Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Vogue Fall Finally Here

Well my Vogue Fall copy duly arrived on Friday and I love it. My 3 favourites are in order of favouritism (is that a real word?) and are the Big Wool and KSH jumper by Louisa Harding (minus the KSH frill which isn't my cup of tea), the fluffy hoody which I think is just beautiful (if a little bit too fitted) but rapidly went off it when I realised it would be a nightmare to sub, and the zipped hooded top which my DH prefers over no 2 but would need to be a bit shorter and not as baggy for me to wear it. Who knows if any of them will get made at this stage. Too early to tell.

But you know what really had me drooling - the ad for this gorgeous Lana Grossa cardigan.

She is just beautiful and reminds me of the O'Neill jumpers/cardigans I love so much but never buy as I always think I could make that in a much nicer yarn. And I could even order the knitting pack for this design from Germany. Except, the yarn contains mohair and nylon which I'm allergic to. Darn and drat. Isn't there always something?

Anyway I love it so I've found this amazing German website Rikes Wollmaus that is also in English and eazy peezy to use and ordered the pattern and some sale Lana Grossa Multicot Print which has the same compostition as All Seasons Cotton which will hopefully be for the Ballet T-Shirt, as long as I can get the tension sorted. Fingers crossed eh?

So once I get the pattern I'll have to see if I can rework it using different yarns. They have a superb selection of English edition magazines on their website for any Rebecca, Lana Grossa or Filati fans. I'll let you know how quickly it arrives. What I can't believe though is that I ordered it on Sunday and a couple of hours later got an email saying my order had been despatched - and on a Sunday!!! Whoa - cool customer service or what! Just amazing. First time I've ever had that kind of customer service before....

Knitting is going swimmingly well with felted bag being sewn up, Shingle ready for pressing and sewing and halterneck top on final rows. So lots of FOs should be making their appearance soon!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Knitting Club & Troubles

Me and knitting clubs are a bit of a challenge. It's not that I don't enjoy them, quite the opposite in fact. It's just that I can't knit and chat at the same time. Actually, that's not strictly true. I can knit and chat, but manage neither very well at the same time. Yesterday for example, I came home after knitting club and found that I'd managed to do an extra k2tog for no reason I can think of, and also decrease an extra 2 stitches on the sock I'd brought with me. So then I had to drop the stitch down to the error and fiidle about with lots of DPNs till I'd fixed it, then frog 2 rows to get to the correct number of stitches. Hmmm. Not quite what I'd planned!

I'm still working on the halterneck top, though progress is still slow. And Shingle is only missing one sleeve so will be all done shortly.

The felted bag is on a go slow too. Mostly as there is a lot of iCord to be done which has to be the most boring thing to do. I did try a wooden french knitting thingy but that gave me headache and was just as boring as iCord so gave that up. But I'm looking forward to getting the bag finished as I need a new bag, I mean it's been at least a few months since the last one!

I finally cancelled my subscribed to Vogue Knitting in the US and resubcribed to the UK distributor GMC last week. My fall copy hasn't turned up yet, but I'm hoping it won't be long now, I'm still feeling like the only person missing their copy and I want it NOW!!!

There is something very strange about yesterday. I had 3 bad things happen, not major but still annoying the same. Firstly the confirmation arrived for our holiday next year and they'd put the wrong name so that involved a rather irate phone call as I was told I might have to pay to have it changed even though not my error. I wasn't going to and it was sorted today with no problems. Secondly I picked up my DHs photos that he'd been taking of his work that he needed. Half of which were just useless and fit for the bin. He's not been blessed with my photographic skills and hadn't used the flash indoors. Oh dear. The third incident was when Sky Digital decided it would no longer work. By then it was no surprise - just one of those days.

But what is peculiar is that today I've been reading my favourite blogs and found out that 2 of them have had awful things happen to them yesterday. One a household disaster and the other a much loved pet incident. What is going on?

It seems something calming is much needed so here are some pics of the Maldives I took last year. The first pic is of the beach villa we spent 2 blissful weeks in. Swimming with turtles, seeing dolphins, having stingrays and baby black tip reef sharks swimming past our villa every day. Oh yes, paradise really does exist!

Monday, August 22, 2005

To Die For

I finally found what I'd been on the lookout for for ages and was beginning to think they didn't exist in the UK - Birch cable needles - to be honest I would have been delighted with bamboo, but these Brittany cable needles are just to die for! And did I mention the glorious oh so smooth and beautiful 12mm Brittany Birch needles?? Oh my, I am in knitting needle heaven......

I have a pair of wooden 12mm needles that I use, but they're not exactly the smoothest needles I've ever used and compared to the Brittany ones, are as rough as old boots. Well, that is a 'slight' exaggeration of course. I am just so happy with them. I can see a present list for Xmas consisting of lovely luxurious Brittany needles. DH loves the top of the Brittany's so I'm sure will be more than happy to oblige;)

And this sweet harmless looking halterneck top is the cause of all my arm ache trouble. Hard to believe really that something so small can be so awkward. I have learned a valuable lesson. Don't knit 4ply cotton in one piece on straight needles! I've also a developed a peculiar workaround which involved slouching on the sofa so that my elbows are supported by the sofa. Bad for the back no doubt but better for my arm. Doing just 2 rows max a day isn't going to get it finished now is it?

My Big It Up arrived the other day and I'm a little disappointed. I wanted MORE designs it in. Perhaps last years bumper Big Just Got Bigger spoilt me a little. It was like, oh, is that it then? Hmmm. I do love the Laura cardigan and will probably put that on my Xmas pressie list.

And the Berber Bag is just gorgeous, however will wait till I've finished some Big Wool projects I've got waiting so I can see what leftovers I can use for it.

The Lilla bag will be my next Big Wool bag project. It's gorgeous and only uses a few balls. Aren't those bobbles on it just the cutest?

I also liked Elsa but changed my mind after seeing the diagram and realising it had batwings. Not sure that design will stand the test of time......

And finally we have the lovely Shingle who gave me a bit of a challenge at the weekend as the right front decreases didn't match the left front. I eventually found out a way of mirroring the increase and redid it and now it looks fabulous. I used short row shaping with the 3 needle bind off for the first time and it is seriously good. No, amazing is more like it. The shoulder seams are just perfect! Many thanks to for their brilliant instructions. I'd been meaning to do the 3 needle bind off for ages, but just kept forgetting and casting off as usual. Now I know it's practically the next best thing to sliced bread I won't be forgetting again!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Let Us Out!

This is the holding cell i.e. carry cage we use when cleaning out the boys regular cage. Don't they look so sad and resigned in the second pic? Aah...

I'm still continuing with my plan to get pretty much all my ongoing projects finished before starting and new autumn/winter ones. It's kind of a weird time of year, no point in making any new summer stuff (what summer I hear you say) and not quite ready to go for Big Wool stuff. And apart from Shingle, all my current WIPs are taking far longer than expected which is a bit of a pain. Even my felted bag that I thought would be as quick as the Booga Bag is more involved than I'd thought. You see, I don't actually read all the pattern through before I start, and sometimes it can be quite a surprise to find out exactly what's involved. Or perhaps thats just why I don't read them first.....

I'm planning to do is Lizzy from Naturally Noro with my stash of Noro Shinano, now discontinued, bought last year with pressie money from my best friend. I had planned another project but saw the new cardi and thought it would be perfect. Apart from having to lengthen the sleeves as I've just noticed they're 3/4 length ones! Of course I still actually have to finish the WIPs first. This is the difficult part isn't it. All those lovely yarns in their packets just waiting to be started...... I won't succumb. Not yet anyway.

One of the projects that just (??) needs sleeves done is Macey from Rowan 31 in All Seasons Cotton. She would be perfect for this time of year and I'll get working on her shortly. She's being made in Ravish.

With the yarn leftover I'm planning to swatch for the Ballet T-shirt from Loop D Loop. Have currently put plans aside for the moment on anything from Loop D Loop until I've done some swatches. Which I am horribly allergic to by the way. But they'll need to be done on my Denise Needles so hopefully will be a fairly painless affair. I do love my Denise Needles.

I love having comments, as all bloggers do. But I've noticed that if Blogger blog users have their profile set to no email, I won't be able to reply directly to any comments which is a shame as sometimes you're asked questions. I did the Blogger survey saying they're should be an optional email box when you leave comments, as TypePad and other blogs have. Makes life much easier.

And thank you to Linda, for reminding me that I wasn't 'dippy', but busy. These things happen don't they when you're got a dozen things on your mind. And as for the right front of Shingle, I managed the drop stitch pattern no problem this time!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Dippy Days

Isn't my baby Roxy just the cutest thing. We called him Roxy as we were told he and his brother Roo were that wrong didn't they. He is my favourite and the sweetest thing. He was hoping that I might have treats in my hand. They're always on the lookout for nibbles. Still got to look for their other pics....

Does everyone do really daft things occasionally, or is it just me? I got to thinking about this after I accidentally shredded the new pin number for my credit card. I only realised what I'd done after looking at the supposed pin number and realising that I still had the piece of paper I was supposed to have shredded.......have you ever tried putting back a piece of shredded paper together?

Then when I was chatting to my best friend, who still lives in London so I don't get to see her very often, I mentioned that I hoped I'd actually boiled the kettle before making a cup of tea and she started laughing. She does the same then started remembering other things I'd done in the past such as put washing powder in the fridge, dirty washing in the rubbish bin and other such delightful dippy things. It's like my brain goes on autopilot. It's quite a wonder really that my knitting ever gets finished. I've had the same 'dippy' trouble with the Cotton Tape cardi Shingle. On both the back and the front I've done I did the same thing without thinking, start knitting in stocking stitch instead of the rows of garter stitch I was supposed to be doing. No doubt the other front and probably sleeves will be the same. Oh well, whats a few rows of frogging between friends eh?

Apart from continuing with Shingle I've just been carrying on with my halterneck top which is finally nearing completion. And the felted bag is over halfway done. I have given up the socks I was making using the Magic Loop method as I'd lost all enthusiasm and even my DH noticed I wasn't enjoying knitting the sock as usual. So I'm back to bamboo DPNs again. They're my absolute favourites but always good to try different things.

I have to say a big thank you to Sue at Get Knitted. My lovely parcel arrived with the gorgeous new Naturally Noro book and it is fab. And Sue must have read my earlier post as she very kindly put more lovely Get Knitted pens in! Am I peculiar to get so excited over a pen? No answer required thank you very much :)

Back to my best friend again. She LAUGHED when she saw the picture of me in Charlotte and said where on earth was I going to wear that!!! Then said it was very cute. Well, considering some of the things she's worn over the years I thought she had a right cheek :) In fact I ended up wearing it to Sainsbury's on Friday and to John Lewis on Saturday as it was pouring with rain and cold and my DH took this pic to prove it. It got a lovely reaction and I love it but have to admit would rather have actually had some decent weather and been able to wear some summer clothes. But we can't have it all can we.

PS - Not sure what happened to my hair. All I can say in my defense is that it was very windy and we'd just got in. That's my excuse anyway....

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Charming Charlotte

Well here she is in her full glory. Isn't she beautiful? And only took 2 balls for the small size instead of 3. Which makes her a very reasonably priced garment. I'm not sure what to call her though. She could be a capelet, or maybe a stole. Who knows. Ideas anyone? And yes, that is the Cotton Braid vest Kitty hiding underneath. I've been poorly and am burning up hence the beach clothes and pale, wan look.

I wonder if its an age thing. I called the wrist warmers I want to make in an earlier post fingerless gloves, which of course they're not. But they're not wrist warmers really either. More like forearm warmers which really doesn't sound too sexy now does it. Stick to wrist warmers I think. Sounds quite cool.

I'd like a bit of help on choosing alternative yarns for Loop-d-Loop. I know lots of you have the book and hopefully have plans to make stuff from it or even better, already have. So any suggestions or ideas gratefully received.

First I want to make the ballet t-shirt which has no straight sub so I was thinking either Rowan All Seasons Cotton or Handknit Cotton. ASC would be nice and stretchy but will have to play around to get the gauge. HK Cotton is nearer the gauge but as its pure cotton not sure it will be as stretchy or comfortable as ASC.

Second is the puff sleeve bolero. I just LOVE this design. Except trying to find a sub for it as it uses a bulky and aran weight 100% merino in the same colour. So no Rowan yarn I can use then. Unless I go for an aran and try tripling it up and see if I can get the bulky gauge that way. See, I'm getting a headache already.......

Thirdly I love the hooded capelet. Finally, something in Big Wool that I don't need to sub. Hallelujah! Would definitely go for the plain version though. And the 15cm and 20cm circs should be fun to use! Am allergic to intarsia and fairisle. Remembered how much I hated it when I did the initial on my soon to be felted bag. I just don't have the patience for it....get bored too quickly you see.

Monday, August 08, 2005

A Good Weekend

I've had a lovely weekend. Bought some Big Wool Fushion in Cyclamen for the lovely Charlotte as well as some RYC Soft Tweed in Antique to make Eowyn on Saturday in JL. Finished half of Charlotte yesterday so hopefully a completed pic might follow by the end of the week??? It's only taken just under a ball so will be finished in 2 balls instead of 3. Lovely. But will I take it back or swap it and get another ball in Source to make another one. We shall see...

Saturday night we watched Layer Cake on DVD which we both loved. Definitely one we'd watch again. We just love the British gangster style films and this one was fab.

Sunday we went to the beach and they had an RSPCA dog show and a Classic Car Show on. Guess which one had my interest? Oh yes, it was the car show :) I fell in love with a Corvette which is just the sexiest car.....I've always loved cars, especially American ones but ultimate dream would be a Lotus. Oh yes, I can see myself now. DH doesn't quite share my passion but does love vintage cars and there were plenty of those to look at.

Then we went off to feed our baby swans and see how they're doing. To our amazement they appeared, followed by a sibling, then another! Yep, there are now 4 baby swans in the pond BUT still no sight of mum or dad or the two remaining babies. Where they've got to is anyone's guess but at least all the babies look very healthy.

And there's nothing wrong with their appetites either. We had 4 baby swans, 2 teeny baby ducklings, 3 adult ducks and another black and white family fighting over the food. Oh yes, then a water rat complete with baby joined in the fun. Boy do those cute baby ducklings move fast when there's food about. Was great fun.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Happy Days

Well my Rowan 38 arrived yesterday together with Loop-d-Loop and FCEK. Well that's not strictly true. Postie rang doorbell with Loop-d-Loop whilst I was on the phone to my knitting friend who lives round the corner and was telling me all the lovely patterns that were in there and which ones I'd like etc. So I nearly cried when off he went leaving me with just Loop-d-Loop (which is fabulous by the way - more on that another day).

But all was forgiven when 10 minutes later he was back again. I could have kissed him. He's not our regular postie so didn't know there was more in his pile. Oh it was good. I waited till the afternoon before opening it too. How restrained was that!

It's lovely. What can I say. I'm going to make River using my Cherry Tree Hill Merino. Birch can wait. I've found a new shawl to make. I reckon I've got enough to probably do both anyway and it will be lovely to start something new straight away from the book.

Also Eowyn, fingerless gloves but will need to sub as they're in Kid Classic which is no good for my asthma.

And am rather taken with Drizzle, the scarf in Felted Tweed and KSH, but again can't use KSH.

There's a gorgeous felted bag Eavie in Yorkshire Tweed 4 ply and of course I can use the lovely Rowanspun 4 ply I got in the sale instead.

I also want to make Braiden bag, but's embroidered after so will have a think.

Charlotte in Big Wool Fusion is a must make now this minute. Well as soon as I get some Fusion that is. Think I'd prefer it in BW Fusion rather than Ribbon Twist. DH loves it too. I also love the Selina hat but it's in KSH and Wool Cotton and don't think that would work in anything else, which is a shame.

Liked the look of Creeper in Plaid but not too sure on the batwing lark. Mmmm. Will think on that one.

And rather fancy Regia in Big Wool, Yorkshire Tweed DK and KSH. Would sub the YK DK for some lovely Rowanspun DK that I got in the sale and the KSH of course.

Quite like the Go Faster jumper in Big Wool but would have to change the neck. I'm really not a jumper girl - zipped jackets & cardi's are my thing - but it really caught my eye.

And that was all really ;0)

I'll leave you with a picture of Roo and Roxy. Roo decided to go walkabout this morning but luckily didn't venture too far and wandered back to his cage after a couple of minutes.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I'm Still Sulking

Nope, it hasn't arrived yet. The bible of my knitting world, the new Rowan magazine, has not blessed me with its presence. I may try a prayer to the knitting god tonight. You never know, it might work! While we're on the subject, I'm also waiting for the new Vogue Knitting, Family Circle Easy Knitting and Loop D Loop to arrive. You know what's going to happen don't you. The WHOLE LOT will arrive in one day and I shall pass out with excitement. Or something.

I have been very busy. Unfortunately not with knitting. I can't bear waste or having stuff around that isn't going to be used and give lots of stuff to charity or recycle it if no longer useful. My latest mission has been my GameCube. Yes I have a GameCube, as well as a Game Boy Advance (no, that's not going) and a PS2 (nope, not going either). And before you ask, no they're not my husbands. They're all mine. As is the iPod, iBook and iShuffle! My best friend used to call me a boy. I wonder why? My DH does have his own GBA though but the old style. Not the cute little funky one I have ;)

I don't play them often but I really do enjoy it when I do. The PS2 came for Christmas last year so the GameCube doesn't get used much so I finished off Harry Potter's Chamber of Secrets (superb game) and I listed some games and the GameCube on Amazon yesterday and sold the GameCube and a game today. Not bad eh!

All this gaming business going on though has forced to crack on with Ecco The Dolphin (hard but oh so good) and also play Sypro on my GBA. If only I could knit and play games. Wouldn't that be wonderful. The game craze will stop in a day or two. It never lasts. That knitting urge can't be supressed for long.......

I have started my lovely Lorna's Laces sock yarn though with the magic loop method which seems quite straightforward at the mo, but I haven't exactly progessed too far with it - as you'll see! But wow is it beautiful yarn. Once you try this method you realise exactly why a long circular is needed. As to whether it's any easier, time will tell. But it is definitely more portable than DPNs and of course you won't spend ages hunting for a DPN thats decided to go AWOL.

And I finally finished winding my Cherry Tree Hill Merino Lace. I don't know about 3 hours - took us a whole week!

I've also been using my lovely Denise Needles on the felted bag from the latest S'nB book. I rather like them. The bag and the needles that is. Needles are ever so useful and I'm really glad I got them. I thought I might not like the feel of them being the bamboo addict I am, but because they are so light and nothing like metal, they're warm to the touch and very comfortable.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Cool Trainer Socks

Ta da. Here they are. The cool Regia Cotton surf sock now has a twin and they are setting down as very happy pair. I adapted a basic cuff down DPN pattern and am really pleased with them as they're the best fitting socks I've made. More pairs will time :)

And although I've had a bit of trouble with summer tops recently what with running out of yarn and arm ache due to too many stitches and knitting with cotton, here is another pic to prove I am actually making things. It's the back of Shingle from Cotton Tape Collection. A lovely nice simple knit and a joy to knit with. Whether we actually get a summer in order to wear summer clothes remains to be seen. I am desperately fighting the urge to get out some Big Wool and knit a jumper.......

Today is a very auspicious day in the Rowan knitting world. It is of course the day the new Autumn/Winter collection is released. It's now all on the website for the world to view. Me, I can't wait till the magazine comes through the door and have to say it is very irresponsible of my postie to go on holiday now and leave me with a temp. Maybe tomorrow?