Monday, July 31, 2006

A free weekend! (try not to giggle too hard)

So what does a girl do with a weekend in which there are no people to visit, no people coming to visit us and nothing major is planned?

The answer it appears is: try to do everything!

Now anyone who might be going to visit the Stoke Fleming Hort and Sports day and be passing the Church stall please cast your eyes away now:

Seriously, no peeking.

My lovely Ma is running the Church stall this year and among the usual collection of bric-a-brac and cakes and jam she thought it might be rather nice to sell some handmade cards - could I just make her a few?

How many? Oh about 20 might be nice.

So Saturday saw the lovely husband and myself in Hobbeycraft stocking up on all things card related. For any non card makers out there I can confirm that the need to stash is just as strong! In my first batch of 9 we have:

And the second set (taken after dark hence lack of patio furniture in the background!)
And that all adds up to 20. Common theme of butterflies as usual - quelle suprise!

What was quite magic was that the nutty butterfly in our garden actually landed on my finger the other day while I was knitting in the garden. Then it sat on my head for a bit - so cool

Sunday I swallowed my inner demons and I am pleased to say that we now have one patio curtain in the right colour and one still odd green and peach pheasants! Three down, one to go - I wonder if I can count them as something neutral and creative for my August project spectrum?

Finally I did manage a tiddly bit of knitting:

This is the start of Smoulder and it's beautiful - it's also grown a bit since that picture!

And to round things off I have just finished making my July postcard for Karla - it's on its way tomorrow. Now how about a nice bit of work for some peace and quiet!

FYI - the answer to the question what does a chap do with such a weekend appears to be: replaster the bathroom ceiling and copy a Renoir for a pretty picture to put on the wall!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Finished Things

Hurrah the bambino has not arrived (as far as we know) and the hoodie is now finit!

The girls at knitting worry that now the bambino will have a hoodie it will get hugged by David Cameron. I am fairly confident that Brighton and Hove is a bit too trendy for a tory party leader so we should be safe.

The buttons were chosen by the lovely husband who has a very good taste in buttons and the label on the inside has a funky fish and says machine washable!

Also in the finit pile is the first of the cable socks. The colour can look a little washed out in very bright sunlight or next to very deep colours but it's one of those colours that you see more of the more you look at it and I'm quite pleased with it for my very first attempt at dyeing.

This piccy shows the cables which aren't very visible when the sock is not on
And this shows the colour!
Options for the colourway - in true Rowan style are:

  • Blueberry mix (cooked and uncooked)
  • Dusk (with your back to the sun)
  • Cotton Lavender

What do you think?

And now for Smoulder - because I really need a cardi in this heat!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Postcards and other wonderful things

First, seeing as Rachel's postcard has now arrived over the pond I can show you the June postcards (yes I know it was a little late - oops!):

This one is Rachel's postcard to me and what you can't see in the picture is that it is ALL fabric - even the back of the card was printed fabric and the front has this lovely blue and yellow pinwheel - I think it's great - it reminds me of the whirlygigs that you get to put on sandcastles on the beach - I had a serious collection when I was small because I thought they were so great.

And this is my card to Rachel - the butterfly is embroidered and then the fabric mounted on the card - I'm not skilled enough to do a whole fabric card! It's not a very good piccy unfortunately as there are sparkly bits that don't really show up - and yes it is another butterfly!

This weekend the knitting time took a bit of a hit as we went to the Motor Show yesterday to see lots of cars. I am not a petrol head by any means and tend to tell the difference between cars by their colours but my lovely husband is a tad keen so off we went.

At 6.30am.

That's the time we left the house.

I don't leave that early on a work day!

Neither does he. Such is the power of cars!

Still we got to see the cars and the exhibits before the hordes of people arrived which was good and then we went on into central London and we went to Libertys!

Now I have promised that I will knit more of the yarn from the cupboard before I buy more for any new projects and I have been pretty good. The last yarn I bought was the sock yarn that I hand dyed and I'm knitting up the second variety at present (with one more still to dye). However, no-one said anything about books.

I am therefore the happy owner of Rowan's Classic Summer and Vintage Style. From the former I like lots of patterns from both books and I'm begining to think I have a bit of a thing for 40s and 50s style - my other Rowan book is Sarah Dallas' Vintage Knits and even the back of Classic Summer says it is inspired by 40s and 50s style - it's just elegant and classy - that's my excuse but somehow I never quite live up to the image!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Pretty Purples

Today was another scorcher. Therefore according to the madness that is Carie it was a perfect day to do some knitting!

In my defence most of the knitting was done on the train on a business trip and the train had air con. I have now got to the heel turn in my first cable sock and I tried to take a picture to show but the cables don't come out and the colour went all wonk - I'll try again in daylight.

The yarn is very pastel purples and blues and I have a tendency to pull it out of the knitting bag and thing oh no I made it too pale, I should have overdyed it more but then I start working on it again and it rather enchants me - it's so much fun working with varigated yarn on socks watching the different colours come out - hmm must dye more yarn!

Something large and fluttery has just come in the window and as I am particularly bad with big fluttery things I am off to hide

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

It's a start-stop month

Do you ever have days/weeks/months where you start something and then it has to stop again.

I had so many lovely plans for my summer of socks and project spectrum but they seem to be hitting hitches - I have some gorgeous varigated purple and green cotton that I wanted to make thick cotton socks from so I found a pattern I wanted to do, cast on and then discovered that for my precise size of feet I get varigated pooling - one side of the sock alternates stripes of lime and dark purple and the other green and lilac - and there's nothing I can do about it - aargh. So the sock is no more and will become a bag I think - anyone know a good pattern for 3 balls of worsted weight cotton?

I have finally got round to winding my other hand dyed skein into balls and it looks less of a bruise in the ball but still fairly pastel. However, despite being desperate to start a sock with it, the wretched yarn has only just told me what pattern it wants to be - it has finally decided that it will be the rib and cable socks from last autumn's IK - piccies will be posted as soon as there is enought to show!

Meanwhile I'm melting to the keyboard so I'm off to sit in a freezer if at all possible!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Port and Starboard Socks

My very first sock pattern design: MATERIALS

Two balls of Limbo Color 2539 (kolibri) or anything that knits up to DK weight
1 set 3mm DPNS (or size needed to get gauge)

These socks are knit top down with a heel flap and fit my size 8 (UK size) feet snuggly.

Cast on 48 sts

Knit 15 rounds in 3x3 rib

Start patterns:

Rnd 1 (and all odd rounds): knit

Rnd 2: *k3, p3 repeat from * to end

Rnd 4: p1 *k3, p3 repeat from * to last 2 st, p2

Rnd 6: p2 *k3, p3 repeat from * to last 1 st, p1

Rnd 8: *p3 k3 repeat from * to end

Rnd 10: k1 *p3 k3 repeat from * to last 2 st, k2

Rnd 12: k2 *p3 k3 repeat from * to last 1 st, k1

This 12 round repeat makes the pattern. Pattern for 51 rnds (your last rnd is a knit round)

Knit heel flap

Work over 24 stitches

Row 1 (and all odd rows) *slip 1, knit 1 repeat from * to end

Row 2 (and all even rows) slip 1, purl to end

Work 24 rows in pattern

Knit one row

Turn heel

Slip 1, purl 13, p2tog, p1, turn

sl1, knit 5, ssk, k1, turn

sl1, p6, p2tog, p1, turn

continue in this way until all heel flap stitches have been included. your last row is a right side row (ie knit rather than purl)

rejoin heel

pick up and knit 12 sts down side of heel flap, place marker.

work 24 st in pattern, place marker (if not already done so - this is the end of the round so I usually have a marker in anyway).

pick up 12 sts up other side of heel flap, knit remainder of round.

Heel decreases

Working pattern across top of foot, decrease as follows

Rnd 1: k1, ssk, k to 3 sts before marker, k2tog, k1, work rest of round in pattern

Rnd 2: knit

decrease until 48 sts remain.

Work foot

Work 36 rounds, patterning top of foot (you should end with a pattern row)

Toe

Round 1 (and alternative rounds): k1, ssk, knit to 3 st before marker, k2tog, k1 (marker) k1, ssk, knit to 3 sts before round marker, k2tog, k1

Round 2, knit

Decrease to 24 sts then Kitchener stitch the toe closed.

Wear with pride! And drop me a comment if you make them!

J'adore le weekend

But yet again it has been incredibly busy and I'm sorry to say there are no signs of a finished pair of curtains yet (oops!) (I have managed to cut and sew the lengths for the curtains and the linings though).

On Saturday we went to bid a fond farewell to Rufus who now has a new home:

He's incredibly cute and bouncy and then suddenly decides that enough is enough and has perfected a "reverse and falling asleep" manouvre comme ca:

Faithful reader I promise you I did not scoop the cat up like that, he was pottering around on my lap and then walked backwards down my arm into the crook of my elbow and 30 seconds later was fast asleep. Remarkable similarities to my darling husband who also falls asleep whenever the mood takes him.

The chaps then decided to go carting and I tried to take pictures of them and failed, nevermind.

I did however finish the soon to be second cousin's baby jacket sleeve and started to cast on for the hood. Fortunately I have checked dates with the soon to be Great Uncle (aka my darling dad) who informs me that the baby is not due for another two weeks - phew a last minute repreive!

In summer of socks news I proudly present my first pair:


I have called them my port and starboard socks because of the colours and I will post the pattern in a separate post. I'm now started on a cotton pair to be knit up as blueberry waffle pattern in a varigated purple and green pattern - very Project Spectrum.

Finally, I am signed up to the Summer of Socks Sockswap - now all I have to do is decide what pattern to knit for my sock swap!

I love the weekend - but it goes far too quickly!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Finishingitis

Yes I'm finally finishing things (try not to fall over from the shock!)

I have just finished my June postcard swap postcard which is horribly late - sorry Rachel - due to weddings and busy things like that

I have also finished a sleeve for the soon to be second cousin. Hopefully the sleeve will be joined by another sleeve, the hood and some sewing up before the baby arrives although I am worried about the Yarn Harlot's view that babies only arrive when the garment is finished - am I wishing a long labour on my cousin - I do hope not!

I will post piccies of things when the camera charges but in the mean time may I please direct your attention to Agnes' blog for beautiful pictures of the IK Trellis scarf which I have started (and shelved!) - it's stunning and she knit it so fast

Happy knitting one and all!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Manic Monday

Well that was going to be the title of my post yesterday but things have just been so crazy round here that it didn't happen.

Hmm, what has been happening over the last few days:

Well my SIL loved the scarf and thought it was very pretty - mission accomplished!

In my sock knitting I have finished the aqua socks, ta da:

I finished them on a very hot sunny day which is why they are hanging off a chair in my parents-in-law's front garden and not on my feet! That and my feet were very dirty from wandering round barefoot in the heat!

Although my cunning plan was to move on to the next set of Kool Aid wool, I have been putting off doing the winding .......

So a quick search in the stash revealed so gorgeous DK weight wool in multi reds, oranges and greens. It is Socka wool but I can't remember the exact sort without the ball band - will post on that topic later!

Anyway these are my first summer of socks socks, or rather sock as only one is finished:


I'm making up the pattern as I go along and it has a sort of swirl to it which you can just about see in this close up. You can also so the gorgeous colours - a strand is three different colours plied together and the strands change colours at different times. These socks are NOT going to be an exactly matching pair but nevermind! I also tried to do a short row heel but it looked odd so I took it out and went back to heel flaps which fit my feet very well. I am trying to try new socky things over this summer - this sock can be writing my own pattern - short row heels can wait for another time!
There is something immensely comforting about these socks both in knitting and wearing them - I can't decide if it's the colour or the feel - possibly a bit of both. Certainly when I feel like a bit of comfort clothing there's nothing to beat a hand knit sock!

Right: must go finish sleeve of baby jacket as baby is due imminently - more soon on that topic!