Monday, 17 September 2012


Hats are another thing that be as easy or as difficult as you want them. I've knit two hats recently, but I think my favourite it the Ishbel beret.
I adore the colour of this one! (As a side note, I dyed a bit of yarn last week using tea bags and got a similar colour!) The pattern is the Ishbel beret by Ysolda Teague. The yarn is Shilasdair Luxury 4ply. It has cashmere, camel, angora and merino in it. Definitely a bit of luxury for your head! :) My project page is here.
This was a stash busting hat. The pattern is a free Ravelry download called Sneaky Snakes, and the yarn is Rico Design Essentials Merino Aran. I'm undecided as to whether I'll keep this one, it came out a bit small. I'll try blocking it bigger, and if that doesn't work a giveaway might be in order :) My project page is here.
Ashley x

Friday, 14 September 2012


I've also knitted a couple of pairs of socks. I love knitting socks, just as you're getting bored of doing one thing, there's a new thing to do! And they can be as easy or as difficult as you fancy. 

I love this pattern, the swirls are so pretty! It's Vorticity from the book Socktopus. The yarn is Rico Design Superba Bamboo. The bamboo makes the yarn very smooth and soft. And the stripes are so fun to knit. For more info on the yarn and pattern, my project page is here.

Now these socks are hard to photograph. There are cables and lace in there somewhere! The heel is also patterned, so it's the first time I've done a patterned heel :) The pattern is Eunice from the book Sock Innovation. The yarn is a Crazy Zauberball, I love this yarn! For more info, my project page is here.
And this is the Jaywalker pattern, a free Ravelry download. The yarn is King Cole Zig Zag, and Dom keeps calling them the dinosaur egg socks because he reckons the white and green look like dinosaur eggs. This pattern is great, very easy to memorise :) I can't wait to finish them.
Ashley x

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Dyeing with teabags!

I dyed some yarn!! With teabags!! As you can see it sent the cream Cygnet DK yarn a lovely coppery colour. I'm really pleased with it :) Word of warning though. If you do a test batch, make sure you do it with the yarn you intend to dye! I did a very small test batch using the Excelana 4ply, and it came out a very lovely autumn yellow. As you can see, the Cygnet came out far from a yellow! Luckily, I love this just as much as I love the yellow. Just be aware that it might not come out the same colour on a different yarn. 
I followed this tutorial. My test batch came out a similar colour to hers. The great thing about dyeing with food stuffs is that it's safe for your pans! The tea stained my pan slightly, but it came straight off with some magic eraser :)
I've dyed a second skein and intend to dye two more. It should be enough to knit the Peaks Island Hood from Whimsical Little Knits 2 :)
Ashley x

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

I killed a dishcloth!!

During the clean up of our flat, I used the only dishcloth that I could find in the mass of boxes:
This picture was taken just after I'd finished it. It's the prettiest dishcloth I've ever made. During the clean up, it was subjected to bleach and much scrubbing. Here's the poor thing now:
The picture makes it look better than it is, it looks much grimier and more sorry for itself in real life. I'm not sure how I managed to make a hole in it, it's starting to unravel. Which is why I'm declaring it dead. Better to lay it to rest now, than when it's a nasty pile of yarn that's annoying to use.
In tribute to this poor sorry dishcloth, I made three more:

I don't think we short on dishcloths for a while, considering what it takes to kill one :)
Ashley x

Monday, 10 September 2012


Phew, where have the last couple of months gone?! Thank you for the well wishes :) The move went so-so. We managed to get everything into Dom's dad's van ok, and the drive down was fine too. I didn't even get travel sick! We arrived on the Friday, we were to stay in an inn and get the keys on Saturday. But when we got here it was clear that the last tenant probably wasn't going to be moved out in time to drop the keys off at the estate agent. She and her mum were just shoving things into the car, she hadn't even packed anything beforehand! And they were throwing a few things into the car, not even filling it up as much as they could. In the end Dom's dad suggested we offer to help. We filled their car as full as we could, and off they went. They returned for the last few bits and left us with the keys. Hurray, we were in a day early! Right? You'd think we'd be happy, but the flat hadn't been cleaned at all. 
We decided to stay at the inn anyway, as the flat was in such a state that we just didn't want to sleep there. 
So on Saturday morning, we made our way to our new flat. The walls were mouldy (apparently this is a common problem round here, but she'd made no attempt to keep it under control), the fridge was disgusting with mould and the freezer box was frozen over so we couldn't open it (when we eventually got it open there was food in there!), everything was grimey, the bedroom carpet is cream and shows up everything she'd managed to spill on it, as well as a burn mark from an iron! After a couple of days, we noticed that the curtains were also mouldy and had cat hair matted into the lining. And then there were the fleas in the carpet!!! Ick!!
Anyway, we cleaned and scrubbed, and had the land lady and the estate agent round to check out the curtains and told them about the fleas. They were both disgusted, and the poor land lady was embarrassed! They both agreed that she wouldn't be getting her bond back. They took the curtains to be dry cleaned and organised for a professional flea treatment and a painter to come and stain block the walls (after we'd given them a good clean with water and white vinegar) and re-paint them cream. 
So we're mostly happy with the flat now :) We're still lacking in furniture though. We went to a furniture sale during one of our first weekends here and bought a chest of drawers (it's nearly as tall as I am!) and a little side table/coffee table from a company called Underneath the Mango Tree. It's made from mango wood! It's beautiful and is built to last. Plus  the chest of drawers makes our clothes smell lovely! We also have a sofa that the last tenant left, after a good scrub and a hoover out, it will do until we can get a new one (it's not in very good condition thanks to the cat). And a bed, of course. 
The lack of furniture has also meant no sewing! We don't have any kind of table (the side table is too low), and there's no way I'd manage on the floor! I'm sure I've seen a photo of a blogger using a sewing machine on the floor and her legs are bent every which way and she's all hunched over. I think I'd injure myself if I tried that! We've placed a massive order with Ikea and are now waiting for all manner of furniture. There's a desk big enough for both me and Dom, and I can have my sewing machine permanently set up there!! I'm so excited, I can't wait to finish my Chantilly dress and not have to put my sewing machine away every time I'm done with it. And a wardrobe, and a lot of storage in the form of drawers and bookshelves. I really hope we have plenty of storage, I'm tired of having things in boxes or neat piles. 
And now we come to the title of this post. We graduated last week! The graduation took place in the Lincoln Cathedral, with drinks afterwards in the Castle grounds. It was lovely :) Dom and my mum came to mine, but I wasn't able to go to his as we only got two tickets each (for free, you could buy extras but they sold out super fast!) and his dad and step mum went. Dom was also awarded the prize for most creative use of technology! How cool is that?! Also, it's a good job Dom took an extra handkerchief as my mum had need of it during the ceremony :)
I'll finish this long post with photo's from my graduation :) I don't have any on my laptop of Dom in his cap and gown yet though. Here are my favourites:

Me and mum :)

I know this blurry, but it's one of my favourites. I think we were laughing
because I'd poked him in the head with my hat!

I hope you've all had a lovely weekend :) I'll share some of my recent knitting this week. And hopefully some sewing at the weekend! (Fingers crossed that the Ikea order comes when it's supposed too!)
Ashley x

Update: Just received an email from Ikea with the date of delivery. Not until the 20th!! When we ordered, the estimated delivery was the 15th *sigh* I was hoping in would be sooner, we really need a wardrobe. We've been hanging Dom's suits on the headboard of the bed! lol


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