Thursday, 23 July 2009

Crystalise Completed!

Crystalise is completed!! And ain't she looking good! I'm pleased with the finished results and glad I stuck with it and concentrated! I can't wait to wear it. It feels good when I tried it on last night - I think I shall be making more similar hats!! The underside, as such.

When HobbitKeeper went to bed last night, I was literally on the last round. So by the time I'd done that and finished it, he was in bed and I couldn't ask him to get out of bed again to take some pictures of me modelling it!! So it's being modelled by a pot halloween pumpkin..... It does show the lace work of quite well though! A recommendable pattern!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

A Lesson in Not Being Complacent

Friday saw the latest issue of 'Yarn Forward' being published. I dutifully trotted off to the Newsagents for my reserved copy. One of the reasons I like this magazine is that all it's patterns are in real sizes for real women..... they fit me! There is usually something that turns my head and I think 'hhhhhhmmmmm', followed by a scampering off to my knitting room to see what I could make the item up in......

This months 'thing' is 'Crystalise' a slouchy beret type hat. Hats are a novelty to me. But saying that I've made four beanies, okay all from the same pattern! But Crystalise spoke to me. And I had one of the alternative yarns - King Cole Bamboo Cotton, gifted to me from JustAli. In a lovely Lime Green. Lime Green is out of my safety colour box, but this colour I like!

So I gathered my needles, reminding myself along the way that I still must tidy my knitting room and at least put my needles away after using them, especially DPN's as not having a full set is so annoying when you want to use them........

I sat down to start. The pattern is quite straight forward. And that is where I started going wrong. I became too complacent...... I wasn't quite paying enough attention as it was too simple..... mistakes started happening......... I frogged four rows - no I tinked four rows..... and carried on.

I finally finished the main stitch pattern, with only two minor mistakes which weren't too obvious. It was time to start the crown and change to DPN's.

Oh dear! I dropped stitches off the DPN's, not something I do. I sort of hashed them and got them back on the needles, as the naughty stitches had not only fell off the needles but had gone down a row or two......

Nine rounds later, with growing discomfort and The Frog Chorus becoming louder in my head, I looked at what I had done. On one needle the pattern had followed through lovely, very nice! With intrepidation, I looked at what was on the other needles...... to my sinking un-amazement there was a different sort of pattern......

There was only one thing for it........... ribbit ribbit ribbit went the hat and The Frog Chorus was silenced.

I started again last night, from the ribbing. I'm crossing off each row as it's done. I'm Paying Attention, reviewing stitches and giving a big sigh of relief when I get to the end of the row with the correct number of stitches.

So this is Crystalise #2. It's well worth doing and the pattern is pretty.

The holes zig-zag, four times in total, with four holes to each zig or zag - What ever happened to Zig and Zag - aka Ziggaman and Zaggamuffin??!!

Although the middle does look small, it isn't and fit me nicely. I did try the pre-frogged hat on and that did spur me on to give it a re-try. I'm looking forward to finishing it, as per pattern, without any minor mistakes.... and wearing the blooming thing!! As mentioned before, the Pattern is called 'Crystalise', designed by Katya Frankel, and in Yarn Forward, August Issue 16. Look it up!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

A Trip Round The Garden

The garden is growing well in general. We are harvesting most of the crops now. Over winter we may use horse manure to fertilise the garden, it needs something to be put back into it!

This is the rhubarb that we bought in the spring. It's doing well, and I'm pleased with it!
View inside the potting shed. The pepper plants haven't got any fruit on them yet, although there does seem to be tiny tiny things that may be peppers! In the foreground is some tomato plants which seem to be doing okay so far.
From the bottom of the garden, with HobbitKeeper being very busy
Close up of young cauliflowers
A courgette plant - these grow very well and produce tasty courgettes - and plenty of them!
Lavender and grass, with the Bird Bath. The small birds love this bath!
HobbitKeeper chasing Roast, the escapee!

Roast trying to get home again...... or is she egging the others on to come out and play??!!

For Tea Last Night, I had......

For Tea last night we had courgettes, potatoes and carrots (amongst other things!). The best of it was they were from our garden! There is nothing like eating the veg that you've grown yourself. As well as knowing where it is sourced from and what if any chemicals have been used etc!

Courgette and spuds - still with dirt on! Needless to say the all tasted wonderful!
Me with the some of the carrots. These were grown in recycle bins - a great way to recycle recycle bins!! It goes to show that you don't necessarily need a garden to grow in, beg can be grown in all manner of pots!

Summer Swaps

I'm signed up to the hilt with Summer Swaps. I'm being orgainised (!) got it all planned out, apart from the actual patterns and specific colours for each. All the swaps are cloth swaps - am flying the flag for Peaches n Creme!

So what I've got planned for my needles are -

1. Birthday Swap - okay, not a cloth swap, but am posting it today!

2. Tribbles - tribbles are on theire way to me, although I was expecting to have them arrived already!

3. Square Swap Dosie Do - this take part in four stages, so it's nicely spread out

4. Summer Spa Swap

5. Pre Christmas Swap

6. Cookie and Cloth Swap

7. School Days Swap.

I'm looking forward to doing all these. But I must not sign up to any more!! This is fun not pressure!! So watch for lots of fab pix!

Friday, 17 July 2009

The First UK Ravlery Day - Coventry 6th June 09

The 6th of June saw the much anticipated First UK Ravelry Day, held in Coventry. Well done to Jo Watson and friends for organising the day!

The day was a good one, even though it hoofed it down all day, proper hoofed it until about 4pm. That did not seem to deter people walking round the Market Place!

So.... the day has to start with tickets...... train tickets, entrance ticket and my name badge!
Now these two Alpaca's are soooo cute, all alpacas are cute. I want one, well a few as they need to be in packs! Don't think they will fit in the garden though! I have heard of people walking their alpacas as one would walk a dog... imagine the looks, lots of fun!

Donna and I taking a picture of each other..... has to be done!
A few of Stafford Knit Chicks - Me, Jeanette, Rachel and Helen with Solomon just out of view! This was the first of several tables I sat on. I was spotted by one person, on three different occasions, eating three different cakes and supping tea!
JustAli and myself. JustAli was my Secret Sister and spoiled me rotten with all the thigns she gifted me, including a very wonderful Weavers Mini Shawl. Which is getting lots and lots of use!!

Me and the lady behind Extreme Knitting - Rachel John. I already have a pair of extreme needles - 24mm, so I treated myself to an extreme crochet hook.......Rachel is featuring in the next two 'Crochet Today' magazines.... Take a look, its worth trying out, if no reason other that it is the ultimate stash buster!

The next Ravelry Day is August 2010 in Stirling, Scotland. It is the climax of Knit Camp 2010 - See you there!!!

Mini Purse Swap #3

In May/June I participated in the Rav Mini Purse Swap #3. My Spoiler was Serenamcfay. ANd she did spoil me!

This is what was in store for me when I opened the parcel up!
After much tearing of paper and much cooing, this is what I was gifted: A fab card with a pig on it, a rooster mug, a swizzle stick, a ball of Toft Alapca, a ball of Noro Hotaru, a felted bracelet, Cadburys Chocolate sprinkles, an angelic votive candle, hand cream, a gauge counter, a row counter, a stitch holder and a needle sizer!!
The star of the show was the 'Mini Purse'! Serenamcfay had made me a wonderful bag that can be used to put your yarn in when knitting, save it going all over everywhere! It is a flower, with the top of it being the petals. The yarn is gorgeous! Thank you!!

Friends That Swap - Cloth Round Robin #1

I took part in the Friends That Swap Cloth Round Robin #1. A Round Robin is where the person who starts the RR makes (in this instance) 4 cloths and sends them to the next person. The next person then takes however many she wants out of the four and then replaces the same amount and sends it to the next person on the list. So on and so forth. The last person sends to the first person and the circle is complete!

This particular RR has been all over the States then found its way to me. This is what I sent back. The design is called Turtle Tracks. I think it is available on Ravelry and I can't thing for the life of me the name of the designer, but when I so I shall give full credit. I knitted it Peaches n Creme - Winterberry.
This is the other cloth I put in the RR. It is designed by Maile Mauch, design named 'Double Delight'. It is available on Ravelry and Cloth of the Week on Yahoo groups. I knitted it up in Peaches n Creme - Mauve.

These are the two that I took - both crocheted! I had a difficult time deciding which cloths to have, they were all lovely!
I'm also waiting for my first Tribbles RR to swim its way to this space!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

The Italian Chicken

I had a parcel from Lessie in Italy arrive yesterday, and what a treat! Lessie sent me a huge skein of gorgeous Letizia cotton in purples, three balls of Surf cotton, again in very 'me' colours! Along with two big sweets - am saving them for after tea - a post card and two pamphlets about the very historic area where Lessie lives.
The rather scrummy Letizia! I've not yet decided what to make with this yet..... I need to make my mind up soon as I want to start knitting it!

And that leaves The Chicken!! I've put it with my chooks - bet ya can't tell which one is The Italian Chicken??!! Also in the pic is Roast, Sunday, Rocky and Radar!

The Chicken talking to Sunday and Radar!

I love this chicken! Thank you so much Lessie for him and the gifts!!

Happy 4th of July!

I'm a bit late posting this, so apologies!

Tavish sent me a wonderful parcel, arriving on 3rd July. The theme of the parcel was 4th July.

Tavish had sent me Uncle Sam! a stars and stripes tea towel, a pair of tennis socks, two crocheted pots, a flag, two balls of Sugar n Cream 'American Stripes' and lots of sweets in blue, red and white wrappers to put in the pots!!

It really made my day as I wasn't expecting it!

Happy 4th of July, especially to Tavish!

This one is for Sylvia!!

This one is for you Sylvia!! Stop giggling now!!

In this months 'Let's Knit' is a pattern called Tansy, a cardi made with Sirdar Big Softie. Sylvia, yes you! put me onto this as she has already started the cardi.

I got the yarn on Monday afternoon and cast on that evening. Tuesday - the main of Tuesday is for another blog - but Tuesday allowed me to have extra knitting time. Wednesday I went hell for leather and had a knitting marathon! Hours and hours of knitting. I had 3 rows left before I decreased for the arm when I had to throw the towel in.

So I finished the back off today! I shall start the front parts this evening. I'm a bit knitted out at the moment and do not want to get distracted on another project before I finish this one... it's easily done!

I've not really given the yarn much of a passing glance as it contains that stuff - acrylic. Trying to get away from being too much of a yarn snob, I thought it was worth a second look. And it's 50% wool. The thing that did it forme, apart from it looking kinda okay, was the price - £1.89 for 50g. That took me straight to the counter to pay! And now I'm thinking about other projects I can do with it! A big woolly something or another for HobbitKeeper has made the list as well!