Sunday, December 28, 2008

A little whinge, just ignore me.

I'm more than a little weary of this cough now. I'd like it to go away thanks. Don't have any energy for anything. I had planned lots of bracing walks by the sea during this holiday, but I just feel so tired and my chest and shoulders ache all the time. Neither J nor I sleep for more than two hours at a time at night because of it.
I'm not allowed to moan about it at home without someoneelse chiming in with a competetive set of symptoms, so I'm just getting rid of the whinging here. Ignore me, please.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Secret Santa

We had a Secret Santa on the Ravelry UKarma Swaps group. I was well and truly spoiled by Caroline.

That's a skein of Malabrigo in the background. I love it, but my favourite thing is the purple project bag.

Thank you Caroline!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Boxing Day

Boxing Day and I'm setting aside a little time to catch up here.(I don't blog anything like as often as I should or would like to. I spend time on Ravelry organising my knitting and the rest of my online leisure time working on my family tree,making the most of the Ancestry subscription that came with Family Tree Maker.)

The boys are killing Nazi Zombies (you couldn't make it up) and I've just put some jacket potatoes, a favourite comfort food, in the oven.

It's been a quiet Christmas, excepting the sound of Call of Duty 5 gunfire and coughing. j and I have had lurgy and J has come close a couple of times only to have it subside at the last moment. I'm a bit peeved as I had a 'flu jab at Asda. J qualified for one from our GP. Mine must have been a second rate, 'value' jab.

Our Christmas goody shopping included stocks of paracetamol, Sudafed (day and night)and soft, mansize balm-impregnated tissues. The epidemic of lurgy has made the news quite regularly lately. It's made watching the last couple of episodes of Survivors a bit uncomfortable, I must admit.

We wrapped up and headed out to the beach this morning, but forgot about the Hartlepool Lions Club Boxing Day Dip. We couldn't get a parking spot and the roads were madness, so we turned around and headed back home for a warm spot on the sofa and a spectacular losing streak on the Boxing Day racing.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas knitting

So far:

Russula beret and Fetching mits for my S-I-L.

Odessa hat and Fetching mits for my neice.

Red mohair kitty to put in another stocking.

Green seaweed scarf for my brother.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A bit chilly

Minus 2.5 degrees C this morning. A freezing fog rolled down off the hills and just hung around all day. A good day for knitwear.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A finished object and a work in progress

Continuing my Christmas knitting:
I made a pair of Fetching fingerless gloves for my older neice, L. The yarn, Knit Picks Ambrosia, has worked up beautifully in this pattern and they are soft and velvety and warm! Carrying out my threat to add picot edging to everything, I've added a picot edge to the cuff.

I still have 1.75 balls of this yarn left, so have cast on an Odessa hat to go with it.

A work in progress:

My brother rang last night, to tell me that I'm going to be an aunt again next summer! Yay! More baby knitting :)

Travelling scarf, the second

I signed up for another travelling scarf on Ravelry.
This one is for UK and European members of the Teachers Who Knit group.

I've asked for my scarf to be in aran weight and have expressed an interest in purples, greens and dark pinks.

This is my starting piece. I made it in Debbie Bliss Maya and Kureyon. I really rather like it.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Book Knit now for Christmas!

I've actually started my Christmas knitting. I know many people will have planned well ahead for this and have most things actually wrapped already, but this is unusual for me. I usually find myself on Christmas Eve, thinking "I could have made so and so a such and such..."

So, I give you, completed, a cardigan for my youngest neice, R.

It's based on Helena from Knitty, but has some modifications.

I love the picot edging. The yarn is Hacho, by Mirasol, and it's gorgeous to work with.

Flushed with my success, I cast on a felted bag for her mum.

I must admit, I'm not loving working with these huge, 8mm needles.

Friday, October 31, 2008

To another lighthouse or three.

Happy Halloween or a Joyous Samhein!

Having finally recovered from the cold of Tynemouth earlier this week, J and I were in Whitby this morning. It snowed. Not the crispy, autumnal weather that I normally associate with Halloween.

We were well wrapped up, as you can see.

But, there were plenty of shivering people around in black lace dreeses and pvc trousers. That's the risk of having a Goth Festival on the North East coast in October - the clothes are gorgeous, but look stupid with a Gortex anorak on top.

I seem to have a bit of a lighthouse thing going at the moment. Nothing Freudian, I assure you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

To the lighthouse

Drove up to Tynemouth yesterday and had a look at St Mary's Island Lighthouse.

Goodness, it was cold!

This is the view North, up the coast to the wind farm at Amble.

We had planned to have have a look at the priory and walk around the shops, but the beginnings of a flare started to set in. It began with a soreness in my wrists and ended with me curling up in bed, fully dressed at teatime. This sucks!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A break at last

This is always one of my favourite school breaks of the whole year. It's always very welcome as the start of any school year is always hectic. We've had a lot going on recently, and this last week has been an absolutely s*$%@y week for one reason and another.
Anyway - 10 days off!

I managed to get a hair appointment yesterday with a stylist I haven't used before and she was wonderful. It's not often I feel happy with my hair as I leave the salon. Even my last sylist (who I loved, but who moved away) used too many sticky products so I always washed it again when I got home. This still feels like my hair and I don't look 84 or like I'm trying to look 24. I just look like me, but with a nicer hair style, so I'm happy.

I received a package of stitch markers from the Ankh-Morpork Knitters Guild swap this week.

If you've read any Discworld, you'll be able to work out their significance.

I've added my section to the latest travelling scarf to arrive. Lucybeth asked for her scarf to be in greys and blacks so I've added a basketweave stitch section in black James C Brett Merino. I love this yarn.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Real treats

I got a lovely package in the post this week. I had to practise patience for a while, though as our postpeople have decided that, when we are not at home, they will take mail back to the sorting office in the next town. It always used to get left at our local sub-post officeand I would walk round and collect it after work. The sorting office, however, only opens 7:30 until 12:30. I've already left for work by 7:30 and can't get back until evening, so it has to be weekends only. Anyway, moan over. I eventually got my lovely package from Pauline and it certainly was worth waiting for.

The yarn is gorgeous, as is the scarf she made for me. I realise that I have not included the book she sent me, as it's sitting on my bedside table! It's the Interweave Knits sock book. Lovely!

More treats at work. We're in our eighth week of school and it's nearly the half term holidays.

We made cinnamon cookies at school today - and hollowed out some pumpkins. We'll put faces (smiley, not satanic) on them tomorrow. My class have worked hard this half term and deserve a treat or two. I love seeing their faces when we take some time to do something just for fun.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

I've been quite busy lately. Lots of finishing things off.

Inspired by Crazy Lanea, I made this sock project bag for a swap. I'm making a couple more at the moment. The fabric is from Kaffe Fassett.

I also finished my Monkey socks. These are really lovely, if I do say so myself...

Today I cast on a seafoam lace scarf in Jojoland Quartette. It's going to be part of a Christmas swap package organised by the UKarma Ravelry group.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Travelling Scarves

This is a new thing for me.
I've joined the Ravelry Travelling Scarves Group (Ravelry link). The idea is that 12-14 people sign up to work on a travelling scarf for each member of the circle. Everyone starts off their scarf and then sends it to the next person who knits a section and sends it on to the next person and so on, until it comes back to the original owner who completes it and casts off. It's a nice idea, I think. My circle is based in UK and Europe.

This is the scarf section I started:

It's in the post to my downstream knitter now.

And this is the scarf I received from the knitter upstream of me, with my addition. Next week I'll post it off to the next knitter to add her bit.

It's an interesting challenge to find yarn in my stash that will enable me to fulfill the brief in the notes from the original knitter and get guage so she doesn't have to compensate by extreme blocking when it comes back to her. I think my section works well.

Also in the post this week:

These are some Discworld themed stitch markers I have made for a swap on Ravelry. I also made a little bag to contain them. I do hope the recipient likes them. They inspired me to read Small Gods, which I hadn't read until now. Now I have to make a knitted Om, which I will base on Sheldon.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Family Pride

Last weekend was one of the biggest sporting events in our region - the Great North Run. Now, I don't run, but my brother took part and his wife daughter and I were the support team.

I've watched it on TV each year since it began, but have never been up to Newcastle for the event before. What an amazing atmosphere! I had no idea so many people would be there.
We drove up to Newcastle and I was very proud of the way I managed to navigate the closed roads and diversions and still find a free parking space on the edge of the Town Moor so we could walk down to the start.

P ran for Christian Aid (and we are very proud of the money he raised) and most of the runners seemed to be carrying sponsorship for good causes. We had an emotional moment before the start as the radio DJ was reading out some of the stories behind people's reasons for running and fundraising - and by the time they played Abide With Me I, was in tears.

We drove to South Shields for the finish and watched the Red Arrows display, before managing to find P in the crowds.

Well done, P! I'm very proud of you!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Would you dare?

bungee jump from the Transporter Bridge? I wouldn't but we watched some brave souls doing it:

I still feel a bit sick just thinking about it.

Give me a quiet walk on the beach any day.

On the needles: I've just started my second Monkey sock. I'm very happy with the way the first came out. The yarn and pattern work well together.Pictures as soon as I get this one finished.

The cooler weather has inspired me to look at hat and scarf patterns. I'm thinking about knitting a cowl as I've seen some really nice ones on ravelry and I think they would workwell with my walking jacket for winter.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Two posts in one weekend

I received a wonderful swap package from Amanda, as part of the Ravelry Knitters' Treasure Swap.
The sock monkey is wonderful. I'm developing quite a knitted monkey collection.

Finished my Hedgerow socks:

I don't love the yarn - it's a bit scratchy, but they will be nice socks for work. I'm trying to amass a selection of socks I can wear with suits and dark trousers. I want to get as much wear as I can from my hand knit socks, but sometimes the bright handpaints just don't work with business wear. This was from Violet Green.

J and I drove down to Whitby.

It was very busy so we bailed quite early and headed home to clear out kitchen cupboards. (Just goes to show that romance is still alive and well after 19 years together ;)) I think the next time we drive down will probably be at Halloween to people watch during the Gothic Weekend.

Called into Bobbins and bought this:

It's Kureyon Sock by Noro and it feels like hessian, which is a shame, given the price. I keep reading that it softens with washing and wear. I do hope so. If it doesn't, maybe it will help with the dry skin on my feet...