Tuesday, July 31, 2007

C'est finit- well almost

Oooo it's been a while since I got a chance to say hello to the bloggisphere - "hello!" - life has been manic and when not being manic I have been knitting in a crazy effort to complete baby E's blanket before he is old enough to drive himself over to see me and I am pleased to report success in that quarter.
Knitting 034

I wanted to have the blanket finished by August and as of 10pm last night it was blocking on a towel on the spare bedroom floor. This blanket did take slightly longer than the first - partly becuase I wasn't knitting so intently (16 days is a bit crazy) and partly because it was the second blanket and I knew what it was going to look like.

Incidentally the fact that I knew what it was going to look like and what modifications I was going to make (the modifications that saw me rip out an entire side of the border last time) did not preclude me from making a mess of the triangle edge on the top border and having to pull it out and re-do it - knitterly overconfidence take your bow!!
Knitting 037
I'm told (admittedly by encouraging female relations) that you forget the pain of childbirth because you have the baby to look at and if that is true (and I have my suspicions) then it is analagous to the production of this blanket. I still do enjoy knitting this pattern but doing two so close together has brought on a touch of the second sock syndrome and I had had enough of the border triangles by the time I finished the 132nd (bearing in mind the 28 I had to rip out). However, the finished product is beautiful if I say so myself and once it has popped through the washing machine and is all blocked out I realise why I am making this. It is perhaps strange that I never spend any time with the finished blankets - the last one came off the blocking towels and was in the recipient's hands within 2 hours, this one will go out in tomorrow's post. One of these days there will be an alphabet blanket that stays with me but not for a little while (hopefully enough time for me to summon up the urge to knit another one).

The thing is that seeing the finished blanket I want to make one for Baby 3 (due in October) becuase it is the nicest gift that I can think to make to give to him/her, not through lack of inspiration (thanks Ravelry) but because it ticks every box, it's machine washable, interesting to knit, big enough to snuggle under and goes with just about every decor .... I'd better go order some more Baby Cashmerino!!

The almost is Peggy's sheep which Mary correctly identified from my last post oh so long ago.

This is the anatomy of a sheep:
Sheep 002
to whit - one back, one tummy, one head, four feet, four ears (front and back x 2) and a little tail. I made valiant efforts to sew up Peggy the sheep last night while the blanket was washing but I only got this far:
Knitting 039
I have sewn up the ears and the tail on the way to work this morning and I hope to finish tonight after I get home from knitting and then there can be two parcels in the post tomorrow - economy of post office effort.

All this finishing means that an old friend who has been sat in the corner of the sofa watching me is coming back into play - roll on colour!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

A bit of a catch up!

It's been a while - life has been taking over the little knitty-sphere which I inhabit in a most distressing way. Happily knit and purl have been restored and I have news and a little progress to share.

This first news is that I have not dissappeared in a rush of muddy water. This is a good thing. All the knitting is safe (you may all now breathe a collective sigh of relief). However, it has been just a tad watery round here recently. I missed all the excitement/frustration as another Biblical downpour swept the country on Friday by working in London and thereby being where I needed to be before the rain hit. At 11.30 in central London the sky was a dark grubby pewter and the street lights had started to come on; when we came out of Court 45 minutes later, it looked like all the water that there has ever been was coming out of the sky to the extent that my barrister phoned chambers and arranged for his clerk to come to meet us with an extra brolly. (I still stepped in a puddle anyway!).

Please pity the Law Society who had chosen that moment to have a fire drill!
Apart from falling over on the tube on the slippy floor (NB to self: when you slip carrying 6 files in a bag on one shoulder you ARE going to wipe-out despite all your best efforts. Next time, don't land on the files - they have corners and they hurt) that was about it - I finished off my day working in steamy sunshine and tootled down to my sister's flat for our planned weekend.

My poor lovely H was stuck a little higher up the country. He works around 20 mins drive from where we live. Friday night it took him 1.5 hrs to get home driving through 6 inches of standing water most of the way. I blithely assured him that he should just hop on the train down to London only for him to discover that no trains were running anywhere at all and the motorway had many miles of stationary traffic. It all got so extreme that the Police were closing the neighbouring villages to through traffic and our village had resumed its island status. After much knashing of teeth he decided to travel down the next day, fortunately without incident.
Still he was lucky it wasn't worse - I have yet to hear quite what happenned to my commuting collegues last Friday but I think they'll have a tale to tell.

Saturday we headed off in brilliant sunshine to see England v India at Lords- yippeee
We watched England warm up in enthusiastic style

And then we went to find India
OK, OK that's only some of the team - the rest of them were practicing batting!
After a fantastic morning's English bowling, the inevitable happenned and after the lunchtime interval demonstration of Archery (sounds completely unrelated to cricket but Lords will be the venue for the Olympic Archery) we had this

We did get some brief cricket breaks in the afternoon:

And when they were playing it was fantastic but mostly it rained and we snoozed (including one guy in front who interestingly slept during the cricket play!)

Now then I promise this is still a knitting blog rather than a weather report and I do have a belated answer to an earlier question - if your husband takes to wearing odd knitting socks you hurry up and finish the second one!

H's socks
H's latest socks are a 68st simple sock in Regia Nation #5399 on 2.5mm DPNs and he loves them.

I've also learnt a few more of my letters as you see:
Alphabet Blanket 2

I'd hoped to get a bit further this weekend but my aim at present is to finish it by the end of July. Kauni and the Mystery Stole are taking a bit of a back seat until the blanket is finit and then I can go to town!

One final question - what do you think this is?


Monday, July 16, 2007

As easy as..

Alphabet 008

Well it's not quite ABC but I'm certainly a lot nearer than I was. This is three blocks through the central chart; I've knitted a little bit further so I'm probably 1/3 of the way through the next "row".

In 'knitting spotted in the wild' I have discovered the answer to the unanswered question: What happens if you take too long finishing your husband's latest pair of socks!:

Alphabet 002

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Down the rabbit-hole

I have fallen. Down a rabbit-hole. A deep swirling vortexy type hole. I shall try not to talk about it too much because I know how frustrating it is to hear people talking when you haven't got access and you have to sit there stamping your needles at the computer and wishing you could go and play too. Suffice to say it is wonderful and ifyou want to come and say hello I am Cariemay.
Anyway .....

In knitting news I can reveal that for the first time in recent history a baby has beaten the knitting. I am very pleased to welcome my new cousin, another baby boy whose name also begins with E (do we spot a theme?). If I knit a baby blanket for the next baby in October will that do be a baby boy E?

Anyway, the blanket. I was hoping for a little more of July than I got and Baby E made his arrival on 3rd. I am currently half way through the second row of letters. More work required but on the plus side it's not like he can grow out of it!

Work on the baby blanket has been interuppted by the temptation that is Kauni:
And Mystery Stole 3:
This is the completed Clue 3.

Have a wonderful weekend - I'm off to spend some quality time with an alphabet!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

It's a mystery

How this (Sat lunchtime) Became this (Saturday evening)
Which in turn became this (Sunday afternoon)
Mystery Stole 3 has me in its grasping pretty laceweight beaded claws. The pattern is beguiling, it calls to me to complete just one more row, just to the end of this chart and implies that as I knit further I might be able to guess the theme to this pattern.

I've now finished clue 2 and frankly I'm no wiser. H thinks he can see a tree and I think I can see a honeycomb and possibly waves - maybe it's Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden.

Whatever it is it is pretty and the Patons Baby 2ply is working very well as laceweight yarn - I'm using beads in a kind of antique gold colour to stop it being too bridal with all the white!

Kauni has also had a little bit of love and attention recently as an antidote to (a) white laceweight and (b) having to go back to work tomorrow. Pimms works quite well for the latter too!

Hope you all had a good weekend!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Nice weather for ducks

I have a sincere, genuine and heartfelt apology for the people of the West Midlands. At 2.30pm I turned on my washing machine to wash, amongst other things, the mattress protector that must be dry and back on the bed before I can make it up to go to sleep tonight. At 3pm, as the washing machine teetered across the kitchen floor towards its final cycle, it began to rain.

It is still raining.

I appear to have invoked the wrath of the laundry gods.

Oops. As I said; sorry about that.

On the plus side the rain did hold off long enough this morning to allow me to sneak outside with the camera for some progress shots which are not either (a) blurry or (b) blindingly flashy. So what have I been up to? well....

Faithful reader you will know that project monogamy is not my strongest suit. Knitting is fun therefore more knitting is more fun would be my motto. I generally have at least one or two large projects and a whole heap of socks going at any one time.

On Monday afternoon I had nothing on my needles. Nothing. (Please imagine for yourselves horror movie noises of the Jaws/Psycho variety). I can only assume that this was the cause of my viral startitis. And what's more this is not ordinary startitis, this is rainbow startitis - be afraid, be very afraid.
First my beloved Kauni Cardigan ("so pretty").
When not knitting it (and there hasn't been much of that) I sit and stroke it ("oh so pretty"). I love this project. It also inspires project envy in fellow knitters who have been observed in their natural habitat excitedly exclaiming as we gently drift from one colour to the next. I know that I will look like a giant stripy rainbow wearing this cardigan and I love it anyway. It will always make me happy. [Note to self: people on the train give you odd looks if you keep cheeping "ooo it's going purple; no look, this bit's definitely orange!"]
Despite the rain we have been on a few expeditions during the course of the week and for that I needed car knitting. Whilst the idea of taking the Monet Jitterbug to see a Monet painting was tempting, I didn't have time to wind it and I wanted something that didn't involve pattern reading so out popped this:
A rainbow sock for H (he chose the colour himself). If Kauni didn't cure your SAD then this sock certainly does. If you allow for turquoise rather than indigo then you've just about got your Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain.
My startitis appears to be entering a new (and possibly more aggressive stage) as I am about to cast on the second Alphabet Blanket in cream, which as we know if what happens if you spin a rainbow really fast.
I have also signed up for Mystery Stole 3 (which closes tomorrow so be quick). The project colours suggested are white or black or something similar. I have plans to try some Patons Baby 2ply which works out to white laceweight and as I'm a bit behind on the clues I'll need to try to catch up over the weekend.
All this rain does seem to have done some good to the garden and the sunflower seems to like it!

Now then, where did I leave my needles?

Monday, July 02, 2007

A Yarny Summer Holiday

Well the sun was supposed to shine. I was supposed to be having a week off to enjoy the garden, maybe go camping for a couple of nights and certainly do some exploring. Sadly these plans have had to be abandonned as it continues to rain heavily every hour as the showers pass through.

Well what else's a girl to do but curl up, watch people getting very wet at Wimbledon and knit!

So what does this
tell you about my weekend?

It says that I finished these:
My sockpalooza's socks are done - the Spiral Rib knee socks from Interweave in plum coloured Opal.
and... I finished the Tired Roses scarf. Here it is relaxing in the garden in a brief interlude in the rain!
Following a little soak, I pinned it out as much as possible:

and let it dry overnight.

Et voila this morning:
The pattern is essentially a one-skein variation of the Print o the Wave stole made with one skein of 100% silk laceweight from Curious Yarns (currently on sabatical) in their Tired Roses colourway- hence the name! This is an "it's my own invention" type of scarf with the plan to knit until I ran out of yarn - this is what I have left:

so I'm pretty happy with that.

While the scarf was drying I played with my new toy
And discovered the side effects of too much rainbow yarn- you get simply bedazzled by the colours!

Having swatched and got gauge (phew) I'm off to cast on for the real thing!
PS - letting your husband be in charge of the photo shoot for your new scarf can have unexpected photographic results! Here I demonstrate the "posing in the garden window to make sure the scarf is straight posture"