Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halp! Me brain haz pain!

I thought for years that I should like knitting socks but all bar one previous attempt have failed miserably, with me yelling and pouting and then frogging. Simply, I didn’t the experience one bit. The successful socks were from a two needle side seam pattern, and I loved knitting them.

Saturday evening, I decided to stop procrastinating and try a toe-up pair, using the universal pattern from Vogue Ultimate Book of Sock Knitting. The toe wasn't great but acceptable, I passed the hurdle of the misprint/mistake in the foot length section (suppressed rant!) and on to the heel some time on Sunday afternoon.

For the life of me, I couldn't get an acceptable result on my short rows - nasty, nasty holes. I tried three times, then started trying other variations (Japanese, etc etc). I still couldn't manage an acceptable result. I practised several heels with different yarn and they were great, back to my sock and another rubbish result. (Silver lining - alternate uses for short heels blossomed in my head, more of that later.)

Out came the waste yarn as I decided that I needed to knit dammit not futter around with the same stitches over and over again, and an afterthought heel would be a learning experience too. I did cock up a bit there because I was tired and frustrated and not quite well but nothing that's unfixable and well, learning experience is learning experience. Now I've got a lovely tube with a contrasting stripe and while I'm still knitting up the leg I have been considering the Heel Problem.

Except I've been looking at different heel methods online and I'm totally confused. How, for the love of parsnips, am I supposed to choose which kind of heel? There are too many options. I need someone to just say, "Silly moo! This is the heel you're looking for - use it!"

So, in summation, me brain haz pain.

But Richard Armitage strips very nicely indeed, so I think I'll be staying tuned to Spooks in the hopes of seeing scenes showing him with no shirt. After all, what's the point of the character having all those tattoos if we don't get to see them regularly?

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Catching Up

Two months since my last post! How quickly one gets out of the habit of blogging, eh?

Me-wise - it was the middle of March before I actually started to feel physically well. I've been doing a group therapy thing which has been an emotional strain but has led to improvements in my mental health. I managed to attend the knitting group in Borders a couple of weeks ago, and intend to go back. General life stuff rather than anxiety has prevented me going the last two weeks, and I won't be able to go next week because I have another engagement but the week after that? Yeah, I want to go.

Don't try to catch up on four months of housework in ten days. It ain't gonna happen and you'll feel horrible when you fail. Set a more reasonable goal of just doing 'some' catching up.

Wool-wise - I got my German learn to knit book but it took three weeks to arrive and by then my brain had moved onto a new mini obsession. Can't remember what it was, because several mini obsessions have come and gone since then, including the Quest for The Perfect Sock Cast On, an epic journey which would have brought Indiana Jones to knees and which had the end result of me deciding that I'd rather do a toe up pattern and then cast off stretchily in rib. My book and pattern collection has expanded but that probably deserves a post all to itself because I have acquired some beautifully freaky vintage patterns.

I've finally finished the kiddy raglan in Marble Chunky but Lilliana and the Smoke Ring are still lurking. Admittedly, Lilliana just needs all her ends sewn in, and if I could just stop feeling indecisive about long I want the Smoke Ring, I could probably rattle through the rest in a couple of days now my health has returned to it's standard settings.

This is my most recent FO: a crocheted baby bonnet which is supposed to resemble a flower shoved onto the baby's head. The pattern is in Leisure Arts #3176 Pretty Posies. I enjoyed making it as it was both easy and absorbing. There are actually two small mistakes in it, and I didn't frog back to re-do and make it perfect. I figured that if I couldn't find the mistakes without serious examination, no one else would be able to. This is me trying to defeat my perfectionist streak.

This is my most recent cast on. Ignore the colour, it's actually a much nicer bright orange. The pattern is a Patons pattern from 1988 which I got last weekend in a St Andrews charity shop. The yarn is Sirdar Salsa. I like entrelac, the eyelet entrelac isn't really any harder to do, and I like the look and feel of Sirdar Salsa. However, the pattern and the yarn don't suit each other. I feel that the slight fuzziness of the Salsa interferes with the clarity of the eyelets and I would prefer much crisper stitch definition for them, so it's going to be rattled back into non-existence.

I think I'm going to make myself finish off something before I give myself the treat of a new project. This is mainly because I don't have a strong preference for any particular pattern just now, and the horror of weaving in ends, joining seams, etc. will probably be a huge inspiration.

I'm going to also try and catch up on blog reading but the internet isn't holding my interest much ATM. I much around on Ravelry a couple of times a week but not much else.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Pattern Lust Strikes Again

I freely admit that I have more knitting and crochet patterns than I will probably ever be able to personally make. In English.

And I am always seeing more patterns I have to have. In English.

A few years ago, I looked at free online patterns in French and German, and so taught myself the rudiments of understanding French and German knitting instructions. I didn't knit any of the ones I saved, and the knowledge I forced into my brain has slowly leaked out again.

However, I have now come across patterns which, again, I must have and must knit but it seems unlikely that I will be able to afford them. One is a toy pattern, and as it seems to be rare, it will always command high prices on Ebay. In English, that is. In German, the pattern is a free download. I am now Very Over-excited. Caffeine, chocolate fingers and forgetting my medication last night may be (small) additional factors.

You can see why I'm excited, can't you? My mum loves this pattern too but alas, I doubt that she could be arsed learning German knitting instructions. She is also even meaner than me when it comes to deciding how much cash should be handed over for a pattern.

The other book(let) which has me in a lust is another Schachenmayr Inspirations, number 74 to be precise. It has Folk patterns, and seems to be hard to get in English, but somewhat easier in German. I could probably manage the gnomes but a garment from a German pattern? Hmm, mustn't get too ambitious. Maybe I should knit a gnome before committing to buy Inspirations 74, or maybe look at a pattern for a garment in German at least.

And as for why it's been so long since my last post - it's not the fault of Ravelry, like many other bloggers who fallen by the wayside because of Rav-addiction. I've had pneumonia, from which I'm still recovering. The cough is much better (apologies to anyone I terrified with my coughing fits) but I tire even more easily than usual and have to take longer to rest. Don't make me laugh, because that will still cause a coughing fit, though one less likely to result in me seeing stars in a black sky. To highlight the seriousness, I didn't knit or crochet for the best part of two weeks, and last Wednesday I went to Craft Group for the first time since the second week of December. To unhighlight the seriousness, a course of antibiotics and now some codeine linctus is taking care of me, unlike those poor souls who end up in hospital or even die.

Now, see how medicines warn us not to operate machinery if it makes us feel drowsy, does that include computers? A computer is definitely machinery, isn't it? Perhaps that explains some of my recent online purchases. I was adversely affected by my cough bottle. I was drowsy and accidentally bought two balls of Noro Kureyon, the feel of which I don't like. It might even explain the book I bought yesterday: Two Balls or Less. As my stash is mostly made up of two balls or less of a myriad different types of yarn, this might help me use up more of it.

Especially after I learn how to first knit with my feet, and then knit at the same time with my hands and feet.