Saturday, 30 March 2013

Happy Easter

The week has been bedlam at work. Easter seems to creep up on folk and surprise them.  We're shut for a long weekend this weekend, 4 days in total. I think we've had to cram 8 days work into 4 not 5 days! I'm definitely ready for a restful break.

We're visiting good friends in Hull over the Easter weekend. So, today (Good Friday) I'm doing house work so that Saturday I can do some shopping and pack. We set off on Easter Sunday and we'll be travelling back on Tuesday morning. I'm hoping for plenty of knitting time over those couple of days.

Next comes a visit to my Mum and Dad and a visit to my good friend. My friend is my latest project. She's a new knitter. At the moment she loves knitting scarfs out of that frilly yarn that knits up quickly into shiny scarfs. I'm trying to convince her to enhance her stash with yarn that's seen a sheep at some point! To that end we're going to visit Black Sheep Wools it's entirely possible I could enhance my stash too! Eek!

I'm aiming to be home late on Wednesday to chill at home and celebrate the other half's birthday on Thursday.

On to crafty things

WIP's - no surprises, but this week has seen me mostly working on the Evenstar border. I've had a panic on. I'm using the circular I used to knit the shawl and a DPN to work the border. I noticed that the stitches along the edge of the shawl were starting to look fluffy through the handling they were getting as I worked the border back and forth. So to solve this my beautiful shawl is living in an unattractive food bag! I'm actually knitting the border with the circular and the body of the shawl in the bag to reduce the friction on the stitches.

It seems to be working, the stitches aren't felting and I'm feeling happier about the whole thing. It's taken me 8 days to get halfway around the border, and I'm hoping that now I'm off for a week I can get the second half done in the 5 days I have left until I visit my Mum! Wish me luck. 

As for other crafty adventures, there have been none! I'm giving my whole heart to the Evenstar. I'm dreaming of knitting other things though. I'm desperate to cast on Drizzle. It's a fab pattern and I'm excited to cast it on, you never know, if I get my finger out I could start it before I blog next. The only problem is that I haven't got any sport weight yarn in stash! Ah well, there's a good reason to go shopping if ever I saw one!
So here I am on Easter Saturday and it's becoming increasingly more likely that I'm going to run out of beads for the Evenstar.  I think I've got enough for another 12 more repeats.  As of tonight I've got another 23 repeats to go. So it's now a done deal that I'm not going to get this done in time for my visit to my mum's next week.  I've more beads on order, so it will be finished, but sadly I can't mee the deadline.
I'm starting to think about packing now for my trip.  The knitting bag is sorted.  It contains the Evenstar (obviously), the Ullwater shawl (in the vain hope I get closer to casting it off!), the Inspira shawl, my own sock design and a ball of yarn that's yet to be caked and yet to have a pattern picked for it.  I'm hoping that this is sufficient to keep my attention while I'm away from home.
Spinning -
Oh how I long to spin! I'm thinking that just a few minutes tonight won't make that much difference to my Evenstar progress. In my heart of hearts, I know that if I start, I won't want to stop tonight.  Tomorrow I'll feel bad about it!
Goals for next week -
Well, I was aiming to finish the Evenstar, but now the beads have effectively run out, I'm aiming to go as far as I can. After that, I suppose the Ullswater is next on my hit list as it's the nearest to completion of all my languishing WIP's!
Have a lovely Easter guys

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Just keep knitting, knitting, knitting

If you don't see a blue fish with knitting needles you don't have a child of a certain age!

So this week saw the pre-Easter madness start at work. It's just starting to dawn on folk that the pharmacy will be closed for 4 days!  Next week, however promises to be worse! I'm thinking happy thoughts; mainly because I'm off next week. 

This weekend has been great. Once again we 'borrowed' Ben's best friend. Saturday was further improved for the boys because they were invited to a last minute birthday party. So they went to the local Lazer Wars and spent an hour or so trying to kill each other. After that it was back to the birthday boy's house for tea. I was to pick them both up between 7:30 and 8:00. So I arrived about quarter to and met the parents. I had a great night chatting to 2 lovely people. We had lots in common and I hope for the opportunity to chat again! 

So, to crafting - 

The title should give you a clue as to what I've been up to! 
I've been monogamously knitting on the evenstar and it's paid dividends. I'm now 1/4 of the way around the border 
I'm thinking positive thoughts. I could get this done in time if I concentrate and work hard! 

I'm still not working on my other WIP's. I'm desperate to get my Mum's gift complete in time. 

Spinning - 

I have mostly been looking longingly at my wheel. I so want to spin. But I feel guilty if I don't work on the shawl. So  I haven't spun an inch

Goals for next week - 

I'd like to get half way round the shawl.  Wish me luck guys. 

Have a great week x 

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Learning opportunities

This week has mostly been filled with feverish knitting and work.

On the work front, we had new PC's installed. It proved to be a somewhat stressful day. On the whole, however, I've enjoyed this week. Deep down in my heart I'm a clinical pharmacist. I'm happiest wrestling with a clinical problem and finding solutions both acceptable to the patient, the prescriber and the NHS! This week provided a good number of such problems and I had fun working through them.

My other half has gone back to "school" he's working towards a degree in pharmacy and his studying has rekindled my desire to learn. That's not to say that I don't learn new things all of the time. Part of my job is to keep up to date with developments within my profession, and I have to be able to prove that I'm refreshing my knowledge regularly. Sometimes the learning bug bits harder than others. Right now it's biting hard and I'm enjoying studying. It's funny how a problem leads to learning opportunities. One drug being unavailable leads to research into an alternative which leads to research into its suitability for use through a PEG. A prescription for a new painkiller leads to research into that drug which lead to research into long term chronic pain control which lead to refreshing my knowledge on palliative care.

Everyday is a school day!

Onto the crafting -

This week has seen me religiously work on the Evenstar. I can confirm that I have finally finished the third chart and now I'm working on the border. I'm happy with the easy it's looking. It dawned on me this week that I've got just over 3 weeks until my mum's birthday. Dear lord! I've got to get 4 repeats done each day to have a hope of finishing it in time. I'm not sure I can do it, but I'll give it a good go.

I haven't spun at all. I'm desperate to spin, but I know that every minute I'm spinning is time I'm not working on the shawl. Happy thoughts! As soon as it's blocking I'm spinning my heart out!

Short and sweet today guys, but I need to get the border worked on.

Have a great week

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Little Fishies

So then, this week has mostly been a week of nothing to report.  I've been working which has been ultimately uneventful. My evenings have seen me knitting or teaching. My son is a member of the local swimming club.

Once upon a time, I loved taking him swimming, I'd sit in the viewing area watching him swim while I worked on some knitting or crochet. I used to swim competitively myself when I was younger. I was decidedly average, and gave up when I realized I just didn't the talent to make it.

While I was sat up in the gods knitting, I watched the kids swim up and down, and I started to get frustrated. I watched while the kids swam up and down with awful technique. I thought, I could do better than some of the folk on poolside. In the end, my other half got sick of my moaning and told me to put my money where my mouth is! Suffice to say, I now teach 5 sessions a week over 3 days.

Some days, I struggle to find the motivation to go, but once I'm there I tend to enjoy myself. The kids are on the whole great, sometimes they listen and we have a great session, sometimes they don't and I have to think of my happy place.

Tonight (Sunday) saw the first Gala of the year. Its' a great opportunity for me to look at the kids and pick a team for the rest of the year.  I love watching my "teenies" swim. My teenies are the teeny tiny kids I teach for 2 sessions a week. They range in age from 5 to about 7. I love taking them from non-swimmers to little fish! I was so proud tonight watching them compete. Most of them have never swam in a race before. My son did OK. He had a goggle disaster in his first race and came last. But it was a learning opportunity, when your goggles come off in a dive, just throw them away! Don't carry them in your hand for the whole 50m swim! Dear Lord!!!!! But hey ho! His other races were OK, but he's the youngest in his year now, and the kids he swims against are much bigger and stronger than he is. What a difference 6 months can make to kids at this age! He had fun, and that's what counts.

On to the crafty things

FO's -

Erm, well, that'd still be a no! I am trying! Honestly I am! Soon I hope!

WIP's -

This week I've been a good girl. I've been monogamously working on the Evenstar. Sunday evening sees me reach the half way stage on chart 3.  I stopped working on it to go to the Gala, I'll probably leave it now, until tomorrow as I'm tired and I'm at a point in the chart that sees me having to move stitch markers a lot, so I'll wait for a fresher brain tomorrow.

church windows almost completed


Well, when I haven't been knitting, I've been spinning up the Dark Wings merino from Nunoco. It can only be described as a thing of beauty! It's spinning up beautifully, and thin too.  I'm hoping to get a light fingering from it  once it's plied. I'm enjoying spinning it so much. My free time should be spent on the Evenstar, but I have to confess that I'm a little addicted to spinning this fibre. I can't wait to see what it's like once it's done!

Goals for next week -

OK, I know I said it last week, but this time hopefully it'll happen. I aim to finish chart 3 of my Evenstar shawl! (chortle chortle!!!!)

I'd love to get the first single done of the Dark Wings fibre, but in all honesty, it's spinning so thin I'll be lucky to finish half of it and get the Evenstar worked on.

So have a great week, and I'll speak again next time

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Busy weekends and IT fails

Here we all are on Tuesday. I like to blog over the weekend and upload at some point on a Monday. This week the IT gremlins have been against me. I think this is attempt three at writing this week's blog! Every time I try to save it and preview it, it seems to vanish into the ether. Give me strength!

So here I go again. Fingers crossed!

This weekend saw our annual pilgrimage to Rotherham for our Goddaughter's birthday party. I have no idea where the last five years have gone! It's scary. Her party this year was in the local community centre. I was chief butty-maker and I think I did quite well - there were very few left! So much for a sneaky snack for the journey home! I also did the birthday girl's hair... And then her sister's!  Between the journey of 2 hours each way, and the desire to escape the noise of 30 five year olds having fun, I got a lot of knitting done. Happy days!

On to the crafting.


Again, I failed! I'm trying to get Mum's birthday present done in time, so I'm pretty much monogamous at the moment. The FO count remains nil!


This week sees  the Evenstar  get most of the love. I'm determined to get this done for Mum's birthday. Two rows now take 2 hours to knit so I'm looking at 24 hours to finish chart 3 and then there's the simple task of the 56 chart repeats of the beaded border! Hysteria is setting in when I work out how many  hours in the day I have available to knit!

Church windows grow

My Inspira cowl did make it out of the bag and got a few rows added to its length, but as I said before, my main focus has to remain on the Evenstar!


 Last week I told you about my long night finishing the singles for my Knitabulls SAL. I also started plying the 2 together. To has to have been the worst plan in the world EVER!  I was so tired I plied  about 200 yards in the same direction as I'd spin the singles! The over spun crispy nightmare shows that when you're tired, it's an utterly stupid idea to keep on going!  Thus the second skein was a mere 540 yards. I'm so angry with myself. The second skein was the better skein I think. I spun the singles differently. The first single I broke into about foot lengths and spun from them and the second I spun directly from the braid. It gave gorgeously long colour repeats and when I plied them together the yarn had bold barber poling! I love it, it's just a shame that such a huge chunk of it wound up as a firelighter!

The skein on the left is my favourite

Yarn barf/fire lighter! Same thing
As a reward for finishing my SAL I decided to start on some gorgeous fibre from Nunoco. I spun up the sample batt the girls sent me - Kasbah. It can best be described as a thing of beauty! It's the first time I've spun from a batt, so the result is a little thick and thin which can be no way put down to the fibre! I decided to navaho ply it to preserve the colours. In doing this I managed to put too much spin into the finished yarn!

 From this.....
To this!
I thought the horrendous over spin could be corrected to some degree with a good hard wash and thwack.  It spurred me on to wash and thwack umpteen skeins I've spun recently and just put away. Five skeins later and I'm done!

Goals for next week:

Finish chart 3 of the Evenstar (chortle!)
Spin up some of the gorgeous shiney-ness that is Dark Wings.

Have a great week, I'll catch you all on the flip side!