Thursday, June 29, 2006

I'm afraid I still have no progress to report on my "I do" shrug, despite dragging it all round the country for the past several weeks (did I mention it's going to Cumbria this weekend?). I think this is partly because I think the sleeves are a bit tight and I fear I may have to frog it and start again but I had such a hell of a time with the needles to begin with (blunt!!!) that I can't face it.

Soooooooo I may need to buy some more needles in that size. I nearly got a set of Denise interchangeable needles the other week from the Woolyworkshop, but bottled out at the last minute, figuring that if I'm going to Woolfest (did I mention that I'm going to Woolfest?) I should wait and buy something that I've actually seen and held and can compare to what I have now. Unfortunately I got an email from Gill at Woolyworkshop to say that she'd received an order but no payment and had there been a problem and would I like her to save the goods for me anyway. I had to send a grovelling apology for wasting her time. Oooops!

So I'm a bereft knitter at present, no WIP to speak of 'cos I don't want to start something else major until I've sorted this one out (I was actually enjoying knitting the shrug, and I do like the way that it looks as well and I love the yarn so I'm sure that I will finish it).

Other news is that I went down to Ro's at the weekend and my niece has come over from New Zealand and we went to visit my other sister's cattle after lunch on Sunday whilst the males of the species were watching the football (yawn). So here are some pics of them (the cattle not the chaps).
This is Treasure the bull; he's a Blonde Aquitaine I think, with his current lady of choice, Panda.
And here are some more of the ladies with their offspring. Lovely! There are several more but I couldn't get them all in one shot.

I also thought that I'd post a picture of the bunk in my truck so you can see where I sleep on a Tuesday night. It's very very comfortable and I sleep very well in it.

I also went back to Stafford Services to get picture of the birds for you as promised in a previous post but I was forced to beat a retreat when they started trying to eat me! I kid you not, I didn't even have any food but they all gathered round begging anyway and whilst I was pointing out to them that I only had a cup of coffee and they wouldn't like it two of them snuck round behind me and started pecking the heels of my boots! And I thought bird flu was the worst we had to fear from them, I tell you it's "The Birds" all over again!

See you at Woolfest then (I did say I was going didn't I?)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I just had to put this link up as I sent a'photo in.


Impressive or what?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Look out Woolfest

We're coming!

OOOhh I'm all excited, in a fit of spontenaity I rang Ro and asked her if she fancied Woolfest this year and she said yes. So I've managed to book a hotel for a couple of nights (and let me tell you that wasn't easy. "there's an event on that weekend in Cockermouth!")

So we're coming too!

I actually have a friend who lives near Maryport so I should probably have rung her and said I'm coming to stay but it seemed a bit cheeky!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ten green bottles......

Okay so there's only four and they're brown, but hey I do my best with the limited resources available to me.

Meet our newest (and probably most interesting so far) brand lines. Hot off the press (or out of the brewery) these arrived at work today. Our own range of organic beer locally brewed in the Calder valley.

I haven't tried them yet, but you can bet that I'm planning to now that I've photographed them.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

No knitting

I'm ashamed to admit that there has been NO PROGRESS AT ALL on the knitting since I last posted on SATURDAY.

Not a single stitch.

So I'm posting some pictures of Upton-On-Severn instead.

This is where I parked up last night, and what a beautiful evening it was. You wouldn't believe that a mere two hours or so earlier I'd hardly been able to see more than a couple of feet in front of the windscreen as I drove up the M5 out of Bristol.

Anyhow, there's a very nice car park as you can see (very reasonable £4.60 to park your truck overnight and a nice clean toilet block which you can't see 'cos it's behind the blue truck and the yellow truck). You will need your ear plugs as these boys pull out at the oddest times of the morning. I set my alarm for seven o'clock (yup, got to lie in today) and they'd all gone!

Took a stroll over the road and under the bridge to the Plough where I got a meal of pan seared tuna on a bed of salad with a side order of chips. Which was very tasty (if a bit too large, think the chips may have been an order too far).

Then strolled back to settle down for the night.

It would be nice to say that I get to look round the places that I park up, but I have to admit that I'm usually too tired to do more than wash and eat.

I did walk up into the town this morning to find an early morning cafe where I could get my thermos filled with hot water (and it would have been rude not to buy something so I forced myself to a bacon sarnie, on white bread half an inch thick, with ketchup! YUM!)

They're having a Jazz festival in Upton-On-Severn on the weekend of 24th & 25th June so if Jazz is your bag and you're in the area toddle on down there. it's a very nice little town. (Don't know if there's a wool shop though!)

On the way back up today I stopped at Stafford services on the M6 (northbound). It's great they have a BIG pond there with ducks and geese and moorhens. There was even a heron flew in whilst I was there.

I actually saw a goose being goosed. He was quietly sitting in the shallow water preening and a duck swam up behind him and poked him in the behind with her beak. He reacted in exactly the way a person would if it had been done to them. It was so funny! There were loads of gooselets too. All fluffy still 'though quite large. And they had these HUGE feet that they were having a bit of trouble keeping under control. Ace.

Unfortunately I'd left the camera in the truck and couldn't be arsed to walk back to the car park and get it, so no goose pics. Maybe next time.

Sorry there's no knitting.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Well, decision made and this is progress so far. Thanks for your help and advice Purlpower and Anne. Finally decided to go for the green Rowan Tweedy type stuff I bought from the place in Sowerby I mentioned in a previous post.

Seems to be knitting up quite quickly, the gauge is correct for the number of stitches, but about two rows more to 15cms than specified in the pattern. I don't think this will be too much of a problem.

I'm pleased with it so far, though the needles were a bit of a pain to start with. My 4.5mm DPNs are very very blunt and I had trouble with the purl three togethers and such. (I tend to start off knitting in the round by casting the required number of stitches onto one needle then knitting them off onto three, I find I'm less likely to get the knitting twisted then. I tried doing this straight onto the circular to start with and got in a horrible mess.) Once I'd got past the beginning and onto the circular it wasn't quite so bad, though even that is not as pointy as I'd like. I'm trying to keep it quite loose so that it's easier to get the needles through the stitches.

Why is it that however many needles you have you never have quite the right ones for a new project. I suspect the problem is that I've been buying cheap needles because that's what it's easy to get hold of, but I've discovered as I've progressed that I prefer certain types and I only have a few sets of those. I like bamboos as they seem to have pointier tips, but not cheap ones as they tend to drag the yarn. I'm also a bit worried that bamboos may go a bit blunter over time as they're not as hard as aluminium needles. Some alunimium ones seem to be sharper than others. I'll just have to keep an eye out and gather information as I go along.

Friday, June 09, 2006

oh my

it's tomorrow and I haven't planned anything. Haven't even really got anything on the needles at the moment.

I've been wanting to knit a lacey cardi for a while but can't seem to find the pattern that I want. I'm sort of considering "I do" from Knitty Spring05 . But I'm not sure.
I have some yarn that knits to the same gauge but has slightly less mileage on the ball and it seems a bit heavy for the pattern, but it may work out. I'd be knitting it in a grey/green colourway so it would be less bridal looking.

Can't decide, may have to buy some more yarn?

Hmm perhaps not.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

More than two weeks

To complete the first one, less than two days to complete the second. Typical.
A pair of Pomatomi (?) knitted in Opal home Kool Aid Dyed sock wool on 2.5mm Inox bamboo DPNs.

Despite going down from size 2.75mm DPNs as specified in the pattern to 2.5mms the socks are still a bit baggier than I'd like. If I did this pattern again (and now I've finally got the hang of it it seems a shame not to), I'd probably go down to 2.25 or even 2mm needles.

I like the pattern though and I'm quite tempted by Craftaholic's mermaid gloves , which she adapted from the Knitty pattern.

Saturday, June 03, 2006


ha ha, I've finished a Pomatomus at long last. Only one more to go.

I never realised that this was going to be quite such a long term project. However I'm not disheartened (not very anyway) and have already started the second one.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Anyone want to buy a loom?

Today I took a trip to Stow's of Sowerby. Mr Stowe (Ken I believe, or possibly Keith) claims to have the largest weaving concern in Sowerby but admits that this is 'cos it's the only one left. Unfortunately he's planning to retire, so there will no longer be a working mill in Sowerby Village. He'd like to sell his loom and allied equipment but says that the only people who have the skills nowadays are the same age as him or older.

I was put on to him by a friend at work whose sister told him about a place that sold cheap knitting wool and thanks to my knitting in public (or at least at work) Johnny T. knew that I am a keen knitter. There, you see if people know that you knit they tell you stuff like this. If you keep it a secret think of the opportunities that could be passing you by. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera so didn't take picture of the weaving shed or the loom or the warping machine. But they were most impressive.

Also impressive was the load of knitting wool that he had for sale. I've no idea where he got it from. It's mostly Rowan and another make which I hadn't heard of before and I've subsequently forgotten (I'd make a great reporter wouldn't I?!?). All the wool was for sale for at £1.00 per 100 grams. Mostly skeins but a few cones (no balls).

I bought (yes you knew that it was coming didn't you?) the following:

The grey stuff at the back is Cashgora and feels lovely and soft although googling has revealed that Cashgora is an inferior type of cashmere. Feels pretty good to me, and at £1.00 a skein I'm not complaining. I have nine skeins of that. (I can never remember the approximate amounts of yarn needed to make a garment so I tend to go a bit overboard).

The Green looks like standard Rowan Tweedy type double knit and I've got four skeins of that. I love that colour.

The fawn and beige type stuff at the front is slightly stringy in texture and I would say has an element of linen or something similar in it and I've got five skeins of that (though I think two skeins are probably 50 grams not 100 grams) in various shades. Thought it would make a nice vest type top.

He also has some stuff that he's woven for sale; floor rugs, car rugs, picnic blankets, some rather nice jackets (though they were all in large sizes). If you're pootling around West Yorkshire in search of a yarny bargain give him a visit but you'd better get a shake on 'cos I don't know how long he'll be there for before he retires.