Monday, 29 December 2008

UK Swap - Warming Your Feet

Just in case you didn't already know. I LOVE SOCKS. I almost always have a pair on the go and they are my favourite protable project.

What is your favourite way of keeping your feet warm?

Socks without doubt.

Do you have a favourite pair of socks you reach for to keep your toes toasty?
My favourite socks are the ones knitted for me by Channon for the last sockapalooza. The photo (which I pinched from Channon's Flickr) doesn't do them justice and the colours are much deeper. They are still going strong 18 months and many washes later.

Is there a pair of socks/slippers you have been wanting to make for ages but haven't got around to?

Oh there are soooo many. I mean to do the Hedera socks sometime. Did start them but foolishly used black yarn and gave up in frustration as I couldn't see what I was doing. I'm always adding patterns to my Ravelry queue.

What is your favourite finished object that warms your feet?
My favourite FO is the very first pair of socks I ever knitted just over 2 years ago. They are a bright stretch Regia yarn and again are still going strong. I'm modelling them here at my sister-in-law's wedding. The M6 motorway was shut due to a really bad accident that day so it's a good job we went down on the bike or we wouldn't have made it. We just about got there in time to hear them pronounced man and wife!! Hence the bike gear - no time to get changed!

What is your favourite yarn to use for socks/slippers?

One of the best things about sock knitting, if not THE best thing, is the chance to indulge in a little luxury. You can splurge on wonderful yarn at a relatively low cost as you only need one or two skeins to make a fabulous pair of socks. I'm especially fond of the Natural Dye Studio sock yarn as it is sooooo gorgeous but also like Violet Green, The Knitting Goddess, Fyberspates and Laal Bear. Indie dyers yarn is always a real treat. But for everyday wear you can't beat good old Regia and Opal for longevity and value!


Well it's been a busy one with Nativities, pressies lots of eating and all that jazz. Ended up downloading the Ting Tings album as a treat to myself as DH failed to pick up on my hints ("I really like the Ting Tings, wouldn't mind their album!" being a typical example!!) Oh well. He did redeem himself by getting me a nice digital radio/ipod docking station so I can enjoy my new Ting Tings album at work!! As well as listen to the Togmeister as well

The girls ended up doing 3 performances of their "Wriggly Nativity" because the school hall is just too small to accommodate all of the audience and all of the children. Every single child was in the concert. The infants did the nativity and the juniors did some fabulous singing including Bohemian Rhapsody which wasn't half bad!

Here are my two stage stars. One's a slightly grumpy looking pig and the other a very serious angel (in the middle) sporting a new short hairdo - had to dash to the hairdressers for a rescue job after little sister decided to test her hairdressing skills on big sister. Not a pretty sight! Found the locks of hair shoved into DH's motorbike boots a day later!!!

I do hope Father Christmas brought all of you the things you wanted this year. I got the usual array of nice smellies, choccies etc. All nice but this year I did get a knitterly pressie from my lovely UK Sock Knitters swap pal Misselle. Thanks again!

Christmas day was lovely. There was the 4 of us plus my parents, sister in law, auntie Isobel and my friend Tracy. We ate well and chilled. Here's Tracy with the girls and Sally the dog - you just got to wear a tiara at christmas don'tcha!!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

UK Swap - Warming Your Neck

What is your favourite neck warming pattern?
Do you have a favourite FO?
Is there a style of neck warmer you particularly like?

Hmm... favourite way of warming my neck.

There is no doubt about it, you cannot beat a lovely scarf for banishing the shivers on a chilly day. And it is impossible to pin down a favourite one. As long as it is soft and long (I like to wrap scarves around more than once if possible!) Then I am a fan!

I got a copy of Victorian Lace Today recently to conquer my fear of lace knitting and because there is something very cosy about wrapping yourself up in a shawl I reckon. I'm still a bit scared though!! I have the Ice Queen cowl in my queue and the yarn to do it. Just need to pluck up the courage to give it a go!

I've only got one FO on Ravelry which is this Hat and Scarf that I made for my stepson's girlfriend. I have promised to make some scarfs for my girls though and have got some very nice girly wool for that just need to find a nice pattern/some inspiration! They will probably have pom poms or tassels at the ends and I think they will probably be ribbed (keep the shape better when used as tug of war ropes which is bound to happen!)

Also quite like crocheted scarves and have made this one skein scarf a few times for people. I also sometimes make an easy swirly crochet scarf too but can't remember which pattern it was from. It's a row of treble crochet and then 2 in each one on the second row, and 2 in each one again on the third row. It goes all twisty and swirly and looks nice.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Warming Your Hands

So, what is your favourite winter warmer for your hands?

Gloves and mittens... don't they just shout out winter cosiness!! Love 'em all. Have a preference for the fingerless variety on account of having quite small hands and tend to find that the fingers flap about a bit at the tops of full gloves.

I was once a bridesmaid at a relatives wedding that was either early spring or autumn/early winter and we wore red velvet dresses and had lovely cream muffs. Maybe we should resurrect the muff!!

If lacking mitts or a muff then it's a case of dragging down the sleeve ends of your jumper to cosy up your hands or shoving them up the opposing sleeve (bit of a straitjacket look though and not so good if you slip on some ice as your hands are all tied up!!)

Do you have a favourite pattern or finished object?

I enjoyed making the Mitt Envy mitts. Used some leftover Lorna's Laces to make them and they were cute. Other mitts I want to have a go at include: Cafe au Lait , Porphyria, Fetching and would like to have a go at some Norwegian or stranded ones too.

What is your favourite yarn for gloves/mittens/handwarmers?

Wool and wool blends. Something soft and not too itchy and not too thick.

Are there any patterns out there you would love to own?

Not especially as there are soooo many fine free possibilities on Ravelry to go at!

Or do you already have a winter warmer and you would like some mittens/gloves/handwarmers to match?

I'm not especially co-ordinated at the best of times! So no need to match up anything in particular!!

Friday, 5 December 2008

Hussars, Goodby Mr Chips and fabulous cardigan

Wow! What a week it's been. Firstly there was the weather. Well I am British and it's in my job description to waffle on about the weather!! There was snow, and ice and sadly lots of rain to wash it all away. Chaos ensued - who knows what it would have been like if the forecasts had actually come to pass.

Tuesday was a fun day at work. The King's Royal Hussars were exercising their Freedoms of the Borough and were marching through the town starting from the staff car park. Forgot to take my camera so please excuse the appalling quality of the photos taken on my phone

Here's a big tank

Well come on... how often do you see a large tank parked next to your offices!!

Here's the band leading the way on the march. They were really good and even did a version of Mika's "Grace Kelly" as well as the usual cheery marching music. Brought back memories of when I was in the Accrington Concert Band - just love band music!

Really like their long coats - wouldn't mind one myself! As you can see it's a bit soggy - in fact it hailed like mad when they were drilling and being inspected by the Mayor. Felt really sorry for them.

Here come the Hussars

And here they are again marching off around the borough

It was an enjoyable event which makes you proud to see. Some miserable buggers were wingeing about the cost/pointlessness/archaic value etc of it but they were still all crowding round the windows to watch! Mind you, you couldn't really shout your mouth off when they all had big guns and swords!! I thought it was fab.

One of my colleagues retired today after many years. Sad day will miss his cheery company. Lots of people turned up for his presentation and the leaving do last Friday has already become a legend in it's own stupor!! We all lined up on the stairs to clap him as he left for the last time and many a tear was wiped away. Felt like a scene from Mr Chips.

Finally got a photo of the legendary Elvis cardigan. This was done by a lady at the stitch and bitch and it is awesome. I'm only sorry it's such a crappy photo but nevertheless marvel at it's fabulousness!

Thursday, 4 December 2008


Well it was all over the news and the papers, there were severe weather warnings aplenty and I was expecting to look out on a winter wonderland this morning. But alas all I saw was lashings of rain. No snow day for us. Boo Hoo!

Winter Warmers Swap

Handmade Item Swap

What kind of items are you interested in receiving?
Ooh I love, love, love socks. I only have dinky feet (UK3) too. Also adore fingerless mittens (have dinky hands too so the fingers are always a bit flippy flappy on gloves). You can never have too many scarves either but I like them long enough to wrap around a couple of times ( I blame exposure to the Tom Baker Dr Who at an impressionable age for this!). I take the dog out early in the morning so a cosy hat is always good too.

But quite honestly I am super easy to please and would be chuffed to bits to get anything at all made just for me!

Do you knit, crochet, or both?
Knit mostly but dabble in crochet now and again

What is your favourite colour?
I like purples, reds, greens and blues. Also partial to very bright combos as well esp rainbow colours.

What is your least favourite colour?
Not keen on white and yellow as am a bit of a muck magnet and can never keep things looking nice in these colours

What’s your style? (elegant, traditional, glamourous, girly, natural, sporty, outgoing, etc.)
Style? What's that??? Hmm... I suppose I would say I am casual with a penchant for the eccentric. An eclectic (in other words I just throw on any old combo!!). Love traditional and classic stuff too. Not particularly chic or fashionable really! Also as I am now in my 40s I cannot help myself and have to consider the 'comfort' of stuff these days. (Eek it will be elasticated waists and stay press pants next.... noooooooo!!!)

Do you have a favourite type of fiber or brand of yarn?
I like natural fibres best. Love any wool or wool blends, alpaca, silk blends. Any sock yarn is great to me but am particularly fond of the Natural Dye Studio, most indie dyers and good old Regia. Also very fond of King Cole merino blend - such a great all round wool.

Do you have a least favourite type of yarn?
I'm really not fussy about these kind of things but am not keen on the fuzzy fizzy yarns.

Do you do any other crafts?
Not really too addicted to knitting

Are there any knitting accessories you are interested in receiving?
I quite like the idea of having a go a spinning so a spindle would be lovely. Also my addi turbo circulars are getting a bit past it so could do with some more of those (2.5mm 60 cm). Stitch markers are useful too. Also I do need a nice retractable tape measure too - keep losing my ordinary one and I'm sure my girls have been playing tug of war with it!!

What do you like to eat?
Oh I do like food. I like herbs and spices and yummy stuff to add to my cooking. And for treats I like the usual suspects. Chocolate, old fashioned sweeties, biccies.

Any allergies/preferences (fiber-wise or treat-wise)?
I am blessed with the constitution of a dustbin and have no allergies to anything!

Anything we missed that you’d like your partner to know?
Can't really think of anything. Like I said I'm easily pleased!!