Tuesday, 24 February 2009

The boy called time.

Personally I would have added another ball of yarn to make this one a little longer, but the boy is impatient! He said his scarf is long enough and I should cast off!
No ifs, no buts! I want my scarf. Here he is modelling it.
The other, finer, more lady like dragon skin is still growing slowly, it may be ready to give to someone for Christmas. Last night I was glad to get back to my jacket and have cast on the first half of the front. I have the morning off work, but don't know if I'll be knitting or sewing. My wintry quilt is here looking at me, asking for attention. We're nearly into March and I didn't put a single stitch into February's BOMs. I seem to have some catching up to do. LOL
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Gratitude's
1) A finish.
2) A few moments with Hunney before he went to work.
3) A late shift.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Stop apologising.

Why is everybody apologising for preferring the original dragon skin? You are allowed to you know. I just happen to think it's a bit too lady like for my boy. I'm going to keep going slowly with the original and as someone suggested, why stop at one? I had considered making others in other colours. For the right reasons of course.
Here's the reason for the debate, I think at 13 he's going to be ribbed for wearing a hand knit anyway, so the least I can do is make it as blokey as possible.
Incidentally, the contents of that box are the stem ginger cookies he made for his Nana's birthday. He's busy plotting what he can make both of us for Mothers day (Which in GB is in just a few weeks time) and he seems to be fixated on my birthday which is not for ages! Plenty of time to plot for that.
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A little late I know, but I thought I'd show off my Valentines flowers, if these look familiar to anyone, that's because Hunney does the same thing every year, Valentines and birthdays. Roses and smelly lilies. And that's how he actually asks for them in the florist too! Smelly Lilies! Anyway, here are my beauties one week on and still looking beautiful. In recent years I've pulled the anthers off the lilies as they make such a mess if the pollen gets onto the carpet or my clothes. It still looks a little odd, but better that than orange stains!

The card peeping out on the right there is the one I made for Hunney. A little stitched heart, popped into an aperture care, simple and sweet. I've always made Hunney a handmade Christmas card and try to do a handmade Valentine too. He admits he would be disappointed if I didn't. Hmm, I'd better keep it up then.
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I'm up very early this morning, I just couldn't get back to sleep. I had quite a restless night, not sure why, nothing was on my mind, I just kept waking up. Never mind, it gives me a couple of hours to myself before the rest of the house wakes up, I'll get on with some knitting, the boys eyes will pop when he sees his scarf, he loves how fast this chunky one grows.
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Gratitude's
1) Early morning peace.
2) A day off with my family
3) Joe will make pancakes later.



Saturday, 21 February 2009

Thats better!

I took an extra trip to Onchan yesterday. I went back to visit the stitchy shop that is near my office and bought some better yarn for the dragon skin scarf. The bus ride is very scenic especially on a nice day. At one point we cross a bridge which looks down into Laxey gardens. I snapped this picture quickly through the bus window with my phone. This garden used to be the washing floor in days gone by when the mines were still working. The wheel you see here is not the famous Laxey wheel, but a smaller cousin which has only recently been restored.
I may go back one day soon on a day off and enjoy a day of walking around Laxey, there are other glens and gardens which are all easily accessible from the bus route, not to mention a pretty little harbour and beach.
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So after a brief tour of Laxey here's the reason I was on the bus. Two versions of the same pattern, worked in different yarns and on different sized needles. Personally I prefer the one on the right, a much chunkier and more gnarly looking version of dragon skin.
Don't get me wrong here, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the left hand version, I just don't think it's right for a boy. My boy Joe agrees with me now he has seen the gnarly version too. So there you have it, it's unanimous in this house. What do you think?
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Gratitude's
1) A day off tomorrow
2) DS agrees with me
3) The house work is done and my time is my own.


Friday, 20 February 2009

More Dragon Skin.

It's been an incredibly busy week here. I haven't had much of a chance to get to my needles, of any kind. But today is a day off, so maybe I will get a chance later. First I need to scoot to the post office, collect hunneys ties from the dry cleaners and pay a visit to the crafty shop.
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Although I didn't have time to do much to it, the more I do of this dragon skin scarf, the more I feel that it is too feminine for a young man. Joe loves it, he says it's great, but I think that if I knit up the same pattern in a chunkier yarn he may decide I'm right and go for the heavier version.
This version is just barely 4 inches wide though aptly named, especially done in the green which Joe chose. I hope to find another chunky green while in town today, hopefully I'll get enough done before he gets home so that he can get a proper taste of a chunkier version.
Yesterday I was in Onchan, I had to take my training manager through for a meeting, (We rode there on the bus and she thoroughly enjoyed the ride and the scenery) the stitchy shop I visit there has wools and yarns, I did consider popping in but while I think Susan may have gone for it, I don't think the other boss would have! He's not into crafts or shopping!
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My 'training fest' went well with the only absentees being two people who had booked annual leave. I got lots of positive feedback from both of my managers and the meeting we had yesterday was helpful and informative. I have to produce a training plan for the next financial year. I've already started, but Susan has given me so much help and guidance I'll easily be able to finish it now. It was good to have her here and especially to be able to spend some social time with her.
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Our rowing machine has arrived, I've had a couple of goes on it, I decided to take it easy and go gently to start with, as you should. Hunney on the other hand wound it up to full and hopped on for 30 minutes, now he's paying for it! His legs and his tummy are sore, they have been for two days! It's very difficult not saying 'I told you so', but I did, I told him he would pay for it if he overdid his first effort! Speaking of the rowing machine, that's where I'll be fr the next 20 minutes.
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Gratitude's
1) Positive feedback.
2) A day off.
3) That first cuppa of the day feeling.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Dragon Skin.

It's been s busy few days. But I did manage to play with my needles. They have been flying, at every opportunity I had. I completed the back panel for my jacket and just so he isn't still waiting when the summer finally arrives, I made a start on DS Joes Dragon Skin Scarf last night.
I found the pattern here at THIS blog. I haven't used the recommended yarn, I let Joe loose in the shop and he came up with a ball of King Coles Mirage. The colour is spot on, a variegated green. (Not that you can see that clearly in this photo!) I'm not so sure the pattern is right for a young man though, and it's a very narrow scarf. I can't help thinking maybe I should add a few more stitches and make it three scales wide rather than two. I'll let him have a look, he can decide for himself. If he decides it's not for him, maybe I'll try the same pattern in a chunkier yarn, he might prefer that. You know, Hunney says I spoil him, I don't, do I?
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Things have been really, really busy at work, with my first big 'training fest'. The regional training manager arrived here on the island this morning for a 3 day marathon of training sessions. All organised and set up by yours truly. At the close of business on day one, everything is tickety boo! My manager tells me he had no doubts that it would all come off, but I was not so sure. I'll pat myself on the back when she is on her way home on Thursday night.
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Gratitude's
1) Sons to spoil.
2) Things to take my mind off work.
3) The six Ps.


Saturday, 14 February 2009

100g later

I just can't seem to catch the colours in this yarn. It really is a pretty dark pinkish colour, kind of heathery! No matter what I do, I can't get that in a photo, so you'll have to take my word for it.
Here's what a morning off work and a sleepless night will do.
I'm about one third of the way up the back of the jacket now and have just started my third ball of yarn. I really like the way this is knitting up, the pattern is easy to follow having only eight rows before repeating. The yarn too is nice to work with, being a chunky yarn it is quick to knit up, and also being 30% wool it is beautifully soft and smells Divine. (Yes I know it smells the same as sheep poo!) I have worked with pure wools, some better or softer that others, but I have to say this is one of the best blends I have ever come across.
I may even get around to making a second garment before I run out of knitting steam. But, that's not a promise, you know how fickle I can be. I have DS asking for a scarf, he spied something called a 'dragon scales' scarf while I was surfing about last night. I'd have to find the right yarn, somehow I don't think he'd go for the pinky red version the model shows.
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I've been up since about 03.45 this morning, and showing no signs of feeling sleepy at all,so I'll get on and knit some more while I wait for the rest of the house and the town to wake, then it's off to the shops and get my chores done before enjoying a lazy day off, I may even put my feet up and get 40 winks later.
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Gratitude's
1) Days off work.
2) Early morning quiet.
3) Hunney loves handmade cards.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Postman stops play.

I did get the first border onto the wintry quilt yesterday, but while I was dithering over the next round and trying to decide what to do.....
The postie called with a parcel. So the wintry quilt was cast aside as I played with my new toy.
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I've had a go at most needle crafts and knitting is no exception. Watching a colleague making little jackets for a great niece got my juices flowing again.
Of course no getting back into it with something small, like a baby cardigan or a scarf! Oh no, not this girl, I'm straight in with a ladies jacket. Not the greatest picture, sorry. The yarn is Sirdar Click Chunky, colour: Harmony.
I'm feeling rather pleased with myself as I finally taught myself the 'thumb method' for casting on! I've tried and tried to teach myself from written instructions, but yesterday good old youtube came to the rescue.
I actually only learned to knit about 12 years ago, a very patient colleague taught me the basics and from there I just picked things up as I went along.
I had tried to learn to knit several times, mothers efforts to teach me were not successful, but she's a leftie and I think that may have had something to do with it. My gran had a go at teaching me too, but until 12 years ago all I was able to knit was a mess!
I have another late shift today, so after a quick trip into the shops I'll be knitting until it's time for work.
Some previous efforts. (This is my picturetrail album, there are lots of crafts here, from before I started this blog.)
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Gratitude's
1) Youtube. (It's amazing just how many craft tutes are on there.)
2) Late shifts.
3) Colleagues.





Thursday, 12 February 2009

That's the end of that!

I'm cutting fabric for my wintry borders this morning, yes, I have a late shift!
How's this for almost perfect fabric usage? The final piece is just fractionally over a half inch, really not worth saving at all.
This first border will be very simple, just a two inch strip of this snow flake fabric, with check fabric corner stones, followed by a silvery grey border. Though I am still playing about with the idea of a pieced border for the next round.
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I had intended to spend my evening doing this yesterday, but Hunney decided to have a night off his studies, so instead we spent the evening together, nothing special though, we updated our anti virus! and spent some time surfing the net before having an early night. I think last night was the first time we made it up the stairs before midnight in a long while. I think I was asleep before my head touched the pillow.
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Right, the washing machine is finished, I'm off to do something with that lot, then get these borders sewn on!
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Gratitude's
1) Two late shifts.
2) Time to play.
3) An evening with Hunney.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

5 Minutes!!

Phew! I finally have 5 minutes to myself. It's been a busy weekend, with lots happening besides work! I did have a little time on Sunday morning and used it wisely.
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I found this lovely piece of fleece on Etsy and was hoping I could used it for my blue and white wintry quilt, but I got all carried away and have made the top far too big. LOL Never mind, it's a lovely piece of fleece and I will use it up for something else.
Speaking of my wintry quilt, here's what I did on Sunday morning! I had all the white and check fabric cut ready to piece some shashing and corner stones, so it really didn't take long to put them together into their rows.
If I get a little more me time over the next few days I'll make a start on putting the rows together and giving some serious thought to my borders.
Now don't be silly, you know planning in advance just doesn't happen here. I do however have quite a bit of all of the fabrics left, so it just remains to plan how I want the borders to look. Then I have to find something to back it with. I already have my recycled pop bottles for batting!
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Do you see my project boxes for some of my BOMs there on the table? I haven't even had much time for stitching this weekend.
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Gratitude's
1) I finished a very difficult letter.
2) A day in the office tomorrow.
3) Hot pot for tea, and I already got it into the oven.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Bouncy Trouncy!

Well I'm a happy cat today, had a great nights sleep after a lazy evening in front of the TV! Something I don't often do these days. I didn't even have a stitchery in my paws, just me and the TV. I done my house work, been up the street and done my chores and now my time is my own until I have to go to work. An early start there today as I have to be in for a management meeting at 2pm, rather than the usual 3pm start.
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I've been playing with my pinwheels again, I went through my fabric drawers and pulled out several possibilities, most of which went straight back in!! Before the pinwheels got anywhere near close to them. The only pale blue I have was among them! No way Jose!
I was left with 4, one of them a red as someone suggested red corner stones. They do look striking when I add them to my Quilt Wizard Plan, but I want to try to keep this one looking cold. I didn't re size these images so click on them for a closer look.
I may use some of the check as corner stones with white sashing, or maybe white corner stones and check sashing. If I want to keep it cold, Navy blue won't work.
This is not a good photo, the navy blue is much darker in real life, almost as dark as the pinwheel blades. I'm going to resort to a coin toss to sort this one out! Then I'm going to do some cutting and possibly get a few sashing strips in place before it's time for work.
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It's amazing looking around blogland at the moment, the Aussies and Kiwis are having exceptionally hot summer weather while we up North seem to be having an exceptional winter. Parts of GB are having very deep snow. As for my little island, we're having a cold dry winter, the snow that is affecting parts of GB seem to be missing us. We're less than 30 miles from England but the snow has only fallen on the highest ground and is not really causing us that much bother. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, Cold and dry is just fine with me, some snow would be ok too. Usually we get rain! Sideways rain! Ugh, long cold dark wet winters are awful. This years dry bright winter is really a pleasant change, and makes the few days of gales and torrential downpours much easier to live with.
Where ever you are, I hope you get some respite from your extremes of weather and stay comfortable.
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Right, where's my cutting mat and ruler?
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Gratitude's
1) A great sleep.
2) Time to play.
3) Great music. (Split Enz)

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Meet the neighbours.

I'm tired today. I had the crappiest sleep last night. I took myself off to bed at 10.30, was asleep by 11.30. I thought I would sleep like a baby as I was exhausted after a night out and an early start. No chance, I was awake again before 1.00 am. and was still awake at nearly 4.00am. After that I did manage to get a couple of hours of broken sleep, but today at work I felt all dragged out, still do.
I had stuff on my mind, and had written a couple of difficult letters, they played on my mind a bit, you know, worrying about how things were worded, did I say enough, too much... ? I was also hanging on to what had happened in the office and not being able to get on with my work. I had ample time to finish my work if someone else hadn't been so selfish. I emailed a few comments to the boss yesterday, but after last night I spoke to him in person today, we had a chat about it and he is aware of how I feel and has assured me that things will change. I feel better about that now. I just hope I sleep better tonight, typically when I have one bad night, I'll have a week of 'em.
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Thank you for your comments and feed back on my pinwheels, but I think I'll leave that decision for another day.
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I thought you might like to meet some of my neighbours, these two rascals are often to be seen lurking about, I enjoy watching their antics.
Now if I could just convince the seagulls to be as quiet and well behaved as these guys.
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Gratitude's
1) Better stick the boss in here again.
2) Cuddles from my Hunney.
3) And a ride to work from Hunney too.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Of boys and dragons.

I forgot to mention yesterday that I had been busy on DS Joes behalf. He asked for a pencil case and was delighted when I suggested using some of the dragon fabric, I also dug out some hot fiery red. Well he thinks it is anyway.

It's big enough to hold all his pens, pencils and rulers for school, though he'll have to be careful for a while, that snap fastener is strong and he risks damaging my work. It was a very quick and easy project completed in under an hour. He's now planning ways to use up more of the dragon fabric. Yes, there is still a little left.
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The program I use when playing about with quilt designs and experimenting with colours does not allow me to save the images in any format that is usable elsewhere. But yesterday I had the bright idea of taking photos!



Not ideal I know, and yes I got bored with the cropping and general tidying up of the images after the very first image, but it gives you a better idea of what I'm blathering on about.
I'm definitely leaning toward a pale sashing here, but whether to go for blue or white? I still am undecided.
Any Suggestions?
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I had a pain of a day in the office today, I was booted off the computer and didn't manage to finish my own work but somehow ended up doing somebody elses. I should have left an hour early, in order to reclaim time owed after working late last week, note i say 'SHOULD HAVE' . I'm not such a happy soul today.
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Gratitude's
1) Brighter mornings and evenings.
2) A girls night out, last night.
3) Two patient and understanding bosses.







Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Wintry Skies.

As I walked yesterday I took only a couple of photos. Above you see Snaefell mountain. So named by the Vikings, I think I've mentioned before that Snaefell means 'Snow Mountain'. Hmm, well sometimes. Usually what falls as snow elsewhere, falls as rain here! The image below is taken from above the Mooragh Park, you see the lake and it's island and beyond that, the sea. Don't let the pretty blue sky fool you, the air was very cold and wintry yesterday and it seemed all afternoon there were the briefest flurries of sleet which never amounted to much.

Last night as I sat here sewing I listened to the wintry showers rattling on my windows, there was some sleety hail, which down here turned to water. But up on the hills, there is snow. It's just about seeable on the photo below if you squint, the cloud was very low when I took this picture. This was taken looking roughly South from our bedroom window.
Just to keep in with the theme of looking across the roof tops, I went to the front of the house and took this one too. Here we're looking North and maybe a tad to the East. That white house up there is right at the far end of the mooragh park. Those gentle little hills roll all the way to the very Northern tip of the island.
Enough of all that coldness! On with the warmth. And what could be warmer than a new quilt. I've done quite a bit of shopping recently and felt that it was time to get on with things. So what am I using? And what am I making? I have lots of navy blue with snow flakes and twinkly stars on.

I have silver greys, with more snow flakes and glitter on.

Which I made into a bunch of whirling pinwheels last night! I feel a very wintry quilt happening here.

Now then, to sash with blue? or white? or silver? or what? This morning when I looked at them a brainstorm hit! Why not set them on point? Fine, but that didn't solve the sashing question.

See my friend here? Bottom left? He still isn't right, I fixed him, I fixed him 3 times, but he was determined not to work! So I made another one and threw him in my scraps box!
I've been playing about with my Quilt Wizard program and I just can't decide what looks best, blue or white. Hmm, the only blue I tried is navy blue.....because that is what I have, maybe I should try a pale blue? Unfortunately Quilt Wizard doesn't allow me to save my plans a JPGs so I can't share. I'm off to play.
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Gratitude's
1) Being indoors on such a cold day.
2) Lots of projects to play with.
3) Hot sweet tea.
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Monday, 2 February 2009

Awards.

I not so recently received two awards, but am only just now getting around to doing anything about it. How naughty of me.

The first one comes from Tracey at flowerpebble. Thank you Tracey.

This is a Portuguese Award and it means this blog invests in and believes that blogging makes us close.
Proximidade translated to English means vicinity, or neighbourhood.
The meaning of this award:
This blog invests and believes in Proximity- nearness in space, time and relationships.
These blogs are exceedingly charming.
These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends .
They are not interested in prizes for self-aggrandizement!
Our hope is that when the ribbon of these prizes are cut ,even more friendships are propagated.
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I'm supposed to pass it on to 8 others, but it is so difficult to choose, I love all of the blogs I read and feel that the friendship found here in blogland is truly global.
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The other award I received is from Julz of Julz Dezign: The Blogging Friends Forever Award.

The rules are as follows:
1. 5 people are allowed to receive this award
2. 4 dedicated followers
3. 1 new follower to your blog who lives in another part of the world
4. Please link back to the person who gave you this award.
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I will give both of these awards to each and every blog listed in my side bar. You have all become a source of friendship, wisdom, comfort and inspiration.
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I know I have dedicated followers and new followers, you're all charming and friendly and between us we have made the world a very small place.
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I have two days off work again. This morning I slept in until after 9:00 am, that doesn't happen very often, I must have needed the rest.
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The next round of BOMs is starting to appear, I'm ready for them too, I have completed all that I had planned except for part 3 of Red Delicious, it's awaiting my attentions. I also have a couple of larger projects planned and hope to make a start on one of them soon, not to mention getting on with some grocery bags!
I have to say, I'm enjoying doing all the BOMs, I've always enjoyed watching others do them and seeing the variety of blocks that appear all from the same design, but actually taking part is even more fun.
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As if I don't have enough to do, seeing knitting on one or two blogs and watching a colleague at work knitting away for her great niece has got my knitting juices flowing again, so yesterday I got online and ordered a load of yarn and a pattern, so I have knitting to get on with too! Next I'll be complaining that I'm spoiled for choice.
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Gratitude's
1) Two wonderful awards, and the chance to pass them on.
2) Two days off work.
3) A dry sunny day, even if it is cold.