Thursday, 27 November 2008

A little beauty and brightness

Life at the moment is getting harder for most of us and I could moan about the state of the ecconomy and the possibility of redundancy blah blah blah, but I won't.

I like to try and see little joyful moments in day to day life, I feel like a much richer and happier person for it.

  • A few from current ones:
    The weather here has been simpley vile - cold rain, yet right now it is really sunny and I have the windows open for some fresh air.

  • Weekend before last my little godson got his mother and I up early on a Saturday, I'm not a morning person and weekend mornings are for sleeping in. Getting up early did mean that we got to our favourite resturant when it opened for breakfast, we didn't have to queue for a table and our breakfasts were served quickly and cooked perfectly. We also had a trip to Loop while we were in Islington.

  • love the sky blue plate, the eg really does look like the sun against it

  • Yesterday I worked late and on the way home I stopped by Buffy's beads in Kingly court. It was quiet and I very unusually had the shop to myself I ended up buying the most beautiful shell leaves and glass hearts that I will make into stitch markers for knitting friends and myself.
  • Monday morning I missed my breakfast (it's a struggle to get out of bed at the moment) and went to a really long meeting so I didn't get any lunch. At 3 o'clock I felt very hungry, so I went round to the closest coffee shop to my office and had a very naughty brownie and a delicious mint tea - yum!

  • I'm also spotting a trend for beauty in blogs so here are my top ten beautiful blogs (please point me in the direction of your top ten as well) I tried not to be too obvious about it as most people know about Brooklyntweed and the Yarnharlot and I often talk about others.

Elliphantom Knits

Inside A Black Apple


Chocolate and Zucchini

Jatta Soheltaa


Mustaa villa (black wool)

Dances with wool


Fig and Plum

And although it makes eleven I can't leave out Jane Brocket's new-ish blog - her images always make me smile.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Just one word

I can be very verbose so when I saw this meme on the lovely Dee's blog I took up the challenge.
Admitedly I did cheat a little in places

Where is your mobile phone? sugically-attached
Where is your significant other? absent
Your hair color? blonde
Your mother? brilliant
Your father? grumpy

Your favorite thing? bed
Your dream last night? bizzare
Your dream goal? happiness
The room you’re in? big
Your hobby? knitting/snowbaording
Your fear? being found out!
Where do you want to be in 6 years? sailing

Where were you last night? sofa
What you’re not? relaxed
One of your wish-list items? drum carder
Where you grew up? geekdom
The last thing you did? commuted
What are you wearing? snuggly jumper

Your TV? old
Your pets? missed
Your computer? graaagghhhh

Your mood? graagghhhh! (see above)
Missing someone? boy
Your car? Johanne (z4)

Something you’re not wearing? glamour (I really want to say knickers but that would be a lie)
Favourite shop? knitting hut
Your summer? C**P!
Love someone? deffinatley

Your favourite color? stripes
When is the last time you laughed? to long
When is the last time you cried? last weekend

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Leo's Hat

I intended to give this hat to Leo as part of her birthday pressie, however my trip to Finland with work was cancelled at the last minute. I am therefor officially a bad friend and a very bad Godmother. Leo and her son's birthdays are very close together and I had intended to be with them for a few days just after the birthday dates. The first time she sees this hat will be on here - sorry Leo.

They will of course be receiving the gifts when I get to Finland (hopefully before Christmas!) - I could have posted them but one of the items is a very heavy wooden toy!

Back to the hat, the design is the soon to be classic Jarred Flood Habitat hat, knitted in RYC soft tweed, needles in size 4.5 mm for the rib and 5 mm for the main part of the hat (dpn's in 5mm for the crown)

I am committing tweed heresy now by saying - I love how tweed looks, nubbly, flecked, old world and fewer steps removed from the initial sheep than ordinary millspun. However I hate the itch factor, I can't wear it at all - even as a top layer it's prickly itch seems to permeate my inner layers and make me scratch, so forget knitting with it.

I was in one of the few big department stores that sells yarn, feeling all of the skeins when I found this - tweed without the scratch! Soft and lofty, nubbles of brighter blues and whites, but soft enough that I moved from stroking it with my hand to stroking it on my cheek. I immediately bought two balls in this pale grey blue and then went back and bought two more in the antique pink colour.

I know Leo's mum made her a hat this colour a while ago and I had admired it, sadly it met a felty end and now fits a teddy, so I decided to knit this.

I love Jared's designs, the subtle details really make the design sing, look at how the cables come together at the crown.

and how simple cables used together make a sum much more than the separate parts

The simple pattern can be knit on the train with no errors. I may even knit this again - for me.

Winter Warmer

I'm feeling pretty unwell at the moment and the weather is not helping! Knitting warm woolly items and spinning snuggley yarn is just what I need.

I finished my hopscotch socks from Soctopus sock club, the yarn is lovely - a delicious one called Soft Spun Plus from Brooklyn Handspun , the colour way is toadstool and dyed for the club. The design is by Anna Bell, who has a lovely blog.

I made a few tiny alterations to the heel to try and make the pattern flow better out of the heel corner - I would say it was moderately successful.

You can't see the pattern until the socks are stretched on your feet, but this does make for a lovely smooshy sock. I actually liked this pattern so much I am making another pair with some yarn bought from Impulse of Delight. I highly recommend this site - really interesting seeing where the colour ideas come from for her yarn.

Monday, 3 November 2008


Even though I've already failed at the NaBloPoMo as today in the 3rd of the month, I am resolved to trying to Blog a bit more for many reasons:
  • The shorter days keep me indoors more
  • I want to record my knitting in this format

  • I want to record my spinning - oh yes, I have a new wheel and I am the proud owner of the lumpy bumpy yarn that will soon become a Greenham Common Women hat (although I will not become a Birkenstock wearing, brown rice and tofu eating person - what am I talking about I like tofu and brown rice!) No disrespect to the women of the peace camp!
  • I really enjoy the writing - I hated writing at school but I actually think it was more to do with the very dyslexic spelling and ending up with an essay covered in red pen. Essays contained as few words as possible when you know each wrong spelling will have to be written 100 times!

  • I may be able to curtail my online shopping habits if I spend more time blogging.
  • My very close friend Leo reads my blog and I miss her very very much since she moved to Helsinki - I should really write more for my one and only reader.

No pictures of my knitting today, just some from the Knitting and Stitching show. It was a a really great day, Mum and I went with a group of ladies from the Knitting Hut. I bumped into quite a few people I knew and very strangely a girl I went to sixth form with, who I have not seen since we left. We were quite good friends at school but had lost touch, Chloe has recently started crochet and I hope to get her knitting soon.

We learnt to extreme knit - Mum bought some needles and has been using them at home (mainly to prod Dad when he falls asleep and snores!) actually she finished her faux fur stole in 2 evenings - 10 balls of ironically delightful acrylic eyelash yarn made into something that is actually rather glamorous!

I also loved the crochet hyperbolic reef, a team were busy sewing pieces on all day. I was impressed by the use of maths in the crochet, the idea comes from the Institute for Figuring, the UK Reef is part of a wider international project to make a global Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef.

The original reef was inspired by the principles of hyperbolic crochet originally developed by Dr Daina Taimina. In 1997 she worked out how to make models of the geometry known as hyperbolic space using crochet. Until then most mathematicians had believed it was impossible to construct physical models of hyperbolic forms, although nature had been doing it for some time! Dr Taimina has written a book on the subject that will be available in January -I am looking forward to reading it.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Amy Butler

Yesterday I went to Liberties to meet Amy Butler. She was absolutely lovely in person and as you may know from previous posts I really love her designs.

I took one of the colour and material designers from the office with me and she appeared to enjoy herself immensely. We had a chat with Amy, a look through her books and most importantly a stroke of all the beautiful fabrics. I restrained my impulse to buy meters of all of it.

I already own Modern Midwest which I love - there are no specific project in it but for inspiration it is beautiful. I bought the newest book Little Stitches for Little Ones - I'm not a baby person but the patterns and ideas are absolutely lovely, I am sure I will be making quite a few things from this. Amy's fabrics are quite retro in style - think 70's floral but with very fresh and modern colour palettes.

While I was in Liberty I had a look at the new Kaffe Fassett yarn for Rowan - Colourscape Chunky - it reminds me of Noro Kureyon with the long colour repeats and the colour ways are typical of Kaffe, it is much softer than the Noro and lacks the bits of hay too! To be honest I was not very excited by it - it's quite bulky and there is nothing new, it's been done before. It's a shame as the sock yarn he did for Regia is really interesting. I had a quick flick through the pattern book 'The Colourscape Chunky Collection' with designs by Sarah Hatton that accompanies the yarn and was quietly underwhelmed by that too. Maybe it will grow on me.

Speaking of Noro - has anybody out there tried the silk garden sock yarn? I haven't found anywhere in the UK that stocks it yet, I have seen comments on Ravelry about the great colours but nothing about the softness, splitiness or anything else. I am using the Kureyon sock for a pair of Ziggys any I actually really like it - very woolly, but the thick and thin texture evens out when knitting it to give a surprisingly dense fabric.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Serious stash enhancement holiday

I’ve been on holiday this week, it has been quite relaxing and lovely. I was supposed to go sailing for Cowes week but that all went a bit wrong and the least said about why the better. I have always wanted to visit Colinette and decided that a trip there coincided well with other family commitments.

We drove to all the way to the lovely village of Llanfair Caereinion in Powys, the weather was surprisingly lovely for Wales and the countryside was stunning. I should point out that it does not always rain in Wales but as a child all my half term holidays were spent in North Wales visiting relatives and my overall memory was of continuous rain, being made to hike up Snowdon yet again in the rain and being very very bored. The highlight of the half term was being allowed to go with my great uncle Gwill to the bakehouse – this branch of the family were known as Evans the Bakers as opposed to the other branches of Evans the coal and Jones the pub.

I loved going to the bakehouse at night to help prepare for the early morning shift – I learnt how to make custard for the tarts, knead bread in the huge machine and most importantly make bara brith – delicious Welsh bread with lots of dried fruit, served sliced, toasted and slathered in butter. I must have only been five or six when I first started going but I felt very grown up.

I was overcome by the yarn fumes in Colinette and completely forgot to take any pictures! Well I managed this one of the evening primrose in the village churchyard - I didn't realise they were this pretty and pinched a few seed pods for the garden. The village is small but lovely with a wonderful bakery where we had lunch.

Colinette was huge, the walls of different yarn and incredible colours were fabulous, beautiful examples of patterns hung everywhere to touch and try on. I was seduced by the jitterbug sock yarn and had trouble keeping to only a few skeins – I know the skeins are a little on the skimpy side length wise but the names and colours are totally seductive.

In the end I bought these three skeins – Adonis blue; a sea blue with touches of turquoise, purple and forest green, Alazarine; a bright pink with highlights of paler pink, lilac and pale blue and Vatican pie an incredible red that is both rich and bright, it almost glows. It was very very hard to leave behind the others that I longingly fondled but as you will see later in this post the sock yarn collection is getting out of control!

It was also really lovely to choose which skein you wanted - there are big differences between them - the Alizarine below is very pink but other skeins had much more blue or purple, the person these socks are destined for is definitely more of a pink person.

For quite some time I have been wanting to make a Perugino throw but the colours of the kits were not quite right - I wanted to make my own. I couldn’t find exactly what I liked in the colours that Colinette offer but then I discovered the sale room – stuffed full of colour ways that hadn’t come out exactly as they should have, end of lines and experiments with new colour combinations, all for £4 a skein! I spent ages pulling together the yarns I wanted, looking at colour and texture; I wanted golds, creams and browns to compliment the room the throw is for.

In the end I settled for these in the full knowledge that these skeins are one of a kind and nobody else will have a throw like mine and all for £24 instead of the £45 for the kit - I love a good bargain. I have named the colours, three skeins of Mohair - chocolate torte, fox tail and wheat field, two skeins of Giotto - both the same colour; Rapunzel and one skein of Tagliatelli - Samhain.

I have been a little extravagant this week with yarn purchasing, when I arrived home there were two parcels of sock yarn, how did that happen!

Parcel number one from modern knitting, I admit it – I got a little bit merry on passion fruit margaritas and bought sock yarn while pissed. I was a little surprised at my choices when they arrived – mostly very bright but with one quite dull choice – hmmm no more drinking and shopping. Other people get drunk and take unsuitable men to bed, I buy yarn instead!

The colours are all Regia – I love the way they have very distinct stripes, machine dyed yarn should be just that and play up this strength not try and emulate hand dyed yarn.

The colours are as follows (clockwise from top left):
Mini ringel Rio – 5217, Stretch Edmonton – 120, Surprise Chianti – 1265, Crazy Passion – 5402, Cotton Colour Java Exotic – 4183.

This slightly sadder specimen is Cotton Colour Java Winner – 4184, I hope to be surprised and pleased when I get round to knitting it!

Parcel number two from Blue Moon – Socks that rock, and are impossible to photograph! I spent ages tweaking the colours on the pictures but this is as close as I could get. The Blue Moon website pictures are better but still don’t do the colours justice – Back stabber is deeply saturated and gorgeous, Kawkaw is subtle and sophisticated.

I actually have been knitting as well. A friend is about to have a baby and so I made a baby bolero from Just One Skein, I already know this is for a boy so I used the Blue Skies Alpaca dyed cotton in Periwinkle and left out the eyelet motif on the back. This is a really fun knit, the first one of these I made was a pale biscuit colour for my godson and took a couple of days, this is the fourth one and they now take only an afternoon.

Also bright socks in Regia Canadian Manitoba – 4737, have been finished; these are glorious purple, pink and yellow with a single stripe of a grey/sage green colour that is muted enough to make the other colours pop. I bought this at Web of Wool (great customer service).

The pattern was made up as I went along, I had been reading about the German technique of using some ribbing around the instep and on a whim decided to add this, it is great if you have high arches for getting a good fit. These socks are for me (finally!) but my mum is modeling them for the picture as she has better ankles – getting her to pose was a bit difficult as she kept laughing and falling over.

Friday, 25 July 2008


I love reading other peoples blogs and one of my favourites is Ysolda, I love her designs as well as all of the interesting things she blogs about; delicious food and beautiful landscapes. I have been making the Liesl cardigan in Blue Skies Alpaca worsted, bought in the Loop sale - pale blue and beautifully soft, I will take some pictures soon but only after I have finished it - nearly done but I am still in search of the perfect buttons.

Yesterday her blog post was about the arrival of a Clothkits parcel. I remember Clothkits when I was very young and my mother used to make them - 70's England didn't really believe in natural fibers so Mum used to make my clothes or buy them in Denmark when we went home. Mum and I were discussing the relaunch last night over dinner and saying how much we used to love their needle cord and the quality of the material in general, so this morning I had to have a look at the website.

Be warned - the site does not work well on Internet Explorer 6, Firefox seems to be fine though. At the moment the collection is small but what they have is absolutely perfect - I want every single thing in the womens wear collection and the children's gear is seriously cute. Even though it blows my craft budget for the month I had to buy a kit.

I had such difficulty choosing which one but I eventually settled on the Rob Ryan skirt in cerise needle cord with purple print - I am sure I will be buying other items in due course! You can just see the colour at the back of this photo.

I really like his designs anyway - check out his website and etsy shop

I could have paid through the site but decided to call them directly as I had some questions. I'm glad I did as I got fantastic service, they were super friendly and chatty and I also got to choose which lining material I wanted - from a choice of gorgeous Liberty prints.

Yes, the kit seems on the expensive side but the design and quality is excellent and you get everything you need to finish the item, including lining, thread and zip. If I considered what it would cost to buy the pattern, material, lining, zip and thread in John Lewis it works out about the same.

Having bought the skirt kit I will have to wait until next month to buy this - I have been lusting over it for ages:

And when I saw this material in the new modern midwest collection, I was sold on making it:

Gorgeous brown with the cherry blossom - it makes me think about Memoirs of a Geisha - much better in book form than on film, if you enjoyed the book you might also enjoy Geisha by Liza Dalby an American anthropologist who became a geisha in the 70's to enable a deeper study of their world - fascinating.

This is my current choice for the accent material on the dress, I am undecided about this, it's pretty, but I am not sure about the combination - what do you think?:

The lovely ladies in Liberty haberdashery told me that Amy will be in the store on the 12th August having a chat with people - I must put it in my diary! This hasn't been announced yet so don't tell anyone I told you!

just as I was typing this I got an email to say the
Knitty surprise is up - I'll be having a look in a little while - tell me what you think too.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Handspun and homemade

I am completely in love with handspun yarn, the texture is just beautiful. I am longing to spin my own and have bought a drop spindle kit from the flying ewe, I can't wait to have a go! I am really really lusting over a spinning wheel (Ladybug realistically or Matchless if our bonus it huge this year!) but worried over when I'd be able to fit it into my life and house. I am planning to go and have a look at some next week - shhhh don't tell anyone - I am in denial about how dangerous that would be!

I am trying to content myself with buying some lovely handspun on etsy. I had to go to the post office to pay the customs charge on this beauty yesterday (£13.80 - most of which is the post office handling fee for me to drive 20 mile round trip to the sorting office, hand them cash and pick up my parcel!) It was worth it though!

634 yards of laceweight Merino Tencel from Squoosh, I have no idea what I am going to make with it yet - investigation on Ravelry will commence!

The colours are really vibrant and bright - and elusive on camera! I tried every setting and light and these were the best I could get. There is pink, orange and mauve in the yarn and the colour is called hotty - that made me smile.

If you love handspun too I also received two lovely skeins from Stony Creek, I can't show them as they are destined to be made into a gift.

My Swallowtail was finished ages ago but I am only blocking it today, I am home alone for the weekend so I dared to pin it out on the floor.

It is so light weight and ethereal - when wet it was a tiny blob hardly bigger than a tennis ball! Made from Posh yarn Cecilia, it took forever to wind the yarn into a cake (all 1300 yards) and this shawlette made hardly any dent in it - I shall weigh it to find out how much was used when the blocking is done. The yarn is 50% silk 50% cashmere mix and warm despite it's lightness.

It is almost dry with the warm weather today - I really wish the weather here was more reliable! I should go and pick raspberries and strawberries RIGHT NOW as I won't get soaked - in 10 minutes that may have changed!

I have some friends coming for dinner tomorrow and since I will be working tomorrow, I did a bit of prep work today - I don't think I will ever stop being a chef at heart.

This brown sludge looks deeply unappetising but is in fact an unbaked pain d'epice, if you have tried the supermarket version in France you will be think 'meh - why make that, it's dry, fairly tasteless and a bit dull!' but homemade it is really lovely, soft and delicate with a deep fragrance from the spice mix and the local honey. It is baking now and filling the whole house with Christmas scent. I have been making this since I lived in France but have made one change to my version since reading the chocolate and zucchini book - adding crystallised ginger and crystallised orange peel - yum!

You may be wondering why I am making a Yule scented cake in midsummer, well my plan for dessert tomorrow is to grill some peaches with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon and to serve them on toasted pain d'epice to echo the cinnamon and suck up all the peachy buttery juices, I'll also plop some creme fraiche on top for contrast.

Hope it tastes good!

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Long summer nights

I arrived in Helsinki on Sunday night and decided to go out for dinner, the light is amazing with only a couple of hours of semi darkness – the pictures below were taken at about 10 in the evening. I walked down to the harbour and saw the Götheborg reconstruction; the original East Indiaman went down in 1745 and was excavated in 1986 -1992, it was amazing to see. There was a festival going on around the visit and some little old men were on a stage playing a jazz version of ’it’s a long way to Tipperary’ and singing - it was quite surreal.

On Monday I met with Leo after work and we did a little shopping, I'm looking for a dress to wear for a wedding, I wanted to make one but I don't have enough time to finish it before the big day. I found a lovely dress in Marimekko, sadly it was a little to tight around my assets!
We did manage to get to one knitting shop before it closed and there were some really sweet bits and pieces.
I think I will have to knit one of these hats for myself! I love all these stripey things – a new obsession with stripes might be emerging. The yarn all these are knitted from is seriously woolly and I can't wear it next to my skin unless the temperature is in the -30's, very very itchy.
Behind me you can see some manikins wearing very finely knit colour work jackets - absolutely beautiful, I wish I had taken some close ups - next time perhaps.
Once we got thrown out of the craft hall because they were closing, we went to a local coffee shop – hot chocolate and berry tart – yum!
I am going to have a go at re-creating this tart, very short pastry base that is almost biscuit like. A light creamy filling, it was difficult to work out what it was made from - I think I will try marscapone cheese, vanilla and fold in some lightly whipped cream. The berries were mostly Finnish blueberries plus a few red berries of various types, really intense in flavour with minimal sugar. I love that the Scandinavians seem to enjoy less sugar in these types of things, the hot chocolate was unsugared too; slightly bitter and dark, a much more adult taste.
The coffee shop was quite old fashioned feeling, with beautifully displayed pastries and dark wood chairs and tables. The view from the window was cake-like too, Helsinki's Lutheran Cathedral reminds me of a wedding cake, I love the white walls and columns with the understated gold highlights.
Leo and I went to Olof's mothers for dinner - it was a really great evening and the first time I had met her, such a lovely lady and we talked about knitting, sewing and weaving. The flat is beautiful and filled with gorgeous crafted items from all the families travels.
The rest of the week was work with not much time for knitting, although I managed about 6 hours of dedicated knitting on the flights and finished all of the nupp rows on my swallowtail.
I'm really enjoying this lace work and excited to finish and block it. The garden is open to the public this weekend so I have been sat talking to people about the plants and knitting, after all it is world wide knit in public day today.
Lots of people visiting the garden asked me what produce I would be making for the village fete this year, apparently my hand made bread (not from a bread machine) almost caused a stampede last year and I was referred to as the 'jam lady' (I don't think I like that particularly - it makes me feel old). I feel very WI sometimes then I have a naughty thought and decide they wouldn't appreciate that side of me, I'd probably get thrown out.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Was that the entire summer?

What a lovely week last week - hot and sunny, I hope it isn't like last year and that is all we get! At the weekend I went to a spa with my friend Leo, we had a great time and the weather really was fabulous. I thought I would get lots of knitting done but we were really 'busy' getting treatments, chatting, eating delicious but healthy food and sitting in the outdoor spa pool.

I took along my Swallowtail shawl - it was moving really quickly but I appear to have stalled - I am almost at the nups but the budding lace seems to have refused to grow to the right number of stitches! The colour is an gorgeous one from Posh - I can't remember what it was called but it looks just like the blossom on the apple tree. In fact I tried to take a picture of the WiP in the tree but it was far to high and I did not want to take remove any branches to photograph, but the wisteria that holds up a rickety fence in the garden is in bloom and the colour is beautifully similar to the yarn as well.

I shouldn't take pictures of on going work as I am terrible at finishing things (especially if they are for me), however it did occur to me that if I put pressure on myself by blogging about something it might get done.

I am very guilty of jumping on the bandwagon and knitting the 'latest' thing. Apologies to Grumperina, I love the knitting new scarves book and when I saw this, I wanted to have a go. So here is the start of my linked rib scarf, it's Manos Del Uruguay silk blend 6461 bought from iknit - I went and checked out the new shop, it's lovely and has a bar, obviously I couldn't leave empty handed!

The plant is an Acer Palmatum, I love the colour of it. The whole garden looks lovely at the moment - it is going to be open to the public (!) in three weeks, through a local open garden scheme, it is a shame it is not slightly earlier as it is really a spring garden and looks it's best at the moment. Although it is quite good it isn't this weekend as there is scaffolding up and there appears to be a toilet in the driveway - Plumber Dad installed a new one some time ago and the old one hasn't gone to the tip yet despite all the nagging, maybe I should plant something in it just in case it doesn't get moved!

When Leo was here at the weekend I had to try and secretly measure her for the jumper I am making, I failed and just held it up to her but it does mean it can appear here. I love the pattern - Simply Marilyn from Interweave, but a bulky cable knit is not something all of us can wear! I have made the pattern smaller, advice from Ravelry users has help with this, I think it will stretch a little too. I finished the front in a day and am half way up the sleeves, it is a bit of a warm project to be knitting now so I'd like to finish soon.

I hope blocking evens out the bottom of the cable as it looks wibbly at the moment and not very nice.

I had been keeping these secret as they are a gift but the recipient saw them in the knitting basket and commented on them, asking who they were for - I couldn't manage to fib! It does mean I can blog about them too.
Pomatomus in a really lovely colour way but I have been having second sock issues for so long that I can't remember what it is called and have misplaced the label, it might be Koigu though.

This shows the colours better. I love the pattern and it is quite simple to knit. I have seen a second sock on Ravely that is fraternal so maybe that will have to be made instead of a matching one. I grafted the toe oddly so it looks funny to me but I tried to undo it and it was a nightmare - I thought I'd just leave it.

Finished object! The very simple socks for a certain boy, the yarn was Kaffe Fassett in Landscape Caribbean since the this boy likes sailing. They are a bit large for me but I hope they fit him, I really enjoyed knitting them and the colours are gorgeous, I decided that I like knitting man socks so much I signed up for a guy sock club. They are larger, giving more scope for beautiful yarns and I love the unfussy nature of men's socks, the muted colours and small details make it a much more subtle knit. I have so many sock clubs at the moment I don't think I will get to the end of them but I just can't resist.

I had some trouble getting them to match at the heel - I frogged three times and in the end I cut the yarn and rejoined it to match up properly. It was the dark blue thin stripe where you pick up along the heel - it was accidental in the first sock but I thought it looked lovely and wanted the same on the other.
Taking pictures of your own feet is really difficult - especially if you end up with the picture making your calves look like they belong to a hefty rugby player or maybe a hippo or giving yourself cankles as in the picture above - horizontal stripes eek! I was a little un-nerved by the picture below, perspective is to blame I'm sure (or maybe it is the evil fat leg fairy who makes me eat chocolate and wear high calf building heels)

I'm have been looking for something gorgeous to knit with the amazing yarn from Lily, my secret pal. I have not found anything that screams - 'knit me with your precious camelspin!' so I am having a go at designing something myself.
I love designing things but my time is really limited so spending ages knitting and finding I am unhappy with the look and feel is really difficult. The pleasure in seeing something beautiful does outweigh this eventually though! I have been reading (actually just looking at the pictures as I don't read Japanese) the new Japanese stitch patterns books I bought from yesasia and want to start swatching soon. I also bought the same colour yarn in seasilk (periwinkle) as I would like to see if I can use both to give areas of different texture - not knitted together but more like intarsia - hmmm wonder what will happen!

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

finished object-tastic

Wow finished objects - actually they are not recently finished but I have only just had the chance to blog about them.

Firstly some thrummed mitts (Interweave winter) for my friend Leo - she and her gorgeous family are moving to Finland, so warm mitts were called for. I shall be very sad to see them all go but I am excited they will be somewhere that I visit so often! Thank you to Leo as well for saying such nice things about my blog - I suspect it not many people read it but I love writing it all the same (hello to others reading this - Trine and Lily) I may get around to doing some visitor stats but I'd much rather use the time to write another post.

These are made with Artesano alpaca aran - really delicious yarn - I can't remember the name of the colour way but I did buy it at Knit 1, great service from them too - thank you. The thrum roving came from knitshop. I was not to sure about the colour on it's own but once it was knitted into the alpaca I was much happier. Modifications to the pattern - longer cuffs to keep out the snow! I used two hanks of yarn but I had lots left over, if you made the cuffs shorter and perhaps used a co-ordinating stripe on a couple of cuff rows you would be able to get the pair from one hank. These are super warm and this is the seond pair I have made - why have I not made some for myself!

Second item is a scarf for my friend Bev - she's modeling it below. It's done in a free pattern from Fezza using some of their yarns. I made some changes so that the same yarn ( a cute fluffy one) appears at either end and the srtipes are matching on either side - slightly fussy and others may not notice - but I know. I am not always a fan of man-made fibres and fun fibre but I do love how this kind of scarf brings a little interest to an outfit and is fun to twiddle when bored! Bev said that the children in her class are facinated by it - nice to be appreciated :)

I just had to include this pic of the ladies modeling their knitwear - I think a little too much wine may have been consummed at this point (although our behaviour is pretty daft without wine! Bev is the funniest person I know - nothing is sacred and she cracks me up). Leo's family get lots of hand knits (her son is my godson) mainly because they appreciate the work but also because they make them look good :)

I finished my Ene scarf from scarf style - I did have enough yarn so panic over - thank you to lovely Ravelry people for their offers of matching the yarn (gorgeous
Dee) and Tinks for her offer of some of her Christmas pressie brother yarn to mine should I not have enough - you are such kind people - thank you :)

This picture of the tip is closest to the colour - I took advantage of the snow and bright sunshine at the weekend to take pictures. The colour way is called pansies and is purple with hints of blues, the depth is amazing - I don't know how Tony who dyes the yarn makes such gorgeous deep colours

My arty hedge background is not the best picture - why am I such a pants photographer!? I know that pictures make a blog so I really should practise more.

I also tried the willow hurdel in the garden as backdrop, that was a lot better I think.I am also kniting a pair of socks for a boy, yes I know this is such a bad idea but it is also a good way to deal with becoming too into him too quickly, deflection onto the socks! Two of his sisters knit so he may have an idea of what it means (!). He dealt with the knitting habbit pretty well when it was revealed to him, although I suspect he may not realise the extent of it! The socks are plain sock receipe in the new Kaffe Fassett yarn - the most stunning picture here. Maybe I'll keep them!