Eye candy for crafters.

Ooooooooooooooooooh, you are in for a veritable cornucopia of crafting joy and hot camera action…

I have recently been informed that my One Skein pal hasn’t got the blindest about who I am, so I am going to risk it and post a pic of her gift. It is, I must add, incomplete – it needs the ends weaving in (still) and a bit of a blocking, but I’m happy 🙂 I’ve got two photos because one is more accurate for colour, while the other shows up the stitches more (which I’m not sure is a good idea given my total novice capacity).
Here’s the fuzzy but good colour one.

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And here is the bad colour but good stitch definition pic.

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Next up, here is the best best best BEST ever book ever in the world ever.

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This is Aranzi Aronzo’s book, Cute Things. They weren’t kidding. Even the instructions are cute. I am totally besotted with this book, and want to make 99% of the stuff in it. I made something tonight in fact. Most of the stuff you can make is on the cover, with a ton of stuff on the back too. I have materials to make a million of the thing I’m about to show you, plus a bag as per a friend’s request, and a purse, and probably some other bits and pieces too.

This is what I made as per same friend’s request. She likes this book too 🙂

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It is a Miffy style hair tie. The bobble is my friend’s, and the bunny is too now 🙂 It took about 30 mins to make, if only because I spent ages trying to find a working dressmaker’s pen in my stash and ending up just cutting by eye (and sadly I think you can tell that, but I’m also quite happy with it – it is just a little whimsy). If I’d have had decent stuff it would have take miles less time. I’m the kind of person who suddenly needs to make something and just grabs things as I need them instead of actually thinking about it. All you normal people it would take 10 mins tops 😀 It isn’t much, but the cuteness factor just oozes, and I’m going to have to make a few more I think on those fuzzy towelling type hair ties so that the stitching to the tie isn’t so obvious etc. I love this book 😀 I want to make bags and tissue holders and more bags, and purses, and some more bags, and stuffies and everything ever 😀 YAY! And I can’t remember much Japanese because the course of evil has prevented me from exercising my brain in studious yet fun ways, but the instructions are so easy to follow that I don’t need to know much – it is pretty much common sense really, but it is also nice to know that I can remember Kanji for eye, mouth and all the quite useful ones in crafting bunny bobbles. I dare not post all the other pics I took of the book – but if you demand it I will do so 😀 The cover is a pretty good idea 🙂

Oh, and here is the Rowan Tapestry and the felting book. Not much to show blah blah blah.

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Don’t know why I bothered with that after all that Japanese gorgeousness…

Fame at last!

My sock pattern has been mentioned at Pure Knits in their blog along with piccies of mine and Leah’s gorgeous pair. Hoorah! But the yarn really helps make the pattern. Go looksy and see them in all their glory on the best yarn shop website in town.

In other news, I’m knackered. Yet another weekend of illness and studying in between illness. I’m sure part of the illness is stress related. I was supposed to be out on the town on Friday for the first time in aaagggees, got ready and glammed up, and came home two hours later with belly and back pains which lasted most of the weekend, coupled with nasty stressy cold stuff again. Poo. And I keep forgetting to text my mate about going to see Snakes on a Plane. We are so going this week 😉

But I have knitted. And crocheted. And finished things. But I can’t show you what I’ve finished (in spite of progress shots) – it is for my One Skein Pal, and I have a sneaking suspicion that she might find her way here. She hasn’t shown her face yet, but who knows? I will say that I am pleased with the finished product, and will be posting pics once it has been posted and received. And other things are moving slowly but surely. See the side bar? A few percentages have crept up a bit.

I made some purchases too. I don’t have pics yet I’m afraid, but I’m hoping to post some tomorrow. Perhaps with some other crafting with luck – I have the world’s best book to work from, and the first project I’ve chosen, selected by popular demand by friends who NEED this item, is supersmall and super quick 😀 I reckon it will be 30 mins at most. That’s the kind of crafting I like to see – something I can do and study the same evening without guilt or fear of being too miserable.

I’ve also got some more yarn, but only a tiny bit 🙂 I decided that, when buying a button for my lace leaf jumper, I should pad the order out – you can’t just buy one button online can you? I ordered the new Rowan Felting booklet, which is loooovely, plus some bag handles and one ball of Tapestry. I’m making a bag from some Kid Classic in my stash, so I figure you have to spend money to make money ermm, something. Ish. Anyway, buying one ball of yarn is helping me to use 4 already in the stash. I’m making that cover bag, and I might add a little something to it – a nice purse and some kind of Totoro embelishment if it goes ok. Tapestry is just delicious. It is a little splitty, but I’m using shite aluminium needles cos I can’t find my beloved bamboo 4mm so that might have something to do with it 🙁 I love the sheen that the soy leaves on the yarn, and the shading is good – much more subtle than other striping yarns. Shame they only make a dk weight, but I bet Rowan will add some more… Almost a shame to use it for felting, but this is a good way to test this kind of yarn.

I’m sure there was something else to tell you all. Nevermind. I’m tired and my eyes are sore from too much of everything. Goodies tomorrow.

Could it be?

A finished project? In a week? Without blogging about it?
Yup 😀
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Forgive the unstyled hair (it is a Sunday remember) and the dusty mirror (I cleaned the house yesterday but managed to forget the mirrors again) and the fact that I haven’t blocked it yet. And yeah, I’m rotund and shouldn’t be wearing chunky yarn (especially a chunky yarn that knitted up a little smaller than the planned size, but probably made a better fit for it. I went for the largest size, but it came out more like the medium measurements), but you know what? I like it. I wanted to post it ASAP because I promised Sue a pic a few days ago, before it was even finished. She runs off jumpers like there is no tomorrow, all in chunky yarns, and I sometimes get a bit sad that I end up spending so long on my projects. But then I remember that she is superslim and a babe, and I am still a babe, but not slim at all, and that light yarns suit me much better.
And can I just point this out too?
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Just to remind you, this pattern is knit in two separate halves, and grafted together in Kitchener stitch after they are complete. I’m feeling very pleased with myself about this one – can you see where I did it? Cos I can’t quite see the right row where I did it either… Ok, now someone will point out a nasty squishy bit 😀 But that’s ok because I’m extremely happy with my work, and I feel like this is wearable. The Polar version was gorgeous if I do say so myself, but the yarn – evilly pilly. This stuff, Knit Picks Sierra (5.5 hanks of it), hasn’t pilled at all while knitting, sewing or grafting. I’m hoping it might soften a little bit when I wash it, as it is a tiny bit itchy, but I think it will be fine 😀 Hoorah!

A double whammy!

Hoorah! Lots of things arrived today!

Here is a pic of the little yarny accident that happened my way 😀

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We have:

grey Jo Sharp Rare Comfort Mohair from my One Skein Pal 😀 Hoorah! I already sent her an email, but thank you pal! Next to it is my stash from Knit Picks, the stuff I got through my friend at work, thanks to her sister. I have a big pile of Andean Silk in Olive to make the Glampyre/Stitch Diva pattern, and I got three balls of Panache in Mulled Wine to try while I was ordering stuff. Mmmmmmmmm.

I’ve not used either of the Knit Picks yarns before (the Jo Sharp I have already in a different colour in my stash, intended for a scarf, but this I’ve been debating about – maybe armwarmers?). The Andean Silk is lovely. I figured it would make a good DB Alpaca Silk substitute, but it is quite different (in a good way). It is still lovely and soft, but not to DB standards. Very silky, but also woolly, so it feels like it will be more sturdy and firmer than DB. DB is very good and not pilling, but it also feels like it might blow away sometimes. This stuff feels like it will still make a fabric with drape but maintain shape and be less fluffy, which can only be a good thing with the Glampyre pattern. Some people on Craftster have said that it definitely needs swatching and washing before measuring gauge, so I’ll have to be careful and prepare well…

The Panache is just YUMMY. Dare I say that it is softer than DB cashmerino? It knits up to 12-14 sts ish per 4″, which is perfect for Sue (who I’m sharing it with). I’m a little disappointed in how much there is in the ball – for some reason I thought it was bigger, but clearly that is my fault! Again it is beautifully soft and silky without losing definition, as it has a firmness to it just looking at it – must be the way it is spun. It looks like it might fluff a bit, but being an alpaca blend, it shouldn’t pill. Sue – this isn’t as gorgeous as the Uk Alpaca Silk you got for your late birthday pressie, but for the price (most definitely NOT 9 quid a ball!), it isn’t have delicious, and I think it is comparably soft. And it is chunky 😀 I’m going to knit something up in this and send you the last ball and a half or so. But, WHAT shall I knit?! Some luxury slippersocks? A little Dream Swatch Scarf? I’ll have to have a good think about it, but it will be an excellent quick fix project for tomorrow.

Tomorrow? I have a day of leave, which I’ll use partly for studying, and a little bit for lazing/knitting 😀 Hoorah! What a fab end to a crappy weekend!

Things are on the up…

I have a cold, I’m achy, I’ve been up since 6.30 despite stopping up till 11 last night to watch a film and drink Lemsip, and have done pretty much no knitting, BUT I have added nearly 10% to my dissertation 😀  Woohoo! In spite of poorlyness, I have made a dent, and I actually feel like I might be able to do this.  Almost.
By the way, the bit of knitting I have done was following some inspiration.  There might be a new sock pattern coming up…  I’ll have to ask my guru, Leah what she thinks when I’ve made a swatch in some nice yarn.  If you want a clue, it will involve blue.  Probably 🙂

I swear…

…that if I don’t stop creating more work for myself by trying to find full text articles of the studies I need to add to my dissertation (instead of using the tiny snippets my tutor passed to me), I’ll go all snakes on a plane on you all and burn all my masters stuff too. 2 months to go and still 12000 words. BUT, I should have significantly more by the end of the weekend (maybe I’ll even hit the 50% mark. Probably not though). I SO need to book some leave to study…

[edit] I need wine. And lots of it. BTW, did I mention I’ve been dreaming of the RFID work I’ve been doing? And that I’d dreamed of it 3 times in the past week and a half? And now I’ll probably dream of this too. Or get a big fat rash. Or both.
Ok I’m stressing out. I’ll shut up now! And also I will stop procrastinating again. Just needed to get that off my chest 😉 [scratches tummy, yet continues to itch]. Bollocks.

Ghibli films and other distraction techniques.

While I fumble around for some pics of my [not so] recent knitting, let me fill you in on some goodies and gossip.

First up, the lovely friends who came over to help with the garden/sit and watch other people work in the garden have announced their engagement 😀 This will be no surprise at this time to our friends, but I feel something celebratory is necessary on here to cheer them on. Sue phoned last night to let us know, and opened the conversation by saying very loudly and cheerfully ‘Hello! I’m sitting here drinking pink champagne!’. Given the timing of her call (a bit after 9pm) my first thought was ‘how much has she drunk? She must have been on it a while given her jovial tone…’. THEN I asked her why 😀 Good job I did! There have already been jokes about me knitting her a lace veil for the day, but given my current lace knitting standards, I suspect she will need to make sure it isn’t scheduled for at least 5 years…

Second of all, I’ve spent a lot of time studying this week, and I’m now officially using the usual distraction and procrastination techniques. I’ve read lots of studies, including work on the disintermediation of the librarian (a fancy way of saying that people don’t ask librarians about stuff as much as they used to) and the advance of the millenials and how they know more about using technology than the people teaching them do. I now have to integrate them into my work, which is the boring bit. I hate revising and adding to what I’ve done, mainly because I tend to switch off after I’ve finished in my head. I’ve also dyed my hair a violet black. And nearly dripped dye all over the place (hint to other people – if you are going to dye your hair, try not to use Feria – it is nasty stuff). I used to dye it all the time, but once I noticed that I was getting a couple of greys (I still think I’m too young for that, but as another friend reminds me, she was grey at 17) and decided I’d age gracefully. Then when I got my hair chopped, I was inspired to dye it again, but held back with the age thing in mind. But I realised something. Youth is for enjoying, and as I don’t have any additional hairs, hair is officially for dyeing too.

Here is a bonus lesson for the day. Studio Ghibli are ace. Princess Mononoke is ace too. But it is not as ace in the dubbed version as it is in Japanese. It isn’t dubbed badly, but it loses far too much of the original Japanese culture in translation. Neil Gaiman couldn’t have done it much better than he did though, bless him. He was a gooooood choice. Also, I have a Sunshine Buddy on my desk at work that was purchased purely on the basis that it looks almost exactly like a wood sprite from the film, even the same colour 😀 All I need is for him to make that rattling sound.

Finally, just one last little tidbit before I give you some eyecandy (but don’t get too excited). The library geek in me just loved the Improbable Research column in the Guardian about ‘The definite article on the definite article’. Yup, someone worked very hard writing about how to index ‘the’ and how to decide where it fits, and what did they conclude? The obvious – use the guidelines and your own discretion. How did any librarian manage before this study?! Strangely I had a discussion with one of the guys I was supervising in the RFID conversion about this – he asked why Godfather 3 had a dewey suffix of GOD, but The Godfather was under THE. Simply, it is quite obvious if you think about it – how many people use THE Godfather 3 rather than Godfather 3? And isn’t The Godfather THE Godfather? So if an A-level student and I can manage to work that out, how come it took the researcher 4 pages of discussion and probably lots of funding to decide that? Basically, because there is a need to discuss openly, because otherwise how could someone work out how to index an album by The The? She has her reasons I’m sure for writing it, but what she wrote is why people go to library school and learn indexing and classification and stuff. Do you see? 🙂

Ok, so as a gift for good behaviour and getting to this part of the entry, if you aren’t pulling your eyes out or crying in boredom, here is something to look at.

First up, the crochet thing. Apparently it does get easier as you go along 😀

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It is almost done. I have lots of joining and weaving in to do before I dare check it for length again, but yay! It might even be finished on time!

Next up a little gifty for a little girl in Poland called Agata. She’s a relation of DB’s brother’s girlfriend, and apparently loves knitted toys, particularly in pink. Let’s hope she likes this, and doesn’t mind the fact that I ran out of pink yarn and had to double what was left with white (or face two different coloured ears. Did I make the right choice?). The pattern is in Last Minute Knitted Gifts. Thanks to needle felting on the face, it just took the time the book promised 😀 I love her. I doubt I’ll make one for myself, but there is something very cute about her little legs and arms! I took care not to overstuff her – I figured she might need bendy limbs, but she is still soft and squishy and lovely to cuddle.

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And a close up of her sleepy smiley face.

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🙂

In other knitting news, I bought and started Wendy’s Sizzle pattern. All was going beautifully till I had almost finished the back, and realised it was too big 🙁 I got slack while knitting, and couldn’t tell how big the finished thing would be till I’d finished the bust increases. So now Sizzle is sozzled and in a yarny pile in a bag waiting till I decide whether to reswatch with new needles, go down a size, or both.

In the meantime, I’ve started something else instead 😀 I thought it might be a nice treat to work on when I’ve been at work and then had to study. I’m finally knitting up the luscious Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK for the Knitting Pure and Simple cardi 241 – a top down raglan with a v neck, shaping and moss stitch borders. And it has my favourite part – some very tasty wide cuffs. I’m hoping to keep the sleeves quite long too, to make a sleek soft, gently draping garment. And I need to learn bell sleeves anyway, cos they are good.