Sunday, January 25, 2009

Scarf Knittin' Blues

Hear in you mind, if you will, a twelve bar blues, you pick the key......

I got the
scarf knittin' blues, the scarf knittin' blues, yes I do.
I got the scarf knittin' blues, the scarf knittin' blues, yes I do.

I been knittin' this scarf so long now, will it ever be though?

It's gonna take forever, knitting this scarf, what can I do?
It's gonna take forever, knitting this scarf, what can I do?
I gotta finish knitting this scarf, before I can start something new!

I got the scarf knittin' blues, the scarf knittin' blues, soooo bad.
I got the scarf knittin' blues, the scarf knittin' blues, soooo bad.
You know when it comes time for knitting something else, I'm gonna be so glad.

So there you go.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Year of the Book Has Started!

I have officially started on my goal for the year of knitting or crocheting something from all of my as yet unused knitting and crochet books.

So with out further ado, I would like to present Book Project no. 1!

Book: Son of Stitch'n'Bitch by Debbie Stoller
Pattern: Uncle Argyle Scarves by Lindsay Henricks
Yarn: Patons Merino Deluxe in Black (10) and Grey (3) purchased on our recent trip to Australia from CR & K Daisy Designs.

I bought this book for this pattern alone (it's a thing I do!). I've had a real thing about any sort of argyle since my mid-teens. There are however quite a few other good boy's (read men's, they will always be boys to me!) patterns in it, such as the Mixology sweater and the Skull Isle Hat.

This scarf uses the double knitting technique and I swear that it may be the death of me! For those who have never used double knitting before (this is my first time), you have to knit the front and back of the project at the same time which means you knit then you purl, then you knit and then you purl etc. across the row with two strands of yarn and moving the yarn from the front to the back or the back to the front between every stitch. Kind of like knitting a 1 x 1 rib only much worse. Aaaargh! The only thing that is going to keep me going on this (I hope) is that I am loving how it looks. I'm making this for my brother Marc who lives in London and is in need of warm wooly scarves for most of the year. I hope he likes it. It's taken me a week to get this far. Ugh!

Here's the other side of the scarf.

In other colour knitting glutton for punishmentness (I know it's not a real word!), I started (before Christmas) working on the Imprint Tote.

It's looking a little crumpled from be neglected at the bottom of my knitting bag while I have been working on the Argyle scarf.

I am using the pattern for the Imprint Tank from Interweave Knitts, Summer 2008. When I saw this pattern, I really liked the motif but I decided that it would look better on a tote bag. I'm using the recommended yarn, Mission Falls 1824 Cotton but in the colours Merlot, Peony and Pebble. I love the look of this yarn knitted up but it is a real b!tch to knit with (pardon my language). A contributing factor may be that I have been using a bamboo circular needle as I was knitting it on the plane. I'm thinking that the combination of the nubbly cotton yarn and the not so smooth tips of the bamboo needle may be making the process worse than it needs to be. I've put this down for the time being to work on the Uncle Argyle Scarf, but when I pick it up again I plan to change over to my Knit Picks Options. Let's hope that improves things!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Year of the Book

This time last year, I set myself some knitting goals. Let's see how I went....
1. Knit at least one more pair of socks, preferably two at a time on circular needles,
Well I did knit one pair of socks last year but they were top down and knitted one at a time. I have a definite thing for sock yarn but it doesn't actually seem to extend to the actual knitting of socks. Although, there has been some definite drooling over sock patterns on Ravelry such as these, these, these and these. I'm not making any promises (or goals this time) but I would still like to knit more socks.
2. Tackle at least one new technique such as fair isle or steeking (or both together!),
I can give this one a tick although I think it was completed rather timidly. But that's okay, that's they way I do things. Small steps. So I had a go at Fair Isle. It was cheats Fair Isle (only two colours) but I was very happy with the finished result. Maybe some day soon I might actually get a chance to wear it.
3. Knit some proper lace work (with lace weight yarn),
I'm happy to tick this one off with the Seascape that I made for my Aunt. Again it wasn't a particularly complicated knit but I think it still qualifies as lace!
4. Try my hand at crochet.
Yay, I passed this with flying colours I think with these efforts! I definitely want to have a go at some more crochet in 2009!
5. Try to more of a process knitter (without completely denying my project knitting urges!)
Okay, there are some things in your personality that you just can't fight. For me it is all about the finished project and it's time that I embrace that. If there is an interesting process along the way to achieve the project that I am after, then all the better.

So all in all I think I did okay on my goals for 2008. So, am I going to set any goals for 2009? Of course I am!

In 2008 my thing for knitting books spiralled out of control. I am a knitting book hussy! I bought 12 new knitting books (including two "booklets"), and out of the 20 or so finished objects I completed during the year, only 6 of them were patterns from books I own! I have worked out, that of the books that I own that are here with me in Abu Dhabi (I have more books back in Australia too!) there are eight that I have never knitted anything from. Here's the list.
  1. Son of Stitch'n'Bitch by Debbie Stoller, a book of patterns for men,
  2. Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller, crochet patterns (I have used this for crochet instruction, but I have not used any of the patterns),
  3. Knitting Workshop by Elizabeth Zimmerman,
  4. The Best of Interweave Knits edited by Ann Budd,
  5. DomiKNITrix Whip Your Knitting Into Shape by Jennifer Stafford,
  6. Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles by Cat Bordhi,
  7. Norah Gaughan Collection Vol. 1 by Norah Gaughan (booklet),
  8. Norah Gaughan Collection Vol. 2 by Norah Gaughan (booklet),
So that's my goal, to knit/crochet something from each of these books in 2009. If anyone has a favourite pattern from any of these books I would love to hear what you think.

Wish me luck. Happy New Year to everyone! Here's to a great 2009.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Crochet Delight!

Back in September, I started to make an attempt at some crochet. Remember this?

I was crocheting some toys. The crocheting part all went fine, but then something happened, something that often happens when I try to make toys. The pieces sat in a bag waiting to be sewn up until December. The only motivation then was that we were heading to Australia and the toys in question were meant to be belated 1st birthday presents for my best friend Zena's Twins. (Here they are a year ago!)

So anyway, in the mad rush of the few days before we left, I was sewing up toys! So now I can finally post about them!

Firstly there was Freddy Froggy.

He's made out of leftovers from the Tetris Blanket which was knitted in Knit Picks Swish Worsted. The pattern is Frogs on Holiday from "Kyuuto" by Tomoko Takamori, which is a book of Amigurumi patterns that I bought back in my birthday buy up. He's kinda cute don't you think?

And next was Phelephant, or Phellie for short!

The pattern is Henri Elephant from Lucinda Guy's Crochet Designs for Kids, another book from the buy up. The green yarn is Knit Pick's Swish DK in Asparagus and the other colours are more leftovers from the Tetris Blanket in Swish Worsted.

After all of the drama and procrastination, I am quite happy with how these turned out. Here they are snuggling up together.

And here is Sam doing his favourite thing with Phellie!

Finally here is one last bit of crochet that has been going on. When we went for our little holiday in India I mentioned that I was crocheting on the verander of our treehouse. Well this is what I made!

Pattern: So-Simple Baby Bibs (So simple it was too!)
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Sport in Willow and Terracotta from my stash.

I made it for Kate's new bub Jude (hence the "J"). It's quite a big bib so I think it will be good for when Jude get to the solid foods stage. I'm also making a little vest for Jude, which should have been finished while we were away but never quite made it. Alas, it will have to go in the post. More on that later.

So, what is my verdict on the whole crochet thing? I'm ready for more!