Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Another WIP Wednesday

I'm here again for another WIP Wednesday, I'm liking having some routine for my blog though will admit that at my knitting pace WIP Wednesday could be the same post over and over again for a number of weeks!

Not to dwell on my knitting speed though I shall progress with my post and this Wednesday it's all about the lace.

I am now working on the third repeat of the main body of the shawl, it needs six repeats before going onto the border and I am LOVING this project. The yarn is just divine, soft with a gentle sheen and an change in shades of green, so subtle that my camera ( compact camera to come soon I hope!) can't pick it up but in real life it's there and it's simply marvellous. I haven't been so in love with a yarn before, not since the lime green of my Cookie A Mystery Socks and even that yarn doesn't compare to this stuff.




Let me say now I see the mistakes, you don't have to point them out, I'm choosing to ignore them. I know that's terrible and lazy and what a bad knitter I am BUT I didn't notice the big and most glaring mistake until I'd already finished the second repeat. More annoyingly I made EXACTLY THE SAME MISTAKE the first time I knit the first repeat of this (the one that was frogged and started again blogged about here) I'm not ripping back again. I can't. I wont. I shall concentrate and hope not to make any more mistakes and with some careful pinning out when I block it I hope to make it look like I didn't miss off a yarn over.

Please note that mistake was made pre-wine on Friday night. Perhaps I should drink more when knitting as I didn't make any mistakes when I had been drinking!

In other news I regularly read Mooncalf's blog, Mooncalf Makes and enjoy how frequently she posts and the lovely pictures. Of late there have been a lot of little knitted monsters in her blog and oh how I covet one. The rational part of me says "stay calm, you don't have the time, don't start a new project now, you don't need any knitted toys" but the irrational part says "knitted monsters, KNITTED MONSTERS, we must have these, we must have these now, get a pattern, knit knit knit!" so far rational part of my has been winning. Just. There is one of the patterns by this designed though that is in my queue. A very dear friend of mine is just obsessed with pugs and I know that Wasabi the Gregarious Pug would just light up her life so he is in my queue, ready for when I'm done with my shawl, done with my circle socks and at least half way done with MiL's Christmas pressie...then I will buy the pattern and cast on.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Lovely green yarn

I got a comment asking what yarn I was using for my green shawl so I thought I'd show you.

Knitting 022

It's Violet Green Mulberry Merino Lace in the colourway Gooseberry, it's a merino/silk blend and does have a gorgeous sheen. It's super soft and an absolute joy to knit with. It has a very subtle variation in the shades of green which gives it real depth when knitted up and I just love, love, love it! I just hope my lace knitting can do it justice. I really hope to have this shawl finished in time for my holiday at the end of September.

To my great joy I have a second skein of this gorgeous yarn in my stash but it is an un-dyed version. I don't really wear white/cream. My wedding day was the first day in my life I've worn all white (well ivory) and the plain white items in my wardrobe are limited to one cardigan, one blouse and one vest top. That's it. I just spill on it and make a mess if I wear white! As such I'm not sure what to do with this skein, I probably wouldn't wear a white shawl (it would feel too bridal I think) but do I dare attempt to dye such beautiful yarn myself? I'm just not sure...

Knitting 021

Friday, 20 August 2010

FO Friday!

Not content with managing the blog staple of a WIP Wednesday I now have a FO Friday to share with you! That's right, Mr.Lambanana's socks are finally finished, toes grafted and ready to wear.

Knit in Opal Scafpate, imaginatively named colourway 2715, 64 stitches on 2.75mm DPNs.

A few pictures for you...






He's happy with them so I'm happy. I have promised that next time I wont take so long!

Mr.Northernmonkey is out with a friend tonight leaving me to my perfect Friday night in:


Have a lovely weekend, I will probably be back soon complaining about all the alcohol induced mistakes in my lace knitting.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

WIP Wednesday

I thought I'd start with a blog staple for many in an attempt to give more structure to my blog and also to give me something I know I can write about once a week so I will always have some form of blog post. I'd love to blog more often but I'm so terribly dull and finding time for pictures isn't always something I'm great at. Also the compact camera is still MIA and I fear lost forever. The bigger, older digital camera is around but alas I cannot find my rechargable batteries and the ones in it are dead. I shouldn't be trusted with cameras at all! I must apologise for the photos in this post, my phone camera usually takes OK photos but these were done just before 6am this morning in rather grey natural light so the colours are looking slightly washed out.

Anyway, here I am with that familiar blogging staple, the WIP Wednesday post!

I'm not going to share all of my WIPs, I do suffer from startitis and I shall keep the others for another post (for I fear the progress on those will be slow going anyway, it has been so far!)

My first WIP is rather a long standing one, a sock. I finished the first of the pair when on holiday about a month ago (over a month after starting it) and cast on the second but have been making slow progress. I have knit the circle socks pattern in the past and I like what it does for self striping yarns but I don't like those purl rounds…oh how it feels to drag compared to the knit knit knit of stockinette in the round. I am persevering though and eventually I will finish this second sock. The yarn is some Kaffe Fasset Regia in the Exotic Zany colourway. I do wonder if the yarn I'm using is part of the problem, I've been spoiling myself with lovely hand-dyed skeins and this just doesn't hold a candle to that stuff. I love the bright colours and the stripes but it's not as soft and not as special.


The socks for the darling Mr.Northernmonkey, the socks he has been waiting for since April, they are not far from done now. I've knit 48 rounds out of 64 pre-toe shaping and can see the light at the end of the stockinette tunnel. They actually feel to be whizzing along and I've been working on them on the bus. Soon they will be done and he can wear them with pride (I know he will) and I promise I'll knit the next pair I do for him with more of a sense of urgency!


The final WIP on this fine overcast and grey Wednesday is my mother-in-law's Christmas gift. I am really liking this so far. I changed the pattern slightly by deciding against nupps, I don't think it looks any worse for not having them an they use up so much yarn which I could use to lengthen the scarf by a repeat or twi instead. I also knit the edging in stockinette where it should have been garter stitch (apart from the bands of garter stitch which I kept) I like the continuity and feel that the band of garter stitch followed by the eyelet row really defines the change from border to main body of the scarf in a way I think works. I don't know that other knitters would agree and I do know my MiL probably wont even notice! The pattern is easy to follow and I got through my second ten row repeat quickly and easily last night whilst watching some TV. I do have to look at the chart for each row but it's easily memorised with a glance so I don’t have to give it any intense focus.



I am hoping that there will be a FO post for the manly socks before I get to my WIP Wednesday (though it probably wont be on the traditional FO Friday as I don't think I'll get much knitting time tonight or tomorrow evening) and next week I expect to show some more progress on the scarf and possibly some of the other projects I am working in.

In non-knitting news I booked a holdiay this morning and am terribly excited and counting down the days!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Round and round and round we go

I had forgotten how quickly a plain, stockinette sock can progress. I cast on the second sock to the pair being knit for Mr.Lambanana on Monday evening after he had sulked tremendously when he saw me knitting the scarf/shawl for his mother. The words "when are you going to finish MY socks?" were spoken and a heavy dose of guilt was piled on me. He's quite right though, I should finish them, I did start them way back at the end of April! I started them but was distracted by the beautiful lime green, excitingly cabled socks, then I was distracted by a baby cardigan, then by a pair of circle socks (though I didn't finish those…oops!), then by a lace shawl (also not finished), then by another baby cardigan, then by his MiL's gift… the poor socks were abandoned! My beloved husband, the man who buys me quite a lot of this yarn! He deserves so much better.

I listened to the whinging, accepted that it was quite reasonable, cast on and am already 10 rounds from the heel flap. These socks just whizzed by, I really had forgotten how quickly they can grow when it's just knit, knit, knit every round. Wow! I am hopeful that they will be finished within the next week or two and he can finally wear his handknit socks…even though it's August and he really shouldn't need handknit socks at the moment!


As quickly as this sock is going I really can't wait to get it finished and work on that lovely pink, lacy scarf again.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Cardigan FO and a new WIP

I finished the baby cardigan last night! I'm quite proud of this and think it came out quite well, I hope my cousin is pleased with it.

Here is the cardigan all knit and ready to sew up (note change to plain white yarn on the collar...oops!)


And here it is sewn up, buttons on, ends woven in and ready to go! I love the little duck buttons, I'm such a sucker for a cute button. In my little button stash I have more white ducks, some little red ducks, some mint green teddy bears and some darker blue teddy bears. So cute! I have some little pale blue elephants somewhere but they're not in my button tin so who knows where they've gotten to. I may have to get some more when I get paid and expand my cute button stash! I have one of these tins from Cath Kidston (now in the sale excitingly!) but it is quite empty so I need to buy lots more buttons to fill it up.

knitting 146

After finishing the cardigan I cast on for the first of my Christmas projects, a lace scarf for my husband's mum. I'm using the Peacock Tail and Leaf Scarf pattern (Ravelry link) from Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush. It's a fantastic book with lots of beautiful lace shawl and scarf patterns and a stitch library with advice on how to design your own shawl. I must admit I will not be knitting the nupps in this pattern, I don't think MiL would like them and they use so much yarn so I shall save my yarn, I don't think it will spoil the pattern to miss them out. The scarf is knit in two pieces, the bottom edge and body of the scarf is knit before knitting the top edge and grafting the pieces together so the top and bottom edge match. I decided to knit the top edge first and save that on a spare needle (got to love interchangeable needles, I just took the tips off and put the little holders on to stop it slipping off the cable!) until I've knit the rest. This way I can decide how much yarn to use before I graft the pieces together and I wont run out.

knitting 147

In non knitting news there was a beautiful butterfly in our garden today, I'm not necessarily a bit butterfly fan (they're pretty creepy looking close up!) but the colours on this one were just beautiful! A look on-line (because I know nothing about butterflies) told me it's a peacock butterfly. I managed to get a picture with my camera phone before it flew away.


I have been told off by my husband for starting his mother's present before finishing his socks so I'd better get those cast on and knit soon for him!

Saturday, 7 August 2010


Karma has bitten me in the rear. Of course, why wouldn't it? I accept that this is all my fault and I apologise to the knitting gods, to karma and to my mother.

Remember my mocking of my mother for running out of yarn recently?

Remember the law of knitting that you only run out of yarn when you have exactly the right amount?

Remember how when making a yarn substitution from that recommended in the pattern you should check your yardage?

Yes...well perhaps I forgot.

knitting 144

The collar is supposed to be 5cm, that little loop of yarn is all I have left.


Friday, 6 August 2010

And now, the end is near...

The end of my baby cardigan WIP of course!

Last night I finished the button band and almost (just need to cast off) finished the buttonhole band. I just need to add the collar and sew it up and I'm done. I'm pleased with the knitting, we'll see how the making up goes! I'm going to press it to make the edges lie as flat as possible before I attempt the seams and I'll take it slowly and do the neatest job I can. I like baby knits, they're just so quick! This wasn't even the first size, I did a 3-6 months so it lasts a little longer but even then it has only taken just over a week to do. Good stuff, can't complain about that!


My mum came over on Tuesday and I took the opportunity to get her to help me with a bit of ball winding! I'm rubbish at it, just as I knit far too tightly I wind balls too tightly. I'm far better at holding the yarn whilst she gently winds in a way that matches her loose knitting. I have repeatedly tried to tell the lovely Mr.Northernmonkey that I need a ball winder but he wont be convinced...drat! Never mind though, that's what mum's are for right?!

This is the lovely, pink, squishy ball of merino sock yarn (purchased in the sock sale at destined to become a scarf for my mother in law...I'm rather hoping I have enough yarn over to whip up a pair of socks or at least little footies if not full length ones for myself as I do think the colour is rather scrummy. It's called Pimms and is all shades of dusky, rosy pink gorgeousness. I'm rather envious really and desperately want to keep it for myself but I wont, I promise! She wanted red actually and it looked more red on the website but I'm not using that as an excuse to get red yarn for her and keep this for myself, that is very naughty indeed and I can't afford to and don't need any more yarn until I've knit some of what I've got.


I don't know how much knitting time I'll get this weekend, I've volunteered to be a white van woman tonight and tomorrow for my cousin who is moving house, Mr.Northernmonkey will be helping me but I get to drive the van which I am very excited about, I do love driving vans! I desperately wanted one when I got my last car but alas couldn't justify it and got a car that is about as far from a van (in terms of size) as was probably possible. I'm always quick to volunteer though where people need moving assistance and van driving duties!

Important knitting to-do list:

Finish baby cardigan
Finish circle socks (how are these still unfinished?!)
Cast on MiL's scarf
Cast on second sock in pair for Mr.Northernmonkey (also still unfinished, WHY?!)

I'm not looking beyond those four things as my knitting to do list is just too vast and terrifying!

Monday, 2 August 2010

The baby cardigan continues

I've been looking at pictures of Knit Nation and all the goodies people brought back...oh my...I'm not jealous...not at all...not even a teensy bit.

Well maybe a teensy bit!

I couldn't go this year, I didn't have enough money anyway but even if I had we were visiting the in-laws and Mr.Northernmonkey's grandparents. Not something to skirt away from! Next time though Mr.Northernmonkey has said we can go so I should probably start saving up now!

I don't need more yarn anyway, aside from buying some yarn for Christmas present knitting I've not bought any for a little while and my sock club has lapsed and I wont be renewing until I get through some of my stash. Oh the's rather overwhelming. I don't know exactly how much there is, this was my last photo of it:


I know it has grown by then, at least by 5 pairs of socks worth of yarn, a skein of laceweight and some more baby yarn plus 4 skeins to be made into Christmas pressies. Oh dear oh dear! I also bought yarn specially to knit my lime green socks which isn't in that picture but went into the stash and was knit up straight away.

Of all the yarn in that picture I have only knit 2 of the balls of Regia (well almost knit as my circle socks are coming along) one and a bit balls of baby yarn for a little cardigan, one of the balls of Opal (half of as I only have one sock of the pair so far) and I've started knitting with the green laceweight. It's not good. I know there are people who have a lot more yarn than this and as stashes go it's pretty manageable BUT I don't knit particularly quickly, I don't get as much time as I'd like to knit and I really don't have the storage space to keep any more than this.

I do have definite plans for some of it. The Paton's Pompero is for a cardigan in progress, I have lots of baby patterns and lots of babies in the family or on the way to knit for and that raspberry coloured Debbie Bliss is destined to be a February Lady Sweater when I get the knit to knit one.

I continue to work on my current baby cardigan and now have the back and the left front plus the ribbing of the right front (not shown) it's an easy enough knit and goes quickly when I actually sit down and work on it but that's the problem, time to sit and work on it. Fortunately I have just about caught up with the housework which I'd been behind on since we returned from our holiday so now I should be able to get good knitting time every evening. I'll need it if I want to knit for my mum and mother in law and still finish another 5 pairs of socks before the year is out. Oh my!

knitting 139

In frustrating news I appear to have actually lost my compact digital camera leaving me with only a 7 year old and rather bulky one, it takes good photos and still works just fine (though takes AA batteries in place of a little rechargeable one like my compact and oh my does it burn through them, frustrating even when using rechargeable AA batteries) but it doesn't fit in my pocket or my handbag and it takes XD not SD cards and well...I like having a little dinky camera which weighs very little and can just be grabbed and taken in a pocket or a small handbag. Bah!