Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WIP Wednesday - Lauriel (again!)

Hi everyone,

just wanted to return with news of my Lauriel second attempt. Well. Third actually as the second time I tried to knit the yoke pattern it still didn't look right. So my lovely friends Hannah and Jenny came to the rescue with an emergency knitting meet-up and set me straight. It turned out I should have been cabling every few rows, and I had just simply been knitting the stitches in brackets. Next time I will read the instructions better!

So, now I'm well on my way again and it's taking shape. And best of all, the yoke section is finally perfect, yay!

See? A million times better! Thank you everyone for all the encouragement to rip it out and start over - I needed that push and I'm so glad that I did it now as I'm finally happy with it :)

Also, thank you for the birthday wishes yesterday, I had a brilliant day. I had a yummy cooked breakfast served with cards and gifts, followed by shopping (for gorgeous new shoes no less!), followed by bowling - and yay, I won this time!

Then the day was rounded up perfectly by a lovely family meal with both parents, their partners, one of my sisters and my boys too.

And then I got sang to and served cake (oh the shame!). Here I am with my shameful cake lol!

Best go get ready for work - late shift AGAIN. Groan. Back soon!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011


*whispers* it's my birthday :)

So, another year older, another year wiser?

Older? Yes, 29 now, next year will be the big 3-0 {hides}. Wiser? Doubtful lol!

Which reminds me, I'd better pop back on later today and pick a winner for the giveaway I offered in my last post. There's still time to enter, but not much time so don't hang about!


Friday, August 19, 2011

FO Friday - and a big thank you :)

First of all, a big thank you to everyone who left me a kind comment on Wednesday's WIP frog or not-to-frog dilemma post. It really helped to read all your lovely comments, and you'll be pleased to know I did frog the Lauriel and I have now re-started it from scratch. It was hard to do, but it was never going to be right in my head, and I wanted it to be perfect or not be anything at all - plus getting to use my new yarn winder certainly helped soften the blow a little.

From this...

I had a little moment when I almost threw it across the room again yesterday, as the pattern just wasn't knitting in properly, again. But my lovely friends Hannah and Jenny came to my rescue with an emergency after-work knitting meet-up and I now know what to do, and it's looking a hundred times better already. Phew! Thank you girls!

... to this (can you see the continuous lines? Yay, me too!)

Can you tell I'm feeling a little better today? Maybe it's because I realised I'm lucky to have what I have, and to also have some good friends looking out for me - and I'm ready to say a big "screw you" to everyone and everything else. I'll find my own way. Ok, it might take a bit longer, and it might not be the scenic route, but I'll get there, just you see, and when I do it will be fabulous darling!

Anyway, the reason I'm supposed to be here is to share my latest FO with you. This one was a quick and very easy knit called Sophia and had two aims - using up some very cheap and easy wash yarn (Super Saver Solids I think) and to make a nice autumn-friendly top. Yes, I said autumn, it's in the air already I can just feel it.

And talking of garments, and washing, that leads me nicely on to my giveaway. The lovely people at Bold have launched a new 2-in-1 floral fragrance - Rose Blush & Peony. Oh my, it is absolutely lush! I have the powder (you can also get liquitabs and gel) and thanks to its unique scent-release technology it leaves my clothes smelling so summery all day long (I'm making the most of it before autumn really does set in!)

And to celebrate, for a limited time only, Bold are giving you the chance to win a lovely, exclusive floral print scarf by the London fashion designer Olivia Rubin. For your chance to win one, and get yourself a money-off coupon, simply visit

And to thank all you lovely followers out there, you can also grab a second chance to win this one right here simply by leaving a comment on this post telling me what your favourite fragrance/smell is and why. Closing date is next Tuesday 23rd August (oooh that's my birthday, but I'm giving you the present!) at 23.59, and I'll announce the winner as soon as possible afterwards. Entries welcomed from any country - I'm happy to post wherever. Good luck :)


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WIP Wednesday - Lauriel

It's Wednesday, so that means time to share another Work in Progress over at Tami's Amis.

My current WIP is Lauriel, from my recently-acquired and already much-treasured copy of Ysolda Teague's Little Red in the City.

This colour in this picture is more accurate than the two photos below

I had chosen some lovely yarn - Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk DK - which cost more than I would normally spend on yarn for one garment, but I wanted this to be really lovely. And although it was knitting up slower than I thought/hoped it would, I was pleased with how it was coming along. Note the word 'was' there.

Yesterday, during our weekly knitting meet-up, I noticed the yoke pattern on two of my friends' WIPs was a lot more defined than mine. I thought mine looked a little different due to the wool variation. But now I know it's not right, and I've realised why. I thought I was being clever by using the eastern style of stockinette stitch right from the start of the pattern, as Ysolda suggests to use as it makes your gauge more constant and the work neater. But unfortunately, this also means that the action to 'KBL' or knit through the back loop is cancelled out by the fact the stitch was already back-loop forward facing. Does this make any sense?! Anyway, it's not right.

This has really disheartened me. It took me hours to do the yoke and I really took my time to ensure every stitch of the pattern was perfect, and I was so proud. But I wasn't totally happy with it, and now I've seen how it should look it's just going to bug me forever. But I've spent hours and hours and hours getting half way down the body and I really don't want to frog it and start over now. I never complete anything as it is, getting so little time to knit, and I'm not sure I'd ever find it in me to pick it back up or finish it. Sigh.

So, a question to those more experienced knitters out there. If you don't mind? Please? Would it be possible to go back later, un-do the cast on edge, frog the yoke section and either re-knit it upwards? Or knit the yoke separately and re-join it, perhaps using the three-needle bind-off technique on the wrong side? Or am I just kidding myself? Maybe I was kidding myself trying to take on something so pretty. Any suggestions would be really appreciated.

Sorry for the negativity. Just having a bad time right now, nothing major, I really should be grateful for what I have, my gorgeous boys and husband, but silly things like this are just the straw that broke the camel's back, everything is really getting to me and upsetting me - I really didn't need this. :(

Oh well, going to try and enjoy my last day off before a run of seven days at work tomorrow and head to Yorkshire Sculpture Park and hopefully forget my worries for a few hours. Or try at least!


P.S. I've scheduled a FO Friday blog post for Friday - and there'll be a giveaway too. Hope to see you then :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Three of a kind

Here's another layout done, scrapped thanks to the challenges Shimelle has been posting on her blog this weekend.

This layout was done for the '3 is a magic number' challenge - to use three of the same thing on your layout. Can you guess what I have used three of? Well done if you got it right, I used three banner stickers (two across the top, and the blue diamond one below the main photo).

Oh, and I've finally found a way of scrapping without having to listen to the angry shouts of hubby on his stupid PS3 (yes, I am one of the millions of Call of Duty widows out there!). I have borrowed the computer headphones, plugged them into my iPhone and I'm blasting out my own tunes to scrap to! I'm having my very own silent disco in here, lol! Tonight I've been listening to Adele's latest album - man I love her music and song-writing. And it's helping my scrapping. Yay! 

So, I might go to bed now... or I might go see what Shimelle's next challenge is. Hmmm. Well, I do have another three days off work, so it's not like I have to be up early lol!


Half and half

I thought I'd blog as I went along this evening, while taking part in the challenges Shimelle is posting on her blog this weekend. That way I get to share them in the link under each challenge post. :)

The challenge was to scrap a layout that uses only half the page, with the other half left as 'white space'.

This photo is another taken on our recent holiday, of the boys playing in the water fountains - oh dear! - and the papers and embellies are mostly (if not exclusively) from recent Studio Calico kits. I think I just added a cloud, and oh of course my beloved washi tapes, ahhh sigh!

And here's the link to the challenge. Hope it inspires you to have a go too :)


P.S. Sorry about the weird colour on the photos - 8.30pm at night is not the best time to take outdoor shots of layouts. Lesson learnt.

I like a challenge :)

This weekend I have been trying, when possible, to take part in Shimelle's weekend of scrapbooking challenges and the two I've managed to do so far have really helped to get my creative mojo working...

This layout followed a challenge to start with three sized pieces of paper as a base - an almost sketch if you like. after that you could complete the layout any way you liked. This layout details a knitting workshop I attended recently with the fabulously talented Ysolda Teague at our equally fab local yarn shop Baa Ram Ewe in Leeds. I had a great afternoon learning lots, trying on some sample garments, catching up with friends and trying to decide which pattern to knit first and which yarn to buy for it! I also came away with my lovely new book signed, yay!

This was the original starting point (picture from - and you can see the original brief for this challenge here.

This next layout was scrapped in response to a late-night challenge to scrap using primarily the colours turquoise, red and white. Well, these being my favourite combinations of colours, and with these holiday photos freshly printed that very evening, that wasn't too much of an ask!

The photos are of me and the boys posing in a photo prop at Butlins a few weeks back - the boys loved jumping behind and grinning while shouting "cheese mum!" it every time we passed by!

Here's the link to the original challenge.

I wasn't planning on taking part, I didn't think I'd have time to, but I'm really glad I have and as it's just turned bedtime o'clock for the boys, I'm planning on getting to it again pretty pronto - can't wait! Thanks Shimelle for getting me scrapping again, the break had been a little too long again and I hadn't realised just quite how much I missed it. :)


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer loving... or should that be loved?!

As much as I hate to admit it, summer is almost over isn't it? I don't want it to be, but with day after day of clouds and rain lately I have to admit it.

BUT we have had an amazing summer, me and my boys. We've had a fab little holiday and some great days out together. Now I've finally managed to find a USB lead and upload the photos from our camera I thought it was about time I shared my favourite with you.

First up we met Alex's favourite cartoon characters, George and Peppa Pig at a local children's festival.

Then the boys enjoyed a male-bonding-kinda day out at Fairburn Ings.

Then we had a fab family day out at a bird of prey centre and stately home. This is me holding an eagle - oh my gosh was he heavy!

Then we had hubby and father-in-law's birthday weekend to Scarborough, no photos from that at the moment though (the weather was so rubbish I think I only have a few on my iPhone!)

And finally our fab family holiday, which was just amazing, I loved every single minute - so much so that we booked to return next year before we'd even left the site lol!

 I hope this hasn't been too photo heavy - I wasn't able to shrink these photos down and they took ages to upload! And I haven't yet edited/re-touched them yet either. Sorry!

I also hope that we do get a few more days like these before summer really is well and truly out. Fingers crossed :)