The musings of an obsessive knitter and stash collector

Sunday, December 31, 2006

December review plus reviewing the year

This is the scarf I finished off over Christmas, it's a bit short but I have loads of the darker pink yarn left and may add a fringe, why 2 shades of teh same yarn have such diuferent yardages I have no idea, but at least I can make a fringe!

I've done around 4" of this sweater in teh last few days, being on circulars it's not so heavy on my arm and I can do a little bit and put it down as I'm of the school of 'don't stop knitting part way through a row' mostly because in my early knitting days I would then turn around and come back the way I came! I'm using a borrowed what bag that can be heated and put on my shoulder and rubbing in Ibuleve which both seem to be helping a bit.
In December I finished the Freedom Spirit waistcoat (all except the buttons), teh Adrifils stars shawl and 6 scarves, also 7 afghan squares.
The tally for the 2006 of finished items is as follows
1) socks - 33 pairs
2) boottees - 5 pairs
3) scarves - 17
4) garments 1 toddlers cable and rib tunic, 1 funky chunky sweater and 1 waistcoat
5) 2 shawls
6) 8 pastel and 11 candy cane afghan squares
I've also done half of the bright green toddlers sleeveless sweater that I must finish in January and the back of another cable tunic.
I don't think my stash decreased noticeably, but I am buying less yarn nowadays!
I haven't worked out my plans for the new year yet, maybe I'll tell you all tomorrow!
In the mean time, thank you to those of you sending healing wishes for my shouleder and a happy and peaceful New Year to all of you who read this!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Blog and knit break

I woke up Wednesday morning with a most unpleasantly painful left shoulder and neck, it appears that I have a trapped nerve which makes knitting impossible and sitting at my home PC painful. It has also given me the sensation of earache and toothache in my left hand side. Hecate is taking great care of me, cuddling up to me as closely as possible and even not biting me as much as usual! I'm going to take a couple of days off from knitting and the home PC in a pain killer induced fog and see if it helps. I hope that normal knitting and blogging will resume after that.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Part of the Christmas loot - and an FO!

My least favourite book of 2006 has been The Da Vinci Code, it ranks with The Silmarillion and Ulysses for books I've never managed to finish,this mug is a brilliant choice of gift from one of my best friends, I gather it was a suggestion from his mother, which explains where he gets his sense of humour from!

These were a gift I requested, the DVD's of 3 TV series from the 1990s all about gardening and cooking in the Victorian age and re enacted for television, I'm going to thoroughly enjoy watching these again and I've promised to lend them to my mum as well.

I have always collected friends who have 'quirky' senses of humour, one of my work friends gave me these, chocolate kittens, I don't think Hecate would approve if she understood!

My Mum with her annual haul of yarn for knitting into sweaters and blankets for children in Africa, she has arthritic hands and knits and crochets a lot to keep her fingers working, one of my sisters sent her this which should keep her out of mischief for a while!

My eldest sister has been incredibly generous to me this year, just before Christmas my second hand microwave started sparking intermittently, not a good thing, I'd expected to have to wait until after SkipNorth to replace it, but she (with the help of my brother) arranged for me to get this from her yesterday, not just a microwave but a grill and a convection oven!

The old microwave is waiting for a trip to the tip now and the new microwave has been inspected by the resident nosey parker, the instruction manual has been read once and I've worked out how the microwave bit works. I plan experimenting with the rest of it at the weekend as I'm back to work tomorow. I'm absolutely thrilled with it as I'm sure you can imagine!

A finished object apart from buttons. I took this to my mum's flat where I could pick up approximately 400 stitches around the button bands without feline help, even then my maths was badly wrong at first when I picked up the stitches, I'm amazed it's come out as evenly as it has.

I've been through my button collection and these are the best I've found so far, I'm not particularly happy with any of them so I may go shopping for new ones for it as soon as I can. The yarn has knitted up really nicely and the waistcoat/vest is very warm and comfortable to wear - I'm counting it a success and one of the few major FO's of 2006! The picture with the buttons in is a bit bleached, the otehr picture is a better colour match which is why the butttons I've picked out as a possible match may look a little odd!
It's bee na godo Christmas this year for me, peaceful and content, I had a nice visit with my Mum and have had a quiet day with Hecate today, I won't say I'm looking forward to the return to work tomorrow but I do feel at least partially recharged, no one else from my department will be in in my office tomorrow so I should be able to get lots done (that's the theory anyway) I'll just have to see what the people who worked until Friday afternoon left me!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Christmas!

I managed to finish this shawl, it's a really bad picture I'm afraid and now I've found another ball of yarn, I may pretend I didn't, or I may see if it will make fringe as I don't think unpicking the casting off in this fluffy yarn is an option.
I finished wrapping the gifts I'm taking to my Mum's flat tomorrow - I'm staying over night there and my brother will come over on Christmas Day then bring me back home, I'm trying to reduce how much driving he has to do, I always feel guilty about him chauffeuring me around at Christmas.

Hecate is staying safely out of my way tonight. I've been reknitting the front of the waistcoat that I frogged yesterday, as you'll see in the picture below, I've caught up on everything I undid, but she just managed to tip apple sauce onto the ball of yarn I'm knitting with, luckily not too much or she'd be in her carrying cage about now for her own safety!

I'll wash this when it's finished, it's very close to being done, I'll take it with me tomorrow as I should be ready to pick up the stitches all the way around the front before doing endless rows of rib - on 400+ stitches. I hope I'll be able to show you some progress when I get back on Christmas evening. For tonight I'll just plod on trying to remember to decrease at the armhole AND the neck edge when I'm meant to!

I hope you all have a lovely time this Christmas, whether you celebrate Christmas or another festival and that the New Year brings us all hope and peace.
Lixie, thank you for your good wishes - you really are very organised and way ahead of me!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Alas I am undone!

Firstly, this was my challenge yesterday - wrapping up a lampshade - why do I do this to myself? Why don't I buy things that are in square boxes, or at least buy boxes big enough to hold the strange shaped gifts I buy? I wonder if my neighbour will guess what it is before she opens it!

The front of my waistcoat had reached the armhole shaping when I found a lost stitch, I ummed and ahed about it, tried to tell myself I could darn it in and it would be fine, but then the knitting perfectionist in me kicked in.

The right front is back to here, I have picked up and nearly finished the armhole band on the left front and I'll be able to show you that tomorrow even if this front is about a quarter the length it was when I frogged back. I also frogged an attempt at one of the afghan squares that didn't work right - due to me thinking I'd read and understood the pattern when I hadn't. Today has been a day for what I call negative knitting, I've less done tonight than I had this morning!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Happy Yuletide to me!

Number one Christams present to me, I've been eying these for a while as I can't see me springing for the Barbara Walker stitch volumes. I bought this one of teh three currently available to see how I like it and I think I love it. I've been busy today so haven't spent much time with it but it's definitely interesting.

This is my other Christmas present to me, an external hard drive, I have an old PC with a dodgy hard drive in it, I intend emptying the drive onto this so that I can take my time going through it, I have a laod of audio files on it that I want to check through and old pictures too, unfortunately a programme I put on my PC today has done something horrible to my PC's volume that I need to fiddle with but tomorrow, as they say is another day!

The right front of my waistcoat is now halfway to the armnhole, I'm still hoping to be onto the bands before I go back to work next week. That would be helped if I hadn't spent part of toiday slogging through my Adrifils stars shawl, one more ball of yarn to go and it will be finished, I'm almost certain I'll get it finished by the year end.

I finished the back of the waistcoat today and did the shoulder seam, that was a major milestone in the project, I really do think this may get finished possibly even this year!

This is actually to do with the learn to knit afghan, I'm trying to decide whether or not to crochet round the squares in this green before sewing together, it will make it easier to get the squares a uniform size if I use crochet on the smaller ones, I'm just not sure if green is the road to go down, although it would make it definitely a Christmas afghan - and might even be done by next Christmas.

Monday, December 18, 2006

No pictures today

There are pictures of two new squares on the learn to knit afghan blog, but I've been running around like a mad thing today and packing belated packages to get into the post tomorrow, sadly I think the package going to Germany will be arriving after Christmas now as I've been shockingly slow at getting thinsg done this year,

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Waistcoat and films

I've spent a good part of today enjoying old films on DVD, as a result i have a contented cat who has snuggled with me and a lot more waistcoat and afghan done. I'm about half way up the armhole of the back and about a third of the way to the armhole on the right front.

In the process of doing this I've watched Shrek, The Bishop's Wife and Miracle on 34th Street, the latter two the old black and white versions, I do watch some new films but not often, I'm easily scared, Dr Who stil gives me nightmares, and I daren't watch the new series of that! I may not make it on line Monday, but I'll be back from Tuesday if not.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Waistcoat bits

I've been busy doing Christmassy things and sleeping - last week was hard going and I'm very tired indeed. I'm just glad I'm only in the office 2 days next week, a friend brought me round his old computer desk chair so I'm going to rearrange my office clear out all the junk and set it up so I can work more comfortably. I've done some more of the back of the waistcoat and the front is growing but I've not really achieved taht much, I did make time to watch Johnny Dep in Charlie and teh Chocolate Factory, part of my Christmas present to me!

Muddling along

The half made shawl is currently Hecate's favourite nesting place, she tramples it for a while, purring louder and louder and then nestles into it and sleeps happily - I'd much rather she trampled this than my knee!

There has been a small amount of progress on the back of this waistcoat, but nothing important enough to record yet, the front has grown a bit though, I have realised that I've not sorted out buttons for this masterpiece yet, nor have I found teh circular needle I'll need for adding the bands, but I will look this weekend, I've been collecting buttons and buying job lots of them this year, in theory this means I should have something suitable, in practice I suspect I'll have the right colour in tha wrong size or the right size but the wrong number!
I'm going to make a big effort tomorrow and write the Christmas cards that I should have posted several weeks ago to friends in foreign parts (and Hitchin).

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Getting closer to Christmas

I received a gorgeous Christmas card from a dear friend of mine, it's a really nice card, I now have to confess to my readers that I haven't sent a single Christmas card into the mail yet, nor have I posted several packages, some of you will be receiving festive greetings from me at around twelfth night I suspect.

Last night I finally remembered to collect this superwash merino from my mum's flat, it's a gift that was sent to me ages ago and now you all finally get to see the glorious purpleness of it! Fyberspates definitely do goo purples!

I also finished the next to the last scarf that I intend doing this year, there will eb a few more in my future, but not many as I'm getting back into the swing of what I think of as slightly more challenging knitting, not neccessarily much more complicated but definitely bigger, more long term projects. I was later home yesterday with going visiting, Hecate was highly disapproving, I was bitten (not hard) for being late and not producing dinner immediately, she is a cat of decided opinions.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Festive spirit?

I can't face the hastle of Hecate and Christmas decorations combined, so I've put a small tree on my desk at work, that's pretty much it for the Christmas cheer folks - at least so far!

Hecate sulking and looking all sad, it must be because she won't be able to pull any decorations down here while I'm at work - don't tell her but I've bought her a Christmas stocking if she's good!

I haven't finsihed the back of my waistcoat yet, but I figured casting on the other front was a wise move so that it's ready to go as soon as the back is cast off, otherwise it may just end up lurking part done like so many other UFO's.
I saw my Dr today who tells me that I now have tendonitis in both Achilles tendons, which may explain why I've ben limping around like someone twenty years older the last few weeks, she gave me a prescription for several items which I already can't find so I'm giving up and going to soak in the bath then an early night!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Focussing on just one thing today

I've attacked the waistcoat back with more enthusiasm than I've managed to muster in a long time, I'm well into the armhole shaping now, I love this bit, when the rows are getting shorter and I feel that I'm on the home stretch. I plan on casting on the other front this week so that I don't lose momentum when I get the back finished. This will be an important milestone for me when I get it done as it will be the biggest thing I'll have finished in a long time, I've doen scarves, socks and shawls all year but not finished anything much bigger, granted with so many WIP's hanging around I shouldn't have started this, but I'm enjoying it even if hecate is obsessed with stealing this particular yarn.
I have abusy week this week, it's my last full week in the office and I have a Dr's appointment and a trip to see my mum, there may be the odd blogless day but I'll be around somewhere.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Not dead but sleeping yesterday!

I'm so close to the end of the scarves for the time being, but I've got very little knitting done this week, the last few weeks at work have been pretty dire, starting with my employer announcing plans to continue cutting staff over the next 4 years, ending up with a 25% reduction in staff numbers since last year, although my job is pretty safe it's a nasty feeling as I know how under pressure my colleagues in other departments are. This week we were told that our entire section is moving into a department that I feel uncomfortable with to say the least, it came close to being the last straw, especially as I had some news on a personal level that means I'm going to have to have a major rethink about what I do next, I'm keeping my eyes open for transfers but in the current climate that may not be a good option either so I'm going to make any hurried decisions.

The other scarf is limping along too, but I may soon abandon any further Christmas knitting and just get on with something I enjoy, like my waistcoat back and my shawl.

I'm almost at the armhole shaping on the back of the waistcoat, it's a bit gathered in to fit it on the straight needle, I was going to transfer it to a circular for the picture but couldn't find the one I needed, I've asked Hecate but all she does is mew and pretend she hasn't had it. I'm still enjoying this wool and hope that I'll reach casting on teh oterh front before I finish for Christmas then I can have a concentrated effort to have it done over the holidays.

The shawl is still my 'tired of thinking' knit, it's plodding along and is lovely and warm to keep on my lap, we seem to be finally going to have some colder weather, my hanging basket is still flowering which is crazy. The good part is that with this flat being so well insulated it's December and I've not had any heating on yet, in fact I'm still wandering around the flat wearing short sleeved shirts and no shoes or socks.

This is Hecate helping me watch television, she likes to make sure that she is getting my undivided attention whenever possible.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sorting out

With Hecate's help I've been sorting out the last of the fancy yarn - at least, I think this is all I have left that isn't currently on the needles. There is the possibility that I may find more hidden away but there can't be much more!

It's been a rotten day here, the trafic in and out of town is ridiculous, all the bus drivers are in foul tempers coping with the traffic, almost constant rain and passengers loaded with Christmas shopping and screaming children, I can hardly wait until the 19th when I finish for Christmas. I'm working between Christmas and New Year but that isn't too bad normally.

I bought some toys for kitten to play with and this is what it says on the packaging! Can you imagine trying to collect her toys off her every morning before I go to work? There's no knitting to show today, I've opened a bottle of wine and I'm going to put my feet up with a book for a change.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sleepy knitter

I've finished this scarf, another two yarn adventure with big needles, it's a bit on the short side and I still have some of the purple yarn so I may well add a fringe to it at some point. I stayed up far too late reading last night so I'm having an early night, Hecate willing I'll make up some sleep even if I do get behind on my knitting schedule.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Up and down

It's been a roller coaster sort of day, some victories where I felt as if I had a really sure touch with dealing with people and other moments where I felt as if I was only opening my mouth to change feet. Still, my neighbour has selected the scarves she wants and this one is about half done too, I even have a few spare for giftswhich is handy. I've run into a problem with the next but one square of my afghan so I'm not sure what I'll be working on next, hopefully not another scarf though!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Christmas is coming!

I met one of my dearest friends for lunch today with her one year old daughter, I don't much like children in general, but she is extremely cute, I won't put the picture of her on my blog though, a) because I gave her a bad case of red eye and b) I don't put pictures of other people online, especially not of children, you'll just have to take my word for her being a total sweetie!
We exchanged gifts and I have the first packages tempting me to open them befoer Christmas! I must admit I'm not feeling much like Christmas yet, the weather here is grey and wet mostly and still so mild that my hanging basket is still flowering and the garden hedge is growing again!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

My little helper

This is Hecate helping me blog, she never stays anywhere if you pick her up, but if she wants cuddling she steps onto you and settles down for hours if given the chance!

Another scarf finished, 12mm needles and 2 strands of eyelash again, strangely the two yarns by the same manufacturere are very different in yardage, one ball of one was as long as 2 balls of the other. I've very nearly cleared out all my stash of this ultra cheap yarn, I've enough for 2 or 3 more in single colours and then a few odd balls that may mix togther, the advantage of being short of cash is it's concentrating my mind on shopping through my stash instead of buying more yarn!

Another part scarf, annoyingly I'd started this as a narrower scarf then realised I had just enough yarn to make one wider scarf buit enough for 2 narrow ones, so I'm reknitting it wider.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

In a rush

Yet another scarf, this time using 2 strands of eyelash and 12mm needles, almost an instant scarf!

Another small Arklow dish, with a different inscription on it.
I'm afraid this must be speedy blogging as I'm struggling with the shaping on a gift that I'd like to have done by Monday!