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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Craft insanity

The project: Print o' the Wave lace scarf
The yarn: Kidsilk haze
The needles: 2mm
The deadline: December 12th (eek)

My (somewhat lame) excuse for breaking the "no new yarn, no new projects" resolution (below) is that it's for a present. My aunt is having a round number birthday on December 12th and I saw this yarn whilst Christmas shopping in John Lewis. I'm not knitting the full Print o' the Wave stole (I'm mad not stupid) but this is still a sizeable challenge for me. So far approximately 8 hours of knitting has produced abuot 12 inches of scarf and I think I need at least 48 (plus edging) to make a decent scarf. These are the smallest needles I have ever knit with (luckily Hobbycraft was all out of the 1.75mm needles recommended by the pattern) and I'm quite impressed that I'm coping. There have been a few nasty moments when I've had to unknit a row or two but progress is mostly smooth.

I have at least managed to complete two of the UFOs that have been hanging about my knitting bag, the Lana Grossa Jaywalkers and the pink Koigu Whitewater lace socks and turned the green cashmerino into one and a half Seaside fingerless gloves, so some progress has been made.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


A month or so earlier than is traditional but there's no time like the present.

I will finish everything that is currently on my needles before casting on anything new. That means:

  • Finishing the fronts of the Argyle sweater and making it up.
  • Ripping back and reknitting the bottom ribbing of my stripy sweater in Kid Classic and doing something with the neck.
  • Finishing the jaywalker socks I just started.
  • Adding a head to the Debbie Bliss teddy bear I started this weekend.
  • Finishing off the UK alpaca crocheted thing and finding a use for it (not big enough for a blanket, not long enough for a scarf, maybe a cushion?)

I will use what I have before buying anything new*. That mainly means:

  • Finding a use for the Rowan linen tape - I'm thinking bag?, rug?, oven-gloves?, shelf-runner? (other ideas/patterns gratefully accepted).
  • Knitting something out of the Colinette Giotto (the stuff I feel so bad about it lives away from the other stash under the bed).
  • Finally make a pair of socks that I actually wear from the bright pink Koigu.
  • Knit something out of all the odds and ends that are left over from various projects. (Probably a few pairs of Mrs. Beetons and some Innocent hats.)

Then and only then will I move onto exciting things like spinning the two remaining tops and knitting something from the fluffy angora.

In the meantime to assuage my craving for knitting newness here's what a few of the girls were knitting last night at the Bluestockings meeting:

Abby demonstrates her amazing ability to knit with ten balls of yarn and drink wine at the same time!

and here's what she was knitting

Kate shows off her lace cardigan whilst preserving her own anonymity!

Ellen is thrilled with the way her sweater is going.

Despite warnings about their addictive properties Ruth is knitting her first pair of Fetching hand warmers.

Katie is knitting a shawl with what currently looks like blue string but will turn into the most amazingly soft cashmere after washing.

New member Lucia is knitting a sweater for her boyfriend from Rowan Wool Cotton

And this is me—a pair of socks (naturellement).

Kirsty (of whom I didn't get a shot) was continuing to knit the now legendary Wonder Woman sweater and Aimee (whose knitting turned out kind of blurry, or maybe that's just how angora looks when photographed) was casting on a pair of hand-warmers.

*At this point the boyfriend said he'd believe it when he saw it.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

This weekend I...

...visited the "Global Market" which arrived in town.

These (extremely toothsome) tartes were my only purchase. Much as I wanted a hand carved wooden clothes rack to hang stuff on, the boyfriend pointed out that £50 for unvarnished wood was possibly a bit steep!

...finished a baby hat and matching socks.

These were such a quick knit that they didn't even make it onto the "On my needles" section. The pattern is from The Baby Knits Book by Debbie Bliss and I knit them in some leftover Rowan Calmer (less than a full ball for a pair of socks and the hat) on 4mm needles and 4mm dpns. I hope they will still fit the intended baby, I don't really know how fast babies grow.

...enjoyed the autumn leaves.

This doesn't fully represent how lovely all the trees are looking at the moment. I do like autumn!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Chocolate cheesecake

Having made a cheesecake on Monday that I didn't get to eat (I donated it to a charity quiz) I decided to make another cheesecake on Wednesday evening for the pot-luck lunch I go to on Thursdays. I adapted the recipe for the London Cheesecake from Nigella Lawson's Domestic Goddess by using 4 whole eggs instead of 3 eggs and 3 egg yolks (works just as well I promise) and by adding 3 heaped tsps of Green & Blacks cocoa powder to the biscuit base and 6 heaped tsps of cocoa to the cheesecake mix instead of the lemon and vanilla. I also melted half a bar of Green & Blacks dark chocolate with the sour cream and sugar (again omitting the vanilla) for the topping. Next time around I would probably add a little more sugar to the cheesecake mix to balance out the bitterness of the cocoa and I would warm the chocolate topping mixture gently just before adding it to the cake to make it easier to pour. Otherwise I would say it was rather a success, judging by the way the slices disappeared.
Slightly blurry but you get the idea!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Busy weekend

I finished the entrelac cushion on Saturday morning. All it had needed was the back fabric to be machine stitched to the knitted front and some sort of opening created. I chose an overlapping flap (like a pillow case) in the end, partly due to not having got my act together enough to go and buy a matching zip-fastener, however it looked very nice and there was even a spare cushion pad of the right size floating around my parent's house. Anyway, it now has pride of place on Grandma's old chair in the living room. I hadn't originally intended to give it away but it just looked so much better there than it ever would on our manky green sofa. Plus I can enjoy it whenever I go up there.

I also (shouts of hurray) finished the sleeves on the Argyle sweater so that is almost (but not quite) finished too. Sadly when I went to sew the right shoulder together ready to do the neck ribbing I decided that I really did have to fix the (somewhat drastic) mistake I had made in the neck edge decreases and set about ripping back. Only to the start of the armhole though and as it is a v-neck I don't think it will take too long to repair. A good thing too because it just keeps on getting colder around here!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Finished objects—Butterfly Wings Socks & Dulaan hat

There's really nothing like wearing hand-knit socks all day to make you feel good. Although I have knit many many pairs of socks I only have about 4 or 5 pairs that I can actually wear with shoes as regular socks. The rest are bedsocks, or sofa socks, beautiful chunky things in dk or aran which compensate for the lousy heating in our flat. Anyway, hopefully I should have three more pairs of "regular" socks very soon. I'm about to cast-on a pair of entrelac socks (if I can get my head round the concept) with the Lana Grossa from Ally Pally. I figure this should make two pairs since I can get a pair of socks from a single (50g) skein of Lorna's Laces. I also still have the abortive pink koigu from which I must make something, anything!

Also finished last week was the ribbed hat I knit at our knitting group's mini Dulaan knit-in. I'm also knitting a pair of mittens in the same wool--Debbie Bliss Merino dk--which is very soft and hopefully warm.