Sunday, 27 February 2005

Of Scarves and Muffins

Looks like I'm definately in scarf knitting mode. I don't know why I've taken to them this winter; I've never really bothered before. Whatever; I love 'em at the moment!

I visited my closest LYS ("La Tienda") a couple of days ago, and was stunned and amazed to find that they now stock Lanarte ladder yarn! I purchased a ball immediately of course, and here is the progress so far:

Yummy blue ladder yarn - from my LYS!

I'll be visiting again to buy some more of this yarn as they make it in a gorgeous colourway which includes aubergine - that's a must for me. ;-) I decided that this blue one would be great for my own mum for Mother's Day (1 week today) as a moebius collar-necklace-scarf-thingy. Is there a proper name for those creations? Any ideas anyone?

It's a bit fiddly to knit with as you have to get both sides of the ladder in each stitch, but I'm quite enjoying it. It went along well whilst watching the James Bond film "Die Another Day" on TV the other night anyway. ;-)

Alternative use for Fresco yarn - that's better!

Ah.. that Sirdar Fresco yarn. I knitted it up into about two-thirds of the Bowtie Scarf (mentioned previously) and really wasn't happy with the look of it. So I purchased a ball of ivory Stylecraft Eskimo yarn to knit with it, and tried again. Still a no go for me. Better, but not quite there. So I tinked again, and had one last attempt, this time using a Bias Scarf pattern. Now that I like!

My little darlings

Who are those two you ask? Well they're my little darlings of course. Just after devouring two each of the delicious huge muffins they helped me bake this afternoon. Wow - these things are gorgeous! I used
this Banana Muffin recipe but also added one tablespoon of cocoa powder, half a block of chopped cooking chocolate, and a handful of chopped glace cherries. Those muffins will not last the night in this house. ;-)

Thursday, 24 February 2005

Cozy on up for a good read

It's snowing. See?

Big Snow?!

Ok, so it's not much, but by local standards it's a big deal. By this afternoon it had all pretty much thawed, so no snowman-building for my eldest daughter after school.

Despite the thawing conditions, there was still a biting wind, so best to snuggle up indoors (when not walking backwards and forwards between home and school to take/collect my daughters!). And what could be a better read than my latest copy of the
Texere Yarns catalogue which arrived yesterday?!

One Texere catalogue in need of much perusal

There are some very tempting yarns in there, not least the many pages of yarns available to dye yourself and the dye kits to do it with. This I will have to do at some point (when my bank balance looks a little healthier I think) due to my absolute love of variegated yarns.

And then of course there's the knitting to do.

The second Mother's Day gift

Ok, so it's another new WIP. So what?! It's Mother's Day on 6th March, and I'm feeling inspired. Actually I much prefer the look of this yarn (Sirdar Fresco) on the ball to actually knitted up, but hopefully it'll look presentable (forgive the pun!) once it's finished. I'm using it to make up a
Bowtie Scarf.

Recipe for success

Sigh. Did I say I was off to get my shaping right on Lucy? Well about 8 knit-tink cycles later I'm still nowhere near. I passed it on to my trusty local Rowan dealer (the knowledgeable and very helpful Rose) and she couldn't sort it out either - much to the surprise of both of us! She has now passed it on to Rowan themselves, and hopefully they should be getting back to us soon with the correct method. In the meantime..
I felt like I needed a quick fix FO last night. So here's what happened!

Take a couple of these:

Jaeger Alpaca yarn from stash

Mix well with this for 90 minutes, and you end up with this:

A crocheted spiral scarf!

And a close-up to see some detail:

Fluffy alpaca

Well I guess that's one Mother's Day present completed! Just another two to go - I have a mum, a step-mum, and a mum-in-law..

Sunday, 20 February 2005

Sorting out and starting afresh..

Surplus to requirements!

Here's the stack of needles that I determined are surplus to my requirements yesterday - what a pile! I'll sort them into a few batches when I'm less tired and ebay them I think.

Lucy in progress

And here, as promised, is a pic of the beautiful Lucy from the latest Rowan 37 in progress. Only one problem; when I took this, I realised that my stitch pattern has somehow got out of sync when I started the shaping. So I'm off to frog a little and try to sort it out. I wish patterns would give hints on how to work with part pattern repeats whilst shaping!

Saturday, 19 February 2005

On Cloud Nine

A very chilly day full of coughs and colds and a smidge of snow has turned into Seventh Heaven. I collected my copy of Rowan magazine 37 this afternoon, and started swatching for Lucy straight away. Guess what - I got gauge first time! Yippee! So she's now officially started. I would have taken a picture of the swatch, but I was too impatient to get started on her for real. The yarn is gorgeous - Rowan Cotton Tape in (now discontinued) shade "Enchant" - very soft, smooth, and easy to work with. The stitch pattern is easy to pick up, and on 8mm needles she's fairly steaming along. if I can put her down for long enough tomorrow, I'll get some pics to show here. I have a feeling tonight will be a late one.. ;-)

I also sorted out my huge stash of knitting needles; many of these were donated over the years by relatives etc, and included many odd ones and sets too small for the kind of projects I usually undertake. So I got them all out today (an impressive pile!) and my 2 young daughters thoroughly enjoyed helping me with the sorting and matching. The result - a needle bag that I can actually carry easily, a pile of odd and bent needles in the bin, and a pile of good sets to be passed on to those who will use them - probably via ebay. There's nothing like a good spring clean, even if there is snow falling at the same time!

Thursday, 17 February 2005

Swift Work

Stayed at home with my girls and blobbed about as we all felt a bit poorly. What could we do? Wool winding of course!

First there was this..

..and then it looked like this..

..and finally we have this!

There. 742 grams (new digital kitchen scales, smug smirk!) of yumciousness. Now, where's that Booga Bag pattern..?!

Wednesday, 16 February 2005

No Go Zone

The ill-fated Military Jacket

After all my talk of the Military Jacket, I decided that it did have to be ripped after all. I just haven't had the heart to do it yet. I had changed from bamboo to metal needles part way through, and it showed in a big way. I wasn't happy, so it has to go. It's one of those things that will happen when I get a round tuit.. whatever that is..

Oops! It's felted!

This was a sweater of mine that I finished a couple of years ago and wore and washed a few times. Then suddenley, without warning, it decided to felt the last time it was washed. With drastic results:

No, it really doesn't fit me now!

After much puzzlement, I decided this has to become a bag. So now it's waiting for me to get the sewing machine and scissors out. I've never felted anything before, nor have I ever cut any of my knitting, felted or not, so it should be interesting!

Finally in the No Go Zone, there's this gorgeous crocheted cardigan, waiting longing for its borders:

Crochet cardigan awaiting borders

I really do want to get this finished soon, so that I can wear it this summer. It has great potential! I have the yarn for the borders as you can see, but I'm not sure what kind to do. Any suggestions?

Sshh.. more WIPs..

I'm still waiting for Rowan mag 37 to arrive so I can start on the yummy Lucy cardigan in my raspberry-colour Cotton Tape, so I don't really want to start anything big in the meantime. So..

Zig Zag Panel

This started life as a swatch using Rowan 4-ply Soft in a yummy lavender colour, but I love it so much I've just carried on! I'm hoping it may become a skinny scarf or even a belt-type affair.

Back of my daughter's red tank done.. front in progress..

I also needed a no-thinker project that I could happily knit away at whilst chattering at my local knitting group. Hence this red tank for my oldest daughter (age 6yo) using some boucle red stash yarn. That's the back done, and the front is on the needles.

We have snowdrops!

I guess the garden has some WIPs too! We actually have a few snowdrops now - yes! Love 'em. :-)

VK is here!

At last! Vogue Knitting Spring 2005 is here

Yippee! My local newsagent came up trumps again! On first inspection I wan't too sure if there were that many projects in this edition for me, but having looked through again there's this:

Love the colour sequence

Love that colour graduation, and the centre cable. Then there's this:

Could be a useful addition..

.. which I do like but I'd have to make it a little longer for me. And there's also this:

Slinky and sexy.. Love it!

I have a (bought) chenille sweater in exactly this colour, but it's nowhere near as slinky and well-fitting as this. I'll have to check out the yarn requirements for this one.. ;-)

Thursday, 10 February 2005

Gifted Mittens

Gifted mittens in Rowan Chunky Print yarn
Wow another FO! I'm really getting into these small projects - they're so satisfying. This pattern is the "Gifted Mittens" free pattern from Kate Gilbert - very ingenious and a breeze to knit in next to no time. I used one 100g ball of Rowan Chunky Print to make these in the Womans size. If I make them again I'll add about 4 more rows to the cuffs as I prefer them a little longer and there was enough yarn to do this. Great stuff!

Fits like a glove (or mitten)!
Hey look at that - they fit!

Yet another scarf

Slotted scarf in Patons Whisper yarn
I finished this 2 days ago and have worn it since. It was a very quick knit using just 1.5 balls of Patons Whisper in this fab variegated pink shade. I used garter stitch and put a slot in to thread the end through. I think the slot is a little too wide, but I can always sew the sides in a little if it really bugs me. This scarf is so light, soft, and cosy - just right for the weather we're having at the moment.

Rainy day

Rainy day reflection in a puddle
Today was a rainy cold misty day, but I managed to take this photo which I love which reflects a tree from our back garden in a puddle. Well you have to look on the bright side..!

Hello postie..

Rowan Cotton Tape in shade "Enchant"
Look what the postie brought me today! Not 1 but 2 packs of Rowan Cotton Tape in the now discontinued shade of "Enchant". It reminds me of yummy crushed raspberries.. Dee-licious!

Monday, 7 February 2005

What's your style?

I've just compiled and linked to the start of another gallery called Inspiration. I'm including any pictures of projects that I love, and once again I am starting to see a trend which is showing me what my style is I guess!
I love all-over ribs, cables, chevrons, and lacy patterns. I don't like ribbed hems that show up distinctively (now that I wasn't aware of). I like fitted shapes that accentuate and flatter the figure.
Maybe I'll discover more as I find and add more pictures. I'm finding it quite exciting! Why not try your own - you may be surprised by what you find!

Don't do it

I've just learned a valueable (albeit painful) lesson - DO NOT republish your blog template before previewing changes that you have made!
I've just managed to corrupt mine with some spurious cutting and pasting, and all I was trying to do was add a link to another blog. Not only that, but I've just added some of it back in and then left the template editing page without saving changes! ;-(
This just shows how befuddled my mind is at the moment due to the horrible cold I have. Please bear with me until normal service is resumed (sniff, cough, where are those tissues..?).

Sunday, 6 February 2005

Astroturf in action

Youngest daughter wearing the newly finished Astroturf cardigan
What, another FO? Why yes! It's Astroturf - the cardigan knitted from 2 yarns together which makes it look like a lawn covered in flowers. :-) My youngest daughter loves it as you can see. Ah, one happy mom. :-)
On a more daunting note, I measured her 3 months ago and designed this cardigan using the next size up, but it still just fits her perfectly right now. Looks like it won't be worn for long; must be all that good food she's chomping through. :-)

Still cool enough

Mistake Rib scarf
Watch out! FO alert! After a good couple of sessions doing endless (but relaxing) rows of mistake rib, I finished DH's requested scarf - yes requested! This is a major milestone as DH doesn't feel the cold and so doesn't wear sweaters or other knitted items usually. This scarf will go beautifully with his new trendy coat I bought him for his birthday. He's tried it on. He loves it. Tada! And for the final finale - this was using stash yarn! One happy knitty wife. :-) Now for my scarf..

Chilly Spring

Out with the old.. in with the new..
I took this photo yesterday from the comfortable warmth of my dining room as it was so chilly outside! I love it as it sums up winter coming to a close and spring emerging. The bright sunshine helped no end. :-)

Friday, 4 February 2005


Spent a lovely sunny but cold day today sorting through and photographing my yarn. I've added loads of pics to my new Yarn Stash gallery. I think there's a colour scheme coming through here!

It's been really useful to do this too, as it's focused my mind on all the projects I would like to do, and ones which have been in progress so long I'd forgotten about them.

I have more of these to photograph tomorrow (if I have time) before going to my local Knit Chat Club - yippee!

Wednesday, 2 February 2005

Here we go again..

Oh no.. new spring/summer magazines & yarns appearing.. more temptation.. how much can a girl stand???!

I really like these:

How's that for starters?! I was going to focus on getting rid of that WIP pile and some of my stash but now that's all gone out of the window. Oh well. Life's too short to worry about these things. ;-)

I do have significant progress to report on both Clapotis and Astroturf (What?! It's the Multi Cardi reported on earlier this month, renamed by the Knowledgable Rose).. More of that later..