Thursday 27 December 2007

Peek A Boo!

I've finished the Peek A Boo Cloche Hat from Lace Style:

Yes, I'm in my pyjamas, so bite me, it was St. Stephens morning (the day after Christmas Day) and I wasn't getting dressed for anyone!
I'm thrilled with this project, it was great fun. Once I got around the change of direction to go back up the hat using the new color and the lace pattern. I just couldn't figure it out for some reason. I finished it after midnight on the night before Christmas Eve, just in time for Dad's big Christmas Eve mass.
By the way, my Dad's jumper looked fab on him! He was so thrilled with it and it fit perfectly! He got loads of compliments on it from choir members and he was very quick to point out that I had made it for him, so I was proud as punch. I will post pics of him modelling it next time. He loved the socks I gave him on Christmas day too, and Mam loved her wrap. All in all, the presents went down very well.
Speaking of presents, I got a bounty haul of knitting goodness from Santa!
Elizabeth Zimmermanns Knitters Almanac
Desiree Scales Knitting Pattern a Day Calendar 2008
Nora Gaughan's Knitting Nature (LOVE this book)
Joan McGowan-Michael's Knitting Lingerie Style (stunning pictures though a shame about the lack of upsizing in most of the patterns)
Alison Hansel's Charmed Knits
Judith Durant's 101 Designer One Skein Wonders
Phew! How am I ever going to pick something to knit from that huge haul? I'm sure I'll manage somehow lol. I have a feeling it'll be something from Knitting Nature, I confess to having been a lurker in the bookstore drooling over the pictures in it for quite a while. I'm particularly thrilled with Elizabeth Zimmermann's book, I've always wanted to see what the fuss was about. So far, I love her writing style, so informal and witty, plus the mittens for the May project look fab!
I'm nearly finished the first sleeve of the Premiere Pullover, thank goodness! I am determined to have this beast finished before Jan 2nd, as I am bringing my parents away to a hotel/spa for three nights and this project is not coming with me! I want something peaceful and restful, so maybe the Embossed Leaves Socks using my Lornas Laces Shepherd Sock or I might begin the Tangled Yoke cardigan using my scrummy Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool I got on vacation in Florida. That has lots of stockinette so I could knit away without having to worry about it...

Friday 21 December 2007

Pre Christmas Update

It's the Friday before Christmas, I've just finished work until Jan 7th so I am a happy bunny!
Let's get to it...

Frankie Baby Sweater

It's finished! I am so glad to have this off my back. It turned out ok considering how much pain it caused me, but I will never knit it again, ever!

Here's a close up of the sleeve detail, I think it's passable. I hope my sister in law (and the new arrival) likes it!

Child's First Sock

This is the progress on the second sock so far. Not so much done, but it has been really cold here recently, so my fingers have been freezing in the car and I haven't been up to much.
I know, I must knit myself a pair of fingerless gloves, perhaps Fetching? That should increase my productivity!

These will probably enter hibernation now that I'm off work (did I say yay?) as they are my commute knitting.

Peek A Boo Cloche Hat

As the weather took a turn for the worse, I began thinking of wintry knits and I have wanted to knit this since I first got Lace Style. I bought the Reynolds Soft Sea Wool online from WEBS when I was in Florida. Yummy yarn. This has been difficult though, I seem to be picking patterns that must be beyond my skill level yet, as I get a bit stuck in places. On this project, the hard part was when you turn the hat to change colors for the outer lacy layer. I couldn't figure out how it worked! Super hubby to the rescue with his logical mathematical mind and I got going again. It took me 3 or 4 rips back to the beginning of the lace layer (spot the purple lifeline lol), but I think I have the hang of it now. I would love to have this done for Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, so fingers crossed!

Midnight Mass is my Dad's big night as he's the choirmaster for our parish choir, and he pulls out all the stops for a fantastic carol service that's really special. I am going to give him his jumper early so he can wear it to church. That will make me feel really special if he wears it!

No progress on the Premiere Pullover sleeves. They are so not going to be done for Christmas, but like I said before my friend's birthday is Jan 9 so I think that will do nicely!
I may not blog before Christmas, so Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday 7 December 2007

Jumper From Hell!

At long last, the progress post.

As I was saying before, I have been working on the jumper from hell for my sister in laws impending baby.
Here is the progress so far: the front, back and one of the sleeves...

It's from a Paton's pattern book and it's called Frankie. I couldn't find a link anywhere for it. It's hard to tell in the picture, but the pattern is like triangles on their sides, knit by using knit and purl stitches to display opposite effects. Sounds simple, I hear you say! And so it should be, but for some unkown reason the pattern is way off in its calculations. I spent a whole night trying to figure out how to do the V neck and keep the pattern correct. Even my husband (who's a whizz at maths) was drafted in and he couldn't decipher it. After much swearing and hair pulling I eventually got it figured out. Not fun. Especially when the baby is imminent, and I needed this finished!
Then I got to the sleeves. The sleeves. They could do with their own sound effect, to be honest, something ominous like in a Boris Karloff movie would be good. The pattern sucks for these sleeves. I just couldn't figure it out. I brought it along to my SnB on Tuesday and one of the ladies who is an expert knitter couldn't make sense of it. The numbers just didn't add up! So, I ended up having to rewrite the thing. GAH! I am not knitting long enough to be able to cope with this shizz... So, I present my version of the sleeve a bit more close up:

Not bad, no? I had to do some plain stockinette along the increases as I couldn't figure out how to work the increases into the pattern, but they shouldn't be visible as they're along the seams. Now I have it figured out, I should fly along with the second one, then knit up the v neck and voila!
I shall post finished pics next time.

In other news, I have completed the first Child's First Sock!:
Mmm yummy. A pattern I found very difficult to master, but it does look lovely. Again, it's hard to tell from the photos (I so want one of those Ebay tents), but the pattern is a lovely scalloped lace type pattern. I loved the heel on these; it uses K1SL1 on alternate rows which makes for a much thicker knit and so should be more hard wearing. I don't know about the toe, it's a bit pointed for me, I prefer a squarer toe but I will definitely incorporate this heel into future socks!

I finished the front of the Premiere Pullover:

The end is nearly in sight for this! I have the two sleeves left to do and I am praying that I don't have a sleeve fiasco like the baby sweater! I doubt this will be finished for Christmas, but it is my friend's birthday on January 9th, so I could always give it to her then instead....

If I don't knit something for myself soon I'm going to freak! I think I'll do the Koolhaas hat first as it's freezing here at the moment.

And so, that is all for the moment. Phew!

Monday 3 December 2007

Yummy purchases

Look! I bought more stuff!
I must apologise for the photos, they're taken at my desk in work with my mobile phone (sorry Del!) as I have my lunch...

I know, it's becoming a problem but I couldn't resist. I finally got 2 skeins of Handmaiden Sea Silk in a yummy colorway called Rose Garden.

I also got two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Mint. Methinks Embossed Leaves Socks?

I have so much other stuff to report on that I promise I will do so very soon, maybe tonight. I have been so busy with projects that need to be finished asap that I haven't had a minute. I don't like all this pressure, I don't knit well! Plus, one of the projects is a baby sweater pattern from hell that I will explain more about later.

Happy Monday!

Friday 23 November 2007

Latest Progress

Things have been moving along pretty slowly this week for some reason, I think life got in the way...

My latest progress:

The front of the Premiere Pullover:

I taught myself to cable without a cable needle the other day and it has revolutionsed this project for me. It's so much faster! I've got all of this done in the car on the way into and out of work this week.

My new project:
Childs First Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush

I'm using this yarn - Hand dyed by Yarn Addict Anni that I bought on Etsy. It's merino and the colors are really lovely.

I'm finding this pattern difficult. It takes all of my concentration so it's not a project for the car. I missed most of my tv programmes last night because I was concentrating so hard!

I must find an easier project for the tv, although if I do that, I'll probably never finish them!

Saturday 17 November 2007

Lacy Stole FO

Mam's Lacy Stole that was originally meant for her birthday in October has been completed in time for Christmas! I'm delighted I got it done. I didn't knit the full 72" called for as she is a small woman and I felt she would be lost in anything longer than this.

Yarn used: Tivoli Caprice acrylic DK

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I couldn't help putting in this wintry pal as I love the silvery glitter in the yarn, it's like snow. I hope she likes it.

Wednesday 14 November 2007

New FO and other things

I have a new FO to present:

Garterlac Dishcloth

I decided to try a dishcloth and liked the idea of trying Entrelac at the same time. I enjoyed knitting this as I had to think all the time which was next, a triangle or a square? It took me about 4 attempts to get it right, but once I got going it was a quick project. I got this done last Sunday in between the ironing and roasting a chicken for dinner.

In other news, I decided I had to do something about the HUGE stash that was all over the spare bedroom, so off I went to Home Store & More. It's exactly the same as Bed Bath and Beyond (or Blood Bath & Beyond as my hubby calls it). I don't know why they changed the name of the store when they opened over here, but I digress.

I went looking for stash storage and lots of it.

I came home with this:

A hanging shoe rack! I know, I know, you're mad I hear you say, but it hangs vertically therefore it is space saving and it has clear sides so I can see at a glance what I have in each "shoe shelf"! I think it's great. I got two of these but so far have only filled one. The overflow went into a pop up laundry bag as they are either big balls of yarn or in packets of 10 and I couldn't be bothered opening them up.

While there, I saw this and couldn't resist.

Isn't it lovely? Totally not me as it's very girly, but I saw it and thought what a nice project basket! So I snapped it up. I'm still on holiday spending spree mode as I haven't got my Visa bill yet. I think it will be here tomorrow. (I can hear the postman panting up the road drowning under the weight of it. He'll probably go off work sick with back pain afterwards.)

I'm dying to get my copy of Interweave Knits Winter. I subscribed a couple of months ago as the price was so cheap and after seeing what others have already done (Del) I'm chomping at the bit to get started.

So, another busy weekend! I've cast on for the front of the Premiere Pullover and am slogging away at the Lacy Stole for Mam as well.

Oh! I nearly forgot! I finished Dad's socks at the SnB last night too, so his Christmas knitting is all done! Yay me!

Saturday 10 November 2007

Monkey No More

My monkey socks are finished!
I am so proud of these socks for some inane reason - I think it's because they are the first socks with a pattern I have ever done and because they were my holiday knit - loads of nice memories every time I put them on.
Anyhoo, here they are:

A close up of the detail:

Knit using Araucania Ranco Solid on 2.5mm Bamboo dpns.

A thoroughly enjoyable knit, and definitely one I will do again.

In other news, I was thinking about what to get brothers and sisters in law for Christmas, and I thought, why not knit some dishcloths/washcloths and wrap them up with a nice bar of soap?
So, I found this pattern:
Garterlac Dishcloth
I am on my 4th attempt to get it right, so there is no guarantee that they will get one at all, but I am determined now to get it right! I am using some cotton yarn I got a while back that I previously have used for my Summertime Tunic as I believe that cotton is best.

We''ll see how I get on.

Tuesday 6 November 2007

Yarn Pr0n extravaganza


O.M.G. I have just spent about 2 hours putting all of the yarn I have bought on vacation into my Ravelry Stash. I had no idea I had bought so much!

Let me start by saying I had a great holiday. It was so much fun travelling to all of the yarn shops and squeezing all of the lovely offerings!
Apologies for the pictures of Mickey Mouse's foot in the background of most of the pictures, it's the throw on my sofa bed.
So, without further ado, let me begin.

Purchased from Knit 'N Needle Nook, Mt Dora, Fla:
A lovely store only recently opened.

Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb:

100% Wool from Mongolia I think. Really light laceweight and soo soft!

Misti International Lace Baby Alpaca:

Again, really soft yarn!

Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino in Foxy Lady:

I'd been looking for some of this yummy sock yarn.

Tilli Tomas Voile De La Mer in Decco Coral:

I couldn't get Handmaiden Sea Silk, so this is my substitute for the Montego Bay Scarf.

Next up, my purchases from Sip & Knit, Maitland, Fla. Another lovely store with a really helpful owner!

Ella Rae Classic:

I'm unsure what to do with this yet, but it's 100% wool, so will be very adaptable.

Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool:

Yum, yum, Tangled Yoke Cardigan here I come!

Cascade 220:

This is purely a stash indulgence, I've heard so much about how versatile this yarn is I just had to have some!

Dream In Color Smooshy:

How gorgeous is this sock yarn? I hope I can do it justice!

Feza Kid Mohair:

A total impulse purchase. I don't really know why I bought this, not being a fan of mohair. Suggestions of what to knit with it are welcome!

Jagger Spun Zephyr Silk/Wool:

Simply gorgeous. The color is Coral, a gorgeous pinky peach shade. I have a pattern in mind for this, I just can't remember what right now.

Mountain Colors Bearfoot:

The color is called Wildflower. More sock yarn goodies. I'm a bit of a sucker for a nice sock yarn and this one is really soft!

Koigu Premium Merino:

I really wanted Painters Palette, but I couldn't get any, so this was a good second.

Prism Lace Wool:

This yarn is gorgeous. So soft and fine. It's hand dyed in St. Petersburg apparently. The yardage is huge too. I think I'll probably get a couple of shawls from it.

Colinette Jitterbug:

Another yarn I had lusted after. I have heard of splitting and pilling issues, but I still think it looks lovely. Amazing to think this is made in Wales, a country right beside Ireland but cannot readily be got here.

Then on to Jo-ann's on E. Colonial Drive and Michael's off I Drive, where I got these:

Lily Sugar n Cream:

I thought I might attempt some of the really cool washcloths I've seen.

Lion Brand Wool-Ease:

I thought I might try some color work with these. I saw a pair of fantastic gloves on Ravelry that had Hubble Bubble Toil and Trouble on the wristbands that look like they'd be fun to knit.

From there, on to the Interweb and Knit Picks
I got a set of Options Nickel Interchangeable Circulars (which look fantastic) and...
Knit Picks Palette:

Again, no idea what to do with these, but at $1.99 a ball, how could I refuse?

Knit Picks Gloss:

Cocoa and Pumpkin. Luscious names that I think might make a nice pair of socks.

Knit Picks Shimmer:

Pure gorgeousness. Particularly in love with the second one!

And so on to WEBS

Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece:

A beautiful shade called Tea Rose. I plan to use this for the Cable Down Raglan from IK.

Reynolds Soft Sea Wool:

Oh yes, the Reynolds Soft Sea Wool is mine, all mine! The Spiral Boot Socks are imminent!
The Red and Yellow are for the Peek a Boo Cloche hat.

Lastly, on to Lisa Souza

Sock! Merino

I couldn't get any Socks That Rock or Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock so I consoled myself with some Lisa Souza in really evocative names. Mulberry, Joseph's Coat and Blue Flame. Aren't they fab?

I also purchased 3 books/magazines, IK Holiday 2007, One Skein and Sensational Knitted Socks.

And that concludes the yarn pr0n for today. If you have read all the way to the end than your addiction must be as bad as mine!
All I have to do now is figure out how to pay my Visa bill!