Friday 23 January 2009

When creation has begun

*sigh* looks what happens when I get a couple of projects right in a row. I go and get all creative and think I'm invincible. I'm still on a high from hubbys Christmas sweater so what do I do? I decide to design a pattern of my own. Well, it was one of my goals for 2009, right?

I've decided to "create" (using the term very loosely, you understand) a vest for my Dad for his birthday in March. He loved the Hand in Hand sweater I made him so much that I think he deserves a new one. He wears it all the time. Seriously, you couldn't ask for a better knitting recipient. He rocks.

I'm using two cable stitches from my stitch directory, a horseshoe and a celtic plait. One plait in the middle, one horseshoe either side and I'm keeping the back plain.

So, here goes! I got gauge did my math, cast on (in the round of course) and have completed the 2" of ribbing and 23 rows of the pattern.

So what do y'all think? I know it's a bit hard to see in the pics. I think the green is nice, he likes green, and most of his suits and ties have navy in them.
I'm cruising along at the moment, let's see how well I do when I get to the armholes! I'm planning on splitting and doing the front and back separately, but that sounds much easier to type than figure out!
The jaywalker socks progress, not much else to be said about them really.
Have a good weekend everyone, and if you're feeling a bit of wanderlust, but can't get away on holidays anywhere, read Tara's blog for the last week. She's been in Paris, and it feels just like we're all there with her. Fantastic.

Sunday 18 January 2009

Bolero Done

So I've finished the bolero for Alice's communion. What do you think?
I can't say it's the best thing I've ever done, there was too much seaming for my liking. But, thanks to Maria at my S&B I got some great tips. Particularly the border around the front. Still, it fits, matches the dress and Alice likes it.
So, job done! I only used three of the 6 balls I bought, so I'm looking for something else to do with it. Perhaps sone fingerless gloves for her? I've no idea of a pattern though, all I can find are adult sizes.

Yarn: Sublime Yarns Baby Cashmere Merino silk DK
Needles: 3.75mm and 4.5mm
Progress is coming along on my Jaywalkers. I've turned the heel on the first sock. I still think they are a bit big, but I'll continue and see how it turns out.

Short but sweet for this week; not that much else to report except that it snowed here last night. A smattering compared with most other countries, but snow in Ireland is quite an uncommon event. Yuk. I hate it. I fall flat on my butt at every opportunity and it's cold. boo.

Friday 9 January 2009

Busy bee

I seem to have been a very busy bee this week! On Monday I decided to go over to one of my lys and get a pattern and yarn for Alice's Communion Bolero. I had offically given up on the crochet version. Some of the knitters in the Irish Knitters group on Ravelry were ever so good and sent me some patterns, but they just didn't float my (or Alice's) boat, so off we went.

I brought the dress with me so I could match the yarn colour up.
We came up with this yarn:

Sublime Yarns Baby Cashmere Merino Silk. It's yummy. Really soft! But, a bit slippery so I had to keep my eye on it! It was €5.95 a ball and I bought 6, so not the cheapest childrens garment ever, but it is for a special occasion.

The pattern we got was this:

Isn't it cute? It's a Sirdar bolero. I've decided to knit it with 3/4 length sleeves. Alice insisted that this one was the one she wanted as it was really pretty, and "doesn't look to hard for you Mom"! Aww. Now, Alice seems to be quite a small kid on top for her age. She's a 26" chest, which seems to be a 5-6 year old size. She'll be 8 in March! Anyhoo, I proceeded to cast on Tuesday and it literally flew off the needles.

Last night I finished the sleeves. I had done the fronts and back in a day!
I love the border detail:

All I have to do now is finish the border for the fronts and then sew (ick) it together. Should I block before I sew? I really hope it fits her, I think it might, but I won't really know until I have it all finished. Still, there's loads of time to rip back and do it again if needs be. It's not as if it took me forever to do!

While I was at the yarn shop, they had a sale. Sales are the devils work. Look what I got:
Jaeger Matchmaker Merino 4 ply, €2.95 a ball! Bargain! The colur of this matches my brown Skechers brilliantly, so socks for me!
Sirdar Town & Country Sock, €2.95 a ball! Another bargain. I know I have sock yarn coming out the wazoo, but it really is good value. I got a pair of socks for Dad out of the Town & Country using a smidge over a ball, and he loves them, so I might make him another pair for his birthday in March. Along with the sweater I want to make him.

I gave into the pressure and ripped back the Jaywalkers. I decided to recast on the next size down. I still think it's big, but I'll see how I get on. No pics, it's only the ribbing done. I'm saving it for Knitting group as it's mindless knitting.
Next, onto the good stuff!
On Tuesday morning I was happily snoozing away in bed on my last day off before returning to work, and I was rudely awoken at 9.15 by the doorbell. You know when you're woken up like that, you're kinda out of bed and running before you even register? Yeah well, it gets better. I knew immediately what it was, so I bolted down the stairs and flung open the front door. I knew speed was of the essence, our postie waits for no snoozing woman.
I stood there for a second, then realised it was a bit cold... I was standing in front of him, hair askew, 10 seconds awake in my ever so elegant and come hither Cinderella nightie. yum. Especially with legs that could do with a visit to the razor. Ah well, I figured I was screwed anyway, so I flashed the best asleep smile I could and said "Morning!, have you a parcel for me?" Poor postie. I bet he's still at home, off sick, rocking back and forth muttering about hairy Cinderellas.
Anyway, the parcel was... my Secret Santa!!!! Look at this mysterious grey parcel:

Who could it be from? The return address said S. Santa so that was no clue. I ripped it open and...
Lots of beautifully wrapped parcels! The excitement! I did spot the Soak sachet and I was glad. I love that stuff. I ripped open the parcels and this is what I got!
A veritable bounty. A harmony crochet hook, a box of Ferrero Rocher (long since gone) and some beautiful handmade stitch markers. Then the yarn. Oh the yarn.
First up:
A gorgeous skein of Mirasol Tupa. This yarn is yum. I sent my secret pal two skeins of this stuff. A good start I thought!
Next up:

Two skeins of Brown Sheep Nature Spun sport. Isn't the colur fab? I used this yarn before for my Hourglass socks and I must say I really liked it.

Lastly and most definitely not least on the yarn front:

Faboo hand dyed yarn especially for me! See the pretty label? And the colour, isn't it wonderful? Like an exotic ocean. This skein also gave away the identity of S.Santa, it was none other than Lisa, the co-owner of my fave lys, This Is Knit. How lucky can a girl get?
Thank you a thousand times, Lisa, what a fab package!

Sunday 4 January 2009

First project - not so plain sailing!

It had to happen. I started my first project of the year full of enthusiasm, and have gone awry. Well, not completely, because I wouldn't class this as a disaster, more of a learning experience.

I had decided to make a pair of Jaywalker socks. After all, it seems everyone else had made a pair, and they looked good too. I had some Plymouth Sockotta yarn in the stash that was perfect for the job.
According to the pattern, I measured the width of my foot (91/2") and cast on the required no of stitches, 92. I thought this was a lot of stitches, but it says that the pattern is quite tight fitting, so I carried on.

I called the socks Rhubarb and Custard because the colours of the yarn remind me of the sweets I used to buy as a child. mmm.
So far, so good, they looked ok:

A bit on the large side, I thought, but sure trust the pattern.
Alas, all went downhill. Here is the sock after the heel flap:

I'm going to have to rip these and start again. They're just HUGE. They'd fit a giants feet and still have some room! That heel flap wraps almost all the way around my foot. Crazy.
On the plus side, Alice has fallen in love with the yarn and begged me to make her some socks with it.
So, should I:
A) rip and try the pattern again for me
B) rip and try to scale the pattern for Alice's feet
C) not rip, continue and use as house socks
D) rip and make something completely different
I'm not liking the amount of options that require ripping. I hate ripping. Maybe I can do a McGyver and turn them into a pair of curtains with a toothpick.
In the meantime, until I decide what to do, these puppies are going in time out and I'm going to try and find a communion cardigan/bolero pattern for Alice. Or start the colourwork afghan I've always wanted to make. Or make that sweater for my Dad.

To finish on a happy note; look what a good pal of mine gave me for Christmas:
400 Knitting Stitches
Woot! I can now start looking at stitiches for the pattern I want to design! Perfect timing.

Thursday 1 January 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you all - may 2009 bring all you wish for and more.
If it's half as good as last year for me then I'll be doing well...

Just looking back at my Finished Objects list for 2008 and I completed 30 projects last year. Not bad going eh? I'm really chuffed with that!

I promised myself that I'd make some resolutions so here goes. I know this is probably not very interesting for you, dear reader, but it's important to me that I have this list somewhere other than in my head; it may spur me on to stick to it!

I have two lists; Knitterly Resolutions and Personal Resolutions.

Knitterly Resolutions
1. Knit every day. Even if it's one row.
2. Knit a new sweater for my Dad. He loves the Hand in Hand Cable Sweater I made him so much he wears it nearly every day.
3. Knit a Fair Isle garment
4. Learn to use Mams sewing machine so that I can
5. Steek the Fair Isle sweater and make it either a Henley neck or a cardigan.
6. Try and learn to knit continentally.
7. Design a pattern of my own.
8. Destash. How else can I buy more when we go back to Florida?

Personal Resolutions
1. Stop smoking
2. Lose weight.
3. Do the Wii Fit for 30 mins at least 4 times a week.
4. Spend more quality time with my family, particularly my daughter.
5. Say Yes more often, rather than No automatically.
6. Get some help for Mam & Dad.
7. Try and perform better at work. I know I hate my job, but I should just get on with it.
8. Drink less.

Right. Done. Now when I check back in a few months we can see whether I've made any progress. I don't expect to change overnight, but baby steps will get there eventually too, right?