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September 14th, 2008

11:47 am - Another project finished
I'm finding the news so depressing that I've locked myself away for a while and done some serious knitting.

The result - an afgan planned for MWNN's birthday has ended up on the bed in my study.

waves afgan

MWNN doesn't like the colours. He wants something more cheerful. Cheerful yarn was ordered and is due for delivery on Monday. I'm going to have to knit like a mad knitting thing to get the next one finished in time.

I hope all my IJ friends are safe from the ravages of Hurricane Ike, and safely back home if affected by the Channel Tunnel or XL problems.

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April 3rd, 2008

01:13 pm - Ha!
Knitting isn't just for grandma.

But then you all knew that, didn't you?

Other news

  • My copy of Small Favour arrived this morning. Thanks to [info]spikereader for the headsup about the pre-order on Amazon being the US edition.
  • I have finished another wooly hat, this time in Meadow, for [info]spikereader and will be posting it off, together with a little something for [info]jennylyle's birthday, and [info]myfeetshowit - just because....

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March 31st, 2008

04:25 pm - I was tempted
on Sunday evening, and bought some more Posh Yarn.

cut for images )

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March 26th, 2008

02:11 pm - Third Time Lucky -Yay!
Finally cracked the gauge.

Knitted this one on 5.5mm with 52 stitches of Lion Brand Homespun, using a combination of two patterns from the Lion Brand site.

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March 17th, 2008

07:55 pm - Started a new project
as a trial run, using Louisa Harding's Impressions, as preparatopn for using some of the Posh Yarn that is safely locked away in my cupboard until I'm well enough to wind it safely.
Party Lacy Scarf )
We're still without a working oven, Chez Hesadevil, so at least one day of the Easter weekend will be spent eating out. Oh dear. What a shame. Never mind.

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March 12th, 2008

02:48 pm - warning picspam ahead. Scotland and knitting
was nice, in that I got to
  • do a little shopping,

    in Gretna )

    and Moffat )

    and Dumfries" )

  • a little fresh air and exercise along the
    Solway Firth )

  • helped MWNN track down the final resting place of
    some ancestors )

  • and to meet some 'live' distant cousins from the
    Elliot clan )

  • enjoyed a lot of rest and relaxation in a fabulous farm cottage where I finally finished the first tea cosy I’ve made in over 40 years.

    It'sa BIG tea cosy )

    It fits the big 6-mug teapot that always comes out at luchtimes Chez Hesadevil and is especially needed now that I've passed the cold from hell to MWNN. I am pleased with how this turned out and how easy it was to knit. I used a strand of each colour together throughout. I even remembered the burgundy colour perfectly when buying ribbon in Annan, having forgotten to take some yarn with me to the shop.

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February 21st, 2008

01:55 pm - Pretty, pretty things come in threes
Last night, I woke twice needing the loo. The first time was about 3am. I checked the sky and, despite the cloud, the beginning of the lunar eclipse was clearly visible. Over an hour later, I got up again and checked the sky. There was total cloud cover and I went to the loo thinking my first glimpse was the only one I'd get. On my way back to bed, the clouds parted revealing the final phase of the eclipse. Pretty, hazy moon but no stars.

This morning I went over to a pretty village called Walkern for a Knit and Chat at Jolie's. I spent way too much on new yarn, including cut for images )

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February 18th, 2008

11:50 am - Just for me - tea in the conservatory all snuggly and warm
My headcold has given me a migraine, so I decided to keep the shawl I just finished. It's so cuddly and comforting and I loves it.
cut for large image )

In other news, I have been asked to look after next door's puppy while the neighbour's husband is in hospital having tests. All that is required is that I give Bobby his lunch and let him into the garden afterwards. I may have to do this for about a week or so as the hospital tests are to be followed by an operation.


There will be picspam!

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February 14th, 2008

01:05 pm - Today
is Valentine's Day when, contrary to the media hype and sentimentality, it's all about showing love for others.

I'm knitting a series of comfort shawls for family and have just finished my third. This one is for the younger Irish sis-in-law.

The views from the front and back of a triangular shawl knitted in Elle Monet, shade Van Gogh.

Click through pictures for larger image (opens in new window)

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February 9th, 2008

01:13 pm - Aaargh!
Yesterday evening, I finished knitting a new project using circular needles, which I have never used before. It's virtually impossible to see how a pattern is progressing because all the knitting is scrunched into a sleeve shape until it's cast off the needles.

It was a miserable, mis-shapen, mess. I don't understand it. I followed the pattern faithfully, unpicked rows and rows when my knitting while chatting, like my driving, went onto autopilot and I forgot to perl. (NB No it wasn't your fault, Gill, the pattern didn't work after the first 5 inches.)

There's only one thing for it - I'm ripping it all out and starting again on an easier pattern on straight needles. But I need a pair of size 9s and the largest I have is an 8. I also need a crochet hook to attach the fringing.


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February 2nd, 2008

03:44 pm - Another fine lunch
After the dog walk yesterday, we had lunch at The Zeus Restaurant. It's years since I've eaten there and things have changed a lot. There's more dining room and the place is light and airy compared to the dark, pokey dive of 10 years ago. The one thing that hasn't changed is the excellent food.

The reason for choosing the Zeus was because it's in the same town as the 'Wool-n-Things' shop. MWNN is so pleased with his shawl, he's commissioned two more pieces

  • a throw for his computer chair with a pocket for a back support cushion.
  • a cotton yamulke, or a short beanie to cover his bald spot.

'Wool-n-Things' didn't have any yarn that he liked for the throw but they did have some neutral cotton for the hat.

Finally, today is [info]mary5958's birthday.

For [info]bendy1 - just because.

And for [info]gillo - , it really does help.

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January 31st, 2008

04:12 pm - As promised
- a picture of the finished shawl for MWNN. He specified no fringe so it's longer than the pattern's 60 inches by about a foot.

Huge thanks to [info]petzipellepingo and [info]kathyh for help with sourcing more Homespun yarn. There's a shipment on its way from e-bay in the US that's working out slightly cheaper than my UK supplier and they have more colours.

Tonight is my first night at the local knitting group KTOG where I shall take my problem of piecing my blankie together and start knitting a tea cosy.

In other news, I enjoyed Torchwood last night. Three episodes in and I'm still watching is a great improvement over last season.

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January 30th, 2008

08:18 pm - Another lunch date
This time with the women's group at The Place.

I mentioned that I was going to reccie the knitting group in the next town and was informed that a knitting supplies shop - Wool-n-Things had opened at the same time the group had been formed. On the way back from the knitting group's meeting place, I dropped in to the shop and bought some extremely cheap (and quite loverly) yarn for the next project I'm knitting while watching tonight's episode of Torchwood and the first episode of Ashes to Ashes.

For knitters on my Flist in the US or Canada - a plea. Would anyone be willing to look into the possibility of getting me some Lion Brand Homespun (shade - Meadow - tweed) yarn? The UK supplier I used for MWNN's yarn has run out of Meadow and won't be ordering until March. I tried to order myself some from Lion Brand's website, but they don't seem to deliver outside America. I could send however much it would cost to post 4 skeins to me through paypal.

MWNN's shawl is finished - photos to follow.

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January 27th, 2008

06:19 pm - Today was another bright day
and I have knitted the first 20 inches of the shawl I'm doing for MWNN.

I'm really pleased at the way it is progressing because I have used exactly one skein of yarn. The pattern calls for 3 skeins and the finished length is 60 inches. Bang on target. I do love the chunky yarn (95% acrylic, 5%polyester). It is exactly as described with a silky soft feel. It's very chunky, knits up fast and is quite heavy compared to the double knit I'm using on the throw.

Dinner tonight is goose with roast spuds. I've never cooked goose before so am making a start with just a breast that says it needs just 50 - 60 mins. We shall see.

For those of you who enjoyed and/or tried my chicken recipe, here is one of my favourites for this time of year. Warning It requires at least 2 hours preparation time because there is marinading involved. The recipe itself requires fairly frequent intervention so this is not one for fledgling cooks. It's well worth the effort though and should freeze well if you leave out the lemon juice before freezing.

As far as I know, this is an old South African dish that made its way to the US. It came to me via an old school friend who lived for many years in France.

Winter Pork and Fruit Ragout )

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January 26th, 2008

07:39 pm - Surprise lunch date
The Icknield Way runs very close to the border between Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. While walking the dog, this morning, that I remembered the last craft shop in the area that might supply me with different sizes of knitting needles and a row counter is in the village across the county border.

We arrived at the shop at 12.30. Being a locally run small independent trader, it was closed for lunch until 2pm, so we pointed the car at the nearest hostelry offering food. . Click through the picture for the fascinating history of the pub being run by the descendant of Robert Smith, who sold it to the local brewery in 1804.

The Chequers provided a huge lunch of steak and ale pudding for me and scampi and chips for MWNN. As we waited for the food, I read the history of the building from the beam above the double doors leading from the original bar into the 1930s 'adjacent building' that is now the restaurant. By the time I'd finished, our plates had arrived.

Neither of us could finish the large portion of chips served with the main course and, though I'd eyed the pudding menu eagerly, there was no room for either the apple pie or fruit crumble that was so tempting before lunch began. MWNN washed his meal down with a pint of Old Speckled Hen and I had grapefruit and tonic. We both needed a nap afterwards but there was shopping to be done; knitting supplies from the craft shop run by a Granny Weatherwax look-alike and milk, fruit and eggs from the Co-Op.

What should have been an hour's dog walk became a quite wonderful 3-hour outing and the 'nap' was much much longer than the usual 30 minutes.

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January 24th, 2008

04:05 pm - Let your Google do the walking.
or why I love the Interweb

I found a lovely easy pattern for a shawl in a wonderful yarn that I was sure I'd not be able to source in the UK. So I googled for knitting supplies and found a Knit Together Group in the nearby town of Baldock. They meet every couple of weeks in the Community centre. Their webpage has a link to the UK supplier of the yarn I need. What's more, they're in the same county and are already shipping 4 skeins of Homespun
Barrington to me. No way would I have found it in any of the local shops (most of which no longer sell knitting yarn) or through the Yellow Pages.

Now to find the time to finish the throw I'm knitting and start the shawl.

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January 13th, 2008

11:15 am
One Word Digital Radio has ceased broadcasting. It was the only channel that scheduled only spoken word programmes.

I think I'll start some knitting while listening to At Home With Hinge and Bracket on BBC 7.

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