Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Holiday Knitting

I will leave the stories of our time in Scotland for another day, instead I'll treat you to the progress with my holiday projects.
Firstly, Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Honeybee Socks
Honeybee socks in all their glory.
Honeybee Socks
I cast off number two last night, but can't imagine I'm going to get a chance to photograph the pair any time soon, so you'll just have to imagine the mate.
Pattern: Honeybee Socks (Ravelry Link) by Stephanie van der Linden
Yarn: MmmmmmMalabrigo Sock in Velvet Grapes from Socktopus
Needles: 2.5mm circular and dpns
Started: 11th October 2008
Finished: 27th october 2008
Comments: Made for the October Sock Knitters Anonymous challenge.
I ended up frogging my first attempt as the yarn was pooling and the sock was going to be far too big. I ended up removing 4 purl stitches from each side of the foot to make the sock fit. I only patterned the front of the sock. I fudged the cuff due to the difference in stitch count - I didn't increase or decrease nearly as much as the pattern states. Oh, and I left the bobbles off the cast off edge; but did include them down the side and I'm glad I did because they are fun.
I love the bee's and marvelled at how easy they were once I tried - knitting whilst reading the pattern rather than just reading the pattern made a lot of sense. The yarn is absolutely gorgeous and I WANT MORE, especially in semi-solid colours. I hope my Sosesaswa likes them- that is if I can part with them.
Apart from some sock knitting I decided to take my Kureyon Hexagon blanket with me on my hols. I haven't touched this for ages and ages. In fact I started it in March 2006 when I had first learnt to crochet. This is what it looked like before I went away:
And this is how it looks now:
Kureyon Blanket
58 hexagons. It covers my knees and legs whilst sitting on the sofa and I have about 5 or 6 skeins of Noro left, so can make another 20 or so hexagons and edge the blanket.
I had previously crocheted the hexagons together making the seam on top of the blanket, I decided I didn't like this and undid all of the previous hexagons and started again. A little drastic, but I do love the way it looks now - even if sewing isn't my most favourite thing to do. It is my goal to finish this before Christmas.
Finally, I did buy some yarn....
Araucania Ranco
More on that little trip and others soon I promise!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Quidditch - Round 2 Answers

What animal does the portrait in the Muggle Prime Minster’s office resemble?
b. Frog
2. What drink does Romilda Vane try to give Harry?
a. Gillywater
3. What is the name of the person who heads the Holyhead Harpies?
b. Gwenog Jones
4. How many ‘Exceeds Expectation’ grades does Harry receive in his O.W.L’s?
c. 5
5. What is Professor Slughorn’s favorite candy?
d. Crystallized Pineapple
6. What tattoo is Harry reported to have on his chest?
c. Hippogriff
7. What color robes do the staff at the Weasley’s shop wear?
b. Magenta
8. What is the man outside Flourish and Blotts selling?
a. Amulets
9. How much is the skull, which Hermione enquires about at Borgin and Burkes, worth?
c. 16 Galleons
10. What are Professor Slughorn’s initials?
b. H.E.F.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A problem rectified

I completely forgot about the Yarn Harlot's latest challenge until Delle reminded me in the comments of my last post. What AM I going to do if I come across a politician or head of state if I don't have a sock?
So, I have rectified the situation, but I'm in a quandry.
Here is the sock:
Honeybee by Stephanie van der Linden.
I'm knitting them in the new Malabrigo sock yarn I got from Alice at Socktopus. The yarn feels absolutely divine. The pattern is not nearly as hard as I imagined it would be BUT it is making the yarn pool - there is a big chunk of purple to the right of the first bee. I don't actually mind the pooling, but these are going to be a present for someone else as part of the SoSeSaSw. Should I rip them out and fine a plainer yarn, or should I carry on? Hmm. It's a hard one. Please advise.

In the mean time I have finished another hat
cubba 005
Pattern: Cubba from Wee Woolly Toppers
Yarn: RYC Extra Fine Merino in Blood (about 2/3rd of a ball)
Size: XS
Needles: 3.5mm
Started: 9th October
Finished: 11th October
Comments: I'm sure this will look much cuter when worn! Easy pattern, very fast knit. Job done! Must get it in the post before baby Olivia is too big for it.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The wonder of hats

I have no socks on the needles at the moment. I know, it's amazing. This week I have discovered the wonder of hats.

The seven wonders of hats

1. You get to buy yarn because you are sure you have no red DK yarn in your stash. You only need one skein (like socks, but cheaper).
This is new RYC Extra Fine Merino, rather like the old Jaeger yarn. This is very soft, and machine washable and less splitty that DB Baby Cashmerino. I may have found a new "blanket" yarn.

2. Hats are portable, especially if they are for small people. So you can knit them on the bus/tram/train. Perfect commuter knitting.
3. Ruth writes some fabulous patterns.
4. You can re size them a little to make them fit a whole array of small people that you know.
5. They are a really quick knit
6. You get to go back to the yarn shop to buy another skein of yarn just in case.
7. (The best one) They don't come as a pair so you only have to knit ONE!

Pattern: Waltzer from Wee Woolly Toppers by Woolly Wormhead
Size: Large
RYC Extra Fine Merino in Blood - 1 ball with about 10m left over.
Needles: 4mm
Started: 4th October
Finished: 8th October
Comments: I made the large size on 4mm needles rather than 3.5mm in the hope it will fit a "soon to be" two year old. It is plenty big enough, and this design is so stretchy that I wonder if it will be too large (especially as I can nearly get it on my head!)
The yarn is wonderful, really soft but seems quite hard wearing at the same time and it blocks like a dream. The label claims it can be washed at 40 degrees - I haven't tested that yet. Oh and the colours are fab too.
I found a small mistake in the pattern. I messaged Ruth on Ravelry to make sure I wasn't going mad. She responded within about 10 minutes and had fixed the pattern within a couple of hours. Absolutely fantastic customer service. I know she was gutted to find a mistake, but I am extremely impressed with her response.
Let's just hope Hattie is as pleased with her birthday hat (well I couldn't really knit anything else could I?)

So, what to do next? Cast on another hat that's what with the extra ball of RYC EFM I bought just in case. Cubba this time, in the smallest size, for one of the new arrivals. Three baby girls have been born to three different friends in the last 2 weeks! They all need hats - it's getting cold.
I cast on for this hat on the bus to work this morning and am about 3/4 of the way through after about 2-3 hours knitting in total today. This is product knitting to the max!
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I think everyone is getting hats for Christmas. Socks are so last season!

However this:

and this

arrived in the post yesterday.
BeautiFuL - Blue Faced Leicester superwash sock yarn from Natalie at The Yarn Yard.
The first one is the first installment of the solid socks club and the photo above definitely does NOT do it justice. It is a reddy brown colour overdyed with teal. In some lights it looks brown with a teal haze, in others it looks like a dark reddy/purple. Truly amazing. Like one of those weird iridescent paint sprays you see on cars. It is set to become a pair of Chalet Socks. I just can't get the pattern out of my head.
The second one is colourway 396. Oranges, greens and yellows. Halloween yarn if ever I saw it! I can't wait to see how it knits up. That is if I can get away from hats.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Hufflepuff House Quiz #3

1.On what day does Harry run into Draco and Narcissa in Diagon Alley?
3rd August in Harry Potter and the Half Blood prince.

2. How does Harry get detention in DADA?
He is accused of lying by Professor Umbridge when he tells everyone Voldemort is back

3. How does Ron get his spot on the Gryffindor Quidditch Team?
Hermione jixes his opponent for the Keeper during the trials.

4. When is the first Apparition lesson?
In the sixth year at Hogwarts.

5. When do Ron and Ginny breakup with Lavender and Dean?
In Harry's sixth year. Lavender and Ron split up after she saw Hermione and Ron together, not knowing Harry was under the invisibility cloak. Dean and Ginny split up after Harry bumped into them after taking Felix Felisis and Ginny thought Dean was pushing her around - that was the last straw!

6. What Horcrux is hidden in the cave?
The locket, except it wasn't the real locket as that had been taken before.

7. Who does Filch have a romance with?
Possibly the Librarian, Madam Pince

8. When is Voldemort’s birthday and birth place?
His birthday is New Years Eve and he was born in an orphanage in London

9. What is Dumbledore’s favorite flavor of jam?

10. Who is “Mollywobbles” and who uses the name?
Molly Weasley - it is Arthur's pet name for her.

Picture Search

Madam Pince
Rufus Scrimgeour

Sunday, October 05, 2008

In the Express Lane

My Orange Express Lane socks are finished.
Express Lane Socks
These were knitted along with the September KAL in the solid socks group on Ravelry. Unfortunately I didn't manage to finish them in September, so no prizes for me! However I do have another great pair of socks.
Express Lane Socks
Started: 24th September
Finished: 5th October
Pattern: Express Lane by Diane Mullholland published in The Inside Loop
Yarn: Yarn Yard Bonny, colour 402 (I think, it's orange, very orange)
Comments: A pair of toe up socks, quite unusual for me. I used Anne Budd's toe and heel published in Interweave Knits Summer 2007. No wraps, perfect for me. I also learnt how to do a sewn bind off, which also worked perfectly. No more too tight cast offs for me! I also only worked the front pattern on the sock, I didn't need the calf increases and corresponding pattern.
They really were Express Lane socks. There must be lots of stitch patterns that would work perfectly when centred down the front of the foot like this, I must look at my stitch dictionaries.

Brown is the solid socks colour for next month... I'm off to dig out the brown sock yarn from my stash.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Hufflepuff Quiz

The Quiz...
1 Which is your favorite book in the series (and why)?
I think book six - Half-Blood Prince in my favourite. There was a lot of hype over who would die, I still didn't really believe it would be Dumbledore. The character Snape plays throughout the series is brilliant and you really believe he is "bad to the core" in this book. I liked the hints about Horcruxes, it helps you to start piecing the story together.

2 If you were taking Owls, which class would you get an E in? Would you get any Ts?
My T would be in Potions, I was always rubbish at Chemistry at school. I'd like to think my Transfiguration and maybe even arithmancy would get me an E (or even an O)

3 Who is your favorite character (or characters) in the Harry Potter series?
Snape, probably the best developed character from the whole book. You never quite know if he is good or bad... and Alan Rickman plays him perfectly.

4 If you had to pick 1 character for a roomate, who would you pick and why? Who'd be your least-favorite to have as a roomate?
Hermione, she is a bit of a know-it-all; but she knits and that's got to be good.
I don't think I could cope with the practical jokes from Fred & George.

5 Hufflepuffs are a hardworking bunch, but also a bit mischevious. Which Hogwarts professor would you most like to prank, and how would you do it?
Umbridge _ I'd like to recreate Fred & George's fireworks and swamp exit.
6 Favorite DADA professor? (from the books, Lucius does NOT count :)
Lupin wins hands down.
7 Favorite magical creatures? (Also, if for example you like a certain creature in general, but not how they are represented in the HP canon, feel free to elaborate :)
Dragons have to win this don't they? Although Nifflers are pretty cool.
8 What is your favorite food in the HP universe? Which food or foods would you like to try in real life? Do you have any recipes to share with us ;)?
Butterbeer always sounds delightful. Just what you need on a cold day.
9 Broom, floo powder, portkey, or magic carpet?
Floo Powder.
10 Since we're Hufflepuffs... Yellow or Black?
Yellow Rocks.