Friday, June 30, 2006

Too Busy For Words

Well what a week its been. Full of accounts, tax returns and being lumbered with the management accounts of where we live as well. Hardly any time for anything at all never mind lots of knitting......

At least my husbands tax has now been submitted so thats good. Perhaps I can get back to some soothing knitting now thats out of the way.

The only thing I have managed to work on is on Kitsch, which now has a back finished and I'm on the front. I had real mental breakdown trying to short row the shoulder shaping and after 2 evenings admitted defeat. Maybe I was just too tired from all that paperwork. Who knows, but my poor brain just couldn't manage it. I might try again but for now have had quite enough.

I started sewing in some of the million of ends on the back too. There are so many it looks like a tassled rug and I cannot believe how long it took me to do just one side of them......I honestly thought it would take me a year to get them all done. On the front I'm trying to get a few less ends by transfering stitches onto the other needle if I don't have to carry it too far rather than cutting the yarn. Using 5 colours I haven't even bothered trying to carry them all up the sides, it would just be too bulky at the seams. Of course using a circular needle would have made the transferring of needles unnecessary, but just not enjoyable enough as using my lovely Brittany's.

I haven't bought much recently yarnwise and not a great deal accessory wise either, which is always good for the wallet. So when the House of Fraser sale was on and I spied a packet of RYC Cashsoft in Crush that my DH insisted would look lovely on me, I was quite happy to buy it. Already I've got a tie cardigan planned for it....

Then what happens! Get Knitted has the cheek to get the Bagsmith Project Bag in stock. And of course I HAVE TO HAVE ONE. Now preferably. I have managed to restrain myself so far but have saved it in my shopping basket and will order it very shortly!

How is this for a belated birthday pressie? Fab isn't it! I'd being eyeing up Curious Yarns sock yarn for ages and finally I get my paws on some - so thank you Jackie very much!

Thunder is really really unhappy. We took him to the vets today to have his nails clipped by the nurse and he's been hiding in his house ever since. And that was hours ago.....he seems to be really upset with his dad though for some reason, though it was me that held him so the nurse could trim his nails. I bought some nail clippers while we were there so next time hopefully we can avoid the stressful trip to the vets. Poor Thunder. I hope he forgives us soon......

Friday, June 23, 2006


The lovely vest top in Calmer that has been so easy to knit requires a crochet picot edge. I kind of ignored this fact, as the memories of Elspeth's crochet edging shennanigans are still too clear. But now I have to face the fact that I have to do it again. Please, please let it be easy this time......

And whilst knitting the top I again was reminded how useful my Denise Needles are. I might not use them a great deal but when I do, boy are they handy. I was worried that the tube part of the top would be too small as its all ribbing. So what did I do? Added some cords and put stoppers on the ends so I could try it on. Perfect. They were definitely a great buy.

The Linen Drape vest top got frogged and I started the Silk Vest from Last Minute Knitted Gifts using the Linen Drape. That idea lasted all of 10 minutes before I frogged it again. Realised that lace and Linen Drape are not good partners and then found a lovely halterneck vest top in that dreaded Rebecca magazine I nearly sold on Ebay. BUT I checked the pattern first and all seems ok. And the gauge is spot on to Linen Drape so fingers crossed I get a bit further with this top. The omen was good as I just cast on a load of stitches and thought I'd count them later. And when I checked, I'd casted on 194 and actually needed 196. How cool is that. It was all looking so promising.......

Of course this was not to be. For some reason using the smallest size Denise needle is not very easy, the stitches have to be persuaded over the joins. This doesn't happen with larger sizes, just this one. So I started to get arm ache, yet again, so another WIP on hold for the moment.

So I started Kitsch from Rowan Magazine No. 37 in the lovely now discontinued Cotton Tape. This is my own colourway and very bright and colourful it is. Its lovely to knit with and even all those stripes and joins aren't putting me off.

Meanwhile I've fallen in love with this design from Blue Sky Alpacas. It's gorgeous. So I ordered it from Loop and delivery arrived as promised, after 3/4 days all wrapped up in pretty tissue paper. I'm not using the recommended yarn as it would just be too costly and the alternatives contain cotton so no good for me. Don't want another project sitting around waiting to be done because it hurts too much to knit.

So current alternative choices are Noro Kochoran or Colinette Point Zero. Jury is out on this one but I'm planning on going to this years Knit & Stitch Show at Ally Pally so maybe I'll get the yarn while I'm there. I already have some Kochoran waiting patiently to be knitted into a lovely sweater, so can't really justify buying any more till I've done that.

I don't know whats going on with at the minute. First my order of Mason-Dixon Knitting gets confirmed with an August delivery, yet is supposed to be ready to ship in 24 hours. Then my order gets split and I get charged postage. All due to technical errors. Oh boy, what is going on. Oh I'm having the postage refunded but having to send 2 emails on 1 order isn't good. Lets hope the technical glitches get fixed asap.

On the subject of technical glitches, my local tenny weeny library and all the libraries in the area have finally joined forces and you can reserve a book in any of them and have it delivered to your nearest one for 50p a book. Excellent idea. No more buying knitting books sight unseen and being disappointed and having to sell them on Ebay. Well thats the idea, but in practice bit more of a challenge. As I mentioned the new system has what you'd call teething troubles. Ordered books never arrive as the library doesn't get the request.....the wish list doesn't work so all the books I'd added to my wish list just vanished into thin air. It will get better of course and we have another large area near us joining the same system so we'll have even more choice. I've had a few books, but nothing worth mentioning yet.

I have some more pics of me wearing some of my FOs. First is Kitty in Cotton Braid. She was going to be a holiday beach top as is my previous Kitty but somehow has turned into a proper summer top. The beach is one of our local ones, the ones on holiday were far more beautiful!

And secondly we have me wearing Chardonnay. She is ever so pretty and delicate and I have to admit, not really 'me'. I don't think I've ever been decribed as 'delicate'....and that picture focuses on a certain part of my anatomy which doesn't help either. She was easy to knit but I wouldn't make anything similar again. We live and learn though.

Apologies for the late post but the reason is below:

Yes its a PSP and its mine. Recognize the game anyone? It's Lemmings. Pure addictive fun! Its a gift from DH for doing his accounts. Except that I got the gift before I've actually submitted them and its really hard tearing myself away....normal service will be resumed shortly I'm sure ;)

Lastly, a big thank you for the wonderful comments I've had. I try to reply to each if I have an email address but I've had some recently that really touched me so thank you very much, they mean a great deal to me!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

What to do?

Ho hum. Knitting has not been going smoothly. Oh no, not one little bit. First of all I really didn't know what I wanted to knit. Nothing jumped out screaming from my stash which was a bit of a surprise really. So I went through my spreadsheet to see what stuff had been on my to do list for a while and narrowed it down to 3. Then had a little think and after a quick chat with DH, decided on Tempting II in Rowan Calmer in the now discontinued Chiffon shade 462 colorway, a lovely lilac. All was good till an inch or so into the project and boredom set in. Yep, the dreaded 'I hate circular knitting it bores me to tears' affliction had returned and I was not happy. Couldn't see me knitting for another 2 rows never mind 2 hours. So I put it aside till another day.

Back to the drawing board. Maybe rather than choosing from already planned projects I should just choose what I really wanted to knit, maybe that would do it. And I wanted another zipped jacket. The lovely Bomber in Rowan Denim has been patiently waiting in my stash for ahem, 2 years.....maybe it was now time to start this bigger project. I love denim yarn. Wonderful stuff. Only problem is the awful arm ache it brings. And so I started it on my lovely Brittany Birch 10" needles (I'm using Ecru so no colour transfer troubles!) and happily commented to my DH that the shorter length needles must be helping with arm ache as I hadn't had a twinge and I'd knitted a couple of inches by then. Oh oh. Should have kept quiet. Twenty minutes later I didn't get a little twinge, but real pain in my arms. Oh poop! So that got put down and was the end of any knitting that evening. My arm was still sore the next day.

So I had yet another think. Decided Tempting II would need to be frogged. It really needed smaller needles anyway so I didn't mind. Lovely though it is, I like jackets, cardi's and shrugs much better and really couldn't imagine it getting much wear at all so for me it defeated the object. The Bomber cardigan will be lovely, if it ever gets finished. Thats the only problem with denim, apart from the dreaded arm ache, you have to knit it longer than usual to allow for shrinkage....but I do love the design so maybe it will become my long-term WIP and I'll just knit a few rows here and there. We'll see.

I quite fancied knitting with wool after all this arm ache but seeing as we've finally got some beautiful hot summery weather in the UK it seems a shame to be knitting with wool and not with more summery stuff. So what to do?

Luckily the latest Lana Grossa Filati Handknitting No. 26 arrived last Weds from Rikes-Wollmaus in Germany. Excellent delivery as usual, I only ordered it on the previous Friday. And would you believe it, contained several summery tops I wanted to make. My favourite of course needed a yarn I didn't have but I though sod that, I'm making it in Calmer and thats that. It's only a tube with bra bits attached so easy to adjust stitch count. Funnily enough its knitted in the round but somehow I don't mind that so much with this design. Maybe using smaller needles helped. Somehow getting a nice tight gauge with circs holds my interest a bit more and boy is this project portable. And as it doesn't have arms it will be a much quicker knit and I definitely would wear this design. I love little vest tops. So finally, a hit!

I'm making it in Flamingo, another discontinued Rowan Calmer shade from my stash. Oddly enough it looks quite girly sickly pink in the ball but knitted up changes ever so slighly and is a really beautiful colour now, kinda pale rose. So finally, I'm happy and settled with my knitting....until the next project that is!

I know you love to see pics of me wearing my creations so here we go. Firstly, that halterneck top in Rowan 4 Ply Cotton that nearly killed me as it was knitted in once piece and I was using straight needles. Learnt that lesson the hard way, but the top does look lovely though definitely needs a tan to go with it.

Then we have the ever so pretty Elspeth on an evening out in Langkawi. Yes, that crochet edging looks fab after all that work and she fits really well.

And another pic in Langkawki of me wearing Kitty in Rowan Cotton Braid. Just check out that view!

Finally a pic of me in Deep knitted in Summer Tweed. Deep is ever so comfortable, easy to wear and looks great. What more can you ask?

And I couldn't leave this one out now could I? Not sure whats happened to my camera though - think it needs a bit of TLC. As does Thunder....he is one cool laid back bunny ;)

I'm working on the holiday pics, but as there are over 500 it might take a while.....

Monday, June 05, 2006

I'm Back

We had a fantastic time in Langkawi, Malaysia and can thoroughly recommend it. Where else could you see monkeys every day around the resort, monitor lizards walking around the grounds and round the swimming pool and even occasionally taking a dip in the pool, squirrels just everywhere - in trees, on balconies and anywhere they could jump to. Usually you have to do some touring to see the amount of wildlife we did, but we definitely picked the best resort. Not is it called the forest by the bay for nothing! And the amount of birds was unbelievable and the sound all the wildlife made in forest has to be heard to be believed. Boy these critters can be loud. We saw a fabulously beautiful type of pelican but have no idea of the exact name. It really was a wildlife lovers paradise. Bliss. So much so that I didn't miss Thunder and Co as much as I thought I would. I had too many other creatures to occupy my thoughts.

Thunder is so pleased to have his parents home and is just like a playful puppy. He has so much energy and just bounces round the room playing games. The chinchillas are sulking a bit but thats usual. They'll be ok in a couple of days. Custard seems to have enjoyed himself and is quite happy.

I only did a small amount of sock knitting whilst away. A bit in the airport lounge at KL waiting for our connection flight and one afternoon sitting on our balcony in the forest listening to all the wildlife singing their songs. A lovely idea but guaranteed to get you bitten by a mosquito or 2. And on our last day waiting to be picked up from our resort. And that was it. Not much at all and I didn't miss it either. The yarn is Regia Silk by the way, and fabulously soft and silky.

Now of course I'm full of ideas and desparately need to decide which project to start next. I've kind of gone off the Linen Drape top I was making so that might get frogged. And as I finished almost all my WIPs and all of my finishing before we went, there's nothing left waiting for me to finish. Yeah!!!

I forgot to mention last post that the pics were pretty lousy and that Elspeth had had her picture taken before she was pressed so looked a bit worse for wear. Not surprising after the amount of crochet I frogged on her. After pressing though she was transformed. I took her and my holiday poncho Martini and am so glad I did. The evenings could have a slight breeze and being a cold person meant I needed something on my shoulders. And Elspeth was perfect for any any outfits in white, aqua and blue, whilst Martini was superb for any in pink,cream, beige and brown. I hadn't realised this at the time I packed but wow what a great choice of colours that was.

I do have one FO to show you that I spent knitting the night before we went - an iPod Sleeve. My DH decided he liked my iPod case so told me I'd better make myself a new one. And this was the result and I was very pleased indeed. I only took my iPod Shuffle rather than original iPod so there was plenty of room for headphones in the bag, and the drawstring worked really well. What a great way to use up some leftover Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Yarn! Now I have matching iPod sleeve and ankle socks ;)

Of course I'll post some holiday pics once I've got through them, which could take a while as I took so many......