Saturday 28 February 2009

I love the weekend

Shh. Can you hear that? It's the sound of Saturday morning. Peace & quiet. Ah, bliss.
I love the weekend. Get up when you want, stay in pyjamas if you want. At least that's what I tell myself.

Look what I got in the post yesterday:

A ball of Tivoli Classical DK! I had forgotten all about this. The lovely Jagienka had a competition recently on her blog (check it out btw, she's a great crafter) and I won!
Thank you!

Now that "the sweater" is done, I can finally start my Clapotis!

Here it is after the first increase section. Aren't the colours of the yarn just amazing? I hope I don't run out of yarn. I wonder should I have done less increases? Ah sure we'll see how I get on I suppose.

No other news really, it's John's and his sisters birthday tomorrow so we're all off out for a Thai tonight. I love this restaurant, their Pad Thai is just delicious. It's Alice's favourite place too; she loves the seafood wonton starter. And John loves the Red Curry, so everyone is happy.

Enjoy your weekends!

Tuesday 24 February 2009

Happy happy Joy Joy

Yay! Can you believe it's finished?

Pattern: John's Stocking Stitch Sweater of Doom (based on EZ's EPS)
Yarn: Patons Baby Fab, 5 1/2 balls
Needles: 4mm
This was the hardest two weeks of knitting ever. My little finger on mky right hand is killing me, probably from holding it out to hold the yarn and push the stitches along the needle.
Here's some front and back pics modelled by John. He only had it on him for a minute to make sure it fit, it's not his birthday until Sunday.
These were taken before I had woven the underarms.
It's a beast of a jumper, but he loves it so I'm happy.

I'm really proud of myself for not succumbing to the lure of the Clapotis, now I can start it with a clear conscience and a happy heart!
Never. again.

Wednesday 18 February 2009

I can't believe I saw this Tara:

Especially for Tara:
Just goes to show you that smoking can be good (or you never know what you might see):

I was out of the hotel for a cigarette earlier and guess what I saw?


In honour of your DORMA cleaning days. This was the base plate of the front door into the hotel. I've no idea how I spotted it; just be glad I did!

Monday 16 February 2009

Holiday Bliss

Ahh, this is what they mean by food for the soul. How about this view from your hotel?

The Aran Islands at 9am:

Isn't it just fab? I must have stood there for ages, just looking. Well, looking and wishing. It's only 40 minutes by boat or 10 minutes by scary plane (propellors, they weigh you to balance out the plane. They'd need a few bags of rocks on the opposite side for me haha) but it may as well be a world away. No chance of me getting there this time, Mam just couldn't do it and I can't leave them for a whole day. I'll just content myself with looking for now.

I've been before, years ago but not as a knitter, it's kind of an Irish holy grail for knitters, well this knitter anyway.

I love Connemara. This place is so full of childhood memories for me. For 10 years when we were kids we came here for our summer holidays. We actually stayed about 5 miles from where we are now; we drove down to see the old house today. I loved it here, what a perfect place for teenage angst, all the wilderness and wind and places to be alone and hate your life lol. I can't describe the perfectness of this place adequately.

Even the walls move me:

How's that for perfection? Not a bit of cement in sight.

I had a gorgeous walk this morning before breakfast that has set me up for the day. I think I'll do the same tomorrow, weather permitting.

I don't know what to do tomorrow, maybe go for a drive around the old haunts, or a nice walk on Spiddal beach. We'll see. After Alice gets a swim in the hotel pool though. If I get asked once more "Can we go Mom, pleeeeease?" I'll scream.

I met up with an old school pal (actually my oldest friend) today that I haven't seen in over a year. She moved down here 8 years ago. It was great to see her, we just gabbed away for ages.

Right! Enough of the travel guide; here's the real reason for this blog:

Inspired by Tara's travel knitting choice of a clapotis, I wound this baby in anticipation.

Isn't it devine? Those colours are so vibrant. It is, of course my Wollmeise. Red Hot Chili. Not started yet, but hopefully tomorrow.

On to the Stocking Stitch Sweater of Doom for John's birthday.
The body is complete!

The first sleeve is complete!

Now I need to summon the will to cast on for the second one. Oh clapotis how you call to me like a siren! But I must try and resist for a little longer and get this behemoth finished.

I also indulged in a spot of yarn enhancement. I have a thing about buying yarn whenever I go away. So sue me. This time, I got some Kilcarra Aran Tweed in Galway:
The light in the hotel room is really bad, even when I put this on the oh so crisp white sheets. It's actually lilac with purple tweed flecks. Yum. I bought 4 balls, only €3.95 a ball. I think a felted bag perhaps.
That's it from me for now, except to say I'm enjoying this break so far and the hotel is lovely. Very nice food and service. Of course it's all eclipsed by the beauty of the area.

Thursday 5 February 2009

Round and round

Round and round the sweater goes, where it will stop, nobody knows!
*yawn* so boring, 250 stitches of stockinette banality.

All that stringy action at the bottom looks a bit of a mess, doesn't it? Yeah well my long tail cast on can sometimes get a bit carried away with itself and I end up with large amounts of yarn left over. But, I'm not starting again to do 250 stitches! So, there it hangs.

I've decided to follow Elizabeth Zimmermanns Seamless Yoke Sweater using the EPS (Elizabeth Percentage System). I've been dying to try the yoke sweater for ages. John's last sweater was almost a yoke one, except for the yoke lol. That ended up being a saddle shoulder.

So, any suggestions of how to spend my time whilst knitting this sucker most appreciated. I can't complain, I know, because hubby has actually asked for this, but can't I whine here, just a little bit?

yay, thanks! I knew you'd understand.

Whine #1:
It's acrylic. *shudder* Now I know acrylic has its place in the knitting world, but not for a mans huge sweater! It's burning my fingers as I knit and gets a bit squeaky after a while. He refuses to wear wool and I'm still amazed he wears the last one at all, Cascade Sierra is 80% cotton, 20% merino and as soon as he put it on he said "There's wool in this". Bloody princess and pea stuff.

Whine #2:
It's soooo boring. When I begged him to let me put some sort of pattern in it, he replied, ok, put some ribbing at the bottom. aaaargh.

Nothing knit on the Jaywalkers, afraid that if I knit on something else I'll never go back to the sweater.

I didn't get to SnB on Tuesday night, and I really missed it. Here's why:

Snow! Lots of snow! Traffic was chaos, everything ground to a halt. Not that it takes much for traffic chaos in my "wonderful" city.
Now I know you readers will look at this and say "phhht, that's not snow, the several feet outside my window is snow", but in Ireland this is a big deal. Snow is very rare, it's nearly always rain.

As you can see, Alice thoroughly enjoyed it. May I present Mr. Snow. Yes, he has carrot teeth and eyes. Give me a break, supplies for snowman faces are not something I would have on hand. I had to slice it up to make teeth. I must say, looking at it in the dark through the window it's a bit evil looking! (Cue Psycho knife music)

Gotta love his hat Alice made. Reminds me of a cartoon character, Aunt Flo, from a show called Bod that was on when I was a kid:

See the resemblance?
She had a ball making it and then disappeared with the neighbourhood kids to make a fort.

Sadly when we got up next morning we found that a junk mail delivery person had very kindly kicked Mr Snows head off. Wasn't that nice of them?

Sunday 1 February 2009

Creation Complete!

Lookee! I've finished Dad's Vest:

I love it! What do you all think? I would have preferred if I could have made the centre cable "disappear" a bit better at the v neck, but I think it looks good.

I'm pleased overall, it only took me 11 days! Super speed.

I've finished one Jaywalker and am just after the cuff on the second. No rush, these are SnB knitting anyway.

In other news, hubby has asked me for another jumper for his birthday! Can you believe it! I'm speechless. His birthday is Feb 29th, so we celebrate on March 1st. That leaves me 4 weeks to get it done, one of which I will be away with my parents so not too many opportunities to knit. Should be ok, right? I know I knit Dad's vest really quickly, but he's a small man and there were no sleeves. The last jumper I made for hubby took me ages, (along with all the mini crises! ) He wants it in navy too (!)

I guess I'll just see how it goes.

Any ideas for patterns for it? He's quite fussy so I'm not sure. I showed him Cobblestone and he didn't like it. He only likes round necks too. Maybe I should just pick out a cable or stitch pattern and go with the flow again?

Look what we had for dessert today; apple pie!

Isn't hubby a great cook?