Sunday, 19 August 2007

Going slowly

Sorry for the lack of activity over the last week or two. I still have a fairly bad case of knitters block. I keep myself awake at night trying to decide what to start next and how to do something without buying more yarn. I have a big enough stash right now to complete all my summer knitting if only I could decide on a pattern or two. Thanks for the suggestions last time. They are the sorts of things I'm looking for but each time I decide to knit one I get confused by which yarn to use and it all goes wrong. TBH, what I really, really, really want to knit is this:

But when I factor in the ridiculous postage costs and the horrible exchange rate it ends up being at least $100 which is a bit much really. But it is exactly what I want. ~sigh~

So to kill time while I think about what to knit for me I have start another top for Euan. A cardigan this time using the leftovers from his last jumper. I am using this as an excuse to try steeking. Something that seems like the most sensible yet terrifying technique, especially as I love knitting in the round and hate seaming. I thought it would make more sense to start with a child's jumper instead of a full adult one as if I totally screw it up then I haven't lost much. This is progress so far.

The funny ridge down the middle is where I'm going to cut it. As it's only Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece and therefore mainly cotton, it's not ideal for steeking but I'm hoping with a lot of sewing-type reinforcement that it should be ok. I'm going to put a zip in which should also help keep it together. Now if only I'd knitted it on 4mm instead of 3.5mm I'd be finished by now.

On a positive note my friend Laura recently got back from South Africa and, although she would never knit to save her life, she brought me back some gorgeous hand spun wool. Ahhhh what I great friend! She couldn't remember what type of sheep it was from but it was something African. It has such a gorgeous shine to it and the colours are just perfect for me. I really don't know what to knit with it, but I've calculated it's at least 130m so I could get something fairly decent.

Isn't it just beautiful!

Now a little family aside. I haven't put any pics of my boys up lately so here are a few of them. They both love cooking so last weekend they got together and made a great chocolate cake. Euan is so good in the kitchen now. Not only does he keep all the ingredients in the mixing bowl (better than his mum) but he also lets me lick the bowl! What a boy!

Some very serious stirring going on there.

And this is the finished creation:

It was as yummy as it looks.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Did you notice???

I know, I'm so sad, but so excited at the same time. Yes my good news was that I'm pregnant. Finally, after many, many months of trying. I know it's early days but it's such a relief for Dan and I. Just hoping the next few weeks fly past without incident and then I can relax a little. The first few weeks are always a little nerve wracking.

So my great dilemma now is what do I knit? I had all these patterns lined up but most of them are fairly fitted and not much use for a large bump. So do I stop knitting for me? Do I knit comfy cardis? (yuck!) Or do I find something that may be suitable during and after pregnancy? I think the latter makes the most sense, so now I'm on the lookout for some good patterns. I have a few ideas so I'll get back to you asap.

Yay! Happy dance!!

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

I jumped on the bandwagon...

and made the gorgeous little jacket that everyone in knitting land seems to be making. As women around me seem to be having babies left right and centre it seemed appropriate to give it a go. What is she talking about you all ask. Here it is:

To me this looks like a giant piece of brightly colour pasta (farfalle perhaps?) but with a simple fold and 2 seams you magically end up with:

Another Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket. Here are the details:

Pattern: Umm..what I just said.

Needles: Addis 3.5mm 60cm circs. Smaller than recommended as I was making it for a very small bub.

Yarn: Lovely 100% Aussie merino hand dyed by moi.

Duration: About 5 days.

Comments: Great pattern, easy to follow and loads of fun. My only issue was with the stitch marking. I didn't have any good markers to hook onto the stitches and safety pins were just too slow to undo and redo every row. I really need to find something more appropriate. That was what slowed the whole process, otherwise this could've been finished in about 2 days. Oh, and somehow I was 10 stitched short at the end. My counting went haywire and I have no idea where those stitches went but I don't think it looks that different.

Hopefully I can get some pictures on the recipient when she wakes up! I have also used this yarn to make soakers and longies for some babies so I will try and get some pictures of those too as they look so so so cute! I think I need to make a few more of these jackets as they are a great stash buster and so lovely. Best of all it's all garter stitch so I don't have to purl!

Not sure what to start next. I think the Tree Jacket is going to be shelved until next winter as I just don't like the wool I have used. I think it is time to start some summer knitting as Winter is coming to an end. Or I could make a few more pairs of longies as I know a few babies that might want them. What to do, what to do?

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Good news week

There is so much happening this week and most of it is great, if not fabulous. The only problem is that I can't really tell you about it yet. Sorry. I just wanted the world to know that life is wonderful at chez moi!!!

I have another FO and an almost finished FO so I'll sort those out tomorrow for you. And I have to post my SP11 questionnaire so I'd better sort that out and make it interesting. I don't want my Secret Pal to think that I'm really boring.

Off to have an early night so I can catch up on a bit of sleep and have enough energy to enjoy my week.

Hope everyone else is having a great one too!

Friday, 3 August 2007

Oh my god!! I'm in stash heaven

After feeling a little down this week due to family illness and other more personal issues, that needn't fill the pages of a knitting blog, I decided that have a little retail therapy. There is a beautiful "yarn shop" (I'll explain the "" in a sec) near me whose website makes very pleasant reading. They are one of the few places here that stock the proper yarns like Rowan, Debbie Bliss, Artyarns etc the only problem being that their prices are usually a fair bit higher than other places online. Now, if I could actually walk in, handle the yarn, get advice from the staff etc I wouldn't mind paying a little premium, but no. They operate not far from me but they won't even let you go and pick up your order. It's online only, which I find very disappointing. So I generally boycott them. (On a side note, there is one other shop that sells really nice yarn, but who is going to pay $20USD for a single ball of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino?? Honestly). Somehow, on Wednesday, I was wandering around the web and I happened to drop into this website and had a browse through their Sale section. $350 later I came out with some lovely, lovely, did I say lovely, yarn. The therapy worked for me!

Would you like a peek? I thought so.

Here is Euan showing just how big the bag was that it all came in. He's a pretty tall 2yo, btw.

And here is Koshka, just dying to climb in a sleep on all that lovely yarn. If you've never seen a Maine Coon then you may not appreciate how big the stash is. She's a bloody big cat!

And here is the all important close up:

Now how do I justify the expense (oh, the green stuff was from a different store, but happened to arrive at the same time. I won't add it's cost into the total for now. I think Dan would cry). The Cashmerino I had to have because I am in love with it. I have 15 balls in a deep burgundy that I bought in the UK but I have been too scared to use it in case I make the wrong thing out of it and waster the yarn. I thought it I had 30 balls of Cashmerino then I wouldn't feel so afraid and could use it for multiple projects, so I bought 15 balls of blue (no idea what the name is).

The Blue Sky Organic Cotton was going to be used for the Ribs and Lace Tank from Interweave Knits Spring 07, but I'm a bit concerned that the top looks a little like a bulls eye and I'm not sure I want that effect. Either way, I will knit something similar-ish to this for summer. The yarn is so incredibly soft I can't wait to wear it.

The Rowan Cashsoft is for Dan. I've been wanting to make him something for ages and he finally decided that he liked the look of this, but as I refuse to knit him anything that big in a silk blend we had to look for other wool. It couldn't be itchy, it had to be fairly hard wearing and it had to be good quailty so we went with Rowan. Luckily this was on sale too at Angel Yarns, who are great and buy heaps from them. Though don't order if you're in a rush. I think this took about 6-8 weeks to be posted as they had run out of stock. They aren't very good at keeping you up to date but luckily I didn't care. I'm just hoping that the Boyfriend Sweater Curse doesn't apply to husbands too!

And last but definitely not least the silk. Debbie Bliss 100% Pure Silk. I have no idea what I'll use it for but it was so so so cheap and I've always wanted to try silk so I bought heaps of it. 15 skeins to be precise (or 750g). It is D-lux stuff and will take dye beautifully so I have a few projects in mind but will take my time with this one. God knows what a mum with a toddler does with silk yarn. I wonder if it gets badly stained by vegemite?

Oh, I am actually working on something right now. After putting the Tree Jacket on the backburner I started the little surprise and have got this far:

I'm sure loads of you (you know, all my readers Hahahaha!!) will know what this is as it is so popular right now, but I'm not going to tell the rest of you until it's done. The colour pooling is a bit annoying but I can't wait to see the finished item. Still don't know who it's for either. Any suggestions?

And one last look at the silk. Couldn't you just swim in it!

Thursday, 2 August 2007

I really had nothing to say until...

I finally discovered what all this Secret Pal business was (should've googled it a few months ago, lazy me) and got myself signed up for SP11. Yay!! It'll be so much fun. I just hope my obvious lack of talent isn't too disappointing for my swapee. Can't wait to start planning.

Apart from that it has been a lousy knitting week. The Tree Jacket is just lagging. You'd think that straight garter stitch sleeves would be a breeze but I'm just finding them so boring that I'm avoiding it. In fact I've only done about 6 inches on one sleeve since my last post. I'm thinking of putting it aside this week and making a little surprise. For those who know knitting it's a little Elizabeth Zimmerman surprise, and for those who don't knit, you just have to wait and see. I have the perfect yarn and oodles of recipients so I think I'll use it for a distraction this week. My only issue is that I don't understand the stitch marker placements but I think I can wing it.

I think the other thing contributing to the knitting lull is the fact that Dan has been sick and off work all week. We have such a small cottage of a house that it's been like having two toddlers under my feet all week, and one of them complains an awful lot! He finally seems on the mend today so hopefully he'll be less whingey and he can help out with Euan a little bit. It's not fair that he eats into my knitting time (joke!!). To ease my pain I did a "little" bit of yarn shopping but it is all so lovely that'll you have to wait until it arrives for further details.

Well we finally have a sunny day after weeks of rain so I'm off to do loads of washing and then start my next little project. Hopefully I'll have some progress for you soon.

As there are no pictures here's a little yarn p0rn for you:

Old stuff of mine, but ever so pretty.