Frog in knots

Knitting, knots and frogging.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Life of Riley

Long time no see my dears. Blimey what a year! I finished my teaching qualification successfully this summer but ended up having a slight career change due to illness. I have developed a severe allergy to teenagers and the more chavtastic they are, the more intense my desire to run from the room screaming.

As you can see my alternative career choice keeps me incredibly busy.

This was me at work a few days ago - rushed off my feet as you see. You might also note a slight change of scenery too. I hopped across to Channel to Frogland a few weeks ago and will be here until next the start of next summer. I'm working for a school study tour company at the moment and head off to a ski resort this winter. I have already tracked down the yarn shops in Paris, and am now finding the time to knit again after my relative drought of last year. I've lots to show you, but won't spoil you all at once.

The project in my hands is Juno Regina which spent a few weeks in the naughty corner when I noticed a mistake 16" earlier. I was starting to think it was a project I wasn't supposed to make, but now seems to be behaving itself after a spell in detention. It won't be done any time soon, but is making a great portable project for the time being.

Otherwise it's sweaters-a go-go at Château Rain with this little number from VK Winter 05/06 in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran but more on that soon. I'm now mostly posting projects at Ravelry where my user name is Rainie.

Be good my sweets and I'll hopefully catch up with you all properly soon.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Bezzie would be proud

What do you get if you cross a wooden coat rack and a string dispenser?

A cheap-ass swift of course!

I was fortunate to receive a gift voucher for Get Knitted for my birthday and I had intended to put it towards a real swift, but my Mum happened to see the coat rack and suggested that it might do the same job if it was attached to a lazy susan or something similar. Necessity Val being the mother of invention after all! So the cheap-ass version was born.

It's not quite as long as I'd like when stretched out, but it does the job more or less. I've also seen plastic versions of the coat rack in Tesco recently if anyone else fancies making one. The string dispenser came from a craft fair and the two pieces cost me £4.50 as opposed to the £40 a real swift would have cost, leaving me to spend the gift voucher on other things...

Excellent transactions all round I think you'll agree!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tee Hee

I was conned into buying Simply Knitting recently by a very misleading picture on the cover of a pattern I wanted to make, only to find it wasn't in the magazine, but only an advert for a kit. Damn plastic wrapping. As a small consolation there was a voucher inside for the Bumper Book of Knitting, which I then got for half price. While it's not the world's most amazing knitting book there are a few things in there that I wanted so it was worth it. Not to mention that it includes Alan Dart's Christmas Gnomes.
I'm not really a gnome fan, you know the tacky ugly little pottery or plastic fellows that people put in their gardens that I get the urge to kick over when I see them (I've gone grumpy in my old age), but I couldn't resist this little guy, especially as I was looking for something suitable to make for my tutor. She's Swedish and was throwing a traditional Swedish bash to celebrate the end of term before the crimbo holidays. He was perfect and she loved him. He even got to go with her on her trip to Japan the lucky little bugger. Huge thanks to Hazel for the leftover yarn from her little guy.

Monday, January 07, 2008

It's a pirate's life for me!

When I heard an old friend had had a baby last year I instantly set about knitting for her. Well, not quite instantly. What does one knit for a goth baby? Obviously pink and frills were out and I didn't feel the love for black and frills, that's a bit too ominous for my liking, so I went with black and cute. Hopefully Jules will forgive me for the little bit of pink on her gothlet.

It's the Pirate Sweater from Adorable Knits for Tiny Tots by Zoe Mellor (again). Same mods as with the red one - I missed out the contrast cast on/off because that would have meant even more ends to sew in and do I not like ends. Fortunately I like the sweater enough to have made it twice in a short space of time. Right, now where's the rum?

Monday, December 31, 2007

Funny Looking Hat

Turns out it wasn't a giant rasta tam after all...
It's the Pinwheel sweater from Elann. I made it in Sirdar Yo-Yo a chunky self striping boucle yarn that fades in and out beautifully. It was met with much scepticism by those watching me make it who couldn't see how on earth I was supposed to wear such an odd shaped contraption, but all is now clear...I started this in August for the Sweater-a-Month KAL but once I'd decided to go back to University that went out of the window and it's taken until now to finish it. It was worth the wait though.
It's a different tension, which doesn't matter in the slightest for this project and I used the same method as the thumb from Fetching for the sleeves as the one given was more complicated. I also did a simple picot cast off that looks reversible in this yarn. I haven't really figured out a fastening yet, but will either keep the hair stick or buy a brooch to match it. I love it!

I wish you all health and happiness in the New Year!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Erm.............................. oops

Calling my schedule hectic would be the understatement of the century, which means I've had to develop a new hobby. I have given up knitting and replaced it with stashing. Although I'm starting to think it's more of an illness than a hobby because it's brought on by extreme stress. I think I have an allergy to assignment deadlines, of which there have been plenty.
As you can see I'm in a very purple mood of late.

It's Sirdar Blur and Click, Debbie Bliss Astrakhan and Cashmerino Aran, Manos del Uruguay, Twilley's Freedom Spirit and Hunter's of Brora 4 ply. I've enough for a sweater from each type, with enough for 2 from the Astrakhan.

Although I have been good and branched out to other colours.

Fox Moda, 3 more colours of Manos, more Hunter's, Louisa Harding Fauve and some DB Cathay. Again in sweater quantities. All of this has been extremely bargainous, although I did splurge on some Knit Witches Cashmere lace weight when I went to London for the new SnB book launch, but more on that another time.

Right now I'm too busy fending off my mother's attempts to misappropriate some of it in her direction. Too much yarn? No such thing!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

Is it a giant rasta tam? Actually it's none of the above, but I ain't tellin'. You'll just have to guess.

Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated. The grand move South went very well indeed and I am now installed in a very trendy locale, but it unfortunately means I haven't had much knitting time as I'm now in University and teaching in a local secondary school. I do have lovely classes, but they keep me on my toes. I don't think I've ever done anything this time intensive so you'll have to forgive the lack of posts and blogreading. Roll on the holidays!

Most importantly, I have a few (very) belated thank yous.

The biggest goes out to Carrie Anne for being a truly amazing Summer Secret Santa. The swap took place in July and I received an amazing parcel. The yarn is Brigantia Luxury 100% wool DK in the most gorgeous colours. I was pleasantly surprised with this yarn, the tag says it's 50g skeins but on my second fondle something felt a bit suss so I weighed it and each skein came in at 111g making the posibilities endless. I think it's begging to be made into a vest top of some kind. The other items included a funky crocheted bag, a handmade ethnic necklace, a beautiful personalised notebook full of gorgeous different paper, some incense, some stationery and a brick of fudge (already devoured). Thank you so much Carrie Anne, it was all perfect.

Also the fabulous Queen of the Froggers, the wonderful ArtyFartyKat, the very talented Hila and the other other Rain (not the yarn licker) have all nominated me for a Rocking Girl Blogger Award.

I know it's taken me a while ages to get back to you all about it, but I was really touched by each of you thinking of me. Do go and check out their blogs because they rock too. I also want to thank all of you who've carried on reading even though the blogging has been a bit patchy over the past few months, it's been a funny old year so far. I really appreciate you stopping by to comment as well as those who just read along on the quiet. I also want to thank those of you that have added me to the link lists on your own blogs. I do notice and am keeping you all bookmarked so I can catch up with you at some point. You lot all rock! As for nominations of my own (I hate doing this because I can't pick everyone) I wanted to point you in the direction of three of my favourite blogs. Firstly Areli, she knits the most beautiful things, next up Heather because I want to be just like her when I grow up, and finally Rachel. She may forget to blog or knit, but she never fails to make me smile.

Psst! TG - I'd have picked you, but thought you might get the meme stick out and beat me with it.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Frog on the Move

I may be as mad as a box of frogs, but this time I have surprised even myself. At the end of last month I decided on a career change and put plans in motion for it to happen RIGHT NOW! I'm going back to Uni to do a post-grad teaching certificate and a part time Masters degree in Education. (Ha ha! Lock up your children!) The fact that my chosen university is in the same city as the best yarn shop in the UK is, I assure you, entirely coincidental...

I have actually been very, very lucky and got a last minute place at one of the best institutions in the UK and am quite looking forward to my move Dahn Sarf. If your name is Sue I'll be appearing in a wool shop near(ish) to you very soon. In fact the course starts in 3 weeks time.

Normal blogging will resume shortly although knitting will have to take a bit of a back seat for a little while. Small projects ahoy!

Monday, August 06, 2007


Hello folks. I am still around I promise, but the world is a-changing at Casa Rain at the moment with big and scary plans afoot. Now I've got you all curious, this is the bit where I don't want to say anything in case nothing comes of it, but you may not see that much of me around for a little while. I have a lot to do and very little time to do it. Unfortunately none of it is yarn related and SHOCK HORROR I haven't knitted a stitch for 2 weeks or more. I'm getting withdrawal symptoms and am starting to gibber.

However, before big scary plans were set in motion I did manage to knock out a wee outfit that I've been planning on making for ages. It's Lavender and Lace from Simply Knitting May '06 made in Jaeger Sienna 4 ply and some mystery mohair that's roughly the same thickness as Kidsilk. The only change I made was to miss the holes out of the zig zag section in the middle.

I really like it but am having a nightmare getting ribbon to match and have been wearing it in public without. I need it really as it would hold the top in place. It could do with a bit more space for the boobage too, but I couldn't be bothered to undo it.

The very lovely lady at the local craft shop even got the ribbon shade cards out to see if she could order something else to match, but the pink is too pink and the lilac is too lilac, so we're stumped. I'm looking for another option to ribbon that involves very little work on my part but am drawing a blank. Answers on a postcard to...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Cold Shoulder

One problem I have is that I don't like wearing a coat and have been known in the depths of winter to potter out in very little on. This gets worse in the summer, the warm weather (HA!) tempts me out in just a vest (well not just a vest) and when it gets chilly in the evening I freeze. I can't always rely on a beer jacket to keep me warm and have decided that shrugs are the way forward. Step up The Ribbed Lace Bolero.

This is a variation on the Craftster Circular Shrug and can be custom fit to your body size by taking certain key measurements. This took just under 2 balls of Blue Sky Organic Cotton and is great for keeping the chill off, or at least it will be if it ever stops raining.