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Keep Knitting & Stitching – it’s The Doctor’s Orders!

When I found out that Colin Baker – aka The Sixth Doctor – was appearing at Spaceport yesterday, my mind was racing.  After getting the monsters to knit recently, I wondered if I dared to ask The Doctor…….

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I have no restraint; I couldn’t resist!  Luckily, Mr. Baker was a good sport and such a pleasure to meet.  He told me to keep knitting & stitching, so that’s just what I’m going to do!  Thank you Mr. Baker, you really made my day! 🙂

(Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!)

Full credit and utmost respect to the team from Hyde Fundraisers who were in attendance.  Despite the sweltering heat they still donned their costumes and took time to engage with all of the children (and the adults!) and provided lots of photo opportunities.  They are amazing!

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11

Doctor Who & Knitting – Things that me make go squee!

This weekend saw the unveiling of the Time Travellers Exhibition at Spaceport, with costume characters appearing to celebrate the launch.  If there’s two places guaranteed to bring out the inner squee in me, it’s yarn shops and Doctor Who exhibitions with live character appearances.  So off we went.

My hubby, being unusually observant, noticed that I had my knitting bag with me.  “Oh, you’re not bringing your knitting are you?” he groaned.  “Right I am,” I replied, “because if there’s a Cyberman or a Sontaran there, I’m gonna get them to knit!”  He just raised his eyebrows at me and shook his head a little.  I guess he was wondering if I was being serious or not, and probably hoping I wouldn’t get an opportunity.

I was squeeing loudly delighted when the first monster I saw was a Cyberman, and my son, finding the thought of a Cyberman knitting as hilarious as I was, promptly asked him to pose with the knitting needles!

Our next victim willing participant was the Sontaran.

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The Pig Slave was very enthusiastic, and full of mischief too!

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The Silurian Leader didn’t seem too sure what to make of these Ape inventions…

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The Time Travellers Exhibition is being run in association with Hyde Fundraisers who provide costumes and props (as well as an immense amount of time, energy and patience) to raise funds for various charities.  They truly are an amazing bunch.

By the way, isn’t this just The Best Super Lambanana Ever!?!

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6

Frogs, Frogging & Learning to Crochet!

Well, one frog anyway – this is Alan Dart’s Frog Prince which I finished a few weeks ago. One of the things I like most about Mr. Dart’s toy patterns is that he lists approx yarn weights required rather than 1 x ball of such a yarn, so you can use up your leftovers rather than having to fork out for more yarn. Hence why my Frog Prince is blue rather than green – a real stashbuster project! And my son seems to prefer him blue anyway 🙂

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Other knitting projects just don’t seem to be taking off for me lately…  I was in hospital from the 15th ’til the 19th and found knitting Hard Work with a cannula stuck in the back of my hand.  What little I did do had to be frogged, the tension was awful.  I haven’t got back into the swing of it yet – a few projects cast on, then frogged after a few rows… Very unproductive!

On a brighter note, while in hospital feeling useless trying to stay cheerful, I found and was lucky enough to book the last place on a Crochet for Beginners course.  I’ve wanted to learn crochet for a Very Long Time, and just didn’t fancy learning through books and/or youtube videos.   Some things are just better taught face-to-face.  And I couldn’t have hoped for a better teacher – the lovely and extremely talented Ildiko Szabo.  We had our first lesson and here I reluctantly present my very first flower made with a crochet hook.

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Ok, I know it’s dire and that in years to come I will cringe about it.  But right now I feel just a teensy bit of affectionate towards it!  The first week was all about the basics – choosing yarn, holding it, making a magic loop, etc.  We also learned the chain and slip stitch, and it was fun practicing getting the tension right while forming random shapes with just those two stitches.  It was a nice, gentle introduction to crochet and I found the pace perfect – not too fast or too slow, and I’m really looking forward to the next lesson 🙂

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The best thing about all this though, is that I’ve finally motivated myself to learn something I’ve wanted to do for so long.  The only thing that was holding me back was me.  Perhaps it will motivate me to do all the other things I keep putting off – like learning to knit in the round, and de-cluttering the house…  Maybe…  🙂

Is there anything that you’ve been putting off and feel it’s finally time you did something about it?

8

Which bag?

I love that knitters come from all walks of life yet have so much in common. I love how friendly and helpful most knitters are. Most of all I love hearing knitters’ tales whether they’re tales from the past, hopes and resolutions for the future or hiccups and dilemmas we all face from time to time! My heart melts when I read about fond memories of the special person who taught us to knit. I feel the pain (and sometimes relief) of other people’s frogged projects. I chuckle knowingly at stories of massive yarn stashes and the complete failure to NOT BUY ANY MORE!

So… My family and I had a short break booked for Easter week.  Since I have read other blogs about the difficulties of choosing a project to take away, and having experienced going away either without knitting, or with a project that I wished I hadn’t bothered with, I planned about a week in advance just which projects I was going to take.  I’ve got a few baby yarns that I’d been waiting for a chance to play with knit up, so cast on the beginnings of two baby jackets.  One simple pattern that didn’t need much focusing on, and a more complicated cable pattern in case the latter got too dull.

Alas, I then stumbled upon a dilemma that I have yet to read a blog about, but must surely happen to others?!  Which knitting bag to take my projects in?!?

I have my ‘original’ knitting bag, passed down to me from a relative – but I mostly use that to store all my needles and I don’t really like having my WIPs in there.  I have large bags with all kinds of storage compartments and yarn feeders, but they’re best suited to larger or intarsia projects.  I have tote bags and duffle bags that I use for smaller WIPs, but are not very practical for travelling.  Messenger bags that are great for keeping everything clean and dust free, but hide the project from view and have an ‘out of sight, out mind’ effect on me.

I thought about getting all the bags out to photograph and post, but fear my Hubby might start to notice how many I actually have.  I think somewhere along the road of our marriage, he has subconsiously chosen to not pay full attention to my Great Big Stash of Yarn and all the bags that go with it.  (I think the ridiculous collection of shoes & handbags I’ve amassed helped with this…)  I’m afraid that if he walked in me with all of the knitting bags laid out on display, or the yarn, shoes or handbags for that matter, he would totally Freak Out and wonder if I’m at all sane.  Actually, the sight could make me freak out too, so best not to go there…  Phew…  Anyway…

In the end I decided on this bag:

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It has no seperate pockets for storing bits and pieces, is old, discoloured and frankly starting to creak with age.  A bit like me really!  On the brighter side, it’s compact for travelling, can fit in everything I might possibly need to complete the projects, but best of all – it’s transparent!  I like seeing the pretty colours all ready to be knitted up, and am more eager to actually work on it…  As for storage compartments, well who knew that old spectacle cases could fit in so much – stitch markers and holders, tape measures, darning & cable needles, even scissors.

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I think I’ve found my favourite bag for short breaks.  When travelling by car at least.  I suspect other methods of transport will bring with it more dilemmas of which bag to take…  Yet I know that I’ll secretly enjoy having so much to choose from…

Do you have a favourite bag?

3

The Sweater – at last!

My sincerest apologies for the huge length of time it has taken me to provide any updates.  February brought with it lots of winter bugs and then sadly, the death of my Dad.  Since then, I have been knitting a little, but haven’t been in the mood for writing.  It’s about time I posted this sweater update now though, that way, in my head, the project is truly completed!

It was a bit difficult trying to get a decent picture of it, there’s not much natural light here and the camera flash was bleaching out the cables.

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Here’s my son wearing the finished piece…  I think he likes it, says he does anyway!

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4

A slow start to 2013

I didn’t make any firm resolutions for the new year.  I know from past experience that I am just no good at keeping them up.  For me, change is a gradual thing – I can’t change basic personality traits (and weaknesses) overnight, I need to work at them.  The closest I got to making resolutions for this year were in regards to my knitting.  A wish not to buy more yarn until I needed it, and a wish not to cast on something new until I had finished any WIPs.  I only have one WIP (that I’m aware of!) so it shouldn’t be that difficult really …

WRONG!

I have already bought two lots of yarn, though one of them I do actually need – discontinued Patons Velvet DK in white, for some Shaun The Sheep toys I’ve been asked to make!

I’m just about resisting not casting on anything new, it’s really hard though.  My WIP is a sweater for my youngest son.  He’s quite big for his age so the sweater is quite large.  And it’s going soooo slow!  It’s not a hard pattern by any means.  It’s actually quite good for times when you want something you don’t have to concentrate so hard on, yet with a simple two-stitch cable to stop it being completely mind-numbing.

My difficulty, I think, is with the size of it.  I’ve been so used to making baby garments and small toys.  Rarely did an item take more than a week to complete.  Yet this sweater has been on the needles since October 2012!  It’s become one of those projects that you just keep putting off … I had really hoped to complete it for Christmas 2012, but obviously I failed!

Now my son has set me a deadline – if it’s not finished by the end of January I should pay a forfeit!  At the moment, a forfeit doesn’t seem so bad … :O

If I don’t get a wiggle on, my son won’t get any use from the sweater – winter will be over and he’ll grow too big for it for next winter.  Maybe posting updates on here will give me the kick-start I need to get to work on it?  Who knows … Right now I am much preferring to spend many hours on WordPress reading what other people are up to and admiring their wonderful creations …

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year All … Here’s wishing you all the very best of luck, happiness and good health for 2013!

It’s been a while since I updated this blog – apologies!  Though I had to keep my projects secret since they were Christmas gifts…  Which I got done in the nick of time, phew!  Hope everybody else finished their projects in time 🙂

My eldest son asked for a laptop this Christmas, I couldn’t resist………..!!!

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