Sunday, January 30, 2011

Socktacular!

 
I have had a thoroughly delicious weekend. Not only have I've been away in Bath again with my sweetie; not only have I been shop, shop shopping for woolly goodness; not only have I gone and learnt to crochet on a course at The Makery! No, not only all of that which I'll tell you all about another day, I'm also the luckiest blogthday prize winner EVER! Today's post belongs to the socktacular prize, sent to me across the miles by the truly lovely Rose Red, which kicked things off in real style. It may be a little later than she intended but when I got home to find the parcel on Thursday evening at the start of my special weekend, well turns out her timing was perfect. Just like the contents of the parcel.
Yes indeed. My goodness me, if I'd spent the weekend scrubbing the kitchen floor with a toothbrush it would have been a wonderful one having opened these riches!

Not only beautiful, beautiful, beautiful tailor made socks in a delicious, deep red Wollmeise but a skein of the scrumptious stuff for my very own. I told you, she's truly lovely! I'm sorry my photos don't really do them justice but most of you know the knitterly genius  of Rose Red well enough to imagine these are the most perfectly made, perfectly fitting rendition of the Anniversary Socks pattern.
Thank you again, dear friend across the way, they are so socktacular just like you!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Keeping Cosy Winter Shawl

 
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend, Colour: Atlantic
Started: November 2010
Finished: January 16th 2011

I think photographing this shawl has been ten times the challenge that knitting it was! I've taken several shots over several days to try and capture the glory of this red yarn, I'm calling it a day now though I haven't quite got what I wanted as in these grey, dingy days I don't think I will. Happily I feel the absolute opposite about the actual garment, it's everything I dreamed it could be when I saw the inspiring version A Girl In Winter made in the Manos Silk Blend and this shade, evasive though it may be to the camera is so uplifting that it's been the perfect companion for dark, winter days. It's a warm, deep multi-toned red with a pinky blue base, a real treat for the eye. The shawl is big and grand, but cosy and homely all at once. A wonderful pairing of yarn and pattern.
I didn't manage to get the bottom to settle into the points I was hoping for as I still haven't got my blocking skills or tools up to scratch! Maybe I'll start next year finishing this pattern but with my blocking house in order! Working it has certainly reawakened all that passion I had for shawls at the start of last year. 

It took a while as it's a big, ole snuggle of a shawl but it was as luscious on the needles as it is off. This pattern makes a lot of sense to my brain so I can follow along without too many checks of the charts and I even get it right most of the time! It's just been so beautiful to watch it grow and to work with this smooth, squishy yarn which drapes very nicely. Just looking at it makes me feel warmer, which is a good job as that's all I'll be doing soon as I must part with it and send it to my poor present-less mama! Easy to knit, hard to photo, even harder to part with!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lush and lacy and...

FINISHED! Ta Da!
Pattern: My own 
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky - 16023
Needles: 10mm
Started: December 23rd 2010
Finished: January 10th 2011
Ravelry page
Simple and quick to knit. If I'd had the inspiration earlier in the year then I would have had this scarf done for Christmas. As it was I saw this yarn on sale at the end of November when the list really shouldn't have had any more gifts added. Luckily my friend is easily persuaded that good things come to those who wait and at least it's done while the weather still warrants it!

When I opened one of my new books -  I was amused to see a very similar piece - Big Lace Scarf in an almost spookily similar shade!
The books is More Last Minute Knitted Gifts (every bit as scrumptious as the first book - if you like that I'm sure this would be a good book for you) so it is only fitting I'd find a twin for it there!  Squeezing the yarn I wasn't sure what pattern I'd find for it but I knew I couldn't leave it. When it came to it I just didn't have time to search for a pattern that fit my idea so as what I wanted seemed simple enough I just a knit a row and then did a row of yo/k2tog. It gives the length and the feeling of contrast between the weight of yarn and the pattern I wanted and I'm happy with how it looks but I had assumed that the lace wouldn't roll in as the fact that I was doing k2tog would give a kind of garter base if you know what I mean? Actually it works as an open stocking stitch - above is the right side - below is the wrong side.
Pretty enough and very wearable but if I were to make it again (and it could become my go to gift knit) I want to try the pattern from the book now I have it.

To finish - a little peak at the other thing that is FINISHED!
Not an official ta da yet as it needs washing and blocking but the knitting of the Christmas gifts is officially over!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

January Jewels

A Gem of a Calendar from Phlights of Phancy
It's no secret January is my least favourite month but slowly year on year I'm doing better at loving it. Last year with the snow I had a better time than in previous years. Slllooooowwww is definitely the pace for me in winter. One step up from hibernation. Though I'm prepared to ease away from the sofa when the sun shines like it did today. With blue skies overhead jewels sparkled wherever I looked.
Christmas Books to look forward to diving into just as soon as the last gifts are knit.
New friends and old.
Goodbye murky grey...


...hello sunshine!
Afternoon tea with my lovelies - spot the Vogue Cowl in action - yay for gifts well appreciated!
Exciting times ahead.
Even the dark brought more jewels.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Twelth Night

Tonight the timer finally took its last chance to turn on the Christmas lights at the right time to welcome me home. I always like to have the decorations up until Twelth Night as coming back to a twinkly grotto of a house makes those first few days of work that little bit less brutal, less real somehow. I'm all for anything that makes life easier in the cold and dark of January in England.
Still I like my traditions too and it's time to send the little tree back outside. Never fear though I have the two Christmas gifts I'm STILL knitting on to keep me company and Christmas 2010 alive a little longer!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Two Gifts that were Finitoed

Pattern: Jonna by Norah Gaughan
Yarn: RYC Cashsoft in Poppy
Needles: 5.5mm
Started: September 2nd 2010
Finished: December 28th 2010


Pattern: Simple Slouchy Hat by Julie Weisenberger
Yarn: Rowan Alpaca Cotton - 406
Needles: 4mm
Started: December 2010
Finished: December 28th 2010
Some hastily taken shots of gifts for my little brother and his girl. My gift knits are so often like this, practically wrapped and in the hands of  the recipient before I can even get a picture. These were seized upon with some pleasure and worn straightaway so I should have a managed a snap or two in person but  making them stay in the freezing cold while I went to get my camera seemed too cruel. So we've got these. 
The red is way off (better here) but the pompoms look rather fine I think. Thanks to the Mister for those, he's a wizard with the Clover pompom maker so saved me the time of knitting the bubbles as specified by the pattern - vital help in the elf factory. 

This elf is off to hide with the last two gift knits she should be working on and pretend that real work doesn't start again tomorrow. Why are the holidays always so short?

Saturday, January 01, 2011

New Year - Not New Project Yet!

But Mama is a forgiving lady. 
No resolutions here except to have much frivolous fun this year. Wishing you all you wish for in 2011. Happy New Year.
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