Sunday, 26 April 2015
My plant babies (I'm a plant mama, I have no desire for children nor a particular animal affinity, but I love a good plant) and working on my Olivia shawl.
Making biscuits for stocktake at work.
Knitting toes out in the sunshine and painting my toes with my favourite sparkly polish. Also - that polish is sitting nicely on top of my provisional driving license - because aged twenty four, I had my first ever ever driving lesson this week!
Relaxing in the bath and taking a break from the hard hitting crime novels I usually favour, to read some fluff instead.
And putting on a full face of make up when I have no plans to leave the house.
This week has predominantly been spent at work, bar my driving lesson - which I'm THRILLED about. I lived in London my whole life, if you life within a stones throw of a train station, you don't need to drive. But here in Sussex the bus stop is a twenty minute walk away from my house and the train station is forty five. Whatever they try and tell you, public transport just doesn't work outside of London!
Anyway, I need to get a move on. I have a lot of things I want to get done today - my family have gone on a sojourn to Cornwall and I am very much enjoying having the house to myself - I miss living on my own!
Friday, 24 April 2015
Happy Friday (I'm giddy because I have FOUR DAYS OFF in a row so excuse any excessive use of exclamation marks)! Knitting wise - I cast on for my second Tic-Tac-Toe-Up Sock from Socks From The Toe Up by Wendy Johnson. I knit the toe outside in the sun this week and it's coming along slowly. I'm getting a bit tired of the pattern now, but I'm sure they'll be worth it when they're done! I'm knitting these on 2mm (US 0) needles and using some of my hand dyed yarn.
The majority of this week's knitting time has been spent on the Olivia Shawl - that I'm test knitting for the lovely Nina La Fountaine (host of the Fuzzy Love Knots podcast). I'm not sure when the pattern's going to be released, but the deadline for test knitting is May 4th - so I need to crack on! I'm sorry the photos are a little on the abstract side - but we all know what lace looks like before it's blocked! I'm on the fourth lace repeat with about 24 rows to go, so hopefully I'll be on to the applied edging by next week! This is being knit out of some of my hand dyed laceweight that I had languishing in the stash - I never use laceweight - but I particularly love how the stockinette portion of the shawl is knitting up, the drape is fabulous. So maybe I'll cast on for a Featherweight cardigan soon…
I've made a little bit of progress on my Trekking muted rainbow stripe socks - knit out of Trekking XXL in colour '534'. These have only been worked on while I'm on the bus, or on my tea break at work, so progress is pretty slow - but they'll get there eventually.
I've done a bit more spinning - you'd be forgiven for not noticing though - as it looks remarkably similar to last time I shared my spinning! I'm still working on the BFL/Cashmere/Nylon blend from Lime Green Jelly. It's still the second bobbin and it's taking a long time. I'm going to have a break from it for a while when this bobbin's done - because spinning fine is exhausting!
I've also spent a fair amount of energy and brain power helping my mum with her Poivre and Sel sweater - which is a top down sweater with cable detailing by Elise Dupont.
Note: I haven't been helping her because the pattern's difficult to follow or badly written or anything, because from the chunks of it I've read, it's a brilliantly written pattern, with lots of hand holding (as I like to call it, or 'breathe here, blink here' as the Knitmore's refer to it) - I think it would make a great first top down, in the round sweater pattern.
Anyway. My mum is a perfectly capable knitter, but she stays very much in her comfort zone - no charts, no working in the round, and she panics too much about the tiniest things, so I've been doing lots of tinking back and dropping down to rearrange things. It's making me crave sweater knitting. Maybe I should go back to the Old Romance cardigan, or I could cast on something new…
I'm so pleased it's the weekend - the novelty of having a weekend off is huge (as anyone who works in retail will understand! I've always worked Saturdays, and in my last job I worked Sundays too) - I'm going to spend it knitting, having long bubble baths, shopping and catching up on some podcasts as I've been getting behind recently.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Sunday, 19 April 2015
Admiring the magnificence of the landscape along the South Coast and wearing my Fab Funky Fibres striped socks for the first time.
Hanging out in Brighton and shopping in the North Laines. I think my future home needs a yellow mosaic floor like this one.
Photobooth fun with one of my best friends and lying on the beach after a fish and chip lunch.
What all English seaside towns should look like (in my opinion) and playing on the 2p machines in the arcade.
Hanging out at the beach with this frowny pink fellow (freshly liberated from the 2p machine prison!) while Bekah caught up on her reading. Sidenote: How To Be a Woman is well worth a read. I'm a big fan of Caitlin Moran.
How my garden grows (slowly, that's how).
In case you didn't notice, I spent most of the week at the beach. The weather has been lovely here on the south coast and I'm making the most of living in a seaside town. Lots of ice cream, lots of beach time. I hope you're having a good weekend - I'm looking forward to a roast chicken dinner and some serious knitting time.
Friday, 17 April 2015
It's going to be a short one this week I'm afraid - I've had a house guest most of the week and I've been busy enjoying the good weather and playing at being a tour guide! I don't have any spinning or dyeing, but I do have a little bit of knitting, so let's get started...
I cast on for a shawl I'm test knitting for Nina of the Fuzzy Love Knots podcast. I'm using hand dyed yarn in a heavy lace weight / light fingering weight on size 3mm needles - I need to get it finished by May 4th, so it's jumped to the top of my knitting priority list! Nina's given us permission to share our progress, so you'll hopefully see more of it next week.
I finished two first socks this week. My Tic-Tac-Toe-Up sock only required the ribbing to be re-knit, and a bind off and that's done. I must cast on for the second one or I'll never get it started... The Tic-Tac-Toe-Up Socks are by Wendy Johnson and feature in her book Socks From The Toe Up. I used a skein of my hand dyed yarn.
The project that's had the most work this week is my vaguely vanilla sock - which is an improvised toe up sock, with a 3x1 rib and a short row heel. Last week I'd done the toe and a couple of inches of rib and this week the first sock is finished and the second toe is done. I got a lot knit on bus and train journeys this week - which used to be where I got the bulk of my knitting done, but now I don't live in London, commuting involves a lot more walking! For this sock I used Trekking XXL in colour '534'.
Finally I put just over an inch on my Less Is More shawl by Maanel. This is a free pattern on ravelry, and is an asymmetric triangle shawl, knit on the bias. I haven't worked on this for a few weeks - it's getting pretty laborious as the rows are getting longer and longer and progress is hard to see. This is also being knit out of my hand dyed yarn in a fabulous semi solid coral colour.
I also wanted to share some stitch markers that arrived this week. They're from Crafty Cat Knitty Bits and I have them earmarked for a particular lace project. I love Debs' stitch markers, I have this set too and I've been using them on all my recent projects. I'm a big fan of pretty stitch markers and I find the little ring ones don't catch on my projects.
Okay, so that's pretty much all I have this week. Next week I'll have more, I promise! (I do have heaps of photos from things I've been up to this week, so check back on Sunday if you're interested in my adventures).
Have a lovely weekend everyone, happy knitting!
Sunday, 12 April 2015
My Week In Pictures was a weekly feature when I blogged at Happy Daisy, for about 18 months*. Nothing fancy, just a little photographic round up of my week - photographs of silly little things like tomatoes I'd grown and things I'd found and faces I'd pulled in the mirror - silly little memories that I'd probably have forgotten otherwise. Photographing my week is something I want to get back to - I miss toting my camera around everywhere I go and I want to inject a little more of my everyday life into this blog. There will still be knitting, I'm expecting around a third of the photos I take to be fibre related as that's such a big part of my life, but maybe you'll get to find out a bit more about me too. So, without further ado...
Visiting a new (to me) seaside town and admiring the second hand book shops.
Dyeing yarn a fabulous orange colour and hanging out on the beach.
Easter chocolates, relishing the signs of Spring and planting some seeds.
Winding (or should I say untangling) yarn and a mountain of colourful yarn ends.
And a super misty afternoon at the beach.
Spring is here and I love it. It's so nice not to have to wear proper shoes all the time - I love wandering around the garden barefoot, it's one of my favourite things about the warmer weather. I hope your weekend is going swimmingly, I'm off to plant more seeds.
*if you're interested in seeing some previous My Week In Pictures posts from a couple of years back, you can find them here.
Friday, 10 April 2015
Hi everyone! Happy Friday - this post's a bit later than planned as I had an extra shift at work this afternoon (can't complain, it funds my yarn habit!). Anyway, straight into the knitting talk, this week I have a finished object! It's been a couple of weeks since I've finished anything and I'm pleased to say that my not-so-tiny child's sweater is off the needles.
The pattern is Sirdar 1310 and I used Rico Baby So Soft in colourway '014'. It's for a friend's little girl who'll be one in May - so naturally I knitted the 2-3yrs size, because she's not going to need a sweater in the summer and I wanted it to be roomy enough for her to get a good amount of wear out of it. I really liked working with the yarn, I'm planning a post on my favourite acrylic yarns (because sometimes acrylic is necessary) at some point in the future, and Baby So Soft will definitely be included, it was great to work with.
I put another repeat on my Tic-Tac-Toe-Up socks by Wendy D. Johnson from her book Socks From The Toe Up, knit out of my hand dyed yarn. This first one would've been finished if I hadn't decided to do a Tubular Bind Off* - which was too tight and I couldn't unpick it and it turned into a horrible yarn explosion - that ended with me taking the scissors to my knitting for the first time ever. I was so angry (it was gone 10pm at night, when everyone does their best knitting, I feel! haha) I nearly cut the whole thing up, but managed to restrain myself. Unfortunately most of the ribbing was sacrificed and now looks a state - see below - so I put in Time Out until I can bear to look at it again - when I'll be using Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off instead!
*I've used the Tubular Bind Off before and loved it, so clearly I messed something up this time!
The lace inserts for my Old Romance cardigan by Joji Locatelli are done! Finally. It only took what, six or seven weeks?! Now I can finally start the main cardigan - or at least, I can when I find another set of 4mm (US 6) needles... I know full well I own multiple sets, but can never find them when I need them!
After the nightmare with the Tic-Tac-Toe-Up sock, I realised that I didn't have any Bus Knitting. Tangent for a second - I try to have a small simple project on the needles at all times, for throwing in my handbag and knitting on the bus, or at work, or in the car etc etc. Vanilla socks are perfect Bus Knitting. So, at 10.30pm on Wednesday night I cast on for a new sock - toe up, 3x1 rib, I'll probably do a short row heel when I get to it. I'm using Trekking XXL in the colour '534' which is a fabulous muted rainbow and I love how it's knitting up so far.
I got around two hours of spinning in this week - while I was watching The Voice final on Saturday night - I must move my wheel up to my room, I get most of my spinning done while I catch up on shows and my family and I have very different tastes in television! I'm still spinning the BFL, Cashmere, Nylon blend by Lime Green Jelly (hi Jo, if you're reading!) it's a dream to spin, I love watching the colours change.
Last but by no means least, I got some dyeing done. The above skeins are a blend of purple, grey and black - which I'm really pleased with. Below is a swatch I knitted using some yarn dyed a couple of weeks back - I was unsure about adding the magenta, but I really like how it looks knit up.
I didn't think I'd done all that much knitting this week, but it looks like I did more than I thought! I'm not sure how much I'll get done next week, as I have a friend visiting for a few days, but we shall see.
I hope you have a lovely weekend, I'm hoping to get out into the garden if the weather stays dry - and I have a new(ish) weekly blog series starting on Sunday, so I'll be back then!