Welcome to the home of my musings about knitting :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Christmas - the aftermath

Well, I did it. The last time I posted I really didn't think it was humanly possible, but I finished my Christmas knitting in time to give everything away, even though I was sewing a lining into the Booga bag I made for RLBF in the car on the way to her house. And everyone loved everything so I am feeling highly accomplished and more than slightly smug.

But not that smug, as my camera and I are still locked in mortal combat so there will be no pictures of my FO for a few days yet. Apparently whilst my camera and computer are in Norfolk enjoying a splendid English rural Christmas, the vital cable to connect the two has stayed in London for the duration. Curses! But never fear - I will wrestle my pictures out of the camera as soon as it and the cable are reunited. Who knew this could be so complex?

Anyway, in lieu of pictures of this year's knitted gifts I thought I would talk about what knitting-related gifts my lovely friends and family bought for me. I got a really good haul, which could carry me through knitting for 2005 and beyond. Look -

Mr A's brother and his wife got me this:

Folk Socks by Nancy Bush

This is a great book for the sock knitter who wants a new challenge. There's lots of technical resources in terms of new heel turns and toe shapings and the patterns are an order of magnitude more tricky that anything I have attempted to date. But they look so fabulous when they're done that I'm itching to get something out of my book on this needles. Intarsia socks hold no fear for me! (Well, not until I've cast on, anyway). I see more socks in my future.

My mum & dad got me this:

Knitting on the Edge by Nicky Epstein

This is a fantastic reference book for the intermediate knitter who is starting to design their own patterns or to make serious modifications to existing ones. It contains hundreds of different ideas for edging garments with very clear instructions and photographs for each one. There are also a small number of projects, but the best thing about this book is the inspiriation it contains to enable you to design your own projects. I'm certain to have fun with this one.

My brother and his girlfriend got me this:

Scarf Style by Pam Allen Posted by Hello

Words cannot express how much I *heart* this book. Every single project is interesting and there are 2 or 3 that nearly had me drooling on the page. This, combined with the scarf fetish, is just pure indulgence.

I also got a couple of other knit-related things, including a fantastic pattern-a-day calendar from Axelle and a knifty pair of torch spectacles from Mr A so that I can knit on long evening car journeys without shining a torch all around the car and blinding him. I cannot say that they are sartorially elegant, but I'm sure they'll do the trick. Didn't I do well? I can't believe it really - I certainly don't deserve it but I am really lucky to have such thoughtful, generous friends and family. Thanks everyone :)

Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas knitting - it's getting bloody

Just so as you know - once again there will still be no pictures in this post. I have now found my camera but there is some inscruitable software problem that Mr A has promised to fix tomorrow. My view is that the planets are not aligned properly. Or something. Anyway, pictures soon just not today.

But the reason that I have been compelled to post, pictures or no pictures, is that it appears to be early in the morning on Christmas Eve. CHRISTMAS EVE!! How did that happen? Where did all those knitting hours go? Who knows, but I have been knitting like a woman possesed for the last week in order to try and get to the end of my Christmas knitting list. The trouble is that the freaking thing keeps growing. As soon as something drops off one end my knitting imp adds another thing onto the 'To Knit' list and I am dispatched back into the fray. I present the evidence:

Atropos's Christmas knitting list

Harvest socks - complete, given, recipient very happy

Vine lace socks - ditto

Double eyelet rib socks - ditto

Baby blanket - ditto (at least I assume the recipient is very happy. Given that he is currently less than 24 hours old this may be pushing it frankly)

Silk Garden ribbed scarf - knitted in two days on a whim after spying wool in John Lewis's. Looks wonderful and is beautifully soft. Recipient then cancelled meeting at last minute so now not due for gifting until the New Year *face palm*

Broken rib socks - Just turning the second heel. Due for giving on Boxing Day. Must knit faster, but have been impeded by...

Harlot poncho for 10 year old - Cast on yesterday evening, again on a whim after grabbing huge handfuls of Rowan Polar in John Lewis's. Just about to cast off. Still have fringe to construct and also due for giving on Boxing Day. Aiee!

Large Booga Bag - Successfully felted. Now just needs to be lined :/ Again, due for giving on Boxing Day.

Why did I add 2 more things to the list at the last minute? Can anyone answer that question for me? I must be truly crazy. More details on the 24 hour poncho will be forthcoming when my coamera software & I are in a more zen place but for now I must get back to the needles (it's Christmas EVE for heaven's sake!)

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Atropos, Atropos, where have you been?

Sorry for the lengthy silence, ladies & gentlemen. Those of you that read my LJ will know that I have been running around like a crazy fool for the last 3 weeks because I have been moving house, and singing in concerts and generally tearing my hair out with everything that needs to get done at home & at work before Christmas. The horror is beginning to abate but sadly my digital camera is currently packed in one of the many boxes strewn around my new flat so there will be no pictures until I find it.

I know. I get the crap knitblogger award for the month. I'm learning to deal with it.

But even though I have been surrounded by chaos there has been knitting, although you'll just have to imagine it until I've opened a few more boxes.

In the main, much progress has been made on Christmas socks. Since I last posted the Vine Lace pair are done, I've finished another pair in double eyelet rib (for my sister in law) and am about to start the second sock on a third pair in some other lace pattern whose name I forget (for my best friend). Go me! I can now turn a short row heel and do kitchener stitch without reference to the pattern. I can also turn out a sock in 2-3 evenings of solid knitting, depending on how complex the lace pattern is. And I finally seem to have conquered the eyelet problem. I'm quite pleased with that, even if I do say so myself.

My last 3 socks have been in Koigu PPPM rather than Apple Laine, and I have to say I *heart* it. I love the zinginess of the colours, the smoothness of it to knit with and the fact that it is really difficult to split even when you are doing kitchener stitch with a pointy needle in Strict Defiance of the Instructions. Luckily I have plenty more where that came from. Perhaps I will get to knit myself something out of it after Christmas *sigh*

I have also finished the baby blanket for my new nephew / niece, which is a darn good job given that he / she is due to put in an appearance on Christmas Day. I really like it now it's done, and I think the simplicity of the pattern makes it very stylish, but let me tell you a moss stitch blanket of whatever size is truly a labour of love. It just seemed to take forever. I'm hopeful that it will get a lot of use though, so that will be OK.

In other news I gave the Harvest socks away at the weekend and they were received with much squeeing and delight. It is very nice to put so much effort into something and have the recipient be so pleased with it. I just hope the rest of my knitted gifts go down so well.

Finally, proof positive that the fact that knitting is hip is finally penetrating these shores. I was doing the toe decreases on one of my socks on the Tube the other day when a 20-something, blonde-haired, rather lovely looking young man with a pierced lip leant over and said "Oh, is that how you knit socks. I've always wondered. I can knit scarves and things but that looks really complicated." We proceeded to have a 5 minute conversation about how simple it was really, yarn, needle sizes etc. to the absolute astonishment of everyone else in the carriage. If I weren't married I might even regard this as evidence that knitting makes a good flirtation technique. Who knew?

Anyway, hopefully in a few days normal service will be resumed, but you might have t bear with me a little longer. Rest assured that even if I'm not blogging I most certainly am knitting :)