Sunday, November 26, 2006

Progress Unreportable

My updates here appear to be few and far between at the moment. I am making progress on various projects, none of which can be shared here just yet and my NaNoSweMo may turn into a NaNoSweBack if I'm lucky - more progress required but I'm almost at the arm holes.

That sweater is also my Red Sweater KAL and I was lucky enough to win one of Anne's red letter day prizes - in my case a copy of any one of her patterns and I chose her Casino shawl - perhaps to make in red!

But...... two little figures have appeared on the scene

Innocent Drinks are running a charity fundraiser over the christmas period and they are selling their bottled drinks in Sainsbury's and EAT with little bobble hats on and if you buy a drink with a hat on they give 50p to Shelter. On Friday one of my colleagues came back from lunch with two of these knitted hat drinks and we had great fun putting them on the hat stand at work and then putting them on our dictaphones (it makes the dictaphone have a face). We also looked at all the pictures on Innocent's website where they also have the pattern and people have made Halloween characters, Father Christmases and Angels but no penguins. L and I have a bit of a think about penguins and so she issued a challenge - could I make a penguin bottle hat.

Never one to take a challenge lightly I spent the train journey home plotting how a penguin could work with a head instead of a bobble and even making a prototype penguin head out of some pale green yarn in my knitting bag. Finally two days later we have a penguin each ( Ping and Ooh!) - I just have to see what L thinks tomorrow morning and in the meantime they are happily residing in the fridge!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Something to report

Someone commented recently that this is the time of year when the blogs go rather quiet - at least on the knitting front. People report other activities and occasional updates on knitting projects that perhaps are not moving as fast as they otherwise would do.

This is a result of having people you know and love reading your blogs - people who may perhaps be the happy recepients of some knitting items currently under construction - thus necessitating secrecy as to the current WIP.

Suffice to say that this (and a very busy spell at work) is the reason for my recent silence. The Christmas knitting is now going well AND I now have this to show:

After a somewhat hazy start and a restart on the lace panel I seem to have found the groove for this sweater and it is coming along nicely. Not quite as fast as the Greek sweater but with good progress nonetheless. It is supposed to be my NaNoSweMo sweater but as this is the back and this is all I have done I think I may be a little optimistic! We'll just have to see.

Now that I've absorbed the pattern it is an easier knit on the brain and so more tempting as end of the day relaxing knitting!

Meanwhile being me I am of course eyeing up the next project! I've written a lace pattern fro a scarf which I could do and I have the yarn for another sweater from the Vintage Style book so either of those are possible. I'm also eyeing up some of the designs from Knitting Nature which I think are really lovely so anything's possible - particularly now Rowan have brought out Wool DK which comes in loads of really nice colours!

Happy knitting one and all

Saturday, November 11, 2006

RIP Assasin Carie

Yes, the end has come

In the shape of the GORGEOUS Knitpicks Elegance Wild Rose (it's baby alpaca and silk!). I have no idea how well it will stand up to sock wear but it's o cozy I don't care so thank you everyone that knitted on them and although I don't have an exact record they've been doing the rounds a bit and finally killed me from Leicestershire. Is it ironic that I've been involved in an international game of assasins only to be assasinated by someone who lives within an hour of me and could probably have hand delivered the socks should she have felt inclined?!


In other news I have no new pictures of my new sweater because it still hasn't been blocked and because I'm still wearing it most evenings (and at the moment). Perhaps the only down side to the sweater is that it is really very warm so I cease to require heating etc which as lovely husband has so far declined a sweater he actually requires at present - hee hee! Actually I think the poor man may be a touch cold as he keeps asking when he gets another pair of socks!

The NaNoSweMo sweater is progressing slowly but as it currently has an extra needles stuck in the point that I need to frog back to I think it can stay photo-less for a little bit! Perhaps later. There are still other things on the needles as always but they are staying secret for the moment so I can tell you all about last week's workshop instead.

It was a Rowan workshop but organised through Web of Wool in Leamington and it was great fun. We started by trying a few sample swatches to get the hang of two handed knitting and stranding comme ca:

And then feeling a little braver we started on a little fairisle and intarsia bag which I promise will eventually look a little bigger than this!

I learnt some really useful techniques (including a way of weaving in ends I wish I'd known when I did Smoulder) and the people were great fun to spend a day with - all in all a fantastic day!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

KMKS Questionnaire

Are you allergic to any fibers?
Not that I know of - I don't like a high acrylic content but nothing actually brings me out in a rash

What are your favorite colors?
Ooo - surprisingly tough question I'm a bit of a fan of all sorts of colours. I don't like baby pink or canary yellow but I love blues and greens and all sorts of red from maroony pink through to brunt orange. Not so wild about the purples though.

Are you a new mitt knitter? How long have you been knitting mittens?
I'm completely new to mittens although I believe there may be a pair of gloves in my past (vague recollections of something blue with snowflakes on) but I have knit lots of socks so I'm used to the whole knitting in the round in relatively small dimensions.

Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn?
No preference

What fibers do you prefer in mitten yarn?
Really anything that it soft and cosy and doesn't have a hugely high acrylic content - I'm not a regular mitten knitter so whatever is known to work well sounds good!

Where do you usually knit mittens? How do you usually carry/store small projects?
I knit my socks on the train and they travel in a little plastic zip bag inside my work bag

What are your favorite mitten patterns?What are your favorite mitten knitting techniques?What new techniques would you like to try?What are your favorite needles for knitting mittens?
Can't really answer this because of the whole no mitten thing - for socks I am a DPN girl on bamboo needles

What are some of your favorite yarns?What yarn do you totally covet?
I covet the pretty yarn I can't get in the UK but for what I can get then I like Regia sock yarn, Rowan Kid classic also rates highly at the moment - my new favourite finished sweater!

Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object?
A sweater of my own imagination which involves plain fairisle on a Colinette varigated background or just all the projects I already have picked out in my books!

Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)?
Bamboo and I usually have Clover but no real preference

If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be?
Opal undyed sock yarn - practical but also unique

Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack?
I like surprises
What’s your favorite animal?
Would you prefer super warm mittens or something more like fingerless mitts?
Probably warm although fingerless could be good for knitting on the train - surprise me!

If you were a color what color would you be?
The colour of the sky at sunset ( changes every day!)

What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature?
The sea
Do you have a wishlist? No Anything else you’d like to share with the group today? I think that's got it covered!

Monday, November 06, 2006

A minute of your time

For a quick little update on knitting in progress in the home of the bear.


1, Carie survives to last 111 sock warriors
2, Greek IK sweater meets finish post - and kitten!
3, Mitts and another challenge
4, Look 2 hands!

Hmm, (1) well I am in the last 111 sock warriors - not really quite sure how I achieved that as I have knit very few socks in this war perhaps I am just benefitting from unintentional strategic planning and the UK/US postal service. The socks of doom should arrive with Purla Hari hopefully later this week and then we will all try to figure out who should be sending socks to me.

I really liked the concept of this war but I think it has outgrown its concept and the length of time things take to travel the globe has made this more akin to the 100 years war rather than a short skirmish. There are various solutions being suggested for a next time but I might choose my battles. With fewer numbers or a set of initialy stages that stayed within the same country/continent I might have done more knitting at the very least!

(2) Spot the difference:

Girl with cat wearing Ik greek sweater - Girl with kitten wearing IK greek sweater.

Apart from the sideways thing mine does not have ruffles and I have no plans to add the ruffles. The pattern is from last autumn's IK and the only amendments were to choose glacier for the colour insteat of lavender ice and to add 1 inch to the body and 1 1/2 inches to each sleeve - it's just the right length now.

I would show you a picture of the finished article blocked (because it needs it) and I did plan to do some blocking tonight but alas I finished it yesterday afternoon, I put it on and I've worn it ever since apart from a brief sojourn in my PJs and to work. This sweater has a gorgeous neckline, it made out of lovely soft cushy fibre and was one of the quickest knit sweaters I have - success all round. For anyone wondering I used 5 1/3 of the 6 balls called for and could probably have just used 5 if I hadn't added the extra length.

Also my thanks to my somewhat unwilling model Poppy (seen here in a preferred circumstance):
She's very cute and still in the slightly springy surprised stage of kittenhood!

All this leads me on to news item (3) my new challenges:

Inspired by the speed of the IK Greek sweater the knitter has been lulled into a false sense of security and when she saw this linked from a number of posts NaNoSweMo

What is it I hear you cry?

It's knit a sweater in November and my sweater of choice is Aimee from Vintage Style - I've cast on and knit 10 rows of the back and I'm kind of ignoring the fact that this sweater knits on 3 3/4 and 4.5 needles and therefore might take longer than the IK greek but hey a challenge is a challenge. Unfortunately this particular challenge has been somewhat thwarted by a currently lack of 3 3/4 needles and Anna wasn't open on Sunday morning when we did a fly by to try to pick some up - fortunately tomorrow night should solve that problem.

There is also a little bit of two birds one warm fleecy KSH sweater - it's that favourite colour of mine and so I am also now applied to join the Red Sweater KAL for the celebration of colour and general red things all round! Yippee

Also in my joining spree .....

KMKS - another confusing one. A little while ago there was a KSKS (Knit Sock Kit Swap) which I thought was a lovely idea - you make a little project bag, put a sock knitting kit of your own compilation into the bag and send it off to your secret pal). Well this time it's mittens - I've never knit mittens but my hands are cold enough recent mornings to make me think it might be a good idea so yay a swap for me!

(4) I wanted to tell you all about Saturday's workshop but I think I might save that for another day so for now here are our bonfire night fireworks!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Greek Trip

How is it that this:

Can so quickly turn into this?

Yes, the knitting element of the IK Greek sweater is finit and the whole thing is almost approaching FO status - and a lot of wear because it's gorgously warm (I tell you this from the experience of being a little cool on Tuesday night and wearing the pinned together front and back over my blouse for the evening!). All that remains is a few feet of I-cord and and encounter with (do-de-do-de do-de-do-de [NB that is a written representation of the Jaws theme, please recreate your own version]:

The crochet hook of doom!! (although note how it co-ordinates nicely with the knitting - you'd never believe it belonged to a lass currently wearing Electra over a deep lilac sweater! My electra that is - which is orange)

The pattern requires a link of single crochet around the neckline to prevent it doing the cunning slouchy stretchy think it's trying out at the moment which is all well and good but my only experience of crochet is a little practice swatch I made in Florida and then frogged because I wanted the yarn for something else.

Still if I can cope with a day of my whole IT system running on 1/3 normal speed (sense the simmering frustration - half a sleeve of knitting and it still rankles) I can master crochet. I have a hook, I have a book the only problem is lack of guidance about crocheting a single chain onto an existing garment rather than just letting it run free as a sort of cast on edge. I think if I think of it as a combination pick up and knit and cast off at the same time sort of thing I might be OK but if anyone has any ideas let me know - we'll see how it turns out. In the meantime I'm off to make some I-cord.

In other news I am one of the last 118 sock warriors. Out of 772 that's not bad going and very surprising - I'm never usually that good at things!