Monday, November 29, 2010
part of a pair,
symmetry unfolded ,
completeness in likeness.
Pale as fresh lemons, soft as a cheek,
the whisper of mischief in these young feet.
I did it, I overcame the reluctance to make a second sock. It looks fab and the excited recipient couldn't wait to get them on her feet. The only drawback, the people watching me make these put in their own requests and now I have to make another three pairs!!
Saturday, November 20, 2010
spaces appear at set intervals, gaps with meaning
sliding and turning
circles of purpose and pattern
music in fibre gradually growing
covering toes with love.
Usually socks have me. They come in pairs and that challenges me. One is fine, but the thought of doing it all over again just causes procrastination of epic proportions. This time however, I have to overcome.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Steam rising as tea slowly cools, momentarily forgotten as stitches slip seamlessly from needle to needle. Back and forth, structure growing, pleasure in the making, soul soothing progress.
Stitch after stitch, row after row thoughts entwine and time passes. Contentment rises and tea goes cold. Pieces finished, lying waiting for completeness. Soon. Soon say the needles.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
But alas while my immune system was down I was hit by another virus. I caught this one here It was a particularly virulent strain. I was powerless against its onslaught and the easiest thing to do was ride with it. So I cast on something new. It was the only thing to do, the only way of being cured. I mean the purple dress is at a too hard stage. My brain needs time to process the complicated mathematical equations needed to make it fit. Ulrike needs the pattern and that was burnt accidentally by CNG who thought it was rubbish. The sock needs the heel turning and that's fiddly. I can't remember what row I'm up to on the black wrap with two lace pattern repeats and I'm bored with my calico top which is not knitted with calico.
So under the influence of this virus I hunted out a ball of Sublime cashmere which was given to my by the owner of the local yarn store a year ago. It was a nice gesture but I did wonder what on earth I would ever make with just one ball.
By coincidence I bought a knitting magazine yesterday and in it I found the perfect project. A narrow scarf, with a simple but sweet shell pattern and I was away. I don't feel guilty at all. I mean I couldn't help getting sick, could I?
Monday, September 27, 2010
It started with a dress, the most elegant, romantic dress. One with style and panache that I knew without any hesitation would be perfect. Perfect to knit and to wear. A dress made for summer evenings, for picnics and cocktail parties. A dress that would stun all who saw it.
The dress is from Vogue Knitting and can be downloaded here
So full of excitement I cast on 288 stitches and began the first round. Three rounds later I realised it was twisted and had to start again. I'd also realised that 288 stitches was going to be quite wide and although there is a lot of shaping the finished bust size was still going to be generous on me. So I decided that I could just do less pattern repeats, so instead of 288 sts and 12 repeats I cast on 216st. Easy I thought. No need for nasty complicated maths that hurts my head and makes me want to swear. No good if I happen to be knitting in my break at work. Sailors might be masters at cussing but it's still not ladylike or officer like.
But then then five decreases into the pattern and about 110 rounds I begin to think that it might be too small. After all it gets to just 12 stitches in each repeat which is only 108 stitches in total. I decide no worries I won't do all the decreases. I stick at what seems like a safe 14 stitches in each pattern repeat. Still easy peasy no complicated maths.
Until that is I get to the waist shaping and realise I can't just make 2 stitches in each repeat because then the next row doesn't work and suddenly I'm up to my neck trying to figure out the maths to make it all work. It requires several pieces of paper, two cups of tea and two painkillers (for the headache). Finally I think I see what to do. I will just take the waist up to 18 stitches per repeat and adjust from there, because now I have to keep track of how many rounds in order to get the armhole shaping in the right place. I'm thinking that might be important, or I'll either have an evening gown with orangutan arms or a scrunched up tunic. Now having roughly figured that one out I realised I have made a mistake in my thinking right back at the beginning. I have to divide for the front and back to shape the armholes. This requires an even number of pattern repeats. That's why 288 divided by 24 equals 12. 216 divided by 24 equals nine and no matter how much I fume I cannot make nine and even number. Maybe it's time to let this one rest awhile, until I see how to make the back and front equal without destroying the pattern or the universe complies and makes nine divisible by two.
Lessons learnt here. Read the pattern all the way through before starting out on your modifications. It saves a lot of pain killers.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Firstly, the beautiful Crofter jumper that was to be part of CNG's birthday present just wasn't right.
Here in the pattern it looked manly and rugged, the colourway seemed to be just right for a man outdoors. As I knitted with the same colour, it just appeared a little well, peachy. valiantly, because as you all know I am not one to give up I continued even though the nagging doubt grew and grew. I knitted it large, because I know my man likes a bit of room in his sweaters, but even so I was worried that it was going to be too small. Maybe I brought the bad karma on myself, but as I sewed the final seam, I had to face the truth. On me the jumper looked stunning. The colour was perfect for me and although roomy still a flattering fit. On my man, it looked girly and too tight. I refused to photograph it because I just felt so dumb to have stuffed it up. Never mind CNG was very kind and understanding.
So I continued with the brown vest. I felt onto a winner with this one, the colour he asked for and a pattern already tried and tested but knitted the next size up coz he didn't want to look as metro. As seen below in the earlier stages.
The deadline for his birthday was fast approaching and I felt the heat as I spent Friday doing the neckband. I swear I had another ball of yarn so I could do the arm bands, but though I hunted in every ridiculous and non ridiculous place I could think of and a few I couldn't the ball was no-where to be found. No where. How could that be, balls of yarn don't just check themselves out of my stash, or any bodies stash for that matter. I've never before run out of yarn, but it would appear that was exactly what had happened. I was looking at an almost finished vest and less than 5 grams of yarn. What to do. So I did the only thing a sensible knitter would do, since frogging seemed way too drastic and jumping up and down on it too dramatic, I did a row of crochet around the armholes. Problem solved. CNG knows no different and while I'm not thrilled with the end result it does work, sort of.
I'm also working on a pattern called Ulrike from Let's Knit, a slouchy over vest perfect for spring days. I cast on the required 77 sts and did the rib and several rows of pattern. I was using a cotton and acrylic mix and I frogged it twice because something just wasn't right. It felt too dense, too tight and after some discussion at knitting group I finally pulled it off the needles and cast on again with a bamboo and cotton blend, Sirdar's Flirt. Much better. Maybe I'm back on track.
Monday, September 6, 2010
I have to say I'm intrigued. Has anyone tried it out there?
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
My favourite colour has always been purple, deep royal purple, but any shade is too be loved. When I was free to finally buy my own car, I chose a puprle one. It was a deeply satisfying moment. I knitted a purple sweater and bought a purple Ipod. But last night I noticed that I have another favourite colour or more correctly colour combination. It was CNG who noticed first and I was surprised but even as I started to deny it I realised it was true. I love neopolitan ice cream colours, pink brown and cream all together.
I have pjs in this colour combo, a running outfit, my knitting bag and a half finished blanket. Guess I've been busted. I want some yarn in this colourway now. I just don't think I will be happy until I've made something with yummy neopolitian yarn. And I know exactly what to make with it. A laptop case for my new laptop. Just need to find yarn and a pattern. Better start hunting.
Hmm I wonder if they make a neopolitian colour car?
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
The next year is shaping up to be pretty good.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I have the most delightful knitting bag. It was made for me in my favourite colours by another very generous blogger as part of a swap. But sometimes because I am driven by some OCD lurking in my brain to carry at least three projects around with me, I need smaller bags to go inside my Mary Poppins style knitting bag which holds so many treasures I often can't locate the one I'm after although several other lost and needed items might just surface. I was using good old Glad plastic bags, because they're cheap and see through and well I had them in the house. Had I spent my seven weeks off work being productive and not sitting and staring into space then I might have had other options. Ahhh well time gone is time gone.
So there I am merrily knitting away out of my highly desired plastic bag, when CNG looks and shakes his head. Then he disappears and comes back with.... drumroll please for such is required at this point.
It was love at first sight. How could it be otherwise. It was just so retro and cool and perfect. Of course it was his mother's knitting bag and I feel especially honoured to be using it. For me it's like being given an engagement ring.
A quick peek inside and you will see that it didn't take long for some of my WIP to make their way into the bag.
Here we have three of my works, there are a couple of others gathering dust forlornly in an bag but I refuse to think about them right now. They will get done. I'm just not saying when. The browm on my favourite needles is a sleeveless vest for CNG, he asked for this one, colour and style although it has taken many weeks longer than he would have liked for it to be finished. The purple was a feather and fan dress for me. I say was because just after taking the photo I realised that the thing was twisted. I'm sure you can imagine the horror I felt upon my discovery. For a moment I tried to convince myself that it wasn't twisted and all would be well. It didn't work so after 2 hours and 45 minutes of work ( I don't know whether to thank my ipod knitting app for that information or smash it) I had to frog back to the start. The third piece on Bamboo needles is a black jumper for me. I'm adapting the pattern to suit me, so I hope it won't end up being frogged as well.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
I've had six weeks off work to deal with a nightmare situation, the one that every mother dreads and while I had every intention of being incredibly active, instead I sat and mostly contemplated. This was exactly what my mind needed and I now feel more at peace than I have for a long while. It hasn't changed the situation but I am more able to deal with it and there is much to be grateful for.
Good news on My Cute Neighbour Guy. Great news in fact. We're not going to be neighbours for much longer. In fact we're going to live in the same house. It's going to be brilliant. We just have to work out where to store my substantial yarn stash and integrate the dogs and that's it. We've taken our time and set a very slow pace, so slow at times I thought we were heading backwards but patience does have its reward.
There are finished projects to blog about but I need to relocate the Iphone cable first, I'm sure to find it while packing and then I'll post the latest pieces.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
All the girls
We flew at about 1100 ft over the inactive volcano Rangitoto, it's the dark shadowy mound at the rear of the photo, over the North Shore Peninusula and our street and then around the Sky Tower. The photos were taken with my Iphone so not bad all things considering.
I love my man and I love how keen he is for me to knit for him but there are limits. This last creation was chosen by him entirely, pattern and yarn. However he then expected it to be ready in next to no time. The knitting part took just three weeks, but it then needed blocking. CNG understands the concept of blocking but not how long the process can take especially in winter with pure wool. Every hour for three days he kept checking and asking if it was dry. In the end I brought it to his house so he could monitor it personally. Thus I turned up one evening to find him wearing a still damp jumper.
Now I had no intention of knitting another jumper for him for quite a while. He's had two jumpers and a sleeveless vest, enough for any man surely and ample proof of my love and devotion not to mention my scorn at any sweater curse. Fingers crossed and touch wood! But then I saw this pattern and the pose made me think of CNG and the previous photo and I just knew I wanted to knit it for him.
This time I'm being canny. He doesn't know it's for him. He wanted a chocolate brown fisherman's rib, but I will need a long stay in a mental ward if I do any more ribbing. So I can knit away and not be asked how much longer. It will be a surprise.
This uses Sirdar's Crofter, an acrylic but let's just say I am a yarn slut and will use anything. It is very soft though and I love the way it creates Fair Isle without the tangles a dozen balls of yarns usually produces. It also goes a very long way, just 8 balls to do a man's jumper.
I am loving how it's turning out and even if CNG doesn't like it I'm sure I will want to wear it.
Now proof that I don't just knit for him and that I am not neglecting others in my family of lovingly created garments I cast on for a jumper for Daisy. This is another Sirdar yarn called Kisses which has a very subtle self striping efect that is scrumptious. The photo doesn't really show this at all. This colour makes me think of caramel and toffee. I've finished the front and back and have cast on for the sleeves. She is very excited as it's been a whilesince she had a jumper from me.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Here's Sophie's Monster which she is very proud of.. She put in a stirling effort and finished it in time for Mothers' day here in NZ which was last weekend.
The jumper, not the best shot but seriously if I took a photo of it now you would think it was the oldest saddest jumper you had ever seen.. It is literally being worn to death. Can't say I'm not a little chuffed with that. Second jumper almost finished.
Sophie's rabbit which she feels is not perfect enough to be blogged but I think is sweet and deserves recognition. Crafting continues while the boys play golf this weekend.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
CNG being utterly fantastic then decided that the sweater curse must truly have been averted due to his sweater being utilised by daughter and that as curse was now defunct I should have no problem knitting a second or even THIRD sweater. I happen to think he might just be right.
We went the next morning for him to choose the yarn and pattern for the next one. He chose a jumper done entirely in Medallion rib, (rib is not my favourite stitch but hey if it looks good on him) and he chose a multi yarn, Cleckheaton Paintbox, in browns and charcoal. It looks fabulous and so long as I dont think about the 76,000 stitches in it I can hold onto my sanity.
Since Saturday I've managed to knit up to the armholes on the back, but the rest of my life is falling by the wayside so it might be time to get some semblance of balance back.
I will post pictures if teenage daughter happens to be around when the camera is.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Firstly the weekend away was great. Cute neighbour guy and I had a lovely time and grew closer as a couple. He wore the vest I knitted all weekend which was so sweet of him. It's going so well that I am yet again working on his jumper. I've finished the front and the back and have now started on the sleeves. Just as well as the weather has begun to grow colder and it wont be long before it will be needed. He is getting impatient for it as well, and loves telling people that I'm making something for him.
I also responded to a cry for help from a friend who had attempted a scarf only for it to turn into a monster blanket, wrap affair. The only option was to frog and start again. Trouble was there was a deadline. Only three days to get it finished. Yikes!
It was black and a scrumptious blend of possum and merino. My friend had bought 8 X50g balls each covering 120 metres. She'd cast on 120 stitches. I cast on 35 stitches and just knitted every row until I'd used three of the eight balls. It looked long enough. Deadline met. Just.
Better go and do some more knitting I think I might just be on another deadline. One that it gives me great pleasure to be on.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Between us we have 6 children, 3 dogs, 2 cats, 10 rabbits, and 2 fish to find carers for. It wouldn't have surprised us if arrangements had gone on well into the next decade. But somehow the planets have aligned in our favour and things have fallen magically into place.
So early on Saturday morning we're heading South to Thames, a beautiful town on the Coromandel, for some well deserved us time. Let's hope the sunshines on us and we have a wonderful time.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Despite serious motivation issues (or more precisely lack of motivation issues) Tatijana's top is finished. As you can tell by the photo she is totally delighted with it. Me, well let's just say I think I could have done better.
No I'm being too harsh. It was always going to be a challenge, dearest Tatijana had decided on a completely different top and we went looking for the yarn for that. Nothing in the shop was just right, it was the wrong ply, the wrong,colour, the wrong texture. At times I wondered if we might be in the wrong universe! Then she found a new pattern (the above top) and fell in love with it, but again didn't like the suggested Yarn, Natautica. She had been drawn to the Zhivago home several times and in a moment of lunacy I told her that of course I would be able to knit her top in a completely different yarn. No problem that the pattern stated it had a very particular tension.
There the issues began, the dreaded tension square was an absolute must, no way round it this time. If only there had been just one tension square. It took 8, yes 8 to get even close to the right tension. But finally knitting could begin in earnest. Notice the loops. They created the second issue. Despite the tension being almost right the loops when knitted were way, way, way too big. So another round of minor experimentation was called for. Finally I discovered that by using a much smaller needle just for the loop row I could get the effect desired.
The top is knitted sideways and is only about 100 rows. It should have taken days but instead took weeks. Am I pleased with it? Not entirely. Am I glad I made it? Absolutely. It looks beautiful on Tatijana and I am very pleased to have been able to make her something she will take back to Germany with her.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
The ball was fantastic, red carpet,guard of honour on entry and lots and lots of dancing. I had the best time and I know my man did too.
Now hopefully I will be able to concentrate on some knitting.
For those who asked here's one without the shades
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Then there's the sweater for you know who that is in abeyance because of the you know what curse. Let's not give fate any more ammunition at this point. A cease fire has been declared and it maybe wise to build up stocks and reconstruct before facing another onslaught.
And last but not least I am knitting a top for a friend. I started out very enthusiastic and willing, the project isn't complex and the back was knitted in days, but now I am procrastinating like a greek philosopher over finishing the front.
It is a lesson to be learned here that agreeing to knit for someone else is likely to end in tears, probably theirs.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
My dilemma, what if he's only doing this because he doesn't want anyone else to have me. Should I trust him given that he's inadvertently hurt me twice now. My heart says him, regardless of the pain, but my head says new guy is a much happier and healthier option. See how dizzy my head is with it all.