Saturday, April 26, 2008

I'm obsessed

I'm obsessed with the sock yarn blanket. It's growing like Topsy. I keep thinking, "Just one more square and then I'll go to bed/do the washing up/cook the dinner/go to work" (delete as appropriate).

We are up to ninety-seven squares. It sounds a lot but it doesn't look much:

I did say that I would just go and buy the sock yarn but I went whizzing into my LYS the other day, only to find a very limited supply of Regia and plenty of ultra-costly Araucania. Needless to say, I didn't bite. Jo's shop, Crafty Cottage, in Warwick has closed down (boo-hoo!), so no joy there. It's ordering on-line or begging from my readers. I'm not above begging, so if you really can't help yourself - send sock yarn!

I am taking the green star shawl very slowly, possibly because of the aforementioned obsession, and am at round 54. No picture - it's the usual lace knitter's photographic nightmare - a pile of dental floss. In this case it's olive green but to all intents and purposes, it's dental floss.

The Wrap Me Up Wrap is blocking even as I write:

Here's the picot hem:

This is the ruffle:

and here's a lace rib panel:

It's taking much longer to dry than a lace shawl, so it's good that today has been the hottest day of the year to date (69F). I'm sorry I can't do the temperature in centigrade- I had my head round it perfectly when I lived in Italy but when I bought 'im indoors a fancy thermometer with indoor and outdoor readings and he set it to Fahrenheit - well, that was it. I don't know if I'm coming or going. Suffice it to say that today was hot and the wrap is drying nicely. It should be dry by tomorrow and then it's just a case of putting an edging on the long sides and a dragon's tooth edging on one of the short ends and I am done. Just in time for it to be too warm to wear.

Spring appears to have sprung here in the rural backwater - I leave you with the back field "in the green".

(Later in the day my "friends" were lurking but I gave them a very wide berth.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm so dead

I am speaking to you today from beyond the grave. The Yarn Smackdown has smacked me down. I am dead.

Killed, on my own doorstep by a beautiful lime green hat from lisalaraine. I thought all was well, as the postman had passed me by in the morning. Don't be fooled. Three thirty saw the Parcel Force van at my door and there I was - laid low.

The kids came home.

"How are you, Mummy?"

"Well, since you ask, I'm dead."

Wails from both.

Then they saw the hat, lying on the table in one of those re-sealable bags (the ones that I can never get resealed).

#1 daughter snatched it up - "Here's the evidence!"

#1 son said, "Here's the murder weapon."

I think they've been watching too much CSI (and if that Horatio Cane isn't the hottest redhead on TV, I don't know who is.)

The Sock Yarn Blanket is starting to take over my life. I started by making it five blocks wide, just to see if I liked the idea of it. Well, I like the idea of it. So now I'm thinking twenty squares wide, so it can act as a "throw" on the sofa. I don't know how long it will need to be. Let's just say, "long".

Shelly Kang (who made the original sock yarn blanket) asked for yarn donations. Then she got the Yarn Harlot involved and soon became buried in sock yarn. I was thinking of applying the simpler expedient of going to the yarn shop and buying the stuff but, hey, if anyone has spare sock yarn...

I'm up to forty-three squares now and I'm still not fed up with it, which must be some kind of a record.

I need to go and knit another few (squillion) squares.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Third time lucky?

I've been trying (and trying and trying) to start a tablecloth, which I will use as a shawl, of course. It's the "Tablecloth with center (sic) star" from "Anna" February 1987. I am using the olive green Cashwool I got in Yorkshire and my trusty Hiya Hiya 2.5mm circular needles.

It all seemed to be going fairly well until I managed to make a complete pig's ear (technical term) of one of the double decreases used to close the top of the petals. I didn't discover this until the next round, by which time there was a huge hole. As I was so near the beginning (just about twenty rounds in), I decided to rip out and start again. I was quickly back on track and then I got to about round 45 and just didn't like the look of the area around where the "magic" loop came out. I tried readjusting the tension with a sewing needle. No better. I tried dropping down the offending four stitches and knitting them back up. Even worse. I carried on for two more rounds and then I just knew I wasn't happy with it and I didn't think I ever would be. Out it came.

Part of the difficulty was that in this particular area there were YOs at the end (or beginning) of the needle. It seemed to make a huge hole and just accentuated the ladder effect that all lace knitters need to guard against when changing needles while working a piece in the round. I'm trying to counteract that this time round by not doing a YO at the beginning (or end) of the needle but waiting until the next round and picking up the running thread between the needles. This seems to be tightening that area a little bit, though I'm only up to round sixteen so I haven't done that more than once so far.

I'm almost to the point of flinging it across the room.

I think this was the first try:

I started the Wrap Me Up wrap again, this time using Rowan Tapestry in the rainbow colourway:

This is much, much better in my opinion, though I wasn't able to buy enough yarn in my LYS, so I'm now stalled for lack of yarn - it seems to be taking a long time to get here. One of my knitting friends has just made this same wrap using the same yarn. She has yarn left and has very generously offered to send it to me - I bet that arrives before Rowan gets round to sending it.

For light relief, I've started a "Sock Yarn Blanket". Garter stitch mitred squares using left over sock yarn and joining together as I go. I've made about thirty squares, so it is growing, if rather slowly. This is obviously going to be a long term project.

Ann-at-work's Smart car has died. She is blaming it on all the yarn that I crammed into it on the way back from SkipNorth. I am not so sure and think there may be a deeper, darker reason. She's got a very zizzy (technical term) new Golf and my first thought when she appeared in it was, "Wow, we could fit tons of yarn in that!"

There were going to be pictures in this post but Blogger is playing up (as is often the case these days) and doesn't seem to want to play with me. I'll publish this anyway - just so you know I'm still alive and knitting, and come back later and try to add the pictures. (Edited later: finally got the pictures uploaded.)

Oh, and I'm through to the second round of the Yarn Smackdown and have just sent off a pink number in Rowan Kid Classic to my victim in Maryland - little does she know her death is on its way (though I expect mine from her is too - it's all down to the USPS and the good old Royal Mail at this stage. May the best postman win.)

Last week they said it would snow.

It did: