Saturday, 13 October 2012

New arrival

Isn't it funny the way things happen when you're least expecting them?  Meet Amy:

Our cats usually sit in the window, on top of the bookcase; in general they enjoy catching the sun and being nosy.  We live in a very mixed area, and there are a lot of students in our street.  Our house is right on the street so sometimes we have people stop and look at the cats and we've got used to this.  The other day a Chinese student from three doors along knocked on my window and indicated he wanted to speak to me, so I went to the door.  He said he had a cat but the landlord of their rented house had been told by a maintenance person and he had phoned to tell them they weren't allowed to keep pets in the house. (HOW EVIL...though when I think about the damage inflicted on my furniture by years of having cats I can sort of understand...) He said they knew we had cats so would we take theirs in?  My immediate reaction was to say no, three cats is more than enough. however he asked would i at least look at her.  He and his girlfriend brought her to the house and I fell in love immediately! How could I not take this poor little tiny kitty in? After all, we ONLY have three cats already...plenty of room for a little'un.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


updating soon my impatient yarnies!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Thou shalt covet......

I thought I'd share some of my recent finds with you. I defy anyone to resist the temptation!

First, this week's Posh Yarn update; available on the website from 8pm tomorrow (Sunday 27th February) If you see anything you want, make sure you visit the website a few minutes before 8pm and refresh your browser contunually because once the yarn is available it will sell out within minutes, often seconds! What's not to like? But you'll need to be very quick! I shall not be buying anything this week though for the simple reason of resisting the urge to buy yet more purple-related sock yarn!! Sometimes there are some beautifully multicoloured variegates in shades I absolutely drool over, but this week, although everything is beautiful, as usual, the skeins I covet the most are purple-based, and I have to use up some of the purple sock yarn I already have before I can justify buying yet more!
Incidentally, they have some free patterns; my favourite is the one for the Slip Up Socks.

Next, a fabulous MWK (Men Who Knit!) website, which I found while I was looking for video tutorials related to the Kromski Sonata spinning wheel; I am waiting for mine to be re-delivered (the saga continues in a moment....sigh!) and in the meantime looking at other people using theirs is the next best thing! So...I found this guy on You Tube, with a link to his site, Crafty Andy. He is a gay Californian who loves yarning, and he has a Sonata! I love him!!! His website has some lovely patterns for sale; mainly lace scarves/shawls and amazing hats! Really, there is something rather sweet about photos of a guy sitting with a Star Trek book, wearing a delicate lace shawl! I have every respect for guys who knit, spin and/or crochet and who aren't afraid to show off their stuff! So let's hear it for Crafty Andy!

My next discovery is this knitting pattern blog, Sonnentaler; it has these fantastic One hour Mitts pattern. It made me chuckle! It would actually take me about eight hours, even with chunky yarn, as the pattern recommends! Some people knit really fast, and't!! These mitts remind me a lot of the Toast wristwarmers (from A Friend to Knit With, one of my absolute favourite knitting blogs) which I knitted last year using some of my own handspun merino/alpaca/silk from - yes, yes, of course - Limegreenjelly. But these mitts - unlike the mitt version of Toast, Toasty - have a proper thumb (i.e. with a gussett). I'm going to use up some of my handspun merino/silk, holding two yarns together I think rather than actually plying; this is one of my favourite ways to knit bulky because you can change the colours as you go along.

I don't have a baby to knit for, but if I did I would have to knit this amazingly different little Kurbis hat in the shape of a pumpkin, also from Sonnentaler. Let's not forget, the Primavera socks I'm knitting in Dream in Color Knitosophy (in the Strength colourway) are also from Sonnentaler.

I've been browsing on Etsy again (oh no!!) I have plenty of plain, natural colour merino for practising spinning when my Kromski Sonata arrives, but in the meantime, I am perfectly within my rights to look at beautiful, handpainted OOAK luxury fibre! Here are a few of my favourites, in order of preference:

Spinning Awesome Good's BFL/Tussah in Kalypso is my first choice this week. I love the way they have arranged it, very attractive, and guaranteed to suck in helpless fibre addicts such as myself! Beautiful!

Then in second and third place come two amazing offerings from Cincinnati-based FiberOptic; both in pure 100% BFL, they are Ultraviolet (left) and Bramble. My fibre stash - unlike my sock yarn stash! - is somewhat depleted, so I do have justification to buy a few more braids. I've just bought some LGJ Merino/Camel/Silk from one of my Raveler friends, Mary from Folsom in California. Now, if the fibre's colour name Kiss rings a bell that's because the last thing I bought from LGJ was also Kiss, but in Merino/Baby Camel. When the one from California arrives (think how many miles it's travelled from Leonard-on-Sea to California, then back over the Pond to Newcastle....!) I'll photograph them side by side for comparison. I LOVE camel! It's really soft, and baby camel is so soft you can barely feel it!! I'm gonna spin spin spin when my wheel arrives, and may ply these with merino or Corriedale from Forest Fibres in one of their fabulous colours.

This brings me to my fourth place Fab Find this week, the epic-win bargain that is their Ashford Corriedale Sliver 5-Colour Pack 5 x 100g for £13.99!! The customer chooses the colours. This would be really useful to have for plying with my lovely LGJ fibre! As I remarked in a recent post, combining a handpainted fibre with a plain one can look amazing! I guess I would have to choose the Indigo, Chilli Pepper, a couple of purple shades, and one of the natural shades. If you're anything like me, you'll just like looking at all the lovely colours together.

Now to the ongoing saga of my eagerly awaited Kromski Sonata. I saw it listed on ebay and won the auction the next day - amazingly with my opening bid. The listing included a Kromski arched Lazy Kate, a large Kromski niddy noddy (which I have wanted for ages!), a pair of Ashford large hand carders (which I have always wanted to try out) and about 500g of various fibre. All for way less than I was going to pay for an Ashford Traveller alone! Anyway....the seller sent it by 24-hour courier on Wednesday and told me it would arrive by Friday. It did indeed, but when I was at work (despite the seller asking them to wait until after 3). So I phoned up and asked to have it delivered on Saturday but was told "We don't deliver on Saturdays, except for Saturday deliveries", am I the only one who thinks this sounds a bit hard-of-thinking? It does look as if I'm not going to get it for another couple of days anyway. I might have to request Tuesday for delivery instead of Monday since I'll be off work and more likely to be at home when they come. Either way, I'm going to have two days to practise spinning, so I'll have to go to Waitrose tomorrow and stock up on microwave meals!

Right....I'm tired and need sleeeeep!! Watch this space.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Pete Kitty and Kromski Sonata

Very quick post, I am now totally excited as my Kromski Sonata will be arriving any day. YAAAAAY! I got quite a bargain on the'Bay; it's only 6 months old and has barely been used. This is a sales photo - more when mine arrives.Last post I mentioned I had few pics of little Pete....our third cat. He's just a little bit dim! Anyway, this is Pete, note intelligent expression on his face LOL


Sunday, 6 February 2011

Spinning into Spring 2011

So here we are at long long last, blogging again in 2011! I have been extremely neglectful of my poor blog, but I'm making it a sort of New Year sort of resolution to make it regular again!
Here's a quick reminder of what this blog is about, i.e our delightful cats, and of course knitting and spinning! First off, Spangle, our gorgeous fluffy 8 year-old female (also above):

Then of course let's not foget Thom-Cat, the devious, manipulative and extremely spoilt tabby, he's almost 3 years old and it's a miracle he hasn't come to a very sticky end! (Please please don't send in emails of complaint about cruelty to animals; it's a joke! He is also a very cute, affectionate and loving creature - when he wants something that is! But we love him very much and even though he is the most evil animal on the entire planet and the naughtiest cat I have ever had in my life, I wouldn't part with him for the world!)

We have a third cat, Pete, but rarely manage to take photos of him as he runs away! So next is a photo of my latest knitting project, some ribbed handspun wristwarmers/fingerless gloves. They are knitted using merino/tencel from limegreenjelly over on the fabulous Etsy. The colour is "One Life Stand". Those of you who knit fingerless gloves will know there are several ways of knitting the thunb, and for these I've chosen to knit a gusset (in stockinette rather than the 2x2 rib of the rest of the glove) I cast on 64 stitches onto dpns using a ball of yarn which was different shades of purple, then alternated between other balls in three slightly different shades. I haven't really followed any pattern, I was going to make "Toasty" but then decided to make them ribbed, because they would be much more forgiving!
The photo below shows where I'm up to with the second glove. I've just begun the thumb gusset.

At Christmas I took part in a fibre swap on the limegreenjelly forum/group (what is the difference?!) and recently received a fabulous package of goodies! I received 100g each of black merino from Forest Fibres (more on them in a moment) and gorgeously soft BFL/Sea Cell from limegreenjelly. I've seen this fibre in the shop before and I wanted to try it but then didn't in case I didn't like it. My mistake; my loss!! I shall be buying more of this fabulous stuff as soon as I can! It is quite simply wondferful. Anyway, my Swappee has spun about half of each then plied them together to make the lovely yarn you can see in the bottom left hand corner of the bottom pic. Also included were a set of hand made buttons from Shunklies (another of my favourite Etsy shops!), a beautiful handmade-looking knitting project bag (big enough for several smaller projects or a larger one; and with small pockets all the way round the inside) and a wooden/rubber ink stamp which will look brilliant using the gold ink I just happen to have a pad of; I intend to use this to make little hand-made labels for my handspun/knitted gifts!
Sadly you can't see the box of Belgian chocolte truffles which were also in the package because they were eaten immediately! I've lost so much weight over the past six months that I can now afford to stuff my face with goodies every once in a while. But I can assure you they were lovely!
Anyway, I mentioned Forest fibres: this amazing little online shop sells everything a passionately loony hand spinner might need. They sell different types of fibre, everything from hand dyed to natural rare breeds fibres. And they also sell Ashford spinning wheels, looms and so on.
I've been looking at wheels for several months now, trying to find a good quality used one and also looking at new ones too. Forest Fibres is where I've decided to buy from, and at last I've got it down to a short list of two: the Traveller, for the fact it is very portable, and the Kiwi because it is so reasonably priced. I'll probably end up going for the Traveller because it's suitable for beginners and also for different types of yarn.
That's all for now, but as I have a whole week off at work (unless I am asked to cover at very short notice) I intend to catch up properly and let you know about all the desirable stuff, new patterns and other coveted items I've found recently online!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

ZERO WASTE!!! What a lovely thought....

All knitting ans spinning activity has temporarily been suspended due to illness. However, this doesn't stop me from surfing the net for interesting and useful sites. Such as, this one for Zero Waste Week

Between now and the 6th I shall be posting all kinds of useful stuff to help you reduce waste, particularly food and other essential resources. But I won't lecture. Oh no.

This site Love Food Hate Waste, came up when I searched for 'leftover food recipes'; there are more, which I shall list later. Watch this space.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

CUTE......Or WHAT?!

Have you missed seeing the Miscreant on my blog? He hasn't missed you! He has been too busy perfecting his "manipulative purr-cry" which as scientists have discovered cats learn to do with just the right combination of purring and appealing/unbearable meaow so that their Human will have to choice other than to give in immediately to their demands!! As well as this, he has also been busy with his regular hobby of torturing small garden mammals until they die of fright, whereupon he carries them into the kitchen (if someone, i.e. me, has not thought to close the window and the back door after letting him out) and dumps them on the rug. Just occasionally he manages to sneak a live one in.....I've been told this is actually his attempt to teach me to catch them, because he just sees me as another cat, albeit a dismally inept one, and I found this mentioned in someone else's blog too. However, I prefer to continue thinking he is just an evil and devious creature, out to annoy me by whatever means possible and/or necessary!!

And the third is of lovely adorable fluffy Spangle......

.....And you've seen nothing until you watch this!

And for Simon's Cat fans here is the very latest, brand new video!