Monday, 31 January 2011

sl st colours

   I didn't really get a lot done this weekend but I did try out the slip stitch colour work method. I'll get the swatch finished for the weekend and take some pictures. 
   Its a fun simple method to working in colours but does have its draw backs, that can be turned into an advantage. The slip stitches knit a thicker fabric so you could use it on the back of mittens or the chest of a jumper to help with warmth. I'm not sure I'd use small pieces in a larger piece though, the bulkyness and puckering might not work. Talking of puckering you do need to make sure you don't knit too tight.

  While reading about the slip stitch colour method I did come across some wonderful mosaics that can be knit with this method, not alot on line so will need to buy a book on it. It does look really interesting and I think I'll take it further but for now its just fun to play with. I'll probably try my hand at knitting fair isle and intarsia next.

Hope you all had a great weekend, have a good day and take care.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Learning colours.

   Was very cold overnight, hard frost on the ground this morning walking the dog. I don't mind the cold so much, as long as I can't feel it. It makes nice walking weather, just dress right and don't fall in any ponds. I was thinking of firing up the bbq for a pork chop but have decided against it, I doubt it will get above freezing today.

  No knitting done yesterday and I didn't try the pockets for the moss/seed stitch scarf, I'll have to find them today and see if they fit. I don't have a lot to do today so will have a go at the slip colours method. Only time I've worked with colours has been across full rows to make stripy blankets so will be happy to add this technique to my skill set.
   I really should have a go at fair isle knitting, intarsia. Not today though, I should set a goal of learning how this year. The one thing that has held me back doing intarsia is all the yarn at the back of the work, I feel its very untidy. I have done a little swiss darning and find that method much more tidy.

  Have a great weekend, stay warm and take care folks.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Up and down

  Still having dizzy spells and waves of nausea. Its no fun being sick when you live alone, theres no sympathy to be had and you have to carry on regardless.

  Good news though, I have finally finished the moss/seed stitch scarf. I say finished, its off the needles and has been weaved in but I haven't looked at the pockets yet. As it is alone without the pockets its still a fine scarf so worse comes to worse I can leave it as is if the pockets don't fit and I can't get the same yarn. I was surprised how much yarn the moss/seed stitch used, nearly 200g of double knit or the full 200g if you include the pockets.

  I'm not sure what I will knit next, I'm not in the right frame of mind to tackle anything fancy. I think I might knit a swatch of the slip colour technique I saw in last months magazine. It looks a pretty simple method to knit with colours, no carrying the yarn. I'll write up about it when I give it a go.

  Only just realised its Friday, thats what I get for spending a day in bed earlier in the week. There will be no picture post tomorrow but I will post something so pop back and see.
  Hope you all have a great weekend, take care.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Feeling the cold.

  I'm feeling much better today, my ears are still bunged up but I don't feel nauseous or dizzy. Slept past my alarm clock again, second time this week. I think its the whooshing noises my ears are making thats affecting my sleep or my alarm clock is broke, I didn't hear it go off but was awake watching and waiting. It probably went off and stopped then I woke up. Guess I'll find out tomorrow morning.

  I couldn't seem to get warm at all walking the dog this morning, it is cold and the winds biting but no worse than normal. Figure because I'm under the weather I'm feeling the cold worse. The wind seemed to keep finding ways into my coat like fingers of ice. Feel fine in the house, not really cold at all inside.

  The moss/seed stitch scarf is a couple of rows away from being finished, I could of finished it last night but wanted to leave casting off/binding off until today. I still need to measure the pockets and decide what to do next.

Have a great day, take care folks.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011


  Sorry there was no post yesterday, I woke up in the morning feeling very nauseous and was unsteady on my feet. Think my bunged up ears are affecting my balance. I got up, gave the dog his tablets then went back to bed for most of the day. I'm not 100% today, feel a little queasy and am still a little unsteady on my feet, its like being on a ship in a mild storm. I managed to walk the dog and made it to the shops for some fresh bread, now I'm going to take it easy. Not really hungry, had a bowl of chicken soup and a slice of bread yesterday. I will try and eat something a little more solid later today.

  Hope you all are doing well, have a great day and take care.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Still not done

  The scarf is almost finished, but I'm still not there yet. Not been able to get a decent nights sleep since my ears became bunged up. Starting to feel run down, which doesn't help the healing process. Only got a couple of inches to do on the moss/seed stitch scarf and I'm almost out of yarn so if the pockets do need re knitting I'll have to buy more.

  Got a snotty finale demand on my council/property tax this morning threatening court action(this letter was the only one received). I honestly thought I'd paid it off early this year but looking at my own records one of the lines is spread over two lines so I've counted a date as a payment. I'm still annoyed about the letter though, who do these people think they work for? Next year I will not try and pay this tax early, I'll make every payment late.

  Hope you all had a good weekend, have a great day and take care folks.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Scarf end?

   Its dull and cold out with a biting wind, luckily the wind isn't very strong. Still feels like a blow torch on your ears though. I'm getting used to waking up in a cold house again, the other day was a total shock to the system. Even so I'm still not looking forward to my heating bill. I did swap suppliers before Christmas but apart from an email confirming the swap I've not heard anything since, hopefully all is well and I don't get two separate bills.

  My head and ears still feel bunged up, ears kept popping last night while I was in bed and there was a constant whooshing noise. Hurts a little but is mainly annoying. I can't hear myself speak properly so have trouble regulating my voice volume, I don't like to shout so usually I end up speaking in a whisper with everyone saying "What?" at me.

  I'm hoping I can get the moss/seed stitch scarf finished this weekend, I keep looking at it and it needs another foot all the time. It seems to be frozen where its at no matter how much I knit it. I should be able to get an hour or twos knitting done on it, then I have to see if the pockets will fit or if I need to re knit those. I've been putting off measuring them, I guess I already know the answer. Just hope I have enough yarn left.

  Have a great weekend, take care folks.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Heads bunged up

  Not writing much today, not really got much to write about but apart from that I sneezed last night and ever since my head and ears have been bunged up. Its more annoying than anything and I can't hear properly now.

  The weather is still cold but it does look lovely and warm out, suns shinning and the skys are blue. Yesterdays fog didn't lift until early this morning so its a nice change, apart from the cold.

  I got the mild bottled and barreled up, tastes a little rough and its not as clear as the last lot I did but with a little age it will clear completely and mellow out. I might try my first bottle next weekend and see what its like.

  Tiny bit of knitting done, think its near the end now. I'll do a bit more today and think I can finish tomorrow if nothing major crops up. Think I'll do a simple Iphone sock next, something quick and easy. I'll knit it in some acrylic variegated dk yarn my sister got me for Christmas, no cables just plain stocking stitch in the round.
   I do want to learn a knitting colour technique were you slip the colours instead of carrying em around with you. Only glanced at the article, I'll have more about it next week sometime once I've tried it. It does seem and look pretty simple.

  No picture post tomorrow but I will post something so pop back and see. Have a good day and great weekend, take care folks.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Chilly is back

   Brrr felt very cold this morning when I woke up, it wasn't really its just that the last few weeks have been pretty warmish and I'm no longer used to the cold. House was down to 50f which is nothing compared the the 40f it was hitting a while back. Its also foggy out, very foggy. Its not so bad on the low fields but up on the top field visibility is down to about 20 feet.

  Got a fair amount to get done today, the mild which has been fermenting for 14 days looks like its ready for bottles. It should clear fast once its primed, might even be drinkable 1 week from this weekend. Then theres the rest of the chores,chores, chores. I hate  chores.

  Still knitting the moss/seed stitch scarf, not sure if I'll be able to get much done on it today. I will try and steal a little time for a few rows here and there. I really want to get it finished for the weekend.

 Have a great day, take care folks.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

First BBQ 2011

   Got to try out my new bbq yesterday, its smaller than I thought but that suits me ok. It was slower to get the charcoal started compared to my old bucket bbq but once going cooked for a much longer time. The main thing I loved about my old bucket bbq was its speed and you could carry it even when it was fully burning. I've had to move it into the garage/shed doorway due to rain a few times. Coming home and deciding to have a bbq at the last minute was very easy with the old bucket.
  I only did a few burgers on the new bbq, I could of easily done the pork chop at the end aswell but at the time decided against it as it was dark. I really need to sort out better lights out back, had a hurricane lamp going and a led lantern plus a maglite to see the food clearly. Also had a nice fire going in the big chimera to help keep me warm.

  I didn't get as much knitting done yesterday, several rows is all. I'll be glad when this moss/seed stitch scarf is finished and I can move on to something else. Smaller preferably. I did think the scarf would be done by today but its taking a heck of a lot longer than I thought possible, probably because I've been a bit lazy still after the Christmas rush knitting I had to do. I'll keep at it, I really do believe it will be done by or on the weekend, fingers crossed.

  Hope you all have a great day, take care folks.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Slowly getting there

   Managed to get about an hours worth of knitting in plus an extra few rows here and there yesterday. Another hour or two and I think the scarf will be finished. I did promise to give it my sister when it was done but I might hold on to it until next Christmas, which would mean I'd of made a start on next years Christmas presents. She did get a bakers boy hat off me for Christmas so I think she can wait.

   Looking at the weather, keeps going bright to dark with a slight wind but pretty warm. I don't think its going to rain so I might get the bbq out in a little while. Just for a couple of burgers, I really want to test this new bucket bbq. Just got some lettuce, think next year I'm going to try and grow lettuce all year round. You can buy winter hardy types and I can always grew them on the window ledge indoors.

  Thinking of my next knitting project, I did promise to do a baby blanket but might do something smaller first. Sort of take a break from the bigger projects. I really want to do something on the loom too that ends up as a fully finished object so need to buy some yarn for that, maybe some cotton or I might go crazy again and try for a scarf.
   I also need to get some more fleece and have a real go with the carder, maybe some blending as well. Got to get back into spinning, hardly done any since Christmas.

  Hope you all have a great day, take care folks.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Nowt doin

  A very slow non productive weekend. Saturday I didn't get a thing done, no matter what I tried to get done my head wasn't in the game. Sunday I did manage a little knitting but not much. Didn't sleep too well last night so I'm not even refreshed from doing nothing.

  My tv blew up a little while ago, I was in the kitchen when something went bang but I couldn't figure out what it was. I could smell an odd burning smell so thought it was the oven even though nothing was cooking. Then I realised it was quiet and figured the tv. Had a mess around with it, changing fuses but nope its deader than a dodo. Moving it was no fun, the things big and heavy and now sits on the floor in the living room.
   Got an older smaller tv set up now, I'm not going to buy a new one. I do have one more tv attached to a ps2, if these two break then thats it for me, no more tv. Will save me the bbc rip off tax.

   Thats all for today, I'm going to try and get some knitting done for awhile. See if I can make a dent in this scarf. Hope you all had a good weekend, have a good Monday and take care. 

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Wet weekend

   Its wet out today, which is good for filling the water barrel but not very good for a BBQ. It wasn't too bad walking the dog this morning but in the last hour or so the winds starting to pick up. Glad I don't have to go out anywhere in this weather today, apart from the back yard. I'm filling the water barrel with a bucket, down spout diverter pipe isn't long enough so I'm filling the small water butt and then filling a bucket to fill the new water bin.

  No picture post today. Only just realised I could of taken pictures of the backpack I knitted awhile ago. Its not fully finished, I think it needs at least one buckle sewn on and it might need weaving in in places. I'll get it finished during the week and get some pictures of it for next Saturdays picture post.

  The moss/seed stitch scarf seems to be going backwards again, I thought it was 4 foot long but is only just over three. I really need to put some time into it and get it finished. I think I keep saying that and here we are still. Oh well, Christmas is over so no real rush now is there.

  Hope you all have a good weekend, take care.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Wheelie bins

   Washed out a spare wheelie bin I have so I can fill it with water for the summer. No idea what sort of summer were going to have, hope its better than last year. 
   The big water butt is leaking, badly now. It holds 210 l and I think the wheelie bin will hold as much, maybe more, my smaller water butt holds just over 100l. I have another wheelie bin that needs a clean, I was going to use that one as a second composter but will go with  water instead.
  My main composter is a green wheelie bin, they gave them to us for garden waste. I just drilled holes in mine and use it to compost, seems silly taking them out for the bin wagon when you can make your own free compost. I also have a compost heap in a wind free corner of the garden, usually leaves and grass clippings. The wind free part was important with leaves, they make great compost but are a pain to sweep up.

  I thought I'd have the moss/seed stitch scarf finished for this weekend, I thought wrong. Very wrong. I haven't really sat down and spent much time on it really, just keep picking it up for a few rows here and there. If will be finished by next weekend though, maybe even by Wednesday.

  Not sure if I have any pictures for a picture post tomorrow, I'll have a look around my computer and see. Don't think I have anything knitted that's worth charging the camera batts for. We'll see but I don't think there will be a picture post tomorrow. I'll still post something though so call back and see.

  Hope you all have a great weekend, I think I'll have the BBQ out at some point this weekend. Take care.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Not waiting in no more.

   I was waiting in for the poly tunnel but it arrived pretty early so have been out with the dog in the rain. Not so much rain really more like soaking to the bone drizzle. Haven't set up the tunnel, will wait for about March I think, but have counted all the pieces and their all there.

   Not much to write about today, weathers warm but wet. Warm enough that I didn't use the central heating yesterday and don't think I'll need it today. That should help with my heating bills, was worried about the cost because of the very cold early weather and how often I had to use the central heating.

  Still plugging along with the moss/seed stitch scarf. I have a sort of love hate thing going on with moss/seed stitch. On the one hand its pretty boring after a while, a very short while. On the other hand it doesn't require any thought process and can be knitted while watching a film. I'm knitting the moss/seed stitch over an odd number of stitches so every row starts with a knit stitch so once into a rhythm your mind can wander while your hands do the work from muscle memory.

  Hope you all have a great day, stay dry and for my American friends stay warm. Take care folks.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Warm out

   Pretty warm out(7c), the birds thought so too and were singing like it was spring this morning. If it wasn't for the rain I'd fire my new bbq up for my dinner. Got a new small bbq to replace my bucket bbq, I have a couple of bigger bbq's but want something that is small and quick to fire up. No not gas, I much prefer real bbq's.
  Got a few more inches done on the five fold cable pocket moss/seed stitch scarf done last night, its coming along now. I'll keep at it, think it only needs about another 2 feet and a little bit. Not really much more to write about in the way of yarn. I do need to start a baby blanket for a charity asap. Think I might have to buy some yarn for that, been using a lot of my yarn stash on the loom.

Hope you all have a great day, take care.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Waiting in

   Waiting in for a delivery of paraffin, dogs not too happy as he hasn't been for his walk today. I did take him for a late night walk last night, had a look for rabbits but he's too busy running around like crazy. He's a clever dog and well behaved but really does love to run. A nice juicy steak on the floor or the back door open so he can run around the garden and he'll leave the steak where it is and go run.

  Ordered a 3m poly tunnel/green house for the garden, or at least I think I have. I'm not 100% sure my cards worked, debit card. Got an email confirming the order was received but nothing else and nothing on the bank acc. site either.
  I did get my tobacco seeds this morning, can't wait to get those started. Will order another type in a week or two. Will be getting onions too this year, I normally grow the little ones(salad onions/spring onions) and need to get some main crop potatoes. Apart from that and some potting compost I think I'm set seed wise.

  No weaving or spinning but have gotten back into knitting the moss/seed stitch scarf. Was nice to take a little break from knitting after the rush of Christmas knitting I had to do. If I was smart I'd start next years Christmas knitting this month but probably wont. I got the glittery yarn I ordered, its really nice and soft. I was thinking it would be some cheap novelty yarn but its really lovely stuff. Will start knitting a few IPhone socks soon.

  Hope you all have a great day, take care.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Whats next?

   Hope you all had a good productive or relaxing weekend. I spent most of my time messing around with the weaving. Now I can join colours I jumped right in and bit off more than I could chew. I really need to keep things simple at the beginning, messing around with 5 shuttles with the frame loom on your lap isn't much fun and fun is what its supposed to be about.
  By Sunday I had unwoven the extra colours and rows back and sort of started again but with no plan. I really need to start again from scratch and have more than a rough idea of what I want to weave. I think I should get some cotton and weave some small projects first like wash cloths and dish towels.

  I did pick up my knitting needles again on Sunday and started back on the moss/seed stitch scarf. I'm much more in the mood for knitting now so will try and get the scarf finished by the weekend. Not sure what I want to knit next, thinking I should do something for myself. A very rare treat. Still have half a pair of socks that need finishing, there about a year old. Well I guess that's decided then, I'll finish the socks after the scarf is done.
  Have a great day and take care.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Bakers Boy Hat

News boy cap. Twiggy Hat.
Bakers boy hat

News boy cap
This is a bakers boy hat, news boy cap or twiggy hat, call it what you will. I knitted this a couple of months ago in a brown yarn I hate. Its not so much the colour I hate or the type of yarn, its just that this yarn was given to me when I first started to learn to knit so has some frustrating memories for me. I used the brown yarn because it was only a practise knit.
Bakers Boy Hat

   I knew the sort of style of hat I wanted but didn't know its name so it took me ages to find a pattern for it. In the end I paid for a pattern as I couldn't find any good ones on the net.
Bakers Boy Hat
   Its a really simple pattern to follow and amazingly fast to knit, about 6 hours. I made another bakers boy hat for a Christmas present that I started on Christmas eve and managed to finish in time.
News Boy Cap
   I made a small/big mistake in the first news boy cap by not following the pattern correctly and using a different increase method than the one stated. To this day I'm still not sure why but the increases kept throwing the number of stitches off. Soon got it back on track by using the increase method stated in the pattern.
Bakers Boy Hat
   I'm very happy with the way the bakers boy hat turned out, its a fun, funky fast knit project.
  Have a great weekend folks.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Virgin Tracks

    Woke up to about an inch of snow with the snow still falling hard while I was walking the dog. I must of been the first one out in it as there wasn't a footprint to be seen anywhere. Theres something very satisfying about walking across a field covered in unblemished snow. I'll never be able to walk where no man has walked before, leaving virgin tracks in the snow is the closest I can get.

  The snow is melting pretty fast, its already kind of slushy a few hours later. Just got back from the shops, bought my self a new hat and very small wind up LED light. I have a small head and its hard to get hats that fit, this one is a peaked cap with earflaps in a blue tartan colour. Seems I'm a fashion trend setter, trying to weave tartan months ago and now its the fashion of the season. The LED light is great, the smallest wind up model I've seen. Has three LED's and is pretty bright for its size. Lot of folks hate the wind ups because they break pretty easy, just have to be gentle with them and there fine.

  My weaving is coming along nicely now. I set up some blue yesterday and am weaving a white square in the middle, using 3 shuttles. One of the colour joins is a little lumpy but the other one is pretty smooth and seamless. Not sure I can weave real tartan on a frame loom but I can weave something thats pretty close to it.

  Still not ordered any more fleece, will do that this weekend. I did order 50g of a blue glittery yarn though that I want to knit some IPhone socks with to sell. Also ordered another camping mug, small single wall one this time so it can be heated directly. Need a pot stand now for my alcohol/meth stove. Have made a couple out of salmon cans but want one that will fold down.

  There should be a picture post tomorrow. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures over Christmas so no pictures of that bakers boy cap or finished scarfs. I do have pictures of an earlier bakers boy cap I knitted, I'll put those pictures up tomorrow for you and I will take pictures of the 5 fold aran cable pocket moss/seed stitch scarf when I finally finish it.

  Have a great day and weekend, take care.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Vertical Limits?

  Trying to weave mohair using a heddle is hard work, sort of like dragging a comb through hair after someones stuck bubblegum in it. I gave up after a few rows but did use what was there to try out a small vertical row. Seems I might of figured it out after all and was right yesterday.
   I need to go through my odd yarns and see what colours I have, I don't think I have anything that would do well as a tartan colour apart from the mohair and thats no good with the heddle. I do have pink, yellow and I think white double knit, also some blue, purple and reddish crinkly double knit. I'll have a play later.

  Going to brew up some mild today, I got a different type this time to try out. Hope its as good as the last lot. I'm not a mild drinker usually but was very impressed with the last lot I brewed. I've fallen behind with my brewing lately, only have a few bottles of bitter left and the mild will take around three weeks before its drinkable.

  Looks like its going to snow within the next 24 hours, a lot heavier than the small amount we got on Tuesday. I'll ring the local calor gas place today to see if they sell paraffin, if not I'll have to order it online or try and talk my sister into picking me some up. I have enough for now but if my main heating system were to break I'd soon run out, can't have that.

  I didn't order the fleece, I'll do that today. I also want to order an Afro comb for weaving, think it will be helpful on smaller pieces but bigger than a fork.

  That's enough of my rambling, have a great day and take care.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Darn knots & joins

  Knitting the moss/seed stitch scarf last night and I'm near the end of a ball, few yards of yarn left and in the middle of the row I discover a join in the yarn. Grrrr I hate when that happens. I should of unknitted the row back but was feeling lazy so have made the join in the middle of the row,very sloppy I know, I know.

  Had to cook my chips/fries last night the old fashioned way with a chip pan and basket. I did cheat and used a thermometer. It seemed to take forever to get anywhere close enough for frying and by the time it was up to heat my pork chop was a little dry. I'll be happy once I have another mini deep fat fryer. I do have two spare big deep fat fryers upstairs, well 3 really as one is a double bowl one. Not going to use those as they take at least 3 l of oil.

  I didn't get any weaving done but did have a play in mspaint to see how the colours would look together. Its a long way from looking like tartan, I need to be able to join two vertical colours without any bumps. I think the way to do it is to wrap the yarns around each other, one going under and the other going over(push down the heddle, pull up the heddle). 

   I really need to practise a lot more, its just that setting up the loom takes an age so it kind of off putting. I do want to try these yarns I have to see it they work together on a small scale seeing as there mohair. I'll have a go at a vertical line then.

  No spinning done yet, haven't bought any more fleece even though I have the cash for some. Think I'll do that tonight when I get home. 

   Think I might need a more solid table for the drum carder, all my desks and tables are pretty flimsy and on wheels. I might clear out the back room and use that as my work room for all my spinning stuff. Hmmm tidy out the back room, thats a job I'd not look forward too.

  Hope you all have a great day, take care.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

No tartan yet

  My mini deep fat fryer stopped working last night. It heated to full temperature then sometime before the chips/fries* were cooked it stopped working, the light remained on. 
   Only annoyed about the fact that I scrubbed it clean last night and put fresh oil in it. I'll get another one this week, the mini 1l oil ones pay for themselves pretty quick. I've had this one for ages, the last one didn't last too long so will have a look for that one to make sure I don't buy the same model. I'll also open this broken one up and see if its fixable before I buy a new one.

  I didn't do much yesterday in the way of yarn but did try drawing some tartan patterns that I think I could make. I need to test this yarn I have, its mohair type stuff and I'm not sure if the lower colours will show through. I'll do that today.

  No knitting done, I really need to get on with the moss/seed stitch scarf before I start thinking of it as a chore. Its kind of boring but also very relaxing to knit moss/seed stitch, I've done the scarf over an odd number of stitches so every row starts with a knit stitch. Its really easy and takes no thinking at all while watching some rubbish on the tv.

  Coffee is drunk, time to get on with some more weaving. Hope you all have a great day, take care.

*Adding American terms because last month 85% of hits to this blog came from the USA.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Slow going

   Throats still a little sore but I'm practically 100% better. Did a little weaving yesterday, want to practise combining colours. I need lots more practise, my joins are mostly bumpy. I do have a better idea on what needs doing now but am a long way from fully getting the hang of it. I'll play with it some more today then go onto weaving something else. I might even do a full project.

   The cable pocket moss/seed stitch scarf is coming along slowly, I haven't put much time into it really just a few rows here and there. I really need to sit down and spend a few hours on it to make any head way.

  Not done any spinning, I'm going to get some oatmeal bfl and have a go at blending it with the Falkland, no idea how it will turn out but I really want to play with the drum carder.

  Nothing else to write really, life has been pretty slow, which isn't so bad. Have a great day and take care folks.