Sunday, October 29, 2006

Me and my big feet!

Actually I don`t think they are really that big, size 7 1/2 to be precise, but I am beginning to despair of ever finding decent looking shoes to fit. It`s not as though they are that funny a shape, the majority of size 7`s fit fine widthwise, but I need them just a tiny bit longer. I do so wish that manufacturers would understand that just because I need an extra half size in length it doesn`t mean my feet are suddenly much, much wider. Grrrrr. They all seem to be as bad as each other, though Clarks have been very helpful in offering to get certain styles in for me to try.

In fact Clarks have been very good this week (and here eventually comes the knitting link) whilst I was in there I asked if they might have a couple of spare shoe boxes for our Love in a box and they happily produced some together with carrier bags to keep them dry, however, DD immediately snaffled the small one leaving me with a gents size 11 box! Now, I have always been surprised how much you can fit into a shoe box anyway, so my bits looked a little bit lost, cue photo.....

I whipped out some large needles and the left over wool from the hat, and created a `space filling` scarf using the same mock rib as the hat on a reverse stocking stitch background - I now realise it should have had a garter stitch border, as even after wet blocking and steam blocking it still has a tendency to curl - but hey, I`ll just pretend it was a design feature!
This week I took delivery of some really nice bamboo dpns, all the way from Hong Kong! from Joycesupershop . I was a bit sceptical as to what they would actually be like in view of the ridiculously low price - 12 sets of 5 x 6" dpns for .....wait for it 99p plus £11 postage, and when I opened the package which arrived in double quick time and saw it included a piece of sandpaper! I wondered again - but they are BRILLIANT, I love working with them, even with Wendy Fusion which isn`t the slipperiest of yarns they are just great (that`s where the 12th pair are at the moment) and in sizes from 2mm to 8mm I should be set for anything. I know where I will be looking if I want any other needles.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

3 flowers, 2 hats and a scarf!

Well they may only be small items but I`m pretty pleased with my FO`s from last weeks break I have finally finished Bertie and I am really pleased with the way it came out after blocking. The 4ply hand dyed lambswool from Bryony my one skein pal, was lovely to work with, though using 3.25mm needles meant it took quite a while to knit 95cm and it is narrower than the original. It is actually a little pinker than the picture, but hopefully the colour variations show as they really `lift` the design.

The flowers will be part of my contribution to The Gingerbread House the latest project of textile artist Alison Murray in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital and the North Devon Hospice.

The Sugar on Snow hat from Knitty made from a bright and cheerful odd ball of chunky that I picked up in a charity shop is destined for the Love in a Box that I will be putting together shortly. This was the first time that I had tried mock cabling, and I also wanted to use my Boyes Needlemasters, which I have to say I am very pleased with. Initially they seemed a little metallic, but as I worked on, I found them to be a pleasure to knit with, nice and pointy and the cable behaved too. I did keep an eye on the join having heard that they can unscrew, but had no problems there, though I would still bear it in mind another time to be on the safe side.

My final FO is a hat for me from Hipknits Sari silk using their free pattern, and it actually suits me!!!!!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Back again....

and I hadn`t even told you I was going (sorry time ran out) but this is where I have been, and here I am trotting along on Sheffield Pike in the Lake District.

DD`s school has a different October half term to the rest of the world, so until the holiday companies realise, we decided to make the most of the `non-school-holiday prices` and sneaked in a last minute break in Ambleside for a bit of fell walking.

It was great to get away from every day life for a few days and after marching up the fells by day, I felt totally justified in spending all evening sitting knitting - and I will show you what I`ve achieved when they (yes plural!) are blocked.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Old dogs and new tricks

In the last Simply Knitting mag, I noticed a new (to me) way of holding the yarn when knitting fairisle - both yarns in the right hand, one on index finger the other on middle finger, so I thought I`d give it a go and at the same time knit my contribution to Knit a river for Wateraid. Well, I very soon got in a tangle, it was a real fiddle and the knitting became all puckered and `orrible. It didn`t take me many rows to realise that after 30+ years of doing fairisle one way, there really wasn`t any point in trying to master a new method if it didn`t come easily, so I went back to main colour in right hand the english way, and contrast in left hand the continental way, and in very little time this square appeared.

Now I know that you really can`t teach old dogs new tricks - or at the very least it is just not worth the effort.