Monday, March 26, 2007

WIPs

I thought I would post about my current works in progress. These are the ones I am knitting on (although I have a couple that are languishing and waiting to be worked on too - namely my Debbie Bliss cardigan!). First up we have Kate Gilbert's Union Square Market Pullover published in the Fall issue of Interweave Knits 2005, which I have been wanting to knit since it was published but had real problems finding a suitable yarn:


I finally found a source for the yarn actually given in the pattern and can now get going. I have chosen a rich purple with a pink trim and it is lovely to knit up - I even bought myself a Rosewood circular needle from Scottish Fibres to make the knitting more pleasurable. I love ebony needles too but thought the yarn would be difficult to see against black! I haven't got very far yet, as it is very fine yarn and there are nearly 300 stitches per round, but it is very soothing to knit and I like the feel of the yarn when I am working on it - so soft and smooth:


Also in my knitting basket next to the sofa is Breakfast at Tiffany's. The back is done and I am working on a front:


This is quick to knit but the strand of lurex in the yarn keeps catching on my hands (which have been very dry since this new colder weather started after what we all thought was the beginning of spring!) and I needed a diversion - hence the Union Square Market Pullover.

And I have also started a beret using Grumperina's pattern. This has an interesting tubular cast-on, which I have not done before, but is one that gives a very stretchy start. I love this green. This will be a gift for my Secret Pal when it is done:


I have to confess that I also cast on for the scarf for ISE4 and a new ballet cardigan for Ellen too at the weekend - so I have rather a lot going on!

After a very late night on Friday (2.30am) I managed to finish the journal I was editing and this week have a bit of time to sort out the house - it certainly needs it. I want to get everything back in the bathroom and try to deal with the dust that seems to be everywhere after the building work! It is good to have some catching up time before the next lot of work arrives next week! I am still going to the office as usual but I find the work that I do at home somehow takes over. I work in my office in the loft and find that the work hangs over me - both literally and metaphorically. It is great to know there is nothing calling out to be done and I have a few days' grace!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Cat heaven

I had to take Max to the vet this week for his boosters and he hates going in his basket so much that he miaowed all the way to the Vee Ee Tee (as readers of Mog will understand!). To cheer him up I bought him a rather classy catnip cigar - does this cat look stoned to you? I just love the label!


And here is Max, well on the way to being in the same state:


And we are nearly there with the bathroom. It has been a long five weeks and I am faced with endless dusting, but what an improvement:


It is astonishing how much space you can create by knocking down a partition. We now have the complete luxury of a walk-in shower:


Bliss!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Thank you for all your kind comments on the T shirt - it was a great knit and Ellen loves it, which is the main thing! I'm glad some of you will be knitting one too - I hope you enjoy the pattern as much as I did.

I hope all you mums out there are having a good day and that you are being spoiled, as you deserve. I was given some lovely cards this morning - Edward had made a card at school and Ellen went out with Paul to buy one for me. She also bought me a dog (something I really want, but this one is just a tease of the one I want (I would like a real, live chocolate Lab)):



Edward and Lily had also made these lovely boxes at school which came with a teabag and an After-Eight mint - yum!



Ellen may have been ill this week but she has also been busy - it is not quite finished, but she has been making me a bookmark, which is so sweet!



And I have done a bit of knitting. Having found out that it is my Secret Pal's birthday soon, I have whipped up a pair of Fetching in this lovely green Malabrigo and they will be going off to her with some other goodies tomorrow!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ta da!

Ellen was unwell over the weekend and I have kept her off school for a couple of days as she can't shake off a nasty cough. I was sad to miss my knitting group yesterday (especially as I hear Jill brought in cake - Happy Birthday, Jill!) but managed to finish Ellen's T-shirt and persuaded her to pose for a photo:



This was a great knit from Magknits. I changed the neck slightly, as Ellen needed a bigger gap to get the T-shirt on, so I stopped a decrease before the pattern instructed, but other than that followed it pretty much to the letter. I am really delighted with the way this knitted up and can't quite believe the whole thing only took a week from cast-on to finish!

And I was thrilled to find out not only who my secret pal who I will be sending to is but also to get an email from my secret pal! How exciting! My pal has told me quite a bit about herself and I am really looking forward to finding out more about them both as this round progresses.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A woman obsessed

It was a beautiful day yesterday and I was very keen to go out with the children to the farmers' market and the playground. But, confronted by the antics of an obstreperous five-year-old who refused to budge, we didn't get out into the lovely spring weather (other than to take this photo):



I was very disappointed. So, what do you do when stuck inside with a mountain of housework and still surrounded by bits of plumbing? Answer:



And I knit obsessively on Ellen's top - I am addicted and very keen to finish it! It is proving quick to knit up and I can't seem to stop working on it! It is a great pattern and I am loving the way the yarn is knitting up this time:

Friday, March 09, 2007

On the school run

A big part of my days is the school run. Even when I am working in the office I still take the children to school in the morning, and pick them up most days too. The urban landscape around where I live has touches of real beauty and this time of year everything is blossoming. On the school run at the moment I walk past these beautiful flowers each day, and each day they brighten my mood. Magnolias are so perfect:

And the camellias are equally pretty:


It makes the endless walking to and from school interesting and even cheering!

One thing I hadn't bargained on is quite how addictive this pattern for a T-shirt for Ellen is:

I am really enjoying knitting this and am also loving the way the yarn is coming out. Last time I was knitting with this yarn, I was using two balls at once and this time I am doing it one ball at a time and I much prefer the way the different colours are working out this time round:

Maybe frogging the last piece was the best thing I could have done!

And I have other distractions. Yesterday I got my first parcel from the Rockin' Sock Club, and I just love it. I don't want to spoil anyone's surprise, but here's a taster:

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Change of plans

Last week I taught a couple of friends how to dye yarn using food colouring, as taught to me by the inspirational Nic. We used undyed Trekking sock yarn from Get Knitted and the results were very pleasing. This is my hank, which is so pretty!



I am really pleased with how this turned out and cannot wait to see how it knits up! I have also checked out the new Magknits and this pattern (Very Berry T-shirt) caught my eye:

I am very taken with the design and thought it would look great in this yarn that Nic dyed for me at Christmas:

If you remember, I was originally knitting a cardigan for Ellen but she was being so difficult at that time that I just couldn't enjoy knitting for her and abandoned it! Things are going a bit better now and so last night I ripped out the nearly finished back and have decided to make this top for her instead. And I have not abandoned Breakfast at Tiffany's - I finished the back last night and plan to start one of the fronts tonight! So, we are making progress!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Grrrrrrr!

Thanks for all your suggestions on what to do with my charity shop find - I am still undecided but maybe a Kaffe Fassett waistcoat is the way to go...

A few weeks ago, Edward's teacher asked me to knit the class teddy a red jumper and I agreed, brought home the teddy and then promptly forgot about it as teddy got buried under a pile of work. On Friday I was reminded and so on Friday night I sat down with teddy and my knitting needles and came up with a little sweater for him:

Cute!

The weekend was taken up with more building work - the tiling has started and we are making progress. What was two rooms is now one and the revamped bathroom is starting to take shape:

Yesterday I knew that the weather forecast was for rain, rain and more rain and so I decided to go to Oxford with the children to see my mum. Paul needed to work, the builders were plastering and I needed to get away from the disruption. So, we went to Oxford and had a lovely lunch and then visited the Oxford Museum of Natural History after lunch to see the dinosaur bones and the stuffed animals, some of which you can touch, including this rather fierce lioness -Grrrrrr!:

And this week I want to make some progress on Breakfast at Tiffany's and try to sort out the house a bit, as it is slowly disappearing under a layer of dust...

Friday, March 02, 2007

Eat your heart out, Audrey Hepburn

Well, my 10th commenter on the last post was Megan and this lovely skein of Curious Yarns sock yarn (complete with contrast yarn for heels and toes) went off to her in the post yesterday:

Congratulations, Megan - hope you enjoy it. And thank you to everyone who took the time to comment - it is great to get feedback.

The bathroom is coming on - the wall is demolished, the new one built and the plastering nearly finished - just the landing wall to go. In the meantime, the bath is in and the tiling has started, so we are getting there. There is, however, dust everywhere!

I am trying to ignore the dust and to console myself with some knitting and have started making this:

It is 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' from Cherry Tree Hill. I bought the pattern from the Woolly Workshop and the ever-helpful Gill, and was really pleased to find a pattern for the yarn. The yarn is Oceania, a 100% wool boucle with a strand of lurex running through it to give it some glitter. Mary and I each bought a skein from Get Knitted when we went down there and mine is in the Martha's vineyard colourway:

I have never knitted anything sparkly before and it is fun! It took ages to wind into a ball but it is knitting up quite quickly on 5.5mm needles so I am hoping it will not be too epic a project! It is for me, and my track record of finishing things for myself is not as good as finishing things for others!

And I wonder whether anyone knows whether this might have been a kit. In one of my local charity shops I found this:


Loads of Rowan's Kaffe Fassett kid silk and some long-discontinued Designer DK in gorgeous colours. I cannot quite believe that I found this treasure trove and have no idea what to make with it. Any ideas out there?

And, as ever, Dawn is very on the ball as far as exchanges go and, taking a leaf out of her book I, too, have signed up for International Scarf Exchange 4. I am really looking forward to finding out who I am knitting for!