Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Shoesies and glovesies*

Another productive few days here in Dundee. The sudden cold snap (yesterday was 5 degrees, today is 6, overnight 0) has necessitated gloves for Felix. Luckily, I brought the pair I needed to finish overseas with me, and so they were finished last night.

As usual, Felix couldn't have a serious picture taken with his knitting.

*sigh* Wouldn't have it any other way.

My own knitting has been productive, too. I've nearly finished one of the entrlac socks, most likely by the end of this evening. Depends if I can pull my gaze away from "Silent Witness" or not.

Today's knitting has been in the warmth of the Reading Room - now with chairs and a huge floor lamp - while watching the latest two episodes of "Spooks" that I downloaded from the BBC. Their download system is just perfect for a knitter with a huge laptop (Felix's today) and the need to vege out. The download speed would make all other Australians cry, so I shan't tell.

I've planned my next project, but I need to wait until Saturday to announce it. That's when the Knitting 19th Century Novels group start their next book... "Dracula". Now see if you can guess what I plan to knit.

*If you got that reference, you are either the biggest nerd alive, or Felix.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Things that make knitting easier

I have my own blocking room. It's called the "Resource Room", but there's nothing in it, it's a nice size and has two very toasty radiators. I hereby claim it in the name of my knitting!

Here's my Snowdrop Shawl blocking quite happily in my new room - I'll be taking some very nice pictures when it's done.

But with what? Why with my nice new Samsung L200 my lovely Felix bought me at Heathrow Airport.

Felix knew how much I hated my clunky old camera (a loaner from an ex that I never returned, just because I kept forgetting to) so he bought me a new one. Isn't he sweet?

Well...kind of. When I was blogging or on Ravelry I needed his laptop because we only brought one
with us to Scotland. Felix had to sit around playing on his DS (which he loves) or just waiting for me to finish, causing me to feel guilty and him to feel bad.

Behold. My new baby.

An Acer Aspire One. The shiny pure pearl one. My birthday/Christmas present. Best part? Linux OS.

Never doubt my love for my husband - he knows me. He loves my knitting.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oh @#$%*!!!!!

Having finished my Snowdrop shawl, I launched straight into my next project - Entrelac Socks (yes, I had already done the tension swatch). I only brought two projects with me, and I thought it'd be smart to bring some nice long difficult ones. Truth be told, they're not after all. The Snowdrop Shawl took a month, but one week of that was tinking 24 rows to fix a mistake, so it went pretty fast. As for the socks, I got up to the heel in a day.

Then I noticed the problem. The heel had somehow located itself onto the side of the foot.


The next day, I ripped back and relocated it. I'm now halfway through the calf.

If it wasn't for Christmas rearing it's ugly ravenous head, I'd be worried about the speed in which I'm working.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I've been working on a shawl for my "Knitting 19th-Century Novels" group on Ravelry, the Swallowtail Shawl. I'm in the midst of the edging and I keep stuffing it up. I started tinking back to where I went wrong and now I'm dropping stitches in a lace border.

If this goes on I will either scream or use some scissors, I swear it...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Maybe knitters should sue?

I've been on a walking tour of Dundee - well, a knitter's walking tour. I had a look at the "Local Yarn Store" listing at Ravelry, and went out to the three listed for Dundee.

1. Woolcraft, The Forum Centre

My first wool store in Scotland! Only one problem - there were only four balls of wool there. No, they weren't out of stock, it was all petrol-based. All of it. Four balls of wool total. I ran away very quickly.

2. The Wool Shop, Broughty Ferry

I sat on a bus for this trip. It was raining, miserable, Felix was off at a Magic pre-release (again) and I was off to check out another shop. I stepped in and instantly realised the problem. If the store was set on fire, over 80% of its stock would melt, rather than smoulder. Why on earth is somewhere called The Wool Shop if it has sweet Fanny Adams of stock that has ANY wool in it?!? After being patronised by the owner, I left in a hurry. Yes, people under the age of 60 can knit.

3. Knitting Pin, Dundee

This shop is at the top of a killer hill. KILLER. I took Felix with me, as it was my first day outside after a small cold turned into a mutant virus and wiped me out for five days. On the map it looked flat, and I'm sticking to that argument, alright? Anyway, we finally made it up the hill - gasping due to our complete lack of fitness - and headed in. Knitting Pin is really quite teeny sized, but with a redeeming feature: wool. Actual wool. Carded, processed, spun, dyed and wound into balls. I could have fallen onto the owner's shoulder and wept, but she's teeny-sized too, and I don't like talking to people at the moment, due to some dental accidents (try saying "Leith Path" with no front tooth sometime. Felix laughs everytime.) and my "odd" accent.

The best part? Jamieson & Smith cobweb yarn. I got to touch it. I may even bribe Felix into buying it for me (he still owes me for the airport stuff up on the way to Port Macquarie last month).

The winner? Knitting Pin - the name is accurate, at the very least, and the store has a wider stock range than the other two, carrying, Sirdar, Wendy, Rowan, Patons and - *shiver* - Jamieson & Smith.

Still miss Jo Sharp though, and now the Serenity is coming in new colours for summer...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Finished Objects 2008 - #21 - #28

Yep. 8 finished projects. See this smile? It's smug satisfaction, that's what it is. Tis almost a smirk...

To be fair, most of these have been done for a while, I just hadn't listed them here. Now I'm in Dundee with a LOT of time on my hands (except for Friday nights - Emmerdale, Coronations Street Part 1, Eastenders, Coronation Street Part 2, but no Hollyoaks. Thou shalt not watch Hollyoaks.) I can relax a little and blog to my heart's content.
First off, we have a set of Saartje's Bootees, also known as the most popular free baby pattern on the interwebs.

I thought I'd use up some leftovers from my Nana's Rainy Day Socks, and these are really really quick to knit. Scary levels of quick. An hour to knit a pair. I like these bootees.

Next up, we have Felix's "Surprise!" Beanie, so called because I was bored, hated what I was knitting and whipped this up in three days, all in secret.

See why it took three days? Fair isle heaven! The green is far more flourescent than the picture allows. The pattern is called "Syncopated Caps" and the design is by Kate Gilbert, who also designed my Passepartout Beret. I love her work.

It seems to bring out the worst in him, unfortunately, but it was well worth the effort for the look of joy on his face. Green and orange are his happy colours (no, not even a little bit Irish, actually).

I joined the ranks of the converts to Elizabeth Zimmerman and made a Baby Surprise Jacket. The surprise? It's amazing!

I love the ease of knitting just garter stitch, and the decreasing/increasing is just genius. I amazed my mum with the pattern and even my sisters were impressed with the origami-like nature of it all.

The Surprise element is that the jacket is knitted entirely in one piece. One. You have two small seams to sew up at the end. I see another 20 of these being made - so easy! No wonder the creator is referred to as Saint Elizabeth...

Next, we have a basic baby hat, using the ak traditions pattern.

Pretty easy pattern - short row shaping, all garter stitch. I used a ball of Patons "Gypsy" that I bought about 8 years ago for a friend having a baby. It's acrylic - which I loath - but it is pretty fuzzy and cute.

Some really easy baby bootees - really easy. I just wanted something to use up some 8ply, and this is pretty fantastic for that!

There's another 4 sets waiting to be sewn up, but I ran out of time before we left Australia.

My Ice Queen - a work of true beauty. Chantal and I were working on this at the same time, to the point where we were sitting in Koko Black doing the cast on! It's an amazing piece of knitting, and I adored it.

Shame my old camera sucks so much.

I can't take any pics with my new camera because Ice Queen is in Australia with everything else. *sigh*

My Trinity Stitch beret has been pretty popular on Ravelry - 90 projects. I just wanted to use up a ball of Arymtage fluffyness, and another beanie won't hurt, right?

It didn't turn out quite as I expected. Too tight, hardly any slouchyness. I added the button after I ripped out 16 rows that made it go all pointy instead of slouchy. I still like it.

Nice colours for me, I guess.

Lastly, we have my cat toys. Or, we would if I had the photos. No idea where they are. Stupid moving countries.... *grumble, grumble*

Next up, an assessment of the knitting stores in Dundee area. I may need to shop even...