Thursday, 31 January 2013

End of the month

So how did the month go? The plan was - one pair of socks, one gift knit, something for pleasure/wearing/instant gratification and one big knit WIP. Well, yay, I did it! What, you don't believe me? How could I possibly catch up when yesterday I said I hadn't yet cast on the second sock? You want to see? Well here you go......

The gift knit:

Multnomah shawl in KnitPicks Stroll Hayride
The big knit WIP:

One skein worth of baby blanket.
The socks:

Lacy rib socks
Hmmm, not quite got the colour right, try again:

Nice colour and fit don't you think?

The pleasure/wearing/instant gratification knit:

Tofino surfer hat.
What's that you say? I didn't mention working on a couple of those things? And those socks don't look like the ones I blogged yesterday? Well I did start late due to that awful flu illness we all had. And I did say I had a sneaky plan just in case ;)
The Multnomah shawl and the lacy rib socks were both longstanding WIP's found lingering during the stash sort out and relocation. Both cast on many months/years ago but both finally finished earlier this month.
The Tofino surfer hat was cast on at the beginning of the month as a quick make for Heather after her proper winter hat disappeared, although now it has been rehomed with the lovely granddaughter after she tried it on and "loosened" the knit.See how big it was when Heather got it back for a few moments?
The second of the actual January socks is cast on and at round 30 of 90 from the top down, so I'm going to carry on blasting along with them until they're done. Hopefully I'll be at the heel by this evening.....

So anyway, I reckon that's a pretty good first month for my year long goal, don't you?
Back tomorrow with February's hopes and plans.


Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Yarn along

Joining in with Ginny over here.

There is only one thing I'm picking up at the moment - the January socks. I think it's a losing battle though, no way I'm going to have the pair complete before the end of the month. Sock one completed last night, sock two shouting to me to cast it on. But as I said earlier - I have a plan......
Current reading - Woodcutter by Kate Danley. I love this book, which is probably why the socks aren't flying along. It's a tale of all the mythical Fae folk and fairytale creatures. A battle to take over the twelve realms of human and magic with only the woodcutter to protect them all. The reviews mention the one dimensionality of the Woodcutter and yet I feel that the lack of emotion and background makes him the ultimate hero, intent only on protecting the kingdom. The story combines all the characters we remember form childhood, Rumpelstiltskin, Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, but in a very much grown up setting, with a heavy focus on the "dust trade" and it's effects on the senses of human folk. I'm almost at the end of this book though and will be sad to see it's end. Any recommendations for similar tales would be very welcome :)


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Not a present present post

This is so very late isn't it? A Christmas present post! I never did share did I?
You know that all presents given with love are just so wonderful right?So I really didn't mind that no-one picked up on the heavy, heavy hints I left. Yo know - webpages left open on Knit Pro interchangeable sets, a lovely blanket kit from an online store, yeah, you all did the same ;)
But the gifts I did receive were pretty much there.
This came from Helen:

Available here (or Amazon if you don't mind all the tax stuff!)

The commemorative edition too so lots of colour photos - lovely. Guess what I'm hoping February's project will be......

This came from Emma:
Available here

I was clicking through the John Lewis website and mentioned to Helen that it was cute and wouldn't you know it, there it sat on Christmas morning. Really really planning on using this gift and creating a lovely banner for on the mantel wall.

This came from my man himself:

Hmm, did I ever mention my husband also share my OCD type personality traits. Only his manifests itself in the need to obsessively collect things of a type. So it seems he thinks he needs to buy every spinning wheel he sees. He has no idea what he's buying but does have an ultimately trusting personality, hence this wheel DOES spin wool......! Me,well I've not even had a proper look at it yet. Still longing to get to grips with Wee Peggy upstairs when I can loosen the elastic that connects the littlest girlie to me.

Did you all remember to share your crafty gifts?


Monday, 28 January 2013

Where do you keep yours?

Well I used to keep mine in the living room but it got a bit out of hand :) I had the whole big sideboard, the bureau, a couple of wicker chests and a large decorative leather type box. And of course the basket that lived by my chair. A little unfair of me to keep all that storage to myself wasn't it? So I decided to sort it all out and give up all the storage to the children. The sideboard is now home to the jigsaws, the lego, the meccano, the wooden construction sets and one drawer full of important bits and bobs (purses, phones, keys and that kind of stuff). The bureau is now the children's writing/drawing area, filled with pens, crayons, paper, pencils, stencils and so on. The wicker baskets are home to little girlies teeny toys and the leather kind of box thingy is a nappy/muslin store and sometimes seat.
So where did all my stuff go? I know you know what stuff I'm talking about. My stuff......yarns and fibres and needles and, well, stuff! I'll tell you. It all found a new home on the top landing. 

A whole day spent sorting it out, fitting it into boxes and storing it on these shelves. Aren't I a good girl? All neatly sorted out and yet still so easily accessible. The boxes all contain my yarns, except the bottom two shelves on the right which holds the fibres. If you look closely you can see Owens peg loom, a couple of small weaving frames, and even my lovely spinning wheel (which I really need to get back to now my legs are working again!). The baskets at the bottom is filled with embroidery threads and charts and Aida and all that kind of stuff It all looks a bit boring though doesn't it? I need a good think about how to brighten those boxes up. Ideas anyone?
Oh, maybe I should give you a peek at a little of what is in the boxes:

Well except the children of course.Not a good idea to keep them in boxes on a shelf, although sometimes............

As for actually using some of that stuff - well I only just turned the heel on sock one. Not sure I'm even going to finish the first pair  of socks on time for my personal "one pair per month" challenge. Although I do have a sneaky back up plan, shhh! I might have to reveal that in a couple of days ;)
Well they won't get finished if I don't get sleep so I'll wish you all sweet dreams.


Friday, 25 January 2013

Bringing coals to Newcastle

Or in this case - this to mama:

Knit & stitch weekly collection part one - 99p, part two - 2.50
Helen went shopping a couple of days ago and brought me a present home. Well it was to do with knitting and it had wool! Thats what she said. So I loved it for the fact she bought it but what to do with? Hmmm.....
Well there's a couple of ok patterns 

Helen likes this....I don't!

Would really like to knit John a squishy, warm dog walking jumper (or sweater/pullover depending where you're reading from...)
Cute top, not so sure about the poppered legs- much easier to just pull on and off surely?
Ooh a scarf, a beginners nightmare surely, yards and yards of the same stitch, ESPECIALLY moss(seed) stitch...eek, no thanks!
Ever so slightly scary, maybe good for a very young beginner and the aawwww factor?
See, who needs Ravelry?

The not-so-soft yarn may come in handy for something, and of course I could always do with more hooks and needles.......

And no - not one person picked up the heavy hints at a Knit Pro interchangeable box set over the gifting season :( Oh well, they'll know for my birthday..... :)
To anyone thinking of buying this weekly collection - stop right now. Get yourself a pair of 4mm needles from the local yarn shop, choose a couple of balls of stylecraft or similar DK and go sit in front of youtube for a while. Just search "learn to knit", you'll find exactly the same as on the DVD that accompanied the first issue of this collection. And save yourself 4.50 per week after the initial purchase of yarn and needles! (Did you spot I lost the pound symbol again....?)

Oh and if you're here for the January knitting  update.....the socks are boring progressing. Almost to the heel on the first sock, think I'm going to work two at a time in future. Not sure I want to do this all over again....

Toodle pip everyone, off to do a couple of rows whilst the littlies are playing/eating/snoozing.


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Yarn along

Getting back into things and joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along.
Book - Still with me by Thierry Cohen
Knitting - NapTime baby blanket

So I took this photo last night and wouldn't you know - I went and finished the book straight after. Actually it feels a bit weird to say book when there was no paper in sight! Still, it was a good read, mixing themes of suicide, eternal damnation, religion, and a good old love story but not at all smooshy. I don't do smooshy. It begins with a suicide attempt and unrequited love. A year later the main character wakes up and slowly begins to realise that he has lived an unknown life for a year, suffering total amnesia since his attempt to take his life. The story relates his subsequent awakenings and how he comes to realise what kind of person he is, and the life he brings to others. His awakenings happen at increasingly infrequent periods during which he tries to plot the downfall of his vicious uncaring other self, the self that is around for years at a time. The ultimate theme is the battle between the good and bad in ones self and is played out well. A well recommended read.
The knitting, well that's going well. I've finished the first skein of the Manos Silk, if you read my previous post you'll know that was my January target. Go me. I've realised that there isn't enough to make the blanket to the size expected but never mind, it will still be a decent size. Still loving the yarn, it's so soft and warm. The colour is rubbish on the photo, it's actually cream with pink not the peachy colour it seems! I'm going to put it to one side now though and go back to the socks - the other January target!


Monday, 21 January 2013

Well hello and happy new year.....

It's been a while hasn't it?
I did think I'd start the new year with a new enthusiasm for crafting and a sparkly new and exciting blog. Well, that was in my reality we have had a crisis ridden few weeks here. First the laptop died, then aboy got sick, then he recovered and a mama got very sick (the kind of sick where she couldn't hold her baby for 3 days never mind a knitting needle!!). Then a dog got held to ransom by an overenthusiastic dog warden and cost 2 days of worry and an 85 quid ransom fee. Then another boy got sick then, the baby got sick, and still is. Oh and we had a radiator die and need replacing, then two windows replaced, so afreezing house for two days. No, it wasn't the best of starts to the year...........

So anyway, things are getting better and I'm going ahead with my crafty plans for the year :)
2013 is going to be the year of being organized. 
And the year of the sock!
Every month I'm hoping to finish one pair of socks, one gift knit, and work on one larger item. If I can fit anything else in then all good, but these are my main targets. 
I was going to say I wouldn't buy any yarn until I'd used all the stash too, but thats boring isn't it? And besides I've already bought 3 skeins of Manos Silk and a lovely hand dyed sparkle sock yarn from the lovely Sarah.

So a peek into my craft bag:

Do you remember that bag? It's been hidden away in the bedroom for ages but I found it when hiding the yule gifts and knew it had to come out. It's such a happy, smiley bag isn't it? So now it's my project bag, and just the right size too:)
A closer look at the contents:

This months socks, starting with an easy basic pair, and probably destined to be the gift knit too due to losing so much of the month to all the above....I know, cheating already, ahh well..... Yarn from stash though so there's a plus there.

The larger item: 

Well thats for a baby we're going to be meeting late April. Yes, I'm going to be a Grandma for the second time, Jen is expecting a baby girl. Woohoo, isn't that exciting? Another of our girls all grown up and starting a family of her own.So the knitting? A baby blanket knitted with the super soft, squishy Manos I mentioned earlier. Soo enjoying knitting this, and thinking of that new little baby all bundled up in it's softness..... The plan is to try and knit through one skein per month for three months and so have a blanket all finished up by time Jen is 36 weeks. I'm thinking this way I won't get bored, and I won't be caught out at the last minute. What do you reckon?

And if you peek closely you'll just see that skein of sparkly sock I mentioned earlier. I already know what that's going to be, but I'm not ready to share yet. Hopefully if it will be this months gift knit, but if I don't get round to it then I will be looking forward to next month.

So there we go, my crafty, yarny plans for 2013. I wonder how long I'll keep to them?
Oh and it goes without saying - more blog updates, less webtime, yadayadayada..... (lot's more watching all my House box sets though whilst knitting - the broadcast tv is gone again and hopefully not coming back and I do love House....).

Ooops baby awake and big girl wanting her laptop, gotta go. See you soon :)