Thursday, July 21, 2005

Off & Away

We're setting off tomorrow morning for our summer holiday - just over two weeks in Sunny Dorset this year. I doubt I'll be able to access the internet but if I do will try do a quick post. My Dad lives near Lyme Regis & we're staying about 20 minutes away in the caravan for the first week. I've got a fossil tour booked to teach us how to search for them on Sunday so I'm sure we'll be spending lots of time looking at rocks. The second week will see us moving futher in land to a site near Dorchester. We're going to visit Monkey World & lots of the National Trust properties in the area.

Knitting wise I'll be finishing the French Market bag & continuing the Entrelac Shawl. I've abandoned the latter this past week as I've gone wrong but can't find out how. Instead of 11 cables somehow I've got 12 in one rectangle & 11 and a half in another - the middle rectangle has a perfect 11 but I've got to rip back to the first which is very annoying. I got a second opinion yesterday but my friend couldn't see how I'd gained the extra stitches either. So a frogging I must go.

It's been a very busy week here in Blueadt land. Firstly my DD finished school today. Her school report was glowing but the report on PE made me laugh. According the school my DD

"is an extremely accomplished swimmer and can exercise all 4 strokes with ease."

and the school are claiming credit!!!!!

For those who are new to my blog my DD swims competitvely with the local swimming club & has represented her city on a number of occasions. She's had school swimming lessons this term & was very very bored as she wasn't allowed a lane to herself to plough up & down. She'll never make Olympic standard unless she really starts working her butt off but is a very good swimmer for a 9 year old.

She had her Sports Day yesterday & I was a very proud mum as she won the 'Egg & Spoon Race" - what an achievement! She was such a happy little girl. She'd been practising for the past month & had liberated a spoon from the kitchen & practised with a bouncy egg.

We've also come to the decision that we're going to finish the house & then move. Our neighbours are extremely loud & we can't take it anymore.

Finally on to the events in London this afternoon - I'm so glad that the bombs didn't work - the criminals who carried out the attacks today failed in their attempt to kill more innocent people. Thank god.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Gift from Oz & Thank you Eyeknit

Today I received a very belated birthday present from my Step Mum all the way from Oz!

300g of Soft Spun Mohair

I adore the colours & it's a beautiful yarn: 78% mohair, 13% wool & 9% nylon but I can't think what to do with it. The yarn is from New Zealand, was purchased in Australia & is now in England - how's that for well travelled yarn. It would make a fantastic Misty Garden from Scarf Style but that only needs 75g & I've got 300g. I could make one but then might be short for a bigger project. Oh decisions, decisions - suggestions very welcome please. It'll have to go in the queue behind some other projects but I'm looking forward to working with it as it's so soft. It came with the following suggestion but it'd be too boring: 10mm needles, 110 stitches & then garter stitch. I want something more challenging than that but no tricky lace please as I don't have any lace experience (basic would be great).

No knitting today as I've been grooming the dogs all day. I did Annie first as she was the smelliest & Blue spent the morning trying to hide herself away in a corner pretending that she wasn't here. She did her usual trick of collapsing to the floor when I went to pick her up - a very heavy dog flat on the floor with legs a kimbo. The same trick was repeated when I picked her up to get her off the table - you'd think she'd been keen to escape. She also managed to soak me & the floor as I put her into the bath - not quite sure how she managed that one. Annie on the other hand was very well behaved as usual & took half the time.

So now I'm tired and covered in dog hair whereas they're lovely clean and a lot shorter so should be more comfortable in this heat.

Annie & Blue
Annie & Blue

Finally a big thank you to Eyeknit. I found her blog in a Google images search for the Entrelac Shawl. I was trying to find pictures of it completed as I just couldn't get my head around the pattern. I used her photos & created a sort of guide for myself which has really helped:

Eyeknits' Entrelac shawl
Eyeknits' Entrelac shawl

I keep it in the plastic sleeve behind my photocopy of the pattern (I always work from a photocopy - mainly as it can get wet as I knit when DD is swimming & also so that I can make notes on it) & refer to it to check I'm following the written instructions correctly. I would have found this pattern far easier if there was a chart with it but maybe it's just because I've never done Entrelac before & got totally confused!

Correction on the correction

I've had an email from Debbie Bliss!

I had emailed Designer Yarns re 'my correction' & received a reply this morning:

"Thank you for our message which has been passed on to me from Designer
Yarns.I am delighted to hear that you have made the entrelac shawl and do
hope you are pleased with it.
Regarding the purl up, this means that you pick up the stitches "purlwise"
as you are working on the wrong side of the project."

I'm really impressed that Debbie has taken the time to reply to me personally & explained the pattern. I've never heard of 'purl up' before & thought that the pattern should have read 'pick up' as there was no other way that you could knit along that side of the base triangle.

I love this pattern as it's great fun & totally addictive. In addition to Entrelac I've also never done short rows before & was a bit nervous about doing them but they're so easy.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Like mother like daughter .......

Finally I've got something to show on the Entrelac Shawl. I've never done an Entrelac pattern before & found it really weird at first. You have to knit 5 base triangles & I thought I was reading the pattern wrong, as they kept curling like this, where they joined to the next triangle:

Entrelac problem?
Entrelac problem?

I just couldn't get my head around what a friend had said & that the triangles would be alright & I didn't need to cut the yarn between them - but then I'd never knitted an Entrelac pattern before.

Entrelac corner
Left hand corner of the Entrelac Shawl

This picture shows the 5th triangle which had curled as much as it's friends but is now behaving itself. I've really struggled with this pattern over the last five days & have ripped & ripped but I've finally got the hang of it. It didn't help that the pattern is incorrect! Yes I've noticed a mistake that wasn't on the Debbie Bliss revisions page. That must mean that my knitting is improving!

On the first rectangle it reads

"with wrong side facing, purl up 22 sts along other side of base triangle, turn"

This doesn't work. It should read

"pick up 22 stitches, turn"

Once I'd worked this out things started to move along & I'm enjoying it now.

I haven't been able to work on my the French Market bag as the yarn only arrived from Moondance Wools yesterday. Royal Mail are a total joke but more on that in a moment. I'd promised DD that she can help me wind it into balls so that'll happen this weekend. I'm hoping she'll stand holding the skein with her arms out whilst I wind the ball winder & get the tension right, but I think she wants to wind to her hearts content.

I've been buying a few goodies over the last few days but haven't spent a lot & didn't buy any yarn at all! All the shops that I went to sold yarn but I resisted but that's not to say that I didn't look & feel to see what was avaliable!

This is will be the lining of the French Market bag when it's finished:

French Market bag lining
French Market bag lining

I also bought two pieces of this which will be used to cover two aluminium tables that we use in the awning of our caravan.

I then visited a shop nearby which has just started selling yarn (to tell them about my knitting group) & came home with this

my new knitting bag
my new knitting bag

for the grand sum of £5!!! I love it & it's just the right depth to take my knitting plus a pattern without the latter getting bent. The lining is a beautiful gold colour & it sits on my shoulder well without slipping down.

To complete the hat trick I went into a charity shop today trying to find some 7.5mm needles for this. I've tried to get some decent ones from from Tess at Angel Yarns but she hasn't been able to find any that she was really happy with so doesn't stock any at the moment.

Charity shop needles
Charity shop bargain

The whole lot cost me £1 & the straights at the back are 7.5mm. I much prefer circulars but @ 30p a pair compared with over £5 a pair for rubbish quality bamboo circulars I had to buy them.

Going back to my earlier comment - I've got another example of how useless Royal Mail are. I ordered a set of Addi Turbos Tess at Angel Yarns two months ago & today they were delivered through my letter box - TWO MONTHS LATE!!! I'd forgotten all about them!

Finally DD has picked up her needles again! I've been trying to teach her to knit for a while now & she is an occassional knitter. As she was with me when I visted the shop were I bought my fantastic bag, she heard the owner talking about what she knitted as a child & the bug has bitten her again. Tonight she was sat up in bed when she should have been asleep after a two hour training session, with the light on. When I asked her to turn the light out & go to sleep she replied

"I'm just finishing this row..."

Now where have I heard that one before????

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

What's going on?

My boss mentioned today that his wife was held up entering the city at lunch time as the main approach road from the motorway had been reduced to one lane. As she crawled through the road block policemen stood on either side & looked into each & every car as they went past.

Whoa - my immediate thought is a terrorist threat & that they must have intelligence or a tip off.

But there's been nothing on the local or national news at all. So now I'm wondering if it really happened or was it due to an accident. BUT why would policemen be looking into cars as they crawled past????

Saturday, July 09, 2005

I can knit this weekend....

The postman only had one knitting delivery to make: the pattern for the Entrelac Shawl in the Baby Cashmerino book from from Tess at Angel Yarns but at least it means I can start the Entrelac Shawl for my friend.

Nothing else to report apart from the fact that I'm eating a bowl of cornflakes for breakfast with a glass of Cranberry juice!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Knitting progress

What an day - last night I realised that I was running out of the Jamiesons Super chunky black & needed another skein of Chunky shetland from Moondance Wools. Margie promised to sent it out this morning & also to hold a skein of the purple back for me in case I run out of that as well. The pattern is for aran weight but I've changed mine to the Chunky shetland as I'd already bought the yarn & loved it. I changed from dpns to circulars when I reached 32 stitches on each needle & am now up to 46 per quarter. Below is my latest progress which is a better photo than before as you can see the colour properly.

Blue & Annie
French Market Bag

Then today I took delivery of a bargain cone of Debbie Bliss's Baby Cashmerino. A Canadian friend who also loves Airedales is expecting a baby girl & we share the love of purple amongst other things. 'Grandma to be' is a knitter so I'm keeping 400g myself to knit the Entrelac Shawl for the new arrival.

Baby Cashmerino
Baby Cashmerino

The rest of the cone 333g is going to 'Grandma to be' to be turned into a variety of garments.

Baby Cashmerino
Baby Cashmerino

I'd also ordered some Mernio DK in purple with a contrasting blue - I was very disappointed with the blue.

DK Merino
DK Merino

So that will be used for a winter scarf for the little boy who is also receiving the awful cardigan. The purple is going to 'Grandma to be' with the cone & hopefully she'll be able to get a better contrasting yarn in Canada.

Tomorrow morning should hopefully bring the extra skein of Chunky shetland from Moondance Wools. Plus the pattern for the Entrelac Shawl in the Baby Cashmerino book from from Tess at Angel Yarns.

Tonight was the 4th meeting of 'In Stitches' & we had four new people including an accomplished Crocheter who is also exploring spinning. We also had another newby who learnt two cast on's, knit, purl & casting off by the end of the night. This is all without any publicity this month as my life has been far too busy - I must get posters sorted out next week for our August meeting as we're going on holiday to Dorset soon for two weeks in the caravan. Hence the Entrelac Shawl as I think it'll be good summer knitting.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Scarey times

I feel shocked & saddened by events in Central London this morning. And angry. Angry that people can deliberately take it upon themselves to kill & injure innocent people going about their daily lives.

I left London when I was 18 but the shock is still immense as I used to use the Tube to commute to & from school. How terrifying it must have been to be on the tube or a bus when the bombs exploded.

Little Lixie is safe and I hope that Knitternatter is still in Wales.

Thinking about Londoners today & hope that those who survived can get home safely tonight.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

De-Junking & more

Sorry for the lack of posts recently but we've been very busy at home. We've been de-junking the house, garden & garage & it feels good. We've had piles of bricks & blocks left over from the extension & even some from when DH built our kitchen in 2000!

So DH spent the day on Saturday removing the old bath from what is now a hallway & on Sunday went back & forth to the landfill tip taking ours & a friends' rubbish using a trailer borrowed from his sisters husband. The dogs now have a lot more room to run in the garden & it's a lot easier for me to keep it clean. He can sod off though if he thinks he's touching my yarn stash!

We've also rearranged DD's room - the very posh bargain desk from Ikea is now in the living room (I'm sat at it now) & she's got my old childhood desk. This means that she's got a lot more playing space in her bedroom & may even have a chance of keeping her room tidy but don't get too hopeful. She likes to live like a slob & I regulary have to go in & search for dirty washing - I once found a sock thrown up into the uplighter hanging from the ceiling!

I've also signed up to a local Freecycle Group & tonight collected a toddlers swing for my friends son - the same little boy that I've knitted the cardigan. I had a beautiful wooden dolls bed with a red & white gingham cover & pillow that DD no longer played with. I had been searching for somebody to give it to & it now has a good home. Not too far from me there is a little girl who had grown out of her swing but now has a new bed for her babies! I can imagine that she was very fussy tonight putting them to bed.

I had a great day last Friday as I met a knitting friend in York. We spent the day shopping & browsing shops. I found some brilliant buttons from Duttons for Buttons, some goodies from Lush & some things for my Secret Pal but no more on that one!