Thursday, 24 May 2007

Things I Am In Love With

I am totally sick of 'Glade', more on that topic tomorrow - I can't bring myself to Blog about it today- so I have been surfing the web looking for lovely things to knit. Some day soon I'll finish the dreaded 'Glade' and feel able to move on to one of these lovely things.....
P.S. Note to any of my Knitting Buddies in the US - Shibui patterns are NOT available here in the UK so if anyone is wondering what to put in a Swap Package for me then one of these would make my year - the shipping on them costs more than the patterns!!!

Shibui Knits Icosa Ball - I just know the kids would use it as a football and it doesn't look like a comfortable cushion but you've got to admire the geometry of it.

Shibui Knits Half Circle Cardigan - the colour is vile but gasp at the construction of it - who thought of that???

Noni Bags - Now I'm not a handbag kinda girl - I only have one bag - a large black leather one in which goes everything including spare nappies, milk, dummies, book, sweets, money etc. If I go out with my husband I never carry more than a handkerchief because I don't have an evening bag. These bags are so breathtakingly beautiful that they would be perfect for going out. I also love the Lattice Bag, the Cherry Blossom, the one covered in flowers etc etc.

I like a challenge. I've bought this pattern - Fiesta Feet by Lucy Neatby. It's knitted in two colours so you've got the added complication of coping with two balls of wool as well as the complicated stitch patterns. Have bought the cream yarn but can't decide on what to use for the coloured bit. The pattern says you can use up your stash but since I don't have one I have to buy something....
And finally - I saw this on someone else's Blog and went straight to Woolly Workshop to order it - Skin Sea by Ilga Leja knitted in Worsted weight. I think my Hipknits Aran Silk is going to look great knitted up into this.
Links to any other seriously inspirational patterns are always appreciated!

Handpainted Yarn

Secret Squirrel sent me some undyed Trekking yarn and some food colouring in my April SP10 package and I decided I was sick of ebay and sick of tidying up so I got busy.
I soaked the yarn for about an hour in 8 pints of water and 1 cup of white vinegar. Then I painted on blue and yellow food colouring with a paint brush. Left it to sit for another hour or so and then cooked it for 5 minutes in my microwave. Here is my very first attempt at dyeing in the sink having a wash after it had cooked - look how clear the water is - the dye must have stuck fast!!!
I gave it a gentle wring and hung it up overnight to dry. This morning, since I don't have a swift and it looked pretty gruesome in its stripy hank, I used the kitchen table to rewind the skein into this rather pretty looking hank.
What do you think?

Monday, 21 May 2007

May SP10 Competition

Now my chances of winning this month's SP10 competition, set by our hostess Bobbi, are zero. You see I'm about to give totally the wrong answer. The question is about going on a foreign holiday for 10 days to a place with some great knitting locations - 'What do you pack to knit?'.
ANSWER: Nothing - I NEVER knit on holiday.....
Knitting is something I do to stop me thinking about 'things' too much - on holiday I can read a book or be distracted by shopping, eating, sightseeing etc so I don't need to knit.
Knitting is something I do to stop me eating too much in the evenings whilst watching TV - well a) I don't watch TV on holiday and b) I don't mind how much I eat on holiday, so I don't need to knit.
Knitting is something I do at home that is relatively easy to pick up and put down again in the snatches of free time I have during the day - on holiday I've got acres of free time that I'd rather use to read or sleep, so I don't need to knit.

The second part is easier - 'What do you hope to shop for?' Well, like everyone else I'll bet, I like to shop for locally produced yarns that I've never seen before and can't get at home or yarn bargains if things are cheaper than the UK.

And finally, 'Where would you go on a knitting holiday?' Assuming that I could actually get to go on such a thing (I would have to go without OH and without children of course!) then I would choose to go somewhere with a strong knitting tradition - Iceland or Peru I think. (I've already done Norway which was brilliant.)

Friday, 18 May 2007

Toe-Up Socks from Interweave Knits

LaurieC sent me a ball of Trekking XXL in a beautiful blue that I couldn't wait to try. I saw this month's Interweave Knits had a Toe-Up sock pattern and decided to use the Trekking as the pattern is simple and won't detract from the stripes in the yarn. So here is a very odd looking sock on the table......

The sock is knitted in 2 x 2 rib which is why it pulls in so tight and then frills out at the top. There was some yarn left over but I had knitted the sock to just the right length for me so I'm happy to leave an oddment - maybe there'll be enough for Toddler socks.

Here's a photo of the sock actually on my foot.....

Looks good apart from that wee hole at the top of the heel shaping, the pattern does say to tighten it up after you've cast off so I'll have to remember to do that. I'm now on the second sock and I'm knitting the next pattern size up as I think the first one might be a bit tight, especially if it shrinks in the wash.

The Eastern Cast on was fiddly but produces a nice neat seamless toe and I really like the shaped heel so I would definitely knit socks this way again but using a stitch or cable pattern to liven things up. Thanks again Laurie - good choice of yarn, look out for pictures of my second sock soon!!

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

My first Meme

This one seemed to be going round like wildfire yesterday when I read all by Blog feeds. Thought my answers might be interesting for any Secret Pals or Swap Partners out there.
Feel free to copy it to your blog but please leave a comment!!

Edit the list, bold for stuff you've done,
italics for stuff you plan to do one day
normal for stuff you're not planning on doing.

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting - What's this????
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting - Not sure what this is - yarn held in the left hand???
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book - I wish.....
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting - ??????
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living - I wish......
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking - never thought about this, must investigate
Dying yarn
Knitting art - all my knitting is art.....
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting - don't know what this is....
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Shrug/bolero/poncho - I don't think these are flattering for those of us with a 'larger' chest!!
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

I have no idea what some of these things are so I will have to try and find out and maybe change some of the highlights to match.

Has it really been so long.....

....since I blogged? 11 days, I wonder if anyone noticed that I had been 'missing' for a while. I've been tagged by Laurie C to give 7 random facts about myself and then tag 7 other people to do the same. Well, Laurie I just don't have that many blogging contacts that haven't already been tagged so I promise to tag as many as I can think of but can't promise that it'll be 7, OK?

So 7 random (interesting) facts about myself.....

1. When I read a newspaper with several sections I always have to read them in number order and I always put the paper back how I found it i.e. page 1 at the front. I NEVER fold a newspaper in half to make reading easier.

2. I have more fillings in my mouth than teeth. Yes, I can hear all you Americans screaming in horror but I just have really soft teeth and so do both my parents, so there.

3. I have two First Class Honours degrees - one BA in Architecture and one BSc in Mathematics.

4. I am neither an Architect nor a Mathematician - I stay at home all day doing chores whilst my brain turns to jelly.

5. If I ever let myself eat a Mars Bar I always nibble the chocolate off the outside edges first, then I tear the chocolate and caramel strip off the top and eat that. Last to get eaten is the fluffy bit on the bottom. Don't ask me why I do this, I've done it since I was a child and I eat Bounty bars the same way - taking all the chocolate off before allowing myself to eat the coconut.

6. Life is too short to read a book twice no matter how good it is. So why do I collect them then?

7. I put the milk in my tea LAST and yes I can taste the difference if someone puts the milk in first.

Now I'm off the find some people to tag.....

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Far too busy to Blog

I've been far too busy to Blog this's a catch up.

1. Have put another 200 books on ebay - it was half price listing day on Thursday making it just 2p per book - an opportunity too good to miss. Fingers crossed that I actually get rid of some of them this time.

2. Took No. 1 Son to see Consultant - he has now had his meds changed to Strattera. All sorts of paperwork and leaflets came with the prescription and this morning the actual medication arrived at the Pharmacy. Plan to give his first dose tonight and then it's fingers crossed that we don't get any major side effects. He has to take this for 6-8 weeks before it will be at an effective level so we can see if it's working. IF it works then it will be the first time in 9 years that we haven't had to deal with full on ADHD for at least 16 hours per day.

3. Got my Knitters Treat package posted off to the US. All colour themed and wrapped - it looked lovely and I really hope Jeanne likes the things I made for her.

4. Cast on Glade, not in the recommended Rowan Bamboo (way too expensive for me at the moment) but in Patons Soft Cotton at about 1/3 of the price and knits up to the same gauge.

Have completed the back, both fronts and part of one sleeve in the very boring stocking stitch. Then it's on to the edging - knitted sideways and causing no end of problems for others. Seems that Rowan might have quoted the wrong needle size for the edging so I'll need to be careful to swatch and measure carefully. What did we all do before the Internet? Presumably everyone else thought the same thing as me i.e. it must be my fault it's not working out. Nowadays of course we Google the pattern name and find at least a dozen other people struggling!!

5. As my April Sp10, Magic Yarn Ball and KTE parcels have all gone, I am now left with my Dye-No-Mite challenge. I ordered some goodies from Wingham Wool Work and they arrived 2 days after ordering - FABULOUS! Have already decided on the colours to use BUT my utility room still looks like a bomb-site so this week I must get it tidied or I will have no room to work.