27 Feb 2006

One done, one to go...

The last time I posted, I didn't have any pics to show because I was having trouble uploading them (damn PC at home!). So this time, I have a finished article to show you, and some of the In-Progress shots!I won't bore you with the complete history of the sock making progress!
So on the left here, we have the cuff of the sock.
See how smooth the transition is through the different colours. This fair isle business is so easy its unbelievable. I don't know what all the fuss is about.
Oh okay then, I used self patterning yarn, you have caught me out, I'm not a good liar, I always crumble.

I used Sirdar Town & Country wool rich 4ply sock yarn, it is 75% wool and 25% nylon, and (4) 2.75mm dpn's.
I added in another dpn to make it 5 whenever I reached the heel, but this was a 2.5mm one as I didn't have a fifth 2.75. It doesn't seem to have impacted too badly on it!
When we met in SnB on Saturday, I had just finished the heel part and I think was on the first white part after the heel here in this photo below, it was easy to get this far:

I then didn't touch the sock for the rest of the day, and the next morning finished off the whole thing, grafting the end point using kitchener stitch.
I have small feet so only knit 38 of the 48 rows for the foot part, but in hindsight I probably should have knit another couple of rows. I ended up adding another 2 rows onto the toe part after doing the decreases. I will try this in the second sock

Here is a close up of the toe and the toe decreases.

These photos are of course, unblocked, I'll do that when I have the second one done.

The sock is quite comfortable, I must say. It will be interesting to wear them for a while and see what they are like. I've never worn handknitted socks before!
Oh, the cast on I used in the end was using 2 needles together in order to make the stitch loose, and I cast on as I normally do using them. Its nice and stretchy now. Nothing worse than having marks from the cuff of a sock!
So, just as a distraction from all the knitting talk, for all you out there in blog-land who love to see a bit of other lives, here is a picture of my back garden (well, the corner of it) with my lovely chimenea residing proudly in it, next to the bird feeder. Please ignore the dullness of the pic, as I took it through the glass of the sliding doors, and also the huge amount of weeds, these beds were weeded to within an inch of their lives last summer, and I DON't know where they have come from! I'm too much of a wuss to go out in the cold and weed so it will have to wait for warmer days. Same for the grass! I'd rather knit.... ;)
The SnB meet-up went well, there were approximately 9-10 of us there, people ordered lunch and tea/coffee/soft drinks. Very civilised, us. I may have to suggest an evening knit at some stage and see how we get on with wine in tow! I'd say that would be fun.
Everyone was chatty, and one of the topics of conversation was what was going on in O'Connell Street and Nassau Street. If you haven't been near the news, there was supposed to be a march from Parnell Square to the Dail by a Love Ulster group, and it never even started. They were accosted by a load of thugs, who had no idea what any of it was all about and started a riot. (not that I am particularly political, or support Orange men marching, not at all! However, I don't support idiots who get a kick out of harming others, and other people's property, and causing general havoc for everyone. Im not even going to mention the bad press it gives us!)It didn't help that there were works in progress on O'Connell St, which added fuel for the thugs to throw items. there were tv shots of a guy picking up one of those large bricks and dropping it to try and break it in 2 in order to throw it.... The Irish Independent ran this story about it today.
Anyway this is nothing to do with the riot above, but I found when I got home later on, that I didn't want to knit at all (weird!) which is actually what happened the last time I went to SnB. The last time, I didn't knit for the rest of the weekend, this time it only lasted for Saturday (phew). In fact, I had the whole weekend to knit in peace if I wanted as my bf was down at his Dads for the weekend and I wasn't in form for going out with friends as I wasn't feeling 100%.
However, I did manage to get myself together yesterday afternoon in order to go and see

Walk the Line, wasn't the normal type of film I would go to see, but I love Joaquin Phoenix, and I love Reese Witherspoon, and they both lived up to my expectations. The music even was great, and I don't normally like country music, in fact it has been known to turn my stomach. Of course both actors sang all the songs themselves, which was particularly nice to see, the talent they both have! The chemistry between Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon was electric at times, I love a good love story!! Heres a review from

24 Feb 2006

Just had to add this

Knitting Adventurer
You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer.
You are through those knitting growing pains and

feeling more adventurous. You can follow a

standard pattern if it's not too complicated

and know where to go to get help. Maybe

you've started to experiment with different

fibers and you might be eyeing a book with a

cool technique you've never tried. Perhaps

you prefer to stick to other people's

patterns but you are trying to challenge

yourself more. Regardless of your preference,

you are continually trying to grow as a

knitter, and as well you should since your

non-knitting friends are probably dropping

some serious hints, these days.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Socks ahoy!!

I am knitting socks!!
I can't believe it, after all the fussing I have been doing about the whole thing.
In an ideal world, I wanted to do a toe up sock, and both socks preferably on one circular needle please!
My gadge was wrong.
I couldn't figure out the working off one circular needle.
The smallest dpn's I had were 2.75.
I had no sock patterns.
I then had too many sock patterns.
Only a fraction of these were for 4ply yarn and I wasn't confidant enough to substitute another size yarn.
I ended up putting all of my patterns aside, took my 2.75 dpn's, ripped out the swatch I was knitting and went hell for leather with a pattern I received with some Lorna's Laces yarn I bought. I didn't use the Lorna's Laces though, its too yummy to waste on a first effort!
Instead I used Town & Country and its very interesting to see how the seemingly randomly dyed yarn works into such orderly rows and pattern!
The yarn itself is okay to use, although it tends to get all stuck together in parts and needs careful handling to untangle/seperate. I don't know if its the way I use it, I take the end point from inside the ball of yarn instead of the end point on the outside as I find the yarn sits there as I knit instead of rolling around on the floor.
So far I have gotten about half way through the first sock, I'm fast approaching the heel flap part, so wish me luck!! Think I'm gonna need it!
Unfortunately, Im having trouble uploading photos today so will have to put them in again next time.

23 Feb 2006

Toddle along

An unblocked Toddle scarf.
Photo looks a bit dark but I am taking all these photo's at night so this will hopefully improve in the summer time when its light when I get home!!
here's a close up:
The colour looks totally different, doesn't it! Its actually a deep red, which looks almost like a deep pink at times. Not captured in all its glory here, but shows the cable well.
Here is what it will look like around D's neck, with the end pulled through the opening:
Again, the lighting isn't great, I'll have to improve on my photo skills!
Bye now, short posting for once!!

21 Feb 2006

Does knitting always = cats?

Meet Ollie.

He’s the ?15 year old cat of one of my best friends. He is The Man, Boss, Big Cat on the Block, Lord of all he surveys and a big bruiser. He is a pet of a cat also, loves attention, loves being picked up and cuddled, climbs onto your lap for a snuggle, and loves climbing onto the shoulders of a man friend of ours, where he can stay for ages while our friend walks around. Maybe it’s a height thing, E is quite tall. He is also the boss over any other cat that comes into his territory, and there has been many a bucket of cold water thrown over him.

Anyway, this entry is not about Ollie, just thought I’d put his picture up in lights for all to see. He’s lovely, isn’t he?
The finished French Market Bag from Knitty was finally handed over to my friend Siobhan. She loved it (thankfully!) and used it the next morning. Here’s a shot of her with it.

The shadowing in this shot looks a bit weird, I didn’t notice it when I took it and only took the one pic so this will have to do. Doesn’t she look great though?!

Anyways, we took a drive and I took another pic of the start of sunset, this was in Co. Laois.

Knit wise, only news is that I finally finished the Toddle Scarf from Knitty for my bf’s niece, she’s 2&1/2 and I showed it to her the last time we saw her, but as I had run out of yarn I was at a standstill until I got more. It took me one and a half balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, not one ball as the pattern stated; my tension must have been right off!! I didn’t do a swatch for it, as it wasn’t really necessary. The yarn is sooooo sooofft, really snugly, and D will just love it…until she loses it after a couple of hours wear that is…. If the shop where I bought it had the yarn in pink, I would have gotten pink, as D loves pink, like any self respecting girly toddler should, but they didn’t so I went for the same red as the pattern in Knitty . Picture to follow in the next couple of days.

I still haven’t managed to get my head around socks, but then again, I haven’t gone near them again since my last efforts failed miserably. However, I have printed out a load of patterns from the net and will attempt again soon, I’m not letting them get the better of me grrrrrrrr. I decided to finish off some WIP’s first and clear my head. However, this didn’t stop me starting another WIP, it’s the Braiden Hat from Rowan 38. This picture doesn’t do it much justice; it looks different in magazine itself:

I’m using the recommended yarn, Rowan 4ply soft at the moment, but it was only after I cast on that I actually read the pattern and discovered that the knitting is actually all 4ply and then the Yorkshire Tweed Aran and the Kidsilk Haze is used afterwards to embellish it. Its going to take a while I think, its taking me ages to finish a row! Next years wearing perhaps!!

16 Feb 2006

The shy cat Haff

I'm asleep,can't you tell,
and don't even think of rubbing my tummy

You would never guess that this cat was writhing around wanting his tummy rubbed a second before this photo was taken. As soon as the camera appears he gets all shy. Yes, he likes his tummy rubbed; he is almost a doggy in that way. He see’s you, does a bit of a rub up against your leg, as cats do, jumps up onto the chair, moves this way and that way-getting the most out of the fondling that you’re giving him and then he flips over onto his back and offers his belly up to you. He’ll endure the rubbing of the belly for almost as long as you are prepared to stay there and do it. I have heard that some cats do this, and it shows their trust in you, as the belly is one of their most vulnerable parts.

Of course, as he’s a ginger cat, he’s a very affectionate cat anyway. He is even more affectionate since he got the snip.
For years, he was The Man about the place, and then we started noticing Haff-like kittens appearing all around the place. When he started fighting left right and centre with other cats, we decided that perhaps it was time to do the dirty deed.
I was given this responsibility, as my Mum didn’t want him to associate this particular trip to the vets with her. As I was sitting in the vets waiting room, with a very disgruntled Haff in the cat basket, the woman sitting beside me, who had a young cat held by the scruff of her neck on her lap (not in a basket) said to her young daughter “Oh doesn’t that cat look very like the cat that comes around our place a lot” and then as I was making small talk with her, discovered that she lived on the total opposite side of the town where I live, and she was in with her cat to get the job done on her also…. but she thought she was pregnant…oh oh, warning bells started in my head, I was glad when the vet called us in!

Well his offspring is coming back to haunt him. There is a ginger cat, almost identical to Haff, who keeps trying to steal his territory and Haff gets very affronted by this intrusion. There are many catfights, and Haff defends his kingdom with gusto. He looks worse off at times, battered, bruised and bleeding occasionally, but he’s the boss, and I wonder how the other cat fares?

Oh okay then,but I won't pretend to enjoy it

15 Feb 2006

Part 2

Does these photos give you any hint at where we were at the weekend?
Took a good few tubes from a to b and back to a again, and maybe back to b afterwards.
The first photo I took of this tube was meant to be of the tube coming into the station and my bf was saying that I'd blind the tube driver with the flash, so I was all prepared to take the photo- my camera is a bit odd in that it has a red flashy bit just before it flashes so I was going to do that bit before the tube came into the station, and the damn thing went off and caught an unsuspecting man who was leaning forward at the time. So in between cursing and waiting for the camera to get ready for the next photo, I missed the grand entrance. This is the result, I gave up! I deleted the pic of the man leaning forward (if you are reading this, man leaning forward!)

So anyway, we had to meet Sherri at Camden for lunch so we made our way up there, and met in Henry J Beans, where we always seem to end up, its close to the markets and does great red wine! We got some grub there also and some hair of the dog, in the form of beer, for Sherri, and then made our way to Camden Lock, as it was raining and we wanted to go indoors for at least part of the time.
On the way over the Lock, I had to take a picture. Sherri said "You always take a picture here, you must have a million of them". I do, but I don't know where they are, they must have jumped into oblivion! So here's another one:
and another looking over the Lock:

There were also some lovely barges moored up at the market at Camden Lock.
Lovely to see as there are quite a lot of barges moored at the canal where bf and I have gone walking a bit near where I live, and we are always interested in looking at them.

So it being Valentines and all that yesterday, I finished (FINALLY) a bag that I was making for a friend for Christmas, all it needed doing was weaving in ends, and fulling it (or felting, whichever you prefer), which I did somewhat successfully. I had to put it through a 40degree wash twice before I was happy with the way it looked and then I put a load of towels into it to try and shape it somewhat as it dried. Here are a couple of pics of it stuffed. It looks quite fat but I think it will be fine once its dry, otherwise I will have to go back to the (wetting) drawing board again.
Stuffed French Market
French Market Bottom (no dirty thoughts please!)
The pattern is the French Market Bag from knitty and while it took me longer than anticipated, it was an easy enough pattern to follow. The only part that I felt was a bit ambiguous, was when I went to graft the handles using the kitchener stitch (which I was successful at, yayyy), I wasn't sure which way they went, as in, which handle was supposed to be grafted to which. I suspect I grafted the wrong ones, but it looks okay, and I will definately get a pic in use when my friend finally gets it this weekend!

Valentines itself was rather quiet, got some lovely pressies from bf (thank you bf :*) and spent some time on the phone to a friend also, arranging next meet up.
I hate the overpriced commercialism of Valentines, but I won't go into that here!

I'm having difficulty finding an easy pattern to use for socks. I attempted several different ones last night. Any suggestions would be very gratefully received (if anyone is even reading this!). I have several balls of 4ply yarn, and have dpns that range from 2.75 mm up to 7mm, a few missing in between. Help, anyone? I'm new at this!

14 Feb 2006

Food of Love

Just had to post a second time today to show you this book.
The Food of Love by Anthony Capella.
you MUST read it, it is fantastic, I don't want it to end. I'm 3/4 way through it at the moment.

Where to start!

Full on view
Well, lots of photos, and finishing off furious knitting furiously, and travelling, and partying and lunching and shopping.
As I said in the previous posts about this bag, I started very late with a serious deadline. This meant that although we had a very very early start on saturday morning (5am yikes), I stayed up until midnight finishing the knitting for the bag.
Showing bottom of bag
This involved also adding the knitted handles for the wooden dowels, which my bf so kindly prepared, cut, sanded and varnished for me.
The artistic side view

I ended up sewing the handles in the car on the way to the airport. Luckily, years of night duty prepared me for this, lol
The finished object!
Anyways, my friend loved it (luckily) but unfortunately I didn't get a pic of her with it, I'll have to ask her to pose and take a pic and send it to me (Sherri-if you are reading this.....?)
She also liked the curley wurley, althought it could have been a bit longer. Her Mum crochets so I'm going to send her a pattern I have for a crochet curley wurley.
The party went well, S was really surprised, as I hadn't told her we were coming. It was held in Zakudia near Southwark Bridge, and had a fantasic view of the Thames.
Here are a couple of pics:
Party girl on the right and me on the left
So, her hubbie arranged all of this and arranged the most fantastic (and suitably themed) cake for her also. Anyone who knows S will know that she likes her shoes......
And here is a close up:

Note the bf in the background on the left and the table full of the most amazing cocktails that we were drinking all night.
This of course led to these kind of poses:
Please look beyond these eegits to the lovely picture behind
I think this is enough photos for the one day's post. Part 2 tomorrow!

8 Feb 2006

Cable Twist

Well you would think I had learned by now.
I have been meaning to make this bag for my friend since the start of January, as she is the one who's 40th I'm going to at the weekend for her celebrations, and the first curley wurley scarf is for, and of course I have a deadline of this Friday to have it made by. When did I start it? Monday of this week.
Now I do have an excuse, several excuses, but none really relevant. In my defence, I did start the bag a week previously but had to frog it as it was just plain crap.
This time, I decided to double the wool as I don't want to have to line the bag as I'm not great at the ole sewing and I don't really have the time to be doing it either, and I have written down the pattern as I have been going along also, so i don't forget what Im doing from one evening to the next! I have taken the cable pattern from "The Harmony Guide to Knitting- Techniques and stitches-Debra Mountford (Editor)" and the cable pattern I am using is the Cable and Twist Ripple. There is a very good selection of cable patterns in this book, I have used it previously in my knitting past.
Here is a close up of the cable pattern:

Since I took these photos, I have done another repeat of the cable pattern and have started on the base of the bag. I hope it will be done by Friday!

7 Feb 2006

Investigations and completions

I received another batch of wool from an e-bay order, and it is a lovely green colour, 100% wool so will (hopefully) be good for felting. I think there is about 450g of it so will be put to good use!
Here is a photo of my parents cat Haff investigating it. Of course I couldn't get a nice pic of him playing with the wool as once I got the camera out he became all camera shy....
I've already started using the wool in a pattern I'm making up as I go along for a bag for a friend.
I've taken a cable pattern from an old book I have of different patterns, can't remember the name off hand but will update with WIP photos hopefully tomorrow. I'm using some of the Sirdar wool that I got off ebay previously and the green wool featured above and its working out quite nicely so far. Hopefully it will continue to, as I had started it a couple of weeks ago and had to frog it.
Meanwhile, I finished the scarf for my bf and here is the very man posing, sorry- showing it off:
Of course, its not as cold out as it was last week. Typical eh!! The photo doesnt do the pattern justice, its quite dark, but it is a lovely finish. Enough to keep him snuggy anyways.

1 Feb 2006

Warning, warning!

I just had to download this. Its very good! See the link here:warninglabelgenerator

Oh the joy of it all

The Winter Muff is finished, and was really easy to do up.
It probably took about 4 hours all in all, but I kept on putting it down and doing other things which is why its taken so long to do. A lot of this was in relation to what I was wearing at the time, as the Jaegar fur yarn kept attaching itself to the wrong items of clothing and leaving little reminders for me! But its nice, and it turned out well, and is really soft and warm.
I will be giving it to my sis soon, and I may even get to get a photo of her modelling it, if she'll let me...

So I started on a scarf for my BF, which is a long time coming I can tell you. I'm frantically knitting to try and finish it soon, as its quite cold out at the moment here and knowing my luck it'll turn very warm as soon as I cast off.
I used the pattern from crazyauntpurl and here is a close up of the pattern detail:
Isn't it lovely?
I am using some of the Debbie Bliss Maya wool I got from Get Knitted, and its knitting up really nicely, I'm really pleased with it.
Note the very professionally rolled ball of wool..not!