Monthly Archives: September 2011

Yarn Overload!

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I’m not saying anything new to anyone who knits….I have way too much yarn! But try to get me to give any up!

Stash is a common term amongst us knitters. I have STASH. I know there are worse stashes out there, just as I know there are avid doll collectors with way more dolls than I have, but for the space I have, I have too much! The answer, of course, knit till my fingers bleed, cause there is no way I will give up buying yarn! I suppose you have to be a knitter to fully understand the way it feels when you are making the yarn into a garment, or a toy or some household item like a cushion.

So, what brings on this blog…I decided to try to organize my knitting accoutrements in a more logical way. I had a load of more recently purchased stuff downstairs surrounding my chair. And the other stuff is up here in my computer/craft/doll room. I wanted to consolidate all the needles and accessories in a storage box downstairs, where I do the actual knitting. I then have another box with the current project in it. Everything else should be up here. I’ve hauled up the excess yarn, now I have to sit for a few hours and sort through the bins of yarn here and decide if I want to organize by weight/ply (my favored option so far) or by seasons(color and weight) or by color alone. Right now, its a combination of seasons and type of yarn (sparkly, eyelash, tweedy etc.) Since most of my knitting in the recent past has been for dolls, I only have a ball or two of a color/type. But recently I have come across a few patterns I love and actually have bought enough yarn to make them, so I have at least 3 big projects in waiting, but since they are for myself, they are targeted for after Christmas making, or at least until I finish the things I want to make for Christmas!

Now, I have some accessories/needles still up here as well, so have to haul them downstairs…next house will be on one floor! (and have a huge room for my craft stuff!) And I think I need another storage box…sigh! They are easy enough, a shop in town carries them, actually they are collapsed cardboard with big snappy things to hold them together, so easy to carry. They are a nice size, even though I think some of my old metal needles I brought from the US will have to go in diagonally. I use mostly my Knit Pro interchangeable, circular needles now, they are very pointy and really nice to use! I keep the old Boye’s out of sentiment really.

Well, off to photocopy a few patterns I want to use! I don’t like to have the whole magazine on my lap while knitting! Plus it messes up the other pages, always falls on the floor and the cat thinks its his personal sitting mat.

 

Another birthday gone….sigh….

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Dungeness Lighthouse, now used as a museum

Not sure why I thought this was an appropriate pic for this blog post, but I just like it!

So, I turned 62 yesterday. Big deal! The best part is the brand new laptop I got from my beloved and the fact we are getting wi-fi! The next best part is that today I got two new dolls for my collection from my brother. So, all is well in the Holland household…at least for me!

Getting older is no big deal. Well, ok, try to tell my body that! Tomorrow we go for Sid to get his eyes checked, he has cataracts and this is a final inspection before they arrange the first surgery. They only do one eye at a time, I guess its for the best…wouldn’t want to have to use a white cane while 2 eyes heal!

I don’t really have any earth shattering revelations about life, the universe and everything, but I did promise myself that I would keep this blog up and so I shall, even if you beg me to stop!

I promise it shall be more entertaining next time!

Who says Libras are indecisive….

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I saw a beautiful picture of a knit tunic, and advert for Rialto Chunky by Debbie Bliss. I found the book at Deramore’s (other yarn merchants are available). Luckily, they have a sale on their chunky yarn right now. I found what I wanted, not Debbie Bliss yarn as that would cost £100 to buy, but some nice Stylecraft Life in Pampas. Well, ok, here is the indecisive part, I wanted terracotta, there was a nice Paton’s chunky in pumpkin…close enough and fits the season, but they only had 3 balls, I needed 13, so, instead of asking if they would be getting any more in for the sale price, I went looking again, thus finding the pampas, which is a greeny color with specks in it.  I love variegated yarns, especially the fair isle effect ones and tweedy ones, I think this one fits in the tweedy category. Seeing as my last effort for myself was cream, I figure I’m owed something snazzy! Also, there is more yardage per ball in this one, so I only needed 10! Big savings all round.

Now, here is where it gets weird. I bought the same yarn in a lighter weight to make my favorite doll a matching sweater….

Sigh….I can make neither till I get my Christmas projects out of the way, especially as I plan to sell some stuff I make. Thank goodness the gift I’m making at the moment is a cool yarn with lovely colors and is going along nicely, that helps. Nothing like knitting something you don’t like…something I don’t usually do, but when knitting a gift for someone, it is rather important that they like it, even if it means you are suffering.

I still would like to make a terracotta something for myself.  I won’t have a problem finding a pattern, this book has several in it that I would gladly make and wear, a real bonus! And they all come in big sizes! Amazing!

So much to do, plenty of time, I’m just lazy!

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The time has come to do something about this house! I have been excusing my self because of my back, my knee or anything else I can think of.

Today I was actually useful, started a lot of things, but that’s the glory of retirement, you can start lots of things, knowing you can finish tomorrow, or the day after that…or the day after that….

Sid and I are both hoarders, not good. Well, it would be ok if we lived in Buckingham Palace, just fill up a room and move on to another! But we have a very limited space to live in, so something has to give. Or at least we need to buy more storage bins.

Today I started in the garage. I knew I had two huge Rubbermaid lidded storage bins I shipped over from the US 11 years ago. They had hardly anything in them and I had an almost empty footlocker, so they got emptied into the footlocker, then I had to wash them out….and wash my feet, and the back stoop and almost the cat.

Then it was time to rest my back for a bit and put the laundry in the dryer. Then take the laundry out and hang it up…I never dry it completely, just keep it in long enough to remove cat hair and most wrinkles, I can live with the rest.

Then I started to pack up stuff that was in the kitchen/dining area. Like all Sid’s railway model stuff and old photo’s that are supposed to go into the two albums I bought him. Now I have a bunch of old papers to go through, anything before 2008 gets shredded.

Got bored with that stuff, so came up here to delve into the vast collection of bags I have in here. Doll stuff in one pile, craft stuff in the empty drawers I bought for just that purpose, books back on the bookcase, gift wrap in the two drawers in the bookcase. And odds and ends in the other huge tub. Time to rest the back again!

And in between all that, I’ve stripped the bed, turned the mattress and remade the bed, watered my garden on Fairyland(facebook) and made dinner.

I think I deserve a rest now, and some knitting. And maybe a cup of that Celestial Seasonings tea I found at our supermarket. Its not widely available here, in fact I’ve only seen this one kind….Sleepytime….just what this insomniac needs!

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Calliope

Calliope at the New Romney Station

This was supposed to be further down, I’m a doofus!

Dymchurch Station
I hear that train a comin’

Sunday we went to have a ride on our favorite miniature railway.  It was built by an eccentric millionaire and used during  WW2 to transport troops and equipment. It runs between Hythe and Dungeness along the south east coast of England. Its one of few preserved railways that is actually used by people for school and work. They run diesel and steam locos, steam being the favorite! Sunday they had a display of vintage transport (old buses!) at the Romney station. We rode one between Dungeness and New Romney, quite bumpy!

Vintage bus from the Maidstone line

We rode along singing Summer Holiday...not! LOL!

And this is the very bus we rode. We managed to squeeze up the spiral stair to the top deck.

Station pic taken out of the bus window

Almost looks like an Old West shot of a desert station!

We didn’t have a window that opened, so took this through the window, you can see a bit of reflection. It had started out a bit grey and rainy, but had become sunny by the time we got to Dungeness…about a 20 minute ride.  We switched from train to bus to go up to New Romney:

Loco warming up at the New Romney Station

Smokin'

This shows you the size of the train, the man standing next to it is not the Jolly Green Giant!

Mural at Station

Mural on the New Romney Station Building

There were more buses on display at the New Romney station, its the biggest station on the line and they have several special events during the year. There are Thomas the Tank Engine days for the kids, they have the faces for all the Thomas Engine characters that attach to the different engines owned by the Railway. There is a big gift shop there, lots of train related items and the profits go to help keep the railway on the tracks!

From New Romney, we took the train back to Dymchurch. Its a nice little seaside town. We had sundaes at a cafe called Retro, they play Elvis music non-stop and have a life size cardboard cutout. The girls wear 50’s gear. I had Malibu gelato….very nice!

Thus ended our day out! See, I do things beside knitting!

Another one bites the dust!

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My October handbag

Who is Simon's Cat.....LOL!

Well, another project complete! All lined and almost ready for use, think I will put two big snaps for closure. I did include a big zip pocket inside for important stuff, like money and cards, and a D ring is sewn into the side lining seam, so I can hook keys or any other important thing that needs to be secured and found easily! I was going to make it fancier, the lining that is, but decided since this will have limited use, I didn’t need to go whole hog! I will be making the ultimate handbag someday, I’m saving up ideas, not sure if it will be knitted or sewn…we’ll see where the fancy takes me!

Have our local knitting group at the library this afternoon,  I always look forward to that, its my main social activity! It’s nice to speak to someone who doesn’t answer in Cat speak.

Am I creative, or just have subconscious memories?

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Cord making

Did I invent this?

I wanted a strap for a knitted bag, and I didn’t want it to stretch…So, I had the bright idea of putting a naked upholstery cord in the centre of the cord I could make on a knitting bee(I have yet to master I cords, and this was an easy alternative) So, I started the yarn cord, and after 2-3 rows, I inserted the other cord,  I can’t remember what it is called, but you use it when putting a cord decoration around cushions, etc. I could have just bought an already colored cord, black would have done, or if I looked long and hard enough, I might even have found an orange one, but that wouldn’t have been as creative!

Its kind of a pain keeping the middle cord out of the way of the knitting, but I am quite pleased it worked! Now I can put bricks in my bag and the strap won’t stretch and become 3 feet longer! (I just have to be sure I sew it on strongly! Here is a blurry shot of the top of the bee, I’m not very good at taking pics one handed of something I’m holding in the other hand! Be sure, if you are going to try this, that you cut your middle cord a bit longer than you need, because you will have to push it all the way through so it sticks out the bottom. You will have trouble pushing it through if you knit more than a couple of rows to start with.  Secure the knitting to the middle cord with regular needle and thread at both ends.

Cord entering the bee....not for the faint of heart, LOL!I remember making the regular knitted cords as a kid, my dad actually put those headless nails in the top of a big thread spool. I had a commercially made one too. I have no recollection of what was done with the cords, I think there were instructions to make a trivet type thing for the table by winding it round and round itself and securing with sewing thread, but I doubt I did anything with mine!

When I am finished with Halloween and Christmas things, I’m going to play with the round and long looms I bought at least 2 years ago…maybe 3. I have some books to go with them, so I might even be able to do something besides wooly hats!  Let me know if you need one!