Saturday, May 9, 2009

Time to reveal all.....

I've been keeping a great big secret.

A couple of years ago I scored 11 balls of gorgeous lilac Elle cotton yarn for 50p each, at the emporium of all things acrylic that is my local yarn store.

I've almost cast on about twenty projects for Minxie with this yarn but just couldn't bring myself to take the plunge.

After much deliberation and yarn stroking, I did cast on, and knit the back and half the front of a very big and complicated cable cardi.

However, I made a fatal error.

I blogged about it.....

......and then got stopitis.

It has sat there, in my knitting bag, taunting me for 19 months and 19 days!!!

Today - this very day - Saturday 9th May 2009 - I have finished Minx's cardigan!

I'm calling this Version II.

After ditching the cable and making it up as I go along.... it is.

Shown off in Minx's best robot pose ;-)

Initally based on this pattern - a fantastic top down knit, done on a circular needle that requires no making up!

I soon realised that although I'd cast on the adult small size, the fact that I'd used DK instead of bulky yarn and used a 4.5mm instead of 6.5mm needle, meant I needed to keep on knitting more and more rows on the garter stitch bodice until it fitted Minx.

The great thing was, she could try it on as I knitted and I could adjust the number of rows accordingly.

Once the garter stitch bit was cracked I started on the lace.

This is where I started swearing. Lots.

Try as I might I could not get the lace repeats right - always ending up with too many or too few stitches. I ripped this back four times before throwing in the towel.

Quite remarkable behaviour from someone who avoids ripping back her knitting at all costs!

I didn't give up totally though. I trawled through every knitting book or pattern that I own, spent hours on Ravelry and eventually found a lace pattern, with the right multiple of stitches, in my Mum's old Good Housekeeping Encyclopeadia of Needlecraft.

It took me until I was more than half way down the lace to realise that the reason the lace was the 'wrong' way up to that in the picture was that I was knitting top down instead of bottom up!

Luckily, I'd already decided I like it that way!

There's one mistake on the lace. It's barely noticeable but now I know it's there it screams at me!

Can you spot it?

I'm now totally sold on top down knitting.

What a fantastic idea!

This cardi used 5 balls of that bargain yarn - and cost the grand sum of £2.50!

I'm feeling very self satisified :-)

Having finished 'the big project' I feel that I can move onto other things.

The first of which is a crochet cushion cover - using granny squares that I made two years ago and cotton yarn that has been collected for no specific project over about three years!

Just lookee at me.......Mrs Stashbuster!

That'll be more room for new yarn then ;-)

Oh my goodness! I was just about to publish this post when we realised Minx's little gerbil Nibbles had died. We've just had a very special and very tearful gerbil funeral. Prayers have been said and flowers have been laid.

Rest In Peace Nibs

Minxy aged 5 'holding' Nibs for the first time


Friday, May 8, 2009

Fancy swapping?

Rachel is hosting a lovely summery swap - fancy joining in?

Go and visit her to see what it's all about :-)


...and that reminds me...I still have a number of PIF gifts to make....haven't forgotten....honest!


This week I 'are mostly bin makin' shoes.......

Teeny weeny fairy shoes.

Apparently I should have decided which fairy they were for before I started making them but I always seem to do things back to front! I think this pair is for the spring sunrise fairy - using some of Julie's lovely snow-dyed fabric.

These red leather ones are for the really naughty fairy who makes you stick needles in yourself a thousand times while you're sewing her shoes.....lets call her the BandAid fairy!

I bought the pattern for the fairy shoes from Annette Emms, after my aunt went to one of her workshops and showed me the ten pairs of fairy shoes she'd made since!

I must add, in no way does Annette recommend you use leather to make her fairy shoes - I was just being Miss Independent and had the silly idea to use some scraps of 'soft' leather that I found at the Scrapstore. Take it from me, even soft leather isn't as soft as it seems!!

To carry on the shoemaking theme, I spent a very happy couple of hours making these too.
Teeny tiny crocheted booties, patterns from here.

Have a great weekend :-)


Friday, May 1, 2009


Hello, Bumblebee here.....the famous escaping chicken.......

......I like nothing more than a good old rootle around in that Moogwoman's flower beds......

....scattering her pansies hither and thither.....

......I've got my eye on the veg patch next.......

....those stupid humans think that regular wing clipping......

.........and making this fence progressively higher or potentially more scary.....

...will stop me escaping to wreak havoc in the shrubberies.....

......mwah ha ha ha ha.....

.....nothing will defeat me.....I am a genius escaping hen with attitude......wanna mess with me? wouldn't dare......cacklecluckcackle....

Note from Moogsmum: this pesky bird, Jazz's replacement if you remember, has never quite fitted in with the other three and takes to escaping every time they're let out into the run.

So far she has:

- uprooted most of my spring bedding plants

- covered the lawn in uprooted stones

- made her way into the kitchen - and pecked the poor Moog hard on the nose

- come into the living room once

- come into the living room again - and c**ped on the carpet

She's trouble, that bird. Whatever measures we take to keep her in the pen, she overcomes them. We are at a loss. Just how do you keep a determined chicken in her rightful place?

Answers on a postcard please!

At least I have these to play with while I ponder the chicken situation :-)