Monday, 25 October 2010

Monday Blues

Do you remember the clock I bought a few weeks ago?Well it kept getting stuck when it got to showing 20minutes to the hour.I took it back to The Range today & they gave me another one.Not quite so straight forward as I hadn't kept the receipt,just the box!!Anyway,got home with it,got it out of the box & dropped it on the shattered ,hands fell off!!!Only I could do that!!I am really ham fisted at the moment with incredibly bad dropsies! Should a child's clock have glass in it though?
At least I didn't drop the boys brunch today.I did a bit of experimentation.Mr T was very dubious but he gave it the thumbs up after tasting it.

I de-crusted some slices of bread then rolled them flat with a rolling pin.I used them ,buttered to line a muffin pan then cracked an egg in each & sprinkled in some dry fried chopped bacon pieces.The last of the tiny tomatoes were added then the tray was put in the oven for about 20 minutes at 200 degrees till the eggs were cooked.

Yummy.Top tip....prick the tomatoes as they have a tendency to explode when you cut them or bite into them.

My Millie hat is coming on nicely.I have started using the second skein.I am very pleased with it.

The yarn is definately on the gorgeous list .So buttery in your hands!!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Louisa Harding

I went to a talk Louisa gave for The Wool Bar last week.What a fab time we all had.

Something clicked inside me when I listened to her & I realised I could do within knitting whatever I wanted & that its never too late to start.Trouble is that there are so many things I want to do .
I have fallen in love with her style & her products.We all had the chance to try on the samples as we did when Debbie Bliss came a few weeks ago.It really helps you decide what suits you best & also on sizes.

I purchased today the Fade to Grey booklet & the yarn for this hat.Isn't' it so lovely?
Here is a more detailed picture.

I can hardly wait to start ,but my Debbie Bliss coat must be finished first.I have also purchased some lovely purple lining fabric & black buttons for my coat.I thought it would help to line it to keep its shape & with getting it on & off.Knitting has the habit of sticking to you.

Of course I will need something to keep my hands warm & toasty as well!

These are just the bees knees!!!!

Monday, 18 October 2010

PJ Monday!!

Its lunchtime & I have spent the morning in my PJ's.I really couldn't be bothered to get dressed & I have no plans to go out.
It feels very indulgent but I have been busy!!Well at least my hands have.
I entertained my neighbour with coffee & have knitted nearly a whole sleeve of my Debbie Bliss riding coat.The weather has now turned a bit cold so I am racing to get it finished.It should be lovely & warm.
I have also mixed together Mr T's birthday cake & its in the oven baking.The smell is so nice..Mmmm!!!!I am thinking of how to decorate will be simple as I cannot lean for hours tracing out intricate iced designs.I wont bore you with details but my back is still no better & I am rather fed up with it.
I don't have my camera either.I have lent it to No1 son who has gone away for a few days .I hope it comes back in working order.

We will have to suffice with some stock photos for today.
Looking back through my pictures I realised I never shared my trip to the Eden project.I can never tire of that place & it stirs some real creativeness inside me.Every time we go ,there is something new to look at.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Its a glam life I live

We all have to complete the mundane things in life like doing the ironing & washing up.

I have this idea that if I have nice things to use ,its makes the job that much easier to do.Its an idea anyway!!

I was looking at my dishcloths the other day & felt so ashamed of them.Maybe they are why I had got to hating doing the washing up so much.

I have made some new ones now.Its a lovely waffle pattern I found on Ravelry.I used cheap dishcloth cotton & the coloured cotton is Rico Cotton which is an aran weight.

You can find the pattern here.It is such an easy pattern & looks great when its done.I am really pleased with them.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Etsy shop

I have been spending time setting up my very first Etsy shop.It has taken me ages to do & I have listed one item so far.

I hope to get some more items on I have made.There are things you haven't seen yet.

Here is the link to my shop.

When I get a chance I will put a direct link to the right.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Tea Time.

I have always loved our British idea of afternoon tea.Its something I grew up with & was made very much a family affair.
In my own family it was more of a Sunday afternoon thing.We always got together at my Nana's house for Sundays.I mean the whole family!
In my sister in laws family ,it was a daily ritual which started just before milking time.I think it really gave the men who were the ones that did the lions share of the hard manual work a chance to get inside in the warm & re-charge the batteries.All the women who were involved in laying on these spreads were great bakers & home makers.

At knit & natter the other night ,it could well have been classed as a tea party.Rosie brought her delicious apple cake & one of the other girls brought some gorgeous blueberry muffins.Shhhhh,don't tell anyone,I had 4 bits of cake!!!I enjoyed every mouthful....How naughty am I ?!!
I was asked to make a tea cosy for someone.It was a specific order & she had already chosen the type of yarn & design of the tea cosy.Only problem was that there was no pattern & I had to make one up!Even more so ,it was in moss stitch ,which presents a problem with the decreasing of the stitches.

I was so glad that when Debbie Bliss visited The Wool Bar recently ,I had asked her about decreasing in moss stitch.It all came back to me that it is necessary to knit 3 stitches together to get the decrease in pattern. Phew!!!

After a few design issues , frogging & 5 hours,this was the result.

Its knitted in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.
I loved it so much ,I have made myself one.Wow ,it really does keep that Twinings hot!
This one was just knitted using some acrylic that was in my stash & is now all used up.They both have a ribbon trim at the top which is sewn on.
I am thinking of writing the pattern up for Ravelry.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


Last night I decided I was bored with TV & made some cakes.I decided to use Ruth's recipe over on The Pink Whisk for her Blackberry Ginger & Mint cakes.

They turned out really well & tasted even better!!My team at work were happy this morning as I took the cakes in for them.Extra brownie points for me.Our new boss loved his!!!I know how to please them...

I sprayed lustre spray on them which made them very pretty.

On the berry theme,I am working on another pair of mittens in the Artesano Inca Cloud again.I have chosen a more prominent contrast colour this time.

See how the inside forms quite neatly.No twisting there!!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Colour stranded mittens using Artesano Inca Cloud Alpaca.

Although I have been knitting for years ,I have generally stuck to what I thought were simple patterns as I thought I wouldn't be able to do more "intricate" ones.

My thought process seems to have changed somewhat .I have realised that if you can cast on ,knit ,purl & cast off ,you have the basic tools & knowledge to attempt any pattern.I have along the way learnt tips to help with following these patterns.

A year ago I never thought I would attempt to make these mittens but here I am chatting about it.OK my first one was by no means perfect ,but having done that mitten without any instruction from someone & by trial & error ,my second one is coming along quite nicely & I feel happy with it.

The first time I ever did colour change in knitting I learnt how to do intarsia.This is where a motif is knitted in a background colour.To do this I found I needed to twist the two yarns together I was changing colour with or a hole would form.

With this stranded mitten ,becase the colour change occurs over few stitches ,there is no need to twist the yarn together.In fact you can see on the finished mitten which was the first one I made ,if you look at the cuff it looks untidy.This is due to the bobble that formed when I twisted the yarn together.I have not done this on the second one & you can see the result is much neater.I should have photographed the inside of the fabric but what you can actually see is just very small loops of yarn where I have carried the unworked colour across the back of the worked stitches.I only carry the yarn that is not being worked for a maximum of 3 stitches at a time.any more than that & a large loop will form which will catch on fingers etc.I makes also a lovely almost double type fabric which is very warm so ideal for mittens.

This pattern is a first of many.I have knitted mittens once before but only from a pattern & not straight from a chart.I have also never done the stranded colour change knitting before or set in a thumb or done Kitchener stitch.These were all firsts for me & although my knitting is far from perfect,I am pleased with the result.

I also found following the chart a challenge.My colour choice was very subtle which has made following the chart very closely rather than looking at the pattern emerging ,necessary.I have since purchased another ,deeper colour to go with the grey for a second pair of mittens.

To get around the eye boggling of following the chart I started with marking the pattern at the side of the row or round in this case ,with a pencil mark.This did get quite frustrating for me as ;
1) I kept forgetting to mark the round
2) I kept dropping my pencil & had to crawl around on the floor after it ,much to the delight of Mrs Magweed who proceeded to try & kiss me profusely & jump on my head as she thought I was playing.My back is still really bad so I needed her input like a hole in the head!!Bless her!!!

I found using a post it note was the best answer.I can stick it under the row /round I am currently working on & then move it up a line for the next working.No pencil to rub out on my pattern either.I can see the chart more clearly like this & I think it has helped to double my speed of knitting like this.

I love this Artesano yarn.It is such a good value yarn .I think I paid £3.50 for a 50g ball.It may have been £3.99 but hey who cares about a few pence.Its alpaca & lovely.My first mitten using yarn from two colours weighs only 27g.So you should be able to just get a pair of mittens out of one ball ,maybe slightly over.I am challenging myself to making 3 sets of mittens with the 3 balls of this Artesano Inca Cloud.
I am also using Brittany Birch needles.I was using my cheaper DPN's I got from Lidl when they were on special offer.To be honest ,I now think they were a bit of a false economy .I had trouble with the yarn splitting ,my hands ached & I also kept dropping the steel ones.I got so frustrated I went out & bought the Brittany ones & will not use anything else now.All those problems now no longer exist & how I am enjoying knitting these little babies!!
The pattern is a free one I found on Ravelry here.If you are not a member ,you can join for free & that allows you access to so much on the net.

Why did I put off making something like this for so long?Well I thought I wouldnt be able to do it!!I really wish now I had just got on with it.