Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I think I posted a little while ago about being frustrated with my uarn stash - the feeling that I had plenty of yarn but none of it was acutally useful or fitted to a project that I wanted to knit.  As buying a gazzilionty more skeins of beautiful new yarn is just a tad beyond the budget (although honesty compels me to tell you that there has been a pretty little squishy package arrived in the post recently and I very much hope there'll be another one as soon as it clears customs) it was time to pull out the stash and find out what I actually have.

The answer, as I expected, was a good amount of the little ends of balls of yarn from finished projects, a whole load of single skeins and a surprising amount of Baby Cashmerino in various colours - I forsee some sort of baby-sized colourwork in the near future.

 It's all rearranged now and mostly back in the cupboard; I gave myself permission to throw out lots of the little mini balls that are never going to be used for anything, and set aside some yarn that I'm never going to knit to be destashed as soon as I work out how Ebay works (discontinued Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4ply and some Rowan Pure Wool if anyone's interested).

I also started to pull together some yarn and patterns and move them into project bags to sit by my chair in the lounge in the hope that I might get the occasional moment to knit while little Miss plays in her Jumperoo next to me.

In the stash I rediscovered a whole load of oddments of DK and worsted weight cotton, mostly leftovers from Kitty's bib collection.  We've been using knitted dishcloths for years now and the problem is that they look like they've been used for years so my first stashbusting project united all the oddments and my favourite 5.5mm needles with butterflies painted on the ends.

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I didn't have a pattern for these, I just cast on and went for it.  Most of them are knitted on the diagonal from a cast on of three stitches, increasing with yarnovers until it looked about the right size and then decreasing on every row with yarnovers in every alternate row back down to three.

The log cabin ish ones I started by knitting a little square and then turning 90 degrees at the end of the cast off and picking up the next block along the side.

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Some are just plain, using up varigated yarn, the blue one is stripes in a Fibbonacci series, and then there are just purely random ones, striped entirely at whim.

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When so much knitting requires careful attention to a pattern, and with so much else going on at the moment  it's been really relaxing to just go with it.
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I've still got a little bit of turquoise and orange left over but I seem to have quenched my dishcloth thirst, and I think the kitchen is clean enough for now.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Warm tummies

I know I've been a bit Kitty-heavy in the blog posting recently; I mean I'm besotted with her, and so is her Daddy, her Aunts and Uncles, her Grandparents and her Godmummy Mandy, but apparently the rest of the known universe doesn't revolve around my daughter (who knew!) (and are they sure, I mean, can we really be certain).  Okay, okay, I promise to be good, and today I have actually knitting to show you, ably modelled by my gorgeous assistant:
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I love spinning but there isn't much point in spinning pretty yarn if it's just going to sit in the stash so I've been hunting around Ravelry for patterns that use tiny amounts of not very well spun fluffy yarn.
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The yarn is my first attempt at spinning a singles yarn from last year's Tour de Fleece from a mini batt; it was mostly DK weight with a bit of thick and thin and lots of little scraps of silk and sprinkle, and the pattern is the ever-versatile Milo.

I didn't use any of the cable patterns to try to stretch the available yarn as far as possible.  In the end, as you see, it still wasn't enough so the bottom ribbing is Noro Cash Iroha from the leftovers box but I think it compliments it nicely.
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Today was a beautiful warm fresh sunny day, we had the windows open to air the house and all the laundry has been out on the line for that clean air smell.  Now that it's getting warmer, and now that Kitty is going for food in a big way, short sleeves let her wriggle around more easily, and make her easier to clean up so a little vest top is perfect for keeping her toasty warm.

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Given that it has today survived an onslaught of cucumber and banana I think this is a winner - I've got my eye on a variation with little elephants on it!

Monday, March 21, 2011


Well my little sweetheart it's that day again,
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Yes, you are officially another month older and wiser, and this one's a special month birthday - now you are six months old, a whole half year - how on earth did we manage that one.
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So what are you like at six months? Well you are still our true joy and delight, you have the sunniest soul and a gorgeous smile for anyone who'll take time to play smiley faces with you.
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After a few weeks of rolling over with one hand still stuck under your tummy you've finally mastered flipping over onto your tummy and you're very proud of yourself (and we are too).  If you could just master flipping back again you'd need less rescuing from face-plant doom when being on your tummy is just too much.
March 153
So far we haven't seen any teeth poking through although they still look like they're on the brink of emerging and you've all the signs; sore gums, pink cheeks and a deep affection for Bonjella.
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This last month we've started to let you try different food and now that you're six months it's full steam ahead to try all sorts of solids.  For lunch today you tried a little bit of Mummy's toast and then had some baby corn, cucumber and banana, and now hand-mushed banana is plastering chunks of your hair to your head.
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Daddy took the day off work today and as a special half-birthday treat we took you for your very first baby swimming class.  I'm not quite sure what you made of it but you smiled a few times and didn't cry so we'll make it a weekly feature I think.
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But best of all the things you have done this month, when I carry you a little arm comes sneaking around my neck to cling on and you snuggle your face into my shoulder.  Daddy on the other hand is hoping that you'll grow out of using his nose as a grab hold every time you go up and down stairs.
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I can't believe that you're six months old already, you still seem so new, and at the same time, you've always been part of our little family of three.  We love you little squeaky peach

love Mummy and Daddy

Monday, March 14, 2011

In vain

March 105
I know the pattern is Seven Chakras, but to me it's always been a rainbow sock, which means that with a violet top and toe I've reached the end of my first rainbow, although sadly the pot of gold has failed to materialised.

After the orange 'herding cats' section the rest of the pattern felt like knitting garter stitch on fluffy pillows while cherubim bring you chocolate fudge cake and the yarn colours are, as always, beautiful. 
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Now then, the important part, the things I need to remember when I come to the second sock.

Note 1:  add the extra row at the beginning of the blue section.
Note 2:  don't start the toe shaping until the first pattern row of the violet section, no decreases in the first two plain rounds.
Note 3: there are a good few errors in the pattern.  Check the errata.
Note 4: there is another error not picked up in the errata.  For the green foot section knit one stitch plain before and after the patterning - you have 72 sts for the large size and the patterning only covers 70 of them.
March 110
I do feel like I've knitted two socks because I've knitted each pattern twice so we shall see whether it takes as long to knit the second as the first.  The first sock just took me two years, six months and eleven days so I'm in no hurry and I suspect I'll be casting on again pretty soon because they are comfy cosy socks.

This is of course assuming that no one else has designs on them ...
March 108
And I have one final question; Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain, but if your history doesn't include a Richard of York, or he was victorious - what mnemonic were you taught as a child to remember the colours of the rainbow?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Can you tell what it is yet?

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How about if I turn it round a bit?
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Now that I've got a bit further along it's definitely easier to see how this is going to turn out to be a wearable sock; just two more sections to go, and no prizes for guessing the final colours.

As it is completely addictive knitting; you always want to do just one more section; I've been rather monogamous in my knitting and have nothing but intentions to show you, and they don't photograph very well.

Accordingly I shall resort to my fall back - a Kitty fix.
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And yes I have turned into a Mamarazzi. With somewhat unintended consequences.
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On Tuesday at the Vicarage pancake party we were organising pancake races up and down the garden; Kitty (in the sling) and I were one half of the finish line and busy watching the children trying to subtly hold onto the pancakes with their fingers until Kitty spotted people taking photos of the races at which point she wriggled around to face the camera and smiled angelically at them - the girl knows how to work a camera

Monday, March 07, 2011


Kitty's lovely uncle C doesn't get much time off work, and when he does have time off it tends to be at odd moments, so when we heard that he was heading to Yorkshire to visit H's parents and collect his new car we decided to make a whistlestop trip up north.

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Kitty met Uncle C for only the second time in her life and H got to hang out with his little bro,

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and by hang out we mean of course, wrassle, play football and resurrect a Nintendo from the early '90s out of the attic.

Kitty also got to surprise her Great-Gran by turning up for tea and ginger-nuts on Sunday afternoon.

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Great-Gran sang lullabies and played clapping games and she absolutely loved it.
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And while Kitty was still hamming it up for the camera, and while the kettle boiled, we took one more photo;
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Four generations of girls, all related to Kitty by blood and all related to each other by marriage - I love this photo.

As it is now decidedly March I have come up with some March crafty aims, and even made a start on one of them.

So, number 1 - finish my Tsuspense Tsocks.
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It's the final sock from the 2008 Tsock Club that came out over the year in little tiny packages.

I'd knit the first Part but then it all hit the wall and something else came along by the time Part II landed and it became the very oldest WIP on my needles, so it's high time they were finished.

It's the most mind bending sock construction yet, starting with a heel and heading out in both directions so that with all the needles it looks utterly insane and rather like I'm knitting with an in-progress game of Pik-a-Stick.
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H rates it my craziest knitting yet!

I've got some other plans, including some knitted dishcloths to aleviate the dishcloth shortage, and a plan to finish the top of a Christmas quilt I started at least three Christmasses ago but for the moment I'm just hooked on these socks.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The evening after the afternoon before

March 001

It was a wonderful party. Most of my pictures are of the babies and so not internet friendly but imagine five very cute and wiggly little girls, and one very cheerful little boy who had all the ladies to himself for an afternoon.  The mummies drank tea, chatted, and demolished a serious quantity of cake.

We had scones with jam and cream, homemade lemon drizzle cake, and a second incarnation of my sandcastle cake, after the first one (which you can see in the background) emerged from the tin in a shape more reminiscent of a post tide-fight edifice.

As we brought out C's present she told us we were very naughty if we'd bought her something, to which we all giggled and said that technically we hadn't, it was just a little something that the babies had made, with a little help.

And when she'd unwrapped it and realised that it wasn't from a shop, and it wasn't coincidence that it had the babies' names on it, I think she was a little blown away, which is pretty much what we were aiming for.

Our little group of eight mummies have grown so close over the past few months, it's crazy to think I didn't know them this tine last year, and we're really going to miss C and little L, so it's nice to have given them a really good send off