31 Aug 2006

Sorry for being a bit absent

A number of things have happened lately, I've moved jobs (temporarily I hope), my great uncle on my Mums side passed away a couple of weeks ago, and last week my great aunt on my Dads side passed away. Both of them the last of their generation.
I also have gall stones and have been plagued with pains and aches since last saturday which resulted in me finally going to my GP on tuesday evening (and those of you who know me would know that I don't go to my GP if I can at all help it).
So I have been off from work since then, feeling a bit in the doldrums, and hoping that I will feel okay for this weekend.
Whats happening this weekend I hear you ask?
Have you not been reading my blog? Shame on you!
Go now and read through the previous entries and I'll hold on for you.

Okay, now that you are up to speed.
The Knitted, sorry,Electric picnic is on this weekend and we are going a-knitting at it. What a great combination that will be! knitting and music, and a bit of the nattering too.
Anyway, I'm down at the library using the PC there, as I had to get out for some fresh air, and can't link to it or upload photos, but you will get the drift if you read my previous ravings about it.
I'll post properly soon, I promise, and you will be inundated with lots of photos then....

26 Aug 2006

Knitted Picnic

Fancy joining me for tea?

I have managed 2 muffins (aka cupcakes from the One Skein book) and one cupcake ala my own adaption of the One skein pattern. I decided on using a lot of food colouring in the recipe, hence the wierd and wonderful colours......
Sprinkles include silver beads and buttons of varying sizes....

And Ronnie decided that he wanted tea....but ignored the knitted food for some reason...

22 Aug 2006

Tractor Convention

We went down to Clare at the weekend, unexpectantly.
My Great Uncle Michael passed away late last week, he was 89 and a great man. RIP.
I was only really getting to know him.

Anyway, on the way down, we got diverted via Monesterevin, and came across a Tractor Convention!!!

It was a pretty impressive sight.
A row of tractors passing us by, as we crawled along for a change.
I must admit, some of the tractors looked pretty good, even for someone like me who couldn't tell a good tractor from a digger.

I would say that a lot of them were pretty old.

This is my favourite photo. Blurred because I was trying to get a picture as he went by and the car had started moving.
He saw me and waved!!

32MB Ram

You know, the best thing about combining knitting and computers, is that you can see the humour in this sort of picture.

I love this mug!

17 Aug 2006

Releasing sheeps

Okay, I'm Releasing my Inner Sheep with this sheep money box that I bought while in Clare, specifically to save money for yarn in.
So I think its almost appropriate, doncha think?

Its a start anyway, until I hit the shops with my hidden camera.

I'll wear a wide brimmed hat that covers part of my face, a cloak to hide the camera under....and um, maybe an umbrella to ward off anyone trying to come wrestle the camera off me...like management or other inner sheep releasers who saw the products first....

Secret Pal ending.... ;,,-(

You know that out there in the world wide web, people are posting about their secret pal's and the parcels they have received from them, and how thrilled they are with their secret pal's gifts and how amazing they have been.
Nothing compares to my secret pal. Just letting you know, don't be tooo envious now or anything, she may be yours the next time round if you are very very good...
I arrived home to a very unusually shaped package yesterday.
After I wrestled with all the sellotape holding it together, I gave in and went and found a sissors. (Thats fairly normal for me, hate to have to give in to using sissors when I'm convinced that I can sort it out myself!)
It was wrapped up so well, I couldnt get over the care you took in wrapping it SP!
Inside was this lovely box, all soft and cushiony on top
Here's a close up of the flower on top

Inside was this brilliant note, and she swapped colours when talking about different items in the box. Brilliant.
Underneath this was a packet of Haighs chocolate, containing 4 chocolate bunnies (of which there are only 3 now....)
Very yumm indeed.
Then there was a packet of scented soap paper which you can use when camping, or at festivals or somewhere similare.
I know somewhere that this will come in very useful in the near future! (Check This out if you wonder what on earth I'm talking about!)
Is my SP psyhcic? I'm sure that I only blogged about that this week....although we (Sharon, Isobel, Holly, Cheryl) have been talking about it now between us for a couple of weeks now.

Anyway, there was also some lovely beads and some earring holders. For some reason I couldn't get a good picture of these so they are a bit blurry
The most amazing silk scarf that my SP handpainted herself, its gorgeous, lovely colours too.
But wait!
Leaving the best until last, here is a skein of a lucious silk and wool mix called Ocean Spray. It is truelt the nicest feeling yarn I have ever had the pleasure to own, or smell!
Here's a close up
Oh, what to knit with it......

Of course the boys wanted in on the action also.
After playing with the bag that came wrapped around the box inside the packaging, I gave in and let them have it.........and the box too.....

Oh okay, I didnt play with it, they did.

Ronnie gave us a lovely view of his bum as he tried to fit the whole of him inside the box.
As soon as he got distracted by something else (easily done at the moment) Reggie also tried to get in on the fun.

Secret Pal.....thank you so much! I think I know who you are but let me know...just in case I'm wrong....

16 Aug 2006

Release your Inner Sheep!

Wooly Wormhead has put up a sheep challenge, for all you sheepish people out there!
Check out all the info on her blog.
The challenge is to take as many photos of sheep, not real life sheep out in the fields (damn it, there are so many around!) but to take photo's of sheep on products or on programmes etc.
I think I can do this!!

Basically the guidelines are as follows:

* No normal, grass munchin' real life sheep shots.
* To throw caution to the wind and be tutted at whilst taking photographs.
* The more obscure, the better. Even if they're on a packet of tampons, they're snapped.
* Photos clearly showing the Sheep and their (if appropriate) product.
* Update as and when the moment occurs. No pressure, no deadline.
* Bare in mind animal welfare at all times (love that sheep!)

Secret Parcel

Secret Pal 8 is coming to an end, and this is the final parcel all bundled up ready to send to the person I'm spoiling.
Obviously it is the back of it cos I don't want to show the world her address!I will be getting to the post office this lunchtime to send it.
So I hope she gets it soon, and I hope she likes what I have put in it. Its definately the best of the 3 and I had to cellotape the box shut as it was so full.

So here is some of the roving I'm spinning on my NEW spinning wheel.
Its spinning up nicely, my main issue is trying to keep the roving away from kitties paws, as they are very interested in it!
Ronnie has actually sat on my treadling leg while I've been spinning, watching everything with interest. Made the spinning a bit harder, but a nice spinning memory.

I have been doing a lot of experimenting with dyeing the roving using Kool-aid, trying to find out combinations that I like.

Some of the kool-aid comes out with better colours than others. I will be mixing colours the next time and see what combinations I come up with.

At the moment, its hard to do any more as my bathroom is chocablock with roving hanging from every available hanging space!
Its been raining here the last few days so I can't hang it outside at the moment.

I think at this stage that I will wait and see how some of this spins up first before I go ahead and dye some more, just in case I decide I don't like the way I'm doing it!

15 Aug 2006

The Knitted Picnic

OOh, so excited!!!

Remember the post where I mentioned we had an Agenda to discuss, not just knitting and chat?

Well, the silence has been broken and we can now disclose what it is.

We have been invited to the Electric Picnic in order to teach people to knit at it.
Can you believe that?
There are a core few of us that will be there over the weekend, and a few other volunteers (hopefully) from SnB who will come down on Saturday and Sunday.
Im sure its not too much of a hardship for us!
We are anticipating between 60-100 people a day and it will be a great way to promote knitting, our SNB group, and knitting in Ireland.

We have a theme- The Knitted Picnic. What you think, cool eh?

Anyway, coming down to details, we are planning a knitted blanket, and some of us are knitting food items for the picnic (I'm on cupcakes!).
We are asking people in the SnB group to join us in some way,even if they can't make the electric picnic themselves, we need help to make a picnic blanket.
The picnic blanket will be donated to charity after the event.

So if you feel like joining us in spirit, we are asking for knitted square donations.
Just one 10" square in yarn from your stash, weight, colour, pattern etc doesn't matter – the most important part is that it's a square of 10 inches that you'd be proud to display in our blanket.
Email me if you feel that you would like to contribute to the blanket, or leave me a comment and I'll contact you.

Just think...your square could have pride of place in the blanket (right next to my cupcakes...)

And if you will be at the Electric Picnic yourself, come over and say hi!
We would love to meet you!

14 Aug 2006

Spinning Bliss

I finally finally finally got a text from my Dad saying that a parcel had arrived for me from the Netherlands.
I havent posted about this previously as I had bought a spinning wheel on ebay and 3 weeks later it still hadn't arrived.
I have been in contact with the people I bought it from and they were very good, they use a track and trace system and were able to tell me where it had ended up and they were in the process of trying to retrieve it to send it to me again when it arrived.
I was so relieved. Its the largest amount of money I have ever spent on myself for a hobby or for pleasure, I'm not counting buying a car here now or a house!!
So of course I couldn't wait to get home to get it and put it together.
They also included some lovely gift cards with sheep on them, and they had the ingenious idea of using fleece to pack the wheel with to make it secure!4 packets of Blue Texel sheep, which is a rare Dutch breed..on the increase though in Holland.
I'm looking forward to spinning with it.
There were a few parts to assemble, but it was very straightforward.

I did have to wait for Micheál to do one little bitty bit, (can you see where it is in the photo above, all you spinners??)but that was because I was due at the pub to meet my sister and bro-in-law and decided to leave it for M.
He sorted it out first thing the next morning and I started spinning this

which went to this

and then this

and then this.

I still need to wash it and hang it to set the twist on it, but I'm happy!

I retrieved the drum carder from Cheryl when we met up on Saturday, and I did a bit of carding with it.
I carded together some of the fleece that I had dyed while in Clare, this is a mixture of the cochineal and madder dyed fleece
and this is some Jacob fleece that I threw into the exhaust of the cochineal, pure fleece at the time, I hadn't carded it at the stage that I dyed it (it was washed though).
The photo's don't do it justice, its actually a really nice colour blend of pinks, mid-brown and dark brown.
There was also kool-aid that my aunt sent me from Boston to be played with...and I did..
I think I may be doing some more fibre pursuits this evening again....would you blame me?

Strawberries and brownies go really well together!

Well Cheryl aka ASimpleYarn, Isobel aka TeaandCakes, Holly aka WinonaQueen, Sharon aka ClicketyKnits and I met up again on Saturday.
This looks like its starting to become a little bit of a habit, meeting up outside of the normal SnB group, and a very enjoyable habit too.
We had an actual agenda to get through, it wasn't all about knitting and chatting...more about that in a later post, I can't say too much yet...sssshhhh
We also had food....some lovely cheese chowder soup that Cheryl made, with fresh bread rolls from the oven and some hummous I made, and then we had Wexford strawberries from Sharon and very scrummy home-made brownies from Isobel ...
We decided to each take photo's of our strawberries and brownies. Check out the other photo's on their blogs.
If they havent been added yet, they will be! very artisitic, all of them.
And we knit....we did!
On the way home, I just had to stop and take a photo of the fabulous heather-covered hills. So here they are!

Kitty Antics

The kittens are growing rapidly, and are just lovely. Getting very affectionate and scratching less.
Ronnie's favourite place is lying on the back of the couch with his head on Micheáls shoulder.

I have been letting them out in the back garden when I'm there, leaving the sliding doors open and they come in and out as they please.
The side gate, I have covered with a bamboo covering, to stop them escaping out and meeting cars and motorbikes, and basically to not lose them.
Yesterday, we went out for half an hour, and decided to leave them out the back with the sliding doors closed, to get used to being outside for a bit.
I went around the car to get into the passenger seat, and glanced up beside the house and what did I see but a black cat standing looking at me. It was Ronnie.
As soon as he saw me, he turned around and ran back in. They had pulled the bamboo covering aside at the corner. Most upset when we tied it up again.
So there I was worrying that they would get out while we were out, when we got back I went up beside the house and there was Ronnie sitting looking at me and meowing at me, safely inside the gate.
Couldn't see Reggie, but thought he was probably investigating spiders webs somewhere in the garden.
We went into the house, and out the back.
Guess where Reggie was?
UP on the back wall. He was stuck, couldnt get down.
He must have climbed the fir that was at the back wall.
Micheál had to get a chair to stand on in order to lift him down, the wall is that high up.He came willingly too.
The results of all these antics?
We put their collars on them.
Had been planning to put them on from the first time we got them, the first attempt drove Ronnie so wild scratching at it and falling over in the attempts, that we took it off again.
They have actually took to them very well, we did do a bit of bribery with some cheese though.....
(please excuse the couch covering, its necessary to escape those kitty claws....hopefully normal service will resume once they are adults)

11 Aug 2006

Rowan knits

Well, I've put my order in for the new Rowan magazine (40) and am eagerly awaiting its arrival to have a look at it in depth.
I have had a look at the patterns on the Rowan website and there are quite a few that I like the look of.

Im determined to knit something larger than a hat for myself this winter, so I'll be interested in looking at these designs in more detail.
This one looks a little on the low cut-side of things for me....not sure if I would do it justice!

I like the look of this one especially, it looks nice and warm and snuggly. Doesn't help I suppose that its a bit cold and miserable here at the moment.

I also think that this design would be ideal for a wedding or a dressy event, but again I'll have to wait and see.