28 Jul 2006

101st post!

I will be on annual leave next week. Actually from this afternoon. I feel like I'm putting my out of office on at work here, writing this!
Anyway, plans are to go down to Kells this evening, Micheál's neice is 3 tomorrow and we'll be there for the party.
I'm going to make Top Hats for it this afternoon.
I'll post a recipe for it with a photo later....
Love Top Hats, Mum used to always make them for us for our birthdays as kids.
Has anyone else come across them as kids??
Anyway, we will be back in Celbridge briefly on Sunday, and then off to Clare for the week. Hope the sun comes out a bit while we're there!
I will be bringing a bit of knitting, and a bit of spinning materials with me and will be doing a lot of relaxing.
After the stress of the last few weeks at work, I need to relax for a bit.
And I can't believe this is the one hundred and first post!!
So, see ya later!

27 Jul 2006


Getting a very certain amount of satisfaction at spinning up a good quantity of yarn. I have about 60 grams worth of roving spun up here already and the yardage is going to be good from it. I'm planning on spinning up the same amount and plying it, and then dying it afterwards.
Here's a close up.
The funny thing is, once you start spinning yourself, you start looking indepth at the yarn that you buy to knit. You notice "flaws" in the yarn, or things that you would have overlooked beforehand. Before I started spinning, I would never have noticed really (perhaps being a bit blind to it?) the fact that Silk Garden from Noro, was a single ply yarn. I started knitting this a couple of days ago and stopped a few rows in to examine the yarn. Just saying, thats all! I understand a bit more about the vm in yarn also, its such a hassle trying to get rid of it all!!
Silk Garden is a joy to knit with, it knits up really fast and gives you a nice sense of satisfaction. Not to mention the colours!
I really enjoy seeing the colours changing subtley into another colour.
I'm not going to tell you what this is yet, I've made some more progress on it since I took this photo, and am almost finished it, and want to make sure it turns out okay before posting again about it. Its for someone you see, and I know they read this blog (occasionally at least!). It was a kind-of request a good while ago, and I think they may be in need of it at the moment 'cos of where they are in the world and what the weather is like....although I could be wrong....

26 Jul 2006

For Kevin and Leigh, kitty pic's

They discovered the window sill yesterday. As cats do, they love sitting up there now and watching the world go by. Maybe I should call them the Nosy Neighbours???
Reggie decided that he liked Micheál's coffee....and shoes....talk about inquisitive!
He's a brave kitty putting his nose in there!

24 Jul 2006

Uploading photo tiredness strikes again

I have written and saved 2 drafts and have been trying to upload photo's for them for the past 3 hours, on and off.

The result:

No photo's uploaded
One very pissed off woman

I may try again tomorrow, the spirit has left me now.

Saturday knitting

So, we had a little get together on Saturday, minus Isobel who was off galavanting with her sock.
We missed her though.
We knit outside until it started to spit rain, then came inside to the kitchen table.
We almost felt guilty eating the fab strawberries that Sharon brought all the way from Wexford.
Famous Wexford Strawberries.
Cheryl took some photos of the desserts we had, especially for Isobel.Check it out on her blog!The skein is my Campino skein which is on ebay at the moment.
The kitties were in flying form, and very pleased with the amount of knitting that was going on as there was so much yarn movement to pounch on!
Luckily, they got tired out half way through and went for a snooze. The life of a cat eh?
I did feel guilty as their claws are especially sharp at the moment and they will take a swipe at anything that moves (like yarn when its being knit...)
So, sorry girls if any of you got any scratches!

Sharon was busy knitting her baby sweater with some lovely varigated blue yarn, check out her blog for more information on what it will look like when its finished.
Cheryl was knitting her intarsia square cushion cover, it looks very intricate, but is coming out lovely!

And finally, Holly, who has finally got a blog (go girl!) was knitting a cardigan from Rowan 39 in a beautiful green mohair.

Check out the Yarn she spun for Sharon!

Me, I did a bit of Budd knitting, almost at the toe!!

Note: I saved this post and the previous post as a draft yesterday and hence they have gone in PRIOR to the last post I made. That's why my moaning post about blogger is still top of this page. Didn't cop for a minute why...but thats why!

Thank you Secret Pal...yet again!!

It is with a lot of awe that I display the following photo's.
I'm in awe, because my Secret Pal hasn't been well, she's had the flu, and has been laid up at home with it,
yet she still manages to buy such amazing things for me, and send them to me, at a not very small postage, all the way from Australia.
She is No.1, an amazing secret pal, and I will be very happy at the end of this exchange, to get to know her a bit better.
So, thank you Secret Pal, from the bottom of my heart, it makes me happy that there are people in the world like you!!!
Here's the complete picture.

A skein of Lisa Souza yarn in fabulous colours.
Chupa Chupps
Green and Black organic choccy (my favourite!)
New Leaf Chocolate Fudge cake fragrance
A lovely note with hand drawn pictures of knitting and yarn

Here's a close up of the yarn, which smells yummy!

I'm not sure what to knit with it yet. Socks? Fingerless Mitts like Fetching?
Pomatomus, Jaywalker....or something else....hmmm...so many decisions!
And WHAT a name! Its brilliant.

And yes, this does smell like Chocolate fudge cake, would almost make you want to lick the top of the bottle...but probably not such a good idea.

Just have to burn a bit of it now and find some yum choc fudge cake to eat at the same time.
Can't have toooo much of a good thing!
Luckily, this time I can smell it..

20 Jul 2006

ebay experiences

I’ve bitten the bullet and have created a sellers account on ebay.

I decided to see what interest (if any) there would be in some of my handspun.

The whole process of posting the first skein took about 15 minutes.

Micheál said that if I wanted to make any money out of ebay I’d have to do it a bit quicker! Luckily, the second skein took only a few minutes to post as the process had been saved from the first one. Most of the time was taken up with ebay uploading the photos.

What have I learned from the process?

I need to take better photos.

I need to ensure that all the photos are taken at the same time to reflect the same colours.

Not to take one lot of photos inside and the next lot outside, due to the lighting differences.

I like the font that Micheáls PC kindly let me use for the description of the yarn!

I need to wind the skeins a bit better

Alternatively, I need to artistically arrange them like some of the yarn that is featured on ebay.

I need to ensure that the ties that I use to hold the skein together aren’t loud and contrasting like the ones I used (compared to the colour of the skein)

I probably need to ensure that they don’t show in the photo’s I took.

I probably need to put more information up about the usual stuff like postage, returns, emailing me, etc.

I didn’t realise that for every extra bit you wanted to put in, you would be charged for.

In saying that, the charges were in cents, not euros (apart from a few).

I probably needed to elaborate on the description a bit more.

It was definitely a learning process, I thought that it would be difficult to set up and it wasn’t. Ebay brought me through all the steps I needed to take.

What would I change the next time?

Photo quality

I would plan what I wanted to write a bit better, although I had done a rudimentary plan beforehand.

I would wind the skeins a bit more “artistically”

More skeins to put up and see if they will sell!

So there you go.

Listings are here if you want to have a look, let me know if you think I should add/change something for the next time, won’t you?

Raspberry Ripple


19 Jul 2006

Kitty updates, with a hint of knitting

Ronnie- determined to get in on the action. I had a cushion covering my (exposed and very scrapped from kitty claws) legs and my knitting on top of it (with the yarn cake tucked behind me---I'm learning!) and next thing this little head appears.
Kittens looking like they are one with 2 heads. In reality, Reggie is on top of Ronnie and they were fighting until I got the water bottle out. Thats what they are looking at. They actually had a quiet moment......for about 5 seconds.

So the kitties were allowed outside to the back garden for the first time yesterday. They had a good sniff around, investigated a bit, then went back inside again. It was too hot for them. They went out later on.

But first, I had to bring them to the vet to get their shots.
This wasn't as traumatic (for me) as I thought it would be.
After all that fresh air, the excitement of going on a trip in the car and a new place to have a sniff around, the kitties were wrecked!
Although Ronnie tried to get a bit of newspaper reading in before he finally sucumbed to the sleepiness.

Ah, you thought you could take a sneaky photo without me noticing, didn't ya!
Did you spot the hint of knitting?

Sunset over Mutton Island

The sunset was amazing, and the sun went down so quickly it was unbelievable. This was on Friday night, in Clare.

We also got some shots of the windfarms that we pass a lot when in Clare, and some Teletubbies.....oh actually, they look like cows don't they?!
(I'm sure they are Teletubbies in disguise)

Beachy peachy

Yes, this is the view from my towel up to the Doonbeg golf-course. You can actually see golfers walking by with their carts.
I'd prefer to be where I am on my towel with my picnic beside me and my boyfriend on the other.
The beach is supposed to be packed.
We met a lady on the way down to the beach from where we parked the car, she had moved into her place about the same time as we had bought the cottage. She said that the beach was packed today.
What do you think?
Yes, I know, there are tiny figures over the far side playing in the tiny waves. They are too far away from us and too insignificant in the grand 3-mile long scale of the beach to be seen as taking up the whole beach.
Packed on the east coast of Ireland means that you fight for your space and end up squeezing in beside the loudest and messiest family of 10 kids.
I like this beach.
I'm not going to divulge where it is, I'm keeping it for us!
(Okay, if you really want to know I'll tell you if you ask nicely)

13 Jul 2006

I just have to get over taking the kitty photos and then it will be back to knitting....

Ronnie has decided to help me with my wool winding, and the perfect place to read the instructions is actually IN the wool winder box.
I think he looks a bit purplexed at it all though.

So, wool winding over with, instructions have been read and filed away for future use, time for some ball play. The golf balls are definately better at rolling on the tiled floor
But you know what? THIS is so much more fun! What a great invention!

Yep, can definately fit both of us in here at the moment, but what will we do when we get bigger?
One kitty and a bit of fleece later....

Can I make this my new bed? It fits me purrfectly

12 Jul 2006

Change of font

Okay so I started messing around with my blog template this morning and next thing you know, I have changed the font.
This is a font I use all the time at work, but I'm not so sure of it on the blog.
What do YOU think about it, does it work or is it too all over the place???

10 Jul 2006

Introducing- The Kray Twins

Meet Ronnie
and Reggie

Our 2 new bundles of mischief.
What do 2 kitties do when they have quite a few kitty toys to play with?
They find yarn and play with that.

But all that playing tires wee kitties out.
So, I didn't have the time I thought I would have to dye roving at the weekend, my time was spent playing and sorting out these 2 fellas.
I did do a lot of drum carding on Friday night, and sorted out what I was going to do with the 3 sachets of kool-aid that I do have.
I also finished these:
For Myla.
Hope they fit!
The button version has 3 buttons so that it can be made smaller if needed
Now, onto the Kitty Pi that I started last night for the kitties from Homespun I got from Craftspun Yarns

7 Jul 2006

Plans for this evening.

I have been bad at blogging this week. I haven't had photo's to show of anything, and I like having photo's to back up what im writing.
I joined the Guild of Weavers Spinners and dyers recently, and even though I haven't gotten confirmation from them yet that I'm a member, my cheque has been drawn down and thats good enough for me!
I contacted Holly to see if I could borrow the Guilds drum carder, even for a few days (Holly myself and Cheryl all have fleeces we want to card, and technically Cheryl was to get the drum carder next-Cheryl if you want it, let me know and I can drop it over to you!)
Cheryl was on holidays at this stage so I thought I may be able to get a few days in with it.
Its a fairly simple process, and seems to draw you into the process until next thing you know, an hour has gone by. Its a case of "I'll do one more batch and then I'll give it a rest" and then one more batch becomes half a fleece and next thing you know you have a pile of carded fleece!
Of course I didn't get that far last night, but I thought you may like to have a look at the process.
This is the drum carder.
I have been watching one for sale on ebay at the moment and its currently at $222, which is just under €180.
I'm not going to try and bid on it, its just interesting to see what it will go for.
So to start off drum carding, you lay a small bit of your fleece on the spikes, and turn the handle so it catches the fleece and pulls it along, straightens it out.
I have been letting it go with the flow, not forcing it and doing a small bit at a time.
I find that if you have a larger wedge of fleece in your hand, it gets caught on the smaller spiky bit
(technical terms may be edited at a later date)
(Handle is a correct technical term-- I know THAT much!)
Keep adding to it so that the whole of the larger spiky bit is covered and the thickness is up to the end of the spikes . I may do close-ups at a later date to show this.
When you are ready to, lift the carded fleece off, use the red pointy thing (Cheryl's technical terminology-as good as mine methinks) and bring up a little bit of a time, so that it seperates. Again I think I will be editing this at a later date to throw a photo in here to show what I mean.
Keep lifting off across the width of the drum carder and turn the handle counter clockwise as you do so. You will be going back against the direction of the spikes.
(Please ignore the tidy background, it looks worse than it is. Can you spot the Kool-aid?)
The red pointy thing will help lift this off, being very careful that the carding cloth isn't caught with it as it will tear and is expensive to replace.
So keep lifting and turning and using the red pointy thing, and eventually this is what you'll have.
This will need to come through the drum carder one more time or even twice if its still not to my satisfaction. As you can see, its still got flecks of VM (vegetable matter)in it, these were so small that they were hard to get out but I'll get them, the little b****rs!

I think a session of Kool-aid dying may be the recipe for Saturday...
In the meantime, I'm on a half day from work today, an old friend is calling round for lunch, and another one is calling round after that for coffee, as she can't make lunch. This evening I'll be left to my own devices as Micheál is being brought out to dinner with work for all the hard work he's been doing, so it'll be more carding for me!!
Oh the excitement, I can't wait!

4 Jul 2006

Would you go far and fast in this?

This was in one of my local papers a while back.

Its a knitted ferrari, and was an art students project.

I reckon she won't go near red yarn for a long time after this!!