Sunday, December 31, 2006

Back on the 3-Minute Miracle

First I will update you on the hair situation:

It was bleached for three hours in total and we did get it to quite a good lightish yellow. However, after application of the ash-y tone, it was still quite yellow. I found a darker ash tone, which produced a more believable shade of dark blonde on a strand test. Unfortunately, however, the area on my scalp where I did the strand test (I'd had enough of cutting chunks off on which to perform various tests for the bleaching process) was stinging and there was no way I'd cover the whole head with something that stung. So I admitted defeat and dyed it bright pinky-red. It won't be staying that way - it's just you have to dye it red and then brown, otherwise it will go green. And yes, it has happened to me before. I remember sitting on the beach at Brighton and someone remarking how I well I matched the seaweed.

Please note that the red patch you can see is dye, not a sore patch (I'm very lucky I don't have any of those).

I have been doing some knitting, in between ruining my hair with the bleach: some more socks (I thought I said I was off knitting socks - all that has changed now I can Knit to Fit) in Opal and the stitch is baby cable rib (which is very simple and requires no effort). I cast-on 56 sts again and it seems okay. So far.

Thanks for all your advice on the Bad Word Situation. I'm still ignoring him and will see how it goes.

Must go and stop my lunch from burning.


Friday, December 29, 2006

Orange Socks and Hair to Match

Well, I started Shedir and completed fourteen rows before I realised that it would be too big and that I didn't like the flippy-floppy fabric I was creating. The pattern called for 3.25mm needles but I was using 3.5mm, as I was too impatient to wait for the right size to come in the post, thinking Christmas would delay them. But they arrived the following day (from Kangaroo). I sould have waited but my impulsive, impatient and demanding nature just would not let me. And of course I had to frog all that work and start again. Shedir is the kind of pattern I have to give at least a little of my attention to. For instance, I can't just knit Shedir mindlessly whilst giving Grumpy Old Women/Men the larger part of my attention, which explains why I've still only knitted fourteen rows on the new needles. Instead, I finished the socks I started a month ago, in Lana Grossa Fantasy, colour 4833. At last I have knitted socks that fit perfectly (for a change). Usual top-down formula, 56 sts, on 2.5mm needles. Yeahhh. But will I use the same number of stitches with a cable/lacy pattern and get the same size? I'll let you know.

My hair is now orange. No, really. If it wasn't so unbelievably patchy I wouldn't mind it. On Wednesday I got restless and attacked it with the bleach I'd had sitting around in the cupboard for a year and a half. It would have been okay but I left too much hair at the root area whilst bleaching the lengths, so when I put the bleach on the roots, the centimetre closest to the scalp went blonde but the other two centimetres of "root" didn't have time to get as light as either the nearest centimetre of hair, or the lengths. This means I have orange hair with a brown/orange band near the roots and then blonde roots. Needless to say, it looks really stylish! Lucky for me I have a habit of walking about in a bright pink fully sequinned hat (it's an original Liberty hat but looks like a sparkly swimming cap), which doesn't show any hair. I'll get some more bleach today but have no idea how to go about evening it all up. Maybe I should do all the dark stripes, rinse and then do the whole thing again, once it's a uniform orange. Better be careful. Don't fancy a chemical haircut right now. Not to mention the brain damage bleaching gives you. Watch this space.....

By the way, Kathryn, I haven't forgotten your tag
And also, the orange-hair photo really does make it look better than it is - quite nice, even. Don't be fooled. And I look really shagged out in the hat photo, but that's what comes from having the cold from hell and drinking wine for hours (on Boxing Day). Still avoided a hangover though, as it was more a slow but constant intake, rather than lots at once.
Has anyone any idea how to get an almost-three-year-old to stop shouting out BOLLOCKS all the time? I've tried ignoring it but it hasn't worked and though other people find it funny, I'm way past that now. I swear if he shouts it out in Tesco I will just die on the spot.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Plea Specifically to Alice........

Or indeed anyone that knows the answer (which is probably everyone except me). You know I'm knitting the Shedir hat? I just looked at the chart. Hmmmm. Does it read from left to right on each line, or right to left, or zig-zag from one to the other? Maybe I should be able to tell by looking at it, hope there! Actually, I'm thinking that once I know how to read the chart it's going to take me at least a month to learn and remember what the symbols mean. But I'll have a go.

I would really appreciate some assistance................Thanks, blogfriends.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Odessa (number 4)

I can almost knit these with my eyes closed (so to speak), I've knit so many. Again, this is in cashsoft, though with large, glossy, black beads this time.

I have one more Odessa to knit, this time in Ballad Blue (one can never have enough Odessa hats). Then, it's on to Shedir.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Best Pic I Could Get....

Well, here you are, you lot. The best picture I could get. You know how children never stop moving.

Frankie was saying she didn't understand why so many people are so mad about knitting socks, for several reasons (you know, small needles, you have to knit two of them, etc, etc.) Frankie prefers to knit hats, and if you look at her blog, you'll see she is excellent at doing so. I like knitting socks, but it's hit and miss as to whether they'll fit. I still wear them, though, whether they're like little boats on my feet (the Koigu stranded stitch ones I made), or whether I have to endure them like you would a tourniquet, cutting off the circulation in an alarming manner (the pink lacy ones where I lost the feeling in my finger for a couple of months, due to knitting on 2mm metal needles). So, I'm taking Frankie's lead, and knitting hats for the time being. Having spotted Alice's Shedir, I must knit that. I've never worked from a chart before, unless you count Forecast, which you can't really, as that pattern was so simple to memorise, you didn't really need the tiny chart in the first place. I may not be up to the task, but I've ordered a ball of Rowan Felted Tweed, in Carbon, anyway. You know, hats are relatively quick to knit, there aren't two to be completed every time, and you get to show a hat off to all and sundry, unlike socks. And hats don't get snagged on our dodgy floors in this house. Not like my socks. I only have one handknit pair left unscathed now - the others all have huge holes in the heels, where I caught them on "things".

I did finish my skirt (I forgot to mention it) and am very pleased with it. I just put four huge darts around the waist area, and it did the trick of shaping it enough. As the fabric had a lot of stretch in it, it didn't need a zip - I just slip it on. No photos yet, as I can't get a decent one.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

It's Christmas-time!

I know, I know, it's been so long since I've posted that I've almost forgotten how to do it. It's that time of year when we have so much more to get done, and also I've just been kind of revelling in feeling festive, which means a lot of "sitting and taking in the atmosphere". And which also means I still haven't written any Christmas cards or wrapped any presents. At least I have my tree up now. We've had the same one for seven years and it's still thriving, which is incredible, given my track record with tending anything green. Mind you, putting the tree up isn't a problem - it's taking it down again. One year I couldn't be bothered to take it down until March, as I'm often reminded by my friends. The tree became an adorned skeleton in the corner of the room. I couldn't understand why it offended so many people. I was 20 and had just bought my first house. I think it was my way of saying I could do what I wanted. Well, that and drinking brandy at 10 in the morning before a stint of the dreaded Christmas Shopping Experience. Not so that I was too much the worse for wear, you understand; just a little fuzzy around the edges. Sometimes I think I could do with that now, but I couldn't face drinking so early in the day. And not more than about two and a half units at once. Boring, I know, but I don't want my first hangover in twelve years. I'm rambling - sorry.

The above photo is of some completed knitting. Charles didn't own a scarf, which is very sad, as we do walk, and often high in the Chilterns where it's often quite exposed and very windy. So I knitted another Odessa hat, this time in Cashsoft DK, in Navy. That didn't solve the problem, so I knitted a scarf to go with it. In Cashsoft again, Navy and Ballad Blue. Just as well I hadn't been on the brandy, or it could have been green and yellow.

As you can see, it's a simple cable pattern, crossing this way and that to make a lattice (I particularly like the way the pattern makes a crinkly cast-off edge). The cashsoft is soft and lovely to wear, though it has a tendency to show wear very quickly, which makes me fuss terribly. The pattern was from Scarf Style; it's Braided Mischief by Teva Durham, though I didn't use the yarn suggested, or the same size needles. Mine was knitted on 5mm needles, with 54 sts. There was a cable row every four rows, so it was relatively fast to knit.

In addition to the scarf and hat, I've also knitted some self-patterned knee-high socks for Charles and half of one candy-coloured sock for myself. And now it's a race against time to get another Winter Companion knitted for my sister's birthday on Christmas Eve. This time there are many more beads (every four stitches and every six rows) and I've cast-on 25 % more stitches and used a 5mm needle, instead of 8mm. It remains to be seen how it turns out.

My Edwardian Lace Stole hasn't been touched for literally months and the red Forecast, for weeks.