Friday 27 February 2015

FO Friday: Stash Enhancement Tally

Fairytale Tarot (Hunt)

 ''It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a woman in possession of too much yarn, must be in want of more''. (with apologies to Jane Austen)

It IS a sad fact that one's stash is always in need of enhancement. Never mind that you have already achieved SABLE (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy, ie. you will never live long enough to knit/crochet all the yarn you own) - although I myself am innocent of this crime, I know others who are not. One of them might be Eviller.

This year I had decided that as much as possible I was going to knit from my stash, buying new yarn only when unavoidable, for example, my Big 6 Project (more about this another time) or for a specific project for someone's birthday, say. That kinda thing.


 What can you do when someone (Belo) gives you good folding cashmoney for your birthday and says, ''spend it on yourself'' ? It would have just been rude not to pop into Jenny Wren's, seeing as how she's lovely and her shop is full of yummy squishiness just as she had a sale on and buy a me-sized sweater's worth of this gorgeous peachy-coral Lanas Stop Baby Wool, wouldn't it ?

The pretty KnitPro crochet hooks kinda fell into my basket at the same time. Plus, they're tools, so don't count as stash at all.

And then my friend Dianne sent me 800m or so of lovely undyed silk and some Muga silk, towards my Big 6 Project:

So of course they don't count as they were an unsolicited gift. And the birthday vouchers my Good Twin gave me enabled the addition of the following, but they are also earmarked for the Big 6 Project:

I try not to look at the destashes on Ravelry when I'm trying to avoid temptation, but this happened to catch my eye, and it was just so vibrant I had to have it. Yes, had to, I tell you, it was meant to be mine, especially at the knockdown price it was:

And as if that wasn't enough - you're right, there is no such thing - I won a giveaway on JenACKnitwear's blog, a lovely kit of a stole pattern and 800m or so of Frog Tree Brushed Suri fingering weight to make it with:

Yes, you may gnash your teeth all you like while I lounge here cossetting all these piles of luscious yarn ...

Wednesday 25 February 2015

SAL Wednesday 8: Cream's the Theme

Fantastic Menagerie Tarot

The kids spent half-term with my MIL and their aunties and uncles, and therefore the week for me passed too quickly in a blurry haze. No, not alcoholic in nature, but chemical. I spring-cleaned. And now I regret the waste of time, because within a 1/2 hour of their return, clothes and belongings were strewn everywhere, and a bombsite looked clean and tidy by comparison.

You'd think I would have found time to complete the Tru Hate Wuv shawl, but no. I have some 16 or so rows to go, which doesn't sound like much, but the current row is 660 stitches long ... yes, that's a calculation from the chart as there is no way I can be bothered to count that ... so it's taking a while.

For light relief, I started the cricket sweater of Mini Diva's choice; and am loving the Drops Cotton Merino - so soft ! So squooshy ! So inexpensive !

And I am desperately trying to ignore the Eviller Twin, who seems to have got totally swept away by insanity and thinks that we should knit this:

Yes, you're right, it is a beautiful shawl. No, neither of us speak/read Japanese. Yes, it is charted. No, it doesn't use standard knitting symbols.

I have a taser if she comes too close. Purely self-preservation, you understand. I am already way too familiar with crazy myself, and need no 'help' that would disrupt the fine balance I struggle to maintain.

Go read what normal people are up to on StitchAlong Wednesday over at Yarn & Life ...

Friday 13 February 2015

FO Friday 7/15: The Lightning Thief MKAL

Shadowscapes Tarot

Well, I've survived to the end of the week - there were some touch and go moments, but a good bottle of red wine from Belo helped me stumble through them.

I had finished the Lily Go MKAL earlier in the week, then washed and blocked it, which hugely improves its appearance just as the Eviller Twin said it would (she finished ahead of me). It is a striking design which I think needs all the squillions of beads to really 'make' it:

Those striking lines definitely look like lightning, don't they ?

I had two 100g skeins of 4ply superwash in the colorway 'Mallard', a lovely rich teal which I obviously have problems photographing, from Gorgeousknits on eBay, which actually weighed in at205g, and I have 87g left, a minimum of 300m or so: plenty for some kind of small project.

The silver-lined beads which I bought from Nicola at Chromabeader .... not quite sure how many size 8/0 beads I used as I have been simultaneously using them for the Tru Wuv shawl, but somewhere in the region of 40 to 45g, I reckon; and for the size 6/0 ...I have 11g left of the original 50g. I think that counts as squillions, don't you ?

The blocking was quite painstaking .... see all those loops ? which made me glad I'd stuck with the medium size shawl.

The designer is friendly and approachable, with a friendly group on Ravelry - I'd definitely consider doing another MKAL if she did one.

Wednesday 11 February 2015

StitchAlong Wednesday 6: Grumping

Wizards Tarot

Today I am feeling as pugnacious and grumpy as this Queen looks - after a good day yesterday where I achieved everything on my long list of things to do, today I am on the huh and trudging through treacle and have nothing much to show for it.

Having completed the Lily Go MKAL, I tried to resume work on my 2nd attempt at Tru Wuv: I have finished the transition charts, and am starting the lace setup chart. Except that it doesn't work - I end up 2 stitches out. I am pretty sure this is some kind of obvious thing, like the 2 stitches that are actually and aren't technically part of the set of edge stitches; and I can't 'read' the knitting because I suck at that and plus it just looks like lots of holes rather than a pattern at the moment.

So rather than give in to the almost overwhelming and disproportional rage - come on, guys, it's only a blimmin' knitting pattern fer pete's sake, right ? - I shall turn to something else entirely ....

A couple of almost vintage patterns from roughly the same era ... I shall make one in time for the start of Mini Diva's cricket season:

And I shall be using some lovely squishy Drops Cotton Merino DK yarn:

However, Mini Diva tends towards the fashionable as opposed to the stylish, so I'm not sure that she will agree that a cricket sweater worn off-field with jeans is a classic look. 

You can leave me to mither and check out some nice things over at Yarn and Life ....

Monday 9 February 2015

MKAL Monday 3: Hurry Up and Wait

World Spirit Tarot

For some reason, I feel like I am plodding through this MKAL - perhaps it is that general 'Iwishitwouldhurryupandbedonenow' thing, or maybe it is rather that I haven't had much time to dedicate to it this last week - Belo has been convalescing at my house after a minor operation. But I dodged out of attending the kids' rugby yesterday and did all my housework instead, meaning that today I can devote at least 4 hours of daylight time to getting on with this shawl ....

Here it is after Clue 3:

All I have left to do of Clue 4 is the final 2 rows and the picot bind-off, which I shall do as soon as I have been to the little park - a lady has just called to tell me where she has left Sebastian's collar for me, after it came off a couple of days ago ....

Monday 2 February 2015

Tarot Blog Hop Imbolc 2015: Oracular Anomalies

Welcome to this year's Imbolc Tarot Blog Hop, whether you have hopped forward from Giuliana's blog, or back from Morgan's.

And you, my poor darlings who are used to reading for my crafting content, are also more than welcome - in fact, you get a chocolate cookie for getting this far without your eyes glazing over.

This Hop's organizer, Karen, chose the topic of Oracular Anomalies: ''I say Oracular anomalies though obviously I mean that in an all cards etc inclusive kind of way. I use the phrase because I like the tongue twister effect and I'd like you to tell a tale of any experience that you've had where a card has prompted a brain twister effect on you...
 I'm interested in hearing about encounters with cards that for some reason or another stuck out like a sore thumb, deviated from expectations or challenged your usual way of thinking. Cards that have twisted your brain in a similar way to the phrase 'Oracular anomalies' twists the tongue. ''

For me, the card I think of first in answer to this prompt is not any of the big or scary cards, but the relatively ordinary-looking the 7 of Wands from the classic RWS deck.

 Something from this card that is not copied or repeated in most of the RWS clones is this beleaguered man's footwear: look carefully and you can see that he wears odd shoes. This anomaly shows us that he is not prepared for the battle he is engaged in, he has been caught on the hop. You may feel that this is reinforced by his beltless tunic. This leads us to advise our querents that they ought to pay attention, to inform themselves and be prepared for some kind of attack, or at least to defend something they are doing.

In spite of his  unpreparedness, the man seems successful - he holds the high ground, he is unwounded, he appears to have plenty of energy, all things that will help him against those below who assail him and attempt to drive him from his position. This is shown in the enterprising and thought-provoking deck, Tarot of the New Vision, which shows scenes from the cards as if viewed after a 180 degree turn:

Or do they ?

Once a student of mine described this card as a man trying to hammer in sticks to make a defensive fence.

I particularly love to find these eye-opening ideas as they make me sit up and think - I have learned so much from my students over the years, for which I am very grateful.

So sometimes the anomaly is not presented by the card, but by the interpretation.

You can read stories of other people's oracular anomalies by clicking on the links below:

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