Yarn Diet Progress

Cruise Countdown

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Sock it to Me

I have been working mostly on larger projects recently, trying to finish some of my huge pile of WIP's. My sock needles had been sadly put to one side whilst I tried to get on. However all that is history now due to seeing a finished pair in one of the groups I follow on Ravelry. The Ripplescrafts group has a great bunch of folk all sharing their projects and one of the ladies happened to show off a finished pair of socks. I was immediately drawn to the pattern and was delighted to discover it was free. It was duly downloaded and I was itching to start. Oh the dilemma, did I carry on with my resolve to reduce the pile in the WIP basket or did I cast on some socks? Well the socks won out.
The first sock was cast on, rib quickly finished and on to the leg pattern. After the first few rows I can tell you I was hooked. I am sure from now on this will become my go to sock pattern. An easy two row repeat with great results which will work with solid, semi-solid or variegated yarn. Along with the Fish Lips Kiss Heel I have an inkling I have found my perfect sock.
It has all the elements I need for men or women. It can be magic-looped (my preferred method), knit cuff down or toe-up and is perfect for TV or travel knitting. I am a truly happy bunny. The first pair will be for himself. He has been poorly lately with a dreadful stomach bug which has been doing the rounds.
Mind you, not to be outdone I have also cast on a toe-up version for myself. I will work on each in turn to keep the interest alive by having the different colours to work on. And this pattern is, I hear you ask? It is Jeck by Regina Satta.

Have you a favourite go to sock pattern? If so please feel free to share it in comments so I can have a look and maybe you will even change my mind.

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary

Sunday, 6 October 2013

+ 3

As I admitted I had 3 more skeins of yarn in the post. They are all here. Such gorgeousness. Now I have to decide what to knit with them. I think I have one of them sussed but not so sure on the others. Any suggestions are more than welcome.
Let me introduce you to my new stash.

1. This skein is called Mt Tinknomore. It was the skein designed for the first group I was placed in in this year's Camp Loopy adventure. It is from The Loopy Ewe Seasonings collection.

It is actually one full skein and a little skein of contrasting solid. Beautiful colours and soooo soft. This may become socks but not sure. 

2. This is Lorna's Laces Solemate in the Rocky Mountain Primrose colour. 

This was my prize for completing Camp Loopy. Yes I did it, I completed the 3 month challenge. Again I am not sure what this will become.

3. Finally this glorious skein is the Ripples Crafts Assynt Storms club October instalment. 

I am totally smitten by this yarn and I am pretty sure it will become a 28's Cousin 53 It is just too lovely to be hidden away as socks. I have knitted this scarf/shawl before and it was the pattern which immediately sprung to mind upon opening the package.

Well there you go I have now crept up to 582 skeins. I am knitting away madly trying to reduce the stash. Today I am knitting Hexi's to use up the remains of the skein from the socks I completed earlier this week.

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary

Thursday, 3 October 2013

310

Okay so it is not a whole skein, but it is 310 yards gone from the stash.

Here are my completed Fish Lips Kiss Heel socks.


I am so chuffed with these wee socks as they are the first successful toe-up pair I have ever knitted. I will have very cosy feet at work tomorrow of that I am sure.

I kind of made the pattern up as I went along and they turned out fab.

They also make a wee dent in my October Goals which I shared yesterday. So I can say yippee to that too.

My goals now look like this


October Goals
  1. Finish Swirl Jacket
  2. Finish FLK socks for me  Finished
  3. Finish Wild Violet
  4. Start and keep up with Flutter of the Wings  MKAL
Yay!!!
I will add another pair of socks into the goals soon but not right away. 

These socks also added to another much longer term challenge I am taking part in. The challenge to see how long it will take to knit a Million rows. The 340 rows in these socks take my total up to 14,194 rows knitted since Aug 10th 2012. As you can see this is a very long term goal but I hope to achieve it someday.

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

579

579! How the heck did that happen. I just checked the ticker and I have 579 skeins or balls of yarn. Holy cow!
I really must get to grips with this yarn addiction. Now I know I have 3 more skeins on their way and I have a planned visit to my friend's shop coming up as soon as I have the pennies but seriously I must end Oct with fewer skeins than 579.
So my friends that is my challenge to myself. Wish me luck,  please! 

I am also at breaking point with projects (can never see past the Oh Shiny!) so in one of the groups I frequent on Ravelry I have set myself knitting goals. They are as follows



October Goals
  1. Finish Swirl Jacket
  2. Finish FLK socks for me
  3. Finish Wild Violet
  4. Start and keep up with Flutter of the Wings  MKAL
So there you are my knitting soul bared.

Stay safe and happy crafting


Mary

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Making Me Laugh

We bought a new Hoover. It is great, no problems there. Our living room carpet looks like new.

Our new Hoover


What has had me laughing is this......
Our Hoover was dispatched from Dunfermline, about 30 or so miles from here


This is what actually happened

The Hoover travelled well over 600 miles. The world has gone mad!!!

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary

Making Me Happy

Sometimes it is the little things in life which make you happy. This week it has been a heel! Yes you read that correctly, a heel.
Let me explain.
I love hand knitted socks. They feel great on my feet and the variety of gorgeous sock yarns take my breath away. There are so many wonderful patterns out there too. What has always held me back though is I hate knitting the heel. Yes I love the magic of the heel turn, but it is the picking up of the stitches along the heel flap which leaves me feeling meh! I never seem to get it right. Too many here, not enough there little gaps and holes.
Well good people no more of that for me. My world of socks has been well and truly opened up. May I present to you the technique which has forever changed my sock knitting life.................
The Fish Lips Kiss Heel
I cannot tell you how wonderfully simple this is. You really really must check it out for yourselves.

Here is a couple of pics of the socks I am currently working on using this heel




Truly this has been my salvation and all for the princely sum of 64p, (or $1). You cannot say fairer than that.
Off I go to finish the pair.......

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary


Saturday, 21 September 2013

Day 1

What is it with holidays? You spend all year dragging yourself out of bed for work or daily chores. The idea of a holiday is to relax, maybe have a wee lie in and wham, there you are up at 6am bright as a button!
So up we were. The sky was bright and the day looked promising.


These views were what greeted us. Stunning tranquillity.

After coffee we ventured out again and met the neighbours.




They seemed quite affable and were curious of us until Skye caught the scent and began to bark. Then they were off across the field. Now this was quite amusing to us as Skye could not see over the wall so had no idea what it was she was smelling and likewise the cattle could not see her, only hear her.

Back indoors we settled down to a relaxing morning when oh my goodness disaster struck. I am well into knitting a Swirl Jacket which at this point had over 400 stitches on the needle when horrors the needle tip snapped right off. Argh!! Quickly I grabbed a couple of stitch holders which were in my wee kit and managed to rescue the stitches.
This picture shows roughly where I was when the needle snapped


So what was I to do? The only other knitting I have with me are some socks on 2.5mm needles and this was a 3.75mm. I am so addicted to this project that I have touched nothing else since I cast it on on the 6th Sept. My plan this holiday was to hopefully get it finished so I will have a cosy cardi for the autumn and winter. I packed light when it came to knitting this year, (totally unlike me, just ask himself). 
Darling hubby to the rescue. He says well we would just have to go find a wool shop and buy a new one.
A little research later and we discover there is a shop in Alnwick. Off in the car we go. Now we have been to Alnwick before and loved it. It was on our list of places to visit this trip, but not quite so soon. Upon arrival we discovered that the annual Food & Beer Festival was in full swing in the marketplace. Wow, what glorious things we were offered to taste and drool over. The needle was almost forgotten about. Unfortunately I had not brought my camera, nor had we brought our bank cards so looking and the odd tasting were all we could do. Mind you we were handed a free bag of tatties by one stall and we are looking forward to trying them out soon.
The other thing of note which happened as we were making our way back to the car was I am pretty sure I almost literally bumped into the celebrity chef Jean Cristophe Novelli. I am certain it was him. He was surrounded by folk and had whites on under his jacket.

Anyway back to the cottage we came to discover we had a visitor


What a beauty we were entranced. 
Then after the excitement of the morning we both fell asleep!

Once we awoke we lit the fire and settled back to relax at last. I made more progress on my swirl and we watched Foyle's War and Midsomer Murders on ITV3. 
A last look outside showed the clouds had lifted and the moon was lighting up the sky almost like the sun.
It is so dark here with no light pollution I wish I could take night photos to show it, but here for you is my best effort.


Night night for now!

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary

Friday, 20 September 2013

Getting There

All Packed Up

So Friday dawns and it is time for the hols to begin. Only one problem, not packed yet. A few frantic hours later and we are ready to load the car. A few trips later and it is done, or is it? I pop into the bedroom to cuddle the sleeping kitties and tell them to be good and, horrors the large bag holding all, and I mean all, of our clothes is still sitting on the bed! Oh lordy, thank goodness the kitties decided to have their afternoon nap on the bed.

A little huffing and puffing and shoogling of stuff around the car we are finally ready for the off.
Here we go! The journey begins quite uneventfully I pull us into the garage for petrol. Holy crap, what is that guy buying? The whole shop? He is in there forever and his car is blocking access to both the pumps which dispense fuel to the drivers side. Only one thing for it, the fuel line will just have to stretch. A few good pulls later and it is in. Fuel is duly pumped into the tank and we go in to pay. He is still there, holding everyone up! What is it with some folk? Never mind, we are on holiday let us smile and be happy. 

On the Way

On the road at last. I pull out onto the A1 and we are off. Nothing much of note here except I am sure the speed limit if you are towing a caravan is not over 70mph. I mean 70mph is the maximum speed limit in the country and that is only for motorway style roads. Yet here  am being chased along by a car towing a caravan. Now I refuse to speed. The speed limits are there for safety. Yet he continually gets right up behind me. Eventually on a dual carriageway stretch south of Grantshouse he overtakes. I am doing 60mph at this point which is the max for this stretch of road. His caravan is swinging around wildly and other vehicles are hesitating to get too close. I have eased off slightly by this point for safety.
Anyway on we go and cross the border into England! Oh my we have left our beloved nation behind. A little later we veer off the main road and suddenly things become much more relaxed. A quick stop for Skye to pee and us to have a leg stretch and we are off again. One B class road, one A class road and one unclassified road later and we spot the cottages. Wow, from up here they sure look grand.
A left turn and down the hill we go to the entrance to the steadings. This looks great!
It took us just under two hours to get here and it felt as if we had hardly left yet. That kind of drive I like.

Getting In

So here we are! We follow the instructions in the e-mail and find our key. Then we open the door. Holy cow this place is lovely. A quick lookie through the rooms, must find the loo!, and then it is time to put the kettle on. Ah bliss a hot drink. Now to unpack the car. This is done with amazing speed and it is time to settle in. Eek disaster! Guess who knocked half a dozen eggs off the counter and onto the floor? Yep it was me. What a start. Ach well we have some more. Finally all the food and clothes are put away and it is time to relax. Yep, time to relax. Yee ha! 
We lit the fire, yes it has a lovely log burner and we settled back. I don't even think I will manage much knitting tonight as I am bushed. 
I will take some photos tomorrow and share our 1st day until then, I just want to enjoy the darkness and sleep the sleep of the dead.

Time to do just that methinks.

Stay safe and happy crafting.

Mary


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Having Fun with Hexis

Life

I was sent an e-mail the other day. It gave me great pause for thought. It was an obituary published in the London Times a couple of years ago which laments the passing of common sense. It touched me greatly as I also realised that in my lifetime, short as it is in the grand scheme of things, we have also lost taking responsibility for our own actions. People are too ready to blame someone or something else for where they are in life. Now I am not saying that there are not genuine cases where others are to blame but it simply cannot be the case for everyone. I have experienced bullying in my life which wore me down so much I considered doing all sorts of nasty things to myself, but I have on more than one occasion picked myself up and restarted living for the good things in life. I have seen my husband being ground down on a daily basis by chronic pain but we still laugh together and try to do fun things whenever we can. 
However it galls me to hear youngsters who have never lived and have had it all handed to them on a silver platter complain that it is not their fault that they cannot find a job, take drugs, are alcoholic etc. I know I sound like an old fuddy duddy but I was taught when I was young that if I wanted something I would have to work and save to get it. Now this may have been doing the dishes, hoovering, dusting or whatever but I know I felt a great deal of pride in myself when I took my hard earned cash to the shop to buy what I craved. Likewise when I started work that pay packet at the end of the week meant so much. I paid my dues for bed and board, put some aside for bus fares and work expenses and what I had left was mine to do with what I wished. Never that I can remember did I moan that if I could not afford the latest gizmo or clothes or whatever that it was someone else's fault. And above all never would I dream of stealing.  If I wanted it it was my responsibility.
Similarly if I fell over or broke something it was me to blame, no-one else. I took care of my belongings and they lasted. This is something I do to this day. It saddens my heart to hear the culture of blame in today's society. Maybe it is time to resurrect common sense and taking responsibility but I fear we may have gone too far.

Off the Needles

Nothing much to show this week, just a few Hexipuffs for my Beekeepers Quilt 



 I have been knitting these off and on for nearly 2 years and have finally perfected my technique. I am using magic loop and when I pick them up they go quite quickly. I am stuffing them with old pillow filling which I wash and dry so I am recycling as I go and using up all the fingering weight leftovers I have been collecting over the years.
I have nearly 100 of these done now and the jar I was collecting the finished ones in is overflowing so to my rescue is a plastic shoebox.

 
I am looking forward to watching this fill up albeit quite slowly.



On the Needles

The same projects as last week although a couple have moved forward somewhat. Hopefully next week I will have a finish to show other than hexis.
I hear the yarn and needles calling me.


Stay safe and happy crafting.

Mary


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Furuncle, What's That?

Life

I had a birthday this week. A happy day which was interrupted by a visit to the Doctor because I have been having earache for nearly a month. He looked closely in my ear and at first announced he could see nothing wrong. Then he moved the tool he was using to examine my ear and, holy moly, I just about hit the roof! The pain was excruciating!! I don't know who jumped higher, him or me. He gently looked again and he saw it, a Furuncle in in the ear canal. What's a Furuncle I hear you ask? Well its a boil, especially in the ear or nasal passage. Antibiotics have been duly prescribed and hopefully they will sort it out. 
This week I also had a problem with Paypal :( They are holding some of my pennies hostage with them blaming my bank and vice-versa. This is the first time I have ever had trouble with them, but I will try to avoid using them in future as I cannot really afford to have them tie up my pennies.
At work we had a fabulous event, Robots Live. Held on Father's Day in bright sunshine lots of fun was had by over 1000 visitors. Silly me though, guess who forgot to take her camera so you will have to check out flickr.com/photos/nationalmuseumsscotland to get an idea of the day.


Off the Needles

Last week I told you I had finished my Camp Loopy project 1. Well here she is

Loopy Damask

I am so proud of this beautiful shawl, it is so soft and such a summery colour.


On the Needles

Having one project finished and being able to share it has got me motivated to make a list here and share with you all. Hopefully, maybe madly I will aim to have at least 1 finished project to share each week. 
So here goes.

  • Colour Affection
  • Damask (yes another one!}
  • Carreta Carreta
  • Vanilla Socks
  • Maia Wrap
  • 7 Sisters
  • Beach Street Park
  • Irish Mesh Cowl
  • Dragon Wings
  • Diantha
  • Polaris
  • and a few more!!!
Oops, seems I have had a few too many oh shiny's! Time to start knitting methinks.

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Flaming June

Life

I love my job! I really do. I meet some of the nicest people and it is my pleasure to help them make the most of their visit to our wee museum. If you want to come along and see for yourself where I work all the details are here!
I other news this week, hubby had a hospital appointment at Edinburgh's Royal Infirmary. We were so lucky in that we quickly found a parking space, he was seen promptly by a lovely Dr who explained why she wanted to do further tests and she organised for most of them to be done there and then. The only one she could not get done was a MRI scan on his brain, that will be organised and an appointment sent out in due course. Of course this has left me worrying, does he even have a brain? And if he does will they find it to scan it? Shush, don't let on I said that. 
Another thing odd this week was the weather. It has been glorious, warm sunny days followed for the most part by warm muggy nights. Now seeing that big shiny yellow thing in the sky is a most welcome sight, but it is tempered slightly by the high humidity we suffer. It must seem strange to some that we go nuts in this country when the temperature climbs to over 16 Degrees Celsius but with the addition of the humidity that spells hot to our pasty selves. Also this year we seem to have gone straight from Winter to Summer. Spring forgot to turn up at all. 
New to the home this week is that instead of having the TV on we have been enjoying books of an evening. A while ago I downloaded Audible for my laptop and took a 1 book a month subscription. This past few days Bill and I have been rediscovering our mutual enjoyment of the Skinner books by Quintin Jardine. These crime novels are set for the most part in and around Edinburgh and East Lothian and we both find them most enjoyable. It is lovely in the evening for both of us to just sit and relax whilst listening to the story unfold. 


Knitting


The needles have been cracking on apace this week and my Camp Loopy project No1 is complete. I just have to bath and block it. Now it is a modified version as for some reason I ran out of yarn with a fair few rows to go but I like how it turned out. No finished photos yet so you will have to make do with an in progress
The yarn I used is one of the softest I have ever worked with and I loved it. It was Skein Top Draw Sock in the Sunspots colour.
My other KAL of the socks is not moving quite so quickly but I do hope to have a progress report next week.
The only other thing I have to share is that a new resident has come to stay.

Little Loopy arrived along with a lovely skein of Lorna's-Laces Shepherd Sock in Iris Garden and my Loopy reward for reaching Cotton Club.
Knitting calls

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary

Monday, 3 June 2013

Camp Loopy and Other Things

Life


What a week! I woke on Monday feeling like I had been run over by a bulldozer. Aches and pains in parts of my body I never knew existed. This lasted nearly 3 days then the snot and sneezing started. I felt absolutely dreadful and could have given Rudolph a run for their money in the nose department. I took the wise route and stayed well away from work to avoid spreading it around and now I am beginning to feel more normal again. Thus a quiet week has ensued here in Chez Baxter. 
A new TV show was discovered by us. Rescue Me is set in a New York fire house in the aftermath of 9/11. It is described as a Dramedy and oh boy it certainly has had us gasping out loud as well as laughing our heads off. Now I know it has been on TV for years, but our magic box only has the first 3 seasons so we will watch these and hope the others come along sometime. Another TV show we watch avidly in this house is NCIS. We both love it and were both left gasping open mouthed at the end of Friday night's episode. Oh boy, just did not see that coming. I won't spoil it by saying what happened just say that the episode was "Berlin".

Knitting 


Camp Loopy has officially begun. I mentioned last week that I would be double dipping with my Socktopus book KAL. Well here I was just before midnight with my supplies all ready to begin.


Well I waited until past the witching hour and duly cast on my socks and what do you know? 2 rounds in and I just knew the yarn was screaming at me "I don't want to be socks!" So back to the drawing board I went. I petted the yarn for a bit and came up with an idea. I have knitted 2 Damask shawls in the past but both were for gifts, this time I wanted one for me. So here is my progress after 2 days


Yup, this yarn wanted to be a shawl.
As for the socks, well yes those are on the needles too and much happier. No progress pics yet but here is the yarn I am using


Now the pattern name, Caretta Caretta, is the scientific name for the Loggerhead turtle and I think the shading in this yarn perfectly picks up the shading on a turtle shell. So I am more than happy using this for my socks.
Okay time to get back to my shawl

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary

Sunday, 26 May 2013

May Musings

Life


Frankie in hospital.
April was a wholly shitty month for us. Our beautiful wee boy cat Frankie nearly lost his life by eating some type of elastic which got would round the back of his tongue and ended up lacerating his stomach. We went on an emotional roller coaster ride whilst the vets at PDSA - Edinburgh operated again and again to save his life. Happily after the worst 3 weeks we got our wee boy home and he is back to his mischievous self with his fur beginning to grow back.
First day home

When he came home he looked a poor soul with almost half of his fur shaved off due to having had the operations, multiple drips and a feeding tube. He is also now eating us out of house and home which we do not mind at all as it was the fact he stopped eating and his weight plummeted that was the only sign he was ill.
Onward into May and life settled down for a while. This was of course not to last as now we have the worry of Bill's dear mum in hospital for the second time in two months with a fractured shoulder. Oh boy we could do with an extended period of calm. 
Onto some brighter news. I am delightedly proud to be part of a team whose workplace has gained a Certificate of Excellence from the Tripadvisor website. This means we are amongst the top 10% best rated visitor attractions in the world. My job has to be one of the best and I love what I do. Our wee place is in the back of beyond, but we must be doing something right if people keep giving us great reviews. 


Knitting


Yes, yes I kept on knitting through it all. I even got some things finished!
Elementary


First was an Elementary shawl a beautiful design by my good friend Cheri McEwan whose Dartfrog Designs can be found on Ravelry
Second was also a design by Cheri
Montego


This Montego was a MKAL over about 8 weeks and I think to date it is my favourite knitted piece.

I also managed to finish 2 pairs of socks for me
This pair were knitted using Wendy Happy. The bamboo yarn has been in my stash for years and finally I am knitting with it. I must admit it is not my favourite yarn to knit with, too splitty by far, and I will be glad to see the back of it. Mind you the socks are comfy.
The second pair were knitter with leftovers some of which you might just recognise from the shawls above

Both pairs were knitted to the Totally Vanilla pattern In the Socktopus book by Alice Yu. A great pattern and I learned so much. It will be my go to now.
Talking of Socktopus I have decided since I have the book I will take part in a KAL on Ravelry to knit every pair of socks. This will be a fun undertaking over the next 17 months and I am sure I will learn loads.
My other knitting plans this summer include taking part in Camp Loopy a fun virtual camp run by The Loopy Ewe. I look forward to sharing my adventures.

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary

Friday, 5 April 2013

Whispering Yarn

Does your stash talk to you? Mine does! I will buy yarn with no purpose, just because it is pretty and it whispers buy me please. Then it comes home and sits in a box with other pretty yarns for ages. Sometimes it knows right away what it wants to be and that is fine, but mostly it will sit for a while just  waiting it out until the right pattern comes along.

This week is a perfect example of how that has happened. I have been working on a fantastic mystery shawl designed by my lovely friend Cheri. She has her own group on Ravelry called Dartfrog Designs . In the group chat she happened to mention that she would have a test knit available for anyone who would be suffering withdrawal symptoms when the mystery came to a close. Well the magic word she used was Peacocks. I love peacocks, the wonderful shining colours of their plumage just screams out to me. I was lucky to be chosen to knit the pattern so I went to look in my box to see what was available and that was when the whispering yarn began to scream. I swear there was a fight amongst some of the skeins. I knew already which beads I would be using, but the yarn was proving more difficult to pick. There was some lovely surf coloured merino which has lived in the box for 2 years

Then there was a recent yarn club installment called Assynt Peacocks

Or would it be this one, Assynt Jewels 


In the end the last one must have shouted the loudest and it won out. The skein was duly wound and I cast on. I only have a few rows done but so far I am loving how the yarn is reminding me of peacocks with every stitch.
See what you think for yourself

If you look closely you can just make out the beads. I love how this pattern is going so far and look forward to sharing my progress.


Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Something Good

Sometimes in life something happens that is so good that you are still grinning about it days later. That happened to me on Saturday. For a few months now I have been looking forward to the inaugural Edinburgh Yarn Festival. I was so excited to hear that 3 local ladies had taken the plunge and were going to organise this. As always this excitement was tempered with apprehension about whether I would be able to cope in a strange place filled with strangers.
I decided early on that nothing would get in the way of me going along and enjoying myself, agoraphobia be damned, and when my wonderful hubby said he would come with me to help me cope I was delighted. Also my lovely Mum decided it would be worth a trip up from the SouthWest tip of Scotland to see what all the fuss was about. I was so pleased also when my good friend Gill said she was off work that day and would meet us too.

Saturday March 16th dawned with typical Edinburgh weather. Grey, cold and lashing with rain. Oh no!! Would people turn up? I really felt for the organisers and hoped the weather would not put people off. After meeting with mum the three of us made the trip into the city and were astounded to find a parking space very close to the venue. We unloaded DH's walker and made our way along Dalmeny Street. Upon turning into the hall the sight that greeted us made my jaw drop in wonder. The place was packed. A huge grin spread over my face and has remained there ever since. I had taken along my camera to take some pictures but it was impossible. The only photo I got all day was one of the cow which had been sheepified for the day.

Drill Hall shcow!!

We made our way slowly through the throng and by some sort of miracle managed to find Gill who had come from the other side of the city.
We managed to find a seat and order some coffee's and bagels to have a bite to eat all the while admiring the myriad of hand knits and crocheted on view. We then decided to tackle the crowds and have a look around. It was slow going and I know we did not see everything by a long stretch but what we did see was a whet to the appetite of this avid knitter. 
I did not escape without a purchase though. I treated myself to some lovely RippplesCrafts yarn and a beautiful hand made wooden yarn pal which my DH is very impressed with. He also bought a single stitch marker for himself of a purple skeleton head which he promptly attached to a chain and is now wearing proudly round his neck while telling anyone who will listen where he got it.
My haul

After a while it all started getting a bit much for us all and we made the decision to head home. Had I had more pennies with me I am sure my bag would have been bulging with lots more wonderful goodies.
I can only hope and pray that this event becomes regular on the yarnie social calender and that I can get myself well enough to attend each and every one.
I must add to this a huge thank you to everyone who took the risk to hold the event, the volunteers and the stallholders who came. I can only hope that everyone enjoyed themselves as much as I did and like me are still grinning at the memory 4 days later.

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary



Tuesday, 15 January 2013

2013 - Week 2

My Disappearing Youth

It saddens me each week when I watch the TV news and hear of yet another memory of my younger days will be disappearing from our town's and cities high streets. This morning it is the demise of HMV which is being discussed on all the news channels. Last week it was Jessop's, the camera retailers. What has caused this? I do not know, but I do know that I for one do not listen to as much music as I used to, nor do I need to buy camera film any more. Is it just the natural way of things, progression, that is making these changes happen? Or is it that they were so stuck in the past that they could not survive? I will never truly knnow the answers to those questions but it does give me food for thought as I get older. Am I harking back with rose tinted glasses or have I moved on and matured in a positive way? 
I know I do things differently now and I try my hardest to keep up with new technology which will affect my life but I have never had an MP3 player nor downloaded music from the internet as I prefer to have a physical connection to my purchase. I do admit that I have bought at out of town centres and on-line and do so often so maybe I am one tiny cog in the downfall of our High Streets. I do this for the convenience of being able to park easily and that I can go when it is quieter or in the case of on-line at a time which suits me.

Food Glorious Food

This year so far I have been being a wee bit adventurous in the kitchen. This has been helped greatly by us starting to get a regular organic fruit and veg box delivery from a local company. We get our delivery fortnightly and there is great excitement from us both when the box is due. There are basics in the box each time such as potatoes, onions, carrots, apples, bananas etc. But there are always a few surprises too. So I have been experimenting with some of the veg by (yes it is the easy way) making soups. So far this past week I have made butternut squash and sweet potato, and curried parsnip. Both totally new to us and both absolutely delicious, oh and 2nd servings are in the freezer for next week.

Knitting Progress Report

Another week has passed and I have kept pretty much to my plan (go me!!!)
This week I have 11 Hexi-puffs

Visible to me progress on the Never-ending Sweater of Doom

First sock completed of my Winter Sauce socks
Do you like my cute project box? I bought some of these to make my present wrapping easier and found a great way to re-use this one that DH used for a gift for me.

On to the foot of W is for Winterscape sock 1

And a bit of the leg done of K is for Kalajoki

My Talamh cardigan

Finally I have also just cast on another project too with some of my oldest stashed yarn. This will be a long term undertaking but hopefully it will be a success. 

So time for me to get back to my knitting and start the Hexi-puff for today. I will leave you with our wee cracker having a nap. 

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary

Mysti likes a luxury nap

Friday, 11 January 2013

Talamh

Those of you with keen eyesight may just have seen my ticker of skeins jump alarmingly by 7 this morning. There is a very good reason for this, I decided as a treat to myself to join in an impromptu KAL of Talamh, a delightful cardigan pattern available to purchase from Ravelry.
What is special about this for me is that the yarn has been dyed especially for this project in my chosen colour and is just delightful.


The colour is Crushed Blackberries and is from my favourite dyer, the wonderful Helen at Ripplescrafts.
My plan is that this yarn will not linger in my stash, but that I will knit at least 1 skein a week to finish the cardigan and I will wear it to the inaugural Edinburgh Yarn Festival on March 16th. 
Wish me luck and I will keep you all informed of my progress.

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

2013 - Week 1

With the first week of the year now gone I have devised myself a wee plan and I seem to be sticking to it.
My plan
Knit at least 1 hexi-puff per day
Knit 5 rows on Bill's never ending sweater of doom
Knit on whichever sock I have on the needles that takes my fancy that day.

As I say things seem to be progressing to plan. So far last week I managed 12 puffs
and finished my Christmas dragonfly socks
These were timely socks for me as earlier in the week Bill in his desire to help managed to felt one of my only pair of hand knitted socks whilst doing a washing. I cannot get too mad with him as he really tries to do things and ends up in so much pain as a result but he is determined not to give in and where possible will do a little. As for the sock, well it has been suggested to me to use it as a decoration on the tree next year.

Also this last week I have been catching up with some telly that we recorded over the festive period and found myself catching a few surprises.
1st of which was the comedian James Corden. I was left gob smacked twice, man that boy can sing. I first saw it on his own show, A League of Their Own then again when he sang with Gary Barlow on his new year special.
The 2nd was watching Rod Stewart's Christmas special from Stirling Castle, not too far from where I am. He has had voice problems but has adjusted his vocals to suit and in my opinion is ageing gracefully. And he still can sing wonderfully.
Another person ageing gracefully and looking better every year, again in my opinion, is one Mark Harmon. He will once again grace my TV screen on the much awaited return of NCIS this coming Friday night. If you know me and want to stay my friend, do not ring between 9 and 10 pm.

Once again it is time to get back to the needles .

Stay safe and happy crafting

Mary

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Reflections

So here we are in 2013. Happy new year to you all.

This year I hope to try better to keep this blog current and hopefully will inspire those of you who knit already and maybe even entice some others to learn to knit.

Looking back at 2012 I know I was very sporadic with my posts. Life certainly got in the way at times and it would be safe to say that I am so glad to see the back end of the year.
Onward and upward is the only way to go from here.

However whilst I am looking back I am astounded at quite what I have achieved knitting wise in the last 12 months. Yes I know my yarn diet took a severe bashing, but hey it's insulation right!!
So what else did I do?
Well there were
10 Shawls
4 Hats
2 Adult tops
16 Pairs of socks

Hey wait a minute, 16 pairs of socks!!!! Wow I am lost for words. This time last year I had never knitted a sock in my life. Holy mackerel!
Ach well here are just some of them


Gosh when I add it all up I completed 32 projects last year. To say I am happy with that is an understatement.

So onward to this year and I have plans already. I am planning to devote this year to finishing wip's and yes knitting more socks. Of those which I knitted last year I gave quite a few away and thus I only had one pair for myself.
So I have joined an informal KAL based on the names of the full moons of the year. The first of these was on 28th Dec and is known as the winter moon amongst other things. My socks for this project are from a free pattern on Ravelry called Saucy Socks and my yarn is A Bright Winter, a 4 ply BFL yarn from my Ripples Crafts yarn club.


This is knitting up into a lovely pair of socks.
I have also set myself a personal challenge where I have picked socks whose names begin with all the letters of the alphabet and I plan to gently meander through this list as the year progresses. I am not planning to do it in order, rather I will dip in and choose a pattern which speaks to me.
If you are on Ravelry you can see my list here.

Also whilst sitting this evening another set of my creative juices started flowing and the following sped from my fingers, enjoy


A Knitters Verse

This first night of new year in our comfy wee house,
The cats they are sleeping, as is dog and my spouse.
Alone here I sit just watching TV
A biscuit or two and a wee cup of tea.

Fear not for me though I am alone
My heart sings with joy in my happy wee home,
Needles and wool a plenty are near
And for many socks I have plans this year.
Lace ones and stripes, cables and plain
New skills to be learned, new knowledge to gain.

For though here I am in my solitary state
Alone I am not, for I have something great
A passion for knitting, you may laugh and jeer
But it will see me through all of this year
In December I will have treasures to share
And memories of the joys and the care
I had putting love into every stitch
To conquer the all encompassing itch

I must pick up my needles, my pattern and yarn
I have to or else I may do some harm
The soothing rhythm of row upon row
Calms my heart as I see things grow
Onward and forward stitch by stitch
All the while taming the annoying itch
People may laugh and people may titter,
But I do not care for I am a proud KNITTER!!!



Stay safe and happy crafting
Mary