Monday, December 14, 2009

What Happened to My Blog?

Well like many bloggers these days I moved. I moved to Facebook. You may, of course, pop over and see what I'm doing over there, but I'm my home is open to visiting on a friends-only only basis.

I may well update my blog in the next few months but... it's quite unlikely. I like the small, cosy world of Facebook where I can exchange virtual gifts with mates and play games of Bejewelled Blitz and Farkle and where I can share information and photographs without having to be casreful that the whole world is watching.

I'm here: Deb's Facebook Page
so come and see me when you're over there!

Debs xxx

Friday, September 18, 2009

When Top Down Hits, It Hits Bad

Once upon a time, I made all my sweaters in pieces, casting on at the bottom rib and knitting to the neck, then sewing all the pieces together to produce a final garment. The only problem with this method is that I absolutely detest sewing up and many of my completed projects sit waiting to be sewn up for weeks, even months, before I actually get round to doing it.

I had read about knitting in one piece from the bottom up, but the thought of all those stitches on the needles ~ and horrible twisty, metal circular needles at that ~ made me shiver. I steered well clear.

But I spotted the February Lady Sweater that was very popular with internet-connected knitters last year and I knew I had to try it. But it was knitted top down, starting at the neck. I knew I had to take the plunge and after a few weeks I had finished this:


Best of all? No sewing up!

My interest had been piqued. Over Easter I was drawn to cast on for my very own Liesl that I knitted in about ten days, from the top down, and again, no sewing involved at all in piecing it together. Okay, there were ends to sew in, but that's by the by:


And then I happened upon the Chevron Lace cardigan that was *gasp!* crocheted from the top down. I couldn't resist such a challenge and I produced this little number:


Not only top down but my first ever crochet garment.

And I have been besotted with top down knitting ever since. I've been trawling the net for top down patterns, I've been trawling Amazon for books with top down patterns, I've joined a top down Knitalong and I'm totally in love with top down!!

My current project, in case you're wondering, is a raglan cardigan with short sleeves that I'm knitting in an acrylic mix aran yarn. And yes - it's top down!

Friday, September 04, 2009


I shall be back for a more complete update in a few weeks.....

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Crochet Excitement!

I completd my first ever crochet garment whilst I was on holiday recently and have definitely caught the crochet bug... but the patterns I've found so far online have been less than appealing to say the least :(

Until yesterday evening.

I'd already found Interweave Crochet magazine at Get Knitted and planned on buying a couple of back issues; Pictish had also recommended the mag, so that was my plan. Then I realised that I could buy individual patterns from the magazine via the Interweave website. Result!

Here's the garment that started my mad-crochet-pattern-search, it's the Chevron Lace cardigan. Worked in one piece from the top down in a lovely chevron lace pattern (hence the name I guess!) and a very economical project as it only used 2.5 balls of Patons 100% Cotton DK :

I should try the Big Bow cardigan (but without the bow) as apparently it's fairly straightforward, but I quite fancy trying my hand at the Butterscotch cardigan as it's my kind of thing. Will it be too difficult for a novice crocheter? Time will tell!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Strange Ball of Yarn!

I started a new aran project last night and as I started to cast on, I pulled the yarn from the middle of a 400g ball of aran. I pulled out a right mess and was really surprised at what I found!
The centre of the yarn wasn't a long length at all - it was a huge bundle of smaller sections of yarn, all about 30cm (or 12 inches) in length. There weren't just one or two of them, there was a huge handful:


At first I though a mouse had somehow got into the centre of the ball ---- but the balls of yarn had been in a bag that had no signs of rodent activity, and the ends hadn't been chewed and there were no tell-tale 'mousey' signs in the ball!

Mr M thinks that somehow, somewhere, in the balling up process, someone has shoved a load of ends into the centre of the ball to make up the weight! He has a suspicious mind!!


I should add that the yarn was bought a while ago from a mail order company that has now gone out of business but the yarn was actually produced by a well-known spinning company.
I've never had this happen before - how odd!!

If anyone can throw any light on this I'd be very interested to hear!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Few Timely Updates

I realised that I haven't shown you any of my finished items lately (although you can see them by clicking on the Flickr slideshow at the side of my blog) so here are a few things that have been finished recently:

A pair of plain ordinary socks knitted in Opal Prisma, terracotta colourway

A little baby jacket knitted in Novita Marine DK for a friend's new baby boy
A fusion knit cardigan knitted in Hayfield Authentic Cotton Rich DK
in a beautiful, pale terracotta shade
These three finished items have something in comon - they are all knitted using yarn that has been received as part of a swap of some sort, either Karma swap or straight yarn swap. I think that a good proportion of my yarn stash is beginning to share that common factor!
I'm now working on a chevron lace crochet cardigan that I'm working from the top down. It's a real first for for as not only have I never crocheted a garment top down before, I've never CROCHETED a garment before! It's turning out extremely well and I only have a few more repeats to work at the bottom of the bodice before it's done.
I'm also working on a pair of bright, primary coloured socks for Dan to take camping in a few weeks time. I'm up to the heel of the second sock so they should be finished in a few days too.
The summer WIPs are soon to be hibernated though because there's no point in finishing off summer knitwear just as the Autumn mists start to roll in is there?

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Very Green Day

I've had a very green day today :)

I've dried three loads of washing outside and saved electricity because I haven't used the tumble dryer (I never use the tumbler when I can dry washing by any other way though), I walked to the post office instead of using the car when I went to post some woolly parcels, and I've recycled three lots of yarn to other people via the Karma forums. The recycling of yarn with added karma is a fabulous idea and I urge you all to try it :)

We had a very green day yesterday too, taking two overgrown trees and an old fence that was really a health and safety hazard down to the recycling skips in the city where my parents live. The trees were terribly overgrown and Dad is so old and frail now that he is unable to chop them down, and the fence had fallen down several years ago. There's lots more to do in my parents' garden, but it's a start! Next time I promise I'll take some photos!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


We were away for the weekend in the caravan in the Peak District, helping my dad to celebrate his 80th birthday and had a lovely time.... we came home and I put some washing into the washing machine. When the wash cycle ended and I was taking the washing out of the machine to dry on the lin outside, I noticed there were several ants by the side of the washer; they seemed to be crawling from under the kick panel at the bottom of the sink in the utility room.

Now we've had ants under the back door step for a while, but they've also migrated to patio and near to the front door. A quick shout to Mr Melody who started to swat them as best he could. And then.... he pulled the kick panel off the sink unit.... and there were hundreds of ants. Small ones, big ones with wings... crawling out of the hole around the drain pipe

I really don't like ants and it made me feel sick but strangely fascinated... I couldn't help Mr M at all :(

Luckily Mr M managed to swat almost all of them (goodness knows how he did it) and squirted them with ant powder, but I can't get the thought out of my head and I've been itching all afternoon.

Someone tell me it's not just us!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I finally managed to finish my Blaze jacket off this week. I was unhappy that the sleeves looked far too long after finishing and so I gave it my usual handwash and dry flat treatment. I was also able to seam press it because I had used a cotton yarn:

You can still see that the sleeves are a touch too long; next time I knit this jacket I'll knit the sleeves an inch shorter and possibly decrease a couple of stitches around the back neck band.
I knitted Blaze in Patons 100% Cotton DK in the Pomegranate shade on 4mm Brittany Birch needles; I left off the pockets and I made a few minor modifications when shaping the neckline.
As I was sewing Blaze together I thoght that it would only be fit to wear in the caravan as a throw-on cardie in the evenings. I have, however, worn Blaze with a pair of smart trousers and a smart white top and it looked great! So it's been promoted to my 'good' knitteds pile rather than my 'scruffy' knitteds pile!
And Finally - a close up of Blaze's fully-fashioned goodness:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hay Fever?

My nose is absolutely streaming and I feel under the weather.... I don't think I'll be working tomorrow if I feel like this!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Mr M Back in Town

Mr M is back from his foreign travels and has unloaded his suitcase into the washing basket.
And it's raining :(

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Camping ShakeDown

You may remember that we bought a brand new caravan back at Easter time and I'm happy to report that we have just returned from our very first camping holiday with said 'van. We probably had the best family holiday we've ever had and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Yes, it rained some of the time, and yes, the weather was cool because we were up in the Welsh mountains, but it just means that we all need lots of camping jumpers, hoodies and socks for next time!

We arrived and Mr M reversed the caravan into the pitch with little or no difficulty whatsoever (the joys of having driven a truck in his younger years!) and we put up the awning easily:


We stayed in a beautiful part of North Wales where there were trees, wildlife and wild flowers:




And had the added benefit of being within travelling distance of Stash of Chester....

Much to my surprise, Mr M insisted that I called into Colinette on the way home as we literally drove straight past the door! You can understand that it would have been rude not to buy something as I was forcibly pushed in through the door whilst the boys had sandwiches and drinks in the caravan on the car park...

And the best thing about leaving and coming back home? We're going back to spend our two weeks holiday there in the summer!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

LK 150 Arrives Back Home

I loaned my Silver Reed LK 150 knitting machine to a friend several years ago and went over to her house last week to pick it up as it has an important job to do; I've been asked to teach the children in littlest Little Melody's class to knit and I thought that the younger and less dextrous children could use the plastic bed machine to produce some knitting and feel included in the 'knitting workshop'. I cleaned and oiled the machine this afternoon, cast on and knitted a few rows. The Little Melodies heard the commotion and wanted to knit of course :-)

I was quite surprised that they found it so easy to use and they were soon whizzing away on it, the littlest Melody announcing that he was knitting a washcloth for himself!!. They were so excited and encouraged by the ease of the machine that littlest Little Melody is taking his yarny masterpiece to Show and Tell on Tuesday to show all his friends at school! I can see lots of blankets being produced by Class 2 this term, the only problem is that I'll have to do the finishing by hand.


The LK150 is cleaned and oiled and ready to start work


Two pieces of yarny artwork produced with the flick of a wrist

The LK 150 is so light, compact and easy to set up that I'm thinking about using it in the caravan when we go on holiday.

Now THAT is what I call a home from home!

Thursday, April 30, 2009


The Rossetti/Cecilia combo cardie is completed; all I have to do now is wash and block the main parts and then piece them together. And another fusion knit cardie pattern has been re-written, a tension swatch knitted, washed and blocked and the Bank Holiday weekend is just around the corner...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Making Progress

Well my knitting certainly seems to have moved forward these past few weeks! Maybe it's because I'm not spending so much time surfing the 'net! I dusted off and oiled my mid-gauge knitting machine at the weekend and managed to complete the second sleeve and both front on my Rossetti/Cecilia combination cardigan; it's been sitting half made for several months so it's about time it was finished. The reason it went into hibernation is that I wasn't happy with the very shallow neck shaping of Rossetti and I wasn't overjoyed with the shallow borders either. However, a flash of inspiration found me combining two of Louisa Harding's designs to come up with a deeper neckline and garter stitch edges, both of which seem to have worked well. (I only have another front band and the neckband to do before the dreaded sewing up - yuck!

Here's what the cardigan looked like before with just the back and one sleeve knitted:

Hopefully I'll have more to report on its progress this weekend!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spring is Finally Here!

I can tell when Spring has made an appearance, it's when the winter clothes are packed away in readiness for next Autumn, and the Spring and Summer clothes and shoes come out of hibernation. I've sorted out a large pile of clothes to recycle so there will be plenty of room in the wardrobe for any new ones that I buy!

Talking of new clothes, I've completed a fair few knitted things:

The first one is Liesl, that was my Easter knitting project. This was a really quick and easy knit, top down cardigan that took a bargainous three-and-a-half 100g balls of Sirdar Spree chunky to knit. I knitted it on a 7mm circular needle and used 7mm wooden DPNs for the sleeves. It only took about thirty minutes to sew the yarn ends in and stitch the buttons on to complete it once the knitting was done. I bought the Spree chunky from Kemps Woolshop a couple of years ago as it was being discontinued, so in total Liesl cost about £2.40 in yarn and I already had the buttons in stash. Bargain!!!

Liesl cardigan

Another bargain is the Coffee Sorbet jacket that I finished sewing up this week too. I knitted this in the now discontinued Patons Sorbet chunky yarn that I bought again for the princely sum of 69p from Kemps Woolshop. I used 12 x 50g balls for this, making it £8.28 for the yarn and once again the wooden buttons were in my stash already.

Coffee Sorbet jacket

Two cotton, handknitted cardigans for under £11? Completely bargainous, don't you think?

PS - if you're thinking of grabbing a bargain at Kemps Woolshop, here is the direct link:
Save some yarn for me won't you?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Campers

Last weekend we picked up 'the big thing' that we've been thinking about for quite a while - a lovely new caravan! It's a Dethleffs Rally Nomad 640V. We parked in on our drive and we tentatively spent the last two nights sleeping in it. The boys were so excited on the first night that virtually no-one got any sleep - they went to sleep at 10.30pm and woke up with the birdsong at 5.30am! Consequently, everyone felt the effects yesterday and not surprisingly, we all had a good night's sleep last night.

This is the wonderful thing parked outside on the drive:

and this is the view of the inside:
the kitchen area
the living area
the boys have fixed beds
After just two nights, I can honestly say that it's warm, cosy and very comfortable and there's lots of space and light. There is also plenty of storage space, a big fridge and a lovey shiny cooker and hob.
All we have to do now is decide where we're going on our summer hols and I have to knit a few camping cardies and caravanning socks for the Melody Mob!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


...I'm tired. I've obviously been working hard again!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

At Last!

I can show you the dishcloths I knitted for the dishcloth swap:


both knitted from the Wedding Washcloth pattern by Purl Bees. I knitted one in moss stitch in Wendy Supreme Cotton DK in Toasted Almond and the paler, stocking stitch one in cream Novita Tennessee cotton. Both are fabulous cottons for washcloths and/or dishcloths and I recommend them both.

And 'At Last!' we bought a rather large item yesterday. I'll tell you more about it next weekend *wink*

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cotton On to Good Stuff

Well as you know I popped into Cucumberpatch/K2tog last weekend... and this is what I came home with:


A garment's worth of each shade. I'm really happy with this purchase as I've been wanting the Leaf, Thistle and Poppy shades for ages. I also wanted six balls of a shade called Toasted Almond but there wasn't enough stock in the shop unfortunately and so I decided to buy a garment's worth of Twilleys Supreme Cotton DK, which is a lovely organic cotton with a more matte appearance. Unfortunately it's twice the price per 100g :-(

I was lucky in that I found the Toasted Almond online though, so bought it as I know I'll regret it if I don't!


It's a slightly mauvey,beigey colour in real life and difficult to describe. It will, however, knit up beautifully into a one colour version of Valentina from the new Rowan book The Lenpur Linen Collection that I can't wait to start. I want to finish Blaze first though!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Topic of Conversation

I popped into K2Tog in Wolstanton yesterday afternoon as I was up in Stoke-on-Trent visiting my parents for the day; I always try to pop into K2Tog when I'm there as it's usually the only physical yarn shop I get to visit. I was wearing my February Lady Sweater over a white top and with my jeans and I was slightly embarassed to find that everyone, including the ladies who worked in the shop, were interested in the pattern, yarn and how the garment was made :-?

I did let them in on the secret though, explaining how the garment is knitted top down and how the sleeve stitches are held on waste yarn before completing them on DPNs. I think there may be a few more FLSs in circulation after my visit! lol!

My dad looked ill though, he has his follow up visit at the hospital on Wednesday...

Monday, March 09, 2009

On to New Things

Spring is just around the corner, the evenings are getting lighter each day and the weather is warming up and so it seems the right time of year to look forward to the warmer summer months and to cast on for projects new.

Henrietta was completed but the result isn't good; the cardie is far too big and the neckline far, far too low and so it will be frogged and the remaining yarn used to knit another, more suitable cardie. It looks fine in the pic, but looks horrendous when it's on!


Never mind, we live and learn! As one door slams in your face another one is always guaranteed to swing open and with this in mind I cast on the stitches for a new Seaton cardigan in Spring Green, Zettl Colorado cotton:


I wore my Seaton cardie a lot last year and it's a design that I know fits well. I'm knitting it in one shade again like the previous Seaton and so far I like the way it's coming out.

"Socks? Socks?" I hear you cry. Yes, I have a pair on the needles as I need to replace my socks from this year. I seem to have worn my woolly socks loads this year and sadly had to chuck my pink Kim socks into the recycling bin after they developed holes in the toes. So here are the latest socks in tanny, rusty Opal Prisma that I think I got in swap of some description from Murdo. They will always remind me of her orange muppety fur anyway!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dishcloths A-Go-Go

I've just set up the Dishcloth or Washcloth Swap 2009 on Swap-Bot for all the forum members - get signing up!

Monday, February 23, 2009

More Good Karma

I received some fabulous karmic swaps this morning and I am still knocked out by people's generosity and kind hearts:

I received some fabulous Spring cotton mix sock yarn and some luvly Spring flavoured Regia sock yarn through the Neverending Sock Yarn Karma Swap, along with some dark choccie and some fabulous novelty buttons which I didn't expect and were therefore doubly fab!


And a lovely parcel arrived from Croatia.... in the packet, well packed with bubble wrap and in their own little personalised packet, were two sets of the most gorgeous stitch markers that have been lovingly hand-made and posted to ME! Again, in the packet was another unexpected surprise of some wonderfully aromatic teabags that I will save for when the house is quiet and I have half an hours' knitting time scheduled.


On a less positive note, there has been something playing on my mind of late that, I have to say, disappoints me somewhat. I cannot for the life of me understand why certain people continue to judge other people and their actions by their own low standards. Enough said. Karma will prevail I have no doubt of that.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Fun Fur, Fun Filled Scarf

Those who know me well will know that I don't have a lot of fun fur in my stash - I received this in a Karma swap recently and knitted two balls of it up into a soft and silky scarf for my mum:


I like it so much that I'll probably knit one for myself and STILL have yarn left over! lol! So thank you, Kath in Manchester for this swap yarn :-)

I used two 50g balls of Knitting Craft Knitting Yarn (exactly what it says on the label) on 6.5mm Brittany Birch needles and knitted until I only had enough yarn to cast off. It's not a hugely long scarf but I don't want my mother tripping over it, now do I? *smiles to self*

Friday, February 06, 2009

Deb is

currently obsessed with Facebook. Normal service will be resumed shortly.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Livin' La Vida Loca

I've got far too much time on my hands!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Sparks Fly

off the sewing up needles and I've sewn up (don't faint Dreamcatcher and FatCat!! lol!!):


or rather darned the ends in of my February Lady Sweater. Knitted in Wendy Aran with Wool in a lovely, deep red shade called Venetian Red and fastened with horn buttons from my button stash. Took bang on 400g of yarn - I only had about 30cm left after the final cast off! Eeeep!



Ta Da!! The Sirdar hoodie from Simple Easy Knits booklet, design F. Adapted for the knitting machine and knitted really quickly. The downside being that it's taken .... err..... months to sew up... proving that you can't rush a good thing!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Three of 24

Another hat no less:


And look what Jim brought for me this morning :))

Boring bits you need to know: knitted in Loweth Windermere aran that I 'found' whilst stash-diving for something else (heh heh!!) and knitted on 5mm Pony Rosewood needles. Pattern is Design H from Hayfield Favourite Aran Knits which Jim brought for me the other day if you remember. There are some stunning aran designs in this booklet and well worth getting your own Jim to deliver it for you ;)

Off to make a large coffee and browse Rowan 45...

Friday, January 16, 2009

The One Where Pepsi Adopts Sock Yarn

Our two little kittens are fast becoming adult cats. They might be sisters but they are so different in temperament; Cocoa is becoming quite chubby and really can't be bothered to do much if it involves jumping or running and she loves anything that resembles an elastic band. She has been known to steal elastic bands from shelves and steal those rubber charity wristband thingies to snuggle up to.

Pepsi on the other hand is far more active and can already jump our six foot fence from the garden (whereas Cocoa has rather cunningly dug herself an escape tunnel underneath the fence) and likes anything that makes a crinkly sound. Over Christmas she was spotted on more than one occasion making off with a crinkly-paper-wrapped sweetie in her mouth from the box of Quality Street on the coffee table and has taken rather a shine to one of Little Melody's soft toys, a little piglet called Pigsley.

Just look what I caught Miss Pepsi making off with this morning, holding it in her mouth like a kitten:

The leftover yarn from The Biker Beanie Hat which I'd finished just a few hours earlier and put everything on the desk ready to take a photo of:
Maybe Pigsley will be let off the hook now?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I 'Heart' Jim the Postman

Just look what he brought for me today!

Yes, I really do love Jim the Postman.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

As I Promised

I went off to take photos of my current projects and here they are:

A hat and fingeless mitts set for my friend's Christmas present. Mitts completed between Christmas and New Year but the hat is the first one of my 24 in 2009. Yay me!! The hat does need a ribbon threaded through the eyelet holes to finish it off though so I've got to get that :?
Mr Melody liked the hat for my friend so much that he wanted one for himself, but a bloke's version. Here's a biker beanie hat that is supposed to be worn under a cycling helmet. He wants to wear it under his safety helmet on site and I don't see the difference. So I cast on!
Almost finished, just a sleeve to go. The ubiquitous February Lady Sweater in Wendy aran.
And the rest! My cap sleeved, one button cardie in grey Pioneer DK, the start of Henrietta's second sleeve and the yarn and needles for Blaze. Half of Blaze is done but is currently in hibernation.
That completes the round-up of current WIPs Chez Melody. I'd like to finish Mr M's biker Beanie first as it's so cold at the moment. He hasn't been on site yet this New Year but he'll want it when he does! Swiftly followed by the FLS which I want to wear. Better get crackin' then eh?

Friday, January 09, 2009

Is it Really Two Weeks Since Christmas?

I guess it is! I hope you all had a Happy Chrsitmas and that 2009 is getting off to a good start.

2009 is supposed to be the Year of the Stashalong for me and I've devised a method to help me to control those yarn buying urges. I have printed off twelve yarn buying 'vouchers' and put them into my Yarn Bank. If I want to buy yarn I have to use one of the vouchers per 'lot', so one voucher per jumperful, scarf-ful, or whatever. Hopefully this will give me the flexibility of buying yarn without feeling guilty but having a control over what I buy. we can only try it and see!!

The new year has started with me at home and thinking about what I'd like to do in the future. Many of you know that I passed my PGCE in the summer and I started a teaching job in the local area. Sadly this didn't quite work out the way I'd planned and I ended up working silly hours and this began to take its toll on both me and my wonderful family. I decided that something had to change and so I resigned at the end of November. So - I'm looking for a new job!!

In the meantime though I have lots of knitting to catch up on!! I'm going off to take a photo of my WIPs right now so that we can judge progress throughout the year!! Back in a tick....