Sunday, May 28, 2006

And now for a sock picture

Hedera is starting to take shape

They're taking a while, but hopefully I'll be able to get them finished over half term.

I've nearly finished the second sleeve of Metis, so there should be FO piccies soon!

Oh, and I also got a lovely pressie from Helen. If I was a good blogger, I would have an artisitic and tasteful picture of it, but as it was chocolate I ate it before I could find my camera. Thanks Helen :)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Finally! Progress Pics

This is Metis so far. It's turning out to be incredibly simple and fast (when I get the chance to atually knit), and I think this is a top that I will wear a lot.

The colour disparity on the first piece is because I was too lazy to work with two yarns, alternating them every few rows. In real life, the difference isn't quite so noticable, and as that's the back and I have very long hair I'm not overly concerned by it.

The Hedera socks are also coming on nicely, now I've finally managed to commit the pattern to memory. There are a few mistakes in the first few pattern repeats, but nothing major. There'll be a progress piccie of them soon, once they're a teeny bit bigger.

A friend of mine is visiting from Swizerland, and she's a knitter too, so tomorrow we're going to go and check out the Wool Baa. Claire is my only "real life" knitting friend, so I'm really looking forward to going yarn shopping with someone!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Sock wool!

This is the sock wool I bought last week

The colours are a little darker than they appear on this picture but I appear to be going through a reddy pink phase. It's funny, as I don't normally wear these colours and didn't conciously set out to choose sock yarn all from the same colour palate but I'm feeling really inspired by them.

The two balls at the front are the Regia Silk which began their transformation into Hedera earlier today. The two behind that are Regia Bamboo which is the softest sock yarn I've ever felt. The ball on the far left at the back is Regia Havannah, but I'm not sure what the name of the colour is. There is a picture on the ball band of the yarn knitted up and it looks very similar to Opal Rainforest Flamingo, just a little lighter. The yarn in the middle of the back row is Regia Uni and I've got two 100g balls of this which I'm planning on using for knee high cabled socks. and finally, the one on the left is Regia Canada in Manitoba. This is a nice stripy one that is screaming "jaywalkers" at me.

I bought all of these from this seller on ebay, who is fantastic. She's really helpful and very speedy.

Metis continues, albeit slower than expected. This is partly due to a demanding baby badger, but a horrendous hangover that lasted all Saturday might also have had a tiny role to play in this!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Posh socks

Not much knitting progress to report. I had hoped to nearly finished with Metis, but I've been feeling shattered the last few days and so have barely picked up the needles. What I have done, though, is joined the posh yarns sock club. I can't wait to start getting those little packages of cashmere goodness each month!

Speaking of socks, I don't actually have any OTN at the moment, most unlike me. I shall have to try and remedy that as soon as possible. I've got some lovely burgundy regia silk that I think might look good as Hedera, so will have to dig out the DPN's :)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I'm not feeling happy. I've been knitting like a posessed Badger on Metis and have finished the back and most of the front. I've been purchasing sock wool too, including a very soft bamboo sock wool that I've never seen before. I went to watch the FA Cup on saturday and Liverpool won. I should be bouncing off the walls with happiness but I'm not, and that's all because of my camera.

I have spent hours today trying to take a decent photo of the sock wool and Metis, but the camera does not want to cooperate. I accept that I live in a slightly darker than average house, but it's far from being a cave, so the fact that all the pictures look like they've been taken under a blanket at midnight on a moonless night has made me irritated. There is also the fact that it keeps turning itself off after 1 minute. And that it eats batteries at a ridiculous rate.

So, instead of the most recent pics, I shall have to show you this one I took last week instead

This is the cotton angora I bought from Pictish a few weeks ago. The colour is very accurate in this photo and it feels incredibly soft. I'm still not sure whether it will get turned into something for me or for the baby Badger. I've always been a bit wary of pink, as I always thought it clashed with red hair, but now I'm not so sure it does. I shall have to think on this one.

I've also realised that I've been blathering on about Metis without actually posting a picture of the finished article. Now this could be a good thing, as if mine looks very different from the one in the pattern book people might not realise, but in the interests of good blogging I feel I should post the picture.

We shall just have to wait and see if mine ends up looking even remotely similar...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The start of a beautiful love affair

How can anyone not love this yarn?

This picture shows the colour much better than yesterday's snap. Every time I look at it I see new shades in it and a fresh new feeling of yarnlove overcomes me. I love this yarn so much I decided that I would treat it properly, with the respect it deserved (no quick fumble and squeeze, then being shoved to the back of the cupboard for this baby!).

Firstly, I wound it by hand into balls. This caused the first few feelings of irritation in our relationship but together we overcame them. Yes, the skeins were a bit tangled with a few more knots than I would have liked, but the yarn is so slippy that the untangling wasn't too arduous. We were back on track and looking forward to taking our friendship to the next stage.

Next, I knitted a swatch. I measured my gauge and had a little moment of doubt - it was waaaay off. I decided to pop my precious little swatch in a nice relaxing bath and then let it relax in the sun (I'll gloss over the fact I had stuck pins in it - that's only done in 'special' types of love stories, and mine is not like that). After the swatch was dry I re-measured and was heartened to find that the yarn does stretch massively when wet and so my gauge was nearly spot on.

I cast on for Metis, full of happy thoughts about our future. We could go to nice country pubs, the theatre, not so nice inner city pubs and even school together. Metis would be perfect for all occassions.

I still don't know what it was that made me look at my swatch again. A sixth sense, maybe, that it couldn't really be this easy. When I looked at it, it seemed to be smaller than after I had measured it. I measured again and it had shrunk back down to it's pre-blocked dimensions. I could have felt downhearted here but I chose instead to see the good. This was clearly a yarn that could be treated quite harshly (I'm a vigorous blocker) and yet would slowly return to it's original size. This means no matter how poor my laundering skills I am unlikely to end up with a jumper down to my knees with sleeves to match.

I swatched again on 4.5mm needles and still no gauge. 5mm, gauge still off. 5.5mm, got gauge! Except that now I didn't like the drape of the fabric. It seemed too holey and the stitch definition just looked wrong. This was the point where love was truly demonstrated. I did maths. Real maths, with sums and everything! I decided I liked the effect best on 4mm needles (my original swatch) and also this had nice easy numbers to work with. I sat with pencil in hand and worked out what size to knit based on my gauge, their sizings, my measurements and I think I'm sorted. Instead of knitting the 34" size I'm going to knit the 38" and if my sums are right then I should end up with a sweater the right size. In fact I'm sure I will, cause when I'd done my sums I got my Dad to check them for me and he corrected them and gave me the right numbers to use!

So I've cast on, and now we've overcome our first relationship glitch the rest should be smooth sailing (and if you believe that you're even more gullible than me!).

Oh, and thankyou for all your comments yesterday. It's nice to know that people are actually reading this blog and sharing their opinions and stories :)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Pinch me!

I must be dreaming. You know when you imagine your perfect yarn shop? You picture a light and airy shop, staffed by knowledgable people who are passionate about knitting, places to sit and knit, magazines to flick through and shelving stocked high with beautiful and unusual yarns. Well I have found a shop that is all this and more.

Yesterday I was driving to my Dad's in the evening when I something caught my eye. It looked for all the world like a sign saying 'Bergere de France', but I thought I must be imagining it. On the way home I drove as slowly as I could (much to the consternation of the car behind me) and there it was! An honest to goodness yarn shop! I tried not to get my hopes up - there is nothing worse than having expectations of beautiful yarn and then them being crushed by an avalanche of fun fur. So, when I decided to take a little trip there this lunchtime I was cautious in my optimism. Yes, they had Bergere de France but maybe that was it. Maybe it would be acrylic central, novelty yarn being crammed into every nook and cranny. There might even be Loopas.

They do indeed have a little bit of acrlic. I think I saw some fun fur too. But these were at the back of the shop and in a definite minority. What the wonderful and lovely Jill did have was Noro, Louisa Harding, Laines du Nord, Collinette and more! There was a small amount of Debbie Bliss, masses of Bergere de France, the cutest buttons, fantastic books and patterns, samples knitted up and tables and chairs to sit at and knit. There were knittng magazines to browse through and a table and chairs for little people to sit at and play (there was a toybox too).

Jill, the owner, has said she will be running some classes and maybe a knittng group too. She's welcoming suggestions of what to stock and when I asked about sock wool said that she would be getting some Opal in soon.

Obviously I couldn't leave this Aladdin's cave of woolly treasure without a purchase or two (hey, local small shops need our support!) and so this is what I got

I got two Collinette books, Muse and Jelly Allstars, a Bergere de France pattern, some ladybird buttons and 4 hanks of Collinette Lassoo in 'Summer Berries' colourway. I'm planning on knitting 'Metis' from Muse, and all plans on finising off current WIP's have vanished. I love Collinette so much!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The postman always rings twice

Well actually that's not true. He knocks once, with extreme force and volume. When he does this when you are trying to get a small person to have their afternoon nap it is incredibly irritating and makes me want to scream obscenities at him. However, today he redemmed himself, as he came bearing packages of goodies!

First up was a book I had bought from Bronte

I've only had a quick look through this, but there are several patterns that look as though they'd good to knit, and as a self-confessed cableaholic I will no doubt find something to help satisfy those cabley urges :)

The second parcel contained 10 balls of Debbie Bliss cotton angora in a beautiful dusky pink. No photo unfortunately, as my new camera hasn't yet arrived, but as soon as it does I'll post one. I've already got 10 balls of this, so am thinking I should have enough to make a nice long cabled cardi for autumn. I bought this yarn from the lovely Pictish, who really should get her own blog (go on Ali, you know you want to!).

When the camera finally gets here there will be photos of all my WIP's - I've started rounding them up in preparation for their mugshots and am slightly alarmed at just how many there are. Hopefully by making them public I'll shame myself into doing something about them!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

And so it begins

I have never been the kind of person to resist peer pressure and so decided to produce my own blog. I freely admit to being a knitter who cannot resist jumping on bandwagons, and as this whole knit blog malarkey has got so prolific I just had to get me one.

Having looked at the first ever posts on other blogs, it seems that the standard way to begin is to introduce myself and summarise my knitting life. Seems a tad dull, but here we go: I'm 28, a teacher, a single parent, messy, a hoarder, prone to spells of depression and addicted to tea. That's me, and I think the knitting history is far more interesting. I began knitting when I was 6, having been taught by a lovely dinner lady at school. Recently I have come to realise that any naive conception I had about knitting being "a quaint little hobby" have disappeared over the last 2 years and I am now sucked into knitting in a way I never thought possible. I love knitting cables, socks and lace. Fair isle scares me, but not as much as steeking does.

So there we go, this is me and my knitting. The next post will relate to current knitting projects and suchlike, and there may even be pictures! Try to contain your excitement til then...