Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Must stay focussed....

I've finished the first front on the Empire Line Cardigan. The whole thing is looking stumpy but beautiful. Karin's has blocked her back - it was niggling both of us if a transformation was possible and I am so relieved that it worked and stumpy will transform (or transmute) into a stunning wispy lacy creature. I find it quite hard going to start the pieces and venture back into cables next to Yarn round needles. It does not matter whether you use the cable needle or non cable needle method, either way it's fiddly trying to cable. It also does not matter if you are at the beginning of the work or well into it. The only incentive is the decreasing for the yoke shaping when you ditch the yarn round needle for a simple reverse stocking stitch..... I've not been able to work on this since the weekend but intend to pick up the slack today - the ability to breath permitting!!

Finally the colour is true!!

However..... the distractions are strong:

The hooded jacket is almost finished. I LOVE THIS BOOK. There are many projects awaiting and calling to me!

It's amazing what you can achieve when you're being poked and prodded and used for dart board practice!!

The cream project is a sleeveless top from Baby Knits by Lois Daykin This is a fantastic book. Can you tell I'm still a wee bit broody?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Getting there

What do you do with a computer you've had repaired twice - equalling the cost of a new computer - when it goes la la on you yet again? We like the January sales!

I've started the left front of the empire line cardigan. My aim is to finish it by the weekend. Karin's blog has a better representationof the colour.

But I have a little distraction

I'm apportioning blame to Karin. She kindly (wickedly) lent me her copy of the Debbie Bliss Simply Baby book. What can I say - apart from what a great stash buster book!! However I must stay focused on my other projects...... Oh and then I went and got this and fell in love with this after seeing it in the flesh at John Lewis. Should I bother trying to curb my enthusiasm?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


You all know I'm rubbish when it comes to anything remotely techie - like computers. So you know its a major panic when I can't get online and the computer crashes!! I seem to be back in the land of all that is cyber, minus a few files that should keep me sane. Bare with me while I sort out my hard drive from my warp drive....

Knitting News
I've finished the back of the Empire Line Cardigan - my nick name for it is stumpy. It's going to need a good deal of blocking to look anything like the published article - I'm enjoying it though and the yarn is scrummy and soft and squidgy. Check out Karin's blog for picture update. While you're there check out her fab Viola by Louisa Harding.

I've started knitting a few gifts, wristers, wash cloths and hats. I'll post some pictures soon.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

New Project

We have a new project!!

And I'm doing it as a mini KAL with Karin.
It was a bit nerve racking to begin with but I have settled into a rhythm. I realise that this beauty is going to need some serious blocking. The lace pattern is looking very stumpy at the moment!!
The picture above is a better representation of the colour I'm working in (also the same as Karin) but it is still a bit more vibrant than shown.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Quick step

It has been quite uplifting finishing the coat. I'm looking at a few of my WIP's with renewed determination (well at least for today!!). I'm going to keep it real though, so I have compiled a new mini 'to complete' list:

  1. Mirth - just the sleeve edgings to complete
  2. St. Brigid - must get a move on. Will complete for January
  3. Nevis - my travelling project

Obviously, this does not stop me from starting new projects, there may be one or two in the offing........

Mirth: Neckline completed so I'm nearly finished

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Sandia Caped Coat

I have finished my coat. It's no longer a caped coat - but it is a cosy warm fit for purpose coat nonetheless. Everything was fine until I got to the collar. The instructions did not make complete sense to me. I could not understand how the two halves would fit together. I did follow the instructions to the tee. I lovingly and painstakingly attached all the seams using the 3 needle cast off - without any puckering I might add. I digress here but wish to make a very important point - if anyone tells you that you have too many needles, explain the concept of the 3 needle cast off to them!! When everything was sewn together it looked great. Then I tried it on. I had tried on the coat without the collar and knew the shoulders and neck line were in the right place and the shape of the coat flattering as I'd hoped. The collar would not turn down to form a caped shape - I wanted to cry - it was the whole reason for knitting the coat. Each time I put the collar in place it flipped up around my neck like a shawl collar. And then the light went off in my head. Why did I want the coat in the first place? So I didn't freeze on the side lines of the rugby pitch. And what would make me feel nice and cosy? A collar wrapped about my neck and ears!! So although it does not look like the picture in the nice book it is toasty warm and will serve me well and I love it!!
Sandia Caped Coat Project Details:
Pattern Source: Simply Shetland 3
Yarn used: Debbie Bliss Merino Aran - Yarn used double throughout
Needles: 6mm Susan Bates Circulars
Started: 16 October 2007
Finished: 30 November 2007
Comments: Apart from the dodgy collar which I think may be down to the breadth of my shoulders and my overall larger frame than the actual pattern - it was a relatively quick knit and is very sumptuous when worn. The 3 needle cast off method of joining seams is very neat and decorative. I will definitely use it again.

This is all I had left!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

During the intermission...

The Sandia Caped Coat is almost done. I'm working on the piped edging which feels a bit like walking in mud uphill. In the mean time, for light relief I thought I'd work on a few little bits and pieces. Below is the Tweed Beret from Interweave Knits winter 2006.

Of course with me, things don't always go as easy as pie. Somewhere along the line I have made a fatal error. The beret is huge where it shouldn't be - along the rim. So while I'm crying into my knitting, I'd like to draw your attention to the stitch markers. They were made by Sue. What can I say, she's the beez kneez!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The mind is willing but.......

... the fingers can't knit fast enough!!

I would liked to have shown you a completed Sandia Caped Coat, but alas she gives trouble - well sort of. I didn't use the stated yarn and have doubled up on stash yarn. And have duly run out. My calculations were obviously a little off. As a result I am using creative craftiness to overcome my yarn shortage.

This what is left to complete the collar and the piping around the edges - not a chance!
The collar forms part of the front of the coat so I'm hoping the blended colours won't be too stark a contrast.
This is what was left of one of the cones when I finished the first half of the collar.

Hopefully I can squeeze what I need from the remaining cone.
As this project is coming to an end, I have started 2 new projects,
I managed to convince the young man that Nevis was very manly and he has fallen for the (and I quote) 'Dracula collar'!!
and this.
For me - I have (rather stupidly) been scouring the shops for woolen coats and not seen any I really liked or that would be warm enough. I've always shied away from knitting a whole coat because I thought it would take too long... I'll try anything once!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


A finished object - Juliet

Pattern details
Pattern source: Rialto book by Debbie Bliss
Yarn: James Brett Pure Merino DK in Black
Needles: 3.75 and 4mm
Started: August 2007
Finished: November 2007

Comments: Simple and very effective. The mindless garter stitch was worth it in the end.

Unfortunately I can't do Juliet justice photographically and black is hard to photograph as well. I was not sure about the shape of the garment at first but it has grown on me (in the space of half an hour!!) and I can see this will be in frequent use.

The photo below is for Rebbeca - now you see why I can't wear hats!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ploughing through

I'm at that stage in most of the working projects where there's not much to show that is interesting or fascinating. Karin won't see me struggling along the road with my 2 cones of yarn - the caped jacket is too bulky to take out as a knitting project on the go. The sleeve is knitted onto the armhole - i.e. you pick up stitches along the armhole and knit from shoulder to wrist. I've almost completed the first sleeve and hope to start the second tonight. It's keeping me warm as I knit it, all gathered in my lap.
stitches picked up along armhole to make sleeve

Mirth, the tank top is plodding along. Switching from 6mm to 3mm needles on the different projects makes the tank feel like walking in wet sand - lots of effort and little results. I'm about a third of the way up on the front having completed the back. The longed for roll neck may well become a crew neck. My dreams of the perfect twin set are fast evaporating. But there is a small part of me determined to persevere and strike a pose for 4ply twin sets!!

As I sit and type away, Juliet is looking at me wanting to know why I haven't sewn her up yet.........

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A finished object

Not one of my predictions but this one will do...

Modelled by young man

Pattern details

Pattern: Zipped jacket

Source: Special family knits by Debbie Bliss

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cotton DK in Navy and turquoise blue(s)

Needles: 3.25 and 4.00mm

Began: September 2007

Finished: October 2007

Comments: Simple classic design updated for today. Simple pattern. Lovely to knit. I thought I would have to alter the pattern, but did not. I have given young man some growing space (not much now I've seen it on him). He loves it and is virtually living in it. I would recommend the book. It's lovely and covers many different yarns - most of them are cotton based which is a bonus for me!!

I will try and get some more pictures but someone is camera shy at the moment!

Monday, October 29, 2007


I forget I live a stones' throw from here

and here

with a gorgeous young man who is recovering after survival camp. He returned wondering why I had not packed any deodorant . Survival camp? Deodorant? mmm.....

Not much to show on the knitting front. I've finished the back and left front of the caped coat. The shape is looking good and I got a boost from finishing the back - it being the largest piece. I can't say the same for Mirth - the tank top. I've finished the back . Working on 3mm needles it seems to be taking for ever. I hope to have one of them finished by the weekend.

The back piece of the caped coat

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Must moss stitch.......

As a diversion from endless stocking stitch on 3mm needles I thought I would knit myself a quickish winter jacket for the freezing rugby season. The endless stocking stitch belongs to Mirth, my new project.

I did not realise how difficult it would be to choose a jacket. I knew it had to be warm and something that I will feel cosy in and if necessary wrap around me at the same time not making me look like the Michelin man. The possibility that the garment may have to be lined if a chose a wool mix type yarn also had to be factored into the mix. My initial choice was this. But it has yarnovers in the pattern for a lace effect. I swatched and tried to work them out of the pattern but it was out of balance and looked awful. I spent two nights not knitting and pulling books from shelves (that reminds me, I must put them back at some point) to find "the one". it became a crusade. I ended up visiting two shops that had a good stock of knitting books - all to no avail. Then I found this - endless moss stitch!! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it works out.....

And for something cute and cuddly......

This is Ruby. She is about 12 weeks old. I persuaded my neighbour to rescue Ruby and her brother TC. They are lovely even if I can only love them from a distance!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


My last post featuring Madli's Shawl was my 100th post. To commemorate this, I thought I would convert to the new Blogger and update my blog page. Hope you like it. Please let me know if there are any difficulties. This change has been designed to make life easier..... I hope.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Madli's Shawl

She's done in the nick of time!!

Madli's Shawl

Pattern Source: Interweave knits summer 2004
Started: February 2007
Finished: 13 October 2007
Yarn Used: Jamiesons of Shetland Sprindrift
Needles: 4mm addi turbos

Comments: I was quite daunted by the project initially, and put it up for months. I got it out 2 weeks ago and we just clicked together and off I went. Blocking was a challenge!! There is straight and then there's straight. Kitchener grafting - I defiantly need an idiots tutorial for it. I made the stole without the nupps I used a thicker weight yarn than specified and didn't think they would look good - nothing to do with the fact that I hate bobbles.....

The sun finally came out and I took some marvelous (for me!!) shots of the stole. I downloaded and dutifully filed them.... then lost them. I've taken some more above but as always I could not recapture what i had previously done!!

Friday, October 12, 2007


For Madli's Shawl to dry

..... and for the sun to come out!!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Final leg

Thanks to Polly's straight forward no nonsense instructions, I have blocked my first shawl! I finally finished the end border for Madli's shawl and in a fashion, grafted it onto the main piece. I say in a fashion, because I referred to 3 books for instructions on how to graft using the Kitchener method and still didn't understand how to sew up and down through the live stitches. I think what I have done works.

I will find out once the shawl is dry and unpinned. I would have taken some photo's of the completed shawl, unblocked but it didn't look terribly inspiring and today we had a very foggy dull morning. I took the opportunity to go for a walk rather than taking the bus and was pleasantly fascinated by what I found. It made sense to walk - the bus timetable would have been up the creek due to the fog and the worst thing you can do on a cold damp morning is wait for a bus for ages and ages. I saw the most amazing spider webs. They were everywhere. Every branch, bough and bush was covered in them. They were exaggerated by the dew and the fog and not a spider was in sight. I was fascinated by the variety of shapes, dimensions and sizes. There is no such thing as a bog standard spider web!!

Don't you just love autumnal colours?


I'm playing catch up at the moment. The last couple of weeks I've been getting back into the swing of term time proper. The weekends have been filled with scouts activities and rugby matches!!

Nearly finished Madli's shawl, nearly finished the Zipped Cardigan for young man and nearly finished Juliet. I have half of the last border to knit and graft on to the main piece of Madli's shawl. Did it sound as though I know what I'm talking about? I have to graft Kitchener style - mmmm. I'll be doing some swatting up before I attempt it. Then I have the blocking to do. I'm hoping something magical is going to happen when it's wet because I can't see how it will meet the measurements!! The Zipped Cardigan is waiting to be sewn up and all the ends sewn in as is Juliet. All of this means I have no finished objects to show at the moment. So I leave you with these:

The first border and the main body of Madli's Shawl

For the squeamish, you caught fish wearing gloves at a recent Cubadoo

Or bare handed for the brave!

I won't tell you how many kind cubs brought me their cooked sardines. It was quite funny really. They were happy to catch them and cook them over a camp fire, but would not eat them!! I hope I've given my brain cells a real boost. they could do with it about now.

Young man last weekend