Monday, 3 November 2008
Due to the cold snap I have been distracted from my Christmas pressie making by my daughters request for a new hat and scarf to go with her new coat. She wanted something cable and sparkly was the request received, luckily I had some Sirdar Romance in my stash, a lovely Arctic bluey grey colour with a silver thread running through it, very pretty. This was also a bonus as it is aran weight so there would be a wealth of cable patterns suitable (although she didn't want anything too fussy????)and hopefully they would knit up quite quickly. I just need to add that this yarn is discontinued but you can still get it on ebay occasionally.
After wading through loads I finally found some "acceptable" patterns on Ravelry. I finally went with The Irish Hiking Hat and Scarf. They can be found here http://irishhikingknitalong.blogspot.com/2006/11/irish-hiking-hat.htmlg.blogspot.com/2006/11/irish-hiking-hat.html . BTW that link took me ages to work out, I think I must go the long way round.
I started the hat first and although I used the pattern in the link I made some changes, I did 2
x2 rib around the bottom not garter stitch, I also used my own decreasing, I tried to keep the cable at the same width for as long as possible as that is where my eye is naturally drawn to when looking at these. I managed to knit it in a night although I was up til 2.30am doing it!! So please pardon the big bags under my eyes if you can spy them in the pic.
I finished it at 2.30am and she was wearing it to work by 7.30am. I don't think Leigh-Ann has ever heard of blocking a finished item LOL.
The scarf of course took a while longer, but I like it and so does my daughter. It took 3 days in total. I know the colours look completely different but they are knitted in the same yarn and the colour in the pic of the scarf is much truer than that of the hat.
Monday, 27 October 2008
The pattern is a sublime one that was in my The Art Of Knitting collection and the yarn is Sirdar Country style, mainly because it was so inexpensive, the colour for all of you pink freaks out there is blush.
I wasn't sure whether to do this as it's very own blog post as I was very very pleased with myself when I finished this but have decided against as the "moment" has now passed and I am well and truly over it!!! But this is my first ever sock, a practice sock as my niece (Paige) has requested a pair for Christmas so I though I'd better make sure that I can knit them before committing myself. It was a very basic pattern called Basic Tubular Socks taken from Knitting Magazine, I think it was issue 043 from Oct 07. I only did a short cuff as it was a practice in turning the heel that so many people seem to get into a nervous state about. The yarn is King Cole ZigZag, a new sock yarn they have bought out which is a bargain at £3.95 for 100grms.
Friday, 17 October 2008
Friday, 10 October 2008
I won a competition, it's not very often I win anything and I do enter things so I'm not moaning that I don't win when I don't put myself up for it because I do. Last time I won a comp was about 15 years or so ago. It was Kerrang magazine back in the days before hi-tech computer assistance etc etc. It was a good old fashioned answer an idiot question, phone up and leave your answer, name and address on an answering machine. So I did this, unfortunately part way through leaving my details (I always have the tv off so no background noise to blame) I farted very loudly and unexpectedly and so had to try very hard not to laugh whilst giving the rest of my details. Anyhow a fortnight later Mr Postman knocks on the door with a jiffy bag and inside I found I'd won the prize of a signed cd by Corrosion Of Conformity and a long sleeved t-shirt which I wore a lot and still have I think although I haven't worn it for years. They must have heard my details, heard the fart and thought " that's the winner"!!!!!!
THIS competition I won this week was a little more dignified I'm happier to say in my ever so slightly more mature (oi watch it) responsible phase in life. It was on Silvi's blog http://slowlaneblog.blogspot.com/ whom I know from the Lets Knit forum. She had a comp where you had to guess which socks from the new Simply Knitting sock calender she most wanted to knit. I felt a little guilty because anyone who has seen Silvi's FO's would know that the stockings win every time, so I ended the comp rather early but as you can see the prize was far too delicious to pass up on. It's Silvi's own handspun and handyed Falklands merino. there's a 100grms of it and it seems like a chunky weight to me. It is very soft and very pretty. I'm still musing what to do with it. Silvi has felted some of her own yarn before and it came out fabulous so thats making it even more difficult to decide.
I'm rather glad of this comp win for more than one reason, it also gave me the boot up the backside I needed to start posting on this blog again. It got left by the wayside during the summer holidays and I just hadn't found the right topic to get back on here even though I have a fair few FO's under my belt. So now I'm back I'll make an effort to put some pic's on here after the weekend.
Friday, 25 July 2008
In spite of the arguments between hubby and I about me sat knitting when I had loads to do the phone sock was completed by the end of the evening in spite of putting it down very few rows to blow up a few more balloons or hunt out the banners from wherever I'd hidden them. I also managed to get everything else done even if bedtime came rather late.
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
From the first time I saw the picture for Glace in an ad for Rowan Summer Delights by Martin Storey I fell in love. I should have read the signs though for what was to come, they were very clear. After trying to get hold of a copy and discovering that it hadn't even been released, then waiting for Mothers day to come and go as I had requested voucher for my local rowan stockist (my local dept store) I finally rushed up there to get it only to find ....they hadn't got it. I did finally manage to get it another 3 weeks later. I was overjoyed at the book itself though, Glace which is the cover photo is only the tip of the iceberg, for £6.95 I think the book is fantastic value, for me especially as there is not one design in there that I would not knit. 16 patterns of sheer loveliness. I have to confess though I winced very heavily when I priced up the yarn for it, just shy of £50 which is a lot of money to me (did I mention I'm a stay at home mum of four?????). I found a substitute yarn in James C. Brett's kool Kotton in a really pretty shade of Lilac. It was in a sale bag ready wrapped which worked out to under £10 so I was very very chuffed.
This though is where it all goes downhill pretty steadily. I started knitting it with that lovely first high rush of enthusiasm for a new project, with that extra bit of glee that you get when it's something you really really fallen in love with.
It knitted up quite well and even though it was endless 2x2 rib my high was still up there. Next night I picked it up again, finished the first ball started the second ball finished the rib (YEY) and started on the left half of the front and was almost to the top when I decided it was time for bed.
Next day did my jobs and still excited at how well it was progressing decided to pick up my pins and carry on knitting. I don't always get chance to knit in the day apart from weekends when we have visitors when I can sit and chat and knit at the same time. Good job I did. In natural light I could see something was very wrong, it looked two different colours. I had checked the ball bands hadn't I?? When I looked again I had 6 that had shade lot 1001 and 1 that was 1011. GGRRRRRRRRRRRRR and typically had used the odd ball first AARRRGGGHHHH. How many times have you bought yarn and there has been a very noticeable difference in the shade lots?? occasionally I have had and there has been virtually no difference at all but this was a big difference, the difference between brand new and left in the garden for several weeks to fade in the sun. Because I had bought it already in a bag I hadn't noticed it in daylight and in artificial light in which I had been knitting you couldn't see it. This was the start also of a very steep learning curve for me and how much store our fellow US knitter put in yardage/meterage. You see although I'm what I consider myself to be an experienced knitter I suppose I'm a little old school and when I was taught to knit yardage never existed, or at least I was never told about it. So when this happened I had one ball less than the pattern said and I presumed that I wouldn't have enough to finish it without that ball so I tried frogging it and using the different shade yarn alternating with the other yarn. More endless 2x2 rib knitted in artificial light to check it the next morning to see what I knew but refused to accept. It looked cr*p. Frogged again.
A week or so later shopping in my notsolocal hobbycraft I came across some patons vintage, another cotton blend in a colour I loved, a mix of hot pinks/oranges that although the yarn wasn't very soft but would tolerate just for the colour. In the sale (have I also mentioned my fetish for bargain yarn) at £1 a ball.There were seven left in that colour again how many balls the pattern said I needed. I checked the tension on the ball band which to memory looked fine and when hubby agreed to me buying it (he was in a grump at the time) I was excited to be able to start Glace again.
In the meantime I had already started another design from the Summer Delights book, Fondant using the yarn I'd started Glace in. I also loved this top so made myself finish this first before I restarted Glace.
Fondant done and I wore it to my next knit meet taking Glace with me. Cast it on in the afternoon, started knitting on the bus and carried on at the meet and I remember saying to one of the other ladies as I started my second ball, mmm I do hope there will be enough of this as I hadn't seemed to have done as much at the second ball point as I had before, I double checked the tension which seemed fine although it did feel to be knitting up a bit thicker than before!!!! Alarm bells were ringing and all of you who know about yardage already will probably be shouting at me and how dumb I am at this point. Me though I plugged on through the alarm bells until I realised I had used more than half the yarn but was nowhere near the halfway point.
Just before this point though I went yarn sale shopping with my friend Lynda who I met at the knit group I attend. I had had a birthday and had more vouchers for the dept store which I had saved and hubby even gave me extra cash to take with me. ps hubby hates my knitting with a vengeance so for him to donate cash for me to extend my stash is a very very big deal. Anyway Lynda and I went lovely scrummy yarn shopping and the yarn that is recommended for Glace was in the sale.... and I had enough to buy some and some other yarn too. WHOO HOO. We had a fab day,great company,scrummy yarn, lunch and book shopping fantastic.
Anyway, I bought some of the ryc silk cotton, 10 balls in fact although at the time I was still ignoring the warning signs that that Glace and Patons vintage wouldn't work, and there were two other projects in the Summer Delights that I wanted to attempt. It was that night though that I had to face the truth that I just hadn't got enough, it was also this point that the penny dropped and lessons learnt about yardage. It was also at this point that Glace had the name change to Nemesis.
I had earmarked the silk cotton for one of two other patterns but at this point I was so fed up and dejected at all the (self inflicted admittedly) problems knitting Glace I sort of come to the realisation if I didn't knit it now then I probably never would so with a bit of a heavy heart I cast on Glace for which I vowed would be my last time using the yarn specified in the pattern. 2x2 rib again. I have to admit though that as I carried on it got a lot easier and the knowledge that I would have more than enough with loads to spare spurned me on. When i got past the left hand side point and started the right hand side it felt great. I hadn't got past that point before and that was when I fell in love with it again. By the time I did finish it all was forgiven.
I don't think I have ever had so many problems with such a simple pattern and never on that scale with substituting yarns before. But it just goes to show that even someone like me who has been knitting for 30 years or so can make major blunders. So if any newbies read this hopefully you can learn by my mistakes. And just a final note, if I had used that first ball of lilac James.c. Bretts as my 3rd or 4th the penny would have clicked that I would have had enough to finish it after all without the rogue ball of different shade lot!!!!!! I discovered this after checking the yardage but much too late to use it as I had already made fondant.
Thursday, 3 July 2008
At the second stall I struck gold, I spotted a plastic wallet containing all the patterns pictured and when I asked how much the gentleman said 50p. I thought "oh" but then he started saying there's also this and this and started putting a load of other craft and embroidery things on a pile. I'm half way through thinking how many 50p's does this man think I have when it clicked (I am a little slow on the uptake on occasion) that he meant for the lot. I'm just recovering after a an attack of the chuffty's (being very very happy)Then he said ooh I think there's something else here as well if your interested in knitting and picked up a wooden box which I had already spotted and looked a little suspicious to me and had already planned to investigate as soon as he stopped loading me up with half his table, he opened it and it was full of knitting and crotchet needles and bits and bobs. He said you can have that for another 50p if you want. I would have snatched his arm off if it hadn't meant dropping everything I was already holding but manged to do the deal before someone came up behind me and put in a better offer. All of this lot plus the embroidery bits not pictured for £1. Whoo Hoo bargain of the century or WHAT!!!!!!!!
I was ready to go home there and then and stroke through my scrummy bits but I had the boys with me and only the greedy thought of finding more knitbits encouraged me to go and find something that would keep them quiet so I could dive into my treasure in peace. The boys did actually do quite well with a errm what did they have now aarrhhh let me think. Yes I can remember I'm not that bad with my one "knit" mind honest. They had a jigsaw, cuddly tigger, sand play set, some lego a doggy teddy (this is a bit like the generation game only with more cuddly toys, my boys lurrrrve cuddly toys) uummmmm can't think what else.
I also bought a few small bags that I thought I could use for crotchet projects if I ever get round to learning it. We spent £7. 80 in all and come back with three carrier bags full and even a present for daddy, an Ozzy Osbourne book. I did find some yarn but it was too hideous even for me to buy it even with my raging addition to all things yarn. Especially bargain yarn. It was an awful acrylic chocolate brown boucle type with bright red/green and yellows in it. A real 80's throwback nightmare, the only thing I would have considered knitting in it would be a blanket for the cat but I think she would have left home rather than sleep on it.
I then had a lovely time with a cup of coffee sorting through it all. The boys have put a huge order in for various bits and bobs with Tom and Jerry being top of the list (they are huge fans although I feel very old when I say I much prefer the newer ones as the violence is a lot less horrifying.) thay also adore the Jean Greenhowes dinosaurs. Unfortunately my LYS is closed at the moment so I can't get any stuffing so they will have to wait another week or two. Just as well I have enough on my plate at the moment with my NEMESIS.
Tuesday, 17 June 2008
My daughters friend asked me to knit her a shrug for a wedding she was going to. I gave myself a few self inflicted headaches making it but I think she was happy with the result. This is Antonia wearing the shrug whilst standing with Emma the bride.
Here's another picture of Antonia wearing the shrug. Far left.
I had to design it myself in the end for a few reasons. We had a trawl through my books, patterns and the web but couldn't find anything spot on. Thre were a few that Antonia liked aspects of, the shape from one or the arm length she liked in another so we narrowed it down to a couple that I could improvise but then.....The only yarn Antonia could find in the colour she needed was 4ply. All the patterns we had bee looking at were DK or aran. Not many free shrug patterns out there in 4ply. I found a couple that were either childrens or big batwing numbers. Antonia wanted a very neat minimal style. In the end I gave her a stitch library book and she settled on a moss stitch cuff/bands with stocking stitch main body. I wasn't sure whether to give a huge sigh of relief or be a little disappointed at how plain it was. I should point out at this stage Antonia designed and made her dress herself, she is a very talented part time designer and so not only did I want to make it as well as possible for her but also for me because I kept imagining all eyes would be on her outfit as much as the brides so I didn't want to let her down in that respect. Another problem is that Antonia doesn't live local to me and so there would be no fittings as such and although I had some measurements to go on and my daughter Leigh-Ann as a stand in model I was more than a little nervous at the fit.
I had also never knitted a shrug before and I know now they are very very simple when I first looked at them I couldn't picture in my head how they fitted. I ended up doing a quick trial one first which Leigh-Ann has ended up with. This was a very rushed first attempt wasn't meant really to be worn by anyone hence the disgusting colour but I forgot that Leigh-Ann loves all forms of yellow and so has adopted it. This was knocked out in a weekend although I have to confess the finish is a little bit ropey. I have sneaked it back out of her room in order to sew it up a little better.
Friday, 23 May 2008
I currently have a very bored 3 year old nagging me and lying half on my older sons bed and half on the chair I'm sitting on kicking me in the back in order to gain my attention. The problem is after a couple of aborted attemps because the pc was playing up or my brain was hiding I've actually managed to get to this point and I'm a little scared that if I stop now I'll lose all this and it will take me a fortnight to figure it back out!
This is supposed to be my knitting blog and that is what I intend to use it for but I apologise in advance that my family life will be contstantly banging on the door to come in (or kicking my back). I suppose the two are interwoven so its inevitable.
I can't promise to be witty, entertaining or intelligent and any humour on here will very probably be unintended, usually my spelling I would imagine! I will however try and if I'm the only person who reads it then fine nothing ventured nothing gained.