Monday, January 30, 2006
One was the new copy of Simply Knitting which had some (more) stitch markers on the front.
The other things was my first Secret Pal parcel. It arrived over the weekend whilst I was away. Luckily the postie managed to hide it by my front door so I got to open it this evening. I kept the suspense by flicking through simply knitting first and saw a pattern for some aran weight socks. They seemed like a perfect project as it would be the instant satisfaction I'm just not getting with the Opal yarn..... (I've turned the heel on the first one btw - photos tomorrow maybe).
Little did I know that my SP parcel would contain everything I need to keep my sock knitting on course.... two balls of sirdar Town and Country in brown/beige/cream and two very special hanks of self-dyed "anti-tickle" superwash wool and finally some 4.5mm double pointed needles. How cool is that? Thank you very very much secret pal. Guess what, it is also exactly what I need for the pattern in Simply Knitting. Wow!
I have decided that I am completely undecided about the jumpers. I think the Donna one, but am having trouble deciding on wool.... So the other day I decided to bite the bullet and order some Hipknits silk from Kerrie to make a Clapotis. Kerrie emailed me and it turns out she works just around the corner, so I met her at lunch to collect it. Here is a picture of it's yummyness. It'a pink and blue and purple with a little bit of brown and it is the softest thing. I also bought a yarn winder off ebay for £3 so I have spent some of this evening getting in a tangly mess with that and the hip-knits silk. Oh dear. I have also had to move all of my belongings back into my bedroom so the floor men can finally lay my super Karndean floor on Thursday and Friday. I am surprised I can get to the computer there is so much stuff in here!
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
I managed to find the jumper I was talking about in the last post. Now I am having a major dilemma.
Do I make Donna (left) which is obviously made to fit the shape I am.
Or do I go with the trend and make Tubey?(right)
If I made Tubey, I would make it plain, maybe with the stripes in the arms. If I make Donna I have to find a replacement yarn as I can't seem to find anywhere that sells Lana Grossa “Point” which the pattern calls for. I think today I am heading towards Donna. Yesterday I was all for Tubey, after seeing how cool it looks over at the Wool Palace. Decisions Decisions. I need to decide soon too as I want to have everything ready to take to Ireland a week on Saturday.
Talking of Ireland, I'm going to Killarney, does anyone know of any wool shops around there or in Cork? I thought it would be good to get my SP some local wool from my trip.
Monday, January 23, 2006
Now what you have all been waiting for, my first socks. Okay, so there is not much to them (about 12 rows at the moment) but I had a few hiccoughs on the first couple of attempts.
I'm whizzing along now (not). It is very fiddly... but I am sure I will get the hang of it.
This is Opal sock yarn from a sock knitting set that L bought me for Christmas from Get Knitted
Now I have to think what my next project will be. I am off to Ireland for a week at the start of Feb, we are staying in a cottage so I am sure there will be lots of knitting time. I really want to make a brown jumper. I love Tubey, but I think that ribbing and stripes and my boobs will just not go together (even though I love the stripes). I read an article over Christmas about jumpers with short row shaping around the chest, I thought it was in Knitty, but I just can't find it. I remember a pattern for a really plain v-neck jumper that went with the article. I may have just dreamed it (quite possible) but if anyone else remembers it then please let me know. Otherwise I may have to make a Clapotis, but then I have to decide what wool to use and that is a whole other dilemma. Help!
Some stitch markers and some sock yarn from Curious Yarns. Aren't they lovely? I decided to treat myself whilst treating my Secret Pal. Her package was shipped off to far away places almost as soon as it arrived at my door.
My trip into Croydon on Saturday resulted in me finding zero good 30th Birthday cards, so I got some blank ones from a little art shop and made my own. What do you think? I was quite pleased with it as a first attempt.
I also decided to felt the Booga bag again, because after a week of use it was looking a bit mis-shapen. It worked a treat and it is far more sturdy now.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Horay! The Train Track slipover is finally finished.
I'm really pleased with the finished article. It did take forever to do all of those cables, but I think it was worth it. Now let's hope it fits the little man it is intended for. It should be too big if anything, and it's got lots of stretch in it so in theory it should last ages.
I have to make sure I do the gift wrapping justice. I was insipred by this article I read in Knitty. I am going to do a little parcel label with washing instructions and some extra yarn wrapped around (because my sewing up is notoriously bad).
I shall try to do the same with this gorgeous little hat. It is from the latest edition of Simply Kntting. However rather than the Louisa Harding wool I wanted something a little bolder. I love this teal blue colour. It is so soft. Once again, I hope it is liked by the recipient!
Talking of being the recipient, here is my latest card from my secret pal. Thankyou! I am now worried that little S will turn into the man on the post card when he grows up. See the similarity between the jumper on the postcard and the pullover he is wearing.... ho hum.
It is a bit strange to have spent a Friday night kntting and blogging. Usually I am on a train to see TT, he is here or I am out with friends. It has been quite nice!
I need to make a 30th Birthday card tomorrow (I reckon I can knit the number 30...) and post all my gifts. Then I'm off on a trek across London to go to Monkeychews in Chalk Farm for the said 30th Birthday (N's husband P).
On Sunday, providing the demon drink doesn't get me I plan to have a day of markets... starting with the Carboot in Battersea and then move onto Spitalfields and the Trueman Brewery. Let's just see what happens.
Off for an early night now I think. I have to resist the temptation to start the socks or I'll be up all night!
On a knitting theme, I have had some time this afternoon to think about the baby blanket I am going to be knitting for my friend C. I spoke to her last night and she is now 22 weeks and very excited a bit scared all at the same time. After making the hat for V's new baby I have decided that Debbie Bliss' Baby Cashmerino is the way forward as it is so so soft. I realised I need something that will be ok for boys and girls and didn't want something too pastel. So I have ordered the blue (203), yellow (506) and off-white (101) from Laughing Hens
The idea is to do a garter stitch border in the off-white and then a fairly big basketweave pattern in the middle (as I figure this will be reversible) in stripes.
I have also ordered a few secret things over the last couple of days for my secret pal, hopefully they should arrive in the next few days and then I can ship them off.
I promise a picture of the finished hat and also another fab postcard from my secret pal later tonight. I may even a finished picture of the pullover too, I frogged the neck last night and have started doing it correctly now (phew).
*It's Dug just incase you were wondering. ** Eileen
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
I finish work at 7 on Tuesdays and for some strange reason whilst walking to London Bridge I decided to get the bus home. I'd heard the Northern line was playing up so had decided to get the train but then changed my mind... I had a little adventure through Elephant and Castle and Camberwell to Brixton and then changed and got the bus to my house. In the end it old took nearly 1 1/2 hours, which is about 30 mins more than my normal commute but the stop-start of the bus made it seem like it took forever and ever and it was so packed there was no chance of any knitting till Brixton.
I sat down ready to face the neck of the Train Track slipover after tea... I picked up the stitches and started knitting. it's probably only my second attempt at doing something like this (my excuse) but all the way through I had a nagging feeling my StSt was the wrong way around. I cast off, and sewed up the edges and then realised, yes, in fact, I had knit the collar back to front. GRRRRRR. So all of that care over all those cables and then I go and do something stupid like this. I really hope I can frog the neck and start again, I'm sure it will be fine. I was very annoyed with myself and then couldn't get to sleep, because I wanted to correct it then and there. I resisted and started planning on what to knit next. I hope that the little hat should be finished tonight; Knit Club is in Tooting Bec and then the pullover by the weekend. I think I have to make a start on the socks. It seems everyone (well everyone on the blogs I read) is knitting socks at the moment.
Monday, January 16, 2006
I have also finished the ribbing and the first knit row of the baby hat from last month's simply knitting. I managed the knit row using my new technique and it was certainly quicker.
Here is the camera case I have made. It is miles too big, as expected, but I simply wouldn't've been able to knit in a round any smaller on my circular needles. I'm going to put it through another hot wash, and then line it and stuff in between the lining. I reckon this will protect my lovely camera too.
Oh, and look what I got in the post today... from my Secret Pal. How organised is that? Thank you very much SP. It's fab and will take pride of place on the notice board in my kitchen.
K... it reminds me a bit of you, but then your life is wild and dangerous and tinged with anarchy... so maybe this is what you looked like in a previous life (with more marmalade hair!)
I am a bad person and looked at the postmark (of course it could all be a trick).. but I am not going to do any more investigating yet. I want it to be a secret for a good while longer yet.
What other news? L has a new flat. She has traded SW19 for SW18. I have to pick up the keys and go round there this week as she is far away with work at the moment. Don't worry I won't have a party and trash the place :0)
We did manage a chat on googletalk today, I don't usually speak to her whilst she is away with work, so it was good to be able to have a catch up, and completely free! Bargain.
S seems to have had a good birthday in far away Thailand. It seems her internet connection is not the best... but she knows we were thinking of her. So all seems well in the world.
Right I have about 3 million ebay parcels to package up, so I had better go.
Friday, January 13, 2006
I tried to replicate this at lunch today, whilst knitting at my desk, and could I do it? Nope... I just got into an awful mess! I hold the yarn between thumb and forefinger, so move my whole hand when knitting.... no wonder it takes me a month to make a cardigan when it takes my mum two evenings. Maybe I will have to go and get a lesson from her this weekend....
On the knitting front, I'm nearly upto the armhole shaping on the pullover, but stupidly didn't bring the next ball of cotton with me. Hopefully there will be enough to keep me occupied on the train to Wolves tonight... silly me.
I felted the camera bag last night and it is way too big, but looks cool. I think I'll wash it again to try and make it shrink a bit more and then line it. I thought I could put toy stuffing in between the lining and the bag so it protects the camera a bit and this should mean it doesn't matter if it is a bit too big.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
It's S's birthday tomorrow, or I guess today as she is Thailand. I hope she's ok and not feeling too homesick. I've sent her an ecard- so I hope she gets it. S if you are reading this I am missing you lots already and you've only been gone 2 weeks! Hope you have a fab birthday.
Tonight I've been drinking champagne on Thomson Financial on a work type do at the top of the Gherkin (also known as 30 St Mary Axe). There are such amazing views from up there, like the London Eye but a thousand times better, as it's not moving and you can look out for ages. I didn't even have to do that much schmoozing, so a good night was had. I'm home at a sensible hour as well.... just enough time for a quick post and to find some clothes to take to Wolverhampton for the weekend with TT.
On the knitting front I have managed to make my camera case on my journeys to/from work... it's currently felting in the washing machine as I type... I hope it works as it is a completely made up pattern. Photos on Monday if it does. Maybe I'll finish the train track slipover this weekend on the train too.... Have a fab weekend everyone.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
1st RULE: You do not talk about KNIT CLUB.
2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about KNIT CLUB.
3rd RULE: If someone says "stop" or "cast off", the knitting is over.
.... ok, I'm too tired to try and think of any more.
This is K in my lounge at our weekly/bi-weekly Knit Club. At present it only consists of me, K and J but hey, we have a chat, some nice food, and sometimes manage to make no mistakes whatsoever (yeah right).
K is making a fab crochet scarf in Kidsilk Haze she found in a charity shop in Hackney! I got a blue one in the same pattern from her for Christmas and it is ace. :0)
Maybe next time Knit Club comes to Mitcham I will have my sofas and then my lounge will nearly be complete. I am very very excited. But then that's what happens when you've been living out of your bedroom (and the Holiday Inn) for a year. Here is a picture of one of them so you can drool over it too.
Today I did some very efficient things personal admin at work. Ordered another present for TT's birthday. Booked our car for our Ireland trip on the 4th Feb and bought some travel insurance. A worldwide policy just in case TT decides to take me somewhere far away. I also had a "genius" whilst looking for a camera case for my new digital camera I realised I can just make one! I have enough of the Noro Kureyon left over from my Booga Bag, and now I know how small it goes when it felts it should be fairly easy. I was going to start it tonight, but TT suggested that maybe I should finish the presents for other people first.... spoil sport!
Also, little football interlude. What is the bet that Burton beat Man U so I still don't get to see my team (Wolves ) play Man U at Molineux? (I was in India with work when we played them in the Prem and WON 1-0 and noone understood why I was so excited)
Sunday, January 08, 2006
I prefer natural fibres, but will give anything a go really.
2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I have attempted crochet, and think I prefer knitting. Never spun, would like to have a go.
3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have an old Paul Masson caraffe that holds my funky coloured plastic needles. My circulars are stored in an expanding file (so I can find them easily) and the old metal needles I inherited from L's Grandma are in a plastic wallet
4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I reckon since I was about 12 or 13 on and off... I used to take it up, get bored with it, take it up again. I knit a few things for colleagues/friends who had babies over the last 5 or so years, and I'd say I've been improving my skills over the last 2.5 years.
5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Here it is
6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Lavender I think probably. Not really one for lots of scented things.
7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Crunchie, Maltesers, Dairy Milk, Bourneville I think are my favourites. But once the Christmas chocolate is gone there will be no more till Easter. That's my promise to myself.
8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
Gardening is my other love, so knitting takes priority in winter.
9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I am mostly stuck in 1990's indie land of Pulp, Blur, Charlatans, Stone Roses, Wonderstuff. Currently listening to The Killers, Coldplay, Hard-Fi, Robbie Williams (here goes my cred) , Athlete. I may also admit to being a Wet Wet Wet fan (yes still) if you ask the right question.
10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
That would be purple. In fact anything stripey usually makes me happy.
11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live alone, but have a bf who I stay with most weekends.
12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Yes, Yes, Yes and used to but don't think I've got it out the wardrobe this winter
13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
I find the stripeyness of Noro very very exciting, but also sometimes a little disappointing, esp when changing balls. I have enjoyed knitting with cotton for the clothes I've made so far and I find the bigger wools are very satisfying 'cause they knit up fast. I would say most of the stuff I have bought is Rowan, but I like the idea of buying wools that are handspun or where you can meet the sheep/goats/rabbits/alpacas/ (insert other yarn giving animal here) it came from
14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Things that are too fluffy or synthetics that try to look real but just don't... but I can cope with them for novelty yarns.
15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
I am really enjoying making bags at the moment, esp felted bags. I think felting could become a bit obsessive.
16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Things for others that they really appreciate
17. What are you knitting right now?
A cabled pullover for my friends baby boy who is 1 tomorrow. It's not finished yet! After that then I have a quick baby hat to do for an ex-colleague and then I start on my first socks.
18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Always. I feel it's really easy to buy things, but shows you have put some efort in if you make something, even a little thing.
19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
I am becoming converted to the circular way of thinking, makes knitting on the train/tube easier cause your needles don't fly in peoples faces!
20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Haven't tried bamboo. Aluminium is fine, my plastic needles look really cool but the smaller sizes are too flimsy.
21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
22. How did you learn to knit?
My mum painstakingly taught me
23. How old is your oldest UFO?
I was going to say I don't have one apart from the pullover, but at Christmas my mum pulled out a Jean Greenhowe greengrocer doll I must have started about 12 years ago... he was finished but his stall was in pieces. I hated the sewing up.
24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
25. What is your favorite holiday?
Anywhere with my BF. Preferably a cottage somewhere, with walking, log fires, pubs nearby and some time for kniting
26. Is there anything that you collect?
27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?
I would like to suss out the Debbie Bliss "Home" book... but there are so many good free patterns out there. I would love some Lorna's Laces to make a Clapotis.
29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I've not tried fair isle but would quite like to if I can find something good to knit. Also would like to have a go at spinning.
30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Soon to become one. UK size 6/7. About 23cm long from tip of toe to back of heel and 23cm around the ball of my foot...
31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
32. Do you have any allergies?
I get hayfever, so I guess that's an allergy to pollen. My friends would say I'm also allergic to tidyness, oops.
All of the items apart from finishing the jumper have been achieved. I am shocked.
My flat is clean, marmalade has been made (yummy).
Unwanted stash items (plus a few more random things) listed on ebay.
Photos taken of a few of my finished items that have not been made for others. They are uploaded into Flickr and there is a link in the side bar under "I knit these..."
There is also an experimental casserole in the oven, basically beef in guinness. I hope it tastes nice.
Whilst there is no more of the train track pullover to show you I thought I would share with you a photo of my oldest knitted friend, Muffet. My mum made him for me when I was about 5 and he is one of the most precious things in the world to me. I recently found a pattern for him on ebay, which I bought, but I am not sure if there can ever be another (actually, my brother has one too, in original colours, but his is not loved as much). He comes from a children's TV show called Pullover which was broadcast on central TV in the early 1980's . He is meant to be the little boys pullover which gets up off the end of the bed at night and has adventures.
1.Clean the bathroom
2. Tidy the Kitchen
3. Washing (sigh - including my first ever hand knit cardigan -I am a bit worried about washing this. It is Stevie from Rowan's cotton tape book (not in yellow, but a combat green). A joy to knit, but mine came out too big as I over-estimated how big I am - so I am secretly hoping it shrinks but cause it's cotton I know it won't.)
4. Finish the painting in the lounge
5. Sell all the random stuff I have collected on ebay
6. Take pictures (with my new camera) off all the things I can find that I've knitted
7. Make marmalade
8. Finish the Train Track Slipover for S - needs to be posted tomorrow if it will arrive in tme for his birthday.
It is now noon.... and none of the things are ticked. Too much sleeping and messing with my blog, oops.
Yesterday I had a very good tidying day. The lounge and my room are now more tidy than they have ever been. I was cold yesterday so I decided to light a fire in my new fireplace, but it wasn't very successful. I have smokeless fuel and it takes ages to light and then burns like charcoal on a bbq so no big flames. All very disappointing. I need to find out if I live in a smokeless zone, and if not get some coal.
I made curry and watched "Vera Drake" I got from the Library. It's a Mike Leigh film so I knew it would be depressing... but it was about the best choice there. It was ok, but depressing. About a Woman (Vera Drake) in the 1950's who does back street abortions or "helping young girls in trouble" as she puts it. Her mate is taking money for them without her knowing and in the end one girl gets sick, and the police come and charge her and she gets put in prison and then it ends!
I wanted something to entertain me whilst knitting the train track slipover. Here is a progress picture. I have got as far as I can before I have to decide if this is the back or front.
I am having dilemas as it has taken about 7 hours to get this far, so there is no way if I do the other side the same it will be in the post tomorrow... but then I don't think there is much chance of that anyway. I was thinking I could make this the front and then do a plain stst back - but I think I would need to reduce the no of stitches as the cabling acts like ribbing. Or I could rib the back without the cables, but that wouldn't be much faster. So I think I am going to carry on and do the front and back both in the cable pattern and little S will just have to have a late present!
Saturday, January 07, 2006
The first picture I have to show is of the finshedBooga Bag. I finally managed to attach the handles this morning whilst waiting for the flooring people who were meant to be coming at 8.30am to measure up - they are stuck in snow in Kent apparently and still haven't arrived.
Here it is hanging on the kitchen cupboards. It was the only bit of space I could find. I think today needs to be one of a concentrated tidy up.
I am fairly happy with it, although I really wish the second line of yellow wasn't in there, or that it was a bit bigger. That was the start of the second ball and I just joined it without thinking but hey.... it's still very very stripey, which I love.
I went round to see my friend N last night. I managed to take some pictures of her little girl wearing the jumper I made her for Christmas. It was the Cookie Sweater from Louisa Harding's Rowan "Rainy Days" book. I am hoping to work out how to put a gallery of my FO's on the left hand side so I can keep track of all the things I make.
Talking of things I have made. Here is the first Christmas Gnome I made. He was also for N's little girl. N is Welsh and I decided to give him a good Welsh name... after much deliberation I decided on Tomos.
The note around his neck says something like - I am Tomos a Chrismas Gnome. I like to eat Mince Pies and Carrots. Please look after me.
However C had different ideas! When she opened him she instantly said "Sion Corn" which is Welsh for Father Christmas (I think I have the spelling right) - it is said like Shaun Con - so it sounds like she is saying it is either Sean Conn(ery) or Sheer Khan. Very very funny. Apparently everything to do with Christmas is "Sion Corn" even snow, snowmen, lights etc etc. N is in deliberations over what happens to the 3 Sion Corn's that C has now Christmas is officially over. It's a tricky one.
Right time for some tidying before I am allowed to play with the camera and take some pictures of the Train Track slipover (currently upto the arm-hole shaping on the back - it's taking forever!)
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Talking of friends one has arrived safely in Bangkok on her 6 month adventure - excited for her, sad that she is not here to play with. Another leaves on Friday to work at Olympics in Turin for 3 months. I'm seeing her for the last time tomorrow for yummy pizza.
With them away I guess it gives me time to consolidate other friendships, spend some quality time in my flat (making cool things) and get myself down the swimming pool (which I didn't manage tonight - bad girl). Trying to be positive but I miss them already!
On a knitting note the Booga Bag has been felted - on 60 degree wash with a pair of jeans and a little wool detergent. Looks good, it is currently drying on a cereal box in the kitchen.
I'm spent what was left of this evening working on the Train Track Slipover from Louisa Harding's Rowan book "Miss Bea's Rainy Day". It is for a special little man who is 1 on 10th Jan. I think it might be a bit late as the cabling is taking forever. I'm glad there are no arms! I was contemplating just knitting the back without the cables but I don't think it will look right.
Here is a picture from the Lauging Hen's site Mine is knitted in Rowan Handknit Cotton in shade 239 a bit more blue than the colour in the picture.
Off to finish my digital camera research so I can finally make a purchase and then inundate the blog with pictures of my knits.
Monday, January 02, 2006
I have been reading a selection of knitting blogs for a while, and really enjoy seeing what people are making and I have been inspired by their creations. So here is mine.
I did lots of knitting for Christmas presents and I hope to post some pictures of previous projects over the coming weeks.
Here is Denzel sitting on the table at our NY party, he is one of the Christmas Gnomes from Simply Knitting's Christmas supplement. I love him. Maybe next year he will get some friends.
The last thing to come off the needles is the world famous Booga Bag. Make in Noro Kureyon shade 170. It took 2 balls for the bag and then about 1/2 a ball for the i-cord. The i-cord was finished today and hopefully it should be felted tomorrow. I did some test felting before Christmas and made two small bags from Noro Silk Garden for Christmas presents. This is the biggest thing so far....