Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Startitis Plus A Favour

Before I move on to the usual work in progress stuff, I have a small favour to ask:

I'm taking part in a Guinness World Record attempt where we're trying to get 100,000 people to pledge to do a Random Act of Kindness before the end of 2012.

It will cost you nothing (apart from a little bit of kindness!) and I would love for you to help me with this. 

All you need to do is click here and then pledge that you will do a Random Act of Kindness before the end of the year. This will not add you to an email list!

Please remember to enter my email on the form as your referrer, and email me if you have any questions. My email is nat DOT howells AT gmail DOT com

Thank you *grins*

Anyway, on to the crafting...

I'm not sure if it was a side effect of posting about my stash reduction progress, but I have cast on 2 new things *laughs*

 This will be a cowl, using the softest, fluffiest yarn ever. I bought it in Calais, and have 3 balls of the teracotta colour, and 2 of the mustardy colour. Not really enough to do much with, so I thought a cowl with 5 stripes (one per ball) would be ideal. Also, this yarn is really the softest thing ever, so as long as it doesn't tickle my nose too much, it'll be lovely to have it close to my face to snuggle into *laughs*

I also cast on using the Noro I bought as a cheering up yarn. I deliberately started each sock at a different point in the colour repeat, so they will be matching but not matching at the same time ;)

I can see why people have mixed opinions of this yarn, I think this will probably be the last time I use it, but we'll see - it depends how the socks turn out really!

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

Monday, 29 October 2012

Overdue Stash Busting Update

It's been ages since I did a stash status update - May was the last time!

The totals then were:

Total stash (balls): 98.1
Total stash (meters): 18,695.5
Total stash (yards): 20,445.5

Since then, I have bought:

Wollmeise... Zauberball...

Noro... Malabrigo 

Norwegian yarn 

Oh, yeah, and 2 balls of Cashmerino that I used so fast that I didn't get round to taking a picture *laughs*

So, 8 balls/skeins in. How about out?

Well, I made 2 shawls (2 skeins of Wollmeise for Stripe Study, 1 ball Norwegian yarn for Wingspan), a shrug (3 skeins of Cascade Dolce), 4 pairs of socks (4 balls of sock yarn), a granny square lap blanket (2 balls), a cowl (1 skein of sock yarn), a scarf (the Malabrigo) and a hat (the Cashmerino).

I also scrapped the 3 balls of horrible yarn I replaced with the Malabrigo, taking me up to 18 out.

According to my (admittedly not spectacular) maths skills, that should put me at down a total of 10 balls/skeins of yarn, give or take some scrappy bits. 

So, let's look at the handy spreadsheet from my Ravelry stash and see *laughs*

Total stash (balls): 87.5
Total stash (meters): 16,223.2
Total stash (yards): 17,741.7

Look at that, my maths was right! And I have an overall stash reduction too ;)

Of course, what this shows is that in 6 months I have reduced my stash by less than one skein per month, but who's counting? Oh, yeah, I am *laughs* Nevertheless, I am taking it as a win. 

Friday, 26 October 2012

Kool... Gherkin?

I've been pretty absent from the internet this last week, due to not being very well :( I think I'm on the mend now though!

One of the benefits of down time, is of course that I had time to knit. And so I cast on and finished a brand new project...

A hat for cunning boyfriend. He wore the last hat I made him recently and mentioned how he would love a dark grey hat too. As the last one was just plain rib, I decided to go for something with a bit of a pattern, and Koolhaas was perfect. The design is inspired by the work of the architect Koolhaas, and I knew boyfriend would like this - he's a huge fan of cool architecture *smiles*

In fact, he declared it reminded him of the Gherkin (a building in London), so it definitely fits the architecture theme.

As the last hat I made him was in Malabrigo, I wanted to choose another soft and lovely yarn (also as a treat for me as the knitter of it!). So I bought a couple of balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. It was my first time using it, and it felt absolutely gorgeous *grins*

I had planned to save this to give boyfriend for Christmas, but he's had a pretty crappy week so I decided to give it to him today when he got home (he had to go to South Africa for 2 days for a meeting, and got back at 7am this morning).

As he went to sleep pretty much on arrival at home, I have modelled the hat myself *laughs* He had just enough energy to try the hat on and declare an appropriate amount of love for it before crashing out ;)

Friday, 19 October 2012


I have finished the scarf *grins* It's a shame it's not for me really, as I have become quite fond of it.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, this is scarf mark 2, as the first attempt was with yarn that made me want to remove my hands so I had an excuse not to touch it ;) Funnily enough, remaking the scarf in Malabrigo made it a much nicer experience, who knew? *laughs*

As you can see, it works both thrown around and folded in half and fed through the loop, so my gran can wear it whichever way she is comfortable with (excuse my vacant expression, late night last night!)

I love both the colour of the yarn and my improvised pattern:

I think it works really well and I hope my gran likes it. One of the huge bonuses of finishing it this week is that I should be seeing her tomorrow, so I can hand it over in person rather than posting it to her.

Now to see if I can fit it into a nerd wars challenge, and I'll have a double whammy *laughs*

Thursday, 18 October 2012

New Yarn, New Plan

As well as the yarn I bought at the weekend, I do have another new skein to show you. So much for my stash reduction plans *laughs*

I ordered this skein of Wollmeise a couple of weeks ago, and after a small diversion to the post office, it is now in my grabby hands ;)

It's a gorgeous rusty orange sort of colour, perfect for autumn. I was originally planning to make some fancy socks with it, but as I was putting it away I put it next to a skein of Old Maiden Aunt that has been waiting in my stash for some considerable time...


I love the two together and am thinking of perhaps making another Stripe Study Shawl. I really like the idea of a subtle toned one, after the contrasting coloured one I made before:

It's a pattern I love, and the thing that I love most is that it stays on my shoulders, unlike any shawl or wrap ever *grins*

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Projects AND Progress ;)

I have works in progress, yay *laughs*

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the scarf I posted about on Monday is my primary project right now, and I am pleased to find that I have nearly finished it *grins* This is particularly helpful as I am heading back to see family this weekend and can hand it over if it is fully done.

See, very small ball of yarn remaining *smiles*

The top picture does have another project in it - which I was working on during my "I-hate-this-scarf-don't-wanna..." phase *laughs* It's nothing particularly exciting, but I have been planning to make leg-warmers for ages and it's cold now so I cast on.

First one is nearly done. Knitting this has demonstrated quite clearly why I don't particularly like the jumper I made with this yarn... I like brown, but this is so flat and boring a brown. There is no variation, nothing catches the light, it is just all one flat brown. Ah well, it'll keep my legs warm at least *laughs*

The book in the top picture is the third in the Maze Runner trilogy. I think I mentioned before that I don't think these books are particularly well written, especially compared to some of the other young adult fiction out there, but I am still really enjoying them which is what matters ;)

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

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Knitting and Stitching Show

I mentioned yesterday that I went to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace this weekend. It's the first time I've been and I had a good time despite the massive crowds.

I didn't take any pictures due to the aforementioned crowds - being short meant that any shot I tried to take just had a lot of people's heads and not much else *laughs*

My main reason for going was to find new yarn for gran's scarf, as I posted about yesterday. I spent ages looking at all of the grey yarns available before finding the perfect one.

While I was looking, I did of course buy a few other things...

Zauberball - I do love my Zauber socks, so I had to get some more *grins*

I was surprised at how few stands were selling spindles, compared to how many had fibre. I wanted a new spindle, but I didn't like any that I found, but I did like the fibre I saw.

In the end I picked up 200g of this 100% wool with orangey flecks in it. The label was pretty sparse on details but it feels nice and I liked the look of it, so that's all that mattered really *laughs*

I also picked up these dyed silk noils...

It was a grab bag of mixed colours for only £2, so I couldn't pass it up really. I have no idea how to spin them though *laughs* Anyone have any hints or tips for me?

Monday, 15 October 2012

I Think I Found It...

...My knitting mojo that is *laughs* Well, I have figured out where it went at least ;)

Months ago, I agreed to make a scarf for my grandmother. She wanted a grey scarf, maybe with some pink, with no pattern requirement. I bought some yarn and got going. And stalled.

It has been stuck at this stage for months. The yarn, while very pretty and soft, is just awful to work with. I've switched between metal, bamboo and wooden needles, and it sticks and squeaks on all of them. So I'd manage a row or two before throwing it to one side.

Now, because I had promised to make it, the weather is getting cold and I know my gran is getting a little impatient, not knitting it was no longer an option. So I didn't pick anything else up, to try and force myself to knit this. But I really didn't want to *laughs*

In the end, I decided that the yarn just wasn't working and I would therefore need to buy something different otherwise the scarf would never get finished and I would never knit again ;) At the weekend I bought new yarn...

Malabrigo Worsted in Pearl. The colour is gorgeous, grey with some pink, as requested. And the yarn is beautiful to work with. It also has the advantage of being worsted/aran weight rather than DK as I was using before *laughs*

I cast on yesterday and the scarf is already as long as the previous incarnation ;)

The pattern I'm making up is similar to the one I started with on the original scarf, fishnet lace interspersed with garter stitch. Because this yarn is much nicer to work with, as well as being thicker and warmer, I have got much larger lace sections, which I think looks really good.

It'll look better once it's blocked, but I actually like the pattern even without blocking.

So, after a few weeks of little to no knitting, I knit half a scarf in an evening *laughs* I think I might be back on track ;)

I bought the new yarn at the Knitting and Stitching Show, along with a few other goodies, but as this is already a long enough post, I'll show those off tomorrow *grins*

Friday, 12 October 2012

Still Here... Honest!

It's been ages since I posted - I've honestly been so exhausted that I haven't really been crafting, let alone thinking of craft-related things to blog about *laughs*

I do have a finished object to share, but the size of it does demonstrate just how little I have been doing over the last week ;)


I made an apple cozy. It's for a nerd wars challenge, and I think it's actually pretty cute *smiles* Hopefully it will encourage me to remember to pack apples for work snacks, as they won't get bashed up on my bag (last time I packed a loose apple it ended up impaled on my house keys!)

You know the Friday drill - head over to Tami's and Wisdom Begins in Wonder for some proper FOs ;) 

Friday, 5 October 2012


I have no knitting FOs today, I'm at that stage where I work on a bit of everything and nothing seems to go very fast. I know that soon I will hit the point where everything gets finished at pretty much the same time though, so I'm not too worried *laughs*

I have been sketching though. As part of my course, we have to do a painting in the style of the Futurists. They were interested in movement, war, transport and had an almost cubist style at times. Not my style at all, but it has been fun trying to come up with something.

This is the sketch I did:

Waves at the bottom, a propeller and a cubist type representation of a ship.

I started painting it on Wednesday, which is going ok, but having never used acrylic paints before, it's a bit challenging!

Very much not finished, but a bit of a representation anyway. I may decide to scrap this idea completely and come up with something new, I haven't decided yet. I think the sketch looks better in black and white, so maybe I'll change my plans.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Not Much WIP

I don't have much of a post today - no WIP pictures or anything :(

I have been working on my cardigan, gran's scarf and I cast on a new project last night - I'm making some leg warmers *grins* As the weather is getting pretty bad now, I thought it was about time I had something to keep my legs warm.

The only picture I do have is of some new yarn I bought. After a lovely weekend with my mum, we had a pretty horrible incident on Sunday morning (I don't want to go into lots of details, but essentially I was assaulted on the front doorstep. I'm ok, and the police are handling everything, but I'm feeling a bit out of sorts still).

On my way back home, I stopped at John Lewis to check out the yarn, and picked myself up some Noro sock yarn:

The bright colours just jumped out at me, and so I had to buy it. I've never used Noro before, I know it tends to split opinions, but I decided I should try it before making my own opinion!