A mountain or a mole hill?

I made a real meal out of my latest crochet project. I managed to make a couple of evenings work (at the most) last about a month! No joke.

It all started with this lovely pattern:

Source – Thanks to notsogranny

Notsogranny posted it on Facebook where my sister-in-law saw it. She asked how hard it was and I immediately saw a solution to the what-shall-buy problem and offered to make it for her.

I duly set off and bought some lovely yarn and a sparkling new hook. (I had a hook but wanted to treat myself!) As it was a hat the tension was not important and so I didn’t bother with a tension square.

Mistake Number 1!

All was going well until Joanne pointed out that it looked like a child’s version. Just to be clear here my sister-in-law is not a child!. Luckily I  had 2 skeins and so was able to start again without ripping back. I did a quick measure of tension and, surprise, surprise found out that it was far too tight. I figured that I really needed to go up a full hook size. Unfortunately I didn’t have one and so went up half a size and made a real effort to keep the tension loose. (Bang went my lovely new hook :()

This went well except that now the brim was……wait for it……too big!.

Mistake number 2

This was ripped back again. I went back to the original hook and re-did it. This time it was perfect :)

From the top

From the top

...and from the side.

…and from the side.

In case you are wondering this is not a difficult pattern and I do urge you to have a go. It is really wearable and looks fab on. Perfect for the current cold snap we are having.

I will definitely be taking the time to swatch in the future!

MINDful training

Thank you to all who have commented on my last post. It is definitely great to be back. Look at me 2 posts in one week!

At the weekend I did something that I am slightly embarrassed to admit. I went to London….on….my….own. I know that it sounds mad but it is true. I got dropped off at the station. Got on a train and sat down to crochet with everything…..quiet. Yep, no chattering children but a VERY noisy old train. Oh well everything couldn’t be perfect could it?

My reason for going was for a get together for everyone running the London or Brighton Marathon for MIND.  Amazing!

This was where we met… the London Marathon Shop.                                         Source

This is the entrance. The TV’s showed the race. I had no idea that there was such a place. Right by Liverpool street should you be wondering. The best bit was that MIND runners get 20% off all the goodies in the shop. How tempting is that?

Inside there are a lot of lovely things. Some really nice tops and lots of shoes…….

This was one of my favourite bits….examples of the medals for each of the races.             Source

Downstairs was amazing. There is a ‘locker room’ with showers. The doors were amazing as they were really well hidden.

When they were shut that is!                      Source

All this showers bit was very important because we were going on a training run before lunch and talks. Don’t want to be all smelly for the rest of the day! The run was a 10k which was great because I knew that I could do it. The worst bit was the worry that I may just get lost. There was someone at the front and someone at the back but I was unlikely to be at either of these points so needed to ensure that I kept a close eye on those in front. This was harder than it might appear because London is full of people. (I know, shocking concept!)

This is a picture of the route.

This is a picture of the route.

Reading the blogs of people lucky enough to run in London regularly (Lottie of London) this was a really big thing for me as I read their posts and wish. We went past the London Eye, Big Ben and the houses of Westminster as well as some lesser known parts.

One thing that I had not appreciated before Saturday was the problem that people cause. I run on my own more often than not, in quiet streets. The only time people are a real problem is when I run in organised events. Even then the people are generally moving in the same direction but in London there is no order whatsoever. I now have a great deal of respect of people running in cities. Dodging takes on a whole new meaning! I am also convinced that I ran a bit further than the 10.2 they said I did.

On an entirely different note, my Garmin took some adjusting to working in London and being surrounded by tall buildings so it didn’t record the full 10K as it took a while to find a reliable signal (at one point the pace was 03.00 minute miles!!) I do think that I did run quite fast – probably all that dodging about!

As far as my husband was concerned I actually came away without spending any money despite being very tempted!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coooooeee

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRhbKyrffYs4lYGaIyxhSss7aFLFjxO2ibwwzm-PqX9aN40UANEpQSource

Well hello everyone. It has been a long time and I have missed you all.

The excuses:

I have increased my hours at work (rather drastically). All the work that I do at home tends to be on a laptop and the last thing that I feel like doing is firing up another one. However this weekend the urge is too hard to resist. I am returning.

Older and wiser

I cannot promise that I will post regularly but I figure that some is better than none and I will definitely be a better person for it so here I am. :) I am going to try to be a little less obsessive and more relaxed. We shall see…….

So what have you missed?

Duhh. LOADS. Obviously! I shall not bore you with a very long post now but catch you up over time. For now here is a little taster:

  • I have knitted a couple of top-secret knits for notsogranny that were very enjoyable. Hopefully  they will be coming out soon so I can share them fully. One involved stranded knitting which meant that I had to learn knitting with yarn in both hands:Oh I am so proud of myself!         Source
  • I have re-committed to  running stumbling around the London marathon for the charity mind.        
  • I have rejoined the local running club.
  • I have started to teach 4 children to knit.
  • I made a dress! (yes really)
  • Currently I am crocheting this hill top hat (again by notsogranny) Hill Top Hat

So, enough for now methinks. What about you? What have you been up to?

Settler Shawl – finished!

Before I went on holiday I wrote the post “It is meant to be.” The shawl that I was knitting is all finished. Knitted, blocked and end weaved in. I LOVE it.

This is my swatch.

This is my swatch.

We had a very long car journey (6 hours or so) and I did not want to waste a minute so got started with the swatch. It is a very important part of the process although Libby (the designer) had said that she thought that most people would not bother with a shawl but I was going to do this ‘properly’.

I say do it properly but I didn't want to waste time blocking so I gave it a good tug, let it settle and measure this (Sorry Libby). Yes it was all on my knee but I had a lot more quality knitting time ahead of me in the car.

I say do it properly but I didn’t want to spend the time wet blocking so I gave it a good tug, let it settle and measured this (Sorry Libby). Yes it was all on my knee but I had a lot more quality knitting time ahead of me in the car.

I also took the opportunity to practice the cross over pattern that I had not done before, which was just as well because I got it completely wrong!

I didn't read the (very clear instructions) properly which I put down to doing it in the car!

I didn’t read the (very clear instructions) properly which I put down to doing it in the car!

The first bit of the shawl was all garter stitch (one of the reasons as to why I was keen to get going whilst in the car.) It shows the variations in the colour of the yarn really well. It also makes the project a great one to take out and about. I went on to take this project onto the beach and was able to take part in conversations whenever I was doing it.

The criss- cross pattern done correctly :)

The criss- cross pattern done correctly :)

Once you get onto the cross over pattern it is still not difficult (as long as you get it correct;)) but it does require a bit more concentration – I had to look at what I was doing whereas I didn’t for the garter stitch.

Once finished the magic can take place!

Before blocking - please note that the foam blocks that I am using are small. I had to go out and buy bigger ones to fit it onto.

Before blocking – please note that the foam blocks that I am using are small. I had to go out and buy bigger ones to fit it onto.

After a soak in water, a gentle dry within a towel and pinning out this is what you get:

IMG_1075I think that the transformation is amazing. I just know that I am going to get LOTS and LOTS of wear out of this.

I loved knitting this and I love the end result even more. A real win – win :) The good news is that you can get your hands on this pattern TODAY here, or if you fancy your chances and waiting for a bit then I have 1 copy of the pattern to give away thanks so much to Libby also known as Truly Myrtle.  All you have to do is leave a comment below and I will randomly choose a winner on Saturday 6th September.

A huge thank you to Libby for giving me this opportunity.

Good luck and enjoy.

PS: Joanne I have not deserted you, I am currently working very hard on your project ;)

Bank Holiday Acticities

Regular readers of this little space will have noticed that I have had a little holiday. I have read many of your wonderful blog posts over the last week but have only just read and answered many of your comments. If you have a comment from me that makes no sense at all then forgive me for the long pause.

I shall share a bit about my holiday in a later post but today I want to share with you our adventure today. It is a bank holiday here in England this weekend and, surprisingly quite sunny. This was just as well as I had promised my boys that I would take them to the local junior park run. For those of you who don’t know, park runs are free, timed, weekly events that take place up and down the country (and even internationally). The adult distance is 5K and my eldest has beaten me several times over this distance.

Our local park run takes place in a wooded area with gravel pits.

Our local park run takes place in a wooded area with gravel pits.

Today was all about the under 14’s. It was run over 2k and was a REALLY pleasant experience. It was really well organised with a very clear briefing (by a very friendly youngster) and a brief but fun warm up.

The warm up.

The warm up.

It was very well marshaled with the whole course covered so that participants could be seen at all times. (It is a public park.) It was a lovely atmosphere with parents allowed to join in.

My children set off at a real sprint and we soon lost them all. After a while I managed to catch them up and ran the majority of it with my middle one (there was no way I was going to be able to catch up with my eldest, indeed I expected to be lapped by him!) My youngest managed to help his Dad get around in one piece!

The finishing funnel.

The finishing funnel.

Later that morning the results were in letting them know how fast they ran it, what position they were in and how they did compared to their age group.

I think this is an event that we will be returning to. I cannot fault it at all – especially as it is the only way I will ever get my husband running (and it will do him the world of good!)

I hope you all enjoyed your weekends as much.x

It is meant to be!

Last week something really exciting happened on Twitter. I noticed a link to instargram by a friend Truly Myrtle. I clicked through and saw the most beautiful shawl. What is more she designed it herself. I was feeling a bit cheeky -

Conversation on twitter.

Conversation on twitter.

How lucky am I? The e-mail come through really quickly and I got straight online to order the yarn required.

Having ordered it I then had a panic – it would not come in time! I decided to phone the shop Meadow Yarn and try to upgrade my postage to a faster service. You know what? The lady was SOOOO lovely that she offered to do it for me without charging me any extra as her random act of kindness for the day. I was totally gobsmacked!

The best bit of all? IT CAME :) I was so grateful that I phoned the lady straight away to tell her that it had arrived. The Yarn is soooo yummy:

Wasn’t this project just meant to be? I really hope that I enjoy knitting this. It has a quick turn around so look out for updates :). Oh and I will so be visiting Meadow Yarns again!

 

 

Something New

Test knitting means that I challenge myself to learn new techniques without really thinking about it. I agree to make the piece and then do whatever it takes to be able to complete the item. My latest test knit hadn’t even got started before I had to (admittedly re-) learn how to do a provisional cast on using a crochet hook.

It is not a difficult process but one that means you work from an edge that can be undone and added to at a later date.

This is what it looks like once you have started with the yarn you are knitting with:

The provisional cast on with the beginning of the pattern.

The provisional cast on with the beginning of the pattern.

Looking good so far :) There will be more ‘firsts’ for me on this pattern coming up!