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Showing posts from 2008

The road to Christmas...

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... is paved with good intentions! Blogging, gift knitting, baking and making, there's so much more I wanted to have done by now. Still it's the same every year and to keep the balloon afloat and the vital cargo (actual enjoyment of the festive season) intact I find I have to jettison what I can bear to manage without. So I won't dally here, much as I would like to, have a mince pie on me and I'll be back with the nail-biting conclusion of "Did Sarah finish her Christmas knits?" after the big day. Season's Greetings to one and all.

Send in the Elves...

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...10 December? How did that happen? Seriously Santa I need some help over here , so if you can spare me an elf or two who can knit, this pile of WIPS might just get gifted by Christmas. In case you can't make out the projects in the gloom (if I waited for natural daylight this post may never happen) there are three pairs of socks and a scarf - the spiral one from Knitting Nature which I have been meaning to make forever. This is it now (except for one stealth knit which is about half done too). I'm more on target than in previous years, a few potential makes have been converted to purchases and I have also finished a hat (which can wait for the rest to catch up and some light for its moment of fame.) My theory was to get them all going and then having so many choices I'd have no excuse for not fancying something to knit each evening. It's kind of worked though work itself has been very busy and then there's that thing of actually socialising - it's all a s

Dashed Fine Gifts

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I've quite some knitting pride in this little crop of Dashings that I have tended over the last few weeks. The whole idea of whether/who/what to knit for Christmas gifts has required some extra thought this year. Last year I set out with unmanageable expectations and ended up giving the last of the gifts meant for Christmas as a birthday present this September. My productivity and inspiration dried up in the approach to Christmas and I didn't finish anything last November or December. Knitting the Christmas gifts throughout the year and stockpiling them is by far the most sensible approach but still, I can't get really excited about gift knitting until the magic of Christmas is within reach. I love to make my gifts in one form or another, though I try and make sure the recipient is going to feel equally fond of the idea of a handmade present. Last year I think I focussed too much on the pattern I thought people would most want to receive; this year I've decided that

The blog is...

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..two years old today! Here are some of things the blog is about: In fine blogging tradition I have a little prize giveaway to celebrate and say thank you to all you readers for your input and contributions that make me love blogging so. I've noticed a growing obsession in my heart for badges - or buttons if you prefer. There are so many cute ones around now, Etsy is a wonderful source for them. Actually, a quick aside, I've always wondered if badges as I know them are buttons then how are buttons still buttons? Ooh the word button starts to look very odd when you type it repeatedly. Button, button, button. I once bought the 1TB some buttons as a souvenir of a US trip - I thought they were to be sewed on to his jeans and so it was quite pleasing to find that they were just ready to go to be pinned on. So anyway, whatever you call them, I love them and to share my love with you I have gathered the gorgeous wee ones pictured around this post for you to win. Just leave me a

Thumbs Up

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There were signs of a slump into the knitting doldrums mid week. Two inner knitters were battling and the likeliest outcome seemed to be a ceasefire in the form of no knitting. I was knitting away happily on my flip top mitten when it became apparent that there was going to be an issue, a not enough yarn type issue. Attempting a pattern that requires a skein of Lamb's Pride Worsted when you have only half a skein looks, with hindsight, foolish. That's of course because it is foolish but the Frugal Knitter had been having her say. She wanted that half skein to be enough for the child size because it would use up some stray yarn ; the Frugal Knitter pointed out that the pattern said it took a skein for the child size and a skein for the adult size so surely half a skein would be fine for the child size. Well no. There is not enough yarn to make two of the mittens, to be honest it's going to be tight for one. So the Stash Loving Knitter said "Sucks to you Frugal Knitter,

Randomly on a theme of knitting

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Months ago lovely Amanda tagged me for a random meme and I got as far as three dull things that I couldn't feel that any of you would want to know about me (having obviously been so fascinating before ) and saved the non-post in my drafts until today, when I was inspired by Glenna's post to share some random knitting minutiae. 1. My needle collection is very random, odds and sods from cheap ebay lots, rummages through charity shops and moments of luxury with Brittanys or Harmonys. The circulars live in a tea tin that is too small for them even though I long ago bought a folder to sort them in to. Like my life really the intention is there to organise and be tidy but the execution is a bit weak :o) 2. My favourite tv programme to knit to is Murder She Wrote - my fingers have developed a Pavolvian twitch response to that theme music. Any whodunnit is always a happy knitalong with for me but even complicated patterns can be knit to MSW with no fear that you will miss the vit

Casting on counts

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This is the sum total of Socktoberfest progress on my singletons: one success, one to the heel (glad to know that a lot of you will understand that I am enjoying the anticipation of the heel flap to knit) and just a cast on for the Jays. I did insist on doing the cast on before bed on the 31st so that I could say I started all three socks in Socktober. Not quite what I was aiming for but still not so bad given colds, energy lows and work stresses this month. Casting on late at night is not normally a recipe for success and so it's not that surprising that those stitches are no more - I've ripped out the original cast on and gone down a size. Am definitely enjoying the pattern for these, as I do for the Monkeys, while the Pom pattern and I have a more troubled relationship - we've just not quite clicked yet and I never get into an easy rhythm with the knitting but I do love the sock that is emerging. I shall persevere with these singles and their partners this month thoug

Blogs I Love III - From the start...

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Back in the early days of blogging (when blurry photos seemed okay) there were some lovely people who made sure I wasn't lonely and some of them are still very much here and blogging along today: The aforementioned Glenna is one, another is her friend: Hedgehog Knits Kelly is not a knitting hedgehog. I'm sorry if that's a disappointment to anyone but really, though she is a mere human person, there is no way her knitting can be a disappointment to anyone. She keeps a super cute pet hedgehog Molly who features too rarely on the blog in my humble opinion - so go tell Kelly to let us see her. She's had all kinds of job craziness of late which limits her blogging activity a little but the knitting still continues apace. Knitting in the North Charity is a very generous commenter. I'm never too sure how she cares for her mighty brood of chicks and fits in all the knitting and blogging to be honest. Still I think she's let slip some relevant info of late - sh

My Favourite Knit so far...

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I was just reading about Bells' favourite knit and thought I'd join in. Unlike Bells I didn't have anything immediately in mind, though let's face it I knew it would be a pair of socks. As I was looking over my Ravelry project page I spotted my favourite knit. It's the Primavera socks , finished back in May so they haven't seen much use so far this year, until one cold evening this week the 1TB got in from work and went upstairs to change and came back down wearing a very fine pair of socks on his feet. They're his favourites I've made for him by far. All the elements together - great fit, pattern, yarn and colour. And if they're his favourites then they're mine too :o)

More Sock Love: Turning a Heel

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This is the heel I just completed on my bee-yoo-tiful Monkey sock. I love it, both the sock and especially the heel turn. It's not exclusive to this sock, I'm always excited to do the heel on my top down socks. I enjoy it so much that, as I did on this one, I sometimes pause the project to find a peaceful little moment to knit the heel flap and make the heel turn all in one go. Turning a heel was one of those phrases I knew in my pre-knitting life and I had the idea it would be a tricky thing to do. It pleased me no end to find that it was straightforward and so clever. While I was blindly following the instructions for my first sock I don't think I even realised that I achieved this significant moment in my knitting career! Now, every top down sock I make, I relish this part most of all. A simple, elegant piece of engineering. What's not to love? Anyone else have a favourite element of the sock knitting process, or have I reached new heights of knitgeekery? Thank go

Alchemy

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A ball of Regia Silk Shine magically transformed by knitterly alchemy and serious sewing skills to a gorgeous sock project bag. My friend needed that tricky-to-find shade 150 to finish up her Anna stockings and I still hadn't found a mate for my lone ball following the Vancouver debacle so this is a perfect resolution to two troublesome situations. Thanks again Clare, the Monkeys love their new home :o)

Sarah, Sarah quite contrary...

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...how do your socks grow? Well quite slowly actually now you come to ask as it seems that I used most of the weekend when I wasn't snivelling into a tissue to knit a snood.* I know it is Socktober when sock love is official and I don't normally need an excuse to knit socks but my brain wasn't up to small needles so I got big uns and just knit until: A polar explorer's snood fit for a gardening mad Mama. Well from one set of bandwagon knits to another, I've been unconvinced about cowls but they are lovely to knit so I'm glad that my Mum is convinced about them. I did want to make a really generous size so that it could perform the snood function of making a hood or sit snuggling warmly around the neck. I can confirm that it is very toasty and that is why you aren't getting any better photos as I had to remove it before I overheated. Pattern: Just knitting with a few decrease rounds Yarn: Rowan Plaid - Moonwave - just under two balls Needles: 6.5mm 80cm Bamb

Blogs I Love II - The Links

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The title should be said by voice over man: "It's Blogs I Love, the sequel, this time it's about the links." Some blogs belong together in my mind you see, when you write about one you want to write about the other. It felt quite wrong to mention Bells without mentioning Rose Red - these partners in crime organise the Southern Summer of Socks together and have a delicious Nigella blog they share - Mouthfuls of Heaven . Rose Red Shoes I found Rose Red after I saw a rather lovely shoe avatar popping up in people's comments and had to check out the blog of the owner of such a beautiful thing. Rose Red shares more of her AMAZING shoe collection every Shoesday and in between shows us gorgeous knits (sometimes with the daring use of stunt buttons) and flashes her awesome yarn collection including much alpacky. Knitting to Stay Sane Glenna's blog was the one that started all this wonderfulness for me. I was loving her Ivy design in Knitt y and followed the l

Socks I Love: FO

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No I've not suddenly started knitting super fast and rattled off one of my Socktober projects. The FO love is for the Honeybees which have been done since before the holidays but were awaiting photographing as this glorious yellow is mighty hard to capture. Love for these socks may be official because it's Socktober but it's not unconditional love. I am not head over heels for these tricky customers and a lot of the issue is with those heels. Pattern: Honeybee Socks Yarn: Oxford Kitchen Yarns Sock - bit under a full skein Needles: Trusty Harmony DPNs - 2.25mm Started: 25 March 2008 Finished: 13 September 2008 Notes: I think these have convinced me that standard show row heels and toes for toe ups are not for me, second go and I'm still not happy with the fit around the heel and the length of the toes. Allow me to demonstrate: Gappy and baggy heel Way too long before the pattern starts on toes Still it is very hard to argue with the beauty of the stitch pattern

Blogs I Love

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I've been lucky enough to be given some blog awards lately from some lovely fellow bloggers. Thank you so much to Princess Pea , Blog Bletherings , Bells , and Terri Knits . I'm always really delighted when someone nominates me for one of these things but also a little unsure about how best to pass the honour on. I'm also always a little disappointed you see, when one of my favourite bloggers doesn't nominate me in their list. Maybe it's just me and my mega ego but in case some of you lovely peeps feel a twinge of this sometimes too I'm always loathe to pick out just a few blogs. All the blogs I read are great in their own particular way; for me one of the endless fascinations of blogging is how we all stamp our individuality on the same medium. However having said all that I loved the little mini reviews that Bells did with this award and it gave me an idea about how I would like to pass on my appreciation of my favourite blogs. Kicking off today I'm goin