Life With Yarn

Archive for August 2013

This week has been about waiting and I am not always patient when it comes to waiting.

On the needles

I still have my two long-term projects on the needles. I’ve not worked on the Sock Yarn Blanket this week but as autumn approaches it’s definitely in my mind more. I also still have Mandala on the needles. I’m about halfway through the final chart before the edging so I’m hopeful it’ll be done by the end of September. Each round is slow going now but there are over 500 stitches for each round so even the plain knit rounds are taking 20 odd minutes per round.

I also cast on a top for Eloise, Nina by Rachel Evans in King Cole Merino in a similar shade of pink to the Fair Weather Tee I finished for Zoe. I intended to make the baby doll top as I didn’t have enough for a dress, but Eloise is quite short so it’ll probably look more like a dress for a while. I thought it was finished on Friday when I finished the cast off but when I put the details in Ravelry I realised that I’d only used 3 skeins of yarn but I had 4 in stash, so I dug out the other one and ripped out the lace edging and I’m now working through the final skein. It was a slight relief to discover the mistake because the length was at that awkward stage where it wasn’t quite a dress but looked a bit too long for a top. Duncan suggested I left it but I knew I’d struggle to find a use for one skein of DK in such a bright pink colour.

Off the needles

Because of the mistake in the amount of yarn I had, nothing was finished this week. Will have pics of Eloise’s top next week though. 

Stalking

It’s a bit cooler in the north east this week and a bit greyer as well so thoughts are definitely turning to autumn and winter. I’ve started planning my Christmas knitting – Owls by Kate Davis will be a Christmas present for one of my sisters, another has also asked for a cardigan but not made a decision on the style yet. I normally also make socks for Duncan and something for the girls but I’m not sure they really need anything this year, so we’ll see. I’ve already completed one present for my mum as well which leaves me feeling slightly organised. 

But as well as general Christmas present ideas, I’ve been on a real jumper kick for me. I have plans to cast on a Starling cardigan for me in September in a teal-ish colour of Austermann Merino Lace. I’m hoping it’s teal enough to qualify for the Teal-tember knit-a-long being co-hosted by the Knitting Den podcast (one of my favourite knitting related podcasts, I must admit). Teal is the colour for Ovarian Cancer (like pink is the colour for breast cancer) hence the knit-a-long.

But my queue generally is leaning more towards clothing for me rather than beautifully intricate lace shawls. I think this is because of a failed design earlier this year when I tried to design a cardigan which seemed like a great idea on paper but I failed twice to make it look amazing when I knit it up so I think I need to learn some more about cardigan and clothing construction generally – especially as I have another couple of ideas percolating in my brain right now. 

Yarnwise, I’ve made a purchase this week of some Colourmart silk DK in a chocolatey brown. No idea what it’ll be yet, but it’s a sweater’s worth of yarn so I’ll probably spend next week stalking ideas on Ravelry for it. I’ve been fighting urges to buy huge amounts of pretty yarn this week, I think yarn shopping is partly a stress mechanism for me, which at least is healthier than chocolate, even if it is more expensive.

Where’s my bookmark?

I’m currently about halfway through An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain by John O’Farrell. I recently finished Andrew Marr’s brilliantly in depth A History of Modern Britain and this is a more humorous take on post-WW2 history in the UK. Since last week I obviously finished The Mermaids Singing by Val McDermid, which was very good but I did half guess a couple of bits. I also tried to read The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards but didn’t really like it much so I gave up after about 100 pages. I used to slog through books I wasn’t enjoying but I have so many waiting to be read that I now have a 100 page rule: if I’m not engaged enough by page 100, I’m done with it. I also read some short stories from Night Shift by Stephen King. 

Family Life

Like I said, it’s been a week of waiting – we ordered bunk beds at the end of July and are still waiting for the final parcel to be delivered. The courier firm is a joke and claim to have tried to deliver 3 times this week but as I was definitely in for 2 of those times and no-one came, I find it hard to believe them. We’re also heading into the last week of the school holidays so this week I need to get uniform bits for both girls plus attempt the hell that is the shoe shop in the last week of the holidays to see if Zoe needs new school shoes and to get some for Eloise.

 

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I’ve let this blog languish over the last few months; largely unintentionally – I’ve written posts in my head but never managed to find the time to get them down on the computer. But then this post by my friend Liz made me think about why I’d started my blog in the first place and what I wanted from it. I do enjoy writing the (very occasional) posts and I know I should write more. In the last few months, I’ve discovered the world of podcasts and now listen to a number of knitting related ones (as well as some non-knitting ones) and whilst I’m not planning on starting a podcast any time soon, I’ve decided to take on board the idea of splitting up my posts into different sections. I’m hoping that it’ll help me get back into the habit of writing. So here we go.

On the needles

Tonight, I only have 2 long-term projects on the needles. Firstly, my sock yarn blanket which I started back in June 2012. I’ve always intended this to be a long term project and it’s something that I leave for a while and then pick up and work like crazy on for 2/3 days before putting down again. Maybe next winter it’ll be ready, but certainly not this one. It’s currently 3 rows of 26 mitred squares using my sock yarn scraps, of which I have many. I love the randomness of it and when it’s done, it’ll cover all 4 of us on the sofa.

Secondly, my Mandala shawl, designed by Renee Leverington, the truly amazing shawl designer behind Goddess Knits. I started this last December and have frogged and restarted it at least 3 times now. But I am on the final chart and after that only have the edging to go. Hopefully, this will be finished in another month before the weather gets too cold and wet so I can block it outside – it should be approx 60″ in diameter and I don’t have a big enough indoor space.

Off the needles

I’ve been quite busy in the last couple of weeks and have managed to finish 4 things so far this month. Two tops were for Zoe – Charlotta by Jade Fletcher in Sublime Organic Cotton with Manos Silk Blend stripes. She loves this, despite the crazy face in the photo!

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Second up for Zoe, the Fair Weather Tee by Katya Frankel in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. It’s a bit big on my skinny little girl but at least she’ll get plenty of wear from it.

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Also off the needles, for Eloise, the Spring Garden top by Alana Dakos in Wendy Cotton DK. 

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Finally, something for me, the Amerind Cowl by Sarah Wilson, in Rowan Calmer. I love the softness of Rowan Calmer and every time I use it, I mourn that it is discontinued. I can often be found stalking stashes on Ravelry for people selling it and seeing if I can stretch to buying some more.

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Stalking

For the last couple of months, I’ve been stalking the finished projects for three shawls: Celestarium, Southern Skies & Shipwreck. I love all three and have been wanting to start them for months but it took me until Woolfest 2013, at the end of June, to find the perfect yarn for each. I actually dyed the yarn for both Celestarium & Southern Skies myself – both are a gorgeous blue, one slightly darker than the other, and I think with silver-lined beads for the stars, they will look amazing. But I can only handle one large circular shawl at a time, so Mandala must be finished before I can cast any of these on.

What’s in the sketch book?

I’ve been a bit slack recently but I have a sock pattern virtually written in draft form, I just need the impetus to write it up properly and get it tested. I have already knit a slightly different version so also need to knit another version just to make sure it works.

Where’s my bookmark?

Not knitting related, but I am currently reading Val McDermid’s The Mermaids Singing. I’m about 100 pages in and loving it but not getting a lot of time to read. I often find that when my knitting hits a low spot, I read an awful lot more than usual, but right now knitting is taking up slightly more time.

Family life

My youngest daughter, Eloise, celebrated her 3rd birthday last week. I remain in slight shock that she is already 3 and starts nursery/pre-school next month. There are times when she seems staggeringly grown up, but then she’ll crawl sleepily into our bed each night and she is still my baby. We are mid school holidays here so we’ve had Zoe at home as well. They adore and fight with each other in almost equal measure – luckily the adoring outweighs the fighting, although some days it is close! We spent the last week on holiday with another family and it was lovely to get away, even if it was only for 5 days. However, no matter how lovely the holiday, there is always something satisfying about sleeping in your own bed again.

I’ve had rather more to say than I expected. I’ve love your feedback – what do you want more of/less of?

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