16 August 2008

Aleita is done!

Yes! I have finally completed her. My verdict

Well, I like (love is too strong a word to use at the moment) her, even though she curls at the bottom, does not quite sit where I want her to nor does she hug me…

But I am sure that after a lovely scented bath, massage and some sun bathing, she will comply.

Then I will love her…

12 August 2008


It is a sad fact, but I have bowed out of Ravelympics. I was so excited too but…

1. I had not finished Aleita by the start and I did not want to have another UFO
2. I did not fancy knitting to deadline another so soon after the last one, and
3. I had/have lots of domestic stuff to catch up on.

So, from here on in I will be a spectator and not a Ravelympian. It has taken all my strength to make this decision, but I must remain on the sidelines. I am sure that spectating too will bring its own pleasures.

Good luck to all Ravelympians.

09 August 2008

Vintage Patterns?

I don't know what one would call them or when a pattern becomes 'vintage'. But, look what I found in a charity shop last week...

The ones that really caught my eye...

this one because it looks so elegant, and

this one because it reminds me of my Sahara, and finally

this one because I know of two friends' babies in the making.

I know I will never knit all the patterns but they are nice to have and to look at.

06 August 2008

Mosaic me!

I saw Joanna’s mosaic and could not resist the urge. So I came up with this…

1. Tramonto a Castel di Tusa #2, 2. Salmon Gums in the Fog, 3. Lake Tanganyika, 4. Go Green!!!, 5. Johnny Depp, 6. Bombay, 7. Zanzibar Doors 1, 8. vanilla custard: multiple preparations, 9. good friday, 10. Family moments, 11. 19/365- The Luckiest, 12. [16:92] Do not be like the knitter who unravels her strong knitting into piles of flimsy yarn

Questions to answer…

1. What is your first name? Tusa
2. What is your favorite food? Salmon
3. What high school did you go to? Tanganyika
4. What is your favorite color? Green
5. Who is your celebrity crush? I had to think about this one but… Johnny Depp
6. Favorite drink? Bombay Saphire
7. Dream vacation? Zanzibar
8. Favorite dessert? Custard
9. What you want to be when you grow up? Good
10. What do you love most in life? Family
11. One Word to describe you. Lucky
12. Your flickr name. KnitPlosion – I could not find an image for this so I used 'knit'.

Then you plug the answers into flicker search to find images to chose from. Then you plug the image urls into this mosaic maker et voila.

See if you can resist the urge to find out what image you can make.

03 August 2008

Figured out…

It was my row gauge after all! I feel like such an amateur.

Anyway above picture shows my re-workings in an effort to get it right this time.

Hope I can count this time…

31 July 2008

Big Aleita Troubles…

I am having big troubles with Aleita. I am now at the stage where you knit the two fronts. Technically I am about 80% through. This seems to suggest that I could have 2-3 hours of knitting and finish it.


Last night as I was knitting the left front, I noted that it had gone past the back in length. I went back to the pattern and studied it intensely. I recounted the increases etc. and noted that I was on the right track then decided to go to bed.

When I got up this morning however, I recalled another Raveller saying that her armholes were getting far too long and she questioned whether there were too many decreases “after every 3rd row 21 times and then every other row” (to paraphrase) and so on…

I am not sure what to do. I will have to spend time reading up on people’s knitting adventures with Aleita before I can carry on – frogging is out of the question. This suggests that I will miss the KAL deadline (31st July - today). However, I might still be in time to join Ravelympics.

21 July 2008

I Can’t Count

A few nights ago I got to the part in the Aleita pattern where you split for the front. I was rather pleased with myself when I read through and managed to follow the pattern to the letter; except that it appeared off centre. The preparation for the armhole did not seem to match with the side seam decreases…

So I slept over it and by the following morning I decided that frogging Aleita to that place where I should have had a lifeline (yes I got cocky and did not put one in…) would be wise. Not wanting to wait any longer I frogged her.

Then I counted, as I should have counted much earlier in the pattern when it asks you to mark the start of the round and half way around the knitting. Ahem, after convincing myself that the designer had got it wrong and having mentally written a note to her pointing out this error; I decided to count again. Yes, I am afraid I had miscounted at the beginning. I have one side seam off centre by about five stitches.

Now, here is where I get to pigeon hole myself. I read somewhere that you can fall into one of two types of knitters.

1. those who are perfectionists or
2. those who accept the imperfections in their efforts

The first would see me frog Aleita to the beginning. This prospect I could not bear to think about. Therefore, this left me with the second option. Given that the garment is for me, and that this slight imperfection makes it that much more unique. I can live with it as long as I make sure this is the only unconscious imperfection or ‘tailoring’ I make to the garment.

As for which camp I fall into… I am (I think) a pragmatist at times. If the garment were smaller and perhaps a gift, I probably would have frogged it to the beginning.

Yours truly still counting…

17 July 2008

Guess what arrived in the post this week?

Rowan 44 in commemoration of Rowan's 30th anniversary…

And the patterns are gorgeous. The one I want to knit the most is Fontaine…

But it will have to wait until the queue is shorter…

If you have not got a copy yet visit these blogs for a preview.

11 July 2008

Blocking Frenzy!

Why? Oh why? Oh why? Did I never listen to anyone about blocking? I have finally come around to it. How?

Well, the other day I was listening to the Knit Picks podcast. Kelley Petkun mentioned that when she prepares her knitted garments for blocking she washes (by hand) then spins it in the washing machine to get the water out efficiently. I tried it and it works beautifully.

I now realize that what held me back with blocking, was my inability to get the water out of the garment without wringing it. I found this rather difficult. And of course, I could not get the water out to lay the garment out properly. I therefore ended up with rather badly blocked garments. This also meant my knitted garments went for a while before I decided to wash them… Yes, really…

Anyway, I tried this new method with my Roadster as it was looking rather sad and it came out very well. Then, I blocked Sweet and she came out rather smart. I am now blocking Onza before I move on to Forecast. Although… I don’t have the schematics for this so not sure what to block to. Has anyone ever got the schematics? I am on a roll!

See ya!

06 July 2008

My Forecast

…is finally done.

Yes! My Forecast is finished. I am still dancing around as I type this.

It took 18 months to complete but I am very pleased with it. It was worth it. I have yet to block it though…

03 July 2008

The Yarn is Here...

(Sung to the tune of 'My Way')

And now
The yarn is here
I am still excited

And then
I sit and think
What lies before me

Some swatching
Some frantic knitting
And restless nights

I sit,
Try to sit still
But I’m still aquiver

I am
I’m still excited
At what I am making

I know
The journey is long
But it will be worth it

In the end
When all is done
I will have made Aleita

Repeat chorus

29 June 2008

I am so excited…

And I just can’t hide it! Whilst revisiting blogs and drumming up interest in my EZ Prize Draw, I rediscovered the Sexy Knitters Club. How did I let that slip for such a long time? I have decided to join the current SKC KAL so that I can knit Aleita Shell by Bonne Marie Burns Published in Interweave Knits, Spring 2008 .

The suggested yarn for the vest Plymouth Linen Isle which is a DK yarn with a gauge of 21 stitches and 28 rows in Stockinette on 4.0 mm needles (for the vest). I have decided use Muskat by Drops Designs which is also a DK yarn but 100% Egyptian mercerized cotton. It has the same gauge in stockinette and on same size needles. Looking at the comments on Ravelry, others have substituted successfully with other yarn; so I hope it will workout. I am going for the second size which will have 0-1” negative ease.

I can’t wait until the yarn arrives. This is the only downside to buying online. The wait. It feels like I have been on a yarn diet for a long time but I am sure I have bought yarn recently. Perhaps I was not as excited before, as I am about this project.

While I was shopping, at one of my favorite haunts – Scandinavian Kitting Design, I added some yarn for Trellis for my little girl. Might as well – postagewise… That was my justification anyway. I can wait to knit that too, and as it happens both are on my Ravelry queue.

Now, all I have to do is be very strict with myself and finish my Forecast this weekend so that I can start Aleita and be finished in time for the Knitting Olympics which I am really keen to take part in.

Wish me luck!

25 June 2008

And the winner is…

Blakdove! Congratulations! I will be contacting you via Ravelry for postal address details. Well done you and looking forward to seeing more of your projects. Yes I did have a snoop around all the entrants’ projects. Some fab knitting going on out there. Where do you all find the time?

Last but certainly not least... commiserations from Elizabeth,to those who did not win. Better luck next time and thank you for coming to play.

Until next time my friends.

13 June 2008

EZ Book - Prize Draw

Last year, I bought a few Elizabeth Zimmerman books. I wanted to find out what everyone was talking about plus I wanted to knit that “Baby Surprise Jacket”. I trawled the net to find EZ books at the most competitive prices. One supplier sent me two copies of the same book. This one…

I forgot all about it, until I decided to transfer my knitting from one end of our living room to another. After much deliberation about what to do with this extra book, I have decided to offer it up to you my readers for free. All you have to do is leave your Ravelry name in the comments section; providing you don’t mind being added to my Ravelry friends list, so I can visit your blog and checkout your projects.

The draw will take place on 20th June (extended to 24th) and the winner will be announced here and contacted via Ravelry.

Good Luck!

09 June 2008

More knitting betrayals

The ‘other’ interests... More than week has passed and I have managed to snatch a few moments to post – twice!

In my former post I mentioned my other craft interests. I only managed to post about one – card making. So today I thought I should share my relatively recent experiences with another interest; machine sewing and/or dressmaking.

About a month ago, I was looking for a dress for my little one. A nagging thought reminded me that I have always wanted to make little dresses. I ignored it. After getting Elizabeth and I sorted and ready for an outing, we set off into town. I could not find anything I liked. I came home rather dissatisfied and I decided that if I want a particular dress in a specific colour, then I should make it.

So, I ordered a few patterns from Jaycotts and few days later the patterns arrived.
I thought it would all be straight forward and I could just get to it and get started… Oh noooo! How wrong I was. Instead I was faced with this…

And wondered whether I was meant to understand it???? I reviewed my collection of sewing books then found one with some help…

A visit to the library elicited this…

Next, I decided to buy some fabric and notions and this is what I got…

Later, I showed that pattern to Elizabeth’s Godmother, who is very good with her sewing machine. She tells me that the pattern I have selected is very simple but… She also noticed that I had diligently cut out duplicates of the pattern (in the size required). Apparently, I don’t need to do this!!!! All I need to do is cut out the bigger size then fold it in for the smaller sizes. I feel like such a beginner. I know... I am... It all reminds me of my knitting beginnings. Although that was the wrong way around - I skipped stages like swatching and much to my horror the garments either grew after washing and/or looked nothing like the ones in the patterns.

Apparently, after the cut, sewing is pretty straight forward. Just joining up the pieces, they say. Feeling rather nervous, I decided that I need a decent pair of scissors to make my life easier.
Do I hear procrastination out there? I still have not cut out the pieces…

Another work in progress for flickr. Until next time my friends.

06 June 2008

Home Coming!

Hey! Look who came back from Afghanistan yesterday…

…here is Elizabeth showing Ian the new routine to “Row your boat” of course… One must get their priorities right!

29 May 2008

Time Flies...

Where does the time go? It seems only yesterday when I declared my return to blogland, only to have a few months pass me by again. I know though that I am not on my own on this one.

Since I last blogged, very little knitting has taken place. Only one project to boast about and when it was finished it was too small for my little girl. She can squeeze in though, probably for another month or so…

Podcasts have really kept me going. At the moment I am really hooked on Ready Set Knit staring Kathy and Steve and featuring various guests with Pixie in a great supporting role. Cast On by Brenda Dayne is still a regular on my listening list too; and I miss her weekly editions.

I have also had the occasional visit to Ravelry. Can you believe that??? Occasional visit!!! Once upon a time, I visited Ravelry two or three times a day if not more… Those of you, who have left messages for me here and on Ravelry, thank you so much. I will reply to your questions as soon as I can.

I also have a confession. I have been unfaithful to knitting!!!! That said, many of you have mentioned in the past that knitters tend to have more than one crafting interest. Just take a look at Marietta. Where does she get the energy?? My one newish interest is card making; there are more believe me, but this one has renewed interest for a number of reasons some of which are:

- Near instant gratification
- Very quick, complete in less than 4 hours
- Easy to manage with toddler
- "A change is as good as a rest"
- Quick feedback from recipients

Most feedback has been good; except one who told me not put their age on future cards. Shop bought card for that one in future… Maybe. I know, I should have thought about that one a bit more… If that were knitting… Any way a sample of the cards completed so far…

Oh and they are not my designs. They are from You Can Craft. Suits me so far and would recommend for anyone getting into card making. I love the freebees you get with it, probably why the price tag is on the hefty side. Who's birthday next?

Until next time (not sure when) and enjoy your crafting.

23 February 2008

I am Back!

I think. It is amazing how much a young one occupies ones time. The last time I wrote here was before Christmas. In that time I had lots of knitting plans but I tell you, my eyes were bigger than my time! But look at my little one...

The Evergreen stocking for Elizabeth never got done, Forecast never got finished although I am still working on it but, I persevered with the little number below just to make sure I kept my finger in there.

The magazines have really kept me going however Interweave Knits has somewhat taken me aback and I am not so sure I like the new look. Perhaps it needs to grow on me, or I just don’t like change…

I will keep it short just to make sure I return. Until next time, that is if I have any readers still…