Saturday, 27 November 2010

"Not the most salubrious spot on the Lune"

When I'm not knitting, working or Guiding, I occasionally go looking for a Geocache or two. Geocaches are containers that are hidden at a particular set of coordinates. They typically contain some sort of log book and may also contain some small toys or other goodies. At the moment, I'm not doing much in the way of finding, but I do maintain six of my own geocaches including one next to the River Lune in Lancaster.

I've had a few logs, noting that the location is perhaps less than beautiful. I disagree...

Friday, 26 November 2010

FO: A Wee Bag

On Thursday lunchtimes a small group (read 'very small') of folks at the University meet to knit (most often)/crochet/spin, eat lunch, and chat. This Thursday, as I pulled my intended knitting (the second of the October colourwork socks) out of my bag, I realised I'd forgotten the pattern. Since the pattern starts with a non-standard toe, I clearly wasn't going to be working on that. Instead, I pulled out the tiny bit of spindle spun yarn I plied last month and a 4.5mm circular needle and started casting on some stitches. After a quick discussion with Calephetos I settled on the ubiquitous little drawstring bag, as inspired by Mooncalf and Eskimimi.

My yarn was approximately a worsted weight so I cast on just 28 stitches (I did try 40 but it looked suspiciously like it was trying to be a hat). By the end of lunchtime, I was quickly starting to look short on yarn so it wasn't long before I had "Saffie's A Wee Little Bag":

Here's what I did (approximately):

CO 28 stitches.
R1-4: Knit 4 rows of Stockinette in the flat.
R5: K2, twist the left needle 360o (forward, under the work, and then back to the start), *K4, twist*, repeat starred section 5 more times, K2.
R6-8: Join in the round. Knit 3 rounds of Stockinette.
R9: *K2tog, yo*. Repeat starred section to end of round.
Continue in Stockinette until desired length. Join using three needle bind off.

Cute :)

PS - I'm not totally sure what to use this for. It could be a lavender bag (I do love lavender) but it also reminds me of those little bags worry dolls come in - not sure what I do with that thought though...

Monday, 22 November 2010

FO: Christine's Cable Mitts

These should have been a very quick knit, but they fell off the radar after the first hand was done. I finally cast on for the second one at the start of last week and, after knitting two and a bit times, both mitts are finished!

The following pictures look almost summery against that nice green grass, but I am wholly convinced that it is in fact much colder in reality.

Pattern: Improvised.

Yarn: Patons Pompero in colourway Plum bought from John Lewis, Sheffield and in colourway Ruby bought from the haberdashery stand at Lancaster Indoor Market.

Project: Online at Ravelry.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

FO: Verity

Another finished object! This was my 'quick win' project which I cast on earlier in the month because I was beginning to feel like I would never finish anything and so all those things I was itching to cast on would never get their chance. I was hoping that a quick knit would help me find some motivation to get going with some finishing things off.

Verity did knit up very quickly, and before the week was out, it was almost finished, - just waiting for me to sew on the button. Unfortunately I then put it down and forgot all about it!

I picked this hat up again last Saturday (encouraged by the finishing touches I'd just put to the Lace Ribbon Scarf) and quickly popped on that button. It's been pretty dark here of an evening so photography was saved until yesterday when Hobnob and I popped out to the park to get these shots...

The hat, modeled with my lovely new winter coat and a slight squint. I love this coat a lot, although I don't love that it's from New Look and therefore seems to be somewhat lacking in quality. I ordered online because the one in store was damaged. This one has a hole in the pocket lining but is (seemingly) otherwise OK.

I'm very pleased with the button choice for this hat. This is a 26p button from the haberdashery stand at the local indoor market. Not so clever was sewing it on the inside of the hat, which I did initially, for reasons unknown.

I also love the textured stitch on the brim of this hat. 

The only thing I don't love about this hat is my uncertainty that I am wearing it right :)

Pattern: Verity by Ysolda Teague.

Yarn: Malabrigo Twist in colourway Olive. Bought online at First 4 Yarns.

Mods: None.

Project: Online at Ravelry.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

FO: Summer Scarf

Over seven months have passed since I cast off this Finished Object, but I've finally got my backside into gear and woven in that last end. So here it is, my Summer Scarf:

Pattern: Lace Ribbon Scarf by Veronik Avery.

Yarn: Kraemer Yarns Sterling Silk & Silver. Bought at Natural Stitches, Pittsburgh.

Mods: None.

Project: Online at Ravelry.

Having originally knit this up far too long, I now have plenty of yarn left. I'm thinking a set of matching gauntlets, and if the yarn can stretch to it, then a little hat too.

Thursday, 11 November 2010


A few posts ago, I made a passing reference to my attendance at a handspun spinning workshop with the intention of dedicating a proper post to my adventures later on. It seems some time has passed, and some not-unrelated bits and bobs are wanting to make their way into the blog, so here goes...

8th October
My somewhat-disappointing birthday has just passed and I am wondering how to treat myself. I've been toying with trying wheel spinning (yarn not exercise) for a while so I meander through the Web looking vaguely for some sort of class or workshop. Having found a few options at both extremes of the UK (if only I leaved in Fife), I finally stumble across handspun and send an email to enquire.

11th October
A few emails go back and forth - I book myself in for the 30th of October (my next free weekend) and try not to get too excited.

30th October
Up before 7am to walk to the railway station. Despite catching the wrong train and forgetting to bring Gwenda's mobile number (and a set of knitting needles for my train project), I find my way OK and am collected from the station. It's just me for this workshop and we immediately start with the wheel - trying a bit of treddle-ing without anything else, before moving on to feed some yarn through to get hands and feet working together. It's all feeling a bit clumsy but we move on to getting started with some unwashed fleece nonetheless... all of a sudden hands and feet come together and I'm actually producing something that looks kind of OK. I seem to have a tendency for spinning thinly and I go through a period of constant breaks until I can keep up with myself. Love it!

Break for a yummy lunch - mushroom soup, baked potato and salad.

Back to the wheel to spin a tiny bit more. I'd moved onto a second bobbin before lunch so there's just a bit more spinning to do to get it looking about the same as the first one, then... plying! Skein the finished yarn and put it aside ready for a bath when it gets home. Next step is to go back to the start and look at preparing fibres. Spent a bit of quiet time teasing the fibre before Gwenda got out the carders and showed me how to card the fibre and form a rolag - do one more before... all done. :( Time to go home and wash that yarn!

And here it is...

It's unevenly spun but it's mine! I feel a wheel coming on
(I may have resolved this already - you'll just have to wait and see...)

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

WIP Wednesday: "Hello October" Colourwork Socks

This week's work-in-progress has been on the needles since October the first, and since then it's moved only occasionally and very, very slowly. Why? Well, it turns out I haven't actually spent any time knitting it...

So here it is - one lonely almost-sock:

So far so good.

Just 7 rows to go until the ribbing, then go back and knit the heel, then start the other one. Lovely.


(This is the Hot Waves pattern from The Joy of Sox which I'm (hopefully) knitting for the Ravelry Sock Knitters Anonymous SOCKDOWN Challenge October - under-appreciated patterns)

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

WIP Wednesday: Verity

I was beginning to feel like I would never complete any of the projects currently on my needles, and I had so many things I was itching to cast on. So on Saturday I finally gave up and started this week's work-in-progress, a Verity:

(you can view the project on Ravelry, here)

A few days later, and although it may not be obvious from the picture, this hat (just in case you were wondering) is almost there. I'm about half-way round the brim and sometime soon I'll need to pay a visit to the market to pick out a button.

The pattern is lovely although I am unsure whether my finished object/head will quite do it justice, but the yarn is really, really lovely. It's soft and squishy and a pleasure to knit with. I am just slightly concerned it may start to look fuzzy and worn quite quickly though.

Looking forward to a finished object very soon - hopefully it'll motivate me to do some more finishing.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Cat + Knitting = ?

Our cats are clearly old and boring...

Kirkby tried to bite my knitting needles for perhaps the first two evenings of knitting ever. Then she clearly decided that she'd exhausted all knitting needle related excitement. Molly never bothered with knitting at all.

Apart from that, I've had the yarn from one fair isle mitten knotted for me when I accidentally left it on the floor. Since then, I've continued to accidentally leave projects and balls of yarn in silly places but they always remain intact. Hurrah for old and boring cats!

(Not as cute though, they'd make a really boring video)

Monday, 1 November 2010

The Knitting Needles That Didn't Want To Be

A tale in 15 parts...

1) A while ago now, the Mosey legwarmers I was knitting sat around waiting to be finished. The reason was simply that I did not posses a set of 4.5mm double-pointed needles.

2) Coincidentally, around this time Kollage had brought out their square double-points which I quite fancied trying. I looked up their UK suppliers and placed an order with the one that had an online shop.

3) Got an email to say they were out of stock until the end of the month. Canceled the order and rang the one other UK supplier to place an order.

4) Waited. Waited some more. Wondered where my needles were. Waited. Phoned the company... out of stock. Canceled my order and went back to the first place - after all, it was almost the end of the month now.

5) Email from company informing me that they weren't going to receive any 4.5mm Kollage needles in that order after all and they had no idea when they would.

6) Emailed my friendly yarn shop in the US. Guess what? No 4.5mm Kollage needles.

7) Altered my Kollage needle order from 5) so that I would receive a set of 5mm needles - I still really wanted to try them and for the i-Cord the Moseys required noone would actually know the difference (plus a few people had said their knitting came out at a tighter gauge on the square needles).

8) Woop, finished Mosey, the Saga was over! Oh no, wait - I'd like to knit Verity. Some 4.5mm double-points you say?

9) Borrowed some 4.5mm needles for Verity.

10) Misplaced the needles so I couldn't pack the project for my travels as planned.

11) Knitted a few other bits and bobs before remembering my Verity plans just in time for a day with five hours train travel in it.

12) Left the 4.5mm needles on the dining room table. Remembered the yarn and pattern though.

13) Was gifted a 4.5mm circular needle by Gwenda at her Handspun spinning workshop. Cast on during the train home.

14) Started Section B of Verity. My nice new circular needle broke :(

15) Dug out the borrowed double-points which I had put in a pile to go back to work. The world is right again :)


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