Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The weekend

Well I'm still alive...only just! I had a lovely weekend.
Chris and I went to the North Cheshire guild in Croft for a day of long draw spinning. After a very slow start by me I think I've got the hang of it now!!!! We both decide to join the guild and so will be back next month making buttons?!
So Saturday was my 'test' before I went back to work on Monday. After only 5 hrs I was shattered to say the least, needless to say no knitting was done until Sunday.
I went to work on Monday, came home that evening and lay on the sofa and next thing I knew it was 1130pm! So I'm glad that I have managed to take today and Friday as holiday.
I've put my holiday in at work and also booked my camping pitch for Woolfest so I'm really pleased that has been sorted out. I've also put hols in at work for a tattoo convention in July and Whitby Goth weekend in October.
It was my birthday yesterday and I had a lovely day. My mum came over and we went out for lunch. J couldn't get yesterday off work so I'm going to have my birthday with her on Friday.
I got some pennies for my drum carding fund, clothes, books, fibre, posh yarn voucher, some smellies and chocolate. My mates from work bought me a 'nursey' watch which I've been wanting for months as we aren't allowed to wear normal watches at work.
As you can see I've finally been able to work out 'links'....just got to sort out a link for my questionnaire now!!!

My UK Questionnaire

Part One: Crafting

Do you knit, crochet, or both?
I am primarily a knitter altho' I can crochet I'm not very good at it(despite having books on the subject!)

What do you like to make?
At the mo I'm taking part in a lot of lace KAL's, I enjoy doing them but they are usually destined as gifts as I'm not a big shawl wearer. Other than that I enjoy socks, gloves, garments etc. Anything really that holds my interest!

Do you have a favourite project?
er.....I like to have a complicated as well as an easy(mindless) project on the go, so I can swap between the 2 depending on what I want to do.

Do you have a favourite type of fiber or brand of yarn?
Anything with natural fibres

Do you have a least favourite type of yarn?
Acrylically stuff......altho' it does come in handy for the pets beds!

Do you do any other crafts?
Oh yes! I spin with my wheel, Audrey and enjoy dyeing yarn and fibre. I do a bit of felting too...whatever takes my fancy really.

What knitting do you bring ‘on the go’?
Usually socks or gloves but I do take my lace to work with me....I knit during my breaks and it helps me switch off.

What do you carry your ‘on the go’ knitting in?
One of those jute bags from the supermarket!

Do you want something new?
I can never have too many bags as I like to have a project in separate ones.....I have 3 sitting near me as I type!!!

Are there any knitting gifts (book, toy, yarn, item, tool) that you have been lusting over?
Not sure really, I do still use my original set of bamboo needles I bought when i was 18 and I'm trying to slowly replace them(they can be a little rough and are not as good quality as some that are around nowadays) and I love circulars and have just treated myself to a few sets of addi lace from Socktopus.

Part Two: Your Favourites

What is your favourite colour?
Greens, oranges, dark reds, blues, purples...the darker side of colours really

What is your least favourite colour?
Pink!! although I don't mind it in variegated yarn/fibre. I don't like neons!

What scents/smells do you like?
Lavender and relaxing fragrances. Orange and fresh fragrances too!

What don’t you like? gives me bad headaches!

How do you like to pamper yourself? (bubble bath, hand creams, massage, manicure)
I have a long bath every night so anything bath orientated and I've always got hand cream close by too! I've recently discovered 'Soap and Glory' at Boots and love it!

What goodies to you like to treat your tummy with? (chocolate, biscuits, truffles, etc.)
I love dark chocolate...Green and Blacks. But Maltesers are my all time fave sweet!

Do you prefer tea or coffee while you knit?
Either...I drink a lot of both...the stronger the better esp tea! I have been know to use 2 bags per cup.

Any particular kind?
I'm a PG and Kenco girl.

Favourite mug/cup?
I have one I use for tea and one for coffee. I'm a firm believer in that tea tastes better in a china mug...has to be a big mug tho'!!

Do you listen to/watch anything while you knit? (TVshow-Along, movies, music, podcasts)
The TV is on most of the time.

Part Three: Living & Past-times

Where do you live in the UK? (General idea not address)
St Helens, Merseyside

Have you always lived here, or did you grow up somewhere else?
I was born and lived my first 18 yrs on the Wirral. I moved to Cardiff for 2 yrs to go to college and then onto S Yorks for 6 yrs before leaving my hubby to move in with my female partner in St Helens 7yrs ago....So I'm now back home in Merseyside!

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Ooooooo somewhere cold and snowy so I could wear lots of woolly things....I'm not very good with heat even in this country!

If you couldn't’t go to a knitting group, what other kind of gathering would you go to? (book club, tea party, yoga class, jewelery class, etc.)
Spinning or dyeing....hands down!

What’s your style? (elegant, traditional, glamourous, girly, natural, sporty, outgoing, etc.)
I'm just me really, erm I prob come across as studenty I suppose. I'm very much a combat pants and t shirt kinda girl.

Final Part:

Any allergies/preferences (fiber-wise or treat-wise)?
Just Vanilla really.

Anything we missed that you’d like your partner to know?
I am a big animal lover! I own 10 cats and a dog, so anyone I'm matched with will prob get a bit of free animal fibre with their goodies!!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Woo Hoo we have photos at last!

OK we will start with some WIP's. Above is the first clue completed for SoSii. This is done in a lovely alpaca/wool blend.
Here we have the Spring Shawl Surprise. The bottom lifeline shows the end of clue 1 and the top shows the end of clue 2. I've started clue 4 on this photo(I've now completed it). This is knitted in a wool/nylon blend(a usual sock yarn composition) and is slightly more purple than in the photo. I'm thinking of dyeing this when I've completed it to a deep purple.
Here is a completed Mystic Waters minus the blocking. The photo's really blurry as I was trying to take it quickly...and Twiggy wanted her pic taken too!
These are the polka dot gloves I had a custom order for. I still need to sew the 'hats' on and add icord and buttons but all the knitting is done. I'm a bit worried as the thumbs are a little big, but better big than small! I dyed the semi solid gray with acid dye and the variegated with pretend 'Kool-aid'.
So now I'm up to date with knitted items, I'm going to spend today plying the green tweedy stuff that's been on my bobbins for ages. It just means I can free them up ready for tomorrows trip to the North Cheshire guild with Chris, where we are doing long draw spinning...I must go and dig out my carders and niddy noddy!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Belated Happy New Year

I hope everyone had a lovely festive season as well as new year. We certainly did. J and A spoiled me rotten with loads of yummy pressies, Mum and Dad bought me a lamp alarm clock thing....basically wakes you up (and sends you to sleep) with 'natural' light, so should help with SAD(along with my self help of having a 20min or so 'hobble' in daylight every day). My sis bought me a lovely fleecy throw that zips and buttons into a sleeping bag! As she said I can use it for when I feel like curling up on the sofa....which I've been doing a lot of recently as I've had THE cold that's affecting everyone at work and it's left me with laryngitis and no voice at all!!!! I got lots of lovely cards and pressies from my mates too! Thank you all very much.
New year was fun as J and I went to see St Trinians at the cinema which was great.

On the knitting front:-
I've still not blocked MW
I've finished MS6 and that needs blocking too!
Finished knitting the polka dot gloves, they took ages as I'm not used to colour work, just need to sew buttons and finger 'hats' on.
Started Spring Shawl Surprise in 1ply weight yarn and ended up restarting in a thicker yarn. So finished clue 2 today and hope to have clue 3 done before Tuesday and then I'm caught up.
Need to start SoSii which I'm using a alpaca/wool blend from Forsells (I've been very good and already swatched).
I ended ripping Branching Out completely. I loved the yarn and colour but the pattern was doing nothing for me. So the beautiful cash/silk is sitting in my cupboard waiting for just the right project.

My Knitting new years resolutions are(as required by UK swap)
1. Get over my mind block of fine laceweight/cobweb yarn.
I really don't know why I get this. I never seem to have trouble with instructions...give me any pattern and I'm away, but fine yarn suggestions will be welcome regarding this matter! I've already thought about knitting a no-brainer shawl to give me a bit of confidence?
2. Finish any UFO's.....
I've only got 2 garments to finish, so I think I'll pick those up soon as I'm sure to get 'laced out' soon seeing as I've joined 5, yes 5! KAL's

I borrowed Chris' Drum Carder a few weeks ago. What a difference this has made! It still takes the same amount of time to card fleece but with much less effort! So I've asked my family for donations to the 'Mel would really like to buy an Ashford drum carder' fund for my birthday...which is only a week on Tuesday....sssqqquuuueeeeeeee!
(Photos when the light gets better)