Friday, 30 March 2007

The Evidence!

Don't they look great ! Better than expected, just one wee design feature (okay two) , they don't match exactly (said in whisper!).
And the second "design feature" - well grafting is not my strong point, so toes look a little uneven!
Here is the "I took a photo of my be-socked feet by looking at floor ! It does give a strange perspective, still I think the socks look good , but my feet look a little strange.
And here is my new baby - the Artesano Alpaca Hummingbird in (I think) Lovebird colourway. It is gorgeous, and the Brittany Birch 3.25mm needles feel positively HUGE after the cocktail stick 2.25mm needles. But I will return to my trusty 2.25mm, as I have another beautiful ball of Opal Yarn, so kindly given to my by TigerLilith . And over at the Oldmaidenaunt site, she has some gorgeous new sock yarn - go on have a peek !
Had a look at the new Debbie Bliss Family Knits book last night courtesy of Karen - it is a beautful book, and there were so many patterns I wanted to do, that I may have to invest in this book too. Better finish the socks first!

Thursday, 29 March 2007

The Socks are DONE!

Just having a wee celebratory post - my socks are finished. I wouldn't say my grafting is up to much, but practice makes perfect . My friend Karen (super speed needles) has finished her socks too, as well as a hat in the possum handpainted yarn. Another celebrated item is Kimberlys' Rowan Spray cardi (just the ends and buttons to finish!) Its taken a wee while to finish (not as long as my mohair....) but it looks really good.. And i forgot my camera - so photos' next week. And my sisters socks - not sure how far along she is, but she is definitely not finished. I won the race! Now for my next pair....

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Happy Hookers and one skein wonders

Comic delivery day in our house - peace perfect peace for two minutes! After a busy morning in town (and the purchase of yet another Knitting magazine) I returned home to find my delivery from Amazon - The Happy Hookers by Debbie Stoller and One Skein wonders by Judith Durant. Yvonne, who was at the Craft Fair had this book , and I kept "borrowing" it to have a wee look. She had made three items from it over the duration of the craft fair. Junior Jnr was given a comic and some sweeties to keep him quiet while I perused my two lovely new books - and yes, I have a longer list of want-to-do projects. My stash should hopefully be depleted soon - then again maybe not! Several patterns that I'm not feeling the love for may be abandoned in favour of patterns in the book.
I'm not too confident with the crochet yet, but I think there are one or two patterns I can try (groan - mohair sweater may NOT be finished this year after all). On the sock front - I am ahead of my sister (yehay!) but not by much, so I must get down to some serious knitting this evening to ensure I keep ahead (after a wee look on the Rowan website of course!).

Monday, 26 March 2007

A Host of golden Daffodils!

The mornings are hazy now instead of misty and the sun is starting to get through - although the temperature is quite brisk!
There is not so much of a Host of daffodils , rather a bunch! Apparently daffodils require feeding , and they have not been fed recently so it may be time to pull up some of the non-flowering bulbs.
Here are my little bunch in the garden - and here are some more in the pot.
I should really take photos of my neighbours garden and pass them off as my own - both neighbours are keen gardeners and their front gardens are immaculate. My garden if you can make out has moss inbetween paving stones and the weeds grow up to look very good - its sort of organic! Everything goes, or grows rather without much intervention from me.
I have a wee secret project that I will be starting soon - its a gift for a friend, but bits will appear now and again before the required gift date!
Still knitting the socks, but hope to wear them to the Tramway on Sunday. Perhaps it is time for a quick knitting project to keep me going! Or another pair of socks!

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

S'now business like .... curling up when you have a cold!

At first I thought it was marks on the dirty windows , then I thought perhaps it was some early cherry blossom, but after two minutes it made its presence felt and lots of wet snow/hail came falling down! And this , the first time in three months when I decide to visit the hairdressers and get a haircut (having curly hair , my hair grows the "long way down", so frequent haircuts not required). Mouse (computer type) still giving me problems - I guess it the age of my computer, it's at least , oh must be, three years old now. Anyway, on to the knitting content - many photos to show now I recharged the camera - to start, here are my purchases from the craft fair. The bright orange hank is from New Lanark Mills, and was only a penny a gram - I love this colour and just had to buy it, not enough for a sweater but I have a few ideas for it. New Lanark is a lovely place to visit, it was originally set up by Robert Owen in the 19th century as cotton mills and a village for the workers, and now it is a "working museum". She who doesn't "do" four ply, bought this gorgeous summery colour of Rowans 4 ply cotton - how could I resist. Now I have enough for a camisole and a cropped cardi, but which summer will I knit them for ? Just to show the sun does shine occasionally in Scotland, in between the snow showers, gale force winds, rain and mist! And I dot a gold.... a dold (a cold!) In fact my nose is the same colour as that hank of yarn (did I mention its 100% aran wool).
So for comfort knitting, we have the cushion cover which is being knitted in Shipwreck'd (100% Merino hand dyed) soft and cozee. Then we have the (taking forever to knit 'cos i keep getting distracted by other projects) kid mohair sweater (or sleeve as shown here), which is so soft and cozee too, and I can't wait to finally wear it when its done.
Last Thursday was flavaknits night, and there were so many of us that we took up three tables (okay there were 10, but hey, thats a lot!). There was a new member, Maggie, who was knitting some beautiful fingerless gloves in Rowans Cashsoft and Kidsilk Haze (SWOON!). Unfortunately I didn't have my camera, and Karen was wearing her lovely bonita top (from the recent Rowan Magazine) knitted in Sirdar Indigo AND her Rowan All seasons cotton jacket . She knits too fast... and I'm just jealous! I will get a photo soon. Unfortunately, I didn't get to the Tramway on Sunday, as it was Mothering Sunday, I was.....mothering! I was awoken by two small boys launching a card and box of chocolates at me, and after being jumped on for a full ten minutes decided that breakfast in bed was NOT a good idea. Visiting my parents, I was supposed to be helping my sister make the Sunday dinner, but Junior jnr decided he was a small monkey who wanted to hang on mummy monkey, and NO, mummy was NOT to go in the kitchen. He was then persuaded it was a better idea to jump about with Daddy monkey instead.
I went to bed early on Sunday with a trashy novel and some hot chocolate - now THATS what Mothering Sunday is all about!

Friday, 16 March 2007

Yikes, I have gigantic letter !

Life with my trusty applemac has never been the same since we changed the computer desk to a glass one. The mouse has a life of its own, the cursor is just over the link needed, but before it can be clicked on, the cursor races to the other corner of the screen. Moving Web pages is difficult - just about to place it like so and wheesh...its almost offscreen! And now, for some reason blogger is showing my post in HUGE letters - I'm too weary for all this, I'll figure out tomorrow. Back to the knitting and Raspberry and Rose tea (gorgeous by the way). *Sigh* Thank Crunchie its Friday!
Edited later : *Sigh*, tried to sort it, seems okay now , although the letters seem a little smaller.

This'll be the pea and Ham

Pea and Ham... from a chicken...NOW THATS clever! In the era of Womens Lib - this was the advert that Knorr used to sell its Ham flavoured stock cubes. It featured a Highland farmer talking to his friend about the soup his wife was making for him, and not realising that his wife was using stock cubes instead of home made stock for the soup! Okay so its not Pea and Ham soup, but it is my take on the Fishy Pie from Hugh Fearnley - W's Family Cookbook . Not a great fan of smoked fish, I use organic farmed cod and organic farmed salmon. Lots of mashed potato with proper butter, and the carrot, celery and onion used to flavour the bechamel sauce is included with the other ingredients. Its a winner, not the cheapest family meal, but good for a miserable winter evening. Gave my husband a wee fright the other evening - he came back from Golfing to find the dinner table set with the good Wedding China. A puzzled, almost worried look crossed his face and he asked " Whats the occasion this evening ?" . Oh, its just the "YOU DIDN"T SWITCH ON THE DISHWASHER SO WE HAVE NO CLEAN CROCKERY" occasion, thats all. "Oh that one, silly me, imagine not remembering that one!"
On the knitting front , I had the opportunity (or to quote the late,great Rikki Fulton, opperchancity) to join Katharine of K1yarns at Radio Scotlands Macaulay and Co on Thursday . A group of us knitted in the front row while various guests were interviewed, or did a turn. Recognised very few of them, or anyone that was being discussed (time to read some trashy celebrity mag?), but DID recognise Miss Hoolie from Balamory aka Julie Wilson, and couldn't fail to recognise Karen Dunbar (the woman is M.A.D and extremely funny). Made decent progress on my sleeve for the Laines du Nord sweater , and almost ran out of yarn mid-broadcast .
And to provide further evidence of my ADD (attention deficit disorder - oh well sheer impatience really!) I cast on the cropped raglan top from Vogue Knitting Winter 2006/7. I'm using the Fyberspates, and it is fabulous. I think I would progress more quickly with a pair of Addi Turbo's, as the thick bits seem to get caught on my needles and slow me down. I've not commented on my time at the SECC Craft Fair last weekend - see Nans post at Nagged2k.
It was a great weekend, taught loads of kids at the Knit and Knatter stand including boys (hooray stereotypes are no more!) and bought some yarn - Rowan 4ply cotton and some gorgeous Aran from the New Lanark Mills stand. I really enjoy doing this, but it is quite tiring. Anyway more about that later and photo's to follow.
Now if you'd like to see a beautiful photo of two very good looking creatures have a peep here - one couldn't be angry for very long with these two !

Thursday, 8 March 2007

This is the BBC - literally!

I have surround sound BBC today - Junior Jnr is watching Cbeebies, Nina and the Neurons, and I am listening to Radio Scotland, Fred Macaulay and Co. Katharine from K1Yarns is knitting on Radio today and tomorrow - such are the occupational hazards of working near the BBC. John Beattie , who is hosting in Fred Macaulays' place , keeps stopping all the other guests to say - bet you've never done this with folk knitting in the front row before - as if they were visitors from Mars filing their nails!
I also read the news that John Inman, that well known British entertainer had died age 71 - he had Hepatitis A. I remember my Grandmother commenting that she thought he was such a good actor - he was wonderfully camp in the best possible taste - and he made the character Mr Humphries from "Are You Being Served "so memorable.
Mr Humphries are you free ? (High pitched singsong tone) Ayeeee'm frreee !
My aunt visited Katharines' shop yesterday, and gave in to temptation, its just that kind of yarn shop. Another yarn shop with equally tempting stock is Stitching Time in Hamilton - visit Heathers blog to see what wonderful yarn can be bought! Can't wait until Nan has her website up. Today is the first day of the Craft Fair at the SECC - I am itching to get there, and see what all the wonderful crafts (well yarns!) will be there. I shall try to be good........ perhaps. On the knitting front, am almost at the heel flap for the second sock, and my sister is at the same place so this race is going to be neck to neck (or heel to heel!) No photo's yet - will wait until finished heel, then I have promised myself I will cast on the Fyberspates yarn (hooray!) Oh well back to the Auntie! (BBC)

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Food Glorious Food!

Some of my friends with blogs ( India, Elaine ) post tempting shots of food - cupcakes, sodabread, soup, etcetera, etcetera . And I just want to jump right into the screen and eat it (especially the sodabread), and I end up rummaging in my cupboards for something tasty. But today, I have my own pictures of lovely food! Good Food, not out of a tin/packet nonsense, or value/savers rubbish. This stuff is demolished the minute it is ready.
Mabel Pearmans Burford Browns - the most beautiful, delicious Free Range Eggs !
Boiling them a la Delia Smith!
Serve them with Rocket, avocado sliced, smoked Trout and baby plum tomatoes - with just a pinch of Maldon Sea Salt. Look at THAT yolk, a definite bold yellow - Proper Eggs! And on the Knitting front - things progressing slowly, but on Saturday will be helping out on the Knit and Knatter stall at the Craft Fair at the SECC in Glasgow. Did this last October and really enjoyed it, so fingers crossed it goes well this time.....and those other stalls, need to leave the plastic at home!
Heather, I don't envy you having a 6.20am alarm call after a night out - Its the same thing when you decide to stay up and watch a late film.....nice at the time! Still I suppose it is a lovely way to be woken - my 2 year old insists on bouncing up and down on Mummy and Daddy in the bed to wake us up - bit too energetic really!

Monday, 5 March 2007

California Dreamin'

Yesterday, my two little angels (devils?) awoke me at 7.15am - on a Sunday, groan.... Rain and wind were trying their best to out do each other! After breakfast, dressing, clearing up, ironing, we all went out to Church, where I help with the little ones at Sunday School. In the middle of all our activities, one little boy took a nose bleed, and I'm the only one who doesn't faint at the sight of blood! So by lunch time, I was ecstatic (exhausted) to drive up to the Tramway to my Knitting group, where I stuck to the sock knitting. I did attempt to take some photos, but when there are 18 at (several) tables, it was kinda difficult. Here are my attempts (doctored a little)...
And for a while I could forget about the bad weather, and relax a little, and pretend I was in warmer climes. Lots of lovely WIPs', FOs', Yarn (courtesy of Nan), and books to see, lots of food to eat, coffee to drink!
I am very fortunate to attend not one but two knitting groups, and the combination of good company and knitting makes for a fun and relaxing time - almost like being on holiday.
Thank you Suzi for your lovely comment, I hope you can find a little group, or set one up yourself. You would probably get a nice surprise when you discover other knitters close by. I have to say that the "online" knitting community is another added bonus for me - I'm so glad my friend Kathleen persuaded me to blog!

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Absolutely Flavaknits - needles on fire!

The last few days have been bright and cold with a few little rainy patches - the sky is in the heavens and not on top of the river. Perfect knitting weather, so I'm carrying my socks about trying to add a few rows here and there.
Thursday night is Flavaknits night , and although we were down in numbers, there was plenty of knitting being done. Karen, the group organiser was taking votes on whether we should enter our group for "group of the month" , with one of the knitting magazines. I was out with the camera, quick as a Flash (sorry, couldn't resist that one!) Margaret, on the left is knitting with a vintage astrakhan yarn, can't remember the pattern (vintage). Gale is knitting her beautiful red mohair sweater, and had finished her Jaeger natural fleece sweater. Marion is knitting with a lovely tweedy yarn (ebay find) from the utter Hebrides, and Moira is knitting the largest baby shawl ever (I'm sure its for triplets). Marion and Moira - fastest needles in the West of Scotland! Note the Jaeger natural fleece sweater over the chair - its a Jaeger pattern too. Karen is knitting a pattern from the latest Rowan magazine called Bonita, sleeveless top with a shell pendant at the back. The yarn she is using is a denim yarn.
And I stuck to the sock knitting, and hot chocolate drinking, and book/magazine reading.......
I've also got another project in mind, but this time its not knitting, its' sewing (not my strong point), and I think the fabric is just beautiful - I'll post more about that later.
Now, one last picture of my gorgeous laines du nord sweater - its knit on cocktail sticks similar to the socks, but it feels sooooo good. I need to get a move on with the sleeves, ah well its Tramway Knitting group tomorrow.