Monday, 22 September 2014

IHSW - September 2014 Report

Apologies for the slight delay but I got sucked into one of my favourite books last night and when I finally emerged, it was definitely bedtime.

Well, it has been a bit of a two steps forward, one step back week this week.

I finally finish finished Learning Curve, my sampler scarf, by adding a fringe at either end.  I've worn it just about every day since, and it feels so satisfying to be wearing something that I made myself with a couple of sticks and a lot of string!

Moving on to some stitching, I got another couple of blocks done on Carnation.  That's the top of one of those big round Chinese lanterns that you can see coming in on the left there.

And then some more knitting.  I'm making good progress working my way down the leg of my first sock.  My only concern now is that because I have biggish feet for a woman (UK size 6/7 depending on the shoe), I might not have quite enough yarn.  I think that I may just make the leg shorter just to be sure that I have enough for the foot.

Unfortunately the step back was Breeze.  For some reason I am finding real difficulty with the lace edging.  I went wrong somewhere, couldn't tink it back properly, and ended up ripping the whole thing out again.  I'm determined to get it done, so have decided that even though it is supposed to be a beginner pattern, I am going to use a lifeline when I start again so that if I go wrong, I'm only going to have to go back a limited amount.

In other news, I lost 0.5lb this week so am back down to 11 stone 8.5lb, so still work in progress.

I'm feeling a bit tired so will love you and leave you now.  All the best to you and yours, and may the frog stay well clear of your needles.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

2014 WIPocalypse - September Full Moon

Doesn't time fly when you're having fun?  I can hardly believe that I am writing my September WIPocalypse post - where has the year gone?

Today I learned something new, but I'll work up to that.

 This week was quite a good week for Carnation.  I stitched three blocks and finished row 15 on this page.  I also did quite a bit on block 9 on the next page, which will save me some time later.

On Monday, I washed and blocked my Learning Curve scarf.  It was not quite as successful as I had hoped, partly because the yarn is 100% acrylic and partly because the double ribbing and cable sections were never going to stretch to the width that I wanted.  However some improvement is better than none.  Now I just need to weave the ends in and add a fringe.

Progress on Pink! has been going well.  A few rows here and a few rows there, and as you can see, I am coming to the end of this ball.  I really need to measure up my small people before I come to any decisions about how long this is going to be.

Now for the something new.  I have a birthday later this month and for an early birthday present, my sister and her family bought me a workshop on how to knit socks.  So today I went to Knit Nottingham and learned how to knit socks.  I know that this doesn't look much like a sock, but it has a cuff, a heel and a kitchener stitched toe - there is only so much you can do from scratch in four hours.  I had a great time and now feel a lot more confident about my knitting skills.
So much so that when I got home, I cast on for my first sock.  Being a beginner, I am knitting the double ribbed cuff flat before joining to knit in the round.  The idea is that this will stop me from twisting the yarn when I join the two ends and I will sew up the gap when I have finished.  I am really looking forward to wearing my own hand knitted socks, especially as I have already bought so much gorgeous sock yarn.  Thanks, Eleanor, for a really enjoyable workshop.

The WIPocalypse question this month asked who your favourite person is to stitch for or whether you prefer to stitch for yourself.  I would dearly love to be able to stitch just for myself, but counting up, I only have three finished items of my own - my Zebra cushion, Pheasant and Fuchsias.  Everything else has been for someone else.  Admittedly my two biggest WIPs - Carnation and Train - are for me, but they tend to get put on one side so that I can finish a piece for someone else.  Guardian Angels is for Mum, and I have two more pieces in mind for other people - one for Mum and one for my cousin's bump.  On the knitting front, I was quite determined just to knit for me, but Breeze is for my friend and Pink! will probably end up with one of my nieces, which means that I will have to knit something for the other one.  But - socks knitted from special hand-dyed yarn are definitely going to be for me and me alone!!!!

In other news, I put on another lb this week so am 2lb over target and need to be careful in the coming week.  This is always my problem - I get to target and then I get complacent.  Maybe if I concentrate on my craft work, that will keep me from eating non-SW food.

Anyway, all the best to you and yours, and may the frog steer well clear of your needles.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Following a break in transmission ...

Apologies for the lack of post last weekend, but I was away and without internet access.  First of all, I was attending a family history conference down in Essex and then I spent a couple of days with family who happen to live nearby.  This does not mean that no stitching or knitting took place - au contraire!

 Before I went away, my sewing machine and I had a little excursion to Mum's house where I finish-finished Corgi.  This piece will be handed over at Patchwork Group on Thursday, and I really hope that the birthday girl likes it after all the work that has gone into it.

Next up is Carnation.  I managed to get two blocks done before I went away and two done after I got back, so most of the current row is new to you.  Just so that you have some idea how much more I need to do for a page finish, the current row is row 15 and the page finishes with row 19.  This means that the line of blue crosses just above the bottom of the photo mark the bottom of the page - 35 blocks to go.

Then you get a knitting start.  Knowing how much downtime you have at conferences, I took a ball of yarn and a pair of needles away with me.  What you see is just over a week's worth of garter stitch scarf in lurid pink.  It doesn't have a name on it but I am sure that I can find a small someone who will make a home for it.  I'm not fond of crowds so this is mindless stress relief knitting.

Finally, an update on Breeze.  I have to be in the right mindset for this as it requires total concentration.  I've managed another couple of repeats on this, so am up to 53 stitches.  How I am going to get 129 stitches on that needle, I have no idea!

In other news, having hit target before I went away, I was very glad to discover that I only put on 1lb while on conference etc.  Now I just have to make sure that it comes off again.

Anyway, wishing all the best to you and yours, and may the frog steer well clear of your knitting and stitching.