KNN Thursday: The Curse of the Frog.

I have two types of frog this week: one of the throat variety, which has actually wiped me out for 3 weeks (it’s possibly more of a frog flu but I’m going to be positive) and one of the knitting.

The first frog has meant that I have missed many, many weeks of knitting club due to not actually been able to get out of bed for a few days (hence why it possible may have been frog flu) and for the last week only have enough energy to go to work and then come home and straight to bed.

I’ve also tried not to let the first frog intervene with the things I enjoy such as knitting but it’s been a bit difficult.

Take for example my knitting that lives at work. They are a pair of socks, on 2mm needles, that have cables, and are been made for the husband.

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So yeah, that was too much of a headache for my frog addled head. So I decided to knit at home in bed with chunky needles. The only chunky thing I have on needles at the moment is also another project for the husband, but this time a jumper.

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This has suffered more greatly than the poor socks due to me actually having to frog as I ended up shifting one row up making the pattern wobble.

I am also sorry to report it is that time of year again where I start to blog about something else: Lent.

It actually started on 18th February this year so you have managed to miss my complaining updates for the first two weeks.

As last year I’ve given up fizzy drinks but I’ve also agreed to join my sister this year and give up chocolate as well. This isn’t such a big deal for me as I normally prefer a savoury snack over chocolate but did cause a small….thing at my work today. I say thing because it was not quite an argument but I did feel like I had to defend myself. As I’m sure most places of work do (or at least the majority of places I’ve worked) when it is someone’s birthday snacks, usually some sort of cake, are brought in to celebrate. Well today someone brought in treats for there birthday but all contained chocolate in one form or another. After been asked several times by several people to go get a snack or been brought them over and declining them (politely) one person was insistent I had to eat something or it would be rude. At this point I informed the person I had given up chocolate for Lent. Apparently this is enough to warrant a barrage of questions and statements, leading me to feel I was been attacked.

All in all it wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences but my main feeling was one of anger. Would someone who informed they were on a diet be subjected to the same or similar questions? What about other religious beliefs?

Unfortunately after defending my personal choice to follow Lent, I felt even worse and would have loved to have cheered myself up with a slice of chocolate roll, especially with my voice hoarse and running a temperature. So for the first time since Lent started I have wanted some chocolate. I didn’t think Lent would be as hard as last year but been ill really does make it more of a challenge, especially giving up something that is a comfort when ill.

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Stitching Saturday: Thy Shall Not Covet (a fellow knit and natter’s jumper)

Geez a month since I last blogged. I could complain about life taking up all my time again but you’ve heard it all before.

So instead I’m going to tell you the story of a jealous knitter and the desire of a yarn hoarder and the selfishness of a crafter. And just in case you can’t tell, all of the above are the same person. Namely me.

I’m sure by now you are aware on Thursdays I attend a local Knit and Natter where we knit, drink coffee and try to put the world to rights (occasionally none of these things happen but we do try). We are on Ravelry if anyone is interested. Back in the autumn one of our members joined a knit along. She showed us the pattern and we all oooh-ed and awwww-ed and then squished squishy wool when she showed us the yarn she would be using. The whole way along as it was growing I knew it was going to be a gorgeous finished jumper.

And then it was finished.

And I was jealous!

It didn’t feel right to be jealous (and I may have not mentioned it to anybody at KNN because they already think I’m crazy I don’t need to give them anymore ammunition) especially as if I really really wanted to I could make something exactly the same. At this point the rational side of my brain knew that this was just crazy talk and I didn’t want an identical jumper but a spark had been lit in my brain and I really, really wanted a snuggle houndstooth jumper.

And then this landed in my inbox. Honestly Wool & The Gang it’s like you have a secret little window into my mind. Look how houndtoothy it is! And with nice red accents, I like what you did there W&tG. Biggest problem? It’s a mans jumper.

Damn and blast! This led to a multiple of thoughts that pretty much all ran along side one another something like:

– I could make myself a mans jumper Your have a hundred jumpers you haven’t made for yourself yet
– I could make husband the jumper Yeah right you haven’t finished husbands first jumper yet and be honest you would just “borrow” it permanently
– I could do a Ravelry search YAY RAVELRY

So I hunted on Ravelry as the most reasonable way of finding a pattern I liked without stepping on our knitters toes (which honestly I didn’t think she would mind if I used the same pattern as her, as most likely than not I would change the colours). So I went onto Ravelry and spent in total what must have been about 5 hours trying to find a pattern that was a bit like the W&tG design but would fit my body a bit better. It didn’t find anything.

I was most disappointed.

However as I sat half knitting, half lost in my own thoughts, half vaguely watching whatever was on the tv I came to the conclusion that I probably have enough patterns to last me more than my lifetime and I should be happy with this. And beside the patterns I also have enough wool to last me more than several lifetimes at the rate I knit. I did also vaguely think about trying to use up the stash I have before I buy anymore just due to the size of said stash (if I think about it too much and start using words like diet, or cutting back or restrictions then I just buy impulsively but that’s another blog for another day)

Well this morning I was browsing loveknitting.com (not buying browsing, honestly!) and I decided to have a look in their free patterns and what do I find?

This.

I can just see it knitted up now but I think I would changed it slightly to make the cuffs a bright red like the W&tG design. As much as I do like this design I am thinking I may wait until the end of the year to buy the wool for it. Why?

Well honestly I’ve been thinking about it again and I do have a large number of items all ready to knit. Do I really want to add something else to the never ending list? And back to the original jumper that was made by the fellow knit and natter. Did I like it because I thought it would look good on me? Well yes but I know I also liked it because I had seen the hard work that had gone into it, how much time had been spent choosing a pattern and a yarn, the sense of community it had created by been part of a knit along and the conversation it had created between me and my friends. Because that’s what the ladies at Knit and Natter are now. They are my friends who I found through our mutual insanity love of knitting. So my dear friends yes I occasionally want to steal your jumpers but know it is out of love and not just out of greed.

WIP Wednesday: New starts and Christmas gifts

I know, I know I’m still mentioning the ‘C’ word (no not the rude one, I mean Christmas) but for good reason. I haven’t shown you what Santa has brought me yet.

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Yes I know that doesn’t look like much but look inside….

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They are the special edition Rosewood KnitPros that I asked for very, very nicely! I must have been awfully good this year to get such a lovely present.

And normally with such a special present I wouldn’t expect to get anything else but did get a few of very special presents from the husband. And even more brownie points for him because they are craft related!

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So I got Monty and Mabel (go YouTube the John Lewis advert if you haven’t seen it and you will understand (additional brackets to say I love “Real Love” as sung by Tom Odell in the advert)) and the giraffe is Melvin.

Now Melvin is just like Monty, he just wanted love for Christmas. When my husband saw “giraffe” in John Lewis all by himself, no other giraffes to be friends with in the menagerie he knew he had to come home with him for Christmas and join my ever growing collection of giraffes. You might even notice in the picture behind him are Gerald and Gertrude. He now has a permanent home next to our tv, protecting my knitting basket from the perils of the world.

And the Liberty book! Well Mr Stitches deserves real credit for that. I may have spent a good three hours pouring over the details with a biscuit (or 12) and a cup of tea devouring the details. It’s also made me desperate for a good look around Liberty, mainly for inspiration!

Back to my main picture and you will notice that a pair of my needles are missing already. Well actually they are not missing they are been used. Yes another year and another start for me! I’ve convinced myself that as I have completed 3 projects in December that I can treat myself to a new start. Plus I couldn’t leave my new needles feeling neglected.

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The pattern is called A New Season and it’s free on Ravelry. The name spoke to me as the perfect New Year Knit. I’ve just started the second repeat of the main body and I think it’s coming along great. As for the yarn unfortunately all I know is that I bought it at Yarndale 2013 from a tiny stall with lots of other brightly coloured, variegated wool. My memory even tells me that it didn’t come with a tag. If anyone does have the name please do let me know.

Happy Knitting!

Review of the Year: 2014

Hello 2015! (Yes I know I’m a couple of days late but I’ve been busy dammit)

This year has been crazy in a good way. Holidays and gigs and time with family and time to myself. Which pretty much sums up some of my resolutions for last year. So to review last years resolutions:-

1. Keep this Blog going. Yes. Well it’s still here. Not really successfully by still here. This may turn into a “try again this year” resolution.

2. Lose the Cheese weight Well this was a fail. But not a complete fail because whilst I’ve not lost weight at least I’ve not had a gain. I’m also no any healthier which was another part of this goal but I can also file this again under “try again this year”.

In another part of my mind I have a little voice saying “Eat the Cheese”

3. Read More! Erm, no. The only book I read last year was “The Last Days of Richard III and the Fate of his DNA” by John Ashdown-Hill. It was a great read but the honest truth is I don’t fell like I have time to read everything I want to read anymore with the time I spend on other things I wasn’t to do. The other option is to timetable in time to read but then it just feels like a chore. This resolution may be missing from this years list.

4Refresh my language courses Another No. I think this one may end up not only been given up but the actual books been given to the charity shop.

5. Enjoy my university course Meh, enjoy may have been optimistic. I am working on it and looking forward to the end result but hard work is hard work and it’s very rarely fun.

6. Go to More Gigs I’ve definitely managed this one. The complete list is:- Rizzle Kicks, The Eagles, Manic Street Preachers, The Beautiful South, The Searchers and Katy Perry. I also went to the theatre quite a lot; Avenue Q, The Perfect Murder, Evita, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Beyond The Barricade, Les Miserables and Mamma Mia. This year should be just as busy I hope with one trip to the theatre and one gig already booked. (I also realise I still have reviews to do for some of these)

7. Make the hubby a jumper Well I started one, does that get me half a point?

8. Actually make something for me! I did!

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Ok it did end up been for a fancy dress but it is still completed and the warmest jumper in the world. Thanks again to Mrs Moon for the inspiration.

I also have my Fair Isle jumper which is complete but that baby deserves its own post.

9. Have more nights out I really did, and the best was most certainly Halloween, which the above jumper was made for. Whilst I’m not going to keep this resolution exactly the same I want to have just as many awesome nights out this year.

10. Learn a new skill Erm, no again. I may just pretend this doesn’t exist.

11. Continue with my crafty time I most certainly did, crafty time is the only thing that stops me from going crazy! It also gave me some lovely end results.

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12. Stop biting my Nails Well yes and no.

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My nails can look like this. However I do still bite them. And sometimes they look…well disgusting. So more consistency in my nails is next years resolution.

13. Complete Tut No. However he did get more time than the last year so I’m counting this as a success.

14 Make time for me Yes. And I plan to carry this on as well.

And for this year, well carrying on from last year I will have 15 resolutions:

1. Keep the Blog Going.
2. Stay Healthy.
3. Keep going on CLC and do the best I can.
4. Go to as many Gigs as possible.
5. Go to the theatre as much as possible.
6. Finish the Husbands jumper.
7. Complete more things for me.
8. Keep my social life busy.
9. Keep my nails healthy.
10. Complete Tut.
11. Spend more time with my sewing machine.
12. Spend more time baking.
13. Travel more, even if it’s just in the UK.
14. Discover new music.
15. Keep time for me.

All in all, last year was amazing, but I have a feeling this year is going to be even better.

WIP Wednesday: Halloween, Bonfire and Christmas, Oh My!

Oh my giddy Aunt! Where has the time gone? I did actually write a blog all about Halloween but somehow it got eaten by my phone before it was posted.

The only reason I’m getting round to writing this is because I’ve ended up on a detour on my way home and have no knitting/crochet/craft of any description! Disaster! However it does give me time to blog.

So Halloween. The jumper I made was finished. Yes I was making it on October 30th but it was finished by Halloween. I wore it pretty much all day at work and most of the time on my night out. Want to see a picture? Well unfortunately WordPress is not been my friend today so I will have to paint you a word picture. It was the brightest Orange, with large puffy sleeves and a snuggle polo neck. Tonight Matthew I’m going to be Velma from Scooby Doo! (If you don’t get that reference go google old episodes of Stars in Their Eyes. It will be he best thing you do all week. I occasionally watch the old episodes on the channel Challenge, it makes me thankful I avoided most of the 80’s, that went off topic quickly….) Edit: WordPress is my friend again and is letting me post pictures but the chat about Stars in Their Eyes was too good to be edited out

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So yeah Velma! It was awesome I think I lost a stone in sweat One of the best nights out ever how I did not pass out I do not know My jumper got a million lovely comment bloody hope so too the effort I put into it However as great as the night out was its unlikely I will wear this jumper on a day to day basis, it was just too warm! You know those jumpers you wear on days at home when it’s cold and a little drizzly? Well it’s become my stay at home jumper.

Then it’s the husbands birthday and Bonfire Night! And almost on schedule I got a horrible chest infection and end up on a nebuliser. This is both horrible and good. Bad; I don’t like been ill and off work; Good; I get to knit more!

I even managed to complete a couple of small projects. I made some very bright, rainbow coloured socks for the newest member of the family. She is uber adorable and her mum, my cousin, was ecstatic for something not pink! Gender colours are something that is actually mentioned quite a lot at KNN on Thursday and while I think it’s occasionally nice to see a girl in a pretty pink dress the sheer amount of pink that I was confronted with when I went to buy an outfit for new member of family was overwhelming. Eventually I found a little denim dress with a yellow t shirt and tights but it was very difficult. And from the excitement of my cousin when she finally received something not pink I’m going to try and not stick to gender colours for any new arrivals.

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I have also almost finished my hearts and flowers top. The shoulders have been seamed and buttons bought. However at this late stage I don’t want to show half a seamed top so the next photos will be of it finished and on my and Bernadette (yes my dummy is going to wear it as well)

So for the husbands birthday (and before the terrible Chest Infection of 2014) we went to the theatre to see a musical performance, a full review will happen at some point in a Fun Friday post. We have also managed another musical performance and a gig since I posted so they will be getting posts soon as well, as well as the long overdue reviews for The Eagles and The Perfect Murder.

And now, well it’s only 4 weeks til Christmas you lucky, lucky people. Is Santa bringing you fruit or coal this year? I think he is bringing me yarn. Well I’m hoping for yarn. He also brought me an early Christmas present in the form of the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show. I didn’t actually spend that much, my biggest purchase been MillaMia Country Escape Booklet and the yarn for the striped pattern. I also treated my Toyota sewing machine to a cosy new bag.

The husband was my partner in crime for my day in Harrogate and convinced me to buy this pattern and the yarn for the adult jumpers. He’s hoping I will have at least one done by Christmas!

I’ve also been neglecting my sewing for the longest time so treated myself to some fabrics to make my sister an apron for Christmas (the chances of her reading this and finding out are minimal so I can reveal all on here) and a Gorguss cross stitch, which I was so eager for I’ve actually started work on it last Sunday during a film marathon (it was the Tinkerbell films, I’m both ashamed and not ashamed by that fact)

I also treated myself to a workshop, Make a Vintage Clutch Bag. Whilst I do have a bag it is not photo worthy. In the slightest. Maybe one day I will pluck up the courage to show the world but that day is not today. I did really enjoy my time on the sewing machine and it gave me another pattern to work with that I know I will be confident to do, just needing a little more than two hours to complete it in.

And that just about brings me up to date. Work is mental again at the moment as half the staff are on holiday (again, we always seem to plan our holidays together) but next week so am I. Hopefully by then WordPress will be my friend again and I will be able to update with lots of pictures and blogs of my adventures.

Stitching Sunday: Updates, WIPs and Yarndale!

Good Morning!

It was the end of which most people would class as an extra hour in bed but due to a horrible nights sleep I spent more time of the sofa and not really asleep. Oh well.

Onto the updates!

The that I posted about on Monday not looks like as a jumper.

I hoping this will be finished by Friday because it is going to form part of my Halloween costume. No I’m not going to be a pumpkin. If I get everything sorted I’m going to post pictures on Friday.

The jumper was actually a Yarndale purchase. Which believe it or not was actually 4 weeks ago. Doesn’t time fly when you’re working ridiculous hours having fun!

In fact when I saw the jumper it was a moment of pure love. I spotted it across the pens, a deep orange exactly like one I had been searching for, not knowing if it actually existed. And then when I held it, oh my giddy aunt, it was just so, so soft. was a shop I had never heard of before Yarndale but now I can’t recommend them enough. Even after spending about 15 minutes trying to make the payment I was still excited about the wool. Yarndale in general makes me happy but I felt like was walking on air by this point.

I also got several other Yarndale purchases;

Wool from Susan Crawford (possibly a knit for NaKniSwaMo, its only 5 days away people. She also reconised me from last year due to my awesome Lady and The Tramp jumper. Did I mention that she is my favourite designer??

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Cascade Jumper

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More badges.

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Wool from Baa Ram Ewe (my LYS)

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Toft (For a Giraffe! And other animals.)

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Originally I wasn’t going to get anything from Toft but then just three days before Yarndale Edward’s Menagerie landed on my doorstep and I just had to get started on it. And it was another case on when I felt the wool I fell in love. ITS SO FLUFFY!

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Totally what I act like.

Sparkleduck wool AND A DUCK!

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With some knick nacks.

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And so far I have been really good and only cast on the orange jumper because I wanted to make that for Halloween.

Last year Yarndale had some teething issues but they honestly seemed to be all ironed out this year. Yes you still had to queue to get in or to use the toilets but the cafes were much better and there was more choice in terms of stalls. Bring on an even bigger and better Yarndale 2015! If next year is more awesome I may combust from my squealing just so you are all aware.

Well as for my other WIPs I finally made a decision on the neck of the little boys jumper I’m making.

As I had enough yarn to make them with the hood and wouldn’t have had a clue what I would have made with the leftover wool (at the time, I’ve found a perfect stash buster) I decided to go with the hood. And I’m very impressed with the way they are looking. When I was having a bit of a blog tidy up I also realised that I never tracked the day of when I bought this yarn.

It was on Knit In Public Day and to celebrate a few of us from KNN made a journey to the next town over and made a visit to Texere. T was a great day out, I think we ended up spending about 2 hours there is the vast warehouse of a shop.

The yarn used to make the jumper was heavily discounted and I bought the two colour ways I am using for the jumper along with another two colour ways for other projects. One is for a Cardie for the goddaughter and the other I bought just because it was adorable and I couldn’t leave be last two balls looking sad and alone in the basket, so I bought them. Tell me honestly could you leave this all alone in a basket?

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So ok I had no idea what to make with it but then I’ve had a lot of friends announce they are pregnant and decided to have a bit of an experiment. And for a change it worked!

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Teeny Tiny Baby Socks! And my first successfully pair of sock (we are not talking about the socks in this post) In the future I can quickly see these becoming my go to project for quick, simple present and to use small leftover bits of yarn. Best of all it’s a free pattern of Ravelry.

Talking about patterns take a look at these I also got at Texere.

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And the large amount of yarn.

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I have also started to work on some of the poor neglected WIPs. Take George the bear. I don’t like sewing up. So I left him my needle bag for many months in many pieces but yesterday for no reason Ok that’s a lie I was fed up of the orange monster I decided to work on sewing him up.

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So he’s still not finished but he is looking more like a bear.

I also had to pause briefly on my Fair Isle top. As much as I wanted this to be completed by September I had an accident on the train that resulted in the needle been snapped. Now I’m not completely blaming to woman who rammed into me as the cause of the snapping but I totally am. Whilst it would be classed as murder it is definitely manslaughter! For an equally disastrous needle story read my friends blog here.

Finally had any one been watching the celebrity version of Great British Sewing Bee!? I think it has been marvellous and of course it is all in aid of a great charity. I think I am most certainly adding Pam Ferris to my list of people I would like to have a tea and Craft afternoon with, even if she did scare me half to death as Miss Trunchbill in Matilda when I was little (Shotput, Javelin, Hammerthrow)

Congratulations if you got to the end of his post, you also deserve a tea and craft afternoon.

Top Ten Tuesday: Knitting Songs!

I know an ambiguous title but trust me! Whilst on the plane to Corfu (take me back to the Beach!) I was listening to a song and realised that it had a line about knitting in it. Then I remembered a couple of others and then I did a bit if research and realised I had enough to make a Top 10! So in at 10….

10. Love of the Common People by Paul Young

Knitting Line: The closer the knit, the tighter the fit.

Knitting Rating: Sound advice there but I think it was a metaphor.

9. Don’t Marry Her by The Beautiful South

Knitting Line: Those Blackbirds look like knitting needles trying to peck your head.

Knitting Rating: In what world do Blackbirds look like knitting needles. IN WHAT WORLD! (I do like this song though)

Bonus: Another Beautiful South Song Woman in the Wall (warning: it is a very depressing song)

8. I can Sing by Barenaked Ladies

Knitting Line: I can knit a scarf, but you can’t knit a sweater.

Knitting Rating: Best for beginners. (Plus the video is awesome for the line “The true instrument of Death Metal – the Bango.”)

7. Stephen by Ke$ha

Knitting Line: Stephen, I’ll Knit you a sweater

Knitting rating: Vocalising the true dedication of knitting a loved one a jumper/sweater. (Actually she appears to be a stalking in the video so YMMV)

6. All I Want by Joni Mitchell

Knitting Line: I wanna knit you a sweater.

Knitting Rating: See above, but with less stalking

5. I’m Going Slightly Mad by Queen.

Knitting Line: I’m knitting with only one needle.

Knitting Rating: Freddie, my dear, what your doing is called crochet.

4. Doozer Knitting Song by Doozer

Knitting Line: ALL OF IT! But I especially like: You know knitting’s friendly, and knitting’s fun, knitting’s good for everyone!)

Knitting Rating: It’s great but what’s a Doozer?

3. Vindaloo by Fat Les

Knitting Line: Knit one, Purl one, Drop one, Curl one, KICK IT!

Knitting rating: Listen to when you’ve had a visit from the frog, you want to kick it then (also the song that inspired this post)

2. I’ve Got A Dream on Tangled Soundtrack.

Knitting Line: Bruiser knits, Killer sews, Fang does little puppet shows, and Vladimir collects ceramic unicorns.

Knitting Rating: Not just knitting but sewing and making puppets! The Snuggly Duckling is practically a Craft Club.

Bonus: Rapunzel knits in her morning routine.

1. When I’m Sixty-Four by The Beatles

Knitting Line: You can knit a sweater by the fireside, Sunday mornings go for a ride.

Knitting Rating: Knitting by a fireside when you’re 64? Sounds like my retirement plan (except my retirements probably going to be at 74!)

If you don’t like the YouTube links it’s also available on Spotify (but with Bernard Cribbins instead of The Beatles, but really who would complain about that?)