Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Westside cap

Pattern: Westside by ChicKnits
Yarn: Cascade 220
Yardage: around 0.75 skeins - used up all the leftover yarn from a previous project

A very enjoyable pattern to knit, the twisted rib cables really "pop" especially when blocked (I found it definitely needed blocking to achieve the required shape, as the cables naturally pull the cap in). Cascade 220 works very well even though it is not a "true" aran weight, great to knit with and is very soft and cosy after blocking.

I've also finished the main knitting on the pink tweed cardi, it's now awaiting blocking of the pieces before I start seaming and add the button bands. Which leads me on to:

Plans for 2009!

- my next project will be a Clapotis in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted
- also going to cast on a cardi and/or hoodie, quite possibly Ginny and Cassidy
- and I must have more berets! Porom is probably next

I have also been musing on things I'd like to learn or achieve in 2009:

- socks! Something I fully intended to do in 2008, but didn't have the time and energy to attempt
- learn a little more crochet (I can do a (US) single crochet edging and that's it), so I'm not daunted when I see those pretty edgings. I also really like Bergamot from the Rowan Purelife Wool collection, so I guess I have something to aim at!
- tackle those "interesting" techniques like a tubular cast-on
- knit more items in laceweight yarn. I'm currently knitting Alhambra in Posh Eva 2-ply and seem to have got the hang of working with finer yarns at long last.
- knit some of the lovely things in my queue, using stash
- do some sewing, hand and machine (which involves learning to use the machine!)
- warp up my loom and do some weaving at long last

Here's wishing everyone a very happy and productive 2009!

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Monday, December 22, 2008


Meet Boo the bat:

The first time I have attempted a knitted toy, he's mildly lopsided but then so am I :-D I used buttons for eyes, partly because I didn't have any of those special toy eyes, but mostly because I like Coraline. This was a gift for the Mr and served in lieu of a Christmas card - we'd rather do something a bit more permanent and different.

The pattern is from mochimochiland and I used the called-for yarn, Cascade 220. I also used DPNs for the entire thing, quite the achievement for someone who usually descends into cursing if forced to use them!

Last gift knit was a quick-to-knit pair of mitts in leftover Miski. Well, it would have been entirely leftover Miski if I hadn't calculated I was 4g short for the second mitt, so another skein was swiftly acquired.

Gifts completed, I've picked up Alhambra again and now have 6 pattern repeats complete. I seem to be coping much better with the laceweight yarn this time around. It probably helps that I'm not tired or stressed! I'm looking forward to finishing and blocking this piece and seeing the scrolls and curvy sides in their full glory.

Last night I made a start on a Westside cap from ChicKnits. Using Cascade 220 again, the silver grey used for Boo, I should have enough I think. The brim cast-on was, er, interesting, I suspect this is some kind of tubular technique. I'd never done one before but I think it looks OK so far.

This will probably be my last post before the big day so I'll wish you all a very happy Christmas!

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Beret and cowl

More Christmas gifts complete and now with their recipient:

Last Minute 'Purled' Beret knit in Fyberspates BFL aran. Gorgeous yarn to knit with. I left the beret "right" side out though.

Quickie Cowl in King Cole Anti-Tickle Merino DK, used doubled to sub for chunky yarn. I've had this yarn in stash for a while, again it was great to knit with, very soft indeed.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Blowsey Ruffles scarf

Blowsey Ruffles, made in Mirasol Miski, for a Christmas gift. The pattern is originally from The Inside Loop. The Miski was lovely to knit with and blocked nicely.

You may have noticed that Ruffles is being modelled on a dress form. I've promised myself an adjustable dress form for a long time, and bought this one from DonAngeli on ebay. Great service and a good budget product (mine is the Supafit adjustable dress form). I bought the small as my sizing is towards the top end of this size, the larger model would be a bit too big unfortunately. It is quite easy to adjust the sizing with thumbwheels, overall height is also adjustable and there is a hem marker too.

I'm currently knitting away on more Christmas gifts, last night I finished a Last Minute Purled Beret, and my current project is a Quickie Cowl in doubled-up King Cole merino DK. After that it's some simple mitts, and a mochimochiland pattern which will remain a mystery for now!

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Books meme

Found this over on My Knitting and Me and thought I'd play along:


1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Underline those you intend to read.
3) Italicise the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list so we can try and track down these people who’ve read 6 and force books upon them.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - J D Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’dolin - Louis De Bernieres Mans
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Long time no blog

Hoping to post here a little more often in future. There are a few FOs to show:

Twilleys beret pattern knit in Fyberspates DK wool (shade Foxglove). Intended as a matching beret for my long-serving Clapotis in the same yarn - the beret yarn is brighter but the overall effect is good.

Marble Muffin by Woolly Wormhead - knit in the called-for yarn, Araucania Aysen, lovely stuff. The finished article isn't very slouchy and might improve with blocking, although I maybe should have knit the largest size.

Dashing gloves in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino aran - made for terri in the Crafty Threads 'n' Yarns Autumn swap. I love how this yarn knits up and was loath to let them go!

As for my current WIPs, Flutter Sleeve is currently hibernating (plans are afoot to finish it off soon), as is Alhambra (ditto). My Sirdar cardi in the pink DB tweed is coming along nicely, with one sleeve left to knit before some seaming is required.

At the moment I'm doing some Christmas gift knitting, not something I've attempted for the past couple of years. First up is the Blowsey Ruffles scarf in some gorgeous Mirasol Miski:

The yarn is 100% baby llama, incredibly soft and knits up nicely. It does shed fibres a little though. Hopefully a good soak and gentle blocking will reduce that a little.

In other happenings, some very exciting (to me, anyway!) news was announced recently - Ultravox will be playing a reunion tour next year! I'm signed up with the official site so got priority booking, and we have seats 3 rows from the front for Manchester. This tour is something I never thought I would see, I think pretty much all fans were resigned to the fact that they would never tour again. This is also the full original line-up of the band, I can't wait!

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