Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Over Optimistic?

It would seem that my comments last week about Spring having sprung may have been a tad premature! As I write to you I can see fat flakes if snow drifting out of the sky! I hope they don't stick as I have plans this weekend.

We had friends to stay this weekend. My house waschock full of great folk and their offspring. In order for this weekend to go well, the children needed to go outside to play and explore, the big boys needed to play with the car, and the big girls needed to be able to go and play at The Woolclip. I have the pleasure of continuing to enable a new knitter on her journey of fibre-inspired delights!

The weekend was a roaring sucess - the children played as did the boys, and my friend and I had a great time shopping for yarn. Some may have found it's way into my stash, despite my resolution not to buy anything! Ooops

Onto the crafting

FO's -
Nothing to report! Sorry!

WIP's -
Evenstar saw a good amount of work, I've started the third chart and I'm working on the lattice-work, I'm pleased with how it's turning out. I need to get motoring though!
The Ullswater shawl saw no love at all! It didn't even cross my mind!
My Poetic Inspira did see the love though, I've completed the first pattern repeat, and I'm onto the second. I'm starting to dispair about the colourchanges in the contrast colour ball. After the knot issue earlier, it seems to be just brown! :-( I know the colour will change, I can see it in the ball! But when?!? I tire of brown! Hurry up colours!

I cast on a sock at work the other day.  It's going to be my second design. It has a cable-type pattern, but I think I'm going to rip it back. I'd originally made it a cabled rib, but it's taking ages to knit up, and I rather think that if I'm tireing of it, then people are unlikely to want to knit it either! So I'll rip it back this week coming and have another go.

Spinning -
Those eagle eyed among you will realise this is being posted on Tuesday morning, rather than Monday evening. This is because the evening completely escaped me! I decided that I wanted to make serious progress on the Knitabulls SAL, I was onto the second single of the second 4oz, I thought that if I got the singles finished by Tuesday night, I could ply Wednesday and Thursday. Well, I just kept spinning and I've finished the singles and last night started plying! Get me!?! It does, however, mean that today could be a long day as I'm going to be working on about 5 hours sleep and that's not nearly enough!

Goals for next week -
Finish the Knitabulls SAL
Start to spin some beautiful fibre I aquired last week, I'll tell more next time
Work on the Evenstar! Time is pushing on
Work on or maybe (ha ha ha) finish the Ullswater shawl!

Here's hoping for a great week everyone!

What is it with boys and dark dirty holes in the ground!?

Monday, 18 February 2013

Has Spring Sprung?!

This week has been extraordinarily hard at work! It was my own fault. We have two pharmacists where I work.  I am the Superintendent (sounds better than it is, it just means that if anything bad happens it's my fault!) and the second pharmacist is a lovely lady who works part time.  She's been on holiday this week because it's half term in these parts. I decided that I'd try to save some money and work alone while she was off! Stupid thought! There's a very good reason why there are two pharmacists working in the dispensary - there's too much work for one person to do and remain sane by the end of the working week! As it was, I got through a nasty week by the skin of my teeth! I am, however, cream crackered!

I borrowed a child this weekend.  My son is an only child, and he likes to have his best friend over to stay some weekends to play.  This weekend this borrowed child has been a godsend! They've played happily together and left me to re-coup and get on with house work.

I went out to walk the dog on Sunday. It was a beautiful day - there is still snow on the hills, but the snowdrops are out and the daffs won't be far behind.

The first signs of spring

Murphy says "Stop taking photos and throw the ball!"

On the walk down our lane, I see Bob.  No one knows who made Bob, but he appeared a couple of years ago. Originally he had a flowerpot hat but he fell off his perch last year in some high winds and it broke. I made him a sock yarn hat to replace it - yarn bombing Cumbria-style! I keep thinking he needs a new one. The colours have faded to shades of mud and the pompom has definitely seen better days. So I must add a new hat to my list of things to do!

So to crafty things

Last week I claimed my wingspan as an FO.  I also claimed it the week before! Oops! What I actually finished last week was my Age of Brass and Steam. I'm quite happy with it. It still needs blocking, so while it's a little small now, I hope that blocking wires will cure it!

I also finished my Voodoo you love me doll. I'm really please with her, and I hope that the recipient is too.

The baby cardies from last week haven't seen the light of day.  I'm thinking that I'll get to them sooner rather than later; preferably before the babies in question graduate!
I have worked on my Evenstar too. Tonight I finished the second chart and have increased to an eye-watering 560 stitches! My next task is to go up to a larger cable on my needles and try to spread this epic shawl out a little.
During my WIP draw clean up, I discovered a hand spun shawl I'd started. It's the Ullswater shawl. The designer is a local dyer/spinner/designer and I love the pattern. It's got enough lace to keep you occupied, but enough stockinette to make it a good in between project. I picked it back up this week,and realised just how close to the end I was when I put it away! I've got the last lace repeat and the edging to do then it's finished! I'm about half way through that last lace repeat now, and it may be  focus for FO status for next week!
The Inspira has seen a little progress, but not enough to really comment about, I love working on it when I pick it up, but it seems that the desire to cast everything on leads to the inability to work on any given project for any length of time!


I've finished the first 4oz of fibre for the Knitabuls 2-ply colour me different SAL is complete and I'm really happy with it.  I got 816yds of a very light fingering or heavy laceweight yarn
I had some of the blue Everest colourway left on the bobbin so I've started spinning the second half of that first.  I'm still hopeful that I can get the second 4oz completed by the end of  February! Wish me luck!

Goals for next week -
To finish the Ullswater shawl
To make progress up chart 3 of the Evenstar
To finish the Everest single

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Highs and lows


I'm starting with the lows. I'm sorry to put a downer on the blog, but I feel the need to vent my spleen.
 There is a wonderful woman I know whose heart has been broken. The terrible thing is that the hurt done to her was delivered by fellow knitters. This woman has spread her infectious love for life and the human condition around the world through her blog Singlehandedknits. A group of hateful people have slandered her on other podcast VKN's and made her life hell.

I would like to take this moment to condemn the actions of a small percentage of the knitting community and send my thoughts and best wishes to Mel.  I don't have any desire to start a witch hunt, I hope that we knitters who have compassion can rise above this hateful behaviour and support this inspirational woman in a creative fashion.

Onto the highs. I've spent the weekend with my Mum. I can confirm she will be fine and we're arguing so she must be better!

FO's. I am working on getting the number of WIP's down and I cast off the wingspan shawlette.

It's an odd thing, I thoroughly enjoyed knitting it, but the more I look at it, the more I'm not happy with it. It's constructed using short rows. There are no wrap and turns used, and when I look at the joins between the wedges, all I see are holes! I'm sure that a blind man with a flea in his ear wouldn't notice, but for me, it's like they're flashing neon lights!


Ok, I know that my cunning plan was to REDUCE the number of WIP's. Despite my best efforts in finishing the Wingspan the net number of WIP's has actually grown! Oops! I have cast on 2 baby cardies for girls at work who are about to become Nana's. And then there's the Voodoo you love me  that I've cast on for someone truly special. I hope she will find happiness in it. Or she can pretend its someone she's not overly fond of right now and stick pins in it!  She's a better person than that though.


Progress on Diane's SAL continues. I hope to get the second single finished by the weekend and get it plied by the next blog. I'd like to think that I can get 8oz spun by the end of the month.

Goals for next week

Well, I'd still like to reduce the number of WIP's. That's going to involve a significant amout of knitting on my part as tomorrow is the exciting start of Mel's Mystery KAL. I'm going to have to get my finger out to have any kind of FO for you next week!

Hope you all have a great week, sorry to be so crotchety to start, but I genuinely feel it needed said!

Ellen x

Monday, 4 February 2013

Tidy up woman!

What a week!

Work has been hectic! This week saw us going live with a new IT system for prescription retrieval. Without getting bogged down in the politics, it's cost a fortune to develop and when it works, it works well. However, so far it's not worked for 2 out of the 5 days! Aaarrrrgggghhhh!!!!

On a more positive note, my Mum has arrived safely home, and I'm looking forward to seeing her later this week.

Today Ben told me that he's learning about the Tudors. They must have been discussing the clothes they wore and how they were made. His teacher spoke of carding and spinning. Ben took great delight in telling his class that I spin. So I've spent some time this evening gathering bits and pieces together so he can show them to his class. So 4 drop spindles, a pair of hand carders and a good deal of fibre that needed pre-drafting later, I've got some goodies for his class to play with.

Down to the crafty stuff!


I have one! My wingspan is finished. Well, it needs blocked and the ends woven in, but I'm having it as an FO!


I think I'm over my bout of castonitis! I love having lots of projects to keep my interest. But having so many things in the needles often leaves me pondering what to work on and I end up getting less done. So, I'm committing to whittling down the sheer numbers of WIP's.

To this end I've made great progress on my Age of Brass and Steam. With some luck and a following wind, I should get it finished this week.

Poetic Inspira has seen a bit of progress but not a whole lot to be honest. I was enjoying the colour changes, but then I found a knot in my colourful skein, and it went from red back to brown. I was looking forward to the next colour, and to begin again, seems to have affected my cowl mojo!

Evenstar saw a good bit of work done, I'm now over half way up chart 2. In my infinite wisdom, I've decided to give it to my mum for her 60th in April. This means I need to get a wiggle on!

I swatched for a mystery KAL which is being hosted by Mel from singlehanded knits. My gauge is a bit wonky. I need to aim for 20 stitches and 26 rows to 4". I'm on 18 stitches and 25 rows on 5mm needles. I could go down a needle size, but I think I'd lose too much drape in the fabric. So here's my thinking. Mel says there's 1" positive ease, my bust measures 46". So I think if I knit a size 44 I should get about the right size. Fingers crossed!


I've finished my first single for Diane's SAL. I'm really happy with it. I've competed one half of the blue fibre, and now I'm spinning the beautiful greens, pinks and yellows! Bliss. I can't wait to ply them together and see the results! Then I'm hoping to repeat the process and end up with 8oz of lace weight 2 ply. What delights could I knit with that?

Goals for next week

Tidying up my WIP's drawer! I'd love to finish the Age of Brass and Steam. Next on my FO hit list is the Inspira cowl. After that I'd like to pick up a couple of WIP's that have been languishing for a while. I've got the 2012 Advent Scarf, and at least one handspun shawl that need finished. Not forgetting my beloved Evenstar. I need to work on that with some urgency.