Sunday, 28 September 2008

The sun is out, the sky is blue, there's not a cloud to spoil the view, but.... I'm knackered! Not quite what Buddy Holly wrote, but there you go! Life never is quite how you want it!

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Soooooo tired!

Battling to keep my eyes open at the moment so I'll update everything later. So busy knitting and crocheting at the moment! But need sleep! Will try and persuade Aston to have a nap too!

Friday, 19 September 2008

Baby Blanket pattern

I haven't got my own version of this finished but figured it was about time to put the pattern up since I have written it all out. At least then if someone can knit faster than me and decides to make it up, they can let me know if there are any errors!

Yarn: Patons Fairytale Cuddles DK (although any soft DK baby yarn will do)
Needle size: 4mm
Abbreviations: st st – stocking stitch, mst – moss stitch, K – knit, P – purl, Sts - stitches

Pattern:

Cast on 257 stitches on 4mm needles.

Rows 1-12
*Knit 12 rows in moss stitch (mst) – K1, P1 repeated to end of row.* Always begin each row with a knit stitch.

Rows 13-24
Row 13: **work first 9sts in mst, K to last 9 sts. Work remaining 9 sts in mst – ensuring that you continue with the opposite stitch to the one worked on the previous row, for example, if you worked a knit stitch on the previous row, you need to work a purl stitch on this row.

Row 14: work first 9sts in mst, P to last 9 sts, work remaining 9 sts in mst**
Rows 15 – 24: work as from **

Rows 25 – 36: repeat as *

Rows 37-67
Row 37: ***[Mst for 9 sts, K22] repeat to end.
Row 38: [Mst for 9 sts, P22] repeat to end.***
Row 39 onwards: Repeat *** 14 more times

Rows 68-79
Repeat as *

Rows 80-91
Repeat as **

Rows 25 to 91 form the pattern

Repeat pattern 5 times (from beginning of blanket to this point is 438 rows)

Repeat *

Cast off.


If you find any errors in this pattern, please email me.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Ouch!

In a fair amount of pain this evening. Got hand pain which I have persevered through to get one of the sleeves on my Noro jumper done (hoo-bloody-ray!). I've also knit another hat with the pink Rowan Spray wool that arrived today from Sash from the LK forum (thanks Sash!). It's come out ok but I think I need to make one using bigger needles next time simply to make it fit bigger heads! lol

Aston went to bed at 7/7.30pm without eating any tea again. He's just been eating crap lately. I make him a decent dinner and he won't eat it cuz he's too tired. Little so and so! Will mean he's probably going to wake me up at 6am again so I'm going to go and get some pain killers and then hopefully a good night's sleep.

My equipment from the Occupational Therapy team should be arriving tomorrow so who knows, I may actually manage to have a bath on my own tomorrow evening!

Forgot to get Mum to help me take a good look at the lump that's come up on the back of Aston's head, just inside the hairline. I have a sneaking suspicion he may have got a splinter when he slipped off the picnic table at Wildwood but I can't get him to keep still enough to have a proper look!

Anyway, my hands are beginning to feel a little on the weird tingly side now so I'm off to bed! Bet the dog will think "thank heaven for that!" cuz she's been pretty much out of it on the sofa next to me for hours!

Friday, 12 September 2008

Two hats in a day!

Yesterday I managed to knit two, count them, TWO hats from start to finish! I think this is not only amazing because I've never started and finished something in the same day before, but also because I still managed to make two items despite running about making teas for the knitting group, being up and down sorting Aston out all the time and making dinner etc! I wouldn't claim to be superwoman but I came pretty close yesterday! lol!



I will probably give the hats away as Christmas presents. I want to get some other Colinette yarns and make some more. Maybe one or two for myself and then some more as Xmas presents and I'll try and sell some too in the hope of making the money back I've paid out for the wool. I used Colinette Shimmer 5 in Fresco for the two I've made already. I want to get some other yarns from Colinette to make some more. Trouble is, I look at the yarns and I'm so desperate to buy LOADS! Will keep my fingers crossed that they have a stall at the Knitting & Stitching Show in October and they're selling some bits off cheap! ;-)

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Bleeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhh!

Feel like crap! I've had a headache for 2 days now so I cried off going to Singers tonight. Mum took Aston home for tea with them so I could get some sleep. I went to bed about 5.40pm and got up to have something to eat at 8.30pm. Half way through eating my dinner, I got the shakes! Soooooooo hate being me sometimes. :-(

Going to cheer myself up by knitting a beret with my Colinette Shimmer. If I can keep my hands working for that long! Stacy from the LK forum said her beret only took her an hour!

Finally - some help!

Shirley from the Occupational Therapy service came round at 9am this morning and finally I'm going to get some equipment to help me around the house!

The landlord has to approve the addition of hand rails in the bathroom (to help me keep steady in the shower and getting in and out of the bath) and on the frame of the kitchen door (to help me get up and down the step) but she's already ordered the other bits which will be here next Tuesday so I may well be able to have a bath on my own next week! Woohoo! That'll save my mum having to come out and sit here in case I can't get up!

My other pair of support gloves came through the post today as well so I don't have to look so much like a weirdo with black ones on! The new ones are skin tone so should be better for being out and about - also will be better for when we have the Singers concert on 4th October. That way, I'll have some support for holding my folder all the time but I won't look odd!

Bought some patterns for Mum yesterday on Ebay from a chap in Sheerness. Apparently he has a lot of customers in Sheerness and Sittingbourne so I didn't have to pay delivery as he posted them through the door! What a star! Mum's going to give me the money for them. He does cheap wool as well so if Mum wants some to make the shawls, we'll get it from him. Think he does 5 balls for about £6 which is great.

Got Sheppey Singers tonight but I don't know if I'll go or not - depends on this headache. I'm just worried that if I don't go, I'll miss out on going through some songs I don't know. Knitting group tomorrow though so that's good. Time for a good old natter! Should be good.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Same old same old!

Well, it's another gloomy day in Sheerness! Aston woke me up at 7.22am this morning (yes, it was that early, I remember the time exactly!) and then I couldn't get back to sleep cuz of all the noisy kids on their way to school! Grouchy old cow aren't I! teehee!

Saw doc last night. Got some ointment for Aston's tick bite that's got infected even though I got the bloomin thing off, legs and all! Also decided that I would stop taking the ibuprofen and sleeping tablets because the ibuprofen didn't seem to be helping much and the sleeping tablets made me drowsy all day! Luckily he didn't put me on steroids but if things get any worse, he will do that if we have no other option.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Must Try Harder

I'm sat here and I keep thinking of all the things I want to make and it's distracting me from the things I've already got on the needles!

Last night I started off on the legs of the Raymond Briggs Snowman toy I'm making Aston for Xmas. But I've still got the sleeves of my Noro jumper to make (which I could do with since I'm bloody freezing!), the edges of the jacket/cardigan I'm making for baby Sidney Rennie and I'm nowhere near getting his blanket finished! I really ought to get these things finished before I get on with anything else. At least then I'd have a couple of things to add to my list of Finished Objects and have some kind of sense of achievement, even if I am still struggling with the European Knitting Mountain!

Already planning on making amigurumi versions of Cinamoroll, Keroppi and U*sa*ha*na. Will probably be pretty easy to make actually but since I'll be designing as I go, I need some time to do those and I must be strong and not do them til at least 2 of my other things are finished! Got no room in the knitting bag for a start!

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Still tired...

Aston went off to his Dad's at 10am this morning and I went back to bed at 12pm and didn't get up til 6.30pm and I'm [b]STILL[/b] tired! GAH!

Really missing Aston today. Had a very wobbly moment last night when, for some reason, I got this bug in my brain about dying and not having him anymore and not being able to look after him and generally the whole 'me not existing anymore and what's going to happen?' thing which [b][i]truly[/i][/b] freaks me out! I got so freaked that I had to get out of bed and go in to his room. Just wanted to be with him. If it wasn't for the fact that he was fast asleep spread out in the middle of his bed, I would have got in his little bed with him and cuddled up to him. Instead, I just gave him a kiss and tucked him in again and then went back to bed and had a bit of a blub! I'm such a saddo. Nothing freaks me out more than the thought of not being me anymore, if you know what I mean. The thought of no longer existing truly horrifies me!

Anyway, before I go completely ballistic again and end up in a soggy heap on the floor, I shall change the subject!

I've now sold both my pairs of dread falls on Ebay. I'm gutted at having to sell them but my hair's far too short now and I never wear them. I'd rather they went to a good home where they'll be worn and appreciated. I've still got my braid-in dreads so if I feel the need, when my hair gets longer, I can always put those back in.

My amigurumi obsession is taking over! Dunno if I'll get all my knitting projects finished now. Terrible isn't it! I must put the crochet hook down and pick up the pins. It's just that making a little squidgy character is soooo quick! And a friend shared a LOAD of crochet/amigurumi patterns with me yesterday. We're talking almost 200 of the things! She even gave me a load of Jean Greenhowe stuff and 2 crochet books - it's all electronic so I don't have to find the space on the book shelves! Good eh!

I've also managed to update the Swampy Ewe-Knitted website today as well. Only taken me about 4 months! lol I still need to update the WIP and FO pages but other than that, it's looking better!

Well, I'm going to get back to my 'triopus'. I say that cuz he's an octopus that's only got three legs right now! lol! Here's a piccie of him when he was an 'unopus'!

Better make the other 5 of his legs now!

Friday, 5 September 2008

Chococat!

I've finished my Chococat and therefore my first pattern! Must give thanks to Crafts by AP for the inspiration!

So here's the pattern! Hope it makes sense!



This is an easy pattern suitable for beginners. It is written using the English crochet terms.

dc = double crochet (US conversion – dc = sc ‹single crochet›)
sl st = slip stitch
ch = chain stitch
tog = together

You will need:
Crochet hook – size 3.5mm (US size E, UK size 9)
Brown 4ply wool (I used Patons Diploma Gold 4-ply, shade 4218)
A small amount of white DK yarn, flesh tone DK yarn (or small triangles of flesh coloured felt) and light blue/turquoise yarn.
Pink and black embroidery threads
PVA glue.
Sewing needle.
2 x 9mm safety eyes
Stitch marker


HeadCh2
Rnd 1: 5 dc in second chain from hook = 5 dc
Insert stitch marker in
Rnd 2: 2 dc in each dc = 10 dc
Rnd 3: *dc in first dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 15 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 4: *dc in next 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 20 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 5: *dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 25 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 6: *dc in next 4 dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 30 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 7: *dc in next 5 dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 35 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 8: *dc in next 6 dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 40 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnds 9-13: dc in every dc around, moving stitch marker up at the end of each row.
Rnd 14: *dc in next 6 dc, dc 2 tog*, repeat from * around = 35 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 15: *dc in next 5 dc, dc 2 tog*, repeat from * around = 30 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 16: *dc in next 4 dc, dc 2 tog*, repeat from * around = 25 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 17: *dc in next 3 dc, dc 2 tog*, repeat from * around = 20 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 18: *dc in next 2 dc, dc 2 tog*, repeat from * around = 15 dc.
Fasten off with slip stitch in last dc. Leave long tail for sewing.

Do not stuff etc until you have made and attached the eyes as follows:

Eyes (make 2)
Using white DK yarn,
2 ch
Rnd 1: 10 dc in second ch from hook. Do not pull the end tight!
Fasten off with sl st and weave end in.
Place safety eye in centre hole of crocheted ring and tighten around.

Place eyes approximately 2cm apart (taking measurement from edge of the crocheted outer part) and two thirds of the way down the head.
Stuff head firmly, weave tail through last row of dc and pull tight to close. Fasten off. You should still have a long enough tail to use for sewing.

Nose
Using pink embroidery thread, make a small nose between the 2 eyes and just slightly below them. To fasten off, pull thread through back of head, pull tight and cut so that the end of the thread goes back inside the head when cut.

Whiskers
Using black embroidery thread, draw one length through the head diagonally from top of eye to bottom of other eye, from about 2dc around from the outer edge of each eye. Cut the thread so that the ‘whiskers’ are the same length on both sides. Repeat, working from other side of the head. You end up with 4 whiskers in total.

To seal the whisker ends and make them stick out more prominently, place a small amount of PVA glue on your index/forefinger and touch to your thumb. Apply glue gently along the length of the whiskers, using thumb and index/forefinger, shaping the thread to keep the whiskers straight and even as possible. Leave to dry.

Body
Ch 2
Rnd 1: 5 dc in second chain from hook. Mark last dc with stitch marker.
Rnd 2: 2 dc in every dc = 10 dc. Move stitch marker up
Rnd 3: *dc in first dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 15 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 4: *dc in next 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 20 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 5: *dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 25 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 6: *dc in next 4 dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 30 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rounds 7-11 (5 rounds in total): dc in every dc around, moving stitch marker up at end of each round.
Rnd 12: *dc in next 4 dc, dc 2 tog*, repeat from * around = 25 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 13: *dc in next 3 dc, dc 2 tog*, repeat from * around = 20 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Rnd 14: *dc in next 2 dc, dc 2 tog*, repeat from * around = 15 dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc in row.
Make sl st to fasten off. Leave long tail for sewing. Stuff firmly. Weave tail in around last row of dc and pull tight. Fasten off.

Ears (make 2)
Ch 2
Rnd 1: 10 dc into second ch from hook. = 10 dc. Mark last dc with stitch marker.
Rnd 2: 2 dc in every dc around = 20dc Move stitch marker up.
Rnd 3: *dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc*, repeat from * around = 25 dc.
Join with sl st and fasten off.

Fold ears in half and sew together along curved edge. Attach bottom half of curved edge to the side of the head. Make the flesh tone inner parts of the ears by either embroidering with flesh tone yarn or attaching felt patches with PVA glue.

Legs (make 2)
Ch 2
Rnd 1: 8 dc into second ch from hook = 8 dc. Mark last dc with stitch marker
Rnd 2: 2 dc into each dc = 16dc. Move stitch marker up to last dc made.
Rnds 3-7: dc into every dc, moving up stitch marker each time.
Fasten off with sl st. Weave end through last row and keep long tail. Stuff firmly and pull end tight but only enough to keep stuffing held in. Sew to body.

Arms (make 2)
Ch 2
Rnd 1: 8 dc into second chain from hook = 8 dc. Mark last dc with stitch holder.
Rnds 2-10: dc into every dc, moving stitch marker up each round.
Fasten off. Weave end into last row and pull tight. Attach to body, slightly down from neck.

Tail
Ch 2
Rnd 1: 8 dc into second chain from hook = 8 dc. Mark last dc with stitch holder.
Rnds 2-17 (15 rounds in total): dc into every dc.
Fasten off with a sl st and weave end through each dc in last row. Pull tight and tie off.
Sew to back of body, centrally just above the top of the legs. Sew slightly along the tail to hold it so that it sticks out at one side of the body.

If you would prefer, I have a PDF version of the pattern which you can download
here

If you have any problems with this pattern, please let me know so that I can adjust it!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

The uselessness of Estate Agents

I have always felt that Estate Agents were useless when it comes to listening to their tenants following the shambles that was Winkworths in Chiswick High Road so why am I surprised by the incompetence of the current estate agent acting on behalf of my landlord?

Some months ago I told them about the disgusting stench in one of the kitchen cupboards. They said it was probably a dead mouse or something and that the smell would go away and, although they made a note on their computer, they didn't see fit to inform my landlord who is usually very good at dealing with maintenance problems. The second visit I paid them on this subject wasn't even recorded! They eventually informed the Landlord on 11th August and he came round a couple of days later to look at the cupboard (well, sniff it as it turned out) and send his builder round for a closer inspection.

Later that week, Bob the builder (no word of a lie folks!) turns up and has a look in the cupboard (that I'd had to ask my mum to come and help me empty!). He took off the kickboard at the bottom and managed to get the backboard out (it's an old, cheap fitted kitchen). Other than several years worth of grime under the cupboard, there didn't appear to be any damp and the wall felt dry to the touch. Therefore, no explanation for the smell was determined and it was left at that with me making a mental note to clean under the cupboards when my energy levels permitted and promising that I would inform the estate agents should the smell get worse. That weekend I cleaned under the cupboards and around/under the cooker. I left the kickboards off all the cupboards hoping that the air circulation would help in getting rid of the smell. Bob then came back a couple of days later to take a look at the other maintenance issues and sort those out.

Yesterday, because the smell had been getting worse, I ended up laying on the floor in the kitchen and looking under the cupboard to see if there was any change. I noticed white marks which I assumed meant that something had seeped through the wall and dried. I sent pictures to the estate agent on an email. I had no reply from them and, having emptied the cupboard again and taken the backboard off myself, I found further evidence of damp, photographed it and emailed the agents again, asking that they take action within 24 hours or I would call Environmental Health. Needless to say, I had to phone them this morning about it and they hadn't read the emails then. I eventually got a read receipt at 4.25pm! Good job I'd already contacted the council at that point!!! It's now 9.30pm and I've had no phone call or email despite them promising me this morning that they would ring me back IN THE SAME DAY!!!

I really should have expected this. I'm sure that if they'd spoken to the landlord, he'd have been on the phone to me as soon as he heard. He doesn't tend to hang around on these things, so I know that they've done bugger all about it. Even though I have made it perfectly clear that there are health complications and that my son and me are already suffering some effects that may be linked to the damp problem, they STILL don't act! And yet, legally, I'm not allowed to withhold rent! PAH!

They'll have fun trying to get hold of me tomorrow cuz I have to get to Canterbury at some point to try and get new glasses since my son broke the only pair I have this evening. They're currently held together with a bit of sellotape and the lense is sort of propped up in the resultant loose socket! If it wasn't for gravity, I don't suppose it would stay there!

All in all, not my day! Let's hope tomorrow is a bit better!

About Me

My photo
I'm a stay at home mum (yes it IS a non-profit industry - I've never had a penny for doing it and I don't know any mums who have!) to Aston who's 2 years old. I have 2 pet rabbits - Malcolm and Jimmy. I'm seperated from my husband and now live back in my hometown of Sheerness, Isle of Sheppey, Kent UK. I have also lived in London and West Sussex so I've knocked about the South East of England a bit! I'm a pagan and am inspired by natural things and love anything that's not been tampered with too much. I love watching rugby and football and my fave teams are Bath Rugby (cuz Matt Stevens plays for them! lol) and Fulham FC.