Sunday, June 01, 2014

And we're off.....

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Today is the first day of the Outfit Along (squee) a challenge that I'm going to be a part of over the month of June.   This is a two part challenge in which I have to make a cardigan and then a dress.  I should be able to manage this even though I have lots of other projects on the go.

Now, one thing has changed since last week,  I have made an adjustment to the yarn; I was originally going to use Cascade 220 but decided to opt for Cascade 220 Superwash. Why? There isn't any difference in the texture of the two yarns, just, the colour choices appeared a better match for the material of my dress. I only sat in front of two different computer monitors for half and hour ummming! and ahhing! over what colour of green I should choose and then when push came to shove I hit another button colour instead and bought Candy Pink. It doesn't go with the big star flowers in the design, but it does match the little flowers perfectly. I don't know if you can see the other feature in the pattern, yes, it's  my favourite insect of all time, a ladybird. 
Also in my previous post I mentioned that this  material was destined for another dress pattern, which I think is now lost in the wreck of a room where I do my crafting.  If I remember correctly the pattern was a halter neck dress, to be honest,  I'm not really a fan of them (I have wide shoulders and biggish boobs, feels like I have a ready made table in front of me) so I don't know why I bought it.   The new pattern, well, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it suits my body image, it should look good  once I have lost a few pounds and stopped eating Jelly Tots (this weeks craving, lol) been dreaming about them all week and yesterday I decided to succumb and bought a bag, well a biggish bag.....ooppp's.

Anyway enjoy the rest of your day peeps,  I'm going back to potter in the garden, then I'll maybe watch some catch up T.V. and do more rows of my cardigan. 

Bye for now
Shirley xx

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Much Madness!

Very excited about the outfit along! I've been following Andi Satterlund for quite some time now and have test knitted quite a few designs for her. The challenge is to complete the outfit (cardigan and dress) within one month starting on the 1st of June. I very much doubt I will finish it in time, with travelling two hours a day and working eight hour shifts, but I will give it my best shot, it will be a good motivator. Unfortunately, I can’t get hold of the specified yarn so I was going to use my favourite and much tested; Cascade 220. I will be using the pattern specified and some fabric that I bought for another project that I didn't quite get round to.
When I do start I plan to knit the cardigan during the day; lunch break permitting and the dress at night, so long as I'm not too tired, then again maybe the weekend would be better.

Wish me luck, because I think I'm going to need it.  Oh! And I promise I will take photographs of the fabric and yarn before the challenge begins.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Jar!

A couple of months ago I was reading some blogs, and I found an idea I wanted to try. One particular blog had a post about a happy jar - a place where you can put all your happy memories so you will never forget them. Since I was a little girl I have always wanted to write journals, letters, take photos so my memories would never be lost, but alas I somehow start off with good intentions and then lose my way. That was until I read about the happy jar, and I knew I had to make one for myself! And here it is:

Mason Jar with a hand knitted eyelet cover and polka dot ribbon

Anytime I get good news or something memorable happens, I'm going to write it down and fold the paper and put it in my jar.  I want this jar to be fun, not an obligation;  which means I may have four things to write in a day or I may have none.  Both are equally fine with me, after all I don't want this to become a chore, I want to try and keep it going throughout the year. So here are some ideas to get me started:
- Something that made me smile
- A goal I have accomplished
- A healthy choice I made
- Who I spent time with
- A memory or good story
- A lucky break or something that felt “meant to be”
- Nice weather
- A second chance
I'm hoping by New Years Eve 2014 I will have quite a collection to read through and perhaps if I look back on 2014 and feel maybe things didn't  go so well, these happy statements will tell me otherwise.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Trying to Heal


The past couple of weeks has been very hard for Paul and I. We seem to cope okay when we are busy with work but as soon as we have some spare time such as days off, Chievo's passing hits us all over again, so we are trying to talk about our feelings and having a cry if we need to, just generally being there for each other. We are both still trying to find our new routines, as anyone who owns dogs will know they are a big part of the family and their needs come before yours at times. So when Paul is on shifts I'm busying myself with baking, sewing and housework; although I do hate the latter with a passion, but needs must.

On the crafting front I have been very busy, I had a clear out or rather a reorganisation of my craft area (I never throw anything away-I'm a hoarder) where I found some kits; cat and squirrel kit (to be precise) pictured, that I bought quite a long time ago. The cat embroidery was purchased from Nancy Nicholson's website. I originally started this piece on a whim, I needed something to occupy my heart, mind and hands, and this kit brought the peace I needed; the more I progressed with it, the harder it became to put it down. Now, originally I had no intention of giving this piece away, I wanted to be selfish and keep it for myself but then I thought my mum would appreciate this piece more than me, so, I gifted it to her for Mother's Day. The other piece with the squirrel, is crewel embroidery work (I nicknamed it cruel embroidery because it made my hands ache so much) it's staying with me, but it's still waiting for a frame as I'm not sure what colour the surround should be, sigh!

Finally, I celebrated my birthday right in the middle of Easter, it was a very mixed day one minute I was excited (I love my birthday and feel like a little kid) and on the other it was tinged with sadness as I wanted the one person with me that I couldn't have; my dog. However, Paul made sure that he was included by signing my card and gift labels from Paul and Chievs which made me smile. The icing on the cake though was the t-shirt with a picture of a dog on it. It took me a bit of courage to ask Paul if it was Chievs, and to my delight it was my little boy on the front wearing 3d glasses. To top it off the t-shirt had Ridgeback written on the back in orange letters; cause you see I always called Chievs my 'little orange.'

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

We'll Meet Again One Day Pupnick!


Quite a lot of crafting has been taking place over the past couple of months. I find that when I am stressed I either turn to my knitting or sewing as a kind of comfort. Why am I stressed? Last November my little boy Dogman needed an emergency appointment at the vets, let's just say he wasn't quite himself and I knew there was something wrong. Our fears proved to be correct when on the same day we were told that Chievs (Dogman) had testicular cancer and that it would have to be removed the following morning. The very same day we brought him home and we nursed him back to full health.

Then in December my other half Paul was involved in a car accident which saw his car totalled when a set of workmen's ladders came flying off their van at 60mph and straight through his car.  If the wind had not pulled the ladders down the police reckon Paul wouldn't be here today. Thankfully Paul didn't suffer any physical damage, just cognitive in the form of reliving the experience and being later diagnosed as suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

Christmas arrived and we celebrated it fully and were thankful that we had made it through all the horribleness practically unscathed. Chievs (Dogman) seemed to return to full health only to experience a few minor health glitches in January and February; losing some fur, then being diagnosed with kidney disease. Tablets seemed to stabilise his condition for a while, but, then in March he seemed to be slowing down. He wasn't enjoying his walks, his eating became erratic, so we scheduled another vet appointment. More tablets were given for his condition and they seemed to work, we did notice that he was urinating more and he was having more toilet accidents in the house; we thought it was the tablets. Then one day as we were grooming him we found a solid area in his stomach, near his right hind leg. Again another appointment was scheduled with the vet and this time we were given two possible scenarios, it could be he has an infection or it could be lymphoma. Blood tests and an x-ray were scheduled and on the 27th of March 2014 I rushed home from work to meet with the vet. We were ushered into a room and told our little furry boy had lymphoma and it was spreading through his body rapidly, we were also told he was in a lot of pain and that it would be better for us to have him put to sleep. We were advised to take our little boy home for one night to care for, pamper and tell him we love him.

Paul stayed up with Chievs all night and in the morning we made him a special breakfast, we took him for his last family walk. Then at  8.45am on the 28th of March 2014, our boy died in our arms. We brought him home together and it only seemed right that we said goodbye together. Our little furry boy was so very much loved and wanted, that the pain we feel from losing him at times is unbearable. We loved you so much Chievs, that's why we couldn't bear to watch you suffer, we wanted you to run free and be happy.

                                                    Chievo Chalmers 21/09/2003-28/03/2014 

                                                 We'll meet you again one day Pupnick, I promise.

                                                      Love from your human mummy and daddy

                                                                                God Bless


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Test Knit-Hortencia

A few weeks ago I was sent an email from Andi Satterlund of Untangling Knots requesting my skills as a test knitter for a new cardigan pattern. Well who was I to refuse, I just love Andi's patterns so I jumped at the chance to help out. This pattern is called Hortencia  "(a)  sophisticated and simple...easy to knit seamless cardigan"  (Satterlund: 2013) My version is knit in Winter Berry Cascade 220. I still need to finish the left arm and  block the garment, but this is the cardi so far.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mitten Knitting Mission

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I have had a wonderful weekend, one of the best in a long time. Think it was because someone upset me on Friday with their incompetence and I took the decision to sort out the problem myself, and felt satisfied and more relaxed that I did so,  that's the perfectionist in me talking, oops!  So to allow me to get over my little upset I watched the Tim Burton Animation called 'Frankenweenie' (I'm a big fan of his animations with 'A Corpse Bride' being one of my favourites) whilst knitting some mittens. Mittens that had been sitting in my queue forever; Suzi's Gloves, and today I decided to put my needles to work and knit them. I think I’m on a mitten knitting mission as I have just finished one mitten pattern Veyla, and now I've jumped straight onto another pattern. I've always liked this pattern but just never got round to making them, so when I came up with the perfect yarn; Rowan 4ply fine I knew it was about time I made them. However, I didn't read the pattern through before starting them and as soon as I cast on amount required I noticed the pattern was knit in the flat. I didn't like this one bit so I didn’t go with it,  I decided to knit them in the round only because I thought it would give a better finish and because I'm lazy, I really didn't fancy seaming them. I did, however, knit the thumb flat and then seamed it. I have found sometimes knitting thumbs in the round causes some gaping, between the thumb and index finger,  but knitting it flat and picking up the stitches at the base to continue in the round has somehow given the area a wonderful finish. I also decided to use pearl beads in the centre as I did not have any flower buttons to hand.