Thursday, 25 September 2008

Spots before my eyes.........................

The delightful Linz has nominated me for an award.....Richard Branson eat your heart out. It's the "I love your Blog Award" . I just want to say that I hope this does not lead to a plethora of people who knew me in childhood selling stories to The Sunday Post....neither do I see Murdo-themed Barbie-type dolls flooding Toys R Us....( although they would be a good profit margin for the manufacturers as they would need shedloads-less latex/plastic for the chest area than usual). This is a the following are the "lucky" awardees I would like to pass onto...

a/Melody Knits ( a blog from a chief enabler of high repute and a wit to boot!)
b/Yarnsnob ( I learn and admire)
c/Gilrean ( this is the sock knitters'!)
d/Kathleen Turner (really talented designer)
e/Yarnharlot ( Ok, I know it might sound smarmy but this IS my fave blog as I laugh out loud)
f/Yarnyard ( a blog that covers yarn to chickens to sheds...yes, sheds :)
g/ (check out her wonderful Eleanor pattern)
h/Probablyjane (amazing sock patterns and her blog is a great read)
i/The Cabled Climber ( a rock-climbing knitter)

The rules/guidelines are as follows .1. Post this award on your blog.2. Add a link to the person who sent you the award.3. Nominate at least 4 other bloggers, and add their links as well.4. Leave a comment at the new recipients' blogs, so they know they got an award.

So why "spots before my eyes??? Well, Linz has a bit of a thing about Ladybirds...a bit like Bill Gates has a thing about, as a thanks for my award, here's some Ladybird patterns I like........
Ladybug Mittens
Ladybug Pyjama Bag

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Pirate return..............

What better date to resuscitate a Piratepurls blog than Talk like a Pirate Day.
Very little knitting done as my arm will take 18 months to can only now knit/crochet for about 15 minutes at a time. 15 minutes however, is infinitely preferable to no minutes at all :)
Falling down stairs and being a crock and watching the Olympics got us all thinking about exercise... I could watch this guy for hours Poetry in Motion........................................................................
Inspired by this and as it was Pirate's and Sinbad's Birthdays we got a good deal on a Trampoline . Sinbad has embraced exercising on it totally.....................see the uncanny similarities between him and the gentleman in the video??????????

Practicing so you you can swing from a yardarm must be taxing, it may also be contagious..even scurvy seadogs can be affected......

Anyway, some knitting has occurred...I finished off this top which was a top-down raglan. I looked at and adored the Leaf T shirt and the Rusted Root patterns…but decided I wanted something inspired by them but different. I used the Leaf T’s gorgeous lace panel :) ie/ a central lace pattern a squared neckline eyelet detail (thanks to aztrichards) So after much wrong maths (ahem) and frog ponding…here it is. It doesnt skew in real life..I am just rubbish at photos! The cotton is nice to work with and is a really cheap knit! This was less than 5 balls of James Brett Kool Kotton.

I have started this pattern Baby Cables and Big ones Too by Suvi s.........loving it but I have found that if I join arms at point stated then it is too long in the body/skeeve spaces too big (possibly my row gauge) frogging back about 20 rows. Great pattern gorgeous is this!!! I am using a cone of lush Blue Faced Leicester that I had in stash...its so lovely to knit with. I got it from this chap who is is his yan. Anyone in Chester UK on weekend of the 27-28th September...he is having an open day.

I have also started a BSJ ( baby Surprise Jacket ). You can see lots of these lovely jackets here. I am using Yarnyard Sockyarn. Beautifully soft for baby but also washable for Mum. The 0-3 months size takes a 100G a nice change from socks!

This is an amazing baby pattenn by Elizabeth Zimmerman . It appears in her books "The Opinionated Knitter" and "Knitter's Workshop" can also purchase as a single pattern here. I believe that SchoolHouse Press will be releasing in the next few weeks an Expanded BSJ Pattern for knitters who who would like detailed instructions and “instructions for the “no-man’s-land” size of approx 7-10 year-olds (too big for the BSJ; too small for the Adult version.
One of the things I like about Yarnyard is that they sell 50g great for colour work.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Lopi in my veins and we are not alone!

Well, perhaps more accurate to say Lopi is in my airways, my bed, my husbands underpants. I kid you not. As much as I love knitting with this yarn it sheds as you go along. I tend to knit in bed of an evening (doesn't everybody??????) and there is now lots of little blue fibres to prove it. OH was "tolerant but concerned". Once it found it's way into his underwear his concern increased. To try and give him perspective that there were worse things that could invade underpants than lopi, I showed him this. Sadly it gave little solace.

Thankfully the cardigan is now finished. It's the Ski Jacket from Veronic Avery's book "Knitting Classic Style"

I love the pattern but found the following

  • chart key incorrect. A=main colour. The chart itself is accurate it'sjust the key that is out.
  • buttonband as written would appear on mans side of a cardi

  • I lengthened body and sleeves by two inches, as my arms are reminicent of an Orang and I wanted a jacket as opposed to a waist length cardi.

I also have finished my Headigan hat. This is knit side to side and is a really enjoyable knit. I used less than 1 skeinWensleydale Longwool Aran and less than 1 ball of Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora. Despite me not having a "hat-face", I love this hat. However, do you see any similarities?? Note to self re must de-fur those eyebrows. Live long and prosper.

On an extra-terrestrial theme...have a look at this blog!! This wonderful blogger has produced a crochet pattern for the newest DR Who aliens, the Adipose Babies ...less than 24 hours after they appeared on the TV. Amazing!! I hav been informed by the Piratepurls that they want one will teach them to crochet their own!!

In between planetary exploration, I also joined a KAL using New Lanark yarn. This is unbelievably good value yarn ( £1.00 for Double Knitting 50 gram ball = 132 yds / 120 metres ). I am using the Donegal Silk Tweed mix and subbing it for Felted Tweed to make the Tangled Yoke Cardigan. My tension using the New Lanark was different from the original yarn (21 stitches on 3.75mm needles) so I am knitting the smallest size to accommodate for this. Hopefully I will get a 38 inch chest. Swatching was interesting as the yarn "blooms" slightly after washing and the feel and handle much improves. It's not a scratchy yarn but is not super-soft. I do think it is wearable against the skin after washing. One thing, if you do buy this yarn I would invest in a sample card for £1 as the colours look different on my monitor.

Here's my progress to date...just finished the garter rib and onto the ss. Not sure about continuing with the faux seam :(

It's not just me who has been busily knitting. Both the Piratepurls have been knitting over Easter. They both completed the Easter dishcloth from Kenyetta Davis. She very kindly let them be test knitters... ( a pause for motherly pride of a 9 and 10 year old being test knitters)...and they found the pattern well written and fun to make. Kenyetta's piccie is better than mine!

They are now knitting two of Barbara Prime's patterns. The rabbit with a hoodie and the Puppy Dog

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Back from advising NASA.....

OK...advising NASA is not strictly true BUT it sounds a lot better than back from a backlog of workstuff.

Got quite a few knitting and crochet things finished, just as well 'cos then I fell down stairs at work and couldn't knit for nearly TWO weeks. That's made me realise how obsessive I am, I have been like a cat on hot bricks. The Doctor in casualty/ER looked at me as if I was concussed when I kept asking for his best estimate of when the pain would stop as I had a shawl to complete.....

Anyway.Finally finished the Bodrum Airport socks. This is a nice partern by the Yarn Harlot. They look nothing like her "Earl Grey" pattern, as the pattern ended up in lost they are "sortof" her pattern but aren't. The Harlot is SERIOUSLY funny....hubby is now used to me laughing at the laptop and saying, "Oh that Harlot"....he was originally worried that I had been subsumed by a cult and was speaking in Old Testament of the wittiest blogs I've read.

On the topic of The Harlot...she is coming to the UK. At the risk of sounding somewhat sad...I am REALLY excited about this, especially since a very, very kind friend bought me the ticket as a surprise. You know who you are. I am sure all of you knitter-types know Yarn Harlot as a clever, witty knitter-blogger...but..just in case you have also been working in sub-space for NASA, here's her blog.
Do not take a mouthful of liquids whilst reading or your computer my be at risk.

I have also been crocheting and finished two halter tops for the Pirates. Bargainous cotton aran from Texere, so less than a fiver a top.

The pattern was very easy to follow and comes from here.

Also finished a Sweet Pea crochet shawl. This was also a stash-buster, using a lovely mercenised cotton 4ply I got from my last holiday in Turkey. This is a nice pattern but if following the pattern from "The Happy Hooker" please note their are errata.

After that it's plain sailing. Pattern is also available here

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Two steps forward.......

You know when your heart says 2.5mm and your head says 2.0mm. Well, I listened to my heart :( In my defence, I LIKE 2.5mm. It has a nice ring to it and I am sure that Dan Brown and Mr Da Vinci would find something particularly positive to say about this combination of numerals.

However. Karen of Karendipity-fame did say 2.00mm needles....but I ignored her advice and the little voice in my head (ok I admit to voices in my head....this was one of the quieter I ignored it....if it had been the louder "eat more ice-cream"...well we wouldn't be having this conversation....anyway, I digress...)

So although stunningly beautiful in my eyes, this progress so far will have to be frogged. I have thin wrists and arms (think pale, shaved Orangutang) a visit to now you see it.....
So have a quick look at rhe braided cast on and the corrugated rib :(

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Normal service has been resumed!!!!!

Well, life threw us a couple of curve balls BUT as they say "everyday above ground is a plus". Has a cetain ring to it, doesn't it???? Bet it was a fellow dour Scot who said that...answers on a postcard or comment please!
Anyhow...knitting has started again :) I have been on holiday in Turkey since my last post. Great stuff....sun...knitting...more sun....good food..reading...alcofrolic....more knitting. (I chucked in reading to show I have culture). I managed to give an impromptu crochet lesson beside the pool...much to Sinbad's embarrassment. Crocheting in a red polka dot bikini.

I made inroads with my version of The Yarnharlot's Earl Grey socks. I say "my version" not to impy I improved upon them but because necessity led to it. The necessity was the Pirate clan becoming parted from a bag at Bodrum airport. Thies bag had 99% of Mr Sinbad's clothes in it BUT lets get to had my Earl Grey knitting pattern in it and some of my needles and crochet hooks. Fortunately I had completed both socks to the heel I had to wing it and recall what I could and improvise. If you are reading this Stephanie you will now know why there are subtle design-differences between your version and mine. Like mine have no fact these socks bear no resemblance whatsoever to yours. Maybe I should rename them the Bodrum Airport socks (bet Stephanie wishes she had thought of that name first...just rolls off the tongue). Here they are so far. They are knitted in one of the Yarnyards Special Edition yarns...this picture doesn't do the full justice to the Autumnal shades of the Sunset colourway.

I've also been knitting a dog coat. Whippet's feel the cold...especially in tropical the search was on to find a pattern suitable for the undulations of a Whippet. Eventually found this customisable pattern...progress is good. I'm using Sirdar Denim Sport in a manly/dogly? Denim colour. He is not a great model and now moves off sharpish when I try it on him.

I can tell it's winter...I have an urge to do Fair Isle. So the hunt was on for a suitable pattern. I found two fabulous ones by Karendipity. They are fabulous in terms of both design and the actual patterns themselves. I think it's always hard for a designer to hit the right balance of enough information without making a pattern seem unduly complex/too abreviated or just downright ambiguous. These two patterns don't fall into any of these categories. They are well illustrated, have clear instructions, super tutorials AND (as if this wasn't great enough, inbuilt-chocolate breaks. The woman is an icon. Patterns are available in PDF and hard-copy
There is also a Ravelry Kal and another non-Ravelry KAL (see sidebar). Karen tells me that the secret to getting really good pattern-definition is to go for good contrasting tones. So here are my two narrowed down choices.

Option 1/
The Yarnyard Nude and The Yarnyard Fegrig ( oh how I love this yarn....the colours are a feast of Autumnal shades...far better than my photo suggests.

Option 2/
I also like this combination....very festive and cheery! This is Yarnyard Pillar Box (deeper in real life) and Yarnyard Nude. ()Two nudes in one post....I will be exhibiting in The Tate next :)

What do you lot think? I am going to knit the mittens pattern first and then the gloves later.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007


OK you clever knitters, I need some help. I want to run a competition with a difference!!!!! It will be in two parts and the theme is GOLF .

First part: I need ideas for small knitted golf items that are suitable for the male and/or female golfer. You might even come up with your own design for golf socks, gloves to wear onyour way to a golf Lesson or headcovers?? A suitable prize will be sent to the winner of a selected pattern/ idea...the prize will be from the Yarnyard...fabulous squidgy sock yarn. After looking at this video...maybe you can design a pattern for a knitted protective codpiece....male readers may find the following images disturbing...