Monday, December 8, 2008

objects, finished and unfinished

My Irish-Hiking-Scarf-receiving friend is no longer unsuspecting. Handing it over on Wednesday, having no longer been able to contain myself (and knowing I just couldn't make it any longer without getting very very bored indeed). Hope he likes it!

Have got about three or four pairs of socks to make by the weekend. Eeeeeeeep. Had to frog one back quite substantially after it was blatantly too short despite my best efforts at estimating. Bah.

Oh, and I have snazzy new Brittany Birch needles. (2.5mm 5-inch DPNs, yay!) Shall put them to use shortly. You really can't have too many 2.5mm needles, can you?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Still alive!

I am a bad, bad blogger. I'm knitting, though, so I should really try to document this.
    Currently on the needles:
  • an Irish Hiking Scarf for an unsuspecting friend of mine in (yes, I know) bright blue acrylic. It'll be washable, and the stitches are actually coming out quite nicely. This one is semi-hibernating, as everything else is so much more urgent at the moment.
  • a Just Like A Peasant Cap, for my "Auntie" Beate. Need to finish the sewing-up and finish knitting the band, then I can finally hand it over. There's loads of wool left over, so I think that might become mittens, at Beate's suggestion. She picked Rowan Cocoon, and it's... an experience. I'm not the biggest fan of that yarn as it's so loosely spun I'm constantly worrying about splitting stitches. However, it's quite a pretty yarn, and the colour, a dark wine-red, suits her.
  • a pair of plain stockinette toe-up socks for my friend SL, in cashmere yarn she has provided for me. I need her to try it on again so I know what to do about calf increases. The second one should go much faster, I suspect, as I won't have to get her to try it on all the time.
  • and I've just cast on my very first Monkey - this is my mother-in-law's Christmas present! She knows she's getting socks, so even if she looks here it's not like it'll spoilt the surprise ;-)

Projektleiterin tagged me with a meme a while ago, so I'll finally fill that in now.

1. What I was doing 10 years ago:
I was at university, singing in... actually, only one official choir at that point. Also singing Finnish folk music, which could strike you as a tiny bit unusual in Southern California, I think I may have been in an opera as well, but I'm not totally sure.

2. What 5 things are on on my to-do list for today (in no particular order):
    It's evening, so I'll write this for tomorrow.
  • Get hair cut - I am giving up on pretending that I enjoy having long hair, notwithstanding all the people who tell me I should have it. I just totally lose patience with it at two junctures: around shoulder length (where it is now as I cut it to chin length in the middle of 2007, with various trimmings since then), and around bra-strap/shoulder-blade length (when it usually gets too heavy/flat).
  • Listen to SL sing evensong at King's as she's a member of King's Voices, the mixed choir that sings when the main choir is off-duty.
  • Go to choir (of the silly variety - I've got a serious choir and silly choir).
  • Plot a forthcoming concert in the bar after choir. Er, the plotting is in the bar, not the concert!
  • Knit more of the various things mentioned above, and possibly cast on rainbow socks for my friend Nico.

3. Snacks I enjoy:
Good chocolate, gummi sweets, GREEN BALLS, Salmiakki, matzo crack, nachos, various of SL's examples of Singapore street food.

4. Things I would do if I was a billionaire:
First, I'd attempt to invest some of it sensibly. Well, as far as that goes nowadays. Then I'd probably go for the usual initial splurge on books, CDs, LOVELY LOVELY YARN (stuff like enough Colinette Tao to make a few garments, etc.), interesting long-distance train trips (Transsiberian, around Japan, Orient Express, etc.), and so on. And then I'd do really sensible things like give to charity, particularly ones related to environmental causes, and various other awareness causes.

5. Place I have lived:
The American South (Tennessee/Georgia/Texas)
Southern California
This glorious island of irreality that I love (you'll know it if you see it)

Anyway, not tagging anyone as my readership numbers about three, I think! If you feel moved to do this meme, please do.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Home dyeing

I've just dyed my first batch of yarn. Well, that's probably a slight exaggeration. I bought some sock yarn (Cygnet Wool-Rich 4-ply) from the John Lewis bargain bin, and decided its colour (lilac solid) was insufficient. So, using these instructions, I dyed them in artificial cochineal on one end of the skein and blue food colouring on the other end. It's now a sort of maroon/blueish/brownish/occasionally lilacish colour, drying in the airing cupboard, and will be made into socks shortly (albeit probably very simple ones). Photos will follow when they're done. Quick note to add - the heating was done in the microwave - 2 minutes on High, 10 minutes on Simmer, then took the bowl out and placed it in the (empty) bathtub to cool.

Other knitting news:

  • No real progress to speak of on the headband. Will try again later with another yarn, and am donating the yarn I'd used so far to a friend who's just learning to knit.
  • No progress whatsoever on the hats for the imminent choir babies (different choirs, but both due in August AFAIK). This will be remedied forthwith.
  • I'm teaching a friend of mine to knit. This is fun.
  • I started an Irish Hiking Scarf (mind out, link to PDF) for an unsuspecting friend of mine. Nearly halfway done now. Yay!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

headbands and baby hats

Currently working on: a headband, which looks not too difficult, and is helping me use up some yarn that's been driving me N-V-T-S (nuts!) lately. This one is intended purely for at-home wear. If it works out nicely, I'll make another one to wear in public.

Currently arghing over: a hat for the soonishly-due (well, August) baby belonging to one of the altos in one of my choirs. From trying to decipher the original Norwegian pattern, I *think* my mistake is to count 18 after knitting front and back of one loop; am guessing that it ought to be 17, or that normally the increase would be done by picking up the middle bar between two stitches (in which case 18)? Oh well, I'll try that a little later. Would really like to have it finished by Sunday, so I can hand it over to the prospective mother at the performance that afternoon. Here's hoping...

Friday, June 6, 2008

I can has frist psot, oh yeah

First posts in blogs are often pretty much meaningless. This one is no different.

In 1988 or 1989, in primary school, anyway, I learnt to knit. Badly. So I stopped. Having, however, fallen in love with yarn, I kept intermittently reading about it, but didn't have the courage to actually attempt to knit anything, certainly not while I didn't have anyone to show me. I suppose with some initiative I could have found someone, but I was busy doing ten million other things (TM). OK, I was mostly busy singing. Anyway, at the end of this past March, I finally decided to pull my finger out and just try again. Since then, I've made three pairs of socks, a few hats, and some birds (I really need to get better at embroidery).

I guess I'm just trying to document my attempts at making things, as I have generally been quite clumsy all my life, and am trying to remedy that.

Very helpful: Knitting Help
Very addictive: Ravelry