Thursday, July 31, 2008
Oh, now that depends. Am I cooking it?
If I am cooking, I like to do grilled fish with salad.
If my OH is cooking, I love barbeque! We do corn-on-the-cob, sausages (the good ones with 80% meat), steaks, fish, chicken skewers, and I make potato salad and sometimes I make salsa too.
If we’re going out, well, I still think sea-food is a good choice, or Mexican food. And a Margarita, no ice with a salt rim.
When we were in Florida last year OH and I spent a couple of days in Clearwater (if you get the chance, go there – it’s beautiful and relaxing!). One of the evenings we walked from the hotel (nobody walks in Florida, it was an interesting experience!) to a sea-food place the other side of the flyover. (I know; how romantic does that sound!) But it was really nice.
I’m afraid I can’t offer any recipes. I kind of throw things together and hope for the best when I cook.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
- One of either Hedgerow Socks or Storm for OH using the CHI I bought at the NDS for him.
This is also going to be my entry into the Ravelympics, I’m participating for Team Ankh Morpork Knitters in the Sock Putt! (knit any sock between the opening and closing ceremonies)
- Vinnland for me using the green stuff most likely
- Spring Thaw Socks again for me. I don’t know what yarn yet, but it needs to be solidish. (Sorry, no link – they’re in Knitters’ Summer 2008
- Windowpane Socks (again no link, sorry) using some leftover Opal most likely, but who knows!
- One of either Hedgerow Socks or Storm for OH using the CHI I bought at the NDS for him.
- Jumpers, cardigans and such,
- Beautiful in Blue for Mum in Kool Kotton (Aqua colour) – this was in SK in November last year
- Apres Surf Hoodie for me, using the Rowanspun I bought especially. I think I need needles.
- Hey, Teach! for me, I don’t know what yarn yet.
- Shawls and Scarves
- Other Stuff
- Baby bibs – I’ve got some yarn in my stash suitable (ie washable) in blue
- Jacques Cousteau Hat for OH using leftovers from Manly
- Cabled Newsboy Cap from the lush Toft Alpacas DK
- Recycle Tote (a freebie from Knit.1)
- Mosey - I need yarn for this though
- Seat belt snuggles (to stop the seat belt rub in vest tops!)
Sunday, July 27, 2008
This weekend we went to the Natural Dye Studio, in Suffolk (not Sussex, my geography sucks!) which is less than 2 hours from OH's folks' place.
We knit, we saw dyeing be done, I got to talk to Fyberspates' Jen (Rav Link), briefly.
While there I was able to work on the monkey sock Here it is later that day, ready for the next one to cast on. The pattern is so nice and the fit is much better on my foot than the Jaywalkers are. Overall, it's rating highly, but I do seem to need to concentrate a bit. Anyway, at the NDS we watched dye being done Yarn being dried in the sun And knitters (they're all in the studio watching the dye demo. OH takes pictures of things not people.) And I bought scrummy yarn!
Chi for OH socks: BFL for me: BFL that will be a clapotis
As well as some Fyberspates Scrumptious (I don't know what it will be yet)
And some undyed BFL from Bluefaced.com
Gosh! And as if that's not enough, I got around to photographing (and wearing again, though not much due to the heat) the Jaywalkers:
What a great weekend!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Gosh, that’s tough. I guess the most social place I knit is in a local pub every other Tuesday with the York Stitch n Bitch. There are usually a handful of us there, and the pub we go to (Brigantes) serve lovely fruit beer!
Otherwise, I like to knit in front of the TV, or in bed! I knit anywhere that I’m comfortable really.
If the weather was better I would like to sit outside in the sun to do some knitting too.
What supplies (besides yarn & needles) make the setting perfect for knitting?
I like to have a cup of tea, though if I get engrossed I end up with a cold cup of tea! Generally I have a nice blanket (sorry – not one I’ve knit, yet!) and something mindless on telly so I can concentrate enough on the knitting. I have the box-set of Sharpe which OH bought me for Christmas that I’m working through, but anything which can be “watched” without actually having to watch is good. On a warm day I might replace the tea with a gin-and-tonic, but only the one!
So, more knitting news, I’ve been continuing the monkey sock. I’m part way through turning the heel now. I still love the yarn and the pattern! I have been writing down ideas for another self-designed sock pattern, but I don’t know when I’ll have time to knit it, or what yarn I will use. Perhaps when I have a go at the Kool Aid dying I will use some of that. Before I do that I want a niddy noddy though. And I probably need to clean the kitchen.
I have also finished the back of the Urban Vest. Well, the stitches are on hold as it calls for the three needle bind off. Also, it has me cast off the neck part and then pick up stitches for the collar. This seems silly to me, so I’m leaving them live like I did on manly. I think it will be fine (though I don’t think I can do that around the V at the front, which would be easier, wouldn’t it? Sadly, some of it is vertical – no stitches to leave live) though I am playing with the idea of not using casting off as my method of decrease at the V. I think that the pattern calls for me to cast off one stitch at the v edge every so many rows. I was wondering whether it might look nicer if, once I’ve divided for the neck, I simply decreased with a left leaning decrease on the left side of the V and a right leaning decrease on the right side (as you look at it). That way I could slip stitches along the neckline for picking up, which might be neater. Also, then I can decrease on the same rows either side of the neck.
I’m off to the gym tonight. I’m feeling pretty good about the gym-going at the moment. I have accepted the fact that I’m not going to get any lighter if I’m building muscle. I am instead measuring myself with my tape measure. Before I began at the gym I wrote down in a notebook my hip, waist and bust measurements. Each time I complete one of the phases I will write down the new measurements. As I’m not making it to the gym 3 times a week (I think we average about 5 times a fortnight, which isn’t bad) that’s not too often to get measured. I do think that I’m still eating too much, and too much rubbish too. I tend to have a chocolate bar or crisps which I think is my main downfall. I have weetabix in a morning with a good helping of fresh fruit at the moment (strawberries, raspberries, now blueberries and blackcurrants, all from the UK!) and I have sandwiches at lunchtime (two rounds of seed-crammed bread, usually meat, often salad) and we have reasonable sized dinners. Either my idea of a reasonable dinner is actually unreasonable or there’s something funny going on.
Monday, July 21, 2008
I did have a bit of a disaster last night. While listening to Lime ‘n’ Violet I was working on branching out. This, it appears, was a mistake. I had to rip back to the previous lifeline (17 rows) because I dropped a stitch, or missed a yarn over, or something and I couldn’t see what it was or how to fix it. I know it would bother me and I want this to be a scarf I can wear. So back to row 80 I went. On the up-side, I’ve been putting lifelines in, so I didn’t have to start again (that would have been heartbreaking, and would have truly mangled the yarn).
It did make me wonder about lifelines on socks... but no, that’s silly.
Speaking of socks, Monkey socks are great! They’re not quite as easy to learn the pattern for as Jaywalker (Rav Link) were, but my they’re pretty! I think that the yarn I have helps, it’s not very striped, more blended, so the stripes aren’t killing the lace pattern. I might get some more of this for my next Ankh Socks, because I think the pattern would show up much better.
Britknitter asked in the comments about how these Monkey socks compare to Jaywalker (Rav Link). So, here we go.
|Pattern Speed||Really fast, only knit stitches so no faffing about. Lots of stitches though due to the tightness of the fabric. 9/10||Fast also, some purling slows it down a bit but there aren’t many stitches in a round so it’s quicker that way 8/10|
|Pattern Beauty||I love the zig-zag of the Jaywalker, and you can see it emerge within a few rows. 8/10||the lacy arch pattern is pretty, but it’s hard not to ladder on the purl sections as they’re at the ends of the needles. 8/10|
|Likelihood of knitting them again||Almost certainly, I’d rather do this pattern than vanilla socks any day. 90%||Possible, it depends on the fit once they’re done. I’ll update you once I have one knit 50%|
|Comfort and Fit||A bit tight round the heel when pulling on, but then fine. Nice and snug. Does leave silly lines on your feet if you wear tight shoes! 8/10||pending!|
After a quick breakfast, wash and dressed, we went out to the car. OH unlocked his door and it appeared the central locking wasn’t working. How odd. So we figured, it’s an old car, the central locking could have failed – not to worry, right? Wrong. The car wouldn’t start. To make matters worse, we just ended our old insurance with homestart inluded and the new policy we bought didn’t have it. Bother.
Well, we called the RAC about this, and they quoted us £70 to upgrade, including a £20 charge since we were “in an emergency situation”. So we told them to bog off.
We went to the post office to pick up my parcels (yummy yarn! – Rowanspun 4ply in Squirrel, destined to be the Apres Surf Hoodie) and post some stuff. Then we wandered into town to buy one of those battery chargy thingumys.
The thing said we had to charge it for 12 hours, so we went for a walk instead, putting off the shopping til Sunday. Actually, the walk was lovely. I did take my knitting but we didn’t find anywhere quiet to sit down out of the wind.
A night in with a movie (Juno: funny but a bit odd.) later and the thingy was charged. So on Sunday morning, bright and early (ish) we tried the booster thingy. Nope. Still no good. “Fine!” says I to whoever is listening. We called the RAC again. This time they quoted us only £45 for the additional cover. (If they’d said that on Saturday we’d probably have taken it then!) So we upgraded and called out the man.
The RAC man came, and as always was very nice. He started the car, and told us that although he had a battery Kwik Fit would be cheaper, oh and we did need a new battery. So, we drove off to Kwik Fit. Now, the advert used to say “You can’t get quicker than a Kwik Fit fitter” and by Jove, they’re right! I only had time to do two rows on the Monkey socks before they’d fitted the new battery. They weren’t actually cheaper, but when we told the man what the RAC man hat said, he knocked us a fiver off. Not much, but goodwill. I liked that.
So, then finally we got to go shopping.!
We didn’t find any luggage at the Outlet though. I did buy two new shirts, a frock and some shorts for £15 in the next sale (woo) and some new jogging bottoms for the gym. The frock needs a little adjustment, since it has pockets in (why?) which ruin the silhouette of my already large enough hips. I might think about taking out the darts too – I’ll post some pics of the process later as it happens, if I manage to charge the camera.
We finally went to BHS at Monks Cross to pick up some cases. There we found some reduced luggage, £15 per case. Purple. I don’t believe that black luggage is ever a good idea, but the purple should stand out enough. And they’re lightweight, which is important when we have a baggage limit as small as it is on Ryanair.
I looked for a strapless, or convertible strapless bra for my size. Not a sausage. It’s like thin people can’t have boobs or something. I mean, even a DD+ isn’t that big on a back size of 32 or smaller, so why so hard to find? I can tell you why so many women in the UK are wearing the wrong sized bra – because it’s easier than finding the right size! I used to wear a 34C, and they are everywhere, but when I got measured and re-sized to a 32DD (or 32E, depending on brand and shape), well at first I didn’t believe it, but the right size is so much more comfortable and also allows me not to have chronic back ache! So, I can not buy bras from New Look, Next, or really many high street stores. I can buy from M&S and La Senza, but neither of these have strapless bras in a DD or above anyway. So I’m going to have to buy online to get the scaffolding for strapless tops! How irritating.
Friday, July 18, 2008
So, that means I’m casting on some more socks today. Yes indeed. I have the pattern, yarn and needles required to cast on the monkey socks with the Natural Dye Studio yarn originally from the SP11 swap and my lovely upstream from that round Crafty Drama Queen!
So, I’ll let you know if I love that pattern as much as the Jaywalker one.
OH is wearing the sweater to work today, and his socks from before. I feel loved as a knitter.
I bought some yarn online, but it hasn’t come yet. I’ve bought the yarn for the Apres Surf Hoodie (from the Summer Interweave Knits) – not the recommended yarn, but some Rowanspun 4ply in “Squirrel” (soft grey). I hope it’s nice. Then I really must stop buying yarn for myself, I have three jumpers’ worth!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I’ve only really been on one proper holiday since I started knitting. The whole family (my parents, sister and her fella, me and my OH) went to Florida. I took a sock with me then. It didn’t get knitted on much. When OH and I went to Bruges I took a sock too, which didn’t get knitted on much – do you see a theme?
Anyway, I think I would always take something small enough that it’s not in the way in case I am just too busy to knit. I’m pretty frugal with my packing, so I can’t imagine ever taking more than I need – if anything I’d run out. Socks are great in so many ways, they’re portable (I have one in my work bag for lunchtimes, or on the bus between sites) and even if there’s a pattern to follow it usually fits on a sheet of A4 and can be stuck in a bag. I use the doody bag that I got in a previous swap for sock projects. the only thing that worries me is that my needles might get broken!
We’re going to France in August, so I’ll be taking whatever sock I am working on at that point. I was thinking about taking Clapotis too, (I put it in babelfish and it told me that Clapotis is Lapping in French, how interesting!) But I don’t know if I have enough yarn of the appropriate weight! (Actually, I do know. and I don’t have enough.) I could make a thinner version with the “Greek wool” (Remember the legwarmers? I frogged them.) which I have around 600m of.
In any case, I’ll have to put any knitting I have in my case, as we’re not allowed knitting needles on planes (I might turn all Buffy-but-evil with the 20mm wooden ones, clearly) so that means that I’ll have to take an alternative. Crochet! I don’t know what I will crochet, or with what. I only have a couple of plastic crochet hooks (the metal ones are also banned) so I’m a bit limited there. Ho hum.
If you have any good ideas about patterns that can be crocheted in short flights (about 3 hours) and don’t require oodles of yarn… let me know? :)
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Today has been fantastic; we went to the Great Yorkshire Show…but more about that later.
Because, on the way home, I picked up a parcel. And that parcel was from my secret pal!
And what was in that parcel? Well, let me tell you.
If you look in this picture you will see (starting top left, moving around clockwise)
Some Dairy Milk melts. Yummy! OH and I have both had one of these already and they’re lovely!
Two balls of Rowan Kidsilk Night. That’s the one with the sparkly bits in!
A lovely card with socks on, and some handmade (I think) stitch markers, including one with a fish on!
Two balls of Rowan Damask in a delightful pink colour (woo, love pink!)
Some top, which my pal tells me that s/he uses for wet felting, but that s/he thinks can be spun. The colours are again fantastic!
And a drinks coaster about being grown up, which is hilarious!
Wow, I feel so spoiled! Thank you so much secret pal, whoever you may be, I will really enjoy all of these things!
Now, moving on to the Great Yorkshire Show.
For more pictures, check out my Flickr, by clicking on the image!
It was such a fun day! We saw sheep, cows, pigs, chickens, alpaca, tractors, crafts, cheeses, flowers, food and the top of the Queen’s Landrover!
My favourite part was the alpaca.
I bought a ball of alpaca double knit from Toft Alpaca who offer a range of Alpaca goodies on their website – go check it out!
I also, while petting the Alpaca, was encouraged by OH to go see what they were selling on the British Alpaca stand. They had bags of fleece, and encouraged by OH, I picked one up. It’s from a local Alpaca herd in Kirkbymoorside. There’s 600g here and it was £10. I think that’s good, but I confess that I don’t know. And so now I need some carders, as this is uncarded, unwashed fleece. Whoops!
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
I love holidays! I don't mind where I go as long as I have good company! I do prefer to go somewhere warm though, I am a beach-bum at heart.
While I can spend an entire week sitting on the beach, even I concede that it's nice to do something while on holiday, so I also like there to be something cultured to do, visiting ruins or museums, watching shows or even just browsing the shops.
Where is one place you’d like to go?
One place? I have to pick one?
I can't do that, I'm afraid. However, I can give you my top 3:
- Egypt - I would love to see the pyramids. I don't know much about Egyptology and the study of the pyramids and the mummies, but it looks and sounds so interesting.
- Japan - I briefly studied Japanese during my A levels (not as a full A level mind) and I found the whole culture fascinating. Also, I love Japanese food (well, the sort we get in England at least) so I would have a great time trying lots of different food! And, I know how to say: Konnichiwa, watashiwa Tsuki des, samurai dewa arimassen (which means "Hello, I'm Tsuki, I am not a samurai)
- California, the Grand Canyon, Nevada, Area 51... I could do it all in one holiday, surely?
Monday, July 07, 2008
So, here’s a little teaser:
It’s lace, it’s small, it’s useful for protecting stash.
I’m quite pleased with it actually, and it gave me a chance to try out some lace which is lace on both sides. You know, where you knit the pattern on the knit rows and on the purl rows. So there was no “purl back” there. Of course, I did also get the dubious pleasure of performing p2togtbl (that’s purl-two-together-through-the-back-loops – or for you non knitters, an evil stitch) which I have decided is in fact the devil’s stitch. I have heard of patterns calling for p3togtbl, and those – well those should be avoided if you’re as easily annoyed as I am.
In other craft news (sorry non craft people!) I have been spinning a little of the pink from the Texere parcel. I’m thinking of spinning the whole 50g and plying it with itself, then spinning 50g of the black to ply with itself, then spinning 25g of each to ply together, then spinning the other 25g of each in an experimental sequence which when plied should be some bits of pink-pink, some pink-black and some black-black. Who knows if it will work, or what it will look like, or what on earth I’ll use it for! I think that my spinning is getting more consistent with every attempt though; this lot is still slubby in places, but not as bad as my first attempt! The hardest thing is knowing how much twist to put in.
I have also made much progress on Manly. I’m about half-way through the final sleeve. Once that is done I will pick up for the neck band. That’s only six rows, which I hope to knit on a circular needle, if I have one the right size… Finally, I will block the pieces (Woo for the craft desk) and then seam them (eek). I will probably use a tutorial of some sort, and perhaps even practice on something. That said, I need to seam the aforementioned small thingy, so perhaps that can be a bit of a practice go. It’s smaller, so less of a challenge/annoyance to rip back the seaming.
Friday, July 04, 2008
My Ankh Socks are available as a Rav download!
I’m looking forwards to completing the rest of the hat I’ve been working on (With the cables and the bobbles) not that it’s really hat weather at the moment. Not that sort of hat anyway.
I’m going to be designing some more socks. I’ve got some lovely yarn and an idea about [deleted to keep it a surprise]… and intarsia. Dum-dum-duuuuh.
So, I’ve been on a bit of a shopping spree. There was a free postage weekend at Texere so I thought I’d have a look and see what they had. I ordered around 800g of stuff, plus a ball winder. The stuff was 200g of top for spinning and 600g of yarn!
There’s two 50g bags of black top for spinning, and two of pink. I think I might do some “barber pole” plying with some of that. I’m experimenting basically.
I also have one 50g ball each of charcoal and pink alpaca sock wool. Yum, yum, yum! It’s so soft, so warm! I love it. that’s the stuff I’m planning the pattern I mentioned above with. It’s going to be my first intarsia (maybe). I just hope I have enough yarn.
I also have a 400g cone of un-dyed 4ply sock yarn. (I didn’t get the lambs’ wool, because I thought it would be a waste for my first dyeing attempts.) I’ve been Karma Swapped some Kool-Aid by the blogless Bea, so this cone will be waiting until that arrives from America. Perhaps I’ll find someone selling niddy-noddys at the Yorkshire Show next week.
Last, but not least, I bought two balls of Noro Kureyon. In a red-purple-blue-ish colour. It’s lovely, though I don’t know what I am going to make with it yet. I’m thinking about one of the striped scarves I’ve seen, where you take your two balls of Noro and you begin at one end of one ball and the other end of the other ball (the idea being that the stripe sequence is reversed on one ball) and then do something with two rows of one and then two rows of the other. Or perhaps I’ll do some of that complicated looking intarsia where you have a plain colour as the background and use the Noro as the contrasting colour. I guess I’ll just stash it for now while I decide :-)
I also bought some more sock yarn (which OH was condescending about) from Tofutsies, the one with chitin in. chitin is crab shells, I gather. It’s meant to be hard wearing. I got that at the same time as some other stuff for my Secret Pal. I have some more bits I want to get, but then the first package will be ready to go.
I do like the secret swaps. The Sox swap has been entertaining and it’s nice to know who is sending you stuff, but it’s also fun to try to work out who on Earth has sent you the fab goodies in a secret swap!
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
At the moment I’d love to have the Louisa Harding yarn to make some of the patterns from the Hummingbird collection, but it isn’t cheap!
I guess that this changes every time I queue a new pattern on Ravelry! A couple of days ago it would have been some proper baby yarn to make some nice baby things for some upcoming babies (not mine).
Last week it would have been some nice aran to make the Brea Bag with.
Before that it would have been Noro sock yarn but I bought some :-)
I guess my stash is complete, in that I look at it and smile, that I can go pet the lace-weight from Violet Green or the sock yarn from The Natural Dye Studio if I need cheering up. I know that I have enough that I could knit for a while without running out, which means there’s enough.
Of course, that wouldn’t stop me buying more!
2) What yarn do you never want to be without?
Sock Yarn. I’m on my fourth pair of socks, my second pair for myself. I love socks, I love knitting socks, I love wearing knitted socks.
Of course, one could get bored only knitting socks, so I wouldn’t want to only knit socks ever again. If I could only have sock yarn then I’d have to knit with it double, treble or even quadruple stranded to make more chunky things.
And if I had to choose specific sock yarn? Oh, I would be torn. As I’ve mentioned above, I love the hand-dyed yarns. But I do love the self-striping yarns too, Opal rocks! Any self striping is good, mind you, but I’ve mostly used Opal. So, don’t make me choose a specific one!
Oh, unless I could be a bit vague with my choice, and say I’d never be without pure wool yarn. (I know it’s not so hardwearing on socks without the man-made content) there’s something homey about a smooshy soft pure wool yarn. I’m knitting Manly in pure wool for OH, and it’s so nice to work with! (I am about a third of the way through the second sleeve)