Monday, March 24, 2008

It's a Wrap!

Here is the Sirdar cardigan with wrap collar. It's VERY warm.

Sirdar Cardigan 8976
Yarn: Peru Naturals
Shade: Pacaya
Needles: 6.5mm Aeros

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Important Things in Life

I've been stalking the postman recently. And not just because I have fallen off the stashalong wagon in The Yarn Yard either.

Do you remember Paying it Forward? I found it Jacquie's blog, and from there found Becka and from there found someone in need of an "Angel" and signed up. It must be so hard when a complete stranger signs up for something on your blog. We emailed a couple of times, and I returned a questionnaire that I was sent but I have heard nothing since then. I signed up on March 18th, which is over the six months ago now. Which is why I have been stalking the postman. And I thought I'd be upset. Or cross. Or both.

But, you know, I don't mind not receiving anything in the least. I mean, you can't go onto someone's blog or email them and say "oi, where's my PIF gift then?" now can you! And I so enjoyed knitted for Anni, Piglottie and Terri - see here and I have realised that that is what PIF is all about - making something for someone, and I have to say it gave me an inordinate amount of pleasure to see their pleasure iyswim. I hope I've made sense - basically I'm saying that it's better to give than to receive, and I really mean that.

And talking of making someone for something - someone made my day on Thursday. Blossom posted a photo on CTNY of her baby son wearing the Devan cardigan I made him last October using Yarn Yard Club Yarn from January last year. Now if he isn't one of life's important things I don't know what is! Thank you Blossom for allowing me to use your photo. I knitted the 6-12 month size, perfect for a Spring cardigan.

Photos of my aforementioned GORGEOUS Yarn Yard yarn which arrived this morning will have to wait. The snow is horizontal here ( I have just driven home from work in it too which wasn't very nice ) and the light is grim. The yarn is LOVELY and is all mine. Cranford mitts hopefully here I come!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

All Our Yesterdays

I don't have much knitting progress to show you this week - I HAVE completed something but it's a secret for now ;-)

I WAS hoping to have had the Sirdar Jacket completed - ah the best laid plans. Eager to try wrapped stitches in the collar I duly picked up left and right borders and knitted and knitted over four whole days - and lovely it all was too. Then it came to sewing up and could I make the sleeves fit - could I h*ll - so instead of fudging the sleeve tops, which I could quite easily have done in retrospect as no-one would see them under the collar anyway what did I do? Frogged the blooming lot didn't I? I am cross with it at the moment - I seem to be cross with everything at the moment don't I?

As usual work is the culprit as the end of March looms ever nearer. I have been working for the NHS since 1974 and as you can imagine have worked through many many changes. I still can't imagine being anything other than a nurse, but I am wondering at present how much longer the NHS can carry on treating its staff the way it does. The area in which I work has been put out to tender and the tender process has been a long drawn-out affair full of uncertainty and rumour mongering, with those of us at the sharp end always the last to know. What should have been decided by the end of December has become the end of March - a long time not to know who you will be working for and how your job will change. The ostrich approach is no longer working, and as the deadline draws nearer I find myself becoming more and more upset by it all.

Anyway, happier days! Mr A and I have had a new toy - a scanner - and I have been playing with some old photos to bore you with! This is a small group of the 1974 intake of student nurses at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital. I am the one holding the glass! I was 17 when this photo was taken, and the NHS was a very different place!

And another one of me - taken on August 23rd 1981 when I was 25. It was the morning after our wedding and taken in the garden of this hotel where we spent the first night of our honeymoon before making our way to North Devon. Please note the hand knitted jumper ( I still have the pattern! ) and the colour - some things never change!!!!!

Happy days!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Swaps 'n' Stuff

One of the lovely things about swaps and stuff is that when you are a fully paid up member of Stashalong you still have the opportunity still to shop a little from time to time and also receive regular parcels. I've been participating in swaps over on Crafty Threads 'n' Yarns for some time, and more recently on Knitting Haven too.

At the moment we have a lovely swap on CTNY - it's a Round Robin Gift Bag exchange. During the first month we all made a bag and sent it to the next person down on the list of participants. This month we send the bag we received last month to the second person down the list. The challenge is to spend no more than £2:00. A small diary also accompnies the bag. Cool idea isn't it, all the brainchild of Natalie.

This is the bag I received in January from Anni - isn't it lovely? Not only a pattern for Anni's Kaleidoscope Mitts, but some of her merino too. Anni, I will make those mitts if it kills me! Thank you.

I've recently started participating in swaps on Knitting Haven too, and I received this parcel yesterday from the sadly blogless Juniperloops. What can I say other than that the generosity and kindness of virtul strangers never ceases to amaze me.

Consider the thought that went into this package. Some wonderful Tourist Information about what appears to be a very beautiful part of America. A lovely card too as well as postcards and fridge magnet. The locally produced honey looks delicious - it's a whole 16oz jar - and let me tell you the tea is just lovely.

But just look at that yarn. Isn't it just divine? Again it's local to Juniperloops area, its by Missbabs in Mountain City. The colour is Poseidon and it is 400 yards of 100% Merino Wool. The small contrasting skeins each contain 40 yards.

I have changed my mind three times as to what I shall make with this beautiful yarn - needless to say it will be something very special. Thank you so very much!

And finally - something is afoot. My silly stupid dropped right foot has taken to swelling during the course of the day and I am very cross with it! It's fourteen years since I slipped my disc for goodness sake and I STILL struggle to put a pair of tights on unaided. I refuse to wear my splint - well I've thrown it away so I can't - but some days I just get fed up with painkillers, sciatica and stumbling when I'm tired and waking up feeling as though my foot is dangling on a thread like a wobbly tooth!

Sorry - moan over - I'm just feeling so CROSS with it all this morning. I think I need another cup of that delicious tea and some toast and honey to sweeten my mood!

Monday, March 3, 2008

At the Risk Of Becoming Boring.............

.............. well there's something very comforting about the familiar, isn't there? This, in my defence, is a birthday present for a dear friend, and finished in super speedy record time, cast on on Tuesday afternoon and cast off on Saturday. The lovely weekend sunshine has enhanced the blocking process, so I have this ready to take to work tonight in time for my friend's birthday.

The yarn is some of Chrissy's sock yarn, bought at last year's Woolfest, and I am very pleased with the finished result. I may be pushing it to enter it for March's Sock Yarn Challenge as it was only cast off in March rather than knitted in March - we'll see.

Forset Canopy Shoulder Shawl
Yarn: Brigh Dyes Sock Yarn
Colour: Unknown
Needles: Size 7 Aeros

I had a lovely day with mum on Saturday, but every time I visit I find myself becoming more and more - I don't know, worried isn't the word, neither is concerned really, but there are subtle little changes every time I go. I know I am immensely lucky still to have her at 89, and she does manage remarkably well in her own little world. Her carer is one of the loveliest people in the world and I am immensely grateful that she does what she does by way of shopping, cleaning, ironing etc. And I wish I had taken my camera because the garden looks a treat.

On Saturday though I regressed to around twelve years of age. My hair was too short, my top was cut too low, my skirt was too long, I was wearing too much make up ...... I didn't do a lot right tbh, we even went out on the wrong day because it wasn't Friday so she couldn't have plaice ( even though plaice was on the menu she couldn't possibly eat it on a Saturday ) And, bless her, she wondered was Mother's Day a new thing because she had never heard of it before and she didn't understand why she had had flowers and a card!

Ah well, at least she knew it was Saturday.

I hope all you mums out there had a lovely day yesterday.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

And the Winner is........

......... Ambermoggie as drawn from the "hat" by DD. Congratulations! I have just posted on your blog Ambermoggie, and if you'd like to email me I'll get back to you later today.

I can't thank all of you enough for your support this month. I find it hard to keep on asking the same people year after year to sponsor me, this has been a bit of fun and a lovely way to contribute. I have "rounded things up" a bit and added £50.

I am off to Welsh Wales in a tick to visit mum. I HAD planned to go yesterday, but the week took an unexpected turn when I worked a fourth night on Thursday when a colleague went off sick. I was very good though, before you all tell me off, and only agreed to do it if I could drop my two weekend shifts, which was agreed, and so I have a WHOLE WEEKEND off!!!!!!!!!!!!

March has most certainly blown in like a lion - the garden is strewn with all sorts of things this morning and Mr A is just going out to inspect the fence panels.

All that remains in this brief update is to congratulate Ambermoggie again and say Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant Hapus i chi - a Happy St David's day to you.