Thursday, 30 September 2010

Win A Free Book

Free needle craft book give away for UK knitters.

Over at janeweston there is a review of The Needle Craft Book and the book is up for grabs too, just read and leave a comment for a chance to win.

Christmas updates, already.

   The dogs still doing well and I'm comfortably sleeping back in my own bed, yaaa. Been a nice sunny day so have got the washing out and have caught up on nearly all my chores, that is until they need doing again, and again, and again, and again!!!

   Spoke to one of my sisters before and she says she wants a scarf with pockets in it. This is the sister I was going to do the newsboy hat for. She also told me her son wants black fingerless mitts, I was going to knit him the two way hat. Oh well, at least I hadn't already started knitting anything and I guess it does make presents easier to sort out.

  I'm wondering if I could do the double basket weave scarf with pockets, hope so because I not looking forward to knitting a mainly plain scarf. Am going to have to start buying more yarn very soon now I have firms things that need to be knit. 

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Almost back to normal.

    I got to sleep in my own bed last night. The dog was pacing a little but I think this is my fault, think he's confused with me sleeping downstairs and upstairs and doesn't know why. He's not had any more fits and seems to be fine and he's back to eating as normal. I just hope it doesn't happen again or it does there very short and well spaced apart.

   I managed to do a little knitting yesterday on the Ipad sock cosy thingy and am thinking about making a flap for it. Stop kitting in the round and do the back, basket weave into the crossed arrow cable but when its folded over it will be upside down compared to the front. I figure if I can get the lengths right it will look good.

  Still need to catch up on some chores but got most done yesterday. Hope to get some spinning done today as well, maybe a little weaving too. I need to learn how to finish off a weaved project. I could do with more practise in starting too.

    Thanks for the kind emails.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Vets and chores.

   Went to the vets, theres really not a lot that can be done. They took some blood and gave me two types of medication to use if needed. She said  the blood work will probably not show anything, will get the results in a little while. He hasn't had another fit since 1pm Sunday so fingers crossed they have disappeared as quickly and unexpectedly as they came. I ended up sleeping on the couch again last night as he was restless and pacing and I wasn't sure if this was a sign a fit was coming, nothing happened though. I'm starting to miss my bed.

 I've still not done any knitting, spinning or weaving. Not done any chores either which I really need to start catching up on today. My sister gave me a lift to the vets so I let her have a choice in which Ipad sock cosy she wanted, she picked the one with the rope cable, probably because that one is finished and I'm still only half way on the crossed arrows one.

  Hopefully I'll get back to my knitting and spinning today,tomorrow once the chores are looking less like a mountain and will return to regular blogging asap.

Monday, 27 September 2010


    Going to the vets in a bit. The dogs not had any more fits since 1 pm yesterday so that's some good news. I think its been harder on me than the dog, watching the seizures is very distressing and not being able to do anything. I slept on the couch again last night but did have a good nights sleep.
  I've not been able to do much knitting, my hearts not in it and can't concentrate for any length of time. I've not been able to do much of anything really this weekend, just padding around the house stopping and starting tasks. Watching over the dog and jumping up any time he scratches or moves in his dreams.
  I might post later when I get back from the vets or leave it till tomorrow, want to thank folks for the kind emails, thanks.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Sick with worry

    I haven't slept all that good the last two nights I can feel the worry in the pit of my stomach, it sits there like a large heavy rock. The seizures are pretty short, about 1 to 2 mins which is a good thing. The bad thing is he's having more than 3 in 24 hours, approx every 6 hours. 
     He had a short one just after bedtime last night, after that I decided to sleep on the couch with him downstairs, bit worried he might hurt himself upstairs. His last two were pretty short 30 secs to one min but on the last one he was really struggling to get up and kept banging his head on the floor.He seems ok after about 45 mins though hasn't eaten all that much since they started.
  Vets tomorrow and we'll see what happens from there. I'm thinking because of the way there clustered he'll end up on meds but from what I've read once he's used to them its not so bad. Can lead a healthy happy life. Please keep us in your prays,thanks.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

My dogs fitting.

No picture post today.
   I think I've found out why my dog has been acting odd the last couple of days. He had a fit in the middle of the night and just had another one a little while ago. Scared me silly. He's normally a friendly dog but is aggressive when he comes around for a short time and with the foaming mouth its kinda scary to see.

  Now that he's had 2 in a 12 hour period I need to get him to the vets and find out why this is happening. Please say a little pray for him, he's a wonderful dog.

Friday, 24 September 2010

I messed up.

  Well I've messed up the Ipad sock cosy thingy, tried to unknit it but made it worse. I've never unknitted cables before and don't want to try that again. Put it down for now but will rip it all out and start again. Glad its only a small project. 
   My head hasn't been in the game ever since I started this project, no idea why not. Its not a hard project, I even made it easier by doing the back in basket weave instead of cabled honeycomb. Its a quick knit small project which I usually love to do. Oh well its a new day, maybe I can get a fresh start with it.

  Theres still something going on in the garden that's making the dog skittish, even after two days with heavy rainfalls theres a smell that's getting to him. I'm thinking returning visitor, maybe rats but can't see him getting that worried by em. My old dog wasn't a good ratter but she always gave em a run for there money. This dog I don't think has seen a rat before, haven't had any for a couple of years on my property. I kinda hope it is rats, I can get the .22 out then.

  I'm not sure what tomorrows post will be but it will have pictures, maybe I'll do another sock post. We'll have to wait and see.

Thursday, 23 September 2010


  Somethings been in the back garden that has really spooked my dog, never seen him this skittish before. He was even skittish when I first took him for his morning walk, but soon calmed down. He's still sniffing around out back but in a very worried way. I've no idea what it could be. He goes nuts over hedgehogs but not in a scared way, he'll run cats off without a care in the world right up to the point of a piece of metal he once pierced himself on. I can't see him getting worried over a fox and theres nothing else I can think of in the way of wild critters here.

  I'm just under half way with the Ipod, Ipad sock cosy thingy. My hearts not in it this time for some reason, just not in the mood. I've had to change the front pattern a little half way through so I can be sure of the right length.

  Think I'll have a play on the loom today, I've sort of got the hang of it though I haven't finished a piece yet so have no idea how that's done. Cast off, bind off, or what ever its called in weaving.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

BBQ kniting

  The sun is shinning again today. It was meant to be raining from what the weather man said, guess that's like still believing in Father Christmas at 25 though. I could of gotten another load of washing done and on the line, I'm falling behind a little.
   I had my BBQ yesterday, the lamb burgers I made were pretty fatty, more like mutton than lamb. Still tasted good though. I might have another bbq today, with beef and maybe pork this time, yummy.

   I started the Ipad sock cosy thingy yesterday, a few times. I tried a couple of different yarns instead of the cotton but didn't like the way any of them were knitting so went back to the cotton. I don't think I was really in the mood to be honest. I've decided to do the basket weave again for the back instead of the honeycomb, really couldn't be bothered doing the honeycomb.

   I did come up with a couple of new ideas to try like combining the crossed cable with a single honeycomb cable, also thought about using different coloured yarns for the cables. Not sure if that's possible but will give it a go when I have time. I might knit a few of these Ipad sock cosy thingies and give my sisters a choice. They could pick which parts they liked best and I could reknit one for them if theres not a full one already knitted. The left over ones I could try and sell on ebay,the ones already being sold on ebay just look like the top of a sock. Mine with the cables are much more interesting.

   I got my bluefaced Leicester top today, I love the oatmeal colour. The online picture really didn't do it justice, looked like a boring light brown. Think I'll get more oatmeal and hopefully spin it good enough to be able to knit with. The white bluefaced I'm spinning at the moment is coming out much thinner but there are still the odd thicker parts too it, I am getting better though.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Sunshine, Lamb BBQ.

    Got my washing on the line to dry, walked the dog without the need for coat and gloves. Its a wonderful day. 
   Just got some mince lamb and seeded buns. I'm going to make lamb burgers and have a BBQ. My mint hasn't done very well this year but there are a few leaves I can pick to add to the mix. Heck of a lot better than the dried stuff. Lamb,onion, bit of mint, drop of Worcestershire, season it and mix it up and squish it into patties(might need egg to bind and bread crumbs or crushed crackers). Easy peasy and so yummy. Lamb suits spicy stuff too so you can spice it up Moroccan style if you wish.

   Would like to write more and knit more but I'm going to take advantage of this lovely weather while it lasts and go play in the kitchen and garden.
Have a good day folks.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Slow weekend

   I didn't get much knitting done this weekend. Well apart from the backpack straps but with these I seem to be no further along. The straps are now 17" long and I think another 5 " should do it, I hope. If I just wanted to attach the straps to the backpack they'd probably be long enough as they are but because I'm using buckles to make them adjustable I need the straps to be longer.

  Its my other sisters birthday this week so I need to knit another Ipad sock cosy thingy. I'm thinking of doing crossed arrow cable or stag horn cable on the front and honeycomb cable on the back. I think I will have to make the front cables a little thinner, not sure yet. I'm not sure on which yarn to use either. I do really like using the cotton as it turns out very well defined. Plus cotton is really easy to care for and is ok to drop down the toilet.

    I've just ordered a mild for my homebrew. Not sure I've made mild before so should be interesting to test, drink. I need to order some more tops for spinning, I didn't win the ones I wanted at the weekend. I need more yarn too, I always need more yarn. I do have enough to start Christmas presents and once the Ipad sock cosy thingy is done I really should make a start on those, even if I don't have a full list of what to do yet.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Double Basket Weave Scarf

Double basket weave scarf.

This has to be one of my favorite knits, and its so easy to do as well. If you can knit and purl you can do this scarf and the results look a lot harder than they really are.
Basket Weave Scarf

 I used the same yarn as the sweater yarn, I'd guesstimate around 70 to 100g but it could of been less, no more than 100g though. I had a big cone and wound it into balls so have no idea on the length or weights. Get 100g of dk and it should be enough. (ETA The pattern calls for, Yarn: Light Worsted 175 yd [160 m]/100 g): Gauge: 18 sts and 24 rows = 4" (10 cm) in St st; 28 sts = 4½" (11 .5 cm) wide in double basket patt. with 5mm needles.). I don't think the gauge is all that important but you want it between a skinny scarf and a wide scarf. I did the scarf on 4.5mm needles,it turned out at 4" wide and I knitted close to 6 feet in length.
Double basket weave.
 I did make a small, heh big, mistake while knitting this scarf, scarf was around 4 feet long at this time. I had it folded up while knitting to help keep it out of the way and off the floor and either missed or added a row which turned the patten back to front. I only noticed my mistake when I unfolded the scarf to measure how far I had got and found the last 10 inches facing the wrong way. It was very annoying at first but over all I didn't mind because the pattern is a real pleasure to knit. I ripped out the 10 inches and just reknit them, not something I ever enjoy but it did give me a chance to knit even more of this fun pattern. But it is worth keeping a close eye and count on the rows, guess that goes for all patterns though.

    I really do love the textured look of this pattern. There really is no right side or wrong side but I prefer the side that looks wavy as can be seen in these two pictures. Some folks will prefer the other side but it really doesn't matter as both sides look great.
basket weave scarf
I haven't decided who to give the scarf to yet, I have a couple of ideas including keeping it for myself. I might also knit another one or two as it is really good to knit. I can't say that enough, I really did enjoy knitting this one lots.

 A very simple scarf that looks really really good and will keep you nice and warm this coming cold winter. Give it a go I promise you'll not be disappointed.

Double basket weave scarf
   Happy knitting.
Knitting pattern. Swatch. Double basket weave instructions ( slightly different than the pattern but the same really.)

Friday, 17 September 2010

loom and gloom

   Well the postman did make it yesterday, at around 2.30pm, and delivered the loom instruction booklet. Had a quickish look and I get the jist of it but already had the jist of it anyway. I need to set aside an afternoon and work on it. Think I've put myself off the first day trying to figure it out without instructions, it got frustrating. I'll get there in the end.

  Got another email off the phone co. There sending someone out on Monday to have a look. If I'm not in they will charge £10, got me thinking can I charge them if they don't turn up. Think that would make us all rich. I hate the patronizing way they try to solve the problems, phone support or email support, treating us all like idiots. Is it plugged in????

  Bid on some mixed tops for more spinning, if I don't win I'll get some more bluefaced Leicester , I love spinning with this stuff. Think I have the hang of my new spindle, do have to keep an eye on it because it spins fast, slows down fast then spins the wrong way fast.

  Been doing a lot on the backpack straps, I really have but still don't seem to be getting much further along. Haven't started the other Ipad sock yet, might start it today, tomorrow or the weekend. Which ever I do have to keep at the straps before I go nuts.I really should start doing the socks I've had on the needles for a long time now. Been so long I've forgotten how to knit socks.

Pop back tomorrow for the double basket weave scarf with pictures.

Thursday, 16 September 2010


    Trying to design another Ipad sock, for my other sisters birthday, using the crossed arrow cable in the round. Somethings telling me I need to change the front and back cables to do it in the round but I'm not sure. Think I'll only know once I start knitting. I haven't fully got my head around how cables work yet. I think I'll do a smaller version for my tobacco tin as a test.

  I was really hoping that the instruction booklet for the loom would arrive today, its getting a little late for the postman though now. If it comes tomorrow I will probably miss him as I'm out most of the day and will end up having to wait until Monday, grrrr.

  My phones been cut off since the 14th, they did some work next door and I think have killed my phone line. Finding an email or way to contact the company hasn't been straight forward at all. Been a real pain in the ass to be honest. Got a response from them today but only saying they have received my email so will probably be next week sometime until they get around to fixing it, more grrrrrs.

  On a more happy note, I'm breathing.

eta looking again at the rows for the crossed arrow cable I think its ok, I must of mixed up right and wrong sides when writing it out for in the round.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Sneak peek.

Double basket weave scarf   
Double basket weave scarf
Red double basket weave scarf

Here's a quick preview of the double basket weave scarf. Check back on Saturday for a full post and more pictures.

Wool double basket weave scarf

Knitted double basket weave scarf

Click on images to enlarge

Soup day

I declare today to be soup and hot chocolate day.

   Its blowing a gale outside and is a little drafty inside too. The weather has been awful the last couple of days, winds gusting close to 60mph and lots of rain to boot. A very dark and dank September, a lot like the summer we had really. I love living close to the moors, I find great beauty in the desolate landscape but the wind surely does howl across the land making walking upright difficult at times and riding my bike rather interesting.

   I'm in a two minds sort of mood today, so will probably not get anything done at all, didn't get much done yesterday either. Was thinking of having another go at dyeing with some other food dyes I've bought, not sure I can be bothered though. Definitely can't be bothered with the loom at the moment, hope that booklet arrives soon.

   I will finish the bookmark I've been working on, only a few  rows to do on it and I will spin some more of the bluefaced fleece as well. Think I will upload and sort the pictures I took at the weekend and make a start on Saturdays post. Yes will sort the pictures out and decide what to post on Saturday, me thinks it will be the double basket weave scarf but that could change.

Drink soup and be warm.


Tuesday, 14 September 2010



  I love this bluefaced Leicester fleece, not only is it super soft its also incredibly easy to draft. You can predraft it very fine and get on with spinning it with little drafting needed. I'm getting a pretty thin yarn though its still not all one width and theres a fair few slubs but that's probably more my fault than the yarns. I'm going to get more of the bluefaced Leicester and will be plying and dyeing it so I get get some knitting done with my own homespun yarn.

  The other yarns I have spun are a little too thick for plying I think. The last one I could maybe knit with as a single as it did turn out better than my first two attempts. Still a little thick and bumpy in places though. I might weave with it instead if I can ever figure out how to use the loom.

  I'm getting much better with my new spindle, only dropped it once yesterday and managed to catch it before it bounced. With this top I'm using its going really quick, think I could easily finish 50g in one sitting. I need to buy more tops as this is my last one.

  Think I've accidentally created a cabled bookmark. I'll search the internets and if no one else has it I'm claiming it as my own, heh. I'll take pictures soon and write up the pattern. Might put it on ravelry as well.

Monday, 13 September 2010

New spindle, loom and cables.

  Used my new spindle yesterday with the blue faced top. The spindle is massively different than my old one. Apart from keep dropping it, something I didn't do with my old one. It spins super fast but not for as long. Winding on seems a little tricky as well because of the thinness of the shaft. I think I'll be used to it be the time I've finished the blue faced top.
  The blue faced top is very very soft and a joy to draft. I'm not sure whether its the blue faced or the new spindle, probably both, that's making it very easy to get extremely thin yarn. Extremely thin for me anyways, if it ain't chunky its thin to me.

   Not getting anywhere but frustrated with the loom. I've ordered a beginners instructions and pattern booklet to help me. The internets hasn't been much help, or maybe its just me having a problem getting my head around it. I'll keep at it, should get the booklet this week and we'll see how I get on from there.

   I've been playing around with cables again this weekend, haven't made anything but knitted a couple of swatches. I did this one, crossed arrow cable, then I knitted it the other way, upside down. I made a mess of the moss stitch the first few rows. I'm planning on combining it with the cable ropes I can do for my other sisters ipod sock. I have it pictured in my head but that's it so far, will chart it when I have some time.

  I'm going to do a smaller cabled sock for my tobacco tin, not sure what I will do at the moment but there such quick knits I'm sure I can fit it in somewhere. Its good to have fun too.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Midge mittens

Midge mittens
   These midge mittens are a great beginners in the round project, there is no left and right hand to bother with. 
Moms Christmas mittens
    These were my second in the round project and it was once the wrist ribbing was done and I'd moved on to what was meant to be the stocking stitch part I realised I was knitting wrong. Instead of stocking stitch I was getting purl stitches, it took me awhile and a friends advice to figure out I was knitting off the wrong needle. I think its an easy mistake to make using magic loop and not so much using dpn.

Midge mittens
  I knitted these for my moms Christmas present last year, I can't remember the yarn I used apart from that it was sock yarn. I think it was regia but could be wrong. I probably used 3mm needles using the magic loop method. I find the magic loop so much more easy than knitting with several double point needles. Its also less intimidating to beginners I think.

   As well as learning that I was knitting the wrong way around this was the first time I had to pick up stitches. I didn't practise picking up stitches I just went ahead and did it, its a bad habit of mine to just jump in. You can't really see in the pictures and I only have these 4 images but my results were not great but passable. I've since had plenty of practise picking up stitches doing socks.
Easy, no left, right hand mittens 
     Over all I was happy with the mittens, they fitted well and looked great which is probably more to do with the yarn. There an easy beginners project for in the round knitting compared to socks and will give you a chance to learn to pick up a few stitches. Plus because there is no left hand, right hand mitten also makes them very easy, a big plus for me when I was looking for a easy pair of mittens to knit.

Friday, 10 September 2010


   These are my favorite things to knit. I absolutely positively love to knit Icords, I could happily knit a mile long Icord. There quick to knit and takes no thought process once you know how.

  Take two double point needles and cast on 3 stitches onto one of the dpn. Slide the stitches to the end so that the yarn is at the end not the beginning of the stitches. The yarn will go across the back of the stitches, knit the 3 stitches, give them a little tug and slide them along the dpn and knit them again. A good video showing what I mean.

  I learned
to do Icords from "Knitting without Tears" by Elizabeth Zimmermann that a friend bought for me to help me get back into knitting after I went through a rut of not knitting for awhile. Its a great book and I love her no nonsense witty writing style.

  I didn't manage to take any pictures yesterday, I was too busy messing around with the loom. I have a long way to go. I think I've figured out how to put the weft on but I could be wrong. The weaving I did manage to do yesterday was definitely wrong. I'll get there, just don't think I'll be knitting a tartan scarf any time soon.

  I got my new drop spindle today. Its tiny. Really tiny. Makes me wonder how heavy the monster of a spindle I've been using is. I haven't used it yet but did give it a few spins with the string from the label and it spins great. Looks good too. I might start the blue faced top with it today if I don't get lost in the loom again. Oh, I need to take pictures of my stuff too.

  Almost finished the ipod sock, its off the needles just needs weaving in and the bottom sewing. I probably need to do a few more inches on the Icord for it then its all done. I love doing these little quick knit projects.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Nearly finished.

  I'm really liking the look of this ipod sock I'm knitting though I would do it differently next time. Think the ribbing is too wide but apart from that its looking good. I might even contribute the pattern to raverly, my first one. Not sure if I'll finish it today, bit busy and I'm not 100% sure on what to do with the top, thinking 2*2 rib with a yarn over for an Icord. Or I could do a flap but I'm not sure how I'd work that into the pattern.

  I could knit Ipod socks for ever, there great quick knits but I really need to crack on with the Christmas stuff. The mittens I'm thinking of a fair Isle snow flake on the back of the hands. Then felting the mittens, I think I'd have to buy the wool for this as the dodgy sock yarn my or my not felt which is a pain.

  Post man just knocked with my new loom, opened it and there are no instructions in how to use it which increases my learning curve somewhat. Thank God for the internets. If anyone knows good learners sites please give me a shout, thanks.

 I've got the camera charged so will be taking some pictures this afternoon of the double basket weave scarf, newsboy hat and my cabled bookmark. There might be other stuff I need to take pictures of too, I forget.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Finished stuff.

   Finished the double basket weave scarf, weaved in the ends but haven't blocked it. I'm not sure it needs blocking but could probably do with a wash, at nearly 6 feet long its kinda been dragged around in the mud while being knitted. Kidding, but my floors can get filthy so I'll give it a wash and sort of block it. 
   I've got the batts. charging so will take some pictures tomorrow and will probably do a post on it on Saturday instead of the mittens post.

  The two Ipod socks I was knitting are basically
done, both need there ends weaving in and one needs sewing up at the bottom. I'm not 100% happy with my results so have set about making my own. Found a ok online java chart program that I've been playing with. I can't read charts and I'm knitting in the round so its sort of easy and sort of hard. I'm doing a cable up the front and basket weave for the back and I'm not sure about one row in the basket weave, I think the purl row after the first few rows should be a knit row but then again I could be wrong.

   I won the loom I bid on so will have some posts on my trying to learn how to use that, might be fun reading about me being tied up in knots with my hair ripped out. I've also bought a spindle for my spinning from thewhorlsend , its 21g and made of elm. The lady is a spinner so I know it will spin good. I might buy her raw fleece starter kit as well.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Christmas presents

    Oh joy. I hate buying Christmas presents, I can never figure out what to buy folks. Deciding what to knit as presents for folks isn't much easier. The big difference being buying rubbish and knitting rubbish is that with knitting its the thought that really counts. Spending 20 hours knitting something personal is a gift in its self.

  Last year I knitted 2* zig zag scarfs for two sisters and a pair of wrist warmers for my other sister while I knitted my mom a pair of mittens. I bought the kids presents but would like to knit stuff for them this year, although I might buy my niece a loom. She seems into stuff like that, she just got a sewing machine. Maybe I should buy her knitting needles, they would be cheaper but my gut says a loom.

 The double basket weave scarf I'm doing at the moment I was thinking for my nephew but have decided on doing him a watch cap. He's in the RAF cadets and has just been camping with them so I want to do a hat that's green on one side and camo on the other side. sort of like this. I think a variegated sock yarn and a green sock yarn will work great, warm but not overly hot. Not too bulky either. I think the scarf might go to my brother in law or maybe my dad. I really can't knit or buy for everyone, I've not enough ideas or cash.

  My youngest nephew I have no ideas yet what to do and may end up buying something for him. Then there are the little ones, I could knit fun hats for those two. Seen some funny monster or animal hats that might work. Having the time is the major issue as always.

  Sisters I'm not 100% sure on yet, thinking a tartan scarf for one and a newsboy cap for another. Maybe mittens for the third. Yes. Sometimes writing this stuff out helps a lot. That's my sisters gifts sorted, just have to buy yarn and knit now.

  My mom will be harder to knit for this year. I think she loves the bookmark I did for her mothers day present best. In the past I've knitted her a shawl, mittens and a sweater. I don't think I have the time for a big project but can't think of a good small project. Socks? Scarf? Hmm
maybe I could give the double basket weave scarf, it would match the jumper I did. Think it might be a little chunky for a women though, or is it??? A little help here would be much appreciated.

   I'll be coming back to this topic a lot over the next few months I think, especially around December when my head explodes in panic because I have to have 6 super fast things to knit because I left everything so late. Again!!!

Any simple gift ideas please chime in or email me, I need all the help I can get. Thanks.

* Only have pictures of one, can't find the other one.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Happy Monday

   Hope you all had a good weekend. Its looking like there will be no Indian summer so I guess summers over for this year. Not that we've had much of a summer where I am. 
   I really think this winter is going to be a harsh one, like the winters from a few decades ago. My advice would be to start prepping for winter now, get plenty of salt and cat litter, those two went fast last year. 
   The farm I buy my wheat from is selling hard red winter Canadian wheat, this stuff has more protein in it than the other stuff. Not sure if I've ever had it before but will be getting some to add to my stash. No empty bread shelves for me thank you very much.

   I've bid on a child's loom on ebay, figure its a good cheap way to start to learn how to weave. I'd really like to do the tartan scarf on it but have not idea how hard that will be. Guess I'll find out, think it will be good for making normal scarfs as well, probably much fast than knitting.
  Also bid on another top whorl spindle so I can have more than one project on the go or do some plying while ones in use. If I don't win it I'll buy one off ravelry that some one offered me, thanks for that.

  As you can see in my project gadget thingy in the side bar I've started another ipod sock. This one I'm doing in the cotton I used on the bib  mixed with some of the dodgy gray sock yarn I have. The stitches are better defined and the colours go well together. I should have it finished by tomorrow I think. I will charge the batts. for the camera and catch up with my picture taking.
  Done a bit more on the straps for the backpack, I'm really starting to despise doing them. They should be so simple and quick to do but there taking forever and are so boring. 

   I haven't done anymore on the double basket weave scarf because I'm using the 4mm needles on the new Ipod sock. I'll need to buy some more needles, love my knit picks/ knit pro interchangeable needles, just swap em around in the middle of a project.

  Coming up this week will be the mittens I did for Christmas last year. I want to show some photo's of my work every Saturday so look out for that. 

   I'm going to start the swatches for the "Art of Knitting" magazine blanket soon so there will be weekly posts on those with pictures. There are two blankets to do but a lot of the squares are repeated, still should give me a fair bit to post about though.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

My first socks

My first socks knitted with magic loop.
My first socks
    Socks can be a daunting task for the beginner with a few new things to learn, heel stitch, short rows and Kitchener stitch. All pretty easy to do but still a little off putting. I think the hardest being Kitchener stitch, its looks harder than it really is but is very easy to get confused while knitting it. Have to pay attention, I think one video recommended getting a glass of wine, throw the dog out and take the phone off the hook. Maybe good advice the first few times, or always.
Me wearing my new socks

  I use magic loop to do all my knitting in the round, there are parts when doing the sock its very tricky but I much prefer it than going onto use 4 or 5 double point needles.
  The hard part was doing the gusset and it took me awhile and a lot of yellow half baby socks before I mastered it. Even watching the only video I could find it still took me about 4 baby socks to get it.
Zig zag sock yarn
  If your going to do socks with magic loop I strongly recommend Kelley Petkun sock class videos, online.  There a great help even if the gusset part was hard to follow. 

   These socks were knitted using zig zag sock yarn, its only 50% super wash new wool but at £3.50 its one of the cheaper but good sock yarns. I used 3mm knit picks / knit pro interchangeable needles. I need to buy some smaller needles but you can't buy them any smaller than 3mm as interchangeable. The length of cable you need for doing socks in magic loop is 80cm, it can be done using 60cm I think but would make it more tricky on certain parts.  A longer cable would be fine.
Heel stitches on my sock

Here you can see the heel stitches, they add a little thickness for strength and comfort to the heel.
 This part of the sock is hardest, with turns and pick ups for the gusset. The gusset is the triangle part near the ankle, think you can see if better in the upper picture.

heel stitches & gusset

You can see the heel stitches and gusset in this picture, click to enlarge.
   Once past the heel and gusset its plain sailing to the toe decreases and kitchener stitches. The toe decreases are pretty straight forward, just don't get turned around or they wont match.
  And last is the kitchener stitch, its easier than it looks but very easy for it to get messy and confuse you.

  I always do both socks, on separate needles at the same time(some folks can do them on the same needles). This way I can finish both socks roughly at the same time instead of having one sock laying around waiting for me to get around to knitting it a friend. Plus I think it helps keep everything looking identical.

My first knitted socks
The socks were knitted down towards the toe, some folks prefer to do toe up socks. I didn't use a pattern for these. To me a sock is a sock and in stocking stitch doesn't really need a pattern, but will need trying on towards the end. To get the size right I use a online sock calculator with a few tweaks of my own. 
knitted socks

I might come back to this post another day and edit it all, seems a mess to me and I've missed a lot out. Like the part were these aren't really my first socks. I knitted a couple of pairs of baby socks before I attempted to knit these for myself.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Ipod, Ipad, Idk

    Almost finished the Ipod sock thingy, I love quick knits. Not sure if I need to do an Ipod or Ipad sock though, I don't even know the difference.
   At this stage I'm not 100% happy with the way it looks, its the yarn not the pattern that's the problem. Oh and maybe my technique. Time is short, its her birthday this weekend but I'd like to do it again in a different yarn or maybe improvise a new pattern. We'll see what happens, might make an interesting post on Monday.
  One more thing on the pattern I used, there are two small mistakes on rows 33 and 39. Row 33 should be P8 not P9 and row 39 should be k1, P2, k2 and not k1,p2,k1. I've emailed her the corrections so they might be corrected by now.

  Been thinking about felting stuff since I found out about the dodgy sock yarn I have. Sill have 250g of the white left and 200g of the dark grey. Not great colours but I could always ruin, I mean dye the white. Or even leave it white and knit with both yarns. They might felt together nicely. Who knows?? Certainly not me.
   What to felt though I'm not sure. It would have to be something where size doesn't really matter. Don't fancy doing a scarf at the moment, think it would be boring because of the stitches I'd have to use. Its one thing to do double basket weave for 6 feet but don't want to do 6 or 7 feet of stocking stitch, yawn. Maybe I could use my fattest needles so it knits up quick. I need to read more on what sort of stitches felt best. No point knitting lovely cable patterns for them to go flat once felted.

  Working on the sock post for tomorrow, taking a bit longer than I thought but I'll do my best to get it posted. So pop on by tomorrow and see my first socks and if you have any helpful comments on felting let me know, thanks.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Peace and quiet.

*sock post coming soon

Woke up this morning and it was so quiet and peaceful. Theres a calm stillness in the air that you can feel. Yaaaaa the kids are all back at school, just as the suns come out too.

   Got about half of the Ipod sock done but might do another one in a different yarn. The yarn I'm using isn't really showing the stitch detail and twists of the cables. I'd also like to put some detail in the middle, the original pattern uses buttons as decoration. I think they'd catch on stuff though, its a pretty slim line thing so why add buttons to fatten it up. Might be time for pen and paper and for me to learn to read charts.

  The cheap sock yarn I've been getting turns out to not be superwash stuff. Found out lidl was selling it last year and annoyed a lot of folks. Think they paid £3.99 though were as I've only paid £1.I'm going to need a felted pattern or something I can knit that wouldn't mind if it did get felted. Or maybe something that doesn't need washing, I should ask a teenager about that one.
  The good thing is that the sock yarn that lidl is selling at the moment seems to be super wash, thanks to the lovely ladies at British knitters on ravelry for doing a swatch and washing it.

  I'll have a sock post up either tomorrow or Saturday, would do it today but I have to mow the front lawn. I have to mow the back too but I'm afraid I've left that too late. The backs going to need the strimmer, grass is so long out there now it just jambs up the mower. Woe is me.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Measure twice

Cut once...

  Started the Ipod sock for the second time because the first time I thought it was too small. I also messed up with a couple of pattern swatches mixing the length up with width, well I totally forgot about the width and thought everything was a square. 

    The sock Ipod thingy calls for worsted weight yarn so I'm using bigger needles and some old double knit I have. Its acrylic which I usually hate but this stuff is amazingly soft and a joy to knit with. I've knitted a baby blanket with it before, being grey isn't s great baby colour but I liked it. Not sure I have pictures but will look, they may be on disk or my old computer.

  I downloaded a demo of a motif knitting program last night to help me design my own Ipod sock. Theres just a slight problem in that I can't read knitting charts. Guess I need to add it to the list of things I need to learn.

 Its even warmer today, over 20c (70f) and last night was a little warmer too. I didn't have a bbq yesterday but will have one today. Got some chicken defrosting and will throw a couple of burgers on. Yum.