Sunday, 25 November 2007

Before and after

The weather conspired against earlier posting of the felted Ringo Bag. At last, there was a gap in the driech weather we've been having in South Wales and a 2 minute glipse of sun amongst the storm clouds set me running for the camera... much to the amusement of the service users who were in the department at the time!

The 'before' and 'after' pictures...
After felting - 2 60 degree cycles (agitated with 2 pairs of jeans and a pair of crocs!)

And before the felting process:
Last night, DD1 and I went to the cinema to see August Rush. Taste in films is probably as personal as our varying preferences for yarn ... but cinematic critique from both of us is DON'T rush to view August Rush. We both found the characters pretty unconvincing and neither of us particularly empathised with any of the 3 main characters. The male adults Irish accents were naff.... Need this grumpy Barry Normina carry on?? I kept sneaking peaks at DD1 ... to find her looking at me and laughing that we were sitting through such tosh! Maybe DD2 had seen other reviews as she just giggled as she declined the cinema offer, saying she'd rather watch paint dry ... or wind skeins for me (and I know just HOW much she loves that particular activity!).

Ever feel that you're losing your marbles? I spent all day yesterday on a marathon, frantic house cleaning - and made a point of getting up early this morning to finish. My aunt and uncle were planning to visit and I couldn't cope with them arriving to the long-term building site that we call home... As the morning wore on, I thought it's strange they haven't called to give an approximation of their arrival time - so ventured back to check their email. They're coming on DECEMBER 3rd!! Och well, at least the house will only need a tickle of housework for their visit NEXT weekend:)
DD1 took this photo on her mobile of our daft middle dog, Molly. As you can see, Molly is absolutely intrigued by DD1's rats - she sits for hours, staring at their cage, without moving. She makes no attempts to harm them at all. Obviously, Ratty decided to be sociable and say 'Hello'!

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Sunday, 18 November 2007

Wash rags and bags

What a grotty day we've had in South Wales today - with torrential rain, howling winds and semi-darkness all day! However, there's always a silver lining - I managed to drag DD2 to Hobbycraft this afternoon and she tholed the experience the best she could:) Albeit that included skulking around the end of all the display aisles in case her friends saw her in the wool lane! No number of reassurances that, should she be seen, it was because her friends' mothers had dragged them to Hobbycraft too and that they too were sharing her social humiliation:)

Bless her, DD2 seems to feature less in the blog than her elder sister - but for no other reason other than she mostly refuses to be seen in 'mum knits'. She has been badgering over the last few weeks and I have done my best to ignore her pleas for her desired project... a white, garter stitch scarf in some form of chunky wool. I know, fellow knitters, my heart sank too! But I'm casting on tonight and will thole the knitting experience in the hope that it converts her to more exciting projects in the future:(

And of more pleasurable projects:

The West Side Raglan has been worn to work and is the warmest, cosiest jumper I have. To be honest though, I reckon it'll require wearing with a t-shirt underneath as the Manos is a little itchy when directly on the skin ... or at least my delicate, uber-sensitive skin (C'mon part of me has to be delicate!!).

I've felted the Ringo Bag, pattern by Sue Morgan. This was a lovely straightforward knit, using Noro Kureyon. I had been thinking of it being one of my PFI gifts but am not entirely happy with it. The felting process went smoothly enough and has softened up the colours a little. I'm dithering over the size of the handles now that the bag has been felted - I feel they look too large now:( Here it is in it's pre-felted stated and I'll post the post-felted look once the weather clears enough to allow photography.

However, if I'm not entirely happy with it, I'd be uncomfortable gifting it and have already come up with another project instead. And I now have a new project bag with BIG handles!

I've been busy too making wash cloths. I'm using the Fiber Trends Bathing Beauties patterns - Leaf Lace and Ribbon Lace patterns. I'll be seeing these patterns in my sleep as I'm making 16 of them for Christmas gifts for my workmates, along with hand made soaps I've purchased from Etsy sellers.

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Sunday, 11 November 2007

Snug as a bug!

All stitched up and ready for the chilly winds we've had recently...

The West Side Raglan, pattern by Oat Couture, was a really straight forward and pleasant knit. I love the raglan/ squarish neckline as I look a right eejit in a high or polo neck style - curses for short necks;) I loved the Manos del Uruguay and will be looking for other projects to knit in this yarn again.

Body: knitted the body in the round to avoid as much seaming as possible and added 2" to body length
Sleeves: shortened the proposed length slightly as I hate it when the sleeve extends beyond my upper wrist.

Craftybernie, I followed your guidance and am ALL clickable this post ... you're a star! Thank you:)

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Sunday, 4 November 2007

One Man and His .... Sam the Ram!

Still on a reading front, more books! This time of the knittery variety though! Despite the recent postal strike, these wee beauties popped through the letter box to add to the Blethers 'library' and ever increasing to-do lists...Firstly, the Knit 'n Style magazine, December 2006 which wung its way over from the States (I couldn't track down a UK seller). I fell in love with the Diamond Cable jacket that A Little Fuzzy( recently completed and the pattern was from this magazine. To be honest, I can't really see myself make any of the other projects from this edition ... in fact, many others seem to come into the Yarn Howler category (ooooh, I'm sorry if I've offended ... taste is such a personal thing, isn't it?). My next purchase and temptation comes via Debbie Bliss's Rialto pattern book. I'd been drooling over some of the Catriona projects underway on Ravelry... and it seems fated, given that my sister is called Catriona. I'm itching to cast on but am behaving till at least 3 more WIP's become FO's!! Silver Bells were ringing from the recent VOGUEknitting and I am also drooling over the Ribbed Multidirectional Tunic...
Stefanie Japel's (from Fitted Knits) Back to School U necked Tank looks to be one of those quick and guaranteed satisfaction knits and I'm still badgering DD1 to let me cast it on for her. There are a number of other patterns in this book that look interesting projects. My only dilemma is that the fitting may not be such a brilliant idea for me, given my recent meandering away from the GI diet plan:( Most of the patterns are designed to accentuate curves... Now, whilst I do have curves, they are unfortunately not the type that you necessarily wish to attract all eyes too;) Last Minute Knitted Gifts, Joelle Hoverson, has some beautiful ideas for pressies and wrapping to complement the gifts. This book has the pattern for the 'must have' Chevron Scarf - and, at some point, I must have that scarf!

Brigitte is my favourite pattern in the Sublime book and looks like an easy knit (all my brain can cope with at the present time!). Carica and Alva, both made in Colinette Banyan, are also very much on my lust list just now!I'd mentioned that DD1 has recently passed her driving test. Having spent 18 years keeping my cherub safe and being responsible for her well-being for all these years, what a weird experience putting my life into her hands the other day! Bless her, she drove the 2 of us to return some clothing items to a large supermarket nearby. Her boyfriend fulfilled all the role demands of the 'back seat driver' - allowing me to sit silently and blamelessly in the front passenger seat as he gave direction and instruction from the rear;) At the end of our short journey, MissB was quite tight lipped but with vastly increased insight! For months, DD1 had sat in the front passenger seat as I drove. Her party piece was to screech 'Commit!' as I approached EVERY junction, right turn, traffic light .... She now is all too aware just how infuriating that was!!
Anyway, in the spirit of mutual driving and familial bonds, I have agreed to make her Sam the Ram for her car. Isn't he fab??? The pattern was designed by Rita O'Connell and is available from 3kittensNeedlesArt. This Sam was knitted by Knittingpark ( and more details are available on her Raverly profile. I don't know if anyone else has ordered much from the 3kittensNeedlesArt site? I've recently ordered several patterns from there and can't recommend them highly enough. Their customer service is second to none!Look at these 3 though - think there's any chance of them rounding up any sheep???? Nah ... nor do I!!

There has been some progress on the knitting front too. I've spent all day sewing up West Side Raglan and will post pictures later in the week. I'm really pleased with how it's turned out and reckon it'll get lots of use. I did giggle when I saw in my earlier entry that I'd managed to re-name the pattern as the West End Raglan .... a bit of Glaswegian twang and lingo seepage there methinks! I've finished another 2 projects too but they were completed for my PIF and won't post those pictures until the items are safe in the hands of their recipients. Fingers crossed they like them as much as I've enjoyed making them...

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