Friday, 26 November 2010

Pink Vanilla socks - FO

The pink vanilla socks are finally finished!! They only took me two months…oh dear! I kept being distracted by much more interesting and beautiful knits. Oh well, they are done now and my friend at work is delighted with them and is sure her daughter will love them too. I rather didn’t want to give them away but they’re for smaller feet than mine so I handed them over!

Plain old stockinette socks with twisted rib cuff and slip stitch heel, 60 stitches on 2.5mm needles in Trekking XXL Pink Vanilla

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I was slightly annoyed to find that after my attempt to make the stripes all matchy there was a knot in the second ball of yarn just about an inch before starting the toe so the toes don’t match but the rest just about do. Not sure I’ll bother with any more matching attempts in future though!

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We're visiting the in-laws for the weekend (well I'm visiting my in-laws, Mr NM is visiting his parents!) and seeing some friends which should be enjoyable, will also be trying to fit in a bit of Christmas shopping on Saturday afternoon though I am progressing with that. I'm looking forward to our little weekend away but hoping that it doesn't snow too much as we have to cross the Pennines to see them, not much fun in snowy weather!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

WIPW - The Christmas edition

This is the Christmas edition of my work in progress Wednesday as I've put down the selfish socks and am focussing no getting my Christmas gifts finished. Like the Christmas editions of magazines it's out in November giving time to get ready for the big day. There may be 32 days until Christmas day but that's not 32 knitting days, I'm not doing a great amount of Christmas knitting this year but what I am doing is lace which needs blocking so will have to be finished in enough time before Christmas to be blocked. Considering how long things take to dry in our house sometimes I'd say I only really have about 25 knitting days left giving me time for finishing and wrapping. A scary thought!

Fortunately for me I am now making real progress and honestly believe my Christmas knits will be done in time. I'm glad I didn't overwhelm myself with too many projects but a little cross with myself for giving in to my selfish knitter impulses and starting new projects for myself when I should have been focussing on my gift knits.

First up we have my MiL's scarf. I'd say it's about a third of the way done now if not a bit more. It doesn't take much time to knit a repeat on this but it's becoming incredibly dull as whilst it's only a ten row repeat I've not memorised it exactly and have to keep referring to the chart to double check. I am liking how it looks though and will admit now that I don't really want to give this away as I think it's rather lovely. Still pink isn't really my colour and I did promise the MiL a lace scarf!

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For my mummy dearest I'm knitting an Ishbel in her favourite colour and mine, green! I flew through the stockinette section and have knit the first two rows (and purled back of course) of the first lace chart. This is an enjoyable knit and I don't see any issues in getting it finished but like the scarf it does require careful attention and I'd say it requires it moreso than the scarf. I knit the smaller stockinette but intend to do the large lace. There appears to be some issue with the yarn, it's beautiful and soft but every so often there are tiny little sections that are flourescent yellow! It looks like I've taken a highlighter pen to my knitting. I have shown it to my mum as she knows what she's getting and helped me wind the yarn and she's fine with the odd flourescent yellow stitch and loves the yarn generally (of course, she'll always love green yarn!) so I'm ploughing on.

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I can't show you the other Christmas gift I've been working on as it's for an on-line Secret Santa swap and whilst I don't believe my swapee reads my blog I don't want to risk giving the game away just in case! This is a nice break from my other two projects as it's knit in aran weight so seems to be growing much more quickly! This will be coming with me at the weekend when we visit the in-laws so my MiL doesn't see her present.

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You may notice that the pink vanilla socks which were a recurring part of WIPW and are a Christmassy gift are absent from this blog entry, that's because they're FINISHED! That's for another day though.

I must say my actual Christmas shopping is not progressing so well, so far I've only bought two presents for my husband (both of the silly stocking filler variety) and have asked my uncle to pick up my mum's second present and I'll give him the money. I should probably get a move on before the real Christmas mania sets in!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The word of the day is FOCUS

I’m going to start with something I should be knitting, part of my Christmas knitting list. I am making progress on my MiL’s scarf but really not as quickly as I should be making progress. It’s probably about 30cm long now, just over but there is A LOT to do to get it finished. I will get it done though, just need to focus.

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The reason I’m not so focused? Socks. It’s always socks, they’re just so tempting and I can’t help myself around them. Progress on the TTL mystery sock has stalled rather (not that it’s a mystery sock now, most people have actually finished!) and this may be the last WIP picture of these for a bit whilst I focus on my Christmas knitting. I’ve turned the heel and picked up for the gusset on one and done the flap and heel turn for the other.

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The thing is I know I should be focusing on Christmas knitting, I know that. To my horror I read it’s less than 50 days until Christmas and with most of a lace scarf and an Ishbel to knit (plus the pink vanilla socks I’ve still not finished the second of) I really shouldn’t be knitting (or crocheting!) anything BUT things from my Christmas list which is why the TLL mystery sock is taking a little break along with my cardigan with the still mis-crossed cable. I know this and I tell myself I will focus and be determined and only do Christmas knitting but do I?

What do you think…

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In case you’re wondering it’s the SKA November Mystery sock the yarn is from Ripples Crafts and was part of the sock club in June (I think) called Summer Sweet Pea, it’s a darker purple than it looks in the photo.

I just can’t help myself.

Monday, 8 November 2010

And now for something completely different...

On Friday evening I finally learned to do something I've wanted to do for such a long time.

Believe me I tried to learn on my own, I watched videos on-line, read instructions on-line and my husband bought me a book with detailed insturctions but could I get my head round it? No. I was visiting my mum on Friday when I spotted a hook in her pen pot so I grabbed a ball of (the cheapest, nastiest, squeakiest, acrylic) yarn and asked her to show me how to crochet granny squares. I'm not really fussed for learning to crochet anything fancy, I love knitting and have not seen any crochet patterns that scream out to me more than knitting ones do. There's just one thing I want to make with crochet and that's granny square blankets.

Thanks to my mum I've started my first one!

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Just as my first attempts at knitting were it's wonky, there are mistakes and the tension is uneven BUT it's a crocheted granny square and that makes me happy. I'm going to stick with this one and keep going using up whatever old scraps of acrylic yarn I can find, I don't have much but my mum is always willing to share as she gets lots donated to her so she can make charity things and she can't use it all. I'm happy with this one being cheap, nasty, squeaky acrylic because I'm going to keep it in the car for emergencies and take it camping with us so it needs to be washable. It's fun though, I'm really enjoying it and whilst I don’t see crochet replacing knitting in my heart any time soon I do appreciate the speed of crochet and how I really can just pick it up and do a couple of trebles in between things when I wouldn't have the time to knit a full row. Yep, I'm all for granny squares! I just must not let this overtake my Christmas knitting…nope, mustn't!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Brambles Beret

It's Wednesday, it should be my work in progress day but I have nothing to show you. This is not because I don't have works in progress, of course I do, lots! It's just that I've not got anything NEW in progress and I'm sure you're tired of seeing the same old thing over and over and not actually spotting that important part of the phrase, the PROGRESS.

Things have been progressing slowly in NorthernMonkey land, part of this has been because I've been taking some new medication which makes me veeeeeeeeeery sleepy and means that by the time I'm home from work, have done little house-y jobs, had my dinner and sat myself down instead of picking up my needles all I can think of is tucking myself up in bed. I am still knitting, of course I am, I'm just not getting anywhere fast.

I do have a little something to show you, a sign that my needles are still clicking away. I was going to post this as my WIP for today because when I was knitting at the weekend I did get an in-progress shot. I decided however that would be cheating as this is not a work in progress, it is, in fact, a finished object! We visited the in-laws at the weekend and I took some knitting with me. I packed my TTL Mystery socks (still unfinished, oops!) but also threw in my bag the yummy skein of Malabrigo Worsted and the needles to knit myself a Brambles Beret, something I have been itching to knit since I saw the pattern. Well the socks didn't get a look in! I cast on the hat and away I went, knit knit knit, all weekend! The yarn was just so divinely soft and smooshy, the colour so vibrant and the pattern so charming with clear and easy to follow charts. Please excuse the photos, they were hastily taken with my phone so I could show off to a knitty friend but I'm going to try get some better pictures soon. The second photo of the hat in action is more accurate for colour.



Brambles Beret in Malabrigo Worsted in Emerald (I had 42g of yarn leftover) 3.75mm for ribbing (magic loop as didn't have a short enough needle) 4mm 40cm circular then 4mm dpns for the rest of the hat. Size Medium.

I love this hat so much! I probably could have done with going up a needle size but it fits comfortably and snuggly over my ears (I haven't pulled it right down in that picture) so I'm happy. I need to work out what to do with the other 42g of yarn leftover as it's so soft I want to do something with it. The BESTEST bit about this hat though was MrNM reporting to me that one of his work colleagues had seen me in it and asked him where I bought it from as it was gorgeous and she wanted to get one after work! Apparently her reaction when he said I'd knit it was quite priceless but she is unconvinced that she'd be capable of knitting one herself.