Saturday, 26 September 2009

Almost tropical autumn

Tropicana Socks
Tropicana socks (pattern by Sabine Riefler), using The YarnYard Pink Goth 4ply sock yarn. This is a wonderful pattern for variegated yarns, creating striking undulations of colour (Can't quite believe I typed that last sentence. But hey, it's out there and staying!

  • Changed heel from short row to standard flap heel to make sure it accommodated daughter’s high instep (Sorry, pet, I know you inherited that from me!).

  • The pattern produces a fairly dense fabric, so reduced stitches to 64 stitches and completed in plain stocking stitch.
Autumn must be in the air in the animal kingdom too. We looked out of the windows just after mid-day to see an unusual sight for suburbian Cardiff - an adult fox sauntering along the pavement!

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Sunday, 6 September 2009


... big banana feet!

It's been years (obviously!) since I heard that old school yard ode - but I couldn't quite get it out of my head whilst these latest socks were on the needle. Another pair of Cookie's Monkeys in a 4ply Fyberspate's yarn. I can't be really specific about the yarn as it was bought on eBay and has been nestling in my sock stash pile for some time.
Talking of Cookie... I'd fallen in love with some of the recent socks made by fellow Ravelers, in particular, kai-mei. Eunice, bex and kristi are equally stunning patterns and I hope to build up enough sock-making confidence to tackle them all at some point. Cookie's book, Sock Innovation, is clearly laid out and full of helpful hints, as well as socky inspiration

I KNOW we've all seen that hysterical picture taken by a couple on holiday, where they were gate crashed by an inquisitive squirrel. One of the spin-off sites has given me endless pleasure - filling my daughters' email boxes with tweaked family photos. This picture of Molly the Mongrel was just made to be squirrelized:o) It always leaves me giggling, seeing her lick her new furry friend!

Don't worry about the squirrel's well-being. Molly's just saying "hello" and is incapable of any alternative canine motivations:o)

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Monday, 17 August 2009

Wash day blues

In need of some knitting quick fixes, I cast on these...
Lake Ariel Dishcloth by Jessica Topaz
Cable with Hearts Cloth by Annette Derksen Seed Stitch Owl Dish Cloth by Janelle Schlossman

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Monday, 27 July 2009

Leaves and lilies...

AtomicKnitting saved the day! Emma has very kindly let me use one of the pics from her site so that I can share one of the knitting related gifts I was lucky enough to receive on my birthday. Voila! The gorgeous Russian Doll stitch markers DD1 gave me. Aren't they fab?
See below to completely understand why I sent pathetic distress signals to Emma. My attempt doesn't quite capture their ambiance, does it?
On the knitting front, I am truly nearly there on the Leaf Yoke jumper. The body and sleeves knit up in a flash. However, the leaf yoke seems to have taken forever to complete. If I'd taken any longer to finish, the leaves would have changed from green to autumnal shades and then fallen off the blessed yoke. This top looks as though it will be really wearable (hopefully!) and I'd knit another - though it may be a thought to tackle the yoke first, and end on the 'quick fix' back and front (both knitted identically).
In between the torrential showers we've been having in South Wales, I've been pottering around with some planters. My most recent fixation appears to be Calla lilies. My aim is that they'll be dotted around in pots on the imaginary patio that MrB plans to create at the kitchen door. Bless, we really are soul mates... his productivity in DIY terms is matched only by my finish-off rate in woollen garments!! I suppose that means neither can nag the other??


The flower formation is quite different in this Calla.

DD1's passion is for Oriental lilies and she has entrusted me with her 'baby'.

MissBlethersTheYounger has just returned from a trip north to visit her father. Given our renowned good luck, guess which flight the young lady was booked onto? She did get there ... eventually!!

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Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Where did you go...


I can't believe how fast June flew past! There's been very little in the way of knitting outcomes. Here's my embarrassing contribution for the month!
MissBlethersTheElder renewed her mobile phone contract and, of course, got a new mobile. As soon as she had her phone, she placed her request for a new phone cover. It's the ipod cover, by Irene McKisson and can usually be rustled up in a few hours... I used the left over yarn from MissB's accidentally felted socks and replaced the rib with a knit-one-through-the-back, purl one rib. It seems to be a stretchier rib and holds the phone in the case well.

I'm still plodding my way through the Sirdar Leaf Yoke short-sleeved cotton sweater. The pattern is very easy going and presents no real challenge. Currently, I'm working on the leaf pattern and am attempting wrap stitches for the first time. So far, so good! Hopefully, it'll be finished and blocked by my next post - and, even better, the weather here will have cooled sufficiently to allow the wearing of a cotton jumper without resembling a melting blob! Having a 'Celtic' pallor (some would say, deathly white milk bottle complexion), I'm no sun worshipper;o)

It's a pretty busy family month for us - with mum, MrB and I all having our birthdays during the month.

June 13th is MrB, my beloved's birthday. And where would a devoted, loving partner spend time on their true love's special day? Absolutely right, I headed off to Pembroke Dock (about 100 miles away) to spend the KIP day with Angie. Angie has posted some pictures from the day. I had a lovely time meeting, amongst others, Angie, Felix, Andreweaver and taliesin. It was wonderful to meet everyone and to spend the afternoon knitting, in both glorious company and weather. I did make it up to MrB though, stopping off on the way back to buy him a steak and birthday cake.

Mum's birthday was on June 14th and, as she's still in hospital, the 'celebrations' were more muted than they would normally have been. She did enjoy the strawberry gateau my sister took in to the ward though...

When my birthday arrived later in the month, I was thoroughly spoiled too. Look what one of my lovely workmates made me! And it tasted every bit as good as it looks:o) The kids developed semi-deprived looks, asking me "Why can't you bake like that?"
It's not for the want of trying, but I know my limitations (blush). MrMarks&Spencer produces the cake in our house - and folk who've witnessed my baking deficiency will vouch the recipient has had a lucky escape!
MissBlethersTheYounger (otherwise known as Miss SatNav) has spread her wings too and is the cause of much parental angst and separation issues at present ... of which she remains blissfully unaware;o) She has embarked on her first ever holiday without 'parental control'. MissBTY is currently spending the week in a static caravan, with 3 friends, in Tenby (West Wales). She is obviously having a wonderful time - deduced from her distinct lack of phone contact! Tenby is in a beautiful, coastal area of Wales ... though I very much doubt they are enjoying the scenery and continue to live a nocturnal teenage existence, sleeping all day and coming out at sunset!

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Saturday, 6 June 2009

Strong roots and fresh blossom

It's been a very difficult few weeks. My mum was taken extremely poorly and is now, thankfully, slowly recovering in hospital. Her tenacity and spirit to live amazing not only the family, but the medical team treating her.
Sadly, mum has missed seeing the Laburnum tree in full blossom, but will hopefully be home before it's past its full glory. Dad built their home and we grew up in this house. The garden is my parents pride and joy - and a complete pleasure to behold. Mum's usual vantage point is on the patio at the top of the garden, where she sits and issues horticultural instruction to dad! I'm not sure if it's clear from this photograph, but there are even large pots of potatoes growing on the patio. Dad was muttering about them being the most expensive potatoes he's ever grown (large tub planters, potatoes seeds, cost of the potting compost etc) - but, be sure, he'll be delighted to sit down with mum later to enjoy their crop.

MissBlethersTheElder and I travelled home to visit mum in hospital. The weather was unusually glorious and we took these snapshots from the car park in the town. Beats the view from a multi-storey, doesn't it?

Unfortunately our trip home meant I missed meeting up with Angie on her recent visit to Cardiff. I'm really hoping to sort that on Knit In Public day, next Saturday!

MissBlethersTheYounger had me chuckling this afternoon. Her older sister was planning to go out tonight to a 'themed' leaving-do. She needed to borrow a fluorescent pink net tutu skirt (apparently ALL the best dressed wardrobes boast at least one net froo-froo!!). DD2 couldn't find hers (which is no surprise as she is one of those kids who call the floor their wardrobe!). Several phone calls to her friends later, we located one ... and set sail to collect it to save her big sister some time later on. We wound our way round Cardiff, with me looking more and more bemused.... "Are you sure you know the way, MissBlethersTheYounger?" My youngest off spring boldly announces, "Course I do! This is the No 57 bus route". Heaven help us when she hits the roads for driving lessons. Maybe she should get a SatNav for her 17th birthday present?

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Hot head!

Ever feel a little out of sync with the rest of the world? This could well be one of those moments for me... On the hottest weekend of the year so far, let me share my latest finished item - an angora tammy for MissBlethersTheElder!
Angora Tammy
The yarn was bought on our recent trip to Wonderwool Wales - from Easter Bunnies/ Crafty Angora. It's so soft to the touch, especially the grey yarn. Once the knitting and sewing up were done, the hat had to be dampened and then was popped in the tumble dryer, on low setting, for 10 minutes at a time until the desired size is achieved. I did confess it might have been me responsible for the blocked filter that MrB adeptly cleaned later, muttering "bloomin' dogs"!
Great news too for knitters in Cardiff - a new local yarn store opened on Thursday, called Big Knitters (located at the top of Wellfield Road, by the junction with Albany Road). Although a compact shop, the owner has made best use of the available space. They carry a pretty range of yarns - Rowan, select Sirdar, and a french range of yarns. However, consumer opinions are being sought about other ranges to carry. It'll be exciting to see what develops.

A number of Welsh Raveler's met up there on Saturday and we'd a really lovely morning - browsing patterns, touching yarn, chatting ... accompanied by complementary coffee and yummy homemade cup cakes. Apparently, there are plans for a monthly cupcake session and also to hold a weekly group when they're a little more settled. I got the new Sirdar Juicy pattern book and cast on the Leaf top in soft green Calico last night. Normally, I detest knitting in cotton. The lack of 'give' in cotton niggles me and I struggle to get an even tension over the body of a garment. However, Calico has me converted and it's a joy to knit with.

DD1 came over the other weekend and we took the dogs a walk along one of her favourite routes. It's a wetland nature park, located on the outskirts of Cardiff and makes wonderful use of the old canals sited there.

Don't let these 3 'innocents' fool you! They're deliberately trying to look like it wasn't them, barking and howling, when DD1 and I briefly popped into a hyde to watch the wildlife.
The one below in yet another Blethers classic photography moment! I was really excited to spy a heron in one of the wetland areas, and tried to save the moment for posterity. There is a heron in there....
If you've got 20/20 vision, you might spot it!

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