Friday, 24 December 2010

Happy Holidays!

Happy, happy holidays! Time now to log out of blogland for a few days, eat lots of food and give presents. I do love giving people pressies:) So I hope you have a lovely time whatever you are doing this year for Christmas, make merry and enjoy and I'll see you soon!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Autumn leaves

December does seem to be a month of sporadic blogging in between the knitting for christmas! So this is the reason everything has been rather quiet around here - the autumn leaves lace wrap. It's the rectangular modified version of the gail/nightsong triangular shawl called spring leaves, (ravelry link),  but as I was using burnt orangey browns, I had to call it autumn instead:)

It has been a real joy to knit up as the directions are very simple and easy to follow, and watching the leaf motifs appear as you knit is amazing. Nothing like lace knitting to make you feel more accomplished :)) The only thing to be aware of with this pattern is that it's knitted from the centre out so you can have directional leaves, clever! BUT don't be put off by this as you don't have to think about grafting lace at all.  No, it's all cleverly done with a provisional cast on and then picking up those stitches for the second half. You also get a lovely diamond motif where they meet and no sign of a join. Such a well considered aspect of this shawl.

When I realised this was knitted in two halves, I thought, aha! I have the perfect yarn all ready and waiting to be knitted. A sock blank, cedarwood, that I dyed last year has been sitting wound into 2x50gm balls, waiting to be made into socks. As I've moved away from socks somewhat, having two balls exactly the same for this shawl was perfect as I wouldn't have to worry about weighing the ball as I go;))

I managed to get 6 pattern repeats and the edging pattern each side from my 100gms (approx 400mtrs) but I did use a lifeline this time just in case I ran out before the chart finished. I do learn my lessons! The yarn is fingering weight and it was knitted on 4.5mm needles.

It was much more difficult to watch tv knitting this one. I tended to make mistakes when I lost concentration! so it was kind of knitted watching Terry Pratchett's Hogfather;

Miss marple's 'Body in the Library'- not her body but you know what I mean;) - from this lovely box set I got for my birthday:

And A christmas Carol - the 1999 version with Patrick Stewart - as it's so very nearly christmas now!!:

It's feeling a lot more like Christmas now.... only two more sleeps to go...... 

Monday, 13 December 2010

Deep red habitat

Hello, hello! I've been sucked away into knitting for christmas land, where everything revolves around christmas television, nice munchies and speedy knitting as the deadline draws ever nearer - 12 days to go.....

But I have a finished hat to show you - a lovely deep red version of Jared Flood's (Brooklyn Tweed) 'Habitat'. I love this deep colour too! Even though I knitted a version of this hat a few years ago, it felt like a new pattern but it did seem easier this time around and quicker too. Does this mean I'm getting better?? Ah, ha, fate will slap me down for getting cocky:))

I wouldn't say I was totally in the zone knitting the cables or that it was a super quick intuitive knit for me on this occasion, but it was fast, only taking a few days whilst watching tv, which does tend to slow me down when I have charts to read as well as distract me.  But you do need to be doing something else as well when you try to cram a lot of knitting in before christmas:) For those of you interested, this was knitted watching Ice Age - (ah, Sid the sloth cracks me up every time;))),  the Mentalist and a few CSI's.

I do love the all over cabling on this hat and once the first few rows of pattern are done its easy to see if you are crossing over in the right direction - or not. Sometimes I catch myself expecting it to be wrong the first time - which in this case is just as well!! Just the one cross but at least I noticed straight away and not near the end! It was much easier to tink back a few rows than rip back two days work.

This yarn has a lovely lighter red fleck in it too which keeps the colour from being too solid but doesn't fight the cabling. One of the happy occasions where it's even nicer knitted than in the ball.  And if you look closely at the hat laid out from the centre, can you see the flower shape? Like a 5 star petal motif, very subtle though. What a clever pattern. I don't think I noticed this the first time around.

So another knit down, and I don't really want to think how many there are still to fit into the 12 remaining days..... I really should have a better plan for next year - but I say that every time ;)) Off I go for some more christmas tv watching. What shall it be next on the needles?

Monday, 6 December 2010


Well, today is the day:) The 40th birthday has arrived and nope, I don't feel any different;)) Not that I expected to, lol! Today though has been lovely. I've managed to talk to all my family and friends, received lots of lovely thoughtful gifts and messages and pretty much gone through today on a bit of high:) My balloon is bobbing around in the living room making me smile when I look up at it and as it's helium, it will be around for a while yet as a happy reminder.

But although I didn't intend to, you do start to take stock and think just what have I been doing in those 40 years? 40 years, blimey! When did it creep up to that?? I'd like to think I'm focusing on enjoying life in the now so I wasn't counting:)) But there do seem to be bits that just flew by as chunks of years!

All this introspection has made me hunt out old photographs. I'm not very good at keeping a photographic record of myself as I don't think I photograph well most days but as I've been looking back I realise I really should have been documenting those younger days - when I looked my best!!! But then, when I'm about 80, I'll probably wish I took some photos of me at 40 so I could see me when I was 'young':)) So everything in perspective. Also, I find it interesting to see my parents and their old photographs so I really should be keeping a record for posterity myself.

Me at 21, (on the right) celebrating in the pub at art school

So, a yearly birthday photo? Mmmm, wait till I wash my hair, and slap some make-up on:) I was also thinking how I wish I had written thoughts down at the time - what was that girl of 21 thinking in that photo? Was she happy? Was she excited, nervous, confident? Funny how  you can look more relaxed when it's someone you feel comfortable with taking the photo. The facial expressions look more genuine and less forced. OR maybe that's just the drink:)) Don't let the orange juice fool you, I'm sure there was vodka involved somewhere!!

I was never one for diaries or journals when I was young - "woke up, got dressed,  had breakfast, ....." same old, same old:) Although I am aware of the irony now I keep a blog which is essentially a journal. Although I do usually stick to creative endeavours in it but that's probably because I don't want to bore you with the trivia of my day - unless its eye candy trivia like lovely cakes or yummy new yarn:)

But because I don't write it here either, then there is no history to these photos, no context to put them in other than the year and names on the back, and my faulty memory. I don't necessarily want to save everything to posterity but maybe a little background detail should be written: where was I, was it a good day, what age was I, what dreams or aspirations did I have? - as by the time I'm 80, I probably won't remember anything except the names of everyone I went to school with when I was 4:))) Sounds pretty much like a personal diary to me. Maybe I've finally grown into diary writing  - as long as I don't have to write it every day - still suck at that as you probably know already:)

So, in the spirit of recording EVENTS, here is some lovely birthday cake eye candy for you to keep you going till I wash my hair and take 40 million photos till I get one I like:)

Thank you everyone for all my lovely birthday wishes and presents - now I'm off to have a piece of cake;))


Related Posts with Thumbnails