The musings of an obsessive knitter and stash collector

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Progress pictures

The first repeat of teh aran pattern is done plus a little bit, it's very simple, enjoyable and progressing nicely although on weekdays I'm rationing myself to 4 rows a day, as the pattern repeat is 24 rows it won't grow quickly, I'm working from a coen of yarn so it can't travel.

The back of the sweater is growing, again I'm targetting 4 rows a day as the weight of it is considerable.

The sleeve has also grown a bit, not hugely as I was sorting through boxes last night and have been cleaning the kitchen since I got home. Hecate has gone on hunger strike, she's clearly decided to enter a contest of wills with me - I'm not placing bets on which of us will win though!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Blogging with the help of a cat!

Hecate is sat in the crook of my arm taking occasional swipes at the keyboard and causing even more typos than usual! I finished my square to take to SkipNorth, I don't know whether this side is better, or if the other side is best. I still have to sew in 2 ends and block it to size and shape but at least I got it finished!

I think I like this side best, but I'm going to take it to work and ask my knitting colleague what she thinks.

After casting on the second sleeve for this jumper, I've got a fair bit done, I'm finding the body of the jumper hard work now it's split into two, it's heavy and makes my shoulder ache a bit, but I've done around 3" of the back so far.

I'm swatching for an aran sweater, I have a big cone of this oiled yarn to play with, I'm not used to oiled yarn and it feels very rough on my hands. I've almost done enough to be able to plan out the sweater, I'm intending basing it on a pattern that I have only with fewer cables in it, I'm just learning aran so I don't want to make it too complicated.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

1, 2,3 aaah!

I've definitely been forgiven, Hecate has been glued to my side, mostly to my right leg for the whole of this weekend, she's been cute and loving and a complete darling. She did chew on the end of my knitting needles but I'm used to that, fortunately I rarely use bamboo or wood needles!

I cast on the second cuff of the current jumper and got a little bit done, mostly I seem to have been asleep or on the phone today so nothing much has grown I'm afraid.

Friday, February 23, 2007

What I've been doing

Apart from the next shawl which isn't worth seeing yet as it looks pretty much like it did in the last picture, I've got this sweater to the armhole and split it in two pieces. It's hard to knit now as it's heavy and awkward so I can only do a little at atime to avoid upsetting my shoulder too much. Hecate has finally forgiven me for being late home on Tuesday evening but last night was spent kitten cuddling and not knitting or blogging.

My yarn treat for February, 'After eight' colour hand died sock yarn from an eBay seller, I love the colour and I think it may inspire me back to socks soon. I finished my job application yesterday and emailed it off, now I just have to wait and see if it was a real job or one earmarked for someone and the advert just placed to satisfy the letter of the law in the department.

I forgot to pick up the shawl today, so I carried on knitting on this scarf, it keeps growing just a little bit each week, the plan is that this is a Christmas present in progress which isn't bad for February as it will match the tam o'shanter that I already made. It's not been a bad week for me, I feel as if I'm making progress, my back has been slightly better, I can walk that bit further than I was doing, work has been productive and I made contact by email today with a woman who taufgt at my school just under 30 years ago when she came as an exchange teacher from Baltimore. I'm absolutely thrilled to have found her, she was very kind to me when I was a very sad teenager, it's good to have the opportunity to catch up with her - even if only by email.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Moving over to the dark side?

I don't have time to stop tonight - I'm still writing a job application, but I have to show you what I collected from my mother yesterday - she's leading me astray people - I even have a non pointy bit of metal with a hook at one end! I'll be back properly tomorrow - I hope and may even have soem knitting to show you.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Rushing by

These arrived today, they match the green ones I already have, I'm not sure where I'm going to put them but I love them! I'm currently knitting endless rounds of the jumper body to match the sleeve I finsihed yesterday and doing more of the second Spanish Dancer shawl, neither merit a picture yet. Mostly I'm completing yet another application form for a promotion at work and tearing my hair out. I'm off to see my Mum and big sister tomorrow evening so normal (ish) blogging should resume on Wednesday!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

More Hecate and just a bit of knitting!

I couldn't resist a picture of her curled up on my old sweater on the spare office chair - she looks so delightful. Friday and Satrurday the poor thing was sneezing and dribbling, mostly on me. I think my flat cleaning started her hayfever! I did less today and she's settled down and stopped dribbling.

Hecate gazing out of the window watching a big magpie that was teasing her.

This doesn't look Irish I know, but at one point the pottery that I collect was owned by Noritake, I hace 2 vases with bulbous bases to match this, I'd never seen a plain round one before this.

I finished a sweater sleeve today, I wasn't sure if I'd have enough yarn so I'm knitting the body in the round to the armhole, this only took slightly over 100g so I'm now cautiously optimistic that I'll have enough.

Friday, February 16, 2007

It's done!

I finished casting off the shawl today, it still needs the ends sewing in and a decent picture taking, it has been a very grey and wet day here today. The pattern says not to block the shawl, but I think I may give it a light blocking to open it out just a bit more. It's turned out really well and has been a really fun knit to make. It actually took 313g of merino 4 ply, a bit annoying to need 13g from another skein but it still worked out to be an inexpensive knit

Hecate yesterday evening supervising me at the computer, I've been busy tidying up today removing lots of junk from my 'office' and putting a second chair in it with an old swaeter on the seat for her to sleep on, she's curled up most contentedly!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The shawl!

My camera was out on loan yesterday and I was up to my eyes in the last of the increases for the shawl ruffle - I finally reached 3256 stitches (or about that number, I didn't count) at tea time today. I hate my long circular, it's bamboo with a plastic tube joining the points, the yarn sticks badly and I have to manually move the stitches along every few inches. I gave up on the last row and knit half of it off onto a succession of 4mm single pointed needles

With just the casting off to do I only had this much yarn from the first skein left - most annoying I've had to start another skein just for this.

I suspect that the casting off will take most of a day to do as I can't do too much at a time, this is what the first bit looks like though, nicely ruffled at least! The number of stitches isn't really a problem Hannah, it just takes time and can get tedious. Hecate keeps trying to hunt the needles but is being very loving this evening, what she will do tomorrow when she finds I have a day off work I don't know!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

How cute is she??

Hecate sleeping snuggled up against my thigh while I knit, she's totally relaxed in this picture.

I've finished the I cord along the top edge of the shawl, again I think the pattern has a mathematical error but I figured it out, this is my first ever I cord and I'm happy with it.

I've picked up all the stitches and done the first increase for the ruffle - 814 stitches so far on a 150cm circular needle.

I bought this yarn from Lixie and it's making a second shawl for days when I can't work on the first shawl on the bus, I've done 10 repeats of the pattern, I'm in no rush for this one, just filling in before I - hopefully- get on with the baby clothes I have to make.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ms Diva

Normally Hecate poses for pictures, she was happily nosing at the yarn in the picture but the minute I got the camera out she departed, most unlike her normal behaviour!

This is much more like my fur baby - she thinks she is a newel knob at the top of the stairs - I can't keep anything on it as she turfs it off so that she can pose here.

The shawl is progressing but is now too unwieldy for bus knitting - I've finished 65 pattern repeats now, I'll have to dig out the Irish Hiking scarf for the bus for next week, I'd like to get it finished and put away ready for a Christmas gift anyway.
Years ago my Mum and I used to listen to a radio programme called My Music, 4 panellists took part, one of them was Ian Wallace, we even once saw him perform live doing a combination of singing and recounting humerous stories from his career. I discovered this week that he wrote two volumes of auto biography, I managed to find both second hand and ordered them, volume two arrived yesterday and I'm being very restrained and waiting for the first one to arrive before diving right in! To take my mind off it I did housework today, clearing a bin bag full of rubbish out of my office, making bread, doing washing and sorting through my airing cupboard stash of yarn, all very nobel and heroic and giving Hecate lots of excuses for climbing in and out of boxes and cupboards!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Missing in action!

I've been busy shawl knitting - half the pattern repeats are done and I've swapped to straight needles, I'm still thoroughly enjoying it as a project. It's not been a bad week, I switched buses and had relatively peaceful journies home - if you ignore screaming babies and drunks trying to avoid buying a ticket! Once this is done I must get back to the afghan and baby clothes for various new and expected babies!

This was through my door this morning, a Valentine's card hand made by my neighbour's youngest grand daughter I suspect. Hecate is curled up in my leftarm while I type one handed, she makes a great hot water bottle and is purring happily. After a week or two where she has been standoffish she has become very cuddlesome and loving again.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Jogging along

The shawl is now 30 repeats of the 99 - it's still too many stitches to transfer onto a straight needle but I'm very happy with it. I can't wait to experiment with the I-cord and ruffle.

Two of these arrived today - the only cost me 99p plus postage and I'm very pleased, I now have 3 that match as well as a milk jug and sugar bowl!

This is another Arklow egg cup in a pattern I didn't have before as well, overall today hasn't been bad, it's also been extremely sunny which improves my mood no end. Tomorrow we expect snow, no doubt the entire country will grind to a complete halt!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Shawl growing

As you can see - the shawl is doing well, I've switched to catching a different bus home at night - takes roughly half as long but so far is harassment free and makes for more garter stitch getting done. I've done 20 repeats of the 99 so far - the pattern says repeat the first 2 rows 48 times - but my maths says 98.
A 150cm bamboo circular arrived from an ebay seller today so I'll have no excuse for not doing the 3000+ stitches of the ruffle when I get to it. Before that day I have to learn to do I-cord along the top edge of the shawl, I've never tried it before so I'm looking for a good online tutorial!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Soothing knitting

I'm attempting the Spanish Dancer shawl from this issue of Knitty, The afghan square for next week has proved to not work, I think I was just knitting even tighter than usual and on a slip stitch pattern that can be a problem so I'm leaving it for now. This shawl is just garter stitch but doing the crocheted provisional cast on and picking up 401 stitches kept me entertained for ages while I watched DVDs of early Red Dwarf!

You may remember that for Christmas 2005 I made several lasagna scarves that end up with an insane number of stitches to cast off, this little beauty ends up with a ruffle of over 3000 stitches, just my sort of thing! I'm not sure if the yarn I'm using will work, it should, and if it does will give me a merino shawl for under £10. It's a great project for hopefully soothing my nerves, also it can be done on a circular needle on the bus so I won't have long pointy sticks that I may be tempted to use as weapons!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

In spite of it all

I finished another hat - strange I used 2 50g balls of Debbie Bliss Merino aran then weighed the hat - I had about 18" of yarn left and the hat weighs 91g - I'm fairly sure my scales aren't THAT inaccurate, the cheap acrylic yarn weighs in correctly, so why has every Debbie Bliss ball of yarn I've used appeared to be so light? Still, I count it as 100g off my stash and a degree of stress knitted away although this yarn was so short I had to remove several rows in between the decrease rounds so that I could finish it, it makes it a bit rippled and it will need blocking hard. I suspect that my normally tight tension has been a touch tighter yesterday and today as well!

I'm experimenting with the stitch pattern I fell in love with this week, this is aran weight on 4.5mm needles which seems OK, 5mm made the texture too loose for a sweater.

Friday, February 02, 2007

I'm afraid it didn't get better

Thanks to those of you who contacted me after Monday's bus nightmare, unfortunately the same women got on my bus today - a different one from Monday, I had no choice but to get off, they knew that, they won, I no longer know what to do, they frequent both centres where I can shop and use the buses I get home from work, I don't know who they are nor where they live except that is is somewhere near here, but I know at least one of their friends lives near me. I don't feel safe anymore. I'm sure you'll understand that I don't feel like blogging anymore.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

It's love!

No knitting pictures, I was busy with an afghan square but I can show you the Valentine I received from my favourite honorary nephew Connor! I've ended up posting this sideways so that none of the writing is upside down!
He is - obviously - a very talented little boy!