Friday, 19 December 2008

The story of Doggie

My youngest lad Callum is 5, hes a bit of a nut case (in the nicest possible way!) and is probably one of the sweetest kids going.
Before he was born, even before we knew he was going to be a boy, my step mum bought a blue dog, and since he was born, its always been with him, and was the toy he became attached to.
Doggie (as he is known) is a well travelled dog, he can tell the time, he can play burn out on the ps2 and even gained a sunday best name of Rudolph last year (I'll let you guess what time of the year that was) and even has his own collar and a bell. He does speak in a rather deep voice and I've known him and Callum to have some very indepth conversations.
I saw the cuddles the puppy crochet pattern when it was free on Ravelry and was immediatly struck on how much it looked like Doggie.
Back in september I didn't rate my crochet skills so my pattern has languished in my pattern folder until I got up the courage to do smiley cat, and realised I could do more than I realised and straight away set about attempting to make cuddles the puppy.

And here he is!
He is most certainly a cousin of Doggie, and is incredibly sweet looking! I can't wait to introduce him to both Callum and Doggie on Christmas day, Callum is going to be made up, green is his favourite colour (the boy has good taste!) and it will be interesting to hear what this dog can say and do ;-)

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

I've confirmed my crochet status...

And the result is...I can and I am!

When did that happen? I'm even making stuff that actually looks like the original patterns! I'm in shock! I've finally put faith in my ability to follow a pattern accurately and have spent the last two days making these two and its turned out well! I've managed to do things I never tried before, like decreasing, constructed the puppy in amigurumi style spirals, and I've been enjoying it! Don't know how far I'm going to take this new obsession, but I've always like these sorts of patterns but never been able to make them, but now I can! Even if I just limit my self to making this toys, I'll be a happy person :-)

Monday, 8 December 2008

I'm wearing odd socks

But I don't care!
Finally finished my first Disco king socks and its oh so snug and nice!

Its pictured with my other fav socks on lol
I love this yarn tho, the pooling (or flashing, what ever you want to say it is!) has turned it out looking very funky, and very reminiscent of disco lights (if you are old enough to remember that sort of thing!)
My tallest knitted socks to date at a huge 8inchs long, I was worried about not having enough yarn, thinking I'd over done it, but a quick weight check shows I';m just going to manage it phew! I just wanted some socks that ended further up my leg as I do tend to wear knee high socks, but we are building up slowly to that!
These socks might just beat the second sock syndrome us knitters seem to suffer from, despite not being bothered about odd socks, I'm looking forward to wearing these with my black boots (£4.50 ebay bargain! can't complain!) and keeping my feet warm in these chilly times we are having :-)
Off to cast on number two..

Sunday, 7 December 2008

At what point do you say I can crochet?

Might seem a bit of a weird statement, but I'm genuinely pondering this one! I've been able to wield a crochet hook in some form or other since before I could knit, in fact I've got a misshapen blanket under my bed as we speak that I started 8 years ago, intended for Ewan when he was born, but it never got finished, and knowing what I know now, its hardly surprising seen as its all done in slip stitch, no I'm not kidding, and its fairly big! I will dig it out one day I guess..might make a good cat blanket! In a way, it was doing this blanket that started my yarn addiction as I used to root through bargain bins on market stalls and charity shops for odd balls of yarn, I knew nothing about gauge or yarn weight back then, if it was pretty, I bought it! I've still got these odd balls too, but no I'm not going to list them on Ravelry!
I stopped doing the blanket eventually and 6 years later I picked up knitting needles and never looked back, I didn't give crochet much thought, until I needed it to finish Nealas Rainbow child jacket back in Feb, I'd had a brief lesson from Kirsty the summer before, and used my crude skills to do the finishing touches on her jacket and if I do say my self, it wasn't bad at all!
After that I had a go at an afghan star, with so so results, looks cute but itsn't quite right and I've not done much since..until..

I've been attempting several small projects, with really nice results, I'm really happy that I've been able to achieve what I have, been pretty much self taught, either watching vids, and reading instructions. But they are exactly that, just some thing simple, I'm sure even the most novice of crocheter could achieve them, but in doing so, have I become a crocheter? Do they count? Or is it when I can do bigger projects with more stitches in them?
What ever stage I am at, I guess these are my first real crochet projects, I have designs on making a scarf in a pattern that looks doable in the not too distant future so I guess its a case of watch this space!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

UK Swap round three questionaire!

Its that time again! I missed out on round two thanks to bt, but I'm in on this one yippee!
I'm taking part in the kit swap as I don't want to burden myself with yet more time limit knitting, doing enough of that at the moment as it is!
So without further ado!

Kit Swap Questions

What kind of kit are you interested in receiving?

Well I'd be happy with any thing! But, main things I'm interested in is lace knitting and sock knitting, so any thing based around those two things I'd be over the moon with

Are you interested in any particular techniques?

Not as such, I want to get in to colour work, but I don't understand how it supposed to happen, with carrying yarns, twisting them together etc, I'd like to get in to it, but not sure how!

Do you knit, crochet, or both?

I mainly knit, but I'm just getting in to crochet at the moment, but its only very basic things

What is your favourite colour?

My most favourite colour is green, closely followed by purple.

What is your least favourite colour?

I'm not a huge fan of pink, tho its tolerated when mixed with other colours, and yellow isn't high up on my list either..

What’s your style? (elegant, traditional, glamourous, girly, natural, sporty, outgoing, etc.)

I dress like a goth, but wear loud and bright socks and gloves etc, is that a style?

Do you have a favourite type of fiber or brand of yarn?

Not fussed as long as its nice!

Do you have a least favourite type of yarn?

See above!

Do you do any other crafts?

I'm a learner spinner and dyer but thats it. Unless you can call my sims 2 addiction a craft..

Are there any knitting accessories you are interested in receiving?

This is going to sound daft, but I'm interested in mini things at the moment, I've got a tobacco sized tin with some kit in that I can throw in my bag when I go out, always stocked, at the moment I've got a tape measure, mini scissors, a skein of emergancy yarn (which is uber cute and I doubt I'd use unless it is a dire emergancy!), a cable needle, and some stitch markers. I'm after a mini crochet hook for catching dropped stitches when on the move and a mini needle gauge, and any thing else you might think I'd need away from home!
Apart from that, I'm easy, surprise me!

What do you like to eat?

Food? lol! Erm I eat alsorts and will try any thing once! Naturally I'm a chocolate lover hehe

Any allergies/preferences (fiber-wise or treat-wise)?

Well I doubt some one is going to send me fresh tomoatoes so that covers the allergies part, and treat wise, I don't like white chocolate, but apart from that, I'm good!

Anything we missed that you’d like your partner to know?

I'm easy going, and will be happy to receive any thing, honestly, I'm just chuffed some one took the time and effort for me.

Ok and thats it! Don't think I've missed any thing and if my swap partner is reading, feel free to bug me about any thing :-)

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Bad blogger!

Yes so I've not posted since August, had an offline period again and just got out of the habit of posting stuff, yes I'm a bad blogger, but I'm going to make a better effort!
So, what would you travel 153miles in both directions to collect? Not much I'd bet, would have to be some thing really special.. well this was to me!
Since woolfest and purchasing my drop spindle, I've suddenly become interested in spinning more, and I've been doing ok so far! produced some thing that resembles yarn any way..

So it felt only natural (esp after watching lots of people spinning whilst at the Blue faced open day) that I should get in to wheel spinning as well, but as you may know, wheels don't come exactly cheap, I had been vainly searching ebay in the hope I'll grab a and many many others with more money!
I thought I wasn't going to land lucky until I kept my eye out on Ravelry and spotted that the lovely Jamman was selling her Ashford Traditional wheel at a price I could afford and despite the fact she lives up the other side of the country, it was worth the effort! So off to Tyne and Wear we went, battling through tail backs, torrential rain and the fact that we couldn't go half an hour without some one wanting the toilet (or it seemed that way!), met Jamman and her lovely family, and I finally got my hands on my very own spinning wheel!!!

Its probably about as old as I am, and has actually spent time as a museum piece! I'd love to know how many people have owned her. I'm very enamoured with it, it has a very gothic look, which is very me I have to say, I'm leaning towards a goth name for her, but I've just rememebered one of my favourite books, Daughter of the Forest (Seven waters trilogy) and the main character, Sorcha, has to spin what can only compare to nettles to turn her brothers back from swans, love that book..hmm I'm torn now! Will sleep on it I think, gothic name, or Sorcha..
I've not had a proper go on my own yet, my first attempts under Jammans watchful eye where mixed, but I've got the basics down now, but out of all the fibre I've got at the moment, I'm not happy to make a mess of it! Think this means I need to go shopping hehe I've still got some bags of dyed fibre from texure I might use up, gives me some thing to do when the kids go back to school tomorrow!

I've been productive with my knitting too, and having a good time of it, just cast on yet more socks in an awsome colour way which might just help me beat second sock syndrom as they look that good, I just want to wear them asap! I've got plenty of things to be getting on with, but I seem to be adding to it as the days go by..!

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Its all about every one else!

Good job I enjoy just knitting, whether I get to keep the finished product or not!
The Ravelympics come to a close today, and yes I finished my task! It wasn't that difficult to do, and I would have finished alot sooner..if it wasn't for the fact I think I've got the startings of carpal tunnel syndrome, joy!! Getting alot of numbness in my index fingers and my wrists have started aching a fair amount, but I'm sure a trip to the docs would help me greatly...
I did have problems setting in the sleeves on one side, no matter how I tried, it just wouldn't look right, yet the other side looks beautiful! Just my luck...But I still think the overall cardigan its cute!

Snuggly baby bamboo long sleeve Cardigan in snuggle baby bamboo, willow

I've knitted another sock too! Tho this time, it wasn't for me! I knitted a display sock for tigerlilith on Ravelry for her trunk show at K1 Yarns in Edinburgh, I read from her blog that it all went well, and I'm glad I could help out! Even if the pattern nearly gave me nightmares with purling at the start of the row, I was in danger of getting massive laddering, but I discovered a way to twist the stitch to close up the gap and I was saved! Phew! On the strength of this one yarn she sent me to knit the sock, I totally recomend giving her online shop a visit, Old Maiden Aunt, the yarn was super soft and gorgeous, and I can't wait for my "payment" from her in the next few guessed it, yarn, hehe

Monkey sock from knitty, in old maiden aunt superwash merino, cherry.

Before I started my other people knitting, I did manage a couple of things for me, or should I say, things that will stay in the house..
I did a test run of a pattern I want to knit as a blanket, I've got 9 balls of patons melody in a funky rainbow colour, that just screams blanket at me, but with it being such a busy yarn, I can't do any thing patterned, and the thought of knitting it straight..well I can see it staying on the needles for a while, but! I saw the Argosy baby blanket, and its cousin, the dishcloth, and thought hmmm, that could work! Ideal thing being I could knit the dishcloth as a test run to see if I liked the pattern, and I do, tho I slightly underestimated my yarn needs...


Def watch this space for the full size version!

Oh and my tribbles are breeding again...

Can see them taking over the house eventually!!

Monday, 28 July 2008

Go Team Tardis!

I'm competing in the Olympics! Well the Ravelympics, (linky for Ravelry members only, sorry!) no I've not gone mad lol Its just one big organised knitting event to coincide with the Olympic games. Basically, you can compete in "events" such as the Sock Put, Scarf Strok, Afghan Marathon etc durning the 17 days of the games.
I've decided to represent Team Tardis (predictable I know..) and I'm competing in the Baby dressage.

Which means that I've got 17 days to complete the Baby Bamboo Cardigan for my friends baby, ideal opportunity to complete it, it needs doing so off I go!
Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

In the style of Mastercard...

Buying new storage shelves from Ikea, including the Tv unit I didn't know I needed until I saw it (don't ask!) - £51

Dinner for 3 in the Ikea cafe because we can't resist the meatballs - £14

Making your bedroom look like your dream yarn shop - Priceless!

Oh its been a good day. I decided it was about time I made a proper effort to store my nice yarn, and I wanted to be able to look at it, so, in my infinite wisdom (and yet another extra payment from the tax credits people, I'm not arguing..) I suggested we make a trip to Ikea so I could look at "stuff". Didn't think I was going to see any thing I liked at first, wanted some thing with small compartments to put yarn in, and nothing was looking right, until I came across this one. Didn't believe it had a £20 price tag, it was ideal! All I wanted was an extra shelf (could have done with two, but no bother, will pick one up next time!) and away we went!
Half an hour to build, and way way more time to sort my stash out in a way I liked. I've still got two boxes full I just couldn't fit on (more because its bulky rather than too much!) but it does look super cool, and surprisingly looks like its always been there for some reason! I do have a favourite shelf tho I have to say..

Lots and lots of lovely skeins of sock yarn, its just all squishy and lovely and and..having to restrain my self from rearranging it all again!
(oh the tv cabinet, was in bargain corner, looks much better than my current one and was going cheap, wasn't planning on replacing mine just yet, but hey these things happen!)

Oh and on top of all that, I've finished another pair of socks! Been OTN since November, but I'm making my self finish things before I cast on some thing new, there are loads of things I want to start, but I just won't until I've completed a few things first. So, here we have...

Not Cable Socks, Middle Earth yarns, Not just for goths, and Jet

As you can probably tell, I've been playing with changing yarns, these socks have black ribbing cuffs, heels and toes, and look great, wear fantastic as well! There is suposed to be a pattern in there some were but it didn't come out very well, but no matter, I love the socks! Already got plans to do the reverse of the colours, Jet socks with not just for goths heels and toes, but prob won't be for a while yet, will look cool as a sort of matching pair ish! One day, one day...
Right, off to rearrange that stash again...........

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Finally some thing to show!

Ah finally finished a project! First one in a while..well I've done two, but one has been going on for a few months.
First socks where made from some yarn I'd had for a while. I'm not usually a pink person, infact I'm usually the first to run from most things pink..but this looked funky, and the name made me laugh! Plus it came from an etsy shop that I like very much cause she has some stunning colourways, it is of course, Gemini knits, totally recommend any thing from her shop!

(Black)hearted socks in blue purple moo!

I actually had these completed by the time I went to Woolfest, I wanted a new pair of socks to wear and partially show off (not that I showed any one!) but as sods law would have it, the shoes I wore, which I've had for ages (talking a good 18mth if not longer!) decided to bleed red dye all over the heels of the socks!! Bloody typical if you ask me. You can just see it in the first pic, because naturally I didn't photograph them before I wore them. There is a lesson here I am sure...
I actually tried out a new technique with these socks, I was board of doing a heel flap, I'm not keen on how it looks and I find it a pain to do, esp with the heel turn as well because I haven't worked out yet the numbers to divide it up by and have got to look it up every time. So, I test drived the afterthought heel! Basically means, when you get to where the heel would be, you knit in a piece of waste yarn, and then just carry on! No heel flap, no turning the heel, and no gusset! Just knit the number of round appropriate to your foot, finish the toes as nomal. The tricky part is unpicking the waste yarn and catching all the stitches...

(Yikes look at the tarnish on those needles! Good job I found the brasso...)

But once you've done that, you just basically knit the toe again, decreasing at each edge and voila, a perfect heel! It will give an interesting looking heel with stripy yarn, but with a varigated yarn, it eliminates the pooling that happens whilst doing the gussest on anotherwise perfectly patterning sock, and it gives a nice looking heel that matches the rest of the sock.
After thinking about it for a while, I realised that it could prove useful to me on making other socks. At the moment I avoid doing toe up socks, because I just haven't managed to do a top up cast on nicely since Lolita legs, and short row heels are just frankly scary and complicated! But with an afterthought heel, I could do a provisional cast on for the toes, to go back and knit later, and also put in an afterthought heel in the right place and carry on knitting to the top of the sock, bind off, and then add the missing parts! I'm sure this will work in practise, but I have yet to try it!

It will come as no surprise, that my next finished item is....socks! This time some baby socks, for my friend, I've yet to finish the main present, as I'm getting up the courage to reverse the shaping without instructions for the left hand side, never knitted basically blind before, with general instructions to just reverse shaping, takes more of a thought process for me! But any way, quick pair of socks, that I will send off, hopefully tomorrow!

Baby to toddler socks, in Krafty Koala fairground.

They are uber cute I have to say, and almost (note I said almost!) makes me want a baby of my own to knit some for. (I said almost, don't panic!)

And and, I've been spinning on my new spindle!

I have it on good authority that this is pretty good going for a first attempt, bit overspun and a bit uneven, but hey, I managed it! I'm going to finish off the roving and do it properly to skein it up and set the twist, think I'll leave plying for another day, but I'm pleased with my first go, and this spindle is bloody lovely to use, its so nicely balanced, I'm sure that made all the difference. I do think, however, I'm going to start stalking ebay for a spinning wheel. I can just see my self enjoying that, nothing would please me more to spin my own sock yarn. It would be a great sense of achievement!
Its some thing to look forward to at any rate :-)

Monday, 30 June 2008

Guess who went to woolfest!

Omg, what a day, been looking forward to it since last year when I couldn't go due to the exhaust falling off the car just days before, so I made it perfectly clear that come hell or high water, this year we where going.
After an early start, we arrived to see a field full of cars, which did worry me slightly, I did wonder how I was going to get on bringing the kids, after reading messages about how the stalls are really crowded, and what with it being in a livestock auction building, I had visions of it being really narrow, but thankfully my fears where unfounded. It was busy, but the aisles were wide and the stalls nicely laid out and we had very few problems walking round.
It was unreal, the sheer amount of just stuff every where, every conceivable fibre related craft was covered in multiple colours and sizes. I was overwhelmed by it all, but eventually after going round a few times, I managed to take it all in and started spending the money!
First stop happened to be Fyberspates. I quite fancied some of their self stripping sock yarn, and came away with that..and some lace weight! Hmm I was worried about my self restraint at this point!

After that, I went to track down my Ravelry Woolfest bag I had ordered, it was only a last minute thing as I joined the group late, but liked the idea of having some thing to remember the day by. Have to say, its a fantastic bag, very well made and I hope they do the same again next year!

After that I meandered a bit, I bumped in to Krafty Koala which was great, lovely to meet her and naturally I checked out her stand as well and came away with yet more sock yarn.

At some point during the day, I decided that whilst I was there, I wanted to look at drop spindles. I know I've got a spindolyn, but I fancided having a more conventional one. I'd seen quite a few, but I ended up going back to a stall I'd seen on my very first go round, Whorl Drop Spindles. Lovely guy, laughed because I'd come back to him, saying I couldn't resist. He was right, I couldn't! Think I'll get a niddy noddy off him as well if I start doing well with spinning! Would make skiening a tad easier! Got a nostepinne as well, because some times, a ball winder isn't enough!

Of course, I needed some more fibre to go with this...
Merino/bamboo mix...

Merino bits and roving..

Well I might as well, seen as there was more roving fibre there than I'd ever seen in my life!!

I'd pretty much bought what I wanted at this point, any thing else was just going to be extra.
I discovered the knitwitches stall and bought some very nice silk and mohair lace weight yarn which was marked up for charity sales, can't argue with that!

Yet another stall, Twisted Fibre Craft held some thing interesting in the form of Lopi Roving, its roving that you knit straight up to felt, its unspun, and really quite unusual. I actually wish I'd bought more, but thats easily done, gotta love the net..

And if I didn't have enough to be getting on with at this point, I also came across needle felting, which warranted a starter kit, plus a pegloom too which also took my fancy!

Will I ever have enough hours in the day? I very much doubt it, but at least I'll never be bored!
Did I have a good time? Hell yes!
Did the kids? Oh yes!
Will I be going next year? I'll see you there ;-)

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

No no, I'm still here!

Ah Bt, just so my fav company...not. Oh well, least I'm back online after I don't know how many weeks.
You'd think I did loads of knitting in my down time right? Um no...
At first I lost all inspiration, not being able to get on to Ravelry and the like. I normally see stuff which motivates me in to knitting or completing my projects so I can start some thing else. I spent rather a large part of my time playing on The Sims, then I was reading, then I suddenly realised that I only had a few weeks until my friends baby was due, so I picked up my needles again to carry on knitting for her.
Then disaster struck! I was out on a picnic with the kids, paddling in a river with them, being so careful, when I slipped, fell forward on to my knees, put my hands out to stop from falling on my face, and broke my little finger! I didn't realise I had at first, I necked some nurofen and carried on with the rest of the day, and it was only when I spoke to a pharmacist the next day did they think it was a good idea that I went and got it xrayed, and sure enough, it was broken. Just my luck, and just when I decided to knit again! I did attempt to carry on, but it just wasn't happening. I was gutted.
I've literally only starting knitting again, 4 weeks after I broke my finger, its healed now, tho I still get painful twinges in it rather a lot, but I'm capable of holding my knitting again, so its all good. Only bad thing is Keir Alexander was born 4 days ago..oops!! Ah well, I'm sure Sharon will understand if Keir's things are a few weeks late lol
Hopefully normal serves will resume again, and I'll be posting lots of nice pics of things I've made again, I've missed not having some thing to show off, so really must do some thing about that!
So until then, flying needles it is!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Never let it be said

That a stash is just for knitting!

See its justified, hiding place for easter eggs!
Thats me vindicated hehe

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

I'm in demand!

Its nice when your skills are appreciated!
Having finished several projects in a short space of time, I have been wondering what to cast on next. I had words to this effect as my status message on msn.
Catherine (Dave's daughter) said to me, if you are stuck for some thing to knit, you can knit some thing for me. Of course I will I said and asked her what did she want. A mobile phone cover, yep I can manage that no problem, she picked out some yarn from my stash (see photographing it all and putting it on flickr has uses beyond Ravelry!) and I showed her the pattern I had in mind. She asked how long it would take me, I said 1 day if I wasn't going out any where, two if I was. Some thing like this doesn't take long to sort out, she even offered me money for doing it, which of course I wouldn't accept, I enjoy knitting, and making some thing like this was just a pleasure!

Blueadt's mobile phone cover, in Fyberspates BFL sock, hannah's summer

I actually managed to learn two new techniques..apparently my ability to do a cast on to work from the bottom up was a one off, and I could not get it right or looking neat. So I learned to do a provisional cast on, knit one row and then picked up the cast on edge, joined it in the round and I was sorted! It didn't really matter in terms of the construction of the cover, I could have done it from the top down, but I really wanted to do the Picot cast off as it looked really nice, and that was the second thing I learned to do! And it turned out really nice if I do say so my self. Icord and recycled beads from an old bracelet later, and I had some thing decent to give! And she chose one of my oldest stash members, and I never realised how nice this yarn was going to knit up, so I might just have to use the rest of the yarn in some thing now...

And if that wasn't enough! I'm even trying my hand at knitting without a pattern..well I would have had a pattern, had I had internet at the time. Just before I went to London, my internet gave out, so I had an evening where I was stuck for some thing to I went in search of some thing to knit..naturally none of my stored patterns interested me, I couldn't get online and decided I wanted a hat to take to London. I went stash diving and came up with some Rooster aran that I'd bought a few weeks earlier. Some improvisation and a few hours later and we had...

Ok so I had a mad amount of ends to weave in, but I was pleased with it! And we won't mention that when Dave tried it on, it suited him..
See I can do these things! Does that mean I'm a hardcore knitter or some thing now?

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Forest Canopy Shawl

Remember this?
My first attempt at a lace project, had a lot of hiccups and naughty corners on the way, but look at it now

Can't get over how happy I am with the result, really can't. Never once imagined it would look so nice, or even the fact I'd finish it! Feel like a proper knitter now :-D
(and did I really once say I wouldn't have more than one thing OTN at the same time? Oh dear...)

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Evangeline Gloves

I had to to toss a coin to decide what to blog about first, but then decided it was only fair that I did my finished objects in the order I, well, finished them!

So here we go, the first of my finished objects is my Evangeline Gloves.
Of course, you know all about these by now, I've blogged about them enough, so will just post the finished photo!

Evangeline gloves, from Magknits, in Lorna's lace, Shepherd worsted, Black Purl

I naturally love them to bits, and I didn't even get a case of second glove syndrome because I was that desperate to finish them! I've worn them out a few times, its been warm enough (for me!) to go out without a coat on, but I like wearing them to cover the bottom half of my arms, and look cool at the same time..Already had them admired by a few people, yes I really am that clever :-D

I still had some wool left over, and in a fit of I need to knit some thing, I knitted up a headband that I'd seen on Ravelry, not that I wear headbands, I just liked the idea..and its still the cool black purl colourway

Headbangers knitted on 5.5mm needles also in black purl

I'll consider modelling it at a later date lol

Keep an eye out for my proud knitter moment tomorrow, going to show off some thing that has been a long time on the needles (tho if you watch my photo reel above, you'll see a sneak preview!)

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

London calling to the far away towns...

That went well!
As you know by now, I planned my trip knitting wise down to the last letter, and it did pay off.
I'd planned to start my evangeline gloves, mainly in honour of the band we where going to see and because it was a good pattern to take, small, not too complicated and would keep me interested.

I packed all my little bits up in a pencil case, and even took a spare set of dpns just incase I got some sock yarn I wanted to knit. I was all set!
The journey going down didn't take too long, but in that time I did manage to cast on, do the cuff, and 1 and a half pattern repeats, whilst Dave looked on fascinated, and asking me questions every so often on what I was doing, how I was doing it etc.

My little knitting bag was attached to the top of my rucksack so swung along behind me, complete with Ravelry badges just incase there was any people in the know around!
I didn't get any time to knit whilst actually in London, and in the end I only went to visit Stash yarns in Putney, but it was so so worth it. Lovely shop, great owners, and a wonderful stock of yarn. I stood in wonder at all the names of yarns I'd only ever read about and there they where right in front of me, I could touch them, see the colours, it was just fantastic. I really wanted to buy much more than I did, but I was really really good and spent £26 on two sorts of yarn, which I won't list quite yet as some is supposed to be for my UK swap partner and I don't want to give the game away just incase she stumbles across this post!

This is where my surprise of the week came. As we came in to Stash, I sat Dave down at a table, joking about a man crèche, and he sat being very patient whilst I wandered round. Without me realising it, he'd sat down near the debbie bliss yarns (which I wasn't there to see lol) and noticed the Cashmerino yarns. He recognised the merino part of the name and started to talk to me after we left the shop how he'd seen merino used in some sort of cycling jumper, usually used as a base layer (think Thermal from Knitty) and then said he was thinking of commissioning me to make him a custom one!

Well that was it then, I was off, in my element, questioning what exactly he wanted, how it would need to be constructed for cycling, and then we started to talk yarns and patterns, explained about gauge and yarn weights and what achieved what where, and how. It was brilliant! Never had some one take such an active interest in my knitting before, apart from other knitters. I really enjoyed talking to him about it, and course, have more than certainly agreed to make him his jumper.

I have since realised there is no such pattern at all really for what he wants and it is going to be a case of measuring him up (ooer!) and turning those measurements in to the finished article. I've already sought out advise on how best to achieve this, as lets face it, I've only been knitting just over a year, and found that the best thing to do is to get my self a copy of Ann Budd's handy book of sweater patterns as not only does this contain basic patterns, it also gives all the instructions for making your own patterns, in what ever gauge you need. So if I want to knit a 4ply ribbed jumper, with holes in the cuff for thumbs and longer at the be, I'll be able to suss out the dimensions using this book, and once I've done that, I can get the yarn I need (going to be black naturally!) and get cracking with my commissioned work!

Any way, after all that, the final concert came and went, and it was time to come home again, and I got in a 4 hour knitting marathon on the train coming home (came home a different way than we went), in which I got a lot done, in first class no less, so I had plenty of room to spread out (picture above is on the way home, you can see I had nearly the whole table!) and 4 hours seemed a lot less when I was knitting away quietly to my self and not one person batted an eyelid, tho how often do you see some one who is obviously a goth knitting unless you know other people? Well I know I don't, but I do know some one else who is like me!

It was a good week, in terms of the knitting stuff and what we went to do in the first place! We spent a fantastic time in London, going to 4 gigs and meeting new people, and I'm sorry its all over now. But I'm sure some thing similar will happen, and we'll get to do it all over again!

This is what several days of late nights does! Dave, me and new friend Jamie, chilling in the pub!

Monday, 3 March 2008

Swap stuff!

Well well!
Today I was going to blog about my trip to London as that does need a space all of its own, but it was knocked in to second place by the arrival of my UK swap parcel!
Oh boy have I been spoiled.

Imagine my face unpacking all this

Oh my giddy aunt and I didn't have to sell any children..

I could not have asked for a better swap partner, look at all that stuff! I'm in heaven! Punk knits AND Pretty in Punk, undyed yarn and kool aid, Artesano Hummingbird, wildfoot sock yarn, Hello Kitty pencil case, note book and pencil, a flashing pen (that is so cool), dark mint truffles and some chibi darning needles!
Fi, you are an absolute star and I love you!!!

And, and if that wasn't enough, whilst I was away, I got another swap related parcel from the stash busting swap on Angel Yarns. (idea being you knit any thing, using yarn from your stash)

How gorgeous is that? Its a wrap, knitted out of Tess Dawson Baby Alpaca in Cherry, and oh boys its soft! Not normally a pink fan but I can make an exception for this one. Thank you so much Allybea!

Knitting heaven today!
The great London trip stuff tomorrow..I'm off to squidge more yarn...

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Rainbow Child

A name that is certainly fitting of my daughter thats for sure!
I started this project last June when the magazine it was in was published. As soon as I saw it I wanted to make it, even tho Neala was not in the size ranges for it, she was going to be eventually!
Its been an on/off project, I'd pick it up every so often and do a few rows, and then leave it again.
I'd actually finished knitting the main parts of it a few weeks ago, but it was going to need blocking before I sewed it up, and of course I put off doing it..but then I got a spurt of energy on and got it done, hood knitted, and the crochet border done in the space of about 3 days, just in time for Nealas 3rd birthday.

Now I mentioned a crochet border...which is interesting seeing as I can only vaguely crochet, my friend Kirsty showed me how to do trebles when I went down to see her and apart from that and doing chains, and slip stitches, thats all I can do. So the idea of doing a whole border in crochet did worry me slightly, and I was going to leave it until my next knitting group, but I was in such a good mood for finishing it, I decided to give it a go.. Ok so its not identical in any way to the original, but its as near as I could get it with my limited skills.
I did a double crochet base layer, treble crochet over the top of that and then chain 5, and slip stitch in to the treble over the top of that, and I was very happy with the result. The original pattern did do some thing similar, but was 2treble (eh?) and then another row after the chain 5, but I decided I was happy with what I'd done (before I messed it up!)
Out of all my projects so far, thats the one I feel I've accomplished the most with, and of course, I was chuffed when Ravelry asked to use my photo for the main pattern page, my daughter is in the lime light! Just as she likes it of course....

Well London is just 10 days away..I did decide it was only fitting that I should be knitting my evangeline gloves, seen as I'm going to be seeing the band that sings that song and inspired my colour choice. I did buy some Lorna's laces black purl and its gorgeous, my only problem at the moment is not casting them on! Its on the table in front of me as we speak, with printed pattern, and needles, just begging me..I really want to start them but I just want to have some thing interesting to do on the trip! Only thing keeping my hands off it, that and I've got two deadline projects going which really need doing before I go away.
Can't stop singing Evangeline now..any one would think I'm excited about some thing...

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Just how much planning for a trip to London?

Ok so I'm obsessed, I admit it! Last time I went on a trip of any substance like this, I didn't knit and so read a book and listened to my ipod for a few hours, but this time, I'm a fully fledged knit in public person so I've got to make it look good.
My first thought was I need a bag, and not any bag, it had to be fairly specific for what I needed. It had to one I could clip to a belt loop, big enough to hold my work without my dpns sticking out of the top and also at the same time, being able to hold all my essentials, scissors, crochet hook for mistakes, stitch markers etc but not so big it was going to be a problem hanging from my waist.
Well I have to say it took a while, but eventually, by fluke of course, I found the perfect bag at the Yarn and Fiber company. Free shipping over $50 to the uk..*insert evil laugh* (we counted it as my christmas present mum, seen I bought Martin some thing and...) So I treated my self to my Kauni yarn (that is going on my next lace project after I finish my FC shawl) and a ball of Noro kureyon sock wool (can never have enough..) and this lovely Sereknity bag in a purple Batik. It is gorgeous! And of course, perfect for my needs.

Then of course, I've got a bag I can hang on a belt loop..I needed a decent pair of pants to travel in with said belt loop, Tesco to the rescue! £10 pair of black combat pants, perfect.
Next thought was well I'm more than likely going to be knitting socks, so thats 4/5 loose dpns in my bag..I don't want to stab any one with them thru my bag (cause you know I just would) and I don't fancy having to pick up stitchs if my knitting goes wandering whilst its being stored. Now this time I knew there was a solution. Work in Progress tubes. They are cool, they cover my dpns up whilst having a slot to let what ever is on the needles hang thru and safe. I'm doing well here!

Now I'm only left with one teeny tiny little problem.....what the hell am I going to knit?! It can't be some thing I've already started because I want the motivation of a new project, I want it to look good so I look cool doing it and people will be interested in it, but it can't be so complicated that I can't manage it without instuctions.
Of course my instinct is to get some jazzy sock wool and do some straight socks that will look good regardless of pattern, but I want some thing that will keep my mind busy.
I will tell you what is winning the battle at the moment and thats my evangeline gloves from magknits. My black purl has arrived to do them in, the pattern doesn't look *too* bad and would be interesting to do (could always tape the pattern to the seat in front of me..) but am I mad for wanting to attempt cabling in the round on a train?! I think I might be, but I'm open to suggestions! 17 days to decide....

On a different note, the new UK swap that I've gotten involved in is well underway! I'm having a great time chatting to the person who is sending stuff to me (don't know who she is of course!) and I hope we will be friends after all this is done. I'm busy stalking my person and leaving blog comments. Naturally going to London is a good oppertunity to buy some thing I normally wouldn't have access to so I'm hoping to get her some thing nice whilst I'm down there, and a few things for me because like I just said, I don't usually get the chance to see some of this stuff for real! I'm planning on at least 2 shop visits, to Stash Yarns in Putney and All the fun of the Fair just off Carnaby street. There is at least one other one I want to visit if I can, but I think I might be pushing it with 3 yarn shop visits, I know we are there for 4 days, and I've managed to off set one shop visit by telling Dave the Converse shop is round the corner on Carnaby street and I'm sure there will be a pub or some thing equally as interesting to him in Putney, I might not be able to pass off another shop..but two is enough, and from what I can see I've chosen well. And there will always be other gig/london visits in the future..
Ok see how I changed the subject and I STILL ended up talking about my London trip? Thats how excited I am and I've not even gotten on to the subject of why we are going in the first place and thats for 4 gigs in 4 nights for one of the best bands I listen to who are sadly calling it a day and these are the last gigs they are doing. Its going to be an absolute blast, and if I can walk in a straight line on the way home, it will be a bloody miracle!!