Friday, July 21, 2006

She's done

I present...... Crinkle

Crinkle from Rowan Magazine 39
started: 19/06/06
completed: 18/07/06
yarn used: Cotton Glace by Rowan (100% cotton)
ribbon 38mm and 150cm long
needles: 2 3/4, 3 1/4 and 2 1/5 for the border

This project was a dream to knit - I love the colour. The only downside was completing the borders. The lower edge, sleeve and front borders were supposed to be completed after the main garment was knitted and sewn up. I actually did a picot cast on for the sleeves when I re read the pattern half way through and looked at the amount of stitches that would need to be picked up and knitted before attempting the picot cast off. I don't normally block my garments, but was forced to do so with Crinkle so that the stitches could be picked up neatly. If I had to do it again, I would do a picot cast on for the bottom edging and pick up the stitches for the front edging and neckline. I think I understand why the pattern did not do this in the fiorst place, it may have caused some confusion - I'm sure the designer was not laughing their head off at the thought of the poor knitters having to pick up over 600 stitches!! I don't think it would make any difference to the construction, strength lines or fit of the garment. I'm afraid I'm not wearing/modeling her for the photo's, it's too hot and humid at the moment. It was a battle to finish her at all - but the pieces were crying out to be sewn together - due to a wonderfully, wickedly hot summer we seem to be having in London at the moment.

On the needles - Gwen, again from Rowan 39 (yes, I'm getting my monies worth!!) and a 'see where it takes me' log cabin styled blanket - courtesy of the new Mason Dixon book. More on these as they develop.

My knitting buddy is off on her hols, so I may knit a bit a a knitting slump. My stash was recently well enhanced, when I attended an impromptu fund raiser organised by Debbie Bliss for Bob Wilkinson. Most of the yarn was coned which meant plenty for one or even two garments. I have very good reason though, I passed the constructed textiles course and want to do the next level - which means more samples, more required garments and , oh yes - more yarn needed!! Kristine was there, she tried on various garments from the new DB book, Cashmerino DK. They all looked lovely on her, I think my green horns may have been showing just a little bit as Kristine modeled each garment. It was a beautiful afternoon, some of my friends new to knitting came along. For them it was a welcome experience to meet and talk to a knit wear designer, plus see all the garments in the 'flesh' from the book as well as get a real good feel of her yarns up close and personal. As a knitter, who knows what she wants, its easy for me to go to a yarn shop and feel my way around. For someone new it's a different experience. They may not always know or understand what to look for on the ball band and digest the information in a way that conveys what can be done with the yarn, the person working in the shop may not know very much about particular yarns or they may feel awkward about feeling the yarn or asking questions. They both became bolder as the afternoon wore on and came away full of encouragement and ideas for the future.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Nearly there

Some snaps for now. More specs when Crinckle is complete.
I've finished the sleeve and botton edges.
Just the front border to do.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Happy birthday sweetheart.
Grow strong
grow happy
grow with love xxxxxx Shea Shea and Aunty J

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Did someone say knitting?

I've been busy
From thisto this
in 3 days. That's the beauty of Rowan Cork on 8mm needles. Shame Rowan have discontinued it - I've discovered its virtues 2 years too late!! The darker colour was not used in the end. I thought I might use it as a contrast, but couldn't figure out where. The pattern has been adapted from Chill (Rowan magazine 32). 6 balls were used.
And from this to this Yarn used was Rowan All Seasons Cotton - 5 balls. This yarn is growing on me. The main part was knitted on 5mm needles. This felt a little bit loose - although I knitted to stated tension. In future, I will knit on 4.5 or 4mm needles for a tighter tension or denser fabric. It's amazing what you can put your mind to when you tell a little white lie and have to put your money where you big mouth is!! Son number one now has a full trousseau of knitted garments - the last 2 knitted in 4 days flat!! Oh well, back to Crinkle.

Don't you just....

I am a simple woman. I don't ask for much in life. I like buses to arrive on time, I am truly grateful for the snooze button on my alarm clock, my oven really is self cleaning . So tell me, why can't yarn manufacturer's make hanks or skeins (or what ever the 'in' word is for a ball of yarn) without joining bits and pieces of yarn together - especially when I'm in the middle of a row. I know I join an endless line of irate knitters ranting about useless joins in yarn and I'm sure they have put it far more gracefully and eloquently than I (or is it me?) For now my literacy level only allows me to say - IT SUCKS - Big time!!
While I'm in rant mode - who sent the noisy fly to bug me last night? All I wanted was a quiet veg out night on the couch with my knitting and Grey's Anatomy. But no. I had to spend the evening trying to coax the beast out of the window because I couldn't kill it (we only kill moths!!) Did it want to go into the great outdoors? The word no just doesn't do justice to the determination of the fly to ruin my night. Grey's Anatomy was relagated to mute (and of course it was the last in the series) as I earnestly tried to locate the origin of the loud buzzing and fan the fly out of the house. My resolve to be kind to all of mother natures' creatures was sorely tested last night. I know that somehow, today I am a stronger person for it and that a great lesson has been learned - right?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

With friends like these

Poor Blog
I've been ignoring my blog recently. I have good(ish) reasons. The world cup for one, the end of my constructed textiles course (and the rush to make sure everything is completed to standard on time) for another and last but not least, the wonderful weather. On good days, although drugged up to the eyeballs, you will find me outdoors enjoying what I can of the sun and the beautiful sites around me. On bad days, still drugged up to the eyeballs, and not an ounce of energy, surrounded by soggy tissues and eye pads. Dems the breaks unfortunately. I have chronic allergic reactions to very ordinary things as well as the usual seasonal suspects. Summertime is the best and worst for me. On many occasion, knitting has to take a back burner because I can't see a pattern, never mind even following the pattern - as witnessed by Karin the other day when I was constantly ripping out Crinckle because I couldn't get the 8 row pattern right at all - or even worse, I'm reacting to the yarn!!

On a more positive note, Karin has been keeping my spirits up. I received a package from the postman while Karin was on her road trip in the USA. The postman was spared a barrage of bad language for getting me out of bed at 6.45 in the morning when I saw the senders address on the box. The yarn is Peaches and Cream and its yummy.

The yarns have wonderful names like faded glory and sea mist. One quirk of the yarn we noticed is that the solid colours are approx. 70 grams per ball while the variated colours are 59 grams per ball. Dish clothes are coming to mind....
And on her return She gave me these. The yarn is so soft, it's almost too good to use.

Her generosity and good will does not stop there. On Saturday, Karin became my personal shopper. While spotting bargains in the John Lewis sale, there were calls flying to and fro as she went through all the sale yarn they had to offer and made my purchases for me. Thanks Karin.

And my sister has been (dragging) escorting me to the gym for the past two weeks. The things we do for love!! We both received special passes to an exclusive gym for two weeks by way of a taster to entice us to acquire membership. We have been pampering and occasionally exercising ourselves. I'm actually surprised to see results in just two weeks and have found classes that I like. I won't be able to join that particular gym, but I will try and carry on the good work, (she says reaching for the Green and Black's).

On the knitting front, Crinkle is almost finished, I have one sleeve to do. I'm picking up Faye when I can (this is what happens when you look too hard at what other people are doing and think the grass is greener on the other side). I'm going to start Gwen for my sister and before summers end I'm hoping to complete Danielle, by Twilleys of Stamford from the Demin freedom book 2 - who said Mary????

Stash flash - update
You may recall that I started to flash my stash. After careful consideration, I decided to hold off flashing anymore - due to my complete paranoia about who would be looking. However, since reading yarn harlots view on stash, I am in complete agreement and feel that my yarn is my thing and I'm proud of it - but its mine and something that is cherished and personal to me, so it stays my little thing for the time being (notice the use of the word little). It may also appear that I am backtracking on my promise to use up my stash. Having just completed a constructed textile course and not even waiting to see if I was successful or not, I have decided to do the next level. It should span 2 years, but I'm aiming to do it in one year. The requirements this time are around set pieces of completed work and samples, but the work must be to my own construction and design. I'm already planning in my head, so it seems only natural that I should take advantage of bargains when they present themselves as well as using present stash. I hear there's a sale on at Loop.......