Saturday, 31 December 2005

Bringing in the New Year

DH went out last night for a (very infrequent) night out with the lads (the lads being the lead singer and guitarist from the group they were all in together; DH was the drummer). This meant I had to spend all evening knitting - oh dear. ;-)

Firstly I finished edging & seaming the Textured Cardigan! It's beautiful. You'll just have to believe me for now; no pics as yet as I haven't chosen the buttons.
However there is one slight problem; it's very tight on me. Rose, at the Knit Chat today, suggested that it was in need of some persuasion (i.e. blocking) to give a little, which I will try. If all else fails, it will soon be for sale. I love it, and I don't know why it has turned out small; all I can come up with is something to do with the textured stitch itself, which is very pretty but not at all stretchy. Ho hum, you live and learn.

After that diappointment, I tried to decide which project to continue with whilst waiting for DH to return home - the round yoke school cardigan for youngest DD or Martha for me? I didn't feel like either, and realised that my gloom could only be lifted by a New Project.

SO, just in time for the New Year, a
mini clapotis is born using a gorgeous ebay yarn acquisition from a while back - as yet unphotographed. You'll just have to wait for the New Year to see this beauty which I cannot put down. I wonder if I could sneak it in to tonight's New Year's Eve party? :-)

Happy New Year to all, and may 2006 be full of knitting achievements!

Wednesday, 28 December 2005

Finally.. it's magic!

I've been working on the navy round yoke school cardigan for youngest DD, and it's progressing nicely.

I'd finished the body and garter stitch hem on Boxing Day evening, during our Christmas stay at my in-laws place in the gorgeous Clee Hills. I attempted a sleeve on my circular needle last night without any success, so gave up and knitted the garter stitch collar instead.

I'd seen Annette using the "Magic Loop" method (using 1 long circular needle to knit a small circumference) on her many gorgeous socks and mittens, but obviously couldn't manage it without some assistance. So after a little
googling (what would I do without them?!) I found some great illustrated instructions - a picture says a thousand words, it's true.

Tonight I tried again - eh voila! It's magic! The sleeve's looking great, without any saggy bits at the "sides", so I'm a happy knitter. :-)

The contrast yarn holding the original sleeve stitches is staying there for the time being - it's nice to know I have a lifeline in place in case it goes horribly wrong somewhere along the way.

I still want to learn how to knit with 4 dpns - that's definately on the resolution list for 2006, but I'm so pleased at achieving this method too. Who knows, maybe the 4dpn method will turn out to be ok too? Time will tell..

Saturday, 24 December 2005

Merry Christmas!

So here we are on Christmas Eve.. The girls are in bed but VERY excited.

This is our tree, which the girls decorated by themselves this year. There are two sets of lovely sparkling lights on there too, but the camera flash has managed to cancel them out.

I found time to take some photos of the current (and new) projects today; first up the Textured Cardigan:

I was hoping somehow for this to be finished in time for tomorrow - without actually spending any time on it that is. Hmm, no chance of that, even with a Christmas miracle.

Here's the current progress with the edging anyway. It's going fairly quickly despite being worked in groups of 4 stitches over a total of 320 stitches all the way around. I do love the finished look - it really sets off the rest of the garment.

Here's a close-up for you, set against a lovely bright pink carrier bag to show off the edging!

Next is one of the new projects, Martha, being done in Rowan Cork.

I stayed up to a silly time last night finishing off the back - those cabled raglan edges really grabbed me!

On to the second new project - the round yoke navy school cardigan for youngest DD, worked top-down in the round, using the Wendy Capri yarn stash.

The contrast yarn you can see is holding the sleeve stitches, to be worked in the same way once the body is finished. I may need to swap to 4 dpns to finish them off - aaarrrggghhhh! Wish me luck!

I couldn't resist showing you this one - youngest DD modelling her cardigan in it's current state. This method is great for checking the fit.

The front edges are straight, but I couldn't get them to stop rolling for the picture without pinning them to DD, which she wasn't too keen on.

They will need to have the button band knitted on afterwards, so they will meet in the middle finally!

Time to knit! Have a great Christmas!

Thursday, 22 December 2005

Gremlins and New Projects

Well I've recovered from the stolen goodies incident; it did knock me sick for a wee while, but I'm getting on with some normal (as in non-Xmas) knitting now to put me back on track. The incident is being investigated by Royal Mail and I've also put in my claim for compensation - thankfully I always obtain the free Certificate of Posting when I sent parcels.

No pics as yet, but I've started a couple of new projects. I know I have lots of UFOs to finish off, but I needed something fresh to take my attention.

Firstly, I got frustrated with trying to find a navy school cardigan for my youngest DD, who is starting full-time school in January, so decided to knit one. I have a small stash of navy Wendy Capri yarn (a cotton/acrylic mix boucle yarn) from eons ago, and I've created a pattern using my
Knitware Sweaters program for a round yoke top-down cardigan. It's my first time trying out this type of construction, and I'm loving it. No seaming at the end - wahay! It also means that DD can try it on as it progresses; I've reached the point just under the armholes, and it fits great so far. :-)

The other new project is Martha from the
Rowan Cork Collection - a lovely quick knit cosy sweater for me which is flying along on 7mm needles. I am desperately in need of sweaters, having got rid of most mine in a frenzied wardrobe clear-out a couple of months ago as they were distinctly tired-looking. Of course I had to buy a new set of 7mms the other day as I couldn't find mine - and then discovered them right by my knitting chair this evening. No matter.

I am being bugged now by the disappearance of DH's present from my DDs - I've searched the house to no avail. It seems I need to go shopping again. Just like I visited my mom yesterday to take her Xmas pressie over - and left it at home. Those gremlins are sure playing me up atm. Still, my mom did cheer me up by saying that she was wearing her
bias knit scarf a lot that I gave her last Mother's Day - a success!

Sharon wanted to know where the pattern came from for the toddler's hooded scarf - it was from "Baby Knits for Beginners" by Debbie Bliss. Not my usual selection for a knitting book, but it was all our local library had to offer at the time. I still haven't got round to giving them the list of books they asked for last May(!); it'll happen one day. ;-)

Tuesday, 20 December 2005

Bah! Humbug!

I found out today that 2 of the knitted Christmas gifts that I posted to relatives in Manchester (UK) have been stolen en route.

The package was found in a field 100yards from it's intended destination today, 1 week after posting, ripped open, soggy, and empty. Inside should have been the ribbed collar and picot edged gauntlets that I had knitted. They were quick knits, but I don't have time now to replace them before Christmas, so I'll have to go and buy some replacement presents instead.

Some festive spirit, eh?

Thursday, 15 December 2005

Bug Invasion

Yeuch! I've had a revolting 36 hours. Yesterday morning at 4:30am I woke with that horrible "belly full of gravel" feeling, and a stomach bug ensued in full force for the next 4 hours. I spent the rest of the day asleep in bed, and got up at 4:30pm feeling totally washed out. I felt so rotton I couldn't even face my knitting, and went to bed again at 10:30pm last night, without a stitch knitted.

Today I woke up feeling much better (although soaked; I think I had sweated most of the bug out in the night) - until I got dressed, and then realised how completely energy-less I was. Not surprising really; I needed sugar, water, anything! Anyway I braved it into our annual work's IT Staff Conference (what a heroine!) and managed to last out the day.

Prior to that, I had managed to photograph the hooded toddler scarf I'd knitted before packing it up to begin it's journey to its small recipient in Scotland.

I do like it, but as I said before, I'll not be knitting another. Far too much plain double rib for me. It was fun making the pompom with the gadget I picked up in the summer though, with youngest DD "helping"! I hope it's well received.

Right, I'm off to wash my disgusting hair (no, you're not getting a "bad hair" shot!) and drink lots of honey and lemon - being low seems to have exposed me to more bugs and I now have a very sore throat and ears. The joys of winter!

Friday, 9 December 2005

Knit 1 Crochet 3

It's been a while, but things have been (and still are) hectic round here. Still, I thought I'd better show off my FOs before they are packaged up to go to their recipients.

First up, we have Andy - the Andalusian Stitch Baby Jacket, knitted up using 4 balls of Rowan All Seasons Cotton from my stash. I'm really pleased with this one. I don't know why, but the stitch refuses to show up well on any photos - never mind.

Then we have the trio of Curly Whirly scarves. I crocheted all 3 of these, using stash yarn together with an edging of eyelash yarn which I bought from my LYS. This one is for one of my eldest daughter's school friends.

The second one is also for another school friend, this time in a blue and metallic gold colourway..

And finally the third, more luxurious one, done in a Jaeger vicose/cotton blend yarn with almost 2 full balls of Stylecraft Gypsy worked in throughout, for a friend of mine. The Gypsy yarn is sooo soft - it feels like silk. I love it!

Finally, I wanted to show off my latest stash acquisition - well I have to add more yarn seeing as I've been using up (a tiny amount of) my stash!

Ever since I knitted up my
Moebius Scarf which incorporated 1 ball of Rowan Linen Print in the colourway Smoky, I've wanted to get my hands on a decent amount of it to knit a sweater up for myself. Well I finally found it on sale at Kangaroo for £3.25 per ball, so I grabbed 12 balls of it.
I just love how the colours blend together when it's knitted up, and I just know the FO will look great with my blue jeans, my pink cords, or my khaki skirt. There's versatility for you. ;-)

So what's next on the needles? Well the Christmas pressie knitting is almost done. I have a toddler's hooded scarf with pocket drying on the radiator as I type - never again will I be tempted to knit another of these. 126cm of double rib is not an exciting prospect, especially with the posting date looming ever closer. There's just one more felted bag to knit up now, which should go pretty quickly.

After that, I should be able to get back to my Textured Cardigan, which is just waiting for it's oh-so-long edging. I'm amazed to find that I haven't touched this since October!