Monday, August 17, 2009

Finishing and starting

I have finished some projects, hurrah!

The lovely Angee from Cookie A Sock Innovations, knit in Trekking Pro Natura. I love the way the mock cables "pop" in this yarn and so comfy too. I think the bamboo helps.

The equally lovely (and knit by thousands) February Lady Sweater. This is knit in New Lanark organic DK. Whilst it feels a little coarse to touch it softens beautifully when knit and more so once washed. I used a 2 colour design as I thought Iwould not have sufficient of the darker colour, however it used so little yarn in total I probably could have made it all one colour after all. My good friends tell me, however, that it is lovely as it is. I certainly love the way it drapes and it seems to flatter all shapes and sizes. Technical notes: it's a top down knit in one piece so no making up at all. Perfect for those of us who hate seaming and with the bonus that you can try it on as you go to make sure it's the size you want. The FLS is modelled by Maisy as I really can't abide seeing myself in photos.

I have also finished the Icing Swirl Hat by Ysolda in Whimsical Little Knits (1). Book and yarn bought at the IKnit weekender in London (more of which later). In the pattern photo this is a slouchy pinwheel style hat but when knit in Manos Del Uruguay Classica in shades of red (mmmm) it came out like a beanie! So a little tinking and adjustment to the pattern was required otherwise it would have been an ultra fast knit. I love the finished hat and as I knit it magic loop I was able to try on as I went to ensure I got just the right slouchiness. It's going to get an awful lot of wear this winter. I knew the yarn was perfect for me, after I had bought it I looked inside the label and the name of the maker turned out to be....Karen!

I have made good progress on the Milkweed shawl and have about 10 rows to go, but my, those rows are getting awful long now. It's definitely a project that requires a lot of concentration so my work on it is limited to when the house is a no-child zone (not often when there are 3 of them).

Paul's Cauchy socks have been put on the back burner a little as I have rekindled an old flame in the form of the Cinnamon Latte shawl. Dormant for a year, I found this project at the back of the stash cupboard and fell in love with the pattern again. Now that I have joined the border and picked up all 576 stitches in the round, it's going swimmingly.

What should I tell about the IKnit weekender (11-13 Sept)? After a 04:30 start on Friday Mhairi, Kimmie and myself arrived at the Royal Horticultural Halls before the doors opened at 10:00. We made a pledge to not buy anything until we had been around the market hall once. About half way round the resolve had seriously diminished. However the number of stalls had increased significantly over the previous year and we felt we should continue around and make sure we had seen everything before unleashing the credit cards.

After that 1st once round we were shattered and rather overwhelmed with choice so lunch and a fortifying cup of tea followed. It was beautiful weather so we ventured outside to a local deli, delicious!

It was quiet in the hall on the Friday so it was very pleasant to go back and start the decision making about what to buy first and second and third and....well you can imagine. We stayed on for the party even though we were propping our eyes open with matchsticks by that time and we were so glad we did as we got to enjoy the extraordinary and amazing performance by Gaggle. This was a choir that was so unlike any choir I had heard previously, with all original pieces (one of which was tailored to suit the knitting/crochet audience to hilarious effect) and wonderful voices in a fabulous acoustic setting. Really, truly memorable. Bed called after a quiet meal in the hotel.

Saturday we were up early as we all had classes to attend, Mhairi took Estonian knitting and Kimmie and I took Toe Up Socks with Yarnissima. Once we had got the cast on sorted (about 3 attempts each!) the sock was knit quickly and completed in the 3 hour class. Now I confess I have not turned into a speed knitter, the entire sock only measure 3 inches! But what a wonderful way to learn this technique, I will be having a go with the next pair I cast on, might even try 2 at a time!

The afternoon was very relaxed with more shopping and lots of knitting in great company. In the evening we went to The Hope and Anchor, a GastroPub within 5 minutes walk of our hotel on The Cut at Waterloo. If you find yourself in London, I can heartily recommend this place for the finest meal I have had in many years. The staff, the ambience, the food and of course that Damson Gin were outstanding.

On Sunday we found our way to Socktopus near the King's Road where, after a massive brunch at Megan's, we enjoyed the Old Maiden Aunt trunk show. Lilith for those who don't know OMA has a studio in West Kilbride, not 30 minutes from my own home. But that didn't stop me acquiring the beautiful Lon Dubh from the Homecoming Collection. Lilith has a wonderful eye for colour and I am hoping that I will be able to attend one of her dying workshops very soon. Alice at Socktopus stocks a fabulous range of artisan yarns and I couldn't resist a few more purchases whilst there.

My tally for the weekend was:
1 Zauberball
2 Alpaca/silk skeins from the utterly lovely John at Easyknits
1 skein Japanese silk with Nepps from Knitwitches
1 skein Manos Del Uruguay Classica
1 skein from Old Maiden Aunt
2 skeins Chameleon Colourworks
4 skeins Artist's Palette Buttersoft DK
1oversize Toft Alpaca Ash button
A slection of beautiful buttons from Textile Garden
A little pot of red dye from Helen Deighan's Dyes
3 cards from Tillyflop
Whimsical Little Knits 1 and 2 from Ysolda

Restrained? Hmmm I thought so at the time but it does look quite a lot when written down.

On other news Maisy began school, half days initially and now full time. I am so happy that she absolutely loves school and can't wait to do homework in the evenings. She looks so grown up in her uniform with her little tie and blazer. Brings a lump to my throat most days when she goes into school. She takes the school bus home now and is becoming so independent, something I don't feel quite ready for.

And finally:
Congratulations to my lovely daughter Rhona who has been awarded a certificate of Prestigious Merit at school
Good luck to Andrew who begins his BioMedical Sciences degree at Strathclyde University next week

1 comment:

  1. Well DOne Andrew and Rhona! All the yarn looks like the shop stock! lol Its a veritable booty of yarniness.


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