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Monday Musings…

February 15, 2010

Ravelympics Project Update:

Its day 3 and I’m stalled already. The cotton content of the yarn is making my hands very sore, and I’m resting them yesterday and today. If, when I work on the bloomers tomorrow it has the same effect then I will do a different projects, like squares for a couple of ladies in the RAK’s groups comfort blankets.

The weather in my neck of the woods:

Cold, wet. Springlike. Theres occasional spots of sunshine pouring through the clouds. The snowdrops and daffodil bulbs are poking thier shoots above ground, and I’m starting to think about what to plant in my container garden this year.

Some of my simple pleasures:

Having a new cushion to help support my upper body and back while on the sofa.It doesn’t sound like much but it makes all the difference!

On my bedside table:

A pile of Ironman comic books, some knitting, my meds and painkillers and a bottle of water. Insomnia struck last week and its playing merry havoc with my system.

On my TV:

The Winter Olympics; well that is when I can actually find anything other than the “round up” shows or them focusing entirely on one event in the live coverage…Not everyone can stay up till 2am to watch the events, and you think they would feature more of it on the BBC1 or 2 channels during the day.

On my Mp3 Player:

Stephenie Pearl-McPhee’s Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot’s Guide to the Land of Knitting. I’ve been feeling vaguely rebellious by crocheting while listening to it 😉

On the menu for tonight:

I don’t know, but I’m craving chips…so probably something with chips.

On my To Do List:

  • Go to knitting group
  • Go back to the doctors to get the latest blood tests results.
  • Get my hair cut – I can’t deal with the management that waist length hair needs at the moment.
  • Start work on a couple of articles and a book review.
  • Work on my many unfinished projects…

Done from last weeks To Do List:

  • Work on the hexagon blanket. I’ve completed 3 more hexagons which means 4 colour rows of the blanket are complete. Unfortunatly, while reviewing the remaining yarn, I realised I am short on some of the colours.
  • Work on the Granny Squares. I completed the pink and black, made some purple and black and am now working on blue and black ones. I’m going to need more black!
  • Rest. Done as best I could.

New Recipe I’m thinking of trying next week:

Slow Cooked Sausages in Cider.

Looking forward to:

The weather being warmer!

Lesson learned the past few days:

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.” A.A. Milne

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Ravelympics Day 1

February 13, 2010

Well, I’ve been knitting away like a good girl, and have got a couple of inches done on the body of the bloomers, which considering there is around 280 sts in a round isn’t bad.

The cotton, even with its soft additions of silk and rayon is being a little tough on my hands though.

More tomorrow 🙂

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Winter Olympics 2010 and Ravelympics

February 11, 2010

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The Vancouver Winter Olympics start at 2am on Saturday GMT and I’m really looking forward to them.

For someone who hates the cold as much as I do, I’m oddly fascinated by Ice Skating, Ice Dancing, Speed Skating, Snowboarding, Curling, Ice Hockey, Bobsleigh, Cross-Country Skiing and Biathlon(Cross Country Skiing and Target Shooting).

Luge and Skeleton are just insane, whatever you say.

I’m planning to watch as much as I can but unfortunatly, due to Vancouver’s time zone being 8 hours behind GMT it means that there may have to be judicious use of a recorder to be able to watch more than the concentrated highlights as the coverage seems to be all late night with a highlight show the next day; which is a bit useless for those of us who would like to see the heats as well as the finals.

I’m taking part in the Ravelympics but I may start knitting during the Saturday lunchtime repeat coverage rather than getting up at 2am. I owe it to my knitting to be able to focus on it!

I’m taking part in the WIP’s Dancing event – for those projects that have been stalled for at least a month before the Olympics opening ceremony. I’m going to work on my Blooming Bloomers – using the Knitty Unmentionable‘s pattern.

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Knitty’s picture not mine. Thier copyright etc.

I really loved the pattern when I first saw it a couple of years ago, but it was CostumeChick‘s Bloomers and Camisole set (Ravelry Link)that really inspired me.

costumechick bloomers set

I’ve wanted to make them ever since, but as always I couldn’t buy the right kind of yarn at prices I could afford – it does need to be some kind of cotton blend. I got a great amount of yarn for my birthday, however, after seeing this lovely stuff on sale at Kemps and so started work on them in September of last year.

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The yarn is a 50% cotton/45% rayon and 5% silk mix called Rowan Luxury Cotton DK. It’s deliciously soft and drapes beautifully.

The colourway is called Bloom and is a greyish purpley lilac, with a strand of slightly deeper mauvey lilac twisted though it and it creates a beautiful mottled fabric when knitted up. The only downside is they are those arty type balls that look lovely but, because they are loosely wound centre pull balls, collapse in on themselves in a particularly unhelpful way while you’ve half knitted them!

I’m knitting with Team Purplehaze – the Ravelry group Fog Knitters team. Its the team for people with who cope with ME/CFIDS/CFS/Fibromyalgia and other fatiguing conditions.

This is the stage the bloomers are at, at the moment. This picture was taken back in November and I haven’t worked on them since.

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Both legs are completed and joined and the body is half worked.

I’ve broken up the remaining parts that need working on into the following:

  • Remaining Body Section.
  • Waistband.

Once those parts are done I’ll be having to go back to the other end and working on these:

unmentionablesCU

The Ruffles and Lace on the legs which I’ve broken up into the following parts. Yes I AM a huge nerd.

  • Left Ruffle.
  • Right Ruffle.
  • Left Lace.
  • Right Lace.

I don’t know if I’ll get all this finished during the Ravelympics but I’m gonna try!

I’ll update a progress report every couple of days through the Ravelympics.

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When I remember Musings….

February 9, 2010

I knew there was something I forgot to do yesterday!

The weather in my neck of the woods:

Cold. Snow was forcast but its looking like lovely blue skies out there, although that means there may be below freezing temperatures.

Some of my simple pleasures:

Having finally learnt to make a Granny Square. Yes, I may shut up about that eventually.

On my bedside table:

My Mp3 player with my Audio books on it; painkillers, and the Mercedes Lackey Mage Winds Trilogy.

windsoffatewindsofchangewindsoffury

Not quite as soft and fluffy as The Last Herald Mage trilogy, but still comfort reading.

I need to get my hands on the 3 books that come after these; infact they follow on from them. They are the Mage Storm Trilogy.

As I mentioned last week I’m running out of books to read…again.

On my TV:

Anything thats on that takes my interest at the moment although I’m rather enjoying watching Monty Don on My Dream Farm. I’m just glad to see him fit and well and on TV again. I could listen to his voice all day.

On the menu for tonight:

Minted Lamb Burgers, vegetables and baked potatoes.

On my To Do List:

Work on the hexagon blanket.

Work on the Granny Squares.

Rest.

Done from last weeks To Do List:

I’ve completed a couple more hexagons for the blanket.

New Recipe I tried last week:

Pasta al’Arrabiata with Meatballs. Delicious and minimal chilli.

Looking forward to:

Ravelympics and working on my bloomers again.

Watching the winter olympics.

Lesson learned the past few days:

Ankles can plot against you. Seriously. My left ankle is in a bad mood with me.

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Thinking Inside The Square

February 9, 2010

I, Purplestocking, have an announcement to make.

Over the course of the last few days, whilst feeling terrible and not up to doing very much I’ve looked at the couple of books I have that show you how to crochet and I think I have finally managed to get the hang of it. Its not pretty yet, but its definetly crochet!

I’ve practiced my chains, my doubles and and my trebles. I even went so far as to try some half-trebles. Now, don’t all gasp at once.

This, completed on Sunday afternoon, is my first ever Granny Square and my second ever Granny Square.

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Its not perfect but I think its beautiful. Sirdar Click Chunky, and a size 6 crochet hook. It took half a dozen attempts but as I’ve barely been up to getting up off the sofa, let alone anything else, my brain has been working on overtime and something finally clicked.

As someone who has been obsessed with Granny Squares for some time, this is a huge deal for me.

At my weekly knitting group last night, I was gifted with LOTS and LOTS of Sirdar Bonus Chunky yarn (free yarn is the best yarn in the world!) by the lovely Tsuki and straight away started working on some Chunky Granny Squares. She had got it all for a knitted blanket that never came to be and I’m helping it realise its blankety destiny. Things can have blankety destiny can’t they?

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Rather dandy if I say so myself! Lots of pretty colours, although I am liking the idea of striping each one with the black. Can you stripe in the round?

Chunky yarn worked with a 7mm hook and a 4 round square. Measures about 6inches across.

The chunky crochet is also good for when my wrists and fingers are being painful (stupid M.E.), so thats something I can work on when my hands aren’t up to knitting socks or hexagons.

More coming soon, but for now I’m enjoying the feeling of finally conquering something I’ve wanted to for so long!

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Monday Musings

February 1, 2010

I’m working on this being a more positive week than last week. My ankles slowly getting better but its still weak and very painful especially after turning it again this morning.

The weather in my neck of the woods:

Freezing cold. There is snow forecast for tomorrow. and we had a very hard frost on Saturday. There was snow up on the dales and the clouds look snowy grey althought theres nice patches of sunshine getting through.

Some of my simple pleasures:

Starting a new journal today. I started my older one last August and its been an absolute life line, and helped me stay sane, especially in the last few months with the M.E. diagnosis. Somewhere private to note down those hopes,dreams, fears and misgivings, to note the major events of the year and too provide me with an aide-memoire when my brain lets me down.

On my bedside table:

A tattered old fantasy book called Jeralyne about how elves don’t have it as easy as we think they do and what happens when their society is rocked by dark secrets coming out. I bought it about 10 years ago when I was having a terrible (shoplifters) and slow (3 customers all day slow) day at work and it comes out occasionally when I get the need to read it again.

That and I’m running out of books to read…again.

On my TV:

West Wing. Its like being surrounded by really smart friends…Apart from Josh. He’s sometimes a doofus.

On my Mp3 Player:

Ruby Blue, 3 Daft Monkeys, and Emilie Autumn. My regular playlist.

Am still lusting after Seth Lakeman though.

On the menu for tonight:

Sausage and Mash at the special request of the boy.

On my To Do List:

More work on the blanket. Till I work on my bloomers for the Ravelympics this is the main project around here.

Done from last weeks To Do List:
Finish my tax return. Done. Dusted. Submitted. Stress over for a bit longer.
More work on my blanket. I’ve completed a couple more hexagons and looked into best ways to block the yarn etc.
Finish my belt bag. All the pieces are knit and blocked and just need sewing together.

New Recipe I tried last week:

A jamie oliver recipe for pasta with crispy herbed breadcrumbs which didn’t turn out the way its described in the cookbook, but will give it a second try. the idea is to add crunch and flavour but it also added lemon juice to the pasta which made the breadcrumbs soggy.

New Recipe I’m thinking of trying next week:

Still planning to try making Pan Haggerty. Pan Haggerty from the Hairy Bikers new show and the sweetcorn fritters from the first show.

Looking forward to:

Knitting group tonight and civilised conversation and giggling with my ladies.

Lesson learned the past few days:

No one likes doing tax returns, but they are a necessary evil.

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Socky Goodness

January 31, 2010

I’ve finished my not so toe socks.

I decided that I wanted them to be everyday socks as the yarn is so lovely – toe socks can’t be worn everyday. Its not good for the skin inbetween your toes so I used my favourite toe; the star toe.

I learnt this toe when I made Black Dog Designs Picot Eyelet Socks. Its a toe that fits my toes and stays comfortable and looks pretty too. The purl stitches and decreases do make a lovely star pattern.

I’ll try and take a picture tomorrow when the light is better but right now I think they are beautiful.