Thursday, February 15, 2007

Springtime Secret Santa

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Look what the postman crought for me :o)

There are two skeins of alpaca/merino sock yarn in lovely spring colours, from the Natural Dye Studio - just beautiful, the flash has bleached the colours a little so imagine them richer. I will be checking out their website for more goodies as I like the idea of plant dyes and natural mordants(sp?)

A gorgeous beaded kilt pins (just the thing for fastening my shawls) & stitchmarker (? is this a stitchmarker, let's call it a mystery object, what do you think it is?), a knitting keyring (DS just bust the cross stitched one I've used for the last 10 years so that was good timimg )
and some pretty purple (I like purple! A lot) patchwork fabrics too

All in all my SSS did a great job of stalking me and I am delighted.

Now for the clue! Well, I have worked it out, but can you?

My first is in Stitch but not in Bitch.
My second is in Angel but not in Devil.
My third is in Knit but not in Purl.
My fourth is in Worsted but not in Alpaca.
My last is in yarn but not in wool.

Isn't that clever? So who do you think it is?

Thank you SSS you were spot on and have cheered me up no end - I have DD's cold and was feeling very sorry for myself until the postman came You made my day!

Aren't I a lucky ducky? :o)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Lyn's Row

Finished Lyn's Birdhouses row and it will be off to Aus later today :o)
This row by row exchange has been a marathon and I still have one overdue row to complete before I am finished. Never again. Too much of an ongoing committment, or maybe too much when there's too much going on in the rest of my life :o) But the result is i do have some beautiful Christmas themed rows to assemble before next Christmas. Lovely prospect. I think I'll start in August!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Row by Row progress at last

Just to show I do still sew *rolls eyes* all be it occassionally here's Lyn's row.

4 out of 5 complete but yet to be joined, should finish tomorrow evening and post tuesday.

Lyn sent the fabric in the top house and i matched it with the others from my stash. Paper pieced, 8" square, row is 40" when finished.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

It's Blocked

It's blocked and it grew quite a lot. Certainly enough to make it wearable. So I don't feel so bad that DD persuaded me to cast off rather than add extra pattern repeats. The finished size went from 32" x 14" to 49" x 20".
The colour came out really different from the other 2 skeins of Carnival so i am really pleased that I didn't try to blend the three into one project, i think it would have been very obvious.

Here are the two shawls side by side, you can see the different shades but also I thought it might be interesting to compare the lace patterns as they felt very similar whilst I was knitting them. The Leaf Lace is a little larger and the holes (yo) go all round each leaf whereas the Forest Canopy has a couple of all K and all P rows between each repeat. The edging on the FC is more dramatic because it is narrower. Otherwise they are similar but their different size means that FC will be more of an every day item and will get worn a lot more I think.
So this evening I was caught between starting a new project and digging out a UFO.
The VLT scarf won, just the edging to do, and a little hesitantly, but growing in confidence,
i have begun. All seems remarkably straight forward so far... famous last words. Even managed to knit without having to sit under a bright lamp! My next lace project will be in cream or white!
So DD didn't get her wish after all as those wrist warmers are still in the ball.
VBG. Ah well, maybe tomorrow, my dear.
Knitting with black is so hard on the eyes, maybe I could throw in some pink when she'd not looking?
Maybe not!

Friday, February 09, 2007

It's been a busy week!

I decided midweek that (needing some knitting therapy) I would use the left over skein of Lucia Carnival from to make another shawl. I enjoyed knitting the last one so much. I like Dee's yarn more and more and I think I am becoming an unofficial storage facility for her stuff.
This needed to be a smaller project as i only had one skein.
Forest Canopy seemed the ideal thing. This is a great project for anyone doing their first lace shawl, nice clear easy to read instructions and charts and it goes quickly.
The finished piece is described as a shoulder shawl. I meant to take a pre-blocking photo but didn't remember until the shawl was soaking in the sink, here she is.

I did remember to measure it though :o) Pre blocking 32" across the top and 14" down to the pint.
It seems tiny!
But it will grow.
How much remains to be seen.
In our present climate another scarf wont go amiss, will it?! Fingers crossed it will be big enough.
I followed the pattern exactly and ended up with 35gms of my yarn left.
I dithered briefly about frogging the edging and adding another repeat but DD said "No, it'll be great!"
I am not a total fool!
I do know she wants me to get on with making some wrist warmers the same as the ones I made for her cousin!
But I also wanted to get finished tonight. :o) So I cast off.

I still enjoyed knitting with the Lucia but I didn't enjoy the pattern as much, it is very similar to the last shawl although simplified which is what makes it easier for beginners, of course. More of a speedy knit than a challenge, but after a rather emotional weekend I doubt I was up to much of a challenge anyway.

I also bought lots of lovely yarn in the PY sale, didn't mean to, emergency money saving/making measures now in place to compensate VBG But it's yummy nonetheless. Whilst I am confessing I ought to tell you about these.

Knit Picks Options I knitted the Forest Canopy on 4,5mm needles from this set. The best needles I have ever used, bar none. My Boyes are up for sale. Sorry Boyes! I'm keeping the Denises for now as a less slippy alternative. I only managed to get these because someone very kind allowed me to join my order to hers, aren't internet forums great? Yes they are! So her friend sent two sets over from America.

The KnitPicks are only available to US residents at the moment. Hope that will change very soon. I am going to add a smaller needle and a longer cord to the set at a later date. Check out their website, the yarn is yum too. But you need a friend in the USA.

That's not the end of the goodies though. Another lady on the forum sells these beautiful handcrafted swifts. This really is a joy to use and to look at, and my favourite purchase of the year so far. I really need to sort out my ball winder before I tackle the hank of Celestial I have in my stash. The one I have just doesn't work, or I don't, but either way, one of us will have to go and it can't be me, I've got too much knitting to do!

Plans for the latest PY purchases include, Shoalwater Shawl in Frost Flowers

This beautiful purple laceweight is so soft I should let you come round just to stroke it, form an orderly queue please! Something from VLT I think.

Continuing a purpleish theme I got this, at DK the thickest thing to enter the stash for quite a while - something warm and neck wooly with this. Again softness to die for.

and last but not least we have this beauty, maybe my purple thang is coming to an end after all, yeah right!

This colour is called Sweetie, and isn't it? Loved it so I got it. Er too much SEX anyone?

One more beauty this time from Hipknits. Kerrie is running a contest to design something in lace/ with lace, details are here

I received this beauty to design something with/for.

What shall I make? It's silk, it's gorgeous and there's 180yds (could be meters, I'll check later) Hmmm!

I also bought a copy of Hidcote Garden Shawl - lots of charts and a little daunting, but I can do charts, right? And I like a challenge, right? Yeah I can do this one too, but maybe not in time for next Friday. :o) I may use the Celestial for this. Hmmm! Some more hmmm!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Better Photos

Originally uploaded by Jam_mam.

Today the sun is shining and the lace is glowing - here are better photos of the finished thing which show Dee's Yarn much better.

I love it, I am wearing it, even to bed, I love it again!


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Part 3.

I think maybe I should rephotograph this on the blak bin bags :o) Or perhaps without the flash? But if you could imagine last nights colours on todays photo then you'll have it. Had to put the towel on the radiator to stop the shawl slipping off. This is a nice comfy size which comes down to my elbows at the sides and measures 78" across and 34" down to the point.

As it is really springlike outside despite being feb 1st and the middle of winter, I am off down the shops in my shawl, I just don't care.

Only concern )minor at that) is that I may have over stretched in blocking, what do you thik? The Lucia is super stretchy and I could have gone much bigger than this!