Thursday, June 28, 2007

Cosiness

There may have been play at Wimbledon but the chill in the air and the sad tales of flooding evicting people from their homes (like poor Webbo) have had me searching for cosiness today.

I found a beautiful blog suitably entitled Posie Gets Cozy which provided some much desired escapism. Glorious as the strawberry tart was though, it was a favourite recipe from Yarnstorm that cried out to be made tonight.I've managed a finished object in just two days. So fast they never made it to the sidebar! Last night it dawned on me that if I wanted to gift some bootees on Sunday I had better knit them before then.
Pattern: Saartje's Bootees
Yarn: Sirdar Bonus Flash: Peacock - super soft 100% acrylic - I love how squishy this yarn feels and the colourway is lovely - a little richer than the photo suggests
Needles: 4mm Metal Circular
Started: 27 June 2007
Finished: 28 June 2007
New Skills?: I think I'd done all the skills before but good practice with the M1 increases
Notes: Totally gorgeous pattern. A very quick knit, once I started I just didn't want to stop. I just love the final items. My button placement is not getting better however - I think I need to allow more time and big dollop of patience. I was too keen to get them all finished up to do as neat a job as I would have liked. I have some reservations on the size as they may be more suited to a toddler! I have no idea about babies feet, or how large the little lad who will receive them is, so I went for a generous size. The pattern is knit originally in 4ply and I went for the largest size in DK weight on the basis that it had to be better to have something for him to grow into, we'll see on Sunday how much growing will be required.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Well would you look at that...

...a parcel from Get Knitted. For me? What a lovely surprise!

Now this will be the last of the 'ooh look - new yarn' posts for at least a month as I will not buy anymore before my birthday and if I find out about any bargains there will be trouble!

This is shade 610 of the Cascade 220 Tweed and is a fair bit brighter than the dark inky purple I was expecting from the shade cards on the web. I had a look at a few to try and get the best idea, but they were really quite different from what arrived - on my monitor at least. It is lovely even if it wasn't quite as planned. I seem to be drawn to purple yarns in a way I've not been drawn to purple clothes. The Forecast is planned as a project for autumn but perhaps I will be starting it sooner rather than later as it seems that Mother Nature may have brought autumn forward.As for this Jitterbug, well it is everything I hoped and more. Velvet plum. I'm not whether to snuggle it or eat it. I want to cast on in this so much and I'm trying to hold off as I'm already breaking my one pair of socks at a time rule and I feel that the socks created in this would demand to be finished first!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I am not weak-willed or feeble-minded but...

...as soon as I saw Dreamcatcher's comment about the Cascade 220 Tweed being on sale at Get Knitted I seemed to find myself there with it in the cart. The Karaoke wasn't looking like a goer in my swatch so it was just clearly meant to be.

Now about the skein of Jitterbug that fell in as well - it wasn't that Gosia and Iwona were knitting with it on the course and I HAD to have it or anything like that. I'd held out against the beauty of the colours up until now but when I felt it knitted up into a sock yesterday...

Receptive. That's what I am - open to inspiration.

Here's my sock, long car journey today so I've made some good progress on the leg. I'm using the Blueberry colourway of the Trekking I got the other day and love the way it is knitting up. I do find the yarn a bit grabby on my bamboo needles though and think I might enjoy it more on metal needles.

At the top is the Old Norwegian Cast On which I learnt yesterday. Very suitable for socks as it is really stretchy. It looks seriously impressive as well when you're working it - I didn't think I was going to get it so was all the happier when I did. When I stopped thinking too hard and let my hands get on with it I was fine.

I then went for a 2x2 rib with a twisted cable rib section at the bottom. Gosia also showed me this stitch yesterday and I am super pleased with it. I went for just a small section as it isn't very stretchy. I wanted some decoration as the rest of the sock is plain stocking stitch which seems like the right choice to really show off this pretty colourway.

All in all I couldn't be happier with this little friend so far.

Here are some shots of my gorgeous roses to finish with.So much loveliness in one house :0)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Jewels

I like the idea that each day that I live is like a bead on a necklace that makes up my life. I am lucky enough that most days make pretty beads; sometimes there may be a flaw in the bead, occasionally the bead may more accurately be described as a shrivelled, dried pea (thankfully few and far between), the last two days however have been the brightest, shining, jewel-like beads.

I spent Friday afternoon with one of my dearest friends, cafe crawling and gallery visiting in London, followed by a lovely Italian meal in the evening. Today I spent with Gosia and Iwona on the Socks, Socks, Socks course totally immersed in designing and knitting a sock*. We had the most fantastic conversations about knitting and life, a lunchtime trip to Loop and the small bonus of learning so much about socks from a fabulous teacher that my brain is literally buzzing. The really good news is that I get to do the same thing again next Saturday.

So I made my way home, happy as could be knitting on my new project and feeling like life could get no better. I just got in to find that my 1TB has been so busy with chores all day that he is a total hero AND he bought me not one but two bunches of roses*. Some days I'm not even sure where to start on counting my blessings.

*Photos to follow tomorrow as the camera is on a night out with the aforementioned hero of the hour

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The thing is...

... I am so much faster at buying yarn than knitting it :o)

Knitting continues apace but it isn't very photoworthy - a bit more on Lady E, a bit of a sock and a bit of Arisaig's arm.

So I just had to buy something to take a picture of.

Here is some divine South West Trading Company 'Karaoke' from Get Knitted which I found when I was smooching around the site when I went to buy a 2.5mm circular for my sock course (yes the day is nearly here - on Saturday it'll be Socks,Socks, Socks for me!). I'm thinking of an entrelac cushion cover in this for some dearly beloved for Christmas - I'm going to start the gift knitting early this year, well once the birthdays are done. I'm off to knit up a swatch as I'm wondering about buying a whack to make a Forecast in.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

FO: Candyfloss Stole

So the pile of fluff is a finished item, the colour is such a teeth achingly sweet pink that she is the Candyfloss Stole.
Pattern: Adaptation of the Easy Lace Scarf - 42 stitches = 3 - 2 stitch wide garter stitch columns around two 18 stitch fans
Yarn: 2 x 50g acrylic mohair a like
Needles: 10mm Clover Bamboo Circular
Started: 9 June 2007

Finished: 14 June 2007
New Skills?: Working out a stitch count to adapt a pattern for my own needs - I like this all the more because I worked out how I wanted it to look and made it happen
Notes: Since I first started acquiring yarn on ebay my inner yarn snob has been cultivated by all the wondrous yarns and natural fibres the interknitosphere has exposed me to, I was therefore a bit hesitant about knitting my best friend's gift in some inexpensive acrylic that I bought early on. I concluded that nice yarn is nice yarn no matter what its composition. I bought this yarn with my pink loving chum in mind so it was the right decision to make her stole in it. After the false starts she sped off the needles - I wholeheartedly recommend the Clover needle I used in the end. I love the finished article and I'm sure my friend will too - it is just the right width - both a stole and a scarf and lovely to wear - light, soft and warm. Here she is at full stretch.

Monday, June 11, 2007

It wouldn't be a holiday without...

...some yarn tourism.
In my defence I only went to The Craft Box to get a 10mm circular to rescue the Feather and Fan Stole project. I ripped it out for the second time in the car on the way to Cornwall and for the third time on Friday evening. I tried to persevere but it was just not right on the 15mm needles - gaping holes rather than the pretty, lacy airiness I was after and I was hating the feeling of knitting it - the yarn was telling me to stop! So I had to find a LYS :o) I got my circular and had to buy this Opal sock yarn as it was the only one left and it wanted to come home with me. I'm still not sure how I got out without some of one of the heavenly shades of Kureyon they had. This shop has only a small section of knitting amongst many other crafts but what they have is well selected - some Noro, Debbie Bliss, Opal, Twilleys, some novelties and some high end Patons - fair range of needles and notions and some nice patterns. Well worth a stop if you are in Liskeard. Apparently there is a second yarn store which I am yet to find (hard to believe as Liskeard is a small town) but it's nice to have one to check out on the next visit.

Here is the aforementioned stole masquerading as a big pile of candyfloss. I got some good comments while I knit on it at lunch today so I think my friend will like it. I was quite well behaved at knitting on this all weekend so it is progressing well and will definitely be done in time for Saturday.

As for Lady E it was hard to resist her charms and if it wasn't my best friend's stole as the alternative project I may have given in more often! I took my Knitter's Bible with me to check that I was getting the entrelac business and it seems that I am. The pattern doesn't give you much help if you don't know what you're doing but if you do what it says you do get the end result. The section in the Knitter's Bible is much more reassuring with photos at the different stages. For a little book this is very comprehensive. It was my first knitting book and although the kit that came with it was a waste of space this was a good investment - small enough to be easily portable too.I totally love knitting this. The one square at a time approach suits my attention span much better than long rows and knitting with the Silk Garden is too lovely for words.

All in all it was a lovely little break - hard to come home when this was the view from my window.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

More Crazy Joy

New obsession: Lady Eleanor Stole from Scarf Style. I borrowed my friends Scarf Style a while ago and nothing really caught my eye, then I saw Jess' version of Lady Eleanor following a mention of the pattern on the Stash and Burn podcast. This skinnier version speaks to me much more strongly than the almost blanket sized version in the book.

I bought a bag of assorted Silk Garden (an ebay bargain of course) towards the end of last year which was not yet assigned to a project and suddenly I knew I MUST make this. My kind friend agreed to lend me the book again and I was the model of patience while she retrieved it from elsewhere. (I so nearly bought my own copy but I didn't think there was anything else in there I was likely to make so I held out - looking through it again I still think this is the only pattern I really want to make so I think I did the right thing :o) - more money saved for the next ebay yarn bargain! Though I find that so often I don't like a pattern in a book as much as when I see it knitted up out in the blogworld so probably my poor friend will be forever lending me this book!)

Book was handed over today and I rushed home and got out the Silk Garden. Played around with it for a bit and feel a little bit anxious about all the colour changes as the versions I love at Fig and Plum and here and here are all in one colourway. The shades I have do seem like they may transition quite well though and I have 11 skeins so I can omit the fiery red which is the most extreme and still have the size of wrap Jess made.At least it will be exciting watching the colours develop.Then I cast on - I am blindly following the instructions and if anyone wishes to advise me that I should not have these strange twisted shapes and they can tell me what to do instead please jump in - I am madly excited about this but also completely baffled by it!!
I have a three day weekend with a trip home to Cornwall planned and I shall only take one skein of this with me; I must work on my friend's feather and fan stole (due to be gifted next Saturday). I know that if I had more of this with me I would not be able to leave it alone. Nothing more single minded than a knitter with a new project.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

FO: Chain Rib Socks

Yey! Finished object time. These have been on the needles a while as I have just fitted them in round other things - socks are so good for that. I plan to always have a pair on the go but to restrict it to one pair at a time in the hope that wanting to make the next ones will make sure I finish the current wip. Although I'm modelling them in the photo above this will be part of my Mum's birthday present (along with the silk scarf if I can stop being a meanie!!)
Pattern: Chain Rib Socks from Sensational Knitted Socks (54 stitch size)
Yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit Scala in shade 6533 - feels lovely and I'm really pleased with the shade and the striping knit up - used about 50g for this pair which I opted to make slightly shorter in the leg than normal (rib plus 3 pattern repeats = 30 rows) as I thought my Mum would like this
Needles: 5 x 2.5mm bamboo DPNs
Started: 14 April 2007
Finished: 6 June 2007
New Skills?: Mastered Charlene's two stitch pickup at the top of the gusset to eliminate the little holes - tried it with the Garter Rib pair and didn't quite get it but second time round it made sense
Notes: Am very underwhelmed by this pattern which
looks like a chain in the book and not on the sock! Maybe a striped yarn wasn't the best choice but even so I don't think I'd bother with this particular stitch again. Not loving the stitch is even more disappointing because there are so many beauties in the SKS book. The fit of these is a lot better than the Garter Rib Socks though I didn't have Mum's foot measurements so I hope her feet are as similar to mine as I think, otherwise.... oh dear I'll have to have them back ;0)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Reality Check

Sometimes I know something, I know I know it and yet I pretend I don't because I don't really want it to be true.

I chose to make my Mum's lace scarf out of the Debbie Bliss silk. I knew I would need two skeins as I wanted to make it wider than the pattern suggested. I bought two skeins because I knew I needed two. As I was knitting it I started to hope that maybe the one skein would stretch. I knew it wouldn't but I started to pretend it would. Right up till about 1 metre worth of yarn to go I've been pretending that this will be a nice short scarf and I would have one skein left over. Well finally reality has bitten and I have admitted that there is short and then there is won't go round her neck. I'm sure that feature is integral to the classification of an item as a scarf. "Hey Mum here is a long bit of knitting" doesn't have quite the same ring as "here is this beautiful silk scarf I have lovingly made you". I can just see her trying to make the not-scarf go round her neck and me saying "oh I thought it would be long enough, I did have more yarn but I wanted to keep it and pet it". No daughter of the year award in the offing for me!So here is the Easy Lace Scarf about 50% from completion rather than finished as I was pretending it would be by today. Still when you look at it all stretched out like that, maybe with some good blocking... Bad daughter - share your yarn nicely!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Interstitial Knitting

Despite my hopes on Friday night it has been a weekend of fitting the knitting in around other activities. Some of them have almost been worth the sacrifice! We found a new (old) table at a car boot sale this morning for just £20, well you all know how much I like a bargain ;0) Here it is modelling the other swag from the boot sale and a couple of things I managed to spend some time on.
Both the socks and scarf are inching closer to completion - they are birthday presents for my Mama and are well ahead of schedule, however I'm keen to get them finished up. I've made myself a little rule of only having one pair of socks on the needles at once and the bargain yarn is calling strongly. I'd like to finish the scarf before I start a stole in the same pattern for my friend's birthday - I am seeing her on the 16th so that is pushing me along. It may sound ambitious but the stole is going to be done on my 15mm needles so I think I'm still on track.

Off next to watch a 2 hour murder mystery on TV so I'm hopeful there will be at least one FO by tomorrow.

Friday, June 01, 2007

So much yarn, so little time

My colleague at work commented this week "You receive wool most days - when am I going to see you in something you have made?" Now obviously this is factually wrong on a couple of counts - I only receive yarn on days ending with a y and I have worn my socks and my tank top to work and she was in on those days. It did strike me however that the yarn is flowing rather faster in one direction than another.
Yet how could I resist this? I know it's always a bargain with me, but three skeins of hand dyed Trekking sock yarn for less than £10 including postage. If I hadn't bought it I really would have been certifiable!

Seems like nothing for it but to ignore the housework and spend all weekend knitting.
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