Friday, December 29, 2006

2006 in Knitting

I came across this meme and rather liked it as a review of the year so here is my 2006 in knitting

What is your absolute favorite project you've ever knit (one that fulfilled both process and product)?
This is a really tough call to be honest - I love the socks I have knit but the answer from this year's knitting is my Smoulder cardigan which I'm wearing as I type - it fits nicely, is soft and warm and the colours are fantastic - result!

An honourable mention should go to the little handbag which I made from yarn we bought on our honeymoon - it has special associations because of that!

Which of your handknits do you wear the most often?
Socks definitely - when I'm not working I am almost always wearing hand knit socks and I have so many beautiful pairs from this year both the ones I made for me and the ones for other people.

This year I knit:

6 pairs for me

4 pairs for H

2 pairs for my Mum

1 pair each for Daddy, Sister, BIL-to-be and Manda (my Summer of socks sock swap pal)

1 1/2 pairs of Socks of DOOM!

17 and a bit pairs of socks - I guess I like them! (Plus commuting has a lot to answer for!)

What was your favorite gift to knit?
The answer is somewhat obvious given the above - socks!!

Which of your handknits are gathering dust your closet?
Happily none of them are seriously gatehring dust - some I wear less often such as my Electra tank or a pink vest top but that's mainly due to weather conditions and/or having the right other clothes to wear with it
Which of your handknits have you gotten rid of?
well I've given away pairs of socks but nothing has been binned/charity shopped
If you've knit socks, what is your favorite pattern?
Sock Bug's River Rapids - Jodie made them for me for my Summer of Socks and I made them for Mum for Christmas. I love the pattern so much I incorporated it into my mitten pattern as well!
What would you like to make in 2007?
Well there's the million-dollar question. More things than I can possibly have time or money for although i doubt that will stop me as I am notoriously over-abitious about what I can accomplish in a given space of time - I think it's a knitter thing as I'm sure I'm not the only one - perhaps the whole left brain/right brain thing means that beacuse it doesn't feel like time is passing then it isn't - hmm not sure about that one
Anyway, cables are looking pretty big for me this year with projects from Inspired Cable Knits and Knitting Nature lining up in the wings (that and all the other things I have stash for!!)
Plus more socks
What have you learned about your craft in 2006?
This year I have really discovered the online knitting community and the sheer amount of resource out there is amazing - long live knitters and the internet!
What events/sites have you particularly enjoyed in the blogosphere in 2006?
I was part of Project Spectrum and the Summer of Socks, both of which I really enjoyed and in general discovering different people's blogs and podcasts has been great fun
I hope you all had a wonderful 2006 - see you next year

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Carie's Christmas Socks

Well everyone else got some....

Mine are Regia Silk/Wool mix in just the very simple sock pattern on 60 stitches to show off the stripes. I started them late on Christmas day for some TV knitting while we were watching a film and also to show off a little present from Father Christmas - stitch holders which scoop up all the ends of your DPNs while in transit so you don't loose stitches off the needles when your station arrives before you're really ready for it and you have to throw your knitting in a bag in a hurry (not that that ever happens to me of course!!)

In other finished items, remember my KMKS pal's bag? I lined it this afternoon and here it is in all it's glory and TWO inside pockets for stitch markers and other things that get a little lost. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out and the embroidery edging stitching looks really pretty (much nicer than the slightly blurry zigzag you can see in the picture!)

I've also had the time to write up the pattern for the mittens this week so I just need a couple of odds and ends and then I'm ready to put the packet in the post - I was a little concerned that there could be no chocolate because of USA customs laws but a quick check assures me that all is well - Mitten pal your calorie consumption is safe with me!!

A couple of other things have sparked my attention recently which I just have to share; first is the fantastic news that the Yarn Harlot's "Double the MSF donation" challenge only took 73 hours 36 minutes - that's pretty cool

The second is this - the perfect combination of law and knitting - what more could you ask for.

Father Christmas was very good to me this year and my lovely H bought me a number of knitting books all of which have loads of patterns I want to knit - most especially Norah Gaughan's Knitting Nature and Fiona Ellis' Inspired Cable Knits - which leaves me with the question, is it really wrong to start another sweater if I haven't finished Aimee - no I'm sure it can't be - maybe I can justify it on the basis that Aimee is a summer sweater and the proposed project (the Ogee tunic is more of a spring kind of thing) - girl logic will proove anything

Happy Knitting to all and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Christmas Knitting Story

Once upon a time long long (well not that long) ago there was a knitter:

She had a Daddy and a Mummy:

And a Sister:

One day the Knitter met a handsome man who swept her off her feet. They got married and she wrapped him in yarn to keep him warm (or at least his feet as he continued to resist the idea of a handknit sweater even when all his ordinary sweaters had holes in the elbows)

Then Sister met a man who was quite handsome though obviously for the purposes of the story, not quite as feet-sweeping as the Husband. Sister fell in love with this man and they got engaged:
(that's an engagedment ring in the middle by the way)
And they all lived happily ever after with toasty warm feet.

The Knitter, having just knit 6 pairs of socks on the trot without a single pair for herself (H got two pairs for Christmas), settled down with a lovely pink, cream, green and blue silk/wool mix to enjoy her Christmas!!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas Everyone

Well the title says it all - I wish everyone the very best of Christmases and I hope you all have a wonderful day tomorrow.

So what have we been up to? Well H and I are spending our first Christmas together in our new house following the matrimonials back in April - it is really lovely to be preparing for the festive season with him even if it does involve a little bit more work than previous years where all I had to do was turn up on the right day!

Yesterday we did a very early morning shop at Sainsburys followed by a trip to Talton Mill to retrieve our chicken (it's trying to be a turkey honest) and even a quick whiz round town, all accomplished by 11am - seriously for us that's impressive.

The afternoon was spent creating these:

Christmas Gingerbread tree decorations not all of which have made it to our tree!

I also finished the mittens which are shortly to be wrapped and placed beneath our tree:

Today was the church nativity service followed for me at least by more cooking. I give you H's christmas cake (a very moorish Chocolate Buche log), apple cinamon buns for tomorrow's breakfast and an ordinary loaf of bread

This afternoon we have cooked, H has painted and I have made a snowflake! It is actually a kit from the Spellbound Bead Shop which I ordered online. I am very impressed with their service, I ordered the snowflake kit and a present for a friend on Sunday night and it arrived Wednesday - how cool is that. The shop is only in Lichfield so I might have to go on an expetition there someday.

Have a wonderful day tomorrow and may all your Christmas dreams come true

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Christmas Knitting is finished!

Hurray! At least when I say finished I mean that everything I meant to complete for Christmas is complete but it is entirely possible that a little something extra has snuck onto the needles - more on that later.

Well... it seems ages since I last updated the blog and I seem to have tried to put in an update several times and completely failed. My excuse can only be a severe lack of time at home and a lot of time at work or on work trips.

However, as of 3pm this afternoon the office closed for Christmas and I am on holiday until 8 Jan (apart from a small trip into the office for a hearing on 4th Jan) Yipeeeeeeee - it's Christmas!!!

So what of the knitting; Aimee is still very much on the needles and we are still at the back stage. I love this sweater and I think the fabric is turning out very pretty but I've had the bug for simple brain-free knitting recently to make sure I unwind. My bag for the mitten kit is now finished (although still unlined) and now has some contents so all I need before January is the pattern - which leads me on to my latest project....

(the front)

(the back)

I have not knit any mittens before although there may be a very bad pair of gloves somewhere in my very distant past but when I frogged the disaster sock back in April/May time I was left with two balls of red Debbie Bliss merino Aran and two balls of a blue/purple. Cue Knitty's Fetchings in the lovely red.

I started these in the car on the way to visit my parents in Devon (from Warwickshire that's a good 3.5/4 hour drive), knit a bit more at my parents house and finished the pair on Sunday night back home - instant weekend knitting and I love them - they are hugely useful for knitting on the train and keeping my wrists warm when I need to use my fingers. All this fun led me to thinking about mittens and mitten patterns as I clearly need a pattern to send with the mitten kit and nothing I have seen on the internet really seems to suit my swap - so I designed my own.

This is what they looked like the first time I took a picture to post,

and this is what they look like now although they will grow a fair bit further before I'm finished tonight!

These precise mittens are to be an extra Christmas present to someone who is not so far getting anything knitted and who I know appreciates hand knits. It is not somone who reads the blog as far as I am aware so I think I'm pretty safe posting pictures! I will now write up the pattern and make a pretty pattern sheet for my swap so these mittens will be unnamed for a little while!

Final batch of Christmas shopping tomorrow so I must head off to prepare for it.

In the spirit of Christmas please check out the Yarn Harlot's Christmas Challenge to raise money for MCF through TCF - we're very nearly at the target total!

Happy knitting one and all!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A weekend in Christmas land

Just in case anyone was in any doubt about it: I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

So celebrations for the season of much joy and celebration start early chez moi. Last weekend we put up the outdoor icicle lights and this weekend we have really been busy.

Up early on Saturday we ensured that Sainsbury's was suitably denuded of alcoholic beverages. Inf act because I buy as much of our food as possible from local farmers it did rather look like we were about to live off dried fruit and booze for the festive season - now there's a plan.

The lovely husband then departed for hockey while I made some last minute purchases before beginning the Mince Pie marathon. I had resolved not to make mincemeat or mince pies this year becuase only I ever eat them and so we don't really need them but then a plea for mince pies went out in church last Sunday and I could scarcely resist. I am kicking myself now for forgetting to take any pictures of the 50+ mince pies I made becuase they were very pretty with stars, trees or angels for lids and home made mincemeat inside - so yummy.

When the lovely H returned we went tree shopping (in the dark) and by hook or crook we have a winner:

That's H in the corner of the photo trying to sneak in the shot!

We also had Mary, Joseph and the Donkey come to visit as part of the village Passada. They arrived Saturday and we handed over this morning in church. It is really lovely having them travel round the village and it felt rather special to have them to stay. The Wise Men travel after Christmas so we might have them visit as well.

Today we ventured forth to Christmas shop. H was very frustrated about the idea of Christmas shopping until I reminded him that actually most of it was already done and this was only his first trip out! We are now pretty much done and what we haven't bought we have at least decided. Then we decorated our tree and it is beautiful:

I'm not quite sure whether you can see the second set of lights - they are snowmen!

Finally carolling this evening (and the consumption of many mince pies!) - real life returns tomorow but it's still only two weeks until Christmas.

In other news I have been doing a little bit of knitting (not much) and the bag for my KMKS partner is coming along well - we got the fabric to line it this afternoon so I'm almost there on that part and I've decided on the fillings!

Hope everyone's Christmas Knitting is going well!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Christmas preparations

Are all in full swing in the Knitted Bear's household. The Christmas knitting is progressing nicely and I am now at the stage where I have a knitted item for everyone on my knitted items list. Whether I finish the current oh so secret project only time will tell but if I can sneak it into my bag for London on Thursday I may have some success in making progress on the trip back.

Having got to that happy state (and I can hear other knitters knashing their teeth) I had some time that I thought I might dedicate to something for myself, or even possibly my Aimee sweater which has been sadly neglected of late. Instead my left brain took over and I started this:

A topic I have been rather quiet on of late is the Knit Mitt Kit Swap and this is the start of the bag. The pattern will be Knitty's Sweet Suede with my own intarsia design on the front. The whole design is supposed to be sort of sweeping ripples of colour, rather like the lines I doodle and the colours are ones my swap likes so I hope she likes it.

I have also decided on a pattern for the kit - it needs a little adapting and making pretty but it should be good from then on in! I'm really enjoying making the bag so I imagine it will be finished soon.

Our Christmas preparations continue with the arrival of two angels:

They are little beading kits from Beady Bizz which I found at the NEC show. From looking on the web Beady Bizz is based in NZ but she must have a UK stockist I just can't find who which is a shame as these are very cute, easy to make and I had a great evening making one of them. I think the one on the left is mine and the one on the right is the husband's but we can't quite remember!

All is now ready to welcome Mary and Joseph and the donkey on Saturday