Tuesday, March 5

FO: Fingerless gloves

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Some simple fingerless gloves, made at the weekend workshop in Fladbury organised by rmbroo. Met some amazing machine knitters, got one lady going on her SK840 and managed to sell some items I was never going to use.

Very sorry to hear of Keith Flint's death - Prodigy (along with Underworld and the Chemical Brothers) on the car stereo gets me to work in the morning, especially in the winter. Another band I will never get to see!

Current mood: sad

Thursday, February 28

FO: King Cole Bamboozle cardigan

I'm not totally happy with the way the sleeve heads fit into the armscye, but having worked on this on and off since 2015 I am done! I noticed that nobody else seems to have complete this cardigan on Ravelry, which is probably an indication of the nefarious nature of this pretty yarn. The pretty buttons are from McAnaraks, picked up at the last time I went to Woolfest.

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For some reason this year, start-itis (the burning urge to cast on more projects, whilst ignoring WIPs) hasn't happened - I seem in the mood to finish off existing projects. Have now recommenced working on Blusa Queen (an intricate crochet cardigan).

And just in case people are wondering what I've been up to instead of knitting, I've been dabbling in watercolours. These three are my favourites so far:

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We've so far been tracing other work to understand how to plan painting it, so I can take no credit for the actual designs. Next term I think we're going to start working on our own designs. I'm enjoying it even if my results are less than stellar.

Current mood: thoughtful

Monday, February 18

The light at the end of the tunnel...

Woman 1: "I was down in the dumps the other day......so I bought myself a new dress!"
Woman 2: "Oh, so THAT'S where you get all your clothes from!"

Ho ho - just a silly joke that comes to mind when I have SAD. Yes, winter and my low mood have been pretty relentless this year, but despite not much being posted to the blog I *have* been doing some knitting, albeit simple "chimp work" on a cardigan - the second attempt to knit something out of Bamboozle yarn, as the first attempt at the cardigan resulted in too-small sleeve heads/armholes that made me look like the aforementioned chimp. I could not fathom out where I had gone wrong at the time, so frogged all but the sleeves (and they're short, so it was a case of 90% frogged really). I am now knitting front, back and front all of a piece, so that at least I can be certain that the arm scye starts at the same point on both sides. It seems to be taking forever, but I suspect I'm almost ready to divide for the fronts and backs, I just need to whip out my trusty tape measure. The yarn is one with big blobs of single in it, so possibly not the easiest in terms of row gauge. This will be my last attempt - alas it's probably only suitable for knitweave otherwise! Very pretty though so I do hope it works out. Then I need to take stock of the yarn stash and make serious inroads, I have at least two garments-worth of yarn that has yet to be swatched and made up, and I would ideally like to put at least one of the machines away to make more space for other hobbies. Oh, I am doing watercolours one night a week at the local adult education centre - loving it, though I am not very good yet!

Asides from that, there's been litle to report on the machine knitting front. Saddened to read that Metropolitan is up for sale but not at all surprised, nobody is getting any younger. I do hope they find a buyer, it will be so sad to lose this resource. If I was ten years closer to retirement I'd take it on myself, though I suspect it would have to be an online-only business. The end of an era indeed. Also gutted because I had hoped to take Mark's maintenance course - I've transferred my deposit to a Passap three day-er :)

We had a lovely MK meeting at my house this Saturday - R brought her Brother KH710 and we ironed out an issue she was having with it, and got to play with it. She had worked some lovely slipstitch samples that looked like knitted seersucker. I've always dismissed these older, push-button machines for newbies - but only because spares are getting scarce. It runs like a dream and is great fun, you can make up patterns as you go, as long as you remember to pull the handle every row like a one-armed bandit. Had an interested Sunday getting a massage and a tarot reading (not at the same time, that would be weird!). There is light at the end of the tunnel, the crocuses and snowdrops are coming out. I just need to hang in there for a few more weeks.

Current mood: meh

Friday, January 11

Photos

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Apologies for the poor photos, but natural daylight is something I only really get at the weekends.

News continues grim, with Brexit, redundancies, car problems and a health bill. Sigh. Not a big fan of January so far.

Current mood: scared

Sunday, January 6

Happy New Mojo?

Well, despite all the subconscious plans to the contrary, I've had almost a fortnight's holiday from work and done precious little in the way of crafting. In my (admittedly poor) defence, the Cog's xmas present to himself was both an Amazon Firestick and a NowTV stick - he's desperate to be able to watch Eurosports without having to mirror it from his laptop, a feature which recently seems to have stopped working with our TV. The NowTV stick includes a free month of Sky Cinema so we've been lapping up films while we can - so therefore no machine knitting in the chilly front bedroom. I've made two crocheted scarves and yesterday I made some MK fingerless gloves. Photos to follow. I'm planning on getting rid of a few accessories this year so the Hague Linker is for sale on Ravelry.

Not sure if the mojo is back, but am quietly cautious. Back to work tomorrow, boo! :) No, I've missed the routine, and I'm totally fed up with rich food (and there's STILL xmas cheese in the fridge!)

Happy New Year, and may your crafting mojo return sooner rather than later! :D

Friday, December 14

One and a bit xmas jumpers later...

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Superwash wool it ain't (it's King Cole Merino Anti-tickle superwash). Enough said - this ended up being my xmas jumper submission... :(

18-12-2018 Edit to add: I've raised my issues on Ravelry, and it turns out that it might actually be my washing machine shocking the yarn with cold water when it rinses (it has no hot water inlet). So it might well be operator error - I made a jumper in this yarn in October one year and had no issues, but the cold water is currently VERY cold here. Humph. Yet another swatch required! Pah...

Monday, December 10

Nope...

Still very little to report, I'm afraid. The week's holiday was ok. The following weekend we had 4 days in Munich. Saturday was a fun touristy day - xmas markets, wandering around the shops with the obligatory visit to C&A - apparently jeans that cover my Rubenesque bottom are NOT in style any more - phooey to that, I bought nothing! Then an evening visit to a massive bierkellar, where we made fast friends with two guys having a late meal on our table. It was all very friendly and not at all like a beery night in the UK, where one would possibly fear for one's safety at the end of the night. I managed to forget to pack my usual size SD cards and 1gb runs out very quickly, even more so when shooting RAW & JPG at ISO800. Idiot.

Sunday (it rained all morning) we were down to earth with a bump when I realised the hotel was about two blocks away from the heart of the National Socialist empire, where it all started. There was a very thorough museum which we could have spent all day at, but hunger called us away after a few hours. I studied this at school aged 15-16 but had forgotten that Munich was the place.

Monday the weather was nice again and G took me to the Englisch garden, a massive park where one can surf (it has two lakes), there's yet another xmas market complete with curling rink. We had to check out at lunchtime as our original return flight the day after had been cancelled, so we had to shorten the trip by one day. There were xmas markets everywhere, even out of town, so one could easily spend a week here and not see everything. Luton airport was also a nightmare on the way back, way to make your passengers feel like so much cattle - got a lovely whack on the bum from the overloaded transfer coach back to the carpark. Apparently they'd decided to combine two coaches into one and we were suddenly at the BACK of the wrong queue. Useless bunch. MOO.

Consequently, I've not had (a) much sleep and (b) any time to knit or crochet. I've tentatively started a fairly simple crochet scarf, but the yarn wouldn't have fit into the suitcase so I didn't even try. DSLR cameras do take up space, alas!

The xmas sweater has hit a dead end, it doesn't seem to matter which tension I use, the yarn is definitely felting thus it is NOT superwash (see next post). Very disappointing. I might try it on the midgauge, but it is too late for Dec 14th. Friday I have an xmas t-shirt to wear instead, though I may customise it. I've also stood down from moderating some groups on Ravelry because I'm so far behind with reading messages - and I've little enthusiasm to catch up at the moment. The sad thing is, I've hardly posted since mid October and nobody had actually noticed - but then the group has become a lot bigger since I joined I suppose, which is no bad thing. MK is alive and well, but only online :(

On the positive side, the xmas shopping is pretty much done already bar one or two items, and ditto the cards. Asides from wrapping everything and finishing decorating the house (so far we have some lights and a bit of tinsel, no tree), I'm pretty much done.

So - this might well be the last post of 2018, and I'm not sorry - it's not been a great year, all things considered, though not for yarny reasons. I'll try and get a picture of my xmas swatches for next time! :D

Current mood: indescribable - a mix of winter blues, tiredness, anxiety