Thursday, November 24, 2005

Goblet of Fire

Happily I did get to see Goblet of Fire as planned last Friday. Adrenaline certainly helped, otherwise I wouldn't have moved from the sofa, especially as we have been having frost in recent days. I got to wear my new Huffle scarf and beanie, which I truly appreciated - wrapped up outside, and watching the film with the scarf on as the aircon in the cinema tends to make me feel a bit cold at the best of times!

What was great was as this was the opening night, there was a really good audience in, people who really wanted to see the film. Lots of children of all ages through to grandparents, and some people even had scarves, and some kids were dressed up. Most impressive for this area! I think I had the only PoA style scarf though! As soon as the BBFC caption came up and we knew the film was starting, spontaneous applause broke out and then everyone just settled down and watched the film. Very few fidgeting people, just a few kids went in and out.

I have to say I enjoyed this film very much, and it probably stands as my favourite of the four. Obviously given a book so long, with so many little subplots and details, they had to concentrate on the TriWizard storyline, but it was brilliantly told. The humour also shone through and I was so pleased that finally Fred and George got some decent screen time. They are hilarious :-) I felt the film stayed as true to the book as it possibly could, and like the extended Lord of the Rings films, there were a lot of "book" moments that anyone who has read them would recognise and appreciate. The scene where Harry returns with Cedric's body was amazing, very well played, and certainly gave me cause to wipe my eyes. There was also a lot of knitting-action to take in :-) On some close-ups you were easily able to count the rows on the trapped bar scarves (I know I know). There a lot of knitted items in evidence and I look forward to the DVD to be able to take a closer look at them! The GoF scarf colours have of course muted down once again, even darker this time (as are the school sweaters, a great charcoal colour). The Hufflepuff scarves appeared to be rather "old gold" rather than the buttery yellow. Time will tell if I make one like that! At least the Gryffindor colours are quite a nice match to the yarn I bought :-)

Lucky I made a Very Warm Scarf!

Over a week since my last posting, due to the viral infection from hell. I thught I just had a sore arm from the flu jab ... on the following Monday evening it started feeling suspiciously like flu! I have two theories, either the flu vaccination itself directly caused the infection, or it was something lurking around waiting to pounce while my immune system was being bushwhacked by the flu vaccine. Probably the latter, but safe to say I wasn't able to sit at the computer for a week! This week I've had a cough and continuing congestion in my head, although thankfully I can now taste and smell again :-) You don't realise how important that is until it disappears for days on end! (along with zero appetite).

The doctor's surgery has been great, I phoned last Thursday as we were getting concerned as to how bad I felt after a rough night Wednesday, and the doc phoned me back in an hour, confirming I had a viral infection and giving me the expected advice. No need to come in and if I developed a cough let them know, so they could give antibiotics and steroids (I'm asthmatic so any chest complaint has to be taken seriously). Monday I phoned them again and they sorted out a 'script for me with no hassle at all. Today I had to phone them again I needed a med cert to cover me for today and tomorrow, again no problem.

At the moment I feel quite a lot better but rather exhausted from interrupted sleep and the general knockback you get from taking meds. Nice to be able to sit and post on here again anyway!

Here's the Hufflepuff beanie I mentioned last week, it didn't take me long to make and I used the London Beanie pattern available free on the web (sorry too idle to find the link). Same yarn as the scarf, used the same stitch counts in the pattern and it fits snugly as I believe it should!

I used 12" (30cm) Addi Turbos in the suggested 4.5mm size for this, and didn't need to go anywhere near DPNs to finish. Yay for short circs. I'm going to make another in the reverse colourway and will try 5mm needles this time.

I've also made some progress on the Who scarf, now 4 feet long. Not as much as I might, but I've had quite a few days in the past week or so where I simply couldn't do a thing but watch telly! On the positive side at least this has happened before the holidays!

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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A finished Hufflepuff scarf at Potter-film minus 4 days!

I finished the knitting on the K1P1 rib Hufflepuff scarf on Sunday evening. On Saturday night, I had completed 13 sets of trapped bars and was a few rows into the next yellow field. I decided to try the scarf on and found it was already long enough, going past my knees when draped around my neck. Good news indeed, I cast off on Sunday and added the fringing later on Sunday night. Lurking in my knitting bag was a Hufflepuff Quidditch patch, originally intended for a Quidditch sweater. We decided it looked pretty good on the scarf so last night I stitched it on. It managed to shuffle itself slightly off centre even though I pinned it on, but the pins were slipping around and were fairly useless (I suspect because of the cashmere content - I had similar problems when weaving in ends).

Here are the photos I took this afternoon, thanks to being off work with what feels like a very minor attack of flu! It looks like I have finally ended up with a reaction to the jab after having nothing more than a few sneezes in previous years!

Vital statistics:

- Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in 505 (egg yellow) MC and 300 (black) CC
- 5mm needles
- 69 stitches cast on in 1x1 rib giving approx. 8.75 inches wide
- yarn used - approx. 800 yards of MC and approx. 140 yards CC
- row counts in pattern: 27 MC, 3 CC, 5 MC, 3 CC, 27 MC etc.
- this follows the row counts and proportions as given in the PoA scarf pattern at (obviously the main difference is this is knit flat in rib as opposed to in the round with stockinette)
- fringing pieces were 8 inches long, final fringe length is approx. 3 inches after trimming

I didn't really mind knitting ribbing itself, and I've certainly speeded up with all the practice :-) The thing I don't like about this is the edges and the colour transitions. I slipped the first stitch from rows 3 to 25 of each of the main colour blocks, but not on any of the other areas (I did do this at first but soon realised it was causing too much yarn carryover effect). Overall the edges look OK but the yarn carry is more noticeable. This could probably be avoided by using a more sophisticated join on the yarns, but I was a little wary of attempting, say, felted joins on this. I'll certainly try them on future projects though. If I can fix these problems I'd probably do another 1x1 rib scarf, they do take a while but the end result seems to be worth it :-)

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Lovely Yarnivorous Yarn

In my last post I said I didn't have any new stash, which was a complete untruth because I did. I blame the flu jab "experience" for my oversight. How could I forget I had this beautiful yarn, a present from my good friend Lynne:

On the left is 120m of 50:50 merino silk singles (blues, turquoises, magenta). On the right is 150m of merino/silk/lurex yarn. All handspun and dyed by Lynne. The good news is she now sells some of her yarn online, so if you're after some gorgeous colourways and fibre mixes, head on over to Yarnivorous!


Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Potter Scarf Countdown

Only six days to go until I see the new Potter movie :-) However this does impose a definite deadline on the Hufflepuff scarf. Happily this should be fairly easy to achieve. Here's a picture of the beast at 12 repeats of the trapped bars. I have 2 and about a third balls left of the yellow, and have already cut the fringe pieces so I don't run into any problems with lack of yarn. I figure I might be able to squeeze the full 14 sets in, but will stop at 13 if that seems prudent:

Last time I measured, this was 75 inches, it must be well over 80 at the moment. That is a LOT of 1x1 ribbing. Every time I lay the scarf out full length I can't quite believe I knit that much ribbing :-)

Here's a picture of the Doctor Who scarf progress. It hasn't been touched for a while as I realised I had a looming deadline for the behemoth above. It looks a bit uneven width-wise in the picture, either my tension is altering or this is just an optical illusion. I think it had best be washed and blocked, as far as possible given the small wool content of the yarn. The colours in the photo look surprisngly true to life, given that I took the photos under electric light with camera flash. Even the yellow in the Huffle scarf looks much better than in prevous photos.

In stash news, no new acquistions since my last post, but I've sorted out the storage for it. Previously it was in three plastic boxes stacked up in the dining room. Not the best solution. Over the past week I've sorted out the yarn into short, medium and longer term interest. The long term stuff has gone into a long flattish box that lives on top of the wardrobe. easily accessible and I've written an inventory which sits on the outside. The medium-term yarn is living in one of those plastic wheeled flattish boxes that are designed to store things under beds (yes it is under the bed!). The stuff I'm either using or plan to use soon is either in what was originally intended as a magazine holder, but looks basically like a faux-leather basket, or will be going into the new sideboard (arriving Wednesday). I actually have 2 of the basket-type containers, the other holds my in-progress work. They are from Poundstretcher/Instore and have been reduced to something like 6 pounds each.

I had my annual flu jab today, and *ouch* did it sting when the vaccine went in! I wasn't the first to, ahem, comment on it apparently :-) My arm is feeling a little sore at the moment, hopefully it will calm down rather than get worse, as happened to poor Diane. I also feel a little wobbly, mind you I couldn't string my words together properly when I was in the treatment room :-D

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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Snow Patrol

Well, it's the annual noise festival tonight, also known as Bonfire Night. I'm sitting here in the room keeping the animals company, playing a Snow Patrol CD to mask the whizz-bangs and other sundry artillery noises coming from outside. I firmly believe fireworks should be restricted to organised licensed public displays. Idiots setting them off a few feet from their back windows is, well, idiotic. Not to mention all the trouble caused by the dregs of humanity getting hold of fireworks (no, I'm not going to elaborate or this will turn into an uber-rant!).

Not much knitting to report, the Huffle scarf continues apace. I got up very late today and have been doing some much-needed sorting and tidying. We got our wheelie bins (for the ordinary rubbish) and plastic box (for cans, plastic bottles, glass and textiles) this week, so I can put out all the old towels and bedding and curtains for recycling rather than take them to the tip :-) It's incredible what you hang on to, for no real good reason. We also sorted 2 boxes of video tapes and got rid of the equivalent of one-and-a bit of them - they are going out in the charity bag next week.

Part of the reason for the above tidying is we have decided to get a nice sideboard for the dining room, to replace the rather jumbled mess we had on one wall. At the moment my stash is in 3 large plastic boxes in the dining room. The plan is to relocate some into one of the sideboard drawers, and the rest either under the bed or on top of the wardrobe. This led to establishing what we had stored where, then logically to "why are we keeping that?!". The end result will be a much tidier and better-looking dining room, and a more organised stash too.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Knitting update

Over a week since my last post, scandalous!

I do have an excuse, being that last Saturday we were up at 7.30am, went to North Wales and got back at around 10.30pm. That was a long day! Longer than we intended, but since we were sorting out some computer stuff for a friend, we might have guessed it would take longer than anticipated :-)

Sunday was spent in equal parts recovering and cleaning (and there is still more cleaning to be done).

However, there is some knitting progress to report. I think I'm just about done with the 9th repeat on the Hufflepuff scarf, and am aiming to finish it before we go to see Goblet of Fire. The Who scarf is something between 2 foot 6 and 3 feet now. Must take pictures given some daylight this weekend. By the time I get home from work now (even if I leave at 4) it's just about dark. The Dulaan scarf and the baggie are progressing too, although the scarf may have to take a bit of a break until the Christmas deadline knitting is done.

Thanks for your comment Diane - glad you like Dianne's online shop too! It is of course only right and proper that you try out those lovely fashion yarns :-) I'm trying to remember how I found the site, and think it was in a Google search. Most of the knitting e-shops I've visited have been via adverts in magazines, I reckon Dianne should pop an advert in now and then. It's easy to find places online that sell high end yarns like Debbie Bliss, Jaeger, even Noro, but not often easy to find stockists who carry a *good* range of colours in nice basic yarns. Even harder to find a good Huffle yellow!

Stash enhancement news - the natural-dyed wool from ebay duly arrived an is gorgeous, very soft. I wound one skein into a ball for the fun of it :-D Got a couple of balls of Patons Whisper in black to go with it in some form or another, an also grabbed another couple of Berry for the future Gryff PoA scarf. The black and yellow acrylics are very soft and the yellow is *bright*! Got some Sirdar Snowflake in turquoise from ebay (yet to arrive) for a decent bargain price, this is intended to go with the Colinette Graffiti Popsicle for a gift hat and scarf. See, I'm buying yarn with a *purpose* in mind :-D That's my story and I'm sticking to it .... Wish we could go to the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate later this month, but DH is away that week. Not *too* disappointed really as I can wade through the stash somewhat then have an excuse to yarn-shop after Christmas :-)