Friday, 29 June 2012

Cloth Finally Completed

Hip hip Hurray! I have finished the cloth for the swap! I thought I was never going to get there - pictures in a week or so when it has arrived at it's destination in Colorado. If I do it again, it won't be for quite some time. I had to take back another two rows when I sat and came to it this evening. These are the two rows that I did this morning...... Never mind, all done now.

Back to Revontuli in a bit. Or shall I do the bag, perhaps the bag and get that finsihed. That will give me a bit of a break from lace and so get me prepared for the Mystery Shawl KAL that I will hopefully be starting next Saturday or Sunday. I have yet to wind the yarn up for that. This week I also want to prepare and dye yarn to do another bag. The bag is to be completed for the end of July. A realistic goal, who am I kidding? I shall be knitting my fingers to the bone to do this and keep up with the Mystery KAL. At teh moment I have the option of changing my mind about the bag and making something smaller or less time consuming.

I took the cupcakes down to Fobbles this morning. On the Lady Grey ones, I put a tiny sprinkle of disco violet dust (my favourite dust) and put three small sugar butterflies on each. They looked quite pretty. Bev liked the look of them. I hope they taste good and went down well. I hope my worries are misplaced!

Mary-Jane has been in fine form. She got very tired this afternoon. Nest building and having primarily Daddy on the floor playing with he was order of the afternoon.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Baking Again

Happy Birthday HK!!
Mary-Jane has been on top form today. She had a good night last night and there hasn't been much of a murmer from her so far tonight. She has played and played and played today. She also made a nest again after lunch and insisted that Daddy lay down with her.

Here is the wee girl herself! She is getting bigger all the time. She is being very cheeky and sitting on her table - and looking very cute to boot.

All this playing can make for a tired girl needing a rest on the sofa

But Hey! You're taking photos and I want in on that - Mary-Jane charging across the sofa

I finally managed to get round to doing some baking. I started at lunch time. The house got very very noisy this afternoon - far too noisy for me to easily cope with. The less said the better.
I am a bit miffed that the foil cases didn't hold their shape well. I baked them in a shallow bun tin and the cases were touching each other. I didn't want to put them in a muffin tray, the papers always seem to come out looking greasy if they are too small for the hole. I will keep a look out for bun tins that are shallow and more widely spaced apart. I think that may be the only solution. The cake is vanilla. I will be interested in how they taste. The icing is fondant with a rice flower. I haven't used fondant before - made from scratch rather than pre-made shop bought. I am confident to use it again with lots of colour. Instead of using water in the fondant, I used a tip from the fondant sugar box - to use fruit squash/juice instead of water to give it colour and flavour - a good tip!

These are Lady Grey Cupcakes with pink swirls. They will have tiny sugar butterflies put on them tomorrow. They look nothing like the picture in the magazine. For one I didn't have the spray for the lustre on top. Secondly I think I slightly overfilled the cases. The recipe called for self raising flour and baking powder, so I don't know if this make be a contributing factor as well.
When I went back to them this evening they looked better that what I thought they would. It is one to keep trying - practice makes perfect.


I'm still knitting the blessed swap cloth. I got as far as casting off the last stitch and it suddenly looked terribly out of proportion, so I frogged the top border and resigned myself to do at least another pattern repeat. I don't think I have enough yarn to do a second pattern repeat.

When the cloth is finished I want to get cracking and finish Revontuli in time for my new Mystery Shawl KAL to start on 7th July.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Buttercream Wars

I have been working on my swap cloth this evening. My eyes are a bit achey, I think with concentrating. The end is not quite nigh with it, maybe only one more pattern repeat, maybe two, I shall have to see after one repeat. It is very pretty, but soooo time consuming! There are more stitches knit/purled through the back of the loop, that stitches knit normally. I have not known a cloth take so long to do. Worth the effort though.

This afternoon, after HK had signed on and we had done the recycling, got the mid week essentials, got home etc etc etc, I went to LA's for a cuppa. A welcome calm oasis. I had a pot of tea put next to me and was offered scones that were made that morning, along with home made jam - one was damson and the other plum. Beautiful. Calming. Soothing. We were chatting that much that I didn't even unzip my knitting bag.

I have poured over my cake decorating books again, trying to decide which cakes to make tomorrow. I think the choice is too wide. I am gettting a good idea of what I shall make. Then came the Buttercream Wars. My head gave up the ghost. Initially I was trying to find what quantities or ratio there was when a recipe called for say 250g of buttercream. I looked throught the main book, but could not see anything. I then thought innocently to google it. As with all thigns baking, everyone has their own recipe, and everyone comes from more than one country so methods of weights and measures are different. I tried not to growl at this point. I could pass over different flavours of buttercream. But then there was buttercream filling and buttercream icing, not to mention swiss buttercream.

I recognised the symptoms. Step away from the laptop. T'internet overload was heading my way. My plan is, in the morning, I shall once more look through the main book foresaking all others, select two cupcakes with given topping decoration and make them. Put my blinkers on, make a decision and crack on will be order of the day.

The cupcakes are an order for someone. More about that after the event.

Mary-Jane has so far tonight, been enjoying a restful night. She has been very tired to day, making - and using - a nest in the front room. Again she asked Daddy to lie on the floor with her, at one point she snuggled in really close to him. She didn't sleep though. A good night tonight and tomorrow night might get her back on track.

Monday, 25 June 2012


Mary-Jane had her third disturbed night last night. So far there have only been a few murmers, so fingers crossed. She really struggled today. She even made a nest on the floor this afternoon and lay down in it, after saying night night! She didn't sleep, just rested. She did want Daddy down on the floor with her for a while though.

She is comeing out with some comically timed phrases at the moment. We were on our way out this morning, she was running on through the house ahead of us and called to us saying 'hurry up you two!' When she had finished her tea, there was still a bit of food left, she said whilst handing us her plate 'take in kitchen and give to boys [the dogs]'. We were in stitches. When I took her to bed and was saying our night-nights, she leaned over my shoulder, looked at her bed, and said 'Ooooh Lovely bed'!!

Yesterday I went to Fobbles to look at beads for knitting. Fobbles seems to have umpteen beads and I was starting to get a bit bedazzled with them all. I had sage advice from Bev. I bought three lots of beads. I have tried a bead of each. The size ten are a bit small for what I need, but I may just be able to use them if I am careful. I think I now know which are the best size for what I need.


Following on from this, I had the thought of seeing if Fobbles has some much bigger beads, that I could incorporate into a felted bag. I have thoughts of doing a felted bag using some of my dyed yarn (which I have yet to dye) and to add a few large beads to it for texture etc. Thinking now, I wonder if you could use a suitable sized bead, or toggle and attach it prior to felting, would it make it a stronger attachment? HHmm, shall have to try that perhaps.

I have persevered with the cloth for the swap. There was a couple of mistakes in the pattern. This really surprised me. I have used the patterns designer countless times and never come across a mistake. I have righted the pattern and started knitting it all over again. It is going to be quite large. But it's looking good already.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Woolfest 2012 - Day 2

The Woolfest is over for another year boohoo! On the second day I arrived in good time. The weather had continued to be atrocious and there was considerable flooding - not as bad as the other year, but bad enough. I heard that some people in Holmrook had their homes flooded, so sad. My friend D had a rough journey to get to Woolfest. The plan was that she was to come to me and we would travel together. The BBC Travel news said that the A595 was blocked both ways at Muncaster, and at her alternate route of Dudden Bridge. However these were made passable. The there was Holmrook Floods. D managed to get through this but got a puncture. She drove onto Egremont and had to have two tyres changed. Luckily after this her journey was uneventful. There was a diversion then temporary lights very near to the Woolfest, but by the time I got there, these had gone. Phewey!

I signed in as a Volunteer and got a free voucher for some Ewes Milk Ice Cream. I gave this to D when she arrived - I thought she was in more need than me! I was on the Bunting Stand from 10 - 12. I was sewing the bunting onto the tape. In all I sewed 35, and there was a pile still waiting - a job for the next volunteer!

So here I am sat behind the machine, sampling some Ewe's Milk Ice Cream - which was absolutely divine - no wonder I am grinning!

I didn't get to do a stint on the Olympic Cushion Stuffing. By the time I had walked around with D, time had run away with us and my feet were proper hurting - I did hobble to the car.

We had a good look around. I returned to I Knit London, D went nuts over the yarn and I had a good chat with Gerald, mainly about lace knitting and the current trend of hard blocking. I took D to see the Easy Knits stall. We looked at Eden Cottage yarns and I made my purchase - a beatuful skein of pale green laceweight. I will take pix of my purchases and show you. I was also very tempted to get a skein of 60/2 silk from Oliver Twists. However I thought I might find it frustrating to knit with something so fine. Part of me still wishes I had bought some.

However I did see what seemed to be a bargain. Balls of hand dyed yarns - approx 40g for 50 pence each! Yes, 50 new pennies. I bought 10 balls. I wasn't quite sure what to do with them. The looked as they would go very well made up into fairisle - but how would I use that? Then is dawned on me - a felted bag. I have not made one for far too long. I spent an age looking through all the felted bags on Ravelry, hoping that a suitable on would jump out at me. I was trying to think of what shape I wanted it to be so at least I'd have a head start in looking and may even be able to design my own. In the end I came across 'Suzie Q' by Angelique Den Brock-Molen dijk. This surprised me as I have seen this pattern before and tried adapting it without the luck I hoped for.

I am using 5.5mm needles

The colours are quite autumnal and I am looking forward to seeing the finished results.

It has been pleasant change from Lace knitting. I still need to do and send a cloth by the end of the month for a swap. I have selected a pattern and have agreed with myself to start it tomorrow. I am also going a bit nutty about wanting to try beading. The thoughts of beaded projects have filled my head today. I have looked through some back magazines and found some non-shawl projects. Two prominent ones are a small reticule (to use Jane Austen language) - a bag to you and me, and a christmas ball decoration similar to the one I did last Christmas. This latter thought got me onto thinking more widely about knitted chrimbo deccies - so I started looking on Rav. I found two that I printed off. One was a set of miniature socks and the other was a multicoloured stocking.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Woolfest 2012 Day 1

The first day of Woolfest 2012 is so sadly over. I spent the whole day there, well till about twenty to four. The rain is noteworthy of a mention. I was a helper with The Woolsack, stuffing Olympic Cushions. These cushions will need a post of there own - there is now a lot of 'people power' happening and things are moving in a very positive way - more of that tomorrow! Yes going back tomorrow. I am feel quite proud to be a small part of this Olympic Cushion Movement.

I was able to have quite a good look around and could've spent an absolute fortune of yarn. I watched a beading demo by Anniken Allis, and am now busting a gut to do something with beads. I have purchased some orangey beads and a 0.5mm crochet hook. It did cross my mind to start the orange shawl tonight, but that would mean balling up my skein of orange yarn before I started, and that would take too much time, for this evening. So I stuck with Revontuli. The rows are getting longer now. I am on row 91/148. I was worried that I may have to add extra rows, but am thinking now that I may not.

I digress! I spoke with Gerald from I Knit London. Oh and I bought a skein from Easy Knits - they have the most gorgeous colours of yarns, really bright and bold and deep. Some colours I haven't seen in yarns. I shall sign up for their newsletters etc. The colour way I got is 'Green Lanterns lights', 100% superwash Merino 100g/400m.

The animals were wonderful. There was some very noisy sheep that could be heard above the very heavy rain. The rain was that heavy, that it was coming down the steps as a waterfall.

I bumped into lots of people I knew, including Nancy and Lynn from Knitterati at Great Gate. I was thrilled and grinning away.

I forgot to take my camera, but will try to remember tomorrow. Oh and the shawls and knitwear people were wearing! Beautiful! I did see a girl wearing a Revontuli so I spoke with her and said to her that I was in the process of working one.

Roll on tomorrow for more!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Revontuli And Lydia

I'm a few days late with this one, what with the Woolfest n'all. This is the back view of Lydia Crescent. I didn't block as many points as pictures in the pattern showed. I think it looks ok, if it needs blocking again, I shall consider doing more. I saw signs for blocking sets at Woolfest and was very tempted. The best price was £25, and that would have totally blown my budget :-( I wore Lydia on Friday and she sat very comfortably. A Victory!

May I introduce Revontuli? I think the colours are reminiscent of the Aurora Borealis. The yarn iis Hand Dyed worsted spun kid mohair from the rasibeck flock of Angora Goats. It is by Jan Hicks of The Wool Clip in Caldbeck. The Wool Clip are the organisers of the Woolfest. It is a bit difficult to see the pattern of Revontuli at the moment

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

I Gave In

I Gave In. I googled the end of Northanger Abbey. I now know what happens!

Stuck And Tink

Well! I have sat this evening and knitted two and a half rows, *tinked three, then knitted four! I sat and watched Northanger Abbey (hold that thought). I had to stop the film whilst I tinked and corrected where I had gone wrong. I then resumed Northanger Abbey and Revontuli, only to have the flippin DVD get stuck just as things were coming to a head!! Grrrr! For Austen officianado's I got to the part where Catherine had returned home after being turfed out of Northanger Abbey in the middle of the night. I am sure there is not much more left of the film and I want to know what happens!!!

Now I don't know whether to google and find out the end, or ask HK in the morning if he can sort the dvd out.......

HK has been out fishing today. He has thoroughly enjoyed it and appears more relaxed. It has been quite warm, I didn't realise how much until I went to pick him up. It has given out for heavy rain for tomorrow and Friday. We are/were hoping to go out for the day tomorrow as it is our 6th Wedding Anniversary. If it is not the weather to go out, I have insisted that we go out another day in lieu. And if it is raining and we don't go out together, then HK has said I can go to the Craft & Natter.

The Woolfest is in a day or two - Friday and Saturday. I am definitely helping on both days. I have downloaded a list of stall holders. There are quite a few that I want to go to. I shall be more organised and planned this year. I am in for a woolly few days. Can't wait.

*Tink - a knitty term, meaning to undo work stitch by stitch, to take it back. 'Tink' is 'Knit' backwards, because that is what you do!!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Pie And Shawls

Busy-ish day today. I have got around to blocking Lydia Crescent. Looking at it, I know I should have blocked more points. My knees were aching from kneeling down, so..... I do wonder whether the lower tips should've been curved in a little. I am sure it will wear well.

I have also made a Quorn and Mushroom Pie. I sued condensed soup as the sauce. I used bought pastry and it has turned out so much better. HK was very pleased with it.

I have taken some photos of yarn bombing in Egremont. I am awaiting a few more photos to be emailed to me, then I can share them with you. These other photos are from when the yarn bombing got put out, before some items got stolen. Yes Stolen. Can you beleive it? I wish I couldn't.
I have also had my first letter from my dear friend Carol. I was chuffed with that. I'll not go into the why's and wherefore's of Carol's Story, it is long and complex and not always a pleasant Story to tell.

Mary-Jane woke up early this morning and was down stairs by 6.30 so I have been tired most of the day. Early night for me.I have almost been too tired to knit (and that is saying something!). I have only done two rows and that has been pushing it. I did want to write to Carol this evening, that shall be knocked on the head till tomorrow.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Austen At The Tat Shop

We had an impromptu trip to our two local Tat Shops this afternoon. We had to pop out to get and send a birthday card. HK suggested that we got to the Tat Shops in Egremont and Cleator Moor. It was quite a successful trip, we all had something apart from Mary-Jane. Dad and HK got a few books each. Mum got an early birthday present of a framed tapestry of The Haywain by ?Constable. I got a box set of three Jane Austen dvd's - Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey and Emma. I was grinning from ear to ear. I am counting this as my anniversary present from HK.
I have finished watching Pride and Prejudice this evening. Revontuli is now 60 rows completed of 148. It's looking pretty and shouldn't take too long to complete. So I mught stick with this one till completion rather than starting another. I still want to do the Pi Hearts Half Circle next, although another shawl in JAK is vying for my attention. It is the orange Frederica Shawlette by Susanna IC. It has beads also. I have never knitted with beads before. I have made enquiries to see if I can get the beads locally and am waiting to hear back.
It is nearly Midsummers Day. The evenings are very light and drawn out. It is not far off quarter past ten and there is still plenty of light left in the sky. More of a dark dusk.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

More Of The Same

I have made another macaroni cheese. I have done it slightly differently this time and I think it has come out nicer and more creamier. I cheated and used a packet cheese sauce, with at least twice as much milk as stated, around a pint. I then added a 300g pot of philadelephia. Once mixed I added this to the macaroni - 300g dried weight, that was cooked. I then sprinkled some grated cheese and popped it in the oven for about 15 mins. Very tasty. We had it with a garlic baguette, onion rings and breaded garlic mushrooms. I could hardly move after!

I have continued with Revontuli. I am now to start row 51. The section I have worked tonight is much more obvious in it's pattern. I am warming to it much more, although the allure of a long stripe is still tempting! I still cannot think if I have enough of a suitable sock yarn to do it. I did think about going stash surfing today, but thought is as far as it got. It did cross my mind to try and keep all four ply/sock yarn together. Mainly to see what I've got and if any off them tempt me to further shawls. But as HK says - tongue in cheek - I can only wear one shawl at a time!

I have also continued to watch Pride & Prejudice and am in my mind transported back to Regency times. I have also seen Mr Darcy take that swim in his pond. Just one more episode to watch! I shall also look out for audio CD's of Jane Austen. I would like to read some of her novels, but that would sadly impinge on my knitting time - shock horror - can't be having that!

The Woolfest is on Friday and Saturday, I am getting quite excited

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Revontuli Shawl Continues

I have started to become a little pre-occupied with shawls. I have nipped it in the bud however. I was set on making the Revontuli and the Pi Hearts Half Circle. Last night as you know, I cast on Revontuli then decided that the yarn was not right due to short colour changes. I thought to use a skein of Filigran by Zitron. It is in beautiful dark greens with some dark red. I had breifly seen that someone had used ot to do Revontuli. I decided to double check and see what theirs turned out.

There are a lot of Filigran projects on Ravelry. However, I did not see any with the desired long colour changes.I re-examined my Filigran. Sure enough, it didn't have brilliantly long colour changes, they were howver more subtle that the yarn I had started with. I did fond a few other shawls that were rather lovely looking, which I have saved to my queue.

I finally went in my knitting bag to look at what I had done and decide from there. I found that Mary-Jane had been standing on my knitting bag and had snapped on of my 4mm cubic needles. I was not a happy bunny. At that point I thought 'bugger it' and carry on with what I had started the night before and as a bonus start watching 'Pride and Prejudice' (the one with Colin Firth). So I did. I will not get my desired stripes this time and in doing so I will not drive myself to distraction in deciding what to do. The colours are quite reminscent to me of the Northern Lights - which is what Revontuli means.

Revontuli is so much easier than what I ever thougth it would be. I have been familiar with the shawl for a few years and always seen it has difficult. I have not looked at the pattern for quite some time. Now my fear of charts is disapating, it seems very easy and straight forward. My knowledge and experience of knitting is getting bigger and better.

To help stave off my pre-occupation with shawls, I looked at shawls on Rav, 23 pages of shawls. I don't particularly want to look at many more. I am getting a much better idea of what I like about a shawl and what will catch my eye. Always helpful.

This afternoon I went to a Rummage Sale at Santon Bridge. I met with friends M, S and LA. We had a cuppa and a scone after. The raspberry jam was noteworthy. I didn't buy much. It was a nice blow out, shame really we didn't stay out for longer!

MJ having some finger food. She clambered into the corner herself, she usually doesn't eat here.
Mary-Jane enjoying some 'magic' painting for the first time. It's one of those where you just add water and the colours come through. She loved it!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Revontuli And Pi Thoughts

Since yesterday, as I told you, I couldn't decide what to cast on next, and that there might have been an epiphany waiting in the wings. Today I have still had the thick head from yesterday, not as bad but persistant. I wasn't able to think joined up thoughts, despite trying. My brain was full of holes. I did think to unvent a Pi shawl. I thougth about doing celtic knotwork. I found my book of charted knotwork and my creative mind was trying to kick in, but I just couldn't follow through with the joined up thinking to plan the design. My head gets like this when I have a migraine, cognitive functioning goes out of the window. I know my plan with the knotwork will work, but need to size it up and get the stitch number correct and find a knotwork that will work! Easy when you know how!

In the end I decided to give up thinking about designing a knotwork Pi till my head is clear. I couldn't decide whether to start a Half circle Pi Hearts shawl in the red I dyed or a Revontuli in the Caldbeck yarn. Then it struck me, why decided? Why not do both?! I agreed with myself to do that and cast on Revontuli. I have wanted to do this shawl for a good few years. It has taken me about 2 hours to do the first 25 rows, going from 5 to 51 stitches. But I persevered and got there. Now when I look at it, I am starting to hold the opinion that I chose the wrong yarn for this shawl. The colourways in all the pictures, or rather the colour changes, are long colour changes - like stripes, the yarn I am using is very short coloru changes. I don't want to lose the stitch pattern in the yarn. I am grudgingly thinking of frogging it and finding a different yarn for the pattern and another yarn for the pattern.

Normally I would do anything than frog something that has taken me two or three hours to do. On the upside, I have worked properly from a chart, something I have avoided like the plague. I have also taught myself left and right slanted increases, from a book mind. So I have learned and achieved quite a bit tonight, that is good. I'll not frog it tonight. I will have a think of what to use. Something like a Noro perhaps. It will come to me. Or something I could dye myself. I did want to do some long colour changes. Well, there you go, things have a way of falling into place.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Lydia Crescent Shawl Completed

I have completed Lydia Crescent Shawl! Now it just needs to be blocked, very heavily blocked. I was a little disappointed that the points were not more prominent. Blocking will help with this. The lace work at the moment just looks like a frill.
I spent most of the day at Fobbles, at the Get Together. Before I went I had a corking headache, which left me in two minds as whether to go or not. Two Co-codamol later and I went. By mid afternoon I needed to take more. I decided to have a break off lace tonight and worked on the ASJ. I have just under two ridges to do before I put the neck stitches onto a holder.
I have also wound up the skein of yarn that I got from the Woolclip, back in March. I fell in love again with the colours - purples, pinks and turquoises. Perhaps that might be the next project yarn. Normally as I am finishing one project, I have in mind what I am doing next. Not so in this case. Sensibility tonight told me to do the ASJ, what with the headaches n'all. Perhaps when my head is clearer I'll just make an instant decision as to what the next big thing will be. I'm not ready for that decision at the moment. Or do I need to finish the ASJ - or at least a significant amount of it?!
I have acquired today some crochet thread. It is very fine - 20, 50 and 60 to those in the crochet know! I am wanting to do doileys with it. I have also done a few more rounds of EZ PI. I am liking the yarn increasingly, the more I do of it. The colours are coming though better as well. I will try and take a decent photo in day light.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Baking For Beckermet WI Bring And Share

Tonights WI meeting included a Bring & Share, to commemorate the Jubilee. I made some fork biscuits and some cupcakes. I have been wanting to make fork biscuits for a few weeks now. They have turned out well and I now have them on the 'to do again' list. I'll post the recipe over the next few days.
I then made a batch of cupcakes. I had some pink spotty paper cases so I decided to do pink cakes with chocolate chips. The toppings were fondant. I have not done any sugarcraft for quite some time. I thoroughly enjoyed what I did today. And they came out well, I'm even more pleased with that. It all helps build confidence. I used some of the equipment I got in the post the other day.
I did three different toppings, just to vary them - and use different things! These were from a set of four ejector type cutters (I can't fro the life of me think of the proper name for them at the moment) I was quite inspired to use two different colours for the flowers, I thought it made them stand out more.
I was very pleased with these, probably partially because they were so easy to do. The swirls are made using a rolling pin with the pattern pritruding from it. Again, the technical name escapes me. But that is all you do - roll the paste out with a smooth normal pin, then with this fancy one, then cut the shape out and there you have it!!! I will look out for more of these pins - I know there may be some on ebay where I got this one from...
An ariel shot. The last design I did was with letterning. Again a very simple technique - roll out and cut the sugarpaste, place on the cake then emboss. The letters are from Cake Decorating Magazine and the flowers are the same as the ones I used earlier. I did colour the paste pink as well.
The Food Table. All very delicious.
Our speaker was Tony Calvin who spoke on 'Digging up the past'. He collects bottles and such things from the Whitehaven area, all from way back when. Some were over a 150 years old. A lot f the bottles were marked with local breweries and were made locally in Whitehaven. I found it interesting and was ready for a cuppa at the end of it.

I still haven't finished Lydia Cresent. I am on the penultimate row. It'll not happen tonight. There is tomorrow though!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Lydia Crescent Not Quite Completed

Just a short one tonight. It's past my bed time and my daily tiredness is upon me. I have been organising myself for the WI meeting tomorrow night, so I haven't finished Lydia Crescent tonight as I'd hoped. I have two more rows to do then cast off. The rows have a little over 520 stitches, not surprising really that I've not got many rows done - lots of stitches though! I think I have had a stray stitch or may be two, somewhere along the last three rows. Never mind, It doesn't seem to show at the moment. Hopefully tomorrow it will be done. Tomorrow night is WI night, so I shall try not to get overly anticipatory of completion.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Olympic Cushion Dis-chuffedness

I had a relaxing afternoon at the Woodlands Cafe Knitting Group. I took Lydia Crescent. I was about to work a few stocking stitch rows, so it was ideal. I have been doing a bit more tonight. I am now on row 89/96. 96 is actually the cast off row. My ball of yarn is now getting worryingly small, and I am starting to get concerned as to whether there will be enough. I wouldn't like to guess how I would feel if I ran out of yarn. My plan A if I do is to take it back to the section I have just finished and take out two rows of stocking stitch. I think I might permit myself to think about the next project. No not think, decide. I have a cloth to do for a swap. I shall do that when Lydia is finished. I might just use one of my newly dyed skeins. Oh and maybe a Jane Austen Shawl, if the yarn matches up.

I have found out today that the Olympic Cushions that I participated in has hit the rocks. Apparantly the cushions will not be given out to each and every athelete as the space the stand would have taken in the olympic village is needed by commercial sponsers. Atheletes can ask for a cushion if they want one. Originally the London ORganising Committee for the Olympic Games initially said that volunteers ffrom the Woolsack Project could distribute them to the atheletes. But now in apparant fear of angering commercial sponsers, they have reneged on the deal. LOGOC have cited 'logistical reasons' for deciding not to continue with the project. I'm bloody livid - and flabbergasted.

However it never dawned on me that I when I was asked if I wanted to help with cushion stuffing at the Woolfest, that it would be to do with this. It didn't enter my head that these beautiful pure British Wool Cushions would not reach olympic atheletes. I have a feeling that the story does not end here.

We have also been informed, at Woodlands, that there is some kind of Wool Organisation stallat Gosforth Show, that may need to borrow examples of work, to exhibit (rather than 'show'). I have been given the contact details of the lady that is running it and I am to mention the name of the lady who told us about it. The first lady's name is not unfamiliar to me, but I just can't place her, other than vague WI connections. I shall see what that is all about.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

The PIctoral Spiral Doily


Now I really am not sure how I managed to get another photo on here, bear with me and I will try again!

Well look at me, I think I may have cracked it! I sure hope to whoever that I have, I really miss not being able to share images with you.
Back to the First Image..... this is The Spiral Doily that I told you about a few days ago. I am still chuffed to beit with it. When I look at it, I find it hard to believe that I made it. Gorgeous. I have and will hold it as an inspiration to myself of what I am capable of and under difficult circumstances.
The second image is Mary-Jane on her First Fell Walk on Cold Fell on Monday. She is carrying a stone.
Big Thanks to Paula Tavish for the advice on downloading photos, very much appreciated! I'm off to bed now, I'm late again. The evening has flown by and I haven't got all my jobs done that I wanted to do. Hey Ho.

Buffalo Bake


Blogger is quite happily driving me nuts as I can't work out how to get photos on here from Flikr - apart from this one! And I don't know how I managed this one and not any of the others. One photo, it is a start. Blogger keeps telling me that the images are downloaded, but where they actually are is a mystery to me. Help.

Back to the story

Above is Mary-Jane and I taking a break on our walk on Cold Fell last Monday. Mary-Jane has a mouth full of biscuits.

I have unvented a new dish. I have called it Buffalo Bake. I fried off some mushrooms and onions, then added some quorn mince (you can use meaty mince if you want). After a few minutes I added about 400g Buffalo Wing Sauce (could've done with more, but didn't have any). I let this simmer for a few minutes then turned it off. I boiled up enough pasta for four portions. Then I mixed 500g natural plain yoghurt (I used so much to compensate for not as much buffalo sauce as I wanted), 300g philadelphia, two eggs and a good chunk of cheese (type and amount to personal preference, I think I used about 4 oz). I then put the cooked pasta in the mince and mixed then put in an oven proof dish. I then covered this with the sauce and baked in the over (180/gm4) for 25 minutes. Very, very scrummy! HK was quite taken up with it. It can of course be added to however you want. We had it with a garlic baguette. Experiment a little!

I have been working on Lydia Shawl. I was two stitches out, then I had one less in one section and one more in another. This took a while to sort out. And this is when I thought I was on an easy straightforward section. Serves me for thinking such thoughts! All is well with it now, jsut wish I had got another row or two done this evening. At least Mary-Jane is having a good-ish night so far, only a few murmers.

We took her for a short walk in Egremont this morning. From the bottom car park, ontop the main road/high street, then up to the far end and back. She was tired when we got back to the car. I did see that outside the pet shop (I'll have to check) had been yarn bombed in red, white and blue! I will try and get to see again tomorrow and maybe take a picture. Tomorrow is also Woodlands Knit Club, am looking forward to that.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Lydia Crescent Shawl On The Go Again

Mary-Jane had an unsettled evening again last night. We are now trying a new ploy of only going into her once, then letting her cry (as long as it not a 'there is something the matter' cry). It is very difficult to sit and listen to her cry and scream, but she has to learn that playing with Mommy and Daddy on their bed during the night is not preferable to sleeping. She has been restless in her sleep this evening so far. There has been quite a few times I have heard her murmer, held my breath and thought she would awaken.

Last night I cracked on a bit more with Pi Shawl. I made the increases to 288 stitches and did three knit rounds. Over the course of today, I have been thinking more about having a shawl to wear (and show off) at the Woolfest. I had a look at for a few small ones, then decided to see how I got on with Lydai Crescent Shawl. I put this down a while ago as I was too weary and not able to concentrate on it. On the back of the spiral doily and continuing with Pi Shawl, I thought that I will finish Lydai rather than start another.

I then hit a bit of a mental block. As I had to stop Lydia previously, I got to think that it was going to be too difficult to do. I challenged this thought. I looked at the picture of the shawl - which had been modelled inside out in the pictures of the magazine - and looked at the pattern. The lace work was easy to remember - the repeats were around 11 items long, including 4 yarn overs. So not too bad.

I sorted where I was, made sure that I hadn't left an mistake for correcting and started knitting. I have done five rows and now have 481 stitches. The stitch count goes up to 528. I have 17 rows to do in just over a week and a half, and that is giving me a day or two to block it. Easy. That may also allow for unsettled evenings as well.

Oh and I have been given a tip of how to down load more pictures without having to pay or upgrade or anthing daft like that. It is a bit late now to ge trying it, hopefully over the enxt day or two!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

EZ Three Lace Shawl

I have picked up my Elizabeth Zimmerman Pi Shawl thi evening. It took me a while to suss out where I was and to make sure that I'd not made any mistakes. Even though I understood the pattern when I first started it, it seems so much clearer now, after doing the spiral doily. I now think I will get it done a lot quicker than what I originally thought. I am tempted still to look for a really big lacy project and purposefully dye some yarn for it. My head is full of shawls and lace knitting. How long this born-again fetish will last is anyones guess. I'm enjoying it at the moment!

MJ has had an unsettled evening, well a couple of hours in fairness. She woke up and didn't mean to wake up, then found it difficult to settle back to sleep, although she did try. She has settled back to sleep now.

I've had a box full of sugarcraft equipment arrive today. I ordered it from china, via ebay. I am pleased with it all - and at a fraction of the cost buying it in this country. I am looking forward to using the stuff. I'm not quite in the zone to sugarcraft at the moment. I will cajole myself around soon.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

The Spiral Doily Completed

Mary-Jane has had a few unsettled nights, not overly bad, but enough to make us all feel tired by morning. Touch wood, so far this evening she has slept well. She has been waking between half nine and eleven for up to quite a few hours.

In the mean time, I haven't really had a good chance to look into upgrading my blogger package, so still no photos, even though I've got plenty to show. And I can't remember how to get spaces between paragraphs, which really rattles me......

I have finished The Spiral Doily this evening. I am absolutely chuffed to bits with it. I have yet to block it. It has taken only ten evenings to complete - less if you count disruptions. I never thought I'd get it done so quickly. It has given me the confidence to go ahead and do larger intricate lace projects. I am starting to plan the next one, but I think I am a bit too tired at the moment and my head is telling me to finish Lydia and to crack on with the Pi Shawl, not to mention finish the ASJ. Slowly slowy catch a fishy. Decide what yarn to use next and match possible patterns up. I have posted a pic of the doily in my projects list on Ravelry, if you want a look in the meantime.

On Monday, HK went fishing. Mary-Jane, D and I went for a walk on Cold Fell. We went in search of Matty Benn's Bridge. We were and weren't successful. We didn't get as far as the bridge. Instructions I had found on t'internet advised that it was 1/2 mile from the car park. We walked more than that, and still no joy. I know we weren't too far at all from it. I made the decision not to go any further as I doubted how well Mary-Jane would be able to walk or get back. I did bring the buggy, and D helped tremendously by pushing it most of the way.

I was so proud of Mary-Jane. She walked all the way there and all the way back. Apart from about 20 yards where I carried her as she was really slowing up. She thoroughly enjoyed herself, toddling along. She didn't complain at all when she fell over - and gained a couple of small bruises on her legs. It was her very First Fell Walk. I thought she was sleep soundly that night, how wrong was I?!

Monday, 4 June 2012


It seems that I have run out of storage space on my blog for uploading photos. I now have to buy storage space. I will have to look into this more, see how much I need and weigh up the costs. Hhmm

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Maintaining TV Silence

Another quiet day. I am more than pleased to say that Mary-Jane, Mommy and Daddy had a good nights sleep last night. MJ had a bit more about her today, but not enough to take her out. I was still a bit jaded and not up for mixing socially. I didn't get to see any of the Thames Pageant (I only wanted to watch a bit) as HK wasn't entertaining the idea of watching any of it. Never mind. I was going to cook a quiche or do some biccies, but wasn't much up for that either.

This evening I turned the TV off and worked on The Doily. I did eight rows. The last stitch count was 320 stitches. I am about to start row 89 of 100. I reckon two more undisturbed evenings and I may well have it completed. I didn't think it would be so quick to do. Very encouraging.

I've been eating Peeps. They are more than more-ish. I can't get them over here, if I could I think I'd get a job lot of them. The ones I had are chocolate mousse marshmallow bunnies. Scrummy Yummy.

All I can see when my attention drifts is yarn overs, k2togs and skp's. Time for bed!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Not Much Sleep And Reduced Circumstances

It has been a relaxing day for us. We have all been very tired. Mary-Jane had one of her worst nights last night. Second worst perhaps. The evening went well, then she awoke around 11, and it went down hill from there till perhaps gone half four. I won't bore you with details. Poor little thing - Mary-Jane, she was so tired and each time I put her back on her bed, she had asked to go back to bed, she either couldn't settle or couldn't settle for more than a half hour or so. She was so tired herself. She has struggled today, but done her best. I took her up about half hour early. I asked her if she wanted to go to bed, 'Yes please Mommy'. I can't argue with that. I just hope she gets a decent night tonight, for her sake and ours.
I have been carrying on with the Doily. It is coming on well. I see no pesky yarn overs that may make me go wrong. I have just started row 80. From the next row, I think it will be strictly TV off and full concentration. It is such a shame that when it is finished, it will be photographed then packed away. We have nowhere to put it or display it and that is without considering whether MJ could get at it. On the bright side, when we do get a home of our own again, I can have it on show there.
I found a wonderful phrase in Jane Austen Knits, that is a quote from one of her novels - that we are of 'reduced circumstances'. Looking at the passage in JAK, I can only assume that it is JA who coined the phrase - it could well have been Joanna Johnson, who designed the Margaret Dashwood Shawl. I quote 'I imagine one of the first things a young lady in reduced circumstances (living in a drafty cottage by the sea, no less) would need for her wardrobe is a pretty but functional everyday shawl.' I am inspired more to make this particular shawl now - I did have my eye on it, I have done similar-ish ones before. Saying that, I am sat here with my Winter Apple Shawl about me and I'm loving it.
It needs 550 yards of a double knit. I can feel some stash surfing going to happen......... Oh and I thin I may have missed Pride & Prejudice on the telly. It is on it's second repeat this week, lets hope I can find a third!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Error with Blogger

I've been having problems with blogger, specifically with an error code. It seems that I have to revert to the old blogger interface for the time being. On top of this I am now being told that I have come to my limit on upload storage (no more photos). I'm hoping that this is just another glitch with blogger. I need to find a way around it, help please!

Test Dyeing And A Lace Doily

I'm going to have to do a bit of a catch up and remember how to use the old blogger interface. The latter shouldn't be too difficult hopefully. There still remains the issue of the uploading. I need to look into this. I am not in a position to want to pay to blog, ie if I have to buy upload space from Picasa.
One thing that I did remember about the old interface was that it loads the pictures in reverse...... I have a bag of coned yarns on top of our wardrobe. I have had them a couple of years. Only one has a label of what sort of yarn it is, none even have a brand name. I decided in the current climate of dyeing that I would do some test skeins and see what they are. I knew for definite that one was pure new wool and had a strong suspicion that one was acrylic. I have long since forgotten how to tell what yarn is generally what or what fabric is what. I can remember learning the tests whilst doing my BTEC OND Fashion in the 1980's, by setting fire to fabric swatches, but that was a long time ago. I digress.
So here are the swatches prior to dyeing. I soaked them in luke warm water for an hour or so, then put them in dye baths of two sachets of tropical fruit punch and about a pint or water, then left them to soak for a couple of hours.
I think a good over all result. I can now put the three wool yarns to one side to have a think about what I can do with them, how to dye them and what to knit with them.

On Monday I decided to cast on a new project, a bit of an impulsive one. Monday was full of things that I can't possibly blog about (unpleasant interpersonal stuff). On the back of all that was going on, I wanted to start something new. I almost felt that I didn't want my current knitting tainted with my then feelings. Have you ever been like that?
Not that I thought the new project would always remind me of how I was feeling, more of a distraction from it, a new beginning. I have been looking at Doileys on Ravelry. The thought to do this had popped into my mind. Every once in a while I have come across a shawl or cloth whose design was based on a doily, so I decided to look them up. OOOooooooh! I was full of oohs and aaahs and I want to make that now. So many beautiful items. Some were vintage and filled me with thoughts of another era. I settled on one pattern that caught my eye. It was one of the first that I saw. I didn't want to bog myself down looking through tons of patterns then getting totally over whelmed and not know what to do.
The pattern I chose was from Yarn Over Lace Knitting, via Ravelry. It's called Doily with Spiral. From Beyer-Band 167, "Neue Kunststrickarbeiten", Verlag Otto van Beyer, Leipzig, Germany. I am thoroughly enjoying it. I was very surprised that I wanted to do a lace item given my current state of mind. But I am flying through it. There are 100 rounds and I am on round 71. I am using a 4ply cotton yarn that I got from Lidl last year, the one I did the pretty lacy summer hat with. Yes the one that ended up being a bit big and took me longer to do that I expected as I fell prey to my old foes of tiredness and yarn overs.
To be honest I'm not overly keen on the colour ways, I think because it is pastel, not a colourway of choice. As soon as I saw it though, I knew it was the yarn to use. Funny how things work out. I have finished the spiral on it and a few rows into the outer lace work. I did end up with the wrong number of stitches, this took quite a while to correct, hopefully these corrections are not overly noticeable - I do have thoughts of Gosforth Show at this time of year.
I have had another look at Jane Austen Knits and remain enamoured with many designs in there. I want to do so many. I must finish Lydia Crescent before I start any more...