Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Pretty things

Earlier this month the lovely husband and I went on a trip up north to see his brother and sister for his brother's stag party. Sister and I went to John Lewis as you do and I acquired (magically - I really don't know how it happened!) two skeins of turquoise Debbie Bliss pure silk and a promise to make a scarf for SIL. As it is said brother's wedding on Thursday (leaving SIL the only unmarried one in the family) I thought she could do with a treat so last Thursday I cast on the seaweed and shells scarf as chosed by you the faithful reader (well Jill anyway) and the lovely husband. After some intensive knitting this:

Has become this:

It has used just about all of the two skeins and knits up beautifully - I forsee more projects in Debbie Bliss pure silk - it is so soft and so drapy. The finished size was about about 6 inches wide and 53/54 inches long. The pattern is called Seaweed and Shells and is available here. Just got to hope the SIL likes it - we will find out tomorrow!

Even more impressivly - two blue projects in the appropriate month - for me that has to be some sort of record!

In other knitting news the minty aqua socks are getting along nicely and I have the blue/purple ones lined up for July as soon as I (a) finish the current socks and (b) wind the yarn into balls - (grr!)!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

26 and a day

Aaaargh! I'm in my late twenties!!!!!!

I did have a wonderful birthday though and Colin the Caterpillar (the cake!) is now much diminished.

The denim cushion cover is all dried from its blocking and in answer to India's question it was about 4 and a half balls of Rowan Denim and it's both sides. The great thing about that pattern is that you just keep going round and round until you get to the size you want!

I have also cast on for my second sock - the picot edging is incredibly tricky to do on the train but I have succeeded and now I just need to repeat the pattern. It is lovely not to have to stripe match for once!

I did try to cast on my seaweed and shells scarf but I made a mistake int he third row and there wasn't enough of it to see where the mistake was - take 2 will begin shortly.

Listening to the latest Pointy sticks podcast raises the question - are we all from crafty families - is it genetic?

None of my family are quite as prolific as me but then they probably have more responsibilities/sense/lack of crazy. I'm a little hampered in trying to track it back as I've only really known my parents generation but my Daddy's Aunt knit (I remember the oh so special shade of dusky pink appearing in many cardigans and she definitely knit a few blue school cardies in her time!) and I wish I had been closer in age to her to be able to share the enjoyment.

My Granny could knit and it was she who first taught me (v bad straggly teddy scarf) and although I don't think she had much time for it herself, I do owe her my recollection of the basics when I picked up the needles many years later. Granny also laboriously encouraged me in embroidering blue daisies to napkins for my Mother's birthday - I must have been all of six at the time and I think bribes were involved!! Granny's main crafty outlet was her oil painting - she was very talented and each of her grandchildren have a painting she did - mine is of Magdalen College, Oxford, just up the road from my own college, Univ.

Coming down the generation (and skipping to the other side of the family) my mother knits a bit (if you're reading this Mum that's a hint to finish your blue sweater), has done some beautiful cross stich, makes clothes and soft furnishings and has been known to be very inventive with scary food colouring, icing and a christmas cake - neon poinsetta cake anyone!!
Mum claims to be constantly surprised by my creativity and I don't think she often sees how much of it comes from her, particularly as for the most part I am a real Daddy's girl and have a strong resemblance to my father physically and in the psyche, and she should. Being brought up in a crafty home where it was considered completely normal for leftover dressmaking scraps being squirrelled away and turning up as patchwork or dolls clothing gives you the freedom of expression and creativity to develop all sorts of ideas and I only hope that when I have kids I can give them the same sort of opportunity (as long as they keep their hands off my stash!!!)

Mum's twin is the quilter in the family and another aunt (this time by marriage) makes her own clothes.

Perhaps with all of this lineage it's not surprising that I paint, draw, stitch, sew, knit, papercraft and make cakes shaped like a sandcastle!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Happy summer of socks to you all!

Yes the day is finally here, the summer of socks has arrived. I am entered into both categories although with inimitable Carie-esque planning I am half way through a pair at the moment and being me I will finish the second sock before I start the next pair - no logic whatsoever!

I can however, proudly present the finished sock!

To proove that my fears that I was knitting a lettuce leaf were unfounded I have taken a picture of it next to a lettuce. Mum if you are reading this I am very sorry that the lettuce died - it did not like me and it missed the seaside but it had a very fulfilling life OK!.

I have also finished, yes FINISHED, a blue June project spectrum project which is also my Rowan exchange project. Yesterday two

Became one:

Got washed at the very hottest my machine will do and it is now almost dry and waiting for a cushion pad at the weekend. The picutre of it blocking above shows the funky swirls and I'm very pleased with it.

The pattern came from the Knit List gift list for a twirly cushion cover and so it is. The yarn was Rowan denim in the medium denium on no 4 needles and I made it pretty much as the pattern asked except for substituting an i-cord edgins for a simple 3 needle bind off which I found gave a subtler edging which I liked better. To cope with the shrinking I made it up and bound off three sides together then bound off the final side separately which I will slip stitch shut when the cushion pad is inside. Rating is: SUCCESS

So what do I cast on now.....

I must make a final mention of my latest find - the Pointy Sticks Podcast which is just fantastic to listen to while you knit - I seriously recommend checking it out

Happy Knitting and Listening!

Happy Birthday to me.....

Yippee today is my birthday and it has been wonderful! It is also the DH's birthday (I am the older by about 4 hours!!) so much celebration in our house. We had a wonderful breakfast opening cards and presents from friends and family (thank you all very much) and apart from the whole work thing it has been great.

I also present to you:


He's basically a giant mini roll with smarties on top - what more could a girl want.

In an effort to be artistic the blue candles were for Mr Carie and the pink candles were for me!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Creeeeeeeeeeeak (sound of Carie moving)

Gosh. I have remembered why lots of exercise is not a good idea if you have not been training. I ACHE!!

The reason for all this sudden activity was the Milton Keynes hockey festival over this last weekend. Lovely Husband is the tour manager for his club so if the club goes on tour then he goes and where he goes I go. And so it came to pass that Carie spent the weekend camping in Milton Keynes in the most unflattering baby pink tour shirt playing hockey in hugely hot temperatures and getting slightly sunburnt.

I should add that I haven't played hockey since university and even then I was very very bad but with great enthusiasm and some help from our quite brilliant team mates we won all the games in out first pool and two in the second pool. That was quite enough hockey and none of us were particularly sorry not to get any further.

Today the plumber is coming to move the boiler so we had to take down the kitchen cupboards last night - makes you realise how filthy our house was when we moved in - I'm so glad we're replacing the kitchen - even the lovely husband (who is not a squeamish man) donned an apron and asked for a J-cloth to hold onto various kitchen units while throwing them out the front door.

All this conspired to mean that apart from a few rounds on the back of the cushion and a little bit of green sock I have done very little knitting and have nothing to show. :(

I hope to remedy this today!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Pretty socks


I'm really enjoying knittng these most girly socks even if I do keep forgetting some of the yarn overs and having to go back and rescue it with a crochet hook (eg I found a mistake just after I took this picture). Hmm - pretty - must go knit more

Monday, June 12, 2006

Ugh it's hot

26 degrees, 70% humidity and a nice wool suit for work.

someone please explain why I am still knitting wooly socks in this weather.

I know! - because they're so pretty. I'm knitting up the Aqua into socks at the moment and in a Rowan-esque moment I have christened it "Sea Breeze". Sea Breeze is turning into some lacy scallop socks - piccies will follow when I have done enough to make it worthwhile.

OK, too hot now. Going to go an lie down in a bucket of water.

PS. Anyone reading this who considers 26 degrees to be nice and pleasant please come and experience the humidity which does not break but will continue for about a week (well until Wednesday according to the weather forecast)!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

In which Carie has been productive!

Hurrah for the weekend! I have been rather productive this weekend which surprises me as I spent most of it in the garden sunbathing. To the ordinary man on the street sunbathing and knitting a woollen sock would seem unusal, or even a little odd, but to those of us in the happy community of knitters it's perfectly normal.

My biggest problems is finishingitis (I also have startingitis but strangely not do-the-boring-bit-in-the-middleitis). So of course when I turn the corner on a sock it feels almost like I'm finished. Cue saturday afternoon and a finished pair of Jaywalkers:

The fact that the wearer's other items of clothing were a bikini and a sunhat does not detract from the loveliness of the socks. The yarn is Regia and I think I like it better than Opal and Socka although all three knit up pretty well, comme ca:

Anyway that catches me up on Project Spectrum as far as April (at a stretch!).

In a June effort I decided on a little quick stashbusting project, ta da:

I can't remember very much about the yarn except that it's Anchor. the DH bought it when he wanted to learn to knit but never got very far with it and he gave me permission to use it for a dishcloth as long as I don't give it away. As if - can you spot the hidden boat? The pattern is on the Knitting Pattern Central Dishcloth Directory which has loads of great patterns and is where I got my little houses.

In other blue news the twiry cushion is twirling a little bigger than its needle and reinforcements have been summoned.

Now then, this bit was FUN! I had Kool Aid, I had undyed wool. Now I have:

To explain, the one on the left is supposed to be blue and green not just green but I overdyed it with turquoise (all I had left at that point) and it made it all green. I have decreed that it is aqua and therefore a Project Spectrum June qualifier. The other skein that in the picture looks like a giant bruise is purple and blue and much prettier in real life although it still has white patches ( I like them so I'm leaving them).

Conclusions from my wool dying. It is great, I need far more Kool Aid than I had and next time I'm going to try cake decorating colouring rather than Kool Aid as the KA palette is limited and a bit neon. However, I will be creating some seashell type socks with the green, I mean AQUA and the other skein just says Blueberry Waffle socks to me! Now must work out how to wind a ball!

Also for all those concerned I did make the other curtain. And it matched!

Hope you all had a good weekend!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Sunny Sunny days

Aren't they just wonderful!

I'm in a haze of summery contentment and a sea of blue only slightly marred by having to go to work each day. Still, nearly the weekend (and how the curtain looms !!).

Yesterday we had our first barbeque of the year comme ca:

It was so nice and relaxing to sit in the garden and knit while the food cooked - must do it again some time - maybe tomorrow!

I also took a picture of the English sky to compare with the Florida sky:

On my camera it comes out a brighter blue than it actually was. In reality the sky was faded cotton blue and just perfect. Later we say a balloon come really low overhead - we think it made it over the hill because we didn't hear any crash noises!

On the knitting front the twirly cushion cover continues to twirl and the sock continues to Jaywalk. Both went to the park after work today. Lovely husband went for a run and I sat on a rug in the sunshine - it was great.

I also now have a pattern for my silk SIL scarf - seaweed and shells, thank you to Jill and my DH for their votes ( may need more silk though but as the DH said, "buying more yarn, that won't be a problem will it!)

Monday, June 05, 2006

The call of the sea

As i may have mentioned previously I was very good while in Edinburgh at the weekend and only acquire dthe two balls of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk which is a scarf for my SIL.

The question now is which pattern....

The yarn is turqouise and while I feel it should say seashells to me it keeps saying falling leaves.

Anyway, the options are:

1. Seaweed and shells
2. Cherry Leaf or
3. Travelling Vines

all thoughts duly considered and I will let you know the conclusion soon (ie as soon as the DH gives the casting vote - it is his sister after all!)

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Hurrah for June (and oh how I have been busy)

Hurray it is June and time for Project Spectrum's blue month! Like many Spectrumers (is that a word?!) including the wonderful Lolly blue is definitely a favourite of mine. For example I write this wearing blue Winnie the Pooh Pyjamas! So oh how I am looking forward to this month. I have even been rather industrious so far..... (more on that later)

First I welcome June with this:

This is the sky in Florida when we were on our honeymoon. The lovely husband took the photo because he couldn't believe how blue it was compared to grey and dreary England!

Now for the knitting. First the FO. These are Mum's secret birthday knitting revealed in all their glory and modelled by the birthday girl herself. She was very pleased with them and wore them all evening! The yarn is Socka Mexico and it's just a standard sock pattern - blends nicely with the carpet as well.

In projects on the needles and waiting to hop on the needles I have my lace trellis scarf (Spring IK) which hasn't made any progress recently (slight sock marathon to get the present finished in time), I'm part was through making a twirly cushion cover for my Rowan exchange (in blue denim) and (possibly to assuage the guilt at not having finished my SIL's birthday present) I bought two skeins of beautiful turqouise Debbie Bliss silk to make a scarf for her. Now all I need is a pattern.

Now, just for a second, please cast your mind back, it's February, or perhaps March, or even in stages it's April, it's cold, wet and windy and the well wrapped knitted goes out in search of Project Spectrum inspiration. And finds it in the form of sock yarn. Yes my friends, the jaywalkers finally hit the needles:

or rather one did and the other is the little cuff to one side. I'm counting this as a warm up for Summer of Socks (honest!)

Hope you all had a good weekend!