Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pursuits for a wet weekend

The one stitch approach has definitely helped. A half row here and a few stitches there and I managed more than one stitch every day this week. Past history suggests the best thing I could do is cast on a new super simple project but I can't even muster the enthusiasm for that. Casting around for inspiration this new online magazine Clotheshorse caught my eye. A fun concept though I haven't found the magic bullet here. Maybe I just need to heed the weather, realise it's time to put my paws up, continue the Prison Break-athon inspired by a Netflix free trial and maybe I'll add a little hand sewing on the slowest dress to the slow knitting. My crafting speed definitely suggests I should get on board with my commitment to the slow movement.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Just knit something

Cloud Illusions shawl with JKnit App
I didn't think I could knit any less than as reported last week but the days since then have seen no stitches at all. Worse than that it's not been replaced by any crafty goodness. No sewing, no crochet, no baking. Sigh. I'm blaming the fact that work is so busy that it has drained all movement from my hands for the ever reducing bit of evening time I'm at home and the ole brain is equally drained. I thought I'd catch up yesterday but spent free time gardening and painting my fingernails. Not even sorting out my lovely new box. Some kind of emptiness in  the creative zone. There are no deadlines and if I don't want to knit then it's not a problem but I do. I love it so, benefit so much from the feelings it brings and I want to be wearing the prettiest of the knits on my needles - this lovely Cloud Illusions that I made some good progress on over the Easter long weekend.

I've even found a great piece of technology to keep track of my charts. The JKnit app comes in a paid and free version. I've just got the free version at the moment which has this great PDF chart viewer, that green bar responds when you tap the screen to move up (or down) the pattern and keep track of where you are. When you go back to it after turning off it remembers where you are and as it stores the PDFs you don't need internet access to be able to use it. Being able to zoom in and move around a chart is fab. Definitely a handy app, it has a users' group on Rav and I probably would have upgraded were it not for the fact that the IPad is still a rather new and shiny toy which belongs to the Mr who kindly shares with me (most of the time!).

Looking at that picture, being here in my little creative corner is a good move I think. I'm going to aim to knit a row on that shawl today and at least a stitch every day next week. A single stitch is so small I know I can do it and even if that's all I do it will make me feel more fulfilled and I'm sure once I've got needles in my hands again it'll be easy to do a little more than that.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Auction fever!

We went to a local auction yesterday just for fun and guess what Sarah bought? More used haberdashery items of course - a full sewing box in need of a little TLC but oh so lovely!
Wooden cantilevered sewing box

I may also have bought some old suitcases. Old suitcases - hmm what would you want those for? Well for displaying things I've made for selling at craft fairs - of course! Yes I am actually certifiably insane. Until yesterday I'd knit - literally- 48 stitches all week. Ah well my fantasy craft life is very rich and rewarding!

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Sarah says simple socks are simply super!

Waffle stitch socks Rooky Socks that Rock

Charlene Schurch Waffle stitch socks Rooky Socks that Rock
Repeat that tongue twister x10!

You are saved from yet more photos of the the plum tree against the bluest sky of the year because I must tell you about the socks I finished a whole week ago! Sunday evening at our B&B by the sea the Mr went for a run while I sat in the setting sun and finished the toe. I can't remember the last time I finished a pair of socks, and man socks at that, so quickly. The secret? Simple socks are simply speedy.

Pattern: Waffle Rib II from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch
Yarn: Socks that Rock - Lightweight - Rook-y
Needles: 2.25mm DPNs
Started: February 26th 2012
Finished: March 25th 2012
Ravelry page

After the initial false start these were a happy knit - with narrow ankles requiring just 64 stitches in the cuff (please let me remember that for next time!) it's only in the length of the foot that the beloved is troubling to make socks for. These didn't even seem long as they have been just the perfect no stress knit. Glorious yarn (though slightly blackening to the hands to knit with), simple rhythmic pattern. I think the texture of it when the socks are at rest is particularly delicious and the little squares nicely highlight the jewel like flashes of colour in this masterpiece of dyeing. That was the last of my STR so I'm glad to be heading back to the US later this summer, will definitely have more Raven Clan on the shopping list. Given my current obsession with shawls I'm thinking about how fabulous this shade would be for a sophisticated evening cover up.
Waffle Rib Socks - Close up Garter border heel
It's a long time since I knit from Sensational Knitted Socks and it was lovely to feel in such safe hands again. Lots of my sock learning was from Charlene's wise words and I like her eye for details such as the garter border on the heel flap. I took her advice on customising fit  and made the heel flap 40 rows rather than 32 which works nicely for his high instep.  If you ever have trouble getting a hand knit sock on even though they are big enough in the cuff for your leg then I think this is good adjustment to try. If I ever get my own pair of Spring Forwards it's one I'm going to use, although they're good for my Mum as the pattern is written I find them a little more effort to get on than they should be. I might even make  himself's heel flap even longer next time - and there had better be a next time a bit sooner than last time! Here's a shot of the very grateful recipient and sock model multitasking. He thought you'd like to see the sole and was very patient in having his tootsies snapped as he had his iPhone and iPad to distract him!
Waffle Rib Sock sole

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