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Archive for the ‘kooky’ Category

Thoughts on the shop

So when I kicked off this blog in its new incarnation I went all-out and put together a little Etsy shop where I was going to sell handspun and handknits etc. For one reason or another, things haven’t really worked out as planned. Work, time and other things have conspired against me to leave the shop almost always empty.

Also, the Kooky Kat after whom this blog and the shop are named is very very poorly. She has a massive tumour on her mammary gland (kitty breast cancer) and while we haven’t opted for surgery in the hope of not leaving her in massive pain towards the end of her life (plus chances of success not great) – she doesn’t have long left.

For now, I have closed the Etsy store temporarily and will update content on the blog to reflect the lack of store. I will debate whether to close it permanently and also consider changing the name of the blog – if the store and the whole initial ethos behind this blog isn’t in place, it probably makes sense to change it.

It won’t stop me selling anything – I’ll be able to put items up on here for sale if I ever have anything finished that I think others might be interested in. It may also make it a little easier to expand the scope of the blog a little – although the focus will still be predominantly on crafting etc.

I guess mostly I’m chickening out – once Kooky is no longer with us I don’t want to see reminders of her every day – so will give it some thought and decide what to do.

In the meantime we are very glad to have whatever time is left with she-of-the-giant-paws:

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Coming Along Nicely

The title of this post quite aptly describes my Marina cardigan that I cast on as mentioned in my last post! I’m getting along very well – having knitted and blocked the back and both fronts and just finished the first sleeve.

Unfortunately I do need to frog and reknit part of my right front where I didn’t do the decreases for the shoulder shaping properly (I iz moron), but other than that, it’s looking good!

I’m going to cast on for the next sleeve tomorrow and immediately commence a plan that will allow me to lose a few pounds, as I suspect I might need it to show the cardigan off to it’s best advantage!

So once the sleeve is finished, it’ll be on to the seaming – I’ve never seamed reverse stockinette stitch before so who knows what will happen. Then it’s a case of applying the i-cord edge and crocheting the trim at the bottom of the cardi and the sleeves. Last and by no means least, buttons!

I’m hoping to get this finished off within the next week – I’ve been working on it for ten days so far (since the 17th), so that would be pretty speedy all in all!

This means I will get to wear it at Knit Nation 🙂

Finally, because I don’t like leaving posts without at least one picture in them, here’s Kooky sunning herself in the back yard recently, looking very akin to feline royalty:

Kooky Sunbathing

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Baby Geese!

Happy Bank Holiday everyone 🙂

I am pleased to report that I am no longer in pain! I went to my gym induction on Monday and we tried out some machines and worked out the sorts of things I should be doing. Unfortunately until I get used to exercise, everything is going to hurt, pretty much.

However I am in love with Pilates! I went to a class on Tuesday and could do it, despite struggling a bit. Did the beginner’s class on Friday and had a great time. Really want to improve. It’s amazing how good you feel after stretching! Positively bounded down the stairs from the gym on Friday – although the fact it was my last day at work for a week might have had something to do with it 🙂

I also have an FO to report! Woo! Not had one of those for a while.

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Unfortunately I finished this had on Thursday night as I wanted to give it to a colleague (more on that later) and so it hadn’t dried by Friday morning. I took it to work and plonked it on the windowsill of our office (so it got a nice dose of Oxford Street pollution) but whilst it dried, I didn’t have my camera with me. So relied on a colleague’s mobile phone, with said colleague also modelling hat:

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Overall I’m pretty happy with it. The yarn was as splitty as hell – much easier to crochet with than to knit. But it’s come out ok. I made a few mistakes with the decreases on the last few rows but thankfully it’s close enough to the top to not be noticeable.

Despite the lack of stretch (I used a cotton yarn) it’s beautifully soft next to the skin due to the silk/viscose content.

Normally I would have dried the hat at home and waited till after my week off to give it away. However as this hat was something I’d planned to knit for Trev’s mum in case she wanted to do chemo and then didn’t… I needed to knit it as therapy and then get rid of it.

I’ve also finished a pair of baby bootees – I just need to add some buttons and they are all done. They’re for my new niece, Amelia Louise – Trev’s elder sister had her first child last Thursday. So I had to make something 🙂 Will also knit a pair for my sister who is due to have a baby boy in 5 weeks.

Watch this space for piccies – hopefully buying some buttons tomorrow.

So now onto some cute stuff! We’ve had some lovely weather the last few days and today was SUNNY! Almost unheard of for a Bank Holiday in this country. Normally the days before and after would be nice, but never today. But it was 🙂

Kooky has been availing herself of the sun and sunbathing at every opportunity – I give you the cuteness:

Kooky Bear in the sun

Kooky Bear in the sun

Today we went for one of our walks down the lake. The geese have had a load of babies recently and I love to go down and see them every spring when they’re so tiny!

There’s also a swan which has built a nest just near our flat. Apparently it’s done this every year for the last 4 years. We couldn’t get too close to take a picture as the male was getting a bit angsty, but here’s a pic:

Swans Nesting

We also took LOADS of photos of the baby geese. There’s too many to list here, so have a nose at this set which will comprise photos of all our local lakeside wildlife while I give you a few highlights 🙂

Baby Geese 2009

Baby Geese 2009

Baby Geese 2009

Baby Geese 2009

Baby Geese 2009

I love that last photo – the little goslings so sleepy and tucked under mum’s wing.

I’m cracking on with some more spinning this week – trying to decide whether or not to cast on for a new knitting project or finish off a WIP.

Going to say goodnight now and watch Kim Bauer totter around in her high heels chasing terrorists in an airport!

Night x

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Caroline’s Fetchings

I posted these off to Caroline today – I took some photos of them whilst working at home yesterday.

I’ve already posted about the mods I made in another post, so this post will be just for pics 🙂

I blocked these gloves before sending them out, just to get the yarn to settle and to soften them up. Some of the colour bled out into the Soak water, but for some reason these photos have come out REALLY faded. In real life they’re not like this at all – just as vivid as the Evangelines I started for her and the beanie I made.

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Not looking too bad I think! Hopefully they’ll keep her hands warm whilst she plays the piano.

I’d hoped my Knitpicks Interchangeables would have arrived today – hopefully tomorrow or Saturday at the latest so I can start to swatch for my CPH 🙂 Then I have 2 weeks off over Christmas when I can start work on it and hopefully make some progress.

I’m looking at using short row shaping and a three needle bind off for the shoulders (based on info from Ravelry and Knitty), but I’m still trying to get my head around that. Can’t decide which size to make either – either the 40 or 44 – 40 might be a bit snug as I’m a 38 round the chest, but 44 might be too big?

Finally, our Kooky bear was at the vets yesterday to have her teeth cleaned as they were in a bad state. She had to have a small tooth at the front out, but they’re now pearly and white. It was quite cute watching her stroll around the flat like a drunk thing last night – swaying from side to side and falling asleep standing up. She didn’t make a sound ALL night until I woke up early this morning to find her curled up on my tummy purring 🙂

She’s been much more herself today which is lovely and she’s currently snuggled next to me as I type – no she’s not – she’s off now Trev’s gotten up to get a drink. She has got these funny little shaved bits on her chest and both her front legs where they must have taken blood or inserted the drip – looks quite weird!

Funny how worried you get about them – I couldn’t relax yesterday and it wasn’t the same here without her. Due to her age I was worried how she’d deal with the anaesthetic, but we’d paid for her to have blood tests prior and fluids during so she was fine. The vet said she was a star – very well behaved and pretty. Ironically, in the morning before the op, Kooky was sat facing the outside of the cage – to see what was going on. AFTER the op, she laid down with her back to everyone. Sounds like my baby! 100% stroppy. But that’s why we love them. I think.

Right, I’m off to browse the latest issue of Knitty and maybe to go and re-watch Wall-E – and cry again.

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Behold my first piece of knitting!

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All done on size 19 (15mm) needles that I’ve bought for doing broomstick lace and using some bulky yarn. Started off by doing that I think may be a long tail cast on (where you use one needle and a thumb) and did just knit for the first few rows, then tried purling. Eventually got the hang of alternating rows to product something sensible looking. Once my Stitch n Bitch book arrives I’ll be able to do a bit more!

Soooo, here is my new beautiful bag! It arrived yesterday and here was my first glimpse of it – Trev unwrapped it for me on Skype and I took a couple of pics:

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Upon getting home it’s absolutely gorgeous! So well made and just perfect. It’s a bit smaller than I thought – it looks quite big on the model on the Offhand site, and I am a bit taller and, ahem, chunkier than other girls. I am in love with this bag. Cannot wait to start using it next week! Here’s pictures I took today:

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Thank you to my dear hubby for posing with the bag for me for those last 2 pictures. I was in my PJ’s, so in no state to be photographed!

To end, here’s a cute picture of Trev and Kooky taken this morning – keeping me company whilst I worked 🙂

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New Toys!

Sorry for the delay in putting this post up. I meant to post on Friday, but we were all excited about going to the London Guitar Show yesterday and that kind of threw me off crochet for a while. We got back very early this morning, and since leaving London last night I have developed a stinking cold which is in full flow (no pun intended) as we speak. If I feel this rotten tomorrow, I am not going to work and will be spending the whole day in bed.

Anyway, on Wednesday I had lots of new toys arrive 🙂 I didn’t really have the time to play with them properly that night, so all my playing was done on Thursday and Friday. If you recall, I had ordered a number of lovely items from Robynn at Purlescence. So with no further ado, let’s go through my purchases!!!

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Soak – this is a lovely wash that you can use for handknits or any delicate item (e.g. cashmere jumpers) and it’s great because generally you don’t have to rinse anything! You can also use it for spot cleaning, although I haven’t tried it yet. I’ll be using this for blocking things, and for washing anything I’ve crocheted along with nice woolly jumpers that belong to Trev & I.

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Lantern Moon Ebony 14″ Size 19 (15.0mm) knitting needles
– I bought these for doing broomstick lace and unfortunately my first attempt was so hideous it has been frogged rather than photographed. I’ll take some pics next time I try it – so watch out for that in a future post. I had some issues with doing the joins between groups of loops, but I think I may have that sorted now.

These are gorgeous though – lovely and smooth and look fantastic. Have a few more piccies:

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Last and by no means least is this:

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My Jenkins Walnut Hairpin Lace Loom – to be used for… Hairpin Lace! I luuurve this thing – it’s so beautifully made and a joy to use. It’s fully adjustable I bought some extra prongs to go with it, and thankfully my first attempt at Hairpin Lace was MUCH more successful than my first attempt at Broomstick Lace. Oodles more pictures here:

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So yes, loads of pictures!

I’ve also filled my basked with my stash – now I’ve been able to get the cat out of it 🙂

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However, despite this purchase from Robynn, that’s not been all the purchasing I’ve done recently! Offhand Designs have brought out their new fabrics for the Sabrina bag – something I’ve always liked – and Robynn has given us the chance to pre-order a bag in the new colours. I couldn’t decide between the New York Stripe and the Aquavite.

Eventually, I have decided to go for the Aquavite, with a matching Nina clutch to store all of my crochet bits and pieces:

May take up to 4-6 months to arrive, but it gives me plenty of time to save for it then!

And finally, I ordered another couple of patterns from Stitch Diva today – both involving Hairpin Lace. The Hairpin Lace Cardi Wrap, and the Lotus Smock. Can’t wait to attempt them!

Right, that’s a lot of stuff to squeeze into one post 🙂

I leave you, with another picture of Kooky:

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I thought it would be a nice idea to have a wicker basket or two to store my stash and finished items. I’d had a look online and couldn’t see anything I fancied. So, yesterday I rang my Mum (who knows about such things) to ask whether there’s any specific retailer I should consider.

Her answer? All of them. But then she says that she has a spare basket from a set of 3 from John Lewis that I can have. And it’s lined. And it’s big. Ooooh.

Today my Dad dropped it round – apologies for the poor picture – I’ll take some better ones at the weekend once I’m at home at decent hours:

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Now, in typical cat fashion, Kooky, who I’m sure would have absolutely no interest in any kind of bed we may buy for her, made a beeline for this almost as soon as this had been unwrapped. And the second she thinks we are not looking, she’s in it! I thought she was going to use it as a bed, but then she decided to attack it (see below) and then decided to use it as a bathtub and have a wash.

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Little freak!

I’m going to fill this up with yarn and other goodies later. May have room to put some of my FO’s in there as well.

Further updates to come!

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