Friday, 15 August 2014

Really love your dragon feet...

My Dragon Socks are finished, on the blockers and have found their way into my heart...
I can't say I loved every minute of making them, there are a couple of errors in the stitch pattern where I was too busy watching Person Of Interest and forgot to bring the yarn forward so they probably required more concentration than I would usually like, but they were definitely worth the extra effort.  I think it is worth remembering when knitting socks that nobody will be looking that closely at your feet, they honestly won't judge.  There was no way on earth I was going to unpick five rows to put it all right and I love them no less because of a couple of flaws.  They are really going to cheer me up on cold winter mornings to come and will remind me forever of my holiday in Crete, though I managed only a few lines of them while we were there.

Last night I had a disaster when winding my most beautiful stash yarn...
Sorry about the awful picture, it was late and I was tired.  I don't know what I do wrong but whenever I try to wind one of those lovely figure of eight skeins I end up with a horrible knotty mess.  It took me hours to sort out and I ended up not getting the early night I really wanted but in the end I was victorious...
If anybody knows of a good tip for winding these I would be grateful.  I am in a quandary about this yarn.  I had originally thought I would make a Hitchiker with it.  I've tried a Hitchiker before with little success (several times actually) but this yarn would look stunning and is such beautiful Autumnal colours that I am inclined to give it another try.  Perhaps you have a suggestion about what to do with one beautiful skein of sock weight yarn?  Of course I could always make socks but I already have a plan for some of those...
Today I am linking up to a new place, Fibre Arts Friday, perhaps you would like to join us?



Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Dragon Socks

Welcome back to Hilly Town, it's been busy here as usual!  The end of term was crazy, as will always be the case for teachers who have school aged children, and then we went straight off on our holidays to Crete. Even though we haven't been back for very long it feels like an eternity.  We have never had a family holiday like that before and it was wonderful, it reminded me again that there are all sorts of benefits to going back to work!  I will be blogging about our holiday in the next few days but Mr HT has not finished processing the photographs yet and as he took almost all of them it seems a little rude to use them before he is happy with them.

As for my crafts, they have been on the back burner a little bit of late.  I do have something to share with you though, I call them my Dragon Socks...
Is it just me that thinks the stitch looks like scales?  I found this pattern for Show Off Stranded Socks through the Yarn Harlot website, it's a free one from Ravelry and I like it a lot.  I am using my usual sock pattern and then superimposing the stitch pattern on top of it if that makes sense. The socks are gaudy as can be but as they are going to worn under boots in the winter I can't think it matters very much.  A word of warning if you decide to give this great pattern a try, I found that even my Knitpro Carbonz weren't pointy enough to lift the stitch over and had to order a set of Steel Hiya Hiya sharp steel needles to knit them on.  They are very slippery and this had caused some problems but more importantly they are hurting my hands as they have no bend to them at all.  I bought some Hiya Hiya sharp bamboo at the same time so those will be the next ones I use to give my hands a break.

One of the books I read on holiday was "Rivers of London" by Ben Aaronovitch.  It's about a policeman who discovers and becomes part of the magical underworld of London.  There are lots of interesting snippets of London history and insights in police procedure.  I have no idea how accurate these insights are but they are fun to read about.  I've already downloaded and read the second in the series which I enjoyed as well.  I am holding back from downloading the next one, they are just the sort of books I like to read over the winter so I'm saving them.  They are fun and untaxing to read but there's a small element of horror there as well which means they aren't a sort of twee adult Harry Potter thing.  They definitely get a thumbs up from me.

Today I am linking up with Ginny for the Yarn Along and Tami's WIP Wednesday, I'll be seeing what everybody else is up to later today.

Now, I wonder whether the rain will hold off this afternoon, I could really do with getting these children out of the house...

Friday, 4 July 2014

FO Friday, more socks!

Oh how I loved making these socks.  I have waxed lyrical about the colours before so I won't bore you again but I remain besotted by them...
The details:  The yarn was Opal Little Prince (7767), the free opal sock pattern is available in most shops which stock Opal yarns (I added the slip stitch heels for fun), my needles were 2.5 knit pro carbonz which I find very comfortable to use.
So there they are, all finished.  They behaved very well during the making process, no unpicking or dropped stitches or any other disasters.  Just a word about my sock blockers, they were made for me by my Father In Law and I love the way the socks look on them.  I had no idea how much difference blocking would make to the finished sock but they came of the blockers looking absolutely immaculate.  If I were the sort of generous hearted person who gave socks away then I would definitely block them first.
It's nearly the end of term and I'm so looking forward to spending some time in blog land again.  I hope you are all well and happy!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Wednesday link up

Before I start I would like to show you this beautiful double rainbow we spotted last night, we see so many rainbows from this house, it is one of its charms...
It's not a good photo but still, I just wanted to share a little happiness.

I wasn't going to post today but I'm feeling the need for a little crafty moral support.  You see my project this week has a chequered past.  Last week I trundled over to one of my favourite yarn emporiums (Bluestocking in Cainscross for any local friends) and treated myself to some really good quality wool from Rowan which I intended to turn into cushion covers.  I tormented myself with these cushion covers for a few days.  First trying to make a pattern up from a stitch dictionary, then going back to Bluestocking to exchange some of the yarn so that I was making them all in ivory, then buying a pattern for cushions and not enjoying making them, then deciding to crochet the covers instead of knit them.  Now I realise that none of this is terribly important in the scheme of things but in a moment of clarity I realised that no matter what I wasn't going to like these cushions, the colour was wrong for the sofa, the patterns weren't working and all in all I wasn't enjoying it.
Enter the Lady Marple.  I can't actually remember where I found this pattern but I've been thinking of having a go at it for some time.  I had no intention of making it in ivory originally, I had a deep red in mind, but then I spotted this project and was smitten.  Hence last night, as I vegetated in front of my current Netflix obsession (Numb3ers, seriously silly but curiously compelling) I found myself doing this...
Casting on a project which is clearly too hard for me and for which I am endlessly going to be begging for support from the blogging community to help me find tutorials and advice.  So you have been warned and I can only apologise in advance for any irritation this may cause.  I also had to return to Bluestocking for two more skeins of the yarn (Rowan Pure Wool Worsted), I think the lovely owner has now actually come to the conclusion that I am short of a marble or two.  She is not the first to reach this conclusion.

As for my book, I have never read The Little Prince and as it is the centenary of its publication and also the inspiration for my current favourite sock yarn from Opal I though I probably ought to. It is whimsical and very French, as a result it is utterly charming.

Linking with Ginny and maybe Tami if she posts today.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Some bits of pretty

This week has had its share of little highlights I would like to remember.
My girls have rediscovered Lego, and found it to be a different experience altogether when helped by a mischievous cat...
I love to see them playing with lego, we have some fancy Hobbit lego which they enjoy building with their father but normal lego has a charm all of its own.
We made our way over to Slimbridge WWT and my husband took some pictures of the birds...
We are members so make the effort to go over there quite often, I have to say that the girls are mostly interested in the flamingos and the adventure playgrounds but we manage to persuade them to look at some of the other birds occasionally.  I like this one with the bright blue bill, when they dive down into the water they seem to stay there for an eternity, we like to follow the trail of bubbles and predict where they'll pop up again...
I've also been enjoying catching up on lots of blogs this week and making time to comment.  If I haven't got to yours yet I'm sure I will in the next couple of days.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Yarning Along on WIP Wednesday

This week I have abandoned my bright striped socks.  They turned into the bane of my knitting life.  First of all I finished one, only to find that actually my cunning plan of making them a touch smaller by going down to 2 1/4 DPNs had made them too small for comfort.  This was disappointing as actually I had knitted a more or less perfect sock...
I suppose I could have given it away to somebody with smaller feet, but actually I have quite small feet anyway and might well have had trouble finding somebody.  Also, if I'm honest, I am still greedily wanting to keep my socks.
Anyway, I mostly re-knitted the sock only to find that I had messed up the heel.  I tried to unpick it but got in a muddle so, in a fit of Knitting Rage, I did this...
Fear not, I rewound the skein but really couldn't face those acidic colours any more (having already knitted virtually a pair of socks with it completely fruitlessly) and have put it in the drawer under my bed where I stash (hide from my family) my sock wools.

In the mean time I have been working on this...
Another sock but in the most soothing of colours.  This is an Opal Sock Yarn from the Little Prince range and the colour is The Geographer.  I am smitten with these colours as they remind me of the sea in Exmouth where I used to sit in a pub and consume Pints of Prawns with some of my friends.  Sadly it's true that youth is wasted on the young, I think we used to spend most of the time we sat there moaning about how hard we had to work (!!!)

As for reading, I have sped my way through the John Le Carre.  As with many of his books it starts slowly, but wow, by a third of the way through I was totally absorbed.  Beautifully written, thoughtful, perceptive, dark, and very British.  It's the story of morally bankrupt politicians and business men, civil servants caught up in their machinations, treatment of service personnel, PTSD and more.  If you like literature you have to think about then I can recommend this wholeheartedly.  It's not a light read by any means, but it's Le Carre so I had no expectation it would be.

There will be lots more books and projects to see if you pop over to Tami's and Ginny's blogs.


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Pretty Tuesday 4

We haven't had a photogenic week here in Hilly Town, there's been plenty going on but nothing much caught my attention as I looked through our photographs from the last few days.  I know from experience that if I give up on my Tuesday meanderings though our life this week I may not pick them up again, and I do want to journal part of our lives here as well as my crafty stuff, so I grabbed our new camera and the dog and set out of the front door for a walk around my own little part of Hilly Town...
We walked up by the allotments.  I would like an allotment one day, but at the moment I don't have control of my own tiny garden so this isn't the time to do it.  Soon those little stick pyramids will be covered in Sweet Peas.  I love this view over the hills and far away.
Then I thought I would pass by the Church, I'm fond of this little Church and its peaceful churchyard, it has several different possible routes of approach but this little gateway appeals to me...
A former Vicar of this Church was The Revd. W. Awdry who wrote the Thomas the Tank Engine books, there is a window dedicated to him inside which I will try to photograph some time.  I might need to consult Mr HT though because I suspect it will be difficult to capture.
In the churchyard I found a tree in blossom, I love this shade of pink...
And finally, just to show there has been craft happening, L and B have both been learning to knit.  B has had her very first try, goodness me but those needles are awkward for her to handle at the moment and she gets easily frustrated by it so I'm just leaving her to show an interest again.  L has been leaning to purl so that she can move on a little with her knitting.  Again her boredom threshold is low, but I think one day they will be glad they learnt the basics as children.  At some point if they want to learn more they can either ask one of their knitting relatives or do what the rest of us do and consult YouTube...
Later today I am hoping to catch up with some of you on your blogs and to finish a sock, more of which tomorrow.  
I hope your Tuesday is pretty.