Thursday, 1 January 2009

A mildly peeved start to the new year.

I should have known. The year does, after all, end in an odd number. The website where I have got my blog converted into a book for the last three years is now no longer interfacing with blogger. I either have to use an inferior one where you can't edit, or manually copy and paste all the text and photos from the whole year into one of their template. Pleh. Think I'll just sulk about it for a few weeks before doing anything about it.

Also, the party of the century last night didn't exactly go as planned. For a start we were only expecting 6 people. We got tonnes of food, including the trifle of the year, which Pooch's Emu liked:
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Have I already explained why Pooch has an emu? It's a stupid story anyway.

So three people pulled out with flu. One had buggered off with their floozy without telling us but fortunately one hardcore guest did the decent thing and turned up. I force fed him trifle until the other two arrived. They had always been intending to only stay a short while before going on elsewhere. However, when they left the poor solitary guest, possibly envisaging a night alone with Pooch and I, not to mention emu, left with them. So Pooch and I were left to wait out new year surrounded by a ridiculous amount of beef, about 4 pounds of cheese and half a trifle. We had beef sandwiches for lunch. It will be beef for dinner too. And possibly breakfast tomorrow. Beef beef beef.

Being true to my word I have already cast on with some of my sale yarn. It is a pattern I got at Ally Pally, designed for the Escape I just used for the baby blanket. I was never going to actually make it with that though. Instead I'm using the Tapestry in the antique colourway. It's very hard to capture the colour, but it is a kind of velvety purple brown that changes to caramel. Good stuff.
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I've also got a start on the hexagon blanket.
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I'm sure there should be an easy way of estimating how many hexagons I'll need, but I can't think what it is. If anyone knows one let me know!

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

2008 Review

One of the good things about Ravelry is it makes this kind of thing so much easier. According to the numbers on there I have made 62 projects. 6 have been frogged, 8 are in progress and 8 are hibernating, although to be honest half of those could be frogged.

Out of the 62, 32 were made for other people. I'm quite surprised at that as I always feel like I am always knitting for myself and should do more for others. My favourite projects from the year are....
  • Gary and Wendy's baby blanket - just finished last week

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  • Pete's stocking

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  • The tardis socks

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  • Meaningful mittens

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  • Felted diary cover

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  • Henley cardigan - despite having to take it apart and practically redo it

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  • Pooch's jumper

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  • Yellow crosswalker socks - which I'm wearing right now

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  • Mermaid scarf

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  • Louise's starghan

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  • Lucy's wedding blanket - which I never managed to take a finished picture of

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My favouite yarns for the year have been the henley cardigan one, which was phildar lambswool, and the mittens one, malabrigo socks yarn. I haven't washed the mittens yet so I am not sure how it will bare up but the henley has worn really well. I've worn it a couple of times a week for the last few months and it hasn't pilled or gone baggy.

Non-knitwise the year has been a mixed bag. Started a new job, which has been OK. Met new people, which has mostly been fab. I'm fulfilling a dream and going to Egypt in a few weeks. But then balancing that is the elephant, which we don't discuss. So overall maybe not the best.

And what does 2009 look like bringing? There is another wedding afghan to be made. I am determined to make Sylvi, from the Twist Collective. Dad very kindly gave me the money for the wool for it for xmas. There's the swirl pullover which I just can't decide on the yarn for, and the meaningful cushions I have in mind - like the meaningful mittens but in DK+, and lastly the crochet hexagon blanket which I have just started in the last few days. I have decided to go with the star motif until I get bored of them. I can always mix in another hexagon pattern later on before I put them together.

Happy new year everyone!

Monday, 29 December 2008

A Sale Frenzy

I have to admit it - I am to blame for the deflation thingy the government has been going on about. I saw things I wanted in the shops and then deliberately waited until the sales to buy them. For instance, this coat...
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Caught my eye a few weeks ago. Today it was 50% off. Score!
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I also got a pair of jeans and this top/dress.
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Normally I hate buying jeans as they never fit right, but the woman in the shop was SO nice. Really helpful. Not patronising. Not too in my face. Awesome. There is a website here and the shop in London is just off Carnaby Street. I will definitely be going back.

Now for the good stuff.... I've always liked Rowan Tapestry but hated the £4.50 ish price tag. I found myself liking the 50% price tag. Woo hoo! I ended up with three packs from John Lewis. I know three is quite a lot, but I plan to cast on a jumper in one lot tomorrow so I will definitely be using it all up soon. I got the rainbow, antique and highland colourways.
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The last one, the highland, is rather lovely and seems to be a semi-solid colour. Didn't know they did that.

I also got a pack of 4-ply soft from Liberty - also half price.
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I intend making this.

Both Liberty and John Lewis had similar yarns. Some scottish tweed aran. Some little big wool. Some biggy twist. All 50% off. But take abook - the queues were huge!

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Something witchy for the weekend

I have been experimenting with motifs for my afghan. This one is the front runner but I'm wondering if it is a little witchy. I don't want to sleep under it and wake up with a frog.

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These are the other possibles.

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I did these this afternoon, but the big crafty news from the holiday period has to be this:

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Completed in just 5 days from swatch to edging. It used 7.5 balls of Sirdar Escape and is pretty lovely, though I say so myself.

It has left me in the rather odd position of having nothing major on the needles. In fact, according to ravelry I only have 7 WIP and a mere 9 UFOs. This is a record for me and essentially amounts to having nothing to knit. Tomorrow I'll probably the Moonstone cardi, but then again you never know.

Xmas at the in-laws was lovely - especially the food. No one can feed you like a northern mother. I must be at least half a stone heavier than I was a week ago. Here I am opening presents:

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...and here is Pooch outside with one of his - a coconut.

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I got some awesome presents - 2 Barbara Walker stitch disctionaries, SPM book and page a day calendar, mili knitting bag and....

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Yum.

The surprise hit of the festivities was Pooch's choice of present for little Leanne, his baby cousin. It is an aquadraw mat. If you have a child aged 1.5+ you probably already know about these things. If you don;t you should get one. They are awesome.

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You fill the 'pens' with water - just tap water - and when you draw on the mat with them it creates a blue line. You get stencils and stuff too. Awesome. She was totally hooked. Isn't she cute? This is her with her grandad, pooch's uncle jack.

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Lastly, a couple of people asked if I used a pattern for the stocking. It is a free one from Schoolhouse Press. I adapted it and changed some of the motifs but that is where I started. I am very tempted to make one for me!
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