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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quick Random Tuesday

I'm onto my second Hedera sock in some silvery Louet Gems Opal I bought back at the iKnit day in 2009. I wasn't too enthused about knitting with the yarn (it's a bit on the thick side) but on 2.75mm needles these are turning out to be surprisingly delicate and lacy. Knitting up quickly too - I only started sock #1 on Sunday evening.

I'm listening to Wolf Hall read by Simon Slater as an Audible download. For those of you that think that either the non-member's price (£23.99) or the monthly subscription (£7.99) seem a bit steep I have two words for you - free trial. Wolf Hall is fantastic btw. I'd not previously read the book and I'm loving it. I'm about 6 hours down, 18 to go.

I'm just about to head off to the running club for the regular Tuesday night run then it's home for Masterchef the Professionals on video. Hurrah for the return of Monica and Michel!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cloisonné yay!

The ends are woven in, the buttons (I used some of the ones which Felix bought me from Duttons last year) are sewn on and the Cloisonné jacket is ready for me to wear to work tomorrow.

Cloisonne jacket

Pattern: Cloisonné jacket by Deborah Helmke
Source: Interweave Fall 2010
Needles: 4.5mm circs
Yarn: (just over) 5 balls New Lanark DK in natural brown and 1.5 balls in ecru.
Modifications: knit in the round with a steek and knit-on button band; I also knit just one lace repeat round the bottom hem.

I'm so pleased with how this turned out. The shape is great - just around the length of a cropped jacket and the yarn is delicious. It's softened up amazingly after blocking and just feels fabulous. This is going to be lovely ad cosy to wear in the office this autumn.

Cloisonne jacket

I really like the garter stitch collar too - it's a detail I'll be borrowing for future projects I'm sure.

It's a good thing that the Cloisonne jacket worked out so well because the eyelet cap is a bit of a flat failure. Actually "flat" is the wrong word, it's more of a floofy failure. Blocking didn't sort out the problem, rather after blocking the hat has assumed the proportions of two hats. That being so I'm going to follow Vanessa's example over at do you mind if I knit? and cut it in half. I'm pretty hopeful that I can at least get a ribbed beanie out of the lower half.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Finished objects galore

I've finished off a whole bunch of projects this week. Currently blocking in various locations around my living room are the Cloisonne jacket, Eyelet cap, and a garter stitch baby jacket.

The Cloisonne jacket was all but done before I went on holiday but I felt it was too bulky to cart around Ireland just for the sake of finishing the collar.

Cloisonne jacket

There are still a few ends to weave in here and there, the steek facing needs to be tacked down in a couple of places, and it needs buttons but it should be ready to wear by the weekend I hope.

Garter stitch baby jacket

This one doesn't need anything else to make it ready to wear - it just needs the intended wearer to arrive on the scene :-)

Eyelet cap

This one doesn't need anything else doing to it either. In fact I'd be wearing it already if it weren't for the fact that it's floofing out at the top of the brim in a most unattractive manner (think a handspun Shetland chef's hat).

Finalment we have a freezer paper stencilled t-shirt made at Ellen's gathering at the weekend using a stencil from this fabulous book which was brought by Abby.

Freezer paper stencilled shirt

I have to say that freezer paper stencilling is the most fun ever. It's crafty, you get a great finished object, and there's a high instant gratification quotient. I also stencilled this cute owl (traced from a card that Kate sent me).

Freezer paper stencilled owl

I was so pleased with how this turned out. Check out Ellen's post if you want to see the big reveal.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Low key

I've not really had a quiet weekend in the flat - just me with nothing to do and nowhere to go - since the end of July. It's been really restful to just relax with some good food, a bit of telly, some reading, the football on the radio, some knitting and spinning, and to catch up with the washing up and the laundry.

Butternut squash risotto

Roasted butternut squash and garlic risotto. This is sooo good. I had it for dinner last night and I'm having it again tonight (butternut squash just doesn't come in one person portions). The boyfriend (for some bizarre reason) is not a fan so I'm taking the opportunity to fill my boots whilst he's away for the weekend.

Maison Blanc yumminess

A Larieux from Maison Blanc. I couldn't say that this is my favourite MB cake, sorry, gateau - they're all my favourites. I walk past the shop twice a day on my way to and from work. I wouldn't be human (or at least female) if I didn't step in to buy a cake for pudding now and then.

I ate these whilst watching the final episode of Sherlock on video. I really like this new series - I'm really pleased that the Beeb are making another one. When the box has been switched off I've been reading The Private Patient by P.D. James. This is the first of her books that I've read. She's been recommended to me by several people although my sister's recommendation came with the caveat that she enjoys the books up to the point of the murder as she doesn't particularly like Adam Dalgliesh and I finally picked up this one which has been lying around the flat since the boyfriend bought it a while back. I'm quite near the end now and I'm looking forward to finishing it over dinner tonight whilst listening to the Prom.

There's been a bit of retail therapy too. I popped into Darnit and Stitch to look at wedding dress patterns on a tip off from Jenny and to buy some buttons for the green garter stitch baby jacket. These are just perfect I think, very pretty.


I also bought some yummy, half price chocs from Hotel Chocolat (the label said I should "consume promptly" - I don't think there's any danger of not doing that) and then a new nail varnish from Boots in a very tasteful coffee colour as I had a £5 voucher off (when exactly did nail varnish become so expensive btw?).

And very satisfyingly I've found time to sit down at my spinning wheel and start on some of the fibre I bought at Knit Camp in Stirling.

Old Maiden Aunt fibre

This is a handpainted Blue Faced Leicester and silk blend from Old Maiden Aunt in "Wishing and Hoping" - I wish and hope that you are all having as lovely and restful a weekend as I am.

Friday, September 10, 2010

What I knit on my holidays - part #2

This is the project for which I thought I might need a backup whilst I was away. I set out with yarn, needles, and a pattern (not this one) which I wasn't completely sure would work (as it needed to be down-sized) and came back with this:

Garter stitch baby cardigan

It just needs a couple more rows in the body, the sleeves, and some icord edging and button holes and then it's done.

The yarn is Blacker Designs Corriedale in a fabulous leafy green which really doesn't show up in this photo.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

What I knit on my holidays - part #1

This was my backup holiday project. Without a current portable project on the go and a new project to start which I wasn't entirely sure would work I packed this "very easy" hat pattern, the right size needles, and a ball of handspun just in case.

Vogue Eyelet cap

I didn't get quite as much done as I thought I would on the journey (due to the need to assist with the navigation on A roads rather than motorways) but I had a couple of good sessions in Ireland and have really motored on since I got back.

Eyelet cap

I'm just about ready to work the decrease round and then it's on to 8 inches of two by two rib.

Eyelet cap

What's that marking the beginning of my round?

Stitch markers from Mel

Whilst in Stirling I was bemoaning my lack of matching stitchmarkers and Mel very kindly offered to make me some. These were waiting for me on the doormat when we got back from holiday. They are soo pretty - thank you Mel!