Saturday, 31 July 2010

Free style back pack

  Here are some pictures of the back pack I promised. They were taken straight off the needle so no weaving in or blocking has been done.
                                          click to enlarge image
Here is a close up of the front showing double basket weave and a little bit of the 3*1 rib. k3 p1 ribbing.

                                   click picture to enlarge
A full size picture showing the front and sides of the backpack. You can see the two bands of double basketweave, the 3*1 rib and the 1*1 ribbing at the top. You might be able to see a few holes at the top for threading the Icord

                                   Click image to enlarge

   Here's the back view of the front and sides, the inside part of the backpack. I was thinking of making this the outside part, I do like the wrong side of the 3*1 rib.
                                Click to enlarge images
  A couple more shots showing the double basket weave in different lights, my batteries were running low so had to turn the flash off.

  I still need to do the Icord and the straps then I can sew it all together. I really need to come up with an idea beyond buttons for adjusting the straps. I might also add a pocket to the front to hold little things and maybe a holder inside for long needles, though I only use small connected ones for all my knitting. I'm not planning in lining the bag but that might change.
  Once its all finished I'll do more pictures and a better write up with some sort of instructions for it. There really is no pattern so am calling it my free style backpack.

Friday, 30 July 2010


  Just been to do my weekly shop at asda and there very small selection of camping stuff is on its final sale.Picked up those canisters of gas 4 for £3 and got a metal, alu, 1l water bottle with cheap carabiner on the cap. The bottles say you can't use them for carrying fuel and looking inside the colours are different than my msr fuel bottle, still its nice to have a cheap strong water bottle to add to my collection.
 The gas canisters, look like aerosol cans, are great at that price. I don't often buy them unless there very cheap like today because I have so many of them. Each one will burn on full for approx 4 hours. I have two single burners that take them as well as a heater.

I need to sort out some pictures and I'll have a later post for you on the front part of the back pack, so pop by again later to have a look.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Finshed part of the backpack.

Finished the front, sides of the back pack today. Did a hem on the top that will cover the icord so it took me a little longer. Not sure what the cast off, bind off, method is called. k2tog or p2tog then slip the stitch back onto the left needle and repeat, produces a looser edge than a normal cast off.
 Still haven't come up with a good idea for adjusting the straps, all the ones I've looked at on the net are just sewn on. I'm thinking maybe 2 buttons might be strong enough, maybe... Not sure really what I'm going to do, no rush for now.
 Will pin the backpack together so I can get a better idea on the flap, will take some pictures before I sew it all together so I can show what I've done. Might even be finished this weekend, don't count on it though.

Oh my God they killed the internet

Been reading a lot lately about the Americans cutting off the Internet and it seems to have confused some folks who thought the www was indestructible. What the powers that be can do is shut off dns, domain name servers. These are the web page addresses you see in your browser. You can get by without these written addresses by using there ip numbers. What you need to do is get a list of all the ip addresses of your needed and favorite websites and save / write them down somewhere. 
  Google/search dns look up for sites that let you trace/look up ips dns stuff  and put the website in and you will get an IP number that you can put into your browser and that will take you to the page. I put in this blog but it only comes up with the IP for google, the owners of the blog. I'd need to buy my own domain name for it to work for the blog.
   Some ip's you should have are news sites you trust, .gov sites, chat sites, forums and banking sites. I think bank sites are important because I can see it being a big reason for the .gov to switch off the dns servers to stop runs on banks, think Northern rock. News and .gov so you can find out information and chat sites so you can share and really find out whats going on.
   I'm not the best for explaining stuff on here, if you don't understand anything let me know in comments or email me and I'll see if I can do a better job. Nows the time to figure this stuff out, before they switch off the dns servers.

    I'll get you started, any one wants to add to this list please put it in comments and I'll update it.
  • or    both are for google. 
  • BBC public service msg
  • Sky. com
  • Accuweather
I'll keep updating the site as I go along and think of more addresses to add but don't rely on my list being here if the dns is closed unless I buy a domain name, you need to make your own list to store.

ETA Been awhile since I had to do this, seems you can only find the front pages of web sites. I.e bbc front page not bbc news. Once at the front page you can navigate around the site no problems, just thought I'd mention it to make it easier for when your looking up the ip's.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Backpack straps

  I know I said there wouldn't be anymore backpack updates for awhile but as usual I was wrong. It hit me yesterday I have no idea about the straps, never gave them a minutes thought. What I'd like to do is make the straps adjustable but at the moment I'm not sure how to go about it. I was thinking a button on the back and holes alone the strap but don't think that will really be very strong. If any of you have suggestions please leave a comment. I'll have a hunt around the net and see what other folks have done about it, I'm sure I'm not the first.
  The backpack is coming along a lot faster than I thought it would, I only have two to three rows left to do on the front, sides piece then I can decide how long I want the flap. After that I need to do a short Icord and the straps and sew it all together then I can move onto my next knitting project.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Bargain sock yarn

Got 200g of dark ish grey sock yarn today for £1 + £2.50 postage including basic sock pattern. Not a fantastic colour, its like school uniform grey, but for the price its pretty amazing. 75% super wash wool so not cheap nasty stuff. 200g (50g = 210m) will do 2 pairs of socks. She has a couple of other colours but there not that inspiring either though the rusty orange might be. Going to get some more and maybe try my hand at argyle socks. Of course I don't have to use it for socks. I could knit hats, gloves or even a thin summer sweater with it.
 If you want her eBay link to buy some for yourself please ask in comments or email me. No affiliation with me.

I also bought some coloured pencils today to help me work out what I want to do with the tartan scarf. I think that's going to be my next project and first real Christmas present. 
Not sure what I'm going to do with the backpack, might keep it for myself as a yarn bag.I want to do a poll soon on which side should be the front, I kinda like both sides. Will have to take pictures first and fast because I'm almost done.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Double Basket Weave Picture

Double basket weave
click double basket weave image to enlarge
Double basket weave
As promised here's a picture of a double basket weave swatch I did awhile back.

The double basket weave pic is to go with the post I did the other day, Double basket weave . Go there for the instructions.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

bbq & rain, a typical English post.

Well that didn't go according to plan. It went dull and started drizzling on and off but I really did want a bbq. Decided to put the chimney on the large chimera, the things cast iron and nearly 6 feet tall. Don't cook with it all that often as it can be a pain and hot, darn hot,but it is good for cooking in when its drizzling because the foods covered.Its great for fires too, will burn wood and coal. Took the winter bags off it to put the chimney on and it smelled funny, no not funny more a gross smell. I season it with lard to help keep the rain from rusting it, even tho its covered most of the time. My little dinky chimera is out in the rain all year round and apart from the feet there's no rust on it at all, so it does work. I don't cook in the small chimera but do burn it a lot and occasionally boil water on the chimney.

So the inside of the large chimera is somewhat mouldy, and smelly. Probably not a safe eating environment. Started a nice big fire going in it and put some of my newspaper bricks on. Should burn nice and hot for a couple of hours and kill everything. Will clean it tomorrow, fun and joy.

Did my burgers on my wagner cast iron pan in the kitchen, tastes fine but just isn't the same really. Still, its nice eating and watching a roaring fire while having a pint of home brew lager. This batch has turned out very well. I've had alot of trouble making a decent tasting lager. Bitters and ales are fine but the lagers can be tricky because of the temperature.

Haven't got much knitting done, managed 4 rows. Not sure I'll be able to knit anymore later, I might be too mellowed from the lager.

Hope the weathers better for you folks, have a great rest of the weekend.

Weekend knitting, bbq & stuff.

Ok this will probably be my last update on the back pack for awhile,bet your glad about that, heh. I've done about an inch of the 3*1 rib and at the moment I prefer the wrong side which is ok because the double basket weave I've already done works on both sides. I'll update again when I'm doing the eyelets for the icord to help keep the backpack closed. I should of made my mind up about which side to use by then. Not 100% sure when that will be because I'm not sure on the size of the backpack yet, all depends on how much yarn I have. 
p.s don't forget to save enough for the shoulder straps.

I tested the email thing, didn't work with the email I gave but did work with another email, still not sure if it sends the whole post or just a notice,guess I'll find out after this goes up. I'm also looking at the AdSense and amazon ads to add to the blog, doubt I'll make any money but might boost my blog up in searches and increase my readership.

It didn't rain yesterday, Friday. I think that's the first time its not rained and has been sunny this month.I did want to have a bbq but didn't have time. Its pretty dull again today but dry so I might drag my old cast iron bbq out. Not gonna do anything fancy just a couple of burgers, not really had many chances to have a bbq this year. I normally have lots, my first one this year was back in February. Cold weather but yummy food.

The batteries are charging for the camera so I'll take some pictures tomorrow. Swatch, newsboy hat, and the back pack so far.Also have the last bookmark I knitted on there to upload. I'll do a post next week on one of my past finished projects that already have pictures done. I think it will be the two scarfs I did as last years Christmas presents.

Hope you all have a great relaxing weekend.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Blog stuff & a bit of knitting

I was playing around with the blog last night trying to figure out how everything works. I've set up a email subscription service that will email you when I post, not sure if it sends the full post or just a notice. I'm still testing it at the moment and will probably know the answers after I post this. Almost set up a feed thingy, will work on that more when I have the time.I did manage to set up a paypal donate button, so if you want to treat me to some nice yarn please donate.

Guess I should of done the poll awhile back. I've decided on a 3*1 rib pattern. Just completed a purl ridge after the two bands of double basket weave and will start the 3*1 rib tonight or tomorrow. I found an old double basket weave swatch I did and will put that up soon as. Found a few swatches I did when I was first learning, might put those up as I go along, we'll see.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Blogtalk radio

Just wanted to mention Breda's new radio show starts tonight, 11pm bst. 6pm EST. Not sure my few readers will be that interested, (its about scary guns hehe), but if you have the time why not give it a go.Maybe you'll learn something.

Back pack dilemmas.

I've finished 2 rows of double basket weave stitch on the backpack. When I say rows I really mean I've done two bands of double basket weave, i.e 36 rows. Now I really have to decide what I want to do for the rest. Do I carry on with double basket weave or go onto 3*1 rib like I had originally planed. Or is there something else I could do? I was looking around the web last night at different ribbing patterns and came across a nice one I hadn't seen before, Waving rib. Not sure I want to do it for the back pack but its good to know for future projects. Maybe I'll knit up a swatch and see what it looks like then decide.

I did come across a blog while looking more into waving rib and found this a year in stitches . It hasn't been written for over a year but I think it was a good idea to do all those swatches, not sure she completed them all. I've borrowed this picture of waving rib from her site, thank you.

I think it looks pretty good both sides. The back sort of looks like basket weave, been a while since I knit basket weave so can't remember what the back of that looks like but don't think it looks like waving rib.

I don't have the readers to justify a poll but what the heck, it doesn't cost anything and its fun to play. Besides I really can't make my mind up which is a problem because I should be knitting right now instead of sitting here thinking woolly thoughts. 
Polls over there ---------------->.
Please vote and comment,thanks for the help. 

ETA. I will do a swatch and replace the picture with one of my own when I have the time.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Basket weave

I thought I'd best do a post on regular basket weave seeing as I did a post on double basket weave yesterday.
 Thanks for the picture, saves me doing a swatch.

 Cast on multiples of 8 stitches plus 5.

Row 1(RS): Knit.
Row 2: K5, *p3, k5; repeat from *.
Row 3: P5, *k3, p5; repeat from *.
Row 4: Repeat row 2.
Row 5: Knit.
Row 6: K1, *p3, k5; rep from *, end last rep k1 instead of k5.
Row 7: P1, *k3, p5; rep from *, end last rep p1 instead of p5
Row 8: Repeat row 6.
Repeat rows 1 - 8.

As you can see from the picture it produces a nice woven looking pattern.

Quick back pack update.

 I've stopped doing the base,back and flap until I can get more of the front and sides done so I have a better idea of the size of the flap needed. I'm hoping I don't run out of yarn. I do have the base and back done and probably about half of the closing flap. 
 On the front and sides so far I'm on my second row of double basket weave, still not sure what to do after that and I'm running out of time to decide. Oh well.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Double basket weave

Double basket weave knitting instructions.

Image now here 

This is double basket weave that I'm knitting around the bottom front and sides of the backpack. I'll have to take a picture and add it later as I couldn't find any good ones on the net. 
Might even knit up a swatch just for you.

Cast on multiplies of 18 plus 10

 1: (RS)*K11, p2, k2, p2, k1; repeat from *, end k10.
 2: P1, k8, p1, *p1, (k2, p2) twice, k8, p1; rep from *.
 3:*K1, p8, (k2, p2) twice, k1; rep from *, end k1, p8*, k1.
 4: P10, *p1, k2, p2, k2, p11; repeat from *.
 5: 6: 7: and 8: Repeat rows 1: 2: 3: and 4:

 9: Knit row
10: (P2, k2) twice, p2, *p10, (k2, p2) twice; repeat from *.
11: *(K2,p2) twice, k2, p8; rep from *, end (k2, p2) twice, k2.
12: (P2, k2) twice, p2, *k8 (p2, k2) twice, p2; rep from *.
13: *(K2, p2) twice, k10; rep from *, end (k2, p2) twice, k2.
14:, 15:, 16: and 17: Repeat rows 10:, 11:, 12: and 13:.
18: Purl row
Repeat rows 1 - 18. 

I need to charge the batteries for the camera then I'll take some pictures of the backpack and maybe a double basketweave swatch. Also need to take pictures of the bakers boy / newsboy hat I knitted.

Click here for double basket weave picture 

Writers, meme

Took this test thingy Put some writing in and it tells you who you mostly write like. In under half I'm like Cory Doctorow, who I've never read. Over half the time I'm Stephen King.

I write like
Stephen King
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

So I guess I'll have no trouble posting loads and every once in awhile I'll post something good.

h/t Breda

Monday, 19 July 2010

Un Grrrrrr

Sorted my mistake out by knitting back about half a row, again. It was pretty easy to unknit today whereas last night it was, maddeningly, hair pulling,throw it across the room. A tiny bit frustrating shall we say. Sometimes its best to put things down,walk away and have a cup of tea then get back to the problem. Doing it that way is a lot better than stabbing yourself repeatedly in the leg with an Addi lace needle in total out of control rage, owwie. 
I love knitting,its so relaxing.


Grrrr I hate making knitting mistakes. Just had to unknit half a row of double basket weave only to find out its still wrong once I finished the row. I either need to learn to count or stop watching the idiot box while knitting. Very frustrating, its late and I'm done for now. I'll unknit it tomorrow.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Quick backpack update

Just a short post today on my knitting.

Finished the base and back and started the closing flap. Decided to do the front and sides with a row of double basket weave then 3*1 rib.

Bought a pattern today for an afghan cube,looks really fun and kinda freaky.
woolythoughts. A great site, well worth a look around.         
I'm going to buy there book next week, some great funky ideas even if math is involved.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Jumper/sweater Rectangela

Click images to enlarge, apart from the top one. I broke it.

This is my first jumper/sweater I ever knitted. Only finished it a couple of weeks ago, took me about 7 weeks. Its a very simple design done in two pieces. The sleeves and yoke are knitted in one piece side to side, left to right. The neck hole is done by using an extra ball of yarn to knit one side while using the original ball to knit the other side as you go along.
 The lower body part was done in one piece in the round in stocking stitch apart from the hem that is a garter ridge(k1 row, p1 row). The original pattern is done in two pieces, 3 pieces in all(lower 1front 2back and 3arms & yoke)
Click to enlarge
 Here is the original pattern ,Rectangela, I based the sweater/jumper on, of course being me I made a few changes. The arms and yoke in the original are done is seed stitch, I did mine in moss stitch. There was no shaping in the original pattern, I did some very minor shaping. I increased from the wrist to the yoke then decreased back done to the wrist and changed the size of the needles I used along the way, not a lot just about 2 inches from the wrist to the yoke. I also did a tiny bit of decreasing in the bottom half of the body so it flairs out slightly. I also made the neck smaller.
Click to enlarge

 The yarn I used is 90% wool and 10% silk.I got the yarn off eBay on a cone of about 900g. Think is was meant to be for knitting machines, it was pretty cheap at £13.
 Things I learned.
I can do big projects, the neck line/hole had me confused when reading the pattern but was really simple in the end. Mattress stitch, yes this was the first time I've used the mattress stitch. I'm normally a tight knitter but doing the sleeves and yoke all in moss stitch (about 5 feet long and 15 to 17" wide) loosened my knitting up, lets hope it stays that way.
Click to enlarge

Click images to enlarge, apart from the top one. I broke it.

(ETA) the jumper wasn't for me it was a gift to someone. The only thing I ever manage to knit for myself is socks. It does fit me nicely though doesn't it

Thursday, 15 July 2010


Its very windy out, got to be close to gale force. Feels more like October/November than July. Got some decent rain yesterday,in fact since they announced the hose/garden pipe ban I think its rained at least a little everyday. Hasn't stopped them announcing that they will close half the local canal next month. Not sure how that will affect my holidays, haven't really planned out where I'm going. Might just save the cash, the way the economy is going it might be a good idea.

I'm doing a post on my first jumper that should be up tonight with pics, or maybe tomorrow. If I'd planned the blog out better before I started I'd of done some posts before I got around to launching. Still working out all the features and my profile and stuff. Oh well why break the habit of a lifetime and become organised now.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

A small simple solar water heater

This is a very tiny solar water heater that will give enough water for a quick wash. You'll need a 1 litre bottle, a 2 liter bottle, some black poster paint or something to make the 1 liter bottle black, I used a bin/garbage bag.

Cut open the 2 liter bottle at the about 2/3 of the way up. Cut 4 small slits around the top of the bottom 2/3 bottle.
Paint or cover the one liter bottle so it is black. Fill the 1 liter bottle with water, place inside the 2 liter bottle and place the top 1/3 on. Leave out in the sun and after about 3 hours the water will be nice and warm. Becareful if leaving the bottle out for longer as the water does get pretty hot.

I used a 1l lucozade bottle and a normal 2 l lemonade bottle for the above.
After experimenting with a 2l and 3l bottle I found that same size bottles don't fit. To get around this you could cut a band out of another 3l bottle and tape it to the main 3l bottle or try and find 3l and 2l bottles of different heights, give me a shout if you do.

With some wood and a bit of glass or Plexiglas you could make a bigger solar water batch heater that could heat 3 to 6 or more 2l bottles of water, enough to do the dishes and get a wash. I think I'd use glass bottles if making this as the water does get hot, very hot. Make a box with the wood and cover the front with the glass, have a way to angle it towards the sun. Simple, even if my explanations aren't.

Please leave any comments if you have any problems or suggestions, thanks.

In need of coffee

Its been many years since I had to write about anything, back in school probably. I have things to write about but find it somewhat hard to put whats in my head down on paper. Hopefully over time it will come back to me and I'll be able to write longer posts. For now I'll give a link to a blog I read everyday. Her ideals are similar to my own but the writing is superb, poetic and flowing. Unlike my own.

Home On The Range

A wonderful writer,cook and inspiration.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Waiting for the rain

I'm sat on the back porch smoking my pipe waiting for the rain, its dark and getting darker. Got a pair of sweat pants hanging on the line, washed em in the wonder washer and was kinda shocked at how much water those things soak up. Will be so glad once I have my mangle/wringer, things should dry much faster then. Lot of birds in and out of the garden getting a last feed before it starts to pour, they don't mind the dog running and playing, nor me sitting here in a cloud of blue smoke.
I recently started to smoke a pipe to save cash on tobacco and found that its a very pleasant way to smoke. I haven't smoked cigarettes for over 10 years, now find em harsh and nasty tasting. Usually smoke rolling tobacco, its habit more than pleasure but the pipe is something else. Its a ritual, a process that takes time and gives you time. In our busy lives today we don't often get to stop and contemplate, listen to the silence.
A true moment of me time.

Christmas already???

I always seem to finish late when knitting presents and probably should of started knitting Christmas presents around January, 2009 or maybe earlier. I sort of know what I want to knit,which is a very good start. I say I know what I want to knit but that could easily change, the back pack I'm doing at the moment I'm not sure who its for yet. Other things I want to knit are a newsboy hat, I'll do a post on that soon cos I recently finished a newsboy/bakers boy hat. I want to do a tartan scarf, put pen to paper and planned in my head and have two possible versions I could do. If anyone knows of any tartan scarf patterns it would be a big help to mention em in the comments, or any knitted tartan patterns.
Hmmm that's only two things, plus the backpack.I guess I don't have all my presents thought out yet.

Monday, 12 July 2010


Yesssss, just won a small table top mangle on ebay for 99p. Kenroy wringerette. Got a wonder washer the other week and the mangle will save me a lot of hassle. Will do a fuller post on the mangle once I receive it and had a chance to use it. Will also do a post on the wonder washer as well.

K1 P1. knitted backpack

Got the base of the rucksack knitted and moved onto the ribbing for the back, decided to include a few rows of heel st every so often up the back. 1*1 rib for 3 fingers(2") then 5 rows of heel st. It will give the bag some strength and integrity. Its coming along nicely, only problem is the cotton yarn is rubbing against my finger pretty bad.I knit way too tight, after doing the jumper I had thought I'd gotten looser.The jumpers another post I'll do soon, do have pics of that already. Still thinking on the front but will probably be k3 p1 rib unless I change my mind which is a real possibility.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Current Project, knitting...

Should say current projects really as I've still not finished those socks, oh well maybe they'll be ready for winter. Working on a small backpack at the moment, not using a pattern as is my way most of the time so not sure how it will turn out. Currently working the base in heel st,
(WS) S1, P row
(RS) *S1,K1, Repeat from *

The slip sts are done purl wise, ie insert the needle tip purl wise and slip the st.

It gives it some padding and strength. The back and closing flap will be 1*1 rib and the front and sides 3*1 rib, I think, maybe, errr, not sure yet. The yarn is a nice cotton caramel with a black strand running through it, the caramel stands out much more than the black, will post pics when I have some.


Its dull today, dark even. Its also pretty warm and very humid,(89%) arrrgggh.

Friday, 9 July 2010


No much going on this year, not planted anything new. Kinda glad I didn't really, hosepipe/garden hose ban came into force here today. £1000 fine for breaking it. Also my biggest water butt/tank has a slow leak on the bottom somewhere,having trouble finding and fixing it.
Only seeds I did buy were swiss chard. It does look like some potatoes are coming up in my corner compost heap. Got 3 apples on my two potted apple trees, didn't get any last year but the year before I got a couple of juicy full sized apples, must plant the trees out in the garden this fall. My strawberries from last year are doing fine and taste better, lovely little alpines. The herbs are doing ok apart from the mint, both pots of spear and pepper mint are struggling but the rest are doing fine, even the garlic chives that were slow to get started last year are bunching nicely. As always my parsley and sage are doing great, think it would take a nuke to slow those two down.
Next year I'm planing on growing some tabacco plants, looks simple enough, think its the curing that will be harder. Anyone has any adivce on growing and curing tabacco chime in in the comments.