Friday, 27 August 2010

Unfinished Friday

I can't believe I've not updated for nearly a week. I am a bad blogger. Then again I've not done a massive amount of bloggable things this week. To make up for it here's a picture heavy blog post of progress and pretty things:

Merino Tencel Laceweight in Flower Power from the Knitting Goddess
This gorgeous butter soft yarn is from The Knitting Goddess and I bought it when she was giving 50% of her sales to the Disasters Emergency Committee (correction) for Pakistan Disaster Relief. Knitting seems to attract charity giving and lots of people on Ravelry have been giving money from pattern or yarn sales often to Medicins sans Frontieres or Doctors without Borders. MSF is supported by lots of knitters, crocheters and yarnies often via p/hop which is a very worthy cause to support.

Peggy Sue
This is an awful photo of Peggy Sue in progess (see there has been some progress). That first sleeve needs about 8 more rows and then there's sleeve 2, buttons and blocking to go.

Iridescent beads

Some very pretty peacock shaded beads from Spellbound Beads. I was rummaging for the shawl pin seen holding Peggy Sue together above and found a tub of beads I'd forgotten about. And they're so pretty!

John's Scarf
John's scarf now has two repeats and I've finally remembered to print out the chart pattern so once Peggy Sue is finished this takes priority. In the meantime it's had a short trip outside to bask in most unusual sunshine. for someone who is afeared of cables I'm quite pleased with this.

And finally, for the non-knitters around some lovely purple clematis which is at it's best at the moment. Sadly this one might have to come out this year so the climbing roses can have more room so I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Starting, finishing and somewhere in the middle

Finished: The second version of the anonymous shawlette is finished and is pleasingly stripy and very warm. After a last minute panic to find more of the purple I'm really happy with the way it's turned out - and with the felted joins that meant I only had 4 ends to weave in. I've got a few test knitters working on this pattern at the moment and hope to release it in September. It's a nice quick knit (10-12 hours for the stripy version) so good for gifts.

Started: John's Scarf in a New Lanark aran yarn - this is an improvised pattern with moss stitch borders and a repeated saxon braid motif linked by wide ribs. I don't normally do cabled work (because I'm a blonde of little brain) but the tutorial on Eunny Jang's blog is very, very good. Since this is John's birthday present I possibly shouldn't be posting work in progress but I thought he might like to see how it's developing.

Somewhere in the middle: No updated picture of this but I've got past the sleeve separation on Peggy Sue and knitted about another inch (then got distracted by the above projects). Because I'm knit the medium since I fall between small and medium in the pattern sizes I'm adding some waist shaping and lengthening the section before the ribbing to make it a full length cardigan. So far so good...

So reasonably productive this week - although no progress on the three designs I have sketched out. As I said, I got distracted...

Monday, 16 August 2010

A nice surprise

I rarely win things so it was most surprising to get a message on Ravelry from Susie at Useless Beauty telling me that she'd picked my comment in her blog competition to win a pot of handmade solid perfume. It was even more of a surprise that it arrived today (well done the Royal Mail - delivering on time unusually) all packed up in silver bubble wrap. Who knew you could get silver bubble wrap.

Most importantly it smells lovely and here's a picture

Following the very productive weekend I am now under the weather which is very annoying as my brain has turned to mush and I can't focus properly (which scuppers my plan to swatch for a fishy themed shawl). However I did make progress on my Peggy Sue yesterday and have now reached the horrible stage of a top-down raglan where you're a few rows off from separating the sleeves and you seem to be knitting a million stitches a row. Still the colour is very nice and the yarn very soft (if shedding a bit)

The little stitchmarkers in this piece are very pretty two tier curly shells which I think I got from the lovely Shirley through a Ravelry karma swap but she also has a shop . I have a fair few of her stitchmarker and also some equally lovely tiger tail ones from Yvette's shop also on Etsy.

And now to take my fevered me for a nap

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Mouth cake

This is a cherry and almond loaf cake which my husband says is mouth shaped. Apologies for the awful photo.

The cake is part of a very busy domestic weekend:
  • Cake baked
  • All hooverable parts of the house hoovered (even the stairs)
  • All sweepable parts of the house swept
  • All laundry done (including a Herculean ironing session by my husband - 2 hours!)
  • Grocery shopping done
  • Stripy version of the unnamed shawlette (see previous post for competition details) knitted up to the border
  • Yarn ordered for the border of the stripy unnamed shawlette...
  • Second sleeve finished on the stripy jumper of doom (otn since January 10th, 2010), only the neckline to go
  • Cast on for a version of Peggy Sue from Knit on the Net in Forsell Touch of Silk DK in Mallard
  • Birthday present for eldest sister posted
  • Both beds changed (I mean the sheets rather than alchemy)
And now I'm feeling tired...

Friday, 13 August 2010

A Friday Finish (and a giveaway)

An anonymous shawlette

This is my latest finished object and will at some point soon be written up as a pattern and available as a Ravelry download. However, there's a hitch - I'm struggling to think of a name for it and a pattern needs a name. This is the draft blurb from the pattern:

"It’s August in Manchester and it’s 14˚C so naturally my thoughts turn to warm and woolly things. For an autumn knit I wanted to play with different textures and was swatching and sketching different stitches for a while before starting this shawlette. In the knitting process this shawlette changed quite radically (clearly not enough swatching and sketching…) but eventually became something that I’m happy with. Whilst it’s quite a plain shawlette the eyelet ridges and the decorative ribbed border keep enough interest whilst still being a relaxing and hopefully stress free project."

So a competition (my first):

Leave a comment on this post with your suggested name for this pattern, some way to get hold of you, and your choice of prize by August 31st at 6pm (BST). I will pick my favourite and the winner will receive their choice of these two prizes:

A 100g skein of Araucania Ranco Multy (4ply, approx. 344m), in PT2307

100g skein of Knitting Goddess 100% wool yarn (4ply, approx. 330m), in Double Rust
Wow me with your clever and creative suggestions please (and keep it clean!)

Monday, 9 August 2010

Bakewell Tart

No spoils from the village fete unfortunately which meant I had to bake. This is a bakewell tart with homemade strawberry jam (and shop bought pastry) using a Nigella Lawson recipe adjusted for individual tarts

I also decided against the Persephone Scarf, started one of my own design, decided against that, planned another shawl... a distinct lack of progress on the knitting front really.

I have started to think about John's Scarf, possibly something like a Saxon Braid cable motif repeated with ribs linking the braids? Or possibly something else.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

A quiet week on the knitting front

Having put Pergola out for test knitting and finished my husband's socks I seem to be struggling to get started on anything. I could finish the stripy jumper I've been working on for months but it's August and I can't seem to summon the will to work on a December jumper (Rowan Scottish Tweed Aran).

I have started a Persephone Scarf in Claudia's handpainted silk lace in the Copper Pennies colourway. The pattern looks well written and Mim Felton patterns are always a joy. Her Adamas shawl was the first laceweight shawl I made and I loved it although don't wear it very often.

I have frogged the cabled shawlette as I wasn't enjoying it any more but I do think there's a pattern idea lurking for me in shawlettes, cables, deep ribbed border...

I have another stole/scarf pattern in the sketching stage. The two stage borders are planned but now I need to decide what to do in the middle. I think it will be called Pavillion, or possibly Vignette - depending on what I do with the middle section.

However today is not a knitting day. Today is a tidying the house and going to the village fete day. The local village fete has homemade beer, wine and jam competitions and hopefully a good cake stall so possibly village fete haul pictures later...