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Sunday, 29 November 2009

Operation Craft Room - Complete

As I reported earlier today; I have finally finished the Craft Room.

I have spent the day tidying, sorting, vacuuming then washing then vacuuming again and finally finally, it's done!

Here are some pictures for you (click em to make em bigger)

This is just inside the door:

This is opposite the door, you can just see Eric (my wheel), my stash and my chair:

This is the rest of my room, there's you guys next to the chair, my clothes rack with all my skirts on, my chest of drawers with printer, router, TV & DVD player on and in front is Isis in her bed:


I have finished painting the craft room!

It looks great and I'm just letting the paint dry now before sorting it all and getting it exactly how I want it.

It should be an hour before the paint is dry.

I'll post pictures for you later

Friday, 27 November 2009

I have an announcement

I just thought you'd like to know.....


I found it today!

Amazing what you find when you tidy up LOL

Thursday, 26 November 2009


I feel like having a moan.

I still haven't heard about the Majacraft Rose! I'm getting so pissed off with waiting and I realise that I couldn't have gone this weekend because Sarah wasn't available, but at least it would've been there and mine!

I decided that my breadmaker wasn't up to the task of making bread for a family of five and that I was going to get a food mixer and make bread in the oven instead. After much deliberation, I have chosen one.

Only to find out that it isn't in stock in the Island's one and only store, or the nearest one in Portsmouth. I guess I'll see if there are any available nearby when I'm ready to go and get the Rose.

I phoned T-Mobile to see if they would upgrade me early. I'm due to upgrade on 6th Jan and I thought 'I've been a good customer, I've been with them a few years. I pay at least £35 a month for my contract then 3 of the kids have contracts at £20 each...that's nearly £100 a month!"

But no, if I want out of my contract six weeks early, it's going to cost me just under £69!

Our X-Box 360 broke. It couldn't be repaired by the local whizz-kid and I certainly wasn't going to pay Microsoft £90 to repair it. So we decided to buy a new one. I found a good deal on Game's website and went to the store only to find out that they don't do the same deals that their online store does and they weren't willing to either! I really hate that!

Thankfully, Curry's said they'd do the deal!

My new blu-ray player, the one I bought in August and have already exchanged once due to a fault, has broken again and I've had to send it away for repairs. I'm very annoyed about this as I've just bought my first blu-ray DVD - Star Trek - and I wanted to drool over the quality!

I got outbid on a pair of moon & stars curtains that I really wanted for the craft room.

The craft room still isn't done and I've had enough of painting - the gloss is giving me a headache! I just want someone else to finish it off, move all the furniture about and sell my books so they're not taking up space anymore!

I'm doing a Secret Santa on Ravelry, I got told who my giftee is today. I searched, she doesn't have a blog, a wishlist and she hasn't answered the questionnaire so that people know what to send her! C'mon people, if you're going to participate, give a gal a clue!!

I feel very sad for my friend. She's going through a tough time at the moment and I feel really sad that things haven't worked out for her and her husband again. I can't tell you any more because it isn't my place to and I don't have her permission.

I know you read my blog Sweetie, I just wish I could help you both but I can't. But know that my heart bleeds for you and I'm angry at how unfair life is to some people! I am going to give you a big squishy hug when I see you next!

Moan over, go about your business

I would just like to add (a few hours after originally posting this) that I have just discovered a leak in Matt's room - just what I don't need!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Did I mention I hate waiting?

I sent Hedgehog a polite e-mail on Thursday requesting an update on stock, but have had no response.

I was seriously considering phoning P&M Woolcraft and asking him if he'd price match, but there's no point now as Sarah isn't available to meet next weekend so I'd have to wait until the following week.

Of course, that probably means I'll get a call tomorrow telling me it's in stock! If I do, I might just pay for it on my credit card then go up and meet Sarah in a few weeks, get the money for the Kromski from her and pay it back onto my credit card.

Ten Hours Later

I keep going in and looking at that skirting board...

I've completely changed my mind now, it looks awful - plasticky and tacky (I mean cheap, not wet paint).

Thankfully a big chest of drawers is going there (which is why I experimented there) and I won't bother with the rest of the woodwork; I'll just leave it white for now.

I'm going to start moving furniture around in there tomorrow in an effort to get some order in there and maybe even start moving the stash in there!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Entering another giveaway

Jackie is doing a giveaway on her blog for a pattern for these fabulous glovies

Aren't they great? It's very easy to enter this giveaway, details are on Jackie's blog here but hurry up, the offer closes at midnight tomorrow night!

Operation Craft Room - Update

I have been working on this, but it's taking forever and I'm so fed up with it and I just want it to be done already!

I've done about 70% of the walls (I'm having to do it in sections because the room isn't empty and I have to shift stuff around) and I wanted to see what the room would look like once I painted the wood.

So today I painted a skirting board.

The walls are white with a hint of pale blue and the wood is dark teal.

I really wasn't sure at first...

But I love it now! I just wish I could find someone quicker and with more stamina to finish the damn room!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Majacraft Rose

As I told you here, I recently had a chance to play with a Majacraft Rose.

I didn't get very long as it was the day I was leaving Karen's, although I did try and talk Karen into swapping hers for Eric's WooLee Winder - but she refused *sigh*

So I decided I would advertise on Ravelry to do a swap; Edward (my Sonata) with his 4 bobbins, his WooLee Winder and the WooLee Winder bobbins for a Majacraft Rose in as good a condition as Edward.

I got no response Photobucket although I'm not really surprised; I don't think I've seen anyone advertise a secondhand Majacraft Rose!

But two weeks ago Sarah contacted me and scolded me by saying "Now you know I want a Sonata!" We teased back and forth and before either of us knew it, she'd agreed to buy Edward and we have made plans to meet at Hedgehog Equipments which is exactly halfway between us.

She can pay me for the Sonata and I can give that money to Hedgehog for a Majacraft Rose.

I chose Hedgehog because they're selling them for £50 less than anyone else in the UK! Unfortunately, they have none in stock.

They said stock would be a couple of weeks (that was from 13 days ago). I called them last Friday and they said that they hadn't even had the stock list in yet and didn't know what they would be getting in or when it would be arriving.

I hate waiting!

This is now turning into a monumental event. I'm going to go up on the Saturday (after they call to tell me there's stock) and as I'm driving right past Helen's house in Bath; I'm going to collect her and she's going to accompany me to Wales. There we're going to meet Sarah and possibly Gemma for what we're now calling "The Great Wheel Swap and Spin In." I'm hoping that anyone local to us will fancy meeting somewhere for a coffee and a Spin In too!

I shall stay at Helen's on the Saturday night and on Sunday I shall pop in to Karen's. When I left, I inadvertently stole her torch! Also, Jessica's moneybox elephant that she painted when we went to Bournemouth Stitch N Bitch is ready and Karen will collect it for me (from Donna who collected it from the shop!). I shall drop by, show off my Rose, give the horses a quick cuddle, trade a torch for a moneybox, probably have a cuppa, then come home!

Of course, this is all pencilled in - because we don't know which Saturday it's going to happen; we have to wait for Hedgehog to get stock.

Did I mention; I hate waiting! Photobucket

Bake your own

I'm finding that as more and more time passes, I'm really beginning to dislike the taste of commercial bread. I much prefer the bread I make in the breadmaker - it's certainly more filling!

But, my breadmaker only makes loaves about a foot long. There are five of us and once we've all cut a slice, there's usually none left!

So I thought it would be better to bake bread in a loaf tin (or two) in the oven - that way I can make longer loaves that will hopefully last a bit longer.

But, I can't stand in the kitchen beating up dough (I remember my mother dented the top of the washing machine by thumping dough on it!) because of my back. So I thought about getting some kind of electrical mixer.

There are sooooooooooooo many!

I don't know what to get, do I need a high motor because I'll be using it to mix dough? What size bowl will I need? What else do I need? If I get a fancy one, will I use all the other bits?

I have an Argos store card and a catalogue which I can order one from, so have a look here and here

Which one would you recommend?

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Christmas Challenge

About 3 months ago, one of the spinning group members set us a Christmas Challenge.

We had to spin something sparkly then use it to make a Christmas decoration.

I finally finished mine today.

I spun some bright white Merino into singles.

Then I plied one bobbin with some of this.

Another bobbin with some of this.

I had this.

I knitted it into this.

I just want to tell you about this quickly:

Fibre Arts Friday Blog Carnival
Go check out this blog post

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Yarn destash

I decided that because I like to spin so much, I'm going to sell a lot of my yarn off.

I've just moved all of my laceweight yarn over to my Ravelry destash page, if you're interested; just let me know!

If you're not on Ravelry and you want to know what I'm destashing, then go to this post - most of it is lace, if you ask for something that I'm not selling, I'll let you know where I got it.

I'm a Fibreholic

If you live in the States, you get Phat Fibre, if you're in the UK you get Fibreholics.

I decided to go for a Fibreholics box this time, turns out I was the first to order a box.

It came today and I love it all (apart from one which is really scratchy, but I might have a go at felting that!)

Want to see pictures? Of course you do, it's what you came for innit!

Fibreholics box

An English Wool Blend called 'Pinks' from Six Swans

Corriedale - 'Copper Beach' from Sparkleduck

Superwash BFL from Colourful Designs

BFL from The Bear Necessities

A gorgeous Merino & Silk Ltd Edition mini batt called Hollyhock from Wicked Woollens

Falkland Wool from Green Eyed Monsters

Merino/Tussah Silk - 'Mystic' from Juno Fibre Crafts

Corriedale Top from Skeins

Lincoln wool from Sheepshape

and Superfine Merino in 'Wisteria' from Freyalyn

Isn't it all gorgeous - can't wait to spin some of this up!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Hyperlink to open in a new window

I've just learned a new trick today!

Do you remember when I told you how to create a hyperlink? Well, today I learned what to do to make that hyperlink open in a new window, like this!

First you need your link as before, let's pick good ol Google and because of my location, I'm going to pick

The link is \ right (ignore the backslash though, it's the only way to make it appear without blogger converting it LOL)? So pick your word, highlight it and create your hyperlink - Google.

Now you need to find the HTML editor, it's different for each place - for blogger it's the tab next to compose when you're writing a new post.

You'll see a load of jibberish with funny symbols and stuff, but if you look closely, you'll actually see the stuff you've been typing.

Look for google, specifically for your google address written like normal, but with some other code before it, it will start with a left pointing <, the letter a, a >, then href.

Now you want to add a space then: target="_blank" immediately before >Google.

Click on the compose tab again to finish writing your post. Publish it and have a play!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The problem with insomnia

I suffer from insomnia - have done for years now.

Last night I was sitting here working on my Baroque socks and doorbell rang. Needless to say I was rather startled as it was 2.30am!

I got up and opened the door, there was a rather drunk girl standing there and she begged me to call her a taxi. I agreed to do so, but refused to let her in (I didn't want vomit on the floor, after all!).

I called ten companies before one answered the phone, he wasn't available and directed me somewhere else. They were available and said they would send someone in fifteen minutes.

I told the girl to sit on the bench opposite my house and wait for the taxi, then I shut the door.

I decided I would turn the lights off and go to bed - reasoning that if the lights were off, she would forget which house it was and not come back if the cab didn't turn up or something.

I heard a car pull up, a door slam and the car pull away and reckoned she had been picked up safely.

Half an hour later, my mobile rang. I answered it to be told "Taxi's outside."

I felt awful! She had obviously flagged down a passing cab with no thought for the poor driver who'd come out in the cold to drive ten miles to pick her up - ungrateful cow.

I explained to the driver what had happened, I don't think he believed me but at least he didn't have a go.

I think if I ever see her again, I'll give her what for!

Saturday, 7 November 2009


All thanks to Helen; I have caught the sewing bug.

I put a £20 deposit down on a second hand machine from my local Singer centre this week.

Last night, I got thinking - what should be in one's sewing box? I started to make a list, this is what I've got so far:
  • A box to hold it all
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Fabric (duh)
  • That stuff you put in quilts
  • Scissors for everything else
  • Stitch Ripper
  • Threads
  • Spare bobbins
Now I'm sure you sewers all have favourite things you keep for use with your sewing machine - please let me know what they are in the comments :0)

Casting on TAAT ML Socks

I've told you how to do TAAT socks using ML from the toe up, but to work TAAT socks using ML from the cuff down is different.

The cast on itself is very tricky.

Cast on your stitches for your first sock. I use a cable cast on.

Find the halfway point and pull your cable through between the two stitches so that your needles are parallel.

Now cast on half the stitches for the second sock.

Slide your stitches purlwise from the left needle to the right needle.

Now, using the cable cast on method, pull a loop through from stitch 1 & 2 (that's the end nearest the other sock not the needle tip).

Make sure that the first half of your second sock cast on is on your right needle and the single stitch you just made is on the left needle. You may want to bring in another needle here to aid with the rest of the cast on. For this next stitch, perform a knitted cast on.

Now you can continue on with your cable cast on for the remainder of stitches needed.

You have now cast on two sock cuffs!

Instructions for cable cast on and knitted cast on can be found here

Baroque - my version

I just started making Baroque, beautiful socks - but the instructions seem stupidly difficult (with all due respect to Janice King).

I came up with a cable-needleless way of doing the TCR and TCL stitches. I have listed my instructions in italics and put a strikethrough like this through their instructions that you don't need!

Method 2 (without cn): Sl3 onto cn tog as if to k3tog, sl sts back one by one purlwise, rotate cn counter clockwise 180 degrees so the first slipped st is leftmost on the cn, return 3 sl sts to left needle; yib sl1 as if to p tbl, insert the left needle into the front loop of the slipped st and k tbl, p1 tbl, yib, sl1 as if to p tbl, insert the left needle into the front loop of the slipped st and k tbl.

Method 2 (without cn): Sl3 onto cn tog purlwise as if to p3tog, now insert tip of left needle through front of all 3 sts like this:

rotate cn clockwise 180 degrees so the first slipped st is leftmost on the cn, remove right tip, thus returning 3 sl sts to left needle; k1, yif sl1 as if to knit, insert left needle into the back loop of the slipped st and purl it, k1.

Friday, 6 November 2009

My first attempt

A few weeks ago, we went to the New Forest, on the way home we went to Queen Elizabeth Country Park and Wingham Wool was there. I bought loads of cashmere and some dye.

Because I don't want to wreck my cashmere, I thought I'd experiment with some English Wool Blend first that Karen gave me when I told her about it.

Karen gave me this:

I added some of this:

It did this:

And I ended up with this:

Gorgeous colour! I'm dyeing some more right now, more fibre, more dye for a longer time - just as an experiment.

I've ordered a drop spindle and I'm going to practice using this.

Monday, 2 November 2009

A Handy Clap

I'd like to show you my very first finished handspun project!

I finished it just before we went away, blocked it the night before and got to wear it while away - it was very snuggly and although it's a bit rough around the edges, I love it.

Here is my handspun Clapotis!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Lots of this and a bit of that!

I've been so busy!

I'll try and squeeze everything in this post - so be warned; it's going to be long!

We finally got around to testing out the camper! Mum, Jess, Alex and I stayed at a campsite in the New Forest. It was a very basic site and we didn't opt for an electric hook up, but it went quite well.

Mum slept in the camper and the kids slept in the tent with me - it was FREEZING! I barely slept because I was so cold! On the plus side, I heard the owls calling back and forth most of the night which was pretty awesome!

We went into Winchester on the Saturday to have a look around the cathedral - which was very impressive and then we went for a late lunch at the Red Rover.

If you're ever in the New Forest, on the A36 and you see the Red Rover pub - go in there for lunch! The staff was friendly, the food was cheap and most importantly; it was hot!

We went for a walk on some of the Forest land and managed to get close to some of the ponies - one of them then followed us back to the van which pleased Jess no end!

We declared that holiday a success and I booked a holiday for half term. I chatted with the kids and we decided that I would take Alex, Jess & Ellie away for half term. After discussion all over the place we decided we would visit Kerry and the kids for two days, Karen (who I bought my Kromski Sonata from) for two days then Helen for the weekend!

I decided that we would sleep in Kerry's house and Karen (who has a farm) said we could use her paddock but the weekend we were visiting Helen; we'd go for a proper campsite and because we froze our asses off in the New Forest; we'd go for a full hook up!

I booked it all, paid for it all and was seriously beginning to look forward to it.

Term was finishing a day early and Jess asked if she could stay at Ellie's on the Thursday night, I said it was ok. On Thursday she sent me a text saying that she had her clothes with her and would be going straight to Ellie's after art club.

I got a phone call at 8.30pm from Chele, Ellie's mother, asking if Ellie was here. Naturally, we quickly established that they'd both told us they were staying at the other's house and because they've been friends since nursery school; we didn't check!

I tried to call Jess; her phone was off. Matt, Alex and I immediately went searching and Chele started the drive over here. After an hour we still hadn't found them, Chele had run out of petrol and we were both frantic so I called the police and reported them both as missing! We found out that one of their friends had been saying at school that she was planning on running away from home.

Eventually I got the call that the girls had been found, they were very local and it was a matter of minutes before we'd picked them up. By the time we had thanked the police, shouted at the pair of them and the kids they were with and got them both back to my house, it was midnight!

Needless to say, they were both grounded and Chele said Ellie couldn't come with us over half term. A shame, but perfectly understandable and on the plus side; this meant we didn't actually need to take the tent!

Monday rolled around after a very long weekend of Jess moaning how bored she was as I had banned her from the internet, taken away her mobile phone and grounded her until she's 59!

We packed the van full to bursting and set off for Kerry's! We spent Monday night and Tuesday night with Kerry and the kids. Kerry had gained quite a few pets since we'd last seen her; two corn snakes, a gecko and a parrot. Here's a pic of Kerry, Phoebe and Jess dancing with the parrot:

This is the snakes eating their lunch!

It was great seeing them again and all too soon Wednesday arrived and we had to leave to visit Karen.

Jess loved it at Karen's. Karen lives on a farm with her mum, dad and brother and they keep sheep and horses. She has four horses, one is quite old and refused to have anything to do with us, but Sam, Chrissy and Inara loved all the attention (and apples) they got! We also loved meeting the sheep.

On Thursday evening, Karen took us to Bournemouth Stitch N Bitch at a ceramics cafe and Jess painted a money box elephant (unfortunately, it takes a week to glaze and fire it, but someone has promised to send it to us!).

While at Karen's she got to have a play with the WooLee Winder on my Joy and I got to spin on her Majacraft Rose - what a fabulous wheel! She had the lace whorl on it and I spun so fine, it was as thin as (if not thinner than) sewing thread! I totally fell in love with that wheel and wanted to steal it - I even offered to trade her my WooLee Winder, but she said no.

Friday came and we set off toward Bath to visit Helen. I met Helen at Fibrefest and we got on very well. We chat a lot on twitter and I thought it would be great to visit with her for a few days.

The campsite we had booked on was lovely, it looked like it was in the middle of the countryside, all green and neat. The toilets were clean and tidy, there were seperate sinks for washing up, water points every few yards, chemical disposal for camper toilets and they even operated a quiet time between 10pm and 8am! Bliss

We spent most of the time with Helen and her husband Ian. On Friday we had a pizza and a good natter.

On Saturday we visited the Roman Baths which the city is famous for. It was absolutely fascinating and completely exhausting!

That evening we had spaghetti bolognaise and watched Strictly Come Dancing.

Sunday was our last day, we spent it at their house. Helen had a go on my wheel and she taught me to sew using a sewing machine - something I've always wanted to learn, but never been very successful at - I even made a little bag to carry my WooLee Winder in!

It's lined and everything - you have my permission to be impressed; I certainly am LOL

Helen very kindly fed us roast chicken for lunch and we left their house about 4 o'clock for the drive home.

I have so many blog posts to catch up on, a week's worth of twitter, facebook and Ravelry waiting to be read, loads of laundry to do and I'm absolutely shattered!

I think I'll leave it until tomorrow - in the words of Scarlett O'Hara:

"After all, tomorrow is another day!"