Wednesday 31 March 2010

With these gifts

For what I am about to knit with, I am truly thankful.
I noticed that This Is Knit had got a new delivery of Malabrigo in.
Before I knew it, my legs had carried me down to the shop at lunchtime Like a siren, it lured me into its clutches and I left with two delicious, beautiful, soft, cuddly, nommy skeins of this:

Malabrigo Lace. Mmmm. It's just faboo. This stuff is going to become a Summit shawl. So enamoured with it am I, that I have already wound one skein in anticipation of casting on! It's amazing how much a shot of new yarn can help your mojo!
Although I'm not forgetting my Miss Potter mittens pattern that Nic gave me. That will hit the needles very soon too.

I have also wound one skein of Cascade 220 in a cornflower/pale blue to start the Hemlock Ring blanket for my friend with. I just found out she's expecting after ages of trying, and I'm so happy for her I could just dance around the house. She's going to be an amazing Mom. I've deliberated about the yarn colour, but the blue is really pale, and I think it will be ok. Anyway, I've a 50/50 chance of it being a boy, and if not, sure she can use it as a bed blanket or a lap blanket for herself! Also, who says girls can't be seen in blue!

On to WIP progress.
A pair of plain ol socks in blue for hubby:

I'm using Berroco Comfort Sock for these as there's no wool in it. He's looking forward to them already. I knew once he wore his first pair of handmade socks he'd never look back!
I really want to have these done by June as we have a special occasion coming up and I'd love him to wear them for it.

The Seamless Colourwork Yoke Sweater progresses:

I've almost finished the second sleeve. You can see in the photo above that there's not much left to do. Then I get to join them to the body and work a few inches of plain stockinette before the colourwork fun begins. Yipee! I'm really looking forward to the colourwork part. The stockinette part, not so much :)

This also arrived in the post for me today:

Nancy Bushs Knitted Lace of Estonia. *sigh* Everything looks so floaty and pretty and difficult. But I just have the lace bug at the moment, so I couldn't help myself., not that you'd know by my lack of progress on my Myrtle Leaf Shawl!
Anyway, I deserved a little something to cheer myself up.

So, I'm bringing my Mam & Dad away for a week this Easter Sunday.
For my holiday knitting, I shall be bringing:
  • The Hemlock Blanket supplies
  • The Summit supplies
  • The Plain Ol Sock
  • and maybe
  • The Seamless Colourwork Yoke Sweater
One can never over-pack knitting stuff for holidays. And I'm only going a 2 1/2 hour drive away, so it's not that luggage space is an issue ;)

I'm unsure what the internet availability will be next week. I was in the same place last year, and there was only a really weak internet signal in the hotel reception (we're staying self catering in houses about a 10 min walk from the hotel). I'll try and get online a couple of times, but in case I don't, have a great week everyone, and Happy Easter!

Sunday 28 March 2010

Ze scarf, il est fini!

I know, the French is appalling, je suis très désolée.
Anyway, the scarf is done, and Alice loves it:
As you can see by her "Irelands Next Top Model" pose.

I hope these two pictures show the Illusion effect:

It was fun to knit, but it went on a bit too long. I was glad as hell it was finished.
Pattern: Hello Kitty Illusion Scarf (Ravlink)
Yarn: King Cole Smooth, 1 ball of light & 1 ball of dark pink
Needles: 3.5mm Knit Picks Options

It was an interesting introduction to Illusion Knitting, I'll say that, and Alice thinks it's a winner so it's a thumbs up from me!
So now I have three WIPs left on the needles;
the Seamless Colourwork Yoke Sweater
the Myrtle Leaf Lace Shawl
the boring socks of never-endingness for hubby.

I am demented trying to select a yarn for the Summit shawl.
So far, I'm thinking some raspberry coloured Garnstudio Drops Alpaca
Ugh, I dunno. I'm finding it really hard to select a yarn. I don't want to buy any more if I can help it, so I'm trawling my stash.
I contacted the designer, and she said it takes about 765yds, not 900 according to the knitty pattern, so at least that gives me more options.
I shall have another trawl and see what I can come up with.
I know I've 3 wips left going, but I'm mad to start something new, something hopeful and something different.
We'll see.
Good knitting!

Friday 26 March 2010

Thinking Positive

OK, so I brought Dad to the hospital today. We got there at 9.30am, and weren't seen by the doctor until almost 12. That's nearly 2 1/2 hours. Totally unacceptable in my book.
Anyhoo, the doctor says there's a growth in my Dads bowel that's either a polyp or cancer. Apparently it's 3.5cm. Is that big? I've no clue.

She also said things are made more difficult because he has diverticulitis. Most peoples bowel walls are smooth, his is bumpy and uneven, which makes any test more dangerous for fear of perforation.

He has to go into hospital on Apr 13 for two days before another test which should tell us more.

Please God it's a polyp and not cancer, please God.

Although this means the holiday I've planned for them starting on Easter Sunday isn't going to be much fun with this hanging over us. Mam has no idea, I don't see the point in telling her and Dad agrees, she'd only be upset for a little while & then forget.

Poor Dad. He looked so small in the chair as the Dr was telling us today. I just felt helpless. All I could hear was the word cancer. His sister died at 57 from bowel cancer so I just kept thinking of her. I bet he was too. Not helped either by the Dr constantly referring to his age (87) and how everything was a high risk. STFU, he's fitter than anyone I know FFS. (Except maybe Tara, coz she has running skillz.)

I'm so scared that this could be cancer, I can't really think of anything else right now. I'm desperately trying to be positive, but I think that in order to do that, I need a bit of a pity session first to get it out of me.

I have a feeling that tonight I'm just going to get drunk and have a good cry. Then I should be able to deal with them both tomorrow.

Ok, pity party over. My knitty parcel arrved today.
More yarn from the Shetland Islands:
Extra grey 2ply jumper weight for my Seamless Colourwork Yoke Sweater:

This should be enough to finish it off.
While I was ordering it, this was on special offer:
It's 10 balls of DK weight 100% shetland wool in black. God knows what I'll make with it, but it was a bargain so I couldn't say no!
I know it's a crappy photo, but I wasn't really in the mood for special lighting today.
I've fallen in love with the pattern for Summit from the latest Knitty, I really want to make this.
There's a few of us in the Irish Knitters Group & the Dublin Knit Collective on Ravelry that are talking about a KAL. My problem, apart form my growing pile of WIP's? I've no sport weight yarn that the pattern calls for. Could I use the DK weight I just bought in black, or could I maybe use some yummy Jaggerspun Laceweight or Mongolian Cashmere I have in my stash? Would using them mean that it would turn out much larger/smaller? I'm unsure. All I'm sure about is that I lurve the pattern, and I need some knitting for the holiday I'm bringing Mam & Dad on soon & to stop me thinking negative thoughts. Any suggestions appreciated.
Speaking of the new Knitty, WTF are these all about? Gams
Maybe I'm being cruel, but, seriously? Is this an April fool? And OMG the hairy skinny model legs & the mad eyeshadow. I don't mean to cause offence, really I don't but no. Oh no. These will never see my needles or stash. No. No.No.

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Time Flies

Where does time go? I think it goes into a black hole somewhere that sucks all time away from me, leaving me bereft of knitting opportunities.
I know I haven't been feeling the knitting love, but this must be the longest I've gone where my knitting & I have been separated from each other.

Since Sunday, I've failed to finish Alice's Hello Kitty scarf. In fact, I've knit about 4 rows. I managed about 10 or 12 rounds of the second sleeve of my Colourwork sweater at knit night last night. That's it.

I just haven't had a minute, and when I manage to find one, I don't feel like knitting. I think it's a bit of a dose of stress. Dad got a phone call from the hospital yesterday, that they want to see him on Friday about his contrast CT. He had an appt scheduled for April 13, so why are they calling him in now?? I'm terrified it's bad news. I've managed to get Friday off from work (don't ask how) so I'm going with him. I can't shake a bad feeling about it. I lay awake all last night thinking about it. I'm such a naysayer, I need to quit it and learn how to think positively.

Hubby is out at band practice tonight, and I should be enjoying my girly tv and knitting furiously, but instead I'm procrastinating and wandering round the house, avoiding doing anything much.

I need to shake this restlessness!

Sunday 21 March 2010

Marvo the magician

OK, lame title, I know, but I'm all out of inspiration for this one. Magic was never my forte.
So, here's my progress on the Hello Killy Illusion Scarf for Alice:

Now you see it:

Now you don't:

Sort of. I'm not wild about it, I think poor kitty looks a bit stretched, but it's ok. I know she'll love it IF I get it finished for tomorrow. Hmm. It's getting tight now. I've two kitties and one flower done, two kitties to go.
I must say, illusion knitting is much easier than it looks, I'd certainly be tempted to give it another go some other time perhaps with better charts. But this was a great introduction to it.

In other news, poor Alice has had a bad birthday so far. She decided to have her birthday yesterday instead of Monday as she's in school and couldn't stay up late etc. So, we did presents yesterday afternoon & went to the local Indian for dinner last night.
While there, in the middle of the starter she went to the bathroom complaining that her wobby tooth was hurting her. I don't know what made me leave my food and follow her in, call it Mammys instinct I guess, but the poor mite was crying as it was bleeding & sore. In fact it was hanging off. I had a tissue and was having a look at it when it came out in my hand, and she fainted dead away in the bathroom stall. Just dropped like a sack of potatoes. I got an awful fright, she's never fainted before, nor is she afraid of the sight of blood.
I don't know how I did it but I managed to catch her. She took a good few minutes to come to and was absolutely white. Her lips were almost see through.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, the restaurant was abandoned. I had to carry her to the car. I'd say it was a good hour before she was back to herself, and even at that she was just cuddled into me.
So, not much of a birthday dinner! I'll have to make it up to her tomorrow. Hopefully if I get the scarf finished that will cheer her up. I've also got a lovely dinner planned. Poor Alice.

Anyway, I'd better get back to the knitting if I'm to get it finished!

Good knitting!

Thursday 18 March 2010

Tagged & stealth purchasing

So two themes to todays post.
First, I've been tagged! UnderMeOxter tagged me, so here's my answers:

1. Where is your cell phone?
In my handbag or my coat pocket
2, Your hair?
Mousy brown & dead straight. It was white blond when I was small, then puberty hit. There's a few nasty grey monsters creeping in, too.
3. Your mother?
Sadly suffering from dementia. Previously a very strong, personal, independent woman.
4. Your father?
A truly inspirational amazing human being. At 87 he cares for my Mam, still drives and is the choirmaster for the church. I am in awe of how amazing and cuddly my Dad is.
I thank God daily that they adopted me & gave me the life I have.
5. Your favourite food?
Indian. Any time, anywhere.
6. Your dream last night?
God, I picked a bad day to repsond to this. I dreamt I was pregnant and my baby was stillborn. What a bummer.
7. Your favourite drink?
Vodka (preferably Absolut) & diet coke, no ice.
8. Your dream/goal?
To not have to go to work every day for someone else. My total dream is to open my own yarn store.
9. What room are you in?
I'm in the living room, on the couch.
10. Your hobby?
Knitting. 24/7
11. Your fear?
Crabs. Typing their name makes me feel sick. Eww. And jellyfish. And spiders. But mainly crabs. Ugh.
12. Where do you want to be in six years?
Still happily married, with (hopefully) another child and owning my own yarn store. Dreamily I picture this being in Florida.
13. Where were you last night?
At home.
14. Something that you aren’t?
15. Muffins?
Strawberry & yoghurt
16. Wish list item?
Hand Maiden Sock Yarn or some more Pagewood Farm Chugiak Sock yarn. I loved that yarn.
17. Where did you grow up?
Dublin born & reared.
18. Last thing you did?
Attempted Illusion Knitting
19. What are you wearing?
Jeans & a top with my Jaywalker socks!
20. Your TV?
The West Wing, Bones, Heroes, Brothers & Sisters, Holby City, Desperate Housewives (I love tv) & anything with Rob Lowe in it :)
21. Your pets?
No pets any more, we had a dog, Betsy, & it broke my heart having her put down.
22. Friends?
Gosh I've very few friends. Maybe one I keep in regular contact with & one I see once or twice a year. Other than that they're all virtual. I'm very shy.
23. Your life?
Filled with knitting, & when I'm at work, thinking about knitting.
24. Your mood?
Hopeful, wistful & introspective.
25. Missing someone?
Not too badly thankfully!
26, Vehicle?
My uber sexy Chrylser Sebring Sedan Limited. (purrrrrrrrr) I lurve cars.
27. Something you’re not wearing?
Umm, I'm fully clothed, so maybe a nightie??
28. Your favourite store?
Lane Bryant, or Borders. Such a shame there aren't any in Ireland.
29. Your favourite colour?
Red or pink.
30. When was the last time you laughed?
This afternoon when talking to hubby on the phone.
31. Last time you cried?
Yesterday, thinking about my Mam
32. Your best friend?
My hubby or my BFF Ellen.
33. One place that I go to over and over?
Unsure what this means, for comfort? Home. For love? Mam & Dads. For fun & inpiration? Ravelry or Twitter. For ickyness? Work :)
34. One person who emails me regularly?
My other friend Shirley.
35. Favourite place to eat?
Shimla, an Indian restaurant local to me. NOM.

So, I need to pass this on to 6 blogs.
Here goes:
1) Dear Knits for always making me jealous with her superb knitting, outlook on life & mothering skills.
2) Knitterings for her three beautiful children, her excitement about fibre and her lovely dyeing
3) Craft Chick for her lovely crafty posts, and her love of her family. Not that I'm jealous of the beach spot. Oh no.
4) Aran Brew Not only does she knit, & spin, but she crochets & makes her own beer too! So jealous.
5) 2 Knit or not 2 knit I am in awe of the beautiful lace that she effortlessly turns out.
6) Rose Red coz I know she doesn't read my blog, but I read (& love) hers and I miss her shoe posts.

OK. so thats the tag done, on to the stealth shopping.
I'm off work today & tomorrow, tagging on the two days to St Patricks Day to give myself some time off. Deserved I say, but others may differ. I feel a little bit bad that I haven't told my Mam & Dad, but I think I need this time to myself to recharge my batteries. Not to mention regain my knitting mojo.

Speaking of mojo, NicKnits read my last post bemoaning the loss of my mojo and really kindly sent me her pattern for Miss Potter Mittens. Thank you! That made my day. I shall knit them as soon as I get my latest project off the needles, I promise.
I can't believe I'm such a bad Mom that I've only realised that Alice is 9 (9!!!!!!!!!!) on Monday.
I have presents bought for her, but shame on me, I've nothing knitty made for her. So I searched and found the Hello Kitty Illusion Scarf. A winner, I declare, as it's pink & Hello Kitty. So, it's a new technique, & due by Monday. Do you think I can do it? Fingers crossed!

Anyway, of course this required a trip to one of my LYS to get light & dark pink yarn.
This is what I grabbed:

It's King Cole acrylic Smooth DK. I must admit, it's very soft & smooth to the touch. Let's hope that a) I get the scarf done in time & b) she likes it!

So while I was there, I just couldn't buy two balls of yarn. Are you mad?
I left with these too:

3 balls of Lang Alpaca Superlight. It's like Kidsilk Haze, only Alpaca and a quarter of the price. God knows what I'll knit with it, but I've about 700 yards of it.

I also bought another skein of Wendy Happy, in Pluto to make some socks for hubby. This was a total impulse buy too, as I think it will only look good in a plain vanilla sock, & I'd lose my marbles knitting a mans sock in plain knitting. The things we do for those we love.

I did have another pattern idea rattling round my head, but after much swatching & cursing I think it may have also bitten the dust. Designing is hard y'all!

Good knitting & happy weekend!

Monday 15 March 2010

Desperately seeking Inspiration

A thoroughly uninspiring blog post today.
I'm totally out of inspration. I feel like I'm plodding along in a mire of slow progress with very little to show.
I've done 27 out of 30 repeats on my Myrtle Leaf Shawl. Not worth photographing, it's the same as before, just a bit longer.
My Seamless Colourwork Yoke Sweater progresses (boringly). I've finished the body and one sleeve.
Here's my progress on a phoney seam on the sleeve. I was a bit dubious about its merits but decided I'd try it on this garment. So far, I've been converted.

It lies much flatter where I've done the seam, so I can immediately see the difference it will make when blocking. Isn't mad how much yarn is revealed when you drop down one stitch? I was petrified when I was letting it drop down, and even more so when I saw the yawning gap it left! But, once I picked it up according to EZ's instructions, there is no gap and it does look really good. My bravery has been rewarded.

Nothing else knitty to report, like I said, I'm completely out of inspiration. I'd love to find a project that I loved so much I couldn't put down, but so far it eludes me.
Plus, I'm off work Wed (for St. Patricks Day), Thur & Fri (all alone yay!) this week, so I've LOADS of potential luvly knitty time ahead of me. I shall search Ravely once more seeking the project-that-must-be-knit-NOW.

I tried out the granny square from a crochet book I recently snagged for a few bob in a discount book store recently, Crochet Lace
I was up at 7am last Sat and got cracking. Unfortunately, I neglected to take a photo of it. A shame, really, as it turned out quite nicely, but it was circular rather than square. I suck at reading crochet patterns. I truly do. :(

A lovely weekend was had here, on Saturday we went to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D at the local cinema. It was brilliant, I really enjoyed it. Afterwards we went out for a Thai meal. NOM.
On Sunday I had Mam, Dad & my aunt round for dinner for a belated birthday dinner for Dad, & a Mothers Day dinner for Mam.
Poor Dad had a rough week. Colonoscopy no 2 didn't work & they kept him in the hospital on Thurs night. He had a dye injected and was sent for a contrast CT scan instead on Friday morning. We won't know the results for 6 weeks, 6!!!!! How ridiculous. Poor Dad is very worried that theres something sinister going on, as his sister died of bowel cancer when I was a teenager.
Hopefully everything will be ok.
Anyway, much fun was had by everyone on Sunday:

The birthday boy (87, Peter Pan eat your heart out!), my Mam, me & Alice.
I love you Mam & Dad.

Alice made me a gorgeous card for Mothers Day:

She's really becoming quite the cardmaker, she loves it.
I brought her to the local craft shop on Saturday (that doesn't sell yarn grr) and she happily spent €30 on craft stuff. I don't mind if I keep getting lovely cards like this!

If you have project ideas that really inspired you, let me know!
Good knitting!

Sunday 7 March 2010

Blogful of nothing

Right. Here goes. This blog post is a post full of nothingness really. It's a vain attempt to avoid a stinging reply to a nutjob on Ravelry who has got me all riled up. What I really want to post is:

F*** you mad person on Ravelry, I am not going to respond to your nutjobness and lower myself to reply to you, so I use this, my personal blog space, to say F*** you. Might I suggest using Google to discover ways that you can F*** yourself?

Ahhh thats better. Now onto more suitable blog fodder:

The seamless colourwork yoke sweater progresses:

I know it's not much to look at, stocking stitch is like that I guess. This here is 16" of stocking stitch in the round with two lots of short rows built in to avoid riding up of sweaterness over my ample belly.

Anyhoo, I have a dilemma. I have 3 balls of my main colour grey left:

There are allegedly 125yds in a ball. Although the ball band doesn't give yardage. Anyway, I have 3 and a small bit balls left. I'd like to make the body an inch longer, and I've the sleeves to do yet. I will need a small amount for the colourwork yoke too. Will I have enough? I've decided to do the sleeves first and then see how much I have left. If I do run out, I hope the dye lots aren't too different, and I can maybe order some more and it'll fit into the yoke part. Hopefully.

This sock is on a tight rope:

My Bex socks. I haven't knit these since, well I'm not sure, but it must be at least 4 or 5 weeks. And I'm looking at them now and thinking, meh, I'm not sure I love you anymore. It's very sad. Like breaking up with a boyfriend (so I believe, I never broke up with anyone, they always broke up with me). What line should I use? "It's not you, it's me", or "the yarn choice came between us"? or "maybe we can hook up again some other time"?

Whatever way I say it, I think these may dive into the frog pond to re-emerge another time.
Speaking of frog ponds, I'd love to find a little frog china thingy to use in my pictures when I frog stuff. Other bloggers have adorable little froggies for thier pictures. I wants one.

So my failed Ravelympics project, the Myrtle Leaf Stole continues:

I'm at 26 out of 40 repeats with a border to knit on afterwards.
Problem? Same as above, actually, I'm not sure I'll have enough yarn!
I have this much left:

It's going to be close. And if I do run out, I'm screwed coz I can't get any more. Fingers crossed I'll have enough! I wonder should I do a few less repeats just in case? Although knowing my luck, if I do that, I'll end up with loads left and I'll be kicking myself that I didn't do the full no. of repeats.

Now onto some advice seeking. I've a design in me dying to break free. It all began when I saw the Norwegian's trousers at the curling event in the Winter Olympics:

I lurved these trousers. I said to hubby, I must knit something from these. The all too obvious pattern was something harlequin in multiple colours, but I have always wanted to design a pair of socks, so I decided to use them as inspiration instead.
Alas, I have fallen om my sword. I have been a whole week trying to get this picture to turn into a swatch:

What I want is a diamond within a diamond, either horizontal as above, or vertical with either a ktbl or single cable dividing the pattern repeat. Only trouble is, I can't do it! I've tried loads of different methods, including making the stitch repeat larger but to no avail. I think this may end up in the design graveyard. What a shame as it was my first ever knitty idea.

So the weekend is over and tomorrow brings another shitty work week ahead.
Still, the week after next is St. Patricks day, and I'm tagging on to the day off so I'll have the Wendesday, Thursday & Friday off. Woot!
Good knitting!