Monday, December 6, 2010

Communication Breakdown

I wrote a brilliant and detailed post yesterday about how deviating from a pattern can really get your creative juices flowing, but somewhere between my phone and the blogosphere it has disappeared into the ether, so you'll just have to imagine how wonderfully witty and instructive it was. 
The object of the post though was to update you on my progress with the Aeolian.  I had a slight mishap because of a confusion between two double decreases - SK2P and S2KP, basically I've used centred decreases all through the bits which should have been left slanting. I only worked this out when I actually came to do a centred double decrease and had that "oh god" moment way too late to actually do anything about it.  After much discussion over on the Ravelry Lace Knitter’s forum, it's now a "pattern modification"!  That aside, I'm plugging along with the transition chart and am planning my attack with the two agave repeats. The edging looks far too complicated to worry about just yet!

Sent from my BlackBerry Smartphone from Virgin Media

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The dog ate my knitting

Did I tell you I’ve started an Aeolian? I ordered the yarn and beads with my birthday money – 2,500 seed beads and 200g of Patons Pure Wool 2ply. The only colour I could find for sale this side of the pond was white, but there were projects on Ravelry of the same yarn in all the different colours of the rainbow! I eventually (after a lot of searching) found the beads on the bead store, which is a shop based in Cornwall, so the postage wasn’t too extortionate! You’d be amazed how difficult it is to find size 8/o seed beads! I bought 2,500 TOHO round beads in Ceylon Aqua and it came to about £13.00, which wasn't bad – though their hexagonal seed beads were half price, I wasn’t sure if they’d look right.

Returning to the title of this post, she actually only got caught up in it, but she still managed to pull about half a dozen tiny beaded laceweight stitches off the needle. I caught what I thought was all of them and stopped the laddering but realised a few rows later that I'd dropped a yarn-over as well and not picked it up with the others.

You may wonder why I'm not having a breakdown at this point, after all these rows are getting quite long and the thought of tinking back all those stitches AND searching out the beads that have pinged off into a corner of the room is disheartening to say the least. I'll admit my first panicky solution was to undo the lot and start again, but thankfully common sense prevailed. Quite simply put, I dropped the offending stitches and reknit them, with all the other stitches safely on the needle, now you can't even tell the difference! The silver lining to this cloud is that as well as re-affirming my confidence in my own abilities as a knitter, I'm also able to bring to you (as soon as I've finished editing the photos) a step-by-step photo tutorial of how I did it!

Sent from my BlackBerry Smartphone from Virgin Media

Monday, November 22, 2010


I passed my AAT exam tonight!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sleepyhead, and a Finished Object

I went to a really good gig last night, my significant other was doing some filming for a band called Freaky Age who were headlining at the Mello Mello in Liverpool (look them up, they’re huge in Belgium!), so me and some friends tagged along. The trouble is we didn’t get back home until the small hours and now I’m utterly exhausted! I’m not used to being out so late any more!
Anyway I promised some finished objects so here they are.
Pattern: Baby Sophisticate by Linden Down
Yarn: “Jarol Baby Rambler Aran” in pale blue
Techniques involved: Some short rows, increasing and picking up stitches
Comments: I was asked to knit two of these, one for a baby boy born about a fortnight ago, and another for a boy due next April (nothing like getting ahead of the game!). The pattern was really quick to knit – both took a total of two days! I think what made it a little quicker is that garter stitch is substituted for the usual ribbing, but ultimately there is no making up to do - just a few loose ends to weave in and the addition of some buttons and it’s all done!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Back Again!

This is me blogging again after quite a holiday. Although I’ve still been knitting throughout, we had a double bereavement (my uncle and my horse), which was tough. But I'm back and (hopefully if it works!) blogging to you from my new Blackberry! I love new gadgets! Talking of new, for my birthday I was bought a “knitpro symphonie” starter set and I love it to bits! For Christmas I'm going to be asking for lots of the expansion sets! I've got a whirlwind of finished objects to share, like this little item:
but more about that next time!
I'd lastly like to thank Josiekitten and SnoopyDog for the lovely comments on my last post, and congratulations to Josiekitten for having her blog featured in Yarn Forward Magazine!

Sent from my BlackBerry Smartphone from Virgin Media

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Knitting Stormclouds

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted properly, and I’ve been knitting up a storm between now and when I finished my Blood Shawl, so I’ll fill you in on what I’ve been up to.
Firstly I’ve been trying to make headway on my Great American Aran Afghan.  I remember when I first started this project (January 2009) I estimated it would take me maybe a few months, six at the outside.  Well I’ve got about 10 squares and an edging to go and in about 5 months it will be two years old.  I hope the saying “Terrible Twos” doesn’t apply to knitting like it does to toddlers!
My second project, and the one that is currently taking up all my time, is a jumper for my other half.  About a week ago I bought 800g of Hayfield/Sirdar Bonus Aran in “stormcloud” which is a sort of off-white with short black fibres spun into it.  It’s sort of like a mohair effect, but hopefully without the itchiness!   It’s the same yarn as I used for the jacket I knit for my mum at the end of last year, so I know it wears well and is  quite soft once it’s washed.  Given that he wanted just a plain polar-neck jumper, I cast on the “incredible custom-fit raglan” pattern, and it’s going great guns.  I’m about 10 inches past the arm holes, with about another 8 inches to go.  2 inches of two by two ribbing and then I’ll be onto the sleeves!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

100% Pure Organic Spinning!


I know everyone’s mad about organic at the moment, but this made me laugh – I saw it on another blog but it’s good enough to repost.  Hope it makes you laugh as much as it made me!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

FO: Blood Shawl

It’s finally finished! I cheated slightly because I knit it shorter than it was meant to be, I think I’ve got about 75g of yarn left and I can’t be sure that would have been enough for the full length version. Still it’s a really nice length for me – the point skims my bottom (I'm quite short!).



Pre-blocking. I also hadn’t sewn in the ends, I was that excited for it to be finally “finished”!


I blocked it on the futon mattress thingy, which is a small double. It wouldn’t fit length-ways and only barely diagonally, it looks a bit wonky and if I had more room the points would be pointier, but it looks ok now it’s dry. I think if I start knitting more shawls I’ll at least need something decent to block stuff on!


Finished! Sorry for the bad lighting but it was late evening by the time I had taken all the pins out and finished parading around in it! Once I get a photo of it in action I’ll post it here.

Vital Statistics:

The Pattern: Garden Path Shawl by shui kuen kozinski

Yarn was: Rowan Pure Wool Aran in “Blood”

Needles needed: 5mm (pattern called for 5.5mm

Other stuff needed: Stitch markers – I used 8 bits of knotted yarn, which I think are just as good as anything you can buy!

Knitting Time: About a month

Amount of sewing up to do: none except for sewing in ends!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Busy Bee

I know I know I’ve not posted for ages AGAIN, but I have been busy, honest!

Firstly, although I’ve not done too much work on the shawl, I’ve at least reached the third row of roses and added a life line. P1010015I’m more and more convinced that I’m still not going to have enough yarn despite the drop in needle size (I possibly should have dropped down more than .5mm!). with a little over 100g of yarn I’ve still yet to finish the last row of roses and the edging. I can really see myself using this lifeline for what it’s intended for!

As for my other projects, I found and adapted some patterns for premature baby clothes, and although the jacket I knitted worked quite well, I’ve yet to find one that works for mittens and booties. That’s now on my (extensive) list of things to do, but I’ve elected to work on my shawl a bit first. I’ve also been rereading the Necroscope series by Brian Lumley, a series about vampires and telepathy in cold war Britain/USSR.

Friday, June 25, 2010


From roses on a pattern to the real life variety, I *rescued* the roses in my back garden from flying tennis balls and over-enthusiastic terriers!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Doing Quite Well, Actually!

This is my answer whenever anyone asks me how I’m getting on.    There’s not much else I can say really, because the milestone of switching from the body to the edging is a long way off, and even though I’m less than forty rows away (a bit further than in this most recent picture), those rows are ever increasing in size!P1010011

I’ve decided (just to be sure) that after I knit the third line of roses I’ll add a lifeline, that way if I do end up still being short on yarn, I can rip back and just make it a bit shorter.  I’ll be really upset if I run out again though!

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Whole Lotta Yarn (And A Bit Of Paint)

I love knitting socks, they’re less work than a sweater but more interesting than a scarf.  The problem is that when you finish the first sock you’ve got it all to do all over again!  When I finished the first sock I took a break to consider what I’ll do with the almost-finished blood shawl.  I’ve run out of yarn and all efforts to find more have failed.  I really like the yarn and the pattern, so I wound up all the yarn on my ball winder (scary to see all that work disappear in all of about 2 minutes!), and cast on for my second sock!P6040008  It’s funny how it looks like a lot less yarn than I started with!
In other slightly related news, I painted my living room last week and it matches my yarn!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Father’s day Socks


All finished in plenty of time for Father’s Day!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Second Sock-itus

I’ve finished the first sock, but there’s only so many sock pictures I can put on my blog without being called a fetishist.  I’m 22 rows away from finishing the second sock’s foot (toe-up remember, so a little under half way) but that I got that far is a miracle in itself.  I cast on the second sock no less than five times, once I even managed to finish the toe increases before I ripped it back and started again.  The figure-of-eight cast-on is a pain in the bum to cast on from (for a demonstration click here), but I like the seamless effect it gives and I hate grafting so I guess it’s the best way to do it and it best just to get on with it.
Today I had a sock revival – my first socks were dug from the back of my sock drawer and they go perfectly with my blue tie-die shorts.  Natural Dye Studio’s “Chi” paired with the violet green sock generator.  Sock inspiration!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Slow Sock Knitter

socks collageI don’t know how all these sock knitting bloggers manage to have pairs of socks done in under a week.  As you can see after three or four days since I last blogged, Election day/Father’s day socks have grown by all of about an inch and a half! Maybe another pattern repeat and the ribbing, then I’ll be finished.  Second Sock Syndrome here we come! 

Might do a smaller pair for myself afterward but I have a huge list of other projects to sort out too.  Unravelling and reknitting my blood shawl is a big priority, and of course I need to finish some more GAAA squares, not to mention the cross stitch that is still sat in the naughty corner! 

Half way through a project is of course the time when you get to pondering new projects, and i know someone who would appreciate a green and gold Manchester United/Newton Heath football scarf.  I’ve yet to finish my lace scarf design, although I’ve cobbled together most of the pattern and now it’s just fine tuning the details (the bit that i hate). I’ve also still got the ball of fawn coloured crepe acrylic that I was going to knit a teddy with, and I’d still like to do that but with a few tweaks to the pattern I used last time.  The trouble with keeping my stash in clear plastic bags is when I walk past them, my brain goes into overdrive!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Election Day / Father’s Day socks

P5100009 So I picked the boyfriend socks pattern again, because it’s a nice compromise for the man who wants plain plain plain, and the knitter who thinks boring boring boring!  I’m finding it a bit tougher than last time because I have darker yarn and can’t quite see the stitches properly unless I’m right underneath a bright light, but the Cygnet 4ply “truly wool rich” I’m using is turning into a really pleasant yarn to knit with.  Plus it’s superwash wool, so I might be using what’s left over to make some for myself!  I did most of what you see on Election Day itself (and what a farce that turned out to be!) but because the yarn was delivered in an extremely timely fashion almost a week before(thanks Modern Knitting!), I had already cast on, knit the toe and started the foot so I got the fiddly bits out of the way at least!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

GAAA Wordless Wednesday: Barbara Selesnick Square

Really easy to knit and the charts were memorable – only took me a day and a half!  For more information, visit my Great American Aran Afghan Squidoo Page

Friday, April 30, 2010

Change of direction

Me and the cross stitch have had an argument, so I’ve gone back to the GAAA.  More Wordless Wednesdays to follow!

Obligitory Puppy Pic:P4300006

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Boyfriend Socks v2

So I’m thinking of knitting Boyfriend Socks again, this time for my dad.  Cygnet do a nice 4ply yarn that’s good for socks, so I’m trying to pick between the manly (read: dark and plain) colours of Navy Blue, Pine Mix, Grey Mix and Black.  I’m concerned the Navy and Black will be too dark to show the pattern so I’m leaning towards the grey – it goes with most things after all!

As you may remember, last time they came out a bit on the small side, lovely as they were, so I’m making sure I have the right measurements before I begin!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Another Cross Stitch Update

This is what I’ve done since my last update.  It’s seems to be going pretty quickly!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Naughty Knotter

P4130012 It’s done! The knots don’t look as scrappy as I was worrying they would, and the white corner looks kind of quirky, in a patchy way. Still, i don’t think poppy will notice, photos of her reaction coming soon!

Really Glad I can put this project behind me as its been a bit of a long slog and it means i can spend some more time worrying about my other projects!

Friday, April 16, 2010

The other thing

This is what’s been keeping me away from my knitting recently:


It’s a cross stitch of a house, and there will be flowers around the edge of it too.  I love new challenges and apart from the ones you do as a kid I’ve never tried cross stitch before and really wanted to have a go.  I’m doing quite well apart from the odd miscounted block of stitches that I've had to unpick.  I’ve learnt not to stitch bits that are really far away from other bits because it’s hard to make sure they’re in the right place until it’s too late!

I plan on putting the finished article on my wall in my new home, and it’ll be the first home-made thing I’ve done for this house, so I’m quite looking forward to that!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Blood Shawl

Well that's it’s official nickname now, because it feels like that's what it’s going to take to knit it.  Let me tell you the story.

The pattern, Garden Path Shawl, by Shui Kuen Kozinski is gorgeous and takes just under 1000m of worsted weight yarn (that works out to be one kilometre!).  I chose not to use the recommended yarn but went with Rowan’s Pure Wool Aran (in the shade “blood”, I’m sure that was an omen!), and calculated how many balls I’d need to make up the 1000m.  According to my calculations (which I checked and rechecked quite a lot, because I tend to worry about these things anyway) I should have had about 3 quarters of a ball left over, if not more.  You can guess where I’m going with this can’t you?  Believe it or not, by my guesstimates I’m short by maybe a ball and a half.  Now I could imagine using half a ball more than stated, because I may be knitting quite loosely, but surely not by enough to make that sort of difference?  The long and short of it (no pun intended) is that I’ve cast my net far and wide but I can’t for the life of me find balls in the same dye lot that are the same or even similar, so I’m stuck with having to reknit it, maybe on needles a size smaller and maybe missing out a few rows, which I’d really hate to do.

But that’s where I'm up to with the blood shawl, and it’s still sitting in the naughty corner because every time I look at it I think of all the hard work and concentration that went into it, and how much is still left to go.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ten Stitch Wonder

Well it’s been a while, readers, about which I apologise. Since my last update I have moved house though, so I feel it’s not all my fault! In truth I’ve had a number of knitting failures and it’s left me feeling a little uninspired to knit. I’ll go into more detail about that at a later date but for now I’ll show you something I feel a little proud of!


P4110009This is the Ten-stitch Blanket I was working on that Poppy decided was for her. Those are my toes, for a sense of scale! I’ve nearly finished it, in fact this is how far I am from the end, but ironically I’ve run out of yarn! I’m hardly about to go out and buy any more of this stuff so I’m weaving in the tails I’ve left as I’ve joined new balls, and then using the off-cuts to knot into one big length to try and get a bit more of it done. After that if I’m still short I’m just going to have to use some white acrylic double knit to finish it off. I doubt Poppy will complain anyway!

In other news, the Garden Path Shawl I started in January has ground to a halt and I’ve started to design a new lace scarf. I’ve also recently started my first cross stitch project, which is going well apart from some fixable mistakes! I’ve not started any new afghan squares, but it’s on my list of things to do. I think I’m about half way through that now, it’s an epic project!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

GAAA Wordless Wednesday: Suzanne Atkinson Square

Suzanne Atkinson
I loved this one because it was a picture as well as a pattern! The I-cord sun rays were a bit fiddly though.  For more information, visit my Great American Aran Afghan Squidoo Page

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

GAAA Wordless Wednesday: Marian Tabler Square

Marian Tabler
I only recently finished this one but it was also pretty easy!  For more information, visit my Great American Aran Afghan Squidoo Page

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

GAAA Wordless Wednesday: Ann McCauley Square

Ann McCauley
The bobbles on this one really annoyed me. There were twenty five of the big ones and thirty of the little ones. The big ones were the worst.  For more information, visit my Great American Aran Afghan Squidoo Page

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

GAAA Wordless Wednesday: Janet Martin Square

Janet Martin
I love knitting “pictures” because you can see them take shape as you go! For more information, visit my Great American Aran Afghan Squidoo Page

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

GAAA Wordless Wednesday: Carol Adams Square

Carol Adams
An easy knit, and the diamonds are pretty cute. For more information, visit my Great American Aran Afghan Squidoo Page

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

GAAA Wordless Wednesday: Vicki Sever Square

Vicki Sever
Was too scared to do the main ribbon a different colour, but would have done it in the darker “hazel” yarn I have to match the caramel. For more information, visit my Great American Aran Afghan Squidoo Page