Friday, 15 June 2012

A Flumpy Week

Flumpy is how I've been feeling this week.

Monday was fine, but things went a bit downhill on Tuesday around 7.15am, five minutes before we were due to leave the house for the train station when DD1 came downstairs and said "I can't find my train ticket".  The monthly train/bus pass I'd paid £65.75 for the day before.  Not amused doesn't really cover how I felt.  Coat pockets were checked, the bag she'd used the day before was checked, her pencil case was checked and she went back upstairs to check the books she'd had with her the day before.

No ticket. 

I have to admit that this was something that I'd been half-expecting to happen, but her attitude got to me.  I know she's 12 and on the cusp of womanhood, so moodiness and a lack of consideration is to be expected while she's going through the teenage 'head up backside' phase, but an apology wasn't too much to ask, was it?  Her reaction to having lost her ticket was "you'll have to buy me a daily ticket instead". 

I spent half of the time the girls were at school on Tuesday clearing out DD1's bedroom, getting rid of loads of rubbish and organising her shelves, but still no ticket.

This morning, however, she found it.  In one of the books she'd had with her on Monday.  I asked her why she hadn't looked through that one.  "I did" she said.  I looked at her.  "I flicked through it" she added.

Quite honestly, this saga has been like a cloud hanging over me for the last few days. The attitude of my first-born, plus the cost of extra tickets and the £20 admin fee to get a replacement if it wasn't found/handed in to Lost Property or the ticket office at our local station, never mind the inconvenience of getting new photos with autistic DD2 in tow so a new travel card could be arranged.

As a result of this one Thing, I've felt rather flumpy this week.  I'm sure you know what I mean by flumpy.  A bit fed up, a bit down in the dumps, a bit 'what's the point'; unmotivated.

So, I haven't really been doing much knitting.  A bit, but even my ongoing WIPs haven't called to me, never mind Betty, my spinning wheel.

I did start the second of a new pair of socks at knitting group on Monday morning.  The pattern's the same Charade one that I used for the orange socks I blogged about a few posts ago, but I've jiggled it a bit so the pattern's sort of doubled up, with two lines of the herringbone rib, separated by 4 knit stitches.

The yarn's Trekking XXL, colour 401.  I wasn't sure about the stripes with the pattern at first, but after a couple of inches I decided that they did work together.  I think that I've done two rows on them since Monday morning though.  Not very good really.

I did pick up crochet hook earlier in the week and made two felted things.  I'm not sure why.  I think it was simply a case of having the leftover yarn from my Marmite socks hanging around and wondering what to do with it.  I was looking around Ravelry and found a pattern for a pot-holder and decided that if I made one quite big, I could felt the yarn. 

It's quite ugly, but my saucepans are copper-bottomed stainless steel and the handles get hot.  I'm not sure yet if it's felted down too much so will be too thick, but if it is, I'll give it to the dog - she likes carrying fabric things around!

I still had yarn left after doing that and so decided to make a smallish circle, then just do rounds to build up sides and felt it into a pot.  I use rechargeable batteries for DD2's various toys, remote controls etc, and they tend to end up lying on the stairs, so the pot's being used to hold the charged batteries. 

I felted them by putting them on a 40C wash with some towels and then I moulded the pot by upturning my 1 pint glass jug as that was just about the right size before putting them in the airing cupboard to dry.

I did a bit of spinning yesterday and plied some merino I've been working on for ages and today I got a bit more motivation to do something crafty and once DD2 had gone to school and I'd walked the dog, I thought I'd do some spinning for a while before getting ready to go to Friday knitting group.  Except.... I got into spinning and by the time I looked at the clock, an hour had gone past, so I didn't make it to Dedham and spent the time spinning instead.  These are my two latest skeins:

The fibre's from the lap waste bag I got from World of Wool earlier this year and I spun up singles of various colours as I only had a bit of each and then plied them together for the purple skein.  The orange one is my first attempt at spinning from rolags made using my hand-carders.  I had a bit of red, a bit of yellow and a bit of orange merino in the bag, so carded them together into rolags and spun two singles which I then plied.  Both yarns are 52g and just over 100m, which makes them heavy DK/light worsted in weight and there's enough of each to make a hat.

So, yes, a bit of a flumpy, unmotivated week where, although I've achieved some things, they're not the things I was planning on doing.

Maybe I need to start something new.......

Actually, there's something in the pipleline which I'll tell you about next time.

Have a good weekend - even though the weather's probably going to be pants.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Getting Through the Stash

I've just put into my spreadsheet the yarn used for a blanket and a pair of socks I've finished in the last few days.

So far in 2012 I have:

Bought 8,324 metres of yarn (yes, I know - far too much and I don't even know why I bought a ball of 4ply baby yarn last Friday other than it's a pretty baby blue).

Used 11,211 metres of yarn.

This means that I've knitted or crocheted 2,887 metres more yarn than I've bought.

Which is a good thing.  Not as good as having used 11,211 metres of yarn and not bought any, but at least I'm not negative on the yarn bought vs yarn used thing..... right?

The blanket is another Vintage Vertical Stripe which I made using various blue acrylic DK and white.  The blue stripes vary in width in order - 3, 2, 1, with one row of white separating each blue stripe.  I had to substitute some of the blues at the end as I ran out of a couple of the colours, but I think it looks ok.

I did the border all in white:

A two-treble mini-cluster into one row, then a half-treble in the next row to even up the side edges followed by two rounds of trebles, one round of doubles and then a round of crab stitch to finish off.  I haven't measured it, but from memory, it's something like 30" x 36".  This will be passed on to Nadia to go in her box of knitted and crocheted items destined for a charity in Romania.

I also finished my 'Marmite' socks.

These are from handspun Colinette fibre in the paintbox colour.  I think I've mentioned that this was a bit funny looking - long stretches of off-white fibre with brightly coloured blobs every now and then.  It took ages to spin up though, so I didn't want all that spinning time to go to waste.  I used a 2.75mm needle for these as the yarn was a heavy sport/light DK weight.  They feel very soft on and, although they're 100% merino and will probably wear out quite quickly, I'm happy with them.  They'll certainly keep my feet warm.

I'd planned on knitting on my Nympheas scarf today, but I didn't get much sleep last night as DD2 was in a non-sleeping mood, so I've cast on another pair of socks and will knit on those while reading my book.  I did all the ironing yesterday and today I'm only washing non-ironing things such as towels.  School uniform laundry and can wait until tomorrow.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Plans Awry

After a couple of 'flitty' weeks where I hadn't really concentrated on any particular project, earlier this week I decided to get on with finishing off a blue stripey baby blanket I've been crocheting and get on with my Marmite socks.  I'd also brought my box of leftover sock yarn and the mitred square blanket I've been sporadically making downstairs to the lounge as I thought it was something I could do while watching TV.

Weds I got to the border of the blanket and I was about halfway up the foot of the second sock.  My intention was to get past the heel of the sock on Thursday and then on Friday at knitting group, get on with the blanket border and then, if I finished that, carry on with the sock.


Weds late afternoon a certain nine-year-old child of my close acquaintance appeared at my side when I was sitting on the sofa happily knitting away on the sock to get a few more rounds done before I had to start cooking dinner.  In one hand she had some pink yarn leftovers and in her other hand she had a crochet hook.  I got eye contact with her and she said "Mummy to knitting Barbie dress" and thrust the yarn and hook at me.  "Oh well" I thought, put the sock away and crocheted up a simple tube dress, thinking that would appease her.  The new dress adorning Barbie's shape (which is, quite honestly, very odd), children fed and dinner for hubby and I simmering away on the hob, I picked up the sock again, then looked up as a familiar form again stood in front of me.  "Mummy to knitting another Barbie dress" I was instructed.  This time, she had crochet hook and the leftovers from the orange Charade socks I finished the other week.  I looked on Ravelry and found a website that had lots of free knitting patterns for Barbie things.  "This shouldn't take too long" I (mistakenly) thought as I got out my 2mm needle and cast on.  Thursday was spent mostly knitting this flipping dress, but it was finished not long after she got home from school.  Barbie did look rather smart in her dress and was taken to school wearing it on Friday.


Friday morning after we'd got home from taking DD1 to the station, with about 30 mins before DD2's school taxi arrived, I was presented with a crochet hook and some magenta/dark purple Colinette Jitterbug (a while ago I bought one of those grab bags that Colinette do, thinking I could use it in the sock yarn blanket).  This time, the instruction was "Mummy to knit Barbie dress.  To the knees, long sleeves."  Excellent speech, considering DD2's difficulties in that area.

Friday morning at knitting group was spent knitting a purple Barbie dress, knee length (I took another Barbie-type doll with me so I could check the fit!).  By the time I got home at lunchtime, I was close to finishing the bodice.  Friday afternoon I fiddled around picking up 14 stitches around the armhole and knitting down 20 rows to make sleeves.  One piece of advice I'd give if making doll clothes (other than 'don't'!!) is to make them a bit on the big side for the doll, especially if they have to go over the head as if the child can't get them on easily, it can lead to frustration and temper......

So far today, I haven't had any further requests for Barbie clothes, but I have taken the box of sock yarn back upstairs, out of someone's eyesight.

I'm now on the last round of the blanket - crab stitch, which I have to do slowly and the socks are at this point:

More about the socks next time, when I'll hopefully also have an FO photo of the blanket to show.

I would have taken a photo of the orange Barbie dress as well, but that doesn't seem to have made it home from school yesterday.......  Hopefully it's in DD2's tray so can be found.  If not, well I suppose in the great scheme of things it doesn't really matter that much.

Hubby's now said he'll look on eBay to see if he can find a listing of Barbie clothes as (and he does have a point), spending three or four hours knitting one dress is not something I really want to have to do.