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Friday, 23 October 2009

Craft room

There was a slight hiccup in the Craft Room Project.

I came down with the flu - thankfully not Swine Flu, just the regular kind and all I could do was lie on the sofa and try to convince the children I was dying.

They didn't believe me!

I, thankfully, didn't die and today felt up to doing a bit more painting.

I have now given the first corner two coats of cheap crappy white and two coats of expensive Dulux Hints Cornflower - which is supposed to be white with a hint of blue.

What do you think? I know the picture rail needs fresh paint as the once white paint is cream, but I'll do that later.

I like it, but I'm worried it may make the room feel colder! Although with an open fire and lots of pics and lace work on the walls, that shouldn't be a problem!


do your head in!

Jess has a friend, Ellie, that has been her friend since they were both 3. They met at nursery and went through all 3 schools together. Jess often stays at Ellie's and Ellie often stays here, she says this is her second home and I'm her 'other mummy'.

As school has broken up for half term today, Jess had asked if she could stay at Ellie's tonight. I said that was ok and to nag Ellie's mother, Chele, for holiday money as Ellie is supposed to be coming camping with us next week.

So I'm sitting here at about 8.30 this evening, spinning away and listening to a David Eddings audio book and my mobile rings. It was Chele and my heart sank when she asked "Is Ellie with you?"

It turned out that Ellie had asked to stay here and Jess had asked to stay there. I had a chat with Chele to find out that another friend of theirs was apparently missing and the police had been called.

Matt, Alex and I immediately started looking. Matt had heard rumours of a party and we asked everyone we saw, but we couldn't find them.

Chele left her house and started driving over here - then promptly ran out of petrol so her mum had to go and collect her.

I called the police and reported both girls as missing. I'd been trying to call Jess all evening, but her phone was switched off.

The boys must've walked miles looking for them and I drove round and round frantically. Eventually Matt called - they'd been found!

Thankfully they're both ok and haven't even been drinking! We read them the riot act and bought them home.

Needless to say, Ellie is not allowed to come camping with us next week - I would've taken her, but Chele, understandably, isn't allowing her to go.

Funny how Jess is pissed at me for being pissed at her!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Continental Knitting

Unlike everyone else at my knitting group and my mother (who taught me to knit), I knit continental!

thisgoodlife has asked how to keep tension while knitting and purling continental so I knocked up this little tutorial for her and you.

I knit exactly the same way as everyone else except I hold the yarn in my left hand. The yarn is in my hand and then wrapped around my forefinger:

To knit, I insert the needle in through the front loop:

Then I move the right needle and the left forefinger slightly to get:

Now I pull the needle back through to make the new stitch.

To purl it's done in exactly the same way:

Insert Needle:

Wrap yarn:

Now move your forefinger down in FRONT of your work:

Move needle through to create new stitch, raise finger slightly and slide stitch off left needle:

You can now knit continental!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

I love giveaways

I love giveaways that other people do!

I found out today that I've just won fibre from Marianne and today I entered a Blog-versary knitters giveaway - hop on over and enter yourself, it's very easy

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Walnut Leaves

I finished another pair of socks today.

Pattern: Leaf Remains
Yarn: Knitting Goddess 4 ply sock yarn 75% Merino/25% Nylon
Colourway: Walnut Tree

I'm going to call them Walnut Leaves :0)

Monday, 12 October 2009


People are strange and completely baffling!

I've discovered over the last few years that people I thought I knew well, are a bit of a mystery to me.

I discovered that one person is actually quite prejudice and another is very shallow. I've discovered another is all gob and doesn't follow their declarations of "if I have a problem with you, I'll tell you." Apparently they'd rather ignore you completely, imply to others that you are ignorant and if addressed directly will bite your head off and be rude. I've discovered a person who'll slag other people off behind their back, but will be perfectly nice and friendly to their face. There are people who'll give you shitty news on your kids 18th birthday or when you are ill. I'm sure you know the type! The ones that'll use you for everything you can give them, then drop you when they find a new bloke or something.

I really don't get it!

Then you get other people, the one's that you don't know well, that live thousands of miles away but will bend over backwards to help you - even if they have their own problems and it's not convenient for them! The ones who'll call you every day to see how you are when you're ill or going through a tough time. The ones that seem to be on the lookout for decent people to be friends with. The ones that everyone seems to be looking for as a friend!

We need a way to differentiate between these two types because unfortunately, you can't tell just by looking at people and you don't usually find out until later!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

How to knit TAAT (Two At A Time) Socks

Karmastitch on Ravelry just asked me how you knit two at a time socks and as she flattered me by complimenting me on my blog, I told her I'd write a tutorial!

There are obviously a couple of ways to knit a sock: toe up, cuff down, DPNs, Two circs, Magic Loop.

I'm going to try and show you toe up on Magic Loop and Two circs (the pics will be the same, but I'll add explanations), the method works exactly the same way if you work cuff down.

Now, obviously you need your needle of choice and some nice squishy yarn!

You can work in two ways, you can either split your yarn and work from two individual balls, or you can do what I do. Wind your yarn into a centre pull ball and work from either end - one from the centre and one from the outside!

Cast on sock #1 in the usual method:

Now, drop the yarn and pick up the yarn from the other end or from your second ball. Now cast on in exactly the same way:

As you can see the long circ (I use an 80cm for TAAT ML) doubles back on itself so that the points are together.

I know it looks a bit daunting, there seems to be cables, points and yarn everywhere. Identify and mentally dismiss the yarn tails which will be darned in later on. All you need to worry about are your needles and your two strands of working yarn - one for each sock.

Now, pull the excess cord out of the back stitches

Leave a little loop at the other end sticking out. Now hold the longer bit in your right hand and the needle with the stitches in your left hand. The yarn should be attached to that right hand back stitch.

Knit the first stitch on the needle and pull it quite tight (this will prevent laddering). Knit across sock #1. When you reach the gap between your socks

Drop the yarn and move the stitches down the right needle slightly (leave a little loop at the start). Move the stitches of sock #2 up to the end of the left needle.

Again you should be able to see the working yarn for that sock on that back stitch, pick it up and repeat the above instructions.

When you get to the end your needle points should be pointing left and the middle of the cable should be pointing right (which is the complete opposite of what you started out with).

Now flip the whole thing as if you're turning a page in a book so that the points are pointing right and the loop is pointing left and off you go!

Hey - you just knit a round of TAAT toe-up socks using Magic Loop!

So, how do you work on two circs?

In exactly the same way, but instead of two points, there are four!

Divide your sock in half, the front of the sock (this is the top of the foot too) on one needle and the sole of the foot (this is the back of the leg too) on another needle. To knit, push your stitches onto the needle point, now pick up the other end of the same needle and knit across your socks in the same way I've detailed for ML.

When you get to the end, flip your work around and do exactly the same as above but using the other needle (because this is the needle that the other side is sitting on!)

It sounds so difficult if you just read it without trying, I know it does, because I did that loads of times - it looks complicated and fussy. But if you just do it as you read, (hopefully) you'll have that lightbulb moment too!

If you need help, leave a comment and I'll reply the same way!

Shopping for supplies

My mum has a discount card for B&Q; it's available for all people over a certain age (it's either 60 or 65) and it gives a 10% discount. Unfortunately, it can only be used on Wednesdays.

So today we went shopping for supplies to decorate the craft room. I bought some cheap white paint because my walls are currently terracotta

and I want them as white as possible before I add a hint of colour - I bought cheap paint to act as an undercoat:

I've just done this coat - it's worked very well and I reckon I'll only need to add another coat before I break out the expensive paint!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Demonstrating & Magic Loop

Several weeks ago I was contacted by a lady, Theresa, that occasionally attends our local Stitch N Bitch; she had, along with several staff members and sixth form students, started an after school knitting club and she wanted to know if I'd go along and have a chat with them all. She just wanted me to tell them how I got into knitting, show some of my work, maybe show some crochet and "please, please, please" demonstrate some spinning.

At first I was a bit wary of allowing strangers - especially kids - use my precious wheels, but as there is nothing on Eric at the moment, I decided to take Eric and Edward along. I demonstrated spinning on Edward and everyone oohed and aahed over my nice fine single and then I set Eric up and let them have a go.

The first woman who tried was hooked immediately! She watched me very carefully and picked it up almost straight away, asked loads of questions and was grinning like a Cheshire Cat when she left! Another woman then had a go, but she had trouble getting her feet to treadle while her hands drafted - in the end I did the treadling while she drafted and she loved it too. Then Theresa had a quick go, she had the same problem and I think she found it a little frustrating. After her was another woman (I can't remember names, I must've met about 15 people this afternoon!) who didn't put enough twist in, but she loved it too and asked if I would be willing to give lessons!

They all gushed over my knitwear that I had taken in too so all in all a very successful afternoon and I've been invited back whenever I want :0)

I started some more socks last week because I received Joy's latest sock club. Normally I would've been a bit blasé because it's green - but it's gorgeous! She's called it Walnut Tree and it ranges from walnut brown through dark green to light green. So I immediately cast on for Leaf Remains (Ravelry link) socks.

It's like they were made for each other; a perfect combination and I've even got some bright green that came from Natalie several months ago that will match it! Unfortunately, I didn't think of this until I was 40 rows into the pair (I'm knitting them two at a time - I bet you're impressed, eh?), so I'm going to have to undo the toes so that they will have a lovely solid green toe, heel & cuff!

I may have told you that I recently switched from DPNs to two circs for knitting socks - well this worked reasonably well, but after making the last pair; they were frankly getting on my nerves and I decided that I'd either have to suck it up, go back to DPNs (after all, I'd bought several sets) or learn Magic Loop!

I tried Magic Loop with the needles I was already using, but they were a bit short to knit TAAT (Two At A Time), so I ordered some 80cm needles.

They arrived today and I swapped the socks onto them.

It's so much faster! I've done loads this afternoon and I'm very close to turning the heel with my bright green Yarn Yard LOL

Saturday, 3 October 2009

My finest yet

I purchased a load of fibre from Natalie several months ago, some of it I have spun up and am knitting an Original Moebius with.

Then my WooLee Winder arrived - Omigosh it's fabulous! I can spin sooooooo fine using it.

I spun some BFL up and it was gorgeous. I let the single rest for about 2 weeks while I decided what I was going to do with it.

In the end I decided to try Navajo Plying and it worked!

I am gobsmacked at what I've produced.

I know it's 22 WPI, but I'm not sure on how much I've got as I forgot to count it while winding onto the niddy noddy LOL. It's soaking now so I can set the twist - once it's dry, I'll come back and edit this post!

I ended up with 228m/249yards of yarn - there's enough there to make a pair of ankle socks! I thought I might have a go at this

Friday, 2 October 2009

The desk has sold

I got a phone call last night, someone wants to buy my desk!

So today, I vacuumed the floor - who'd've thought there was a floor in there! - then I moved everything off the desk and onto an available bit of floor

cos there's a floor in there, ya know. Now I'm just waiting for the guy to come and pick it up

I've already warned him it's down to him to take it to bits!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Operation Craft Room - The Second Step

Big step today!

Here are some photos for you:

Hmmmmm, not much change there - the shelves are still messy...

The desk has been slightly tidied, but...