Friday, 30 January 2009

The Knitting Haven

I was really please when I Knit moved from Vauxhall to Waterloo. It is a bus journey from my current work place and quick tube journey home. So yesterday I arranged for my Mother in Law and husband to keep my daughter entertained while I went to one of their Knitting nights (every Wednesday and Thursdays). I arrived just before six and it was almost full already, but I was feeling a bit hungry so I went to have a quick dinner nearby. By the time I got back (approx 6.30pm) it was absolutely full. I managed to squeeze my way to back and was offered a stall to sit on. I bought my daughter's cardigan with me and started kniting one of the sleeves.

This is the first knitting group I've ever been to and it was lovely. Chatting to fellow knitters and looking at each other's projects and yarns. So I really enjoyed myself and I hope (if I have the time) to go more often as it is so conveniently situated. I also bought a ball of yarn, I saw this guy knitting with it and it looked lovely. Here is the progress I made with the sleeve and the yarn I bought:

I made a little mistake which I corrected at home...I was too busy listening to some gossip.

Before I forget, here are some photos of the New Year Hot Pot we had at my Mums. There were some yummy oysters in the blue bowl. All the ingredients are prepared and everyone helps themselve to the food; cooking it in the hot pot of soup. Yum.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

First Awards

The lovely Hannah from Span's Stitchin' has given me my first awards...yay! Thanks! There are some rules (although according to Hannah they are not compulsory..) which are:

1) Put the award on your blog - will be there in a minute

2) Put a link on your blog of the blogger who gave you the award - done

3) Nominate 5 other bloggers - I nominate:

Kyoko from Cotton and Cloud - amazing knitting and tutorials.
Lupin from Bugs and Fishes - the first blog I read
Helen from Angharad - Lovely knitting and sewing
Two Hippos - I always get good tips on where to buy crafty things in London
Jo from Today we are - Great blog and always to the point

I use to lurk around blogland reading these blogs and it looked like fun so decided to join in....thanks for all the inspiration girls!

4) Leave a comment on their blog notifying them - will do

5) List 5 things that I'm addicted to so here goes: Hmmmm there is quite a few:
  • Blogging is is very addictive
  • Knitting
  • Buying books and magazines - Amazon and books shops are very dangerous places....
  • Puddings and cakes - I always like to have something sweet after a meal
  • This is a recent craze but puzzle games....especially sudoko

Today is Chinese New Year Eve, so will be popping over to my Mums for Hotpot tonight. Yay...will post some photos if I get the chance. In the mean time the lovely Grace Lee has baked an amazing Chinese New Year cake... have a look on our blog.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Simple Scarfette and Buttons

My daughter has got to the age when she wants to be 'just like Mummy'. So when she saw my scarfette she asked whether she could have one but in green and pink (her favourite colours apparently). Being a bad Mum, it has taken me several weeks to make her one. Tut tut tut.... But last week I got the yarn and knitted her a very simple scarfette. We had a good time talking about what it should look like and then choosing the button.

She can only wear it during the weekend because her school uniform colours are red, grey and white. 'The Twins' (you know who you are), if you are reading this let me know whether you like the pattern and I will get going with the knitting, you can also choose your own buttons from my 'small' button collection.

On another subject, everyone seems to be knitting mittens/hand warners these days (well in blog land anyway). So I have been experimenting and I have made this lace warmer...
I use part of the Purl Bee pattern and made a few mistake, such as forgetting to change to the purl stitch when I turned the hand warmer to knit the thumb hole. Also, I thought I'd be clever and finish the pattern in a different way. Oh well, I think I'd better stick to something simpler next time.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Computer problems

I'm currently experiencing computer problems and won't be able to blog for the next few days. Hubby is currently trying to fix it, but it may take some time. Fingers cross it will be fixed soon as I have a few things to blog about.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

The 'Husband Scarve' is finished!!

I hope eveyone has settled back to their normal routine and not missing the holidays too much. The weather has been exceptionally cold here in London, today it was -2 where we live. To cheer myself up before starting work again, I made some carrot cakes for friends and family (I ate 3 which was very naughtly) last Sunday. Yum Yum, I'm tempted to make some more, but I think I will make the healthy version instead of the 'ultimate' one next time.

Waking up at 6.30am instead of 10.30am was definately a shock to the system. Although the walk to the station in sub-zero temparature is not something I would do out of choice (we have unreliable buses here) but the scenery was absolutely beautiful in my view. Here is a photo I took on my mobile:

I wanted to just watch the ducks and swans 'iceskating', but I had to get to work on time. I arranged to go to Loop on Thursday lunch time with a colleague and bought two circular needles, two row counters and needle point protectors. The lady at Loop gave me some advice on the magic loop technique, which is to use circular needles with a longer cable (80cm to 100cm). I told her that I wanted to knit some socks, mittens and hats, using this method. She was so helpful, no wonder they won 'Local Yarn Shop of the Year' (Lets Knit Magazine Award).

Anyway, the whole point of this post to say that I've finally finished my husband's never ending scarve. I initally knitted it using 4mm by mistake, so I unwinded it a re-knitted it using the correct 8mm needles. Yay! Just in time for the cold weather too!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Crafting: How to save money I - Buying Yarn

I do love crafting as a hobby, but at times it can be very expensive. I like to have a rough budget on what I spend (with the exception of food though), but I've been very naughty when it comes to buying yarn, fabrics, etc. So I thought it would be good idea to get some advice on how to save money but not comprise on the quality of the end product. Please let me know if any of you crafty bloggers have a blog post or any advice on this subject.

I have got some advice already and will list my top 10 below. The first one is buying yarn. I must refer to this excellent blog post by Moo Cow Knits, this is more about which yarn to buy, but gives excellent tips on alternative 'cheaper' yarns. I have used the Robin SuperChunky yarn mentioned in the post and the quality is quite good. You could also put the knitted garment in the washing machine at 30 degrees (celcius). Other tips I have picked up from others and from experience are:

  1. Wait till the John Lewis/Liberty/Peter Jones sale. They usually have two; one after Christmas and another during the summer. Put the dates in your diary, decide on your knitting projects and then stock up. Yarns are often discounted to 50% of the price.

  2. This one is quite obvious but go to a local charity shop. My friend, Delene, goes to one in Wimbledon and always come back with beautiful yarns which are new and/or in very good conditions.

  3. Bought a jumper in the sale and then hated it, or it does not fit and nobody wants it. Unwind it and make something else.

  4. Do you know anyone who is having a spring clean and want to get rid of some yarn that they bought, but never used? Ask whether you could have them. I kept on hinting to my friend Alex on how I love knitting etc, so when he was having a clean out he gave me some left over yarn, needles and some great knitting pattern books.

  5. Go to the local habberdasheries. They often sell good quality yarn, sometimes, in bulk, at a good price. I go to the Wimbledon Sewing Centre Craft Store which is not in Wimbedon, but between Balham and Tooting.

  6. On holiday? Spot some nice and good quality yarn? Good price. Have a project in mind? Buy it!

  7. I find that craft shows are a bit hit and miss with regards to yarn, but Kyoko and I found some wonderful Norweigen yarn at the Knitting and Stitching Show.

  8. I'm not sure about Ebay as I don't really buy much yarn from the internet (I like to touch and feel the yarn before I buy), but according to some bloggers, it is a great place to buy good quality yarn at a good price.

  9. This may not be a good thing to say and it may horrify most dedicated knitters, but 'buy as you knit', decide on your projects, write a shopping list and stick to it.

  10. If you know how to and have the right tools, spin and/or dye your own yarn.

I don't think I will be able to follow all these advice, but I guess 5 out of 10 is not bad....Hee! Hee! Hee! Again, please let me know if anyone have anymore tips on buying good quality yarn for a good price....I'm always up for a bargain.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

A New Start to the Year

Happy New Year!! I hope everyone had good New Year. As usual we had a small party on New Year Eve at ours, and then we headed to the communal terrace to watch the fire works with our neighbours. I forgot to take my camera so here is a photo on television that I took later on.

As a start to the new year I decided to give our small flat a tidy, the bookshelves were rearranged to accomodate all the new books, food cupboard re-organised, other cupboard cleared, a few teddies had to go to storage and my small craft draw got rearranged, here is a before and after photo:


I don't think I will be buying anymore yarn or more space I think....Hee! Hee! Hee!