Monday, January 28, 2008

Ruby's Cardigan

Look what arrived in the mail the other day!

The main reason for the online button purchase was for buttons for Ruby's cardigan (strawberry buttons in the centre of the photo). Most of the other buttons were "just because" purchases. I think they will come in handy somewhere along the line.

Here's a progress photo of Ruby's cardi where I am playing with the buttons. I wish they were a bit bigger. I think the chunky feel of this cardigan requires something a little larger. Hmmm....

I finally received Ruby's measurement the other day (thanks Zena xxoo) and this cardigan is going to be quite big on her. She's a little whippet of a thing. Oh well, at least she can grow into it and it should last her a few seasons, unlike the vests that I made for Sam and Archie.......

My best friend Zena was going through all the hand knitted items that she had either knitted her self, or had been given by other kind knitters on the arrival of her twin sons Sam and Archie, to see which items they had grown into. She decided to try on the vests which I knitted, only to discover....

The blue one with the round neck fits okay (this is Sam modelling), but there is a slight problem with the green v-necked one....

Good grief!

I laughed so hard when I saw these photos, I just had to post them, despite my obvious feelings of failure! Archie seems to think it's pretty funny too.

Zena, who is very clever (those who know her will agree!), has promised to try and rectify the problem. I hope that she can, I was really happy with these little vests and the blue one looks so cute on Sam.

So now you can see why I'm not too worried about Ruby's cardigan being a bit (a lot?) too big!

Here's both of the boys together, for a few more laughs (at my expense). Tee hee!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Year that was 2007.

I was thinking about it, and 2007 was a pretty big year for me. It started out with a bang of fireworks in San Francisco Bay after spending Christmas in New York City.

Soon after that came a job offer in another country. Ohmigod! Where in the hell is Abu Dhabi? This was the cry from friends and family. Some were worried for us ("Isn't that near Iraq?") but most were excited for us.

So we had to prepare everything for the big move. Pack up our little house ready for someone else to move in. We also had to take our beloved Lionus up to Queensland to live with his Nanny (my mum).

I miss our little house and our little boy!

The rest of the year was taken up with settling into life in a new country. Dealing the heat, no social circle and having a house mate for the first time in about 13 years, were all challenges additional to the already huge challenge of having a new job, in a different country, working with people who regularly break into Arabic in the middle of a meeting! There were sometimes tears and yelling but I think we have handled it all pretty well.

All this reflection lead me think about my knitting year. Really, in terms if knitting, 2007 was a quiet year for me. There were large gaps where there was no time for knitting at all. The one achievement that I can think of is that I knitted my first pair of adult socks (whilst living in a country where socks are a completely superfluous item of clothing!). Apart from that I don't believe I really stretched myself as a knitter. As a result of that I have decided to set myself some knitting goals for 2008! Here goes......
  1. Knit at least one more pair of sock, preferably two at a time on circular needles,
  2. Tackle at least one new technique such as fair isle or steeking (or both together!),
  3. Knit some proper lace work (with lace weight yarn),
  4. Try my hand at crochet.
  5. Try to more of a process knitter (without completely denying my project knitting urges!)
I think these goals are achievable but enough to stretch me a little bit.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rain, rain, go away......

It has been raining here constantly for four days and the whole country is in complete chaos! On the radio this morning they read out the long list of schools and roads that are closed due to flooding. People we know that have lived here for 10 years are saying that they never seen rain like this before in the UAE.

The other thing is, it's cold! I'm talking 10 to 15 degrees Celcius. Okay, I'm not about to break out the beanie and mittens, but I was really not prepared for this weather! I don't have any warm clothes. I'm sitting here shivering as I type.

It is kind of nice to have some cooler weather though. I've already planned to make a big pot of minestrone soup on the weekend. We don't get to eat food like that very often here. Maybe I should make some kind of hot desert as well. Hmmmm......


Monday, January 7, 2008

Random Ravings Part 2

But wait, there's more!

I knew there was a few things that I forgot to discuss in my first rambling post!

I wanted to thank everyone who has left comments on my blog. I really love hearing from all of my knitting friends back in Australia. All the girls that I met through the Wollongong Stitch'n'Bitch and the girls from "Every Second Tuesday Night Knitting". I miss you all!

I get a special thrill when I get a comment from a complete stranger. Aim left three comments on my blog recently so I went to check out hers. She lives in the US with her puppy dog and has lots of links to other interesting websites. This is where the knitting blog community is great. After looking at her blog and clicking on a few links, I think I discovered about 10 new patterns that I want to knit (I need more patterns like a need a hole in the head, but hey!). Then I went straight to Ravelry and checked out these new patterns, to see how other peoples projects looked. It really gives you a good idea of how a pattern will look on a real person (not a model) and then maybe an idea of how the garment would look on the intended recipient. Did I mention that I love Ravelry?

I just have to show you one of the links that I stumbled across from Aim's blog. It's a pattern for a crocheted, smiling poo! Laugh!

Speaking of loving Ravelry, I was discovered by another knitter who lives in Abu Dhabi! How exciting is that. Her name is Lulu (I have a feeling that is not her real name though) and she lives on the other side of the island to me (Abu Dhabi is an island, for those who didn't know) which isn't very far away. After reading her blog, 1001 Arabian Knits (great name!) I have deduced that she is South African, she has a cat (as well as a husband and daughter), she drinks wine (yay) and is a bit mad (in a totally good way of course).

This brings me to my last point (I promise!). Zena (BF) and I were talking about how I should start up the Abu Dhabi Stitch'n'Bitch to try and generate some knitting friends over here. I said I was scared that no one would show up! Now that I know about Lulu, at least there might be two of us! I'm still not sure though. We'll see.....

And, just because I don't like having a post without any photos, here's a pic of a sign on the way to Dubai. It always makes me laugh!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Random Ravings

There's a few things that I need to fill you in on. I apologise in advance, I think it's going to be a long one.

I've been knitting the Puff-Sleeved Cardigan from Stefanie Japel's Fitted Knits. As knitabulous commented previously, on 4mm needles, I was flying along. It was my first ever top down raglan and I was really enjoying it. See I'm happy in this photo.

This was all way back when I was making the strawberries. I was avoiding the felting stage of the first strawberry by knitting the cardigan, until I realised the date (about December 1st) and had to get my A into G and get back to the strawberries. When I came back to the cardigan I was approaching the peplum, this was where I began to hit problems. The pattern calls for a simple garter stitch lace pattern. After knitting to the second last row of the pattern (and encountering the error in the pattern) I decided that I hated it. So I frogged back to the start of the peplum and did my usual thing and avoided the problem by moving on to one of the sleeves. Now, I have to say that the sleeves are not particularly puffy for a cardigan called the puff-sleeved cardigan. I thought it might just be me and my big fudubuduhs, but after checking out how others had gone with this pattern on Ravelry, I found that I was not the only one with this issue.

Anyway, I eventually sat down with my stitch dictionary and settled on the "Ears of Corn" lace pattern. I knitted it up with the same number of decreases as the pattern called for and then tried the cardigan on. O-oh! While I was happy with the look of the lace pattern, the peplum was way too big and sticking out at all funny angles. Aaaargh! This is where this was a bit of a break through for me. In a previous life I would have just made the decision to live with the defect and then have been forever unhappy with the finished product relegating it to the back of the wardrobe, but not this time. This time I frogged back again and re-knitted the peplum for the third time, dramatically reducing the number of decreases and letting the negative ease (that I am so fond of) do it's thing. Yay! It was looking much better! It was at about this point that I realised that I was going to run out of yarn. Fan-bloody-tastic! So now the cardigan minus it's second sleeve and button bands is sitting in a bag waiting for supplies to arrive. That's all I have to say about that! I will post more pictures soon, I promise.

Speaking of Ravelry, I'm new to it and I just have to say, I lurve it! When I looked up the puff sleeved cardigan I was able see what everyone else had done. I was able to confirm that I wasn't going mad, yes there was an error in the lace pattern, and to get lots of ideas on how I could improve the pattern. Love it!

Okay, the next thing I wanted to ramble on about was the amazing Christmas present that Zena bought me. It's a gorgeous canvas bag that is just perfect for a big knitting project like a sweater and it has all these cool pockets for bits and pieces. The bag and it's pockets were filled with all sorts of fun things like Tim Tam Balls (already gone West) and Natural Confectionery Co. snakes (working on those) and Claire Bowditch's new CD (on high rotation). Thank you sweetie!

Here's the bag! I wish I could be more creative and have taken arty photo of it.

Are you still with me? I still have a few more things to get through.

Since the I ran out of yarn for the PSC I have been working on another red cardigan. Yes I know I have a bit of a thing about red cardigans, but this one is not for me. It's for my surrogate niece Ruby. Here's a pic of the progress about four days ago. I have since finished the back and am getting through one of the fronts. Nothing really that exciting to talk about with this one. It's a straight forward pattern from a Patons Kids Knits book and I'm knitting it in Knit Picks Merino Style in Strawberry (yes I have a bit of a thing about those too!). I think it will look cute on her.

Last thing I wanted to say was, Happy New Year! I'm a bit late I know. We (Chi Wai, Brian and I) went to an Italian restaurant that was having a special New Year's dinner. Here's Chi Wai and I at the start of the bottle of French champagne.

Here's me with Brian at the end of the bottle of champagne!

Tee hee! I wasn't that drunk, honest!