I spent the last couple of nights going through my stash to work out exactly what I have and listing it on a spreadsheet. I haven’t even finished and I have 55 different yarns (although some may just be different colours of the same range, but I don’t mix colours really). Gah. I still managed to fit them all (just) into two plastic lockable crates though. I REALLY need to make some room…

[runs off to knit things]

[Update] I have just under 13 kilos of yarn. And that’s before I even consider the future projects box and the box that holds the chunky yarn that won’t go anywhere else at the mo… Luckily many yarns have a project attached. I just need the time!

My weekend in pictures

Here is the formula for a bad garden.

Previous owners leaving loads of crap+another previous owner doing a bad concrete job on a steep hill+not wanting to do work in garden cos it still looks awful after you’ve cleaned it all up=the following piccies.

top level before.jpg

patio before.jpg

patio before 2.jpg

Yeah, it’s bad. Or rather it was. Here is another formula.

Bad garden+some manly burning of garden rubbish+lovely friend with lovely pro gardener partner+one day and a bit (interrupted by some thunder storms, but mainly glorious)=yummyness.

top level after.jpg
top level after 2.jpg
patio after.jpg
In a very short time (the day and a bit was interrupted regularly by thunder, shopping for more supplies, accidentally visiting the Next sale while shopping for more supplies, getting a take away, drinking beer, sleeping, watching Country File with the ever fabby John Craven), the garden was weeded, the rubbish left by the last owners chucked in a skip, plants trimmed, moved, planted up, new plants purchased and planted in previously undiscovered soil, a moss house designated, conifer chopped down and two huge conifer trunks dug up, patio slabs replaced (having been removed by the council checking drains, and never put back properly), weed membrane put down, bark chippings scattered, potted up plants moved to new lovely places and plans made for purchasing more plants to leave in pots and a some chairs and a table, and the pub visited for a late lunch and some lager and lime. Oh, and Sue and I did some knitting too. Well, she knit the Mason Dixon baby kimono, and I crocheted some more scarf squares and made loads of mistakes cos of gossiping/getting distracted by Country File discussing Winnie the Pooh and the original setting for the 100 acre woods (somewhere in Sussex if you are interested and if I remember correctly). We had a lovely time, or at least I did. And I can’t stop looking and loving my new garden arrangements. See the garden shed? The previous owners had for some reason had the door facing that greenhouse and the wall (the greenhouse belongs to our neighbours), so that it took up loads of stupid space. All it took was turning it so that the door opened towards the steps (the right in the pic of the shed) and suddenly we have enough room for a full table and chairs set up there.
For those who are interested, our garden is mad. The reason the pics look down onto the patio is that we live in a steep hill. The lower level of our house has the front on the road, but the back is built into the hill, so we have no garden until you get upstairs. Our patio doors are next to the bedroom doors. The bit outside the patio doors has always been relatively well kept because we wanted to be able to see nice things, but the patio round the side of the house where the conifer was and the composter is kept was just a place to hang the washing really till it got nice plants the fence improved. And that’s also why you see the roofs in the left of the first picture – the top of the garden is actually skirting the top of our roof and you could jump from the edge to the bathroom extension if you liked. But I don’t think you would want to… We also have this strange little middle bit inbetween patio level and top level that we use as a path, mainly because it leads to next door’s beautiful top level garden. And you see that wall on the left of the shed? The top of it is where next door on the other side have their top ground level… It is pretty damn steep, but those walls have been there for a loooooong time so we are pretty safe 🙂 Now that the garden is actually attractive, I will be more willing to look after it, and I’ve already weeded, and done it after coming back from work! Gasp! Hoorah!
After all that, I suppose I better not add any more pics for now 😉 But I have finished at last the first sock for my colleague after what seems an age. The scarf is almost long enough, and I have lots of exciting new books. So you’ll just have to wait for a bit for some knitting content, while I go admire my garden and the new Clematis I got the other day that isn’t in the pics and hope that the weather holds out for when DB’s parents come over to see the new aceness.


No pics today I’m afraid. The power cuts continue to come sporadically and have done on and off for a few weeks. Apparently there are local problems – you just get a recorded message when you phone the hotline, but it doesn’t seem to be the supply problems economists etc went on about last year. Soooo, that means that I have to produce blogging I can do on notepad offline, and emailing is out the window because I can’t read what I want to respond to :/
Anyway, to make things more interesting without piccies (expect a pic fest if power improves this weekend), I have a few stories to tell. Power cuts have left DB feeling a bit lost for what to do with himself. He’s a total techie, so everything he enjoys doing is linked to his puter. He’s also very into Alfred Hitchcock, so his research is done on the web, he gets DVDs sent from all over the world (including occassional review copies from the distributors) and he has his own wiki and site with quality comparisons and stuff. Take away the electricity and he can’t do any of this at all. Yeah, he has a few books, but that isn’t the same. I, on the other hand, revel in the peace the power cut gives me. Yeah, I worry about the milk going off and that kind of stuff, but I like being able to take advantage of the time to craft and read. The gifty scarf is growing merrily, and I reckon I’ll have made enough squares to finish it this weekend (maybe 7 more). I’ve also played with joining the squares with single crochet and worked out that I can make a nice flat side and a bumpy side by doing that without having to do pooey sewing together. And what is extra fabby is that I may even stick to the one skein rule in doing so (or maybe get a couple of metres from the second skein). I’ve also been having fun with something very silly indeed – a paint your own money box of Mr Bump from the Mr Men 🙂
I’ve also fallen in love with two very very beautiful inspirational knitwear design sites – probably only new to me, but still, I can spread the love… First up is Constance Eyre, who does some truely gorgeous machine knitted garments. They have a classic look to them, but with a little bit of an edge. Yummy. Second is the also beautiful and inspirational site of Ink Boutique who are much cheaper than Constance Eyre, and a bit more edgy, but only sell up to a medium (yeah, even I could afford one of their knits as a treat). The latter site has also got me thinking about designing something myself – the stuff I like on the site is mostly made up of simple lines with something a little subtle or unusual, like the slash neck tank with a flower belt running through the hem, or the empire line t-shirts with ribbons running round the neck. Something like that could be easy to create using a pattern and just adding a twist… Double yum.
However, this had to happen at the wrong time didn’t it. Regular readers will know I’ve been having problems pinning my tutor down, resulting in changing my masters submission to November. Things are now moving again, and I suddenly have a ton of work to do, and fast. Poo. But a good thing too. I might actually finish the bugger off this year 😉 Studying and knitting aren’t too bad together, but studying and doing complicated knitting that you are making up yourself does not make for a good pairing. Do me a favour and remind me when I’m done that these sites exist and have cool things that I might be able to make. In the meantime I’ll have to stick to stashbusting and gifting and using really nice easy patterns.
Oooo – almost forgot! I finally got some more sock needles from Pavi Yarns, and bloody quick they are too. And they wrap things up in tissue paper. I like it when companies do that. A small touch but enough to make you feel like you are important to them… I got some yarn and a book too, but I’ll post more on that another time. Now the electricity is back on and I want to read instead of looking at a puter screen.

Amazing Lace Challenge 4

I hope I can get this out ok – our electricity has been going off sporadically all weekend 🙁 So forgive me if I owe you emails etc. Anyway, the latest AL challenge is an interesting one. We have to photograph our lace in ways we might be able to use it as it is now. My knitting funk is ongoing (more on that later), so mine is not progressing quickly, or at all at the moment!

BUT, it does have some use, in ermmm, a special way…

As a tutu for a mouse:
Maisy tutu.jpg

Or a scarf for a phone (although it is a little short for poor little Beryl the phone, but it is summer):
phone scarf.jpg

Or, if I go away and forget to take implements of oral hygiene, maybe I can use it to floss:

A wasted journey?

Well, I’ve just finished weeding the path to the front door (actually, not finished, more like removed the worst of it till the rest grows up), having got back from the Holmfirth trip. Did I get any needles? No. They had no sock needles at all 🙁 Did I get anything? Maybe… Mum got her yarn, and I got a bit of yarn action myself – 2 balls of DB Baby Cashmerino in a lovely rich dark purple to crochet an Animeko from, and 2 books that I won’t mention in case I jinx my plans. I was sooooo good and restrained. I wanted to buy alpaca, DB Cathay and lots of really bargainous sale yarns, but didn’t. Hoorah!
The lack of sock needles also means that I’m forced to work on other things in progress, which I suppose is a good thing 😉