Friday, 30 March 2012

More Nerd Wars FOs

I was planning to show you my gorgeous cowl today, but unfortunately my photographer is otherwise engaged this morning, and self portraits just didn't do it justice. That'll teach me for not taking pictures until the last minute *laughs*

So, instead, here are a couple more FOs that I submitted to Nerd Wars.

First up, the awesomest baby hat ever...

Picture 661

Seriously, what baby doesn't need a flaming hat?! As ever, this is not a hint that I'm having a baby, it's just that sometimes baby knits are so much fun *laughs* Due to the lack of aforementioned baby, I have called into action my trusty soft toy to model the hat for me ;)

Picture 662

Silly, I know, but still - cool hat, right? 

Then there's this little guy


My first monster. I love him (although I'm not keeping him). He's only little, which caused some fiddliness, but he's just adorable, if I do say so myself *laughs*

And it's Friday, so you know what to do... Visit Tami'sNatural Suburbia and Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Have a great weekend  

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Knitting for Others

Recently I've not been working much on the knitting for others part, although boyfriend's socks have finally seen a little bit of action.

But a few days ago I had a letter from my Gran asking if I would please knit something for her. As I made something for my Granddad (dishcloths for his workshop for Christmas) and have knit for my mum, brother and boyfriend, I thought it was probably about time I knit for Gran too.

She has requested a scarf, in grey yarn (possibly with some pink or maroon involved), light and wispy, and not too long... Everything else is up to me.

Mum and I deciphered the "wispy" to mean lacy rather than mohair type wispy *laughs*

So, I have procured some yarn that I think will work...

I did check my stash first to see if I had anything that would work, but unfortunately there was nothing that quite fit the bill, despite my over-abundance of grey yarn ;)


It's a silvery grey, with a subtle amount of colour range that includes some pink tones. It's light and also slightly wispy, it's lovely and soft but is also partially acrylic and therefore machine washable (I generally try to make gifts for other people as easy to care for as possible *laughs*) and not too expensive.

The cost part is key, as my gran is inisiting on paying for the yarn. As yarn has come a long way since she was a knitter, I have a feeling that she might be a little taken aback by what I would happily spend to make a scarf!

Now I just need to settle on a pattern and I'm all set to get started.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Wednesday Again

Is it just me, or do Wednesdays seem to come around really quickly these days? *laughs*

So, the lack of plum coloured yarn should hint that I finished my cowl *grins* As ever, all will be revealed on Friday. I also finished the little monster I was making (which may not have appeared on a Wednesday, I can't quite remember!)

Finishing those projects gave me a few slots free to cast on new things... Except I didn't. I still have the languishing socks that I've been neglecting. So, boyfriend's sock now has a few inches of progress, which is nice. The socks I mentioned on Monday have been categorised as too girly for my brother, so it looks they have to be for me instead. What a shame ;) I do need to come up with a new plan for him now though!

And my Narragansett is progressing nicely, I'm ready to separate the arms now. Of course the weather is currently unseasonably hot, making it a little strange to be working on a warm and cosy jumper (sweater). Ooops ;)

I'm mostly reading the spinning book I mentioned yesterday at the moment, so nothing new to report there *smiles*

As ever, if you want more lovely knitting and reading content, head to Tami's and Ginny's *smiles* 

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

New Books

I got a couple of new books recently...

Respect the Spindle - I saw this on another blog recently (although I'm sorry to say that I have forgotten whose!) and thought it would be a good investment. I'm still trying to learn to spin properly, not that I have done all that much lately, and I thought this might give me the impetus to get back to it.

I've only flicked through so far, but it's really quite comprehensive *laughs*

The second was a gift from cunning boyfriend. He spotted it while doing some shopping and decided to buy it for me *smiles*

There are some very cute, and some downright bizarre patterns in there. The book even came with the supplies needed to make the London Pigeon *laughs*

Monday, 26 March 2012

All Together Now

Regular readers may remember me mentioning a few times lately that I have not been in a sock knitting mood at all lately. Second sock syndrome (SSS) struck my socks and boyfriend's socks - both of which are awaiting their seconds.

As for my brother's sock, well that hasn't even progressed past the toe on sock one! However that's probably got as much to do with the fact that the yarn is hurting my skin as my sock lethargy *sighs*

So, how am I approaching this growing pile of lonely single socks?

Uh, yeah... Casting on more socks *laughs*

However, I haven't gone completely mad. I decided that I needed a bit of a kick and that knitting socks 2 at a time would be the ideal solution to my SSS issues.

Check it out, two sock toes, no tangles *grins* This might turn out to be an excellent idea ;)

I'm also wondering if these socks might work for my brother (as I've had to give up on his thanks to the yarn issues)... I'm not sure if it's a little too girly though. Mum? What do you reckon?

Update - consensus seems to be that they are definitely too girly. Damn. Ok, new plan for brother's socks required *laughs*

Friday, 23 March 2012

Completeness, Wholeness, Health, Peace...*

My Shalom *grins*

I'm really pleased with it; it fits just like I wanted and I love the modifications I made (detailed on my Ravelry project page). I loved the pattern, but I don't find cardigans that button only at the neck particularly flattering. Plus I wanted to make it in aran/worsted weight rather than chunky, which I think makes it a little more wearable.

Luckily, quite a few other projects on Ravelry had similar ideas, so I combined a lot of different mods to get it the way I wanted.

I love the twisted rib yoke, and I'm really happy with the buttons I chose - the goldy/bronzey colour works really well with the yarn:

Yarn: Stylecraft Special Aran with wool - a 400g ball on mostly acrylic with about 20% wool. It's not a luxurious yarn, but it wears well and I think it works pretty well for cardigans
Pattern: Shalom by Meghan McFarlane
Modifications: aran weight, added button band all the way down (with additional waist and hip shaping as required), added sleeves

And the obligatory shot of me wearing it and trying not to look stern or unhappy (because I'm not - I love it *laughs*)

It's Friday, you know what to do... Visit Tami'sNatural Suburbia and Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Have a great weekend  

According to Strong's Concordance Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Wednesday WIP and Yarn Along

As I mentioned on Monday, these 2 projects have revived my love of knitting (which was waning a little) *grins*

My grey Narragansett  is progressing nicely, I haven't done a huge amount - I finished the twisted rib and now I'm on the increases for the yoke. In the picture you can see the small cable detail, which is great for keeping my interest without having to think too much ;) I'm loving the way the Fez yarn feels, it's all smooshy and lovely *grins*

My Euro Cowl is so much longer than last week (I think I had only done a couple of rows at that point)...

A couple of train journeys and the fact that it is perfect to work on while chatting means that it's now about 75% done! It looks bizarrely long for a cowl, but that's because the pattern is designed to stretch around the shoulders. It's so light and soft and I can't wait to finish it and show it off.

I finished the Hunger Games trilogy last week. I enjoyed them, I found it easy to get lost in the story, but there were lots of things that annoyed me about them too *laughs* The third book could have been much, much better, but as I had very low expectations (lots of people had mentioned that the third installment was awful) it actually wasn't as bad as I was expecting ;)

This week I'm about to start The Retribution, which is a follow up to a book earlier in the Tony Hill series. I haven't started it yet though, so not much to say about it!

As ever, if you want more lovely knitting and reading content, head to Tami's and Ginny's *smiles* 

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

New Yarn, With Plans

As I mentioned yesterday, I have been feeling reinvigorated after a brief period of feeling blah about my knitting. This, of course, means that I am now full of ideas about things to make after I finish the things I am working on now *grins*

I also had a quick review of some of my yarn, to see what I am excited about working with. I decided that, as gorgeous as it was, the Wollmeise that I had bought last year just wasn't a colour that I could imagine using. So, I traded it for a new one in a gorgeous emerald green.

Then I bought a grey skein to go with it...

And together, they shall become...

It's one of the patterns boyfriend bought me for my birthday, and I know he's excited for me to make it. I can't wait either, plus it makes a nice change for me to buy yarn with a specific pattern in mind *laughs* And I'm much happier having gorgeous yarn that I have a plan for, rather than gorgeous yarn sat doing nothing because I didn't know what to do with it ;)

Monday, 19 March 2012


Over the last few weeks I have been feeling somewhat lackluster about my knitting :( Nothing I had been working on was interesting me and I just wasn't loving it anymore. Which was a strange feeling, as knitting has been such a fixture in my life since I started.

Part of the problem was (I think) that I was putting pressure on myself to knit things I wasn't in the mood to knit - boyfriend's second sock and brother's socks come to mind here! Add a couple of swap parcels with handmade item requirements and all of a sudden, knitting started to feel like a bit of a chore. Not good.

I have finished the last swap gift now and I think I'll take a bit of a break from swapping, I may have burned myself out on them a little bit lately, despite how much fun I've had with them *laughs* The socks are on the back burner for the time being, I don't want to give people gifts that are knitted with boredom/pressure/seething resentment!

As a result, the last few days have been so much better, I've been enjoying my knitting again. I found the right buttons for my Shalom and I'm wearing it today *grins* and I cast on a couple of projects that I can't wait to pick up when I get home from work...

Twisted ribbing in a wonderfully squishable yarn (Debbie Bliss Fez, I'm really loving the feel of this as I'm knitting). Followed by stocking stitch in the round, with enough detail to be interesting but not require all my concentration.


A simple 4x1 rib in my gorgeous Candy Skein yarn (Tink, I love this yarn, thanks!) Knitting fingering weight on 4.5mm needles is making such a soft and drapey fabric that I can't wait to keep working on this. Plus, it feels good to be knitting some of my ever expanding sock yarn stash even though I'm not in a sock mood *laughs* The pattern is Euro Cowl, and it's simple but really effective :)

So, I'm back with a vengeance, and hoping that my blog posts are a bit more lively now too ;)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Work in progress Wednesday number 43

So, this week sees no Shalom, as the knitting part is finished *grins*

The picture does also indicate a lack of socks... Unfortunately both brother and boyfriend will be waiting, I've just not been in a sock knitting mood at all lately.

So, the projects you see above are all new. The grey is the jumper I talked about yesterday, the striped WIP will become a monster and the purple is going to be a cowl using my lovely Candy Skein yarn *smiles*

Ps, sorry for the rushed and linkless nature of this post, I'm writing it on my phone while on a train ;)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012


Check it out, I did swatching *grins*

I'm usually pretty lax, and don't bother, but I thought it would be a good plan for this pattern as I love it and want to make it look fab ;)

I'm using this yarn:

To make this pattern:

© 2011 Splityarn

It's one of the patterns that the cunning boyfriend bought me for my birthday during his Ravelry adventure *laughs*

As the gauge for the pattern is given after blocking, I used 3 needle sizes to swatch (so that I didn't have to swatch, block, wait, see if the gauge was right, swatch again...) and got gauge on 5.5mm. The swatch also tells me that I love the way the yarn drapes at that gauge.

I followed the advice in Little Red in the City, and swatched appropriately for the fact that the garment is knit in the round - not a lot of point swatching flat as I know my gauge with purl rows is different.

I cast on last night, thanks to the fact that I have finished the knitting of my Shalom (though it needs blocking and buttons though, so not sure it'll be ready for Friday!)

Monday, 12 March 2012

Random Words

I was looking at random word generators this morning (as my default approach to having no blogging inspiration is often to look up random words and either post a list of them or find that my creativity has been triggered)...

Anyway, I found a site that creates made-up words. It sounds easier than it is, because making up pronounceable words, that look like they could be real, is surprisingly hard to do. So I've been having fun generating random words, and trying to come up with meanings for them *laughs*

All of the meanings below are completely made up, from my head.

Terbumaut - a species of insect related to the termite, with an enlarged rear end
Ceercom - A dotcom millionaire who made their money by seeing trends that others didn't anticipate
Ufleralla - sounds like a disease to me! Probably affecting the lungs.
Toness - a female singer with perfect tone and pitch, the opposite of someone who is tone deaf
Natagre - a combination of Natalie and Ogre - describing me when I haven't had enough sleep *laughs*
Ipol - a fake ipod
Tylylan - no idea what I think this could mean, I just like saying it!

Please do chime in with any fake explanations you come up with, this has been kinda fun *grins*

And here is an image that I think covers Natagre ;)

Friday, 9 March 2012

Nerd Wars FOs

I made a couple of small projects over the last couple of weeks, for entries into Nerd Wars, and as I haven't quite finished my Shalom, I thought it was a good opportunity to show them off *smiles*

I'll link to the post where I submitted the projects rather than describe the reasoning here - so if you don't watch Supernatural you can just enjoy my FOs and if you do, you don't end up with spoilers unless you want to see them! 

First up, a dishcloth. I've been enjoying using the ones Tink sent me, so I picked up some dishcloth cotton when I was in Vegas (because it was so much cheaper than over here!)

And my second FO, which barely even counts because it took so little time (although it does use stranded colourwork!)... A finger moustache:

This is possibly the silliest thing I have ever made, and yet I love it *laughs* Here's the pattern link - because I know everyone will want one!

It's Friday, you know what to do... Visit Tami'sNatural Suburbia and Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Have a great weekend  

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Stash Status Update #2

Last update: 14th February

Total stash (balls): 88.8
Total stash (meters): 17,705
Total stash (yards): 19,362

Since then, I know my stashbusting plans have gone somewhat awry *laughs* I came back from Vegas with this haul:

I also bought 4 balls of Felted Tweed on ebay. I've heard wonderful things about this yarn, and wondered how much it tended to go for, so I put in a low bid to keep an eye on it (as I always forget to check my watch list!). Somehow I won the yarn. Ooops ;)

Then I saw some Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk in someone's destash on Ravelry (I know, I shouldn't look!) As it's one of my favourite yarns and is discontinued, I had a look... It happened to be my favourite colour, and a fantastically reasonable price. So I now have 10 balls *laughs*

And let's not forget the 2 skeins of sock yarn I received from my recent lovely swap partners:

Yeah, so much for destashing *laughs*

My consolation for the most part is that I am at least buying garment quantities of yarn, so I should reduce the single skeins of yarn with no purpose. And I have plans for much of the new yarn. I just need to knit faster *laughs*

Current totals:

Total stash (balls): 111.05
Total stash (meters): 21,666
Total stash (yards): 23,393.8

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Work In Progress Wednesday Number 42

As you can see, I have taken a slightly different approach to my picture this week *laughs* I know black and white isn't the usual for taking pictures of knitting, but the colours just wouldn't come through properly so I gave up on them. Also, the project at the bottom of the picture is a secret project for a swap, so I thought it would be a good way to show what I've been working on without ruining the surprise ;)

I didn't dig out the socks or vest, as I haven't worked on them at all this week. Time has been taken up by the swap knitting and the Shalom (as planned last week). I've also cast on and finished a couple of little projects for Nerd Wars, but I'll show them off on a Friday at some point.

I'm happy to say that I have made some good progress on Shalom...

The body is finished and I'm working on the arms now. I've decided that elbow length sleeves will look best with this, so I've got a few more inches of the first one to do, then the second and then I'm done *grins* Well, it needs blocking pretty badly, but still, pretty close to finished.

Book-wise - I decided to read the next Hunger Games book. Although the first one did annoy me in many ways, I still enjoyed the story. So I thought I might as well read the rest of the trilogy.

As ever, if you want more lovely knitting and reading content, head to Tami's and Ginny's - not that I need to tell you this by now ;) 

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Crafting Goals Update

I thought it was about time I reviewed my crafting goals, and checked up on how I am doing...

Knitting goals

  • Colourwork. Check - colourwork hat made, pattern and yarn available for another *grins*

  • Socks with an actual pattern. In progress - boyfriend's second pair of socks have a small cable pattern. Not much, but it's a start!

  • Cabling without a cable needle. See above, cable pattern on boyfriend's socks is being completed without a cable needle
  • Using stash. I'm posting on this one separately ;) 
  • Finish up my WIPs. This was particularly directed at my fuzzy ballet sweater, which is finished. I think as a goal this now needs rewording to "don't let WIPs get out of control" *laughs*

  • Make more garments. I've nearly finished my Shalom, I've cast on for a vest and I have plans, yarn and patterns for a few more garments that I am keen to get started on. This is definitely something I'm keeping in mind when planning my next projects. 

Non-knitting goals
  • Continue with the Cook from Cookbook (or magazines) challenge. I posted about this yesterday, and I really need to pick it back up as I have been slacking a bit on this point lately. 
  • Make some projects from my World of Geekcraft book, which will involve new skills and new crafts. Haven't done anything with this yet, but still planning to ;)
  • Get better at crochet. Hmmmm, yeah, I'm trying but it really hasn't clicked the way knitting did *laughs*

Monday, 5 March 2012

Cinnamon Experiment

I'm not sure this technically qualifies as a cookbook challenge, as I merely took inspiration for a recipe idea and then made up my own, but as I haven't posted one for a while it will have to do *laughs*

I wanted to make something similar to the cinnamon rolls I made ages ago, but a little more doughy and comforting. So I adapted about 5 recipes I found to make a combo tear apart/monkey bread type thing...

Recipe/what I did:

Made bread, using quantities specified on the bread packaging, but replacing the water with milk and a small amount of melted butter. Left bread to rise.

Mixed lots of melted butter with light brown sugar and cinnamon (to taste).

Tore chunks of the bread dough, dipped them in the sugar mixture and tumbled them into a baking pan. Poured over the remaining sugar mix.

Baked until the top was crisp.

Ok, so it's not very specific *laughs* But that's how I tend to cook, mostly by throwing things together and hoping for the best ;) And hey, it worked!

The bread was perfectly cooked, and so tasty. The sugar mixture had turned to almost a fudgy caramel on the bottom, and the top was crisp and sugary. Mmmmmm *grins*

Friday, 2 March 2012

Forgotten FO

I realised this week that I have a finished object from before Christmas that I had completely forgotten to blog about. Oooops *laughs*

I mentioned, during the mammoth Christmas crafting, that I had cast on something small for myself, using yarn that my lovely brother had bought me some time ago. He was a little bummed to realise that his wonderful gift of 3 small balls of different yarns wouldn't be enough to make anything particularly, so I wanted to show him that it is totally possible to make cool and useful things with small amounts *smiles*

Those who have made one of these will recognise it immediately no doubt, and those that haven't will be wondering what the hell it is *laughs*

It's a Calorimetry, a head/ear warmer. It works perfectly when I have my hair tied up and can't wear a hat (I look weird with a hat and no visible hair!)

Sorry for the truly terrible picture, my photographer is rather inconveniently in Germany.

Pattern: Calorimetry
Yarn: Sirdar Crofter - which was gorgeous to work with, I love it
Modifications: some sizing changes as I used DK weight, but otherwise as written

I love it, and really enjoyed showing my brother that his yarn made something awesome and useful *grins* I might have to make more of these in different colours to suit different outfits ;)

It's Friday, you know what to do... Visit Tami'sNatural Suburbia and Wisdom Begins in Wonder. Have a great weekend  

Thursday, 1 March 2012


I realised that I haven't shared a couple more brithday presents that I got.

Firstly, my brother kindly got me Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac from my wishlist. I thought it was about time I read some of her work, so I was really pleased with this. I haven't actually started to read it yet, I want to be able to sit down and look at it properly ')

Secondly, the lovely boyfriend wanted to get me something knitting related. He's so supportive of my crafting, and likes to show this when buying gifts. As he'd bought books and yarn in the past, he decided he wanted to get patterns this time. But, of course, had no idea where he might procure these...

So he went to Ravelry, realised that he needed to be a member and got himself an account *smiles* Then spent a while trying to find me, before wondering what to do next. Luckily he located my queue and discovered the wishlist function, so he picked out a few of the patterns that I had put on there.

And he chose some great patterns:

Narragansett by Thea Colman. I've only had this in my queue a little while, but I love it. I think I'll use my grey Debbie Bliss Fez yarn to make it (which means I don't have to wait!)

© 2011 Splityarn

Peacock Shawlette by Kitman Figueroa. It's a lot more lace than I have tried before, but I love how it looks so I queued it for future lace attempts *laughs*

© Kitman Figueroa

And the Stripe Study Shawl by Veera Välimäki. I love this pattern, I've seen some beautiful FOs and it is so striking for a garter stitch project. Boyfriend chose this as soon as he saw it because he was so taken with the picture *smiles* I don't know that I have the right yarn for this yet, but perhaps my Candy Skein with another colour would be a good choice ;)

© Veera Välimäki

Oh, and the best part - the ravelry username boyfriend chose is CunningBoyfriend *laughs* Not that I expect him to ever log in again, but I thought that was so cute ;)