Good things come to those who wait.

Poor Yvonne. Over two years ago I promised her a cardigan for her birthday. It was a special birthday, Yvonne is a lovely lady, and she deserved it. We went out, picked out some yarn, Yvonne picked out patterns I rejected (a cardi made entirely of bobbles? I SO can’t knit that :S), I picked out patterns Yvonne rejected (too plain, too unlike my old cardi, too like my old cardi). Then we found one we both liked. It was the ONE. I cast on.

Then I got ill, and couldn’t knit for a while. It took me 6 months to pluck up the courage to take up the needles on it again. Then I realised how terrible the format of the pattern was. The pattern is 4 different cables, 3 extra stitch patterns, none of them in the order they are used in the pattern, and only two of the cables followed the same number of rows, or even had a number of rows that was divisible by any of the other segments of the pattern. I had to re-write the pattern, and use a 5 bar gate system for each cable to log where I was with them. Needless to say it took a long time. Sadly it also involved much stopping and starting. But finally:

Yvonne finds a parcel

And finds...

...something...

...very pleasing indeed!

I hope you’ll forgive my absence. I think it is pretty clear what one of the reasons is…

Slow

I’m afraid I’ve had draft posts sitting here for a long time.  This is to show I do still think and knit and blog in addition to the many many many MANY other things that have happened in the last few weeks and will continue to happen for a few weeks more probably.  Nothing horrific.  All I can cope with, but I’m feeling bogged down so stick with me – you already have anyway, so thanks for that!  And hopefully there will be fewer typos too this time!

Just so you know, I have knit a bit.  Mainly charity stuff (one of the many things was me organising a blanket for Macmillan at work), but here is something to show you that is actually quite interesting (ish)…

stem and leaf cowl finished

What you think?  It is warm and cosy and soft as I had hoped.  But I’ve done a majorly shoddy job on the floats.  Partly the yarn, partly the way the pattern is designed (with many long floats), mainly me!  Lots of uneven stitches needed fixing in the blocking, but they were mostly fixed.  Mostly.  Available from here. Also the same person makes a FAB owl cowl. Arf! What could possibly be better than knitting up a rhyming garment?! :D I modified it by making it shorter than the 5 leaf repeats in the pattern, but that’s all – same number of stitches and all that jazz.

How’s about that then? Two posts in one month! :O :) And maybe I’ll use up that draft for a post related to drafting tomorrow… Oooh I’m full of cunning humour today! ;)

Reducing

Still here!

I promised myself this year that I would use more stash.  So far that has barely materialised.  I have curbed my yarn purchasing a lot (although I still make purchases every now and then, you know, for gifting ;D), but between the gift knitting and the sock club, my stash has barely had a dent made in it.  So I determined this weekend that, now my gift knitting is almost over, I am making the move to knit some stash.  Plus I had that knitting evening with Lisa to organise a portable simple project that can be knit while watching tv/drinking ;)  And also it is now Socktoberfest, and it would just be plain rude not to knit socks this month :D

So I picked this to knit Kai-Mei. 

Seriously, I’ve had this yarn forever.  One of my earliest socks was made in this kind of yarn – Hip Knits Cashmere.  It has been in storage so long, it smells fusty, and had to be aired by the open window the other night.  I really don’t know why I clung to this yarn so long without knitting it – the other cashmere yarn wore out fairly quickly (who doesn’t want to wear cashmere socks all the time?!), so it is clear this will too.  The colour is pretty, but nothing spectacular to make it worth saving so long.  So I picked it to make Kai- Mei knowing that I would want more of the sock pattern later, that it would be simple and easy, and largely brainless knitting, and that it really would be ok if it wears out within 6 months.  I promise!

But then I changed my mind, thanks to Roo ;)  I was pondering and pondering, so I gave her a run through of my options, and she made the educated decision for me.  So I took this to work on :)

The yarn for this is not fusty, and is gorgeous to work with – knitshop.co.uk merino silk blend.  And the pattern?  I never thought I’d say this, but I’m knitting a cowl.  It is the Stem and Leaf Cowl (available on Etsy and listed on Ravelry).  I am nowhere near as adventurous as the designer, who used neon shades to knit this.  Being an Orla Kiely fan, I couldn’t resist.  For some reason it doesn’t have many fans on Ravelry (maybe the colour choices?), but a friend saw the potential and emailed me the Etsy link.  The yarn I have 4 different shades of, and plent of it all, so I’m thinking cowl, mitts and hat, and if enough left over, a scarf too.  Nothing too matchy matchy, just the same shades, the same softness, the same comfort for a cold winter.  I started it in August, and it still looks like a squooshy mess right now, but it is moving along and should be ready for when the really cold weather kicks in.  Which is about now.  The pattern calls for 5 repeats plus some ribbing, but I suspect mine will be 4 repeats max, otherwise it might be too deep.  I’m a little concerned about whether it will fit over my head too, but, much to DB’s confusion, I tried it from my chin to the top of my head and it fits that way, so fingers crossed.  I’m not sure if DB thought I might be making a balaclava though…

But it says a lot about my stash when thiss week we got more containers for the yarn and fibre.  Just making sure it stays safe and nice ;)  And also a container for the handknit socks, seeing as they won’t fit in the drawer with my other things anymore.   And that I’m making more yarn because I’ve borrowed a spinning wheel…  Whoopsy!  More on that later ;D

This post is brought to you by the letter S

S is for Sorry for not posting in FOREVER.  Life has been mad, exhausting, crafting quiet.  I have been happy to just trundle along in peace when I have not been busy, but I did wait to post until I had something to show you.

S is for Socks – Tear My Soul from the last posting of Socktopus 07/08.

Ampersand in Posh Yarn Lucia (colourway Waltz) for a gift

S is for Some progress on the cabled cardigan.  The end is finally beginning to look practical and relatively soon (this cardigan has been on the needles in this incarnation for a year now, but was planned over 2 years ago) – no pics as the weather is miserable (as the Tear My Soul photo above demonstrates…)

S is for Spinning on a wheel for the first time.

S is for Simple pleasures like reading a good book and Spending time with those dear to me.

S is for Slipping those many extra patterns into my queue and planning for winter knitting now the cardi is getting closer to finishing.

S is for Sooner for the next blog post.

Another quick one – sorry!

Ok knittas, the secret project is finished and Ravelry has full photos (if you haven’t found me, just search for bryonyramsden and you’ll get there)! Judging by the early reactions, it is a saleable pattern, but will need re-writing considerably to make it suitable for a range of feet. And also a scanned chart instead of an A3 marked up one (Tanya’s work), and some tiny graph paper pencil drawings (my work) ;) If you are interested go look – you can’t miss it, but it’s the one marked for Sue on the top row… Sue – you aren’t on Ravelry so you can’t see it yet HAHAHAAH! You’ll just have to wait for the post! ;) Anyway, because of the need to post it out to poor Sue who has been waiting forever for parcel 2 of her birthday gifts, and because it needs re-writing and redesigning for a sale pattern, the photos aren’t that great (me bending over with a camera on a rainy day AGAIN), but you’ll get the idea :D

I’m happy anyway :D

Also, because of the secret nature of the project above, there will be photos on here once Sue gets the parcel, but I don’t have much to show I’m afraid again :( Now that that project is done with, and I’ve discovered the joy of 28 st emergency knit socks (28 sts in chunky yarn = socks in a day :D), I’m back on to catching up with Socktopus club knits and poor Yvonne’s cabled cardi – you know, the one that’s been on the needles for essentially over a year… The back was definitely the worst bit though – the front piece will zoom in comparison, but I need to adapt the pattern to fit pockets in (not hard, but picking the right spot is the dilemma).

BUT, to make up for the lack of photo action, there is this:

tablecloth 3

tablecloth 2

tablecloth 1

I was in Oxfam with Tanya while she was shopping for goodies, and I was looking for pretty notebooks, and she suddenly called me over to the fabric and linens rack. I couldn’t leave it behind. There are a couple of brown marks that may or may not come out in a wash, but the fabric is beautiful heavy cotton linen blend I think, and has potential for a skirt being cut in it (even with stains on there). I figured, if I can make something to wear out of it, yay! If I can’t, it won’t be too expensive a mistake, and I can still make cushion covers from it anyway, but the ribboning is just to gorgeous to resist… I make no apologies for buying it – Kirstie Alsopp told me to on tv, and she’s now my official queen of lovely things. I couldn’t disappoint Kirstie.

Short and sweet

Work and private life have been manic, but I just wanted to point out that my Cookie A book arrived and I am VERY pleased about that :) Wee!

Nothing to show you as yet – I’ve knitted a pair of 28st socks in chunky yarn for someone at work, and they aren’t very interesting so I’m skipping photographing them in the nasty rainy weather. I’ve moved further with my secret project, and I’m hoping that will be done with this week. It probably won’t, but I know I’ll manage to the 75% mark on it at least. Once that’s done, I’m not going to knit anything bigger than baby things for anyone for a looooooooong time… The hayfever has kicked in this week too thanks to the rain, which will slow knitting down. But I’m still managing ;)

How are you?

Hot Knitting Action

Ooooooh, have I got some photos for you today…

Om Shanti socks

hopscotch

fibranatura mermaid

Koigu KPPPM

Gina's socks

How d’ya like that?! The first 2 are Socktopus club kits – I’ve been trying to tidy up my knitting a bit and one is from the new club, one from the old. The ones after that are what the amazing Gina sent me in return for that silk shawl I made her :D I’m so spoilt!. I have 5 skeins of Fibranatura Mermaid (a blend of cotton, merino, silk and seacell), my first 2 skeins EVER of Koigu, and some perfectly fitting socks made in a yummy alpaca blend. There may also have been some chocolate. It has gone now, but is not forgotten.

Also, in a little side news, the sock pattern I was looking for has been resolved. In ways I didn’t expect. It will need to remain a secret on here for now as everything might go to pot still, but I’m quite excited…

Help needed

2 posts in one day?! :O

But this isn’t really a proper post. I need help finding a nice colourwork sock that will either be in one of my many Nancy Bush/Interweave/Cat Bhordi books or available to buy online. I have bird foot by Red Bird Knits too, but the sock won’t involve black, and will involve solid colours, so I’m not sure whether it will work. Suggestions are VERY welcome. At the mo it is between bird foot and that one from Folk Knitting in Estonia, but the latter I’ve made before and while gorgeous isn’t very high impact, and the former I’ve already expressed fears of my colour choices not working as well with it. And I dare not reveal my colour choices right now.

Sorry – I’m not really being very helpful! But please send links to pretty 2 colour patterns.

End of whine.

This blog is brought to you by the letter B

Roo [LINK] was doing some very interesting things in her blog a while ago. You may have seen it already, but she asked for, and was given a letter (i.e. alphabet letter), and then picked out a few things to talk about beginning with that letter. I asked for one from her (well, she was offering!), and have been granted one :) So here I go…

Books: a bit obvious this one, but I love reading and learning, and by default I love books. A recent meme a friend sent me asked whether I’d rather be blind or deaf, and I chose deaf – I’d miss music, but I could still read, and watch films with subtitles on. Audio books just don’t compare to the feeling of a good book in your hands and texture of paper.

Beer: I’m a real ale drinker. I love a good pint, but still feel drawn to European beers more than the local ones (although a pint of Speckled Hen or Black Sheep for commercial beer always does the trick). Yum. I was quite disappointed when Oz Clark and James May went to what many of us thought was the wrong pub in the town train station on their beer tour – they so should have been to the Head of Steam – much better guest beers and a nicer place to drink :) Plus, it’s the one listed on the Pennistone trainline run. But at least they visited us anyway!

Beards: one of my favourite online comics (and comics overall) is Wondermark. Where does the beard come in? Well, one of the compilations is Beards of Our Forefathers, and it is very very funny. Also there is a beard spotting guide in the front of it. What more could you want?

Body Building: I confess I’m feeling a bit stumped with all these Bs – being a B myself, I find that most things that interest me do not begin with B ;) But, I’m sat here on a Sunday morning, with Transworld Sport on tv, and I have just concluded that body building freaks me out. Doesn’t matter if it is a man or a woman, to take it to competitive extremes just looks wrong to me :S Especially when a human loses all signs of human shaping from it. Ok so most humans are obese and come with a six pack of muffintops rather than the old school six pack, but really is it that attractive to look like a human sized carrot? With veins sticking out everywhere? I’m the first to admit I try very hard not to judge by appearances (the uni environment brings such a cool variety of people into it, which makes it so much more fun to work in), and I’m sure they are all lovely lovely people, but seeing that orange lumpy veiny stuff disturbs me, especially at 7.50 am on a Sunday.

So there we go – I think we all learned something from that. If you’d like a letter, leave a comment, and I’ll send you one :)

Also, I now have 3 half pairs of socks :S I should really finish some off…