Sunday, February 28, 2010

I Win!

Sorry things have been a little quiet round here lately - it's been a bit of a stressful week yet again. Must practice breathing deeply and slowly. Either that or take up running and run a very long way away!

Anyway, there has been time to knit and it is with great pleasure that I announce that I have WON the Finish It Off February Challenge!!!!! Look here Locket - my final pair of socks are done! I have also done 32 rows of Soho so am declaring myself the Gold Medal winner! I have not cast anything on - but the yarn is already wound up ready to tackle Tempest. Can't wait. Just have a nagging suspicion that I don't have the right size needles...

I have really enjoyed this challenge - if the truth be told, I never gave myself a chance of completing it. I have got lots more empty bags now waiting for new projects to fill them, but I will try and be strong and only cast on one new thing a month. No. Who am I trying to kid? One miracle at a time. You watch, by the end of next week I'll no doubt have cardigans, socks, hats and scarves on the needles, ready for another Finish It Off month in April!

This computer is a bit poorly so I may be quiet again for some time while I arrange for a little man to take it away and look at it. I'm having trouble with Windows, iTunes, shutting it down, it's painfully slow, the anti-virus is not happy and I'm rather concerned in case it's terminal.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010


OK, OK, so the finishing isn't going quite as well as it should be. I am still needing to cast on something new.

I have the yarn already lined up for Tempest.
I need a Shalom cardi - do not have the right yarn, but sure that can easily be rectified!
Just found these amazing little mittens and need to cast on quickly for them as the weather is showing no signs of warming up. (But also very fond of these mittens too)
I have wanted to make this hat forever.
Have got lots of super-soft mohair lined up ready for Liesl.

There is of course many more things I also want to make, but this is just a few of the 'must do next' ones.

But I must keep plodding along with the last sock. And then do a bit more of Soho.

Less than a week to go, then I can start something new. But what to start? (Anyone who suggests anything except Tempest will be totally ignored!)

So do tell me, what is at the top of your Ravelry List? What will you cast on next? Can you tempt me in a different direction?

Added much later - I've just found this pattern which I really need to cast on immediately because it's so great. Shame I don't have a dog though!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


This has been a difficult month. Whilst feeling very pleased with myself for all the finished projects, I am now desperate to cast something new on. Startitis is rearing its head again and the skeins of Posh Yarn in the Stash Basket are calling me.

Tempting me as I brush past them.

Begging me to look at them.

'Choose me, you know you want to.'

'Feel me, I'm so soft and cosy; so strokeable.'

'Look at me, see my bright colours, you need bright colours to beat this miserable weather.'

Oh help me someone please. It's a difficult time and I'm struggling.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bit more progress...

I have now returned from a short visit to mum and dads. It has been a lovely couple of days break - despite constant arguing from the children. The weather has been foul and I am now even more sick and tired of the cold, damp, fog and miserable skies. I am longing for spring in a way that I never longed for it before. This has been a very long winter.

But no matter, there is nothing I can do about it except wait. And knit. And boy oh boy have I been knitting! I have managed to do a bit more of Carica - about 5" in total, so there's another thing to tick off the list (remember I said I needed to knit a bit more of Carica, but not finish it - I think that 5" more than covers 'a bit more', don't you?)

But here's the exciting part. Ladies and gentlemen of the Bloggy World, may I present to you a pair of Fishy Socks.

Oh how I love my fishy socks!

The list is drawing to its finish and a good job too as there is less than a fortnight left of this month. Feeling quite smug about the amount finished so far.

Surely you're starting to get a little bit worried by now aren't you Locket?

Monday, February 15, 2010


Well perhaps I built up the Valentine's presents from Mr Stressy, but honestly, I was thrilled! Silicone bun cases - which have already been used to make some mini bread-puddings and a heart-shaped baking dish. I have never used these silicone cases before, never believing they would work. Well let me tell you. I am a convert. They are fantastic - didn't stick, dead easy to clean and a really great colour! I am going shopping tomorrow and can see more of these ending up in my bags before the day is through!

Here is the baking dish filled with an apple and raspberry crumble. Served with custard, this was the perfect pudding for yet another cold and miserable day!

I joined the Posh Valentine Swap this time. I don't normally like swaps and don't often do them - have a major inferiority complex - but blimey am I glad I joined in this one!

A very interesting and delicious book about tea time recipes (expect to see some of those gracing this blog in the near future!), some Charbonnel and Walker pink champagne truffles, cakey cake cases, crazy sheep paper clips, some pink yarn, hand spun by my amazing swap partner (lacy baktus I feel) and this scarf. Would you just look at this scarf? It's crochet. Unbelievable how anyone would spend so long making something so beautiful just for me. I am in awe. Thank-you so very much Saira. So much so that I have yet to eat the chocolates!

I'm going away for a few days now so will be back at the end of the week with news on how much knitting I've managed to get done! Bring it on Locket, bring it on!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


OK so I know it's Sunday and yet another Saturday Pudding has gone by unnoticed, but here it is anyway. Little chocolate buns with chocolate hearts. We had to have Valentine's Tea early at the Stash Basket - Mr Stressy has been at work all day today, so the 'celebrations' had to take place a day early. I have managed to eat lots of these buns. Looks like the diet is going to pot yet again this week!

On the great Finish It Off February list, things are being ticked off slowly but surely. Here are 2 more blanket squares (have also just finished another one, but no photo)...

And would you just look here? A finished pair of socks! Woo hoo!!!!!

Surely you're starting to believe me now Locket?

What? Not even a little bit?

Please come back another day to see what Mr Stressy bought me for Valentine's day and see the most incredible swap package that arrived last week. I am in still in awe of this package - just you wait until you see it. Mind you, I am also still in awe of my Valentine gift from Mr S. He's quite romantic at times you know! (Don't get too excited, I'm not being whisked away to the Seychelles!)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Falling off the wagon.

Well, it was a bit of a tall order wasn't it? 'No yarn for the rest of this year'? Come on people, did anyone really expect me to keep that particular resolution? I was all full of good intentions, but then I went and looked at the Posh Yarn site. Now for those of you who don't know, Posh Yarn do sales once a week and their yarn sells out rather quickly (not talking days, hours or even minutes here, more like seconds!)

I am usually smitten by several of their skeins. I usually have to exert much will power to refuse. But this week, resistance was futile (hmm, good name there Dee...). Even the name of this yarn appealed to me.

So ladies and gentlemen, may I present the latest addition to the Stash Basket. Sylvia (that's 50% merino and 50% silk) in the colour 'Wear A Smile'. A pattern is all lined up and ready, it's lurking on my Ravelry Queue, but I am not going to cast on until March 1st. Now if that isn't incentive to get this February WIP list done, then nothing is!

I don't do 'understated' colours. Me, I like bright, happy, cheerful colours. And these are all of those. I am in luuurve!

Postie was a very good little Postie today. He brought me another present. This lovely necklace - not a great photo, but believe me, it's pretty. From here.

This month's Mystery Blanket squares are now done. I love this cable one - great colour and a really effective cable, but the one above it? It's a nice enough square and was super-quick to knit, but oh my word, what horrible colours. Blue and brown are my 2 worst colours to put together, brown on its own must be about my worst colour, but this brown is really, really horrible. I'm hoping we won't notice the horridness of this square in the whole blanket.

This sequin square is lovely too - I like knitting with sequins - far more fiddly than with beads, but they look so effective. Assuming that the theme is 'Under the sea' then this has got to be fish scales don't you think?

This is how the strip all looks together now. The star fish is growing on me!

And lastly on the progress front, 2 Golden Wedding Blanket squares. Hardly the most exciting of photos, but I just needed Locket to see that progress really is being made.

I will do it Locket - I am determined!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Saturday Pudding

Well we haven't seen Saturday Pudding round here for ages. The diet sems to have wrecked all hope of eating yummy puddings, but this weekend, I thought 'ah to heck with it'. So here we have Blood Orange Cheesecake. It's not too hefty on the calories either - sugar free jelly, quark and half fat double cream. Well, I'm sure it is pretty hefty really, but I'm just kidding myself!

The knitting is going slowly. Perhaps I'm thinking my Finish it off February target is a little ambitious? I will continue to try and reach the goals set though. It is, afterall, ages until the end of the month and we do have half term in the middle of it.

Yeah, no problem.

See. I've convinced myself again.

You will eat your words Locket.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Well I have to be honest here. Things are not progressing on the must-finish list quite as quickly as I would have liked. They are certainly progressing though, but just not as speedily as I imagined they would.
This is another of the Mystery blanket squares. Quite like this one. There are beads on it, which haven't shown up, they are a silvery sparkly colour and are really very pretty.

This next square I am remaining on the fence about. The undecided fence. I think I like it, but am not over sure. It's the pink. If it wasn't for the horrid violent pink, I'm sure I'd like it; and the turquoise swirls just don't show up (bet you didn't even see them did you?).

But the next square is another matter altogether. I was brave and cast it straight onto the previous one. Lovely colours and there are sequins on it too. I'm sure I'll finish it off tonight and hopefully cast on the next one too. But the ironing mountain calls. If I don't do some very very soon, we'll all be walking around starkers tomorrow. Not a pretty sight, believe me!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

So it begins...

Look at this then everyone! A finished project - and one that I only began on Saturday! This is the ruffle scarf knitted using Posh Yarn's Sophia. Pure, 100% cashmere in the most wonderful colourway ever. I love it and it's keeping my neck deliciously soft and cosy right now. Which is just as well, because it's absolutely freezing yet again. I am now fed up of being cold. I am awaiting spring and warmer weather.

So next on the finish it off February list, I'm going to do this month's mystery blanket squares. All 5 of them. Very quickly. Because some of you don't believe me that I'm going to reach my target. But I am quite determined I tell you. Quite, quite determined!

Oh and the very pretty flower on the picture was made for me by Kathryn - she hasn't got long now until her very dramatic weight loss! We shall keep you all informed!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sophia, Skies and Unobtainable Targets!

I have still not broken my New Year's Resolution. I am not buying anymore yarn (well, not yet anyway). This arrived on Saturday, but before you declare me a big fat con-merchant, I did not buy it during this year. I joined the Posh Yarn Cashmere club and paid up last year. It is Sophia 4-ply, and is quite simply perfection in yarn. So soft, so wonderfully soft, I have not found anything else quite like it. It is a Queen amongst yarns. The Queen in fact.

This colourway is called Burns' Night and really makes me think of Scotland - tartan and cloudy skies, thistles and dark brooding skies, rainy clouds and big splashy puddles (can you tell that on my few visits to Scotland it rained a lot?). No Haggis thank-goodness!

In the e-mail that Dee sent out with the yarn, she very kindly did some of the leg-work regarding pattern suggestions. I felt it would be rude to ignore her recommendations so opted for this one. Now it looks quite small here on the photo, but the scarf is designed to just go round your neck and be held with a pin (how does that work I wonder, I have visions of stabbing myself through the carotid artery and bleeding to death all over my nice new cashmere scarf).

I have decided that this is also magic yarn. Not only is it beautiful to touch and stroke and fondle, but it changes colour. When I'm knitting it, it is dark and broody, all navy blue and purple, just like the above photo and nothing like the yarn in its unwound state.

But take it outside and lay it down, let it rest in the sunshine and glory in a relaxing winter chill, and just look what happens to it. It turns all soft and delicate and quite honestly makes me go all unnecessary. Shivers down the spine. Goosebumps and tingles. Stunning, absolutely bloody stunning. It is incredible yarn.

But leaving this all to one side for now (although it's sitting next to me, begging to be petted!) I didn't know that January was re-named 'Guilt-Free January'. Apparently you could cast on whatever you wanted. You didn't have to finish it, you could cast on as much as you want and not feel guilty. Why wasn't I told sooner?

I have, however, been given ample warning about 'Finish-it-off-February'. So I'm going to finish a few things off this month. Setting myself a target is not good really. I am unlikely to reach it. But I'll have a go.

  1. Cast nothing new on (except second socks)
  2. Finish Ruffle scarf
  3. Complete this months Mystery Blanket squares
  4. Complete 8 Golden Wedding blanket squares
  5. Finish pink zig-zag anklets
  6. Finish fishy socks (that means a whole second sock)
  7. Finish retro rib socks (er, yet another whole second sock)
  8. In desperation and boredom, knit a bit more of Soho or Carica
I shall try and blog nearly every day with progress reports. This list will just zip by. Oh the excitement of it all, I might even have 3 new pairs of socks by the end of the month! Even though mum has already laid claim to 2 pairs.

Now if I could just keep away from ravelry, I'd have an extra 2 or 3 hours in the day in which to knit!