Sunday 29 November 2009

Twit whoo!

Thanks everyone for the cowl pattern suggestions!

It's been a pretty horrible weekend here weather wise, but I have rectified that damp cold feeling with this gloriously quick and yummy project.

I had been thinking of making an owls jumper, but I realised that it probably won't happen until after Christmas, so I decided instead to make this:

Pattern: Owl Cowl
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Grande
Needles: 8mm Knit Picks Options
Not sure if I'll enter this into the Simon Cowl category of the X Factor competition though, I think it was meant to be an original design, but hey. I love it.
Apologies for the second photo, I'm wearing tatty old comfy house clothes, I hadn't brushed my hair, and it's so dark that this was the best photo I could get.
I love this pattern. It was really quick and easy. The yarn is just fabulous too, so soft and scrummy that I could happily dive into a vat of it, never to be seen again. However, it did shed like my dog I had years ago. There was "fur" everywhere. Do not knit with this if you're wearing a nice top!
The weather here today is just rotten. Howly (like the owl reference???) winds, lashing rain and just miserably cold. The perfect day for sitting in your comfy tatty clothes, knitting away and watching movies on tv.
I've a yummy dinner merrily cooking away: ham, potatoes, cauliflower and cheese sauce. Mmmm NOM NOM.
I gave in to the pre Christmas crap yesterday and bought a chocolate Yule log too, so there may be an ickle (heh, HUGE) slice of that for dessert.
Dad is almost better, so hopefully I won't have to do so much running around next week. Suffice to say I'm worn out after last week, and particularly yesterday.
I made their dinner after buying it from the shops, went back down to collect his pension, went back down twice more to leave in his prescripton and collect it, cleaned their house, washed the dishes and gave my Mam a shower. Then I dropped her to the hairdressers and collected her afterwards.
Then, I came home to try and do something with my own filthy pit of a house. Yeah, let's just say it's still a filthy pit. But y'know what? I don't care. I'm happy in it. For another week at least.
Good knitting!

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Mini Madness

OK, so I'm up off my death bed. Only just, mind you. I doubt I'll be running a marathon in the next while, but at least I can function again.

And, I can knit again! Yay! It was horrible to be separated from my friend the knitting needle for so long. I felt bereft and empty.

I found this pic on my camera of the Liberty Bell Afghan all parcelled up and ready to go in the house in Florida for my sister in law. Looks good, huh? I got the basket and wrapping from Michaels and I've left it there for her to find.

Right. Down to biznazz. Once I'd sufficiently recovered I returned to knitting with a vengeance. Remember Alice asked me for a hat with earflaps?

Here you go, hun:
Needles: I think 4.5mm Addi Clicks and dpns
Yarn: Cascade 220 less than one skein of each colour

I got gauge and knit according to the pattern but this still turned out HUGE. So huge that I haven't blocked it for fear she might get lost in it when she puts it on. It's a bit ridiculous looking to be honest, but she loves it and won't give it back, so that's that I guess.
Her verdict: "You rock Mom, it's way cool". So glad I could oblige. She's so easily pleased it's a pleasure to knit for her. Bless.

If anyone else wants gratuitous praise for completed projects, she's available to rent. Just pm me for details.

I finished the second Noro Striped Scarf for my Dad for Christmas.
I love this pattern. The finished results look great and it's a really warm and snuggly scarf. Hubby has worn his one nearly every day and loves it. Pretty amazing considering this yarn has 50% wool, and he hates wool!

So on to the blog post title. I have been bitten by the mini knitting instant gratification bug.
I cracked open the Knit Picks Christmas Ornament kit the other day thinking that I could manage a little project whilst I recuperate.

Well, I've managed a few so far...
Mini Hat

Mini Colourwork Sweater:

Mini Scarf:

Mini Stripy Sweater:

Mini Mitten:

I may end up having to get another tree to hang all this crap from. I'm going to have to get some stuffing too for the fairy lights chain and the sweets etc.

I'm always coming up with these great ideas of stuff to make and then when I start them they're not nearly as much fun as I think they're going to be.
Although that's maybe a bit disingenuous to the kit. The little sweaters are cute.

In sad news, I am without a sock at present. My car is in the garage for repair, and my sock is in the glove box! Oh noes! I hope it's ok and not too cold or lonely in the dark box. I'll make it up to it when I get it back. In the meantime I am sock-project-less. Not a nice place to be.
So, I wound my ball of Plymouth Alpaca Baby Grande last night.
(I never said the two things made sense together). I needed a project for the knitting group, and hadn't the time to choose a sock pattern & sock yarn so I grabbed the Alpaca and ran with the intention of knitting a cowl so I could enter this competition being run by a knitty friend. It's an X Factor knitting challenge and I thought I could enter the Simon Cowl category.

I decided to try this pattern, but I didn't like it after a couple of repeats. So I'm on the hunt for a nice cowl pattern that can be made with one skein of Plymouth Alpaca Baby Grande.
So I need a pattern quick! Any ideas?
Good Knitting!

Monday 16 November 2009

Sick as a dog

Me not well. Very not well.
Since Thursday I've been in a heap.

I actually thought I might have had swine flu I felt so awful. I finally managed to drag my ass to the doctor this morning and he said it's not swine flu, but a bad infection. Infection? More like runover with a train.
Anyway I'm off work for a week and on steroids.
A measure of how sick I am? I can't even knit. Typing this makes me want to go lie down for a while. So, hopefully normal service will resume in a few days.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Guess who's back, back again...

I know I was missing for a bit before I went away, but I swear, teacher, I do have a good excuse!
I won't get into the specifics as that would involve a lengthy post all on its own, but suffice to say that Dad got suddenly ill on the Saturday before I was due to go away. ( I found him collapsed on the bedroom floor where he'd been for 6 hours, but didn't call me as "he didn't want to bother me"). So bad I had to call an ambulance and he was admitted to hospital. The social worker got involved and refused to release him into the current home situation (caring for my Mam).
I finally managed to get him released on the Wed evening after I had organised a private health care crowd to call every day while I was on holidays, at a cost of approx €1000 for me.
So, I was due to fly out on Thurs morning, and I only knew for sure I was going on Wed night.
I shall summarise and say that I genuinely thought this holiday wasn't going to happen, and even when it did, I was so stressed out that the first week was kind of a blur.
I did manage to have a good time, and I did do some yarn shopping.
Before the pron goodness, I must say a very large thank you to my hubby, John. He was an absolute rock during the crisis with my Dad, as he constantly is with my Mam. I don't think I could cope with them on my own. He really is a superstar. I love you.

Ok, slushy stuff over, let's get down to the knitty yarn pron gritty.
Bear in mind that I was much more restrained this year due to the current economic climate...
So I bought the following in no particular order:
Sugar n Cream Stripy stuff in various colours:

Patons Classic Wool as Alice specifically asked me for a Sock Monkey from the free pattern that accompanied it. I know, I KNOW it's toy knitting, but I was BEGGED. What can you do?

Then I found the bead section in Michaels. Short story = I went mad buying stuff to make stitch markers. Watch this space for exciting new stitch marker discovery stuff.

So I also bought some yum:
Berocco Ultra Alpaca Fine

What a yum colour.

Some Cascade 220 as you can't go wrong with it:

Some Louet Riverstone as I fell in love with the colour but have no idea what to make with it:

Some more Sugar n Cream:

And then I went Knit Picks shopping.
I bought the Christmas tree ornament kit:
All Palette yarn, and needing to be knit asap.
I got my hands on the Maeve Fair Isle Mittens and Scarf kit:

I also grabbed some Essential tweedy sock yarn:
I shopped further afield and grabbed:
Fibranatura Yummy:

And scoop of all scoops...
Malabrigo Sock!!!
So that seems to be all of my purchases.
Project news:
The Noro Striped scarf is complete, in fact hubby wore it to work this morning. I have enough left over to make one for my Dad for Christmas.

This was my airplane and holiday knitting. Due to the flake out/total destress/in a heap nature on my holiday I'm very sad to report that there are no fantastico by the pool looking sexy avec la sock photos. But I do attest that some sexy by the pool fantastico sexy avec la sock knitting did take place. It was thououghly enjoyed by both me and the sock. Between the flights and the lounging, this is how much I managed to get through:
One and a half socks. Not bad going when you factor in all the sunbathing, swimming, park visiting and shopping. Not to mention the odd drinkie. Odd. Definitely odd. ok?
It was a great break, once I managed to let go.
I can't tell you how stressful it was, not knowing whether I was going or not until the afternoon before the flight. My poor Dad, he felt so guilty for getting sick, and my Mam? Oblivious.
There is a whole heap more to this story, if you want to know, feel free to ask. I just didn't want t0 clog the knitty place with any more personal stuff. Suffice to say that I spent most of this holiday either on the phone to Mam & Dad or the hospital workers, or worrying about them. I figure this will be my last holiday until they pass.
So I now have been given my Christmas orders. Hubby wants a new sweater that doesn't have "boobies" (see previous posts) and Alice wants a matching hat and mittens set, but the hat "HAS" to have ear flaps as they (her ears) "get really cold and I can't learn in school coz all I think about is my cold ears", plus they're COOL. OK so, a hat with ear flaps it is.