Friday, 29 November 2013

FO Friday 164: Take That, Bainbridge Scholars !

Tarot of Pagan Cats

It is wet and grey, there is no-one to either model or take a photo of me wearing my newly-completed Blackberry Cabled Cardigan; which I am calling the Strawberry Cabled Cardigan because of the lovely dusty rose pink shabby chic color of the Stylecraft Life DK yarn that I used, in which I look most becoming.

So here are the final NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater Month) 2013 statistics:  60,720 stitches.

Umm ..... that's about the only statistic that matters, actually. 

I promise you it looks a lot better when being worn. It is a shame that a design with such unusual  characteristics (knitted-on shaped border) and a relatively high pattern price was not as well-written as I feel it should have been: for instance, when attempting to make some of the key elements of the design, like the curved fronts, I feel it would be far more helpful to specifically say where and when to insert the increases, and for how many rows, rather than leave it to the knitter's guesswork. The same goes for the placement of the cable panel on the right front - some of us do not have a very well-functioning spatial brain. Or whatever is that bit that reverses and visualizes at the same time.

Anyway. I am super-chuffed with it, but exhausted. I am allowing myself a day without hooks or needles so that the blisters can heal, and merely surfing other people's projects via Tami's Amis  ....

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

WIP Wednesday 172: Cutting it Fine

Tarot of Pagan Cats

I know you'll be relieved to hear that Mini Diva made it back from her residential trip safe, if not sound. No, nothing exciting - a bad sore throat, cough and cold from some generous dirty germ-infested child who does not wash their hands and/or cover their mouth. The actual rock-climbing, abseiling, archery, swimming, assault course etc was all absolutely BRILLIANT, apparently. In spite of the wet dark cold weather and the mountains of mud. It must be Titch's genes making a showing, as I would have totally hated it, it is the entire polar opposite to anything I might remotely consider as 'fun'.

Aunty Fashion is back in hospital for a couple of weeks to have her blood 'washed', and then another Campath treatment, but I am hoping to make a trip to visit her. I don't like hospitals, but sometimes I can get a lot of knitting done; and Belo is in rehab.

No, it's not that. 

Or that, actually.

It's cardiac rehab that he should have had about 5 years ago after his triple bypass. So of course he is wanting all kinds of healthy foods like pizza, roti and curry. We are not even discussing goose or duck, just the thought of those makes my arteries constrict.

And here it is. It looks like we might be coming right down to the wire with the NaKniSweMo Blackberry Cabled Cardigan - all I need to do is finish it by the end of Saturday. Both sleeves are set in, all seams are sewed, all ends woven in, and I already have a total of 50,816 stitches - that's without the border, for which I picked up 544 stitches last night ...

Yes, that is my last ball of the Stylecraft Life DK in 'Rose'. The size I'm making requires 1600m/1750yds, and I had 1490m/1630yds. It could get .... interesting ....

Anyway, while I wrestle on with my self-imposed burden, you could go over to Tami's Amis and see happier, more productive people.

Friday, 22 November 2013

FO Friday 163: Umm ....

Fantastic Menagerie Tarot

So I seemed to have been really efficient this week - I have caught up on NaKniSweMo by completing the left front of the Blackberry Cabled Cardigan, which leaves me only the right front and a million miles of border to finish by next weekend.

I have also finished the last clue of the SusannaIC MKAL. Then for no reason whatsoever apart from an empty head, left it in a heap for two days before washing and blocking it. Not only did it take forever or nearly 3 hours to bind off (70 squillion stitches. Yes, I counted.) you can  imagine that blocking it this morning took quite a while as well; and now I have no sensation in my fingertips apart from pain.

I have mucked out Mini Diva's sty in anticipation of her return from her residential school trip later - but only reaped the rewards of one full black bag. I have even had some lunch. 

Then I sat around wondering why I felt like I had forgotten to do something - I had paid the bills and spoken to the landlady about the wet walls in Destructo Boy's room, so the ooky stuff was out of the way. 

And then, with only an hour left before Mini Diva's return, I remembered: I had planned to blog. So here it is. Worth the wait, wasn't it ?

No ?

OK, here, look at some pretty pictures of the Romanesque Shawl (Emily Ross) that I finished a while ago, and gifted (I'm sorry, Jill, truly I am, but the sound of your teeth on edge is kinda oddly appealing) the day I unpinned it to a lovely friend of mine who has been having a tough time recently, but still keeps smiling. I wonder if she might share with me those drugs she must be taking ?

If you remember, the yarn was Lanas Stop Baby Wool which I bought from one of my LYS', Jenny Wren's, which is well-stocked with a variety of good yarns at all price points, and is warm, welcoming and friendly too. No, she didn't pay me to say that - though if a ball or two of free yarn fell my way, that would be a lovely coincidence, wouldn't it ?

Now, pop on over to Tami's Amis to see who else has finished things ....

Monday, 18 November 2013

Monday Meditation

Housewives Tarot

So having waved Mini Diva off for a week's residential trip with her school, somewhere out in the rain-soaked wilds of Norfolk (I think), the house would have been eerily peaceful and quiet with only occasional thumps from Destructo Boy. 

However, his school has seen fit to torture the parents by handing out recorders as if they were broccoli. The kids are treating them as if it were candy - they just can't get enough. It is quite challenging to look and sound encouraging of one's offspring's raucous non-musical shrieks when in one's heart there are black violent murderous thoughts of using the stove-top to melt the shiny new plastic when he is asleep.

Anyway. I am here procrastinating instead of working on my NaKniSweMo Cardigan - I have over 32,000 stitches done, but have still only completed the back; the sleeves seem to be taking forever. Of course, they will do if you don't actually spend any time actually knitting them. But the last clue for the SusannaIC MKAL shawl was released on Saturday, so I have been paralyzed by utter laziness  indecision.

I decided to put the paralysis to good use, by taking an extended nap meditating deeply while on the sofa in order to recharge my batteries. But I am not feeling refreshed, I am feeling like I want a cake and another nap, because surely that chewing will tire me out again. But I will try to be a decent parent, and instead will add several layers of clothing in order to go collect Destructo Boy from school in the grey November wetness.

If you have stayed with me through that random ramble, well done. You too may have cake, but bring some back with you later in the week when you return for the next enthralling instalment  ....

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

WIP Wednesday 170: TAAT

Housewives Tarot

I am feeling somewhat ... out of sorts ... right now, so like an over-adventurous snail who has stuck out his eye tentacles too far and got them snipped off by a wicked bird, I shall be winding my neck in sharply and toot sweet, hiding up til the wind changes and there is no risk of a house falling on me.

Luckily, while I am down in the storm cellar, I can occupy myself with the SusannaIC MKAL. This week was Clue 7, which leaves us here:

it's all in the blocking

And having had to rip back my NoKniSweMo sleeeves back to the beginning because I am a dodo and did not read the instructions properly, meant I lost almost 5000 stitches. That meant I sulked, which was a further two days lost, and now here they are, re-done:

Yes, they are TAAT (Two At A Time) because sleeves can get terribly boring. On the other hand, if you make a mistake, you tend to make it twice. Like I just did.

Oh well, there'll be less garbled updates over at Tami's Amis, while I take the kids for their dental checkup ....

Friday, 1 November 2013

FO Friday 160: Moving Right Along

The FO this week is me: I am exhausted ! I have been sadly absent this week as it has been half-term, and I have actually been out Doing Things with the kids. Nobody is more surprised about that than me. They have been swimming a few times, saw an uncle and the middle cousin, eaten large, fancy and expensive ice cream sundaes at Ra-Ra's, had a couple of play dates, carved pumpkins, gone trick or treating, and there have been a couple of parties. Here is their Hallowe'en swag:


Appropriate buckets, aren't they ? Skulls for the evilness of sugar, and bloodshot eyeballs for the effects of evil sugar. Yes, I have pinched some of their sweeties, yanno, just to check they're OK.

 I have a few hours to myself right now as Mini Diva and Destructo Boy are headed to Auntie Fashion's with Belo, and Titch is not yet home; so I will tell you that the Forest Pansy shawl is in a Time Out right now. I found a minor error, a difference between the chart and the written instructions, which meant tinking back 1 row. But, 2 rows from the end, I found a repeated error I had made back in chart 2, which I cannot ignore, however hard I try - and believe me, I have tried. All the large lilac section will have to be ripped back to the end of the dark violet section.


 So, it is in the Seriously Naughty Corner, because I had been hoping to complete it this week, in time to start NaKniSweMo today.


I am starting NaKniSweMo anyway. I just need to either find an app for my Nokia Lumia that will do stitch counting, learn how to use Excel in a millisecond, or - most likely - record how many stitches I knit each day using good old pencil and paper.

Blackberry Cabled Cardigan, made in Strawberry

And seeing as how the stitch count that needs to be knitted each day to complete a 50,000 stitch cardigan in 30 days is phenomenal (apparently, I have been told, I haven't done any math myself) I really must get going and make a start. You, however, can pop over to Tami's Amis and see some real FOs .....