Sunday 31 August 2008

Sunday morning blues

I'm listening to some pretty psychedelic Eric Clapton suff as I type this, very Apocalypse now sort of music. Groovy man...

Look! my Druid Mittens progress, and I lurve them.

The chart is messy enough to follow, but clever ickle me sneaked into the photocopy room in work and blew it up onto an A3 page *snicker* much easier now with some post its to mark the spot.

Lace news:
Using the wonders of magic loop, here's my progress so far on my Pi Shawl that's going to be a tablecloth.
Before stretching:

After stretching:

I'm on the 144 stitch round. Still not enough to fit fully round my circs. Next increase should do it. See my ladders though? I was doing so well up until those. I guess that's the problem with magic looping laceweight. I can't pull any tighter for fear of snapping the yarn and there's no way I can do this sucker on dpns so I figure it'll have to be a "design element" or I'll make a doily type thing to sit on top of it....

I've also cast on for a pair of socks for my daughter with my left over smooshy.
Crosshatch Socks from More Sensational Knitted Socks (ravelry links)
I'm on my third attempt at these. I measured her foot and cast on according to the directions. there was no way these were going to fit her, they would have barely fit a newborn, so I increased one pattern repeat and tried again. Nope. Increased again now to 48 stitches and it seems okay so far. I'll try them on again in a bit and see. She's the original big foot.

In other great news, one of the schools in my area has announced its Autumn evening courses. And Look! Loads of crafty things! I can't believe it! Here's the list of courses. They include knitting for beginners and improvers, sewing, patchwork/quilting, card making, beaded jewellery and crochet! I have been looking to learn crochet for a while now, and here comes a 10 week course!! woohoo! Only problem is it's on Tuesday evenings, the same night as my beloved SnB. But, it is only for 10 weeks, so I think I should still do the course.

I'm thrilled to bits! Plus, there's Asian/Indian cooking on Wednesday nights that hubby wants to do so yummy new dinners heading my way!!

Wednesday 27 August 2008

Druid Mittens

So I promised a post on my Druid Mittens and here you go.

The progress so far. Not a lot I hear you say, but believe me I'm proud of this, these take ages!! I know the pics aren't great, but it's nearly 10pm and really dark, so take what you're given, ok?
I do love the pattern, but I'm not sure the yarn is right. It seems a bit light and doesn't really show the pattern to it's best.
Remember I said I had lace woes? I yearn to make lace, I think it's so beautiful that I'd love to create my own. When I was in Florida last year I bought a load of lace yarn. One in particular was Prism Lace (Ravelry link), hand dyed in St Petersburg. I was watching Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop on DVD the other day and saw the Pi shawl. After many gasps of breath and admiration of its beauty I thought, wouldn't that make a beautiful tablecloth?
So, I decided to cast on using the Prism lace. She talks about Barbara Okher's (unsure of spelling) cast on as being the best one. I swear I tried for an hour and couldn't get it right until I lost my temper with it and decided for the betterment of my sanity and the yarn to put it away and try again later.
This is my second attempt at lace, the first being with some yummy misti alpaca laceweight to make a swallowtail shawl. That too ended in flames and much swearing.
Am I missing some basic element of lace knitting? Other than requiring solitude in a quiet room, coz with a 7 year old that's just not going to happen. Maybe I'm pushing my knitting too fast, after all I'm just 18mths knitting. Walk before you can run, right?
I've also begun thinking about Christmas knitting. I hate that C word, it conjures up such images of panic, overspending and stress for me. Anyway, I'd love to give handmade gifts, I'm just not sure how they'd be received. I was thinking maybe a pair of socks for my dear Dad and a Branching Out scarf for one of my sister in laws. Others, I don't know.
The idea of a washcloth with some nice soaps appeals to me, but the washcloths I have made previously were rubbish for lathering. Maybe I used the wrong yarn? It was 100% cotton, so what should I be using?

Reply to Diane

Hi Diane,

Thanks for commenting on my blog. however, your profile isn't public, so I can't email you back! I hope you read this and get your answers.

There are lots of knitting clubs in Dublin, check this website out for details: OlannBán
The knitting group I attend is the Dublin 15 one in Blanchardstown.

For classes, look here: ThisIsKnit
This great yarn shop is based in Blackrock and have a new schedule of classes set to start next month. They are also opening up a new branch in the Powerscourt centre in the city centre next month although I doubt there will be classes there.

Hope this helps!

In blogging news, I will put up a post tonight with mitten pics and lace woes.

Friday 22 August 2008


I have crossed the line and am receiving medical attention as we speak. Yes, I'm battered, blistered and bruised but victorious!

My last entry for the Ravelympics, my SockPut:

Pattern: Embossed Leaves Socks by Mona Schmidt from Interweave Favorite Socks
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy in Peach (yum!)
Needles: 2.75mm

I truly love these socks. What a gorgeous pattern. And the fit is perfect too! Plus, Smooshy, it's just so... smooshy! and sproingy. The stitches literally pop out of the sock. I will definitely be buying some more of this!

I had this much left over too, I only needed to join the second half of the skein about 1/3 of the way into the second foot, so I don't know what to do with it now. Would I have enough for a pair of socks for my daughter? If so, what pattern?

So, for me anyway, the Ravelympics are over. I must admit it was great fun, watching all of the sport while I knit, (Go Ireland in the boxing! two bronze and at least one silver!!) and pushing myself to the limit of what I could achieve in a short space of time. I will definitely enter again next time round.

In other news, I received two lovely packages this week. I won a gift voucher for Yarn at WWKIP day last June. As the store is in Galway and I'm in Dublin, I didn't know what to do with it. I rang them this week and the lovely girl on the phone said no problem, took the voucher number and sent me this:

Two gorgeous skeins of Colinette Jitterbug in the Kingfisher colourway. Yummy blacks, blues and greens with a tad of pink thrown in for good measure. Sounds like a hodgepodge of colours, but it looks great in the skein. I'm interested to see how this will knit up.

I also got The Knitters Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes. I had seen this book at my SnB and it looked good, so I'm looking forward to reading it. Plus there's some lovely patterns in it, especially the snail mittens. I also spied a fish pattern which I think I'll use for my West Wing group KAL on Ravelry. We all have to make a goldfish (remember Danny gave CJ a goldfish?). Only problem is I don't have any orange yarn, so it might end up more of an "artistic" goldfish who breaks away from the humdrum of bowl life and radically dyes its scales to blue or something. We'll see.

What's next? Well, I'm going out with my Sister in law and getting drunk tonight. That much I do know. (She loves the cardigan I made for her daughter by the way, so yay!)
Tomorrow I think I might get the goldfish out of the way and then maybe start my beloved Druid Mittens (Ravelry Link). I'm going to use this yarn for it (another Ravelry link). I can't wait!

Happy weekend!

Sunday 17 August 2008

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

No! It's:

Super Knitter!

I am so hot right now I'm on fire.
My entry for the Hat Dash in the Ravelympics:

Pattern: Brother In Law Basket Weave Hat by Kody May Ramotar
Needles: 5mm
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease Worsted, 1 skein
Model: My very shy hubby who insisted his face not be seen.

This took me this afternoon to do. Go me!

And, I've finished my first sock too!

Only one more of these babies to go and I'm over the finish line in all of my Ravelympics entries.

It's official. I rock.
Modesty was always a strong point of mine (cough)

Wednesday 13 August 2008

Eat your heart out Michael Phelps!

pshaw the greatest Olympian ever. In the pool maybe, but I'd give him a run for his money in the Ravelympics anyday...

2 more medals shall be mine when Bobicus Maximus calls out the winners for today...

Pattern: Rosey Cardigan from a Patons baby booklet
Yarn: Pink Acrylic
Needles: 3.25 and 4mm

This is my entry for the WIP Wrestling and Baby Dressage events. Only 2 more to go, the hat Dash and Sock Put.
As Jim Carrey said in The Mask, I am:

Monday 11 August 2008

I am an athlete!

I always knew that inside this overweight body was a finely tuned athletic machine trying to break out. Well, today it has been proven. I am a ravthlete! A finisher in the Scarf Stroke event!

Here's my entry:

Pattern: Wedge by Nora Goughan, beautifully modelled by my Hello Kitty child who has nabbed this for herself for going back to school.
Yarn: Tivoli Caprice from stash, 1 skein
Needles: 3.75mm

Now I must rest in preparation for the last leg of my second event, the WIP Wrestling/Baby Dressage. Only half a sleeve, the button band and seaming (yuk) to go on that one. Then it's on to the Embossed Leaves socks for the Sockput and finally the Brother-in-law basketweave hat for the Hat Dash.

Phew! Being supremely fit and at the top of your ravthletic game is hard work!

On a side note, I'm back in work today boo. I hope I'll be able to keep up with this punishing schedule and fit some work in too! I had an ok time off, the weather was just atrocious (same as last year, it has rained every day) so we couldn't really get out and do too much. Still, it wasn't here in the office, so I should look on th bright side!

Monday 4 August 2008


It's good to be home. While a break is nice, this time it was more hard work than relaxing.

I don't know how my father does it. My mother really is hard work on a daily basis. She wouldn't go anywhere, do anything, wash herself, eat properly She just wanted to sit and smoke, smoke smoke. My heart goes out to her, it really does, but I also had a 7 year old who was just going to burst if she didn't get to go to the beach and dig some holes!

Going anywhere meant leaving Mam & Dad behind which wasn't fair in my opinion. My Dad needed the break more than I did, so I let him go off for walks with Alice whenever he wanted.

I eventually got to the beach for about 2 hours and she had a ball. It's amazing how simply kids still play sometimes, the same way we used to. She just sat down and dug huge holes, then ran to the water to fill a bucket and pour into the hole. Made me wish I was 7 again.

I didn't sleep one wink either. Now this is not unnatural for me, I have awful insomnia at the best of times. But coupled with the stress (self inflicted) I was just exhausted. By the time I got home on Sunday I was weak from tiredness. Not a fun drive home I can tell you. Still, I went to bed on Sunday night and slept straight through to 6am! I couldn't believe it. I felt fantastic. I'm more or less back to my old self now so I am determined to do whatever I want for the rest of my last week off.

Gosh, rant over! That sonds like an awful diatribe against my parents doesn't it. I suppose I just need somewhere to get it off my chest. I love them , of course I do, but sometimes I feel a bit swallowed up by their problems. They think I can solve everything and do anything and I can't. I'm just as nervy and scared as they are....

Virtually no knitting was done as I was so wound up it would have been ridiculously tightly knit. I did get the Montego Bay scarf finished however! I completed it last Friday.

Pattern: Montego Bay Scarf from IK Summer 07
Yarn: Handmaiden Sea Silk, 1 skein Rose Garden
Needles: 5.5mm

Yum! I don't know whether to block it or not, I think it's fine the way it is. I don't think it's meant to be perfectly flattened.

I think I won't get any knitting done this week, but we'll see. I'm all set for the Ravelympics, are you? I'm entering the SockPut, WIP Wrestling, ScarfStroke and HatDash. Going to be great fun!

Have a good week!