Monday, 24 January 2011

Eye Test

I finally had my eyes tested last weekend, they were getting bad, distance is fine but reading has been a struggle especially when I am tired. I had kind of ignored it until I went away for the weekend last September, we were looking at Radley handbags and noticed some great glasses on a little display stand, my friend wears glasses for reading so was trying some on, of course I had to have a go, I love glasses and didn't want to be left out.
I could read clearly, I had tried on the weakest ones they had there, +1.00 and I could see the difference straight away with the little card thingy they had. Naturally I bought a pair and have been using them to read ever since, but of course a proper eye test was still important and I finally went for it, what a difference they make, it is a little weird balancing them on my nose while I knit and read the pattern and then peep over the top to see the telly, but it does make such a difference. I had bought the cheapest pair of glasses in the opticians without all the coatings they try to upsell you and asked for a copy of my prescription, I will get my glasses on line in future, they are so much cheaper, I can see myself having a nice little collection of glasses for all occasions.
There has been knitting, I finished the front of the cushion cover, just need to do the back and then get a cushion pad. I am really pleased with it so far and think I will do another one with the yarn left over but in a different pattern, I may try a cabled one.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Pattern Repeats

Why does the first repeat of a pattern take so blooming long, I spent most of the day yesterday doing the first repeat of a cushion cover, yet it only took a few hours in the evening to do the second repeat.

I am liking it so far, the colour on here is not far off real life, maybe a little lighter but not bad. The yarn is Jaeger Sienna 4 ply, which is 100% mercerised cotton and is really silky. The pattern is taken from one of my stitch dictionaries, The Ward Lock Guide to Knitting Stitches, repeating diamonds, love this book, I picked it up in a charity shop a couple of years ago.
Charity shops are a wonderful place to look for anything to do with knitting without breaking the bank, books, patterns, magazines, needles, yarn, you name it and it is out there somewhere lurking around waiting to be pounced on.  I am lucky to have four shops in the village where I live, one of them being exclusively for books, it is amazing what other people get rid of, and I never have to pay more than a pound for any type of book.
I never did make that hat for my colleague, but I did end up making three for me, so my head is kept splendidly warm at all times, and on all occasions.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Fishermen's Sweaters

I'm afraid first impressions of this book are not favourable, mostly by the fact that there is only one man's sweater in the entire book, maybe I was being too hopeful, but not having seen a copy of the book and only going by the title, Fishermen's Sweaters, I was hoping for a tad more on the masculine side. I am sure that a few of the projects could be knit as a sweater for a man, but I like to see what it would look like on a bloke in the first place. Enough said.
The other bone I have to pick with this particular publication is the quality of the photography, alot of the projects almost seem to be taken in soft focus, so you cannot really see the stitch definition, either that or my eyesight is alot worse than I thought it was.
It's not all bad though, there are a number of projects I would like to cast on, this being one of them.
This looks like a really comfy winter warmer, long enough to keep your butt lovely and warm, I do like woolies that double as butt warmers.
If I tried really hard I could even imagine this being suitable for a man's knit, (just need to get past the disappointment of being tricked by the title first.)
Most of the knits in this book do look to be on the loose side, maybe all the models used were stick insects in disguise, so everything they wear looks like a sack on them. But I have no great complaint about that, I like big comfy sloppy jumpers, great to slob about in.
In all fairness I have only flicked through the book a couple of times, and have not yet had the time to read through it all properly, the charts are well laid out and easy to understand and there is a good section on the techniques used at the rear of the book. so all in all I am not really that disappointed at all.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Naughty Me

I just happened to be looking at knitting books on Amazon yesterday, like you do, something terrible happened, I spent money, money I haven't really got, looks like I will be smoking tabacco instead of taylor mades for a week or two, ( yeah, I know I should give up the weed. )

Too late now they are ordered and will be winging their way over to me very soon. Number one is this, Fishermen's Sweaters by Alice Starmore, I already have her Book of Fair Isle Knitting and Aran Knitting, both beautiful books and full of inspirational designs. I thought this would be a useful addition to my collection, especially as I have a long term plan to actually knit Mr Roadside a sweater, how long term this plan will be until it becomes an actuallity is the million dollar question, one day, probably later rather than sooner. I am hoping that this book will contain the right amount of manly sweaters to inspire me to finally knit something for him. I have only ever knit him a hat, which he said was not big enough, his loss, I have made very good use of it.                                          

This book just kind of fell into my basket of it's own accord, I have never even really looked at this book, but the reviews were encouraging so I bravely knocked it of it's shelf. Must have a quick look on Rav and see what is said about it on there, I will of course give my thoughts on the books once I have them in my sticky mittens. The new hat it finished and currantly perching on my head keeping me lovely and warm, I seem to be a bit obsessive about hats at the moment, maybe because they are relatively quick projects to complete, it also sounds great to say that I have completed three projects already this year, and it still only the middle of January. God I am good. Long may it continue.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Blog Anniversary

It's four years since I started this blog, I have not been very good at posting, though I have found a renewed interest since the new year, as I have found a renewed interest in knitting, the needles have almost been smoking.
The colleagues hat is still non existent, but I have cast on another for myself, a simple twisted cable rib in a bluey purple. I like blue, it's a cheerful colour, like the turquoise of  the sea on a calm day, the crisp royal blue of the sky on a freezing winters morning, the white blueness of freshly laundered linen, I think you get the drift.

Monday, 10 January 2011


Have you any idea just how difficult it is to take a photo of the top of your head. This was one of about a dozen, the other eleven were deleted, bad, bad photos. It is still not a good photo, but will have to do. This is the hat knitted from The Family Knitting Book, using Patons Diploma Gold DK in shade 6151, which is a blood red colour, not the pinky red shown in the picture. The folded bottom is a Honeycomb pattern though it does not show too clearly in this photo, and the top is a sort of 4 x 4 twisted cable rib.
I even managed to knit another hat this weekend, not for my colleague still, but for the Grandaughter, she saw me knitting this one and demanded that I make a pink hat for her, which being the doting Nana I am, I promptly did, I did take a picture of her wearing it, bad photo, I will try to get another one of her in it soon, and hope that she is not pulling strange faces.
I will start the other hat today, I need to get this done asap, my colleague is home from foreign lands tomorrow, I must find a manly colour in my stash.
If anyone ever stumbles across my blog, please stop and say hello, I am not especially bothered if no-one ever reads it, but it would be nice to know that there is someone out there in the netherworld of Blogland. I have grown quite fond of this blog over the last few postings, it has revived a more intense love of all things knitted, I had been quite lazy over my knitting in recent months, apart from a quick burst just before  my little Grandson was born and Christmas, I had not really knit anything in the last year or so.

The Frog Pond is no more, I spent a very productive evening last night, ripping out everything that was hidding away in it, and there was some stuff that had been hibernating there for well over four years, it is no more, but I now have a large pile of balled up yarn ready to re-enter the stash mound.

Friday, 7 January 2011

There Has Been Knitting

I have actually made time for some knitting, not the hat for my work colleague, but one for me. I was having a little look through my books and patterns for a suitable mans hat and found the perfect one, for me. It is from The Family Knitting Book, which was produced excusively for W H Smith in 1980, it has a lovely Aran section in the back of it and the pattern was crying out to be knit, I am about half way through it and really enjoying the cables, never done them before, bit bloody fiddly at first with the cable needle ( dpn actually, don't have a cable needle as such ) but you soon get into the swing of it.
I love these old knitting books,I manage to get alot of them from my local charity book shop, I never pay more than a pound for them, absolute bargain. Today I picked up thirty knitting magazines in one of the other charity shops for only three pounds, mostly from the nineties, but several from the seventies, including one from 1970 priced up in old money 3s 6d, Woman Treasury of Crochet and Knitting, if only the modern magazines were that cheap.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Frog Pond

There is nothing is my stash for the Maidenhair Shawl, this project uses 825g of yarn and though I have yarn that I could use, I do not have enough of any particular yarn. This of course means I will have to buy some for it, I spent a fair amount of time yesterday browsing the interweb for something appropriate and have found a few possibilities but nothing that jumps up and bites me on the bum screaming buy me, buy me.
The hat has not even been started, got side tracked by something else, that something else is going to be frogged in a little bit, not liking it at all.
Talking of frogging, I have rather a large Frogpond at the moment, not as large as it was, I did do a little ripping out over the New Year, I like ripping, it's like buying new yarn in a way, you get to use a yarn that you coveted enough to cast on with all over again from new. I did not fall out of love with anything in the frog pond, but most of the projects have been lurking around for so long I have forgotten what patterns they are from, and if I can remember what patterns they are, I sure as hell don't remember at what point I have got to in the pattern, so rather than struggle with working out what they are and where I have gotten to, I will just rip it, rip it, rip it.

Monday, 3 January 2011

A Challenge

I have, over the years bought yards of non-fiction books, all bar none are about knitting, pattern books, technique books, stitch dictionarys, you get the idea. I have lovingly and faithfully read them from cover to cover, marvelling over the miriad of beautiful projects and have so far not knitted a thing from them. Don't get me wrong I always have every intention of knitting countless amounts from them, they are full of post-it notes bookmarking the things I want to do, some of these post-its even name the yarns I have in my stash that I can use to make them with. Still they haven't been knitted.
So naturally my challenge is to get off my pondering backside and do some of them. Which one to start first though, now I could spend days once again leafing through all the books, actually make that weeks there are alot of books, trying to make up my mind flitting from one project to another, constantly changing my mind again and again and again. Instead I have elected to start with the last book I bought, Alice Starmore's, Aran Knitting, now there are quite a few projects that spring to mind from this particular book, Irish Moss, Na Craga, St Ciaran, the list goes on, but in my infinite wisdom I have decided on Maidenhair Shawl.

Now all I have to do is some stash diving to see if I have anything approaching suitable for this, if not, damn, I will have to do some shopping for more yarn, I have plenty of overtime this month so I can treat myself to something special to celebrate my good sense in taking on this challenge. And in case you were wondering, no, there is no particular reason for this particular project, it was just the first first one that jumped out of the pages and hit me over the head pleading to be cast on and maybe one day cast off again as an official FO.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2011, what a celebration we had, we were in bed by ten and fast asleep as the rest of the country rocked their socks off. Mr Roadside has got swine flu so we cancelled our plans and snuggled on the sofa, most of the family have had the dreaded lurgy over Christmas so it was all a little subdued to say the least, as well as the grandaughters bedroom ceiling collasping on Boxing day due to a leak in a pipe that was 'fixed' a couple of months ago, Christmas was not the riot it normally is in the Roadside House, enjoyable none the less though.
Resolutions, I think not, they never make it through the first week. Knitting took a back seat in 2010, I went from having no job to having three, so have been running to keep up with myself. My craft room is no more, it is now the grandchildrens room, sad but necessary.
Today I intend on knitting my work buddy a hat for his 40th birthday this week, he is from Slovakia and I have been trying in vain to find something even vaguely Slovak to incorporate into the hat, but apart from their national flag I can find nothing, absolutely nothing.
I would like to try and blog this year, (no, not a resolution) maybe even get a few pictures of FOs up, we will see anyway.