I have been knitting, honest I have... symptoms of autumn drawing in
As soon as the light begins to fail earlier in the evening, my posts about my knitting start to decrease in frequency, as I procrastinate over taking the photos that will give me something to write about with meaning.
Those of you who check on my projects page on Ravelry will see many WIPs, at 100%, without photos.
I usually prefer to take pictures of my knitting in daylight. As as I work full time, I usually wait until the weekend to take said pics and upload to Ravelry. It's easier. I have knitted items at hand, rooms with decent light and pale paintwork, and my camera, all at home.
Not that I profess to take brilliant (or even good) photos of my work, but I want at least to be able to represent the colour and texture reasonably enough for you to be able to distinguish whether or not the finished object is in any way attractive.
What has been very frustrating of late, is the huge number of projects which I have started, knitted, and completed. All lovely. All deserving of a nice (ish) photo and a bit of description. All different - some of them even in nice colours (gasp!). And all competing for my time. Along with walking and visits to the gym, cat things, having a teeny tiny social life, looking after a house, working at a more than full time job, family commitments, travel for work, blogging, cooking, (unsuccessfully) keeping up with friends, and everything else that make up a normal life. Hobby time seems to be increasingly at a premium, and especially during daylight hours. Any daylight.
I will manage to take a whole bunch of photos soon I hope.
And then I can share with you my finished Loppem, my Tweedie Hap Mashup Blankie, my Coquille, and progress on my Liesl Tunic, Brie gloves, Eloise Cardie and Acanthus Shawlette. All progressing nicely, even without pics. Not to mention the massive number of projects which stare constantly at me from the naughty corner, demanding attention.
I also have a really nice lamb tagine recipe to share. But that may very well constitute tomorrows post. Did I mention my penchant for procrastination as a delaying tactic?
To be honest it's a wonder I ever blog anything really.......
If you are on Twitter I do update that a bit more regularly.
Newcastle has recently been blessed with the opening of not one, but two, yes, two, yarn emporia. This means we can now talk about Local Yarn Stores with confidence when in the City. Don't get me wrong, the North East is far from devoid of LYSs, we just haven't had any actually in Newcastle for a long time. Apart, that is, from a place in the Grainger Market which sells mainly brightly coloured acrylic, and ever decreasing departments in Fenwick and John Lewis.
So. The opening of two shops in a month that sell yarn and knitting things was, well, frankly, rather overwhelming. And very exciting.
Wooly Minded on Clayton Street, is right in the centre of town, and replicates more or less the stock I have perused at the South Shields outlet. And for your standard day to day knitting fayre it is great. Wooly Minded will appeal to many seeking affordable yarn for everyday projects. King Cole Bamboo has fast become one of my favourites, and Sirdar do some lovely yarns at very reasonable prices: most of which Wooly Minded stock. It is worth a visit as the staff are lovely.
The place which has had me drawn back several times already is The Knit Studio. Located in the middle of town, in a 13th century priory, Blackfriars, it is a roomy and peaceful space to wander around. The selection of yarns is unlike anything else I have experienced in this region, and I feel lucky to have it so close. Other places in the region do good ranges, but for me, a non-driver, are not that convenient to get to without a special trip.
The Knit Studio is different. I am in town 6 days out of 7 anyway. So it's convenient. Bonus. The setting is relaxing and peaceful - exactly how you would want a 700 year old monastic centre to feel, and the space is large, airy, warm, and filled with light. The range for sale is centred around knitting and crochet with some sewing and quilting and a bit of spinning too.
The selection of yarns, which will change, has a 'collection' feel to it - concentrating on promoting British breeds, local and UK artisan spun, produced and dyed yarns. There are some carefully chosen ranges from larger producers, and a large selection of knitting, crochet, sewing, quilting and spinning books, plus magazines, and some gifts which would be perfect for fibreholics. Knitting and crochet needles, hooks and notions, and even a small selection of spinning supplies are only some of the treats to catch your eye. There is loads to look at, fondle, sniff and stroke.
The Knit Studio will be hosting a series of workshops on knitting, crochet and sewing - there is a list you can peruse there - and has a mailing list you can sign up to for the latest news. Join by emailing email@example.com. There is also a Ravelry group.
Inside, there is a large table, and comfy sofas, where you can browse the books and magazines; and sitting for a bit, and knitting whilst you are there, is positively encouraged. There will be knitting & crochet and spinning groups too, watch out for news on those via the group on Ravelry or The Knit Studio mailing list.
I wish both of these enterprises all the luck in the world, and hope they manage to survive in these troubled times. I for one will be checking them out before making any internet purchases in future.
Friends have recently had a baby boy, William. I like to make something for each new arrival (we've had a rash of babies recently), but don't start until I know they are safely in the world. This is my first proper crocheted 'thing', and I love him- he is a crocheted version of the Studio Ghibli character Totoro, from 'My Neighbour Totoro'- a tree spirit who looks after two little girls whose mum is ill in hospital. It's a lovely cartoon and hopefully this Totoro will keep any eye out for William. The pattern is available free from 'heaven's_hellcat' website.
Hanne, new camera, new projects and other bits of being busy
I have a new camera, and because things are so hectic at work, I haven't had much time to play with it. Which means my blogging has been more erratic of late. But I have been taking better photos and I have been knitting. In fact without my knitting I don't think I would been getting through the madness that is my job right now. It's mad in a good way, but not sustainable at this pace for long. Enough with the moaning.
The joy that is spring is here.
And I have knitting to show you.
Jo - this one's for you. I finished my Hanne (by Lia Moya from Spring 2009 edition of Knitty) in not much time at all..... She is blocking right now, so I can't show you a modelled shot, but here's a little something to whet your appetite.
I really enjoyed knitting this waistcoat pattern. It might seem that acres of garter stripes would drive one nuts - and indeed they normally would - but mindless zen knitting is what I need right now, and this project fulfilled that brief perfectly.
More pics tomorrow, when Tallulah will model willingly.
Since stretching this out in the spare room to dry, I have been working on my Citronesque Socks, based on the Citron shawl I made recently. And tonight, because I will be meeting knitters in a pub on Tuesday night, I cast on another zen project in Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend, in a gorgeous rich dark brown, Nicole by Azize Sterling. A big stocking stitch rectangle should be just the thing, over a pint.
Details of all of these projects for knit geeks are available at the premier social knitworking place to go - Ravelry. Non knitting readers should check Ravelry out. It is everything for a community of practice you could ever want. And more.
I just felted these on to the polysytrene foam foot lasts which arrived this morning. They have been waiting for them for a good while, and as soon as the felting was done, I dried on the radiator. After trimming the extra pieces over the foot to a nice shape, and adding some lovely buttons given to me by Liane, they are done.
I love them.
They are a great pair of slippers.
The colour is superb, the buttons match perfectly, they are snuggly warm.
The details are over at Ravelry.
Bulbs are starting to spring. This is the rest of my BAMS7 parcel - Dutch smellies. Nice!
Greebo looking happy with yarn, and Patrick Moore on the telly. Why? trying out taking pictures of the telly with my camera..... And he is a national treasure.
Sundays are cooking days at the moment. The weather is rubbish, and so soup making is high on the agenda. If I make a couple of batches on a Sunday and freeze in portions, they keep me going for lunches all week at work. Stewed fruit with porridge contributes to the minimum 5 a day, and dinners only add to it with a side salad, cooked veg and a main.
It feels good to be this organised about how I am eating, and whatever happens, I know I am eating healthily, which means I should be able to fend off seasonal viruses. Seems to be working. I keep waking up feeling coldy, but it soon seems to disappear.I think I have fended it off 4 times now....
I finished my Citron shawl, with 2 extra sections added, meaning my cast off edge had nearly 70o stitches. It took me three attempts, but it is done. I am knitting a lacy top in kid silk night from Rowan Studio 12 and am going to start Eunny Jang's Deep V Argyle Vest next as a(nother) companion project.
I thought I might finish some WIPs which have been hanging around a while. Trouble is, none of them are suitable for knitting on the bus to work, or taking to my two knitting groups. They are too complicated for social knitting, requiring concentration and splendid isolation to work on comfortably: my streming leaves linen yoga blanket, my Japanese Feather shawl, my Tapestry Cowl and my Apres Surf Hoodie are all sofa-at-home projects. This left me with a dilemma, as I wanted to spend January finishing off so I could cast on a whole set of new and exciting things. But out of necessity I have been forced to cast on a new and easy project (yay!) after finishing my French Press Slippers this weekend. I shall be working on Citron next time you see me out and about with my knitting. And a nice easy relatively brainless project it is, just what I needed. But its also really pretty ad practical!
Details at Ravelry. I love this piece in Pure Wool 4ply, eau-de-nil colourway, though it is actually more of a duck egg blue. Warm, and gorgeous to wear wrapped round my neck three times. It is knitted in a long scarf shape with a provisional cast on which becomes a graft to form a circular shape - which is such a great idea!
Tallulah is modelling with it wrapped twice around her neck; it's more cosy wrapped three times in the current weather.
Pattern by Woolly Wormhead - yarn given as a gift to me from Scumkitten, in a gorgeous blue and brown colourway which reminds me of the coastline, which she got on Orkney. Details at Ravelry. I love the seashell shape of this hat. Its warm and the colour looks great with my hair! Impossible to take pic of myself though....
Knitted with just over one hank of gorgeous Fyberspates Sparkle Sock in the Charcoal colourway, this is my Frosted Damson, from Ysolda's Damson shawlette pattern in Whimsical Little Knits 2. I have blocked mine quite hard as I like the way the lace holes form shapes reminiscent of hearts. The yarn is lovely, a nice mix of merino, silk and silver. This will be my festive seasonal knitted item of choice this year I think. More pics when she's dry.
Finished a while ago, but has taken sometime to blog. A nice knit in baby cashmerino, apart from the hood, where the instructions leave something to be desired. Had to frog back to the collar and start again, but it enabled me to redo the hood in my own way, rather than following the pattern, which meant a reduction in seams (which I think is a good thing in baby clothes).
The hood instructions call for stitches to be cast on, and these form the back of the hood, rather than the front- and these cast on stitches are supposed to be seamed to the neck after the hood has been knitted. The hood is knitted as one piece, and is seamed running from the back of the hood to the front, which gives the nice peak at the back. As with all other Debbie Bliss patterns, there are no diagrams of construction.
The bottom two pictures show the top seam of the hood done in kitchener stitch (rather than three needle bind off), and the back of the neck where the hood should be seamed to the back of the jumper after knitting. I picked up stitches along the back of the jumper before knitting upwards- this means no seam to rub against Prudence's neck.
Showing pictures of these specifics because in my hunt around the intraweb for other knitters' methods of getting around these problems, no one actually showed pictures of what they had done.
Firstly, thanks to the design blog Mocoloco for allowing me to use the photo here- two of my favourite things, Iittala ceramics and knitting. The Mocoloco blog's entry shows examples of London Design Week Knitty Gritty embellishment of the finnish design company Iittala's more winsome products, including a plate I seriously covet, a lovely ceramic bird, and some retro pudding glasses (with some gorgeous and very regal hats). Very good idea for keeping your apple crumble warm on a cold finnish night if you need to go outside to chase away wolves or feed your reindeer.
I am about 50% through this unusual pattern by Jennifer Hansen, which is really easy to knit. I am using King Cole Bamboo Cotton which is only £3.50 per 100g ball! I chose black, and I am pleased I did. It is knitting up well, as the yarn is tightly plied and a handy DK weight, which makes it a dream to knit. The original pattern is knitted in silk, and I like the fact that the bamboo cotton is giving me a nice drape, which I think this particular pattern needs. I looked at some wool versions on Ravelry, but prefer the more drapey fabrics. I am hoping that I will have enough yarn to make the sleeved version, but if I end up making the sleeveless version I won't be disappointed. The textured stripes are very like a Rowan cardie I knitted a while ago...
Inspired by the colours of Cornishware, I am knitting the OpArt baby blanket for some friends about to have a baby. As the stripes get deeper and more stitches it is taking longer and longer to complete a round. I would like to have it done by Friday, so I am spending every waking spare moment knitting it. At least there is not much chance I can get bored with all the garter stitch in the round - I am on a tight deadline!
It's times like this I am so pleased with my knitpicks options needles - I have made the biggest circular in the world!
In progress using Rowan alpaca cotton. This is a gorgeously soft yarn which due to it's fibre content will be snuggly, but the delicious lofty properties of the moss stitch pattern and the way the cotton showcases the stitch definition is quite lovely. I can see this useful garment becoming a winter favourite. I am using the Thunder colourway. Currently in a black phase. Mobile Blogging from here.
In progress. Only a few roses left to crochet. These flowers are much flatter than the knitted version, which will give a much more sturdy top to the tea cosy. I decided to restrict the colours on this one, with a white body (impractical for a tea cosy, perhaps, but looking so stylish!) and red roses. I really like how this is turning out. I used three balls of Rowan Pure Wool DK with two stands held together for the body, and a random ball of pure wool DK from my stash which had lost the label for the roses. 5mm knitting needles and a 4mm crochet hook.
I've never been a massive fan of knitting for babies. Have always gone down the knitted toy route. No baby blankets or cute cardigans for me! That's all changed now, due to my good friends Matt and Babs producing Prudence Molly, and my just not being in a 'toy' mood.
I have a Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino book full of baby knitting. I also have a bunch of BC in apple green and dusty pink. As such, I've started the baby Hooded jumper. Well, I'm kind of converted- the yarn is very nice to knit with, the colours are cute, not too girly, and baby clothes are teeny, so it's all very quick.
I'm also trying my hand at combination knitting, where one holds the live yarn in the left hand, rather than the right. There's a good description of how to do it on Annie Modesitt's website.This follows seeing a knitter in France knitting a la combi, and being seriously impressed by the speed. As someone who has always been an english 'thrower', and slow, I really like this new way of knitting. Simple and only very small movements needed. I'm already speeding up! And this way I think I'll have less issues with RSI down the line. In fact, our French knitting holiday has also provided me with a new way of carrying different colours of yarn up the side of a striped piece, finishing a bind off and neatening up both side edges for each piece, so not bad all round!
Ably aided and abetted by the delightful company of midori and Ganeshas from the Ravelry Helsinki Knitters, I have visited four yarn shops and bought far too much yarn this afternoon. I have also made a lot of progress on my sockhat, when I spent 4 hours knitting with the Ravelry Helsinki knitters in Cafe Ursula on the top floor of Aleksi 13. As you can see it has grown quite a bit. We had a great evening, talking, knitting eating delicious food and drinking bubbly. The staff were really nice, the knitters were universally delightful and lots of knitting, yarn fondling and chatting went on. And one knitter was from Springwell - about a mile from my house.....
Yarn galore! This is a GREAT city for yarn shopping. More shops than I could manage in the time we had, and a fantastic selection including some beautiful scandinavian and local wools. From Lankamaailma Nordia, our first stop, I bought:
2 balls of Hjertegarn Incawool in a really vivid cobalt blue. 160m a ball. Not cheap, but not expensive either, and I think a certain someone might really like it.
2 hanks of Ullteppegarn, undyed, 100% wool sock yarn, which smells really sheepy, and is a gorgeous natural light grey and at €2 a hank, was a steal with 400m on each hank.
2 hanks of Jäsbrogarn, which is another 100% wool, this time laceweight, with 600m on a hank for €3.50 each.
Then we headed back into town. Lunch was called for. We ate in a lovely italian place called Leonardos right opposite the railway station. My Pizza Alla Norma was so good. With aubergine, fresh basil, garlic and parmesan. My mouth is watering as I type this with the memory of it's tastiness. Post lunch we headed off to visit Priima, which is a lovely shop. And then we went to Menita where I bought:
6 balls of Drops Alpaca in a beautiful vivid mossy green. Bought to make a cardie for me. Will clash deliciously with my red hair!
6 balls of Drops Lin in a warm white - pure shiny linen. I can't wait to knit a Clapotis with this.
3 balls of Drops Kid-Silk, in a pewter grey which will make a divine shawl.
1 hank of Grignasco Merinosilk, with 1400 metres of laceweight for €14.20, this was a bargain. And the aqua colour will look beautiful in my bedroom as a little bedjacket or shawl for listening to The Archers in on a Sunday morning in bed.
We strode off with purpose after this to Cafe Engel where we had tea and cake. I chose the house tea which was yummy, and a white chocolate and buckthorn cake. Which I am told is very Finnish. It was scrummy. And I had eaten it before I even thought about taking a photo.
A couple more little yarn shops, and then we returned to our respective places of rest. I had a fabulous time - thank you to all the Helsinki knitters, but especially to midori and Ganeshas for being such warm hosts on my yarnventure.
Tomorrow I head for home. I definitely want to come back to Finland.
I got here, had a little post flight nap, and now doing a bit of knitting - trying my hand at continental style as I am in Finland, on my stripey sockhat knitted in Cornish Gotland, undyed in two shades of grey. Using the TECHknitting travelling jogless stripe method to avoid steps in my stripes. Looking fine so far.... Details at Ravelry.
Some time ago I was given a gorgeous skein of Tilli Thomas Disco Lights silk with sequins in the most delightful moss green. Along with the yarn was a pattern for knitting a skinny scarf, which I duly did with my precious birthday gift. I finished the scarf, blogged it, then tidied up my flat, and promptly lost the scarf. I was devastated. I have always known it was in my flat somewhere, but I could not find it anywhere.
Today I was looking for something else - opened a drawer I am sure I looked in before, and there it was. I am so delighted and so relieved that I cannot begin to express how pleased I am to be sitting here wearing the very scarf.
Everyone was so inspired by the surroundings, the company and the teachers, it was no wonder that they all came out with such marvellous explorations of colour. I didn't get pics of everyone's projects, and Sue was a much more careful photographer than I, with her permission here are some pics of the marvellous projects people came up with:
This is Scumkitten's: channelling Chateau colours!
This is glittrgirl's: a mind-boggling mix of beading, intarsia and fairisle, the crazy girl.
Knitted on 3.5mm dpns, over 5 stitches, with charcoal grey Rowan Wool Cotton, randomly threaded beads and sequins (clear silver lined beads, gunmetal beads and navy sequins), knitted in regular pattern as suggested by Emma King.
The fastening is a loop of gunmetal beads and a rose metal button.
I wanted to brag a few days ago about this parcel from Ravelry's gladcat:
It's a great parcel with three beautifully coloured balls of Rowan Wool Cotton and two bags of green adn red sequins to start knitting the Magic Carpet blacnket from Debbie Abrahams' Blankets and Throws to Knit. Plus some lovely green stripy handknitted mittens and a blue cosy. The chocolate eclairs have almost gone..... Some lovely stitch markers and a postcard from Norfolk make up the complete swag package.
I love everything and will definitely collect the yarns and notions to knit this amazing blankie!
A few weekends ago it was warm enough in the evening for our little troupe of Landrake chums to sit outside the Buller's Arms, nursing a pint and musing about life. There was no cloud cover and it had been a bright blue sky day. Mike and I had 5 layers on and handknitted hats. Some newer members of the Landrake gang were insistent on trying on the beanie and the beret. As a result, hats were requested and colours and styles agreed.
A sale of yarn in Derry's in Plymouth meant that I scored a bag of RYC cashsoft- chunky and aran, in various greys, blues, creams and burgandys. The first hat knitted was proof of concept, for DJ Mikey- he needs a new hat and I felt bad about him always missing out to others, even though his girlfriend knits (i.e. me!). RYC cashsoft chunky is a lovely yarn, lofty, soft and yet machine washable at 40C- he'd seen a sweet and melancholy animation at Christmas by Oliver Jeffers, called 'Lost and Found', about a small boy and a penguin. He was taken by the small boy's hat and asked for one, but in different colours, and without a bobble.
This hat is a simple K2 P2 rib, cast on of 80 sts, 6mm needles, knitted so the cream stripe can be completely hidden if required for stealth fishing (so as not to scare the fish) or pulled right down over the ears for post-surfing warmth. The decreases were really made up as I went along, but loosely based on Stephanie Nicole's 'Hat Fit for a Boyfriend' (pattern available free on Ravelry). It is soft and warm and really quite gorgeous. I am very pleased with it.
As ever, so far behind the bandwagon, I'm retro ;). Further socks, this time, the famous Grumparina's 'Jaywalkers' in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Yarn, colourway Irving. The pattern was originally written for the no-longer alive Magknits- the pattern is still available for free from Ravelry.
OK, so it's a couple of days late, but it's still quite funky: The Observer has the pattern for this cute little corsage available If you use the pattern, send a bit of money to Comic Relief to say thanks.
On the yarn from, 4 x 100g balls of Ella Rae Classic 100% wool in a beautiful teal colour (shade 71). My pal suggested knitting something from Fitted Knits with it, and so I probably shall. There are also three balls of Crystal Palace Panda Silk (52% bamboo, 43% superwash merino, and 5% combed silk) in a vibrant red (Cherry 3009), which I adore. She suggested a crocheted capelet from Loop d Loop crochet, which arrived a little while ago from her.
My handmade gift is a lovely purple felted oven glove, which has had some needle felted designs applied. It is quite delightful and I shall enjoy using it.
I have been on a finishing spree. However, I have not been able to actually finish very much off. I have finished knitting several items, but have only blocked, seamed and sewn the ends in on one thing. I think I need to spend a weekend simply sewing in ends, seaming and blocking. Then I might be able to take some photos and actually provide evidence of knitting activity!
You will see from my progress bars just what I am talking about!
I like knitting socks, but I'm not quick at them. A pair of socks I knitted for my dad took 6 months a sock. Therefore I'm keen on CHUNKY, but hadn't found a pattern I liked until Anni's 'Walking Cable Socks' in the no. 7 December 08 Yarn Foward. Anni comes to our knitting group in Cornwall, and is a really lovely woman- spins and dyes her own yarn and does a good line in lace and sock patterns- She's known as Yarnaddictanni on Ravelry. Her blog 'Confessions of a YarnAddict' links to her Etsy Shop too.
These socks are lovely- I am found of cables- and quick to knit. Only one sock so far though ;), done in Rowan Calmer. I've used the men's sizing gauge in the pattern, which has produced a perfect lady sock, as Calmer is a little off the gauge required. But it produces a comfy, smoochy sock that will be perfect for a friend who is allergic to wool. I love knitting with Calmer. It makes me calm!
One word of warning. There are a lot of errata in the pattern, so check out the Yarn Forward website for information.
p.s. see if you can see a cabling mistake.... I like it so have decided to do the same on the other sock :D
Yet more Knitty Fish Hats, this time knitted for two little girls, who requested the colours. Yarns are random odds and sods, including Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, Noro Silk Garden and Rowan Calmer. Used buttons a la Glittr, and altered the tail so it sits properly for the anatomy of a fish, rather than of a certacean (which the original pattern does).
I find the link between art and craft interesting, especially when it is taken into a more 'street' type of art. Kid Acne's patterns for knitting are always funny, and cute at the same time, depending on how much you, as the knitter, want to engage with the process he has gone through.
The first pattern of his I came across was the 'Foggy Panda', available in Rowan Magazine 38. It is still on my 'to knit' list.
I've recently come across his 'fox fur', in image rather than pattern form, but it's an interesting idea, especially when seen with the warrior woman sketch.
And if you're interested, a pattern for his 'Owl' tank top is available from the 'Peter and Paul' website.- see sketches on 'knitting poster' image below.
A christmas present made from some charity shop Norwegian yarn in china blue and turquoise, from a free and easy pattern called the 'Stash Busting IPod Cozy' from Blue Peninsula. Didn't felt quite as I'd liked, so finished it by cutting down to size and sewing up sides and around edge with blanket stitch in contrasting yarn. Slate button bought years ago, but goes nicely, I think.
Have finally finished the Knitty Lace Ribbon scarf. It is not a hard pattern, it has just taken a very long time. It has also taken both hanks of the hand-dyed silk/mohair wool I bought in Skye when visiting with Glittr. I was going to give this away for Christmas, but am now unsure. I do love it. What do you think?
I have so many unfinished projects at the moment, and I cannot for the life of me work out why I am therefore inextricably drawn to starting even more projects. Except that with some of them I HAVE to start them. I promised a friend some bootees for his newborn, I volunteered to knit a hat as a prize in the Ravelry Books and More Swap, and of course I had to knit loads of pasties for the recent workshop in Brighton. Which put my current WIPs right on hold.
I think I have assuaged the pastie demon. Which is good. But after knitting so many quick things, my urge to start and finish something is strong. And bootees are fast - well fastish, but rather fiddly. I have got to the finishing stage, and I just can't motivate myself to finish them. Perhaps I shall email my friend and find out where he wants them sending to as a prompt to myself to get them all finished off.
I have the hat with me. It is Fourth Grade from the new Twist Collective. A free pattern that is beretish, and so appeals to my beret obsession, and it is knitted using entrelac, a technique I have never tried. Mostly because I think entrelac garments look HID-EE-YUS. However a hat I can cope with. Besides its not for me, and it means I can conquer another technique as well as provide a prize in a timely fashion. And entrelac is easy, so I can knit the hat at Miss Spiritual Tramps knitting Circle. See - its all about process with me.
I know that I am definitely a process knitter rather than a product knitter. Having as many WIPs as I do might drive a product knitter round the bend, and for anyone with good project management and finishing skills I am a nightmare. But I like starting new things. I can't help it. I get bored easily. The only way I can ever get to the end of things like my linen yoga blankie, is to intersperse it with quick little fixes.
Socks - two pairs on the needles at the moment - one an overdue 40th birthday pressie. With these I am riven with guilt. Once the hat is out of the way and the bootees are in the post these are my number one priority. Except that I chose quite a complicated pattern - Baroque from Knitty. So I can only knit them at home when I can concentrate. Which means they are taking a while. And I wasn't happy with them so I frogged half a sock and started again from scratch.
So my plain black socks travel with me. But they are a pain the the proverbial to knit in anything but bright daylight. They are BLACK for god's sake! Whatever possessed me to start fine (and I mean FINE) black cotton socks (2.25mm needles but look MUCH finer) right as the clocks give me even more darkness each day to contend with? So as you might guess progress on them is s l o w.
The Apres Surf Hoodie will be lovely and I cannot WAIT to get some other little bits and pieces of 'must do' knitting out of the way so I can do more of it.
And the linen yoga blankie just goes on, and on and on.
There are a load more WIPs I haven't even put on to Ravelry yet. Please don't say Shetland Tea Shawl to me......
See, I do knit! A mermaid now named Freya from a Dotpebbles pattern. Very easy to do, although she took ages to put together. Personal additions to the pattern include silver crochet around the edges of her frills and a silver shell-button necklace as a safer, less easily swallowed use of the little buttons. She's a birthday present for a mermaid-obsessed 4 year old, who has to come up with a name for her, otherwise she will swim back to the North Atlantic.
A red thing of which I cannot speak right now, for my Books and More Swap 3 pal (on Ravelry), and some plain black vanilla socks.
And I have to say a huge thank you to DJ Mikey for putting a get well chocolate parcel together for me! The Dolcetti Assortiti are fabulous with a hot cup of tea! And the crushed chocolate satan was sweet but did not last long...
Based on the Knitty 'Three Tams' 'C' pattern, knitted with a left-over silk garden and 50 g of Devon 4 ply cashmere from Devon Fine Fibres. This was knitted over my holiday in the Highlands, and is named after the island of Iona, which we visited for a day. It's produced a thick, warm and very soft beret, necessary for the cold October days!
I started another garment. I am struck on my Ravelry profile how many hats, scarves and socks I have knitted, and how few garments. So I felt I needed to boost the garments. As you might remember, I am knitting an Apres Surf Hoodie, but it is 4 ply and won't be a speedy knit. I therefore started Liesl in Colinette Giotto (unknown colourway as this was a bargain bin purchase, having failed the Colinette quality control colour test, from the factory in Wales). This is a speedy knit. I am knitting mine on a 6.5mm circular to get gauge. It is nice to be knitting this pattern as I bought it from Ysolda recently. I like knitting top down garments, and as it is knitted in one piece, there is minimal finishing. I think this will be a nice autumnal cardie to wear, as the colours are quite autumnal. I will resume the hoodie once this is done I think.
Liesl by Ysolda - close up
I think that I am keen to get this one under my belt as I am still getting tired and my energy and concentration levels are still not back to normal after the chest infection that has been inhabiting my body for the past month. Feather and fan is easy and the cardie is growing quickly. Once I am more myself, I think the 4 ply hoodie will seem less daunting than it does at the moment.
Edited to add: I am knitting a longer version with sleeves.
I started the Apres surf hoodie by Connie Chang Chinchio, from the Summer 2008 Interweave Knits.I am knitting mine in the Vivid colourway (shade 908) of Rowan RYC Cashcotton 4 ply, bought for a song recently. This is a beautiful cobalt blue, and is, as the colour name suggests, a strong colour which makes a statement. My photo shows the colour a bit lighter then it looks IRL.
The lace pattern is easy to remember and for a 4 ply project, this is growing quite fast .....
Cuteeee! OK, enough of the Japanese lingual embellishments. Bears by Mummy Skitten, hats also. Yarn from IKnit day in London last weekend, accompanied by 'Save the Children' hat pattern for premmie third world babies. Part of Save the Children's 'Knit Kit': 'When you knit a hat and send it to us at Save the Children, we'll send your hat to mothers and babies in developing countries who desperately need your help.'
I might never knit with them, but don't they look pretty?
The tips are reasonable, not blunt, and the colours of the acrylic are lovely. They range from 5.5mm to 10mm, but, really I bought them for their aesthetic values rather than their technical ability....
I have the vase a long time, bought from Loop in Islington. It's by knitter and ceramicist Annette Bugansky, who I have blogged about before.
I think the needles have found their home. What do you think?
Greebo helped me unwrap this parcel this morning.....
Many many thnaks to tanyalizbeth for the lovely stitch markers, glass bead necklace (and their little chinese silk purse), big bag of Jelly Belly beans, and two hanks of beautiful ShiBuiKnits sockyarn in a lovely rockpool turquoisey blue. I will enjoy using or eating everything. If I can wrestle anything from the resident feline.
Luther Perkins' knitting needles and a sweater for his wife. Thanks to James V Roy for giving us permsission to use this picture.
Luther Perkins, perhaps one of country music's most innovative guitarists, was an integral part of the Johnny Cash story..... To help kill the time while performing on the road, Luther Perkins took up knitting. Not only did Luther knit this sweater for his wife, Margue, he knitted booties for the Statler Brothers to wear on the bus when they were opening for Johnny Cash.
1 Lapis sock finished, knitted on 2.25mm needles, with Colinette Jitterbug in the Lapis colourway. Pattern - a simple 3x2 rib sock with heel flap and gusset.
Seaweed scarf in progress
Seaweed scarf, by Liz Baxter, knitted on 3.25mm needles, with 2 balls of RYC Cashcotton 4 ply, in the chartreuse colourway. I am about 70 per cent complete, and it is agonisingly dull, as each row takes ages to knit (relatively speaking), as you ast on and cast off 15 stitches before you even start to knit the body of the scarf.
Questions r.e. craft, consumerism and expectations
There have been some interesting discussions on both Knitty and Ravelry recently regarding a new online... ummm, something or other: and here we reach a problem. Twist Collective is an online collection of pay-per-go patterns, with accompanying articles and adverts. There are articles on sock knitting, on swatching, on knitting as art. There's a 'market place' showcasing accessories and yarn. And there are patterns, at $7 a pop (about £3.50 for us here in the UK): very nice patterns, in three 'stories', like a Rowan magazine, but without having to buy the whole magazine.
Anyway, the discussions have revolved around the following issues:
1. Is it a magazine or a catalogue? It does mention the term 'magazine', so maybe there needs to be a re-think of terminology. Most (or all?) online magazines for knitting have previously provided free patterns. Some magazines are better than others, it has to be said.
2. If it is a magazine, then is it ok to charge for individual patterns?
3. "I want free stuff. It's not fair. I want all of the patterns and it's going to be too expensive. Loads of other stuff is free, so this should be free." I'd like to add that many of the people discussing this were pretty fair in the points made (e.g. wanting to be able to buy a number of patterns, and this, at $7 a go, therefore being prohibitive)- others were just 'meh, want it to be free, not fair'.
4. We want knitting as a craft to be recognised for the hard work it is and we want those who knit and design to be recompensed, but when it actually comes down to the wire, we don't want to have to pay for it ourselves.
The first two maybe fall under the issue of 'management of expectations'. I hadn't heard anything about Twist Collective at all, so it was a lovely surprise for me to discover it. As such, I wasn't phased by the individual pricing: instead I was rather relieved, because, to be honest, I do get tired of buying pattern books or hard copy mags for maybe one or two patterns that I like. From the Twist Collective there is one pattern that I would really love. I'm going to buy it.
The third point, had, I'm afraid, a real whiney feel about it. There are so many free patterns available out there it is staggering. It does my head in sometimes. There seems to be a desire to collect and hoard as many free patterns as possible, which, I might add, I do have some sympathy with, especially since the demise of Magknits. Pattern books and hard copy mags like Rowan etc. are exempt from derision, as they are an 'old school', accepted form of delivery. Twist Collective is something new and therefore it may take a while to find it's niche. But I still can't believe that people are moaning about having to pay for individual patterns!
This leads me on to the final point, which is the most complex: we all, as knitters, as craftspeople, want to be acknowledged for what we do- if we knit a present for someone, we want that person to understand the time that has gone in to it and that that time is equivalent to, let's be honest, at the minimum wage, a great deal of money. Certainly more money than one would pay at e.g. Topshop for a handknit garment (although not at Liberty's). It surely must be the same for designing patterns: the testing, the checking for errata, the test knits etc.. I'm glad to see that the majority of the pattern fee does actually go to the designers, with the ad space obviously paying for the web design and the photographs and styling.
I'd be interested to know what others feel about this, because I do think there is room for all kinds of patterns and mags/books/web-whatevers: it's just that the initial reaction of many, in the 'but it's not free!' vein, strikes me as a little greedy- a little surreal when a lot of the arguments given are in the 'I don't like consumerism' vein: is paying the worth of something consumerism? Is wanting things for free, all the time, without providing fair compensation for effort, anti-consumerism?
My final point is to acknowledge that my reaction to this probably stems from the fact that I am a slow and considered knitter. I take a long time to decide to knit something, and I'm not really in to 'novelty' stuff. I have no issues with people who like that at all either. Live and let live! Therefore, Twist Collective works for me: it seems mature, even with it being their first issue. The range of patterns are interesting, the styling classy and the articles 'value-added' rather than just 'add-ons'. And I guess, in the end, I'd like people to give it a chance and a cheer on, rather than immediately jumping up and down on it, first chance possible- I wish there was less negativity for new ways of doing things.
I wish them all the best and I for one WILL be buying at least one of their patterns.
This project has been mentioned a few times here and there (the Guardian, I believe?), but I think it is worth highlighting again. The Institute for Figuring, an educational organization dedicated to enhancing the public understanding of figures and figuring techniques, is crocheting a coral reef, using crocheters around the world: it is, to quote the IFF, 'a woolly celebration of the intersection of higher geometry and feminine handicraft, and a testimony to the disappearing wonders of the marine world'.
Copyright of image to IFF- thanks to IFF for allowing me to use image.
I think this is a fantastic example of art, community and environmentalism coming together and producing something truly fantastic. Something that makes people stop and go 'eh?'. Even if you are not a knitter or crocheter, it begs you to ask questions: about the reasoning behind the project, about those who are taking part, and maybe even just a 'why?'- nothing wrong in that even- at least it starts a dialogue.
It even provides sustenance to the nerdy amongst us (myself included) who are fascinated by geometry and knitting and all the maths that entails. It might even encourage me to pick up a crochet hook.
According to The Guardian, there are a number of personality profiles that mean you'll be living with a lower inflation rate than other people.....
Nobody who uses heating oil - up 88% in the past 12 months - is going to come within hailing distance of a 3.8% inflation rate. Only those who can spend the summer months knitting enough jumpers to insulate all family members and leave enough to barter for lemonade and the occasional lamb chop will survive.
And just so's you know- you'll also be ok if you like lentils, walk every where, don't go out, buy a lot of furniture or live with your parents....
Purlpower gave me a skein of Wollmeise Superwash sock yarn in the Suzanne (dark) colourway, and I decided that a plain sock was the order of the day for it as it has such rich colours and short transitions between colours. I ended up knitting a 60 stitch top down sock with a 3x2 rib as the main body knitted on 2.25mm needles. Should be a nice close fit. I am planning a heel flap with gussets for a nice fit. I love the colours and hope I don't get much pooling on the foot.....
Blue Sky Alpacas Fitted Evening Top
When I was in London recently for the preview of the Open Source Embroidery show, I had a bit of a spree in Stash Yarns. I bought the pattern and yarn for this Blue Sky Alpacas Fitted Evening Top in alpaca silk. I chose the Blush colourway - which is a pale pale baby pink. I am using a 3mm needle to get gauge and I love the yarn and the simplicity of the pattern. It's a simple tube relying on the different ribbing for shape until you get to the bust, when short rows shape the boobage area. Can't wait to wear it!
I'm working on two things at the moment- the Cornish Shawl and the Lace Ribbon Scarf from Knitty. I'm really enjoying this as a lace knit- it's producing a lovely geometric pattern that suits my asthetic. And after the initial traumas about how on earth do I knit twice into a 2YO (the answer- just do it and it'll start to look okay a few rows on- don't worry about any weird loops that form, they stretch out in the end), its coming along nicely and is easy to remember. Because it calls for thicker yarn than the usual lace weight, it is also knitting up pretty quickly.
Knit in a silk mohair mix, hand dyed, bought from a small shop/studio on the Isle of Skye some years ago (with Glittr as my enabler ;) )
Here is number one of a pair of Foral Lace Anklets, by Evelyn A Clarke, which is in Interweave Knits Lace Style. This book, the needles (2.25mm bamboo) and the two balls of Regia Silk in the Marine colourway (050) were a gift in the Ravelry Books & More Swap which I recently took part in. I love these socks, the yarn is gorgeous to knit with, and I will definitely knit more from the book.
Streaming leaves stole and Perugino throw - beginnings
I am knitting two large things at the same time at the moment. One is on 8mm needles and grows like dixie, but is pretty dull to knit (other than the stripes, I like knitting in stripes) and the other is on 3.75mm needles and doesn't.
Greebo sometimes likes to help....
Linen Streaming Leaves Stole by Cat Bordhi, and the Perugino Throw kit from Colinette.
Sometimes he just stops me knitting..... altogether now...... awwwwwwwww!
A few weeks ago I was taken along to a felting workshop run at Buckland Abbey, a National Trust house once owned by Sir Walter Raleigh and home to a number of ghosts including some hounds of hell.
Alas, no ghosts were to be seen the day I was there, but much wet felting done, all based around the theme of Christmas. We were all shown how to make a Christmas Stocking (which is massive, by the way- If I put it on, it comes up to my knee), each with the same template, but with whatever colours and patterns we wished. There were many green and red and white stockings, with snowflakes, Father Christmases and a Rudolf. I went for 'Salvador Dali goes to the Arctic' as my theme, with some after-thought embroidery with silver thread.
Afterwards, we were given a 3-D foam shape to felt a bird to whatever colours we felt appropriate. Therefore, meet Arnold the Christmas Dipper, who has sequined eyes, but I couldn't get the light to catch, so you'll just have to imagine. As you can see however, Arnold is a little partial to the 'old sauce' and hangs at a rather, umm, cheeky angle.
And just so's you know how Arnold is done- it was ridiculously easy, and as Lizzie says in comments, is started by roughly needle felting your wool tops all over the foam. The tops need to be only lightly held in to the foam. And be careful not to stick your needle through the foam with such force it goes out the other side and in to your thumb. Then you totally drown the thing in liquid olive oil soap, and start rubbing all over. Rub and rub and rub, adding more soap if necessary. Slowly, slowly it all begins to tighten and thicken and felt. Then you can start to shape the bird more- I pushed up the tail to a dipper like angle, and added some more colour with needles and tops, then felted again with more soap, and so on and so forth. When satisfied, wash thoroughly under the tap and leave to dry. Add a face and any other embellishment.
I only knit one Christmas present a year, the recipient changing each time. This year was the turn of DJ Mikey's cousin, a fourteen year old dancer. I knitted the 'Bless' shrug from Kim Hargreave's 'Heartfelt'. It only used three balls of Rowan Biggy Print and took an evening in total. I particularly like the pico edging, which gives it a lovely finish and shape. It's for wearing in between dances or dance practice, when she might get cold.
I just grafted the toe of the first Pomatomus. It is too dark to take pics tonight, but tomorrow I hope to document this marvellous sock. The yarn is perfect, the pattern is perfect, the size is perfect. I love it. Perhaps I will manage the second one before I go back to work on 2 January 2008.......
I bought lovely lovely yarn from La Barca Lana in the Born.
Here you see some lofty green stuff, of chunky weight (9mm or 10mm needles apparently) - I bought two skeins, even though the lovely lady said I would only need one for a scarf. The other is some gorgeous soy silk in a beautiful oily bluey grey. Again two skeins, and no idea what it wants to be yet. Both yarns are Yanabey yarns, which you might think are for weaving, but I was assured that they knit up beautifully. There was a lot I could have bought in that shop. In fact I could have brought the the whole shop home.
So, yesterday I was on a knitting roll. I finished the Gretel hat and it's blocking quietly round one of my dinner plates. I made it a pompom to finish it of tam stylee, but I will wait until it's dried until I make up my mind.
Then I moved on to the pink eyelash thing. Why is it when you are knitting a pattern and a yarn you like, time speeds up, and when it is something you are less keen on, which engages the brain hardly a jot, that time seems to s l o w r i g h t d o w n........
Anyway that's done too. And I have frogged the fair isle skulls. Again.
Never have I had so much trouble getting a pattern to fit - I have ceased worrying about getting gauge, since it seems to be impossible, and am concerned simply that the damned thing will actually go on somebody's head who isn't either deformed or aged three.
By moving up to aran weight yarn and 3.75mm dpns (my fourth attempt) I am keeping my fingers crossed this time that it may fit an adult male.
So from three rows of skulls, I am back to one row of skulls.
Sometimes, even a yarn snob like me has to succumb to knitting bubblegum pink acrylic eyelash novelty yarn.
I knitted this for my cousin's daughter, way back when. Poor lass lost the scarf recently and was, apparently inconsolable. She is 7 now. So, dutiful almost-aunty that I am, I agreed to knit another one. It had to be as near the same as I could possibly get it. Even down to the aching fingers and shiny red fingertips that result from knitting this darned petroyarn stuff.
I hate it. And yet I will complete it (even having knitted one ball and my mother frogging and reknitting the whole ball on my behalf, on bigger needles with fewer stitches, to make it go faster and take less yarn - gottaluvvamutha!!!!!). I just hope this second one lasts her as long.....
I saw knitmonkey's knitted up version of Ysolda's Gretel pattern, and knew right way I had to have one. I bought the pattern, found a skein of wool I had wound a few days ago from some discontinued Rowan Magpie in a grey tweed colour from my stash, spookily similar to the colour knitmonkey herself used, and sorted out a short circ of the Knitpicks Options variety.
I am halfway through this hat, and I can't stop. I want to see the stitches travelling along the crown of the hat, I want to watch as the cables slowly intertwine, move off, and circle around their next neighbour.
I love knitting cables. They are so much simpler that they look, and yet people think that you are such a clever knitter when you practice them. Mistakes are easy to see and fix - what looks natural is actualy quite geometrically constructed.
I suspect I may stay up tonight until the Gretel is complete and I have placed it on my head to twirl, by candlelight, in front of my mirror, admiring my handiwork and yearning for it to be cold enough to wear the thing in the morning.
Ysolda makes lovely patterns and is far too talented for one so young and pretty. But I thank her for making a pattern that has my fingers aching, and my mind whirling, out of sheer desperation to finish.
When my knitting mojo hits me like this, I feel invincible. Unstoppable. I revel in my dogged determination to master technique (not something my personality type or learning style usually supports) in order to fabricate my heart's desire at any given knitting time.
Today's post is a contribution from a work colleague in Dundee. Thanks to George Bell for this photo. I have no idea where it was taken, or what the shop was, or what George was doing there, or even if it his photo! But it is great. Ladles and gentlespoons I present... woollybuns.
My Sp from Knitty round 9 as adriennec! Thanks so much for spoiling me - I have some lovely new yarns to play with, and this last parcel was marvellous!
A fantastic pair of socks in a lovely petroly blue colour, they fit perfectly. I love getting socks! Plus three 100g skeins of Louet Euroflax Originals, thats 810 yards, in Sage. A beautiful oily dark green that reminds me of the colour of the north sea on a dull day. Simply gorgeous. Thanks adriennec! You have been a great SP.
My current SP in the knitty round 9 sent me this delightful Mountain Stream Scarf pattern, by Susan Lawrence, together with ball of Rowan Kidsilk Haze in white, which is all it takes to knit it! The construction is based on the Orenburg lace construction technique, which I have not tried before, and I have to say I really like it. The pattern is knitting up quickly on my 4mm ebony straights from Pavi Yarns.
Here is something I am knitting at the moment. I can't show a couple of other things yet, because they are gifties. So here for your knitting delectation is a WIP. It's a gorgeous scarf with yarn gifted to me by Nell Nell in the Knitty SP8 round. She very kindly sent me a skein of Noro Cash Iroha in shade 1, natural, and a skein of Noro Silk Garden in shade 47 - greys, browns, purples. Now, some of you may know that I have a bit of a thing about Noro. Noro-ho in fact.
Anyway, I thought this was crying out to be a stripey scarf, and so in order to make sure it was going to be long enough I bought an extra skein of each yarn.
I will write the pattern up in full once I am finished the scarf.
You may remember the Noro Rabbit I knitted for my pal a few years ago- well, he has taken the chance of a lifetime and hitched a ride in Helen's suitcase over to the US to live the life of riley. Helen has caught a few of the rabbit's hobbies on camera... (click on thumbnails for full rabbit-vision). Firstly, an iconic shot of rabbit about to attempt something not usually recommended to Noro animals- diving.
Sunbathing- do knitted rabbits need sun protection? There's an existential question. Playing the baby grand- I love the fact he has t o sit on books. Did I ever tell you about the time my piano teacher's slippers caught on fire because he was standing too close to the grate in his living room? Buy me a drink one day and I will- it's funny. It put me off playing the piano as well.
There are other photos, but I'll keep it at that for now. We don't want rabbit over-exposure really, do we? What's that you're saying? Ah, yes, I guess the sunbathing one IS a little on the nude side. Well, it could be worse, he could be wearing a thong. Anyway, I don't have a problem with nude rabbits.
OK my arisaig has been sitting in a pile of bits for a LONG time. Last night I decided to take the plunge and sew her up. The reason I have been procrastinating over doing that is because I was scared shitless that the damned thing wouldn't fit. And after all the effort of knitting three ply baby alpaca and silk I just could not face the prospect of it being too small. Jealously, selfishly, I wanted this cardie for myself, and my usual fall back position of 'well if it doesn't fit me it will fit somebody' just was not (in this particular cardie's case) at all tenable. THIS IS MINE!
Anyway, I did sew it up, I adjusted my tailor's dummy to my measurements, and tentatively placed said garment round Tallulah's shoulders.....
Arisaig, not quite finished
It fits! So off I went happily spraying the cardie to block it on Tallulah. I still have about 20 inches of the long tie which forms a neck border and a right side tie, but I plan to finish that this weekend, get it sewn on, and then wear the bloody thing! After all, it is cold enough in the UK to warrant an alpaca cardie at the moment.....
Thanks to my SP in the Knitty round 9 of Secret Pal. A lovely Blythe card, a skein of Fleece Artist Hand Dyed Seawool, some choccie with dried blueberries and an Addi lace needle - been dying to try one of these! All wrapped up in lovely turquoise tissue paper.
Being off work with backache for two days, means lots of sitting or lying about not doing very much, which means knitting has been taking place.
Here we have a Garter-check cushion from sarah Dallas Knitting, in Rosso and Flame Rowan Handknit Cotton DK, the Colinette Mulberry Stole, in Jaeger Silk, and Kid Silk Haze, gorgeous bluey pewtery grey colours, and last but not least, Wendy Bernard's Somewhat Cowl, in Wensleydale Longwool, a rich dark aubergine colour. Flitty flighty between one thing and another....
The Sibling brought these amazing knitting needles by missneedles.com back from Whitby Gothic Weekend for me. They are the maddest needles I possess. See the little syringes full of glitter?? Mad. Bonkers. But they make me smile!
I couldn't find any more on the website, but that is definitely the label on my needles. Try emailing and asking them about them. And thanks to The Sibling for presenting them to me!
Here's Disco Duckie to look at in lieu of knitting
There is a reason for that. I keep having to frog everything. I am currently knitting a Debbie AbrahamsSunshine cushion kit in ecru Rowan Denim. I have frogged more stitches than I have knitted I am sure. Textured knitting from a chart is fun, but you have to concentrate. Counting stitches is essential. And that is hard when you are talking too. And I am good at talking. Which means my counting is out more often than (k)not and so I have to frog and tink my way back to the point when I was counting mindfully. Anyway, I am on the home stretch and should have a FO to blog by the weekend. Yay! One finished thing to Ravel.....
The Threadbanger has the 'top 10 geekiest knits'(/crochets, if I'm honest!) up for your delectation, including (see below) a cute little katamari keyring, our very own Knitty space invader socks, a knitted darlek and police box, tv's, nintendos, yoda hats for babies, robot arms, mobius scarves...
Satisfy your inner geek (I do believe that knitters are serious geeks at heart, however many tattoos and nose rings, or indeed, blue rinses, they may possess)- although they haven't included my favourite (being a geneticist)- the DNA scarf....
P.s. can I just add- how great was the Dr Who episode 'Blink'? Especially the end 30 seconds. That must of really put the wind up Britain's kids... don't take your eyes of ANY statue ;)
I've been gone for so long, you probably don't remember who I am... oh well.... LOOK CUPCAKES!
Sorry it's been so long. Obviously with Glittr around it hasn't been all bad :#
I've been atravelling. And getting stressed over interviews. Then over getting the job. Then being ill, with food poisoning, colds, then my immune system going crap on me again (it happens from time to time- it will adjust again, I'm sure), then on holiday to France for rubbish weather and much wine and duck pate...
I have been knitting, honest, but I am as slow as a snail on valium.
However, I did come across these: three of my favourite things in one: cupcakes, marzipan and knitting, made by a lovely person for their knitting friend....
Aren't they darling? I couldn't eat them, they are too fab. OK, that's not true. She even provides a tutorial, which is lovely of her...
I love this rainycloud and raindrop babies pattern from the Mochimochi shop, who also produce patterns for some cute animals with a twist. Go and have a look at their other stuff. Personally a knitted cloud and raindrops seems the perfect thing to knit at the moment, as the weather here is awful right now.
I need help. I have knitted Dandelion, the nice cardie on the front of Rowan mag 41. The embroidery is causing me a degree of frustration. There is a chart for each of the stitches used to decorate the neckline, but no overall chart of the design executed in the photo. I would like to get a better idea of what they have done, since I have tried a couple of combinations to no avail. Though I am quite proud of the chain stitch round the neck. I have posted to the Knitty boards and to the Rowan forum, but so far have no help. Can anyone else help me? Please?
This morning I collected my final parcel in the Knitty SP8 round, and what a generous parcel it was! Thanks so much to Nell Nell for being a fabulous SP. This parcel was the biggest of the bunch, containing 10 50g balls of beautiful aran weight Hebridean yarn, unbleached and undyed, in a marvellous dark, rich chocolately brown. There was a detailed explanation of where the fleeces had come from - a small herd of well loved sheep who Nell Nell knows. Plus a contrasting ball of Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed in a delightful acid lichen green - one of my favourite shades of green! I think this jamboree of aran weight will become a jacket. My generous friend had also made me three handmade cards, which I was, frankly, gobsmacked at. I will probably never send them - they are too nice! I want to keep them for me! Thank you so much to Nell Nell for all of my parcels. I have really enjoyed this round, thanks to your thoughtful gifts. Feast your eyes on this dear reader......
After hours of considering work and stuff of equal boredom (I have an interview on monday and a presentation to work on), I decided to give myself a break and FINALLY put some pictures up that have been sitting in my camera for a while. You see, I have been busy. And it means I can't do things that give me pleasure, like playing with my girls and knitting.
On the other hand, I have also been busy doing things I DO like, such as wandering the Cornish countryside with Glittr...
But I have some introducing to do.
I have a new girl! She's been with me for a while and hasn't been debutanted (is that a word?!). This is Greer and we haven't yet established her last name, as she doesn't speak english. She smokes a lot and has a penchant for pickled herring. I think she is Swedish, but I'm not entirely sure. I haven't managed to get her to sign on the dotted line to join the band of Knitted Terrorists, but I think she has it in her... in fact, I have a feeling the girls already know who she is, as I saw her handing a brown paper package to Leon when she first arrived.
Secondly, we have Reenie in an outfit specially designed for her by the incomparable Heylittlegirl, as won as second prize for a raffle. She is just so... orange. And it suits her so well. Butter wouldn't melt. She'd still stab you though, if you gave her the chance. I wouldn't trust her an inch.
I also have some begging for forgiveness to do to my Secret Pal from last year, Lisa- she made me some perfect knitted outfits for the girls and it has literally taken me this long to photo. They have been wearing them however.. Franke won't take off the green knitted bodice shown here. It suits her, no?
Leon is modelling one of Yokokonda's cute as a button belted dresses too. Very Austin Powers, I think.
And finally, Mattie in a quite hysterical poncho from Lisa. Hysterical because I still can't believe she knitted such a thing. I want one myself! It is beautiful. Thank you, Lisa. You are talented, even at such a small scale.
There are still other knitted items to photo too...a mini shawl and a skirt. But unfortunately Mike's Mila was just a little too shiny in the photo for me to be happy in showing it. I need to re-take. V-Smashes are lovely, but I wish I had some Mr Super Clear Matt on me. She calls out to be matt, but with freckles intact.
I was so taken with Glittr's Tilli Thomas Discolights scarf made from gifted yarn that I contacted Stash (the only place in the UK to stock this) and asked, ney, BEGGED them to send me some. They were sweethearts (they don't do mail order) and took pity on my lonely Cornish yarn-light status. As a result I got a skein of Sapphire (shown here, a discontinued colour) and moss, the same colour as Glittr. It was expensive: but worth it, I think. This scarf is not as long as Glittr's, as I wished to keep some to make into a purse. The scarf has been sent to its rightful owner as a birthday present. The whole thing was a joy from start to finish (pattern (courtesy of Glittr), colour, knittability of yarn and finished item).
I knitted this top a while ago, using Rowan Chunky Print, when I was going through my 'fat' wool phase. It is nice-feeling wool, no doubt, and very easy to knit with. The Chunky print is also not too lumpy, really. My biggest mistake was being drawn in to using variagated yarn. No. No. No. Never again. I dislike it on clothes I wear, and I'll admit now, I really don't like it on other people's clothes either. It just reminds me of vomit (after a night on the Blue Curacao), or badly executed camoflage (arctic style). It makes me feel as if I have a really bad hangover whenever I look at it. The pattern itself is also not really suited to me: Biddy, from Rowan's book 'Big Just Got Bigger'. It is shown in the book as being worn the other way around, but unless you have no tits whatsoever, it is not a good look. On the other hand, having the lacing at the front is a little too 'pint 'o ale, my lover?' for my tastes. I definately need to seriously consider what will actually suit my shape the next time I knit something more than a hat, scarf or sock ;) Finishing on a positive note, however, I would say that it was my first venture into short row shaping, and that worked... even if I will never wear the damn thing. Anyone want it?
I got my first parcel from my upstream Knitty SP8. I want to say a big Thank You to whomever you are. I love everything!
Here for your pictorial delectation is what I received....
In my parcel there was a cute little handmade bag lined with cloud patterned cotton - I am in fact a member of The Cloud Appreciation Society! - which will be perfect for transporting a small knitting project, or my knitting acoutrements around with me. Two pink chews - immediately snaffled. Some cute devil duckie piratical earrings. Yarnwise I got two skeins of licorice hemp, from hempforknitting.com, and two balls of RYC bamboo soft which really soft! One in hemp and one in gypsum. Gorgeous! I cannot stop petting them. Well done with your excellent choices!
Our work Secret Santa this year was 'green'. We were not allowed to buy anything to give, but had to either make something or 're' present. Even if we made something it had to be made from things we already had around the house. This made for very interesting gifts, including a gorgeous bottle of home-made limoncello, a range of home-made chutneys, a Chinese calender and some compost. I knitted this scarf from left over kid silk haze and some gorgeous hand-dyed mohair I bought from Skye on a trip with Glittr. She'll remember the shop! It's a simple home-made pattern in a kind of easy lace, with a strand of mohair and a strand of kid silk haze held together- I alternated blocks of different coloured kid silk haze, including Candy, Marmalade and Lilac. It was gratefully recieved ;)
Knit One, Purr Too has a great blog over at http://lluest.blogspot.com/ where you will find teeny tiny knits done on pins with sewing thread. Amazing patience she must have to create her tiny things! She has a great flickr group, where you can browse her marvellously clear photography including this amazing little tea cozy, and a crinoline lady tea cozy!
So nice to see a few fashion designers with a modicum of a sense of humour about them. Benjamin Cho showed this hilarious knitted dress in progress with giant needles and a pair of hands knitting it on the model, at Fall 2007 NY Fashion Week recently. Reported at Craft, neatorama.com and mollygood.com.
Silver wire and bead necklace, made from Rowan kit
This has been on the needles soooooooo long. Must finish UFOs.
This necklace shouldn't take too long..... I am trying so hard to finish projects and bust stash. But really, I want to play with the rest of my birthday haul!
Zara, from Rowan's The Bigger Picture. It took 5 balls of wool for the small size. I like it, but it only really works on me when I am smaller rather than larger, mainly because of the yarn and its thickness. I can't get away from it. Fat wool makes me look fat.
Knitting article on Radio 4 - listen again from the website
Saturday Live on Radio 4 had an interesting interview with knitter Daisy Godwin, which talked about the 'knitting hinterland' and her obsession with her stash. You can listen again from anywhere in the World by going to the website sometime over the next 7 days. It's an entertaining piece and worth your time.
I am truly a bad SP receiver. My SP Lisa was a joy and made me so happy with the thought and fun that went into every parcel she sent me- her last parcel just as much. Especially as it had this beautiful pink silk scarf in it, knitted just for me. I love getting knitted gifts. They just mean so much to me. I wear this a lot, which may be one reason why I haven't photo'd it before.
A close-up to show the gorgeous stitch used. Lisa, I can't remember what you said you had used... please feel free to re-enlighten me!
More photos to come, when the sun makes more of an appearance. We still have Blythe clothes!
You may have seen the fantastic array of gifts with which I was bestowed for my recent birthday celebrations. Well that wasn't all. Lookee here at the rest of the gifts I have received since 29th December..... (if I have left anything off, I apologise most sincerely, I had so many presents I simply can't remember them all, and I have been putting them away as I received and played with them)....
2 skeins Sublime kid mohair in a beautiful shade of blue, together with a lovely beret pattern for it
2 skeins Blue Sky Alpacas pure alpaca in a gorgeous shade of roast tomato
2 skeins Lorna's Laces sock yarn in a vibrant amethyst
A book with a devil sheep on a background of hell flames - its graph paper, so handy for charts!
2 skeins Twilleys Freedom Spirit in shades of blue
A multifunctional incense burner (does single sticks, multi sticks, and cones - brilliant!)
A silver rubber duck, who is wearing a set of beautiful hand made glass beads
And I got a twinkly blue and turquoise diamonte pendant on a velvet ribbon (I'm wearing that)
As you can tell, I have been gifted a lot by fellow knitters...... from the two SnBs I go to, plus some stuff from Fee.
Thanks you all for your generosity. This is certainly the longest birthday I have ever had!
Edited to add: Sorry about the bac pic - I will take some close ups when the light is better at the weekend.
Edted again to add: OOOh there were chocoalte lollies too - scrummy, and all gone!
I got a skein of Tilli Thomas Disco Lights in Moss for my birthday. My thoughtful friends had included a suggested pattern for a skinny scarf. I am knitting said pattern - kind of a lace faux cable - giving a sturdy fabric which shows off the yarn's delightful qualities very effectively. Feast yer eyes on this....
This Elvis wig pattern has been around a while (over at The Shed), but it is such fun, I thought I might make one for my cousin's 40th. She is a huge Elvis fan, so I hope she appreciates the effort I go to for her....
I came across this new online knitting mag, www.knitonthenet.com whilst looking for something else, and thought I better draw your attention to it, in case you haven't seen it. Issue 1 is quite good I think, which some nice patterns. The festures include an article on the knitariver campaign, and UK alpaca. It's nice to see another UK based mag come on the scene. I hope it can keep up the quality and stay the distance. It seems to have sneaked on the scene quite quietly, but I am happy to see it there. What do you think?
Just had the Victoria and Albert Museum knitting webpage 're'-brought to my attention (we have it listed in our 'stuff' section, but what the hell, I'm telling you again anyway). There are some great resources on there, including history stuff on knitted items in their collection, patterns (old and new), including how to knit a 'work of art' (see gloves!).... definately worth a look.
Dark bluey grey slate coloured hemp left over from Danny. This is being fashioned into a 3x3 rib skinny scarf to wear with Danny. Progress on the Shetland Tea Shawl is good and I am much happier with the stitch definition since I frogged the whole thing and reknitted it. Lastly, a Kid Silk Haze Party Lace Scarf from the current Magknits, I had a ball of Liqueur, and some nice red glass beads, and its a nice relaxing knit with only two rows to remember. So that is what has been occupying my time on the settee as I sneeze and snuffle my way through a deadful cold. The pics are a little dark, but hey, it's winter in the UK and we don't get much sun at this time of year, so my front room and a daylight bulb are all I have.
You might remember, dear reader, that I made a public pledge in July not to buy any more yarn. I thought you might be interested to know that I have stuck to said pledge from that day to this. Therefore yarn related gifts celebrating Yuletide will be very gratefully accepted......
I spent a goodly proportion of this weekend frogging (entirely) and reknitting the Shetland Tea Shawl. It took no time at all to frog it, but has taken some time to reknit.
Why did I put myself through this?
Well, far from being the slapdash happy-go-lucky knitter I sometimes portray myself as, I actually do have a streak which encourages me to think again if something isn't quite right.
And my shawl wasn't quite right.
I couldn't see the pattern at all, and even when I stretched it out (as it would look after blocking), it still wasn't quite right. So out it came. Much to the amusement of Greebo, who looked on, puzzled, and then decided it was a big game to run away with unravellings..... Much hilarity ensued, and both me and His Catness got a lot of exercise.
Now. I have to tell you that I like frogging large things. The simple act of the mindless destruction of something which you have slaved over for hours, is a very cleansing and humbling experience. I really like pulling out large tracts of knitting and carefully winding it back into a ball (cat interventions notwithstanding). Because I had knitted up to the third pattern section (and was well into it), actually reknitting on a larger needle was pretty speedy, and already I am back up to the second pattern section. A few hours tonight over a couple more episodes of Deadwood, and I should almost be back to where I decided that my shawl just wasn't quite right.
Nikol Lohr's Katamari Damancy Queen of All Cosmos earmuffs
www.craftzine.com opened my eyes to these great earmuffs.... There is more (and variations) on the designers blog, and you get the pattern free with the December issue of Shojo Beat magazine, a manga mag.
As the Shetland Tea Shawl seems to be progressing at a rate of knots, I thought I would share progress with you. Baby alpaca loveliness in a marled blue green. I can't wait to see it finished, and this is a really good knit for those relatively new to lace knitting. I have almost done the second pattern section (Horseshoe) and soon to do the 6th increase row taking me to 574 stitches, and into the third pattern section (Diamond Madeira). For anyone with an early edition of A Gathering of Lace, please make sure you have got the pattern corrections - the third section of this shawl has corrections, and boy am I glad I downloaded the PDF and printed them out before I started!
Shetlad Tea Shawl by Dale Long from A Gathering of Lace
Getting started on the Spiral Shawl I had planned to do from from A Gathering of Lace was too hard. Laceweight and 6mm dpns were too much of a challenge for my slightly impatient nature. So I started the Shetland Tea Shawl (from the same book, smaller needles so easier to handle) instead. I am using some Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud in Tide Pool gifted by Amylovie. This stuff if a delight to knit with and already I can see that the drape will be beautiful. The pattern so far is an easy knit (only on the first pattern panel mind) which I am enjoying knitting on my 3mm Holz and Stein circular immensely. See the counter clicky thing? The kind they use to count passengers in Easyjet flights and on GNER? My mother bought it for me as a row counter. It's perfect. I love it. Much easier for me to remember to advance than those silly things that live on the end of your knitting needle and require twisty turny things after having to put your knitting down. This only requires a quick 'click' and there you have it. Marvellous.
I have so much to blog. I have so many photos to upload. I have new hair pics, kitty pics oif massive cuteness, finished object pics - I am really pleased with how my Print O The Wave shawl turned out - it is absolutely huge. And weighty. And very beautiful. You should see it....
The reason you can't is that my laptop has died. Diagnosis: New motherboard.... so as soon as I get to a computer that I can use to upload pics, I will. And then you will see how busy I have been. And how lovely my knitting is. And how gorgeous the colours are in my hair. Until then, I will attempt to find more crap with which to amuse you. Let the crap commence......
There is a lovely lady whom I know as Scott, from the Knittyboard, who won a competition to move to Fair Isle off the coast of Scotland. Her family's story was previewed in this weeks Sunday Times... I know that Internet access there is not easy, but Angela, if you do see this, I hope that everything is working out for you and the family - I think of you often!
I am not normally one to bother with swatching. I am a knitter who has neither tight nor slack tension, so I have never really seen the need to swatch, despite the pleas of all the knitting books and patterns I won. Pah - can't be bothered. That's my usual reaction to the instructions for gauge/tension. However, whilst in Italy recently, I was sitting with a couple of hours to kill, and I decided to swatch for Sadie from Rowan Knitting and Crochet Magazine no.40. For the first time I felt a sense of trepidation - would I have to make any adjustments to the recommended needle sizes?
Photo taken with mobile phone camera - a test
I carefully measured the number of rows and number of stitches in a 10cm square of my pattern sample.
21st and 34 rows to 10cm measured over pattern on 4mm needles.
Perfect! Wow, I can start knitting it exactly as the pattern recommends. What a sense of achievement! The pic on hte left was taken with my new mobile phone in dim light, so apologies to you for the poor quality of the photo. I will use the usual camera in future I think.
Edited to add: I am using Rowan Wool Cotton in Inky. Which is black. Wool Cotton is delightful to knit with. Soft, cool, unsplitty. It fair flies off the needles. I think this cardie will knit up in no time. And it will provide a welcome project to swap between the never ending interminable edging for my Print o The Wave shawl which I have been knitting for months. Which is boring me to death. And no, I have not sewn Arisaig up yet. But I will. Sometime.
Aye, mates, when our Jezebel ain't swabbin' the decks o' this site, her weapons o' choice be pointy sticks an' string. She recently designed this fine booty bag, and is offerin' it free fer the downloadin' to all fans o' Talk Like A Pirate Day.
It be Talk Like A Pirate Day in the not to distant. So be a gettin yerselves prepared and 'ave some piratical knittin' to be occupyin' yerselves with. http://knitlikeapirate.com/. Thank ye Robynn fer a pointin' us at that there linky.
I got my last SP7 package from my knittyboard SP. And what a goodie!
My SP revealed herself as Jesh, who is a marvellous knitter - have a look at her blog, there is some fantastic lace on there and lovely socks too.
Thanks Jesh for sending me such thoughtful gifts.
The parcel above contained:
- a huge bag os mega M&Ms (half gone)
- a funny book of sayings to sit on my desk at home
- a CD (not listened to it yet, but I will tonight)
- a 3.5mm 16" addi turbo circular needle (you can never have too many needles)
- a copy of Summer 2004 Interweave Knits, which has the most gorgeous shawl pattern in it, which means I might have to try to get hold of some Eoroflax Linen by some swapping means, as I am on a pledge
- a cute little ethnic bag with some ghirardelli dark chocolate squares in it (tasted - yummy)
- a skein of Handmaiden Seasilk.
Now then, allow me to indulge myself in telling you about this seasilk. It looks like the sea. It reminds me of swimming in Cornwall, with its deep, rich rockpooley colours in its tealy blue and grassy green colourway with oily greeny bluey turquoisey bits and vibrant cornflower blue. The colours are delightful.
It feels unlike anything else I have felt - the nearest thing is this purple silk which I got on Skye, except that the seasilk is lighter and loftier than the purple silk. It smells amazing too (I love the smell of silk). The rich skein feels cool at first touch, and it is lustrous and smooth. I simply cannot wait to start knitting with this stuff. 400 metres of goodness just dying to become something I can wear next to my skin, where the seacell can do its vitamin thing. You can read more about this intriguing yarn and its special properties. And then you will want some too.
Edited to add: I think it's the Nova Scotia colourway.
Being a huge fan of useless knitting, and liking to have at hand a host of patterns for small things to knit in between big or boring things, which use up leftovers, I ran off to look at all the doughnut patterns I could find when I saw this onefeatured on craftzine.com.
Despite the recent demise of You Knit What?, the fug keeps coming. Those nice people over at What Not To Crochet have started a sister site creatively titled What Not To Knit. Keep on keeping on 'cos the fug ain't never gonna stop, baby (subjective though it is).
I had a productive weekend really, no photos in this post but some coming soon, I promise. I thought I would report on knittage progress with some UFOs. And, I am pleased to say, that I am sticking to The Pledge with very little effort really. Mind you, the Secret Pal-age helps to stave off wool hunger and yarn lust.
Arisaig - all knitted up, and waiting to be seamed and blocked. Can't muster enough motivation to do it. I am convinced after all that knitting on tiny needles with three ply the damned thing will get seamed and, nightmare of nightmares, will be too small. The fear of that fitting is so bad it is stopping me seaming. One day.
Print O The Wave - the two main body pieces are done. Lacking gusto to join them and pick up the hundreds of stiches to complete it with the lace border. I will get this done though, see if I don't.
I had started a We Call Them Pirates hat to match DJ Mikey's socks. I have tried four times to get gauge. I failed four times. I got fed up. I froggged and threw the yarn in the ends basket in disgust. Project dead.
Tendrils - frogged. This yarn will now become a lovely jumper for me. The beads will be used elsewhere. I just wasn't happy with the shawl. The yarn was too think, it was more like a blanket, and the beads were too heavy. The finished thing would be the weight of a wet greatcoat. Besides I will get more use out of a jumper.
I am working on Danny in hemp at the moment, and am on the second sleeve.
But I think the FO will be nice so I am sticking with it.
So I'm guessing that my downstream secret pal has guessed me by now. Anyways, she's getting these two fellas in her final parcel: two stuffies by Ysolda. Easy to knit and very disturbing. I used left-over yarn from the Curious Yarns Zombie Bear kit and needle felted the eyes and heart on to each. Have never needle felted before, but it worked well, I think. Reenie was sad to see them go. Mattie couldn't give a stuffie.
How lucky? As you can see, The Greeb was inquisitive to see what was under the tissue paper, once the box was opened. A ball of yarn and a CD, and another ball of yarn and two tubes of beads. I love beads, I love bead knitting. Once everything was removed there was a little scroll message, telling me that I am the very fortunate recipient of a wound ball of Trekking! And the colour is perfect for socks for me. Oh yes. And the wound jade laceweight is Zephyr. Now then, I have heard about these two yarns, and have been wondering just what they were like, and I can tell you that they are both very lovely indeed. I just started a hemp jumper last night, but I think the Trekking will be next, and I think it will be the toe up sock recipe posted to the Summer Knitty.
I love the Zephyr too, it is a gorgeous colour (wool silk mix I think, it is delightfully soft and strokable). The beads are both in shades of blue and one set will look superb as an edging trim on the neck and sleeves of the hemp jumper currently on the needles.
And once the box is empty, as you can see, Greebo takes possession. He likes boxes. In fact all boxes belong to the Greeboid one, and it is only a matter of time before they return to his domain, and he inspects them carefully. Then they disappear. I do not know where.
Many many thanks for starting my week off work perfectly SP!!!
Edited to add: I just re-read the scroll, and my SP dyed the Zephyr herself! Wow! Thanks!
Thanks to Seekrit Pal - parcel numero deux arrived!
And what a parcel it was! I ripped open the box to find a purple crushed velvet bag. A bag stuffed to the ginnels with treasure. All kinds of swag to pander to my penchant for piratical plunder. Inside the bag was the Summer Interweave Knits, which is always good bedtime reading o'er a glass o'rum. Then there were three skeins of yarn from ports all round the world. Bright red chunky Manos (destined fer a feltin'), cerise pink norwegie laceweight (destined fer a'lacemakin'), and a ball of 100% wool from The Land of Oz (destined fer a'hatmakin'). Guarding this knitty hoard were these two fierce beasties. Wild animals with teeth 'n' claws 'n' beans 'n' plush. Oh yes. They were guarding the yarn treasure, but they were also guarding REAL treasue! Sparkly beautiful glass beads in a deep luscious blood red which catch the twinkles in the light superbly. A chinese charm (every piratical person should have at least one lucky charm) and this tri-part ring, which fits perfectly! Man, oh man, I am one lucky knittivist today. Many many thanks to my SP both for the gifties and the patience and faith in the long time it took my big ol'box to get here. Worth the wait for sure.
So I promised those on Knitty that I would do a little experiment, namely, knit together wool and recycled sari silk, then felt to see what happened. Both were felted in one wash at 40 degrees celsius. The top two photos show lopi and silk knitted every two rows in garter stitch (on 4.5 mm needles), the left pre-felt, the right after one wash. Truly felted. This picture shows post felt, slightly thicker wool knitted with a strand of sari silk (on 9 mm needles). Again, felted in one go, and looking slightly more 'pebble-dash'. No pre-felt picture for this one, I'm afraid. The picture has vanished into the electronic ether. Oh well.
Finally had some sun today, so after my yoga class thought I'd take a quick photo of the gorgeous felted yoga bag that my SP made for me. For me! It is soft and fluffy with a felted diagonal spiral working its way up the bag.
The funny thing is, I've done yoga for nearly 9 years now, and never had a yoga bag. Never needed a yoga bag. But over the last few days I have kept my mat in this bag (if fits perfectly Joey!) and today DJ Mikey needed the van to go fishing, so I had to carry my mat on the bus to class and then home. I wouldn't have managed it on its own, but in a bag..... perfect. Serendipity!
My mother is a very skilled knitter. She likes knitting complicated things that I think I will need a few years more experience before I even think about attempting. She was stuck for something to knit a while back, and I laughingly asked her if she would like to knit me a shawl - I had the pattern (Fiber Trends Spring Blossom Shawl), I had the yarn (handpaintedyarn.com, merino lace, in a foresty green), I had not the skill yet (designed for the adventurous knitter said the pattern), as it is a pattern for experienced knitters. My mother even thought it was a challenging pattern, but surprisingly she agreed, saying I am going to enjoy knitting this.
You can even see droplets of water!
Well, here 'this' is in all its blocking glory.... see Mam? Blocking does make a huge difference! A massive thank you to my mam for knitting this for me. I will treasure it always, display it proudly in my living room for all to admire, and put on our blog for our reader to marvel at. I feel very lucky. One day I hope I can knit lace as well as this.
Edited to add: My crappy photography really does not do this shawl justice - my spare room, where it is laid out on the bed to block is too full of junk to be able to get a good shot. I promise to photograph it again when it is dry, in a more flattering fashion.
I already posted this on the knittyboards. but felt I should make my pledge public.
I hereby promise only to use up stash yarns or yarn gifts until either my stash is used up, and all my UFOs have been transmogrified into FOs, or Woolfest 2007 arrives.
1. Christmas present to myself of a Habu Textiles garment kit.
2. Other people can buy me yarn, I can buy other people yarn.
3. Swaps are permitted, but only from existing stash. Yarn cannot be bought specifically for stash swaps.
4. Embellishment purchases such as beads, buttons, clasps, shawl pins etc. are allowed but only to complete stash busting projects.
5. Knitted gifts must be knitted from stash.
6. Requests for knitting for others will be carefully considered - yarn may be bought for such projects if paid for by the requester, and the resulting FO is intended for someone other than the knitter.
7. Knitting literature such as books or magazine/journal subscriptions do not count as stash.
It's coming along.... I blogged it before it was felted quite a while ago. The I posted a pic of it post-felting, but here it is after blocking, ironing, steaming and trimming, and with an indication of how encrusted it will be once finished. I was thinking of a voodoo flag (or Drapo) that a friend of mine had when I started out on this project. These are heavily sequined pieces of wall art made in haiti and other voodoo cultures as aids to prayer. My own motives are slightly different, but as a technique I really like the idea of heavily encrusting something with shiny things. And I like the juxtaposition of anarchic symbolism with a manifestation of decoration and embellishment. Nice dichotomy going on there. And the fact that these were originally made as religious artefacts, transposed into a political symbol, but subverted by decoration. Progess will speed up now I think. I will post the finished object - maybe once its in a box frame and on the wall.
It needn't have been knitted or felted at all - I could have simply adorned a fabric backing, but I am enjoying the process and in my book, that's all that counts.
I am a bit late in blogging my haul from Woolfest 2006, but I hope the pr0n makes it worth the wait. A big thanks to my compadre in knittivist arms, the one, the only, scumkitten; to purlpower, flossie, Emily, The Knit Nurse, Becca, Shonze, spinningfishwife, Sue and everyone else we met, for making the weekend a fabulous, memorable few days. Great food, great company, great weather (yes, even the torrential downpour), great yarnie goodness and a picturesque campsite. No pics of any of the weekend, but check out everyone else's blogs for superb documentation. I have take a pledge not to buy any more yarn until either my stash runs out, or Woolfest 2007 comes around. I suspect the latter will come round first.
From the top: 100g of tussah silk in an intense blue, 100g of 50% merino 50% silk in Straw, and the same in Silver-Grey (all DK) from www.knitting4fun.com.
Then we have 5 hanks of hemp 2 ply in Phew from House of Hemp. This is for a long sleeved ribbed jumper for me.
Next we have 4 film reels of lopi roving, bought for felting projects.
Then a gorgeously tactile hank of aran weight silk and baby alpaca, slightly boucle, hand dyed from MoBair. You simply cannot underestimate how soft this is, or how intense the blue. Destined to be something which is worn right next to the skin - a mobious scarf perhaps.
Last, but by no means least (saved the best til last?) 2 50g hanks of superfine alpaca and silk, hand dyed using medieval dyes, cochineal and indigo. Simply delightful, and totally irresistable. Bought from The Mulberry Dyer. And I will buy more. This is about DK weight.
I also got an indigo dying kit and some slate buttons. I only managed to buy this haul after wandering around feeling sick and slightly faint for a while. I was totally overwhelmed by the whole thing. How can anyone get blase about hand dyed, handspun? well I did. Cultureshocked. The ewe's milk ice cream helped. And a systemtic look round before buying anything. And deciding to only go for one day. I dread to think how cultureshocked I would have been with two days of it - a special thanks to purlpower for lopi roving procurement on day 2. We couldn't have done it without you, Helen.
So. Woolfest. One word: fabulous. Fabulous yarns, fabulous location (shame about the loos), fabulous company. What more could a yarn-loving girl ask for? We got sunsets on the Lake District hills, dawn choruses, beetle adventures, micro-brewery beers, champagne and sausages, goats, alpacas and more yarn that you can shake a stick at. Did I mention the company? It just tickles me pink that a load of women can haul ass to a camp site (spinning wheels in the boot of their cars) and get on super well, despite only two loos and two showers. Don't you just love holidays where things just fall into place and give you special memories?
Helen, queen of the campsite, with her fuzzy feet and her beautiful face. Alice, with her love of beetles, and super sharp cheekbones. Emily, maker of all things Nigella, with pre-raphelite skin and soft curls. Glittr, just, well, Glittr. Hannah and Becka like little animals peering from their tents and their way with mushrooms. Shona and Isabella the wise scottish women with their £2.50 fleece tales and spinning wheels and generosity with shade. And Sue, the soft-spoken, self-sufficient Shetlander.
Ladies, I salute you.
Lopi and silk love
So here we have a few photos of my stash from Woolfest: I didn't take my camera away with me, so I'm relying on others to supply that journalistic tale. Top row we have three canisters of Lopi love from Twistfibrecrafts: perfect, I think, for knitting in tandom with the recycled sari silk, also shown, to form a solid, long lasting and unusual bag/purses/bowls. Second we have some 50% wool, 50% silk in a mouth-watering cranberry colour. You have to feel it to get why I bought this. So soft. And some Welsh slate buttons for use with the Bernat yarn in grey-blue that my SP bought me. Will go perfectly with it, whatever I make.
Here we have some undyed boucle- staggeringly soft and only £3.00 a ball! Can't remember which stand it was from- there were so many exciting exhibitors, it was amazing that Glittr and I didn't just faint, right there and then. But they sold the slate buttons too... anyway. Why did I buy undyed wool? Because I bought some indigo! And the place I bought it from sell all types of natural dyes in either kit form or separate, and books etc. Back to the lab for me I think. Kitchen chemistry, yay!
The fourth picture shows the fun of getting home: my strawberry bed, put in last year (and was ok, but nothing special) has hit the mother-lode. DJ Mikey has been eating strawbs all weekend, as has Colin. Yet I was still able to pick these, leaving a heap more to fully ripen. They smell and taste like strawberries should. Just perfect little bundles of sunshine.
So I'm sitting here, having just eaten two home-made (and home-caught!- the sea bass, rather than the fish cakes) sea bass fish cakes with broad bean and lemon salad, a glass of cold white wine, watching Germany vs. Italy (I'm a traitor to my genes- go Germany!), with my stash surrounding me.
Heaven. Bit sad I missed the Basking Sharks coming in and wallowing in the Whitsand shallows with the swimmers at the weekend though. DJ Mikey has seen them from his boat though, so they are still there.... swim tomorrow, maybe?
knitPro has been featured here at glittyknittykitty before. knitPro is a web application that translates digital images into knit, crochet, needlepoint and cross-stitch patterns. The creators of knitPro, microRevolt, held a competition, the results of which came out a couple of months ago. Thanks to Rickster the Hickster for reminding me to look at the rest of the results. The Knitpro needlecraft art show is still online, but the winner was a knitted Fender guitar, by Sarah Stollak of Austin, Texas. The pattern is available to download as a PDF.
As I mentioned in my previous post, my lovely SP sent a package for the girls: here are the promised photographs (click on thumbnails for full Blythe action), with Reenie MacAbre and Franke 'Maddog' Honeybaume modelling a Blythe-sized Airy Scarf in baby pink, a corset and shrug in a gorgeous emerald green cotton and a beany in a shiny chocolate brown with amber and blue beading.
A Stuffie, three blue squares, and a Dream Swatch. And I am up to the 15th repeat of the Print O The Wave Shawl.
See - we do knit sometimes!
Edited to add:
The Stuffie comes from Ysolda
It's knitted in Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride and the features are needle felted on. Can't remember the colourway - the ball band disappeared many moons ago.
Dream Swatch is a freebie from The Garter Belt knitted in a skein of Alchemy Yarns of Transformation bamboo sent to me by Amylovie in a previous SP round, colourway Forest Floor.
The blue squares will go tothe knitariver project and are in left over Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece.
Lookie here at the latest free pattern from Ysolda. Aren't they the bomb? Weird looking critters are this season's must have for tiny new humans. Pattern free and downloadable as a PDF. I shall be knitting a range for the kiddies in my life, namely Rowan and Millymo.... almost as good (in fact, AS good) as the Curious Yarns Zombie Bear...
As you dear reader might remember, I started Eunny's Print o'the wave stole as my Knitting Olympic project. Failing dismally to finish in time, my pathetic effort was forcibly confined to The Naughty Corner, where it has festered until the weekend just gone. My compadre Scumkitten has started this lovely lacey stole, and we thought we might knit it together. I was a bit dissatisfied with my tension, and having completed 11 repeats of the pattern, I frogged the lot, and started again, on a larger needle. So now I am working on 4mm, but otherwise everything is exactly the same. I will let my knittivist mate tell you what she is knitting hers in and we will check in from time to time to report on progress.
Arisaig is nearly done. Final lap. Blocking and sewing up and final pics soon, but in the meantime here are a couple of shots to tease. Baby alpaca (80%) and silk (20%) three ply in cream. I started this project in October, but it has been resting in the naughty corner for a signigicant part of the inbetween time.
And I started Tendrils. What a nice pattern. Easy, but not too easy, and grows fast, which is good after Arisaig. I am knitting this in Knitpicks Andean Silk, Cranberry colourway, with megatama crystal beads which are silver lined (from Earthfaire). I am liking it so far. The yarn is deliciously soft and the colour a rich red.
The latest edition of the Anticraft, entitled The Changing Garden of Mr Bell is online now. Go there for gardening with doll bits, a green goddess spring top, an asparagus tart and more. Slightly less on the knitting front than the last two issues, but, as you can see, more on the mutilated toy as gardening accessory front. But who am I to cast nasturtiums, having had my Tiny Tears sent to the 'toy hospital' on a distressingly regular basis because I used to pull her arms and legs off?
Mila, Mikey's girl, is wearing a sheath dress in Rowan Lurex shimmer in a gorgeous chocolate colour, knitted in the round. Thanks to Glittr for the pattern. The pebbles are my garden, the leaves from a Japanese maple in our neighbour's garden.
I am so. very. ginger.
Mikey has a bit of a thing for gingers, as has been noted previously. I am his first non-ginger girlfriend, although he is convinced that in certain lights I have a reddy hint. Dream on, honey bun. Anyway, Mila didn't want to stand in front of the slate stone (see above), so she climbed the maple instead, causing much agony on my behalf, in case she fell and smashed herself open.
Before the development of the bling coat, I tried out the parroty eyelash yarn in a little shrug for the girls: Reenie got there first, and doncha know it, affected a little bit of a Bjorkish hair style to go with her gold jumpsuit (which I have trouble getting her out of). It's simply knitted in one piece, and the arm sections turned over and sewn together.
I thnink it moved...
It's a very easy hit for the girls. Just make sure that the needle size you use isn't too small- you want a reasonably loose knit- the eyelash keeps any mistakes hidden.
I've been busy this weekend. I went wakeboarding (ish- ouch, my arms), I've cooked for crippleboy Mikey, I've hoovered the entire house, I've been for a gorgeous walk along the coast path, watching the Plymouth to Falmouth race come in on its return leg (Paradox, Matt's boat, coming in first. Yay!)and... I've been knitting. Tiny clothes. This is a dress in bright pink eyelash (from my SP from last year) and Rowan Lurex Shimmer. Mattie suits it, I think.
Bling, bling bling bling, bling.
I was also given some eyelash plume yarn in an amazing parroty colour- now I'm not usually an eyelash fan, but this stuff is pretty cool. I have some plans for it, but for now I thought it would make a pretty bling coat, that I myself would die for. However, I have the attention span of a gnat at the moment, so the girls have benefited. I knitted the body in one go, with slight shaping at the waist, cast offs for the arm holes, and shaping at the collar. Arms were knitted separately and sewn on with poppers for buttons. Yeah, mufu.
You talkin' to me?
I have to say, this coat is fab. I suits Reenie, Leon and Mattie best, but Mattie being the madam she is (in more ways than one- think on that), she claimed it for her own. Maybe I should do another coat in the bright pink eyelash too. But I guess she'd have that one as well. Lord.
There is a load of excitement in internet knitting circles about these new needles with lights in the ends - they look a bit more sophisticated than these ones. Knit Lite needles will be distributed by Clover.
Now this isn't a yarn supplier I had heard of before. But I am impressed. My SP, in my last parcel, sent me some kid mohair yarn I just had to add too, and I think that introducing me to this cashmere retailer is dangerous. I have a penchant for posh yarns - cashmere, silk, alpaca......
We told you about two women who tag street objects with unsolicited knitted cozies a little while back. Boing boing has latched on to their work and there are more great photos..... I would love to see this idea spreading. I think I shall coin a new phrase for urban knitted interventions and knitting activism/terrorism - knittivism. I'm off to create a new section of the blog for it.
Another Boing Boing knitting related item, this tank cozy was made for a peace protest in Copenhagen. Make sure you read the comments at Boing Boing. Do you know of an earlier pink tank protest? I am sure I remember the KLF doing something with a pink tank earlier than 1991..... or perhaps it's wishful thinking. You can see a bigger version over at flickr. We at glittyknittykitty appreciate knitting activism. If you see or take part in any let us know!
Edited to add the following extra information:
The cosy was the brainchild of Marianne Joergenson, and was a community affair, with invitations to knit a square having previously been adversised on, for example, Cast Off. It was part of a protest against Denmark´s (USA´s) involvement in Iraq, and involved a number of people sewing 15x15cm squares together in public around the tank. The whole process was documented with video, which was shown in a gallery nearby as part of the protest.
I am so pleased that my compadre is back, and it's been great having time off over the Easter break to catch up on some knitting. As you might know I rescued Arisaig from the naughty corner right after finishing the flyfishing socks. Since then I have frogged both fronts back to the ribbing and reknit them. I am much happier with them now.
I am almost finished the first sleeve with no major problems, except that its so long since I knitted a full length sleeve in 3 or 4 ply I had forgotten quite how long it takes. And quite how tedious it is. Stitches increasing means taking longer each row to get to the end. *sigh* This sleeve feels like The Neverending Sleeve of Doom. And I have one more to knit. I need encouragement, otherwise I may banish said garment back into that glittyknitting purgatory known as The Naughty Corner.
Still at least I know I am on the home straight, but the mere thought of having to knit a second sleeve is depressing. Really depressing. Perhaps I should knit a little inbetween project to get me through the tedium? Socks? A hat?
The date for Worldwide Knit In Public Day has been announced! It's 10 June 2006 and there will be more information on a dedicated website. Last year I knitted in a pub in public. This year I think I will arrange something in the North East.... contact me by commenting on this post if you are interested in a Knit In Public Picnic on 10 June. Venue tbc.
Go to stuffonmycat.com to see a ginger tabby in a fetching jade green knitted bikini. I wonder if the pussy realises, that, these garments, when wet, can be rather revealing - unless knitted in Cascade Fixation?
So as you saw in a previous post, DJ Mikey, a great friend of glittyknittykitty, hurt his shoulder badly in a manly snowboarding accident. I hope that the first of these manly socks in Knitpicks Memories, Flyfishing colourway, will bring a small smile to his face.
In knittychat strange things can happen. One night, I was chatting to Lainch and we realised we have the same sized feet. We hatched a plan to knit each other a pair of socks, hopefully that would fit perfectly. Here are the Harlequin socks that Peri made me! I have an inkling she may have dyed the yarn herself. Anyway they fit perfectly, and are toasty warm. Thanks Peri!
I have not knitted anything 'big' since last August, when the Lily Chin Reverse cable shawl bundled my up in her kidsilk haze embrace and leeched all desire for knitting out of me. I have managed a pair of cashmere socks, some hats, some dolly stuff.... so I've kept my hand in, but now I feel able to start something... something for me, to wear. So the question is, what? I have buckets of stash aquired from LYS close-down sales, trips around the country etc. for the love of it, or for a pattern I liked the look of.... but patterns come to me, then they fade away like so much sea mist. My current loves are:
Interweave sunrise circle jacket
The Interweave Sunrise Circle Jacket, a structured, oriental beauty with a knitalong website and finished jackets to attest to its do-ability. Or...
Loop-d-loopy, I must be!
The cable jacket from Loop-d-loop (the book, rather than the website. The book. Man, the book!), whose structure comes from the changes in cabling. A thing of beauty and joy, but with the potential of much pain and many, many tears. Or...
This would be my second attempt at Fairilse, after a vaguely successful beany. Me, ambitious? Way too much, let me tell you. I don't know the meaning of knitting to one's strengths or abilities. But isn't it gorgeous? Or is it the natty use of a rake (the rake, not the model, doh!) in the photo that has got to me? I also like the model's shoes (although you can't see them in this photo. They are stripy. Slippers. Cute) Maybe I should just go and buy some shoes. Or...
Some lace. I could just try out some lace. This is See Eunny Knit Print 'o the Wave shawl. Yet another thing of beauty, I'm sure you'd agree. And I have some Curious Yarns laceweight silk coming. In shades of blue....
Or I could just knit something from my stash. It would be kind to the environment and keep me from being poor. Or as poor as I could potentially be if I just kept buying yarn. I also have a heap load of funky eyelash yarn that needs to become a teddy bear for a brand new Amelia Lyra Partridge (now 6 days old), who needs something knitted... or debbie bliss beret... or just anything really...
Eyelet Skirt, Kate Coyle
Or..... if I do want to use something from my stash, I might just following in Purlpower's footsteps with the Eyelet Skirt from Knitty- I have enough Rowan Denim in Nashville for this project.... hmmmm.
Boing Boing adds yet another crafty post - this one links back to Craftster, where there is a post detailing handmade magnetic woolly Katamari. Now I for one had no idea that thesse magnetic thingys were called Katamari, so today I have learned a new word!
After two false starts (knitting 6 pattern repeats of a 12 row pattern over 80 stitches and having to frog - TWICE!), I am finally making some progress on my Olympic knitting. It only needs one more mistake and the damned thing will be condemned to a small, damp, chilly cupboard for the rest of it's natural life. Only subsequent to employing every single knitters aid I possess, I have finally got the hang of the pattern and have enough safety nets in place not to have to frog back to the beginning again. So here is the progress on Eunny Jang's Print O'The Wave Stole (this one isn't Eunnys, it's mine).
Lace cose up
And for Monkee, a couple of lace close ups, which should make Zib happy too as there is a nice fibre shot in there too. Knitting is in Kaalund Expressions kid mohair laceweight, Poinsettia colourway. This is fantastic yarn to knit, warm, soft and fairly flies from one needle to another. But. Addi Turbos for laceknitting and my looseish tension do not match. Stitches are too easy to drop - I need something more grippy, but wouldn't you know it, 3.5mm is the only size that I have no available nice wooden pointy sticks. Oh to be knitting this on recycled ebony! Sigh. Ah well, back to the knitting Olympic challenge, I am way behind and need to get one side of the body of the stole done by the end of today.
See my even stitches?
Citius, altius, bloody fortius. Or as we say in Blighty (when we aren't very good at something) It's not the winning, it's the taking part that counts. Gawd bless Eddie The Eagle Edwards, wherever he is. And in the words of the coach for Team Angstylvania (which, perversely, is keeping me going) We'd have to care to finish.
I thought you might be interested to see this photo of the area in The Forth where we knit. Sometimes the staff are darlings (well, they are darlings all the time, but sometimes more darling.....) and they print out a little sign for our table.....
We kicked it all off with a glass of Bucks Fizz - cava and clementine juice in our case, and very delicious it was too. Especially served in recycled glasses made from beer bottles, donated by Scumkitten (xxx btw :D ).
The Start - it soon got frogged
Here is the beginning of the Print O'The Wave Stole. I cast on the day before the ceremony. So kill me. No matter. I ended up frogging it right back to the start at Emily's place the next day. She made Purlpower and I delicious garlic and lentil soup (we LIKE soup here at glittyknittykitty) and chocolate pudding. Knitters and chocolate - a match made in heaven.
But I did get a chance to play with Sellotape and the camera. I gave the shots of Purlpower's knitting to her to play with, so you only get a teaser of mine here.......
Stephanie aka Yarn Harlot is hosting the Knitting Olympics, to coincide with the Winter Olympics. There is so much chat about this all over the palce, and so many people I know are joining in, I caved. So. I have joined Team Angstylvania, and I shall be knitting Eunny Jang's Print o'the wave stole, in the yummy yarn my SP sent me. I liked it so much I bought another skein, and now have enough to do the stole in Kaalund Expressions, Poinsettia colourway. 16 days will be a challenge. But hey if I don't finish, it's the playing that counts.
"We'd have to care to finish."
- Svetlana Vyaloctova, Team Angstylvania coach
... use them for knitting in poor light, in bed, round a campfire, and for playing Jedi masters with your army of monkeys.
$35 from this eBay store. Gimmick? Maybe. Want? Definitely. For Jedi knitting. They descibe them as soothing to the touch - not sure about that, but they would certainly raise a smile! I do hope fervently that the nasty yarn the model is knotting together does not come free with the needles - it looks awful.
Yorkie posted this on the Knittyboard. I had to blog it here. Geektastic Star Trek jumper pattern. Man, I want to knit one of those SO badly. Perhaps this is a knitted item that The Sibling might wear..... or maybe she might prefer a K9 jumper..... or Lamb Chop.....
My, my, but it is a dull, dull day today. There was a brief spasm of sunshine earlier on this morning, but it has given up the ghost, and Cornwall is currently huddled under a gunmetal sky. Quite appropriate, considering the nuclear subs stationed not half a mile away. Well, it was dull until I came across this little number, the Thrummed Mobius Scarf, by Cat Bordhi, its praises sung by no less than Yarnharlot. This looks mathematically interesting (interesting, in my warped brain= nail bitingly hard), and boy, don't the colours just sing to you? It seems to be sold as a kit by Colorsong Yarn.... me want! I hope they ship to the UK, once I am back on a financial even keel ;)
Most Entertaining Knitting Blog and Best Overall Knitting Blog - Yarn Harlot
Congratulations to all the winners, and to everyone who was nominated or who got an honourable mention. I know that our site traffic has gone up as a result, and hope that any new readers we have recruited are enjoying our little blogging adventure.
Well now I found the website of the knitter. Lazy arse blogger that I am, I never followed up at the time. That's why I am a lazy arse blogger and not a professional journalist.....
Anyway on the Strange but Trewe site, you will find the digestive tract and pattern, a FANTASTIC squid hat - also with pattern - and skull charts for a pirate gansey that ANYone would be proud to wear; with the promise of a lacy skull shrug pattern soon! Phew! Skulls are so cool. Plus (as if that wasn't enough) as an added (I can hardly contain myself by now) bonus, an illustrated fight between the knitted GI and the squid. I like this site. A lot. Crazy, man, cray-zeee.
Many beautiful, political sweaters shown on this site, Steal This Sweater designed and machine-made by Lisa Anne Auerbach. Buckets of pictures, which GKK attach a warning to: don't go here if you approve of Bush and his evil bushbunny cohorts. I like this woman. Even better (if possible) are the issues of Everyday Hiking, the newsletter of the IHC (Interlopers Hiking Club). Issue 3 details their adventures in London, including blisters on Hampstead Heath and drinking at the Sir Robert Peel. Worth reading, if it's cold outside, there's nothing on TV and your neighbour borrowed your copy of Anna Karenina. Actually, just worth reading.
I couldn't wait. I had to post a pic of how my sock is going. Scumkitten bought me this gorgeous Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Island Blue, and I have nearly finished one sock of the SCKnitting Leaf Lace Sock by Celia Ng. The pattern is lovely to knit, and this colour is delicious. Can't wait to wear them!
hellebelle posted a load of pics on craftgrrl of her fantastic Super Mario 3 scarf - all done with duplicate stitch. Now there is dedication to duty for you, that is a LOT of duplicate stitch. It appears she made this for her boyfriend. Lucky boy. Hope that the scarf does not suffer from the imfamous Curse of the Knitted Jumper (or Sweater Curse if you are of the American persuasion).
Thanks to Boing Boing for telling me about this. Is Boing Boing turning into a knitting blog? They do blog knitting on a fairly regular basis these days. Or is it an indication of how cool knitting has become that it makes Boing Boing from time to time?
One day you might see creative individual work like this on this blog actually created and knitted by myself or the Scumkitten. One day. If we can be bothered. It's such fun finding other people's great stuff, we have little time to create our own.....
I'm guessing that many of you knitting fans out there have a number of very special jumpers/knitted items that you love dearly and yet take a lot of care to look after. This is my lovely lacey Brora cashmere jumper, worn many, many times, 3 years old, originally bought in a sale... Yesterday I made that fatal mistake of not paying attention to what I was doing when I put the washing on. Oh woe, oh woe. I now have cashmere felt. Is there such a thing? I guess so. You can't see how small it is as the flash ran out of juice before I could put my hand by it- but it has shrunk so much that the lace is now indistinguishable and a 5 year old child might be able to wear it. So the question is, what do I do with it? Turn it into a bag? Make Blythe jumpers and coats out of it?
Quick, show some wool to make things better...
So to try and ease the suffering of those knittyphiles to whom the sight of felted cashmere causes uncontrollable shudders... My (small) haul from the Isle of Skye. Some hand-dyed and hand-spun kid mohair in the most glorious raspberry pink and petrol blue. Ah. I feel better already.
At the weekly Forth meeting of Miss Spiritual Tramp's Knitting Club, the delectable Purlpower brought gifts, prior to her heading off to Spain for seasonal festivities. As it is my birthday while she is away, she was overly generous and gave me a huge stash of thoughtful, useful and downright gorgeous toys.
Funny and practical
Here we see a set of four coasters, based on women's magazines available here in the UK, but with a twist....
Purlpower was only telling last week how she had spent an enjoyable afternoon bidding on Poole Pottery - and guess what? She had secretly bought me this stylish teapot! It goes so well in my kitchen, is a fabulous colour, and an exquisite pourer, a quality difficult to find in many a teapot. And I needed a new one. So this gift was particularly timely.
And some really cool stitch markers! These are sensual too - little spikey rubbery beads which just beg to be touched and stroked. Funky punky colours will make them great fun to use.
And there's more.....
Love the name
And two balls of Jawoll sock yarn. Now, Purlpower herself was creating a secret project with this sock yarn, and I was mightily impressed with the integral ball of matching yarn secreted within each ball, with which one reinforces the toes and heel areas of socks. Ingenious. And I am loving this sea colourway.
Best of all were these personalised labels to adorn my knitted creations! See they match the colour scheme of this very blog? And have the URL. I sewed one into the Renaissance Ruffle Scarf and gave it to Flossie last night as a birthday gift - she is also celebrating today along with Scumkitten. I can't wait to sew these into my knitting - they may even be incentive to finish a few things in my UFO pile.
Here is the entire stash. Gobsmacking. I was overwhelmed. The best early birthday present stash ever! Thanks Purly one! Lastly, apologies to the Scumkitten for stealing her birthday thunder - this is the first opportunity I got to take pics in decent(ish) light....
As Scumkitten told you a little while ago, we recently had a few days in the Highlands of Scotland. One day we went to Skye. We drove round, had a little leg stretch and marvelled at the scenery. Then on the way back we found a little yarn shop. A Stash Enhancement opportunity presented itself....
Yummy yarn from The Handspinner
Here you see two lofty skeins of merino silk mix in black and greys, a skein of gorgeous green chunky kid mohair, and two skeins of mulberry silk in a beautiful aubergine purple. The merino silk and kid mohair are spun and dyed on Skye by Di Gilpin, and bought through The Handspinner. The silk is dyed there. The choice was really difficult as you will see when you get a look at the Skitten stash. Greebo couldn't resist investigating as I was taking the photo.
The Talisker Distillery, Skye
We also went to the Talisker distillery, which because of winter, wasn't open at the time we were there. The smell was great though, and it was great to see where this lovely whiskey is produced.
Well I for one am making large things with fine yarn on small needles at the moment, and they take time. I do have a couple of instant gratification FOs to blog, but the weather has been so bad the light has been terrible. And they are black. So they need good light. If there is some decent enough light soon I will photo and post them. I might even remember to add them to our gallery of FOs.... you never know!
For all those Flying Spaghetti Monster worshippers out there who feel the need to show their devotion to their creator, a clever (insert: insane if preferred) crocheter has come up with your very own Flying Spaghetti Monster Hat for those cold winter nights in the asylum. Just don't mistake those tentacles for real spaghetti, or that strange pom-pom for a meatball: that will only lead to an increase in drug dosage.
p.s. If you want to learn more about the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the reasoning behind this new religion, then a good place to start is The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, set up by a concerned citizen of the good old U.S. of A. on hearing that the Kansas State Board of Education had issues with teaching Evolution to its students.... really worth a look, if only for the realisation that we can blame everything that happens to us, good or bad, on His Noodly Appendage.
p.s. I cannot crochet, so therefore feel slightly relieved that no one will expect me to produce one of these. Thank the Large Radiant Penguin for that...
p.p.s Although most of the FSM Hate Mail seems to consist of ungrammatical ramblings, I have to put my favourite up here. This guy is great and I wish I had known his Great Uncle Morris.
"With all due respect, FSM is nothing more than God disguised as a pasta dinner. The issue here is not the Creator, but the Designer of the complex functions that defy the probability of mindless evolution. While God (aka FSM), is a pretty good candidate, I’d like to nominate my late Great Uncle Morris, may he rest in peace. He was quite a remarkable man who invented and designed many useful household objects for my late Great Aunt Becky. He even submitted a patent application for a multifunctional foot operated salad spinner that with attachments could be used to peel apples or potatoes and even artistically carve radishes. Furthermore, his supernatural talents weren’t limited to design. I personally saw him on four separate occasions shuffle a deck of cards so that all four aces appeared on top. Now what’s the probability of that!
I know it’s not likely that Great Uncle Morris is responsible for all intelligent design, but who says there has to be just one designer? Think about clothes for example."
(Are we thinking about clothes? I'm thinking about the salad spinner, personally.)
p.p.p.s. I'd just like to add that the issue of 'mindless evolution' and complexity can be argued FOR by the following: Deep Time (yep, with capitals), a concept which most people cannot grasp as they have never been brought face to face with it and ; the fact that the majority of 'complex biological systems' are actually crap. They are not perfect, they are GOOD ENOUGH. That's the thing with the theory of evolution- it is not about perfection, it is about systems, over time, being good enough for each plant/animal/microbe/virus/other life form (in case I've missed something) to replicate its genes (whether its own personal gene set or the genes of its localised 'family') and therefore pass that 'good enough' alteration on to the next generation. Over an immense, staggering, mind-blowing length of time.
And another thing- this is another issue I have: evolution is NOT a belief system (do you hear that, person who told me they didn't 'believe' in evolution the other day whilst I was trying to eat my curry in peace?) but a hypothesis. A theory. A pretty damn good one, but a theory never the less.
Phew. Glad I got that off my chest.
p.p.p.p.s. Don't get me started on the recent 'Lamarkist' theories involving molecular evolution in humans. Lord (sorry, Large Radiant Penguin)! Fascinating.
And no it's not a joke. It's very serious actually. Poor penguins who get caught in oils slicks, and get cleaned, lose their natural way to stay warm temporarily, and so jumpers can help! The idea is part of the Penguin Jumpers Project. Over 15,000 jumpers were collected, which will be stored in Oil Spill Response Kits around Tasmania. In the case of a major oil spill, these jumpers will be used to help rehabilitate Little penguins (Eudyptula minor) that have been oil affected. Oil clogs the feathers of these tiny seagoing birds, and reduces their insulating and waterproofing qualities. Even worse, the penguins attempt to clean themselves by preening, and rapidly become poisoned.
Well done! Shame they don't need any more - seems to me this would have been a great way to use up all those annoying little scraps in my stash basket.....
Shaun of the Dead, to my mind, is one of the silliest, funniest British films to come out for quite a few years, despite what certain bearded, up-their-own arse film directors might say (for god's sake, please, you do thoughtful, deep work yourself, why trash something that shouldn't even be on your radar? This is all about silliness and fun. Go and mull over some Blake or something and then come back and play when you are willing and able to socialise with the other children). Thanks to one weird knitter, and Boing Boing (picture courtesy of BoingBoing and weird knitter).
In case you are wondering, this is the same weird knitter who re-enacted 'Dawn of the Dead' using wool.
Just to prove that I can (and do) knit (sometimes), here is a photo of my latest project. My first sock... (click thumbnail for full colour experience)
Only the ribbed cuff of the first sock (aw, in't it cute!), but man, vicious colours! We're looking at Fruity cashmere yarn from Hipknits, hopefully (if I get my finger out) for someone's birthday. We'll see. Don't want to call the first sock jinx, do I?
So we went to getknitted.com in Bristol yesterday. 10 of us. We met up at Temple Meads station, and then walked a mile or so to the getknitted.com HQ. We posed on the steps for photos (Purlpower has blogged already), and then rang the bell to gain entrance. Inside was a wonderland of yarn. We spent well. We probably spent too well. Here are some pics of what we spent our hard earned cash on.
The getknitted.com staff were lovely, giving us tea and biscuits and providing a little table to knit or browse the books and magazines at. And best of all, when they realised we were ten and had travelled so far, they gave us all lifts into town, where we met up again for lunch and knitting in a pub suggested by Dr Pop, who joined us later for a drink. Flight home was on time, and we were accompanied by a Rugby team. All in all a great day out, and lovely to see everyone again. *Waves* to Pebbles, Purlpower, Gilly, Yorkie, Isobel, Stella, Faerynuff and Genki and Woollymind. Hope you all got home safely and enjoyed the fireworks last night. Commiserations to Scumkitten, who contracted The Stinking Cold again and had to stay at home. A little bit of compensation is in the post......
I ordered 6 skeins of laceweight merino from www.handpaintedyarn.com on 14th. It arrived today. Fantastic service! Here you see three skeins in black and three in a lovely foresty khaki green. Scrummy. So soft and lovely. Lace - here I come!
It felted well - here it is drying (it actually has a load of books on top to flatten it right now) after loads of pulling into shape. I didn't go too far with the stretching and blocking, since I am going to cut it into a better shape, and add some embellishments. Post felting measurements: 18 inches by 12 inches.
Knitted on 8mm Brittany birch needles with 2 skeins of discontinued Rowan Magpie, and a ball of noro kureyon in shade no 147. It measures 31 inches by 18 inches, and was 91 stitches wide, and 72 rows deep. The chart was 48 stitches by 46 rows.
I found an anarchy symbol I liked, then put the image through knitpro to get the chart. I added twenty stitches each side in stocking stitch, and and extra 3 garter stitch eac side as a border and to stop it rolling up too much. I added ten rows to the top and bottom of the chart in stocking stitch, and 3 rows garter stitch border on the top and bottom.
For those of you who think knitting = jumpers and socks, despite the earlier entry by Glittr regarding knitted genitalia... welcome to Knitted Robots, by Jess Hutch. If you want to own or knit your own robot, email Jess and such a fella (or lady) could be yours...
I sent these links to Doodz'n'Chyx some time ago (big up Martin!), and have been meaning to add them here for an age and then some. Anyway here they are. If you ever wanted your own dangly flesh (assuming you are of the womanly persuasion dear reader), you could always knit one of these interesting garments...
And as a keepsake for your loved one, to remind him/her of you wherever s/he goes, you could commission a crochet model of your own vulva - available with nice pink fleshy drawings from www.crochetmycrotch.com
It is the first kind of 'freeform'(-ish, as there is a bit of a pattern if you want one) knitting I have done. I enjoyed it.
Here is Schmeeeee! (haven't thought of a name yet)in all his club and cloven footed glory. He's knitted in two colours from the Skitten/Glittr KoolAid dyed collection (some kind of end of line Rowan wool, can't remember) knitted on 4mm dpns. Apologies for the fuzziness of the picture. I took it early this morning and it was dark and I couldn't be bothered to do it again. So professional.
Click on the thumbnails for bigger pictures.
DJ Mikey thinks he is a demon of filth from the pit of hell. His point of view is that no rabbit ever had cloven hooves and no eyes (but there are eyes!) and just because I put a red scarf on him doesn't do anything to aleviate his innate evil.
When I dangled Schmeeeee! up to show DJ Mikey he smacked him from my hand and stamped on him. Poor Schmeeeee!
At least Mattie likes him.
I have to admit, his nose looks a little beaky. But I think that is part of his (small) charm.
I'd say that here in the UK we are familiar with large depictions of man and beast on our hillsides: the Cern Abbas Giant, many, many white horses, Gail Porter projected onto the Houses of Parliment...
But lookee here... (click the thumbnail for more rabbit...)
Apparently this Giant Pink Bunny has been knitted by "dozens of grannies out of pink wool" and is expected to remain in situ until 2025. The 200-foot-long toy rabbit lies on the side of the 5,000 foot high Colletto Fava mountain in northern Italy's Piedmont region. The Viennese art group Gelatin also expect visiters to climb ON the rabbit, not just gawp at it from a distance.
As quoted from The Guardian ""Behind a hill, as if knitted by giant grandmothers, lies this vast rabbit, to make you feel as small as a daisy," said group member Wolfgang Gantner. The artists want people to scale the rabbit's sides and fall asleep on its stomach…"
I knitted this little canterbury bell with my own beaded extras, from Nicky Epstein's Knitted Embellishments, in cream alpaca silk (Mi Inca 4 ply from Ardent Alpaca) on 2mm needles. It's really nice and soft and will wear next to the skin really well - I think it may turn out to be some sort of necklace choker thingy to go with the outfit I put together for the wedding.... perhaps some leaves and a few more beads on the other end....
Being confined to a sick bed means lots of knitting
And a bit of learning to crochet....
I knitted a beret for Brenna from some koolaid dyed yarn Scumkitten and I did ages ago, which she seems to like, and I am modelling (a) a cold, (b) a crocheted hat called Dixie from Rowan's Big Just Got Bigger in Rowan Chunky Print, and (c) a hideous dressing gown.
Knitpicks feast of yarn! Amylovie sent me 4 skeins of Alpaca Cloud (100% baby alpaca with the most gorgeous drape) in a beautiful colourway called Tide Pool - and a couple of patterns, the camisole of which beckons, This yarn is so luxurious, I feel so very spoiled. Plus two skeins of Knitpicks Sock Memories in Fly Fishing. Also very very lovely. This is for socks for ME. And she sent me a sparkely scarf in white with silver sequins. Thanks so much Amy!
Well I did my bit - and knitted in a public house at lunchtime with my sister and her hubby in attendance..... The pub: The Shepherd and Shepherdess at Beamish, County Durham, UK; the beer: a pint of Black Sheep....
and I was knitting the Kristina Bag from Black Sheep Bags in Brown Sheep Lambs Pride worsted (seafoam colourway - yum) and Noro Kureyon. Thanks again Amy!!
Here she is pre-felting - I need more fairisle practice to get the tension right, but as this was (a) my first attempt and (b) being felted I thought (in the immortal words of Granny Weatherwax) Buggrit!
It's drying now after it felted a bit too well.... and only after one wash, and not on the hottest cycle. Either my new washer is more efficient or this yarn felts really well. Actually the Kureyon felted magnificently too, and that used to take 3-4 washes in my old machine.... Note to self, when felting in future choose a cooler and less vigorous wash cycle than 60C.....
My not so secret pal Amy sent me another box - honestly it seems no time at all since I got the last one.....
We have two balls of Berroco Lazer FX - I have wanted to try this for sooooooo long!
Two skeins of Lambs Pride Worsted in a lovely green, and a ball of Noro Kureyon in shade 147 - blues and greens - together with a Black Sheep Bags pattern for a Kristina felted fair isle bag...
Now. I have wanted to try fair isle for a while - BUT have never found anything I would want to knit or wear..... but this bag is lovely! I shall enjoy knitting it....
There were also 2 bars of chocolate.... mmmmmmm...... From the Endangered Species Chocolate Company. Both 70% cocoa solids. My favourite! One is Dark Chocolate with Deep Forest Mint, and one Dark Chocolate with Raspberries..... Phwoar. Lush.
Thanks Amy for a great box! I can't wait to start the bag.....
which contained a card, some notelets with flip flops on them, a little book of Knitticisms and Other Purls of Wisdom, a skein of gorgeous Alchemy Yarns bamboo in Forest Waltz and an ingenious and very lovely bracelet that doubles as a row counter, with matching stitch markers.....
... and a beautiful mobile/windchime...
... which kept me happy .....
... and a small box entertained a large cat! Always amusing. Thanks Amy for the lovely box, I always feel a bit blue when I get back from nice times abroad with chums, and this parcel really brightened my return! I have no idea where you find these lovely knitty things, or how long you must spend choosing the things to send me, but I really do appreciate the thought and care you put into each fabulous parcel.
After the Magic Pony trip and feeling like a junky with a doll in a bag (I know that sounds weird, but it's how I felt), my mum and I then trotted over the road to Romni, a v. large yarn shop on Queen St. East. It didn't disappoint, but as I had already spent quite a lot on dolls, I felt that I couldn't go crazy wool-wise. However, I did manage to pick up some Noro Kochoron, which is no longer imported into Britain.
Am intending to make one of Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton's patterns in this (a fluffy vest to wear over shirts).
When I opened the package of 3 skeins (each about 180 yards) I loved it so much I ordered 3 in surf straight away....
How happy? This silk is absolutely gorgeous, so soft and lustrous and the colour is almost luminescent. Shimmering and beautiful. And the colour is more intense than the pic suggests. Now, what to make????
Oh, please forgive me Glittr... but I'm so excited by the putative reversible rib shawl (thanks to Lily Chin) in Kidsilk Haze Dewberry (see entry below (ok, a few below)) that I had to show you what's going on (as Marvin Gaye would say, if he were still with us)..
Fun, isn't it? Fun to do too... and my first ever cables, apart from two that I did with Glittr on a project of hers. And cheers to Nimrodel who set me on this pathway and also gave me the idea of using stitch markers every 24 stitches to keep me in check.
My pal Helen is getting married in August on the Islands of Guernsey and Herme (and we are all heading over to camp for the week, hopefully also visiting Sark- heads up to all Mr Pye fans) and she has asked me (read as "I persuaded her"!) to knit her a shawl wrap to go with her wedding dress. Her dress is very simple, clean lines, halter neck and slight fish tail at the hem, very fitted, either cream or champagne with tiny pearl beads- the dress will suit her both physically and personality-wise, as she is a rough, tough, cool tom-boy who also likes lilac and pink! In addtion, her little niece will be wearing a lilac dress, so have decided to go for a lavender/lilac theme...
So I have decided on the perfect shawl, incorporating one of my favourite yarns: Rowan Kid Silk Haze, in Dewberry, for use on Lily Chin's Reversible Rib Shawl (pattern in Vogue Knitting, Winter 1999/2000), picture of a beautiful finished shawl here, courtesy of Nimrodel from the Knitty Boards.
Am fizzy with excitement at the thought of knitting this. And it means I can use my stitch markers too! Happy happy happy days.
p.s. Glittr is in Dublin at the moment with her ma and other Irish knitty people. Hello Glittr and Carol! Have a guiness for me.
Just managed to get it all in one shot. More close ups to follow....
But first - the first spring flowers on my balcony, grape hyacinths!
And my stash guard....
Right. Enough of this stash flash nonsense. Much more important things have happened. The postie brought me a parcel this morning from the Scumkitten. My I am happy!
The card reads: To the sweet glittr, she of sparkley eyes and tiny shoes, a beacon in the english fog, exotic (in a geordie way) and fun, fun, fun. Here's a RAK to get you ready for a sexy summer... with love...
My parents just got back to the UK after 6 weeks in Australia. My mam brought back a stack of yarn and I chose 10 balls of Mi Inca cream baby alpaca/silk 4 ply to reimburse her for. You can see where she got it at Ardent Alpaca.
She also gave me 3 balls of brushed undyed alpaca, Old Snow, from The Homeground Collection of Tasman Designer Yarns which can be seen here. Both are gorgeous!
I got home from work on Monday to find a note from the Post Office saying they have tried to deliver a parcel but I was out. No surprise there then - I work 5 days a week and live alone, and my cat has not figured out how to answer the entryphone or open the door yet.
Anyway I can't go pick up said parcel (which I thought contained a swap I made on the knittyboards) on Tuesday or Wednesday because I am out of town for work.
I get home Wednesday night and log into my gmail account to find loads of posts from people who have got parcels from their SPs (including mine), and start to feel a bit jealous of the lovely things people get to play with.
Eventually I manage to go to pick my my parcel, and IT'S FROM MY SP! Yay! Thanks muchly - whoever you are in Oregon, USA.....
So here is a little gallery......
What a prettily wrapped present, and its all for me! And only me! It's mine, all mine!
I tear off the coloured tissue to reveal a series of parcels.... how exciting!
I had asked for the stuff to make Maryella. But wait! Not only are there the hard-to-source-in-the-UK 1.25mm needles, but 4 - yes FOUR - colourways to make FOUR Maryellas!
And once inside I can't wait to start threading the beads - my they are small! I started with the amethyst colour on my sister's advice...... (pearl, green and red came too). I AM a lucky girl! Happy too - see my grin? Oh sorry I forgot - you can't see me can you?!
Firstly, thanks ever so to my lovely semi Aunt-in-law, who sent me a sercret package a few days ago. It contained this rather spiffy scarf (unfortunately don't know the yarn) which is a pretty good approximation to parrot feathers. It has kept my neck warm all day and has something of the mini-feather boa about it, so I had a hard time stopping myself from can-canning down the office stairs.
Secondly, a mildly amusing version of the "HollyKitty" hat, pattern as provided by Holly from the Knitty Board..
I knitted it in Rowan Big Print (Shock), but in all honesty it is a little bulky for my liking. So HollyKitty may get frogged and reborn. But as what I haven't decided yet....
This Cherry Tree Hill lace merino arrived this morning in the Dusk colourway. 2400 yards of it!! Wow! Mind you this pic doesn't really do the richness of the colours justice at all. A shawl calls...... now to find a suitable pattern.......
Well, the Great International Knit-a-blog Challenge is about to start. I have posted the Order of Creation both here and on the knittyboards, and sent the addresses to each participant so that we all know who to post to next.
I am very excited by this project. I have posted a reminder of the rules too.
If you have any queries or problems, please post a comment on this blog and either Skitten or myself will get back to you.
Have fun, let the muse do her darnedest, be creative and let the juices overflow!!!!
1. The knit-a-blog is a community based collaborative knitting and decoration project intended for fun and to stimulate creativity and wackiness and to provide a conduit for tangential knitting, textile art and good humoured tactile banter.
2. The idea of a blog is central to this challenge.
3. A knitted conversation will be started by Skitten and passed round as a knitting WIP to a number of people signed up to take part in the challenge.
4. The challenge will end when the FO is returned to glittrgirl and she has worked with it for 7 days.
5. On receipt of the WIP you will photograph the piece as it arrives with you and send by email to Scumkitten (skitten68atgmaildotcom)or glittrgirl (glittrgirlatgmaildotcom) for uploading to the glittyknittykitty blog where the progress of the WIP will be tracked. The knittyboard will be updated as the blog is updated so that everyone can see what's growing.
6. Each recipient can keep the WIP for up to one week (7 days) by which time it must be posted on to the next recipient.
7. Recipients may add to, embellish, graft on to, attach, change colour, pattern, yarn or in any other way increase the modalities of conversation in the WIP.
8. Recipients must NOT frog, remove or alter any work done to date of receipt unless there are specific instructions to do so, which you are entitled to ignore if you so wish.
9. Recipients must ensure that the WIP is passed on to the next person in a state that is easily picked up - ie stitches placed on a holder, pattern instructions included (which may be ignored or altered) and the WIP securely packaged so as to ensure that no 'words' in the 'conversation' are lost. The current knitter of the WIP should post a message in this thread about what s/he did as well as the first name and last initial of the knitter.
10. You may use any materials or embellishments you like but by agreeing to take part you agree to add at least one row of knitting to the WIP.
11. During your one week custody of the WIP you may invite as many people locally as you like to take part in the project - their contributions must be within your one week day allocation. Take it to
your SnB and get everyone to add something! You can do whatever you like to the WIP - add a sleeve, pocket, soft toy, use whatever size needles you like, increase, decrease, short rows, create a 2 dimensional or a three dimensional addition, add buttons, bows, ribbons, shiny things.
12. By agreeing to participate you agree to contribute freely your time, ideas, yarn, embellishments and postage to the next person.
13. By agreeing to take part you are putting your work and ideas into the public domain, and as such should be prepared to allow your work to be altered and added to by others. By agreeing to take part you give over the right of others to alter and redistribute your work under a Creative Commons license within the rules of this knit-a-blog.
14. The Finished Object (FO) will be raffled between participants, and the funds donated to the Knittyboards to fund their longevity.
I went into my local branch of John Lewis on my way into work this morning on the advice of my knitting club colleagues last night.
I came out with (starting from the top left and working clockwise) 5 balls of Rowan Cotton Tape in Glint, a lovely slatey greyish sky blue, 2 hanks of Rowan Summer Tweed in Sour a soft limey green, one in Puff, a sunbleached blue grey, 8 of Jaeger Albany in Silken a powdery bluey aqua, and one each of Jaeger Silk in Silver Blue and Ballerina - silvery blue and pale powder pink respectively.
And here they are clogging up my keyboard. See Knitty in the background?? I do SOME work, honest......
In the summer this Knitty shawl Cozy will be the perfect cover up! And it feels gorgeous! The Rowan Summer Tweed in Exotic is a silk/cotton mix, and the bright turquoise colour is just beautiful - even against my celtic milky white skin - with its flecks of bright green, lilac and reddy pink. Scumkitten certainly has an eye for colour, and I feel totally spoiled with her gift of this yarn to me. Thanks darling!
My Knitty shawl Cozy in close up. This was steam blocked and has turned out to be the perfect length for use as a shawl proper. It will be cozy for the forthcoming cold months (its always coldest in February here).
Here's a close up which I particularly love. It resembles a gyroscope, I think. We are easily amused, Glittr and I. Ply us with wine, Scrabble and hanks of wool and we'll keep quiet (-ish) for a whole evening.
Whilst hunting through the charity shops of Saltash, Dangermouse (AKA Steve) came upon an old and discarded wool winder for a very, very small amount of cash (sorry Steve, Glittr needs to know it didn't cost �50). This caused much excitment, especially once we realised it ACTUALLY WORKED! This led to frenzied winding, taking the small and sorry machine to its outer limits (starting with hanks of Rowan Summer Tweed and finishing with some Rowanspun Chunky ). The little fella did us proud. Here are some shots showing it in all its wibbly wobbly glory.
Here we have the 'before' photo of my first ever bag- pattern from the skull and crossbones tote as shown effortlessly by Glittr, but without the skull and crossbones. It's for a girly 12 year old and I didn't think she'd appreciate the irony. Knitted using one ball of Noro kureyon and some Koolaid dyed Rowan Magpie Aran (the bright orange and the soft brown at the bottom).
I delivered Earnshaw this week. Here's a picture of the recipient trying to look grumpy, but barely hiding the emotion of being completely overcome at the sheer skill and craftswomanship of its maker..... or something. ;) And it doesn't even look too big either......
I know who she is! It's Megera from the knitttyboards! That lovely lady sent me two knitting magazines, a lovely Christmas decoration, and a card and calendar of her wonderful photography. I feel very spoiled...... :D
As an encore, the rest of my hunter-gathering garnered me this: much Summer Tweed in red (Smoulder) and brown (Reed), the former for the Knitty wrap known as Cozy, the latter for a Rowan Cardigan called Honey. Next up, we have some Chunky Print in a non-descript, but rather flattering brown (Temper) for a Rowan pattern called Biddy. Up at the back we have some Denim (Nashville) for to make the rather funky Eyelet Skirt. Oh, and a birthday/christmas surprise for Glittr, but I can't show it here now, can I?
So sad. My LYS closing down. But out of darkness, comes sunshine, in the form of stash frenzy (half price Rowan). Here we have stash number one, namely Rowanspun Aran (in red and green- Gable and Hardy) and Rowanspun Chunky in beige (hmm, beige- pebble, to be precise), all for Sophie. Up at the back, hiding away, we have wool cotton in three shades of green (um, deep olive, riviera and mellow yellow, I think), all for a subtle Kyoto.
My mother did this Tinsel bag in abut two hours. The pattern stated a yard of fabric is required, but does not say what width the designer used, ours was obviously narrower, so this is a scaled down version based on what fabric we had. It's lined in pink. I have a Tinsel in progress too, but am waiting to get more fabric so that I can make mine bigger.
Slurp. How delicious are these colours? And SO unbelievably lustrous. I can't wait to start knitting this lot! From the top left and moving clockwise: 2 balls of aran weight in petrol/charcoal colour, two balls aran weight hot pink, two balls 4 ply salmony colour for socks, 2 balls aran weight aubergine.
The aran is for a hat and scarf set - pattern bought at the shop and designed there- the 4 ply for some lacey socks. I also bought 6 balls of the aubergine in DK for a ribbed jumper. You can also see a birch 4mm crochet hook, and some wool fat soap. I also bought two sets of birch needles, 8mm and 10mm.
So Glittrgirl has already mentioned that her lovely mam and da took us to the Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop in the Yorkshire Dales yesterday, right in Herriot Country for those who like the Vet books: here be Skitten's wool stash from that trip.
From the top right: a bag of washed long top fleece, a pair of 10mm birch needles, two balls of DK weight spun longwool (in a beautiful petrol/charcoal colour- with most lustrous sheen you have ever seen. Apparently Wensleydale Longwool is renown for this sort of sheen). I have six balls of this and am intending to knit a rib polo neck.
From bottom right: Four skeins of natural handspun longtop, from cream sheep and brown sheep. I bought this because I couldn't leave it alone. It drew me to it and kept me stroking and stroking it. It was quite expensive, but soooo worth it. I can't explain the softness. Just not what I was expecting. I am intending a big shawl/scarf with random stripes, including bits of the long top fleece woven in. Finally, you'll see two skeins of baby blue 4ply sock wool. I've never knitted socks before, but this seemed destined.....
Wow. Does this not fill you with awe? It fills me with awe (and champagne). Can I just ask? Those of you lucky enough to live in North America- this fills your childrens' stomachs on a regular basis, so, since the inside of your childrens' stomachs is pretty much protein, WHAT IS IT DOING to their stomach linings? I ask this because I came into contact with 'Switchin' Secret' for all of 5 seconds and have blue fingernails. I am sure, however, just incase you think I am being holier than thou, that if our children had the chance, they would also ingest this stuff- but, has there ever been any studies done on this?
Sorry- just got to tell you- glittr has just passed the champagne as this is a bit of a blog-athon and I need fuelling.
"Just put the bottle out on the balcony, slave, and get back to the washing up..."
(OK- that's glittr, answering in deference to her superior...)
Well, here we have the start of our dye-ing odyssey. A weekend in The NOrth and a morning of bucket chemistry, using many, many packets of Kool-Aid. I'd like all you North American visitors out there to realise: we don't get Kool-Aid here- so this is super-new to us. So we have decided to try dye-ing with Kool-Aid using the now defunct Rowan Magpie aran in cream and grey to see what we get (thanks to glittr and Ebay for this): this photo shows the two original colours being washed before dye-ing....
This is what I received from my SP today! I am so impressed! This yarn is gorgeous. So soft - cotton and silk mix. Beautiful! And some lovely tea! The box is so cool I can't stand it. Made from very thin wood veneer. Lovely! I feel so spoilt!
knittivism: n1 a doctrine emphasising vigorous or militant knitting activity, e.g. the use of knitting in mass demonstrations, urban interventions, in controversial, unusual or challenging ways, esp political, causes. 2 the systematic use of knitting for political ends. knittivistn and adj
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