Wednesday 26 August 2009


Where to start? I feel like I've loads to tell today.
Let's start with progress shall we?

My second BSJ progresses merrily. This has only been knit occasionally, so I guess I should really ramp it up a bit.

I love how the colours are turning out, this should be yummy.

I've finished the star chart of the Liberty Bell Afghan. Thank God! It's slow but sure progress. I wove in the ends last night whilst watching The Wire.

It's going ok, I think, although I think the star looks a bit unbalanced, to me it's larger on one side than the other...

I'm dreading the next chart, the Eagle:

It's a real doozy, isn't it? I'm pretending it's not there and am going to tackle it one row at a time, a bit like life I suppose!

In bountious news, I was gifted some yum last night at the knitting group:
7 skeins of this gorgeous beast.

I'm almost certain this is Kilcarra Aran Tweed, although it's in skeins rather than balls which is what I would normally see in the shop. It's just faboo. According to Ravelry this is 616 yards, but it does feel like a bit more than that. Now I'm just clueless what to make with it... I want it to be something special as it was gifted, but there's no way I'd get a cardi or jumper for myself out of it. Hubby won't touch it coz it's wool and I doubt my Dad would wear it either. Any ideas?

My next gift was a skein and a half of this:
Sirdar Aran in a lovely pinky purply colour. This will become a lovely Aran cardigan for my friend Ellens impending girl. Yum.

I splashed out the other day and pre-ordered Alice Starmore's new book, Fair Isle Knitting. While I was looking at it, I also grabbed this one which arrived today:
The Celtic Collection.
I am in love. Head over heels. These patterns speak to me, they are so steeped in Irish history and the stories behind their inspiration feels so close to my heritage. The photography is gorgeous too. I can't wait to leaf through it properly and add loads to my queue! I have a feeling I may be going through a bit of a colour phase at the moment, and Fair Isle will be my next challenge.
In personal news, the Occupational Therapist is coming tomorrow to assess Mam & Dads house with a view to getting maybe a bath seat and an extra stair railing to make things a bit easier, so I'm off on a half day to be there too. What a shame she isn't coming on Friday and I could have had a long weekend!
Happy knitting!

Friday 21 August 2009

Oh Happy Day!

I'm so happy, I'd knock a happy clown over with my happy dance.
Mam got a home help!!!!!!!!!! The health board lady came today and she was really nice. It's initially going to start with once a week for two hours and she's going to clean the kitchen, bathroom and hoover. Fair play to her if she can get all that done in 2 hours! It's a start, and I'm overcome with happiness. At last! Hopefully this will take some of the strain off Dad.
Knitting has been a little slow chez moi this week, but I do have an FO:
Pattern: Garter Yoke Baby Cardi (Ravlink) by Jennifer Hoel
Needles: 3.5mm Addi Clicks
Yarn: Miscellaneous pink acrylic

I loved this knit, so simple and structural and fail safe. Just what I needed to distract me from the afghan that smirks at me from the living room corner. It knows I will be back, and it thinks that's really funny. I'll show it who's boss, oh yes.

Back to the baby pattern, I'd recommend this to anyone for a really quick, easy and cute knit. This could be customised really easily, different colour for the garter yoke, cuffs and waistband, stripes on the body, etc etc. I definitely will make this one again.

I actually gave in to the afghan and started it again last night. The star chart is handy enough, so hopefully it won't do my head in again so soon.

Oh! I almost forgot! In my excitement about the home help and the yummy baby cardi I almost left out stash enhancement! How could I????
I popped down to This Is Knit, met the lovely She Knit Up That Ball who helped me pick out some yum stuff, and got me some goodness.
First up, some Wendy Happy in Sagittarius:
This is for a girly BSJ. I think it's going to be faboo, and it will be the babys star sign! Fate!

Next, we have a skein of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Perrys Primrose:
I love Cotton Fleece. This baby is going to make some more yummy girly baby bibs.

And finally, because sale yarn baskets can talk and plead with you to buy stuff, I got this skein of Araucania Nature Cotton in a lovely orange shade. No idea what to make with it, but it was almost 75% off so a total bargain. Maybe a baby hat?
I'm going to cast on for the BSJ tonight I think, as we're off on a car journey tomorrow to maybe see about buying a little holiday home. Maybe, only maybe so far. And y'know I can't be knitting that afghan in the car!
Happy weekend everyone!

Monday 17 August 2009

Baby knitting begins!

I've put the afghan in timeout. Not because it has done anything on me, just because I've kind of had enough of it for a while. I'll probably get back to it later on in the week as I know my conscience will get to me, but for now I had to unleash the baby girl knitting mojo:
This is the Garter Yoke Baby Cardi (Ravlink). I love this pattern, it's a really simple top down cardi that you could do virtually anything with. It's flying along for me, so I think I'll probably end up making a couple of them and I might get adventurous with them, maybe a few stripes or a nice lace pattern instead of the stockinette body? I dunno...
Oh, and it's yummy pink! Yay!

My weekend was fairly hectic. Saturday was Mam & Dad, then home for 4 hours of cooking to have meals in advance for the week. I decided enough was enough, I was tired of coming home from work and there being nothing for dinner, as I'd either forgotten to take any meat out of the freezer, or I just couldn't decide what to eat.
I made Shepherds Pie, Lasagne, Pork Curry and a new experiment of a Cornish Chicken Pasty. It's basically like an individual pie in a half moon shape. We'll see how they turn out!

Sunday was hubbys band family fun day. He's a member of the Dublin Airport Police, Fire Service & Associates brass band. Phew, what a mouthful. He's one of the associates by the way, as he's neither a policeman nor a fireman. Bummer, I'm a sucker for men in uniform ;)

So, the party was for staff and families of the band, police and fire service. It was on in the airport fire station and was great fun! There was a BBQ, goodies for the kids, face painting and best of all the band! I videoed the whole performance, so if I can manage to get permission from very shy hubby, I'll put up a clip. They really were very good.
After the band, the coastguard flew over in a Chenook (sp?) helicopter (HUGE) and were hanging out of it waving to everyone. Then the fire service basically set everything on fire. A car, a building, an airplane. Amazing stuff. They let all the kids into the fire trucks and gave them mini helmets to keep.
The police joined in too, pretending to apprehend "criminals" and dressing up as nuns and squiting everyone with water pistols. A really great family day I must say.

Although, as a result, there's no ironing, cleaning or washing done. But, at least we won't go hungry!

Monday 10 August 2009

Plodding along

Work progresses slowly but surely on the Liberty Bell Afghan. I've finished Chart 2, the Emblem chart. The pattern calls for the stars to be embroidered or duplicate stitched on at the end, I can't remember which. Something I don't know how to do anyay, so we'll cross that bridge when (if) I come to it.

It's turning out ok, not great, but ok. I suppose I was expecting too much from it, wanting it to be perfect. Intarsia is hard y'all!
I have to weave in all the ends from this chart, then do the next border before the Star chart. At least it's only a big yellow star on a blue background, I hope to get through that one a bit quicker!
I'm on the heel flap of Alice's Sunday Swing socks, nothing very exciting there. I'm not rushing them either, just breathing deeeply and knitting away on my lunchbreak. Every evening and weekends are devoted to the Afghan to get it done.
I have loads of patterns picked out to hopefully make for my friends impending girl, I must make a list and put them up here so I have to make them. If you blog it, it must be done, right?
It's really dark and gloomy here this evening, yuk. Hopefully the weather will pick up a bit for Alices last week off before back to créche and then school in 3 weeks...

Wednesday 5 August 2009

Happy Thoughts

Think happy thoughts, that's what I keep telling myself. That way I can cheer myself up a bit.
So, I'm enjoying the bit of evening sunshine here today.
Some prospective knitty news:

My best friend is currently expecting her 3rd child in December. She has two boys and we were both praying for a girl. She had her first scan yesterday, and, it's 95% certain to be a girl!!! I'm so thrilled for her, she was crying on the phone to me with happiness. She's had a tough few months so I'm really pleased she has some good news. Although, the pressure is on to knit pink! I don't know where I'm going to find the time!
Here's the pics of the cotton bibs I made last week:
I made two of these. Bear in mind that it needs a press with a steam iron to flatten out the petals!
Pattern: Petal Baby Bib from One Skein (Ravlink)
Needles: 3.5mm for the bib, 2.75mm dpn for the Icord
Yarn: Zettl Colorado cotton

I used smaller needles than called for to make the bibs a little bit smaller for a newborn and also to make the Icord a little bit firmer. And, to be honest, as they were the only dons I had in my "bag 0' bits" on holidays!

I love this pattern, I will make more of these for sure.
I've made three others of this before for charity, they're such a quick knit, I get one done in an evening. So, at least I've begun the baby knitting!

Work progresses slowly on the Liberty Bell Afghan:
Not a huge amount to look at, but that there represents a few knitting hours, let me tell you!
I'm about halfway through Chart 2.

Each row is taking ages as I need to de-tangle before I start. It's enjoyable enough though, so I can't complain. Although it's not the best tv knitting in the evening project I've ever had. But, that's the only chance I'm getting to do it, as it's not exactly portable!

So, I cast on a portable project, socks for Alice! I'm not going to partake in the Cookie A KAL this month. Instead, I've started these:
Sunday Swing Socks from Knitty.

I'm not sure it's the best meld of pattern & yarn, but it's easy and soothing to knit, so I carry it everywhere with me and knit it at lunch in work so calm the nerves.
There's something a little Harry Potter, "jolly hockey sticks" about the stripes too, I think.
I really must get cracking with some pink girly baby knits though. I would love to make my friend a blanket, as her youngest son loves the one I made him, but I just don't think I'm going to have the time.

Yay! squishy chubby girly cheeks on the way!