Monday, 30 July 2007

Sweater Marathon almost at an end

And thank goodness for that! This sweater marathon has made for some very boring blog posts!

I sailed through the first and second sweaters, the third was no problem, and the front and back of the fourth were a breeze. BUT I've just got stuck on the sleeves of the fourth and final sweater. I just can't seem to get into the knitting at all. I've taken to doing housework - anything but knit these **%%$$!! sleeves! ;0) I've even got my lunch ready for work tomorrow - I normally run round like a headless chicken trying to get my lunch together approximately 10 minutes after I'm supposed to have left the house! *LOL*

But I'm hoping that tomorrow will bring a better knitting mojo and I'll get these flipping sleeves finished. I'm knitting them both at the same time - I get too bored otherwise!

Apart from sweater knitting, I have been doing the odd few rows on a cotton cardi for DS in some very cheap cotton yarn in purpley blues. (Just to relive the boredom, y'know) It's looking nice and hopefully by the end of this week, I'll have some not-quite-FO photos.

My next project is going to be a baby blanket for my cousin, same as the cream one I posted a photo of recently, but this time in a very pale pink. This should hopefully take about 3 days and then I'm going to do some knitting for ME! :0)

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Sockapalooza 4 Commemorative Bag

This is what I teased you with yesterday. My new Sockapalooza 4 commemorative bag from Allena - The Knitting Ewe. I first saw the bags mentioned on the Sockapalooza 4 site and thought they were great - I also loved the price $15 (about £7.50).

These bags are available to everyone, not just those in Sockapalooza 4.

You get to choose which colour and design of fabric you want, in whatever combination you want, and the bags are totally reversible.

They measure 7.5" high x 20" around and the base is 5"x5". Just the right size for portable projects like socks and scarves.

I had an e-mail from Allena on the 17th to say that she had posted it and it arrived yesterday, the 21st! Very quick, considering this came from the US.

I definitely recommend Allena's bags to anyone - they're really well made and the service I received was excellent. Next time I need another bag (and you can NEVER have enough bags!) I know where to go. ;0)

A Teaser for Tomorrow

I had a lovely package in the post today which totally cheered me up after the Royal Mail failed to deliver the new Harry Potter book which I pre-ordered from Amazon back in January. :0( I eventually went to my local Asda and bought one from there. I'm now halfway through and it's brilliant. :0) When (and if) Royal Mail ever deliver the one from Amazon, it will be going straight back, with a stroppy letter to both about lack of decent service.

Anyway, back to the little package that cheered me up today. It's knitting related but not yarn. Although I can use it with yarn. It's also sock-related, although not sock yarn. I will post a photo tomorrow to put you out of your misery. ;0)

I definitely recommend the seller - the service was exceptional. :0) More to follow tomorrow ....................

Saturday, 21 July 2007

FO Picture of MS3 Clue 3

This is Clue 3 finished. Melanie said that her shawl measured 25" long at this point - mine measures 20" long, so I think I'll take the option of adding in one extra repeat. That should give me a finished length (roughly) of 71". The width is about 15". I could probably block it more aggressively than it's pinned out here though.

Talking about pins, I found a pack of 20 T-pins/quilter's pins in Hobbycraft recently for under £3.00. They work wonderfully with my new foam blocks. ;0)

Thursday, 19 July 2007

I fibbed - there is a sock photo

Yes, I did indeed fib earlier when I said there wouldn't be any sock photo tonight. I managed to finish the back of sweater #3 more quickly than I thought I would, so instead of casting on for the front (that can wait until tomorrow) I thought I'd finish the rib on DH's Serpentine socks.

Can I please make it clear - that is HIS bit of hairy leg in the photo. It does NOT belong to me! ;0)

I'm using 2 x 2.5mm Addi Turbo circs and Angel Yarns 4ply sock yarn in shade #3032 - Sage Tweed - which is more heathery green/grey IRL. If you click the link, it's the large picture at the top right of the page. It's definitely more of a "manly" colour, which is why I've decided that DH can have this pair. Plus he's been moaning at me because I never knit any socks for him. I have no argument for this, however, because I've knit 40-plus socks so far - and not one pair have been for him. No wonder he's feeling left out. ;0)

Blocking Mats

I've wanted some blocking mats for a while now and know that a few people have bought mats like these from the Early Learning Centre.

I bought these from B&Q today. They cost £15.98 for 8 mats which are 210mm x 210mm x 11mm, a total of 3 sq metres or 32 sq feet. The best thing is that I can stash them away behind the settee when I'm not using them. :0)

They will come in very handy when blocking my Mystery Stole 3. I normally use our bed, which isn't ideal when things take ages to dry, and sometimes there still isn't enough room to spread things out properly, even on a double bed.

No sock photos today unfortunately as I haven't finished the rib from yesterday. I'm up to the armholes on the back of the third sweater, the second one being posted off earlier today. I'm hoping I can get this and the fourth finished by the end of next week, then I can do some knitting for ME!

Sweater No. 2 - Finished

I finished sweater no. 2 earlier - YAY!!! It's now all packed up and ready to go off to King Cole Ltd. tomorrow. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of it after I'd sewn it up. Instead, here are some WIP pics.

I received the payment today for the first sweater, which has spurred me on to get this one finished and start no. 3.

They also told me that I get to keep the unused balls of yarn, which is great. There are about 3 and a half balls left over from each sweater so I should be able to make 2 sweaters for DS (one in
each colour) and use the rest to make some crochet throws.

I also managed to do some knitting on my Sockamania July socks. I've almost finished the first one - just the rib to go. I'll post pics tomorrow.

This is the third Sockamania sock I've knitted and unfortunately I won't get to wear this pair either! The first ones will be going to my Sockapalooza pal next month, the second ones I gave to DS's teacher yesterday and now DH has nabbed the third ones!

Out of the 40-plus socks I've knitted so far, I've yet to knit a pair for DH and I think he's feeling a bit left out. ;0) I've refused to knit him any so far because his toe nails are so long they always go straight through his socks (gross!!) but he's promised to keep them trim and keep these socks for best.

Oh well, maybe I'll get to keep next month's ..... ;0)

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Summer top FO

I use the word "summer" very loosely! ;0)
It's piddling down with rain here today. :0(

I finished this a few weeks ago but haven't got around to posting the photo. And seeing as all I have to show you lately are photos from the sweater marathon, I thought this would make a nice change.

This is a Sirdar pattern which gave the choice of having cap sleeves or sleeveless, with colour or without, and also the pattern had fake pockets on the front, just above your boobs, but I left those off because I thought they may make me look huge!

I used 3.25mm and 4mm needles and RYC Cashsoft DK, which is a lovely yarn to knit with. I think I used about 7x50g balls in total. The mother of pearl heart buttons were bought from my LYS.

Lastly, I made up the necklace myself - I bought the glass heart from Hobbycraft for under £3.00 and put it on a suedette thong which I had at home.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Sweater One - DONE!

This is sweater #1 - which I finished this morning due to an unexpected day off work. DS (age 5) was unwell yesterday, complaining of a headache and sore tummy. Well, he woke up at 6 this morning, was sick all over the bed and about 5 or 6 times after that! :0( So he couldn't go to school and I couldn't go to work.

BUT, the silver lining to this cloud was that while he was asleep for an hour or so, I managed to finish the sleeves (I knit both at the same time), do the neckline and do the dreaded sewing up. YAY! I'd actually forgotten about the sewing up bit - which is the bit I hate the most. And to think I've got to do it another 3 times! :0(

I'm really pleased with the finished sweater, although it doesn't suit me and wouldn't be a pattern I'd choose to knit myself. For some reason, I don't know if it's the chunky yarn, but it just makes me look HUGE! I like v-neck sweaters with waist shaping - this doesn't have any - which I always think are more flattering.

Anyway, I'm still pleased with it and managed to get it packed up and posted off lunchtime, thinking it would get there tomorrow.

BUT NO! Damned Royal Mail are having a 24-hour strike so my sweater isn't likely to arrive until Monday. **%%££**!!!!!

Anyway, can't stop - I have sweater 2 to cast on! :0)

Sweater One - Almost Done

This is the first sweater almost finished. I've got about another inch or two on the sleeves, knit the neckline and then sew it all up, which I'm hoping to do tomorrow.

So far this 36" sweater has used about 8 balls. It's knit up amazingly quickly - let's hope the other 3 are equally as quick!

The colour IRL is exactly as it is in the photo. It's a lovely rich shade of blue.

Excuse the poor picture quality on the photo of the pattern. I could blame the flash bouncing off the man's bald head ..........! But unfortunately it's just my bad photo-taking. ;0) But at least it gives you an idea of the finished item.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Sweater Marathon

I really must be mad. Last week, I agreed to knit 4 sweaters (adult size 36") and to do them as quickly as I possibly can as they are needed ASAP. It does help that they are knit in a chunky yarn so they knit up quickly - I did the back yesterday and the front today - but I know that I'm going to get bored before the 2nd one is finished! ;0) And they're all the same pattern. But at least I've got 2 different colours to alternate between.

So, all my other WIPs are going to have to go on the back burner for now. Except for MS3, which I shall be knitting on weekends, just to have a break from sweaters. I'm hoping to get one sweater finished per week - I'm hoping they'll all be finished and sent off by the beginning of August, when the HipKnits Project Club starts with a lacy shawl.

And the reason for all this sweater madness? I occasionally knit garments for the King Cole yarn company. I saw an advert at the beginning of last year asking for knitters and because I didn't have much OTN, I decided to apply. So far I've done a baby sweater and an adult hoodie jacket both in DK but this is the first time I've been asked to knit so many items at once, especially in such a short time scale. It doesn't pay mega bucks (put it this way, I won't be able to give up my day job!) but at least it gives me a bit of extra cash to go towards, say, my visit to Colinette for the crochet course in August! That'll make all this sweater knitting worthwhile!

I'll hopefully post some pictures tomorrow - I'm hoping I can get the sleeves done tomorrow, sew up Thursday and post on Friday. The yarn I'm using is King Cole Aero, a chunky yarn that knits to 10sts and 14rows to 4 inches on 9mm and 10mm needles. (Going back to my 3mm needles for MS3 is going to be very strange!) It's 80% acrylic and 20% wool and is nice and easy to knit with. The colours I've been sent are Petrol (a gorgeous deep blue) and a bright red. Like I said, I'll try and post some pictures tomorrow so you can see what I'm rambling on about. ;0)

And now I really must go to bed or the bags under my eyes will be the same colour as the yarn!

Sunday, 8 July 2007

MS3 - Clue 2 finished

This is Clue 2 of MS3 which I finished about half an hour ago. I really must invest in some black material to take these photographs on - using the seat of my best black work trousers just doesn't cut it somehow! Brings a whole new meaning to "does my bum look big in this?" !!!
I'm really enjoying this pattern so far. I have no idea what the theme could be, although the next bit of pattern looks like it will be honeycombs and the first bit now looks a bit scarab beetle -y to me. But who knows!?!
I'm really enjoying knitting with this yarn - Posh Yarn Cecilia cobweb laceweight. It's in the Marmalade colourway and has a very subtle variegation running through it.
Roll on next Friday and Clue 3!

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Happy Birthday to me!

It's my birthday today and I've got lots of lovely goodies to show. First of all is a row counter bracelet and scissor fob with detachable stitchmarkers from Knitz and Glitz. These are both beautiful, but I especially like the stitchmarkers on the scissor fob.

Next, some yarn pr0n. I had 3 skeins of Fleece Artist Sea Wool sock yarn in (L-R) Pinata, Marine and Jester. Pinata and Marine are destined to become these and these, and Jester will become a scarf, although I haven't found the right pattern yet. If you have any ideas, let me know. I also had a ball of Artesano Alpaca Inca Mist, to go with the one I had from Kai in the Secret Summer Santa Swap a couple of weeks ago. This is going to be a Bertie, designed by the talented Bronte. I had 7 x grey and 7 x black RYC Cashsoft DK, for a ribbed sweater for myself, a pack of Clover ring stitchmarkers and a tub of Blue Sky Alpacas Knitter's Little Helper hand balm. Fab stuff. :0)

I also managed to finished Clue 1 for Mystery Stole 3 this morning. Yay!! Now originally I had no intention of joining in with this because I've got loads of WIPs to finish and another load of PIWs (projects in waiting) to start on. But I'd seen a few photos of finished Clue 1 and was hooked. I joined up and am so glad I did. I swatched (yes, I did, swatch hater that I am!) and decided to use Posh Yarn Cecilia cobweb laceweight in Marmalade (from stash *polishes halo*!) using 3mm needles. This yarn is so fine that it makes the PY Eva laceweight I'm using for a stole from Victorian Lace Today look like DK! It's knitting up beautifully though.
At row 100, it's measuring approximately 15 inches wide. Click on the photo to see better detail. Unfortunately, this is a pretty rubbish photo, it looks much better with a black background, so I'll try and take another one later and change it. Can't wait for the next clue to come out this Friday. Oh, sign ups close on Friday 6th July, so if you want to join, DO IT NOW!