Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Ok here goes... this will be a very long post & I needed enough time to put it all together hence the delay.

On Thursday morning I started my journey with two trains. I left the car at home so that DH could take DD training & so that I didn't leave him stranded. This of course left plenty of time for sock knitting so the Tiger Jaywalker was frogged & restarted.

Harrogate was COLD but Andrea met me at the station & we then spent 20 minutes searching for our hotel. When we finally found it we realised that we'd passed it twice already. Our room was lovely with a huge bathroom & two twin beds. The decor was beautiful & very welcoming.

We then went out briefly before I went to the Turkish Baths for my massage. All I can say is heaven, especially when the masseur got his knuckles into my shoulders. I was ready to sleep after that but instead Andrea & I went into the Turkish Baths proper. It was wonderful: sauna then a quick shower before the plunge pool - oh my god, the quickist two lengths of breast stroke I've ever done in my life, then on to the hot rooms. We just relaxed, chatted & got very warm. Then the process was repeated, many times. Hot, shower, cold plunge!! Finally when we left I was so relaxed I could have curled up in a ball & slept for a week. Instead we found a great Indian restaurant but neither of us could finish the main course as the starters were huge - so less food next time.

The show itself was fanastic. 4 halls full of vendors. We had booked a crochet workship run by the Knitting & Crochet Guild in the morning which was fun & I learnt how to make a crochet Curly Whirley scarf. I've got two odd balls of Sirdar Wow in lilac that I didn't have any plans for so may play soon.

Then we found Daisy. It was great to finally meet her. She seemed happy to leave her Mum & Aunt to their own shopping & the 3 of us went to find the Relax & Knit stand & my Secret Pal, which has already been blogged about here.

After introductions etc we all split up to go shopping & headed off like kids on a treasure hunt. Yvonne very kindly lent me her catalogue in which she marked off all the good stands & must visits. I had a fixed budget in mind & really didn't want to go over it especially as DH was laying the law down about more yarn purchases.

I had a few things in mind that I needed & first off were this little beauties from Taj Crafts


Then I found RKM Wools and bought 3 skeins of Maya


Inspired by one of the gifts Yvonne gave me I bought 400g of this:

undyed yarn
undyed yarn

Then these little beauties.

Lorna's Laces sock yarn
Lorna's Laces sock yarn

I had planned to get some Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn but the colours didn't scream out to me. So instead I bought some Lorna's Laces sock yarn from Get Knitted

I've already mentioned that I had a budget & that I had intended not to go over it..... Well I'm afraid this little beauty from Web of Wool took me over my budget but not by much

Socka Color
Socka Color

After all that I headed back to the Relax & Knit stand to wait for Andrea. It is very well named as it's nice to sit & chill after the noise & bustle of shopping.

To end the day a gang of us went for a sandwhich before I raced for the train only to find it was delayed I got home in time having just caught my connecting train by the skin of my teeth - and yes Sue you're right - the train journeys were a perfect opportunity to increase the Tiger Jaywalkers

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Airedale loving Knitters rule!

I'm chuffed to bits to have found yet another Knitting Airedale loving blogger - check out Bogart who now joins Gracie and Annie & Blue on our very own Airedale knitters blog ring - if their owners ever get round to setting one up!

So go on over & say hello

Blue & Annie playing bitey face
Blue & Annie playing bitey face

Monday, November 28, 2005

Tiger 1 - 1 Chain Mail

I haven't got time to write about The Knitting & Stitching show tonight but it's coming soon I promise.

Instead here's my latest attempt at Jaywalker. I had to frog the lot as I couldn't pick up 84 stitches on 2.5mm circulars but it's working well this time.

Jaywalker in Opal Rainforest Tiger
Jaywalker in Opal Rainforest Tiger

I really like the colours but isn't 4 ply slow compared to DK? - remember this is only my second pair of socks / or not to tempt fate my third sock This photo was taken yesterday & it's grown a bit but not much since then.

The Chain Mail scarf in Sirdar Firefly is hiding in my bag & has been there since the Jaywalker resurfaced

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Big Reveal - Secret Pal 6

I've met my Secret Pal & she's lovely!!!

I went to The Knitting & Stitching show on Friday with Andrea (much more on this later) & after a workshop we made our way to the Relax & Knit stand. Sat on the table was this inviting bag:

Secret Pal gift bag
Secret Pal gift bag

Fred was trying to get me to open it straight away but it didn't seem right until I knew who my Secret Pal was. It was really weird standing there, not knowing who they were and any of the numerous people sat at the stand could be my SP! It wasn't until a discussion started re Sirdar Firefly that I got the first clue. A woman wearing a broch knitted in Sirdar Firefly appeared just as I was saying that I hated knitting with it. She mentioned using her laptop in her B&B the previous night & I had struck gold - I had found my Secret Pal!!! She had previously given me some clues in her emails one of which was that she was able to use her laptop at her B&B.

It was really weird to finally meet her. Only then did I dive into the bag again with some prompting from Fred. Inside I found:


which has some fantastic patterns in. Everytime I go through it I find more!


Maroon Regia Silk
Maroon Regia Silk

which like the Regia Silk my Secret Pal had prevously sent me is absolutely gorgeous.

Then a beautiful moebius scarf:

moebious scarf
moebious scarf

which my Pal had knitted herself in Sirdar Zanzibar. DD & I had great fun working out all the ways to wear it.

Next I found this:


I've wanted this pattern for AGES & have just the yarn for it.

Then this (was this bag bottomless???)

Kool Aid
Kool Aid

which then influenced my purchasing later (but I'm not going into that now)

and finally:


All I can say is 'Thank You' Yvonne - I've really enjoyed being your pal. The past few months have been hard for me & your emails & generosity have brought a smile to my face on more than one occasion.

I'll be revealing myself to the person I've been sending to on December 4th - Yvonne revealed herself early as we were both at the same show & it seemed too good an opportunity to miss!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Jaywalkers continue & Harrogate here I come....

I've finally been brave & have frogged my first attempt at Jaywalker. I haven't frogged it all but have gone back down to the cuff. I'm going to try & pick up the 84 stitches on 2.5mm needles but if that fails will have to totally start afresh.

To give me motivation this time I've joined the Jaywalker Knitalong. Hopefully I won't run out of stitches this time so will be able to follow the pattern properly & do the necessary increases.

Tomorrow morning I'm going to Harrogate on the train (hence the sock revial)where I'm meeting up with Andrea & we're going to the Turkish Baths & I've booked a massage in the afternoon. I'm really looking forward to relaxing, having fun, good company & no child or DH just for a few hours (sorry DH but a girl needs a break every so often).

On Friday we're going to the The Knitting & Stitching show where we'll be meeting up with Daisy, Fred & my SP!!!

I have a list in my head of what I want to buy and am going to write it down tonight - included is a larger bra for my purchases

I've also started a map & would love to see where you all are - link is in the side bar.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Tiger 0 - 1 Chain Mail

I haven't ripped out the Tiger Jaywalkers yet - I simply haven't got the heart but will do soon. Yesterday I bought two balls of Sirdar Firefly in red to make a scarf for my MIL. I've never knitted with a ladder yarn before & I'm not keen but the effect is great. It looks a bit like chain mail & drapes beautifully BUT I hate knitting with it. Twice I've had to tinker back or frog as I keep dropping a stitch at the end of the row. So now I'm counting the stitches at the end of each row. It doesn't help that I'm using metal Addi Turbos but I haven't got any short 8mm bamboos.

DD & I are having a swimming weekend - DD was in a gala this afternoon & came 4th & 5th in her races. Last weekend she got disqualified & spent the evening in tears. Tomorrow morning we're being picked up at 5.45 a.m. (yes I do mean an unearthly hour & it'll still be very dark) to go to an all day gala which is about two hours drive from here
I've already made lunch & snacks for her tomorrow & am going to bed soon myself so that I'm not a zombie tomorrow.

So if any of you are also at an Open swimming meet in the North of England tomorrow & see a woman knitting a red chain mail scarf - chances are it'll be me!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Frogging here I come.....

Susoolu knows me so well! 5 minutes after finishing the Regia socks on Sunday evening I cast on for another pair. This time using Opal Rainforest in Tiger and the MagKnits pattern Jaywalker

Jaywalker in Tiger
Jaywalker in Tiger

So far so good I thought admiring the colours & the pattern until I realised that I had an odd number of stitches. Some how I've gone wrong on the end of the second round [between the two red lines] as that part of the pattern should be straight rather than pulling to one side & have so far lost 9 stitches

Jaywalker in Tiger - mistake
Jaywalker in Tiger - mistake

What have I done wrong? I found that I didn't have enough stitches to finish the last pattern repeat on the second row but the pattern does recreate the stitches which have been decreased - maybe I didn't read it correctly.

I promised DH that I'd post a picture of the moon from our backgarden (for which he got the camera out & then got collared into taking knitty pics so late at night)

Moon obscured by cloud
Moon obscured by cloud

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Ta daa

I've finally finished my first pair of socks!!! The yarn was sent to me by my SP5 & is Regia 6 ply in Passion.

Regia 6 ply Passion
Regia 6 ply Passion

The second sock didn't happen as easily as the first but I finally sorted it out. I had 149cm of yarn left from the second sock but ran out of yarn on the first. I managed to get the legs to match but then it all went wrong on the feet.

I feel as if I've passed the rite of passage into the knitting elite - I am now a sock knitter! Next stage is lace knitting but I'm keeping well clear of that for the foreseeable future. I can see why they're so addictive. I love the fact that they're so portable - perfect for poolside knitting.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Have you ever....

I saw this on Mooknits & fancied a go:

Have you ever...

1. smoked a cigar - no
2. crashed a friend’s car - no
3. stolen a car - no
4. been in love - yes
5. been dumped - yes
6. dumped someone - yes
7. taken shots of alcohol - yes
8. been fired – yes
9. been in a fist fight - no
10. snuck out of a/your house - yes
11. had feelings for someone who didn’t have them back- yes
12. been arrested - no
13. made out with a stranger - yes
14. gone on a blind date - no
15. lied to a friend - yes
16. had a crush on a teacher- yes
18. seen someone die - no
19. been on a plane - yes
20. thrown up in a bar - no
22. miss someone right now - yes
23. laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by - yes
24. made a snow angel - yes
25. played dress up - yes
26. cheated while playing a game - yes
27. been lonely - yes
28. fallen asleep at work/school - yes
29. used a fake id - no
30. felt an earthquake - yes
31. touched a snake - yes
32. run a red light - yes
33. had detention - yes
34. been in a car accident - no
35. hated the way you look - YES
37. been lost - yes
38. been to the opposite side of the country - yes
39. felt like dying - yes
40. cried yourself to sleep - yes
41. played cops and robbers - no
42. karaoke - yes
43. done something you told yourself you wouldn’t - yes
44. laughed till some kind of beverage came out of your nose- yes
45. caught a snowflake on your tongue - yes
46. kissed in the rain - yes
47. sang in the shower - yes
48. made love in a park - not quite a park but it was outside & amongst trees!
49. had a dream that you married someone - yes
50. glued your hand to something - no
51. got your tongue stuck to a flag pole - no
52. worn the opposite sex’s clothes - yes
53. Been a cheerleader – no
54. sat on a roof top - yes
55. talked on the phone all night - yes
56. ever too scared to watch scary movies alone – yes
57. played chicken fight - ?
58. been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on - no
59. been told you’re hot by a complete stranger - yes
60. broken a bone - yes
61. had a 3-some? - no
62. dipped snuff? - no
63. lived overseas - yes
64. Ever passed out/fainted? - yes
65. blown bubbles in the wintertime - no

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Decisions Decisions

I'm getting really excited about Harrogate as I go two weeks tomorrow!

Andrea & I have a girly treat organised as we're going to the Turkish Baths & I've even booked a massage (my idea of heaven). Then back to the hotel, a meal & then lots of sleep before we decend upon The Knitting & Stitching show where we'll be meeting up with Daisy & my SP!!!

I have some spending money finally but DH is determined that I'm not bringing any yarn home as I have loads. I'd love to give a home to two little skeins of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn to play with as I've just bought Socks Socks Socks & my SP sent me Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles recently but he says no way.

So what do you think - shall I do a Dolly Parton & bring them home safe & warm?

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Sheltering from the bangs

Lots has been going on here not all good but we're making a go of it & trying to make things work. Things have been rough for a long time but lots of changes are taking place so it should get better soon.

I haven't done much knitting but have still been involved as I set up a group at DDs' school & had the first session last week. 3 kids had signed up for it but only 2 turned up for the first session as the 3rd was away. A friend (are you ready to be outed?) is doing it with me so the kids had 1:1 tution. The girl I taught swims with DD & has watched me knitting on poolside for the past year & has always been fascinated. She picked up knit & purl in the first hour & is keen to start her first project: a black, red & yellow scarf for her Rugby player dad. Child 2 a boy was equally keen but not as easy to teach. Both his grandmothers knit & two uncles. He was an extremly lose knitter but got the hang of it in the end. He wants to knit himself an orange & black football scarf. The 3rd child will be there this week so at least the other two got 1:1 to kick start them off.

I contacted Rowan when I first set the group up & asked for a contribution of yarn for the kids to use but when a huge box arrived I was really disappointed. See for yourself:

black, yellow & blue
black, yellow & blue

velvet tape
velvet tape

Flesh tape
Flesh tape

orange yarn
orange yarn

The best of the lot was 3 balls of Rowan Polar in cream - it's beautiful.

Rowan Polar
Rowan Polar

I think the Cotton tape was the worst - 3 balls each of flesh & pale blue, it reminded me of jay clothes. There was also some 4ply & lots of sludgy brown colours.

As I write this post the poor dogs are going ballistic due to the constant bangs & explosions of fireworks as it's Bonfire night here in England. They've been nervous wrecks for the past couple of weeks & have only been going out in the garden for a pee & then racing back in. Why can't people stick to the 5th of November rather than the weeks before & after? (A brainless idiot set some off at 1.30 a.m. a couple of days ago!) Better still ban the sale of fireworks to the public & insist that trained pryotechnics carry out the explosions (for thats what they are) at organised public displays.

I know I'm ranting but DD had a VERY near miss two years ago & the arm of her coat got burnt as she was chased by a rocket - which had been lit in someones hand & a woman tripped as she bent down to put them into the ground so it shot off & poor DD was in the way. So the dogs are in pieces, Annie is threatening to kill each & every bang, Blue has taken refuge on her favourite rug in the living room & the cats are making the most of the sofa. DD & DH are sat up on the roof (where she feels safe whereas I'm terrified of heights) watching the displays but DD is too scared to even go to an organised display let alone have any in our garden! I'm playing loud music as I type in an attempt to drown out the bangs but to little effect - Annie is still on guard in the kitchen ready take on the horrible bangs.