Sunday, 29 May 2016

Adventures in knitting, podcasts and an award

I have knit on and off since my girls were small, usually cardigans or jumpers for them, then again when Oliver was born, nothing complicated, just little cardigans and blankets.

I do enjoy knitting, it's easily picked up if you have just a bit of spare time or watching the TV, and I like that you don't have to get out all the paraphernalia associated with stitching.
So when I  discovered that there were knitting podcasts it sparked my interest in knitting again.

The first one I watched was The Sampler Girl, which I really enjoyed, especially the ones she does with her mum, they have me chuckling away at their banter.  Then there is Nicole's, at Nicole's Needlework.
You probably remember her lovely sampler stitching, more recently she has been knitting.  Anyway both Tanya and Nicole have knit lovely shawls which lead me to browse Ravelry in search of a pattern.

I started small and simple with the Hitchhiker, and love how it turned out.

You start off with one or two stitches and by the process of increases and decreases end up with this asymmetrical shape, very clever :-)

I never thought of myself as a shawl wearer, but these are probably more like neck scarves, which I do like.

I enjoyed knitting the Hitchhiker so much I cast on another one right away.

This is Antarkis,which is a paid for pattern on Ravelry and I'm using one of the yarns I bought in Edinburgh recently, the West Yorkshire Spinners Blue Faced Leicester

and my progress

I did order another circular needle to continue this on but when it arrived today I had ordered the wrong size.

There is another podcast I've been addicted to watching, Danni at Little Bobbins  knits 
She is a serious knitter and yarn stasher and she knits the loveliest socks that It got me back to thinking how much I really want to knit a pair of socks.

Now, I did attempt a sock about 2 years ago and I really really struggled with 4 needles and gave up before I was even half way done, that project is stuffed in a drawer somewhere and hasn't seen the light of day since.  But, when I was googling easy sock patterns this week I came across  a blog with  this basic sock pattern, and best of all it goes thorough the process step by step and mentioned using a small circular needle, which I had never thought of!

I'm so excited about the fact that I might now be able to knit some socks :-)

 I ordered a circular needle and I have some yarn which was in a sock kit I bought years ago, it's probably not the best yarn in the world and isn't a very exciting colour way  but it will serve the purpose for my first attempt.

I've been spending lots of time in the garden trying to move some plants and split some that have got a bit big, still a few jobs to do but it's looking ok.

I'm particularly impressed with my Hostas this year.  I put some copper band around the tubs and it seems to have worked in keeping away the slugs and snails,  there is only damage to one leaf  in each tub, and the culprit was found, (and removed) when I put the band on, so that was worth doing :-)

There are two hostas planted in the garden which I want to dig out next year and put in large tubs, I think you can appreciate them more planted in containers.

Sorry there is no stitching update, I have done a little on Elizabeth but really it's so little it's not worth sharing this time.
I have also fallen behind on the mantle decorating :-(  I really wanted to keep up with this but with so many other things going on it's not been high on my list of things to do.  The only thing I did was finish my Maybelle flowers into a garland and hung that.  I'm really pleased with how these flowers came out.

I think I'm still behind in blog reading so apologies if I haven't visited you for a while, I will catch up, eventually.

Finally, back at the beginning of May Jo, at nominated me for the Liebster Award, thank you so much Jo, it was so kind of you :-)

If you haven't visited Jo's blog go and check her out, she has lovely chatty posts, :-)

  Here is how it works:- 

Thank the person who nominated you and link back to his/her blog.
Copy and past the Liebster Award badge to your post
Answer the ten questions you've been asked
Create ten new questions for the bloggers you are nominating
Notify the bloggers that you have nominated.

And Jo's questions were:-

1.  What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
I don't go to the cinema very often but the last thing I watched there was a play, The Importance of Being Ernest, which was being broadcast live from London
2.  where would be your ideal place to live, town, country or coast?
I love English seaside towns and I've always had a dream of living by the sea, that would be my ideal location, a little place with uninterrupted views of the sea.
3.  Do you have any pets?
Yes, 2 cats Millie and Molly.  Millie is all black and short haired and an old lady of  11, Molly is black and white long haired tuxedo as is about 9.  They are not related but get on quite well.
4.  What is your favourite area of the UK?
London.  I just love everything about it.
4.  What song annoys you?
Anything by Michael Bouble.  I won't say anymore for fear of offending anyone ;-)
6.  What three things would you take to a desert island?
This one is quite hard!  I think definitely a favourite book, earl grey tea, and my face cream.
If you asked me again another time it would most likley be 3 different things, lol
7.  If you were given a million pounds, what you spend it on?
You know, I don't think I would rush out to buy anything in particular.  I would give some to my girls first, the rest would probably be put into savings, quite boring really!
8.  What would be your last meal?
This is not really a meal as such but something I really enjoy (occasionally), sausage, 4 sausages, really really well done, (for 'well done' read burnt) and a good dollop of tomato ketchup to dip them in :-)
9.  Have you ever met anyone famous?
Mmmm, not unless you count the Bachelors when I was probably about 8 or 9.
They were in a pantomime that my granny had taken me to and I remember going to get their autograph after the show
10.  What's your favourite take away?
Without a doubt Indian.  I usually go for salmon tika with sagg aloo and salad or chiken rogan josh and boiled rice.  I gave up having nann bread years ago but love poppadoms and dips.

Great questions Jo thank you!

Now here are my 10 questions:-

1.  What was the last book you read?

2.  Apart from family, if you could choose 3 dinner guests, living or dead who would you invite?

3.  Which do you prefer, beach holiday or city break?

4.  What is your favourite cake?

5.  Which would you choose to hire someone to do, cooking, cleaning or gardening?

6.  If you could travel back in time, what year would you go back to and why?

7.  What is your all time favourite film?

8.  What was your first job?

9.  Roller-coasters, love them or hate them?

10.  Now, look out your window, what do you see?

This is where I should nominate 5 other bloggers to take part, but as it's been quite a few weeks and i'm not up to date with blog reading what I want to do is nominate YOU.

 If you are reading this, (and thank you for getting this far on a long post), and you have a blog I would love it if you would take part, I think it would be a great way to discover new blogs;-).
All you need to do is copy all the info regarding the conditions etc together with the questions I asked
and answer them on your blog then create  more questions, simple!

Leave me a comment if you decided to take part (and I hope you do) and I can come and visit you :-)

We have a lovely long Bank Holiday weekend her in the UK and so far the weather has been just lovely, fingers crossed it stays that way :-)  Were not going far from home tomorrow though, I'm not keen on sitting in Bank Holiday traffic, but we did think that we would go our for breakfast in the morning then come back and have a nice chill out day and perhaps watch some films, we don't do that very often so it will be a nice change.

I do hope some of you will take up the offer of the Liebster award.

Thank you for visiting today, I really appreciate it, see you soon.



Jo said...

I could be writing the first part of this blog post, I've just got in to podcasts too and it's given me the urge to get my knitting needles out again. Your Hitchhiker is lovely, I've seen this design on a few blogs and I've been pondering casting on myself as I've never knitted a shawl before and I want to give it a go. I've actually just ordered a circular sock needle too. I'm confident enough using dpns but having never used a circular needle before, I'd like to give it a try. Winwick Mum has a great sock tutorial with lots of photos if you're new to sock knitting, perhaps that's the blog you've stumbled across. I joined in with her sockalong last year, it was very popular. A word of warning though, once you get hooked with sock knitting, there's so many beautiful sock yarns out there, you'll be spoilt for choice. Your hostas are looking fabulous, I especially like the second one in your photos. Thank you for taking part in the blog award, I enjoyed reading your answers to the questions and I think it only fair that I should answer your questions now so here goes.
1. The last book I read was The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe by Alexander McCall Smoth, I'll be mentioning it in a blogpost soon.
2. My three dinner guests would be Anastasia Romanov, Eva Peron and Anne Frank, three women in history I've read about and been interested in.
3. I prefer a beach holiday if I want to relax but I'd love to visit London again, I've only been a handful of times and there's so much there I'd like to see.
4. I think I'd have to choose a chocolate cake as my favourite cake, though I'm partial to carrot cake and lemon drizzle cake too.
5. No hesitation here, I'd hire someone to do the cleaning, definitely the worse job of the three.
6. If I could travel back in time I'd go back to 1988, the year I met Mick. I loved the 80's and we had lots of fun that year, not to say we don't now but it was all new then.
7. I like so many films to choose just one favourite, Evita, Les Miserables, Pretty Woman, The Lion King, When Harry Met Sally...the list goes on.
8. My very first job was washing up in the kitchen of a bistro when I was still at school. My first full time job was in a bank.
9. I hate rollercoasters, I don't even like watching people on rollercoasters, they frighten me to death.
10. I don't see anything out of my window at the moment, I'm in bed, my curtains are closed and even if they weren't, it's pitch black outside.
Thanks again for joining in.

Julie said...

Nice knitting Maggie. Like Jo, I was going to mention Christine at Winwick Mum blog she has a book out as well that tells you all about sock knitting in the round with clear pictures and details to follow. There's a sock-a-long link at the top right of her blog. Happy sock knitting - once you start you cant stop! Lucy at Attic 24 recently learnt to sock knit from Christine and did a blog post about it.

Penny said...

Your knitting is lovely! Of course, I will now have to go and check out those patterns and podcasts. : ) Good luck with your socks and I agree with Jo - so many beautiful sock yarns from which to choose. Your Hostas look pretty and healthy. I've never heard of the copper bands. I think I will look into them as snails and slugs are the reason I gave up trying to grow Hostas. So many good things in this post! : )

Carolien said...

Lovely knit-work! Good luck wit the socks, I want to try that too but my last attempt failed. Need some help with that, I guess ;)
The hostas are wonderful!!!

Have a great day! xxx Carolien

Carol said...

Your knitting is fabulous, Maggie! I really do hope to learn one of these days. I love your little flowers decorating your mantle, too!

Our hostas are one of our resident deers' favorites so ours look quite nibbled off this time of year--yours are lovely :)

Happy June to you!

Clare-Aimetu said...

I love a good podcast - they are available for so many things. My US friend knitted me a shawl which I use in bed when reading when it's too hot for my dressing gown but too nippy for just pjs. Good luck with the socks.

Great work on your mantle flowers, they look lovely, as does your garden :)

Sarah in Stitches said...

Gorgeous knitting! I still consider myself very much a beginner - I've only done blankets and scarves, nothing as complicated as shawls and socks. You've got my juices flowing, though! :D

Crazee4books said...

Hello Maggie,

Love all your knitting projects. I'm not a knitter myself ... having been born with
five thumbs on each hand and all ... but you can't help but feel some longing when
you see the beautiful things that people create with their needles. Your
Hitchhiker turned out well ... I love the scalloped edge on it. I really love the pretty
pattern emerging from Antarkis and the wool colour is simply delicious!! Hope
that your sock project turns out well for you. Thick, warm, home made socks would
be wonderful during the cold season.

Your hostas are glorious!!! I've never seen them grown in pots before. Cool!!
Our's are scattered around the yard and I like them a lot. We even have three
mini hostas that are very pretty together in one garden spot. The copper band
around the pots is a brilliant idea!

Your Maybelle flower garland is so sweet on your mantel.

Enjoyed reading the 10 questions that you answered for the Liebster award too.
It's always fun to learn something new about blogging friends.


Mylittlepieceofengland said...

Gorgeous shawls, beautiful knitting. I've never watched a podcast, maybe I need to have a look xx

Kim said...

Just dropping by to say fab blog! I'm a black country wench too and proud of it. Love your pics. Lovely work. :)

Angela said...

Love the Hitchhiker shawl finish! I just learnt to knit a couple of years ago and while I enjoy it, stitching is it for me. I would like to learn to knit socks though.

I will have to look up the knitting podcasts and I'll accept the award and answer the questions at the weekend in my next post :)

MysteryKnitter said...

The knitted items are lovely! You have the skill, indeed!
I am sad you had to let go of the old computer of yours, but sometimes it is time to let go. I am glad you got a new one instead.
The pictures are lovely. Those castles and seashores are magnificent.