Sunday, 30 September 2007

Wooly warmth

There's a definite nip in the air which has seen me scurrying for woolly warmth! Despite my 'extra padding', I feel the cold terribly and become an even more miserable, cantankerous old biddie when chilled;) The heating is switched on in the evening and I am spending cosy nights browsing through patterns to keep the cold at bay. The West End Raglan is destined to hit the needles next. The pattern was purchased from Yarns by Design ( and I really recommend them. The pattern wung its way across the Atlantic very quickly and the seller was really helpful. One other plus point for this particular pattern is that it comes with directions for both worsted and chunky yarn - so, plenty of scope to sub a variety of yarns.

I'm planning to use this - Manos del Uruguay (Shade 8891). Isn't it just glorious?? I love the muted autumnal shades and this worsted yarn is so soft to the touch! I bought it on eBay from alpacaandcats, Peak Wool store, who's an absolute gem. I'm hoping that she doesn't mind me plagiarising her photo!

DD1 has had an eventful week - she started her university course on Monday and is looking somewhat shell shocked by the experience! She also re-sat her driving test on Friday and passed!! Bless her - you have to give it to her, she IS a trier!! Brief conversation took place on Friday evening as follows:
DD1: "Don't suppose there's any chance I can borrow your car, mum?"
Me: "Nope!"
I'm not really being a horrid mum (though the kids might debate that!). We had priced the insurance on mine and MrB and I nearly required hospital treatment when we were given the quotes! So, it'll be off to the auctions soonish to find a Group 1 insurance rated wee run-around for Madam ... and be warned, she's hitting the roads of South Wales shortly!

Her stressful week was heightened when she had a flash of insight about our similarities ... "Mum, I'm getting just like you. I'd rather be warm than trendy". Please take a few seconds to console this mother with a battered ego and grossly reduced self image;) I'd naively reckoned that, since I'd lost a bit of weight recently, I was looking relatively nifty for a 44 year old! Heck, I'd even bought a skirt from Miss Selfridges (It does have an elastic waist but I'm ignoring that fact for now!) and a jumper from Top Shop! Obviously my daughter reckons differently (lol)! She has realised that there is a weather anomaly on the University of Glamorgan site though. No matter how clement the weather conditions are anywhere else in the UK, her Uni sits on a polar zone - and its either perishing/windblown or hammering it down with rain! Her list of required knits has grown and I'd better be faster on the needle than I have been! She's taken to wearing homemade socks on a daily basis....

These were completed recently and worn the other day. There is a moral to the 2 photos below. The first being - don't let other half loose to buy bedding! He'll come back with kinky satin stuff that (1) is not cosy; (2) means you constantly have to soften the skin on your feet or the sheets snag (too much information??) and (3) should come with a Government Health Warning! You jump in to bed wearing a satin nightie and shoot straight across the bed like a human cannonball, landing in a very unglamorous heap on the floor!! What IS wrong with flannelette, MrB????

The other lesson learned was that I need to take photography lessons! I tried to go all arty here and its not quite Lord Lichfield quality, is it? The yarn is Regia Surfer. It has a lovely sheen and is softer to the touch than Opal yarn.Finishing off with my 'mutton dressed as lamb' theme here, I've succumbed to another current trend and bought a pair of Crocs! These little beauties were purchased on eBay (nope, I don't have eBay shares ... but maybe I should!) for a bargainous £18.99. Shoes can be a real nightmare for me - various joints on my feet flare up with the arthritis, so what's comfy one day can feel like walking on glass the following day... I'm not sure if I'm a Croc convert yet, but they'll be just dandy for our forthcoming SUMMER holiday (in October!!). However, the Crocs have incited powerful feelings in the Blethers household - everyone else hates them!
I came home from work the other night to find MrB trying to convince the pup that my Crocs were, in fact, a chewie bone and encouraging her to gnaw them!! It's just as well we're not married, I'd have divorced him then;)

PS. Can anyone help me please? I can't seem to get my pics to be 'clickable' to enlarge over the past couple of weeks ... and haven't a clue where I'm going wrong. Any suggestions about how I remedy this??? Thank you!

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Saturday, 22 September 2007

Opulent Opals ...

For the past few weeks I've been toying with placing myself on a self-imposed stashalong:( My recent purchases vastly outmatch my speed with needles - and, as a result my stash has taken on new proportions. Now, we all have differing views on having 'an immediate availability of beautiful yarns out with shop opening hours': ie. stash! My views differ somewhat from MrB's 'ANOTHER parcel arrived for you today'. Apparently, even the post man has commented that I am keeping him fit carrying squidgy parcels full of promise to the door - and its a lovely bonus the new found kindred spiritedness and developing friendship between between MrB and the postie;)So, when Button ( posted temptation on the Crafty Threads n Yarns forum, I scrapped my newly made Stashalong Ticker and succumbed to these 2 lovelies from the new Opal Rainforest 3 collection! Aren't they great?

Och well, maybe I should create a ticker about thinking about stashalonging:)
I reckon many of you may be signed up to various Pay It Forward rings - for more background, please check out the entry below. If you're still available and reckon it looks like a fun notion, please feel free to join here. I'd love to have the chance to make a small gift for you and to be part of spreading a little of the knitting camaraderie that exists in our online community... To join, just give me a wee shout here in the comments section!

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Thursday, 20 September 2007

Pay it forward!

I came across this lovely concept on Jacquie's blog ( which just sums up far better than I can, the joy and pleasure in giving. I'm in danger of sounding ancient here but it worries me how society seems to have become so commercialised and focused on getting or receiving, rather than sharing. The act of sharing is still very much alive and well in the knitting community - with folk helping each other willingly with time, their experience and knowledge, sharing patterns ... and I'd love to do my little bit here. I've joined dreamcatcher's PIF buddies - check out her great blog (! Now, just to get over my neurotic anxieties that my own finished items might not be good enough!!
"It’s the Pay It Forward Exchange. It’s based of the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on. You all know I’m already a PIF type of person. So here’s how it works. I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I do not know what that gift will be yet, and it won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 6 months) and that’s a promise! What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog."

My gifts may be knitted, or may be another craft ... I will do my best to pick something that the recipients would like. So - the first three people to comment and say that they would like to PIF, will be my recipients :-)

I'm really looking forward to being part of this!


Sunday, 16 September 2007

The Tide is high (sorry Blondie fans!)

Having been really impressed by Cazzie's ( and Melody's ( recently completed Tide cardigans, I couldn't resist casting on!The pattern is Tide, by Louisa Harding and is in the Beachcomber Bay Design Collection book. Like both cazzie and Melody, I've extended the length of the original pattern - I've made past mistakes (try full wardrobe loads of fashion faux pas!) buying cropped sweaters and its not a flattering style on me, so have extended mine to include 15 pattern repeats.
The yarn is Muskat, an Egyptian cotton, from Garn Studios. The yarn is incredibly soft and has a beautiful sheen and drape to it. And it's machine washable! Hurrahhhhhh!
View 1

View 2

These last 2 shots are Eloise (a Noro pattern) in Noro Blossom. Eloise, I hope, will be finished in time for autumn chills (though I'm not commiting myself to Autumn 2007 or 2008 at the moment!). I need some help from my knitting friends now ... pretty please! The pics are both of the back piece. However, for the life of me, I just cannot work out whether I go with the knitted pieces as they are meant to be (View 1) or use them 'back to front' (View2) which creates more distinct blocks of colour... Any preferences welcomed!

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Sunday, 9 September 2007


Maybe the morning after the night before is not the best time to persuade DD1 that her services are required to model one her completed tanks ... BUT, hey, why else were mothers put on earth for;) Anyway, she grudgingly obliged - but issued a stark warning that her face was not to be revealed!! This determined request was not to maintain her anonymity; nor because she is mortified that the hip world of the under 19's are confronted by the realisation her mother is a knitter ...
Freedom Spirit 455 pattern book
Longer version tank top
Shade 503 Force

No, the crisis that evoked her command was ... she had NO make-up on!! Bless her, I've obliged anyway as I feared for my well being and household harmony otherwise;)
And a close up of the yarn!

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Sunday, 2 September 2007

Sun shades required!

Celandine Tankin Kimona Angora, The Design Collection by Louisa Harding
Freedom Spirit Tank
Force colorway, Twilleys of Stamford
Although I'm still patiently waiting my invitation to join Ravelry, it appears to have had an impact on my knitting life already! Maybe it's the thought of being 'WIP named-and-shamed'... or, more likely, that I've been forced to confront my previous denial about just HOW MANY unfinished objects I have hidden around the Blethers household!!

These 2 tanks have both been OTN for almost a year! Note the somewhat interesting pooling in the Celandine. I've no idea how it came about as there was no change to the pattern at the point - no shaping, decreasing whatsoever. I actually quite like it - it falls just below the arm shaping level and I'm intrigued to see if the same pooling develops on the front when I get to that level. They are destined for DD1's student wardrobe. She picked one yarn and I chose the other .... can you tell who picked what??? My master plan is to have both knitted up and ready for sewing up next weekend!

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