Thursday, April 29, 2010


Following many years of pleading, we have caved in and ordered one of these. Do not expect much in the way of knitting for the next, ooh, lots of years. Hoping to collect in 10 days time.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Just don't ask about the blankets...

... because I've not done anything about any of them for ages. Still have barely started April's Mystery Blanket squares, let alone finished them. The Golden Wedding Blanket is so close to being finished and the African Adventure is merely a very small bow tie.

But ask me about the May Sock why don't you? It's a fantastic pattern! And if you haven't cast yours on yet, I urge you to go do it right away.

I have changed the heel - the pattern said do a short row garter stitch heel - didn't think that would last, so I'm using the heel from the Poppy Socks (same designer) and it seems to be coming out quite pretty.

Do tell - anyone else started yet?

Monday, April 26, 2010

May Socks

I have been in a bit of a dilemma of late. I finished Polly Jean ages ago and have been desperate to start some new socks. But I was strong. I wouldn't let myself. No, do some more of your blankets, all 3 of them (yes, I own up to starting the African Adventure). Finish Tempest. Finish Carica. Finish Soho.

Nooo. I want to make some pretty socks.

But I can't start new socks until May. May is the time when the pattern for the next sock in the 'Moogsmum and Stash Basket Sock a Month Club' is released. Incidentally, someone please think of a good name for us, this is a bit long-winded every time.

But does it matter?

Yes. No. Dunno.

Brainwave. We had so many complaints last moth about the pattern being too hard that we decided to offer up 2 patterns this month. One easy and one a little bit more challenging. So I needed to make the easy pattern just to prove it is easy.

And blimey, it's easy. Come on all you reluctant sock knitters, give this one a go. It's worth it just for the name. Wise Hilda's Basic Ribbed Socks. This really is and easy, mindless pattern - I completed one in Wales in just 2 days - most of it done whilst walking up and down hills (carefully avoiding the Biting Bunnies, Silver Pebble, so do not worry!)

I used Skein Queen yarn recently purchased from a destash on Ravelry. Nicely subtle, quiet, understated colours. I love them! A little bit scratchy at the moment but hopefully they'll soften up in the wash.

Now that they were finished, I still felt the need to do more socks. I love knitting socks. I did a bit more blanket but got bored and longed for the socks, so thought ah what the heck, just go for it. Little did I know that Moogsmum was also suffering from a similar dilemma. So we've both cast on today. Presenting the May socks. Macchia Di Colore. I'm just using 2 colours for mine - Colinette Jitterbug in Burnt Ochre and Velvet Leaf, but the possibilities for using up oddments are very obvious (providing you don't mind darning in loads of ends!)

No lace work this month, but lots of colours. I've always fancied stripy socks and these are stripy with a bit of texture - short row bobbly stripes. Great pattern, very well explained and free.

So come on then, who's going to join us? All volunteers are most welcome. You have until end of May to finish. We have already chosen the socks for June, July, August and September, although Moogsmum is still being a coward and refusing to do these. Can't imagine why - the pattern is only 15 pages long...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy birthday to me...

Anyone fancy a piece of birthday cake? Carrot or chocolate? Or if you're greedy like me, both.

It's a bit of a bugger having to make your own birthday cakes, but when someone else provides a very delicious birthday lunch it's not quite so bad! Thanks Picperfic and Cybil for making my day lovely.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Upside down and back to front

My children, both very keen for you all to know that they can jump high, wanted me to show you their somersaults on the trampoline. We bought this quite a few years ago (8?) and hardly a day has gone by when it's not been in use - rain, snow, hail, sun, fog, you name it. It has been the best value 'toy' ever bought and they have loved it so much. Sadly last week it broke - 3 of the legs fell off. Pretty serious, but fortunately very fixable. It was a bit of a pain trying to dismantle and then get it back together - many swear-words issued forth from eldest son. But we managed it. We are not quitters!

Eldest son has taught himself lovely, neat and graceful somersaults. Would that he showed half as much perseverance with his school-work!

For some time now, mum has been wanting a Christmas Cushion. She asked me to make her one for her Christmas pressie this year, but obviously either forgot, or fancied making one herself. She borrowed a blanket book from me and set about making squares. I sewed them all together and this is the result. Not sure if I can bear to give it back to her - isn't it gorgeous?

Here's the back which I love almost as much as the front.

Mr Stressy has requested one, as has my brother, and I'd love one too. anyone else wish to join the queue? So I feel that mum may be rather busy for the next few months. Sadly though, she has decided to make a Christmas Blanket now, so all cushion orders will be ignored.

Oh yes and thank-you all very much for your opinions on African Adventure. I was honestly expecting you to say that I was mad, don't do it, you have far too much else to do, finish one of your many other projects first... But oh no, seems like you want me to have a go. So I duly printed off the pattern (only 3 pages long) and cast on. Well, talk about addictive! I had to force myself to put it down, finish something else first. I'm trying hard to be strong, but it is so difficult - what a most fantabulous way to use up oddments (sock yarn works brilliantly when used double). Just to make a change - I LOVE THIS PATTERN!!! I won't show you a picture today (because I haven't taken one) but will do very soon. Promise.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Somebody help me please

I am giving very, very serious thought to casting this on. Someone please convince me this will not be a good idea. Despite having plenty of lovely double knitting yarn that would work perfectly in this pattern. It would not be a good idea would it? Or would it?

Phew - never again!

I can now breathe a deep sigh of relief. It is done. Ishbel is all finished, off the needles and will never again get back on my needles. Hated knitting it, as you know, but at least now lace, mohair and shawls are all right out of my system. Back to socks and blankets thank-you very much.

But saying all that, it does look quite pretty now that it's done - I don't really like the very hard blocking and felt this soft fly-away yarn would benefit from something much more gentle. It has nothing at all to do with impatience or laziness!

We went over to Burghley House yesterday - met mum and dad for a coffee and cake in the Orangery and then played in the grounds. I am sure my eldest was born with springs in his legs, otherwise how on earth could he get that high up?

This building was used in Pride and Prejudice (the one with Keira Knightley) as Rosings Park, the ultra stuck-up residence of Lady Catherine de Bourgh. I think one of her direct descendants now works in the coffee shop - one of the ladies serving was so rude, I even complained. Something I very rarely do (unless it's about pain-in-the-bum lace knitting patterns).

Both children are out with friends at the moment, Mr Stressy returns from London at about 3am so I am Home Alone. Yippee! Going to do some knitting. See you soon.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Did you miss me?

I have returned from a few days away in Welsh Wales. We went to visit my mother-in-law. It was lovely there - I was not allowed to do any cooking, but was just told 'no, go and knit'. Oh OK then, if you insist!
I did not take the infernal Ishbel with me, but have been doing some of it since I got home. I only hope that when it's all done, I will finally feel the love, because at the moment, I cannot stand the bloody thing. Love the yarn but hate lace weight - if that makes sense! Love the halo of the mohair but hate knitting with it. Really don't like the pattern at all, it's just one big mess of holes with no order in them. Cannot understand what everyone raves about so much - I shall never, ever in the whole of my life knit another one. Neither will I be using poxy lace weight either and will only use mohair if it's super chunky!!!

But on the other hand, Polly Jean is a wonderful pattern. I have loved knitting these, even though I have finally worked out that I've been making the stitches all wrong, so my leaves/ hearts don't look like they should. But I am still very pleased with the way they have turned out. And the yarn is fabulous - Posh Laura, naturally Posh again.

I did some other knitting too - more of Tempest and started on an 'easy' sock - had so many complaints last month about the 'Sock A Month' challenge pattern being too hard, that I hunted for an easy pattern. Had to try it out to make sure it was easy. And fear not all you weaklings who refused to tackle Polly Jean (you know who you are Locket) it really is super-easy. We'll be choosing 2 patterns next month, so you will have no excuse to do one or the other!

Whilst being away, I have gone out on several walks on my own. As much as I love my family, there is nothing quite so wonderful as walking through the forest, knitting happily away and listening to the birds and running water. It has been so cold up there that spring is being very reluctant to make an appearance. There are one or two buds just starting to show on the trees, but at the moment, you can see quite a way up the little streams.

My ridiculous children went 'swimming' in a pool which is fed by this stream. They described it as 'rather cold'. I felt mildly surprised that they found this surprising!

I finished the Seven Circle Scarf and would like you all to know that it is now my most favourite pattern ever in the whole wide world. Forget Baktus, if you have yet to make one of these, put down all your other knitting projects and cast one on immediately. You will not be disappointed. this one is made in Posh (yes, I know, again!) cashmere - Sophia 4-ply and I LOVE IT!!! It's like a soft cosy necklace

Just one last photo for now - when we came home, I had to quickly unpack and then get on with decorating a cake. I had made all the decorations before we went away so it just needed icing and assembling (had made the cake before we left and froze it). The instructions this time were 'it's for my mum and she does scrap-booking and makes cards so please do something that resembles that'.

Right, I'm off now to make dinner. Bacon sandwich anyone?

Friday, April 2, 2010


The combination of me, lace knitting, mohair yarn and Ishbel is not a happy combination. Frog, frog, frog, tink, tink, tink. It is very close to being thrown somewhere in disgrace. Every single pattern row, I seem to be 3 stitches short. It's making me very cross.

I think I'd better stick to socks in future.