Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Tomorrow I am packing our bags to go on an activity holiday for Christmas with the kids and my First Love.
We will probably swim every day, we will definitely cycle every day (me on a trike - don't ask, I have no sense of balance!) and there are special one-off activities like junior falconry for my daughter and paintballing for my son. I have booked myself into three funky dance classes!
Then there are the homecrafty Christmassy things - we are going to make a gingerbread house, I need to embroider an elf on my daughter's Christmas stocking (see Wee Wonderfuls), and I have bought a copy of "The Wise Robin" (though for considerably less £s than this site suggests!). This is one of my favourite childhood books, to share as a Christmas Eve bedtime story - I can't wait!
I am swatching for Cinderella's stockings, but the Macedoine sock wool is going on holiday too, and I have an urgent appointment with a Hexed hat in my last skein of Maya!
It has been an amazing knitting year: 8 pairs of socks, 3 pairs of fingerless mittens, 2 baby jumpers, 2 scarves: all this after years of knitty drought!
And some sewing was done - but not as much as I planned - maybe next year.
Have a great holiday! Back next year with lots to show, I hope!
Monday, December 18, 2006
I finished my First Love's socks this weekend.
He is delighted! There was much posing and preening!
They were quite hard to photograph.
This shows the stitch pattern down the front - the purl rows form quite dramatic rippling ridges.
Other features of this pattern are: a fake "seam" down the back, which is a quirky piece of fun, and of most note, a beautiful "star of three points" toe. I failed to get a good close-up of this, but if you look on the "pair" photo and you can probably see it. I will definitely be using this toe again!
I have already sung the praises of the Piece of Beauty yarn - it is glorious! My only word of warning - I used three skeins to make these socks, on 2mm dpns - there was only a tiny ball of yarn left.
Nancy Bush describes the pattern as "fussy" and I do know what she means. But for a special gift, these really are lovely socks for a gentleman!
They have done a great job of scanning in the design - I really didn't think it would show up so well.
It is so interesting to see the different ways the compeition brief was interpreted. I thought I had given myself a big job knitting over-the-knee stockings but the other winner has designed a CLOAK!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Hello dear readers!
No pictures today - not enough daylight and the bulbs are popping at an alarming rate on our snazzy ceiling spotlight bars, so its been knitting by firelight all week ; )
Cards have been made and sent. Hand-knits have been wrapped and sent. Here is a link to the CUTEST free downloadable sock labels! I spent half the day looking for these!
The Gentleman's Piece of Beauty socks are progressing well - I am on sock 2, just turned the heel. I am into skein 3. Yup. Had to order an extra skein from Kirsty, when it became clear there was no way I would make a pair of man-socks out of the standard two, on size 2mms. I am noticing other bloggers have similar problems - but we all seem to have picked yarn-intensive patterns! There are Stephanie's knee-highs, in the same colourway as mine, "Boathouse", and Maud is doing beautiful things with Pomatomus socks in "Robe and Bowl".
I want to finish these this weekend so I can start a fresh project while on holiday from work.
I am not sure what to do next. Obviously I need to get on with my Cinderella project... but I am waiting for the yarn to arrive, so that's a treat to save for the New Year.
Many ideas are brewing. All involve stash.
- Friday Harbor socks from Knitting on the Road in Mountain Colours Bearfoot
- Ripple Weave socks from Vogue Fall 2006 in Piece of Beauty "Vintage Floral"
- Something, anything, in my Socks That Rock "Lucy"
- Jaywalkers in Opal Feelings
- Macedoine socks in Lana Grossa Meilenweit
"Macedoine"? French diced mixed vegetables. You can buy them in a tin (ugh!) or frozen. That's what this yarn reminds me of - mostly peas and beans with the odd carrot and sweetcorn kernel thrown in. Not at all my kind of yarn. Not at all my kind of colour. I was about to re-sell it on Ebay when I realised I was fascinated by it. Would you believe I have been waking in the middle of the night fantasising about macedoine socks?! Watch this space!
Monday, December 11, 2006
I am a winner in the Cinderella storytellers competition over at Purlescence!
I am so excited! I had an email today telling me I have won the yarn and needles to knit up my winning design, and a subscription to Yarn Forward magazine. And Purlescence want to publish my pattern too!
Now "all" I have to do is the maths.... eek!
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
I have done lots of catching up with the boring stuff, like filing (paper) and polishing (my desk), but I regret that a lot of time is being spent reading blogs and visiting online yarn shops.
But I haven’t succumbed to temptation… yet.
Did you know that Get Knitted now stocks Blue Skies Alpacas yarn? So I could get the ruby alpaca silk for a pair of beaded gloves from “Handknit Holidays”.
Ooh – and they have undyed Trekking for sale too! I could try dyeing my own yarn with some natural dyes from Twist Fibrecraft.
And then I discovered a new (to me) yarn dyer in Scotland The Yarn Yard – and I ought to support local businesses really – and they have a sock club! And a colour called "Goth" which would make my daughter’s day! Though I am not sure that I like the texture of the yarn, from what I can see of it. Hmmm. I can see that Piece of Beauty is going to be a hard act to follow!
Where is this heading?
Luckily, to a day off work on Friday! I am going to wrap the Christmas presents in peace, with no danger of children peering in through the windows at me, or the cat barging open the bedroom door and padding across the wrapping paper with his muddy paws.
I will be safe at home. No Broadband. Phew!
Monday, December 04, 2006
One of these days I will try swatching. Just for fun you understand, not because I 'm tired of spending two hours knitting a mitten that turned out to be baggy even on a large man size hand...
So the Flip-top Mittens from "Handmade Holidays" are no more - you never saw them here because they were incredibly quick to knit. In the wrong yarn. With the wrong sized needles. Rip rip rip. Flip-flop mittens.
Instead, here we have the lovely Fingerless Mittens from Wendy - hooray!
A total of four hours' knitting produced these lovelies - the last hand-knitted gift on my list for this year. This is Debbie Bliss Maya, and these took less than one skein on 5mm dpns.
Oh - and is that a vegan cup-cake I see there? These were a revelation! Not an egg in sight and yet they rose beautifully and have such a fabulous glossy sheen that we decided to forgo the icing. "Mexican Hot Chocolate" cup-cakes, containing coconut milk and a pinch of cayenne - mmmm! This is the most intense chocolatey experience my milk-allergic kids have ever had - as moist as a good brownie, with a slight graininess from ground almonds and a handful of pumpkin seeds. They were supposed to have flax seeds in them, but that would have entailed a 20 mile drive - maybe not! We will have to draw up a "vegan store cupboard" shopping list for next weekend.
My daughter and I also made some soap and bath-salts for her friends. My favourite was the Pineapple and May Chang soap - it smelled good enough to eat!
I also finished the first Gentleman's Sock - late last night, so no pictures yet. More about that next time!