Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 Review

So, another year ends and I thought I'd look back over things I've finished during 2011.

I've even made a mosaic:

In total, thats:

- 7 scarves or shawls
- 4 pairs of socks (one pair I didn't photograph)
- 4 Baby Surprise Jackets and 2 February Baby cardigans
- 1 hat
- 2 adult-sized cardigans
- 1 cardigan for DD1
- 3 blankets (2 knitted, 1 crocheted)
- 1 crocheted bag
- 4 crocheted cushion covers
- various crocheted dish/wash cloths

These finished items total 20,807 metres of yarn.

Not bad going, even if I do say so myself.

Happy New Year to you all and may 2012 bring everything you hope for :)

Saturday, 24 December 2011

On Top of Things

This Christmas, because I'm working this evening from 5pm until 10pm when the store where I work closes (a Whole Hour Early - so I've got to go in an hour earlier than usual!) we've had to have Things done so that hubby isn't a grumpy bah humbug when I get home because he's had to spend the whole evening wrapping presents, cleaning up and then getting the children to bed.  So, the presents are wrapped, the turkey will be defrosted in time to go in the oven at lunchtime tomorrow so we can eat late afternoon/early evening, the bathrooms have been cleaned, there's a ham steam-baking in the oven (it's 4kg+ and I didn't have a saucepan or stockpot big enough for it to bubble away on the hob so it's in a large roasting pan in the oven, with water in the bottom and the tray covered in foil), I've even cleaned out the fridge.  All that needs doing now is a general tidy up in the lounge and the vaccuum cleaner to be pushed around downstairs.  Hubby will bring presents down later, once both girls are asleep.  It's lovely, not feeling overly pressured on Christmas Eve!

The only thing I'm not sure about is this:
It's hubby's (not often used) exercise bike and it's in the dining room.  It may have to be wheeled into the hallway tomorrow once my in-laws arrive for the day!

Here's a photo of our 'forest' of trees.  The big tree is the same one we've used for a few years now (decorated by the girls - I leave them to get on with it).  The small tree usually sits either in the hall or in DD1's bedroom, but my mother-in-law bought the green foil trees for us this year and we thought it would be nice to have all the trees together in one area of the lounge.
I've even finished knitting the Hitchhiker scarf for my mother-in-law's birthday present.  Her birthday's 2 Jan and I wanted to get this finished, washed, blocked and wrapped before Christmas, which I've achieved.  It's a nice pattern and is a fairly simple, straightfoward eight-row repeat.  The yarn is a skein of Unicorn I bought a couple of years ago from Fyberspates.  It's no longer available as it was a special yarn for a 2009 club run by Fyberspates and The Natural Dye Studio and is 70% baby llama, 20% cashmere and 10% silk.  I chose the pattern because it doesn't really need to be blocked after washing but can be laid out flat or lightly steamed.  I thought it would  be a bit off giving the scarf as a present along with an A4 sheet of paper giving detailed instructions for blocking!

Some photos:
 It's quite wide, but not overly deep, which I like.

It's started at one edge with stitches increased during each eight-row pattern repeat until you either have enough yarn for one more repeat plus enough to cast off, or you think it's long enough.  Then, you cast off and the cast off is the other diagonal edge of the scarf.  This means the two diagonal edges aren't symmetrical, but I like that as well.
 Once it's rolled up to make wrapping easier, it looks nice!
Increasing at the neck edge on each row gives a nice, gentle curve to the scarf.  I like this too!

The yarn was, on the whole, pretty well behaved and for the most part striped nicely, with only one patch of pooling in the centre.  However, as the yarn's dyed in three shades of blue, the contrast isn't severe and I think it works.

Can you tell I'm pleased with the way it's turned out?  I hope mother-in-law does as well as I've never made anything for her. 

All it leaves me to say is *Merry Christmas* and, if I don't manage another post next week, *Happy New Year*.  I'm hoping (once the girls are back at school) to get all my FO photos together in a mosaic, together with stats of how much yarn used, etc during 2010.  In the meantime, I'll be carrying on with DD2's ripple blanket.  It's about halfway there!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Simple City Shawlette

I finished the knitting part of this a couple of weeks ago, but didn't get round to blocking it until a couple of days ago. 

The pattern's Simple City by Mimi Hill (Eskimimi) but I'm not sure if it's still available to buy as she doesn't have  her website any more.

The yarn's Rico Design Superba Poems which is a fingering weight yarn with long colour repeats, a bit like Zauberballe.  I wound the yarn into two equal-sized balls and alternated the balls, knitting two rows with the first ball and then two rows with the second.  The yarn was supposed to be 100g, but when I weighed it so I could divide it equally, my scales came in at 130g, which was a bit of a bonus!

I used 3.5mm needles for this and ended up with a decent-sized triangular scarf.  If I made it again, I'd go up to 4mm needles with this yarn as it doesn't drape as much as I thought it would.  The yarn's a bit thick and thin in places and was a bit rough to knit with, so I don't think I'd use it for socks.

The scarf design is fairly easy.  It's garter stitch for the main part and then the foxglove edging is done by increasing every other row, although you do end up with lots and lots of stitches per row.  When I was blocking it, I couldn't get the foxgloves to sit up, but as the scarf dried (I ran some cotton  yarn along the top edge but didn't pin out the other edges) they popped up a bit more and, although they're not all exactly the same, I'm pleased with the overall result.
The photos were taken on my bed this morning and the light downstairs was particularly bad, so sorry for the wrinkly background!

I've just weighed the finished scarf and it's 120g.

I've also finished knitting the blue Hitchhiker scarf and just need to sew in the ends and block it, although it's not going to need a great deal of blocking.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

A Very Special School Christmas Production

Yesterday was 'our' day to go and see the Christmas production at my younger daughter's school.  When I say 'our' day, that's because due to the number of people who want to come and see it, they can't fit everyone in for a single performance, so there are three, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and the classes are allocated a day to go and watch. 

You see, DD2 is autistic and she attends a school for children with special needs.  It's in a village about nine miles from us and she gets picked up and dropped off by mini-bus along with six other children from our locale who go to the same school.  Unfortunately, the school was originally built to educate approx 80 children who wouldn't manage in a  mainstream school, but now has a approx 160 pupils - but the school's the same size.  It's a bit of a hot potato subject, as the school hasn't been made bigger or moved to bigger premises, but many of the pupils have portacabins as classrooms.  They're quite smart portacabins, but still......  There was even a story in the Daily Telegraph last week about it as the headteacher (who in my opinion is the type of person who should receive an OBE rather than someone who scored two goals for England) is Fed Up.

Anyway, yesterday, my parents, my mother-in-law, my older sister and I squeezed into the hall along with lots of other parents, grandparents and other people who wanted to come and watch and were entertained for a couple of hours by these special children, many of whom find every day a struggle to get through due to their varying disabilities and sensitivities.

Younger Daughter's class did a version of the nativity.  She was a mouse.  I sent in a pair of white trousers and a white t-shirt and ears on a headband were made, and facepaint was used for whiskers and a pink mousey nose!  She said her one line "I can't see for all these animals" in what I assume was her mouse voice, but didn't really want to join in with the first song.  For the second song though, she got hold of a microphone.  The teacher did attempt to get the microphone back, but my littl'un wasn't having any of it, so sat on the front of the 'stage' and sang the whole song into the microphone - drowning out all the other children.  She wasn't allowed the microphone for the third song, so had a paddy and was taken back to the classroom! 

What's so good about this school is that such behaviour is accepted as par for the course.  A teacher in a mainstream school may have been embarrassed or got cross with a child whipping away a microphone (that would have been the case at DD1's primary school). At this school, they accept that there are some things that can't be managed without a great deal of fall-out and upheaval and if it's not going to be that much of a problem, they just let things ride for a while. 

It was a lovely morning and there was a fair bit of sniffling and tissue-use, especially at the end when one of the senior boys announced that the next class on would be singing "Feed the World" for all those less fortunate than they are.  That's food for thought.

There were two raffles.  One, for a signed photograph of Sebastial Vettel (no idea who managed to get hold of that) raised £400-odd and the second, for various gifts such as hampers, spa vouchers, that type of thing, raised just under £1100, which was a fantastic effort from the PTA.

The event was filmed, so I'm hoping it's the version that will make it onto the DVD that parents can buy.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


I've started something new.  It's the Hitchhiker scarf by Martina Behm who has several patterns listed on Ravelry.  All other WIPs have been put to one side.  The reason?  The scarf is destined to be my mother-in-law's birthday present and her birthday's 2 January.  The yarn I'm using is Unicorn from Fyberspates, which I've mentioned before as it was a yarn produced for a joint-venture competition/yarn club between Jeni at Fyberspates and Amanda at The Natural Dye Studio.  A fingering-weight yarn, the fibre blend isn't specific on Ravelry, but if memory serves, it's 70% baby llama, 20% cashmere and 10% silk (or something like that).  Whatever, it's soft and I hope my mother-in-law will like it as I've never knitted anything for her before.  I spent a few hours looking for a suitable pattern and then saw Hitchhiker on Wendy Johnson's blog, so investigated further on Ravelry and decided that it would work.  One of the difficulties I find with knitting for other people is the after care.  I know that whilst my mother-in-law will be happy to hand-wash a scarf, blocking would be a different matter and if you're giving something as a gift to a non-knitter, it's a bit cheeky to include a sheet of blocking instructions in the package!  So, although I'll probably block Hitchhiker, it won't matter if it's not blocked after further washes.

The yarn's variegated in a subtle way and is knitting up nicely.  A bit of pooling here and there, but that seems to be coming out as stripes that move around the scarf rather than glaring blobs or flashes, so I hope it continues.  The scarf construction is interesting as well.   It starts with 2 stitches and for each 'tooth', 9 stitches are increased and 5 cast off, which means a stitch increase of 4 stitches per 'tooth' (it's an 8-row pattern repeat).  By the end of the knitting and it's time to cast off (determined by the amount of yarn available), the teeth form one side of the scarf and the cast off edge the other side.  Here's a photo of progress to date:

It curves nicely at the top edge and is easy knitting (garter stitch) but with some detail to retain interest.  I started off with 90g of yarn (I used 10g in a ripple blanket for my older daughter) and I've just weighed the ball on my digital kitchen scales and I've got 67g left, so I should get a decent-sized scarf.  I started it on 2 Dec, so if I continue at the same rate, that's averaging just under 6g of yarn a day, so it should be finished in a couple of weeks.

The weather here's bright and sunny, but the temperature has dropped considerably this week and there's been frost on the ground and cars when DD1 and I leave the house at 7.20am to walk to the station so she can get the train to school.  I'm trying to resist putting on the heating during the day if it's just me at home, so I've been washing winter jumpers and layering up.  If it's still cold at the weekend, I'll even be breaking out my vests when I go to work as last weekend every time the door opened, a cold draught wafted across the shop straight at me!  I buy small-sized men's vests from Marks & Spencer as they're longer than the ones in the women's department, even though they're not the most attractive item of clothing I own!  Hubby laughs, but if I'm cold, I'm grumpy!

I'm off now to hopefully get another few repeats of Hitchhiker done before lunch, at which time I'll probably have another laundry load to iron and the dishwasher to empty (I forgot to put it on last night - whoops!).

Thursday, 1 December 2011

What were they thinking?

The yarn colourway design team at Rico that is.

They came up with what I think is quite possibly the most ugly yarn I've ever seen.  It's Rico Creative Micro DK in the 001 (Rainbow iirc) colourway.  100% microfibre, which is what made me buy it as I'd never used microfibre before.  I bought 3 balls, in different colourways to make dishcloths.  The yarn is smooth, soft and makes great dishcloths - being microfibre, they do their job well and are much quicker to dry than cotton.


Do I need to say more?  The first, smaller, square is crocheted doing 1 row of trebles then 2 rows of double crochet.  The circular cloth is made using Lucy at Attic24's circle pattern (with treble crochets) and the second, bigger, square is made using the Vintage Vertical Stripe blanket pattern (basically trebles, but you insert the hook between the stitches of the previous row rather than just in the chain bit right at the top of the previous row trebles).  This last cloth was made as a test piece to a blanket I'm planning on making at some time in the (not too distant, hopefully) future.

I did wonder if this yarn would look better knitted, but having looked at the project page for it on Ravelry, I don't think so.  In fact, one Raveller who used this colourway for an Ishbel shawl named it 'Catsick Ishbel' which I think is quite a good one.

Oh well, I'm sure the worktops won't object and if we really can't bear the sight of them in the kitchen, I'll relegate them to bathroom duties!!

The other colours I bought were a brown, purple, green and orange which striped up not too badly (but I still wouldn't want a garment from it) and one that I think is similar to this one, but has dark blue, pink and grey in it.  If it turns out to be another howler, I'll probably share it with you..... but if I'm feeling extra-kind, I might spare your eyes the torture!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Rainbow Ripple - something new

Well, when I say new, I actually started it on 1 November, but have only worked on it every now and again since then.  I've finished the first colour repeat though, so thought I'd blog about it.

The pattern is the Neat Ripple from Lucy at Attic24 .  I made a relaxed chain that I thought would be wide enough for a single bed-sized blanket and did the first row, just leaving a tail of unworked chains once I didn't have enough for a full pattern repeat (I'll unpick them later).  I could have used a size or two larger hook for the chain, but was upstairs and my hook case was downstairs - and I'm a bit lazy at times.  It worked out that the blanket is 210 stitches wide - so 15 ripples.

I've got 11 colours and cream and am doing one row cream, followed by two rows of a colour.  It's for DD2, my 'special' little one, who is 9 and autistic.  She chose the colours and is calling it her Rainbow blanket, bless her.

Oops - just realised I photographed it upside down - the raspberry pink was the first colour I used!  I'm not sure about the orange, but it was one of the colours she chose and I know her well enough to know that it should stay in the blanket.

I'm really enjoying making this.  It's been a while since I made a ripple out of sock yarn for DD1 (which could do with a few extra rows as she's grown taller since I 'finished' it).

I've also been using the leftovers from the first Stylecraft 'Lucy Pack' to make a circular cushion cover, but that's a very new thing and isn't worth photographing at the moment.  I'm using the colours in the same order that I did with my Granny Stripe blanket and it's destined to be a bed cushion!

There's not much else going on here really.  The weather was rather chilly yesterday morning at 7.30 when we left to walk to the train station and when I went there a second time a couple of hours later (this time in the car) to drop off hubby and then do a bit of shopping, the car's display was telling me it was 5C outside.  It's a bit warmer today, but still gloomy enough to warrant me getting out the slow cooker and putting inside some sliced red onions, a browned brisket of beef, some red wine and water, ready for this evening.  I reckon 8 hours of cooking should be fine for it and the slow cooker's excellent for nights when hubby's not sure what time he'll be home, which is what's happening a lot at the moment as he's working with colleagues based in his firm's New York office, so there are quite a few evening conference calls going on.

I popped into the shop where I work yesterday (I work there Sat evening and Sun afternoon - 10 hours a week) and got waylaid by our assistant manager to go over the Christmas rota and confirmed when I was working.  He'd been trying to phone me, but the Internet hub needed re-setting - Internet connection was fine, but the phone line had dropped out - so he couldn't get through.  I'll be working Christmas Eve and New Year's Day, but have said that as I've gone in on Boxing Day for the last two years I'd prefer to not work that day.  Haven't broken the news to hubby yet though!

Until next time, take care.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Ivor Biggun!

Well, I finished my Granny Stripe blanket yesterday.  It was popped into the washing machine and then the tumble dryer and was on the bed by early evening and then I took some photos this morning.

Stretched out on the bed
Folded into four
Folded into eight

The edging at the corner

Some details.

Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK bought from Masons .  It's the 'Lucy' pack of 17 colourways, plus a light yellow from King Cole (Baby Comfort DK iirc).

Hook: 4mm

Yarn used: a total of 2025g, which is 6147.7 metres, according to Ravelry.

Told you it was big!  It got to the point where it was making my lap really hot when I was doing the edging as it was all bundled up on me.  The dog didn't mind though - as soon as I got out the blanket to work on it some more, there she was, pressed up close to me and slowly edging her way onto the blanket.

It seemed rather odd last night, trying to knit the triangular scarf I've got on the needles at the moment - it felt so light in comparison to the blanket.  I also tried to do a few rows on the laceweight cashmere scarf I'm crocheting, but I just couldn't get to grips with it - maybe today now my hands have had the night to forget about the way the blanket felt to work on!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

I've Got 'The Wanties'

For this

The colour palette is gorgeous and the yarn seems lofty, light and yummily woolly.

However, now that the import threshold has been reduced from £18 to £15 (including P&P iirc), that would mean that at $14.50 a 50g skein, buying 3 skeins would be approx £27.50.  Add on something like £8.20 for shipping and that's £35.70.  VAT would be £7.14 and then the post office handling fee of £8 would bring the total up to £50.84 - for 150g of yarn (753 metres).  Or, to put it another way, 6.75p per metre of yarn.  A 100g/400m skein of Natural Dye Studio Angel Sock works out at 5p per metre.

Oh well.  Maybe one day!  Or maybe hubby will have to go to the US on business and I can get him to bring me some back with him :D  In the meantime, I'll have to make do with one or two of the patterns that have been written for the yarn instead.

Not much else to show you really.  I've been mostly plodding away on my Granny Stripe blanket as I want to get it finished by Christmas.  It's turning into a bit of a biggie, this one.  I ended up ordering a second 'Lucy pack' of Stylecraft yarn from Masons last week and will keep striping until I've done 5 x 18-colour repeats, plus another 12 colour rows, then do a border of six rounds using the last 6 colours of the colour sequence I've been using.  With the way acrylic yarns relax after washing and drying, that should give me a blanket that's more of a bedspread which will cover the bed from headboard to footboard!  I'll put it on the bed once I've done 5 and a half repeats to see if my calculations are correct or not.

I've put St Brigid on the back burner for the moment.  I had a dreadful cold last week which really knocked me sideways and without the ability to concentrate on something so full of cables.

I have started something new in the last week.  I asked DD2 if she wanted a new blanket and she said yes.  We decided on a Neat Ripple and I'm doing stripes of one row cream, two rows colour, one row cream, etc.  I've done 4 colour rows so far and it's looking rather nice, if I do say so myself.  DD2 also likes it, which is the main thing.  More about that when I've done enough to warrant taking a photo!

I had DD1's first parent-teacher meeting at her new school last night.  13 miles in the car each way for a five-minute meeting with her form teacher and then a few minutes with her head of lower school (to check that if we buy DD1 a Kindle for her birthday that she'll be able to take it into school - at her own risk, obviously).  DD1 is apparently doing very well, has settled in to life at a senior school, has made new friends and reports from her teachers all seem to be of the "no issues, conscientious worker and polite" type which makes me a Happy Mummy :)

I'm off to do some Granny Striping now.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Not really my kind of thing......

.... but DD1 likes it and as I knitted it for her, that's what's important!

'It' is this:
A garter stitch scarf knitted in King Cole Galaxy.  It's a yarn that's 65% acrylic and 31% wool and has a fine thread that has sparkly sequins running along it (which must account for the other 4%).  The shade is Neptune and I used 2 x 50g balls.

I cast on 39 stitches and just knitted away, slipping the last stitch of every row with the yarn at the front of the work to give a selvedge (I find I get a neater result if I slip the last rather than the first stitch).

I do have to have a bit of grumble at King Cole though.  Look here:
Can you see that little row of white ridges at the top of the black section?  That's where there was a knot in the ball of yarn where two lengths must have been joined.

And then this one:
See how that stripe isn't the same as the one below it (and all of the other ones)?  Again, another knot/join in the ball.  When I joined in the second ball, I chopped out a bit of yarn so that the colour sequence ran on.  I was going to frog a bit of the scarf, but DD said she didn't mind and not to worry about it as she didn't and she'd been wearing it, so I left it, but if I'd been making a garment from this yarn and it kept happening, I wouldn't 'be a happy bunny.

The scarf's long enough that she can wear it either draped around her neck in the traditional manner, or folded in half and the ends drawn through the fold.

I've been St Brigiding this morning and managed six whole rounds (WooHoo!), so still not enough progress to take a photo!

I've also been playing with my bag of acrylic DK yarns over the last day or so and will show you what I've been up to when I'm happy with it :)

Monday, 10 October 2011

In the last week I have.....

Finished knitting a BSJ, but haven't got round to sewing in the ends or putting on the buttons.

Finished knitting the garter stitch scarf in King Cole Galaxy, but haven't sewn in the ends, never mind blocked it/given it a light press.

Not done any knitting whatsoever on my St Brigid sweater.

Knitting approx 10 rows of my green Malabrigo socks.

Crocheted 5-and-a-half rows of my Granny Stripe blanket.

So, no point in getting the camera out really.

It's all hubby's fault as he took last week as holiday so has been getting under my feet and he's between assignments/projects at work at the moment, so is working at home doing admin and chatting on his BlackBerry to colleagues until such time as he needs to go into London.

I have been keeping up to date with my blog reading though and have been admiring lots of your projects and photos.

I've also been trying to get on top of what I think is a low-grade virus, which is really annoying because a couple of days of feeling rubbish and with a tissue permanently attached to my nose and then getting it over with would be preferable to feeling a bit under par and tired all the time, but not ill enough to take to my bed and demand that everyone runs around after me for a change!

Hopefully next time I'll have some proper FO and progress stuff to show you.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

St Brigid - Post 1

I've started a new sweater.

It's St Brigid by Alice Starmore.

I'm using Rowan purelife in the shade Madder, which is a light terracotta-ish orange.  It's lovely and soft, but has good cable definition, but it handles a bit like a cotton or cotton/wool mix yarn, which I found a bit weird at first.  I bought it on sale at Black Sheep Wools and paid £26.something for 16 balls, which made me happy!

Although the pattern says that the small size is designed for a 32-34" bust, the finished measurements is 42" at the underarm, so I decided to go with that one as the next size up should end up being 45" which is a bit voluminous for me.  I also did a quick swatch (yes, I know I should have made a bigger one and washed it before starting the sweater, but I'm impatient and it's designed as a bit of a Sloppy Joe type sweater, so, hey-ho!) and got tension on 3.75mm needles, which I thought would be the case as the tension's measured over double moss stitch and moss stitch always comes out a bit looser than stocking stitch.  I also decided to knit the front and back in one piece, up to the underarm.

So, I cast on.  Because of making it in the round and so that I could balance the dbl moss st, I cast on 4 sts fewer than the pattern said, which  meant 286 sts.  Two reasons for this.  Firstly because, knitting in the round, there's no need for the stitch that would be used for seaming and secondly because for the small size, that meant that the dbl moss st would be knitted over 10 stitches at each side, which means that on rounds 1 and 2, it's (k2, p2)x5, k2 and on rounds 3 and 4, it's (p2, k2)x5, p2 so that panel is symmetrical and I like that!

After I'd done the second round and done a few stitches of the third, I realised that I'd twisted the stitches when I joined them into the round, so there were a few choice words uttered.  My fault.  I'd been lazy and not gone upstairs to get a longer cable for my KnitPros, but thought I'd get away with an 80cm.  Obviously I was wrong as the stitches were a bit too bunched up to see properly.  So, I took one tip from the 80cm and put it on the 100cm, using the KnitPro purple stop thingies on the other end of the cable, then I tinked back a whole round and a few stitches onto the 100cm cable.  Now I was able to stretch the stitches out a bit more, I was able to see what I was doing, so joined them again ---- this time successfully.  I carried on with the 100cm for 3 or 4 rounds before switching back to the 80cm.  Once I started the cabling and the stitches were pulling in a bit, the 80cm was better for manoeuvering them around the cable than the 100cm (still with me?).

Anyhow, I'm happy with the yarn, especially the way it looks when cabled and I'm, erm, more or less happy with the pattern, although there are a couple of little things that are niggling me, but I'll cover those in my next post.

It's taking me about an hour to do four rounds as every other round involves cables.  I'm hoping I'll be able to speed up a bit once I'm through the first couple of repeats.  It's not a difficult pattern, but it is quite detailed and involved.  Most of the time I'm able to do the cabling/travelling stitches without a cable needle, but there are a couple of instances where I'm using a 3.25mm dpn as it's easier.  One modification I've made to the pattern is to mirror the braid cables either side of the central panel.  It's an 8-row pattern, so the braids to the right of the central panel I've started at row 1, but for those on the left of the central panel I've started them on row 5.  I've also made a spreadsheet and printed it out so that I can mark off each row of each pattern repeat as the double moss st is a 4-row repeat, the braids are an 8-row repeat and the twisty vine-type panels are a 22-row repeat (the chart is 24 rows, but the repeats are rows 3-24).

Anyway, here's a progress picture.  I've done a grand total of 16 rounds - in two days.  But, that's 4 hours of knitting, not including the casting on and the cocking-up and re-doing bit!

On my monitor the colour's actually coming out quite accurately - I was a bit worried that the yarn would look too orange.

In other news, I'm halfway through the King Cole Galaxy scarf, but will take photos once it's finished (I did about 8" while watching Angels & Demons last night).  Haven't picked up the socks I've got OTN except to move them from one bag to another and I've done about 2 rows of my Claudia scarf, so that might be something to do this evening (unless hubby gets home at a decent time and is in a chatty mood).

Before I go, I urge you to have a look at the new Brooklyn Tweed Fall11 pattern collection.  I've been drooling since I saw the look-book (at the bottom of Jared's blog post) and have The Wanties for the Bedford sweater and Tinder cardigan/jacket.  If only someone in the UK would stock and sell the BT Shelter yarn, although New Lanark aran might work nicely for Tinder, especially if I decide I want the fabric to be quite firm so it's more of a jacket than a cardigan.

Anyway, I've rattled on again (as usual) and I've a carpet that needs vaccuuming, as well as a smallish pile of ironing to get through before the girls get home from school in a couple of hours.

I'll keep you informed of how St Brigid is going and take another photo once there's a fair bit more to see!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Three Crocheted Cushions

Over the years, I've accumulated a fair amount of DK acrylic.  Some of it is whole balls and some of it is left-overs from other projects.  It was all in a bag upstairs with the rest of my yarn stash.  There was also a separate bag of Wendy Peter Pan DK which I must have bought with a project in mind, but can't properly remember now (it might have been for DD1 when she was going through her short-lived 'I want to knit and crochet as well' phase).  I used up some of the Peter Pan on the Ruffled Cushion I blogged about last month, but still had quite a bit left.  I also had a 50cm square cushion pad and a rectangular one that's 50cm x 30cm, both cover-less.

I'd also looked at the African Flower crochet motif several times and admired the way other Ravelry users had made it up into bags, throws, blankets and cushions and decided that I'd make some African flowers into a cushion cover for the square pad.  However, it didn't work out that way.  As it grew, I decided that I'd prefer to make it into a rounded hexagon shape.  I made 20 flowery  hexagons in total - 19 for the front and 1 for the back.  The 19 were sewn together and then I went about the business of filling in the gaps.  This turned out to be a bit tricky and after several aborted attempts, I used short-rows to fill in the shallow triangles between each hexagon.  This is the front:

For the back, I used the 20th hexagon and then crocheted rings around it.  Mostly treble crochet (UK) with with the odd round of doubles as well.  I just kept going until it was the same size as the front and then crocheted the two pieces together using double crochet.  

Although this was a stash-buster, I ended up spending nearly £20 on a 24" circular cushion pad!

After that, I still had bag of yarn left and still had two cover-less cushion pads.

Via the Tangled Happy blog, I'd seen a pretty baby blanket on the Tarekices blog and decided to use the pattern, but working it in rounds using up various colours.  I used lighter-coloured shades on the treble-cluster rounds and darker/brighter-coloured shades for the dc rounds.  I crocheted a chain that was slightly less in length than the width of the cushion pad and worked the first round by making the clusters first in the top loop of the chain then turning the work and doing the second half of the round along the bottom edge of the chain.

I'm rather pleased with it:
and here's a closer-up pic of the stitch pattern:
After that, I still had a bag of acrylic yarn, so I made a simple, striped treble-crochet cover for the rectangular pad.  As with the square cushion, I made a chain slightly less than the width of the pad, then crocheted across the top and bottom of the chain and carried on from there so it was like a bag.  Once it was big enough, I put it the cushion pad and slip stitched the top edge closed.
So, there we have it.  Three cushion covers made over the last couple of months:
And I've still got half a bag of acrylic to use up! 

I might use it to make BSJs with wide stripes.

I need to finish off the baby cardigan I've got on the needles as well.  This is a Feb Baby top-down cardigan, but will be short or three-quarter sleeved due to yarn constraints. 

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A long-overdue update

I admit that crocheting takes me longer than knitting does.

Which does make me wonder why I decided to crochet a scarf using laceweight yarn and a 2.5mm hook, but I did (mainly because I didn't know what else to do with the yarn - I'd tried knitting a Kadril Estonian lace-type scarf, but it wasn't really 'me' so I frogged it).

I'd completed 57 rows and was thinking how well it was all going, so thought I'd weigh the ball of yarn so I could get an idea of how long the scarf would be if I used it all up.  I know that I started off with 50g (which is 500m according to Ravelry).

Those 57 rows?  They'd used 10g of yarn.  Yes, only 10g.

Still, the yarn's 100% cashmere and the scarf is beautifully soft and the pattern was easily memorised, so I guess I've just got to plod on with it and hope that it's not spring by the time I finish it!

Here's a closer-up pic taken with the flash on so you can (hopefully) see the stitch pattern better.  The pattern's the Claudia Scarf by Rebecca Jackson and is a cluster of 5 trebles then treble-chain-treble between each cluster.  It's going to need blocking when I've finished.
In other news, I started another scarf yesterday.  It's for DD1, who is 11 and has just started High School, so her other scarves, which are generally of the pink/bright colours variety just aren't going to cut the mustard now that she's practically a grown-up!  I spotted the yarn in my LYS.  It's King Cole's Galaxy yarn, which is 65% Acrylic, 31% Wool  and 4% Soft Payette.  I'm not entirely sure what Soft Payette is, but I think it's the thin sequinned thread that runs through the yarn.  Yes, that's right - sequins.  Little irridescent shiny ones, every 20 or so centimetres. Link to King Cole - - I'm using the Neptune shade. 

My camera and laptop appear to have had a(nother) falling out, so I shall show you some photos and give more details in a few days, once I've knitted a bit more than the few inches I'd done so far and to give some more stats on the scarf.  It took me ages just to get the two photos above uploaded.  One day I shall treat myself to a new camera - but not this month as I got the bill for DD1's music lessons this morning and now that DD1 is in High School, I think we're going to have to buy a new printer (the old one can just about manage to print text, as long as we don't mind it being rather fuzzy).

I can find time for my blog and to actually knit a whole row without risk of interruptions now that the school holiday are over and hubby (who very kindly decided to take a few days off work starting the day after the girls went back to school) is back in his office, at least for the next week and a bit.  Phew!  The last seven weeks seem to have gone by very slowly.  Not that I don't enjoy their company, but it was lovely this morning to be able to have a bath without someone coming in to talk to me!

I've also got a couple of other FOs to show and tell, but those will have to wait too as there's something I want to finish off so I photograph them all together.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Do you ever have one of THOSE weeks?

I'm sure you do.

This week has been one of THOSE WEEKS for me.

It all started off well.  Sunday night we went for a family meal (15 of us!) to celebrate my Dad's 80th birthday.  The restaurant had said that no problem, they'd be able to cook something gluten and dairy free for DD2 so I didn't need to take anything food-wise with me for her.  We chose food for her and it arrived, but it wasn't until she was halfway through her starter of chicken and salad leaves (an adaptation of a Caesar salad!) that I realised the leaves had dressing on them and that the chicken was coated with something.  This has meant a very up and down few days and nights with her, with more pronounced autistic characteristics than usual and very disrupted sleeping patterns for her, which means I'm sleep-deprived as well.

The knock-effect is that I've been making some really stupid mistakes in my knitting and crocheting, so don't have anything to show this week.

I started an African Flower motif cushion a couple of weeks ago.  The flowers themselves have turned out really well and I'm so pleased with them.  The motif is hexagonal and my plan was to sew them together to make a big hexagon and buy a circular cushion pad.  However, once I'd sewn them together, I realised the other day that I'll have to come up with a wide but not very high triangle to fill in the gaps and I can't work that out at the moment.  I've tried three times so far and all that's happened is I've got frustrated and irritable and have shouted at the dog.  So, I'm leaving that for a bit and am working on the back side of the cushion cover, which I decided would be one flower motif in the centre and then just plain stripes all round that central hexagon until it's big enough.  Maybe by the time I've done that bit I'll have worked out how to fill in the front gaps (I might post a request on Ravelry for that one).

To cheer myself up, I decided to cast on some socks using one of the two skeins of Malabrigo sock yarn I bought a while back.  I chose the skein of Lettuce and the Go With The Flow socks which were in my queue.  I decided to convert the pattern to toe-up - something I've done with other patterns.  Halfway up one 15-row repeat, I had a look and thought to myself "that doesn't look right".  'That' was about ten rounds further down, so I checked and it was wrong, so I ripped back.  Not too bad, except the pattern's a zigzag rib and I hate ripping back ribbing because the purl stitches try to escape.  Off I went again and got up to the gusset, which was no problem, then the heel turn - again, that went without a hitch.  Then came the heel flap (with toe-up gusset+heel flap socks, the gusset stitches are incorporated into the heel flap by ssk and p2togs as the flap is worked up).  In the pattern, the cuff and sock leg are worked, then the heel flap, which is half-linen stitch, except that after the heel flap's been knitted, the whole sock's turned inside out, which makes for a pretty heel flap.  "Oh, I can do that in reverse" thought I and, indeed I could.  Instead of knits, I did purls and instead of sl1wyif I did sl1wyib.  Only, once I'd finished the heel flap, I didn't like the way that there were ladders between the p2togs and the first stitch of the linen stitch bit.  By this time, I'd done a couple of rounds of the leg as well.  That was yesterday, late evening, so I decided to sleep on it.  This morning I took one look and then it was rip, rip, rip, all the way back to the end of the gusset.  I've now re-done the heel - with Eye of Partridge stitch and it looks much neater.

I also got caught up in the Beekeeper's Quilt excitement and as I've got a lot of sock yarn leftovers, bought the pattern and started making little hexapuffs.  Seven puffs down, I thought about joining them together.  Tie them at the corners as in the pattern?  Hmm  - not sure about that.  Seam them with whip stitch?  A bit too bulky.  I finally came up with something that's more or less mattress stitch, but that leaves the cast on and cast off edges.  Long-tail cast on means there are bumps at the bottom and a 3-needle cast off means there's a ridge at the top (never mind the little 'ears' caused by loose stitches at the ends).  I might have to resort to Kitchener Stitch ---- or I might just mark this one down to experience, tell myself I should think before I get caught up in the latest viral knitting pattern hoo-ha because, quite honestly, even if I did finish a puffy quilt, I have absolutely no idea what I'd do with it.  I've already got a mitred square sock yarn blanket on the go and there are some very pretty crochet patterns for sock yarn leftovers that I've been browsing through as well.

To cap it all, today the dishwasher died.  It had been struggling to clean the dishes, even though I've only had it 3.5 years or so (it does get used quite a lot; at least 12 loads a week) and had been leaving gritty bits on glasses and bowls, despite being topped up with dishwasher salt and rinse aid, the filters cleaned out, a Finish dishwasher cleaner run through it and Mr Muscle put down the kitchen sink and left overnight.  Today, I noticed there was water coming out of the bottom and when I pulled it out to have a look, I spotted a tear/hole in the water-out hose.  I put it on a pre-wash to see how bad it was, but I must have caused more damage than was there previously when I pulled it out from under the worktop as it suddenly stopped working and all the electrics tripped (which meant the Wii went off, which meant DD2 had a hissy fit).  Out came a screwdriver and I took the bottom of the dishwasher off and water had got inside.  It's now been disconnected and I've paid a ridiculous amount of money (£35) to have a new dishwasher delivered tomorrow.  Just what I needed when I've still got DD1's train and bus ticket for school to pay for, plus her music tuition fees for the autumn term.

As I said - it's been One of Those Weeks.

Hopefully next week will be better and I'll be able to show you some knitting and crochet goodies!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

More Hooking than Knitting

I seem to have more crochet WIPs than knitting ones at the moment, which is unusual.

This morning, I had 3 crochet WIPs (Granny Stripe Blanket, Claudia Scarf and Ruffled Flower Cushion) and 1 knitting WIP (a Feb Baby cardigan but without the lace pattern).

This evening, I have 2 crochet WIPs and 1 knitting WIP, which means that one of my crochet WIPs has been promoted to an FO!

Here it is:

The front:

The back:

Then DD2 wanted to get in on the act (she always appears when I get my camera out) but Jess our not-yet-two-year-old labrador decided she wanted to get on the sofa with DD2 (you can just see the dog on the right of the photo):

and all was a bit bedlam-ish for a while as DD1 (for whom I made the cushion) was worried that between them DD2 and the dog would spoil her new cushion.

(Relative) calm was restored so DD1 asked if I'd take a photo of her with her new cushion:

And then the cushion was taken upstairs to her bedroom, out of harm's way.

Cushion details:
Yarn - Wendy Peter Pan DK (various colours - I used 156g in total)
Hook - 4mm metal one
Pattern - via the Attic24 blog
Size - 40cm diameter as I already had a circular cushion pad that size
Modifications - none except that I added a button to each side to cover the centre hole

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

A New Iron

On Saturday when hubby came back from wherever it was he'd been, Jess (our labrador: not yet 2 and still rather bouncy) got Very Excited that he was back.  So excited in fact that she jumped up and put her front paws on the kitchen worktop so that she could bring him a tea towel as a present (it's usually tea towels, dishcloths or socks that she brings him).  Unfortunately, she managed to knock the iron off the side (where it had been left to cool down).  The iron broke - and it was a pretty pink Morphy Richards one - so I spent the next few minutes picking up bits of pink and white iron from the floor.  There were also some words spoken along the lines of 'bloody dog'; I'm sure you get my drift.

So, on Sunday morning hubby went off to Argos to pick up a new iron.  I'd already looked online, chosen the iron I wanted (a Breville retailing at £29.99), reserved one and had the reservation code sent through to hubby's mobile phone.  All seemed well.

Except.... when he got home, he hadn't bought that iron at all.  He'd forgotten to take his phone with him and hadn't thought to ask one of the sales assistants to help him get it.  So, he'd looked at the irons in the catalogue and bought a different Breville one.  An iron that cost £59.99, so £30 more than originally planned and he could have given me that £30 so I could stalk the Wollmeise website in the hope of an update (if I could be bothered, which is not likely, it has to be said).

This is the one he bought:
It's digital.  It says it has "easy use digital interface" but I'm suspicious of things that say they are "easy use".  Buttons have to pressed to set the temperature I want.  It's black and grey and from the look of the picture, lights up blue when it's switched on.  At the time my nice, basic, pink Morphy Richards iron got broken, I had one load of laundry in the washing machine and one in the tumble dryer.  Three days later, I still haven't ironed those two laundry loads.  I haven't even plugged in the new iron.
Truth be told?  I'm a bit scared of it. And also a bit disappointed that an iron that cost £59.99 needs human input to make clothes crease-free!  As it's obviously a bit of a posh iron, what if it takes offence at a. the ironing board which has a cover that's seen better days and b. the fact that most of the clothes it will be required to make crease-free are of the t-shirt variety and that the one item it's been used on so far (a John Lewis double-cuffed shirt*) is not the norm around here?

I might have to cast on for a new pair of socks to get up the courage to plug it in and work out what buttons to press.  I wound the Malabrigo sock yarn for them a couple of nights ago.

*I rarely iron hubby's shirts since the time he told me that I didn't do them that well and certainly not the way he'd been taught in the military and I told him if that was so, he could do the bloody things himself.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Pretty Pale Pink

When I go to my knitting group on a Friday morning in the nearby village of Dedham, I sometimes pop into the chemist/gift shop (I think the post office is in there as well) just along the street from the pub where the ladies and I meet up.  On the surface, that seems a reasonable thing to do, except that as well as the pharmacy and gift section, they sell a small amount of yarn.  King Cole acrylic yarn.  Three or four shelves of it in fact.  And I often come home with a ball or two in my bag - just because it's there.  This happened a couple of months ago and I came home with two balls of pale pink King Cole Comfort DK (quite a nice, soft acrylic). 

As my girls are nearly 9 and 11-and-a-half, two x 100g balls of yarn aren't enough to make anything for either of them, so this yarn was destined to be a baby cardigan or two for the box of knits for Romania that I contribute to (I can indulge in my love of knitting baby things and then they go off to where they're appreciated, so it's a win-win situation really).

First off, I cast on for Elizabeth Zimmermann's 'February' Baby Cardigan, from the Knitter's Almanac, which I borrowed from the library (although I think the whole book's available to read on Google Books).  It didn't take long.  I modified it by doing the body before the sleeves, then picking up stitches at the underarm and knitting the sleeves magic-loop style in the round.
The sweater took 88g of yarn (I weighed it).  The buttons I bought from The Range.  Not in their haberdashery department, but in the craft dept.  They sell them as craft buttons (they were on a circular stand) and cost £1 for a pack of quite a lot of buttons.  This pack was red and pale pink buttons, but they also do light and dark blue and then green and grey.

On my Ravelry queue, the first project is a pair of socks, but I've already got a pair on the needles (and if I don't finish those before I cast on another pair, they'll never get done).  Second on the list was the Pimpelliese scarf.  It's very similar to the Baktus scarf, but has a lace edging which is knitted as you go.  I read some of the comments about it on Ravelry and some of them seemed to suggest that this was a bit complicated in parts.  So, I read the pattern to see if I could visualise it in my head.  I couldn't.  So, I thought I'd cast on with the remains of the Comfort DK from the Feb Baby just to see how the pattern worked.  The next thing I knew, I'd done 5 pattern repeats.  As I had another 100g ball of the same yarn, I decided that I might as well carry on and see how far I got.  A week later and 19 repeats on each side of the scarf, I cast off!  This will also go in the Romania box and hopefully it will keep a teenage girl's neck warm this winter.  As I said to someone after she commented that something was too nice to be given to charity, "it may be for charity, but it doesn't mean it can't be stylish".

I'll definitely make this again, in the yarn I'd originally intended for it - Fyberspates Sparkle Sock.  That one will be for me because, well, you know, you can never have too many scarves - can you?

This afternoon I shall be casting on the second of my pair of socks in Wendy Happy yarn as I finished the first one this morning, in between ironing piles.  If I ever mention that I'm considering buying this (mis-named) yarn again, please shout at me online or track me down and hit me with a wet fish.  I like the colours, but the yarn is splitty, slippery and has very little stretch.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Deco is finished!


Yesterday, the postman delivered the 13mm press studs I'd ordered the day before (excellent service - these ones, via Amazon ).  So I gave the front bands a light press with the iron and then got out my tape measure to work out where to place the buttons.  I'd originally planned on using 8 buttons and press studs, but decided on 6 due to a combination of a. maths and b. looking at 8 buttons placed along the bands and deciding that they looked too crowded.  First off, I marked the button placements with pins.  Then, I sewed on the buttons.  After that, I sewed on the press studs, first the one to go behind the button, then it's corresponding flat part.  I snipped off the last bit of thread and Deco was finished.  So, I got out my camera and took some photos (except I forgot to take a photo of the back view, but it looks just like the examples on the Ravelry page). With hindsight, it might have been better to do the press studs first and then sew the buttons on afterwards as the way I did it was a bit fiddly.

The colour's most like the second picture, but I took the photos last night when a. it was dark and b. the weather had gone all grey and rainy.

I've also finished off a baby cardigan and a scarf (using the same yarn for both - there's a reason for that which I'll explain in my next entry), except for the finishing touches such as sewing in ends and pressing, so I'll be here again soon to show off!

I'm going to look at my Ravelry queue now to decide what to cast on next (despite still having 4 WIPs, including a pair of socks I don't really like, but have decided to keep plodding away at).

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Deco - nearly there

Last week, I finished the knitting of my Deco cardigan.  Because the bottom and top edges kept curling up, I decided to do a line of crocheted slip stitches to add a tiny bit of weight and to add a  bit to the edge of the neckband (I should have picked the first stitch up right at the very edge of the front bands).

After blocking (which I did properly, pinning it out on my foam mats - yay, go me!), it was all lying much flatter.

I'd bought some red grosgrain ribbon to line the front bands, but decided that I wanted the facings to be slightly more than the width of the bands, which the ribbon wasn't.  So.... I had a look in my fabric stash and found some cotton that I thought would do nicely.

This morning, I used hubby's spirit level-cum-metre measurer thingammy to cut out two rectangles.  Then, I turned the fabric in at each side and ironed it, carefully pinned the facings in place.  After I'd done the pinning, I checked that the front bands were still the same length as each other and then I hand sewed the facings in place.

I'm now waiting for some 13mm plastic press studs to be delivered so I can sew them down the bands before sewing on the buttons, which are obviously only for decoration because the fastening's done with the press studs.  I'd thought I might be able to get away with using some plastic press studs I bought from my local haberdashery/yarn store by sewing them on both sides of the bands, but decided that after all the hours I'd spent knitting the cardigan it was worth waiting a few extra days for fastenings that will do the job much better and give a neater overall appearance.  I bought them from Amazon, using the link that Kate Davies (I think it was her) gave on the Deco project page comments on Ravelry.

Anyway - here it is knitted, facings sewn in, but without fastenings:

And here's a pic of the facing on the right front:

And a closer up pic so you can see the fabric I chose:

As you can see, it needs another blocking/pressing now that the facings have been sewn in, but I'm really pleased with it so far.

It's definitely worth taking time over finishing off.  Compared to the number of hours spent knitting, an extra hour or two on the finishing touches really is worth it.

In the meantime, while I wait for the postman to deliver the press studs, I've got some finishing off of another couple of things to be getting on with and I've also got an idea in my head for a scarf which I'm hoping will work out once it's on the needles!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

I've been distracted....

.... so progress on my Deco cardigan has been minimal.

I mentioned that I'd started a stripey Baby Surprise Jacket using various acrylic yarns I'd got in stash.  Well, I finished that one, which was in boyish colours, but I'd also got a couple of half-balls and odd balls in pink, plus a ball of yellow acrylic DK, so I cast on another one in girly colours.

 The boy one:

And the girly one:

There's something about baby things that appeals to me, even though my own children are 11 and 8.  I wish I'd had more time when they were little to make things for them!

I've still got a fair bit of DK acrylic to use up, but the various knitting groups in the Colchester area have undertaken to make 100 hats for the premature baby unit at Colchester General Hospital, so I shall be casting on and making a few of those.  The pattern we've been given is from the hat cuff up, with a seam at the back, so I shall probably re-write it so I can make it in the round from the crown down to the brim. 

Back to knitting on Deco now.  I've finished the second sleeve cap and have done about 10% of the sleeve, so still have about 100 rounds to go before the cuff.  Better get on with it really.

The postman delivered my copy of Ysolda's "Little Red in the City" this morning.  I've had a quick look through, but because I wanted to finish the second BSJ, I haven't had a chance to have a proper look through it, although I think I shall certainly be making Cria as I think the pattern will be well suited to the Ethical Twist I bought from Kemps a few months ago.  I'll let you know what I think of the book once I've had a chance to read through it (although I suspect I'm going to like it!).

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Summer Mystery Shawlette

I mentioned the Wendy Johnson Summer Mystery Shawlette the other week and how I'd finished knitting it, but needed to do the blocking thing.  Well, I did that yesterday and here it is:

I used Posh Yarn Martha fingering/sock weight yarn in a colourway called Cheerfulness Breaks In.  The main shade is a tomatoey red, with bits of toffee, purpley red and bronze and it took 72g.  It was a skein that I bought online, received in the post and thought "hmm, not so sure about this", wound it into a ball and thought it looked better in the ball than the skein, knitted it up and decided that I really like it after all! 

I also gave my Shale Baby Blanket a bit of an iron and that's now been put away in my bag of knits for Romanian orphans and street kids.

The blanket's folded into 4 in the picture.  The pattern's written for aran/worsted weight yarn, but I used DK acrylic and I think I added an extra two pattern repeats to the width.  I'm tempted to make another one of these using thicker yarn, but I don't really need any more blankets at home.

Deco's coming along, albeit slowly.  I still haven't shaken off this cold and I keep making mistakes in my knitting.  I'm nearing the end of the second sleeve cap, but I've had to tink back a couple of times because I wasn't happy with the way the stitches were lying, so thought it might be a better idea to put it to one side until my head's less fuzzy and I can concentrate. 

I also had to rip back the heel of a toe-up sock I'm making because I decided I needed more rows in the foot as it felt a bit tight when I tried it on.  I'm using Wendy Happy bamboo yarn and I'd forgotten that I tend to knit a bit more tightly with this yarn (no idea why - maybe because it's quite slippy and I'm using a metal-tipped circular) so need more rows than usual.  I decided to rip back to just after the increases for the gusset and add the extra rows just before the heel.  It'll give me a bit more 'lift' at the front of the ankle.  I've also changed my mind about the heel flap.  Usually, I do a slip-stitch heel, but this time round I think I'll do linen stitch instead, just for a change.

With  all this tinking and ripping, I was a bit fed up, so I browsed a bit on Ravelry and had a look at examples of the Baby Surprise Jacket.  It's a pattern I've made four or five times now, but while I was looking, one BSJ that had been knitted using two yarns alternated every two rows caught my eye in particular and gave me an idea of using up my left over half balls of acrylic DK and so I cast on for some simple garter stitchery.  I'm about three-quarters done on this so I'll show you photos soon.

I'm trying to resist casting on something new now.  I want to make Jared Flood's Rock Island (can you tell I love his designs?) and have the yarn for it, plus I've earmarked a skein of Fyberspates sock yarn to make a Pimpelliesse scarf (garter stitch with a simple lace edging), plus the rest of my queue on Ravelry.  I want to get Deco finished or at least further along before I do that though.

And I haven't touched my Granny Stripe blanket in weeks either.

Oh well - more knitting and crochet and less time playing silly games on Facebook would help (those games steal time!).

Hubby's taking a week off work from tomorrow, so I may not get the chance to blog next week as I've got a lot on too.  A parenting workshop on Tuesday morning and an open event Tuesday evening at the school DD1 will be starting at in September.  Open afternoon/evening at DD2's school on Wednesday, plus DD1's school concert that evening and then DD1 has her induction day at High School on Thursday (but I'm hoping hubby will take her to that).  That's on top of the usual 'stuff' of running the house, two children, two dogs, four chickens and one husband!