Remember my lovely Levenwick? I pounced on the pattern seconds after I saw this design for the first time, and ordered my Shelter to knit it a few minutes later. On Thursday night though, we said goodbye.
I love the design, the yarn, and the making of it, but we never became close friends and I think I wore it only a handful of times. Some of the problems were fixable – it was too big and the buttons were in the wrong place. But its main issue I think was the colour – I bought the colour of yarn I loved at the time (and still do), with no thought whatsoever about whether it would suit me, and I don’t think it does.
Then, almost immediately after the ripping session I became the victim of a very strange mascara-allergy incident, which made my head try to explode and kept me awake all night. (Please – no sympathy – this is not a serious problem and has taught me that mascara that I’m allergic to does not belong inside my eyes.) So Friday was spent in bed, trying to hold my face together and get even just a little sleep…. It never happened, so I ignored all the warnings from my inner-knitter (16 wips, Saz, remember?!) and um, cast on something new.
All done in one sitting (but really kind of lying down), a Honey Crisp by Gudrun Johnston. Ravelled here. Lovely and satisfying to knit, and I’ve hardly taken it off since I finished it. And it is definitely my colour.
It was a lot of fun. I can’t seem to gather my thoughts to write much about it, but some highlights were Alcatraz, A Verb for Keeping Warm, eating lovely food, driving down the west coast and staying in Lucia, watching the LA Lakers, eating lovely food, staying in a stunning hotel suite in Vegas and getting my first manicure. And eating lovely food, again. Also – blue sky! sunshine! Lovely!
My new plan of only making things that bring me happiness is definitely a good thing, but it means that for now, a few things have gone into hibernation. Two of them are blankets, one old and one fairly new.
The old is my lovely Handspun Beekeeper which I cast on last year along with many other knitters. It stalled at 100 puffs when I ran out of handspun scraps of the right weight, but I’ve since collected enough little bits to add to it and it hasn’t yet made it back onto my needles. (I’ve just realised that the needles I use for puffs are currently stuck in another unfinished and hibernating thing, so it might be a while.)
And the newer is another handspun blanket, but in my aran and chunky scraps this time. I went for the Snowdon Blanket from the Juju’s Loops book, but this one went on hold after just one sitting of working on it. Chunky yarn scraps don’t go as far…
This week is another high-production craft week due to more long car journeys as a passenger. I started Stephen West’s In Defense of Tights from the ChoreoKAL using some Natural Dye Studio Dazzle Sock to work on in the car, and ended up buying a ball of Regia Hand Dye Effect to stripe. I never knew double moss stitch could be so addictive, and I finished one yesterday. Because the pattern uses so little of the striping yarn, the first one started off contrasting nicely with the solid, but then stayed on a new colour that didn’t work so well. I love it though.
So I looked for ways to move on the striping colour a little before starting the second armwarmer, and somehow the best plan I came up with (other than just winding off a little, that seemed too easy) was to, um, start a crochet blanket.
I’m sure the idea was in the back of my head somewhere after seeing this one. This little square was so quick I’m going to try and work up one a day, and then join them all with a neutral colour. I can’t decide though whether to stick to the reds, oranges, purples and pinks, or if I should work some in many colours and then fade through them all in the blanket. Any thoughts?! Bearing in mind though my blanket-making speed, it’s probably going to be about five years before I have to make any decisions.
It seems like the knitting world is being overcome with snowflakes and pom poms at the moment. I am very happy about this.
I jumped on the Snawheid pattern by Kate Davies (thank you, Kate!) and two days later I was making a massive pom pom and gleefully trying to solicit admiring comments from fellow dog walkers about my awesome hat. No-one said anything, but I did see some stare at the top of my head.
It wasn’t enough. I posted in Kate’s forum on Ravelry that I was going to clear my projects and stick to simple things until her new book came out. Then I cast on for Boreal. I can’t even tell you how happy this sweater makes me, I am obsessed. I’m going to turn it into a cardigan though, since I seem to find those most useful.
Since taking this picture I’ve finished the body to the armholes, attached the first sleeve and am working up the second. I have lots of family coming this weekend but am sorely tempted to make them fend for themselves because I want to knit this sweater.
Aside from the snowflakes though, I’ve noticed that pretty much everything I’ve knit (or plan on knitting) recently uses two colours. Evidence – Another Agnes, Blue-Eyed Susan, Kabouter, Geysir Stretch, Aurora Expanse. Not sure why, maybe this is what happens as you run down your stash a little? Not that I am short of yarn by any means…
It’s been a tricky week for some reason, but I have perked up thanks to thinking about future crafting happiness. The first – I have good reason to believe that a lovely friend is sending an Embroidery Subscription from Rebecca Ringquist my way. And the second – a while ago I appear to accidentally have signed up for a 3 month fibre club subscription from Hedegehog Fibres. There a still a couple of places I think, and sign ups close soon.
It is lovely that you all like handmade gifts for Christmas. It is also very convenient for me that you all request things, usually exactly one year in advance. I guess that seeing the person sitting beside you open up something lovely makes you want it too, and that’s nice.
Over the past few weeks you have all been especially lovely to me, and I would love to do my usual and knit for each and every one of you. I have even made a list of what you would all like and what I would like to make you.
The thing is though, that now its mid-November and my heart isn’t really in it. Usually by now I only have a couple of things left to make, and at the start of December I am done and feeling smug. According to my list though I still have 7 pairs of socks (2 of which currently on the needles), a pair of mitts, a cushion and a knitted cake to get though, and I don’t think its going to happen.
Here is my new plan. I’d already decided that the things I would make this year are patterns I want to try anyway. Knitting helps me feel better, and I only want to make things I like. I’m going to work through my list at my own pace, if I feel like it, and in no preference to the family member the knitting is for. I’ll keep going until a week before Christmas, and then I’m going shopping to fill in the gaps.
I hope you all understand, and if you’re reading this, spread the word. Right now I’m going to work on my squishy wrap for me, and maybe start something beautiful in handspun for me. I’ll think about you all while I’m doing it.
Love Me x
And in case anybody wonders, the embroidery is a Rebecca Ringquist sampler, which you can get here.
So I’ve been living pretty quietly, and that, combined with some fairly craptastic life events means I haven’t been feeling that chatty. That’s all I’m going to say about it, and I’m doing better. As I try to get back into the swing of things I realise that I have lots of wonderful and fun things going on too.
1. My Pup
Here is wee Penny, very delicately trying to prise the last of her Rhinebeck biscuits from my hand. Yep, my lovely workmates not only go to Rhinebeck and bring me fibre goodies, but they think about my dog too. So nice x
2. Abandoning a planned 2 hour housework session to run about in the muddy woods with Penny. It feels like Scotland is starting to lose any sense of daylight, so it had to be done.
3. Knit-a-longs. I have these coming out of my eyeballs at the moment, but they are all fun and stash-busting. Woolly Wormhead’s 2012 Mystery Hat KAL is almost over, but I’ve loved everything about it. The pattern, the yarn, the Ravelry group… I’ll be kind of sad when I finish the crown tomorrow when the last clue is released, but at least I’ll have an awesome new hat to console me.
Then there’s Stephen West’s ChoreoKAL. It’s hilarious. Stephen is hilarious. I have decided to fully embrace the sillyness and take strange photos of myself. The knitting part is fun too. You know that people are excited about a pattern release when you see a discussion about when Stephen went to bed (going by his last Ravelry posts), where he lives and so what time he might be getting up to release the first pattern.
And then there’s the Cookie A KAL of Knit Sock Love which is now complete and has resulted in 20 pairs of socks and me being awarded the title of ‘Master Baker.’ I’ll post more about this another time, but it was so much fun I’ve signed up for another Cookie KAL, though its a bit less hardcore than last time.
4. The thought of a 6 hour round trip with Mr Saz next week, and me in the passenger seat with a big pile of merino, wool and angora that I get to turn into a massive garter stitch shawl edging. I can’t wait.
So, I’m not quite there yet, but yesterday I wove in the ends on my 97th adult pair of socks. Then I started pair 98 – Hickory (rav link) by Jane Cochran, published in The Knitters Book of Socks by Clara Parkes.
For my 100th pair I want to do something special, but can’t decide! I’m tempted by colourwork, knee socks, and beautiful, tiny intricate cables. Here are the contenders:
My mum sometimes gets in the mood to knit a little. Last time the feeling came over her she got quite interested in felting and tried to make a bag in some random orange yarn.
Felting it did work in that the stitches mushed together and it became very dense, but it didn’t shrink at all and still resembled a strange orange sack. I wish I’d taken photos of it originally.
It was completely the wrong shape to be any use so I offered to do a bit of surgery. I started by cutting a chunk out of the centre as the edges were nice and round at the bottom and I wanted to keep that shape. I split the strip I cut out into two and turned it into handles, sewed in some lining and then handsewed a strip of the lining round the front. This was mainly to hide the sewing lines from the lining but I think it look ok.
My mum made this by knitting a garter stitch base, then picking up the stitches all the way around and knitting up in the round until she ran out of yarn. Pimps!
I’m going to be going away in London next week for Knit Nation and I’d like to try and make a new bag for myself before I go. As well as another skirt and a black jersey top. Hmm….not sure this going to happen!
I just need to finish the second of a pair of socks I’m making my mum while I’m away so I can make her up a little package of crafting when I get back.