Monday, 3 December 2007

A Plague of Frog*

I spent the weekend doing as much ripping out as I did knitting. I was ill, you see, and the sheer number of projects was really getting to me. So, the red scribble scarf and the Mystery Stole are no more. The scribble scarf I decided was too impractical, and I think the Mystery Stole will look much better in wool than in cotton. Riiiiiiiiip.

I did do a good bit of knitting, though. I've turned the red boucle from the scarf into another scarf. Stockinette on big, fat needles. It took about 24 hours, and I wore it to work this morning. Very snuggly.

*Only one frog, but it was quite a big one, and it got into the air shafts and kept everyone awake for weeks.

Friday, 30 November 2007

There will be pictures, darn it.

I took pictures this morning. They are on the camera waiting to be uploaded to my laptop. The reason they haven't yet been is because, inevitably, the batteries need to be recharged. Again. So they are plugged in and I am hopeful of uploading tomorrow morning.

I actually knit on the Shedir this morning. I'm getting more comfortable with the travelling stitches, so hopefully it won't spend too many months languishing while I look at it wistfully with a headache.

Also finished up the second border of Mr Fluffy, so now I just need to work the centre of the beast until I'm nearly out of my lovely kidsilk. I'm quite happy, actually - I wrapped the finished part 'round my neck, and it's more than long enough to be a proper scarf. All the remaining length is simply bonus fabric now.

Monday, 26 November 2007

One up, one down

Not just a great drinking game, but a good reflection of my knitting progress this weekend. I cast on for a baby jacket for a friend who is expecting, but I also finished up the lace kerchief that I started months ago! I finished the patterned part during Scrapheap Challenge, and knit the ties and border during part 2 of Cranford. I still need to block it, since the lace is a little bumpy right now, but I tried it on and Spouse thinks it looks great.

The baby jacket is adorable. It's made in three pieces - 2 sleeves and a body. I've done about half of the body so far. It's great having instructions that say things like "work even until piece measures 1.5", then divide for the armholes". The last adult sweater I knit needed 8" of knitting before the armhole, and that was a rather short sweater. I'm making it in lime green for a couple of reasons. First, I had enough lime green cotton in my stash to make the whole thing, and I got gauge on the needle size stated in the pattern. Second, I don't know whether the bump is a boy or a girl, and green is nicely neutral. Third, I think babies look good in bright colours. It's never really made sense why people give babies brightly coloured toys to stimulate them, then dress them in bland and boring colours. Crazy.

I've also started something that I've never done before. I'm making a gown. Spouse and I have gotten into medieval reenactment, and the time has come for us to have some garb of our own. So I got some lovely teal wool and on Saturday cut out the pieces. It's a simple sleeveless overtunic with a full gored skirt. Nothing but straight seams, unless I decide to do something funky with the neckline. I'm hoping to get the whole thing done by the twelfth of January, since we are having a feast. Of course, I'm also going to need a chemise to wear underneath, but that's going to mean sleeves and gussets.

Friday, 23 November 2007


I was walking home last night, thinking about my knitting. As I often do. And suddenly the solution to the grey fluffy scarf problem hit me. See, I'm making it with Kidsilk Haze, which is expensive (£6.50-ish, usually), and I only have the one ball. This would normally be fine, since a scarf just goes until you run out of yarn, and the yardage in the ball is fine.

But the pattern I'm making from VLT is one of the wide-bordered scarves, which means that once I do the first border and the bulk of the scarf, I still have to do another border. But I don't want leftover yarn! Fortunately, the Yarn Harlot outlined the perfect solution in Knitting Rules - you knit the second border separately and then attach it to the body of the scarf once you're down to the last little bit of yarn.

It's made slightly more complicated by the fact that I've rejigged the pattern. I wanted to knit it on an airplane, which meant plastic DPNs to get through security. Of course, the only ones I had were much bigger than the pattern calls for. It still looks really good IMHO, but it means that when I did the first border I only worked 3 repeats of the pattern instead of 7, and it's still the right width. So I had to modify the number of pattern repeats in the body of the scarf. And I'm going to have to graft the whole thing in garter stitch, which I've never done before. Lots of fun.

Still, I cast on for the second border last night, after successfully playing a quick round of "hunt the yarn end inside the ball". It's very quick, and I'm hoping that after trying 2 other projects, this one will be the right thing for granny-in-law's Christmas present.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

I really do have a wonderful spouse

I was having a really bad day about a week ago, and Boy was working very hard on cheering me up. It worked, and I got my happy back. And then this morning, when I was getting ready to go to work, the post came. And in it was a pink parcel addressed to him! Since we all know what pink parcels mean, I was puzzled enough to ring him. He told me to open it.

Inside I found 2 big skeins of pink sock yarn! He had decided to get me some sock yarn to cheer me up! Lovely Boy!

I'm thinking I'll turn it into a Blossom shawl and use the silk for a Tuscany shawl. Did I mention each skein is over 400m of yummy yarn?

Monday, 12 November 2007

What a weekend!

I'm most of the way through what has turned into an incredibly productive 3-day weekend. It has been a blast!

First of all, Saturday. I did in fact finish the Dr Who scarf. It's all done, ends sewn in, tassels added, done. 7 partial balls of yarn and one complete ball of yarn left over, which is not too bad. For a while I thought I was going to have 3 complete balls left over, but that was before I started cutting the fringe. I have decided that another scarf would be too ugly for words, so the remnants are going to have to be turned into something else. Not sure what yet.

A second post will follow with the rest of what I've done - as soon as I finish doing it!

Wednesday, 7 November 2007


I finished two more stripes last night! Go me! Only 6 left, and then some ends to weave in and a fringe.

I had a moment of sheer apathy last night, though. It was weird. I was looking at all my yarn, all my projects, and I just wasn't interested in knitting. Not even starting a new project. Very strange.

Still. The hope now is to get this beast finished by the end of Saturday. Then I can get it all wrapped up and put away until next month.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Racing for the finish line

I am partway through stripe 1 of the last 8 on Dr Who. I can taste victory, and it is yarn-flavoured. The remaining yarn is going to become a skinny colour-block mini-Who scarf, and the whole ball of the green stuff is going to become a secret Christmas present. If there are leftovers from that, it too can go into the mini-scarf.

The Jaywalker is slowing down, partly because I'm in a scarf-finishing frenzy, and partly because the gusset decreases are taking frickin' forever. I still love the sock and the pattern, but there are an awful lot of decreases.

The other advantage to finishing up Dr Who is that I'm signed up for NaNoWriMo this month, and I really ought to be writing. Thankfully, I can make good time on that while sitting at the Issue Desk at work, when I really can't be knitting. And I have the day off next Monday. Hopefully for writing, since hopefully the scarf will be done!

Friday, 2 November 2007

It's not a heel, it's a life-skill

I sat down with my sock after eating my ever-so-tasty bowl of Sainsbury's tomato soup and had a problem. Not with the knitting, that was fine. No, my problem was with reading the pattern. Those notes that you sometimes get suggesting that you highlight your chosen size? Very good idea. See, my Jaywalkers are the larger size, which meant that when starting to turn the heel, I had to knit across 20 (22) stitches. So I knit across 20. Oops.

Result of this was painstakingly figuring out exactly what I'd done (thank goodness for my obsession with symmetry), figuring out how to do it backwards, then holding my breath and pulling out the needles. I'm glad my yarn is as grippy as it is. 15 minutes and no dropped stitches later, my sock is back on the needles, the heel started, and I have learned how to do something completely new and exciting.

Learning how to fix it when you screw up is a tremendous feeling. I'm kinda glad I messed up now!

I shall finish turning the heel when I get home this evening.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Busy weekend again

This time it was a party, house guests and the England vs. South Africa Rugby World Cup Final that got in the way of my knitting. I had hoped to finish the stocking this weekend. I got all but the last 8 rounds of the patterned part done, so I'll hopefully get it done by Wednesday or so. Not too much left to do on it now! And then I can send it away.

I'm in a funny kind of mood, knitting-wise. I really want to knit, but not for the finishing of projects. What I actually want to do is use up yarn. It makes me nuts having all of these partial skeins lurking around, so once the stocking is done and Dr Who is a bit closer to being finished, I'm going to work on completely using up yarn. One-skein scarves for a bunch of my odd-balls, repurposing stuff that I've decided I didn't like my original plan, things like that. The goal is to have all of my yarn contained in 1 tub and 1 bag, plus the project that lives in my handbag. I reckon I will need to use up about 15 or 16 balls of yarn to achieve that goal. Better get cracking!

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Dr Who Scarf Update

775 rows complete of 1040. 265 rows remaining. Just shy of 75% finished. Woohoo! I might finish it on time!

Friday, 12 October 2007

A cunning plan gone awry

I had to go to John Lewis this morning to get a birthday present for my little brother. While in there, I thought I'd swing up to the haberdashery and get the circular needle and skein of yarn I knew that I needed for some other stuff, thus saving time at the Knitting and Stitching Show for browsing interesting and unique things.

I may have gotten distracted by a couple of other things.

Don't get me wrong, I got the birthday present, the needle, and the skein of Christmas present yarn. I just got two other balls of yarn too. I got one ball of Noro Silk Garden Lite, and one ball of Twilley's of Stamford Freedom Spirit. They called to me. The colours are perfect. They literally made me stop in my tracks to pet them. The Twilley's is destined to become a hat, possibly with a cable round the bottom. The Noro? Well.

I had a new experience today. The Noro was so perfectly what I was in the mood for that I hijacked the needle I'd bought for something else and cast on for a scarf because I had to start knitting with it RIGHT NOW. I love it. It's going to be another of my love 'em to bits garter stitch scarves.

So, instead of coming out ahead of my shopping and spending the evening getting closer to finishing things up prior to the influx of new yarn tomorrow, I have already blown a bunch of my yarn money and started a new project. Whoops. Still, the money was designated for spending on fun yarn that I love, and that's what I've done with it!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Happy Finishing Dance

I sat down and did the last little bit of finishing on the pink sweater last night. One collar adjusted, one button attached, and I'm all done! Woohoo! The camera batteries are charging at home even as I type, so pictures will follow tonight. I'm planning to do a big picture session, with pictures of the stash that isn't up as well as project pictures. It's all good.

I also worked on the kerchief last night. This yarn is terribly flimsy. Not impressed at all. I need to work three more pattern repeats, do the ties, and then it's done too.

Of course, that's not what's in my handbag for the lunch hour. No, today I'm working on the wretched llama. I have decided that I want it finished by the end of October, so I am going to work on it every lunch hour between now and then. I hope it will be over quickly...

Someday. Someday I will only have lovely yarn and fun projects, and I will be able to knit lace to my heart's content.