Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Random Thursday and 2014 FO# 8

You'll have to forgive me if today's entry is a little bit scatty. I got up ridiculously early today to do a favour for a friend - like so early that I got up, left, did the favour and returned home all before my regular alarm went off. I hope a friend realises that when I give up sleep it means that I really really love you (plus, I will be expecting a very nice glass of wine next time we go to a bar. With bubbles. Possible even French ones.)

The upside of having been awake a ridiculous amount of hours already is that I have got lots of things done today. I did a productive three hours writing this morning before going for a nice long swim. I also finally got a chance to upload the photo of a pair of socks I gave away about a month ago:

Since I am and always will be a terrible blogger, I again gave these away without taking a photo first. This is a photo the recipient very kindly sent me, after pausing for a few seconds at "for my online knitting journal". I don't know the brand or type of wool I used (I got it in a destash of sock yarn remnants) but the colours are nice, it washed well and the recipient seems to like it. I guess that's a success?

I am also still plugging away on the border of the Mitered Square blanket. I am knitting it - the blanket weighs over a kilo and every time I put it in my lap to work on it it just slides off. I now lie it on the bed all spread out, knit from one side to the other and then flip it over. Lather, rinse, repeat. It is taking forever and is ridiculously boring.

Lucky for me, I have Lucy to help me - mainly by sleeping on the blanket so I can't flip it at the end of the row, meaning that I have to stop working on it and knit on something else that is more interesting. Basically, she gives me an excuse to stop what I should be doing and thereby forcing me to do what I want to do - that's why Lucy is the best cat going around. Extra cream for you tonight, Ms Purrypants.

Is it wrong to go to bed at 7pm? Because I think that's what I'm going to do today...

WIP Wednesday: Enough with the bad photos of socks edition!

The weather has been unseasonably warm of late. Ironically, it has been quite a bit warmer in the two weeks leading up to winter than it was in the two weeks before summer. Tragically, the political party in charge of my formerly great country don't believe in climate change. I cry; I weep; I despair.

I also knit! My year-long attempt to wrestle my sock WIPs to a reasonable number is finally drawing to a close. Thank God, because I am getting seriously sick of these stupid socks. I want to start new ones. Lots and lots of new ones (but one after the other. Not at the same time this time!)

At the beginning of today, there were three socks still left. These photos SUCK because they were taken very late in the day when the light was fading. I sometimes still surprise myself without how bad at this blogging malarky I actually am. I am a really terrible blogger. But I do do it with love...

First up, the boring burgundy socks.

Look at them, being all boring and burgundy. But, the good news is I am at the heel of the second sock so they are at least 50% done. Boring boring boring.

This sock is not boring - in fact, it's the complete opposite. The pattern is Austrian Socks from my all-time favourite sock book Favorite Socks and the wool is the lovely Patonyle.  As you can (blurrily) see, the pattern is really gorgeous.

However, I am just not going to get these socks done. There is cabling on every row which means I can't knit while watching television which means that I am never going to work on this project ever. I did these 24 rows over 12 months ago and I have not touched them since. I want these socks finished because I would love them but I am not going to be the one to do it.

Finally, another pattern from Favorite Socks: Go With The Flow. I'm up to the heel(s), so I just need a some time watching a movie so I can turn them both.

ONLY TWO SOCKS REMAIN! It's taken me six months but I'm finally where I like to be - working on one pair of lace socks and one pair of plain socks. Now, just to tackle the four blankets I have on the go...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

FO Friday (2014 FO #7): Where's Wally socks

As much of a cliche as it is, one of the hardest things for me to do when going on holiday is to decide what knitting to pack. I tend to spend more time on that than I do on my clothes. Think about it - it is possible to buy new clothes pretty much anywhere that humans live, but yarn stores are rarely spotted in the wild, especially in tropical warm destinations. 

This time, I decided to make the daring move of only taking one project, thus forcing me to only work on one thing at a time and meaning that, at the end of the holiday, I end up with a holiday knit that reminds me of the fun time I had every time I look at them.

And it worked! These lovely socks are the result. Choosing a simple two-row striped pattern (60 stitches, 2.5mm needles) with a flap-and-gusset heel meant that I didn't need to carry around a pattern and guaranteed that I would have stress-free knitting.

I used some Bilby Yarns Western Dream sock wool that I have had in the stash for about seven years (!!!). It's delightful and woolly but it did shrink when I washed the socks, which I would have discovered if I'd knitted a swatch and washed it (seriously, does anyone ever swatch for socks?). I have no-one to blame but myself that these are now a little small. I don't mind, though - they're so warm and comfortable, the incorrect sizing doesn't seem to be much of an issue. I think maybe the finished socks look a little bit "Where's Wally" but I don't mind. They'll keep my tootsies warm and remind me of a happy holiday I had every time I look at them :)

And, because I can, a sleeping Lucy. Awwww!!!!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

2014 FO #6: Bendy Blue Socks

I am ridiculously behind with my FO Friday posts. These pictures were taken weeks ago and have been sitting in a draft post since then, waiting for me to take the time to write them up. I am a terrible blogger!

One Sunday, we were outside trying to get as much sun as we could before winter arrives, when Sam was distracted by a loud sound from above.

It was my stupid cat, who had remembered that it is possible to jump the 30cm from the top of the garage to the roof.

The thing is, once she gets up there it's like her tiny brain explodes and she cannot remember how to get down. Like she can be looking at the the garage roof that she jumped from less than a minute before and still not be able to remember how she got from one to the other.

But do not let the antics of my idiot cat distract you from the real story! I finished Sam's birthday blue socks three weeks early.

They are made with the Bendy sock wool I got before Christmas.

They are soft and smooshy and were lovely to knit.

They also look pretty darn good, if I do say so myself :)

Lucy did eventually find the garage on the other side to jump down. Moron.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Getting shit done edition

It is the afternoon and all I have eaten today is bowl of chips with tomato sauce and a fun-size Twix. This kind of makes me feel a little bit like I am failing as an adult. I am trying to feel bad about it but failing; it's hard to be good all the time, and if the worst I do is eat nothing but saturated fat for a few hours, then it's really not too bad. Right? RIGHT?

Not really. Anyway, I am actually a little bit worried because I think Lucy might be sick. For the last month or so, she's been hacking up hairballs every couple of days. Having had cats all my life and therefore having cleaned up more hairballs than I'd like to remember, I didn't really think anything of it. Sam, however, noticed that even after hacking for a long time - like thirty seconds - no hairballs ever came up. That is not good, so I have made an appointment for her at the vet tonight. I know it is going to be a massive drama because she really, really, really hates going in the car but, I'm sorry Lucy, it has to be done.

In knitting news, I found out yesterday that Sam's horrible friends' baby might be coming earlier than previously thought.  I spent all last night frantically i-cording (is that a verb?) and got three-quarters of the way around the blanket:

It looks great! Unfortunately, even using a DPN two sizes bigger than the needle I knitted the blanket with, the border is too tight for the blanket. Sam, bless his hand-knitted socks, said "Can't we just stretch it out like we do with shawls?" (then sat there expectantly until I congratulated him on his knitting knowledge. He is a sweetheart.) I suspect that will not work. However, since I don't have any larger DPNs, I'm going to call it a design feature and say that I did it because it makes it easier for the baby to be wrapped up in the blanket...I just hope they buy it.

In knitting that has a much more worthwhile recipient (me!), my me-socks are coming along very well. They are much bright in real life and cheer me up every time I pull them out of my bag. 

Till next time!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Cinnamon non-sequitors

Ever since I broke my leg, I've been trying to be as healthy as I can with my diet. Mainly, I try to limit processed and sugary foods and make as much of the food I eat as I can. I also make sure I have lots of calcium (for healthy bones) and lots of veggies (for the nutrients and antioxidants). I've found the easiest way to do this is to make a smoothie every day, not only because it's so easy to do but because they are delicious, so it doesn't feel like any effort at all to eat well. This one contains four types of frozen berries, natural unsweetened yoghurt and milk and it is yum.

Since my accident I've also had a bit of minor joint pain - nothing serious, just a bit irritating. I read in the I quit sugar cookbook that cinnamon is a natural cure for joint pain, so I've been adding 1/2 a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the mix over the last week. It might be the placebo effect but I swear it's making a difference (plus, I love the flavour of cinnamon so my smoothie is even more delicious!).

The colour of the smoothie reminded me of a project I started ages ago but then got frustrated with and shoved into a drawer. The pattern is the 126-29 DROPS gloves knitted using the leftover Alpaca Silk Georgette from the Rainy Day Socks II I made for my stepmother. The yarn is lovely but the wrist is too big and the thumb hole too small but the fingers took me such a long time that I didn't want to rip them out. 

Today, I bit the bullet...

..and voila, the glove became this...

..the start of a baby hat for Sam's horrible friends (may they never find this blog). 

Also, yes, Lucy has two climbing and scratching towers. I am aware she is completely spoiled, as I remember every night when I tip her expensive wet food into her hand-painted hand-wash only food bowl. I realise it is ridiculous for an adult woman to lavish so much love on her cat, but what can I say - I've got a soft spot for anything that purrs. I'm not sorry at all!!