Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sunday Monday Happy Days

I have discovered that not enough time has been spent blogging recently, nor has very much time been spent knitting.

My multicoloured socks were intended to be my pseudo Knitting Olympics project. However, I took a conscious decision on Saturday not to finish them as I am very much enjoying knitting them on the train in the morning/evening. As I have a meeting in London on Wednesday I hope to finish them by then - probably late Wednesday night on the way back home!!

However, a couple of cancelled trains and a slow runner from Birmingham the other night meanthat I have now turned the heel and I'm currently reducing on the instep.

I tried to go to Web of Wool to get another flavour of yarn (both for me and for Beloved Fiance who is rather taken with the idea of my socks) but sadly they were closed - for the second week running so I think they may have gone on holiday - who knows, I shall just have to try again next week.

A little while ago (well actually a week ago) I started on Rowan Electra and I have now reached the halfway point - ta da!

I suspect it will take me another week to bend in the ends!! Other people have mentioned knitting it in the round to save on the ends and if I were ever to do this project again I think I might well try that. Not only would you have half the ends naturally, you would also be able to carry some yarn up where you can't do it knitting across and back because your yarn is at the wrong end. You can't see the pattern very well in the big picture so here is a close up:

I am really pleased with it so far and it is so soft and snuggly. My only concern is that it seems a little narrow. However, it is the back and I trust that the decreases on the front are not too severe as to disallow for a girl's feminine charms! We shall see. Also I need to learn how to block properly as I think this top would benefit from it.

Beloved fiance and I have road tested it for snugglability by using it as a cushion cover and it passed with flying colours!

Writing this makes me realise that I accomplished half this top in a week which it actually quite a lot of time spent knitting even if you do consider I had Monday and Tuesday off work. I think I find knitting very theraputic and therefore very addictive. Beloved Fiance finds the same effect by going to sleep in my lap but sadly this is not very compatible with fairisle knitting!!

Hope everyone else had weekend fun with their knitting. Please do leave a comment on this site if you want - i haven't really worked out how to use comments properly yet but I shall try to give it a go soon. I did work out how to do sidebars though so anything is possible!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Wednesday's Warblings

Or should that be wobblings? My holiday (Monday and Tuesday) was very shortlived and I was back at work today to try to work out what on earth has been going on while I was away. The Great Boss and I have a slight habit of forgetting to tell each other what has been going on while the other has been out until strictly necessary - we may want to work on that.

My sock does not yet have a fellow sock although it does have 13 rounds of rib to match. I was a little concerned about matching the pair and if I ever make a sock again from self patterning yarn I will remember to match the beginning of the yarn before I knit either sock. Despite this, I've magically managed to calculate it pretty accurately - there may be half a round more blue on the top of the new sock but certainly not more and that's close enough for me. If anyone has any tips on pattern matching feel free to share!

The other new addition to my site was by progress bars in the sidebar - very exciting. I found out how to do them thanks to some very helpful comments on the Knitty Coffeshop and they're so exciting.

Other than that I continue to press on with Electra - almost up to the armhole shaping and it is sooo soft and fluffy and snuggly - I promise a piccy soon!

Monday, February 20, 2006

A sock is born!

Apologies for quiet on the western front for a little while - I was hugely occupied recontructing my contender for larget ever sock into something which I could actually wear - and at last: Possibly the largest ever foot to grace this page - my giant size 8 hoof has a delicate and subtle covering! I hasten to add only one foot can be covered at any one time as I have only finished the one sock.

However: (a) I really like it, I'm terribly pleased with it and even woke up the Beloved Fiance to tell him all about it - he thinks it's very funky too; (b) it's remarkably easy to knit; and (c) I can knit it on the train to work and back home again which gives me a minimum of an hours knitting on it a day so it just flys along. It is now knitted on 64 stitches and fits like a glove. I will post a picture of the pair as soon as I am able.

In the meantime I had an expedition to John Lewis in Solihull yesterday with Beloved Fiance who was in the mood for spoiling me. So I acquired the yarn I actually needed (1 ball of Ginger felted tweed), AND my yarn for Carolina (in pinky red KSH and KSS) plus some bamboo needles.

Then for contrast we went to see The Darkness at the NEC who were SUPERB!!!! Rock Chick does knitting (perhaps an alternative title to my blog!)

Anyway, today I had the day off work, Miss Marple on video from last night and all the colours I needed to start Electra so here she is:

I'm never particularly good at swatching, I just sort of make it and see what size it turns out - hence the gigantic socks - so this the start of the finished article. It is Rowan Electra (which is a fairisle slipover) originally in bright purple and pink in the magazine (#38) and now in the colours you see before you (Felted Tweed midnight and ginger) (Yorkshire Tweed in Goose) and KSH in Heavenly. It is sooooo soft and is knitting up very well.

That's all for now - ttfn

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Oh woe is my sock

I would post a picture - but it's just too sad. I have been making cracking progress on my first ever sock, I've done 61 rounds and really mastered knitting in the round.

That is until I actually looked at the said item and realised that it is MASSIVE! I believe this to be due to the 96 stitches which I cast on.... yes really, 96.

It is entirely possible that I measured the wrong bit of my foot - oops.

So this evening's joyful plan involves frogging 61 rows, remeasuring the foot and casting on again. On the plus side, I do really like the pattern.........! :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

St Valentine and Friends

No pictures today I'm afraid as my sock has not progressed sufficiently to merit a piccy.

Today is the day of all things cute, fluffy and red and I was duly presented with none of the above.

My beloved fiance had a job interview after work today and has now gone off to hockey training - hence I have a minute to write this entry before attempting to make heart shaped pizza! I know I'm very soppy at heart!! This morning I was presented with a lovely card addressed "to my fiancee". I know it kind of gives the game away as to who it is from but I'm very touched - particularly as this is the only Valentine's day when someone will give me a card that says that - last year I was a girlfriend and next year I will be his wife.

Beloved Fiance's card said "I love you more than pizza and chocolate". As these are two of his major food groups he thought that was rather entertaining and it did persuade him to get out of bed almost in time for work!! My valentine's present was going to be a book token but it didn't quite get turned into book token form which means that it is either a book token or a contribution towards my yarn fund - I think the latter may be called for, particularly if I can get a copy of Stitch n Bitch from my local library - Electra here we come. I'm very tempted by a blue/ginger/cream combination but Fiance thinks that blue and ginger clash - we shall see who is correct in due course!

My other excitement is that I have booked my day off work for 24th March and booked my tickets for the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia plus three workshops. I'm going to two be the RSN - whitework and silk shading, as I really enjoyed their goldwork class last year, and one called off a sheep's back or something which is about spinning and knitting.

Finally I'm wondering whether or not to set up my own knitting group in Leamington as I can't seem to find any around here. If anyone is interested then send me a comment and I'll have a think about it.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Drizzle - the FO (and a new beginning!)

Well ta da! this is Drizzle - unfortunately on her side as I can't work out how to make my photos turn through 90. Still nevermind - note to self - take pictures the right way up!

Drizzle from Rowan 38. The main colour is Yorkshire Tweed DK Skip (347) and I used almost the whole 2 balls (the original pattern uses Felted Tweed throughout and there is more yarn in a ball of Felted Tweed), the stripes are Felted Tweed Midnight (133), Arctic (140) and Whisper (141) and it uses KSH Heavenly (592) throughout.

Knitted on 4 and 1/2 mm needles as specified in the pattern. Finished size is supposed to be 15cm by 169 but has turned out 14cm by 179 (ish - tape measure runs out at 150!). Not quite sure how that happenned but I suspect it is something to do with substituting the Felted Tweed for Yorskhire Tweed which is a bit more chunky.

I am very pleased with the FO and it is very warm and snuggly. The colour scheme was supposed to be the sea with the stripes at the ends being ripples and the changing colour of the sea so the final touch will be to acquire a few pearl fish shaped buttons and sew a small row of each to each end! I think that might have to wait for a few months but I will post an update when I have found the buttons!

I'm very taken with the tweed/KSH combination and I'm seriously contemplating Electra (also Rowan 38) which has a fairisle mixture (although not in the purple colourway given on the pattern).

Finally this is a little progress report on my socks - the yarn is Fortissima Colori Socka Color which I got from Web of Wool in Leamington - I think they're fab for sock wool - they have the most enormous selection (and a free pattern for a very easy sock). This is my first attempt at knitting in the round and so far I'm really enjoying it and the pattern on the socks is coming out very nicely!

I didn't join the knitting olympics (although I seriously contemplated it) but if I had these would have been my project so maybe I should see how far I can get in 16 days anyway. Hmm -more progress will be reported later!

So now you know!

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

PS - I'm a lawyer so they got that one right!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Mission Accomplished

Well my Friday task duly completed itself at about half midnight (oops!). I have finished Drizzle and will publish picture and specs here shortly. I am very pleased with it and I wore it out today (with freezing temperatures for much of the day) and it was very warm, very snuggly and such a pretty colour. I'm now very keen on the idea of knitting with KSH, yorkshire tweed and felted tweed as it makes such a lovely combination so Electra from Rowan 38 may have to be added to the list - I just have to suss out the colours as in the book it looks very pink which isn't really me but I saw a picture of it on someone's site which looks more purply - this point needs investigating!

In the meantime I have started a new creation: is it a plane, is it a game of pick a sticks; is it a leftover chinese takeway? No I have taken the plunge and started knitting a pair of socks in the round on four needles. It's ready patterned yarn so I don't have to do anything with it except knit and a very easy pattern, although I'm a little alarmed that I have to go up from 60 stitches to 96 - that seems like a big increase to me but we shall see how they turn out - I do have big feet to balance out my 6' height - and if they're too big then I will give them to the fiance who will no doubt love wearing brightly patterned rainbow socks! hmmm

Anyway pictures of the new FO will follow shortly. Technically it's not quite finished as Drizzle has buttons along the bottom of each edge. As my colourway is all about the sea I quite like the idea of a row of fish buttons so I will wait until I find them!

Friday, February 10, 2006

That Friday Feeling

This has been quite a week! Very very busy at work on Monday as we have a case which concluded but it was a very intense day and has really wiped me out for the week. However, as my Drizzle scarf is now more than 135cm long it is back into the stripes and I have very high hopes of finishing it tonight. I don't think it really needs blocking as it's moss stitch and fairly robust but I might give it a whirl anyway. The finace and I are going to do "the Wedding List Stage One" on Sunday at John Lewis so I will have to see if I can get the buttons to finish it off.

Alternatively I have seen some very nice fish shaped pearl buttons on the net and I'm also planning on going to the Knitting and Stitching Show in March in Olympia so I might just wear it without buttons for a little bit and then add some extras in due course.

Right now I am having yarn cravings. I really want to get the yarn for Carolina from Rowan 39 and I've even chosen the colours (in a sort of pinky red) but I still have to finish Drizzle and then I have socks a baby jacket and my Kaffe Fasset stripy cardigan to do. At least one of the three (and possibly two) needs to turn into an FO before I can start Carolina so I must sit on my hands for a bit. Plus the KSH requires a certain amount of budget conservation first!

If anyone is after sock wool I strongly recommend Web of Wool in Leamington who are fab and have a great shop as well as the mail order - just soooooo many varieties of sock yarns!

I must now return to Drizzle - a rather odd name I think but I try to think of Drizzle lemon icing type drizzle rather than half-hearted rain!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

And the UFOs - cue spooky music

This is the start of a baby jacket for my cousin's first baby - due in July - it's not very clear from the picture but the pattern is alternating moss stitch, stst, double moss st and more st st and eventually it will have a little hoodie and be button up the front. I started it because I ran out of yarn to keep going on Drizzle (see below)
Drizzle is my latest Rowan UFO - it is from Magazine 38 but I have changed away from the pinky/purple colour scheme and gone for Yorkshire Tweed DK in Skip, with Felted Tweed Whisper, Midnight and Watery for the stripes. The whole thing is knitted with one strand of the main colour and one strand KSH - Heavenly in this case which makes it very snuggly and I can't wait until it's finished - particularly as it's just started raining again!

FO number 2

This is a picture of my first FO of this year - the lace vest from Sarah Dallas' vintage knits. The book was a Xmas present from Best Friend and the Yarn and Needles the Xmas present from Beloved Fiance!

As you might be able to tell from the picture, one of the straps has ended up a bit longer than the other - I think due to my different cast on methods, or maybe just bad luck - anyway I need to do something to adjust that. On the whole though it is a very pretty top and I'm pleased with it. The other advantage with a vest top is the speedy turnaround time - I started just after Christmas and finished mid-January!

So far, so good!

Well now I have worked out how to put pictures onto the camera AND from the camera to the computer (thanks little sis), I can show some of my FOs and UFOs so far! This is a picture of my first FO to date which I actually finished just after Christmas. It is the Stella Smith pattern from Simply Knitting Issue 2 (May 05) in Rowan 4ply - and looks much better when I'm not wearing it over the top of Winnie the Pooh pyjamas!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

First Blog

Well welcome to the Knitted Bear anyone who might read this. This is my first attempt at a blog and I'm very much learning as I go along.

The idea of this blog, as the title might suggest is to keep a bit of a record of my knitting projects - hopefully plus pictures once I persuade the fiance to teach me how to upload them off the camera.

Currently knitting is experiencing a bit of a ressurgence and, having made a number of baby clothes over the years but avoided big people clothes because they are a bit too quaint I've gone back into knitting for me in a big way.

My first finished grown up project was a little blue cardigan which some intensive knitting over the Christmas holiday finished off for me. Christmas present from a friend was Sarah Dallas' Vintage Knits and the fiance gave me the yarn and new bamboo needles to make the Lace Vest - now a pleasant addition to my wardrobe in bright pink with lilac edging.

Current projects are: Drizzle from Rowan 38 and a little white baby jacket for my cousin whose first baby is due in July. Waiting in the wings is my "froth" free Rowan scarf (in heavenly KSH) and a stripy cardigan (can't remember the name!)

Final comment and then I will finish for now! The Knitted Bear perhaps requires some explanation. I am neither made of yarn, nor do I look like a bear (at least I hope not!) but I live in Warwickshire (UK) and the county symbol is a bear - hence the blog title!