Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Working from home

Hi everyone - thank you so much for all your good wishes.

FL is a lot better today. His temperature is down and he is coughing less. The antibiotics are definitely helping. However, he isn't drinking enough and his kidneys are not functioning properly. Unless I can get him properly hydrated he will have to go to hospital.

So I am at the office for as long as it takes to clear my emails and gather a pile of paper to take home and work on there... while dispensing glasses of water!

Monday, September 28, 2009


I had to call the night doctor at midnight. FL feverish, in great pain - mostly his chest.

Diagnosis: pneumonia. Given antibiotics, painkillers and a tranquilliser.

Keeping him at home for now, as more bugs in hospital than here. To call the GP tomorrow for an appointment for Thursday.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Back to Central Park

This week I returned to my Central Park Hoodie and the Lime Green Tweed Of Doom.

You may remember I wound one skein before losing patience? I decided to make a start on the hoodie with that one ball, in the hope I would be swept along by the momentum of knitting and find the energy to wind the rest of the yarn. And so far, it is working - hooray!

This is just over one skein's-worth of yarn. I am knitting size 36, in one piece up to the armholes.

I persuaded my daughter to help me wind skein two and is was SO easy! Maybe there was just one rogue ball? Fingers (and cables) crossed!

Meanwhile, FL is not well. His cold has once again gone to his chest and he can't lie down without having a fit of coughing. So he sits up all night and is worn out the next day. He will have to wait til Tuesday to see a Doctor as it's another local holiday up here tomorrow.
He is really low. Maybe we should have gone for the Velcade this month after all, as I worry he might not be strong enough in October. Sigh. No golf or whisky today - he doesn't have the energy.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Seasonal Gift Plans

I have been trying so hard not to think about Christmas, but it is almost October, which is traditionally my gift-planning month.

I am going to write down my thoughts, and who knows, some of it might even happen!

Herbivore for the boy using Yarn Yard Bonny in a chocolatey brown mix (oops - purchased this week!)

Scroll Lace for my mother using Old Maiden Aunt alpaca / silk in the original Ysolda colourway

A hat for the teen-girl-cousin: Sloochie? Or the Side-Slip Cloche?

Fingerless mitts for the girl: either light and lacey or warm and chunky - maybe the pattern from Knitscene Fall 2009? (I am certainly getting a lot out of that magazine!)

And, as usual I will knit FL some socks - the Zur Lederhos'n should be finished by Christmas!
So, that's five projects in 3 months - that sounds do-able!
If only I wasn't up to my ears in lime green tweed ... more of that when I have a picture for you!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

FO: Freshman Socks

Last month's waiting room socks are finished. They aren't going to win any beauty competitions, but they will keep FL's feet warm!

In retrospect, using St Ives and Lorna's Laces "row about" took the lustre away from the colours of the LL. I wasn't fully aware of this until I came to the toe of sock two, and FL suggested I use plain LL rather than break into a new ball of St Ives when the first ran out. The second toe just looks so much more lively. Ah well, it can't be helped! And I only had one skein of LL anyway (a prize from Ambermoggie some time ago). At least the pooling is subdued by this ruse!

Freshman Socks by Starathena from Knitscene, Fall 2009. 50g each of Lorna's Laces (Gold Mine) and Sunbeam St Ives (dusty brown). Both heels in plain St Ives, one toe in St Ives, the other in LL.

A very easy knit, with pleasing results. My modifications: added 12 stitches and 12 rows to the pattern repeat to accommodate a man-sized leg and foot.
Would I knit it again? Yes, I might, because it has just enough spice to keep me alert in a waiting room situation without the muttering / needle-dropping antics which can ensue when I am knitting something more complicated (ahem - Zur Lederhos'n anyone?!)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

FO: The Tomboy's Lime Zest skirt

This weekend I was seized by the need to sew. Forget the cleaning and the tidying and the shopping - who needs them?
It began with a sketch of a skirt I had seen on Etsy. I wanted gathered pockets and an underskirt with a flash of lime. But I wanted tweed rather than the original corduroy.
I already had the indigo blue wool in my stash. It was a metre-sized remnant which I had prewashed to remove its original stiffness. The lime green cotton is left over from my Amy Butler pinafore (which I have cut out but not yet sewn!).
I used a simple a-line from my old faithful Japanese skirt pattern book for the main shape.
There was a lot of design-work and decision-making to do - how to make a gathered pocket? What was the best angle to attach it at, to avoid the thunder-thigh look?
I wasn't sure whether to attach the flounce to the outer skirt or the lining. In the end, I added a 6-inch length of cotton, box-pleated at 14 cm intervals, onto the hem of the lining, as I thought gathers might mess up the drape of the top skirt.
I am really pleased with the end result. It is maybe slightly too long, but I wanted to be able to wear it with knee-highs without exposing my knees.
My daughter and FL both think the socks and flat shoes are a mistake. Shrugs.
I do agree I look strangely boyish from behind - as if I was a pirate in a kilt? I really must get my hair seen to!

Design 14 from "Everyday Skirts" (Japanese book ISBN4-579-10949-X) in size 11. Improvised pleated flounce attached to the lining. Gathered pocket template free from Unique patterns.

Indigo wool from "British Fabrics" at Ebay. Lime cotton from Tina Givens' Zazu range from Westminster Fibers.
And whatever they say I think it's great with my Clessidra hand-knit socks and matching Shetland Triangle!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Yarn Forward - fame at last!

Roo and Penny both spotted my picture in the latest issue of Yarn Forward, and Roo was kind enough to scan the page for me. Thanks Roo!
I am wearing my Scroll Lace shawlette, designed by Ysolda. If you missed the pattern in Yarn Forward, you can get it in Whimsical Knits Volume 2.
Once again, I am struck by the power of Ravelry. Lou from KALmedia spotted my version of the design over at Ravelry and asked to use my pictures in the magazine. So there I am, my loose ends and wet t-shirt displayed for all the world to see!
Won't my mum be proud!?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Knitted Socks East and West

In shades of red: Haiku

In cream: Kaiso

In purple: Karaoke

In light blue: Katsura

In rust: Sayonara

In wine: Kimono

In grey: Tsunami

In mustard: Shiatsu

In light green: Ikebana

In scarlet: Origami

Knitted Socks East and West by Judy Sumner. Purchased from The Book Depository as it seems to be cheapest from there.

Seriously, knitters, you have to get hold of this book! There are 30 designs in here, and I have tried to show some of the ones which are mysteriously not yet showing on Ravelry. I haven't included the chunky ones as they are not so much to my taste.

But there is more than just the fantastic patterns - there are new STITCHES! Ever done a "pkok"? Thought not!

Sorry I have to go and knit something... immediately!

Roo of Green Cables

I have a longing to knit cables. Fiddley, twisty, crazy cables. I realised today that the top of my mental knitting queue looks like this:
Heather Hoodie: pine green chunky cables

Central Park Hoodie: lime green aran cables

Aran Inselm socks: forest green tweedy cables
Faery Ring: emerald green shetland cables

Which must be why I have downloaded Yarnissima's Zur Lederhos'n sock pattern.

They are green.
They are cabled.

And obviously my life is far too simple!

I am thinking of using my YarnYard Croft yarn to make these for FL. Ah yes: knee-high man-socks in a complicated twisted-stitch cable design. Just what I need right now!

But I must finish the Freshman socks first!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

New Project: Moonstone cardi

The Moonstone cardigan from The Knitter magazine begins with an Old Shale section, worked on circular needles (3.75mm).
The yarn is Manos Silk Blend, which is beautifully soft with a slight sheen, but being a single ply it has no stretch.
I am knitting the small size (34) and hope it will be a neat enough fit. I have seen some very square-looking versions of this cardigan over on Ravelry. It needs to fit well to avoid looking like a frumpy old-lady garment! I am definitely keeping the sleeves to 3/4 length for this reason.
I am not loving the knitting so far - 204 stitches per row! I hope it's worth it!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

First Freshman sock

I finished the first Freshman sock for FL. I love the spiralling cable - so simple but effective!
Please excuse the dangling yarn, I was checking the length of the toe before I kitchenered!
I knitted the main leg and foot sections "row-about" with St Ives / Lorna's Laces but used St Ives alone for the toe and heel, to ensure I have enough LL for the pair.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

New socks on the horizon

Photo credit: Ellington sock by Cookie A from the knitanon blog.

I have been knitting, but have nothing to show. I have knitted about 2 inches of my Moonstone cardigan. It is very soft and I love the colours, but 204 stitches per row is a bit of a slog for a confirmed sockaholic!

My Freshman sock is going well. I have been managing a few rows every lunch-hour, which has been soothing. I should have finished sock one by the weekend.

But today it's all about future socks!

There are new Cookie A patterns coming up - I especially like Ellington (left). I had an excited moment when I thought I might have been fast enough to sign up to test-knit this one, but I don't think I was. Sniffle.

And I have purchased a new sock book called "Knitted Socks East and West" by Judy Sumner. I hadn't heard of this designer before but the preview of the book got me hooked. Japanese stitch patterns interpreted in various styles and thicknesses of yarn - ooh! There isn't much sign of it over on Ravelry , which surprises me - what are the PR people doing? But there is a stunning example of a sock called Biwa here (Ravelry link)

So I intend to show you lots of pictures from the book once it arrives. The cheapest stockist I could find was the Book Depository. Just saying!