Life With Yarn

Archive for July 2012

So last night saw the start of the Olympic Games in London. There’s a definite buzz about the country at the moment and I am very much looking forward to going to the one event we have tickets for – the men’s football quarterfinal at St James’ Park up here in Newcastle next Saturday. Not only do I get to go to an actual Olympic event but I also get to see lots of my family, so it’s all good.

Of course, if you’re a member of Ravelry, you can’t help but also know that the opening ceremony last night also heralded the start of the Ravellenic Games, where knitters, crocheters, spinners, dyers & weavers challenge themselves to complete projects whilst watching the Olympics. This is the first time I’ve taken part and have enjoyed planning the projects for it. I shall be starting my first project later today – I would have cast on last night but I still have one small bit of my nephew’s present to complete so I wanted to make sure that was done first so it wouldn’t get neglected for the new projects. No photos of the present yet because it’s not quite finished, but I also don’t want to spoil the surprise for my brother and sister-in-law, so photos will follow when they have it.

As for my Ravellenic projects? They involve 2 shawls, completing Eloise’s Christmas stocking (which I started last November), frogging a cardigan where the yarn doesn’t really suit the style, and dyeing the yarn for the Christmas present of one of my sisters. That feels like quite a lot in 2 weeks, but the frogging and dyeing shouldn’t take a massive amount of time (she says, hopefully).

I do have photos of some other recently finished projects. Firstly, an Elizabeth cardigan by Georgie Hallam



I also managed to find the time and space to block Rock Island by Jared Flood:

I love how both have turned out, especially Rock Island, I am looking forward to wearing that – albeit carefully, I don’t really want to have to wash it and block it again on a regular basis.

Once the Olympics are over, I can start thinking about what knitting to take on holiday (as big a task as deciding which books to pack in this house!) and start that Christmas gift knitting as well.


Last Friday, my brother and sister-in-law made me an aunt for the first time. I have 2 children of my own, but being an aunt is still quite exciting – a new baby to cuddle and welcome into the family but I don’t lose any more sleep (because I already get precious little with my own children). Of course, new baby also means new knitting, so even though I was half way through Rock Island and almost finished a cardigan for my eldest, I still had the overwhelming urge to cast on something else.

I did manage to hold back on a proper cast on for a couple of days whilst I swatched a new idea and finished the cardigan. I then had to buy some more yarn (any excuse, some may say) so that I could make what I wanted for my new nephew. I’m knitting a blanket for him, and will show a little pic:


This is going to be the centre square of the blanket, with a border going around the outside. I’ve been trying out a couple of ideas for a modular type construction – I really hate sewing things up, so I try to do as little as possible. I think I’ve got it figured out now and will be starting on the rest of the blanket tonight. It’s knit in Rowan Calmer, which I love as a yarn – cotton and acrylic mix and just so, so soft. I used the same yarn (but in a dark purple) to knit a dress to wear to my brother’s wedding last summer. It’s a real shame it’s been discontinued and I find hard to resist buying it when I see it somewhere.

I’ve also finished my Rock Island shawl, I need to block that this weekend. It’s lovely even in its unblocked state, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how great it looks with the lace opened up. I’ve also made a start on my first pair of baffies – pink and white candy stripes. These are slippers made by a friend’s gran and very popular among one group of friends. I’m following a loose pattern to see how they look but will probably try and adapt it somewhat to be more sock-like in construction, which will also mean less sewing up (did I mention how much I hate sewing up?)

School holidays start tomorrow and I have a non-knitting work project that started (slowly) this week and which will be building up in the next few week. Not great timing, but there we go. I’ve also started a lace shawl design online class with Miriam Felton through Craftsy. I don’t know if I’ll get much time to progress through the class in the next few weeks, but what I’ve done so far has been really interesting and I’ve been flipping through my stitch dictionaries to get some ideas for stitches.

Husband has been on a rare trip away with work, so it’s been pretty busy over the last week as I solo parent my two girls who dislike sleep. This hasn’t left a lot of time for knitting but that doesn’t mean my needles have been idle. I finished a quick knit cardigan for my youngest, who refuses to wear it because it doesn’t have buttons on it. Who knew a 22 mth old could be so demanding with her clothing! I’ve also made a start on the knitted Christmas gifts, to try and avoid that mid-December hand ache caused by staying up late to try and finish everything in time. I’m also hoping I can take on a few commissions as well, so if anyone wants anything hand-knitted to give as a gift, please get in touch or pass on my details.

I also completed my 26 pairs of socks in 52 weeks challenge, with 2 days to spare. A few were gifts, so I am now the proud owner of 21 pairs of hand-knitted socks. I haven’t worn shop-bought socks since last Autumn and I can’t imagine switching back, to be honest. My feet were cosy warm all winter and with careful choice of yarn, they haven’t gotten too hot in what has laughingly passed for summer so far in the UK. I’m now taking a well-earned break from socks and have started this beautiful shawl Rock Island by Jared Flood. It’s been up and down to say the least. On Saturday, I started the main body of the shawl and was doing quite well, or so I thought, and then in the lace section, it seemed to go a bit wrong and I ended up having to rip it all back. So today, I’ll be starting the main body again and using a number of lifelines and trying not to get distracted.

I’ve also been amused by this news story – woman knitting at Wimbledon during a Murray game. It amused me because of the way it seemed to cause real uproar among some people. I’ve read comments that she should have given her ticket back if she wasn’t going to watch and how disrespectful it was to the players, both of which made me laugh. She’s clearly watching the match whilst knitting, not an impossible task, I myself was watching at home whilst knitting. The Jeremy Vine discussion on Radio 2 on Monday lunchtime was almost excruciating – particularly when he asked if the knitter in the studio always switched her needles in her hands when she said the word exactly and she patiently explained that no, she was just at the end of the row.

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