Saturday, 10 October 2009

Bye to another one

We've had really shoddy luck with cats over the past 18 months. While lately everything has seemed to have gone well with the birth of the littleun's, Lolly caught something while she was weaning them and unfortunatly passed away. We were concerned it might have been something she could have passed onto the babies in utero or through feeding, but the vet seems to think it was a bad infection or virus. Luckily both kittens seem to be healthy and thriving and when it comes time for shots I'll get bloods done as well, maybe.

Hopefully things will pick up from here health wise - getting drained saying goodbye this often.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Bring on the cold

Autumn has been creeping steadily into the neighbourhood, scattering leaves and conkers willy-nilly. The school kids coming into the shop are starting to come in with scarves and gloves and hats, and the thick winter coats are slowly appearing on the bus. The cold is here.

The great thing about Autumn is the sudden inspiration to knitknitknit anything and everything, jsut for the weight and warmth of it sitting in the lap. The bad thing about Autumn is my fingers get too cold to knit with any speed or efficiancy, and it's a while yet before I can justify casting on for gloves.

Mum's shawl has stumbled at the last fence due to yarn shortages - the purple gave up the ghost and I could just use the blue instead but THAT's looking kinda pathetic and wouldn't you know? Purple 2ply lace is out of stock with Jaimeson. So until it's not, the shawl must wait.

Because the shawl must wait, the second white sock has been cast on and I'm 9 pattern repeats into the 14 I need before the heel. It's going well and quickly even if I am fumbling with the tooth-pick needles after 3 months of 4mm logs.

Many shops are starting to advertise for Christmas, so I took it as a sign to plan and buy the family's Christmas knits. Mum is getting Cachoeira socks in Midnight Tight Twist yarn from FearlessFibers on etsy, J is getting Tidepool Socks, colour Chastity from FearlessFibers and A is getting the knee-high Bintje-socks in bright yellow Citrus again from Fearless. I'm waiting on the yarn and itching to start - probably in length order. Or maybe do 20 rows on one, 20 rows on another. Or maybe 2 at once on magic loop - can I get the needles? Hmm..

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Hello again!

Being employed and a student has apparently completely beggared my ability to sit and type something here on a regular basis. Mix in the laptop with a death wise and you have radio - or blog - silence.

Work has been nuts with various staff off with sickness, maternity and university, which left me with a load more hours than I'd planned on. The end does seem to be in sight, but there's some stuff with the manager that's keeping us on our toes with regards the rota. But no matter the hours I'm really enjoying the shop - it's a great way for me to meet and see people and I'm getting used to the regulars wants. The big sticking point at the moment is the hours, but that's something I can quite cope with.

My Biology GCSE is almost done. I have 1.5 more pieces of coursework to finish up before September 14th, ideally before September 1st. It's looking like I'll make that deadline as long as my tutor gets back to me soon-ish with the current piece.
The A levels are getting less attention because their deadline is ages away. I'm working on getting to page 100 for them all before I ignore History again - just 30ish pages to go!

Now because of the big time vampires, there is good news and bad news about my knitting output.

The Good News: I have bought 4 balls of yarn since May, all of it acrylic fingering weight to make into a blanket. It was also on sale.
The Bad News: Very very little has been done on any existing project.

The white lace sock is still waiting for a final fitting and a partner. The felted green sock has not been started and the red Spring forward hasn't even been un-kinked. Mum's shawl has been worked on, but I'm not that enthused about the colours so I guess the drive is missing. I'm eager to start a pair of fingerless gloves to match the grey Christmas beret for Jenny, there are two balls of pastell mohair dk just begging to become a beret and wristlets, and there are new patterns added everyday to Ravelry that are so very tempting. But! I shall resist. I shall finish the shawl, the 3 socks and the geometric lace scarf I have hidden in a handbag. I will finish all these things and then, THEN I shall cast on something new.

Lastly because I've worked hard and saved what I could and because I was tempted to grant the laptop death wish.. I have a new laptop. It is new and shiny and quite scary with it's screen that is quite a bit bigger than it needs to be. I am still figuring out what all the buttons do, and how far out into the garden I can go with the wireless, but I am thinking we will be the best of friends soon enough. If only I could persuade the old one to give me all my stuff back. That's gonna be fun.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Time, and the Loss Thereof

Where did May go? Seriously, I blinked in April and suddenly it's June! How did that happen?

The lost month may be attributed to the very warm weather - I took the time to sit outside all day, applying suncream every 4 hours or so and ended up with ever so slightly sunburned shoulders. No real pain or peeling, just a little too pink to be normal.

Despite having no recollection of the last 30 days, I have managed quite a lot, judging by the amount of paper I have collected.

I got a job at the convenience shop a short 30 second walk from my front door. I began work just as one employee went on maternity leave and another signed on sick, resulting in 32 hour weeks after months of not doing anything at all. Thankfully the sick note expired and she returned to work healthy, so my hours have fallen to a much more relaxing 13 hours.

I signed up for, bought and started my distance-taught A levels - English Language, History and Psychology. I had a talk with my tutor and discovered if I complete the 3 coursework pieces from my Biology GCSE before September 14th, I won't have to buy the course again - which means tomorrow I start to really crack on. The A levels I have until January to really do and the Biology won't take that long. Sorted!

Shockingly there was not much knitting at all. I still have the cotton ZigZag scarf on the go, though the end is in sight. The first white knee high Sodera is finished and waiting for A to try it on and confirm the length - that took ages. I am 35 scallops in to the 72 scallop edging for Mum's shawl, the Lime Green Knee Sock still needs casting on and the Spring Forward yarn has yet to be un-kinked. I'm hoping June is kinder on the needles.

Lastly, I am dying to make these for my cousin who will turn 1 in October - I have the right yarn, I just need the time and an address to send them to. Aren't they sweet?

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Socks, And The Care Thereof.

I like socks. I like knitting them, I like wearing them and I love knitting them for other people who like wearing socks. This is all good. This is fantastic, in fact, as both Mum and A adore hand knit socks - Mum because of the warmth and A because it is, it seems, very difficult to find lime green knee highs, or fluorescent pink yellow and red ones with penii.

The trouble is that while I like knitting socks, and some days think I'm pretty good at knitting socks, I'm not very good at looking after socks.

I have not yet blocked one sock. I have the wonderful aromatic blockers I bought from etsy, I have access to sunlight and other drying mechanisms, I have water. What I do not seem to have is patience. Blocking? Hah! I barely bother to weave in the cast on thread before the newly finished sock is on someones foot. A has in the past worn an odd sock all day, because it was finished. Mum has pairs of socks nearing a year old that never got woven in properly.
And hand washing? Yeah right. Machine wash at 30degrees, spin, then 5minutes tumble dry. I am careless with my socks!

Sadly this lackadaisical attitude has resulted in some recent victims, tearing apart devoted couples. First, the Red Setter Heel incident - technically not a result of poor care, but still a Spring Forward sock left single - and just yesterday the partial felting of one Lime Green Knee High. Returned to the wash cycle too fast, it has fulled past the point of comfort.

So over the next few months as I find time I will repair the Spring Forward, re-knit the Green Knee High and push on with the lacy pair I've been persuaded to knit, hopefully remembering that I put a lot of time into these foot coverings, and should probably invest a little extra time in their care... maybe let them dry in the sunny garden instead.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

PHOTOS!

Thank Jeebus, we found the camera! It had fallen under the sofa behind a blanket -how it got there we have no clue. Nevermind, it meant I could finally take pictures of the projects so far.


For Mum: Ophelia, 75% acrylic/25% wool nameless yarn

Urchin No.1, Sirdar Peru Naturals



Urchin No.2, Mondial Oltre yarn - a tiny bit small for me


Chevron Love Hat, knit in acrylic scraps - a bit big.


For A: very long socks, Arucania Ranco solid. 2 skeins.


So those were mostly finished over February and March. April is neckwear month which has so far resulted in one neckwarmer to match a 'phone cozy I made A. I've got a Branching Out scarf on the go and once that's bound off there's another neckwarmer and then a ladder scarf in bamboo I want to make. If I've the time I might start a scrap vertical stripe scarf, cast on 400 stitches and garter stripe it. We'll see.
I leave you with a picture of our newest addition, Angel. Pumpkin sadly died March 21st, Angel came to join us the next day. He's a real character! Here he is, helping pose the green Urchin - moments later he tried to attack the camera. Aww, sweet.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Stash-a-long progress - MARCH

Well despite having done rather less travelling than first thought, I did manage to finish 4 hats!

2 Urchin - one in a blue-ish Sirdar Peru Naturals, the other in a green/brown Spanish brand called Oltre. The blue is just the right size, the green is a tad small for my head.

1 Toddler Gap - Used maybe a half ball of no-name red acrylic. Not the most challenging design but perfect for a simple knit.

1 Chevron Love Hat - My first piece of colourwork and I'm quite proud of myself! The floats on the wrong side seem to be just the right length, I don't think the right side puckers, and the colours I chose based on the size of the ball seem to work really well. If I made it again I'd take out a few stitch panels to tighten it up a bit, lengthen the body by an inch and then do the crown decreases - which I changed to k2tog, k1, ssk - in 5 or 6 segments instead of 4. The squared off top doesn't do much for my head shape.

So, that wraps up March. I think April shall be scarf/neckwear month as there are a couple of patterns I want to try - namely turning the Chevron hat into a scarf, use up even more stash! I think May will have to be lace month, just in time for summer, holidays and long evenings out.

Oh yes, Ophelia got finished too! She fits.