Tuesday, April 30, 2013

WIP Wednesday: My cat is the boss of me edition

Another Wednesday, another round-up of all of the things I've been working on. I am actually blogging this from my bed because, in the epic power struggle that is sitting my desk chair (it's Lucy's bed at night, she doesn't like it when I use it during the day), Lucy is currently on top. My aunt said to me this morning "You know you're the alpha cat of the household, right?"

Sure I know it, but does Lucy? I am starting to think not.

I was really hoping to get my blue fluffy mitts done this week (not least because it's been bloody freezing the last few days!) but catastrophe struck:

I broke my 3.5mm KnitPicks needle. Again. This is no exaggeration the fifth of these needles that I have broken! It's ridiculous. I never have a problem with any other size except for this one and my yarn store doesn't stock the nickel-plated tips. Grrr!! 

However, I quickly replaced one blue project with another and the Baby Surprise Jacket and I have been spending some quality time together:

As you can see, I'm not great at random striping. I should definitely have this one finished by next week and I'm looking forward to going shopping for some very cute buttons this weekend!

Finally, I've been working on my sister's Endpaper Mitts. I'm up to the thumb increase, so over 50% done. I'm a bit worried because it's really clear in the knitting where my tension has changed - what looks like a line in brown is just me knitting one row a whole lot tighter than the previous row. I'm hoping it'll block out - blocking fits everything, right? Right.

Now I should be leaving my nice warm house to go to uni but, well, I don't want to. It's cold and wet and dreary outside :( Sometimes being a grown-up sucks. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Mitt Madness

I am really struggling with daylight saving, and my struggling I mean I think I might be incapable of ever remembering that it exists. I got home from lunch, settled down to work and then, when I looked up a few hours later, the sky had darkened to such an extent I had to put on the light. It wasn't even 5 o'clock yet!

It's been mitt madness at Chez HereIKnit over the last week. The Endpaper Mitts are coming along nicely - I'd forgotten how addictive stranded colour work is ("Just one more row..."). The Bilby Yarn is perfect for this type of project because it's very 'sticky' - you know the inside of the gloves will slowly felt with wear, making them even more warm. I am struggling to maintain my tension with two-handed knitting, though (which you can see a little bit here with the white diamonds on the right glove) but I'm hoping blocking will fix everything.

In the time it took me to move these gloves and put the second gloves down, all of the light had gone!

So I fiddled with the settings on my camera software to make it brighter so you could see how much I've done. My skills with photography are truly a gift.

I'm pretty chuffed with these! Plain mittens are just as easy to make without a pattern as plain socks are (like durr, I can hear every experienced knitter everywhere saying). I'd have done more but it's really hard to work on dark navy mohair yarn at night, so these only get worked on during the day.

Now, back to work - deadlines care nothing for daylight savings.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A day in the life of...

Yesterday my sock had a busy day. It caught public transport for the first time in its life (that's my Smooshy Alpaca Hat and Irish Hiking Scarf in action)...

..watched the Saints get comprehensively beaten by the Bombers (this photo was taken at the early stages of the game. The smile vanished shortly after that!)..

..wandered through the city, marvelling at the sights and sounds like this amazing water art, which has got to be some sort of metaphor for the human condition, surely...

..these gorgeously plumed horses adorably head-hugging each other...

..met the very funny Sam Simmons after his comedy show (I am not sure why I am making a face like a turtle. Where does all that extra flesh come from? Seriously, terrible terrible photo)...

 ..and then, on the train home, resting quietly with the wine left over from dinner. 

I was so exhausted after the long day out that I can honestly say that staying awake on the train ride home was one of the most difficult things I have done this year. It was an excellent day and I had a great time - I love my city and I love spending time at it after the sun goes down. I'm pretty sure my sock does too :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The heater's on and the socks are done (2013 FO# 3)

Yesterday, for the first time this year, it was cold enough to turn on the heating. I hate that day! This is for two reasons. Firstly, it means I will be poorer for the next few months because heating this double-brick sturdily constructed house I live in is very expensive. Secondly, because it means I can no longer deny that winter is here and the facts that I will a) be chilly and b) have to put up with Lucy whinging  because she can't play outside like she wants to.

I want to go outside but I can't because it's RAINING!! 
 In knitting news, it's all mitts all the time at Chez HereIKnit.

My sister say my old and tattered Alpaca Endpaper Mitts when we were out for brunch last week and promptly requested a pair for herself. Since I will never turn down a request from someone who appreciates the thought, time and effort that goes into handknitting (which she does), as soon as I got home I sorted through the stash and found exactly the right wool. My sister loves Western Australia, I had some gorgeous naturally dyed wool from Bilby Yarns in my stash, and so I started straight away.

This is my third time knitting this pattern but never before two-at-a-time magic-looped. I think it will be easier for the stranded part to knit this way but I can foresee lots of untangling of yarns in my future before these mitts are complete.

The second pair I started are some mittens of my own design that I'm making to match my Grantham hat, which is finished and blocking. I couldn't find any patterns that suited what I wanted so I thought I'd have a go at working out a pattern myself. I figure how hard can making a mitten really be? It's just a tube with a thumb on the side.

I do not know why my iPhone overexposes the image every time I photograph this yarn. Maybe it's the colour? IDK. Anyway, I've just finished the ribbing and my pattern seems to be going alright so far, although it is early days. I guess we'll see.

In surpremely non-exciting news

I finished another pair of socks for Sam. For what may be the first time ever, I finished his birthday socks prior to his actual birthdate! It's a birthday miracle.

But really, pretty non-exciting to anyone but him. The yarn is Regia Design Line by Erika Knight. As always with Regia, the yardage is terrible so the socks had 15 rather than 20-cm cuffs. As always, the yarn felt nice to knit with but I'm not sure how well they will stand up. The colours are also very nice, so I think Sam will like them, which is what's important, really.

And that's all I've got this Friday. I hope everyone has a lovely weekend and stays warm and dry.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"I see you've been crafting today..."

I don't know what was in the air yesterday, even after I had found the yarn and started to knit my Baby Surprise Jacket, my itch to start new projects had not been scratched.

I tipped my yarn tubs out on the bed and rifled through them like a crazy person trying to build a nest out of soft, primarily blue balls of yarn (seriously, my stash is pretty much all blue, grey or blue-toned green. The only balls that aren't in that colour spectrum are gifts. The irony is against the dull-toned background of my regular stash these warm-coloured presents stand out like gems, meaning that I knit with them first and the stash goes back to its standard blue-sludge-like palate. I need to starting buying more orange!).

I finally settled on this project:

The Grantham hat knitted in Schoeller+Stahl Geisha that I bought - wait for it - nine and a half years ago. This yarn is older than Ravelry! I tried and failed to make a hat with earflaps last year, so fingers crossed this one goes better - my ears get so very cold.

When Sam got home he walked into the bedroom, spotted the wool and needles covering just about every surface within five metres of my desk, slowly raised an eyebrow and said, "I see you've been crafting today..."

And, because my gorgeous cat never gives me a side-eye no matter how many balls of wool I unleash on the floor, I turned to her for comfort.

Although, in retrospect, I wish I'd put on a little mascara and brushed my hair. I guess I'm lucky that Lucy never gives me the side-eye for not making myself pretty either :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Do, and do now

I woke up this morning feeling antsy. I don't know what brought this sudden attack of antsiness on - maybe it's the change of seasons, the change to daylight savings, the social conventions that prohibit regular drinking during the day - but whatever the cause, when I stumbled out of bed earlier today (stumbled being the appropriate word - I am not a morning person), I knew it was imperative that I do, and do quickly.

One of my aims from the start of the year was to reduce my stash from 58 to 29. Efficiency every being the watchword at Chez HereIKnit, I pulled out all of my odds and ends of 5-ply and 8-ply crepe and started another Baby Surprise Jacket.

Random stripes aren't really my thing and I do hate 5-ply crepe yarn, but when the call to create comes, I answer. Sometimes it's very important that you listen to the knitter within.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hello winter, my old foe.

Seasons change (as they are wont to do!) and, although apparently some people use the temperature to gauge when the weather gets more chill (freaks, seriously), I think most people have their own personal markers that tell them when winter's coming. 

For some, it's a burning desire to cook soup and slow-cooked dishes that take hours to simmer but taste divine. For me, my warm and thick dressing-gown gets pulled off the back of the bedroom door. It gets harder to step out of the nice steamy warm shower into the chilly morning air and there is not a carb on the planet that my mind does not want to put directly in my mouth (seriously - it's insane. I've eaten more white flour - cooked into things, of course - in the last two weeks than I have this entire year).

But the final, unavoidable sign that I need to put my sundresses in the summer clothes box and pull out my winter warmers is when Lucy spends all day following me to wherever I am working and uses whatever body part she can get closest to for extra warmth.

Goodbye, summer. I'll miss you while you're gone! Don't stay away too long.