Wednesday, 30 March 2011

2KCBWDAY4 - Whatever happened to.....?

Hello everyone and happy Day 4. I am really behind on my blog reader today, I've hardly been online at all which isn't like me but it has been one of those days. Someone has put big scratches in my car paintwork. It's an old car but it's mine, I love it and I hate that someone has done that and I don't know who or why. I was very grumpy about it this morning and when I am miserable I clean things so the house is much cleaner than usual. I think Mr J would like it if I was miserable all the time! Maybe he scratched my car? Not really. Then I cut the end of my finger trying to unblock the vacuum cleaner and then the Little One fell backwards off a chair so we decided that the day was rubbish and we'd go for a sleep instead. Which of course meant he wasn't tired this evening. I said 'Don't you want to go to sleep like a good boy?' to which he replied 'I be a cheesecake!' Hmmmm. I am of course writing my Day 4 post on Day 3 as there isn't much chance to do it while he is awake. My laptop is missing so many buttons after he has attacked them mercilessly.

Anyhow, enough whining and on to today's topic. Thank you for all the yarn cupboard love. I still need to decide what colour to paint it and have had my eye on the lovely paints at Annie Sloan. I have a lot of furniture to paint this summer and deciding which colour for each thing is tricky. I love them all!

Day Four: 31st March. Where are they now?

Whatever happened to your __________?

Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity.

As mentioned before I don't have that many FO's and the ones I do have are recent but I haven't blogged them yet so I can kill two birds with one stone and do it now.

This cardigan took me a month to finish, the main problem being the front, I think it's the right side? I get confused and can never remember if it's the left/right as you look at it or as it would be worn. Truthfully I can't tell my left from right very well and never have done, I used to have L and R written inside my shoes as a child. Don't ever ask me to read a map! Anyway it was the side with the buttonholes. The row the pattern gave to do them on was wrong so I decided to do them one row below and when I got to the top the top buttonhole was too low. Plus, and this is proof positive of how pernickity I can be with knitting, they looked like cat's bums. I must have knit that front about 4 times! Anyway once it was all sewn up I was really pleased with it, especially the raglan seams.

It has been sent away to be (hopefully) worn by my niece who was born last month. My sister and her family live 200 miles away and due to a family disagreement we haven't spoken for a year. It doesn't look likely I will be meeting the baby any time soon. I don't know what will happen to be honest, some very hurtful things have been said. But I have some more projects in mind and hopefully my knitting will be a small presence as she grows up.

I promise I won't be so doom and gloom tomorrow, don't run away!

2KCBWDAY3 - Tidy mind, tidy stitches

Hello again! I am completely blown away by all the visits and comments I have received. I've been trying to find a way of easily replying to you all but it doesn't seem as simple in Blogger. I think there is an extra widget I can install so I will look into that as soon as possible. Nevertheless, thank you very much. As it stands my blog reader has got 264 unread posts and I'm trying to get through them before there will be even more tomorrow! My husband thinks I have gone completely mad (what's new?!) but I am really enjoying it. I didn't read a lot of knitting blogs before but I sure do now!

Today's topic

Day Three: 30th March. Tidy mind, tidy stitches.

How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised? It seems like an easy to answer question at first, but in fact organisation exists on many levels. Maybe you are truly not organised at all, in which case I am personally daring you to try and photograph your stash in whatever locations you can find the individual skeins. However, if you are organised, blog about an aspect of that organisation process, whether that be a particularly neat and tidy knitting bag, a decorative display of your crochet hooks, your organised stash or your project and stash pages on Ravelry.

Let's get this out of the way - I'm not a tidy person! My house is a wreck and needs a lot of work and because of this our possessions get shifted around the place and we can't find anything. It had got to the point where the kids were starting to mess with my yarn and that just wouldn't do! So in came the yarn cupboard. It cost me £25 from my local fabulous charity warehouse and has the wonderful benefit of a lock. With 3 children and 4 cats that makes a total of 14 sets of hands or paws waiting to unravel my skeins. I will eventually get around to revamping the cupboard. I have some great retro wallpaper for the inside and it will get painted once I get the energy to drag it back down the stairs and outside. I'm not sure what colour it wants to be yet. You can also see a sliver of my very undesirable stair carpet. A true treat for the senses!

But of course this isn't all of the yarn. The yarn in the cupboard is the stuff that was either expensive or is of a similar type, to keep them all together. The cottons and other odds and ends I keep in zip bags that came with some mattress protectors I bought. Free and kitty-barf/hair proof! The Wendy Fusion is in my 'What was I thinking?' category as I have no idea what to make with it.

My needles, stitch markers, hooks and things all fit into this bag leaving enough room for a small project too. It is a washbag from Ikea and has a metal frame around the zip so it stays open for you to knit from and you can see into all the little corners so nothing gets lost. And it has useful pockets on either side. Everyone in my knitting group has one of these. A bargain at less than £5 too. I try and keep mine as tidy as possible as it makes it much easier to find things. And sometimes I hide sweets in there too. Shhh!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011


Thank you very much for the comments yesterday everyone, and a to all those who visited. I don't think I've ever been so busy. I have read so many blog posts my eyes are swimming and still I don't think I quite got to everyone. Such a lot of inspiration out there. On to today's topic. I like the word 'topic' as it was my favourite chocolate bar when I was little so topic=gooood!

Day Two: 29th March. Skill + 1UP

Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. Have you learned any new skills or forms of knitting/crochet (can you crochet cable stitches now where you didn’t even know such things existed last year? Have you recently put a foot in the tiled world of entrelac? Had you even picked up a pair of needles or crochet hook this time last year?

This time last year I was a very lost knitter/crocheter. I had the skills, the yarns, the patterns and the KnitPro interchangables but getting it all to come together into one finished item, I just couldn't do it. I had startitis in a big way. When I was growing up I had (have) two grandmas who knit. One who refused to teach me as she 'hadn't the patience' and the other who showed me the basics, for which I am forever grateful. As I got older I wanted to get better at knitting and bought little bits of yarn and books and knitted in fits and starts, losing interest when I yet again failed to produce anything. I wanted to show my Gran that I could do it but in doing so I became so hung up on getting things right and perfect that every time I made a mistake it was right back to the beginning again. I was the sort of child that wasn't very good at anything and I lacked praise and encouragement.

Back in October I went to Fibre Flurry and had a lesson on finishing with Susan Crawford. And I had to admit in front of a room of nice fellow knitters that I had been knitting for 17 years but had never finished a single thing (apart from a tiny pair of doll's trousers for my daughter's doll. To this day it still doesn't have the promised matching top!) I am not particularly comfortable in a classroom type set-up and there were times when I was struggling to keep up and could have cried with frustration at my slowness! The upside is that I have a very good memory and could remember clearly the things Susan had come to teach us. When I got back I decided that I would start a project and finish it in good time if it was the last thing I did! My friend was due to have a baby girl and I wanted to knit something for her.

And finish it I did.
And since then I have a grand total of FOUR FO's (finished objects) 17 years of nada and then it's all happening. Granted they are only little, baby sized FO's but it's good enough for now. My crafty imagination still insists on writing cheques my knitting ass can't cash but I will get better. I will. Knitting is a part of me now and I'm not quitting! I still tie myself in knots over finding the perfect cast on and the best buttonhole method but hopefully in time I will be able to relax a bit.

Susan Crawford and my Grandma E, I salute you. Other Grandma E - ner ner ner ner ner!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Hello (and 2KCBWDAY1 )

Hello? Is there anyone still there?! Ah there you are! How are you? It has been a while since I blogged. After my last post I got a bit ill and a few months and one little operation later I'm just about back on my feet so to speak. Hopefully some of you have seen me hovering about in your blog comments section. I have been reading a lot to pass the time when I've not felt like doing much else.

It was a little hard to find a good time to pop back as I haven't done much to blog about but I thought today, the start of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, was as good a time as any. I read the posts last year and didn't feel accomplished enough to join in, and now, well I still don't but nevermind! I would probably feel the same next year. I will try and complete the full week if time and toddler allows. At the moment he has a cake in his hand so I have about, ooooh 2 minutes!

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week is organised by Mimi over at Eskimimiknits and it is she who has made all the lovely banners and fine tuned the details. Thank you Mimi!

The topic for today, Day One is

A Tale of Two Yarns – 2KCBWDAY1
Part of any fibre enthusiast’s hobby is an appreciation of yarn. Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them.

Firstly I think I will choose Wendy Merino Bliss. I love this yarn! It's soft, inexpensive (around £2.79 per 50g) and 100% merino wool that is easy to work with. It is far superior to it's merino/acrylic blend cousin, Wendy Mode. I think Wendy is a brand sometimes overlooked and also I don't think the company do an awesome job of promoting it. With a few more colours (currently 26-no, that isn't enough!) and a 4ply weight to match they could give Sublime and Rowan a run for their money. As it is though I could totally cope with being gifted all of the colours if Jim could Fix it for meeee!

Pic from Fyberspates

Secondly I will talk about Fyberspates Ethereal. It is a 4ply 65% cashmere and 35% silk and feels beautiful. It have one skein in my favourite colour and sits inside my yarn cupboard, away from the cats and children with sticky fingers and I see it every time I go upstairs. The trouble is I feel it is too gorgeous. I know it needs to be made into something special but I worry that either I would attempt something too tricky for me and make a mess of it, or choose something too simple and feel I hadn't done it justice. So for now I will admire it until the moment strikes.

So that's Day 1! If you would like to see what other people have to say about their yarns then you can seach for the tag 2KCBWDAY1 You may discover some great new to you blogs as I did last year. There is also the Twitter hashtag #2KCBW I'd better start looking ahead to tomorrows post. Early bird and all that!

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