Friday, June 30, 2006

Extreme Knitting.

I went to one of my local yarn shops today to see their exibition called as the title suggests 'Extreme Knitting'. The work was done by a lady called Rachel John and was really lovely colourfull pieces, mainly rugs, all knitted on really large needles - now where had I come across that before? Well, the lady who had made the rug I saw on Tuesday was the one who'd told me about the exibition (I really need to learn some names!). The pictures are from postcards of some of the work which were made with up to 100 strands - the weight of them whilst knitting must have been so hard to work with but the finished effect seems worth the effort with the wonderful blending of colours and dense fabric produced. Some of the needles she had on sale were huge and seemed even longer tahn a metre. I may be mistaken as I had Emily with me and she was drawn to the stairs so I couldn't really study them in detail. Talking of which, Emily did seem to enjoy looking at all the yarns and was attracted to all the lovely bright novelty Italian yarns - she does have taste my little angel; expensive taste!

Mum and I are currently toying with going more upmarket with our yarn shopping and have started eyeing up cashmere yarns with the view to making a lacy shawl. If your not convinced take a look at this lace shawl as an example - isn't it fantastic! Definately heirloom knitting! I have so many projects that need finishing before I even start thinking of buying yarn for new projects! I am, theoretically, supposed to be using up my yarn stash! The answer must be - knit faster, surf the web less! The trouble is I've been reading too many other blogs lately and get inspired by some of the wonderful projects I've seen out there. And I certainly don't need to visit Craftster for a while seeing as my last visit there gave me at least 5 new 'must knit' projects (must find 1 and 1/2 balls Rowan Polar cheap somewhere for one - I'd compromise but Polar feels so nice!). However there is a mjor threat to the stash-busting on the horizon. I'm going to visit my Mum next week end. And we're planning a little trip. To Colinette. To look at yarn - just look? Could that ever be possible at Colinette? Look out bank balance! And then when I get home it will be straight to meet the other knitters to confess my yarn-aholic sins! What fun!! Anyway, am going back to try and finish my latest WIP - current status is a completed back and almost done right front. On with the knit!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Tale of the Knit and Natter.

Well I did decide to go for simplicity and started the tie front shrug as seen in the picture. I did also cast on for 'Odessa' but haven't got the right lenght circular needles, mine are way too long and I've just discovered that I don't have 3.5mm DPN's as I thought. So Odessa (brown in the picture) will have to sit on the back burner until I either buy one 3.5mm in the right size or splash out on a new set of shorter bamboo circulars from JoyceSuperShop on e-bay along with some DPN's. Anyway back to the knitting group.

I'd figured out the day before exactly where I needed to get to as even though I've lived on The Wirral for years I still have a dreadful sense of direction in some areas (i.e. most places!). Anyway I arrived at 7.45pm and found I was the first to arrive. I had the usual panic - is it Tuesday? am I in the right place? do I really want to search a pubload of blokes watching the footie to find knitters? And as I was loitering in the doorway I saw people coming in and I recognised the free knitting bag from 'Simply Knitting Magazine' - I'd found them! There were a nice mix of ages and projects and it felt nice to sit and knit in a big group. Actually it felt really natural to be in a big group of people all talking about knitting, spinning, dying and yarns whilst we all knitted. It was a nice way to share information as well and I found out about new yarn shops (well, new to me!) and tips for e-bay and JoyceSuperShop (cunning use of currencies!). There were things we all knew about (knitty) and one lady (I am bad with names so can't produce them now!) said about a lovely kids Jacket from Bergere de France. So wasn't a coincidence when I said 'Do you mean this one?' and produced my latest F/O! It went down we with everyone admiring the yarn. And talking of which the yarn I was knitting (an e-bay YarnParadise special)went down well also - lovely colours, nice and soft.
There's one lady in the group who seems really talented and spins and dyes her own yarns. She'd brought her F/O with put mine totally in the shade (which is why it stayed in my bag for ages). She'd knitted a gorgeous rug on 90cm 15mm needles using 32 strands of yarn ranging from cotton to a whole host of mohair (at least 3 at all times). The result was a dense cosy rug that was so tactile and beautiful.
It was enjoyable and I really didn't notice how time flew and that by the time we left it was nearly 10pm! And of course this meant I was in danger of missing 'Lost'! Thank goodness it's repeated!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Finished object to show off.

Well I've been busy this week what with finishing my curtains at last and finally finishing Emily's Bergere de France jacket, scarf and legwarmers (all save for putting the buttons on which I have to raid Mum's button box for!). The jacket has turned out lovely and I'm really pleased with it. The yarn has knitted up really nicely and is lovely and dense and soft which should be great for when the weather turns cold. I can't wait until Emily fits into it!

Talking of waiting for Emily to fit into something one of my other Finished Objects today is really an old one and actually my first knitted item of clothing. I decided when I was expecting little one that I'd like to knit her something. So, as well as a knitted patchwork blanket, I decided to try amd make a little hooded jacket. I say 'try' as I was 'learning' to knit again for the 4th time after forgetting how to. There was actually a jumper that I'd started the last time I was taught to knit and the poor thing sat round for almost 9 years waiting to be completed in which time I forgot how to knit! Anyway, back to the jacket. As I wasn't sure how long this would take me to knit I decided to knit it in the 12 month size. And then proceeded to finish it before Emily was born. And after sitting in a drawer for over a year it now fits her and I was so proud and pleased to see her wearing something I'd lovingly made for her, mistakes and all (obvious when you know where to look!). So here she is modeling it.

The curtains have made such a difference to our bedroom - it finally looks like a real room now compaired to having blinds and I've slept so much deeper and better since they were put up. I'd have never have thought that simply having blackout lining and a darker room would improve my sleep this much! And sadly I've been really excited about them - opening and closing the curtains has become an enjoyable event!
Anyway tomorrow should have some proper excitement - I am finally going to go to my first ever knitting group. There are actually 2 groups that meet nearby but this lot, The New Brighton Knitters, meet every week compaired to the others who meet in a local yarn shop on a monthly basis. So I'll have to now decide what new project to start - do I want something complicated to show off or something simple so I can knit and natter. And as my Mum pointed out - what knitted item would I wear? Ah well I shall update you later as to how it went and what project got picked out of the following short list: Tie front shrug; Odessa hat; lace capelet; ribbon tee; cotton vest top; and I could go on. I know the tie front shrug should be the simplest, other than Odessa from Grumperina the others I'm sure will need tweaking and concentration. I think the decision has been made really but I know I want to make the others as well. Simplicity should win I suppose. Anyway it's late and my new curtains are calling to be closed!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Curse AOL

Signed on the internet yesterday and discovered that AOL had decided to loose all our favourites. The trouble is that I'd remebered sites that I'd found during some of my web-wandering sessions and have I any idea of where I found them all? Not a clue! Half of these blogs and sites I find are purely by chance and even 5 minutes after I've arrived there I couldn't tell you how I got there! I'm just hopeing I can get them all back as I can't even remember what has been lost.
Talking of which I've had another unproductive knitting evening due to 'Lost' - I just can't keep knitting and watching (at least not without making serious mistakes!). I'm still plowing my way through making my curtains - Okay it looks nice to have two windows in our bedroom but I guess it's like second sock syndrome except it's second curtain syndrome! Plus Emily , my little 1 year old gets too fond of the things I use such as knitting stuff and so I can't really use the sewing machine in front of her without getting her desperate to have a go herself!
I must admit, getting back to the knitting theme, there's one thing I'd love to do this month : WoolFest I do think however that my bank balance just would not survive it! Next year definately! And I'll drag Mum too so I don't feel aas if it's only me going mad with it all! Anyway later this Summer Mum and I have another trip planned to visit Colinette! She worked it out the other week that it's not actually that far to go from her house, only about 2 hours at the most. I can not wait! Just imagine all those colours! Must definately save my pennies for that!
Talking of colours whilst browsing through blogs (Hi Knit-Tigger!) I found this: KoolAidUK So now Kool Aid dyeing won't just be limited to you lot in the States! Will be trying that whilst the weather's nice!
Anyway, talking of nice weather and light nights I'll get back to my curtain making so we can have a nice dark bedroom!

Monday, June 19, 2006

A HaHa! of Triumph!

I have actually created my links by typing out all that code stuff. Big deal you may say - but for me? Yeah, really big deal! And Yeah it worked! Anyway now that I've been on here for way longer than I meant to (about 2 hours longer) I shall depart and try to make some curtains or at the very least knit something! (And do proper stuff like the dishes and clean up - boo!)

Hello Big World!

I never know how the first post should go. But then this is only the second blog I've ever started so far my witterings have been confined to the little backwater that is etribes as per the following link:
As I've mentioned in my last post there I do feel as if I'm in an unvisited backwater but at least it is simple and not beyond my technical knowledge (which as far as computers are concerned is very little bordering on none!) So is blogger going to be scary and difficult to work? I have been putting off the move as really I don't know what I'm doing. Anyway I'll try and see what I can do so you'll have to bear with me as I learn. And hopefully witter about knitting as a priority!
In the mean time do feel free to browse my archive at the above address!