Knitting around the world

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Diary of A Knitter - Feb 26th


So it would appear my mojo has run off. I cannot seem to settle to getting on with any one thing. So what to do? It would seem I need to make a plan. I know I need to cut down on my wip's. That would be a good start.

Lets take a look at what I need to do.
Deep breath here.

  1. Stash Busting Spring Surprise Shawl - I am on clue 4 of 8. I just need to do a little every couple of days.
  2. Bird of Paradise - On wedge 3. Not a major work which needs done soon.
  3. Another Mystery - On clue 2. Clue 3 comes out on Friday so I would like to get clue 2 finished before then.
  4. Blooming Fuchsia - Working on final clue. Would like to get this done asap.
  5. La Vie en Rose - Not worked on this for a while. Not a rush job.
  6. In Pink - Just need that final push to finish.
  7. Pure Poetry - The words have dried up. Need to pick this up and get moving.
  8. Champagne Truffle - Have until end of April to do this along with Bon Bon mitts and matching cowl.
  9. Sylvia's Shawl - Must finish this week.

Now that I have got it down I can see the priorities. Hopefully this will help me get going. Maybe sometime this week I will have some progress news.

Using up Scraps

All us knitters end up with leftover scraps of yarn. What to do with them? Well I use my leftover DK weight yarn to make little bags to keep my caked yarns in whilst I use them. Centre pull cakes of yarn loosen as they are used and can become floppy and collapse in on themselves, these little bags help keep the yarn together and neat and tidy.

So simple to make in a couple of hours and finished off with a crochet chain to tie up and keep your yarn in hand. 

Ball sack in use.

The free pattern for this amazing tool can be found here

Oh well, back to knitting now.

Stay safe and happy crafting.


Sunday, 19 February 2012

Agoraphobia and Me

Normally my posts are about my knitting, this is something completely different that I feel I have to get off my chest.
I have Agoraphobia.
I look normal, I sound normal I can talk to people and carry out some everyday tasks, but underneath my happy demeanour I am a nervous wreck. I may be shaking with fear, I may be having palpitations, I may be perspiring greatly. I feel physically sick each and every time I have to leave the house. Going out alone is almost beyond my capabilities. I can take the dog out to do her business, I can go to work, a place where I have people I know and trust, but a trip to the local shop or heaven forbid a supermarket leaves me in a turmoil for days afterwards. Oh yes at the time I smile and hold my head high like I am perfectly calm and in control, but just like a swan, below the surface the paddling going on is unbelievable. The minute I return to the safety of my wee house with hubby and pets I feel as if the whole axis of my world shifts from one of panic to a relaxed and calm state.
When I am out and about with another person, I have nearly no problems. (Although large supermarkets do still strike fear.) I can enjoy my day out and my surroundings without breaking into panic mode.
Why am I like this? I really cannot answer that question. It at times seems to me that I am being silly. After all I am a middle aged woman. I should be able to deal with whatever. I really have no idea why this has invaded my being. Looking back I used to be a strong, independent woman, working and running a home. I found it hard to say no to people and at times I became a tad overwhelmed with what I had on my plate. Maybe this is the reason, maybe I am afraid that I still cannot say no, that I will become overwhelmed again. One day soon I hope to find out and begin a plan to return to the woman I once was.

Diary of A Knitter - Feb 19th

A Mystery Revealed

So at last after 7 weeks I can finally reveal my first mystery shawl of 2012.

Blocking with Frankie & Mysti looking on.
The shawl pattern was finally published in full this morning and is named Diantha. The KAL was a lovely way to knit this shawl, a clue was revealed every Sunday for 6 weeks and you just follow along at your own pace. I found it very easy to do this and as you know have already signed up for more KAL's as having the pattern broken down in this way seems to make it much less daunting a prospect than being faced with a full pattern. If you are on Ravelry check out the pattern here Diantha.

Getting on with Garter

Three projects I currently have on the needles are knitted purely in garter (knit) stitch. Some people may think projects like this are purely for beginners, but I firmly believe that everyone sometimes needs to go back to basics. They are great TV knitting projects and for me they help with regulating my brain and my tension away from intricate lace patterns.
The first one is Wingspan which I am knitting using Rico Superba Poems, a self striping colourful fingering weight yarn which is really doing all the work.

My Bird of Paradise

The second is another KAL which I found very late on but I decided to join in anyway and work at my own pace. This uses 5 different skeins of yarn, so it is a fabulous stash busting project. I have so far completed just the first clue but I am keen to see this project grow and develop. I was also delighted when after I created my project page the designer, Helen Bingham, contacted me to thank me for joining in. That personal touch from a complete stranger makes me all the more determined to see this through to the finish. 

Clue 1 complete.
The details for this KAL can be found here Mystery Shawl KAL.

And Now for Something Completely Different

The other week I was sent an e-mail which is doing the rounds just now for a 5 minute chocolate cake. I had a look, but did not automatically delete it. For some reason this time I kept it. So last night we were bored and looking for a treat. I remembered the e-mail and decided I had very little to lose. An egg and 5 mins of my time at most. So off I went to the store cupboard and duly followed the instructions (well sort of). I mixed in a jug rather than a mug as states, I poured the batter into 2 mugs and popped them into the microwave for 2 1/2 mins. We could not believe the result.
A delicious light as air chocolate sponge cake, from a few ingredients in less than 5 mins. It truly is as the e-mail states the most dangerous cake in the world. Now you are never more than that long from cake. how wonderful.

Stay safe and happy crafting.


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Diary of A Knitter - Feb 8th

One Week In

So a full week of February has passed already. Wow time goes fast in these parts. So you will be wanting to know of my progress. Well I am pleased to report some progress has been made and a new (yes another one!!) project has been started.
Clue 1 completed
First to the progress made. My Blooming Fuchsia shawl is a bottom up affair with a huge cast on of 527 stitches then the rows slowly decrease in size as you follow the clues. It has been slow going, especially with the 2nd row as placing 260ish beads takes time. Mind you all the effort will be worth it as only 1 clue in and I am in love

Beads along the edge.

The second  photo here shows the beautiful beaded edge.

The next project which has had some big progress is Sylvia's Shawl the baby shawl for my work colleague. I have finished the main body of the shawl and am now working the border which incorporates the cast off. The border is worked sideways and you join as you go along. The shawl does not look like much just now as it is bunched up on the needle, but it will soon begin to blossom.

An ugly duckling about to transform.

Finally for today I have begun yet another mystery KAL, this one I stumbled upon purely by chance whilst browsing Ravelry. It is being run by one of my favourite designers, Cheri McEwan, who is a wonder with both knit and crochet lace designs. The KAL is free to join in and the clues are coming at the sedate pace of one every 2 weeks giving everyone plenty time to complete each one. There are also 3 options as to which style of shawl you choose or you can make it as a blanket or throw.  More details can be found here Mystery KAL.  I have decided to go with a fingering weight circular option using yarn I was given in a swap last year.

Clue 1 complete
Boy did I have fun getting the circle going. Memo to self, do not try to begin magic looping when tired.

That is all for today.

Stay safe and happy crafting.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Diary of A Knitter - Feb 4th

I Have Been Remiss

Good grief where does the time go. January is well and truly over and here we are in February. I have been terribly remiss at keeping up my diary and sharing my knitting progress with you. So hopefully in this post I will catch up and then I promise I will try to keep up at least weekly updates.

More Out than In

So as January drew to a close I totted up my skeins and was pleased to discover that I had a net decrease of 3. I managed to knit up 13 skeins of yarn and only added 10 to my stash. Not quite the 2-1 I had been aiming for but a decrease nevertheless.
Here is a montage of the 10 skeins I managed to acquire
January 2012

Some very pretty yarns I am sure you will agree.

On the Needles

So what is on the needles then as we begin a new month?
Well at the last count I have 10 projects which I am working on in small bursts.
These are 
  1. Pure Poetry - A circular jacket pattern in Aran weight yarn
  2. Champagne Truffle - A hat for my step-daughter
  3. Sylvia's Shawl - A circular shawl in sport weight cotton mix yarn
  4. For Which it was Intended - A large circular shawl in fingering weight and the Girasole pattern
  5. Birthday Boy - A cabled sweater for my DH whose birthday was in December (oops)
  6. Mystery KAL - A Susanna IC mystery shawl design in fingering weight yarn with beads 
  7. In Pink - A Hitchhiker scarf/shawl. 
  8. La Vie En Rose - A Lily Go lace shawl in light fingering weight
  9. Aurora - A triangular bottom up shawl in a mix of fingering and sport weight yarn
  10. Blooming Fuchsia - A second mystery KAL shawl this time by designer Lily Go
So a fair bit to keep me going then. I am looking forward to sharing my progress with you and please do feel free to comment on anything.

Stay safe and happy crafting.