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watch where you’re going

July 27, 2011

So, lets start this the way we should to allay fears.

I’m happy and well with no injuries. The car is all in one piece and safe, not even a dent or scrape.

Friday required some traveling to Cambridge. On the journey over to the lovely Cambridge office I ran over SOMETHING in the road. Slightly further down the road after a clunk over a cats eye I heard a very big POP and the car shuddered LOTS. I slowed down safely with my hazard lights on and pulled in slowly to the next available safe place on the edge of the Elveden section of the A11. This is after the memorial but before the next proper lay by.

Now I realise I completely forgot to introduce my car, I got her mid May and so far she’s done 1,500 miles. I love her muchly but I have also burst a tyre before so knew exactly what to do. She’s a cherry red Honda Jazz. As you can see below I have parked the car off the road as far as I could.

So After getting a little case of the shakes cos, what accident, even a safely handled accident does not instill in a person a good dose of adrenaline? I called the breakdown service, then I called my boss and let them know I’d be in as soon as I could make it. I tweeted the situation to let le husband know what had happened. Then called him to confirm I was in fact all fine. I got myself sat on a bag, on the floor, on the edge of a corn field.  I ate a snack, finished my bottle of water and started knitting. What else is a girl to do?

Then I had one of those light epiphany moments where I laughed. How lucky am I? I had the safest accident ever, I may be stuck here for hours but I had a coat on, I could relax. It was a sunnyish day, a nice breeze, pretty countryside and when there were not cars zooming past I could hear birds and crickets. I settled in to knitting a few rows and the pattern I’m knitting is self designed. I could calm, I could relax and I can cope on my own.

The reason for the pattern, and hopefully when I have finished the scarf I will be writing it up, is to teach myself and others to look where you’re going. Watching what you’ve knit will show you what to do next and means there is no need to look at a pattern. Trust yourself and look. It’s a staggered rib so that even though the scarf is straight it looks slightly bias. It does take quite a bit of counting but becomes enjoyable with relaxing and getting in the zone, watching the different sized ribs move along as it is knit. So there I sat, getting the oddest of looks from the larger trucks that could see me sat back from the road. Slowly relaxing in to what I know, the needles, the yarn and using my time usefully. Now I sat there and thought, if only I’d seen what I’d ran over I may have not been sitting there knitting.

After an hour and a half I was picked up by the AA. All I can say is good things, they helped me, my car was hoisted on to the back of the truck and we took a detour to Mildenhall to try and search out a tyre. 3 tyre places later and still nothing. New car, new size, nobody had stock. I called Holden Honda in Norwich where I got my car from and a very helpful member of their team called around and put me on hold whilst searching for a tyre for me.

Once a tyre could be found, where I wanted it (in Cambridge) the lovely AA man took me all the way to the Histon road in Cambridge, to the kwikfit garage and dropped me off. I knew that place was there, a mere 100m from the office, I really thought they had the right thing so that is why I asked the Honda gentleman to try them first. I left my car and walked to the office. An hour later I came back to pick up my car, with a new sparkly wheel. The only thing was nobody had the right tyre because it was new, I had to upgrade to a better tyre. My poor wallet was stung with £138 bill but I was safe to get home after work.

So, my reason for blarting all this out on the net? Look where you’re going and still look on the bright side.

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friends and family

July 20, 2011

Sometimes I just don’t feel like I’m part of anything. Other times I do. recent weeks have been wonderful because I’ve had friends visit and I’ve seen family. Its been lovely to feel part of it and to be reminded I’m appreciated and worth a visit.

I had a spare day off so visited AM for a frenzied day of Knitting. Well not frenzied at all, very relaxed and lovely. I baked a cinnamon apple and raisin loaf whilst AM baked sweet potatoes. We played with “squeak” which was his inside name. I’ve got photos but the pile of photos I need to upload is now immense. I’m not getting that done any time soon. I got to spend some quality time with squeak, testing out how things go when AM is not at his side. It went really well. He was fine without her.

We had short notice visit from friends JHFC & LavieOrdinaire (on twitter) They are old friends from when Scotty and I met, wonderful to see them, and after a few movies and a trip in to town shopping it was all over far too quickly.

Had some lovely time with the family too, one long walk up through Sheringham to the top of the golf course and the weekend after, we all got together for a train ride from Sheringham to Holt and back. There was a car faire at Holt which meant lots of photos being taken. The steam train was fabulous and had my nephew bouncing up and down super excited.

Now on to the knitting. I started a blanket and its a square construction from the center out but two different colours circling around each other. not sure that explains it, if you’re on ravelry its the two colour 10 stitch blanket. I’m using Kauni yarn wich has long colour repeats which slowly change from dark to light. It should look fabulous when done but I’m kicking myself for trying to knit over 1200m of yarn on 3mm needles. EPIC.

I started a new cardi with some sale yarn I got from the local John Lewis, Debbie bliss alpaca silk. Its very lovely indeed. I guessed there would not be nearly enough with 7 balls of 50g chunky. I ordered another 7 from an online shop and bought up the last of their stock too. Amazingly it was the exact same dye lot. I’ve completed the back and I’m working up the two fronts now. I’m still not sure I have enough.

I’ve still got a scarf on the go which is super simple but at the same time has a 35ish row pattern repeat. Something I want to write up but can’t complete until I complete the scarf itself. Its being knitted with the last of my hand spun. I’d love to do some more spinning but I’m worried that I’ve really messed up the wheel replacing parts of it, oh and of course Jasper eating through the main cord for the wheel. I’m tempted to trash the old wheel or donate it and invest in a travel wheel that can be packed up without changing tension or setup. Except that is expensive but I hope it would be worth it.

I’ve been covering a colleague for their holidays, this means I’ve been super busy at work wich is always nice. Its stopped me having any spare time at work but at home I’ve still been creative. Just this weekend we went to the local pick your own and picked over 3.5 kilos of raspberries. I tried to make jam again but also failed to weigh everything or follow a recipe. It tastes great but it can’t be called jam because it didn’t set. Boo! Still I was in a cooking mood so made bread, sausage (veggie) rolls and a huge macaroni cheese. When all else is madness a good bit of cooking appears to be one of my therapies. Block everything else out and just get chopping, stirring, heating and making.

Otis and Jasper are lovely as always. Until next time when I may be able to stick a photo or two up.

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doings and ting.

June 9, 2011

We took a trip a couple of weeks back to attend THE wedding of the year, on the day of rapture. It was certainly a rapturous wedding with mini pirates running around, a very relaxed affair with lots of love. My dear friend “batsgirl” was the wonderfully beautiful bride in her stunning dress. I was her matron of awesome, this was a responsibility I took seriously but with a lot of fun and love. B has a disability which means she can’t always get up and run after everyone like we all want to. So I was there to be runner, helper and supporter. I’m so very happy she chose me as her reliable friend to go to. I know now I did everything she wanted and we helped make that perfect day for her and S. Hoorah!

 So here’s to the happy couple and hopefully many years of happiness together:

I even managed to get a couple of shots of Le Husband who mainly avoids being photographed by being behind the camera.

cameras. Serious Business.

Here comparing cameras with the groom. Oh and those on twitter know about THAT shirt. It was VERY expensive, but Oh my.. He looks very fine in it, so I think its worth it.

Finally I also got to meet someone I’ve stalked on the internet since birth. Meet Kitty (internet name)

An adorable little girl and lovely to finally meet her amazing knitter and quilter mum Knitted Bear

I managed to complete my silk cardigan I was knitting to go with my grey dress, although after going through most of the photos I think we’ve completely failed in getting a good photo of me in it. I’ll try to get one soon for you.

Last week I had lunch with dad, he’d just spent a week on the broads with his lovely lady friend and a couple that are her friends from Germany. They all came to lunch too. It was fabulous. I recommend The Britons Arms to anyone in Norwich wanting a slice of history with some good food. He’s back in Germany and keeping lovely and busy with the lifestyle I wish I had!

I finished a shawl, knitted in pure cashmere and its a cloud of lovelyness to wear. The pattern is Vlad, project details are here on Ravelry.
Vlad

B kindly gave me the blocking boards (play mat) from the wedding and the blocking pins and wires are new from a birthday present. It’s the first time I got to use them. It worked amazingly well. Now all I need is the inspiration to finish writing some knitting patterns and some new projects because I have nothing new to show you.

Finally what would my blog be without a cat and garden update.

Jasper has just been brushed.
post brush bliss

He loved it to within an inch of his life. This week he’s managed to have a deriere problem, which appears to have been resolved. Although I did spend one evening following him around checking for star prints on everything. Thankfully he’s still eating and purring and cleaning himself.

Otis loves his cat grass
waiting for a brushing

and is waiting for his turn to be brushed. He attempted escape via the front door again this week. He cam dashing back in when the neighbour slammed a car door because he was trying to hide under the car. He’s a clever one but a bit too bold for his own good.

Most of the garden is coming along nicely. We’ve pulled up our first set of spuds. They were very tasty indeed. Now all I want is for this to keep growing big enough for me to pick the fruit.
grow my pretties!

Grow my pretties! Grow!

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Whoa there time!

May 12, 2011

Apparently I’ve not updated since oohh the start of the year.

That deserves a big fat APOLOGY. Sorry.

I had a birthday and so did Scotty, I’ve been knitting, and gardening and we’ve even had a couple of home based holidays too. Everything is fine, I’ve just got an idea up my sleeve that I don’t want to let out, and it may include a redesign here, or a move of this to somewhere else. Not entirely sure I’m ready for a move and shakeup.

Thing is, I know I’ve done the same job for 10 and a bit years now. I do still love it but I do want a side job, without the extra hours of work. I want to write knitting patterns but I also don’t want it to be a chore. Therefore when I do get down time I’m not likely to be spending it face in to a computer working. This is hindering the chance to move in to another world of side employment.

The Kindle cosy I made for a friend has gone down well. It is loved. The pattern is now half written and I’ve got testers waiting for me. I’m a mere 4 ends and 3 buttons away from completing a swingy cardigan for a friend’s wedding. I’ve started some new lace too, following someone elses pattern.

O and J are wonderful as ever. They are enjoying most evenings in the garden, letting them out staves off the cabin fever.
how much longer? The masked ninja

and I’m loving my little garden too. I would like to have chickens but its entirely not possible in our small garden in the city.
Our little garden

Please click through the image to Flickr, I’ve labeled every pot so you can see what we’re growing this year. I’ve figured out I don’t want to do brassicas. They are a pain in the Brassica. BUT Spuds work well, the raspberry just keeps getting bigger and fruits for most of the summer. There is nothing more calming than walking in to that back yard after a days work and just checking over progress. Love it.

So at least you know we’re all ok and doing fine. I’m still planning in the back of my head, and hopefully some day I’ll be a knit designer. Although don’t hold your breath at it becoming a full time income earner. I really doubt that will ever happen.

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a knitting review of 2010

January 12, 2011

This post comes with a heavy image warning. I’m trying to get a photo for every single thing I completed during 2010. So far I’m mostly there but still waiting on some pictures to come back from Germany… I will be blathering about woolly things and what they are made of. If this is not your bag I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until I can rustle up a fresh cat update next time.

You would not believe how good it feels to have this solid record of my achievements. I do LOVE giving away my knits, I could never keep them all, this way I get to enjoy them and so do the new owners.

The 2008/9 stragglers that got finished:

Rasta socks Started November 20 2008  September 10 2010

These were epic and knitting even just in the round with 3 different colours on two socks at the same time ended up too much. I separated them out during the heels. Still these were wonderful and well received by their new owner Andy. They were meant to be a present for bringing his drums as entertainment to our wedding. As you can see it took me the best part of two years to make them.

Basic socks from December 27 2009

Strong mitts November 10 2009  April 2 2010

Made to be butch but colourful for a colleague in Southampton. He sent back a great image of him wearing them. I think the wool was trekking XXL held double to make them supper strong. Oh and a little sneaky iphone cosy up there that avoided being put on Ravelry cos it was so small.

The 2010 finished objects:

The rug! January 9 2010  January 17 2010

After AM and E made me some giant knitting needles I gave them a try. This was 14 balls of wool held together at the same time and knitted. I love this rug but it had to move upstairs because apparently the cats also love to wipe after a toilet visit. Good thing its all really cheap machine washable acrylic. I’d love to make another a bit bigger but it did get rather difficult to knit when finishing because it was so bulky.

Sea blue Laminaria April 7 2010  April 24 2010

A very enjoyable knit. I wear this regularly now but it has gone a bit fluffy due to the pure merino wool used. It went very quickly because I was entertained by the stitch organization. This is one shawl I am likely to repeat.

Baby Cube blanket for Noah March 2010  May 23 2010

I wasn’t keen on making this but it worked really well. The modular design wasn’t too bad to sew together but getting the right arrangement for the cubes was confusing. The most painful bit was posting it to Noah and him not getting it because the postal system delivered when he was not in the house. His lovely parents went to pick it up for him and would not let them have it because they were not the baby on the package. One trip to Ireland later and the package arrived back with me, which made it all the sweeter when Scotty and I went to Colchester zoo to meet him and hand it over personally.

Ruby Shawl April 24 2010 July 9 2010

A beautiful pure alpaca wool which was an absolute pig to block. Given to my sister in-law for her birthday eventually blocked twice to get it to lay flat.

Plum night June 20 2010  August 2 2010

A variation on the pattern Annis from Knitty, I loved knitting this too and it was a great colour for my sister. Modeled by my niece. The beads were heavy but it added something special because it holds the shawl just where you want it. Knitted with a one off dyed ball of wool bought at Knit Nation 2009

Dragon wings August 25 2010 August 29 2010

My niece was in to dragons at this point, so wings were best. I love this wool which is Kauni Wool 8/2 Solids. There was an odd knot in the ball which made the colours of the full rainbow fault back in the wrong direction. Luckily for me this was a full repeat of one set of red colours, the rest are still in the ball waiting to be knitted and are a full rainbow.

Newborn presents October 15 2010  October 27 2010

Completed (sort of) before the arrival of said baby, nicknamed squeak before birth, now has an amazing name to go with his amazing parents. I got the most beautiful card from AM thanking me for these little items which were so easy to run up.

July 15 2010 November 30 2010

Anna owns a vegetable shop and spends all day in the cold, her old mittens were also hand knit by someone else but I wanted to go one better. I measured her hands by comparing them to mine and she was thrilled with the results. I gave her the rest of the wool to knit herself something to go with them.

Le Floof August 1 2010  November 27 2010

Hastily finished to wear to a winter ball, this was so warm! Now I will never doubt the warmness of cheap man made fibers. It looks great on too and I had a lot of compliments when wearing it in snowy conditions. 15 stitches wide done on the giant needles with 7 balls of wool held together.

Red Grey Selbu Moderne November 11 2010  December 11 2010

This kint was epic. It was my first real two colour knitting. I carried all floats over so that they are woven in to the fabric of the hat. I had so very many compliments on it too. I followed the free pattern available on the net. I was so very tempted to keep this and not give it to my dad’s girlfriend. Still She loves it and has also had many compliments on it and has been asked where they could buy one. At least I know its well loved. I also completed  a set of mitts which were s December 17 2010 and c December 24 2010. As you can tell they were taken down to the wire for a christmas present but were also loved when given to the same person as the hat. These are the item I am missing a photo for. They were in just the red without the grey, made out of colinette jitterbug with a picot edge top and bottom. The only odd thing I did with these is start from the finger end and not the wrist end making thumb decreases not increases.

The 2010 failures

I attempted a jumper following the Garland V-Neck Pullover pattern free from Ravelry. I made the rookie mistake of not thoroughly reading the pattern before starting knitting and failed to realise that the side increases all ended up on one side. It was frogged (ripped out) before any photos were taken.

Silky Shuffle

It was a great idea but failed due to using pure silk. If it was square pure silk would work but as soon as this was picked up the staggered rib just dropped out. It was not quite the way I intended. I want to write this one up as an easy free project but in a more suitable wool.

The UFO’s (un-finished objects) coming in to 2011

Jumper for me! November 2 2010

This is the first photo I have taken of the jumper. What with me taking 5 attempts over the past 5 years of knitting to never complete a jumper I feel like I’m trying to overcome a curse. Thing is I’m going to have to keep my arms apart because it appears I have two balls that are dyed quite a lot differently. Lets hope that the main body is odd enough for you not to notice this on the sleeves. The main body is complete up to the armpits, and I’d love to finish this before my birthday. Its based on Carona by CanarySanctuary. I did try this knit before but I used such rubbish wool I thought that was holding me back from completing a jumper too.

Shawl for my grandmother Started December 26 2010

A mix of 3 different shawl patterns amalgamated in to this smooshed up ball of stitches. I should really transfer to a longer needle but I’m sure it will all come out when I’ve finished. I want to complete this before Gran’s birthday too which is after mine. I think its entirely do-able because I only have 10 rows left to complete. A mix of 100% pure merino with 100% pure silk to give it loftyness, strength and mute down the brash colours and give it a bit of softness. I’m sure she will love it. Last time I visited I asked what her favourite colour was and she said turquoise. I think this is as close as I can get.

Spinning

I did spin one major item in 2010 but I have no idea when I started and finished it.

A 3 ply silk and merino mix carded together on my drum carder. over 200g of wool! woohoo, this spinning project was epic for a newbie like me. I have no idea what to make with it. I’m waiting for my christmas/birthday present to arrive (late January) which is a new yarn swift because my home made one has nearly wobbled to death. Then I can ball this up and get knitting with it.

And finally

I published my first ever For Sale knitting pattern, the Cable Cross Baby Blanket (raverly link). Only for sale on ravelry, because I have not set up any other payment system.

I’ve sold 18 copies since it was launched in July. I pay fees to Ravelry when I sell copies, and taxes via paypal on each transaction, so out of each £4 I charge, I get around £2.50 but that is money I would never have had before. I have gifted one copy too, to Knitted Bear who knits some lovely things. So if you managed to read ALL this, and leave a comment saying you want it, I’ll gift to the first 5 of you who want it!

Plus if you want it outside of ravelry, mail me or comment and we’ll talk 🙂 happy knitting for 2011!

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Happy New Year!

January 4, 2011

and its time for the resolutions.

My aims this year are to blog more… to knit and blog about it more, take more photos and try to get out and enjoy stuff. I’d like to lose weight, write some more knitting patterns for sale, have a really big holiday and spend more time with my family.

I want to avoid talking about work on here. Things are good at work. I want to keep it that way and sometimes shouting about what is wrong is what I want to do but it would not be productive.

Scotty and I really did become hermits over the christmas break. We did get a few things done but nothing amazing. Lots of sitting around eating chocolates and knitting/playing computer games.

The scritching  Lord UpLook

Both Otis and Jasper have loved having us around and having today back at work it was a real wrench leaving them. They did not look too happy about it either. The boys got a new water fountain for christmas and it works perfectly. The last one started leaking over the floor. One treat we got for ourselves was a new HD freesat recorder, now we can watch telly when we want and what we want.

We did nothing special for new year, and on new years day I woke up with a trapped nerve in my shoulder. Thankfully my wonderful husband has magical hands and has managed to rub my back, back in to place and after some more well-earned rest and a tub of tiger balm I’m mostly fixed.

my new brolly

I got a fabulous brolly for christmas from Scotty. I also got perfume, a knitting book, Toy story and Coraline blue ray. The latest Professor Layton game for the DS. The cats got a new water fountain and Scotty got Fallout new Vegas. Over all a wonderful christmas although very quiet and only saw the family once.

On to wooly things: I got 3 lots of wool. I’ve failed to add them to Ravelry yet so no pictures just yet. What I want to do is a little roundup of achievements in knitting for 2010. I suppose that is just a whole new post!

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Keeping busy and happy

January 4, 2011

Oh bums. I really did mean to get all this done during my extensive christmas holidays. I did have to work the gap between christmas and new year but all these are last years updates I missed. Be prepared for a rather lengthy post.

Our family all gathered together at my brother’s house for the annual visit to the fireworks and bonfire near his village for bonfire night. I didn’t take my camera but Scotty did:
ooooh!
met Iorweth which is AM’s new addition to the family. I’ve got one thing to say about that. Well baked that woman. I’ve seen him several times since and he just gets more and more lovely.

He is thoroughly adorable and amazingly cute. AM is amazing too, and has taken to motherhood naturally as if she always had a brood of 20 running around.

I took two days off work for Mums birthday. I used that time to visit my friend Mary, which was much more fun that sitting around moping because I miss my mum. I stopped past my Grans’ house because Gran was only 15 miles out of my way. The visit was really appreciated.

Mary was wonderful and looked after me during my visit. She tried on her wedding dress and we ate cake and went shopping. All within our means though. I think I wore her out. It was just lovely to visit and talk weddings.

Our family took a walk around Sherringham park just after mums birthday. It was lovely to go back. Somewhere I will always love to walk. I tried to get action shots of Shumba bouncing about but I failed to set my camera properly.

visit to London for work x2, once to see the new company that I will hopefully be working for come June. Another trip to do some testing on some new asset management software. Both very worthwhile trips. One thing that was not work related is I saw the security guards from Paris. (well not Paris exactly but the trip I took *cough* years back) It was lovely to catch up with old friends.

We attended Scotty’s work christmas party:
DSCF0400 

we did not get drunk, however we did sneak past the queue for taxi’s at the station and managed to get home in good time. Scotty’s friend Russell stayed over and kept our cats warm in the spare bed.

Then the whole christmas and getting ready for it caught up with us. I managed to knit one hat and one pair of mittens for christmas presents. That is all. I hope to blog about them some other time because I don’t have suitable pictures now, and they are particularly fabulous even if I do say so myself. They were well received.