Friday, 30 November 2007

Christmas Baking

So, not really knitting related, but I wanted to share.

Look at what I've made!!!

2 dozen mini Christmas cakes with a royal icing star on top ... plus 3 mini loaf style and 1 normal cake size (not in the photo). We're having our Family Christmas tomorrow, and the star cakes are presents for my aunts, uncles, cousins etc. Would you believe all this cake came from one 'batch' of cake mix, courtesy of my trusty CWA cookbook. It was a monster-size recipe, I had to do it in two lots.

It was going to be dishcloths all round, but my my planning ideas were too big for my fickle fingers (that is, I got distracted with other projects). Plus, dishcloths can only entertain me for so long. Although, they do make the cleaning up process a whole lot more fun!

Monday, 26 November 2007

A watched pot

It certainly didn't boil ...

Last Sunday - having a morning in the house by myself (Mr W was at a bike race). I decided to dye some handspun that I had left over.

True to form, the watched pot didn't boil. It seemed so close for so long. But I got sick of waiting, and started weaving in the ends of dishcloths. When I turn around again, I find the pot of dye boiling away, and dispersing small pink droplets around the kitchen (I think I've cleaned most of it up now).

In went the skeins. I tried out different stirring/lifting devices. I like the tongs. The pasta server tends to give tangles. And 30 minutes later, out they came again. Unfortunately the skeins got a bit tangled up, and untied in a couple of places (I think it was the pasta server). Looking at the mess of yarn sitting in the sun to dry, I was dreading the whole detangling and winding up process. But it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

And this is what I have to show for my efforts.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Christmas SnB

Oh what fun we had ...

Zena braved the car trip with her two boys. A & S are soooo cute, and they wooed the group with their excellent behaviour, beautiful eyes, gorgeous cardigans (nice knitting Zena), and general baby goodness.

I got a fair bit of knitting done - finished the knitting part of 'the blue cardigan'. No sewing up done as yet ... I'll wait until I know if it's needed (or if I need to sew buttons on the cream cardigan sitting in my 'nearly finished projects' box).

And there were presents too! I scored a monster size pack (even bigger than the beetle) of fun shaped buttons. Best of all was food. We ordered a few platters of food - fish, dips, wedges, tapas, antipasto etc etc etc, which went well with a bottle or two of red.

Although I did find the next day that I had done some really weird things on the lace scarf I'm still plugging away at. There wasn't much harm done - only two rows to tink.

Monster Beetle

I'm not talking about humungous VW's here ... This is a sure sign that Summer's well on its way.

Mr W and I just arrived home from church. As I was walking up the steps from the garage, I hear this buzzing fluttering noise. When I turn around I see the most enormous cockroach/beetle thing landing on the wall. That was fine, and I tried to have a bit of a look at it (it's not everyday that I see such a monster beetle).

But then, the horrible thing takes off, and flies behind me, and then there's no more beetle flapping noise. I was sure it was on my skirt, but the lights had turned off, and I had my arms full. After an agonising walk up the hallway, with light available, and hands free, I rustle my skirt, and brush over my back.

For a (very) brief moment, I think that all is well, that it landed somewhere in the garage, and is happily browsing around tools, oily rags and various bicycle paraphernalia. But that moment was over, as I did feel something rough on the back of my skirt, and then I heard the flapping/buzzing again, and the horrible, big, huge beetle lands on my shoulder. Instinctively, I swipe at it, and head across the room (possibly shrieking) in the opposite direction.

It wouldn't have been too bad, had not Mr W been telling me throughout the whole ordeal to 'stop panicking'. He wasn't the one with the monster on his shoulder, and in his hair. But, knight in shining armour that he is, he came to my rescue, and squashed the beetle (repeatedly, it refused to die) ... before I could get a photo. It looked kind of like this.

This was no ordinary beetle, and no ordinary cockroach either. It was the cockroach-beetle of the future, 6-10 cm long, and resistant to 3 foot taps. I think I'm allergic to it .... I have welts on my arm.

Friday, 23 November 2007


Trellis is finished, and just in the nick of time.
My neice (the impossibly cute recipient) turns one next Saturday.

Here's a photo of the finished item, lounging on the ottoman.

I must admit that I was getting sick of the pattern towards the end. But at least I didn't need to keep referring the chart.

I like working cables, I like the way the twist around, they make sense. Looking at where the stitches have come from, I can see where they're headed. Plus, I've figured out how to avoid using a cable needle (except for particularly tricky bits). So when I work through my current backlog, I might have another crack at this ...

I started using the zig zag rib on another project, but it was driving me batty, using the cable needle to move the stitches around every second row.

I almost forgot to mention ...

Trellis was knitted in Rowan All Seasons Cotton on 4.5 mm needles. The pattern is from knitty, and if you click here, you can have a look at it yourself.


I'm in!

Late nights are looking certain.

P.S. my user name is katewillknit

Friday, 16 November 2007

Attention Span

I'm generally not very good at concentrating on just one project, but lately I'm worse than ever. It's always justifiable - I need car knitting (on circulars, as Mr W worries that if we have an accident I may cause injury to myself), car knitting for the dark (something that I don't have to be able to see very often), long-term projects, deadline projects, extra short deadline projects, play around with an idea projects, distraction from tedious stocking stitch or pattern repeat projects, fit in a small bag projects, projects to knit while talking, projects to fill in time while I try to find the missing dp to finish knitting a sock ... and so the list goes on.

So what's been on my needles the last couple of days???

Here's the beginnings of a blanket that I'm planning to knit. I'm playing with the idea of a knitted doily done in cotton, on large(ish) needles ... along the same lines as what Brooklyntwed's done with the Hemlock Blanket. I grabbed some cotton I had laying around, and knitted as far along the pattern as I could go until the yarn ran out. I reckon the blanket will work, and now I have a face washer or dish cloth to use (or bestow on an aunt as a Christmas present).

I've also been working on a blue baby cardigan. I started it a month or so ago, and am up to my first sleeve. I'm trying to prepare myself for another 'onslaught' of new arrivals. At least three friends are expecting new family members in the next 4-5 months.

And this tangled web of fine yarn will (hopefully) block itself into a lovely scarf - it's going to be a Christmas present, so I won't tell any more just yet.

Something else has come off my needles - here's a sneak peek, lurking in a bucket of woolwash.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

New Project!!!

So I've signed up for a knitting project thingo, as part of Elizabeth's final year project. Here are all the details. The basic idea is that heaps of people knit items, and 'tag' them as they go - writing about what they're thinking, or what's going on in their lives. The aim is to dispel the stereotypes of knitters, and create an accurate portrait of who we are.

It sounded like fun, so I signed up. Now I just need to decide what to knit. Something that I can get finished before March 20, and won't need to be given as a present before it's returned. Hmmm, I'll need to get planning.


I'm in lust.

I spied a picture of this in Knitting Daily. I know it's a blog used to make me want to buy more interweave stuff, but I can't help it.

Seeing as I haven't gotten around to subscribing, I'll have to plan a trip to a decent newsagents in the near future.

Hospital Knitting

Sitting around hospitals gives you lots of time for knitting. Here's what I've come up with.

Pattern: Zoe Mellor, adorable knits for tiny tots, polka dot booties and hat
Yarn: Shepherd 4 ply wool
Needles: 3.25 mm addi turbos

The booties were okay. not too many colour changes, and I could fudge the stranding across the back to avoid buckets of bobbins.

Not so with the hat. Each column of dots had it's own bobbin - 11 bobbins of white yarn to get tangled up. Now I've finished, I'm going to put the book down, step back quietly, and talk to myself very sternly if I ever think of knitting it again.

We were sad to see Mr W's grandfather loose his fight with cancer last week. But there was comfort that he was no longer plagued with pain or breathing difficulties. And even greater comfort from the words of the Bible, that his confidence in Christ means that his eternal future is secure.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Just in time for Summer

I've finished my lovely fair isle beanie. Hooray!!!!

Here's me wearing the finished item - I was still waking up when the photo was taken, hope there are no visible pillow creases.

And here's the inside. Please note the (somewhat) even tension of the strands (not too bad for my first fair isle project imho). The cotton around the bottom stops itchy forehead-itis.
Pattern: Brooklyntweed's Red Light Special
Yarn: Ashford Tekapo
Needles: 3.5 mm circular

I know I've been quite silly, and knitted a very warm woollen hat, just as the weather's starting to warm up. But it's not that bad, I'll get to wear it in February when we go to Japan. Now I can really look forward to that holiday.

In other news, I'm onto the second sleeve of Trellis.

But I was getting bored with the pattern. So to spice things up a bit, started working on some dishcloths for Christmas presents (it's not blocked yet).