Thursday, 30 July 2009

Trevor and fame at last

Most of my knitting projects are at that stage where you lose interest - finished the back but still a long way to go. So I decided to make a little something to make me feel productive. That little something is now called Trevor.

He's the Tiny striped turtle pattern by KristieMN. I made him with DK wool and he measures about 7 cm from nose to tail. Very easy and quick to make and very cute.

A few days ago Chris and I had a night away in Lancaster (forgot to take the camera!). We found a lovely pub in the evening called The John O'Gaunt and spent a relaxing few hours sampling the beer. Unfortunately the weather was pretty awful, heavy rain, so we ended up coming home early the next day. Nevertheless, I managed to make good progress with Grace's Wine dark sea sweater on the journey and it was good to get away even for a short time.
Whilst browsing, I've just discovered a new website that's a bit like ravelry but covers all crafts, called mycraftivity. Someone has included a link to my compass rose earrings and this is what they said about them,

"I don't think these crochet compass rose earrings will be much help finding your way when you're lost, but they will help you to look your best as you ask strangers for directions."

Wow, I like it.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Rowan wish list

Well I've got my copy of the new Rowan magazine, number 46. Some of the designs are a bit iffy (as usual) but there are some really promising patterns as well. Here are the ones I've picked out as future knits.

This is Rona. It's my favourite pattern in the magazine.

It is crocheted in Felted Tweed and I think it looks really stunning. I would have to think carefully about colour choices.

This is Stockport.
I like the shaping and it's quite different to my usual knits. It is knitted in Cocoon. I think I'd like to knit it in a nice rich jewel colour.

This is Wentworth.
It is knitted in Kidsilk Haze so I would definitely have to think about substituting another yarn. I love the multi colours and it would be great for using up odds and ends. It reminds me of a pattern in an earlier Rowan magazine, I'll have to check it out.

Finally this is Lochalsh.
Knitted in two colours of Felted Tweed, I think I would be tempted to incorporate more colours and get rid of the pompoms!

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Harry Potter and the Frenzied Housewife

Well, the summer holidays are well and truly here and everyone is under my feet. I'm starting to feel frazzled and frenzied already. Everyone else is in holiday mood and winding down nicely whereas I still have to try and get things done. It's the same every time - roll on September when I can have the house back to myself - what's the point in being a housewife if you have to share the house with everyone else?

Today we went to see the new Harry Potter film. I've read the book twice but that was ages ago so I couldn't quite remember the storyline. The film was really good - funny, scary and sad - more enjoyable than I though it would be.

Meanwhile on the knitting front, I've reached that point in time where I'm waiting for the Autumn/Winter collections to come out. Rowan have already got a preview on their website - and they look quite promising. No news yet from Kim Hargreaves.

I've got lots to keep me going in the meantime, so I shouldn't really be thinking too far ahead. I'm currently knitting Tender by Kim Hargreaves from the Nectar collection.
I've completed the back and I'm part way through the left front. I'm using Kidsilk Haze and I hate it. I'm sure the finished article will be wonderful but knitting with this yarn is a real pain. I got the yarn ages ago at an amazingly discounted price otherwise I wouldn't have bought it and I've being looking for a pattern to knit with it ever since. Tender is virtually all stocking stitch but because the yarn is so difficult to knit with you really have to concentrate. Normally I like to read while knitting or watch TV but you can't with this yarn so it's very frustrating. Anyway that's my moan out of the way!

I'm also knitting a vintage style tee for myself. I'm designing the pattern myself and writing it up as I go along - so it's quite a challenge.

A few weeks ago I bought this lovely Mirasol Hacho DK wool.I'm going to use it to make Grace a polo sweater - I can't wait to start it to see how it knits up. When I've finished the front of Tender I'll allow myself the treat of starting the back of this sweater - an incentive to get on with knitting Tender!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Rosalind finished

Well here it is, finished as promised. I am so pleased with this cardi. I know I say I am pleased with every thing I knit when I have first finished it, but this garment is so beautiful.

Here are the details:
Pattern - Rosalind by Gloriana at A Mingled Yarn
Yarn used - Rowan Cashsoft Double Knitting - 7 balls used
Needles used - 4mm

The pattern was lovely to knit, very clear instructions. The fit is perfect and it looks so feminine. I wasn't sure about the colour after I had bought the yarn but I'm glad I chose it now. Cashsoft DK is perfect yarn, so soft, easy to knit with and looks good finished - if only it was a little bit cheaper!
The only modifications I made to the pattern, were to knit the button bands and fronts all in one, and I made the neckline lower.
I was going to wear this to go to the pub last night but Chris got stung by a wasp on his big toe so was unable to walk comfortably. We ended up with a quiet night in and a bottle of wine so no one got to see my lovely cardi. He has promised me a night out later in the week to compensate.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

On trying to be productive, whilst avoiding the housework etc

It's three months since I started this blog and two months since I joined ravelry. It has certainly made me more productive. Seeing other people's finished projects, I feel I should be churning something out on a regular basis. The other day I got this lovely crochet book out of the library.

It's called 201 crochet motifs, blocks, projects and ideas and it's by Melody Griffiths. It's full of beautiful floral motifs. This is ideal - when I feel the urge to complete a project, I can make something quick and stunning from this book.
In the meantime I am making excellent progress with Rosalind. It knits up so quickly and I might even be able to finish it over the weekend. There's cricket (2nd Test Match) and golf (Open at Turnberry) on the TV so hopefully I'll be able to sit around quite a bit over the next few days. Chris has now started his 6 weeks holiday, so he's got his feet up already - I keep telling him, us housewives don't get holidays.
The jungle that used to be the back garden desperately needs some attention - but I'm hoping that it will rain so I've got an excuse not to do it!
Grace is away this week. She's completing the gold expedition for her Duke of Edinburgh award. 5 days and 4 nights walking and camping in the Lake District. If last time is anything to go by, she'll come home with rotting feet, serious BO and severe sleep deprivation. I can't image she'll ever want to look at a tent ever again. Whilst she's away I am busy making and planning for her 18th - all very secret, so no pics or details yet.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Thomasina finished

Well it was definitely worth the effort. Grace loves her new top. It looks really smart and fits well. The red colour is difficult to photo, it's not as tomato-coloured as it looks.

The pattern was Thomasina by Marie Wallin in Rowan The Milk Cotton Collection. The pattern calls for 7 balls of milk cotton DK but I used Sirdar Snuggly DK and it only took 4 1/2 balls. The yarn is really soft and great to knit with. The cabling wasn't too demanding once I had colour-coded the charts, but by the end of it I did say I didn't want to see another cable for a while. A nice plain stocking stitch is what is needed now.

Here is Grace in her crocheted hat. She wore it last night to go for a meal with her friends. When she told them she made it herself they told her to get a life - some people just don't understand!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

This and that

Now that Grace has finished school (for ever!) we have plenty of time to sit around and watch films!! This past week we have had mammoth sessions watching the extended version of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

The extended version is so much better than the theatre version but it takes a lot of stamina to get through all 6 discs.
Plenty of knitting was done whilst watching but yesterday was not very productive. It took three attempts to get the first row of the collar correct for Thomasina. I thought I would have the whole collar almost complete but it was not to be.

Needless to say, Eve is not a happy bunny because we get to sit around all day knitting and watching films and she has to go to school and spend her evenings doing homework. Only 2 weeks to go to the school holidays – and then they’ll both be under my feet.

To try and keep herself busy, Grace has been crocheting a hat, maybe she’ll let me post a pic when she’s finished it. Eve has started knitting Glint by Kim Hargreaves from Nectar.

It’s a great pattern for beginner knitters. Grace has also bought wool to make one and I might even get around to making it myself one day.

Cricket on the TV today, the Ashes has started. It would be nice to sit and watch it all day (as our lord and master is doing!) but I’d feel too guilty if I didn’t do some jobs around the house. Hopefully a few hours a day can be spared, and of course, plenty of knitting can be done. My aim is to get Thomasina finished by the weekend, although I may not have any nice buttons to complete it in my button box. I forgot to buy some when I was in Liverpool this week.

…and finally, after over two year’s absence, we have house sparrows back in our garden.
I don’t know where they went to but all of a sudden we have flock of 9 or 10 who are rapidly emptying all the seed feeders. It’s very entertaining watching them squabbling for position – wonderful to have them back – long may they stay.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Jiffy, a friend for Miffy

I can't resist this pattern by Zoria for cute little bunnies, so having made Miffy a short while ago, I have now made Jiffy, a friend for Miffy! They only take a few hours to make, and as darts is on the TV again, I can whip up a quick bunny whilst Phil Taylor struts his stuff.

I'm making great progress on Grace's Thomasina, so as always, when the end is in sight (well, I'm over half way anyway) I start thinking about future projects. I have of course got several other projects already on the go, but hey a girl can dream can't she. So I'm drafting a wish list of projects I would like to do. The only problem is that as I collect pics to go with my wish list I keep finding other great patterns, so the list just keeps getting longer. Maybe if I cut down on the housework I would have more time!!

By the way, if you haven't already guessed I have finally worked out how to do hyperlinks properly.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

My Wish List

This week's wish list:
Projects I would like to make (if I had the time), but will probably never get around to doing.

Orchid from Nectar by Kim Hargreaves.

Misty By Kim Hargreaves from Nectar.

Dawn by kim Hargreaves from Nectar.

Marigold from Rowan 45.

Peaches - slouchy beret by Kim Hargreaves from Breeze.

Checkmate Tea Cozy from the book Tea Cozies- cheerful and bright.

Bloom from Rowan 45.

Apple blossom Stole by Kai Mistry from Inside Loop.

Paisley from Amber by Kim Hargreaves.

Nell from Amber by Kim Hargreaves.

Although, it won't be long now 'til all the new Autumn/Winter patterns come out, so I'll have to do a new wish list then.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Dream Swatch Head Band

I have now finished Eve's head band. I know I complain when it's cold, but this heat wave is too extreme for me. It was too hot last night to work on Thomasina (all woolly cables) so I completed this scarf for Eve.

I had some yarn leftover from my Damask tunic so I made this. It only took 1 ball (105 metres) and I used 3.75mm needles. The pattern is fiddly. You have to pass stitches between needles and cross them over, but once you're in a rhythm it grows really quickly. The pattern is by Wendy Bernard.

Eve loves the scarf although she was rather camera shy.