Saturday, September 29, 2012

New toys for the weekend

It's a bright and sunny morning here in Oxford and I've got some bright and shiny new toys to play with this weekend. I gave in to my scissor obsession (I want these one day, you know the lottery winning type day!) and bought some beauties from Posie along with this year's felt ornament kit and then was delighted to receive another, very reasonable quality pair, free with the latest issue of Mollie Makes. My pincushion is stuffed and ready for action so it promises to be a happy, crafty weekend.

Monday, September 24, 2012

My hat

Knit in my beautiful Squam yarn and ready just ahead of SquamItalia (next week!!); here's the hat I had the urge to make for me after finishing up the Mr's.
Pattern: Butterfly Hat by Sofiya Cremin
Yarn: Jill Draper Makes Stuff - Superwash Merino - Squam colourway: Deepest Depths
Needles: 4.5mm DPNs and 16in Circ
Started: September 2012
Finished: September 23rd 2012
While the somewhat abrupt arrival of deepest autumnal weather yesterday here in England means it'll see some use straight away, that very same weather makes it even more delicious to note, that you could say it's not likely to be the most essential item for my suitcase given the current weather where I'll soon be knitting.

Weather for Abruzzo, Italy

24°C | °FMonTueWedThu
Mostly SunnyMostly SunnyMostly SunnyMostly Sunny
Partly Cloudy
Wind: E at 4 mph
Humidity: 78%33°18°28°18°28°18°31°18°

None of these photos does any justice to the really amazing shade of this yarn. It's the most indescribably rich, blue green, I love it to bits and the hat along with it. This was a super fun knit. I wanted a beanie style hat as my other hats for myself: Verity and Tetsubou  were knitted more because I loved the look of them and the challenge of the different constructions to knit. I think a nice and deep beanie style suits me better and will be easier to pull on without needing the aid of a mirror to get it positioned just right. Having the butterfly stitch makes the finished item suitably beautiful and was really fun to work. I think it makes the knitting zip along as instead of just 'one more row' the urge is for one more set of rows to get to make the next butterflies. I love the extra depth the gathers of the butterflies brings. You can see the pockets or craters on the inside.

I had a photo shoot assistant who I've been meaning to introduce for a while now. I call him Joey.

His rather fine ears made it in to the last post, and I have innumerable shots of him from the behind, comme ca:
Getting a shot of his handsome chops is proving rather hard as he always zeroes in too quickly for some strokes. 

He's definitely a frequent visitor here of late though his home is down the road. He and Panda have a tolerance of each other, I think they've made an uneasy alliance because he keeps away the much more aggressive tabby that used to haunt her food dish while she occasionally lets him have the food she's turned her fussy nose up at in the hope we'll give her something else. Her girth rather suggests we give in too often!

She stuck to the sofa while we braved the chills outside but does seem to have forgiven me for canoodling with him as she's been lying on the floor by my desk chair like a dog, purring her head off whilst I've been writing this. I'd say it was affection but I should know better!

Friday, September 21, 2012

From one weekend to the next

A week ago now I had a great trip down to see my Mum and Dad and brought a Pa back with me for a couple of days of less fun for him as he had a course close by. I took so many photos, mainly of my Mum's beautiful garden. We had some lovely sunny days and I relished that feeling of start of term freshness that comes with September still. Newness in the form of two beautiful puppies for my auntie. Train and car time made for plenty of knitting and I reached a momentous point of GAAK when I actually remembered how to do Judy's magic cast on without looking at the instructions! And so we're nearly ready for the next weekend, more lovely memories to be made, but oh why is time flying by so fast?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nice work if you can get it

Seldom are work afternoons quite so full of fabric and stitches. We have a lovely tradition of recreation days at our place. Different volunteers organise a whole range of activities to take place on different days over the summer, a list gets circulated and everyone signs up for what they fancy. This year with a introduction to patchwork on the list the choice was easy for me. All afternoon I've been piecing together cheery coloured hexagons which will soon(ish) become a splendid pincushion. I like my job most days but some days I just love it!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Stitched in

My embroidered wedding gift is making good progress towards a revised deadline of the first time I'll see the bride since the wedding. This is the second of the pillowcases and I still have a couple of weeks to go. I might even have time for washing and presenting these properly - unlike my outfit for the day - the dress and shawl - which I must take proper pictures of to share here. The shawl needs a reblock after it had a hasty few hours with minimal damping and the dress was literally still being hemmed half an hour before we had to leave, thank goodness I wasn't kidding myself I was going to get these done as well.

I made great progress yesterday when an entire afternoon was spent relaxing in the shade in a Watford garden. This past week has been full of clear blue skies, sunshine and fresh, crisp breezes; just my favourite sort of days. We took full advantage of the warmth to just sit and be, doing very little. Memories of a lovely afternoon spent laughing and chatting with family got stitched right in to this. That's one of the most lovely qualities of handmade items for me, those traces of the maker's time that become wrapped into the very fabric of the piece. I'm glad I decided to be late with these and have happiness stitched in rather than sweaty, swearing panic!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

The Mitten Machine

When I started out on these mittens I had my normal castle in the sky level of expectations for the project. These were to be the first on a happy production line of mittens to keep the paws of all my dearest peoples warm this winter. Christmas gift images flashing before my eyes I searched for a pattern that was written for sockish weight yarn given the amount of that hanging about these parts. I found this Patons one but really wanted to do the thumbs in the way that the Owlie lovelies are. So I embarked on a mash up and I'd like to have tens of mittens to show you by now but there's been a little sand in the Machine. Caused both by the general lull in creactivities and a wondering whether close fitting four ply mitts are actually what I (or indeed they) want to see adorning the hands of all around me. Different ideas are fluttering around as I'm getting that sand out. Fiddling around with numbers and notes as I work on the second mitten and have some suitably ambitious dreams of silkily lined double thickness mittens probably in a socky weight inner/DK weight outer combination.

Monday, September 03, 2012

And we're done

One week, one hat. I could have made 35 hats already this year if the flame of creativity wasn't such a flickery one!

Pattern: Christopher by Jane Richmond
Yarn: Rowan All Seasons Cotton in Cheery and Cement
Needles: 4.5mm DPNs and 16in Circ
Started: August 26th 2012
Finished: September 1st 2012
Ravelry page
There might be no sign of his jumper yet but I'm doing my best to compensate with a hat for every season! The idea of using cotton was supposed to make this autumn appropriate though the fact that it's reversible and so double thickness means that it's actually very snuggly. With many hopes around these parts for an Indian summer maybe the fact that it's probably good for all but the very few super cold days we tend to get is a good thing.

This was a total delight to knit. The whole sensation of pulling loop through loop and finding a growing item on the needles felt so fresh after so long since a good stretch of stocking stitch. This yarn is so plump it makes a really squidgy, lovely fabric.

I had some of the soft yellow Cheery Rowan All Seasons Cotton left over from the cardi I made last summer and it's been sat by my computer desk since then. Yarn storage for all except sock yarn is still slovenly chaos. Sometimes though my messiness pays off, there's definitely an upside to having your materials in sight for that spark of a project idea. I haven't knit any Jane Richmond patterns before but have had several including this Christopher hat favourited for a long time. Grellow remains a passion of mine long after trendiness has left it behind so I was hoping for a lovely grey to pair with the Cheery. I found a very well priced discontinued shade at Cucumberpatch. As ever excellent service from them and fast delivery happily kept that idea flame burning strong. So here's to the Cheery Cement hat and the lovely ears that it will keep snug. Now I'm lusting for a new hat of my own.
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