Friday, 12 February 2016

Wool Bargains and Valentine's Flowers

I have absolutely no will least when it comes to special offer emails for craft supplies. 

With bulging bags and storage boxes full of wool cluttering up the sitting room and our bedroom, did I really need more wool? 

Apparently I did. I received an email from Kemps online wool shop offering Sirdar Denim Ultra Chunky wool for 99p a ball. This is a good quality yarn with cotton content and I couldn't believe the price. Since 6-7 balls would knit a cardigan for me and 8-9 would make one for DH I decided to go ahead and order some. Since there was free delivery for orders over £25 I ended up buying 9 balls each of 3 colours, 27 balls in all, plenty enough to make a couple of cardigans for me and one for DH, with enough remaining for a couple of hats/hoods. 

I bought these 3 patterns for £9.75 from Ebay, so have spent approx £37 but will easily get 3 adult cardigans and a couple of hats for the cost.

I have already started knitting the man's cardigan for DH in this colour and being Ultra Chunky it uses thick needles.

I've never knitted with yarn this thick before or with such big needles and have found it a bit hard to get used to. I generally knit quite quickly, but have to take it a bit slower with this and I can only knit a few rows at a time before my wrists start to ache, but to compensate the work does grow very quickly.

I'd knitted this far in about an hour yesterday and by tonight I'm well past the armhole shaping and will have the back done, and hopefully one of the fronts started, tomorrow. The back is in reverse stocking stitch, the sleeves in regular stocking stitch and the front in reverse SS with a cable panel.

Now, you'd think I had plenty to knit with 3 patterns and so much wool, but of course I had to go in to the Hospice charity shop this morning and what did they have on the crafting shelf but 6 balls of pale pink Sirdar Snowflake Chunky for £5. I know I have patterns for this in some of my Love Knitting For Baby magazines, so it made it's way into my shopping bag, and has been added to my stash for the time being.

 And talking of knitting for is my latest finished project.

It was made with 3 for 2 baby wool from Poundland, costing £2 for the wool and £1.55 for a set of 5 buttons from my local wool shop. As I don't have any babies to give it to, and it's a preemie 16 in chest size, I will probably donate it to charity. I love knitting baby clothes; they are so cute and quick to finish.

Of course, I still haven't finished the blanket I posted a while back. I have probably knitted enough length of border to go all around it, but I just haven't felt like pinning and sewing it all in place.

In other news, DS2 got the job with English Heritage at Dover Castle and starts with a training period in March. It has some grand title, but basically he'll be looking after visitors. It's a 20 hour contract on basic wage, but there will probably be lots of overtime during the summer  months. Although it's a permanent contract, after the 6 month probationary period it becomes one of those zero hours contracts, so there are no guarenteed hours during the winter months. However, it's the first paying job he's had since graduating last summer so hopefully it will lead to better things in the future.

I have a new washer-dryer arriving tomorrow. My old washing machine has been acting up for some time, but hanging on in there. It finally gave up the ghost at the end of last week and despite DH tinkering with it and getting it going for a little while its packed up again. I've had it for at least 5 years and its done good service with 6-7 people to wash for at one time, and probably at least 2 loads of laundry a day. It was a replacement for a previous one on a maintenance contract so I haven't actually purchased a new one for about 8 years. I decided to buy a washer-dryer this time as I so often need to turn on the heating and hang clothes over the radiators to dry during the winter that it seemed just as economical to run a dryer for a short while than to heat the whole house just to dry the laundry. The one I've decided on has an 8kg load, a 28 minute fast wash, a superfast 14 minute wash and a 1400 spin speed. I'm hoping that it will spin things dry enough that I won't need to use the dryer all that often and I will, of course, as usual, be drying everything without additional heat (and electricity) as much as I possibly can. It's sad of me, but I'm dying to have a play with it, and I might also be excited about it arriving because the laundry has been piling up during the week despite me doing bits and pieces in the sink.

Finally, I get to the Valentine's flowers. DH conspired with DS2 to buy these for me. 

DH ordered them from the floristry department at Canterbury College and asked DS to go and collect them this afternoon as DH was working and they don't deliver and aren't open over the weekend. I love them, and really like that they aren't the usual red roses. Nice to know he can still be romantic after 37 years together (32 of them married).

Sorry for such a long post; I had a lot of catching up to do. Have a good evening everyone. Love, Helen xx


  1. I'm a terrible knitter but can and do make scarves! Seems like a very cheap price for three hand made items of knit wear and hats! Bargain!

    1. I admire your sewing skills, Jane. I learned to knit at age 5 so have been doing it for over 50 years, although I prefer simpler patterns now to the lace and picture knits I used to tackle.

  2. Love, Love, Love the roses! Congrats. to your son for landing the job, and it will lead to bigger and better things. The yarn looks really nice and cozy, Hope the new washing machine and dryer are working well.

    1. They are lovely pale pink with a touch of mauve, Janice. I'll pass the congrats on to DS. Saturday afternnon and still waiting in for the washer-dryer. Delivery should be within the next couple of hours or it will be late. Fingers crossed.

  3. Love the roses x I LOVE knitting with chunky wool, it grows so fast. I'm knitting a blanket with baby 4 ply at the moment and it's taking forever! I'd be lost without my washing machine, I've had to wash in the sink before whilst waiting for one to be delivered. Nightmare!
    Good luck catching up with all your washing x

    1. How are you doing Bridget; haven't heard from you for ages. Hope all is well with you and your family. I've often knitted with Aran but not with anything this thick. 4 ply does take forever but looks so lovely when knitted up. Saturday afternoon and still waiting for the washer to arrive. I'll be rather cross (to say the least) if it doesn't arrive as I paid extra for Saturday delivery and I have so much laundry to do.

    2. We're well Helen, thanks for asking x

  4. Gorgeous gorgeous wool! I might just have to go
    Look see lol

    I think you'll have done both your knits by the time I've got the front done of the HG's jersey.
    Congratulations to your lad. You never know, I might just be one of his customers in the summer!!
    It's great to have a good old catch up!
    Love Rach

    1. Hi, Rachel. Kemps has some great offers. A few months back I bought £25 worth of Anne Geddes double knit from there with free delivery. I haven't done any more knitting today, catching up on the laundry. I'll pass the congrats on to DS. Great to hear from you. Love, Helen xx

  5. Is it common to replace a washing machine after only 5 years? I know appliances aren't built the way they used to be, and I hear people complaining that theirs only lasted 7-8 years. I am one of the lucky ones--my washer is 27 years old and has not had a repair. I have been expecting it to die for years, and it just keeps on truckin'. I am in the US and this washer is a Maytag. Maytag has since been sold to Whirlpool and it is now a cheap version of Whirlpool, nothing like the high quality machines Maytag used to produce. Don't laugh, when something happens to this machine, I might just get it fixed.