Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Finished a few things...

...and rather pleased with them - even if I do say so myself!

The Swallowtail Shawl (Interweave Knits - Fall 2006) knitted in Handmaiden SeaSilk "Nova Scotia". I did go up a couple of needle sizes purely to get a slightly larger shawl. I finished this at 4pm on Saturday - in time for going out to a wedding on the Saturday night. I was working away at it during the Moto GP! Not the easiest to concentrate on at that point. Once finished I did pretty much press the f*ck out of it to get the lace to open up and then left it pinned out and drying on the bedroom floor until I was ready to go out. It went down well at the wedding - think I might have a few orders for a couple more!

And then last night I finished this rather cute little number - Rusted Root from Zephyr Style in some Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in New Age Teal. I only used under 2 skeins for it so have one left plans for that already. I fancy knitting another one in a different colour - it is just so cute! Me likey...

One may note that I am obviously adding another colour to the spectrum that is Maureen's wardrobe. Not only can I do reds, pinks, browns and oranges but I can do turquoise and green as well!

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Monday, 5 March 2007

Only 7 UFO's...!

So...I had a look at my knitting basket/chair/carrier bags/in offshore bag, etc and found all the following. (It is a nice cosy spot isn't it - this chair is so coming with me when I move.)

First we have the over-the-knee sock in the Opal Feelings. This might take a wee while! I've just reached the first decreases at the knee. It is slightly freaky when you have to reach row 240 (or something like that) before you hit the heel - especially when it's on 2.5mm pins and you have a second one to do but...

Secondly we have Flicca. As you can see I ran out of my main orange wool near the end but I kind of knew that was likely anyway so went for the contrast with some Paton's Bella Tape that I had. I'm going to use it to add an edging to the bottom of the coat as well - or pockets might be nice actually! All I have to do on this one is to knit the one edge and sew on the ribbon on the inside to firm it up. I know - just an evening's work at most isn't it. Considering it only took my about a week to knit the rest of it that is a real bit of procrastination. - my favourite talent I possess!

Thirdly - the Aran jumper! This has only been on the go since last February. Hope I get it finished in time for Dennis's 60th birthday in April. If I'd just stuck with this I would have finished it within a couple of months but because it's intricate you really need to the odd week or two away from it every so often. This is the final piece - sleeve number 2. I have reached the stage (quite a while back actually) that I no longer need to look at the pattern to know what needs to be done. Once the pattern is set then it's easy enough to know what needs to be done next. As long as I remember it's rows 5-7 in the middle section that I need to do fancy bits then I'm alright. I ever so slightly over-calculated on the wool requirements so I'm going to have about 7 balls left over which is more than enough for me to make a jumper as well - already spotted a suitable candidate in an older issue of Interweave Knits which will be pretty cute as a cosy jumper that won't look like a naff shapeless Aran.

And now we have the oldest UFO in the basket! This is some gorgeous Kaalund 2 ply in Magnolia that I got at Ally Pally a couple of years ago. It's a 3mm pins job - 2.75mm for the ribbing - which might partly explain the stagnation on this one. It's being knitted up into a cute little short-sleeved t-shirt from a 1940's People's Friend pattern booklet that my Granma gave me years ago (it's the same booklet that I use for my standard baby shawl pattern). It's a lovely pattern but it does seem to be one that involves "counting" and hasn't turned into an intuitive pattern as yet. I'll get there on it, especially as I know it'll be very pretty when I finally make it!

Another feather and fan pattern sneaking in here. This is my North Ronaldsay wool in the two natural colours of cream and dark brown. This stuff is so much softer than it used to be when they first started selling it. This is being made up into a nice retro styled slightly bat-winged (but not too batty) jumper with a roll neck colour. It's a "knit all in one-piece" job so it's going to get a bit big on the needles at some point - and I'm going to run out of wool! But since it's in Orkney I can easily send a friend or family member along to purchase a couple more skeins for me. Not exactly a disaster. I'd really like to get back to this one soon. Reckon it would look cool with a denim mini-skirt and big boots once done.

Nearly there! This is the Swallowtail Shawl in the Handmaiden SeaSilk that just kept speaking to me while it was in the skein. It told me to wind it up, find a pattern to suit and get it on the needles or else it would jump out of my stash box and strangle me in the middle of the night...perhaps not! I'm on the next section of lace where the nupps kick in. Again it involves a wee bit of concentration and there are a few design variations in it (aka "c**k-ups") but they're the sort of ones I can live with. It does feel lovely and will go perfectly with a purty dress I bought a month or so back specifically for the odd wedding and posh do that I occasionally frequent.

And then there was a small accident last week which involved a few cute patterns being downloaded (paid for ones no less - not just freebies) and then falling across the Get Knitted site (as happens on a frequent basis - wonder if they'll ever get round to doing a loyalty card...maybe should suggest it to them!) and then discovering Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in the most gorgeous colour of turquoise - the only type of blue that really suits me...all other types of blue make me look really washed out but if they have a touch of green in them then I'm sorted. The pattern is from Zephyr Style (love their patterns) and as it's an all-in-one, knitted from the top-down, in the round that means minimal sewing up and almost instant wearability once it's finished. Addi Turbos fell into my shopping basket online too (the pattern called for them!) and it's the first time I've actually used them. Call me a late convert!

So that's knitting basket to date. Never mind that a baby shawl and a Clanger need to be knitted pretty damn sharpish for a mate who's due to pop any day soon as well. Oops!

Sunday, 4 March 2007

The Jaffa Cake Story...

Full moon...half eclipse...! Not influenced by adverts in the slightest (you kind of have to be British to get the reference...and love Jaffa Cakes...and have a weird sense of humour).

The eclipse was pretty amazing even if it was slightly cold outside. Nothing that a big fleece, hat and gloves couldn't stave off - plus a few mugs of fruity tea to warn up. Quite a few friends of mine were watching it so we were texting/calling each other back and forth as it went on. One of my friends had spotted a couple of shooting stars earlier on in the night but I wasn't lucky enough to spot them as well. I do think having Pink Floyd on in the background kind of added to the spectacle - especially when "Dark Side of the Moon" kicked in just as totality hit. Dennis had The Waterboys "Whole of the Moon" playing!

It is one of the things that I'll miss when the house sells as it's been a perfect spot for some amazing night sky revelations. Going back into town means more light pollution which we just manage to avoid at this spot. The Northern Lights a couple of years back were just amazing and the best I'd seen since I left Orkney years ago. At least Dennis has the same sort of interest in watching the skies as I do (though a much better knowledge than I have) and lives in a spot on the edge of Aberdeen which is just outwith the light pollution so we've already sorted it that whenever there's going to be anything cool happening then I can go up there to watch it all with him.

If you put the slideshow on at a fastish rate then you can get that same sort of effect as when you used to draw little stick figures on the corner of your jotter and then flick through them dead fast so it got an animated effect. The photos are hardly astronomy quality but I still think they look pretty cool.

So a good day overall - tickets for Rockness, more gardening done in readiness for house sale and a good view of the lunar eclipse.

Sometimes a mellow move through the day is throughly pleasant.