Friday, 11 April 2008

Guess what I did tonight?

I took a class in needle felting. Very exciting indeed. Inevitably I succumbed to the prettiness and bought a load of needle felting kit a while ago, and then realised that I didn't have the foggiest about what to make with it. Serendipitously though, my local craft shop was running a course for making teddy bears so I trotted along, fully expecting to come home with a half formed unrecognisable lump of fluff.

However, much to my (and the instructor's) suprise, after 2 hours of furiously poking merino tops with vicious needles (and creating several new holes in my fingertips in the process) I ended up with ...

Fred (who is looking miffed because the nasty instructor made him wear a girly ribbon).

Hoorah! A new crafty hobby!

New socks please!

Thanks to the marvellous Boxkikker on Ravelry (the generosity of knitters knows no bounds), I finally managed to get my paws on a second Hiya Hiya 28cm circular. I was intending to use these little darlings to knit 1 sock on 2 circs, but when they arrived I knew they would be perfect for solving my current bout of second sockitis, and so I cast on for both of my dad's Jules socks at the same time. And they are flying by. I wouldn't use these needles for fewer than the stitches I have on them, and it's easier if it is a stretchy pattern, but it's working quite nicely for this one.

Heres a work in progress picture for you (complete with nosy furry beast)

Monday, 7 April 2008


I am, I admit, a starter, not a finisher by nature. My (now constrained by a basket with a lid) stash of works in progress is neverending, as there always seems to be something new and exciting round the corner that I can't wait to try. I blame my memory, if I need an excuse, as I am sure that if I don't start knitting that scarf/sock/hat/jumper right that instant, then I am bound to forget to knit it at all, and my life will therefore not be complete.

However, over the last few days a new determination has come over me. I look aghast at my WIPs and long to turn them into creatures that I can free into the knitting wild. Solitary socks torture me and I can't help but pick up the needles and bustle away - just a few more stitches before bed, just a couple more before I have to leave to catch my train, just one more row after the train home swings round the junction onto the branch line...

And it is working. In the past couple of days I have finished not one, but two of the largest projects I have ever attempted. I'm wearing one right now - knitty's Topsecret jumper - a masterpiece of knitting engineering, being knit entirely in the round with only two very very teensy seams to bind off at the underarms.

Ta da!

It was such an easy knit that I want to start another one right away. It is snuggly and warm in Patons Inca yarn (wool, acrylic and a bit of alpaca for that je ne sais qua).

The second project that I have mercilessly cast off this week is my lovely hemlock ring blanket/throw in baby alpaca, but it isn't blocked yet and as husband constantly (and unkindly) refers to it as "the jellyfish" I'm guessing it isn't much to look at. Soon though, I'll attack it with my pins and spritzer and then we can all glory in its soft beauty.


My 'new thing'. I have discovered that there is something infinitely satisfying in hat knitting. Knit in the round, which I love doing, they can be simple and relaxing, like Sam's Very Warm Hat (Freedom Spirit and Wensleydale Longwool DK) which has 6 inches or so of stockinette with a minimum of shaping at the crown.

Or fancy and lacy, like my Foliage (Brigantia Fusion). This is now a bit the worse for wear having been my staple commuting hat for a couple of months - although worth noting is the fact that you can successfull block a lace hat by leaving the house with wet hair every morning.

Hats can incorporate novel techniques, such as fancy beading and magical swirly patterns (Odessa in Rowan Cashsoft DK)

Or funky patterning to show off the yarn. This is IKs Short Row hat, which was a very quick knit on 2 needles (just 6 rounds of dpn knitting for the crown and I-cord bobble). I love the colour change that the yarn - Noro Silk Garden - gives. Just over a ball for this, so a quick knit, although extended by the fact that I had to spend ages in the stash trying to find a second ball that matched the colour phase of the first. Sigh.

Hats can even enhance the most handsome of husbands (Brooklyn Tweed's Koolhaas hat in Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran - looking faintly ridiculous on me, as husband currently unavailable for modelling)

Finally, the best thing about hats is that they are simply crying out for ...