Welcome to the home of my musings about knitting :)

Friday, April 29, 2005

I'm a bad, bad blogger

How is it possible that I haven't had anything to say about knitting for over 3 weeks? *blushes*

And now I come to you without pictures. I am truly the crappest knitblogger in the universe. Ah well - all I can say is get used to it. My RL friends have and they have had to put up with this sort of unreliability for many a long year now, poor souls :)

Anyway, other than bemoaning my crapness what do I actually have to say about knitting?

1. Tempting is nearly finished. Again. Sizing is looking much better this time out but once again I am dithering over the shoulder shaping. I think I need to take her off the needles and try it on before I make my decision. But hopefully there should be pictures of her in all her glory sometime next week.

2. I just sent off 7 hats to the Dulaan Project. If you don't know about this one, check out Ryan's blog over at Mossy Cottage Knits. Heck, even if you do know about it check out her blog anyway because she has posted some really powerful pictures of the kids this project has been set up to help. I promise it will inspire you to get out your needles and make something really warm to send them.

3. My SP4 has a sense of humour. At least that's what I hope it is. After a little post office related confusion I received an April Fool's parcel from her this week, focussing on my deep suspicion of crochet. It contained (and I quote) "yarn so cheap that it doesn't matter if you make a mistake" (Acrylic. Pink. Dayglo. Need I say more?) and the most frightening pattern book I have ever seen in my born days. Really there is some stuff in there that my granny wouldn't crochet and let me tell you, that is saying something. I am particularly drawn to the crocheted tie. I wonder if I made it for my dad for his birthday if I could then persuade him to wear it? There will definitely be pictures of this wonder of publishing once I get my arse in gear. It is far too good not to share with y'all.

So anyway that's it for now. Look forward to a return to more frequent blogging in the near future :)

Monday, April 04, 2005

OMG, I feel like jumping out of my bath and running down the street naked!

Today I have had a true Eureka moment.

Since I last wrote I have been fretting about my Tempting disaster. Yes, my weight loss will account for some of the difference in sizing, but surely not the handfuls of spare fabric that I was left with when I tried it on last night? And given that the next thing I want to knit is the Shapely Tank from White Lies it seemed to me that it would be worth doing a bit of research to crack my seeming inability to get a fitted sweater to actually, you know, fit me.

So I did a bit more Googling, read lots of knitblogs, and came across a vital piece of advice from the Shapely Tank KAL. Apparently most knitting and sewing patterns are sized for a B cup. So if your boobs are more on the ample side cupwise rather than measuring around your full bust to determine what size to make you should measure higher up - basically under your armpits. Then you deal with the extra boobage either through the use of short rows a la Shapely Tank or via the inherent nature of the fabric a la Tempting.

It's so simple when you think about it I really can't believe I hadn't worked it out before. Now me & my 34D's can return to the Tempting fray with confidence that I might actually be able to get some wear out of the finished product.

*dances the happy dance of a better educated knitter*

Well, there's good news, a bit more good news and then bad news

First the good news. While I was away on holiday I received a fantastic Easter surprise from my Secret Pal 4. She has really been doing her homework because when I opened it I was over the moon. My favourite colour and useful for my other crafty activities too. Here it is - a purple variety bag from Texere. I love, love, love it - thanks Peep!

Thanks Secret Pal! Posted by Hello

Second the other good news. I finished Tempting!

But I'm not going to post a picture of it because of the bad news.

It is VAST! And by vast I mean unwearably 100% frogging required VAST. I have hidden it away in my knitting bag for the moment but I think the unravelling starts tomorrow. Although the silver lining in this very dark cloud is that allowing for the vastness I think when it is the right size it will look really good so I think once I am over the dissapointment I will be raring to knit it again. Plus I have also realised that I think I am going to need to add some shoulder shaping to keep the thing up due to my 34D chest *blushes*.

So what have I learnt from this debacle? Two things, I think:

* Firstly, make allowances in the sizing if you are in the middle of losing weight while you are knitting a project. Doh!

* Second, read other people's knitblogs before you start. If I'd just done a quick Google I'd have found out about the general vastness of the pattern and the requirement for the chestier among us to add shoulder shaping. There's plenty of comments on it, if only I'd bothered to read them. Double doh!

Anyway, you live and learn I suppose. And I'm still hoping for a sexy sweater at the end of this process. At least it shouldn't take so long to knit this time, seeing as I am planning to go down by 2.5 sizes.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Leavin' on a jet plane

Life is crazy. Still knitting but very little time to blog about it at the moment. This will pass I know but it is a bit frustrating.

However, on the positive front I am now going to be away travelling for a couple of weeks so don't worry if it all goes quiet for a bit. I promise lots of pics of sun-kissed knitting when I get back (subject of course to the vagaries of blogger and hello).

See y'all later :)

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Dulaan hats

Heathland is finished

Look at my lovely lace!

What's this going to be then? Posted by Hello

Friday, March 11, 2005

And the answer is .... 6

The question being how many hats can I knit in an obsessive fashion one after the other for the Dulaan Project before I cast on something else, of course. And here they are:

Dulaan hats

They're quite good, aren't they? I've really enjoyed making them actually. Lots of scope for using up bits and pieces from my stash, plus the fact that I discovered the wonder that is twisted rib when making the white, yellow and brown one on the right hand side of the picture. Seriously, I don't think I'm going to use normal rib ever again. Apart from the project below of course, but more of that later. I'm going to make a few more things and then send them off to F.I.R.E all together. I might make something other than hats I think, because looking at Ryan's blog there are quite a few of those already out there. I think perhaps the Mongolians will need to keep more than their heads warm.

In other news, here is my finished Heathland shawl. She's turned out OK, don't you think? I bow before the power of blocking.

Heathland is finished

And just because I am so amazed at the transformation blocking has caused, here's another gratuitous shots of the lace detail.

Look at my lovely lace!

Heathland will be making her debut 1 week from today as a stylish addition to my concert ensemble, keeping my shoulders warm when I'm not on stage singing. I think she'll be perfect for that.

So now that the lace is done, what am I knitting at the moment? Here's a picture of my progress to date - see if you can guess. Just in case you need a clue, it's a sweater of sorts and I'm knitting it for myself.

What's this going to be then? Posted by Hello

Answers on a postcard. Or maybe just in the comments :)

ETA - Waah! Hello & / or Blogger seem to be malfunctioning. I'm going to leave this for a little while and then repost it if the pictures are still not showing up.

ETA II - Blogger appears to be officially cracked out. The only way I can get pictures to appear at the moment is to post them straight from Hello and then not edit the post so that's what I've done. The pics for this post are in the one above, if you see what I mean. I do hope this goes away soon :/

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

It's all hats, all of the time (apart from the blocking, that is)

So this weekend I had a pretty self indulgent time on the knitting front. It started off well with me knitting my first ever hat in honour of the Dulaan project (click the button on the sidebar for more info). Here is is being blocked using my patent "upside down pudding basin on top of an upside down pint glass" methodology. I used one of the patterns Ryan suggests on the Dulaan site, and the remnants of the Noro Kureyon left over from when I made Rosedale. Nice, don't you think?

My first Dulaan FO

And can I just say that hats are a revelation in terms of speed and knitting satisfaction. That one only took me an evening to produce! All that time before Christmas that I spend slaving away over the sock needles when I could have been effortlessly churning out hats for all and sundry! I know what everyone is getting next year.

Of course, the only trouble with woolly hats is that I would never wear one myself as they unfailingly make me look like an escapee from some kind of sheltered accommodation. I don't really do hats unless they are the vast brimmed variety a la Kristen Scott Thomas in Four Weddings and a Funeral. But never mind - I know lots of people who would look great in them when it comes round to Christmas, and hopefully the Mongolians will be glad of a few. Because once I'd finished that one I felt inspired to rummage around in my stash for any other suitable oddments to be transformed into Dulaan items.

And look what I found:

Look what I found in my stash - where did all that come from?

I see more hats in my future. In fact the bright red & custard yellow yarn has already been transformed into a rather cute slipstitch number and I am currently working the brown and cream into a twisted rib hat pattern. Pics after the weekend when they will be blocked and respectable. The lavender Kid Classic on the left of the shot is destined to become Coronet I think. I wonder how many hats I can knit before I get sick of them?

So what else was included in my self indulgent knitting weekend? Well, firstly I must say a big thankyou to Emma for a) giving me some sensible advice on how to block lace and b) reminding me that Heathland was going to stretch a lot when I blocked it. I had forgotten that little point and was planning on a lot more knitting, but decided to stop and block instead, which was a jolly good job as the thing took up the whole of the spare bed for blocking purposes as it was. Any longer and we'd have been in serious trouble.

Anyway, here is my very first attempt at lace blocking in action:

Blocking 101 - stage 1

(I hope y'all are noticing the handknit socks there.) Yes, I have just soaked my lovely feather & fan work in tepid water, wrapped it and in a towel and stood on it to squeeze the excess water out of it. And what of it?

Here are the results of that particular tender mercy:

Blocking 101 - stage 2 (eek!)

I have to admit I was panicking a leetle bit at this stage. Once again I remembered Stephanie's mantra that "all lace looks like crap until you block it" and boldly pressed on, armed only with 2 boxes of glass headed pins.

Here it is before the official pinning out ceremony.

Blocking 101 stage 3 (phew)

There was an "after" picture but unfortunately it turned out rather fuzzy, so you'll have to settle for this closeup of the stitch pattern instead.

Now that looks like better stitch definition to me Posted by Hello

I am feeling distinctly less meh about Heathland now :) RLBF is destined to be sadly dissappointed.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Two posts in three days?!

What is the world coming to?

But I seem to recall promising you pictures of my lace and Secret Pal related loot, and I thought I'd shock you by doing what I said I was going to do for once. It's all fun, fun, fun round here :)

Anyway, my Feather & Fan lace has grown rather a lot since you last saw it. Here it is, stretched out on my lounge floor with a ball of yarn carefully positioned to give you an idea of scale.

Lots and lots of lace

This project has actually grown on me quite a lot in the making. Now there's more of it I feel a lot happier about how it's going to turn out and I am beginning to love the colour scheme (for which I'd look at my previous post but one if I were you - this is not a great colour reproduction). RLBF's mum has christened it the Heathland Shawl as it reminds her of the Scottish Highlands. This seems highly appropriate to me when you look at it closely - there's all kinds of green in there, together with some subtle purples, blues and yellows which evoke that part of the world extremely well. RLBF kindly offered to adopt Heathland should I decide that I still felt 'meh' about it when it was finished. Unluckily for her I think she is going to be dissapointed :) I look forward to a giant adventure in blocking some time over the weekend, which could be fun as I've never blocked anything quite this large before. I'm thinking that I need to invest in a load more dressmaking pins. And do you think it'll need a full-dunking wet block or will I be able to get away with a quick spritz? Decisions, decisions.

So what else have I got to show you? Well, finally here is a picture of the yarn part of my first SP4 gift. Thanks Peep!

Yay for my Secret Pal :)

Note the mohair in delicious Atropos-ish colours on the left and the tempting experimental R2 on the right. Fabulous, I thought. And you could also note the basket they're sitting in if you like, because I made it myself on a course I went on over last weekend. It's a little eccentric in its shaping but I'm rather proud of it nonetheless. Go me!

Speaking of Secret Pals I received another small gift from mine earlier in the week. It's a handy pocket torch come calendar thingy that I plan to keep in my handbag for those difficult moments when I'm wrestling with my keys in the dark. And I started plotting my next parcel to the knitter whose Secret Pal I am. This whole thing is turning out to be a lot of fun.

Finally, here are two recent additions to the stash. I really shouldn't have bought either of them I suppose, but hey, if it wasn't full of yarn that I wasn't going to knit for some fair old time it wouldn't be worthy of the term 'stash' now, would it?

Anyway, first up is a Colinette throw kit in glorious shades of red, which will match the bedroom decor in Norfolk perfectly.

Stash enhancement - blame Theresa

Now I'm afraid this purchase can be entirely blamed on Theresa over at The Keyboard Biologist, as that was where I read that these kits are due to be discontinued in the UK. The word "Why?" springs to mind given how popular they seem to be in the knitblog community, but still. I just hope I don't love this so much once I've knitted it that I wish I had invested in one for the spare bedroom too - a distinct possibility looking at the yumminess of the yarn that's included in the kit. I haven't even dared open the plastic bag yet, for fear of distraction. Perhaps I'll find a spare couple of hours some time over the weekend :)

My final loot is this from the nice people at The Yarn Warehouse. It's a Weasley jumper kit to knit up for my 2 year old nephew. I can't wait to get cracking on this one as my sister in law is a big HP fan too, so I'm quite sure she'll get the reference. One of the best things about this purchase was the price though. £10 for the lot! Quite a bargain, I thought.

O Lordy - it's a Weasley jumper in the making. Posted by Hello

There was a lot that I wanted to say about the trendiness or otherwise of knitting as a hobby in the UK but it's late here and I'm starting to type funny. Maybe next time when I'm not falling asleep at the computer. Sleep well everyone.