The musings of an obsessive knitter and stash collector

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


The Irish Diamond shawl is growing steadily, I think I've finally grasped the pattern, I can even see where to start the first pattern row each time without having to look at the pattern (although I still double check with the pattern). I like this pattern, it's not terribly complicated but it's a challeng to my less than sharp brain.

This is a variation on the twirly scarves that I was making a few years ago, I added some extra pale lilac to it, the snag is I made it from acrylic which means I can't block the edges to stop them roling up. It was a quick fun knit to make - Dolores from a back issue of Simply Knitting.

The good old potato chip scarf pattern, I want to add tassels to each end, as usual the sewing in of the ends and the finishing off is what gets left as I lose interest once the knitting is done.

This is the first of the winter woolly hats I'm making to go to a homeless shelter - mind you it's been so cold at work the last few weeks I may need it myself. I want to make more in different patterns as part of making my knitting useful, there aren't many people in my life that I can knit for.

Merlin supervising me, he's like all the cats I've ever been permitted to share my life with, he loves to be as high up as possible while he studies me! I'm going to have to cut down a bit on my knitting while I do some frantic restacking of the contents of my flat before they come to survey before they replace my central heating. I hate having workmen in my flat and I have far too much stuff in here - especially the skips of knitting yarn.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Current projects

This is meant to be a zigzag scarf, because it's knitted lengthwise I wasn't sure how long it would turn out and to be honest it's way too short for anything I would want, it may be OK for my great niece though. it's a fun easy pattern to play with so I may make a longer version - especially I just invested in a 120cm long 4mm circular needle!

This is me testing to see if I can knit lace nowadays, I haven't been able to for the last couple of years - my concentration span and short term memory were both completely destroyed by the latest breakdown. Strictly this should be knit in laceweight rather than this 4 ply, but I find it easier to keep track of the pattern in the thicker yarn and so far I'm doing OK with the pattern as a result. It's pretty much a question of rebuilding my confidence in the skills I had before I became ill. This is the Irish Diamond shawl pattern that I tried once before I was sick. It's not a difficult pattern compared to many, I'm enjoying knitting it which is the most important thing right now.

I haven't taken pictures of all the WIP's I have on the go, but as usual I have far too many ! At the last count I have the following.

1) Scarf in Pooch that I bought years ago, I'm debating turning it into a short scarf (it's very thick yarn) and using the left over yarn to make trim for a hat and gloves and adding a button and button hole to the scarf. I'm almost convinced that will be the solution so I've ordered 2 buttons on ebay that should fasten the scarf and add as a trim to the hat. I'll have to find a yarn for the hat and gloves in a lighter weight, before I buy anything new I'll go stash diving first.

2) 5 different clapotis - in various stages of development, I'll take some pictures during the week rather than describing them in detail.

3) A shawl in a blue/green yarn, my old favourite garter stitch shawl with fringing - I bought a kilo of this yarn on ebay about 4 years ago and it's my mindless project, even I can remember to do a yarn over once a row - and if I forget it I can always sneak it in later!

4) Another Christmas tree - I plan on making a few more for home and office, I still haven't sewn up the first tree yet - like many of us I procrastinate with the finishing off of the things that I make!

5) The blanket project in tortoiseshell is plodding along, I've made 4 squares so far, my current design needs 20 squares, but I'm debating alternating with mitred squares in plain yarn as the variegated yarn is a bit busy on the eyes. That would mean buying more yarn rather than using up the stash, but it's a gift so I may do that if I decide it would look better.

6) A simple knit 2 purl 2 rib hat intended as a gift - I'm actually started on my Christmas knitting!

7) 2 mohair scarves being made from the stash, neither of them are in colours I will wear but will probably go into the Christmas gift pile or go to the local women's refuge.

8) I've the rikrak scarf from 'Scarves a knitters dozen' still on the go although I'm not 100% happy with how it's turning out.

9) I'm teaching a colleague how to knit socks on DPN's so I have a sock on my needles although I'm not feeling any sock love at all yet and have hardly touched it, I suspect that at the next lesson my student will be way ahead of me!

10) I'm experimenting with a sweater pattern from Simply Knitting May 2008 but using a different yarn, Spree in I think blueberry - purple/white variegations and I'm not sure if the cable pattern will work - the back is in stocking stitch anyway so I'm doing that first to see if the yarn drapes right.

Apart from the knitting, I did a small amount of slash and destroy gardening today and I'm sticking with the new healthy diet although I am starting to feel like a rabbit!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sad cat

I'm not sure what has upset Merlin, it may just be me doing a load of cleaning and tidying in my flat for the first time in ages, but when I got home from work yesterday he didn't greet me at the door, he was sulking on top of the boiler in the kitchen. He growled at the man who came to do the gas inspection on Saturday morning and bushed his tail up and showed his teeth - totally out of character for him.
I shall try and spend some cuddle time with him if he wants it and see if that settles him down, he's eating etc OK so I'm not too worried yet.

I'm experimenting again, I have loads of bits of blue/purple/pink yarn so I'm playing with quilt patterns that can be knitted, this log cabin square is obviously the easiest apart from just knitting squares and I'm rather enjoying doing it although it does make a lot of ends.

I've been asked by a work colleague to show her how to knit socks, it's ages since I've made any so I may have to relearn while I teach her.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Busy, busy

I'd hoped to have photographed more of my WIP's this weekend but I spent Friday cleaning the kitchen for a gas inspection on Saturday morning, Saturday sleeping Friday off and then today sorting all the knitting and yarn in my living room into separate bags, they may only be supermarket carier bags but each WIP now has it's own bag and the ones that need a pattern have the pattern in with them!

The square in the picture doesn't look much, but it's an experiment to combine crochet and knitted log cabin to play around with combining textures using only one yarn rather than many - it seems to be working out and I plan on making more and turning them into a lap blanket for my friend's mother who frequently complains of cold legs.

In other news when saw my GP this week my blood sugar figures had improved and I actually came away with very nearly a pat on the head and agreement to cut my antidepressants by 25%. If any remaining UK readers can point me at information/advice/diets that would be helpful to an almost but not quite Type 2 diabetic I'd be very greatful, my current ultra careful diet will only last so long before I get so sick of the sight of salads I go mad and buy a chocolate cake.

My other question after being away from knitting for so long I can't remember my log in details for Ravelry is in 2 parts, why do people think that Elizabeth Zimmerman is so brilliant? I find her patterns incomprehensible and her top down pattern for sweaters to result in hundreds of shuddering children being forced to wear sloping shouldered garments that make them all look drooping shouldered and depressed. The other question is why knit dishcloths? I don't see them as being particularly hygenic, and why knit something pretty to use to wash dirty dishes, you might as well embroider the overalls that are worn to repair the car - or am I missing something?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A couple of FO's

I'm addicted still to knitting clapotis. This is a narrow version in Juicy yarn, bamboo and cotton mix with the most glorious drape, typically I discovered it just as it was discontinued. I managed to resist over stocking it and only bought 500g each of 2 different colourways, my normal instinct is to buy everyscrao I find of a discontinued yarn regardless of how much I can use. This clapotis is mine, I've made several over the years and never kept one.

This is the first thing I've started and finished this year, a wider shorter clapotis, I wish in fact I'd made it longer but it isn't a pattern that lends itself to changing your mind one you've started the final decreaseing as it's knitted on the bias. Although I'm proud of it and it's very important as a milestone on my recovery I can't imagine ever wearing it, I just can't give it to anyone randomly I need it to go to someone who appreciates how symbolic it is to me.

A simple scarf, I have in fact made two, this one is in Medici, a gift to the manager I had for the first 6 months of my return to work, I'd give her my first born child if I had one she was so very kind and supportive to me when I returned to work in a horribly fragile state, she couldn't have treated me better or been more patient. We still stay in touch and met up yesterday so I could give this to her asa very small but heartfelt thankyou. The other scarf I have no picture of, it was another garter stitch scarf, made out of Illusion in red/gold/green - that has gone to the shrink I've been seeing, again it really is a totally inadequate gift to a woman has almost managed to convince me that I'm not totally worthless!

This is a baby picture of my Merlin cat - he's adorable even if Hecate doesn't agree - I didn't take many pictures of him before I gave up the photography for a while. I'm pretty much convinced when I look at pictures like this that he has to be a Siamese cross!

You may not believe this, but this is going to be a Christmas tree when I can finally be bothered to sew it up and stuff it. Real trees and cats in a small flat won't work so I've given my niece the glass baubles I had and am making a few of these, number 2 is on my needles already. As usual I have a load of WIP's - its a failing of my butterfly mind - I'll do something about getting pictures of them so you can mock me for my lack of focus :)

Tomorrow I get the results of blood tests to decide if I've developed type 2 diabetes during the last few years of comfort eating, I've done a radical overhaul of my diet this last month so I'm hoping to squeak through and avoid anymore meds.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Sod's law

Is alive and well, I spent this week - at least odd moments trying to get all the bits I needed for my digital camera all in the same place, I eventually admitted today that I had lost the cable I needed for downloading to the PC and bought a new one on eBay - do I need to tell you that less than one hour later I found the lost cable?

I can show you a picture from last spring, I added a new family member - I'd like you to meet Merlin. he and Hecate don't always get on very well, but he keeps her much more active than she was used to! He's much more vocal than she is and a slighter build with a tendency to leap around the flat like a demented rabbit and I suspect he has Siamese blood in him as he's a shocker for licking me and sucking on my neck given the chance.

I saw my shrink last week, I've been lucky enough to get some sessions with someone who I find I work well with, sadly the NHS considers that 20 sessions will cure you so I've nearly run out of time with her. I also had blood tests to determine if I am diabetic, hopefully I'll be able to control it with diet as I have finally (I think) managed to find a diet that is helping me lose weight healthily, I'm seeing my Dr next Wednesday to get my test results and discuss where we go next if the figures aren't good enough. I really don't want to start medication yet so I'm hoping the 10 lbs I've lost in the last 4 weeks will help my case!

If I can get the camera to charge over night I'll try and get pictures of the latest FO's - some of which are things I'd abandoned 3 years ago and I'm getting dealt with. Then I'll have to try and work out how blogger has changed in the long break I've had!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Still alive

I know it's been a horribly long time since I posted, most of my old readers must think I've died!

The depression and stress I was suffering from kept me off work for close to two years and destroyed my ability to knit - I couldn't hold a pattern in my head for more than a minute and my concentration span wasn't much longer. I finally went back to work last October and in the last 6 weeks I finally started knitting again, I need to play hunt the camera to be able to show you what I've been working on, mostly a couple of scarves, but I have made two of my old favourite clapotis that I hope I can show you soon.

Don't expect regular blogging for a while, but I like to think this post is a sign that I am taking another step along the very long road back from the black pit I was in for so long.