even if my tension is spot on to the pattern but I feel that the fabric is a bit too loose I will knit a larger size and drop a needle size. She has chosen King Cole Magnum lightweight chunky in a purplish colour.

We chose a pattern for the charcoal Patons Diploma DK that I had already bought for my younger niece. My older niece knows what kind of jackets my younger niece likes so has chosen this one but without the ribbon fastening at the waist.

My niece kindly bought me the two chunky patterns for me to use with the sale chunky that I bought before Christmas from E Kemp. I am so glad that I bought it when I did as it has all been sold out now. My older niece likes the garter stitch jacket so some of the sale wool might just get knitted up for her. She had a browse in my stash room today and picked out some colours that she liked. I have far more in there than I need for myself so I will know what to make for her in the future. I will get her to chose patterns from my stash another day to match up with the colours that she has chosen.

Since I have found a way to partially knit a hat on the knitting machine I have now made 3 on the machine.I knit the decreases on the crown by hand. The first brown one that I made came out a bit large but the second brown one and the multi coloured one came out a lovely beanie size. The crocheted hats are based on the beanie hat from the Stitch n Bitch Happy Hooker book. I was using some old Listers Can Can with the contrast stripes of red and blue done using scraps from my stash. I really want to start my new projects off but I am going to make a couple more hats (my total is now 12) as I may be going to the Kings Arms Knit Club on Monday when I can hopefully hand them over to be taken to the Big Issue office.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Hearts To Spain

I have finished some crochet hearts for the Art Gallery in Spain. I ventured out in the cold up to the Post Office and they are now on their way. How long it will take them to get there is another thing. One reason that I posted early is that they are needed for the 10th February so I didn't want to leave it until the last minute.

I had to nip out also to pay an installment on my credit card bill. I have gone a little mad with it of late and when it arrived today it was like a dash of cold water to the face. Time to fasten up the purse strings tightly until I have paid it off. Admittedly I still have the electric arm chair and the mobility scooter payments on there so in my defence it is not a total wool buying bill although I think that I have paid someones wage at Amazon over the Christmas and New Year period! I still have some books to arrive from back orders and pre orders but after that it will be Whoa no more!

Having said all of that I am going to the Yarn Barn in Shaw over the weekend but that won't count as my niece is buying some wool for me to knit for her and I will only be buying a pattern or book for some wool that I already have for her sister's jacket. I will try to blinker my eyes to the rest of the shop and concentrate on what I am there for. I do have some bargain chunky in stash that I got from E Kemp so I might just have to browse for a pattern or two that I like for myself. That's not really stashing is it? Or am I just fooling myself? I need a nice pattern to de stash so that's my excuse and I am sticking to it.

I watched a programme on TV last night about hoarders. Of course I was doing the tut tutting like everyone else until it was mentioned that she had a pile of wool underneath all the stuff that was enough to open a small wool shop. Now that kind of shook me. I call myself a wool stasher or collector but just when do I tip over the edge into being a wool hoarder. I used to stash it all in a very small bedroom but it does seem to be creeping down the stairs in boxes into my dining room. At night I tend to have everything around me in my armchair and sometimes I look like I am sitting in a sea of wool (depending on what I am making). It is starting to worry me now. I am not fond of housework, very untidy, would rather be crafting than hoovering and dusting. Am I more than half way there do you think? For the record though I do have clear pathways all through the house and my bedroom doesn't have any clothes on the floor preventing me from finding my bed. I recycle cans, plastic, paper and glass in my bins so maybe I am only a quarter of the way there ;-)

Today I started another crochet hat. I found out from Enid that I had missed the Big Issue Knit Out at the Nexus cafe that I went to last year. I am still carrying on though and hoping that someone will drop them in for me. Today I tried to make a hat on the machine. I have to finish it off by hand and needles for the decreases at the crown but I am just seeing whether making a lot of it n the machine will be quicker. Unfortunately this one appears to be going to turn out another one for a big headed man. It's hard to judge just how many stitches to put on for machine knitting. I used the amount from a hand knitted one but obviously I am going to have to adjust the sts if I make another one.

Time to see if there is anything good on the TV tonight,. The better the programmes the more I knit or crochet. I tend to wander around the house if the programmes are not enthralling.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The Mad Hatter

I am still making hats. Thankfully I have used the last of that super thick chunky Snowball. I didn't enjoy working with that at all. I tried at first to crochet with it and broke a crochet hook in the process. Thankfully my needles proved sturdier than the hook did. I hope that no-one minds walking around Manchester with a point on their head but the Chullo hat is the first one that I have followed a pattern for. It was one of the free patterns from Drops Garnstudio.

I have started the first of the hearts for Spain. Thanks CajunBlu for the link. I found some aran in Red so they will be nice chunky firm hearts and will make a good display for the Art Gallery. If I have enough wool I might make another pair of hearts to stuff or maybe some tiny hearts to scatter around in the gallery or make into a bunting.

Another dull dreary day which doesn't help me to be motivated. Hopefully I will have finished the hearts by tomorrow but they won't be finished off or stuffed as they will be easier and cheaper to post to Spain in 2 separate unstitched, unstuffed pieces. They will get stitched together once they arrive. I am hoping to get them posted off before the weekend to make sure that even with postal delays they get there before the 10th Feb. They want to decorate the studio before the 14th February.

I am hoping to finish the hearts today. At least it's a change from the brown, brown and more brown which seem to be the colours of my leftover stash. Last year I felt that it was mostly navy that I crocheted and knitted so at least the homeless will have a change of colours this year! I am going to try to knit a hat on my knitting machine to see how it turns out. I will have to finish it off by hand but at least I can knit the boring stocking stitch on the machine. I just need to work out how many stitches to cast on as machine knitting is a lot firmer than hand knitting so | will need more stitches than are on a hand knitting pattern.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Two More Hats

I made it out of the stash room alive with a bag of oddments to dip into to make some more hats. I was going to make as many hats as I could this week before my niece and I go to Yarn Barn at the weekend for a pattern and some wool for my nieces' birthday presents for April I thought that I would start early this year as they both want knitted jackets and they take me longer to make. The earlier that I start then the less I will have to rush with them.

A friend of mine who has an art gallery in Fuente, Spain, where artists can display their paintings or other art work, is having a Valentine celebration in the Gallery and is hoping after that to organise a craft market for the locals and ex pats. He has asked me to crochet a heart, or rather two hearts that he can stuff them or stiffen with foam or cardboard, He wants to thread a metal arrow through the centre of it so doesn't want me to sew them together to make one. I have googled some heart patterns and have found what I think is a suitably sized one. Most patterns that I found were tiny amigurumi sized ones and he wants one measuring approx 8" in either direction at its longest or widest part.

He is hoping to attract people to the craft market, that he is going to set up, with their hand crafted knits, crochet and other crafts where hopefully they can sell their craft work there. Maybe in Spain the customers will be more appreciative of the time and effort it takes to make things. I have never taken part in a craft fair in England myself but I do have friends who do it but only have moderate success with sales. I don't think a lot of people in the UK put a value on anything hand crafted. I see things for sale on the net and often think that I could do far better than that but I don't want to make a business out of my crochet and be put under pressure. It would be nice though to make a little extra money here and there but I would probably only buy more stash wool with it! I wish that there was a scheme locally where I could display a couple of items and see if there was a sale for my work. I like to be in control of what I make so don't want to be in a position of having to make things to order that I don't enjoy making. Next time any of my friends have a craft market stall I will have to barter for a small space on their stall to see if anything of mine will sell.

I am going to start making the crochet hearts tonight as a change from my hat making. Time is of the essence as they have to posted off to Spain and I don't know how long the post will take. I have finished off two more hats and started another one in the blue. The brown hat is the colour of the first photo but I took the second photo to show how it would look with the ear flaps tied on top of the head. I am making another hat with the blue wool. It is some ultra thick Emu Snowball which isn't the nicest yarn to knit with plus part of it had been knitted and unravelled before it was given to me. I also have some brown in the same wool so will be making another hat tonight as well. The wool may not be very nice but I am sure it will make thick warm hats which is the main idea. I am not too bothered about stylish knitting with fancy patterning on them or fancier crochet patterns. I am more concerned by making as many hats as I can whilst it is still cold although I did get assured last year that hats are worn for most of the year as it can get cold at night even in the summer.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Hats For The Big Issue Homeless Project

Last year the Nexus Cafe in Manchester combined with the Big Issue and had a knit in at the cafe to provide some hats and scarves for the Big Issue sellers and the homeless of Manchester. Last year I made quite a few of each from donated and scrap stash wool and this year I vowed to make some more. I think that the Kings Arms Knit Club might join me in making some hats, scarves or gloves. One of our members Marie kindly dropped my contribution into the Big Issue for me so I am hoping that she will do the same for me this year.

I have crocheted 2 hats so far with some wool that I got donated but never used last year. Each one took 2 x 50 grams of Patons Moorland chunky in a brown fleck. This is now discontinued but should be warm as it has a good percentage of wool in it. One of the hats turned out a bit on the large side when I tried it on but maybe men have bigger heads than me or maybe there is some homeless guy out there with a lot of thick hair, I have started an earflap hat in crochet and that is also from donated chunky wool. This time it is Patons Beehive chunky in a plain brown. I have doubled this wool up and it will take 3 x 50 gram balls. I am going to have a rummage in my copious amounts of part balls in the stash room to find suitable colours for men. I plan to keep making hats in between my other projects until I have enough to donate. I might crochet some stripey scarves with my oddments. I will double and treble the wool to make it into chunky warm hats. I have been making so much for babies and toddlers that I have a lot of pale colours in my oddments.

The second matinee coat is for Phil's, the Kings Arms barman, new baby girl to be. I have made a slightly larger size this time. Once again it is a vintage Patons baby pattern and the wool is Sirdar Snuggly Baby Quicknit. I thought that I would make one for when she is born and one for a bit later as babies grow so fast.

I have not put any photos of the Interweave crochet magazine on here as most people have had their copy for a long time. This is not the original magazine. This is a replacement copy that was sent to me on Friday.I wonder if my original one will ever turn up? If it does I shall post it straight back so they can resell it. There isn't much in this Winter issue that I would think of making for myself. Maybe I have become a bit jaded as I have so many books and magazines. Nowadays something really has to grab my attention. I have enough on my list of things to make, without adding anything for me, at the moment.

Today is supposed to be Blue Monday but to be honest I didn't feel much different than any other Monday except that I was so tired this morning that I nodded off at the PC desk in the middle of looking at Ravelry and bumped my head on the edge of the desk. I woke up, of course, thinking what the heck just happened !

The sun came out today for a while and as you can see it was warm enough to steam the wet fencing. When I saw it at first I thought that something was on fire as there was so much steam which looked like smoke at first glance. The sun didn't last long though and we went back to dull and wet in an hour or so.

Tesco delivered my food order today. I needed quite a few things and it's hard to fit a lot on my scooter. I don't use home delivery most of the time, just when my shopping list is long and the weather is rainy as it was on Saturday when I put my order in.

Tonight I am going in the stash room to find some more wool for hats. Should I tie a string around my waist so that I can find my way out? Imagine the headlines -" Wool Stash hoarder found trapped underneath a pile of wool. Neighbours discovered her when they noticed that they hadn't seen her for a couple of days. After recovering in hospital the first thing she asked for was a ball of wool and a crochet hook"

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Finally The Missing Books Arrive

As you know I have been waiting for books to arrive from Amazon and the Book Depository for a few weeks, The postman knocked on my door and presented me with everything (except the crochet magazine) early this morning. There was also a CD that I had ordered as a present to myself at Christmas. I now have Robbie Williams to listen to and 5 books to browse today. It's not just me who had missing books. My friend Eadaoin has posted on my facebook page that her books have arrived today that she ordered before Christmas and another friend Dorrie has at last got her books from Amazon. Perhaps Royal Mail is catching up with deliveries at last.

I must have misread the write up for the Simply knit hats book as I thought that it was for all the family and it turns out to be just for toddlers. Never mind, as I am sure that I will find a use for it. I would hesitate to call it simple though as that is misleading for a novice knitter. The first pattern that I looked at had a skull and crossbones knitted in a contrast colour into the hat. Fair Isle knitting is not something that I would recommend for a simple knit. I will take photos of the contents on another day.

The Hooked on Crochet hat book from Annie's Attic looks like a book that I will get use from although there is a nice pattern (not shown on the cover) in it that needs a double ended crochet hook for it. Of course I only have Tunisian and normal crochet hooks so I doubt that I will make it as it looks a bit complicated. I would have to buy a hook and it hardly seems worth it just for one hat although there is a hat in the Just Hats book from Lion brand that uses a similar method. I haven't looked but I bet that it's a different sized hook. Sod's law eh?

The Precious baby booties book from Annie's Attic illustrates every pair on the front cover so there is no need for me to show you the contents of that leaflet.

The Crochet for Tots by Nancy Queen isn't a new book. It's one that I have thought about buying for ages but just never got around to it. There are a lot of workable patterns in it which I will show you later but I am not sure why there is a fixation in this book for three quarter sleeves. Sorry, but to me it just looks as though the toddler has grown out of the sweater or that I have made the sleeves too short for the child. The sleeves in the book are also very wide which I would adapt.

My baby knitted matinee is on the finishing stretch. I just have about half of the yoke to knit. It seems to have taken me ages to knit this jacket. I think that it's because there are lots of stitches on the needle at once.The body is knitted all in one and so is the yoke. I don't remember it taking me this long to knit it in the past but my knitting has slowed down over the last few years.

I have so many adult jackets to make in the pipeline just waiting for decisions on which pattern and which colour that I will be busy over the coming few months. I think that I will just start some hats for the homeless as if I start a big project then I am sure that I will get a decision any time soon and have to drop whatever I am making to start the relevant jacket. I still have the second jacket to knit for Charlie that I didn't get around to before Christmas. I haven't heard whether the jackets that I made for my Great Grand Daughters fitted or were appreciated. I think that my son will give them to the girls this weekend. I do hope that I get some feed back. I don't know about you but I do like some feedback on whether they fit or are liked when I give a present.

A couple of bloggers have kindly given me awards that I am supposed to pass on. My problem is that I like so many blogs that I find it so difficult to just pick out a few to award these awards too. I am very grateful to be judged worthy of awards and I would love to pass them on. Maybe I will just award them to everyone whose blog I follow as you are all very deserving. I find it difficult enough to post comments on the blogs even though I do read them on a weekly basis. I will have to make more effort to leave comments as I know how much I enjoy receiving comments. In the mean time just assume that I have read your blogs and enjoyed your postings.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Another Vintage Baby Pattern

I am knitting a second Patons Vintage pattern 221 with the remaining two and a bit balls of Sirdar Snuggly Quick Knit. I have made the two sleeves and am part way up the body with about another 8 rows to go before I divide for the armholes. After that I link everything together to knit the yoke.

This is another pattern that I made a couple of times for my son when he was a baby. The waffle type stitch is made by putting the wool to the front slipping 3 sts purl wise then knitting 1 stitch. On the following knit row the looped thread is picked up on the central stitch of the slipped 3 sts and knitted together. On the next set of rows the stitches are slipped in an alternate way so that on the row that the stitches are clipped together it forms a little diamond shape or waffle stitch.

I hope to get the rest of it finished off tonight. After that I don't know what I am going to start next. I have a few projects in my head but nothing has yet been decided on as I am waiting for my instructions on what to knit for my younger niece with the charcoal grey wool I ordered last week.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

I Love Patons Vintage Knitting Patterns

There is something about a vintage pattern that really appeals to me. I am not sure if it is the memories that it evokes or nostalgia for times gone by. Either way it seems that I can knit or crochet far faster when I am using an old pattern that I can trying to figure out the new patterns. I suspect that newer patterns give us too much information whereas old patterns presumed that you knew more.I have really enjoyed making this matinee jacket. So much so that I have started another old pattern of Patons with the other two balls. The wool that I used is Sirdar Baby Quick Knit which comes in 50 gram balls. I had enough left from 2 balls to start the sleeves of the second jacket.I have slowed down somewhat as the second jacket is knitted all in one for the body and the more stitches I have on the needle the slower I work. I would be useless at knitting a shawl!

Yesterday I had to visit the hospital for a check up my CPAP and oxygen levels in my blood. I came home with a monitor to wear last night whilst I was asleep. As you know my sleeping patterns have been somewhat erratic of late so trying to get to sleep last night was fun. I was not only wearing my usual CPAP mask I also had a probe on my finger and an over sized wrist watch type of instrument to record my oxygen levels and heart rate whilst I was sleeping. I then had to post everything back to the hospital this morning special delivery along with a questionnaire asking me how well I had slept. Are they joking? Having extra things strapped to my body really helped with my insomnia.

Talking about postal deliveries I am still waiting for a parcel from Amazon another from the Book Depository and my Interweave crochet magazine which all seem to have gone walkabouts in the post. I took in a parcel yesterday for a neighbour and it was a Christmas present posted before Christmas and 3 Christmas cards! I have never known the postal service to be so bad and yet I got the patterns from Kay Jones on Tuesday and she posted them on Monday.

My next door neighbour has told me that she is moving and looking for a new home for Oscar the cat. I would have him except that Buster hates him and as Buster spends lots of weekends with me during the summer and sometimes 2 weeks when my son and his wife go on holiday I don't think that it is fair on Oscar. An old couple down the street have been taking him in also so I told my neighbour to ask them if they would like to keep him. Where my neighbour is thinking of moving to does not allow animals.Also her youngest son has developed an allergy to Oscar and can't stand him being in the house. This is very strange as they have had the cat for a few years now. Oscar came in this morning wet through and I had to dry him with a towel before he tucked himself away and went to sleep.

It's time for dinner and then I will settle down to the TV and some knitting. I do hope that my missing parcels turn up soon as it is worrying because I have paid for all of them and not got them. I contacted the firms today to say that nothing has arrived and see if they can track them down for me.