Thursday, 2 February 2012

Catching Up

It's a fortnight since I last blogged - how time flies.  It's not that I've been particularly busy, just life carrying on and before I know it, we're closer to the half-term holidays than Christmas and, well, I'm sure you all know what I mean.

Still, I've been knitting and crocheting and spinning and I've got some finished things to show for my crafting time, and also some WIPs.

The first FO is a pair of plain socks:

These are just made to my usual sock 'recipe', so nothing special about them.  The yarn is Regia Design Line Garden Effects and I used 73g of yarn and my 2mm KnitPro circular.  I'm quite pleased with the way they've turned out, but the yarn did look prettier in the ball.  I think I was expecting more green than the burgundy and teal colours - those two seem to overpower the green and purple.

The second FO is a cowl.  I've made a couple of cowls before, but for my older daughter and her friend and not for me.  The pattern is Ptarmigan by Jared Flood/Brooklyn Tweed and I bought and downloaded it ages ago, but hadn't got round to knitting it.  I used Mirasol Miski yarn in Jade and a 4mm circular.  The pattern stated a lighter-weight yarn and 4.5mm needles but I usually have to go down a needle size with JF/BT designs - I think Mr Flood knits more tightly than I do.  The idea was to stash-bust by using this yarn, but I mis-calculated the amount I'd need, so ended up buying a third ball.  After I'd finished knitting, I weighed the cowl and it's taken 118g of yarn, which is 177m according to Ravelry.  I'll wear this when I'm walking Jess, our labrador as she gets rather excited when we're out and has on occasion caught the ends of my scarf when she's jumped up at me.  Here's a photo:

I blocked this using the blocking wires my husband bought as part of my Christmas present - the first time I've used them and I have to say they did make the job much easier.

I've also been doing some spinning.  I finished off some cream roving I'd had on my wheel for ages (I think the sheep breed is Jacob) and have to soak, whack and hang it up to dry.  When I started spinning it, the idea was to use it on the yoke of a sweater or cardigan, but I still haven't completely made up my mind.  After I'd plied that yarn, I started on some merino roving I bought from Colinette last year not long after they'd started selling roving.  All (or most) of their yarn colourways are available in roving and I bought two lots - Raspberry and Paintbox - and on the wheel at the moment is the Paintbox.  Anne, one my friends from knitting group also bought this and we'd talked about how we were both a bit disappointed when it arrived.  This is a third of it:

See what I mean?  It's mostly natural roving, with splodges of colour here and there.  As it comes in packs of 150g and I only have standard sized bobbins, I decided to divide it into three, try to spin it thinly and then navajo ply it.  So far, I've spun up one-third of it:

I'm going to wait until I've spun the rest of it before I ply and I've no idea what it's going to look like when it's finished, or what it will be.  At the moment I'm considering knitting it into socks, especially if the yarn turns out to be Not Very Beautiful.  Spinning is still very much a learning curve for me!

 The other thing I've done is frogged and re-started my St Brigid sweater.  However, it's not coming on very quickly at all.  I haven't even done one pattern repeat yet.  I don't seem to be able to get into the flow of the pattern - I think it might be because I've had too many distractions.  It's not a pattern to be knit with two children and a young dog around and hubby's been working at home a lot recently, so not much time available where I can sit down with it and get on uninterrupted.  I frogged the first attempt as I decided that working it in the round up to the armholes wasn't going to work particularly well and that seams would make it hang better and also mean that setting in the sleeves would be much easier (i.e. much less maths to do to adjust the pattern).

This is the pathetic progress so far:

I haven't done much crocheting on DD2's Rainbow Ripple blanket either, but need to get on with that as she keeps getting it out of my work-basket and draping it over herself, despite the many ends that haven't been darned in yet.  Maybe she's hinting!

So, that's me caught up.  Like the rest of the country, we're going through a very cold spell weather-wise at the moment and I've got the heating on most of the day otherwise the house starts to feel damply cold, if you know what I mean.  Last week, we had thick fog and couldn't see across the river to Suffolk:

(photo was taken through the bedroom window and it was also raining)

Today, although it's very cold, the sun is now shining and the sky is blue, so I popped out of the front door and took a quick pic:

I'm now going to brave the cold (and maybe wear my new cowl!) and go and do a bit of shopping.  I went yesterday, but forgot a couple of things we need and today I've decided to make a pasta bake for dinner so need to get some ingredients for that.  Fingers crossed, I'll have time between now and DD2 getting home from school to do the shopping, walk the dog, do some spinning and maybe cast on for another pair of socks - some stripey ones in Regia Flusi Monster.  I noticed the other week when I was hand-washing a pile of hand-knit socks that some of mine are looking decidedly tired.  It always makes me a bit sad when hand-knits have to go to yarn-heaven, but it does mean that I have an excuse to make some more.  These will be knitted socks - one day I'm going to have a go at crocheting a pair; but not today!

Thanks for reading and hopefully the next time I post, St Brigid will have grown, I'll have at least another bobbin of the merino done and DD2's blanket will be closer to completion.


  1. Hi Christine.

    Your socks are lovely - make more for you!

    Sorry to hear about St Brigid frogging, keep persevering.

    I've awarded you a Liebster Blog Award. Check Out my blog.

  2. Love the socks and the cowl, and the colours are gorgeous. It's interesting that you used blocking wires for your cowl, I'm trying to talk myself into buying them, but didn't know if I would use them that much.

    Good luck with St Brigid, the pattern is lovely, and so is the colour of your yarn.