Tuesday, 30 October 2007

A Year in images

As I'm sure most of you have noticed, when it comes to taking photo's I'm useless, not only do I not take the time to get good pictures, but I rarely bother to take them.

Baring this in mind, it may surprise you to find that I was once a very keen photographer, and am even capable of developing my own prints. As a teenager I was almost never seen without a camera in hand, and would take photos at all of the local gigs, and of, well everything really.

I don't know when this disappeared, but it has, Hubby and I have almost no photo's of the last 4 years together, and many of those we have nabbed from other people. It's a shame really, as I would love to be able to look back on things a little more. So with that in mind, and thanks to Heldap, I have decided to embark on a year of photos. I'm starting now to get into practice, but my intention is that in 2008 I will take at least one photo every single day!

I have started a photoblog, which you can see here; http://www.photoblog.com/yoshimiknits.

I'm now blogging this with Heldap at CanYouSayCheese@blogspot.com
Wish me luck!

Monday, 29 October 2007

Irish Cottage Knitting

I have noticed that since I posted last year about Irish cottage knitting, a lot of people have been visiting my blog, having found me on Google for that term. Probably looking, as I did, for more information on this obscure form of knitting, that is often only referenced in relation to Yarn Harlot.

In the hope that I can save someone else some time, here's what I've managed to find out about Irish cottage knitting.

It is essentially lever arch knitting, whereby the hand is not taken away from the needle at any time, and the right hand needle is supported between the forefinger and thumb of the right hand. The first or middle finger of the right hand is levered out to throw the yarn around the needle to create the stitch. The only real difference between the yarn harlots style, and that of other lever arch knitters (that I have been able to discern) is that she extends the middle finger, as opposed to the first finger, which seems to be the more common form.

In the straight needle version of this style, the right needles is held under the right arm. This is a leftover technique from the days when the right needle could be anchored in a sheath to allow faster knitting, and Greater dexterity while enabling the knitter to move more freely with their knitting, i.e walking, looking after children etc.

With the right needle anchored thus, the right hand only needs to move the yarn, while the left hand makes the stitch with the left needle. I does seem that due to the smaller movements involved this technique is faster then other methods of throwing knitting. I will be adding a tutorial for Lever arch knitting within the next couple of weeks.


Saturday, 27 October 2007

Where do all the good days go?

This weekend was supposed to be productive and relaxing. I had a list of things to do, all things that need doing, but that I would enjoy. Yesterday i was going to go into town, buy some new jeans, prezzie for my mum's b.day, some bits for the knitters coffee swap. Then come home, tidy up, ball the wool from the projects I have decided to give up on for the sake of my sanity (I can't have UFO's lying around if I know I won't finish them, it stresses me), and do some sewing up on the never ending blanket.

Then today i was going to finish the blanket, solicit hubby to help me take some Pics of my recent FO's, update rav, and start making progress on Baudelaire. No such luck, and now I'm hungover.

so here's what happened instead. Friday night I decided the cabled socks, after 3 attempts to complete the second sock failed, needed to go, so both socks were ripped, and balled, and are now back in the stash. This left me with some knitting time that needed o be filled mindlessly...Lutroja mans, reams of stocking stitch, perfect. As I hadn't knit on it for so long I re-checked my gauge, waaay off. There was no way this jumper was going to fit hubby. Another one for the frog pile. I really don't have the energy to start this one all over again, but hubby wants a hoodie, so in the spirit of my Christmas challenge I have started again, but this time I am doing an EZ circular raglan...This way is much more enjoyable and I am even knitting it continental, as I have hurt my right hand, but it has thrown my plan off somewhat!

Saturday, I got into town, and within 1/2 hour our friend Dean called to say he was nearly in Leicester as he was coming over for a few drinks. By the time I got home, I just about had time to tidy before he arrived! No blanket sewing, none of the shopping I needed done, nothing! And now we are all sat here with hangovers, the house looks like a bomb has hit (actually i think it was 2 bombs, as Hubby & Dean sat up till 6am drinking whiskey, and now both think they are dieing)

With a bit of luck I will still get all of the pictures taken, and may nip out to the shops, but the blanket will have to wait till another week, as will the balling up of projects. ho hum, never mind. Lot's of coffee, and mindless TV for me today. If I'm feeling really energetic later, I may post some pictures up.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Patterns & Tutorials

You'll see in the right hand side that I have finally gotten round to starting to post some of my patterns, yay me!

I will try and add to these as I go along, and I have added in a few tutorials on things people have asked me about too.

This is my first foray into pattern writing though, and I have not had these test knit, so please if as I post patterns you run into ANY difficulty, please please please let me know.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

The aliens are landing

or that's what you would think looking at all my UFO's for the last 2 weeks. Admittedly most of them were very close to completion, and had been languishing at the bottom of the basket, and my casonitis had reached terminal levels. Having said that I am so proud of myself that my oldest UFO was Tomten, from June. Anything that I am certain I won't finish has been ripped, more yarn for the stash!

I have also been quite amazed at the number of projects I have knitted in this last year, for yes my friends it is 1 year this month since I became a knitting addict (in fact the bug bit on my honeymoon, weird yes, better then marriage counseling, definitely). I had learnt to knit as a kid, and tried various things ovr the years, interspersed with attempts at crochet, cross stitch and dressmaking. I have knit and finished 32 projects in this year, including;

5 adult cardigans
2 adult jumpers
12 pairs of socks
2 blankets
2 shawls
2 doily's
3 scarfs
and 2 hats

phew I'm exhausted just thinking about it! Ravelry is certainly a confidence boost when you think you don't get to do as many patterns as you would like.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

My 1st Wedding aniversary

Number 10
I got smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and champagne in bed for breakfast this morning, and am being taken to the champagne bar for dinner tonight...need I say more?

As I haven't got a lot of time to post today, I thought I would just show you some of the pictures from our wedding day. You can also follow this link to see us on BBC news on the day, (please feel free to laugh at us, we did!)

Friday, 19 October 2007

10 Things, Numbers 4-9

Number 4
He always does the washing up :)

Number 5
He never shy's from telling me "yes your bum does look big in that

Number 6
He brings me flowers home for no apparent reason

Number 7
He doesn't always let me win

Number 8
He sometimes lets me win

Number 9
This is how Lee proposed. After another rather drunken night (are you spotting a theme here) we were sat in the living room with some friends who had stayed over, when Lee turned to me and said

Him; "You're going to marry me one day"
Me; "F@*K off"
Him; No seriously
Me; Shut up, you're still pissed!

A few hours later, when the friends had headed home, he turned to me again

Him; "I meant what I said"
Me; "when"
Him; "earlier when I said you would marry me"
Me; "are you proposing?" (as you know from the "I love you" fiasco, it's best with Lee to make sure he's saying what you think he's saying)
Him; erm yeah
Me; "great, October ok for you, that gives us about 6 months to plan"
Him; erm, well...I ...erm. OK

The most romantic proposal a girl could have, don't you think?

p.s You might have noticed in the sidebar my Christmas and Woolfest challenges, if anyone would like to join in, let me know and I'll consider making a button or some such.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Two additions and a FO

There have been 2 additions to the family today, meet Freya

And Sif

Aren't they the most beautiful girls! I've also manage to finish one of my Christmas challenge knits tonight, Tomten, although I'm calling this one Tomnine, as it only has itty bitty sleeves;

And yes I know I'm behind on my 10 things, it's not that I ran out of lovely things to say about hubby, I just haven't had time, i promise I will catch them all up before our anniversary on Saturday!

Saturday, 13 October 2007

10 Things; Number 3

Ok, it's 2 am so i have officially missed day number three, I knew this would happen, so as I am going to bed now I will make this a short one,

One of the reasons I love Lee is....He puts up with my ceaseless knitting! Including annexed rooms, fiber everywhere, no conversation during tricky bits, and feedback on what he thinks of my projects. Could any knitter wish for a better husband then that (except perhaps one that had limitless cash for limitless yarn)

Enough said, I'm off to bed. G'night.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Knitters Coffee Swap Questions

Yay another swap! I got may partners details this morning, so here are my question responses.

1. Whole bean or ground?
Whole bean. There is nothing like he smell of freshly ground coffee, and my grinder is one of my prized possessions

2. Fully-loaded or decaf?
What's decaf...I live on caffeine, and have a sleep disorder, so really do need caffeine to stay awake!

3. Regular or flavored?
Regular, although I do occasionally enjoy almond or hazelnut.

4. How do you drink your coffee?
Black or white with 2 sugars, although most of the time Black, unless it's a really strong blend (or really cheap instant, like at work)

5. Favorite coffee ever?
I don't really have one, anything with a smooth caramel flavour is great.

6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do?
I never met a cup of coffee I didn't like, but I definitely appreciate quality beans. I worked in a coffee shop during college, and we were well trained in what qualified as a quality cup.

7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee?
Chocolate (strong and dark 70+%)

8. Anything else about your coffee preferences?

9. Yarn/fiber you love?
I'm going through a lace phase at the moment, so anything thin and squishy has me swooning, having said that I never met a yarn I didn't like either! (I knit and spin, so soft quality fiber does it for me too!)

10. Yarn/fiber you hate?
I don't do bulky, I have little hands so struggle with anything over a 7mm needle.

11. What's on your needles?
2 pairs of socks, Neaty from the latest rowan mag, a lace shawl, and a few Christmas bits

12. Favorite colors?

Green, red and blue at the moment, my wardrobe is full of tones of brown, so anything that goes with brown really. I'm also having a blue / teal phase

13. Allergies?

14. Anything you really love, really don't like, or just need to get off your chest?
Being in the UK, getting yarns that we can't get over here will have me doing little dances round the house.

10 Things; Number 2

OK, episode 2...the I love yous

Well from me it was all quite simple, a month or so into the relationship, while lying in bed one afternoon ;) I told Lee that I loved him. His response "That's nice". Hum, not quite what I was hoping for, but I let it slide.

A few weeks later we went out for the night, and staggering home with friends in the wee hours of the morning we started lagging behind the group, as we stood at the corner of Lee's road, both excruciatingly drunk, he said it...Yep he told me he loved me....But you never believe a man when he says that drunk right? so the next morning the conversation went something like this

me: Do you remember what you said last night?
him: Yes?
me: all of it?
him: yes?
me: and did you mean what you said?
him: yes!
me: I love you
him: that's nice

not perhaps what I was expecting. For all of the following week I kept waiting for him to say it again, after all when you've said it once, saying it some more doesn't seem so hard. But after a week nothing was forthcoming, so the conversation that weekend went something like this;

me: you know I keep asking you if you remember what you said last weekend
him: yes?
me: and if you meant it..
him: yes (sounding rather exasperated at this point)
me: well I don't think you remember all of it
him: why
me: Do you remember telling me you loved me?
him: errrm
me: did you mean it?
him: no...

All credit to the man, a lot of people would have said yes just to avoid the associated stress, and I had already figured this out by this point, so wasn't overly put out.

So when did he say it I hear you cry!

Well we'd been going out about 3 months, when he went to Nottingham for a friends stag do, I offered to pick him up the next morning, and go into town to do some shopping. When I arrived the boys were all very much worse for wear, and Lee asked if I could take his friend Bri to the station. Seeing they were both a little green around the gills, I decided to have some fun, and bunny hop the car at traffic lights, turn too sharply round corners, and generally make the journey as uncomfortable as possible, before pulling a handbrake turn in the (empty) station car park. Both boys got in looking 20 something and got out looking 40 something.

There's nothing quite like humiliating someone with a really old picture right? This is Lee (centre) and friends in 1997, that's right this was 10 years ago...and wasn't he a looker then ;)

Lee and I went into town, and sitting by the fountain at the town hall square in Notts (If you've ever been there you'll know that the town hall square in Nottingham is quite pretty) he finally said, and meant, I love you.

To this day I wonder if it was love or the slightly queasy feeling caused by my driving...

Thursday, 11 October 2007

10 Things; Number 1

This time last year I was in panic mode. this time last year there were only 9 days left before my wedding, and there was so much left to do.

But this year, there are 9 days until my first wedding anniversary, and that's a good thing...right?

So, to celebrate, I thought I would share with you a reason that I love my DH, or a story about us, every day between now and the 20th, Our anniversary..So here's number one of "Ten things I love about Lee" (& I promise it won't be as overly sentimental as it sounds), you'll get 10 pictures too, so you can truly appreciate just how gorgeous he is!

Today I've decided to start at the beginning, and tell you how Lee and I met;

It was 11th July 2003, and i was walking home in my multi-colour polyester bank uniform (fetching I can tell ya) when I walked past a pub window, and saw some friends sat in the window, being a sociable type I popped in for a drink. I knew everyone there, except this one bloke in a corner that I just couldn't take my eyes off, and no matter how hard I tried to catch his attention, he was having none of it! That was my first real sighting of Lee.

This is Lee (right) on a recent camping trip. The sexy bum on the left is our best man Craig...Yes ladies that bum is single!

I waited until he got up to leave, and then left myself, thinking he would at least offer to walk me to the taxi rank, but no, he went off on his own, pretty much ignoring me. I rang one of the friends who had been at the pub, and instructed them that I HAD to meet that guy again, so they invited me to his birthday party the following Wednesday.

Wednesday evening after work, I called this friend to get the details, and was told that Lee had asked for me not to be there, the excuse was that he didn't want any girls there as he would look an arse, as he intended to get so drunk (I found out later in the relationship it was because he didn't like me, and didn't really want to see me again, such a romantic tale).

As the boys got drunk, one of them decided to give me a call, and I ended up going to the pub to meet them after all. The were all truly out of it. When we moved pubs I offered the birthday boy a drink, and we got chatting. We turned around half an hour later to find that all our friends had gone. Well I couldn't let a drunk man (especially not a sexy drunk man) walk home on his own could I, so I drove him home, and that was the start of that!

Not exactly the most romantic of meetings, but it turned out well, I think tomorrow I'll tell you about the first time we each said I love you...Again not as romantic as it could have been, well not at first ;)

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

To my spinning and felting friends

I am taking a trip out to Wingham wool on Sunday, if you would like anything fetching back, let me know!

I caught the bug

As many of you will remember I got my ravelry invite quite early on, June in fact (on my b.day, yay) however at the time I didn't really do anything with it, and so it has just sat there, a few projects detailed, not many pics, I wasn't really getting it! Then over the last few weeks everyone I know has got their invitation too, and suddenly I'm never off. my stash and projects have been uploaded, and I'm commenting on gazillions of forum posts every day, I even belong to some stupid number of groups...Perhaps I should start a 12 step program. So if I seem a bit vague of late it just means I'm in withdrawal, and in need of a fix of Ravel!

In other news, I started Neaty from the latest Rowan magazine on Monday, I was going to put up progress pics, but it's nearly finished already, so not much point in that. It is a beautiful knit though, and Rowan cocoon is so scrummy! I should have some photo's of the finished item by the weekend.

I've also developed an urge to do some more drop spinning, and as my Bosworth is currently occupied, and my other spindles aren't pretty enough for me to want to spin on, I have decided to make some of my own. There are a couple of people I know who I might make additional ones for too (yes you both know who you are, and I'm sorry I know neither of you need another hobby, but tough, I refuse to be the only one getting drink and playing with a silly twirly thing!)

So Lunch time today I popped to the local DIY store, and Knitting will be on hiatus for the evening, while I make lots of mess all over the dining room. (note to self, need wood glue!)

This also means that I will be able to justify another trip to Wingham wool for some more fiber!

I have had two people tell me that they would like my Pay it forward gifts, I will email you both about it soon I promise guys, I haven't forgotten you just got a little caught up in the raveling goodiness, but that means there is still one skein of handspun sock yarn that I would like to give away, sometime after Christmas, and as before the first person to post a comment saying they would like it, and are willing to pay it forward, shall have it. If no one says they want it, I will nominate someone who has commented previously and they can have it as a gift :)