Sunday, November 26, 2006

Finished Cobweb shawl


Here it is, rescued from being finished upside down :o)

The one thing I would do differently (as well as not doing it upside down) next time is to pick up more stitches for the icord edging as this was a little tight and means the neck edge is a little too short so that the shawl hangs longer at the back than at the front. I'll get DD to pose later for a 'wear it' shot. But all in all, an easy pattern to knit, my first go at kniting on a border went fine (once I did it on the correct edge *rolls eyes*) and the icord edging is very satisfying. For speed I tried to add a crocheted edge instead of the icord, but it looked pants, probably because the edge had been stretched by my knitting the wrong edging onto it and then frogging the mohair (argh!).

Apart from that, thank you Kerrie for prompting this project and I will do another one in a finer yarn at a later date.

Now I need to wrap it up to give to sis who will be here v soon, must go show the hoover to the carpet, either that, or make her stand in the street to drink her coffee :o)

Oh P.S. Check out the pre and post blogging photos, I think blocking is the new black, everything gets blocked from now on! :o) Especially taking into account the yarn is nearly all acrylic (about 10% mohair I think - now if I could find where I put the label) and the icord was too tight so it wouldn't stretch much.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

shawl with a fringe on

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Dee, do not be discouraged, look it's fixed! I tinked it all back and reknitted it correctly this time :o) Currently it's in the bath with the wool wash waiting me to begin the blocking, the bloking, the blocking (to be said in a hreat of darkness manner).

So looking good for a take away tomorrow when little sis comes after all. Depends how long it takes to dry,.

The yarn is from my stash, mainly acrylic but some mohair in the mix and annoying to frog :o( but lovely turquoise colour. Looking good enough to eat before the blocking so I have high hopes. Pattern, easy peasy to knit and repeats easy to memorise. Got bored after 6 repeates of the last section so could have been longer, (pattern suggests 7 1/2 repeats.)

Dee, the error was mine not the patterns, comes from not being very good at visualising *rolls eyes* the finished project. I think the original pattern would benefit from a better photograph, wasn't sure why Kerry chose to do this one, except she already had one so she knew what it was like. The real object is mush lovlier than the photo on MagKnits which doesn't sho any detail of the shawl.

Anyway off to gently squeeze out as much water as possible, want this baby dry for tomorrow am, sis arrived at 10am and this has to go on the living room rug tonight. Btw, sis is bringing 2 little kids too so I need to have it up off the floor before they arrive.

Excited, this is my forst blocking!

Friday, November 24, 2006

I can do that ... can't I?

Well, no actually, I can't.

Had a bad knitting day? Me too! It started well :o) I was zipping along, but I'd better take you back to the real beginning

A few days ago I read on Kerry's blog that she was doing this shawl cobweb. so I thought, "that looks easy" (first mistake).

Indeed it was, as I knitted I checked back with Kerry and lo and behold a photo of the finished item looking gorgeous.

Encouraged I plodded on. I've never knitted a border onto anything before so I was amazed at how straightforward it was. (mistake 2)

I have never knitted and icord on as an edging before so I was amazed at how easy that was too. (mistake 3)

I was just complementing myself on my excellent knitting. (mistake 4)

As the icord went on and the circle of lace came off the needle and began to open up I began to have misgivings.

Wasn't that lacy bottom edging a little too short?

Wasn't the icord knitting up a bit too tight to let the circle spred out properly?

Hang on wasn't I knitting this thing ...


Yes, you've guessed. I have knitted the lace edge that is supposed to go around the bottom onto the top, and the icord that is supposed to go on the top around the bottom!

I briefly considered leaving it like that and pretending that I meant to do it Hey, grandma is 92 she wouldn't complain But no, if a thing is worth doing, then i's worth doing properly, right? And upside down is not right.

So moral number 1 - it helps to know which edge is which when knitting lace. And
moral number 2. this shawl is knit from the centre neck down, not from the centre back up and it's a good idea to know that before you begin.

So here's some photos of the offending (or offended) item.


All tinkied back to reality from the laternate universe it crossed into :o) and another thing I learnt today is that it's not easy to tink mohair *shudders*

Here's the start (another restart got it wrong again!) of the edging.


Ah well, guess I wont have it ready for Sunday when my sis comes for coffee before heading back off down south. I was hoping to give her all the family pressies to take back with her and save myself the postgae, but I may well still be knitting this one.

You gotta laugh!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

And today I am mainly getting presents

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Two rows arrived this morning - an excess of riches, lucky me :o) Thank you to Jane and Spooky from the row by row quilt group. Spooky sent the holly and the lettering is from Jane, aren't they great? It's all looking really Christmassy round here, even though the actual quilt will have to be for next year, I can still enjoy it this season as it hangs in my living room on the 'wall'. Deck the halls with boughts of holly tra la la la la... :o)

Also to day the new interweave mag arrived. I was going to hoover this afternoon, but now, well that's me for the afternoon, puzzling over yarn substitutions and ooohing and ahhhing :o)

happy happy happy.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

posh stash - too much?

posh stash
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

I only said too much to get your attention! Is it possible to have too much?

I was looking for some laceweight to start a new project (it's Kerry's fault) and I 'found' all these purchases from Posh Yarn. How did they get there? The yarn fairy must have been using my Credit Card again! ooops *blushes*

There seem to be 3 lace weight, 3 same but silky, 3 lots of sock yarn, 2 lots of DK krinckly stuff - think I need to get another of these so i have 3 of each :o)

Just in case you think I only ever buy it and don't knit it here's a photo of the laceweight shawl (used flash to show the lace, sorry about the glare!)

lace shawl

I last worked on this at the end of September, just shows what October and November have been like *rolls eyes* The pattern is the free one which came with the Posh Yarn Lace Club membership and Dee says it's easy *shocked expression*. It may be easy if you do it in the lace that came with that months yarn, but if you, for no known reason, cast on in a cobweb lace and this is yout first ever full size laceweight project then it's not! Oh NO! It is great though, it's like knitting sewing thread *shudders* except of course it's soft and scrummy thread :o)

Took this out today and looked at it and fell in love again so I will be lacing tonight.

As to what to do with the rest of the stash... any suggestion? Polite ones only please and I have already discounted sleeping in it :o)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Knitting has me in it's spell!


Here's the most recent work on the cqrr. Finally this block is on it's way. I am ashamed to say I have had this block since August! *hangs head in shame* Can't believe it's been lurking around here for soooo long. In my defence I got three blocks in that parcel and the other two went off a little sooner (but not much to be honest *blushes*)

This has set me to wondering why. Why has my focus shifted so much this year away from the cq and to knitting? A lot of it has to do with the ammount of preparation and thought that goes into cq. Finding the enthusiasm and getting into the right 'headspace' for want of a better phrase is essential for sewing, for me at least. The books I pour over when deciding which seam treatment to use and what motif to apply, the clutter that has to be unpacked and repacked for each small section of sewing, my table looked like a battlefield!

The reward for that effort is the peace and meditation that a deep focus brings, a feeling of contentment, hopefully if all goes to plan.

Knitting on the other hand, is easy, pick it up, put it down, zombie in front of the tv. Once the pattern is choosen then you knit. If it goes wrong you unknit and reknit, simple!

I can knit in a bad mood and in a good.

I can knit on my sofa and in meetings.

I can knit even when I don't feel like doing anything.

In fact i don't like not doing anything because my hands have gotten so used to knitting that they feel empty without needles in them.

Some knitting true, requires a great deal more attention than I am giving credit for here. Lace requires a clear head and a good ammount of sleep the night before. But not the ss knitting I have been doing. And the lace is a treat for good nights when I have a little more left at the end of the day. Haven't worked on that for a couple of months.

This has been a very demanding year. I remember January resolutions about clearing sewing UFOs - not one done, not one even started. This was in total disregard of wht else has been going on in my life this year. More of that another time :o)

Yarn has other delights to tempt of course as all the retail therapy options are huge. Fabric stash reached capacity long ago now yarn stash is doing the same :o) So when I cannot knit I can still shop!

Why do I choose to knit? Maybe this is the key, it's about mental resources, physical tiredness and attention span. And now, it is the end of another day and I am tired again so I guess it is back t that little jumper for the 3 yr old, knitting zombie, here I come!

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Look what I got! Look what I got!

wheel1My Wheel!

Well, more acurately look what my Mum & Dad have got, cos it's at their house 200 miles away, but it's mine all mine Muwahhaha!

Can't believe it. Now, if my sis can fit it in her car (little chance but maybe) then it'll be coming north at the end of the month.

i coverted and hoped and wished and it came true.

it's an Ashford traditional and I got it through eBay, sort of. Linzi of Alpaca Spinner sells new wheels and her website (which I got to via eBay) said she occasionally has second hand wheels so I emailed asking if she had any at the moment. No, she said she doesn't really do them any more as you can't make any money on them once you've done them up. But ... she did have one which needed some cosmetic work on it and was alright to spin with and ... I could have it if I could collect it.

Well, i couldn't but my lovely Mum & Dad were going to see my lovely grandma on Wednesday and she lives in Northampton and linzi lives near Northampton and the rest, as they say, is history. AND it was a real bargin, everyone connected with spinning that I have come across so far has been very kean to encourage new spinners, I am encouraged!

So I am happy bunny doing a happy dance and practicing my drop spindling to get better at drafting and buying books on spinning, because, obviously, the one thing I have to have is more books :o)

My Dad got a demonstration from Linzi so i've sent him some roving so he can have a play whilst he waits for the transport to take it away.

meanwhile I am just such a happy bunny, shame I'm not angora or I could collect my own fluffy fur!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

linda's row

linda's row
Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

With one of my other hat's on I am a quilter. So when I am not knitting I sew. Here's the row I just finished for a row by row round robin. Late again! Even later than the last few I'm afraid, but finished at last and in the post to Australia a.s.a.p.

My next row is for Belle, and involves Angels :o) i have some patterns all sorted out.

Before then I have a cqrr to GET A MOVE ON WITH! *sighs!* I really should learn to multi-task with my sewing. I can have several knitting projects on the go at once quite happily but for some reason I can't get my head round doing the same with sewing. I am compelled to finish one before I turn to the next. Anyway, I feel aload off my shoulders now Linda's row is completed so I can get stuck in to the cq :o) Hope to have that on it's way by the weekend.

Knitting is different. Why? Probably because it is more portable, and easier to pick up and put down as the demands of Mrs 3 years intrude. Possibly because I can slob on the sofa (apart from the lace knitting which I sit at the table to do as I need the pattern more) and relax, and also mostly because although I give a lot if it away or knit it for other people it is essentially a solitary persuit. Other than the sock swap I haven't knitted anything for exchange on the forum.

I should give you a look at the sock swap socks too, shouldn't I. Well, I will - soon. :o)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

This week I have ...

...made littlest one a hat from the same yarn as big DD's (but without the skull and cross bones), done one mitten for her (she'll have to keep the other hand in her pocket), drop spindled a small ball of yarn (it's too puny to show you), and finished my Bertie scarf (long neglected WP - badly needs blocking).

Also added to the gansey (which is taking FOREVER) and looked at my lace shawl (yes, it still looks like it's not finished!) I have stared to sew the row I need to send to Aus for Linda, thought about the work I have planned for tomorrow on the CQRR.

And I have nearly bought a spinning wheel! How wierd is that, not enough hours in the day for my knitting and now iwant to spin too - crazy woman! Must be mad, next I will be getting a sheep, or maybe Alpacas, or just a few little bunnies :o) Well, it keeps ME happy, how about you?

Piccies to follow, batteries flat Doh!