Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Sockret Pal Questionnaire

The start of another exciting exchange. I've visited the Blog of my spoilee and am already filled with ideas of what to send her. Here is my questionnaire:

The basics:
How long have you been knitting?
I started when I was about 13 or 14 and made lots of Jean Greenhowe dolls out of cheap acrylic.
I made a couple of things as presents for colleagues who were pregnant about 5 years ago, but it is really in the last couple of years (now my friends are all having children and I have a bit more time) that it has kicked off in earnest.

Do you consider yourself a beginning sock knitter, an intermediate, or have you been doing this so long you could probably knit a pair in your sleep?
My first pair of socks in February. I'm upto number 10 or 11 pairs now! So I guess intermediate - I have only knit one pair toe up, so I think I need more practice!

The measurements:
While your pal may ask for some additional info to ensure a great fit, please provide your shoe size, or any other fitting related info you think is pertinent.
UK Size 6/7.

(fiber related) Favorites:
What colors do you love?

Purples, bright colours, stripes. I'm on a bit of a brown thing with my wardrobe at the moment. There isn't really anything I don't like.
Do you prefer solids or variegated?

Self striping/variegated for plain socks and solids for lace/patterned socks
What fibers do you most love to knit with?
Anything that isn't too artificial! Wool/Cotton/silk. Anything quite soft (like lorna's laces) for socks.
I would love to try Socks that Rock or Koigu (hint hint!)
Who do you consider your favorite yarn vendors?
Ooooh, I love lorna's laces for sock yarn, the regia I have knitted with has been good too.
With regards to shops - I like people who dye their own, like HipKnits, and independent shops like Stash and Loop in London.
What projects (other than socks, of course*S*) do you most enjoy knitting?
Things that knit up quickly, or are presents. I've made some baby/toddler clothes, a baby blanket, toys, bags, and not many actual full size garments!

(fiber related) Dislikes:
What fibers can you not stand to knit with? To wear?

Acrylic for both, although socks need a bit so you can wash them!
What colors would you never wear?
Cream/yellow next to my skin (but doesn't really matter for socks)

The Tools:
Plastic or Metal? Bamboo or wood?

I have some gorgeous wooden needles my bf bought for me which are fab. Some brittany birch dpns and some metal addi turbos for my socks.
Circs or Straights?
Um, depends what I'm making.
DPNs or Magic Loop?
I have some 30cm addit turbos which mean I don't need to magic loop for socks and can knit in the round using dpns for heel and toe. I must buy some longer addi turbos and try magic looping.
Are there any knitting accessories you don't have in your collection but would like?
Some 2.5mm addi turbos (or similar - I hear knitpicks are good) so I can try the magic loop. They need to have a really good join between cable and needle as I've tried it with cheap plastic ones and it just doesn't work.

The Extras:
Do you have a wish list? If so, please share the link!

Just Amazon:

Do you like sweet, sour or salty? (or all of the above? *S*)
All of the above
Do you have any allergies your pal should know about? (Certain foods, smoke, pet hair, etc)
Favorite scents? Scents you can't stand?
Lavender is a fave, don't really like anything too perfumey.
Do you collect anything (other than yarn and knitting toys of course)?
No collections
When is your birthday? (month and day is fine!)
18th May
Do you spin? Dye your own yarn?
I have never spun, don't really have any great want to try.
I have done some Kool-Aid dying, which was fun and would like to do more.
Your favorite author/band/vacation spot, anything you think will help your pal know you better...
I'm a 1990's indie girl at heart, so I love Blur, Wonderstuff, Charlatans etc but also have a downfall when it comes to Robbie Williams and Wet Wet Wet!!!! Vacation wise. these days I enjoy a week away from it all in a cottage in the middle of nowhere; or alternatively a mad weekend in a city I've never been to. I enjoy cooking (esp now I have someone to cook for) and gardening (I'm looking forward to tackling the jungle at the back of Tony's house).
If you want to know anything else, ask away!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The war has begun

Here is the pair of the first International Socks of Doom made by Roo@ War for Sock Wars.... These are going to my victim Ketutar (as my first victim pulled out.) Made with my own Kool-Aid dyed anti tickle merino from Texere. They will be in the post to Sweden tomorrow. This should hopefully give me enough time to finish the second one of these in time for our trip to Dublin this weekend. It is the start of the 30th Birthday season. I have 3 in the next 10 days! Madness.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Secret Pal 8 Parcel

I arrived home this evening to find this waiting for me .... my final parcel from my Secret Pal Barb. Thanks for all of the goodies: Creative Knitting Magazine, a novel about someone who owns a yarn store, 3 balls of Bernat cotton, a notebook, lip balm (and crocheted holder), a doiley, bath bubbles and another crochet thing that matches my dishclothes but I can't exactly work out what it is!
In the world of more presents, here are the socks I am making for Bodge and Kim's 30th Birthdays on 2nd and 7th October respectively. I started with Kim's first, the finished Jaywalker you seen on the left, and then panicked that I wouldn't have time to do Bodger's before his birthday so started on his instead of making a pair! They are both done in the Regia yarn I bought in Utrecht. I am loving the stripes on the Ribbed sock on the right. Tony is a bit jealous I think... In non-sock world, here is the progress on the blanket for the baby due at the end of October.
And finally in non-knitting world here are the Tigerella tomatoes that Tony (Tiger) has been growing (sorry Jo!)

Sunday, September 17, 2006


I made a trip to the Knitting and Stitching show at the NEC yesterday. I was a little disappointed really, only Hipknits, Get Knitted and Web of Wool had anything remotely interesting. I think I will have to go to Olympia next year.
After that I thought I would call into the Knit and Natter session in Beatties in Wolverhampton. Had a lovely hour with Annette and Rose. Thanks for making me so welcome. I will definitely come again when I have a spare Saturday afternoon. Beatties also have loads of Rowan with 70% off. It is all current stock, but stuff they are not meant to have anymore so it is messing up the stock takes apparently! Excellent!
This is the bounty that came from my little knitting trip yesterday:

From L-R
Hipknits Aran Silk (Brown) - for another Garden scarf
Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock - Watercolour - from Get Knitted- to make socks for me to match my scarf!
Some more Hipknits Aran silk in Yellow/Blue/Brown for a Christmas present scarf
Two balls of Rowan Calmer in red a bargain at £1.80 a ball from Beatties in Wolverhampton. Destined to be Odessa for my friends mum who is going through Chemo at the moment.
Four balls of Rowan Handknit Cotton; another bargain at 90p a ball from Beatties in Wolverhampton. Destined to be a pink and red stripy jumper for my friends little girl for Christmas.
Two balls of Regia Silk in Brown/grey from Web of Wool - Christmas socks for Tony.
One ball of Cotton Glace, again from the sale in Beatties - £1.14 destined to be the digger on the front of this jumper

The other exciting news is I have had an offer on my flat for the full asking price! Tony and I have also been having discussions about future plans - and I think we have decided to try and look for something to buy together, rather than me buying on my own and then selling up in a year or two. It will be a big project i.e. like a falling down barn or a piece of land. This means I will be staying here in Tony's house for quite a lot longer than I'd originally thought; but that's ok, we haven't killed each other yet. I am trying to be tidy and Tony is learning how to compromise! With that said, I'm off to mop the kitchen floor and then cycle over to his sisters to steal some apples to make a pie later. Such a life of Domestic Bliss!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Finished Items!

I have been doing something other than moaning in the last week......
My Garden scarf is done. It is fab. The colours are excellent (thanks Lizzy) and I definately NEED some socks knitted in this colourway. I wonder if there will be any Lorna's Laces at NEC? Hmmmm..
Pattern: Garden Scarf from "The Happy Hooker"
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Bullfrog and Butterflies in Waterfall (One Skein) from my OSP Lizzy
Started: 6th September 2006
Finished: 10th September 2006 (in truth it took a return train journey from Wolves to London to complete)

Here is a close up: The latest pair of commuting socks:

Pattern: Based on the one that comes free when you buy yarn from Get Knitted. Cast on 60 sts on 2.5mm needles modified to add a slip stitch heel. Basic, boring socks.
Yarn: Lana Grossa Fantasy (I think)
Started: Mid August 2006
Finished: 13th September 2006

They don't match, I don't care. I have some more "weekend" socks. Horay!

I have stolen the picture below from Glenda as I forgot to take one before the Secret Pal Socks winged their way to her. She has been my spoilee for the past few months for Secret Pal 8.
Pattern: Um, a bit made up based off the ribbed socks I made for Tony and Non but with DK (48st)
Yarn: King Cole Merino "Anti Tickle" from Texere DK dyed with Kool Aid
Started: 26th August 2006
Finished: 2nd September 2006

Turns out these were perfect training for Sockwars. I've got some more Kool-Aid Dyed King Cole that I am going to use and bought some Brittany Birch DPNs from Gerald at I Knit London on Sat (Fab shop btw - loads of Collinette and Artesano Alpaca and other British yarns AND it is open late AND has a massive comfy sofa)

The socks for Toby also got finished, the second looked much the same as the first here.
They have been received, I'm yet to hear if they fit or not!

I've completed a couple more blanket squares too. I'll take another picture when I've got a few to show.

What else? Oh yes, I received my second package from my SP8. Haven't gotten around to taking any pictures yet.... but it contains some more dishcloths; a baby afghan pattern book and a little puzzle book. Thanks Secret Pal; who I have found out to be Serrano from Knitty and also these socks: Cablenet and Dimante

In other news, I'm looking forward to my trip to the Knitting and Stitching Show this weekend. I think I'm going to go on Saturday. I might make it back in time for the Knit n' Natter in Beatties too.
However I am most excited about going to see Robbie Williams in Milton Keynes tomorrow. Please pray that it doesn't rain!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Grumpy Old Woman

I know I am in danger of sounding like a grumpy old woman, but there are two things I am finding particularly annoying at the moment and I thought sharing my annoyance may help me channel my irritation:
1. Mobile phones that play MP3's. What is wrong with a set of headphones? I am fairly annoyed with how rubbish the Apple headphones are that come with iPods, as you can usually hear what the person is listening to if sat next to someone on the train/bus. However, recently I have discovered that the new trend is to listen to mp3's on mobile phones without bothering with the headphones. It happened on the bus in London quite a lot. Now it is happening here in Wolverhampton/Birmingham too and it is driving me mad. I can even hear it when I have my earphones in. AGH. I feel like I need to have sets of earphones to give out. How do I make them stop? I wouldn't mind so much if the sound wasn't so completely awful.... It makes even "good" music sound atrocious.
2. Smoking. Ok, I have always been annoyed with people smoking, but I hate the fact that no matter where I am at the moment I seem to constantly have smoke blown in my face. At my old job all of the smokers used to stand outside the staff entrance to smoke. Walking in or out of the office meant you had to dodge the smokers. It is not as bad here, but outside the office is still smokers corner. Today, at lunch, I was sitting on a bench by the cathedral when a woman sat down beside me and started smoking, blowing the smoke in my face. I guess they don't realise how disgusting it is to a non-smoker.
I need to think of something polite but firm (and maybe clever) to say in these situations which will make people stop and think about what they are doing. Any ideas?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Ok... I did get cake

Tony turned up at the station on Friday evening with some cake. All is forgiven. It was a very good lemony sponge with lemon sauce. Yum. Thank you for stealing cake from your mom's house for me!
Had a good weekend tidying the flat. I can't believe the minute it is finally finished it is going up for sale! I am really happy with the finished product, so hopefully someone else will love it as much as me - stripey glass tiles and purple walls and all. Will let you know as soon as the piccies are up with the estate agent.
The trip to London and back produced two more socks, one for Toby and the other for my secret pal. I left these drying last night, so hopefully they will be ready to photograph tonight and post tomorrow.
I'm a bit bored of socks at the moment, I think I need to concentrate on the blanket squares for a while, or something else that is not socks. Might make a start of Bombshell from Big Girl Knits.
I'm off to London this weekend, so possibly planning a visit to i Knit London. I am hoping to get to the NEC the weekend after for the Knitting and Stitching show - just don't tell Tony cause I might bring more wool home!