Sunday, October 29, 2006

Second post for Sunday

Miss Millie went to a Halloween party this afternoon and looked so cute in her outfit that I had to take pictures. If I'd had more time I would have made the outfit myself - but you know how it is... We did find time to make the pumpkin lantern this afternoon before she went partying.

My thoughts have turned to sewing lately as I wonder if I will have time to knit all the Christmas gifts that I'd like to. Sewing gifts may be a quicker alternative. I recently purchased a couple of books from Amazon with this thought in mind. They arrived yesterday and here they are along with the copy of Knit Today magazine that I purchased in town. There are lots of good ideas in these books and I shall be having a rummage through my fabric stash this week. The sewing machine has been very neglected since I rediscovered my love of knitting. There are at least two quilts that need finishing in my craft cupboard

Blogger was playing up badly this morning and wouldn't let me uplaod all the photos that I wanted to share. So here is the planned pink and fluffy project for Millie...
And here is another pic of my gorgeous girl...

Socks on two sticks

Desperate for new hand knitted socks , I decided to try Knitty's Socks on 2 sticks pattern. It was really quick and easy and the finished result is pretty good. Im not sure it was actually any easier than using circular needles but it just didn't require as much concentration and was easy to memorize. The sewing up was a bit of a pain but you can't feel the seams when you wear them. I used Cygnet Superwash dk and managed to get one pair of socks and almost another foot out of two 50g balls. I like them so much that I bought another ball and intend to finish the second pair at work this week. I have about a ton of sock yarn in my stash and am hoping that I will feel inspired to use some of it soon. Socks are pretty handy for a small portable project - ideal for work knitting.

Feeling a little guilty about the amount of new yarn purchased and the number of UFO's lying around, I decided to tackle a couple of those nearly finished projects. The Sweetpea Cardigan is now sewn up with the lace edging added to the hem and sleeves. It just needs the embroidery and I would have completed it if I could just remember where I put those embroidery ribbons and cotton perle. I think it is a cute little jacket but it is nowhere near big enough for Millie - she is seriously miffed ! This is not because my gauge was out ! I just misunderstood the nature of the sizes in the pattern. There were no age guidelines but the largest size seemed to measure the same as one of her existing cardigans but obviously it has a few inches of ease to it and crochet is not very stretchy. I would say this will probably fit a three year old. Miss Millie is nearly six. I will finish the embroidery and then try to find a good home for it. Meanwhile I have bought 3 balls of a beautiful fluffy yarn, Zanzibar, to make a little cardi for Millie to make up for the disappointment. Like I needed more yarn !

The Alien Illusion Scarf is also going well - just under one alien head to complete. I want it myself but think it would be a great present for someone I know with a birthday in December. Do I really want to knit a third one ? Maybe !

Saturday, October 21, 2006

All in a spin...

This week I spun the hand dyed Wensleydale up into this. I'm definitely improving on the wheel and the second skein, which is still on the niddy noddy, is even more even. Working with the space dyed stuff is great fun - much more interesting to spin as the colours keep changing. I am thinking of using this to make the Falling Leaves Scarf from the last issue of Spindlicity.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Eowyn and the Aliens

As if I hadn't enough projects planned already .... I fell in love with the Eowyn wrist warmers in the free Rowan supplement that came with this month's Simply Knitting. So, of course, I had to purchase a couple of balls of Rowan Kid Classic. I knitted them up in an evening and blocked them over night ready to sew up next day. I absolutely love the finished items. There were a few problems with the pattern and a search on Google revealed that most people have been slightly confused by the thumb holes. The wrist warmers are only ever pictured with the lacey edging covering your hands but there are thumb holes at the other end in the pattern. I just decided to knit it as written and the wristwarmers look great worn either way round. The yarn is soft and warm and I enjoyed knitting with it. You use two strands knitted together to make a chunky thickness - one each of two similar colours for a tweedy effect. . I think I could probably make 3 pairs from 4 balls and may well buy some more to do just this.A couple more Alien heads have been completed at work this week, although following the chart has been hard with all the distractions. I'm looking forward to being able to wear this one - the WIP has been much admired !

I bought some Tao silk last week with a view to making the crochet necklace from the Arboretum booklet. Decided to try out the pattern with some Twilley's Goldfingering and am quite pleased with the result. It was fun to make and I think I would wear it..Last but not least.... spinning ! I've spun up some of the roving I bought at Ally Pally last week. It is much more fun spinning with the hand dyed stuff. Watching the colours change is a real joy. The finished yarn looks to be about a worsted weight. I'm not sure what to use it for yet. Oh, and I've signed up for the Bjork Knitalong and am just waiting for my pattern to arrive

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Last weeks knitting pictures

Well, Blogger has finally let me upload the pictures of last weeks knitting. I'm really making some progress with Madeline now that I've figured out the edging. It looks great and I can't wait to finish it. Distractions abound though,
in the form of dishcloths ! Two more of these little beauties in Rowan All Seasons Cotton. I like this design a lot and so does Miss Millie. The pink one I made a few weeks ago is now her very favourite facecloth. The Alien Illusion Scarf is also looking good and is mainly being knittedat work.
Meanwhile, I bought this month's copy of Simply Knitting and fell in love with the Eowyn Wrist Warmers in the free Rowan supplement. I knitted a pair yesterday and am just sewing them up and blocking them tonight. I also made a crochet collar/necklace from Twilleys Goldfingering using the pattern in the Colinette Arboretum booklet last night. It looks really effective. All in all a fairly productive week. Now I just need to work on using some of that stash.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Major stash enhancement !

On Thursday I took a day off work and went to the Knit and Stitch Show at Ally Pally - highlight of the knitting year ! It was great - really inspiring. I came home exhausted and loaded with knitting goodies. Firstly, it was great to pick up some spinning supplies without having to pay a load of postage - and to feel the fibres first. I picked up some lovely soft wool roving in a natural cream, brown and some hand dyed. Also a bag of different coloured wool tops. I plan to get adventurous with my spinning wheel. I also found a niddy noddy for winding skeins - something I was particularly on the look out for. The Colinette stand is always a big attraction for me as I have long been a fan of these wonderful yarns in their many fabulous colourways. Two hanks of the new Tao silk are now in my stash and I am thinking of making a crocheted collar/necklace with one of them. Two hanks of Parisienne in a wonderful purple colour were also irresistable. These may be destined to become a shawl from the new Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts magazine. It seems quite like Kidsilk Haze and I cant wait to knit it up. A couple more hanks of Fandango for more of the boa scarves also made their way into my bag. Oh, and not forgetting 200g of dk in the Monet colourway. You don't often see the dk and I was tempted to buy enough for a cardigan but then considered how many I could already make from my existing stash. So, restraint was exercised and I am thinking maybe legwarmers and gloves. When I tore myself away from the Colinette stand there were plent more goodies to be found. I have been drooling over Nicky Epstein's Swanderful bag from her new book of felted bags for a few weeks now. It is such an original design and looks great fun. Jamiesons Shetland were selling yarn packs for some of the bags in the book and when I saw this one I couldn't believe my luck. I had almost ordered it online a couple of days ago at a considerably greater cost. I have ordered the book from Amazon and am looking forward to getting started. There is a KAL for this project and I might just join. The single hank of Noro Daria is to be a belt using either knittting or crochet. The flower kit is all I could afford from House of Hemp's stand by the time I reached it. I've wanted to try hemp yarn for a while. It is quite expensive and feels quite hard and stringy but it does take the colours beautifully. The woman on the stand was wearing a lovely crocheted waistcoat that I liked a lot. Perhaps if I had seen it before the Colinette stand I may have bought the kit. Oh well, I took a card and will track them down online when I have more money.

There has actually been some knitting going on this week. The Madeline Jacket is coming on great now that I have worked out how to do the edging. I'm about half way round and fairly pleased with how the whole thing is looking. Two repeats are complete on the Alien Illusion scarf - just four more to go. Two crochet dishcloths are finished . Blogger is playing up again and won't let me download any more pictures so I will have to try again later.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Madeline is back !

I finally picked up the White Lies Madeline Jacket again. This is something that I really am looking forward to wearing. However, I was completely stumped when I reached the edging - the pattern made absolutely no sense to me. It was really frustrating. Eventually, I tracked down someone on the Craftster website who had posted pics of her finished Madeline a while ago. I emailed her for advice. This very nice lady (knitters always are !) had exactly the same problem with the edging but had figured it out with some help. When she explained what she had done it seemed to make a bit more sense. After a bit of practice with scrap yarn I have managed to proceed and it looks fairly ok. The rest of the pattern was quite simple and clear but I think that this problem would have caused a less experienced knitter to give up. Anyway, my plan to finish this jacket to wear to the Knit and Stitch Show at Ally Pally this week is unlikely to come off. Three more dishclothes flew off the needles while I was mulling over what to do with Madeline.

These latest three are all knitted from free patterns downloaded off the internet. I've actually started using some of these cloths - they are pretty good.
I've also started new project at work. My second Alien Illusion Scarf from Stitch 'n Bitch. The first one was a Christmas present for my nephew last year. It was such a fun scarf to make and to wear that I have been promising myself I'd make another for ages.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Scarves and hat

I finished the Granny Square Keyhole Scarf from First Crochet and am really pleased with it. Blocking worked wonders - it was transformed into a really great looking finished item. I will definitely wear this when it gets cooler. There is probably enough yarn left to make another two of these. I didn't buy the recommended yarn but am still surprised at how much was left over. So, maybe another scarf for a Christmas present or perhaps a matching bag for me.

The second Curly Wurly has now been given to my sister Jude, who is modelling it for me here. These scarves look great and are really easy to make.
It is my birthday today and my sis and neice knew just what I wanted . They bought me some balls of Wendy Moiselle which is a lovely yarn. I am trying to decide what to make with it - perhaps a scarf or bag.
Also just off the needles is a hat made from 2 balls of Rowan Biggy Print that had been in my stash for ages. I got the pattern from the book Hip Knit Hats which I borrowed from the library. It's a great book and I would probably buy it at some point. This hat feels comfy and is definitely very wearable. I'm trying to make things that will actually get worn at the moment as I realise that I have often made things just for the pleasure of making them. It seems such a waste if things don't get used. I wore my One Button Bolero last night when we went out for a fab Indian meal to celebrate my birthday. I felt great in it.
I have also managed to crochet another 3 dishclothes. I'm not so pleased with these three and think that I will be knitting the next few. I am enjoying the KAL. There are some excellent dishclothes appearing on the blog.