Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hobby Lobby

Wow have just visited Hobby Lobby. It is next door to Home Depot (US equivalent of B&Q) and it has a double-sided aisle full of yarn. The kids had to drag me away before I made a purchase.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Chicks complete

Knitting has ground to an almost complete standstill as we prepare for our move to the Lone Star State later this month.

Have finished the chicks and heart at Knitting Natter on Sunday (my last one) and on the train up to London to get our visas at the US embassy.

Have been investigating shops and groups in my soon to be new hometown and there seems to be a lot going on. I even have a yarn store I could cycle to I reckon. Anyway once I settle I will report back.

Wondering what people actually knit in a hot climate .... will find out!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fluffy chicks base

Have knitted up the pieces for two fluffy chicks now using a combination of fluffy mohair and yellow DK. The chicks are bigger than in the pattern but I just couldn't find any self-striping fluffy wool, as I may well have mentioned. Sewed in the ends and then began to fit the pieces together. Discovered the base just doesn't fit. It's a semi circle but just way bigger than the base of the main chick piece. Very very odd. I can't see in the photo how it fits. Couldn't get my head around it at all last night. I do have a stinky cold which just isn't helping matters at all.

Knitted a tiny red heart for my mum for mothers' day and its in the post, just in case you wondered. Just love my mum! Forgot to photo it. But stitched a tiny "M" onto.it too. My mum loves anything I make or buy her - the most grateful and appreciative of gift recipients!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fluffy chicks cheep cheep

Have begun the fluffy chicks for my friend Mel using double yarn of fluffy mohair and yellow dk. Hoping I have enough for two.

Really like to knit the anniversary swans for my mum in time for mothers day. Perhaps a little optimistic. The assembling of little animals always takes longer than knitting them (unless they are knitted in the round I guess which my fluffy chicks are not).

Listening to Cast On podcasts on ky commute. Quite fancy a top-down raglan sweater as a project. You can fit it to yourself as you knit it. Sounds perfect.

Knitting Natter on Sunday ..... everyone has made sufficient pieces of bunting. We have red, white, blue and multi colour crochet ones too. Three new members which was good. Always amusing.  Discussed Scottish grandmothers, camping trip plans, CVs (my friend is being made redundant in June after 23 years at the same organisation) and further jubilee decoration ideas amongst other subjects.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bought from a shop

A compliment from my DH this morning when I showed him my finished waistcoat. He said it didn't look hand made, rather bought from a shop. Bless. He was rather jaded though after a night out with the boys so perhaps beer goggles still on combined with a slight guilty conscience. I can't wait to wear it. Not quite warm enough for spring mid layers.

Made my darling daughter a fish from my new book. I think my colourways, dark purple and lime green, are cuter than the book's. You decide!? Have left by her bed so she gets a sweet surprise on waking. My gorgeous son will be jealous and demand his own!

I've figured out what stash yarn I can use for the fluffy chicks. Just can't find fluffy yarn that is also self-striping like the one in the book. So will combine my beige fluffy mohair with yellow DK or perhaps white with a slight boucle. Great. Next project..... was thinking I might do a couple of extra chicks for mum for mothers day...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Too short again....

I am getting pretty fed up of another too-short garment. Looks fab but going to have to crochet an inch or two onto the length. But what stitch? DH out tonight so it will just me, my almost finished project and some heaving-bosomed drama on the box. Perhaps a cheeky glass of perry too.

Picked out some buttons in the village craft shop. The ladies agreed that stocking stitch was just wrong for bunting. It would always roll up. They are running a beginners knit and crochet class over two evening sessions with plans for more advanced. Monday evenings will suit me. These three ladies are a font of all knitting and crochet knowledge. Couldn't help showing off a photo of my union jack bunting - it looks quite respectable from a distance! Can't wait to quiz them on thinks from suitable stitches, yarn choice and substituting yarn. They nodded very knowledgeably when I said these were subjects I need advice on.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bunting progressing

After my seven white pieces of bunting thought I'd have a go at a union jack. Found a chart in one of my Debbie Bliss books. However moss stitch doesn't lend itself well to single rows of intarsia. It was pretty fiddly and had to darn the holes and give the white stripes a little mire definition. My daughter was amazed. Think I'll leave it at that for Knitting Natter this Sunday - well I'll have to iron flat the curling stocking stitch ones!

Returned to my tartan waistcoat. It actually seems almost long and wide enough this time round! Only one armhole rib and making up to finish. Will manage to finish it for sure over the next three evenings. And then onto another project. Something from my latest book?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gift from lovely friend

My lovely school mummy friend Mel a big fan and recipient of two of my mochimochi animal zoo has just given me a new adorable knitting book: "All you knit is love" by Debbie Harrold. (Made her a brown tweed hamster in penance for leading her astray with one too many glasses of pink fizz when she had a christening to go to the next day - she thought my pair of hamsters were guinea pigs and fondly told me about her childhood brown guinea pig. I didn't want to disenchant.) She hinted massively about the two You're Tweet chicks so I'm going to have to order some self-striping fluffy yarn and make them for her.  I can see my romantic sister-in-law loving the anniversary swans. More projects in the queue....  perhaps I should be disciplined and enter them as projects on my sparse Ravelry profile... perhaps not.

Have been listening to more archived Cast On podcasts. Love them, love them. Brenda had such a lovely voice and the interviewees are just fascinating. There just aren't enough hours in the day to fit everything knitting in there! My DH has renamed me the "knitting nutter". Not best pleased and wondering if this is preferable to "old grumpy".

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Waistcoat resize

Just can't figure out why the size 12 pieces seemed so small so on Thursday unravelled the whole lot, just ripped it back. And started with the size 14. My tension was spot on. Perhaps I am not size 12 or blocking would increase the size? Hmmm. Stick to items where tension is less crucial I reckon. Am much happier with the yarn though. Tartan looks great when I held it up. Bright and cheerful for chilly west country springtime.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

To choose yarn or pattern first?

Bought my on sale yarn a few weeks back and thinking maybe I purchased yarn and pattern the wrong way round. Should have fallen in love with the pattern first. My maternal grandmother, a talented dress-maker, looked at me aghast when I asked her recently which she chose first. Pattern of course. Now I'm knitting a waistcoat that I'm not exactly enamored with.... don't think the yarn suits the pattern. I have Sublime Merino Chunky Tweed and the pattern is for Sirdar Tweed Chunky which does sound quite similar I admit but there is an unsatisfactory mismatch. The pattern is more rustic than my yarn. The two Sublime pattern books are $8 each plus shipping and can't see anything I fancy anyway. Have searched on Ravelry for a pattern to suit but I think the yarn just doesn't have a satisfactory pattern. I just don't like the yarn full stop. My problem is that I fell for a sale yarn. Never again.Anyway I am persevering.... just hope the finished garment is far better than my imagined outcome. Completed back and 2 sides. Onto the cable border which is knitted horizontally and is joined below the waist. The cable is admittedly rather pleasing. It's almost a different pattern row each time and I'm on row 19. It's fun actually. My fear with this pattern is that although its nipped at the waist, a "good" part of my body, the border is chunky just below the waist corresponding with a "bad" part of my body (muffin-top extra bit you acquire after kids). It's going to be a "wear at home only item". My poor long-suffering husband.... I may greet him with a date night rib eye steak but my knitwear disappointments are hardly the slinky kimono he would probably prefer!

Friday, February 10, 2012

7 pieces of white bunting done!

It was Knitting Natter at the Victoria on Sunday. Almost didn't go... was in a grumpy mood. But my friend Sharon & I exchanged texts and persuaded each other. Had a fun evening. Same group of nine ladies. Sarah was knitting breasts for a breastfeeding support group - made me laugh! We were shown the required jubilee bunting and given wool and a pattern. I took 100g of white acrylic dk, Sharon and Sarah the blue and red balls. After two pieces of stocking stitch with further edge on 3.25mm needles I doubled up the yarn and switched to chunky needles. Finished with two moss stitch pieces - moss stitch doesn't roll so won't need to be ironed flat and texture is pleasing.

Tote for mum

Was about time I knitted a gift. My dear mum has been sending so many parcels to us (jumpers, dressing gowns, sweet treats, homemade books and puzzles to help F's reading along....) she deserved a thank you. Continued with the fluffy two stranded garter stitch until it was bag length. Attached a shiny black handle and a knitted bow in the lighter tone. Marvellous and rather professional result!! The bow reflected when I took a photo so attach the plain side.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Finished my snood the day it snowed!

Ok the snow didn't settle but my snood came to life the same day. It's below zero outside and I'll be wearing it tomorrow. Marvelous! My DH said I looked like the woman from the Scottish Widows ad but I took that as a complement since she's fairly glamorous.
Ordered a second knitting magazine Knitscene from Interweave Publications Patterns look funky. Looking forward to it arriving. Another American publication. http://www.interweave.com/Magazines/
On with the fluffy tote bag for my dear mum. Trying to work out how to attach the plastic handles. Crochet may be the answer. Will get the bag to the right size while I ponder that.
Have been reading about magic ball knitting - a way to use your stash. Rectangular afghan pieces?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sixth & final ball

Cowl is progressing well. It's super snuggly and length definitively sufficient. Might even manage to double it up. Enjoying the subtle snake-like tenth cable row and tried out the invisible seam cast on using purl bee's method of crocheting a piece of contrasting yarn and casting on to the back of the stitch. Will see how it works out. May finish tomorrow or Monday. Not out at Zumba - DH has a bike meeting and anyhow I've pulled a muscle in swimming with my 7 year old on my back. Silly me!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Shopping shopping shopping!

Spent my vouchers on Saturday (well double my vouchers!) but all on sale yarn at Get Knitted. Massive store. Loads of choice. I now have a few projects lined up. Yippee. Project quandary well and truly over.

Red waistcoat, rustic cowl, fluffy two strand tote for mum and electric blue mitts. Have also had a monkey request from my DD. And will knit a tea cosy to give complete with tea pot to my lovely sister-in-law who bought me the book!

Have started the cowl. One ball down out of six. Doesn't look long enough. It's Debbie Bliss Glen. Didn't buy the pattern book for seven quid but scanned it and found a cowl with the same cable online so think I'm going to produce something along the right lines. Other projects are shelved because I need to get some wear out of this cowl before it turns a lot milder! Pressure on.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Next project quandary & bag started

Really have been feeling very angst-ridden about what the next project should be. Tempted by a red coat in the magazine I bought but the yarn I found on sale still came to 45 quid! Is that really how much it should cost? Back to the existing stash! Decided a second knitted bag would be a good project and would use stripes of two stash yarns - a very dark navy merino and insipid light beige mohair. On double-checking yardage they weren't as similar as I'd thought so got some thicker needles and knitted both together and it looks flipping fab! Nothing more than garter stitch required. Check it out! The blue looks black and the beige white. And somewhere I have grey too! Feels soft! Much much happier!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hat done & magazine purchase!

Finished the hat. Worked out well, better than grey hat #2 I reckon. Wondering how on earth I managed to substitute needle size yarn thickness recalculate the pattern and get the size just right! Total fluke.

Bought my first knitting magazine ever today: Knit simple. Major determining factor in choosing this one (apart from being in stock in the newsagent) is sold by Bristol yarn shop Get Knitted. Very excited by this magazine! Feel a bigger than sock/hat/mochimichi animal project coming on......!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Another grey hat & examining the stash

Decided to do another slouchy grey hat. Heavier yarn than specified in the pattern but approximately "simple squashy slouchy" first hat from Jane Brocket's Gentle Art of Knitting. Stocking stitch with a pleasing garter ridge. Have attached a photo.

Decided rather than spending my Get Knitted Xmas voucher I'd look at my stash, list it where I can locate a yarn label for those I've got at least 50g of and see if I can find a suitable pattern on Ravelry. Will see how I get on. My DH is out with the bike club so more easily done on his iPad. Slight problem with lack of working printer at home. Need to collar one of my techie best mates when they come over for pasta and wine but never remember mid-conversation and wine!

Have really been enjoying the Cast On podcasts! My new knitting guru lives in Pembrokeshire... close by! Really good to hear chatter about my favourite thing. Reminds me to get back to my local pub for their monthly Knitting Natter night!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Given up on Grouchy Couch

Thought I'd make the mochimichi couch for my hamsters. Selected a couple of stash balls in suitable colours. However, totally underestimated how much I'd need and have run out of main colour with two more cushions and two more armrests to make. It's fiddly using two colours and has been making me rather grouchy! Really don't like abandoning a project but yearning to make some to wear rather than a frivolous ornament.

Found some US knitting podcasts for my commute to work "Cast on". The broadcaster has a mellow voice and think I'm going to enjoy these a lot. Have synced a dozen onto my ipod.

Anyway here's a photo of the abandoned couch. Will find ways to reuse what I've done at some point. Thinking add a rib to the main piece for a smartphone cosy case. Scrunchies for the smaller pieces.

Friday, January 6, 2012

My friends think my hamsters are odd

They just aren't getting my mochimochi hamsters. I am getting comments like "what's inside them?", "yeuch", "yes, but I think you could sell your hats....". However my children have been hamster-napping them regularly to play zuzu games! Ha ha. The hamsters are getting a sofa and a tv too. Lost my 5th 3mm dp needle in Cornwall so sofa isn't most straightforward. My DH asked last night which was most challenging baby gator or sofa? He IS paying attention!