A sock!

Amazing I know, but I’VE BEEN KNITTING!!!  My friend Anne who has recently opened Yarn O’clock asked me to take a ball of one of the new colours of Arne & Carlos sock yarn to knit a sample for the shop.  This is sock 1.  Basic 60 stitches, round and round with a heel flap, knitted top down.

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Arne & Carlos sock yarn from Yarn O’clock

I have started the second one from a different starting point in the ball to see how different it might turn out.

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Change the banner, I’m a card making obsessive too!!

I’ve been away a while, I hope you will forgive me.  I am STILL having problems with my back and the latest is that I am going to have an operation to remove the bit of the disc that is protruding and pressing on the nerve and causing the pain.  Over Easter I ended up in hospital again, in the most excruciating pain but was sent home with painkillers.  We contacted the private hospital and I had an epidural a day later which worked miracles.  But I am still in pain and still on the awful painkillers, so the op it is.  Hopefully this will be an end to it although I will always be careful what I do in future.

Sooooooo, in the meantime I haven’t knitted a great deal.  I now have a craft room in the small bedroom but rather than filling it with my yarn I have filled it with fabric and card making supplies.  I’ve been learning to colour with alcohol markers, blending colours together and making shadows etc.

Here are some of the cards I have made lately.  I will try to put a single card per post in future but just wanted to get these up all at once………

………this one I made for Janey who does The Baarmygirls Podcast with me

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This one for Melissa, my friend’s daughter

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This is an interesting one, I posted a card on the Passionate Paper Creations page on Facebook and a lady asked me to take part in a contest by sending in a card.  So I made this one as it was also her 40th birthday.

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My mum gave me the fabric bees on this one and said “perhaps you could use them on a card?” so I did and sent it to her!!

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The next one has to be my favourite so far.  I have made it for my friend’s other daughter who has recently taken her GCSEs.  I know she is going to do really well so there were no worries about making this in advance.  The image is a digital stamp from Tiddly Inks

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I used Card-io Majestic stamps for this one, and stamped in different colours then embossed with clear powder

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When I posted that one on Facebook my step-sister messaged me to ask if I would make her one in autumnal colours that she could put in a frame!  I was very flattered and made one for her straight away.  I posted this off to her this morning……

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I have made a card this morning but it is for a contest so will need a separate post.

I have managed to knit a pair of socks for work.  I used the new Arne & Carlos sock yarn from Regia.  I bought the yarn myself and made them in my size so when they are not needed for display in the shop I can have them back!

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Talking of work, we have a summer sale on at the moment, if you spend over £10 and quote HEATWAVE at the checkout, you will get 35% off your entire order.  How good is that?  I think I might get the yarn to make another Moon Pulls jumper when I get my mojo back.

So there you have it, a quick catch up, sorry its a bit photo heavy!!

Finally, an FO! Refresher Socks

Nothing overly exciting, but I have actually finished something!

Knitting wise I have finished a pair of plain 60st socks.  I prefer a plain sock these days but knitted in a colourful yarn.  Its a little bit of colour to an otherwise conservative outfit.

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These were knitted from my own basic pattern, on 2.5mm needles using Fortissima Mexiko sock yarn which I got from Get Knitted earlier in the year when we went to Bath (and popped to Bristol on the way home).  They aren’t quite as bright as this, I’ve called them Refresher Socks because the colour reminds me of the childhood sweets.

Sewing wise, I almost had a disaster.  I made another pattern from the Stylish Dress Book and after my success at my “maternity” top, I also succeeded in the “hospital gown” look!

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After a bit of a rethink, I decided shorter was the way to go and chopped a few inches off the bottom.  I think this has changed the whole look.  The material doesn’t help with the hospital gown comparison but at least I now don’t have to put a slit up the back and stick my bare bum out!!

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Grab a cuppa – you could be here a while……

Eeek, I’ve been away so long that WordPress has changed! Where is everything??

So where to start?  Let’s go back a couple of months……..

At Christmas I bought Colin & myself tickets to the British Open golf which was just up the road in Hoylake this year.  Finally the day came round at the end of July, it felt so long between booking and going. I got tickets for the final day but we also got some tickets for one of the practice days so I could take some photos, as cameras weren’t allowed on the actual Championship days – not that everyone abided by the rules!!  We got to see all the big names, notably Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Miguel Ángel Jiménez – who smoked a cigar almost constantly! – and loads more.  On the final day we got a seat in the front row of the stand on the 3rd green, so got to see all the top players come through really close up.

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A couple of weeks later I had another birthday, with lots of fab presents from lots of lovely people.  I wanted a sewing box but not a little twee one, something big and sturdy, so I decided I would like a toolbox from B&Q!!  This one that Colin bought me is brilliant, there are all kinds of compartments and plenty of room for all the sewing paraphernalia I seem to have already accumulated.

My mum and step-dad gave me some money so I got a matching set of two briefcase type ones to put knitting needles and bits in.

All this organising is down to the fact that I decided the house needed to be decluttered.  I think things had reached critical mass and there was so much “stuff” that just didn’t need to be here.  So there has been a bit of a blitz!  It is by no means finished but I think we are over 50% now.  Old cooking and gardening magazines were thrown out, books were culled, bookshelves replaced, shoes stored in under-the-bed bags.  We went through our wardrobes and gave clothes to the charity shops, Colin tidied and re-arranged the small bedroom/office and we got some nice new pictures.  There are still some jobs to do in the tidy rooms, such as sort out drawer contents but my next task is the back bedroom.  As we were going along in the other rooms, items that we weren’t sure whether to keep or not went into the spare back bedroom which got fuller and fuller and already had loads of my yarn and other miscellaneous junk in it.  So it is now a huge task.  I AM going to do a yarn de-stash, and will probably get rid of all my straight needles too as I never use straights, so there may be some on eBay soon.  Some other items too.  Anyone want an original Wii?  Hardly used?

This weekend I finally get to fulfil my ambition of doing some yarn-bombing!!  I have had a project in mind for a few years but never got round to it.  When the knitting group lost our friend Helen, my boss and owner of Stash Fine Yarns, I thought perhaps we could do something as a tribute to her so I revived the idea.  Rather than doing it anonymously, I wanted to try to raise some money for charity, so I got permission from the council to decorate an elephant sculpture in Chester.  We have all made squares in knit group and they are all assembled and ready to go.  The local newspaper has interviewed me over the phone about it and will feature it on their website and in the next edition.  This is what it looks like at the moment!

So getting onto knitting – hmmmm not a lot of that going on.  I’m still suffering with my hands, I still have carpal tunnel in my left hand and have now got two trigger fingers in my right hand, so it’s all a bit difficult and slightly sore.  I’m getting a bit done though, I’ve made one Runrig and one sock!  And there are a lot of projects in the new Interweave Knits ad Knitscene that I would like to make.  However I did succumb to some new yarn.  As I couldn’t go to the Pop-Up Wool Show due to work, I contacted one of the vendors and asked them to put a skein of yarn aside for me and my lovely friend Hayley collected it.

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This is a skein of WooSheeps 100% BFL superwash sock yarn, 600m to 150g.  The colour is Imperial Purple and it is gorgeous.  I also have another Zauberball, this time of the Crazy type from Lottie, one of my workmates.  Colour 2095, it is a slightly pinky red, red, and wine mix.

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And finally, oh my word, how do I describe the next one?  You really have to feel this yarn to believe it.  It is the softest yarn I have ever felt!  I just want to cuddle and pet it.  It is Mirasol Llama Una, 100% baby llama, 100m to 50g.  Get some – that’s all I’m saying.

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And look how well it matches some fabric I bought.photo-8

I have a few pennies put aside for Yarndale too of course.  This is at the Skipton Auction Mart on 27th and 28th of September. I will be there on Sunday, with my Baarmygirls podcast co-host Janey Laney!!  I am attempting to make a Baarmygirls Podcast T-shirt so if you see us, come and say hello.

Talking of making, I have also been doing a bit of sewing.  My mum recently got a new chair and I offered to make her a cushion for it.  It turned out rather well so I made 4 for myself and threw out the old manky cushions we had in the living room.

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I also discovered, completely randomly, some Japanese sewing books (translated into English thank goodness).  I bought one, The Stylish Dress Book 1 and was so enamoured by it that I bought two more, Basic Black and Feminine Wardrobe.

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You get 26 patterns in each book with all the pattern sheets in a folder at the back.  These can be confusing as there are only four sheets so all the patterns are printed in different colours on top of each other, so you have to search around for all the correct pieces.  When you’ve done that you then have to add seam allowances as they are not on the patterns.  But if you get through that bit you are on your way.  I made the cover project from Stylish Dress Book first

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I didn’t quite insert the sleeves correctly and it looks a bit “maternity” but I still like it.  There are so many things I’d like to make from these books, here are some of them…

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but I’m going to start with pattern F from Stylish Dress Book, which fellow blogger Eskimimi has made such a fabulous job of.  I’ll use the fabric above and then knit a small cowl to match from the baby llama.

Well hope to see some of you at Yarndale, we’ll be recording on the day so be prepared to be interviewed!!!

Herefordshire

While we were in Bath we went to one of Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurants.  The food was great and very reasonably priced.

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When we left Bath we took a small detour to the outskirts of Bristol to Get Knitted.  I have ordered from their website in the past and expected the shop to be better than it was.  Although it was a large shop, there was a lot of empty space.  There was a nice couch for Colin to sit and wait while I wandered round, and on the plus side they do sell Cascade 220.  I bought two skeins for a Downton Hat, and two balls of Mexiko sock yarn.

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We then headed back towards home but had another detour to my parents near Hereford where I was going to stay for a few days with my mum while my step-dad went in for an operation.  I stayed from the Thursday afternoon until the following Wednesday morning when I hopped on a train home.  It was nice to spend some time with my mum, just the two of us.  We had some good chats and put the world to rights!!  It is only a small town where they live and although they have only been there a couple of years, they seem to know everybody!

We had a walk through the town, and had lunch in a little cafe called Flowerdew’s. We also went into a fascinating vintage shop, which really was a vintage shop, not modern stuff in “vintage style”.  It was all higgledy piggledy and absolutely stuffed with clothes and accessories.  If you like genuine vintage, give it a visit – its called Teagowns and Textiles.

On the day of the operation mum and I stayed in the hospital to wait for my step-dad to come back from theatre, so to pass the time of course I took some knitting with me.  I took my sock needles and this yarn

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and got to work on a pair of vanilla socks.  I just finished them off this afternoon.  They are very bright and they don’t match but I love them anyway.

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So after nearly a week there I got home in time for Yarn Shop Day.  But that is the next post…………..

 

FO: Purple socks & some sewn bags

I finished some socks!

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I used my usual 60st pattern on 2.5mm circs and the yarn is Drops Fabel.

And then today I did some sewing and made a couple of bags.  I bought the fabric last week in Dunhelm Mill, there is a big new store opened locally.  I think it is an upholstery or curtain fabric so is thicker than dress cotton and so I didn’t bother to line them.  A colleague at work is having a big birthday so I am going to give one to her with some HiyaHiya needles inside it.

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Lopi loopy

Well after two months of working in the yarn shop I finally bought some yarn!  I think I’ve held out pretty well despite being surrounded by gorgeousness for 8 weeks!  Although I have quite a large stash and loads of things on my Ravelry queue, nothing was calling to me.  I have a sock in progress and also a cardigan waiting for button bands and a collar, but neither are floating my boat.  Then my friend Annie queued a couple of projects last week and I looked to see where they were published.  By doing this I discovered a jumper called Moon Pulls (published in Paper-Tiger) and fell in love with it.

I was going to use the original grey but we didn’t have enough in stock at the shop, so I had a little look at what we did have and decided on these colours…….

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Red for the main colour, black for the diamonds and the grey around the diamonds.  As Lett Lopi can be a little rough next to the skin, the pattern adds some lining at the cuffs and neck in a softer yarn and I found some Rowan Purelife in my stash in an off-white which I thought would look ok.  You don’t really see it anyway as it is tucked inside, and it is lovely and soft.

The unfinished cardigan was going to be my final item in the Skein after Skein Epic KalCal knit-along but if I can get this jumper made before 16th April I shall use it instead.  It all depends if my hands are up to the job.  I now have an appointment in February for nerve conduction tests at the orthopaedic department, so we’ll see what solution they come up with.

Despite having a lot of followers of this blog I don’t get many comments, so I was wondering if a little competition might be in order?  It won’t be anything difficult, but I’ll have a furtle in my stash and come up with something squishy to give away as a prize.  Would that encourage you to comment?

Mark your diaries for 6th February by the way, something exciting is happening on that day……..