York is whizzing along merrily, considering all the other minor distractions I've had in my life recently (like buying a house…).
I finished the second sleeve last night, which means I'm now at the seaming stage. I'm trying to decide whether to block this one before seaming or not; the all-over rib makes me uncertain.

Then the collar is picked up and knitted on, and then the zip sewn in.
Zip. Must find a zip. With metal teeth. And an interesting pull.

Both fronts, the back and both sleeves, all looking remarkably long and skinny (that'll be the ribbing). I'm utterly embracing the Noro Randomness, and actually aimed for totally mismatched fronts. The sleeves kindof match till about halfway up – I'm OK with that. 😉

Socking along!

The start of my first ever sock, after several hours work. Regia 6-ply, 'Helsinki' colourway. 68 stitches cast on, 2 inches 2×2 ribbing, and the rest just round'n'round knitting. It's actually a couple of inches longer now, as I took it to work and have been knitting on it intermittently (whilst waiting for those odd 2-minute computer tasks to complete, I hasten to add).

Hmmm. Must do something about hard, dry skin on soles of feet.

Let the Christmas knitting begin!

This is 11 skeins of Rowan Cork, which started out as 8 skeins of a yellowish beige, and 3 skeins of a greyish beige. I dyed it yesterday with 1 tin of Dylon multipurpose dye, in shade 'Havana' (mid-dark brown) and ended up with 11 variable and rather variegated skeins of something that is remarkably alpaca-coloured. (NB this is at least twice as much fibre as should have been used for that much dye; I wanted it to be slightly lighter than the tub colour). This is going to be the first of my Christmas projects, but I'm not saying much more about it than that here (the intended recipient is unlikely to read this blog, but hey, chances are chances…). It's goin to be combined with some more Cork that I dyed from a mid-lego blue to a warm navy blue. My first intarsia project.

I'm aiming for one Christmas project a month; should see me about right!

Bouncy bouncy otter

Boing, boing. Feeling really great about things today; J and I can't wait for the house to be bought and ours so we can move in and start doing things with it. The garden is currently the main focus for inspiration; personally, I'm really looking forwards to having a sewing room, but the garden is more… to be worked on, I suppose, rather than worked in. It's a decent size garden, so we should be able to fit a nice decking area in (where the evening sun hits), as well as a vegetable garden (yayyy!), a herb garden (yayyyy!) and various other areas of interest. So we went to Scotsdales yesterday, and today we're going to Anglesey Abbey, and possibly Cambridge University Botanic Gardens tomorrow. Just to gather inspiration.

By the way, if you're in the area, 23rd October is the 9th annual apple day at the gardens. Sounds good to me.

I think another reason for feeling so good about things is that I'm definitely getting better; a couple of weeks ago I was obsessively making sure that there was coffee left in the pot at night, so I could grab a cup with minimal effort when I got up the next morning. Today, I emptied the dishwasher, made sandwiches, sliced quiche, packed picnic and tidied the kitchen (and made coffee) before my first cup. Gotta be good. 🙂

Life, as Jack would say, is good.

Buy less, knit more

OK, the stash is getting out of control – I seem to be suffering from the knitter's equivalent of my 'eyes being bigger than my belly'. OK, my yarn only takes up 2 plastic tubs (compared with about 8 for my fabric), but the following points should be borne in mind:

  • I can use swathes of fabric very quickly, in a single project
  • Those two tubs don't include the yarn that's at work
  • Or the ones on top of the wardrobe
  • Or the yarn I ordered today.

Therefore, I'm imposing a restriction on myself: I can only buy yarn for a new project when I finish a project first. And the two projects have to be at least comparable in size; there's no finishing a pair of bootees and buying enough for a full length coat in Kaffe Fassett intarsia. There are two exceptions for this rule:

  • Yarn for gifts. In the knitting world, Christmas is fast approaching.
  • Yarn for the Strawberry Stripe jumper (Rowan 37). This jumper is made in linen print and cotton tape, and only a few balls of each. I'm picking the yarn up as and when on eBay, and I'm about halfway there.

So. You heard it here: No More Stash Growth.

Noro delights

I'm ploughing on through York from 'Noro Knits'. I'm using a rather exciting purple/pink/green/turquoise colourway, and loving it. I've got the back and both fronts done now, and sitting on stitch holders. Just the sleeves and collar to go! And a zip to find. Hmmm…

Photos to follow.

One step closer…

I found out today we have our mortgage agreement in principle (which shouldn't have been a worry, but it always is until you hear officially). So all is set up for the valuation/homebuyer's survey, the solicitors are poised and ready for flight, and we just have to sit tight and hope nothing weird happens.


Progress report…

The house is progressing really well; our buyer is anxious for things to get moving, and our sellers have had an offer accepted on a new-build house (so yet again, chain free). Apparently, new-build house sellers (ie the builders) tend to want to exchange contracts within 28 days(!), so that's good news, too. We got a glossy brochure for the house we're buying from the estate agents yesterday, with pictures and everything, so I'll scan it and post it soon. I need to fill in all kinds of forms about the flat and send them back; will do that in 5 or 15 minute bursts this afternoon, at home.

So excited.

Healthwise, I'm still very much on the mend. I'm working 3 hour days at the moment, which seems to be about all I can cope with. I cycled to/from work on Monday, and was really wiped out yesterday. I'm having some blood tests done, and going to the doctor to discuss them on Friday; I should be doing better than this by now.


I feel like I'm living a charmed life this week. We offered on our most-wanted property this morning – and the offer's been accepted!!

I'm truly, truly delighted. We're going to go and talk to the sellers again this afternoon; more details to follow.

Showcase: Alex’s quilt

Alex's quilt is the second quilt I ever started, and the first one I ever finished. (My first-started one still exists, and just needs the quilting finishing, and the binding attached. Must get around to that sometime.)

Alex's quilt was intended to be a 30th birthday present, but I didn't finish on time (typical!) and it was given to her shortly after her 31st birthday party.

The theme of the quilt is 'chillies', as the lass loves her hot food. She's also mentioned numerous times in the past that she has always liked triangles, and, as a child, designed many things with triangular motifs. I wanted to incorporate that into the design, too. Anyway, here's the whole quilt spread on our (superkingsize) bed:

The block is a basic 'Flying Geese' block, chasing round the quilt in a simple knot-type design. I selected only fabrics with a black ground (or a solid print), and used black cotton as the base fabric, as I really wanted the hot colours to 'pop'. I was careful to incorporate enough green into the design to provide a contrast; too much red, yellow and orange would have looked 'flat' and uninteresting. I was particularly pleased to find the 'flame' fabric, as it carried the 'hot' theme wonderfully, whilst at the same time being very contemporary and having a hint of 'punk rebel grrrrl', too. The 'pepper slice' fabric was another lovely find, providing a definite variation in shape that was still consistent with the overall theme.
Here's a couple of photos showing most of the fabrics used in the quilt:

I quilted it using 'chilli' designs of my own:

plus a 'flame' logo that I also designed, and which proved to be a little too complicated to work very well:

The back of the quilt uses irregular blocks of the design fabrics:
And, as I said, it was supposed to be a 30th birthday quilt. Errrr, yes:

Spread on Alex and Martyn's couch:

I think Alex likes it!

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