Friday, 27 February 2009

Deep - Progress Update

I don't know what it is about this knit, but I can't muster any enthusiasm for it. This is probably because I pulled it out of the abandoned basket and I am a brat - want to knit something new, not old! However, if I put it down now, I'll never finish it...

...which would be really annoying because I am now knitting the ribbing.

I've sewn up one sleeve;

Joined the shoulder seams;

Have one sleeve left to do and the whole thing to stitch. T'would be ridiculously silly to stop now, especially as it will be a Mother's Day present and I would really like to get "Bonita" (another abandoned project) finished in time to take to Rome.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Mini Socks

We were visiting the MIL and FIL this weekend so I needed to take something small to knit. (Obviously, I couldn't not take something to knit).

So, I took these - some stash busting socks for... I'm not sure. These are children's size 7-9s and I thought they would be perfect for Thomas who is two and a half, but I'm not sure if they would be better for my neice Talia who is one.

Advice from people who have their own munchkins would be gratefully received!

Thursday, 19 February 2009


Look what I got when I got into work today.

My mate Liz has knitted me a scarf. It's the first thing that anyone has knitted for me (as an adult). (My Mam did give me a jacket she had knitted - but it had originally been for herself and she had gone off it, so that doesn't count. Yes, I know that's what I am doing with "Deep").

I'm very excited.

Sunday, 15 February 2009


The fact that I had nearly finished the back when I picked this up again is making this knit zoom by. By the way, it's a bolero rather than a 'full' cardigan. (I think this is why I went off it. I have a big chest and I would just look I had stolen a child's clothes - same goes for Capri pants and anything with an Empire line).

It's also very straightforward knit - a striped rib.

The two fronts look much smaller than the back but the ribbing trim will add to that. As this was originally intended for me (having not really realised it was a bolero, me being a muppet), the colours are more my taste but I think they'll suit my Mam too.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Dredging the Work Basket

I have finally re-started knitting "Deep" (Rowan 39) which has been on the needles since, only... August 2006.

You'll notice it's on my resolution list to be a gift for my Mam. Reasons are:

1. I've gone off it - let's not beat around the bush here. This is not a really a selfless gesture.
2. The only way I could bring myself to finish it was to make a gift of it as there is more of a motive to get on with it.

Having pulled it from the bottom of my tool bag, I was pleasantly surprised to find I've nearly finished the back. It's not being knitted in the colours shown in the picture. I am using "Rowan - Summer Tweed", but I'm replacing it with, a deep red, oatmeal, chocolate and the wickedly named shark (aka grey).

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Resolution Done

I've finished one of my resolutions! (Is that the right phrase?) Having found the socks I was doing before I started the Christmas knitting (2008), I've just finished those off.

I'm really happy with them. These are my first patterned (as in stitch pattern) socks. I went with a basketweave pattern - I couldn't go too wrong with that. The yarn leant itself well to the pattern - it's just a simple stripe, quite boring really and the boxy pattern looks great (even if I do say so myself).

I've also finished my Auntie Jennifer's socks - for her birthday next month.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Knitting Lists

Why are lists so compulsive? Why are we drawn to notch up what we have done and compare notes on what we haven't? This is my third list related posting of the year, and I may change my online ID to 'List Fiend'.

This is from Kai's blog -

So, you need to mark with bold the things you have done, mark the ones you plan to do sometime in italics, and leave the rest.

American/English knitting
Baby items
Cable stitch patterns
Charity knitting
Combination knitting - I don't even know what this is.
Continental knitting - A Dark Art
Cuffs/fingerless mits/arm-warmers
Darning - My Mam taught me this as Christmas and saved five pairs of socks... a valuable and necessary skills for all sock knitters.
Designing knitted garments
Domino knitting Drop stitch patterns Dyeing spinning fibre Dyeing with plant colours Dyeing yarn Entrelac
Fair Isle knitting
Free-form knitting
Garter stitch
Graffiti knitting
Hair accessories
Hats: Cuff-up
Hats: Top-down
Holiday related knitting
Household items
Kitchener stitch
Knitted flowers
Knitting a gift
Knitting a pattern from an on-line knitting magazine - and then some!
Knitting and purling backwards
Knitting art
Knitting for a living
Knitting for pets
Knitting for preemies
Knitting in public
Knitting items for a wedding
Knitting on a loom
Knitting smocking
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on one or two circulars
Knitting to make money
Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with alpaca
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Knitting with beads
Knitting with camel yarn
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with cotton
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Knitting with dpns
Knitting with linen
Knitting with metal wire
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn
Knitting with silk
Knitting with someone else’s hand-spun yarn
Knitting with soy yarn
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Knitting with wool
Knitting with your own hand-spun yarn
Lace patterns
Long Tail CO
Machine knitting
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Moebius band knitting
Norwegian knitting
Participate in an exchange
Participating in a KAL
Publishing a knitting book
Short rows
Slip stitch patterns
Socks: toe-up
Socks: top-down
Stockinette stitch
Stuffed toys
Teaching a child to knit
Teaching a male how to knit
Textured knitting
Thrummed knitting - Qu'est-ce que c'est?
Toy/doll clothing
Tubular CO
Twisted stitch patterns
Two end knitting - Once more, with feeling, qu'est-ce que c'est?
Writing a pattern

Friday, 6 February 2009

Return to the Sock

I wasn't in the mood for more blanket knitting the other night, so I picked up the sock I started for my Auntie Jen (and have been working on in our office weekly lunchtime knitting group). Knitting went so well, I finished it, and have started the second one.

It also occurred to me that everything I have worked on since Christmas has been for other people. While the recipients are always incredibly grateful (which isn't the point - I knit for them because I do want to) I think I'm in danger of turning my hobby into a chore. I need to make something for myself.

As luck would have it, I found Basketweave second sock! (Behind a book in the office... ?) So, here it is, and I intend to finish it once I have done my Auntie's.

PS I sent the Thomas cardigan to my nephew this week. He LOVES it was what his Mum said - especially the googly eyes, so the BF is delighted and planning a career in knitwear design, based on the success of this suggestion.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Blanket Blues

They're not really blues, but I wanted an alliterative title.

Here's the blanket's progress so far. I'm very pleased with it, though it's not actually going according to plan...

You may remember that the intention was to knit a variety of squares using different techniques. Well, I forgot that different stitches would affect the size of the square. So to get equal sized squares, I would need to adjust the numbers of stitches and rows.

We do remember that I am a lazy arse don't we? Yes. Good. So, new plan:

1. One column of brightly coloured squares in moss stitch (red, green, yellow).
2. Column of intarsia hearts.
3. One column of brightly coloured squares in moss stitch at the opposite end, so we end up with a more uniform design (red, green, yellow).
4. Another column of intarsia - letters and numbers, this time.

The aim is to keep it brightly coloured, so while the stitch patterns might not vary, a baby ain't going to care. (Ok, so they like texture variations, but the colours are the main thing, she says.)

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Lemon Cake

This is indeed another post about cake, instead of knitting.

The BF announced yesterday that he felt he was much put upon. He is much prone to exaggeration and he is also much prone to frequent exaggeration. The usual response is to suggest "You wish," and follow this up with an offer to let him decorate the spare room, the office, the living room, put a new bench and cupboard into the kitchen and empty the bathroom - then he might know what "much put upon" is.

Please note that yesterday's statement of 'much put upon-ness' was made whilst sitting with feet up, playing "Lego Star Wars"on the PS3.

Anyway, I thought I'd bake him a cake. His favourite is lemon so I tootled off to the Caked Crusader's blog (go there now) and dug out the lemon layer cake recipe (that I also used for his birthday cake last year. Please note, I didn't like lemon desserts until I baked this cake.

Here, we have a lovely light sponge. The recipe involves adding lemon zest and juice and I really love baking with fresh lemons. I feel a little nervous at the cooling stage with this one - it is so light that I worry it might slice itself into pieces on the cooling mesh.

And this bowl contains home-made lemon curd - for the filling. Much easier to make than it sounds - more lemon zest and juice. The finished product tastes great. Had a few problems with this batch. I hadn't beaten the eggs properly so, as I was stirring, I noticed a few lumps of egg white cooking in there. Not a great look for lemon curd. However, they're easy to pick out and they've had no impact on the taste.

The Caked Crusader recommends lemon icing in her recipe. However, in my opinion, this would make it just a little too lemony and there's also the major issue of the fact that I don't like icing. So, I stick a wodge of melted white chocolate on it. OK, so this does result in massive Cracks of Doom breaking across the cake when you cut a slice. However, I have found a way of minimising this risk - cut bigger slices.

A side view - with the lovely lemon curd spilling out of the sides of the 'sandwich'.

And, this is what a slice looks like, before the chocolate has had a chance to go hard. It was cool, but this is also a technique for reducing the cracks across the topping.