Monday, 31 December 2007

Happy New Year-ish!

Well, as I type this it is new year in about half the world - we have another hour and 15 mins to wait though!

I would bang on about my list of new year resolutions (they are endless as always!) but there's plenty of time to explain about my masterplan to lose weight, run another marathon and boycott Tesco next week!

In the meantime, here is the last FO of the year - the Trinity Stitch Hat (see post below - cutting in fine, just cast it off an hour ago!) and a sincere wish that you all have a lovely new year celebration and all the best for 2008.

Right, I'm going back to the couch to drink champers with my better half - going for a quiet one this year!!


Sunday, 30 December 2007

Bonus time!

Well, I had an excellent holiday season I hope you all did too!

The reasons for this were many and I am a very lucky girl!

Firstly, I spend Christmas with my husband, our 13-month-old daughter 'Beanie' and all my family up in the North-East. My family all loved (or pretended to !) the knitted pressies I gave them and my Grandad even wore the socks I made him recently on Christmas Day to show them off to the rest of the family!

You will think that now, after knitting non-stop all month, I would want a rest from knitting but no, I have managed to keep going. I made Beanie a Golden Compass Hat , thanks to Froggie Meanie's top pattern and I am currently working on (and nearly finished) a Trinity Stitch Hat for myself.

The second reason I am very lucky this that in December I received my first ever Swap Bot Secret Knitting Pal package from Saalis in Finland. She spoiled me with loads of gorgeous yarn - Knit Picks Wool of the Andes and some supersoft fluffy yarn which will make an excellent trim and loads of pink and sparkly goodies - a gorgeous rose soap, a fat quarter of top fabric and two really nice pens. All of this accompanied by a really sweet letter from Saalis.

Then, Suessstoff, the girl I sent my package to in Germany sent me a wonderful surprise which arrived just before I left to travel to my parents for Christmas. It contained a really cool edition of Rebecca (I need to learn German just so I can work on some of the patterns), a lovely heart which I think contains cedar chips (yummy), a hole punch for my Purl City Yarns labels and cards, some lovely magnets which will be great for attaching Beanie's artwork to our fridge and a lovely postcard from Suessstoff.

Thank you both so much!! It is definitely the season of giving!!

The third reason that I am such a lucky girl is that I scored loads of bargains in the sales. No, not clothes that I will never wear or other panic purchases but loads of yarn from Boyes in Billingham and John Lewis in the Trafford Centre. Both yarn departments were an oasis of calm amongst the madness of the sales!! In total I have acquired another five large bags of yarn, ooops!

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Happy Christmas!

Shutting down the computer over Christmas (for vital rest!) so I will say it now - Happy Christmas!

Hope you have a fantastic one!

Monday, 17 December 2007

Easy, easy, easy!

Husband modelling the Lucha Libre mask/balaclava I have made for our nephew. You would think Beanie would be a little scared of him wouldn't you?!!

Been knitting

In fact, that's all I have been doing for the past week or so! If I can keep up this work rate I could finish in time for Christmas!

I really should get on with my Christmas shopping but I can't stand the thought of over-heated, over-crowded shops and having to drag bags around until I faint!

I'm going to try to do as much as I can on the internet today, then bite the bullet and go into town tomorrow for the rest!

Anyhow, here are some of my Christmas FOs. I had a rush job on last week to finish the ones going to Italy and the Lucha Libre mask is destined for Switzerland.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

At least...

..... Sofia and the cats are getting into the Christmas spirit!!

A huge mountain to climb!

I am still working my way through the Christmas knits and will be still on my list next Christmas if my work rate recently is anything to go by!

I am currently just past turning the heel on a second sock for one of my nieces.

I think I will start next Christmas's knitting in January!

Monday, 10 December 2007

Christmas Knitting: Four down - 15 to go!

I have finished 2 pairs of Mary Janes, a cable hat and a tea cozy.............but I lost a day's knitting to a bloody fingernail yesterday - will I ever learn to leave my nails alone?!

I think by Christmas week I will be pulling all-nighters and living on espressos.

Why can't I be more organised?!!!!!

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Christmas Knitting: One down - 18 to go!

Since posting this afternoon I have made a pair of Mary Janes........they only take a few hours so I reckon I could knock out a couple more pairs tomorrow!!!

AARRGGGHHHHH - Not enough time!

Hello peeps!

I've just cast off the devilishly tricky EZ Baby Sweater on Two Needles from the Knitters Almanac.

I can see why it is soooo popular as it looks cute as a button when finished but, my god, it was a complete nightmare in places!

I can't even say the pattern or stitch patterns were difficult as once you get used to EZ's way of working they are very straightforward. I just seemed to make stupid mistakes all the time, like forgetting to add buttonholes or picking up too many stitches for the sleeves.

I do think it has been a useful learning curve was my first real go at lace and it taught me the importance of concentration!

I did the sleeves on DPNs as I hate seaming and I'm really pleased with how it has worked out - I just need to put the buttons on, that I bought in a really top shop in Florence, and send it off to baby Fern!

Now I must turn my attention to Christmas - aaarrrggghhh. Number of cards sent - zero, number of presents bought - zero, number of presents knitted - ZERO!

I have a list of 27 people to knit for.................19 if I cross off all those who can wait until next year to get their gifts!

I had hoped to knit everyone someone elaborate and tricky to show them this knitting obsession is not just a phase but I don't have time! Instead I am going to knock out a load of Mary Jane Slippers, Chunky House Socks, Chullos and Tea Cozies! I figure the complicated stuff can wait until their birthdays now!!!

Right off to cast on the Mary Janes!

Friday, 30 November 2007

Some FOs!

The hat and scarf sets I crocheted for my sister and my friend Mary and the t-shirts I made for my sister!!

Back from Italy!

Hello all!

NIB (News in Brief)

*Grandad loved the socks - thinks they are too good to wear!

*Sister loved the crochet hat and scarf and the slogan t-shirts I made her

*Joined the Hello Kitty Mystery KAL 3, see side button

*Joined the Swapbot European Knitters' swap - currently putting together a box of goodies for a vegan girl in Germany

*Still not counted up the final amount raised for the knitathon but it should be about £250

I'm back from Italy and I still haven't got down to my Christmas knitting! I did take the Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Sweater on two needles away with me to work on and the ingredients for some monkey socks but we were constantly on the go so I didn't get much knitting done and what I did do had to be frogged on my return!

I don't know about you but I'm really struggling with the baby sweater pattern, I understand it but somehow I keep messing it up! I missed a button hole, messed up the gull pattern and had to go over the increases at the beg several times. When will I ever get to the sleeves! It is quite frustrating as I had been very productive up until this point and I'm also dying to get on with my Christmas knits.

While in Italy I visited Beatrice Galli Yarn Shop on the recommendation of Typesetter (many thanks!!) and it was a joy! Loads of gorgeous stuff and the lady who owns it (Beatrice, herself?!) is very welcoming. I did also try to visit Lovilane and Filo a Filo in Lucca and the Sheep Shop in Pisa but they were all shut - boo hiss!!

I did stumble upon a shop in Pietrasanta which sold yarn.....and I forget to get its name but it is down the main shopping street. I went in to have a browse but got commandeered by the old dear who owned the shop who kept insisting on showing me pastel 4-ply. I really couldn't understand why until she rubbed my belly and said: "Do you know if you are having a boy or a girl?" !!!!! Well, I nearly died with shock!! Due to my thyroid condition I am carrying a fair bit of extra timber at the moment but I never thought people thought I was up the duff!

I didn't have the heart to enlighten her that it wasn't a baby but a belly full of pizza and Chianti - told her I wanted it to be a surprise!- and I ended up buying some white double knit with spots of other colours running through it to make a cardi for Beanie. She agreed it was a great choice for unisex knitting!!!

My parents and husband fell about themselves when I got outside and told them!!

Right then, must go and post off my secret pal parcel!

Monday, 19 November 2007

Loads of news!

Well, firstly and most importantly I'm an auntie once more! My sister-in-law gave birth to a 7lb 8oz beautiful baby girl just after 10am this morning! They are going to call her Fern Olivia and I have already decided to put the Panda Baby outfit to one side (it is 3-6 month size) and make an Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Sweater on two needles for her!

I can't wait to see her! As I am in Manchester and they are in the North-East I might not get there until next week so in the meantime I will have to be content with photos.

Secondly, I finished my grandad's socks, finally! I hope he likes them! They should be a welcome change to the piles of whiskey and beer that he usually receives on his birthday! Not that he is an alcoholic - the booze lasts him all year!

Thirdly, I finally uploaded the pics of the crocheted hat and scarf - I got the pattern from I Love Crochet but found the English V American a tad confusing. Not so confusing, however, that it put me off. I have since done another hat and scarf using Rowan Big Wool in Pistachio for my friend Mary. I just need to add a flower detail and they are finished. Crochet is sooooo fast!!

And finally, we did the Knitathon!! 8 hours solid (or thereabouts) of knitting and collecting donations!

I made up some t-shirts with knitting slogans such as 'Knit Happens', 'Knit Hot' and 'Purly Queen' for people to wear (they were prototypes of the ones I'm going to stock in my store if I ever get it open, looks like launch date will be next week when I am back from Italy).

We started off in the Cornerhouse (arty cinema) cafe where a woman came up and said she wasn't interested in our charity - Children in Need (queue our collective jaws dropping) but she did like to knit! We then moved on to Kro2 - a Danish bar on Oxford Road where we were joined by Penny a fellow Raveler. After that we headed to the central library where a woman called knitting 'boring' - the mentalist!

Then on to China Town, the Bavarian Beer Hut in the Christmas Market in Albert Square (where Charlotte from the Miss Spiritual Tramp Knitting Group joined us) and then to Odd Bar in the Northern Quarter (where we were met by Elleyon another Raveler).

A big tip for all those who are thinking of doing something similar - spend time in pubs! We had loads of drunks tossing in a fortune!!!

We are not sure what the final total is for the day but I can say it was an overwhelming success and a lot of fun. Plus we met up with some really nice fellow knitters and generated some positive interest in our group!!

Right! I'm off to cast on the baby sweater! Ciao for now!

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

So much to do!

Well, this is going to be a short post as I have to get back to my knitting!

It is my grandad's 82nd birthday on Friday and I need to finish the socks I started for him way back in September. I'm on to sock two and I want to get as far as the heel before I turn in this evening.

I also need to get a move on with the Perl Grey Panda Baby outfit I am working on as my sister-in-law is due to give birth tomorrow.......although I know babies almost never come on their due dates!!

All this means that I have had to put the crochet to one size for a few days...........having finished the hat on Monday I knitted a scarf to go with it yesterday! Crochet is sooooo fast. I think some of my christmas pressies are going to have to be crocheted!

On Saturday I will have bags of time to knit - the Kings Arms Knitting Club is holding a knitathon in and around Manchester City Centre in aid of Children in Need. So if you have any spare cash and are feeling generous - Sponsor US!

Monday, 12 November 2007


Loads of news to tell..........I have lost too many hours to Ravelry but I still want more (!), I have knitted some cute mittens with the left over kimono wool, I have been to another Manchester United game and knitted while Beanie and her Babbo watched the match, I've found yet another source of yarn and other crafty supplies - Clark Craft of Ramsbottom (which was a bugger to find, I ended up driving up and down very narrow country lanes and tight steep bends which nearly caused me to abandon my trip), I've been to knitting club at the Kings Arms and we are doing a knitathon on Saturday in aid of Children in Need........................and I have crocheted a entire hat in an evening!!!

I don't wish to blow my own trumpet but this time last week I didn't have the slightest idea how to crochet and last Wednesday I hoyed my crochet hook across the room, vowing never to stray over to the dark side ever again. I feel really chuffed with meself now!! (Will post pics of it tomorrow)

I must now return to the path of righteousness as I have a pair of socks to finish for my Grandad by Friday and a Panda Baby outfit for my brother's baby, whenever she/he decides to arrive!!

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Beanie is 1!!!

My little girl Beanie (or Sofia as she is actually called!) turned one yesterday!

I knitted her............a beanie! (I love this pattern, so quick yet eye-catching - here is where you can find it!)


Oh my god! I have found a major source of cheap yarn!

There's a shop in Monton called Auntie Pat's that is selling off all its stock of yarn for £1 a ball and 20p a pattern.

I went in there yesterday and bought three bin liners worth of the stuff.

The stock is all upstairs - from floor to ceiling with yarn and the shop owner tells me she has twice as much in storage that she is dying to get rid off. The woman is crazy but I can't argue with cheap wool!

I'm trying to organise a knitting club trip there next week!!

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Baby Kimonos are finished at last!

But the recipients are probably just about taking their finals at university by now!!!

The Happy Hooker

Not that I have done much hooking (and definitely no soliciting!) but I'm trying to work it out!!


I've gone over to the dark side................and tried my hand at crochet!

It's really difficult! I spend all last night having a go and kept having to frog it all and start again.

The reason for my trying crochet is that I met a girl called Julie at knitting club on Monday and she brought along a gorgeous scarf she was crocheting and a hat she had recently finished. I was well impressed and she made it look so easy. GGGGRRRR, must try harder!

Monday, 5 November 2007

I'm Back!

Hi there!

Sorry about my disappearance...............I was busy looking after my niece and my little baby girl who had Chicken Pox so I had no time to blog and nothing to blog about!

Well, that's not actually completely true...................I didn't get that much knitting done in the past week but I did managed to knit at Old Trafford during the Manchester United V Middlesbrough game............Boro lost, boo hiss! But my brothers and their friend came through for the game so it was nice to see them!

It was my sister-in-law's birthday so I knocked out a quick scarf for her in Rowan Biggy. I've said it before but there's nothing like big wool and large needles to give you the satisfaction of completion in super quick time! The picture doesn't do it justice but I had to photograph it quick and wrap it up. It is actually really thick and lengthy - I used five balls to make it. Anyhow, I hope she likes it, not that she will have much chance to wear it at the moment as she is in hospital having contractions! And I haven't started the baby's panda jumper, hat and socks yet!

Apart from that - the Che hoodie is still on my needles and I haven't even started the Lil Devil Pants as I was going to put them on Beanie to wear at nursery on Halloween but because she had Chicken Pox she wasn't allowed in! So I will still knit them and a Lil Devil Hat but now I have more time and won't be under pressure!

Also the We call the Pirates hat and mittens have been delayed plus I never got to finish my husband's Elvis costume for Halloween, so all my plans went out the window!! Sorry folks!

It was okay, as it only took 30 mins late one night to knock up my witch outfit and we made a Ghostbuster outfit for my other half. Beanie already had a pumpkin outfit her Nonno and Nonna had bought for her.

Anyway, what am I doing blabbering on about what HASN'T happened when something great HAS happened - I finally got my Ravelry invite!! I'm on there as PurlCity, see you there!!

Well, apart from losing large parts of my day to Ravelry I need to knuckle down and sort out my Purl City etsy store so that is what I will be mostly doing this week.

That and dieting! I won't tell you how much I weigh but the picture of me as a witch and a comment from my sister has spurred me on to lose weight. I have gained a lot of weight recently due to a very dodgy thyroid and although it was not my fault (well, not completely!) that I gained the weight, it is up to me now to lose it.

Yesterday I was slumped on the sofa watching the New York Marathon, three years ago I was running in it. Three years ago I could get up on a Sunday morning and go for a 16 mile run, now I can't even get up on a Sunday morning. How times have changed! But I'm determined to get back into a fit and healthy many calories an hour does winding wool into skeins burn?!

Right I'm off to do some high-powered pottering!