Friday, 31 October 2008

Granda - Missing in Action

Blimey - I is a little tired of this "Retropolitan" (being as this is the third time I've made on the bloody things, in a year), and after knitting a spate of baby-sized clothes, an adult-sized cardigan feels like a bit of a slog. However, I ain't complaining too much as my Granda gave me something of a shock last night.

We had just settled down to watch the "Sarah Connor Chronicles" when my mobile rang. (After 9pm, that's just really unusual, when I'm not going out). It was my brother... who never rings me (except on my birthday or to stress about what he should get for other people's birthdays. There are no birthdays approaching).

He was stressed. He was just finishing work and had spent all evening trying to get in touch with my Granda, and just kept getting an engaged tone on the phone. Where was our Mam, he asked? "London," I said - "at some posh awards do with work". "What should I do?" he asked. "Go and see if my Granda's ok", I said. "I don't have a key", he said. "Knock on the door", I said. "Oh", he said. "I can't, really, I'm home" he said.

I'm afraid this didn't create a terribly sympathetic feeling from me. The rest of my family all live around Sunderland. I live in Manchester. Absolutely, I could go and see if my Granda was ok... but it would take me over two hours to get there.

"I've got the girls", my brother said.

So, I rang my cousin. "I've had a drink," she said.

"I'll ring my Dad for a lift," she added.

Twenty minutes later, the phone rang. It was my brother: "Granda's fine - nothing to worry about". I texted my cousin to thank her for going.

She rang me ten minutes later.

My cousin had arrived in Granda's street. There was no light from the house. She feared the worst. She put her key in the door expecting to find my Granda collapsed or worse. She was praying he would be alright. She opened the door.

There was my Granda and my brother having a can of lager.

Obviously, my brother had decided he had to go to check. I hadn't realised that when he rang.

My Granda is 87 - he's going to outlive the rest of us.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Another Item Finished

I bought the yarn and pattern for this cardigan at Ally Pally a couple of weeks ago. It's part of the Christmas stash for Talia.

I love the patterning of the yarn, but as you can see, it needs some blocking. The cardigan is knitted in eight pieces. Each body part is two pieces - a yoke and a frock. Very simple and very quick.

Now, I'm on with "Retropolitan 3.0" for my Granda - could I be forgiven for being a bit sick of this one? However, it is a winner and he wants the same colours as the last one... which makes it a tremendous stash buster.

Monday, 20 October 2008


I've finished the jumper for the BF!! I was visiting my Mam at the weekend and got the final sleeve finished and the whole lot knitted up. That's a huge weight off. (No pix - I've left it in Sunderland. The BF will be expecting a squishy parcel but as we'll be there for Christmas, he won't see one in transit and therefore won't expect one. Ha!)

The "Zoo Bag" is also finished and sewn up.

Last night I started this little "Sirdar" cardigan for Talia, while watching "Independence Day", again. It's another fast knit and each section (fronts and back) is knitted in two sections - a skirt attached to a yoke. Lovely yarn too. "Sirdar - DK- Tweed". I picked this up at Ally Pally last week as a top little bargain.

The Stash Situation

So, here is what remains from last year's trip to Ally Pally.

Below is the sock and lace collection - though there are three skeins hidden in the spare room as well.

And, this is the orphan box... there's more yarn in here than in any of the others.

This is what I bought this year - a lot less in comparison with last year...

...even with the twelve balls of "Muskat - DK - 100% Egyptian Cotton" that arrived in the post on Friday.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Zoo Bag

This has knit up fast. I now need to sew it up. Hopefully, this will not take long. We know how I feel about sewing (and yet I've started a night class on garment making - Darth Sewing Machine and myself currently enjoying a ceasefire. It hasn't committed GBH on me and I haven't threatened to dismantle it).

It's a simple knit - just a very long rectangle folded in half to create a sack. The top of the back is to be folded over and sewn down to create a draw-string tie. Yes, it was a very long exercise in st-st but the striping relieved the monotony, and the elephant on the pocket was a fun little Intarsia detail. Yes, that is an elephant, not a dog - it's a Zoo bag, after all.

New technique of the knit was French knitting the cord. (Below, on a bacdrop of lovely stitch definition).

I've never done French-knitting before and the pattern didn't actually require it. It said to knit two lengths of tie - back and forth across six stitches for a metre. Struck me as boring and besides... I had a new GADGET!

From Ally Pally.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Birthday Goodies

It's my birthday today. (And Margaret Thatcher's - hmm; and Paul Simon's - yay!) And I'm having the day off. Bliss.

Guess what the BF got me...

"Old Harry's Game" - Seasons 1 and 2 of the Radio 4 show which has me in fits every time I hear it. So, I'll be spending today listening to that.


This gorgeous yarn swift! I'm so pleased. The BF reckons it's a gift for him as well - he no longer has to provide skein assistance and it's a gadget. He demanded a demonstration before he left for work. (It only took 20 minutes too).

My friend Liz, at work, also gave me a box of needle huggers - I'm touched by the thought and the time she took. She's not a knitter .

Postie hasn't been yet - but I'm told to expect some more goodies. What a great day.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Ally Pally Porn

Ally Pally! I went on Thursday with Auntie Anne. We had a great day and in my opinion, it was a much better event than last year - more knitting stalls, less paper, less ironing and not as crowded. (Which has always got to be a good thing when you're wandering around).

Surprisingly, I didn't buy as much as last year. Or spend as much.

Here's what I did buy.

Ten balls of "Sirdar - Escape"...

... to make.

Three balls of "Sirdar Denim Tweed DK" to make...

... this cardi for Talia.

Four balls of Laceweight 2 ply.... 2 ply! Jesus! What was I thinking? What am I going to make with that?

Oh, yeah... these rather smart and snazzy gloves. I want to knit something a little more challenging... but I don't want a huge challenging project. Gloves will do.

Ten balls of beautiful "Regia Silk Colour" (4ply) to make a myself a smarter jumper than the usual chunky ones I go for. I fancy a finer yarn.

This is gonna take bloody ages, isn't it? Remind me that I want a finer yarn jumper.

Here are the obligatory sock yarn purchases. The rainbow on the left is for me. The "Wendy Bamboo" in the middle will either be socks for the MIL or my wool-allergic pal, Lesley. The blue ball on the end is for the BF.

I made a rod for my back there. He wants more socks.

I also ordered some lovely Teal colour "Muskat" (100% Egyptian Cotton" from Scandinavian Knitting Design. At least I think it's Teal - I am colour blind over weird shades of blue and green. I thought my first car was green. Everyone else thought it was turquoise.

Looking forward to some squishy parcels soon.

PS Apologies for not regularly popping into blogs to comment. I just haven't had a lot of time over the last few months. I do read when I have a chance but don't comment - it's awfully rude of me so I am sorry.

Can You Guess What It Is Yet?

Well, obviously, this is a hoodie for Talia. It's pinned to hold the trim straight in preparation for the zip that I will buy tomorrow. And sew in. Honest.

Can you guess what this is?

A close up of the stitch definition ("Sirdar DK Cotton") and an annoying little grebby stain. I have no idea what this is or what caused it because it was in the centre of the ball and it's hard. I can't pull it off because that will snap the threads.

And, here we have an elephant taking shape.

What is it? It's a Zoo Toy Bag (Zoe Mellor's Nursery Knits) for Thomas. The BF requested it and even picked the colours. It has only taken me two days to knit 3/4 of it.

Please note - Christmas Not-Quite-Panic-Knitting-But-Certainly-Very-Aware-Of-What-Still-Needs-To-Be-Knit-Panic.

Sunday, 5 October 2008


Talia's hoodie is on hold.

Autumn has hit Reddish and it's bloody cold going to the bus stop on a morning. So, I'm making myself some gloves. Here's one of them - showing it by the palm, might be an odd way to show it but...

...that's because of this loose thread sticking out.

They're made from "DB - Merino DK" in pillar-box red as opposed to this strange shade of dark pinky red that the photo seems to suggest.

And they're also out of the orphan ball box!

Four Days to Ally Pally.