Monday, 31 December 2007

Drying socks..........................


OK so how else am I supposed to get seven pairs of handknit socks that have just been handwashed dry. Ok Handwash cycle on the machine but when it is raining I have no way to dry them. I was quite amused at the site of them all lined up along the bath. Anyone have any ingenious ways for drying socks in this typical british weather? When its bright and sunny they go out on the whirly gig thing. But when its wet its a buggar.

Sunday, 30 December 2007

What do you buy a resistant sock knitter for christmas?

Sock yarn of course! I Decided it was time that I fully introduce her to the pleasure (I promise) of sock knitting. So what did I do? I hand dyed her some yarn in a colourway that I knew she would appreciate. I then produced my own label and then burnt her a CD with some free patterns searched out through ravelry and a free sock tutorial to help her on her way.



I have to say I was quite pleased with the end result and have kept the second skein for myself. Yes I know there are no sock needles in the kit but they are to follow. I have also discovered that the towel hanger that sits on the back of the door in the bathroom is great for drying the skeins of yarn on.
In case any of you are a little worried she also received a mobieus scarf in Handmaiden Seasilk. If you scroll down to some of my earlier posts you can see the finished article.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Ravelry 'T' has arrived............................

Finally my Ravely T-shirt has arrived from across the pond.
All I need now is an excuse to wear them. Maybe to the Iknit first knit in of the new year at the Royal Festival Hall from 6pm on 2nd January. Go the the Iknit website for more details.

SOCK(topus)Club 2007 has arrived............

OK so here it is the very first Socktopus Sock Club package. It arrived beautifully packaged in its destinctive silver bag. Alice you always pay such attention to detail.

And inside was.........

Which in more detail is.........
This bag is exquisite and just my colours! I like the little zip pouch in the front were you can put your tools. Great for carrying around with you, although I am not so sure that I will be carrying this particular pair of socks around as they appear to require a little more concentration.
I love the extra touches such as the tree decoration and the mini chocolate bar. The tree decoration is perfect as our tree is always in red and gold and every year we add one new decoration.

These are colours I would never have even dreamed of putting together but they work so well and I am so excited about trying something new.


Jane a big thank you on all the work that you have done to create this pattern especially for us. You can find Janes blog here.

My next job is to download the audio book to my ipod so I can also listen while I am knitting. I may however have to enjoy the book after if I find that I can't concentrate on both, despite normally being able to multitask to the extreme.
The only job I have now is to cast on. I finally wound the skeins yesterday in the car while travelling down to Eastbourne. Unfortuately I do not yet have a swift or ball winder so I have to do it by hand. It did make the time on the journey pass a little more quickly. I am going to cast on on New Years Day so that I start the new year knitting socks.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Back on line.................................

Oh what a nightmare. I have just spent the best part of a week without any email and very little internet. Hence no blogging updates. That and the fact I need to charge up the camera to take a few more pics to put on. Computer completely died, suffering from accute hard drive failure. Luckily we do a back up and we were only have way through the month but all email from 1st December has disappeared into Cyber Ether. A few important lessons have been learned.
1)Back up weekly not monthly
2)Back up Microsoft money separatley and not just the compressed version that windows does on its full back up
3)Do not believe windows when it tells you it has done an automatic back up - check, check and check again.
I am sure there are a few other lessons too!
Anyway, luckily we have some IT savvy in the house between us so we recovered most of what hadn't been backed up by getting onto the hard drive and using the DOS prompt - therefore most recent photos hadn't been lost. I now need to reinstall my flickr uploader so I can add pictures to here. I recieved my Socktopus Sock Club package yesterday so I will be posting photos etc tomorrow. I am really excited. If you want to see what everyone else in the group is up to you can by clicking here
No pictures on there until after the 25th December as some packages are for christmas . Some packages are not just for christmas but for new year and the rest of the year too - hurray for Alice.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Get your mitts in these..........

These are my quick knit from the weekend from my new yarn purchases on Thursday from Debonnaire. They are fab and really, really quick to do. I did these on 6mm DPNS but you could just as easily complete them on two circulars. I fell in love with the skein of yarn and then asked for a pattern I could knit to use it.
I am really happy with the result and was able to wear them out on Saturday evening. They were really warm which was a good job really as I had a stinking cold and sore throat and did not want to be at a fireworks display at all. At 3.30 in the afternoon I had set a deadline of 5.30 for the rain to stop or we were staying in for a curry and a DVD instead. As it was it was a very clear and dry evening and I was wrapped up well but so pleased to get home early to my nice warm bed.
I love this yarn and it is a pleasure to knit with. It can be a little thin in one or two places as the slub varies in thickness but this is why I like it so much as it adds to the texture.


Friday, 7 December 2007

Been yarn shopping again.............

OK so maybe I have got a problem. Maybe it's Yarn addiction. But like any addict I am just drawn to those situations that give me increased exposure.
So yesterday afternoon I popped on the train to Putney and then changed to a bus to get to Fulham to descend upon the 'Open House' being hosted in the name of Debonnaire (Erica Downs).
I first met Erica last year at the Colet Court christmas fayre where she had a stand of lovely lucious yarns, needles and knitting kits to name but a few items and where I humbly had a much smaller stall / table selling a few handknitted items, mostly ipod socks to pay for my yarn habbit.
Anyway I made a number of purchases yesterday (as if I don't already have enough in my stash). There were some lovely yarns in some really delicious colours. I actually bought some shades I wouldn't normally buy but some how they just called to me.
So here is the selection - some already with projects in mind and some just to admire the colours or texture until a suitable idea comes to mind.

This little lot should keep me busy for a while anyway. Potential projects so far include, scarves, fingerless mittens, a beret and a child's shrug. Can you match which yarn is for which project and which are for me and which are to give away?

I also have to say I am really looking forward to knitting with the Malabrigo as it is so soft, I would never normally pick up a colour like this but the black / very dark navy really appealed to me, especially the variation in the shade throughout the yarn.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

What to do with a Mango Moon..........................

When I first started my blog I posted fairly early on asking what I could do with two lovely skeins of yarn, one Mango moon recyled sari silk and another of Noro blossom. Although both aquired from totally different places the colours seemed to be perfect to compliment each other but I just didn't know what to do with them having just one skein of each.
Having made the mobieus scarfs recently with the Handmaiden seasilk I was inspired to try in a thicker yarn.


So 5.5mm circular in hand I cast on.
I alternated each round with the each yarn in turn and knitted a 3x3 rib. I am so pleased with the effect and the combination of the colours. I was going to knit this as a gift but I don't know if I will be able to part with it. I still have half the Sari silk left so if I can get hold of another skein of blossom in similar colours I may have a go at knitting another one.



The sari silk adds a little sparkle into the Noro blossom.

Headhuggers Hat.........................

Ok so I finally finished Jury Service and before I went home I thought I would pop into Iknit and have a little knit on their sofa. After finishing the lace sock and sewing in ends I had a little browse around and headed straight for the Rowan Cocoon. This has to be one of the softess yarns I have ever come across it really is lovely. Also the colours are very masculine so great for those male knits - not that they aren't great for womens patterns too but at last a luxury yarn for men.
I decided I was going to knit a mans hat in it. Now the Rowan magazine states two balls for a hat but Gerard assured me that the one he knitted from the mag only took 75rgms of the 100grm ball - but ever siding on caution after the sock incident I thought I would take two balls anyway. Either I will have enough yarn and be happy or I manage to make two hats and I am still happy.
I didn't actually like the hat in the Rowan magazine either for two reasons:
1) I didn't like how plain it was and I wanted to add a little texture to it and
2) It was a top down pattern - just can't be bothered.
So I went on a trawl of Ravelry to see who had knitted or stashed Cocoon and what they had either done or intended to do with it.
I rather liked the headhuggers pattern which had some texture through both rib and cable and was ultimately designed for a bulky yarn. See the link below.

Headhuggers Pattern

I had to do a little adapting as the pattern had been written for circulars and my 7mm were with a friend - not that I would have knitted on those anyway to tell the truth. I re-wrote out instructions for straights reversing stitches where necessary and knocking off a block of 11sts so that I cast on 77sts (the number the Rowan one finished with - top down remember so I must have been doing something right) and then I got started.



Anyway it didn't take much time to knit up at all, however next time I will avoid wearing black as I now have little bits all over my yoga pants. This now has to be whisked off and wrapped up for christmas.



I have to say I am very pleased with the end results - I just hope the recipient is as happy with their gift.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Two pairs of socks finished today............

Actually not quite as impressive as it first sounds. It should really read to pairs of socks finished off today. I finally got over second sock syndrome with the Lace socks and my yarn arrived to finish my toeless slouch socks.


Emma made an interesting comment to me the other day at Iknit which was how lovely the inside of the lace socks looked and how it showed the pattern in an interesting way, so on that advice Emma I will wear them with roll down tops. I have also taken a few extra pictures of the sole of the foot also on your advice.


There are also a few others of the lovely slouch socks in the Flamingo sunrise which I have waited so long to finish and I am so grateful to Diana who parted with her skeins and Alice of Socktopus who organised her replacements without either of these people my socks would have remained toeless.
First a reminder of that lovely Chameleon Colourworks - Flamingo Sunrise.
How scrummy is that yarn - you see why it was so important to finish.


And now the socks.......................
My only problem now is deciding which pair to wear first. It may have to be one of each! Scary thought!