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Monday, January 08, 2007

I decided that I needed a new category in the right-hand column for projects which are not yet "On my needles" but are more tangible than "ooh, I'd like to knit that", i.e. I already have the yarn and should start doing something with it (though only after I've cleared out the "On my needles" stuff a bit more). In this category at the moment are the Rowan Anya sweater for which I have knit two fabulously ornate gauge swatches (2nd swatch on 3.75mm needles below). OK, gauging the colourwork is fair enough, but beading? I may have gone a bit OTT. However, it turned out to be useful practice given that I've never beaded anything in anger to date and it revealed that I didn't want to use the method of beading as stated in the pattern.

The second item in the "To be knit" section is the cream angora mini-sweater. I bought the yarn at the Knitting and Stitching show back in October and I'm horribly conscious that unless I get a move on and we have a cold snap, by the time it's done there's no way that it's going to be cold enough to actually wear the thing. I'm still looking for the right pattern though. All the ones I've checked out so far look like they'll take a bit too much yarn or I'd have to significantly alter the gauge (which is far too much like hard work).

I have been busy though. On Thursday I finished my last piece of Christmas knitting the post factum named Very Berry Jaywalkers. They were finished only a day late and they were the only gift I had to give with the needles still in place. My boyfriend's comment on opening it: "You didn't need to leave the needles stuck in..oh no wait, you did." They are however a nice fit and a lovely (though manly) colour.

Over the weekend I finished the first of a new pair of Fetchings in Tapestry. Aliki's comment was "aren't you sick of that pattern yet?". It's amazing what a difference getting to keep the FO makes though. I gave the last five pairs away and I really want a pair for myself, either for typing or reading in bed (the hand holding the book tends to get very cold after the heating goes off).

My new toy!

I had to go out and buy a few extra supplies (thermometer, saucepan etc.) before getting started which prompted some guilt from the boyfriend (who had thought that this would be an inexpensive way to see if I liked candle-making).

Melting the wax and dye

Candles in progress

Melting the wax again

It turns out, I do like candle-making! I have lots of plans for candles with pressed flowers and other bits in them and scented and dipped candles. I just need to lay in a few more supplies--more wax and stearin (which makes the wax shiny and also makes it shrink away from the mould).

I also (it being Epiphany and all) packed away the Christmas decorations until next year. Secret Santa looked a bit non-plussed at being taken out of the bottle and wrapped in tissue.

I took down all the Christmas cards and made gift tags for next year out of the fronts.

I did lots of washing-up with my shiny new knitted dishcloth.

Katie gave me this as a thankyou for her Christmas Fetchings. At first I thought "It's too pretty to wash dishes with" but I knew that attitude would only get me into trouble with Katie ("It's a dishcloth, it's what it's for, etc.") Anyway, it's so much nicer than using a grubby sponge, I even started using the dishcloth I knitted myself from Debbie Bliss cotton ages ago (which has since been hanging decoratively from the back of the kitchen door). As soon as I manage to educate the boyfriend about rinsing and squeezing the dishcloths after use and putting them on the radiator I'll be all set.

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