Sunday, April 27, 2008

Boo here I am!

Hey guys!

I know I've been hiding for 2 weeks but... o.k. don't have much of an excuse to be honest. There has been way too much time on the laptop swapping on ravelry and still I couldn't quite be bothered to blog. Life happens huh.

I have had some great parcels over the last few weeks though! UKarma swaps is the best/worst thing in my little knitting lifetime at the moment. I find so much support, inspiration and of course yarn (!) from these guys.... but the knitting itself has taken a bit of a knock! I have finished a my fetching mittens though...

I have to say that I absolutely L.O.V.E. these mitts! I'm glad that I forced myself to get them off the needles; 1000 modifications and all; and make them to fit me. I've had lots of lovely comments about them too... so many that I have a long list of non-knitting people who want wristwarmers. Ahhh well I know what everyone i getting for birthdays and christmasses! Trouble is it's nearly the end of spring.... well actually no it isn't is it? Not in rainy england anyway.

And so I have cast on a pair of 'Extra Warm Kureyon Wristers' from ravelry pattern library for my sister Jose. Only I've used Noro Silk Garden I got from UKarma swaps. Jose saw this yarn at my mums a few weeks ago (I'd been to the PO depot to get a zillion parcels) and claimed it for some wristwarmers. See not all the yarn is for me! The colour is a purple/rusty orange/grey colourway.

I have been making slow painstaking progress on the Hexacomb cardigan too. Trouble is with this project atm is that there is 194 stitches on the 4mm circular addi. All of which are 100% cotton and non stretchy. In turn I get massive cotton related RSI in my right thumb and could cry after about 3 rows. Also, the purlside row has to be counted and patterned so can't just zip bacwards and forwards. I think after another inch or so I can separate the fronts and back and it will be easier going for me. I like the pattern to look at and making it because I love the style of the cardi. I knew all along that I'd hate knitting it though!

I am a bit further along than this- I took this pic for the ravelry project avatar. I've nearly finished the ball of cotton. This particular brand has got 200m or so to a ball and I've nearly got to the AH without changing balls; even if it's a cropped cardi I'm impressed.

I've also taken a little trip to fibreville. I was sorting stash for swaps last week and found my turqoise merino... started spinning it just because I could and all that.... and now have this:


I bought this from an etsy store (first etsy purchase) called Felt Studio UK. I was a bit nervous though goodness knows why- maybe the $ thing or never using it before but the service was amazing. Bought it thursday evening- here saturday morning. The rosewood colourway is bigger, but I got both plus p&p for about $33... about £17. I was well impressed with the quality and softness, plus as I started spinning the 'beach' last night it was way easier than spinning the merino. In fact I've spun about 1/3 of the beach already! I've already had a look at her stuff again. Oh dear. Well the great spring destash has made some room at least. In fact I paid with th fibre from some yarn-cash in my paypal account- so didn't spend "real" money!

Ooh.... I had some yarn come last week which is fab. It's similar to malabrigo in texture and thickness:

The colour is less mauvey and more lilaccy but is so gorgeous. I'm thinking of making it into some of these or even these. Both are definately me!! Can you tell I've gotten cought up in some sort of wristwarmer disease? I've even joined the Fingerless Glove Fanatics on ravelry! They are hosting a May KAL and I've joined up... though I'm finding it hard to decide on what yarn to use. The pattern is 'Bronte's Mittts' and seems to need a DK weight though the pattern uses two strands of a mohair and koigu held together. Hmmmm. Still pondering and only have a few days til CO. Never done a KAL before either!

Right, Seth is demanding that I play with him.... he's covered in crayola markers.... you can hide the pens but he still manages to find them. At lease they're not on the walls ;o)

See ya x

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring Destash

Hello there

Well, a little progess is more than none as they say.

This week, I have managed to finish and post the Kitchen swap items, get half way through Fetching Mitten #2 and I have cast on for the Hexacomb cardigan.

Through no fault of anyone but myself, I didn't really do as much Portfolio work as I really should have but I suppose that's no surprise! I really lack self discipline when I have no fixed deadline to work to. Unfortunately, when I get to work tomorrow I suspect that my deadline will have been set and I'll have just about a few weeks to get it finished and prepare myself for the Big Day. That is... being interviewed for my qualification. Nail biting stuff!

Well this is a little round up of this week's little achievements really. I haven't quite done enough on the Hexacomb cardi to warrant a picture- the fronts and backs are all cast on together then separated at the armholes, so casting on 194 stitches in mercerised cotton was a chore. Last night I managed to get about 18 rows of pattern done.

I did a little bit of baking midweek:

This here is banana cake. It was so yummy I literally ate half the cake before lunchtime! Good thing it's considered a 'low fat' recipe then! The recipe was just from a friend and not out of a book or anything so I don't suppose it'll hurt to tell ya ;o)

Banana Cake (Low fat- ish!)

3/4 cup Caster sugar (I used 'light' sugar which is 1/3 sweetener to cut down on the kcals)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup plain flour
3/4 cup self-raising flour
3 eggs
3 bananas mashed
pinch bicarbonate of soda

*whisk oil and sugar together and add eggs
*add bananas
*fold in the flour and bicarb
*grease a loaf tin and pour in mixture
*180 degrees for 45 minutes, check middle with a knife, adding 10 mins as needed til the middle is firm
Voila. Don't burn yourself trying to eat it as soon s it's done ;o)

As part of the 'spring destash' I have been getting rid of odd balls and stash I'm bored with and such on ravelry.
It's gone surprisingly well and I've managed to send out quite a bit. I've just managed to sell some too which is a bonus. Although... I was supposed to be selling my spinning stuff too as I never get around to doing any. As you know... when you get it all out, you tend to try it out etc etc and never got around to destashing the fibre.... instead I got this done:

This is merino, which I'd never spun up before. It is as fine as I usually spin it, so will need plying for it to be of use to me, but I enjoyed doing something different. So I guess it's staying!

And lastly......

The new hair. I love it.

Check me out on ravelry if ya want, I'm the usual 'scarletprincess' on there. Please aid the destash :o)

Monday, April 07, 2008

purple rules! OK

Hey there!

I have a half-finished WIP (!) and an unlikely one at that.

Here is Fetching in her purple glory-ness. Iam making this pair in a yarn thinner than specified to create a more snug fit because I have teeny-tiny wrists and I about as much guessed that using the DB Cashmerino Aran would make them too big. Here I've used Rowan Calmer for elasticity, snugness, and a blend that won't make me itch.

Here is the thumb side view. I thought from reading the instructions that the thumb would be a b***h to do but it took me a matter of minutes to do really. I have altered the pattern to allow for Calmer being thinner by making the pattern repeat 8 rows long instead of five and I like the slightly longer cuff. I've cast on the second one too so I'm hoping to do these fairly quickly now. I first cast them on in January according to my Ravelry notes and just left them once I'd gotten to the long stretch w/o cables. I think the break will mean I wont suffer from SMS (second mitten syndrome) as the cables are the other way around on the right mitt and it's been ages since I started the left.

There is another reason I want to finish as many WIPs as possible this week.... I have a project lined up! I think the cloud bolero can be frogged- I have fell out of love with it :o( and the branching out scarf is my work WIP so they don't count. The kitchen swap creation has to be finished as it's already over deadline so I have that to do also.

Here are my projects that I think will be coming up soon....

The Hexacomb Cardigan- from interweave knits

I have already bought the DK cotton for this project! And buttons! I've got a dark cream for the main body of the cardi and a pearl/flat cream mix for the border. The buttons are cream with a patterned gold insert. I'm really psyched about starting this as it looks like such a versatile cardi and the colours were deliberate so that I can put it with pretty much anything. I just got Wendy Supreme Cotton DK as I think it will be as good as any other DK cotton to be honest and only needed 3 balls or 600m for the main colour so a bargain cardi really!

Secondly....the Flutter Sleeve Cardigan (again from interweave)

To those that know my taste, this may seem a little 'conservative'! However, I plan on leaving off the little sleeve tabs so that the sleeves are a little longer as there is no fold and ta-da!- a kimono sleeve cardi with lovely shaping under the bust to make it a bit more feminine! I think a few special buttons would really make it that bit funkier too. I've got some Katia Austral in a dark red for this which is a 50/50 merino/acrylic blend. How I love ebay :o)

Well, I'm gonna kick back with some tv and some chocolate pudding and custard and some knitting and have a cosy evening me thinks....
Good night x

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Blog drought

Hi there!

I realise I've had a bit of a blogging drought lately. I'm still around and kicking up a storm, just very preoccupied with 'normal life' at the moment. Unfortunately, my knitting has suffered somewhat. I haven't done much knitting over the last few weeks since work has been a bit of a pig with the staff tea room being refurbished and all. This means I have no comfortable place to knit and those with kids know how impossible it is to knit at home with a zillion piles of washing, ironing and such. Also, my dad is awaiting his histology results for his skin cancer biopsies. He had them taken a while back during a small local op on his head to remove some patches of skin which were cancerous. The results are due friday and amongst a few other problems, this is on my mind a lot.

I must apologise to the kitchen swap people if they read my blog. I made a commitment to them to make the potholder/kitchen item swap and have failed miserably. Luckily my swap partner will be late too so I hope she'll forgive me with a few gifts thrown in with the 'creation' when I finally get it finished.

Branching out is going slowly. This is my work project, so unless I get a repeat done while having coffee in BB's waiting for my bus, it's just not getting anywhere. I'm about 60-70% done at the moment and my aunt's birthday isn't until May, but I like to be ahead.

Next week I have some time off to get some work done on the portfolio, crack on with the housework and generally chill as well. I'm going to have my hair done on Monday as a treat for feeling a bit out of it and really want a vast change.

So watch this space, hopefully I'll have some blog posts and pics and such next week for you all.