Wednesday, 30 May 2012

WIP Wednesday and other things

I've been making solid progress on Eleonora this week. I've reached the shoulder and have started the long and boring back section, stocking stitch knit back and forth for what seems like will be an age. You'll notice I'm still using the DPNs; the pattern indicates I should have switched to my circular by now, but the cable isn't long enough on the one I have for magic loop and I'm still too close to the tube of the sleeve to knit flat comfortably on the circular, so for now I am knitting back and forth on the DPNs, which isn't so bad.

You'll notice my bright pink lifeline in there. I wasn't convinced the sleeve would be long enough if I knit according to the pattern directions, so I put in a lifeline where I was supposed to stop. Good thing I did, because it was clearly too short when I tried it on after increasing for the shoulder shaping. I had to rip back and knit another inch or so. 

I put it back in the second time I reached the shoulder shaping rows, just in case I get halfway across the back, try it on again and decide they are still too short. One thing I am quite pleased about is that you can't tell where I stopped knitting in the round and started knitting flat, as there is no difference in my stitches either way. That wasn't always the case, as I discovered recently that I've been twisting my purl stitches all this time! Not really noticeable when knitting anything else I've done in the past, but really would have been highlighted in this cardigan!


I noticed the other day that the rose growing outside our kitchen window was starting to bud. I have no idea what variety it is, so was not sure what colour to expect.


Turns out it's pale pink. They are so pretty and I can see them from the kitchen when we're cooking or doing the washing up (by which of course I mean loading and unloading the magical washing up cupboard).

This little guy was just chilling out in the garden when we came home from work yesterday. He was quite unafraid of us, and I managed to get up onto the lawn to take photos before he decided to run away. I think he was more concerned about Mr Fidget than me!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Year of Projects Update - 27th May

An exciting update today, because not only is Hypernova now finished, but it is blocked, the ends have been woven in and it is ready to wear!

Ironic really, that I have finished it during the hottest week Britain has had so far this year! I don't think I'll have much need for this scarf now until the Autumn.

I don't mind though, because this glorious sunshine makes for some excellent project photos.

When we first saw this house, I looked at the fence in the garden and thought I could totally use that for project photos

Of course, with Hypernova finally off the needles, that means work on Eleonora has begun. I got quite a lot of knitting in yesterday as it was our first weekend off since the end of March.

I've got 4 inches or so left to go before I start the main set of increases to the body section. It's going really quickly. I know I will probably slow down a fair bit when I get to the body and have to start knitting stocking stitch back and forth, instead of in the round, but as I'm enjoying knitting with this yarn so much I doubt it will stagnate like some of my other projects have.

If I get around to it, I will also start blocking out the pieces for the Cherry Wrap today. I'm not sure I have enough foam blocks to do the whole thing in one go though. But it is starting to look possible that I will get my list finished by the end of June!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

How Time Flies!

I just don't know where the time is going at the moment. This week has absolutely flown by! Lots of exciting things going on though, so I'll do a quick round up.

Hypernova is finally being blocked! I soaked and pinned it out yesterday evening, and it is now sat out in the sun on the decking to finish drying. I'm hoping it will be dry before the sun goes away completely, so I can take some proper beauty shots of it in the natural light. Here's a sneak peek:

Finishing Hypernova meant freeing up my 3.5mm needles for Eleonora. I knit a swatch, and decided I could get away with the 3.5mm. However, I then realised I didn't have DPNs in that size, so had to wait two more days before I could cast on, while I waited for my new needles to arrive!

I love the yarn I'm using. It's Rowan Wool Cotton and it is wonderfully smooth. It slides beautifully over my bamboo needles. I'm almost done with the first cuff, maybe three or four more repeats to go, and then we're into a lovely long stretch of plain stocking stitch. I'm quite looking forward to it.

In non-knitting news, there have been plenty of exciting developments this week. Firstly, we started letting the cat out into the garden without his lead, which was pretty nerve-wracking at first because we had no idea if he would behave himself, or if he'd just run away. Luckily, Fidget is a professional cat, and managed to stay fairly close to the house, investigating the neighbouring gardens but not attempting to get any further away from the house.

Our living room is now finally complete, as our new sofa was delivered on Thursday.

We did quite well in finding a sofa to match our existing sofa, and one that was exactly the right size for the space we had. 

And finally, some very exciting news. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you'll have already seen this, but I wanted to share it with you all today now I've had a chance to sleep on it and get used to the idea!

Jamie and I got engaged yesterday!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

The morning after..

Yesterday we held a joint birthday/housewarming party, rejoicing in our ability to fit more than two extra people in the house before it gets full. You don't get a birthday party without presents, and as my friends know and love me well, there was of course new yarn!

First up, this gorgeous purple skein of Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace. I love Fyberspates; every time I go to the haberdashery in John Lewis I spend a good few minutes in front of the Fyberspates section, stroking the skeins and wishing I could think of a reason to have some. Now I have some, I need to think of what to knit with it! My initial thought is Rock Island by Jared Flood. I saw a purple one knitted in Wollmeise Lace at Unravel earlier in the year (this one, to be precise) and it was gorgeous. Will have to conquer my irritation of knitting with laceweight though! Otherwise, I'll have to find a suitable crochet project for it.

My other yarny gift was these seven balls of Rowan Fine Tweed, bought to accompany the pattern I was gifted on Ravelry yesterday morning - Peerie Flooers. Em knows I want to try my hand at stranded colourwork so got me the perfect challenge! This one is definitely going on my list for the second Year of Projects.

I had quite a few other non-yarny gifts too, all of which were perfectly chosen (for example, the bottle of Hendricks gin). We also received a few joint housewarming gifts, which was totally unexpected and absolutely wonderful.

A new cookbook and a gardening diary

We've already spotted a few things we'd like to try in the cookbook (after all, I haven't done a cookbook challenge in ages!) and the gardening calendar will come in really useful, now I have real garden to do grown up gardening in.

A gorgeous Calla Lily

I'll slip in a brief YoP update at the bottom, just to say that I've finished Hypernova!!! I will hopefully have time to get it blocked this afternoon, so there will be photos once it is done. Once I've got it pinned out, I will start swatching for Eleonora, which is the last major project on the list yet to be touched. Not sure I'll get it finished by the end of June, but I'll give it a go!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Birthday Princess*

My Birthday Princess tiara!

Today is my birthday, so I couldn't let that go by without acquiring some new yarn!

Not the Wollmeise I almost won on eBay last night, but close...

Now we're mostly unpacked, I'm starting to get a feel for what the rooms in this house are going to look like when they are finished. The one thing that immediately sprung to mind was that the sofa bed in the spare room looks a little dull, and needs brightening up.

Yes, the room is brown

The blanket I've currently got thrown over it is old, stained and doesn't really cover the bed properly - it's only just wide enough. I want something with a bit more personality. Luckily, I've had this Granny Square Afghan in my Ravelry queue since September last year, which I thought would be perfect. The black and grey colour scheme in the sample wouldn't go with the room, so I've opted for brown. cream and purple, which I will team with the charcoal grey I already have.

I'm hoping that crochet will be less hard on my wrist than knitting has been. I've only managed a few rows on Hypernova each evening before it's given up, but I'm only seven rows and the bind off away from finishing it now! So hopefully I will get that done tomorrow evening while at roleplay night. I'd do it tonight, but I am keen to get started on my new blanket!

*we have a tradition here, where on your birthday you get to be the birthday princess, and get to do whatever you like. This lasts until you get your presents, which for me in previous years has sometimes led to me being the birthday princess for months, as Jamie wasn't always in a position to get me something. This year I've had my present from Jamie already, so I don't get to be the princess for longer than today and on Saturday!

Monday, 14 May 2012

I've been shortlisted for a prize!

A little while ago, during the frenzy of moving house, I managed to take part in Eskimimi's Knitting and Crochet Blog Week. I really enjoyed doing it last year, and with the added excitement of prizes, this year's week was a definite on my list of things to do.

One of the competitions was for the day five topic "Do Something Different". I had the idea for my post weeks before, realising that the theme of moving house was something I could incorporate into my post, as my amigurumis would all need to find a new place to live in the new house. The idea of a comic strip was born.

You can see my original post here. I had loads of fun doing it, and everyone seemed to like it once it was published. But in a field of almost one hundred entries, I didn't think I would get very far in the competition.

You can imagine my surprise then, when today I saw Mimi had posted the list of ten finalists for the most creative prize, and my little comic strip has made the cut! I am honoured to be part of a fantastic line up of posts vying for the prizes, so hop on over to and check out my competition. I'm very pleased to see that the Day 5 post from my friend Stitched Together is also shortlisted!

I'd be really pleased if you decided that you liked my post the best out of the ten choices and voted for me, but don't worry, I won't feel bad if you decide someone else's post was better.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Year of Projects update 13th May

I had really hoped to be done with Hypernova by now, but it's still on my needles!

I made the tough decision to rip back to a couple of inches below the last chart, as I thought I would run out of yarn before reaching the bind off. I threaded the pink lifeline through, but didn't end up using it as the Wollmeise held up so well to being frogged that it wasn't needed.

I was halfway through the chart. I've knit back about half of that so far. Thirty or so rows to go and I'm done. Lets hope I have enough yarn this time!

Sad to say, I haven't had much time to knit. As I mentioned on Wednesday, I've injured my left wrist so haven't really been up to much knitting this week (although I am pleased to say it is much better this weekend, and normal knitting service should resume this week). Plus, after weeks of rain, this weekend has looked like this:

Spring skies
I just love the colour of the leaves on this tree

How could I resist getting out and enjoying this gorgeous weather?

We've actually been focusing quite a lot on sorting out the house this weekend, with a trip to Ikea yesterday to get a dishwasher (and you have no idea just how happy that magical washing up box makes us) and lots of box emptying and putting things away in the attic going on today. I'd say we were 90% moved in now, which is just awesome.

Our local neighbourhood fox, strolling through my garden

Cheeky squirrel stealing the peanuts

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Works in Postponement...

Not a lot of progress going on here at the moment. My month of madness continued following the house move, with yet another LRP event!

Showing off my knit and crochet costume bits

The Crochet Lacy Wrap did yet more sterling service keeping my neck warm in the sometimes minus temperatures (it was so cold on Sunday night, there was ice on the tent when we went to bed), my Crochet Can Cosy never leaves my side (mainly because I can't survive an event without copious quantities of Coke, and who wants an ugly, modern can spoiling all the photo opportunities) and it was the third outing for my Leafy Fingerless Gloves, which are still fabulous.

Sadly, I didn't make it through the event without injury. Which explains why my progress on anything is now stalled.

I also have matching neoprene supports on both ankles!
It's just a sprain, but it's bad enough to keep me away from my knitting basket. So all of the WIPs are just sitting forlornly next to the sofa, waiting for me to recover enough to get to work on them again.

I did get some knitting done on Hypernova before I went away, and have reached the stage where I have had to abandon my no longer neat cake of yarn and wind the remainder into a ball.

I am a little concerned I may not have left enough yardage for the final chart, now I've seen just how much I've got left. I am halfway through the chart, so will weigh my remaining ball and see what I've got. I may have to rip back to before I started increasing and take it back a few inches, which scares me a little. But it will be worth doing if it is the difference between finishing or not finishing this scarf, because the more I knit it the more I love it. I know it will get a lot of wear when it's finished! 

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Year of Projects update - 1st May

A couple of days later than planned, but I didn't want to let another week pass by without an update! I was far too busy enjoying lazing about and not house moving or cleaning on Sunday to post! But we are all moved in and (mostly) unpacked now, so normal service is being resumed.

My moving house reward yarn
At the weekend we were out shopping for things for the new house. We ended up in John Lewis, where I couldn't resist the lure of the yarn any longer, and picked up eight balls of Rowan Wool Cotton in a lovely shade of grey for my Eleonora. I can't cast on yet, because I need to swatch on the needles I have which are not quite the right size, before splashing out on some new needles to knit it with.

The reason I can't use those needles yet, is because they are still being used for Hypernova. Once we were done with the move, I managed to find some time to get my knitting out again. It's been weeks since I've properly sat down to knit; I've missed it.

I came up with a cunning plan to ensure I could knit without fretting about how much yarn I had left, and still have enough left for the final chart.

I put the yarn on the scales, and pulled out enough to bring the weight down to approximately what I need for the last chart (I think I need 25g, so I was slightly generous just to be sure). I wound the spare yarn (about 20g) onto a pencil and knit from that until it ran out.

The scarf is now 51" long, and all I need to do is locate my print out of the pattern so I can get started on the increases for the fan. With any luck, I will have this scarf finished in a few days, and free up the needles to swatch for my cardigan! The scarf will get added to my ever growing pile of needs blocking and will eventually be ready in time for... the summer. Hmmm still not quite got this seasonal knitting thing down!
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