Monday, 23 February 2015

First Knitting Goal of 2015

Dear Readers, this is going to be short and sweet.  I'm cold, I'm tired and I'm not feeling brilliant physically or mentally.  I'm going to write this post, sort out tomorrow's lunch, make a hot water bottle and go to bed.

As per the title of this post, this week I achieved the first of my knitting goals for the year.  The first bootie was knitted last Monday, the day my cousin's baby was born, the second bootie and the first mitten on the Tuesday, and the second mitten on the Wednesday, when I steam blocked the set.  I sewed them up Thursday and Friday, and popped them in the post on Saturday morning.  The only remaining question is how long they are likely to fit a 10lb 1oz baby boy!

The focus on baby knits meant that progress was limited on Baby Express.  There is still a long way to go before I can tick this goal off, but at least when it's finished, it can go straight off to its new owner, who will probably have grown out of his booties by then.

Last but not least for this week is the Panda Hat.  A lot of work went into this once the baby knits were done.  Basically, once my new needles came, I ripped out everything I had already done and cast on again for the larger size hat.  I re-knitted everything that you saw in my last post and an extra five rows of the white.  That leaves me with eight rows of white stocking stitch before I start the decreases.

In other news, I put on a further 0.5lb last week, bringing me up to 11 stone 8lb.  However I know what caused it so am not too fussed.

Right, I think that's everything for the time being, so I am going to call it a day.  All the best to you and yours, and may the frog stay away from your needles.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Happy Whatever It Is Day to you!

Saturday was Valentine's Day, Sunday was my parents' wedding anniversary and today is the day my cousin gave birth to a little boy!  So I'm wishing you a very Happy Day on whatever day you are reading this.

So WIP pictures - some with more progress, some with less.

This is a brand new start.  Mum rang me just before lunch to tell me that our new baby had arrived.  So as soon as I got home, I cast on and had bootie No. 1 finished by 7pm, just in time for tea.  The plan is to mail out two booties and two mittens on Saturday.  Last week was a busy week, but this week should be a quiet week.  Should be possible, fingers crossed.

As last week was a busy week, I didn't get as much done on Baby Express as I would have liked, but now that its owner has finally arrived, I will be cracking on with this as soon as his knits are finished.  I can say that the far right hand side is in fact the inside of the border round the edge of this piece.  So at least now I know how much space I have to play with on this side.

Again, not as much progress as I would have liked, but I am now into the cable section of this second hand warmer.  This will have to go on hold this week in order to knit baby things, but I don't see an end to the wintry weather just yet so I still might get some use out of them before the warm weather turns up.

Finally, another new start, which I began at Knit Group on Saturday!  However this will have to be ripped out and restarted.  Firstly the little girl whose head this Panda Hat is meant to fit turns out to have a bigger head than anticipated.  Secondly, I hate the needles with a passion.  I bought them at the same time as I bought the yarn for this hat because I didn't have the right size,  but they are plastic (all there was) and I am having to fight them for every stitch.  So I have ordered some KnitPro Nova straights and will frog this piece and start again as soon as they arrive.

In other news, I have put on 0.5lb this week, but to be honest, I'm not that bothered.  The weather is so cold, damp and dreary that there has been a smidgen too much chocolate in my diet this last week.  Never mind, maybe the sun will come back out soon.

Wishing you and yours all the very best, and may the frog stay away from your needles.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

2015 WIPocalypse - February Full Moon

Dear Reader, I will be brutally honest with you - I am fed up to the back teeth with this brass monkey weather that we have been subjected to for the past several weeks!  I want not to have to scrape my car every morning, I want not to have to make a hot water bottle every night, I want not to have to sit here typing wrapped up like an Eskimo and wearing fingerless gloves.  I want the sun to come back and to just be able to put one layer on to walk out the door, instead of three!

Anyway, enough whinging!  I have progress to report.

My second pair of hand-knitted socks is now finished.  I completed the toe decreases last night whilst babysitting and then grafted the toe this morning.  Once again they are not perfect, but I am looking forward to wearing them.

I won't be casting on any new projects just yet.  We are expecting an addition to the extended family any day now and as it is going to be a surprise, I am waiting to hear before I cast on yellow or pale blue baby knits.

In the meantime, I did cast on my second cabled hand-warmer this week and have completed the ribbing section and the set-up rows for the cabling.  This will be my on-going knitting project until such time as we hear from Wales about the new baby.

Still on the baby front, I have completed the back stitching on the centre section of Baby Express and moved on to the next section of stitching.  Cold fingers and stiff fabric are not helping progress on this piece.

Measi's question for this month's WIPocalypse post relates to how one manages when you get stuck in a rut with a project.  I find this a bit difficult to answer because the projects that I get racked off with most tend to be the ones where I am working to a deadline.  I get to a point where I have to put everything else on one side and just stitch/knit on the deadline piece in order to get it done in time.  But part of that will be because I'm a dreadful procrastinator - if I used every spare scrap of time, projects would get done a lot faster, but I don't.  Like this evening, I would have been on-line about an hour earlier had I not borrowed some books from my Mum and been reading those instead of writing this post.  Sorry, not very helpful.

In other news, I made a flying visit to Slimming World this week and was delighted to discover that I had lost another 1.5lb and was back down to my target weight of 11 stone 7lb.  So that was 3lb off in two weeks and I reckon it was down to changing what I eat for lunch at work.  Now I just have to maintain myself at this weight - easier said than done.

Its getting late so I will leave you now with best wishes to you and yours, and may the frog stay well away from your needles.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Trying to keep warm

In the words of the song, "Baby, it's cold outside!"  The snow that we had a few days ago has gone but the temperature round here is through the floor.  I know we don't get it as wintry as other places, being an island, but we also don't deal with it as well.  I tell you, my bed is like the Princess and the Pea in reverse - I don't have thirty mattresses under me, but I do have two duvets, four patchwork quilts, my Girl Guide camp blanket and a couple of fleece blankets on top.  I also take a hot water bottle to bed with me nights and even then sometimes I wake up chilly.  I'm what people round here call "nesh" - it means I feel the cold more than most.

As a result of the ensuing cold hands, I have made more progress on some things than others.

I managed to finish the cross stitching on this section of Baby Express, but didn't get very far with the back stitch.  The aida is so stiff that it is difficult to get the needle through when your fingers are cold.  Hopefully this coming week I will be able to finish back stitching this section.

I did however manage to finish knitting the first cabled hand warmer.  I cast off at Knit Group yesterday, so now need to cast on for the second one.  I hope to get that well started this week.

And I made good progress on my second sock.  I finished the leg, knitted the heel flap, turned the heel, picked up for the gusset, knitted my decreases and started knitting the foot.  I even knitted on it at Slimming World this week.  If I could get it finished this week, that would be very nice.

On the Slimming World front, I managed to lose 1.5lb this week, bringing me back down to 11 stone 8.5lb, which made me very happy.

Anyway, I had an early start this morning and I'm feeling tired, so I'm going to love you and leave you, with all the best to you and yours, and may the frog stay away from your needles.