Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week 2015 announced

Not sure there is much more to add to the title!  Blog week has been announced and I will be taking part again for sure.  Check out this link for more information.  I always really enjoy the week and end up discovering loads more blogs to add to my reader, never a bad thing during night feeds.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, 9 March 2015

FO: Simplicity 1325

This one is a bit of a meh and I wasn't sure whether I'd bother posting about it. However, I made it and it is a successful garment including some firsts for me so I'm proud of it even though it's kinda not awesome. Also my photos suck because I wasn't really feeling motivated to show this off too much. With that out of the way, let's go!

Simplicity 1325 is one of those pattern I just had to have as soon as I saw it, just for the dress though, I probably won't make any of the other garments. After I cut out the pieces for my Moss Mini I had loads of fabric left so I cut all the pieces for this too. I went for the tunic length of the dress, which in hindsight was my first mistake. It was winter and I could see me wearing it with leggings and boots and the dress length seemed too long for that.

This was pretty straightforward to sew, the bodice is lined so no messing around with floppy facings. Getting the v neck perfect was a bit fiddly and mine isn't quite right, but next time I'll do better. The instructions for the lapped zip were a bit lacking, but as always You Tube was my friend. I'm really pleased with how the dress itself turned out and I'm keen to sew it again soon, but longer and in a smaller size.

Essentially I need to be less lazy, the perfect length for me is really halfway between the tunic and dress length. I need to trace the whole thing again one size smaller, so I'll take the time to get the skirt length perfect. I'll also line the bodice in a matching fabric instead of pink polka dots, because as careful as I was it does show through. Onwards and upwards, hopefully I'll have a really great version of this to show soon.


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

FO: Nymphalidea

I don't knit a lot of shawls because they take forever to knit and it's not worth it because I'll never wear them. Or so I tell myself every time I stick one in my queue. "Hmm, pretty" says my brain," but you know you'll never knit it". Well, take that brain, one shawl done in just over a week and it's super dooper wearable. Ha.

I know I mentioned in my last post that this was a very simple and compelling knit and that held true right til the end. I was even considering throwing in a few more repeats, just for fun (well mainly because I had a bit of yarn left really) but I have lots of projects that I'm itching to start so I didn't. I'll totally knit this again some day and I will probably make that one a bit longer and follow the instructions to make the top edge a little straighter from the extra pattern PDF that I, typically, didn't discover until I'd nearly finished. The blocking instructions are on the same PDF so I vaguely followed those. I could have got the top a little straighter, but I'm lazy and I'll mostly wear this like a scarf so no one will ever know.

Anyways, there's not much for me to add here. I loved knitting this and I love the finished item, it's so bright and cheerful how could I not?

Pattern: Nymphalidea by Melinda VerMeer

Despite having loads of projects I want to crack on with I have actually had a bit of trouble deciding what to cast on next. Really I should be getting on with my first Christmas knit, which was due on 28th Feb. I'd procrastinated about yarn for ages and kept changing my mind but I think I've settled on something from my stash now, so I will start that soon. I considered starting another shawl, Stratigraphy again by Melinda VerMeer, but unlike Nymphalidea that starts with casting on a buttload of stitches and I wasn't really in the mood for really long rows so I actually picked up my Greenwich socks instead and knit on them while I did some more procrastinating. And now I've finally finished the first one. It's only taken me since June! I wonder how long the second one will take?


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Brightening things up a bit

Much as I generally love winter the weather here can currently be described in no other way than 'grey'. Although dreary and drab wouldn't be unfair descriptions either. So when picking new knitting and spinning projects I was clearly looking for something to provide my eyeballs with a bit of a pick me up. From my box of ready to go knitting projects I picked this bag

And from my big bag of fibre

I picked this

The pattern I had matched up with the yarn was Nymphalidea and I'm really chuffed with my choice. The rainbowy goodness of the Drops Delight is set off really nicely by the black stripes. The black yarn is some random Rowan 4-ply I bought on a cone from eBay years ago and I'm really glad to be finally using some of it. The pattern itself is really fun and the little sections make it seem like it is growing really fast. The short rows in it really help as no matter how long the rows get 4 out of 12 rows are 22 stitches or shorter, which is a welcome break as the rows get longer.

I haven't got quite so far with the fibre. There is 200g of South American of which I left 1/3 in white, dyed 1/3 neon pink and split the final 1/3 in half and dyed those bits orange and purple. The plan is to make a 3ply with one white strand, one pink strand and one strand with the orange and purple striping. In my mind this will be nice and bright with a subtle variation, only time will tell if it will work out that way. So far I've only spun a bit of the white, I'll spare you a photograph of that! I had a go at spinning with Cassie in the room, I figured she might be grown up enough to understand that she shouldn't touch. Five minutes later she had head butted the wheel while it was spinning, on purpose, and told me that she wanted to lick it so it went away again. My child is a nut.


Thursday, 19 February 2015

FO: Caramel

Having two little people in my life and my size having fluctuated a lot over the last few years has meant that I haven't really knit anything big for myself in aaages. I've finished a few cardigans that had languished in almost done hell but I hadn't knit anything from scratch, until now. And seriously, everyone else can wait for what they need because I'm hooked!

I love this thing and it's mine!

It's been said before but I'll say it again, this is basically a wearable blanket. It's warm and comfortable and unlike a blanket you can wear it out of the house without anyone giving you the side eye. Despite its blankety nature this knit up a lot quicker than I'd have imagined, less than a month from start to finish. The pattern was really simple and easy to follow. The only change I made was to finish the striping a bit early because I didn't want to start and finish with the same colour.

I'm considering sewing poppers on at the neck to hold it closed rather than faffing about with a pin if I want to wear it closed. If I knit this again I may even add buttonholes right from the off. Other than that I'm so pleased with this. And now I'm off to knit something else for meeeee!


Pattern: Caramel by Isabell Kraemer

Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed (grey) and Katia Merino Blend (pink and purple)


Friday, 13 February 2015

An Actual Spinning FO!

It's been over a week since my op and I'm feeling pretty good now. I had a few days where I was pretty uncomfortable, mainly from the gas they inflated me with and once that was gone I've improved loads. Even so I was really grateful that my mum took the girls off my hands for the whole day both Monday and Tuesday. I missed them loads and it was a bit like I was looking for them the whole time, but still two entire days to myself? Hell, yes!

After having a long shower I put the kettle on, fired up Netflix and (very carefully) hauled my spinning wheel into the living room. There I sat and watched and drank tea and spun until I was done. No interruptions, no little fingers spinning the wheel from the other side and no demands to watch Frozen on repeat. I'll have to have surgery more often!

The yarn is pretty special, the fibre was sent to me from Canada by a lovely Ravelry lady as part of a swap. She's not a spinner but she chose brilliantly. It's a polwarth silk blend and is nice and squishy and the colours are perfect, just what I'd have chosen myself. I went for a 2ply so as to not mix the colours too much and I'm really pleased how it turned out. It fluffed out really nicely so it's a bit thicker than I originally thought it might be. I'm always aiming for as heavier weight as I can manage so this is a total bonus. I haven't got around to measuring all the vital statistics, but I'll do that soon so I can start planning what to knit. Spinning really is double the fun!


Saturday, 7 February 2015

Surgery and selfies

A couple of weeks ago I was scheduled to get my gallbladder removed. I never thought I'd be looking forward to getting an internal organ removed but that little thing had been pretty much ruling my life for months and I was pleased to get an eviction date. The night before, I packed my dressing gown, slippers and knitting and settled down to not sleep before getting up to arrive at the hospital before 7am. At the hospital they had no idea who I was, couldn't find me on any lists and sent me home again. Awesome.

On Wednesday I had another go. In my mind I'd decided they'd probably cancel on me again so I wasn't worried at all. I slept like a log until Felicity woke me at 5am. After feeding her and getting her back to sleep I figured I may as well get up and enjoy the kind of peace and quiet you can only get once in a blue moon when you have a young family.

I put in a few rows on my Caramel, which has grown remarkably quickly, while I waited for my mum to come and pick me up.

6am, no make up and clearly not with it at all!

At the hospital they had actually heard of me this time and after I'd seen a few doctors and an anaesthetist I figured it might actually happen this time. In the pre op care unit I put in a few rows on my Greenwich socks and had a nice chat with an old lady who was sad that she hadn't thought to bring her knitting!

Skip to today, I'm now sat at home without my gallbladder, I'm pretty sore and the gas they inflated my stomach with seriously needs to stop bubbling around my innards get absorbed already. But I'm happy, I'm slowly trying out all of the foods I've really missed over the last few months and I'm really taking advantage of having an excuse to just sit and knit. Good times!

On the sleeves already!