Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spot the Difference

The right hand side is correct - a cuff to be attached - the left hand side is WRONG. I knew it made no sense when I was knitting it but Short Lucky is an unusual construction and doesn't have a schematic so I kept telling myself to go with it. Turns out it is not so unusual as to have a stray foot or so of knitting emerging from the top of the sleeve. I'm pleased I haven't got to try and work out where to sew that appendage to and thankful and it's not too much to rip out and correct!  Somehow the right and wrong side references in the pattern aren't the right and wrong side of my piece thought there were plenty of other clues as to which bit was the cuff! Note to self use of brain is good.

Enough of my foolishness, let's look at my plum tree blossom instead.
Happy March day that sees such prettiness.
 As Kate of Needled more eloquently said it's a real pleasure to observe the annual joys of my little world recorded here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

First Stutterings

At the end of January I had the pleasure of taking a learn to crochet course at The Makery in Bath taught by the very patient and adept Rosee Woodland
Here is my first ever piece of crochet. Hard won over an hour or so. Rather tight and twisty. I thought it would be, as that aptly describes my first pieces of knitting. The focus and anxiety to get it right flow through my hands and translate into tightly wound stitches. I seem less patient with myself than I was when I learnt to knit as if somehow because I can do the one I should be able to do the other. I was no natural knitter but because it it flows now I think other crafts should feel the same. That belief certainly sabotaged my attempts to learn from a book which worked for me with knitting; with crochet I felt like I should be able to skip through that beginning section and get straight into the 'real' stuff and when I couldn't get it easily I didn't want to persevere.

So I was delighted to see details of this course, there really is nothing to beat having someone show you how to do a craft and be on hand as you hold up your creation because you can't even tell if what you're creating is what you should be creating! It was a mind blowing few hours which left my somewhat blurry of eye and very tired of hands. I didn't quite master the little granny square and make my pincushion which was our aim but I felt like I had the basics and could push on and get to grips with it easily from there.
I did well to start off with when I got home and did a couple of little samplers over a few different sessions to try and get comfortable with the hold and tensioning of the yarn which I find so difficult and different from that required in knitting. It should be easier to only have one hook rather than two needles but my hands don't yet agree! 

Naturally enough while work has been crazy and I've been lacking in any mental energy I've put aside the crochet in favour of the relaxation of some simple knitting. Trying to learn new things is hard on a brain and I want to make sure it remains fun. This afternoon having had a relaxing weekend with my Mama I thought I'd get out the gear again and see if I couldn't move on from the single and double crochet rows and make a granny square worth showing off. 
Nearly! I think this third one will get there though I couldn't finish it as I had to rest my paws a while as the strains of trying to find a way to hold it and get the right tension on the cotton take their toll on my fingers and thumbs! It's coming together though and the dream of the granny square blanket and the pleasure and deep absorption of learning a new skill are rewards enough to keep me slowly onwards.

Monday, March 14, 2011

On being introduced to your own creation

I made an owl. I thought it was a she. Called Betty.
The Mr said he'd call him Claremont.
He gave him the shades.
I thought I didn't like him.
Other members of the family do.
Who am I to argue?
I thought he'd be a pink, slightly larger version of last time. Maybe now I have some notes I'll have more of a clue next time around.
Though where's the fun in that?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

This time..

..I've listened to the wise inner knitter and stopped admiring the lovely yarn and 
concluded that too tight (much like too loose) is something that you can do something about. 
I've been ignoring the smallness of these pretty Wollmeisers for a while now. I abandoned the tricksy pattern so I could move on from the tangle;  and I so wanted the plain socks to fly along that I didn't give in to the nagging until I considered my Tetsubou. What seems like a long time in the knitting is nothing compared to how long I hope the garment will  be with me. I'd like the pride in the item to be untainted by a feeling that I should have done something a little different in the making. With force I could get this on but really who wants to have to lever themselves in to their cosy socks? So to the frogpond with these - a healthy dose of GAAK for me and hopefully third time is the charm for the socks that are resisting being knitted!

Sunday, March 06, 2011


Blimey an FO! That's the distinctive double hem actually framing my face up there and here's the rest of the hat keeping my head cosy in the March sunshine. It's glorious out there this afternoon but not much real warmth to add to the light yet.

Pattern: Tetsubou
Yarn: Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply - Teal
Started: February 7th 2011
Finished: March 5th 2011
Apparently I've been knitting this for just under a month. It feels longer, perhaps because I've not been knitting much else so I've only actually been knitting a tiny little bit each day. It's good to finish and to know again that all those little bits do make a difference. Stitch by stitch.
I'm a smidge disappointed with it overall. It's a little bit large - I carefully measured to work out what size I should make and then let fly without swatching. Sigh. The fabric on the 4.5mm needles I used for the straight section is a little loosey goosey (the 4mm dpn section is much nicer) and with the silk content of the yarn as well it's all a bit floppier than I hoped and dag nammit it doesn't instantly transform me in to an uber-stylish being! Still the colour makes up for a lot and it's still a super cool pattern. I just need to work on my super cool attitude, not pull it down too far and get the slouch slouching.

Or just enjoy the sunshine and flowers.
Thanks for sending your advance party spring, it's nice to have their company.
Though we're a little more wintry in our garden still. This is one half of the daffodils that have so far bloomed. 
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