Friday, 16 September 2011

Happy Birthday Dad, We Miss You x

As some of you will know, sadly my Dad lost his brave battle with Prostate and Lung Cancer in June. Today would have been his 81st birthday and we all miss him so very much, especially the boys.

How very apt it was when I opened my curtains this morning to find that my Little Sunflower (that I very nearly gave up hope on last week and pulled up) had finally flowered and produced this tiny but perfect little bloom.

Tonight my Mum, brother Dan and Sarah are all coming to stay, just like they did last year and we will be going to Pewsey Carnival tomorrow evening just as we did last year.

Happy Birhday Dad, we love amd miss you so very much xxxxx

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Year of Projects Update - 11th September 2011

Hello there!! Once again its been a couple of weeks since my last post, and once again they've been busy weeks!

My biggest boy turned 5....

and then 3 days later started school.....

I also got lots of knitting done, not all of it for my YoP projects, so without further ado....
I present Owls for Sarah...

When she saw the one that I knitted myself back in June she said how much she loved it, so unbeknown to her, later that day my brother slipped me the money to buy the wool to make her one as a surprise. I managed to get if finished just in time for them to be coming to visit next weekend.

Next up is Different Lines
Not the best of pictures I admit but I only cast off this evening and I wanted to show you all in this post. The colours are pretty true to life, if a bit dark and it is sooooo unbelievably soft in the merino. It still needs to be blocked out but was a really fast knit, I only began it on Monday and have finished it today (Saturday night) and I love the interesting shape. I think I'll still do a Stripe Study Shawl but that will have to wait because I cast on....

Huron for Tom! Now I know that in the original list I was supposed to be knitting him this Hiker Jumper but he kept telling me that he wanted this hideous creation. I knew that he'd wear it once and then never wear it again, and I really couldn't justify putting in all that work for one wear. So I trawled the books at my LYS and Ravelry and finally we both agreed on Huron as a happy medium that satisfies his 'Xmas Jumper' needs and is wearable throughout the winter. Once I've got a bit more than a cable with 175 stitches on it to show you I will! I might even change the boys' jumpers to mini versions of this..... we'll see!

Also not on my YoP list I've managed to knit two hats, each in one day. I knit Tom a Turn a Square Hat on Bank Holiday Monday whilst in the car with Tom driving around Wiltshire looking at caravans and big old stone circles.....

Then tonight in the grand total of 1.5 hours I knitted a Holly hat for myself. I have to say that the Winter Warmers Rowan book that this is from is amazing!

Finally I would like to thank a real life friend for giving me an award in the virtual world! Kate from Good Purl Gone Bad gave me a Versatile Blogger award for which I am really humbled and I will come back to this in its own post but wanted to mention it here just in case I forget!

So, after the madness of the last few weeks I'm hoping that things quieten down a bit  and that I'll be doing rather more leisurely knitting for a while! The only thing that I'd like to complete pretty soon is the other 'Small Boy Hat' because its bound to be needed if I don't!

Happy knitting (and hooking) everyone!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Year of Projects Update - 28th August 2011

Oooh, it is good to be home!

I've got lots done during the last week, two FO's and another well and truly on the way there.... So without further delay.... Drumroll please............................

Introducing Erik!!!! He's finally done!!! I managed to finish the knitting on Tuesday, ten when we got home on Tuesday night the zip was waiting for me, what fantastic service! So on Wednesday the zip was machine sewn in and he's blocking as I type ( I haven't managed to do it before because of those pesky kids), here are the unblocked pics....

Its looking much better blocked, and far less wonky, hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to get a shot of my brother wearing it, hangover depending! (It's Midnight on Saturday and he's just got back from Wembley after watching our team Wigan Warriors beat Leeds Rhinos in the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final) I really love the contrast of the bright orange zip against the natural wool, and most importantly Dan loves it too.

My second FO of the week was finished on Friday after only being started on Wednesday and is the first of two Modern Rib Hats for the boys. Here it is modelled by Alfie whilst watching the aforementioned match on the telly earlier today....

It was a lovely, easy knit which I didn't have to really think about, I'll probably cast on the other one this week so then they're out of the way ready for when the weather turns!

Last but not least I cast on the Owls jumper for Sarah, Daniel's girlfriend. She knows nothing about this so I want to get it finished by the next time they visit (they live 200 miles away near to where I grew up) in 3 weeks for Pewsey Carnival, that shouldn't be a problem! I cast this on on Tuesday before we left my Mum's so that I could knit in the car and managed 7 inches of the body in the dark on the motorway while hubby very kindly drove. I'm now knitting both sleeves at the same time in the round Magic Loop style which does take a fair amount of concentration so is strictly reserved for when the children are in bed!
This is as far as I've got......

I'll soon be done with the sleeve increases so they'll go much more quickly once I don't have to remember how many rows I've done!

I'll probably cast on a baby cardigan for my neighbour who gave birth to a beautiful little girly while we were away (Yes, I know I've got one on the needles on my list but that will be too big!) and I'll hopefully have a jumper to show you next week!

Happy knitting xx

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Year of Projects Update - 21 August 2011

Hi guys!!!! Just a quick update this week, I've been on holiday camping in North Wales so don't have all of my usual banners etc to hand but wanted to let you know that Erik is coming along nicely!!!! After having to rip it out completely I'm now flying through it and have the body completed and 2/3 of the first sleeve, I just need to measure Dan's arms for the sleeve length and order the zip, hopefully it'll be all done ready to show you by next week :-)

Also this week I've ot a bit of my Mojo sock completed and it really has restored my mojo, those colours are amazing!!

Unfortunately being on my mum's laptop I have no pics to show you so next week's update will be very pic heavy!

Happy knitting!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Year of Projects Update - 14th August 2011

Well its been a busy few weeks here so its been a while since I updated. I've been working steadily on my Twenty-Ten Cardigan and Erik, although only one of those is a success story......

Ta-dah! Twenty-Ten is finished!! I really, really love it and can't wait to wear it properly!!! Here is a not so great pic of it....

You can't see the colour very well, or the lovely wooden buttons from my LYS so here is a better one, closer up....

....and one of the sleeves....

You may notice that there is a button missing at the bottom. The lovely Fiona only had 10 in stock with more on order so because I just couldn't wait I left that one off until her order comes in.

Then there was Erik...... Whilst I was at Knit & Natter on Tuesday evening one of the ladies realised that the back for a cardigan that she was knitting was enormous compared to what it should have been, despite having knitted a tension square, and it was going to have to be frogged. It suddenly dawned on me that when I started Erik I hadn't done a tension sqaure at all and then that awful sickly feeling began to spread over me until I got home and checked my tension..... I was using the recommended needle size and the right wool but  I was getting 18 stitches to 4" rather than the 15 stitches required. I very nearly cried. It is too far out to even just rip back to the arms and continue increasing for the larger size so is being completely frogged and I am going to swatch, swatch and swatch some more until I get the perfect gauge!!!
Here he is feeling sorry for himself and I will keep this picture to remind me what happens when you don't check your gauge!

Friday, 29 July 2011

{this moment} - 29 July 2011

{this moment}, a Friday ritual.
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

To find more moments, and add your own visit Soulemama.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Year of Projects Update - 24th July 2011

Well, another busy week, both boys finished pre-school for the summer and Alfie had his Graduation ceremony ready to go to 'big-school' in September.

Plenty knitting has been happenening, more work on Erik and Twenty-ten cardis and I started a non-YoP project, my Babette blanket. I just couldn't resist!!
I managed to finish my Jane hat too, what a fantastic, quick and easy knit! I think the best bit about the hat is that it looks cabled but isn't, because I really don't enjoy doing lots of cables!

I can't wait till its cold outside to wear it!!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Year of Projects Update - 17th July 2011

Well, what a busy week!
Lots more work has been done on my Twenty-ten Cardi and very little (read that as none) on Erik and the Guernsey Wrap. The cardi is now measuring 10 inches from the bottom hem and I'm really enjoying it. With the asymmetric hemline its just enough of a challenge to keep me interested without being too mentally taxing.

If you saw my FO Friday post you'll have seen that I have been well and truly mentally taxed by the Monteagle bag this week! Its beautiful and I love it now that its done, but I'm not sure that I'll be rushing to make another, then again, that all depends on whether I can find another pattern that I like as much....

I've also been working on my Fetching gloves, finishing them this morning before rushing off to a 3 year old's birthday party with the boys.......

They're lovely and snuggly and am hoping that the person they're for will like them. It was a lovely, easy and quick knit, I think I'll make myself some for the winter but possible making them a touch longer but I'm not adding to my list just yet!

And finally last night I cast on my Jane hat, I think some mind numbing ribbing will be in order if number 2 son continues his sleep strike! Its in a lovely Teal shade of Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran but have no photos to show you just yet.

So two more FO's this week, albeit small ones, Mr T is away again this week so will probably get plenty more done before my next update!!

Friday, 15 July 2011

FO Friday - 15th July 2011 It's in the bag!

Well after my WIP Wednesday post I did indeed cast on a Monteagle bag.... I just couldn't resist that amazing Pink yarn!

The suggested yarn in the pattern is Aran weight but it has worked fine with the dk weight Rico Essential Cotton. I used one entire ball and even though the bag looks tiny when empty its pretty big once stretched and could fit a considerable amount of shopping in.

This pattern is not for the faint hearted though. The stitches are very complicated and it almost got thrown across the room a couple of times, and it is most definitely not something that I could do with the children about, or a husband for that matter.... its the kind of knitting that needs to be done in a locked room with plenty of hot tea and chocolate on tap (NOT wine, that really wouldn't be wise!)

I do really love it, but it was very hard work even though it did knit up quickly, I'll be quite glad to go back to some nice boring Stocking stitch or Moss stitch!

I also recieved my Sunflower Swift today, it really is beautiful!! Look....

That's showing it holding a full skein of Cascade Eco wool, all 437m of it!

Have a look over at Tami's Amis to see who else is taking part in FO Friday

{this moment} - 15 July 2011

{this moment}, a Friday ritual.
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

To find more moments, and add your own visit Soulemama

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

WIP Wednesday - 13 Jul 2011 An Old Friend Returns

Hello!! This is my first WIP Wednesday post so bear with me while I get the hang of it!

Well, since Sunday I have abandoned Erik and the Guernsey Wrap in favour of my Twenty-Ten cardigan because I just needed some colour in my evenings! I was tired of knitting neutrals and was a very good girl and picked up an old WIP that had been languishing in a basket because I needed to actually concentrate while doing it. I could have just cast on something new but I'd really like to be able to wear this in the autumn, and seeing that Mr T is away for the next few weeks and I won't have  to make conversation in the evenings I thought that it would be the perfect opportunity to get back on track.

Its now measuring about 8 inches compared to the 4 at the beginnig of the week which I don't think is bad for 160-something stich rows in Moss stitch with 2 non-sleeping children.

I've even done the pocket...

I might treat myself by casting on one of the Monteagle bags later in some amazing Shocking Pink Rico Essential Cotton that I bought this morning at my fabby LYS, Love Yarn in Andover........ We'll see!

Pop by Tami's Amis to see everybody else taking part.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Year of Projects Update - 10th July 2011

Well, I can't believe its time for my first update on my year of projects! SO much seems to have happened since July 1st I just don't know where to start!

Firstly I have two, yes two FO's! More on those shortly though....

Sunday 3rd was my birthday and with some money from my Mother-in-Law I treated myself to a Swiss Pear Nostepinne from Purlescence, WOW!

Its beautiful and functional all at the same time, I never realised something so simple could make my life so much easier! They were fantastic to deal with and once my gift voucher from my brother arrives I will be buying a Sunflower Swift to make winding those huge skeins of Cascade Eco wool just that little bit easier.

Saturday 9th was my Mum's birthday but as we were travelling the 200 miles up to stay with her for my Dad's funeral on Tuesday night her present had to be finished by then, so fortunately it was. My Something Pretty cushion was a dream to crochet, combined with my bargain £1 charity shop jumper for the backing and buttons from my button tin I am very pleased with how it turned out, and most importantly so was Mum!

Whilst staying up there I also managed to finish my Textured Shawl, which now only needs to be blocked and is tonight's job... well as casting on Erik for my brother after winding the skein into a lovely centre pull ball using my new Nostepinne.....

...and a Guernsey Wrap which you got a sneaky preview of in the Nostepinne pic.

Black Sheep Craft Barn also got a visit from me yesterday before we had to travel back south where I managed to get yarn for the jumpers for the boys, my hat and the boys' hats.

What a productive week!! It'll never last....

Friday, 1 July 2011

Blog-a-long Starts Today!! (1 July 2011)

Well here goes!!! I am committing to blogging about my knitting and crocheting for the next year and am very excited to see how it goes!
Over here in the Blog-a-long group on Ravelry a group of us are each getting together a list of projects that we aim to complete over the next 12 months. Every Sunday after that we will blog about what we have achieved from our list during the previous week and I am hoping that it will help me to clear up lots of WIPs that I have dotted around the house!
Some people are choosing to knit/crochet all the patterns from a single book, others are choosing compliations from their Ravelry queue, whereas I aim to do a combination of unfinished projects, new ones that have been languishing in my queue for far too long, and gifts for family members.

My List
UFO's to complete.....
1. Twenty-Ten Cardigan for me - started but then got sidetracked
2. Hemlock Ring Blanket for Alfie - I HATE HATE HATE knitting this, I think its a combination of the pattern and yarn but I don't have much more to do
3. Baby Kimono for one of the many babies we have arriving within our circle of friends this year
4. Granny Stripe Blanket for the sofa - this is a king-sized blanket so a very long term project and won't mind at all if I don't finish it during the next year, I'd just like to do a bit more of it
5. Mojo Socks for me -these live in my handbag for 'Waiting Room Knitting' so are another long term project
6. Japanese Flower Shawl -I love this however have been knitting more than crocheting of late but would love it to be finished for the Autumn
7. Textured Shawl for me - so nearly there I can taste it!
8. Something Pretty cushion for Mum
9. Erik zip up hoody for Dan (my brother) as a birthday present
10. Monteagle bag for Nanny
11. Monteagle bag For Chris for her birthday
12. Owls jumper for Sarah (Dan's girlfriend) who fell in love with mine
13. Monteagle bag for Bez
14.  Fetching gloves (or possibly Owlings) for Sarah - because she works in a draughty office so wears these that I knitted for her last birthday all the time

15. Hiker jumper for Tom
16. Cardy me - Deco or Paulie
17. Hats for boys - either Astronomer or Modern Rib Hat
18. Remembrance Poppies
19. And So Are You shawl
20. Stitch Sampler Shawl because I fell in love with Sarah 's (from Crafts from the Cwtch)
21. Guernsey Wrap - because I love all of the Brooklyn Tweed patterns
22. Japanese Crochet Slippers for me
23. Sally the Eco Fairy as an Angel for the Christmas tree
24. Kalajoki socks
25. Damask shawl
26. Tamara gloves for me - I WILL learn to do colourwork!
27. Asymmetric stripe shawl - either Stripe Study Shawl or Different Lines
28. Still Light Tunic with hand dyed yarn
29. Lego Man for the ever Lego obsessed Alfie
30. Hat for me - either Wabbit Season or Jane (or both maybe?)
31. Jumpers for kids - this Fisherman Jumper I think, or maybe a Bergere de France one I saw at my LYS...

31!!!! Wow!! That's a lot!!  If I finish 20 of them before June 30th next year I will be over the moon because I just know that there will be other things that I end up knitting or crocheting between now and then because I just can't resist!

All of the projects from this list will be tagged with 'YoP' in Ravelry and I have created a Project Set for them all here where I will easily be able to keep track of what I have achieved.

I'd better get knitting hadn't I? Wish me luck....