Monday, May 28, 2007

From small acorns

I really enjoyed the post 'small pleasantnesses' on Yarnstorm the other day. I feel that I am happiest when I appreciate the simple luxuries of my everyday life.

I thought when I took up knitting that I would find this to be a 'small pleasantness'. I find though that it is growing from this smallness into the mightyness of an all consuming passion. I sometimes think that if anyone else knew how much I thought about knitting they would want to carry me off for a rest cure; luckily I can let most of it out here so everyday life people think it's just a nice, little hobby. Who but fellow knitters could understand my total, crazy joy at these few rows of ribbing that are the start of my Arisaig? Let's just hope she makes it to become an oak.

I was pleased with the reception my Flair received today when I took her out visiting. Resisting the urge to say "LOOK WHAT I MADE" the second I stepped through the door I waited a suitably long time for my friend to ask whether I knit my cardigan. Since I took up knitting I have been asked this a few times when the answer has sadly been no. I felt very proud to answer yes today. Even prouder that she took a while to notice, it obviously doesn't scream beginner's homemade jumper in the way I feared it might.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Randomness

I'm back in the country but haven't made it home yet, I'm with the 1TB's family until Sunday evening. I would like to go home now mainly so I can cast on for Arisaig so Webbo doesn't get too far ahead of me :)

I've had a lovely morning catching up on the blog news from the week having been trapped in a conference hotel with limited contact with the world. Thank you all so much for your kind compliments on Flair - I'm quite looking forward to seeing her again - she shows off her best side in the photos I think!

Some knitting was achieved this week on the Chain Rib Socks though not much progress as I had to rip back the heel flap when I mysteriously went down to 26 rather than 27 stitches and could not find where....

After four taggings (thanks Seahorse, Glenna, CraftyDramaQueen and Amanda) I'm going to give in and let you in on some random things about me. I'm going for Amanda's version with just five things as I'm lazy and won't be able to think of seven or eight vaguely interesting things without much head scratching.

1) I think that my ears are my best feature.
2) I have a pencil lead stuck in the sole of my left foot from when I stepped on it aged about 9. It was thought best to leave it and let it work its way out - it thought it was best to stay put.
3) I like circular journeys, by which I mean I don't like going to A and then straight back the way I came and I don't like to go from A to B and then have to go back towards B to get to C - I sometimes plan routes for quite a while to make sure I get to places in the right order.
4) I am surprisingly strong for a small (5ft4in), unfit person and my very fit 1TB (6ft5in) fears the day that I start going to the gym regularly. (This is in my mind as I have booked a tour of the gym near work for next week - too much hotel food this week seems to have been the tipping point!)
5) I am convinced that the word random should be spelt randomn and it was only a year ago that I found it wasn't - I checked three dictionaries.

I tag anyone who hasn't done this and would like to and Jane who is a new blogger so I'm pretty sure no-one else has nabbed her yet! She said nice things about Flair so I like her.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Drumroll please....

....making her blog debut it'sssssssssssssssssssss Flair!

Pattern: Flair by Wendy Bernard
Yarn: Blue Skys Alpaca Cotton in Thistle. I used about 5 and 3/4 skeins for size L with a few extra rows on the body and the collar. It is the lovely softest cotton but the downside of that is that it is pilling and shedding a fair bit.
Needles: 4.5mm/80cm circular and 4.5mm bamboo dpns for the sleeves
Started: 11 April 2007
Finished: 20 May 2007
New Skills: First go at top down all in one construction - great for sizing as you go, and saving on the seaming but I did get a bit bored and demoralised on the long rows towards the end. First make one increases which after a couple of slips I got on with quite well. First seed/moss stitch edging. First buttons.Modifications: More length and a higher collar - and so more buttons.
Notes: It felt like this was taking a long time so I was surprised to see I only started it on 11 April. I think it felt slow as you could see where it was going from the first try on and then I was just impatient to have it finished. It is a bit homemade rather than handmade - some of the picked up stitches round the sleeves were dreadful - however I just stitched them tight with some sewing thread and they are fine. My attempts at button placement have been awful but I have never done that before so I mustn't expect it to be perfect. I haven't done the inside ones yet as I didn't buy enough and I actually think I will just sew it closed to get it to lie nice and flat - because of the shape I would never wear it open anyway. I think I added too many buttons and I feel they are a bit close together. I love how the increase for the sleeves work to create the nice lines though I'm most dubious about the sleeves. I thought they may be too tight but actually they are roomy enough it's just at the end - the seed stitch is just curling in a bit too much for my liking - however I haven't blocked it just steamed them with the iron so I hope I can get them a bit flatter.
So do I like it? On the whole yes - it isn't as unflattering a shape as I feared it might be - sadly it hasn't made me look like Wendy but I don't think I should dislike it too much for that ;o) At the moment my head is full of the mistakes but I'm going away on a residential course tomorrow for a week. I think some time away from each other will do us both good and I hope we'll have a fond reunion.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Arisaig

Thank you so much to Webbo, Seahorse and Dreamcatcher for the warnings, advice and assistance over Arisaig.

I am in love with my swatch; the 1TB thinks the yarn is definitely addling my brain as I keep waving it at him going "look I made this". "Quite obviously" he thinks as he didn't do it and the cats can't hold knitting needles so it must have been the one that is trying to explain the household insulating properties of yarn. I should say that the crafting fever has got to even him though - he's currently making a latch hook rug for our friend's nephew - with Peter Rabbit on it!
My swatch is on gauge I think and I decided that I should be brave and not give up on this beauty at the first hurdle. As guided I searched Ysolda's blog and did some reading up generally on the web and I found that the main concerns centred around the arms not being scaled up in proportion for the larger sizes.

I borrowed a copy of the Ann Budd book to check the measurements and Arisaig fit with the set in sleeve measurements from there. My theory is that basically we choose a pattern size based on bust size, larger bust generally equals larger everything else but often not at the same rate. For the body of this pattern I should be a XL, for the arms an L. Now I'm quite happy to have a little extra around the arms at the top and I think I shall extend the deep ribbing from the body to the arm which should draw in the bottom a little. I shall also make the arms a little shorter as I have unusually short arms for my height - not quite as bad as T-rex but getting there :o) I think I will also knit the arms first and then I can double check that they won't look like batwings. This is going to be a real long term project but if I like it one tenth as much as the swatch it will be worth it - must read this post back over in six weeks when I'm wondering what ever possessed me!

This research on sizing has been such a useful exercise as it made me think much more about all the dimensions of a pattern. This is something I didn't look at with Flair and I have made much snugger fitting arms than they look on Wendy. I'm reserving judgement as to whether I will have to reknit them larger. As I grow in experience I hope I will become more confident in putting in adjustments and get perfect fitting garments.

Talking of she who should not be named I have sneaked up on her this week; I implemented a two row policy - two rows of Flair before I could knit anything else. Fingers crossed she may be done by the end of the weekend (that'll have cursed it!).

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Bounty

I have surfed the internet waves and fought rival pirates to bring back a haul of treasure to the good ship All Fingers and Thumbs. Normal score - great bargains - couldn't be missed - anyone know how Net Nanny works? - I think I should block Ebay :o)It's all the fault of the Cotton Glace which I've been keeping an eye out for. It is destined to become Agnes from Rowan 35.
Just off to check on my latest auctions, hmm - I mean work feverishly on my current projects!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

So about those April showers...

... seems like we're getting them with interest now! This is me half an hour ago after the walk home. Quite literally soaked to the skin.

Thanks so much for the advice on Arisaig - I've been doing some net research and will do some recalculations. How heartbreaking if after all that teeny tiny knitting it was miles out!

Off to cuddle up with tea and yarn and warm up :)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Flibbertigibbet knitting

All weekend I have flitted from thing to thing and it has been glorious.
Pictured here are the chain rib socks, a swatch for Sitcom Chic (wrong gauge and having second thoughts), the start of the easy lace scarf (oh the silk - it is true love), and of course, you know who (better make sure I get on with her or that Dreamcatcher is going to beat me over the line!).
The only completion was for the back of Moonlight - mainly to release the Brittany needles as this is a wintry cardi which I don't feel the urge to complete this season, she's gone for a summer hibernation.

The greatest pleasure has come from swatching for Arisaig, I am so entranced by the teeny stitches and the emerging pattern is quite magical to me. I feel incredibly proud that I can manage this pattern. I'm not sure I'm quite on gauge as I'm finding it hard to count the stitches in the pattern but I'm going to finish the second repeat and block it and see.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Too much stocking stitch is bad for the bank balance!

It is fair to say that there has not been enough of this done this week:And far too much of this:
Resulting in lots of this:









The All Seasons Cotton (shade Cookie) was one of those bargain lots that I seem to fall for - not knowing what I want to knit but knowing I can't let the chance pass me by! I have since found the Sitcom Chic pattern which I think will be great for this yarn.

The Rowanspun DK is to go in the pile I have to make a great stripey Booga Bag.

The cone - Bramwell acrylic in Eau de Nil - is saying Arisaig to me - whispering it on the breeze.

As for the Debbie Bliss Silk, it's just a love thing. I may fill my house with skeins of it just for petting.

I am so excited - quiet weekend = MUCH knitting - of many things both mentionable - and if she's lucky - unmentionable too.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Just don't mention...

...F***r.

I may have acquired a couple more knitting books this weekend. These are a bit different though, vintage is how an enterprising ebayer would describe them. Car boot bargains at 50p a go, can't go too far wrong at that price can you?









Knitting Fashion has some great sections on different stitch patterns, and Family Knitting has some of the most entertaining patterns ever!Actually once you're past the world's largest poncho, or the loopyness of the loopy cardis and matching hats, there are some good classic shapes which with a little adaptation I'm quite keen on making. This jacket (without the pattern) I think will be great for some of the Rowan Plaid I have stashed.As for the unmentionable, all I have to say is 2 1/2 hours = 4 rows of the body this afternoon.

Friday, May 04, 2007

SQUEE!

That is an official Lime n Violet squee of excitement for I am officially very excited.

A few days ago I read this post over at Stitchville and found out that Gosia is going to teach some sock workshops, I was immediately consumed by the desire to go and feed my sock addiction some more so I enquired. Today I sent my deposit over and next month I shall be immersed in the world of Socks, Socks, Socks for two glorious Saturdays.

I feel a bit like I used to about Christmas as a child, if only I could make the days until then go faster!

In the meantime I am finding a bit of retail therapy is helping with the not knitting of Flair and now have a whole new range of temptations that may take me away from her!Still I have the measure of my short attention span and I can guarantee that I shall be knitting just her at least until Sunday evening as I'm going to the almost inlaws for the weekend and only Flair shall accompany me. My ears and eyes are shut to the pleas of the other yarns.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Impatience is not a virtue...

... in the accomplished jumper knitter.

I should be doing this:And yet there are so many things I would like to start doing instead:
Like the lace scarf in the pure silk, or the Dimple Stitch Shawl which has been almost on the needles for so long, or a pair of Thuja's for the 1TB or trying to recreate a favourite old jumper that has seen better days.

Oh those new projects they promise so much and yet half way in I'll just be itching to do the next batch of things I've seen and love.

Maybe I'll just go and read a bit of this instead:
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