Ermmm, oops again…

Weeeeelllll. I may have taken my mum to Haworth on Friday. And I may have taken her to Coldspring to get her some lovely things there. And while I was given some money by a friend to get her stuff, and needed to get a gift for my secret pal, I may have also tripped up and kicked some stuff into my shopping basket, and then bought it. I had to get some more cashmerino aran for a pattern I am testing for someone on Craftster, so that was essential, but I also accidentally got me some Elsebeth Lavold Chunky AL in green. This stuff is yummy. It looks itchy, but feels soft. It has that kind of fibrous look to it, where it doesn’t have ply as such, but you can see the curve of the spinning. There were a couple of loose balls, which felt softer than the stuff in the packet, so I reckon that even tho it is quite nice now, it will soften more with handling (a bit like Kureyon does on blocking). If you want a nosey at it, try here.
My Debbbie Bliss club member gift turned up yesterday too. I hate the pattern, but love the yarn, so I’m going to have to have a think about what to make with it. I’m thinking along the lines of a One Skein Wonder kind of thing, but as I can’t buy the pattern (no credit card to make purchases in other countries 🙁 ), I’ll have to do the old ‘knit a strip till the yarn runs out and seam it up for sleeves’ trick. This yarn definitely demands being next to the skin though. Mmmmmm.
In other news, the stash is now crawling back a little. I’ve nearly finished the back of this, but also have rather a lot of yarn to go before I have finished it. Not an exciting pattern, but the yarn is so cushy that I still enjoy knitting it. I’m still working on the last front piece of the VK bolero, and cast on for the top of the lace leaf pullover, but haven’t really moved very much with it. I’ve also cast on for the pattern testing I mentioned, because that really should take priority so that it can be published, which means yet again I’m delaying finishing any projects, by adding to them. But at least I’m working on the pile in the corner… 🙂


Well, yesterday I was cheered up no end 🙂 The trip to Coldspring was just… Amazing. Their stock is wonderful, but I really wish I could have visited when they had originally bought the Debbie Bliss stuff. It is one of those places where you feel so excited about it you want to tell someone, but dare not in case the luxury of picking things out yourself is spoilt by someone else buying it first, and worse, someone you know! The trip was made a little more frantic by the news that the Debbie Bliss stuff is limited, because much of it was bought when the mills had to change the coating on the yarn to make it more fire resistant. It is still ok to use, but just less than the current stuff you can buy. Once thats gone, they’ll still get the yarns in at a discount, but not to such a fantastic amount as I saved yesterday. The rest of the stock is still lush, with all kinds of non-named brands around the place. I spent more than I planned to, but my mate gave me a tenner towards it as I’d got her some stuff from the Beatties sale, so I only went a tenner over what I planned to spend.
Ok, so here is the first pic of excitement
Coldspring Goodies
This pic has some 100% wool black super chunky stuff, which I plan to make a big throw out of (I bought two packs to make sure I have enough, and I’ll swatch to work out the gauge, cast on as many as I need to make the width I want, then just keep going till I run out). The cone is a kilo and a half of DB Cashmerino Super Chunky. There was a HUGE discount on this. To get this much, you’d have to pay about £120 quid full price. I paid 1p a gram, which made it £14.90. Woohoo! I’ll use it to make Simply Marilyn from the Interweave website. I’ve had the pattern on my mind for ages, so this is the only chance I’ll get to make it in the real stuff. Just need to think about what size to make – I want to make a slimmer fit because I’ve heard people have had problems with the sizing, but I feel a bit tentative about making a smaller size. Too big and I’ll look like I’m wearing a sack. The yarn may have been cheap but I won’t get the chance again, so I really want to make it good enough to wear in public in winter…
Bundles of joy number two.
More Coldspring goodies
These babies are goodies too. The light green is DB Baby Cashmerino. I got enough of this to make the ballet wrap top for myself in the Cashmere Collection pattern book, with some left over to play with – the yarn is so soft it could make a lovely lacy scarf or some super soft gloves or something. The balls of grey are Cashmerino Aran (DB again). I got two packs for 20 quid, so that makes a saving on that of about £60. They’ll go towards the ribby cardi in the same pattern book, with a bit left over again. The pack of brown I think might be Cathay. It feels a lot like it, but the colour doesn’t match the colour cards on the web, so I don’t know. It is definitely still DB though, and I think it will knit up to the same tension as Cathay to make that bolero from the Cathay pattern book (I got the pattern on its own free from a magazine). If not, then I’ll make a shrug up myself or make a bolero based on the VK pattern. Finally, there is a big ball of variegated yarn that took me about 3 hours to wind from the hank. You can’t see the colours in the pic, but it is full of muted tones of blues, reds, yellows and greens and a bit of orange in there too. It reminds me of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn in Blueberry Hill, but with some orange thrown in it. Probably sounds vile, but I think it will make a very nice piece of footwear 🙂
Altogether I spent 70 quid, but I saved at least 200 pounds on the retail price, and that’s just based on the ones I mentioned above where I knew the full price. I love Coldspring.
Unfortunately, my stash is now way too big. It may not be as bad as some people have, but when it lives in the lounge, and won’t fit into the lovely stash box, that ain’t good. Let me put it another way – if we have a fire, we better be insured (at the full retail value naturally ;)), and we might not get out the front door because the yarn lives in front of it… I never thought I’d be the kind of knitter who has too much yarn. But I think I can justify yesterday’s purchases because it all has a purpose. I just have to get round to making it up! If I knit the throw first, then that will be a lot of room freed up. Just have to finish some projects first before I start it… Oops!

Blah but yay!

Well, not much knitting done this week. I managed about 10 rows of the last front of the VK bolero. Nothing on the lace leaf pullover at all 🙁 But that’s cos of two things. The first is that I’ve been getting a job application ready for submission today. Keep your fingers crossed, cos it is a FAB looking job, but I’m not sure what my chances are. If I just get an interview, I’ll be well chuffed. The second is that I’ve been ill all week. The sore throat that started the day after I returned from the ace weekend in Leeds developed into a cough that wouldn’t go away, and wouldn’t stop ALL day. And that is literal. Doing nothing – cough. Start to talk – cough. Move about – cough. I finally went to the docs yesterday, and I have laryngitis which has become infected. Quite common in asthma sufferers because of the use of inhalers. I finally succumbed to not working this afternoon, and came home at lunchtime. DB is at a lovely end of term meal having an ace time, and I am here watching Live and Let Die and knitting a sock because I don’t feel like playing with anything else that I might ruin when I cough. And I can’t treat myself to a nice glass of wine because I’m on antibiotics to make sure that the infection doesn’t aggrevate the asthma.
BUT, I go to Coldspring tomorrow! And I am sooooo looking forward to it. My lovely friend has said that I can still go as she and her boyfriend and his mum will do all the talking for me so that I don’t have to 🙂 oooo yay! I have a list of things that I want to try and get, but must be careful to limit myself. And I am working very hard at using my stash up. Honest guv. Even with the non-knitting this week. But I think I deserve some cheering up. So there 😀

Knitting things

Well, things have changed yet again for knitting stuff. Because I’ve been so glum, I decided I needed some therapy, and have set aside the Tivoli t-shirt (particularly in consideration of the sizes Grumperina is having tested). Instead, I dived in to the Lace Leaf Pullover at last 😀 I have almost finished the botttom half (I love making something that is such a quick knit – I don’t often knit chunky). My justfication for making a cold weather jumper in the middle of a gorgeous summer period is that any knitting reduces the stash, which is going nowhere fast. At first I was a little confused by the lace chart, in particular with the dark squares labelled “no stitch”. Apparently I was being a tad slow, as I suddenly realised that it meant that there simply wasn’t a stitch there, and was just there to make the chart line up. Duuuuuuuh. I’ll post a pic once the bottom half is done, which should only be a day or two.
Although… That depends 🙂 A very kind Craftster soul has answered my 2 week old query on what to do with the VK bolero – woohoo! Apparently I’m supposed to follow the raglan until I get to the 5 stitches I need, something that wasn’t particularly clear in the pattern. In fact it wasn’t mentioned at all. The implication was to follow the neck decreases and when they finished, you’d have 5 stitches. But no! And I have frogged the left front (it looked rough), and am being very rational and have written down exactly what I’m doing on each row to the end of the front pieces for all the decreases. I should have the right front done by the end of today if I stick with it. Again, once I have something worth showing, I’ll post pics 🙂 It’s about time I posted some finished objects…
So, all this sudden exciting progression means that I am already planning the next things on the needles… I fancy knitting some socks, so I think I’ll use some scraps of Kid Classic to make the socks in Textured Knits (a book I got free from Knitting Magazine). I’ll have to weigh them to make sure there is enough yarn, but I have a couple of part balls of similar colours which could stripe together. I don’t fancy the bobbles tho, so I’ll skip those 🙂 2 needle socks could be quite a nice quick project, and using Kid Classic would make them even quicker, which is just what I need right now – something quick, simple, and comforting.
And I need to get something done before a trip to Coldspring this coming Saturday… 😀 Something to look forward to at last!

A strange day, and a week too

Well, what a terrible day. It started out so promising, and declined as it went, dragging everything with it. The lovely start was that I had to collect a parcel from the Post Office that they had tried to deliver yesterday while I was at work. Hoorah! I thought! My Secret Pal stuff has arrived, and swiftly too. And it was that 😀 I opened the parcel at work (how could I wait till I got home?!), and had to try and save what I could because the wrapping was lovely. More on that later.
Then a guy came to fix something at work which is vital to the operation of a good service, and proceeded to make it more broken than it was. Then I had a meeting with the deputy big boss of the library and found out stuff about my job which totally bummed me out. No, I’m not getting the sack or anything like that, but I was told that I would be promoted quite a long time ago, but that I couldn’t be officially regraded for some time, did the extra work ex gratia for a year, managed to do myself out of it by doing some review work, and now it looks like I’m going back to my original post. Poo. It wasn’t much extra money, and it was quite a lot more work, but it did look a lot better on paper than my original post. Because of that, I felt like dropping all the extra responsibilities that I’ve had on the spot, but I still had to go back to the guy breaking and then un-breaking stuff upstairs and try and control the situation (beyond my normal role). Then, DB phoned me when I was on my way home from work (he’s away still), and I couldn’t talk to him properly cos I was at the bus stop, but he didn’t seem to offer any sympathy. Maybe he couldn’t because of who he was with, but I could have done with a big verbal hug.
Then I looked at the news, and saw London, and decided that I am a shallow young lady and that I should try and remember the bigger picture. People are dying, and I’m getting upset over a series of shabby days at work and in general. People are starving, being abused, raped, and not getting the right treatment or aid, and I’m feeling upset because my life isn’t totally in control. My mate was going home from Edgware Road only last night. She’s lucky. There are lots of people who were thinking about banal things, maybe missed the train/bus, ended up in the carriage with a drunk in it or something like that, and then realised how pathetic these things are when you put it all in perspective. And I feel really angry that half of the news broadcast is about how bad the roads are and how quickly the rail service has come back up. Who cares? The number of people who have officially died or have been injured is relatively small so far compared to other events like those in Barcelona (the nearest major terrorist attack to us), but to broadcast information on how it has effected the links out of London only serves to provide the terrorists with more publicity and demonstrate that they got what they wanted. We have to see the impact, but to dedicate half of the item on the news to the bad traffic and walking Londoners is a bit insensitive maybe to those who are related to the dead and injured.
The BBC have changed programming from Ground Force, to…. Ground Force. :/ But the one they’ve changed it to is one where they do a garden for Nelson Mandela. Talk about trying to bully up the team…
Ok, so on to nice things. When I opened my parcel, I found something like this…

Yay! Lovely wrapping. And there was rather a lovely scent coming out from somewhere.
So I opened 🙂 and found these goodies!

Double yay! A yummy White Barn candle scented in Cinnamon Cappacino (and trust me it smells so good you could eat it). Def a US brand – we can’t get that over here, especially the scent. Gorgeous! It is sitting on the mantle piece with the lid on, and I can still smell it wafting around the room! And then some fabby Bernat DenimStyle yarn in a lovely choccy brown and cream tweed. Another thing I can’t get in this side of the water. This stuff is sooooooo soft! It is 70% acrylic, 30% cotton, and blimey it is miles better than anything in that mix in the UK. If you bought that over here, you would guarantee that it would feel scratchy or plasticy, because we really don’t have the yarn thing going on that well. This stuff is lush – its the kind that you rub against your face (and I know that I’m not the only one who does that) and want to hug like a stuffed toy (I probably am the only one who wants to do that, but it reminds me of being a kid and wool shopping with my mum [sigh]). I have 3 big 100g balls, so I had a nosey on the Bernat site, and found a very cute poncho pattern to crochet up. Or I might make a little sleeveless cowl neck. I’ve only just got it and I’m looking for inspiration for it 😀 There is a nice hat and scarf pattern on the band, but I think it deserves more than that. Oooo! Maybe a boob tube type top! I’ll have to make a swatch and see what leaps out – it’s harder to see what a tweedy yarn will look like made up in the ball than other yarns, so it requires some proper attention 🙂 And the card is very cute – I wish I had a conservatory like that one – or at least a garden/house that tidy 😉
Thank you Secret Pal! You’ve made my first SP experience a fab one! I hope your pal is as good as you 🙂
The world is full of terrible people, but I am lucky, and have lots of lovely ones around me. Plus fab yarn, a roof over my head, Alan Titchmarsh and Charlie Dimmock doing Nelson’s garden on the telly, and a glass of wine in my hand. For the pleasures in life we take for granted, that others may not always get, I raise my glass, and hope I can do something more to help improve life for those who don’t get them. I’m one lucky girl.


I frogged Tivoli AGAIN last night 🙁 I managed to increase on the start of the row, and decided that it looked yukky and I would regret it even if I decreased to make the stitch count right. But, I do know that I really really want to make it. Whether it wants me to make it is another question… I hope so! I read today that Grumperina wants to make a standardised version with sizing and stuff, so now I’m not sure whether to wait and see what she comes up with for it. Besides, I’ve lost nearly half a stone now (not much overall, but bodes well for future non-fatness), which may require some playing with patterns. But I want to knit stuff right now! I’m not sure really what to do. I could finish my scarves off, and finish off the sock yarn, but I don’t really feel like it right now when it is sunny and lovely (well, not today!). I must be going through a really blah kind of period. Either that or I’m v tired after the weekend naughtiness of going out big time, and scared of my database ECDL test tomorrow (eek!), and the fact that DB is leaving for another 4 day conference tomorrow, the third in about 7 weeks. Or maybe all of them 😀 Maybe doing some designing would help. More about that later when I’ve got the laptop charged up
Oh well! I have lots of goodies to look forward to! That will make a big difference (Secret Pal – you timed yourself perfectly… Thank you again for that :D). Lovely secret pressie things, the Debbie Bliss club freebie joining doo dah in lovely alpaca silk. Mmmmmmmmmm. And the new Harry Potter… Hoorah! All very exciting. And I’m still planning that visit to Coldspring, but when it is happening I don’t know. Hopefully after I get paid 😀
oooo I feel better already!


Just a quick post – I’ve just got back from a weekend away, to come back to the lovely news that my Secret Pal has posted a package out to me. YAY! Just what I needed to hear after a week of pooiness from knitting, plus the downer of coming back from a fab weekend knowing you have to work tomorrow. Yay! Thanks Secret Pal! 🙂