Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Post Christmas knitting

This year I planned a little treat for the hubby and myself. After all the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas, Christmas day itself and the eating yourself silly over the course of 2 days, I thought it would be nice to unwind and relax on an old steam train journey.

The journey started on a very foggy Sunday morning in whitehead where, once I got my seat, the sock promptly came out.

By the time we reached dublin some 4 hours later I had made little progress, mainly because we played cards the whole way down!
Determined to do some actual knitting on the way home, I managed to complete the foot and am now sitting in Starbucks about to do my heel.
Our train was called merlin and the journey was great! I would recommend a steam trip to everyone.... there are special easter and Christmas trips so have a look on their website (printed on the bottom of the flyer)

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Not just knitting

The knitting is done, presents are very nearly wrapped so that only means one thing: time for the Christmas baking to start.

Last night the hubby and I made toffee. Usually it's not a two man job but I'm rather accident prone and he likes to keep an eye on me.

All the ingredients were thrown into a pot
Stir like a mad thing until everything is all melted together and smooth 
Crank up the heat and keep stirring until you reach 120 degrees....which takes forever
Stick it in your mould and leave to set.

Tomorrow we get to cut it up and decide if it should have chocolate on it 
.... . . everything should have chocolate!

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Fine fish

Wednesday was ALL about yarn. It was our Christmas swap and delivery of our fine fish Christmas gradients club. 

I'm very much a blue and green girl and so this was my yarn, bag and cute little Christmas stitch markers!

My swap buddy got me some lovely fine fish dk in my favourite colours,

And here's my swap present in its entirety.
If you want to get your hands on some lovely fine fish yarn, just click the link. 

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Decisions decisions

While sitting in Starbucks last night I asked my fellow knitters for their opinion on my 'over Christmas knitting' while I ate the cream off my hot chocolate with a spoonSo, do I :

1.  Finish some wips like the dress that just needs it's ribbed bits done, or my sisters cardigan. ..

2. Start a beaded knit night for me,

3. Make a start on a multi stranded blanket that will eat miles of yarn, or

4. Tackle the sock stash (This large bag is just SOME of the sock stash)

It started to look like the sock stash tackling would win, so I'm throwing it out there.

And, while the jury is out, I'll get on with knitting my reflective hat.  Health and safety begins at home after all. 

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

A little bit at a time

Tonight at knitting I brought a few things to work on...a cowl to sew together, mitts to sew up, a hat to finish and a scarf to knit.

By the time we left the hat, cowl and mitts were finished and I had a few more repeats of the scarf done.
Knitting night lends itself to simple easily memorable projects as you don't want to be having to concentrate too much and miss out on all the fun. 

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Christmas spirit

Usually when I get a magazine I tend to disguard the free gift, especially if it's a thing to knit. I prefer tools like stitch markers, tape measures and scissors.

For the the kits are useless. I don't knit toys and have no interest in knitting santa, hedgehogs or puss in boots.

So I was very surprised when my latest magazine purchase came with a kit that I really wanted to make...

I thought this was something different, something I hadn't seen before with a magazine. It was finished in a night and I really quite like it.

It just goes to show that every now and again magazines can surprise you.

Thursday, 19 November 2015


Tuesdays update didn't happen for one very good, fluffy and cute reason.... we refused to hand back my mum's 3 year old Westie,  Gibbs.
My dad stole him back last night so normality can resume.                                                           

Dublin this year was great as always and we finally managed something I've wanted for years.... a new yarn colour wheel!                 
Just remember that I contributed to the colour wheel, I didn't buy all that yarn despite what some people think. (Although in the past I could have created a wheel all by myself)

There was much knitting in the evenings and by the time we got off the train in Belfast I had just the rib to finish on my socks.

And finally, the moment you've been waiting for....may I present the new stash.
Everything in the new stash has a plan...sock yarn for socks, yarn for a really pretty cowl, 2/3rds of a shawl and yarn for another shawl. This time round it's quality not quantity so there's a lot of indie dyed yarn too...close up pics next time!

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Not quite right

I started knitting a rather simple man hat over the weekend.

Right size needles? Check.

Cast on right number of stitches? Check

K1 P1 for the round? Check.

Knit round? Ummm no.

Seems I left this part of the pattern out so was content knitting rib all weekend! I only realised when it came to the decreases....which I ended up making up.

But, I've another hat for the gift box and I won't make the same mistake twice!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015


Last week I volunteered to knit a sample for A Fine Fish Yarns

I was given a skein of aran weight yarn and tonight I set to work winding it from this lovely skein into a cake.

The colourway is called Sheelagh and the yarn is amazing. It's soft, bouncy and each stitch is a pleasure to work with. It's one of those yarns you just want to keep working with.

I picked a pretty simple hat pattern for this yarn. I wanted the yarn to be the focal point without creating a completely plain hat. I'm just hoping it turns out to be as lovely as seems to be.

Despite the fact that I'm going to Dublin next weekend on the annual knitting pilgrimage,  I think I need this yarn in my stash!

Sunday, 1 November 2015


You may have noticed the lack of post on Tuesday and that's because we took ourselves off to the cinema to see spectre.

Wednesday was a little yarn delivery from Germany. Just one or two balls of sock yarn being added to the stash

Tuesday, 20 October 2015


Crafters are hoarders. Show me a crafter who doesn't have a stash of one kind or another and I'll root out their hiding spots.

They sneak yarn into the house, slightly concerned about the eye rolls from their significant other, hide it in the boot of the car, stuff it in nooks and crannies or have another crafter mind it for them.

And it's not just yarn.  While my yarn stash threatens to take over the house from downstairs, the magazine stash is trying to burst from its designated spot upstairs!

I used to be a 2 magazine subscriber. The anticipation of waiting on the postman to deliver the magazine was great. What patterns would I get this month? What stash would I be able to use with it? And, most importantly, what will the free gift be!?

Needless to say that once I ripped the plastic off the magazine, had a look at the free gift (and 9 times out of 10 said I wouldn't use it) and gave the patterns a  cursery look, the magazine was abandoned in a corner until someone texted to say they were visiting. At that point the magazines were scooped up and thrown in another corner out of sight.

In order to corral the mess, I didn't resubscribe to one magazine when my year ran out.  In my eternal stupidity, I continued to buy the magazine and not knit any patterns from them.  So the decision has been made not to resubscribe to magazine 2.

And then there's tools- needles, crochet hooks, stitch markers and buttons. We knitters tend to hoard these items too and yet, we never have what we need when we need it.

So the moral of this tale is simple. Despite your belief that your crafter has every thing they could ever possibly need,  you're wrong. We'll always need something else, something new and shiny.

My advice is to just go with the flow. One day you'll come home to find them buried under the stash and then, and only then, will the notion of "enough" cross their mind. And as quickly as the notion came it'll go again.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Evil temptress

What is it that makes crafters immune to saying no when new yarn is involved?

This is a question I've been pondering over for a while and it all began in September.

A fellow crafter in work was bemoaning the state of her craft room (I know, a whole room for crafting in). There was card and stamps and inks and glues everywhere and getting glitter out of carpet isn't easy.  In return I was venting about the stash getting out of hand....again.

I wanted to get the stash knitted up before the annual knitting pilgrimage to Dublin. Why? To make room for all the new yarn I would acquire.  Unfortunately the stash contains the excitedly purchased yarn from the four previous pilgrimages.

But why when, for as long as I can remember,  I've been cold sheeping?

Because I get the thrill of hitting the purchase button online. It's not just the yarn I'm buying but the illusion of time to knit it up.

Sometimes this thrill comes back to bit you. For example, last week a knitting website was advertising their grab bags. Oh ho says I,  an excellent opportunity to try new yarn out for a discounted price. So I ordered 3 bags- cascade, berocco and crystal palace.

Imagine my excitement when the parcel arrived.  I opened the first....

Started well with berocco weekend. Nice colours and the yarn feels nice.

Then came the second bag,  the cascade...

Another victory! Bulky merino in blues which I love.

Then, the final bag...the crystal  palace. Would I be lucky and get 3 fab bags of yarn??

No. Bag 3  was 5 balls of fun fur that I have no idea what to do with.

And, despite the new mystery yarn (and one or five other balls that arrived yesterday), the knitters are in talks about ordering a lot of sock yarn from Germany! 

This only means one thing....I knit to climb back on the sheep until mid November and knit socks like they're going out of fashion!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

This blog is brought to you by the letter F

Finishing. There are many levels of finishing when it comes to knitting.

Some class a project as finished as soon as the knitting part is done. Some believe finishing occurs once the ends have been woven it while others go as far as washing and blocking their piece before they declare their work finished.

Me? I'm in the weaving in the ends camp.  However, I'm getting rather lax about even going that far.

This little pile contains all the "finishing" I need to do, and most of it is quite simple and straightforward.- ends, seaming and a pompom or two. Instead of just getting on with it, I threw the lot in a bag and pretended it didn't exist...except that I keep tripping over it!.

This week's goal is to bring a handful to knitting tomorrow and weave in those ends!  Hopefully next week I'll be regaling you with a series of FOs instead of nearly-but-not-quite finished objects.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Technical issues

I had a wonderful post planned for Tuesday but alas, technology let me down. My laptop is on its way out and is now refusing to connect to the Internet. So now I'm stuck with an app on my phone!

I'm just going to have to adjust even though I don't want to lol.

See you Tuesday!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Baby steps

Last week at knitting my friend Sharon was doing her practical work in order to become a colour reader. Always up for a go at new things, Sharon read my cards and all the colours pointed to one thing: my stash is holding me back.

As the last post shows, the stash in the living room is huge! And thats only the tip of the iceberg. Sharon suggested that I move yarn that doesn't make my hear sing. After hearing this shocking suggestion, shedding a little tear or two, I agreed to try to cull the stash.

Its actually quite easy to let go. Even after sitting and thinking about it for a few minutes, I was able to come up with a list of yarns that I was happy enough to move out of the house.... and here it is.

start small
It took a whole 10 minutes to pull the yarn out of its various nooks and crannies and be piled up on the floor. A quick whatsapp chat later and half the yarn already has a new home, the rest will be brought to knitting tomorrow and, if there's still some left over, it'll go straight to the charity shop.

Its leaving tomorrow, never to return!!!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Once upon a time

There was a knitter who loved yarn. She loved yarn so much that the house was coming down with it! She decided, with a heavy heart, to start Cold Sheeping.
Many years passed. She stopped blogging so she could concentrate on knitting down her stash. Alas, she was just kidding the world and herself. The stash increased….decreased…..increased and decreased again.
By this time, she has three separate stash locations – at the top of the stairs, underneath the stairs and in the living room.  Being a knitter, she doesn’t blame herself, she blames The Summer.  It was during The Summer that the living room stash started to grow….and by September it was definitely out of control!
The knitter decided that “enough was enough!” and it was HAVE to be dealt with. Friends encouraged her to have a serious purge, but no, she couldn’t do that. She’d just have to knit it all up.
So here it is, the living room stash in all its glory:

Looks harmless, doesn’t it.  Well this monster can be divided into 3 categories.

Caegory 1: I know what I’m doing with you!

This cheeky selection will become socks, washcloths, hats, a shawl and a little jumper or two.  The knitter reckons that this category (apart from the shawl  that is) can and should be knitted up quickly enough. Plans are in place and she just needs time.

Category 2: ALL the kits

One of these kits pictured (and another that escaped) were purchased in August while on holiday. The knitter thought the little boy kit was so nice that she’d go back and get the pink one – there is a flurry of babies and one never knows when one will need pink! It was while the purchasing of the pink kit was taking place that the evil sales lady brought out all the Not one to resist a bargain, the knitter took them all -  well, hats and scarves are just so quick aren’t they!
Once category 1 is completed, this selection will be next on the hit list.

Finally, we have category 3: What on earth was I thinking!

Yup, a miscellaneous category. There are inklings of ideas with some of these yarns, and other will be paired up with yarn from the top of the stairs stash.

But baby steps -  one skein at a time and I’m sure our intrepid knitter will clear the living room of the invading yarns!