Sunday, 22 March 2015

IHSW - March Edition

Honesty is generally the best policy and so I will say now that there has been limited hermitting and limited stitching this weekend, and even this week.  During the week, I had the "pleasure" of a streaming cold, and then this weekend a lot of Sunday's jobs had to be crammed into Saturday so that I could attend a knitting workshop today.

So let's start with the workshop.

It was a workshop on finishing techniques - how to give your knitted item the final touches.  And this is the "evil elephant" that came home with me.  What you see there is my choice of cast-on, four different ways of making buttonholes, some short row shaping, two types of cast-off, mattress stitch, picking up stitches and Kitchener stitch.  I had a great time and feel a lot more confident about finishing off my knitted pieces so that they look nice.

Moving on to some stitching, I did manage to complete the whole of the next section of border on Baby Express this week.  It is stitched in two shades of purple and the bottom row is also the bottom row of the sampler.

And as for Hermione's Socks, I have now done 15 pattern repeats and only have 3 more to go.  Unfortunately I found that knitting and blowing my nose every 30 seconds were not compatible.  I am definitely hoping to get the leg finished and move on to the heel flap this week.

In other news, I went to Slimming World and found that I had lost 0.5lb so am back down to 11 stone 7.5lb.  I have also had a haircut, which was badly needed.  I now just need to dye it to cover up the hereditary grey bits in the front and sides.

I've got another busy week ahead of me, so all the best to you and yours and may the frog stay away from your needles.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Busy, busy and more busy!

It's been one of those weeks.  My last post was a day late due to PC issues - that was Monday.  Tuesday was eldest niece's birthday and I was at my Pilates class, Wednesday I was out for a meal with friends, Thursday was Patchwork Group, Friday I was babysitting and got home after midnight, yesterday was Knit Group (home about 9pm) and today was Mother's Day and lunch for the family at my sister's.  Friday also saw the car in the garage having bits replaced to stop it juddering.

So I have a limited amount of progress to show you (which appears to becoming a regular thing unfortunately - I will have to extract digit big time).

This week I managed to get the backstitching finished on the second carriage - I am still none the wiser as to whether that animal is a zebra or a cow.  I also completed the section of border that I started last week.  I'm still undecided about what to do next - more border or more picture.

I've also made reasonable progress with Hermione's Socks.  Ten of the eighteen pattern repeats on the leg are now done, and I have a hole in my left index finger as a result.  Each repeat takes about half an hour, but I am enjoying watching the fabric of it develop and the yarn feels so nice that I am definitely going to enjoy wearing the finished items.

No movement on the cabled hand-warmers - definitely need to extract digit here.

In other news, eldest niece loved her Panda Hat and put it on straight away.  Now I just have to come up with something for youngest niece who has a mid-Summer birthday.  I wasn't feeling brilliant on Thursday so I didn't go to Slimming World, but I have now tried a couple of the new Slimming World frozen meals that have come out.  They taste fine, perhaps a bit bland, and are good sized portions, which makes a change from most ready meals.

It's been a long week and I am somewhat pooped, so all the best to you and yours, and may the frog stay well clear of your needles.

Monday, 9 March 2015

2015 WIPocalypse - March Full Moon

Most of last week was not a good week, apart from Sunday.  It was very stressful, apart from Sunday, and I did more comfort reading than anything else.  So there has been minimal progress on most items.

On a positive note, the Panda Hat for eldest niece is finished.  I did the last of the sewing up and finishing off yesterday evening.  It will definitely fit her, because it fits me :-)  It is her birthday tomorrow and I do hope she likes it.

Baby Express suffered this week.  I couldn't cope with the idea of back stitching, so those three green bars on the right are the sum total of progress on this piece since you last saw it.

Hermione's Socks also saw limited progress.  I also learned that watching the TV and knitting a new to you pattern do not mix.  There would be more to see if I hadn't had to tink back 5 needles following two episodes of "Great British Sewing Bee".

The cabled handwarmers got no love at all this week - hence no photo.

But then came Sunday, which was Christmas, or at least the workshop that I got given for Christmas!  The strange yellowy thing is a toe-up sock or at least all the components of a toe-up sock.  I spent most of Sunday learning new techniques in very pleasant company, and now in theory I have all the skills I need to knit toe-up socks as well as cuff-down socks.  I just need to finish Hermione's Socks first.

In other news, I maintained at Slimming World this week so still 11 stone 8lb.  And today I went out and bought a new monitor for my PC as the old one kept dying on me (another reason I didn't post yesterday - I didn't want the monitor to die mid-post).  This is a 19.5 inch monitor (the smallest they had)  - my old one was a 15 inch monitor - I don't have a lot of space.  The only drawback is that it has no built-in speakers (which the old one did), so I will have to do something to remedy that. 

Hopefully this week will be a better week.  Wishing all the best to you and yours, and may the frog stay away from your needles.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Preparing to March Forward

So February is over.  I'm reasonably glad to see the back of it - it was far too cold and damp for my liking.  However there have been some signs of Spring - crocuses and snowdrops in the gardens - daffodils in the shops.  So now I'm looking forward to March.

Progress has been varied this last week, so I'll start with the most progress and work down to the least.

 Beginning with the Panda Hat, the basic hat itself is finished - it just needs the back seam sewing up and blocking.  The two black pieces are its ears, which need blocking, oversewing round the edges and attaching to the hat.  Still to do are the two eyes, which will also need blocking and attaching to the hat before I embroider the pupils on.  However I do have another week in which to get this done, so fingers crossed.

Moving on to Baby Express, I have completed the stitching on the second carriage and started the back stitching.  I am unsure whether the black and white creature is a zebra or a cow - what are your thoughts?  The next stage is to finish the back stitch on this section and then stitch the right hand border.

I did manage to get one more cable repeat knitted on my handwarmers, but at the moment it looks like they won't be completed before the weather changes for the better.  However, if I can get at least one repeat done a week, they will eventually reach the finishing line.

And finally a new start!  My fingers were getting all twitchy because I had no socks on the go.  So, having finally managed to ball up the yarn I wanted to use, today I cast on for "Hermione's Everyday Socks" by Erica Lueder.  The yarn is "Clovelly" in The Natural Dye Studio's Godiva HT 4 Ply/Sock (100% single spun merino).  It feels absolutely lovely!

In other news, I had a day off on Friday to have my new toilet fitted.  The porcelain on the old one was disintegrating and my plumber said that he had never seen anything like that before.  The replacement only took about 3 hours and I had the rest of the day to myself.  The only drawback was that the car had had to go into the garage to have a flashing dashboard light investigated (no definite conclusion reached - just have to wait and see what happens), so I just pottered about at home, knitting and stitching.  At least I didn't have to go to work :-)

I didn't get weighed on Thursday, partly due to the car issue and partly because I had to go to a meeting that evening, so I don't know whether I made any progress in that area or not.

I have a busy week ahead of me, so will finish now and wish you and yours all the best and may the frog steer well clear of your needles.