Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Photo fun

DH has got some new 'toys' for his camera & has been having fun:

drink with ice
Glass of the dark syrupy stuff & ice


and to make this post knitting related:

Ballband Dishcloth
A Mason Dixon Ballband Dishcloth

Pattern: Ballband Dishcloth from Mason Dixon Knitting
Yarn: The Cerise pink is Double Top from Texere & the grey is an unknown cotton mix from my stash.
Needles: 2 x 3.5mm 30 cm circulars.
Modifications: I added an i-cord loop so I can hang it from the kitchen tap.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Swaps: Part One

Over the past few months I've been involved in a few swaps & have been a bit slack in not revealing so here goes. The first was with Sprite64 who wanted odds & ends of yarns as she's doing a City & Guilds distance learning course in knitting. All must be 'known' yarns preferably with a ball band so I had a bit of a dig around in my stash & came up with 500g of 'bits'. These were duly sent off & I was offered a choice of her beautiful yarnanimals in exchange or did I have a design in mind myself?

So may I present Ginny:

'Ginny' Yarnanimal

and her sister Lyra:

stitch marker
'Lyra' Yarnanimal

Aren't they gorgeous! Lyra thinks so too:

yarnanimal stitchmarker
4 month old Lyra sniffing 'her' yarnanimals

Part Two coming soon....

Friday, January 25, 2008

Owl Broad Spiral Socks

Blue & Annie
Broad Spiral Ribbing socks

Pattern: Broad Spiral Ribbing from More Sensational Knitted Socks
Yarn: Opal Rainforest 6 ply in Owl.
Needles: 2 x 2.75mm 60 cm circulars.
Method: Knitted cuff down two at a time.
Details: 8 stitches per inch for a 9" wide foot so I cast on 72 stitches. An 'Eye of Partridge Heel' for a very durable heel as they were a present for my MIL who is a keen walker.

Broad Spiral Ribbing socks
Eye of Partridge Heel

Broad Spiral Ribbing socks
Broad Spiral Ribbing socks

I really enjoyed this pattern & love the combination of pattern & yarn:

Broad Spiral Ribbing socks
Broad Spiral Ribbing socks

Best of all they are a perfect fit:

Broad Spiral Ribbing socks
MIL wearing her Broad Spiral Ribbing socks

and as an added bonus they match her dog!

Broad Spiral Ribbing socks
Broad Spiral Ribbing sock & Molly

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We are Black & White if you please

black & white kitten

"We are Black & White if you please,
We are White & Black if you don't please..."

black & white kitten

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ark required.....

Look who we found taking shelter in our porch tonight! It's so wet here that even the toads are looking for dry land!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Owl Progression

The Broad Spiral Ribbing socks for my MIL are progressing well:

Broad Spiral Ribbing socks
Broad Spiral Ribbing: heels

I separated them for the Eye of Partridge heels & gusset decreases & they're now reunited on the needles.

Broad Spiral Ribbing socks
Broad Spiral Ribbing socks

We're taking her out for a meal on Saturday night so I'm aiming to have them finished by Friday to get them washed etc & given to her at the restaurant. However if I don't get them finished her birthday is the following Thursday & they'll definitely be done by then.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Havin' a Whale of a Time.....

As the kittens are now nearly 5 months old I thought it was time for their first 'mind blowing experience' so I made them some cat nip toys:

knitted catnip whales
Cat nip whales

Pattern: Whale Cat toy
Yarn: Oddments of acrylic which have now returned to the charity bag
Needles: Whatever I needed to obtain a tight gauge.

kitten playing
Lyra being greedy

stoned kitten
Lyra: mmmmmmm..........

Then the party moved to the kitchen:

cats playing with catnip toys
where Pam & Lyra demonstrated BIG CAT little cat

Cat playing with cat nip toy
Pam showing Lyra how it's done....

Ginny on the other hand isn't quite ready for this huge leap from cute kitten to drugged cat & was just happy to say hi!


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Temporary reprieve?

At the moment our home is peaceful after our awful Christmas but I don't know if DD can keep it up. The incentive seems to be that she wants to carry on swimming & playing football. I've made it very clear to her that ALL sport will stop if she continued with her awful behaviour as I won't play taxi in those circumstances. She's SO much nicer to be with!

DH & I are enjoying her company for the first time in months & she was giggling last week which was lovely to hear

kitten sitting
Lyra says: What do you want????

Friday, January 04, 2008

Christmas gifts received

Warning this post is picture heavy!

After the horrendous Christmas Day we had I didn't get round to blogging about what I received for Christmas. DH was a star, & with loads of emailed suggestions, spoilt me rotten:

First up from DH (purchased from Socktopus) a copy of the new sock book from Vogue:

Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Sock book
Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Sock book

I've fallen head over heels for the pattern modeled on the cover of the book so will be making those in the not too distant future.

Next up he got me two balls of Opal 6 ply from a well known online Knitting supplier in the UK:

Opal Rainforest sock yarn
Opal Rainforest Flamingo 6 ply

Opal Rainforest sock yarn
Opal Rainforest Ladybird 6 ply

I'm not very happy with the colour of the Ladybird as it appears pale, washed out & pink compared to the same colour in 4 ply which is living in my stash. I had asked for this colour as I wanted to make some bright red socks so will try & get this exchanged for another brighter ball.

He also gave me two Lucy Neatby DVD's: Double Knitting & Knitting Essentials 2. This were also from the same company and I have to say for the first time ever I haven't been impressed with their service. The order was actually Double Knitting & Sock Techniques 2 but the other DVD was sent in error. As I didn't get a reply to my contact to them sent on Boxing Day & I was bored one afternoon I have now watched it so can't return it. It is a very good DVD & I've already learnt a new technique but it wasn't what was ordered.

To finish off a wonderful batch of knitters presents he gave the following patterns: Scoop du Jour, CeCe, Twist, Ribbi Cardi, Diamond Fantasy Shawl, Forest Canopy Shawl, Bar Harbor Shell Bag & Agatha

All were printed in colour on lovely thick paper so I've got plenty to play with this year

DH has declared that he wants a box from Socktopus as Alice wraps everything up so nicely . And yes modelwidow that is a Socktopus stitch marker you spotted on my red bedsocks 10/10 for observation!

DD, with some help, also got me some knitting related presents aided greatly by the fact that the only shop within 60 miles that sells sock yarn has now stopped selling yarn but had a mind blowing 75% off sale as an amazing finale:

Regia Bamboo Color
Regia Bamboo Color

Patons Diploma 4 ply
Patons Diploma 4 ply in Cherry

Patons Diploma 4 ply
Patons Diploma 4 ply in Lupin

She was a bit concerned about buying me more sock yarn, as I have rather a lot already, but as I now have an hours drive to even look at the stuff I think it's wonderful. I can just go upstairs & dive into my stash when I'm ready to cast on a new pair!

Finally my friend CL in Canada sent me some wonderful presents as well. We always spoil each other with birthday & Christmas gifts & this year she chose the most gorgeous yarn:

Knit Picks Glossamer
Knit Picks Glossamer Lace Weight in Sweet Peas

Isn't it beautiful! She also included a pattern for the Janet Lace shawl & this little beauty:

Alchemy Alpaca Pure
Alchemy Alpaca Pure

It is the softest yarn I have ever felt & has been stroked against my face many times. Lyra has also shown interest in it but this was NOT encouraged. Thank you so much CL. I hope you like your presents too & I look forward to spoiling you for your birthday in May

ETA: after emailing the company concerned & attaching photos of both the 4 ply & 6 Ply Ladybird the issue is resolved. They are going to replace the DVD with the correct one, refund the cost of the 6 ply Ladybird & send a prepaid envelope for returns. I would have preferred not to have to contact them 3 times about this but am happy it is now to be sorted out.

Can anybody point me in the direction on a bright red 6 ply sock yarn?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Snow & socks

The warm weather we've had over Christmas has passed & this morning we woke up to this:

light dusting of snow
Snowy view of the garden from our bedroom window

It doesn't snow much in England anymore so just a few flakes of snow tend to send the whole country into chaos. The dogs enjoyed a brief bounce this morning & Annie in particular really enjoys snow.

The owl socks are progressing & this morning looked like this:

socks two at once
Start of owl walking socks

The pattern is simple but looks quite effective:

Broad Spiral Ribbing pattern
Broad Spiral Ribbing pattern

I searched for a pattern that wouldn't clash with the stripes & think I've found it.

Arianwen asked about the sizing of the patterns in the Schurch books. Basically you need to knit a guage swatch & multiple the number of stitches per inch by the measurement in inches of the widest part of across the ball of the foot. So for example my MIL's feet are 9" wide. I've got 8 spi with the Owl using 2.75mm needles so have cast on 9 x 8 = 72 stitches. They'll fit her perfectly & I'll make the foot long enough to fit her.

For the children's bedsocks I chose patterns needed a few extra stitches than the above formula gave me & made them at least an extra 1cm longer in the foot for comfort in bed & also so that they last longer than 3 months.

So after that brief insight into how I make socks I'll leave you with a cute photo:

black & white kitten playing
Ginny playing

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Socks & yet more socks

Just before Christmas after finishing all the Christmas bedsocks I cast on for a pair for myself. This is as far as I've got across the Christmas period:

two toe up socks in progress
Little Shell Rib feet

Pattern: Little Shell Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks.

I'm now ready to do the short row heel & then work up the leg. However it is MIL's 60th birthday on the 24th & she's a keen walker so I've cast on a pair for her using this from my stash continuing with my socks from stash pledge & the others are on hold:

Opal Rainforest Owl 6ply
Opal Rainforest Owl 6ply

I'll be using the Broad Spiral Ribbing from More Sensational Knitted Socks.

Happy New Year!

I hope that you all have a wonderful & happy 2008. I'd settle for a peaceful house with no stropping