In which there is a UFO (and a flying saucer)

Here is the flying saucer:img_5566-copy

The UFO being the Un-Finished Object:img_5565-copy

Complete with purple boots because why not? This one is for Small after Tiny nicked the flowery one. I’m not too sure about it – the tension is very loose, it is coming up the size it’s meant to I think but it’s a bit gappy, the overall effect is better than the individual pieces so it’s a sort of impressionist space blanket. He’s pleased with it anyway and he has inherited his father’s lawn sprinklery sweatiness so maybe a lightweight blanket is better… Us chilly people, however, need a monster like this to snuggle up with (excuse the cat, she is a law unto herself and wouldn’t be in the picture if I asked her to but insisted on being there when I didn’t want her):img_5567-copy

Having almost finished covering all the beds in the house with crochet I’d better start some Christmas knitting if people don’t distract me with things like this, (thanks Pip!), they’d need testing first before I made any for Christmas presents, wouldn’t they? And my slippers are always broken (except when they’re not). And these would be much easier to fix when they wore out. Plus there’s a small person who I promised a birthday jumper to last year and he has doubled in size now so I’d better do it quick before he grows any more! Time to cwtch up with a big blanket and Ravelry this evening and do some planning.

In which there is a spider and a fire engine (you have been warned)

I won’t show you the spider until the bottom so that you don’t have to read that bit  if you don’t want to but here is a fire engine because I don’t know anyone with a phobia of fire engines.

The Man in the Shed wanted me to show you what he has been doing this morning; Small wanted to pinch one of his friend’s toys and then complained that it was broken so the Man in the Shed said they would borrow it and fix it at the same time. The ladder was missing so they have made new one out of teas stirrers and match sticks. I am sure that he must secretly be related to the mice who live in the Marvellous Mechanical Mouse Organ…

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Tiny and I have been planting things in the greenhouse and it is definitely looking more green this week. I am fairly amazed that I have managed to keep a tray of sweet peas alive over the winter – my Grandad gave them to me in a heap in an ice cream tub at the beginning of December and being a fair weather gardener (I only go out there in the cold if the compost pot in the kitchen is threatening to explode and coat the entire room with rotting veg peelings) I have more or less ignored and neglected them since and miraculously they look nice and green and bushy now.

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The spider is coming, stop reading now if you don’t want to see. The planting of things is what made me want to tell you about Dennis. He lives in the box where I keep the spare flower pots and I know he lives there but I always forget and his sole aim in life appears to be to give me a fright by scuttling around suddenly and looking enormous every time I open the box. I like spiders at a distance so he has agreed not to come and visit me in the house as long as I let him have use of the box. I am scared of spiders when I see them unexpectedly or when they are taller than me (i.e. on the ceiling) but I can cope if I know they are there and, like Howl, I don’t like anyone disturbing the resident cobwebs.

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Isn’t he a beauty? I’m not sure why he is called Dennis (normally the house spiders are all called Fred, daddy long legs are Boris and for some reason the garden spiders don’t have a name but there is a colony who live in the greenhouse and are very pretty) but he looks like a Dennis to me.

I have been getting on with jumper number three (which is really a cardigan) so I’ll tell you about that next time maybe but I am also waiting for some 100% cotton yarn to arrive so I can make some boobs. There is a group called Knitted Knockers who make prosthetic breasts for mastectomy patients (they say the silicon ones are really heavy and uncomfortable) and I thought I might as well put some knitting to good use and make a few for them, (my Grandma is going to test drive the first one for me) I’ll let you how I get on…

But in the mean time here is a cat being silly (Sorry Pip!). But at least it means that the jumper must be almost dry because cats don’t like having soggy bottoms:

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In which there is more than one way to knit

Sorry for the break in transmission, I have mostly been feeling sorry for myself with some horrible cold lurgy kind of thing, I’m still feeling pretty rough but alive enough today to realise that the house is a tip because I’ve not done any housework all week and I live with two mobile whirlwinds who make mess faster than I can pick it up at the best of times. So am I tidying up? No, I am writing on here while the mess carries on increasing…

I have been very good and not done any more of jumper number three (which is actually a cardigan) before doing jumper number two although I did accidentally cast on some socks (I am determined to make some that actually fit somebody but I will save the story about sock disasters for another day) but seriously, who could argue with the fearsome beast that was guarding jumper number two?
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I have done a sleeve and a bit so it is coming on slowly. The other reason I keep putting it off is that I am knitting it back to front.  I used to think I knew a lot about knitting but the more I learn, the more I realise there is that I don’t know. A few months ago a friend asked me to remind her how to knit – she had learnt before but was a little rusty, I’m not great at explaining things anyway but she was holding the wool in her left hand and I couldn’t work out quite what she was doing so we didn’t get on very far. She worked out what to do anyway without me interfering but it made me remember something I had read about continental knitting and it turns out that’s what she was doing. I was taught the English/throwing method where you tension the wool with your right hand and kind of flick it around the right needle to make a stitch but with the continental method you tension the wool in your left hand and scoop it up with the right needle instead. The bit of me that is vaguely an engineer (very, very, very small bit) can see that that this should be quicker just because things are moving less far for each stitch so I tried to teach myself and made an experimental jumper. Experimental because I knit the whole thing with the wool in my left hand and also it was the first time I had knit a big thing in the round and it is a great pattern because it taught me a bunch of other techniques that I didn’t know existed. I would show you a picture of it but most of the photos have got my grumpy Christmas face in so I won’t. If you want to learn more about the different techniques then stick it into Google, there are loads of tutorials and this is waffley enough already without me trying to explain properly.

I promised my friend a jumper for her birthday last year, she was supposed to be choosing a pattern, I was supposed to be nagging her to choose a pattern and eight months later she saw my jumper and said she would like one like that. The size I did first time round fit her ok so I am making one the same which means the tension needs to be the same which mean I don’t dare knit it with the throwing method in case it turns out a different size. I am still quicker at throwing anyway but also I have super bendy thumbs which go more or less from -90° to +90° (I did contemplate showing you a picture of that but I thought you probably didn’t need to see) and the way I grip the needle for continental knitting means my thumb bends the wrong way, it’s not uncomfortable but if I do it for too long my thumb seizes up (which is sad) so that is my excuse for putting off jumper number two, that and the cat.

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In other knitting news, I finished the rainbow hat but I haven’t written it down yet, I really should do it before I forget what I did. And I put the other hat pattern onto Ravelry where it has been downloaded over a hundred times already. That’s probably not very many in the scheme of things but it’s enough to remind me how terrifying the internet is.

In which there is far too much starting and not enough finishing

Do you remember after Christmas I said I had three jumpers to finish? Well jumper number one is finished (hurrah!):

Jumper number two, which I should be getting on with now I finally have the wool, looks like this:

Jumper number three, which is really a cardigan and which I should definitely not have started yet, looks like this:

Isn’t that pretty? Symmetrical and asymmetrical all at once and nice colours and I’ll tell you about it later because I’m not supposed to have started it yet…

If I’m not knitting number two then I should be writing up the hat pattern, the second prototype is finished and seemed to go ok so now I need to get some proper pictures of it to go in the pattern.

And what am I actually doing? I accidentally started another hat with the left over wool from jumper number one which is such fantastic colours (guess which colour comes next?) that I have been itching to do something with it. Is there a woolly equivalent of something burning a hole in your pocket?

Must stop it now, plus I need to do some tidying up before the cat makes away with the trolley…