Monday, 22 February 2010

Rose Red FO and Ishbel WIP

As promised (a day late...oops!) my Rose Red. It isn't the greatest photo but my camera isn't the greatest camera and likes to pretend it's in focus then just go out of focus as I take the photo. I love this hat so much. I wear it every day and it's warm and pretty and wonderul. The colour is darker and more vibrant than the picture shows, I just can't get my camera to capture this shade of green at all. It's Rowan Felted Tweed in the colourway herb. LOVE IT.

On to my Ishbel now, my olympic project. We are not exactly getting on. It isn't Ishbel's fault at all, the pattern is well written and just beautiful. It's the yarn. Regia Hand-dye effect. Usually I am quick to sing Regia's praises and their standard sock yarns are just fabulous. They come in beautiful colours and wash really well, I have no complaints. This hand-dye effect stuff is another story all together. The colour is beautiful but it's splitty as anything. There have been dropped stitches, lost stitches, bits where I've only knit using part of the yarn where it's lumpy and my stitches are uneven. It's just not good. I'm not going to frog it. I wouldn't use this yarn for anything else because of what a splitty nightmare it is. I'm going to use it as a learning experience, get through this Ishbel and have something to show for my olympic project, I don't think it's completely awful or anything, just not perfect and not as good as I'd hoped. When I'm done with it and I've had a little time I'm going to find some beautiful yarn and try again, hopefully without silly rookie errors, uneven stitches and rubbish splitty yarn.

I have pictures of progress anyway...

Part way through the stockinette.

Chart A finished

A closer shot of the lace.

I do still like the Ishbel, I am hoping that after blocking the errors wont be too noticable and I'll wear it anyway. The colours are lovely at least...

Saturday, 20 February 2010


I have a photo of my Rose Red. Tomorrow I should progress to uploading it and sharing it with my blog!

I have knit to the end of chart A on my Ishbel, I also promise a photo of this.

Promises promises...

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Poorly sick

Yesterday, for the first time in months, I didn't do any knitting. Not a stitch. I didn't even have my SIP in my handbag. The plan had been to go for dinner after work with some friends (2 for 1 Pizza Express, good stuff!) and I had hoped that after a nice meal and a sneaky drink we'd come home and I could do a few rows of Ishbel. On Monday afternoon I started sniffling a little, Mr.Monkey had been sick all weekend with a stinking cold and I did fear he had given it to me, a bonus valentine's present I suppose. Yesterday morning my worse fears were confirmed when I woke up sneezing and sniffling. I went to work anyway armed with Beechams all in one and a big box of tissues and somehow survived the day. I even went along to Pizza Express and had what I'm sure was a delicious pizza though my tastebuds were not really responding. I continued to sniff, blow my nose every few minutes and feel rubbish. I do believe though that when you're in full, cold riddled flow like that you're past passing it on to anyone so had no qualms about going out, if I sneezed I covered my mouth and nose, I washed my hands regularly and didn't touch anyone else's food. Still when we got home I couldn't face sitting up and knitting, instead I crawled to bed and attempted to sleep.

It felt weird to go a day without knitting. It wasn't a day without thinking about knitting, I read blogs, checked Ravelry, read a bit of my Yarn Harlot book. I just didn't feel well enough when I got home to actually do my own knitting. Even when I'm very busy I usually manage at least a row or a round of a sock, never nothing at all.

I'm still feeling quite rotten today. I will however be knitting tonight, I have a deadline to meet and Ishbel isn't going to knit itself! I wont be going to choir though, I definitely can't sing.

I hate being sick, I am pretty rubbish at it, I really hope I am better soon!

Also a quick bit of news, well not sure it's "news" but something different. I ordered a 2.5mm 80cm circular needle and I am going to have a go at knitting a sock using magic loop. I haven't tried it before but it was one of my knitting goals for the year so actually buying the right sized needle seemed like a good place to start! I used, an excellent online shop with incredibly fast delivery and the delivery only costs £1, well worth a go and she has an excellent range of knitpro needles as well as addi and the hiya-hiya interchangeables. She also sells the gorgeous Debra's Garden needle gauges as well as Soak wash and some other lovely bits and pieces. Well worth checking out.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Valentines and being an olympian

Love is not dead at the Monkey household. It's our first Valentine's day as husband and wife and we were sucked in and bought our first (and probably only) Husband/Wife Valentine's cards. The thing is we don't usually bother, we're not fussy and lovey dovey and really don't need to be told to buy each other gifts because we do that anyway, because we like to but things for one another. Still, our first married Valentine's day is a bit different and I showed by love the best way I know knitting!

Mr.Monkey is rather fond of his gaming and I had seen a number of knitted Sackboy toys on Ravelry, Sackboy is a knitted character from the PS3 game Little Big Planet if this has passed you by. He's rather cute and Alan Dart wrote a pattern to make one which is available on-line for free. You'll have to find it yourself though as I'm not linking to the website for the newspaper that has a free on-line copy! I comforted myself downloading it from them simply with the knowledge that I do buy the magazine it was originally printed in but don't appear to have the one with the pattern in!

Here he is...
I am feeling pretty proud with this. I haven't knit a toy before (well I've started but never finished!) and my sewing up is pretty ropey BUT I think he looks OK. I couldn't find the buttons specified in the pattern when I went to the market even though I tried two different stalls and I couldn't get a metal zip with a brown fabric section at either of those stalls but my husband assures me that he looks just fine. I am however knitting him a scarf to hide the particularly poor sewing attaching his head to his neck!

Mr.Monkey showed his love buy hitting my Amazon wishlist and buying me two knitting books, Free Range Knitter: The Yarn Harlot Writes Again and Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn so I am most pleased. We will be really living it up tonight when we get a curry delivered and watch a film. I'd say this is a pretty perfect Valentine's day for me.

So the aforementioned husband likes it when I knit. He says he is glad that I have a hobby that I enjoy and seeing me happy to be knitting makes him happy. What he DOESN'T like however, is knitting to deadlines. He says knitting should be relaxing and enjoyable, staying up until 3am to finish socks for someone's birthday is neither relaxing nor enjoyable and he doesn't think I should do it. Apart from the occassional pair of socks for him and for my mum (who is included because she knits gifts for me!) he thinks I should only knit for myself. I do mostly knit for myself and whilst I made Christmas gifts there was no last minute rush. I do know he was not impressed that I spent a large portion of yesterday finishing knitting and sewing up Sackboy (he liked the result of course!) and so my latest bit of deadline knitting is being kept a secret. Well, the knitting is public knowledge, the deadline is the secret bit!

I signed up for the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics, I added the little icon to my blog page and everything. I stayed up very late on Friday night awaiting the opening ceremony which came on at about 2am GMT so I could cast on my project. I finally, after much muttering about wanting to, cast on Ishbel. This is my first shawl, my first project with a lot of lace (Rose Red is only a bit of lace...I must get a photo of that up!) and I feel a suitable challenge for the Knitting Olympics. OK so it's not a Fair Isle pullover with steeks BUT it's a challenge for me and I am hopeful that I can get it done before the torch goes out at the closing ceremony. I'm using Regia Hand-dye effect which is in very pretty shades of blue. I am hoping it comes out nicely, if it does I'll probably knit another and get some yarn specially for the occasion as I'll admit this stuff was in my stash already and I had no idea what I was going to do with it but knew I didn't want it as socks.

So I guess I have knitting to be getting on with...

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Rose Red and Sackboy

I finished Rose Red. I don't have a picture of the FO yet but I am incredibly pleased with it and feeling confident that I'm ready to move on to another project involving lace, I'm itching to cast on Ishbel. I am resisting the cast on for Ishbel though until I have finished my husband's Valentines present and until I have at least finished my Germany socks. I am about 8 rounds from starting the heel flap on the second of the Germany socks which is pretty exciting, I start to get very excited when I've turned the heel and decreased down again for the foot, that's when I can see the finishing line.

Husband's Valentines present is getting there. I'm knitting him a Sackboy, the little character from Little Big Planet. He's a bit of a geek and loves his games and comic books as well as anything involving computers and similar technology. I am hopeful that he will love it and it will sit proudly on his office bookcase along with his Bumblebee (transformers) figures and the little plushies of Kingdom Hearts characters. I am about half way through knitting his head, I expect to finish that tonight or tomorrow leaving only arms and legs then the making up (the bit I fear most!) I am positive it will be done in time for Sunday. We aren't really big on Valentines day and the last few years haven't even bothered with presents but this is our first as a married couple so it seemed right to do something. I'm knitting for him and I expect he'll purchase something from my Amazon wishlist. It's 40 days until our 1st wedding anniversary and I'll admit that's far more exciting than valentines!!

Photos in next post, I promise!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Rose red is nearing completion. I have knit the first 40 stitches of round 59 so need to finish that then only another 10 rounds to go until I'm done. I am really happy with how it's turning out. The pictures aren't great, we've had snow overnight and it's terribly foggy today so whilst they were taken with natural light it's a very grey natural light and the yarn is looking more grey than green. Annoyingly I am quite certain I may need to break into my second ball of the yarn but only by a bit. I hope to then have plenty left over for a pair of wrist warmers or mittens or something to wear with the hat.

Also I don't have photographic evidence but I can awssure you that the first of my pair of Germany socks is finished. I have knit the ribbing and nearly 2" of the leg for the second one and am certain they'll be done in plenty of time to wear in Germany in March. Again a washed out photo, stupid grey days! The black is actually black and not grey in real life!

With the end in sight for the knitting on my Rose Red I am itching to try my hand at Ishbel BUT I must resist. My mother's birthday is in a month and I promised socks, they are next on the list. No excuses.

I'm not certain the sackboy I'd hoped to knit as my husband's valentines day present is going to be completed. I must actually retrieve it from my desk when I'm back at work and bring it home to knit on!

I'm sorry I can't manage a better blog entry but I am feeling quite poorly and am off work with dreaded lurgies, knitting is making me feel a little better but I even keep having to put that down because it's exhausting, who'd have thought?!