Sunday, 23 May 2010

Blog is moving - please change your links

Well it's time for an announcement - my blog is moving.

I've set up a little business called Kooky Kat Kreations - after our crazy kitty. As mentioned in a previous post I'm going to be selling handspun, handknits, patterns... anything that springs to mind.

To this end, I'm in the process of creating a whole new online identity, that I want this blog to be a part of, and so it's moving with me.

I'm still going to be Azzy, or AzzyWazzy, depending on where you know me from - my main email address won't change, and my Twitter and Flickr and Ravelry accounts will stay as they are - because they are about ME. But for patterns, selling, and blogging about crafting, we're going to move over to Kooky Kat Kreations.

So for anyone who subscribes or follows me, please adjust your links to point to http://kookykatkreations.wordpress.com/ as I will no longer be updating here. At some point soon I will purchase a domain and the address will be: http://www.kookykatkreations.com/blog - so you might want to bookmark that address too, to ensure you catch it when I update.

See you on the other side!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

First handspun singles

Been doing some more spinning this week! Managed to complete another project in the space of two days - this time it was 4oz of Spunky Eclectic Club Fibre. It's the December shipment, which was Wensleydale in the colour way Cold Front:

Spunky Eclectic - Cold Front

Most people seemed to have more blues in theirs, particularly dark blue. Mine is a much lighter selections of greens and sea-blues.

There's been a lot of people spinning this up as singles - due to Wensleydale being a longer staple fibre, you don't need much twist to hold it together. It's also a heavier fibre, which means that you wouldn't get massive amounts of yardage if you plied it. So singles make sense.

I split my fibre into 3 bits, lengthwise, to try and give as many colour variations as possible. I was aiming for somewhere between laceweight and fingering weight, and wanted to try and fit it all on a single bobbin. Here's it while I was spinning:

Spunky Eclectic - Cold Front - FO

My concern with singles, is that when I took them off the bobbin, that they'd be a curly mess - all twisty and crazy. After I'd skeined it ready for it's bath, it did twist a bit, but the main thing that amazed me was the crimp:

Spunky Eclectic - Cold Front - FO

So it's more curly, rather than twisty - you can almost imagine the sheep, with loads of massive curly locks. The hope was that "finishing" the yarn would fix this. To finish it, I ran a sink of very hot water and a bowl of very cold. I then proceeded to dunk and swoosh the yarn around, alternately in each bowl, squeezing the water out before changing bowls and finishing with a hot bowl.

Put it in a towel and squeeze the water out, smack the wrapped yarn-towel against the bath, take it out, and then put my hands inside and snap the yarn tight, to even out the twist.

The result was a yarn that hung perfectly open in a loop - with a gorgeous fuzzy halo. Behold the finished skein:

Spunky Eclectic - Cold Front - FO

Spunky Eclectic - Cold Front - FO

Pretty happy with this - they've got enough twist to hold together, and the yardage is reasonable. I've got approximately 440 yards of fingering-lace weight singles, which would be enough for a scarf or shawlette.

Full specs:

Singles: approx 16-20wpi
Spun: sort-of long draw
Plied yarn: not plied - kept as singles
Finishing: light fulling - hot/cold/hot/cold water shocking, whacking & snapping
Finished yarn: approx 16-20wpi, 440 yards, 116 grams

Spun on: Kromski Mazurka
Started: 17th May 2010
Finished: 18th May 2010

This is a skein that I think will go up for sale, rather than be kept - the colours aren't very me and it's a bit itchy for me personally. That makes 3 finished skeins ready to go up for sale - I'd better get a move on with the store!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

To change my blog, or not to change my blog?

I've come to a point where I need to make a decision. I've decided to start up a little venture where I'm going to sell handmade items - be it handspun, hand knits, dyed items... patterns... no idea.

To this end, I've set up a new email address on Gmail and created some cards I can hand out and attach to items I'm selling. I may also buy the domain name and set up an Etsy store... all things to think about! What I can't decide is what to do about my blog. I quite like this blog. I've had it for a few years now, and even though it isn't all about crochet anymore (hasn't been for a while really), it's quite representative of who I am.

I need to figure out whether I want to leave this blog here as it is, or port it over to the new name. Never mind the whole hassle of hosting...

Advice? Tips?

Monday, 17 May 2010

Preparing for Winter

It might seem a little counter-intuitive for me to be having a blog post with this title in the middle of May, but due to how cold this house is, I've been getting a move on with some projects that will help once the weather begins to turn.

I've recently started on Ysolda's Hap Blanket. I've just finished the centre square and have started on the edging. I'm making it using some yarn I bought from Baa Ram Ewe - I have the biggest 400g ball of yarn I've ever seen in the grey.

Hap Blanket - WIP

It won't be the warmest blanket as the yarn is mostly acrylic, but it'll be a nice extra layer when the weather turns.

Last weekend I finished another Ysolda project - the Icing Swirl Hat. Was making this from a random 100g of bulky yarn I had laying around. I bought it on a whim about 2 years ago and have been desperate to use it up for ages. It's in a colour that doesn't suit me, and it contains alpaca, which makes me itch, so it's a funny one.

I got about 2/3 way through making the large size of the hat and felt pretty sure I was going to run out of yarn, so I frogged back. It's a good thing I did, as I bound off with about a foot of yarn to spare - and that was despite missing out the final knit row.

Icing Swirl Hat - FO

Icing Swirl Hat - FO

The colour of the hat in real life is actually much darker than this, but it gives you an idea of what it looks like. Not sure what I'll do with it long term - probably gift it to someone.

Frustratingly, all this winter knitting and spinning and using of thicker yarns means I've made zero progress on the socks for Trev I started a month ago.

Stripy Gusset Socks - WIP

I'm a few rows short of starting the gusset on the first foot, but I'll pick them back up soon. I have another Knit Love Club parcel arriving at the end of the month and I haven't knitted up the last one yet, so I need to get my skates on so as not to fall behind.

There's amazingly another FO! I've finally got around to knitting myself a pair of Fetchings. I've knitted so many fingerless gloves and I've only ended up keeping one so far (Vintage Endpaper Mitts). So I had some leftover yarn from knitting the Ribbed Baby Jacket and thought the 1.5 skeins would be perfect to use on these.

Normally the project only uses 1 skein, but they make for quite short narrow gloves. Since I wanted to add in a proper thumb gusset and make the gloves longer at both the top and the bottom, the extra half a skein would be ideal. I also hoped it would give me the opportunity to practice cabling without a cable needle.

Squishingtons - FO

I'm not going to go into all the mods I made here - you can find them all listed on my Ravelry page.

I'm pretty happy with these - other than the few niggles I've mentioned on Rav, churning out a snuggly squishy pair of gloves in a day and a half makes me very happy!

Squishingtons - FO

Shame all knitting can't be this quick :)

Getting to grips with my wheel

Had lots of fun on Saturday playing with my new wheel. Here's some wheel p0rn:

Kromski Mazurka

Kromski Mazurka

Kromski Mazurka

I've mastered the art of rewinding bobbins and love how they look once they're done. I did this with a load of stuff this weekend - old projects and those in progress. Take a look at a bobbin before and after rewinding:

Limegreenjelly - Lhuna - WIP

Limegreenjelly - Lhuna - WIP

Love how perfect it looks!

Yarn Yard - Red Squirrel - WIP

Yarn Yard - Red Squirrel - WIP

Plying the above two bobbins is next on my list. No idea how much laceweight this is going to be. Fingers crossed I'll get a decent yardage.

The below is one third of some Spunky Eclectic fibre I started to spin up back late last year. It's going to become a 3-ply of some description - maybe about DK weight?

Istanbul Sunset - WIP

But I actually managed to start and finish a whole new project this weekend! I spun up a bump of this fibre last year and it came out terribly. Very overspun. So now I acquired another bump of it, I wanted to give it another go. I wanted to spin something bulkier with not as much twist, so give me something squooshy. It went from this:

The Yarn Yard - Fibre Club February 2009

to this:

The Yarn Yard - Rhododendron - WIP

to this:

The Yarn Yard - Rhododendron - FO

Here's the full break-down of the yarn and the specs (also available on my Rav page):

The Yarn Yard Fibre Club February shipment.

Inspired by the rhododendron outside Natalie’s window and the fibre is Texel. It’s staple length is similar to BFL, but is slightly coarser - but should still make good socks, mittens, hats etc.

I got given a second bump of this fibre, so now attempting to spin it up on my wheel as something chunkier and squooshier.

Singles: approx 20-24wpi
Spun: semi-worsted (I think)
Plied yarn: 2 ply, using tensioned lazy kate
Finishing: hot water, whacking & snapping
Finished yarn: 8-9wpi, 118 yards, 97 grams

Spun on: Kromski Mazurka
Started: 15th May 2010
Finished: 16th May 2010

Disappointed with the yardage here - maybe Texel is denser than other fibres? It’s not as soft as I’d hoped it’d be and I may have put in more twist than it needed to hold together.

A tough one.

Better pics to come when I get the chance and the right light.

Despite not being entirely happy with it, it is better than anything I spun on a spindle, so there's room for improvement. Maybe I need to go from not pre-drafting at all to doing some? Let's see how I go with the laceweight and what kind of yardage I get from it.


Really enjoying having my wheel though! Love that it also has pride of place in my living room :)

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Some House TLC

I promised an update on housey bits so here it is!

It's been a busy few days and a productive weekend. Taken all the pics I wanted to and now sitting down to the Formula 1 and some well deserved knitting. Just finished an FO, and about to cast on something else, but I'll save those bits for another post.

So, you know that bathroom floor I mentioned in my last post? We started to clean it yesterday and probably did about a quarter of the floor. I took a great pic that shows you before and after:

Floor in progress

Yummy, eh? Of course I now don't want to tread on the rest of the floor, but we'll get it clean over the next few days.

We've also been cleaning up one of the lovely little bits we like about the house. We've got this huge great big cupboard in the kitchen that goes from the floor to the ceiling:

CIMG5794

You'll notice the nice ornate fingerplates on the doors. Check out this close-up:

CIMG5795

So, lovely, but covered with over 100 years of grime! We reckoned that these would be brass underneath, but you can see as we start going at it with the Brasso, that they're actually copper. Here they are now:

Cleaning Fingerplates - 3

So we've managed to get to the copper on the left-hand one, but there's so much patina and grime build-up that it might take a while to totally uncover them. In any case, we think we might put them back up as they are now, as they look MUCH better and we kinda like the worn look that they have now.

I also mentioned that we bought a few bits and pieces for the house. First thing we bought was a massive candle for the living room. It contains 4 layers of smells, so it changes as it burns.

Funky candle

Nom.

We also bought one of those old-fashioned metal signs - this one for the bathroom. It is reproduction, rather than antique, but the style is exactly what we are after:

Vintage-Style Washroom sign

At the moment it is in the bathroom rather than on the bathroom door - not sure if we'll move it or not. Tempted to get one that says "Laundry" for our little utility room, or a couple of larger ones for the kitchen. What I really want for the kitchen are some of those old adverts for Kit-Kat or Cadburys from the Victorian era, and get them framed as posters in the kitchen. I think they'd look amazing.

The final thing we bought was for the kitchen. It's got a nice country-kitchen feel to it, which is exactly what we wanted.

To-Do Chalkboard

It's more of a cream colour than in the picture, and we now have it up on the wall - it looks amazing. We haven't bought any chalk for it yet, so it will be a while before I can write Trev to-do lists on it, but it's a start :)

The main things now to think about are curtains - particularly for the front door which is VERY draughty. Carpet for the wood in the hallway is also a must - as there's no radiator there and it will get very cold. But for the main rooms we're also going to think about secondary glazing. There are places which sell acrylic panels which act as second panes of glass that provide insulation, both from cold and noise and we think these are going to be essential in the run-up to winter. The house is cold, even at the moment in May (although in fairness it hasn't been that warm), so unless I want to spend a fortune on heating, it's going to be a necessity.

As it more knitting and stashing. After all, I can use fibre as insulation, right?

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

How time flies...

I can't believe how fast the last couple of weeks have gone. I'm writing this post from our new living room - we moved house on Saturday and are now the proud renters of a lovely Victorian terrace house in Leeds. Next to a bakery no less, which is run by our landlords who are the most amazing lovely people.

We're still in the process of trying to get straight and sorted - we had my parents come up to stay from Saturday until yesterday, which was great in terms of getting everything moved, but not so good for getting unpacked and sorted.

I still can't believe that it's exactly a month since we moved to Leeds (or it was on Sunday) and we've already moved house again - but at least this is a much more permanent move and we should be here for a long time. The previous tenants were a bit disgusting and messy (to put it politely) and we've got our work cut out to get everywhere totally clean. Case in point, we were just cleaning the bathroom floor which looked semi clean, after the cat had messed on it, only to see the sheet after sheet of dirt which was coming up as we wiped. Trev knows what he's doing tomorrow!

Because it's a lovely period property, there's lot of little features and things that just make a place like this. We've got a beautiful fireplace in the lounge, high ceilings everywhere and gorgeous wooden floors. But we also have single glazing, which means it's very cold - so the run-up to winter is going to involve lots of handknits and curtains and possibly some DIY-double glazing. Watch this space for more housey-related posts.

It's so strange going from a one bed-flat to this massive house - once we're a bit more sorted I will definitely do a picture tour. We went out today and bought a few little bits and started to polish up some of the accents the house has. Will definitely post pics of these at the weekend as I'm back to work tomorrow. Such a nice feeling to give a beautiful house like this some of the TLC it deserves. And I've got more space for craft stuff, which can only be a good thing :)

Sunday, 25 April 2010

I have a wheel!

I am the proud owner of my first spinning wheel. I've bought it from our housemate and it's a Kromski Mazurka in Walnut. She did me a fantastic deal on her wheel, as well as some books and fibre that I couldn't turn down. Especially since I'd been playing with the wheel for the last week or so and just seemed to click with it.

Kromski Mazurka

I promise I'll take some better pictures soon!

I've already been a little productive with it. I spun up some Ixchel Bunny Angora/BFL that was a club package last year into some terribly plied aran weight-ish yarn. I spun a single and then chain-plied it very badly using Sarah Anderson's technique here. The way she does it is brilliant - my use of it, less so. But I have a few ideas for how to improve it next time, so it's all good.

Ixchel Fibre Club #2 - Shipment 3

Initially this came out a bit overplied - ran it back through the wheel to remove some twist and now it hangs perfectly level. It has plenty of overtwisted and kinky bits in it, where the yarn got tangled up, but for a first proper wheel attempt, it's not bad.

Ixchel Fibre Club #2 - Shipment 3

Took 3 hours to spin the singles, and probably about another hour to ply.

Full skein info:

Singles: approx 20-24wpi
Spun: semi-worsted (I think) - used short forward draw but didn’t smooth twist back into yarn
Plied yarn: chain-plied using Sarah Anderson’s video technique
Finishing: hot water, whacking & snapping
Finished yarn: 10wpi - 103 yards

Spun on: Kromski Mazurka
Started: 16th April 2010
Finished: 21st April 2010

I have another project on the wheel already. Spinning up more club fibre, this time from the Yarn Yard, last year. It's Peregrine fibre (25% nylon 75% superwash merino) in a colour way called Red Squirrel. I was planning to make this into sock fibre, but it seems to want to be laceweight, so that's what I'm going for.

Getting a lot of colours from a top that wasn't actually that varied. Didn't think I'd like it, but it's growing on me.

The Yarn Yard - Fibre Club May 2009

Yarn Yard - Red Squirrel - WIP

Got about another 4 in progress spinning projects that I think I might finish up on the wheel. Two are laceweight (Hobbledehoy batt and LGJ 800 yard challenge fibre) and two are thicker (Spunky Eclectic Romney Socks and Spunky Club DK) - so I'm hopefully in for a very productive few weeks if I can resist the lure of other fibre. Only got 4 bobbins, so I need to be relatively disciplined with how I spin. Will be nice not to have any more unfinished projects lurking around! Will then spin up some thicker stuff, as all this laceweight is taking me forever.

And in other news, we are actually moving house again in less than a week! Long story, and I'll have more info next week after we've moved in, but we've found an amazing house just around the corner which is huge and an absolute bargain to boot. Really looking forward to it. Already got a spot for the wheel picked out :)

Hope everyone had amazing weekends! Only a few more sleeps till the bank holiday weekend.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Finished Objects & A Trunk Show

Been a busy week! Can't believe that it's almost time for me to go back to work. But I feel like I've got a lot done.

Had to reorganise my stash bookcase today as I had a few new arrivals (more below). Always very scary to see how much you actually DO HAVE when you lay it all out on the bed and see it all in one place. Hmmm. But it's all packed away again now and I don't have to face the enormity of how much there is to use! :)

But I've got a few bits done this week. Got 2 FOs and some new fibre.

First up, the finished baby jacket:

Ribbed Baby Jacket - FO

I think my tension still looks like crap (despite blocking) and I wish I'd put the button and buttonhole further down, but overall I'm quite happy with it. Haven’t made any changes to the bottom edge, as while it curls a bit, it’s ok. I also don’t mind the curling on the cuffs - I like the way it rounds the edges and looks almost intentional!

Followed the pattern exactly as written, except for adding a one-row buttonhole. It was the first time I’ve done it, and I used the video from Knitting Help, found here.

Only other small change was when I picked up and knit the ribbing. I picked up 3 stitches for every 4 knitted stitches/rows until I had a multiple of 4+2. Pretty happy as the ribbing lines up exactly from side to side and looks quite good.

Used mattress stitch to seam the sides (I’m pretty happy with these - the only complaint would be that the seams are a little bit bulky.

Underarm seams I knitted using a “fake grafting” technique - worked much better on one arm than the other, but came out pretty well. If you have the first SnB book, instructions are there, or I’m sure you can find something similar on Ravelry.

Used about 3.5 balls of the 5 I purchased - may use the rest to make a hat or some matching booties or something. But need to get my skates on as friend is due in 6 weeks!

Second FO is a scarf knitted from the angora laceweight yarn from Baa Ram Ewe I mentioned in a previous post. I wanted to knit it up into something lacey and lovely - Trev said the yarn reminded him of me (being pink, feminine but not too girly - HA) so it had to become something for me.

New Shell Scarf - FO

I managed to make a couple of mistakes, at the beginning and the end, on the set of YOs in the middle - typically. Overall though, I'm pretty happy with it. My cast-on was way too tight so the bottom end doesn't look as good as the top. But I hoped blocking would fix that and it has. I decided not to totally wet-block it, on the advice of Verity at the shop. Instead I pinned it out and misted it and waited for it to dry. Has definitely done the trick. Looks lovely now! Just a shame (well not really) that the weather is warming up and it's too warm to wear it now.

New Shell Scarf - FO

New Shell Scarf - FO

New Shell Scarf - FO

I bought some new fibre for the first time in ages (club fibre doesn't count!). I bought some more fibre from Limegreenjelly on Etsy - a lovely merino/camel/silk blend that looks divine:

Limegreenjelly - Too Hot to Handle

I think with this fibre I'll try a technique for turning combed top into rolags - so I can spin something light and lofty and attempt to use long draw :) Technique info can be found here.

I also went to my first knit night at Baa Ram Ewe on Thursday which also happened to be a Fyberspates Trunk Show. Jeni from Fyberspates came up to chat to us and show her wares - I resisted the charms of the yarn (although I've queued a lovely pattern that she had a sample of in her yarn - Alchemy cardigan), but succumbed to fibre. I bought some Falkland and Superwash Falkland - can't wait to spin these up.

Fyberspates Falkland

Fyberspates Falkland Superwash

Definitely want to do some more spinning. I've got more fibre stashed now than yarn - which is a MASSIVE problem :) I need to crack on with the spinning and make a dent in the stash. And definitely must NOT buy any more fibre that isn't club.

Huh, yeah. Like that's going to happen!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

A New Home

Well, it's been 4 days since we moved house and I think we're pretty much settled in now. A lot of our stuff is in storage, but what we need on a day-to-day basis has moved with us to our house-share.

Our housemate has very kindly given us the largest bedroom for all of our stuff, so I've got space for my craft bits and to have some private space to ourselves, which is great. All in all, should be brilliant until the lease ends in a few months and we all go our separate ways. We've got a few areas we are thinking of to move onto, so will be fun to do some exploring and see where we want to go.

Been doing our best to keep active, the last few days - it's very strange going from an area that is totally flat, so a place built on hills - my legs certainly need the exercise and I've probably dropped a couple of pounds already - between the walking and cooking proper food again (last 2 weeks was spent living off junk food!). Overall we're really happy. As mentioned in my last post, there's a few things I'm unsure about in terms of my new job, but it's been so long since I started anywhere new, I'm sure most of it is just nerves.

So, since we don't use a dishwasher any more (although we've brought it with us and it's in storage), I've been working on a few things to make washing up by hand more fun, more hygienic and easier.

Enter the tawashi.

Tawashi can be knitted or crocheted - it's basically the Japanese word for "scrubbing brush". Some tawashis can be used ta-washi-the-dishes, some can be used as face or body cloths. They're great because they're washable - so can be better cleaned than sponges or normal cloths. Plus they just look so cool!

My first attempt didn't come out too well. It's 100% aran weight cotton, but Trev's already earmarked it as a face scrubbie, despite it being wonky. It was made from a Japanese pattern, using charts.

Semi-Circular Tawashi

My next few were a pattern called Scrubbie Dots (check out Rav) made with doubled DK yarn, again using a 5mm hook. Made them in a few different colours of acrylic I had lying around. I have since crocheted the edges of two together using slip stitch, so I have a thicker double sided-scrubbie, but these have come out pretty good:

Scrubbie Dots

Scrubbie Dots

The third pattern is also a Japanese one for a spiral tawashi. My first attempt was rubbish, as I forgot to sc through the back loops only (so the piece has no texture) and then I couldn't figure out the finishing instructions. So instead of a spiral, I got this:

First attempt at Spiral Tawashi

Um, yeah. Second attempt was a bit better. Thanks to some useful photos on Rav, I was able to work out how to put them together. And I ended up with this little cutie:

Spiral Tawashi

I also added a little loop so we can hang it up:

Spiral Tawashi

Will definitely be making more of these spiral ones. Need to work out a way to make them even bigger for better scrubbage. Tried them out on the washing up this morning and they did really well. Want to get some very bright funky coloured yarn to make super interesting ones.

Also trying to finish off a few more projects this week before I start work. Got a few more bits and pieces to do too, like adjusting addresses and sorting out insurance etc. All takes time... and I already don't know where the time has gone since Friday! Scary.

Another update hopefully later this week :)

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Things I'm going to miss about London

So, it's official. I have a job, and we are moving to Leeds on April 2nd!

I didn't get the job mentioned in my last blog post - but have since been offered 2 others, one of which I've accepted. It's a nice step up for me, and exactly in the line of work I'm doing. A few things I'm unsure of, such as client base, but I'll see how we go.

So. London. Leaving it. In truth, there's not that much I'm going to miss about London - I'm a real country girl at heart. I can't wait to be in a little stone cottage and maybe acquire a few chickens and some bees. And spin in front of an open fire. And be near proper countryside. You couldn't really get further removed from the hubbub of Oxford Street where I work.

Having said that, there are a few things I'm going to miss. I wanted to put a small list together - to give me reasons to make the effort to come back down to London every so often when we come and stay with my lot in Peterborough.

  • Hummingbird Bakery - the most amazing cakes and cupcakes I've ever had. I am going to buy their cookbook and replicate lots of red velvet gorgeousness at home
  • Eagle Bar and Diner (a lot of these are going to be food related) - American style diner with burgers, hot dogs, huge bowls of skinny fries and the BEST milkshakes. OMG. Went there for lunch again today - divine.
  • Busaba - (Busaba Eathai) - a chain of Thai restaurants. Amazing food, served really quickly. Thai chicken curry with jasmine rice and veggie vietnamese spring rolls FTW. Nom.
  • Afternoon tea at the Lanesborough - VERY expensive, but totally worth it - if you can get past feeling so utterly out of place! I don't drink tea, but the iced tea is incredible and you get sandwiches, cakes and of course, scones with clotted cream and jam.
  • Great buildings - I love the architecture of buildings such as St. Pancras train station, the Liberty building and so many other places in London. It's full of amazing buildings and so much history. One of my favourite things that I have on the way to work every day are the little blue plaques on certain buildings that say which important people in history lived, worked and sometimes died there. I love history and feeling a connection to the past. Needless to say one building I won't miss, is Centrepoint. I have to agree with Helen from the AnswerMeThis podcast who once said, "Centrepoint's a f**king ugly building". 'Nuff said.
  • Last, but by no means least, my friends. I have some great friends at work and on Twitter (even though I haven't met some of you!) who I'm going to miss like crazy. It's been a pleasure knowing and spending time with you and hope we can all keep in touch. You guys are the main reason I'll be coming back to London - even though most of this list is food-related.
Should have time to do a knitting-related post this weekend. Getting so behind! Got packing to do and an unlimited amount of stressing. I'm the kind of person who stresses when there's nothing to stress about, so now there IS actually something, I'm my own worst enemy. Fingers crossed once I don't have to do the 4 hour commute anymore, I'll resemble a human being more than a nervous wreck :)

Monday, 1 March 2010

Changes Part 2

So, an update on my earlier post where I spoke about moving to Leeds. The first interview went really well and I went back for a second interview on Friday. I had to do a 30 minute presentation and also be interviewed by the MD. Unsure about how it went - was hoping to hear back Friday or today, but no news yet. Fingers crossed!

We spent the whole weekend in Leeds - going up Friday and coming back last night. We stayed with Sarah, who we will hopefully be moving in with. We had a nice night in on Friday, went to Salvos for dinner on Saturday and did a nice bit of shopping on Sunday in Leeds city centre - getting to know the place.

I'd forgotten that Leeds has hills - given that it's in Yorkshire and whatnot. I know at this point people are probably thinking, "hills? Where did you GO?" - but I'd remind everyone that I live in Peterborough. On the edge of the Fens - where the highest point is something crazy like only 2 metres above sea level - and hopefully you get the idea :)

Salvos was one of the high points of the weekend - it had always been popular (and you can't book - you just turn up and queue) - but since it won best regional Italian on Gordon Ramsay's the F Word, it's been even more mental. We made our way over at about 7pm, expecting a wait of about an hour - oh no. Two and a half hours was the waiting time - they wouldn't be able to seat us until 9:30. Wow.

So, we went away, drank a bottle or so of wine, and came back about 9. Picked our food, got seated at 9:25, while watching other people STILL queueing to be served at 10:45. Mental.

But, I can see why. The food was AMAZING - quite possibly the best food I've ever eaten. It was all amazing - and I've never seen a kitchen quite so calm. Considering how rammed the place was, there's was no panicking, no stress. And if you ever go, have the Mars Bar Fondue for dessert. OMG. That is all.

One of the other highlights was my first trip to Baa Ram Ewe - my soon to my local yarn store. I succumbed and splurged on some beautiful Orkney Angora laceweight. There was a beautiful sample in the store knitted into a scarf and I'm determined to copy it. There's a lovely selection of yarns in there and I know I'll be back very often once we move. There's a knit night every Thursday which might become a regular fixture.

Piccies of the yarn to come soon (once I get some time at home in daylight), along with some of other yarn I've acquired for baby projects.

Busy busy busy!

Rumpled

I have finally finished the Rumpled socks :) I actually finished them on February 20th but haven't posted until now.

Knit Love Club 2010 #1 - Rumpled FO

The second sock has come out very slightly bigger, as they always do - but weirdly I
have 12g of yarn left again! So I have a total of 24g left to use on something else which is brilliant as the yarn is divine.

Despite my cankles, the socks also happen to look ok on me! First pair of socks ever for me!

Knit Love Club 2010 #1 - Rumpled FO

Knit Love Club 2010 #1 - Rumpled FO

I've immediately cast on for my pair of Firestarters which aren't going so well. I'm using the following gorgeous yarn, but I have a problem:

Spindlefrog Merino Sock Yarn

My gauge is off. Waaaaay off. Instead of 41 rows per 4 inches, I have about 48. So despite doing an extra repeat of the cables to fit my longer foot, I've started the gusset and am only here:

Firestarter sock WIP

I need to rip back and do at least one more repeat (if not two) before I start the gusset. So these have been temporarily relegated to the naughty corner while I get on with a few other bits, which will follow in a non-sock related post :)