Saturday, March 25, 2006


Well now I have returned from Olympia and have slept and had the opportunity to review the day here is all the news and the views (and pictures!). Essentially the show is much as it was last year, just slightly bigger. There were, as always, a fair few stands selling uncraft related tat (such as pillows and old lady clothes) but generally a good mixture. The focus is very much on stitching and cross stitch in particular but the first floor did have a good number of stands for card making and knitting.

The exhibitions were OK - interesting to see the cross stitch designer's stands and the winners of the scrapbook competition were very good but the knitted wedding display was all of about 5 photos and there was nothing to match last year's tapestry display.

I do think the embroiderers guild coloured blocks were fantastic though.

This year I think the reason I really went was for the classes and workshops which are still excellent and very good value although I think you have to choose carefully. I went for two from the Royal School of Needlework which were brilliant and then one called "off the sheep's back"!

The first RSN class was whitework (as in christening frocks) and it is really beautiful. We also have a project which we could actually finish in the alloted hour, and here it is:

It is actually white but to be able to see the crazy daisy I have to do a bit of camera trickery so it has come out grey!

The second class was silk shading and ta da:

It's a flower!

My spinning class was not successful encough to merit a photo but was also lots of fun!

I also acquired ten balls of pure alpaca in a gorgeous purply blue which I will use to knit myself a cable jumper just as soon as I find the right pattern! If anyone knows of any good patterns let me know!

Progress on most of my knitting has taken a bit of a hit as the colour for the main part of Carolina leaks all over my hands and needles and I have had to return it to John Lewis. Still in the meantime I have plenty of projects to keep me going including plotting for my Rowan Exchange and making a project spectrum project for April in orange or yellow - hmm time to get the thinking cap on!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Carolina vs Washing up

Well what did you think?

Of course I did the washing up

THEN I cast on for Carolina!

Unfortunately there is a little bit of a setback in that the colour of the Vino KSS which I am using for the main part of Carolina comes off on my hands. I'm thinking this isn't a good thing and neither do the girls on the Rowan site so it is about to be carefully packaged up and sent back to Rowan - waaaa

I did really like the pattern though.

This leaves me with the sleeves which are very complicated but also in a different non-hand colouring colour. At the moment I'm just trusting the pattern and hoping for the best as it's very complicated and looks quite strange. I might post a picture soon when I get something worth showing!

Hope you all had a happy weekend and don't have pink hands!

Saturday, March 18, 2006


I seem to be having blogger problems - testing to see if post will publish

Electra Finished

Oo dear I have just realised that this blog is woefully overdue an update, so here it is. The title somewhat gives the game away but nevermind.

After I last posted I finished one side of the front split. Then on Wednesday I started the other side and on Thursday I finished it.

Then all of Friday night (and a little bit of this morning) produced this:

Which left this:
Add the Commonwealth games, me feeling really poorly and two rugby matched and I now have this:

I am very pleased with it and I really like the colour combination - I've noticed that most people who have changed the colour combination have gone for clearer colours to show the pattern better and it is definitely worth it. The final seal of approval is that the BF thinks it looks very good (and he was a little unsure of the colour combinations initially) His photography does need improvement though!

The Knitty Gritty

Pattern: Electra from Rowan 38 in size 34.

Yarn: The main colour is Felted Tweed in Midnight (133). I started with one ball less what I used in Drizzle and I have about the same left of the second ball. The contrast colours are Yorkshire Tweed DK in Goose (352) - small kiwi sized ball left - and Felted Tweed in Ginger (154) - half the ball left, together with KSH in Heavenly (592) - knitting in two strands using two balls I probably used a quarter of each ball.

Needles: I used bamboo 4mms for the rib but found that it 'snatched' the yarn too much - the rest of it was knitted on metal needles which was generally fine although a little slippy on the KSH rows.

Comments: This pattern is great fun to knit up and doesn't take too long (apart from bending in all those ends!). I started this on 20 February so it has taken a little under a month - yay! It is a snug fit which isn't a particular problem but anyone not so small on top might find it more of a squeeze. It could also be quite easily knitted in the round until the start of the armhole decreases which would save a lot of effort. My final thought is that I need to learn a better cast off for rib as the rib case off around the neck is a little tight but not at all bad. I have also learnt the power of steam pressing as a method of blocking - this top has not been blocked - mainly because I don't really understand how to do it and also because the top looks fine after its pressing.

So the next question is: do I do the washing up or do I cast on for Carolina?

Answers on a postcard!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sundays are great

It's the weekend and what better to do than curl up in a ball underneath a blanket, knit and watch telly. I am proud to announce that today my achievements are as follows:

1, Made the BF lunch ( fried chicken sandwiches adapting a recipe for fried pork which he said was delicious but wierd as he kept expecting to eat chicken. He thought it was very nice with chicken). For anyone into food; coat chicken in breadcrumbs and parmesan using an egg, mustard and orgegano bind and shallow fry - yummy.

2, Made the BF supper - roast beef and roast potatoes no less. The poor wee man is studying very hard for a new job at the moment and therefore requires his sustenance!

3, Made serious progress on Electra (yay!). Yesterday I cast on (3 times before I remembered how to make the rib work - I know I said my aim was to cast on for the front but I had expected to get further) and did about 15 rows of rib. Today:

As you can see I have now got to the neck divide AND the armhole shaping - the FO banner is in sight but I think there are still a few miles to go - not least the ends that will need bending in (see previous posts on the subject) and working out how to do the sleeve/neckline ribs. I'm thinking of doing at least the arm ribs on DPNs in the round because that would just be like doing socks - I'de just have to make sure I got the round going the right way round! Also must acquire DPNs in correct size.

However, on that note I do have the Olympia show rapidly approaching and I have high hopes that it will yield some nice new needles and possibly some yarn. I also have serious designs on one of those little sheep tape measures if I can track them down!

Anyway, my telly schedule for today is not quite complete, having viewed Poirot, the Bahrain Grand Prix and another Poirot I now have Planet Earth - wow! So ttfn.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

It's the weekend!

And I have been smartening up my blog - please duly admire the lovely Project Spectrum buttons which actually link to the right site, as does the Rowanette Blog Ring button.

I've also changed the little progress bars to a prettier pattern - hurray!

Much thanks to the Knitty coffeshop board for teaching my how to do it.

Unfortunately, what with the sore hand, and a slightly insane workload I've done no more this week than 45 rows of sock in assorted blue which is not yet interesting enough to merit a picture.

My plans for the weekend are to cast on the front of Electra and perhaps do a little bit more on the sock - it's all very exciting I know!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

In which Carie rants

If you ever have a day where you think I really shouldn't have bothered getting up this morning then today was it. My train to work was delayed, I missed the train I was supposed to be catching home and then the one after that was delayed and I duly arrived home in a right old mood to go to Wedding Preparation to discuss resolving conflict!

I took me most of the Wedding Preparation, plus supper and two helpings of ice cream (the dress will have to be let out!) to unwind - gaaaaaaaargh!

I was making very good progress on the BF's socks - 31 rows thanks to Virgin train delays both ways yesterday as well. Unfotunately I then discovered a dreaded knot in the yarn. While you can get round this in most yarn it has quite a big effect on self striping yarn, particularly if you are then going to have to try to make another sock to match! After a bit of unwinding and considering the matter the 31 rows of sock came off the needles and became a teddy bandana and I cast on again just after the knot.

I know knots sometime happen if the yarn just breaks or for whatever reason but I wish it could be picked up when they are striping the yarn - someone must tie the knot so someone must know it is there - unless it's all done by magic - the possibilities are endless.

I am 10 rounds into the new sock and it is again knitting up nicely although I think I like the yarn I used for my socks more than the Opal; Opal seems to have little odd fluffy bits in it which I'm not sure I go for - perhaps it is only a result of the yarn break and consequent knot.

I also seem to have pulled a muscle in my wrist so I find it hard to lift anything with my right hand - doh! I bet I did it while I was asleep. A good night's rest should hopefully sort things out as I miss my knitting therapy at the moment!

Happy Knitting one and all!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Weekend Progress

And so another weekend draws to a close - I hope you all had fun knitting. I know I did as I can officially announce that this weekend I did NOTHING and it was just great - one of the most relaxing weekends I've had in ages. I slept a lot, knitted a lot and spent time with the beloved fiance which was fab as I've not seen that much of him lately what with my job, his job and his job interviews!

ANYWAY: I have finished the back to the baby jacket I was knitting - so cute and knits up so fast but so completely uninteresting to look at that it does not yet merit a photograph. Actually, my pictures don't really show the stitch pattern so it's just a little white blob.

What I have yet to find is my pattern for the ducks jacket which I really do need to look out. My other girl cousin (my Mum's twin's daughter) now has a bouncing 2 1/2 year old and when he was new born he got a little blue version of the jacket I'm currently knitting and a cream jacket with a row of ducks round the bottom. Then my housemate's sister became pregnant and whilst I completely failed to teach Loubie to knit, I did make two duck jackets (one for the baby and one for the baby's 3 yr old sister). Ergo my baby make is a duck jacket and in moving house I've lost the pattern aaaargh!

The other side of the coin is that perhaps I should move on and the Jaeger baby knits book looks very tempting...... (no, bad Carie, no more shopping - at least until Olympia on 24th March and my honeymoon!!)

Anyway, where were we - oh yes - I have been somewhat avoiding the prospect of bending in the ends on Electra but I have now bitten the bullet and the back at least is all woven in. I'm so glad I did it now and not at the end of the project. I present you with the offcuts (kindly modelled by BF's hand):

The second thought of the weekend (I told you I did nothing) was what to do for Project Spectrum. This month's colour is red/pink and although I have Carolina in that colour ready to cast on I want to finish Electra first. I also promised BF his socks before mine and his are blue.

So I present to you the snappily titled "Flowers in 3D" from Rowan 38.
Actually it's flower singular, knitted in Yorkshire Tweed DK in Frolic which I had in my stash and then threaded on some ribbon as a hairband. It was very quick and fun to make up and is slightly let down by the photography - still you get the idea. I did attempt some form of crochet as I felt I could do with learning how but it was an unmitigated disaster and probably not helped by my crochet hook being the free plastic one from Simply Knitting. I found it nye on impossible to knit with their free needles so I imagine the same applies to the crochet hook. I'll add it to a list of knitting resolutions.

And finally, I have cast on for the BF's socks. They are my travelling project so progress correlates to Virgin Train's reliability statistics on the Leamington/Birmingham line!

Hope everyone had fun this weekend!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Project Spectrum

Hurrah for multicolours!

I have joined Project Spectrum but I can't work out how to put buttons in my sidebar yet so instead here they are:

March is for pink and red so I will have to think of crafting something in pink and red and I will take a piccy and post it here when I have. Also watch out for the buttons cunningly moving to the sidebar!

In which Carie should not be allowed near yarn shops!

Saturday is a day for resting, doing the laundry and SHOPPING!
Admitedly, much of that shopping should be food and lovely things like that but today I also went to Web of Wool for some "train projects".

Et voila!

OK the blue is the first project and is a pair of socks for the beloved fiance. For anyone who knows about such things it it Opal Dreamcatcher 1235. The BF has just been shown a piccie of what the finished article should look like on the web and thinks it looks nice. Given he thinks my knitting addiction is slightly strange this is praise indeed.

The red, yellow and pink is Regia Mini Ringels in Rio 5217 and is for me and the other isn't done justice by the picture, it is Mexico Limbo in Hummingbird 2539 - now where did I put my needles...!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

What Colour Should your Blog be

Your Blog Should Be Blue

Your blog is a peaceful, calming force in the blogosphere.
You tend to avoid conflict - you're more likely to share than rant.
From your social causes to cute pet photos, your life is a (mostly) open book.

February Review

As it is now March and over a month since I started blogging it's time for a project review:

FOs include Drizzle which I love and wear every day and the recently finished stripy socks (which I'm wearing now).

I have also made good progress on Electra (half finished and still waiting for me to sew in the ends).

The baby jacket has paused while I do exciting things for me - but hey, the baby isn't due until July. Caroline hasn't even started but I think I need to finish Electra first.

In terms of projects I want to do - well the list goes on and on...

~Some more socks for the beloved fiance as well as for me. the BF would like some stripy funky ones and I fancy trying a cable pattern or something similar. I will have to investigate some of the free patterns on Knitty.

~I have seen Claipotis a few times on blogs and I think it is lovely and very tempting. I think it's the way it drapes.

~I also have a hankering to do a project in some lovely Gelfrida yarn that House of Fraser sells but I have yet to find the right pattern - perhaps Claipotis but I need to check the yarn weight of Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb first.

~And finally, with my eyes really far too big for my knitting ability I give you this Is it not just beautiful? I'd better find out what cobweb yarn looks like and give it a whirl.... or maybe not!

Finally I'm very excited about the prospect of my first Rowannette Exchange. I have no idea what I'll make so I'll have to get my thinking cap on...

One Step, Two Step....

In logging on to write this post I have realised that actually I haven't blogged in a little while which is rather remiss of me. The reason (and perhaps my only excuse) is that I have been very busy at work recently and I have been doing the come home go straight to bed kind of hours whicl culminated in a working day of 17 hours yesterday - ouch and so very sleepy - neither my boss nor I actually made any sense this morning until lunchtime when we seemed to wake up. And then of course we spent the afternoon looking at the SNOW!!!!!!!

You have to excuse my excitement with snow - I didn't really get snow as a child and I suspect I have made only 2 snowmen in my life (and the second was when I was 24!). My boss think's it is hilarious and had a bet with a colleague that when he got back from lunch I would be found, nose pressed against the window - the first I knew about it was a voice behind me saying "I knew it!". Hmm - more work less snow-gazing required by employer I suspect.

Anyway, courtesy of a 2 hour train trip back from London last night, and today's efforts on the commute, I can reveal the following:

ONE SOCK......

And an alternative view of the two socks:

The checky bits are actually turqoise although they come out as green on my computer.

I am so pleased with them and I am wearing them as I write - it actually took quite a lots of effort not to put them on straight away once I finished them in the train on the way home! I am very proud of the matching as it was a bit hit and miss - a tip to myself for next time - for yes there will be a next time, I feel sock knitting may be a repeat mission - and my (poor) delighted family will end up with socks for Christmas for ever!

The Knitty Gritty

I used most of 2 50g balls of Fortissima Colori Socka Color Socka Mexico in Fiesta (9075) on 2.5mm DPs. The socks are knitted in the round on 64 stitches for my size 8 feet (plus I have chubby ankles). The pattern is top down with a 15 round rib and then stocking stich to web of wool's pattern - very simple and very nice to use to show off a big repeat pattern.

The question is..... what to do next!