Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A Surreal Experience

I'm pleased to say I started to feel vaguely alive on Thursday and was much better on Friday so had a lovely weekend. And so started the most surreal experience with Biggy Print. Now, I've used it before, love it and am always amazed how quickly it knits up. But I've never made anything bigger than a scarf. So on Thursday evening I felt well enough to start a new project, a fitted zipped jacket pattern for Rowan International members that had been recommended to me by Linda who'd already made it. And to my amazement by Sunday night I'd finished the front and the back.

It is really weird spending a few hours knitting and then the back suddenly appears. It's almost like magic. I mean, I'd really not been spending much time knitting at all. Very odd. You'd think seeing as I make quite a bit in Big Wool or Colinette Point 5 I'd be used to super bulky yarns. But Biggy Print is really something else. So of course Sunday had to involve a trip to JL to have a look at the zips. I've got a couple in 2 lengths so one of them should be ideal. No doubt the collar won't take long either.

I had a strange occurence happen with a ball of Biggy Print though. The middle of a ball of fell out while I was knitting with it. Hmm. Rather odd I thought. Then it dawned on me the middle of the ball couldn't fall out - or could it? On closer inspection, the middle was 4 short cut lengths. Weird or what. I took it back to JL and they refunded the ball. Never had that happen before.

I also managed to snap one of my favourite 5" Brittany DPNs on a fiddly K2tog. Luckily they're guaranteed so a replacement should wing its way to me soon.

The last odd event happened when I managed to return an Amazon rental DVD case back to them - but without the DVD in it! Oh well. These things happen. Funny how its always in three's though.....

And finally, a picture of Shingle. She'd been waiting for the ties to be done for just ages. I really got the timing of her wrong. Usually I manage to work it really well so that I can wear whatever I've made. But I started her too late in the year and it only dawned on me that she needs to go over a camisole/vest top once she was finished and I'd tried her on. I was disappointed at the time but she does look lovely and will be perfect for next year.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Crazy Electra Socks

I found out the name of these umm 'vivid' socks and boy they're apt. Crazy Electra. I've fallen in love with them more and more and they are currently at the no. 1 favourite sock spot. The stretch yarn is fantastic. I'd hearn some people had trouble with it or just weren't that keen, me, I think its brilliant and want some more. In fact, it will be quite hard work going back to just plain old 4 ply. Except for Lorna's Laces of course. They are always an exception.

I'm afraid that's pretty much it on the FO front. I'm poorly and have been for a few days now and not ventured out into the real world since Friday. So the knitting is very very quiet as my head and brain no longer seem to function. I can manage socks as I can just do a few rows here and there. Thank god for socks......

And why is it when you're ill you think of all the knitting you could get done while you're resting but of course it never happens. If you're ill knitting becomes the equivalent of doing brain surgery. I'm at the stage when I'm looking forward to actually having the energy to do some cleaning and dusting! Things must be bad then.

My leg warmers have come in very handy lately and are one of the most surprisingly useful items I've made recently. Which reminds me, I am now the pround owner of Last Minute Knitted Gifts. Nothing unusual about this you think? Well getting the book has been what can only be described as a challenge. I had it on order with Amazon for 3 months before they cancelled. Why oh why does it take so long to get a book that is easily available in the US? Just don't get it. Anyway, shortly after cancelling I saw it on Amazon with a 1-2 week wait (rather than the 3-5 that ended up over 12!) so I tried ordering it again, only to find the day after it was back to the 3-5 week wait again. So finally, in desperation, I investigated ordering it via Amazon Marketplace from the US. To my surprise I found out the postage was the same as ordering from a UK company. So of course I quickly ordered it and it arrived in about 12 days and was a nice cheer me up on Saturday.

It is a lovely book however something rather odd happened. My husband likes one of the patterns - but for HIMSELF! This is a first, he's never wanted to make him anything more than maybe gloves. I am not sure how I feel about this. I mean if he asks me to make it I can hardly say no, but crumbs, I could make 2 tops out of his 1 - at least....... and knowing my boredom threshold is practically nonexistent, would it ever be finished? Lets hope nothing more is mentioned. Must go and hide the book now.....

Finally Thunder says a big thank you to everyone thinking of him. He's totally healed up and is as bonking mad as ever. The only thing that seems to calm him down when he's in one of his mad as a hatter moods is 1. food (no surprise there) and 2. a lovely scratch on the ear which sends him all gooey and cuddly. Bless.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Colder Days

It definitely feels like winter has arrived over the past week. The heating has gone on and the scarves I made have come in very handy. I really need to finish some of my gloves and armwarmers that I have started though. I think I have 3 pairs in various stages now. My fingers are starting to get rather cold......and I have an urge to do jigsaw puzzles which is total proof that winter has surely arrived.

Lizzy is coming along really well. One sleeve finished and another started so shouldn't be too long before the finishing gets started. Which might take longer than expected as she has frills on the edges of just about everywhere.

Poor Thunder had his op with no problems and was recovering quite nicely. I was due to take him for his checkup on Friday and before going noticed that things were not quite right. As I suspected, he decided stitches were not for him so he removed them. Luckily the wound is small so I just need to bathe twice daily in salt water. This seems to have done the trick and everything seems to be healing up nicely. He seems to be back to his mad old self and is bouncing round the room like nobody's business.

House of Fraser had one of their 25% discount days last Thursday and I just HAD to go. I didn't actually need anything, but boy did I want something. I had a good think before I went and decided on yarn to make the Lana Grossa cardi I fell in love with a little while back. They only had 20% discount off the yarn though this time which was a first as its always been 25%, but still a good deal as it was something I'd been wanting for a little while.

All those balls of frogged ASC have been looking at in a kind of questioning way, asking me what is to become of them. I can't see me making anything to wear for a while so I'm using up some of the smaller balls to make dishcloths and washcloths. They've never appealed to me before but now I rather like the idea, and its get rid of a few balls of ASC into the bargain.

So no surprises that my first facecloth is a bunny design which I finished in a couple of hours for my DH. He said it worked very well in the bath last night but wanted to know where the black eyes and fluffy white tail are. I'm sure men are worse than children ;) I'm going to make a dishcloth next and will do a a house pattern. I found this site full of cute dishcloth patterns and will probably make a few. I'll go down a needle size for the next one though, and see how it turns out. That's the great thing about them, the gauge doesn't really matter. You can always whip up another and of course being machine washable comes in very handy. I wonder if I'll actually manage to finish any gloves now that I've discovered the joys of knitted cloths.....

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Saddle Shoulders Are Evil

I've finished the gorgeous Regan scarf from Big Just Got Bigger in the gorgeous Splash colourway. Many thanks Linda for the yarn you sent me - I got just a couple more balls as the yarn just screamed scarf at me. It's lovely and warm and I'm now the proud owner of a proper big superbulky scarf. Not that its cold enough to wear yet but no doubt won't be long.

Macey is dead. She died last night. Well, to be exact she has been frogged. She was not turning out as expected. I was actually sewing - ahem 'attempting' - the collar on with that feeling in your tummy that says, you hate her, she is horrid, you won't wear her. So I left it and had a little chat with DH who agreed I would never be happy with her and that was that. Funny how relieved I was once I started frogging her.

It all really started with the saddle shoulder seams and the realisation that it was practically impossible to get a nice neat seam. Or anything resembling even half decent might not have been too bad. I like my seams perfect you see. It never actually dawned on me that she had saddle shoulders or if I had noticed, it wouldn't have occurred to me that saddle shoulders are pure evil and are designed to drive us totally insane trying to get them to look right. Yes, just utter pure evil. In fact, there should be law against using them in hand knitted designs. It took me hours trying to get them to just 'ok' standard and I was not happy. She almost ruined my Sunday she did. Didn't matter how many times I redid them, they never looked that good. And if that wasn't bad enought, the stupid sewing on of the collar was hard work too. Sewing it on with slip stitch didn't look right, and mattress stitch was no good either as it was too loose.

I was disappointed at the time especially with the saddle shoulders, but now quite happy. She is gone and is no more with her crappy seams bugging me and her stupid collar annoying the hell out of me. Verdict - saddle shoulders are crap. What is the point in them? No wonder I've never seen them before on a knitted design. I know why now! And I'm a bit put off with All Seasons Cotton too. I've seen it used on kids stuff and looks great, but all I can think of is I'd much rather be knitting with Calmer. I am definitely a tactile knitter (aka Yarn Snob)!

So I have to apologise to Linda who is also knitting Macey. I hope I haven't frightened you off and that she gives you less trouble! I know people that have made her and been happy - though all admit the saddle shoulders are a nightmare. But she is just not for me.

Lizzy, which is such a joy to knit, is finally getting arms. The only reason I hadn't started is the design has short sleeves and I want long ones so I tried to plan a quiet half hour or so to work that out. This of course is unlikely to happen so I gave in and worked it out whilst watching tv. She is so soothing after recent events and much needed.......

My very bright sock is finished and the colour has really grown on me. I've used Regia Stretch and love the feel of it. Although the yarn looks like it should be for a toddler, it is perfect for autumn when the days are grey and rainy and you need a bit of sunshine in your day.

I had fun and games knitting some convertible mittens - originally they were going to have fingers and after some frogging gave up that idea. One is finished and I rather like them. I'm almost looking forward to colder weather so I can try them and see if they work ok.

I managed to find a UK supplier of the Knitting 2006 Daily Boxed Calender which I'd been hearing about. I can definitely recommend Calender Club for quick service as I got my copy the day after ordering. They have branches around the UK so I thought I'd ring my local one to see if they had a copy but they didn't, but the very nice guy gave me the office number and a code for free shipping into the bargain. So I am most impressed as it has cost me just £9.99! As I bought it for myself I've opened it and gone through the patterns. There is a real variety and several that I will definitely make.

Poor Thunder is off to the vets tomorrow for an operation. He's got a little frisky in the last week and after a check up at the vets yesterday was declared 'most definitely ready'! I feel sorry for him already though. He's so young still and so cute looking.......but my husband is getting a bit fed up as he seems to be the target of Thunders attentions ;)