Saturday, November 29, 2008

Decisions...

So, I bought a sweater worth of Noro Cash Iroha from Knit n Caboodle at the Harrogate Show. (It's not quite as turquoise as in the picture...)

Noro Cash IrohaI was thinking of knitting the Simple Knitted Bodice with it, but I'm not sure I have enough. I probably do...

Anyway, in my Queue there are other options which use the same weight yarn, Snow White and Corsica.

So, the SKB is a good length, my main concern being whether I have enough yarn. Snow White is very pretty and I already have the pattern, but despite it being pretty, I'm not sure if it will look nice on me. Corsica is beautiful, but I'd be worried that it's not long enough, as it shows off the model's tummy in the pictures. Not a good look for me at the moment I think. And not good for being warm! So I'd have to extend the length (just keep knitting!) but I think that would be quite easy because it seems to have modular construction.

So, I'm trying to decide which of those three I would rather make, which comes down to which I'm more likely to wear I think. The shape of the SKB and Corsica is a flattering one on me, it adds balance to my pear shape! But Snow White is pretty and would go with the tops that my mum has bought me for Xmas (same shape)

So, it might cost me up to $8 for a pattern, but that's not that much. I buy entire magazines for one pattern, so why not?!

So, eventually I'll let you know what I pick. I have to finish my hat first. Not that the hat that I own isn't adequate, but it is looking grubby from a year's wear (it's white, as you can see in the Clapotis pics from earlier) and I always like new hats. I'm decreasing now, it should be a bit big/floppy and will have a brim. I hope I haven't made it too big/floppy though! (Getting concerned about the amount of yarn I have left!) So pics of that soon(ish).

[edit] I should add that I have a sweater worth of Noro Kureyon, Rowanspun 4ply and of Rowan Summer Tweed too. I have an idea that I might make Ester with the Noro, Apres Surf Hoody with the Rowanspun and Hey Teach with the Summer Tweed.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Not News

I have no news, but someone who did take some nice pictures at the Harrogate show is Purplestocking

I'm knitting myself a hat from the Toft Alpaca that I bought from the Yorkshire Show. It's a pattern from Stitch N Bitch Nation, but I'm adjusting it as the suggested yarn is Aran weight, and the alpaca is DK. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Clapotis!

Clapotis on meSo, as I mentioned in yesterday's post, I finished my Clapotis in time to wear it to the Stitch and Craft (or whatever it was called) show yesterday. I love it! It's warm, pretty, stylish, and did I mention it's warm? It's pretty long, but in a good way. Brilliant! That also means that I have one less thing on the needles at the moment. I know I should really get going on mum's cardigan, but I don't really feel like it. I might have a stab at the swatch for the Muir.

Matching Hat and Sweater We went to the tip today to do some recycling and when we came back I realised that OH was wearing his hat with the sweater I knit. As they're both in the same yarn, it looked very cute, in a matchy-matchy way. I really like both items, and I'm glad that he does too.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fun Day!

I have finished the Clapotis, but it needs blocking again (I did wear it today...) More on that later. Today some of the girls from my knitting group and I went to the Knitting and Stitching show in Harrogate. I'm afraid I was rubbish and didn't take any photos. This was mostly because there were lots of signs on the displays asking us not to. I did score some great yarn though, so I'm going to share that with you now. The Haul As well as yarn, I bought some other bits and bobs. Underneath all the stuff there is a Jamieson and Smith 100% Shetland wool blanket. It's really pretty, and should be warm. OH has agreed that he's going to buy it for me for Christmas. There's also a book in there. It's about how words from textiles are used in our language today. It's signed by the author for me too. How cool? There's a funky T-Shirt there on the left which I love. I tried it on at the stand. From Knit & Caboodle. Then, at the back, there's a dye kit. It's natural dyes, from DT Craft. I got some Noro sock yarn at a bargain price (I can't remember where from!) Yet More Noro Sock I also bought some lovely sock yarn (the red yarn) from the Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop who had lots of lovely yarn. 4ply Wensleydale Lastly, again from Knit & Caboodle, I bought 10 balls of Noro Cash Iroha in a nice shade of green. I hope to make a Simple Knitted Bodice from this. Noro Cash Iroha Other than the food being a bit dear, which frankly I expected, there were some good deals to be had. I am excited by the dye kit that I bought, and I'm looking forwards to knitting up the Wensleydale sock yarn into some "Spring Thaw" socks, from one of my magazines. In other news, I have another pattern up, the Hamster House. I wanted to make a cosy home for my hamster. So far all he's done is chew it a bit, but maybe he'll get used to it. In any case, it's 100% wool so shouldn't do him much harm if he does decide to shred it for nesting in.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Of Bread, Hats and Winding

Well, I finished the François hat for OH. It's pretty cool (well, warm...) Francois Hat
We've got some time off work at the moment. Partly to recharge, it's been a long couple of months with all the restructure and such at work. Partly to get some things done around the house that we've been meaning to do for a while (some of them for 3 years!)
One of these is to finish the curtains. I did the cream ones a while ago, and yesterday I finished the nets. Now I only have to make the outer drapes and the liners. (Only!)
Well, otherwise we've mostly been tidying up and that sort of thing. You know, the stuff you don't do because you're just tired and want to veg out after work. (Even despite my sore throat! How motivated am I?)
But, I got a little side tracked today when I realised that we had nearly run out of the nice organic loaf that we bought at the Farm Shop, and that the bought loaf just isn't the same level of niceness. So I've made some bread. Bread Doesn't it look scrummy? The loaf on the left is wholemeal with pumpkin, sesame and linseed. The right hand loaf is plain wholemeal. I used dried yeast, and I used about double what they suggested in the recipe so it should be light. The recipe came on the back of the bread packet, which is useful.

So, other than the make-the-house-nice tasks, which we're doing a reasonable number of each day, I'm hoping to have a pretty relaxing week in the run up to the stitch and craft show on Friday. Minniemoll has kindly offered to drive a small group of us there and back. I'll make sure to charge the camera and take some photos of the prettiness I'm hoping will be there.
I have already received my show guide, and I have highlighted and named all of the stands of interest. I'm not sure what I'm most excited to see yet. I'm looking forwards to the Habu stand, though I don't know if I'll be able to afford anything there! I'm also keen to see the Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop after my lovely visit to their farm. I'm thinking of picking up some 4ply from there for some cosy socks or perhaps for a shawl. I quite like working with 4ply, though I don't know if I could ever manage a sweater from it. One day. There must be patterns for sweaters that are as addictive as Monkey - Which reminds me...
I'm sure you remember this: Wrath of Kool Aid 2 Well, I wound it into a ball, which looks like this: Wrath of KoolAid 1 And now I'm making "No Purl Monkeys" with it. Well, mostly no purl. There are purls in the ribbed cuff, and there will be purls in the heel. Another variation would be to really avoid the purls and have say a picot cuff and a garter stitch heel. Maybe next time. Anyway, the colour is Wrath of Kool Aid, and I can't believe how pretty it looks when rewound. I want to wind all of the hand dyed yarn I made, at least into new skeins!
Must do house chores first. And I like to think that there's a hope that I might be able to wear my Clapotis for the Stitch and Craft, though it's only a shade over half completed and I've been knitting it for two months now...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lest We Forget

I know that the web is awash with this sort of blog post, but I am compelled to post anyway.
I am always touched by the stories which are told on Remembrance day. Stories of heroism, bravery, sadness and loss. I have done some little research into my family history, and know that members of my family fought in both World Wars. I was a child when British Troops went to the Falklands. British Troops still fight in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day, is not just a day to remember those brave men and women who gave their lives so that we could live free in the Wars at the beginning of the 20th Century. It is also not just a day to remember those who have died or been wounded in wars since. It is also a day to reflect on the reasons that these wars were (and are) fought. Whether you agree with the war in Iraq now doesn't change the fact that young men and women are fighting there for freedom.


I leave you with two verses from a poem... (full version here)

For The Fallen
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
-- Laurence Binyon

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust

Remember that I was making a cardigan for my Mum?
Well, I've just frogged back 28 rows of 209 stitches.
Why?
Because I should have been knitting 236 stitches per row. Not the right size, even with my slightly large gauge. (And I made a mistake in the lace too, though I was willing to live with it...)

So, now I have to cast on 236 stitches again, so as to start making the right size (all being well)
Although I'm thinking of substituting the lace pattern in the original for something a bit more interesting. I've found one which is pretty called little roses. (I also liked passionflower which looks just like no-purl monkeys)
Oh well, live and learn.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Fetchingly Repetitive

I have knit two pairs of fetching so far,
Fetching One Pair Fetching
They’re a nice knit. the second pair are slightly amended, as I did a longer thumb and an extra repeat of the cable on the knuckles.
I wonder if they might make nice actual mittens too. You see, my fingers get cold easily, and so I like to wear “fingerful” gloves and mittens. I’m considering making some of the pretty ones from the autumn issue of Vogue Knitting. However, they’re all sock weight. As nice as that is, there are a couple of points: they’ll take a while; they will not be as thick. So I’m thinking about perhaps converting the Fetching pattern into some mittens that I might wear, when I’ve knit the other things in my queue right now. Or, some of them at any rate.
My plan is to finish the François, the Clapotis and Mum’s cardigan. I’d like to get the cardigan done before Christmas. It’s not technically a Christmas gift, but still. However, I’m not a big fan of cotton I have discovered. This is nice cotton too, it’s soft and not too hard to work with. It just doesn’t have the smoosh factor of wool, and the wool I’m working with is very smooshy. I have NDS BFL and Rowan Pure Wool Aran. Both are a real pleasure to knit with. I think, also, the pattern for the cardigan isn’t very intuitive. I’m tempted to rip it back and start again with a more intuitive lace pattern, or one with a longer repeat. Maybe I’ll have a look through my stitchionary tonight.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Dr Who Knitting Joke

From Have I Got News For You tonight
Dalek Knitting Pattern:
Knit 8, Purl 8, Extermin 8.

Tom Baker actually said that joke on the show. How good is that?
Tom Baker has the best scarf.

Mac-tastic!

So, two projects completed. That means seven to go! Seriously though, I feel good about having finished something finally! I’m all set for the next lot of socks, but I’m not casting on until I finish some more stuff. I’ve brought François for my lunchtime knitting. It’s just rib at the moment, it doesn’t get interesting until the crown decreases.
I don’t have any pictures of it yet, but I’m using the same yarn that I knit OH’s sweater from. It’s soft and has plenty of give, but it also copes in the washing machine (wool wash, 30˚, low spin speed, dry flat) so I’m pretty happy with that. I’m trying not to get too attached to the hat as I knit it, for two reasons. One is that it’s not for me, the other is that OH will probably lose it before winter is out. It should be a quick knit, but a couple of rows here and there don’t make a finished hat.

In other news... the new Macbook is amazing. I’m really impressed with it so far. It’s brought it home, because while I’m happily surfing the web, installing Uploadr and such like, OH spent all afternoon installing Windows onto the new hard drive, and after that nothing works.
“Hello, I’m a Mac. Is that a DVD? Would you like to watch it? Ok!”
“Hello, I’m a PC. What is this disc? What? Oh, really, a DVD? Well what do you want me to do about it?”
So now he’s got to spend goodness knows how long trying to find all the drivers for everything! Since we’re really organised, most of the discs for the hardware we have are scattered all over the house (not literally, that would be even more untidy than I really am). The Mac just does stuff. It’s fab! Plug in a mouse: it works. Plug in iPod, camera: they work. I haven’t tested my phone with it yet, but I’d be willing to bet it will work with a lot less fuss than the PC!
Pretty much the only problems I have are: the “ and @ are the wrong way round (as are \ and ‘) and the close-x button is on the other side of the window. Both of these things I am already getting used to though, so frankly that is a small price to pay for a system which just works.
Now I just have to work out how I’m paying for it. Whoops.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Completed Knitting!

I've been doing some knitting today too!
I've finished some Fetching for my Secret Santa giftee. I don't imagine she reads my blog so I'm not worrying about that.

I also finished the Noro Striped socks which are fab...
Noro Socks Front

Shiny Shiny!

So, I told you that my PC was broken.
Well, after much some deliberation, and a trip to Maxwells in Northallerton, I now have a shiny new MacBook. Shiny Shiny It's pretty, isn't it?
It's also wireless, so naturally we've upgraded our home network to be wireless. Which means I can read my emails or surf the web (and Ravelry) from anywhere in the house.
It rocks!

However, we started off, yesterday, with a Belkin wireless router. Which was a bit intermittent last night, and then this morning it just didn't work at all. Pah. So we've swapped that for a nice Netgear one, which was much easier to set up and worked within a few minutes. Much better.

The old computer isn't completely written off yet though, we're now a two-computer household. Or we will be once OH gets the new hard drive working in the new one. Not complicated, but installing Windows takes a while, you know.

Then we'll have to set that one up to wirelessly connect too, and we'll be able to both be online at the same time!

Maybe we could get the XBox and PS2 on-line too now. Ahaha.
However, I am now appeased. And Apple are my new favourite manufacturer!