Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mitts away1

Rosemary asked if I could do a little knitting to add to her Etsy shop. I made two pairs of mitts and one has sold and been shipped to America. I can't tell you how happy it made me! Of course now my Etsy partner wants more..... I am being careful not to infringe pattern copyrights so it's not that straightforward. We both have lots of ideas - just no time!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What are the chances!?!?!??????

I have started knitting the bridesmaids wraps for Isabel's wedding. I am using some Kidsilk Night which I bought in the John Lewis sale in the summer - 2 balls - not enough for one whole stole!! Panic!! Well I just looked on Ebay and found enough to finish the one and knit the other 2. 'Wait!' I hear you's bound to be a different dye lot and it will look so silly with a slightly paler stripe down the middle! But No!!!! I enlarged the picture and I could read the dye lot and it's THE SAME!!!!!!!!!
I must appologise for the excessive use of the exclamation marks. I just feel a bit exclaimable at the moment. I have already stopped a passing library assistant to share my news!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Millie's Hat

As I still haven't quite decided how to add a picture when I am not on my own PC you must trust me that I have knitted a hat for Millie for Christmas. It is in a lovely space dyed Mirasol yarn which was so soft and lovely to knit. I have made it to accompany this lovely book .A blizzard is forecast and mummy rabbit offers to knit her child a hat to keep his ears warm. So delighted is he with it that he asks her to knit hats to suit his friends and so comes an antler shaped hat for the deer, one to keep a gooses neck warm and so on. There is a large aaaaahh! factor here. I love it!

Friday, November 28, 2008


On Wednesday evening between the checkouts at Ikea and Rosemary's house I lost a little card wallet. I've stopped my cards but I'm still feeling really sad about it. Rosemary and Isabel bought it for me some years ago and it also held photos of Millie, Rosemary and my Dad. There were also some labels from an old Grocers store which used to be next to Dad's barber's shop which a friend found and passed on to me. My loyalty card at the coffee shop was due to give me a free coffee and I had only to buy 1 more meal deal at Boots to get a free lunch! I know in the great scheme of things it is unimportant but...........I cannot fathom out where or how I lost it and it is puzzling me. I keep looking in the car and stupidly in my bag but it just ain't there. I am going to have to move on.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Rosemary's Shop

Rosemary has started a shop on Etsy. Please go and take a look.She has some lovely things - just in time for Christmas and I'm not even on commission, just the bag making assistant!


So that's another year gone by..... The Knitting and Stitching Show at Harrogate took place over the last weekend and Isabel and I chose to go on Sunday. Saturday had been an okay day but the weather forecast for Sunday was very worrying, however despite a bit of a snowy flurry before we left it was a lovely, if chilly day. The show was brilliant! We always really enjoy our day out. There is so much to see - not just trade stands but inspirational textile artists and students, fashion shows and workshops. Neither of us bought much but we were full of ideas. We went to the '50 minute fascinator' workshop but I'm not sure I shall be making one for the wedding - what if it collapsed during the service???
I have finished Rosemary's jumper and remembered to photograph it. I now have to work out, in the absence of the Internet on our home computer, how to get it on here.

Monday, November 17, 2008


The new round of SP is set to run and for the first time in my membership I have been paired in both directions with people in the US. Looking forward to making and receiving parcels again. I have been keeping a low swapping profile as the postage was getting so dear but I miss the postal excitement.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Special Saturday

What a lovely day I had last Saturday! First it was the Rowan coffee morning at John Lewis in Nottingham which has happily fallen on my Saturday off the last several times - it can't last. It's a really enjoyable couple of hours of peaceful knitting and Danish pastries. I had lunch in the coffee shop then crossed town to the Bead Shop where I met Rosemary and Isabel for a workshop in Chain Mail jewelry. What a challenge that was! I haven't done any kind of jewelry making for many years and then it wasn't much so to learn this completely new technique was a really big thing especially as I had just watched someone trying to teach a left hander how to crochet and felt really frustrated. My compliments to the patience of the tutor for the fact that I came away with a wearable bracelet and an urge to do more.

Secret Pal 13 Questions

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I prefer any natural fibres, particularly alpaca. I really don't like novelty yarns at all.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
a) a knitting bag bought by my daughter many years ago b) a woven raffia bag presented to my other daughter's fiance when he completed his gap year teaching English on an Island in the Pacific. c) a vessel I made in a felt making workshop but mostly they just stick out of a basket I have where I knit. I guess I have quite a stash!

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I am old enough to have learned at school very many years ago. The avatar on my blog is a genuine photo of me around that time. I think I am pretty advanced but still have things to learn
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I have an Amazon one which I will add later

5. What's your favorite scent?
Single flowers, particularly Rose

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Oh dear yes. Dark chocolate, real Turkish delight, coffee, nuttiness

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I do wet felting and have just done a class in chain-mail jewelry. I am a closet scrapbooker but we don't talk about that.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I'm not terribly musical. I like some Jazz, Leonard Cohen, odd things really.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
My colour choice at the moment seems to tend towards greens. I love teal too. I think the only colours I don't care for are powdery pastels and fluorescent.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live with my husband and Lily-the-dog. We have 2 grown up daughters and 1 granddaughter age 5.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Scarves yes, hats seldom, mittens (fingerless) often, ponchos .....not even the first time around!

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I am really enjoying shawls at the moment, fingerless mittens and anything my daughters ask for. Cardis for me when I get the chance.

13. What are you knitting right now?
I am about to embark on a shawl for my daughter's wedding knitted in laceweight bamboo which is rather like sewing thread!

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Very much

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Depends on the knit, but always as short as possible. Dpn's for socks. I don't understand the circulars gig, addi lace circular for shawls.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Unfortunately no but I have very convenient knees which just hold a skein

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
See my avatar....I never did complete the second mitten! Actually I have some beautiful alpaca/silk which doesn't seem to know what it's vocation is and has been frogged several times.

18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe?
We celebrate Christmas.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Do yarn and needles count? Vintage knitting things. Pottery baskets.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I subscribe to Interweave Knits, Knitting, Simply Knitting, Yarn Forward.....far too many!

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'd like to get more confident with fairisle.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes I like to knit socks. I am an English 4, continental 37

23. When is your birthday?
May 2nd

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
I am although I don't take full advantage. My ID is Mazzam

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Didn't we have a loverly time.

Last weekend we had the best time although there was very little yarn involved (yes I took a WIP but that is understood) We went to Buxton for the weekend to celebrate a friend's special birthday. She knew nothing about it and was lured by a ride on a motorbike. She was brought into the pub where 12 of us were waiting. She went to the bar, took her drink outside for a ciggarette, came back to the bar, went to the Ladies, all while we were sitting expectantly. Eventually she noticed us! She was a bit put out at first but we swept her off to the hotel on the pretext of visiting the spot where her mother's waters broke, (forgot to mention that Buxton was chosen as the venue as it was the Birthday girl's place of birth. Someone had mocked up a blue plaque which was outside the hotel. Once she knew what was planned she relaxed and enjoyed the treat. The sewing machine we had clubbed together to buy was a real bonus. It's a pity I still can't add photos. Maybe later.

Didn't we have a loverly time.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Half term

Hooray it's Half Term hereabouts and just like old times. I have had 2 days of Millie this week. Whenever I ask her where she would like to go the answer is a) Ikea b) Attenborough so we went with plan b on Monday and took a trip to our old haunt at the Nature reserve. We had a walk around the Willow garden, fed ourselves and then the ducks, hence to MacDonalds as she now recognises the Golden Arches so I can no longer avoid it. Then TKMaxx where she talked me out of a dressing up outfit which involved a long visit to the changing rooms with arms-full of Ariel, Sleeping Beauty and the one out of Enchanted. We finished up in the Christmas department of Bardill's garden centre where she suddenly remembered there was a coffee shop, so more snacks!
Wednesday we went off to Conkers where it was freeeezing. Well I was, Millie was in a tshirt most of the day but even she decided to put on a cardigan eventually!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Role Call of knits

It seems that whenever I knit for someone else I forget to take a picture before handing it over. Lately this includes a shawl knitted in Cherry Tree Hill to one of their patterns. I'm sorry I forgot to photograph that as it was knitted in the Shetland way and I didn't really enjoy it so am not likely to repeat the exercise. I prefer the kind that start with a little twiddle of 5 or 6 stitches and somehow grow and grow until something falls from your needles in the shape of a lovely big triangle with a fancy edge.
I knitted 3 pairs of mitts for Millie. Fingerless ones for 5 year olds take next to no time and look great knitted from left over self patterning sock wool, so great that I have orders from several grown-up ladies for similar.
At the Knitting and Sewing show at the NEC Isabel ordered a cardigan from the Kasbah Collection book. We found a bargain bag of Summer Tweed in just the right shade so that is done and delivered and worn. It is Dawn if you would care to scroll down and take a look. I have also finished a pair of socks for Rosemary who has ordered a plain sweater in Kidsilk Haze. I will be able to photograph my latest completed work which is a jumper from Debbie Bliss' Coastlines, reinterpreted as a cardigan. It is knitted in some Wool Cotton I am so proud of myself for economically frogging an old knit which I skeined and soaked and reused! It is the Yoke Detail Sweater and I am really pleased with it. Maybe I'll show you sometime..

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Separation anxiety

The thing is, Mr M is in dispute with the internet/phone provider. (They think he should take an 18 months contract - he doesn't) So we dont't have access at home. I am in the library just now doing a quck and random trawl. It's really frustrating and as he doesn't use it it's likely to take time and reminding. Hey-ho.
Millie has started school now and suddenly things have chenged profoundly. No more afternoon jaunts to the 'featre'. No more Tot's time. Roll on half term!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Adventures with Millie

I think it's some time since I recorded where I have been with Millie. Of course we went to Wollaton Park to see the famous foto on display. Disappointingly it was merely pinned to a board and not mounted and framed. There were comments from the judge though which went along the lines of 'the waving grasses and yellow flowers give the impression of a chill windy day enhanced by the bleached out sky' and something about the tiny crows I hadn't noticed. It made me smile. Millie is rising 5 and just saw the pretty coloured flowers.

We have been to Manor Farm Animal Centre which we heartily recommend. It's quite cheap to get in, the animals are good and there is lots and lots of indoor and outdoor play.

Health and safety donkey rides involve a crash helmet and two attendants per donkey.

We made our now annual expedition to Moorgreen Show this time in the company of Auntie Isabel who enjoyed helping with some weaving sticks in the craft tent.

Another place we have enjoyed was Conkers This was another reasonably priced venue but as I had some Tesco vouchers it was practically free. Millie had a fabulous time here. We were there practically the whole of the opening time and she is asking to go again.

We had a day out on Tuesday this week. First a visit for me to the dentist then an excursion to Attenborough. No Tot's Time of course, we were free-range but we had a lovely time in the willow garden making Teddy bear food like we did on the last one.
Now she has gone of to school and although I'll be picking her up at the end of the day on Wednesdays our trips are curtailed until half term. Looks like homework for her and housework for me! Booooo

Meanwhile, on the needles I have two shawls, a shetland style one in Cherry Tree farm and an Icarus in some purple laceweight from Cinders ,socks in some Opal self patterning yarn, one of the Hundertwasser ones, which I keep changing my mind about whether I like the colours and some in Noro Kureyon which I have a touch of second sock syndrome about.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

SP Questions catch up

I have just visited by Secret Pal's blog and realised I am way behind on the SP questions. She gives such great answers I am a little disappointed that I don't do better.
What is the best thing you've ever received in the mail/post?

Well I have received lots of thrilling swap parcels. I love to get things from these Secret Pal swaps as everyone is a knitting enthusiast and likely to chose good things. I became a bit obsessed with swap bot and got some lovely packages but also some not so useful and some not at all. I have now gone through that phase thank goodness, it was getting rather expensive.
What is your proudest knitting moment??
Again I am struggling to answer. Maybe the first shawl I knitted which was Flower basket, or the first time I turned a heel. I am currently knitting a Shetland style shawl and got completely stuck on 4 rows on the triangle part. I don't know how many times I had to frog them so I have decided my recent proudest moment was when I finally got past that that point.
What is that one project that you’ve never been able to complete?
This is easier. There are two yarns I love but am struggling to work into a garment; some Debbie Bliss pure silk in a lovely coral and some Alpaca & silk in teal. I guess I just don't do soft and drapey.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Millie is a winner!

Millie entered the Children's photography competition at Wollaton Park a couple of weeks ago and has won 1st prize in her age group (under 6). Actually she would have prefered the third prize which was a £5.00 gift token but never mind.
She chose the subject herself and took the picture on my camera. The photographs will be exhibited in the Great Hall until September 1st.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Next Question

Have you ever entered your knitting (or anything else) in the fair? Would you ever consider it?

I never have entered a craft item in a fair but given the chance I think I would. I read on the Angel Yarns Forum that a member who had entered what we all considered beautiful items was unplaced and the competition was won by very traditional knits. I don't think this would deter me and I would give it a go if I had anything suitable.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Back to the Park

Now we have discovered Shipley Park we just can't keep away. We went down on Wednesday - Little Grandad, Grandma, Millie and Lily-the-Dog.
Lily looked hot;

and Millie looked cute;

despite having a little tumble which grazed her knee.
The coffee shop was out of scones but we had a great time.

There has been some knitting. I have actually done half a pair of Jaywalkers at last ( don't worry -there is no second sock syndrome- I have already started number 2) The yarn was in my very generous Birthday Swap parcel from Ggirl on Ravelry.It is from Yarnpirate and is not only fabulous colours but lovely to knit with.

I have also finished a very green jumper in Rowan Wool Cotton. Another yarn which knits really well.The edging is from one of the Nicky Epstein books, borrowed from the library and the basic shape is my old friend Martha from Studio 2

How green is that? Move over Kermit!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

SP Questions

Oh dear, I am all behind again!
Here are the questions for last week
What is(are) your favorite place(s) to knit?
I knit in several places where I am happy. Mainly, I suppose, at home on a 2 seater settee, the end I use depends on which end Lily-the-dog chooses unless she opts to lie along the back then I have free pick. I also knit in the staff room at work, on the bus to work on the odd occasions I travel by bus, at the bi-monthly coffee morning at John Lewis Nottingham and anywhere else that seems appropriate.

What supplies (besides yarn & needles) make the setting perfect for knitting?
As well as a nice detective on the T.V. and a cushion for my back I like to have a bag of sundry accessories to hand - stitch-markers, tape measures, row counters, scissors, a tiny hook for dropped stitches and other nick nackery. I have a book called 'The Old Time Tools and Toys of Needlework' and this is how I love to think of my accoutrements.

What is your favorite supper for a hot summer evening?

A salmon fillet with herb butter, tiny new potatoes and salad followed by some lovely icecream with fresh raspberries.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The bottom of the road

The bottom of our road literally runs into Shipley Country Park.Now, with all this beauty on our doorstep wouldn't you suppose we would be constant visitors there? Yes! So why do we never go? I had been thinking this morning of somewhere to go for a trip out and maybe take Lily-the-Dog for a nice walk and I suddenly remembered it, so, saving goodness knows how much petrol, that is where we went. We took a turn around the easy walk which suited James with his wobbliness. Lily-the-dog had a lovely time forging ahead but checking back frequently to see we were still following. We finished off sitting in the sun outside the visitors centre with coffees and a home made cake between us. Apparently the scones sell out as soon as they come out of the oven which, to me anyway, begs the question why don't they make more????

Thursday, July 17, 2008

SP question of the week

This week I am ahead of the game with the question of the fact I am answering it in the actual week it is set!
Questions #6
What is your favorite type of project to take along on holiday/vacation?

The obvious answer for their portability is socks of course but I also love to take a nice lacy shawl.

Tell us about a time that you packed too much knitting or were stranded without knitting.
Well I have already told this story. See the post for Sunday June 29th.

Today I have been on strike along with thousands of other Unison members. We were on strike yesterday too but as I am usually off on Wednesdays Millie-minding, I didn't notice any difference. I took advantage of the day by having my eyes tested this morning. My prescription has hardly changed in the 3 years since I last went but glasses have so I ordered new ones. On the way I discovered, in an Ilkeston side street, a previously unknown LYS! For some reason (probably the cost of new specs) I didn't go in although I admit I was attracted by the King Cole sock yarn in the window. Now I have been reading how cheap and soft it is on a forum so maybe when I go to collect my glasses.....

This is a cardigan I have just finished in some Rowan Damask Bought at half price in John Lewis's sale. Did I mention I have hundreds of buttons, few of which are even pairs? Well I used some here. At least if I am bored it is something to look at.
Also today I have indulged in my slightly secret (people tend to smirk) pastime of scrap booking (no don't laugh- I can't help having a penchant for pretty papers and sticky bits) I have 'done' all the photos for our Welsh holiday and when I have the photos printed for the Yorkshire trip I shall defiantly do them too. So what if no one ever sees them.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Secret Suprise

This lovely package arrived from my Secret Pal. The sock yarn is a beautiful variegated blue called most appropriately 'Summer Skies'. I am itching to cast on the accompanying pattern which is a pretty leafy pattern. Also included is a really cute tape measure.

Reading the blog of my downstream Pal I realise there is yet another 'question of the week' How these weeks fly by!!

1) Where is your favorite place to go for vacation/holiday?
We always holiday in England - and that is fine by me. My favourite place is usually the one we have just been to - currently the North Yorkshire Moors and coast.I also love Northumberland, Somerset, Shropshire,
2) Where is one place you’d like to go?
I'd love to visit Skye or the Hebrides or Shetland or Aran. I was traveling behind a Dormobile today and thought that might not be a bad idea................

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Icarus flies again

This is Icarus #2.
I knitted one last year in a plain red and wore it all the time. It's a bit tatty and needs reblocking but now I have this new.

It is a hand painted merino I bought on ebay many moons ago. I really like the colours. I had to omit one of the repeats on the stocking stitch section because of yarn issues but it is big enough.

The Last Tot's Time Of All (for us that is)

This week was the last time we will be able to join in Tot's Time at Attenborough. Millie will be 5 in September so when the next session starts she will be a school child.How on earth did that happen? Of course she is absolutely ready for school but I will miss our Wednesdays. Still there will always be the school holidays!
We finished on a lovely one anyway. It was a Teddy Bears Picnic so we were accompanied by Pooh and Baby Kanga. Here is Millie gathering leaves to make bear food.

Note the head wear. The leader said it was so they could hide in the bushes and be difficult to find. Millie said 'It's camouflage'

Sadly it's farewell to 'Other Millie' too although we hope to get together at the library for some of the holiday activities.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

SP Questions of the week?????????

I am all behind with these questions of the week so this is a catch-up.
Week 2
As a kid, what did you look forward to most about summer vacation/break/holiday?

Crikey this is going back a bit. I really can't remember. I know they seemed endless and I remember groups of us going off over the fields in a free-range way that wouldn't happen today. I have small black and white snapshots reminding me of the holidays and day-trips we used to go on. Often we would set off early in the morning for a 2-3 hour drive to the sea side. This was when petrol was £1.00 for 4 gallons.

Week 3
What would you consider the perfect amount of stash?

Probably slightly less than I have. There is yarn in there I am sure I'll never use - not because of lack of time but lack of will as it was bought for all the wrong reasons - mainly cheapness which has turned out to be false economy. I must get it sorted and ebay'ed and only have stuff I love - that would be the perfect stash.

Week 4

1) What yarn (that you don’t have/haven’t used) would make your stash “complete”?
I love the colours in Habu yarns and Sublime - I never seem to buy them. I'd like to try the new yarns made from milk which are again lovely subtle colours, Handmaiden sea silk and Koigu. I expect there are lots more that I can't think of.
2) What yarn do you never want to be without?
Alpaca, lace weight and sock yarn. You can always start a new pair of socks when you don't know what to knit next. If you have been having size / tension issues a new shawl will take away those problems and alpaca is just good for a cuddle, especially if it's mixed lightly with a little silk.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Back from a (almost) knit free holiday

Well I took along all those projects but all I knitted was a couple of rows on Icarus. This is the reason why.........

Before they left Isabel went into their local town where in the Oxfam shop was a notice asking for a kind person to sew up blanket squares!!
I use the term squares loosely - some had a corner missing and one had at least 5 sides none of which were straight. There were small ones and large ones. Some were beautifully neat but lots had ends toweave in. So that's how we spent our evenings and it didn't even get finished.
Aside from that we had a wonderful holiday. The cottage was huge. It could accomodate 10 and beatifully done out. The view from the front was stunning and baby rabbits. sheep and peacocks put in appearances at the back.
We visited Whitby and I went to Bobbins but only bought postcards befor we carried on to Robin Hood's Bay

We went to Filey where it was warm enough for a paddle

and into Bridlington where we had a ride on the eye.

Rosemary really wanted to go on the bungie/trampoline things but they turned out to be just for children so Millie went on instead.

The highlight of the trip was a day at 'Falingo Land' largly paid for with Tesco Day Out vouchers. This was the best fun. We all went on at least some of the rides, even my James. We got soaked on the Yellow Submarines and spun around on Circulator. We had a bird's eye view from the cable cars and jumped up and down with a large frog. There was a seaside adventure with Profesor Bubbles and I just loved the Rocking Tub even if it was a children's ride.

Then of course there were the animals

On Friday it looked like a seaside day again so we headed off to Scarborough and it was absolutely lovely.

I really really didn't want the week to end. I tried to soften the blow by breaking up the return journey with a visit to Helmsley, a morning coffee and scone in a farmshop/tearoom and a stop-off at the York designer outlet but it didn't really work. Not even finding there was a Scarecrow Festival in Stillington as we passed through.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Au Reservoir

We are off on our holidays tomorrow. Hurray!!!! Yorksire-land of sheep. There will be knitting. I hope to finish Icarus at least and maybe the Kureyon socks, or a baby hat for the Paul O' Grady appeal Millie will be coming up on Monday though and as I am taking her 'Making Things Box' I expect I will be doing plenty of cutting and sticking again. Auntie Isabel will be along this time though so she'll probably be commandeered.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Question of the week for SP12

Just found out about the question of the week and it is 'What is your favourite summer time drink?'
Well all year round it is coffee. I love a nice cappocino and those bottles of coffee flavoured milk drinks although they are a bit too calorific for me at the moment. I like ginger beer and I enjoy a green tea in the morning. I've never been a drinker of 'normal'tea but some of the herbal ones are nice. I also like elderflower drinks - presse or cordial.


As nothing seems to have been cast off the needles as opposed to pulled to pulled off the needles and thrown in a corner, I thought I would round up my UFO's and shame myself into getting something finished. Even now I am remembering there is another sock somewhere and I also, in a Freudian kind of way, forgot the silk thing. Anyway - here goes - worst first:

What on earth is that? You ask. That is Stylecraft Sirocco which has been on and off the needles several times as it doesn't seem to know what it wants to be and I don't much like knitting with it as it is rather rough.

I bought this sock yarn at Wonderwool.It is one of Opal's
range and the colours in the ball were intriguing. I love the concept of basing yarn on art but when knitted up this one is just yucky.

More socks and I am making some progress on these. It is Noro Kureyon sock yarn I was sent in a swap on the Angelyarns forum. It's not the softest but I understand it improves on washing - either that or the wearer will exfoliate as they walk!

This is the Alpaca I bought at Wonderwool. The pattern is the flared cardigan in Studio 8. It keeps getting left because it seems a bit wintry.

Here is Icarus in a hand painted merino laceweight I bought years ago from Ebay. This is slightly in disgrace because having almost reached the end I realised a) i was going to run out of wool no matter how fast I knitted and b) I had a big hole just after the start of the feathers where I had somehow dropped a stitch. Frog tink frog........corner. only temporary though.

last of the ones that attended the camera call is the current favourite. Green (very)Rowan Wool Cotton from John Lewis at the last Knitting Coffee morning. I am making it up as I go along (ish) The edging is from Nicky Epstein's knitting on the edge. watch this space to see if any of these dear old friends make it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


My Secret Pal for round 12 mentioned that she hadn't seen a picture on here of Lily-the-Dog so I thought I would remedy that.
Here she is sniffing out chocolate in a previous swap

And here she is looking rather suspicious

She isn't keen on the camera and is a bag of nerves at the best of times. Except on bonfire night when the fireworks can be as loud as you like and she takes no notice. However if someone walks past the house it is frenzied barking!
Her favourite position is on the back of the settee. I took her for her booster jab at the end of April and the vet suggested she needed to loose a little weight. Apparently she had been 20k when we first transferred to that practice. I weighed her on the way out and was shocked that the scales read 55.6. It wasn't until I took her back yesterday and she was 23.6 that I realised I had weighed her in lbs the last time.Duh! Still she has done really well to lose 2k in such a short time without really noticing. Although as she sheds enough hair to knit another dog most weeks it has probably all gone up the vacuum cleaner!

Thursday, June 5, 2008


The time came round again for Tot's time at Attenborough! The trouble with doing something regularly is that it seems to make time fly as it comes around again. This month we were looking at minibeasts which didn't appeal to Millie's friend Other-Millie and she kept running away screaming. Other-Millie's Mummy wasn't keen either but hid it better. We were having a good time and I even found a newt under a log. Then, halfway up a slope I found myself total stuck and off-balance, hanging backwards,just about horizontal and then toppling over backwards and rolling down the hill. Fortunately Other-Millie's Mummy was the only witness although questions were asked about the large patch of mud on my skirt. What nobody knew about was the large patch of mud on my leg! There must have been brambles too judging by the scratches on my arm. Of course I swore I was perfectly fine and at the time I was. I went a bit achy afterwards though.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Secret Pal Questionaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I prefer natural fibres, particularly alpaca. I'd really like to try some of the newer plant and milk based yarns, I just haven't got round to them yet. I don't at all like novelty yarns such as eyelash and boucle

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Some special ones are in a felt vase I made at a workshop. Dpn's and circulars are in a special basket given to my prospective son-in-law at the end of his gap year when he taught English somewhere in Indonesia. The rest are in an old knitting bag bought by my elder daughter with the collusion of my late mother about 22 or so years ago.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
Since I was about 6. My avatar is a genuine black and white snap of me around that age. I am pretty adept at most things but not so hot on colourwork.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

5. What's your favorite scent?
I like single flower smells, especially rose.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Oh yes. I love dark chocolate and ginger

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I don't spin but I enjoy wet felting and I love the idea and and the ingredients for paper crafts.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I don't really listen much to music. I prefer audio books.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I seem to be very fond of greens just now but I also like blues and teal. I think yellow is the only colour I avoid.
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am still married to my first husband. We have 2 grown-up daughters and one granddaughter. We also have Lily-the-dog living with us.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Scarves yes, mittens yes, hats not so much, ponchos...........not even the first time around.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Socks of course, cardigans, shawls,

13. What are you knitting right now?
Icarus shawl, alpaca cardi, socks, cup holders for 2 colleagues I saw juggling take-away coffees in the lift today.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Very much

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
It really depends on the project but I like my needles as short as possible.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Unfortunately not

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Probably about 3 years

18. What is your favorite holiday?

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Vintage knitting kit. Badges for my sock project bag.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I subscribe to Interweave Knits, Knitting, Simply Knitting, Let's Knit, Yarnover. I like magazines but I think it's time I cut down!!
I'd love to try milk yarn. I like any kind of knitting nick-nacks such as the tin of knitting- girl mints I was sent from America.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I want to improve my fair-isle

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes I knit socks. I am an English shoe size 4 continental 37
23. When is your birthday?
May 2nd

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
Yes. It's Mazzam

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The one I missed out.

When I listed my WIP's I forgot the one in the Debbie Bliss Pure Silk. I was delighted with the bargain in this yarn I found at Coldspring Mill last Spring. It is a beautiful coral colour and at 99p a skein a billy-bargain. Trouble is it doesn't seem to want to be anything. I don't know how many garments I have cast on for....I have bits of at least 4.... but either I decide I don't like the pattern after all or make silly errors and throw it down in disgust and instead of persevering I give up on it....because I had decided I didn't like that design anyway. Of course it has a whole lot more drape than I am used to. Now I have bought Debbie Bliss's book Coastlines, largely because I love this and have decided the latest incarnation is to be this. It should be in Cathay but the tension seems okay. Fingers crossed for getting to the end!!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Secret Pal

I accidentally discovered through Ravelry that the sign-ups are happening for SP12 and I signed up. This means making a resolution to post here at least once a week - oh dear! I hope I can do it.
I could report what I am knitting currently. I think I have 4 projects on the go which isn't like me. It is normally 1 sock and one other but I'm not very excited by anything I have on the needles at the moment so it's just dibbing in and out.
1) socks in the wool I bought at Wonderwool. So that is why it was cheap. It looks good in the ball but the colours are a bit yukky when knitted up. I have just received 4 fabulous skeins of sock yard from America in the Ravelry Birthday swap and I feel abandonment of this pair in favour of one of these approaching. I must take a picture of the generous package I received from Ggirl.It was really great.
2) Orange cardi for Millie. Although she chose the yarn and the pattern my grandmotherly instinct tells me she won't wear it................
3) A cardi for me from the cream alpaca I bought at Wonderwool. I think I need to revisit the pattern decision on this one.
4) Icarus in some hand painted lace weight I have been hoarding forever.
This last one is the most favoured but it just doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Oh well.
Mmmm if all my four posts per month are this moaney maybe I'll be excused. Tee Hee.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Flared Jacket

Here is Isabel's Flared Jacket from Rowan Studio 8.

It is knitted in an unidentified chunky wool which she bought a couple of years ago from Riverside spinners at one of the shows we have visited.

The buttons are vintage ones from the stash of haberdashery bequethed by my Mother.
It is ages since Isabel and I did a show together - Harrogate last November in fact. Hopefully when she's done with Uni we might have another chance. she is engaged maybe she will only be interested in wedding fairs.

The proposal took place here

Just 5 years after they met.

Vacation time

Our holiday in Wales is sadly over but we had a great time. The weather was beginning to improve and the last few days were lovely.
This was our bungalow
What the picture doesn't show is all the sheep at the back door!
On the first day I took off on my own to Wonderwool . Thank goodness for my new Satnav which took me all the way there and back with no complications. (She was company on the journey too) I had a lovely woolly day although I bought very little. Mainly a pack of light coloured alpaca from a company in Devon and some sock wool. The rest of the party had headed off to the Welsh Mountain Zoo and had a good day there. I had a call from Rosemary to say they couldn't find a shop to buy any tea so I was able to go to the attached food show and buy sausages and goats cheese.
Later in Llangollen we had lunch in a watermill beside the river

Then I took Millie to the Pontcysyllte Viaduct

(don't mention the coat)
Here we are - looking chilly on the beach at Colwyn Bay.

Then we had lots of fun in a forest park Coed Y Brenin north of Dolgellau

Friday happened to be my birthday and the excuse for me to take everyone off to Portmeirion for the day. It was fabulous. Much better with an entranced 4 year old who can't get enough of mermaids.

This was followed by a visit to the beach at Criccieth where the weather was much better

and we all enjoyed a paddle.

On the last morning, on the way home we went back to Llangollen for a trip on the horse drawn barges