Category Archives: Ramblings

Work in Progress Wednesday 11th June

Quite a few updates this Work in Progress Wednesday!

I finished my Tonight socks and got through to Round 6 of Sock Madness. I’m pretty happy with how they came out, although I do have to lengthen them a little in the foot to fit me properly, and make the toe more rounded as usual. They’re fully reversible which is pretty cool.

Tonight Socks 2 Tonight Socks 1

I was all prepared for Round 6. I had tv queued up to watch, yarn and needles at the ready. The pattern arrived on Sunday, Chill Thrill, and I liked the look of it. I then spent 12 hours straight just getting to the heel flap on the first sock. As pretty as the pattern is, I wasn’t enjoying knitting it and it had some errors that were putting me off. My wrists were already aching a little, so I decided to sleep, rather than stay up until they were done. Overnight, I realised that there was no point in me continuing. Not only did I have the above problems to content with, but it was another heel flap sock, and they just don’t fit me very well, plus I wasn’t that happy with my yarn choice. I decided that it would be best to drop out. Even if I got the single place on my team to get to the next round, I couldn’t guarantee being able to spend the time solidly knitting to even attempt to win the overall competition. Someone else on the team had also already finished their first sock, and would have much more of a chance in the next round too.

The sock so far was frogged, and I’m still pretty happy with my decision.

Chill Thrill

I found it difficult to decide what to knit next. I decided some summery socks were a good idea. I chose some bamboo yarn (Wendy Happy) that I previously tried to knit into a cardigan back when I first started knitting. Because of tendency to stretch and stay that way, bamboo yarn doesn’t generally work well for socks, yet is a wonderfully cool fabric perfect for summer. I thought if I knit them fairly tightly on my smallest needles (2.25mm) the lack of stretch could be overcome. I’m using the pattern Seasonal Socks and am going to use my favourite Fish Lips Kiss heel, so hopefully I’ll end up with a pair of socks I’m happy with.

Seasonal Socks

I’ve won two knitting related prizes recently. The first was a pattern from PolarBears (on Ravelry) which I won as I dyed my own yarn for Sock Madness Round 3. There wasn’t a great deal I’d knit from the selection, but I chose Playtime Colors because it looked like a fun knit and I’m sure I’ll find someone who wants to knit it. The second was a random prize from a group in Ravelry, where there is a monthly sock challenge. I happened to be one of seven lucky winners for May. I won two skeins of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock and I’ve never used it before so I’m looking forward to that.

Finally, some sad news. Beshley’s Wool Shop, which I wrote about a while ago, is closing. Apparently it’s because Beshley has an opportunity she can’t pass on, but it unfortunately means she won’t be able to run the shop anymore.

It’s just under two weeks until we move house and we’ve barely started packing, so I doubt I’ll have a huge amount of knitting time for the next few weeks. However it does mean that once we’ve moved, I finally have a bit more freedom to make the house and garden look nice so hopefully I’ll be able to post a lot more crafty projects other than knitting!

Work in Progress Wednesday 9th April

Surprisingly I don’t have anything to show. Since last Wednesday evening I’ve been dog-sitting (two very lively flat coated retrievers) with my boyfriend at his parents’. I’ve been knitting on my Serpentine Scarf, but apart from that haven’t been doing a great deal of knitting. It does however mean I am in walking distance of a rather nice craft shop.Rosie

I started trying to design my own sock pattern, but the yarn (this, that I bought at Unravel) is being very stubborn and no matter how I use it, is pooling in a way I really don’t like. It would work better in pretty much any other yarn, but I’m trying very hard not to use any of my sock yarn as I need it for Sock Madness!Easy Knits DW Toughie

Talking of Sock Madness, round 3 is taking ages to come out. Some people still haven’t finished with round 2, and a lot of people are getting a little impatient now.

Hopefully next week I’ll be able to show you round 3 progress and some other interesting things.

Happy New Year!

Sorry it’s been a bit quiet at Crafterways over Christmas and New Year. I hope everyone has had a lovely break.

Works in Progress

I’ve got a few things on the go that I plan on completing in the not too distant future.

The first is my Rough Weather socks from Think Outside the Sox. I thought they were suitable considering the weather we’ve been having lately! I finished the first one over Christmas and want to get the second done fairly soon. I’m using Regia sock yarn for a change. I’ve had it in my stash for a while and it’s the perfect colour for these socks.Rough Weather Sock

The second, my Thermal, hasn’t really grown much. I took it with me to knit over Christmas but didn’t take any spare yarn. This would have been fine had one ball not decided to be thinner than the other, so I had to stop and wait until I could swap it out for a real one. Not sure why that happened, but it was cheap yarn so that might explain it.

The third, and final for non-hibernating projects, is my Demalangeni Shawl. I’ve had this yarn for a while, and I finally found the perfect shawl for it. It’s Araucania Ranco which I love, and I’m hoping it turns out well. It looks it so far!Demalengeni Shawl

Christmas

For Christmas, I got a ball winder and swift. I’ve wanted these for a while. I immediately set about using them on my new Exmoor Sock Yarn as it’s the only thing I had.

When I got back to my stash, I then also wound some yarn that I had previously hand wound. I love the neat cakes the ball winder creates, and they’re so much easier to knit from than hand wound balls.Caked Wool

For Christmas I also received a little tripod, so hopefully that will improve the quality of my photos here considerably!

Coming Up

This year I am setting several crafty challenges for myself. The first is to knit a pair of socks every month. A group on Ravelry has set a theme (flora) and you have to find and knit patterns that in some way relate to a particular flower. It’ll be quite a challenge, but hopefully by the end of it I’ll (and various other people) will end up with some more lovely hand knit socks.

With some of my Christmas money I bought this book on dressmaking and this is where my second challenge comes in. For several years I have attempted to teach myself, with no help from books or anything, how to make clothes. I can make simple skirts, but that’s about it. So I decided it was about time I learned how to do it properly. Hopefully in the not too distant future you’ll see works in progress and finished objects not only from knitting, but also sewing!

My final challenge is to finish things! I’m really bad at finishing anything that isn’t socks or a shawl, so my challenge is to not start too many things. I need to at least finish my Zora cardigan, and not let myself start a new one until Thermal is complete. That is going to be quite difficult seeing as I found this for half price in the John Lewis sale.Wendy Roam

It’s Wendy Roam in a lovely blue colour. I’m going to use it doubled so whichever cardigan I choose to make from it doesn’t take forever.

Have you set yourself any crafty challenges for the year? I’d love to hear about them!

Food Friday – Cooking Fails

Everybody has cooking fails. In fact if you don’t have cooking fails, you aren’t trying hard enough.

Sometimes the fails work out for the best. Like the time I didn’t realise the type of lid had been changed on the Season-All. I expected a light sprinkle, and I got about a tablespoon full, straight into my cauliflower mix. Thankfully, that was actually about the right amount, and a light sprinkle would probably have been nowhere near enough.

Sometimes the cooking fail is really a fail. Like the time my friend thought she was using the ginger powder, and instead had cinnamon. That was a weirdly sweet meal, and not in a good way. And the cake she made that was so dry it soaked up a whole bowl of custard and was still dry. And like the time I tried cooking pasta in a creamy sauce, which split and was disgusting, and I still haven’t worked out why.

There are probably countless cooking fails I’ve made, so I won’t list them all. What are some of your amusing cooking fail stories?

 

Food Friday – The Hunt for a Lost Recipe

I’ve been quite silly this week. I’ve not taken any pictures of the things I’ve cooked. I’ve made carrot cake, cookies and a Chinese meal, yet haven’t got anything to show for it. So let that be a lesson to me and anyone else: take pictures of what you make, they come in handy when you have no idea what to blog about.

When I was in secondary school and still doing food technology, I remember making some sort of cheesecake/pie/dessert which involved a fair amount of lemon curd. I also remember it being called Pooh’s Pie, or Pooh’s pudding or something like that, so it must have been something to do with Winnie the Pooh, obviously. I remember making it for my grandparents, and they loved it, as did my family. The bit of paper it was written on was lost long ago, yet I really want to figure out what the recipe was, and I don’t remember it well enough to recreate it.

I’ve messaged some people who have the various Winnie the Pooh recipe books in case it came from one of them, but no luck so far. I’m hoping someone out there can tell me where I can find the recipe, or can give me some more suggestions on where to search.

Not only was it delicious, and so obviously I want to make it again, I also want to make sure that I’m not just dreaming that it happened, or that it wasn’t just a lemon meringue pie or something. I’m pretty sure neither of these things are true, but I want to make sure as I was between 11 and 14 at the time! So if anyone can help me find this lost recipe I will be truly grateful!

Edit: My mum found the recipe! It didn’t have lemon curd in, but did strongly involve lemon. It’s called ‘Pooh’s Summer Pie’. I’ll be doing a blog post on it soon!

See It Blog It: October

Although I now live in Southampton, I’m originally from Bristol and lived there for the first 23 years of my life. I visit often, as my family still live there and I find it a lovely place to be. The whole city has a much more unique feeling than Southampton.

While in Bristol, I tried to cram in as much as I could as I was only planning on going for the day (in the end I ended up staying the night, but left pretty early the next morning). I had also read about See it Blog it over on mylifeinknitware.com which made me decide to explore part of the city I had been through probably hundreds of times, without taking notice of my surroundings.

I was quite happy on my way to the station, although there were lots of omens that made me think I might not actually have such a good day as I was expecting. There was a man passed out in a bus stop. Someone got off a bus and made sure he was ok before I got there, so I left him to sleep. Then there was also a pigeon that looked like it had just kind of died and fallen out the sky. The train journey went without a problem though, and that was, for the Saturday anyway, the end of any problems.

First, as soon as I got off the train and headed to the bus stop, I took a look at the train station itself. Bristol Temple Meads is pretty large, and there’s normally so much traffic and tall buses around that you can’t see it properly. Still being pretty early, I managed to take this:Bristol Temple Meads

It’s interesting, because unlike most of Bristol, where old buildings and new sit together, sometimes overlapping, Temple Meads is pretty old. Take away the cars, traffic lights and signs and you can easily imagine what it used to look like. The building on the left actually used to be the station, but now it’s the building directly in front.

I then paid a visit to St Nicholas Market. I’ve explored this place thoroughly so it wouldn’t count at all for See it Blog it. I couldn’t resist a visit though, as this has to be one of my favourite places in Bristol. You can buy anything in there, all from independent, local traders. I bought some sauce from Dr Burnorium’s Hot Sauce Emporium and wandered the market, just taking in the sights and smells. It was nice and quiet as it was still only 10.30am.

Next I walked to the centre and hopped on a bus to visit my grandparents. When I left them after lunch, I headed to Clifton to investigate a new wool shop. I’m so glad I did. Beshley’s Wool Shop was one of the most inviting, wonderful wool shops I’ve been in. Beshley herself was very welcoming, and I didn’t feel at all awkward taking plenty of time to look at and feel all the wonderful British wool she stocks. I was on a hunt for some lovely soft chunky wool for some bedsocks for my grandma. I found the perfect thing:

Erika Knight Vintage Wool in drizzle and wisteria.

Erika Knight Vintage Wool

I also couldn’t resist this Exmoor Sock Yarn in peacock. The picture just does not do the colour justice.Exmoor Sock Yarn

I was also very happy about the prices, and it proves that you don’t have to pay ridiculous amounts to get high quality, local yarn.

I managed to drag myself away from the loveliness of the shop and went to find a bus (they’ve changed some routes) back to the centre. I also managed to help out a lost woman on the way.

When I reached the centre, my goal was to explore Nelson Street, a previously dull and grey, partly derelict street that has become vibrant and colourful with the See No Evil Graffiti Exhibition. I’ve been through this street many times on the bus, but I’ve never walked along it and taken notice.

The first view is from the centre, of the huge man pouring paint, painted on the side of one of the taller buildings.Nelson Street 1

Next to that is an interesting design, which appears to revolve around machinery. This is above a ‘Welcome to Bristol’ piece.Nelson Street 2

Walking along a bit, you get to this church, which just shows the mish-mash of buildings in Bristol. This is in the middle of all the graffiti. The time is wrong, as with most clocks in Bristol. It was about 3.45pm.Nelson Street 3

Next is a very impressive piece, on the side of a building. The amount of detail here is unbelievable.Nelson Street 4

This is at the end of the same mural as above. Again, the detail!Nelson Street 5

Which is the right way? Which is the wrong way? Note that this is a one way road, apart from for cyclists.Nelson Street 6Nelson Street 7

Finally, right next to my bus stop.Nelson Street 8

I headed to my parents’ house, where they were finishing laying the carpet and decorating the downstairs. I ended up staying the night, which wasn’t the original plan, and headed back to Southampton in the morning. That journey wasn’t so easy though, as the train I was on was cancelled and I had to wait for an hour at Bath Spa. I ended up sat on the floor of the platform knitting, because why not? This resulted in a happy elderly woman who smiled at me a lot. Then on the train, a man sat next to me and somehow knew I was knitting a hat (it was all crumpled on my lap), and said that it looked very nice. I suppose on the plus side of that hour longer than expected journey, I got to do a lot of knitting!

Take a look at what other people have done, or take part in See it Blog it at My Life in Knitwear.