Thursday, 19 August 2010

New books

Yesterday I talked about getting into my Autumn/Winter knitting, this was mainly because I just received two new books..well a book and a magazine.  Firstly I ordered Knits Men Want because Stu wants me to knit him cardigan and this looked like a really good book.  Turns out I was right, this has 10 simple patterns and I can actually see myself knitting a few of them.  I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the multiple gauge instructions that are used, but I can see how it is a good idea.  I think my problem is that you have to knit a swatch of your chosen yarn and see what gauge you get and then you follow those instructions and it tells you your estimated yardage - or how many balls I need to buy of a yarn I must have already bought to swatch with!  This is really just a minor logical flaw and I can probably work it out, but I've never knitted anything other than hats for men so I don't really have a feel yet for what I'll need to buy.  For the moment though I don't have to worry about it, Stu is still deciding which garment he would like ( I think it's a toss up between this and this) and then he has to choose a colour.  Decision making is not his strong point so it'll be a while before I'm worrying about yardage I think!

Despite having not made anything from the last copy of Knitscene I bought, I have just received the Fall 2010 edition and there is quite a lot in there I would like to make.  The Lettuce Raglan is lovely, the Alexandra Hoodie is simple and useful looking and I have already bought the yarn for the Dorflinger Tee.  That looks like a really quick knit so I'm tempted to start that as soon as the Cap Sleeved Top is done, even though there is so much stuff that has been in the queue much longer...oh well.

And... as predicted, yesterday I succumbed and ordered 2 skeins of undyed sock yarn and a whole load of Kool-Aid, expect news of some truly monstrous socks in the near future!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Oooooh crap!

A few years ago I started knitting, I was fresh out of university, working as a volunteer and consequently very poor but quite rich in spare time.  Since then I have got better and better jobs and can afford much nicer yarn and crafty things but have way, way less time to spend on hobbies.  Consequently I try not to acquire new hobbies and spread that time any more thinly.  Obviously buying a sewing machine and taking up sewing was a bit of a bump in the road, but I do enjoy it and the results are quicker than knitting so if I need a bit of (almost) instant gratification the sewing machine is there.  Soooo, having resisted any urge towards weaving, foraying only sporadically into cross stitch and refusing to even read about/acknowledge the existence of spinning, I've been doing well.  Except now I really really want to try dying my own yarn.  I've spent the last two days obsessively googling dyeing yarn and reading every thread about it I can find on Ravelry so I suspect this is not a passing fancy and I will probably be back here in a few days showing off my first dyeing disaster!

I have done a wee bit of knitting this week, but not too much.  I cast on for the first cap sleeve of the Cap Sleeved Top, did the ribbing, realised I'd forgotten some decreases and ripped back.  After reading the instructions properly I cast on again, realised the instructions made no sense to me but stuck the decreases in where I felt they made most sense and now I'm ready to finish that sleeve tonight..... when I've stopped stroking my new yarns!
These are 2 skeins of Araucania Ranco I got for making scarves, I'm loving the colours so much that even though I would like to make two scarves for the christmas box, I suspect one of them will 'accidentally' end up with me.  I can't decide which one I like best though.

Also purchased (eBay, I love you!) was 6 balls of Rowan Fine Milk Cotton in a nice lilac shade which are destined to become a Blossom from Kim Hargreaves Misty collection, I'll probably leave this til next Spring though because my thoughts are really turning to autumn/winter knitting now, but more on that tomorrow I think!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Progress (of sorts)

After finally coming to a sort of agreement with the Izzy kitten last night (i.e, she would cease all  nomming of knitting and I would stop threatening to put her in a sandwich) I finished up the 2nd front of my Cap Sleeved Top.  I haven't bothered taking a photo, because its still just bits and bits are boring.  Hopefully I'll have a photo of the FO before too long.  I eventually cast on for the first cap sleeve after a long debate with myself about whether to bother.  The sleeves are really tiny, but obviously I then have to sew them on (ugh!) and I think they top would look just as nice without them.  But this top is called the Cap Sleeved Top and my skew whiff brain says that this top therefore must have cap sleeves!  They should only take an hour or so each so I'm happy with my decision.  Of course as I get towards the end of this project my mind is automatically gravitating to what I'm going to do next.  Logically I should get on with Brights 2, I've almost finished the back and it is a really simple knit, but as I mentioned the other day I've let it sit for a while and have no clue where I got to.  I'm pretty sure there must be a row counter deep in the bottom of my stash which will quick and comprehensively solve this mystery, but I'm kind of tempted to start something else.  I think I'll have a good dig around tonight and if I can find it then Brights 2 will be next, if not then I'll pick something else.  I like that, kind of letting fate decide!

Oh and the picture at the top?  I started a blog post aaages ago about this years Lounge on the Farm which I abandoned because it took me so long to finish.  This is me and the Mr on the Saturday night, getting midly squiffy and having a lovely time.  I'm wearing cat ears and have slightly mentioned cats in this post, so it kind of fits!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

No surprise there then.

I picked up my cap sleeved top again last night full of confidence that I could finish the second front. This would leave me with only two little cap sleeves to knit, before seaming and adding button bands and collar ribbing. Much as I hate seaming and picking up stitches for edgings, at least knowing the main body of knitting was done would have felt like a milestone. Unfortunately two things happened. Firstly the kittens spotted me and, as predicted, they became a bit of a hindrance. (I think I may now deserve a prize for the understatement of the century there!) Then I realised I had no flipping clue how many rows there were supposed to between the end of the neck shaping and the beginning of the shoulder shaping. When I did the back and the left front I kept track of where I was like this....
 Apparently at the time this was very effective and I knew exactly what I was doing. A few months down the line... not so much. What does this mean? I thought I'd cracked it when I found 11 little tally marks with the word 'neck' next to them, but after knitting 11 rows it was too short so clearly that's not it. I guess I'll have to do it by eye and hope it doesn't end up too wonky, whilst giving myself a stern talking to about post it notes.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

New things

As well as moving house, to a much bigger place, with lots of room for yarn and unfinished projects, I now have the two little trouble magnets above to keep me busy. They are called Billy and Izzy and they are 12 week old bundles of mischief - it's a good job they are so cute! I haven't tried out knitting in front of them yet, but they do love string and dangly things so I think I can predict the outcome. I did get a few rows of the Cap Sleeved Top done on Saturday while the kittens were sleeping, but it had been so long since I'd worked on it that I spent most of the time working out where on earth I'd got to! I seem to know what I'm doing now so hopefully I can get it finished before its too cold to actually wear it.
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