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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Fraternal twins...

This pattern needs no introduction. These were a present from my boyfriend for my 24th birthday. And I love them to bits. Yes, they are slightly different sizes, despite being made with identical wool on identical needles shortly after each other. I think it's just one of those things. Like the sheer greatness of having a boyfriend who shares the fibre love and gives great presents :)

Smugness over, let's get down to my knits.

I was off work ill today so I bundled up warm and headed to Bristol's Mina Road park to snap a few of my knits in the daylight.

This gorgeous Nautie deserves a face before I ship him off to California. It's on my to-do list, I promise. Last time I glued I lost most of the skin on a couple of fingers.

This feather and fan scarf has been sat in my knitting basked for eons. It's made from some mystery charity shop yarn that I bought 500g of for £1. The problem with it is that it has no intended recipient, so I have no proper motivation to finish it. It's a lovely mindless knit though and I might try and finish it up before Christmas in case anyone shows up with a gift for me that I wasn't expecting.

The Thanksgiving Sock-In-A-Day has a buddy now, just waiting for me to find a needle so I can bind him off and set him free. When a needle is found, he'll be kept in a safe place, not least of all because these have to be attached to something...

Kelly [ 6:23 PM ]

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The best thing about knit blogging? Other bloggers.

I am sorry for the delay in posting - I have just spent four days stranded/gorging in the Oxfordshire countryside without a USB cable for my camera. Four days without work has left plenty of time for consuming vast amounts of Thanksgiving fare as well as clicking my needles together and surfing Bloglines.

But long before I disappeared off for a well earned break, I stumbled across a post by a well-known Canadian chick with sticks. She had horrified a bunch of her faithful followers by declaring she would be knitting a sock each and every day, without neglecting her work or her children. I initially scoffed at that, as I often see lucky stay-at-home moms who can churn out beautiful knits almost daily, while I sneak in a few minutes in the car or before my eyes involuntarily close in front of the TV at night. Besides, I'd had my Jaywalkers sitting in the knitting basket for weeks...

I decided it was about time I kicked my ass. Lo and behold, a couple of nights later:

A pair of completed Jaywalkers.

Pattern: Jaywalkers from Magknits by the ever-talented Grumperina

Yarn: Self dyed Opal avec Kool Aid

Needles: El cheapo 2.5mm metal DPNs, 2 sets so I could work the socks in tandem

Time taken: I refuse to comment

Modifications: They're a little longer in the cuff than many, to keep the recipient's legs toasty in her boots.

This was my third stab at the pattern - my first pair came out wide enough for a tree trunk and the second pair were ruined when I picked them up under the influence of wine... ah well, lesson learnt. These are a Christmas gift but the giftee snatched a glimpse while I was full of port on Thanksgiving night and fortunately approves of my work.

Speaking of gifting, my mother's Widdershins also went to an early home this Thanksgiving.

Pattern: Widdershins from Summer '06 Knitty by
45% Silk
45% Mohair
10% Wool

Hmm... doesn't sound like a felting dream. But the dry clean only label and encouraging words from a few other bloggers who had tried it made me think it was worth a swatch...

A quick swatch from some leftover Silk Garden.

The same swatch, after a warm and abuse trip through my washing machine AND some vicious hand felting.

So that idea was abandoned. Besides, while it was being abused in the washing machine, I managed to cast on a simple baby hat wrong FOUR TIMES. Sensible people would have given up then, but I was almost in tears, determined to get something on the needles. I managed this...

A solitary Fuzzy Foot in Debbie Bliss Maya, with a hideously twisted cast on.

So I gave up knitting that night.

However, Yarn Harlot's motivation has stayed with me.

A single sock, loosely based on a cable-free Widdershins. Knitted in the deliciously soft Regia Cotton Surf. Completed in a single day, absent-mindedly knitted as I nattered, stirred and scoffed my way though Thanksgiving. The girl was right, it can be done.

Kelly [ 6:35 PM ]

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ein kleine late night blogging...

CAUTION: Jaywalkers may drive otherwise sane knitters to drink.

In fact, that's not my pint at all. It is just a badly lit photo taken at our Stitch N Bitch at the Watershed in Bristol. You're all welcome to join us.

Not a lot of knitting gets done actually - a lot more gossiping, fervent passing of knitting books and the passing of a traditional craft between modern women (and a couple of guys too).

In fact, one of those boys hardly spoke all night. He was keeping his head down, desperate to finish his project. And he did...

Difficult to see in the lighting, but it's a 3x3 ribbed beanie in Lana Grossa Mega Boots (the uber stretchy one). Patiently knit on 2.5mm needles as a Christmas present for his sister. But he looks rather fond of it himself, doesn't he?

And don't worry about the Jaywalkers. I just wanted to throw them down and snoop through a stray copy of Vogue Knitting. That gorgeous woven scarf on the cover is enticingly simple but clearly designed for a much more patient person than I...

Kelly [ 11:27 PM ]

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Blogging in the wild...

I only just discovered how to use the Title field. So those of you reading through Bloglines will be a lot happier than usual when reading my mangled posts!

In abid to beat the escaping light, I took my knitting into the garden to proudly show off my progress. First of all though, let's get on to some goodies:

More knitting books! Ok, it may seem that I buy a lot of knitting literature. But it is not as financially damaging as you might think. I belong to several online opinion poll whatsits, such as Valued Opinions, many of which choose to reward me in Amazon vouchers. Which I see as free knitting books! On to what I bought.

First, Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitters Almanac. This is a bedside rather than knitting shelf book - I find her writing very inventive and soothing and her patterns timeless. The reason I chose this is one is a pair of gorgeous mittens I spotted over at Zimmermaniacs that I haven't been able to get out of my head. Once Christmas knits are out of the way, they'll be mine.

And Handknit Holidays. The cover of this book is the only thing that had stopped me buying it earlier. That furry 80s monstrocity was a poor choice of cover image for a friendly, accessible and surprisingly vast collection of delicious quick knits. I am not a distance knitter - give me a quick fix any day.

(click 'em for a closer look)

The book arrived at a choice time - I had dismantled the commemorative Dumb Donald hat
and was despairing at what to make from its entrails. I decided that the stray yarn would make a rather lovely version of the Elf Cap from Handknit Holidays. And I was right...

Sorry about the shoddy pictures - I was fighting failing light.

Pattern: Elf Cap by Michelle Hayman from Handknit Holidays

Yarn: Lamb's Pride Bulky, around 3/4 of a skein

Needles: US 10 1/2 16" circular, courtesy of my Denises. I did the crown decreases using two circular needles, thanks to some expert tuition from Lucy at SnB that I was overhearing :)

Time taken: Literally an evening in front of the TV

Modifications: I made the ear flaps longer and the crown decreases gentler to avoid the 100% elf effect. I also made extra long i-cord ties because they look cute. It's still waiting for pom poms, but they're Danny's job.

Another gift 95% out of the way.

The Jaywalkers continue to grow. I gave one of them a heel while I watched The Constant Gardener in bed this morning. I'll be disappointed to finish them in a small way. They look great and they're going to a good home so it's not all bad. The striping has all met up nicely and they are very close to being twins, which is always a nice gamble with self-striping yarn.


I have been curious for a while to see how the Rowanspun Aran that I dyed would knit up. This little snippet is an earflap from the rather natty Hear No Evil hat from fall's Knitscene.

And as an insight to my crafting life...

The yarn will provide the stripes and I had forgotten how smooth and forgiving and quick the yarn was to work with - I have forced myself to put this down and work on everything else.

This was my sofa on Monday night. Note the selection of knitting books, needle gauge, purple project I keep forgetting to blog about,stray fabric that Danny had been wearing as a pirate's bandanna, Xbox controller, interchangeables in disarray...

Here's a yummier shot of the baked pasta that we devoured instead of worrying about a little bit of mess.

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Kelly [ 4:36 PM ]

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Knitting as dummies...

How pretty does this look? You'd never this is a resounding mistake. With Widdershins safely off the needles and wrapped up for Christmas I needed a quick fix. No more tiny needles for me. After an expensive trip to Get Knitted on Saturday I picked up a skein of Lamb's Pride Bulky in Lemon Drop.

I recall reading someone else's blog over the past few weeks how difficult they found it to get yellow wool. This is my excuse for not producing a decent yellow hat for my brother's girlfriend as requested about 9 months ago. But I had always been seduced by the sheer fluffiness of Lamb's Pride and decided to indulge myself this weekend.

I was delighted at how quickly it knitted up into a thick, chunky cabled hat. So delighted in fact that I didn't pay too muct attention to the shape and size of the hat. And ended up with this.

An unattractive cabled flying saucer. Last spotted:On Dumb Donald in his Cosby kid days. Frog and begin again, that's what I say...

Kelly [ 2:55 PM ]