Archive for the ‘Admin’ Category

I can hardly believe it’s been a year since I started this blog. I have enjoyed getting back into blogging, although looking at my monthly post counts, I’ve not posted as much as I did at first – I suppose that’s inevitable. But I have kept up, which is fairly impressive for me, I do tend to get bored of things.

Looking at my stats, I’ve posted 148 posts, and had 618 comments, although some of those will be me replying to people – something I do try to do, but don’t always get round to – they’re all read and appreciated though, so thanks to everyone who’s commented over the last year.

I am conscious that lately most of my posts have been finished knits, I try to think of other things to post about, but I think the winter and the flu stole my inspiration. Hopefully now the sun’s making a more regular appearance I’ll be inspired to a bit more variety, but for now, here’s another finished knit…


I’ve spent about an hour this morning trying to photograph this successfully, but it’s not been easy – the pale yarn and the sunshine haven’t gone well together. I tried it against the pale green wall in the conservatory, but it looked a bit washed out.


Then against the wardrobes in my bedroom


But that wasn’t ideal either. So I tried the garden.


And various trees and bushes.


None of them are perfect, but they give an idea.

I started this project just over three years ago, it’s Purity from Rowan 43, and did the stocking stitch centre in no time, but was then defeated yet again by written directions, coupled with the lack of a close up photo of the lace.


It all went horribly wrong, and I put it away for nearly three years until I could summon up the courage to rip back five long rows of Kidsilk Haze. I did manage it, and then sat down and made myself a chart.


Which made things a lot easier, although it still took me a while to see the pattern. It’s a six stitch repeat, as I worked out once I’d charted it, and I put a stitch marker every 30 stitches, so at least I knew that if I hit the marker at the wrong point in the repeat, I only had that bit to sort out. On the wrong side rows I diligently counted 30 between each marker, just to double check.


It’s garter lace, just to add another level of fun, but I did get there eventually. I used a crochet hook for the cast off, which I think gave a similar effect to the one in the book, but I was a bit past caring by then.


The reason for the garter lace is that the top straight edge of the shawl becomes a collar when it’s worn, so it needs to look the same on both sides. It’s all very effective, with the pointed ends rippling down the front nicely.


The construction is basically a shallow triangle, knitted from the bottom up. The top is then knitted on, and then stitches are picked up round the curved edge for the other border.


And you sew the ends together.


I’m not completely happy with the picked up stitches, there’s quite a distinct line round the bottom.


Maybe I should have picked them up closer to the edge. But I think that if I was going to do this again, I’d do a provisional cast on and short rows. But to be honest, there’s practically no chance of my ever doing this one again, the lace was very tedious, and whilst it’s pretty, I’m not sure what I was thinking of when I started it, I have no idea when I’m going to wear it – most of the ones on Ravelry are being worn by brides, and I have no plans to get married again!

I’m toying with the idea of dyeing it, but I think I’ll wait until I have an occasion to wear it, and dye it to match. The only problem with this is that I haven’t blocked it, as I like the frothiness of the lace as it is, and it might flatten out when it gets wet. Perhaps I’ll just find somewhere to drape it artistically and leave it there!


And one last photo – spotted on one of the bushes I was using, ladybirds and spiders.


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Shameless self promotion

One of my other hobbies is photography, I don’t know much about the technical aspects, but I do enjoy pointing my camera at random things whilst I’m out and about, with the result that I’ve got a lot of photos on my computer, just sitting there gathering (virtual) dust. So I decided that I’d have a new project this year, along the lines of the ‘photo a day’ ones that are popular. But mine will be daily random photos from the album, with the location and date.

The new blog is called Travels with my Camera, and you can find it here.


This is today’s photo, just for a taster.

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And the winners are…..

I know I said I’d do the draw for my little 100 post giveaway on 30 September, but on Wednesday morning I woke up with a sore throat, and by Thursday night it had developed into a full-blown cold and I was struggling to function in any meaningful fashion. I just about managed to get through the week at work, but today I’ve just given up and haven’t done much at all, apart from doing some easy knitting whilst watching very unchallenging TV (yay, Strictly’s back!) I was supposed to be doing a felting class tomorrow, but I’ve had to pull out, I don’t really want to share my germs, and I don’t think I’m capable of taking in new information anyway :(

Anyway, the draw. I was going to do a draw for all three prizes, but one of the entrants has been going through a very tough time these last few days, looking after her grandmother, so I’ve decided to break my own rules and give her a prize to cheer her up. So the fibre goes to the lovely Eskimimi, and I look forward to seeing it beautifully arranged on a spindle.

For the other two, I used a random number generator (sorry, no screen shots, my brain is too fried), which came up with numbers 1 and 9 – Siga and Josiekitten – who get the bag and the scarf respectively.  I’m emailing you all, but if you don’t get it for any reason, leave a comment!

Thanks to all who entered, it was lovely to read your comments, and to see some new faces popping up.


My next post (tomorrow if I feel up to it) will have real knitting content, including this which is blocking at the moment – can you tell what it is yet? – and the beginnings of a new project in Wollmeise. For which I have been swatching.


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Ten things


The lovely Eskimimi has given me a Beautiful Blogger award, like her I’m not sure about the beautiful bit, but perhaps she means the blog rather than the blogger. It seems to involve listing ten random things about myself, so here goes….

1 – I’m quite a perfectionist in my crafting activities, but my house is usually in a state of complete chaos – even I sometimes wonder how I manage to create such tidy things in such a mess.

2 – I hate washing up. Actually, I don’t mind the actual washing, but getting round to it defeats me. I’m getting a dishwasher soon, just as soon as I can coordinate ordering it with my Dad coming to fit it for me. It won’t be a day too soon.

3 – I collect old books, especially old girls’ school stories (Chalet School and Abbey Girls are my favourites). My front bedroom is shelved from floor to ceiling to contain my collection.

4 – I love anything almond flavoured. I can eat marzipan straight from the packet.

5 – My favourite film is High Society, with Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly, especially the morning after the night before scene, where the previous night comes back to Tracy in bits.

6 – I often wake up in the early morning convinced I’ve heard a doorbell, but there’s never anyone at the door – and it doesn’t always even sound like my doorbell.

7 – I don’t like hot weather. I have no energy and I come out in a lumpy rash if I go out in the sun. Warm with sunshine is fine so long as I can stay out of it, but my absolute favourite day is a clear crisp spring day with blue skies but a definite nip in the air.

8 – My parents have a caravan at Trearddur Bay on Anglesey, North Wales, and it’s one of my very favourite places. I’ve been every year since I was about two, and I know pretty much every rock on the beach. I’d love to live there, but realistically I know it’s too far from the rest of civilisation for me to cope with it.

9 – My handwriting is terrible these days, since I type most of the time. Words start off fine but after a few letters my hand just won’t carry on. I found some old school exercise books in the loft a few years ago and was amazed by how beautifully neatly I used to be able to write. I taught myself to touchtype when I was about 14, on a huge old office typewriter, and it’s probably the most useful skill I have.

10 – I passed my driving test when I was 17, but didn’t start driving until after my husband died, when I was 33. Now I drive all over and love it. I’m driving some friends to Woolfest a week on Friday, I can’t wait!

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The lovely Eskimimi is organising this, details are here, and I’m hoping to manage to post every day. I’m away early next week, but I should be able to post in advance and have the posts pop up at the right time using the magic of Windows Live Writer – I tried it on the last post, and it seemed to work. Fingers crossed!

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New blog

The time has come to start blogging again. For the past few years I’ve been pretty much exclusively knitting and spinning, but I’m starting to branch out into some sewing, and weaving is a distinct possibility for the future.

I learnt to knit when I was at primary school, I think my Nan probably taught me, although it could have been my Mum – actually it was probably a combination of both, thinking about it. I made clothes for my dolls and later some 80s acrylic monstrosities, a batwing sleeve jumper knitted from cuff to cuff springs to mind, as well as a cardigan which would have fitted two of me by the time I’d finished it. I stopped when I went to University, and apart from a couple of baby jumpers didn’t knit again until New Year 2006, when some friends who had just learnt to knit came to stay. I picked up the needles to see if I could remember how to do it, and haven’t put them down since.

You can see what I’ve made between then and now on Ravelry, here.

About 18 months ago two friends and I went to Wingham Wool Work for three days, staying in their cottage, and learnt to spin on wheels (I’d already had a go at a spindle, but decided that I didn’t have the patience), I came home with a Kromski Sonata and the beginnings of my fibre stash, which has grown just a little bit (!) since then. There are photos of our time at Wingham here.

Recently I’ve started sewing again, but that deserves a post of its own.

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