Sunday, 27 April 2014

Tunisian Blockbuster

I finally bit the bullet, I finally got one of my patterns up for sale and here is the finished item for all to see.  I am so excited that I achieved this goal. Even if I don't sell one pattern, I don't care.  I got through all the computer stuff, pdf's, downloads, fees etc and finally its done!

 
All I have to do now is write up the patterns for 6 other blankets I have made and sitting on my shelf.  It's taken me two weeks to complete this blanket and I was writing it as I went along.  I am still using the Robin Double Knit Acrylic yarn that I got from Frank at christmas and still have loads left....I think though, for my own sanity, I am going to have a go at something smaller now.  Frank bought me some Rowan yarn for my birthday and some Mirsaol which is made of Alpaca, so I need something small to work on.

I do have a little voice in the back of my head telling me to crochet some small flowers which would be a good idea because I can carry them around with me and do them in my short lunch break at work.

If by chance, you are interested in the pattern you can go to ravelry.com and search for Tunisian Blockbuster by Susan Hardy.  

I did try to do a link to this site too but don't think I could bare another stressful hour.  Am going to relax now so have a good week and hopefully, I will be able to post again in the week.


Sunday, 20 April 2014

Cream crackered

Cream crackered is cockney rhyming slang for 'knackered'.  I had a busy week, went jogging five times in a week, rested 6 days from the jogging but still did the 10,000 steps a day and am feeling rather tired.

On Good Friday we went to the vet's for Tammie's 6 month blood test and it wasn't our normal vet, it was a 'newbie' and she straight away said 'she has a heart murmour and needs a scan' and I said straight away 'my vet has been seeing her for a year now and he hasn't said that once'.  I get a feeling sometimes that new fresh out of college vets think that because an animal is insured, let's bump up the cost.  We decided to wait for our own vet to come back from holiday with the blood test results and then I will have a moan at him.

After that visit we brought Tam home and then went off to London for a few hours.  We had a little look in Liberty's of London and then went to McDonald's for lunch in Oxford Street.  Had a look around John Lewis and then was knackered so we came home.  I went for a jog at about 4.30pm and did 2.5 miles which I thoroughly enjoyed, came home and then walked Tammie. I sat down and did a couple of hours of crocheting after a nice hot bath and when I stood up from the sofa, I was stiff all over.  So I think I had done my exercise for that day.  That was the busiest Good Friday I have ever had.    Oh yeah, whilst walking out of the vets Frank bought Tammie a soft toy, a duck, and Tammie practically carried it home and she was like a hyperactive child on e numbers.

On Saturday (yesterday) Frank went to his Mum's to finish off the front garden and bought loads more plants namely scabious, euonymous, roses, pink carnations, pieris and whilst he was doing that I stayed home and watched the knittingincircles podcast with Aimee & Darren.  I then went to see my son for a short while and after feeling a little unwell, I just spent the rest of the day doing practically nothing.

I did start typing up my crochet pattern for the Tunisian blanket I am designing but it's going to take a long time to do.  I am going to try and sweet talk my son into designing me a logo of some sort to put on my pattern.  I didn't realise how hard it is to design stuff, I hold my hat up to all those ladies and gents that design knitwear because I thought a blanket design would be easy but it's not!

I will give you a sneak peak at the blanket so far but your not going to see all of it until it's completed and the pattern is written up.

On Saturday afternoon we took Tam over Parsloe's Park and enjoyed the walk around the lake.  The birds were fairly quiet and we did see a glimpse of some baby chicks swimming around near the edge of the lake.  The crows were hungry as usual and picking on each other, they are quite naughty birds really.

We saw the very large swan swimming around and chasing other birds out of it's territory. It must have young chicks on the small island because it's wings were out quite fiercly.  Frank threw some bread to the edge of the water and the gulls came down, coots and moorhens were squabbling and so were the Tufted Ducks.  It was good to see and here is a picture I took.  I just aimed and clicked the camera hoping to capture something...



Here's one of the swan, he is quite a beast when he gets out of the water and comes walking towards you.....


Today, Sunday, we went to Frank's Mum's for a roast dinner and we took her birthday presents over.  She went all 'oooooohhh' when we gave her the Liberty Bag of goodies and she opened her presents.  She loved the stripey socks I made her although I think they could have been about an inch shorter in the foot.  However, she loved them and the posh soaps and soap dishes.  Frank surprised us both with more treats and then we sat down and had a lovely dinner.  I celebrate my birthday soon so I got spoiled too by getting some new clothes, some lovely warm socks to wear around the house and some jewellery.    We came home and lucky we did because when we got in, the heaven's opened again.

I spent an hour or two crocheting again and then did the mundane task of ironing upstairs so I watched some of the knit girllls podcast on my phone and then came downstairs to write on my blog.  That is the weekend so far and tomorrow is bank holiday Monday.  Which means a 4 day working week ahead of me which can't be bad.

To finish off, I am going to leave you with a photo of a plant called 'ajuga' plant which Frank planted at New River Walk. One of many that the team have been putting in to spruce it all up!

Have a good week and I will post again next weekend........

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Horsing around



This is the view on the 486 bus last Saturday 12th April 2014 whilst heading towards my in law's home.  The horse's are on their way back to the Woolwich Barracks so they must have been out for some exercise. There was almost 20 horses trotting along and  what was totally awesome for me was the fact that one girl soldier was controlling 3 horses, three big huge strapping horses.  Absolutely amasing!

The update for the socks!  Finished and blocking.  I don't have any sock blockers so I just soaked them in a bowl of Fairy Softener for a couple of minutes, gently squeezed the water out and then layed them down flat on an old hair towel.  They dried within 24 hours and are now in a gift bag ready for a birthday present.

I love self striping yarn, I am totally amased as to how the dyer get's the colours to stripe like that and I definetely will get the yarn again.  I did have a go at using dpn's on the second sock but I have decided that DPN's are not for me.  I prefer one circular needle with a long cable, it's much better, more comfortable and your not going to lose your needles or your stitches.

The next photo is of Tammie, lazy, free and easy Tammie who spends most of her day sleeping while I am slaving over a hot computer.  I gave her a small haircut and nail clip and then she laid next to Frank and posed!!  She is so cheeky.......


Other than the usual work, house work, moaning and groaning about the fact that there is nothing in the  working week to get excited about, it's been pretty boring. I did win £25 on the National Lottery on Saturday and got rather excited for a few seconds and then thought, why can't it have a few more 0's on the end but never mind, am thankful for the little win.  First time in about 3 years!

I have started a new project now and the most frustrating thing going on in my head is 'I want more time in the day to do it'.  It's just now fair I tell you!

This is a sneak peak at what I am making, it's my own pattern and if it goes well, I may even try and get my son to show me how to do a pdf pattern so I can try and finally make a little dough on my 30+ years of knitting and crochet.   I haven't ever done Tunisian Crochet and it is so simple that I am loving the texture, design and shape I am getting.

Oh well, off to do a bit more moaning and crochet.....have a good week and I will try and post again the weekend.  Oh yeah, Happy Easter to all that celebrates.




Sunday, 6 April 2014

Unplanned decorating

First sock done!  I finished it a few minutes ago and am rather pleased with it.  I kept thinking to myself that this yarn would be good as a ladies 'tank top' or 'vest'.  The only thing I have that is negative about this yarn is there are little specks of dark colour, on the odd yellow stripe that is rather annoying.  However,  the yarn knits up great and I have hardly made a dent in the ball.  There is enough left to do at least a pair of fingerless gloves or a pair of mittens too.  It says 448 yards per ball which is a whole ton of sock yarn.  I have already casted on the second pair and am now just hoping that they will fit the recipient.

This weekend has been very busy for us.  On Friday, Frank got a call from DFS saying that our new sofa will arrive on Monday which made us so relieved.  Having to share a recliner with the dog and the cat and trying to knit is not an easy task.   So Saturday morning we decided to paint the walls and ceiling in the living room whilst there wasn't much furniture in there.  We popped to Wilkinson store at Dagenham Heathway and I purchased a gorgeous new mirror to replace the old one that I have had at least 10 years.  Wanna see a picture of the mirror (yes,  I am that sad a person)...

It's bigger than the mirror I had before and this one, as you can see, is a mirror frame too.  I think it will be a task and half to try and keep it clean from finger marks but is well worth the £45 it cost.  

Whilst Frank was painting the ceiling and 3 walls, I went and did some cleaning.  Now, I hate cleaning, it is such a waste of valuable craft time but it's a necessity so I purchased the recently advertised Flash Eraser which your suppose to run under the tap and it will clean quickly and easily. (Yeah alright).  I was rather disappointed to be honest.  So I ended up getting out the sugar soap spray and some Plenty kitchen towels and cleaned the plastic window frame in the bathroom.  Sugar soap is the BEST!  I know its for cleaning before you decorate but it's brilliant on plastic window frames.  In the end, I decided to clean the whole bathroom with it and I can tell you, it brings up the white walls lovely.  I did the tiles, the floor, behind the toilet and the cistern and then the walls.  A good hour later, it was all lovely and clean.  

I then decided to try and tackle our bedroom.  It's dusty and needed some tidying up.  I also decided to tidy out my drawers and I just love doing that.  Tidy drawers is a tidy mind!!  Anyway, we then had a break for lunch and some lovely BBQ chicken pizza and then Frank carried on and I went upstairs with a cuppa, my knitting and watched Knitabulls podcast whilst sitting on my bed.  I just love that podcast, Diane's skills at knitting are brilliant and I have made a mental list of stuff that I want to knit (especially the mouse).

After that I got the sewing machine out and had a load of pre-cut 6 inch squares and decided to sew them together into a small quilt.  Wanna see.....


It's either going to be a small wall hanging or a cushion cover but for now, I am pleased I felt like sewing again and will have it sitting out for a while till I can make up my mind.  

Boring weather talk now. It's warm, the sun comes out blasting with heat, blue skies and then at 5pm when I leave work, it becomes grey, dull and like its going to storm.  I have an office that has no windows so the only sunshine I get to see is on the cctv camera.  Yesterday, Saturday, was lovely but today its chilly, windy and grey. We have had some rain too which will do the plants some good and I actually went jogging again today which was great because there was no one over the park apart from the few crows.

I still walk through my park every morning and for the past 3 weeks I haven't seen crooked billet (geese) my favourite at all. Frank thinks he has found a lady friend and gone over to the other local park but to be honest, we don't know what sex he is so he/she could be anywhere.  I did however, get a great photo of two egyptian geese together........

The one on the left has a bad leg and we thought it had broken it. The ranger tried to catch last week but he seems to have improved and is not dragging his foot anymore and is putting weight on it.  They are so timid though, they don't get up close like the other geese do which is a shame. They are such lovely colours.

Oh well, am going to go and do some supper, it's 6.30pm and I am peckish for some cheese and crackers.  Have a good week and I am going to leave you with a gorgeous blossoming tree in my park that I just could not resist taking a picture of.



Thursday, 3 April 2014

Sock project 1

I decided to start a new project, socks!  Mainly because I got some bargains from www.kempswoolshop.com, some sock yarn called Sirdar Heart & Sole. 100g of loveliness and so far, knits up lovely.  I am going to make a pair of 'afterthought heel' socks.  I have done them before and just wanted an easy project.

I also got some cotton yarn too, only 59p a ball which might end up a small baby blanket of my own design.  

I just couldn't resist the sock yarn and it was reasonable at around £6 per ball.  I am using my new knit pro karbonz circular's, size 2.25 that Frank bought me at the Knit & Stitch Show in Olympia, London.  I threw away a lot of my old cheap circular needles now, they use to drive me mad at times because of the wire and it's such a treat to knit with these posh ones.

I finished the Gillespie Shawl by Louisa Harding and here is a picture of it blocking on the spare bed...
I enjoyed the pattern, it was clear and easy to read and because it was my first real lace project, I used a pencil marking off each row just so I knew I was doing it correctly.  The beaded yarn is gorgeous, gives the shawl a lovely drape.  I measured it before blocking at 110 cms and after soaking a few minutes in fabric softener, it blocked out to 140cms.  It's lovely and soft and is so warm so I can wear it all seasons.

Talking about seasons, the clocks went forward last Saturday and it's much lighter of an evening.  It's such a joy, the birds are singing, there's blossom on the trees and everything feels so much lighter.  I still walk through the park every morning and some days the birds want feeding and other days they are busy chasing each other around.  The swan came up to me the other week and it is so gorgeous, I noticed his ankle was tagged and I told Frank. He said the swans have to be because they belong to the crown.  

The evening's are mild and the past week it has been so warm that the covers have been kicked off the bed.  Tammie doesn't like the heat much and I totally agree, I can't stand humidity.  I took this next photo last night, it was such a lovely spring evening and the yellow of the 'kiria' shrub on the left was so pretty that I had to capture it.


The plants are all coming alive and it's so great to see.  It feels like its been such a long winter and I can't wait to get more plants in the ground.

I also have a reason why I like the evenings lighter now, I can get out jogging again.  I have been doing it a couple of times a week but I want to do more.  I am jogging home from work once a week and jog of a weekend once but its not enough and I thoroughly enjoy it.  It gives me so much better energy levels and my breathing is so good now, my lungs just open up and I take such deep breaths.  

Oh well, am off to bed soon and am going to do a bit more of my socks.  Am going to leave you with a picture of the 'amarylis' that is flowering so gorgeous. 

Have a good evening......