Tuesday, February 26, 2008

'Aunty' Nancy's Baby Shawl

I am itching to get stitching on the possum stole but I have a deadline for my Pi so I need to get going with that. Here's a progress photo I took when I changed needles to accommodate the extra stitches after the last increase round. I tried to stick with the shorter circs but eventually gave in and now I remember why it is a good idea to swap to longer ones! It is so much easier to move the stitches around and even when the extra length isn't much it makes a huge difference not to have to shuffle a few stitches along every few minutes. I got several rows done last night where the previous evening I think I only did one.

I think the photograph shows nicely how the increases in a Pi shawl work. There are the same number of stitches just after the last increase round in the centre and before the increase round at the edge. As you move out the stitches spread out more until, when you are twice as far as the last time you had to increase, you increase again to twice the number of stitches. See how the stitches are close together after an increase round and spread out before the next one? Lovely, plain and lovely. I will take this over to Nancy's when I am ready to add a border and let her choose a stitch for the edging. Probably either godmother's stitch or there is a fancy one called great grandmother's edging which, as she is to be a great grandmother :o), seems appropriate. I know Nancy would love to be knitting this herself but crippling arthritis prevents her and I am only too happy to offer to do it for her. The only awkward bit of the arrangement is that she will insist on paying for it and I would be very happy to do it for love. She's a great lady and has not only welcomed me into the family with open arms and made me feel like a daughter, but also given me all her considerable stash when she had to give up knitting because of the pain it caused her. A sad reason to gain a stash but it's wonderful to be able to draw on her knowledge.

Tomorrow, continuing the family theme, my mum's knitting.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Aren't photographs frustrating

This lovely sage bamboo yarn from the yarn yard arrived yesterday and no matter how hard I try I can't get the colours just right. Here's my best attempt but see it a little greener please.

I want to make this into something to wrap up on the beach with, Debbie knit this with this yarn. Very nice :o)
I am thinking spring walks on the beach where, in Northumberland, even on a mild day you still need a wrap to keep off the chill, especially as the sun wont have too much strength in it yet. In a shetlered spot a 100% wool yarn might be too warm and I am promised a superior drape with this yarn, it's a light fingering weight or 4 ply, 470+ meters per 100gm skein. Itching to get started with it. Hmmmm!

In the meantime I cast on for my possum lace stole; for now it's horseshoe lace, I'll decide whether to add another pattern later.

Possum Stole
Using 4mm circ and a lace cast on, CO 91 stitches k1, k2tog, YO, k1 for the edge, knit 7 repeats of horseshoe lace, knit edge again reversing. Wrong side rows are purl with first and last stitches knit, throughout.

Continue as set, repeat 11ish times ... to be continued ...

off to photograph my start and the chart...

here they are,
first for colours,
second to show laceiness

and finally the chart

Please ask if anything isn't clear. Thanks :o)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Round and round and round we go ...

... and where we stop nobody knows. Well I know, but I'm not there yet.

No point doing a photograph of the pi as it looks pretty much like before. One more row and I can do the last increase then 'just' keep going for as long as I can and add the edging. Probably the godmother's lace edging but maybe the gull thingy like Brooklyn Tweed, haven't fully decided. But it's a slog getting round those rows maybe I'll start with a big cast on next time and decrease as I go :o)

The jury is unanimous on the possum lace so I must cast on, larger size needles it is, I'll be writing this one up as a free pattern for my blog so I may do it as a knit along first. The possum is lovely yarn and the colours are great but any mohair blend will have a similar look, kidsilk haze, would be one alternative, I'll have a look for a few others. The lace pattern is called horseshoe lace, just need to decide whether to add another stitch pattern or go for a full stole of the one pattern. problem is I get bored part way through and a new pattern keeps me going :o)I'm just a lace whore :o)

So eye candy today comes in the form of natalie's yarn yard sock
yarn 009
yarn 007
yarns and some beautiful lace I got from her a while ago.
yarn 008
Natalie is a lovely friendly, helpful lady who is enthusiastic about her yarn and very happy to help you get the yarn you want. She'll dye to order if you have a colour you're looking for and is a really good communicator, go have a chat, you'll see what I mean. The lace is beautiful subtle and quite unique - very gently variegated in great sympathetic colourways, very 'grown up' sophisticated yarn. My next project will be in some bamboo mix I just ordered from her, summer is on the way, so cool and classy is in order I think :o)

I also received my Posh today
ahhhh that's better.
Must live until I am a gazillion years old so I have time to knit it all.
My other yarny arrival this week is from HipKnits lovely - more mohair marvellousness
yarn 006.
That would make a nice stole too, and lovely colours for a day on the beach, as the evening falls and a chill wind hurries you home, pull the stole around your shoulders and linger a little while longer whilst the last light fades, ahhh, don't you wish it were summer now?

And finally, on a pattern note have you seen the Yarn Harlot's post today? Now, that's a cardi I would like to knit!

Friday, February 15, 2008

A piece of Pie?

I mentioned a while ago that I have a baby shawl to knit for a friend's grandson & wife who are expecting a baby any day now? Well, I have started. The stipulations were that it should be white, washable and circular but otherwise I have a free hand. I have been wanting to do an EZ Pi shawl and seeing BT's confirmed for me that this is my choice.
I found a lovely solid one on Ravelry with godmother's lace edging. I added a few rounds of yarn overs to the centre and now it's just a matter of lots of ss. Nice tv knitting. At the mo it looks like this.
I tried really hard to find a nice wool white but they were so expensive and I began to worry about doing a lacey shawl that would need blocking and giving it to a non-knitter. After one wash they'd be dissapointed so I played safe if a little dissapointing to knit with and went for acrylic and a simple pattern which should look good with a gentle cool iron. It's Sirdar Snuggly 4 ply and it's machine whashable and tumble dryable and I'm using 3.5mm circs. Started it on dpns with Emily Ocker's circular cast on and now I'm up to 48 rounds before the next increases, I've done 20 and I'm doing it solid from here out to the border. Don't think I'll take this one for a ride on the Tanfield Railway this weekend though, white and soot spots might not go too well together! So the baby blanket for little miss fosterling will be coming to ride on the train. I received a very generous gift of the remaining squares of Flamingo and now I am on the random squares row.
I haven't heard from Kerrie but I see on her blog that she's not well today and I tracked the parcel and it says it's been delivered so hopefully she'll be well enough to photograph the project club cardigan next week. Get well soon Kerrie.

Another project I have planned uses this possum yarn I got from WW a while ago. The possum is hairy so I decided to swatch for needle size and these are my trial pieces.

Amazing how much difference 0.25mm makes isn't it? I think I prefer the more open one on the top and right, do you?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Monkey Madness

Go see Monkee Maker and find out if you won. Or, just go watch the nailbiting excitement that is the draw video.

In other monkey news, Molly the Monkey came to stay at our house. Molly belongs to K's reception class and visits a different class member each weekend. K was so excited on Friday she nearly burst as she flew through the doors shouting "I've got Molly, I've got Molly!" and waving the said monkey in her book bag as she ran towards us.

We, not knowing of the existence of the wonderful Molly prior to her arrival, were somewhat dumbfounded. However, always willing to rise to a challenge, especially where it involves the glee of a little Miss, we welcomes Molly into our home. Here is what happened:

Friday is sweetie day at K's house, I helped her eat her chocolate

Whilst she was smiling for the camera I took a big bite :o)

K's mummy let me climb her trees (when she wasn't looking)!

K introduced me to all her cuddley friends, I rather liked the handsome monkey ;o)

Isn't he dishy?

K taught us how to play Twister, I am rather good at it , as you can see.

We also played dominos

I let him win the Frustration in the interest of Monkey : Monkey relations *winks*

I was very good at Chess

The Janga wasn't quite so successful!

To make him feel better I ready him a story

It worked! He felt much better :o)

I was feeling quite good myself!

In fact we were getting on so well, that he showed me his Thomas.

After that I needed something to eat! Luckily K had made some buns so I was in luck.

Then it was time for bed.
No monkey was harmed in the making of this story and the school version was slightly different

Monday, February 04, 2008

Please go see these

First this - go support a good cause, as Monkee Maker says if a lot of people give a little, then a little will soon become a lot.

Secondly, my Tom has been writting some music, I like this one, why not see if you do too and say 'hi' whilst you're there, eveyone likes to know someone is listening sometimes.

Meanwhile this *drool*


and this *drool drool*


more lovely Dee and Tony magic over at Posh Yarn. Ok eye candy fix taken - back to the Project Club salt mine - remind me never to knit for other people again, I'm at the 'put it in a bag in the naughty corner and leave it for a long time' stage but I can't, I really haven't got any choice but to finish it and I do know it will be great when it's finished. Maybe this is why I don't knit clothes :o) Note to self - stick to lace in future :o)

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Just a few thoughts.

Do you save the best for last? I do. Eat all the rest first and keep the favourite until the end. First time through the Chocolate Tasting box to try them all, then second time in reverse order, best last.

Do you buy yarn by eye or squishiness? For me it is colour every time. Maybe it's an antidote to our grey cold winter that I favour the rich bright & strong colours in winter and pastel prettiness in summer. Maybe it's the practice of internet shopping which by it's nature precludes the squishing. I would have bought lots of alpaca before now if I'd been able to squish it sooner. *sigh*

Do you wonder how the post office manages to loose so many parcels from one company when others never seem to have any problems? Also why do parcels from just down the road take longer to get here than ones from the other end of the country?

I guess that it must be due to the stages of the journey. It makes sense to me that if a company's mail has to go through a sorting office that has problems, then those parcels will be more prone to not being delivered than if parcels from the same company are going to a different location and do not have to pass through the problem sorting office. The closer the problem to the original sending point then the more parcels will go through that sorting office no matter where their ultimate destination. For example I have seen on documentaries in the past that London offices have more crime and more casual staff. But that programm was in relation to cheque book theft; is someone stockpiling yarn? Surely not. Whilst you or I might be tempted by all those squishy parcels, surely the average postie is not neccesarily a secret sock knitter, is he/she? So where do all the lost parcels go. I have a dreadful image of a mountain of lost yarny mail languishing in a dark corner of the Royal Mail. Perhaps a mountaineering expedition should be mounted to the furthest reaches of the royal mail's sorting outposts to discover the wonders of Mount Lostyarn.

I wonder also how it is that such a small thing transforms a 'bad' day into a 'good' day. Many of these small things are very closely related to my interactions with other people and are as fleeting as a shared glance or a small child's smile. I ponder on how glorious a babies ability to laugh and on the transformative power of that chuckle. Sadly, I think there are too many people who miss these miracles that happen every day under their noses whilst their focus is elsewhere. Too busy, too stressed, too preoccupied by bigger' concerns to see the wonders in our own lives. I am amazed to find mself in the glorious position of having another opportunity to 'parent' now that my own children are grown so rapidly. The eldest was 18 this week (where did those years go) and much of his childhood was filled for me by personal worrries and difficulties - I wonder how many of his chuckles I missed? Not in a melancholy way, you understand, just musing. And feeling very priviledged.

OK off to examine my own personal Mount Yarn to see what to start next.

PS Project Club cardi nearly done, should be onto the finishing tomorrow.
PPS Flamingo found :o) isn't the internet a wonderful thing.
PPPS when they invent some kind of teleportation my yarn will arrive instantly with the click of my mouse, then imagine the yarn mountain I'll have :o)