Er… happy new year?

Oops. So much for improvement, I make it just over seven months since that last post. I’ve done a fair bit of knitting that has left the roost without nary a photo, so I won’t bother going on about that too much (christmas-gift-socks for family, mostly), though some of the christmas knitting was one of the aforementioned promised stockings for the kids – the youngest has his, now, so that leaves just one left to do, and then they’ve all got one.

(It’s another HoHoHo, with a couple of extra made up bits according to what they wanted on there.)

I’ve made a bit more progress with the Genesis jumper – basically, I’ve reached the point where I now have two sleeves, and need to think about when to stop working the body separately, join them on, and then do some maths to work out how I’m going to contiguise them (I suspect that’s not a word, but hey) so they look right. I don’t want to go for raglan or yoke at this point – I’ve still got a good few rows of the stranded pattern to go, so the latter won’t really work, and while I’m not going for full-on cosplayer accuracy, the original jumper wasn’t raglan, more likely a cap sleeve. I suppose I ought to go for that, but my previous attempts with them have made me think twice… the contiguous top-down sleeves I did for the last sweater were pretty good, so basically all I have to do is convert the instructions for the aran sweater I knit to a dk number of stitches, and then follow them backwards…

….which is why it’s not been worked on for a few months, yes. Instead, there was a fair bit of nice mindless tv knitting in the form of that Fourth Doctor scarf, though that too has now ground to a halt due to the rather approximate nature of the pattern meaning that I ran out of my olive coloured yarn with about seven rows of the last olive block to go – annoying, and I doubt very much I’ll be able to get the same batch number, but I don’t suppose it’ll matter unless they’re wildly different, as each stripe is a good few colours apart. The last time I took a photo, it looked somewhat like this –

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That was in February, hence the snow – it’s about a foot longer now, and I think (once I get a bit more olive yarn) I’ve got about 140 rows to go before I’m ‘done’ – once I’ve finished I’ve got to take the first grey panel out and graft it back together. Now, had I been paying attention, I’d have most likely left it out completely, as the pattern specifies, but as it was I knit straight through and so now I’m faced with either making a season 12 scarf, which I may or may not have enough yarn for, or doing a hatchet job and actually ending up with a more authentic version, as the missing panel on the original scarf was indeed removed (after it was damaged), and the two bits of scarf sewn back together. There are various tutorials out there on how to make the repair as close to the original as possible (some of the repairs the scarf received over the years were made by non-knitters), but as I’d like it to be fairly durable I might do a proper grafting job on it. Oh, and then there’s the tassels, of course.

I did undertake a third DW flavoured project, which I’d initially intended to be a christmas present for the other half but which fell victim (as so often happens) to basic overconfidence in the speed at which I can actually get things done by yours truly, and so he was handed several balls of wool on christmas day instead, with the promise that they would turn into socks reasonably soon.

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Police Box Sox, by Audry Nicklin aka BearEars – this was the first one (unwashed and unblocked), and he now has two, you’ll be happy to hear.  I made a point of buying enough yarn to make at least one other pair (for myself), and thankfully, the pattern is great – well written and fun to do, especially once you’ve invested in tiny enough circulars and made your peace with working with ‘proper’ sock yarn, not something I’ve previously been keen on. I used Drops Fabel, and their Blue is a really good Tardis blue (you may notice if you’re clicking on that link around about now that Wool Warehouse have a stonking sale on at the moment, you can thank me for that later, and no, I’m not getting any commission, sadly).

The other thing I’ve been knitting is socks for my grandmother, who was 100 last month and who, sadly, in this last year has been suffering more and more with dementia. So, having discovered that they’re a thing, I’ve also knit her a ‘twiddle mitt’ (various patterns out there on the internet) –

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I’ve still to attach a couple of pieces of ribbon, and finish another pair of socks, and then I can send them to her. She does get agitated and pick at things when she’s not having a good day, so hopefully this will be helpful. The socks I gave her for christmas have certainly gone down well, she’s been having trouble with her feet swelling on the days when she’s been sat for long periods, and her slippers don’t fit well, and as you might imagine her circulation isn’t what it used to be so she does get cold feet.

Lastly, this week I dusted off my Louët. It’s been at least five years since I did any serious spinning, if not longer (I’m estimating based on the fact that my youngest turned five this week, and I’ve done zero spinning since he arrived), so I thought I’d have a go at a reasonably thick yarn, for quicker results, and managed to turn out this –

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It’s been that long that I can’t be sure if this is BFL or Shetland (the bag it was in said BFL, but I suspect it’s been reused). It’s 112g, 121 yards, and roughly 7wpi – which ravelry tells me is a bulky yarn. I spun my singles not really having a clue what they’d make when they came out the other side (I think I was expecting more like dk/aran, that’s how rusty I am) and there’s a fair few sections of thick and thin going on. But, given that it’s been so long, and when I got up on the morning I did  the second single I discovered I’d come down with a stonking cold, I don’t think it’s too shoddy. I’ve not spun it with anything particularly in mind, and I’m not sure whether to leave it natural or go for it and launch myself back into dyeing, too, but I think I might make it into a nice squooshy scarf of pair of fingerless mittens, either way. I’m going to spend the rest of the day browsing ravelry patterns and forums, and drinking tea (if the kids let me), and hopefully I’ll be back here with the results before 2018.

 

I wonder what this button does…?

Wow. My blogging has become so infrequent, it seems that every time I log in now wordpress has rejigged its innards and I have to spend a good five minutes peering at stuff to find out how to post.

I gave up trying to find batteries for my camera earlier (despite the fact that I bought a dozen AA rechargeables last christmas, to combat the shortage – but that’s what I get for having a camera that takes the same batteries as Wii remotes), and so the photos for this post have been taken using eldest daughter’s newest shiny acquisition (an Asus HD 7 tablet).

I’m posting mostly to make a mini-queue for seasonal knitting/crafty stuff – there’s a few non-knitting items on there which means I can’t use ravelry for my list, but there’s also the fact that my ravelry queue will just eat up the things I put in it and I might as well not bother. It’s a little out of hand over there.

And no, this isn’t a little early for making a list of christmas crafts. Aside from the fact that it’s a season I particularly like to savour, I need to get a headstart – I do draw the line at September, right enough, but October is definitely *not* early.P_20131004_141619

All this was brought on by a spot of stash-sorting that went on last month. I dug out the terribly-hibernated jumper that I started for my younger daughter far too long ago, and started what I hope will soon be finishing it off – one sleeve was already complete, I’ve completed the second, and then added an extra inch or so to the first (because despite the fact that she’s not a huge kid, she’s certainly grown a little in the last couple of years). Casting off this sleeve is imminent – I’d hoped to get it done last night, but all the kids have come down with superlurgy so that didn’t happen. Then it needs a collar (or hood) and zip (or toggles’n’loops).

(This picture is much bigger if you care to click on it – I’m playing with the wordpress image hosting thing at the moment rather than uploading to flickr as I usually do, and it appears to make a dinky pic by default. I like the text wrapping that’s going on though.)

Whilst digging out this long-ago promised jumper, I also came across the bag of yarn that I spun, and we dyed, and is also destined to become a long-ago promised jumper. The yardage was close to being too little even way back then, so I’m almost certainly going to have to either spin more yarn, buy in some yarn as close to this as I can, or attempt to persuade her she’d rather have a jumper with either no, short, or three-quarter-length sleeves.

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And in the foreground… a big lump of leftover acrylic yarn from the molecules I knitted, that I hadn’t a clue what to do with until last month when I stumbled across them and they yelled ‘CHRISTMAS!’ at me (as you might expect from startlingly bright acrylic).

I haven’t knitted anything along the lines of baubles or stockings before (which is what I’m thinking I’ll have a go at, just now)… hopefully I won’t feel like I’ve wasted my time using this rather than yer actual genuine wool, but we’ll see…. I should probably start with some of those tiny baubles first, just in case.

Ta-da.. my handy list of links so far –

  • Baubles, as linked from this rather beautiful blog in a guest post from another Heidi, author of another fab blog (which I can tell I’m also going to spending some time wandering through, now I’ve come across it, even though I can’t read very much of it…)
  • Ice lanterns, from the same blog, this time a guest post from another blog I’m going to have to look at over a coffee soon…

To be frank, the entire Scandinavian Days of Christmas series is something I’m going to keep in mind – these three particularly caught my eye, but the knitted houses and little nisse folk are cute too.. I might get Heidi to see if there’s anything she fancies having a go at. It’s been a few years since we tried making a gingerbread house, and it was from a kit – I’ve never attempted homemade.

Finally – for now – a couple of ravelry stockings –

That’s it for the time being – I’m filing this and future posts under the category ‘christmas crafts’ so they should (theoretically) be nice and easy to find.

In other news, I’m spending the weekend finally building the shed I’ve been trying to get sorted for over a year now, and Saturday also sees the start of my level 2 maths course – have to find something to do to break up the days spent knitting, foraging for evergreens and cooking spicy biscuits with the kids, I suppose…