Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Knitalong "Twilleys Freedom Spirit"

This wool is from my stash - I haven't bought anymore. I started knitting this last week for my Mam for her birthday. It's a wrap over cardi from the "Twilley's Freedom Spirit" pattern book.

It's knitting up quite quickly - once I got past the 28 rows of ribbing. I don't mind ribbing, really I don't. I made "Leo" for a start. However, I find it difficult to see the stitches in this wool so a common mutter to be heard from me was: "Is that a purl or a knit?" The BF thought I was talking about headlice.

Having noticed that a few people had mentioned this pattern as a WIP on the, I thought I would suggest it as a Knitalong. At the moment there are two of us knitting this up. The other lady is making hers in "Fire" which I really prefer to the blue - it looks fab.

And above is where I got up to yesterday after suggesting it for the KAL. 'Signing up' to a KAL has really fired me up - that and the fact I couldn't revise for two hours while the builders were fixing my roof yesterday afternoon. Oh, and "CSI" and "Shameless" were on telly last night.

Picture Posting

I'm a bad, bad girl. Here's that scrummy sock yarn I mentioned. Since I bought this I've been back to Ebay on daily basis, just in case another bargain pops up. Well, you never know - I'm quite taken with "Rainforest 2 - Chameleon, Caterpillar and Doctor Fish".

Actually, that's a lie, I'm very taken.

And here are a pair of socks in some lovely "Regia 6 ply". I'm actually nearly finished one of them. The reason I have two socks on the go simultaneously is because I've been showing a friend at the knitting group (Borders, Stockport) how to make socks. I thought if I knit two to different stages, I could show her more easily how to do them, e.g starting the socks and turning the heel. All a bit a la "Blue Peter".

These are nearly finished 'cos I took them on my hen weekend to do between quad biking and drinking. With delayed trains as well, I got a lot done. I swear I didn't try to teach the girls how to make socks but they were all very interested.

There are several demands for stripey socks.

Below are two blankets I've making to use up the DK. (There is still enough left for several baby hats. There is going to be a fair number of bumblebee hats too! Just as soon as I work out how I want to do the wings.)

Anyway, the penguin blanket turned out rather less garish than it looked while I was making it. The penguin pattern came from my stitch encyclopaedia and the ladybirds were stolen from "Soft Treasures for Little Ones" - a Norwegian book. The stripes are my own design, ;-)

On the right is a rainbow striped blanket being put to good use. It kept the BF quiet for all of 30 seconds. It was knitted as follows:

Red: 3mm needles for six rows,
Orange: 12mm, for six rows,
Yellow: 3mm for six rows etc

When I started knitting in purple, I knitted six rows on 12mm followed by six rows on 3mm so I could alternate the thickness of the colours. In hindsight this would look better as:

Red: 3mm for six rows, 12mm for six rows,
Orange: 3mm for six rows, 12mm for six rows etc

And finally... the stash, which I'm supposed to be reducing. Resolution One is out of the window.

Here we have:

6x "Wendy Aran"; 10x "Twilley Freedom Spirit"; 12x "DB Cathay"; 2x "Regia"; 2x "Colinette Jitterbug" and lots of random balls.

Blogger problems

Blogger is giving me grief this morning and, in fact, it has done for the last few days. After several demands for photos and finally being able to elbow the BF off the computer, I had a small 'stash' of piccies to post. (I've been a busy girl).

However, Blogger doesn't want to play nicely.

Everytime I try to post a picture, I get a message telling me that "blogger can't connect". So I'm posting this message to let you know why there are no pix.

Thursday, 18 January 2007

Definitely fallen off the wagon!

It's the 18th January, and if I hadn't broken resolution number one on Saturday, it's definitely broken now. I'm easily led - that's the problem. I was having a look at the sock stash gallery on which was obviously going to be a bad idea. There were some really scrummy yarns (e.g. "Twister") and as a result I tootled off to Ebay to have a look...

In my defence, that was Tuesday and I didn't actually buy anything until yesterday (erm, that would be Wednesday then). A lovely shop "P2tog" had some rather nice offers on "Opal Hundertwasser" which I have been in love with since I first saw it. There's a risk it could sell out everywhere before I ever buy any. So, I have bought four gorgeous balls of the lovely stuff and one "Opal Rainforest - Peacock". They arrived this morning (Thursday!).

Maybe I should change the name of the blog to "Sock Addiction" or something?

I will post piccies as soon as I elbow the BF off the computer for long enough.

Monday, 15 January 2007

Bad Girl!

I've been a bad girl. I popped into Stockport on Saturday to buy a frock for my friend Hannah's hen party next week. (Quad Biking!!!! Not in the frock of course, that's for Saturday night in Liverpool). I failed miserably to find anything that a). I liked and b). that fitted.

How does this link into 'adventures with needles'? Well, I had to go to "Wool" to have a look at some knitting patterns. I've changed my mind about "Accordian" for my Mam - she's now getting the Twilleys Freedom Spirit wrap-over cardi. This obviously, is part of my stash reduction plan. I hadn't fallen off the wagon yet.

Then I spotted the Colinette Jitterbug basket... I know what I said about bobbling on the heel a few posts earlier. I do, I remember...but it's Colinette. And I've knitted up 3/4 of the DK wool into blankets... so I bought some - one skein of Jitterbug in 'Lapis' (deep sapphire blue) and *mutters sheepishly* one skein in 'Fire' (rich ruby red).

So much for the willpower.

(And I managed to find a frock for the hen party after all so I can't say the wool was a comfort purchase.)

Friday, 12 January 2007


So, I'm currently working my way through my stash - as per my resolutions. I feel like I'm making reasonably good progress - the variety of cheap DK wool is being used up in baby hats (Watermelon and Pumpkin) and blankets - one seriously garish penguin and bumblebee blanket and a rainbow striped offering. I will post piccies soon.

So, while I'm knitting, I'm working out how to use up the other wool. The gorgeous Twilley Freedom Spirit (blue) will go in some sort of cardigan for my Mam. It will either be a short sleeved cardi or I'm quite taken with "Accordian" ( though there seems to be some gaps in the pattern. E.g. needle sizes are listed in the materials but not in the pattern - "CO 'x number' of stitches". To which size needles? Nevermind, I'm sure I can work something out.

The Wendy Aran that I bought for "Katrine" (Rowan Classic Weekend), I've gone right off. However, rather than Ebay it or charity shop it, I think I can make some baby/toddler size "Accordians" for several little boys I know. That's going to be a LOT of "Accordians"...hmm.

And then, at some point I have some fab DB Cathay to knit up for ME!! And some more Wendy Aran to make "Paisley" (Rowan Classic Weekend) for ME. And I want to make "Tychus" ( for the BF and "Samus" ( for my Mam, and then there are the socks. It's all beginning to spiral. And I'm sure I have another bag of wool that I've forgotten what's in there.

The WIPs pile is getting bigger and the intended WIPs are looming (in a good way).

Basically, I don't think I need to buy any more wool before June! I'm trying to decide whether this is a good thing!

Thursday, 11 January 2007

I've been tagged - By Kai

Here are the rules:
THE RULES:Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.”

Here we go...

1. I love the smell of bacon butties but I don't actually like eating them - the gorgeous aroma is let down by the taste.

2. I was once knocked over by Jimmy Saville - he was running during the Great North Walk...that's "Great North WALK".

3. Erm, I once bumped into my brother and didn't recognise him...*hangs head in shame*.

4. My two little toes are deformed. They're sort of a right angles to my toes so the soles of my little toes touch the sides of the next toe.

5. Eating apples makes me hungrier than I was before I ate them.

6. I can't roll my tongue at all.

So... I'm tagging....

HelenM (
Amelie (
Cazza (
Ygmraes (
Kryptonite Kay (
Magenta (

All lovely blogs, by the way.

Hmm, bobbling socks

I've been wearing the lovely socks I made for myself - they really feel much better than shop bought. However, I'm thinking that perhaps Colinette Jitterbug ain't practical for my daily life.

I usually have a three mile walk each way, in and out of work. (Parking varies from nightmare to non-existent and with traffic, it takes the same amount of time to get the bus as walk. Seriously).

After this type of treatment, the Opal socks are FINE...but my lovely Colinette Jitterbugs are looking a trifle sad around the heel. The yarn has bobbled quite badly. Maybe I should just treat myself to Jitterbug sock days when I'm not at work? I love the yarn and the colours *drools* but Opal seems to be more hardwearing for the day-to-day grind.

I haven't finished my Regia socks yet so they haven't had a trial run yet. :-)

Thursday, 4 January 2007

Watermelon hat

Inspired by Yarnharlot (, I decided to have a bash at a watermelon hat. I had seen her pattern several months ago, but after a glass of wine last night, I couldn't be bothered to actually look for the site.

So, I just cast on 60 stitches in double knit to straight needles and knitted away, changing colours and decreasing where appropriate. The "seeds" were swiss-darned to the finished hat. I think my finished product looks remarkably similar to Yarnharlot's but then I guess a watermelon is a watermelon is a watermelon!

Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Pumpkin Hat

I made a strawberry hat and a tomato hat for my nephew a few months ago, and since then I've been mulling over whether to have a bash at "designing" my own fruit hats.

Buoyed up by several glasses of wine last night, I decided to have a go. And here is a Pumpkin Hat that would fit a 0-3mth old baby. The pumkin flesh effect was achieved by using a wide rib pattern and it seems to have worked quite well.

The tendrils and leaves which you can see (ish) below were just done by knitting one or two stitches in a chain (tendrils) and casting on and reducing stitches in sequence (leaves).

The tendrils could really be longer but it depends on preference.

Despite some intoxication (three glasses of wine), this was really easy to make. I'm now working on a watermelon hat, inspired by someone else's blog (NB must find that link).

I'll post instructions soon.

Update on the Secret Jumper

Well, I finished the skin of my teeth and with a small amount of fudging. If you remember, this pattern was "Leo" from

I didn'tcompletely follow the instructions for shaping the neck as it seemed that the pattern would be lost, so this is the first part of the fudging. I created pearl-islands in the garter-sea as that seemed to reduced the loss of the actual pattern.

Second fudging came with the collar. The pattern states that the collar should be made by picking up from the neck line with a circular needle. However, like a muppet, I had cast-off too tightly, so fudging was achieved by casting on 145 stitches to straight needles and keeping the original pattern. This was then sewed to the jumper... 48 hours before the BF was to be given it.

And here is the finished result... complete with a catalogue pose.

It also emerged that he hadn't for one second suspected a jumper. He had thought I was making him a black hat! Grey jumper, black hat - I can see why he would be confused.

Happy New Year!

I have the luxury of two and a half weeks off work and have had lots of time to indulge in knitting and reading. It has been tremendous. So here are a couple of things I have finished in the last few days.

Below are the first socks I've made for MYSELF! They're Opal Rainforest - Snake and I absolutely loved this yarn and the colour...


I finished these. (Apologies for the blurry picture. The BF took it).

These are Colinette Jitterbug - Popsicle. Apparently, it's 4-ply but it feels slightly thicker but the colourway is just so vivid. It's like knitting with jewels, so poor old "Snake" seems to have faded into obscurity.

Here's a close-up to show you what I mean.

And I was so taken with the loveliness of this yarn to knit with, that I forgot to shape the heel on the second sock. I knitted the heel flap and went straight to making the gusset without reducing the heel flap stitches from 30 to 18. I was half way along the foot before I realised why the sock was so shapeless. Doh!