Thursday, 31 March 2011

Glow In The Dark

As you can see I could not resist ordering some more of the RYC Silk Aran from Kemps. I am saving money as it will never be this price again. OK so my reasoning it's a bit out of whack. How can I save money by spending it? Ask any knitter or crocheter and they will understand exactly what I mean. The baby colours are to go with the two balls that I already have in case I want to make another pram blanket and the other shades are still pending for the spider's web waistcoat.

This colour, although lovely, does nothing for me so I bought it deliberately to stash as it is perfect for my sister in law. She will love this shade and will appreciate the silk in the yarn and will hand wash it and treat it with care. I doubt that I will make anything for her birthday on April 23rd as I still have to finish my niece's jacket once Buster goes home but I can start early for her Christmas present (Wash my mouth out it is only almost April!) I will get my niece to choose one of my patterns for her Mum. I have 20 balls and she is really slim so I should have enough for a sweater or a jacket.

Whilst I was at the hospital waiting around yesterday I started the vintage pattern spider's web waistcoat. When people asked me what I was crocheting and I replied a spider's web I got a few funny looks!

The cardigan that I started for my elder niece is growing nicely. This Sirdar Silky DK shrugs off Buster hair and as I have had to bag up her knitting I wanted something to give her on her actual birthday although unless I put a spurt on I won't get done in time. I did a bit more on it last night and have got the two sleeves and the edging to do now. Hopefully I will get some done today.

Yesterday I spent hours at the hospital having another of those scan things where I got injected with radioactive stuff then after an hour got a set of 3 scans. I then had to wait around for another 2 hrs for the second set of scans. Each set of scans lasted for 30 mins so I was gone for a lot of the day. The technician let slip that my first set of scans last week had shown something up and so this set was to test for infection and was a closer look at the suspect area. Although I don't want there to be anything majorly wrong on the other hand it would explain why my knee seems to be getting worse instead of better. On Tuesday night it had swollen up so badly and my whole leg was rigid and so painful I couldn't sleep. The pain seemed to reach a peak during the night and then subsided so yesterday it wasn't as bad as it has been. I told the technician about the night before and he said that he would note it on the scan notes.When this happens I can't put any weight on my leg at all. I did check last night to see if I glowed in the dark but I didn't. I still had to put the lamp on whilst crocheting LOL. My appointment with the specialist in not until May so unless they contact me earlier I will have to wait for any results. No news will be good news but still not great as in the meantime I still have a painful swollen knee and my left one isn't much better.

Buster got a treat when I got home. I gave him a big pig's ear for being such a good boy. As he has problems holding his water I was fully expecting a puddle to deal with when I got home but bless his heart he had held on for all the hours that I was missing. He made up for it afterwards with a succession of what we call 'Buster wees'. He starts up cocking his leg then gets fed up and carries on doing a wee whilst walking all over the garden for absolutely ages hopping from one back leg to the other. I have never seen another dog do this.

We got up early but I am still not dressed. I was expecting the gardener early this morning so thought that I would wait until she arrived and then go for my shower. She must be delayed. I know that the moment I get in the shower that she will arrive and I have to be there to let her through the garage to the back garden. Once she arrives she will be here for an hour so I can leave her to it whilst I get ready for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

I Don't Need A Doorbell This Week

I don't need a doorbell this week as I have an early warning look out as you can see. This is his favourite position whilst he guards not only my house but the rest of the street. Unfortunately this is also my knitting/crochet chair so it's usually a case of who gets there first takes up residence. The brightly coloured crochet on the back of the chair is my favourite stash buster Doris Chan All Shawl that I wear on chilly nights.

This morning Buster has been busy, Not only is it the dustbin day, the dustbin cleaner van came as well. We were up early which is just as well as my Kemps delivery came around 8.30 ish. That firm is marvellous. Not only do they sell such great bargains but their delivery is so quick. I only ordered this wool on Sunday eve and it arrived today. Buster was also on guard for the postman coming although he didn't actually have any post for me today.

This is part of my wool order from Kemps. I ordered a few colours of double knit which you will see further down the blog. The Sirdar Tiny Tots wool is for my stash but the aran is for me and I can't wait to start it.

The aran is Rowan Natural Silk aran and it is so soft and silky. It is a mix of viscose, linen and silk and it was reduced to £1.69p a ball how could I resist it? I do like working with nice yarns but my purse doesn't like paying a few pounds per ball for yarn no matter how nice it is. I am so glad that I have discovered Kemps as the standard of my yarn has improved considerably. I will have to pattern browse in my boxes to find a suitable pattern for it.

As I was feeling somewhat guilty about wrapping my niece's knitting away until Buster has gone home I decided to start crocheting a cardigan for her in some Sirdar Silky Look DK that I also got from Kemps at 79p a ball a few weeks ago. The pattern is in 4ply so I am doing a bit of juggling as the Silky Look is a fine double knitting. It is looking rather small at the moment but I am sure that it will be OK once it has been blocked out to show the lacy pattern.

These are some of the colours that I bought to go with some stash yarn that I already had to make this waistcoat. I have discarded two of the colours that I bought as in real life they didn't look like the swatches on the PC and were too similar in shade to make this waistcoat. They will come in useful though as I am always making multi shawls and granny squares. I still haven't finally decided on the colours for the waistcoat but this is my thoughts at the moment.

Buster and I have to play some ball now before he will let me do some crochet. I will probably go for a ride on my scooter so that Buster will get a short walk in a little while. My niece says that she will come at the weekend to walk him for me if he will go with her. He has such separation anxiety if he can't see me or my son and his family. I put that down to his rescued background. He follows me everywhere.I feel like he is Velcroed to my shoes. At home he isn't as bad as he has the other two dogs to bond with and they keep each other company but here he only has me.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Spring Interweave Crochet Has Arrived.

The postman brought me the latest copy of Interweave Crochet for the Spring. The US seems to get the magazine weeks before we get it in the UK but if it had arrived earlier then I might have been tempted into leaving the projects that I have to finish off first.

I like the new layout of the magazine as now I have less to photograph as they are putting a few things together, I love the Bluebell Cardigan by Edie Eckman and the fine Dahlia Shawl by Lisa Naskrent. The Freesia Pullover by Kimberly K. McAlinden isn't for me as I am not a lover of the batwing sleeve.

The Zoe Jacket by Annette Petavy makes me wish that I had little girls that I could crochet for and although I hate crocheting amigurumi I find Clarence the Monkey by Brenda Anderson very cute with his lovely button eyes. I like the colour choices in the Magic Carpet Blanket by Melissa Darnieder although as I have said before blanket making is not really my thing.

This page features the cover blue sweater Petal Pullover by Robyn Chachula and the Camomile cardigan which I knew was Doris Chan before I even read it. The Cupcake sweater by Tram Nguyen is quite nice but once again not for me. I carry a lot of weight across my shoulders so the puff sleeves would only accentuate this.

These are squares for an afghan project. They are meant to be used by a crochet group to jointly make afghans.

The kids outfits are all so sweet. Hannah and Hallie play sets by Anastasia Popova are really cute but I wouldn't make the trousers. The Ginger and Fred sweaters by Margaret Hubert are not something that I would personally make unless I changed all those pockets and the frilly trim. The Daisy and Minnie dresses by Brenda Anderson are cute but once again I don't have any little girls to crochet for.

The Hialeah bag by Simona Merchant-Dest is not for me but that is purely because I don't like making crochet bags as I am not a sewer and can't line them. The Orlando vest by Annette Petavy is a basic crochet but I am not keen on the frilly peplum in the maroon. The Coral Springs Sweater by Trich Warrick is nice if you wear waistcoats which I don't.

I am trying to push on with my niece's jacket as I will have to put it away for 10 days after tonight as I don't want Buster hair all over it. Whilst he is here I will make something for myself. Maybe the vintage spider web jacket who knows.

I do like this cream cardigan by Mari Lynn Patrick. It is not in the Interweave magazine except as an advert. I will have to get a download from Tahki Stacy Charles. I have ordered a couple of Doris Chan patterns as e downloads from this site and they arrive almost immediately after I pay.

I dyed my hair again this morning. I just shampooed it in as I didn't have any roots showing just all over mouse brown. Thank goodness I feel more like myself now even though the blonde is still darker than usual. I know that I shouldn't let a hair colour get to me but I felt so dowdy and depressed with that colour. I will make sure that I don't pick up the wrong brand next time I need my roots doing.

Time for a coffee and Loose Women on the TV. I enjoy an hour with my feet up before I do a bit of tidying and washing the dishes.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Granny Squares Are Back In Fashion

Don't panic. I didn't rustle this jacket up overnight. I made it for a friend a couple of years ago. Today I saw a link (click on my blog title) to Top Shop and it's knitwear is full of crocheted items including a Granny Square jacket. It isn't as intricate as the one that I made for Lisa and it's squares are so big that it would take a fraction of the time to make one like that plus the back is mostly mesh. When you click on the title to view the crochet jacket click on the knitwear arrow on the page and see all the other items that are crochet or knitted. At this rate I could be looking fashionable by accident LOL A big Yeah for vintage patterns.

Not much more done on the chunky jacket last night. My niece came to dye my hair yesterday. It looked a lot darker when it was finished and today in daylight it looks even more mouse brown than it did yesterday. I went up to Superdrug today and got the right colour. I want to be a blonde again. OK so I am a bottle blonde but it is the colour that I am used to. Today I feel like a frumpy Mouse Frau. It's amazing how a hair colour can alter the way that I feel about myself. This hair colour makes me feel really dowdy and frumpy. I keep catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror and wondering who the heck it is.

I had to go out today as the paper boy had left me the wrong newspaper this morning. I think he is trying to make me more high brow as instead of my usual gutter press Sunday paper he gave me the Observer! I did phone up but the guy in the shop didn't have anyone to send down with the right paper so I had to go and pick it up for myself. Thank goodness I had charged up the scooter.

I forgot all about turning the clocks forward last night even though my friend Rachael had reminded me. It was lunch time before I realized that I had lost an hour. My body clock will take a couple of days to re-adjust to the hour loss.

My best buddy Buster is coming on Tuesday and staying with me until the following Thursday so we will have quite a few days together this time. I love it when he comes to stay but after a week or so I am glad when he goes back home.Not because I don't like him or anything but I can't walk him properly and he gets a bit bored with me after a few days and I feel so guilty. Neighbours have offered to walk him for me but he just won't go with them. My niece is going to try walking him as he knows her well enough. It will be nice not to have to feel guilty about talking out loud as I often find myself doing. Now I can say that I am chatting to Buster!

I must crack on with some knitting tonight as I went to bed early last night as my eyes would not stay open. When this happens I have stopped trying to fight sleep and now I just go with the flow. I have lots of nights when I don't sleep properly so I relish a good night's sleep every now and again. Last night I had longer than I thought as when I woke at 9am it was actually 10am! I know that it was the same amount of hours sleep that I had but it felt longer with the missing hour.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Another Jacket Started

I have started the jacket for my elder niece. I will have to put my knitting away in a big sealed plastic bag on Tuesday as Buster is coming for 10 days and my niece agrees with me that she would rather wait a little longer for her jacket than have it covered in dog hair. I don't know why Buster sheds so much as he is a short hair Boxer cross but his hair gets everywhere when he is here. It is like small paintbrush hairs that inter twine into my knitting and crochet.I brush him everyday and he still sheds. I will stick to making something for myself whilst he is here. I am used to dog hairy things LOL.Perhaps I will be able to start the vintage waistcoat from the pattern that I got yesterday.I will have to stash search to see if I have some suitably toning shades.

The pattern that I am using is design C from Sirdar Winter Glamour 339 booklet. The yarn is King Cole Magnum lightweight chunky Shade 345 which is mostly acrylic but has 25% wool.

This is the Oddpin sweater as modelled by me.I am quite pleased with the way that it has turned out even though it is a little see through because of the openwork knitting. It feels so soft and warm to wear so will make a great everyday sweater as a couple of the ones that I made a couple of years ago from Doris Chan's Everyday crochet book are starting to look a little shabby now.

My elder niece came today to dye my hair roots. I had accidentally picked up a different brand of colour and the result is that my blonde is very much toned down. It is almost a honey light brown although the box did say light blonde. I am not sure that I like it this colour but I am not going to change it until the next time that it needs doing. Maybe I will get used to this darker colour over time.

Today has been quite chilly.I think that I will be turning my heating on tonight for a little while when I settle down for a bit of TV and knitting. My old bones don't like the cold at all. Perhaps I will win the lottery tonight and can go on a nice hot holiday (Yeah right I know my chances of winning are very slim but hey I can dream)

Friday, 25 March 2011

An Eventful Day

I am so pleased to have got this pattern today. I had the pattern and then like so many of my patterns it did a walkabout and although I have looked on many vintage pattern sites I have never seen it for sale. I mentioned this on a Ravelry post and a lovely lady Maureen (Mehalah on Ravelry) had seen it on e bay and put a bid in for it. She got it for me and sent it by post and it arrived this afternoon.What a lovely gesture to make for a fellow Raveler. I do find that people in general on that site are great and I have made many friends through it. It's so nice to chat crafts with like minded people.

For those of you old enough to remember a very similar waistcoat was worn by Beryl (Polly James) who was in the Liver Birds TV series in the 60's and 70's. The series ran for years and I used to watch it avidly.I think that I liked the idea of two girls sharing a flat and not living with their parents. Every teenagers dream. Beryl had a quirky dress sense but I used to like the way she dressed. I am going to make my waistcoat in more subdued colours ( I think) and will have the make the circle larger as like many patterns of that era the largest size is 36/38.

I got this magazine in the post today but as I am not a blanket knitter I think that this copy will be passed on to someone who will make better use of it. I already have a lot of the patterns in it from previous copies of the magazine. Bit of a waste of a magazine if you are a regular buyer of the magazine as you will already have most of the patterns as I do. It's not often that my heart sinks when I open a magazine envelope but it did today. I am waiting for my Interweave Crochet to arrive as it looks like a nice edition this time.

I finished off the Oddpin sweater but didn't take a photo of me wearing it as it was evening when I tried it on. I will take a photo in the daylight.

As it was such a plain sweater I decided to trim it with a crochet flower and added a small lilac pearl button in the centre of the flower.

The pattern is vintage, the yarn is vintage, Patons Diana brushed chunky, and I already had the Oddpin needle from years ago. Not only have I used up from my stash I inherited the yarn 18 months ago from an old ladies stash from the 80's. I am glad that I could put the yarn to good use and get something wearable. As it was knitted on such big needles it only took 8 x 50 gram balls.

I have started my niece's chunky jacket but have only done 3 pattern repeats of 8 rows. I got interrupted by the cleaning lady from across the road who wanted me to call her an ambulance as she was having a funny turn. The house owners had gone to Tesco to do a bit of shopping and she could not reach them on the phone. She said that she was shaking all over and losing the use of her arms. I called the ambulance for her but all the time I am trying to talk to the operator she was shouting in her mobile phone to her pastor for some reason! I should explain that she was African and they can tend to shout when they get excited. The paramedics came but although they didn't find anything much wrong with her they ordered an ambulance and took her to hospital for further tests to be sure. I haven't found out yet what was wrong with her. She was visibly shaking her arms and legs and yet it wasn't like epilepsy. Quite an eventful day.

I was late going out shopping because of all the excitement so I treated myself to fish and chips on the way home. I don't often buy food from take aways but I just fancied it and it really did taste good.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Crochet Pram Blanket

I loved working with this yarn. I wish that I could tell you more about it and buy some more of it but alas it was given to me by a friend and had no labels on it. It is a lovely loosely wound silky yarn. It has a sort of silky thread of cotton running along the yarn to keep the yarn together. If you recognise it then let me know as it was lovely to work with.

The pram blanket is not from a pattern. I just crocheted a length of chain that I thought was approx the right size and did a simple 5 UK treble shell alternating with a UK double crochet. When I had worked 3 of the 4 balls into the blanket I decided that perhaps it wasn't wide enough so I started to make a border all around the blanket using the same stitch as the main blanket. I used the remaining ball for the edging. As it has shades of pink and peach as well as lilac it will be destined for a baby girl whenever one comes along.

I still haven't started the chunky jacket for my niece as I decided to finish off the Oddpin knitting that I started for myself, using some vintage Diana chunky stash, at Knit Club a couple of weeks ago. As I only have about a quarter of a back to knit and then stitch the sweater up I should have that out of the way later today or tonight. Then I won't have any WIP and can concentrate of my niece's jacket.

I am glad that a lot of you share my love of the vintage patterns. My Mother used to always say that fashion goes around in a big circle and there are only so many styles in the world so they are bound to get repeated in time. I think that I will have a vintage crochet project or two when my time is my own. I am going to be busy - first the knitting machine and then the vintage crochet. It keeps me out of mischief - not that I ever get into any.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

1980 Book Of Crochet

The last book of my bargain second hand purchases arrived yesterday. It is the Hamlyn Book of Crochet by Carol Payton and was first published in 1980. The cover shawl is dateless as is the top. It's just the openwork skirt that dates the outfit.I bought this book from World of Books through Amazon for 1p plus 2.80 postage so I think that it's a real bargain.

I do still have a sneaky liking for ponchos. Not sure if I would still wear one but the colours of these ponchos are subtle as opposed to the very bright coloured ones that were all the rage in the 80's

Granny square waistcoats are a little dated these days unless you have hippie tendencies as I secretly do. Still pretty for a young child thought.

Nothing dates much in baby wear and any of these outfits would work for a modern day baby especially the pram rugs.There are also patterns for a christening shawl and romper suit as well as striped jackets (not shown on my photos)

The children's hooded jackets and long cover up would still be wearable and practical today as would the crochet dresses if you know of any Mums who dress their little girls like girls these days.

I don't know whether the pop over tops are still fashionable but I would wear them around the house. I love the elbow length sleeves when I am pottering about. It saves having to keep rolling up my sleeves. I prefer this shape rather than a waistcoat which I make and then never wear. The little girl's blue top I would make but make the collar smaller. It does seem to overwhelm the sweater. The hats are timeless. I have seen pattern very similar to this for sale on Ravelry.

I would still wear this jacket today and the blue sweater with the cowl style neckline. As I am not a waistcoat wearer I am not keen on the other styles on these pages.

Shawls are something that doesn't go out of fashion for me. I love all of these and also like the loose cream cover up sweater as it is very 'me' shaped.

The hats are still very wearable although the brimmed hat is not for me as I don't suit hats at the best of times. The car rug is a slightly different version of the granny square as is the cushion.

The bedspread is very pretty and something that I have always said that I would make even from being a teenager. I doubt if I ever will though as I lack the patience for all of those identical squares. The cushions are very pretty and the loopy mat would be nice and fluffy to my feet by the side of the bed.

I started this baby pram rug whist at the hospital yesterday as I can't concentrate on anything too patterned when I am going from department to department. I had a scan, then I was injected with some radioactive dye and scanned again for 25 mins. I was in the hospital for almost 5 hours as I had to wait 3 hours in between the scans and it was too far and too expensive to go home in between. I had a spot of lunch and then tried to find a nice quiet spot to settle down with a bit of crochet to pass the time.

I won't k now any results from all of these blood tests and scans until I see the specialist in May. I presume that if they do find anything untoward then they will call me in earlier.

My knee is sore this morning but I put that down to the hospital tramping about that I did yesterday. Hope hospital is a maze of corridors and even though I have been hundreds of times I still find myself on the wrong corridor or in the wrong colour coded zone. I am in Blue when I should be in Red. The signposting is really ambiguous and I find it hard to follow.

Today the sun is shining and I have risked a line of washing outside to dry. The first of the season. I should start my niece's jacket today but I would rather finish off the baby pram rug that I started yesterday as I hate different WIP hanging around. I still have the front to knit on the Oddpin knitting that I started a couple of weeks ago. I made the sleeves after the back to see how the vintage yarn was working out as I know that I cannot buy another ball if I run out as the yarn is so old.

I am going to watch Loose Women now and then maybe sit outside in the sun this afternoon if it is warm enough.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Baby Crochet Jacket

Crocheting a baby jacket is like a holiday to me. I should have been starting knitting my niece's jacket but as I was going to my friend Sylvia's house for the day I didn't want to take anything with me that I could not concentrate on or work with pointed needles when there are babies running about. I left the jacket with her but this time Sylvia reminded me to take a photo of the finished jacket. I usually forget when I finish things off at her house. The pattern is Princess from the Crochet Babies book. If you are not sure which book this is then it is in my library on Ravelry. It took 200 grams of Wendy Beach Babes DK which although it is acrylic it does have a cottony feel to it as it has a twist to it making it feel more crepey rather than woolly looking.

Yesterday was a good day but I did come home rather knackered. Sylvia's friend, who also fosters, was there with her two babies so we had 4 kids under 4 in fact it may have been 4 kids under 3 LOL The bigger two are boys and they went a bit mental chasing each other around and generally demolishing the toy boxes. I might have been able to cope with lots of kids when I was young but not now. It was OK for a day but my hat goes off to those who deal with it on a daily basis. I think God gives us babies when we are young for a reason. I was only fortunate to have the one baby. None of my other babies got past the 3 month pregnancy stage so I am grateful that at least I got one. I never wanted a large family but another one would have been nice. Maybe that is why I love making things for babies.If I had a few of my own then maybe the baby crocheting bug would have passed me by.

The postman has just knocked and brought me another old book that I ordered online. It cost me 1p plus £2.80 postage so if there is only one pattern in it that I like then I have still saved money as single patterns can be up to £3 each or more if they are downloads through Ravelry. I have paid $8 and $10 for some of those. I will post some photos tomorrow when I have browsed it.

Time for a coffee now, feet up and looking through my crochet book. What better way to start the day. I am going to Knit Club tonight so it will be a good day all around today. It doesn't take much to keep me happy. If only the sun would shine! Still I can't have everything.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

New Projects To Start

I am poised, needles and pattern at the ready to start the long line chunky jacket for my niece. I hope to start it this weekend. The pattern is from the Sirdar Winter Wonderland booklet. I made the same jacket pattern for her a year ago but made it in Sirdar Click chunky which kept on growing and growing. Added to the fact that my niece has now lost quite a lot of weight I am making a much smaller size this time. I am also using two sizes smaller needles instead of my usual one size ( I knit a bit on the loose side so always drop a size) to make sure that the jacket doesn't stretch as much this time.

Last night I was in the mood for a bit of crochet so I started a baby jacket 'Little Princess' from the Crochet for Babies book.. The yarn is Wendy Beach Baby DK that I got for a bargain price of 79p per 100 gram ball from E Kemp Sale. If you haven't checked their site lately then don't if you are on a yarn diet. They have some fabulous bargains on there at the moment.

I keep talking about my swollen leg so here is is in all it's glory. This photo was taken this morning and it will be worse by the end of the evening. I went to the pharmacy this morning to get measured for some sexy socks and they don't stock them large enough. I will have to enquire at the hospital whether I can get some made to measure ones.

Purple is my favourite colour but I don't care for it on my legs. The pharmacist said that if I already have or have had a DVT then she would not recommend putting a knee stocking on as it could increase the knee swelling. As you can see from the side view I have a huge knee. I think that I will see what the results of the tests that I am having on Tuesday show before I decide on the stockings. I have to go to the nuclear medicine department to have some radioactive substance injected in my vein and then wait for a couple of hours and then get a scan done. I had better go prepared with my sandwiches and some knitting as I could be there for 4-5 hours in total.I am also having a bone dynamic test and bone SPECT done as well as this CT Atten correct and diagnostic study. All sounds very complicated to me.

Today started off quite sunny and appeared warm through the windows. When I went shopping though it was quite chilly and now it is dull. Roll on Spring.

Thanks for all of your lovely comments about the crochet jacket for Alison. I am delivering it tomorrow so I hope that she likes it and that it fits her. I will see the foster babies maybe for the last time before they move on. One is being adopted which we are very pleased about and the other one is going home. Hopefully there will be a little break before new babies arrive to the foster carers and then I will be sparking my needles and hooks again. I know of quite a few babies that are expected this year so I have quite a few things to knit and crochet. I also hope to get to my knitting machine again once the chunky jacket is knitted. Fortunately I am well prepared with my stash of baby coloured yarns that I have been buying recently.

I am staying away from the wool sites this month as today my credit card bill came with not only all my wool and book purchases on it but also the vibrating back cushion and storage boxes so I must have a 'step way from from the credit card' month (or two or even three) until I get back to normal.

Coffee and feet up time now. I think I will treat myself to a bit of crochet on the baby jacket before I start knitting the chunky jacket. Sorry if my knee photos put you off your dinner LOL