Thursday, 29 September 2016

Taboo Related Stash Enhancement

Boo mania continues to be affecting me here.  I'm a very few rows away from finishing an Almost Autumn (still diligently working my way through the Close to You collection) and I'm hoping that I'll get it  done before the first clue for the Taboo MKAL arrives on Saturday.  Signing up for the MKAL a few weeks ago basically led to me falling down the brand new (to me) rabbit hole of laceweight yarn, something I didn't really have in my stash and now I'm completely obsessed with it.  Wanna see some pretties?

The Taboo pattern is designed for two yarns, one a solid and the other a variegated incorporating the colour of the solid.  You can use either as the main yarn with the other only being used a small amount.  Obviously my first reaction was to completely disregard this and go for Knit Picks Gloss Lace in two different solids.  After seeing everyone else's choices I realised this probably wasn't the way to go but I won't plan any other projects with these yarns until I see the finished shawl because you never know, it might still work out.  I chose shiny grey beads to tie the two yarns together.

While I spent a good amount of time ogling the recommended Wild Silk yarn on the Miss Babs website I decided that I really couldn't justify the shipping and probable customs charges involved in purchasing so I did the only semsible thing and ordered some undyed yarn from World of Wool and had a go at dyeing up something wonderful myself.  I got a skein of Merino/Tussah which I've already used to knit Rainshine and a skein of 100% Tussah silk for Taboo.  I wound off about 20g and reskeined it to dye my variegated yarn B leaving around 80g to dye in a solid.

In case it isn't screamingly obvious I went for a pinkish sort of theme.  I was aiming to match the large skein to the dark pink colour in the small skein but I got bored of adding colouring and decided I could live with the lighter shade.  I they look really quite nice together in the skein, fingers crossed they look awesome knitted up.  I've chosen pearly white beads to hopefully bring everything together nicely.
Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace in Magenta
Last but not least, I thought I'd better feed some more laceweight to the stash  because I have a feeling I'm going to have lace shawls in my system for a while longer.  Deramores had a sale that I could not resist recently and two lace lovelies found themselves winging their way to me last week.  With a good percentage of silk this yarn is ridiculously shiny and gorgeous and I can't wait to knit it.  I'd been a bit concerned about the Wine Gum colour as I'd seen some photos where it looked amazing and others where it looked a bit drab and underwhelming.  I needn't have worried because it is glorious, I'm not normally a lover of green but this is completely winning me over.  The magenta is also fab, but I knew I'd love that because Magenta!
Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace in Wine Gum
So that's my little bit of stash enhancement, nearly 5000m worth but it's laceweight so that's hardly anything!

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

FO: Rainshine

In the wake of last week's casting off disaster I decided to get straight back on the horse and knit another lacy and beaded shawl.  Not wanting to entirely visit the scene of the crime, however, I plumped for a different pattern by the same designer.  When shawl fever first hit me I purchased the Boo Knits Close to You collection so I simply moved on to the second pattern in the e-Book, Rainshine.
I chose this one for a couple of reasons, firstly it is knit in laceweight which I am suddenly quite flush with (stash acquisition post coming up soon!) and secondly it does not have the picot bind off that was taking me about a million years on Heaven Scent.  With hindsight the crochet cast off that I used instead was still a pretty lengthy process but I definitely wasn't ready to picot again so soon!
I picked a laceweight Merino/tussah silk blend that I bought undyed from World of Wool and dyed myself with food colouring.  To be honest I was going for a much deeper blue but this is nice enough. I paired it with turquoise beads which match quite nicely because I was going for a subtle effect.  Unfortunately they don't really show up too well in my photos but I'm hoping they will provide a nice little sparkle in the sunlight.
Knitting this took me way less time than I had imagined, only a week from beginning to end, including about a day spent on the bind off.  The lace was really simple and enjoyable, although I was a little sad when I realised that I didn't get to place any beads until I got to the border.  It turns out that I really like beading, weirdly.  I don't mind that it only has beads on the border, I was just really impatient to get to the beading quicker!  I really love how it turned out and although I was a little worried about how I'd actually wear it I've tried a few ways and actually think it will be very versatile.  This is good new because I think I'm now addicted to making these and have totally cast on the next one in the collection this afternoon.  I need to remember to order another set of foam mats for blocking really soon now though because I didn't really have enough space to give a shawl as brutal a blocking as I'd have liked to.
Righty ho then, I'm off.  Beads to choose and lace to knit, no time to waste!

Monday, 12 September 2016

Heaven Scent - a lament

​​My knitting mojo kind of deserted me for a while over the summer.  That wasn't a big surprise but it's always a little disappointing.  I did loads of sewing just to keep making but I always miss knitting.  Anyway now that Autumn is on the way I am all about knitting but it is still really warm here so I've done a lot less than I'd like.  Still I've found plenty of time for dreaming up projects and planning my queue and I can safely say that it is looking like it's going to be a winter of shawls this year.  I've spent far more time than is good for me recently keeping up with the Fiddle Knits fiasco that has been bubbling away on Ravelry which has done nothing but put shawls in the front and centre of my mind.  I did a couple of Fiddle Knits MKALs when Lissy was tiny and I liked but didn't love the first shawl and really wasn't feeling the second one at all so I pretty much gave up MKALs from there on out.  However, in between all of posts from people who have been disappointed by late yarn and late patterns with incorrect yardage were a lot of recommendations for well run MKALs which led me to sign up for the Boo Knits Halloween MKAL, Taboo.

I'll do another post about that once it gets going in October, but of course I decided that it would be a good idea to try out one of her other shawls before then just to get my eye in.  One reason I've never knit any Boo Knits shawls before is because they are all quite lovely and I could never decide where to start, also I knew that once I'd started I'd never know where to stop!  In the end I chose Heaven Scent, just to ease myself in with a pattern for 4-ply rather than laceweight.  I pulled some light blue DROPs Alpaca that had previously been frogged from a FiddleKnits pattern out of the stash and paired it with clear sparkly beads for a subtle shimmer.
All went well (and there's a phrase which lets you know that at some point it's all going to hell!), I was enjoying the lace, had mastered beading and was pleasantly surprised how quickly it had all knit up.  I started to cast off yesterday afternoon and was beginning to think I might have a shawl to block by the end of the day, until the reality of the picot cast off began to hit me.  Geez, I have never known knitting take so long!
Picot? Pic-NO more like!
During one little break from the never ending castoff of doom I popped my project down next to me just as Felicity jumped up on to the sofa. I quickly warned her to wait until I'd moved my knitting before she started to clamber all over me, but she paid me no mind and stepped right on it and I swear I watched in slow motion as this caused the cable of my circular needle to pop right out the back of the join leaving about 20 stitches dangling in the wind.  20 beaded lacy stitches that I was just about to cast off.
The enemy of knitting needles everywhere!
When I stopped feeling sick I pulled myself together and decided I could probably fix it, after I transferred all of the stitches on to another circular.  My fatal error at this point was to jam the cable back into the join and start transferring rather than popping the loose stitches on to a holder.  I don't really need to describe what happened next do I?
I'm now looking at about half of the live stitches flapping loose at this point and I don't have the heart to deal with it.  I tried to frog but the fuzzy alpaca yarn + picot cast off was a flipping nightmare so I've put the whole thing aside to chill until I can look at it with a rational set of eyes and decide what to do once and for all. Ugh.  What more can I say?  Have a Cassie pic so I can end on a positive note!

Friday, 9 September 2016

Big days for little people

As soon as September drew nearer I begun longing for cooler days and started planning all of my forthcoming knitting projects.  I've recently cast on 2 new projects and have a few more in the works, but that's not why I'm here today.  September has also been a big month looming on the horizon as I prepared to send both my girls off on new adventures.
So on Monday afternoon Lissy became a bona fide Pre-schooler.  With barely a backwards glance she skipped off to play leaving me in no doubt that she's no longer a baby.  I still had Cassie with me so I managed to hold it together instead of dissolving in to a weeping mess!  When I picked her up she'd had a lovely time and was ready and raring to go back again on Tuesday.  Unfortunately Cassie managed to fall flat on her face on the way home, leaving her with the very nasty looking nose scab that you might notice in all her pictures :(
Yesterday was Cassie's big day as she headed to school for the very first time.  My grown up girl went straight into her classroom and pushed me right out of the door leaving me in no doubt that she had no need for me to stay!  Some of the other kids were crying which set my tear ducts a twitching but I managed to make it out of there just about dry eyed.  I'd been furnished with this very thoughtful little pack of things to get me through her first day which really helped me to feel like I'd left her in good hands.  She also had a fab time on her first day and already seemed completely confident and comfortable by the time I came to collect her.
The last big day (at least for me) will be on Monday when both girls will be at school/preschool at the same time and I will have some actual time to myself!  I'm sure I'll miss them horribly but I'll miss them with my feet up and my knitting in my hands while catching up on all the child inappropriate tv I've not been able to watch all summer.  I may even crack open some fancy biscuits too!