Like the costume change ? HAPPY HALLOWEEN !
I have a sore head. Alan is upstairs building what feels like the entire contents of Ikea Glasgow and for a self-proclaimed anti-diy'er is doing pretty well - it's me that's struggling with the constant bang, bang, bang ....
Of course this could also be because my house this afternoon is a true multi-media experience with Al watching the sports channel upstairs (probably why he's so good natured about it all), Rosie and friend Kirsty DVD'ing in the living room, Hazel is somewhere around, who knows, Rowan overdosing on Disney's Cinderella video in here with me (don't you want to stamp on those squeaky voiced mice ? Me, I'd hand feed them to the cat ...) and of course, me, using up valuable cleaning / ironing / knitting time sitting in front of the pc. Sometimes I just long for a little quiet. Yeah, I know 3 kids, 2 cats and a husband - it just ain't going to happen is it ? ?
If it did though, I could get on with my plaid project which I am loving. Why did nobody tell me about this yarn ? I know I'm not usually a fan of chunky but this is gorgeous. Soft, cosy and such a quick knit. Which is probably just as well since my knitting time this week has amounted to exactly ½ an hour before crashing out on the couch last night. I'd love to tell you I've been living such a fantastically outrageous social life that I haven't had time to knit but sadly not. I've been working :0( BOO !
I'm enjoying the quick payback from the chunky so much that this week I bought some of this to do another quick knit project for Hazel's Christmas. Not entirely sure what it will be yet but if the plaid one works out (I'll post some pictures soon) I may just do a repeat of it for speed !
In other knitting news, I signed up today for the Flower Swap that Kristine mentioned. I really feel I need the pressure of another project to work on ...... okay, I'm joking but hey, it mentioned the word "pink" so what's a girl to do ??
That should just about give me enough time to finish my Butterfly / Elfin / Audrey / Tillie / Granny Squares / Persian Tile / Poppy etc. etc. sometime this eh, decade. Now if only I hadn't signed up for the flower swap they'd be finished for sure ....
... to bemoan the fact that whilst I would love this blog to be a "festive-planning-free zone", I can't do it.
Somebody had the misfortune to mention to me that it is only 9 weeks 'til Christmas, simultaneously inducing hyperventilation in me and deafness in one ear for her - NINE WEEKS ??? NINE F@!*@!@ WEEKS ???
Now to a normal person, nine weeks is a reasonable distance away - hey, more than 2 months, two thirds of a trimester, practically quarter of a year - but I am a knitter.
A knitter with a big family.
And lots of friends.
With expectations ..... a bottle of bubble bath and a box of chocolates doesn't really cut it. I did think about buying some ready made handknit mitts and scarves I saw on eBay but a girl has her pride. Dammit.
So guess what I've been doing this week ? That's right, I can't tell you in case they read it !
Well, I can tell you a bit. You already know about the Softly cushion - this is okay as I am certain sure that particular person doesn't read my blog as she doesn't even know it exists - but altho' I've stroked it a lot this week (KSH is almost as good as my cats as a stress reliever) I haven't actually worked on it.
I have worked with this but I can't tell you what on.
This is a skein of Handpainted 55% Silk, 45% Cashmere I got off eBay a while back and I'm really pleased with it. It knits up beautifully and is sooo soft. The seller was a Canadian company and they have some lovely stuff.
Other than that, my lips are sealed ! Suffice it to say I've still got a fair bit to do on my project for it and it is going to involve some beautiful glass beads I bought here. I had really fab service from this company - my beads arrived the day after I ordered and they are every bit as gorgeous as I hoped they would be. Thanks to Emma for the link a while back.
My other Christmas project starts tonight and involves this - but that's yer lot as I KNOW the person this is for lurks here now and then.
I've never used the Rowan Plaid and I'm looking forward to it except I did wonder if it might split a lot on the needles ? Any thoughts on this from anyone who has tried it ?
I'm also anxious about whether I've bought enough - but given that I suffered a second hyperventilation attack at the price of this yarn, I'm hoping a little goes a long way !
Oh and I'm inching along, in true caterpillar style on Butterfly. Reached the armhole shaping on the right front last night whilst watching the Van Helsing movie on DVD. Scary ? No. Funny ? Occasionally. Hubba, hubba value ? Wah hey !
Ho ! Ho ! HO !
Having a husband who knows how to work the colour options on Photoplus is worth his weight (!) in gold ......
Just a quick entry today to let you know I'm on my way.
I've spent the week on Butterfly and so far have the left front and the first 4 inches of the right front to show for it.
I really love working with Kureyon. The surprise of each new shade and the way it works against those next to it keeps me interested enough to sit up feverishly knitting until 2am (twice this week) .... of course the sitting up until 2am last night meant that I had to frog my first attempt at the right front as I completely forgot to reverse the pattern and was 2 inches up my second left front before I realised. Maybe I need to sleep more ??
I found it really hard to capture the colours with my camera and the red/pinks are still slightly more vivid - at least on my monitor - than they really are, tho' this is a vibrant colourway. The hot pinks are tempered by muted purples, blues and just a touch of green, none of which is really showing up.
This is probably the closest I got to getting these shades to show.
I swithered for ages last night as I was about to start on the right front and tried to decide whether or not to attempt to match the stripes like Wendy (see her post for 12 October) - or just let the free form of the yarn do it's own thing. Finally, I opted for a compromise.
I'm not going to try to match the stripes BUT I am going to make sure that the bottom of each piece starts in one of the dark, muted shades.
I'm off on holiday for the next week so hopefully will be zipping along on Butterfly with all the extra time .... unless of course the laundry mountain gets me first ......... and the moral of this story is "too much knitting, not enough housework." BAH !
Slow, slow, slow, slow, slow .......... I hate slow. I don't do it well and it has been a really slow week.
I have been working on Softly for 4 days/decades/aeons - take your pick, I know which it feels like to me. I decided that I needed to make some progress on Softly before I started on Butterfly and I have to tell you, I am NOT loving it.
Leaving aside the anticipated and entirely normal frustrations of knitting with KSH (it's just lucky I like the end project so much ...) the damn thing is impossible to measure. The tucked bits mean that it has different measurements at different points and every time I measure it it seems not to have grown at all - and then I try another bit and there's a 2 inch difference. AAGH !
Given that it's a cushion I've decided I'm just going to knit it until it looks about right and ignore the pattern. I'm more concerned about whether or not it works with an alternate colour stripe worked across it. What do you think ?
I've decided - on account of my good behaviour in sticking with Softly - I deserve, in fact I owe it to myself to make a start on Butterfly.
I mean I swatched it this morning and my guage was spot on so that has to be a good omen right ?? The fates are trying to tell me something - Πλέξτε ! Πλέξτε ! Πλέξτε ! I hear them chant (that's Knit ! Knit ! Knit ! for those of you unfamiliar with the fates ...)
Actually I do believe in fate. It was clearly fate that I would one day meet Emma and have the opportunity to simper beseechingly - "oh, I've never had any of those ..." just knowing that kind heart would respond ...
How do you know when you are finally a proper grown-up bonafide knitter ?? When you are the proud owner of some of these little beauties!
Forgive the slightly out of focus photo - it really doesn't do them justice. Emma has made me my very own glass bead stitch markers and I have to tell you these are the first real stitch markers I have ever owned. Pathetic really isn't it ?
Thirty years of knitting and I never knew the joy of a proper stitch marker until now. I am complete. Thank you Emma - I shall christen them with Butterfly.
I've been doing a bit of forward planning too this week. When I met Sissel a couple of weeks ago, she let me try on her gorgeous Beatriz and this has now been added to my future projects list. It's fab.
Sort of like a poncho with sleeves (don't get all excited now India - LIKE a poncho is not the same as IS a poncho. I have some standards.)
I've never used Colinette and until I visited Emma had never seen it in the flesh/yarn but I have to say, I like it.
However, it will have to wait until Butterfly, Softly, Granny Squares and a few others are out the way ..... tho' of course quasi-ponchos could be out of fashion by then ........ Gad, so much knitting, so little time !
Occasionally, I fall completely in love with a yarn and have to have it. This is regardless of how skint I am, whether I have a pattern in mind for it or whether I have something broadly similar in my stash already. This is how great stashes are built.
Over a year ago, I fell hard for Shade 124 of Noro Kureyon. (It's not quite as bright as this picture. It's mainly dark reds, pinks, purples and a little green but I have a useless digital camera and severely limited photo-editing skills.)
So hard, that I bought 2 packs of it - with no idea what I was going to do with it. But now that's over. For I am definitely going to be a Butterfly.
I just love this. I've seen it appearing on blogs all over the place and I WANT ONE TOO. Julie has just finished hers and it looks fab with rolled back cuffs. (I might even have enough left over for another Booga Bag for me this time !) Wendy is very cleverly matching her stripes. And I'm going to swatch for it this week, mwah, hah, hah !
As well as digging through my stash, I've been adding to it. But not by much, honest ! Alan gave me the Aran & Fairisle book as an anniversary gift (sweet, how well he knows me :0)) and I bought the other 2 myself from Get Knitted. I had to have the Noro one obviously, otherwise Butterfly is a non-starter and the sock one just appealed to me.
I know. Me who said never again after my extremities socks. Me who said I would never knit socks, ever, ever. But then I saw the Koigu at Emma's and the Lorna's Laces on the Get Knitted site and hey, a girl can change her mind can't she ??
I also bought a little teensy amount of yarn. Four balls of DB Cotton Angora in this shade to be exact. Four balls because I'm going to knit Poppy again and we know the largest size only takes 4 balls, NOT six like the pattern says. Bitter, who me ?
Anyway, in between stash enhancement and hangovers ( I had a great time on Friday night and a really crap time on Saturday as a result. Bleuch ! I wish I was 21 again and able to party all night with no consequences ...) I actually did some knitting.
Keeping my sometime promise to Lis I am continuing to knit from behind the couch (how's that box coming Lis ? Empty yet ??) so I picked up my Granny Squares sweater from IK Fall 2003 again. That is why you'll see me in such an inelegant pose on Emma's blog - I'm woolwinding, no, really, I am.
Just reached the armholes last night and I quite like it.
Alan has compared it unfavourably to a tea cosy owned by his mother circa 1973 but what does he know about fashion ? Men !
I'm going to have to re-do the last 4 rows of the bottom border as it's taken on a kind of fluted appearance but I'll probably use that as an opportunity to remove the yellow. I'm not sure the yellow works. It kind-of hits me in between the eyes every time I look at it and I'm just not a yellow girl. (I really struggled with Brandon Mably's addiction to it at the course I went on with him. I mean, I know he's a famous designer, lauded for his fabulous colour work but when it comes to yellow, HE's WRONG. Or at least, wrong for me.)
Plus I've been working on the Softly cushion.
I'm working mine mainly in Liqueur but I want to blend a stripe of Marmalade across it too. Sounds yummy, mmh ??