Wednesday, 22 February 2006

Checking in

Rain Dance Shawl:
I’ve done 10 of the 16 edging pieces - wahay!
It feels like it’s on the home straight now as there is more of the shawl off the needle and finished than there is remaining on there.

It’ll be interesting to see what blocking does to it – although I’ll have to be careful, as the yarn I’ve used is 70% acrylic. Let’s hope I don’t kill it before wearing it!

Smoking cessation:
I’ve been a non-smoker for 3 weeks now and it is getting easier.

For the last few days I’ve been having panic attack type sensations and tingles in 2 fingers of my left hand. Pippa (our resident Tuesday Knit Chat nurse!) assures me that this is a side effect of giving up smoking, as my blood flow and oxygen levels increase, and it shouldn’t last too long.

Thanks for all your messages of support too! They really do help to keep my spirits up. :-) I can’t really spend the money I’ve saved on yarn as DH always used to buy the cigs (and still does, although he is now talking of giving up in the future too, which is an amazing leap). Even so, I’m still treating myself as it’s a great incentive.

I have received my first ever ball of Opal Rain Forest Flamingo sock yarn!

Yes yes, I know that I said I’d never ever knit socks, but life changes and flows like a river n’est pas?!

Anyway, I blame Magknits for that wonderful Jaywalker pattern. ;-)

A few weeks back I lent Yuca my KnitSimple mag during a Tuesday Knit Chat session.

She hadn’t been able to get it back to me until this week, and was worried that I might need it so she bought me a thank you gift!

I unwrapped it to find a gorgeous skein of Colinette Silky chic in the “Summer Berries” colourway.

Yuca, you’re too kind; you really shouldn’t have but I’m very grateful for this totally gorgeous yarn. :-) I feel a curly whirlie scarf coming on – this time for me…

Friday, 17 February 2006

Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow

Yesterday I took my daughters to a family event at our local art gallery entitled "Wool". It was very popular, and there were lots of children having a go at regular hand knitting, french knitting, making wool collages, felting, and weaving.

I reckon the most successful for us was the felting - and this necklace is what my 4yo daughter made!
The two balls are felted wool, made from coloured fleece wound round and then wetted and rubbed vigorously between the palms into ball shapes. OK I had to help out here when her hands got tired, but she did most of it herself.
The balls go so hard that you have to knock a nail through with a hammer to get the hole for stringing it onto the elastic - an amazing process to literally watch it felting in your hands!

We'll be trying more of this at home I think..

As promised, here's the Rain Dance Shawl getting its edging. It's a slow process as each edging piece has 40 rows.

It doesn't help that the chart from Elann had an error - it started off with 20 stitches but suddenly jumped to 21 stitches from row 3 onwards. The chart has now been corrected.

Tuesday, 14 February 2006

Starting at the finish post

Is it half-term week for you? It is for us. I've taken the week off work and I'm staying at home refereeing, I mean having fun with, my girls. ;-)

I spent today recovering from my daughter's 7yo friend having a sleepover with us last night (much giggling and silliness until late into the night) and look what I just finished!

Broadstreet Mittens are knitted and buttoned and I adore them.
The buttons actually match very nicely but refuse to do anything other than glare at the camera.
I'm looking forward to the
cold spell we're being promised later this week so that I can try out my new toasty fingerwarmers. ;-)

On Sunday I took my girls to
Hobbycraft to spend their pocket money - the £3 off voucher in our local paper was too much of a temptation for us. The girls bought various crafty kits, and I spotted some beads I'd been looking for.
I've been putting together the ingredients for my next small project - Mrs Beetons wristwarmers.

See the beads? They're actually all various shades of lilac but again the camera is playing tricks.

I'd already got the Kidsilk Haze left over from the beaded edging of my
mohair wrap, so I grabbed a ball of the Cashsoft DK whilst at the Knit Chat last Saturday (with 4yo DD in tow - she took her plastic canvas sewing and chatted to everyone else a lot!). How soft is that yarn? Words fail me.

Luckily I can't start this project until the
Rain Dance Shawl is complete as I need to use that particular Addi circular. It's getting there, honest.

Whilst at Hobbycraft I spied some Patons Symphony yarn which I have admired for some time. It's an acrylic yarn but very plush and feels more like chenille. There on the shelf was this gorgeous "Fruit Crush" colourway so I felt another no-smoking reward coming on (2 weeks tomorrow!).

You see I've been itching to have a go at "
My So Called Scarf" for months, but needed the right yarn for it.

I think I've found it. :-)

Thursday, 9 February 2006

A welcome sight

What a fabulous day! Incredibly blue sky, spring flowers starting to emerge, and sunshine all day. Still very cold, but a mood-lifter nevertheless.

Another welcome sight was handed to my by the postie this morning - my latest ebay win!

It's 550g of Garnstudio's Silke-Tweed yarn in a beautiful dusky pink (shade 15). It's my gift to myself for being a non-smoker for 9 days now. :-)

Have you checked out the amazing number of free patterns at the Garnstudio/Drops website? Brilliant!

Sunday, 5 February 2006

Giving up (but not giving in)

It's been a traumatic week. I gave up smoking on Wednesday (1st Feb) and managed to time it immaculately to coincide with the start of a spectacular bout of PMT. No doubt the two situations were feeding off each other. I'm taking turns at feeling elated and manically depressed; not a pretty sight. The GI diet is struggling on - I'm craving either oatcakes with cheese or more chocolate.

On Friday youngest DD came down with the infamous flu bug doing the rounds atm and had to come home from school early looking and feeling decidedly poorly. At least her asthma seems ok and she is on the mend now.

Last night we went out to a Murder Mystery meal which was so completely cryptic to me that I hadn't the foggiest what was going on all night. I think my brain had actually disconnected for the whole evening. DH drank plenty (I was driving), managed to work some of it out, and then was very ill when we got home (it was the subtle mix of red wine and Jack Daniels in large quantity that did it). I was really impressed.

Today we were all munching away happily through our yummy roast beef and yorkshire puds dinner when I discovered a cavernous hole in another tooth (well it's mainly filling already) on the other side of my mouth (see not-so-long-ago post), so it's back to the dentist for me this week.


Knitting, thankfully, is the one thing that has remained on an even keel.

The Rain Dance Shawl now stands at 322 stitches wide and is ready for the edging.

That's 16 lots of zigzags with 20 stitches each - hopefully much more manageable. I know it doesn't add up - there is 1 extra stitch to be incorporated each side. And yes that is part of the pattern.

One Broadstreet Mitten is complete and thankfully it fits. I still need to sew on a button to fasten down the shell when it's open though.

It fits! And not a seam in sight (apart from the 2 tiny bits of ribbing at the sides of the shell).

I do have to admit that I got slightly overwhelmed with the small-circular-needle syndrome, and just HAD to start something else on big straight needles as some form of respite.

Hence the (hopefully) classic fitted sweater using my beloved Colinette Giotto yarn in shade "Caramel".

The front's nearly done too.

That's your lot for now. I feel the need for an oatcake - to be chewed carefully to avoid the hole in my tooth of course.. :-/