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Showing posts from July, 2009

Twin Peaks

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Le Tour is nearly over (sob) and it looks like my two favourite riders, Wiggins and Armstrong, are going to have to scrap it out for a podium place. I have a weekend away booked with no tv or net coverage so from lunchtime today there's going to be a media blackout until Sunday evening when I can watch all three ITV4 highlights programmes in one sitting. The ITV4 coverage has been so entertaining again this year and the race itself has been so exciting, I'm sure I'll have withdrawal symptoms when it's all over. My own personal polka dot jersey efforts were looking a bit lacklustre with just the Moonlight mountain ascended so last night I claimed two more peaks. Pattern: Baktus Yarn: The Natural Dye Studio Blue Faced Leicester 4ply/Sock - Aqua Ice Needles: 3.75mm Bamboo Straights Started: 4 June 2009 Finished: 23 July 2009 Pattern: Macaroon Purse Kit - Raspberry Sundae Yarn: Jamiesons Shetland Heather Needles: 4.5mm circular needle Started: 18 June 2009 Finis

Two out of Three and a Mountain

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And what a great two they are. One to England in quite some style and one I thought might never happen for me. Incredibly enough I have actually finished Moonlight. Last seen like this: Now looking like this: In finishing this cardigan I do feel a bit like I have achieved an historic victory, sure it's just been a bit over two years in the making rather than 75 but more than one year after I finished knitting the pieces of this cardigan, which was more than one year after I started knitting this cardigan, I really feel like I have scaled a mountain! Turns out if you just pick up a needle and some yarn you can turn those odd shaped bits of knitted fabric into something rather nice. Pattern: Moonlight Yarn: Rowanspun Aran - Gables Needles: 5mm wooden straights and 5mm circular needle Started: March 2007 Finished: 20 July 2009 Notes: Almost perfect - there's just the small matter of having knit the right front wrong . Gawd knows how but I haven't got the stocking sti

A draw

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So like the England team itself the purse had a bit of a rough Test after the positive looking first innings. It wasn't my new toy which stuck the bat in with four centuries oh no. Magic loop - check, sewing - check, attachment of purse clasp - ummm: Though if a draw is good enough for the cricketers then I'll take a draw on my own Test performance against my mighty purse foe. The sewing machine and I got on well and I was pleased with how I managed to join the lining. So with a spring in my fingers I thought I had this challenge licked until the endless frustration of trying to make the purse sit in the clasp. Just one tiny corner so far attached. So fiddly, I certainly felt all fingers and thumbs and in the end had to abandon for fear I would bowl it across the room with almighty speed and bounce! So my next declaration is that I will have this purse and a certain cardigan last seen hanging out in pieces in a plastic bag finished by the time England win the second Test. Ah

The first innnings

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It's been a good start to the test for the Macaroon Purse, magic loop is my friend again. Quick watch of the video and I was away - I used the longest of my cables which I think makes it even easier - plenty of room to manouevre. Kyoko's pattern is a lovely knit, what sweet cables and the use of short rows to create the perfect arched top is very smart. Great design. So now on to the machining, though I'm not sure I should wait for England's second innings to start or I might just miss getting it done for the end of the test. Yes Rose Red , it seems like the hum of the machine will be needed to drown out the sounds of Australian bat on ball!

The First Test

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The first test of the Ashes bats off today and while I've got my doubts that it can live up to the mens Wimbledon competition or the start of the Tour in the excitement stakes I'll enjoy watching the series and hoping that England can do a 2005 (no mentions of the 5-0 drubbing in the last Ashes will be tolerated in the comments - thank you!). I'm joining in with a KAL for the Ashes too which should fit nicely with the Tour one for the early tests. Each KAL-er simply makes a declaration of their goals for the duration of each test. For the opener I've gone for finishing my Macaroon Purse which would also be my first mountain for the Tour. Last in, first out. Sound too easy? Never fear there are hidden challenges on this wicket which may get me out for a duck. First up, the reason I've not made any progress since the initial flurry is that I haven't got a short enough cable needle or the right size DPNs to move on from the base without reinvigorating a long

Team Time Trial

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How many stitches could I complete to add to my team's total in one hour? A paltry 1180 apparently. I'm blaming the excitement of the race, it kept distracting me! Panda decided she'd get in on the cushion pile arranged for the before and after shots. Perhaps I should just lie down and join her. So not a time trialler either - good job I recognised my place in life and went for the polka dot jersey.

A gentle start for some

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Two fabulous stages to kick off Le Tour including a win for Cavendish, fellow Brit and Columbia team mate :o) For me it was a gentle start with some entrelac bringing a French air to my living room. Lady Eleanor , begun in 2007 and oft neglected since, has been the first to benefit from some attention. This is my personal Tour course: Plenty of challenging inclines as I try and finish everything on the needles as a King of the Mountains rider aiming for as many completed WIPS as possible. While the GC riders and sprinters have their days, I'll ride along with the peloton getting a few kilometres past the needles and bide my time for the glory days in these mountains that I hope are to come. Aptly the reverse of the stole has something of the mountain range about it to my eye.

Lazy Leaves

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An aptly named pattern - I've been very lazy in the heat of the last week and so missed the end of June deadline - though good news for me is that they can count for the July catch up month . I was determined to finish them tonight so that I didn't add another mountain to my Tour de France challenge starting tomorrow. Pattern: Lazy Leaves Yarn: Patons Purple Heather - 1671, 4oz Needles: 2.5mm DPNs Started:6 June 2009 Finished: 3 July 2009 They were a little large for the sock blockers or stunt foot so a combination of both are employed to show the details. I'm a firm convert to Judy's Magic Cast-On after this and the sewn bind off definitely suits me. I need to try the afterthought heel before I conclude that my toe up sock recipe is perfected, the heel flap looks nice and wins for me over the short row heel but I don't think it's as much fun as a top down heel flap. Still I'm definitely more in favour of the toe up now, it feels a bit like learning to wr