Tuesday, 30 May 2006

Very very busy.

I've just been too busy to post lately. I started the Boy Beanie (AKA Man Hat) the other day. It's my foray into knitting for loved ones. I know that Stitch n Bitch counsels against this, but I love him so much, I just want to make him something!

I only feel justified in doing this because the Babe Sweater is going so well. I have almost finished the first piece already!! And it's not even June yet! I guess I just got so excited about getting to the interesting bit (i.e. the chequerboard pattern) that I just kept on ploughing away at it until, Voila!, the back is nearly finished!:

I even worked a little on Branwell the Brachiosaurus. Aren't I a good girl?

Unfortunately, I have so many ideas whizzing around in my head at the moment, I don't know what to do first! I saw a felted bag in "Simple Knits" that I fell in love with, and as I am putting up with my current bag is falling apart - literally - I feel that I deserve it! Especially if I make it myself! And I even have some wool in my stash that I could make it out of! I started on some samples today. Hopefully I'll get time to felt them tomorrow. It'll be the first time I make a felted project, so I'm a bit excited and a bit scared at the same time.

I also would like to make some pot holders, etc as a wedding gift for my friends who are getting married in July (in addition to something good! :P ) but I don't know if this will happen. I don't know if I can make them good enough, basically. The limited time frame is also something of a problem. We'll see.


I also re-arranged my Works In Progress [link defunct] page into 4 categories: Current, Long Term, On Hold and Abandoned.

I have 3 projects in the On Hold category at the moment, and I want to either do something with them, or get rid of them. Lacy Scarf I want to finish off by threading some ribbons through (though do I really need more scarves?!). Cardigan I want to restart, I don't know how yet. Top Medallion - rip off and re-make into a square. (That would make sense if I had a picture. I'll try and get one organised.)


Sunday, 28 May 2006

Wool, more wool, and stuff

Today's purchases:

Bad, bad girl!
But they were on sale! ...

Thursday, 18 May 2006

Dear diary, today I...

Some interesting developments occurred today. Firstly, I finished the Lacy Scarf v.2.0:

Well, technically, I have finished the knitting of it. I still have to weave in the ends. So it's not really finished, technically. Though in another way, it is....
All right, I'm not putting it on my Finished Page [link defunct] til the ends are weaved in, okay? Sheesh, get off my back people!

I went wool-shopping:

Here is:
* 1 pair of 3.25mm needles. I like the Pony brand, they are cool colours. Mmmmm, pearly.
* 1 ball of Carnival variegated acrylic. I thought it might be fun for coathanger covers. (Later I re-considered this, as I shoved and pushed to get it into the acrylic section of my stash.)
* 2 balls of Panda Glitter. Cause it's so pretty *drools* I couldn't stop touching it. And I'm all into the glitter at the moment! I'm thinking a scarf... *raises hands to temples in mystical fashion* yes... I see... some kind of... scarf...
* 4 balls of white baby wool, and 1 ball of Panda Baby Lustre. I am going to use these to make:

the Babe Sweater!!

Yup, little baby Sparky is going to be a Sweater Baby!

The pattern is from an old pattern book from the 1950s which I bought at an antique shop at Easter. (How can I tell? It's a twin-set, dahling!) I'm getting quite a collection of them now. It's pretty straight-forward, actually. There's a front, a back, and sleeves. The short sleeves mean it should take slightly less time/effort, and the little puffed sleeves are so cute! There is a pattern on the yoke which you can barely see in the picture - it seems to be a chequerboard pattern. It doesn't seem that hard.
At the top you can see the swatch I made. It was quite handy actually, as the Baby Lustre I'm using for the hems is thicker than the baby wool, so I had to work out for myself what size needles to use. The body of the sweater will be plain white. I'll probably be damned sick of white in a few weeks!

(By the way, as I was measuring my needles in the needle gauge - this dooverlackey:

- I realised that one of my pair of bamboo needles was one size bigger than the other! Everybody goes on about how great wooden needles are, but they neglect to mention that they swell! Dodgy! Look out for that, people. But I digress...)

With all the knitters around me, I really feel that I can have a good go at making this. Heck, there was even talk of making socks at work yesterday! Yeah, I can do it. Heck, I have til November!

I realised today that Big W is not necessarily cheaper than the wool shops. Most of their fancy yarns, including the Glitter above, were the same price (i.e. $3 for 50g) as Lincraft brand.

Monday, 15 May 2006

*sings* Lace, exciting and new

How much knitting can you get done in a full-day shift in a call centre on a Saturday when it's quiet?
Here's your answer:

It's half-done already!

Well, I've used up one ball of the Sky Cloud, so that's the forced half-way point, and it's still disturbingly short. Hmmm. Oh well, no-one said luxury had to be lengthy, right?


P.S. Oh, this is really cool: you have to really be dedicated to handicrafts when you will happily use dried lice to dye your wool with.
Yup, it's 1am. No more envy-blog-reading!

Sunday, 14 May 2006

So much can happen in a week...

Hey everyone, I've haven't posted for a while because I've been too busy knitting. For once! I've been working and working to get the coathanger covers ready for Mother's Day, and here they are! Ta daaaaa:

and a back view showing the crochet on the blue one:

I'm quite proud of that one, the crochet on it looks pretty good. And the mother in question seemed very happy when I gave them to her!

Speaking of visits to Anthony's Mum and Dad's house, I've now found myself making a cardigan for a 6-year-old boy! An actual garment, to be finished, eventually! Eek! They even have me believing that I can actually do it! It's from an old pattern, on 3mm needles, in yellow acrylic yarn. I've 3/4 finished the left front half already! It may actually be possible. I'll take my camera next time so I can get proof that I actually made it myself.

P.S. I also did quite a bit on my Lacy Scarf v2.0 today before I ran out of yarn.

Wednesday, 10 May 2006

*rubs hands together*

Here is what I bought at the Lincraft sale today:

Yes, I was quite restrained - I had to leave enough for lunch as well! So what you can see here is some standard cheap-arse acrylic for making coathangers, etc. (I am imagining that variegated one in a pebbly, reverse stocking-stitch) The piece de resistance: two balls of Sky Cloud. Ohhhh.... it's so pretty!! So expensive... I have to make something good out of it... I have to make it go a long way.... I feel so pressured! Actually I've been thinking of reviving my Lacy Scarf and re-doing it with larger needles, cause it's taking for-f@!cking-ever (that's the technical term for it) to finish! And the colour, while really nice, was starting to feel very monochrome (I'm using the term in a derogatory way there!). So I chose something that hopefully in my mind will go with that green cross-fingers, that I can use to make a new Lacy Scarf, based on the old one. The thought of what I'm going to do with the old one, with being half finished and all, makes me want to cry. But for the sake of knitting, one must make sacrifices.

Monday, 8 May 2006

Last gasp of the 80's revival (I hate sewing up!)

What I have started calling "The Glam Band" is finished. No, it's not a reformed Gary Glitter, it's my new headband!:

I started making it last month, and I ended up making it in between gifts and other stuff, but it was quite quick to make (I love big needles!) and I finally decided to rush it through this morning so that I could wear it today.
It's made of 3 strands held together: navy blue pure wool, medium blue pure acrylic, and a purple, slightly fuzzy yarn with sparkly bits in it that my best friend got for me when we went to New Zealand. It's called "Wendy Ice". Dunno why.

I wanted to use Kitchener stitch to sew it up at the back, but not being able to remember how it works, I had to look it up in Stitch N Bitch. Then when I realised that it wouldn't work with the garter stitch border, and having started it off 2cm askew and having to undo it and start again, I did the only sensible thing and just did some straight old whip stitch on its assss. Who would have thought that sewing 2 straight surfaces about 12cm wide would take over 20 minutes?? Only for the Barely Competent Knitter!

Even before I started sewing it up, though, I realised that the damned thing curled up at the edges! I thought that sewing it up would solve this problem. Nope! Here is my attempt to flatten the Band:

Needless to say, it didn't work. Perhaps blocking would. But blocking sucks even more than sewing up. So it can damned well stay like that. It's not that much of a pain in the butt to put on that way.

I did get to wear it today, by the way.

Thursday, 4 May 2006

Momentous Mother's Day

Last weekend I had lunch with my boyfriend's parents. She knits. We talked about knitting. She gave me a project to start off for her. Toddler's cardigan in yellow acrylic, 3mm. It was great. Truly exciting. An inter-generational understanding developed. She talked about making me a cardigan. I'm so honoured! So I want to make something back (so to speak). I had a think and I thought, coathanger covers are safe and practical. Everybody needs them, right? And apparently blue is the way to go.

So I started the first one a few days later. I am making it in 'Pinstripe', it's a technique of slipping stitches to create stripes in the knitting. The good thing about it is the strands at the back create a double layer which will make the hanger cover more padded. Sorry no pics of the back right now. I might make them all in variations of this stitch, actually, because of that. Some of the 'plain' ones I've made have been very thin, as well as too tight, so you could see the wood of the coathanger through the holes (see here) [link defunct]. I increased the width from 11 to 15 stitches. Hopefully that will do the trick.

I am hoping to make a set of three.
Will she succeed? Stay tuned!

Wednesday, 3 May 2006

80's Glamour

I got bored with my boring old head-band, so I decided to make a new one. I wanted something more colourful and less monochrome, and thick and chunky, so I went through my wools until I found some that went together well. It's in a navy-purple colourway (ooh, how posh!) and I experimented with a few pattern combinations until I came up with this one. It's a wide band of stocking stitch, with a garter stitch border 3 stitches wide on each side. After a while I started to think that one of the older styles that I'd pulled apart looked better, and it's too narrow, but I'd already done so much on it, I couldn't be bothered pulling it apart and doing it again.

So here it is, for better or worse:

[the next day]: it's nearly finished now!