Saturday, 27 September 2008

Stealth Knitting Update

The BF is away. He's visiting his parents. I'm on-call so I can't go... which means I've got the house to myself for some stealth knitting. Thanks to being able to knit this at my Mam's, I've finished the body.

This weekend, I'll get one of the sleeves finished and with any luck make a good start on the second.

In other news... here's the "Kon-Tiki" hoodie for Talia, which is knitting up fast. I love the fact that the wrong side is the right side - the reverse st-st makes it a more interesting pattern than the simple stripe.

The BF will wonder why I haven't made more progress this weekend. I'm sure I'll think of something.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008


Just what exactly was wrong with the carrier pigeon? Or writing on slates with chalk? (Apart from the 'orrible grebby feeling you get on your hands from the chalk dust. It's setting my teeth on edge just thinking about it).

(Me and my 'puter - a relationship made in heaven)

I've got the camera, check; I took the photos, check; I have the cable, check; it's attached to the computer, check; there are no loose connections, check. All present and correct and still I resort to downloading a picture of the pattern I am now making for Talia AKA Baby Sumo.

This was going to be for Lois (the pink and girly niece) but as I had something of a setback with the clothes I had knitted for Talia as her Christmas present (i.e. they're all too small), I've nicked this from Niece Number 1. What Niece Number 1 doesn't know, won't hurt her. Also, as I'm making it in the same colours as shown (yes, I have no imagination - too the tune of "yes, we have no bananas"), they will be perfect for my cunning plan to make Niece Number 2 not as girly as Niece Number 1.

This is knitting up really quickly. (Well, it would - I'm doing it for a two year old as opposed to a six year old. So, no surprise there). The yarn is "Stylecraft Kon-Tiki" - 50% acrylic and 50% cotton. Having moved from some lovely soft sock yarn and Merino (also Stylecraft), the yarn felt a bit like string at first. However, the acrylic softens this string-like texture and being cotton, it highlights the stitch texture beautifully. I'm really enjoying making it.

There is going to be a lot of yarn left over. Definitely a matching hat in the pipeline.

Sunday, 21 September 2008


In an attempt to do a more interesting photograph than I usually do, here are two 'artfully' arranged fun fur scarves draped over one of the dining room chairs. These were so quick to make.

SIL and Thomas have been visiting. Complex knitting not an option, so I rattled both of these off on 4.5mm needles using 20 stitches. They were intended as 'just in case' gifts but the SIL liked them so much that I think she might be getting one of them.

The yarn was a freebie at Ally Pally last year. Speaking of which... as you can see from the list, I've still got eleven stash items to knit (and a whole crate of orphan balls, plus the odd remnant I keep finding in drawers around the house). Ally Pally is in just over three weeks time, and I'm pretty much moving over to Christmas knitting.

However, I have finished 14 stash projects and used up a lot of those orphan balls (17 mini projects), so I don't think I've done too badly.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Ho ho bloody ho

It is September, is it not? This means that Christmas is more than three months away, does it not?

It is still reasonably warm, isn't it? So, why is Morrisons flogging Christmas coins at the checkout? Will this lot not melt before we actually see a vague hint of frost?

There are Advent calendars on sale. Advent! It's not for another two months. The seasonal aisle has been full of Christmas cards and festive treats since the last week of August.

By the time it gets to bloody Christmas I'll be ready for Mother's Day.

Yes, I do prepare early for Christmas with present buying - but it doesn't mean I want to be listening to festive music or wading through tinsel on a hot sunny day. Bah, humbug.

On a related note... the Christmas knitting remainders comprise of:

Sleevex for the BF's stealth jumper.
A pair of socks for the BF.
Retropolitan Version 3.0 for my Granda, seeing as he liked 2.0 so much.
One sock for Lois (I've done the other one but have a bad case of SSS).
A toy bag for Thomas.
More things for Baby Sumo (aka Talia, and don't worry, I won't be sharing this name with the family. My Mam would have my guts for garters).
A scarf for Debbie.


Tea cosy for SIL.
Pin cusion for a friend.
Scarves and gloves just in case.


Socks for Mam.
Socks for Step-Dad.
5 Jellybabies for Thomas.
Puss in Boots, three pairs of socks and a cardigan for Lois.

Sunday, 14 September 2008


So, I was all organised with my Christmas present knitting -including two outfits for Talia. My Mam has just visited and had a look at them, which is fortunate. It would appear that (in the family parlance) Talia is a little "butter lump" (very affectionately meant and in no way an insult if you are unfamiliar with this term of endearment) which in short means... at nearly one year old, in size, she's closer to being nearly as big as an 18month old.

In knitting terms, this means that one of the outfits I made is already too small, and the other one will fit her only just, now. So, the striped hoodie (Hannah) is off to Newcastle for her to get some benefit from, and the cardigan (Alicia) is off to another friend who has just had little girl.

In Christmas Knitting terms... Buggrit!

Happier news, my Granda is so pleased with "Retropolitan 2.0" that he'd like another one for when this is in the wash. That's another Christmas present sorted.

I've finished one of the my new "Opal - Rainforest 3" socks. I love the pattern and I don't think a textured pattern would have looked quite right, but that's just me. Another thought that struck me as I was knitting this is, that I can't find the pattern repeat. I've found it as I have started the second sock, but I really can't see it in this. Everytime I think I have found it, I realise that there are actually some slight differences.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Socking 'Eck

I'm doing battle with "Opal - Rainforest" yarn.

Helen very kindly taught me how to use "More Sensational Knitted Socks" and I've finally got around to using it to knit myself some texture-patterned socks.

I was very excited. This yarn has been in the drawer for a year and I have been really looking forward to using it. So, I found a pattern - a six stitch design...cross hatch. It looks great and will suit the yarn perfectly. I cast on. I ribbed fourteen rows and then the needles caught on my jumper (damn "Twilleys Freedom Spirit"), yanking out all of the stitches.

I ended up frogging the lot, and cast on again.

The same thing happened (with a different jumper).

I cast on again, and made it to the second pattern repeat... when the same thing happened, again.

Poo, bum, willy, fart!

So, I have given up - the yarn obviously doesn't like this pattern. So, I'm knitting vanilla... that yarn.

Below is an "Admiral R Druck" knitted in basketweave.

How chuffed am I? The pattern matches the yarn, reminding me of brickwork and because the pattern is so springy, I was able to knit 18 fewer rows than normal for the foot. Don't be misled by the stumpy appearance.

Picture Update

I found the cable... or rather the BF did, exactly where he said it would be. I'm almost annoyed about that.

Anyway, below, the "Sirdar - Baby Bamboo DK" cardigan for Lois. I wimped out of embroidering a row of lazy daisies around the waist, in a pale green to match the trim at the bottom. I wasn't convinced that I'd get them even and was worried that I would trash the the lilac yarn as I continually made mistakes and pulled the yarn back through.

Instead, Lois is getting a large ladybird button. I keep thinking that it might be a little childish for her, but she is only six. Why rush to make her grow up?

Here is the lovely cream material I bought to make a runner with.

I'm rather pleased with the sewing. Darth Sewing Machine behaved itself.

Evening shot. Sorry. However, it does show off the pattern rather well...

...and here it is from the side. Apologies for the stash of CDs. You can tell I live in my house. It would never make a show home.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

We Do Not Have The Technology

The flipping camera cable has walkies, or maybe it has gone 'slitheries'? Anyway, the upshot is that I can't show any pictures of my latest projects.

I sewed a runner for the chest of drawers last week and, on the knitting front, I also finished "Alicia" for Talia. Only, my version is in ivory yarn with white star-shaped buttons. It was a fun and quick knit - not a knit stitch in sight, well, apart from in the ribbed trim.

The pattern is achieved through purling and the odd 'knit tbl' to achieve the vertical lines. I'm rather pleased with it.

Having finished that, I went onto another Christmas knit - this "Sirdar Baby Bamboo - DK" cardigan for Lois (in the same shade of pink as the girl in the picture is wearing). It's knitting up so quickly.

Last night, I gave myself a shock - I'm half way through the second front, and I thought I had run out of wool.

My Christmas knitting is very much under control. The BF's jumper is not far from finished. I have another cardigan to make for Lois, a toy-bag for Thomas, a scarf for Debbie and a few other items for Talia. I'm also planning to knit gloves and scarves from my orphan-ball box... just in case of unexpected gifts.


The BF and I headed for the wild unknown of Chester last week...

...where we drank numerous coffees and walked around the city walls - which was ace. The hotel we stayed in (Crabwall Manor)...

...was about 2.5 miles outside the city. The BF was very much in favour of me walking back to the hotel to collect the car, and return to get him.

We also went to Beeston Castle which... at the top of a very steep hill.

We arrived at the top, and the BF realised he had left his shades on top of the car.

This was followed by a 6.5mile walk, part of it walking alongside the Shropshire Union Canal. We then got lost, wandering through fields of cows... or were they bulls?