Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Symetrie hat

Here is my finished Symetrie hat, I finished the knitting on Saturday, didn't get round to blocking it until Monday and it was dry this morning. I love this pattern, so easy but the way the yarn is dyed really shows up well.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Current projects

Or some of them, anyway!

The story here is that Wollmeise shuts up shop for the month of August, so a few people on the Ravelry Wollmeiseholics Anonymous group decided to set up some KALs under the heading "Wollmeise Withdrawal Madness Month", and I've decided to join in with some of them. We have two months from 1 August to 30 September to finish our projects, so in the spirit of biting off more than I can chew I've signed up for the General Shawl KAL, the Kitchen Sink KAL (for everything that isn't a garment, shawl or socks), the General Sock KAL and the Honeybee Cardigan KAL.

For the shawl KAL, I've decided to double it up with the Stephen West "Earth & Sky" mystery shawl KAL, which is supposed to be all done by the end of August so I'm working on the basis that once that's over I'll have more time for the others. It uses three colours, mine are Wollmeise 100% in Natur, Daisy and Himbeere.

This is all I'm going to show here until the KAL is over, as I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but if you do want to see how it progresses my Ravelry project page is here.

The other KALs aren't mysteries, so I can show you those. The only one I've started apart from the Westknits one is Symetrie by Woolly Wormhead, and this is more or less how it looks now (I've actually got several more rows done):

This is Wollmeise 100% in Rattenscharf.

The others, which I haven't cast on yet, are Nasturtium socks which I'll do in a bright orange Wollmeise twin, and Honeybee cardigan - I'll make the cropped version in Wollmeise 100% in red.  I'll add photos of these when I get started on them.

Some other recent presents

Some other presents I've made this year.  Firstly, a Hitchhiker in Wollmeise 100%, colourway Chim Chim Chimney, for my sister's birthday:

And here is a little teddy I made for my two-year-old nephew's birthday:

The pattern is from Val Pierce's "Twenty to Make: Knitted Bears", but I changed the letter on the front from a B to a D as that's my nephew's initial.

Wire crochet

For my mother's birthday present this year, I decided to try something different.  I thought I'd try making a crocheted wire necklace, from this pattern by Leigh Manson-Brown.  It took a couple of attempts to get the right gauge, for some reason my tension is always off when I crochet, and frogging wire proved to be an interesting experience!  When I got it right, though, I was very pleased with the result and I'm sure I'll make more of these.


Having just mentioned my Spriteling, I thought I'd post the progress photos, while I wait for good enough weather and a helper to take a proper photo of the finished shawl.

This was clue 1:

After finishing clue 2:

After clue 3:

After the fourth and final clue, before blocking:

While blocking:

The last picture is probably the truest to colour, the others were taken in all sorts of strange lighting conditions because I didn't want to delay starting the next clue just for the sake of taking photos!

Shawl pins

As I was participating in the Soctopus Mystery Shawl Knit-Along for Knit Nation, and had talked my mother and sister into doing likewise, I wanted to make us some lightweight shawl pins to wear with them.  The photos of my finished Spriteling will follow when I finally manage to get some good ones taken, but for now, here are the shawl pins.


My mother's:

My sister's:

Adventures in cardmaking

I thought I'd post some of my cardmaking experiments from the last year or so.

This first one is a good luck card for a friend who was going to university last September:

Sister-in-law's birthday card:

Sister's birthday card:

Mother's birthday card:

Father's birthday card:

And all three brothers' birthday cards:

Friday, 5 August 2011

Look what I just got!

My beginners handspinning kit arrived today, containing a top whorl Ashford drop spindle, a book on spinning and 100g of ready to spin merino. I ordered this because try as I might, I just couldn't find my old drop spindle, and I want to get started spinning again. I can't wait to try spinning merino, it'll be such a change from the wiry, sheep-dip scented Scottish Blackface we used to use!

The other bits are a copy of Ashford's spinning magazine and their catalogue, as if I needed more encouragement to spend money!

Last Christmas

"I gave you my heart" - sorry, couldn't resist! Actually, although I should really be thinking about knitting for next Christmas, I thought I'd post the makings from last year rather late.

For my mother, I made a scarf from Rico CanCan - I'm pleased with the result, but I wish I'd looked for tutorials on YouTube on knitting with this stuff BEFORE I started, there might have been less swearing as a result! I think when I make another one of these, I'll make it shorter and wider as the weight of the ruffles makes it stretch a lot.

For my sister, I made a scarf from Rico Pompon, I used a backward loop cast on and made it one bobble wider than the pattern suggested. For future attempts, I need to find a stretchier cast off so it doesn't bunch up at the end.

I ran out of time for any other knitting (disorganised as usual), but did quite a bit of baking. I made a Christmas cake at the beginning of November because the recipe said it would keep for two months. Poured a couple of tablespoons of brandy over it every two weeks, then iced it just before Christmas. Considering we only just finished eating it last week, I'd say two months is a very conservative estimate of how long it will keep!

I also made my own mincemeat, which I used to make mince pies and a "last minute" microwaved Xmas pud. The pudding was the nicest I've ever had, though I'm sure I shouldn't say so myself, because it was much lighter than others I've eaten. I even made my own brandy butter to go with it, as well.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Knit Nation - the spoils

Here is my entire haul of goodies from Knit Nation:

At the back is a load of patterns from The Bothered Owl and Natural Dye Studios, some free magazines from Twisted Angle, all three of Ysolda’s books, Jeanette Sloan’s book and Best in Show (also pre-ordered the cat version). On the far left are some bags of fibre and some badges from John Arbon and a bag kit from Debonnaire. There’s more fibre at the front, this time from Krafty Koala. The yarn all piled up all over the sofa includes my lovely bingo prize, Habu mohair, four skeins of Wollmeise lace, three skeins each of WM twin and 100%, the yarn from the London in Stitches set, three skeins of different gorgeousness from Artisan Yarns, ten balls of Camelot from the Little Knitting Company in some lovely new colours, three skeins of Knit Global sock, four skeins of silk from NDS and ten balls of Papiro from LKC. On the far right and mostly hidden under everything else are several project bags acquired over the weekend. It looks pretty obscene laid out like this, but I’d been saving for ages and this was my big treat for the year! And it’s got to keep me going for two years this time, so… And anyway, for once I actually have patterns in mind for most of this, honest!  The yarn is shown below in more detail.

This is Habu's mohair/silk, for Cocoknits' Maria:

Mohair from Artisan Yarns, came as a kit with a cowl pattern:

Silk from Artisan Yarns, this is destined to be Nightsongs:

Artisan Yarns' Teifi Dance, which is likely to become a Damson:

Two skeins each in two different colours of The Natural Dye Studio's Precious silk lace, which will be the patterns shown with the skeins:

Knit Global sock yarn, which is intended for a stole pattern from Jeanette Sloan's Collection One:

The Little Knitting Company's Papiro, for a pretty scoop neck top:

LKC's Camelot, in red and purple, which I haven't quite decided what they'll be yet:

Yet another skein of Wollmeise lace, this time picked up on impulse on the Sunday, in Schwarz:
I have this crazy idea in my head of it being a Shipwreck shawl with red beads, but I know it would drive me insane to knit in black laceweight - what am I thinking?!!

This is the Knitting Goddess "A Path Through London" from the London in Stitches set:

Viola sock in Ghost, part of the bingo prize donated by Loop:

Wollmeise 100% in Campari Piccolo, bingo prize again:

Dye For Yarn in Nightmare of the Blue Sea, also from the bingo prize:

Polyester cord from the Debonnaire bag kit, it's for a string bag type shopping bag:

So, that was my adventures at Knit Nation!  Now I only have to knit all this stuff...