It is well over a year since I posted anything, I have thought about writing something a lot of times this year – there were the really furry blue monster paw gloves for the monster who is friends with the bear and I failed to get a picture of, there was the Charlotte’s Dream blanket which kept me sane in the staffroom through the start of the year and while stuff was crazy at home (although I had to arrange the colours more in a more orderly manner than the pattern to satisfy that bit of my brain), there were baby clothes for a friend that needed finishing before we moved away in June and the baby is now two and a half months old, there was a big cross stitch which I started before I had the Smalls and which I finished in the eight weeks after we moved and had no furniture of our own, there was the Hygge shawl that I just fancied making and took to do on the plane but ended up watching lots of films instead (the Tom Stoppard Anna Karenina one is really good if you like that sort of thing – kind of a condensed theatrical version) and finished afterwards.
Every time I thought about writing something I couldn’t work out how to explain what was going on at home without getting really grumpy or sad and I thought that wouldn’t be nice to read. After more than a year of getting used to the idea I finally worked out that anybody who reads this probably knows what has been going on, where we are living and how I feel about it anyway so I have resorted to just carrying on without explaining and if you don’t know then a) tough titties, b) you’ll probably work it out as we go along and c) thank you for reading but I’m not sure why you are…
This is the view from my garden this afternoon – it is nearly 30°C, normally the sky is relentlessly blue but I hung my washing out and wanted to take a picture outside so it decided to be grey:
I had planned to come home for Christmas and left all the Christmas stuff behind but flights cost silly money so we are still here and last month I realised that we would need some Christmas stockings, they have been a bit slow because I am notoriously bad at knitting the same pattern more than once so making the same thing four times was a bit of a challenge but finally here are four stockings just in time:
And I get bonus points for using up lots of odds and ends out of the stash.
Mine has got my real name on the other side but since joining the Scouts here and needing a new name I have been reminded that when Tiny was more tiny than she is now she used to call me ‘Mouse’ so I added that too, this is my favourite bit:
Happy Christmas and I will try to write a bit more frequently now I have got past the not-writing-at-all bit!
I am still putting off showing you stuff that I made for Christmas. It wouldn’t take very long but the thought of actually working out where the few photos are that I remembered to take and trying to think of something to write about them has sent me scurrying off to do the gloss paint which is what I was putting off the week before (the queen of procrastination, remember?). This week I have mostly been dangling over the bannisters with a paint brush (don’t tell my mother, she’ll have forty fits) like some sort of trapeze act with added mess. (It’s ok, Mum, I’ve done all the high bits now.)
Before the guilt about not writing anything and the decorating set in I finished this jumper and have mostly been wearing it ever since (except for the parts when I was painting). I have been very pleased to have it this week as it is lovely and warm. I should have taken a picture of it before I wore it though – it is going bobbly already.
I nearly stuck to the pattern (also, chronic tweaker) – I added in a bit of shaping at the waist and a few short rows above and below the yoke to raise the back slightly and lower the front; it should be one of those that doesn’t have a front or back but I don’t like having a tickly neck. The yoke is a bit interesting, it’s got a few purl stitches thrown in here and there so it is a tad lumpy. I haven’t decided whether I like it yet or whether it just looks inside out but it is very warm so I think I’ll live with it.
I also seem to have produced a few body parts for another wee critter, this is as far as it’s got. It reminds me of the Griffle from Puddle Lane at the moment.
I have run out of decorating for the time being and the only reason I am writing this is that I am really supposed to be working out how to do long division. I have somehow survived thirty one years and a month or so on this planet and a maths degree without ever knowing how to do long division properly and I should really work out how to do it before I try to explain it to someone else…
Christmas this year was a bit interesting. I made it as far as tea time on Christmas day before the flu got the better of me and the Man in the Shed was not far behind. Some kind grandparents took the Smalls and we more or less slept until the 28th. The one advantage I can see to not having very much energy is lots of knitting time because you can’t do much else. The wool for this vest was a Christmas present and I thought it would last me until at least February…
This is the main bit of the body finished. It is knit in the round and has some steeks – where you knit some extra stitches in so you can cut through them later to make armholes and stuff like that.
I crocheted over the edges of the steeks to reinforce it before cutting – the grey lines are the crochet.
This is the vest after the steeks have been cut.
And this is it after doing the edgings and generally tidying up ends and things. The pattern if you are interested is Ivy League Vest by Eunny Jang and the yarn is Cascade Heritage in some nice colours. It’s quite pretty but next year I am getting a flu jab.
Having made a jumper for Tiny a few weeks ago I had to also make one for Small to keep things fair. He had his eye on the rest of the very blue wool given to me by a friend who was having a clear out so I made him this:
Sorry about the apple, it was just easier to take the photo with it! The pattern was quite fun to do, it is called Jens and is a free one but it is in Danish. Google translate didn’t do too bad a job on it and I could work out most of it with a bit of lateral thinking – cast off two stitches rather than close two stitches and things like that (it is knit bottom up, in the round and joined for the yoke if you are interested in that sort of thing). When he first saw it he said, ‘But I didn’t want green on it!’ but by the time it was finished he was so excited about it having a zip that he seems to have forgotten his aversion to green.
I was going to give the knitting a rest as my hands were getting a bit achey but this sort of fell off my needles over the weekend:
It’s a free pattern for another Sarah’s blog and it happened to suggest the same wool as I used for the mad cardigan so I’m doing pretty well at using up left over bits and pieces at the moment. I was going to put a picture up of her in bits as well but a man came to knock down the bathroom wall on Monday so I retreated into my cave and sewed her up without taking a photo of the parts. It’s going to be a stocking filler for Tiny which does seem stupidly early but I am mostly just putting off housework. Plus last year I was finishing a frog at about midnight not much before Christmas so I decided I would get a head start this year.
Now I’m off to crochet a robot. As you do.
Just a quick post to show the start of a hat, if it turns out ok then I’m going to write up the pattern and put it on Ravelry to find out how that works. I’m not sure about the size at the moment, it might need smaller needles, it’s really stretchy so far which is good for fitting different sized people but I’m not sure if it’s not going to be too loose. I’ll let you know how it goes…
Ooh, and we eventually thought of a better name for the blog after sitting for most of an afternoon reading the thesaurus, dictionary and a maths book about symmetry and then throwing ideas back and forth for several days. The logo/header/whatever-you-want-call-it is the first thing I have ‘painted’ on a finger painty app thing (I expect there’s a proper name for it but I don’t know what it is) which I pinched for the day.
This is one of the three jumpers that need finishing (actually only two jumpers need finishing, one needs starting) it is a birthday and Christmas present for a relative which was started far too close to Christmas to have a hope of finishing it.
My idea was that I might have two sleeves finished for him to unwrap and that I could do some more of it over Christmas, I merrily started on one sleeve a couple of days before Christmas when we were going out for the day on the train, I took plenty of wool with me and thought I might get it done on the journey. I did check the tension, for once I checked it really carefully first and when I got to the number of rows where the sleeve should be about the right length I realised it was far too small and measured the tension on the sleeve and it was too tight, I have no idea what I did when I measured it the first time but I had to sit on the train and unravel it all, much to the bafflement of the other passengers I should imagine. The most frustrating bit was I didn’t have any bigger needles with me, the train was held up for about three hours because of the floods and I couldn’t get on with it, then when we got home I didn’t even have a needle the right size. Christmas Eve was spent dashing out to the shop to get one and knitting like fury all day to get one sleeve done so there was at least something to unwrap and the second sleeve was done on Boxing Day. I’ve now done the body up to the arms and am waiting to see my victim to check the length on him before joining the three pieces for the yoke.
The pattern is a free one by Istex which is available here. It is knit in the round up to the armpits, then the sleeves and body are joined and it has a fairisle yoke. I’ve done some small bits in the round before like hats and gloves on double pointed needles (which is always fun as people make comments about knitting ninjas or say things like, ‘What ARE you doing?’) but I’ve only recently tried doing big things in the round on circular needles and (once you get the right size needle) it is great, I don’t like stocking stitch normally because I get bored but stocking stitch in the round with some Christmas DVDs to watch is great, you just go round and round and round and don’t have to think about or even look much at what you are doing, and jumpers in the round are amazing because there is no sewing up, just a little bit of Kitchener stitch under the arms.
I’ve also done a tubular cast on on this jumper which I discovered recently, I really like the way it looks, but I’ll tell you more about that another day.