Monday, 6 May 2013

A "HO", and a wee toe!

Hey there fluff fans. This week's instalment is a little late. Is a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK and everything is a bit laid back. Three day weekends are the way forward!

The week at work was uneventful, I was sure that all hell would break loose as we would be shut on the bank holiday Monday; but the mania never arrived. This concerns me slightly.  I'm sure I'll pay dearly for it tomorrow (Tuesday). Still I'll think happy thoughts and all will be well!

The weekend has been most productive. I borrowed Ben's best friend for the weekend. They had a great time playing out and playing on the computer. It gave me a great chance to craft. Sunday was swim training. The second session I coach are the club's "C" squad. They're all competent swimmers and age between 8 and 11. I set them off doing the set I swim when I train. Now, let me tell you guys that there are corpses out there with better fitness levels than me! So I thought this set would be easy for the kids. They've got 20-odd years on me and I assumed were a damn-site fitter than me! It's a 20 length set - 4x front crawl, 4x front crawl arms only, 2x front crawl legs only, 2x breast stroke legs only, 4x (1x butterfly legs only on the back and 1x breast stroke). Well they moaned and huffed and puffed. It takes me a little over 10 minutes to do it and they took well over 15! I have to be honest and say I was chuffed they found it tricky. I means I'm maybe not a unfit as I thought!

On the subject of diet and fitness, the diet is going well. Last week saw me reach my first half stone lost (hence the name of last weeks' sock). This week sees me heading happily to my first goal of losing 5% of my starting weight. I'm thinking positive thoughts that I can reach this target next week. I'm swimming harder and longer than I used to. This morning I swam 80 lengths, 2km; that's 4 of my sets. I was really chuffed. They took me just under an hour. I'm hoping I can get some good swims in around work this week.

On to the crafting.


No FO, but as the title suggests I've got a HO!

This is knit out of Opal Hairdresser sock yarn. It's a lovely yarn to use. I like the way it's patterning.  I  also invested in a similar ball that's orange rather than pink. Maybe that will be the one stone socks!


I wanted to get to the end of the yoke chart of the wisteria jumper. I've just achieved that this morning. I had been knitting it on my shortest interchangeable wire. The stitches were severely crushed so I've swapped to using my longest! That gave me the opportunity to try it on too. I'm happy with the way it's coming out.

Now I look at this photo I can see the increases around the cabling. Hum..... I hope those block out a bit better, else I can see myself wandering around the yoke with a darning needle and some yarn. Grr!
The only other knitting I've done this week can be seen above. The Half Stone socks are progressing nicely and I aim to finish the toe and start on the foot today, ready for it to return to my handbag for the week ahead at work. It's my lunchtime knitting project of choice.  I'm knitting while I catch up  on pod casts and listen to audio books. 
I'm hoping to get far enough along with the Wisteria to cast on with Mel from Single Handed Knits on the 15th May. She's doing a read-along, knit-along of the Old Man and the Sea. The book is by Hemingway (obviously) and the pattern is designed by Mel. I've purchased the audio book, and I've started to listen to it. I knew that I don't have a snowball's chance in hell of reading and knitting and keeping up with the KAL. There's just not enough time in the day for me!
Spinning -
I'm delighted to say that not only did I finish the second single of the Dark Wings batt from Nunoco, but I actually managed to get it plied too! I'm delighted with the result - 906 yards of a light fingering yarn.  I'm disappointed with myself though, I had a cunning plan to use up the remaining single left on one bobbin by making a centre pull ball and using it up by adding it to the end of the yarn I plied already (does that make any sense!?) Any how, I made barf! It seems my single was way too energised to come out of the ball from the centre and the end at the same time without becoming a nasty mess...... so I lit the fire with it! Sob!!! Won't try that again in a hurry! Normally I use any singles left to practise my Navajo plying and make a cute little skein-let. I'll keep to that idea! Less waste.

In my efforts to spin all the things I started on a new fibre. Its from Wingham Wool Works and it's their dark blue merino/silk blend. I've spun this fibre before in different colours and it's lovely. The merino is beautifully soft and the silk element gives gorgeous shine to the yarn. My only complaint (and it's being picky really) is that sometimes the silk is a little clumpy with bits of what I assume is the glue the caterpillar stuck the silk together with. It's not a huge problem, but it takes a bit of picking out. I have finished the first single, I spun it thicker than I usually do, I'm aiming for a chunky weight. 

Goals for next week -

Finish the Half Stone socks

Make significant progress on the raglan shaping for the Wisteria Jumper
Start and finish the second single on the Blue chunky yarn
Achieve my 5% loss target!!!

Wish me luck guys - I think I may need a few extra hours in the day!
Have a great week

Ellen x