Being Frank…

Accepting my failings

1 Comment

Yehaaaaaaaaaa! It’s the WIP roundup…

I’m hoping towards the end of this week to start putting photographs on the blog again having now sorted out my technological issues…in the meantime a status report…

This month the emphasis has been on decluttering rather than making,  so not much stash busting but little purchasing so I guess I end the month on a win

WIP’s first since I am feeling quite pleased with myself… you see I’ve finished my Mum’s cardigan…ok so when I say finished I mean I’ve stopped knitting, Mum is unfortunately still waiting for the finished article as it needs ends sewn in, sewing up washing blocking.  Pikkuveli on the other hand now has buttons and is in the cupboard waiting for winter

Myrna is on the naughty step but Liam and Catkin have both been examined, detangled and places found in the pattern

Everything else remains untouched or unphotograph or both

In sewing Hollyburn has been recut and is waiting resewing…nothing else resolved…I was too busy getting through second sleeve syndrome


Yarn –I ended July with 5556 grams and have ended August with 5756 having purchased 2 balls of sock yarn whilst on holiday (from a German supermarket) – I have however run out of hat sized bits of leftovers and have donated lots of ends of balls to an organisation in Nottingham who amongst other things are knitting poppies 

Material     Stash end of July 9959cm  Stash at end of August 9809cm

I made 2 Mabel’s this month although I counted 1 of them in the last round up. Both need hemming…neither of which are likely to be hemmed this side of Christmas (not even the one that was the right side) as I have it on good authority that the Mabel is not for me!

Fabric used 1.5 metres, 0.5 metres from stash…

However, none purchased… not sure I will be saying that next month as the weather is turning and thoughts are turning to thicker fabrics…of which I seem to own few…



Spring Sewing Swap

I am not known for my ability to post things on time…I have a fear of the post office these days as the one in Reading has become very automated but not in a way that speeds things up… however I was tempted into the post office queue by the chance to take part in Kerry’s Swing Sewing Swap…

When the swap partners were announced I was delighted to discover I had Maryanne aka Mrs C  (who used to blog as Hectic Eclectic but can now be found at Sent from my iRon)…I have been a long term lurker of Mrs C and had in fact spent a happy 2 days one Christmas working my way through her archived posts (instead of working…).

But then I suddenly thought, “Oh my God, she runs a craft shop/haberdashers, how am I going to find something she hasn’t already got…”  I needn’t have worried however as not only is Maryanne very nice and friendly…she also has an alter ego called Constance Craving who turned out to be very easy to buy for…my share of the swap can be found over here

Despite the panic and worry, there is very much an upside of swapping with someone who runs a haberdashers…because…they run a haberdashers !!!

I very much hit the jackpot with my allocated swapper and I am very happy about it as I was gifted such wonderful goodies



That yummy wool you can see in the photo in the most beautiful of blood reds is not just genuine New Zealand merino, nor is it just genuine New Zealand merino with possum but genuine New Zealand merino with possum and silk…wooohoo… so so soft

And on top of that a fabulous length of material with kiwi birds all over it…which fits in great with my recent birds obsession…plus some funky tapes for sewing into projects or tying on to parcel….

I know just the pattern for the merino, and this one is for me…time for some selfish knitting I think

Thank you Mrs C, it’s been a blast corresponding with you…and legitimately stalking your blog !

Leave a comment

FO: knitted rose

About 2 years ago I decided I wanted to try knitting with wire. It’s not something I’m going to make a habit of, not bcause it hurts your fingers but because a) wire is more expensive than wool and b) I have no idea what to do with the things I end up making…

This has been sitting in 3 pieces in my in-tray for over a year waiting to be made up but having no idea what to do with it afterwards it took a WIP clear up regime to actually finish it off…and it was a year between making the rose and making the leaf due to the cost of the wire

The red wire is leftover from the earrings I made 2 years ago and the gold is left over from the wire basket I made last year. The pattern is from a book Wire Knits.


Away with the Fairies at the bottom of the garden

It may seem that I’ve been missing in action this last week, the truth is I’ve had my head down knitting the last of the retirement presents and knitting a fairy…and for such a small thing this fairy has taken a hell of a lot of knitting.

To try and meet my deadlines I’ve taken to going to work by train again discovering in the process that me and lace knitting on a train don’t get on I spent more time knitting backwards than I did forwards.

Then what happens ? The sun starts to shine…the sun I’ve been longing for all  winter comes out right when I have more deadlines than I know what to do with…and I can’t ignore the sun. We don’t see it much , in fact last year I don’t remember seeing it at all.

So the last weekend and today I made the most of the fact that I can now garden (boundary dispute being resolved) and have spent the daylight hours cutting, digging, mowing and shifting rubbish to the tip…you would have thought that having had 3 years to think about it my head would be chock full of garden plans but to be honest aside from clearing the building rubble I haven’t got a clue !

No doubt come monday there will be another email from my solicitor. You see last week after we tidied up The Witch of Itch complained to her solicitors that she thought our works (removing builder rubble) encroached on her land… like to see her complain about me mowing the lawn…that woman really knows how to squeeze all the joy and happiness out of life

I may have been spending money in John Lewis and Mo’s in Rugby to cheer myself up…if it rains at easter I sew, it it doesn’t I garden.

Leave a comment

Knitting ’til your fingers bleed

I started a pair of socks with the start of the new month but quickly abandoned them because knitting a pair of grey socks in grey drearsome February turned out to be a really bad idea. Instead I grabbed some cotton in blue and another ball in orange and started knitting a hoodie for Spider.

Knitting mainly during Rugby matches but in between helping with wardrobes, ironing, tidying the kitchen etc I managed to complete 2 sleeves by 11am this morning but I also managed to clock up 10 very raw feeling fingers which I’ve put down to the yarn.  So when Husband suggested a trip to Oxford I was more than happy to put the needles down and stick walking shoes on and blow the cobwebs away looking at the snowdrops in the Botanic Gardens.

We all had a lovely day. But circumstances have led to me retreating to bed with chocolate cake, red wine and knitting…if I had a hot water bottle I’d have that too. Feeling lousy.

On top of everything else a friend texted to say Gary Moore has passed away…which makes me sad, so have added my CD of “Still Got the Blues” for you to the mix – put down the pain inducing cotton and gone back to the grey socks as it didn’t feel right to be knitting in colour

…and besides I do appear to have sustained my first knitting injury, just glad I haven’t attempted an adult sweater in the stuff.

Leave a comment

Reduce, reuse, recycle

I had plans for today. I had this vision, a dream if you will that for once I could be a proper “mummy”. I dreamt that my boy and I would make cakes, play with play doh and pens and maybe take a trip to the Herbert Museum in Coventry…but of course this is just rose tinted dreaming.

The reality is that my son climbed into bed with us at 2am and spent the rest of the night wriggling and jiggling before starting a conversation loudly with me at 7am – result ? Both Husband and I are wondering around like zombies, fortunately only one of us had to go to work and fortunately it wasn’t me.

So I’m having a gentle day, gently interactive. I’ve played with lego, we’ve had sword fights up the stairs and played cops and robbers…there’s also been long interludes where he watches star wars lego movies on youtube and I get to knit.

Now normally when I get bored of a knitted article I pass it on in the charity shop. I can’t bear the thought of destroying something I’ve knitted, and aside from that I don’t have much luck at unravelling something once it’s been sewn together. But this gentleman has turned out to be too itchy to wear so I’m frogging it – not an easy task with 2 kittens in the house.

Unfortunately I’m not being very imaginative in what it’s knitted back up into. The green yarn used for Steggie appears quite often on these pages as the Pirate Tote mainly because I over ordered it but also because it felts beautifully (albeit somewhat hairy)… and since the Pirate Tote bag is the one that people keep asking me to make for them it was inevitable that I would reuse it to make my last “promised” item, before deciding if I can face a bout of Christmas knitting…and I’m in 2 minds about that at the moment.

Will have some photos to show at the end of the weekend as have just made another set of goody bags, but I think after this lot I may put both the pirate tote and goody bag patterns away – as after all doing the same thing over and over despite the fact it puts smiles on people’s faces is not stretching me as a knitter.

Leave a comment

I’m in love

My love for alpaca has often been expressed on these pages, from the “nuzzle” in the URL as homage to “Nuzzle and Scratch” to its constant appearance in woolly objects, despite the fact that it does tend to knit up a bit tickly – Alpaca is just such a pleasure to knit with (soft and smooth) and to wear (soft and warm…oh and tickly).

But love was wearing a bit thing after 2 marathon sessions. The first being 5 feet of cabled alpaca which was both 4ply and splittyThe next battering of my devotion came after knitting up 2 balls of “lace weight” alpaca for my Mum who’d started a lacy scarf but it became too painful (RSI) to finish – the pattern (free from Toft Alpacas) was easy to remember but easy to mess upAfter this one I was quite happy to go cold turkey for awhile on the Aplaca, but I haven’t quit, I’m going to have another go slightly closer to christmas, I have a big ball of Aran and some large needles !

In the meantime I have found a vegetarian alternative on which to lavish my devotion and praise, Bamboo…its soft, it drapes like silk, it comes in a gorgeous arrange of colours and it has such a glamorous sheen…and, something I really needed after the uneven stitching in Julia’s Cardigan (Rowan Donegal Lights) it knitted up really really well, so even, so neat.  I am so smitten with Bamboo that I have 35 balls of the stuff (plus a skein of sugar cane yarn in glorious pastel ice cream colours).

The problem is that I seem to have an inability to actually finish anything in it…is it because I love it so much that I just want to keep knitting and never stop ? Whatever the reason 11 balls of black are supposed to be a lace style top for me where I have knit the front of the thing 3 times now but keep messing it up (I’m now using a notebook to keep track of increases/decreases and the chart) and 8 balls of it became most of a jumper knit in the round until I tried it on and realised that bright green possibly wasn’t my colourAlternatively it could have been that the pink stripe didn’t work, whatever it looked awful so I frogged it back… it’s waiting for me to find a pattern that suits it and the black is languishing as a UFO because fickle fickle me has found a new love.This is my swatch for Manu made with Wensleydale Longwool. It’s lucky that I am in love with its softness, smoothness, its natural sheen (its like the offspring of an Alpaca and a grove of Bamboo !) because despite being DK, to get the tension right for Manu I am knitting it on 3.25mm, I almost ended up with 3mm but decided to wash the swatch first and then measure.

I’m hoping that my obsession about this yarn is enough to sustain me because Manu is going to be a bit of a slog to knit. There is lots and lots of stocking stitch – it’s knit flat but the front and back are done together (200 stitches per row) – and then after about 3 balls of 100g balls of stocking stitch you reach the interesting knitting at the yoke and sleeves.

This is not an easy love affair…I’ve bought a ball of aran in the Wensleydale, just in case I need to rekindle the romance later on !