Monday, December 31, 2007
It is with great sadness that I have to report that my computer has died again - and this time I think it's really had it. A new one is being ordered as we speak - clever brother is trying to sort it all out. You all know how useless I am on this infernal machine, so I don't know how long it will be before I get the new one all set up. I have a little man all ready lined up to come and help me, so fear not, normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.
It is giving me chance to knit though - Tipsy is not quite finished, but I will be wearing her later on tonight, just the sewing up left to do. Blanket number 2 is coming along (mum is helping to make the border this time) and I've managed another 'square' of Lizard Ridge.
Oh. Update here. I'm writing this post at my neighbour's house and my husband has just phoned to say that the computer is working. The broken computer. The one that has died. Drat this technology business. It's frustrating isn't it. And how typical is it that my husband, who only knows how to turn the computer on and play cards,manages to get the darn thing working. ARGHHHHH!!
Thursday, December 27, 2007
I think it's Thursday isn't it? I get so confused at this time of year. I mean I know it's the 27th but is it Thursday? Wednesday? Tuesday? Just incase it is Tuesday and I've got it all wrong here's a picture of Tipsy for 'Tipsy Maybe Tuesday'. She is very nearly done, hoping to wear her on New Year's Eve. But there is one teeny setback. I don't have a 2.25 mm circular needle. Have got to cast on hundreds of stitches for the border and my little straight needle just won't cope. I can't believe I've got this far and am now falling at the last post! We have 1 shop in March that sells needles, so I'm really hoping they come up trumps for me...
Did you all have a good Christmas? I had a very nice time. Ate, knitted, slept. What more could a girl ask for?
Oh, has anyone else out there been to see Enchanted? I read the reviews in the paper and the critics seemed to love it. The trailers on the tv looked very funny, so we decided to go and watch it. It was rubbish. It was very nearly as rubbish as Shark Tale (our only other major cinema disaster). Do not waste your money people - we nearly walked out after 20 minutes to see if we could sneak into one of the other screens to watch something else. It was that bad. But am I wrong? Did you like it?
And last but by no means least - Happy Birthday to my Mum. She has been very poorly over Christmas (flu) but is slowly on the mend, having given all her germs to dad. According to mum, this is the very worst day for a birthday. Everyone clears up today, the sales all start, the rubbish gets sorted and we go back to the same old tv programmes. So we are all going over to cheer her up today - just what she needs to speed up the recovery don't you think? A daughter, son-in-law and 2 grandchildren who are noisy mud-magnets. But at least we're taking lunch (trifle for pudding too which always goes down a treat!)
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Over here at the Stash Basket, as we are all recovering from the inevitable pre-Christmas dose of the dreaded sickness bug, we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
It has been a special year for many of my friends who now have bigger families than this time last year (hello Evie, Sammy, Trinity, Isabel and of course our very own new baby Bartholomew Archibald Bunny).
Here we have made squares, blankets, scarves, gloves, jumpers and cardigans. We have failed in our attempts to get Tipsy finished in time to wear on Christmas Day. OK, enough of the Royal 'WE'. I have failed. Miserably. There is loads left to do, but maybe sometime in the New Year you might see a finished picture. Oh ever the optimist...
So whatever you are doing this Christmas and New Year, whatever your beliefs, wherever you are, may your festive season hold nothing but happiness and fun. Let your New Year sparkle with excitement and let it be a very happy and healthy one for us all.
Thank-you for sticking with me and for joining me if you're new-comers. See you again in 2008 - if not before...
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Drum roll please everyone - the blanket has been won by Elizabeth Durand.
Elizabeth was one of the first people to buy any raffle tickets (I know that because she has white ticket number 64, the first book I bought was white). Congratulations Elizabeth, I hope you enjoy your blanket. (In all honesty I am gutted I didn't win, all that i-cord and I'm giving it away!!!!!)
I have your address, but if you'd like to e-mail me just to confirm, it might be a good idea. I shall post it to America after Christmas. Once I've had chance to save up for the postage (why couldn't I have found one of the few UK tickets in the Big Bag Of Tickets?)
I'm having a rest from blankets for now, but at the rate Kathryn's mum is knitting, I might even have 2 blankets to raffle in the New Year. For all of us unlucky enough to not win, don't despair, undrawn tickets stay in the big bag until all prizes are used up.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I can't wait to draw some more raffle prizes, so here are some that I'll be giving away later on tonight. First some Regia Bamboo sock yarn which I bought in the summer full of good intentions to knit a lovely pair of soft squishy socks. But I'll let one of you have it instead. Cos I'm nice like that!
Next up is some recycled sari silk donated by the ever marvelous Kerrie at Hipknits (sorry, the link thing isn't playing the game today)
.. and some beautiful thick and thin wooly stuff again from Kerrie. Sorry for the lack of technical terms here, I seem to think it's blue faced leicester, but am not entirely sure.
And last of all is a big shawl that I've made using my favourite colour of the moment. It's made with silk, cashmere, mohair, cotton and 'wool' wool.
So do you fancy winning any of these? I will probably wait until after Christmas to post them, would hate any of them to get lost in the madness of the Christmas rush, but I really want to start pulling names out of the hat! Ticket sales have gone bonkers since I posted the picture yesterday of the blanket.
Monday, December 17, 2007
We have a border of i-cord using Posh Yarn's Emily. That's a border of 4 stitch i-cord, a whole 1,250 rows of it. A drag while it's going on, but oh so worth the finished result!
We have mitred squares (that one was mine!), lacy squares, knitted squares and crochet squares. Plain squares and stripey squares. Square squares and rectangular squares (although you'd never tell unless you turned it over).
Squares of silk, cashmere, cotton, pure new wool and alpaca (and one or two 'man-made-fibres'). Lace-weight, sock-weight, double knit and even - dare I say this - dishcloth cotton!!!
And here it is in all its glory. Blanket number 1 is now complete and ready to be raffled off. I shall pull the name out of the bag on Wednesday to give you chance to buy another ticket, but until then, I might just see if I can find another few prizes to tempt you. Thank-you so much to you all for helping in this. I love this blanket and will be very sorry to see it go.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
So here it is - what do you think? This top picture is taken from the back door looking towards the oven, fridge (cleverly disguised as a cupboard) and breakfast bar. The bottom one is taken from the dining room door looking towards the microwave and my fantastic gas hob and extractor fan.
My mum and dad have been over today helping do some finishing touches - Dad has decorated and mum has done all my ironing. Love my parents! There are a few bits still left to do and the kitchen fitters are coming back to sort them out next week, but on the whole it is now finished. And I love my new kitchen!
The fitters even sent me a big bouquet of flowers today to say they hope I like my kitchen. Like it? You bet Mr Kitchen Man. Now I have no excuse to sit and knit, I must get on and do some serious baking ready for Christmas.
But first I have a blanket to finish. Soon, people, oh very soon now...
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Here is blanket number 2 all ready and waiting! 167 squares sofar, but if more turn up, the blanket will be bigger. I promise to use every one sent. I know that I haven't shown you number 1 yet, but be patient my friends - I'm trying as hard as I can!
This week has been crazy to say the least (and oh dear it's only Wednesday!) School plays, tiling, broken printer, Christmas Cards, grumpy husband, oh it's all happening chez Stash Basket.
I still can't figure out what's happened to Blogger - is anyone else having trouble uploading pictures? Why have they disappeared from the 'create' page but miraculously turn up on the blog page? This is all too much for me on top of everything else.
Still no pictures of the kitchen I'm afraid as it's still not done - the tiler will be here all week doing the walls and floors. Today we are in an even worse mess than ever as the dishwasher, washing machine and freezer have all moved from the laundry room to the kitchen while he does the floor out there. I can't even get to the fridge anymore to find the milk for a cup of tea. Oh dear. What a shame. Looks like being Cointreau today. Two weeks ago I was nearly teetotal. This week I'm clearing the drinks cupboard at quite a rate. Still, it's nearly Christmas isn't it?
Monday, December 10, 2007
So my brother was right - I'm back! Many thanks to him for standing in for me (incidentally, my family have always called me Kylie, not sure why, they just have. I do not resemble Ms Minogue in any way shape or form. Except in my dreams!)
No pictures of the kitchen just yet I'm afraid. It looks a whole lot better, but the tiler is coming today so hopefully there'll be some better views tomorrow.
Just a couple of pictures of some squares today. This top one is very blurred - it's early and there's no natural light so I'm blaming that. This is the i-cord edging that I'm doing and it's taking FOREVER, but will be worth it in the end. Sadly it means that Tipsy is on hold for some time - the Christmas deadline has been thrown out of the window. Not a chance of wearing it on the 25th. Perhaps I'll wear the blanket instead!
This little square has been sent by Arianne. She enclosed a note saying 'please have this square, it's not very good'. Arianne, modesty prevails. Your little square is beautiful and your mitring fantastic. Thank-you. Any more 'not very good' ones will be very welcome!!!!!!!
I have a big bag of squares ready to sew up into blanket number 2. Any that you have, please post them to either me or Kerrie asap and I can start sewing up all over again!
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Have I mentioned my wonderful brother to you all? No ... well, let me put the record straight right now!
He's charming, whitty, very intelligent and quite the best person ever, anyway, enough of my wonderful brother why am I posting this ...
My Puter has broken :-(( its gone bang and I will not be around for a while (as long as it takes the little man to replace the fuse I imagine). So, please in my time of silence rest a little because in the words of the great Arnie ... I'll be back!!!!
Emma, please phone me ... I'd phone you but I don't have your number!
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
A view of the kitchen from the other side this time. Units are starting to be put into place. We might even have an oven by the end of the week! No Monkee Maker, no stainless steel for me - far too clinical. Our house is over 200 years old, I really didn't want to go all modern in there. Mind you, the oven is going to be pretty modern and I don't think they had microwaves 200 years ago, nor fridges or spot lights, but I have to relinquish myself to the 21st century at some time!
No raffle prize today, but the winner from yesterday is Teri Gaudet. Just as soon as I can get to a post office, I'll put your silk in an envelope Teri. You lucky lucky person!
The blanket is coming along slowly because stupid me decided to do an i-cord border. I like doing i-cord and thought it would be a good idea at the time. Ah well, at least it will look good!
Monday, December 3, 2007
This is my kitchen at the moment. Excuse me while I just lie down in a dark room and cry will you. I am a cook. I cook. I practically live in my kitchen. What on earth will I do for the next 2 weeks? The wind farms round here will be going nuts over the next fortnight, as we'll be living off beans on toast until I can get to a cooker! I must convince myself this is all for the greater good. But it's very hard looking around at the mess and the dust. Oh, and as I wanted the oven moving, to be able to sort out the electrics, they've had to pull up our bedroom floor.
Gin. Need gin. Or chocolate. Or both....
So I will remain calm and think about the raffles taking place this week. Well, some of them will be taking place. You'll have to check back on a daily basis to see if I'm being nice or not!
This prize has been donated by the ever marvellous Kerrie. 500g (I think, my scales are lost somewhere in the rubble) of aran weight silk. It is beautiful, a very pretty smokey grey. Yes I know it looks blue, but trust me, with all this chaos here today, you're lucky to see anything!
And once again Blogger is mucking me about. I've uploaded photos, but instead of seeing them on the 'create post' page, all I've got is rows of letters and numbers. And I can't provide a link either. Arghh! Frustrated. Noisy. Dusty.
No gin left. Or chocolate.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
The man has come to fix the damp problem in our kitchen. All the kitchen units are outside and all the stuff from inside the units is in our dining room. It is chaos to say the very least.
He is using a big circular saw to slice through the 200+ year old walls to insert a waterproof layer. Or something like that. All I know is that it's very noisy and the dust cloud is as thick as any pea souper from Old London Town. It is quite, quite horrible.
So I must just keep looking at the pictures of the sunrise and think calming thoughts. It will all be beautiful soon. It will all be worth it in the end.
Perhaps I'll go and do some of today's 1500 Tipsy stitches. I didn't do any yesterday, so with my superb maths skills, I make that 3,000 stitches today.
Nervous breakdown approaching.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
But I'll keep plodding along, grasping every chance I can to knit a stitch! I am a painfully slow knitter!
I am also beginning to realise that I ordered way too much cashmere. WAY too much! There's going to be nearly enough yarn left to knit another Tipsy. Not that I'll do that. Got any ideas what I can do with the 'leftovers'?
And on the subject of ideas, I need help please. One of our members at Knitting Club has now completed her first scarf - it's pale pink. long and is just garter stitch. Very good job she's made of it too! But she's now itching to get her teeth into a proper pattern. She likes the look of my cable and bobble scarf from Debbie Bliss, but I'm not sure if she's quite ready for the 12 row pattern repeat. Got any ideas for something simple, that a very keen 7 year old girl could follow? I had wondered about a feather and fan type scarf that would only involve 4 rows of pattern. Help? Kathryn? Anyone?
Oh and I forgot to say - I'm well on my way to emptying the kitchen cupboards as you can see from the picture. It doesn't always look like Old Mother Hubbard's place!
Some more squares have arrived today. And 3 rectangles! Don't worry, they'll be nipped and tucked and made into 4" squares very soon (just fold over an inch or so!) Kerrie has more squares over at the shop but we still need more, so please keep them coming. Officially you have only 9 days left to get them sent, but if you're a bit late, then I don't mind. I'll be sewing up blanket number 2 over the Christmas Holidays. Because Tipsy WILL be finished by then won't it?
And good news on the raffle ticket front - we have sold over 450 tickets so far. If you would like to buy some tickets, they are £1 or $2US each. Either cash or cheque (payable to Emma Magnago-Prime) or Paypal on Emma's blog . Many thanks to everyone who is joining in with this
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
It's at times like this that I feel totally stupid and very frustrated. Think I'll just stick to knitting in future, and decorating cakes.
This cake is going to be my last for some time now. The kitchen is being ripped out soon, so I won't even be able to make tea let alone cakes!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Here's the very nice tree man with his very big saw (he actually had about 6 very big saws!). We all got very nervous at one stage when the straps pinged and the tree wobbled the wrong way, but we need not have worried. The very nice man knew his stuff and it fell exactly where he predicted. Big sigh of relief all round!
Soon after all this excitement, Kerrie came round to help sew up the first blanket. Note that I say 'First Blanket' - I'm planning on doing at least one more, so please keep on knitting squares for me. The deadline remains as the end of November, but you can still buy raffle tickets a week after this. So far we have sold over 250 tickets, great news, but more would be nice. Will post pictures of the blanket tomorrow when Kerrie sends them to me - she's very kindly offered to back it and crochet a border. I'm very eager to see it, so hurry up Kerrie, get the little hook working fast!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Squares and money are literally pouring in now - thanks in no uncertain terms to Kay at Mason Dixon. She has volunteered to make an American version of Oliver's blanket. I am in awe - I want to win that one! Sight unseen! Oh to own something by one of the goddesses of knitting. Would anybody mind if I won?
You would? Oh very well then, I'll do a proper draw and won't cheat! I'll let you know at the weekend exactly how it's all going - amount raised and number of squares received. You might even get a picture of the blanket sewn up! If Kerrie and I get a move on
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
But look at this bag! Vera has, of course, adopted it, as it holds an image of her heart throb 007.
It is lined with lovely flowery fabric, has a pocket which once upon a time held some chocolates and is hand-made by the ever talented (and ever so slightly insane) Monkee Maker. It is now my new knitting bag for Lizard Ridge (that's my school and football knitting). Not only do I embarrass my children by knitting at their football matches, I now have a monkee bag to embarrass them in style! It's my turn to supply the half-time oranges this weekend. If they think they're getting oranges with all this monkee business going on, they can think again. It's bananas all the way boys!
More squares have arrived, and more ticket money has arrived too. Many thanks to everyone joining in this project! It's not too late if you still fancy knitting me some 4" squares, or sending me more money for tickets!
What is going on with the blogger spacing lately? Yesterday it wouldn't do double spacing and today it will only do triple spacing. It is so frustrating being a technological pea brain.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
Thursday, November 1, 2007
On the subject of blankets, more squares are coming in now for Oliver. Still not enough though, so keep on knitting! I want this one to be big too, well, I actually want 2 big blankets. Greedy you see! Optimistic too. The first one is being raffled before Christmas. This is a very busy time for me (pretty much everyone I think) - especially this year, as on December 3rd, we're having a new kitchen fitted. I'm dreading this as well as looking forward to it. Of all the stupid times to have your kitchen ripped out. (And it gets worse - 2 weeks before that , someone is coming to do a damp course in the kitchen too). The kitchen will take at least a week apparently. Better start trying to clear out some of the cupboards soon. Strange how much rubbish you collect over the years isn't it?
Got any spare bin bags anyone?
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
In fact there aren't any pictures today - I hate a blog without something nice to look at, but this post will be short and sweet.
- Thanks for the good vibes about the tree. It still hasn't been chopped down.
- Two days into this half term, and I've not had a shitty day. Yet.
- More squares have arrived at Kerrie's, but I still need lots more. And loads more money for raffle tickets please.
- The moth repellents appear to have done the trick, but they smell so bad I'm throwing them away and replacing them with cedar wood. Which doesn't smell too good either if I'm honest!
- Cake in the oven smells done, so I'm going and will save you reading any more waffle.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Saturday was supposed to be the day that it came down. Then when it didn't come down, it was supposed to be Sunday. Then it was definitely going to be first thing Monday. And look everyone - IT'S STILL HERE!!!
Now I'm not normally a pessimist. In fact I'm never one, but just look at the size of this thing. If it fell over, we would not have a roof - at the very least. Our bedroom would probably be a little draughty too.
We are also a bit concerned that when the tree man comes along with his chain saw, er just what if it falls the wrong way?
So if you don't hear from me for a while, the tree has either
1. Blown down in a sudden gale and squashed the house.
2. Been pecked so much by the wood-peckers that it's fallen down and squashed the house.
3. Become so rotten and fungus infected that it's fallen down and squashed the house.
4. Been incorrectly felled and it's fallen the wrong way and squashed the house.
Keep everything crossed for us please. Pray for a home victory.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
This was her going down the tunnel onto the pitch. Come on boys, where's that ball? I need to show you how it's done!
Now this big cup had a glass cabinet all to itself - someone enlighten me, what's it for? All I could think of was how long the blessed thing would take to polish. We all had a good time at Old Trafford, but 9 hours in the bus for a 3 hour visit was a little excessive. Imagine the horror of it all - a bus full of football crazy children all bored... the noise levels were quite high!
Returning momentarily to Oliver, I think we might end up being ok for squares - Kay over at Mason Dixon posted about it and the number of people viewing this blog have increased by about 10 times. Hello America! Nice of you to drop in. Get knitting please - and send any squares asap so I can at least have one blanket made by Christmas. Address is over in the side bar at the top.
The clocks have gone back today - am I the only person who really hates this? Why can't they just stay the same? It takes me ages to get my body clock re-adjusted, which is why I'm writing about football and monkeys at 5.15 on a Sunday morning.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Got any good films you want to share? Do tell, my Amazon list is getting short and needs topping up.
Deb in Kansas, and everyone else who hasn't knitted Oliver a square yet - for some foolish reason I extended the deadline - you have until end of November to get your 4" squares to me. And don't forget the raffle tickets - £1 or $2US each. There may very well be more in the raffle than just a blanket, the Stash Basket is over flowing and will need thinning out a bit...
Oh, and Kathleen, I have tried in vain to contact you - Blogger is not letting me view your profile. The address to send squares to is over on the right hand side of the blog --->
The first thing I ever made him was a lovely dark turquoise jumper, complete with collar, pocket and contrasting trim at the cast on edge. Very lovely - warm (it was an alpaca blend), cosy and a lovely fit. He didn't like it, so I undid the collar, re-worked it and made it so he did like it. He actually wore it. Miracle! Yes, but he wore it when creosoting the fence. It stank. So I hand-washed it and it still stank.
Husband - 'Put it in the washer'
Me - 'No way, it will shrink'
Husband - 'No it won't if you do it on a cool wash'
Me - 'Yes it will'
Husband - 'You never listen to me, I'm going to do it'
Readers, do not put your hand-knit alpaca jumpers in the wash. Not only do they shrink, but they go very fluffy and fill the washer with fluff for weeks to come.
The second jumper was made in secret for a Christmas present, using a dark blue Rowan chunky tweedy wool. Again lovely. He never liked this one, but wore it to please me. Then guess what? He creosoted the fence again, put it in the washer, and lo and behold it shrank.
So one year I decided that enough was enough and I bought him a jumper from a very nice gentleman's outfitters in Ely. He loved it. Hurrah! Wore it lots, got it dirty and then let me wash it. Tee hee!
Whoopsy daisy darling, your favourite jumper seems to have shrunk in the washer!
So I cut it up, knitted a flower, assembled the lot on one of those Sainsbury's jute bags and hey-presto, a Christmas present from the children to my mother-in-law.
Any suggestions as to what husband can have for Christmas this year?
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Well it's now half term, and boy do we need the rest. Must catch up on some yarn projects. Note that I said 'some'. I'm lying. Tipsy is taking all my spare time. Not even thinking about all the other projects, which for me is most unusual, the fickle being that I am. Isn't anybody else out there going to knit this cardigan? It is really the most fun thing I've ever made (with maybe the Nautilus poncho from Nature Knits coming a close second) (but that was just in one colour). I'm itching to show you progress, but will be strong - come back tomorrow for more news.
Sorry if I've been a grumpy old bag lately, harping on about the 'shitty' days. I love my job, but when I say 'shitty' it really is meant quite literally. Teaching assistants have to do much more than just assist the teacher you know! I'd say that for 99% of the time, it's great fun, and the children are fantastic. They make me laugh so much - I was making pancakes with them once and they so wanted me to try flipping the pancakes. I explained that I wasn't very good at that, they always end up on the floor. One dear little boy proudly informed me that his dad was a great tosser. I can no longer look at that particular father without laughing. He must think I'm very odd. Me?
Friday, October 19, 2007
And Malcolm apparently likes going shooting. No idea what the poor guy looks like, but I guessed (I did this once for someone and guessed completely wrong - I gave the model a head full of brown hair when in reality he was bald. Quickly made a small bottle of miracle hair restorer - fortunately he saw the funny side of this!)
These cakes have taken a lot of time although it doesn't really look like it. I've not been to bed before 1am all week, up again at 6.30. As a result, I am now very tired in deed and starting to feel a tad poorly. No lie in tomorrow though, eldest son is going bag-packing in Sainsbury's and has to have a parent with him at all times. Trying to raise money for his football team.
The things you do as a parent eh? Three hours of packing other people's shopping into carriers. Then I have to go and do it for myself, otherwise it's stale bread and cheese again for tea.
Good luck in the rugby tomorrow England. Hold your heads high, whatever the score, you've done us proud (not that any of you will be reading this of course!)