Thursday, 5 February 2009

Inspiration Strikes..

…which is nice, but I would rather it waited until the morning instead of striking while I'm having a quick read before going to sleep! I've been going through a bit of a hat thing recently and much as I really want to get going on some of the larger items from my queue I just can't seem to be able to stop thinking about hats. While this isn't terribly surprising, the entire reason I started knitting was because I wanted an unlimited supply of hats, I had stopped making them for several years and concentrated on other stuff. However for the last few weeks I have been trawling Ravelry for hat patterns and poring over single skeins of lovely yarns to find my next hat fix. So, I made a few decisions and knew exactly what I wanted to knit next and then bam, halfway down a page of The Book Thief (seriously check this book out, I read it, closed it and then opened it again at the beginning and went straight for a second read – marvellous!) I just 'saw' an idea for a hat I have got to have. I gave up reading and thought some more about this hat as I was drifting off to sleep and then bam (again! WTF!) I suddenly remember another idea for a hat I must have had about 6 years ago and had completely forgotten about. Now I have to sketch, swatch, design and make not one but two original hats before my brain explodes, when I already have loads of other hats I want to make where someone else has done all that hard work for me. Nightmare! I have done several sketches and have a basic idea of what I want to do, so my next step is to dig out some scrappy yarn and see if what I want to do is possible before going out and choosing the perfect yarn for these hats. Watch this space to see how I do with my first real foray into designing.

Just to reassure you that I have been doing real knitting as well as the imaginary kind, I have now cast on (again) for the Sloppy Joe Top and also for a pair of socks. I had to start the Sloppy Joe again after the Max cat got a hold of the first attempt and I've got about 3 inches done so far. This is now kept in a drawer when not being worked upon! I really really love the look of the finished garment and as soon as I saw it I knew that I must have it, but I can really tell that I am going to hate every minute of it. It is knitted flat in a 4x3 rib and I cannot tell you how many times I have got mixed up and accidentally knitted 4 when I am on a purl 4 Knit 3 row and then not noticed for half a row. I think I have spent more time unknitting that I have going in the right direction. The Kidsilk Aura I'm using really isn't helping matters either as its extreme fluffiness makes unknitting slow and awkward and also makes the mistakes difficult to spot quickly. I will keep ploughing on though, whilst telling myself over and over again how much I really want this top. The socks I am making are these with my beautiful monochrome Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn. This yarn is looooovely! My knitting feels great and the yarn is really smooth and feels really strong when you knit with it. The pattern calls for 2.75mm needles, which I am using. All the socks I have knitted before I have used 2.5mm so I am a little concerned that these will be massive, although not actually so concerned that I have swatched (bad Hannah). I'll knit a few inches and assess the situation before ploughing on, but be prepared to hear that I have ripped them back and started again!

With regard to the weather that we have been having, most of the snow is gone now, except for some horrible slush patches here and there. It has been raining all day today and the temperature is not meant to go anywhere near freezing so the threat of ice seems to have gone too. For the moment. It is possible that it might snow again at the weekend, but we Brit's never seem to believe it until we see it when it comes to snow, so I'm not holding out much hope. I'm fairly sure that we haven't seen the last of the cold weather though, which is a good thing because one of my 'divine inspiration' hats is going to turn out to be quite thick and warm. No more clues for now though!

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