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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Prize and another Competition!

Okay, I've decided what the prize is for my Blogiversary draw. It'll be chocolate AND something else. A cryptic crossword type clue for the 'something else' is :

EXTREMELY large puddles of water lie before one of a particular type!

It should arrive from the US in about a week's time at which point I'll post a photo to tease you all for a day or two longer before the draw takes place.

Up until that time, feel free to leave a comment on the post below if you wish to be entered into the draw! . . .

. . . and, because I'm in the mood for fun, another competition! In the last week, I've had a reorganisation of my desk in my study. My desk is 6 feet long and 3 feet wide and has five drawers on the right hand side which are very deep (just under 3 feet) so can hold quite a lot. The reorganisation I had involved emptying the contents of these drawers and then filling them up again with something different. What did I take out and what did I put in? The person who comes closest to the correct answer will win a prize yet to be decided upon. Just leave your answers in the comments section and the winners of both the blogiversary draw and the 'desk' competition will be announced at the same time! Happy guessing! . . .

. . . and because I'm against two posts in a row without any pictures, I created my very own masterpiece!

Click here to create your own painting.

Friday, July 27, 2007

2nd Blogiversary Prize Draw

Oops, I almost missed it! On 31st July I'll have been blogging for two years so I thought I'd do the traditional thing that a lot of bloggers seem to do and have a blogiversary prize draw. As is the norm, if you want to be included in the draw, just leave a comment on this post. I haven't had time to think what the prize will be so let's just say it will be a surprise package!

Now I'm going to bore you all by reflecting on some of the stuff I've done knitting-wise in the last two years but, because I'm in a mad rush, it's just going to be a list.

Joined UKHK.

Started this blog.

Launched Maidstone Knitters' group along with Jan.

Attended many workshops and learnt lots of new techniques including one at the Knit Tin with Debbie Abrahams learning how to knit with beads.

Organised an event, along with Maidstone Knitters, for Worldwide Knitting in Public Day last year which took place in the Chequers Centre, Maidstone, to raise awareness about knitting.

Was involved in a Cancer charities craft fayre in which our knitted items stall raised a whopping almost £7,000!

Had two beaded patterns published in UK magazines; Viennese Tablecloth in Knitting, and Beaded Butterfly in Simply Knitting.

Learned a bit about jewellery making - enough to make stitchmarkers, row counter bracelets, etc, and launched my eshop, Knitz & Glitz.

Joined in with the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics Challenge and made this.

Spent lots of dough on yarn, books, etc, which is steadily taking over every bit of space that yarn and books could feasibly fit into! . . .

Sunday, July 22, 2007

MS3 Clue 4 Finished!

Finished Clue 4 last night!

I'm loving it!!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Lily Chin's Patagonian Night Sky Scarf

From Lily Chin's Knit and Crochet With Beads book. Yes, at last I got around to weaving in the ends!

And one showing a close-up of the rainbow fluorite and handpressed Czech glass button pin which is one of my designs from the new range of semi-precious pins for Knitz & Glitz.

Yarn: Rowan Lurex Shimmer in shade 339 (Midnight)
Beads: Jaeger clear silver lined (J3001007)
Needles: 3.25mm Addi circular

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hopelessly Addicted to MS3

Okay, I've been rumbled. I admit I cheated and broke my self-imposed rule to cast off one project for every one cast on but, as they say, rules were made to be broken, weren't they? In my defence, I have finished the whole of the back and almost the whole front of the Rakuten sweater and, shhh, I still have the ends to weave in on the Lily Chin Patagonian Night Sky Scarf!

As you've probably gathered by the title of this post, I couldn't resist starting MS3. All of the stoles that Melanie of Pink Lemon Twist has designed have a mythical theme and she recommends that this one is knitted in black, white, grey, ivory or light gold if we want to keep to the theme. So, thinking I'd go with the gold, I ordered some of the Malabrigo laceweight from Get Knitted in the sunset colourway. Then I decided that it was too dark and got this from Posh Yarn instead. It's the silk/cashmere mix laceweight in ivory/gold.

By the weekend I'd also acquired these lovely Czech glass seed beads in topaz.

I was well behind as one clue is released per week and clue 3 had been released the previous Friday but, guess what, I started knitting on Saturday evening and now I've caught up as I finished Clue 3 today!

Honestly, it's really addictive. I just had to keep on going back to it to do a couple more rows and, now, I can't wait for clue 4 to be released! Here's a really zoomed in shot to show the beads.

Other stuff I've been doing is designing a new line of semi-precious shawl/scarf pins for Knitz & Glitz incorporating Czech glass buttons as well as gemstones. This one has turquoise and gold tiger eye as well as a Cleopatra's fan set of carnelian agate . . .

. . . and this one features amethyst and Czech glass multi-faceted beads as well as a handpressed Czech glass button.

Then, I worked on some stitchmarker necklaces which are, basically, necklaces with detachable stitchmarkers, again using semi-precious stones . . .

. . . and I'm loving the Russian dolls that are around at the moment and couldn't help buying up some of these pins in three different styles for the shop.

They're designed and handmade by Gunna Ydri from fabric with beads and sequins sewn on.

Anybody got any idea what the mythical theme could be for the MS3 stole???

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I Meant to be Good . . . Honest!!

Well, strictly speaking, I haven't broken my cast one off, cast one on pledge. I did finish the Patagonian Night Sky Scarf. The beaded cast off was done and all that remains is to sew in the ends of yarn. Instead of doing that though or continuing with the Vogue Lace Cardi, I cast on another project!

Recently, I joined the Knitting in Japan Yahoo group and have also been finding this website a good resource in that it has sections dedicated to Japanese knitting basics and charts. I also bought several Japanese books and I've been learning how to decipher Japanese patterns. The Yahoo group has several KALs going on currently, one of which is this top. The original was made with silk and a shiny yarn knitted together. One person in the Yahoo group has substituted with Rowan Calmer and another with DB Cathay.

For mine, I'm using Rowan Classic Bamboo Soft, shade 109 (Cambria). I love this yarn, it's breathable so good for summer tops and it feels so silky and has a drape similar to silk. The downside to it is that it's composed of multiple fine strands very loosely woven together so easily splits if you're not careful when knitting it. I've had to adjust for a different gauge and I've also added some shaping, bringing it in at the waist. The original pattern is a basic A-line shape.

You'd have thought that would be enough to keep me content for now, wouldn't you?! However, now I can't wait to cast something else off as I already have my eye on the next project! This is all down to my travels around the knitting blogosphere (always fatal) where I kept noticing references to the Mystery Stole No 3 and my curiosity got aroused enough to follow it up to see what all the fuss was about. Well, when I realised that the pattern's author was none other than Melanie of Pink Lemon Twist whose pattern, Leda's Dream, I bought recently and which pattern was, in fact, Mystery Stole No 1, I'm afraid I cracked and signed up here!!! I'm going to be a bit behind with this one as I'm determined at the moment to cast something off before I cast something else on. Not to mention that I haven't even got a suitable yarn yet, let alone swatched and Clue No 2 is due to be released on Friday! Well, as Melanie so rightly says, it's not a race!

Photos of Patagonian Night Sky coming soon, I promise, once I get to sew those pesky ends in . . .