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Socktoberfest KAL!


Friday, September 29, 2006

Not much to blog about here!

She lies there. Cold and lonely. Making very slow progress. But my Norwegian Stocking has to understand - I have a job now and lots of work to do. Yes, I do want to wear her but I cannot neglect paying the (yarn) bills as a result.

Speaking of which, I went all the way to London today and resisted buying anything, even fibre. Surely that deserves a reward? And my chosen reward will be a trip to Get Knitted next Saturday to rifle my snout through their bargain bins... their plans to open Britain's largest yarn store here in Bristol make me a very happy bunny!

But I have found some time in the car to click my sticks together... look...

Ok, so she doesn't look like much at the moment. But pop a foot into her (that's a hint!) and...

BAM! You've got Widdershins from Summer Knitty. All part of my Socktoberfest preparation.

Have you noticed the sexy icons to your left? Blame Lolly - why can't I quit her? She has muchos lovely knits, inspiring snippets and a great way of working up the knitters of the net into a frenzy. Widdershins covers cables, socks and the fall so I am keeping up my end of the bargain!


Kelly [ 7:01 PM ]

Monday, September 25, 2006

Baby I love you...

Yup, I have finished something! It's a teeny tiny baby raglan, roughly based on Debbie Bliss Baby Knits again. I adjusted the sizing to work with DK yarn (it was originally in aran) and whipped it up mostly while chatting on Friday night. I can see why so many people knit for babies.... it's immensely satisfying to see it come together so quickly.

I felt a bit at a loss when this was cast off so quickly, so I decided to finish up the classic stockinette car socks. And here's a little montage of them:

Well aware of the sins of the fathers, particularly the tightness of sock A, I increased from 60 to 70 stitches and used 4x3 ribbing. Consequently, this sock fits like a dream. I require a new in-car project now though.

In other news, I have decided to make the Snowflake Socks from Magknits as a Christmas present. This will mean breaking my yarn diet and shamelessly heading to Get Knitted in 2 weeks' time. Against my will of course...

Kelly [ 11:10 PM ]

Monday, September 18, 2006

A little update...

I sat swatching during Britain's Next Top Model tonight for the perfect colour combo for a baby sweater. I decided I want to knit a bottom-up raglan with cute at the shoulder buttony whatsits. Due to my yarn diet, this will have to be manufactured from my stash. I began swatching with Garn DK cottons and eventually came up with this little combo. In reality, the brown is less rusty but the other to colours are about right. It kinda reminds me of neapolitan ice cream.

As the baby is not due to make her debut for a few month's yet, there's no hurry. I'll focus my simple knitting attentions on Sock #2 of the Joy of Knitting Socks and Listening to Terry Wogan as Someone Else Drives.

Kelly [ 11:10 PM ]

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Dye another day...

I hit the dye vats last night to see if I could make my stash a little more exciting. The results were strangely appealing. This my new Miami Vice sock yarn. Undyed Opal, with the addition of Pink Lemonade and some groovy Changin' Colours Kool Aid. It should turn out generously self-striping as I spread the skein almost the length of my flat before I dyed it. The blue/green is even more lurid in real life. I might finally complete a pair of Jaywalkers in it, if third time is indeed lucky, or I'll start another pair of in-the-car stockinette socks.

The final picture is the most colour-accurate I think... pretty, ain't it?

The whole thing got my thinking... ccan Kool Aid dyeing be a little less lurid and in your face? I love bright colours, as my neon socks are testament, but can I come up with something a little more subtle. Why yes, of course I can.

This is the Rowanspun Aran, leftover from Rogue, dyed with Tamarind flavour Kool Aid. The result is a rusty orange stripe that should make for an interesting stripey ear flap hat. The colours are lovely and soft too.

This brings me on to my new, self-imposed yarn diet. No more until after Christmas. Harsh, but necessary. I almost waivered today when I saw some gorgeous chunky R2 yarn (no novelty braid crap) for 99p a ball in Hobbycraft. No, I stayed strong. It'll do me good - I am enjoying redisovering forgotten skeins of beauty that I couldn'y possibly have lived without. And changing the colour of my bath of course...

Kelly [ 8:01 PM ]

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Sock it to me baby!

Good news for my Norwegian Stocking - she is not destined to spend her life alone. In fact, she may be in good company as it seems a good time of year to be a sock. Although I have chosen to bow out of Sock Wars, I am whole-heartedly signing up to Socktoberfest! Another plot by the lovely Lolly to keep me knitting rather than doing housework or other trivial things.

I have been padding about in my first socks contemplating what the attraction of handknitted socks actually are. It's simple. They're special. I am well aware that Primark sell 6 pairs of perfectly functional socks for £2. They'll keep your feet warm (ish), your shoes from smelling like dumpsters and your slightly unshaven leg from peeking out into the autumn rain. But can it really compare with the a carefully hand-knitted sock that gently cuddles the curves of my (hobbit-like) feet? Of course not. Knitting socks is a pleasure because it is a luxury.

I have discovered something wonderful too - I can knit in the car on the way to work. This is a great guilt-free opportunity to catch up on a simple sock. Don't be alarmed - my boyfriend does the dirivng while I catch up on the happenings of the togs with Mr. Wogan. So, I decided to start a little socky delight for my drive to work...

Yum. The yarn was from my first experiment in Kool Aid dyeing from Project Spectrum. Nice, isn't it?

This is also my first toe-up sock. I have been fearing the toe up method for some time but decided on Mondyay night that it was now or never. Coffee? Check. Biscuits? Check. So I began. I started with Knitty's handy tutorial on toe-up starting points. My first attempt was with the short row toe and was... tore up. This is partially because of my feeble attempt atcrochet. I was not happy. So I moved on to the figure 8 method. Success. In fact, before long, I was knitting away at it like a demon.

The heel went fairly smoothly but needed a little bit of cosmetic surgery to fix some gaps when I was done... but we all could benefit from a little nip and tuck somewhere. My other mistake was to bind off a little too tightly. Still, as you can see from the pics, there's something enchanting about the woolly neon slouch at my ankle.

On a dreary Saturday afternoon, a technicolour sock makes me rather happy. It's only a 3-day week for me at work next week so I will have to knit pretty speedily to get Sock 2 finished. As it is eerily quiet here, I'm going to grab another cup of chai tea and make like a Norwegian...

Kelly [ 4:54 PM ]

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Are you looking at me?

It's been a very quiet knitting week for me, hence the lack of updates. I'm preparing for Christmas, as requests start to flood in... pretty good considering some of the knitted atrocities I churned out last Christmas. But a lot can happen in a year and hopefully this year's recipients will be pleased again.

This little guy? Why, he's a Nautie of course. And a clever little pattern it is. For those of you too lazy (or busy!) to study it, the Nautie starts life as an i-cord, being carefully stuffed as you gradually expand his shell. Eventually, you begin to curl him into a spiral as he grows, tacking down his shell to keep him tightly coiled. Beautiful. I chose to use some heavy aran weight Garn cotton for his shell and although he feels durable, even 3.25mm needles could not hold in his bounteous stuffing. Consequently, he looks a little fluffy in places. But no less adorable. His face is some fluffy scratchy horror given to me in a charity shop. I very much enjoyed the strategic positioning of his i-cord tentacles, mostly completed on car journeys to work. Now, he's ready for his close up...

And now I need to knit another one. I think that this time, I'll opt for the pointy shell and shocking tangerine. 1 ball of bargain Garn yarn down, only 20 to go...

And 2nd stocking is underway. No 2nd sock syndrome here, she's a real beauty to knit...

Kelly [ 4:46 PM ]

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Shop 'til ya drop

The first Saturday of the month heralds the opening of
Get Knitted's fabled doors. Many of you whom partake in their beautiful yarns may not realise that they actually exist in a warehouse on Barton Hill Trading Estate in Bristol and are a wonderful pack of enthusiastic yarn lovers, always keen to whip out the biscuits and hot beverages. A more beautiful rumour has it that they're planning to set up shop in Bristol and be open to us every day! In the spirit of a good American LYS, with room to bring along your knitting, workshops, movie knits.... oh, the beauty of it all.

Anyway, I hauled myself out there on Saturday morning with the intention simply of picking up some nice sock wool. I have seen a lot of lovel sock patterns around lately... my boyfriend certainly needs a pair of
Alice's boyfriend socks and Lombard Street has my name on it. But I was overwhelmed to discover... a bargain bin. With real bargains. No 100% acrylic nightmares, just lovely yarn seeking a new home. Mwa ha ha.

This is the largest chunk of the haul. It's the sampler pack of Garn summer yarns. £5. For 21 balls. And most of it is really nice. Soft, cottony, brightly coloured... perfect for my next foray. Knitted toys. A friend asked for stuffies for her two boys and I think
a few dinos and a couple of brightly coloured Nauties should do the trick.

Of course, there were a few horrors in the bunch. This abrasive scratchy stuff is grim. Luckily it had no ball band so it might not have made it into mass production. Ladies of SnB, I will bring it along and throw it at your mercy! Really, it's horrible.

The perfect anecdote. A half priced skein of hand dyed lace weight Anne from Schaeffer yarns. Isn't it gorgeous? Its rich, sumptuous autumnal colouring should satify my current desires for lace knitting. Any ideas of beautiful scarves and shawls that can be achieved in 560yds or less are welcomed.

More big scores. A cheap skein of hand dyed opal to make socks for myself, as well as a large cone of cotton cashmere bought by The Boy. He intends to make a cabled jacket out of it for his niece, which should be mighty cute.

Also scooped a couple of balls of 100% baby llama for £1 each as I had only ever seen alpaca wool, never llama. Feels similar, if not a little sturdier. Also some £1 balls of cashmerino chunky.

All in all, an amazing haul.

P.s. There have been some very attractive sightings below my knees...

Kelly [ 11:59 AM ]

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A few taunts and I was tagged for a meme!

There was no scheduled update for tonight, although I have a lot to blog about. I went to the hallowed warehouse of Get Knitted today of course. But instead, I'll just assure you it'll all be up here tomorrow morning and complete the meme that the lovely Anushka tagged me with. If you don't already, head to her blog and have a snoop. She makes me feel incredibly old sometimes but she's definitely one of the crafting elite :)

10 Things Meme
Tagged by the lovely Anushka

List 10 things you want to do. Today, tomorrow, next week, next year, or before you die.

Then tag some other people .

1) Have a novel published. And spot at least one celebrity waiting in line to get a signed copy. SJP would be good, anyone out of BB is out of the question.

2) Run the London marathon. Perhaps an odd aspiration for someone so round of bottom, but I am rather fond of running now I can.

3) Watch Failure to Launch. The DVD's in front of me and the rest of my Norwegian stocking is calling.

4) Get married. I am a terrible cynic and whole heartedly accept the soaring divorce rates... but show me a girl who doesn't love a new frock, a big cake and the birdie dance...

5) Have a dog. Never had one. But once I am a successful novelist, I'll have nothing better to do than chase a crinkly pug around my small holding.

6) Have a knitting pattern published. Seriously. I am brimming with design ideas at the moment - some of them need to make it to the masses!

7) See the world.

8) Play hopscotch again. Just realised it's probably been at least 10 years since I tried. Possibly more.

9) Have jelly and ice cream on my birthday (in 23 days time).

10) Get at least one comment on this post? I think too many people sneakily read my blog and don't tell me so!

Right... some tags. I'll try Katie, Alice and Claire. Speak up ladies!

Kelly [ 8:09 PM ]

Friday, September 01, 2006

Fight the grey for a picture...

Circumstances can be a funny thing. Despite finishing these weeks ago, I have been waiting for a pair of big feet to make them look their best. Thankfully, my boyfriend has perfect giant man feet to m
odel such a delightful knit. Sadly, Bristol will not be experiencing any natural light or sunshine for months to come so I had to give in and photograph them in our dark bedroom. Aren't they nice though? Here's the details...

Pattern: Cabled Footies from One Skein
Yarn: Rowanspun Aran, leftover from Rogue, less than 100g
Needles: 5mm DPNS plus a selection of cable needles (I kept losing them)
Time taken: They've been lingering a little while but they were a very speedy knit. I could crank a pair out in a couple of evenings if need be.

Modifications? Very few. I made them a bit bigger to accommodate larger feet but that's about it. I wasn't keen on the toes - they look mighty pointy without feet in them - and would probably modify them if I was knitting them again. Which I am sure I will.

These were intended as Christmas presents for my mum. But the model took a shine to them and he will now have very toasty feet on these cold Bristolian nights. And Mum will get a pair with less pointy toes.

Kelly [ 11:55 AM ]