Friday, 26 December 2008

All Over Till Next Year & A New Sock Started

Yep that's right tis all over until next year. All I can say is thank god!

Anyway as I said it is over and finished now for another year and I have the beginnings of a new sock to show.

This is the toe section and the first pattern repeat of my latest sock which is the La Digitessa pattern by Yarnissima. Yarn is Luxxie Sock in Summer Berries by Woolhunter. It is a quite labour intensive pattern which you need your wits about you and maybe some new eyes after a while because mine are going a bit gaga with this chart. Goodness only knows why it has decided to lie down but no matter what I do it won't upload the right way round.

This is what is is supposed to look like when it is finished - la Digitessa

Tuesday, 9 December 2008


Technically it isn't quite winter yet but here is a winter shot taken this time last year at Center Parcs at Whinfell Forest. I think the picture was taken in the car park.

Monday, 8 December 2008

November Mystery Sock Completed

NovMystery Sock Completed, originally uploaded by Kerry's Socks.

I have finally completed the November mystery sock. It seems to have taken ages but it was an enjoyable experience. Yarn was hand dyed with food colouring. The final pattern is called Mad About Plaid

Thursday, 4 December 2008


This Christmas we are doing without any festive lights. It just isn't worth it with the dogs being young and still chewing. Our previous tree was fibre optic so had it's own lights and I am missing them this year but nevermind. I have made up for it with these

Yankee Candle jars with shades. I love Yankee Candles anyway and these were on special offer from

Wednesday, 3 December 2008


Christmas traditions are very different in lots of countries. Our traditional activity has to be the advent calendar with the cheap and nasty chocolate, although one of mine chose Milky Bar this time so not so cheap and nasty.

This one is number 3 from a Star Wars one and just happens to be an angel.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Welcome To December

Sorry for the prolonged absence. Things have been a little crazy with various medical appointments and illnesses.

Anyway it is now December and time has flown past. We had a sprinkling of snow yesterday which was nice for the 1st December. Apparently we should have had some today and the morning news showed lots of it but all we got was rain on top of very icy pavements which made for very slippery conditions underfoot.

We put the tree up yesterday. It is the first time in 17 years of celebrating christmas in this house that we have ever had a real one. It smells lovely. We don't have an angel on top rather a goat/reindeer thingy which came from Ikea in the after christmas sales last year. We also have a star which we have had for a very long time and could quite easily be seeing it's last christmas with us. Most of the decorations are from Ikea with a few baubles from M&S and some santas from Wilko. Definitely not gone for any lights because of the dogs.

Friday, 21 November 2008

A Scrapbook Layout At Last

It is my first one of this month but yesterday I finally managed to get back into doing some scrapbooking.

This is Daisy when she was a little smaller than she is now. She climbed on the settee but couldn't quite get down. She still can't do stairs.

The papers are Making Memories Noteworthy, flowers are Prima Essential Tea and Silk and the letters are Making Memories.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Mystery Sock Clue 2

Mystery Sock Clue 2, originally uploaded by Kerry's Socks.

This is the second part of the November mystery sock challenge over on Ravelry. Clue 3 will be released tomorrow and I'm thinking it is probably the foot (obviously really DOH)

Monday, 10 November 2008

Mystery Socks Clue 1

This is clue one from a mystery sock challenge I am taking part in.

I absolutely hate fairisle knitting so I wasn't too impressed when I first saw the requirements but that all melted away when I realised that the different colours are knit in rows of their own with some slipped stitches so there was no messing about. I did get into a bit (or a lot) of a tangle though but I figured that since it wasn't for a huge portion of the sock then I could cope with it.

The second clue is the rest of the leg which is just 2x2 rib down to the heel flap which has the patterning again and then the turning of the heel.

Today on HSMSHS the word of the day is clean. Mmmm they're having a laugh. 2 dogs and 4 kids - we don't do clean!!!

Actually I'm telling a lie. Daisy has had 4 baths in 3 days. My little bundle of fluffiness has sprinkled like niagra falls in her cage several times and on saturday we woke up to a poo party because Charlie hadn't been able to last the night. It is extremely unusual for him but it was probably my fault for not giving him long enough in the yard before bed.

My boring picture is of a bottle of cleaning fluid (not for the dogs I might add).

Friday, 17 October 2008

Super Busy

I can't believe how crazy the last few days have been and it was all because of a delivery from Prima of some brand new goodies. Full details can be found in my other blog The Craft Garden and also in my shop

Things should be back to normal next week (fingers crossed). I'm hoping to have everything sorted out by the end of the weekend.

Monday, 1 September 2008

September Is Here

I have 2 finished pairs of socks. The first one is the Rattlesnake Creek socks for the Pentathlon

The second is the Firestarter ones I put into hibernation in June. Goodness knows why I put them into hibernation because one night was all it took to finish them off. I love the gusset shaping on these. It is very different to anything I have ever done before but I will definitely do it again.

I did a scrapbook layout on saturday too. I got a Chatterbox Cottage kit from Ebay and it arrived on saturday. There was an idea sheet in the kit and I took this straight from that.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Something Crafty AtLast

Yay. I found the time last night to put together this layout.

I can't take the credit for the design. That belongs to Karen. I saw hers and just loved it so much I scraplifted it.

Mine uses Pink Lemonade paper from Websters Pages, some Prima flowers (not anywhere near as many as I stuck gems on!!!), Basic Grey chipboard letters which were painted pink and stickles added to the top and some bazzill card.
I have also finished the Rattlesnake Creek sock for the Sock Knitters Pentathlon. No pictures yet though because I had real problems with the yarn. I got it as part of a sock club a few months back and didn't use it for the pattern that came with it so used it for this instead. It is purple and the dye came out all over my fingers everytime I knit with it so I'm assuming it wasn't rinsed after dyeing. There was far too much dye coming out for it to have been rinsed properly. I have had a purple groove in my finger for weeks where the yarn has been wrapped around it. For that reason I hated this project. Needless to say as soon as I finished the socks they went straight in the sink and rinsed until the dye stopped coming out and are currently drying hence the lack of picture.
Trying to make sure I got this one finished on time (deadline is 31st August) made me realise that I shouldn't be knitting to deadlines because somebody somewhere decides to set a challenge. The next sock knitters pentathlon sock pattern is due out on monday and we have been told it involves using 2 colours. This immediately makes me think fairisle which I hate. If it is I will look at the pattern the two colours create and see if I can make it work by using one colour and purling the second colour so the pattern is still there. If not then I just won't do it. It isn't as if it is the end of the world. All that jibber jabber makes sense to me even if you have no idea what I am talking about!!!!
As for Summer of Socks that is over for me. I made the decision yesterday that the 3 unfinished pairs of socks that went into hibernation when SOS started in June are coming back out and ARE getting finished. I am knitting socks to wear them not to have one finished and sat in my knitting bag feeling very lonely because I am too easily distracted by another project that just happens to come along. Maybe it will happen maybe it won't and there is all that yarn that I dyed in the last couple of weeks. One of the hibernating ones (Firestarter) was almost finished anyway so by monday I should have at least 2 pairs to show you.

Monday, 18 August 2008


I did some yarn dyeing over the last few days. The first couple ended up like this.

The pinky purpley blue one looks very faded and washed out and I'm not happy with it so I may overdye it with another colour. I used McCormack's Neon food colouring. Need to swot up on mixing colours first though otherwise I could end up with a horrible mess. The orangey one I am happy with. I couldn't tell you what I used though because there are quite a few Kool Aid packets in there.

My second lot I took notes for. The left hand one is grape & strawberry, lemon & lime and berry punch. I used one sachet of each in jars and added the yarn to them to keep the colours separate but mixed the grape & strawberry. I like how pale the blue turned out and I think it is one I will use again with maybe a smaller amount of the lemon/lime and a bit of pink instead of purple. The right hand one is my favourite. It was one sachet each of cherry and lemonade in jars and then one each of tropical punch and lemonade mixed. Towards the end I moved the yarn about a bit which gave it a more mixed look in parts.

This is what they look like wound up.

Onto socks now. This is the current pair I have on the go. It is Autumn Lace from the Six Sox Knitalong. The yarn was some I bought on Ebay called Strawberry Sundae. It is really soft and lovely to knit with.

I also have the Sock Knitters Pentathlon sock to get finished before the deadline of 1st September. The yarn I chose for it is hand dyed (not by me) in a dark purple and it hasn't been rinsed properly by the dyer so I end up with purple lines engraved in my finger when I hold the yarn when I knit so I have been a bit hit and miss with it. I have done one and am around a quarter of the way through the second. Must plod on with it.
Scrapping aaaarrrgggghhhh nothing has been done for ages.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Back To Scrapbooks

I have got a cut on my fingertip just at the point I use it for knitting so I have decided to give knitting a break for a while. I thought it had more or less healed but yesterday when I tried some knitting it was very painful. It is never going to heal while I am sticking needle points into it so an enforced break it is to be.

This is a good thing though because I am hoping to get some inspiration back for scrapping. I haven't done anything for around 3 weeks now and the longer I spend without doing it the longer it will take for me to get back into it. I still haven't opened any of the gorgeous paints I bought from Paper Popsicles. I spy some painted chipboard letters on the horizon.

Then there is this little lot I bought off Ebay. The paints are Making Memories Hampton and the alpha stamps are MM too - Mixed Font Foam Stamps. There are also some Karen Foster Pastel rings. I am intending to use these to bind the Bo Bunny BEACH album I bought the other week.

Still not got around to scrapping 6x12 so that is another thing I am hoping to do over the next few days.

School holidays have been starting bit by bit in this house since May. Doing GCSE's meant my daughter finished in May, the 2 strike days last week plus a hurriedly put in inset day meant my son in high school finished last tuesday for 7 weeks and 1 day. The youngest two finished yesterday until September. So far so good. We are only nearly through the first day though so things are likely to change. The council have decided that this week would be a great time to close off the park while they fit new gas pipes to the council houses behind it. Great timing.

HSMS is insect today. I had the perfect photo opportunity yesterday of two spiders getting a bit 'jiggy with it' but by the time I had gone inside for the camera and come back out the dog had done his part in the natural food chain and the spiders were no more. I searched around today and managed to find this one (far too high up for Charlie so it is safe for now). The focus is crap but it is a picture and it is an insect. Is a spider an insect?

Speaking of dogs. We bought a new cage yesterday meant to house Charlie plus our new addition when it comes mid august. I don't know what on earth possessed us to even think of it. It is huge and most certainly does not fit in my living room as intended. You could fit half a dozen dogs in it comfortably never mind just two. That will teach me to look at dimensions of things properly before buying. I did think of putting the kids in it for the school holidays (joking folks before you start shouting at me). So it is going back and we will order a smaller one either capable of holding them both or just a much smaller one for the new dog and let Charlie have his old one.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Dyeing Yarn With Kool Aid

First of all HSMS which is row today. These are some paints I have just bought all nicely in a row.

Next up are the Monkey socks I finished last week. The yarn is from Angels and Elephants. I can't remember what it is called but it was fantastic to knit with. The pattern is great too. The repeats are easy to remember and it knits up quickly.

A close up of the pattern and yarn.

Now to the main topic. Dyeing yarn with Kool Aid. I am a complete novice and this is my first 'dye job'. It isn't meant to be a tutorial because my directions are probably completely wrong.

Dyeing yarn is something I have heard lots about but haven't really bothered with until now. I armed myself with some undyed yarn and some Kool Aid sachets. Kool Aid is a powdered drink you add water to and it goes a lovely shade depending on the flavour. I chose cherry, pink lemonade and lemon/lime. Not sure how this can be safe for drinking without turning your insides a rainbow of colours because I only got a tiny bit on my hand but it took ages to get it off.

The yarn needs to be soaked for around half an hour.

Then add yarn to a pan with some warmish water in. Pour the diluted Kool Aid onto the parts you want dyed that colour. I was very mindful of the fact that red and green make a muddy brown colour so I didn't want them to overlap. As you can see I didn't really achieve that in parts. The recommendation is 4 sachets per 100g and as I only had 3 I added a couple of drops of red food colouring. It then needs to heat up at less than boiling point until the water has gone clear. This took around 45 minutes.

I then spread it out onto a towel and patted it dry. Then I hung it up over a coathanger to dry overnight.

This was when I realised my major mistake. It is recommended that you tie the skein in several parts to help it stay in shape. It was already pre-tied in 2 places so being impatient and wanting to get onto the dyeing process I thought that would be OK. WRONG. It wasn't. The skein got tangled. This is the result and instead of re-skeining it I ended up putting it into a ball.

I'm not sure what I think yet. The colours aren't too bad together. More like a strawberry field. I'm sure a sock pattern will come up that will suit the colours.

I have got the bug now though and will learn from my mistakes as I go through the process each time. I will learn which colours will and won't go together. Which is the best method - stove top or microwave. How to do striping yarn. Or maybe I will get a mess. Who knows. I will have fun trying though.

Next project is a horrible ball I got from Bright Dyes sock club while it was running. I was never happy with their customer service and paid for a 3 month sub but only ever received 2 months and even then it was lost in the post. Anyway life goes on and they have now shut down. The yarn was around the christmas period and was bright red, green and yellow. Not my cup of tea at all so bring on the experiments with dyes.

Monday, 23 June 2008

It's An Monkey

I don't suppose there is anybody out there who is even remotely interested but I started Summer of Socks with a Monkey sock. I have managed to get to the heel turning point so far. You can't tell from the picture but the yarn is pooling in some lovely colour combinations (purple & lime, sage & dusky pink, pale blue and brown so far). I love how easy this pattern is. It is one I have thought of doing for a long time but was always put off. I think I like it because there is no chart to follow - yeah everything is written down which is always easier for me.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

At Last

Yep the title says it AT LAST I have scrapped. Helped by this sketch but nonetheless I have actually done a scrapbook page and here it is.

The papers were from The Scrap Room kit in May and are Crate Paper Blue Hill.

This was the house we stayed in at Belle Dune a few weeks ago. The landscape picture shows the block of 3 it was in. Ours was the one with the terracotta trimmings and dark roof on the right. The portrait picture shows it from the other side. I was almost stood in the lake to get the picture.

I also finished the Berlin socks for the sock knitters pentathlon and not at the last minute for the deadline as was the case last time. I'm not too keen on the yarn I used for these. It was this one from Yarntreehouse which changes colour as you are knitting.
It is hard to explain what I mean unless you have actually used it yourself but if the balls were anything alike then they would have been OK but they weren't and colour matching was impossible.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Delicate Knitting

Here is the so far picture of the Mystery Lace. A lot more delicate knitting than I usually do. This is the first 22 rows of the pattern. More rows of the pattern become available on friday so I hope to have more progress by this time next week.

I was intrigued by a comment made yesterday about the road picture. Somebody asked if it just stops in the water. It made me think that maybe it wasn't really a road and we had read the travel booklet incorrectly and the only way to the island was infact just the bridge. I decided to do a bit of detective work and found this on Wikipedia . It is called the Passage du Gois and yes it is a road and it floods twice a day. They even had the Tour De France over it a few years back.

I was tagged yesterday too. I'm not altogether sure what a tag is but I was asked to name 7 random facts about myself so here goes.

  1. I learnt how to mix lots of colours from just the 3 primary colours of red, blue and yellow this morning at a painting class at school

  2. I am the eldest of 3 children

  3. My first car was bright yellow despite me hating the colour

  4. I am right handed

  5. My favourite TV programme is Come Dine With Me but I am hopeless at cooking

  6. I prefer spring to summer

  7. I hate cardmaking - love at what other people have done but hate doing it myself.

I am supposed to tag 5 other people now but I don't know 5 other people with blogs so all I will say is if you are reading this and would like to be tagged then consider yourself tagged.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Socks, Swatches

I had intended getting some of the Forest Canopy done last night but it was football on telly and concentration was out of the window when the men of the house were shouting at the box.

Instead I took account of my works in progress.

The April Sockamania socks started off OK but the fairisle knitting has been getting tighter and tighter. I doubt my skinny daughter would be able to get her feet in them never mind me with my big fat ones. This is a project I am unfortunately going to write off to experience and give up. The pattern however I am not giving up on. I saw a suggestion that instead of doing fairisle and using 2 colours it would be good to use 1 colour and purl the coloured stitches rather than doing them in a different colour.

Same goes for the Penathlon socks. The yarn I chose is, I think, felting yarn rather than sock yarn and is quite itchy. It is knitting up OK but I am not enjoying it at all and I would rather quit now when I am only half way through the first sock than carry on with something I just don't want to be doing. The pattern itself is lovely and with the right yarn will be a joy to do. Maybe another time. I will still be looking at the next pattern and even though I have quit before the first hurdle I will probably have a go for fun. I am looking on it as a learning curve because I have learnt a lot - knitting on 2 circulars for a start plus the short row heel.

That left me with one pair which are from Simply Knitting magazine. Last time I looked at them they were like this.

After last night they now look like this. A few more rows done. Got about 5cm to go before the heel.

It is a simple, lacy pattern and being knit from the toe up rather than cuff down I can make them as long as I like or as long as the ball of wool allows. This one has a different style of heel to the pentathlon socks so I will be learning a new way of doing it. I've only done the short row one and the heel flap cuff down before. This looks like a combination of the two. Gonna find out in the next few days anyway.

I did the swatch for the Mystery Lace . The dimensions seem to be correct so I will go with the big cone of yarn I got. The pattern calls for neutrals and pastely shades but I think I can get away with this. It is cream with a black fleck.

Thursday, 3 April 2008


How come pens always disappear. Where do they go?

Last year I got the book - Doodling For Papercrafters together with some proper pens and since then I have been drawing on scrapbook pages. Not very good doodles and their rubishness has been commented on.

No knitting to update on today.

Monday, 31 March 2008

Finished Socks

On Saturday evening I finished the March Sockamania socks - Simply Cables. Here is a very rubbish piccie.

I am going to make a start on the April Sockamania socks - Bluebell in a little while. I'm steering away from the colour scheme provided and will use the colours provided at a later date. For this I am going with some vintage 4 ply in blue and pink.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Freaky Weather

I just don't get it at all. We took the dog for a long walk yesterday and this picture was taken in glorious sunshine. Less than an hour later it was blizzard conditions (well maybe not quite but very snowy) then the sunshine was back again. Today it is nice and sunny.

Why are eggs such a silly shape? Is it to make it easier for the hen to part with it? Goodness knows why but have you ever tried to make a Creme Egg balance? It is impossible unless you did like I did and balanced it against the box. Sainsburys were selling all their Easter goodies off at half price yesterday and it would have been rude not to take advantage. We got 2 boxes of 3 Creme Eggs, 2 packets of Mini Eggs and 2 Black Magic eggs (Creme Egg sized not huge ones) all to share mind not just for me.

I took advantage of the mini eggs and made a chocolate fudge cake which took far too long to cook and then the fudge ganache was runny so it had to sit in the fridge overnight to set.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

White Easter

Yep not a speck of snow at Christmas but this morning when we got up the white stuff had fallen so we have a white Easter. It disappeared quite quickly but not before Charlie had been out for a nosey at it.

I took some pictures and put this together earlier today.

Friday, 21 March 2008

It's Spring

Yep - today is Spring (scientifically the Spring Equinox was yesterday).

The forecast is for snow. Mmmmm don't think I have ever seen a White Easter but we will see because they never get it right. Don't know what happened to all the heavy rain we were supposed to get yesterday but it seemed to miss us. However we had a return to strong winds which rattle the fence and take all the cans around for a walk in the middle of the night. Why can't wind do things quietly.

A spring picture today though in spite of the weather. Here is a skein of sock yarn with the name 'Think Spring'. I don't have any plans for it just yet because I need to get on top of the other projects I have on the go.

Thursday, 20 March 2008


I discovered scrapbooking in 2004 when I was searching for a suitable baby book to record the milestones of my son and I have stuck with it.

There is a massive selection of products available. I don't have one particular favourite manufacturer as they are all so different.

Another massive market is kits. There are hundreds of them out there. My favourite is The Scraproom because they don't overload you with lots of matching papers you will never use. Their kit contains 4 page kits which are all completely different so you feel you are getting a varied choice. I recently discovered Bad Girls kits and am going to give them a try.

I did something on my last layout that I haven't done before and used a cloth swatch. This one is a Cath Kidston one and the best thing was that it was a freebie. If you go to the website you can choose up to 5 (I think) swatches free. You need to click on the fabric you are interested in and if they offer a swatch of it then there will be a link there to order it.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008


Sock knitting. I love to do it but as I previously said my family find it amusing. Through gritted teeth I will carry on though.

Here are the projects I have on the go at the moment.

This one is the Sockamania March sock. You can choose to either sign up and just get a free pattern by email or sign up for the Sockamania Plus through Etsy and get the yarn and the pattern in the post. This is the option I took and the yarn they sent is lovely.

This one is the first Sock Knitters Pentathlon sock and is called Jacobean. The idea is that they challenge you to knit a sock from their pattern once every 2 months which I think is a manageable time limit. There are some people on there who have done a pair in 3 days. No offence meant to anybody but do these people have lives or do they just sit and knit all day. I have no idea what the yarn is because I have had it for ages and ages.

Finally this one is from Simply Knitting Magazine. The link shows the pattern.

Look at this lovely blue sky. The picture was taken this morning and I took it because we are forecast to have some very heavy rain over the next few days and I wanted to remember what blue sky looks like.

Using the facility on the camera to isolate one colour and do the rest in black and white this is a random picture of my peg basket.