Friday, 29 June 2007

Something to make you smile

and who says cats and knitting don't mix? Sometimes you even get it back again when they're done ;)

It's a mystery

My curiousity finally got the better of me and after a few days of watching the Mystery Stole thread, I finally decided to take a look at it. Before I knew it I'd managed to sign up for the project! Oops.

For the uninitiated, this is the third mystery stole KAL run by Pink Lemon Twist. A clue (chart) will be posted every Friday for the next few weeks and by the end, we should all have a lovely new stole to wear. Well, that's the idea anyhow.

I have rummaged around in my stash and hey presto, two swatches. The yarn is Jojoland Harmony and varies in colour from pale blue to a light sandy beige - but not as much as the photos indicate. The first is on 3.75mm, is very "holey"and was an absolute pig to knit. It kept snagging on the join in my Denises and I honestly considered forgetting the whole idea.
I had to wander into town this morning anyhow so I found a 3.25mm needle and this is the result: It was so much easier to knit and I'm much happier with the swatch so, 3.25 is the winning number. I picked up some beads at the same time but I'm not entirely happy with them. Franklins had a huge selection of seed beads but not very many of the slightly larger ones. I've ended up with clear glass with a silver lining. I'll give it a whirl with them but I may end up leaving them off.

The first clue was posted today so I'm armed and dangerous. Watch this space :)

Friday, 22 June 2007

Bottled sunshine

The weather's foul, I've got myself a summer cold and I'm feeling sorry for myself. I don't usually like to have a moan but there you go, I did. Ok, I'm over that now, mostly. So anyhow I'm trying to get myself into the habit of blogging a bit more regularly. I've been browsing some of my links and getting some inspiration. After all, if I can manage to switch the pc on in the morning, I can surely post a few lines? Perhaps. I've never really been much of a diary keeper, too many other things to do I guess. Who'd have thought other people might actually want to read it sometimes?

No knitting pictures to share this morning, everything's ticking along more or less although my socks have ground to a halt. It's those jitterbug socks, I think they're heading for the frog pond. They're blocking my favourite DPNs and I can't bring myself to finish them. I need to get my sockapalooza socks out of the way, the deadline is looming and I'm having a sock drought. Not good timing!

How about a little bit of sun in a jar? My lovely sister sent one of these down for DS's birthday yesterday. We whacked it on his bedroom window and left if for the day and sure enough come bedtime, bottled sunshine. Superb! I might just have to pinch it for myself :D

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Chevron Jacket

This is a lovely pattern and I'm really enjoying knitting it up. So much so that I have already gotten over the guilt of not finishing off my Ivy. I promise I will get around to it sooner or later but I love knitting this yarn, it is so soft and fluffy! So here it is draped over my knitting bag in the sun this afternoon. It's actually quite difficult to get a true picture of the colour as there are so many shades of red, pink, brown and orange. I can understand why the shade is called fire, it's fab. I'm really looking forward to being able to wear it and I'm not even halfway up the back yet! The pattern has such a lovely texture it's going to look great. I am still a little concerned about the amount of yarn that I am using but on the whole, it seems to measure very close to the dimensions quoted on the pattern. Will have to wait and see.
Regardless of that, the yarn is great - it's my first experience of using it and I can definately see me using it for something else again. Maybe even another of these jackets. It obviously felts very easily as I did my first ever felted join when it came to adding the second ball. Something that will obviously have to be remembered when it comes time to wash it. The last thing that I will want to do is to shrink it!

as you give, so shall you receive

I love doing these secret santa swaps, it's so much fun putting together a parcel for someone and even better, someone is doing the same thing just for you. This is the second one of these I've done this year and the novelty still hasn't worn off yet. Maybe it's the spurious excuse to go shopping? It's almost guilt free - after all it's for someone else. So long as you can avoid not slipping too much stuff for yourself into the basket that is!
So what did I receive? Well, from the contents of my parcel I can say my SS stalked me well and truly.
See that pattern? that's the Pacific NW shawl I've been eyeing up for months and look screaming red loony boony! (aka Lane Borgosesia). I'd completely forgotten that I'd said some while back I dreamed of making a bright red shawl.

There's some gardener's handcream to try and rescue my poor mitts as I can't keep out of the garden and some more sock yarn. Opal Peacock, lovely :) Then to complete the list, some pretty stitch markers in wait for it, Aquarian stones. My birthstones, how cool is that?! I can chuck away my scraps of wool and use something pretty for once.
What is missing from the photo? Well, that would be the summer fruits chocolate that disappeared almost as soon as I unwrapped everything. The munchkin did what he does best and munched!
When I said I had been stalked, I wasn't wrong! So, who do I have to thank for this? the lovely Mamma-Mia from the AY Knitting Forums. Thanks again.

and here's what I chose for Lindamay. My own dyed yarn, a pencil with a sheep on the end (so cute, just couldn't resist it). Some white Regia sock yarn and some Kool-Aid to dye it with and my little touch of summer,
beach buttons.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Slowly but surely does it

My first attempt at spinning. It's actually very therapeutic and I want to do more. Unfortunately, there's only so many hours in the day and I have so many other projects on the go at the same time.

Natural Dye Studio

See my lovely haul of goodies? Well, tell a lie, they're not all mine but it's all so nice I thought I'd share. The both the pink multi and the blue/cream are BFL sock yarn and are actually mum's. I finally converted her! She's going to knit her first pair of socks in years, well two pairs actually, one for her and one for dad. Walking socks of course, she still can't see the point in knitting socks for any other reason. Still, it's a start. The last three skeins are all mine and are cobweb mohair, destined to be some sort of stole.So anyway, how did I come by these lovely skeins? Well, I joined the Ipswich SnB group for a visit to the Natural Dye Studio. We met Amanda the owner and she treated us to a tour of her workshop, complete with dyeing demonstration. It was fantastic! I'll just warn you now, there's a lot of pictures coming up. I actually left my camera at home (doh!) so, thanks to Lois and the Ipswich girls for letting me take a copy of your pictures.

The Dye Studio

Dyeing with Weld

Various yarns dyed with Weld and awaiting overdyeing

Overdyeing with Indigo - trying to make green

Awaiting washing

The drying rack

Winding skeins

Inside the studio shop

and finally, a closer look at some of the fabulous yarns available.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Warning, socks may be hazardous to your health

Sunglasses at the ready? Don't say I didn't warn you, they're a little on the bright side. I really can't decide whether I like these socks or not. On the one hand, the Jitterbug is absolutely lovely to knit with on the other, they are VERY bright. Yes I know I chose the yarn. Actually I still love the colourway, I'm just not entirely sure it's going to work fully as a sock, maybe it's just this pattern? The colour is actually laying itself down in a rather attractive spiral pattern which was totally unexpected. I'm just a little worried that when I come to turn the heel, it's going to all go horribly wrong as the spiral is going to be interrupted. Well, the leg's almost the right length now so I might go ahead and do it anyway and see how it turns out.
The other thing is, I tried it on and it's coming up a little tight for me. I could be knitting a pair of socks that don't fit. Grr. So, sis, you of the skinny ankles, like the colour?

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

I was very naughty

I visited my LYS. Fatal I know but I'd been eyeing up another knitalong on the AY forums. Am I addicted to knitalongs? There are just too many nice patterns out there to knit, I can't help it if people draw attention to them! Anyhow, I digress. I was driving in that direction and somehow, I ended up parked outside and what can I say, the yarn just fell into my bag. Yes, I can hear you sniggering at your computers but you can't tell me you haven't done the same yourself at some point.So anyhow I came away with 3 balls of Twilleys Freedom Spirit in fire colourway and the rest are on lay by so I can collect them over the next month or so. This is my first experience with this lay by business but I can foresee it being a dangerous thing. At least if you buy everything in one go, you get the idea of how expensive something is actually going to be. Still, I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth, lay by it is.
It's so lovely that I had to call in at home on the way to the nursery to collect my needles. I cast on the tension square while I was waiting for DS to finish.

Not one to turn down a bargain either, I picked up some sock yarn to add to my collection. As she only stocks the basics when it comes to sock yarn, I picked up the cream to dye up into something more interesting. It's a shame she didn't have more than 2 balls as she was selling it off at 80p a ball. Yes I really did say 80p. Bargain or what!

Noni Lattice Bag

After a couple of months of procrastinating, I finally lined my Noni bag. Yes it was a b***er to do as I have already documented but I think you'll agree it was worth every minute. Pleased? Me? Yes I think so!Anyhow seeing as this was started pre-blog, I thought I'd share a couple of snaps to show it before felting.
A close up of the cables. Simple very very effective.The knitted bag.
and, the base.
The pattern: Noni Lattice Bag from the Fall 2006 collection. Knitted in Cascade 220.
Would I knit this again? For myself, no as I don't think I really need two the same but I'd definately knit it again as a present.

Sunday, 3 June 2007

New Toy

I've been waiting to share this all week, my new drop spindle or should I say toy! 200g of tops (I think that's the right phrase), a top whirl drop spindle and a copy of The Wheel magazine which was a bit of a bonus. Not my choice of colours but hey, I actually rather like them. I've already had a bit of a play and it's not going too badly, my "yarn" is not exactly what you'd call even yet but it looks fab all wound round the spindle. I'll take a picture later when I get the camera out.

Actually, I have several FO's this week so it's going to be a bit of a picture heavy post later. My Monkey socks are done, grafted and ready to wear. The Noni bag is also ready for use - I took it along to SnB this week for show and tell. The baby cardi was wrapped and handed over yesterday and I just realised I didn't take a picture of the finished article. Doh! Anyhow, it looked lovely. My little purse is felted and I have already cast on another pair of socks. Not too sure about them but I'll tell you why later. Hmm, well I have to get back to the munchkin and find the camera too. More soon :)