Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday Number 30

I have a very blue work in progress picture today *laughs*

I've been working on boyfriend's hat, as I mentioned on Monday. However, although I said I was using the pattern "A Hat fit for a Boyfriend", I realised that I had done everything in 2x2 rib rather than the 3x2 in the pattern. So I'll have to figure out the appropriate decreases somehow ;)

And then I have to remind myself that I am knitting it for boyfriend, and even though it matches my cardigan perfectly, it is not for me!

Cria now has pockets (which I tried to take a picture of but that didn't go so well, so you'll just have to trust me!) And I am about halfway down the first sleeve. I'm pretty impressed with the continued progress of this, and I'm hoping the motivation holds out!

But then I realised just how close it now is to Christmas, so I have a feeling that progress on bloggable projects will slow as I work on getting the secret ones done in time *tries not to panic*

Bookwise, I got bored of last week's book and I'd seen someone else on yarn along reading one of Philip Pulman's His Dark Materials trilogy. I love these books so I picked up the first one and have been reading so much that I am now halfway through the third book *laughs* This of course doesn't do much for my knitting productivity, but never mind ;) it's always a balance, isn't it?!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Simple Pleasures

I got up this morning and the weather is grey and miserable and I had nothing particularly exciting to blog about...

So I decided to be positive and think about the simple pleasures that counteract the grey *smiles*

Like the fact that cooler (or, more accurately, downright cold) weather means I can wear more of the things I have knitted ;) The fact that I can make things that keep me warm, just by using a couple of needles and some yarn still amazes me sometimes *laughs*

The pleasure of a simple but tasty dinner last night. It was only pork chops with little roasted potatoes and fine beans, but everything tasted just right and it was warming and filling and just generally satisfying ;)

Having a meeting this morning that meant I didn't have to get up as early as usual and could enjoy waking slowly and luxuriating in Egyptian cotton sheets.

Talking of sensory luxury, the sensation of knitting with really gorgeous yarn that slips through my fingers like butter... The heated seats in boyfriend's car on a really cold morning... The gingerbread oil burner I always get out at this time of year, that makes my house smell like baking.

Blogging from my phone, having finally got round to downloading the blogger app. I saw a picture online recently that had a photo of a cassette tape and a pencil, with a caption that said "your children will never know the relationship between these 2 items". It made me laugh but also made me realise just how much technology has changed in such a short space of time. I remember my dad having a car phone the size of a small suitcase and now I'm posting to my blog on the move. Pretty amazing really.

And for a shot of colour to finish brightening up my morning...

So, tell me, what are some of your simple pleasures?

Monday, 28 November 2011


I posted a week or so ago about the list of projects I was planning to cast on, once I had decided which one to start first. Working on my Cria meant that I didn't cast anything on straight away (I was enjoying the surprising burst of motivation for a long-neglected project *laughs*)

Then, a few days later, I mentioned that I had bought some yarn to make a hat for the boyfriend.

Well, my eagerness to try out the Malabrigo I'd bought won out, and I cast on for the hat *grins*

I can see why people rave about this yarn - it is gorgeous. So incredibly soft. I am torn between wanting to work on it exclusively and wanting to take my time to savour the yarn *laughs*

Boyfriend has been stoking his hat in progress (the pattern is Hat fit for a Boyfriend) and is amazed at how luxurious the yarn is *smiles* Nothing but the best for him ;)

I love the depth of the colour, and the subtle variations. It means that it's actually not frustrating making a dark blue hat when I am already making a dark blue cardigan, and dark purple [secret project]!

Having said that, I think all this dark knitting has chosen my next project for me... I shall be casting on for my mum's scarf next. Partly because she is waiting so very patiently but also because the yarn is so wonderfully colourful *grins*

Friday, 25 November 2011

Striving to Win*

A small finished object this week...

My close friend recently got a puppy, who seems particularly keen on woolen type toys. Having destroyed her latest one, my friend asked if I would be so kind as to make a new one.

It's the first time my friend has really shown an interest in my knitting (save for the obligatory admiring of the things I have made of course!) so I was delighted to oblige.

I decided that dog toys would be an excellent opportunity to practice my crochet skills, so I grabbed a hook and some of the mystery acrylic yarn I was gifted by a colleague.

The red one was my first attempt, as the previous dog toy had been a simple sausage shape. I was pretty please with my version. So, although my friend had only asked for one toy, I was on a bit of a roll and thought I would attempt to make a bone shaped toy *grins*

It actually went surprisingly well ;) In fact, within moments of receiving the parcel with the toys, my friend sent me a picture of the puppy with the bone:

Always nice to have your work appreciated *laughs*

*"Be it jewel or toy, not the prize gives the joy, but the striving to win the prize." Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

As ever: Don't forget the usual suspects: TamiNatural SuburbiaWisdom Begins in Wonder.Plumslife

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Cookbook Challenge #7 & #8

See, I missed a few weeks of my challenge and then I went a little crazy and did two new recipes at the weekend... No, wait, this meal includes 2 separate cookbook recipes *edits post title* Three new recipes (I posted one on Monday, in case you missed it!)

Lemon, Broccoli and Sesame Roast Chicken (another Good Food magazine one, so you can access it online).

As the supermarket had run out of tenderstem broccoli, we used sugarsnap peas instead. I also omitted the sesame oil because I really don't like the taste. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly.

It was absolutely gorgeous. So tasty. I dished up with the roasted lemon wedges even though we weren't likely to eat them, just because it looked extra pretty *laughs* The lemon flavour was so rich and the stickiness and sesame seeds were perfect. Hugely successful recipe!

The only thing I would change if I did it again would be to add the sugarsnaps later in the cooking process. Totally my own fault, I knew that they would take less time than broccoli would and yet somehow this slipped my mind when it came to adding them. They were still gorgeous though, and really soaked up the garlic.

To accompany, instead of serving rice as the recipe suggested, I decided to make bread again. Chicken and bread is one of my all time favourite combinations *grins*

To tie in with the sesame seeds in the chicken dish, I made sesame breadsticks, from the book Dough, by Richard Bertinet.

I love this book, but have only made a couple of things from it. As it had a sesame recipe it seemed like the perfect time to get reacquainted *laughs* Although the recipe is for sesame and aniseed, I hate aniseed so went with my old favourite, thyme, instead ;)

Also very successful *grins*

I'm so glad I started this challenge, pretty much everything I have made so far has been really tasty. I know that I am selecting recipes that I think boyfriend and I will enjoy anyway, but it is so much fun to broaden our recipe horizons a little bit more.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday Number 29

Amazingly, I have not cast anything on this week *faints from shock* Which does make for a slightly less interesting picture of course.

I have been really motivated to get Cria moving recent, which is great as it's been on the needles since July with very little progress week on week. Last week I noticed that I was about 10 rows from starting the pocket openings... Well, I got to those, then I realised I was only a few rows from finishing the pocket detailing, so I did that.

After that it was 20 rows of boring until the stockinette portion of the body was finished, so I motored on. And then I was only 14 rows of garter stitch from finishing the body entirely... So I did *grins*

It's amazing how much more engaged I got with this knit once I could see an end in sight. Plus, I swapped the stitch holders I had been using for the arm stitches for scrap yarn so that I could try it on and see if I needed to add any extra increases to the hip section. As soon as I put it on, I wanted to finish it because I can't wait to wear it.

After being so bored and fed up of this project, I've been really enjoying my second wind and so I haven't been working on anything else at all. I just have the pockets and the sleeves to finish now. I did consider making the short sleeved version, just so I could wear it sooner, but I shall be sensible because I know I will prefer to have the long sleeves in the end ;)

I didn't have a book on the go, so I grabbed this on off my shelf. I can't remember buying it at all, but I think I was tempted by the "misadventures" in the title *laughs*

As ever, you know where to go for more works in progress and yarn along posts ;)

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Hats Off...

I decided that I would knit a hat for the boyfriend for Christmas. Now, as he reads this blog daily you may wonder why I am ruining the surprise...

Well, have you ever tried to surreptitiously measure someone's head while they are asleep? *laughs*

In the end, I measured his (awake) head and showed him the selected yarn, just to make sure he was happy with it. So, instead of a Christmas gift, it'll just be a non-surprise, hey it's getting cold out gift ;)

I did buy new yarn for it, because nothing in my stash was suitable. So I took the opportunity to buy something I want to knit with and have heard good things about:

Malabrigo Worsted. Pure Merino; so very, very soft and lovely *grins*

So, boyfriend will be getting a very luxurious hat. But as he has only ever received one knitted thing from me, and patiently watches as I knit for myself without grumbling, I think he deserves it!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Cookbook Challenge #6

After a small absence, I finally got back into my cookbook challenge with a recipe from Good Food Magazine. I have a subscription to the magazine, thanks to my mum, and love looking through them. I cut out the recipes that sound good and.... Well, I file them and forget about them *laughs*

So my latest challenge recipe involved me looking through the cut outs and choosing one to finally make a go of.

Balsamic Roasted Sausages with Red Veg. This recipe is available online if you fancy giving it a try, which I think you should ;)

I made a couple of tiny changes - I didn't include the cherry tomatoes because neither boyfriend nor I like them. As for the sausages - well, roasting them cooks them through but doesn't give them much colour (they brown on a couple of sides but not all over). So, after they were cooked I finished them off in a frying pan with a little extra balsamic and honey just to get them nicely browned and sticky.

This was definitely a success. Everything was really tasty and it made a nice change to do something different with sausages (we tend to cook them the same every time!) Even though I didn't do any carbs with the meal, it was more than filling enough.

The recipe involves very little prep, and most of the cooking doesn't involve anything more taxing than shoving it all in the oven, so I think this will almost certainly make it onto our list of weeknight dinners *grins* Which is sort of the point of this whole challenge ;)

And, because there's a lot of text in this post, here's a close-up of the sticky roasted goodness *laughs*

Photographing food that I intend to eat is hard! I don't want it to get cold, so I try to be as quick as possible while still trying to find the right light. And I am certainly not restaurant quality when it comes to dishing up, which is why you rarely see a picture of the whole plate!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Socks The Third

As I mentioned yesterday, I finished my socks *grins*

They look massively long in pictures, but in real life they come up to about my mid-calf. Which means I used up far more of the yarn than I have for my previous socks, and they're a height that I prefer, but did involve a lot of weighing the yarn and guessing how much I needed for each part - next time I make longer socks I think I'll go with the toe up method *laughs*

I know I've talked about it before, but the yarn used for the socks was one I dyed myself. My first attempt at dyeing yarn in fact *smiles*

I named this colour "Don't be mean to Pixley", and if anyone gets the reference to an obscure line from a little known TV show, I will be very impressed ;) I love how it knitted up, and one of my favourite parts is the rainbow effect I got on the heel, when the rows were shorter:

This photo also demonstrates that the socks fit, as every picture I tried taking of them on my feet either made my legs look like tree trunks or my feet look deformed *laughs* It really isn't easy taking pictures of your own feet!

Of course I am wearing the socks now for their maiden voyage, and I firmly believe that the first outing of handknit socks must include an opportunity to show them off. Luckily, I think the colours work perfectly with my purple shoes...

How cute?! So now every one in my office can see them, and be forced to admire them *grins*

Pattern: Basic cuff down vanilla socks
Yarn: Silky Sock, a wool/tencel blend, dyed using cheery, grape, blue lemonade and orange Kool Aid
Mods: No pattern to speak of, so no mods required!
Love: 4/5 having worn them for a couple of hours, I realise they could do with a longer cuff, but overall they're fab :)

PS: Don't forget the usual suspects: TamiNatural SuburbiaWisdom Begins in Wonder... And Plumslife, who I unfortunately omitted last week - sorry Beth!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

What Next?

Well, last night I finished my socks *big grin* So you will see them tomorrow when I happily show them off. 3 pairs of handknitted socks for me, putting me on track to have an entirely handknit sock drawer by, oh about 2020!

Of course, this means I only now have 2 projects for myself on the go (plus a few gift knitting projects) and that just won't do... But this means choosing what to cast on next, and that requires far more brain power than you might expect *laughs* I have a lovely stash of yarn, and a groaning Ravelry queue, but what I can't decide is the type of project I want to knit next.

  • I'm excited to use my pure alpaca yarn, which is destined to become some kind of tank top/vest. But my 2 current projects are garments and perhaps I shouldn't start another one until those are done
  • I have yarn and the pattern to knit the gorgeous Owls sweater, but again, it's a garment so I'm hesitating
  • It's getting cold out now, so maybe fingerless mitts to keep my hands warm?
  • Or legwarmers, I want legwarmers and they shouldn't take too long, and will free up some room in the stash faster than the mitts
  • Also, I have lots of sock yarn and I love socks and I want many more handknit socks...
  • I have yarn to make a scarf for my mum, which she would probably like before it gets completely freezing!
  • Maybe casting anything on is a bad plan and I should concentrate on the gift knitting - which would be good as Christmas isn't far off, but bad because then I'd have nothing I can blog about

So, dilemma *laughs*

This means that I am not casting on anything straight away. Which does actually result in me appearing to have superhuman willpower against the knitter's desire to cast on all the things. Plus, I can work on my current projects while I decide, instead of getting wrapped up in the excitement of new project on the needles, hopefully resulting in some extra progress. 

But really, I just want to be able to knit all the time and cast on everything I could ever want, and knit so fast that nothing takes longer than a week *laughs*

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday Number 28

I actually have quite a lot of progress to report this week *grins* Plus, a load of additional progress on my current un-bloggable projects... Lots of knitting activity ;)

My sock is now at the toe decreases, which means it is so close to being done at last. Luckily this is the second sock, so I shall soon be able to wear them and bask in the joy of a third set of handknit socks.

Fuzzy ballet sweater's sleeves are coming along. They're about halfway done if I make them the same length as the pattern (which I think I will, I was planning to make them longer, but I don't think they will look quite right).

I have actually made some progress on Cria too. I motored through about 15 rows yesterday, which is a huge improvement compared to my usual 3-rows-then-get-fed-up approach *laughs* And now I'm about 10 rows away from starting the pocket openings, so hopefully the motivation of getting to a less boring part of the pattern will help!

But most impressively, I have not cast anything else on *is amazed* I keep thinking about it, of course, but I have resisted the urge. I really do want to get some of these projects finished before I start something new, even though I also really, really want to start something new and shiny ;)

Hopefully the sock will be finished very soon, and that takes me down to only 2 projects on the needles (well, ignoring Christmas present knitting). I'm pretty sure at that point I won't be able to resist casting on something else, it would be unnatural *laughs*

As ever, you know where to go for more works in progress and yarn along posts ;)

Monday, 14 November 2011


You may remember me posting about making hats for Innocent Smoothies, as part of their Big Knit campaign - where they add wooly hats to the smoothies and donate money from each one sold to Age UK, to help keep elderly people warm in winter...

Well, I was quite excited to spot some behatted smoothies "in the wild" as it were, while shopping recently:

Obviously, I didn't spot any of the ones that I made (not that I would ever expect to!) but I was really pleased to see them out there. It was just a shame they didn't have any of the flavour I like, or I'd have bought one *laughs*

After I posted my hats off, a few weeks later I got a lovely card from Innocent to say thank you - which was a really lovely touch. I didn't make as many as I would have liked (I forgot when the deadline was!) but I hope they do it again next year so I can make lots more *smiles*

As a reminder, here are a few of the ones I made :)

Friday, 11 November 2011


Expectations... I had them. My knitting progress (and enjoyment of said progress) has vastly exceeded my expectations.

When I first started knitting, my inexperience meant that I had no frame of reference for anything, so my expectations were based on the limited knowledge I had. For instance, the first thing I made was a scarf, in aran weight, that required 1 ball of yarn, casting on 20 stitches. This formed the sum total of my knitting knowledge.

When I decided to make a scarf for my brother, I didn't really know much about yarn weights, or needle sizes or anything. I bought a ball of chunky yarn, and the recommended needle size, and cast on 20 stitches. I expected to only need 1 ball, after all, that's all I needed for my last scarf *smiles*

After finishing that ball, the scarf was really very short. This is obvious now, but was pretty surprising at the time *laughs* Another ball bought, and used, followed by another one, and I finally had a scarf the right length.

It was a lot wider than I expected, which I now understand is a result of casting on the same number of stitches in chunky weight as I did in aran... Didn't know that at the time though ;) I was lucky that the 3 balls I'd bought at different times matched as well as they did - I didn't really know anything about dyelots then either...

I was also at the time making an eyelash yarn scarf for my mum, on tiny needles. I expected them to take about the same length of time, being that they were both scarves *rolls eyes*

So, with more knowledge has come more realistic expectations. Once I got into knitting and decided I really wanted to keep at it, I started reading blogs, forums and tutorials online, gathering as much information as I could.

The other reason for choosing "expectations" for my "E" post is boyfriend. He had pretty rigid expectations of what knitting meant (in fact, he still struggles to comprehend that knitting with cotton on tiny needles, like for my green top, actually qualifies as "knitting")

His expectation was that knitting equals chunky wool with old ladies churning out blankets and fisherman's jumpers. Like this:

When I first suggested knitting him socks (as he's not really a knitwear person, and I wanted to make him something) the look of horror on his face was priceless *laughs* He was adamant that it would never happen. No socks.

It wasn't until I finished my first socks that he started to mellow and confessed what he thought I actually meant... He expected knitted socks to be the sock equivalent of the jumper above - big, thick and woolly. As he never has need for big, thick and woolly socks, he didn't want to have me make them and then have to pretend to like them. Once he saw how awesome my socks were, and discovered what the type of fabric created is actually like, he suddenly wanted his own pair.

I expected him to want plain black socks (although I was going to push him towards charcoal grey), but he very sensibly decided that if I was to go to the trouble of knitting giant man socks, they should at least be a bit different than all the plain black socks he already has.

So he's having blue, stripey ones *grins*

When I bought this, none of us (me, mum, boyfriend) knew what to expect once it was knitted, so I cast on for a small section so we could see. That's the fun of sock yarn though, I think, not knowing quite what to expect from it ;)

Tomorrow I plan to post 4 day's worth of the 30 day photo challenge... Stay tuned.

Exciting Friday :)

So, today I can finally show off my finished Hitchhiker scarf *grins*

But I won't keep you in suspense, I know you're keen to know who won my knitting-birthday giveaway ;)

So, thanks to the trusty random number generator, congratulations to the following people (I'll get in touch directly to get your addresses!):

Winner of the Shunklies yarn is: Kathleen (A Surprise Every Time)
Winner of the mini skeins is: Leah (Good Enough Knits)
Winner of the crochet book is: Tink (Master of a Thousand Things)
Winner of the cable book is: Sarah (Crafts from the Cwtch)

Thank you to everyone who entered - I was blown away by all the comments and honestly wish I had more prizes to give out!

Anyway, after the excitement of that, on to my FO...

It's really quite hard to take a picture of a scarf with nowhere to drape it and no good light! 

Yep, my Hitchhiker is finished. Well, it was finished last week but I was too busy being excited about my giveaway to post it *laughs*

I love this scarf. I love the pattern, the yarn is heavenly, it is just so warm and squishy. I anticipate it getting a lot of wear as the weather gets colder and colder.

Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend, in Capricorn
Pattern: Hitchhiker
Mods: used DK weight yarn rather than sock weight and just carried on until I ran out!
Rating 5/5 - love the squishiness of the garter stitch, as well as the way it breaks up the pooling of variegated yarn

And, just to prove that I do (sometimes) smile in photographs, here I am wearing it:

I like to have the main part wrapped around my neck, with part hanging down to show off the sawtooth edge (which boyfriend claims looks like a dragon tail *laughs*)

PS: Don't forget the usual suspects: TamiNatural SuburbiaWisdom Begins in Wonder ;)

Thursday, 10 November 2011

I'm Not Here...

Well, not here on my blog anyway.

I have written a guest post for Craft Blog UK, so technically, today I am here *grins*

If you do go and check it out (and you should, it's an excellent post if I do say so myself), please come back and let me know what you think ;)

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday Number 27

In an amazing turn of events, I have actually been following my plan (which I made 2 weeks ago - this might be the longest I have ever stuck to a plan!), so the fuzzy ballet sweater has been making progress and my sock is also a little further along.

The sweater now has 2 finished fronts, which leaves the sleeves and the ties left to do. I have enough yarn to make the sleeves longer than elbow length, so I'm going to do that. Also, I decided to try doing the sleeves two at a time. I haven't converted the pattern into the round (that was just a little more maths than I care to do *laughs*) but because the yarn is so fine it is easy to get both on the same needle:

Just have to make sure I don't get too tangled ;) It's good practice for my next pair of socks though, as I want to try making them two at a time to avoid second sock syndrome!

Talking of socks, my super long sock now has a heel and a gusset, thanks to me having a sudden burst of sock motivation at the weekend. It seems that I have to be in the mood for socks, and this one has been languishing thanks to sock-burnout. Happy to say it seems to be back on track now though *smiles*

The book I am reading is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. While the film is actually really good, the book is so much better.

A few people asked last week what I thought of the book I posted, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake... Hmmmm. Well I certainly wouldn't recommend it to a friend, let's put it that way *laughs* I was very disappointed, it was such an interesting concept but all of the plot points that could have been great were glossed over, whereas the boring stuff just went on and on. The writing style was frustrating, and the plot just went all weird at the end (way beyond what I would expect from the initial concept). So yeah, not recommended!

As ever, you know where to go for more works in progress and yarn along posts ;)

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

So... Felting

As I mentioned previously, I recently bought some merino top in a lovely burnt orange so that I could try felting.

At the weekend I decided to give it a quick try *grins* So I grabbed my supplies and went with the simplest thing I could think of - the felted balls.

Pulling off thin tufts of the top was fun - it's so fluffy, see?

And I'm really pleased with how the balls came out... They're a range of sizes, although they're all pretty small because I had no idea if it would work. I plan to make some more that are slightly bigger. Still not sure what I'm going to do with them, but that's hardly the point *laughs*

I used quite a few different tutorials to end up with a method I liked, so I thought I'd make a note of it here in case anyone else is interested.

  • Supplies: feltable material (I used merino top but I have no idea what else you can use!), bowl of hot soapy water, hands ;)
  • Pull off small sections of the top into little wisps. Shape around themselves to make a ball 
  • Dunk the ball into the water, fully submerging it - at this point mine no longer resembled a ball and just felt like a blob of wet wool, but I carried on and it worked out, so don't panic!
  • Very gently roll the ball around the palms of your hands, forming it back into the correct shape
  • Continue doing this for a little while until you can feel it starting to get denser and harder
  • As it gets denser you can put a little more pressure on as you roll it around, but don't do that to start with or it'll get squished ;)
  • When the ball reaches your desired size and consistency, rinse and leave to dry.
And voila, a felted ball *grins*

Monday, 7 November 2011

Cookbook Challenge #5

Last night I thought it was about time I made something savoury for the cookbook challenge (as 50% of my cookbook recipes so far have been sweets and cupcakes!)

Nigel Slater's Roasted Red Pepper Salad. I am counting this as a definite success.

It's pretty simple, although somewhat fiddly and timeconsuming. The peppers get roasted with garlic cloves (still in their skins), then peeled and deseeded. The garlic gets mixed with the pepper juices, salt, pepper and some olive oil and used as a dressing. See, simple *smiles* Peeling the peppers was the hardest part - although the recipe is for a cold salad, I wanted it warm. Which meant having to peel the boiling hot peppers as quickly as possible, without letting them go cold first. Ouch ;)

The recipe suggests serving with crusty bread to soak up the juices, so I baked bread too *grins at my domesticity* And, definitely a good recommendation, the homemade bread and the juices tasted so good together.

I decided to serve the salad with griddled chicken - to make it a main meal. Cooking the chicken on the griddle pan was the perfect touch, as the charred sections worked absolutely perfectly with the sweetness of the peppers and garlic.

See, I do make vegetables sometimes *laughs*

Friday, 4 November 2011

Yay... It's a Giveaway ;)

Sorry to anyone who is expecting pictures of my completed Hitchhiker scarf, I have something else for today...

Tomorrow afternoon represents my biggest finish to date - I will have been knitting for exactly one year *grins* To celebrate this, I have decided to have a giveaway. I've been very lucky to win some fantastic giveaways since I started blogging, and I wanted to give something back to the community that has welcomed and inspired me over the last year.

Before I get too sappy, I'm sure you're interested in the prizes:

So, clockwise from top left we have: 
  • A 50g skein of Shunklies hand-dyed 4ply Superwash Merino in "Royal Gala"
  • A selection of sock yarn mini skeins - including Mini Mochi, Regia, King Cole and Zauberball - so many people knitting the beekeeper's quilt that I couldn't resist ;)
  • Cable Collection knitting book - I've noticed quite a few blogs recently where people are trying out cables and discovering how easy yet effective they are
  • Party Crochet book - really good pattern book - some bizarre ones but some really pretty garments that prove crochet can be really beautiful

I've had a great time over the last year, and I'm grateful to everyone who has read this blog, left comments and generally been lovely. The last 3 Fridays, where I have gone through my archives to remember my earliest projects, have been great fun. So, thanks so much for joining me and I will have real finished objects to share next week, honest *laughs*

I'm quite excited about my first giveaway (in case you couldn't tell already!), but before I forget, here is the smallprint-type stuff:

To enter the giveaway all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. If your email address is hidden on your profile, please make sure you leave me a way to get in touch with you if you win! If you have a preference for which prize you'd like, let me know in the comments. Giveaway is open worldwide. Closing date for entries is Midnight (GMT) on Thursday 10th November and I will announce winners next Friday. 

Good luck, and thank you for stopping by *grins* 

PS: Don't forget the usual suspects: TamiNatural SuburbiaWisdom Begins in Wonder ;)

Thursday, 3 November 2011


When I went shopping with mum (posted about here), I also picked up this:

A twist of merino top. In orange, of course *laughs* Of course it looks bright red in this picture, but it is actually a darkish orange.

I wanted to try some sort of felting and have seen some great tutorials for felted balls, so when the shop we were in had some available I grabbed the colour I liked best and bought it immediately.

I haven't actually tried it yet (which is a shame, as it would make this post far more interesting!) but I can't wait. I only have one colour at the moment, but if they come out as well as the image below then I might make them in a variety of colours. Either as decor or to thread onto a necklace... Who knows ;)

Then there's the felted soap idea I've seen on other blogs too... Because I need more hobbies *laughs*

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday Number 26

Well, I actually stuck to the plan I made last week *pauses for the amazement to die down* ;)

I have finished the Hitchhiker, just trying to decide now whether or not I want to block it. I love it and will be showing it off just as soon as I have determined it is 100% finished.

I am finally at the point where I can start the heel on my sock, after knitting it (as planned) on the train to and from visiting mum. It seems to have taken ages, and I have been cursing the day I decided to make it as long as I did *laughs* But I'll be happy I did once it is finished, I'm sure. I'm still loving the yarn, which is the one I dyed myself using Kool Aid. Once I start buying yarn again, I will definitely be dyeing some more, it's so much fun ;)

And, as planned, (seriously, I am amazed that I have stuck to a plan for an entire week - this is unheard of!) I have been giving some attention to my fuzzy ballet sweater:

It doesn't look like it's that much longer than last week, but as this is the front and I'm on the decreases, it should go pretty quickly from here. Then it's just sleeves (3/4 length so they shouldn't take long) and the ties. Hopefully I can get this off the needles fairly soon. Of course, the Christmas knitting does take priority at the moment, so it'll be longer than it might ordinarily take!

The book I'm reading is The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, about a girl who can taste the cook's emotions in the food she eats. I have been intrigued by it since it was first published and have finally got around to starting it. Not sure what I think yet, as I'm not far into it... I like the concept but I'm not sure I am enjoying the writing style.

As ever, you know where to go for more works in progress and yarn along posts ;)