Saturday 26 June 2010

Super Saturday

The weather has been really beautiful here today. As a result not much knitting got done.
I started Alice's second sock so that I have something portable to bring with me instead of Dads vest.
Speaking of Dads vest, I made a cock up converting the stitch pattern to the round that meant I had to rip back 9 rows of 264 stitches. This does not a happy camper make.
So, I've recharted it and started again.
I've decided not to post pictures of this project, as I may or may not submit it to a magazine if it goes well. I think it makes a lovely vest for a man, well, it will if it works out!

So in place of knitting in the heat today, Alice & I got creative in the garden.
This started out as a door hanger that looked like a cute snail in the picture, but we decided to morph it into something more Alice's style. In other words, make it more monster like :)

Introducing Goooogly the door hanger. I think he's cool. The spiders & skull came from a packet of Halloween confetti I bought in the States last year. The rest came from a craft pack I bought her last week in Inspiring Ideas. It's full of great stuff like foam, felt, stickers, coloured pipe cleaners and of course googly eyes. We had great fun making him today.

Speaking of Alice, I think she looks great in this picture. Look at all her freckles! The sun brings out the best in everyone I think :)

As is demonstrated above. Hubby brought these home for me today when I got back from Mam & Dads. Aren't they lovely? They really brighten up the room.
I hope the weather stays nice tomorrow too, then I might get out in the garden with my yarn & needles. A little "me" time would be nice.

Good knitting!

Tuesday 22 June 2010

Wall Street Crash

So remember last post I said I was starting Wall Street Cables with the Drops Karisma I bought on WWKIP day? Yeah. Not so much.
I took Dads measurements and checked the pattern. No size for him. XS is 36" and S is 41 1/2". 41 1/2" for a Small? Dad is a 38" chest.
Ok, I said, I can up size from the XS. So I do a gauge swatch. Gauge in the pattern is 9sts to 1"
For DK weight yarn? On 4mm needles? Couldn't do it. I was getting 7sts to 1".
That was just too much math for me. I decided it was out.

So what now? Well I decided to get all EZ over it. I took out my Barbara Walker Stitch Treasury Vol 2 and decided on the Rib & Braid stitch. I looked through my EZ books, and decided on a Kangaroo Pouch sweater. Righty ho, let's go!

It involves steeking. Ooer. I did a steeking class with Jared Flood, aka BrooklynTweed last year so I kind of understand it. He used the crochet version, EZ used the machine sewn version. I'm terrified of doing it, but I'm going to be fearless and all that.
So I've done the math, I've converted the stitch pattern to the round and charted it out, and have cast on. I'm on the ribbing and contemplating the pattern. I'm really hoping this goes well, if it does, it'll be my first proper pattern. And in the round. Go me!

I've finished Alice's first Double Lace Ribbing Sock:

It's turned out well, I think. It fits her perfectly and she loves it. So all I need to do is cast on for the second one! I don't know when I'll get to it, as I'm feeling the Dad vest mojo at the moment, so we'll see. Maybe at the weekend.

In other news, it's my birthday today.
Here's my pressie haul:

A fab coaster that looks to be a reproduction from a war message. The caption says "Mend & make do to save buying new". Isn't it great?

This one is adorable, a reproduction of a Jaeger knitting ad. Cute cartoon kiddies knitting.

I don't know what children's show this guy is from, but squeeze his tummy & he makes the most adorable baa sounds! Aww.

This has to be my fave. Sheepie Lego! Lego! That's a sheep! Brilliant.
Hubby also said he'll give me money to spend at Knit Nation next month. Result!

Alice made me this card:

I love it. She's so good, she took ages to make sure it was right. Bless.

Dad bought me a huge Chocolate Fudge cake and a bottle of champagne. He walked down to the shops and ordered the cake and carried the champagne home. Then rang me & got me to collect the cake on my way home! I couldn't believe he carried the champagne home, I was delighted and mad at the same time.

He's doing quite well, obviously, after his excursion! I'm pleased with his progress.

And the weather has been amazing here recently. Things are looking up.

Saturday 19 June 2010

More Bebeh Goodness

I'm on quite the baby knitting kick. Although, I did think I would have this finished sooner.
I started this last Saturday night when I got home from WWKIP, thinking I could squeeze this in quite nicely before Dads vest.

Pattern: Seamless Yoked Baby Sweater by Carole Barenys Ravlink AlternateLink
Yarn: King Cole Smooth DK a smidge over 1 skein
Needles: 3.75mm circs & 3.5mm dpns

An enjoyable knit, particularly due to the lack of seams. We all know how I feel about seams!
The only problem I had was one of my own making. It was driving me nuts doing the sleeves on magic loop as they were so small, so I went looking for some dpns. All I had were wooden in 3.5mm. Now this yarn is acrylic. Have you ever tried knitting with acrylic yarn on wooden needles? You may as well use needles wrapped in sticky tape with the sticky part facing outwards. Nightmare. I'd say the sleeves took me nearly as long as the rest of the sweater to do. Amid much swearing & general arrgh moments.
But, that's my fault, not the sweaters. It's the innocent bystander caught in the crossfire between me, acrylic yarn & wooden needles.

This sweater is for my friends baby, as I'm sure I've already mentioned. I don't know the sex, so I'm having to make everything neutral.
The thing is, I think maybe these buttons are a bit girly for a neutral cardi? What if it's a boy? Still suitable?

I'm not sure. But, twitter friends suggested holding on to it until Sept (due date) & if it's a boy change them then. Thing is, my friend lives in Galway, so I'm probably not going to get to see her. I was planning on leaving these baby things with her mother during the summer. I might see what else I can find. I really don't want to go to a yarn store for buttons though, temptation & all that. (See last post).

Still, definitely a pattern I'll make again, a nice effective baby garment with no seams (yay)

In other news, I found my copy of One Skein! Woo!
Don't ask, it was buried under a pile of IK magazines. I found it while emptying a bookcase, as we hope to switch Alices room to the bigger room in the house over the next few weeks. I think it's time she had more space.
Aaaaanyway, One Skein! More petal baby bibs!
I think I'm losing it a bit though.

I have this yarn, Araucania Nature Cotton that I bought on sale a while back specifically to make these bibs with. Problem? It's bulky weight, abd the pattern asks for sport weight. Too much of a leap methinks. I'd love to use this cotton as it's orange (a perfect neutral baby colour) and cotton = great for bibs. I must search bib patterns for bulky yarn.
In the meantime I'll whip up a couple of bibs using my trusty other cotton yarn that never lets me down. :)

Progress continues in Alices socks. I'm almost at the ribbing of the first one. The pattern is really simple & lovely to do, I'm just doing it when in between other things, or frustrated by a pattern (or sticky tape acrylic yarn needles grr)

For my next trick, I'm gauge swatching today for Dads vest, the Wall Street Cables Ravlink AlternateLink. I can't wait to get started on this!

BTW, just a couple of small things. I hope you still like the blog template, I changed some text colours etc to make it more easily readable.

I'm also going to try to provide more than just a Ravelry link to things if I can. Someone asked me to provide sources other than Ravelry.
Only if I can, though, I'm not going to spend all day looking for an alternate link! :)

Lastly, I'm going to moderate comments on this blog just for a short while. I seem to have become the target of a chinese porn/illegal tv peddler who creates new blogs & spams me with comments in chinese with links to the sites. This kind of thing drives me nuts. I'd hate someone to visit my blog & see this kind of comment and think I'd left it there. I've been deleting them & reporting them as spam as soon as I can, but I couldn't guarantee that I'd always notice quickly enough.
It's only for a short while, until they get bored with me & f*** off, and don't worry, I'll publish every other comment!

Sunday 13 June 2010

WWKIP & More Stash Enhancement

This has got to stop. I can't keep on accumulating stash like this, it's going to take over soon!
But it's so hard to resist when delicious fibres come your way.
Remember I was in Cushendale Wollen Mills at Easter?
I had seen this yarn and fallen in lust (again) with it, but they didn't have enough skeins. I wanted 10 to be sure I had enough for a sweater. The lady in the mill shop took my details and told me she'd call when they did a new dye lot.
So she rang me on Thursday, and I got it on Friday! That's great service.
There's a massive 218 yds in each one of these skeins, so I have a total of 2180 yds for €45. €4.50 a skein is just ridiculously good value.
I've been thinking of what to knit with it, and am a bit stumped. I want this to be a really special sweater for me, to remind me of the lovely mills and make the most of this lovely Irish yarn.

I initially thought of this pattern: Viking Turid by Elsebeth Lavold, but am unsure about the diamond placement, it's right where I wouldn't want it to be, on my wobbly bits.
I'll keep searching as I'm sure I'll find the perfect pattern!

So yesterday was WWKIP day. I really didn't think I was going to make it, but hubby was great. He brought my Mam to the hairdressers & collected her afterwards. He also dropped Alice to my friends house for her sons birthday party & collected her. Thanks hun!
So, once I'd made the dinner for Mam & Dad and washed up afterwards, I zipped into town full of excitement. I always love this day. It's great to meet people you haven't seen for a while, and to meet new knitters too!
In my excitment I forgot my camera (duh) but Elven took some really lovely ones here: Photos
I hope you don't mind me linking to your photos!
Number 9 is my handbag with my Wollmeise peeking out of the top :)
We sat and chatted for ages, ate some gorgeous ice-cream, buns, cookies & apple pie (thanks guys for baking!) and generally had a ball. So much fun. I got home at around 7pm bumsore (from sitting on hard ground) and happy.
Of course, I couldn't let the day go un-marked, could I ;)
I detoured via This Is Knit as I'd heard they had a new delivery of Irish artisan hand dyed yarns in.
They had Dublin Dye Company, Gaiety Girl and Hedgehog Fibres in. I've been dying to try Hedgehog Fibres for ages now, I'd heard so much about it.
Well colour me swooned. It's a-maz-ing stuff.
Check this out:
Sock Yarn in a deliciously evil type colourway called Sour Cherry. Just gorgeous. So squishy and the intensity of the colour!

And this:
Silk Lace. Oh my. The colour of the yarn is Magic Mushroom (love!) and there's 1km of laceweight 100% silk in this baby. 1km!!! Unbelievable value at €28.95.
It's so soft and mushy and full of *sigh*. That's the best way I can describe it.
I can't wait to find a lovely pattern for it!
So, as if that weren't enough, I met up with The Constant Knitter at WWKIP to collect some yarn from her. Thanks for bringing it for me!:
Drops Karisma, a DK weight superwash 100% wool for Dad's Wall Street Cables vest.
Another really great value yarn, 1680 yds for €37.80! Dirt cheap!
Plus, it comes with a free monster:

Heh. I wonder what my monster will turn out like?
Hubby & daughter are busy gardening. We've planted:

Strawberries. Drool. My favourite fruit. I can't wait to have a bowl of these babies with some fresh cream!
Sweet peas, petunias, geraniums
And chilis! Nom. We have 4 different types planted:
Californian Wonder
Yolo Wonder
Chili Jalapeno
Chili Cayenne
Can't wait to see if we get any fruit from them!
BTW, what do you think of the new blog template? I just fancied a change.

Wednesday 9 June 2010

Toe up Progress

So progress continues on Alice's toe up socks:

It took me two attempts on the heel, but I think I've got it now.
They fit her perfectly, and she loves them so far!
I have to say this is a really easy stitch pattern, only a four row repeat, and two of them are just ribbing. If it weren't for the messy short row toes & heels, I'd be truly happy. Although now I've done the heel on the first one, it's plain sailing now until the toe of the second one.
I'd love to have these done asap.
My book for Dads vest arrived today, I've a note from the postman to collect it. Hopefully I'll get there tomorrow, I'm really keen to start this vest for him!
It's World Wide Knit In Public Day on Saturday. I've organised a meet up in St Stephens Green from 2 - 5pm. If anyone is around, it'd be great to see you!
Here's a link to a flier I made : Flier
Although after my work to organise it, I'm not sure I'll be able to make it.
Every saturday I go round to Mam & Dad, give Mam a shower, make the dinner, clean the house & bring Mam to the hairdresser at 2.30 & collect her at 3.30.
It's also my friends little boys 3rd birthday and she's asked me & Alice to a party in her house.
So, I'm hoping I can go round to Mams, make the dinner etc, and maybe John will bring her & collect her from the hairdresser for me. Then I could go into town for an hour or so, drive back home, get Alice & go to the party.
Sounds exhausting just typing it!
Good Knitting!

Monday 7 June 2010


So my title names are getting worse. I know. I need a book of "Good Blog Titles" as I'm running short.
I decided Instant Gratification was working for me, and decided to continue the theme.

I went with the ever popular Saartjes Booties:

Pattern: Saartjes Booties (Ravlink)
Yarn: Garnstudio Drops Alpaca from The Constant Knitter
Needles: 3mm circs
Supposedly an easy pattern. I sometimes struggle with easy patterns. It's like I subconsciously think these are too easy and therefore there must be some hidden difficulty somewhere. Which usually results in a mess. As is proven by this time. It took me 4 booties to get this result, and I still think one of them looks wonky.
Well, I'm not doing it again, so this is as good as it gets.
It's being added to the ever increasing pile of baby stuff for my friend. This makes it now a hemlock ring blanket, a cutie bonnet & some booties. I reckon a cardigan and that's it.

In the meantime, I gave up on the Pomatomus socks. It's another one of those patterns that's just not going to work for me, so I've finally consigned it to the "never to be knit again" bin.
I was spending some happy time yesterday looking for a different pattern for my yummy peacock coloured Wollmeise, when in comes Alice.
She demands some socks.
Ok, I say, well here's your choice of yarn. (I pull out all my leftover skeins of sock yarn).
She spends about a half hour looking through my sock pattern books and decides on Double Lace Ribbing Socks (ravlink) using the last of my Clementine Wollmeise.
How can I refuse? It's so great that she loves hand knit items that I feel great every time she asks for some.
Progress so far:

I would have been farther along if it weren't for the pesky booties, and for the fact that I messed up.
I decided to do these socks toe up to make sure I had enough yarn.
I measured her feet, and even did a gauge swatch! Go me!
So I knit them up, and was unsure when to start the heel. I consulted the book the pattern is from, "More Sensational Knitted Socks" and it says knit until socks are desired length. Huh?
So I checked Wendy Johnsons "Socks from the Toe Up" and it said knit until 2 1/2" from the desired length before starting the short row heel. Ok, Wendy, I said, and did as she instructed. Oh no. Socks were WAY too short on the foot. So now I'm trying Charlene's instructions and knitting the socks until they're the full foot length before starting the short row heel.
I think the reason they went so wrong is that they're kids socks, and their feet are so much smaller. Alice's feet are 8" round and 8" long.

So, we'll see how the new attempt goes.

Good knitting!

Saturday 5 June 2010

Baby Cuteness!

First off, thanks to everyone for their kind suggestions on places I can get the patterns for the vests I mentioned last time.
I actually went browsing on the interwebz and I found a copy of Arans & Celtics: The Best of Knitters Magazine for just over €9 online, so I snapped it up. This book contains the pattern for the Wall Street Cables vest. I'm really looking forward to getting it & getting started on making Dads replacement vest. The book also has some other nice cable patterns that I might make later on.

In the meantime, I was in need of some instant gratification to cheer me up. I saw this project made by a Ravelry friend and really loved it, so I decided to cast on straight away.

Pattern: B18-12 Bonnet in Alpaca in Wavy Pattern (catchy title, huh?)
Yarn: Garnstudio Drops Alpaca in shade 100, cream. Less than 1 skein
Needles: 3mm circs

I really loved knitting this cutie patootie bonnet for my pregnant friend. You never see babies anymore wearing bonnets, and I think this one is just gorgeous.
I can just imagine pudgy baby cheeks in this. NOM!
I think the colour of the yarn was perfect too, almost vintage looking.

Apologies for the use of Alices creepy baby doll, I wanted to get a picture of the bonnet on a head rather than just on the vase. I hate this doll, I think it looks like a creepy evil doll that is just waiting for you to fall asleep and then it'll come to life and suck your brains out or something, Chucky style.
OK, maybe a bit gratuitous and off topic there, sorry.

Final shot. Isn't it great? And it only took me about 3 tv evenings to do. Lovely instant gratification. It definitely won't be the last time I make one of these. And the Drops Alpaca yarn? Love it. Not the first time I've used it, and not the last. It is a bit sheddy, but so soft and blooms beautifully.
In personal news, Dad is recovering slowly at home. It's all about establishing a routine now and feeding him up. I'm off round there now to make him a nice turkey dinner, and if he's good maybe even a dessert :)
It's a bank holiday weekend here (woohoo) so I'm looking forward to maybe getting some "me" time this weekend too.
Good knitting!