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!


Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Things in progress

Finishing fever has finally wound down here, so what am I working on now?

Caramel has been in queue for ages and ages but I was having terrible trouble deciding what colour yarn to buy. Then, when I decided to frog my Cria I realised that I could use the grey Rowan Felted Tweed from that and combine it with some purple and pink Katia Merino Blend that I had in the stash. Given that this is essentially a wearable blanket it is knitting up really fast. It's been slowing down a bit as I've been increasing for the sleeves, but I've only got a couple of rows left before I put the sleeves on scraps and then I'll be able to zip down the body in no time. Probably.

In my sewing room I'm upping my skills a bit by attempting a Moss Skirt by Grainline Studios. It seems I can't link to it today because my iPad hates me, but I'll get on that when it's finished. It's a super cute skirt with a back yoke, fly front zip and I've even gone for flat felled seams. If I pull it off I think this will be a great wardrobe staple, I wear this style of skirt all the time and I'll be able to make loads of them. I'm also looking to attempt jeans soon so this is great practice before I throw myself into that.

On my spinning wheel is some beautiful fibre I received in a swap at the end of last year. It's a Sweet Georgia polwarth silk blend all the way from Canada. The colours are beautiful so I'm just spinning two plies to try and preserve them as much as possible.

So that's my little round up, I wonder what I'll finish first?



Friday, 23 January 2015

Finishing Fever continues

Clearly I'm in the mood for getting things done at the moment, which may be a way of keeping my mind off the disappointment of having my gallbladder surgery being postponed due to a clerical error, or not, who knows. These two projects are not quite as embarrassing as the who Cap Sleeve Top thing but still. Essentially I made two cardigans one in 2009 and one in 2011 when I was pregnant with Cassie and I hadn't seen buttons on either of them and hadn't taken any photographs of them finished. I'm so lazy!

So here is me wearing my Cropped Waistcoat from Rowan Studio 13. I've worn it a fair few times since I knitted it, it's a nice way to add a little warmth and interest to an outfit. Maybe now it has a button I'll wear it a little more.

The second one is a Shalom that I knitted as a maternity cardigan. I'll be honest, it wasn't quite big enough then and looked a little silly. It's ok now though.

I'm not entirely convinced I chose the right button, apparently I have no purple buttons in my vast collection, but it's taken me so long to actually sew one on that it stays for now.

The 'photoshoot' for this happened at the same time as for the Cap Sleeved Top, hence the barely concealed mayhem in these pictures!



Friday, 16 January 2015

FO: Zombie Cardigan

Today's FO has been well and truly brought back from the grave! I cast on for the Cap Sleeve Top from Rowan Studio 11 back in March 2010 and I finally finished it up yesterday. I have to confess that I feel slightly ridiculous about this. I'm not sure exactly when or why this got put to one side, I've come across it a few times over the years but each time I've just put it back away thinking that I had loads left to do and it probably wasn't worth it because it was unlikely to fit me. This time, however I actually took a proper look at the pieces. It turns out I had a back two fronts and one and a half sleeves, that meant I only had half a sleeve left to knit. To be more precise, half a cap sleeve.

Yep, those sleeves are flipping tiny, what a wally I am! To be fair, being a Rowan pattern, the making up was pretty torturous and I had to knit and attach the button bands, pick up and knit the neckband and then sew the whole thing together, but even so not really worth procrastinating about for 5 years.

Luckily I'm pretty happy with the finished item. It fits and, although I'm not really feeling it with the black top I have on here, it looks nice on. It is knitted with Rowan Bamboo tape, so it is pretty heavy and I'm anticipating some growth, but hopefully not too much. The button band was pretty gapey, again because I'm the bamboo so I've actually sewn it down seeing as I can slip it on over my head anyway.

Getting photos of this top was almost as time consuming as knitting it, if I wasn't being photobombed I was trying to hold them out of the way or get a pic done quickly before they came back. I've decided I don't care, it's pretty funny really!