Sunday, 11 December 2011

This week I have mostly been ....

knitting mice and nursing a cold.  Slightly strange combination but hey, it's the festive season and that's where I'm at.  The knitted mice are a commission from my sister for a tea cosy for one of her friends.  I said yes before I got the pattern and it's proved to be trickier than expected.  Rather foolishly I thought I'd be able to knock a tea cosy out really quickly but as with all commissions, they're never straightforward!
 Here's the body of the tea cosy and the mice .....
Oh my, all the ends!  When it comes together it should look something like this, the sack of mice pattern by Debi Birkin. As always I've made a couple of mods to the pattern mostly because it seemed she was creating extra work the way a couple of the pieces were made.

The start of the week saw me finally get my package into the post for the Christmas swap over on the I love Lucy group on Ravelry.   We had a rough winter last year with lots of family illness and ultimately we lost my grandad so I've not done a swap for a couple of years.  I have to say it's been really fun to do again and my swap partner this year has been great.  Teresa writes a great blog (far more regularly than me) and from the pictures she posts, lives in the most beautiful place in the states.  If you want to get into the Christmas spirit already, her blog's a great place to start. Here's a sneaky peak of my parcel, am just waiting for it to be delivered now to see what she thinks.
Once the Chistmas knitting is all done, I'm hoping to have a play with my new inkle loom.  Well, its new to me anyhow.  It was free to a good home via one of the ladies at my knitting group, I suspect it's been gathering dust in a cupboard for a very long time. What I need now is a crash course in how to use it!  I've found a couple of websites with tutorials that I hope will get me started but all tips and suggestions will be gratefully received. 
There's no makers mark on it so if anyone know's anything about it, I'm all ears.  It's tension peg (the sliding metal one) seems to be in a different position to the one's in the tutorials I've found so am hoping that's not going to make too much difference to the way it warps up.
 Look at me, throwing in all the weaving terms.  I've never used a loom in my life!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Buttons and daisies

Sometimes it's the simplest things that make me happy. I think I've just found the perfect buttons for my almost finished gilet assymetric.  Yet another set of wooden buttons but these are a little quirkier than you often find, all the more suprising seeing as they're "designer" too.  I almost never splurge on Vogue buttons as they're often pretty pricey but these, I couldn't resist and the bonus being - I got staff discount too.  How about that?  There are definate perks to working in a yarn shop!

On a completely different note, here's a little something I've been doing on and off this summer, daisy squares.  Cute hey?  I came across this pattern a while back and loved it but then after bookmarking it, promptly forgot about it as I had other things on the go. It's the Daisy Pattern by Krochet Krystal and was published for use in her charity blankets. Unfortunately by the time I went back to it the pattern was unavailable apparently due to some rather negative comments made by fellow crafters.  Something I was rather sad to hear. 
To cut a long story short I loved the pattern so much, I reverse engineered it from pictures and the like on Ravelry and hey presto, I made squares! I've since emailed the designer and made some to be included with her comfort blankets.  You can follow the story of how she started on her blanket blog. These ones are ready to be packed up and posted off and hopefully will end up as part of a lovely blanket that'll make somebody else very happy.  I've got another pile of them using up odds and ends in my stash that I'm going to make into a blanket of my own.  More of those later though.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

It must be about time for some housekeeping

Before you fall off your seat, no I'm not about to turn into a domestic goddess and actually do some housework. Maybe I'm having one of those introspective moments where I reevaluate my life, who knows?  Either way, I have a new job that I'm starting in the morning and having had a troublesome couple of months with working, I'm really looking forward to it.  Even when the work balance hasn't been quite the way I'd like it, I never really stop the craft work, lose a bit of enthusiasm maybe.  Anyhow, I'm crafting again with a vengeance which is usally a good sign!  I even went through the UFO pile (in search of a particular set of missing needles I have to admit) and frogged a couple of projects that are never going to be finished.  I think perhaps there are a few more that need to go yet.  I am a serial caster on-er (is that even a word?) after all.

So back to the housekeeping, new job, new broom etc.  I know I've not been blogging much over the last while but I've also realised that my blog just isn't reflecting where I'm at at the moment so it's about time I had a little tidy up.  Perhaps a complete overhaul?

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Gilet Assymetrique pt 1

Well, the knitting is done. Actually it has been for some months. Yes, it's my troublesome french cardigan, the Gilet Assymetrique.
IMG00079-20110427-1445
It's a little further along than these pictures show.  The assembly of the piece is now done, I've knitted on the button bands all it should require is the purchase of the buttons.  However, months later I'm procrastinating.  Still.
IMG00076-20110427-1441
I should have been wearing this months ago but I have to admit I'm struggling a little with the pocket.  Mostly to be honest I'm putting off the inevitable.  All that remains now is for me to undo the provisional cast on and catch the stitches down and hey presto, finished cardigan.  So simple you'd think?
IMG00078-20110427-1443

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

FO - Purple Circle Socks

Circle Socks by Bearium
Circle Socks, a photo by Bearium on Flickr.
Pattern: Circle Socks by Anne Campbell
Yarn: King Cole Zig Zag
Needles: 2.5mm (magic loop)
Size: UK 7

Lovely pattern, pretty straight forward and definately a good one for variegated or patterned yarns. A really good fit with plenty of stretch too.

This is the second time I've used this yarn and it's definately one of my current favourites. Good value and plenty of meterage - there's still a fair sized ball left even after knitting for my big feet.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Tension issues and other ramblings.

The sun is shining, I should be out in the garden being busy but instead here I am inside balancing both a cat and a laptop on my lap. Not all that easy a feat as it happens.  Anyway here I am, back blogging after an extremely long hiatus.  Where on earth has the last year gone?

It's funny, looking back at my last post, I never did finish that blue cushion off.  The two panels are sat upstairs waiting patiently.  In the meantime, I have been busy as always although perhaps not as productive craft wise as I usually am over the winter. I don't know how those uber women do it,  Anyone who tells you that you can have it all, a job, a career, a beautiful home etc etc...  Personally I'm just not cut out for it, I've discovered I'm far happier working part time and actually enjoying life and everything it throws at you.

So the tension thing.  After spending the last few months dicing with my Gilet Assymetrique - (that's a Rav link btw) fabulous looking cardigan, my first French pattern, total pain to understand (even with the handy translation), and I'm still not done with it.  I don't think I've ever spent so long knitting one pattern. So I thought I know, I'm going to try something new that doesn't need any fiddling around with.  I'll get tension straight away and bingo, I can have a brand new cardigan in a couple of weeks or so. Well, that was the plan anyhow.  I found the most beautiful cardigan pattern -  Talamh by Stolen Stitches, purchased it, found a suitable sub yarn (King Cole Moods Duet in a Kingfisher blue colour).  After the total nightmare of running out of yarn with the G.A.  (yes, I know, total school girl error, more explanations another time), I bought an extra ball and have done a tension square.

Now the pattern calls for a 3.5mm needle, the smallest size on my Knit Pros is a 3.75mm.  UK needles of course don't come in a 3.5mm.  I can't get tension with the 3.75!!!  Ahhhhh.  Insert much swearing.  I put it all back in the bag and sulked.  Still, not to be defeated, I'm going to have to dig out a set of 3.25mm straights and see if those work then it looks like I'll be ordering a new set of circs!