Monthly Archives: March 2008

Top 10 Stash along!

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I did it!!!! I went all that time without buying myself new yarn. I have been gifted yarn in swaps and my mum bought me some alpaca to make the mirepoix bodice with (in exchange for some clothes, including my Simple Knitted Bodice and Wicked! that no longer fitted me gue to weight loss), but I personally didn’t buy any

My original Top 10
1. RPMs : Crown Mountain Farm – Beat Goes On

2. Bird Foot : OnLine – Black and Lanna Grossa Meillenweit Fun

3.  Brompton : Rowanspun DK

4. Carolina: Socks That Rock Lightweight – Little Bunny Foo Foo

5. Clapotis : Malabrigo – Dusty Olive Finished Dec 07

6. Spring Things Shawl : Jagger Zephyrspun – Elderberry

7. Wisp Ice Queen : Malabrigo – Olive

8. Beret : Twilley’s Freedom Spirit – Earth

9. Tank : Twilley’s Freedom Spirit – Earth finished Jan 08

10. FrankenMitts : Cascade 220 Heathers (brown and green)

The list of what I actually knit over the time period

1. Clapotis – Malabrigo Worsted (Dusty Olive)
2. Tank – Twilleys Freedom Spirit (Earth)
3. Miss Bean – various worsted weight wool and cotton
4.  Juliet – Rowan Cotton Rope (purple) (frogged as lost weight and no longer fits me, but have re-cast on a smaller size now)
5.  Eleanor Socks – Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino (Spring Frost)
6. Swallowtail Shawl – Malabrigo Lace (Glazed Carrott)
7. Cobblestone – Cascade 220 Heathers
8. Central Park Hoodie – Rowanspun Aran (Cavier)
9. Tree Jacket – Arauncania Attacama (greens)
10. Bertie Scarf – Sublime Baby Cashmerino Silk DK (Piglot)

I was going to cast on the beret which was on my original list but couldn’t find the pattern last night, so cast on some fingerless gloves with some Socks That Rock instead.

This was starting to get hard!!!!  My stash has decreased a fair bit (although I didn’t use up as much sock yarn as I would have liked) and I only have 2 sweaters worth of yarn left, and if this had continued much longer I may have crumbled. Looking back I can see how much I have completed and am really pleased with my results.

I think taking up sewing in November was a big help as I made a lot of xmas present with fabric instead of yarn and divide my time between sewing, knitting and embroidery.
Well done to all the other finishers, and commiserations to those that fell, you have your new yarn as compensation.

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Spring Fling Coffee Swap Topic – Wk 1

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So this week we had to look to see if anyone else shared the same taste in coffee as me. I found out that Nancy from Days Go By also likes medium to dark roasts and also enjoys flavoured coffees. We also had to find something interesting about them we had found on their blog – well Nancy has cat called Reggae who has recently been poorly but thankfully he is on the mend now.

In knitting news I have 2 FO’s, my tree jacket is finished blocked and all ready for me to wear tomorrow and the Swallowtail Shawl just needs blocking. I think I will cast on (again) for Juliet, this time in much smaller size.

We had Karl’s family up yesterday for his birthday and went out for lunch – but stupid me left the camara at home. I am hoping to get some photos of him tomorrow in his Cobblestone.

Off to sleep some more as I have lots of revision for an exam on wednesday.

Spring Fling Coffee Swap Questionnaire

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Coffee

1. What is your preference? Whole beans or ground?

Definetely ground as I don’t have a grinder
2. What kind of coffees do you enjoy? A rich, bold roast; a light, fresh one, or something in between? Leaded or non?

I like a nice medium roast, nothing to strong but not too weak either. Caffeinated is good as I have plenty of decaf at the moment

3. If you were headed out right now to buy some coffee for the house, what would you be picking up?

I actually bought some coffee yesterday. I medium to strong roast, I do like to buy Fair Trade if I can, and organic if the price isn’t too high. My fave starbucks coffee at the moment is their Cinnamon Dolce Latte – to die for!

4. Do you drink for caffeine, pleasure, or both?

Both!!! I do have a caffeine problem, I drink a lot of diet coke too. In the morning it’s definitely more for the caffeine but I do really enjoy a nice large cup of coffee. 

5. Do you enjoy flavored coffees? How about add-ins or flavored creamers?

I like flavoured coffee;s (esp. vanilla, hazelnut and cinnamon) and like syrups in my coffee. I have vanilla in house always and have been trying to find some sugar-free syrups, but they seem rare in this country, in anything other than 1l bottles.

6. A large, lovely mug or a small, dainty cup?

Large mug! I have a couple of faves,both from Starbucks. One was gifted to me in a swap the other came with my one-cup filter. I use my travel mug a lot as I drink a cup on the bus on the way to University and then get it filled at Starbucks. I would love a larger travel mug (mine is Starbucks tall size) and I would love a grande size one.

7. Describe your perfect cup – not JUST the coffee, but how you’d enjoy it!

Medium to strong roast latte with cinnamon syrup and cinnamon sprinkled on it. Drunk from a large thick mug I can wrap my hands around. I would be sitting somewhere nice knitting with my mum and having a gossip. Most importantly she would have allowed me to pay for it. On a plate next to me would be a cinnamon danish.

8. You’re sitting down to enjoy a nice cup in the local coffee shop, knitting bag in hand, iPod all tuned up – or maybe you’re there with a few friends for knit night! What treat do you pick up to enjoy with your coffee? A sweet, rich brownie, or something more healthy? How about a salty treat? What goes best with that great cup and company?

See above – Cinnamon danish.

Yarn

1. Do you knit or crochet?

Knit

2. What are your favorite types of yarns to work with?

Merino, silk, cashmere, alpaca – anything natural except angora and mohair (i’m allergic) I’m knitting a shawl with some malabrigo lace at the moment and love it.

3. What do you have on the needles (or hook!) right now?

Swallowtail Shawl – malabrigo lace in glazed carrot

Bellatrix socks – STR lightweight in Obsidian

I plan to cast on for a sweater soon so will update when I’ve decided what to stash yarn to use and what pattern. 

4. What are your favorite colors in yarns? What about those that you’d never find in your stash?

I like most colours. At the moment I love turquoise, bright blue, lime green and bright orange – very spring. I also like autumn colours – brown, olive greens and dark oranges. Like most females you can’t go wrong with pinks and purples. Not a fan of red unless it is very deep and dark (like a nice red wine)

5. What sort of needles or hooks do you enjoy using? Any you just detest?

I got some Knitpicks Harmony needles (options & dpns) for christmas and haven’t used anything else since. I find metal and plastic hurt my hands, so prefer wood or bamboo – but I do love my harmonys.

6. Are there any particular notions you absolute do NOT need? Some of us swap a lot – are you sure that you have enough tape measures to last your lifetime? Enough stitch markers to mark every stitch of a 10 foot wide afghan?

Still don’t have too much of anything. I can always use T-pins if I have partner from US/Canada as I can’t seem to find anywhere in UK that sells them and they are perfect for blocking.

7. You walk into the yarn shop and have exactly and only enough money to purchase 2 skeins of yarn in their 2 for 20 special they have going..The choices are a soft, thick cotton/viscose blend in your favorite colors, slightly variegated..a beautiful sock yarn that’s just squishy and sproingy in your hands.. a soft, worsted weight wool like malabrigo.. and a lovely bamboo blend with colors to just die for. Which do you walk out the door with?

I would be very close between sock yarn or worsted weight (but only if it was a soft as malabrigo). I love sock yarn but do have quite a bit (you can never have too much) but it would have to be something very different/special. I’m loving lace at the moment so I would be disspointed there wasn’t any laceweight in the special.

Spring

1. We’re starting sign-ups on the first day of Spring – is it already truly Spring-like where you are?

No!!!!! I’ve just go tback from opticians and its cold, windy and rainy. We have snow and very cold temperatures forecast for the Easter weekend.

2. What’s your favorite spring flower? Do you have one?

Not a fan of real flowers as I have bad hayfever. I do however like floral things, especially those with big, bold, bright, modern flowers on.

3. What do you most look forward to about springtime?

Being able to wear my crocs without getting cold, damp feet. Wearing bright colours and sitting in the sun eating lunch at university.
4. They’ve predicted a gorgeous day tomorrow – Sunny and about 65 with a nice breeze – how do you spend your day?

Sitting by the river knitting and drinking ice coffee.

5. The day after, it’s going to be cooler and pouring down rain – does that impact your mood? How do you spend that day? what helps cheer you up?

Snuggle up in a comfy place with a large cup of coffee and knit or sew.

Odds n Ends

1. Do you collect anything BESIDES yarn and needles?

Fabric- I’ve just started sewing and quilting and my stash is very small.

2. Are you allergic to anything?

Cats, dogs, rabbits, mohair & angora. (also tomatoes but not really relevant for this swap)

3. Do you have pets?

5 hamsters and 2 gerbils

4. Is this your first swap, or are you an old pro? What are the last 2 swaps you participated in?

I’ve been swapping for a while.

Last swaps I was in were:

UK Swap (parcel to be posted after Easter weekend)

think pink (via Ravelry)

Hot Cocoa Swap

5. List 3 of your favorite blogs – craft related or not – and tell us why you love them.

U-handblog – great bag making advice and tutorials

Yarn Crawl – Robin is such a prolific knitter

Yarn Harlot – laugh out loud funny 

Big Ambitions

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My mum has finally decided to set the date for her wedding and I have decided that I want to make myself a dress for the occasion. I was in John Lewis recently and fell in love some fabric in there which i perfect for nice dress for a wedding. It is poplin and has a green and blue flower and leaf pattern on a white background and they also have some coordinating plain green fabric too. I spoke to mum and she says she will help me I need it. I plan to go get the fabric sometime next week so will let you all see once I get it. I have narrowed it down to two patterns and will probably buy both and decide once I’ve read the instructions etc. the choice is between this (view B) and this (view A) – both are simple yet elegant. I also want to make a matching bag as well. I have been looking at the Amy Butler patterns and settled on of two, either Kimberly or Velma. I think I prefer Velma but it looks a little more difficult, so I will probably order both from U-handbag and read through the instructions before I decide. I want a bag that is just the right size too, nothing too big but big enough to be able to put everything in. I’ve used nice little bags at weddings before and then had to carry cameras etc separately or palm them of on Karl. The wedding isn’t planned until the end of sept so there is no immediate hurry other than I want to get the fabric now in case they stop stocking it. I also would like to knit a lace stole as part of my outfit and knowing what I am wearing now allows me start the knitting sooner rather than later. I was going to knit the stole in an undyed yarn and dye it once it was finished and I had my outfit planned, but I think I will get some jaggerspun zephyr in either green or blue and use that. I am undecided about what stole to knit but my favorites so far are:
(all below are ravelry links)

Honeybee stole
Blue Ribbon Sampler Stole (I still haven’t found anywhere to buy this pattern from yet, which is a shame as I really like it)
Arabesque Stole
Lacy Lattice Stole

I have just finsihed weaving in the ends of Karl’s Cobblestone and it I am unsure if it is going to fit him. If I can block it to the measurements in the pattern in will be fine but if it doesn’t block up much bigger then I have just inherited a nice sweater. I have promised him that if it is too small I will order the the yarn for the next size up and knit him a new one. Although I started this one in October it was neglected over Xmas and more recently whilst I did other knitting so if I work on it monogamously it shouldn’t take me longer than a few weeks. I’m off to watch Dexter and block the Cobblestone – wish me luck!

I would love to hear your views on the dresses/bags I have chosen.

Still here…

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I’ve just realised I haven’t blogged in a while – mainly because nothing of interest has been happening. University has been really busy, but I now have 3 weeks of Easter vacation to look forward to.

I have been knitting and Karl’s cobblestone is coming along nicely. I joined the sleeves to the body last and have just finished the first set of short rows. It looks like it will be done in time for his birthday on April 1st. I have also been busy making my Mum’s birthday present (her birthday is March 30th) but as she occasionally reads my blog I can’t say anymore about it until she has received it.

I have been enjoying the return of Formula 1 this weekend, even though it does involve me staying up all night to watch the footage live from Australia. I’ve been a fan of F1 for along time now and try my best to watch the races live, even those on at stupid hours of morning. The qualifying last night/this morning saw a lot of  Karl’s sweater being knit. F1 is great for those stretchs of mindless stockinette in sweaters that often become too mindless and boring. I am hoping to complete quite a few tops and sweaters during this season. It shouldn’t be too difficult seeing as the season continues until Nov 2nd with races averaging every 2 weeks, and each qualifing and race being at around 2 hours long each.

As Karl’s cobblestone is reaching completion I am already considering my next sweater/top project. I am wanting to use stuff from my stash for this and then plan to get some Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece for Rusted Root and Green Gables next month.

I really want to knit myself a sweater as I have plenty of cardigans but just don’t seem to have the yarn in my stash suitbale for any patterns that I like. I could make the Ballerina Top from Fitted Knits from Rowan Plaid, but as it is getting warmer here it seems inappropriate to make a think sweater that I proably won’t wear much until the autumn. I’ve been wanting to knit Brompton by Alice Bell since I first saw it, and think the grey Rowanpsun DK I have in my stash would be perfect – but once again it is a cardigan. I have the yarn to knit the Mirepoix bodice, so may cast this on as TV knitting until I reach the colourwork section, then cast on something else for mindless knitting and take my time over the colurowrk. As this is being knit in pure alpaca there is little chance of being worn until after the summer now, but that gives me plenty of time of work on it slowly (and correctly).

Ok I’m off to waste, sorry spend time on Ravelry looking for inspiration for my next project.

UK Swap Parcel

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UK Swap Parcel, originally uploaded by lyndsey-jane.

How spoilt was I yesterday! Claire (and yes we do share the same blog template, just in case it confused you) sent me the most amazing UK Swap parcel, I love everything in it.
Angels & Elephants Hand-dyed British Shetland DK in Morwenna
Lucy Neatby Celestial Merino Yarn in Maple Sugar (I think I may make a lace shawl from this, as the colours are too me to hide on my feet)
Hotel Chocolat Liquid Chocolat (Kiss Mix – Caramel Flavour) which I had a cup of last night and is officially gorgeous!!!
Tigger’s Little Book of Bounce – which has made me chuckle on several occasions.
Lush Helping Hands – which is perfect as I was just running out of hand cream and is fantastic on my super super dry hands.
Pretty stitch markers and a pretty pendant (more photos on flickr)
Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol, this book has been on my amazon list for a while and it is so good. I plan doing some sewing over the next couple of days and once I’ve finished some sewing wips, I am going to make a couple of toy turtles from some fabric leftovers I have.
Once i get the money the bank owe me (it’s a long story but they’ve owed me over £500 since January and I still haven’t received it, apparently the cheque should be with me by next week) I’m going fabric shopping. There are a couple of bags I want to make from the book and I’ve seen the most gorgeous fabric in John Lewis which I want to make a skirt and matching bag with. Also I’m going to look for some cute baby fabric as there is a pattern for baby bibs in the book which would be great for Karl’s brothers baby. Apparently his sister-in laws’ family have a habit of turning up 2-3 weeks early – Karl thought I should know so I could make sure stuff was finished, how thoughtful, I think!
Do you remember my Juliet, well, I finally got some buttons for it today, tried it on to work out placement of said buttons, only to find – it’s too big. I plan a frogging session with it this weekend, I am going to re-knit it a couple of sizes smaller as I really like the pattern in the Rowan Cotton Rope and love the buttons I just bought. Luckily I hadn’t got around to weaving in all the ends – see laziness does have a use.
Off to put the finishing touches to a couple of bags, hopefully I’ll have some sewing FOs soon.

Eleanor Socks for Mother’s Day

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Pattern: Eleanor by Gigi Silva (Momma Monkey)
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino in Spring Frost
Needle: Knitpicks, Harmony dpns 2.5mm
Mods: Only decreases to 18sts not 12 as prefer a rounder toe.

I am so pleased with these and hope Mum likes them too. I am not seeing her on Mother’s Day but Saturday instead. The small ball of yarn in the picture is all I had left – talk about knitting by the seat of my pants. i was really worried I would run out of yarn, but luckily I had just enough.
Happy St David’s Day to any Welsh readers!