Friday, August 31, 2007

At the sharp end

My knots on a stick have progressed into some curly wurly scribbliness hanging from a stick. If you look closely you can see some sort of order to it, which is a good sign. This is hopefully going to become the curved shoulder shawl from Victorian Lace Today (page 71) if I can keep it together. It is the first lace pattern that I have attempted that doesn't have a plain knit or purl row on the wrong side for me to collect my thoughts along as it is a very open lace pattern - but luckily the stitch repeats seem fairly simple and I'm hoping that they will stick in my brain ok and it should grow quite fast.

And when it does, I shall be ready! I have my brand new Addi Lace Needles!

See the points!
Top to bottom: Addi Lace 3.5mm circ, Pony 3.25mm metal straight, Addi 3mm metal dpn

I have been trying my hand at braid making too. Super Monkey brought me presents (huzzah!) from her holiday in the Peak District and one of them was a lucet. This is a mediaeval way of making cords (basically a two pronged knitting-nancy) and I although was a bit wobbly at it to start with, I think it will be useful for making straps and ties, etc, as an alternative to twisting or i-cord. Super Monkey also gave me one of her cool swirly crocheted bookmarks, which will definitely come in handy the next time I pick up a book (which hasn't happened in a shamefully long time and is something that I really should rectify).

I have been doing a bit of knitting-related reading, having bought the 25th Anniversary edition of Vogue Knitting. It is a bumper thick magazine this Fall, packed with lots of patterns and stuff from the last 25 years. Obviously there's a lot of retro stuff (big jumpers ahoy!) and some updated versions of old patterns, there are also some good articles - in particular the interviews with the knitting elite from way back when, including Kaffe Fassett and Alice Starmore, and from now, with Debbie Stoller and the Yarn Harlot. The one pattern that jumped out at me was Iris Schreier's Mesh Lace Cardigan, which I think is just beautiful. I also think VK should give their patterns slightly more imaginative names...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Nice long weekend

Bank holiday weekends are great!! We have a policy that we don't go anywhere on bank holidays where there might be crowds and the easiest way to avoid crowds completely is to stay at home. Our nice new washing machine was delivered on Saturday, so there has been much washing and drying of laundry at Sheephappens Towers. Thankfully the weather has been fine for drying, and I did some gardening too (necessary in order to get said washing machine down the path at the side of the house which had become rather overgrown with buddleia and tree mallow during the summer. I even cut the grass! Woo!

It's not been all work, work, work though.

Pattern: Artemis from Muse
Yarn: Lasso by Colinette in Seabreeze
(2 skeins was plenty, even with my mods)
Needles: 3.25 and 4mm straights
Mods: Added extra length in the body and straps

This would have been a quick knit if I hadn't messed up and had to reknit the top half of the front panel again. It wasn't actually so bad doing the knitting a second time but frogging was painful; mostly because it was my own stupid mistake in the first place. I'd increased the length of the back and then followed the pattern for the front, so the pieces didn't match. D'oh!

Still, got there in the end. Pretty, in't it?

I have started on the next project: some knots on on a stick. Hmmm.

There has been bread making. Yum.

And late-night drunken treacle sponge pudding making. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and this one proved that presentation isn't necessarily everything when there is syrup, cake and custard involved.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ostrich-like tendencies...

...are a bad thing. Especially when it comes to knitting. I had this niggly feeling that something Wasn't Quite Right. Did I stop and check? Get the tape measure (my super-dooper Lantern Moon bee tape measure even) out? No, I don't think I'll bother using it today. Did I compare the two pieces of knitting to see if they were the same length? Did I heck as. I'll just carry on knitting this front piece, with all the shaping and edging and everything because everything is going to be juuust fine. Not.

*sounds of gentle sobbing and unravelling of yarn in the background*

Still, it's not all bad.

I have been nominated for awards!

Many thanks to Hawksley for numerous things mentioned in this post. The bee tape measure and the Lasso yarn that I'm knitting (well, unknitting today)were swap gifts from her and for this, that arrived during my summer break. Hopefully it wasn't because I'd stopped posting.

I do like a bit of rock! I would nominate everyone in the list of blogs over there for one of these.

And thanks also go to Artyfartykat for a most unexpected nomination:

I would like to nominate Badger for one of these, as she has true comment power. And sent me a bribe present.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Well, as summers go, it wasn't much of one; but at least we haven't had to worry about sunburn or heatstroke.

My rose managed about three flowers before the wind and rain got them.

For much of my blogging break, I was attached to the sofa listening to the audiobook of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows while cross-stitching hares and acorns. When I started listening to the book, I was trying one of the lace shawls from VLT but the combination of complimicated chart / pattern, wrong needles and diverted concentration wasn't working, so I frogged that and decided to work on something else. What caught my eye was a Moira Blackburn sampler kit that I'd bought a couple of years ago and it had been sitting abandoned ever since. Needless to say, once the book finished (my opinion? it was ok, a satisfactory story with a reasonable ending, I suppose, but the epilogue was terrible) I went back to knitting and the sampler has gone back into the drawer.

And some other stuff that I've been up to lately....

I learned entrelac. I will make something using this technique as soon as I find a pattern that doesn't look lumpy or ugly.

The finished seashell socks. I was slightly disappointed with these. The Lucy Neatby yarn might be hand-dyed but the colours are so different on each sock that they might have come from different lots rather than the same skein. Also there were many lumpy sections where the yarn wasn't twisted properly. Sigh.

I baked!

We walked up Black Hill - you may (but probably don't) remember me writing that during the winter a helicopter had been used to dump grass seed over the peat bogs here to try and stabilise the moorland. Most of the grass has taken and it is now rather less black at the top of Black Hill than it used to be.

A visit to Jodrell Bank - where, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the building of the Lovell Telescope they have demolished the exhibition centre and planetarium. The arboretum is still open and there is a nice cabin where you can shelter from the rain.

Pressie from Woolfest. Sumptuous Cashmere and silk from Badger.

Mr C is feeling better

I started turning this...

...into something a bit lacy. Woo!

We went to the Lakes! In a tent! It rained! A short walk (because I've been terribly lazy lately and am very very unfit) from Aira Force

Over Gowbarrow Fell (about 4,5miles), escorted by thousands of horrible flies. This view taken from part way up the hill looking back towards Ullswater. I only stopped because the view was so pretty, not because I was knackered. Oh no.

And because it is still summer, after all, we had ice cream.