Thursday, November 27, 2008

To the frog pond....

Harika just isn't working for me in my chosen yarns....
I needed a lesson in colour theory; then I remembered this Knitty article
The values just aren't different enough. I turned the photo B&W to demonstrate. The Navy and the dark red work with the grey but the other colours are just too close.
I need to start again with either a really light or really dark contrast colour. I also need to swatch. Lessons learnt.

I'm hoping to learn more this weekend, I'm off to Norfolk for the Socktopus weekend with Lucy Neatby. A whole weekend dedicated to sock knitting, can you imagine? Must remember to take photos!

Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap 6 Parcel

I got home yesterday evening, after a particularly rubbish day at work, to find a massive box from the US waiting for me.
It was my parcel from my HSKS6 Pal Electra the Enchanting.
Do you want to see what I got?
It is the perfect Hufflepuff parcel....
HSKS6 Parcel
Herbal tea, minature mint chocolate Hershey bars, a needle roll, two skeins of gorgeous purple yarn, a 2.5mm addit turbo for magic looping, a Hufflepuff bookmark, some embroidery needles, Euclan wool wash, a fabulous project bag made with HP fabric, a needle gauge, the Anastasia sock pattern
HSKS6 Parcel

A HP notebook, a skein of sock yarn dyed especially for me, Halloween stickers, more yarn
HSKS6 Parcel
And finally these wonderful stitchmarkers.

Thank you so much for a fabulous parcel.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mosaic Monday

I realised over the weekend I haven't shared any photos of our recent trip to Paris.
I didn't manage any yarn shopping, but I did get to play with the settings on my camera!Paris Mosaic
The Eiffel tower sparkles for 15 minutes on the hour. We just so happened to be at the top of the Montparnasse Tower just as it went dark and I managed to take some great photos.
There are more photos in the flickr set here

In knitting news, to prove I don't just knit socks, mittens and hats, here is the progress on my February Lady Sweater, taken on Saturday lunchtime. It WILL be finished before it gets warm!
February Lady Sweater

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Yarn in both hands

I just can't get enough of stranded knitting at the moment.
First up are more Selbuvotter mittens, these are made for a 4 year old.
I've used the outline of Annemor #2
Rainbow Mittens
However I changed the pattern on the top of the mitten.
I spent Sunday evening with a piece of graph paper and my Fair Isle book. Not bad for a first attempt!
Rainbow Mittens
These are knitted in the left over black sock yarn Ruth sent with my fantastic Rainbow socks and the remains of the ball of Opal Feelings from the fruit pastel socks. Now I have to decide whether to make them match or not and what to do with the thumb!

Last week the new Twist Collective was published and I instantly fell in love with (and bought the patterns for) Postwar Mittens and Harika Socks. Hmmm, I'm sensing a theme here!
I then went looking at the Kaffe Fasset Regia Landscape in my stash and decided the Earth colourway just didn't do it for me.
So, after my fashion lesson from Kerry on Saturday, I knew when I saw the Jungle colourway that it contained all of the Jewel colours of the season.
Two balls arrived yesterday from Modern Knitting.
Regia Landscape Jungle
It goes perfectly with the solid gray yarn that accompanied my Yarn Yard sock club yarn this month.
Harika Cuff
Finally, something that only requires one strand of yarn at a time. I finished the second Meret (Rav link) in time for Rachel's Birthday.
Meret II
Knitted in RYC Cashsoft Aran, this one is more slouchy and has a half rolled and half ribbed brim. Apologies for the terrible photo - but that's what you get with a dirty mirror at 7.30am!
Meret II
I can see everyone getting these for Christmas! I *may* have accidentally ordered some aran from New Lanark to make some more!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Winter Warmers

It's swap time again. Delle and I are organising a "Winter Warmers" swap over on the UK swap blog

Sign ups start today (19th November) and finish on 30th November (a week on Sunday). You can sign up for a handmade gift swap or a kit swap (if you are short of time during the Christmas period.) Parcels need to be sent in the last week of January.

More details over at the UK Swap blog and Ravelry group

Monday, November 17, 2008

A hat from all angles

My new winter hat, the Meret (Ravelry Link) from Woolly Wormhead's Mystery Knit-a-long.
Meret by Woollywormhead
I knit the medium slouchy size and it fits perfectly.
Meret by Woollywormhead
The yarn is a gorgeous deep brown Rowan Pure Wool Aran.
Meret by Woollywormhead
I knit the ribbing on 4.5mm needles and changed to 5mm needles for the crown. I even managed to magic loop the last bit!
Meret by Woollywormhead
I liked it so much I am knitting another, for Tony's sisters birthday - which is tomorrow! Better get a move on....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

HSKS6 - Final Quidditch Answers

1. Who was Tom Riddle Sr.'s girlfriend before Merope gave him the love potion?
b. Cecilia
2. What does Luna say floated into Harry's ear when he was in the train car that supposedly caused him to lose focus?
c. Wrackspurt
3. How much do the primary Apparition lessons cost?
d. 12 galleons
4. What is Professor Merrythought's first name?
b. Galatec
5. What Hogwarts club was Eileen Prince captain of?
b. Gobstones Club
6. Who is head of the Goblin Liaison office?
b. Dirk Cresswell
7. Mrs. Weasley offers Fleur a goblin-made tiara for the wedding with Bill. What family member is currently in possession of the tiara?
a. Aunt Muriel
8. How many points does Snape take from Gryffindor for Harry's late arrival and muggle attire?b. 70
9. When Profressory Slughorn first meets Hermione, he asks her whether she is related to Hector Dagworth-Granger. What society did Dgworth-Granger found?
d. The Most Extraordinary Society of Potioneers
10. Which of these describes Golpalott's Third Law?
d. The antidote for a blended poison will be equal to more than the sum of the antidotes for each of the separtea components

Saturday, November 08, 2008

A happy story

Once upon a time, (well a couple of weeks ago actually) Ruth and Tony went on holiday to Scotland.
Tony had promised to cook Ruth an anniversary dinner. They both got dressed up, Ruth even wore a dress!
The Proposal
Tony opened a bottle of champagne
The Proposal
Cooked some delicious squid for starters
The Proposal
Mouthwatering Thai Green Curry with prawns for main course
The Proposal
For pudding, Tony handed Ruth a very heavy box...
Inside were lots of sweets, but on the top were some very special sweets...
The Proposal
Tony got down on one knee, asked Ruth to marry him, and gave her a beautiful diamond ring. After Ruth realised Tony was waiting for an answer, she accepted.
The Proposal
They were both very happy and are now planning a wedding!
The Proposal

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Scotland 2008

Scotland Mosaic
I can't believe we have been back for a week and a half already! We had a wonderful time staying in a converted chapel - second picture down on the left.

One of the highlights was meeting Ruth (Roobeedoo) for the first time. We went to the Rowan 30th Anniversay exhibition being held at Twist Fibre Craft in Newburgh, about 30 mins down the road from where we were staying.
The exhibition was mostly full of mindboggling examples of mad1980's cotton colourwork. I only wish I'd taken a picture of the mustard intarsia jumper that we all agreed was the worst thing there. In fact neither Roo or I took any photos at all, and we call ourselves bloggers!
Roo made me a gorgeous crocheted bracelet you can see on her blog here and we found a delicious little cafe for lunch. A lovely Sunday out.

The rest of the week was spent out and about in Perthshire and beyond. We saw Tamworth pigs and Highland Cattle at various different farm shops. Spent a day driving around the villages near St Andrews looking for fish! Visited the fabulous cathedral at Dunkeld on a very stormy day and finished the week in Arbroath with some fantastic smokies.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

An abundance of mysteries

Mystery Beret by Woolly Wormhead. Instructions are posted on the Wormhead Hats forum in Ravelry. I've started mine in Rowan Pure Wool Aran, Praline colourway - to match my coat and mittens. The next clue is out tomorrow.
Mystery Beret - Clue 1
These socks however won't match anything!
Mosaic Mystery
November mystery socks from the Sock Knitters Anonymous group on Ravelry. I can't decide if I love them or loathe them! Made from Yarn Yard Bonny - the purple (main colour) is the last club yarn - I get a whole 100g of the solid. The green is left over from my embossed leaves and the yellow is a mini skein I bought a while ago (and used in my very stripey socks). What do you think? Love or Loathe - be honest!

I'm hoping to pick better colours for the Mystery Mitten KAL that Natalie at The Yard Yard will be hosting soon - see I told you Mitten fever was catching!

Ooooh, and look at those needles - my new knitpicks harmony circulars. I am going to master magic looping this week. I *may* have accidentally ordered some things from Alice at Socktopus this week....
If I show you very small pictures you may not be jealous
Malabrigo SockMalabrigo SockMalabrigo Sock
Two skeins of Malabrigo Sock - in Tiziano Red and Impressionist Sky and a skein of Dream in Colour Smooshy in Lipstick lava.
The DIC is going to be socks for me - I NEED red socks. I think one of the skeins of Malabrigo is going to go to my Sosesaswa Kit pal - but possibly not!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Mitten Fever

Earlier in the week, when the snow hit, I realised that my Cranford Mitts really weren't up to the job of winter gloves.
I acquired Sheila McGregor's "The Complete Book of Traditional Fair Isle Knitting" from a charity shop in St Andrews for £1.99 and spent a lot of the holiday gazing at the wonderful charts in the back.
NHM3 003
I knew then I should dig out my copy of Selbuvotter by Terry Shea and make myself some Selbuvotter mittens. I spent two train journeys to work trying to decide which mittens I wanted to make... so much choice.... I narrowed my selection down to Annemor #16, NHM #3, NHM #4 and NHM #7. Somehow I managed to decide on NHM #3 - the leaves did it for me.
Stranded Mitten - NHM #3
Traditional mittens are knit in White/cream with either black or red as the contrast colour. However I wanted something a little different. My new winter coat is brown with a light pink fleece lining. I knew that I had the perfect match in Yarn Yarn Bonny - conker yarn, a slightly varigated brown and a light pink which was the solid yarn which came with the August club yarn.
Stranded Mitten - NHM #3
I cast on for the first mitten on Tuesday, and somehow managed to knit these on the bus and the train this week.
Stranded Mitten - NHM #3
I've now finished mitten number one - it is a little shorter than I would have liked. However that is because I have completely missed out one part of the pattern, just after the cuff... it is only 7 rows, but it would have made all the difference.
Stranded Mitten - NHM #3
However, it will be fine when tucked in my coat... and as Terry Shea states "The greatest discovery I made in studying the old mitens is how the old knitter were not necessarily any more talented than we are. They followed patterns, made mistakes, corrected them - or didn't. There stitches were occasionally too loose or too tight. There thumb bases have holes in them. The lines between fingers don't match up.
What they did seem to do better than we do is accept mistakes that they made."
Stranded Mitten - NHM #3
Well I'm accepting my mistake - along with another one in the hand pattern and a bit of a messy pick up for the thumb.... and I'm off to cast on for number two.
Even the inside looks pretty!
Stranded Mitten - NHM #3
After that, out will come my fair isle charts and I'm going to design my own..... I can hardly wait!
P.s Jane and Kate have also been knitting mittens this week. It's catching. Have you cast on for some yet?