31 January 2009

Not much to blog about this weekend

Seeing as we haven't done much today (I'm still waiting for the kitchen to be finished so we're going out for dinner shortly) so I thought I would post a picture of the horse I rode last Sunday. Her name is Echo and she is great fun to ride. Once I had got into the saddle the woman taking us out said that I didn't need to squeeze her on at all so I knew I was in for a good ride. She was fast, fun, but not jumpy and I got back without having my arms ripped out from their sockets.
I don't know if I'll be lucky enough to ride her next Sunday (I'm not riding tomorrow) and I will be very spoilt if I do! She is a favourite of a few of us, so I always feel special when I get to ride her.
You can find the horses at Belfairs Riding School here

29 January 2009

Having a tea party

I've been trying to think up some ways to keep Leah entertained whilst we are at home, so today we decided to give her toys a tea party. She invited her snowflake the rabbit, her ragdoll and Matilda the monkey. They look like they are enjoying themselves, don't they? And look at the nice food they have - carrots for the rabbit too!

It's so difficult to get Leah to pose when you want her to, so I managed to snap her quickly whilst she was watching one of her TV programmes (I was in the middle of my ironing at this point, so had to get the picture quick, quick, quick!)

She really loves her tea set, especially as the tea pot 'talks' and makes pouring noises when you tip it up. I'm not quite sure why she is pouring the tea in her milk jug though....

When she was finished with her tea party (and I had finished my ironing) I came back from putting the iron away and found her 'surfing' on the ironing board. I just couldn't resist putting the picture on my blog, she looks so cute LOL!

26 January 2009

Some more things to show you.....

I have been taking a break from swapping lately, as I found it was beginning to feel a bit like a chore making and sending fbs rather than enjoying it, and because of that I wasn't enjoying my letter writing either - basically it all got too much. So I decided to take a break until I feel up to starting again. It means that my friends and swappers will have to wait a little for my replies - but those who read my blog will know that I haven't forgotten them, I am just trying to feel like myself again.

In the meantime I have made another pair of socks (!) and finished those during Leah's nap yesterday afternoon. I was pleased with the yarn, not bad for a find in Austria!

it's quite hard to photograph anything with the way the weather has been lately, so as soon as I saw the sun this morning I whipped my camera out and took some photos.

Not too bad, eh?

I had to cast on another pair straight away as I was dying to use this yarn - Araucania Ranco Multy - and it is lush! I have 12 more rows to do before the heel......

24 January 2009

I decided to treat myself....and Leah of course!

As I'm still waiting for my kitchen to be finished, I thought that I would treat myself to some lovely yarn! I got these from woolhunter and not only are they beautiful yarns, they are very reasonably priced too.

From left to right they are - cherrylicious, totally tropical and tizz wozz. I can't wait to use them.

I also visited my local yarn shop and they had a sale on. I rummaged around and found these...

...four balls of a rainbow mix.....

...six balls or a blue mix....

...and 10 balls of a purple mix - all for £10! It knits up exactly like Sirdar Snuggly Bubbly which I have used before, so I should be able to make Leah some nice little cardis with it :o)

18 January 2009

The pattern for the toddler socks...

I got around to working out the heel on the larger sock, but if it doesn't work out, just modify it until it does, and let me know any corrections you have!

A close up of the toe...

.. and the basketweave.
The pattern - to fit approx 18mths (24 mths)
I used a set of 4 2.5mm dpns and woolhunter BFL super sock wool which is a 4ply yarn. The tension isn't really important (well I don't think so as kiddies feet are all slightly different)
Cast on 42 (48) sts and join in the round
work 10 rows of K1 P1 rib (or 20 rows if you want a turned cuff).
pattern - rows 1-4 * K3, P3* repeat to end
rows 5-8 * P3, K3* repeat to end
work 3 (4) repeats of the pattern or length desired to heel
Heel flap -
knit across 21 (24) sts, turn
S1, purl to end, turn
*S1, knit to end, turn
S1, purl to end, turn*
repeat last 2 rows 8 (10) more times
knit 12 (14) sts, SSK, K1, turn
S1, purl 5 (6) P2tog, P1, turn
S1, knit to 1 st before gap, SSK, K1, turn
S1, purl to 1 st before gap, P2tog, P1, turn
repeat until all sts used up - you should end on a purl row. For the larger size I think you will have one gap left on the knit row, so just knit all the stitches on this row with no decrease 13 (16) sts on needle.
knit across all 13 (16) sts.
pick up for heel
N1 - knit 10 (12) st down side of heel, N2 continue in pattern on 21 (24) sts, N3 knit 10 (12) down other side of heel and 6 (8) sts from needle 1.
N1 17 (20) sts, N2 21 (24) sts, N3 16 (20) sts - 54 (64) sts in total.
instep shaping
next round (round 1)- N1 knit to last 3 sts, K2tog K1, N2 pattern across all sts, N3 K1 SSK, knit to end
next round (round 2)- N1 knit, N2 continue in pattern, N3 knit
repeat these two rows until you have 42 (48) sts
continue knitting as round 2 for 15 (19) rows or length required before toe shaping.
decrease for toe
round 1 - N1 knit to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1, N2 K1 SSK, knit to last 3 st, K2tog, K1, N3 K1 SSK, knit to end
round 2 - knit across all needles.
continue until 14 (16) sts left
knit sts from N1 to needle 3 - 7 (8) st on each needle and graft these together
hope you like knitting this up - please do NOT use for commercial purposes but feel free to knit up for friends and family!

new toddler socks!

I have been working on a little pattern for some basketweave socks, and this willl be posted later today (just have a few sizing issues with the second size).

Here is a quick sneak preview!!

I hope you all like it!

17 January 2009

She wanted to go horse riding....

Leah wanted to go 'horse riding' this morning, so I got her pony out and she went for a ride!

My friend got her the rocking horse for her Christening last year, and it has only been recently that she has wanted to ride it. She never stays on for long, but seems to enjoy it whilst she does. I can't wait until she is old enough to have pony rides - where I ride they have to be 4 before they can ride due to insurance. I can't wait - only 2 and a bit years to go...

15 January 2009

My latest WIP - toe up using magic loop!!

I thought I'd join in with the KAL in ravelry this month, which was to knit a toe up sock. I have never tried this before so thought it would be good to learn something new.

I chose the express lane socks which also called for magic loop knitting, which I actually really like now I've tried it.

I've done seven repeats of the pattern so far for the foot, but think I will need to add one more for my feet to get the correct length.

The pattern actually came out better in the photo than it looks in real life, as the yarn is quite variegated and i wasn't sure how clear it would look....

.. and I had to post a picture of the toe - done using a provisional cast on (why do I put myself through this??).. I had to cut it out in the end as I think I knitted through the wrong part of the crochet chain, oh well, it turned out ok in the end!

13 January 2009

my kitchen - ahem!!

I just thought I'd post a few pictures of my kitchen from Sunday night to Tuesday morning once everything was ripped out!
You can see where the new boiler was put in, in the photo above....

..and this was the other side of the room...

...this is the same view by the boiler this morning.....

...and the other side - eek! What a MESS!!!!

10 January 2009

I have my own little helper....

For those of you who read my blog, you probably know that we are having a new kitchen fitted over the next few weeks. This morning we have ben emptying cupboards ready for everything being ripped out on Monday - eek!

Leah, being the good girl that she is decided to grab the dishcloth and help with a few chores - cleaning the back door windows! I didn't have the heart to tell her off....

.. and she looked so intent on doing it too!

She soon got bored and decided to have a ride in the washing basket :o) She wanted to wear her new cardigan, so although it needs a good iron, it doesn't look too bad. She did try to pull it off at one point, so the front where the button is looks a bit skewiff, but not too bad over all!

09 January 2009

Another FO......

This is the latest cardigan I have made for Leah. It took a bit longer as it was made in Sirdar Snuggly 4ply, but I am pleased with how it turned out. I see a lot of blogs and entries on ravelry where people have used beautiful yarns for baby garments, but in my opinion acrylic based ones are better for kids as they are harder wearing, easier to wash and dry and are so soft. The yarns costs a little less too!

I tried to put it on her to model it this morning but she wasn't having it at all! Maybe soon I'll have a picture of her in it!

08 January 2009

WIP and FOs for 2009....

I just wanted to post some pictures of my current project (well one of them) in progress, and the socks I finished for my friend.

This is the waves and piers pattern from the little book of socks and I really like the effect. I am using a yarn I bought it Austria (Richard thinks its funny that although the town hardly had any shops, I managed to find one that sold wool!) and I think it hasn't been too bad for the pattern. That calls for a Regia yarn than stripes into rings, which I didn't want to have to buy especially - seeing as I have so many different ones in my stash!

The pattern call for a forethought heel which I have never done before, and also a provisional cast on, again something I am new too. I wanted to get all that done before I went to bed last night as I didn't want to stop halfway through..... poor Rich got bored with me and fell asleep on the sofa!

I don't think it turned out too badly, but I'm not sure how comfortable the fit will be, we'll have to wait and see what its like when the socks are finished. I wouldn't rush to do this heel again, I much prefer the heel flap method as its really straight forward.

I also finished the embossed leaves socks from Favorite Socks and think they look ok for the yarn used (my friend wanted grey and I only had Sirdar town and country, which isn't a very smooth yarn).

Even with Leah's hand in the picture I don't think they look too bad, although I was having a little trouble trying to find a good source of light. I ended up sitting on the dining room floor near the back door....

..the final view makes me look like I have no ankles, but I promise you I do!! It's my awful photography skills LOL!

05 January 2009

We had some snow......kind of...

We had our first - and maybe only - snow of the year, and it looked really pretty - while it lasted! We don't often get snow here, so it always causes havoc when it arrived. luckily it didn't cause too many problems, and as we are along a main road it was well gritted and clear.

I thought I'd take a few photos of the back garden in the snow as it always look nicer....

...you can see it wasn't very deep....

.. and was gone in a few hours. We still have a little in the back garden as it is North facing, so I expect it will be really icy tomorrow!

04 January 2009

Not much happening due to a little someone....

There hasn't been much time for anything of a knitted theme lately, as Leah (who is suffering with a cold as well as the rest of us) and hasn't wanted to sleep in the evenings. She goes down well at first but keeps waking again and again - so as you can imagine the knitting has been interrupted!

I have managed to make this simple facecloth - I have seen so many on Ravelry so thought I'd give one a go. I am also finishing off the embossed leaves socks for my friend, so hopefully that won't take too long now.

I did squeeze in a two hour ride over the holidays, as really enjoyed riding in the cold. There were a few problems during the two hours (one man pulling a muscle and a young girl falling off) so we ended up being out for two and a half hours, not that I minded!

I now have to look forward to (GULP!) being without a kitchen for two weeks starting the twelfth of January while we have the new one fitted. I know it will be worth it but I am dreading it already!!