Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Still knitting hexipuffs... slowly!

Well the last week hasn't been my craftiest - between Little Miss being ill, me getting sick, and then D having a migrane at the weekend which left me to entertain both kids, I've had neither the time or inclination to knit. However I managed to make some progress with my Beekeeper's Quilt and I'm now up to 140 'puffs. A quick look at last week's update tells me I must have managed 6 this week, which is actually much better than I expected. 

I'm not planning on joining them until they are (almost) finished but every so often it's nice to have a play with them all to see how they might look as a quilt. I enjoy thinking of all the possible different layouts. Today Little Miss grouped them by colour while I was laying them out - and then bounced and rolled about in them, but I managed to get a photo first - and I'm pleased with it so far, but also aware that I am probably less than 20% of the way through *sigh*

At the moment, a gradated rainbow effect is seeming the most likely, but there is going to be plenty of time to decide. This project is going to test my patience to the limits! (I found a few little hexi FOs to  keep me motivated in the meantime, I could make them into something smaller at any time so the pressure is off. ) 

YARNS: various yarns including lots of Knitting Goddess Mini-skeins

I've found/pinned some stunning crochet ideas over the last few weeks, and every Tuesday when I visit all the other One a Day posts, I get a longing to hook something colourful, fun and QUICK. I really must!

This week the plan is to work out what I can make with the bits and pieces of yarn I have here as I don't want to buy anything else before Unravel. There are a couple of crochet items outstanding for Year of Projects, so maybe I should start there...?

If you have a Pinterest board which is dedicated to knitting or crochet projects, please feel free to leave a link in the comments - I'd love to browse the things you've found too. 

Oh, before I go, I'll be announcing the details of my first Blogiversary Giveaway in the coming days - once everything is finalised - so keep your eyes peeled. There are going to be some exciting prizes which have been donated by some of my favourite crafty people!!!!!! Can't wait to tell you all about it soon! 
Sunday, 29 January 2012

Crafting with kids: Recycled Lion

My Boy's homework this weekend was to make a model animal. He knew he definitely wanted to make a cat, and we decided to upcycle some of his old clothes to do it. I was very keen not to go down the route of a model made from junk packaging which would then need to be kept and not recycled.

We had already scoured the internet and Pinned some cats he liked the look of for inspiration, then set about looking for suitable fabrics. He decided an old yellow t-shirt would make a great lion and a brown one would be good for his mane and "the fluffy bits on his tail".  

After we designed the lion together this morning, he drew the face on with an air erasable pen and embroidered it by hand, using a little felt triangle for his nose. He recycled some stuffing from an Ikea cushion which cost 89p as that worked out much cheaper than the filler I use for my hexipuffs. My sewing machine was a bit too fast for him - especially with this stretchy jersey fabric - so after trying to sew the head with me, I had to sew the body parts together after he'd filled them all. I think it was a really good experience for him, as it's the first time he's really made anything like this. (Me too.) In a society where things are mass produced and are largely disposable, I think it's important for children to understand how things are made and to appreciate the time and effort that goes into them.

This afternoon both of the kids want to make some lion paintings - hopefully that'll keep them occupied while I cook the roast! 
Saturday, 28 January 2012

Snippets (of life): The times they are a changin'

Source: Natalie Dee
Yesterday afternoon Little Miss spent an hour at the local pre-school and LOVED it. She is so excited about it. After half term break she will be going there twice a week - without me. Yes, I'll actually have 6 hours a week on my own! (Edited to add: I've wimped out and cancelled one of her sessions so it's only 3 hours for now - phew!!!!)

Anyone who has longed to have just 5 MINUTES peace (to drink a cuppa while it's still warm/ to go to the toilet without an audience/ to shower without being studied and then hearing "Muuuuum...your boobs are squishy.... your bum just wobbled" etc) may well think I'd be excited by this prospect. But I'm feeling decidedly uncertain. By the time My Boy started at nursery I was heavily pregnant and then I had Little Miss, so those hours became precious one-on-one time. This time around I have only housework to look forward to (which won't even take that long without my "helper" in tow).

If you have been here a while, you'll know that we don't want any more children, and no, we haven't changed our minds on this at all. AT ALL! But I can totally see why this is the time when some mothers might start to get broody. D has been talking about cats. We had two and they got old. Both died a few years ago and since then I have remained steadfast that I didn't want to 'replace' them. Who knows... 

On a more positive and decisive note, February is the month my mother moves from Wales to our tiny little English village. We are ALL so excited about this, for many different reasons. We timed the car journey to her new home and it's 3 minutes - it currently takes about 4 hours! She has the perfect job waiting for her to relocate and most importantly she will get to see the children every day. 

I'm really looking forward to spending more time with her. Time that's not condensed into a few days here and there where we have to be together all the time, but which is more relaxed and leisurely, when we will be able to do normal every-day things together. It means that D and I will be able to have some 'time out' too. We could really do with it. In the last 3 years we have been out together in the evening only twice - both times Mum drove from Wales to look after the kids. 

The times really are a changin'.

Thank you all so much for your get well wishes this week. I am feeling so much better now. D is looking a little peaky, but he has a stomach of steel, so I'm hoping the sickness will skip him and we can all be back to full health next week. 

The sun is shining here so I think an afternoon of fresh air at the farm park is just what the doctor ordered.  
Tuesday, 24 January 2012

A One a Day quickie!

After my One-a-day-post-of-woe a couple of weeks ago, I'm happy to report that Hexipuffs and I are back in business! I haven't quite managed one a day as Little Miss has been unwell and this is very similar to the sock-knitting which I was focussed on last week, so when I put the socks down this wasn't exactly a break! 
TUESDAY TALLY: 134 (+ 1 on the needles)
YARNS: various yarns including lots of Knitting Goddess Mini-skeins

I've noticed quite a few people posting hexipuffs to their blogs recently. If you're knitting a Beekeeper's Quilt you may be interested in joining the KAL Group on Facebook - there are some people with in excess of 300 'puffs now and they are looking great. It's a very good motivator and the group is pretty active with lots of posts and photos each day! 

And if you're one of the new followers here wondering what "One a Day" is, you can see the details in this post, maybe you'd like to join in? I'll be popping over to Carole's blog to see the other OaD projects later, but now it's time for lunch... which looks remarkably like wooden sandwiches and plastic carrots (from Little Miss' Baker's Shop).
Have a lovely day
Monday, 23 January 2012

Fear Not the Frog! (Lifelines)

After reading a very amusing post about the lengths a certain blogger went to not to have to frog/undo some rows of her project (I'm not naming anyone - you know who you are!!!!) I got chatting to a couple of other knitters about this over the weekend. It seems many of us crafty-types are prepared to go to extreme lengths to avoid ripping out rows that have been completed incorrectly - and it seems the effort required to work around the mistakes is often much greater than that required to just rip out and re-knit some rows. Curious. 

Two people I spoke to both said their fear of frogging was because they were worried that they'd miss some of the stitches they needed to pick up, and the whole thing would unravel or they'd end with a huge ladder somewhere, requiring further re-knitting. Now I'll openly admit (and have before, I'm sure) that I like a bit of bodging myself. If there is a little mistake - an extra stitch, or a missing stitch for example - I'll usually just remedy it by k2tog or M1 in an inconspicuous place. But if I really need to go back to reknit, it isn't something I worry about since I started picking up and counting the new 'live' stitches before I rip anything out. 

I'm not sure when or where I first read about this technique of adding a 'lifeline', but here are some pictures I took before I removed the ribbing on my socks last week, after deciding to make them longer.  The last one is a little blurred, but I hope it will be clear enough to help some newer knitters, like the friends I was chatting to, who haven't seen it before... 

Hopefully the pictures speak for themselves. The key is making sure there are the right number of stitches on the new needles (and that each stitch has only been picked up by one 'leg') and that all the stitches are picked up from the same row - easier with stripes than plain colours (ask me how I know about that one!!!). In this instance, I had actually picked up the wrong 'leg' of these little stitches and so they were back to front on the new needles - easily remedied by knitting into the back of the row. And there you have it, simple no-stress frogging! 

There's a stomach bug doing the rounds and Little Miss got sick yesterday and for this reason I didn't write my Year of Projects post, which was to include a things I'd learned from making the first pair of socks, and another YoP cowl Ta-dah. I have now updated my summary page - ten projects completed, 2 in progress (kind of) and another 2 to go!!! 
PATTERN: Two-hour Crochet Cowl (Improvised)
YARN: Sublime Chunky Merino Tweed

As I missed out on the quiet bloggy evening I'd planned, I'm now way behind on visiting other blogs and replying to your generous comments here. Thank you all - I will get around to it...eventually, but not today.  Today is a day for cwtching (snuggling) my girl, and starting the second pair of (BLUE!) socks.
Hope to be back with you tomorrow!
Friday, 20 January 2012

The Joy of SOCKS!

There is no natural light left and my photos are rubbish but I don't care.....
 I just finished my first ever pair of socks!!!!!

PATTERN: Gusset Heel Basic Socks by Wendy D Johnson 
(from the book Socks from the Toe Up)
YARN: Regia Design Line Kaffe Fasset 
NEEDLES: 2.5mm Addi Lace circulars (100cm) using Magic Loop method
BIND OFF: Judy's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off which is also surprisingly pretty...

I am so pleased with these and the fact that the stripes match - even though they are not quite identical in the heel area - but unless I wear them with clogs, no one will ever see that bit so ssshhhhh! I'm trusting you with my secret. 

The lovely Tickety-boo (aka Gilly) - now my sock guru - was kind enough to get me started by recommending the book above as well as sending me this heel-turning tutorial which prepared me for what I expected to be the hardest bit. Once I had the pattern it all made complete sense and was much much easier than I expected. Sure, this is a simple pattern, but now I feel confident to make more intricate patterns and to try a different heel type - which is good as there is now a knitting request queue forming in my house. 

For anyone thinking of trying to make socks, I would definitely encourage you to give it a go - this really was very simple, great TV knitting, small and portable, and a relatively quick knit - no wonder they are addictive! If you're not convinced, have a look at the post over at Misadventures in Craft yesterday which says it all.

It's been a crazy day and it's not over yet, so I'm off to munch some pizza with the kids before a crafty night, during which I may even cast on the next pair which WILL actually be blue! (If you were expecting blue socks today, please see yesterday's explanation .... and come back soon!) 

Hope you have a great weekend and get time to check out the other FOs at Tami's.
Thursday, 19 January 2012

Puddles, excitement and a catch up!

As always, she's blurry!
It's a puddle-jumping kind of day. In fact, each and every puddle between the school and home has been fully inspected and the splashing qualities extensively tested this morning, reminding me of Sigur Ros' Hoppipolla!

After yesterday's lovely comments, I feel I must point out that the photo was a negative (hence the post title) and so the socks are in fact oranges, pinks and browns and not the colours that many of you liked so much - I am clarifying this today so as not to disappoint too much with the Ta-dah, which will hopefully be tomorrow.  

I say 'hopefully', because the sock knitting didn't go quite as planned last night as I got carried away/ sidetracked with plans for my upcoming blogiversary. (My first post is dated February 25th 2011.) I am so so excited about the things that I already have planned for you, and can't wait to tell you all about it over the next couple of weeks. Some of my favourite crafty people have been kind enough to contribute to the celebrations, plus I have a few little surprises of my own and I just know you are going to love to get your hands on some of the prizes! *squee*

At this point I will admit that whilst I wrote the first post above before any others, the first post I published was my review of Unravel 2011. I had just started knitting and went on a whim as it's not that far away in Farnham Maltings - it blew my mind! So many yarns, wonderful knits, buttons and notions galore. The great news is that the 2012 tickets are now for sale. If you can get there, it's well worth it. For me, it was much better than the Knitting and Stitching Show in Alexandra Palace - it's a yarny's dream. Tickets are booked and I can't wait! 

Whilst I endeavour to keep my opinions on politics and religion away from the blog, I really feel I must share this: 
Although this is a US bill, it will affect internet users everywhere and could have a huge impact on craft bloggers. I'll be displaying this button on my blog to raise awareness of SOPA. You will find a lot more information on YouTube and around the web - as the sites are constantly being taken down and moved, I won't link to them directly but you will be able to find plenty of information via Google and there is a straight forward overview on the BBC
Strumpet's Crumpets Crafters against SOPA
You can pick up the button at Strumpets Crumpets

Finally a THANK YOU for two more award nominations from fellow-bloggers. Yesterday Shelley from all4meggymoo awarded me the Liebster blog award again. Thank you Shelley. And Hazel from Hazel's Crochet wrote a lovely post to award me a Beautiful Blog Award! 

Thanks so much Hazel, I'm honoured. 
I've played about with the "look" of CFTC constantly since starting it last year and I finally feel happy with it (for the moment, anyway), so it's really great to get this feedback from a reader. In the spirit of the award, I'd like to pass it on to Suzanne at Crea in the City who has a beautiful blog (which has also had a recent facelift), is beautiful lady and makes beautiful crafts - definitely deserving of this award. 

Well I think that's it for today. We're off to the farm for some more splashing about in puddles (in fresh leggings and legwarmers as the others are covered in mud!) 
Hope you have a lovely day 
Wednesday, 18 January 2012

I'm not being negative...

My second sock is well on track AND the stripes match *grin* 
I have yet to bind off the first one as I was initially concerned that they may not be the same, or that I'd run out of yarn before finishing the second, so I put it on a spare pair of DPNs and hung it on the wall. Which seemed like a perfectly reasonable thing to do at the time (!?)

These socks are a doddle so far, although on Monday I had to rip back to the pre-Sherlock-finalé-knitting after discovering a hole where there shouldn't have been one - this had obviously occurred during the "will-he-won't-he-jump" excitement.

Thank you for all the lovely sock comments and questions here and on the Facebook page - when they are done I'll post all the particulars of the yarn, pattern, and tutes that were useful for a sock knitting virgin.  I'm hoping to get them finished before Friday's post. You will have noticed that it's now possible for me to reply to your comments so if you leave a question or comment, please check back for a response as I'm aiming to reply to everyone within 24 hours. 

For the observant amongst you who noticed there was no One a Day update yesterday, this was because it has been NONE a Day this week. The socks and a little item I made yesterday are the only things I've worked on, but you can see more Works in Progress over at Tami's

Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday
Sunday, 15 January 2012

A wonderful weekend, (almost) a sock, and another finished YoP item!

To celebrate D's 40th birthday, I conspired to plan a surprise overnight trip to South Lodge Hotel. I hadn't left Little Miss overnight before, but on Friday mum made the 4 hour drive from Wales to stay here with the children so that we could head off ALONE yesterday morning. We have been very fortunate to have stayed in some luxurious hotels over the last decade - something we did regularly before we had children - and were not disappointed.

The room - a Junior Suite called Nymans after a famous local garden - was spacious, beautifully decorated (the colour scheme even matched the issue of Mollie Makes that arrived just before we left!) and had an enormous bathroom complete with a shower big enough for a party and a bathside TV. We also had our own garden area, but it was too cold to do more than look out at it. 

I was really hoping to order from the Midnight Munchies menu but the combination of 3 course dinner (superb locally farmed produce, expertly cooked), champagne, wine, a lavender pillow from the Pillow Menu and the chance to completely unwind, meant we didn't make it to midnight! We are both hoping for a return visit so I can try again! :)
And so onto my Sunday Year of Projects update! Yes, it's the second week in a row that I've posted and I actually have some real progress this week - the new year cull obviously worked in providing fresh motivation as I started my first sock as soon as the pattern book (Socks from the Toe Uparrived. (Edited here - there is an error on Amazon - the Kindle version is just one of the patterns, not the entire book! I somehow missed that it is also available as a Kindle download for 1/5 of the price and no delay - grrrr. )

Anyway, I can't believe I waited so long to make a sock - it's been easy! 

This week I've managed to knit whilst walking, so several inches were completed on the way up to the school. This attracted a little attention and a few questions and comments - mostly positive (I think!) not that this bothers me. Having tied my daughter onto my back rather than using a buggy over the last 32 months, I have become immune/accustomed to a few odd looks, and now there are loads of other people 'babywearing' in our village, so who knows - maybe knitting in public will catch on too. 

Had the weekend of spousal-confinement not gone so harmoniously, I'd have finished this one already. Now it'll be complete during (the final!) Sherlock tonight, and I'll get cracking on the second straightaway as I have the next sock yarn awaiting transformation. But the sock isn't my only YoP progress this week.

While everyone else was in bed on Friday night, I stayed up and practiced speed knitting to make a neckwarmer for My Boy - he struggles to manage a long scarf when he's at school and has no help getting dressed, and it's turned cold. It's actually a bit tight when going over his head, but once he'd tried it he wanted it right away without me making it bigger. If I were making another, I'd add another 10 stitches/one more cable. In fact, I may have to surreptitiously replace it.
PATTERN: modified version of Cherry Garcia (adult pattern) see notes
YARN: Sublime Chunky Merino Tweed - c 35g
NEEDLES: 7mm circulars
I'm so pleased that I sat up until the early hours making it, because it was -6C when we went out yesterday morning at 9am, which may not seem that cold to some of you, but considering it's been mild enough to go out without a coat recently, it felt really chilly. 

So that's it! Back to normality, kid's bedtimes and a night on the sofa. I'll be catching up with the other YoP posts tomorrow, when those across all the timezones have posted.

I hope you've all had a lovely weekend. 
Friday, 13 January 2012

Frosty Friday

It is a GLORIOUS day in West Sussex - cold and crisp and very very sunny. Don't you just love wintery days like this? It's especially good if you have a lot of woolly layers to cosy up in - we all went out wearing at least TWO things I'd made (three in my case) and that made my hobby - and the related expenditure - feel incredibly practical and worthwhile. 

I am delighted to report that since my last post,  excellent progress is being made with my first sock and there'll be an update on that AND another Finished Object in Sunday's Year of Projects update (hooray!) 

For now, here are two of this week's FOs (as usual I'm linking in with Tami's FO Fridays). Firstly a little birthday pressie for D - not the greatest picture as it's actually BLACK! - I'll try for an action shot at the weekend as it's too dark now. 
  PATTERN: Cherry Garcia 
YARN: Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky (approx 1.7 balls)
I love mine made from Mirasol Sulka, but chose a different yarn as D has a beard and I thought he'd get covered in fluff. This is 100% Merino, super soft and incredibly stretchy when made on these bigger needles with the deep rib. 

Secondly, the "Learn to knit Continental" Tunic for Little Miss is finally finished. 
PATTERN: Improvised - see project notes
YARN: King Cole Inspire DK colour 934
BITS 'N' PIECES: free buttons (reused White Stuff labels) 
 "Made by me"ribbon from Sass & Belle

It's not very good, but she wanted to wear it today and actually got several compliments and knitting requests (all politely declined!) The good news is, after making this, I'm automatically picking yarn up with my left hand - although my purl is still useless, and needs much more practice! It's fine for a few stitches here and there, but I just can't get into a rhythm and admit I did resort to my old trusted method of throwing the yarn for the last few cuff rows on this. 

We have an exciting few days planned - but I'll be back on Sunday for the next update. 
Have a fabulous weekend!
Wednesday, 11 January 2012

WIP WIP Hooray!

Today is a special person's 40th birthday!!!!!! 
♥ x ♥ x ♥ x ♥ x ♥ x ♥ x ♥ x ♥

We will be celebrating at the weekend but for today it's business as usual - almost. I made him a little something this week so you'll have to wait until FO Friday for that - I will TRY to get a picture of him wearing it for Friday's post, but he's a bit camera shy so I can't promise.

And so for my other Work in Progress. I already wrote about my puffing disasters yesterday, so last night, I decided it was time to try something new! In fact, given recent experience it may have been a little foolish - this is the status update from the CFTC Facebook page last night... 
But surprisingly, it worked! I managed to make the toe and the first part of the foot without any problems. There are a few stitches that are not quite perfect but I am very pleased with it so far. 
I'm using Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson and started this following the pattern from the Gusset Heel Socks because I preferred that cast-on, but I may use the heel from the Short Row Socks - I'm not sure yet. 

Well that's it for today - I'm off to Body Balance. This is my first week back into my regular exercise schedule but after several weeks off prior to- and during Christmas, I'm finding it a bit of a struggle. There was a little devil on my shoulder this morning suggesting I cancel the class and knit instead. I. Must. Be. Strong - there's a birthday takeaway on offer this evening, after all! 

Hope you have a lovely day, and don't forget to check out the other WIPs at Tami's
Tuesday, 10 January 2012

One (frogged) A Day

This year I set out to knit one hexipuff a day for my Beekeeper's Quilt, and to practice knitting them without looking. BIG mistake! Then I decided to try new Addi Lace circulars instead of my usual DPNs, which lead to the now-solved (yay!) laddering issue
Unfortunately this means that despite spending time KNITTING one a day, I have frogged all but one of the 'puffs...which I then stuffed with too little filling so is probably not useable anyway! 

Therefore, this week is officially being declared a One a Day write-off! I hope to bring you better news next Tuesday. In the meantime, don't forget to check out the other projects via Carole's blog
Sunday, 8 January 2012

Half way there...

We had a lovely weekend, the weather has been glorious considering it's not long since Winter solstice, and My Boy and I even managed to do some rummaging yesterday at The Corn Store - an antique and vintage emporium in Pulborough, West Sussex. 

It was my first visit as it's located in the sort of place you drive through but isn't really a destination, but I'll certainly be returning... ALONE! My Boy wanted to purchase every gigantic vintage stuffed toy he could find, including a tiger  cub and a calf - both life size - as well as several (fairly hideous) cupboards and numerous cheese boards, glass bowls and other colourful miscellany! I told him he can return on his birthday with some money and can choose something for himself (but half of me is hoping he'll forget).
 You can see more of the location here - it's just off a bridge over the River Arun, 
and under several Gatwick Airport flight paths. 

I wrote about my knitting trials and tribulations yesterday, and was amazed by the response which not only solved the mystery of the laddering (the Addi Lace cables are so flexible they don't twist like KnitPros - who knew they needed to be twisted!?!) Massive thanks to Pretty Mades for pointing me in the right direction on that and also to Tickety Boo for the sock tips, video links and book recommendation via the CFTC Facebook page - you people are awesome!!!! *kiss*

And so onto my Year of Projects update. It has been a while since my last one -  HELLO lovely YoPers - I hope you all had a great festive season and are raring to go for the last half of the challenge. 

I've taken this week to look over my original list.... and to cull it. Quite considerably. There were things on the list that I wouldn't wear or that we just didn't need, so I've cut it back to the things that actually motivate me for the coming months. I'm pretty excited by it again now and can't wait to get started on the socks as soon as the pattern book arrives in the next few days. 

To save repetition, rather than listing it all here I've updated my YoP page and you'll see the full details there, I hope you won't mind an extra click. I'll be checking all the YoP posts tomorrow, can't wait to see how you're all getting on.

Well Sherlock is starting - the only decent thing about weekend TV - which is my cue to get hexipuffing.
I hope you've all had a lovely weekend  
Saturday, 7 January 2012

Process over productivity.... or 'The Start of Knitting Geekery?')

Well, I didn't make it back for another post yesterday. I had a realisation whilst working on the "learn-to-knit-Continental-style" top for Little Miss that resulted in it remaining unfinished. Coming back to knit the second raglan sleeve - it is one-piece top-down - it became evident that my knitting now looks significantly different from those first tentative (Continental) stitches on Christmas Eve
The dotted line represents the top of the final row of "older" knitting
Of course I'm delighted that my knitting using this unfamiliar technique has improved so visibly, but on the downside the sleeve looks a bit odd. I'm yet to decide whether to frog back to the old knitting and finish it using slightly bigger needles, or to just get on with it as it is -  after all, it's just a scruffy looking tunic for a 2 year old made from bargain yarn which is itself very uneven and slubby. The jury is still out.

At Christmas my mother mocked me a little, saying that "in her day" she just used to go to the shop, pick a pattern and wool and then knit it and that was it - no blocking, no blogging, no analysing or updating Ravelry.... The following may well provide her with ammunition to start calling me a Knitting Geek.
I loved knitting the Kindle cover last weekend - Judy's Magic Cast On was so straightforward and making the cover using a circular needle, after several recent DPN projects, was a refreshing change. This got me thinking.... maybe this would be an enjoyable way to make some Hexipuffs. Following the pattern, I usually cast on 20 stitches using a long-tail cast on and then split them over 2 DPNS, knitting them with a third. This works well enough, but the cast on and the first row can be a bit fiddly.

Spot the knitter used to a
 long-tail cast on!
I decided to have a try with a circular needle, but I didn't have any 3.25mm tips for my KnitPros. I must say, I love my Knit Pro Symfonie Interchangeable Set - they were the needles I learned to knit on this time last year - and  it's great having so many combinations of tip sizes and cables available to me, but when I made a trial 'puff on my 3.5mm needles  (I'm knitting them a bit smaller than the pattern as when using darker yarn with white filling, the tighter fabric looks nicer) the stitches were sometimes catching on the joins and the cable wasn't quite as fine or flexible as I would have liked. This seemed a good opportunity to try Addi Lace circulars. Initial impressions are very good - they are fine and light, the tips are very pointy, the cable is more flexible and they glide really nicely on the 4ply/sock yarn. 

Unfortunately the combination of the circular needle and continental knitting has resulted in a very untidy ladder on one side of the 'puff. So now I'm having to work out the most effective way to remedy this - using DPNs and pulling the first few stitches really tight, I don't have any such problem. It's like learning to knit them all over again and I'm behind on my 'one a day' at the moment because I keep frogging them.
Edited: Thanks to Pretty Mades who left a comment (below) which completely solved this problem!!!!
Tomorrow I'll be reviewing my project list for the next 6 months, which will include socks - in my New Year post, I committed to make a pair before the end of February. Some smaller Addis (2.5mm) have arrived along with some gorgeous Regia sock yarn and I can't wait to get started on them... once I have this ladder issue sorted! 

Hope to see you back again tomorrow (there will be less geekery, I promise). 
Friday, 6 January 2012

Liebster - a thank you post

I must say a huge THANK YOU to the following lovely bloggers who have awarded me the Liebster ("Beloved") Blog award over the last few months. The award is designed to spread the word about blogs you love with fewer than 200 followers. I am honoured to have been listed alongside some of my own favourite blogs, and by some of my favourite bloggers!!! If you don't already follow these blogs, please do take the time to check them out - I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Little Miss is very excited as we are about to head off to her first Tumble Tots session. I have yet to finish the last sleeve on her tunic... hopefully I'll see you later for Finished Object Friday *crosses fingers*
Wednesday, 4 January 2012

A guest WIP post... from My Boy

Hello I'm going to  tell you about Mummy's kniting.
This is The jumper Mummy is making for my sis. Its red and pink and purple. it is soft.
NOTE: As the fiercely independent lad insists on no help with spelling or typing, that took him half an hour without him even mentioning that it's almost finished. I didn't have the heart to tell him I'm also still working on the One a Day hexipuffs or to mention the other project updates at Tami's Amis. I plan to be back (without assistance) on Friday. Hope to see you then x
Monday, 2 January 2012

Snippets (of life): Winter at Winkworth

It's been some time since our last Winkworth trip. Bright Winter sunshine on the first Bank Holiday of the year was the only excuse we needed to go scurrying off to the Surrey countryside. Unsurprisingly after a week of rain, it was very muddy.... but there were a few surprises too!
 So very very good for the soul. 

"In a way Winter is the real Spring - the time when the inner things happen,
 the resurgence of nature"
- Edna O'Brien

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