Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What New Year's Resolution?

It's nearly April which means that the next installment of the Posh Yarn Cashmere Club has arrived. Yippee!! This colour is called Tulip Time and it's very, very pretty. I'm not a really pink girly girl, but I do like this - some skeins seem to be more orange and less pink - mine is the other way round. I've been busy already hunting down sock patterns (how well will silk and cashmere socks stand the test of time I wonder?) and am undecided between about 6 patterns! What's your favourite sock pattern? What would you do with this skein? Apart from pet it of course!

As you may have read on some other blogs, I went out for the day on Saturday. I got up nice and early, caught the train, arrived in London and met up with some decidedly insane people. They persuaded me that it would be a good idea to go to Loop. I really didn't want to go there, but felt it was only polite to go along with everyone else's wishes. They had to drag me inside ('no there isn't room, let me stay outside in the rain') and positively FORCED me to buy yarn. As you know, I don't need any more yarn. I have plenty. I'm not buying yarn all year, it's my New Year's Resolution. So it wasn't my fault at all that they grabbed my Credit Card, tortured me to give them the chip n pin thingy and put these skeins in my bag.

Why did you do it to me Locket and Moogsmum? You have corrupted an innocent being. (But it has to be said, my new yarn is D blooming Licious and I can't wait to get started on something!)

I had some very lovely presents too. Gorgeous stitch markers, a lovely flower brooch (I'm wearing it now Locket) and a very funny coaster. My children both laughed when I showed it to them!

But wait a minute. What's this I see before me? More yarn? Yes, 'fraid so. I decided to stop being such a wimp over the whole 'I will not knit lace' problem. I fell in love on Saturday, with a small but perfectly formed teeny weeny skein of Alchemy Haiku. I don't knit lace. I can't bear lace weight yarn. Mohair yarn gives me the collywobbles. And when did you ever see me knitting dark and dingy colours?

Presenting Ishbel. Mmmmmmm. Love the yarn, love the colour, love the pattern - OK so I'm only on the easy peasy stockinette part, but oh boy, am I in lurve!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

One down...

... one to go! Here is the first Polly Jean - pretty don't you think? This pattern is miles away from anything I would normally attempt, but boy oh boy am I glad Moogsmum suggested it!

The lace pattern is on a chart - something I have always run screaming from. I don't know if all lace patterns are like this or if this one is just extremely easy to understand and follow. If you have yet to start your Polly Jeans, go on, give it a go, it's much easier than you might think! The pattern is also free on Ravelry - bargain!

This is the first pattern in our Sock Challenge - you have until the end of April to complete it. If you don't manage it, fear not, we shall not send the boys round, but pattern number 2 will be revealed at the start of May (we are busy deciding which one to use - but at the moment, we seem to change our minds every day!)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I need to lie down somewhere quiet!

I have been asked to do a Wedding Cake - 4 tiers of different 'sponge cakes' one of which is a coconut cake. I have never made a coconut cake before so thought I'd better do some research. Here is Nigella's recipe (with chocolate on top rather than the coconut icing suggested). I am not going to hunt for any more recipes, I have found Nirvana. This cake is light and delicious, beautifully flavoured and also perfectly flat. Just what I need! It was Saturday pudding - eldest son wanted a fat free yoghurt instead of this (where does he get it from?) and youngest son was out for tea. So there's plenty left if anyone wants to try a bit...

Sometimes something happens that makes me wonder what on earth is going on. Is the world coming to an end? I question the meaning of life. Why? Where? How? What?

Yesterday was one such time. Here are both my children sitting in the kitchen doing their homework. I had not nagged them to get it done. They are not fighting. I had not bribed them. They are both concentrating hard, not talking, just quietly getting on with what needs to be done.

Just what the heck has happened in the world?

But that was not all.


Now just make sure you're sitting down everyone.

Mr Stressy wasn't stressy. He even smiled!

Prepare to meet your maker, the end of life as we know it is over.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Oh dear, startitis again...

Yesterday I had some visitors for lunch (wave hello Marianne and Cybil!). We had a very healthy main course of prawn and pasta salad and for pudding the slightly less healthy option of a big plate of cakes! (Thanks girls, I put on a pound and a half at fat club today!!!)

After eating we got onto the serious business of knitting. Marianne broke her wrist some weeks ago and yesterday was the momentous day of Cast Removal. And so therefore the first day of knitting for a long time. Only she did some crochet - a very secret project, but one which made me wish I could crochet! But instead of learning, I did what all self respecting non-hookers do, I delegated. Cybil very kindly offered to test-crochet the pattern and give the end product to me. Not telling what it is. Can't. So don't ask. While all this not-so-gentle persuasion was going on, Cybil sat with head down, trying to ignore my pleas, knitting a sock. Resistance is futile!

I made some serious inroads to Tempest. I love and adore everything about this. Pattern, yarn, colours, even having a love fest with the Peace Fleece needles!
Marianne was super-kind and generous and gave me a skein of yarn which she had spun herself. Now how anyone can spin is beyond me. How anyone can spin and give up their yarn to someone else is even further beyond me!

I would show you a picture of the pretty skein of resulting merino/cashmere/silk but I can't. I wound it into a ball within minutes of them leaving and cast on for a lacy Baktus. Look! I have nearly finished! (Planning on wearing it tomorrow)

So with all this cardi and scarf knitting, I am neglecting my little Polly Jean. But fear not, will be doing more of this tomorrow, or even later on tonight if I can get my bum into gear!

Monday, March 15, 2010

My 3 favourite things in life. Cake, Yarn and Chocolate Puddings!

This cake has been the reason for my absence over the last week. Phew, it has taken ages - not just in the icing, but also the research! It's the West Ham football team - when I Googled it, 40 something players came up as being in the first team. So then I had to narrow it down to 11. Then I had to find out hairstyles and skin colour... the list goes on.

Anyhows, here is a close up of a few of them. I'm quite pleased with the way it's turned out. The purple of the shirts isn't quite right, but is as close as I could get it. These football themed cakes are a mixed blessing really - I love how they turn out, but they just take so damn long - bed time at 1.30 is just too late for me. I need all the beauty sleep I can get!

Remind me someone what my New Year's Resolution was about not buying any more yarn. I seem to think that I wasn't buying any this year. Hmmm. Well that's gone out of the window! I found this wondrous ball of Camelspin (75% silk, 25% camel... divine!) on someone's destash page on Ravelry. Oh such a dangerous place to go to!

The very nice lady was also selling this Skein Queen in the very pretty, delicate shade (!) of violent pink and bright orange. Love these 2 colours together, so bonkers and insane and clashy. Right up my street! I see something on the new sock club being made in these very soon!

And on the subject of the new sock club, I found (again on a Ravelry forum!) this Posh Yarn Laura in the most perfect pink. Have you ever knitted with Laura? If not, I urge you to find some. I really think it's my favourite sock yarn in the whole wide world. 80% merino, 20% cashmere. What's not to love? The feel is beautiful, the stitch definition is perfect. Oh yes, I love Laura!

Anyone started on their Polly Jean socks yet? I cast on yesterday and have now completed the first pattern repeat. What a great pattern! I never thought I could cope with lace charts, but the pattern is so clear and easy to read, it's just a dream to work. If you were undecided about joining us, then decide right now, download the pattern and cast on straight away. You will not be disappointed!

I haven't shown you a Saturday Pudding for a while now. So have this one on me. Chocolate mousse with white chocolate mousse on top. Naturally I enjoyed a fat free yoghurt!

Thank-you all so much for the help and advice and very kind comments on the Golden Wedding Blanket. I have changed my mind so many times, but have now officially decided. There will be another row of flowers and the finished blanket will be 81 squares big - 9x9. I saw one on Ravelry that was 9x11 and it just looked very long and thin, the squareness with the square squares (are you following this?!) appealed to me very much, so 9x9 it will be. I shall keep you updated on its progress, but hopefully it should be done before too long!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


It is ages since I last updated you on the Golden Wedding Blanket. I have tried very hard to make 8 squares a month, have failed sometimes, but have usually managed it more or less. I now have a bit of a dilemma.

Originally I was intending to make it 99 squares big - 11 across by 9 down. I am now beginning to wonder if that is a bit too big and cumbersome - if you could possibly refer to a blanket made almost entirely from Posh Yarn as 'cumbersome'.

This picture shows the blanket as an almost square - 41" x 47" approx.

...and this picture shows it as a rectangle, 36" x 53".

Now my dilemma is this, and I really need all the advice you clever bloggy people have to offer.

Do I have it as a rectangle or square - I wondered if rectangular, mum and dad could use it together, draped over their knees, keeping them both cosy in their dotage (!). But then I quite like the square. And also, do I need more rows/columns? Again I wondered if the symmetry dictates that I should have flowers all round the edge - one set of hearts doesn't look quite right with 3 sets of flowers, if you get my drift.

I will be knitting a border round the edge, very likely with beads in it. The flowers have beads on them - some more than others. This is my favourite style of flower.

So help me please Blogland. I have until September 1st to complete this, so if you feel that I really do need to make another 27 squares, then I will. I have more than enough yarn!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Socks - an announcement.

I am loving the Two Left Feet blog. I mean, really loving it. I love knitted socks, sock yarn is my favourite weight and the photo of that washing line still attracts my attention and makes me smile.

So Moogsmum and I came up with an idea. We'd like to do something like that too. Now personally, I am not even in the same league as Elizabeth and Pat, but I live in hope! So we have started a new club. We are going to knit a pair of socks every month for the next, ooh, I don't know, until we run out of either patterns or yarn I suppose (neither of which is very likely to be honest!)

We decide on a pattern - a free one from Ravelry, choose our yarn and start knitting. It does not matter when we start knitting, but we must aim to be finished by the last day of the month. But we get a bit longer for this first project to enable us to get our sock mojo into gear. And of course to let anyone else come out of Internet land and join us.

So may I present you with our first Sock Project. Polly Jean. It's a Ravelry link. What do you think? Anyone else up for the challenge? If you only want to join us for one pattern (or even one sock, Locket!) then that's fine by us.

Go on, someone be brave and commit!

I really wanted to knit these, but Mrs Moog said no. I had a bit of a sulk but then realised she was probably right.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Have you seen?

I wonder if any of you have read the comments on the last post.

We are pleased to announce that Kathryn has at long last joined the weight loss club!

Matilda Rose
8lb 8.5oz
2nd March

Well done Kathryn and many congratulations to yourself, Warren and Evie.


Monday, March 1, 2010

I have just found a new blog. Two Left Feet. Two ladies each decide to knit a pair of socks every month for the whole year. Each month has its own theme. Brilliant, inspired idea. My favourite bit of the whole blog? That fantastic photo of the washing line of socks. Oh to have that many hand-knitted socks. Swoon.