Saturday, 24 November 2007

Secret of the Stole Completed! (and other knitterly news)

The wonders of technology have played their part in the delays of this post, I would have posted yesterday but as all the camera batteries decided to die at the same moment, I only just scraped a photo before the light went arouond 4pm.

Still, I have pleasure in various Secret of the stole.
a) directly off the needles (still needing a wash and block).

b) on the blocking board which by a miracle just fitted all the way around...

...see the crossover on the bottom, the twin forks of the beginning and the single point of the end.
..and just to prove it, here's the other side. Of course, the flip side of pinning in this way is the inevitable scalloped edge but what the hey!

c) A rough idea of what it will look like when worn.

And, yes, there are tails still there, you can see how eager I was to photograph the whole thing!

After washing, there was a fair amount of grey sludge loss so the whole thing looks a tad brighter and fluffier now it's lost it's machine oil coating. I'm really pleased with the overall look, still 50/50 as to whether to overdye it a bit stronger colour but as I still don't have a clue what the overall theme is, I'm not committing to anything quite yet! (I could work out the clues but, you see, every braincell is focussed on the 3 remaining projects and getting everything polished off for Christmas).

In other lacy news, I finshed clue 5 of the Mystic waters Shawl in record time, considering I'd put off knitting clue 4 'till the weekend/beginning of the week, I felt I'd got into the groove of the piece. I sort of can't wait for it to be completed but I'm already suffering lace knitting withdrawal symptoms, so what I'll pick up then, I just don't know!

Pretty, though, ain't it?

And I can't let another day go by without acknowledging my rockstar parcel I got from Charity.
Remember, she'd been to Blue Moon Fibre arts Sale? She picked up this colourful selection for me...

..there are FIVE skeins of Socks that rock lightweight sock yarn, some lovely merino laceweight that she hand-dyed especially for me, a cute box of chocolates and tinted lip balm, just right as the weather gets nippier!

In between re-arranging my life around lace, I have been fitting in other knitting..

..Squeezing this single sock into my travelling knitting, one more to go! I modified the original pattern to make it a bit longer overall, Just one more sock to knit (then another pair that i've promised for a friend),and I'm one project away from finishing my Christmas knitting, Woo hoo!

The fusion cardi has also been a quick(ish) knit for mindless times in between lace clue postings.
Both sleeves are now complete..

...Actually, I'm 3/4 through the front panels now, just haven't got a photo yet! The colours in this particular shade have been a bit random, I bought the pack for the gorgeous cobalt blue that features but there's been only small flashes of it in many balls and the front is quite dark. Still, it'll all look better when it's joined together with its ribbed button band and collar, you'll have to watch this space for that one.

With the new camera (for all the battery discharging faults), I do get the opportunity to get pictures like this one...
What's he dreaming about, d'you think?

Thursday, 15 November 2007


Don't ya just love it when technology actually works?
Unfortunately, blogger just 'aint right now so you'll have to settle for one lone picture :(

On the bright side, you can see some fab pics about Tuesday's adventure here.
It was a fantastic day, non-blogging new driver Lyndsey drove us (nearly) flawlessly and very confidently and we both had great fun! I really enjoyed meeting a select group of ravelers and made some new friends as well as having some sage advice as I ran around grabbing yarns and yelling "does this suit me?".

Luckily, my one pic. that blogger DID deign to download was my somewhat sizeable stash enhancement from Colinette. It appeared that small numbers actually did have a bit more pulling power, they dragged a pile of Cadenza from the back room for us to peruse 'cos there wasn't room on the shelves!

So, there's ten skeins of maroon Cadenza (at the back), ten skeins of grey/blue and colourful Cadenza, 5 skeins of Jitterbug in browns to make a jacket, 4 skeins turquiosey Cadenza ready balled to knit the Forest Canopy Shawl and some turquiose Jitterbug for fabbo socks. Well, it's a good journey, so I had to make it worthwhile, didn't I?

Unfortunately, I can't show you my lovely new stash of Posh Yarns Cobweb :(

Or my yummy Wollemeise Lace and Sock yarns :(

Or my WIP Fusion Cardi...not that that pic was particularly thrilling but I have made some progress this week. Speaking of progress, the Mystic waters Shawl has kind of..stalled. Clue 4 started well enough but I got lazy, forgot to count and had to frog the ten rows that I'd knitted!

No matter how many times I tried to work out where I was, I just couldn't relate so it's put on short term hold.

Funnily enough, since I decided that, there's been a great sense of release today that I don't HAVE to knit it. After all, it is supposed to be pleasurable! I'm happy to pick up the Secret of the Stole pattern tomorrow then I'll decide whether to tackle the mystic Shawl on the weekend. I don't want to fall behind but neither am I going to kill myself finishing them, particularly as there's a comission knit in the offing for a client for Christmas so a little rearranging of the kniting schedule may be necessary.

In other technological news, I've just about worked out how to add an avatar on Ravelry and a whole project picture! I've put some pics on Flickr from my previous posts and will eventually work out how to link everything. I'm not the most technological person, but I'm learning!

Oh yeah, and before I go, my Spoilee FINALLY got her first package! You can read all about it here.

I'm so glad she likes it, I just dread how much longer she'll have to wait for the second one (it's already been in the system a month!).

Monday, 12 November 2007

I'm Back! (by the skin of my teeth!)

Sorry I'm a bit late on this post, it's been a bit of a catalogue of errors this week!

It started well enough, I finished sewing up the Blur sweater just in time for the Knitting group on Tuesday evening, and roped in a friend to take this one...

...Well, it makes a change from the same old scene! You can see some of the goodies in the shop behind me, I am already lusting after half of it! It was a quick knit but I had so many other projects in the way that it took 2 months to complete :(

It's perhaps not the most flattering of garments but it's a thinnish warm layer and that's good around this time of year as the weather turns more towards the cooler end of the scale.

And with that in mind, I cast on another project!

It's Wendy Fusion (which I adore!) and another way to stashbust somewhat quicker than laceweight which takes up most of my knitting time right now. It's got decoration on the front but the rest is pretty mindless for those fogged out days, though it's been weird knitting with 5 1/2 mm needles after all the sock knitting! Of course, I couldn't help fiddling with the sizing and adding a wee bit of shaping though it'll probably still be quite wide (but cosy!).

I completed the next clue of the Mystic Waters Shawl, squeezing all but the last 6 rows out of the first skein. I'm still not sure I'll have enough to finish it completely but it's squaring up to be huge anyway so I don't think it'll be too much of a problem!

It's still taking a while but it is truly beautiful!

Things did go a bit downhill on Thursday when I managed to throw an entire pint of water all over the sofa, floor, laptop, knitting et al. After some frantic scrabbling, a manic unplugging and switching off, it was just a case of letting everything dry out hence the late post! Actually, it was the general mood for that day considering I'd spent the morning trying to track down batteries for the camera and charging them all as they were all totally dead, racing round to find the now one remaining working phone and so on. Not the best of days :(

It didn't take me too long to print out the shawl chart and on Friday the stole chart and work from the printouts so I wasn't left totally in the dark but I did get a bit twitchy not having Ravelry and the likes at my fingertips! We actually did a bit of Christmas shopping on Friday too as Himself had a day off so I'm playing catch up on the stole right now. Still, camera is now fine, laptop is AOK, Ebay items went over smoothly and were posted today (could have done without the half hour queue in the post office though!).

The travelling knitting got a boost though, what with Friday and visiting my brother on Saturday so you won't be too surprised to see another sock on the needles.

Yup, after saying I needed time before revisiting the Jaywalker pattern, it just seemed right to this project. It'll be a pair of socks for himself for Christmas and whilst fair isle patterning yarn isn't recommended, this Opal yarn has big bands of solid colour so I think it works really well. I'm making them a couple of inches longer than recommended to make it more male length.

Actually, it's been a yarny month, wonderful Charity went to a Blue Moon Fibre arts sale and offered to pick up some goodies for me, she did offer to tell me what she'd got but I'm happy to wait and see what arrives, it'll be a wonderul surprise. Follow the link and see what she picked up, it looks like a fab day out!

I also managed to pick up a hank or two from Wollemeise, some laceweight for a future project, sock yarn and undyed laceweight to have a play with, pic's to follow.

And it that wasn't enough, I'm nearly all set for tomorrow, the great Ravelry Colinette meet! Non-blogging Lyndsey who's recently passed her test has agreed to go on the adventure with me, I'm so excited! I look forward to meeting friends old and new (and "enabling" yarn purchases!). You'll have to wait until my next blog for what happened next!

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Pictures, updates, and miles and miles of lace!

Okay, it's Tuesday not Monday, but here are the knitting updates I promised. Bizarrely, I had enough energy yesterday to visit a friend, walk the dogs twice, stop in on Val's new knitting shop, sort the tea AND go to a fireworks display!

Hence, not much time for knitting OR blogging! HOWEVER, better late than never here's the latest clue completed in the Secret of the Stole knitalong.

I can see that by the end of the next clue, I won't be able to fit it all in the viewfinder so I'll have to get a bit artistic or something! Funnily enough, I like knitting this pattern better than this one...

...Clue 2 completed of the Mystic Watershawl BUT I like the yarn better in this one! I know that the cashmere's true qualities will shine through at the end after the Secret of the Stole is washed but the cashmere silk blend is sooooo nice to knit with! (should have expected that being from Posh Yarns!). The pattern needs you to have your head screwed on to follow it and I'm not always that clear-headed (and it's not always alcohol!). I still love how the pattern is turning out, it does justice to the lovely yarn and fingers crossed the yardage will work out. I'm hoping to get half the rows from the next clue out of the first skein and the rest from the last 2 skeins, fingers crossed.

I have started a new project but unfortunately it ended in the frog pond rather sooner than expected. I have some DK lilac pure wool yarn to knit my MIL a pair of gloves, not mittens, not fingerless gloves, real traditional gloves. I want a pattern to knit in the round, I've searched Knitting pattern central, Knitty and loads of other online resources, scoured my patterns and found 2 on straight needles and one that I thought was perfect. Unfortunately, it uses sportweight yarn and 3.5mm needles and knitting on 3.25mm still made it massive.

I am of course being lazy, if I swatched the yarn first I could use the diet diary's patttern generator, I just wanted to get knitting! I have also now got the perfect yarn to restart the Eastern Cable Jacket ready for Christmas so I might just have to grab the needles and pattern and take them to group with me this evening.

Oh yes, and before I forget, I've done a smidge of work on the UFO heap, the Blur sweater is in the process of being sewn up and done some more rows on the ribbed Colinette sweater. Problem is I can't find the original pattern book and apart from a scribbled single-liner telling me how many decreases to do, I can't carry on much further. Which is why I'm justified in starting something new until I sort the gloves out!

The dogs are unfazed about the noise and fireworks last night, they were a bit jumpy after we returned from the big display at the local park but then it was noisy! I had to show you this snap I got last week though...

Altogether now.....aaaah!

Sunday, 4 November 2007

The Elephant has left the building.....

Yes, it's no longer hiding badly in the corner, the course is done 'n' dusted, final numbers 4 (which is 1 better than 3!), and I think they all had a good day. We were up on the top floor in a room I'd never beein in before, a wee bit shabby but with a fantastic view over the formal gardens at the back..which I never got a chance to photograph as I was so busy!

In retrospect, having a small group was a godsend because otherwise we plain and simply wouldn't have covered all that was planned! Everyone, as promised, went home with two patterns, a basic and a fitted sweater though the number crunching after lunch nearly saw us all off! I shall probably collapse for the rest of the week so expect some update pic's tomorrow when the light's better. A last minute attendee was actually secretary from one of the local weavers guilds so I'm hoping a bit of word of mouth might bring in extra numbers next time when we'll be exploring UFO's! Roll on February!

I'm feeling somewhat free and easy as I completed the Secret of the Stole pattern in record time (1, very packed day!) followed by the last 30 rows of Mystic waters shawl by yesterday afternoon and the second sock is approaching toe shaping so with a little luck that might get polished off this evening! I have found a potential other glove pattern for the MIL which will be nice, working with heavier than 4 ply and there's only one other pair of socks to do so I'm definitely beating Christmas knitting....yaaay! Might just sneak a bit of UFO bashing in before the next clue promises though!