Saturday, 30 January 2016

Finished ... and started

The socks are finished ...

I am so pleased with them. I love the way the district and circle lines spiral up the foot. They are ever so warm too. 

Another pair has been started  ...

(No,  I still haven't finished the Down the Rabbit Hole socks.  Yes, I will finish them at some point).

This is Rico Superba Poems in Tropic colourway and it's quite hard to put down. Since I took this picture a couple of hours ago I have turned the heel and knitted up a fabulous shade of blue.  Yum.

The sweater is finished  ...

I am very happy with this - the colours work well together and it looks very smart.  It will go in the post to Caitlin after the weekend,  at which point I will metaphorically hold my breath until I know it has arrived safely.  Euan liked it so much he asked for a mini version.

And this project has been started ...

The boys' room.  They chose the colourscheme  (you haven't seen the best of it yet),  and are helping with the painting.  Eilish is also painting her room this weekend so there's a lot of paint being splashed about!

Monday, 25 January 2016

Changes afoot

As I expected, my enthusiasm for this sock yarn knows few boundaries. At lunchtimes once a week I teach crochet to some fellow work colleagues, and I couldn't resist shoving my yarn in their faces sharing my lovely yarn with those who appreciate it. They were very kind and didn't back away nervously. I actually managed to stop myself from showing it to my boss and every passing visitor, but it was a close-run thing.

At the weekend, house things were accomplished. Together with Eilish and Euan, I painted two walls of the living room. First coat, which is a bit patchy, but I'm pretty pleased with the colour. It looks a bit insipid on the photo, but it's very nice in real life and,coincidentally, matches the sofa almost perfectly. (We didn't plan that). The third wall with the window will be the same colour, and the fourth wall will be a brighter green. (there won't be an odd white stripe next to the door either).

Meanwhile, the socks continue to grow. I'm hoping to finish them before the yarn arrives to finish Caitlin's sweater (I think the socks might win), which should arrive in the next couple of days.

You may notice I have managed to make it to a real computer this time, as I've now added a better banner. Hooray! 

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Mind the gap

Last night I went to see my knitting friends at my local (though now slightly less local) stitch and bitch at Yarn on the Square in Ely. The temperature was below freezing and there was thick fog, which made for a rather nervous drive, but I was suffering withdrawal symptoms and determined to go. My friend Annabel, whose passions in life include knitting socks and running, gave me some wonderful sock yarn by Whimzy, called "colours of the underground ". She had been knitting socks with it last month and I was so enamoured with it that I looked to see if I could get hold of some, but sadly it was out of stock.  However Annabel very kindly gave me her second skein and I  immediately set to:

The colours are inspired by the tube line map and look fabulous.  I'm quite delighted with it and I'm sure they will be completed very quickly  (unlike the Down the Rabbit Hole socks, which have been unceremoniously chucked aside).

Meanwhile, here is a picture from my commute:

It got really busy on the water just after this, there was a tailback of about twenty boats all waiting  their turn. I'll stick to cycling, I think.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Enforced change of direction

No yarn at the yarn shop (well to be fair, lots of yarn at the yarn shop, just none of the right stuff ), so the sweater is sulking in its project-bag-substitute Co op bag for life,  and the sock knitting continues :

Don't get me wrong, I love this yarn, and I love this  pattern  (good job too since this is my third attempt at knitting socks with it). But I don't like being told what to do  (does anyone?), and since I can't knit on the sweater ... well, it feels like my choices have been reduced to one. Kind of like the conversations you have with your kids when they're too little to know any better, so when they are throwing a hissy fit about going out for a walk because they wanted to watch peppa pig, but you give them a choice of two different hats to wear (handknitted, natch), and suddenly they're like "I am the lord and ruler! I get to decide EVERYTHING! !", and it doesn't dawn on them until at least bathtime that they were conned ... yeah, that.

But they are very pretty.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Baby steps

In accordance with our plan to do at least one thing each day,  today I have vacced and mopped the floors downstairs, and cleaned all the paintwork around the switches. Painting the living room will wait for another day; after yesterday's exertions I decided to take it steady.

I got a fair bit of knitting done, and may in fact have finished the sweater, except I ran into a problem :

You see that little tail of white yarn?  That's all I have left. For some reason I thought that one ball would be sufficient.  Fortunately, it being white, I'm not too concerned about dye batches, but I'm hoping I can find it in a local shop and not have to send off for it.

This evening I thought about what to knit with my yarn from Tiger, but in the meantime I worked on my Down the Rabbit Hole socks, finishing the first and starting the second.  No picture,  sadly, I will rectify that next time,  but a bit of enforced sock knitting was actually a nice change.

Saturday, 16 January 2016


There's a lot to do.  So much that if I sat back and thought about it I might just go back to bed and hide under the covers. But instead this morning I swept out the shed and put shelving in:

I also put bookshelves in the bedrooms and unpacked the books,  Nick  plumbed in the washing machine and between the two of us we fixed the bedhead on our bed. And last night we bought paint for the living room which, having made space to unpack so many boxes,  we hope to start working on tomorrow.

Having been so busy this morning I have had a quiet afternoon,  and much progress has been made on the sweater.  I'm torn between being impatient to see it finished and not wanting it to end as I'm enjoying making it so much. It's complex enough to be interesting to make but simple enough that I can read at the same time  - perfect relaxation.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016


Do you remember those little square plastic puzzle games you used to get in Christmas crackers,  where you had to move around all the little squares to make a picture, but you only had one little space to manoeuvre?

That's what my house looks like just now.

As things stand, we can sleep, eat and sit in relative comfort, so the urgency is not so, well, urgent.  It may take some time to create order from the chaos though.

However we did put up a picture  (something we were not able to do in our previous place ), and so now it definitely feels like home!

I  have had a little bit of downtime, during which I've made a bitof progress on the sweater,  which now has its full complement of arms and has the beginnings of a yoke. Not a great picture but that colour is in fact green,  so I am now working on the fun bit!

Saturday, 9 January 2016

The "before" pictures

Still busy packing up at the old house,  but while I have bandwidth I wanted to quickly share some pictures of the new place.

Hope to post again soon!

Thursday, 7 January 2016

As promised

Tonight is our last night in this house.  I'm not feeling too wistful about it, but I'm very aware that it's the end of a chapter, the turn of a page.

Since I kept you waiting,  here's a picture not only of the finished sleeve, but its baby brother.  I'm getting fidgety waiting to start the yoke  (aka the fun bit),  but I suspect that knitting may have to take a back seat for a few days, dagnammit.

As an added bonus, here's some fab sock yarn I picked up in Tiger for the agreeable price of  £1 a ball. I'm a little dubious about how it will knit and wash, so I will be swatching and swishing before I knit.  I will be using both balls to make one pair of socks, so any pattern suggestions would be most welcome.

Yes, the picture is the wrong way up. And badly lit. And out of focus.  And could do with a serious crop.  But I'm tired (I'm moving house you know! ) so it'll have to do.

See you on the other side  ...

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

A confession and compensation

Ok .... I confess, I forgot to take a picture of the sleeve. It's not that exciting though, just a smaller and skinnier version of the body.  I have though finished the first sleeve and I'm on with the second one. It's probably a good job that I have to knit both sleeves first before I start on the yoke because I'm suffering from a bit of "sleeve ennui", but I am so looking forward to all the colourful bits in the yoke that I'm plugging away at it still.
 So, by way of compensation for the lack of sweater update pic, I bring you my pre-Christmas knit project,  a sweater for Calum.

As you may have spotted, he is a Star Wars fan. This was his request and was finished at 11.30pm on Christmas Eve  (phew!).  I used a  basic hoodie pattern and a picture of a stormtrooper cross stitch,  which I  then fiddled with to get the dimensions right (knitting stitches aren't square, so if I'd just follow the picture faithfully the stormtrooper would have looked like it had been sat upon).  He was delighted with it!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Stacking and packing

There are piles all over the house like this:

And this :

Confirmation has been received, the Eagle has landed, Thunderbirds are go ... We sign the contract and collect the keys on Friday,  after which I imagine it will all become a blur ...

There may be a short interlude whilst we sort out the broadband,  but I shall return. With pictures!

First sleeve completed. I  promise I will post a picture so you don't think I'm making it up.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Moving is in sight

We are just waiting for confirmation tomorrow morning,  but all being well we should be able to pick up the keys to our new home on Friday lunchtime, with the aim of spending our first night there that night. I'm both excited and trepidacious (is that even a word?), as there will be a lot of work to do over the next few weeks.

The sweater now has half a sleeve, and the socks have an almost completed heel,  but in the interests of expanding the colourscheme of the blog I bring you my Christmas knit.

 I started these on Christmas Day afternoon and finished them the day after Boxing day, so they were a very fast knit.  In fact, I was a little disappointed with how fast they knitted up as they are made from the softest angora yarn by juniper moon and made my hands very very happy. They are now my bedsocks, so my feet are getting to enjoy them too.

Honestly, it's like wearing fluffy marshmallows.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

The end of the holiday

Today is my last day off work. I've been trying to take it easy but I do keep jumping up to pack more things or add to my ever-growing list of things to do. Nevertheless we are in a pretty organised state and will hopefully find out tomorrow how soon we can move in.

The sweater continues and I've now finished the body up to the yoke,  but it doesn't look much different to yesterday so I shan't bore you with another picture.  I'm definitely a "finisher" when it comes to knitting and crochet, and rarely have more than three projects on the go at one time  (though I do start to get a little nervous when I'm down to one). Currently I have two projects on the go, so in the interests of sharing and to bring a splash of colour to an otherwise decidedly grey page, here is my current train project:

(I love knitting on the train, it's a great way to replenish my sock supply, plus I often get into conversations with elderly ladies who are thrilled to learn of the resurgence in knitting).

I love this pattern too, it's called "down the rabbit hole", because of the way the spiralling cables twist down like Alice falling into Wonderland. I've had my eye on this pattern for ages but for some strange reason I decided this yarn called for cables.

It works ok with the green and the blue,  but the pink/yellow section and the browny purple bits look like a dog's dinner. Cables look good with subtle colour changes but not so much with stripes like these.

See how far I got before I decided to give up? Madness.
At the point at which I stopped and pulled out the needles  (taking a picture first to document my stubborn refusal to give up any sooner despite the fact that I knew it wasn't working), it had suddenly dawned on me that I didn't want to knit another one to match it. Due to the aforementioned stubbornness  it had taken up to the toe decreases before I could bring myself to admit it. I would like to tell you that this doesn't happen often but that would be a lie as the cable sock was the second attempt with this yarn. I can't even remember what pattern I was knitting the first time around,  but I'm sure you can guess how long it took me to give in and rip it back ... yup, toe decreases.

Anyhow, I'm very pleased with the pattern I'm working on now,  and will take it on the train with me when I go back to work tomorrow.  Not many more train journeys to go before we move so I shall enjoy it while it lasts.

Saturday, 2 January 2016


More packing up today as we prepare for our move.  We are going from a large village about 25 miles from Cambridge, to a house in the city itself.  The house we are going to is smaller but has a garden where we can feed and watch the birds, and is a short cycle ride from work for me and a slightly longer one for my younger daughter. Sadly, the boys have to move school, but the upside is that we won't need to move again as we are going into social housing. Security is a very valuable commodity!

In my downtime my knitting continues:

See the green carrier bag in the corner of the photo?  That is serving as my project bag at the moment as all my other bags are packed away ... I'll be very glad when we are back in some semblance of order!

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy 2016!

This blog is looking very basic at the moment as I'm just creating this on my phone,  but I will add some bells and whistles once I get to a computer. It's the first day of 2016, and I want to create this blog to reflect on my journey this year  (and who knows, maybe beyond !)

Big changes are afoot, as we are about to move house next week.  It's been a traumatic few months but we look to have a secure home for the future.

Whoo hoo!  I added a photo!  My lovely children at Christmas 2015. 

I will also use this blog to document my creative adventures this year,  so lots of photos of knitting and sewing  (and probably home decorating!) over the coming year.

On the needles at the moment is a sweater for Caitlin  (on the right in the picture ). It's an Icelandic style yoked sweater , which I am knitting in Stylecraft  aran yarn. The colours are fab, look:

The pale grey in the top left is the main colour, and the rest form the bands at the bottom and cuffs and the yoke at the top.  I started the bottom of the sweater last night:

I hope the new year brings you all health and happiness!