28 October 2009

and there was enough for a matching hat!

Sublime 100% organic cotton - 3-6 months size

What to charge .........

I'm in a bit of a quandary over the pricing of my hand knitted items. If you charge too little you are under valuing yourself, too much and you put people off. I recently knitted a slouchy beret and charged £10, but I just went on to this website and they charge a minimum of £20 for theirs. So what is a fair price when you take away the cost of the materials, I love knitting so that's not an issue but how do you put a fair price on your time? I would love some input please.

On another note I had a good sort out last night, clothes, bedding, towels etc all given to a large family whose house recently burned down, they lost everything. So if my contribution can make a difference then I am pleased. It's made me feel good anyway!

27 October 2009

Walking away the winter blues

now we have changed the clocks it is at least a bit lighter in the mornings again, so Rachel and I have resumed our early morning walks. I must admit I had missed the walks over the past few weeks, but also enjoyed that 40 minutes extra in bed with a cup of tea and my book!

Peter and I will be walking more at the weekends now that the garden isn't taking up so much time, mind you we are clearing leaves presently; for those of you that don't know our garden we are surrounded by trees and they all want to dump their leaves in our garden! I still have some summer bedding to clear and some winter bedding to put in. The hedges need trimming but I fear we may be too late for that now, so a job for the spring. The veg patch needs a tidy too, so maybe there is still a fair bit to do!

Currently on my needles - just finished the striped two piece and am busy sewing it together, the only problem with stripes is all the sewing in of ends, not a job I enjoy. I also have a 2nd pram blanket which I can pick up and put down when I like. I have so many projects whizzing round my head, so much yarn in my stash, but not enough hours in the day

23 October 2009

I had such a good day....

yesterday was the Yours Magazine Christmas photoshoot, the one where us previous fatties got to be pampered and made glamorous. I think we all had a marvellous time.

The location house was stunning, oh for rooms of that size, it was a 1930 home which the owners rent out for photoshoots, not sure I could have a whole hoard of strangers poking around my property (and we did) but for the daily fee they get I guess I could put up with it.

The day started early, on the train at 7:30 where I met Rebecca and Michelle, followed by a 20 minute taxi ride )-: Managed to get there without feeling sick, shame poor Michelle can't say the same, but then she was sitting backwards. The team were there to greet us, Ruth and Carly the photographers, Sarah-Jane and Olivia the hair and makeup artists, and Danielle the stylist. My fellow ladies were Pam, Maria and Sue, we'd not met before but all got on really well swapping dieting stories and generally boosting each other up.

First stop was to have our before pictures taken, then on to Danielle to choose the outfit, I was put in a beautiful Ted Baker dress with three-quarter sleeved bolero cardi, and killer heels!! Next stop for me was Sarah-Jane, we had met before as she did the hair and makeup for Rebecca's wedding. I want her to come and live with me and do my h&m every day, that would be such a treat. I was first to have my 'after' pictures done, and whilst nervous, Ruth is such a good photographer, putting you at ease. I was then joined by Pam for some joint pictures, we then changed out of our posh outfits for lunch. This was a wonderful spread, salads, huge assortment of sandwiches, fruit and cakes yum. Most of the afternoon for me was sitting around while Pam had her solo shots done then Maria and Sue had their turn. Then back in my outfit for the final group shots which were taken partly outside, by which time it was getting a wee bit chilly.

It's a long day, especially for a christmas shoot as they had to assemble a christmas tree, wrap presents, and generally make the huge entrance hall into christmas day, then take it all down before we went home. I finally fell onto the train at 6:10 getting home at 7:35.

I would just like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved yesterday, especially for all the compliments, and to wish my fellow dieters good luck with those last few pounds and keep it up, I know I plan to, in fact I'm going to put my fat clothes in the charity bin!! I believe our shoot will be in the 1 December issue of Yours, I will be certainly getting a copy.

17 October 2009

In the wee small hours

it must be that time again when I go through a wakeful period in the night. I have been awake since 2:30am, up since 3am. I've checked my email, Facebook, Ravelry, so decided to update my blog before trying to go back to bed. I could go downstairs and knit - I have several projects on the go - another Zig Zag pram blanket in shades of pink and a Vintage jumper and legging set which Rachel and Clare have commissioned, this is being knitted in a 6 colour stripe combo in Sublime organic cotton.

Yesterday I won free tickets to go and see Jamie Cullum at the BBC Maida Vale studios in London on 30th October, this was a Radio 2 ticket ballot. I had tried recently for Michael Buble tickets but was unsuccessful, will need to await his UK tour, the new album is released on Monday, sounds good as Ken Bruce has had it as his album of the week, wouldn't normally have been home to hear it, but as you know I've been off work poorly.

On the weight loss front I have just 3/4lb to go to target and I've not really been trying, photoshoot on Thursday to look forward to, hope they put me in something suitable, it will be good to meet my fellow dieters and to get my hair and makeup done.

This weekend Rebecca and Tim are down for a party so staying the night with us and we are having a family roast dinner tomorrow - not cooked one for a while, we are having pork and all the trimmings - yum yum.

We have 4 buckets of apples to juice later and loads of cooking apples to turn into pies and crumble so looks like a busy day - best try and go back to sleep. Time now 4.26am!

14 October 2009

No I think it was flu

having not felt this rough in years I feel I must have had a bout of the flu. For those that know me, staying in bed is not a practice I keep, however I spent most of Sunday asleep in my bed and when I got up I couldn't even pick up my knitting needles, needless to say the husband was shocked. I dragged my bones into work yesterday to be told you look awful go home, so rather than argue I did. In fact I've given myself today off too just to make sure I'm better. My head still feels a bit spaced out but the aching in my bones has gone. I plan to take myself for a walk later to get some air then continue with the zig zag pram blanket that I'm currently knitting.

As promised here is the pattern for the Slouchy Beret on 2 needles

Materials - 200g chunky or 2 strands of double knit
6.0mm and 6.5mm straight needles

Cast on 60 stitches on 6.0mm needles - knit 6 rows single rib(K1 P1) - if you want a deeper band knit 12 rows
Change to 6.5mm
1st row - K5 m1 repeat (71 stitches)
2nd row - purl
3rd row - K6 m1 repeat (82 stitches)
4th row - purl
5th row - K7 m1 repeat (93 stitches)
6th row - purl
7th row - K8 m1 repeat (104 stitches)
8-14th row - stocking stitch
15th row - K16 k2tog repeat to last 14 stitches K14
16th row - purl
17th row - K15 k2tog repeat to last 14 stitches K14
18th row - purl
19th row - K14 k2tog repeat to last 14 stitches k14
20th row - purl
21st row - K13 k2tog repeat to last 14 stitches K12 k2tog
22nd row - purl
23rd row - K12 k2tog repeat to last 13 stitches K11 k2tog
24th row - purl
25th row - K11 k2tog repeat to last 12 stitches K10 k2tog
26th row - purl
27th row - K10 k2tog repeat to last 11 stitches K9 k2tog
28th row - purl
29th row - K9 k2tog repeat to last 10 stitches K8 k2tog
30th row - purl
31st row - K8 k2tog repeat to last 9 stitches k7 k2tog
32nd row - purl
33rd row - K7 k2tog repeat to last 8 stitches k6 k2tog
34th row - P7 P2tog *P6 P2tog repeat *
35th row - K5 K2tog repeat
36th row - P6 P2tog *P4 P2tog repeat *
37th row - K3 k2tog repeat to last 6 stitches K4 K2tog
38th row - P2tog P3 P2tog *P2 P2tog repeat *
39th row - K1 K2tog repeat
40th row - P1 P2tog repeat

Draw thread through remaining stitches - sew up with flat seam. Most of the seam is hidden in shaping

10 October 2009

I've a cold!!

A good day yesterday was spolit by coming down with a cold. I had woken with a dry throat and by the 11am I was sneezing and had a ruuny nose, delightful! However, propped up with paracetamol I managed to last the day out and came home with some lovely Jamieson's soft shetland yarn for Peter's jumper and some King Cole Homespun chunky for a slouchy beret for a work colleague of Rachel's. I also purchased some trimmings and generally got some good ideas. A good day was had by both of us, Rachel purchased a couple of large bags of yarn, including some lovely self striped yarn and some pretty needles with glitter points.

As I was up early, I got on with the beret which took no time really as you can clearly see, the pattern I had was knitted on circular needles but as I didn't have the size required I adapted the pattern for straights and am very pleased with the results. I think I'll tweek it here and there then post it.

Today - due to my cold I couldn't go and visit my Dad, so we went for a walk to St Ives instead and I must admit by the time we got home I was feeling pretty rotten. I'd really like to go to sleep, but I know if I do I'll not sleep tonight.

9 October 2009

Ally Pally here we come

Map is printed, tickets to hand, list written, cash in purse, today we are off to the Knitting and Stitching at Alexandra Palace, normally we go on the train which is a pain, so this year Rachel has volunteered to drive! I hope my nerves are up for it, maybe that's why I'm awake early, nerves or excitment about the day. I'll fill you all in later on our purchases.

I think the reason I'm awake early, apart from Peter's snoring, is I'm worried about my Dad, he is in hospital again. He has shingles on his head and in his eyes, so on top of the chemo side effects - very high temperature, he's not doing so well. I really wonder if the cure is worse than the disease. We would like to go and see him this weekend, but my mother says he doesn't want us to come, now I'm not sure if thats her saying it or if he really isn't up for visitors. I will ring again tonight and see how things are.

Currently on my needles - Zig and Zag Pram Blanket, a real stash buster, 4 rows of pattern, 42 repeats, so it can be as colourful as you want.

The chicken coats have gone down well, in fact we even have a photographer who wants to take some pictures, again watch this space

6 October 2009

Little Hen Coats

I have completed the Little Hen Rescue coats requested last week, they look very bright and cheerful I hope you will agree. I'm hoping to have some pictures soon of the little ladies wearing them, so watch this space (-:

4 October 2009

And an even busier weekend

Weekends for me start on Friday morning - I usually do a quick whizz through the house and get the washing done. This week was no different! Saturday I was at my knitting workshop which didn't quite live up to my expectations but never mind... sorry Pauline. However I did pick up a few tips so at least it wasn't too much of a disappointment. Peter and I managed a good walk when I got home, and I completed the first of the second batch of chicken coats, plus cast on for the next. I will post some pictures when finished.

Today we got all the windows downstairs cleaned inside and out, put the wood burner back in and re-arrange the lounge, cleaned the brass. Emptied my hanging baskets, always feel a bit sad, like summer is over, well it is actually. My troughs are still going strong so I will leave them for a bit longer. Peter is starting to clear the veg patch as items come to an end and deciding whether or not to put in some over wintering veg - broad beans, onions and the like.

We had a call from my Mum to say that my Dad now has shingles, poor Dad. He'd had his third round of chemo, the last two times he's ended up in hospital, and apart from sickness and hair loss was looking to be ok, now this, he has it on the side of his head and over his eye, so is feeling pretty miserable. Lets hope he picks up soon as chemo session four is due on 13 October, it really isn't fun getting old.

On that cheery note I'll sign off for today, and go get my knitting out.

1 October 2009

Busy week

This week we have achieved a number of things. The apples are finally juiced and we have 40 pints of fresh apple juice in the freezer. We also made steamed apple juice which I think will be an acquired taste but can be made into jelly and spiced apple juice at a later date.

The 2 pairs of fingerless gloves are finished

My next project is a request for a further 3 Little Hen Rescue chicken coats, followed by a baby outfit yet to be chosen. So as you can see I am keeping busy. My garden is in need of a tidy up, the hanging baskets are going over and the leaves are starting accumulate. I have runner beans to pick and turn into pickle and an assortment of other jobs to do this weekend. No peace for the wicked. I really need to retire but that request keeps falling on deaf ears!