So much to knit, too little time!

As previously mentioned, I have been sorting out my Ravelry queue lately and choosing things to knit or crochet with stashed yarn. Sadly the cardigan I started last week, Masterpiece hasn’t quite worked out and I’ve abandoned it. My own fault really as I knew my row gauge was out by 3 rows and this is a really complex design for a top-down tailored jacket, in which the row gauge is as crucial as the stitch gauge. However, loving how it was looking as I was knitting it up, I continued in denial until I came to the point where I was supposed to start shaping for the underarms and it was clearly far too short. So reluctantly, I have abandoned this one and have decided instead to knit Perfect Edge. This is by the same designer and in fact in the same e-book as Masterpiece. Row and stitch gauge match almost spot on so it should turn out better.

So, what did I do next, consult my Rav queue to start on the next one? Don’t be silly! Of course I started on something completely different. In my defence, this is a pattern I bought when it first came out Baby Cables and Big Ones Too. It’s a lovely pattern and I had some bright red James C Brett merino in stash so I cast on. I’m getting on well with it but now am panicking a bit because it has dawned on me that I really don’t have enough of this wool! I knew this but convinced myself that if I knit it shorter in the body (I am short) and with short or three-quarter sleeves then I may get away with it. Now, having just finished the first ball, I’m not so sure! I really can’t decide whether to continue and hope for the best or to cut my losses and either continue with one of my WIPs or start something else. Just look how those cables pop in this yarn though! 😍

I’ll continue with the second ball of wool and see how it goes. I’m really enjoying the knitting and it’s a great pattern, very clear and well written.

I’ll keep you posted!

There is so much that I want to knit and crochet at the moment. Unfortunately my mind works much faster than my fingers.

J-J-J-Jive Talkin’

Sorry this post is a bit wordy as I didn’t take any pictures. Note to self ; must do better!

Last week I, my son Mason and his housemate Rosie had a night out to Hull New Theatre to see the fantastic Saturday Night Fever.

We met early for food in Tanyalak which is a Thai restaurant close to the theatre. The weather was foul, chucking down and bitterly cold but the excellent food we had soon warmed us up. The restaurant is a casual style, modelled on the popular Street Food idea the furniture and decor is a bit basic. It’s maybe not the place for a romantic night out but judging by the number of people who came in whilst we were there, it’s doing well as it is. Both food and service were excellent and the staff were very friendly. I’d recommend it without hesitation.

After we’d finished eating, it was still a bit early for the theatre so we popped into Brew, a new cafe/bar in the K2 development on Bond Street. They serve coffee, loose-leaf teas and craft beers and the decor is Scandi-chic (apparently). Rosie and I had different teas and Mason a coffee. The teapots were really cool actually, tall plastic jugs but then you sit it on top of your cup and it dispenses the tea from the bottom. I was quite fascinated by the process to the amusement of my young companions!

So, onto the theatre and the musical with the best selling soundtrack of all time (to date). As always, I worry that my companions may not enjoy the show as much as I do. I think this is because theatre tickets are quite costly and having persuaded someone to come with me, I want to be sure they get their money’s worth. No worries on that score as they both loved it.

The lead role of Tony Manero, which catapulted John Travolta to fame in 1977 was played by actor Richard Winsor. I’d never heard of him not being a TV fan but fans of Casualty will know him as Caleb Knight. He played the role really well and his dancing skills were impressive. All of the cast were excellent, the actress playing Annette was suitably pathetic in her unrequited love for Tony, Stephanie was wonderfully delusional about her social status and Tony’s mates were laddish. The live band were great and the singers made up to be the Bee Gees sounded just like the real deal, although one of the three went AWOL after the interval. There was no announcement that I heard but I assume he was unwell. The remaining two did a splendid job though. I must also mention the Studio 54 DJ, he was awesome in the over-the-top revving up the dancers that seemed to be the thing back in the day. I remember the nightclub DJs of my youth announcing song names in that over the top style.

The inevitable medley of tunes at the end had the entire theatre on their feet clapping and dancing and it almost seemed like the cast didn’t want to leave. As opening nights go, I’m sure they will have been pleased with that one.

All in all it was a fantastic night out and I was still buzzing when I got home.

Proud all round!

Well my biggest news for this post is that my brilliant eldest son, Michael, had confirmation yesterday that his PhD Thesis has been accepted meaning he has passed and is now officially a Doctor of Computer Science. He actually passed his Viva last year but with a few corrections to be made. Having recently re-submitted the thesis, he was awaiting the result which came by email last night. He rang me immediately and sounded absolutely thrilled.

To say I’m proud is an understatement! He has worked so hard for this and even though he didn’t qualify for funding, was determined that he wanted to do the PhD. His dad has been very supportive financially and there is no doubt that Michael couldn’t have done this without that support but Michael himself has worked too. Each summer he has managed to secure a well-paid internship which as well as contributing to his finances has given him more work experience to add to his CV. I’m certain that this helped in no small way to land him his current job with the Government Digital Agency in London.

In other more down to earth news, I was very proud last weekend when I finally finished the crocheted draught excluder I’ve been working on since the end of December. This was a large project for me as a beginner and a learning curve which is always good. I really feel that my future projects will be much better thanks to what I learned making this. If I do say so myself, I think it looks bloody fantastic!

I’ve spent a bit of time lately deciding what to knit next with the idea of trying to use up some stash. I’ve had some Stylecraft Ethical Twist in stash forever, camel and cream both in sweater quantities and oatmeal and baby cream in smaller quantities. A lovely wool/alpaca blend, it is absolutely gorgeous yarn and I’ve started numerous projects in it but it just hasn’t wanted to be those things and I’ve ended up frogging. I’ve finally decided on the stunning Masterpiece by Design Von Hinterm , knitted in the camel, I think it’s going to look really lovely. I cast on last weekend, almost as soon as I’d finished making up the draught excluder and it is looking good already.

So, having started using up some stash what do you think I’ve done? Of course, I bought more yarn! I got a book for Christmas, 200 crochet squares, so I thought I’d buy couple of balls of stylecraft special Dk, which is what a lot of crocheters seem to use and a couple of balls of Scheepjes Colour Crafter, to compare the two.

Now I have to add at this point that they are now under the bed and I haven’t tried them out yet!! I bought them from the Wool Warehouse website where I also spotted the clearance section….always a disaster to the bank balance. I just couldn’t resist the Mirasol Nuna, a simply divine sport weight. It just jumped into my shopping cart, honest.

This is also under the bed!

I love getting deliveries from Wool Warehouse because they pack everything in pretty gauze bags. Yeah I know…

Sunday Afternoon Out

We quite like to go out on Sunday afternoon/early evening. A mooch around wherever, couple of beers and a bite to eat and home by about 7 or 8 o’clock.

I’d seen that it was the last day of the Junior Open exhibition at The Ferens so we decided to pop along to see it. I think it’s great to encourage children in art and to give them a chance to enter it for exhibit in the gallery. For those chosen and their parents, it must be a thrill. I have to say though that if you don’t have a child who has an entry, it’s not the most exciting art exhibition to view. The ages ranged from 2 to 15 years old and it was plainly obvious that the youngest exhibitors had had some adult help! Some of the work of the older children was pretty good though.

We then popped into the HIP gallery on the bottom deck of Princes Quay. The current exhibition is a selection of photographs of Hip Hop dancers and I really enjoyed seeing them. If you haven’t visited this great little photography gallery, you should. It is well worth a look.

After all that art appreciation, we felt we’d earned a beer so it was off to one of our favourite pubs The White Hart on Alfred Gelder Street. It’s a truly stunning building as you can see.

This pub has one of the few remaining ceramic bars left in the country.

Oddly enough another of them is also to be found in Hull, at The Polar Bear on Spring Bank.

Just along from the White Hart is one of the bridges across the River Hull, Drypool Bridge. This bridge was painted in 2017,for our City of Culture year. The design representing Venn diagrams is to celebrate mathematician John Venn who was born in Hull. It certainly divided opinion when it was unveiled with some remarking that it looks like a 1970s wallpaper design.

A bus ride back to Princes Avenue for a bite to eat then home. A lovely afternoon out.

Crafty Update

Last year I learned how to crochet with the help of YouTube and in particular Bella Coco’s channel. Being a left-hander I have struggled to learn over the years, so finding video tutorials for left-handed crochet was a revelation and I took to it like the proverbial duck to water. I’ve found that I enjoy the process of crochet more than knitting so can see myself making baby items, toys and blankets etc. However, for grown-up clothing, I still much prefer the look of a knitted piece. It’s very nice to be able to do both and have the choice though.

My first crocheted items were some cute baby shoes from this tutorial on YouTube. I loved making these so much that I made them in lots of different colours. They’ll make a quick baby gift if I’m short of time.

The purple ones in this picture were gifted to a work colleague for his first grandchild.

Here are the others that I’ve made in different colours. I crocheted the green hat with the pink flower to match the shoes with the cute little flower button. The yellow hat was one I had knitted previously. I also made some pretty white ones with a pink bow and a matching hat for a work colleague expecting her first baby but I don’t seem to have taken a photo of them.

I’ve also started making squares for a blanket. The yarn is a light 4-ply with a bit of a halo and it’s going to be a really delicate, lightweight blanket.

The square I’m making is the Victorian lattice and I followed a tutorial from Bella Coco, although the pattern isn’t hers, it is from Destany Wymore.

Next up were scarves, Christmas gifts for my sons Michael and Mason. Some lovely yarn I’d had in stash for yonks. King Cole baby Alpaca. Deliciously soft and snuggly, just perfect for round your neck. For Mason’s scarf I used cream, brown and camel, crocheted lengthways using half-treble stitch into the back loop to create a ribbed effect.

For Michael’s I used black and brown, again lengthways using half-treble stich but just flat creating a kind of woven look.

I’m really pleased with how they turned out considering I made it up as I went along really. More importantly, the boys also liked them. Both immediately trying them on.

I do still have some knitting projects waiting to be finished but couldn’t resist ordering the yarn to start on this lovely crocheted draught excluder. It’s been a learning curve but I’m more than two-thirds into it now and really enjoying making it.

In knitting news, I’ve been sorting out stash and choosing what to knit with it. I really wanted to knit the previously attempted (and frogged) Peplum Jacket in some Stylecraft Ethical Twist, a gorgeous wool/Alpaca blend I’ve had for years but no matter what I tried, I just couldn’t match stitch or row gauge. As both are important for this garment and there is a bloody lot of work involved in knitting it, it’s just not worth risking it being the wrong size like last time, so I’ve scrapped that idea. I’ve sorted a few things into my Ravelry queue but am not allowing myself to start anything new until I’ve finished the draught excluder!

Soon though. Very soon.