Friday, 6 July 2012

Match, Set & Design

It's Wimbledon, so I'm trying to be topical - did it work???

Anyway, It's FINALLY finished, 18 months later and I'm officially done.

You would have heard me speak of the dreaded scarf knitted on small needles, that was never ending?? Yes that one... well I'm done and in case you didn't realise, (its been so long), it is part of a matching set:- beret, scarf and fingerless mittens.

I made the beret first and it sat languishing, waiting for the scarf to be finished. I couldn't wear the beret until the scarf was done - I know but that's just me!!

The beret was knitted from a pattern in an edition of the The Art Of Knitting magazine. I loved knitting this and it was so quick to complete but thought a scarf would complete the look perfectly.

So I just started knitting the scarf, no pattern just made it up as I went along...guess you could call it my first real knitted design piece. It wasn't until I was a quarter of the way through and realised that it was taking way too long, that I changed the design somewhat to a kind of "scarflette". I had to look up how to make buttonholes, so I guess you can say I learnt a new knitting skill in the process. I picked up the button at the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace, last year, when I thought I had a couple of weeks left before it was finished......Oh the joys of hindsight!!!

The mittens were an afterthought. I had so much yarn left over when I finished and I had never knitted mittens, that I thought why not and casted on. In fact I've still got a lot of yarn left that I'm thinking I may make another beret, this time reversing the colours (i.e. main colour green).

Here's the final result, (hat & scarf modelled by Miss H):








Oh and by the way, to carry on the sporting theme, the Olympic Rings are now up on Tower Bridge....yeah!!"





- Cheerio

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Jubilee Bank Holiday Progress

We've just celebrated a four day celebration for Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Fantastic stuff, loved all the pageantry and celebrations, although I didn't personally go to see anything. I really can't stand crowds plus I think, it would feel like I was going back to work, as the nearest bridges to me would be London Bridge or Tower Bridge (for the Flotilla) or trying to get to St Paul's, etc., as I work in the City. Too much for the Bank Holiday, besides I had a brilliant view on my TV set and I didn't even get wet!!!

However, I did manage to get a couple of photos of the boats beginning to congregate at London Bridge on Friday, (sorry not as spectacular as Sunday's Flotilla) but still quite exciting at this stage:




(Note: Tower Bridge is in the background):





Anyway, for this weekend I decided to finish off/work on some WIP's that have been lying around for quite a while - one for at least 18 months or so. A Beret and matching Scarf (my own design), which I did manage to complete yesterday and I am very happy with these I must say. I will probably publish more on this in a later blog.

I have also made much progress on my Lace Leaf Wrap, only 3 more pattern repeats to go, before I am finished and can I be honest?.... I can't wait for this to be done. It seems like its been on the needles forever, although actually its a lot less time than the Beret and Scarf. Here's where I am so far:




I don't think I've done so bad this weekend. I kept my resolve, although you don't know how sorely tempted I was to cast on something new- even winding some organic merino wool that I had lying around (as you do) into a ball - but no, I persevered with the older stuff, freed up some needles and now feel good for it.

Oh and I finished some socks.

For more WIP's (Bank Holiday ones or not), please check out Tami's Amis blog.


- Cheerio

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Finally Socks

Finally, finally, finally, I have got around to knitting socks.

I have seen sock projects everywhere (and Ravelry doesn't help really).  I have read that there is nothing like a hand knit sock for comfort, for durability, for fit, for feel but have never felt the need to turn my hand to this item of clothing.

To be honest, the patterns looked too complicated and beyond my technical ability, (I still think they are!).  I also don't know whether I will like hand knit socks but like I tell my kids, "you will never know if you don't try!"

Anyway, I made a promise at the beginning of this year that I would learn some new techniques in 2012, and in one fell swoop I am managing to tick two of the list - i.e learning how to knit in the round on double pointed needles and learning how to knit socks - Result.

I found the perfect pattern on Ravelry, The Universal Toe Up Sock Formula, which led me to use The Sock Pattern Generator, which did all the Maths for me - all the better!!! I did of course have to do a swatch to get gauge (I think this was my first swatch - I'm feeling more like a professional knitter everyday ��)!

I counted 9 stitches to an inch, plugged it into the Sock Pattern Generator, got the require cast on stitches and away I went. It was going good, I got to halfway up my foot, when I decided to try it on - DISASTER, way too big - oh my days!! Actually it would have been alright if I had been Big Foot but, Big Foot, I certainly ain't!!

So I had to re-swatch and recount - stupid me, counted wrong - 8 stitches to an inch (counted about 3 times just to make sure - definitely 8 stitches. I casted on again the required number of stitches, as per the Sock Pattern Generator and also this time I used Judy's Magic Cast On, couldn't be bothered with the crocheted provisional cast on, (plus the scrap yarn got tangled up in the original sock stitches and took forever to take out - that's another story!!!)

Anyway, second time around I am very happy and quite enjoying the process. This is where I got to so far:




Now I do hope that I don't get second sock syndrome and that I do actually wear these socks when they are done but if not, at least I can say that I have knitted socks and tick that off my To Do List.

For more work in progresses, check out Tami's Amis blog.

Until later......

- Cheerio

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Frogged

Ok so I frogged it, it was driving me crazy!!! "Frogged what?" I hear you ask....I frogged this: (also see previous post).


Honestly dear readers, the next time I tell you I'm going to knit a separate lace edging and then sew it onto the "whatever" project, you have my express permission to whack me over the head with a pair of 15mm knitting needles!!

I mean honestly, what was I thinking??? I know from the Baby Blanket, that I absolutely hate knitting separate lace edgings, loathe it.....BORING! So what on earth possessed me to try it again...I must have been out of my mind!

Anyway, I frogged it and decided to knit a new facecloth, with a lace edging (only this time as part of the overall project), so when it's finished.....IT'S FINISHED)!

Here is progress so far:



And can I say, that I am loving this, it's a delight to knit up and a perfect travelling companion. I've even got my little initial at the edge (not sure if you can see it but it's there).

I must also say, that I have definitely got value for money from the yarn, Patons UK 100% Cotton. I think I paid something like £4 for a single ball and I have already knit one facecloth, (albeit without lace edging) and the above one is halfway through with plenty more yarn left. I think I may also get another facecloth in, though smaller, so that's three. So when you think I could pay £2 for a shop bought facecloth and then, have to buy some lace (if I wanted edging), to sew on.....it really is quite economic to get 3 facecloths out of one £4 ball, isn't it?? Result all around I think!

Thanks for popping by!

- Cheerio

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Starting But Not Finishing

Hi all, I think I have now caught the dreaded "Uncompletion-itis" disease.

First symptom appeared about two weeks ago.

I finished the body of a facecloth I was knitting and decided that I wanted to do some lace edging for it.  So I dutifully researched the lace edging patterns on Ravelry and chose the Diamond Lace Edged one - so far so good.  I casted on and did 10 pattern repeats and now, I am b-o-r-e-d.... I really don't know why I do this (see previous blog), I'm really not good on lace edgings, I find them a bit of a chore. Here is the progress so far:




Then because I was flying to New York last week, I thought that besides the lace edging, I would need another plane project..so the Jewelled Cowl was chosen. The night before my flight, I took out my beautiful swift and wound the Malabrigo Lace yarn from my stash and threaded approximately 750 beads onto the yarn. (The pattern calls for 728 beads but I decided to do more, as a "just in case" measure).

Oh My Days!!!! Can I just advise you to learn from my experience - never, I repeat NEVER, thread the beads on for this project - do as the pattern tells you and put each bead in place with a crochet hook. I spent most of the flight (there and back) detangling the yarn and beads and have been doing so ever since - Nightmare!!!!



Here is the progress so far, suffice it to say I'm not really enamoured with this project, so not feeling the need to finish anytime soon:




Anyway, whilst in New York, I happened upon a local yarn shop and bought the most delightful Cascade Ultra Pima cotton in luscious green.

Now because I don't want to work on my lace edging anymore, am not liking my Jewelled Cowl (which by the way, I was looking do forward to making) and let's not start on my Lace Leaf Wrap (which is surely in deep hibernation and snoring away by now) - I casted on the pattern for the Grey Loop cowl, except mine is going to be called Green Loopy Loop. Haven't got very far but here it is:



I'm on holiday at the moment and whilst I'm now enjoying the start of my Green Loopy Loop, I'm eyeing up some cashmere lace yarn in my stash and thinking....mmmm maybe I should cast on for a shawlette.

Oh please send for the knitting doctor...please, I really need to finish something!!!

There are more people who suffer with this disease, I'm not sure how bad they've got it though. So you may want to check out Tami's Amis blog, if you want to research further!!

- Cheerio

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Happy

On Thursday I was feeling kind of "overworked and underpaid", you know what I mean - so I decided during lunch to take a trip to John Lewis in Oxford Street, to cheer myself up by looking at and touching some yarn.

Yes, I did have my project bag with me...yes I could have done some knitting during lunch but I didn't want to...I wanted a different sort of "cheer me upper" that only new yarn could bring.

To be honest, I was also looking for some new yarn for a project scarf, for my daughter in her favourite colours, lightweight enough for spring/summer and that didn't cost too much, (its still a week and a bit from payday and this girl is on a budget)!!!

Anyway, I browsed for a bit, feeling happier and happier - I just love John Lewis - and then I came across this perfect number:

Loved it straight away and knew it would be just perfect for what I wanted. It made me smile, made me want to hold it and never let it go. Even when I got back to work, I had to show all my colleagues, even if they thought I was off "me rocker"!!! I felt great, had to cast on as soon as I got home, abandoning all other WIP's in the process.

How can one ball of yarn make me feel so good???? I can tell you why because it's name is Happy (seriously - Happy by Wendy) and I didn't even pick up on the name until I got home, I just loved it!!!



So far its meeting knitting expectations and I will post photos of the finished project, as soon as I can.

In the meantime here is a photo of my finished Darkside Cowl (I've named it Purpleside Cowl - Darkside sounds well "dark") by Sarah Fama, made with another yarn that I have fallen in love with, Silk Twist by Rowan.:

(modelled by Jade)

I hope you have a happy day too.

- Cheerio

Friday, 9 March 2012

Productivity

It seems that I have been on a month and a bit break but I can safely say, not an unproductive one. I've been busy, I've had a birthday in between, tinkering on my brand new swift and I've been finishing off some projects as follows:

Firstly, I made a Mizzle for myself, with Rowan RYC Cashsoft 4ply Aran yarn. I'm not going to show a photo of it, purely because I'm not sure that I like it.  For some reason it doesn't look right on me, so I may frog...I've left it for a while though in my little knitting box of FO's, just in case I change my mind - but it's not looking good (unless someone rescue's it!).

Secondly, I finished the following Noble Cowl, made for my friend who like me, loves throwing things around her neck:





I made this from some spare bamboo yarn in my stash and I must admit I love it and she does too. I wasn't too sure at first, messed up the pattern early on because I wasn't concentrating (as you do), so frogged and re-started.

Thirdly, I finished my Birthday Scarf (aptly named because I started it on my birthday...dah, dah).  It's correct name is the Chinook Scarf, by Ali Green. 

It is modelled by the lovely Jade (who I have bought out of retirement...well therapy, (she was suffering from the symptoms of neglect, although my daughter doesn't see it that way at all!).  Jade also had her hair cut and braided for the occasion, the ultimate professional, despite her ongoing troubles  :)



 

Love this scarf, love this yarn, its called Katia Tupa, in Navy Blue - 50% Merino Wool & 50% Silk - beautiful.  Not very warm (I think) but hey it makes a great accessory.  I think this is going to be a staple in my wardrobe.
I am still beavering away on my Lace Leaf Wrap, Lord knows when I will finish this one, it surely is a Work In Progress (in every sense)!!!
I've also started two new projects during my hiatus, which I will let you know about on WIP Wednesday.
So all in all, I have been an extremely productive lady...how about you??  What you been up to??
To see more productivity, check out these knitting professionals on Tami's Amis blog.
(Disclaimer (or something along those lines): I hope you all are Ravelers or you may have difficulty viewing some of the links!!)


- Cheerio