Excuse # 238

Despite the online quietness, it’s been busy at Hadenmaiden’s House. Though I started 2019 determined that I wouldn’t be bound by lists this year, I seem to have committed to rather too many things (again). I’ve managed to make some good progress on several projects, and have a couple of finishes which means I can tick appropriate boxes.

First up is a quick mobius cowl for a KAL being hosted on Ravelry. This was an ideal project to take along to Knit & Natter, being a simple one row pattern that I really couldn’t lose track with.


I finally managed to take my trusty sewing machine out of storage in the garage – now it’s beckoning me to get on and do some proper sewing. I started off with a couple of bags – the one pictured below, and a Japanese know bag with the same fabric. I think I may now have the sewing bug in addition to all the other things that compete for my time and attention…


I’ve also cast on a lace weight shawl for another KAL. Gave myself an extra brownie point for using stash, but unfortunately the colour doesn’t show well in this image, which makes a lovely rich jewel toned green look like royal blue!



In the blue corner

I finally made a bit of a start on the blanket squares for this year’s long KAL.

Managed to get 7 squares from 1 x100g ball. I have 10 balls each of 2 colours, so if this is typical, I should get around 140 squares in total. There are 30 different squares to choose from, and several different blanket sizes. Unless the plan changes, I’m aiming for three sets of 30 squares, to end up with a throw size blanket. That would also mean I have yarn for a border, or possible a couple of hat/mitts sets for next winter.squares

Under appreciated workhorses.

It really feels like it’s too hot for knitting right now, but I wanted to run off a quick pair of mittens before tackling a bigger project. I’d been gifted some lovely wool mix yarn, which was perfect for the job, so just finished a pair of Work Horse Mittens and am now ready to start my Hitofude 😉  1 point for using an under appreciated pattern. Probably one I will use again. image

The afterthoughts

Perhaps not unexpectedly, the ‘few days’ delay stretched to 12, but I finally finished the afterthought heels.  So much easier than faffing about turning a heel flap! The shape looks a little odd, but it fits well. It seems like a great idea for using random dyed yarns, as it avoids the pooling effect very neatly – also could be handy for using up leftovers – there will definitely be more afterthoughts! socks

Talking of afterthoughts, this might be a good place to mention getting back to the gym.  Taking it steady for now, it’s far too long since I was going 5 days a week to get straight back into it, but I did 3 days last week, and actually enjoyed it – 1 day so far this week, (but it is still Monday!)  and looking forward to going again – hopefully I’ll stick with it a bit better this time.

Before the afterthought

One of the project challenges for 2017 is a project using a technique that I haven’t used before.  I could still do with some more socks for the April trip, so decided to do socks with an afterthought heel. Part of the beauty of an afterthought heel is that you can use a contrast yarn easily if you want to, and with a variegated yarn the pattern sequence doesn’t stretch out of shape because all of the rounds have the same number of stitches.

With this pair I wanted to keep it simple, so am just using one colour, and minimal texture on the sock body. To avoid the possibility of second-sock syndrome, I’m knitting both socks before I put in the heel. The first one is done, and you can see the waste yarn that marks where to put the heel. Hopefully there will be a transformed pair of socks posted in the next few days! image

Ten days peace and quiet

….but it can’t last forever 😉

So what’s been going on here in the past ten days?

Well, a book has been crossed off the book challenge list, and I’ve committed to the one which ‘will improve a specific area of your life’.  There’re just short of 400 pages of literary rules – fascinating book, which will be really useful, but I just can’t imagine sitting down and reading it from cover to cover. So, the plan is to read a couple of sections a month, and hopefully by the end of the year I’ll have got through it.  January’s portion of the ‘New Hart’s Rules’ will be [at least] The Parts of a Book and Preparing Copy.

Whilst on the theme of reading and writing, I’ve finished the article for the local history group magazine [which involved heavy editing, as my word count was wayyyyyyyyyy to big!] and am just about ready to start committing Harry Dean to paper [well, computer, actually, but you get my drift.]

I’ve got through a couple of pairs of fingerless gloves for the 17 point challenge, and last night finished a pair of vanilla socks which fit into the ‘Something from Stash’ category. I’m thinking that there will be more socks next to use a different heel, for the ‘A pattern involving a technique that is new to you’ category.vanilla-socks

Asclepias and the Ripper

10 days into January and all challenges are at least started.

Asclepias hat and gloves completed this evening will count for a point in the FGF17 points challenge, as well as ticking one of the projects for the project challenge.

Shadow of the Ripper is a book published today, so it’s a box ticked on the reading challenge and one towards my Netgalley 55 books.

It’s too dark to take a decent picture tonight, so there’ll be a picture added for Asclepias tomorrow. image

1 genealogy post made using the prompt list,  and in the background a decent bit of progress towards one of the other genealogy projects I’m working on.

Good job I don’t have a day job!

So far, so good….

36 hour day required

Only one more full week and we’ll have Easter upon us – I must be getting older than i give myself credit for; the weeks are just disappearing before my eyes.  I’d thought finishing work would leave hours ahead of me to do all of those things that I have on my ‘to do’ list. In some ways it did – in others, it gave me the opportunity to add more to the list, and, let’s face it, there are just too many interesting things to do!

Last week I managed to tick off something that I’ve been trying to get around to for months – ventured out half an our or so up the M54 to the outskirts of Wolverhampton to visit the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church.  Armed with a list of 26 relatives to hunt for, I was convinced that none would have a headstone and I would be coming home with several pictures of random grassed areas (bearing in mind our previous trip to Merridale).  The volunteer staff at the Open Church morning were super, giving me plot plans for the two main parts of the churchyard that I needed, and we were rewarded with finding several family members with headstones, as well as being able to mark this without a headstone onto the plot plans. Even better, we ‘found’ two plots that marked the final resting place of family members I hand discovered yet!

The latest Futurelearn course started up this week, and is accompanied by a particularly active group on Facebook – yet another way for the hours to pass me by…..  Add that to my now regular Tuesday morning at the pub with a newly discovered genealogy/WW1 addicted pal, and the week feels pretty full.  I have lost count of the new projects these Tuesday cuppa have inspired, and just hope that I manage to see at least one or two of them through!

Family members should also be warned that I’ve ben directed to a genealogical codicil which has duly been printed off and will be filled in imminently.  Thanks to the Devon Family History Society for that, it’s a cracking idea. Now would be a good time to let me know if you want to be on the ‘first refusal’ list, as it doesn’t look at this stage like any of my offspring will be interested in the mounds of information I’ve unearthed!

Updating the ‘interminable list’, and the 2016 stash down makes me realise I’m never going to get everything done, but hey, it’s fun trying 😉

just to add a little colour to this post, here’s a view of the gaffs and crocus in the local park where we walked Jess this morning, and a teaser till next time, to see if you can imagine what Bob was up to last week….


Juliet’s shawl isn’t for Juliet.

This is the first day for weeks that the weather has been bright enough to do some outdoor pictures.  I’ve been test knitting Juliet’s Shawl,  a new pattern devised by Samantha from Gradience Yarns.

It’s a lovely beaded, lace weight shawl in a crescent shape.  I had just the right colour on hand to suit a friend; semisolid red in a BFL/silk mixture dyed by Moonlight Yarns.  Not one of my usual colours to knit, so it grew pretty quickly to see how it turned out.

Small beginnings….


soon led onto a bit of nifty beading and before long it was done….


As usual it grew like Topsy on the blocking mats…….image_medium22

and is now ready for a bit of pretty wrapping paper and a birthday card……image_medium2

I’m not sure whether the recipient is really ‘into shawls’, but it’s light enough to double up as a glitzy scarf if she doesn’t want to use it as a dressy shawl.Thank you to Samantha for allowing me to test her lovely pattern, I really enjoyed it!