Saturday, December 30, 2006

Two New Jumpers!

I thought it was about time I actually showed some knitting on here. This is my 3rd TV jumper, which I'm very pleased with. I sewed it up on the way to Scotland and was able to wear it on Christmas Day.

When I finished knitting it I vowed never to knit another TV jumper again. It was supposed to be something to knit while watching TV but I became obsessed with finishing it and because it's 4-ply it took AGES. I'd love to have a ginger and midnight blue TV jumper but maybe I'll wait a year before beginning it.

Of course, this is the main reason I'd like a ginger jumper - to remind me of my little sweetie cat. This is her new favourite position to sleep, beside the storage heater!

Meg and I are home alone today. Usually I go into town with my husband on a Saturday to have lunch but I've had a horrible cold since we got back from Scotland. So husband has gone into town by himself to spend his Christmas vouchers (I have a voucher for John Lewis that I'm very keen to spend). I feel a bit grumpy about having another cold (third one in four months) but there's nothing I can do about it.

This is my plaid jumper. Difficult to photograph, mostly because I'm grumpy, I think. I wasn't sure about it after I'd finished it, then went on to wear it for about four days. Now I really like it, though the batwings take a bit of getting used to. I like the wool (discontinued, but at a bargain price on cucumberpatch) and may buy more of it in a different colour either for another jumper (more conventional shape) or to make a copy of a skirt I saw in a Saturday supplement last weekend. It was a knitted, longish A-line skirt with two square pockets on the front. I think if I knitted it up on smaller needles it would work.

Some random shots.

Okay, I'm feeling quite rough now so will stop here. Just one more thing before I go. I used to do a lot of beading about ten years ago, inspired by my friend, Kerstin. I haven't done much since knitting took over but while in the sewing shop the other day I saw some polished shell and Japanese square beads that I bought and made into a necklace as part of my sister's Christmas present:

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Works Christmas Outing

We went skating last night for our works Christmas outing, then went to Pizza Express and drank much wine. Skating was great fun. There was much talk beforehand of falling over and having to eat pizza with wet trousers but we all managed to stay upright and no one had to eat with wet pants.

Vicky (she's on the left, I'm on the right) turned up wearing red high heels, cream denier tights, and a pencil skirt. She suffered our derision with good humour (she's like Tigger in Winnie-the-Pooh - irrepressibly bouncy and optimistic) until she took to the ice and we discovered she shares 99% of her genes with Jane Torvill.

I was lucky enough to have her as my Secret Santa and she had bought me two balls of Tapestry, which I was VERY pleased about, and she was kind enough to point out they were different colours.

Final photo, as it's so good. Anna (far right) is another knitter and also sews (she made my patchwork knitting needle case earlier in the year). Joyce took the photos, having decided at the last minute NOT to skate after talking all of us into it in the first place.

Knitting news: I've finished my Plaid jumper, will post photos soon. I wasn't sure of the batman shape initially but wore it into town then didn't take it off for four days. It's really cosy. I love the Plaid wool. I've also almost finished my 3rd TV jumper, just have to sew it up. I'm hoping to take it with me to Scotland for Christmas.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Christmas in Norwich

Some photos of the place I live:

I took a walk into the market square last night and enjoyed seeing the Christmas tree lit up, and all the houses on the main street had Christmas trees and lights attached to the outside of their buildings. There were stalls and a fairground ride and a hog roast. Then I came home and watched Nigella Lawson's Christmas programme and wished I had some mulled wine!

The best news though is that my husband arrives home on Sunday after working in America for two months. I'm SO looking forward to seeing him and having him home for three or four months.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cats At Home

I don't have any knitting to upload (though I have two jumpers that won't take long to finish) but I wanted to post, and my cat friend Meg is figuring large in my life at the minute as I'm in the process of fitting a cat flap for her.

I will DEFINITELY fit the cat flap at the weekend. I didn't realise how complex fitting a cat flap was (though I'm sure when I actually get down to it it will take about five minutes!).

First of all I bought a magnetic cat flap, as we have two Norfolk terriers living next door, and my neighbour reckons the smaller dog can fit through cat flaps. However, when I got the magnetic cat flap home I realised it has a deep tunnel attached that is integral to the magnetic mechanism.

The door panel is only half an inch thick so it would've stuck out quite far on the outside. So I got a refund, did some research and eventually bought an infra red cat flap.

I've got everything prepared (drawn the template on the door, fitted the correct drill size to the drill, borrowed a Jigsaw, etc) so I'm hoping it will only take a few minutes once I start cutting. I'm concerned about the infra red key being quite big for a 3/4 size ginger cat but hopefully she'll figure it out and realise it's to her benefit.

This is Pudding Pie Alley. When we first moved to Norfolk we were told to park in the market square, go down Pudding Pie Alley and turn left.

There was a notice in our neighbours' window, which read, "All is well, and all shall be well".

The village where we live (or town, as the locals insist on calling it) is a totally lovely place. The disused station has been turned into a teashop and curio-shop. If I have a day off and feel like escaping from the 21st century I love walking down there and getting away from it all.

There is also a new cafe called V's cafe, which is well-decorated, has a rotating cake cabinet and sells bespoke baking accessories. There is a library, two butchers, a health food shop, a corner shop, a Post Office, and even a rather strange clothes shop.

I love the place I live in. It has a completely good feel about it. I feel safe and happy here. Though it is rather sleepy!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Baby Footwear

I can now reveal some baby footwear I've been making over the last few months for my friend Leonie who just had her baby. I started knitting when I found out she was having a boy. The socks and small boottees are taken from 50 Baby Boottees... I think it was Zoe Mellor who did the patterns. The white boottees with roses are from a pattern I got from the library by Erika Knight, they're actually the same as my slippers.

I also made a small beaded bag to put them in, which I forgot to photograph. I sent them off yesterday.

My friend Anna has been making similar items to sell at a Christmas Craft Fair at the end of November. I might try to make a few more and sell them too.

I've almost finished my 3rd TV jumper, which I'm very excited about because it's gorgeous. Maybe next weekend. And in the meantime I've started on a Rowan Plaid jumper that I liked from Magazine 39 but didn't want to spend £50 on the wool! Well, plaid has now been discontinued and is being sold at a bargain price on cucumberpatch. I bought six balls of Bramble for £21!!! I've almost finished the front because it's knitted up on size 8 needles.

I'm going to my friend Sophie's tonight for a knit-in and DVD evening. So will hopefully make good progress there. Should have both jumpers finished in next two weeks. I'll also upload my bodyless sleeves at the same time.

Sister time

This is my sister, Jacqueline, and her husband, Robin. They came to visit me last week (from Scotland) while my husband is working in America for two months.

We went out for the evening to Wagamama's in Norwich where I had my usual vegetarian hot sauce noodles.

Jacqueline did a lot of shopping while she was here and kindly left me a box of presents when she returned home.

I had hoped to go skating too but with all the shopping and board game playing we didn't manage to fit it in.

We played Risk and Yahtzee and drank Port, but didn't quite manage to get on to Pictionary this time.

Jacqueline is a demon Monopoly player and used to make me play Monopoly with her every day in the school holidays and, being 7 years younger, she won every time. She's still very competitive.

This is the ice rink in Norwich, which is very festive and is erected every year at Christmas outside the library.

My work colleagues and I have decided for our Christmas work outing this year to go skating first, then head into Pizza Express for food. We just didn't feel like another turkey dinner!

We have to do it on 21st December though as almost every other date was crossed out with previous engagements.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Here are my finished mittens!!! :)

Two thumbs are all I've managed to knit in the last three weeks. At least my 'current projects' number is decreasing. I now only have two on the go and two waiting to be started so I can almost buy new wool for a new project.

Even better news, I now have a new digital camera so I can take better photos. My lovely husband brought it back for me as a present from America.

I'll probably replace all the previous photos I've taken as the quality is SO much better.

I also took a photo of my whole winter wear again as I didn't really manage to get my hat in the last shot:

I shall look quite the dandy walking around town with this lot on. I should really take a photo of me wearing something, maybe I will.

Nothing much else to report. Meg arrived home the other day with a tiny slug crawling in her fur. My husband managed to save it and put it back outside.

Okay, I really don't have anything else to say. Ciao!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Ongoing Projects

This is my third "TV jumper". As you can see, I've finished the back, am currently working on the front but I often stop to work on other things so it'll probably be finished by Christmas.

I forgot to say in my other posts about the TV jumper: the first one I knitted (the purple one) was slightly short for wearing with jeans, though it's okay with skirts, so I added 20 rows to the second jumper (the blue one), and have added 20 rows to this one too. There is enough yarn in the 5 balls of wool to do this.

This is another ongoing project, "Gemma", taken from one of the Rowan magazines (number 38, perhaps?). This is the sleeve. I knitted the sleeves first because the detail at the bottom of the sleeve covers the whole of the front and back so I thought I'd better practise. It took me a while to get the hang of dropping the loops off, and there is no mention in the pattern of WHAT I'M SUPPOSED TO DO WITH ALL THE ENDS.

After reading Jen's blog, xtreme knitting, I will attempt it on a circular needle when I next have the patience to work on it. I've completed both sleeves and part of the back:

The colours on the sleeve are a truer representation than the colours on the back. It will be stunning when it's finished but progress is slow so I expect it will take me another two years to finish it.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Blue and Purple Winter Wear

These are my (almost) finished winter accessories. The purple looks darker in the photo than it actually is . I finished the hat (taken from Rowan's Little Book of Big Accessories) mid-week and spent some of yesterday finishing the body of the second mitten.

Although I have the Folk Mittens book, the pattern I used for these mittens was given to me by a Danish friend who had got the pattern from a magazine back home. She photocopied the pattern and translated it!

The pattern for the scarf was taken and adapted from Vintage Knits. I used Rowan Calmer instead of a 4 ply as I wanted a chunkier (and less time consuming) scarf. I also 1 x 1 ribbed the middle section of the scarf so it would be double sided.

The hat is knitted in Big Wool. The Mittens are knitted in Jaegar 4 ply. I just have the thumbs to finish and then my winter knitwear accessories will be complete. I didn't want the hat to have too much blue in it so just added some blue Big Wool to the pom poms.

This is the first time I've successfully knitted using more than one colour. I can cable beautifully but multi-colour skill has always eluded me so I'm quite pleased with these. I will definitely knit another pair of mittens, however, these have been more than a year in the making as it requires complete concentration when following the pattern. The second mitten is also better than the first as I'd learned how to knit a looser tension. It won't be too noticeable when I'm wearing them but my next attempt will be better.

I had considered making mittens for my friends for Christmas but, frankly, it's too much work!

That's all my knitting for now, and that's me up-to-date with what I have here to show you. Maybe next week I'll pull out the projects I'm working on (currently TWO).


Purple cosy jacket

This is also from a back issue of one of the Rowan magazines, also knitted in Rowan Polar, also bought from Cucumberpatch. Again, I had one ball left over from what the pattern said.

As you can see, it's fairly pookie, and big clumps of wool hang off the cardigan all the time, though I constantly pull them off. I think that's the reason Polar was discontinued and the Rowan team produced a more reliable chunky wool in its place.

No matter, I got the wool at a good price (£3.50 a ball) and it is the cosiest thing I own. I like that it buttons right up my neck, so no need for a scarf. All four pockets are obsolete and if I knitted it again I'd probably keep the bottom pockets but lose the top ones.

I spent a long time choosing the buttons as I didn't want something that dominated the jacket. I like the ones I chose as they're bold but don't overpower and they remind me of granny-sweets as they're coloured and semi-transparent.

Rowan Polar Bag

This pattern was taken from one of the earlier Rowan magazines (I bought 4 back issues for £10 from the Rowan website, which I thought was a BARGAIN). It's knitted in Rowan Polar, which is discontinued but I bought it from the Cucumberpatch website. I would highly recommend buying wool from Cucumberpatch as I have ordered wool from them twice and the wool arrived the following day!

The pattern said 3 balls of wool were required but I actually only used two, and had some left over from that.

I lined the inside with some cotton fish fabric I bought in John Lewis.
I think it turned out rather well!

Medieval Black Sideways-Knitted Top

I knitted this in about 4 hours from start to finish. It's from Rowan's Big Just Got Bigger, knitted in Chunky Print, 8mm needles :).

The whole top is knitted sideways, with leather thonging through the back, so it's quite medieval and unusual. The thinner I am the better it looks, however. It doesn't really suit a chubbier frame!

It's washed fairly well, a little bit pookie but not too bad.

I would model all my garments but I'm home alone at the moment, except for Meg WHO BROUGHT A MOUSE HOME AT 1.30AM A FEW DAYS AGO.

I was asleep in bed and woke up to hear scuffling noises. I knew it was the cat and got up to check she was okay. When I got downstairs she was on top of the beanbag, trying to get to something that was behind the beanbag.

I pulled the beanbag away from the wall, expecting to see a large house spider (which we get plenty of in August), and instead there was the sweetest little black mouse. Of course Meg instantly jumped on the mouse and got hold of it in her mouth!

I impressed myself by quickly assembling a glass of water to sprinkle on Meg (in the hope she would let go of the mouse), a cardboard box lid to put between Meg and the mouse when she put it down (she growled at me when I tried to take it from her mouth), and some tissue paper to pick up the mouse once I'd managed to separate it from the cat.

It took a few attempts, which ended upstairs, but Meg finally put the mouse down and before it ran off again I placed the lid between them and picked the mouse up in the tissue.

It was completely fine and ran off into the night when I put it outside in the garden. For two seconds I considered keeping it as a pet for me and Meg but I don't know what mice eat and could envisage a kind of "There was an old woman who swallowed a fly" scenario developing in reverse.

The back of the garment:

Secret Santa in August

This is my Autumn "Secret Santa" present, given to me by my colleague Anna, who also sews and knits. Somehow we got on to talking about Christmas and Secret Santa in the office about three weeks ago, and I suggested we did a Secret Santa now, so we could all get a present. Nobody was very interested, especially when I suggested it was conditional to make the present, except Anna.

Isn't it amazing?

I made her the hat with ear flaps from Rowan's Little Book of Big Accessories. I made it in Big Wool in the two-tone pink colour. Didn't manage to take a photo before we swapped pressies but will try to catch her wearing it later in the year. I have to say it was the jolliest colour of wool I've ever knitted! She was very pleased with her present too.

It was great fun to make and swap presents and to have completely free rein(sp?) as to what we made. I did consider making her a pair of my moss stitch slippers (which I've since remembered came from an Erika Knight book) but thought she would like the hat better.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Vintage Knits Stripy Jumper # 2

Afore ye go...

I almost forgot, this is the 2nd Vintage Knits TV jumper I knitted. Sorry it's a bit crushed. I only bought one Kidsilk Haze pink ball of wool, having learned from the purple and green one I made (the blue and pink combo was my effort to knit something that wasn't purple and green - quite successful if I say so myself). The blue is Jaegar 4-ply again.

My third TV jumper that I'm currently knitting is apple green, I think it might be RYC 4-ply, absolutely gorgeous, and I'm using a strand of pink and a strand of green Kidsilk Haze together, left over from the two previous jumpers, which gives it a hazy, muted effect.

Okay, I really should go and do something else. Adios. x x x

Vintage Knits Beaded Jumper (without the beads)

This jumper should have beads on it (Vintage Knits again) but I hadn't learnt the fun of beading then so knitted it straight in muted PURPLE with Kidsilk Haze edging and rosebud on front.

It's become my home, comfort jumper that I pad around the house in with my pyjama bottoms (and moss stitch slippers).

I'm not sure if the beading would have given it better tension but it's knitted in Jaegar 4-ply and just sits on the shoulders. It's nowhere near being indecent but perhaps that's why I mostly wear it around the home.

Well, that's all for now, folks. Will photograph more stuff in better light another time.


Moss Stitch Slippers

I don't remember which book I got this pattern out of. I often get knitting books out of the library, particularly ones out of print (or not easy to find) or books that only have one or two patterns I want to make. This pattern also has baby sizes.

I wasn't sure about these slippers when I first made them about a month ago but now I absolutely love them. They took about four evenings to make and are made in Rowan Denim. I think what put me off initially was the colour (I find knitting black has the same effect). I wanted to knit them in (what else?) purple. The recipe said I could use Denim or Hand Knit Cotton DK but my local John Lewis didn't have Hand Knit DK in purple. I added the little roses to make them more interesting.

The Rowan Denim label said I should wash all the pieces before sewing them together but I never take notice of boring advice like that. I've since washed them several times and they're great.

I also never block and iron anything I knit and can't believe how many people do from the knitting blogs I've read.

Megsterino - The Jelly Cat

Just have to quickly upload this photo of my adopted cat Meg. She first appeared on my shed roof last Autumn and ever-so-gradually moved in. She's absolutely gorgeous, SO affectionate and sometimes very grumpy. She most likes it when my husband works from home and they both settle down to watch an afternoon matinee.

She likes the house to be quiet, warm and semi-dark.

We tried to move her onto dry food but ended up having to hide it under a big load of jelly. She's a jelly-fiend and often leaves the lumps of meat in her dish and just sucks off all the jelly.

Her main point of entry into the house is over the roof and through the upstairs landing window. To wake us up in the morning she goes out of the landing window, walks along the roof to our (slanting) bedroom window and jumps on it. She has access to the house and food in her bowl and all she wants is a cuddle.


Vintage Knits Vest


Ahem, another awful photo (might have to buy new digi camera) but this is the vest, again from Vintage Knits. It was the first thing I knitted when I bought the book (Vintage Knits is still my all-time favourite knitting book). This was when I was still in my purple and green phase. Knitted in Cotton Glace. I loved knitting it, loved the easy little holes that add loads to the design and liked knitting the long straps. HOWEVER, I found the ribbon very fiddly and still have trouble flattening the picot edging (lots of steam ironing), which means I rarely wear it. Also the straps were FAR too long so I have the excess hanging inside down my back. And I knitted a medium whereas I should probably have knitted a small. The bust area is a bit baggy so I pulled the ribbon tighter to compensate. Still looks lovely though.

Vintage Knits Stripy Jumper # 1

Okay, this photo looks awful, but the jumper is lovely. It's from Sarah Dallas's Vintage Knits (the TV jumper I refered to in my previous entry). I used Jaegar 4-ply violet-purple, with Rowan Kidsilk Haze green. I like the Jaegar 4-ply because it's relatively cheap (£3 a ball) and feels cosy and washes well and has a certain elasticity about it. One thing I didn't like about the recipe (pattern) was that it said the jumper required two balls of Kidsilk Haze, and as I'm sure all of you Kidsilk Haze lovers will know this pushes the price up considerably at £6 a ball. More for convenience than anything else I dug out the inside 'end' and used two ends from the same ball of wool quite happily (I had bought two balls) and still had some Kidsilk left over from the first ball when I finished the jumper! Very naughty Sarah. I wish recipe-writers would add little tips like this.

Okay, I might take my second TV jumper outside and try a more successful photograph. DON'T GO AWAY!

2 year old's jumper

This is a Debbie Bliss jumper I knitted for a 2 year old friend, Nathan, for his birthday. I went to Edinburgh for last year's book festival and stayed with him and his parents. It's Rowan Hand Knit Cotton DK, lovely to knit with and it looked great when it was finished (colours not quite so garish as in the photo). I started it about a year before, thinking I'd have loads of time to finish it and ended up sewing till about one in the morning before his birthday! I only had the neckband and sewing up to do but it took ages. He seemed to like it and specially chose to wear it next time I visited.

I had meant to photograph all my knitwear to date and post them but haven't got round to it. Housework being the main reason.

Maybe tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

It's Me!

This is me in one of my favourite cafes in Norwich. I actually went looking through my files to see if I could find a photo of the purple vest I knitted from Vintage Knits but I don't know where it's gone.

Anyway, this is what I look like. I'm planning to take photos of everything I've knitted (that I haven't given away) and posting those first, then will do the usual current projects, etc.

I have three projects on the go at the moment. A pair of mittens (purple and blue) from a Danish pattern a friend gave me; what my friend Anna and I call our "TV jumper", it's the kidsilk haze stripy jumper from the Vintage Knits book again. We call it the TV jumper because it's easy to watch TV whilst knitting, i.e. no concentration required (this is my third); and Gemma from last winter's Rowan magazine, which has been a year in the making (so far), I'm knitting it in purple with red loops.

Most of my knitwear is purple. I was fixed on purple and green for a while, then I made myself move on to purple and another colour. My winter wear (mittens, hat, scarf) is all purple and blue, all from different yarns as I like trying new things and I don't want stuff to TOTALLY match.

Okay, will stop here and do photos on the weekend. P x x x

Saturday, August 12, 2006

New Knit Blogger

This is just a test post to see how it looks. I'll be posting my knitting diary very soon. Very exciting :) I've been inspired by the xtreme knitting website. Polly x x x