Sunday, 28 February 2010

Finish Line!

The Mitts are done! The USA and Canada were still battling it out at Ice Hockey as I sewed in all the loose ends (Canada were winning 1-0). I wasn't sure I'd get these mitts done in time at all , but a couple or six or mammoth sessions at Once a Sheep , and some finishing off at Tramwayknits today ensured I made the finishing line!
The pattern is Lusekofte-sque Mitts by Mary Rourke using traditional Norwegian Motifs from Beth Brown-Reinsel's Norwegian Lusekofte Socks! The pattern is on Ravelry , the knitting website and if you haven't joined yet I suggest you do. There are loads of wonderful free patterns of which this is one!
I have used Unicorn Yarn from Fyberspates/Natural Dye Studio, main colour is Deep Purple, contrast colour is Magenta . I didn't use provisional Cast on for the cuffs , I did cable cast on and picked up the loops to knit them with the live stitches to get the folded over cuff . For the top, I just sewed the folded over piece neatly, its worked well I think!
No volunteers about to take a picture of the pair on my hands so here they are. My tension varied greatly between mittens as I relaxed into the colour work , but as they are "Hand specific " and they both fit , I am not too bothered. The Unicorn yarn is gorgeous to work with and feels so soft and cosy , these two colours were great for colourwork , however I think I may need to practice a bit more to improve !
Right, I am off to see who has won the Ice Hockey , and NO I won't be staying up for the closing ceremony , I have two wee boys to get up for school tomorrow!

Friday, 19 February 2010

An Olympic Week

The Olympic Challenge got off to a good start , and although I haven't finished the first glove , it is looking good so far .
There were a few hurdles on the way , some dropped stitches, rip back , some mistakes , rip back , NOT FITTING! , rip waaayy back. Onto bigger needles , and I am back in the race!
I am using the Unicorn Mystery yarn from Fyberspates and Natural Dye Studio's Unicorn Mystery in 2009. The yarn is no longer a mystery though , it is Baby Llama, silk and cashmere! Beautiful to knit and gorgeous to wear .
I thought these two colours , Deep Purple and Magenta , went together well for this project and so far I am really liking the effect .
Better get my skates on though and finish this one so I can get on the next , only 10 more days to go!
Finally sorted out my lace cardi pattern , this has been ripped back too many times to count now! I think I have the pattern sorted and fingers crossed this will block out to be a wee bit bigger! (Although it does measure to my size I would like it to be a bit looser!
Its a lovely design , and although I am not an expert lace knitter , I would say that the pattern is not very well written. Also there was no chart to follow , which would have made it easier to see how the pattern should be. I find this a feature of Rowan patterns, they are lovely but some of them are very unclear.
Still keeps the old grey matter working!
Onwards and upwards!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Knitting Olympics

In a moment of madness I signed up to the Knitting Olympics , started by the Yarn Harlot a while back .
The rules state that project must be chosen based on its challenge to the knitter . Casting on must not start before the opening ceremony and lighting of the Olympic flame on February 12th (PST). Casting off must be before the closing ceremony on February 28th (PST) . Those who manage this get a Gold medal !
And I signed up yesterday! Yikes!
Here is my pattern , a two colour Norwegian motif pair of mitts . I have never done two colours before , either on the flat or round . This is on the round .
And here are the yarns I will be choosing from , so far I prefer the deep purple with pink motifs , but I'm still open to suggestions .
Well better go and get myself ready for the starters gun ! (Ooops and make the kids dinner!)

Thursday, 11 February 2010

How to cook ?

A few evenings ago , I had the opportunity to watch some television , and out of the several programmes I watched , one was about (Saint) Delia Smith through the 5 decades of her cooking . Now I don't remember her column she wrote for a national paper in the 60's , but I do remember her baking and cookery books from the 70's onwards thanks to a Mother who loved cooking . The adorable Mr Stephen Fry , a good friend of Delia , was interviewing her in his usual charming manner , and the decade they were discussing was the 90's and how Delia went back to teaching the nation "How to Cook"(Please imagine if you will the wonderful baritone voice of Mr Fry) . And after 2 decades of ready meals , boy, were we ready for it!
Although looking back , I was probably only ready for the How to Cheat at cooking , but that's another story .
So , when I was lamenting the other month about lack of this , that and the next thing in my cookery books , I forgot to check my "How to Cook" books - they were languishing at the back of my book shelf.
A quick dusting down , and there it was ..... How to Roast beef ....... How to cook fish ....... how to bake bread . How did I forget ?
And the recipes' are so simple to follow....... and healthy .
I guess the thing I love about the Delia recipes is this .... she works at a recipe until she has it right , so when you try one out the books , it always works .
So tonight for dinner it is lemon and tarragon Roast Chicken a la Delia !
Then a bit of sock knitting!
Nearly forgot , here are some socks I did for Christmas! Pattern for both is Monkey by Cookie A , pink yarn is Lorna's Laces in Get Knitted , and the multi-coloured yarn is Weasley's Wizard Wheezes in Twist by Sunshine yarn . Such I pity I had to give them away!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

A Little Marmalade

The beginning of the year is the traditional time for making marmalade among the ladies of the WI (Womens' Institute) or WR (Womens' Rural). Oranges in season from Seville are the favourite of (Saint) Delia Smith , and are recommended in her cookbooks .
I have never tried to make marmalade (yet) , but have started to knit up some...... Kidsilk haze in colourway Marmalade , pattern Marianne by Sharon Millar from Rowan Magazine 37 . The pattern is not too clear , so I have had to pull back , write up some notes and a chart of sorts and start again , but I love how it is looking .
I am beginning to "get" the lace pattern from looking at the design as I knit it up , something I am not too good at usually! The colour of the yarn seems paler her than on my iphoto , not sure why , but it is a strong orange shade .
As usual I have more than one item on the needles , and just now I am knitting my third pair of monkey socks (the other two were gifted!). The yarn is the Arancaunia sock yarn bought from the lovey Nan at Stitching Time in Hamilton. It is fabulous to knit with and the finished socks are very sturdy (I have another pair in this yarn already) , so I am looking forward to finishing these . They are a simple and quick knit and I would recommend this pattern for a sock beginner looking to branch out into a pattern .
Well the first of the (expected) babies appeared just after Christmas six weeks early , but doing well. A wee girl called Jennifer , and here is a wee dress I knitted up in the Debbie Bliss Rialto 4 ply , which should hopefully fit her soon! This was a lovely knit , the pattern from Ravelry is called Little Sisters Dress and is translated from Norwegian . The pattern sizes right up to a 24 month old Toddler , but I am sure it can be adjusted for bigger children . When it is too short for a dress it can be used as a tunic!
The spinning season is also upon us , and there are classes and meetups at my lys Once a Sheep at least once a month now . So my trusty Ashford Kiwi spinning wheel is back out and spinning up the fibre. Here is my Longwool Wensleydale (the natural colour skein) roving bought at Iknit weekend a couple of years ago, the coloured skein is Blue-faced Leicester and silk , roving from Old Maiden Aunt (Its going to become a hat for my Sisters birthday) .
Isn't it amazing what can be done when the weather is cold and dreich ?
I have also written up a list of items I really want to knit this year , yarn and patterns at the ready. I have also put myself on a yarn diet until I knit at least half of them up!
Better get off the mac and get my needles clicking!