Friday, 26 May 2006

Lace it up baby!

A strange thing happened tonight. I sat down at 9:40pm to seam up the half of my Fortune cardigan that is knitted - and I wanted to do it. Yes, I wanted to get those seams laced up. I think I must be on a chocolate high.

You see, seaming at this point is vital. I've added an extra pattern repeat to the sleeves to try to accommodate my gibbon-length arms, and I wanted to see if it worked. You know what? It has!

See the safety pin army holding the arm in place and the lifeline carefully threaded through the sleeve just before the extra length was added? I'm not taking any chances with this baby.

I'd forgotten just how much knitting is involved in an adult size cardigan using 4mm needles - a lot! I am rather enjoying it though as the pattern has become rather second nature. I'm just using the charts and only occassionally referring to the written instructions, and it's working out real well.

I'm very impressed with the Jaeger Matchmaker merino yarn too - I can see why so many people love it, and (oh dear) they stock it at my LYS where I'm knitting every Thursday morning now..

Anyway, I'd better get rid of those pins and carry on seaming cuz it fits (so far, so good)! Yippee - time for a Jack Daniels and coke to celebrate!

Monday, 22 May 2006

Sometimes I worry..

I sent an email to somebody asking for a picture they mentioned.
I received a reply to my email from them asking for my email address..
Er.. ?

Thursday, 18 May 2006

Flash the New Stash!

Yes, that's right, the yarn diet was suspended today. After 2 months, 2 weeks, and 1 day I finally succumbed to temptation whilst at the knitting group at my LYS "La Tienda" this morning.

Wanna see what I bought? Oh go on then, take a look..

Not a hugely impressive photo, but a lovely yarn. It's Jaeger Matchmaker in a variegated colourway. I've never seen this before, and apparently it wasn't produced for very long.

I spotted it last week, hiding on a low shelf and this morning I arrived there early enough to be able to get to it! There were just 5 balls, so I grabbed them and will probably make something for one of my daughters with it.

Wendy Melody - in a lovely fresh variegated blue colourway to make a change from the pinks and lilacs of late.

There is a bolero knitted in this yarn in the LYS and it looks lovely - another one that I spied last week and grabbed today.

I bought 8 balls to make something along the lines of the Peachy Bolero but with longer sleeves and maybe a tie front.

And finally - a few balls of bright acrylic Patons Fab yarn to crochet another poncho for youngest DD. This will replace the the last Rainbow poncho which was cruelly stolen whilst we were 10-pin bowling a few weeks back.

There were other yarns calling me too - but they'll have to wait at the LYS for a while longer yet.

BTW - many thanks for the lovely new name for my Summer Silk sweater. You'll see from the sidebar that "Phoenix" has now gone through the official name change procedures. :-)

Sunday, 14 May 2006

Merino and silk

I have been totally engrossed in Fortune.

The back is done but as yet is unblocked.

See what I mean about the colour? I just can't get it consist or accurate on the photos!

I've now cast on for the first sleeve.

I'll do a front first, then the other sleeve, then the other front. I can't stand knitting two pieces exactly the same back to back!

Unfortunately the obsessive knitting together with wrestling with the lawnmower before the rain arrived left me with a very sore left wrist. I have to do something in the evening, otherwise I'd be biting my nails or eating non-stop, so I started the next project from my to-do list:

I'm calling her Summer Silk. She's an attempt at re-creating a much loved sweater I bought years ago, and wore until it literally fell apart. It had a crocheted front and the rest knitted.

I'm using a pack of
Rowan Summer Tweed, which feels almost exactly the same as the original yarn. This time it's a lilac shade - the original was a dark beige.

The crocheting is actually quite hard on the hands as the yarn is stiff, but it should soften up with washing once complete, especially with the help of some silk wash which I'm hoping to buy soon.

So another new project, but I reckon I can do it without guilt as I only have 3 WIPs at the moment - must be a new record for me!

Thursday, 11 May 2006

The best things in life

Thanks for all your lovely comments about Squishy. She's blushing gently whilst patiently awaiting her flight to her new life in Spain.

I'm rather gripped by my latest project - my Fortune cardigan from Rowan magazine number 20.

It's a Kim Hargreaves design which I'm knitting in Jaeger Matchmaker Merino DK in the burgundy shade. Great colour, but really difficult to photograph accurately.

The design is excellent. It's a fitted cardigan with an all-over chevron pattern, and the shaping is very cleverly hidden in the changes of direction in the chevrons. It's very easy to knit and looks fab.
Kim, that's neat!

I found a new local knitting club today; it runs every Thursday morning in a LYS called "La Tienda". I joined in for almost 2 hours and got almost up to the shoulders on Fortune. The other ladies there are lovely, we got coffee and biscuits, and of course a good browse through all the yarns. Also it's just round the corner from my brother's house, so I got to visit him and my gorgeous little 9-month-old niece James too!

The other great part of today was after I picked my girls up from school. The
weather was still great, so we had a barbecue for tea - smoky bacon sausages, proper beefburgers, and sirloin steak from our local butcher, a watercress salad, plus lots of red & yellow pepper sticks, carrot sticks, and cucumber sticks to dip into the red pepper humous that I whizzed up in the food processor in literally 1 minute. Delicious!

Friday, 5 May 2006

A whole Squishy!

She's finished! Squishy (many thanks to Julie for such a fab and appropriate name!) is knitted and fringed and done. Must have been helped along by those good wishes sent to me by Mandella.

Here I am modelling her in the "Keep me warm honey" style.

When I just went outside for DH top take these pics, my eldest daughter spotted Squishy and breathed "Oh wow. That's beautiful." :-)

This is the "Look no hands" style.

I ended up using 230g (that's 598 metres) of the Fantazie ladder yarn I purchased from ebay last summer. I cast on 52 stitches on 10mm needles and knitted garter stitch until I'd used up 2 whole balls (200g = 520 metres) of the yarn.

If I were to knit another one, I would cast on 60 stitches to make it that little bit wider - this one's about 13 or 14 inches wide.

Last night I added the mega-fringe, which used another 30g of yarn. I really enjoyed doing this part - much to my surprise!

Now for the last bit - I have to wrap up my Squishy as she is intended for another. Ho hum. At least I think she'll be appreciated and enjoyed in her new life in Spain.

So... next?

Last night I picked up
Fortune again. She's lovely but she may need to wait a while now, depending on the weather, as it's merino yarn being used. Watch this space for more distractions.. not least being a new crocheted poncho for youngest DD as hers was stolen as we were 10-pin bowling last weekend..

Monday, 1 May 2006

Just keep knitting..

.. just keep knitting, knitting, knitting...

Have you watched the film "Finding Nemo"? Yes? Well you know what I mean.

The knitting on this Fantazie Ladder Wrap is endless. I'm about 40g into the second 100g ball though (and at 260m per 100g that's not bad going!), so I can see progress being made.

I still have a moving target as far as the deadline is concerned. The relative's birthday is at the end of May, but they are coming over from Spain to visit us sometime within the next 2 - 4 weeks. The project has to be finished, complete with mega fringe, wrapped, and ready to give on that day. Whenever it is.

So wish me luck while I grip those chunky needles and knit like someone possessed..