Monday, 27 August 2012

Second Year of Projects Week 9

I'm a bit late with my post this week thanks to a lovely trip to see my parents, and a not so lovely burglary when we got home...
This is our back door, somebody managed to get through that and take 2 laptops. Luckily the alarm was set, so they didn't manage to get anything else,though  they've turned the place upside down. I'll have to tidy it at some point,but I don't feel like it right now! The major problem is that our neighbours replaced the fence at the bottom of the garden, and removed our gate even though we asked them not to, so it was like an open door into our private garden. We've told the landlord and the police, so there's not much else we can do now.

So onto a more happy note, I've finished one of my Ghostie socks
I finally gave up on the original knitting I was doing, and decided to swatch with less stitches, because the socks were coming out massive.
Original size compared to swatch. I now have only 3 ghosties around the sock, and some have eyes or noses that span two rows rather than one, but they still look cute and seem to have come out well, so I don't really mind that they're not exactly as intended. At least they're not like trouser legs any more! I also substituted an afterthought heel, as I wanted to keep the ghostie pattern going throughout the sock, and the pattern itself had a flap and gusset heel which distorted the pattern.

The reason we went to my parents this weekend was to see this little thing:
Meet Amber, my parents' new, mad and slightly bitey puppy. She is tiny and adorable, but woe betide you if you are wearing shoes, skirts or bracelets, because they will be eaten! Looks like butter wouldn't melt doesn't she?

We also decided to take a day trip to the seaside at Whitby with my best friend D,who I have know since we were both 4, and her boyfriend. The weather was perfect, and we saved the other two dogs from the puppy for a while, since she won't let them sleep and likes to jump on their head.
 D and Connor decided to go swimming in the north sea in their underwear...

 Multi coloured beach huts!
There was even a pirate ship!

 I also got two amazing presents, the first was from my parents' holiday to the Orkneys
North Ronaldsay fibre. These are really interesting sheep, because they live on the beach and only eat seaweed. They eat only at low tide, then go up the beach at high tide to ruminate

I also got my first ever fleece, from a family friend's Shetland sheep
He told my dad that he had a sheep for us, and he wasn't kidding. We got a fully butchered lamb as well as this fleece, so that was very kind of him. Now I just need to research exactly how to deal with a fleece. Anyone know any good resources?

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Second Year of Projects Week 8

Well, this week has been a week of frantic baby knitting, and therefore my post is late, as I needed to get everything finished to drop it off tomorrow. In total I now have 5 blue cardigans and one hat, and I am now totally out of both blue baby yarn and blue buttons!

I'm pretty pleased with how these all turned out, and I really like that each cardigan is different

This one is quite special, both shades of blue yarn came from my Gran's stash, as scraps from when she knit me baby clothes 21 years ago, and the little elephant buttons were saved by my Mum from some of the cardigans my Gran kni tme. I'm hoping they can bring someone else the same joy. I still have a few buttons left from cardis my Gran knit, but I want to save a few for if I have kids.

I was very stupid here, and forgot to add buttonholes as I was knitting, but i found this simple tutorial for making sewn button loops, so all was not lost!

The last ones are a little set, as I had a tiny bit of blue yarn left, but not enough for another cardi. Again I've got the elephant buttons, which are really cute.

I hope they bring some joy to people in the time when their children are in NICU, knowing someone cared enough to hand make them something to wear.

Saturday, 18 August 2012


I recently received this award from the truly love Renee over at Confessions of a Yarn Addict, and I would like to say that if anyone deserves this award, she does! An example of her loveliness, last year, I was complaining about the lack of sock yarn where I live, and she sent me a huge box! She recently moved across the states pretty much by  herself (her husband had already moved), with a toddler and puppy in tow, not something I would like to attempt. Seriously, you should go read her blog, she's an incredible person, and I admire her strength and determination so much. Plus she's a pretty good knitter too! So, thank you Renee, and if I could send this back to you, I definitely would!

Ok so,what I need to do:

1. Thank the person who honoured you with this award.


2. Tell everyone seven (7) unknown things about yourself.

Hmmm... this might be difficult, I'm pretty open about myself, but I'll see what I can do
  1. I am ridiculously addicted to Pickled Onion Monster Munch, which are corn based crisps (chips to the Americans) in the shape of monster foot prints. I could literally eat 3 bags a day if I let myself, but I try not too, because they're not good for me

  2. I get completely and utterly emotionally attached to my plants. I've recently grown some coriander and chives from seed, and I'm not sure I can bring myself to eat them. I had a lemon cucumber plant, which I bought for 10p for charity, and it got eaten by a slug, which really upset me. I haven't been able to find any seeds for it either, as it seems to be quite a rare plant, but I keep looking. 

  3. I have a Mouseman ashtray, which we found down the back of our old piano when we were selling it. It had been lost by my Granny when my Dad was about six, so it goes to show things can still turn up years later.

  4. In fact, I love this ashtray so much, I got a lamp to match it for my 21st birthday with a beaver on it, and I like to sit in the dark on an evening with just the lamp on (yes, I am pushing it for interesting things to say about me...)

  5. I love music festivals, and have been to Leeds Festival every year since '04, and Download Festival in '04-'09 and '12. I'm currently trying to get a day ticket for Leeds Festival '12 because I couldn't bear to miss it.

  6. I absolutely love the Sims 3 (in fact, I've been playing it all week), but I have to massively ration my playing time, or I can start playing it in the morning and not move all day. It's a massive time suck...

  7. I once managed to break a two inch thick wooden fence with the base of my back, and never went to hospital, even though I had a lump the size of a fist on it for a long time afterwards. It's because I was riding my pony, Bo, the week before, and he'd gone over a jump then stopped dead, which caused me to land on my head. I was fine, and my riding instructor insisted that he could have stayed on, and got on the pony to show me how it was done, without wearing a riding hat. Of course, he went over the jump, Bo stopped, and my instructor landed on his head too, for which I had no sympathy. But anyway, at school the next day, my neck seized up, and my Mum had to take a day off work to take me to the hospital. So she banned me from riding Bo. The next week, I got straight back on Bo, my best friend distracted him, and again, he went over a jump, then stopped dead to say hello to her, effectively throwing me through the fence at the edge of the school. And I didn't dare tell my Mum, because she'd banned me from riding him. I would like to say, he wasn't a bad horse, just easily distracted and didn't seem to realise I couldn't read his mind. He would always look at me when I was on the ground as if to say "what are you doing down there?" He looked a lot like this, but with a much cheekier glint in his eye:
3. Nominate fifteen (15) blogs and notify each recipient of their nomination.

I'm not saying I will nominate 15, because I think that's quite hard to do, but I will nominate a few of my favourites, so you should check them out!

A Stash Addicts Ramblings... -  Danielle dyes the most incredible yarns in the world, posts amazing picture and has adorable children, what more do you want?

Lynda Grace An Hour Away - Lynda has the definition of a lovely blog, she shares her stories about her world, posts pictures, and is doing an ongoing piece where she posts diary entries  from a woman in 1929. She has a real way with words, and is well worth a read.

Salamander Dreams - beautiful embroidery and experimentation which colours and patterns in different media, very inspiring

Peppermint Mocha Mama - a team leader of Nerd Wars, participates in every event,and every event in the HPKCHC, and still finds time to look after her adorable daughter. Plus, she's an ex-Disney Cast Member, with a love of all things Disney, and her blog is well worth a read.

The Barefoot Crofter - this blog is kind of breaking the rules, because its author is on a break for the summer, and so no blog comments can be posted, so I can't let her know, but I couldn't have a list of lovely blogs without it. She owns a small farm (croft) and posts updates about farm life with beautiful pictures (which she is still updating).

Needles, Pins and Baking Tins - can I just say wow. The quilts that the author of this blog, Laura, makes are just to die (or dye) for! She's giving me a quilting bug,and I really want to try it now, maybe one day...

Master of a Thousand Things - one of the wonderful organisers and moderators of the Year in Projects group on Ravelry. Beautiful knitting, and a generally happy and enjoyable, well written blog.

And I think that's it for me, I beat Renee by one blog, so I didn't disgrace myself with my list. I hope you'll go check some out and find some new reading material!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Second Year of Projects Week 7

I've finished my Ravellenic Games sweater! It was completed at 9:45 on Friday, and I'm pretty pleased with all said.
I had to close up a couple of holes under the armpits where I picked up my stitches, but other than that, I think it looks good. Because the yarn contains mohair, the jumper has a slight halo to it which make it warm and soft. And I didn't run out of yarn! In fact, I only used 301g, though I did have to break into the 4th ball for that extra gram which was a  bit annoying. This is pretty incredible, as it's only my second sweater, my first top down, and the first sweater took me over a year to finish, can't believe I managed it in two weeks! I think my Mum will be really excited when she opens it on Christmas, since it's exactly what she asked for, quite long,not tight but not baggy and 3/4 sleeves
I've also finished a second Ravellenic Games project, though it's not quite the calibre of the first. A bit of background: for the first three years of my course I was based at one hospital, and I moved to another at the start of this year, but last week was my paediatric surgery week, so I was back at my original hospital. This meant that I got a chance to bob in to the NICU, and ask them what knitted items they really needed. The answer was very small blue cardigans, which they are really short of. So as soon as I finished Mum's sweater, I cast one on.
Pencil is for scale, so you can see how tiny it needed to be. The yarn was sent by a Ravelry member who was having a clear out of baby yarn, so I'm really grateful to her. It's very soft, and I should get 4 of these cardigans out of the 100g, so they'll be really appreciated. I've also got some blue scraps, so I'll probably make a stripy one as well.

It's been a really busy week this week, as well as having an essay to write and a presentation to do (I got 83% by the way, and did get it finished in time), I've been in 7 days this week, with some late nights through the week, emergency surgery on Friday and then1-9 in Children's Emergency Department last night, and back in this morning from 9-1. I need to sleep! Surgery was incredible, it's amazing the surgery they can do on really tiny babies and the differences they can make to children's lives. I also watched the removal of a googly eye from a 2 year old's oesophagus, which was quite amusing, and he was none the worse for wear for having swallowed it! CED was also interesting, it's amazing how happy kids can be with lumps the size of eggs on their heads, and how worried they can make their parents. Just to reassure you, everybody was fine, and went home with various plasters and painkillers. But after all that, I need to sleep, I'm so glad I have a day off tomorrow!

I am missing updating this blog though, I only seem to post on Sundays at the moment, but I just have so little time. I'm going to try make the effort to do at least one post during the week as well, so I don't have to add the medical stuff in with the year of projects, since I'm sure people come for knitting, not hospital stories!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Second Year of Projects Week 6

My Ravellenic Games project is going really well, after a setback earlier this week.
It's now at a point where I can nearly start the ribbing for the base, so I'm really pleased with timing and should get it finished before the end of the games.

The setback was simply that after I split for the body and arms, i realised that the jumper was coming out to a size that was far too big even for me, and my Mum is a lot more petite than I am (4 foot 11.5, the half an inch is very important apparently!) and the jumper was coming out 38 inches round. I can't understand why, since I was still getting the same gauge, but maybe the designer's idea of "comfortable" is a lot different to mine! I ended up ripping back about 4 inches, so about 12 increase rows and about 10 rows after I split the stitches, which was about 2 days worth of knitting.

I did spend a lot of time knitting on it whilst watching the trampolining,which I really enjoyed. I was annoyed for Kat Driscoll of the UK, since we missed out on the final by 0.01! But it was really incredible to watch, and I just wish I was that good and could do those moves. It really was inspiring.

I'm also feeling quite comfortable about the amount of yarn I need now, since I've only just finished the second ball out of five, and I'm about to move on to the sleeves. So looks like it's all going well!

In terms of my course, I should be writing an essay right now, but I have no idea what to write about, so I need some prodding. I've had some very interesting times in Children's Emergency Department, and seen some really lovely,and some really sad cases. I did a nursing shift one day last week, and spent the entire time cuddling, feeding, changing, bathing and generally playing with the babies on the ward, which was wonderful, I really enjoyed it. The shift was a bit spoilt by needing to set off at 6am and discovering my car wouldn't start, I had a really enjoyable time getting the bus, which took a very long time and made me 45 minutes late. At least the nurses were understanding and just laughed at me. Then I got home and found out my computer had also broken, so it was a lovely evening of fixing things (or paying for things to be fixed...). But I suppose it can't be helped!