Wednesday, 21 September 2011


Thanks for all the blanket/afghan suggestions - keep them coming!  I still haven't settled on one.  I've started 2 so far and both have been abandoned as I haven't hit on the right yarn/pattern combo yet.  I made a trip to the new John Lewis to buy some yarn at the newly opened Westfield Stratford mall on Monday - but was defeated by the other 700 million people who also decided to check it out that day.  It was busier than the last Saturday before Christmas on Oxford St.  Crazy.

In the meantime I continue to make slow and steady progress on the Princess. With projects like this I keep motivated by focusing on small milestones - goodness knows the end seems too far away to be achievable.

I've just finished row 110 - so I'm halfway through the 220 rows of the wide border charts.  For the time being I ignore what's left to do after that!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

What are the Chances???

Most of the time when I make socks from self striping yarn I don't bother trying to get the second sock to be exactly the same as the first sock.  I know how to, and I have on occasion bothered, but most of the people I make socks for have been convinced (bullied?) by me into preferring the more casual look of the 'fraternal' sock.

So imagine my surprise when I was a couple of inches into the second sock of this pair and realised it was coming out EXACTLY like the first.

Totally randomly.

I finished the first sock, cut off the yarn and cast on the second sock and through some little knitting miracle it started in EXACTLY the same place in the striping pattern. 

My rusty stats skills say that the odds of randomly picking the same place in the pattern from the yarn is  about 1 in 1039.

I only wish I was so lucky when it came to picking lottery numbers. 

Now that I've accepted it's fall I need a good mindless-ish knitting project for DVD watching.  (I've still got the final season of 24 to devour!)(And I'm way behind on The Office.)(And Downton Abbey is due to start again this week.....)  Anyway - I'm drawn to the idea of another afghan.  (Not that I need one - but they are satisfying knitting.)

Any interesting blanket/afghan/throw patterns to suggest??

Monday, 12 September 2011

...and the winners are...

Well, Parkinson's Society is the big winner here - thank you to everyone for your support.  The total of $934(!!!!) was way over what I had hoped to raise.  (I raised my 'goal' on the Parkinson's site more than once as you generous knitters (and a few kind non-knitting friends) kept bumping the total  up.) 

The winners, drawn by me from a little bowl of names are:

3rd prize:  Emily
2nd prize: Janiannie
1st prize:  MariaSK

Congratulations!!  I'll be in touch to get your address and will post the Posh Yarn loveliness to you as soon as possible.

Commiserations to those of you who weren't quite so lucky.  I've got my earring production almost done and will be in touch with everyone else to get addresses for sending those out as well.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Counting and Recounting

A HUGE thank you to everyone who has entered the Parkinson's Posh  Yarn draw - your support means so much to all of us. If you haven't entered but would love to win piles of GORGEOUS Posh Yarn (or have no idea what I'm on about) you can read more about it here.

Last week I couldn't muster up much interest in knitting (apart from the little earrings).  I knew in the back of my mind that what was stopping me was the mind numbing task of confirming that I had picked up exactly 865 stitches from the Princess edging onto the my needles and knitting the first row of the wide border pattern.

But in order to get knitting I had to count, so counting I did. Now, I don't know about other knitters but counting hundreds of stitches reduces me to jelly.  Not because I struggle with the basic flow of numbers - it is just that I get a different answer each and every time I count.

Of course that's if I make it to the end without the phone ringing, the doorbell ringing or (more often) losing interest and allowing my mind to wander so that I manage to to forget where the heck I was.  Stitch markers at regular intervals help - but even then I find myself with too many or too few stitches at the end and then have to recount all of the sections and ... well ... it's no fun.

But I did it.  I counted (a few times). And counted again.  And  I eventually decided I had 865 stitches and I started knitting.

And knitting.

And knitting.

It was like I was making up for not knitting for so long, I couldn't stop!

I knit 27,680 stitches. (That's 32 rows, but it sounds better in stitches.)  I am officially on a knitting spree.

If you squint a little when you look at this picture you can almost see how it will look with a bit of blocking.

And with the nasty counting over I think the Princess and I can finally start to become friends.

(I think I've FINALLY found an advantage to the inside out construction of this shawl - it's a little easier to photograph the pattern while it's on the needles!)

(And no, that doesn't make it worth it.)

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Posh Yarn Prizes for Parkinsons!

The regional branch of the Parkinsons society in my hometown has decided to hold this year's SuperWalk in my father's honour.  This picture is my father with his brothers (most of them!) at a Parkinson's fundraising walk held at our family reunion last year.

Lots of family members will be taking part in the walk but I'm not able to make the trip to Canada to participate so I've registered as a 'virtual walker' and thought I'd hold a blog contest to raise some much needed money to fund research for improved Parkinsons treatments - and one day a cure.

The prizes are skeins and skeins of yummy Posh Yarn.

Regular visitors to the blog will know that Posh  Yarn is a firm favourite of mine - the base yarn is always fabulous and the colours are beautiful. Over the past few years it has become harder and harder to buy as it has grown in popularity. You can see some of my Posh Yarn projects here, and here, and here and here - oh! and here and here and  here and... well, you get the idea. I love the stuff!

But this cause is one very close to my heart, and raising money for this year's walk is very important to've raided my yarn cupboard and I'm giving some of my beloved stash away... Not surprisingly, most of it is laceweight - but you can double it up if you like a heavier yarn.

The Prizes:

First prize:
2 x 100g skeins of DK silk yarn

3 x 50 g skeins of laceweight Eva 2ply (cashmere/silk - each skein about 400  yards)

1 x 100g skein of laceweight Cecilia 1 ply (cashmere/silk - about 1400 yards)

2 x 50g skeins of laceweight Eva 2ply (silk/cashmere - each skein about 400 yards)

Second prize:
2 x 55g skeins of laceweight Sophia 2ply (cashmere - each skein about 400 yards)

3 x 50g skeins of laceweight Eva 2ply (cashmere/silk each skein about 400 yards)

2 x 100g skeins of laceweight Lydia (cashmere, linen, silk each skein about 600 yards)

Third prize:
1 x 50g skein of laceweight Eva 2ply (cashmere,silk each skein about 400 yards)

2 x 50 g skeins of laceweight Eva 2 ply (cashmere/silk each skein about 400 yards)

1 x 100g skein of laceweight Cecilia 1 ply (cashmere/silk about 1400 yards)

How to Enter:

Just make a donation here to the Canadian Parkinson Society before September 12th at noon.  (That's when I'll draw the winners' names.)

Everyone who donates will be entered into the draw for the yarn.  You can send me an email (thingssoolikes at gmail dot com) or leave a comment after you've donated.

Mention this fundraising effort on your blog and link to this page and you'll get a second entry into the contest.   After you've added the link, you can email me (thingssoolikes at gmail dot com) or leave a comment.

Anyone who donates $10 (or more!) Canadian (about £6) ($10 US) will get a FREE pair of the knitterly earrings I was making earlier this week as a thank you.  You can select style (little ball of wool or knitting in progress) and colour (purple, green, blue, red (not shown), white, or pink (not shown)).

I know times are hard everywhere and I appreciate whatever you are able to give.

If you've got any questions you can email me on thingssoolikes at gmail dot com.

Good luck!!