Saturday, April 28, 2007

Proportions- Spring Things!

Proportions of the original Spring Things seem (by eye) to be roughly 2/3rd Chart A to 1/3rd Charts B + C.

I have started Chart B after doing 21 repeats of Chart A.

I took the stitches off the needles and spread the shawl out (and pinned it) lightly stretched and it measures 26", so the finished size would be at least 39" neck to point. Which will be just right.

So now I need approx. 13" of border. I am guessing 5 repeats of chart B +C, odd numbers look better, don't they? So far so good. The pattern is really well written the charts are easy to read and it's all going along swimmingly.

Clickety clack, clickety clack.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Spring Things, the next installment,.

If you remember, I started the Spring Things shawl, and then put it aside for a while as the pooling of the colours in the yarn was annoying me.
Well, after knitting with the chenille for DD's jacket I found the fibrespates feels soft and lovely *shock* so I can recommend a diversion away from lace knitting will help you learn to appreciate a scratchy lace in future. It doesn't feel scratchy at all now.

Plus despite the pooling I still like the pattern and the colours and want to make my friend a shawl for her birthday, which is approaching at a rate of knots(nots?) anyway, getting closer quickly :o)

So I am back.

The Spring Things now has 20 repeats of the Chart A pattern and I need to decide how many more I am going to add before I start Chart B... the original shoulder shawl size has 13 but I knew I wanted it bigger than that. The question is , how much bigger? Yarn is not a problem as I have 2 more skeins of this colour. Slight variation in intensity means I'd rather just use one more but as I haven't finished the first yet I feel safe to continue for a while yet? But how many more repeats will be enough?

The pooling is still bothering me a bit... I am hoping that the blocking will make it less obvious. A false hope?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Pondering Prevaricating or Why do we do it?

Just a little eye candy to distract you. I 'borrowed' Dee's photo which I hope she wont mind (just say the word and I'll remove it, Dee, but I haven't linked to your site for it, strange things like bandwidth leap to mind but I don't know anything about that, just that people don't like it...). I'll also tell you to get yourself over to Posh Yarn where there are still a few skeins of her yummy yarn left waiting to be given a new home. Adopt a skein! You wont regret it.

The lace weight pictured left is called Cardinal and is so soft - I must confess to stash stroking. :o) As an aside I'll just mention why I can't buy all the DK, Aran and Chunky yarn she has too , as well as all the lace... £ ... but also the number of skeins of each colour... I cannot estimate how much I'll need so I have to buy lots of each colour *blushes* it's a curse, I need therapy!otherwise we'd need a bigger house as I would have to buy it all *shock* There also other customers who might want some ... but ... anyway, back to the prevaricating.

The prevaricating of the title is over my sewing. Why can't I get myself motivated to get that stitching done?

It isn't the project itself. It's a row of a 'row by row' swap I was in last year. (And that fact alone tells you how late I am!) The theme for the quilt is a village and my row is of Angels in the sky above. The colours are colours I'd choose myself, so that's not it. Anyone visiting this blog knows I like purples, magenta and pinks (the yarn says it all). It's definitely not the recipient, she's someone I am happy to count as a dear friend, although (in the way of the Internet) we will most likely never meet. But over the years (doesn't time fly) we have shared a lot of information and enjoyment in our messages since we were first paired in a swap many moons ago. It is perhaps because I am not frightened of her that I am so tardy! Belle, you just aren't scarey - see not my fault at all? Oh, ok, it is my fault! :o( The fact is I have taken a liberty with my friend that I would not take with a stranger, that's okay in someways, but not in others and the others are bothering me.

So why can't I get going on the sewing?

I first started doing a lot of sewing when my children were in school all day - I would get things sorted in the afternoons, the cutting out, the planning, etc. and sit down to sew at my machine or by hand, in the evening. Now I have a precious 2 1/2 hours during the day when little DD is in nursery and during that time I have to squeeze my part time job and any other 'me' stuff (like housework, hang on when did that get to be 'me' stuff?). The job is working from home so I can do it in the evenings but I prefer to get it cleared during the day to leave my evenings free for crafting.

I could say that's it, I don't have the same amount of time as I did before. But in reality I know it isn't that. It's to do with not being able to leave things half finished, not having anywhere to set up the machine or the cutting mat and to leave it there. Yes, I need a craft room to prevaricate in.


It's to do with the knitting! Yes, the downside of the portability (and tactile attractions of the cashmere and alpaca) is that there has to be a strong urge to counterbalance that when I have time to allocate to craft.

But now would be an ideal time. I am between knittings, on the needles I have socks which have been going since last August - no urgency there then! and a shawl which is pooling and scratchy! No draw there either, so what am I doing? Planning a lace design shawl of my own! No, I am prevaricating, again!

No, no, naughty me, put those KnitPicks down - stop fondling that silk/mohair/cashmere yarn,
get those fabrics out and get sewing! It isn't as if I don't know what I am going to do. Often delay is caused by indecision, which project shall I do? What colours shall I use? I need to buy ... x y z ! But no, none of those excuses apply. i know exactly what I am going to do, i have all the fabrics picked out and things are even cut and ready to sew, so no more excuses, Lady!

I have a feeling we've been here before! Sorry... but I am full of good intentions :o)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Baby Surprise!

Well, it would be a big surprise if it were for a baby!
It's for my little Miss and she's a small 4 year old but it's made using the Elizabeth Zimmermann Baby Surprise Jacket pattern and it is a blast to knit.
Yarn was donated by a dear friend from her stash and is of unknown age but weighed in ounces so maybe that dates it for some. Jaeger Chenille-Spun which is a viscose and cotton mix in shade geranium (DD2's favourite colour is red) I used my KP Options size 4.5mm (ish) and just went for it. I have no idea of the yardage on each ball but there were 5 or 6 balls (some frogged) and I had a few feet left at the end, I have no idea of the gauge but it fits perfectly and the buttons were from a button tin I bought for 50p at a jumble sale over 15 years ago! Free jacket! First EZ pattern and I love it.
DD wont have her photo taken *pouts* so I need to pretend it's not important and I'm not bothered for a few days and then she'll oblige :o)
The pattern is knit in one piece and folded origami style to make the jacket with only a shoulder seam to sew up at the end. I can see me making lots more of these in the future. The directions were easy to follow but I had no idea what I was doing at the time and just did what it said. VBG.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Lace Stash Two/Too *blushes*

The story continues ... yesterday my
postie brought the PY stash enhancement :o) and today the Sage green from Angel Yarns.
My collection is nearly complete 'cos I can't buy no more :o( All that is outstanding is some hand dyed yarn I have ordered from Cazza and then I will be replete!
Must knit faster, must knit faster.
Time to start designing my own lace goodies I think, anyone for Pi?
Colours for the PY are Apple, Hibiscus, Ocean, and Delicate. I feel a stole coming on.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

How do you block curves?

Well, I don't know so in the end I didn't.

The Feather & Fan Shawl/wrap/throw/thing from Folk Shawls in Posh Yarn, Emily, Ocean and Patter looks like this.

Real life colours are much more vibrant and delicious and the Emily was lovely to knit with. Blocking would make it a tad wider and if I ever figure out how to block a curve smoothly and successfully then I will do it, it'll open the lace up a little too. But for now this is it and this is where it lives!

Yes, there is more!

11 more skeins arrived from PY this morning *gulp* I think I may need help!

Must knit faster, must knit faster.

Maybe if I knit all my other stash I wont feel so bad about the lace? Maybe ...

One thing is for sure, I must not buy more *shudders*.

Name & Shame

My name is Jacqui and I am a lace addict!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Postman brought these ...

What a great morning, and this isn't all I am expecting *blushes* there's 'some' PY stash to come yet. Whilst you're there check out Dee's blog as she's got photos of the guys doing the dirty work *shock* :o)

These knitterly goodies are an excellent demonstration of not only my excess *sigh* but also of the connections made through the internet.

The KnitPicks are to complete my Options set. Knitpicks make lovely interchangable needles with the smoothest connection between needle and cord of any I've tried (and I've tried several) I don't use anything else these days. There are a few of their classic circ for the smallest sizes which Options don't go down to, and some longer chords. Knitpicks do not post to the UK. Er, don't really know what to say to that... do we not knit? Have we no money? What is the story with that one? Answers on a postcard.

That takes me to the second connection. Sebskins (see She Says She Can Knit) very kindly allowed me to piggyback her order for the second time, kindly posted here for her by a friend who lives in the USA.

And the third connection is that I met Sebskins through the Angel Yarns Forum. It is truly a wonderful thing to make connections with people and to discover that there is still trust in the world. Sebskins ordered the KP items and organised posting the goodies on to me and another forum member - at lightening speed :o) - and trusted people she has never laid eyes on to be honest and to pay up once we knew the cost. It really does my heart good to know people through the internet.

The yummy yummy yarn, i can't tell you how soft and squishy that yarn is, is from another forum member, Cazza. She recently started a small business selling hand dyed yarns and this is my first purchase from her. First but not last!

Another connection brought the books to my house. EBay! These books by Elizabeth Zimmermann are not available in the UK so I got them from US sellers on eBay. I wanted them due to a final connection, this time the Yarn Harlot played her part when she wrote a post about a garter stitch jacket I had to have the pattern for.

So there you have it, the interweb feeds my shopping habit and brings me goodies that support my knitting addiction. I am enabled! :o)

Edited to add - those books are available here! Doh! You can get them from Luckily due to the favourable exchange rate I haven't paid any more than I would have to get them here but I would have got them a lot quicker! Should have asked the forum, we live and learn. Saving for the last one of the EZ book 'Knittting Around' - then I'll have them all ... I think ... I'll just go ask the forum :o)

Monday, April 16, 2007

More Spring Things

Progress so far is slow :o(

The laceweight takes forever to grow!

Here's where I've got to tonight, 13th repeat of chart A rows 13-18 finished and nowhere near big enough so more repeats it is :o)

Good job I have plenty of this yarn, I've used 10gms (ish) so far.

Must get some digital scales.

Strange that it's my crafting that makes me buy domestic appliances (if you can call scales an appliance).

I smiled to myself when I finally bought an iron ... because I needed to iron the seams on my patchwork.

And now I need scales to accurately weigh my yarn.

Sadly the process is not the thing with this yarn. Don't like it, although I have adapted to it and got used to the scratchiness of it. Now i don't like the pooling at all. See the big purple patch on the top left and the large blue splodge on the top right? Nah! Not impressed with the way this is knitting up at all. I am tempted to frog and CO something different in a different yarn. But at the mo I am also trying not to get too distracted by my knitting as I am working on some applique too. But this is supposed to be my evening relaxation when K has gone to bed, but it's not working for me, not at all. Some projects just don't ... gell.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Spring Things Shawl begins

Started this a few days ago with some Fibrespates yarn from my stash (more on that later). The pattern can be found here It's by the same designer as the Forest Canopy I knitted earlier this year. But this time with 3 charts to follow. There is lost of info on the 'Knitting as Fast as I Can site' about lace and reading charts so have a look round if you're curious :o)

So far so good with the knitting, although I have to confess to a lot of tinking (keep loosing yarn overs *rolls eyes*). The yarn is another matter! I like the colours, and so far pooling is not a big problem (see the pink splash in the middle, I can live with that) but yarn is not nice to knit with. The band says it's 100 wool but that's all the info I have, it is thinner on the lighter colours and slightly thicker on the darker ones, it is rough to the touch and each stitch grabs it's neighbours so tinking is a pain and it is generally blerck! Not a happy bunny, give me Posh Yarn any day (every day?)

Whilst I mention PY, have you seen tomorrow evenings sale yarns?! I am in covetous heaven, I want it! All of it! VBG Ah well I will have to choose a favourite and hope I'm quick to bid, thankfully most colours have multiple skeins so I have high hopes :o)

In other news I have been sewing, would you like photos or shall I keep it a secret and do a 'big reveal' at the end?

And finally ... I really must blog more often :o)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Not really a Shoalwater

Spending time at Mum's is good for my knitting! Knitted on the train on the way there, knitted during the evening, knitted on the train on the way back :o) Sadly didn't get to go and see my Aunty as K came down with a cold; runny nose, ear ache and a visit to the out of hours doctor meant no contact with someone undergoing chemo for me or Little Miss. But I left my pressie with Mum to be delivered later.

This second photo is an accurate representation of the colour. Isn't it delicious? I really like the Ocean with the Patter (Posh Yarn Emily). I need to finish the rest of the ball in the first photo and then decide whether to continue this to throw/blanket size or whether to leave it at 4 skeins as a wrap size as per the book. I am leaning toward the second as I am ready for a new project and if I put this aside to start something else it may never get finished.
I have had it off the needles to frog back a few rows a couple of times (missed out a complete set of YOs *Doh*) and it is L ....... O........N........G (very, very long) - *shock* - but is it wide enough? Ho hum, dilemma, dilemma. Will I have anywhere long enough to block it? How do I block wavy edges? Ho hum. But on a more positive note the yarn is yummy, soft and bouncy and just gorgeous to knit with and I have enjoyed every stitch (even the frogged ones, honest!)

Monday, April 02, 2007

CQ comes home.

I have forgotten how many months ago these two White on White blocks went off on their journey but look what came home today!

It is incredibly difficult to photograph these and show how wonderful they are so you are all invited for tea at my place and we can pass there round for a real life show and tell.
I feel very emotional about these blocks, far more than I expected to. When I sent them off to Aus I wasn't at all attached to them, I just thought WoW was a 'nice' idea, and one I hadn't tried myself yet, so it seemed a good idea.
But it has been a long and frustrating round, this rr. Four blocks (sets of blocks) have gone missing in the post and have not been recovered so far. People are not happy. Other people feel responsible - which they are not, and others feel blamed which is sad.
I asked for these blocks to be sent back to me rather than to go on to the USA which has been the leg of the journey where all 4 others disappeared. I felt sad about doing that, as if I could be seen as apportioning blame, which I am not. But with so much work already completed on the blocks (the USA would have been the last stop) I really was worried these would be lost too.
And that was before I had seen what work there is.
I will try to take some close ups over the next few days. These photos above have been taken from the blog for the group that took part in the cq rr go have a look at the other blocks that are doing the rounds.
Thank you to everyone who took part in the rr, thank you to Maureen for starting the whole thing off (although I am sure she has felt at times that she wishes she hadn't) thank you to pinup for stepping in to pursue the missing blocks whilst Maureen was moving house, and thank you to the postal service for bringing these wonderful beautiful things home to me. (and especially remembering those who gave generously even when their own blocks had fallen by the international wayside.) Thank you.
I think I will have them mounted and framed as a way of preserving their beauty and cleanliness. I feel very humble at all the hours they represent of people's time and thought that went into them.
Despite the difficulties this rr has had, I feel tonight that it has been worthwhile, because I have the prize in my hands and I am blessed. Thank you.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Finished the Yarn Harlot's book and started this one, details here. I feel a jumper coming on ... oh my!

Feather & Fan Wrap

Over on the Shoalwater blog - whilst I wasn't knitting (okay, okay I was knitting, I was knitting) I blogged the beginning of my second Feather & Fan shawl.

Having decided that I cast off too soon for the Shoalwater itself, I didn't want to do the exact same project again but did want something similar... which I found in the Folk Shawls book (see blog link above & scroll down for the full story).

Here's where I am up to. I've added a second colour as when I read the pattern properly the 3 skeins of patter I had, wouldn't be enough!
When will I learn to read a pattern before I start knitting?
I also started the pattern wrongly and did my first row of YO and k2togs before I should have, it doesn't really matter, but it does illustrate that I start with great enthusiasm and not much preperation *rolls eyes*.
Luckily I had the Ocean colour in Emily too so I will have the 4 required. I like it so much I am toying with the idea of making it into a small blanket or throw instead of a shawl. :o) I'm striping the Ocean so it looks like I meant to do it that way VBG. Might add the Frost Flowers but not sure they go well. Dither, dither.
Colours in the photo are lighter than real life, the sun is shining today - we're off to Durham later to the Botanical Gardens where K can make it rain in the rainforest *winks* wouldn't it be nice occasionally to make the weather behave how we'd like it to.
But a walk with early spring flowers will do me the power of good. Teen monsters are griping about being made to come *rolls eyes*, but they'll be wanting me to run round after them for the rest of the Easter Holidays so today is my turn. Mwahaha. Besides it'll do them good!