Saturday 26 July 2008

Edge of my Reason (or skein winding 101)

Yay I'm on holidays! Two whole weeks of no work. Cool. Lots of time for knitting then? well, no not really.
I was hijacked into going along with my parents to a hotel for four days from tomorrow. Yep, I found out a 4pm that I've to bring them and my 7 year old daughter away for four days. Panic? Oh yes.

I began with wondering what I could bring to knit. (I have my priorities straight you know).
Would this do?

This is my second attempt at a baby cardigan for my niece. It's the Dragon Skin Wrap from IK Holiday 2007. Nice pattern, but the decreasing is really confusing. Hence the lifeline before the decreases began. Once bitten, twice shy! ;)

The first attempt:

Matinee Jacket from a really old Patons baby book. I knit the 6-12 month size, and it's teeny! It'd barely fit a newborn I think. Plus, the picot edging took FOREVER!!!! Never again. I think this will be donated to my daughter's teddy.

Anyway, back on topic! The dragon skin wrap would be too complicated, so there's my Montego Bay Scarf, and then for my second item (a girl can't only bring one away) I think I'll cast on for a pair of embossed leaves socks.

I have this skein of yummy Dream in Color Smooshy:

mmmm I bought this last year on holidays in Florida. mmmmm peachy
Ok, I thought. I'll wind this into a ball using my faboo swift and ball winder and I'll be all set. So, I put it onto the swift, and wound it up. It was huge! There must be lots of yardage in this I mused. I know, I thought, I'll split it into two balls, and then maybe I can give 2 at a time socks another go! So, I wound half of it back onto the swift and then disaster struck. I decided in my infinite wisdom to weigh the yarn on the swift. Why, oh why?
The half ball on the scales after I wound half back onto the swift.
What was wound onto the swift when I removed it to weigh it. A HUGE mass of tangles.
Three hours later:
Two lovely balls for sock making. I swear, this yarn better make some gorgeous socks after all that hassle! 3 hours of non stop detangling. I was ready to burst with frustration. I then had to pack for the two of us and go up to my parents and pack my Mam's stuff too!
I am ready to drop.
So, I hope this break is relaxing (yeah right), at least that my mother has a good few days and that the weather is nice enough to hit the beach. I will also do my damndest to find a yarn shop down there too!

Friday 18 July 2008

Full of Motivation

*grrr* I had this post all typed up last night and when I clicked publish Blogger ate it! So, this is probably not what I had originally posted, but hey, its early in the morning, I'm in work and only getting my cup of coffee now.
On the plus side, I appear to be able to get to my flickr account this morning, so pictures included yay!

Anyway, onto the reason for the post title.

Pattern: Colour Practice Hat by Elizabeth Zimmermann from Knitting WorkshopYarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease, less than 1 skein black, scrap of red
Needles: 4mm

I am so proud of myself, my first stranded colourwork piece. I can't believe it's so easy! I don't know why I was so afraid of it, but thanks to EZ I decided to learn how to become a better knitter. I love this DVD and book, she's so straightforward and no nonsense. Exactly what you need when trying something new.

I tell you, this won't be my last stranded project, I'm eyeing up my hubbys dimensions for a Norwegian Ski type sweater in yummy grey and creams mmmm. If I can do this I can do anything! I am invincible!! hee hee

My daughter has bagged the hat for going back to school which is good as in honesty she's the only one it would fit. We must have big heads in our family (no jokes please :))

Next up a new project.

It's a Matinee jacket from a really old Patons baby book I borrowed from a friend. My sister in law asked me to make a cardigan for her 6 month old daughter as she has nothing pink so here we go!

I don't mind, I love pink! It's a cute pattern, kind of faux scallops along the front with YO either side. There's no button band in this pattern, just a picot edge so I may try and put a button band instead, or maybe two ribbon ties?? I have really cute little toadstool buttons dying for a home.

Have a great weekend everyone, and try something you've never tried before, it's great fun!

Saturday 12 July 2008

Quick and easy

Remember last time I was a bit "delicate"? Well here's the perfect delicate knitting project:

Pattern: Branching Out Scarf from Knitty, Spring '05
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, left over from my Tangled Yoke cardigan, 1 skein
Needles: 5mm

A great knit, really simple and pleasurable. Done in one day! It's blocking as we speak so I hope to get some better pics when it's dry.

My next new project:

I'm calling this (Wishing I was in) Montego Bay scarf. It's from IK Summer '07 and I'm using Handmaiden Sea Silk in Rose Garden. yum yum yum I can't say enough about this gorgeous yarn! Another really simple pattern that actually reminds me a bit of the shopping bag I made a while ago...

Anyway the reason for the project title is the ultra crappy weather we've been having here recently. This is the second summer in a row where it has done nothing but rain, rain, rain. So depressing. I'm off for two weeks in a couple of weeks time as my daughters creche is closing for 5 weeks (how convenient of them) and if this weather keeps up, there'll be a serious incident in the family... last year when it was weather like this we were all so stir crazy in the house not being able to go anywhere that it was argument city. Fingers crossed we get a few "summer" days so we can get out!

The second noro sock is nearly finished thank God. I'm really not loving this Kureyon sock yarn. But, I have so much left that I'll have to make about two more pairs out of it! I really should do them straight away, otherwise I'll probably never pick up the yarn again and I want them for the much longed for Florida vacay in October to wear with my birkis.

Not much other news, Dad got his second cataract done last Monday and all went well thank God. He should be back to his great old self in no time now. Mam is just Mam, the days all seem to blend into themsleves for her now poor thing. I know Dad wants to go away for a couple of days and who could blame him after what he's been through, but she just doesn't want to leave the house anymore. I told him to just book it and she'll go but he's a bit reticent. maybe I should take the bull by the horns? I know where he wants to go and when, and if I book it then she can't complain. Hmm I think I feel a cunning plan coming on!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Sunday 6 July 2008

ssh.. hangover alert

O.M.G. I have the hangover from hell. Every click of the keyboard as I type this is agony. All self inflicted I hear you cry (ssh!) but every once in a while is ok to let you hair down. No? It was my anniversary party after all. We were 10 years married on July 4. I finished the Medallion Top at 11pm on Friday night just in time for the party yesterday.

I must say I'm delighted with it.

Pattern: Medallion Top from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer '08
Size: 48" bust
Yarn: Debblie Bliss Prima, 14 skeins
I have about a yard of yarn left over. I was sweating sewing it together in case I ran out! Talk about a close call, I really hope I never need to do any repairs!
I know the photos are really bad, but it was late at night and I was a bit delerious with joy that I had actually finished it. With a white blouse underneath it looks much more flattering to the boobage. I wore it for the party yesterday and the knitty mother and sister in law both complimented me, so job done!

My next project I think is an afghan for friends of mine who are getting married in October. They are one of those couples who have everything that are impossible to buy for, so I think a lovely afghan from Nicky Epsteins book (the one I made the christening afghan from) might be in order. We'll see.

I promised last post that I'd put up some pictures from the Oireachtas Family Fun day, so here goes:
This is the Dáil (government) Chamber. Where all the arguments take place and sometimes some work is done lol
This is the Seand (senate) chamber. Much smaller than I imagined!
This is the ceiling in the Seanad chamber. Isn't it gorgeous?
This is the flag that JFK presented to the Irish people during his visit in June 1963. It's the banner flag of the Irish battalions from the American Civil War. Just amazing.

There were acrobats outside...
And some food! This one is a bit of an insider joke for all you fans of the West Wing. Leo McGarry (John Spencer RIP) once said on the show "There are two things you never want to see made, laws & sausages!" Well, I went to the place where the laws were made, and out the back they were cooking sausages! How could I resist taking the photo!