Monday, 29 January 2007

A new stitch and another pair of socks.

I really wanted to knit the Latvian Socks from Folk Socks, but lacked a pair of US#0 needles (that's a cocktail stick for goodness sake!) & no sock pattern known to me would fit the pattern repeat, so as I wanted to try the picot edge I have gone a little 'off piste'! Picot edge, Oblique Openwork (from Sensational Knitted Socks) & Opel Zebra left over from some fingerless gloves knitted before Christmas. The pattern is a little lost in the stripes but whatever.... I like them so far. In putting in the last link I noticed that More Sensational Knitted Socks is due out in March hmmm!!!!!

The headband I like. It avoids 'helmet hair' & can be slipped in the pocket when not required to prevent ears from freezing. The red hat will have to be bobble-less, due to using all the wool on the monster bobble. It is OK without.

Saturday, 27 January 2007

The sun is shining!

The red baby cable ski hat is finished, complete with big bobble! Modelled here by a reindeer to reflect my liking of reindeer & moose related things! I am going to give the bobble a try out in a minute when I take the dog a walk around Brimham Rocks. If its too wobbly it may have to go or it will drive me nuts skiing! I really like the baby rib & decided to knit a headband in the left over from Odessa, taupe Cashsoft Aran. Temperatures in the Alps have plummeted! and snow has arrived!

...... just got back from our walk. The bobble is going! Its too heavy & the weight is pulling the hat off my head or over my eyes. It will fly off when I am skiing. No worries though. I like the hat. The headband just needs another row & cast off. If I don't like it as a headband then I will just have to buy more wool & carry on until its hat size!

The sunshine this morning was very welcome. Its been a week of real highs & lows. Highs = son & heir passing his driving test just 2 months (minus one day as he is quick to point out) after his seventeenth birthday. Lows .... school is tough at the moment & we still have not found an engineer to mend the cooker. The sunshine inspired a bit of love and attention to the garden & some planning of things to come. The polyanthus was bought in from the polytunnel & we have planned our vegetable seed order which I will deal with next. New for this year will be carrots, spring onions, dwarf beans, garlic and stir fry leaf salad leaves along with the tried & tested runner beans, cauliflower, courgettes, spinach and french leaf salad mix. A Tumbling tomato plant or two will be sourced locally & the order will be rounded off with a hundred or so Bizzy Lizzies ordered as mini plants which provided colour from late June until October.

The next question is what to knit next? I managed to photo some of my stash in its newly wound form & it does look...... crafty? This is the remains of some double knitting sock wool knitted up before Christmas. Can't remember what it is other than I bought it from the Web of Wool stall at the Harrogate Stitch & Knit Show. I think it will be socks, maybe something from Folk Art Socks...... decisions.... decisions......!

Monday, 22 January 2007

Half and Half and alot of hats!

The Rayburn is half mended! We now have heat & hot water but we are still on camp cooking. Not sure why. The cooker bit worked for a while. Perhaps it was the shock of full on fuel flow? We now need to get a Rayburn cooker specialist to look at it, rather than any old heating engineer.

Odessa is kind of blocked (well drying anyway, blocking is not an exact science in this house) but is still a bit lumpy.Its OK though.

I've actually managed an hour at the gym tonight in the spirit of not killing myself when skiing in three weeks time. Mind you, some snow to ski on will help. Snow conditions in the Alps are just beginning to improve, but have been awful.

Grandad loved his hat! (Grandad is Dad to himself & Grandad to son & heir). Not sure Grandma was impressed but its not for her. I have decided that rather than the 25 grams of red RYC Cashsoft Aran left from knitting S&H's hat hanging around in my stash bag, it would make more sense to buy another ball at the sale price of £2.99 & knit a little red ski cap for ME! So I have! I liked the baby rib pattern in Alice's socks so I have used that rather than plain k2 p2.
So far I am liking it alot! Son & heir is happy with his red rib.

A package arrived with (another) e-bay purchase today. I now own a previously owned wool winder! I worked my way through all of the odds in my stash & they are all neatly wound. It was a very satisfying & mindless way to avoid the stack of work I needed to do when I got home from school today! I think I was driven to purchase such an item by all the photos from blogs in the US (especially Brooklyn Tweeds 'art' photos which are gorgeous!). My attempts to photo them tonight are NOT gorgeous so that will have to wait.

Saturday, 20 January 2007

An Aga Saga (or Reflections on a Rayburn!)

Every picture tells a story! Yup.... its not fixed. Monday 9.30 is the appointed time but we shall see. We can't even get through to the insurance company to check that all is OK with them, no doubt due to them being swapped with calls following Thursdays storms! So its camp cooking for a bit longer! We are managing to keep the house fairly warm with an assortment of heaters & our trusty Coalbrookedale multi-fuel burner, which has burnt without a rest since last Sunday, keeping the sitting room toasty warm & overnight drying the washing on the clothes horse tastefully arranged around it! Nice! Didn't bother taking a picture of that. Perhaps if I had a nice vintage wooden clothes horse & some white linen, but plastic & rugby kit....... I'd never sell that image to Country Living. Thursday was really wild here (and at 500 feet above sea level & only sheltered from the south) we are used to wild weather. I had a Parents Evening on Thursday & had to weave my way home by a variety of roads as the A1 north was closed due to blown over lorries. All at home seems in place. Hopefully anything that could have been blown away was long gone. My next piece of avoiding marking exam papers is to go and check on the Polytunnel & my overwintering plants. Its time I started planning spring planting & put it back into greater use. A supply of salad crops is perfectly possible with a bit of extra protection against any frosts so I better look at the seed & plant sellers websites...LATER! Himself is happy with his little black hat. Odessa is on my head but not fit for picture because a) its lumpy cos its not been washed & blocked and b) its on my head. Grandad now wants a hat.
So whilst its getting a bit tedious, he will deserve a warm head as he takes Moss the dog for lots of walks when Moss goes on his holidays to Grandad & Grandmas when we are skiing, so I will oblige. 2" of nice green aran done so far.Last thing.... Cast-On is back. This podcast is a recent find so its still march 2006 in this house as me & my Aunt work our way through past episodes but it was great to see that Brenda is back with her podcast. Auntie doesn't have a computer or an i-pod so I copy them onto CD. Not sure if this is strictly legal, but I am sure she doesn't them sell them on e-bay or a market stall & it means I can listen whilst driving to work. I just love her sign-off . It something like "If you are cold, put on a sweater, that's what they are for"! On a more serious note, her essay in the episode 'On Gauge' was very thought provoking.

The wind is really gusty again this morning. Sunshine & showers I think is the BBC phrase. I took this photo about half an hour ago from the back door. Dog & I have just been out to check on the polytunnel. All is well there in the polyanthus in their inner greenhouse are in bloom & asking to be potted on into bigger tubs ready to move outside for some spring display. Might happen tommorow. Depends whether rugby is on. That's my life! In summer, change 'rugby' for 'cricket'.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Blizzards forcast!

It WAS mended, now its not! The pump appears to have died in a puff of black smoke, son & heir was around and had the good sense to switch off everything so we await developments with blizzards forcast & the first snow of the year visable just to the north over Brimham Rocks. Just peachy & I have a TON of work to do -Year 11 exam marking & a whole host of other things. Not much knitting going to get done tonight. next job is to back up my work laptop as it has powered down twice today without warning! Glad we bought an external hard drive last year at least. Oh well, best get on........ Will post photos of hats & Odessa is coming along anyway.

Sunday, 14 January 2007

whatever next?

The sun has been shining here in Yorkshire. The lads won the rugby match by 16-7 in a tough match that showed real character. We then got back home & the Rayburn had gone out & wouldn't re-light. It runs on oil & provides heat, hot water & cooking. Great! We have an 'emergancy cover' thing but of course all we could do on Sunday was report the problem! The log burner is now lit & cosy, but Sunday dinner will be the 'Sunday what can you do in/on a microwave/camp cooker'. Not quite the same thing really. I am a dab hand at the old camp cookery BUT Yorkshire Puddings & Roast I can't manage! The ride to Malton & back means that the black hat is ready for the crown shaping anyway but it was dark before I had chance to take any pictures of the red hat & the model has now gone out. Hopefully normal service can be resumed tommorow!

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Hats not socks

At the moment the needles are busy knitting hats, because in 4 weeks we will be in Les Contamines in the French Alps for a weeks skiing. I acquired several lots of RYC Cashsoft Aran at a reduced price from my favorite shop Sheepish in Knaresborough, with the plan to knit Odessa either with or without the beads. My son took one look at the red yarn & announced that it was "cool" & could he have a ribbed hat like his favorite one that "you ruined!"(I did.. put it on the top of the Raybun to dry & all of its stretch went west!). So it was a quick guilt trip & a search for a pattern produced a possible candidate from Fig & Plum. No turn up brim allowed, tension OK ish (its a stretchy hat so that's was good enough for me). It knitted up quickly and met with approval, just shortening it & changing the crown a bit so now I am allowed to knit him one in black! I will photo it tomorrow if I can in amongst usual Sunday chores plus going to watch son & heir play rugby (Harrogate U17's v Malton & Norton U17's-which is a bit of a key match for second place in the league & a place in various cup competitions) and some teacher stuff.... marking exams, preparing lessons....!!!!!

Thursday, 11 January 2007

Its in the needles

I have quickly learnt that I hate metal needles (even Addi turbos!!!!!!) but love wood. For socks my 5" Brittany birch needles are really neat & often used but they are expensive, so to expand my needle collection I have found a e-bay seller who sells sets of 5 double pointed needles made from wood. They are really smooth to use and only around £2 per set. The sellers ebay identity is "cyclingjimbob". Delivery is quick & you can usually choose from different lengths. I also dislike sewing up some I think I am sticking to things that can be knitted on 4 or 5 pointy sticks or circular needles. My two knitting presents to myself(!) (The Amazon wish list wasn't fully effective with him indoors) were Folk Socks & Knitting without Tears. All of the reviews and ravings about Elizabeth Zimmerman didn't disappoint when I got the book, but the proof will be in the knitting! Not sure what will grow on the needles but at the moment I am sticking to smaller knits..... hats for next months ski trip to Les Contamines in France & more socks! The folk socks book has some great designs, some out of my leauge but the alpine chalet socks or maybe the Latvian socks could happen soon. I like to knit in the car (not whilst I am driving!) which adds to the inches as I sit in the back like Madame Guillotine whilst my 17 year old son practices for his driving test & takes us to his rugby matches, but its not conducive to really complex patterns!

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

I knit socks!

This was the start of my re-birth as a knitter (I lasted really knitted at Uni & as a young teacher back in the late 70's and early 80's). My mum had the first of two knee replacements about 15 months ago & started to knit scarves in the various 'funky' wools that were suddenly everywhere. She gave me some & in true Sue style I had to have a go myself, done.....hooked again! But I wanted to knit SOCKS! I had knitted a couple of pairs in the Middle Ages (so that I could) but I spotted a kit in the wonderful Sheepish yarn shop in Knaresborough. 5 pointy sticks, 3 pretty stitch markers, 1 pattern and one ball of Opal Rainforest 'Ladybird'. The yarn was facinating to knit with (I was of course a self-stripping yarn virgin) & I managed to knit the socks. I was now truly bitten by the knitting bug & I really 'get' knitting socks! I followed Alice's recomendation & bought Sensational Knitted Socks & 3 more pairs of socks were produced during 2 weeks island hopping in the Outer & Inner Hebrides. These are the finished goods & my fussy toes loved them!

Another knitters blog?

Since re-joining the happy band of knitters in the summer of 06 I have enjoyed reading many blogs, some mainly yarn orientated, others meandering over much wider territory. I have created a blog for the Year 11 GCSE Geography group that I teach & although it is early days I have found it a satisfying thing to do, because a) I like learning new stuff and b) I got a positive response from the kids. Its our 'personal' website & if you would like a peek it is here. But I want more! I want something that is 'me' & to join the world of knit blogs as a full member with my own blog, so this is it!