Friday, July 24, 2009

Mitts

I loved knitting the sock in the last post so much, I decided it would look great as fingerless mitts too so I cast on yesterday. I had this gorgeous pale pink but I didn't have a full skein but it's just enough for a pair of mitts. The socks, by the way, have now got a name. I took it to my knitting group yesterday and asked for suggestion. In the end we decided on 'Footloose'. Now, I'm not sure what to call the mitts, do I call them 'Footloose' as well? They're the same pattern with a tiny adjustment.I'm plugging on with a secret project. I've gone through a bit of a boring stretch but I'm on to something more interesting now. And I'm about to start another secret project. The yarn is dyed and nearly dry so I'm hoping to cast on by Monday.

At knitting group yesterday, Hella brought along a shrug that her daughter knitted .It's a very simple construction and looked beautiful. Those of us that were there yesterday all decided to knit one. Vanessa liked it and wants one. She wants it in dark grey and it's an aran weight yarn. Of course I don't have anything suitable in my stash. I had a look in town today but couldn't find anything suitable. I'm going to have a look in Plymouth on Monday but the yarn selection there is rather pathetic. So I may not be able to get the yarn for it until I go up to Spin A Yarn next month some time. I did, however, find some gorgeous Mirasol yarn (think it's a lama blend) in a gorgeous purple and I think I have enough for a shrug for me. I really shouldn't be casting on for it as I do have more than enough on the needles and the two secret projects need to be prioritised but I need an easy project for next week.

Tomorrow we're off for our church's annual Bible Week. Lots of campers from all over the country come for a week. There are 2 services every day and clubs for the kids every morning. Simon and the girls are camping but I'm not. As I've said before I don't do camping 10 mins drive from my comfy bed. Tomorow we're putting out tent up and then there is a welcome BBQ and welcome service in the evening. I'll be busy on Sunday afternoon setting up the craft stall which is open for about an hour every day after the morning and evening services. I'd hoped to sell some of my own stuff ont he stall but havent' had time to make anything really. I've got some knitted hair bands and mobile phone socks left from last year so I'll put those on the stall. I started another mobile phone sock at knitting group yesterday but only got half way though. Don't think I've going to have time or want to finish it or make any more. I've got two shawls for sale so I may put one of those on to see if it sells. I doubt it will as it's expensive but you never know.

I may not post much next week. I'll be going out early and coming home late but I'll try to update once or twice onhow it's going and how the weather is. Last year it rained all the time. Forecast this year is not brilliant but better than last year.

Have a great weekend. x

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Notice anything different?

I'm just getting ready to post the Lace Variety Club parcels tomorrow. It's a little late so big apologies to members for that. It's been a nightmare to dry yarn with rain every day and no heating on. But it's all ready now. Pics next week if I remember. I've got a couple of skeins left so if anyone wants to join there is still time.
I'm also getting ready to send out the Sock Variety Club parcels which will go out on Friday or Saturday if the yarn is dry. There are still a couple of spaces left so join now.I've turned the heating on now to speed up the drying. I don't normally put up a preview of the socks but I'm going to do it this time. I finished this sock this afternoon and I really love it. I've been a bit off socks lately but this months, this is my 3rd pair and I wasn't keen to start it but once I decided on this pattern I couldn't stop and knitted it in 2 or 3 days. I've not decided on a name yet though.Very busy getting ready for our church's annual Bible Week which starts on Saturday. It's a week of camping, services for adults twice a day and clubs for kids and teenagers. It's great fun. Simon and the girls are camping but I don't camp especially not 10 mins from home. But I've still got to get everything ready for the tent. I'm in charge of the craft stall for the week which is open twice a day for about an hour, after each service. I don't tend to finish until close to 11pm.

Last week, Bible Week was soaking wet. We had a huge amount of rain and the tent got flooded. With all the rain we've had lately I've been a bit apprehensive about this year but the weather forecast for the weekend is good so I'm praying it'll continue.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Swatches and new socks

Yes, I've been swatching again. I bought a new stitch dictionary last week which lead to some more swatching. I swatched these 4 pretty lace patterns in some sock yarn.
Can you tell the difference between the two photos?
Two of the patterns included in this swatch is being used for my new sock pattern which I cast on for tonight. I'm already halfway down the cuff and I'm loving it. The plan is that this will be the sock for the Sock Variety Club for August. I've dyed the yarn for the sock club today and I can tell you it's not pink but I'm not telling you which colour it is. If you fancy finding out, join the club now. I've got 4 spaces left.

I also dyed yarn today for a very special project for a mag which I'm very excited about but I can't talk about it. The secret will be revealed by the end of the year.
This is what's currently on the needles. the red yarn is Luscious Lace and I'm swatching for a new design which will be used for Amazing Cashmere Lace and Luscious Lace. It'll be launched at Fibre Fest. Pixie is ready with the yarn to knit the sample, she's only waiting for me to get my act together and e-mail her the pattern.

The two white balls are Bambino sock and lace. The lace is a swatch for possible new lace shawl and the sock is a swatch for something secret. The bit of pink stockign stitch you can see is a secret project, so better not say anything more about that.

apart from knitting and dyeing yarn I went to the gym this morning. I didn't feel like it but went anyway. I did a slightly easier work out than normal as I had no energy at all. I did 10 mins on the bike, 5 mins on the cross trainer (pathetic but it was killing me) and 5 mins on the stepper which was also killing me. I did my weights too. Then tonight i was exercising again. My friend, Helen, and I went to a beginners Salsa class. I've never done salsa before but Helen has. it was a 30 mins complete beginners class and we were taught 3 basic steps which we practiced on our own and with a partner. It was fun and easier than I thought it would be. The teacher and her partner then demonstrated what we could expect to learn during the next 8-10 weeks if we continued with the beginners class. I was very impressed and not sure if I can learn it that quickly but I do fancy going back.

it's late and I'm tired and in pain, gym and salsa and yarn dyeing all in one day is probably more than my poor back can cope with. And tomorrow I'm off to Plymouth with Vanessa after my Weight watchers weigh-in.

Don't forget the 15% discount code in the side bar. Go and place your order now.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Shawl with no name - winner

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I've been struggling to decide on the winner for the 'Shawl with no name'. Yesterday, my friend, Clare, came over and I showed her the shawl and read out all the entries to her. And we both decided we liked Golitha Falls best so the shawl with no name is now The Golitha Falls Shawl. And the winner is Elizabeth, a fellow Norwegian who now lives in Sweden. E-mail me Elizabeth and I'll get your prize sent to you. The finished pattern will be launched sometime this week if I get time to finish it and edit the photos, or next week. Elizabeth wins the yarn (Supreme Lace or Bambino Lace ) to knit the shwl and the pattern.

Have you seen the latest issue of Yarn Forward, issue 16? I've got another pattern in this issue. It's the Runaway jumper. The rib pattern features yarn overs which are later dropped and allowed to unravel, this gives the jumper a great stretch and therefore a fitted appearance. The yarn is one of my favorites, Manos Silk Blend. I just love this yarn.

Unfortunately I didn't get any really good pics of this garment before I sent it off. And I've not been sent any official photographer pics either.In the next issue of Yarn Forward I'm having a pair of socks published. They're on the back of the current issue.

I went to Weight watchers yesterday, I've not been for two weeks and last time I'd put on 2 pounds so Iwas a bit apprehensive yesterday but I went and I lost 3 pounds, so very pleased about that. I've been to the gym twice this week too but I've been struggling. On Monday I didn't feel like doing anything at all. I was tired and in pain from the weekend with a slightly upset tumy. So I had an easy workout. Today I felt better apart from bad neck pain and tiredness so I did a little more than Monday but not as much as I should have done. Never mind at least I went.

I've got lots on for the rest of this week. Lots of knitting to do too. I've done some more swatching for two new designs. I'm trying to teach myself to sketch my designs. I cannot draw to save my life but editors want sketches and I've not been able to supply them up to now. So for my two new designs I've tried sketching them out and they're not good but not appalling either. I'm desperate to cast on for a lace shrug for myself which I've been wanting to knit for a while. I've now dyed the yarn and decided on a pattern so perhaps I'll cast on soon. But I also ahve a secret garmetn otn. I finished the back on Sunday but double checking the fit and size I realised I've allowed too little ease to get the fit Iwant. It'll still fit the size I'm knitting it for but it won't give the look Iwant so it's being frogged and re-started. Luckily it's aquick knit and I've got two weeks before the deadline so shouldn't be a problem. I decided it was better to get it right. I've got another secret project I need to get on with this week or next and socks for August's sock club and Sockamania so really the lace shrug should wait. I'm also keen to start a lace shawl in my Amazing Cashmere Lace. I'm hoping to get more of this yarn soon and it'd be nice to have a one skein pattern ready for Fibre Fest but do I really have time.

I ordered Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting Around book and DVD and the 2nd book in Barbara Walker's treasure series, I have the other 3. There are some amazing lace patterns in this book that I'm keen to swatch and I'm desperate to start reading KNitting Around and watch the DVD too. I'm especailly keen to explore the seamless circular sweaters in the book. I may use it for one of my new designs. i've never designed with a circular yoke or raglan shaping and it's a bit nerveracking to start with but then again, 6 months ago I'd never designed a fitted sleeve cap and I can do that now so I should just go for it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Liskeard Show


...was a complete wash out. I prayed and prayed for dry weather and the day started off dull but dryish. But it was downhill from there. Our Knitting Group had a gazebo with mesh walls which didn't keep the rain out. so having armed myself with shower curtains, I lined the mesh walls with shower curtains which helped a bit. But despite the rain we managed to make a cosy knitting hideaway. We had lots of visitors during the day. Didn't know there were so many knitters and lapsed knitters around. Tina, Hella and I were manning the stall all day and we had a good day apart from the last couple of hours when we were getting little wet and fed up. Tina, by the way, is Tina Barrett, prolific knitwear designer who designs regularly for Let's Knit, Knitting, Knit Today and Yarn Forward and I may have forgotten some too. She's also written two gorgeous baby knits and baby crochet books.

We had a table each. I had some yarns and Knit Pro stuff for sale and some shawls and socks on display.Some sock love:

Hella's machine knitting table:
Hella's machine knitted swatches, it's amazing some of the stuff that can be achieved with knitting machines:Here's Tina enjoying her lunch, the mannequin next to her is dressed in Hella's machine knitted designs:And Tina's table:
Tina's russian dolls:
A yarn bowl full of gorgeous yarns and cute needles:
Let's Knit readers may recognise Tina's Union Jack bag which was in the mag a few issues ago.
Tina's dolls:We were sandwiched in between Popham Alpacas and some owls and falcons. I managed to get a pic of the alpacas but forgot about the owls and falcons. Both Emily and Vanessa held the birds but I was't there to take pictures. Bad Mum!

Tomorrow i'm going to compile a list of my favorite suggestions for the Shawl with No name and I may have to have a vote as I can't decide which one I like the best so check back tomorrow.

I'm really tired after yesterday and my neck/back is bad and I didn't sleep very well last night so I'm extremely tired today. We went to church this morning and I've got the Formula 1 Grand Prix on in the background so I'm going back to watch the racing now and doing some gentle knitting.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Let's Knit

My copy of the new Let's Knit arrived today. I quickly flicked through the mag and found the feature on the UK Ravelry Day in Coventry last month. I was Let's Knit 'correspondent' for the day. I'm really pleased with the feature. It's only a small one, about 1/4 of a page. Simon got pretty excited too when he realised that one of the pics (and possibly both of the pics) they showed were his. I've also got an ad in this issue of Let's Knit. I've not advertised before but thought I'd give it a chance.

I finished the socks. I missed my deadline which was today but I did post the socks today. I had a bit of a set back and yesterday had to start the 2nd sock again. And I got to the toe before bed-time. That's not bad at all. A whole adult sock in a day, okay minus the toe but I could have managed the toe but I couldn't be bothered so the toe was knitted during breakfast this morning and the socks finished off and posted this afternoon.

I also had a big yarn parcel arrive today. I've been waiting for it all week and I'm quite pleased it didn't arrive earlier as I wouldn't have managed to resist the temptation to start knitting. The yarn is a gorgeous new Debbie Bliss yarn called Fez and is a blend of merino and camel. I love it. I'm not going to show you the colour or what I'm knitting with it. You'll have to keep an eye out for Let's Knit in the autumn if you want to see the result.

I love the names so far for the 'shawl with no name'. Lots of suggestions and I've no idea which one to choose. I've had such a busy day today I've not had time to look at it properly. And tomorrow is going to be even worse. So I'm going to extend the competition till Monday then I will make a decision I promise. I'm thinking I may have to have a vote as I like several of the names. Check back on Monday to see what I decide to do. If you fancy trying your luck in the competition, then scroll down to hte 'Shawl with no name' post.

Tomorrow the Liskeard Knitting Group of which I'm a founding member is having a stall at the Liskeard Show and the weather forecast is awful. We couldn't get a table in the craft marquee so have a stall outside. We've got a gazebo but it's only got mesh sides. When we were out there this afternoon that wasn't enough to keep the rain out. So please pray for dry weather for us tomorow. I've texted several Christian friends and asked them to pray and i've been praying like mad myself for no rain tomorrow.

I'm looking forward to the show. Our main aim is to promote the knitting group but I'm also taking a small selection of my yarn to sell. Tina Barrett will be there. If you read any of the UK knitting mags you'll have seen her work. And our leader, Hella, will also be there. She's an incredibly talented machine knitter and is bringing one of her knitting machines. I'll try to take plenty of pics.

I'm also swatching for a lace shrug for myself in my new Bambino Lace. I've decided on the main stitch pattern and i'm just trying out the edging for the sleeves. I'd like to get the shrug started next week. I've dyed some Bambino Lace in gorgeous purples and violets and it'll be a struggle to choose the right colour.

I've also had a new secret project commissioned. So I've got to decide on the elements for it this weekend and do some swatching for it. So lots of knitting to be getting on with.

Here's a sneak preview of the Yarn 4 Socks sock.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Knit Pro & Clover and a New Design

We're now the proud stockist of Knit Pro knitting needles and Clover knitting accessories. Or at least a small range of Knit Pro and Clover. I've got one set of the Deluxe interchangeable Symfonie needle set. I've had my set for 18 months and can't imagine how I lived without it. I love it and all my friends who I've recommended it to and who have bought a set love it too. Check it out here.

I've also got some dpns and 2.75mm 80cm long circs for sock knitting. See the whole range here. I'm hoping to get more stock in later this summer.

The clover accessories include my favorite knitting counter. I've got one in every single project bag. I've also got some 0.5mm crochet hook which is the perfect size for adding beads to your lace shawls. And who can live without ring markers. Find them all here.

I've also got another finished lace piece. It's a small lace triangle knitted out of one skein of Glorious Sock Yarn. It's perfect size for a scarf. Eventually there will be 3 versions of this shawlette. This version features two easy lace patterns and the other two versions will feature each lace pattern separately. This is the perfect lace project for beginners. The pattern will be available in a few weeks. First it'll be going off to one of my test knitters for version 2 & 3 to be knitted up.

In the meantime, some pics:And see the post below for the 'name the shawl' competition. A big thank you for all the suggestions so far. I love them all. No idea how I'm going to decide. Deadline is Friday so let me know what you think.

Monday, July 06, 2009

The shawl with no name

I finished this shawl on Friday. I surprised myself actually because a week or so earlier it felt a bit like I was knitting with treacle. Incredibly slow going. But suddenly last week I kind of got hooked on it again. I had a different border and edging planned but when I thought I ought to start it I realised I wouldn't have enough yarn for it so I stuck to my original plans and I'm happy with it. I'm not 100% happy with my photos. I wasn't really in the mood for proper photography session on Saturday so I just got some quick snaps. Tomorrow, I'll be giving Pixie th yarn to start testknitting the shawl. And once she's had a go at it and found my errors (there are bound to be some), it'll be released and possibly used for the Lace Variety Club this month.
I need a name for this shawl though so what about a name competition? Suggest a name and if you suggest the name I like the best you'll win a skein of Supreme Lace or Bambino Lace and the pattern. Leave your suggestion in the comments. I'll announce the winner by the end of the week.Look at the beaded edging:
On Saturday afternoon we went for a walk at Golitha Falls on Bodmin Moors. It's a lovely little woodland alongside the River Fowey (or at least I think it's Fowey). It's a lovely walk. I wan't really in the mood for a walk but I'm glad I went. I forgot to bring my camera but I snapped lots of photos with my mobile so they're not the greatest quality.
Simon and the girls went swimming in the river, yes it was freezing, hence the wet suits. Sam decided to join in too. She used to hate water and never went in voluntarily but now she jumps in quite frequently. She had several swims on Saturday. Here she is trying to swim up stream but the current were quite strong and she didn't make much progress. We had to keep an eye on her because she's quite small and the currents were strong and we were worried she would get swept down the river.

Isn't this a marvellous tree canopy?
Getting the shawl off the needles has meant I should be concentrating on making some progress with this socks:I've been kind of ignoring it lately. And I managed to make a good job of ignoring it over the weekend too, in order to finish another shawl. Yes, the Glorious sock yarn shawl has just come off the needles and will be blocked this afternoon. Pics on Wednesday. But I've got to get my act together on these socks and have made good progress this morning. They have got to be with an editor by Friday. I'd better hide everything else this week.

Tomorrow I'm looking forward to going to the monthly knitting group at Spin A Yarn. I've not been for the last two months as I was teaching a workshop there two days after the knitting group and it's a long way to go twice a week. Pixie is coming down to meet me and I'm looking forward to seeing her again. I'll have a big parcel of yarn for her including a skein to knit the Supreme Lace shawl. she'll be doing it in Bambino Lace.

I've got some yarn to list in the shop and I'll try to get that done today. There is some Merino Tencel sock yarn which I'm thinking of re-naming Divine Sock. Any views? And I've got some Silky Merino in some stunning shades.

And I've been keeping up with my gym attendance. I went on Friday morning and had a great work out. And I went this morning and had a slightly shorter workout but Idid go on the stepper instead of the cross trainer and I was glad I did as the stepper was a lot easier. I didn't feel all that great this morning. I've had severe stomach cramps all night. I went to bed at 7pm last night as I'd already been sleeping in the lounge for an hour. I was completely shattered after waking up at 4am both SAturday and Sunday. I didn't even cook dinner last night. Not sure what Simon and the girls had to eat in the end but I'm sure they managed to rustle up something. I was quite surprised I slept all night, well nearly, I did wake up several times (the stomach cramps) but got back to sleep and still felt tired at 7am this morning. So although I didn't feel like going to the gym and had a shorter work out I'm still glad I went.

Back to those socks.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Gym bunny

Okay, so perhaps I'm not a gym bunny yet. But I did do my induction in the gym this morning. The instructor recognised me from when I last used to go about 5 years ago. I was a little bit worried abit it as I'm so unfit and I was also worried about aggrevating my neck/back too much so I started slow. I did 10 mins on the bike, 10 mins on the cross trainer which was extremely hard work. I used to be able to do 30 mins on the cross trainer at a much harder programme than I did today followed by 30 mins on the stepper. I decided to miss out the stepper today and did another 10 mins on the bike so that was 30 mins in total of cardio, which isn't too bad. I then did two weight machines for my arms and back. Upper body machines can aggrevate the pain so I'm keen to start slow and build up gradually. And to finish 4 machines for the legs. All in all, it took me about an hour which is what I'm aiming for. I ran in to a couple of mums from school I've not spoken to for a while so had a nice chat while I was on the bike. All in all, it was a pleasant experience apart from the weighing and bodyfat measurements which I could have done without.

Weight watchers was bad this week too. I put on the 2 pounds I lost last week so feeling a bit down about that.

Let's talk about some nicer stuff instead. I've done lots of knitting. The first Yarn 4 Socks socks is off the needles and I'll get some photos done and a sneak preview tomorrow or Friday. It's for the August club and I'm providing the yarn too.

I cast on in this yarn for a new pair of socks for a British mag. I love the yarn and the socks are progressing well. Need to double check the chart before I do any more as I think I made a mistake when typing it up and don't want to have to frog the socks at a later stage. I've got a short deadline for these socks.

I'm making slow progress on this shawl knitted in the June Sock Variety Club yarn. It's Glorious Sock yarn and the colour is more like this: I love this colour. I mis-counted rather badly so I have lots of this yarn leftover. So it's good I like it.

I've been doing quite a lot on my Supreme Lace shawl and have started thinking about the border. I've changed to stitch pattern too as I want a more solid stitch pattern before the edging. I've not got any up-to-date pics as it still looks pretty much like this, just bigger. Yarn for a new secret project should arrive next week so that means I need to focus a bit more than I have lately. I need to prioritise the Supreme Lace Shawl, the new socks and the Yarn 4 Socks socks as these all have to be done fairly soon. I'm thinking about using the Supreme Lace shawl for July's Lace Variety Club although I've got a different yarn in mind. I've got a new lace yarn which I think would be great with this shawl.

Back to some knitting in the sun. It's still gorgeous here.