Hmmmm

I am in love with several things on the Kim Hargreaves site. Sadly many of her designs would either never suit me (even though I looooove them), or just wouldn’t fit me :( BUT, I have found something that really leaps out in her new collection. So, honest opinions please guys – is this worth me splashing out on as a kind of ‘hurry up and graduate so you can knit this’ treat? Would it suit me, or am I just getting carried away? It is a fair bit of cash for something like that, but it has a classic cut while managing to be fashionable. And I think it is gorgeous. It isn’t a million miles from my birthday either, so maybe I’d wait till then and pick something from the site for a birthday gift to myself. Or maybe I’d just order it next payday :D

Slack

Well, I’ve been a bit poor with my blogging the past few days – whoopsy! I’m very sorry. I spent the weekend lazing because I couldn’t do any work. I’ve done all I can at the moment, and I’m waiting for my tutor to send me things to do. DB has gone to Birmingham till Tuesday, so yesterday afternoon I had the place to myself. I got my yarn out, and had a play with my new toy – the SNB Happy Hooker book! I really want to make the baroque cardi, and I never realised till I went to the designer’s site that I’d been lusting after it on various yarn shop websites, purely because it was a different colour! I’m still not that big on crochet, but there are some sweet little scarves and garments, and a very lovely pair of Camilla Engman arigurumi patterns which I can’t wait to learn to make (that kind of thing is a big reason to learn to crochet. I also have plans for some KSH crochet, but we shall see what comes of that)…

Anyway, DB took the camera with him, and I have a couple of finished objects to show you, so I tried taking a couple of pics with my mobile, stuck the memory card in the laptop, and found a few other pics that might be of interest :D

First of all, this pic might be a bit dark for some people, but this is something I made AGES ago – the IK rib and cable socks for my friend’s birthday (the ones in Cool Lorna’s Laces, but you can’t see the colour really). This was the pattern I wasn’t really happy with, BUT this pic makes it look quite nice, so I’m almost tempted to make a pair for myself from that big ball of cheap sock yarn I need to use up (that one with enough yarn to make at least 5 pairs).

Secondly, more socks. These are made in Diakeito Diamusee, a yarn I bought from Depth of Field in Minneapolis. This yarn knits up beautifully, is super soft, and I am totally besotted with the colourway.

At first I thought they might look a bit too rainbow for me, but the designer of this colour has got it spot on.

I bought the yarn primarily for the softer pastel shades, but I realised as I knit that to have a yarn purely in those colours would be quite bland, and in this colourway even a little vomity (sorry :D). The brighter colours on their own would be really overbearing, at least for me, even on socks. Combining the two makes for a really beautiful pattern. The yarn is 100% wool, and has a little halo around it, and I can’t stress enough how warm and lush it is. When I put the first sock on, I totally fell in love with it, and knew I’d made the right choice for how to use the yarn.

I don’t even mind the colours not lining up – with this yarn, it adds to the charm of the socks. What makes it even better is that I still have, out of 120 g, about 55g left to use as I see fit. Not enough for another pair, but enough for some mittens for my little hands, a short scarf, a hat, and goodness knows what else! The pattern? I used one I bought at Depth of Field for any yarn and any size. It is super easy to follow, but a little strangely laid out on the sheet, so you end up losing which section you are working on when you glance at it. BUT, the maths is spot on – the fit is perfect!

In other crafting news, the Elfine socks have languished a little, but I am moving now a bit better. I’ve only done the toe of the second sock, but that is moving on from the cast on! I’ve also done a little more of that bitch Clapotis, and I like her a little more. She kept my lap warm last week when I knit her in cold weather, so that helped a bit. Plus I dropped more stitches, and she looks nicer too. Still a way to go though! I’ll work out where I am in % terms later, but I only have a couple more repeats before I’m half way through the straight section. I’m waiting for some more yarn to be delivered too, from Curious Yarns. I won’t tell you what though. It is destined for a gift for someone who might read this, so I’m just teasing right now :D I wonder who has a birthday coming up?

Finally, here is something else that has been almost finished, ripped, almost finished again, ripped again, finished and ripped, and is finally finished apart from one tiny detail (a button). As I say, the camera isn’t here, so a mobile pic will have to do for now. I’d still like to see what people think of the fit etc though (I plan on making a second to the full pattern).

I present to you……

Angelica!

Ta da! I didn’t have enough yarn for the sleeves, I had to rip out after the first one was WAY too big, and redo the sleeves of this one about 3 times, but she is ready to wear. Almost. I can cope with this though. She feels a little big on the shoulders, but that might be down to her being meant to have long sleeves and therefore shaped for that. I have lots of silk for another one, so I’m hoping that there will be enough to do good long sleeves. I ordered the 500g for the first one, and was probably about a sleeve short, so I should have enough with the 600g Kerrie sent me in my choice of colour. I hope! Her custom colour is also a bit more wearable for my taste – I do love this blue, but it doesn’t go with many of the clothes I have. I’m sure I’ll find something to wear with it :D

That’s it for now. Dinner calls.

Tagged!

Not much to show so far with this weekend knitting wise. I’ve been too busy – my brother met me after work yesterday and stopped over last night, then this afternoon I’ve been working on the dissertation after some mild drunken panic before I went to sleep last night. Tomorrow we are expecting DB’s parents to visit, and my friend Sue and her boyfriend are popping over for half an hour while they are in the area so that they can work out what to do with my garden (don’t ask – it is a swap. We did something to help them out, so her bloke, who is a pro gardener, offered to fix our mess out the back).

Anyway, for the sake of being able to do something in the way of knitting related, and fun to boot, here are my answers to the meme I missed till the lovely Necia (who is knitting Starsky and needs some love her way to encourage her to knit more of it NOW ;) ) tagged me for it.

4 jobs I’ve had:
Avon lady
Bar staff
Waitress in a cafe owned by a known peodo when I was 14. Luckily they sacked me after the first day (his wife hated me – she thought I wasn’t checking the food stand, but I was just too efficient for her and looked out the side of my eyes so she didn’t notice)
Saturday assistant in the public library. The public users of libraries are really really dirty. They wee on books, leave fleas in them and the chairs, and smell. Well, maybe only some of them.

4 films I can watch over and over:
Goldfinger – what more can I say? The Connory Bond films rock.
My Neighbour Totoro – just wonderful. I notice new details everytime I watch.
How to Marry a Millionaire – too funny and cute for words, and one of my fave Mazza films.
Breakfast at Tiffanys – makes me cry every single time without fail.

4 tv shows I love to watch:
Desperate Housewives – series two is only just getting as good as the first, but still unmissable
Lost – hurry up and show the second series over here will you c4?
Friends – my comfort tv for when I need to have the security and knowledge that I know how it all ends, and will laugh it up on the journey.
Family Guy – I almost put the Simpsons, but I’ve watched this less so probably enjoy it more at the moment.

4 places I’ve lived:
Huddersfield
Wakefield
Manchester
Huddersfield again (I’ve lived in different areas – does that count?)

4 places I’ve been on holiday:
This is pretty limited :(
Prague
Minneapolis (while DB was at a conference there, I played :D)
Northern Ireland by boat (during the troubles, but what I remember of it was wonderful – I never felt in danger at all. I also got in the local paper for having a birthday while I was there. Must have been a slow day needing a good family story…)
Amsterdam with my mum and a single parents club on one of those mad overnight boat, day in city, come back overnight trips. It was grim – we went to the seediest areas (red light district with your mum when you are 13 anyone? No, I didn’t want to either) possible, with no culture or beauty spots at all. I’ve been put off ever since. Sorry guys :(

4 websites I visit daily:
here
Craftster
my hotmail account
My secret pal’s site just to see if she’s got anywhere with her goodies…

4 fave yarns:
I think I’ve had a limited yarn usage life, despite the huge stash, but…
Debbie Bliss cashmerino anything – lovely to knit with, and relatively good at not pilling too much
Rowan Kid Silk Haze – a pig to knit with, but gorgeous to the touch
Noro Silk Garden – see above (post blocking)
Patons Washed Haze – yummy scrummy to the touch, and cheap too

4 websites I’m tagging:
I don’t think I dare tag anyone at the mo – I think most people have done it, and those who haven’t don’t want to :D But I’d like to wave a flag with a big pointy finger on it at Petulant, Leah at Use Your Hands, Roo at Rooknits, and a mystery person (cos I can’t think of a 4th person ;) )

Ok, time to go and fart about a bit.

Whoops!

Well, some of the more observant of you will have noticed a blip in the world of Library Girl blogging. I disappeared for a little while. This is because of an accident. DB pays for the hosting of this little miniscule spot on the web. DB also gets emails from the host company on a regular basis about boring things that he doesn’t care about. Several of these emails were about how they wanted to change the payment method of my account from annually to monthly, and that if he didn’t reply they’d go ahead and do it, or close the account or something. So what happens? He doesn’t read them. The next thing we know, there is an error message on my homepage saying that the page isn’t working because my account has been suspended. I pointed this out to DB, who said ‘Oh. That’s strange’. He then started reading some emails, and found out that they’d come to the conclusion that he wasn’t paying up, so he mailed them, with money and lots of hugs, and here I am again.

There. After that little bit of not very much excitement and not very much loveliness, here is some small excitement, and lots of loveliness, with a bit more belly ache thrown in. Yup, I’ve got rid of most of the head ache poo, but the belly came back tonight while I was walking round the supermarket after work, and has only just gone. A mild attack time wise, but one of those crappy ones that gives you lots of acid in the gullet and the feeling that you are going to spew across the room. So forgive me if there are crumbs here – just brush them on the floor. It is only my evening meal of wheat-free super low fat crispbread thingies (for those who are interested, they are super tasty and made by Dietary Specials. The initial taste is a bit salty fishy, but nice in a savoury way), with Philly light and low fat brie on. Yes, I like cheese. I liked bread till my body decided to hate it (I’d take french stick with cheese over the best choccy and cakey things ever any day). It better not start to hate cheese too or I’ll cry. Especially very very mature cheddar (ooo! We got some Davidstow today which probably wouldn’t do bad things to me – wonder if I can manage a small glass of red wine? Apparently it helps break down cheese, so I could have a little to make sure I don’t have a lot of food in me before I sleep). And I’m watching Sleepless in Seattle for the first time. Not totally enamoured, but good to eat and wear pyjamas to.

Anyway, I’ll stop moaning now. Here are three lovely things in one pic. Firstly, the fire has been fixed and the lounge is now warm and cheaply heated. Second of all it has an Elfine which is finished other than weaving in of ends. Thirdly it has a Hello Kitty slipper sock in the picture, which is just ace.

Here is more sockiness from the side. This is the most accurate photo so far for colour, and you can see the stitch pattern in a rather flattering way.

Lovely sock, even if it seemed to take a while to knit it (thanks to silly first time attempts at figure 8 cast on, illness, and having to knit back because I hadn’t paid attention). But really it is quite quick, because each repeat is about an inch and a bit so it grows significantly with repeat. Woot!

Finally, here is what this post is really all about…

This is the yarn I collected from the postie on Monday. I am in love. The colour is quite wrong on here – there is not nearly so much blue in it as this, but that is the size of the ball I wound up the other night :D It is definitely more red and purple than this too. It is destined to be knit up in a tube until I know how to make shoulders for a little vesty thing. My secret pal is the best. I can’t wait to find out who she is and where she is blogging :D Thank you very very very very very much pal – you are ace.

Anyway, I need some liquid (non-wine) refreshment and a couple more crispbreads otherwise I’ll wake up with a hungry tum in the middle of the night. Hungry is as bad as belly ache and we can’t be having that ;)

So much for the snow

Well, yesterday the news said we’d be covered in inches of snow today. It did snow, quite a lot during the day, but most of it has melted already. I’m not complaining :) It looked beautiful while it happened, but we are still without fire so are using the probably really expensive to operate fan heater. Poop.

The past week has been pretty poopy in general actually. I’m going to have a little moan now, so indulge me and forgive me. If you don’t want to read this bit and want to think happy thoughts, skip to the pics below. They are worth ignoring my stroppy knicker postings for ;) The week has been a catalogue of illness, freezing house, arguments, hormones, dealing with ignorant people, and general yukkiness. I’m run down in general, and haven’t been sleeping this week for lots of reasons, so I’ve been dragging myself like a zombie through work. Work hasn’t been good anyway, as all the dodgy geezers have been coming out of the woodwork, so they had to pick the week where I couldn’t even lift myself out of the seat, nevermind deal with someone who wants to argue over fines or some other matter. But I had to because my boss was off (probably leading to all the people with problems visiting – they saw she wasn’t there, and came in droves). Then I managed to eat wheat without realising, and ended up with a horrendous gut ache, rediculous temperature etc at 2am one morning for a few hours, headaches all week as a side effect, and because of more not sleeping, an aching body, jaw and more brain ache. Then at the end of the week, I had more stomach problems (unrelated to the wheat I think), and by the end of Friday I was the most miserable person ever. This all meant no coursework done, and no knitting. I was too tired and ill to even knit :( But not ill enough to justify not going to work (you know what that’s like – someone else is in work with a worse condition than you, and they’ve just been talking about how bad the sickness was last year and how they have to watch everyone really carefully, and you start to realise that you won’t be calling in sick tomorrow regardless of how rough you feel).

BUT, look what I came back to on Friday night.

Here we have a fabulous secret pal package from my pal with immaculate timing :) She has sent a book of Yeats love poems, with some beautiful illustrations in it. Yeats rocks :) She also sent a Sandra magazine (the Feb edition for those who have access to it). I’ve picked out a few patterns on just a quick glance:

a lovely mohair-ish drop stitch jumper

a gorgeous cerise coloured horseshoe cable sweater (I think it’s the colour that really does it for me in this one)

and a zip up jacket with pockets and an interesting stitch pattern – I don’t think you can see it that well in the pic, but it kind of has yarn running across the front of the columns of pattern. I’d do this in one colour though…

She also sent me a beautiful card, made by her secret pal (whoever they are did a really good job! If you are reading – love the lizards :D). The card actually confused me a little – she mentions some yarn she bought for me from a little village and hopes that I like it, but there was no yarn… There was, however, a rather interesting little card from the postie asking me to collect something on Monday, and given that I haven’t ordered anything, I suspect it might be the yarn. I emailed my pal and she confirmed that she had to send it separately to the other things as it wouldn’t fit in the envelope… There is enough to make a vest, or lots to felt up, and that’s all I really know about it :D I asked her not to tell so that it will be a surprise tomorrow morning! Yay for my pal!

Anyway, I feel a bit better this weekend, after some sleep and a bit of relaxing, so I did a little knitting and some studying (almost a third done – woot!). And cast on a couple of times for something I want to try, but I won’t tell you about that yet, as it is naughty for me to start another project right now and I’ll try and pretend that if I don’t tell you what it is it won’t count as a project.

Here is what I did work on though – my Elfine socks.

They are now at a wearable point! They fit really well, and I think that is partly down to the lace pattern pulling the sock in a little. Yet again I must sing the praises of this yarn. It is frankly, beautiful, and sooo warm and soft to the touch. You can’t really see the lace pattern very well in that pic, so here is another slightly better one.

Yum. I love this sock. It may be taking a while to knit for lots of reasons, but blimey it is simply gorgeous. Using 4ply on 2mm needles works well for a firm fabric, but it still has give to it, which is good considering how tight it feels when you first start slipping the sock on the foot…

Oh, and the plan for using the pink yarn from my chunky socks for a fair isle project is now out the window – a colleague at work who is very very very lovely and thinks of everyone else above herself said she’d love some big chunky socks, and when I suggested a couple of colours, she proclaimed that they would have to be pink :) I’ll be using that yarn to make them, as she deserves them. I just have to cast on, so I might have to wait till the Elfine is done (hopefully this week) to make them. Wish me luck for all these plans – it is rather a lot to expect but will keep me busy for a while!

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

We had snow. Not very much but enough. It started on Friday afternoon, and simply chucked it down, creating a mass panic amongst drivers who suddenly left work early to go home and created horrendous traffic on the roads. Wimps. All that fuss for about 1 cm of snow :) I caught the bus home at my usual time and had a lovely quiet journey with no extra length to it. I did get a bit cold in the snow getting from the bus stop, but otherwise I was happy. It didn’t melt despite beautiful sun yesterday, and as we left a birthday party we realised it was again tipping it down with snow and sleet, and had been for some time. But again, nothing to worry about apart from not having the right kind of coat on to battle it to the taxi place down the road from the pub.

Apart from one problem. I usually have a good laugh at how much fuss there is over such small amounts of snow when so many other countries, and even areas of our own continent have it much worse and manage to carry on as normal. But this time it is different – our fire isn’t working. It lights, and after holding the knob down for a while the pilot light catches the gas and creates a nice flame, but suddenly just goes out. :( It is freezing in our house, even with the central heating on, because we have an open plan design, and all the heat in the lounge goes straight up the stairs, while having to dry washing on the radiators does nothing to encourage the heat in the room at all. Luckily, my mum brought an electric fan heater over a few weeks ago because our bedroom was ultra cold in an evening (apparently the heat doesn’t go in there – it just loiters around the hallway) so we’ve transfered it down to the lounge and are no doubt spending a small fortune heating the place to a palatable level. My feet are like ice, thanks to the socks being washed and the lack of fire to hold them in front of in times of need. Although I could lie down and put them on the radiators if it weren’t for the washing. Hurry up gas repair man! We’ll be calling him tomorrow. He was on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, but didn’t win. Well duh :)

Yuck.

To keep myself warm, I’ve been snuggling up to DB in front of the telly watching the headache inducing Forbidden Planet. It had the first ever totally electronic soundtrack and it makes your ears bleed. The musicians union had a fit when the filmmakers tried to list the people who made the soundtrack as composers because of the sounds – it just wasn’t music to them. They had to list them as writers of electronic tonalities :D It also has the best line in a film ever (or at least one that is meant to be taken seriously). I now want to try and include it in daily conversations. See if you can spot it in this post…

After that we watched the world’s cheesiest yet good film, Final Countdown. It was a nice way to spend a couple of hours, apart from that ending… Oooooooooh dear :)

And I knit too. After some struggling with figure 8 cast on for a little while, I finally caught on, and managed to stop the tail from running away from me. I also had some difficulty with using 4ply yarn on 2mm needles – the pattern calls for 2.25, but I didn’t have those, went smaller for the sake of it and got gauge straight away. Which was nice. It is very very very very tight though. Once I got past the toe increases it suddenly got much easier and the lace pattern is beautiful. It needs blocking or just wearing to stretch the lace out, but you can see it developing from the first row. The yarn is just gorgeous. I kind of feel guilty for using it in a lace pattern, as it could merrily carry a plain sock with no trouble and look stunning. There is this soft halo of fuzz around it, but it doesn’t shed and doesn’t look like it will pill easily. It has lovely definition to it, and using the 2mm needles seems to make it very firm so I think it will last well as socks for that.

Enough gabbing – pics.

This pic (without flash) kind of makes it look like some kind of giant tree slug, but you can see a bit of snow in the background, in all its meltiness.

This second pic with flash and with the light behind me gives a better impression of the colours in the yarn – soft light grey, light sky blue, pale turquoise. Yum. I wish you could all feel this sock and its warm alpaca silky softness.

Ok, on to Oscar trauma. I normally don’t take too much notice of them, but now I have a problem with the best animated film nominations. I love Wallace and Gromit. The film is ace. But Miyazaki is ace too and is finally getting some decent recognition in the west (all us good clever people knew about him before, so there. And please try and watch the original soundtracks instead of the Disney dubs. They might be very good on some occassions, but I tell you, you don’t get nearly the same film…) and I can’t decide. Who do I want to win?! Howl’s Moving Castle isn’t quite up to the usual standards of Miyazaki and Ghibli, but W&G have lots of Oscars. And I almost fell asleep watching it the other night – I didn’t mean to! I’m sorry Gromit :( But, on the other hand, if either of them win, it will be cool, even if it is just another way of backslapping your friends. But the potential to see the lovely Peter Sallis get on stage for an Oscar just tips W&G over the edge I think. He deserves some recognition and credit for working so hard on doing Wallace when he is almost totally blind now and can’t learn lines (the filmmakers had to shout them to him through the glass and he repeated them). Good luck guys!

Look Ma, more pics!

Woohoo! I got home yesterday after a looong day and the evening shift, to find a couple of parcels waiting for me. I had accidentally purchased one on ebay, and another from a certain very lovely Welsh company that I’ve mentioned fondness for on previous occassions…

So here is what greeted me when I opened them in a fit of excitement…

Can you tell what it is yet? The one on the right is Regia Silk Shine, bought from super efficient ebayer jbay2801 at the ebay shop the Wool Baaa. She does a nice collection of sock yarns for not too much cash, and I really really really wanted to try some silk sock yarn, but couldn’t afford to pay for the Alchemy stuff in a colour I wasn’t that fond of, so I got this instead, for less than the price on one hank. It feels beautiful, and the brown is a tasty coffee bean shade with just a hint of sparkle in it. I’m not sure what pattern to use it for yet, but I think a nice simple stitch pattern would be appropriate to set the yarn off. We will see.

Next to it is something just dreamy lush…

I’m really disappointed that I couldn’t get the right colouring with the camera, but this is Fyberspates Alpaca Silk 4ply, and this is the yarn dreams are made up. I want to make sweet sweet love to this yarn. Hip Knits silk demands that I have its babies, but Fyberspates Alapaca Silk is my whore du jour. A little fluffy, full of the usual alpaca characteristics, with the silk adding a touch of stability and sheen to it. It is actually a varigated blue, with shades of grey and light turquoise in it – a bit like the LL I want to shift, but paler and brighter if that makes sense. This baby is destined for some special socks. I’m making Elfines in this stuff, have swatched and done my first figure 8 cast on, which wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting it to be. And on 2 circs too (I don’t have a long enough needle to do magic loop I’m afraid, and certainly not enough to do two socks at the same time). Oooooh baby.

Which brings me to something else. I finished my chunky socks in the nick of time. My feet were cold. They needed lovely things to keep them warm. I couldn’t say no. Remember I said how quick they were and how it took about half a ball of yarn? Well, I finished the second sock with about 6 inches of yarn left and a slight sweat on from worrying about it. But they fit, and are just ace. Anyone who fancies making socks but hasn’t dared yet, you should go for these – they use the same techniques as a 4ply or sock weight pattern, but they take so much less time, and do a good impression of slipper socks made by a certain well known brand. And yes, P, these were made from a certain magazine pattern that you may or may not have realised I had at the time :) Bless you and your yarn excitement ;) Anyway, I reckon that you should make these because they keep your toes soooo warm, and they’d look fab in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky, or even, hint hint, Rowan Cork :D

Anyway, here you are. Have a looksee.

Warm feet in love. But the chunkiness of my calves is no match for the perspective in that shot. Yuck. Yeah I have big calves, but not that frigging big! Stupid camera ;)

And here is another action shot. I like this cos you get to see how the toe looks a lot better.

Mmmmmmm, pink.

I think I am well on the way to becoming the kind of knitter who always has socks on the needles… But I don’t think there is anything wrong in that. And as Homer says, I don’t think anything I do is wrong.

Anyway, as Homer also says, I am so smart, I am so smart, S M R T. I have done lots more work on my dissertation, and have been good and not touched any knitting that requires time. That is another reason why socks are good to have around. Almost 18%, which means I’ve managed to do quite a lot since I put fingers to laptop. I reckon that by the end of the weekend I’ll be at around 21-22% which is nearly a quarter. Which is ace. I am almost relieved. I can write things. I can reinterprete other people’s work and make a small mockery of it, or suggest that it is leading up to my all important research and means my work is new and vital to the well being of libraries. And that library girls rock and library boys smell of poo.