Thursday, 31 March 2011

Where are they now? - Knitcroblo week - Day Four

Whatever happened to your ............? I must be honest, I struggled a little with this one. Firstly, I haven't finished that many projects and secondly, I am not sure that any of them are that old. Then I remembered the first pair of socks I knitted. It was probably a eighteen months, maybe two years ago that I made these.

I decided to start to make socks because two of my sons have larger than average feet. One is a size 13 and one is a size 17. I was tired of trying to find socks to fit and then having to pay a fortune for ones that didn't.

The yarn I bought was some Regia 6 ply. I had some 3mm dpns and away I went. I did the whole of the cuff but somehow it didn't look quite right. After talking to a friend's mum who is an avid sock knitter, I found that you don't actually knit them inside out. I know! How on earth did I manage that?

At this point most people would have given up. Which is exactly what I did! Well for the evening anyway. Then I started again.

Needless to say, after much moaning and gnashing of teeth, I ended up with a completed pair. I even managed to turn the heel properly.

As you can see, these socks have been loved and well worn.

They have been through forests.

And climbed mountains.

Battled strong winds.

And high water!

But they are tired now and their life is unfortunately over.
I shall remember them as leading the sock way. Because of this pair, I always have some socks on my needles in this pattern. Not always 6 ply, mostly 4, but the basic pattern is the same. I have done it so many times now that I know it off by heart.

I cannot link back to a project page I'm afraid because these were knitted before I found ravelry.

I suppose I could always learn how to darn but I'm afraid the motivation completely escapes me.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

"Tidy Mind, Tidy Stitches" - Knitcroblo Week - Day three

How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised? Well, in truth, I don't. When my stash was much smaller, I tucked it by the side of my chair in the lounge. As you can see, there is still some hiding there now. Also here, in my very organised baskets, are my knitting needles. Shoved, I mean placed gently and lovingly in the plastic case they came in. I have some pencil cases with my notions in but the red one in the picture has hand creams in and nail files. Oh, get me!

This is my stash. It is no secret to those of you who visit regularly, that my daughter went to Uni a couple of years ago so I have surreptitiously moved my stash into a corner of her room. Do you think she will notice?

This is my sock yarn. I have given up trying to hide it and I have put it on her bed!

My books are stacked up in various places all over the house. This is a corner of my daughter's desk but they are also under the coffee table and behind my chair in the lounge.

I love today's subject. I really enjoy peeping into other people's lives to see how they organise their stuff. I must confess that I feel a bit disorganised and, dare I say, untidy. I will make the promise to myself that by Knicroblo week next year I will have my stash organised, in bags/boxes and all photographed and entered on Ravelry. Well, maybe not photographed but definitely the other things I said!

For those of you with very good eyesight that is, in fact, woodchip wallpaper in the top photo. Yes we have that in our lounge. It was here when we moved in. It is a very old farmhouse and we are a bit afraid that if we pull the wallpaper down, the wall will come with it. You hardly notice it if you keep the lighting subdued and close your eyes!

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

"Skill + 1UP" - KnitCroBlo week- Day two

The excitement continues. Today we have to look over our projects for the last year and talk about any new skills we have acquired. Nearly every pattern I do now teaches me a new skill. Here are just a few. Most of them are not really complicated but they are new to me.

This is a Homin Shawl by the Shetland Trader. I loved knitting this, when I got the hang of the pattern and it uses yarn over at the edge of the pattern band to use to pick up the stitches for the main part of the shawl. Both this and the Scroll Lace Scarf taught me to wrap and turn. Also they both used a strip of lacy pattern that is then picked up along one edge and knitted. A new skill to me. And provisional cast on. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the finished Homin Shawl before I gave it as a present.

This is my first pair of gloves ever. They are Texel Gloves. I had only knitted socks on dpn's before so this was a new experience for me. And knitting the fingers was quite fiddly.

Here are some stranded mittens. They are Vector Mittens. This was my first attempt at mittens and stranded colourwork. The pattern was great. I think my tension was a bit wrong because it creased up a bit. It didn't block out either. What's that about? I tried this doing one colour the 'usual' way and one the continental way.

This is a sock I knitted and I was able to to cabling without a cable needle. And I was successful. Ta Dah! The pattern is Stonemason. I was determined to cable with a needle because that was what I had always done. It was just too fiddly for me. I even tried cabling with a matchstick! I then watched a you tube video and cracked it. I am really pleased.

There are two skills that I have acquired this year that have really made me wonder how I got on without them. One is blocking. I never blocked anything before. I got some spongy flooring squares from the early learning centre and had a go. It makes such a difference.

The other skill is using Ravelry. I have been on it for a while but wasn't really sure how to navigate my way through. I am still not 100% on it but I am getting there. I have started adding projects and stash, joining some groups and actually making friends. Result.

I am determined to keep pushing myself with knitting. I have just started a Betty Jean McNeil cardigan. I saw it on Roobeedoo's blog and completely fell in love with it. I cast on the other night and have managed two rows. Hardly storming ahead. As you can see, this pattern involves colourwork! Gulp. And, wait for it, steeking! Silently screams. Lots of new skills to learn this year too.

Monday, 28 March 2011

"A Tale of Two Yarns" - KniCroBlo Week - Day One

Welcome to my blog for the 2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. I started blogging last year just in time for the first blog week and thoroughly enjoyed it.

A tale of two yarns. I remember that someone asked the great gardener, Christopher Lloyd, which his favourite plant was. He replied that it was whichever one he was looking at at that moment. I confess to being a bit like that with yarn. I flip flop from one to another, loving most of them.

My favourite yarn of the moment is semi-precious by Babylonglegs. It is the softest, squishiest and yummiest yarn ever. It has such beautiful colours too. Now, I must admit that I haven't actually knitted anything with it yet. I haven't plucked up the courage. I would hate it if it ended up as 'a good yarn spoiled'. But in my heart I know that when I do it is going to be gorgeous. Until I am brave enough I will content myself with squeezing it.

Babylonglegs semi-precious

At the other end of the spectrum is this Stylecraft Sirocco DK . I think the colour is Pineapple. Last year I bought a book called Amalfi by Debbie Bliss. I fell in love with lots of the patterns but hoped that I could work my way around using the Amalfi yarn by finding an alternative. This was the one I chose. In theory it should have been ok. They are both a mixture of cotton and linen and both double knit. I knitted the back of a cardigan but I couldn't get on with the yarn. It is the knobbly bits I think. I really didn't enjoy knitting with it. In fact, I hated it. The worst part of this story is that I have the same yarn in other colours because I was going to make a few things from the book and the yarn was cheap from Kemps. What a Womble!

The Offending Article

Friday, 25 March 2011

Scroll lace scarf 1 and 2

This is was first Ysolda pattern and I love it. I made it with Manos del Uruguay silk. I really enjoyed using this yarn.
I liked the pattern so much I made another.
These were both gifts for others and I felt a bit sad to see them go. These have been finished for a few weeks but it has taken me a while to blog about them. I have some other finished objects but I haven't blocked them yet. I am trying to get back into the habit of blogging again. Thanks for hanging around.

Monday, 21 March 2011


My favourite (only) daughter is 21 today. The years have flown by and she has grown into a very beautiful person. Unfortunately we were only able to spend half of today with her because she had to travel back to Uni (to celebrate properly).
Happy 21st Reagan. Have a brilliant time.