Knit, Inc

I got an email today from WordPress that had neatly condensed my year of blogging into some lovely graphics. While the graphics were lovely, the information they contained was not.

I haven’t blogged since July. JULY. Those of you who know me in real life know all of the reasons why I haven’t written a post, but for those who don’t, suffice to say this year has not been a good one.  I will be more than happy to see the back of it at midnight tonight.

I sincerely hope that 2014 will be a little better, although I know the first half will be tough too. But I *promise* to get back to this old blog and keep it up to date. If for no other reason then for me. I miss it, I really do!

So, Happy New Year everyone and may 2014 bring all that you wish for. I’m going to be cautious and just wish for some quiet. And non-drama.

Happy New yearPicture taken from http://photo.elsoar.com/happy-new-year-wishes-2014.html via Google Image Search.

Crochet. The craft that has previously eluded me. I made one successful foray into the world of crochet previously with reasonable success, but I hadn’t picked up a hook since except to fix a dropped stitch. Until now. Look!

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Pattern: South Bay Shawlette from Lion Brand Yarn

Yarn: Debbie Macomber Blossom Street Petals Socks. Approx 3/4 of a skein. Gorgeous yarn but very sticky. Ripping back was no fun. Definitely use this one from the outside in!

Hook: 5.5mm

Once I got the hang of this, it was a really easy pattern. Definitely one I’d make again for gifts etc. I am SO proud of this! I can properly crochet now!

Inspired by my success, I was in the newsagent and spotted a magazine with a crochet special insert. It had to be brought home with me. I immediately hooked on for a table runner/placemat/coaster set:

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I’ve made two placemats so far and I think they’re looking pretty good. The pic is before blocking so it should flatten out nicely. Yippee!

 

In other news, it was my wedding anniversary on July 4. 15 years. FIFTEEN. Holy crap. Where has the time gone? My lovely Dad bought us a beautiful bouquet of flowers:

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Aww. He’s such a pet. There’s a big party planned for his retirement from the choir next Friday night. Should be good fun! The last one ended with me having to bring him home at 12.30am! Mad. I was falling asleep, he was having a ball playing the organ with the band.

 

In delicious news, I was in Aldi the other day buying veg & fruit for hubby. He bought a juicer recently and it’s revolutionised the way he eats. You wouldn’t have gotten a vegetable into him if you had a gun to his head, now he’s juicing beetroot, celery, broccoli, carrot etc along with nommy fruits like pineapple, grapefruit, orange and apple. Anyway, all this increased fruit and veggie intake is making large inroads into my grocery budget, so I headed to Aldi and am really surprised at the selection and prices of their produce.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw 250g punnets of cherries for 79c. 79c! That’s redonkulous! They’re usually about €3 in the other supermarkets. I literally pounced and bought 4 punnets, knowing exactly what I was going to make. Cherry pie. NOM. I’ve never made one before (because the cherries were so dear) but every time I saw one on tv I drooled. And rightly so. This picture might look like a messy lump of pie, but believe me it was the nicest pie I’ve ever had. Ever. Juicy sweet and not enough. I could’ve eaten until I burst.

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Needless to say the pie is all gone, but I’m heading to Aldi tomorrow to buy more. I wonder how they freeze? Should I freeze them raw or make another pie and see if I can get it to the freezer before me & the rest of the family devour it?

 

Good knittingcrocheting!

At last! The socks of doom  Bluebell Rib socks are finished! According to Ravelry I cast on these socks on  April 4. Sheesh. I hang my head in shame. Call myself a sock knitter??? In any event, I think they turned out well and are nice and comfy:

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Pattern: Bluebell Rib Socks by Charlene Schurch from Sensational Knitted Socks.

Yarn: Cascade Heritage Silk

Needles: 2.5mm dpn

This is my leftovers. How I could have looked at the ball previously and thought I had made two I have no idea. I did enjoy making them though, the 6 round repeat was nice and easy to remember.

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Remember I said I was 40 last Saturday? Well. Let me tell you I was thoroughly spoiled. Look at the lovely card my hubby made for me. Sheep!

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And then I opened my present. Ooh. A limited edition Princess Grace Mont Blanc fountain pen.

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Ooh. It’s just the most loveliest fantastic gorgeous pen ever. And I got a ton of inks in purple, oyster grey and blue. I ADORE it. I shall write with it everywhere.

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But that wasn’t all. Oh no. I was packed off to the Four Seasons Hotel and Spa (a super posh hotel) for an afternoon of Jacuzzi, facial and hairdo. Sigh. It was wonderful. I had my lunch served to me poolside on a silver tray with a chocolate mousse cake made for me by the chef with Happy Birthday in white chocolate. The facial was just divine and I felt like a movie star after my hairdo.

Then it was off to the cocktail bar for a mojito (or two) before a super posh dinner. Afterwards I was so tired I could only manage one more mojito before I declared the best birthday in the world ever to be done and we headed home. I loved every second of my day thanks to my darling hubby. He really pulled out all the stops. If this is what being 40 is all about, bring it on!!

 

Good knitting!

Alice got her report card from school the other day. Her last ever report card from primary school (sob). It made me think of what would my report card say about my blogging? An F is a fairly generous score, I think. I’ve been abysmally bad this year, dear reader, and I do apologise for it.

I have a fair bit of stuff to get through this post though, so maybe the absence will be made up for (a little bit) with proof that I have still been doing something.

First up, an FO!:

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Pattern: PeaPod Baby Jacket by Kate Gilbert

Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, Tea Rose. I’m unsure of the number of skeins as I was using leftovers. Probably about 2 1/2. I made the 12 month size.

Needles: 3.75mm

This pattern is so annoying. The finished result is fantastic, I really like it, but the pattern is confusing and unnecessarily difficult. If I were to do it again, I’d rewrite it so much that I could probably release it as a pattern in its own right. Far too much seaming for me.

The Bluebell Rib sock of doom continues. I’ve turned the heel:

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It’s going fine, but it’s feeling like a never ending project. I really have lost my mojo at the moment.

BUT. this arrived and I thought all my mojo had come back like a tidal wave:

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It’s the Circular Stranded BSJ!!! The minute I heard about this I *had* to order it. Which I did, back in April. Alas, it never arrived. But the lovely people in Schoolhouse Press (especially Tami) were super helpful. They were really lovely and sent me out a second copy. I can’t rate them highly enough.

So, I cast on with some leftover Jamieson & Smith Jumper weight I had in my stash. Holy cow, the pattern is confusing. I enlarged the charts & printed them out, but I just got tied up in knots. I think this is a pattern that requires full attention, so I’m going to attempt it again next week when I’m off work.

 

Yes! I’m off work next week! WOO! Lie ins! Uninterrupted knitting time! WOO!

 

I’ve been feeling my age a bit recently too. I’m 40 on Saturday and I’m feeling very down about it. Sad, I know, but I can’t help it. So, I decided today to buy myself a treat to cheer me up. Off to This Is Knit I went today and this is what I got:

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Knit Real Shetland. Knitting. Shetland. Colourwork. What’s not to love?

The A-B-C-SJ:

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While I was there I had to get this. I know I have made a ton of them before and I already have the pattern in EZ’s books, but this gives line by line instructions and includes mods like a collar and hood. I had to get it.

Jamieson & Smith Cobweb yarn:

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Cobweb! I must be having a mid life crisis. I also got some beads to go with it:

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God knows what I’ll make with the yarn & beads, but sure it’ll be fun trying.

 

In other, fantastic news, Dad got the all clear today from the hosp. the cancer is not back. PHEW! He will, however, need another hernia surgery, but that’s a small bridge to cross. Thank heavens!

 

So, raise a glass to me this Saturday if you can, and here’s to hoping that there’ll be another 40 years and that they’ll be s action packed at the previous 40!

 

Ooh! I almost forgot. I got the Early Fall edition of Vogue Knitting the other day. I feel a review coming on!

I am of a certain age where I remember a game show called Blockbusters. It used to be on tv in the afternoons and I’d watch it when I got home from school.

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I was reminded of it when I was looking at m progress on my hexagon blanket. I was really struggling with the pattern for the blanket I mentioned in my last post so I sought the advice of one of my work colleagues who happens to be a pretty good crocheter. She pointed me towards a different hexagon pattern and I’m finding it much easier.. Look! Loads of hexagons!

 

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I think they look good. Well, at least they look like hexagons!

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It’s been pretty busy round here recently so I’ve not had a chance to do as much knitting and crocheting as I wanted to. Dad has another colonoscopy and CT scan on Monday so I’ve got to take Monday and Tuesday off work to mind him and Mam. Poor Dad hasn’t been so well recently so I hope this sorts it out. I’m worried the cancer is back as he’s lost more weight (if that’s possible) and he’s looking tired and gaunt. Fingers crossed it’s not.

 

Good knitting and crocheting!

Discoveries can be good and bad things, depending on what it is that you discover. This last week brought me to both sides of discovery gorge, craft wise.

First of all, I picked up my bluebell rib socks again. I powered along with the foot and when I reached the toe, I got all excited. Yipee! I thought. Another pair of socks done for my Sensational Sock Project. I felt really good about myself.

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When I cast off, I went looking for the other one so I could try them on and take a photo for this here blog. Emm. I couldn’t find it anywhere.
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I had tidied up flung all my knitting stuff into a basket and dumped it into the craft room before the party for Alice’s confirmation last weekend. Maybe it was in there? Nope. I searched high and low for the damn sock to no avail. For some reason I decided to look in the little project bag that held the finished sock, just in case, even though I knew it wasn’t in there. Hmm, I thought. That leftover ball of yarn looks suspiciously big for one that has been used to knit two socks. *CLANG* The penny dropped. I discovered that the sock I had just finished was the first one. VanDammit.

 

In a fit of pique I decided I was going to tidy out the craft room, because it was clearly the rooms fault that I thought I had knit the first sock already. Well, well, well. What did I discover??
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I only went & found a copy of the elusive Peapod Baby Set by Kate Gilbert! Woo! What a find! For some bizarre reason this pattern just vanished from the Interweave site and Kate never republished it. Very strange. But! I found my copy! What a discovery. I rummaged in the woolrobe and skipped downstairs, sock forgotten. I’m going to give this a go using this yarn I have leftover from a Phyllo Yoke Sweater I knit forever ago:

 

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I have 3 balls of this ggh safari yarn in a lovely soft green. Just like peas. It’s a linen polyamide blend, so should be suited to machine washing. I just hope it turns out ok, I found it a bit stringy before. But, I shall soldier on, delighted with my discovery.

It’s not the only gem I discovered, oh no. I also found this:
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This here is crochet guys. The Patchwork Throw by Erika Knight, to be precise.  Mmm-hmm. I know. But look. Look at the colours and the hexagons that appeal to my inner laws of straightness. It’s gorgeous. And a super stashbusting project! Woo! Another fab discovery. I cast on (hooked on?) for this one too, only this one is a bit moody. Well, ok. I’m sure the pattern is fine, it’s just me that sucks at crochet. Fairly epically. See:

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Not very hexagon-y, I think you’ll agree. Not to be defeated, I ploughed on. It didn’t get any better.

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They remind me of a group of jellyfish, with their tentacles hanging down. But that’s another show. Still determined, I brought my “hexagons” and the pattern into work today & consulted a crochet guru. Armed with a harmony stitch guide and a charted (!) version of this hexagon I am about to re-enter the foray.

 

Cover me guys, I’m going in. This might get ugly.

 

Good knitting (or hooking)!

I’m sure, like me, you have your go-to pattern when you feel the urge to knit something. For me it’s EZ’s Baby Surprise Jacket. I just love the puzzle and even after all this time I still never quite know how it’s going to turn out. This one gave me a bigger surprise than normal though. I had 2 skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Cotton in a dark green shade. Lovely, I thought. Em. No. I ran out of yarn with just 9 rows left to go! Disaster!

I stash dove & found that the only other similarly weighted cotton I had was Sugar n Cream in really bright shades. Twitter to the rescue. The lovely Isobel suggested I use yellow. I trusted her, and I’m so glad I did. So much so that I decided to use the yellow to trim the cuffs with applied icord and to join the shoulders using three needle icord. Doesn’t it look great?
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All it needs now is some cute buttons and it’s all set. Genius pattern. Genius.

In other amazing EZ news, her grandson Cully has designed a circular, stranded, steeked BSJ! OMG! The minute I heard about this I just had to order it. I got it direct from Schoolhouse Press (second pattern down). I can’t wait to get it and cast on! Woo!

 

I might have mentioned that I fell off the stashdown bandwagon a couple of weeks ago. Yes. My bad. I shouldn’t have done it, but I ended up on the Wollmeise website on update day, caved in and bought a mystery bag of yarn. This is what I got:

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This one is a bit bright for me. I’m definitely more of a solids gal. If anyone wants to swap this for a solid coloured skein, get in touch!

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This one is way more up my street. Mmm. Lovely shades of red. I love red. I’ll have to find a nice pattern for it.

Work on the bluebell rib socks had stalled while I fulfilled my baby knitting urge. I’ll get back to them now.

 

In other news, Alice made her confirmation on Wednesday. Bless. My little girl is definitely not little any more. She looked so grown up! We had a party in the house for the family yesterday and she looked just beautiful in her dress with her hair done in curls. She’s definitely blossoming at the moment. Sniff.

 

Good knitting!

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