Friday, February 27, 2015

Enforced Intermission...

As you might have noticed, I'm taking a few weeks off from blog writing. This is not really because I don't want to post, and it won't be for long either, but right now work is so busy that I'm finding it very difficult to juggle all the things that I have to get done. Since blogging, for me, is a non-profit activity, and not a family activity, but purely my personal pleasure, when things get that busy it tends to be the aspect of my life that suffers first. I have been knitting and crafting when I've had a minute, though, so I'm very much looking forward to showing you what I've been up to. Soon, soon...

Now, if I can just get through the next week or so it should get a (teensy) bit easier after that and I may even find a minute for a proper update here AND catch up on all the things you've undoubtedly been up to. I can hardly wait! :)

For now, farewell, and hope to see you all again very soon.


Monday, February 09, 2015

I have a confession...

... I want to start yet another jumper...

*takes cover to avoid rotten eggs*  

The other day I was reading Savannahchik's blog and she posted that she is joining Plum Dandi's new Sweater KAL on ravelry. I sort of decided that I don't have the time right now for another KAL, but  had a look at the patterns  anyway, and they looked so nice! 

Just look at these:

This is Briquette. I really fancy knitting a hoodie, but the yarn the pattern asks for is DK and I really DON'T fancy another long DK knit right now (after all, I've barely started The Black One, aka the Acer Cardigan, which is likely going to take me ages anyway.

That said, a hoodie would be nice, no?

Alternatively of course there is Ease or even Eased, the bulky version of the pattern:

But they both don't have a hood... Can a drawstring collar be made into a hood? Is that difficult to do? I've never knitted a hoodie before, so the construction isn't entirely clear to me... 

On ther other hand, I have some lovely soft and snuggly Rowan Calmer that is just begging to become a hoodie, so perhaps I should go with Briquette after all? 

Clearly what I really ought to do is get on with all the work that I'm supposed to get on with today rather than fret about future WIPs to add to my existing WIPs! 

Over and out. 

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

WIP Wednesday Update...

... and boy do I have WIPs! I've gone a bit WIP-crazy over here, starting new projects, knitting a bit, then reverting back to older WIPs, then flitting back to the newer ones. Occasionally I finish something, like the handspun hat for boy#3, but mostly I'm starting things. At this rate it'll be months before any of them are finished because that would require me to, you know, not start new projects but actually stick with what I've got for a while. 

That said, it's fun, this Starteritis, and since all the yarn is coming from stash it gives me a huge sense of satisfaction - all those different wooly treasures are finally finding projects that suit them!

My needles for Owls arrived the other day, so I'm back on track. I am a little worried about the thickness of the yarn. The first ball of yarn seems, to me, to have a different thickness to the rest of the pack, meaning that what initially looked like something between aran and bulky now looks much more like a normal aran-weight yarn... Since this project calls for bulky to achieve the density of fabric that will make the owls look good this is obviously not such a good development. I'm continuing on for now, but I am a bit concerned... :/

The brown v-neck raglan on the other hand has been an unexpected delight.

Look how far I've come! (sorry about the Skylander who snuck into the picture. He was on the table when I took the pictures but since he matches the orange yarn so well he was permitted to stay).

I've really enjoyed knitting with this yarn - it's as soft as it is indifferent in looks, lol. Since all of you seemed to agree that I should go with orange for the contrasting yarn that's exactly what I did. I've finished the body and have started the first sleeve.

I've also done a swatch for yet another cardigan. It's Amy Christoffer's Acer Cardigan.

I'm knitting it with Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere in black. I cast on for the swatch yesterday, using 4 mm needles, and hit gauge immediately. OK, the swatch is perhaps 2 mm out, but I'll take that! ;)  It feels curious to knit with the cotton cashmere - it behaves so differently to the wool that I normally knit with, but I like the evenness and drape of the fabric and I think the cables of the cardigan will add some interest to the plain black, while the black will give this project quite a classic, classy look. I'm hoping that keeping it neutral will ensure that it'll be versatile - the kind of cardigan you can wear with a dress or a skirt, to work, or with a pair of jeans when taking the kids to the park. 

And finally, what am I reading right now - D and I finished The Luminaries a few days ago, and rooting around for a new book to tackle I became intrigued with a very different kind of novel. It's To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris. It's so unlike The Luminaries that when we started reading it it took us a while to leave the world of the 19th century New Zealand gold rush behind and shift our attention to 21st century New York! The two novels are so unlike that in fact, the only thing they appear to have in common is that they were both shortlisted for the Booker Prize, which isn't entirely incidental - every year D gives me the Booker Prize shortlist for Christmas. :)

This is the blurb from Amazon:

"Paul O'Rourke - dentist extraordinaire, reluctant New Yorker, avowed atheist, disaffected Red Sox fan, and a connoisseur of the afternoon mochaccino - is a man out of touch with modern life. While his dental practice occupies his days, his nights are filled with darker thoughts, as he alternately marvels at and rails against the optimism of the rest of humanity.
So it goes, until someone begins to impersonate Paul online. What began as an outrageous violation of privacy soon becomes something far more soul-frightening: the possibility that the virtual 'Paul' might be a better version of the man in the flesh . . ."

The reviews on Amazon are pretty mixed. I only skimmed them because I don't want to spoil the plot, but I can see where both sides are coming from. It's such an unusual read, it could go either way... 

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Monday, February 02, 2015


I made a hat for boy#3!

Actually, it was meant to be a hat for boy#1. A while ago he 'helped' me spin a leftover bit of orange fleece I had lying around and he was so proud of the resulting yarn that I decided there and then that I'd knit something for him with it. Last Friday I cast on, but it became quickly apparent that there just wasn't enough of it to make a hat for him. Boy#1 generously suggested that boy#3 could have his yarn, so I cast on again for a smaller hat. 

As it turned out there STILL wouldn't have been enough yarn, but I found a tiny leftover bit of white handspun which was very similar in thickness. It worked perfectly and I think actually makes the hat look so much more cute than a uniform orange hat would have looked!

Pattern moderations:

I roughly followed the pattern for Jason's Tweed Hat but altered it to suit my requirements.

With a 6mm cable needle, I cast on 42 stitches with the German cast-on (I love this cast-on method because it's so stretchy and gives a lovely edge). I knitted k3 p3 to about 4-5 inches from cast-on edge, and then followed the decreasing instructions from the pattern. 

This was such a quick knit - I cast on Friday afternoon, and Friday evening it was finished. Boy#3 loves his hat - he spent most of Saturday running around the house, wearing it. :) 

Ravelry page for the hat is HERE.

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Sunday, February 01, 2015

Seaside in February

We felt the need to get out of the house today, so despite the bad weather we all got in the car and drove to Hornsea, a little seaside place close to us, for some fossil hunting.

As soon as we got there it started to rain, so we had a picnic in the car, closely observed by a growing flock of gulls.

It was pretty grim out there - cold, wet and windy.

The boys didn't mind much! ;)