Friday, 26 June 2009

So close...

I'm off on holiday early tomorrow morning, which means taking the last train to the airport tonight and sleeping on a bench. And I'm so close to being finished with my second Monkey sock! I've only got 10 rounds of the toe and then the grafting left to do, then it's done. And the rows get shorter as I go.

Of course, I've also got to get home from work, shower, eat dinner, finish the last tiny bits of packing, put away all my knitting stuff and have quality time with the husband. Can she do it? Watch this space!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

WWKIP Day and new knitting friends

Saturday before last was World Wide Knitting In Public Day - featuring the iKnit Scavenger Hunt! I'd heard stories of this marvellous event, but had never been. This year I was determined to go. I even skipped a reenactment event* for it. :D

I got up bright and early on Saturday and headed down to iKnit. Thankfully the Northern Line was running normally! Oystercard loaded up in case of emergency bus journeys and bag full of snacks, knitting and water and I was good to go. None of my regular London knitting buddies was around, so I went hoping to join another team when I arrived. Most people already had teams of the maximum size, but there was another woman who had no team. And thus it was that Grimwitch and JeffNet** met and formed Team Bob!

We'd a long list of tasks to complete, ranging from spotting letters on shop signs to knitting a scarf to taking a picture of ourselves knitting with a naked person. No, really! Here's the photos to prove it!

Knitting in a red phone box:

Knitting with a London policeman

Knitting with pigeons:

Knitting with a celebrity:

Knitting with a statue of a naked person:

Knitting with a bunch of real naked people - the London Naked Bike Ride!

And finally, knitting on a Routemaster bus.

We lost, spectacularly, but had a ton of fun. We even stopped for a dodgy hot sausage from the Bulgarian guys outside the British Museum. (As an aside, one of my favourite hobbies is listening to the two of them being snarky about passers-by, since they assume no-one around them understands. Oh, how wrong you are, chaps!)

Then on the Saturday just gone I attended a wedding reception. It being an evening do, I decided to wear my red Swallowtail Shawl over a black dress. Good call - I didn't need the warmth, but I met another knitter! Turns out that a girl I'd been at uni with has turned into a knitter. She came bouncing over to ask me about the shawl and we ended up swapping spinning wheel stories and chatting about Ravelry. Lots of fun, especially when combined with a cheesy disco and lots of champagne.

*It was only the monthly revel, not a real 'event'
**Ravelry names given to protect the innocent!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

A little embroidery

A good friend came round on Sunday for the first time in about 6 months. And while here, she remarked that I'd not done anything on my Santa embroidery. It currently lives on the arm of the couch along the wall, so perfectly visible to anyone who comes in. And you know, she's right. I really haven't. Oh, I'd done the odd bit here and there, but hadn't actually sat down for a good session in forever.
So I did! After she went home again, I pulled out the box of embroidery floss and the pattern and set to. Got a big chunk done and really enjoyed myself. And I've been doing little bits in the mornings before work! And hubs is proving his worth once again. The trouble I often have with embroidery is that there are too many things I could be doing. With a sock, for example, I knit the cuff, then the leg, then the heel flap, then the gusset, foot and toe. Given that I'm making a cuff-down sock, I can't work the parts in any other order. With an embroidery, I can and do work on any bit I fancy, which unfortunately allows my inner dithering side to come out. This is where hubs come in. I can call out to him in the other room "Red or brown?" when I can't decide. After years of practice, he knows to just pick one at random, thus eliminating my dilemma.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Garters and FOs, oh my!

Hubs was out at a wargaming club last night, so I settled in with a pizza, Civ IV, the Phantom of the Opera and went at it. The garters are finished, and I'll be delivering them to mum at the end of the month when I visit. And I managed to finish spinning all the powder-blue fiber into singles! I'm letting them rest on the bobbins for a couple of days. Then I plan to do the plying on Friday evening, followed by a wash-and-whack session on Saturday morning. Photo update on Sunday, if all goes well!

I'm thrilled at finishing the garters. They were my second oldest yarn WIP, beaten only by the ripple afghan. I now only have 3 projects that date from before 2009 - the afghan, the mittens and the crochet Totoro that's hibernating. With any luck, the mittens will be finished this month, along with a goodly chunk of the afghan. And then I'll hopefully finish the afghan in July!

Once the current Monkeys and the mittens are done, I'll cast on for another pair of practical socks. After that, Totoro will live in my bag until he's done. I'm really feeling pleased about all my needlework right now. It's great.

Monday, 8 June 2009

One down, one to go

Had a surprisingly productive weekend, given how busy it was. After work on Friday I'd planned to do a load of knitting, but after ending up doing a bunch of housework in my wheel's corner I got out Roy and did about three hours of spinning! The bag of fiber I thought would never end is looking decidedly depleted, so with any luck I'll finish the singles this week and get the plying done next weekend.

Various trips around London on Saturday gave me the chance to get a couple more inches of garter done. Who knows, I might finish that this week too. And although I went into Loop, I managed to not buy any yarn! I went for a second 100cm circular needle for Mum's shawl, and left with only that. Now I'll be able to actually finish it.

And thanks to an afternoon celebrating Swedish National Day with my half-Swedish best friend and long train journeys on Sunday, I finished the first Monkey sock and got halfway through the cuff of the second! The purpose of the trip was to give hub's Granny her birthday shawl. It fit perfectly, and I think she likes it. My in-laws seem to think I'm a bit mad for loving knitting. Ah well. I think they're all a bit mad too, so it balances out. :D

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Ravelry consensus says...

...that June and July are months for tackling WIPs. Not to be confused with 'Februarys are for Finishing', which is an entirely different task. One of my stash reduction groups is having WIP reduction as this month's challenge, and then July is the WIPs Wrestling Smackdown. Having ended May on a high note of finishing three projects over a single weekend and then making surprise progress on the garters, I've decided to go for it.
In June, I hope to get through the following:
  • The green/purple/blue Monkey socks I've currently got going
  • Mum's garters, about 3/4 done after last weekend!
  • The mittens that went into hibernation after post-test-knitting frogging
  • The big batch of powder-blue spinning fiber I've been working on for the last couple of months
  • One granny square a day for my granny-ghan
  • As much progress as possible on the bedspread

I plan to devote July to shawls and a pair of not-yet-cast-on simple socks, since I have two shawls on the go right now, desperately need more socks, and have committed to knitting 4 pairs this year for Mission:Possible.

Finishing all of the above would take me down to 4 WIPs. And depending on my energy levels and free time, I might even get through the bedspread - leaving me with 3!