Archive for the ‘WISPs’ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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Slowing down.

March 2, 2010

Part of my being ill means I’ve been unable to keep up with a lot of things and I’ve had to slow down the rate I work on things and choose more determinedly between things I want to work on.

I haven’t done any work on my hexagon blanket, or sewn my belt bag together yet, mainly because ever since I figured out how to do those twisty crochet stitches I’ve been a little obsessed with them, especially “granny” stitch projects so have been spending my limited crafting energy on those.

I’m still somewhat obsessively working on my little sisters somewhat belated birthday present, which is taking up a lot of time and I can’t show it to you till its finished but I’ve started working on a crochet project for myself:

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Using the leftover marble chunky from my pretty neaty cardi, I have started a triangular shawl pattern using the same principles as the granny square but in a triangle instead.

It involves a odd beginning where you seem to be working a semi circle, but then you start to shape it, and the chains at the beginning of each row create a lovely top edge.

Part of this crochet madness is partly because I’m finding crochet easier on my wrists at the moment and till the doctors help me get the pain under control, I seem to be able to crochet more than I can knit!

My blogging is slowing down as well, but i’m hoping to get back to more regular posts soon.

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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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Knittyโ€™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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Iโ€™ve wanted to make them ever since, but as always I couldn’t buy the right kind of yarn at prices I could afford โ€“ 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. Itโ€™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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A work in progress review – Jan 09

January 10, 2010

I’ve been busy taking photos, as promised last week and ready to show you all what I’ve been making.

Glow Yarn set

Back in November I fell in love with some yarn. Its called Trekking Maxima 908 – Glow.

It has 3 strands of black/charcoal and and one of a changing colourway; yellow, to rust/orange, to red/magenta, back to rust/orange, and into yellow again.

It makes me think of campfires, of flickering embers in the dark, of nights perched on logs around a fire with friends, drinking wine and mead. The laughing and joking, of autumn nights and autumn leaves, of warmth and comfort, of coal fires on winter mornings and of cosy evenings. It makes me think of wood burning stoves, of camping, and of fire gazing.

Yes, I am having a serious love affair with this yarn, and want to get more of it if I can.

I wanted to make myself a set of beret, fingerless mitts and a cowl and I scoured the Ravelry database to look for patterns.

I actually knitted swatches for this (don’t faint all at once!) and decided that this yarn is perfect for using with garter stitch, and garter stitch has a such a smooshy depth to it, so I went back to Ravelry and searched for patterns using that lovely, beautiful, textural stitch.

Mitts

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These are based on the Cratchit mitts pattern, and are currently temporarily sewn up using a whip stitch till I find the best method for stitching them up. I had ideas about crocheting the sides up, but my skills aren’t advanced enough yet to do it without making it look very messy.

Cowl

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This is based on the Scarf Cowl pattern, working in sock yarn rather than lace weight, and adjusting the length slightly to attempt to make the stripes match up as well as possible. Instead of winding it twice around my head I have taken to work it with the front folded somewhat like an ascot and then pinned with a brooch, which makes it lie comfortably underneath the collar of my coat, which is always a bonus! Again with this I’ve had some finishing problems and need to fix how its sewn up, but the cold snap meant I needed to be able to wear it, so I made do with what I had to hand.

Beret

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This is based on the Build a Beret formula, and I had to work out all the sums to convert it to sock yarn, making adjustments as I went, to produce a beret that actually worked the way I wanted it too. Its lovely and comfortable, and didn’t need blocking.

Toe Socks

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They may look like ordinary socks at the moment, but when they get down to the toe they will have exactly that; toes. They will be properly fitted to my slightly odd toes – too many years of wearing badly fitting shoes – using the instructions in The Twisted Sister Workbook for Piggy Toe Socks.

The yarn is more Trekking XXL; the sock yarn that seems to be my favourite. Its more like ember and ashes, rather than campfires but its as beautiful as it is in the photo.

Belt Bag

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I fell in love with this pattern the minute I saw it, and tracked it down. The example above is by Ravelry user Asti, and is the best picture I’ve found of the completed bag.

I’m making mine on 3mm needles using black acrylic DK to create a nice dense fabric. I’ve made the first of the two sides, so still have another side, and all the pockets to make, and buttons and a zip to buy.

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I got a nice new belt for Christmas and am looking forward to wearing it on it! I have a vague deadline on this one, but more about this another day.

Tea Cosy

With the last few days being so bitterly cold, keeping drinks warm has been heavy on my mind since Friday and I’ve been working very hard on a tea cosy, using the Tea Mitten pattern.

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I’ve been using more black acrylic DK and a strand of my Glow Trekking Maxima along with it to produce some beautiful fabric to help insulate my beloved Brown Betty Denby Teapot.

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Its almost finished already, and I’ll show it too you soon. Am seriously tempted to make myself a matching mug cosy to go on the rather good mug that Tsuki gave me for Xmas.

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Blanket

As I mentioned midweek, I’d made 75 of the 179 hexagons.

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Well, I’ve added a couple of that total, but I got distracted by nerfarious teacosies! I’ll get back to it during the week and then I’ll hit that halfway mark before the end of the month. I definitely want it ready if next winters going to be anything like this one.

Oh and that’s Norman the Gnome, faithfully guarding the hexagons I’ve made so far. The gnome I mentioned making before the new year is to the same pattern and is going to be a companion for Norman. Norman was made by the fella’s sister for us and it must be lonely being the only gnome in the house!

Bloomers

I forgot to snap an in progress picture of these but they are on hold till the The Ravelympics/Winter Olympics in February so shall focus on them then.

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago this project stalled sometime ago, as knitting for birthdays and Christmas became more pressing.

Well, thats everything actually on the needles at the moment; I’ll keep posting pictures, as often as I remember to take them and try and do a monthly catchup to show whats happening currently with everything I’m working on.

So, what do you think?

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Things I’m working on.

November 18, 2009

Before I launch into the promised update on the things I’ve been working on I just wanted to say that my blood tests are all clear, which means I am a step closer to getting my M.E. diagnosis moved from provisional to official.

Anyway, onto the knitting ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve made an executive decision that, in light of my current health problems I need to limit the number of projects I’m working on at any one time.

I’ve worked it out to 4.

  • 1 ongoing project – my hexagon blanket
  • 1 large project – like bloomers, a jumper/sweater etc.
  • 1 sock project – self explanatory really.
  • 1 portable project – hats, mitts, scarves etc.

Tsuki has kindly offered to teach me some crochet stitches so I may be adding a crochet project to the list.

Hexagon Blanket
I’m up to 60 hexagons now, which is a respectable amount but not enough. I have lots to go, obviously. This blanket is going to be big and snuggly so I need to make more, but I like marking off these milestones of 10 hexagons.

I tried pinning a few of them out the other day and it gives you a bit of an idea how they will look when blocked. The photo is a bit odd as they are pinned to a cushion, but I wanted to see how they looked.

I’ve decided how I am going to join them all. I want to crochet around the edges of them all with black country style DK and then crochet them together. I found a really useful tutorial.

Yes, I’m crazy and this is most definitely a labour of love but I can see it in my mind and it will be finished eventually ๐Ÿ™‚

Bloomers
This yarn is gorgeous. Seriously.
The legs are complete and I’ve joined for the body, and am working the decrease rows for the waist section. Its a slow knit due to how many stitches are needed to go round my enormous behind, but when they are done they are gonna be beautiful.

Although the legs and body are almost done, I think the ruffle and lace are going to take just as long as the legs and body.

Swap parcel
I joined a Journal swap on Ravelry a month or so back. It was my first swap on there, so I wasn’t sure what to expect but  I got paired with a very cool lady in the wonderfully named Berryville, Virginia, USA. My swap partner Bette really spoilt me rotten. She runs a really cool yarn company called Beyond Basic Knits.

In my parcel, carefully wrapped in that wine coloured tissue paper,  there was:  2 notebooks one of which is made from something called sweet-paper that’s made from leftovers from sugar processing, some green tea (hidden), some Chai tea, and some Christmas tea (yum!), a pink pen, a smiley card (not in the photo), a book called Creative Journal Writing which I’ve hardly been able to put down and the most gorgeous purple sock weight yarn.

The yarn is the most AMAZING purple. Its sitting there, in its twist, whispering sweet nothings to me, just wanting to be made into something.

Trouble is, I can’t decide. I want more mitts and a hat and a cowl, and there might be just enough there…or socks obviously..but what kind? Toe socks because I want to make some and it would make Thene squee?…Plain to show off the gorgeous yarn?….ankle socks?… Its just going to wait till I can decide!Damn my indecisiveness!

If you want to see what I sent her she’s posted a photo over at her blog here.

Socks

I’ve finished my Industrial Rose Socklets and will photo them when I’m not wearing them. They are so comfy! I may use the design again when I can work out the loose stitch issue when changing from purl to knit.

And I’m still working on my toe up socks. Actually I need to put some needle time in on those. and photograph them.

Other Stuff

Now, in the kitchen I have bulgar wheat, pomegranate seeds, and a butternut squash and am going to try and make that lovely salad I mentioned the other day. Then its time for another nap.

So, what do you think of what I’ve been making?

 

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WISPy Wednesday

October 28, 2009

Well, I wish I had a cacophany of things to show you but I don’t.

So far this week I’ve knitted the grand total of 1 hexagon for my blanket – its magenta (which is more purple than magenta) for anyone who is interested. I won’t bore you with yet another picture of a knitted hexagon.

My energy levels are still horribly low and I only got that knitted because now I’ve knitted 50 of them I pretty much have it memorized.

I’ve done very little crafty since my WISPless entry last week.In addition to the knitted hexagon I’ve also tacked a dozen patchwork hexagons. I was going to make a cushion but I may make a patchwork teacozy inspired by the one in this post over at HenHouse…(Yes, I am addicted to this blog…she makes me smile). I also discovered half my home made hexagon papers aren’t true hexagons…I’m gonna have to suck it up and buy a hexagon template aren’t I?

Instead of knitting I’ve been dreaming about the things I’d like to knit and sew and am currently daydreaming about cotton flannel fabric that doesn’t come in baby appropriate colours and is available on this side of the Atlantic, and learning to knit fairisle/colourwork.

I’m also dreaming of having a decent button box again with suitable contents. I have lots of shirt buttons, and a couple of nice ones, but I am feeling I lack buttons at the moment..and I need something to keep them in.

Today I have managed to organise the slow cooker for tea and will tell you about that on Friday.

I am trying to remain cheerful, I promise!

Work has begun on the defeating of the laundry mountain however, and I hope to have it sorted out soon. Plus its probably time to swap out the summer clothes for winter ones…Or at least think about it. Thats proactive, right?!

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WISPy Wednesday

October 14, 2009

Theres only one WISP this week….THE SOCK.

The Completed First Sock...

The Completed First Sock...

As I mentioned on Monday blogging about THE SOCK (as I have taken to referring to it)ย  had odviously spurred me into action and I knit the cuff and the first repeat at the weekend. I did another repeat at Knitting group on Monday and another two last night. That means just two more pattern repeats and then its heel and the never-ending foot! I have to admit that on the foot I’m not going to count rounds as its stockinette and then just keep knitting till its the same length as the foot on the other one. I might even get them done in time!

Poor Fella has put up with me ranting and nashing my teeth over these socks and asked rather nervously if this meant he wasn’t getting any more socks for a while….If he does they will be plain!

Odviously there hasn’t been much other knitting going on around here, although I have managed a few rows on the second bloomer leg in a moment of selfish knitting ๐Ÿ˜‰