Thursday, 29 September 2011

Ta Da! (Finished)

I've finally finished my Portland Gussets!

 I started them nearly a year ago, I finished one sock fairly quickly then put them down, picked them up and put them down again (I blogged about them here and here) and after a few knit nights they are done!


I'm not a big fan of toe-up socks, I much prefer cuff-down but I made an exception for this beautiful and clever pattern by Yarnissima. The yarn is Three Irish Girls Springvale Sock and I love it. A LOT. It's a bit thicker than the usual sock yarn so knit at my usual gauge it makes a robust fabric which will wear well and be very warm. The colour is Smoke and Mirrors, it's a smoky petrol blue which is an exclusive club colourway and got lots of compliments wherever the sock and I travelled.

I'm glad these are off the needles - I was running out of 2.5mm 80cm circs and I like to have few free pairs in case of emergencies.....

Friday, 23 September 2011

Am I a Fibreholic?


Last week I received a lovely parcel of 20g samples of fibre from Fibreholics. It's a group of independent dyers who each contribute a set of samples which then get made in to sets and sent out. If you want to know when the bags go on sale, sign up for the newsletter (or spend too much time on Twitter like me). This is what is got:


There are some lovely bits in there, I'm particularly excited about some Norwegian Wool from Fondant Fibres (top row, second form the left), some naturally dyed merino from HillTopCloud (top row, far right) and some BFL/Tussah from MandaCrafts (bottom row, second from the right)

I've haven't got a spindle free at the moment though so it will have to wait a bit. Each sample is 20g so I was thinking of knitting a striped hat or mittens with the resulting yarn, or maybe I will get around to that fantastic cardigan I want to knit.......

Monday, 19 September 2011

I've been at it again....

Joining in.


First up, the Portland Gussets from the last KAL post. They are still not finished. But in my defence they are nearly finished, I've been knitting these at Knit Night and while they are not great for social knitting, too many charts and concentration required, I've been making (slow) progress and they should be finished this week.


In August I joined in the WestKnits mystery shawl, I love a good mystery KAL and this was a good one! I started knitting with (from stash) three colours of Knitting Goddess sock yarn in blue, silver and walnut.


I had a beach in mind when I chose the colours and I'm happy with the way they work together and with the pattern. This was the project I worked on most on holiday and it hasn't been out of the bag since I got back (hence the crumpled vision of loveliness it is in this photo)


I will get this finished, hopefully soon, I'm knitting the large size and I'm looking forward to wearing it to the cinema where it is always cold - I hope it will be big enough to me a kind of mini blanket to snuggle under.

There is a Halloween KAL in the GothSocks group so I've joined in (I'm beyond help at this point) and cast on some Gothy Gauntlets using a skein of GothSocks in a Dark and Twisty colourway, which means it's not a regular colourway but an experiment or overdye and you don't know what you'll get before it arrives.


When this arrived I was in love with it, I've been after a black stripey with green in it and that's what I got, I'm even more in love with the way it's knitting up:


These will be elbow length and I'm hoping to finish them before I go and watch the American Football at Wembley in October, last time I was so cold I wore a pair of knee high socks (I had bought earlier in the day) on my hands - it will be much more convenient to be able to use my fingers and thumbs.

Friday, 16 September 2011

What is the opposite to green?


There's probably a actual answer to that question or maybe there isn't, but the fact remains that, for me at least, the opposite to green (my favourite) is pink (my least favourite)

I don't actively dislike any colour but I don't really wear pink. At all. Ever. (Except socks - one of my favourite pairs of socks are pink).

This week I received a parcel which presents me with something of a dilemma, my sister very generously bought me a subscription to the Woolgirl Victorian Writers Club for Christmas and this is latest instalment:


It's 2 skeins of Malabrigo Lace in an exclusive colourway that is very very pink. The yarn is soft and the colour is very pretty, I just can't imagine wearing anything I might knit with it. I can't imagine anyone I love enough to knit 2 skeins of laceweight for wearing it either. I could try and swap it for a different colour but part of me is reluctant to do that.

I might let it mature in my stash for a bit (realistically I was never going to knit with it straight away, too many deadlines!) and see if my feelings toward pink change...

(The bag and all the other little extras that came with the package are very lovely)

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

It's not easy being (addicted to) green....

Yesterday found me rooting about in my stash for the 'perfect' green sock yarn. I need it for a sock I'm designing. This will be the third design currently on my needles using green sock yarn. I pulled out anything I thought might be suitable, this is the result:


The worst part is this isn't all the green yarn in my stash, it's not even all the green sock yarn in my stash - it's what I could put my hands on quickly and that I thought would suit the design. * Sigh *

Today i read this blog post about yellow (I have also got a soft spot for yellow but green is my first love), I thought I'd share my colour obsession too. I love green (and I love sock yarn), my eyes are green and so are my kitchen and bedroom.

When I buy yarn I try not to buy any more green - sometimes I fail though.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

That's what little girls are made of...

One of the knitting projects I worked on while I was on my holiday was this baby cardigan, I made it for a friend who had a baby girl a few days before I went away.


I used a Knitting Goddess club skein from last year with shades of peachy pink, yellow and hot pink and some light pink pearly buttons and the pattern is Sunnyside. It's a great pattern, quick and easy and knitted in one piece from the top down so only a tiny tiny bit of sewing up under the arms. I went to Mothercare and bought a couple of dresses to match it. I knitted it in the 6 month size and I bought the dresses in 6-9 months, I like to make/buy bigger for babies because:

1. They grow fast

2. They tend to get out and about more and need 'proper' clothes (not just onesies) when they are a bit older

3. New parents get a LOT of new clothes so I try to spread the love over a range of sizes



I had a snuggle with the new arrival and it was lovely but the antidote to this is the (oh so slightly) crazed sleep deprived look in the eyes of my friend, I like sleep.


There are still a few places left for the Christmas Club, yummy DK yarn, lovely patterns for gifts and decorations, recipes and treats - all the details are here. It's going to be great fun and a fabulous way to get a kick start on your Christmas knitting.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Holiday Souvenirs

I didn't bring back much from Ibiza, I didn't go to many shops - I didn't even look for a yarn shop, I know exactly how well a visit to buy yarn would have gone down with my family (Hint: NOT WELL AT ALL), but we did visit a Hippy Market


I think there are a few of these markets at different places on the island of different days, this was quite a big one and we arrived at about 10am when it was just getting started. There were a lot of stalls and quite a few were selling what I would affectionally call 'tat'. There were a few local artists and makers and these stalls were great, I didn't take any photos apart from the one above of the book stall because it got HOT and BUSY and I had miserable children to contend with.

My favourite seller had lampshades made from giant bamboo stalks with holes drilled and patterns cut out, the man making them said it was important to him that the item would be used for longer than it took to grow the bamboo which I thought was a great philosophy to have.


I bought these little handles, I have no idea what I'm going to use them for - I just think they are pretty!


Of course, you can't come back from Ibiza (or anywhere Spanish) without enough Maria biscuits to feed a small army and some Sangria (which I will be drinking long, mixed with Cava and fruit), it's the law.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

i aint gettin on no plane!

Ok, I am but I won't be happy about it. I've got a deep seated terror of flying (in airplanes generally but I reserve the right to be terrified by other modes of in-the-air transport too), I think it's a control thing, in that I feel totally out of control and I am convinced that the steady drone of the engines will just stop any second. Flying for me is always accompanied by crying and a mild panic which I do my best to control so I don't disturb/freak out other passengers, the last couple of times I have also grabbed hold of complete strangers sitting next to me when things got a bit bumpy (luckily they were very nice about it).

Knitting does calm me down a bit and when I went to New York in January I started a pair of Monkeys - I blogged about them here On the the flight to and back from Ibiza I picked them up again - incidentally, the EasyJet flight from Stansted seems to be the flight to take if you want to spot celebrities, on the way out we were joined by Judge Jules and Cerrie from cBeebies (I think I was more excited by Kerrie, I think that means I'm a grown-up now) and on the way back Tinie Tempah + entourage were on the flight, looking very tired having come straight from Space.


 Back to the socks, by the time we landed on the way home I was on the toe of the first socks, although these are intended for plane knitting only I'm going to finish the toe, graft it together (no tapestry needles allowed on planes these days) and then put the needles and remaining yarn away until my next flight. I love how they are pooling, it all seems a bit random and I've got a suspicion that this is due to my tension varying as my stress levels go up and down, here's a picture of the bottom of the sock:


 I'm knitting these on a bamboo Hiya Hiya 80cm circular needle I bought in New York and I really don't like it, I'm worried it will break and it's too grabby - a few times I've pushed a load of stitches off the needle because they have required more force to move than my usual metal needles do. But I'm not going to try to get metal needles on to a plane so I will soldier on...


P.s I know it's more dangerous driving on the motorway than flying - I don't like that either!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Guess what? Autumn is here...

It's come as a bit of shock to the system for me - I've just got back from two weeks in Ibiza where the weather is beautiful and the sunsets are even more so DSC02747 

 So to come back to rain and winds and cold was especially unwelcome! But Autumn means hats and warm sweaters, it means soon it will be Winter and that means more hats, gloves and mittens, scarves and cowls and CHRISTMAS. The last two Christmas Eves I have been knitting into the small hours of the morning trying to finish Christmas presents (last year I didn't make it and one person got a one arm warmer and a ball of yarn). This year I'm going to save you from this fate, may I present to you The Knitting Goddess Christmas Club (From the website)
Would you like someone to take care of your Christmas knitting? Help you find some lovely new decoration for your tree? Suggest recipes for tasty things to bake? And send you a little treat each month? Then you’re going to love this.

Joy and Rachel are offering you a Christmas club. There will be yarn and patterns for three perfect presents, either for someone on your list or for you. Because knitting time is precious, we’ve chosen three of our lovely double knit yarns to ensure that there are no 3am dramas caused by knitting socks in laceweight yarn for a man with very big feet.

In October there will be a pattern for a shawl in double knit alpaca and silk and 100 grams /252 meters of yarn. In November there will be a pattern for mittens (and fingerless mittens) in double knit merino and silk and 100 grams / 212 meters of yarn. In December there will be a pattern for a hat in double knit merino, cashmere and nylon and 100 grams / 212 meters of yarn.

These patterns are being designed especially for this club and will be available to purchase on their own one month after they are issued to club members. Each month you’ll also get a pattern for a christmas tree decoration (or small present if your to knit list is very long) and a recipe for something really scrummy to make. We know that lots of people need to avoid gluten or dairy, and promise that it will be possible to adapt these recipes to suit.

Parcels will be posted to reach you for the first of each month in the UK, and we’ll try to get overseas parcels out a couple of days earlier, especially for December as we know the post can get rather backed up. Each parcel will contain yarn, a link to a web page where you’ll find your exclusive pattern, decoration and recipe, and a little goodie. Places are limited, so sign up now to make sure you don’t miss out. We've worked out the prices for each month to include yarn, patterns, goodies and postage, so if you're only ordering the Christmas club please select the download only option at checkout to avoid paying more postage. For the UK the club will cost £60 for three months. For Europe the club will cost £63 for 3 months. For the rest of the world the club will cost £69 for 3 months.
I've got my grubby hands on the yarn and it is gorgeous, there a few places left and once they are gone, thats it. Earlier in the week the Bella Sock pattern became available:

  These socks have bobbles and lace, they are inspired by Bella from the Twilight Saga, there are strong columns of stitches and delicate lace sections to represent the contrasts within her personality, vunerable yet fiercely brave. The pattern wraps around the bobble stitches to represent the way Bella’s shield wraps around her family and friends when they are facing the wrath of the Volturi at the end of Breaking Dawn. I love this yarn, the colours are deep brown for her eyes and blues for her (and Edwards) favourite shirt. One of my favourite things about using variegated yarns for socks is the little bit of pooling you get on the bottom of the heels - you can see it here

 It's a little funny thing but it makes me happy!