Sunday, March 25, 2007

Highs and Lows

What an interesting couple of weeks its been. The highs are easily the long awaited arrival of my first Socks That Rock February Club Kit!!! The lows were the long waiting time which caused much anguish and frowning of brows and almost endangered the life of our postie. Turns out the package cleared customs on the 11th March, but didn't arrive till the 19th! What was it doing for 8 days - crazy huh? So it actually took longer to reach me once in the UK than it did to get to the UK in the first place. Oh I was so not happy ;(

But joy was back in the house once again after arrival of said and much loved parcel. I was so impressed with the kit and the colourway. I love those colors. Reminds me of rainforests and my trip to Kenya which brings back great memories. I'm even 'shock horror' actually going to attempt the pattern too! This is a highly unusual step for me, as I'm a cuff down plain sock slip stitch heel flap girl all the way. But there's something about it that makes me want to try. It will be the first time of using mediumweight STR as well as a toe up sock and all that entails. Should be fun........oh where is that Lucy Neatby DVD hiding ;)

Of course due to the delay and my very obvious disappointment lovely DH took me to Get Knitted to cheer me up. However I didn't think he was that lovely after the parcel arrived on the Monday and he said 'so you'll be taking it all back then'! Of course I ignored him as seriously, he must have been joking. I mean, what was he thinking. Take back.....what does that mean exactly???

The taking back would have deprived me of the lovely Blue Sky Alpaca hoodie pattern (yes, another hoodie), the lovely skein of Jitterbug in Alizarine and the gorgeous skein of Lucy Neatby's Celestial Dream in Fiesta. Not forgetting the Lucy Neatby Socknitting Techniques DVD 1! Of course taking any of this back was never going to happen and although not the cheapest of retail therapy shopping trips, I was extremely happy with my purchases. Good job I did all that overtime then.....

Tulip now has one front and back which were attached with a three needle bind off. And to my delight I didn't even have to think about the short row shaping for the shoulders! I was rather impressed with myself. It's nice when that happens ;) I've just started the right front though admittedly it is taking longer than I'd anticipated. Reminds me why I like chunky yarns so much!

I have one STR sock in Fairgrounds the second is half finished. I really should finish it before starting on my sock kit.......we'll see shall we. My Mango Speed Demon Sock has had some progress too and I'm now on the gusset and finished all the dreaded ribbed cuff. Remind me not to do that again.

Thats it really knitting wise. Work has been manic and I've done hours and hours of work at home too so have only really managed to knit for an hour or so each evening as I'm just so tired. We're advertising for some help so I'm hoping we get someone in quick so I can stop bringing so much home.

I did do some sewing up that I'm rather proud of and now my Fletcher coat has one side and sleeve seamed. She looks fabulous and I can now try her on. She's kinda jacket length rather than coat length which is just perfect for me. Maybe soon she'll get to go on an outing!

I've been watching bits of the Lucy Neatby DVD Knitting Essentials 1 that I mentioned previously and am so impressed. Already I've picked up hints and tricks that I will definitely try. Reading about other methods doesn't really inspire you to try them unless its because you're unhappy with your current one. But seeing other methods in front of you is superb - finally you can visualise them and see their benefits. I can't recommend the DVD highly enough and I expect the Sock Knitting DVD to be just as great. It really is excellent for anyone wanting to improve their knitting or try out new methods whatever their skill level, or not as the case maybe ;)

Before jetting of to Dublin I just had to make myself another mini sock to attach to my bag. This one is in the colours I did for my friend Joanne that I forgot to take a pic of, so I can now put a photo in for the keyring in my 2006 FO list. Although of course I have one attached to my keyring, if I'm out with DH we usually bring his keys so my lovely mini sock has to sit at home all alone. Now I have a portable one too and all is well ;)

Sweet little Custard has had his home renovated after I found him struggling to get up the tube to get to his bedroom & bathroom which are on the top level of his cage. So now he has a bungalow ;) He was not happy at first but I couldn't bear the thought of him strugging to get upstairs again. It was quite awful to watch as he struggled for what felt like a few minutes and I couldn't help him at all. Poor old thing. He has settled down now and has a new ground floor bedroom and bathroom. Doesn't stop him from climbing the sides of his cage now though ;)

Friday, March 09, 2007

A Short Break

It's all been a bit busy here lately, hence the later than usual post. DH & I went to Dublin for 3 nights to celebrate his 'special' birthday which was on Tuesday which was lovely. Neither of us had ever been to Ireland before so it was a real treat and great to do something different. I hardly did any knitting at all while away, though I did finally manage to cast on the second Sweet Georgia Speed Demon sock........ though have managed only about 20 rows so far ;)

I was surprised at how little yarn was on sale in Dublin, and not one single skein of Rowan was seen! We popped into a shop that I'd heard had some but only had acrylic and eyelash yarn so that info was out of date. We happened to spot it as we were wandering around so at least hadn't made a special journey. There is a shop listed on the Rowan site but as it was a bus ride away didn't think it fair to DH to drag him off, especially as the break was for him.

The only knitting related item I bought was a pair of angora/wool socks which are lovely and soft. But when I put them on was really disappointed with the toe seam. Boy doesn't making your own socks really appreciate well made socks! They are comfy though and are great bed socks.

We did manage another visit to Get Knitted the previous weekend where I stumbled on some GGH cashmere in the sale for £1 a ball! So of course I had to buy some. You can't turn down bargains like that, I mean.....100% cashmere! I also picked up the sock yarn in the sale too and the latest issue of Knit Simple which I really like for once. It is a surprisingly good issue. And somehow the Lucy Neatby DVD managed to fall in my basket - how did that happen? Unfortunately I've not had any time to watch it yet which kinda says how its been round here lately. And lastly some DPNs in the new Clover sizes, this set are a 2.75mm in case my new sock kit contains some mediumweight STR. Ya gotta be prepared ;)

Work went absolutely manic before we left and it was a pretty stressful time and all the things I'd planned to do just didn't get done. Happens that way sometimes doens't it? I have done quite a bit knitting wise these past few weeks but just haven't had the time for finishing, sewing up or photos. Maybe next post eh?

I did manage to finish After Dark which only used 3 skeins of Summer Tweed for the size 8. She looks really lovely already and I think will be fab when all complete and beads added. Talking of beads, I was kinda shocked when I realised they would cost £9! I mean, thats almost the price of a couple of skeins....but then when I had a look at alternatives realised there were plenty of beads far more expensive and of course I really wanted the Rowan ones as they look so lovely. So DH got them for me as a little treat. I would have got them eventually, but it is nice to have them all ready and waiting ;)

Tulip has been started and the back isn't far from completion with only the short row shoulders to do but no photo yet as there isn't much to show really. I'm loving knitting with Damask though which is much softer than I expected. Its a very tactile yarn which surprises me considering the composition. Though I'm finding it a little hard going using 3.75mm needles. It definitely feels like its taking forever. Definitely not a quick knit for me ;)

I was so expecting to have my Socks That Rock Sock Club Kit arrive whilst in Dublin but they didn't which was a little disappointing, but they're on they're way and hopefully will arrive really soon. I can't help hoping they'll arrive each day and have given reading up the KAL as I don't want to hear about everyone else having theirs already! So instead of a pic of my not yet arrived kit here we have a WIP of the lovely colourway Fairgrounds which is not far off finished now. Only one more sock to go then......

Our super duper lovely hamster Custard also celebrated a special birthday and has now reached the grand old age of 3!!! He is still lively if a little wobbly on his legs which explains why its so hard to get a photo of his face these days as I don't like using the flash much near him anymore. Doesn't my Iro coat look lovely though (yes, its still waiting to be sewn up...). Custard is such a sweetie and really quite tolerant of his daily eye drops and totally addicted to organic sunflower seeds ;)