I finished something!

Weee 🙂 I finished Rosemary successfully with very odd chunks and bouts of knitting. I don’t think I’ll show you a photo on here though – the pic is BAD in more ways than one. The mirror was covered in dust, and the top isn’t really good enough to warrant a polish before my spring cleaning plans kick in on my week off (not this weekend while we have the long Easter weekend – have too many other things to do!). It was super quick to knit, and it has fab pretend sleeves (made by just making the shoulders wider than your own and minimal shaping on the armholes), and I’m pleased to say that I can probably carry off a deep v neck (i.e. I can knit Ms Marigold). But it is way too big, and as I suspected it doesn’t do anything for me. I’m happy though – it is finished, and I finished some knitting 😀 and also it is warm and snuggly and being too big, even without arms, makes it feel like a comfort top. And given that it is going to snow again and will continue to do so, and that I got to the point that I decided it wasn’t worth continuing to finish sewing up my Craft magazine skirt (too small in spite of carefully calculated increasing of the size, including extra just in case – pretty poor considering it is a wrap skirt too! Also I cannot do curved hems apparently. Straight hems – fab. Curved hems round the base of the skirt – Awful with a capital A), a comfort top is exactly what this girl needs.
But here are some photos of cat action. Joe wanted to assist with the sewing to the point where I thought he might eat a pin… Urk!
At first all is calm…
Then things occur…
Also I could do with some help deciding what to make next. My secret socks aren’t too far from finishing (the heel will probably be finished on the second sock by the time you read this), and I do have some socks of my own to finish (Denmark in Posh Yarn Emily in Elephant), although they aren’t really calling much to me. I’m thinking that I’ll work on the secret socks and my top down raglan in the Mmmmmmalabrigo, then I need to decide whether I want to frog the Denmark socks or not. At the moment, with the amount of time it takes me to knit, I’m tempted to scrap them and do something I’ll definitely enjoy instead. But nothing too complicated still. Once the secret socks are done, I have to try and start the cabled cardigan for Yvonne again (poor girl has been waiting longer than my sock pal for a sign of something!), so I figure I’ll work on one project for me (not including socks ;D) and one for another person till I’m done with my demands. But there are so many garments I want to make for me! It isn’t far enough into the cardi for me yet to decide where I’ll go afterwards, but still I’m drawn to the desire to make other things, cast on, knit something new. I still have those 2 Kim Hargreaves kits to knit up, and the yarn for Rowan Chrissie (the free pattern with 4 ply yarn and a little pocket and button embellishments, not the other one) has been in my workbasket for months, and Ms Magnolia is calling because of the deep v. And all those gorgeous socks out there! And the lovely Socktopus club socks I haven’t made yet. And mittens. Which reminds me I still need to finish the Fetching mitts… Perhaps I should finish those before I think of what to do with my Denmarks. Arrrgh!
Well, at least I’m keeping the number of projects on the needles a lot lower than before 😉 Any ideas what socks a gal can make on 3 or 3.25 mm needles without having to look at a pattern too much? Sounds like I’ve already decided to frog Denmark anyway. Maybe I’ll just go the plain st st route and try and make it quick. Or maybe I’ll make some mittens in the yarn instead given the snow! And as soon as I type that, the sun comes out. That would be a no then 😉
Update: I finished the secret socks through some miracle, and frogged the Denmark socks, and am working on Ms Marigold now. Woot! And also considering starting the first Socktopus club socks seeing as they seem a lot more simple than they look…

After the quake

All is well with the world – those near and dear to me haven’t been harmed by the quake, have no house damage luckily, and the people I was most worried about after it happened? One slept through it, and the other wasn’t in the least bit bothered by this once in a decade or so occurance!
So what you really want to know is what I’ve been up to eh? First a recommendation. Last weekend DB and I watched the wonderful Eagle vs Shark 😀 Flight of the Conchords fans take note as it has the lovely Jermaine in it. It’s a really sweet rom com, but not your average one, as the hero and heroine are pretty much a pair of misfits – they get together after Lily comes second a computer game tournament at Jarrod’s party (where everyone had to dress as their favourite animal hence Eagle vs Shark). It has the same kind of aura as Napolean Dynamite, but is much more, erm, not gentle, but it’s a lot easier to feel warmed by it, and is less misfit-ish. Just a lovely film 😀 Lots of nice little animated asides too 😀 That’s probably not done much to make you want to go see it, but it really is pretty much a perfect romance story 😀
Next up, here is one of the secret things I was working on 😀 Annie gave birth some time ago (like over a year!) and I wanted to give her a little something, so I embellished some bibs with Aranzi Aronzo motifs 😀
There is another one that I didn’t get a photo of with a bunny embroidery. I’m quite pleased with them although I could have been a bit neater!
I’ve also been spinning some more BFL and now have about 70m with a lot more to spin up. I had two mini skeins which I was able to do a russian join on so that I could make a bigger skein. And I’ve also been spinning this tasty merino batt from The Ranches Angoras on Etsy:
(The first pic is much more accurate for colour, but you get a good idea of the overall thickness from the paler one. For anyone interested the green yarn keeping the hank together is Posh Yarn Helena 4ply so that might help put the yarn in perspective for some people – it’s a heavier 4 ply knitted on about 3mm)
For some reason I’m finding it much easier to work with merino now, perhaps because I know what to expect, but mainly because it is a batt rather than a strip of roving. I’m still not very tidy with it, but I’m getting used to drafting chunks of the batt while I spin as long as I don’t tear off too much fibre. I’ve been spinning yarn with a lot higher wpi, albeit not very evenly, so I’m thinking I’ll try plying this yarn. The way the batt spins up with mixes of white, chocolate and cherry, it should ply up quite prettily. It is currently about 14 wpi which is the finest I’ve made so far, and I’m particularly pleased given the weight of the spindles I’m using. I’ve also changed my mind about how to use the BFL. After seeing how fine I can get spinning with batts, I’m going to go along the scarf and handwarmers route with the BFL – I thought it might look quite cute in a garter st scarf.
As for actual knitting – I’ve managed one Fetching and a sock and a bit so far. Oh yeah, and this weekend I went to Up Country in Holmfirth and have ended up with this:
Weeeeeee! Look! Look how much I knitted this weekend so far! As I explained to the assistant, I might not be the ideal shape for a yarn this bulky (Rowan Big Wool) but I really needed that psychological boost for progress and capability. Yeah I’m doing better at knitting the sock and finer yarn, but I need to feel like I can knit for long stretches without pain and with some results, and the Big Wool and this pattern (Rosemary from New Shapes) were ideal really. I might look like a sack at the end of it, but who gives a monkey’s when I’ve proven to myself what I can do after all that time. And the pilates (sorry Amanda, but yeah, I should definitely get paid for this!) has definitely helped because I knitted about 90% of what you see above with proper posture, no slouching and my shoulders back, and that’s without getting a tired or sore back or any pain in the shoulders. Again, to reiterate, weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!