Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bridgewater Babes

Well the strategy was a big success. Great chat and merriment took place this morning AND the JGG got a kickstart, so things are looking up.

Mind you, I got home and discovered that I'd been using the wrong needles. Shoulda bin #6's not #8's. Natch! It was bugging me all along that the motifs looked a little bigger on the 2nd sleeve than on the 1st but I was busy ignoring that little voice*. A not-unusal-but-foolish case of continuing to knit against one's better instincts.

Besides I blamed it on the fact that I had to frog the 2 cable motifs down to the rib (don't panic, it was only about 6 rows) and reknit them with the hanging strands.

Anyhow, we're back on track now and 30 or so rows to the good.


*(Anyway, I don't always do what the voices tell me. Or I'd get arrested.)


Friday, February 27, 2009

JGG Update

Well, after a crazy busy week what's the progress on the Jolly Green Giant?


Yup, a big fat zilch, nought, nil, nada, zip*.


Still, I'm off to meet my people at Bridgewater Shopping Centre, Arklow (Rav link to forum) for a knit 'n nat this morning. For once I won't be peeling children off the walls so I might be able to get in a few rows.

Mind you, with our history of laughing, there's always more 'nat than knit when we get together. Love it.

* proof positive, in case you had any doubt, that as far as blog posts go, I really can make sumthin' outta nuthin'. Hee hee....

Friday, February 20, 2009

So many plans.... little time.

I can't tell ya how many things I want to knit/design - and how little time I get to do it. 30 mins a day (often less) is not going to create much.

Still, I put a lot of store in the thinking time that you get commuting, cooking and generally doing chores, so there is more time for planning at least in the abstract. Not to mention the lying awake at night after Little Mouse wakes up at 3am for a cuddle. [What do non-knitters think about? I used to worry and fret, but now I daydream about yarns and patterns. Much better.]

How-some-ever, at some stage you do have to get needles and yarn together and dive in.


Plus there's a definite schedule for finishing things (JGG fer instance) which needs to be followed or they'll never be finished in this lifetime. Hope I can knit in the next as well.

Countdown to JGG deadline - 26 days. 1.5 sleeves, 1 front, 1/2 back, 1 original design and chart original front, plus the relevant seaming.

No problem*.


Wish me luck.

* Poppa, if you're reading this. It's utterly a pleasure - honest.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

A recession vs a depression

When I left college during the 80's there were no jobs to be had and very little spare cash around. The prevailing 'joke' I remember, was thus...

'If someone else loses their job, it's a recession. If you lose yours, now THAT's a depression.'

Good luck! I hope you weather the storms. At least there's always knitting. And if the worst happens, thank goodness my stash is big enough to last me quite a while.

I knew there was a good reason to be so oversupplied with yarn. Tho' I think hubby thought I was just trying to insulate the house.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Very 1st Tudura

Having admired this pattern for a long time, I decided it was time to try it out. (In DB Cash DK, somewhat less than 1 skein)

I really enjoyed knitting it, the pattern is a delight, very clear, simple and quick. No wonder there are 1095 of them on Ravelry. And very shortly there will be one more - 1096 and counting.

Here we are rehearsing the button placement. On the advice of the designer, I'm gonna line up the bottom of the button band with the lower edge of Tudura for maximum style and effect, (thanks Cheryl).


Friday, February 13, 2009

Crown Jewels

Introducing the Crown Jewels, a chunky hat of my own design*, in Artesano Aran. So named because it does kinda look like a crown, especially with the addition of rubies.

Modelled above by my good yarnie friend S. Look at that lustrous hair. Impressive, eh? Now, there's a fiber worth having.

Side view, sans rubies...

Pole dancing position (no, don't ask) with rubies added...

Blocking - on a dinner plate a la Ms Zimmmerman's instructions...

Yes, I know it looks like the Starship Enterprise coming in to land.

It's yarn Jim, but not as we know it.

I'm so pleased that this pattern has such a good response from my people of kindred spirit knitting pals.

On the other hand, it has also been compared with this....

...and this...

* I use the term pretty loosely as I'm such a newbie

Overdue Report on Waves of Grain

In early December I gifted beloved H her birthday Waves of Grain. It's knitted in Shepherd's Sock Tahoe, a fingering weight sock yarn with beautiful colour shifts through blues, greens and heathery* purples - which in my view is completely wasted on socks. Not only are the colours divine, but after 3 months of wear it hasn't pilled or fuzzed in the slightest. I guess a sock yarn has to be tougher than other yarns.

This was my 1st beaded lace project and I really really enjoyed making it. Plus, I think she really really likes it, so that makes for a really really great project. It wasn't without it's traumas however, so today I have come to share...

The pattern is constructed from a beaded lace pattern at each end, so that you knit each end towards the middle, whence you graft the ends together with Kitchener Stitch.

So far, so fine. I wasn't a bit worried about the Kitchener Stitch. For one thing I was far too busy sowing the grain in straight lines to worry about something that surely I could manage when I got there.

This was the first of a series of assumptions which turned out to be just plain WRONG.

The second assumption was just plain stoopid. Instead of either...

a) knitting both lace ends at the same time, or

b) knitting 1 lace end and finishing up that skein for half the scarf (I had only 2 skeins), and repeating for the 2nd half

...I merrily knit away at one end, joined the 2nd skein and kept right on going. It was partly because I was really enjoying the plain lace part of the scarf and I couldn't stop knitting it, partly because I needed a very portable project and the beaded lace part needed more concentration than I could give it at that time and partly because I was foolishly confident that I could get a 3rd skein at the drop of a make them the same length.

(Note to self: not the first time I've made THAT mistake. Sigh.)

Eventually I put the brakes on and knit the other lace end of the scarf and started to work my way up from that end. UN-fortunately, (and you may have seen this coming), I ran out of yarn only about 12 inches away from that end. Which means people, that the Kitchener Stitch graft does not occur halfway along the scarf, i.e. to be worn at the back of your neck, but instead it lies somewhere around the collarbone. In full view.

So, I'd better make the Kitchener Stitch perfect and super smooth, right? Not so. I tried it several times but found it very difficult to get the hang of. The pattern does have detailed instructions for one method, but you kinda have to know what you're doing in the first place to get it right. Me, not so much.

It didn't help of course that this was happening well after midnight on the day before the birthday party. Pressure and fiddly needlework - not a good combination. Still, when I finished I thought it looked reasonably OK, and headed off to bed. Must have been drunk.

In the cold light of day, it was clearly not 'reasonably ok', it wasn't ok at all. Lumpy, bumpy and worst of all, the beautiful lace ladders were out of step.

See it in this pic?

How about now?


OK, so I've approximately 2 hours to fix it. What to do? I tried unpicking the grafting. No joy. It was waaayyy too fiddly and would take hours to unpick. So, desperate times and desperate measures and all that.

Don't be shocked. I took a pair of scissors and cut straight across. It turned out to be a really quick way of getting live stitches on both ends once more. This time I was really careful with the Kitchener Stitch and made sure not to pull them tight. More than half the problem in the pics above is caused by creating a sewn seam at the join instead of creating new and invisible stitches at the right tension.

The 2nd attempt wasn't perfect by any means, but it was much better. No pics unfortunately, but I'll get some another time. The Birthday Girl said she won't let me anywhere near it with a scissors, so it will just have to stand as is.

Next time I'll practice the Kitchener stitch a bit before diving in.

* and that's more appropriate than you know! Hee Hee. Sorry. It's private.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Knit Kit

Just came across this.

Pretty useful lookin' thing, innit?

PS: I love the internet. It lets me check out a few of my favourite things.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pick Up Your Needles In Your 'Auld Knit Bag and Spin, Felt, Knit & Crochet

Well! I just have to make a very quick report on the 'Pick Up Your Needles' event at the Tinahealy Court House last Saturday. (It's late and after 2 days of driving up and down the N11 in the snow, I'm exhausted!)

It was a wonderful event. 30 women (plus 4 tutors and several helpers) raised the roof of the Courthouse (a great venue by the way) from 10am 'til 5pm, knitting, spinning, felting and crochet-ing - and chatting, and laughing, and whooping, and squealing, and cuppa-tea-ing and coffee-ing and munching on delicious baked goods and generally having a blast.

To tutors and orgnaisers Stephanie (knitting) and Irene (crochet), and fellow tutors Catherine (spinning) and Nicola (felting). Congratulations guys, it was a great success. I was thrilled and proud to be there.

And besides, I made these...delicious aren't they?

And then this. Boy was I proud.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I'm a Chunky Knitter

OK, so altho' I don't generally get into stuff that's toooo personal in this blog, while on the road to finishing up some UFP's I have come across a curious reluctance to finish something special.

It goes something like this...I'm a chunky knitter. Not a knitter of chunky yarn on big needles so much as a slightly chunky wielder of the needles.

I'm not sayin' this to put myself down, (something I try not to do, honest) but it has led to an interesting hesitation in completing a UFO which has been waiting patiently to be seamed for over a year now.

I refer to the Debbie Bliss Ribbed Cardigan, the longest UFO on the needles. Waaaay longer even than the JGG if you can believe it.

Given that this project was launched with great fanfare at the start of this blog...(end of 2007) it is not surprising that people occasionally ask about it and...ahem...slag me for not having finished it.

(For an early blogpost go here and here and here for some cardigan related stuff.)

The thing is, you see, is that it's fitted, and ribbed and might not look quite as wonderful as I would like on a curvalicious booty such as mine. I had in fact intended that there would be a little less of my loveliness when the time came to cast off, but life intervened and my plans in this regard are enjoying a somewhat delayed success.

(I'll get there by the way, don't fret, this is my year.)

I conclude the following:

- A great knitting project deserves to be finished, regardless

- and this would finally get it off my UFO list (yay)

- and do I really think that I can't finish it in case it looks cr*p on me?

- so while I'm walking around in other clothes I obviously think I'm invisible?

Get up the yard girl, and finish the thing already.