Friday, 24 June 2011

Mitts for mum

On Friday last (yes, a week ago, I am a slacker) I finished up a pair of mitts for my mother, who had come to visit. Those who have been reading for a while may recall the yarn, which has also been made into a pair of Monkey socks for my mother.

new hat 005

Mum's nuts about all things Halloween, so this yarn was perfect. It is DK Knits Technicolor Dream Toes that I purchased from Etsy a zillion years ago. Pattern is Fetching from Knitty, also from a zillion years ago. This is my fourth pair of mitts from the pattern. It's quick and easy and fairly straightforward to adjust, plus gets bonus points for mirrored cables.

Mum made out like a bandit this trip - I sent her home with mitts, a cowl and a pair of socks. There was going to be a shawl, but I haven't finished it yet. Plus, the more I knit it the more I like it, so I may just keep it. I can always use more shawls!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

I think that maybe I now feel like a real grown-up.

For the record, I'm 27 and have been gainfully employed since leaving college five years ago. And I'm married and live in a home that I pay for, and am nearly finished with a postgraduate degree. I'm definitely an adult. There are still days, though, that I feel a bit like a fraud - I still feel a bit naughty when I occasionally leave my shoes on indoors or eat popcorn for supper instead of cooking.

Just now, though, I feel like a Grown-Up who has Good Neighbours. Earlier today we had a knock on the door and opened it to discover our downstairs neighbour and his 2.5-year-old daughter. It transpired that the child wished to bake, but there was no flour in the flat. And given the weather, her very sensible parents decided they didn't want to traipse outside in the wet to go to the shops. Baby A informed them (and the rest of the building, actually) that this was a Major Tragedy and should be rectified Right Now, Thanks Awfully. So upstairs they toddled to borrow some flour. We've always got flour, since the spouse and I are both rather keen on baking, so we handed them a 500g sack and away they went, happy as Larry. Just now they brought us back the remains of the flour and a plate of freshly baked cupcakes. We've thanked them profusely and sent them home with a bottle of spouse's homebrewed elderflower champagne.

I'd always imagined having a sense of community and friendship with my neighbours. Looks like I've got it.

Mostly I love London.

Not so much today. This is the view from my living room window at the moment.

Gorgeous, no? It's been, well, pissing it down. All week. My umbrella is getting a great deal of use right now. Fortunately there was a break of a couple of hours yesterday, and well-timed it was. Yesterday was Baby L's third birthday! I can't believe how fast this child is growing up. I swear I'm going to be a wreck when I have spawn of my own, because I spent way too much time yesterday snuffling over party dresses and sharing and all manner of cuteness. Awwww.

Of course, yesterday was also Knit In Public Day. After a visiting granny offered to babysit, I kidnapped Baby L's mother and took her to a well-deserved lunch. We ate amazing dim sum, knit on socks (both working on red Monkeys, amusingly) and then headed across the street to Loop, the LYS of joy and wonderment. They were having a sale in honour of KIP Day, and I needed supplies for the class I'm taking at Knit Nation next month. I was very good and only bought the four balls of yarn I needed. I also bought this:

Brooklyn Tweed's book! I was outrageously excited by it, since I didn't think there was anywhere in the UK carrying it. I love all but one of the projects (the earmuffs are kinda weird), and am itching to cast on for a new shawl now. I'm not going to, of course, because I really don't need any more distractions right now. But it's a good carrot to get me through until September.

For now, though, it's a Sunday of pajamas, folk music and endless cups of tea. At least the rain means I don't have to feel guilty about chilling out for a few hours.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Some yarny goodness

I have finally finished my first batch of handspun for 2011! I'm starting to think that my goals of having twelve spinning projects done by the end of the year is a wee bit ambitious, given all the other things that are going on. Still, I am delighted that this WIP is finally a FO. I've only been working on it since last summer - nearly a year!

This is hand-dyed alpaca, dyed as roving with Kool-Ade. I don't remember what colour I used, although I'd hazard a guess it was something orange. Just a hunch.

I've chained-plied it, and it's ended up a fingering-weight, approximately 260 yards. Soaked it for half an hour in warm water, then whacked it on the bathtub to set the twist. I'm quite pleased with it, structurally - it's nicely balanced, and it's not particularly over or under spun or plied.

As yarn, though, I don't like it. I have concluded that I really do not enjoy spinning alpaca. The odd guard hairs get everywhere and it's too scratchy for my Posh-spoiled skin. Plus the lack of lanolin in the fiber makes the spinning process less enjoyable for me. And alpaca has an undeniable odor of wet dog when wet!

Luckily for me Weaving Friend likes alpaca. So she'll be getting yarn and a shawl next month when she comes to visit me!