Thursday, 28 May 2009

Race for Life............................

Back on May 6th I took part in Race for Life as part of the Iknit London team and not only did we do the 5K we knitted all the way. Thanks go out to Vanessa (Alpacaddict on Ravelry) and to Gerard for all their hard work in getting it all together for the team.


Here are a few of the photos that sum up the event.









By the way you can still go to our just giving page and sponsor us - just go to the link at the top of the blog on the right hand corner.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Teacher's Appreciation Week Swap.............

So a while back one of the teachers of Ravelry had the great idea of having a Teacher's Appreciation week swap as a follow up to our first teachers swap that happened last summer.

I had never heard of a Teacher's appreciation week before but I certainly think it is something we should think about adopting over here.

So under the direction of Newandhorrible who was organsising the swap I quickly filled in my questionnaire and waited to be given a partner to send my swap onto. It was a circular swap so we weren't sending to the people that sent to us so it takes a little pressure off.

Teacher appreciation swap
Sent at 7:54 PM March 31, 2009

What is your Ravelry name?

What age group or subject do you teach?
I teach primary 7-11 , I teach across all primary subjects but I am in charge of ICT and I have been learning and teaching Spanish this year for the first time.

What are your favourite colors & color combinations?
Pinks, lilacs with aquas, chocolate

Do you collect anything?
Not really.

What is your favourite craft?
Knitting but I am also a newish spinner

Are there any knitting accessories you have been longing for? (stitch markers, tape measures..etc)
Just a selection of ideas for you to select a couple.
More blocking pins - difficult to get here in UK.
Knitpicks stuff as you can’t order here to the UK.
Knitpicks double ended crochet hooks
Knitpicks locking pins
Knitpicks flexible stitch markers
Knitpicks sockknitting needle holders.
Bent tip tapestry needles
Needle coil wraps
harmony buttons
Yarn ball earings
Cable knitting needles - from knitpicks
Maybe I should paste the link page

Sorry this sounds like a shopping list. These are more the things that have just caught my attention as interesting to me but I would be happy with anything. I love getting gifts.

What are your favourite flavours? (for edible treats)
Chocolate - milk not dark.

What are your favourite scents? (If you like candles, sachets, etc.)
Not into candles particularly

What are your favourite yarns?
Natural fibres, alpaca, silks, baby camel.
I love handmaiden yarns, I love interesting sock yarns, I prefer the semisolid types. I love eco friendly yarns.

Allergies to yarn, pets, or smoke?
I have pets but I don’t smoke and I am highly sensitive to the smell of cigarette smoke.

What are your favourite drinks?
Good old English Builders Tea.

Favorite thing to knit?
I knit a lot of socks. I am also starting, or hoping to start to venture out into lace. I am also learning to crochet.

Your chance to tell your swapee anything you would like her/him to know..
I am a newish spinner so interested in things to go with that too.
I have a blog -
I belong to a fibre club and a sock club at
I want to learn to crochet.
I would love back copies of interweave knits or spinoff magazine. I only started getting interweave autumn 2008.
I have a pattern published in Yarnforward magazine. I sometimes knit samples up for them.
I am going to Peru for my holiday in the summer.
I knit on DPNs and on circulars using magic loop.

Would you volunteer to be a swap Angel or contribute towards an angel package? (If someone doesn’t get a package from a swap-er)
I would be happy to be a swap angel again if anyone in Uk didn’t recieve package and make a contribution towards a package. Just thinking of it getting there really quickly if they have already had to wait.

Hope that is everything that you need for the moment.


As you can see I was very keen to recieve a few little goodies from Knitpicks but I was astounded by the generosity of my swap partner. Here is my package that arrived in the middle of May at the end of the appreciation week.


Absolutely everything had been covered and I am sure my partner had been stalking me around Ravelry to get more information.


I totally love these little Spanish post it notes which I will be able to use in the classroom and aren't these knitpicks harmony wood buttons just divine.


I am thinking of using them for a knitting needle pouch.

I was also lucky enough to receive this set of double ended crochet hooks and pack of getting started crochet cards.



There were also sock needle tubes, stitch marker, bent tapestry needles, needle coils and a copy of Spin off magazine. Life just doesn't get any better.
Teachers certainly know how to appreciate one another.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Malabrigo March ........................................

Yes I am writing about Malabrigo March in came and went and again no posts of my efforts. I ended up using one project to complete two tasks. Knitting with Malibrigo in March and also knitting along a pair of Shur'tagals as designed by the lovely Alice Yu. They originally appeared on The Inside Loop back last summer some time and I purchased the yarn I wanted to knit them with at the Iknit day it just took me quite a while to finally get casting on. The two knit alongs prompted me to get my act together and get knitting.



Here they are in the colourway Solis. These have already gone off the their new owner who received them as a 40th birthday present.



Saturday, 9 May 2009

Other bits of knitting.....................

I may have been a bit slack on the blogging but I certainly haven't been slack on the knitting of late. In addition to the sock club installments I have completed a couple of garments for Yarnforward magazine that are going to appear in Issues 14 and 16 as well as a few items for the lovely Andy at Laughing Hens.

I have also been knitting up quite a bit of stash, getting through some socks and also I have been involved in the Teachers Travelling Scarf. There has definately been a lot going on but somehow I have never quite got over here to put up the pictures and make a comment. I am hoping to make a better job of it and get back into the routine of blogging over the next few weeks before I go off on the big trip.

With half term coming up soon there will be time to catch up and get ready so please watch this space I really am going to fill it.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Om shanti, om shanti, om shanti, om.............


The perfect socks for the Yogicknitter, finished and completed a little while ago and just as I collected the next package.
This sock pattern is a perfect match for the yarn and they are just so comfy and squishy to wear.


I have loved the garter stitch toe and heels with no wraps to try and hide when doing the short rows.


I also love the funky little stitch pattern when I finally got a grip on how it moved around the needles from pattern repeat to pattern repeat. The toe cast on has to be one of my favourites so far and I am definately going to knit a second pair of these as I have another couple of skeins of this yarn in Flamingo Sunrise lurking around in the stash waiting for the perfect pattern.


Remember this yarn from the Socktopus launch party and the extra two skeins I had to buy to finish the toe of these socks.....


Yep that was all I needed to finish but because of matching dye batches etc I had some shifty dealing and exchanging to do. Now I have a plan for the remaining yarn.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

March Socktopus Sock Club 2009.......a late entry

So yes I am really late blogging about this latest package arrival, in fact the next one is due really soon! I decided to take the pictures with the new camera so took me longer to get around to downloading them.


The March installment was named 'Over the garden wall' and had a definate growth theme embedded in it. The pattern was designed jointley by Lou and Emms who are co-authors of the Loumms website, where they are on a mission to get as many of us as possible to grow, create, make, re-use and re-cycle as much of daily life as possible.



The wiggly growth on the side of the foot is an optional extra and is a bit of free form Icord. Ingenious!

The yarn was 'Sweet Feet' from Artist's Palette yarns and is a fantastically soft blend of Superwash merino and Bamboo, that has been hand painted in Worcestershire.



Amongst the little goodies that arrived with the package was a cute little owl fabric bag containing seeds to grow my own soup.

Now all I have to do is cast these on and find a pot for the mint and the peas!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Results of fibre club installment one...........

I seem to have been a little behind with things all year so far and fibre club wasn't an exception. Arriving back at the start of February I thought it was time I actually got it out of the packet and spun it rather than stroke it and put it back.

The first installment was some Polworth fibre which had come all the way from Australia and had been dyed in a lovely combination of browns with just a hint of pink.


I think the name Jackaroo is just perfect. I sat with my little fibre digestive and read through all the information on the fibre and then the tutorial from the talented Diane Mulholland. So I did as I was told and split up my fibre into four equal parts as evenly as I could, marking each of the ends with clips so that I knew which way I had spun my fibre from.



Apparently knowing which end I had spun from was important so that I could ply the gradients of the colour together. (I have to say this didn't happen in the end as I wasn't brave enough to do the breaking and the spit splicing.)


I got to use my new Niddy Noddy (which was ordered for my birthday and finally arrived at the start of March!)


I am sure hardened spinners will point out here that I have forgotten to put a coin in when I photograph the yarn. I don't get that bit!



Anyway it appears I have managed to spin up a thickish fourply which is going to make some gloves for Carl when he is standing out watching the rugby in the autumn term. I love the way the colours have blended together, even though I didn't quite manage the gradients suggested by Diane but I am really happy with the outcome of my yarn and can't wait for the arrival of the next parcel which I know will be very soon.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Published pattern designer...........well sort of.

I can't believe I haven't blogged about this before but this appears to be the case.
So two issues back of yarnforward, Issue 11 to be precise.


See this a bit closer..........


I have to say if I had been given a choice I would definately have called this licorice allsort but I guess there must have been trademark issues with that one.

Yes, that is the original scarf sitting right next to the magazine, the one in the picture. The one that is credited to me as my design. I have to be totally fair here I was only expecting a part mention for the design as it was the inspiration of Shannon Okey who said "Can you knit me up a lengthways scarf with this stitch, oh and use anything from your stash, oh and can you have it done and in the post by Monday".... and I did.

So first of all a bit of stash raiding was needed and I came up with this pile


There were quite a few oddments of collinette amongst the pile so I went ahead trying to identify some of the other yarns.......


.......I am afraid some of these remainded unidentified!



Deciding on the order of colours was great fun.


And finally the uber long finished scarf. I have only blogged now as I actually gave this away to a friend yesterday for her birthday and then remembered I had never posted anything about it. She admired it when I first knit it back in January and it only seemed fitting that as she loved it so much she had it.

Seeing the whole thing published in a magazine with my name there got me really excited and I am now plotting a few things for the future, so watch this space.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Surprise Baby..............

No I am not expecting but in the last month three friends did deliver a gorgeous number of babies, well three to be exact, one girl and two boys between them so I have been rather busy in baby garment department. Have taken a short break after organising the Baby Shower blanket for Robynn I also knitted another friend a cable blanket for her impending arrival.

After two blankets and greatly admiring the Baby surprise jacket that Robynn had knitted for Claudia I decided that it was time to have a go myself and see what all the fuss was about. I had a ball of Opal sock yarn sitting waiting to be knitted up so I cast on. I have to confess to needing some initial clarification from some seasoned surprise jacket experts and the very useful cheat sheet but finally I cast off and was left with this!


Ok so I already knew I was only going to be sewing up the top of the arms so I did have a bit of a head start when it came to folding it up into a jacket but I still found the whole process fascinating.


So here is the final garment folded into baby wear. Here the buttons have not yet been attached. I did manage to get some little white ones with blue teddies printed on them. I really want to have another go at one of these this time thinking about changing colours and putting edgings in. If you haven't had a go at one of these it is really worth it just to see how the whole thing works. However did EZ know that this would actually make a garment when it was finished.

Oh and a few quick pics of the cable blanket...............



...and blocked


Sunday, 22 March 2009

A day with Cookie A (or socks have SUCKAGE)....

I had been so excited about this since Alice first posted the classes on Ravelry just over a month ago. A whole day designing socks with the sock guru herself. This was going to be one of the best Mothers' Day presents ever! I certainly wasn't disapointed.

So there was new vocabulary to be learned......SUCKAGE apparently not a technical term the publishers of Cookie's new book would allow in. But suckage totally made sense to us knitters sat there with pens paused and holding on every word.


SUCAKAGE - the amount of stitches that are sucked in and therefore lost when including cables in your pattern. A 2x2 cable causes a two stitch suckage for each repeat.

We also got to fondle lots of socks including the original Monkeys! (Confession I was wearing mine under my boots!)


Can you spot the monkey?

We spent lots of time discussing selecting stitch patterns, your optimum number of stitches in a sock to fit yourself, ribbing and bringing it into the pattern and charting stitch patterns. After all that it was dive into the stitch pattern books and we were off.


Ok so there were also some breaks for lovely cakes. Ali did some lovely muffins in the morning and Arianne brought some fantastic Bittersweetie goodies for the afternoon.

Then it was hard at work.




And then it was time for the group photo to make special personalised bookplates


Of course Jen was here for the class so Wolly came too!


Thank you Alice for organising such an awesome day and to Cookie A for coming to join us. Good luck with the book launch, I am sure it will go brilliantly and when ever someone mentions SUCKAGE I will always think of you!