Sunday, October 29, 2006


Ooops! I tripped while I was going up the stairs on Friday evening and fell awkwardly onto my left wrist. Result - one wrist in a splint for a week. I haven't tried knitting yet, but it hurts to move it so I don't think there will be much progress on any WIPs this week :(
I'm not supposed to go into work either, but we'll have to see about that tomorrow...

Now if someone who works in the medical profession could just send me an NHS splint for my right hand, I'd have a lovely matching pair of NHS issue, velcro wristwarmers for winter *wink*

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Did Someone Say Story Sacks?

I'd never made a story sack in my life until a couple of weeks ago. Now the preschool where I work has asked me to make some story sacks for them too, and some PE bags for the children who are leaving to go to school at Christmas, as presents from preschool. I'll have them down to a fine art soon! I brought a sack of fabric home from work last Friday, and have already spotted some fabric that I can use for the gym bags, and some plain white fabric to stitch onto the bags as small panels so that we can ‘write' the children's names on the individual bags. I'll be going into production at this rate!

Anywhoodle - knitterly stuff:

I managed to complete the fusion knit jacket last weekend, and sat and knitted the last bit of the collar in bed last Sunday morning. Well, it has been half term this week!

And the body pieces of the machine knitted merino cardigan for Mum are done too. I only have to knit the ribbing and bands on and that becomes a TFO as well. I have decided to frog the ribbing on the back of the cardigan as it flips outwards and I think it's due to handknitting the ribbing first, increasing stitches in the last row and then hanging the stitches onto the machine needles, so I'll frog it back and knit it downwards. That should work. And I'll finish the rest of the pieces in the same way to match.

With two WIPs out of the way, or very nearly, I have to decide what fusion knit projects should take their place. I definitely want to knit another fusion knit half ‘n' half jacket as it turned out really well - I especially like the way the collar ‘falls'. I definitely want to knit another merino cardigan in a different colour too, since it's so quick and easy to knit. I really enjoyed the designing part of this project, and drawing the block to knit from.
To fill the place of the WIPs just completed, I cast on the stitches to knit the Celandine vest from Lousa Harding's first book 'Gathering Roses', using a Country Style double knitting yarn from my stash. I've only had the yarn for about eleven years, so it's about time it was used.... *wink*

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Knitted Dishcloth Cuts Cleaning Time in Half!

Yep it's true! I knitted this little baby last week and washed it straight away to ensure its absorbency. It had been mopping up spilled tea and coffee all week on kitchen duties, but I decided that it should be put to the test with the Big Kitchen Clean-Up

I usually clean the kitchen with antibacterial spray and one of those blue and white stripey J-cloths, a sponge scrubby thing, hob cleaner, paper kitchen towels, Fairy Power Spray, and a lot of elbow grease. And a little squirt of Cif on the sink.
Today I cleaned the whole kitchen, including the work surfaces, cupboard and drawer doors, tiles, hob and sink with this little beauty, using only a solution of normal household bleach in hot water. And a little squirt of Cif on the sink.
I was amazed how little thing held up to the rigorous test I put it through. The hob was covered in oil splashes and the dishcloth made short work of getting it gleaming clean again; the sink wasn't looking its best and once again Clothy didn't fail and the sink came up brilliantly shiny. Helped out by a little squirt of Cif, of course.

And the most amazing thing was that it took under an hour to do the whole kitchen. I think it must be the garter ridges that give Clothy super cleaning powers. And of course, it has to be better for the environment than all those other sprays and cleaning agents that I would normally use.

Now for a little promotion for two knitting chat forums that I frequent. Both forums are extremely friendly and are both fairly new. The first one is the Knitting Connection forum which is run by Paula, and the other one is the Knitting Haven forum which is run by Holly. The Knitting Connection forum currently has a yarn auction which is running until 21st October to celebrate National Knitting Week, and there are lots of knitterly goodies on offer. Why don't you pop on over to both the Knitting Haven forum and the Knitting Connection forum? I'm sure that you'll meet people you already know on there!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

One of My Personal Irritations

I don’t know about you, but I find online stores and mail order shops that advertise products and don’t actually have them in stock excessively annoying. I ordered and paid for a couple of (knitting) books from a mail order company last week, only to receive a letter yesterday to say that none of the books were available. And a few weeks ago I ordered and paid for some yarn from an eBay seller only to find that one of the colours of yarn I ordered was out of stock even though there appeared to be over 900 balls of that colour in stock. Why advertise them and take my money from me if they are not available to buy? But at least these sellers were honest enough to admit that the products were not in stock; for a supplier or online store to say that the product has been sent out but has been ‘lost in the post’ while waiting for the product to come back into stock is downright dishonest.

Get Knitted appear to have the right approach. The item is displayed on their website but the customer is informed on the webpage if the item is out of stock, so at least the buyer can decide to shop elsewhere for the product or wait until it comes back into stock. By advertising the product, paying for it and finding it to be out of stock the customer does not have the flexibility to shop elsewhere. Which is, of course, why the less reputable online stores do exactly that.

And this is why I won’t shop with certain online shops in the future. I can always find the products I want at a more reputable store, and support them with my loyalty and custom.

Monday, October 09, 2006

WIP Update.

First some great news - I won a competition last week, to guess how many grandchildren the owner of the Knitting Haven forum board, Holly, has. I did a bit of detective work on the message board and posted the correct answer first. Look what I was able to choose as my prize!!

IRL the yarn is a beautiful mix of pale green, pink and light blue colours and I'm just itching to make some socks for me!! I'm never good at competitions and never win, so this came as a total surprise!

I'm very good at posting the start of projects aren't I? But rubbish at posting piccies of completed ones. So here are my current WIPs in their raw state. We have, in order of appearance, all the current WIPs for me which are: a cerise half ‘n' half fusion knitted jacket, ‘Grace' jacket from Rowan magazine 27 in a lovely lilac shade of Rowan All Seasons Cotton, and the start of this, the Ribby Cardi from ChicKnits in Jaeger Extra Fine Merino aran which I cast on last week at Wendy's house:

Next we have WIPs for other people - notably the mink coloured merino cardigan which I'm machine knitting slowly for my mum and the Opal Magic socks for Dad:

The final picture is of my Raspberry Splash mohair cardigan that I finished knitting several weeks ago, but still need to find the impetus/time to stitch it up:

I've chosen Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Aran from my yarn stash to knit the cardi in, as it matches the stocking stitch tension exactly. Denver Jon sent the yarn to me last year, and I'm using Nero Navy; I think it will make a very warm and smart Ribby and I need a navy cardi or jacket to wear for work. So far the yarn is working beautifully and is slipping over the Brittany Birches a treat - it is glorious stuff to work with.

I'm so close to finishing the cerise jacket, with only the front bands and collar to knit, but they're the fiddly bits aren't they? Hopefully I'll be able to finish this by the end of this week. Then I'm finishing the projects where very little work is needed to complete them.

I've also managed to overcome for desire for the Sirdar Salsa I was talking about the other day, and found some navy boucle DK yarn in my yarn stash which might be a good subby for the Celandine tank

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Story Sacks

Apart from being badly tempted to buy some Sirdar Salsa DK yarn on special offer in the colours I love (Flamingo and Sapphire) I'm doing pretty well on the new Stashalong; but then it is only the third day in! I did think about bringing my Day Off stashalonging to the 3rd of the month, but thought it was taking the you-know-what really.

To alleviate my desire for yarn, I made 23 story sacks for my sons' school over the weekend, and finished them off yesterday afternoon:

there are 16 larger ones and 7 smaller ones. There would have been 8 smaller ones but I got a bit scissor happy as I was cutting them out of the fabric.

In case you're wondering what on earth a story sack is, it's a fabric bag with a drawstring top that holds a story book, a cuddly toy associated with said story book and a card that shows the parent or carer what sound the child should be learning when reading the story with a simple question to answer on the text. It was great to have my sewing machine and overlocker back in action again!