Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Project Diving

Lately I've been trying to sort out the many many many bags, drawers and boxes (and saucepans, shoeboxes and baskets) that contain yarn, fabric, projects, WIPs and various craft abandoned items which will be really useful someday but not just now.

I can't deny that I have a hoarding disorder. I even collect materials for crafts that I don't actually do. I've the makin's of several lovely quilts, altho' my sewing machine hasn't been threaded since I hacked made some curtains when we moved into our house 15 years ago. FIFTEEN!!!

Hmmmm. Now that I think about it I'm starting to worry about the embroidery kits I got at the Knittin' 'n Stitchin' Show recently. I'm starting to see a pattern of unfounded project ambition here.

Anyhew...I've been trying to sort things out a bit and I came across this little beauty in amongst the stash. It's a pattern called Flore from this website.

I loved making it - tho' I didn't find it easy at all. It was pretty tricky, but a great challenge and very rewarding when it was finished. Kinda like the buzz you'd get working out a complex mathematical problem. If you liked that sort of thing. Come to think of it, it WAS a maths problem!
(I stress that the pattern was perfectly well written and clear, it just took some concentration and visualisation. No criticism of the pattern itself intended.)

It actually makes people gasp. Unlike many of my other handknits, I have trouble pursuading people that I made it. They probably think I'm delusional.

Now, I am delusional about many things;

- like that I can still get Little Monkey out to school within 5 minutes although she's only half dressed, can't find her shoes, hasn't finished her homework and she's currently chasing Little Mouse under the dining room table.

- like the true size of the clothing I should bring into the fittingroom

- like how much I need a particular yarn or project tho' I can hardly get into the yarn/junk/box room

- like I can meet my urgent knitting deadlines in November

But this?

This is real baby.

I love knitting.


Just because... looks like nothing's going on around here,

...sounds like nothing's going on around here,

...seems like nothing's going on around here,

...that doesn't mean that nothing's going on around here.

Just so you know.

Knitting has stalled on the Shepherd's Sock Secret Project due to a greater deadline of the Christening Coat. Photos to follow when I manage to get my laptop and the camera and the cables all in the same room at the same time.

Recently we went to Palma Mallorca for a long weekend. It's a great city. I love it. Lovely architecture, access to beaches, wonderful shop fronts, winding little streets, old pedestrian areas (er, the areas are old, not the pedestrians - tho' there are a few wise old ancients here and there around the place).

I love the Cathedral area, and the walk up to the train station, and the panoramic train to Soller in the north of the island, and Soller itself, which has all the great elements of Palma listed above (including old pedestrians) but on a smaller more accessible scale.

The panoramic train itself is reason enough to go. We took it on a wet day and stormy day, with thunder and lightening around us as we chugged throurgh the mountains. Great fun.

Little Monkey left her mark.


Monday, November 24, 2008


Recently Little Monkey has started this amusing dialogue on car trips.

'Are we there yet?'


'Are we there yet?'


'Are we there yet?'


[longer pause]

'How 'bout now?'


'How 'bout now?'


[even longer pause]


[PEALS of laughter]

[repeat joke]

'Are we there yet?'

[sigh, and my head hits the steering wheel]

She saw it on some cartoon or other. You can imagine that it's endlessly hilarious to her. Slightly less so to me.

She especially likes to start it when we're only 2 minutes into the journey.

In any case, I mention it because of this:

'See anything wrong with this picture?'

'How 'bout now?'


Shocking innit?

I had been carrying them in my handbag for out-and-about-knitting and they must have got caught up in a keyring or something and snapped. Tragedy.

I have carefully preserved the tip for some reconstructive surgery involving wood glue and some sandpaper.

I am hopeful.

Bloody but unbowed.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Well, I'm not usually spooked, but how would you interpret the following occurrences over the past few days:

- the power unit/transformer for my laptop started squeaking (seriously, it squeaked) over 2 days and suddenly died. Dead. Nada. Zilch.

- on the very same day the motherboard on my laptop had to be replaced due to a faulty network connection.

- squished my fingers in a window hinge. An accident, and yes, it was agony. This is the worst item to report. Knitters will understand.

- hit a pillar in my own driveway and severed a wing mirror entirely from it's moorings i.e. the car. Absolutely amputated. It's a good thing that a car isn't a living creature or it would have been a bloodbath. Good thing the hubby is a dab hand with an electric drill.

- got utterly lost on a visit to a familiar neighbourhood (in which I grew up). I blame the recent development of roads and the introduction of a one-way traffic system.

- the light bulb blew in Little Mouses's bedroom.

- the light bulb blew in my bedroom.

- the light bulb blew in the hall.

- lost my mobile phone temporarily (a minor event, it turned up within 3 hours).

- the base unit for my cordless phone appeared to fail. Turned out to be a wonky wire.

- ran out of petrol on a short local journey (rescued by a kind neighbour - THANK YOU!)

- burnt more than my usual amount of saucepans while chasing kids around the house.

- Little Monkey opened a set of paints on the car and exploded blue paint all over her good outfit and the car upholstery. A blue bloodbath.

- lost my mobile phone (again) - a major event as it didn't turn up for more than 36 hours.

- and just last night when I opened the dishwasher, a jet of hot water and dishwasher powder shot straight into my eye. Unbelievably painful.

This morning I was afraid to get out of bed in case a piano fell on my head.

If we meet up, I suggest that you sit at another table.

A jinx?



I hope so.




Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Taking No Chances

Turns out that sponge painting with the kids and knitting an off-white sleeve are incompatible activities.

(Don't worry, no knitting was hurt or damaged on this occasion.)

I kept looking at my knitting longingly and moving it further and further from the centre of the paint storm and finally took it out of the room altogether and put it on a high shelf.

You really can't take any chances with 2 gleefully paint spattered and over-excited children. The Deadline Knitting schedule takes a serious blow.

But...unrealistic knitting optimism is a powerful force of it's own. I can still crank out a couple of elf hats an' boots by Thursday morning, right?


I said RIGHT?

Thank you. I thought so too.


Friday, November 14, 2008


Oh my goodness.

I've just looked at the Twist Collective Winter 2008.

It's wonderful.

WON-derful I tell you.

I saw this and I thought I was going to have to lie down.

I'm so happy to be in love with so much knitting again. For a while there I was running out of steam.

I wonder if it's all the red things? A quick survey of all my devices, appliances, accessories etc demonstrates a dominance of all things red. I love 'em. (I only got a blue phone recently because I didn't know it came in red.)

And the illustrations in the Critter Comfort section are delightful.

Oh the swing.

Words fail me.

Until next time that is.

Go take a look and come back and tell me what you like.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Winter Essentials

Oh fickle knitter!

Mere hours after changing my mind about Mathilde the Wonder Dress, I turned to a very happy alternative.

Meet Jeanne from Winter Essentials. Isn't she lovely?

Nice and casual yet classic. Much more my style.*

The Lovely Ladies of TIK graciously allowed me to swap my Cash DK** for this DB Luxury Tweed. Perfect! They've loads of lovely new colours in, so go check it out.

* Don't worry. Mathilde will still happen, she's just slipped little further down the queue!

** This nervous exchange of yarns does not indicate any fault with DB Cash DK. The author recognises that it is a lovely natural fiber which naturally will pill somewhat. This can be effectively countered by judicious shaving of the offending fuzz. I will be happy to return to this yarn in the future, especially if pilling is not reported in other projects. Thank you for your attention. Over and Out.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Reality check


Well, reality set in about a week after the Knitting & Stitching Show. Several knitters have warned me of the liklihood of the Cashmerino DK pilling on the Wonder Dress Mathilde (Rav link).

I know it's not the 'fault' of the yarn per sae. It's the merino element of the yarn coming to the surface. And I know that it's possible to 'shave' the knitting and restore it's glory. I get that.


I just don't think I could bear it. It's going to be such an investment in time, knitting, yarn...(oh and yes, the knitting budget) for it not to be lovely.

Does that mean that I'm not going to knit it? Nay, nay, say it not.

So I'm looking for a substitute yarn. I'll be able to check out other projects over the next little while (thanks Ravelry!) and see what alternative options are.

The Ribbed Cape however is going to be a winner. I've no problem with some pilling here as it's an outdoor garment and somehow needs to be more robust and work harder than Mathilde.

A knitted dress is entitled to look dainty - (or as dainty as it can do when it's not on a stick insect).

In the meantime, there's frantic knitting on the Secret Project and the Christening Jacket.

All good.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Knittin' & Stitchin

Well! The show was great people. Just. Great. I went on Friday with my Mum and the girls. There was lots an' lots of yarn related stands and lots an' lots of paper/cutting/cards/stamping/glitter stuff for Little Monkey.

Especially glitter. She was waaaayyyy happy I can tell you.

Foolishly I had thought that since Little Monkey is now old enough to be interested in the show that I would be able to look at knitting stuff. WRONG! She's interested alright, but not in yarn, and Little Mouse, apart from a conveniently times nap just didn't want to stay in the buggy - so I didn't get much peace to look at what I wanted.

I did get a few great things however for some Christmas gift felting projects from The Yarn Room (thanks Stephanie). More info in a later post.

And some embroidery sets as gifts and/or to make at a future date. When I have some spare time. Hah! (** sound of hollow laughter)

Anyhow, this was just my excuse to dash up to the show without children on Saturday morning. Boy was I glad. I got to talk to far more people at the fabulous TIK stand and also to get to the Debbie Bliss Seminar, which I really enjoyed.

Believe me, the irony of falling head over heels in love with not one but TWO of Debbie Bliss recent designs less than 1 hour after commenting that they were starting to look very same-y is not lost on me.

Knit Passion No 1.

Mathilde from Winter Essentials

What can I say? Anyone who was at the seminar can attest to the stunning beauty of this piece. The silkiness of the yarn, the sheer delight of the design and the beautiful flow and drape of the fabric. Words fail me.

So I tried it on. And OK, I'm somewhat more round-y that the model, but I still loved it, and it looked great on everyone there who tried it on. I ran downstairs and invested. They were out of the grey-sheeny colour in the pic so Lisa suggested Cashmerino DK 31, a sort of moody grey green. It's lovely an' all, but I'm having some doubts about the colour and may decide to wait until the silver grey is available or even No 32, a sort of dark maroon which is more my palatte.

It's not like I'll be able to cast on before 2009 in any case, so there's no rush.

Knit Passion No 2.

Ribbed Collar from Como

Now with this, I've no hesitation at all. It looked really great on everyone who tried it on and I've been litereally dreaming of it ever since.

Oh yes, I got it in red of course. What else. all my fellow knitters and crafters who went to the Ball Show, I hope you had a wonderful time and got something that will enchant you for many moons to come.

Ah, next year!!!