Tuesday, February 21

More CSM argyle experiments...

It helps if you don't use yarn of questionable vintage, of course - there are some snapped threads in this.

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Have finished the parts for the chunky cardigan, but suspect it is WAAY too long, will have to solicit opinions tonight...

Current mood: determined

Friday, February 10

And another project...

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My friend M gave me this last night, the blue has already been started on, I added the cream squares. Because I need another project...! But I really like it, it's the kind of thing I'd probably buy, so thankyou M! Got rid of a pair of walking boots yesterday (having a general clear out, get rid of at least one thing a week!) so at least they were replaced with something nice.

Tried the central Wetherspoons in Coventry last night - the Coventry Knit Wits are still on tour following the sudden closure of the White Friars Real Ale house (hoping someone will reopen it but that could take a few months!). We had at least three blokes (one inebriated) comment "oh are you knitting? Can I have a ?". SO original - NOT! The responses were polite but included "There's a Primark over there!" (M) and "You can't afford us!" (me). Why is it some people feel they have to comment? I don't go up to people in a bar and say, "Oh, wow, you appear to be feeding all your money into the fruit machine. How's THAT panning out for you?!". I'm not daft enough to never expect a comment, of course, but the drunken ones I could do without. Of course, it didn't help that the only decent sized table in the Flying Standard is a large coffee table, right next to the fruit machines. As I discovered on my long trek to the ladies - there's actually an upstairs bar and further seating (seemed to be a large group of ladies up there) which would have been better in hindsight. It's not awfully convenient for parking either, being right in the centre of town. So, last night's mood is below!

Current mood: annoyed & tired

Tuesday, February 7

Argylling about...

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Has anyone ever tried knitting argyle on their CSM? I was directed to this scarf (PDF) on the rox4sox website (also linked from my MKTC website, shows you just how much info is up there haha!). The method given means a LOT of ends to darn in afterwards, but I decided (being a fathead) that after each triangle or diamond, I'd knit onto the next position - as I'm fairly sure the extra row won't be TOO obvious. Of course, it was late and I was tired. Having knitted two blue diamonds, the stitches decided that enough was enough and they were going for a jump into space. So I decided to strip the sample off the CSM and call it a night (the other side of this sample ain't NEARLY so neat, haha!).

I'm attending the Circles CSM event in Kegworth on the second weekend in March, and have offered to attempt to demonstrate this technique as the lady who was going to do it has had to drop out. Did you know, that this patterned hose is supposed to mimic the original woven hose, which was made into "socks" and worn on the bias I guess. Also known as diced hose, it is supposed to be baggy, because of course, woven fabric doesn't curl around legs nor stretch/shrink to fit curvy calves! Of which I have a pair (I used to cycle a LOT!) :)

Current mood: mischievous

Monday, February 6

The never-ending to-do list...

I once remember catching the end of some teen drama - we're talking pre-1991 I guess, because I was still a teenager myself I think. The heroine of the tale kept this amazing journal, full of wonderful things she'd saved as well as her diary. In the story, she'd disappeared or something, and this boy was trying to find her - I'm vague on the details because as I said, I only caught the end of it. Anyway, I was fascinated and completely jealous of the journal - hang the storyline.

Fast-forward to 2017 and after two good friends mentioned bullet journalling, and - well, I think I'm hooked! That a hand-written book could suddenly become so... useful... exciting. I mean, I've got tons of notebooks - have been having a tidy up at home and I start notebooks and get about halfway through them before losing interest or losing them - and they're full of notes taken at craft events and such like, that I obviously thought important at the time, but of course cannot always fathom them later, even assuming I can find which notebook I wrote it in.

So - numbering the pages and having an index at the front. So simple, and yet I never thought of it myself! Having somewhere to keep lists of books I've read or want to read, things I'm working on, funny things I spot on line. Using nice ink pens when they're with me. Doodling - I used to love doodling, mostly on blotting paper or a cheap book I had for such stuff at school, made out of that nasty cheap cream paper, similar to the stuff newspapers are printed on. Loved doodling cartoons, embellishing letters etc. but never liked the paper, but of course I wasn't supposed to be doodling, was I?!

I've found the system of using bulleted lists at work, when I've a bunch of tasks to do, which then get crossed out, really useful. I used to do this anyway, to be honest. I think if someone were to write an app for it, it would sell well. But there's something to be said for the feel of a proper nib on nice paper, too. So I'm sticking with it. My task list is currently growing exponentially but I think it'll calm down with some practice, clarifying my objectives and what-not.

So, anyway - I'm having fun with it. Yes, mine is really messy, because I pick whatever pen I have to hand, and the moleskine paper bleeds through alas. My handwriting's not great either, being out of practice, but I don't care. It's awoken my inner muse and she's chomping at the proverbial bit; just take a look at bullet journalling on pinterest and you might see where I'm coming from.

Current mood: enthralled

Wednesday, February 1

Some mini sewing projects

Sorry if you came here for some knitting content - I'm part way through a cabled top but because I didn't swatch it as cables some refiguring of the maths needs to happen - it's on my to-do list but hasn't made it to the top yet haha, maybe Friday if there's no emergency alcohol required at the end of the week.

Anyway, I have succumbed to the charms of bullet journalling, thanks to my friends C and M (hi guys, you know who you are!). Having started with a dinky little A6 Leuchtturm in a gorgeous powder blue, bought in Birmingham, then of course I found Pinterest and realised A6 just wasn't big enough to contain my inner artist (not seen since I left school and the temptations of doodling on blotting paper!). A scouring of the shops in Coventry for A5 gridded notebooks eventually turned up a plain black Moleskine number (Waterstones also has them in orange!). Not wanting to wait 'til my next trip to Brum I bought it, but decided almost immediately that it was going to get personalised! So I decided I'd use some weaving to make a cover for it. The weaving wasn't wide enough, so I've very carefully zigzagged two pieces together :)

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I couldn't figure out how to release the elastic from the back of the book without cutting into the weaving again so used a kumihimo braid. I've plans to nip to Hobbycraft tonight to get some elastic, but in the meantime I think I quite like the braid! Yes, I know it doesn't really go but I don't happen to have the right colours of embroidery cotton on hand right now to make another one (there's another, thinner one in progress which might fit the bill). I am such a good little consumer, hunting down the "correct" book, aren't I? I found loads of lovely, lovely A5 books in WHSmiths that were just ruled on my travels. I think that's what I'll invest in next year, the grid thing is only useful for the odd table. Well, I'll see how I feel about it in December.

I've also gone back to my favourite Ness bag, got fed up of trying to close the rucksack one-handed all the time. But it doesn't have a pocket big enough for my poor old Nexus 4.

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So I made a little internal "pocket" for it. There's a safety pin holding it down to the lining at the bottom.

Third thing I made at the weekend, a rather badly finished needle book to take to sewing class, as I keep finding threaded needles in the bottom of my sewing box in the painful way (ie with a finger). Ouch!

Current mood: awake

Thursday, January 19

FO: Blue wrap top

Or, how to look glamorous in a sack!

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This was a free pattern with a sewing magazine (Threadcount 1611), the top looked OK in the pictures, but I doubt I'll ever wear this, it's so oversized I can get it on without undoing the single button! Not the easiest fabric to work with, either. It wasn't very clear which was the front or the back so I ended up with the wrong side showing on the majority of the front, which wasn't the plan. It still needs overlocking because the fabric frays like nobody's business, but I'm not sure I can be bothered. Would be a great top for breastfeeding though as you can undo the button and get a boob out pretty easily!

Modifications: the back hem was supposed to be curved but looked awful, so I made it into a straight hem instead, which does at least sit flat. Now cutting out a man's shirt in plain old cotton and it feels soo much easier to work with!

Current mood: annoyed

Monday, January 2

New Year, new post

As promised, photos of the two most recently finished projects:

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Blue slubby cardigan for my niece - no, it's not supposed to flare out like that. It's too big for her alas, I forgot she's tall and thin for her age, like her brother. Never mind, she loved the buttons and liked the colour I think. Knitted this on the KH260 with reverse stocking stitch bands, I only did ribbing for the button bands. I assumed it was some sort of cotton but actually I think it might be acrylic. The cone wasn't labelled!

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Finished table runner on our New Year's dining table. I think my edges would be less wobbly if I could just stick to a pattern for more than an inch or so! Ha! But got these yarns from My Fine Weaving Yarns so will be able to make another one if I can curb my enthusiasm and just do the zigzag pattern... :) Oh, there are glass table mats on it, I didn't suddenly figure out how to add black text to weaving haha! :) Sorry for the rotten picture but I shan't see daylight at home again until Saturday.

Didn't manage to get much crafty stuff done this week, but have enjoyed relaxing in front of the tv and helping the Cog get through all the naughty food. Did do a little sewing on a crossover top today, just got the sleeves to set in and some hemming to do. It hangs oddly but hopefully that will be fixed with the addition of a button and buttonhole.

Happy New Year!

Current mood: sad because the holiday is over. Boo hoo!