The frogging blues...

I frogged an entire shrug today. I don’t want to talk about it but I’m feeling a bit blue, there is something about a freshly rolled ball of wool with that crimped “I almost was something" texture that just brings tears to my eyes. My knitting just doesn’t seem to be going that well at the moment. The lace is going very slowly.

To get myself out of this knitting slump I decided to make a knitting spreadsheet of all my stash and all the projects I want to make (following Dreamcatcher‘s good example). Happily there is a large overlap between the yarn and the projects so hopefully there will be some more interesting knitting news coming up.

Happy Birthday Monkey!!At least today is Clever Monkey’s birthday and that makes me very cheerful. Here is a picture of the cake I just made. Plus I’m making his favourite homemade lamb and coriander burgers tonight. Then we will be watching X-Men 2. Tonight is truly an evening of high culture!

By the way any ideas of what to do with a rather fuzzy, crumpled looking ball of Rowan Polar would be appreciated. :-(

A long week...

It has been a long week. The Government Department which I work in has had an almost complete change of ministerial team in Tony Blair’s latest reshuffle and that has meant all of us civil servants running around like headless chickens trying to bring the new team up to date. So I’m afraid that I haven’t had the energy to post this week. But I have been reading everyone else’s posts to get my knitting fix - parasite that I am!

Anyway, I thought I would update you on my first Print of the Waves stole (pattern by Eunny Jang ). I have managed 8 repeats this week. Not much I know but I have also almost finished a shrug in Polar. I’m knitting the stole with cobweb weight yarn and 2mm needles. It is like knitting dental floss with toothpicks! But I also have to say that this is a very enjoyable knit, it feels like a real challenge after some of the easier patterns I’ve been doing lately. I included the needles from my shrugs in the picture above just to show how truly tiny the 2mms are!

The blue threads that are running across are the lace knitting equivalent of safety nets. After every repeat I thread a piece of sewing cotton through all the stitches on the needle. This means that if I make any mistakes or drop any stitches I never have to undo more than one repeat. It makes it easier because with all the yarnovers you use in lace it is incredible hard to pick up a row if you start to undo it. By the way, if you decide to try this too, make sure you thread the cotton through the stitches using the eye-end of the sewing needle first, that way you are more likely to go straight through the centre of the stitch rather than the wool. It also makes it easier to count the number of repeats you’ve done.

Weight Watchers for wool? Wool Watchers...?

Strawberries and cream?
I’m so ashamed of myself. Yarn greed got the better of me…

My cashmere/silk cobweb weight yarn arrived from Posh Yarn. Soon to be two of Eunny's Print o'the wave stoles. (Very quick service from Posh Yarns and beautifully packaged by the way). The colours are raspberry and ivory. Although I would describe it more as strawberry than raspberry now that I’ve seen it in the flesh.

The other day I happened to be reading Ysolda'sand she had just been shopping at the Cucumberpatch. Nice, I thought but carried on reading, then I saw her photo and she had bought Rowan Polar. How could I resist? I’d been wanting some for ages.

Polar goodnessWhen I checked out the Cucumerpatch website they had LOADS of really great Rowan wool in their sale. So I bought some Rowanspun chunky too! The polar is going to be turned into
two shrugs and the polar is going to be a comfy stay at home jumper for me in the autumn.

Rowanspun chunky - I'm green!

labelCucumberpatch were also very quick at delivering, plus they gave me a free sew-on Rowan label! I’ve seen a few of these for sale on various sites now. What do you think of the idea? My husband wants me to sew it on his jumper I made him because he keeps wearing it back to front…

Learn how to take a picture girl!I know this is a terrible photo but I haven’t managed to get a better one yet but I will by the end of the weekend. This is my Debbie Bliss Pure Silk top . I’ll tell you more about how it was to knit when I have some better photos.

I joined the lace KAL

This means I'm definitely going to be knitting the Print o'the wave stole next. I just wish my wool wasn't currently sitting in the local post office waiting for me...

Print O'The Wave

I’m feeling very happy at the moment, yesterday I found out that one of my best friends is getting married (she was one of my bridesmaids if you’ve looked at my wedding photos). I’m so happy for her and her fiance! He is really lovely and they make such a great couple. Apparently he jetted her off to Italy on a surprise holiday and gave her with a beautiful pear-shaped diamond ring. How romantic is that?
Anyway, I’ve decided that I want to make her an engagement present and my plan is to make Eunny’s Print O'the Wave stole. I’ve ordered some ivory cobweb weight yarn from Posh Yarns(I’ve also ordered some in raspberry because if I enjoy making it I’m going to make my Gran one too).
Anyway, this does mean that I am going to take a brief break from my sweater/top challenge of one a month but never mind - how long can a couple of stoles take :-)
I’m thinking of joining the Amazing Lace KAL, has anyone else joined up?
I really want to post some pictures of my finished April and May projects but blogger won't let me. I hope that it will be behaving itself by tomorrow.

A bit woolly in the head

Yesterday afternoon Clever Monkey emailed me to tell me he had a German lesson after work. Obviously my first thought on hearing this was obviously “brilliant a chance for some unobserved stash enhancement“. Not that my husband would ever deny me my yarn but sometimes I’m a little bit ashamed of my own greed and like to hide it. Anyway I popped along to John Lewis after work and bought these items.

Just in case my picture doesn’t make it clear I bought lovely bag handles, some nice greeny wool to make a branching out (I saw Dreamcatcher's and had to have one of my own!) and I finally bought a ball of wool cotton to finish my bolero! I think I was fairly restrained given that I really wanted to by the yarn for Matilda Jane.
Anyway, I was so pleased with my knitting purchases that I seemed to go into some sort of knitting daze. 30 minutes later I realised I was on the wrong train going in the opposite direction. I don’t know how I did it but if I tell you that I set of at 18.45 and finally got home at 21.00 you’ll get an idea of how thoroughly lost I was. But as Clever Monkey said it was worth it for the wool…

Knitting on the move

I travel to and from work everyday on a train that is so crowded that people are left standing on the platform and those that get on the train often have their faces squashed against the window. But I’m not going crazy (yet) and my knitting is the only reason. Why is it so calming? Even if I come out of my office cursing my evil boss (seriously she is mean!) by the time I get home after 45 minutes or so of knitting I’m practically skipping (sometimes literally… I must stop humiliating myself). So I thought I’d put together some quick tips for knitting on the train.
  1. Knit small, by this I really mean keep those elbows in. You’d be amazed how grumpy a sleepy commuter can be if he’s woken up by a knitting needle tickling his ear. Perhaps they need some knitting to calm them down?
  2. Knit something that isn’t too complicated. The train isn’t the place for lace, it will only end in tears…
  3. Use circular or flexible needles (have I mentioned before how much I LOVE my Denise interchangeable needles) to decrease your knitting “footprint”. This is similar to point one but not only are flexible needles good for small knitting - they fit easily into your bag and don’t break if someone accidentally stands on your bag. Sorry painful memories of some nice bamboo needles with some lovely lace on them. See this is why we need points 2 and 3!
  4. Cross your fingers that you don’t get a man sitting next to you. They spread out so much and they always take the armrest. I stand by this point for non-knitters too.
  5. Try and get a window seat, it’s just so annoying when every passing carrier bags knocks you knitting out of your hands.
  6. Buy a cute dinky little sewing kit and matching tape measure. OK not strictly necessary but my Mum got me these for Christmas and I love them so much that I take them everywhere.
  7. Last tip, make it look impressive! Knit quick, where possible use more than two needles at a time, use pretty stitch markers no one can fail to resist the lure of knitting jewellery and learn the pattern off by heart before the journey so they think that you always know exactly what you are doing.
    Here is a not very exciting picture of my knitting progress. After I finish this front piece I only have the tiny little sleeves to knit and I’ll be finished. I can’t wait to be able to wear this top it’s so soft.

  8. I hope everyone had a great bank holiday weekend. We did! The highlight of it was going to see our friends who live in Golders Green in London. They have such a lovely house, and a robot hoover which is just so cool! I know I’m a geek but a robot hoover surely is the height of luxury. Anyway my friend cooked the most delicious moussaka. It was from this book which I really want now. The recipes all looked delicious and the actual book was beautiful too.