Monday, February 18

The light at the end of the tunnel...

Woman 1: "I was down in the dumps the other 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





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...


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


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

Sunday, November 18

Nothing to report...

Well, I've been swatching for a Christmas sweater with supposedly supwerwash wool. T6 was too tight, T9 too loose, hoping that T8 (not yet swatched) might be the charm otherwise I'm going to be out of yarn before I get to complete it. Having said that, I'm almost tempted to knit an xmas waistcoat instead because I rarely actually wear jumpers for more than five minutes - I just get too hot in them!

Am knitting it in what I call "ladderback" DBJ, ie the machine is set for double bed jacquard but the ribber only has every 4th needle in work to control the floats, the pattern is of some snowmen I found on a Russian website. Fairly sure it'll end up being cut and sew - nothing like piling on the pressure eh?! Deadline, difficult techniques etc. My machine has had some issues lately - one of the sinker plate screws keeps descending into the path of the needle latches (needs thread lock or a redesign, ha!) and I've had to replace smashed rubber wheels too (no idea why that happened!). Spongebar replacement is also imminent I think. Tchoh, isn't it always the way?

Struggling to focus on positives at the moment, but I do have a week off coming up so hopefully I can chill out a bit and decompress...

Current mood: exhausted

Sunday, October 21

Lost and found: mojo

Realised I haven't posted on here much this month. Life has been busy - actually, life is no busier than usual, but with the declining sunlight and various other things, my reaction to things suddenly makes me feel very busy and in fact too busy to cope (which is silly). I'm working on a lace shawl (Glimmer) and the easy bit is done - garter stitch with short-rowing in the middle. Now it's a 4 row lace pattern worked on the edge. It's one of those tricky lace patterns where EVERY row something is happening, there are no plain rows, so the edging is growing verrrrryyyy slowly as I've had to frog back a few times - and yes, that was WITH lifelines. It's the worst feeling in the world to spot a dropped stitch in lace when it's beneath the last life line. Gah! I try and do a few repeats in the car in the morning, when I'm in the carpark - but the last few days I've either not had the time or my body has demanded a comfort break so progress is slow.

I've been working on granny squares for a blanket I am making - but the crochet hook has gone missing! Bah! Wednesday night I ended up just knitting a garter stitch dishcloth because that's all I had with me and all I felt I could cope with. I do also have cross-stitch and tapestry on the go - I started them when I had a bout of RSI last year.

I've got plans for more projects, of course - I've even got yarn for an xmas jumper this year - and there's a black chenille jumper on the machine at the moment. It's stalled. I'll get back to it.

Oh, I had a go at spinning yesterday with "In the Wool Shed" in Kenilworth - really, really cool! I kept stressing over how bad my singles were, but when plyed it was actually fairly balanced. Think it might become a coaster or something :) Then my friend and I when for a lovely lunch :) Came home and chilled out on the sofa, and then G and I cooked risotto with chorizo and mushrooms. A perfect day! I will try and post a picture of my mini skein later...

Having reconnected with a good friend I've been grieving for all summer, and having realise the anxiety is kicking in again a bit, I've just come back from an amazing yoga class or "forest bath" with Hannah where we communed with the trees. It might sound wacky but it was really good and I enjoyed it, so I don't care! ;P It's just a pity I work full time otherwise I'd do more. Baby steps!

Current mood: thoughtful