The musings of an obsessive knitter and stash collector

Friday, March 31, 2006

March progress report

Two socks finished today, Cherry Tree Hill's Champlaign Sunset and Fyberspate's lavender stone. I'm still sleeping more than usual, but my brain is beginning to work again thank goodness so I'm hoping to go back to my lace tomorrow.

Digging through my stash today I found this sock yarn from Kroy, it's an exact match for the variegated yarn that I was concerned might run out, I'm happy because if I mix it in for heel and toe any spare variegated yarn can go as stripes in the plain sock later.

12 orphan socks, I can gloat over these and decided which ones to make pairs for during April, I do have 9 socks on my needles, 3 of which will make pairs when they are complete.
I guess it's time for the March review - I set out to achieve the following 'get a move on with the bright pink jacket, the red shrug and the Irish Walking scarf, I don't expect to finish any of those, but I'd like to be able to show some progress and at least 5 more pairs of socks '
I actually ended up doing a small amount of the pink jacket, frogging the red shrug due to a 'falling off the needles' incident and made a small amount of progress on the lilac/blue/white variegated sweater. The Irish Walking scarf grew about 10" longer, I finished the Patons' funky chunky sweater and made a scarf to go with it and finished these socks:-
Opal carnival - this sock completed a pair
Cherry Tree Hill Green Mountain Madness - another pair completed
Koigu P131 - to complete a pair
jungle poppy - completed a pair
iris garden - another complete pair
limeade - the 6th completed pair
chocolate raspberry truffle - left over opal - orphan 1
seascape Fyberspates - orphan 2
tiger Opal - orphan 3
parrot Mexiko - orphan 4
aztec coffee from the Natural Dye studio - orphan 5
Koigu P139 - orphan 6
Lavender stone Fyberspates - orphan 6
Champlaign Sunset - orphan 7

Which means I completed 13 ankle socks this month, much more than I would have managed had I not been off sick, although I did spend a considerable amount of that sick leave asleep and unable to knit!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Of hats, socks and spring!

First things first, I don't know if anyone out there can help me. If you watch Last of the Summer Wine you'll know that Compo always wore a disreputable old woolly hat. While I've been sick I've been watching my DVD's of series 1-4, in 1 and 2 he wore a green hat with a simple rib pattern but in 3 and 4 he wore another green hat with what looks like a complicated Arran pattern on it, I've been looking around online to find a decent still picture or even a pattern - does anyone have any ideas at all? This picture is of a later hat with a straightforward cable!

The latest orphan sock, Koigu P139, I do like knitting with Koigu and keep looking to find a US or Canadian webshop that sells to the UK without bankrupting me! The selection of colours taht I can get here is very small compared to what is actually available.

I had hoped to finish these two socks this month, I may still finish the lavender stone shade on the left, but I'm having doubts that I will have enough to make the other pair of socks completely in that yarn, I've reached where I should start the heel flap and put it on one side as I don't have anything in my oddments that will work with it at the moment.

This is where having 10 socks started comes into it's own, instead of sulking over being stalled on one sock I've picked up the next, Cherry Tree Hill Champlaign Sunset, I've reached the instep gusset and it's growing nice and quickly although I'm not sure if I like this colour as much as I did in the picture when I bought it!!

This is my acer - just starting to produce leaf buds, I'm pleased it survived teh winter in a planter, although I did have to move it to a more sheltered position last year as it was suffering from too much of a draft - I hadn't realised quite how sheltered a spot it would need when I bought it.

The new crocus builbs I planted last autumn are doing well, as are the daffodils that I planted, and the miniature daffodils that I photographed on the 11th are still in full bloom. That cheers me up, and I'm starting to feel much better as well which helps, I stil sleep a lot and tire quickly, but I'm even planning on seed planting indoors this weekend if I can!
It's definitely spring time here, soon be hayfever season too! It is such a pleasure to be able to have the windows open again most of the time and to see at least occasional sunshine, my light box helps my SAD but real sunlight is always preferrable.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Losing count

I think this may be pair 6 completed for March - It's Lorna's Laces in Iris Garden colourway, this yarn has a very silky feel when I was working with it, I like this colour too, it's not flashed or pooled too much despite me not knitting standard dimension socks.

I have been planning for some time doing soem two colour knitting using a plain and a variegated yarn, I've decided to explore this book as a source of patterns suitable for adaptation.

One of my toy sheep admiring the colour plates in the new book, I've not had the brainpower yet to study the patterns but I'm anticipating that as I recover from this last lurgy my brain may start to work properly again!

My box of left over sock wool, ultimately I'll be making stripey socks from these, or passing them on to a friend! Because I knit ankle socks I get plenty left from most skeins to add to other remnants and eventually get colour mixes that work together.

Colin, thanks for your kind comments about my socks, they are my current obsession and giving me a great deal of pleasure both in the making and the warm feet!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Socks and what came in the post today!

Today's sock progress, I've not been feeling so great and spent a lot of the day dozing again. I'm still hopeful of finishing the fifth pair of socks for the month before April but it may be a close run thing!

I couldn't resist this that I found on eBay, it came as part of a set, but I'm saving the rest of them for a secret purpose!

I realise this lamp isn't to everyone's taste, and it will look much better once I have a light bulb in it, but I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. Eventually when I get the storage boxes out of my bedroom it will take pride of place and replace a rather tatty old lamp that is currently in use. In an ideal world I'd have real art deco and real Tiffany, but this world is far from ideal and she is pretty!

Monday, March 27, 2006

5th pair for March

The Jumgle Poppy colourway is finished, despite me sitting down in front of the TV last night at around 8 pm and waking up stil sat there at 3am today - I think yesterday I slept about 18 hours out of the 24 if not more. I'm feeling a bit better today, I have at least stayed awake for most of it, but I'm running out of steam now and coughing incessantly.

These cheered me up on a dull grey day, I'm experimenting with buying yarn from outside the UK to see how economic it can be. I'm delighted with this selection that came from Little Knits, we have Key Lime Pie and Purple Passion in the potluck Cherry Tree HIll and Crazy Stripes from Lorna's Laces, it arrived very quickly, I still need to work out what it cost me in total as they shipped it for less than they had estimated.

This is from Germany, bought on Ebay, I'm having a pink phase in sock yarn, brought about originally by trying to find a replacement for the skein I passed on to a needy knitter, I keep finding more pink sock yarn that I like. These are wild rose and candy and are from silkandmore, very speedy supply, I am NOT going to let myself testknit these for oooh, at least a few hours, I'll report back!

And a final very dull picture of the new settee, I finally got organised enough to photograph it before I decide what to drape over to protect it's rather too light colouring! Now I'm off to have a nap in the hopes that I wake up by 7.30 to talk to beloved, I haven't found the instructions for the alarm clock since the clocks changed at the weekend and I can't remember how to set the alarm anyway so I'm reliant on waking up at random!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Limited progress

I've been so tired today that all I've done to the bookshelf is this. I've been asleep nearly all day, waking up for the odd 20 minutes and then going back to sleep - I think I overdid it yesterday!

The weekly round up of current socks, these two are closest to completion and both will make new pairs, so I plan on finishing them this week, which will give me (I think) 6 pairs finished off this month.

6 more socks, 2 partners and 4 orphans, I really like the pale lavender on the left hand side, that is by Fyberspates it's a much subtler colour combination than I usually make socks from but I'm liking it - from memory I think it may be called lavender stone.

This picture is for my friend to make a decision on - does she want the colour I've started knitting or the ball in the picture that I haven't started knitting yet?

And this is the final orphan picture of the week - all 11 of them. I plan on keeping the number of orphans to 10 or less in future, there is an extra on ein here for now as it's for a friend - that's my excuse anyway

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Furniture moves part 1

I emptied this this morning, it was full of books and had more on top of it, this is the half landing that leads up to my flat and had to be memptied so that my new second hand settee would fit. My bath and bathroom is now full of bags of books, but the old settee is gone, my brother very kindly collected the new one and took the old one to the tip. I'm happy with the new settee, cheap and cheerful, it was just bad timing that I was so under the weather and had to join in moving furniture. My plan is tomorrow to show you the new settee and the bookshelf refilled - but don't hold your breath out there!

These arrived this morning, small and interesting - well at least I like them, they are 1950's Italian and different to anything else I have in my varied collection of bits and pieces. I have adisplay cabinet ful of all sorts of things, none of any great value, just things I like.

Despite the furniture business I did finish orphan sock 11 today and wound a couple of skeins of wool into balls, how I wish I had a swift and ball winder somedays!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Tiger foot rather than feet!

I finished the first tiger - finally, now I need to post it to my friend to find out if it fits before I make sock 2, although as I have loads of this Opal yarn I may just start making another as if it doesn't fit her it will fit me!
This was a good start to the day before I went to see my Dr who informed me that I had an eye infection, an ear infection, a chest infection and incipiant tonsilitis! I don't suppose it will be any surprise to you that I won't be back in work for at least another week!

I'm now going for a record number of orphans by trying to finish all the odd ones on my needles before finishing theri mates so now we are 10 so far!

This colourway is coming out nicely, Aztec Coffee I think from memory, I'm onto the foot now so should finish it tomorrow although my prioirity is to move books off a bookshelf so we can get a new settee into the flat. I found the new on on Ebay just in time as my old second hand one is in the process of wheezing and collapsing (a bit like it's owner). My brother is very kindly collecting teh new one and dropping the old one off at the local tip for me tomorrow afternoon, so knitting will be taking a back seat tomorrow.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A parrot sock

Another completed sock, quite possibly the brightest one I've made so far. It's been added to the pile of orphans, currently standing at 9!

I have got mates for 4 of them currently on my needles and expect to finish at least one this month to meet my target of 5 new pairs finished in March. This despite the fact that I keep falling asleep mid stitch and having to pick up dropped stitches every time I wake up!

This was today's sock, heel turned and gusset being worked. The rest of the day I mostly slept or did vague tidying up type things
Tomorrow I see my Doctor to debate the merits of flu jabs, I've had them the last two winters and been ill all winter both times.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

10 part knitted socks

Both of these are potential orphans, Ruth, I love knitting my odd socks, I never get bored and so far I have only failed to complete one mate and that was because I hated the feel of the finished sock even after washing, I plan on frogging it and either reusing the yarn or disposing of it. I'm debating putting any yarn like that on one side in case I ever get around to playing with my little lap loom. The left hand sock is Fortissima Mexiko - Parrot and that on the right is Opal Rainforest Tiger - teh Tiger socks are promised to a friend so I must crack on with them. These two are the most nearly finished of my collection.

This is the next 3 in order of completeness, on the left is 'Aztec coffee' from The Natural Dye Studio, on the right is Lorna's Laces Iris Garden - this is a mate of a finished sock, at the front is Fyberspates lavender stone, two out of 3 are potential orphans.

Now we have at teh back from left to right, Cherry Tree Hill, Champlaign sunset, I'm not sure if I like this colourway, more Natural Dye Studio, Jungle Poppy, another mate for a current orphan and an orphan Koigu sock, P139 and another orphan in prgress.
At the front are two mates for current orphans, my cream and blue and orange streaky yarn, this will not make an identical pair and I don't care! The other yarn is more from the Natural Dye Studio, Incan Ocean, once all the socks on the needles are finished I only have 2 more socks to make with yarn from there, she hasn't had much luxury merino yarn for sale lately and I've been buying all sorts of other sock yarn!
So, I have 10 socks on the needles, 4 will make partners for lonely orphans and 6 will make new orphans, it stops me getting bored and means whatever mood I'm in I have a sock in progress to get on with.
On the health front, my right eye is still watering and my I'm almost totally deaf in my left ear while I cough and sneeze spasmodically , I'm hanging on until I see my Dr on Friday in the hopes that it will cure itself!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Achieving - nothing

We have here a picture of a sock that looks exactly like it did last night, it has however at one stage reached the gusset before I discovered I'd dropped a stitch on the heel flap and also uncentred the heel shapingh and frogged the lot. I rarely make mistakes on socks nowdays when I'm just doing the basic top down sock so I feel that deciding I wasn't fit to travel is a good move. I'm stil deaf in one ear and both eyes are mostly running and glued half shut, I have an appointment booked with my Dr for Friday but I'm going to see if I can see her tomorrow as I may have picked up conjunctivitis as well as everything else.

I have patiently unpicked a whole load of the tangled skein from the weekend, I have reasonable hopes of saving it all in time, I've fallen asleep whilst watching Planet Earth that I recorded at the weekend, in fact I'm dozing off at the drop of a hat at the moment.

On a positive note, this arrived this morning, Socks that Rock - I've been longing to try this for ages and Mandella ordered this for me to replace the Bright Sugars I sent her to finish her Ene's Scarf. It looks lovely and feels great - thanks ever so much!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Sneezing ever onwards

It's just as well you can't see what I look like today, the cold/flue thing is really biting, I'm close to deaf in both ears, my nose is running and so is one eye that is now glued shut. Rather than look at that you might like to see some bright coloured legs of socks.

Another pair of socks finished, that's 4 this month and a total of 12 stacked in my sock drawer, it may be the first day of spring, but it's wintry enough that a drawer full of warm socks makes me feel happy!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Weaving a tangled web?

As I was still feeling decidedly ropey today and not really in the mood for knitting I decided to wind a skein of Winterberry Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn into a ball, as you can see from this mess I couln't have done much worse had I borrowed several kittens to assist me!I abandoned the concept of skein winding and reverted to knitting!

My first pair of Koigu socks is done, I seem to remember saying I wanted to finish 5 more pairs of socks this month, this is pair number 3. I did enjoy knitting with the Koigu, I'll let you know if I enjoy wearing the socks!

Although I wanted to start the Regia neon yarn that came yesterday I resisted the temptation, I did however start the Fortisima Mexiko yarn (colourway Parrot)just to see how it turns out!
The other sock is the second 'limeade' one, I should get that finished this week, which allows me another week to compete a final mate and reach my target of finishing 5 pairs of socks this month.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Yarning on about socks

Bless my mother who nobly sloogged over to see me bringing groceries, tissues and cold medication for me, she also brought me this plant, it's a lovely cheerful colour.
I'm feeling pretty rubbish, this is definitely a fluey cold, I spent last night aching and shivering and feeling very sorry for myself.

The next finished sock, yet another orphan I'm afraid, I really must get a move on with some of their partners! The Jungle Poppy colourway came from The Natural Dye Studio, she apparently only ever does a kilo of any colourway and I bought this some time back so I doubt if you'd find any around. It's her luxury merino yarn, I don't like her Australian sock yarn, I find it scratchy even after washing, I made one sock and never bothered with it's mate, but I do tend to be picky and I did only try it once.

If any of you had met my uncle, you'll appreciate whyI had to buy the yarn on the left - according to family legend he always wore Day-Glo socks!!
They shouldn't be next on my to start list but I suspect I may have to! I have a feeling they'd be good in something like Jaywalkers but I have been reading that it knits up as quite a 'tight' pattern which wouldn't be ideal for my chubby ankles, so I'm going to have to look elsewhere. If anyone has any suggestions I'll be grateful.

I bought this because it's pretty, no other reason at all!
On the subject of bus knitting, I'm surprised I can do it as I always got terribly travel sick on buses and in cars, I suspect that in part I can knit because I don't look at the knitting very often, generally only at each change of needle with socks and at the beginning of each row on scarves. I generally travel with acquaintances thet I chat to as well, that helps distract me from the journey too. I'm fine knitting on most trains too, if I'm recovered in time I'm off to Galsgow by train on Tuesday and plan on taking socks and lace with me, socks for the journey and lace for in my room Tuesday evening. Please note that in true knitter style I've planned what knittng I'm taking with me when I have no idea what clothes i'm taking!