Thursday, 31 January 2008

Cocoa Swap -Early memories and memorable Vacations

The vacation that sticks in my mind is quite a recent one when myself and DH went to the South of France on a business trip. We had been to France before but that was to Brittany. The Mediterranean was everything I pictured it to be, azure blue and completely clear. The coastline near to Nice and Monaco is rugged and has many levels of (corniches)roadways and even from the highest level if you look down you can see to the bottom of the sea. The hotel we stayed in was beautiful, and the view from the bedroom amazing, overlooking the sea and the sound of the water gently lapping below was so soothing. Oh dear I wish I was there now!

My earliest childhood memory is of visitors of my parents from New Zealand, who stayed in my house and how they were having their breakfast served in the dining room, which must have been unusual at the time. However my Mom thinks I was only about 1 year old and was astonished lately when I could describe certain things about that time to her, which were right and she had forgotten about.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

A Happy Hooker - Happily Hooked!

Recently a knitting friend, Cheryl, was destashing some books and I relieved her of 'The Happy Hooker' by Debbie Stoller. Now over the years I've made various attempts at crochet, took classes, read books etc, but never managed to crochet squares. I could manage to crochet a little in the round, but squares left me baffled. Anyway I took this book and some spare yarn to knitnight last week and I became absorbed in crocheting a square. I was so delighted with myself, and felt I could use up some of my stash by crocheting some squares.
Well not only did I not use my stash, but I bought some yarn at my LYS and started some squares to put together for a blanket. I'm hooked, and I just can't stop.

These are the squares so far. I think they look great and I am really chuffed.
I'll have to look for a knitting project also.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Hot Cocoa Swap - Topic of the Week 2

Now that we're in the thick of Winter............has your knitting changed to match the season? Are you moving on from dishcloths, and tank tops to afghans, hats and mittens? Has your yarn changed from silk or cotton, to wool super wash or heavy cottons?

Well I suppose I have been knitting wintery things lately. Lots of scarves,hats, some socks and mobile phone 'socks'. These were mostly for Christmas presents. Currently I am working on a shawl for myself and I hope to knit a cardi soon. I have used wool or wool/silk mixes for the gifts, and I hope to knit my own cardi from some Noro which is in my stash since last year.
I love cottons and silks also and have made some washcloths lately which I love. They are really good for the face and I would suggest they make good 'exfoliators' instead of expensive products. My skin feels really clean after use. (Gosh I'm off on a tangent, how did I get here!)

Friday, 18 January 2008

Recent Knitting

Last year I found two skeins of Noro Silk Garden in the oddments box at my LYS, but only got to using it recently. First, I knit the lovely cable beanie from a Rowan Pattern in their 'Coast' book. However, when I tried it on it did not suit me at all, but looked really gorgeous on both my daughters, so that's who's wearing it. But there was enough to get a second hat for myself with the use of a little wool/alpaca in grey for the brim, so am pleased with that

This is a little lavender heart I knit for my mother for Christmas, which I think she liked. I knit it from sock yarn and the colours looked great. The pattern was from Interweave, on line and free. It was a bit complicated at first, and i would not class it as a quick knit, but I would definitely knit it again.

This New year brought some knitting disasters for me, and so I have not had many photos to upload. Firstly was the linen cotton yarn with which I was attempting a cardi, but the whole segment of knitting was leaning sideways! I asked a few of my knitting friends for advice, but they had not seen this problem before, so I have left this project aside for the moment.
Next I started a lovely shawl/scarf from a Rowan pattern in Kidsilk Haze, but I made a few mistakes in that pattern too, and it was a nightmare to rip, but I did and am re-knitting the shawl in a new pattern. (If successful, I will show later).
Currently I am beginning a tiny project for my cocoa swap pal. Enough said.
Then I hope to knit up a cardi in some more Noro yarn from my stash. Those I think are enough plans for the moment considering my mishaps.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Hot Cocoa Swap Scavenger Hunt

1 Whose favourite animal is an otter?
Anne K

2 Name someone who prefers whipped cream with their cocoa.
Geraldine P

3 Find 3 people who live outside of the US
Alex E, Geraldine P, Clarissa R

4 Name a fan of Harry Potter
Devin H

5 Name someone who crochets
Felicia R

6 Name someone who DOES NOT have a healthy supply of notions
Sarah R

7 Name someone who has not put their questionnaire up yet
Rhonda C Jan 9th 00.15

8 Who likes to have Kahlua, Baileys, or Peppermint Schnapps in their cocoa
Rachel C

9 Name someone who knits fingerless gloves as a 'quick knit'
Tanya M

10 Name someone who is looking forward to gardening this spring
Geraldine P

11 Whose favourite way to drink cocoa is with a gorgeous Frenchman while overlooking the Eiffel Tower from a French cafe?
Kris L

12 Name someone whose favourite animal is NOT a dog or house cat
Angela T

13 Name someone whose favourite treat is NOT chocolate
Tricia R

14Who plays Candyland

15 Name someone who DOESN'T get the winter blahs
Cathy D

Sunday, 6 January 2008

MMM Hot Cocoa Swap/

Well on another and brighter note, I've just signed up for another swap. A hot cocoa swap, the idea of which is to brighten up the month of February which can be quite a dull month, neither winter nor spring and with Christmas past. So I am looking forward to meeting other like-minded bloggers.


1 What is you favourite way to drink cocoa? Prepared with milk? water? from homemade recipe or store bought? In a tea cup or a big mug?
I usually have store bought 'Cadburys' cocoa or drinking chocolate prepared with skimmed milk.
And I prefer a mug.

2 Marshmallows or whipped cream?
Preferably whipped cream.


1 What is your favourite type of yarn? In which colours?
I like natural yarns, non scratchy. I love cotton, bamboo, silk and soft wools, and mixes of same.
I love creams,beiges, pinks,blues, pale grey and mostly pastels

2 Do you knit, crochet or both?
Primarily I knit. I can do just a few basic crochet stitches.

3 What are your favourite type of needles? Would you like to try something new?
My favourite currently are Addi circulars. I find them great and they take the strain off my arms while knitting. I have used steel ones and bamboos.

4 Do you have a healthy supply of notions?
Yes and No.I do some sewing and am forever looking things in different places. A new year resolution of mine is to try and sort things.

5 What one thing do you keep thinking you need to buy for your knitting habit? (outside of yarn)
Thimbles, stitch markers and small scissors. I can never find them.

6 What is your favourite 'quick knit/crochet' pattern? (quick gratification)
Hats, scarves, or bags. I like knitting socks too, but they take a little longer.


1 What is your favourite thing to do in winter?
If the weather is crisp and dry, I like walking alone listening to my radio. I like to knit almost every day, although I don't get half enough done, and I love to browse through my patterns longingly. I am also an avid reader and love to go to bed early with a good book.

2 What is your favourite animal?
I have a yellow labrador, whom I take for walks every day.

3 Do you get the winter 'blahs'?
Sometimes. I do think that after Christmas can be like that especially. Lots of cleaning up to do and with the longer days all the work ahead shows up.

4 What is your favourite way to beat the 'blahs'?
Take a book, and go to a lovely store about 20 mins away to read, have coffee/chocolate and something delicious to eat. Or a branch of this store which is up in the mountains and is really lovely. A bit of a longer drive but worth it for the view. Meet up for knitting night with friends.

5 What is the thing you are most looking forward to in the spring?
To be able to get out into the garden, plant a few seeds/bulbs and wait for the weather to get warmer to sit out and barbecue. (with a bit of knitting thrown in)

6 What is your favourite treat?
Chocolate. (unflavoured, I prefer just chocolate with no flavours in it)

7 What is your favourite board game?
Its a very long time since I played one, but I used to love 'trivial pursuit'.

8 Do you have children? (furry or human)
Yes, but they are grown now. My youngest has now gone to college. Two of them still live at home with us. And our dog.

9 Do you have any allergies or special consideration your partner should know about?
Not really, except sensitive skin, so I don't like scratchy yarn next to my skin.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Knitting for 2008. - Help!

Well I have all sorts of knitting project plans, whether they will come to pass is another thing, if the start of them is anything to go by. Last year I got a cone of lovely beige/cream slub yarn which seems to be linen/cotton mix. It has been sitting in my stash among many others. However while I have about 2/3 of the back done, I realise that my knitted piece is 'leaning' to one side. This has happened to me before, but only when I've attempted to knit with chenille yarns. I am really frustrated with it and don't know whether to proceed or just rip back. I think I'll attempt blocking the piece as it is and see what happens. Any ideas anyone?