Friday, 30 September 2011

Angles are Attitudes*

Just a quick FO post today, as I haven't finished anything from my WIP pile yet ;)

More Smoothie Hats *grins*

I have posted about the Innocent Big Knit before (at the end of the post), but in summary - Innocent Smoothies have a charity drive where knitters produce little wooly hats for their smoothies. Each be-hatted drink that is bought donates 25p to Age UK to help keep older people warm in winter.

Obviously it's a good cause, and the little hats are quick and fun to make. Some people go crazy with it and create the most amazing and bizarre hats. As you can see, I have stuck with simple ones *smiles*

The first one in the picture was actually my attempt at a crochet hat, which isn't perfect but was extra quick to make. The 4th one is some wonderfully fluffy blue yarn, snowflake type I think. It was gifted to me by a colleague and seemed perfect for a smoothie hat - although I think it needs little googly eyes - it reminds me of a creature from Sesame Street or something *laughs*

My favourite is the most relatively simple one though:

But it's orange, so of course it is my favourite ;)

And, being Friday, you know the drill: head over to Natural SuburbiaTami's, Wisdom Begins in Wonder and Plumslife. Have a great weekend all :)

ps, blogger seems to be having a bit of an issue with commenting on here yesterday/today, so I've changed the comment box to a pop up and you might need to click the "post comment" button a couple of times to get it to show up, sorry about that! 

* "Cock your hat - angles are attitudes" - Frank Sinatra

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Cookbook Challenge #2

Click picture for more information on my cookbook challenge :)

The latest recipe plucked from a cookbook to come to life in my kitchen came from this book:

Nigel Slater's Real Food. I really love the way he writes, the descriptions of the food are so evocative and I can just sit and read this as a novel rather than a cookery book.

So, on Tuesday I decided to make Griddled Mustard and Herb Chicken. I was a little dubious of the marinade initially - mustard, herbs, red wine vinegar and oil... To me it seemed like I was making a salad dressing *laughs*

I used thyme instead of the parsely specified in the recipe - partly because I already had fresh thyme but mostly because I really don't like parsley ;) And I used chicken breasts rather than thighs because that's what I had defrosted. Other than that I pretty much followed the recipe as it was written.

Mmmmm.... It was really tasty, much more so than I expected actually. I've had mustardy chicken before, but usually with wholegrain whereas this was Dijon (french mustard). It gave it a great flavour without being too hot.

The recipe did tell me to throw the marinade into the griddle pan after taking the chicken out... Well that didn't go so well! My kitchen surfaces received a nice coating, as did I, and the marinade seemed to congeal in a bizarre and not pleasant way *grimaces* Not sure what I did wrong there. But never mind, it was enjoyable without, anyway.

We had it with tiny roast potatoes - essentially new potatoes cut in half/quarters and roasted in duck fat (usually I roast them in oil with garlic and rosemary based on my mum's recipe, but I had some duck fat which makes them extra crunchy, and there was enough flavour in the chicken not to need to flavour the potatoes so heavily).

See, crunchy *grins*

Now, due to my failure to ever remember to cook additional vegetables, the plate didn't look fantastically photogenic - everything being pretty much the same colour *laughs* So that would explain why you get close-ups rather than a proper photo ;)

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday Number 21

I feel I should apologise if my post last week was a bit confusing - I showed my plans for the blanket and quite a few people commented saying it was a good design and when was I going to start it...

I actually started it some time ago, and used the Modern Baby Blanket pattern. But because I didn't follow the pattern dimensions particularly, mine was going to be much shorter and therefore more square (the first image I showed last week). So I designed a few more blocks to add on, in the spirit of the pattern (the second image). So, I'm sorry if it was a bit confusing!

Anyway, in terms of progress, I have been pretty focused on the blanket. As I suspected, having a plan gave me a bit more impetus to get on with it *laughs* I only have one block left of my additional sections, then the border, and it's done! I have even woven in most of the ends already, to save a mammoth weaving in session at the end ;)

Apart from that, I have cast on my second Kool Aid sock. Not much progress so far, but at least it is on the needles *grins*

The grey swatch (yes, I actually swatched!) was going to become my next WIP... Well, I finished boyfriend's socks, so I figured I had a space for a new project ;) I swatched, cast on and knit 5 inches of 2x2 rib...

And then I discovered that I had cast on half the number of stitches I was meant to *sigh* After tearing it all out, I couldn't bear to start another 5 inches of rib over 180 stitches, so I decided that project could wait. Luckily, the yarn (Mirasol Miski, 100% baby llama) was so gorgeously soft and fluffy that I didn't feel as cross or hard done by as I might have expected, it just means I get to play with it again *laughs*

Bookwise, I'm flicking through The Goddess Guide. I picked it up in a charity shop (thrift store?) because the cover was flocked and I liked the texture ;) I'm not very girly, but the design is great and it's easy to pick up and flick through.

As ever, join Tami for WIPW and Ginny for the Yarn Along :)

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Bizarre yet Tasty

Ok, so I know this is not remotely craft related, but I had to share *laughs*

Last week I was in Marks and Spencer and saw this drink:

Yep, Rhubarb and Custard flavoured fizzy drink... Love it! When I was a kid, I remember that Panda Pops had the same flavour (they also had green cola, ugh!) and I loved it, so of course I had to buy this one too. It tastes just like rhubarb and custard sweets *grins* And check out the obnoxiously pink colour:

Then, when I started writing this post of wonderment at the bizarre yet tasty drink, I remembered another recent purchase...

Jam Doughnut flavour milkshake. It sounds pretty disgusting, I know, but it is surprisingly nice. I couldn't drink a whole one, it is way too sickly, but you'd be amazed at how much it smells and tastes just like the jam they use in jam doughnuts ;)

Anyway, I'll be back tomorrow with some more normal content, but if you have a super sweet tooth like me, you should try them... 

*laughs at the fact that I sound like an advert and confirms that I have not in any way been provided these products to try in return for a review - but I would be more than happy to!*

Monday, 26 September 2011

U is for...

Firstly, I'd like to say thanks to everyone who stopped by and left a comment on Friday - you guys really made my day *grins* Also, boyfriend's day, as he kept checking to see who else had commented on "his" post ;)

I tried to come up with something interesting to say today, but the only word I could think of was "ugh" - now it is raining and Monday, so that seems justifiable, but I try to keep this blog happy and smiley (for the most part, complaining about having a cold notwithstanding!) so an entire post of "ugh" things seemed a bit much *laughs*

So, we shall return to my I-can't-think-of-anything-so-just-grab-some-random-words-and-try-to-make-it-interesting approach to the alphabet ;)

  • Ucalegon - neighbour whose house is on fire - because that's when good neighbours become good friends
  • Ulotrichous - having wooly hair - see I do try to bring in something sheeplike to these random posts, although I have no idea if this refers to wooly animals, or humans with a wooly looking head of hair (of course, I am now picturing a human with a sheep's fleece instead of hair and it all gets a bit ridiculous!)
  • Unasinous - being equally stupid - because when you call multiple people stupid, their relative levels of stupidity may be questioned ;)
  • Undine - female water spirit, often colourful - and at last the origin of my online name is revealed *grins*
  • Uranoscopy - star-watching - is it just me, or do words with the ending "oscopy" sound very medical?  
And my favourite...
  • Usward - toward us - I absolutely intend to revive this word, I think it's great. "quick, run, that bear is heading usward!"

Today's Misadventures in Craft was brought to you by the letter "U".

Friday, 23 September 2011


Well, I finished boyfriend's socks, and I think he defined the very notion of knitworthiness in his reaction *laughs*

I finished them on Wednesday night and he immediately put them on with a grin. Then he did a delightful little dance around the living room... Then he started hopping from foot to foot, and when I asked why he told me that he was enjoying the way they compressed under his foot *smiles* Then he put his shoes on to check how that felt ("cushiony" apparently). All scattered with a lot of "thank you" and "you're awesome" ;)

Of course, having spent a lot of time making them, this was the perfect reaction, and made me want to cast him on another pair right away *laughs* I didn't, I still have plenty of WIPs to attend to, but getting a reaction like that makes it easier to knit giant man socks!

When he woke up yesterday he asked if he could wear his new socks to work, which he did. Verdict following a day of wear was that:

  • They are comfortable - to the extent of not being aware of wearing socks at all (I'm taking this as a compliment!)
  • The lack of seam is pleasing
  • They didn't dig into his ankles
  • They didn't fall down, or slouch in any way

This morning, he couldn't wait to put them back on, for their photoshoot. So they appear to have been successful! 

Pattern: 2x2 ribbing on leg and top of foot
Yarn: King Cole Zig Zag

Final picture, showing a closeup of the Princess Soles:

For a description of what princess soles are, please click here. Incidentally, they are apparently amazingly comfortable and make the socks even better for those with more delicate feet ;)

And, being Friday, you know the drill: head over to Natural SuburbiaTami's, Wisdom Begins in Wonder and Plumslife. Have a great weekend all :)

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Cookbook Challenge #1

So, last night boyfriend and I implemented the first "cook from cook book" challenge *grins* I posted about it on Tuesday, but the general point is that I have a bunch of cookbooks yet boyfriend and I tend to rotate the same few meals. To expand our repertoire we decided to try new recipes from my cookbook library. The plan is to try to do this weekly, although without any pressure or anything - sometimes it just won't happen!

Last night we made the effort to try something new, from this book:

If I recall correctly, I picked this book up pretty cheaply from the Book People, who bring a selection of books to my office every now and again. I know I've never made anything from it though!

We picked Chicken and Pancetta with Creamed Leeks, which sounded tasty (at first I was put off because I thought the leeks would be pureed, but they're actually cooked in a cream, thyme and white wine sauce with onions and garlic, much nicer).

Unusually for me, I followed the recipe almost exactly. Well, apart from the cream crisis - boyfriend went to fetch the ingredients and discovered that the supermarket had no fresh cream of any description. In fact his choice was between canned squirty cream (obviously not an option!) and Elmlea whipping cream *laughs* But it worked out ok.

I was very aware when I was dishing up (or "plating" if I want to sound fancy *laughs*) that I was planning to take a picture of this, and was then concerned that the colour of the leeks might not have enough contrast with the white plate to look as nice as it should. I think it looks ok though ;)

We both really enjoyed this, the pancetta and leeks go so well together. The only thing I didn't like was the lack of a starch. I like carbs with my dinner, so I'd made extra leeks to make up for it. In hindsight, a smaller portion of leeks and a chunk of crusty bread would have worked better.

Overall though, it was definitely a success.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday Number 20

Unusually for me, this is a fairly sparse work in progress photo. I tend to do most of my knitting at the weekends, and as I was away this weekend, far less activity than usual has occurred. I took boyfriend's sock for in-car knitting and have been so focused on getting it finished since we got back that I haven't really picked anything else up. Good news is that it should be finished really soon - less than an inch left *grins*

I have also been formulating a plan for my blanket, to encourage me to get on with it. I think I've mentioned before that I had stalled, partly due to not knowing what to do next. So I plotted out what it looks like so far:

Much more square than the pattern!

And then I plotted out how to increase the length, while keeping the essence of the pattern intact:

I think this works, and it uses more of the cream yarn which is handy as that's the one I have most of *laughs*

Bookwise I have picked up Ben Elton's Chart Throb in honour of it being X Factor time of year again. I'm not really a fan of the programme, but I love Elton's satirical take on the way it all works.

As ever, join Tami for WIPW and Ginny for the Yarn Along :)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Cook From Cookbook Challenge

I have quite a few cookbooks. And a Good Food magazine subscription (thanks mum!). Yet boyfriend and I have a fairly limited repertoire of meals that we make each week. This is down to a few reasons:

  • The meals require very little thought because we know them so well
  • It makes popping to the supermarket much quicker and easier when we know what we're going to buy
  • After a long day of work we're not generally in the mood to cook anything particularly adventurous
  • Also... we have these meals on our rotation because we really enjoy them! Seems obvious, but I thought I'd mention that part *laughs*

So, after a few conversations with boyfriend recently, and a chat on twitter with a couple of other cookbook fiends (I'm looking at you guys Tink and Mooncalf), I decided it would be a good plan to try and start a weekly "Cook from Cookbook Challenge"

Some caveats of course - I'm not going to stress if it doesn't happen every week, life happens and sometimes things don't work out. This isn't a meme, it's just a plan I have for me and boyfriend. Having said that, if anyone else has a go, great! Let me know, help yourself to the image I made below, send pictures, share links and recipes (copyright permitting). It'll be fun *grins* Not that I need more recipes of course ;)

Part of this idea was inspired by a recipe that boyfriend made from a previous Good Food magazine, a chinese bbq pork chop with cucumber salad. It was absolutely delicious (although a bit time consuming) and reminded us to be a little more adventurous.

So, wish me luck in my trawl through my cookbook collection, I'll post any successes (and, if you're really lucky, any less successful attempts too)!

Monday, 19 September 2011

T is for...


It is quite handy that today worked out to be T, because boyfriend and I travelled to France for the weekend ;) As I would have been posting about that regardless, I'm quite pleased that it worked out that way.

So, boyfriend and I had a free weekend, and decided fairly last minute to jump on the channel tunnel and go to Calais *smiles*

Of course, I had checked out yarn stores in the area. For research, you understand ;) So on Saturday afternoon, we headed to Calais town centre to find the Phildar shop. From the photo on their website it looks like a flagship store, very fancy...

When we got there I was a little confused to be confronted with what appeared to be a clothes shop:

As we walked in, you could see the yarn section peeking out from the back of the shop:

Slightly bizarre *laughs*

Anyway, I had a good look round, making boyfriend take sneaky photos so that I could share them here ;)

The bags at the bottom of the pictures contained sale yarn, all packaged together in dye lots, which was quite cool. And I found this yarn, which obviously had to be photographed - not only does it look like lettuce (or seaweed according to the boyfriend) which I found interesting, check out the name *laughs*

Of course, I did have to make a purchase - it's souvenir yarn after all...

This is 70% angora, 30% lambswool and is so incredibly soft. It was in the bargain bucket, so the 5 balls cost me about £7. There's not a lot of length to them, so I'm not sure what I'll make yet, but as soon as it brushed against my hand, I knew I had to have it *laughs*

Anyway, lest you think we went all the way to France and only looked at yarn, we also took photos elsewhere ;) We went to Sangatte and wandered along the beach, then drove up the cost to Cap Blanc Nez, a memorial from WWII.

Boyfriend took a few pictures of this for me, but I love the moody silhouette look.

Looking out across the sea, you can just make out the white cliffs of Dover across the channel. It always amazes me how narrow the English Channel seems to be...

So, that was our trip to France. Hope you all had a lovely weekend too :)

Friday, 16 September 2011

Conducive to Thought*

I finished my sock *grins* Of course, I have only finished one, but it is a fully functional sock ;)

Cool, huh? A few people commented when this was still a work in progress, that it looked huge... Well, that has something to do with the fact that I have tiny feet (size 3 UK/size 36 Europe), so when making "normal" length socks, I end up with loads of yarn left over. Some careful weighing of the yarn meant that I could make a longer sock and reduce my leftovers *smiles* As I prefer slightly longer socks, this is a win-win ;)

For comparison, here it is against my last pair of socks (which turned out much shorter than I would have liked!)

Yeah, so maybe everyone was right, it does look huge! It doesn't seem so long when I am actually wearing it though, and definitely a better length than the ankle sock:

The yarn is the Merino/Tencel blend that I dyed myself. When the sock first came off the needles, I obviously immediately tried it on... And was a little disappointed :( The yarn feels quite crisp, which was ok, but it also had a strange squeaky quality when I moved or bent my foot. Not altogether pleasant.

Well, I gave it a quick soak in some water and hair conditioner (can't remember where I picked up that tip, but I'd heard it works well for scratchy yarns so hoped it might help soften mine too) and I'm happy to say that it came out soft and beautiful. Phew. It also revived the Kool Aid scent *laughs*

Final picture, a close up of the colours, which look very different in different lights - sometimes more blue/purple is noticeable, sometimes it's more pink/orange. I like this *grins*

And, being Friday, you know the drill: head over to Natural SuburbiaTami's and Wisdom Begins in Wonder.

*"Knitting is very conducive to thought. It is nice to knit a while, put down the needles, write a while, then take up the sock again" - Dorothy Day

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Kinda Bored

Right now I'm a little bored with all my WIPs. I'm sure I can't be the only one this happens to?!

Unusually for me, though, I have resisted casting something else on. I actually want to work on my current projects... Ok, strictly I don't want to work on them, I want them to be done, but you know what I mean *laughs*

I have loved knitting my blanket, and although I still do, I seem to have stalled. It might be because I need to work out how to add to the length while keeping the spirit of the pattern, plus the fact that it should be finished after this block so it feels like getting extra homework to have to knit more *wry smile* Ah, I really should just sit down and get on with it.

I mentioned yesterday that I am not enjoying knitting Cria. I like the fact that it is seamless, so it won't need putting together at the end, but I think seamless garments have their downsides too -  the rows seem to take forever! Technically I know that in the long run it is probably no slower than knitting in sections but I don't feel like I am really making progress, which always saps my will to knit ;)

So, without casting on something new, how do I keep my motivation? Well, I have been assigning yarn to new patterns, ready for when I can start my next project (and I know there is nothing stopping me from casting on now, but I do want to get what I am working on done and dusted!)

So this yarn will become this circular shrug (shrug photo © Loopi):

And I will be making red socks in this pattern (which will be the first non-vanilla sock pattern I shall attempt, so this could inspire me or cause immense frustration *laughs* I guess we'll see!):

© Tiiina

My purple alpaca is assigned to this simple vest  (vest photo © Niina):

I have lots more projects in my queue, with plenty of yarn ready and waiting *laughs* But I think these are the top 3 contenders for when I finish what I am doing. So, hopefully reminding myself of what I want to move on to will motivate me to get finishing ;)

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday Number 19

Firstly, thank you to everyone who left get well messages on my last post, you really cheered me up *smiles*

Due to the aforementioned being not very well, there hasn't been a fantastic amount of crafting progress over the last few days. Luckily I made a bit more progress at the end of last week, so I at least have something to show today ;)

So, boyfriend's sock finally shows evidence of some much needed attention *laughs* It had been stuck halfway up the foot for what seemed like weeks, but now it has a heel and I begin the long slog up the leg ;)

My sock is missing from this picture, but you'll see it again on Friday *grins* I haven't started the second one yet, dangerously risking second sock syndrome, so that I can focus on finally finishing boyfriend's pair.

The blue and orange blob is the start of my crobot, but I am not convinced by the pattern - this is half of the head but it already seems too deep (I may be mixing up American and English crochet terms, so fixing this needs more concentration than my fuzzy head is capable of right now!)

My Cria has seen some more progress, another 20 rows, and is starting to take some shape. I may be the only one that thinks this, but I have to say that I am not enjoying making this garment. I know how popular Ysolda's patterns are, but I'm really not loving the way this is constructed. I know I'll like it when it is done, so I'm getting there, just not very quickly ;)

A few people have previously commented on liking the purpley-blue yarn I'm using to make it, which has always made me feel a little guilty for my poor photography skills! The yarn is not purpley at all in real-life, but my camera likes to think it is. So here is a slightly tweaked photo, to more accurately capture the colour (and potentially show the progress a little better):

Hmmm, it still looks kinda purple in places *rolls eyes at camera*

So that's my WIPW update. Book-wise, for the Yarn Along, I found a book on my shelf that I bought ages ago, is by one of my favourite authors and for some reason hasn't been read yet. So it's about time I started it!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Woe is Me

I am sad to say that I am feeling very feeble :(

I actually only have a cold, but for some reason I become utterly pathetic when I have minor illnesses (such as colds)

As a result, I am unfortunately incapable of coming up with anything fantastically creative or even particularly interesting to post about *laughs*

So I shall leave you with a picture of a sock monkey that I have created for a swap on Ravelry. For anyone interested in joining swaps (which are lots of fun, as I posted about here and here), the best plan is to join a swap group, even if you've missed the deadlines for the latest one. That way, you'll have notice of any new ones that pop up.

I'm a member of a couple of groups, A Swap in Time which does seasonally related swaps along with a few others throughout the year, and The Odd Ducks, a group for swaps that don't really fit anywhere else (which is where the sock monkey swap came from).

So here's the monkey I made, which will have a whole load of other goodies packaged with it and sent off to America...

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to whimper and sneeze a lot ;)

Monday, 12 September 2011

S is for...


As someone who likes words, you may not be surprised to discover that I quite like Shakespeare. Whilst most people I know who were forced to study his plays at school got sick of him, I was lucky to have a few teachers who managed to make things interesting.  My college tutor decided to set us the most bloodthirsty play of all, Titus Andronicus, deciding that teenagers would be far more likely to pay attention if people kept getting beheaded *laughs*

One of the things I most like about the Bard, though, is how much our language was influenced by his work, whether we realise it or not. A lot of people know that he invented new words (approximately 1700 of them, including "advertising", "undress", "blanket" and "swagger"), but he also put existing words together in ways we still use today, for example "seen better days" or "come full circle". He described jealousy as the "green eyed monster", referred to family as "your own flesh and blood" and coined the now overused phrase "the long and short of it" *smiles*

Considering how much language has changed since his time, I find it amazing that his influence is still evident today, in popular culture as well as more academic pursuits. I've always liked the number of times lines from his plays crop up as titles of other things:

What Dreams May Come - film/book - line from the famous "To be or not to be" speech from Hamlet
Darling Buds of May - long running very English TV show - line from one of the more famous sonnets
The Dogs of War - Pink Floyd song - line from Julius Caesar
Band of Brothers - book and TV series - line from Henry V
Brave New World - book - line from the Tempest

Then there's the influence of the stories themselves - Disney's "The Lion King" seems based on Hamlet, while teen flick "10 Things I Hate About You" was clearly influenced by The Taming of the Shrew. And of course everyone recognises Romeo and Juliet in "West Side Story".

So, apologies to those who weren't expecting a lecture this morning *smiles* but I hope it was at least slightly interesting. I was inspired to write about something a bit different this morning ;)

Friday, 9 September 2011

A Thousand Diamonds*

So, after my teaser on Tuesday, are you ready to see my first ever (and so far only!) crocheted FO?

I made a ripple baby blanket *big grin*

Ok, so my tension was all over the place, the ripples aren't actually evenly spaced, the sides were supposed to be straight but aren't (thanks to some inadvertent increasing and decreasing) and there are a few dropped/missed stitches... but I made it and I am really pleased with myself *grins some more* Besides, look how cute it is all folded up:

I mentioned on Tuesday that I decided to practice my (non-existant) crochet technique on some mystery chunky acrylic, before trying to master crochet on a smaller scale. I also decided that I wanted to make something properly, so that I would have something useful to show for my practicing. Two colours that luckily worked nicely together, plus a youtube video on how to do a ripple stitch and off I went ;)

I have improved how I do things - now I hold the yarn in the correct hand and use the hook to make the stitch. Last time I tried, I couldn't get my knitting head out of the way, so yarn and hook were held in the same hand and I would wrap the yarn rather than using the hook *laughs*

I think I mentioned that I got a little engrossed, and spent the majority of last Sunday making and finishing the blanket (my finger has now recovered, but it was really sore for a few days!), enjoying the rhythm of the stitches. And although I think that I generally prefer the look of knitted fabric, there is no way that I could have knitted something of this size in the same timeframe, which made it very satisfying.

Talking of the size, as requested by my mum, here is a photo with a second object to show how big the item is:

So, can you tell I'm pretty proud of my first crocheted item?! For all its faults, it is perfect to me. Plus it used up two bulky balls of yarn from my stash - never a bad thing ;)

So that's it from me, but head over to Natural Suburbia, Tami's and Wisdom Begins in Wonder for your usual Friday fix of crafts and creativity.

* - "The ocean looks like a thousand diamonds, strewn across a blue blanket" - Incubus

Thursday, 8 September 2011

The Babe With the Power

A short while ago, I left a comment on Karen's blog Nothing But Knit 2. I then received an unexpected and very exciting email...

The email from Karen said that she had been running a secret contest on her blog, and as I was the 1000th commenter, I won *grins* She asked for my address so that she could send a surprise skein of yarn (side note: I love the knitting community - in any other context I'm sure I would have been very suspicious of a relative stranger emailing to ask my address!)

And this is what I got in the post, on a day where I needed cheering up slightly:

Lola-Doodle's handpainted classic sock yarn. Karen said in the enclosed note that she wanted to send something I might not have tried before, which I think is one of the most fun things about giveaways (especially secret surprise ones!)

The colourway name is "Who Do Voo Doo", which should explain my post title, but for anyone who has not seen Jim Henson/George Lucas' film Labyrinth (and let me take a moment to tell you that you should) the film includes the following exchange:

You remind me of the babe,
- What babe?
The babe with the power
- What power
The power of voodoo
-Who do?
You do

Hmmm, it loses a little something when it's written down instead of sung *laughs* To make up for it, here is a picture of David Bowie as Jareth, the Goblin King ;)

So now I need to find a pattern based on goblins or mazes, or something *laughs* And I shall leave you with a close up of the cool colours which, for a change, is a pretty close match to reality!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday Number 18

After spending most of my recent crafting time working on some crochet, as I mentioned yesterday, I haven't actually made much progress on my knitting WIPs. So many crafts so little time *laughs*

I only took a picture of a couple of my WIPs , partly because they are the only ones with progress, and partly because I was too lazy to get Cria out of the project bag and laid out to look longer than last time ;) I have done a few more rows, but nothing worth documenting really.

So, my sock and boyfriend's second sock have grown a little (mine more so if I'm honest - I got bored of ribbing!). And current reading material is an old favourite. I love this book (but don't talk to me about the film - ugh) and have read it more times than I can remember. I was in the mood for something uncomplicated after the book I showed last week - which was fantastic; I really enjoyed it but it wasn't a lazy book (does that make sense to anyone other than me?!)

I have also made quite a lot of progress on the blanket. In fact, when the light brown section reaches the end of the dark brown section, I will have finished the blocks from the pattern:

However, because I made up my own dimensions based on how I thought it should look, instead of following the pattern, it is much shorter than I would like. Which means I need to work out a configuration of new blocks to make it longer while still looking balanced. So it'll be a little while before it is finished, but I still love knitting it so it won't be too much of a hardship ;)

Joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along and Tami's WIP Wednesdays, so check out their links to more knitting and reading...

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Crochet Take Two

After my last post on my attempts at crochet, I put it down for a little while before deciding to give it another try this weekend.

Thanks to the lovely and supportive comments on that post, we determined that I was in fact stitching through the back loop, which was helpful to know. I also stopped trying to be clever and figure it all out myself, and watched a few youtube videos as recommended.

I am happy to say that my second attempt was slightly better. I'm trying to make amigurumi (well, that's the eventual aim anyway!), because I want this robot:

He's so cute *grins*

So after a couple of practice attempts, I started working on his face. I tried to take a decent picture, but thanks to the lovely grey skies outside, the colours went a little crazy. I had to tweak the picture quite a lot so that you can actually see the stitches, so please forgive how washed out it looks *laughs*

It certainly looks a lot more like the picture than my last attempt! This may be due to the fact that my double crochet before did not actually include all of the relevant steps to make the proper stitches ;)

Anyway, I decided I wanted to practice a little more, on something chunkier, to get the hang of it before trying to follow the rest of the pattern. So I grabbed a couple of balls of unidentifiable chunky acrylic that a colleague had given me and got to it...

I got so addicted to the rhythm of the stitches that I spent all of Sunday working on it *grins* As a result I now have a really sore patch on my finger, and a finished item. Which means you only get to see a sneak peek, as I'm saving it for Friday to show off properly!

It's pretty far from perfect, but on Friday you will discover just how pleased with myself I am!