Friday, May 30, 2008

More Cranfords - but With a Twist!

Remember these?

Here they are - Cranford socks. I'm feeling very pleased with them too.

Cranford Socks

Yarn: Fyberspates Sock Yarn

Needles: Clover Takumi 2.5mm dpns

The stitch pattern has lent itself very well to a sock pattern. Back when I made my first pair of Cranford Mitts I thought "socks". It is not however an original idea in that although these socks were my idea, when I looked on Ravelry I saw that Rooknits had had the same idea.

Rooknits has done things differently to me and I like her socks very much . However I like a plain foot and so this is what I did.

Cast on 60 sts

Knit 5 rows

Knit 8 pattern repeats of the Horseshoe Pattern from Barbara Walker's "A Treasury of Knitting Patterns"

Knit four rows.

Complete as any standard sock pattern. I used the regia one.

NB: I have a size 7 foot and usually cast on 64 sts for a plain sock. I increased four sts evenly on the second knit row after the pattern to get the 64 sts I needed, increasing by m1 as opposed to inc1 as it was much less noticeable that way. If you usually cast on with 60 sts, there is no need to do this, just complete your sock in any way you choose.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Shawls, Sock yarn and Peonies!

Thank you all for your helpful comments and advice regarding the FCS. You know how it is when you look at something and it stares you in the face, there was me imagining you all saying "but look what she's done" honestly what am I like! I thought I'd add a close up of the shawl to show it's true colours off - I think my photographic skills are improving but still leave a lot to be desired one way or another.

Now I'm not usually one for posting WIP photos, but I'm making an excepetion! I re-started this sock yesterday, I am playing with the stitch pattern from the Cranford mitts ( with Jane's permission ) and I rather like the effect so far. The yarn is Fyberspates sock yarn - I don't know the colour, I bought it at Wonderwool Wales, but I do like what it's doing.

This is my second attempt. I usually use 64 sts for socks for me as I have size 7 feet, but the horseshoe pattern has 10 stitches. I made the mistake of casting on 70 stitches, and knitted 7 whole pattern repeats on my recent London trip only to decide they would make very slouchy socks indeed. The Razor Shell socks incidentally have 72 sts on the cuff and 64 sts on the foot so it wasn't such a bad idea ;-)

So I'm going with 60 sts as the pattern is "giving" quite a bit in sock yarn as compared with Natalie's Hug yarn. Now whether I am brave and continue with 60, or increase somehow to 64 for the foot remains to be seen. But I AM feeling adventurous!

I must show you this yarn, it's Yarn Yard Lochan in Pinecone and was my choice as my recent Fyberspates socks were drawn out in the CTNY Sock Yarn Challenge 2008! The merino/tencel is fab, and will make a beautiful Autumn scarf.

I was also fortunate enough to buy this Yarn Yard Hug in Fudge - I shall have co-ordinating Cranfords!

And finally - the peony in the garden is looking wonderful just now and I just had to show you how lovely it is as I expect the weekend's promised rain will put an end to that!

I have a Bank Holiday weekend of night shifts coming up, Friday, Saturday and Monday, but it's been lovely to have a "free" week this week so I don't mind. I hope you all have a lovely weekend whatever you are doing.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I Guess we all make Mistakes!

Here is my latest FCS for you complete with two design features! I am so cross with myself, but at least this one is for me, so I shall either learn to love them or frog a little when I can possibly bear to.

You can see the one error towards the bottom of the centre stitches. The other one - well I started to cast off, put it down then continued later. I started casting off in the usual way, then carried on with the way the pattern tells you to! And you can tell!

Anyway, here it is, warts and all, my latest FCS. I added a contrast border which I like very much.

Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl

Yarn: Yarn Yard Sock Club

Needles: 4.5 mm Aeros

I was fortunate enough to have been gifted around 80g of the main colour and around 5g of the contrast, which was still enough for three extra pattern repeats.

Thank you all for the lovely comments about the birthday girl - she will be impossible if I pass them all on ;-)

And finally - is it me or is live music LOUDER than it used to be I had such fun last night at the Roger Waters gig - I wouldn't have missed it for quids! He and the band were brilliant, and to hear Dark Side of the Moon live was just ace. An encore of "Another Brick in the Wall" and "Comfortably Numb" rounded off a perfect evening.

Pink Floyd and I go back to the days of "See Emily Play" and although he didn't quite go that far back he did play "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun". And yes, the pig was there!

I'd also like to thank all my new friends for escorting me back to the tube! I met some lovely people who were quietly impressed by my making my way there on my own but concerned at my getting back to Clapham - I almost had an escort all the way!

Monday, May 19, 2008

What a Wonderful Weekend!

Thank you all for you good wishes and comments about mum's birthday, which are very much appreciated. I am mindful that, although my blog is primarily for me, I also need to make it enjoyable and interesting for all of you ;-)

Here are a few photos I really do want to share of the weekend. This is mum, with her pavlova ;-) on Friday when we went for her birthday lunch.

The view from our table - lovely isn't it.

And a few photos of yesterday.

A lovely photo of DD

And a rare photo of my three together, with my brother in the blue shirt in the background.

The lady in blue is my 97 year old aunt from Cheltenham, who mum lived with in Clapham during the War.

It was a wonderful day, which sadly like all special days, went far too quickly. I think that to get to 90 and still have seven sisters and two brothers is remarkable. And you know even my uncle who lives in Cyprus made a special journey to be with us. I love getting all my aunties and uncles togther.

Right - must go. I am of to London at lunchtime on the train - I am going to see Roger Waters at the O2 tonight, all on my own becuse no-one wanted to come with me, then back tomorrow for a meeting with the new company.
Hopefuly - you never know - I may even have some knitting to show you when I get back :-)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Mum!

Today is mum's 90th birthday! She has survived the Blitz, having lived in Clapham during the WW2 where she worked as a clippie on the London buses, often leading them with a lamp during pea-soupers. She also had one of the "missing believed killed in action" letters, and believed herself to be a widow for some two years before eventually being notified that dad was a P.O.W. in Italy.

She has also survived two husbands, five heart attacks and diabetes, and although she has Alzheimers seems to be in a much more gentle decline than MIL, being able still to live in her own home albeit with support. Long may it continue.

What else can I tell you about her? She was from a large family ( 3 boys, 10 girls ) and on Sunday her seven surviving sisters and two brothers are all getting together for Sunday Lunch. Can you imagine seven sisters, all octogenarians, the tales they tell are amazing and I am so looking forward to being with them all.

She loves her garden. And she has absolutely no sense of humour whatsoever!!!!!

Here are a few photos over the years.

Mum and Dad September 29th 1938

With Grandad in the background, bridesmaid and best man. Auntie Betsy will be there Sunday.

Mum and I circa 1960 at Swallow Falls

Mum at our wedding in 1981

Mum and dad's Golden Wedding in 1988 with my brother and SIL, DD and DS1

Mum's second wedding in 1991. They were very happy together for five years.

Mum's 80th birthday

Mum wearing a Colinette Tagliatelle cardigan. We chose the pattern and yarn together on her 88th birthday at the Colinette Mill Shop.

And finally one of my favourite photos, mum with DD in her garden last September.

Mum loves her garden. My brother and I are taking her out quietly for lunch today, I do hope it stops raining soon. I just have flowers and balloon to collect before I leave.

Happy Birthday mum!

Monday, May 12, 2008

There Has Been Knitting Too :-)

You are all lovely :-) and Rob says thank you too.

There has been knitting too recently to keep me out of mischief. These are Razor Shell Socks by Miriam L. Felton. The pattern is a free pattern, and I love it to bits. They took me eight days, from May 1st to May 8th, which is pretty blooming good for me with socks.

Razor Shell Socks

Yarn: Bonny ( Yarn Yard Sock Yarn )

Shade: Bloom

Needles: 2.5mm Clover Takumi dpns

And yet more Cranford Mitts. First up is a pair made for Anni in a recent Spring Santa swap.

And the reverse pair, a birthday present for mum

And the reverse of my first pair, knitted for my friend Yvonne's mum. All knitted using Yarn Yard Hug yarn, which is a merino yarn and it's fabulous.

And finally - can you tell what it is yet .........................................

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Sense of Perspective

Warning: picture -heavy post! And I make no apologies for that. I'd like to start by saying thank you all for your support, which has helped me a lot. I am feeling better than I was earlier this week, I just needed a few clear days to regroup.

There's nothing like a family weekend to restore my equilibrium, and this has been a lovely one. Yesterday afternoon DS2 and I went to see a production of Blood Brothers at Malvern Theatres and very good it was too. I hadn't seen it before, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This was followed by our first barbeque of the year. Do you know we were still sitting in the garden at 9:30 yesterday evening - wonderful.

This morning saw us all up and out by 8:15 heading for Tewkesbury and the Half Marathon. DS1 had come home for the weekend to run, it is one of several warm up races ahead of the Great North Run.

This is Tewkesbury Abbey, taken across the fields from the start of the race, not a view one normally has of the abbey.

Here is DS waiting to start. He wasn't as relaxed as he looks!

And here he is with DD

DD offers a bit of last minute advice!

And they're off! At 9:30 am it was already very warm and sunny.

We then left Tewkesbury and drove to the lovely village of Bredon ( a four mile drive for us, it was the 9 mile marker in the race )

Rob is the fourth one along in this group.

Not a good photo - he was reaching out for water!

From Bredon back to Tewkesbury for the end of the race. Rob is just to the right of the cross, you can just see Mr A and DD to the right of the photo.

Rob stopped his watch at 1 hour 27 minutes and 50 seconds, his chip time isn't available yet of course. It's hard to tell, but we reckon he was in the top 50. He had desperately wanted to achieve 1 hour 25 minutes but it was far too hot for that, and I think he did REALLY well.
Where was DS2 you might ask? Home revising for his GCSE's perhaps? He is in Birmingham with his girlfriend. His first exam is on Wednesday, RE, he revised the whole syllabus in 2 hours last weekend so he's fine then isnt he .......................

I AM feeling better - it's days like this that help to remind me that work is just work and my family is everything. I have my sense of perspective back!
Edited to add thet Rob's official position was 28th :-)