Friday, October 27, 2006

Sweet pea shawl

I started the sweet pea crochet shawl from the Happy Hooker book last week. Fortunately, Helena was on hand to help me handle the error in the pattern instructions, and it's now progressing well. I like starting with the longest row, so that each subsequent row gets shorter, as it grows quicker the further you get. The yarn is a microfibre I picked up at Ally Pally.

The sock is progressing slowly. I've switched to Brittany birch dpns, and find them easier on the hands.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Tote exchange bag received!

My tote exchange angel has sent me my tote! I entered this exchange several months ago, and unfortunately my partner did not meet her commitment. I was then allocated an angel, and she has now come up trumps with a lovely felted bag for me.

My angel was Sue, and she designed this bag herself. I really like it, and it has been out and about with me all weekend. She also very generously included lots of bonus gifts, including Kool Aid and yarn for dyeing, notelets, novelty post its and small pouches for all those knitting accessories.

Thanks Sue!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Ally Pally report

The weather was glorious, and short sleeves were the order of the day for the stash enhancing event of the year. I took my camera, but got distracted by the shopping opportunities, and didn't take photos. I did manage one of the knitted Ferrari in the foyer.

I was amazed at the number of wool suppliers; I don't remember seeing so many in previous years, but don't know if I just blocked them out because I wasn't a knitter at the time. The show was less crowded than usual, probably because the organisers laid on an extra show a month earlier in Birmingham.

I did buy too much yarn, but was at least limited by what I could carry as I went by public transport. It was a bit of an ordeal - 4 hours round trip, and I live in the same city- but I was keen to go on the first day of the show in the hope of rounding up a bargain or two.

So here are my show shopping highlights:
1) Tweedy yarn from Texere - I'm hoping this will be good for the Sunrise Circle jacket, as I think the orange alpaca blend I previously bought for this pattern is too soft and won't hang well.
2) A few skeins of hand dyed alpaca - should make gloriously soft socks.
3) Sublime yarns from Sheepish. This is a new range and I was surprised to find it was by Sirdar, which is more of a budget synthetics brand usually. I guess that's why they've brand their beautiful new range of natural fibres with a different name. The lovely ladies at Sheepish had a number of worked up models, and they allowed - nay, encouraged - me to try on the striped cardigan that is heading the advertising campaign. I liked it so much, I had to buy the kit! The pattern support for this range is great, with modern, attractive designs for men, women and children.
4) Blue Sky Alpacas baby Bobbi bear pattern and yarn. Blue Sky patterns are hard to find in the UK, and I've wanted this one for a while.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ready for Ally Pally

I'm getting ready for Ally Pally this week. This will be the first time I have been to the Knitting and Stitching show since I took up knitting at the start of this year. I'm particularly looking forward to seeing Colinette yarns and Cherry Tree Hill. Some of my favourite mail order suppliers will be there too.

Ellen finished her Kid Silk Haze jumper and it is beautiful. Here's a shot of the floaty sleeve.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Koigu scarf and Tempting

I'm using a rare free Sunday to sort through some of the detritus in my sewing area. I've accumulated all sorts of fabrics, yarn and tools through the years, as I've taken up and abandoned different needlecrafts. I'm reluctant to throw out the good stuff, but am struggling to decide what I will and won't use in the future, as I don't know which hobbies I may go back to.

I have to tell you about an example of fantastic customer service I enjoyed last week. I've been looking for a pattern to use the wool I bought in Finland, and found a great selection on the Garnstudio website. Having selected one with a chart, I then puzzled over the instructions and found one piece I just could not understand. I enrolled in the forum, and asked a question about this pattern on Sunday morning. Within an hour - on a Sunday morning!- the lovely people from Scandinavian Knitting Design, had written back to explain that they had looked at my question, and were going to pass it to the woman who had done the English translation. They then came back to me with a full answer, and re-posted the amended pattern, at 9pm on Sunday night! Just wonderful - can't recommend highly enough. This is the sort of company I want to support.

The Koigu scarf is complete! I really enjoyed working with the Koigu, and am already planning the next project to use it.

The first sock is coming on well. I found the leg portion slow going, but it went much faster once I reached the heel and started changing the shape.

Tempting 2 is also finished. I took all the advice given by the SKC, and altered the neckline instructions. I was lucky that it fit first time! I did struggle to find a way to finish the small seams invisibly. I tried Kitchener and 3 needle bind off, but neither of them are invisible with rib. In the end, I decided to leave it as is, and maybe a crochet a flower to go over the join on the neckband.