Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tasty cakes

First off, a pic of my socks in progress. The Show Off Stranded Socks. An easy 4 row repeat to remember. I'm using the Socks That Rock mediumweight and they are coming out quite big but they will make good slouchy socks I think.

While we were at Woolfest, Colin bought me a swift (shhh, I don't know about it 'til my birthday) so that he doesn't have to sit with his hands held out wrapped in skeins of yarn while I wind them into balls. He also got me a ball winder stick (technically known as a Nostepinne) which you wind the yarn onto by hand (link = YouTube video) to make a centre pull ball. I decided last week to have a go on a 20mm knitting needle. It takes ages to wind a ball onto it. It'll be fine for left over bits of yarn in shortish lengths but I decided to have a look for a wool winder.

I found this one second hand on ebay and it arrived yesterday.

I couldn't wait to give it a go but as I don't have a swift (nudge, nudge, wink, wink.) I used a couple of balls I'd already wound by hand. And look at them now........

I think the technical name for these is cakes, and the most tasty looking non-edible cakes they are. It was so quick!! My skeins are going to wind so fast. Wheeee.

Last Tuesday evening was Borders Knitters night. We had a total of 21 people there this time, which seems to be about the number we have each month. Another 3 new members turned up. I don't know what we would do if all the people who have ever come all turned up at once, there would be over 30 of us and I think Borders would have a fit! As it is, we are going to be going fortnightly probably as of August.

In my last post I mentioned some yarn that I couldn't show. That was because I got this for Becca and she hadn't seen it yet.

I wasn't happy that the yarns I picked for her at Woolfest were sufficiently turquoise, which was what she had asked me to get, so I got these from Scandinavian Knitting Design. 2 balls of Alpaca and 1 150g ball of Kauni Effect. She did take one of the sock yarns I got and the bluey skein of Manos Silk Blend from Woolfest too.

Poor Becca is a bit poorly at the mo and is off work and very bored, so I popped over to see her on Monday. We have decided to have a knitalong for a Booga Bag, using the Kauni Effect. This is my colour

This is one of those patterns that EVERYONE on ravelry has made, so I succumbed in the end. We knitted some swatches to see how they would felt and bunged them into Becca's washing machine at 40 degrees. Not a lot happened so she put hers back in at 60. After doing this 3 more times she eventually got a decent felted fabric. I went home and put mine in again at 60 and it felted straight away. So we have concluded that her newer machine is far too gentle and we need mine because it has a much more vigorous agitation action. When the bags are done we will chuck them in my machine at 60.

Colin is getting a new car, a Mazda 3. I quite like the Mazda 2 for myself but I'll wait a few more months I think. He is picking it up tomorrow and then later on we are going to the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art preview evening. We got invited because we bought some pictures last year. We will have to restrain ourselves I think!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I am liking this....

.......the Gathered Pullover. This is halfway through the cable panel on the front.

The alpaca is lovely and soft as a fabric, slightly rougher as you are knitting it. I am just praying that the thing will fit when it is finished. Once this panel is finished, I have to separate for the fronts and back so I'll be putting stitches on stitch holders and can try it on.

But, I had a little diversion over the weekend. I got some 2.5mm DPNs from Scandinavian Knitting Design (along with some yarn which I can't show yet!), and using the leftover TOFUtsies that my Sock Wars assassin sent me, I made this little fellow for Becca.

And here he is with big brother Ellie. I still didn't manage to do crochet ears, but somehow I managed to knit a pair in a decent shape this time.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Woolfest 2008

Guess where I went last weekend?

This the bag I filled with goodies, but what did it contain by the end of the day??????

Tah-dah............(click on any of the pictures for a close-up!)

Five hanks of Colinette Iona to make Cherie Amour

Some cute buttons from Injabulo

3 hanks of Manos Silk Blend

3 skeins of KnitWitches sock yarn and 1 of Natural Dye Studio merino sock yarn

KnitWitches silk laceweight (600m) and KnitWitches cashmere laceweight (1000m)

See that grey spotty alpaca at the back?

Yep, this one. His name is Mingle.......

and his fleece is partly responsible for this. 6 balls of WhyNot Alpaca from Sedburgh, Cumbria, to make the Gathered Pullover from Interweave Knits magazine Winter 2007.

We went up to Cumbria on Friday but it was a bit too late to go into Woolfest and have enough time. We did go to the site to have a look and the first person we saw was Chris, dashing out the door. She was empty handed but informed us that her car was already stuffed to the brim!

We checked into the hotel and then had a lovely Italian meal that evening.

On Saturday we "did" Woolfest. I wasn't sure what to expect, but basically it was a big livestock building where everyone had set up their stalls. Yarn stalls, spinning stalls selling wheels and paraphernalia, live animals at one end including sheep, alpacas and rabbits. The Angora rabbits were hilarious, I didn't realise they had such pointy up ears.

There were plenty of stall holders whose names I recognised, and many I didn't and there were loads of ravelry badges being displayed. I bumped into J, Beryl and Chris from the knitting group, but didn't manage to spot Mel, she was probably buried in fleece!!

I bought all the stuff above (not the animals though) and Colin bought me a swift and ball winder stick (but I don't know about them until my birthday!).

The ladies of KnitWitches were very chatty and recommended an Indian restaurant that they had been to so that evening we went there. And they were there too. And Amanda from Natural Dye Studio was staying in our hotel so we saw them at breakfast.

I'm afraid I wouldn't recommend that part of Cumbria for a stay, as we went off to the coast to have a look and it was very run-down and bleak. Such a shame because the Lakes part is lovely.

Since we got back I finished my Vegas Sands cowl. I have made it quite tall and it fits snugly so it is going to be very warm in the cold weather.

Can you spot the one (not) deliberate mistake?

Talking of mistakes I have had an absolute disaster. I finished Colin's jumper as you know and had partly sewn it up when I asked him to try it on "just to see". Well, the sleeves were about 6 inches too long and the cotton was stretching so it was pulling the shoulders down making it worse. I decided to shorten the sleeve from the cuff but the first one wouldn't unravel. I decided to take the sleeves off and frog and re-knit them. But, when I went to take the sleeve that I had sewn on off, I cut the wrong thread and a hole started growing in the BACK of the jumper. So the upshot is that I now have a lovely full bag of balls of cotton and NO JUMPER!!!! I had to frog the lot!!! I will not be making it again, certainly not in the cotton, it just hung off Colin like a sack, ulgh. I think it is now destined to be a selection of string shopping bags.

But on a lighter note, I have started the Gathered Pullover and the alpaca is GORGEOUS!!!!