Wednesday, December 28, 2011

80s Knitting

Christmas at my folks in Scotland: my mum has two of my teenage-years knitted creations out... quite surprised how skilled I was back then. Managed a superb countryside intarsia polo jumper complete with 2 bunnies and a metallic oversize jumper that my mum actually still wears! Brought back one of my old books too "Picture Knits".. check them out!

Also finished sock number 1, one evening. I'm not into the cable really... think it makes my ankles look chunky although it makes them.ultra cosy! All the rest of the time spent eating and drinking to excess and chatting to numerous members of my family (17 at Christmas lunch).

My family have totally tuned into my passion for knitting ..... what a delightful number of craft-related gifts I received!
*Mochimichi book x 2 (my hubby suggested to his parents and two days later absent-mindedly purchased it himself (he'd been a bit stressed of late))
*Vouchers for local wool shop
*Cath Kidston floral knitted bag
*The 12 knits of Christmas
* Knitted tea cosies book
*Noah's Ark knitting book plus all the wool and the needles for the animals
What a glorious collection!

Visited my favourite Great Aunt on Boxing Day and she had looked out a pattern for knitted fun "fur" collars and cuffs that she had made once and thought I'd like. Can see these as a future project.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Flow & mindfullness

The single sock is progressing. Need to pay attention and tiny needles means lots of work for little noticeable growth! But I'm onto the toe decreases now so nearing end of first one. Feel as snuggly as imagined when I'm trying on for length.

Reading a book about mindfullness. Can't recall the title but it encourages the reader to live in the moment i.e."being". A wise former colleague of mine encouraged me to consider a raisin. So THIS is what he was talking about. I am seeing a link between the flow you feel when doing something you enjoy (for me one of my mindful occupations is, what do you know, knitting). My past experiences of Tai Chi, Chi Gong and Yoga all taught me to focus on the now, observing thoughts. Might explore this subject further in my blog. No followers as yet so might as well pander to my own musings.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Socks are slow going...

Maybe its cable on 4 needles or the mulled homemade cider at our neighbours' house earlier this afternoon. Slow progress but not as hard as the cable gloves!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Snuggly socks from The Gentle Art of Knitting Jane Brocket

The penguin has flown the nest (sent to my best school buddy who left a ring behind when she stayed this w/e).

Have started on my first pair of socks for myself from a Jane Brocket pattern. Her book is totally wonderful! My favourite knitting read currently. Got it out from the library a few months back and then delighted to see it cut price from the BookPeople.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cloth magazine

A lovely friend of mine Catherine left a copy of this on my doorstep. Her friend is a publisher and she knows I'm into craft (her second career is baking). What a delight this slim quarterly magazine is! Very tempted to discard the hooks and knitting needles and get out my sewing machine. Love an inspirational craft read! Will be recommending Cloth to other crafty ladies.

Actually I did turn a piece of Indian silk into a toga for my daughter (she's doing Romans at school) this week using my machine - a large rectangle transformed into a long strip. Should be able to reuse. Made curtains from the material originally ten years ago.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Crochet penguins

Finished one penguin. Making a mate!

Thinking socks will be next given the recent unpredictability of our boiler!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Knitivity stable complete. Da Darh!

So happy. After much thought I nailed it. The log cabin just wasn't the thing. Looked at Google images for knitted nativities and worked out I needed a box without a lid on its side with an open top and a upside v shaped cardboard roof. Once I assembled this I covered the floor and inside back wall in rustic wallpaper remnants and crocheted a mossy roof with three colours of yarn together. Made a tiny crib out of yellow card and its done. My mum will be more than delighted! A close friend on seeing it said she would cry if someone had given her it! Still very much enjoying out own knitivity!

Have now moved on to the crocheted finger penguin puppets. Initial go was massive more like a mitten than a finger puppet but #2 seems more snug. Must find a way to post photos on this blog!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Knitted beret!

Gave up on the crochet hat after three different Ravelry patterns failed to produce anything suitable. Decided I needed to investigate this so-called chunky yarn Tivoli Woolmix. Found a knitting pattern for Sirdar chunky (made a man's hat for my Dad last Xmas. It was rather small incidentally, he has a massive head (big brain he claims). Switched the needles for a size smaller because yardage was more, made the rib needles a further half size small (my rib is always way too loose) and at last I have mydesired grey hat to match poncho, sophisto scarf and cable gloves. Wore it yesterday on school run (one teacher striking, other not.)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Crochet Slouchy Hat

Have been struggling with this of late. Trying to ad lib from a pattern that started with band for forehead and as I completed row after row of slip stitches it got tighter and tighter cutting off blood flow! After unravelling and adding a few more chains and still ending up with a constricting band I have abandoned that pattern and have decided to crochet from the other direction - from the end/top of the hat. Going quite well but its more fitted than I'd imagined. Not slouchy. However the half double crochet stitch is pleasing so might be ok but not sure how I'll bury my up-do in it! Away for my big birthday tomorrow - a Landmark Trust property so no TV. Now which project will I take with me........ ?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hat time!

The machine felting didn't work! Set my machine to hot wash no spin and when I could eventually open the door water flooded out and realised it hadn't drained. Found a drain cycle but my dog pieces were identical to before the wash and I reckon the wool was acrylic! Have been doing some reading up on different yarn types and their properties after a wise fellow knitting natterer told me she could only wear acrylic, it didn't itch, cost less but didn't last as long (bobbled). For the first time I'm studying the labels on every one of my stash balls. Knitted up a second super chunky hat in turquoise for my DS. Made longer ear flaps instead of pompoms. He looks adorable! Last night I decided to do a hat for myself. The temperature is down to 6 degrees some mornings and my current hat choices won't suffice. Last year's favourite - a purple acrylic beret (shop bought as a set with long scarf and mittens) has yes, you guessed it, bobbled and doesn't match my sophisticated new scarf (silk mum bought) or my hand made gloves. Just loving my gloves so much....! Have found a slouchy crochet pattern online. My up-do will fit in a slouchy style. Have never checked my tension and my wool isn't an exact match for the pattern so had to unravel the forehead band several times. Also twisted the band and yes rewind again. The yarn is light grey acrylic wool blend washable. My mum gave it to me at my nephew's christening last month. A gift of yarn is the best thing ever! Still planning my stable.... stumbled upon the logcabin pattern. I wanted to crochet rather than knit (quicker and easier on my shoulder joints - how old do I sound) but granny squares as much as I love them didn't give the coverage whereas a slip stitch logcabin design ...... hmmm

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Too much knitting not enough chores

Getting rather bogged down with chores ... must stop knitting quite so much! Have finished the cutest purple super chunky hat for my DD. It has pompons on the end of the ear flaps. Quick to knit up ... went slightly wrong getting ear flap wrong way round but pretty easy apart from that small blunder. My DS wants one too! Next decided to make a felted dog for my 2nd godson. Never done felting. It's an instarsia design in beige brown and cream. His ears in the original pattern are non-existent so may have to do a couple of rhombus shaped additions. Machine washed the pieces on hot cycle - still in washing machine because oddly enough the door hasn't opened. Thinking perhaps a little checked dog jacket would suit. Still pondering on how to construct the stable... a number of crochet close knit squares? Also planning socks and crochet penguin finger puppets. And I think I'm fooling myself think I'll swap housework for this!

Friday, October 28, 2011

A holiday week almost over

Have JUST finished my first pair of gloves. Really rather proud of them. Folded the cuffs back to get a better fit. Now to wear them out in angur! Has taken me eight days with about an hours knitting each day including all the unravelling when I went wrong. Not sure I will do gloves again. Thoughts are focused on the next project now. Think I will crochet the knitivity stable.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tricky second glove

Reversing the pattern for the neighbour has led to a couple of unpicking sessions! Think I'm on the right track again. These windy Cornish roads aren't ideal for knitting - feel rather sea sick! Have been reading some self-help books while here .... one was on decluttering (inadvertently picked it up - I'm already a fan of Flylady). But it did make me think I've got to tackle my hot spots before I reward myself with knitting! Next project will be knitivity stables for Xmas! And I need to make them pretty...

Monday, October 24, 2011

First grey cable glove finished!

Have finished one. Gloves are quite a time-consuming business but they are far better than shop bought, come right up my arm and are toasty warm! Started Thursday on the train up to the NEC... lost one of my needles in the cupboard on our stand and had to write up notes on day one of the conference instead of continuing. When I got home realised I actually had five needles so didn't need to get another set of size 1s. Pleased about that. My knitting in the round is getting quite neat now - can't even tell where the gaps between the needles are. Must be spending hours each week knitting. My DH reckons longer than I spend at work. I think my frustration at work is actually making me throw myself into my hobby more. Managed to find an excuse to make more purchases in the local craft shop in the village. Didn't want to run out of projects while away in Cornwall at half-term! Oh what horror if I was lacking a current project! Though I'd have a go at socks. They don't stock very much exciting yarn and found myself discussing my dream of setting up a yarn shop with the two lady sales assistants and signing myself up to an intermediate crochet class run by one of them. Read that the first knitted hotel room had come into existence this week in Brighton. Ha ha.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ears and eyes

Knitting all the ears and eyes etc and sewing them on the dog and cat mittens takes such a long time! Really do like not having to join up mittens after you've knitted them on 4 needles though. My mittens got better with each one I made. Didn't need to do any extra joining on the thumb gusset on mitten 5 onwards! Godson B's are parcelled up with Haribos in each one to send off for his bday. My mum has asked me to knit a stable to go with the knitivity characters I made her last Xmas. Imaging some stripey walls...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Animal mittens

Bought myself an instrument to measure needle gauge so have figured out what sizes my short double-pointed needles are. Bought the smallest size in bamboo 2.25mm too and am redoing the rib with these smaller needles for the first pair of dog mittens. Have also made second dog pair for my daughter... haven't done the features (ears, eyes etc. yet). Feel an urge to do some snuggly winter socks now I'm becoming more proficient on 4 needles. However, after the kids mittens I am going to do a pair for myself - found 2 balls grey Debbie Bliss cashmerino dk in John Lewis. Will attempt to do slightly longer length on wrist/lower arm. Or maybe dare to do gloves? Have a glove and mitten book purchased a long time ago that I've avoided because of not knowing how to knit in the round. Hmmm.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Knit & Natter at local pub

How wonderful. My local pub the Victoria has started a knit & natter evening - first Sunday of the month. Took my animal mittens along and the four needles seemed to impress. Got some tips and realised I am creating in a partial silo - apart from the odd blog I read or short chat at the wool shop in the village. Will definitely become a regular now. There were eight of us - five knitting & one learning.
Finished the cable bag. Have had many admirers and its bright and snuggly and cheers my heart in this dull, colder weather.
Started on animal mittens. First pair (dogs) rather small for my two so will be for godson Ben who is three this month. Have adapted the pattern for H and F wants the cat version. His little hands are only 1cm shorter than dear H's.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Steady progress

Mum loved her knitted scarf and has worn it constantly. Have got on track with the cable bag by using a row counter. I think the issue is having a repeating pattern of four mainly moss stitch rows either side of a non-repeating cable (& bobble) mid section. I forget which row I'm on and somehow am unable to identify which row of the cable I'm on. Anyway I'm on the second side over half way up and just a gusset after that to do. Gusset is such an odd word.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fiddly fuschia bag

Oh my goodness. The Debbie Bliss bag is very tricky. Usually I'm knitting/crocheting in front of a film with my DH. We subscribed to Picturebox a while back. The films are at times rather obscure but with a regularly updated non-bank-breaking 36 to choose from we can usually find something. Anyway, have had to undo the whole piece twice and redo small bits three rows back (hard). SHOULD knit up very fast in Chunky yarn and size 8 needles (I need to go one size smaller to get correct tension). More focus required! Bought the most gorgeous lining material from local shop Poppy Patchwork. It's a Kaffe Fasset design. Envisaging quite a lot of time will be spent on this latest project! But I do so want to replace my battered old green suede work bag with this bright smile-inducing home-made creation in time for the winter months! Ahh just had a sudden realisation - my diminished skills are more down to a fuzzy brain derived from wine-drinking than distraction of "The Darwin Awards".

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Stash Crochet Cushion

Have figured out how to upload photos - from my computer rather than my smartphone. I'll work on the latter.
Granny square cushion is complete and found crochet easier on my shoulder (old sports injury - played way too much badminton a couple of years ago). Think I will pick a crochet project next (well have a number lined up so that will probably be Spring time.) Joining the little bits of tapestry wool was annoying but pretty much constructed this whole cushion with tapestry remnants from the cat cushion. Rather pleased with this.
Also finished three simple garter stitch flannels, unravelling the moss stitch rectangular ones (photo in earlier blog).

A vast improvement and doing the moss stitch wasn't totally wasted. My fushia bag uses moss stitch (and cables and bobbles). My cables are going the wrong way so have had to consult "The Knitters Bible" by Claire Crompton to set me right!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Name tags take over

Rather busy with school trousers hems and sewing on name tags since my last post. Didn't distract from my projects though - knitted a further baby gator so I could send 2 to my friend for her anniversary this weekend. This was at the in-laws house over the bank hol. Also whilst there used up the remnants of the DB yarn making two face cloths but now think garter stitch in stripes would have been better since both face cloths are rather small - DH's comment was "but its not square". The rather gorgeous reverse double moss stitch was lost on him. Back to work a fortnight and found half an hour before returning to our borrowed nanny & the kids to peruse books in the library - what a delight. Haven't mentioned before that I adore books. Just loving The Gentle Art of Knitting by Jane Brocket. I share her ethos entirely. What an inspirational book! Wonder how long I can renew it electronically before it gets reserved. The front cover looks rather trad but its bang up to date published this year and even summarises blog trends. Impressive. She also has a pattern for crocheted granny squares which ties in with recent project - increasing the size of my granny square cushion cover..... will devote next post to that.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bereft of knitting

The cat jigsaw just isn't cutting it. Need a decent knitting project. Visited my great aunt today and she told me she used to knit a lot when her husband was alive (aran sweaters etc.). My great Gma was also a great knitter and did jumpers (incl large quantities of school jumpers) for all the family (she had 14 daughters and 1 son). Haven't managed to get into the knitting shop in town and besides I have wool for my funky Fuschia bag at home. My aunt asked when I had time to knit. I am thinking maybe I need to be doing a few more chores because I certainly seem to find the time. I have this sneaky suspicion that I am an inadequate housewife. I am also neglecting my piano but I don't like to play when the neighbours are in or my DH is around.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Craft break

At my folks' house and didn't pack any current projects. Wasn't sure about needles in hand luggage and didn't want to pack in hold luggage (although hardly a big deal if it went missing or I picked up another person's bag*). Instead I'm on the jigsaws with mum. Feel like I'm in a project rut (scarf was too short and needs unravelling, granny squares need to be transformed into cushion......) and need to peruse some books for inspiration. There is a craft shop in town - marvellous. One too many glasses of white last night but will rouse myself for a trot around the nearby golf course/bird reserve. Must put photos of projects on my to-do list. This blog is rather flat.

*This did happen a few years back... I opened the bag thinking it was mine and found some rather damp contents instead of my own. Then felt what seemed like a severed human head in a black bin bag and jumped a mile. Turned out to be a horse riding helmet.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Back from holiday

Got on very well with the granny crocheted squares. Made 16 in total using remains of my cat cushion tapestry wool so going to look fab in my sitting room. Decided to knit a second narrower lace effect scarf too but ran out of wool. I did notice a pattern for a cute facecloth in Debbie Bliss Eco baby. Knitted another mochimochiland baby gator for my oldest friend who is seriously into all things reptilian. Also tried out some tiny Xmas trees but they just didn't look as they should even when I put beads on them. Ah well will have to rethink on Xmas gifts project. Still have the fuschia bag to make but H is requesting a hat mitten and scarf set in blue. It's still too early to start on winter projects. I have seen some cute animal mitten patterns knitted in the round... well enough rambling on for today.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Need to start packing but in a quandary about what craft project or projects to take with me. Something new or something mid way or something just begun? Chunky knit hot pink bag (new), half done summer scarf for my mum, granny squares (only 3 done) or baby gators (3 in the family 1 already given away).... Perhaps all four projects? Perhaps I will get knitter's RSI with all the projects I have planned? Think I will avoid packing altogether and crack on with one of the projects instead.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Granny squares in the car

Managed a couple of squares in the car. Crocheted. Always worry about knitting in the car and what if DH brakes suddenly and I'm impaled by two size 4 ml? Wonder if bamboo might be better than metal - probably since they'd most likely snap. A crochet hook is by far the safer option.