Sunday, January 12

Happy New Year, and an incomplete project round-up...

Happy New Year! Gosh, almost a month since my last post. Well, December always goes a bit bonkers and I didn't even do much crafting for xmas presents either, that was just the way it was! They go into major xmas mode at work these days, something happening 3-4 days every week in December. By the time the 25th rolls around I have to say I'm calorific-ally fed up with the whole thing already! I know that makes me sound like a humbug, I'm really not. We did raise quite a bit for various charities.

Because the 25th fell on a Wednesday, there were two working days before it, and two after January the 1st. My partner had to take the whole fortnight so I matched him. Bliss - but such a wrench to go back to work afterwards!

We spent one night in the lovely Hotel Indigo at the back of the Mailbox shopping centre in Birmingham, got to try out the spa, and got a lovely view of the sunrise whilst we had breakfast on the 25th floor.

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This was taken through glass - it looks like a UFO attack is in progress, but it's just the reflections of the lights from the restaurant.

Rosedale cardi

Rosedale cardigan. Actually finished the handknitting in October but it's been hanging around waiting for a zip and waiting for me to insert said zip. Not sure the yarn is really my colours (it's Noro Kureypatoren, which is a DK version of their Noro Kureyon).

Some finished and almost finished projects:
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Snowflake sweater. I machine-knitted the body (with hand-transferred snowflake front and back), hand-knitted the hems as the machine choked on the sequins / lack of weight, and crocheted the snowflake appliques. Not quite finished, I have a few more snowflakes to sew on, but ran out of time as Xmas jumper day was 13th December. And I won! Hurrah...

Fat quarter top

Fat quarter knitting cats top. This is a basic Prima pattern, think I could probably go down a size as this is the size 20 and the neck is a bit big. Fat quarters were two packs from Hobbycraft. I would like to have a go making this entirely with an overlocker next. Think I might need to add those little bra doohickeys on the shoulders.

Not pictured: I also made some 2x2 ribbed hats from my All gauges easy rib hat pattern, and another jumper from leftover Noro.

Leicestershire machine knitting club are running a 3 month project where we design and knit a jacket. To that end, I was asked to do some samples of edges, and picked four from Mary Anne Oger's excellent books (see below). They've been "killed" with the steam iron to make them lay flat, they are DK acrylic.

Various MK edges

Also not pictured, I am trying to be more sustainable. The poor Cog does not know what has hit him - we have bar soap in all bathrooms now, and I'm experimenting with making my own beauty and household products. I had quite a lot of offcuts leftover from the "knitting cats" top above, and used the overlocker to turn them into rags. I've also had a sort out of undies and t-shirts, and made them into rags also. Knitted fabric is actually better for kitchen spills as it's more absorbent. Currently it's replacing kitchen towels in the kitchen. Use them once, pop them in the washing machine. The cotton offcuts are better as handkerchiefs. I got to play with my overlocker and figure out some of the settings, and I help the environment too. Win-win, I say!


Current mood: busy

Tuesday, December 10

FO: mini teddy

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Mini teddy made for a competition. He didn't win, but I did learn to do the slip cast off on the E6000, so not all bad! Might make the next one a bit fatter in the body :)

Gosh, didn't realise it had been more than a month since my last post. Apologies - the Cog and I had a whirlwind week in New York at the end of November, and I feel like I've hardly touched the ground since, what with Mount Washmore, the Cog's birthday, various xmas parties (two in one day!) and the usual mad rush of trying to figure out what xmas presents to get everyone. Now I seem to be coming down with a cold, having dodged all the office germs successfully for a few months...

Here's hoping I get chance to resurface again before the end of the decade!

Current mood: sick

Thursday, November 7

Yarn vs machine gauge

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Putting this up here because it comes up online a lot. The numbers across the top are the tension dial settings. It's a rough guide, as yarn density varies enormously! And you might break your wrist trying to get super bulky through a knitting machine. Try it at your own risk! Just saying...

More snowflakes have been crocheted. Think I'm up to 6 or 7 now.

Current mood: okay

It's beginning to look a lot like...

...snowflakes!

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These made from charts found online - I found my "99 snowflakes" book afterwards, of course! Just google "crochet snowflake pattern diagram" :)

Tuesday, October 29

If it seems too good to be true...

Whilst perambulating on Facebook I came across a website selling "too good to be true" knitted garments - amongst lots of very nice dresses and boots. There's a company called ChicV who seems to have many websites selling garments using pictures stolen off Ravelry. Kaffe Fassett was one of the designers (his famous autumn leaves coat) - even I recognise that one! Anybody daft enough to buy one gets a PRINTED design on thin material, if they even get their goods. I have to admit I was initially tempted, but the website has NO contact details whatsoever, and the search algorithm can't even distinguish between a dress and a skirt. If it looks like a fish, and smells like a fish...?! Shame on you, whoever you are! Have reported the site to FB - Wish is another one. They were selling them as  "buy 3 garments, get 4th free" . Yeah, RIGHT.

I'm so boring I've never knitted anything rip-offable, but I would be gutted if I ever found anything of mine supposedly for sale elsewhere. There's no substitute for handknitting!

Interesting blog post here, from a librarian who had the nous to dig a little deeper...

In happier news, I have knitted the back of my snowflake garment. Turns out when working lace, less is more in terms of holes. Took two further attempts but I am much happier with it now! Couldn't find a decent 6 pointed lace chart online so came up with my own. Am now working a sharktooth hem by hand (after the machine choked on the sequins). It'll be rad! :)

Current mood: cynical

Tuesday, October 22

And on...

Rosedale is complete and is just waiting for me to buy a zip. Hoping to pick one up at the Big Textile Show this weekend, where I am representing the Leicestershire Machine Knitters. Pop by and say hello! It's a super show with lots of crafts to interest - quilting, bobbin lace, sewing, block printing etc.

The spiral sock inches on, I am almost done on the first heel. I was debating ending the spiral soon but a friend has pointed out that the foot part will mostly be hidden in my shoe. She has a point!

Trying not to think about the carve up going on politically. P*ss up and brewery come to mind. That is all.

Current mood: annoyed

Monday, October 7

Noro yumminess!

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I defy any crafter to resist the deliciousness of these colours! Of course, there's the small matter of the white snowflake jumper to knit up first on the midgauge, then I can get the chunky out. So far it's not gone to plan - the lovely zigzag hem I wanted to knit on it is not playing nice (so I will handknit it afterwards), and the snowflake lace pattern I wanted to put on the border didn't work out, so I've settled on a simple zigzag. I've not completely given up on the idea though, I think it just needs to be bigger to have any definition. Lace is hand-manipulated on all but the standard gauge machines, of course, which leaves room for error.

Wednesday, October 2

Bits and bobs

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Misty rainbow and burgundy socks made on the CSM.

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Rosedale and spiral socks in progress. Two thirds of the last round of that sleeve is red after one of those pesky Noro knots, so a little tinking is in order because I suspect it'll bug me, and it'll be right on the arm scye. The spiral socks are fun but slow! I'm debating on when to terminate the spiralling...

Newsflash: in the back of "Think outside the sox" are some very useful instructions on various basic stitches. What I have been calling k2tog for forever, is actualy k2togtbl. Oops! Luckily I'm not too OCD about such things, but it's something to remember.

I'm not even halfway done on Rosedale and am thinking of getting 13 random skeins of Noro and knitting another one, but making it in intarsia stripes so as to make the most of those lovely slow ombre shifts. Hmm, a late autumn bout of startitis. The ravelry stash is at 98, below 100 for the first time in ages, and that includes 10 yarns destined for socks.

Current mood: amused