Saturday, December 31, 2005

Latkes and doughnuts

With one too many of the above, a menorah dripping in wax and the Bubela who loves that every day greets him with a present, I'll be pleased when the holidays are over. I'm waiting for the gym membership card to resume its swipe, the feather duster to detach itself from Hubby's hands and me to sit down with a pair of needles and not feel guilty.

The holidays have been wonderful, I've loved having the Bubela home and Hubby off from work and we've been very busy with friends and family - but enough already.

As you can see the Olive pattern is now available and I'm sure you will love it. She's a real treat to wear and I've worn her so much these holidays. I hope you enjoy her as much as I do.

Since finishing Olive, I've felt quite redundant. Or rather, that I have had no one to argue or fight with. Knit - frog, knit - frog, knit - frog... a real love/hate relationship. I've been working on the alphabet blanket the last few days, and we get on better, a real simple and smooth knit.

I'll take another sip of wine and sing Auld Lang Syne. I wish you all a healthy and Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Escape from the Wooly World of Knitting

I'm in the process of typing up Olive to share with you, however, it might take me a little longer than I would hope (see reasons below). I wore it today and someone asked me where I bought it!! They couldn't believe that I knit it myself, let alone designed it. I was chuffed to bits.

Can you see the bruise on my cheek? No, I didn't fall off the treadmill today. Its from the root canal which I had done Christmas Eve, it was the only day they could fit me in - it didn't affect Christmas day lunch.

Hubby was upset with me today. Well, it was justified. Because Olive has been at the forefront of my mind recently, and what with the Holiday shopping, and my little part-time job that I work from home (which is fizzling out at the end of January anyway - they can't afford to keep me on) - I forgot to purchase something which is absolutely crucial in our lives right now. We are due to start our 3rd IVF in 5 days time and... I forgot to purchase the drugs!!!

I feel really dipsy, no not even that: irresponsible. As this is THE most important thing to me and I thought I had everything organised, but clearly didn't.

Fortunately, when I telephoned the pharmacy I was told that if I run the prescription down there as soon as possible, I could collect the drugs tomorrow. Phew, but I wasn't in the area. I love my mum she is the greatest and always comes to the rescue, so I phoned her and asked to her pick up the prescription from my house and drop it into the pharmacy - there is a Bank Holiday Monday hence the urgency.

Hubby told me to come out of my "Wooly World of Knitting" and start focussing on what's important... although I'm waiting for this to arrive, and this.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Olive for Christmas Day

How was your Christmas? At the moment we are still enjoying Channukah (the festival of lights). I love the holidays... and the waistband is certainly proving that. Diet will start again in 2006, but I've been to the gym *round of applause* thank you.

As many of you know, I am a Jewish girl living in a modern world where you can't hide from Christmas. And who would want to hide from this enjoyable festival anyway? I want the Bubela to enjoy every inch of both Christmas and Channukah so that he can learn how different people celebrate different things in different ways... and get two lots of toys!

Anyway, barely Christmas morning (5.50am to be precise), the Bubela shouts out from his room "Is it morning yet?" Sure is. And with that, he comes bouncing into our room and asks if he can go and check downstairs to see if Father Christmas has left him anything. Hubby and I follow behind him - yes, its about 5.52am at this point. Me with the digital camera, Hubby with the camcorder. Oy vey, what a sight.

"He has mummy, look" he shrieks, "and, he's got the same wrapping paper as you". "Oh yes, err... it was on special offer". (what else could I say to a believer?)

*note to self: remember to hide wrapping paper as well as presents next year*

He loved all of his presents, especially Star Wars' millennium Falcon. Hubby has a few busy jobs too, lots of lego and imaginext sets to put together. The Bubela kindly told me that I was a good girl too, but why didn't Father Christmas bring me any wool?? I don't know, why didn't Father Christmas bring me any wool?? Maybe, he does all the mummy's presents in the January sales!!

And here she is. Olive. By the skin of my teeth, I finished the Olive cardigan for Christmas Day. I was threading the last few ends in in the car to my parents on christmas day.

I'm really pleased with how it turned out, considering how many times I had frogged it because it didn't look just right. Remember how this started off as a jumper, then turned into a cardigan with no collar, now its still a cardigan but with a collar, just perfect. Its even warm enough to wear as a jacket, what do you think? I'll get the pattern all typed up if your interested.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Zayde Clause is coming to town

The Hubby, Bubela and I would like to wish you Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

God forbid you touch the knitting

There's not much going on on the knitting front. You see, I'm not frantically knitting to finish off the holiday knits. That's because, as you know, I didn't start any. The Fam will sure be surprised (or possibly relieved) to open their Channukah gifts and not pull out a knitted scarf, or gloves perhaps. Oh no, not this year. But I promise, promise, promise, to attempt holiday gifts next year. Okay, Fam?

Now, tell me why is it that kids get up to mischief when mummy's are on the telephone? I'm on the phone and the devil gets into the Bubela. He's running around and making noise, I'm ignoring it and I take myself out to the kitchen so I can hear the caller. The Bubela runs into the kitchen pulls a face and runs off, I mimic a giggle and let him get on with it. Again, he comes into the kitchen with a Bamboo knitting needle. Again, I just ignore him and I'll tell him off when I get off the phone.

So, I get off the phone, forget to tell him off and I carry on blowing raspberries on his belly while he shticks himself in laughter. I later bath him and put him to bed.

I then attempt to clear up before starting dinner only to find that THAT Bamboo needle contained LIVE STITCHES from the Olive cardigan that I'm designing. Oy vey. Obviously, dinner was held off until those live stitches were threaded back onto the bamboo. God forbid you touch the knitting.

I'm hoping to showcase the Olive cardigan in January... towards the end.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Knitting resolutions...

Holiday Knitting isn't finished... because it was never started!! Last year's one knitting resolution was never achieved. And, that all important one was that all family members were to receive a knitted gift for this Channukah. Oh dear. What happened?

For this, I am sharing this year's knitting resolutions early. Have you thought about your knitting resolutions yet?

I'm far too ambitious for my own good, and probably won't accomplish all of these, but here goes.

1. Use up my stash - I'm a real sucker for buying yarn just to look at. Especially if its a bargain. You've seen me flash my stash, and now I feel its time to stop hiding it, get it out, and knit it.

2. Patterns - I have a never ending list of wannaknits. Complete them.

2. Always block - *Huff* What a bore, but clearly a necessity. I can be a real lazy knitter at times. I can either "purposely" forget to do a gauge test, or shy away from blocking. I really need to knuckle down and block.

3. Yarn dyeing - I loved the Kool Aid dyeing that I did last month (pictured). It wasn't half as messy or as scary as I thought it would be. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised with what I created, and I want to experiment more. I want to make my own sock yarn (for Resolution No. 5) in reds, pinks and greens. I'm going to try dyeing with Dylon too.

4. Designing - I'd like to design and knit up a tank top for the Bubela, something with a cable. Everything I knit, he asks "Is that for me?" Bless him. I'll frog the Debbie Bliss Cabled jumper which I knit up for him last year and use that yarn (DB Cotton DK in chocolate brown). He doesn't like it because its so heavy. The hood drags the jumper off his shoulders. The yarn is just too heavy for a hooded jumper, even though it was the recommended yarn. DB Cotton DK may be better as a tank, with a shirt underneath. Smart!!

5. Socks - Knit up a few more. I'd like to purchase a few books, Folk Socks, Sensational Knitted socks, to mention a couple. I want to learn how to knit two socks at once using circulars. If anyone has a link to a good tutorial, could you send it to me please. And, after dyeing my own yarn, I'm definitely going knit a pair of Jaywalkers.

And, the photo... that's the Bubela (as pageboy) sneaking a kiss off the bridesmaid.

Monday, December 12, 2005

What can you knit up in a matter of hours??

Here's the hat and scarf I knocked up in a weekend for Shayna, my niece. Its made with Bernat's cotton tots. The scarf is a regular stocking stitch with a flower edge (Nicky Epstein's design).

For the hat, I simply used the pattern outline from December's issue of Simply Knitting and modified it slightly.

She loves the scarf, but I don't think she is overly keen with the hat... you know what girls are like!

I'm going on a course on Friday from work. Initially, I wasn't that keen on going, but taking a three hour train ride to get there sounds more appealing. Yes, three hours of knitting!! I've been flicking through my books and magazines for the perfect and most portable little project to take along. I really like the Evergreen Bag from Handknit Holidays but I don't really want to start intarsia on a train. I think booties or socks would be a better idea. Or maybe, I'll start a curly scarf in Kidsilk Haze. Oh yes, yes yes. I'm going to John Lewis tomorrow with the Bubela, I'll buy the KSH then.

The Olive cardigan design is coming along. I was very naughty with this project though, I didn't block. *gasp* I know, I know its shocking and I'm not looking for excuses, but I think it was because I didn't really know where I was going with this project, you know what I'm like. Its already changed three times. Yes, I frogged the front again and ended up picking up stitches from the left front, back of the collar and right front and am knitting a 2x2 rib at the moment.

I haven't been to the gym for weeks and I planned to go today... promise. I took the Bubela to school, popped into work and then was on my way to the gym, when I get THE call from school. Can I pick him up? Oh my god what's happened. Its the Pox, they don't think the pox is clear for him to return to school. Even though its clear enough for the doctor, its not clear enough for school, oh well, more time at home with me spoiling him... He loves it! I love it more!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Your once, twice, three times a design...

The way Linda Goodman describes me in Sun Signs its as if she knows me. As a Libra I am represented by the scales, therefore I am, *achem* perfectly balanced. Although, if you think of those old blancing scales where the ultimate goal is to get both sides even I'm either up or down, one way or the other. I can be sweet, pleasant and charming, or can be sulky, fiery and boring. On the whole, dont get me wrong I'm good natured person, but when I'm in a bad mood keep well away.

She also says that us Librans are indecisive, or rather we take a slow boat to making a decision. Even when my Hubby asked me out on our first date, I ummed and arred as to whether to accept. I mean come on, I was head over heels for the guy.

Anyway, that cabled tank top that I'm designing... its no longer cabled. And, its no longer a tank top. In fact, I ripped out the whole lot and am now designing a cardigan. Here's one half of it. As you can see the front is a 2x2 rib which I plan to wear folded down as pictured.

Please excuse the no make-up/bad hair. What with the Bubela having the pox and not being able to leave the house there was no need to groom.

With the way things are going on the knitting front at the moment, if I keep with this design *flinging eyeballs to the ceiling*, then this should be finished by the weekend. And a photoshoot outside, outside, outside, in public, in public, in public. Can you tell I miss shoulder rubbing at the school gate.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Stuck in doors? Whatcha doin'?

Thank you all for your congrats about Bobblicious. Please send me photos of your finished Bobblicious for me to upload onto the blog.

Here's the pox-ridden Bubela, although this photo has cleverly not shown him with his chickenpox. His trunk is covered in them, and his face has about 15. Please dont scar, please dont scar. Please let the Vit E oil work. The Bubela said to me yesterday, "Mummy, when am I going to look like me again?"

Is he missing school? Is he bored? He is definitely bored, and I think he want's to play with his friends again. We've been making Channukah cards. He has made about four for his friend Daniel, everything he makes is for Daniel - and has to have the trademark sticker of a Spiderman. He has watched Madagaskar about 3 times, what a great film, its hilarious and its great knitting time. I've been really productive the last couple of days.

The Alphabet blanket is coming along, I love it. The Z and S had errors in the pattern, but now I'm over that, it should be a smooth run. And as you can see, I have also knocked up a pair of booties from the new Zoe Mellor book. (Sorry about the poor photo and bad lighting.)

So many pregnant friends at the moment, I'm loving all the knitting. I'm looking for another cute pattern for a blanket for another friend who is due to have her baby summer '06, "Baby B". I quite like this Odette blanket, what do you think?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Presenting... Bobblicious

Now that Knitty is up, here she is. My pattern, Bobblicious. I hope you enjoy knitting and wearing her as much as I do.

I thoroughly enjoyed designing this project, in fact, so much so that I'm hoping to finish another design - once I feel brave enough to pick it up again.

At long last...

When the whole nursery had it, the Bubela was the only kid left in class. Then all of his friends had it and the Bubela didn't have anyone to play with. Then his cousins had it and I made sure that he played with them every day, but no, this kid just wasn't going to get it. Finally, and on his own, doing it solo, the Bubela has Chikenpox.

So, a very spotty Bubela and I are confined to our house for the next 7-10 days. Thank goodness my Amazon order has arrived, and the Bubela's Madagaskar DVD.

Debbie Abrahams' new Blankets and throws book is beautiful, even better than her last if that is at all possible. As in her first Blankets and Throws book, she still embelishes the squares with sequins or beads, and her blankets portray an array of vibrant colours which she is well known for. I just love this book, its a real page flicker. My Amazon order also included the Zoe Mellor Baby Bootees book which just oozzes cute factor. Its a great last minute knock up a bootee knit book.

One of my favourite blankets is this Four Seasons blanket. It has the chick for Easter, the sun, the leaf, a Christmas tree, Pumpkin, a snowman and many more.
And here is such a pretty girly blanket. This one is embellished in beads and shell buttons, its just gorgeous. I'd love to knit this one for somebody.
As for my favourite Mellor bootees, arn't they gorgeous?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Z is for ...

I'd like to say Z is for zebra, but the way I felt the past weekend it was more of a z for the whole zoo.

I was in the Dentist's chair for 45 minutes yesterday. I got out of the chair feeling a wee bit woozy, with a crook in my neck, muscle aches in my shoulders and a lip that drooped to the floor. But you know what, I'm in a whole lot less pain than I was over the weekend. I had to have root canal, oy, and you should only know what I've been through. And, its not finished, I'm going back next week for her to finish off.

I picked up the alphabet blanket last night for some mindless pattern following knitting, however, its hardly that. Its real concentration, get your post-it notes out knitting, what with all the yo and k2tog's. Its worth it though, its a beautiful knit and I'm enjoying it. Lucky "Baby L".

I've lost 3lbs. Probably due to the fact that I haven't been able to eat all weekend, but who's asking about why's and how's. I was able to squeeze back into my size UK10 Ralph Lauren jeans. I couldn't wear them though, I was frighted to sit down for fear of popping the button or worse... ripping them.

Anyone for a stick of celery?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Look who's been sitting with the big fella from Lapland, or in this case from Harrods

Today we took the Bubela to visit Father Channukah at Harrods. We were very lucky to only have a two hour wait!!

As the doors opened at noon, Hubby flew up to the fourth floor to get a place in the queue. The Bubela and I, along with my niece and nephew and the Grandparents, leisurely rode the escalators. Whilst in the queue we watched the panto on the stage and noshed on gingerbread men and lollypops which were being handed out by Santa's helpers.

Why does FC look so miserable?? He looks like he has the right hump. I wouldn't mind, he didn't have to queue for two hours.

Was the two hour wait worth the two minute photo? Was the two hour wait worth the book he received? Was the two hour wait worth seeing the Bubela's face? Oh yes, and I'd do it again, and again, and again.

I've knitted up my tank design, but unfortunately the V-neck isn't deep enough for me. Im a discrete cleavage girl at heart.

I've frogged again. I'm going to start over and either get rid of the ribbed bottom edge or make it about an inch wide, what do you think? I'll also make it a size smaller - I have a habit of thinking I'm bigger than I actually am, typical woman. I need to drop the whole diamond pattern down a couple of inches so that the the v-neck starts by the armhole decreases.

Oy vey, I'm not looking forward to knitting this up a third time.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


I would like to wish all my dear American friends a very happy thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Lose a pound, gain a pattern

This is the pattern repeat I'm going to use. I like it, I have to like it, it took me long enough to work it all out. Actually, there's nothing to dislike it's a tidy diamond cable, edged by two cables either side. Its a bit bunched up on my bamboo straight, however you can see it fairly clearly.

Oh, and there is an incy wincy error at the bottom of the left cable, but don't worry your feathers, I will rectify it. The plan was to just knit up and take notes of the first pattern repeat, then frog and re-knit from the pattern to make sure it was error-free. How's that for perfection... something I'm having to get used to in knitting.

I've not clocked up many working hours in the last couple of days, for sorting out this headache of a cable pattern. I feel like I can sort of relax a bit now. Is there some sort of free download that can chart out cables for future reference? I think I've really gone around the houses with this cable design and feel like I'll be herding the sheep in next. *Note to self, remember to buy some sort of stitch dictionary*

I finally went to the gym today with a friend. Thank you for inviting me, otherwise I wouldn't have gone. I'll weigh myself tomorrow, however, I do think I've lost weight through just not having time to cook and eat because of this damn pattern.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Mish mash dolly mixture socks

The yarn I dyed is all balled up now and raring to become a pair of socks. I love how the mix of vibrant colours appear all balled up, but once knitted up, I think it looks a bit of a mish-mash of colours. Maybe next time I'll make longer skeins to make sure each dyed colour makes at least one round for a pair of socks. Don't get me wrong I like the colours, they are kind of a dolly mixture look, they're just not stripey socks, they're... I guess - mish-mash socks.

As for my new unnamed design, I have now completed the back. I've kept it simple, just plain stocking stitch with a wide 2x2 ribbed edge. I'm not sure about the front yet, I'm playing around with all sorts of cables at the moment. One thing I'm certain of though, its going to be a v neck. Far more flattering for the buxom woman.

The diet. It's starting again today. Hubby brought home some Krispy Kreme's yesterday, and I've never ever, ever tasted one, and it would have been criminal not to wouldn't it? You know they're the only thing Madonna noshes - good enough for her, good enough for...

Friday, November 18, 2005

Pins and Needles

I've been having acupuncture now for a couple of weeks. I'm having it to balance my inner self out. Make the bad good and the good bad. You know, the whole yin and yang thing.

Its a great feeling. No *waving my hand in dismissal*, the needles don't hurt a bit. You can hardly feel the prick, its the nerve like feeling you feel. Actually, I'm not sure whether I enjoy the whole needles ceremony or the fact that I lie there (needles and all) for about half an hour. No one driving me mad, not a sound, not a bleeb... just pure silence, me me me time. Its great. I come out of there feeling all woozy and all my impurities released.

My acupuncturist asked me yesterday whether I was feeling any different. No, just more relaxed. And, come to think of it, I'm so relaxed that I just haven't been bothered to pick up my needles the last few days. Well, thats just not on.

So, not only am I bursting back to knitting, but I'm pulling out my sketch pad too. Ha, listen to me, pretending to be a designer with not a designing qualification to stand on. Although, credit be known, I did submit something to Knitty and YES, its been accepted. Watch out for it in December. I'm so chuffed.

I've sketched (badly) a jumper, and I've already decided that its a tank top I want now. I guess I'll just knit and see where I go. I may need help along the way, so I hope you don't mind me asking. I'm using Debbie Bliss Cashmerino SuperChunky in know my feelings about Cashmerino.

BTW, I'm thinking of starting the diet again!! Tch, AGAIN. Yes, I don't know what happened the first time, but...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Habit or OCD

Everyone has an obsessive compulsive disorder. Some more obsessive than others. Some more annoying than others. And some you just think are cute and learn to live with.

Hubby is a right angles man. Everything has to be straight or in right angles. Take his bedside drawer for instance, hankerchiefs are perfectly folded on the right, cuff links and buttons on the left. God forbid something should be askew in there. His shirts are placed perfectly in his wardrobe with a 2" gap between each one.

He's also a man of habit. Good and bad. He ALWAYS leaves his shoes by the front door for all and sundry to trip over.

Me, on the other hand, I'm perfect. Ha, no seriously, I too have my own obsessive compulsive disorders. I seem to do everything in excess. Buying clothes, if I find something I like, I'll buy it in every colour it comes in. When I cook a meal Hubby likes I make it to the point that the oven is even sick of cooking it.

Also, my knitting can be a bit on the excessive side. Take the Debbie Bliss Argyl cardigan. Its cute, I enjoyed knitting it. Not one of my favourites, but hey it was good. I even had to frog and knit again, remember? But, I can't just be satisfied with knitting up one, no, I'm knitting up another. Oy.

The picture? I'm a bit too embarrassed to talk about my yarn buying obsessions.

*Note to Hubby* All that yarn, I'm looking after it for a friend, ok?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Caught short

Nobody likes cold feet, least of all cold tootsies. I don't know how I managed it, but I've been caught short of yarn. Every knitters worst nightmare I'm sure, and I'm living through it.

It would be fine if I could purchase Lion Brand magic stripes here, but oh no, another thing us Brits don't have here!

I have a pretty plea to my fellow American friends. I'm using Jelly Bean Sripes No.200, if anyone has the tinyest, incy-wincyiest piece of strand that they would be willing to send me, I would be ever so grateful.

BTW, have you seen the new Debbie Abrahams book? I had a preview at a friends house, its so cute. It has a seasons of the year blanket with pumpkins and autumn leaves, a baby's blanket with letters of the alphabet, a circus blanket with clowns faces on. It's on my Channukah wish list [ok hubby?]!!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Penny for your thoughts

Last Sunday, whilst at a friends house I came up with the bright idea of dyeing my own yarn. I thought if I enjoy it, and most importantly can do it well I could sell it. That's one of many brainstorms I have every so often. Hubby says if he had a penny for every business idea I had, he could give up work.

Monday morning I ordered some 4ply yarn and bid on some kool aid on Ebay. We can't buy kool aid in the UK, well I've never seen it if you can. I won my bid.

Firstly, I soaked my 4ply wool in warm water. Whilst that was soaking, I mixed each kool aid sachet with 8oz of water. I then squeezed the excess water out of the wool and applied the dye. I used the microwave method of heating/steaming and found that very quick and easy. I was expecting a lot more mess, in fact, it was considerably tidy.

Does anyone know of an alternative to kool aid that I could buy here in the UK? I'm going to try my next lot using Dylon, any tips?

I love the colourway, although it's a bit wishy-washy. I definitely need to concentrate the dye more next time. However, this skein will go on to become another pair of socks. It seems I've gone sock crazy.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Pure and simple

There is nothing like wrapping a new born baby in a pure white heirloom blanket, especially made from baby cashmere. Pure luxury.

That is the sole reason why I am knitting up this gorgeous alphabet blanket in Debbie Bliss' sumptuous baby cashmerino yarn. This really is a special blanket. It was the reason I bought this book in the first place, almost two years ago now. It was my first knitting related purchase.

This will be a gift for my friend Gem who is due to have her baby in May. I know I have plenty time for this project, but I'm going to take this one real slow and do it letter by letter.

I dyed my own sock yarn today. I don't want to add colour to this pure post, so I'll post pictures tomorrow. In the meantime, go and find your Gucci shades.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Argyl cardigan... lesson learnt

Now, doesn't that look better. To be quite honest, I didn't think I was such a perfectionist. I would usually just sweep it under the carpet and ignore it, but in this instant I thought the mistake looked too obvious.

Now, had I have been as quick thinking as Karma, who suggested sewing in a brown argyl in that huge gap it had, I'd have probably done that. However, I was too quick to rip it up before asking advice. That will teach me a valuable lesson, tch tch tch!


MATERIALS: Rowan All Seasons Cotton in mid-blue, with small amounts of Rowan All Seasons Cotton pale blue and Debbie Bliss DK cotton in brown.


At least now I have a guilt free gift to give.

The Bubela went to a friends house after school today. Oy, he's only four and this is where the real worry starts. He finished school at 3pm, I phoned the kids mum at 3.45pm to check everything was ok (or more importantly they were home from school). No answer. I phone again at 4pm, no answer. Again at 4.10pm. I don't have the mum's mobile telephone, so the neurotic mother that I am, I phone the school and ask for her mobile number. Let me put you in the picture thats in my head at this point... accident, car, hospital... I phone the mobile, "Hi, everything ok?" EVERYTHING OK, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN FOR GOODNESS SAKE, "yes of course, just wanted to check the Bubela wasn't being a nuisance or anything." "He's as good as gold". Of course he is.

Where was she??? *shrinking into my chair* picking up older son from school who finishes at 4pm.

What am I? A typical jewish mother!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Oh dear...

When you knit something up and realise that its not quite right, what do you do:
(a) immediately rip it out and start over;
(b) stick it at the bottom of your WIP list and never touch it again; or
(c) ignore it and smile whilst you finish it.

I've always found these multiple choice questions difficult. I'm either two of the above or none of the above, and sometimes ponder over all three. However in this case I think its a case of what I'd like to do, and what I have to do.

As you can see, I'm slightly off symmetric with the pattern repeat. I did all the maths to accompany the yarn substitution, but forgot to take into consideration the pattern repeat. Damn, that really buggers things up for me now.

I can't have a baby prancing around in something cockeyed especially with my name at the bottom of it. So, you know what this means don't you. Rip, rip, rip... to your hearts content.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Yoo-hoo, I'm over hear

I was leaving my house yesterday, to take the Bubela to school, and as I'm strapping him into his car chair I hear "Cooweeeee". Again, "coowee". I look over my shoulder and its Nosey Neighbour waving her hand at me. "Good morning" I croaked. Then she proceeded to approach me at the car. Do I not look like I'm busy or in a rush that I have time to stop and chat about the neighbourhood.

"I notice you've not been in work attire recently, are you still working". Nosey Neighbour, knows everything about everyone. You could merely call her perceptive, or just plain nosey. Actually, I told her, I am still working but I work from home now. Then she bogs on about how boring it is to work from home and that you can't pull yourself away from your work, oh she knows do I now. Do you want to know? She worked for many years at home, she set up her own accounting business from her third bedroom.

Anyway, I love working from home, but I've got the bubela to take to school now, so cheerio. So there was a reason she came out to see me at 8.15 in the morning. She handed me a parcel from Amazon. "Been shopping!!" she teased as she handed me the parcel.

Yes. Yes. Yes. It finally arrived. After Jody's recommendation of Holiday Knits over at SavannahChicKnits I've been dying to get my hands on a copy. And you know what, she was right. Its definitely a great book, and has to be up there with my favourites. I'm going to have to start the holiday knitting soon. Unless, it goes belly up like last year and everyone got.... nothing, well knitted anyway.

The Argyl cardigan is coming along great. Its such a quick knit, I'm thinking of even doing another one. I love the colours I'm using. Mid blue, light blue and brown, just so smart.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Bouncing Babies...

Its like waiting for a bus and then three come along at once. Only its buns in the oven I'm talking about this time, yes, babies. Most of my dear friends are having babies all due early next year. To top that, my closest friend announced yesterday that she too is joining the crowd and is due in May. Muzel tov Gem. And everyone loves to knit for babies, don't they? I know that I do. Its my favorite knitting, because its quick, its cute and its rewarding, especially seeing that baby wearing your stuff.

Here is the Argyl cardigan. I'm not sure who this will be for yet, except that he will be one very smart boy. This is another knit from Debbie Bliss' Special Knits book. I love this book, definitely her best baby book yet. Her baby patterns are definitely more simple to read and work out than her ladieswear. I wonder who actually writes up these patterns? *Scratching head and thinking very hard* Just my cynical thinking, ignore me.

One foot is cold and jealous of the other. I'm knitting its partner and can't wait to finish it. Thank you all for your kind comments. The crazy stripes are Lion Brands Magic Stripes, their great arn't they?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Move out Kate, I'm checking in

Now that Kate Moss has checked out of the Meadows, I might just take her place, for fear of being hooked on the sock knitting thing.

Everywhere you turn lately in blogland, you bump into a sock. I even went out shopping today to buy a coat, what did I come back with? A pair of socks.

I have tried many a time to knit up a sock, let alone a pair. However, I could barely manage 4 rows. Those double pointed needles should bare a health warning, let alone come free with a pair of divers goggles.

Thanks to Lolly's Socktoberfest I decided to pull my dpns out and try again. I hate being left behind, or to be missing out on anything. Know what I mean?

Thanks to the this tutorial, I managed to complete my first sock, with only one blip which was at the beginning when joining the yarn to start working in the round. I don't think I pulled tight enough. Lesson learned and its pair will shortly follow... without the blip.

All in all, I absolutely love this sock. I feel its a real accomplishment. I'm chuffed to bits and dead proud, can ya tell?


Friday, October 28, 2005

The All Important Gauge

The all important gauge swatch. Something I assume most of us are very lazy about. Something I know not all of us knit up. Something that is so necessary, yet so boring. Who actually knits up a swatch anyway? I'll admit, I only ever knit up a gauge swatch when I substituting yarn. Naughty, I know. Or simply, I trust the manufacturers details on the skein label.

This is the gauge square for my next project. I'll be substituting Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino with Rowan All Seasons Cotton. It will be another one from Special Knits by Debbie Bliss.

The simplest way to do the math for substituting is to get your stitch gauge and divide it by the pattern's stitch gauge. Once you find your new number, use that to modify the pattern. i.e. Where the pattern says cast on 100, multiply that by the new number you have, round it down or up to the nearest whole number and cast on as new.

The same principles go for row gauge.

Do you remember the two cable and moss stitch cardigans that I knit up for the twins that came unexpectedly early, well Mummy and Daddy absolutely loved them, what a compliment. I haven't met the twins yet, but they are both home and doing fine. They are about two months old now and 5lb each. They've got a lot of growing to do before they fit into their new cardigans.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Whose this Gorgeous young thing?

Introducing my grandmother. Here is Mama wearing the Debbie Bliss cabled jacket. It suits her much better than it does me, and that's gotta be telling you something when a 79 year old looks better in your clothes than you do!! She looks great in it and more than anything, I know she loves it.

Pattern: "Cabled Jacket" from The Cashmere Collection by Debbie Bliss.
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino SuperChunky, Purple 20, 15 skeins.
Needle: 6.5mm and 7.5mm Addi Turbo Circulars

I found that this Debbie Bliss pattern was similar to most other Debbie Bliss patterns. Firstly, that I had to check the Debbie Bliss website for errors in the pattern and secondly I had to do a lot of thinking for myself. I find with some of her patterns that she is not very clear in explaining or setting out her patterns clearly. I did have to keep referring to the picture to see where I should be placing cables and bobbles.

I replaced the horseshoe cable on the sleeve for two sets of the blackberry stitch, as it is in the pattern picture.

Overall, I did enjoy knitting this and the yarn was definitely luxurious to work with. I even think this was my neatest making up yet.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Oy, I'm turning into Pat Butcher

Firstly, I cannot begin this post without the much deserved mention of the Eastenders Mitchel brothers return to our screens. Welcome back Phil and Grant, we missed you. Last nights episode with their return, was explosive.

Amidst the Mitchel's return, I managed to sew all the pieces together of the Debbie Bliss cardigan. I still need to complete the finishing touches and sew in all the ends. In any case, I snuggled in and tried the chunky cardigan on for hubby, it is so soft and beautiful, I love it, I just love it. He ummed and arred, well.... what do you think? "Its a bit Pat Butcher, don't you think?" Pat Butcher. In cashmere. Do we watch the same Pat Butcher every night.

Ok, it is slightly oversized, but the pattern only came in the one size. Because of its size, I must admit, its hardly flattering and certainly not complimentary for someone who's looking to lose a few pounds. Its an instant gain. But you know what I will wear it, especially since we are expecting our coldest winter on record.

These are the purple shell buttons which deserver their own mention. Nice, shiney and crisp and very effective against the yarn.

Im still busy working my way through my first sock. Here is how its looking so far.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Preview on the Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket

Don't you find there are chores in the house that you hate doing. I don't mind putting a load of washing on, but I hate ironing it. I don't mind hoovering, but I hate emptying the bucket. The same is to be found with knitting. I love the knitting, but hate the sewing it up. It never takes very long, but its one of those things that you look at and say, I'll do it tomorrow.

Considering my pet hates, I have managed to complete the making up and it looks very tidy.

I am no longer on yarn watch. I think I have enough left to complete the collar and all the finishing touches. I've found some gorgeous purple shell buttons for this jacket. I'm so excited about showing them to you. I show you tomorrow.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

X Factor, knit style

The knitting world has jumped on the X Factor bandwagon. Or to be more specific, Scotland has set up a competition - X Factor style.

Click here for more details.

A tiny Island just off Scotland called Fair Isle is holding an X Factor type competition for someone to live and KNIT on the Island. Life cannot get more exciting than that. Live among the sheep, sleep among the sheep and to breath... you get the picture. Walking yarn balls!! Can you tell I'm a city girl who buys her yarn over the internet.

Anyway, the deadline for applications has now closed and the results will be drawn in May 2006. Can't wait to hear about the lucky bugger!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Knitting nerves

Don't you get nervous that you haven't enough petrol to make it to the station. That you'll just run out of petrol just a few yards away from the station. Or nervous that you haven't got the right change as your heading towards the toll bridge. Worse still, you haven't got any cash in your purse at all. Well, at least you get a warning. A light comes on when your running low on gas, and you always get signs showing that there's a toll bridge ahead so you can exit beforehand.

You just don't get a warning with a ball of yarn. And, I'm becoming increasingly nervous as I near the end of my Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket. I'm working from a cone, one of my bargain buys from Coldspring Mill. I've got one more sleeve and the collar to get through else, I'll have to make do with a different dye lot for the collar.

I bought about 6 cones of Debbie Bliss cashmerino from Coldspring Mill back in the summer for a penny a gram!! Definitely, my best bargain EVER!! Their website shows its a camping shop but they do yarn too. Unfortunatley, they aren't stocking the Debbie Bliss anymore. Bummer.

If the baby's cute, buy it!

I received two great books for my birthday yesterday from one of my dear friends. They are what I call "a good trashy read". I rarely judge a book by its cover, when I'm in a book shop I always read the first paragraph, if grabs me, then I'm hooked.

Dear Diary, Today I had the most embarrassing experience - with one of my regulars. Howard was flat on his back enjoying our threesome with Allison when I decided to straddle him backward - something I've done hundreds of time. So I carefully lowered my body, confident that my acrobatics looked like zero effort.
Diary of a Manhattan call girl by Tracy Quan.

I'm gonna love this book. Move over Bridget Jones, Nancy Chan is in town!

As for my knitting books, I buy most of them from Amazon, so it literally is a case of judge a book by its cover. If the baby's cute, buy it!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Look who's turned 4!

It was only four years ago that they placed this tiny, wrinkly little baby in my arms. "It's a boy!" I remember Hubby saying as we both cried with joy. "Happy Birthday, Darling" The Bubela was born on Hubby's birthday, you couldn't wish for a better present. Four years on and that tiny gorgeous baby has grown up to be a beautiful and lovely little boy. My little Bubela.

Yesterday, the Bubela had his 4th birthday party and Stripey Wipey entertained all 30 kids. You didn't hear a peep out of them, they loved it... so did the parents!

Debbie Bliss Jacket is coming along great. Two fronts and a back completed, and I'm very excited to wear it. It does look a little on the large side, but I'm sure it will be very cozy to wrap up in.

Its Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky, of course it's going to be luxurious to wrap up in it.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Bet you can't juggle with 5 double pointed needles...I can

Finally, and successfully I have completed a lace project, River. Something I thought I would never accomplish. After clearing one hurdle, I thought I'd try my hand at knitting socks. So last night, me, 5 double pointed metal needles, a ball of magic stripes and a sock pattern by Nancy Bush curled up on the sofa for a go... oh, and a handmade (by me) stitch marker, can't forget the blessed stitch marker which was more of a hindrance than a help.

I casted on 60 stitches, juggled with the dpn's for a bit then shared them between 3 needles and attempted knitting in the round. Attempted! Tell me, is it easier to knit socks on 4 needles? *scratching head and thinking there's gotta be an easier way to do this*. It was my first attempt, not a very good one at that, but you know what they say... practice makes purrrrrfict!

So, I'm going to change my strategy a bit. Either, look for a simple sock pattern, beginner style, or start on this cape creation.

This is the City Slicker Cape, Knit 1 (premiere issue). This is one of those projects that I instantly loved, so I bought the yarn and automatically added it to the pile of projects waiting to be started. One minor issue holding me back... amongst the hundreds of pairs of needles (some doubles), I do not possess a pair of 8mm. *Wickedly smiling* I see another set of bamboos coming my way *he he*.

Monday, October 03, 2005


Here is the photo that graces page 3 of The London Jewish News.

The Bubela celebrates the New Year at school with his friends.

River runs through Venice

Have I mentioned how much I love River. Its soft, its pretty, its very girly and versatile. I love the colour.

I've worn River so many times now. Here in the cool British weather as a scarf. Roaming Venice in a shawl to keep off the chill.

Pattern: "River" from Rowan 38.
Yarn: Rowan Kid Silk Haze, Grace, 2 skeins.
Bamboo straights, 7mm.

Back from Venice

A motorway drive, an airplane, a coach, a water taxi and a few good bridges to bring to you - a yarn store. Impressive or what.

Actually, I'm not showing off here, but there are two yarn stores in Venice! One is tucked under a bridge and the other shares its shop with underwear. *Why?*.

The best is yet to come.

Hand in hand we walked over ever bridge and down every lane in Venice. We still know how to romance you know. The scenery was picturesque, the architecture was magnificent and the food was delicious... You can't beat a proper spag bol!

As we walked past the Institute of Art, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye. Well, you could hardly miss it to be honest.


Not one, not two, but three big balls of wool. Oy, wool heaven!