All rights are reserved on all images and text on this blog.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Colour, Design, Thrift and Threaders

So, it's the last day of April today and tomorrow will be the start of May's Project Spectrum' colour which is green. Participating in Project Spectrum is proving very interesting for me because it's got me really thinking about colour, what it means to us and how it affects us. Imagine a life without colour. If we lived in a world of only black and white, what would it be like? I began to wonder what it's like for people who are born blind. Do they have any sense of colour? It's been proven scientifically that different colours affect us emotionally in different ways and, yet, how often do we actually really notice colour. Yes, we may walk into a room and admire the colour scheme or enjoy a colourful garden but it's not often that we allow ourselves to really experience colour in a conscious way. I think it's more of a subliminal reaction that's going on most of the time.

I realised as I knitted the yarn I'd bought in April's colours of yellow and orange that they hardly existed in my wardrobe at all and yet I really took pleasure from and appreciated these colours as I knitted them and turned them into corsages and little amulet bags. I put the items into a basket as I completed them and left them on the coffee table as I enjoyed looking at them. They make for such a warm, bright and happy looking display. Orange, particularly, is not a colour I can wear but, looking around my home, I realised that there were orange and yellow items that I'd bought from time to time. As an exercise, I gathered some of them together and took a photo. This is my April Project Spectrum' collage and each different item reminds me of something or other whilst the whole gives me a feeling of warmth and wellbeing. No jokes please about the fact that alcohol features largely in my collage! LOL

To me orange and yellow are all about spring and summer, the sun, hope, energy and vitality. It's an interesting exercise to do but, if you decide to have a go, I suggest you only go for objects that you have a good feeling about or that elicit happy memories for you.

Yesterday, I had to go to Strood and, as I noticed a few charity shops around as well as a Pound Stretcher type shop and an interesting looking market, I decided to do a bit of thrift shopping for a bit of fun. Sometimes it's interesting to see what you can pick up for a few pence. Here is what I came home with.

The two bear ornaments are from Shelter, the larger one was £1 and the smaller one on the rocking horse was only 50p. Oxfam yielded a Percy the Penguin pattern for 30p and I picked up five balls of pink and fluffy yarn for the Charity Craft Fair bags from the market at £1 each. The drug dispenser is for my dad who gets confused about which tablets to take and when to take them and the pill boxes I bought because I love little containers though I hardly ever put pills in them as I avoid pills whenever possible. Both of these items were £1 each from the Pound Stretcher shop. Afterwards I went to BHS in Maidstone and paid 50p each for four necklaces to go inside the bags. I was also attracted to more orange items so bought the pot pourri and the candle.

I'm especially pleased with the larger bear as the detail of the stocking stitch and bobbles in the knitted jacket he's wearing is so clear. This photo doesn't do it justice but, believe me, the clarity is amazing. It looks so realistic that one could believe one was looking at actual knitting!

Turning to the subject of knitting, I've been concentrating on my beaded jacket design. This is how far I got before I decided that the stitch wasn't right after all and frogged the whole lot.

I decided to substitute the stitch pattern with this one which is, again, a butterfly stitch but this time it uses eyelets to create the butterflies rather than decorative loops. Like the original stitch pattern, I found it in that set of Creative Knitting folders that my MIL gave to me.

Click to enlarge

After some experimentation, I decided to place the beads between the butterflies and it's become apparent that more beads will need to be ordered as this pattern is hungrier on beads than the original design.

Who would have believed that the loss of a little tool for threading beads could cause such havoc! That little blue looped implement that you see in the photo below was the cause of the drama.

Having got used to using a beading needle which seemed to take an inordinate amount of time to thread before I could even get started (the hole being so tiny), I was introduced to the neat little gadget in the photo by Ellen at Earth Faire. It wasn't until I lost it the other day, that I realised how lost I was without it! When I lost it, I was sitting in that exact spot on the sofa in which I've sat when I've lost other objects which have never been retrieved. A consequence of this is that I've become convinced that somewhere in the vicinity of that seat on that sofa is a Philip Pullman type hole in the fabric of the universe which is just large enough to swallow up stuff like cable needles and my favourite needle for sewing my knits up. I swear that I covered every inch of the carpet as I crawled on all fours feeling around for my bead threader and all to no avail. Then, after I'd emailed Ellen at Earth Faire and she'd promised to put a few more in the post to me, there it was on the carpet as clear as day! Obviously, the bead threader wasn't any use to those on the other side of the hole so it got chucked back.

What I did find out about the bead threader is that it is, in fact, a dental floss threader and is normally used to help people who have a bridge or a brace to floss. They're available online at Express Chemist and, having been assisted in finding a source (thank you Nanatoo and Ruth), I ordered some before my original one was recovered. It's so easy to thread with that nice large eye and the plastic it's made from has just the right amount of rigidity for the beads to be slipped on with ease. Well, if it gets sucked through the hole again and they decide not to chuck it back, at least I've now got plenty of spares!

Edit: Please don't anyone order these threaders for bead knitting as, having received them, I eventually realised that they are, in fact, bigger than the ones Ellen sent and are too large to go through the holes of the beads I've been using.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Posh Yarn Arrived!

It came in the post this morning and it's everything I expected and more!

Two skeins of Posh Yarn Cashmere/Silk laceweight in bloom for Heartstrings' Beaded Lace Scarf II and one skein of Pure Cashmere laceweight in raspberry for Sivia Harding's Victorian Shoulderette. It is just so soft and luxurious looking that I've had to go and have a stroke now and then and I'm absolutely dying to start knitting it.

I can also thoroughly recommend Posh Yarn for their customer service. I've been kept informed throughout of the status of my order even to the point where Dee emailed me today to make sure I'd received my yarn. Apparently, everyone else whose orders had been sent out at the same time as mine had received theirs yesterday. I wasn't worried though because our post often seems to take longer to arrive and the fact that all Posh Yarn's orders are sent registered post also gives peace of mind. Knitty in Pink succumbed to the temptation as well and has a photo on her blog of her Posh Yarn Cashmere Silk aran weight in the mulberry shade.

Mmmm - I'm already thinking of another clapotis in one of the variegated colourways . . . . .

Thanks for all the feedback on the bag and bracelet in my previous post. I really appreciate the time and trouble people have taken to make such helpful comments and I now have a much better idea of what to aim for age-wise, size-wise and price-wise.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Sugar and Spice

Well, after Michelle's suggestion for the Charity Craft Fair of pink and fluffy bags with something like a necklace inside suitable for little girls, I had a play and came up with these.

The bag is made in Patons Spritz and the cord is Spritz and some silver coloured metallic yarn crocheted together. I do have some pink funky fur but I decided that this bag had enough glitz as it was so didn't add a fun fur trim!

The bracelet idea came from a pattern in the Knitting Pattern a Day Calendar and I intend to play around with the idea and come up with lots of variations. This one is beautifully soft as it's knitted in some of the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino I had left over after knitting my Olympic Shawl.

The beads are Earth Faire's raspberry lined crystal and the larger bead which I've used as a fastening is from my Hobbycraft stash. I knitted the bracelet above large enough for an adult but what I really want to know (and I hope some of you will be able to help me here) is (a) what age group of little girls go for this sort of thing; (b) what sort of wrist measurement should I be catering for; and (c) how much do you think could be charged for a bag like this with a beaded bracelet inside. It will be coming up to Christmas by the time of the Craft Fair so I was thinking that people might buy them as stocking fillers.

I've now got some finer yarn to knit the amulet bag for the draw. It's a really lovely shade of Rowan 4 ply Cotton in the Tutti Fruiti shade and the cord will be in Rowan Handknit Cotton in "Diana" which is a beautiful shade of blue.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Finished my first sock! DPNs weren't hard to use after all which is really a relief because I can see lots of uses for them in the future, e.g. Vogue Knitting's Circular Shrug (which I've wanted to knit but, when I saw it had to be started on DPNs, I was instantly deterred), and hats worked from the crown down, etc.

Sock from Web of Wool Sock Kit knitted in Opal Rodeo

However, despite being quite happy to use DPNs, I think I may quickly move on to socks on two circulars. This is because there are lines visible where the stitches were on different needles. These are not ladders, just lines. I did everything to avoid ladders by pulling the yarn tight on the last and first stitch on each needle and by spreading the stitches over a larger area by using all five needles. I didn't try moving a stitch over on to the next needle each time which I've heard can help because I was afraid I'd get in a muddle (it being my first sock and all). Perhaps, I pulled the yarn a bit too tight between needles or maybe the lines that look just like creases that could be ironed out are par for the course when knitting socks on DPNs. I don't know ..... but I'm going to have a go at other methods anyway including, perhaps, the magic loop method as well as the two circulars method. The sock fits just fine and, when I tried it on, the lines disappeared!

Other than the sock, I've knitted another corsage and another small bag (which still needs a cord).

The orange bag was meant to replace the original bag which was to be entered into the draw as a little pressie for someone but, again, I'm not happy with it. It turned out a bit too big when using the Amulet Bag pattern so I'm going to knit it yet again in thinner yarn, still on DPNs, but probably more of a rectangular shape as I think the beads looked better on the first bag which I frogged. It will mean a seam at the bottom but I can cope with that and they do say "third time lucky" so let's hope so!

I really liked Michelle's idea for the Craft Fair of small bags for children with a necklace or bracelet inside. Thanks, Michelle! I thought I'd have a play at trying to make some knitted jewellery perhaps using i-cord and beads.

I had an email from Posh Yarn today saying that my yarn has now been despatched by registered post and that I should receive it in the next day or two. Isn't it exciting!!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Posh Yarn and Just One More Round

Well, after being introduced to Posh Yarn by Nanatoo (who, by the way, is the most excellent enabler), yesterday I became their first customer.

Posh Yarn is based in the north of England and specialises in hand-dyed cashmere yarn and cashmere mixes. They supply all weights of yarn from cobweb lace through to chunky and including sock yarn. The yarn is hand dyed to order and there's a good range colourwise comprising both solids and variegated. Dee, at Posh Yarn, informed me that more colours will be added soon and custom dyeing is also available. No postage/packing is payable on orders over £20 and the goods are sent by registered mail.

The yarns on the site look gorgeous but I was very good and only ordered three skeins: one skein of pure cashmere laceweight for Sivia Harding's Victorian Shoulderette; and two skeins of Cashmere/Silk laceweight for Heartstrings' Beaded Lace Scarf II. Yarn should be received within five days of ordering and, accordingly, I was told by Dee to expect my yarn by Tuesday. She also told me that she would inform me by email as soon as it was posted so that I would be kept updated on the status of my order. I'm thinking that the cashmere/silk variegated would make a lovely clapotis and this has tempted me to consider making another. I'll post a photo when the yarn arrives and let you know what I think of it.

I finally got around to having a go with dpns and made amulet bag No 2 which I've embellished with a knitted flower and a bead. The amulet bag making has given me the idea to make some scented sachets for the Craft Fair to be knitted on dpns, embellished with beads or flowers or whatever else occurs to me and with some ribbon slotted through the eyelets perhaps. Then I could put some dried herbs inside tied in muslin with a few drops of essential oil added - citrus oils for the orange and yellow bags, lavender for the mauve ones, etc.

Having completed an amulet bag in the round, I decided that the one I'd knitted flat previously wasn't good enough any more so I frogged it and I'm going to reknit it on dpns. When it's reknitted, I'm going to draw a name from all of the people who said they liked the original one and that person will be sent its replacement if they desire. I can't make up my mind, you see, having asked if anyone would like it, whether people were a bit reticent to say they would like it or whether they were just being polite when they said it was nice. So, in order to cover all eventualities, I plan to proceed as above. LOL

The success with the dpns also encouraged me to crack open my Web of Wool sock kit which has been in the drawer since Ally Pally last year. I got to the stage of dividing the stitches for the heel when I noticed that I'd knitted a few stitches of moss stitch amongst the rib right at the beginning of the cuff. So, it went to the frog pond and I've now restarted it. This is where I am with it at the moment.

And, I now completely get it - all the fuss about knitting socks, I mean - and I can't put it down. I'm forever wanting to do just one more round!

Thanks for all the nice comments on my last post about Fitzgerald, etc. Charlotte asked what's Noro like to knit with. Personally, I think it's okay to knit with if a little hard (it's not what I'd call a soft yarn) and there are a lot of knots in it for such an expensive yarn, too. If making a cardi, some might find it more important to match the stripes on both fronts which would mean continuing from where the repeat matches and consequently the garment could end up taking more yarn. However, if you're prepared to accept these 'cons', the 'pros' are, in my opinion, well worth it because the colour combinations are so gorgeous.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Noro Nono Now Done!

Thanks for everyone's comments on the scarf and Easter eggs. Holly, yes you're right. It is the Ukranians who decorate their eggs to look like miniature mosaics. Apparently, the way they do it is to trace the design on uncooked eggs which are then dipped at various stages in different vegetable dyes. Only a small part of the egg is coloured at a time whilst the rest of the egg is masked with beeswax or cotton tape. A labour of love I think. Personally, I don't have the patience nor the artistic ability to go all out on the Easter egg decoration though I suspect Acrylik and one or two others might.

Now, for your amusement, we have a spot the difference contest. Here are my eggs after oiling on Sunday evening. I was pleased with how lovely and shiny they looked but the effect is somewhat spoiled in the photo as the patterns get mixed up with the light reflection. However, apart from the fact that the photo below shows the eggs oiled, can you spot the other difference?

Let's just say that one doesn't always need little people about for things to happen that you would expect to happen when small people are around! Rain, I'm really sorry to hear about your little nephew breaking his arm and hope it heals quickly. Just remember that children are usually very resilient but I know it's always a worry when something like that happens.

At long last the Noro jumper (which almost became a Nono jumper) is finished. When the jumper has been given to its recipient, I hope to get a photo of him wearing it. The pattern is Fitzgerald from Noro Knits and it's knitted in Silk Garden.

Noro Fitzgerald front

Noro Fitzgerald back

I wasn't too happy with my usual cast off (chain bind-off) for the 2x2 rib collar and wanted to do the tubular bind-off for double rib as described in Montse Stanley's excellent "Knitter's Handbook". However, the written instructions and diagrams for the tubular bind off for double rib were far too onerous looking for my rushed state at the time (particularly as the first sentence reads "For masters of tubular bind-off on one needle!) so I resorted to the decrease bind off which according to Montse Stanley is much better than chain for ribbings but not as good as tubular. In practice, it proved to be a definite improvement and I was quite pleased with the result although I've now added tubular bind-off to my list of techniques to learn.

Noro Fitzgerald collar showing decrease bind-off

My beads arrived from Earth Faire and they're beautiful! They're all size 6.0 and from left to right we have Raspberry Lined Crystal, Silver Lined Crystal, Amethyst Lined Crystal, Pink Lined Crystal and Metallic Rain.

I've chosen the pink lined crystal for the butterfly pattern beaded jacket I'm designing for the Charity Craft Fair and, now I've got some of my WsIP out of the way, I'll be able to concentrate more on that. On the charity knitting front, I already have quite a few scarves, etc, to donate to the Craft Fair's knitting stall and I've knitted another cotton face cloth (below).

I plan to do a few of these which will be put into baskets with hand made soaps and such like similar to the one I made for MIL for Mothers' Day. Mary-Lou has also been knitting for the Craft Fair and has been busy killing two birds with one stone by destashing and making a few loopa boas.

Last night, I couldn't resist playing with the beads a little and so decided to make an amulet bag as I've seen them on several people's blogs including these lovely ones made by Acrylik. The ones I've seen though have been knitted using this pattern which requires dpns and I really couldn't face trying to fathom dpns last night so I knitted it flat using my own made up pattern and used orange Rowan Handknit Cotton in recognition of Project Spectrum's April' colours. The beads are Earth Faire's Metallic Rain.

Project Spectrum Amulet Bag knitted in Rowan Handknit Cotton with metallic rain beads knitted in from Earth Faire.

The energy of the orange alone seemed a bit too riotous so I did the cord in blue for balance and to add some colour energy for calm and tranquility. If anyone would like this amulet bag with a piece of citrine placed inside, please let me know. If more than one person would like it, I'll write everyone's names down on bits of paper and draw one.

It's been duly noted that the tubular bind-off for double rib and knitting with dpns are the next techniques I need to learn. That's what I love about knitting. The challenges are endless.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

FFF and Project Spectrum Easter Eggs

FFF - no, not Filati whatchamacallit type yarn - what I mean is Fickle Fingers Finished. Voila!

"Fickle fingers" because each finger on the edges of the scarf can't decide which colour it wants to be. I love this Zitron Ethno yarn that my secret pal gifted to me. The colours remind me of wax crayons. The pattern is from Interweave Knits (Winter 2005) but, if you ever decide to knit it, be warned that it actually takes three balls of the Ethno and not two as the pattern states.

Watch this space for photos of more finished objects in the next few days as I'm a gnat's whisker away from finishing the Noro jumper and the DB lacy scarf! In the meantime, here are my Project Spectrum Easter eggs dyed orange and yellow which are April's colours.

I'm really looking forward to being a granny, you know. Why? Because I just love playing - e.g. stuff like I did today - dyeing Easter eggs and it would be even better if I could have a little person or two having fun with me. My great niece and nephew live too far away to see them very often so I'd like my grandchildren to live nearer otherwise I'd just have to borrow them for a few days now and then, spoil them rotten and then give them back to their parents to face the consequences. Haha!

I couldn't be bothered with loads and loads of onion skins, etc, so was lazy and used food colouring (yellow and red mixed for the orange). Little bits of masking tape are stuck on to make the patterns and then the eggs are dipped one by one in a cup of water to which the colouring and a teaspoonful of white vinegar have been added. Once the eggs are dry, the masking tape is removed. They stlll need oiling to make them look shiny but I wanted to take photos before it got too dark.

Here's my new friend, Spike, admiring them.

Unlike the bears here, who do nothing more than compete with one another as to who can look the cutest, Spike is actually a grafter in that he does a job of work. His job title is doorstop. Sadly, Spike will not be laying claim to any of the eggs as they are being kept as one of the dishes for our buffet lunch with friends tomorrow. Sorry, Spike!

Whether you celebrate Easter or not, hope you're all having a great break.

Monday, April 10, 2006

All Sorts

Well, I know I've been quiet for a bit but lots has been happening. On Saturday, we had our fourth meeting of Maidstone Knitters and, despite receiving apologies from two of our regular members, we still had eight people turn up including five new members being Mary, Jackie T, Tricia, Margaret and Jackie B! Just to prove it really happened, see photo below, in which you can see six members (Jackie T had to leave before the photo was taken to attend to her animals and I was taking the photo). Mary-Lou is going to knit some hats for the Cancer Charities Craft Fair and, Cecilia, some wristwarmers. I had the idea that we could have a Knit and Relax area such as that at Ally Pally and other craft fairs but I need to get the organiser's agreement first and will bring it up at the next meeting in May. If you're interested in reading more about what we got up to at our Saturday Maidstone Knitters' meeting, have a look at Maidstone Knitters' blog where Mary-Lou has posted all about it.

Below are the latest additions to the bear collection. The mottled bear was found in Beales (not by me) and, apparently was in need of a good home, so was delivered to the bear sanctuary. The large bear tin, having been emptied of biscuits, is now my button tin. The medium sized one has also been, ahem, emptied of biscuits and is good for intarsia bobbins and such like and the numerous small tins ... well, most of them still have jellies in ... and not all of them are mine. There are six different types and I wanted to keep one of each for my collection. The rest were to be given to members of Maidstone Knitters as stitch marker holders. The only problem was that due to the unexpected numbers of people turning up (which was obviously a really good thing), there weren't enough to go around. Luckily, after the meeting, DH and I went to Nottcutt's and bought the last of their stocks so there should (or, rather, might) be enough to go around next time!

Project Spectrum's colours for April are orange and yellow and I'm just going to do a quick reflection on the colours this time. Orange and yellow are the colours of the sacral and solar plexus chakras respectively. They are also both colours to do with sunshine, summer and citrus fruit. Yellow is the colour of hope and, in the past, yellow ribbons were worn as a sign of hope as women waited for their menfolk to come home from war. Yellow ribbons are still used to welcome home loved ones ergo the song, "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree". Everything has its polarity, as in yin and yang, and the other side of yellow's coin is yellow's association with cowardice.

On Sunday, I slobbed out in my jimjams all day and did my bit for Project Spectrum by knitting these three orange and yellow corsages whilst watching the Chronicles of Narnia DVD. They're for the November Craft Fair but may be used as embellishments on bags, etc, rather than corsages per se. My monitor makes the yellow corsages look cream-coloured but they are, in fact, yellow (lemon yellow as opposed to bright yellow).

Click to enlarge

I also almost finished the lace scarf in Debbie Bliss's Pure Silk from the Pure Silk Pattern Book which I'd cast on and frogged at Maidstone Knitters due to not being able to concentrate on what I was knitting and talk at the same time. As you can see, it's a skinny scarf and will be perfect for the summer. Again, the colour hasn't come out too well in the photo but it's the light green shade of Pure Silk.

I've decided to participate in the One Skein Secret Pal Exchange after seeing it mentioned on Katie's blog but, even though I enjoyed SP7 immensely, I've decided to give SP8 a miss so that I can concentrate on other things.

My yarn stash steadily grows and has been added to by this Ice Yarn from Yarn Paradise. I bought six balls of each of these and each ball cost only £1.55 even after taking shipping costs into account. The two greens and the turquoise are mohair with sequins, the vivid coloured variegated one is a mohair/acrylic mix and the pastel coloured variegated is what's called screw wool.

Click to enlarge

I've also ordered Jan Eaton's 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns book after hearing very good reports about it from several quarters including Mary-Lou at Saturday's meeting although she forgot to bring her copy for us to look at (slapped wrist!) The beads for the butterfly stitch jacket I'm designing have been ordered from Earth Faire as well.

Unfortunately, I still haven't quite got around to doing those last little bits to finish the Nono jumper (I mean Noro jumper) but I have been working on a knitting bag following the Fibonacci principles as explained in the current Knit Simple magazine. I'm knitting it in different coloured stripes and in numbers of 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 and 13 garter stitch ridges randomly occurring. It's a great way of using odd bits of yarn up and I'm knitting on the bias for added interest. I bought some very nice lining material for it at C&H Fabrics on Saturday and I plan to give it wooden handles and place some vilene inside the lining to give it added structure (photos to follow).

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

My Secret Pal, Sabine!

Well, I can now reveal that my secret pal is Sabine from Stricky. I received a final package from her in the post this morning and what a package it is, too!

Click to enlarge

I'm absolutely thrilled with its contents and the thought and care that Sabine has so obviously put into it. There's another ball of the Ethno for the Fickle Fingers Scarf which Sabine very kindly offered to get for me as the two balls mentioned in the pattern wasn't going to be sufficient. It wasn't possible to get the same dye number but, in fact, it doesn't look noticably different and I'll use it for the centre part so that the ends will be made with two balls from the same dye number.

I adore the colours in the hand dyed sock yarn my pal sent me. It's so lovely, it merits a close up so you can really appreciate the colours.

Click to enlarge

Apparently, this is Sabine's favourite sock yarn and is hand-dyed in Germany. If this doesn't encourage me to get knitting socks, nothing will! I've certainly got no excuse not to as Sabine even included the appropriately sized double pointed needles in the parcel! I think I might practice a bit first though with the sock kit I got from Web of Wool.

Then there's the mohair yarn in one of my favourite shades. The colour is quite like that of KSH's Dewberry in which I knitted River and Birch.

Everything in the parcel is perfect. There are these attractive and interesting looking buttons. I wonder what the emblem on them means?

Next, there are two tubes of Gutermann beads to add to my, now growing, bead collection. I think I'm going to have to make a trip to Lidl's to get some of these storages boxes which are soon to be on special offer as I had a bit of a binge at Hobbycraft last weekend and I'll also soon be receiving some more from here.

The chocolate in the package is what I call "real chocolate". I've just demolished about half of the chocolate filled with banyuis-cream and cocoa nibs. Mmmmm, the cocoa nibs definitely have it! Then there are the little chocolate bars with bear wrappers and some ladybird chocolates. Apparently, the ladybirds mean "good luck". What a charming touch and they look so good in their wrappers, it seems a pity to eat them!

There are also some "Eggs Dressed Up" easter themed napkins which will brighten up our table at easter time and the most thoughtful letter written to me by Sabine over two postcards (Hikone Screen postcard and another with a picture on it of a mouse sitting in a chair knitting).

The whole lot was wrapped up in this pretty scarf which I think is silk but I can't read the label as it's in Japanese!

Sabine seems to have a very interesting life. She lives in Berlin and works as a journalist for a Japanese news agency. Her studies have included Japanese Studies, Modern History. Politics and Art History and she does ballet! In October she'll be visiting London and, of course, will be going to Ally Pally where we hope to meet.

Thank you, Sabine, and also, Linda (my spoilee) for making SP7 so special!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Still a Bit Edgy!

Thanks so much for all your comments on which edging to choose which I did find extremely helpful and much more use than a chocolate teapot, Tracy. LOL

However, I'm still a bit undecided. I'm afraid I'm like Judith says she is when she compares herself to Mavis from "Open all Hours"! I find it very difficult to make decisions when confronted with several choices! It was reassuring to see that most of you agreed that the feather lace looked the best with the butterflies and beads swatch but quite a few of you seemed to be, like me, hankering after those leaves! Butterflies and leaves. Yes, they do seem to go together poetically, Cherry. Cherry said that it was the garter stitch on the leaf edging that was wrong and the Crafty Otter said it was because the butterflies were geometric whilst the leaves were organic. Well, I'm afraid I've got really anal over this. I must get it right! So, I reknitted the leaf edging without the garter stitch to see how it would look. I think it's definitely an improvement with the garter stitch omitted and, what's more, it turns the corner fantastically without any problems whatsoever so I wouldn't have to gather it, or mitre it, at the corners.

Leaf Edging Minus Garter Stitch

I also found another leaf edging called fancy leaf edging which I thought I'd try. I do so like the idea of having the butterflies and the leaves together, you see. I'm not sure I like this one so much though.

Fancy Leaf Edging

So, really, I'm down to choosing between staying with the feather lace or going with the leaf edging minus the garter stitch as in the first photo above. The other thing that occurred to me was that the feather lace is more lacy looking than the leaf edging, right? So, might the jacket, with the feather lace edging, end up looking a bit boudoir-ish as in like a bed jacket!? I mean to say, I want it to be an evening jacket but not so late in the evening that it looks like its wearer is getting ready for bed!

Thank you, Secret Pal, for letting me know that you've posted a package to me. How exciting! I shall have to start stalking the postman again now whenever I see his little red van in close proximity.

I also need to decide what to do with orange and yellow which are this month's Project Spectrum colours. I'm thinking that some knitted corsages in citrus colours might be an idea as they can be sold at the Craft Fair. I think I'll forego knitting the sungold and blend vintage yarn for the moment as I want to have the right project in mind to use it and that hasn't quite occurred to me yet. A future poll perhaps??

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Living Life on the Edge

That's what I did today. Lived life on the edge. No, I didn't go potholing or bungee jumping. I did this! I did four edging swatches to see what they'd look like with the Beads and Butterflies stitch I'm using for the main part of my evening jacket design. From top to bottom, they're Feather Lace, Leaf Edging, Broken Eyelet, and Stripe with Twisted Bars.

I'm not kidding myself that I'm going to be any good at this designing malarkey but, if I can turn the donated acrylic yarn into something original that someone's prepared to buy in aid of Cancer Charities (and have fun in the process), then I'll be happy.

I've given it some more thought and my idea now is for a cropped jacket with slightly flared three quarter length sleeves but which edging to use. How about this one?

Leaf Edging

Or, this one, perhaps?

Feather Lace

Or maybe this one? The contrast on this one is Patons' Spritz which is a sparkly lurex type yarn. A little too much with the beads as well, do you think?

Broken Eyelet

And, lastly, there's this one.

Stripe with Twisted Bars

As I'd like to use the edging to edge the sleeves and the front bands, too, and I also intend to give the jacket a collar in the edging, (albeit a little deeper than the inch or so that I'll use elsewhere), I came to the conclusion that the feather lace would probably be the best. The photo below gives some idea of how it would look though I'm sure that it will improve no end with a good blocking and a proper sewing rather than the unblocked, roughly pinned example below.

So, what do you think? All opinions are welcome!

Oh, and I didn't have a completely uneventful Sunday. I did go climbing and I also got myself into deep water. How? Sorry to disappoint you yet again. The climbing was only up a step ladder so that I could reach the top of the windows to clean them. When the sun shines, it really shows how dirty your windows are, doesn't it? Oh, and the deep water was when I stepped down from the ladder straight into the bucket of water! Doh!

And I still haven't got on to that Noro jumper . . . . . .

POSTSCRIPT: I'm now thinking that maybe the edging at the bottom and on the front bands should be in one continuous piece, i.e. continuing up the front bands from the bottom and sort of gathered at the corners? Do you think it might look better like this?