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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.

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Holiday catchup.

December 1, 2010

I had a holiday two weeks back. I was so busy trying to knit a new jumper and having a good time I failed to write anything here.

The jumper was the write off I mentioned in the last post. The rest of the holiday was fabulous. We mostly stayed home with some day trips out.

We went to that london for the day and didn’t take the cameras. It rained constantly but we enjoyed going to the national gallery and hamleys. Great day, with lots of stop offs at coffee shops to dry off. I managed to get a small toy for AM who at the time was very close to due date, and only bought a couple of DVD’s to bring home. Oh and we went out for dinner at pingpong dimsum restaurant. Thoroughly amazing food and well worth searching out.

We caught up with friends and went to Colchester Zoo. We met up with M4tt and K4tie and No4h. No4h finally got his hand made blanket wich went very well with his pram.
Noah
The day was cold but dry and great fun. Lots of great animals and stomping about the zoo. No4h was fantastic and not a single grumble all day.
Noah and Katie

There are more pictures of No4h and all the animals we saw on flickr

Finally at the end of our week off I was called by my brother to go out for Sushi with the kids. Adorable as always Tom and Izzy love the sushi restaurant and were very well-behaved considering they’re 4 and sitting in a restaurant.
Tommy Izzy

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Howdy!

November 15, 2010

er… no excuses, no reasons. I just got tired of blogging. I’m hoping the urge has returned.
This weekend was lazy but I have started knitting a new hat for my dad’s friend Beate. (said like “bee arr tar” and I remember by thinking of Bea Arthur). This will hopefully be her christmas present. I’ve not tackled stranded colour knitting before but the pattern is Selbu Moderne, look it up, its fab.

I’m also back to shake my fist at the jumper/sweater knitting curse. I’m going to beat you. You’re not the lord of me and never will be. I’m attempting the 2nd jumper with the same wool, my last attempts got to the armpit and failed due to the knitting pattern (garland v-neck pullover) being less than correctly descriptive in size conversion.
Now I’m attempting Corona again but in a size that will hopefully fit and in nice wool instead of cheap nasty stuff. Shame the Araucania Nature Wool Solids bright blue shades are leaking on to my fingers. If you can get on ravelry (login only) You’ll see from my frogging pool I’ve made 5 attempts at completing a jumper type thing for myself, all failures. I want to prove that I can beat this.

The cats got a new cat tree, courtesy of me sending off my old mobile for Argos vouchers. They approve of the new facilities. I’m trying to amass a small arsenal of cat videos taken on either my new iPhone or new canon camera…. we’ll see.

The problem with blogging now is that, although I can type in my lunch break, I can’t attach my flickr photos because they’ve been blocked at work. I’m in no position to ask for special treatment so, I can point you at flickr but can’t attach the images here. So you’re welcome to go to my flickr, or just stay here picture less for now.

Next update, our holiday two weeks ago… and probably a little catchup on stuffs I’ve missed. Hopefully!

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and the silence is lifted.

September 20, 2010

Right.

Now I’ve completed the office image project I can come up from the vicious cycle of taking photos, trying out photos, being denied, and going out to take more photos again. We did try for broads pictures but they were not to be. Between me and my lovely husband we now have 11 images gracing the walls of the PWC Norwich office. 4 in reception, 7 in the meeting rooms. If you ever find yourself near the office, send me a note and I’ll give you a guided tour. I’m rather pleased with them all. There is only 1 shot that is not my favourite. I may not have been physically paid for this, but I did get a whole set of copies of the images when they printed the wrong size. at £18 per print A1 size and all 11 of them, I think it works out quite fair.

Now this one, Cow Tower is my absolute favourite because this is very close to where the lovely Scotty proposed to me. Aw… Click on the image to show some of the other items in the office. Not quite all of them but enough to give you the idea of what I was up to for so long.

On to the subject of knitting.

Last weekend (not the one just gone, the one before) we went over my sisters for her birthday, her daughter’s birthday and my sister’s wedding anniversary. If you’re going to celebrate it may as well be several items at once. It makes for a much more fun event. I finished their projects and handed them over. The lovely ‘B’ played model for me.

B loved her Dragon Wings. So named because she’s really in to her dragony things right now. I love the flame colours too, partly due to a mistake in re-skeining done by the Kauni suppliers a knot made this rainbow run back through the same colours before moving on.

Still just right for a little wii playing.

Then B kindly tried on her mums’ beaded shawl. A re-design of Annis from Knitty plus some yarn I’ve lost the ball band from but I know I bought it at Alexandra Palace last year. My sister truly loved it and said she needs to go out now, somewhere special to wear it.

I also got the chance to catch up on some other items I forgot to photograph properly before:

B’s Mitts and my sisters Addamas Shawl. Now my ravelry is completely up to date with as many images as I can find of all finished objects.

I finished a man size pair of socks last night for my friend Andy who played drums at our wedding. Its only taken me 2 years to do them. HA! I’m no fast knitter but these were mind bending. I’ll do them on another post.

Over all we’re well. We had an office summer ball on Friday night and everyone was suited or gowned to perfection. Took my camera there too, but you wont be seeing them photos cos we want to sell them to the people we took pictures of so we can make some more money for charity.

I know I’ve missed a lot for the past few months a few bullets may suffice:

– we’ve picked a metric ton of elderberries which are stored in the freezer, along with some sloes, some sour cherries and finally some black currants too. All frozen and ready to be made in to something stunning.

– Made elderberry cordial again, we have made 2l and stored the rest of the berries to make more this winter. I do believe its a real cold killer. Get out there quick if you want berries, they seem to be finishing now. I found Whittlingham lane to be HEAVING with them.

– won the raffle at the ball, we got £20 of cinema city vouchers. Woohoo! Got to wait until there’s something we really want to see.

– Bought a new bit for my spinning wheel. I now have a jumbo flyer… which means I should be able to spin FAT wool. I finished off the last of the silk merino mix spinning yesterday so I could dismantle and rebuild my wheel. Now it looks a bit Frankenstein due to some being varnished and some not. I’m tempted to take it all apart and sand it all back, but that will be a very big job. I just want to spin with it NOW.

– ok I’m bored now and can’t remember all the great things. Still just happy to be well, loved and working.

Oh Otis says Meowrl, Jasper says Meeew. Both little furry hell bringers, one using the front doormat as a fresh litter tray and the other making chew toys out of all the finest apple cables he can find. I despair, but then look at them and melt. Aw. little buggers.

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refurbishment

July 27, 2010

Our Norwich office that I work in has been undergoing a rather large refurbishment. I’ve kept quiet about it because frankly it’s absolutely none of the blogs business. Still there has been a side line that is something I must note down for my own satisfaction and to prove that I am loved and appreciated.

I do know that I am loved and appreciated but sometimes it takes just a little more than just knowing it to be truly smug and happy that I’ve achieved something. During the topsy-turvy stage of it all the designer came in and asked if there was anyone who could do some photos to be put up in the reception area. I of course volunteered like an eager crocodile about to snap someones arm off. Scotty and I went out walking one Saturday and failed due to bad lighting but the next day we went back out and got some decent shots. I took a range of photos, mostly just architecture, processed them and placed them in for viewing by the “management”.
I have since heard back that yes they want 4 of my photos!

I just cant wait to see what they look like in A1 framed format hung on the walls. All rather exciting, and not expected at all.

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I aten’t dead

July 26, 2010

I’m just rubbish at blogging. I’ve knitted a shawl for my sister in-law, but I can’t show you that. I’m knitting a shawl for my sister and I can’t show you that either cos she does come here. I did publish my knitting pattern a little bit early but so far have sold 4. This is amazing, I never thought I could sell knitting patterns.
I am going to Knit Nation on Friday and hope to have a great day out. Now if only I can find where I lost those past 2 months I’ll let you know.

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making a pattern.

May 12, 2010

Remember this?

baby blanket front

Now I’ve finally decided that at least with knitting patterns you make it once properly and then sell on copies. I am hoping that at least if I can create a small arsenal of these it will be the basis for creating and making that I can enjoy without getting completely bored. I’m no publisher, my main line of work is IT so at least I can apply the tools of my trade to getting this in to something readable and nice. What I have done though is write this up.

Now I love this pattern and I’m not sure where I stand on a few items including copyright of the original cables and how to get it published without offending any previous designer and or the cable creators. I can say in this instance most of these cables came from a knitting book, a stitch dictionary type book but not ALL of it. Also I created the miter sections myself so that each cable starts correctly on the miter to sit properly within the pattern.

Over on “The Rav” (ravelry) as I like to call it, I went to the test knitters discussion pool and posted a request. Sorry if you can’t get to that link, ravelry is a sign in type site because of the vast content hosted inside. If you are at all interested in the crafts of knitting, spinning, crochet or weaving you should know about it and have an account. So anyway, I posted a request and I was surprised by the vast response to the request. I did this yesterday and I already have what I like to call MINIONS. I know it sounds mean but they are doing my bidding. *cackles evilly* These lovely 5 people are getting this pattern for free whilst they test knit and prove if my charting and pattern writing skills are fully tested.

I want to charge for this pattern mainly because it’s the biggest best knit I’ve created so far. I want it to be something special for other people too. I’ll try to keep you informed on how it goes. For now, if you know anything about publishing, copyright or what really needs to be in that pattern that I may have missed, I would really appreciate hearing from you. It’s all new territory for me and I’m not the sort of person who wants to tread on anyones toes making this.