Wednesday, June 27, 2007

It's all in the yarn

I recently finished this pair of socks for the Technical Advisor, they were on the needles for a long time. I started out enthusiastically enough but as the reality of knitting socks for size 12 feet began to hit home my enthusiasm waned somewhat. I cannot find the ball band but the yarn was nothing special.

I have made a few pairs of socks but

am by no means a sock addict and in truth I never quite got the whole sock addiction thing. Why pay so much for yarn to knit socks with? I can buy pretty good socks for a lot less than that. However, when my prize arrived from Heather some time back I was pretty eager to give the yarn a try and I resurrected the Technical Advisor's socks in order to get them off my conscience before casting on anew.

Oh my, the yarn really does make all the difference.

It would seem that I cannot knit this fast enough, this stuff is gorgeous, so soft, one of those yarns you have to keep doing that slightly weird thing of stopping to stroke the yarn against your cheek every so often (well, weird to non-knitters and Technical Advisors that is).

This pair is destined for Dylan who has been neglected in a knitting way of late and these socks are moving a great deal faster than any I have knit before, sock number one was cast on Monday and cast off Tuesday, hoping to complete number two with equal speed. So oh yes, I now totally get the sock thing, I love all of it, the fiddly bit at the start where you get going, the race down the ankle towards the heel, the concentration and smug satisfaction as you turn the heel and the race towards the toe, I don't even mind the kitchener stitch! Of course I have already ordered more sock yarn, after all I have a whole new stash to build and obviously I will need a specialist sock pattern book. I was thinking maybe Nancy Bush or would Lucy Neatby be better? I would love to hear of any recommendations.

Thank you so much Heather for giving me a whole new dimension to my addiction, don't you just love knitting, it never gets boring.

Monday, June 18, 2007

More Simple Sewing

I made this apron last week and in spite of the blue shade it can only make me feel happy. Another project from the lovely Lotta Jansdotter book, I used fabrics from stash, the blue is one of those lovely fair trade cottons that seem to offer such lovely depth of colour. The apron is simple to sew and I think the shape is very flattering. I need to always have a number of aprons as I tend to wipe my hands on the a lot while cooking and there have been occasions when I have noticed a shadow cross the face of a guest when looking at my apron. No more, because the beauty of this apron is....

It's reversible! What a splendid idea and now you see why I chose embellish the other side with a pear, not so random after all. I have been meaning to use this fabric for ages and am very happy to have found a use for it. So now I can quickly turn my apron around as I hear my friends crunching up the drive, this suits me so well as I am also the sort of person to hide the mess behind the sofa rather than actually put it away, a sort of "fur coat no knickers" approach to life. (I assure you that I do not wear fur and mostly remember my knickers but you know what I mean, I hope.)

Thank you all so much for your comforting words on my last post, I am feeling so much better already, somehow just saying it, or rather writing it down, made it seem so much smaller and less overwhelming. At the moment good days out number bad and looking for things that make me happy every day really helps so I am feeling positive that I can banish these blues quickly.

A particular "hello" also to Astoria who was commenting for the first time and is a recent knitting addict, thank you for your very sweet comment and I am always very happy to hear of new knitting addict/convert, coincidently I am knitting a bamboo camisole myself at the moment, pictures soon.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Happy thoughts

I have been feeling inexplicably sad of late, I have been keeping it at bay for some time but just lately it has been overwhelming me a little, actually it feels sort of good just to write this, helps a little. As part of trying to put the sadness back in its box I am looking for happy things in each day, some days it feels hard but trying to find things to feel sunny about helps, it really does.

These photographs, taken a few weeks ago, are my happy thing for today. The little raglan cardigan, the one with the cursed sewn on button band, finished (extremely long sleeves and all!) and modelled.

Some weeks ago the Saturday edition of the Guardian featured images of celebrities jumping, I am afraid the name of the photographer escapes me for the moment, but the images were fun. This is our version, Miss Tilly in her celebrity style shades and giving it everything. Happiness indeed.

The cardigan was a Sirdar pattern, I cannot for the life of me find what I have done with the thing but if anyone is desperate for the pattern number then do let me know and I will forage further. Obviously if I made this again I would not knit the button band separately because life is just too short, and I would make the sleeves a little shorter, these particular Sirdar models must have had very long arms! I used Debbie Bliss DK Merino which was lovely to work with and seems to be wearing very well, I am growing more and more fond of Debbie Bliss yarns and will certainly use this one again, it is perfect for children's knits.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Inky delight

I took this photograph just over a week ago, the beginnings of Black Dog Knits beautiful Ink Flared Sweater. This is a free pattern guys, free! How fantastically generous of Nora, it is a lovely simple and very flattering design and knits like lightening, lightening I tell you, for in spite of the interruption of half term and several days away this sweater is now finished. I wanted something that would be perfect for pulling on over a vest top on cooler summer evenings or for lounging in pyjamas but of course now that it is finished I am thinking perhaps it is rather too nice for lounging around indoors. The yarn is a silk merino mix from The Knittery, a suggested substitute for the Noro Cash Iroha used by Nora. I felt a little guilty to be buying yarn all the way from Australia, I mean I live in Wales, there are a lot of sheep here, but I just couldn't find anything as affordable, even with extra postage costs. I do love this charcoal colour but look at that plum and the aqua, and the purple. Hmmm, may have to buy more of this yarn.

No modelling today I am afraid, it is much too muggy to put on a sweater and spend 15 minutes running back and forth to set the timer (really must work out how to use the remote!!). Please do take my word for it though, it looks lovely and is so comfortable to wear.