Saturday, November 18, 2006

And Now For Something Completely Different..

What a beautiful, sunny day it is - just the sort of day to take a photo (though the trees around our garden are so tall they don't allow much sunshine in the winter months, with the sun so low in the sky). The OH has taken Charlie Townes to see the trains whooshing through Tring station at Charlie's request, and I'm playing my new Amy Winehouse CD, which sounds as though it came straight out of the sixties. Anyway, this is what I'm working on at the moment (apart from the Raspberry Forecast):

I got the fabric from ebay for £3.77. There are 4 metres of it, though it's only 80cm wide. It's a textured, stretch jersey. Heaven knows what it's made of, but it's got a lovely sparkle to it, which satisfies my little inner magpie (the Audrey Hepburn part isn't too happy about it, though). I thought I'd sew it into a tube skirt just straight up and down the sides (but leave the raw edges on the outside down the back seam, as you can see in the photo - I like the frills), but it seems it's not that simple. Well, it is simple, but will take a little more work than I anticipated: I've had to put four quite deep darts in, around the waist. It's still not enough to make it snug enough around the waist and hip area so I'll have to adjust the darts again. I don't think having a pattern would really help, as it wouldn't account for how much stretch this fabric has. Speaking of stretch, I've sewn the hem by hand and may have to sew the whole thing that way. I'll try a sample on the machine, but I'm not sure it will come out with the right amount of ease in the stitching. I know practically nothing about the ins and outs of sewing, so much of it is trial and error for me.

In case you're worried about me looking a complete floozy in this tight and shiny skirt, don't worry - I'll be dressing it down!

Sew Direct they are selling all their McCall patterns at £3.25 for a limited time, so I've ordered the dress-fitting shell, which should be...interesting. As with my knitting, when sewing, I just choose a size to make and then find it doesn't fit here...or here...or here! Maybe this will help. I just need to buy some woven gingham to work it out and make it up. Then I want to make a nice high-necked Chinese sort of affair with this fabric. Something plain and simple.

If you fancy listening to a beautiful piece of music this morning, try
this. I know Gordon Lightfoot is not very well known to many people in the UK, but this music is beautiful. I love him. Kathleen reminded me of how much I like him, with her link.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Another One Bites the Dust

Thank you all for your kind words, not that we were at death's door or anything, but it was pretty nasty. Charles got the worst of it, but he's back on top form now.

Knitting - It was with much relief, and with no sense of defeat whatsoever, that I frogged Funnel Neck right back to thin air. In fact, it felt good. There are times when we have to face the truth. In this case, not only was it too much of a pain to think about getting the stupid thing to fit me (I just could not be bothered), but I had known from the start that a jumper in 100% rib was not going to be to my liking, and I chose to ignore it. Funnel Neck is no more and never will be. There.

Being a creature of habit, I immediately cast-on for another Forecast (in the Debbie Bliss Tweed). This yarn is supposed to be the same weight as the Cascade 220, but when I knitted the neck in 5mm as before, it was HUGE. Instead of frogging, I kept it, and after making some quick calculations I went on to knit the yoke in 3.5mm, which came out small enough to fit a kitten, and was killing my fingers. Frogged back to the neck again and started on 4.5mm, which seems to be okay. I don't know why I have these problems, unless my tension varies wildly from wip to wip (which is quite possible). But the element of trial and error in my knitting is far huger than I suspect it is for most people. It can be very trying.

Anyway, I'm down to the ribbing on the body and I think it's okay. I just hope I don't hit the same problems as I did on the first one, where I didn't have enough yarn. I didn't mention it before, as I couldn't be bothered to do that much typing, but in the middle of the second sleeve I realised that I may not have enough yarn left for the button bands, so immediately put the sleeve on a holder and went on to the bands/edgings. After the edging I only had enough yarn left to do about another inch on the remaining sleeve, so had to undo the one I'd finished and frog a couple of inches, re-knit the cuff, and hope I'd have enough yarn from that to do the same on the other sleeve. I did - just. It was pretty hair-raising. This time I'll do the button bands first, then tackle the sleeves.

It remains to be seen whether the ribbing on the body will be okay on 4mm needles. We'll see - there could be more frogging ahead.

PS I'm knitting another Forecast because I really do like my original one with my jeans, enough to want another in a different colour.
I know I look a bit strange in this photo. I was trying to smile on self timer (see what I mean) and I had a cold, and my hair left a lot to be desired.

Friday, November 10, 2006


After all that moaning, I didn't know when we were lucky! Just getting over the cold from hell and Charlie got his first sickness bug (not bad, since he's got away with it for almost three years). That was Weds tea-time and then I got it at 5am Thursday. I'm ok now but Charles is still quite ill and honking up even water. So, I may not be around for a few days again. Hope you're all well! Got to go and heal the ailing.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Warning: Contains Ranting and Raving, With a Good Measure of Whingeing

Firstly, I have a cold and that makes me extremely grouchy. The OH, inconsiderately (I think) actually left the house to do some socialising a couple of weeks ago, and has been ill since around three or four days after. What with my being so healthy and fit, and hardly ever seeing anyone actually in the flesh and all that, I smugly thought I hadn't caught it. But now it's got me. And it's only November. Great. It's only a cold but it messes things up. I have been eating piles of home-made chocolate biscuits and other such delights, and doing no exercise. That's what I can't stand, no exercise. That's why I'm grouchy. Well, partly why. The other thing is.....

My Funnel Neck. It was all going very well indeed. Every time I tried it on it seemed great. Until it came to reserving the stitches for the sleeves. It seems the portion for the body (from neck to underarm) doesn't have enough increases, but the arm section does. Of course, what I should do is rip back a long way and start putting in more increases for the body portion. But how many more and can I be bothered? I can't tell you how much I detest knitting the same bit again. Not as much as I hate being ill, but I won't bend your ears about that again. Or you may never come back. I could wing it and just have a jumper stretched very tightly across the chest. Oh, I shall put it to one side and come back to it when I'm in a better mood.

The only knitting I have left now is the Edwardian Stole and Nick's socks (which go back to April). Good thing I'm not knitting him a huge cardi, then, like Poshyarns did for her DH. So, I have no knitting that I want to do and no yarn waiting in the sidelines (no, honestly) except for some Noro Blossom but I don't know what I'm going to do with that. I could do with making a pair of socks but I'm too skint to get the yarn. I could have spent the money I raised on eBay on some yarn instead of my haircut but then I'd be even grumpier. Thank heavens you don't have to live with me!

On the skint front, our Music Distribution company is really doing well. It's only been going for just short of a year, but already we are doing the distribution for over one-hundred record labels. But you know what it's like when you start up a business - at the beginning there's no money to spare. We're hoping we'll soon be at the point where the business is paying for our monthly outgoings in entirety, never mind having any extra to spend. It's not too bad. When we have a fire going in the burner, a little child to hug and make us laugh, home-made biscuits, a cheap (ish) bottle of wine etc. etc. I think all the other bits are really not what makes us happy. Though I would like extra money for yarn. Of course. But one day when I'm rolling in it, I'll be far too busy to knit (not really - it's either knit or eat biscuits).

And actually, it really is never far from my mind that a large proportion of the world's population really don't have any of the real comforts of home like we do. I mean the really bare basics. I'll never forget a photo I saw a while ago, of some Pakistani earthquake refugees trudging through the mountain snow with their children carried on their backs. But the children didn't even have shoes or blankets. No shoes. In the snow. I remember having a bad day and then, in the midst of my crying to a friend, saying "oh, how could I feel sorry for myself" and telling her about the photo I'd seen. And with the best of intentions, she replied, "well, Darling, you're walking barefoot through the wilderness of life". And I thought, "no, not really", although I appreciated the sentiment. And it brought me back to my senses.