Friday, September 29, 2006


Thanks for all your encouraging comments on my yarn problem, and especially for the suggestion of alternating the two batches. Thanks, HPNY! Believe it or not I wouldn't have thought of that myself.

The point of this post is to admit that I might have been too hasty in my criticism of Texere. Although the fact remains that they didn't give me the correct information at the time of ordering the new yarn, I should have contacted them with the problem first; that is, before denouncing them completely. They've admitted they did produce more than one batch but they have also asked me to send them a piece of the yarn I need, so they can see if they have a match. This means that either I'll get hold of the matching yarn and it will (might) be happy ever after, or I can at least mix the two, as you all suggest. The customer service at Texere is in fact very good and I suppose anyone can make a mistake.

At least this gives me the opportunity to do a bit more on the stole, though I still have about nine repeats to do.

I've forgotten about Eye-Candy Friday again. Oh dear.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Okay. It doesn't take much, I know.....but I'm really mad and it's all (mostly) because of Texere Yarns and Willow. Fatal combination. You know how I've been slogging away at trying to finish Willow? And how it's been a wing and a prayer all the way, what with swapping yarns, needles etc. Well, I just got half way through the first sleevehead, only to find that the new cone of yarn is completely different in shade to the rest of the garment. I'd checked with Texere to see whether they could get the same dye batch as the others I'd used and they'd said they'd only produced one dye-batch of this yarn, so any yarn sent would match. Oh yeah, right. So I knitted about thirty rows in the new yarn in the dark last night and this morning...horrors. I don't know if you can see it in the photo. Aaaaargh. I suppose it is partly my fault as I should have ordered enough in the first place. Having said that, if Texere had just told me they didn't have the right dye batch at least I wouldn't have knitted all this and wouldn't now be having to rip back - possibly a whole sleeve - if they can't get the right yarn as a replacement. I HATE RIPPING BACK. So the options are: start this sleeve again and knit both in the same batch and have the sleeves not matching the body, but two sleeves not matching is better than just one; knit the sleeves in a plain, rust-coloured yarn; or carry on in the right yarn if they can get it.

I will let you know what happens (if I don't rip myself in two first, like Rumpelstiltskin in a rage, when he stomps himself through the floorboards at the end of the story).

Monday, September 25, 2006

Still Nothing to Show

It's not that I'm bored with the knitting at all. I have been knitting but just little bits here and there. I seem to have been picked up and swept along by the everyday current of life and I'm still hurtling along with it (but towards which end?) Time that would have been spent knitting (in between putting Charles to bed and eating dinner) has been spent exercising, and I'm reaping the benefits from that. I feel great. But my knitting..... Eunny says she doesn't often sit and give knitting her exquisite attention, more often knitting a row here and there whilst waiting, say, for water to boil or whatever. I'm right there with her, except that if I mostly did that I'd get a few rows done each day, rather than the whole, beautiful garments that seem to magically appear on Eunny's blog so often (isn't she talented!) What I'm saying is, in order to make progress I need to find more knitting time. If I ignored Charlie all day long and just threw his meals on the table and said "go play, Darling", I'd get loads done. But that's not fair. A neglected and bored toddler....shudder. I did have a chunk of about an hour the other day but when I went back to it later, I realised that for some inexplicable reason I'd stopped increasing and for the last twenty rows I'd been decreasing. So I had to rip back. Aaaaargh.

What do I have left to complete? I've knitted the back and two fronts and half a sleeve of Willow (the long cardigan). I tacked the back and front together a few nights ago (and forgot to take a photo). It seems to sort of fit, as far as I can tell. Now, this is very lucky when you realise my tension is so out. The garment is several centimetres wider than it should be, and several shorter. So how the sleeves are going to fit the body when they too turn out shorter and fatter, I don't know. I expect I'll squeeze them in somehow. Maybe this cardi will have puffy sleeves. Could be interesting.

Edwardian Stole I still have about eleven repeats and the top edging to do. I've got used to knitting this lace with the television on/people talking etc and no longer feel like screaming at anyone who so much as breathes in the same room when I'm trying to CONCENTRATE. It's Willow that's stopping progress on the shawl as I really want to finish it. The loopy yarn is pretty irritating, though I find the colours lovely, and I do find knitting garments a long and drawn-out process. I need a quick fix. Maybe some new sock yarn. Have you seen Piece of Beauty's
new shop? Lovely.

BTW I know the above photo has absolutely nothing to do with knitting but it's symbolic of just how weird life can seem sometimes (this was taken last Thursday when we went to West Wittering and Brighton, though that wasn't one of the weird days and we had a great time). They look as though they've just been dropped out of a UFO, don't they?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I haven't been posting much lately, I realise; once a week has been about it. The reason is I'm still working on the relatively larger items, like the Willow cardigan and of course, the Edwardian Lace Shawl (actually it's called Edwardian Lace Stole on the pattern).

Rows and rows of black KSH don't make for interesting photos, so I'm leaving it to your imagination, but I've now completed the top edging on the first half, which is a relief. The points along the sides are knitted as you do each row, at the edges. But the points along the top and bottom are knitted individually. I mean it's a relief because I was worried I might not understand how to do them, but it was easy and only took an hour or so. But the bit that took some fiddling about was picking up all the stitches along the provisional cast on and knitting the first rows of the second half and having the pattern match exactly with the first half. Easy, you say - just follow the pattern. Yeah, right. Somehow I kept ending up with one stitch too few after that first row. Not an error in the pattern. In the end I just increased one stitch at one end and carried on. I was so lucky the pattern matched up exactly after this debacle. I must have inadvertantly placed the missing stitch where it belonged. Anyway, I'm two repeats (out of fourteen) along on the second half. Shouldn't take too long to complete, though. I can do this lace whilst speaking now, and with noise in the background. Oh, and I must mention that apart from being one stitch astray that time, I haven't made any mistakes at all. My lifeline still languishes back at repeat number six (I'm on seventeen now). I hope I haven't spoken too soon. I am being very careful.

The yarn in the above pic is Cascade 220, The Heathers. I got it at the same time as the gold KSH and Debbie Bliss Tweed, but forgot to show it. I'm going to make
with it. Better wait until I've finished Willow first, though. Oh, I cannot be bothered to knit Willow. So, so bored with it.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Eye Candy Friday and Idiosyncratic Socks

I chose this picture for ECF, not because it's particularly beautiful, but because it portrays a time of year I love in our garden. The buddleia has come back into flower. We've had two flourishes this year, which is such a treat as the scent is divine and can be detected from the top end of the garden. The apple trees are of course full of fruit at this time of year and I find them particularly pleasant to look at, and to smell.

Toddler socks are so fast to knit. Here are Charlie's. I would have liked to make them slightly longer in the leg, to line his wellies better but was afraid of running out of yarn. As it was, there wasn't much left over when I'd finished.

These socks have their own little special trademark; they look as though they've been knitted specially for an elf with very pointy feet. Towards the end of the toe I didn't stop putting in the knit rounds between the decrease ones. Of course, this made them long and pointy. Still, if a sock was too perfect you probably wouldn't believe I'd knitted it myself. (Speaking of perfect socks, just look at these - scroll down to post dated 29th August).

News on the Edwardian Lace Shawl next week.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

If the Sock Fits

Remember those terribly bright socks I was knitting? Well, here they are - finished! As you may be aware, I do have ghastly trouble knitting a sock that fits. The last pair was so tight they were actually painful, but I persevered and wore them through the pain, and they now fit, although I practically have to shoehorn them on. Anyway, the point is, this latest pair fits like a glove, um, like a sock (should).

I just cast on 56 stitches on 2.5mm needles and knitted the whole thing in stocking stitch, instead of all those fancy-pants patterns I've been doing lately. I knitted an extra four rows of heel flap to give a little extra around the instep but I think these would have fitted anyway. They're quite stretchy.

I really like the Lana Grossa yarn I used and am even coming to terms with the colourway. The yarn itself knits into a very soft and light sock and is very easy to knit with. Perhaps you can tell how much I like these socks - I've added too many gratuitous sock photos. I'm also half way through a pair for Charles, using the leftovers (wellie socks). By the way, the one at the top isn't me in my nightie. It's a black net skirt I'd worn that day and it has a cream underskirt, which is showing through quite boldly, due to the flash. I took the photo in the dark, not being terribly organised.

The other thing is, I've started a new blog, The Fitter Princess and the Pea, owing much to how fat I am and how unfit I suddenly am. I'm hoping it will motivate me. Really, I'm just copying Dipping My Toes Back in the Water, who has done the same thing. That's a funny blog, by the way. Give it a visit if you can.
And it's got great music on it, too.

Oh, and by the way, you might like to check out this shop I came across, Foreign Strand. It stocks some yarns I've heard mentioned but not seen available to buy in the UK.