Monday, September 29, 2008


I've been spinning... Handspun 1
Pretty? I think so.
This is from the fibre that my SP12 upstream sent me in package 1. It's come up really pretty! I'm thinking now about what I could knit it into.
I'm not sure if there's enough for a Calorimetry but I might try that...

Oh, and I do still have a job.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Something Old, Something New...

I've cut my hair off. more new hair
And I've finished Storm.

On Monday, I'll tell you if I have a job or not...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Secret Pal 12 - Final Question of the Week!

If you were told you could never again buy yarn, what would your last yarn purchase be?
Never again buy yarn? That would suck. I guess I would buy as much undyed sock yarn as I could! At least that way I could feed my sock habit and also have fun with colour.
If you were told you could never knit again, what would be the last thing you’d knit?
I’d knit one of those “wedding ring” shawls, they’re so delicate – so the tale goes – that they can fit through a wedding ring. It would be ever so complicated, and take many hours to make, so my last ever knitting would last a while. Also, once finished it would be a wonderful heirloom.
In a given year, how many times do you buy yarn?
Too many?
Less than once a week, probably on average about once a month? < br /> Possibly more. < br /> Faster than I knit it!
And what is your favourite place to buy yarn from? A festival? A shop? Online? Dish your favourite places!!
Ooh, anywhere. I like to buy in person for the feely factor. But once I know I like a yarn I’ll buy it from where it is cheap or where the customer service is good. I like festivals (not that I've been to many) because of the range, and independent dyers!
Lastly, with Fall in full swing in many areas, what is the one thing you look forward to most?
I don’t like the cold, so Autumn is when I start to feel a bit gloomy. But, I revel in the fact that I now knit! I’m looking forwards to knitting myself (and one or two select others) lovely woolly knitted things. It starts to feel like Christmas is on its way too (seriously, my local supermarket already has Christmas Puddings on the shelves!) and I both like and dislike Christmas. I like spending time with family (mine and OH’s) and I like relaxing in front of a Bond movie on Christmas day!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Too Cute

Like Doggies?
Like Felting?
Like Cute?
Go Here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Random Weekend

On Saturday we went to Harrogate, mainly so that OH could have a haircut. I decided to book in with the same lady so I now have new hair too. Hmm. I’m still not sure if I like it; sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Still, it’s shorter. Which is good.
I got a reasonable amount of knitting done on the train there and back and also while waiting for OH. I’ve got about 15 rows left on the “Sock Putt” socks. Then I’m experimenting with a stretchy bind-off from Interweave Knits. If it works, I might have to un-bind-off the other sock and re-do it the new way.
I also did some shopping and bought prezzies for my sister ready for her birthday next month.
Sadly, there are no yarn shops in Harrogate. Well, I say “sadly” but it meant that I didn’t spend a fortune!

So, I’ve shipped my final SP12 package today. Hopefully there are enough clues for her to guess who I am. I’ve quite enjoyed this round so far. I am not sure whether I will join in the next one – it depends on when it is I think. This one fell quite nicely for me with regards to holidays, finance and life generally. Also, I’ll be getting some news from work next Monday which might change everything. My department is being restructured. It’s a good thing for the business, but it means that things will be changing, including my job. But we’ll see – I’m not worrying about it; it would do no good to worry about it, I’ve done all I can.

I also have a package to collect from the post office. I suspect that it is the Niddy Noddy that I ordered from Forest Fibres on e-bay. Actually, they’ve been really good at Forest Fibres, there was a delay with the shipment of Niddy Noddys (customs I gather) and so it’s taken a while longer than expected to ship it. They’ve kept me informed through the process, and have responded to my emails, which is always good, and they’ve even offered me a discount next time I buy. Which I will be doing, next time I want spinning supplies of some sort!

On Sunday I went to “Range”. I intended to buy some wire cutters for jewellery making, but it’s harder to find them than you think! So, I ended up with some more heavy duty ones for now, plus quite a few beads and things. I’m wearing a bracelet I made right now! I’ll take a photo later.

I don’t think I mentioned that we’ve had to split the hamsters up. Aran and Rowan don’t get on, so we now have two cages. We already had two of most other things (bowls, bottles etc) and now we have two cages, two houses, two chewy logs (well, one cut in half with a junior hacksaw), two wheels, the works. They both seem much happier now, no more squeaking. Aran still runs around his cage quickly and Rowan potters around more sedately. They both like the wheels, though Rowan doesn’t run so fast, he prefers to eat!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Meme about music

Saw this on Knitting and... and thought it might be interesting.

A.) Go to
B.) Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year
C.) Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you hate - I came to the conclusion that the American Billboard Chart - sucks.

So, I thought I'd have a dig for a more interesting year/date.
I was going to do the UK top 40 for December 1981 (when I was born) but they were all a bit odd (the birdy song?) so I looked up what was in the chart on my 21st birthday
I've bolded the ones I like and struck through the ones I hate...

1. Will Young, Leave Right Now
2. Ozzy & Kelly Osbourne, Changes
3. Michael Andrews featuring Gary Jules, Mad World
4. Black Eyed Peas, Shut Up
5. Shane Richie, I'm Your Man
6. Darkness, Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)
7. Westlife, Mandy
8. Gareth Gates, Say It Isn't So
9. Bo Selecta, Proper Crimbo
10. Girls Aloud, Jump
11. Idols, Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
12. Katie Melua, The Closest Thing To Crazy
13. Cliff Richard, Santa's List
14. Simply Red, You Make Me Feel Brand New
15. Outkast, Hey Ya!
16. Evanescence, My Immortal
17. Cheeky Girls, Have A Cheeky Christmas
18. Kevin Lyttle, Turn Me On
19. Atomic Kitten featuring Kool & The Gang, Ladies Night
20. Dido, Life For Rent
21. Christina Aguilera, The Voice Within
22. UB40 featuring United Colours Of Sound, Swing Low
23. Sugababes, Too Lost In You
24. D-Side, Real World
25. Busted, Crashed The Wedding
26. Blue featuring Stevie Wonder & Angie Stone, Signed Sealed Delivered I'm Yours
27. Ultrabeat, Feelin' Fine
28. Fatman Scoop featuring The Crooklyn Clan, Be Faithful
29. Ja Rule, Clap Back / Reigns
30. Nelly Furtado, Powerless (Say What You Want)
31. Madonna, Love Profusion
32. Lemar, 50 / 50 / Lullaby
33. Big Brovaz, Ain't What You Do
34. Lost Brothers featuring G Tom Mac, Cry Little Sister (I Need U Now)
35. Alicia Keys, You Don't Know My Name
36. Britney Spears featuring Madonna, Me Against The Music
37. Alex Parks, Maybe That's What It Takes
38. Delta Goodrem, Not Me Not I
39. Michael Jackson, One More Chance
40. Daniel O'Donnell, You Raise Me Up

Monday, September 15, 2008

Can't think of a clever title today, sorry.

I’ve had a very creative weekend. Sadly, I’ve only photographed the dying that I did (see this post) so you can’t see the pretty yarn that I’ve spun from the fibre that my SP12 sent me in the first parcel And it seems that I’ve totally failed to photograph the fibre beforehand too. I’m a bad Blogger.

However, I have photographed my progress on the Clapotis Clap Which is a nice knit. it is using all of my stitch markers though! I knit quite a bit of this once my arm was tired from spinning, while watching another instalment from my Sharpe box set.

Also, on Saturday I discovered a new (to me) bead shop in town called “Bead Hive”. It’s such a fun shop. I spent more than I should have in there already, and I’m already planning on going back! I made something from one of their kits, which is nice but a bit jangly for me. I’ve also made something secret, which is a simple big-bead on a hemp thong. Lastly I fixed the Nevada turquoise pendant that my parents brought me back when they were in Nevada.
While doing that I learned a great deal about the “findings” required for such things, as well as finding out that my round nose pliers were a bit iffy and OH’s wire cutters are completely rubbish. So, I plan to get some nice jewellery wire cutters. I might not replace my pliers yet, they’re coping as long as I’m not daft with them.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Whoops! I did it again...

(Bit of a theme goin on with my recent titles, no?)

Next Generation
This one is called "Next Generation" and was originally Blue Faced Leicester from

But today, I've been practicing spinning, and now I'm going to spin some of the stuff my SP12 sent me to see how it goes and to hopefully then knit into something, eventually.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Somethin' Kinda Ooh

Or possibly not, I just have that stuck in my head. Probably after reading that there’s a new GA single due out soon. (The Promise, out on the 27th October)
I’m not ashamed to admit that I like cheesy pop. I am the sort of girl that hits the dancefloor when the DJ puts Britney, Kylie or such like on. I’m the one who knows the dance to the Macarena (so sue me) and Gimme Some, and wig-wam-bam, umm…
Anyway, GA are one of my cheese-of-choice pop groups. But you could have guessed that, right? I have the albums, they’re a long standing Christmas list item. Since their new album is out in time for Christmas (It’s not named yet, but I’m sure it’ll be out for Christmas!) then I’ll be hoping for that one.
Sadly, there isn’t much other proper girly pop out there at the moment. Come on Kylie, we’re waiting. I was hoping that Britney’s recent upturn (cleaning up her act and such) might be leading to a new album on her part. We will see. I do quite like some of the stuff in the charts now (well, that was in the charts last time we were in the car listening to the chart show – is it even called that – on Radio 1. must have been at the end of August)

My boss has commented that I don’t wear much hand-knitted clothing, considering that I knit. I’ve found that to be an interesting comment. I don’t wear a lot of hand-knits, it’s true. This is because I can only knit so fast, and a lot of my knitting time is spent on socks. Or for some bizarre reason, scarves! I am currently wearing (and enjoying) my urban vest Urban Back Although not with that shirt under it. I’m wearing a nice green striped long-sleeved t-shirt and blue jeans. I feel comfortable, and warm! I do hope to knit some more cardigan/sweater/tops for myself, but I am otherwise occupied at the moment:
  • Ravelympic Socks - yes, still working on these. I have about 60 rows left of the leg, which at 70 stitches per row is quite a bit of knitting. Still, they’re going to look fantastic! I love socks. It’s quite a slow pattern to knit because of all the purls. I tend to try to avoid purling on socks if possible…
  • My First Lace - the branching out scarf. I’m pretty bored of it, and it doesn’t have a deadline. So it’s pretty much just sitting by the bed for when I forget to bring other knitting with me. Shocking, I know. And the yarn is so pretty and soft. Travesty. Perhaps it’ll get sorted if I do another “February is for Finishing” next year?
  • Not more socks? - the plain old vanilla sock pattern because the Ladybird colourway doesn’t need anything else to look pretty. It’s a good tired project, and probably good for watching movies I’m actually interested in with.
  • Cardigan for Mum - as chosen by Mum. The yarn is cotton, which feels weird when you’re used to woolly yarns. It’s nice though, and the lace pattern is pretty so far. I’m unsure about the moss-stitch for the top half and sleeves, and I’m thinking about substituting some stocking stitch instead. I know the gauge for this will be different though, and the drape… I think it might be nice though, and a much more pleasant knit! It will change the look of the cardi though.
  • Clapotis - this is the “everyone knits it” item for knitting. Clapotis was published in Knitty in Fall 2004. It’s by Kate Gilbert, who is possibly one of my favourite designers at the moment. It’s a scarf/shawl and is knit diagonally, so self-striping yarns make the pattern look really cool. I’m not using Worsted/Aran weight yarn though, I’m using sock/4ply yarn from NDS. That means that it’s a slightly different beastie. It looks lovely so far, although I haven’t yet dropped down any stitches. The NDS yarn helps, I think, as it’s sort of striping, but not. I’ll take a photo at some point to show you.
So, perhaps when that lot is finished, I can get on with the many other things I want to make, which currently stands at a list of 97 items. Oh dear. Including 36 pairs of socks. Hmm. I have enough sock yarn for 26 pairs, assuming that I can get one pair from a 100g ball. Still, I’m not buying more until I have knit more. Or I get to the Stitch n Craft show in Harrogate, by when I will have knit more anyway.

Monday, September 08, 2008


Lots of news!
In fact, there’s so much news, I’m going to split it into more than one post!
That way, you can read just the bits you are interested in.

Over on My Knitting Blog, there is a post about my dying exploits. I had a lot of fun at the weekend experimenting with Kool-Aid, food colouring from Supercook, a steamer and some yarn. Here’s a link to the actual post.
Also, I finished the Urban Vest

But, here’s the news that more of you will be interested in:
On Saturday we gained two new additions to our household. I’d like you to meet:

Rowan and Aran
Yes, OH allowed me to give them knitting names, though they’re proper boy’s names too. They are beautiful little dwarf Russian (or Campbell’s) hamsters. All five that were available to choose between were of this colouring, the same as Aston was. We chose the two who were most interested in getting in to the random cardboard box!
Rowan and Aran
Now, to tell them apart, Rowan has darker stripes down his flanks than Aran, and Aran is a little smaller than Rowan. Aran also squeaks, a lot.
We’ve had a look in the book, and he’s behaving in a way that the book suggests means that he’s afraid. He tends to lie on his back with his paws in the air and squeak.
I already love having pets in the house again. We’re not tidy enough to have anything that can roam free, and although I love bunnies (and guinea pigs, but less so) and we could replace the shelving unit with an indoor-rabbit cage, it would be quite expensive. So perhaps not yet. Hamsters are a good size for taking care of, they’re portable enough that we can take them with us when we visit places in the UK, and also portable enough that we can take them to visit friends if we go out of the country.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Colour me 22p

I’ve bought some food colourings. I bought red, blue, yellow, green, pink and black. I decided against natural yellow and natural red on the grounds that they were 80p more expensive. The good news is that Supercook food colouring is only 22p in Morrisons, except for blue and black which were 27p. That’s wicked cheap, if you ask me. When I’m allowed* to buy more yarn (tee hee) I’ll probably get more for dying, but as it is I have only the 400g cone (which is where I’m beginning because it was cheaper) and one beautiful skein from who were at the Natural Dye Studio open day. So, I’m just waiting on the Niddy-Noddy. Sadly there are stock issues, so it’s not going to ship until next week. I’m prepared to wait. Well, I might wind 100g off the cone and turn that into a skein by some other means. Just so I can have a go. I’m very impatient.

I’m not sure what colour I would like to make my first hand-dye skein of yarn. It’s a tricky one. My favourite colour is pink (who would have guessed) and red comes a close second. However, red-and-pink together might not work so well. Perhaps I could put blue in between them, that might work better. I guess it all depends on how long the repeat is, which depends on how long the skein is. I can see myself wrapping this yarn around my craft table, for long repeats. I’m going to use cling-film to protect my nice craft table. I’m also going to put something down on the floor (newspaper, if we have any) to protect against splashes. I should invest in some paintbrushes perhaps. Having seen Fyberspates’s Jen using a paintbrush with great success at the NDS Open Day (anyone else think I got a lot out of that day?)

* It’s only me stopping me from buying more yarn. I have plenty. Not SABLE yet, but certainly getting there! I must learn to knit faster.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Not more socks

I definitely have not cast on another pair of socks. Certainly not, I haven’t finished the current pair yet.
Okay, I confess, I have cast on another pair of socks, and not just so I can cheat my yarn diet. I’ll have to actually finish them before I’m allowed more sock yarn.
I’m making some basic socks with some self-patterning yarn. It’s the ladybird from Opal that I mentioned before.
So far, I like it. I’ve done ten rows of k1tbl, p1 rib and three rows of plain old stockinette*. I have less than a full ball (only 94 out of the original 150g) but I’m confident that this is enough for some socks. The difficulty comes in that I prefer to knit cuff-down socks, so I’ll have to guess whether I have enough yarn, and risk having to frog an entire sock. I have split the yarn into two 47 gram balls though, so I’ll only have to do this on one sock. I think that the foot (including toe) must take about the same amount of yarn as the heel, leg and cuff. So if I can decide how much yarn I think the heel takes (perhaps by percentage of stitches or something) then I could use that to calculate how long to knit the leg. Or I could guess. In fact, I probably will just knit til I think it looks long enough.

In other news, I’ve finally got around to ordering a niddy-noddy. I found one on ebay for a reasonable price. It’s an Ashford one. Once that has arrived I plan to skein my cone of 4ply undyed lambs wool into four 100g skeins (approximately) and then it will be ready to dye. That said, I don’t have my Kool-Aid yet. However, I’m considering having a go with food colouring instead. There’s a good tutorial here, at specifically about dying with food colouring, and this one contains loads of information about colour theory, what is in food colour and how it works. It is very interesting. I’m hoping that Supercook food colouring will work just as well. I might have to use a steamer as my heat source too, which could make a difference... I’ll document the process, and if it all goes well, I’ll put a “how I did it” on here.

* My spell checker tells me that stockinette is not a valid word, but I’m not sure that I like Microsoft’s spelling of stockinet. So I looked it up on, and sure enough there it is, spelled stockinette. So I have now added it to my MS dictionary. The spellchecker doesn’t like niddy-noddy either, but is fine with Kool-Aid.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

It goes on

I keep saying that I’ll blog when I get home so that I can put pictures on.
And then I have other things to do, or get home at silly times.

Last night I was at Brigantes again for Stitch n Bitch, Knit n Natter, or whatever you like to call it. it was good fun, and I got quite a lot of the Urban Vest done. I’ve finished the collar now, I have the sewing up and arm-cuffs left to do. While I don’t enjoy sewing up, it is a means to an end. And I am far to excited about the possibility of wearing this sweater that I will finish seaming it tonight. (I thought about doing it before work, but then had to accept that it would take longer than the 10 minutes I had spare. So I just prepared it.)

In an effort to use up stash, I’m planning some new socks. I’m going to use the Opal 6ply Ladybird that I got from the UKarma swaps forum. Rainforest I’m considering doing just plain socks, though I would prefer some pattern to keep it interesting. I don’t know if the patterned yarn would be interesting enough (I suspect so, I have the attention span of a three-year-old full of e-numbers – Ooh! Pink! Ooh! Cream! Ooh! Black spotty bits! Ooh! Pink! Ooh! Etc.) and as this is 6ply, it’s nearer to DK than to 4ply weight, so I’ll only need 56 stitches (perhaps). I’d quite like to make something Jaywalker-like, but I’d like less ziggy I think. (it’s not a solid striper, which I think I’d prefer for my next Jaywalkers) maybe something with eyelets on it in a pattern – or would the pattern be obscured by the yarn? I could make something monkey-like (I liked the monkeys), but I’m not sure that would be good with the stripes. Which brings me back to just plain old vanilla.

However, I am still knitting the Sock Putt sock. It doesn’t seem to go very quickly. Every time I pick it up I like the yarn and I like the pattern. But it’s so slow! I think it’s because when there’s a lot of purl stitches, and a lot of knit stitches, then you spend a lot of time moving the yarn around into the right place and not knitting.