Sunday, 19 June 2016

WIPs...........


It's been a busy week, but there has been a little bit off needle action. The socks are totally addictive, being stripes, as it's always a case of just finishing one colour to see what the next one is. It's a kind of secret knitting, as the colours are hidden away inside the ball of Regia 'Pairperfect' yarn. A fun knit, but I'm saving them for car journeys!


So, as another birthday looms, it seems right that I should bring this gorgeous sweater out of hibernation. The yarn was bought with a gift voucher from two of my children for my last birthday. I always seem to start sweaters with great enthusiasm, but it never lasts and before long the poor thing is thrown into the dim dark hibernation chamber.


I must say, I'm very glad to be enjoying this one again and am determined to keep going until it's done. The yarn is Debbie Bliss's 'Fine Donegal'. It's 95% wool and 5% cashmere. I love the pretty colour way, which makes up for the thick-thin nature of these tweedy yarns. The pattern is 'Guernsey', also by Debbi Bliss. The above photo is at rather a misleading angle, as it actually shows the start of the chest patterning.


It has an attractive Guernsey-style ribbing too. Yes, I'm enjoying this one now! Just need to get some planning done and then I should be able to manage another few cos this evening :-)


This morning we wandered down into the city centre for a Sunday morning coffee and  a stroll around the Food Festival. It takes place every year and includes a Norfolk's 'Best Banger' competition. You get to sample the sausage delights from eight Norfolk butchers, before selecting and submitting your chosen favourite. Of course Oscar wanted to have his say too! ;-)

I snapped this beauty as we left the house. The warm weather has brought many of our fragrant roses into bloom. The smell is simply wonderful!


That's about it for now; wishing you a good week one and all!



Sunday, 12 June 2016

MAGIC LOOP....


These have to be some of the the cutest I've made. I just love the pretty colours! Yes, I know they are the easiest of easy, but I used Magic Loop for the first time, which I have to say will most definitely now be my first choice method for plain socks. I also tried to use the Continental method, but I have to say, I don't think it will become a favourite.

It's been a knitting free zone this weekend, as I have been to London to stay with my youngest daughter for the weekend and have some fun!

We set off for `borough Market nice and early to beat the crowds and enjoyed a lovely hour browsing and sampling the yummy food offerings to be had. Everything looked so fresh and appetising! I bought a piece of the Drunk Cheese ( last pic) for Mr Snoops. It's really delicious!


We walked along the South Bank on Saturday morning and by chance happened to be in the right place at the right time to catch the Red Arrows flying over for the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations. We had a perfect view!


We spent the rest of Saturday on and around the South Bank, doing what we do best.... mooching, coffee drinking, book shop and gallery browsing, people watching and generally enjoying each other's company! 


Our entertainment for the evening was provided by Femi Kuti at the Royal Festival Hall. He and his band and dancers were performing as part of the Guy Garvey 'Meltdown' festival. I love Afro beat music and we were not disappointed. It was brilliant!

Today, we spent time at the local garden centre, picking up some plants to make the younger Miss Snoops' garden look lovely! Who'd have thought she would have been interested in using her precious 'time' selecting and planting flowers! :-)

All in all it's been a really lovely weekend. I love family time!

Sunday, 5 June 2016

HALF-TERM DONE AND DUSTED........



Good evening! So sorry to have missed you last week, but I have been away for the half-term holiday visiting our children and grand children. We've had a thoroughly lovely nine days, with plenty of cuddles, trips to the park, ice-creams and fun! The weather has been superb with glorious sunshine for almost the entire time. It makes such a difference!

Not much knitting has taken place, except for some sock progress during the car journeys and managing to get a move on and finish Evie's hoodie, so that we could leave it with her. 


The pattern is 'Jake Hoodie' by Martin Storey and it works brilliantly. It's a super easy knit, with the only downside being the picking up stitches for the rather tedious neck and hood band. But it all seems to work out nicely and the fit is just perfect. I used some Rowan 'milk cotton DK' that I bought several years ago in a John Lewis sale. I'm not a great fan of knitting with cotton, but it is perfect for a summer hoodie and washes and wears very well.


I've managed a small amount of progress on my first attempt at Magic Loop and Continental Knitting. This is a little knit along practice challenge with Josiekitten, although I seem to be lagging behind by one whole sock! I'm totally smitten with the Magic Loop method and now wonder why I've not attempted this before. It's so much quicker than using DPNs and there's no chance of loosing your needle down the side of the car seat. However, the continental knitting method has not taken off quite as quickly. I have practised using it on my sock, but only intermittently as I'm too impatient!


Not too bad for a first attempt! I'm loving the gorgeous Fruit Gum colour way of the Opal Yarn. Just scrummy!


On my arrival home,  a squishy parcel of sock yarn goodness was waiting for me. I've spotted these gorgeous yarns and the lovely socks made from them  several times on Instagram and Revelry and decided I needed to give them a go. Postage was free for three balls, so three pairs it is then! ;-) I'm sure Mr Snoops will be the recipient of one these yummy pairs.

Right, now time to sort out what I am supposed to be doing tomorrow at school!

Sunday, 22 May 2016

AN OUT AND ABOUT KIND OF WEEKEND........


This is what's in my knitting bag this week.... not very exciting! It's a dark navy hoodie for Evie; in progress, but a fair way to go yet. It's not worth boring you with the dark navy stocking stitch, so I'll move on.


We are not passionate gardeners, but I just love seeing these blooms at this time of year. It's the best time as far as I'm concerned. I love how the flowers intermingle with a wild and unruly look. So pretty!

Here in our fine city, we have an annual two week music and arts festival that has grown over the years and features a wide range of acts to suit all tastes. This being the middle weekend, the Festival Tea Party takes place in our city centre park. All sorts of exciting free performances including dance, live music, circus, a fire-breathing dragon made out of scrap metal and sound installations. Just my cup of tea! Here's a quick look at what we experienced, some beautiful, some breathtaking, some thought provoking and some just weird!







The sun shone, the 'street food' sellers were out in force and we had a good time!

We also managed a trip to the lake this morning, so Oscar got his serving of fun too!




The goslings grow so quickly!




 It's half-term at the end of this week and we are off 'up North' for the week to see little ones! :-)

Sunday, 15 May 2016

SORRY I MISSED YOU.........



I'm so sorry I missed you last week, but we had an unexpected arrival! Little Isaac arrived rather quickly on Thursday, 5th May at 7.12p.m., a couple of weeks before we were expecting, so Mr Snoops and I made a very special trip up North. What little beauty he is, don't you think? He's still looking a little yellow in this photo, but after light treatment the jaundice is slowly disappearing.

We had the pleasure of looking after darling Evie for a couple of days: she is an absolute delight! It also meant that we were able to spend time with our other two grandchildren, Sophie and Jess, as well. A very special time was had! 


I had time to make another little sweater and a couple of hats. This one matches the grey and the green sweaters and the other has grey and blue stripes to match the grey sweater and blue cardigan featured a couple of posts ago. I don't have a photo of the blue and grey hat, as I completed it on our Thursday evening journey northwards, just after taking a phone call in the car to say that he arrived. Needless to say, a hat photo was no longer high priority! :-)


I LOVE these cute little buttons. They work just perfectly!




Since we've been home, I've made Evie a little cardi for her 'baby' doll. This is a great pattern (Little Kina), that I've used before, knit from the top down all in one piece. It's quick and easy and uses up oddments of yarn! ;-)


We may only have been away for six days, but at this time year so much happens during that time in the garden. The honeysuckle smells divine!


Fresh produce and 'first of the season's' goodies were on offer at the Farmer's Market yesterday in the city centre. We usually stool down through the park for a coffee and to buy some of this stalls wonderful produce. Just look at those lush strawberries; they tasted just as good as they look, as did the yummy asparagus; tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted for 10 mins in a hot oven. Delicious!


I just wanted to show you the new 'life and times' of Mr Snoops' feet! Two years ago came the first wearing of the knitted socks and now we seem to be going for 'how bright can you get'! These are his new socks for days when knitted socks just won't do :-(   He wanted brown! I said 'Why not stripes?' So, he went for stripes. Snazzy, hey?


Here's a pic of our beautiful boy, Oscar, taken this afternoon in the garden. He had been racing around with his pheasant, but stopped dead when he saw me with the camera, as if to say, ' You taking a shot of me Mum? Okay, I'll play ball!' Love my boy!


Sunday, 1 May 2016

MAGIC!


After very many years of knitting practice and many finished projects worn or used by three different generations of family and friends, I've taken on the challenge of learning a couple of new techniques; Magic Loop and Continental knitting. 

Josiekitten came to visit yesterday, for a knit, natter and catch-up. Needless to say, cakes were involved and the swap of small balls of sock yarn from our finished socks; to be used on our Sock Yarn Blankies (one day)!    


She passed on a couple of new skills that she had learnt from a colour work course at Loop, London. I had tried Magic Loop for sock knitting several years ago and it definitely didn't aid my sock production, so I didn't pursue the skill. However, this time it just seems to have clicked! It feels as though I have been using this method forever, rather than for about one quarter of one sock! 

I remember watching someone using the Continental method for a pair of socks several years ago at Knit Nation. She was whizzing along and seemed to be amused and bemused by our comparatively slow progress (I'm NOT a slow knitter!). I have never tried before yesterday. 

So, over a cup of coffee (tea for Josiekitten) and cake, we hatched a joint project plan to knit a pair of socks each using the same yarn, Opal Sweet and Spicy3 in colour way 'fruit gums'. We agreed to knit using Magic Loop and the Continental method. 



Today, Mr Snoops, Oscar and I set off in the glorious sunshine for a day trip to the beach; Aldeburgh , in Suffolk. Yes, the sun shone all day, we had fish and chips out of the paper and then afternoon tea at Snape Maltings, before heading home via Dunwich. It was beautiful and warm enough to not need coats! 


Travelling time served to get that Magic Loop working it's magic. It did! I'm hooked! How can it be that I have not perfected this skill before. It makes so much sense to knit, in effect, on two needles rather than four. It saves time! I've worked hard to avoid ladders at either side and so far, so good. they're not looking TOO bad. I'm thrilled! NO MORE DROPPED DPNS down the side of the car seats! No more needle between the teeth, whilst I 'knit on one' to avoid a ladder. Hooray! Well, at least for my plain stocking stitch Dave pattern socks. 

I'm not, as yet, having the same success with the Continental method, but am persevering. Things can get only get better it seems. In fact, they did get slightly better on the journey home, as I adjusted my 'yarn hold' to suit me better. I'll keep practising, but it'll need to speed up very quickly before I can even begin to say that I may be falling in love. There'll need to be some magic! ;-)


Sunday, 24 April 2016

SPRING GREENS........



This week has flown by! I have no idea where the days go! However, there has been plenty of action on the needles you'll be glad to hear. I'm afraid I'm in full 'baby knitting' mode at the moment, but don't worry, I'm sure it will soon pass. 'Spring Greens' was completed early in the week, but seaming avoidance tactics kicked into play and I managed to leave it in a neat little pile until yesterday. It seemed much more important to cast on yet another; same pattern, same yarn, different colour!

 I'm just loving the cute little buttons, which match just perfectly and were a snip at 5p each in a local store.


 I just love this soft grey and have three skeins sitting waiting to be used for a while now. I think there'll be a little beanie hat made to match; maybe with some 'spring greens' stripes.


I thought I'd show you another view, showing off my gorgeous 'Three Bags Full' bag. This has to be one of my favourites, with it's 'must have' spotty lining. 


We took a wander down through the city centre park in search of a Sunday morning coffee this morning; dodging the showers as we went. I've been taken by these lovelies for a week or so now, loving the gorgeous blend of soft colours and interesting variety of petal shapes. They are growing up against a tree trunk and black railings, at one of the entrances to the park. Just lovely!