Tuesday, 26 September 2006


Hmm, lacking photo's. I think I'll take some of my dyeing results this evening from the weekend, some lush autumn colours.

J xx

Thursday, 21 September 2006


We are all packed in like sardines in a can.

Various boyfreinds arrive tomorrow for visiting......

I'm never want to smell another glass of red wine as long as I live.

Loving every minute of it.

J xx

Tuesday, 19 September 2006

Patterns and recipes

Ok so, I made a Jpeg of the frilly tank pattern and its in the pattern photo album, if you click on it it will get bigger but I need to think of a better was of displaying it because you can' see it too well. Any ideas? Perhaps I just need host the pther patterns on one of my other web domains.

So Sole and I blitzed the house, we got back from Ikea about 9.30, I had to pack Sole in the back of the car with the stuff, it was very funny, we were so tired though trying to carry the wardrobe in, that we were laughing so much we couldn't pick it up, goodness knows what the neighbours thought. Then I went to pick up Bea, and so now I am just awaiting the third lodger tomorrow. Its amazing having women in my house, I'm not used to that at all, I get organised all the time, and my kitchen has been changed around so much that I can't find anything, but I have to be honest, I absolutely love it. I really really need that in my life at the moment. Apparently we are even doing a rota for cooking and cleaning!!!!

I'll post the recipe for the black current crumble later, seeing as I need to check the quantites, I don't normally measure anything.

Anyway so today I have alot of work to do getting ready for the return of the students, There is still alot of talk of knitting Phd, not from my department though, but other places,  scares the crap out of me, but I'm learning just to take things on and just keep going. So I'm still keeping it in mond.

But the most exciting thing today is, and I'm not going to give too many details, but I'm choosing the colours for a new range of yarns for Fyberspates.

I hope you guys don't mind my life bits as well as knitting, its just that my life has just changed so much in the past couple of months, and its so good, I just want to share it with everyone. And  food is such a massive treat for me, especially social eating that I get really excited about it, I will, if people want, post the spanish and polish recipes of the things that are really really good.


Monday, 18 September 2006

I think I'm losing my mind and enjoying it!

So remember I told you about my lodgers? Well there were two, and then there was three. Oh yes, thats right in a two and a half bedroomed house, full of wool and me.

So I'm sleeping in the loft. But that means removing all the wool, gutting the office, and distributing it around the house, I'm a little stressed but excited.

We had our first 'family' dinner last night, which was fantastic, we had amazing tapas, paella and copious amounts of red wine and Blackcurrent crumble to finish, with lots of spanish music. I think this is a taste of things to come. I think we will probably all cook together, and Sole's boyfreind is Polish so we'll be getting a taste of that too. Oh its such a hard life!!!!! Although I need to keep on tops of all the wool for Ally pally, AHHHHH! At least they all love the wool though, thank goodness! They'll all be knitters b4 they leave. :-)

By the way, take a look at Flossies frilly Jumper, she made based on my frilly tank pattern, but added sleeves and knitted the frills, its fabulous! Its very sexy!! I'll post the pattern up here for the tank, and hopefully flossie will put the jumper version up too.

Friday, 15 September 2006

Spiders and parties.

So, this morning I attempted to put my washing out, and was confronted with layers of spider webs spread across my path, with to be honest, HUGE spiders in the middle. I love all creatures, but there is no way I was gonna attempt moving those, so I had to put my washing on the radiators instead. I'm such a chicken, I'm also worried about hurting them if I try and move them and panic, how am I going to get to my shed though? I only killed something once, and that was because in my moudly old house, there was a slug coming out of my tap, which made me feel very ill, so I put salt on it and ran away, then I cried for about 3 hours because I killed it. What am I like?

So what do I do? I've got to get things out of my shed for orders. Dang, I guess the husband was useful for something. HE HE. I'm sure that would make him laugh. Honest.

So onto warmer 2 legged things. The thing I love about my job is that we are all really good friends as well as colleagues, and socialize a fair bit, especially at this time of the year, lunchtime parties get you through the winter.

So Sole, one of my lodgers arrives on Sunday, we are very good friends, and so is another Spanish friend Bea. So that means Sunday afternoon parties, Prof's, children, wives  and all I hope. Whats good for a Sunday late afternoon lunch? What about tonnes of lasagne (I'm make a serious lasagne, the sauce takes 4 hours) and salad, and blackcurrant crumble another of my specials, I can prepare it in advance then. Oh and lots of vino. Is lasagne a bit old fashioned? Any other ideas people?

J xxxx

Wednesday, 13 September 2006

I like wednesdays.

Wednesdays are fabulous aren't they? Half way through the working week, it feels like a day to celebrate, like you only have two more days to get through so its not gonna hurt to have a bottle of wine. Ahem. (I do ham the whole alcohol thing up, honest)

So I'm especially excited today because I have a very important wool meeting after work, hatching some little plans might accurately describe it. And there are lots of other little exciting things going on, but I can't really blog about that yet, just in-case someone who shouldn't reads it.

Anyway moving swiftly on, the sloe gin.....how much gin do you need? I had no idea how much a pound of sloes looked like, turns out I have about 2, that means I need about 3 litres of Gin, I do believe thats my monthly food budget gone, so I'm going to have to use these fab sainsbury's vouchers you gave me mum for emergencies, well this is an emergency! Anyway, I'm pretty sure mum will be consuming most of it anyway!! Only kidding. hehe.

Dyed about 20 kilo's of wool at the weekend for ally pally, with help from Elly, thanks, babe, couldn't have done it without you! I also have some more lace weight silk in stock again, I'll get that dyed this weekend. I've put some of the wool up on the website. This weekend though is dedicated to more autumn and richer colourways, its so hard to get the thick soft yarns to take deep colours, but I'm working on it.


Still loving the Scott Mathews Album, and he's on radio 1 with Joe Wiley next Thursday I think, that'll be fab to hear him live.

Can you hear me skipping, can you?  :-)

J xx

Friday, 8 September 2006

I'm so excited...and then the balance is restored.

Goodness knows why, my life is going mad, and there is gorgeous yarn at every turn, I guess thats why. Yay for yummy yarn, I'm telling you, you have to come and see me at ally pally, touch the stuff its wonderful.

Feeling like a winter determination:

   'I will not buy any knitwear this autumn/winter, only those knitted out of my own    yarns'.

Sounds good huh? Hmm.

**added later** and the balance is restored. Made a slight mistake in my statistics for one of my experiments. The interesting results aren't quite so interesting. I'm feeling very sheepish and embarrassed. Bleahh.

Tuesday, 5 September 2006

A post two days in a row!

Blimey, you can tell when I'm happy, cause I blog nearly every day! Got quite a bad cold, and had to go home early from work yesterday cause I felt so ill, but its mainly because it makes me so tired, and I think my office mate was a getting a bit fed up of my sniffing. Feel much better today, but I know I'll be nodding off again by three, despite sleeping about 13 hours last night. I hate being ill, I get so frustrated!!!!!

Despite that, I am feeling very bubbly, I'm getting so excited about Ally pally.

Have some amazing fairailse things in the pipelines, ready for ally pally, totally amazing stuff! I can't wait to put photo's up, but until the patterns are finished I won't.

Listening to a fabulous album: 'Passing stranger' by Scott Matthews, I heard the song 'elusive' song on radio 1 and was stunned by how beautiful it was,  and have had a nightmare getting hold of it, but I got a copy from here. Truly lush, he is doing a concert on Thursday night in cheltenham, but I can't get tickets.

Hmm, I would also like to give a big shout out to my fabulous wool supplier!!!! (hehehe) Thats a personal joke for Andy!

Monday, 4 September 2006

All sorts.

Thanks for the comments on the jumper. I will probably continue in the turquoise, I finished the hank, and its nearly long enough to start the sleeves, so while I'm still deciding, I cast on for the back. There is a pattern emerging again, despite the hank is a little different, but I'm desperate to get home knit it and see what happens.

On a scale of 1 - 10, for a bleach blonde 28 year old, I do do some very strange things. People always say to me 'you don't look like a knitter'. And people are always suprised when they come to my house to see the weird things I do. One of my obsessions is making things from scratch, and when it comes to food, I love using free ingredients. So having been reduced to poverty recently because of my mortgage, I decided to be a little bit more resourceful. I am a sucker for special things, especially if they contain alcohol or something yummy to eat like cheese which I will be making soon, (i'll let you know how I get on). So, I think I mentioned in a previous post that I commissioned a rum pot to be made to make very fruity rum from seasonal berries. Well, yesterday I went on a mission to get some berries for free. So me and a friend scoured the cotswold hedges for a couple of hours yesterday after lazing around,(the first day I've done that for about 5 months) and picked squillions of fat plump and juicy blackberries, also there was loads of rose hips, so I got some of those and also found  a massive fat sloe bush, so I got a couple of kilo's of sloes. We also found a brambley apple tree and some pears, completely legal!

If anyone knows the cotswolds, you'll know that they grow alot of fruit there, and there are the most wonderful specimens of apples and pears everywhere. My friend was rather consumed by a beautiful pear tree overhanging from a garden, so after plenty of attempts to dissuade her, I said, OK, go get some, if thats what you really want. She got out the car and stepped straight out into a massive muddy puddle and got completely soaked. Suffice to say I laughed alot and she didn't 'borrow' any pears. But we did find one in the hedgerow on the way home!

I made a really yummy apple, pear, and blackberry crumble for dinner, which follwed the yummiest roast dinner I have eaten for a long time, although we were quite tipsy by then, because we were playing cards and drinking wine while it cooked, it was such a lovely day.

Not too sure what to do with the rose hips yet, probably make some rose hip jelly.

The sloes, well, they are for sloe GIN. So I'll have to blow my weekly food budget on some bottles of gin. I'll probably be wobbling for a day or two, while I test out the gin to make sure its safe.


PS any one out there able to convert patterns into larger sizes? I need to convert some of my designs into larger sizes, email me at fyberspatesATbtinternetDOTcom, if you have exprience of doing this. You would be paid for it.

Friday, 1 September 2006

Its a miracle!!!!!!!!

OK, so I'm never the most structured of people as most of my friends testify, although when I am dyeing yarn I do have a general formula I stick to because its practical. I normally only knit up socks in my 4ply, but last night while at Liv's knitting/house warming party I swatched 'squishy' and decided it would make a really wonderful ribbed jumper, perfect for my ally pally stand. Suffice to say I cast on and started. I didn't take much notice of the pattern until Judy said, 'jen look at that!!!!!' I turned it around and there was the face of the virgin Mary in it, no no no only kidding!!!!, however it had amazingly turned out like a pringle pattern, any one who knits random dyed stuff knows that this is phenomenal!!!:





How mad is this? Any ideas on how should I continue, because when I get to the armholes the pattern will obviously be ruined, so I might continue in a solid colour, what does everyone think about it being cream?

Disclaimer, I can't guarentee ever that the yarn would ever do this again if knitted up with a different tension or a different skein of this yarn.