Thursday, December 28, 2006

Two scarves done...

While at my mum's over Christmas I completed the long purple scarf on 8mm circulars for my good Bookcrossing friend Angela.

It's her birthday today and I'm hopefully seeing her on Saturday so will present it to her then.

I also finished the blue fluffy "Secret Santa" scarf for my work colleague / friend Mary. As I followed the instructions but cast on too many stitches to make a long scarf as in the illustration, I made it into a muffler with a hole in the middle to pull the end of the scarf through.

I hope that she will like it.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Secret Santa

I had a lovely meal with my work colleagues last night and we did a Secret Santa.

My friend Mary got a knit your own scarf kit which I relieved her of.

I'm not usually in the habit of nicking other people's Christmas presents; as she can't knit, I intend to knit the scarf for her.

I also need to finish the baby blanket (only the edgings to do now, hoorah!) and make a fluffy purple scarf like mine for my friend Angela in time for her birthday at the end of December.

Gonna be busy over Christmas...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Winter Markets fun

My two lovely friends Janet and Anne visited me today and we spent a delightful day shopping in Manchester. I was going to write that they are old friends too; but they won't thank me for that as they're not that old, but I have known them for almost 25 years.

I was supposed to be buying presents but ended up buying lots of things for myself, including a really rather gorgeous charm bracelet from a stall called Calico Monkey; it has a purple plectrum on it and brings out my inner rock chick.

(Actually, not that far from the surface...)

I also bought a delightful handstitched purse as my Secret Santa gift for a work colleague. We are having a meal on Tuesday and shall exchange gifts then. The purse was from another stall called amusingly dontbitchstitch.

Here's a photo of Janet and Anne looking Christmassy and also one of my stash of goodies.

Mobile muffler

I finished the mobile cover for my new mobile.

I used some bronze Rowan Lurex Shimmer I had left from a scarf I knitted for my sister.

Also, amazingly, for me, I have sewn it up.

(Not very well though)

Monday, December 11, 2006

It's a boy!

My friend Isobel has found out that she is expecting a boy so I can't wait to make the skull and crossbones outfit in the new Knit 1.

Just as well, as I'm getting bored with the Heirloom (non) Silk Shawl.

I also knocked off a lurex mobile phone cosy for my new moby but of course I haven't sewn it up yet.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Inspector(ess) Gadget

After the saga with the Cath Kidston phone, I have been trying to get a new mobile phone that might stay undamaged for longer than a day.

I have been haunting the Orange shop and they finally relented and let me have a new phone on Friday.

(On the way there I was lucky enough to see a tree full of a flock of beautiful long tailed tits, busy tweeting away and being totally ignored by everyone but me. It made my weekend!)

I finally got my hands on the new mobile phone on Saturday and this one is for keeps.

It's a Samsung Blush (I believe it is an X830) and is candy pink, teeny tiny and ever so girlie.

It also came with a box of Benefit cosmetics - a make over card, a plastic makeup bag (quite groovy actually), Hollywood Glo body lustre and a Hoola palette.

I am giving the Hoola palette to my work buddy Gemma as the lippy has beeswax in.

So no knitting for me for the next few days while I work out how to work my new gadget. Think I might break it with my meaty thumbs.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

One night muffler

I've made a fluffy mini version of my purple scarf for my Bookcrossing NSSFC partner.

I only cast on 115 stitches so it's more of a muffler / tippet thingy than a scarf but I hope that she likes it anyway.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Knitting in public fun

There were 4 of us at the Bolton Knitting Noras knitout today, me, Bev, new member Caroline and my work colleague Julie aka "the sock mistress". (She makes beautiful socks all the time, even working on them when we're evacuated from our building - now there's devotion for you).

Caroline is keen to learn to knit and seems to think we're the people to help. Bev gave her some needles and I gave her some mauve wool that had been donated to me.

Bev showed her what to do and Caroline proved herself to be an excellent pupil, mastering the slipknot, casting on, garter stitch and casting off within 2 hours.

She has a natural talent.

We were also more than impressed than the magnificent socks Julie was working on - I forgot to get a photo but will try and take one tomorrow at work.

Lots of fun for everyone today in fact.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Legend in my own lunchtime...

Just spent a lovely day in the company of my local Bookcrossing pals and the Manchester Vegan Society; 2 meetings in one day - no wonder I'm knackered.

I haven't been to an MVS meeting for about 3 months so it was wonderful to see everyone again.

The famous Jay Dave graced us with his presence too - he hosts a cookery programme on Veggievision so he is a star of screen, if not stage. I've met him several times but was still ridiculously gratified when he pointed at me and shouted "veganknitter!"

The charming Caroline who works at the Art Gallery also revealed herself as a fellow vegan knitter - hoorah!!!!

I decided to get the bus to Manchester and back, thus laying myself open to aural bullying at the hands of the local feral youth.

What is this thing of playing music on your mobile REALLY LOUD so that everyone sitting near you has to listen to it? I wouldn't mind so much, but why is the music that people insist on playing through their mobile phones that rubbish tinny Kevin techno? Why can't they play something with a decent tune, like the Sex Pistols?

Having listened to this stuff all the way from Bolton to Manchester, the same thing happened again on the bus home. I finally cracked after 50 minutes of being forced to listen to it and asked the young woman in front of me if she wouldn't mind turning her mobile phone music down, adding "Don't you have any Ramones?" (I thought this was a witty touch).

(There were several other people on the bus and I think the music annoyed them too but being English, no-one said anything.)

Bless her, she was very polite back, commenting "I'm listening to me music on me mobile" but turned it down a tad. However, the over large chav on the backseat decided to stick his oar in, shouting at me that "Her music is class and we don't want to listen to old people's music that you like, no-one else has complained."

I reasonably commented "I love music of all kinds, but I don't impose my taste on everyone else, I use my headphones" which just encouraged him to say more of the same but at a louder volume.

Young people today eh.

Today was also Buy Nothing Day (the idea apparently originated in Manchester, factfans).

Well I didn't buy much, just my bus ticket, The Guardian (don't know why I bother and will give up completely when Posy Simmonds stops her cartoon Tamara Drew), some vegan cheese and stuff at the Basement.

This doesn't count, as when not buying essentials I was supporting anti-corporate organisations, so there.

And my new copies of Knit 1 (featuring DR RUTH!) and Knitting were waiting for me when I got home.

(Now aren't you glad that you read this far?)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Crafty book frenzy

My good friend Bernie gave me some knitting and craft books the other month and I am just going to register them on

I have asked knitters and crafters in the Bookcrossing UK Group if they would like a free, random knitting book and I have had a great response.

As it is likely that I won't have enough books to go round, I will have to draw names from a knitted hat.

I aim to send each book with a free minibadge from the stash of stuff I got from Knitty.

Hopefully, in the spirit of Bookcrossing, the books will be able to travel on to other knitters and have exciting journeys. Or maybe not, it's all part of the Bookcrossing serendipity.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The world of one project is not enough...

Pathetic attempt at a James Bond pun there.

The baby blanket is coming on very well but I think I may start another couple of quick projects as well.

I think I will make a scarf for my NSSFC (Not So Secret Father Christmas) Bookcrossing partner. Several of us UK bookcrossers have volunteered to send a complete stranger a secret parcel containing at least one book and probably some choccies as well.

While I was at the Bookcrossing Unconvention at Birmingham in June, we exchanged goodie bags and quite a lot of people got knitted gifts. I thought this was a lovely idea so I shall make a fluffy scarf to go into my recipient's parcel.

My god-daughter Evie also asked me to make a scarf and gloves for her and as I already have some Elle Plume from the poncho I decided not to make for her I will make her a scarf for Christmas as well.

She may have to wait for the gloves though...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Make me a Supermodel...

well not ME, obviously.

Having just wasted 2 hours of my life watching this on Five I can only agree with Adam Faith's dying words, uttered while watching the channel: "It's all crap, isn't it".

The programme was horribly compelling though - the only person who came over as likeable and real was Rachel Hunter (but then I might be biased as she appeared in the video for Stacy's Mom by the great Fountains of Wayne AND survived marriage to Rod Stewart).

One of the finalists was Jen, who was apparently a "normal" woman of "normal size" and thus had huge popular support probably because she also spent the whole series being attacked for being "too large" by the panel; eg the 4 people in charge, 2 of which no-one has ever heard of.

Of course she is about a size 12 so they all proved themselves to be bodyfascists of the highest order. They didn't even show any remorse when the poor girl collapsed in a faint after starving herself (only Rachel rushed to help her).

Anyway, the worthy winner was the lovely Albert who seems much too nice and intelligent to be successful in the world of fashion.

Throughout the final I was obsessed by one of the judges, called "Theramin" or "NooNoo" (or something) who wore enormous shades throughout which even Roy Orbison would have rejected as too over the top.

It's a sick, sad world alright...

But it beats watching washed up "celebrities" inflicting daily torture and almost certain death on invertebrates on "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here" or Steve Strange nearly taking someone's ear off with his clippers in "Celebrity Scissorhands".

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

And it's going back...

the love affair was short-lived...

Having taken the phone home in it's little plastic bag I noticed that some of the paint was coming off on the front cover.

This just won't do for a fashionista like me so I'm going to send it back.

As it's one of those phones you push up to open and turn on and that's where the paint was missing, this problem would only get worse with time.

I'm a bit disappointed and don't want a new one.

It wouldn't have happened in the 1950s when they made things properly.


Can I also add that this experience was not helped by being put through to 3 people when I rang, each one of which asked for all my details again. I was eventually advised to take the phone back to my local branch, which I did. One of the so-called customer services staff in the Bolton Branch of Carphone Warehouse was completely arsey with me when I asked them to send it back, even saying when shown the damage "Well, they're all like that".

Once a (charming) woman took over and sorted it out, he then spent 10 minutes rampaging around behind her shouting "I've lost my mobile".

Buyer, beware...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hoorah. Le phone nouveau est arrive

I was good at French at school, me.

I finally got my mitts on my Cath Kidston phone today; it's been a saga.

I missed the delivery dude on Friday and then rearranged delivery to my workplace for yesterday.

Unfortunately, the guy who signed for it in the postroom used a name no-one knew (he's called George but signed "E Wins" (!!) and also didn't record it in the book and put it in the wrong pigeonhole.

You just can't get the staff...

I went down there today after giving the delivery people a blast on the phone and after a bit of searching my friend Sylvia found it in the Hair and Beauty Department pigeonhole. Get off you hairdressers!

I've now charged it up and put my new SIM in and it still says "No SIM card found".

It looks cute although it's a bit plasticky and you need teeny tiny fingers to get the SIM card in and a degree in physics to work out how to put the battery in.

However, I love it even if I can't actually use it yet.

So now I have the phone to match my Cath Kidston ironing board cover, tablecloth, tent and yards of boat fabric (which I haven't decided what to do with yet).

Friday, November 10, 2006

'Enders - they're all at it...

Instead of going to the pub last night to meet my veggie / vegan pals, I decided to stay in with my knitting and was thrilled that there were two (count 'em! - two) references to knitting in Eastenders last night.

In the cafe, Pauline said that she was planning to knit a jumper for her poison dwarf grand-daughter Rebecca "for Christmas". She'd better get a move on, especially as she doesn't even know how to knit but was going to get Dot to teach her.

I also think that gorgeous dimmock Honey was discussing knitting with her auntie, who is played by Una Stubbs; but whenever Honey is on screen my mind goes numb so they might have been discussing cavorting with Cliff Richard, The Shadows and Richard O'Sullivan aboard a double decker bus for all I know.

I also found some Patons Cotton Splash in my stash which will be just the thing for my Heirloom Blanket.

All this excitement has helped me get over the crushing disappointment of missing the delivery man with my new phone.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Blimey! I'm famous!

One of the lovely members of the Yahoo! Group Veganknitters sent a link to a competition hosted by Peta2, the youth wing of PETA.

Once I'd entered it I looked again and realised that this humble blog is listed as an inspiration.

Have a look at the link on the right for details - it's a wonderful competitionee, and as they say:

"We are firm believers in the fact that everyone is a vegan knitter at heart; you just have to start."

As I'm supposed to such an inspiration to all and sundry, I'd better get on and actually finish something then.

Being famous has it's drawbacks...

I'm sooooo Cath Kidston, darlink

When I was in London I popped into The Carphone Warehouse to have a look at the much touted Cath Kidston phones.

They had a few on display and while I was having a play, two other women came flying in and had a good old go too; we were really laughing, going "These are so girlie" and lamenting that they weren't made of bakelite or something else appropriately retro.

Anyway, I now have ordered a Cath Kidston Nokia 6111 phone online! Hoorah!

It's the same one as the one pictured but in the red Pop Flowers pattern instead and I can't wait to get my claws on it.

The good news is that it seems to be on it's way.

But I may not be in to take delivery of it though. Bah.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Spent a frustrating couple of hours last night working on the Heirloom Blanket, redoing it 4 times.

I couldn't work out why I seemed to have one stitch less after 3 rows of the pattern.

It's because on the very first row of the pattern, I knitted 2 together and did the yarn forward bit to make another stitch but not at the very end of the row before I knitted 2 at the end.

I blame the wine...

I should be OK now and hopefully get it finished this year at least.

I also went and collected some Knitty goodies which I treated myself to. I had to pay an extra £10 Customs and Excise fee which I wasn't happy about and which blunted my delight in the badges and cards I got.

Monday, November 06, 2006

London trip a success

I had a very enjoyable trip, apart from being bored senseless at the Airport because I didn't have my knitting with me and my iPod decided to die as well.

I went to the Holbein in Britain exhibition at Tate Britain on Saturday - the textiles in the paintings were beautiful. He was a very skilled artist; the pictures look like real people; his drawings are exquisite.

The gallery was full of those annoying people who have the audio guide clamped to their head so stand right in front of you or move around like a load of sheep. As a lot of the pictures were tiny little miniatures or otherwise quite detailed, I had to hop about to get an unrestricted view of the pictures I liked.

I hadn't been to Tate Britain for years and was very impressed with the new layout. It was full of kiddies and parents too which was good to see (apart from when I wanted a seat in the Members' Room!)

I did toy with the idea of going on a boat trip on the Damien Hirst boat down to Tate Modern but decided to squeeze in a trip to John Lewis on Oxford Street.

Of course going on Saturday afternoon, along with all the world and his wife was not one of my more brilliant ideas.

The knitting department was bulging with people and buzzing - great to see! While I was there I peeked at the Rowan Studio booklet - some impressive and trendy designs but not many that could convert to vegan friendly versions I'm afraid.

I got some 4 ply Baby Snuggly wool in white and some cream / sand coloured Jaeger Siena cotton for the edging of the Heirloom baby blanket.

I have since changed my mind though and may get some Rowan Calmer for the edging instead; might be a bit softer for baby.

Knitting on the tube on Sunday, on the way to my mum's for lunch, I got talking to a charming pensioner who told me about knitting socks for her brother during the war to help him with his chilblains. She was off shopping at Petticoat Lane; must try that myself next time I'm down.

Friday, November 03, 2006

As one door closes, more open...

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the lack of blogging activity during October. This because my dad died on 18 October after a short illness.

He was a wonderful man, lived life to the full (at least until this year) and survived to the great age of 86.

This meant I spent several weeks away from home and away from computers and also did not feel up to blogging the trivial details of my life.

Thank goodness for knitting though! It kept me busy through a difficult time and I have more or less finished my Cotton Tape cardi (apart from the sewing up part, hmmmm).

Ironically, the day my dad went into hospital my friend Isobel announced that she is expecting her first baby, due in the Spring.

So in her honour I have decided to make a few baby items. Her only stipulation is "no lemon yellow cardies"; not sure if that's for her or the baby...

I think I will tackle the chunky satin edge blanket from Erica Knight's Baby Bloom book but in a soft cotton not that real wool stuff - much too scratchy for baby although the cute model on the cover seeems to like it.

She also wants me to teach her to knit as she wants a "pregnancy poncho".

My good friends Caroline and Pietro are also expecting their second any day now - the blanket I made for their first born Sofia took longer than I thought it would as I didn't follow a pattern but just made loads of squares and sewed them together. It also got absolutely enormous!

So this time I am going to make them the heirloom silk shawl from the same book. Being a good vegan I'm not going to use silk but Rowan Cotton Glace or similar instead.

I'm off to London tonight to catsit my sister's kitties for the weekend so will go to Loop in Islington if I can find it (or maybe just John Lewis on Oxford Street) and stock up.

Because of course I don't have any suitable yarn in my stash.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Craft Punk

I bought a fab bag on Saturday from Me&Yu's stall on Tib Street in Manchester.

Yes, just what I need another bag to add to the 1,000 I have already.

This one's pretty groovy though.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Lost...the plot

I watched the final 2 episodes (for now) of Lost last night with Stripe my cat variously curled up on my lap, sitting next to me or attacking my feet.

I lost interest in Lost a while back but it seems to have got better recently with the introduction of the new characters.

While otherwise wasting 2 hours of my life I started the sleeve of my Cotton Tape jumper and half way through decided that I didn't want it to be a jumper after all but a short jacket thing.

I really like the stitch; it's so easy now I've got the hang of it. I think it will look quite good on as the holey design makes it less bulky than a solid knit would (so I might look less like a buxom folk singer in the finished article).

So I have now unpicked the front, pending a redesign.

It may go all horribly Pete Tong yet though.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Shiver Me Timbers.

Avast me hearties, 'Tis International Talk Like A Pirate Day today, so it be!

And if any of you scurvy dogs be thinking of not joining in, here be a joke to change ye mind:

"Why are pirates called pirates?

Because they arrrghh!"

Courtesy of my bookcrossing pal elhamisabel.

Perhaps I'll start knitting Skully from Stitch n Bitch but perhaps not.

But I've just found this hidden treasure...

My pirate skills don't stretch to html, I be only good at digging and looking through scopes.

Look ye at ye olde links on the right too.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bolton Knitting Noras are go!

We had a most successful meeting of the aforesaid Knitting Noras at Caffe Nero on Sunday afternoon; including a younger knitter, Lisa's son.


Bev and I then went and paid homage to the new haberdashery department in Whittakers department store, tucked away on the second floor, next to the beds and near the ornaments.

I think they should move the dreary menswear from the ground floor and put yarn and card making things there instead; much more colourful and it would attract the Bolton crafters in in their droves.

We were also scoping out the area because we are hatching a cunning plan to stage a public event in Whittakers or Hobbycraft for National Knitting Week 14-21 October.

I am going to poll the members and see what they think.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Where's me jumper?

Oh there it is.

Decided to use the bargain Rowan Cotton Tape I bought in Ramsbottom to make a jumper with holes in.

I struggled with the stitch a bit but after 4 attempts I think I've got it right now.

I am trying to make it a bit longer and wider as I think it was designed for Twiggy.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Cat nip toys

I also finally finished the cat nip toys I started a while ago.

I intended to give these to my sister for her active kitties Bert and Bunty but she reports that they prefer bringing live mice and frogs in to playing with any toys they have been given.

So I am sending them to my friends Amanda and Paul who have been adopted by a fourteen year old chap called Woody, who has moved in from next door where he had to share the house with a big dog, several children and some builders.

I carried out extensive product testing with my cat Stripe. Unfortunately the photos do not reflect the catnip induced frenzy he got into; including rubbing his head on them and also trying a kamikaze style clamber onto the radiator to get them from the top of the bookcase.

You'll just have to take my word for it.

Summer poncho est fini...really

Yes, the wretched thing really is finished; nothing like waiting in for the gasman to concentrate the mind and make you finish off projects.

I think it looks lovely but am not sure how secure that fringing is.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I heart Home Bargains

After a tipoff by my good friend Linda, Bev and I went to Home Bargains on Wednesday in search of cheap yarn.

My goodness! I got a bag kit; which is 7 balls of yarn, some needles and instructions for only £2.99. I also got two other balls of yarn for only 49p each.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Summer poncho finished

My lovely local knitting chum Michelle gave me some gorgeous pale grey Jaegar Albany cotton at our knitting picnic in July and I wanted to put it to good use.

I made a summer poncho, based on "Desiree" in Viva Poncho. Unfortunately, I couldn't work out the stitch at all so did a twisted double rib instead which I think looks more or less the same.

I have now finished this, apart from the sewing up (which I also don't understand!) and some silver lurex tassels.

So it's not finished at all really...

I also show a photo of the "St Ives scarf" I started while on holiday in yes, St Ives. As there was a yarn and jigsaw shop (something for everyone!) it seemed rude not to buy some yarn.

I got a ball each of Elle Pizzaz, Sirdar Boa, Vegas and some varicoloured Eskimo, plus some 8mm circular needles. I cast on 300 or so stiches and knitted about 2 or 3 rows in each yarn.

It kept me busy on the beach and on the 7 hour train journey home.

Think it is a mite too long though - 153 inches (not quite 6,000 yards of woollen reins but nearly).

I like it though; Tom Baker on acid.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Blankie not popular...

My friend Gilly loved the blanket but unfortunately her little boy was being christened on what was one of the hottest days of the year; so her attempts to make him pose with the blanket over him were met with howls of outrage.

And that was just her husband.

She did show me a picture of her son with a big red round face, taken just after she took the blanket off him. Poor little thing, I'm not sure that I want to be remembered as a person who provides instruments of torture to children!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Finished Moon and Stars blankie


I finished sewing in the ends on the Moon and Stars blankie while watching the rerun of Lost last night.

All I need to do now is give it a gentle wash, iron and pass onto Gilly for her little 'un.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Moon and stars blankie

I finished knitting a moon and stars blankie for my friend Gilly's baby in January.

However, being me, I haven't got round to sewing all the ends in. Apparently he is being christened at the end of July - he is wearing a cream outfit so a pale blue blanket would be just the ticket.

So I have about a month to finish it off.

I sewed the ends in on the moon and 3 of the stars yesterday until it got too dark and I got fed up.

Only 7 more stars to go!

Monday, June 19, 2006

FEAST! community picnic

On Sunday a few of us from Manchester Vegan Society went along to FEAST! in Platt Fields Park, Rusholme.

Despite the rain, we had a lovely spot near the lake, under a tree and ate a feast fit for a queen.

Tam had made 4 cakes so we were able to stuff our faces and also had enough left over to give away to hungry clowns, unicyclists, stilt walkers and children.

I also did a bit of knitting and an interested member of public asked me what I was up to.

Jo from knitweararmy came and joined us too; she is off volunteering at organic farms in the South west so I wished her all the best.

Cotton tape bargain buy

On Saturday, Bev swept me to the glory that is Ramsbottom, jewel of Rossendale, in her new car.

We had a lovely lunch at a tearoom in town that had vegan food on the menu, raided the charity shops and also went to Clark Crafts, which is opposite the railway station.

It's a huge shop, full of crafty bits and pieces and lots of yarn. We also found some bag handles so I'll be going back for another visit sometime.

I bought 6 balls of Rowan Cotton Tape which were reduced to £1.99 each and also 2 balls of cream handknit cotton which I think I'll use to finish my travel pillow off with.

I should have enough Cotton Tape to knit a garment now, oh joy.

Monday, June 12, 2006

World Cup fever...almost

I visited my good friend Janet in Thirsk, North Yorkshire this weekend and showed amazing restraint by walking past Sheepish, the town's glorious yarn shop and not going in.

Instead, I was enraptured by this delightfully retro shop window display.

It didn't persuade me to watch the match though...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Anna's Craft Room envy

I've just has a look at Anna's new craft room and am filled with admiration (Have a look yourselves by clicking the link to "Finally Waking Up")

My back bedroom looks like an explosion in a yarn factory, despite me already having a built-in cupboard.

I am filled with a mixture of green eyed envy, wonder and misery as I am sure that I too could have lovely craft room like Anna's if only I was better organised, was able to declutter and actually had the discipline to get on with it.

So thank you Anna, for giving me something to aspire to. I think I need some bossy friends round to sort it all out for me.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

New Knitting Magazine and Summer joy!

The postie got me out of bed by delivering some items from Amazon (A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian and The Time Traveller's Wife for a friend and the soundtrack to Punch Drunk Love for me) and the new issue of Knitting.

Knitting has greatly improved from it's distinctly grannyish and useless early issues and I am quite excited by this pattern for a circular blankie.

Plus no sewing up, which is always a bonus.

And it's a blessed sunny day today so I can actually foresee an occasion during our English summer when I could use it.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Viva la Poncho

While away in Welsh Wales camping I decided to make a poncho for my 4 year old fairy god daughter Evie.

She has at least 2 ponchos already but they are good for keeping her warm when she's feeling too feisty to wear something with sleeves.

I'm using some Elle Plume in Raspberry Ripple which I bought from Em's Stitches a while back. It has pinks, browns and purples in so should be just the thing.

I am guessing at the dimensions though so it all might go Pete Tong yet.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Summer Reading Challenge

Just joined Amanda's Summer Reading Challenge and will try and read 2 books a week.

So that's the knitting taking a backseat then.

Depleted stash

I was a knitting angel of mercy yesterday!

My friend Denise asked me if I had any spare yarn that her colleague Iris could use to teach some trainee nursery nurses to knit.

I sprang to the rescue and within 15 minutes Denise had a huge bag of unwanted yarn, a beginners knitting book and my knitting handouts from when I taught knitting last year.

Apparently the young women are going to knit scarves and make pompoms over the next few weeks.

Glad to help, ma'am.

And yes, my stash is still huge and unmanageable.

Bit behind at blogging...

and with knitting...

I have now finished knitting my Marakesh bag in cotton rope; the sewing up will be another matter though.

At the Bolton knitting Noras meetup on Sunday I started some small catnip toys for my sister Jane's kitties Bunty and Bert. They keep bringing baby sparrows in so she could do with something to distract them.

I also got the new Simply Knitting magazine yesterday and am quite excited by the cotton lacy cardi in there although no doubt I will look like a granny in it.

Off camping in Welsh Wales this weekend so could do with something to take with me; will think on.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Duttons for Buttons frenzy!

I went to Harrogate with Anthony yesterday and frightened him with my enthusiasm for shopping.

I managed to spend nearly £30 in the wonderful Duttons for Buttons - the green buttons were nearly £3 each but they are lovely. And I just liked the "nan's coat" look of the big black and white ones.

Yes, it's all stuff I need. That's my story anyway, and I'm sticking to it.

Anthony was highly amused at the plan for vegan 'taches so I'd better get on with it.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cotton Rope hell

After my disastrous shrug project, I have reused the yarn and started the Marakesh rucksack from the Cotton Rope book.

I began it on Monday and unpicked it 3 times before I realised that the pattern was wrong.

So I'm doing my own version of the pattern which looks the same as the picture in the book. (I think so anyway!)

It's hard going though and I lost concentration completely during Lost (put your shirt on, Dr Jack)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Billy no mates on Sunday...

Further to my excitement at receiving the new Knit 1, I decided to try a version of the travel pillow (in a completely different yarn though).

Armed with my pale blue Snuggly yarn and some Rowan chunky chenille, I made a start at our Bolton Knitting Noras knit out on Sunday afternoon.

Unfortunately, as I had arranged it for the Bank Holiday weekend, I was the only one there indulging in knitting in public.

I got a free coffee though so passed a jolly hour and then managed to complete the front of the pillow by Sunday night.

Thanks Mr Postie!

I received two bumper packages on Saturday morning.

The green "mohair" is from Anna in Liverpool - thank you Anna. I actually have quite enough mock mohair already but I am just a girl who can't say no.

The Incredible Yarn and Knit 1 are from the excellent Taj Yarns in Bucks. I think the Incredible will become a mesh poncho and I'm quite excited about the Knit 1 magazine, particularly the travel accessories and the pirate gear (Arrrr!)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

London Calling...

I returned from London on Saturday, having completed most of my bag and completed nil moustaches.

I also showed great restraint and didn't go to any yarn shops (but only because I couldn't remember where Loop in Islington was).

My sister Jane, as always, was highly amused by my knitting exploits; watching me working halfway through one side of my bag, she said "What's that? A vegan merkin?" She also decided that she didn't want a lacy shrug so I don't have to compromise my vegan principles by buying any Rowan kidsilk haze.

My friend Amanda loved her corsage and pinned it on her turquoise cardi immediately. Her husband Paul said "Where's my jumper?" - poor man has been waiting 5 years for me to knit him one.

The opinion from everyone around the table at the Tate Modern restaurant was that I should sell corsages on ebay; quite a good idea actually as at least they're quick to produce.

I also nicked Jane's Brora cashmere catalogue to get some ideas; they're charging 20 quid for corsages I note. And my friend Gina paid £40 for one 2 years ago...

We went to see the Modernism exhibition at the V&A, which was a massive disappointment; a very muddled and complicated exhibition. The last 2 rooms were better but by then we'd ran out of time to look at everything properly. Plus the shop was shut; it was torture having to walk through and not being able to buy anything! I want some William Morris print wellies, dammit.

One of my favourite items was a knitted swimming costume by Sonia Delaunay; the caption said it was practical but I reckon it would get very stretched when wet.

The Josef Albers and Lazlo Moholy-Nagy show at Tate Modern was superb, however - I'm fizzing with ideas for an abstract knitted wall hanging / rug.

Friday, April 14, 2006

London project sorted

I have promised some Rowan cotton to Anna in Liverpool so took the opportunity to sort my stash out a bit.

I found this Wendy Chic, pattern and bag handles, bought ages ago in John Lewis in Sheffield (it will always be Coles to me).

Unfortunately, I hate knitting with the yarn, having made a scarf for my friend Jane's teenage daughter Rachel the other month. I was fed up by the end; it's so hard to knit with I think.

I think the bag will look rather splendid when I've finished though.


Made another corsage

I got up bright and early today, ready to annoy the Christians from the church on my street. Every year, they have a "Walk of Witness" from a church on another street to their church; two years ago, which I think was the first year they did this, they carried an enormous cross, hewn from timber and took the opportunity to peer into the houses of heathens en route who weren't on the march. Of course they are quite entitled to do this as it's Good Friday but I found it a bit annoying.

This year, I was ready for them; I had Satan by Orbital cued up on the hifi and was going to pop out and prune my roses just as they walked past.

Well, they didn't appear - what's a girl to do, but do some knitting.

I feel cheated! But at least my friend Amanda has the turquoise corsage she's been promised. I've wrapped it up in pink tissue paper and did a handmade stamp with my rubber stamp kit.

I'll be seeing her next week so hopefully she'll like it.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Vegan 'taches

On my return from London I will be attending the April meeting of the Manchester Vegan Society at the Basement, Lever Street, Manchester.

We laugh, chat and eat cake. Sometimes I do some knitting.

One of our members, Anthony has a lovely moustache and he is usually at every meeting. However, he missed the last one so we all thought we should have emergency fake 'taches for any meetings that he doesn't come to.

I rashly volunteered to knit some and I have some brown eyelash yarn which would be just the thing.

So there's a project I can work on in London.

I'm not sure how we can affix them to our faces - perhaps we will have to screw up our top lips like Baldrick in Blackadder Goes Forth when he was impersonating Charlie Chaplin (or as Stephen Fry's character called him, "the slug balancer").

The photos will be quite amusing though (but probably only to me).

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Need a portable project for next week...

I'm off to London to see family and friends next week (it's my sister Jane's birthday on Tuesday 18 April and mine on Friday 21 April).

I'll need some knitting to keep me busy on the train down, tube, in queues for lunch etc.

I'll need to do something that's fairly easy and portable as I hate reading a pattern while on the move. I always drop my yarn and needles; need a knitting apron or a belt like the Shetland Islanders used to wear.

Time to rummage in the stash I think...

I've persuaded Jane to come to Liberty's and/or John Lewis on Oxford Street with me to look at yarn; MUST TRY NOT TO BUY YARN....

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Sparkly red corsage fun!

I am going to a wedding on Saturday and someone told me I couldn't wear bright colours as I would clash with the wedding party. Although I had a nice subtle outfit planned, I thus promptly went out and bought a red spotty dress which I will wear with red shoes and handbag.

My jacket is navy so I knocked off a red sparkly corsage to wear last night using instructions in Emma King's 25 Knitted Bags book.

I looks OK and and should finish off my not-very-bright-at-all outfit nicely. At least you'll be able to see me in the photos. Perhaps nobody will speak to me again though.

Monday, April 10, 2006

New Knitty!

However, just in time to cheer me up and help me recover from my shrug disaster induced gloom, the new Knitty is out!


And I managed to download a button for it too - clickypoo.

Awww shucks...shrug looks awful

I finally finished my shrug at the weekend and yes, as I suspected, it looked good on the hanger and rubbish on me!

These shrug things are OK if you don't have any breasticles. The fact it doesn't fit properly has NOTHING to do with my knitting and finishing skills, of course.

So I am going to unpick it and adapt it so that the sleeves are shorter and there is a front to it.

I saw some cotton shrugs in Zara yesterday so am going to try and do a version like them.

Maybe I'll just give up and knit a bag like I was going to in the first place.