Saturday, April 26, 2008

A tiny wee surprise!

Yesterday's post heralded an envelope of sufficient importance that my lovely husband called me at work:

"There's an envelope here. It's from America. I think it's what you've been waiting for."

It took great fortitude and all the character built by D of E and all those other things you do as a teenager that people in warm dry houses describe as character building to stay at work for the remaining 6 hours and not rush home immediately (or suggest H get on a train with the parcel and meet me for lunch).

When I did make it home just look:
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My tiny wee sock from Marisol who blogs under the wonderful name of Purls just wanna have fun. And with the tiny wee sock as you can see she sent me a tiny wee sock blocker key chain and
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all of this - a lovely card, the tiny wee sock pattern, her blog card and CHOCOLATE!!! As Marisol is several thousand miles and an ocean away I have to send my thank you hug virtually but in all seriousness THANK YOU - I had a grotty day yesterday to finish off a stressful week and that was a wonderful surprise to come home to - above and beyond the swap requirements and I am very grateful.

The yarn is Wolmeisse which I've never encountered before but I think I might just be on the start of the slippery slope. The colour is chilli red which I love and the chocolate is red fire. To continue the red theme, I brought the sock to meet a little red in my garden!
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It's been really great getting to know two new bloggers in this swap, Marisol and Amber so go and say hello to them!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


with fervent apologies to John Masefield

I must down to the yarn again, to that skein catching my eye,
And all I ask is my DPNs and a path to steer them by,
And the label's snap and the swift's creak and the ball-winder's shaking
And the blue mist watched before my face, to stop the skein from breaking.

I must down to the yarn again, for the call of wool twice-plied
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a train delay to let my fingers go flying,
And the knit flick and the purl curl, and the frog frog, sighing.

I must down to the yarn again, to the commuter's knitting life,
With a storyteller lulling me home, tucked in elbows to avoid the strife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long sock's over.

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I have finished the first Ocean Toe with much misadventure - tall tales to come at a later date!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A recurring theme

It's the weekend!! Hurray!! - Three guesses what I've knitted:
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Yes, no prizes because it is all too obviously another Lizard Ridge square - it seems that this is the perfect wind down knitting; mainly stocking-stitch and just the odd bit of short rows to keep me from falling asleep. This is the ninth square I've done from the seventh (I think) ball of Noro and it's the first duplicate colourway but clearly not a duplicate square.

H thinks that we need to go for a 7x5 blanket to make sure it's really big enough to curl up under so I am officially over a quarter of the way there. I have now really run out of Noro though - I feel something must be done to fix that :)

Speaking of recurring themes I think I may be a fair way towards developing an addiction to Lush bath explosions. Our usual bubble bath is deeply sports orientated and comes described as "muscle soak" so I popped into the Birmingham shop the other day for something a little bit more girly. I got girly. I bought "The Comforter" which looks like a blackcurrant swirl, smells like it and produces huge pink bubbles - it's wonderful, and as a little freebie the lady in the shop gave me a promotional half a bath ballistic which I think was "Fairy Jasmine" although mine looked more lilac than the website - it smelt divine and was twinkly with purple glitter. As our bath is a delightful shade of avocado we really think purple glitter enhances it!!

Hmm - I think I have to go shopping

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Two feet - Green

Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it.

C'est finis! Bare sticks and a bit of string have produced these:
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My Lucky Leafling socks, finished this afternoon on the train home and with the end wounds in at the traffic lights in the car on the way home from the station (I wasn't driving I promise! and you know there's no stopping a knitter with an almost finished sock!).

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Yes these
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Are the March socks from the Rockin Sock Club in STR mediumweight. The fit is truly lovely which is partly down to the lovely yarn and partly down to the genius of the Cat Bordhi inspired pattern - we likes it, we loves it, we wants it ... oh, hang on, that's something else.

The other thing truly wonderful is that I got home in the daylight to take pictures - hurrah for Spring -sort-of!

I must admit to you my dear friends that I may perhaps, perchance and possibly have had an ulterior motive for finishing the socks. I am awaiting the arrival of a Firebird and as it's already arrived a little bit further north I thought I could tempt it to arrive with the promise of empty needles and a train commute.

Alas no, it was all in vain. Having said that I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that the Firebird might need a bit more attention than train knitting offers so I left off looking for the birds in the leaves, went to the stash and found:

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The Ocean!! Gorgeous sea coloured Arucania Ranco from H at Christmas and (more) Cat Bordhi - I'm making the socks at the bottom on the book cover.

(I bet the Firebird arrives tomorrow!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

No Knitting just Pie

Pie is good

Pie makes us smile

Hurrah for pie!

In other not so interesting news I have knit a good chunk of the right front of the Quarterpint Cardigan. I could take a risk and show you as Mum's gone on holiday but now she's in with the internet generation (and worked out that this is a fantastic way to keep tabs on me) you never know, so I'm not taking the risk.

H has done one exam (he survived we think) , two more to go - must go feed him pie.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Rainy Sunday Afternoon

I can't believe it's Sunday again - where do the weekends go?

My weekend has been spent going to the gym (yesterday morning) and then creaking around the house (the rest of the time). It was a killer gym class.

I've also finished the back to the quarterpint cardigan and I really like how it's looking (still not showing you any pictures though) which means I got to spend a little quality time with the Noro:
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Hurrah! 8 squares finished now. I think I might be heading towards an extra-large Lizard ridge (7x5 rather than 6x4) which means there is still some way to go but I'm not loosing any of the love for this project so as H said - "it means more Noro and more knitting; you like knitting".

H has exams this coming week so it's been a quiet weekend, apart from the gym class my role has been to supply moral support and encouragement. I am reliably informed that this:
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is an appropriate form of encouragement so I'm going to make a lemon meringue pie this evening for pudding as an extra revision incentive!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Spring Greens

I am sad to report the demise of Errol II: snow to water, grass clippings to lawn, from the sky he came and by evaporation he returned.

But... the end of the snow must mean that it is Spring (carefully ignoring the daffodils and primroses suffering freeze burn as a result of last week's little meteorological giggle).

And to celebrate Spring there is Lucky Green, courtesy of the genius Rockin Sock Club. This is a Leafling:

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Just the one (for now) - Spring takes its time you know.

It's based on a formula from Cat Bourdhi's book New Pathways for Sock Knitters and the fit is perfect. I am very thrilled with the heel turn because I have supportive ankles and high arches and this one fits a treat.
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I made the medium size on 2.75mm in the everlasting maths of medium+my gauge = socks for gigantic hooves.

I also took one of my characteristic sock gambles and knit another inch and a half onto the cuff. My kitchen scales tell me that I should be OK to finish the second sock but I don't think there's going to be much in the way of leftovers!

This is Socks that Rock mediumweight which is slightly thicker than the lightweight (me clever girl me is!) and with the ribbing on the bottom of the heel it gives a wonderfully bouncy finish.

I think it may take all of my self restraint not to knit the other one over the weekend but I have promised myself that I will (a) tidy the house and (b) knit another Lizard Ridge square if I finish the back to the Quarterpint Cardigan. If anyone could invent self tidying houses they'd make a fortune (let me know if you do.)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tiny wee things

Hurrah! Amber has got her tiny wee sock so I can now reveal it without fear of spoiling the surprise:
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As an exercise in sheer frivolity I highly recommend making tiny wee socks. I mean look at it, it's tiny! and wee! and a sock! I know Amber has a mini sock blocker key chain so I hope it fits - I've never seen one in real life so I've no idea what size they are.
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I can however tell you that the cuff fits a small zebra perfectly although he asked for a shorter foot "for next time". I feel I may need to teach A to knit so that he can keep his zebra in socks.

The other wee thing is our snowman
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Diminishing every day but still just about there. You can also see what happens when you cut the grass the day before it snows!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Finished objects

The golden rule of comedy is that you should always give your examples in threes, working from the least funny to the most funny. Assuming the same is true for both knitting and weather, I have three of each.

Thursday and Friday of this last week were unseasonably warm - I took my coat to work on Friday more out of habit than anything else and ended up carrying it around with me instead - it was lovely and spring like only slightly tinged by fears that this was actually summer and as good as we'd get. H told me that snow was forecast for Sunday and I double checked the date. Saturday I mentally composed a blog post along the lines of "how crazy are the weather men, they think it's going to snow and it's 15 degrees!" (said post never made it due to arrival of siblings come to stay for the weekend).

Sunday...., well it looked a bit like this when we got up:
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I say got up, what I really mean was I opened the curtains thinking how sunny it was and how nice that we might get to put some clothes on the line to dry, screeched "SNOW!!!" at which point there was the sound of a curtain being hurriedly drawn back in the next room and an answering squeal of "SNOW!!!".

And two minutes later Zee was outside in her PJs, waterproof and my shoes with me wearing my nightshirt, a cardigan and my high heeled work shoes! We played snowball fights, rolled down the hill and took the time to get dressed all before church. Oh and we made this little fellow!
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The great advantage of snow is that it forms a wonderful backdrop for showing off the latest finished socks:
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Both on the feet and off
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the disadvantage is that you then have to remove the snow and set the socks to dry on the radiator - perhaps I'd better stick to photographing things in bushes.
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The pattern knits up beautifully but requires concentration - I never quite memorised the pattern repeats so it wasn't always the best thing for first thing in the morning but I am really pleased with the results - the pattern is clear and visible in this gorgeous multi-colour yarn (it's Arucania Ranco) and despite my issues over the size of my ankles I don't think you can tell that the cast-on/cast-off is different unless you look hard.

As a second FO for the day I sewed the buttons on the Blue Jay Baby Surprise - I am reliably informed that the model finds it an elegant fit!
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The final one of the trio is by far the most impressive and is nothing to do with me - our good friends announced the arrival of their baby son, born at 3.50 this morning (the text message came at 5.15am - thanks for that!) and the BSJ is for him. Happy Birthday new baby!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

No longer a secret

Many many moons ago the ingenious and terribly talented Anna wrote a sock book and took on a number of test knitters to make up the socks to be photographed. Bravely, your humble scribe was included in that number.

Anyone who has been hanging out here for a while will remember the secret knitting of Spring 2007 and now it's not a secret any more because Fab Feet and Cosy Toes has been published!!!!!

I know I'm terribly biased but I think it's a great book and there are a number of patterns that I want to try (particularly the intarsia pigs that go across both feet and the ladybird bootees that would be perfect for the impending baby boom amonst our family and friends [Note to Mum - NOT me, stop hyperventiating]) aside from the ones I knit myself. It's also got a great guide to designing your own patterns and very clear instructions for how to do Kitchener which it renown for being the bane of a sock knitter's existence.

So anyway - would you like to see the ones I knit?

Cosy brown thigh highs (those of you who know my height will be relived to know that I was knitting to the pattern size rather than my leg length so the model wasn't pulling them up to her chin!)

Pretty blue lace

Tulips for the spring

and finally my favourites:

Penguins!!! They even have a little sticky out tail as well as the little flippers and beak.

The other known unknown is S's beautiful baby girl who came to meet us last night - she is a really cutey and still very teeny-tiny and asleep the whole time! We also got a chance to give S our group present - a mini Lizard Ridge blanket which I think fulfills the crucial criteria of being not baby pink! Mandy took a lovely picture so please go and look at it here.

In terms of the Rumsfeldian unknown unknowns - I'm still working on the Quarterpint Cardigan and it's still a secret. The other secret is a tiny wee sock which is winging it's way to Amber in the tiny week sock swap and that's a secret until she gets it!!