Sunday, January 27, 2008

Seriously photo heavy post!

Ya know how I can never be bothered to update my photos.... I finally got my butt in gear so I got some pics for you today.

1: Dahlia

This project is now a bit too big for my work bag so I have had to shelve it a bit since I have smaller projects to take with me on the go. I just need a lot of time now to get cracking on it, but I still love it atm.
As this has quite a low scoop on the front, the cash iroha was making quite a saggy neckline. In order to fix that I decided to crochet the picot edging on instead of having to pick up all of the neckline stitches and also, the hand dyed silk I've used has made it a bit more substantial to counteract the sagging.

This is a closeup of the picot edging. The silk is a blend of green and teal so goes quite nicely with the cash iroha.

This overview shot was taken at my moms on the sofa! At least you can see here how it's slightly tightened the neckline up. The crochet edging wasn't that difficult to be honest and I'm a real novice with crochet!!! However to show you the source I used for this crochet mastery.....

A not at all clear pic of the page from Debbie Stoller's 'Happy Hooker' book.

I find the diagrams they use for crochet pattern shorthand quite confusing at the moment but a combination of written instructions, diagram and clever pictures has helped me immensely with starting to learn crochet.
Which leads me onto my next project......

2: The Garden Scarf

By just looking at the finished product, I thought it would be super-duper difficult to do. Though last night I decided to stop being a chicken- it's not as though I'm gonna get 40 lashes for getting it wrong is it?! And so....

Voila!!!! My first crochet flower! I know seasoned crocheters could scoff and laugh but I was immensely proud of my little achievement. So there! I mean... I saw the diagram for the flower and thought "yeah right" and nearly fainted!

It looks like some fancy pentagram-style cult symbol that should be painted on the floor in goats blood! Ok so I watch too much made-for-TV sci-fi but it's scary nonetheless.
Hopefully the finished product will look like this:

I think as I've used the same silk as I used for my Dahlia neckline edging that I'm going to use blues and greens in different combinations and it can be a semi-co-ordinating scarf for the spring.

3: Fetching
Another addition to WIP city is Fetching. I'm being lazy and not adding in links today but nearly eveyone will know it's from! Way past jumping on the bandwagon (that left years ago) I've started this a zillion years after everyone else has and really it's more a work WIP that will fit in my bag and confuse everyone in the tea room as they think I'm knitting using a shiny pink porcupine!

All the details for these projects are on ravelry btw but I'm using 3.75mm dpns (pretty pink metallic ones I got free!) with Rowan Calmer in that purple shade. As I have rediculously small wrists compared to the rest of me I have made these smaller but have added rows into the pattern repeat so I still get the length required. I've only got 1 and a bit repeats to do before the shaping and fiddly bits come in.

** I had to abandon posting for a sort while to go and put the sunday roast in... completely forgot about putting the beef in the oven so we're in for a very late dinner!!!**

Ok, beef is in and I can get back to showing you what Seth and I have been doing this morning.

Here Seth is painting with Crayola "Mess Free" paints that are white until they react with the special paper that shows up the colour. Fantastic concept though "mess free" is a stretch, if you get the paint on anything it's not coloured. He also has the "soft sticks" which are like crayons int the same concept. I managed to get the two packs for £3.00 each in the sale from the Early Learning Centre- a bargain when they were originally £12.00! I have seen the marker option in Morrisons for £4.99 so might get those as well at some point. The colouring paper and books in the range can be used with any of the media as well so it's sort of interchangeable.

In my day we had these markers that came with a 'magic' white marker that could change the colour of the ink if you went over the colours. I think black changed to pink, red to yellow... and so forth.

Here is Seth playing with his chalks as well. He likes the chalk and this clever book means he can erase what he's done and colour (scribble) on the pictures again and again! I know the majority of the pictures I've put up are Seth and art but it's pretty much the only activity he stays still enough doing that I can get a picture! He's usually charging around causing mayhem!

Ooh... Good News!

I have finished my degree. The dratted cursed Honours Project has been marked and I shall be officially graduating in May with a BSc Biomedical Science (Hons) most likely to be a 2:1. The remaining obstacle is my professional portfolio to make me an IBMS state-registered Biomedical Scientist. Hopefully it will only be a few more months. Yay!

On that note of bliss and happiness I shall go and try and get some of the dinner prepared! I think my DB will cry when he finds out dinner will not be ready until 4!
mwah x

Saturday, January 26, 2008

UK Swap Question 2

Q: Do you subscribe to any magazines (knitting or otherwise)? Or do you prefer to purchase magazines at the newstand? Do you subscribe online to any knitting magazines/newsletters? What does a knitting magazine need to have to catch your fancy and get you to fork out that well-earned cash?

A: I used to subscribe to Vogue knitting and Simply Knitting magazines, but have since ended the subscriptions. Vogue was a little unreliable since it had to be mailed from the US.... might start up the Simply Kntting one again. I also buy when I can Interweave Knits and a few other less known ones like Knit1, Lets Knit (new-ish) and other ones that have a unique or quirky patterns for the young or individual knitter that doesn't want the same v-neck cardi in 15 subtle variations of the same style! I may not necessarily make the patterns- a lot use US yarns- but the idea often sparks my knitting enthusiasm or creative processes.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

UK Swap Questionnaire

Part One: Crafting

Do you knit, crochet, or both?
I knit mostly but have started to learn crochet.

What do you like to make? Do you have a favourite project?
I do love making felted bags and cardigans mostly, though I make a lot of gift scarves too!

Do you have a favourite type of fiber or brand of yarn?
Even though I love pure wool, it makes me itch so I like wool/other fibre blends that are soft and squishy. I love wool/silk combinations because of the lustre.

Do you have a least favourite type of yarn?
The crinkly cheap acrylic as it squeaks when you knit with it!

Do you do any other crafts?
I've tried many things from jewellery making and general sewing, but I spin occasionally too but with a drop spindle.

What knitting do you bring ‘on the go’?
Mostly smaller projects like handwarmers or a scarf. I find I get SSS so try not to start socks!

What do you carry your ‘on the go’ knitting in? Do you want something new?
I usually shove it in my work bag, but end up losing my dpns! I may try those dpn holders to avoid skewering myself on them as well!

Are there any knitting gifts (book, toy, yarn, item, tool) that you have been lusting over?
I'd really love to get a kit of knit picks options so that I don't keep having to buy more and more circular needles! There are so many yarns I'd love to try eventually like malabragio or sea silk etc that I haven't gotten around to trying yet.

Part Two: Your Favourites

What is your favourite colour? What is your least favourite colour?
I love aubergine/dark purple and teal/petrol blue/turquoise combinations. I like a lot of colours really.

What scents/smells do you like? What don’t you like?
I like fresh, zingy scents with a hint of flowers.

How do you like to pamper yourself? (bubble bath, hand creams, massage, manicure)
I love and adore lush products like the aqua mirabilis bars which scrub the bad days at work away!! Also, I'm always in need of a good hand cream to soothe my hands which crack and get sore from the harsh chemicals I use at work.

What goodies to you like to treat your tummy with? (chocolate, biscuits, truffles, etc.)
Ooh... I like dark chocolate, pralines/truffles.... but dislike white chocolate altogether.

Do you prefer tea or coffee while you knit? Any particular kind? Favourite mug/cup?
I drink tea mostly at home ('normal' tea) but when out and about I love coffee like caramel machiato's from Starbucks!!

Do you listen to/watch anything while you knit? (TVshow-Along, movies, music, podcasts)
I love listening to music like fall out boy, avenged sevenfold, lost prophets... mostly emo/rock. I love TV shows like scrubs, heroes, CSI and blood ties and mostly knit watching the tv or whatever is on my laptop.

Part Three: Living & Past-times

Where do you live in the UK? (General idea not address)
I live in Wednesbury which is in the West Midlands.

Have you always lived here, or did you grow up somewhere else?
I grew up in wednesbury, moved a little further to wolverhampton and then came back to wednesbury again.

If you could visit anywhere in I'd world, where would you go?
I would love to go to Prague to see all the lovely architectural buildings. I don't really crave the sunshine, but to see places of interest.

If you couldn’t go to a knitting group, what other kind of gathering would you go to? (book club, tea party, yoga class, jewelery class, etc.)
I'd probably try another type of craft like spinning, jewellery making etc. I like to have an outlet for my creativity in contrast to my scientific mind I use at work.

What’s your style? (elegant, traditional, glamourous, girly, natural, sporty, outgoing, etc.)
I guess I'm a bit of a jumble- I love the rock/emo style, but have a vintage girly side to me that likes to appear lady like without being old fashioned or frumpy. I'm not a flowery person yet I still like delicate colours. I'm not at all glamorous and don't wear hardly any jewellery or rediculously high or uncomfortable shoes!!

Final Part:

Any allergies/preferences (fiber-wise or treat-wise)?
Well, pure wool yarns do tend to make me itch, and treat-wise I am allergic to kiwi so tropically flavoured things are a bit of a no-no!

Anything we missed that you’d like your partner to know?
I rarely use laceweight or 4-ply, mostly dk/aran/chunky yarns as I can be an impatient knitter!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

And the winner is..!

Ok so hardly anyone entered, but nonetheless Ruth is the winner of my blog contest. She came up with the idea of the cloud bolero by Ysolda. Well done! I really do like this bolero and shall definately use my bargain chunky for this. Thankyou Ruth! Just a short post as I am getting ready for an improptu gig at the Wolverhampton Civic Hall. Avenged Sevenfold are playing there tonight and since there are tickets left my little sister in law and myself are going to see if we can get some. Fingers Crossed! Right, I have a little sister to get all rocked up (plus me in little over an hour!)

I'll be updating properly soon,
Fi x

Monday, January 14, 2008

What do I do now?!

OH NO!!!!! I have finished watching Heroes Series 2 which is only 11 episodes (due to writers' strike in LA) and I have forever to wait for series 3 now! However..... all is not lost as I have started downloading Blood Ties series 2 so I'll have something to watch while knitting today in bed. The Blasted Lurgy turned into a full blown head cold so I got my FIL to help me drop Seth to nursery so I have some time to rest up and hopefully feel well enough to work tomorrow. Tuesday nights now have CSI (las vegas) back on with the new series plus Saturday is CSI:NY hurrah! Just means midweek is a bit empty, though I guess I could work on the portfolio if I felt so inclined.

Well I have pictorial proof of progress!

I know this is a bit of a dodgy picture but I was at my moms house and took it with Dahlia on a blanket over the armchair. I reckon I got about 8 inches of cabled ribbing left.

Here is an upside down shot of the cabled rib. These photos are taken on my phone so I know they're not the best quality.

I think I might start the sleeves on dpns soon though so I know I'll have enough. If I knit forever and ever on the 'skirt' I could possibly run out for the edging and sleeves!

Well there's a week left until I choose the competition winner, though it looks as if Ruth is a dead cert atm lol as she's the only one entered! Ah well I can't say I'm surprised as I've been out of blogging circulation for some time. Ho Hum, I'll try update asap. Gonna finish my tea, albeit cold, and maybe start on Blood Ties me thinks.

mwah x

Edited post..... my Blood Ties supposed to be series 2 are actually series 1 Goddammit! What's a girl to watch?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Blasted lurgy

Hey guys

No pics in today's post but I promise to post some soon. I'm doing quite well with Dahlia now. I'm about 2 inches into the cabled 'skirt'. I've been taking it to work with me so I can get 1 or two rows done at breaktime/lunchtime. With over 200 titches to a round it really takes a while to cable every other knitted rib and also with 2 rows plain rib between the alternate cables. I know that wasn't the best description of the pattern lol but I have lurgy. Lurgy is a non-specific feelign of general crap-ness. I don't have a cold, but ache all over and have a disgusting coldsore which makes me feel all dirty and skanky. My face now itches all over and the pain in the nerves is giving me combined earache/toothache. And my back is non too good either. Poor me. I know there are tons of people far far worse off so I'll stop complaining now!

I'm also thinking of a generous de-stash. This is jumping on the bandwagon of Ruth and Dawn I know, but it saves the hassle of listing on ebay (who buys in January anyway!) and also feels nice to give to a good cause- knitter's stash!

And so I need to find a topic on which to ask a question for my January Giveaway Competition...

I'm offering up green/teal laceweight merino or my very own handspun (!) one sportweight or thick and thin undyed blue faced leicester or a 100m ball of silk in pinks and purples.

The competition: A funky feminine pattern (or own idea if one wishes) for a shrug/wrap type affair in chunky yarn. I have roughly 480m of chunky (8mm) yarn in black/grey marl that I would like to use for a functional yet funky piece that is perfect for keeping off the chill whilst knitting/blogging.

Vital stats: for the purpose of the excercise I guess I ought to divulge I am a size 14/36 inch chest.

Deadline: Monday 21st January. The most appropriate design for me will be rewarded and the choice of prize is up to you. I shall also consider giving out to more than one blogger if there are two ideas equally as good.

I do have a significant amount of stash I would like to re-home and will post up a list once I have had a good rummage as to what I should get rid of. Also, I have some hand-spinning equipment to re-home if anyone is interested- all I'd like for it is postage paid or maybe a stash swap.

Must go to bed now if I am to have any chance of having a remotely good day at work tomorrow! Good night all!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Warm welcome

Hi folks! Firstly I'd like to say a big thanks to the people who welcomed me back to the land of blogs and it actually means a lot to me!

Secondly- I've been making some progress on Dahlia. I'm almost at the point where I can join and work in the round. I have 3 rows and then I have to slip sleeve stitches onto waste yarn and cast on extra stitches for the front neckline.

The lighting is a bit yellowy because of being inside and 'energy-efficient' light bulbs. As you can see, my 5mm circular is a bit shorter that called for but it was the only one I had. I just hope that the 5.5mm I need for the 'skirt' of the jumper isn't too long- impossible to work in the round otherwise.

On a different topic altogether....
Seth and I stayed home today as I hurt my back a bit yesterday at work and Seth is cutting a second molar. I hate it when he's teething. Bad back- I can cope... Bad back and no sleep whatsoever- no way could I have lasted the day at work. At the moment it seems they're using "tough love" to get me super-independant. Basically I have to get on with being busy and stressed and have no help at hand or so it seems. Thursday afternoon the diluent kept running out on the analysers I was working on as it was so busy and the diluent boxes are 26kg each! I wouldn't ususally lift these boxes as I have light duties due to my back problems but being in my own..... hence being super sore today!

And so... Seth and I had a sometimes lovely/sometimes horrid day but these pics were taken when he was a bit more manageable:

These are as it says on the tin- Seth playing with his crayons and colouring book. He'd already played for ages with his non-toxic felt tips and made lovely pictures I'm sending to my mum and sis for get well 'presents'.

And a little later here he is looking at his Thomas the Tank Engine book with the sounds at the side. He really loves painting and drawing and really likes books at the moment. I think it's great that he's creative. I wasn't brave enough to give him free range with paints at home though!

I'm watching friends reruns for now and may watch 'Die Another Day' for a Pierce Brosnan fix at 9, so will get some knitting done hopefully. Will have to check on Seth again first though, he's so wriggly that I have to keep putting his covers over him!

I bid you farewell til my next post x

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

On a roll

Well I have actually started Dahlia!

The Cash Iroha is absolutely wonderful. I thought it might be a little scratchy like the kureon, but even though it still has the classic Noro loosely-spun thing going for it, it it actually still nice and cuddly. The silk in it gives it a lovely sheen so that even though it isn't variegated there is still a subtle colour difference due to the fibres taking the dye differently. I really love it can you tell? Sure it isn't as squish as say... DB Cashmerino but it has a really organic feel about it somehow- especially as you get the odd slubby bit now and again.

Ok I sound dead geeky there but it's a little review I had going haha. The pattern so far seems ok, though it seems scary that I'm going to have 261 stitched before I join the round! The first part of the yoke is knitted 'flat' on a circular because the front and back necklines are different depths. The sleeves are cute because the section for the sleeve when you cast on says 16st (for the M size) and on the first set up row, those 16 st are knitted with 'make1' between them giving this ruched shoulder effect that makes the puff sleeve. Very clever! This is the first time I've seen this and I really liked how it was done with minimal fussing.

Ok so I have a picture showing about 3 and a 1/2 inches of stockinette...

My achievement for today so far- boring to most of you, but actually impressive for me since Seth has been a terror for approx 40% of today. I think his "terrible 2's" tantrums may be kicking in at 16 months! He's really frustrated with things as if he knows what he wants to do or say and can't express himself in any other way than smacking or kicking me. He actually hurts me so I've tried the ignoring him until he calms down, offering him an alternative if it's something he's not allowed to do, putting him on the floor, shouting at him.... nothing seems to have the desired effect. He's not like it 24/7 but those moments do tarnish the day. He has such a happy, cheeky personality and I really don't want him to grow into a terror. He really did inherit my impatience and temper- his dad is really laid back so we compliment each other in a way.... and annoy each other as well sometimes!

So at the moment I'm blogging my ponderings after watching "Knocked up" on the laptop and knitting and I'm listening to Fall Out Boy "The Carpal Tunnel of Love". I adore this band and not just because the bassist/writer is lush! Tomorrow I have to get some work done on my professional portfolio and I'm taking Seth to nursery as normal so I have some time alone in which to crack on. The folder has to basically prove my worthiness to practice biomedical science in a day-to day setting and also alone at night 'on-call'. This folder is the last obstacle, other than the interview that comes with it's completion, between me and being a qualified biomedical scientist.... and I have until the end of January!

Right, I might fit in a row or three before hitting the sack.... G'night x