You love it!

You love it!

Boring stuff first, then on to the goodies!

I’ve almost finished with Nothin’ but a T-shirt’s frontage (click on any/all of the pictures for a bigger view):


V-neck shaping


A closer look

And using nona’s Japanese short rows technique:

Now for the good stuff:


Sock it to me Esprit, Skacel Sirenetta and some Brittany Birch 5″ d.p. in 3.5 mm. (from Elann)


Regia Mini Ringel


Reiga Silk (for my mum’s cold little feet) (both from here)


Assorted sock yarn – hmmm…. (some from Elann, some from Mavis Crafts, some from The Knitting Zone and the rest from the Secret Pal 3 programme)

Still nada on the Secret Pal 4 parcel – I’m now assuming one of the following: it went surface instead of air, it got lost, or it’s stuck in customs Heck*. Either way, I’m sure that my still-mysterious SP is peeved just as much as I am!

Martha progress: not much, although I’m now done with the decreases and it works up faster than I was anticipating.

Go Team Star Trek socks: I’m nearly done with the gusset increases and I know that it’ll go faster from here on in.

Ta-ta!

*you know Heck, one level up from Hell. Ruled by Phil, the Prince of Insufficent Light. Fans of Dilbert will already be laughing. For those of you who aren’t, go here.

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SP4 reveal – part 1

SP4 reveal – part 1

I wasn’t in a big hurry to do this because the person I was gifting went on holiday before I could reveal myself, and the final package from the person who was gifting me still hasn’t arrived (flipping Royal Mail, grumble, grumble…).

So, I was sending lovely things to Sooze in NYC.

I’m sitting out SP5 but for those that want, sign up is over here (by the 29th of May).

In happier news, my “Nothin’ but a T-shirt” now has a back!

I always block stocking stitch “wrong side up” so the edges don’t curl under, but rather curl over. I think it looks like one of those animal pelts, all stretched out and drying.

I also have a second toe for my Go Team! socks, but since it looks just the same as the first toe I didn’t think there was much point in taking a picture.

I’m on the fourth pattern repeat of Martha, but it’s killing my left arm. It’s probably because I’m incredibly tense about my tension!

Anyway, hopefully my next post will bring happier news on the secret pal parcel front (although this one has gone a lot better than SP3, where my original pal fell off the face of the Earth) and also some photo-worthy progress on socks, Martha and Nothin’.

Nothin’

Nothin’

But a shirt, that is!

I really like working with the Calmer yarn, although it is quite slippery. I’ve also discovered a few places where the yarn has snapped (I’m hoping that this is a one off).

I’m working the waist decreases two stitches in from the edge and I really like the way they are working up. (You can view larger versions of all the pictures in this post by clicking on them. The wonders of JavaScript and Peatbogfaery)

It’s also going quite quickly. I put this down to a mixture of a simple pattern, shaping (making it less boring) and the combination method of knitting.

I’ve also made a start on Martha. One hundred and sixty three blinkin’ stitches! What was I thinking?

I was a little concerned that the tension seemed to be a bit loose. So, I cast on 30 stitches, made a “tension rectangle” and washed it.

I will wait and see…

Someone on the Ample Knitter’s list mentioned that (at the very least) it looked quite similar to this cardigan from Cabin Fever (#404 – Checkmate Cardigan). Hmm…. There are differences in the actual pattern and I don’t think that a generic stitch pattern can be copywritten, so nothing illegal has occurred, but quite interesting none-the-less.

I’m considering knitting Mariposa from the latest issue of Knitty. For once, I actually have the yarn in my stash:

King Cole cheap-as cotton/acrylic Stonewash Denim in Red Denim and Sirdar Sorrento in Party Pink. However, I only need 900 m of the denim yarn for Mariposa, but I have 1450 m (1600 yds). This would mean that I’d only be able to make another short sleeved/sleeveless top from the remaining amount. I also have in mind for it a really simple top-down raglan jumper, so I now have to make a decision. For those interested, there is a knit-along kicking off at the end of May.

Oh, and my secret pal (Hi – waves hand in a manic, restraining-order, kind of way) has contacted me and said that my last parcel will get to me by the deadline (end of April) so that the customs forms don’t totally give it away! I’m all done with the parcel-giving and I’m preparing for the “reveal”. I’ve decided against going in for Secret Pal 5 because it will coincide with my exams, and I don’t need any more distractions.

A Secret Pal strikes!

A Secret Pal strikes!

I have been gifted!

Firstly:

Four patterns (including one for a catnip mouse that I know my neighbour’s cat will go mad for), plus a “Julia Robert’s Hat” that I like the slouchy look of.
Also, a journal/blank “ideas” book covered with what looks and feels like hessian and which contains handmade-look paper. I’m thinking that this might be the ideal book to catalogue my knitwear in. The only coherent record I have is this blog and my webpage.

The fabric in the background is a wrap-skirt that my maternal grandmother brought back from Malta. Although what Zulu shields have to do with a Mediterranean island, I don’t know.

Oh, and secret pal – best not risk anything drink or food like, just in case “the Authorities” have tea sniffer dogs out in force! Besides, I’m much more French in my beverage-tastes anyway (coffee and chocolate, all day, everyday). And the kind of music I really don’t like: trash-metal, mindless hardcore dance tunes, and opera in languages I don’t understand (i.e. anything other than English, or bad English!). Music I do like: Green Day, Lemar (British artist), Joss Stone, Maroon 5, Faithless, Franz Ferdinand, Missy Elliot, Outkast. (Green are those whose albums I’ve worn a groove into – or I would have if they weren’t on CD).

In knitting news: I’ve cast on for a little fun project.

I defy anyone to be able to take a good picture of Sirdar Snowflake Chunky in black. Anyway, they are bunny slippers, for the Bunny Along. I plan on doing a fairly conventional toe-up sock/slipper thing, knitting some ears, embroidering on a nose and adding buttons for the eyes. I plan on making the ears detachable, for sensibility and washing purposes. A project page will be forth coming.

In the mean time, a secret pal questionnaire …

In the mean time, a secret pal questionnaire …

I should soon be getting my Secret Pal, and some poor unfortunate will be getting me! With a trapped nerve in my left shoulder (now a week old) still causing me discomfort, there is little knitting progress to report. So, with a no-picture entry in the offing, here is the “Standard Secret Pal Exchange Questionnaire”:

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high- a nd/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?

The first few things I made were acrylic and, while it has it’s place, I think I’m “maturing” in terms of my yarn taste. Not my colour choice, mind you!

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

I crochet (a little) and I got a top-whorl drop spindle and some fibre for my birthday. Although, I’m still having a little trouble with it.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)

Ugh! I have weather and pollution induced asthma, a nickel intolerance (contact dermatitis), hayfever, exhema. I am also a lacto-ovo-vegetarian who tries (and often fails) to avoid animal by-products.

4. How long have you been knitting?

I first learnt at the age of seven, got bored, tried again when I was about fourteen, got frustrated and finally picked up the needles properly about two or three years ago.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

I most certainly do!

6. What’s your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

I like things like sandalwood, patchuli and lavender. Although nothing “heavy”.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?

Oh, boy, yes! I love chocolate (mostly milk, but hey, if it’s dark, I’ll take it). I also love licorice.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

I love putting up shelves (I’m strange!)

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

OK, here’s a flavour: Green Day, Sugababes, Tom Jones, Elvis, Linkin Park, Doris Day (no, really, I do). I am fully MP3-ed up – I even have a little player (not an iPod, but you can’t have everything).

10. What’s your favorite color? Or–do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer?

Have a smooch around my website and you’ll get the idea that I have a split personality. I love olive greens and deep purples, but I also like reds and oranges. I’d say it’s a kind of autumn colour palate.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I’m currently single with two part-time cats whom I provide entertainment to.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)

To be as healthy as I can, to be as good a person as I can and to be able to fulfill at least some of my ambitions.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?

I love working with Merino wool and the best I’ve worked with so far is Rowan Cork – hmmm….

I also liked the Rowan All Season’s Cotton that I made my Klaralund out of.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Mohair, definitely! It gets up my nose and makes me sneeze. Oh, and really squeaky acrylic – it goes right through me!

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?

I’d have to say variegated yarns. Although I’m not overjoyed with the spin quality of Noro yarns, I do love the colours they produce.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Ooh, tough one! I love the challenge of a complex patterned adult piece, but I also love that fact that socks can be so small and yet contain so many techniques.

17. What are you knitting right now?

The best bet is to peer over to the side bar and have a look at the WIP list. And that doesn’t include the list of WIM projects (works in mind).

18. What do you think about ponchos?

Nice idea (I made a capelet), but because they are over-exposed, they are so yesterday darhling!

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

Circulars – they are so versatile.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Bamboo for cotton, aluminium for wool, plastic for cleaning the mud from my walking boots!

21. Are you a sock knitter?

A resounding YES!

22. How did you learn to knit?

A combination of my paternal grandmother, a book, and stubbornness!

23. How old is your oldest UFO?

Do I include the hat from about eight years ago that I never seamed? No? Then about 18 months old – my All-over lace cardigan that has stalled.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?

Still liking Leela from Futarama, and I really like manatees (they’re a cow that swims – how cool is that?).

25. What is your favorite holiday?

Since we don’t really go in for “holidays” in the UK, I’ll plump for the summer holidays!

26. Is there anything that you collect?

Ever since I was frightened by a frog in a Victorian-era public convenience I’ve amassed a small collection of frogs (not real ones, I must add). A picture will follow.

Well, I did all of that without referring to last years answers, so any inconsistencies can be put down to me being fickle.