Wednesday, 12 December 2007

The one where we learn more about the Cosmic Postman

Yesterday afternoon I was on the train back from Cambridge.

Cold and sniffly I had been looking forward to getting my needles out for the hour-long journey home when I noticed a little blue plastic thing in the gap between seat and wall opposite me. I reached to pick it up, certain already of what it was: a train pass, in its usual dark blue 3-part wallet.

I opened it to see who had lost it, and found it belonged to a lady and contained a pass for the day...and some money. I could see the notes folded and I know there was at least £15.
I will be honest and say that it did occur to me to take the cash and then hand over the wallet, but I thought to myself "what would I wish for someone to do if it was my train card and my money?" and decided to hand it over in the station when I got off.

As I changed platform to get onto the train home in Stevenage I saw a platform attendant and walked over to him. As I handed over the wallet I explained that I had found it on the Cambridge train and that since it contained money the lady would be probably glad to get it back (the train passes are registered so they could chase her address/contact details).

"You don't find many like you those days" said the man as he opened the wallet and saw the notes. "What comes around goes around" I said, adding that I would wish for someone to be that honest if they found my card. We joked about winning the lottery and I hoped on the train.

Eventually I got home and the usual pile of junk mail was awaiting behind the door. Amongst them though an envelop for me, and as I opened it it turned out to be my long awaited cheque from one of the online survey companies. £43.50... so that would be Karmic pay back?

A few minutes later, alone in the flat a thought brought a smile to my face...

They say that whatever you do it will come back to you 3 times... What they don't tell you is that the Karmic Postman charges 10% ;-)

The one with the yellow bear...










So finally I located my dongle and so the world can be full of bad photos taken with a mobile phone again...ahhh!



Pudsey is the mascot for the Children in Need charity event and I had promised to knit one to be raffled. Armed with a pattern and some acrylic yarn I set to work.

The whole pattern is worked in Stockinette and there is quite a bit of shaping, although no short rows. The arms and legs are articulated at the shoulder/hip so the bear can sit/stand/wave/figure ice-skate etc...

A short week later and Pudsey was born, complete with trade-mark eye-patch adorned with red sequins for dots...



Just over a foot tall he went to the cake stall to be raffled. I was hoping to get £5 from ticket sales, but after 2 hours we had raised £41.50!

He was won by Julia that very afternoon and there were quite a few request of making more.
But that's about a month old (bad blogger, no cookie!)
Since that I have been busy if not buzzy and the needles have been well used (slippers, meerkat, and some startitis evidence)...more of that later when the camera phone springs into action again!

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Nobody told me it was RED SHOES day...

Well, maybe it is a coincidence but a good chunk of my colleagues are sporting Dorothy-worthy shoes in the office.

With my 'ready-to-trek-through-the-muddy-path-home' Salomon lace ups I feel a little out of place ;-)

Oh...and apparently, it is THURSDAY..not the actual FRIDAY I had managed to convince myself about (well, actually, not much convincing was necessary) :(

So to cheer myself up and distract from the shoe issue, let's look at some cute crochet...





You got that one? Right, let's look at some MORE...







Yep, those little cuties are all crochet, and they all come from the same talented lady: Brigitte Read, you are officially my favourite person of the day, because you have posted the patterns for those (and quite a few more) for FREE in the true spirit of sharing craft on the Net.

Dont believe me? Have a look for yourself HERE! Ah the finds that one can get on Ravelry...

So guess who has half of a meerkat's body in her school bag?

Friday, 16 November 2007

A bear for charity...

Today, after much time spent knitting his little yellow and white body and his little eye-patch, after sewing many sequins and buttons, Pudsey found a new home.

Today is Children in Need day and we had a cake sale. I knew all along Pudsey was the prize for the raffle but I was still sad to see him go and even paid for one entry to attempt at keeping him... But he raised over £40 all by himself, so I am very proud of him! And Julia who won him will I hope give him an exciting life, playing hockey and travelling the world.

And because I can not find my phone dongle there is not a pic yet to show his cute little face.

Now for the technical details:
Needles:3.5mm straight metal
Yarn: acrylic in Pudsey yellow (75g) and white (20g) with a scrap of black for the nose.
Pattern: Thomas from "the knitted teddy bear"
Stuffed with ...stuffing
Notions: 2 black buttons and 2 black eyes...

A fairly fast and easy knit... and now back to Foliage ;-)

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Hats 101


Forgot to say...


101 hats!


yeay to all the girls for helping me send a very decent package to Innocent and planning on doing it next year!


Montego Bay style hat pattern

Or what should really be called a fishnet hat...but that just sounds weird!

After getting the Montego Bay scarf pattern from Wendy AND from Sas (yes, that very one of Knitty fame... thank you thank you) and deciding that I totally loved it especially when knitted with fat yarn on fat needles (21st on 7mm ... knitting at the speed of light) I started to suspect that it would work as a hat.

Gurjit had given me some yarn because her wrist hurts and after loosing count twice on "foliage" I decided I needed more mindless knitting...

Presenting: the Montego Bay (style) hat! Lacy spirals going from the ribbing to the crown...

Vital stats: knitted on 6mm needles with yarn that requires that size needles.
Size: medium

Instructions:
Cast on 61st
Slip 1st, knit to last, knit together last stitch and slipped stitch to join in the round (60st)
Work in 1x1 ribbing for 1 inch/2.5cm (*k1, p1* to end)

Row 1: slip 1 st, *k2tog, yo* to last st, knit together last stitch and slipped stitch, yo
Row 2: knit to end

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until it is time to begin the decreases

Decrease by working a row 1 and omitting 6 yo's evenly spaced. knit next row. Work a yo row knitting together 3 stitches so as to keep the right leaning slope 6 times. knit next row. repeat the process a few times until 30st remain.

next row: k2tog to end (15st)
next row: knit
next row: k2tog to last st, k1 (8st)
next row: knit

Cut yarn leaving a tail, and thread the tail trough the stitches. Pull tight and fasten.

Weave in ends.

Voila!

- I am contemplating adding a flower for girliness...watch this space!-

Friday, 5 October 2007

Highlighter fumes

So finally the mystery KALs have started... and it appears I can not read charts!

At least not fluently!

Turns out, just like a small child learning to spell I have top methodically work tiny groups of 10 violently coloured stitches and review each full row before venturing into the next one.

I *could* put a picture of my progress, but somehow 10 rows of 139 stitches on 3mm needles do not sound THAT impressive.

On the day of clue release I was shocked to see that hours after the release someone is already half way up that very clue...

Note to self: must learn to knit IN MY SLEEP!!

The weekend awaits with boxes to open, books and DVDs to list, cleaning and tidying...when oh WHEN am I supposed to fit the knitting in??????

Monday, 24 September 2007

So I wait...

Another 11 days before the first clue of the SOS (much better than SotS) is released, another 4 days before Chrysopolys... What's a girl to do?

Why, dye new yarn of course!

And change my mind entirely about which colourway to use for which...

So now I wait, patiently for the clues to appear so I can decide how to knit what depending on the style of each...

In the meantime I am trying to finish WIPs to make room and time, and yes, following the reading of Knit Kimono the gignormous Textured Tunic from Fitted Knits is being frogged despite being at "just missing the arms now" stage to hopefully become a still-heavy-but-more-wearable fan-pattern jacket.

All of that without any Sprout news..yet...*sigh*

Yes there will be pictures of yarns and swatch and fan pattern, and maybe even some of tiny bottle hats and Print-O-the-Wave lace... all in good time!

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Dye-saster and the rescue mission

After joining my first lace KAL (Secret of the Stole, see button...you can STILL join!) I thought it would be an excellent idea to custom dye the yarn to go with the beads I was choosing.


How difficult could that be? I have seen it done many times through people's blog. You can do it with food dyes and vinegar. It is safe and fool-proof.

..Pause..


Turns out, it is not.
Well it IS safe...

So, armed with my dream of the perfect green I set out to find a supplier online (found a cheap e-bay seller that delivered oh-so-quickly the 30 pretty colours of its range), I begged and begged to go shopping so I could stock up on vinegar and purchase more knitting needles from the charity shop on the way (and some acryl for Innocent...more on that on the right).

T'was Sunday afternoon before I was ready to get going.
Surely the winding of the skein and securing of it will take 30 minutes or so....wrong again! (it may take that long for 100g of bulky...the 100g=1500m+ of cobweb...2 hours JUST for the skeining, by hand with help from P...).

Finally the skein was ready, would lovingly on the back of the sofa and tied in no less than 9 places to be safe.
Now for the dye...
I had read the blog entry from Pieknits (http://www.pieknits.com/blog/2006/02/dyeing_with_wiltons_icing_dye.html) on using food dyes, so I soaked the yarn whilst preparing the colour (spruce and christmas green).
At that point the kitchen paper test and its slight graduation of bluey-yellowy-greeny brightness should have alarmed me...bah it's just the paper effect I thought.

Diligent pupil, I prepared the dye bath, added the yarn, heated and had steaming for 10 min before the vinegar went in.
It took about 50 minutes for all the dye to be absorbed, so I left it to cool down before rinsing and hanging.


At that point I REALLY thought the colour looked lovely.

An hour or so later the yarn was cooled and so I rinsed (with tell-tale red running out of the rinse), careful to avoid felting, and set out to hang it to dry...

"It's very green" I thought..."It's uneven" I thought... but still I decided to allow it to dry.



The next morning, after having peaked at it all through the evening hoping for a magical change I decided to cut a piece of the tail to look at later in the day...maybe the light in the bathroom was wrong.

But it was not. I knitted the foot-long piece of yarn into a tiny square, and there it was looking at me, Leprechaun-green lacy stockinette.

That evening I decided the yarn would be re-dyed. I had asked the mighty web , and an expert dyer for help-advice-support-well wishing.

Before I sealed the fate of the yarn I immortalised the green yarn monster...(turns out my phone does not do the colour justice it was much brighter than that for real! ...more like THIS)





I was keen to try and resolve the dye-saster last night so was pleased to find a clean kitchen and pot when I got in from work.







Having re-read the blog I based my original experiment on (add some red to tone the green..check) and taken into account my pro-dyer's advice (see her fab stuff at http://www.stormintheattic.com/ ) of 'uneven colour tells me the yarn wants salt'...and full of the determination that only the chemist and cook know when the recipe did not come out 'right', I started again.







The yarn was still in skein so I put it in a glass bowl and measured the amount of lukewarm water that would be needed to cover it (2L) and took back about 250 mL for dye dissolution.







The amount of vinegar according to the web is 60 mL for 1L of water,so 120 mL went into the bowl with the yarn.. at that point i remembered #salt# (how much...not sure. ok, let's go with 2tbsp...in the bowl it goes).







Dye (last time was Christmas green + spruce green, this time spruce green, dark brown and a hint of cherry for a total of about 2/3 teaspoon food paste) dissolved goes into the pan.






After 15 minutes the yarn was lifted from the bowl, the liquid was added to the pan, stirred and the yarn carefully added.







Slow heat, some very gentle lifting into the bowl then back in and after 50 minutes the dye bath had lost its reddish tinge to be left with some lighter green.










Left to cool to a temperature i can handle (because I was so impatient yesterday...normally i WOULD allow for full cooling) I rinsed with same temperature clear water and diminished the rinse temperature gradually.



The colour was there...and stayed there: a deep (although still wet)browny green that looked EVEN...could have I got it right on my second attempt?



The result will be confirmed tonight as the rescued yarn hangs,drying, in the bathroom (see how cotton takes the red but not the green..strange hey)...




Now to learn the secret to the lace cast on...

Thursday, 30 August 2007

The big knit

Innocent is asking once again for gazillion little wooly hats for their bottles...50p per ornate bottle will go to Age Concern.

http://www.innocentdrinks.co.uk/thebigknit/?Page=thebigknit (one day i will remember the cut formula)

Come on, knit a hat with your scraps...you know you want to... (and make sure to send them BEFORE 22nd October!)

Monday, 20 August 2007

Finally some yarn pics

Looks like kidsilk haze to me...so if that's the case I bagged myself in the region of 800m of gorgeous lace weight for...£1.00
K's comment :"you b#tch"...who needs enemies with friends like these!

Pictures from phone, so not brilliant, but the pen shows thread size.

And I still have to unearth my lace knitting book to find a project worthy of such a pretty pretty yarn. Any idea?

Edible robot: make your own

too many cucumbers, too much time on your hands? That's enough to make you give knitting a rest!

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

A pair of aces...

The idea was that since my friend is going to spend 100% of her time playing poker and getting paid for it I would make her a relevant leaving present, because nothing says 'i will miss you' like a 100g of handknit lambswool in the middle of August!

So I decided on a modified version of Debbie Bliss Flip Top mittens with commuter pocket on top, embroidered so as to look like aces of hearts.

I made the mittens (Penguin light grey, about 75g, 4mm needles) and the pattern is actually worked flat!

The pockets were knitted from Lana Grossa pale pink Numero Uno (16 st, worked for...well long enough for a credit card) and the hearts from the same yarn in Shocking Pink.


The hearts were knitted as follow before securing using blanket stitch (which does hide a multitude of sins):
-the heart is knitted side-ways in garter st-
CO 3
K to end
KFB, K1, KFB (5st)
(K to last st, KFB
KFB, K to end) repeat until you have -about- 11st (adjust to taste)
K2tog, K to last st, KFB
K to end
KFB, K to last 2 st, K2tog
(K2tog, K to end
K to last 2 st, K2tog) until 5 st remain
K2tog, K1, K2tog (3st)
Bind off leaving a VERY long tail for the blanket stitching...

The A's in top left and bottom right of each pocket were embroidered using the same dark pink yarn.

Pockets were sewn on using matress st, for that lovely neat finish.

Voila!














(forgive the fuzzy camera-phone pictures)

The recipient was very pleased with them...I will have to keep that pattern in mind for further leaving presies.

Next on the list: to finish 2 cardigans (and a sweater), and to whip up some baby booties before next week...2 pairs for a mum-of-twins-to-be!

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Another wet weekend...

Already my stay in Rotterdam seems a distant dream.

England has been fighting the rising waters and I found no better idea than to go camping for a few days near Worthing, where my parents were experiencing their first tent stay. Fingers crossed along the way, and frantic knitting to try (and fail) to finish the wrap for Mum...I bound off the second sleeve just as we pulled into the camp site, but the wrapping part is yet to complete.

It was muddy, wet, grey and very windy...we could not even push the bikes on the way back from Shoreham as the constant blow along the beach killed our efforts.

The 2 days with my parents did however prove rewarding from the stash point, as I found (well actually spotted by Mum) 12 balls of a cotton mix in a charity shop (£5) and 3 balls of Emu (£1). But the best buy of all was in Shoreham, as I was about to walk out empty-handed from the Rowan-filled yarn shop... from the corner of my eye I spotted a soft turquoise cake in a basket on the floor...lace weight and gorgeous, I looked up, ready to face a pricey tag...50p (for 50g) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Best part was that I did find another one...so I may have enough for a shawl! (yeay for my first *proper* lace project).

BF even gave me the money for it, attempting to reason ("have you got a project for it?" "no, but I will...anyway, you don't un-der-stand...it's SOOOO pretty!")

A day in gay Brighton, which ended under a rainy sky decided us to go home a day early... and good decision that was as Sunday in London was bright and blueberry-filled! Balcony BBQ and home-made crumble...what a way to end the weekend!

Cohabitation is going well..in parts (the ones that are not yarny and fur-ry) and I am hoping we will soon look at new surroundings!

I miss the Tuesday knitting in Rotterdam, and I am trying to revive the knitting spirit here, but it's not the same...and my urge this morning to call for a Stitch and Pitch (of the camping type, not the baseball type) will probably remain unanswered. AND I don't get to see Y. (almost) finished scarf..bah, humbug!

The camera is not yet unpacked, but my head is full of pics to be taken... I will be back...soon!

Friday, 13 July 2007

Chic knits

Yeah for the New York Times talking about designer knitwear and knitwear designers!

Knitting with Style

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Ready, steady, pack!

Well, I have not started yet, and somehow I know I am leaving on purpose to the last minute.

Truth is...I don't want to leave Rotterdam. I love the town, the food, the people, the knitters....especially the knitters (and the crocheters and the dyers and the spinners, of course!).

Hopefully it's only Au Revoir and I will come back soon to knit as one of the Rotterdam SnB members on a Tuesday night.

On my glass table in the flat, a pretty printed paperbag full of leaving gifts from Sas and from Ajour ... some pretty handmade stitch markers to adorn my needles and a life-time (that should last until Sunday) supply of Stroopwaffels.

Yes, I will check the spelling, yes there will be pictures... soon...

So I find myself dreaming of a different future where I can stay...

I will miss you girls, I hope we stay in touch and that we see each other soon!

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Turns out...I do NOT have a stash problem!

...well, at least not compared to some!

Someone with REAL stash issues

and when you are done, go learn how to make grass that is just too cute for words!



free grass pattern in MochiMochiLand

But since grass won't keep you warm (well, i guess it depends how big YOUR stash is!!), and let's face it summer is not quite here...why not make Odessa or Dashing for your Darling




And they both so little yarn...what are you waiting for ?

Cherry Pie: the pattern



So it's my last few days in the Netherlands and soon I will have to wave goodbye to Rotterdam.
Last night was my last visit to the SnB and I was proud to present Sas with a hat for Sprout...
The stalk is removable and the leaf side hides a little loop to attach a dummy. it is all chew and drool-proof...

And because it is my own design I decided to share it! So here goes:

Cherry Pie hat (Newborn to 3 months...probably!)
* If you have any concern about the safety of the stalk for a young baby, please ensure that you make the leaf detachable from the stalk and/or stuff the stalk or that you do not leave the baby to play unattended with the stalk *

Yarn: acrylic (here Special N1) in cherry red (more burgundy than red), dark brown and dark leaf green, that knits with needles 3.5/4mm, about 20g of each, maybe less (I will be making something else with the rest of the balls)
Needles: 4mm circ or DPNs
Hook: 4 mm (optional)

Hat: with red yarn, cast on 64 st, work in the round in 1x1 rib for 1cm then switch to stockinette until hat is tall enough (about 10cm), then begin decreases:
(k2tog, k6) to end.
K next row
(k2tog, k5) to end
K next row

Continue dec until 16st remain
(k2tog) to end
switch to brown (leaving a 5 inch tail), work even for 1 inch, thread yarn through st and pull tight. Use the yarn at the bottom of the stem to embed the stalk in the 'cherry' by stitching to the red st about 2 rows below beginning of stalk (to mimic the depressed top of a real fruit).

Stalk:
With brown, cast on 10st. Work flat in stockinette st until the piece measures 25 cm, ending with a WS row.
(KFB) to last st, K1.
Work even for 1 inches.
Bind off, leaving a long tail that is then used to seam the stalk in mattress stitch. (it should fit snugly over the 'tip' of the hat.
with a separate strand of brown yarn make either a crochet chain or knit a narrow band (cast on/bind off on return row) about 7 cm long and attach as a loop to the inside of the stalk -or to the leaf if worried about the stalk wrapping-, roughly where the increase for the top of the stalk were worked.
Alternatively, make a 4st-icord long enough to fit inside the thin part of the stalk. Secure: voila! non curling stalk! (why did I not think of that earlier?)

Leaf:
with green, cast on 4 st.
work even in stockinette for 1 cm ending with a WS row.
k1, place marker, k2, pm, k1
p
k to marker, M1, slip marker, k2, SM, M1, k to end
p (all even rows)

increase in that fashion until having 32 st total.

Work even for 2 inches, ending with a WS row.

decrease by working k to 2 st from marker, ssk, SM, k2, SM, k2tog, k to end (purl next row) until 4st remain. k2tog twice, purl the next row, then k2tog. Thread yarn through last st, leaving a very long tail if you wish to crochet an edge to the leaf.

Attach cast on edge of leaf to the top (wider) part of the stalk using velcro with the soft part on the leaf so the stalk can be removed for safe chewing of the leaf if necessary.

VOILA!!

Monday, 9 July 2007

Knitted Shreddies

http://www.absolutepost.com/pop_zeo.jsp?movie=/content/images/3/Shreddies_Knitted_by_Nanas-Rev_16x9-001.mov

Could that be the clue that I should REALLY try and a job with Nestle?

Evil enabler and new knitter...

So there I was, happily planning my Saturday shopping in my head (including 'ooh, I must go to Daisy's before I go, and also get cashmere + from Lydia) when my colleague and fellow knitter stormed into my office: 'you have infected me' she lets out (cue very puzzled looks from my colleagues)...'I started knitting again'...ah..RE-LIEF and the others go back to their task.

If only that had stopped there. She then proceeded to tell me about the yarn barn in Leiden. Barn you said? Surely you mean 'shop'. No no: BARN.

After some chatting, beer and bitterballens I manage to convince my non-knitting-but-could-be-convinced-to-try colleague to come along to check out the place. In return for taxi driving I will teach her to knit...fair enough I think!

Got there about 2PM on Saturday and as R pointed out a large warehouse we decided it could be the place. As we saw emerging 2 ladies with yarn there was no possible doubt...the large building was indeed the place. I cursed my lack of cash for the day (no ATM in the middle of residential Leiden) and hoped the yarn was either very dear or very very cheap...or possibly non interesting.

O-M-G...

Tis the warehouse for Wendy, King Cole, and the Italian brand with the Panda on it that makes it looks like WWF yarn.... floor to ceiling... About 10 x 8m long shelves... cotton, acrylic, mixed wool, mixed alpaca, all in price range between 1 and 2.5 euros/ball (100g) unless you go for the big fat balls.

And near the till Addi needles on their familiar black background for about 3.5euros.

I only bought 10 balls of alpaca mix yarn and 1 circ 4mm...all for just over 22 euro. It will be a jumper in the softest brown colour.

R settled on 2 balls of yarn to make hand warmers and a 5mm circ.

The rest of the afternoon was spent covering the basis of K, P, K2TOG, M1, KFB, cast on, bind off, rib and EVEN circ knitting...not without copious amount of ice tea and apple cake.

I gave her the Encyclopedia of Knitting in Dutch that came from De Slegte and got her started on the arm warmers, hoping that they would not be stuffed in a drawer as soon as she got home.

My evening and my Sunday were filled with a little shopping and some knitting for my friends who are leaving work when I get back to the UK. I am on target, but it still makes me sad that I am knitting for people to take away...well at least with the current weather i am guessing the mittens will be well received!

When I came into work today, after cursing profusely at my enabler-colleague who had directed me to the big yarn WAREHOUSE on the LAST weekend i am in the Netherlands for DESPITE knowing of my knitting habit I found out that R had been making progress on the hand warmer.

Curious, I went to see...
The hand warmer is finished!
The bright pink 2 x 2 rib that I suggested (as for project) has been knitted and stitched on the side, and instead of the simple gap for the thumb I had suggested to not overcomplicated, she had used the Magic Loop (as I had shown her Saturday) to pick up -very neatly, especially for a 1st timer- and knit a thumb for the fingerless glove.

It's official: a new knitter is born!

I will try and bribe her to send me a pic of the completed pair!

As the hail fell all morning on the balcony next to my desk i believe she will use them soon.

And the warehouse i hear you ask impatiently? It can be found on Rijndijk, next to the bus bridge in Leiden. Red-ish brick and building materials on the other side.

Don't rush though...it's only opened Wednesdays and Saturdays, until 2.30 in the summer...bring cash...LOTS of it!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Dear boyfriend,

I forgot to tell the World how very sweet you are when you travel...


Thank you for the Hell Bunny top from Stockholm (black with red rabbit skulls), the dried figs from Turkey and the Benefit goodies from Boston.











I am spoilt!

Recycling!




Tempting patterns...

A lot of filtering in the lab means a lot of time to google inspiration...

Mermaid gloves for the lovely bluey-grey sock yarn I bought from Stormopzolder and a Baby Shedir for one of the many Sprouts due in late Summer...

The fingerless glove I started last night at SnB turned out to be really far too wide, so I have given up: it will be another Dashing , but for me this time.

Also on the agenda, I have to find a suitable pattern to make Loodle a leaving present...and maybe Aloha too... Maybe an Odessa , with shiny glass beads... I suppose if nothing that will justify a last visit to the yarnshop for some lovely soft merino yarn...

And not enough time to check out all the freebies on Flickr group Free Knits and Crochet Patterns , where moshimoshiland exhibit the latest freebies from her blog (knit, grass is page 9), where we learn to make killer tomatoes (crochet), and where you can learn to make a crochet turkey, radish or a box of eggs (thank you bitter-sweet!)

The pictures of Odessa are in my phone, but the blue-tooth connector is nowhere to be found.

1-day to the long knitting train trip...I can't wait!

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Tychus


As mentionned earlier, a very lovely FO: Tychus from Knitty


The yarn: Lana Grossa something merino something, 100% superwash merino (1 ball in each medium and dark grey)

The needles: straight 5mm

The boyfriend: knitter's own
Verdict? A nice relaxing no brain knit, knitted flat and with 1 easy seam along the back.
Would most definitely do it again, maybe incorporating short rows to mask the small holes from row/colour change


What are YOU watching tonight???

Mutant sheep are about to hit the screens!

''Black Sheep'' is billed to be the Shaun of the Dead.

I *was* going to post the video, but it might be disturbing to Sprout, so if you really want to see it, it's there: http://www.blacksheep-themovie.com/

So instead you get to see the trailer for the new Disney, about a French rat who wants to be a chef (and I hear it's already available on the web) Review to follow...

Next on my wish list? Evan Almighty (Phil...hint hint)

Monday, 25 June 2007

Too much travelling is bad for the brain

I was ticking boxes in an online survey today and it hit me. I was asked 'how many times have you travelled for leisure or work in the past 12 months?'...and i realised i did not know the answer to that.

I will miss the Netherlands, but I won't miss the constant going back and forth between countries.

This morning was my last 'getting-up-at-4AM-to-catch-6AM-EZ-to-Schiphol' in a long while...and I bet Phil is relieved to hear that, having dropped me one last time, sleepy-eyed, at Luton at 5AM.

A lot of knitting, a lot of frogging: I can't read a pattern (Dashing, but solved now) and Fetching just did not dazzle me...i am not buying into the picot edging...so another style of fingerless gloves it will become. I am looking forward to 2x3hrs of train knitting as I make my way to Paris on Thursday night and come back Monday night... Hoping to get back with completed hand wear. Next on the list: a tea cosy! (yes, really!) Now to hunt for a pattern...

Last weekend in the UK was as rainy as Rotterdam, and the activity filled planned weekend quickly transformed into tv-watching/knitting/baking. Fresh pizza was made by Phil (very yum) and I attempted the cinnamon swirl recipe by (great British baker) Paul Hollywood. Let's put it that way: there are no photos because the camera just could not be found quickly enough...so much goo-ey sticky yumminess should be illegal.

Don't believe me? Have a go yourself: http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/513957
Modifications: I used of cinnamon sugar instead of plain cinnamon, and replaced the raisins with dried apricots.
It's a gold-mine for recipes BTW...(James Martin chocolate chip cookies are ALSO worth checking out)

Movies watched:
Spiderman 3 (yawn)
Shrek 3 (yeay baby dragon/donkey)
1/2 Pirates 3 (so far...better than 2)
all supplied by unscrupulous tinternet people (on utorrent) ;-)

That's a lot of movie watching and a lot of knitting (Spiderman was not worth stopping the row counting for!!)...but then again, it was raining!
And I also finished another 5 pages of translation in the meantime...and awaiting the next lot!

I am sooo looking forward to Knitting Tuesday this week! Miss you lots and lots girls!

FO's as soon as I get home to take some pics (tonight) AND Phil emails me the pic of his hat ;-)

Monday, 18 June 2007

The one where they went to the park...

to knit together in the open and I forgot my camera! Photos hopefully to be found on the blogs of people who are FAR more organised than me!!

The day was grey, but the spirits were high as blankets were spread out to welcome stashes and books, baby knitters and food. The token boys survived an afternoon of stitch talk by sleeping some of it out, and delicious BBQ food (Thanks again all for your excellent efforts...) finally distracted us from all that yarny goodness.

My extra Rowan magazines found homes (good ones i hope, although I am not actually sure where they went, except for one) but my resolution to come back with less than I arrived with crumbled when my hand met the softness of chocolate brown Phildar yarn. 10% alpaca got the better of me and I eagerly bought all the skeins from KnittingAjour (about 16 I think). That's enough for a deliciously snugly long sleeved top....now to find a pattern that will do it justice!

Lots of WIP and even some FO's as my body decided to give up when faced with strange bugs and I got to spend 2 separate days curled up on my big armchair, taking in a ridiculous number of episodes of Medium (thank you, tv-links.co.uk for keeping me entertained for free) with nothing to do other than crochet 1 pacman, 1 miss pacman, and 4 ghosts (actually 5 but one was vertically challenged). Eyes and bow need to be attached to the ones that require some (ie Pacman is already finished) but BF will soon be the proud owner of crocheted 80's memorabilia!

After so much crochet, I was itching to knit some, so my Mum will be getting a very airy wrap from Fitted Knits (knitted on 8mm needles), hopefully ready for my weekend in Paris.

Interview day has come and gone, and was not successful (not experienced enough for development) so I will have to make do with going back to my old job...for now!

And this morning, I realised that my week is missing a whole day: I thought I was leaving for my course on Wednesday, but the course IS on Wednesday...so I am leaving (again) for the UK (again) tomorrow night, which means that I will AGAIN not be Stitch n' Bitching with the girls. And I won't get to know all about the bargains I missed at the thrift store last week.

I more cheery news, the translation job is starting to pay and I will (soon) be able to buy a laptop from the profits, therefore making it easier for me to do it on the move, so I can do it more efficiently and more quickly....so it makes more $$! That was definitely a good move!

Just off the needles, a double grey Tychus and at half-point (finally) an aniseed-green cashmere-blend Odessa with green glass beads (my little ears will be soooo snug next fall/winter). Next on the needles: probably the 'proper' Shedir I have promised myself for so long, in a light grey or a petroleum blue merino to match the Fetching in multicoloured Lana Grossa that will be coming soon. One has to make the most of 2 x 3hrs of train journey to and from Paris!

So next post will be FO galore...and who knows, it may even come soon!

Friday, 8 June 2007

Knickerless month (PG rated...really...see below!)

Today is the name day for my friend Kelly, and in order to explain to the non South-of-Europe people at work, I invoked the mighty Google.

This is what I found:

http://www.calendar.sk/nameday-enfrhor.php

Now you too can have a celebration on your name day!

Dearest BF, I shall try and remember to give you a big hug on 3rd May...and my name day is still to come: October 20th.

From that site I also found that in the French Revolutionnary calendar one of the months is Sansculotteides (ie the month of the ones without knickers...or TROUSERS (ah, that makes more sense, but still...LOL)) later this year.

So there you have it...

Weekend...yeay!

Knit in Public day is tomorrow, and guess what: the forecast is actually NOT rainy!!!!!!

Now to buy some food for the bbq....

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Knit in Public Day 2007

And as you know we want to get together for a 'Stitch n Grill'(that's knitting/crochet/anything else AND a bbq!)

So the details are as follow:
We will be at Vroesen Park, near Rotterdam Zoo
(Bus 33, 44 or 49 toBlijdorpplein)
between 1pm and 5pm on Saturday 9th June.
Bring your craft supplies and some drinks + food to throw on the bbqif you wish...A blanket to sit on?
Any items you would like to swap (yarn/tools/books/patterns/FOs...)
Partners/children welcome (of course!!)

There ARE toilets in the park...so no panic there!

If anybody has a little bbq we can use please let me know, otherwiseI will get a few disposable ones.

I am keeping my fingers crossed for the weather, but in case of badrain there is a cafe nearby:
Café "Blijdorp"Stadhoudersplein 1313038 EA ROTTERDAM NEDERLAND

A little techno geekness...too good not to share!

Or why I will invest in a decent computer before considering going under the knife!! (cheaper too)

http://geeksugar.com/260590?sidcheck=1&idcheck=1

No you too can look gaunt and frail !!!!!!!

I will continue fixing my pathetic lighting skills and cropping picies, but that about for me...


Now back to important work...also called: my translations are due in today and look...the bottom drawer of my desk is *just* the right height to paint my toenails :-)

Yep, I am all alone at work....can't you tell ??

Monday, 4 June 2007

Why I love my camera phone...

Because it enables you to capture bizarre events like this:

A backlit toilet flush (6th floor at work....seriously is THIS where my bonus goes?)


and a gi-normous dragonfly near my house yesterday afternoon (gum behind for scale)

and much knitting was done this weekend, some outdoors...yeay for sunny weekends!
Also today: top 10 geeky yarn creations







Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Rise of the (knitting) heretics...

There is a great thread going on over at the Knitter's Review forums about knitting heresy. I couldn't resist posting my confessional thoughts here. . . (join in...you know you want to!)

1. I don't like sock clubs. Actually...I don't really like knitting socks (only finished one pair so far).
2. I do like cheap and cheerful yarn, and I am not a yarn snob. I believe the project, the stitch is more important...in fact I get really irritated by yarn snobs who turn luxurious yarn into boring garter stitch scarves...be more adventurous people!
3. I have been known to take the dust cover off of my books.
4. I join yarn where ever it ends in my knitting, not 'at the end of the row'...and I KNOT. It's my knitting and I'll knot if I want to!
5. I don't really enjoy the Yarn Harlot's blog, but I LOVE Crazy Aunt Purl....
6. I own fun fur but would not impose a scarf made of it on any one....makes great toy hair though!
7. I hate plastic knitting needles because sometime they break! I agree that knitting needles sized over 10 is proof-positive the world is ending, because no one has faith enough to knit a project which might take longer than two minutes to complete...immediate gratification should have reasonable limits, and no NOBODY looks good in a top knitted in that chunky a yarn!
9. Sometimes I wonder about available patterns and the general ugliness that comes with them. Just because you can knit it, it doesn't mean you should. Or wear it. Same thing...
10. I dislike DPNs. And I am a complete magicloopy.
11. I dislike short rows. They trouble me.
12. I can't only have one project going....NOT happening!
13. I have not knit a clapotis, and i believe it will remain that way.
14. I love to start projects.
15. I can't contemplate knitting a blanket...to much commitment!
16. I think Jawbreaker is ugly.
17. I can count my Knitty loves on two hands BUT it is good for *some* inspiration.
18. Most Rowan patterns are designed by penguins on crack. Ugly. (original quote from the mother post...love it!)
19. I went into Waterstones and could not find a book worth buying for novel patterns. Seriously, where are the hip designers?
20. I am scared of knit-alongs because sometimes life gets in the way of projects getting finished. I also don't follow knitting trends on purpose...but accidents happen!
21. I knit in public... EVERY SINGLE DAY...
22. I have enough books and patterns available that my great great great great gran-kids may not need to ever buy any (hi honey!). Yet as I become more picky I will probably trade a lot of them. *watch this space*
23. I think about knitting AND make notes during work meetings. (or just most of the time really!)
24. I am addicted to blogs, and to LJ, but sometimes I sit in wonder...do people have really such strange taste or is there an agreement to praise anything, no matter how ugly?
25. I don't swatch
26. I don't block
27. I don't think I have EVER used the recommended yarn
28. I don't believe in designer yarn...or overpriced/overhyped indie dyers...or wannabe's who unleash their cool-aid loaded yarn onto Etsy. Lets face it: fluorescent green and pinks ar NOT a pretty 'grown up' combo...and certainly not for $20 a skein...

Confession is indeed good for the soul.

Monday, 28 May 2007

Gourmet Dutch mosquitoes

I think the mosquitoes in my house are having a contest aimed at locating the most annoying place for a bite, on a weekly basis.

So 2 weeks ago I was attacked in the palm of my (right) hand.

The following week it was on the same foot, both on top and on the tender flesh of the arch underneath.

This morning........well, suffice to say I can NOT open my right eye fully and closer inspection reveals I look like an extra on Rocky, or -possibly- seriously hangover...




It looks a little less bad now than first thing this morning...but SERIOUSLY though...what next? My tongue? (no....don't answer that)

In other news, my new bag design is coming out well....side one is done, moving on to side 2 and hoping for symmetry ;-)





Pattern to follow as soon as it's finished and lined !!!!

yeay for bank holiday!




Monday, 14 May 2007

£214,000

Apparently that's the 'average' price of a house in the UK today...

Suffice to say that if I ever thought i would be one day in a position to buy my own place, it won't be in the UK.

Maybe I should knit one ...

*runs off to think about weatherproof yarn*

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Today at work

In Dutch 'Let's go eat'

me 'Ja'

'oh, so you speak Dutch?'

'No, not really'

'But you speak such good French'

I say nothing...my colleague (French) starts laughing... 'yeay, that would be because she is French'

Awkward silence followed by the compulsory 'no, really, but, no, seriously, blah blah' hihi, the usual..

'but does she speak good French then?'

'well actually, she has a bit of an English accent...well more like intonations'

I am MOR-TI-FIED....I mean come on i know i make words up in French ALL THE TIME...but the accent? New one on me...

The is no pleasing some people...

I am still on a high from finishing my pattern (see 10th April for details) and I am daydreaming about the use of the beaded ribbon...I see lace, I see beads, I see a bag, I see seriously summery colours....and a headache trying to design the lace pattern...but I will get there! I have even got the handle done already and a bit of the side...and i will have to beg for use of an i-cord maker...

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Finished! (and grow your own cat)


The magic ball bag is finished... and the ball revealed it's final content: some gorgeous ribbon trimmed with dangly beads!

Oh...the love!
I although thought I'd include a couple of pics from the weekend before: flowers and cycling in sunny Holland!


And last but not least: available at a flower market near you: cat in a pot (just add water). Pretty cheap too!




Thursday, 19 April 2007

The one where I got pooped on...

Days seem to follow the weather...

Some are really good (like 2 designers saying yes to pattern translation services and random networking on the train, as well as making knitting progress)...

and some not so great, like bills for £100+ arriving in flocks, friends vanishing into the sunset, bag sides not matching and pigeons deciding that my purple cardigan looks like a public toilet.

I take heart in the fact that it COULD have been my cashmere cardi... that the bag sides were crochet-ed on (so the joint has been frogged)...and that the bills will get sorted out...to some extent...

but I STILL have a poopy cardigan...

so i shall just go back to reading the ranting of Laurie about yard fart, and listening to L&V elaborating on possible recipes for recycled fridge mould (yum, mexican mold...now EXTRA SPICY)

------and then she drops a fork-full of tomato sauce on her trouser leg------

* resists the temptation to check out silk yarn AND cashmere lace yarn on jardindeslaines.com* ...and BREATHE....

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

The bag...and the pattern to go with!




You've seen the bag, and it is calling your name (yes...it's Monday...how did you guess?)


Want to make your own? Read on!

Materials:
Lana Grossa (silk/acrylic) Gala Print in colour 506 1 ball (50g, 90m)
Lana Grossa (cotton) Basics in colour HP No 31 1 and half ball (50g, 90m)
Needles: 4mm (straight)
crochet hook: 3mm
applique felf flowers...present from my magic ball swapper!
LOTS of pins

Main body:

With knitting needles, cast on 54 st (I used cable cast on for a more defined edge).

Row 1: [(KFB)3 times, (K2tog)6 times, (KFB)3 times]3 times (still 54 st)
Row 2: change to other colour, K1, purl to last st, K1

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until you have a sufficient length for the bag flap AND the back, minus say about half an inch, ending after a row 1.

Row A: change to other colour, K1, purl to last st, K1
Row B: Knit to end

Work 5 repeats in total of rows A and B (so you'll have 3 stripes of one colour and 2 of the other)... ending with a row A (so I guess that's 5.5)

Row 1: [(K2togKFB)3 times, (KFB)6 times, (K2tog)3 times]3 times (still 54 st)
Row 2: change to other colour, K1, purl to last st, K1

Repeat until front length is almost achieved (leaving about 1 inch). By now you can see that the bottom (folded along middle strip of the stock portion) naturally makes that scalloped edge (magic instant wiggly bottom!)...ending with a row 2.

Next row: [(K2togKFB)3 times, knit 6 times, (K2tog)3 times]3 times (36 st)

Carry on in stripey stockinet as before 9 starting with a row B for a total of 9 rows (last row is a WS)

Bind off. weave in ends.


If you want a neat finish (like me) now is a good time to sc along the edge with the pretty silk yarn...

Sides/strap:


(note: 2sc means '2 sc in the same stitch', sc x a means work in sc for a stitches, dc means decrease, number after - is the stitch count...just so we're clear!)
Using crochet hook, loop 1, chain 1.


row 1: 2sc in 2nd loop from the hook, ch1, turn-2st


row 2: 2sc, 2sc, ch1, turn -4st


row 3: 2sc, sc, sc, 2sc, ch1, turn -6st


row 4: 2sc, sc x 4, 2sc, ch1, turn -8st


row 5: sc in every sc, ch1, turn


work in sc (as row 5) until your arms fall off, or even, until you have a length sufficient for the strap AND both sides of the bag.




row 1:dc, sc x 4, ch1, turn -6st


row 2:dc, sc x 2, dc, ch1, turn -4st


row 3: dc, dc, ch1, turn -2st


row4: dc, ch1, turn -1st


fasten off. Tidy off those lose ends.


You could knit a similar strap, but crochet give a more sturdy finish. Decrease would work the same though.




Now for the putting together...and the many pins.

First line up the strap along the bag and mark on the strap where the top of the front panel comes too...for both sides...now check them against eachother to amke sure you have the same number of crochet rows from the tip...don't laugh, i had to frog the whole border!!


Now pin the tip of the strap to the middle stripe of the bottom of the bag and pin the front edge too.

Do both before pinning the back, and to make sure the bag flap seats nicely pin the back edge up to 1 row higher than the front.


Now get the crochet hook out again (yes, you can use a needle, if you must...) and sc the edge and the strap, starting at one tip (i worked from the strap to the body, ie pushing the hook through strap then body) all the way along the strap (it takes longer but it's SOOO much neater) down to the tip, and same again on other side.


If using pretty applique, you may want to add it now...


With some nice fabric, line your bag.

Tip: the bottom stands out better when in us if the lining stops just before the crest of the waves

This is a free pattern copyrighted to me. I believe in good Karma, so feel free to print it and share it, but not sell the pattern or the items using the pattern...unless it is for a charity (and no your yarn fund is NOT a charity)

I find the flap is heavy enough that it needs no button, but i may add a pressure clip just to be sure...


Voila!


Let me know of any pattern errata as it has not been tested...


I was born on escape day...when were you?


More Fun Quizzes at QuizPox.com

Attempt number 2 at posting my weekend

*the internet ate my post*...doh! So this version is shorter!

Ah the lovely Easter weekend that was had...

First the magic ball came, full of little treasures... (check out the little egg cover top left)



Then I went to see the flower fields and the Keukenhof gardens




The magic ball will be a little bag, with a wave pattern..and i think it will be my first official pattern on the blog! All made by MEEEEEEEE !!







Saturday, 7 April 2007

Today I am loving...


moldy cupcakes!




Make you own with Glee's *FREE* pattern: http://www.gleefulthings.com/patterns/moldycupcake.html


Soooo cute!

Thursday, 5 April 2007

More Karmic post...

Also known as why-oh-why...

Dear Cosmic postman,
Thank you for delivering my eyes yesterday (yes, you read that correctly...more of that later) but I could have done without the extra ex-housemate aggro. Let it be known to the Universe that B. is not a nice individual (he is taking out a bit chunk of my deposit for no other than 'he can') and i really hope you have some Karma to give him soon. Please help me find a new job somewhere nice with nice people.
Thank you!


Now the state of affairs is this: I want a new job but I don't know what...but there are worst ways to spend the Easter weekend.

Now if only i could crochet/knit full time for a living... mmh, note to self...must get notebook...

But this all thing is making me realise good things about other people...including BF...who is turning out to be a lot more supportive than I was expecting...and it makes me more grateful for the decent people in my life. so good Karma all round!!

So turns out the glass is half-full...who would have thought... ;-)

Monday, 2 April 2007

Blisters....

Today I have woken to find blisters under my feet...

The walking at the weekend has taken its toll on my skin. Well, after all we did go all the way from Delfthaven to Blaak, then to CS, then to Kralingen BY FOOT...

The many snacks on the way did help (Dad wanted to try EV-E-RY-THING) but ... still...

No knitting, no crochet for the whole weekend ... I am BEHIND schedule...and still the magicball to to put together...

Dear Spoilee, please forgive me for being so disorganised that I have not even started putting the ball together. In fact I realised yesterday that I purchased yarn in the UK that does NOT have instruction on the tag as far as gauge, yardage etc... I will have to beg the knitting community to help me on that one! So for now dear spoilee, be patient...I will come up with the goods...and pretty stuff too...and YUMMY stuff too. But this instant my feet demand rest, and the shopping will wait until Saturday.
Bestest fuzziest regards, Adeline

Lovely yarn, that I can't show, lots of ideas, that I can't sound-board here...doh!

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Ooh...Dutch TV...

Slight departure from knitting for once...

This morning I happened upon SamenWonen. Home make-over-yawn-program...until the demolition team moves in to destroy the furniture...half naked eye-candy on breakfast television...it MUST be about time for UK tv to catch on... I know what I will be having for breakfast tomorrow (doh...late for work...again!)

The one with FOs....










Finally..we have images!





Finally some UFOs have become FOs...the rest I chose to call WIP.





(for the little rookie that would be (Un)Finished Objects and Work in Progress.
Without further ado, some hats (from the Domiknitrix book)










my first amigurumi (get the pattern from Oleander's etsy)





and at looong last the scarf for my Dad.





It is a 'mock cable' pattern, and it is a 4 row repeat (multiple of 4 +2 stitches) -I think my scarf, knit on bamboo 5.5 with 4 balls of Sirdar (?) Sublime cashmere/silk/merino, had 42 stitches-row 1: (P2, K2) to last 2, P2
row 2: (K2, P2) to last 2, K2
row 3: (P2, K2tog (but keep on needle) then K in first st -that causes the stitches to twist- ) to last 2, P2
row 4: as row 2


I AM proud (no least because I struggle to finish stuff)

Monday, 26 March 2007

Yeay...yarn!

So DESPITE feeling very tired and cranky (sorry honey bun) and DESPITE losing (or having had stolen) my debit card sometime Saturday, it was all made better by the fact that I found the LYS nearest to Phil's AND it had nice stuff, and I found a 2.5 mm crochet to finally STOP double stranding ugliness in my toys...

But all that meant that there was no romance and a heated atmosphere over what could/should have been a lovely relaxed weekend...that ended up with me having to sit in a foul smelling van full of pinball bits...ah, what you do for love ;-)

And I won my ebay auction for eyes...and I am in process for another one that has fewer noses. Yes, in my world it all makes sense...

And I also came back with suitable yarn for the magic ball swap! Hurrah! But I can't show...just in case...

Now to solve my Paypal problem...(no card, no payment)

Friday, 23 March 2007

I am addicted (so nothing new there!)

Amigurumi is the new cocaine...no, seriously...i don't think it is normal that i grab my hook first thing in the morning *right* after putting the coffee on...

So I am now half way through an aubergine cat (who tells me his name is Leonard (with a very French accent))....FO pictures to come soon...I hope.

So now I want to make a Pucca for H (it may even have a biology labcoat on) and a crochet Dolly Parton (no i am not crazy, yes there will be pics...soon...) and a hula girl, and some cave people, and a ninja...i am getting mental rsi just thinking about it...

*sigh*

I still don't know what to chose for magicball yarn...or not sue what to put in either...arrrghhhhh!!!

and i have a bag full of acrylic begging to be turn into crochet toys...now to find some small size hooks...

Friday, 16 March 2007



So this is what is on my desk right now...

but somehow that does not distract from my lack of ability to get Excel to solve my equation...somehow the cube of the cubic root is not the original number...how is that?

In the lab, pink goo drips out of a funnel....that too is failing to perform...

The weekend in Nestle-land was good, but there is definitely a shoe/leg issue...shoe fits, leg swells through exercise, blood gets cut off and pain gets triggered, snowboard come off and I have to jump around on the snow to get the blood back.

So 1 day board shopping, 1 day boarding, 1 day without the boy cycling and sun-loving, 1 day walking in the forrest getting a tan...works for me and somehow the air in the office does not match the clean mountain offering... maybe i need some cows and groundhogs...and maybe a goat with big horns...

I won the evil battle against the power they call 'NTHell' through sheer stubborn-ness...20 minutes waiting for a human would discourage anyone!

Knitting is really taking shape, and there might be FO's a plenty in the near future (although the hats were not worn, for helmets were purchased and sun shone (?) ...)

My handbag broke this morning, warranting a trip to Action to buy a replacement...I now sport a green army style handbag and his big brother to go shopping...they was white furry yarn...that will be the teddy I said I would make for Mum, and some blue denim-colour acrylic that will become a bag for Alice.

In the past couple of weeks, 1 death, 1 wedding, 1 baby....none of which mine: the circle of life is complete!

But more importantly...Easter is getting nearer...chocolate eggs all round!

Friday, 2 March 2007

The sticky one...but it smells delicious!

So yesterday the snow devil's completion faced yet another set back.

Hat body? check!
Left AND right horns? check!
Weaved in tails? check!

So I hear you ask....why the delay? why oh why is the hat sitting AGAIN on a balloon on the windowsill?

All that because of the flu...yes, really.

The flu that made me decide in the morning yesterday to pop into my local supermarket to try and find flu medicine (which they don't sell...how i miss the drug-loaded shelves of UK superstores) and lemon juice to sooth my throat. Ah, i know what else will help my throat...honey...mmh, by now you probably see where this is going if you are at all aware of the fact that my knitting lives in my big bag AND that Dutch supermarkt do not provide you with free plastic bags for your shopping.

So I get to the till, arms full of goodies by then (mmh, big bag of croissants that can live in the freezer for those saturday mornings where you want a warm sweet smell in the house...and crumbs on the sofa) and in my hurry to get into work decide that shoving all the shopping in my great big bag will just have to do.

Later that day, chocolate craving sets in, I reach into my bag for the hazelnut bar i know it contains and my hand meets an unexpected....stickiness. The chocolate bar sticks to the bag... but wait, it also sticks to my hand, and little pieces of lilac wool cling to my fingers as I pull my hand out. OMG noooooooo, it smells oh-too-familiar, like the cough sweets from Metabief when I used to go to the cream shop with my parents....in hope to be wrong I grab the bag and start digging for the honey jar and find it, oozing its sweet scented sirupiness as it rests upside down against the bag of croissants. For the rest of the day my mind wonders how much is on my wool, on my partially knitted jumper, on my lilac hat that just this morning I was tidying up, ready for the horns to be placed.

I get home. Longest train ride in a long while as I dare not take any knitting out. The bag sits on the kitchen worktop as I take out and rinse the shopping. Sticky croissants and bread rolls, sticky sicilian lemon bottle, and somewhat sticky patch on my jumper knit and on the wool that goes with it. The lilac hat seems unharmed.

Jumper gets rinsed, wool follows, and i settle to finish the sewing of the mohawk...which i do and then decide that since I got sucked into watching double-jeopardy and REALLY want to know how it ends I will attempt the kitchener stitching of 'the horns', after stuffing them with polyfiber.
But when I picked up the hat I realised that there was in fact the equivalent of 2 tbsp of honey on the hat...so rinsed it got, and put to dry on the head sized inflated balloon to make sureit does not shrink...I will tackle the horns tonight...so who knows, maybe some photos this weekend!

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Soooo excited today!

The Elfin bride and gothlet patterns are out, and I can download them...ah, if only I had my book with me....to get the secret password!

hurrah!

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

The one with the balloon head and the Hollywood dreams...

So there it was, sitting on my lap, the progressing main part of the Snowdevil (find it at Domiknitrix.com) but it looked very very small...

Well, my head can't be that big she thought, heading for the bathroom with the lilac piece still on the new Addi's purchased on Sunday...

Well maybe my head is not that big, but i am sure the hat is supposed to snug the head, not sit on top of it...Doh! And with the painstaking picking up of stitches etc I am not sure I could face the frogging process. Surely there must be another way.

I just would need to stretch it, like as if to block, but in a round shape...

And then it hit me: a balloon, so simple, yet so obvious! But i need to finish the basic shape first (ie have the hat off the needles)
Off to the shops then to buy a party pack, excited wait as the hat takes shape (but inflate one balloon first, yes it looks like it can be made French head size! Hurrah)....the nape....left flap...i-cord and arrow point (under the watchful eye of my SnB, despite trying to distract them with pancakes).........right flap....i-cord (it's now almost 1AM, surely i should go to bed)....and pointy arrow point...
Ah...the light in the bathroom has gone...doh, it's the fuses...there is no power at all ...oh well, it's in partial darkness that armed with a pink balloon and a bol to sit my creation in I fill the sink with water and plunge the lilac fabric in, hoping that it will not come to any harm.

Just as Storm said it would, with its 70% wool the fabric softens and gently gives under my fingers as the water penetrates the fibres.
Empty the sink and carefully squeeze the water out...i am a little worried that my lovely but too-small hat will now look like a wet rat and never recover...

I could put it on the balloon now, but i find it a lot more productive to stick it on my head, just to check that it will indeed fit...it does (hurrah!)

So the balloon gets inflated and sat in the bowl for balance, and the hat gets shaped on the contraption....result? well, we'll see...for now it is drying, but hopefully very soon i will have a photo to show!

But another surprise awaits me this morning. In my inbox an email from my movie-making friend, with a movie script...and the request of 'would I consider trying out for it'.
Me? In a movie?

I read the script (it will only be about 5 minutes long) and despite the REQUIREMENT for my cellulite to be on display (playing it self....I guess I always dreamt to be able to say: bag by lulu guiness, cellulite: model's own!) I love it. It tells the tale of every woman tortured by the media into despising her shape....So I said yes...

It may never happen, but who knows...I could be going to my own premiere sometime in the future...and how cool would THAT be?

Note to self: maybe I should go back to going on dates with guys with fascinating jobs that can land you fame and fortune even when you decide that they are far to gorgeous and self-assured to cope, despite the fact they adore you... Phil, if you are reading this...I'm joking! X

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

The red one...

Otherwise known as the weekend where we did nothing but knit and talk yarn...


The annual handicraft fayre took place in Zwolle this weekend, and I now can share your Addi-induced excitement. My local SnB went as small groups but quickly flocked...Alpaca yarn was stroked at length, supplies were purchased (well who can resist 100% merino wool at a euro per ball), small children were looked after, in turn, to allow Mum browsing time and the knitting zombies finally returned home in the dark, exhausted but contented, arms stretched by the wound treasures in many bags.


The other event (and the one that gives the blog title today) was the launch of the Delftpas (some culture enticing discount card for Delft residents)...not much to do with knitting I hear you say...but wait...the organisers asked Knittingajour from Rotterdam SnB to come over and 'perform' on stage, and to provide 100 knitted card holders for the first recipients of the card. Eager to promote the knitting revival 3 of us obliged (K, S and myself) and the result can be seen on the photo (courtesy of Sas, knitter number 3, original to be found on http://sasknitsitagain.blogspot.com/): a red stage, lit in red for red dressed knitters on red sofas and lots of little knitted red bags.


The grumpiness of the invitees did not kill our knitting spirits and we finally left mid afternoon with pockets full of yarn money waiting to be spent. Beads were purchased (but NOT from the mini shop that has such hideous crochet bags in the window...oh I wish we had photographic evidence of the insanity). I came home that night only to see on TMF the c-list singer who made official the launch by receiving a gigantic card and refused to sing on stage...well in fairness, he looked like he was taken by surprise...yet i still have no idea what his name is!
So I can now sit, Cheshire cat grin on my face, for I have the desired yarn to start Rogue (from Girlfromauntie.com), and another jumper, and Tempting (at Knitty), and some cute slippers in fat wool, and, and, and...
I have just e-mailed Cast-On Brenda to try and get us on mentioned on the podcast...don't try don't get!
Snowdevil is taking shape slowly but I will have to stretch it so that it fits my gigantic head...I purchased balloons this morning to do the job as soon as i have finished the main body...pictures to come soon!