Monday, September 29, 2008

Eid Break

The Eid holiday (pronounced 'eed') celebrates the end of Ramadan and falls this weekend. To take advantage of the five day break we are heading off to India to stay on a coffee plantation in Kerala for some much deserved R&R. We are staying here. I'm so excited!

I've packed a few balls of cotton yarn and my crochet hooks (can you believe it, me with the crochet hooks! I'll get over myself eventually, I promise) and I'm planning baby bibs of all things. I wanted something nice and simple to take along with me. I'm not sure how much I will get done really, but we will see.

See you all in a few days with lots of photos of tropical Kerala for sure!

Eid Mubarak!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Stash Enhancement.

I don't have much knitting to show off at the moment. It doesn't mean that I haven't been knitting (don't be silly), I just don't have much to show off. So I thought I would show you some of my new yarn instead. All of this comes from the birthday splurge I had back in August.

Firstly, there's little beauty!

She's called "Miss Pink!" and was hand dyed by my best friend Zena on some Knit Picks Bare Merino Fingering Weight. "Miss Pink" was part of an amazing birthday package that Zena sent me full of lot's of goodies. Zena does good parcels, really good parcels. As this yarn was a special gift, I want to make something for myself out of it. I'm not thinking socks, I think Miss Pink deserves to be shown off, not hidden on my feet. I'm thinking either gloves or a hat (I will go somewhere cold eventually). Any suggestions?

The rest of the yarn I'm going to show off today is from a company called sKNITches. I visited this website a while ago via a link from Ravelry and really liked their colourways. Have I mentioned that I really love variegated sock yarns, despite the fact that I rarely knit socks and I rarely like adult garments knitted in variegated yarn. They just looks so pretty, all wound up into a skein. Anyway, sKNITches only does limited dye runs and they always sell out really quickly, so when I got an email to say that they had just stocked up, I knew I had to get in quickly. This is what I scored!

Firstly we have Big Tryst in "Brocade". Big Tryst is a sport weight yarn in a blend of 80% Merino, 10% Cashmere and 10% Nylon. It's a really bouncy yarn, and nice a smooth.

"Brocade" is described on the website as "regal lilacs, gold and yellow wheats", in other words, purple and yellow. It reminds me of pansies. I have two skeins of this colourway.

Also in Big Tryst, is one skein of "Blushing Brown" ("golden, light caramel, pink blush").

I'm not so sure about this one. It looks much prettier in the photo than it does in real life (ah the pitfalls of online shopping!). I think I need to see it knitted up.

Next we have Kettle Drum. It's made up of 60% Merino, 30% Bamboo and 10% Nylon. This yarn is still quite springy, but not as much as the Big Tryst. The bamboo content gives the yarn a cool touch.

This colourway is called "Quartz" and it's really pretty.

Last but not least is Velocity (50% Merino, 50% Tencel) in "Grey Cell Green".

I think this yarn will have a nice drape when it is knitted up. Is that a good thing for socks? It makes me think they would fall down. This doesn't bother me as it is unlikely to become socks anyway. I chose this colourway, because I thought it might suit some boy baby clothes for all of the boy babies my friends keep having. All of these yarns are superwash, which makes them perfect (if not too special) for baby garments.

Okay, here's a sneak peak of what I have been up to lately.

Yep, it's crochet! He's going to be an elephant, name Phelie. He's actually a bit further along now than this photo shows. I had been wanting to learn how to crochet for a while now, but it required me to sit somewhere quiet with my learn to crochet book to figure it out which just wasn't happening at home. A few weeks ago I went to Jakarta (Djakarta?) Indonesia for four days for work, so I took some yarn and my books with me and at night time, alone in my hotel room, I was able to sit down and concentrate. And guess what? I can now crochet! You would be so proud Yasmin! I'm pretty excited about this. So many more fibre possibilities......

Friday, September 19, 2008

We came, we saw, we knit!

Last weekend was the first ever meeting of the Abu Dhabi Stitch'n'Bitch (we are still discussing what our group's name will be). There were five of us, which I was very happy about. I was worried that I might turn up and be on my own! Unfortunately due to Ramadan, the cafe we planned to meet at was closed, so we had to make do by sitting in the near-empty mall.

Here we are....

From left to right the girls are :- Kundi, Eva, Lindsay and Sydney. Yes, we were sitting the wrong way around, using the back of the bench as a make shift table! Kundi has been knitting since she was 6 years old, Eva (with the fab Baby Surprise Jacket!) is a long time crocheter but started knitting recently with the birth of her son. Linsday is relatively new to knitting but is already producing some amazing work and Sydney is a non-knitter who stumbled on some of our blogs and decided to come along. We have vowed to get her knitting too!

We had such a great afternoon and all of the girls were really nice. It was so nice to meet some fellow knitters and it is definitely going to become a regular thing. Next time there will be coffee and comfortable seating, I promise!

We didn't get a whole lot of knitting done, but I did manage to sew in a few ends on my socks for Nanny.

Pattern: Sweetpea from Knitty
Yarn: Essential Sock Yarn by Knitpicks in Riverbed Multi.

I like the patterning that the increases and decreases make. I think that is was attracted me to the pattern. The slip stitch heel was also interesting. It makes for a slightly thicker fabric in that area.

I'm not altogether happy with this yarn though. It's cheap, so I can't argue with that, but it seems to lack elasticity. These socks have quite a snug fit. Once I get them on my foot, they fit really well, but getting them on is a bit of a task. I'm hoping that my grandmother has slightly skinnier feet than me.

The only modication that I made was to reduce the number of decreases on the toe by half as they were looking a bit too pointy for my liking. The result is quite a short toe, but I think it works.

And just to prove that I actually knit two socks, here's a photo of the pretty effect of the special cast on that this pattern calls for. If you have calves like mine, the effect is kind of lost by the time you put them on, but for ladies with slender legs, the effect is quite nice!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's still on!

I've had such a blonde moment! Organising our first Abu Dhabi SnB to be held in a cafe, in the afternoon, during Ramadan! Der! For those who don't live here, during the holy month of Ramadan, Muslim people are fasting during the day, which means that most cafes and restaurants are closed until about 6pm.

Never fear, it is still on! Because of the late realisation that the Caribou cafe will probably be closed at 3pm tomorrow afternoon, we will still meet there and then decide what to do from there. I have a few back up plans brewing in my brain. So please still come along. We will still have a great time.

I hope to see you there!