Monday, August 27, 2007

A Bank Holiday Full of Challenges

I set a Bank Holiday Challenge for everyone on the Crafty Theads ‘n’ Yarns forum - to cast on a project on Friday afternoon/evening, and to have it completed by midnight on Bank Holiday Monday.
I was hopeless as usual, as despite actually setting the challenge, didn’t know what to knit or sew to compete *rolls eyes*

I decided to knit a dolly clothes set for a little friend of Danny’s who is five this week, rather than spend money buying a pressie. I knitted a size 12" chest preemie size cardigan in Brett’s Shimmer 4 ply (as I have a small mountain of it left over from my now-closed eBay shop), and the little hat to go with it. I’m still knitting it, so you’ll have to wait to see the finished dolly set.

I also set myself a non-crafting challenge to actually go out to the local town to find some long, knee-high boots for this winter as I’ve spent the last one or two years trying to find boots that will actually zip-up over my calves. I’ve got small feet, and muscular calves as a result of too much dog-walking and running, and boot manufacturers don’t cater for my shape of leg or smallness of foot generally. I can’t find boots that come up to my knee and actually fit over the bulgey bit of my calf muscle.

I tried all the usual suspects, but found either no boots at all or none that would fit :( So we went out on Bank Holiday Sunday to Marks and Spencer at Fosse Park to check out the boot section.

And lo and behold! Boots that fit!! I had to go up a foot size, but heck, they're fabulous boots!! The cowboy boots wouldn't usually be my first choice of style admittedly, but they look fabulous with a shortie denim skirt. And the high heeled suede boots are to die for and exactly what I wanted

Mr Melody was so fed up with traipsing round shoe departments and shoe shops that when I found two pairs that fitted, he insisted that I bought both pairs. I knew there was a reason for dragging him with me.....

Friday, August 24, 2007

Holiday Stashing - Part Deux

This is the final instalment of my Holiday Stashing piccies, taken before I stashed all the yarn and books away in their respective places.

Books, books and more books from Stash in Chester. Oh and 8 balls of Noro's Cash Iroha in a gorgeous mulberry colour to knit Agnes from Noro Knits, two pairs of Brittany Birch needles and two balls of Regia sock yarn:

And four more Colinette books and some cotton DK for dish/facecloths at bargainous 50p a ball from Ar-Y-Gweill in Llanrwst. (Notice that I managed to pick up the discontinued Portmanteau book from here? Yippee!):

I bought so many books on holiday that I had to tidy up my shelves in my crafting room today to make room for them all on the bookshelf *chuckles*
On a positive note though, I now have more free shelf space to store the yarns-that-I-want-to-knit-next rather than sticking them out of view in the guest wardrobe :)

This weekend is Bank Holiday weekend, so I'm planning to get some crafting stuff done - there are so many things I want to do, so hopefully a few will be achieved. I've set myself another Bank Holiday challenge to either knit Eve from Femme Fatale using the new Giotto yarn that I won on eBay last week, or make a start on a fusion-knit. Or sew myself a new top Or maybe make some new cushion covers for the cushions our sofa - I have the fabric and I have the cushion innards, so I really should put the two together :? There are so many crafting projects going round in my mind, but at least the crafting mojo is back :)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

My Wardrobe is Out of Control!!

My wardrobe is full to bursting with clothes. I have lots of pairs of shoes, boots and sandals. I also have a large yarn stash and a fairly large fabric stash.

At one time, before I had children, and I went to work in an office for a living, I sewed all my own clothes, even my suits. Just before I found I was having my eldest son, I attended an evening City and Guilds Tailoring course but only went for a term and a half as I quickly realised that I wouldn’t be able to tailor stuff to fit my ever-expanding tummy! My mum was an excellent seamstress in her day, and still prefers to tailor her own clothes as she is able to attain a custom fit.

So I am able to knit and sew my own stuff without resorting to shop-bought clothes.

I saw an interesting entry on someone’s blog over the weekend - Don't Talk, Just Knit - about the Wardrobe Refashioning blog that aims to refashion clothes to reduce the amount of money spent on new clothing and textiles, which suits my reducing, reusing and recycling ideal very nicely.

Just one last visit to M&S and I’ll join up, I promise....

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Week of Unexpected Parcels

You expected Part Deux didn’t you? LOL! Well I’ll do part deux next I promise!

Our postie regularly delivers packages to our house (no surprise there then), but this week I’ve had one or two surprise packages arriving at Chez Melody, and I have to tell you about them cos they are so scrummy. Three surprise packages turned up in all, in amongst the ones I knew were being delivered, so I’ve had a busy week answering the door to Mr Postie.

My first package arrived on Monday morning - my one skein swap parcel from my swap partner on the Crafty Threads ‘n’ Yarns forum. Just look what Granny Smith sent to me:

A ball of Opal sock yarn in lilac Magic, and a skein of undyed sock yarn with a set of Kool-Aid dyes. And an Apple room freshener as her clue! Perfect in every way! Thank you Granny Smith!
Then two surprise packages arrived on Wednesday, a squishy one and a heavy one, and just look what was inside!

I am knocked out by the utterly superb Tess Dawson yarns , and I've been stroking them ever since..... the Baby alpaca yarn is to die for it's so soft, and the colours are stunning! I want to knit the Boutique cardigan from one of the Jaeger books, JB30 - the cardigan that has all the buttons sewn over it, I'll find a piccie if I can - and now that Jaeger have finally closed their doors on their yarn spinning operation, the Tess Dawson Merino 4ply is a perfect substitute. A Very Generous Yarn Fairy sent these yarns to me, as she knew that I'd been drooling over them - a huge thank you to you, you know who you are *wink*; you know that I'll have so much fun testing them out.... I have plans for the Alpaca DK already!

In the heavy package there was this mysterious parcel wrapped in pink birthday paper, but I was warned not to open it until my birthday at the end of the month. I do so hate waiting to open presents, and patience isn't my strongest virtue where brightly wrapped gifts are concerned.... *sigh*

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Holiday Stashing - Part Un

I was a very good Melody on our holiday to North Wales and was very restrained where yarn shopping was concerned - honest!

On our way up to Llanberis we stopped at Abakhan Fabrics for a picnic lunch. The boys were able to stretch their legs on the adventure playground and swings with Mr Melody, while I dodged into the yarn shop for a quick reccie. I came out without buying any yarn, but did buy an open-ended zip! That's totally unlike me.

On our first proper day in Wales we popped into Craig-Y-Don to do food shopping; boring, I know, but someone's gotta do it. I went looking for the Wool Post as last year the shop had moved to smaller premises on the opposite side of the road to where it had been previously. But this year? It had disappeared completely I’m afraid :(

Probably the best yarn-shop-stop this holiday was the day trip to Colinette to visit a few of my forum friends who were attending a workshop there, and to actually visit the Colinette shop in person. I had a list of the yarns I wanted to buy in my head, and had taken the only two Colinette books I possessed with me, you know, to consult in case I forgot what I wanted and how many skeins I needed.

However, fairly soon after arriving my list went out of my head completely, and so I set about chatting to Jackie, Joy, Christina, Linda, Carola, Diane at Colinette, and the ‘Pirate Purls, Knitting Girls’ (who were the Colinette Paparazzi for the day), whilst idly fondling yarns and oohhhing and aaaahing at the colours.

I bought a stack of pattern booklets from the Colinette shop, three skeins of Parisienne from the millshop itself and ordered seven skeins of Zanziba to be dyed in the raspberry colourway to knit Rachael from the Portmanteau booklet. The book is now unfortunately discontinued, so Diane kindly gave me a copy of the pattern with my yarn. I also bought skeins of the new Iona aran weight yarn in a lovely denimy blue colourway called Slate, to knit something from the new Iona book, which will probably be the Ula sweater or cardigan.

The books:

I also bought a couple of pairs of Brittany Birch straights - which have recently become my straight needles of choice - and a set of five Prym bamboo sock DPNs which are probably the slinkiest and smoothest bamboo DPNs I’ve knitted with. THe DPNs are not in this piccie though cos they're in a sock!

My haul from Colinette:

The Melody Family had to run like the wind to catch the 1pm train to Welshpool on the Llanfair Caereinion Steam Railway I can tell you!

More stashing exploits later.....