Friday, September 28, 2007

Some fears realised...

The big load of yarn was delivered at 11:55 – about 45 minutes before I got home. The card says wait 24 hours. Bother.
Clearly, I’m not going to wait, I’m going to go down there early (like when we set off just after 2pm) and see if the yarn is there. It might not be, but it’s worth a try.
In no way is this the fault of the shop it’s all the Royal Mail. Perhaps I should have had it delivered to work…

On the other hand, yay to Get Knitted who posted my small parcel and it arrived today! AND it was small enough to fit through my letterbox.
They even sent me a pen and a lolly, as well as a leaflet for the stitch n craft show I’m going to!
 Get Knitted Package
Also, the yarn.
 Louisa Harding Angora (colourway 9) Wow. It’s so soft and smooth and pretty and I want to keep it and not give it away.
But I do at least get to work with this beautiful yarn.

Waiting (im)patiently

Knitting and Craft Related
So, a mere two nights ago, on Wednesday evening, I ordered a big load of yarn from cucumberpatch. They say on the site that usually parcels arrive on the next working day. Now, I’m not so harsh as to expect the yarn on Thursday – the order wouldn’t have reached them until then. However, I am hoping that it will arrive today. It requires a signature, of course – I wouldn’t want them to leave my yarn with some random person who doesn’t appreciate it. However, I’m stuck at work not able to wait at home for it. As we only live 5 minutes away from the post office sorting office I don’t mind walking down there to collect it, so I am hoping that it is delivered early enough that the little card that the man puts through the slot says “please leave 1 hour” or some other short time. It will be annoying if it is delivered 15 minutes before I get home and if the card says “please leave 24 hours” because I’m not going to be here, so I can’t collect it until Monday if I can’t get it today. How depressing.
I promise to photograph and blog it as soon as I get chance.

I also ordered a small amount of yarn from Get Knitted which I would expect to fit through my letterbox, unless they have a very peculiar way of packing. So I will at least be able to begin my Christmas knitting marathon. I can talk briefly about the Get Knitted package because it’s yarn for making a nice scarf for Leon’s Grandma. I’m planning on a pattern from one of the Stitch n Bitch books and using some very posh Louisa Harding - Kimono Angora, which is 70% angora. I’m quite excited about using it, and it’s an excellent price at Get Knitted at the moment as it is on sale.

I know that I should relax, some yarn should be there when I get home.

I also made a sad discovery last night. I bought some lovely yarn from Sheepish which is my LYS. [They have been very good in there] However, in my excitement at buying Rowan Pure Wool Aran, I accidentally bought only one ball of each colour I wanted (two balls total) when I actually wanted two balls of each colour. Oh dear. The chances of me getting more of those two colours from the same dye lot is pretty slim I think. This means that I can’t make the cusion covers just yet, which is a shame. However, it also means that I have one of the seven balls of yarn needed to make Leon’s manly sweater. The cream ball will make the cream stripes (the thinner one, I believe) so now I only need to buy 2 balls of green (or was it another colour?) and 4 balls of brown. I'm thinking about using the other ball I bought to make the newsboy cap, though I need some plastic stuff for the brim. I fancy a green knitted hat.

In Other News
I’m thinking about growing my hair again. It’s gone a bit mullet at the moment (!) because it’s been too long since I last had it cut. It needs colouring too because my roots are showing. I’m probably going to go for something a bit warmer now it’s coming in to winter. I usually end up with a gingery colour in winter. I don’t want it to be a horrible mess for the wedding in November, so I’ll have to get it trimmed at least again then. Growing out this very layered and choppy style could be fun.

Aston is still well. I see other bloggers posting “dogs on Thursday” and “Yarn Pron Friday” and I wonder whether there should be something similar for my little hamster. Bless him. He’s been quite grumpy since Leon cleaned him out on Wednesday night. The new sawdust isn’t as nice, it’s much rougher. He doesn’t seem fussed though (Aston, not Leon, Leon was quite worried about the sawdust). So if anyone knows of any “Hamsters on …” rings (I’m thinking days of the weak, not toast here) let me know. If not I might just make it up, pick a day and go for it. He deserves a little limelight.

Lastly, I need a new winter coat. Some days haven’t been too cold so it’s not the end of the world yet. Anyhow, I’ve seen a very pretty coat in New Look which is so nice, but a bit more expensive than I usually go for. It is a wool blend though, and has an attached hood with fur trim. I’ve seen some nice ones in Next too, about the same price, but not quite as nice, and black. I don’t really want a black coat, too miserable. Lights and brights cheer me up in winter.
In a move to keep cheerful today (half day at work!) I’m wearing pink-and-brown which is a brilliant combo and matches my allstars. I like pink.
On that note, I’ll sign off, leaving you with that statement once more:
I like pink

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

S.E.X. (Stash Enhancement eXpedition)

I’m ordering a massive package of yarn online. Not really an expedition, but still.
I’m making some Christmas gifts, that is all I can say. I’m not telling who they are for, or what it is that I’m making. I have a short time limit to make anything though! It’s less than three months ’til Christmas!

I’m also thinking about treating myself to some of the Lane Borgosesia Cashwool that I’ve seen at Pavi Yarns. This would be to make “Coastal Shades” from a recent SK. It’s a lace scarf thing. Pretty, in two colours. They used pale blue and cream, but there’s scope for others there. (Nutmeg and Ecru might work…) but anyway, I’ll probably hang on until either Pavi have a sale on these or next payday.
Oh, wait – next payday I’ll be saving up for the Stitch and Craft show in November. Poo.
So, I’ll be waiting until that sale happens.
Never mind though, I have lots of other knitting to be doing, and my progress on almost all of my projects is pathetically slow at the moment. In fact, for one item it’s negative. Yes, I’ve frogged the Spiderweb Capelet. I got to the last row, looked at it and thought oh no, that looks nasty. I think I might have used an inappropriate yarn, a solid colour would have been much better. Still, I have balled the yarn back up to use for something else nice.

This weekend we’re off down to Cambridgeshire to visit Leon’s folks. We have not seen them since before our holiday. It’s usually a pretty relaxing weekend for me, I get to knit and we have lots of cups of tea. We sometimes go on daytrips to see things, we went to a farm last time which I liked because I like the sheep and goats, and the chickens actually. And Pigs. In fact, everything except for cows. [on a side note, I’ve been trying to figure out if you could knit from the hair of a highland cow – anyone know?]
We’re going to a quiz of some sort in the evening, they field a family team.

Well, I’m off to do some knitting. I have still got a scarf, socks, bag and blanket on the go. (is there such a thing as knitting ADD?)

Monday, September 24, 2007


I'm getting rid of some of my yarn.

No, it's not a joke, I've listed six lots of yarn on ebay (stuff I can't think of a project for, mostly crazy or baby yarn) and I've also chucked some into a charity bag (less nice colours)

So, there's a big box of yarn on my dining table which is for sale, and hopefully I will be able to get rid of it.

That does have an up-side, as you know! 4 balls in the charity bag and 22 on ebay - that's up to 26 balls of yarn I can buy! In theory anyway. I feel free once more!

On an unrelated note, there was a big old rant here about me not looking nice in photos. I've decided to delete the rant, because it's both foolish and self-absorbed.
Happy thoughts!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New Needles

I meant to post yesterday. This is what I bought from ebay on Monday night...
New Needles
Aren't they lovely? They're wooden, hand made and so nice to work with.
Yey! New toy!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Later than intended post

I will be posting again this evening to show off my new needles…
I can buy needles without getting rid of other needles, as long as I don’t already have that size! Woo!

Yesterday lunchtime I was in Borders looking at the magazines. I was looking to see if Simply Knitting was out yet (it’s been delayed so that is why it isn’t) and I stumbled across, what’s this?, an American Import! Well, the magazine is called Knitter’s (the apostrophe annoyed me, until I spotted the sub-heading, it’s Knitter’s Universe. While I could still argue about that, it’s better enough for me) by/for XRX, whom it seems I should have heard of. Although all the adverts are clearly American, I am in love with the patterns. It’s up to date and trendy in a way that Simply Knitting isn’t. I do like the patterns in SK, and the various freebies are fantastic. This was just different in a really surprising way. There was lots of text in the first half, new people in the knitting world in the USA, history of fashion in the USA – exactly the sort of thing I’m interested in. Then the patterns; lush doesn’t cover it. the low-V tank top I’ve been lusting over – they have one which I could knit! A lacy shawl, simple but elegant? You betcha. Anyone want a knit-and-crochet table runner?
Anyway, the theme of this one is lace and lightweight yarn, there’s one pattern which calls for something of weight 0! (1 being 2ply, makes 0 cobweb?) and most don’t go higher than DK (3 if I recall correctly)
I’m so excited!
I have to knit a bunch of things to be able to begin these though.
Also, as I was about to pay…Knitting, with a free pattern book; another magazine. I think that one was called “Knitting”. It has some nice patterns in, though I’m not sure whether I’ll buy it again. I liked the cardigan in the supplement. (well, I liked the one view of the cardi that they gave, come on people – how can I tell if I like something from a wonky side view, puh-lease.) I like the look of a couple of the items in the main bit too, but it was a bit like Simply Knitting. I don’t know what it is. Perhaps it’s just not trendy enough, after all, I may be a beginner but I’m not into knitting things I would not wear. (Or in some cases, not be seen dead in)

 first handmade card I am also branching out. I liked crochet (as you saw with the scarf and bag) and so I’ve picked up some mini make-your-own-card kits. I used them to create this card; I crocheted the circle in the middle. [I do need to improve my photography skills, as you can see this is all blurry] I really enjoyed it, and I am now scheming to make one for some upcoming birthdays. Anyway, I'm thinking of using some vouchers I got a while ago to buy another set, with a few more things in it. I’m not sure though. I’ll think about it.
But there’s no question: knitting is still my favourite!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Origin of Tsuki

Where did "Tsuki" come from?
Well, it originated when I was playing D&D (geek alert!) with friends before I went to university.
I had created a character who was a vampire, and wanted a cool name for her, so I looked up the Japanese for Vampire: kyuuketsuki.
However, that's a bit long and difficult to say, so I shortened it to Tsuki, which is also part of gorotsuki or rogue, and akatsuki or dawn. Perfect for my rogue character who was a vampire, no?
Well, the name stuck, and I've used it many times since in games and such like.
When it came to writing a blog, I simply had to use it - who else would call anything Tsuki?

Then came the knitting obsession
Then the yarn.
Is it, as BritKnitter suggests, fate?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Tsuki Yarn!

I just surfed in to knitty to see their new fall issue, and there's a lovely pattern called Muir, the best bit is that it's knit with a yarn called Tsuki Can you believe it?
Tsuki is 40% silk and 60% superkid mohair. How nice is that? It's a lace weight, as far as I can tell. Very cool! (I wonder whether they got the name in the same way I did? I suspect not... I think that they've taken it from the Japanese for nature)
Anyway, I would buy some, but there are two reasons I am not doing so:
  1. It's from America, the shipping will be a lot
  2. It comes on massive cones

Sari Bag (sort of) Finished!

I've finished the Sari Silk Bag! It's was quite hard, I found the sari silk quite difficult to work with, and also rought on my fingers. However, I'm pretty happy with the end result, especially given my crochet is still beginner level!
I broke a needle on my sewing machine trying to line it, but it worked out in the end.
I like it. :) sari bag with handle but it does need a button...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Puddy Tat

Pics coming soon, but I’ve completed the one-skein scarf. It’s pretty and I wish now that I had used some nicer yarn. Oh well, I’m pretty confident about my ability to crochet (I do have issues with the crocheting into the chain though) and so I’ll be able to begin the sari silk bag soon! Woo!

I’ve been mildly annoyed for some time about how all knitting things have cats on them. I see lovely needle rolls, but then – no, it’s a cat on there. Or boxes for keeping your knitting bits in, covered in moggies. Now, I don’t hate cats, but I can take ’em or leave ’em. I can understand why knitting stuff doesn’t have dogs on, there’s no obvious link, where kittens playing with balls of yarn is kinda cute. That’s no reason for all knitting stuff to be covered in cats though! Ok, that’s that done with.

Well, my house is a dump again. It’s just so easy to plonk things any-old-where, and then end up with a big mess. Leon pointed out that about the only thing that is tidy in our house is my yarn chest. Too right, I want to be able to find stuff! My bookshelves are also pretty tidy and are in alphabetical order by author then again by title. The exception is if there’s a series of books [like discworld] by one author, in which case they are in chronological order of the stories. It’s a good system. My yarn chest is similar, but different. The bottom drawer is devoted entirely to the sudoku blanket stuff (three 100g balls of each of nine colours takes up a bit of space). The middle drawer has chunky yarn on the left, funky or fashion yarn in the middle and baby and 4ply on the right. There is one ball of 4ply not in there, my opal sock yarn (yes, only one ball sadly) which is in the dpn box in the top drawer. The top drawer houses my DK yarn, mostly from my early purchases. There’s a lot of man-made fiber in there, which is good for practicing with. On the right of this is where I store my needles etc. perhaps I need systems like for my books and yarn elsewhere in the house? It would be a start if I put away the washing we’ve just recently done. Then I can move my knitting books and magazines back to their home on top of the yarn chest. If I buy a folder I can put my knitting patterns in the folder and then they will not fly everywhere. Whoops. I’ve gone back to knitting stuff. Oh dear.

It has taken over my life, you know.

Well, I’m sure I have other things I should be doing. Probably.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I'm Hooked!

Last night I decided to begin my first proper crochet project. I didn’t want to begin on the nice silk that my pal sent until I have had one practice go and I wanted to do some stash busting! So, I dug around in my stash for some “doesn’t matter” yarn – some bright orange acrylic it turned out – and the “One Skein Scarf” pattern from the “Happy Hooker” book.
Well, I did not expect to get as far as I have already! Crochet is fast! I’m not turning away from my knitting – the two crafts give such different results – but I’m loving crochet! So anyway, I’ve had to change the pattern somewhat. It’s my own fault! The pattern calls for aran yarn, but I am using DK and a smaller hook. I’m using the smaller hook because I didn’t want it to be all holey. So, anyway, I did the chain 203 bit and then thought that’s not very long for a scarf so I chained another 50. Once I was happy with the length I began the next bit. I had done three rows of the pattern (and longer than the pattern, though not in aran remember) and looked at my handiwork (this was just before bed last night). Yes, I am going to need to make it wider I thought. So I have begun on two more rows up and down my chain of 253. I don’t mind really though because it’s good practice and doesn’t take long either. And the ball of orange stuff is massive.
Once I’ve got the width I’ll be doing a shell pattern around the edge, and then it will be done. I might make a couple of these as gifts for Christmas because they are quick and easy and look nice. I have other things to knit first though.
Like hats for innocent.

Aston was quite excitable this morning, I don’t know why! He was running in his wheel and going on his see-saw for ages. Little sweetie! It’s nice to see him being active and friendly, he’s often sleeping and grumpy when he’s not sleeping. I hope he will still be in a good mood tonight as I need to clean him out. That usually makes him grumpy.

Last exciting bit of news, I now have my tickets to the Pork Pie Festival at one of the pubs in town. Woo!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Busy Weekend

This weekend we went to Edinburgh to see some friends. We hadn’t seen their flat before, so that was quite exciting. It’s a really nice place, probably more spacious than my house!
We managed to get some cheap train tickets, which was good news in several respects. The main one being that it was cheap, but the high-on-my-list one being that I can knit on trains! So, I packed my sock that I'm knitting.
On the way there I managed to get to the start of the heel flap (about ten rows of my lace pattern – I’m a slow knitter) and then I read my book for an hour to relax my hands (I get a bit of cramp in the various fingers I have broken [in the past] when I knit socks) on the way back I knitted the whole time and finished the heel flap, so now I need to pick up the flap to knit the foot bit. This is the bit I am most nervous about because I have designed the pattern myself and I'm a bit unsure as to whether the pattern will match up.
 Sock Progress I finally shipped my SPs package this weekend, as well as posting this…  Sister's Phone Sock …for my sister. She asked me to make her a cosy for her new phone. I made this one on Friday night. My seams are a bit flaky, so I might make another one now that I have time and her shiny phone is safe from being scratched.

I’m thinking about designing my own image to go on the “Punk Rock Back Pack” in Stitch n Bitch, but I do want to knit some actual clothing first I think. I may have to put one of my current WIPs on hold in order to start some bigger knits. Trouble is that I’m meant to be knitting from stash so I have to use up a ball of yarn before I can buy another. (That was the deal with Leon)
My Autumn Scarf will use up all of one and almost all of another ball of yarn, which is two down – so I could then buy the really nice lacy stuff for the “Coastal Shades” scarf/shawl. If I get different colours I will rename it to something else, natch.
The cushion covers I am meant to be making for the sofa in the spare room should use up almost all of the two balls of yarn I bought to do that with. If I knit more of the Sudoku throw I could use up several balls of yarn there. Oh I don’t know! I do want to knit some hats for innocent smoothies but they will not use up much yarn at all.
I am also planning to knit some baby things over the next few months; one of my relations (my nanna’s neice’s granddaughter) has found out that she’s pregnant and also one of my team at work is going to be a dad shortly. I must send the little hat and bootees that I knit to the preemie unit at our hospital. and knit more. They’re a quick knit, preemie hats and boots. Even for my slow knitting! Truth be told, I knit faster now than in January when I began, so perhaps there is hope for me yet.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Thank You Secret Pal!

Today I arrived home in a fairly dour mood – I have had a hard day at work today. However, imagine my surprise to see – what’s this? A parcel?
 Parcel 1 Can it be for me? Well yes, it’s addressed to me. The realisation struck! It’s from my Secret Pal! Two things darted into my mind. One of these was: “Drat! I was meant to find a box for my SP parcel I should be sending soon” (though I have picked a date). The other was, of course, “Oooooooooh – secret pal prezzie. Quick! Open it open it open it!”
So, indeed I did open it, very carefully of course.
And there were nice things inside!
As you can see there were some munchies – which I love – in there. There’s already only a half pack left, and I can say with some certainty that there will be none before I finish this post! Yum!  Parcel 1 Contents There were these cards, one of which is from my pal (the one with the lace bag on) with a lovely message inside telling me why s/he has bought the things that s/he has. The second is a charity knitting thingy, for knitting hats for innocent smoothies. I’ll certainly consider that, it’s for a very good cause (Age Concern). Also, I have sort of been bribed with the money off a smoothie coupon – I feel I should knit at least 4 hats to match the value of the smoothie!
 Cards There was a book, Rowan Yarns Classic Garden book 2. Oooh! It’s got some lovely tops in it. Yes pal – I’m looking forwards to knitting some tops (though I have only knit one shrug so far). The book is beautiful (I like books) and has some fab patterns in it. I will be adding some to my Ravelry queue very very soon!
 Rowan Book There was also a wrapped-in-tissue gift…
 Sari Silk Which was a large hank of recycled sari silk. So soon after my post about having discovered sari silk and thinking about trying it! My pal is a star! S/he has even sent a pattern with which I can use the sari silk. It’s a crochet bag pattern, so I’m a bit nervous about it – new fibre and new skill (my crochet has not yet ventured beyond squares) but it is good to have a pattern as well as the yarn! If I crack on, I might even finish the bag before the end of the swap!

So, thank you so much Secret Pal, this is a fantastic parcel and I’m really looking forwards to using all of it! Especially the sari silk – it’s so exciting!
Thank You!
PS. I have no munchies left!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Yarning on

After completing the mittens yesterday, I thought about casting on for the matching scarf that I am planning. I only thought about it though. I have also completed another square for the sudoku blanket, which makes 7/81 (8% roughly). I keep on adding things to my list on Ravelry, I have 23 things in my queue!
I’m going to take the plunge, hopefully, and make a sweater for Leon. I know that the advice is not to make sweaters for your boyfriends, but as we’ve been together for almost six years, I think that’s okay. I’ve decided to let him pick the colours and the substance of the yarn for the project – I’m even letting him pick the pattern. That should mean that, unless I botch it up, he’ll get something he might actually wear.
I’ve offered him the “Under the Hoodie” or “Manly Sweater” from Stitch n Bitch so far. I know that the hoodie is in pink in the book, but as it has no waist shaping I think that it can easily be a male item in the right colours. I’ll keep an eye out for other patterns that might be appropriate.

I quite like having several projects on the go at once because it means that if I don’t feel up to doing socks with a lace pattern, I can do a simple ribbed scarf (or I can when I start it) or I can do another square. I am fairly bored of the pattern 3 squares, but I do only have two more of those to do and then I can move on. I have brought the socks with me to work again today; I find that bringing some knitting means that I take a lunch break. That’s a good thing.
I am a little sad though, my LYS don’t stock imports except for Debbie Bliss. They do have some smashing local yarn, which is great, and they have Noro which I quite fancy using… anyway, I asked about Baruffa Cashwool and they said that they didn’t have any, and didn’t have any suggestions for a replacement in their stock. Perhaps lace weight yarn isn’t so popular in small shops? Who knows. They did invite me to the new knitting group that they’re setting up though.
So, I may have to find some good online stores. I did buy the yarn for the Sudoku blanket from Angel Yarns who were pretty prompt, considering the demand for the packs (they ran out of one of the colours!)
I can also see my LYS online, and I’ve also spotted a yarn store in the south called The Woolly Shepherd who sell local yarn (to them in Somerset) and also some interesting ethical and natural choices. I'm interested in the nettle yarn and the hemp yarn, though I’m not sure what I’d make from them. I also like the idea of the recycled sari silk. My favourite item on there must be the banana yarn, made from the banana fibers left over from banana harvesting. Okay, they could come from 4000 miles away which isn’t good miles for anything (lots of pollution on the way)
Okay, enough of me going on about yarn, people who aren’t interested in yarn will be bored! Trouble is, not much else is happening to me at the moment, sorry.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Woo, I completed the fingerless mittens I've been making, check it out
I'm please with them, they worked out as I expected. I'm thinking about knitting a scarf to go with them too.
This means that I could start a new project, though it might be the scarf to go with the mittens...

Saturday, September 01, 2007

New Yarn!

I couldn't resist, I went yarn shopping.
I didn't buy much, just two balls of Rowan pure wool (and a nice ball of local yarn for my SP spoilee)
Rowan Aran 2 balls
It's nice and soft, and the people at my LYS recommended that it would pill less than one with some man-made fiber in it, which is excellent for cushion covers, which I think I might use it for.