Monthly Archives: November 2006

FO’s and xmas knitting


I have my camara back and I have FO’s and wips

Firstly the thing I’m most proud of…

Pattern: Forest Canopy Shawl
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Blackwatch
Needles: Addi Bamboo circs 4.5mm
Modifications: added 2 extra repeats.

Close-up of stitich pattern

I’ve also made a couple washcloths to go with the homemade lavender soap (now curing) and the homemade lavender bathbombs (to be made this weekend) which will be given to females family and friends for xmas.

I have made a dent in the xmas sock knittin (although the list is far shorter than before due to deciding to make soap). I have completed one of each the bedsocks for my Mum and Stepdad and have two pairs of normal socks to add to this.

Hamster Babies & Books


I was planning on a nice photoladen post today but…the hamster appears to have gone into labour, so now is not the best time to start with the flash photography. However, I did find this here and it seemed kinda interesting.

1. Copy & paste.
2. Bold the ones you’ve read.
3. Add four recent reads to the end.
4. Tag!

The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby – F.Scott Fitzgerald – on to read list
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee on to read list
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger (this sounds so good too)
His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman (movie soon too!)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter 6) – J.K. Rowling
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story – George Orwell
Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien (lort trilogy though)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
1984 – George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) – J.K. Rowling
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez – on to read list
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) – J.K. Rowling
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter 5) – J.K. Rowling
Slaughterhouse 5 – Kurt Vonnegut
Angels and Demons – Dan Brown
Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Book 1) – J.K. Rowling
Neuromancer – William Gibson
Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson (i own it and have lent it to 2 of my friends. i still haven’t though)
The Secret History – Donna Tartt

A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) – J.K. Rowling
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley – on to read list
American Gods – Neil Gaiman
Ender’s Game (The Ender Saga) – Orson Scott Card
Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson
A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides – read 1/3 then lost the book and never got back to it
Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell – on to read list
The Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Good Omens – Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
Atonement – Ian McEwan
The Shadow Of The Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
Dune – Frank Herbert
The Unberable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
Hey Nostradamus! – Douglas Coupland

The Nature of Blood – Caryl Phillips
Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules -Ed. David Sedaris
I Know This Much is True – Wally Lamb
Empire Falls – Richard Russo
American Pharaoh: Mayor Richard J. Daley – Adam Cohen & Elizabeth Taylor
Devil in the White City – Erik Larson

Anna Karenin – Leo Tolstoy
The Hound of the Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Highest Tide – Jim Lynch
44 Scotland Street- Alexander Mcall Smith

I didn’t realise how many books I had read, although I average a novel a fortnight it always surprises when I actually think about the amount of books of I have read, especially as there is probably twice as many again that I just haven’t had the time or opportunity to read.

Tomorrow I plan to make my first batch of handmade soap, and I have ordered the ingredients to make bath bombs too. All the females in my family will be receiving lavender soap, lavender bath bomb and a purple washcloth. Luckily I won’t see then until after xmas as the soap will only just be cured in time for xmas. Oh well, lets hope it will be worth the wait.

I’m off to go see what exactly is happening in the hamster cage.

This meme can only be answered with one word, some…


This meme can only be answered with one word, something I found interesting.

1. Yourself: Achey
2. Your Boyfriend/girlfriend (spouse): non-exsistent
3. Your Hair: cut
4. Your Mother: brilliant
5. Your Father: b******d
6. Your Favorite Item: hamsters
7. Your Dream Last Night: weird
8. Your Favorite drink: diet coke
9. Your Dream Car: BMW
10. The Room You Are In: Lounge
11. Your Ex: here
12. Your Fear: needles
13. What You Want To Be In 10 Years? alive
14. Who You Hung Out With Last Night? karl
15. What You’re Not: tired
16. Muffins: apple
17. One Of Your Wish List Items: laptop
18. Time: 00.34
19. The Last Thing You Did: knitting
20. What You Are Wearing: PJs
21. Your Favorite Weather: autumn
22. Your Favorite Book: Pride & Prejudice
23. The Last Thing You Ate: cake
24. Your Life: bizzare
25. Your Mood: restless
26. Your Best Friend: mum
27. What Are You Thinking About Right Now? sqeauk
28. Your Car: none
29. What Are You Doing At The Moment? popcorn
30. Your Summer: boring
31. Your Relationship Status: single
32. What is on your TV? nothing
33. What is the weather like? windy
34. When is the last time you laughed? earlier
35. Who do you tag? uh?

off to watch film. Have camara back and 3 fo’s and 3 wips to show tomorrow as well as some stash and pics of new hammies.

Sorry about the absence but I’ve had a really busy…


Sorry about the absence but I’ve had a really busy time of it and its completely taken it out of me, the good news is that I have finally got my referral to a CFS/ME clinic, the bad news is they have a HUGE waiting list (what surprise) and they want me to have more bloods done. Me and needles (unless they are of the knitting variety) don’t mix. Luckily my GP surgery is understanding and willing to help me. I say help me, the doctor prescribes me Emla cream (anyone with young children who have had to have blood test probably know this well) and some mild sedatives. I know this isn’t the best way but it works, so for now it will have to do.

I’m making steady progress in the shawl but not much else. I realised that with the upheaval of the past month I was not going to get my xmas knitting completed, so have thought about other handmade gifts. I have been researching soap-making. There appears to be two camps, the melt n pour and the actual making from scratch. I like the idea of the later best but am unsure about time scales, and whether it would be done my xmas, there is also more to go wrong with the actual making. I have found a good on-line store that has starter kits of melt n pour, soap-making and bath bomb making. I am very tempted to get these as I do still have some money left over from my birthday. I was thinking a handmade soap or bathbomb with a handknitted washcloth would make a nice gift. I have very sensitive and dry skin so I think it may be beneficial to me to be able to make soaps tailored to my skin, as at the moment I use great stuff but it is far from cheap.
I promise that if I do branch out in my crafts I will stay with the knitting, its not like you can make soap on the bus or in bed.

I have signed up for a couple more swaps, both on swap-bot, the first is a little of everything swap #2, which involves sending a given number of items in a jiffy bag, incl. CD, something handcrafted, a recipe and something scented among other things. The other is knitting and coffee, after the success of knitter tea swap and hot socks I was really pleased to find this. I’m hoping I get an international pal as I was given some Millstone Raspberry n Cream coffee recently and was most upset that that they don’t distribute or ship to UK. I particularly like that they sell small packets.

I had a sort out of my stash earlier and have two new future projects I’m looking into making. First is the Cloud Bolero, the free pattern from Yarn Forward designed by Ysolda. I have the right amount of Rowan Plaid in Creeper (this originally purchased to make a long cable scarf but I like the idea of the pattern better), the second is from WrapStyle, using Freedom Spirit DK. I absolutely love this yarn but most patterns are knit so the stripes are horizontal however this pattern is knitted so the stripes of the yarn are vertical. Being of above average size I don’t like to wear horizontal stripes as they accentuate what is already too big for my liking.

Any comments on the best soap-making sites etc are greatly appreciated.

I saw this meme on indieknits and thought i’d have…


I saw this meme on indieknits and thought i’d have a go

  1. Flip to page 18, paragraph 4 in the book closest to you right now, what does it say? In some diseases such as Reye’s syndrome and alcoholic liver disease, the mitichondria can be enlarged and have abnormal shapes.
  2. If you stretch out your left arm – as far as possible, what are you touching? Karls PC.
  3. What’s the last program you watched on tv? Holby City (its just finished)
  4. Without looking, guess what time it is. About 9.10pm – actually is 9.19pm, not bad
  5. Except the computer, what can you hear right now? The extractor fan in the kitchen,
  6. When was the last time you were outside and what did you do? Yesterday, I took the rubbish out.
  7. What are you wearing? PJ’s
  8. Did you dream last night? If you did, what about? I vaguely remember having a bad dream but can’t remember what it was about.
  9. When was the last time you laughed? Just now, I came down to dish dinner up only to find that Karl had taken the hotpot out of the oven, brushed it with melted butter and then left it on the side. He honestly believed that he had put it back into the oven. Plonker!
  10. What’s on the walls, in the room you’re in right now? 2 lights
  11. Have you seen anything strange lately? Only the hamsters being stupid
  12. What do you think about this meme? Bizare but interesting
  13. What’s the last film you saw? Karl watched The Punisher last night and I happened to be knitting in the same room, so I suppose I watched it. The last film I watched through choice was The Last Samurai
  14. If you became a multimillionaire, what would you do with the money? Buy a house, go on safari and make sure all my family were happy
  15. Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know I was born with a heart condition
  16. If you could change ONE THING in this world, without regarding politics or bad guilt – what would it be? Ensure buses ran on time, esp in the morning
  17. Do you like dancing? Yes
  18. George Bush? no comment
  19. What do you want your children’s names to be, girl/boy? Girl – Abaigeal Jane; Boy- Thomas Edward
  20. Would you ever consider living abroad? Maybe
  21. What do you want God to tell you, when you come to heaven? That I was early and to go back
  22. Who should do this meme? Anyone with the time and inclination



Over at Lacevember there’s a questionaire to answer on your blog and if you do , you could win a prize so here’s mine

The knitting questions, or the usual suspects
How long have you been knitting? Properly and regularly for about 11 months, I got a ‘knit your own scarf kit’ for xmas last year
How did you learn to knit? Originally my Mum taught me when I was 9 and I was awful, she has alot pf patience but even she gave up. She now admits that she realised I just wasn’t meant to knit but now she comes to me for knitting advice. Bizarre!
Favorite thing about knitting? I have to take regular schedules rests because of my chronic fatigue syndrome (during which I’m ot suppose to sleep) so knitting relaxes me during these, plus I love that its a hobby that is creative and productive. You actually have something of use at the end.
How long have you been knitting lace? Not long, I’ve only a pair of lace socks and a lace scarf (feather and fan) and am currently working on my first shawl. As yet I haven’t used any laceweight yarn but I do have some for a future project.
Favorite thing about knitting lace? Being a student I use my brain alot studying and although ‘mindless’ knitting is fun sometimes I need to use my brain and lace knitting allows me to do that. Plus it looks so beautiful when finished, something to be REALLY proud of.
The yarn questions, or flash your stash
Favorite lace yarn? I have some Soup Dragon Lace weight 50% cashmere 50% silk from Get Knitted in my stash and can’t wait to use it.
variegated or solids for shawls? either, although only subtle variations for shawls.
Favorite lace color? Pale varigated, although I’m loving the LL’s blackwatch colourway I’m using to make a shawl for my mu.
Technique, or show us your skillz
Circs or straights? Circs and bambo circs at that.
Favorite lace knitting trick? More of an aid but I can’t use charts so I write each row down on seperate index card, punch a hole in the top and tie them loosely together with thread then use that as I flip book so I can keep my place. Not really MY trick as it was mentioned in the intro to the Forest Canopy Shawl. Great idea though.
Lifelines? If so with what? Oh yes lifelines, I use crochet cotton as its thin and smooth, visible and cheap.
Fancy blocking wires, or just sewing pins stuck in your carpet? Ideally blocking wires but as they are not readily available in the UK (in fact I only know of one supplier over here) I have to make do with pins everywhere.
Pattern, or can you follow directions
shawls or lacey items? Either, variety is the spice of life as they say.
triangle, rectangle, or circular shawls? I have only (part) knit a triangluar shawl and really love the traingel shape. I may knit a different shape in futue but it would be a gift as I much prefer triangles.
Charts or printed instructions? Printed instructions (see lace trick above)
Favorite lace you’ve knit? I’m really loving my first shawl at the moment
Favorite lace you want to knit? My next two projects will be Shetland Triangle from WrapStyle and Swallowtail Shawl from IK Fall 06.
Just Fun, yup that’s right, just for fun
Favorite jelly belly flavor? The red cinnamon one that no-one likes but eats coz they think its cherry
Tell me everything you know about Eric the Red….. Who? the Eric I can think of with a relationship to red is the ex-Man Utd footballer Eric Catona (pls leave comments to enlighten me)
Coke, classic or with lime? Neither, Diet Coke (with vanilla)
Holiday carols, sing along, or wish they would be banned from all public airwaves? Banned until Decemebr 1st then bring ’em on!
What is the definition of irony? Not that used in the Alanis Morrisette song!
How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop? Whats a tootsie roll!
Why is my cat always puking in front of my son’s bedroom door? Because your son feed’s the cat treats/sweets/godknowswhat when no-ones looking
What is your superhero power? Knowing things about your house and cat. lol
If the laundry is 9 foot by 11 foot (just dreaming, that’s a big laundry room), and the walls are 8 feet tall, and you are going to tile the entire room in tiles that are 3 inches by 5 inches, what color should those tiles be? white
What’s for dinner tonight? Liver and bacon casserole with mashed pototoes and stemed veg.
What is clogging my children’s bathtub drain? Hair, its what clogs mine

btw I received my prize yarn today. I am scouring all the sock patterns i have to find the perfect pattern for this yarn, I also recieved the pink ribbon yarn which is being used to make my mum some pink ribbon socks.

I heard from KMKS pal today. They seem really nice so it looks like another great swap happening.

The cutest smallest baby cardigan was completed (m…


The cutest smallest baby cardigan was completed (minus buttons) last night and handed over this evening. It is so small and tiny and took just under 50g Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. It was a basic top-down raglan cardigan, which believe it or not was the first time I’d knitted something that way. Having been sucessful with a mini-version I defintely plan on making something ‘proper’ size that way. I have been looking at Glampyre’s Easy V-neck Raglan for a while now. I just can’t decide what yarn I want to use, I’ve been thinking about Colinette One Zero, but am unsure on colour as I liked so many.

I have discovered a ‘new’ (well atleast to me) TV series to knit to. As yet I haven’t succumbed to the Grey’s Anatomy trend but only because we can’t get the channel where we live (i plan on buying the dvd as soon as I get some money) Anyway, the new tv series, I was looking to buy Season 1 of Medium on DVD yesterday but it wasn’t in stock, however Season 1 of Bones was. It ticked all the boxes, crime – check, science – check, David Boreanaz – Check. I thought after Angel I would never see him again. I sat up and watched the first 4 episodes and LOVE it. It is something I could watch over and over.

I must dash as am feeling tired and have to go into university tomorrow morning, hopefully I can get back my camara and post promised photos.

Knit Mitt Kit Swap Questions


What are your favorite colors? Pink and purple, but i’m really into browns, creams, greens and burnt oranges this autumn as well.
Are you a new mitt knitter? I’ve never knit a complete mitt, only fingerless mitts, but I plan on making some complete mitts soon
How long have you been knitting mittens? I’ve been knitting for a just under a year and made my first fingerless mitt around march this year.
Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn? I like both, it depends on the pattern. I love variagted yarn but sometimes solid is needed to show off the pattern.
What fibers do you prefer in mitten yarn? Anything natural and warm, except mohair and angora as I am allergic. I not only get a rash but in great quantities I have a mild asthma attack. I am fine with alpaca though.
Where do you usually knit mittens? I do most of my knitting in front of the TV, snuggles up on or in bed. Although I can be seen knitting whilst bored at uni.
How do you usually carry/store small projects? I have a tin from the Knit Tin or I use a make-up bag. (minus make-up of course)
What are your favorite mitten patterns? I love Tua Cha, and can;t wait to cast on Fetching. I haven’t really explored patterns for full mittens yet.
What are your favorite mitten knitting techniques? I love cables, and knit in the round on dpns.
What new techniques would you like to try? Making proper warm mittens, and maybe thrumming. I’ve seen this technique briefly, it looks interesting and very warm.
What are your favorite needles for knitting mittens? I always use bamboo or wooden needles as I suffer from joint and muscle pains. My faves are Brittany Birch but i’m not fussed.
What are some of your favorite yarns? I’m really into Cashmerino at the moment after making a pair of bed socks out of it, so soft and squishy and so warm.
What yarn do you totally covet? Sugar n Cream (not available in UK) and Socks that Rock (again not readily aviable in UK). I have a reasonably small stash and I’m still quite new to knitting so I like to be introduced to new yarns, especially those that aren’t readily available in UK.
Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object? If money were no object Stitch Diva Simple Knitted Bodice using Tilli Thomas Pure Silk and Rock Star. If time were no object probably a huge cabled throw – similar to the one in IK fall ’06.
Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)? I use straights, circs and dpns depending on project but as mentioned bamboo or wood. Brittany Birch are my striaghts/dpns of choice whereas Addi bamboo circs are my circs of choice.
If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be? I would have to be sock yarn from the Yarn Yard in Puzzle – purely because I won a skein and I NEVER win anything. It is a myriad of cool calming blue colours but with a name Puzzle you know nothing will be straightforward.
Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack? I’m an absolute chocoholic. but anything sweet is fine by me. I also LOVE Jelly Bellys.
What’s your favorite animal? Polar Bear
Would you prefer super warm mittens or something more like fingerless mitts? Probably something superwarm as I have various pairs on fingerless and it is beginning to get cold here in UK now.
If you were a color what color would you be? I don’t think I could be just one colour, I have too many differetn aspects to me. Is it cheating to say a rainbow.
What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature? The human body in general inspires me. I find the workings of it amazing and the picture in Life by Lennart Nilsson totally inspire me.
Do you have a wishlist? Yes, with amazon and angel yarns
Anything else you’d like to share with the group today? I am really looking foward to taking part in this swap!

regular wips on hold..


I am now on a mission to see how many newborn baby cardigans I can make before sunday. As mentioned in yesterdays post my little nephew came into the world a little small, he wasn’t premature just ickle. Myself and my mum are now busy knitting away so little Harvey has some small clothes to wear. I’ve found a couple of basic patterns on-line and did about 1/3rd of one last night. I’m hoping to complete two my sunday. If anyone knows of any nice, free baby patterns for cardigans and jumpers could you leave a comment with a link. I have an abundance of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino so he’s going to be a lucky boy with very squishy clothes.

I ordered my first issue of IK a while ago (fall 06) and it arrived today. I had never seen a copy before and really wanted to make the swallowtail shawl so thought that was a good issue to get – I can now see why so many people rave about it. It is fantastic, so many great patterns – i had been trying to find a nice masculine sock pattern for a while and the Father & Son socks are just perfect.

For all you swap addicts out there, there is a new one open for sign-ups, themed around winter, Winter Wonderland Swap and dishcloths. It seems like fun to me.

Hopefully my camara will be back with me on monday so you can all laugh at our halloween/birthday antics. I really must go as I can hear the Eastenders theme music starting…



So I fell at the first post…but I am going to give myself another chance as it was my birthday. I want to say Thank-You to everyone who has sent me birthday wishes. I will get round to sending you all personal thanks eventually.
I had a great time on halloween and had a lovely meal with my family yesterday. I’m afraid I have no photos as my camara is still at my friends house but as soon as I get it back I promise fancy dress pics.
I have two lots of good news (one sligthly more important than the other) my stepsister had a baby boy on Halloween (just he was born 11.45pm) he is to be called Harvey. THe next not so important but still great news is that I have won some sock yarn. I entered a comp at the yarn yard and received an e-mail yesterday saying my number had been drawn out. It is a site that i’ve only recently found but they do some great hand-dyed/hand-painted yarn. They have just started a sock club and also have a charity yarn each month. Last month was breast cancer (the yarn was pink surprise surprise) and this month the charity is Everyman with a nice masculine hand-painted yarn. Perfect for making that man in your life some socks etc for xmas.

I finally received my copy of Yarn Forward and had a flick through it earlier. I am really impressed and look forward to reading it properly as well as deciding on what pattern i’m going to try first.
Well, I’m back opf to bed as I still can’t shake this cold and what with the birthday festivities over the last two days/night I’ve probably made it worse. I kinda expected this to happen, its one of the downsides of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, most of the time I’m ok but if I stretch myself beyond my normal routine I pay for it for a couple of days. But as its was my birthday and my 30th at that I decided it would be worth the pain.