Monday, September 22, 2008

I got a ribbon!

I was stunned to get this:

the "I love your blog award" from Knit Yoga. As many of you know (if you are attending) I never win anything - apart from a book about crochet hats, which ended up being about as much use as a chocolate teapot.

Strings are attached, of course:

1. post this award on your blog;
2. add a link to the person who sent you the award;
3. nominate at least 4 other bloggers, and add their links as well; and
4. leave a comment at the new recipients' blogs, so they know they got an award.

Nominate four other bloggers! It's a big ask (as the Australians say) because I read so many blogs but I have racked my brain and I have whittled them down.

Here they are, in no particular order:

Lacefreak - her lace work is just stunning. Sometimes I just go there and look at the pictures.

Marie Fly Fly - beautiful photographs. I don't make garment very often but when I do it's probably going to be something that I saw on this blog.

The Whole Ball of Yarn(s) - knitting, cooking and reading. All the things I love best.

Up Knit Creek - because it's the best title for a knitting blog, ever. And because Annie recognised me at the Knitting and Stitching Show last year by the shawl I was wearing and we had a good old chat and shared our purchases.

Aside from racking my brain to choose the above, I 've also been knitting.

The Estonian Potpourri stole moves on apace. Block A is finished and appears here like an old rag:

It's constructed like a log cabin quilt block and uses different lace patterns for each strip. There are three blocks, each having a central square and eight lace strips, a total of twenty-seven patterns.

As I reported in my last post, the nupps were giving me grief. I really didn't like the ones in the central square of block A. I missed them out completely in block A, pattern 8.

When it came to the centre square of block B, I knew I would have to include the nupps and I knew I had to find a better way of doing them. I consulted here and there in cyberspace but finally resorted to my old stand-by: Montse Stanley's The Handknitter's Handbook (if it's not in this book, it's not worth knowing.)

She calls them "tufts" or "popcorns", which caused a fair amount of confusion when I was looking up "nupps". When I finally found them, I discovered that she has four different variations. I tried them all. In the end, I settled on what she calls a "Thimble Tuft".

I'll try to do some pictures when I a) grow a spare hand, or b) #1 daughter/photographer gets home from school, whichever is the sooner.

I think they look much better:

This is the centre square of block B.

Close-up of the nupps:

Nuppy (tt), or what?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Back on the Straight and Narrow

Many thanks for your commiserations over the disaster with the computer. I think we may now be almost back to what passes for normal here in the rural backwater. The computer is happy to communicate with the camera but is giving the printer the cold shoulder. Let's hope I can work it out before I throw the printer straight through the monitor.

I have a confession to make. In all the flurry over the sudden death, I hardly lifted a knitting needle. What is worse I actually toyed with going over to the dark side. (No, not the Crochet!) I did a little bit of cross stitch and I must say I found it most relaxing. It's something I started a few years ago and worked on sporadically but then I laid it aside. For some reason I took it up again.

It's a picture of a peacock in a pear tree. Here's the part I've finished:

Here's a close-up of the corner block:

There's even a partridge (not in the pear tree, though):

However, it wasn't long before the call of the knitting needle became impossible to ignore.

I looked at the Estonian Pot Pourri pattern and, though it's a beautiful pattern, I wasn't happy with it. The reason for this was that I'd started it on the wrong needles. 2.5mm needles, while skinny (tt) enough for me, were too skinny for the yarn. The yarn is some unknown fuchsia stuff, bought during last year's SkipNorth. I bit the bullet. I ripped it out. Everything. The whole lot. Gone.

I started again. I took a 4mm needle and produced the central square:

The nupps, while not particularly difficult to execute, don't please me. I ripped a few back before I found the ever reliable Fleegle's instructions. They are a model of clarity.

I still don't like the nupps and the reason is, I think, that they are too unstructured for me. I like neatness. I like symmetry. I like precision. Nupps, by their very nature, can't be any of the above. It's a matter of how much slack the individual knitter leaves for each nupp and it's almost impossible to leave exactly the same amount of slack each time (at least it is for me, maybe it's a case of "practise makes perfect".) Anyway, the nupps are done, though I'm sure there will be more, sneaking up on me when I least expect it.

I did a few more patterns. Here they are, unblocked of course, so looking like an old rag:

The rain has been lashing down and the river has been rising. Thankfully, it is nowhere near the house, though the newly planted cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower almost got washed away. "Water in well" read the instructions. I think we can safely say that those instructions have been carried out to the letter.

Here's the back field last Saturday at 10.45am.

The flash went off.

Nothing to do but sit and knit.