Archive for the ‘knitting’ Category

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Motionless but busy

March 17, 2010

I looked at the calendar earlier and realised its been quite a while since I said I would be back with regular posts, and here is the first one, even if it has been a while.

This foot problem and my M.E. have had me having to make myself have enforced rest periods, with my foot raised and its not always been conducive to anything interesting happening to tell you about, or much of anything happening. Its not as fun around here as it used to be and with the not doing much the only thing I have to show you at the moment is yarn related.

I’ve finished the surprise belated birthday present (no pictures till it arrives at the other end) and had a couple of days of feeling like I didn’t want to work on anything.

Since then, I’ve been having another spate of startitis and now I have more projects on the go than I can possibly work on, but I’m enjoying this slower pace of crafting and having different projects so I can fit it to the energy levels I have and in that vein its fitting into the “pacing” I am learning to deal with the M.E.

I’ve continued working on my half granny square shawl; or my Marbled Purple Comfort Shawl as I’ve taken to calling it; The colours of the Marble Chunky (Shade 15) are making a lovely mix on the shawl and its been getting lovely comments when people see me working on it. I finished it last night and I really like it. Its big soft and very comforting.

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I’ve started crocheting my leftovers of Countrystyle DK into a granny square. I think I’ll end up with a lap blanket out of them or a large cushion cover to go with the hexagon blanket, which I desperatly need to work on as I got so distracted by learning to crochet that I haven’t worked on it in weeks. No pictures of my hexagons as theres no progress to show!

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Crocheting the granny square projects I have started fits into the days when my energy levels allow me to be able to do something, but something thats more automatic than any project that needs more thought.

I’ve been working on my first ever proper swatch for a stocking project. I’ve got some purple acrylic 4ply:

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and am finally going to make my purplestockings! Thats right, I shall have the embelm of my blog 🙂

I’ve been learning about negative ease and proper gauge, and am finally understanding it properly. I’ve done a flat gauge even though the project is going to be knit in the round as I decided I wanted to see how different my gauge is in the flat compared to in the round. It differs by a stitch and a row so its a good thing I checked!

The flat gauge swatch that show the colour the best.

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I used the swatching directions from Knitty for the flat swatch and these from Ysolda for the “swatching in the round although not actually in the round” method. The pattern I was planning to use was going to be Very Tall Socks adjusted for my legs and 4ply yarn instead of DK; but I was pointed towards the Donna Keaton Elizabethan Stocking Formula via Vintage Stitch-O-Rama. I’ve got all my sums done and I hope to be able to cast on for them soon.

I’ve got some yarn wound for a pair of toe up socks, but its thicker than sock yarn I’d normally use, so I’m not sure what needles to use, especially as I’ve had suggestions ranging from 2.25 mm needles to 3.5mm needles. Very confusing.

To use up some yarn leftovers, I’m making some korknisse when I can get hold of wine corks:

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and I’ve had some leftovers of autumnal shades of yarn and I’ve got plans to make an autumnal leaf wreath to decorate my home with later in the year.

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Theres a whole mix including yarn d’amour gingercake, rowan scottish tweed, online 100, trekking xxl, and misc that I’ve been gifted, and they are going to make up into beautiful leaves. I’m still looking at patterns but I’ll hopefully show you some progress soon 🙂

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Ravelympics Day 1

February 13, 2010

Well, I’ve been knitting away like a good girl, and have got a couple of inches done on the body of the bloomers, which considering there is around 280 sts in a round isn’t bad.

The cotton, even with its soft additions of silk and rayon is being a little tough on my hands though.

More tomorrow 🙂

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Winter Olympics 2010 and Ravelympics

February 11, 2010

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The Vancouver Winter Olympics start at 2am on Saturday GMT and I’m really looking forward to them.

For someone who hates the cold as much as I do, I’m oddly fascinated by Ice Skating, Ice Dancing, Speed Skating, Snowboarding, Curling, Ice Hockey, Bobsleigh, Cross-Country Skiing and Biathlon(Cross Country Skiing and Target Shooting).

Luge and Skeleton are just insane, whatever you say.

I’m planning to watch as much as I can but unfortunatly, due to Vancouver’s time zone being 8 hours behind GMT it means that there may have to be judicious use of a recorder to be able to watch more than the concentrated highlights as the coverage seems to be all late night with a highlight show the next day; which is a bit useless for those of us who would like to see the heats as well as the finals.

I’m taking part in the Ravelympics but I may start knitting during the Saturday lunchtime repeat coverage rather than getting up at 2am. I owe it to my knitting to be able to focus on it!

I’m taking part in the WIP’s Dancing event – for those projects that have been stalled for at least a month before the Olympics opening ceremony. I’m going to work on my Blooming Bloomers – using the Knitty Unmentionable‘s pattern.

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Knitty’s picture not mine. Thier copyright etc.

I really loved the pattern when I first saw it a couple of years ago, but it was CostumeChick‘s Bloomers and Camisole set (Ravelry Link)that really inspired me.

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I’ve wanted to make them ever since, but as always I couldn’t buy the right kind of yarn at prices I could afford – it does need to be some kind of cotton blend. I got a great amount of yarn for my birthday, however, after seeing this lovely stuff on sale at Kemps and so started work on them in September of last year.

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The yarn is a 50% cotton/45% rayon and 5% silk mix called Rowan Luxury Cotton DK. It’s deliciously soft and drapes beautifully.

The colourway is called Bloom and is a greyish purpley lilac, with a strand of slightly deeper mauvey lilac twisted though it and it creates a beautiful mottled fabric when knitted up. The only downside is they are those arty type balls that look lovely but, because they are loosely wound centre pull balls, collapse in on themselves in a particularly unhelpful way while you’ve half knitted them!

I’m knitting with Team Purplehaze – the Ravelry group Fog Knitters team. Its the team for people with who cope with ME/CFIDS/CFS/Fibromyalgia and other fatiguing conditions.

This is the stage the bloomers are at, at the moment. This picture was taken back in November and I haven’t worked on them since.

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Both legs are completed and joined and the body is half worked.

I’ve broken up the remaining parts that need working on into the following:

  • Remaining Body Section.
  • Waistband.

Once those parts are done I’ll be having to go back to the other end and working on these:

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The Ruffles and Lace on the legs which I’ve broken up into the following parts. Yes I AM a huge nerd.

  • Left Ruffle.
  • Right Ruffle.
  • Left Lace.
  • Right Lace.

I don’t know if I’ll get all this finished during the Ravelympics but I’m gonna try!

I’ll update a progress report every couple of days through the Ravelympics.

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Thinking Inside The Square

February 9, 2010

I, Purplestocking, have an announcement to make.

Over the course of the last few days, whilst feeling terrible and not up to doing very much I’ve looked at the couple of books I have that show you how to crochet and I think I have finally managed to get the hang of it. Its not pretty yet, but its definetly crochet!

I’ve practiced my chains, my doubles and and my trebles. I even went so far as to try some half-trebles. Now, don’t all gasp at once.

This, completed on Sunday afternoon, is my first ever Granny Square and my second ever Granny Square.

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Its not perfect but I think its beautiful. Sirdar Click Chunky, and a size 6 crochet hook. It took half a dozen attempts but as I’ve barely been up to getting up off the sofa, let alone anything else, my brain has been working on overtime and something finally clicked.

As someone who has been obsessed with Granny Squares for some time, this is a huge deal for me.

At my weekly knitting group last night, I was gifted with LOTS and LOTS of Sirdar Bonus Chunky yarn (free yarn is the best yarn in the world!) by the lovely Tsuki and straight away started working on some Chunky Granny Squares. She had got it all for a knitted blanket that never came to be and I’m helping it realise its blankety destiny. Things can have blankety destiny can’t they?

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Rather dandy if I say so myself! Lots of pretty colours, although I am liking the idea of striping each one with the black. Can you stripe in the round?

Chunky yarn worked with a 7mm hook and a 4 round square. Measures about 6inches across.

The chunky crochet is also good for when my wrists and fingers are being painful (stupid M.E.), so thats something I can work on when my hands aren’t up to knitting socks or hexagons.

More coming soon, but for now I’m enjoying the feeling of finally conquering something I’ve wanted to for so long!

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Socky Goodness

January 31, 2010

I’ve finished my not so toe socks.

I decided that I wanted them to be everyday socks as the yarn is so lovely – toe socks can’t be worn everyday. Its not good for the skin inbetween your toes so I used my favourite toe; the star toe.

I learnt this toe when I made Black Dog Designs Picot Eyelet Socks. Its a toe that fits my toes and stays comfortable and looks pretty too. The purl stitches and decreases do make a lovely star pattern.

I’ll try and take a picture tomorrow when the light is better but right now I think they are beautiful.

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Organizational Skills

January 27, 2010

There is some benefit to not being able to move about much. I’ve managed to hurt the remaining good ankle as well so have been doing some valiant hobbling. Yes, I am really that much of a klutz. Anyway, It’s forcing me to sit still and knit or write.

In the last day or so, I’ve got my belt bag is knit up and just needs sewing together and the buttons sewing on, my toe socks are already for the toe socks to go on them, if I don’t decide to just use the normal toe I use for socks as the actually getting the damn things to fit my feet properly is going to involve more thinking than I can really muster at the moment, one of my stories might actually have reached a point of moving forward…I’ve not so much had writers block as plot block. I couldn’t work out how to move it forwards.

I’ve been sorting out my yarn for my blanket project and put together a sort of work basket so I have my colours to hand:

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Its got all the colours I’m using:

Purple, Gemini, Raspberry, Highland Burn, Blue Mix, Orange Mix, Hazel, Vivid Blue, Pale Pink, Airforce Blue, Magenta, Plum, Grey, Chalk Blue, Twist, Dark Purple. There is also another pale blue I’m using, but I seem to have mislaid the skein for now. There is a couple of colours I don’t have that I’d like to use, but I haven’t managed to get hold of them yet. There is a shade called Garnet, and another called Damson, I’d like to use: and the black that I want to crochet round the edges of the hexagons with.

Yes, I need to finish learning to crochet first, I know, but I’ve read about making a decorative ridge along your joins by making a single crochet through a loop on each motif on the right side of the motif (wrong sides held together).I’ve got time to learn though. Its going to be a few months till I have enough hexagons done, and then I will be able to fit them all together into my blanket.

My hexagon obsession is again being fueled by seeing and hearing about a book that is coming out in April:

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Its going to be pricey; its preordering at £19 – but I am so utterly in love with the socks on the cover I’m going to have to save for it. They are so unbelievably beautiful.

I’m also preparing a new journal as the old one is nearly full. It involves things like writing my favourite quotes and poems into it like Jenny Joseph’s Warning as well as a copy of the hexagon pattern – always useful as I’ve often got my journal with me, as it lives near me all the time.

Moleskine’s have a segment at the front where you write a reward for returning it if it ever goes astray.

Last time, I offered cookies, but this year, well I’m not sure what to put.

Hugs – No. I might have to hug someone weird.

Yarn – Only currency amongst yarnies?

Cookies – more likely to appeal to a wider audience?

Chocolate – It depends; are we talking a small bar, or a box?

Money – so passe.

Choices, choices.

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Monday Musing and some thoughts.

January 18, 2010

I’m not going to go on about Haiti, as many many people have said what I would of said, but I will say, if you can, donate to Medicine Sans Frontieres. They do good work, and they don’t care about whether you are rich, poor, your faith or lack thereof, and I think they deserve all the support they can get. If you donate you can chose to either donate to a specific area of the fund or add to the general fund with which they can then fund what they need most urgently.

Without the ability to actively do anything to help those poor people who have lost everything I’m clinging onto my own normality for that is all I can do.

The weather in my neck of the woods:

Last time I looked outside it was mizling (a cross between mist and drizzle).It makes the air sort of wet, and your coat gets wet,even though its not raining.

Some of my simple pleasures:

  • Marking off the hexagons I knit on the little worksheet I made, watching it slowly creep up to halfway and beyond. A very simple, but also thrilling little pleasure.
  • Using the Cath Kidston Wild Rose shower gel I got for Christmas. Its lovely, a luxury, and makes me smell like Turkish Delight! I rather enjoy smelling like Turkish Delight!
  • Red Apples. Washington Red Delicious to be exact:

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They could almost be perfect shiny poison apples from Snow White, and I am enjoying looking at the beautiful red glow of them.

In the last week or so, I have had cravings for apples and have been taking great pleasure from eating these with a sharp knife, slicing people off and eating them.

This is partly a really nice way to eat them, and partly because my mother used to tell me off for doing so, because I might cut myself.

Rebelling still? Moi? Damn Straight 😉

On my bedside table:

Little Grrrl Lost by Charles De Lint (Yes, he is one of my favourite authors, why do you ask?).

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Its an exploration of a theme he’s used previously in The Little Country, and written for a younger audience, but I’m enjoying it so far, and its worth it just for the beautiful cover artwork.

On my TV:
All the things we’ve recorded over the last few days and just haven’t quite got to watching.

On my Mp3 Player:
My new abney park album – From Dreams or Angels;One of my xmas presents which didn’t arrive in time. I’m really loving their music, and it has a wonderful steampunk aesthetic which is always going to appeal to me.

A new Charles De Lint Audiobook. I am so pleased I have an Audible subscription which allowed me to get audiobooks at members prices.
This one is called Memory and Dreams.

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Issy’s art frees spirits;As a student she discovered she had the ability to paint her wildest fantasies to life, but this has side effects ultimatly hurting those she loves, and so she stops painting. Its a story about dealing with the past, and not letting go of your dreams and even recapturing them.I’m only about a quarter into it, but I’m enjoying it.

What am I wishing was on my Mp3 player?
Mark Vincent (discovered thanks to Rabbitch), Josh Groban and Seth Lakeman.
All new performers to me.

I know, I am hopelessly out of the loop.But there is a slight reason. For many years I’ve had a thing for listening to strong female vocals but in the last year or so, I’ve started really enjoying listening to strong male vocals too, but I have very few in my music collection.

Mark Vincent has a beautiful voice for one so young, and to me at least, has a beautiful rich depth to it and being only 15 his voice is only going to develop.

Josh Groban I could listen to for hours. He has a lovely voice.

And I have developed an instant crush on Seth Lakeman. A pretty boy who can fiddle AND sing. Be still my heart! AND.AND. He’s from the UK. Born and bred on the beautiful Dartmoor.*sigh*

On the menu for tonight:
Something simple, and preferably very quick cooking. Dinner was ruined last night by the gas running out halfway through cooking. It was edible, but I had to finish it off in the microwave.

I may be lazy and do ready meals from the shop…

On my To Do List:

  • Work on my blanket. As I mentioned, I’m taking pleasure in marking off the hexagons as I make them.
  • Work on my socks; I’ve toe socks and sideways garter socks on the needles at the moment.
  • Work on my belt bag.
  • Do some writing; I’ve got a story in my head telling me it wants to be written, and who am I to ignore it?

Done from last weeks To Do List:

  • Get rid of this non specific lurgy I have – working on it. Its still not gone, and seems to have morphed into something else.
  • Finish my accounts – Done. Waiting for info from HMRC before I can finish it.
  • Work on my blanket – 3 more hexagons made.

New Recipe I tried last week:

I tried a variation on Scrumbly Jumbley but it didn’t quite work.

New Recipe I’m thinking of trying next week:

I’m seriously tempted by the Sweetcorn fritters from the new Hairy Bikers show. I just need to get organised to get the ingredients.

In the craft basket:
Lots of things. I spent some vouchers at Poppys in Pocklington at the weekend. I got some buttons for my belt bag, some yarn needles and stitch holders, some lovely deep purple Country Style Dk for my blanket and some lovely regia sockyarn which is literally begging to be cast on….which would be naughty but its calling to me…

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Looking forward to:

Feeling better again. I spend half my life looking forward to this at the moment, but its a good aim to keep looking forward to.

Lesson learned the past few days:

That peoples jealousy can drive your talent away.

I’ve been thinking about writing various posts over the last few days, but getting thoughts out of my head onto the page has been a little difficult the last few days. I’m going to work on it this week and get more posts up on the blog over the next fortnight or so. They will be on a range of subjects, from knitting, to clothes, to books, and just things I’ve been thinking.

Anyway, my body is screaming for a nap so thats where I’m going.

TTFN and I’ll see you soon!