Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What the Knitting SWAT team would see...

Phildar Magazines

Control Centre: Knitting Surveillance, can you call in with your location and target please copy over.

KS: CC, currently outside target's home... she's been knitting, but has just taken a delivery...over

CC: Delivery? Can we get a zoom in on that? Is it contraband? Over.

KS: Nope, French knitting magazines... Phildar, I think. Yes, confirmation, five Phildar mags, over.

KS: Update, CC, update! Target has changed location. She remains at home, but is now on the couch, nursing a cup of tea and sighing contentedly whilst flicking through magazines.

Control Centre: Come on in to office, Knitting Surveillance... that target won't be going anywhere this afternoon. You guys may as well take a load off. Over and out.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Green Polly

Green Cardi 1

Green Cardi 2

Green Cardi 3

Fresh off the needles is the first outfit completed for the "Handmade For Grumbles" campaign: a super cute green cotton cardigan for summer, which she is wearing with her Three Way Dress. Yes, yes, I know - it's still freezing cold here, but at my current pace I need to get started early if the poor kid is going to be clothed this summer!
It was quite a quick knit - in fact, it would have been even quicker if I hadn't let the pieces sit around for a couple of weeks whilst I regarded them with a grumpy look and a sore back and decided I would sew them tomorrow, honestly, I'll do it tomorrow, but once I sat down the sewing was done relatively soon. Even picking up all the stitches for the neckband was pretty easy, and that's a job I usually detest.

I didn't bother blocking the pieces in the usual fashion, which is to wet the knitted pieces, carefully pin them to a blocking board, and then leave for at least 24 hours for the pieces to dry. Instead I used a sneaky trick of my own devising, which is to put a wet tea towel over the knitted piece which has been placed on the ironing board, and then iron the billy-oh out of it. I'm sure Elizabeth Zimmerman is rolling in her grave right now, but the technique works for me. And, yes, I'll confess: I do this on all my finished knitted pieces, bad bad me. You're reading the writing of the last of the knitting rebels, folks!

Project Details
Pattern: Polly from Rowan Kids
Yarn: 3 balls of Jo Sharp Soho Summer DK Cotton
Needles: 4mm and 3mm (I used a size down to get gauge)
Button: Shell button from Tessuti Fabrics

Details on Ravely here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Craft Spring Cleaning


I'm not sure if it's the extra sunshine in the air, or fact that I have my usual amount of mobility back, but I have been taken by the sudden, not-to-be-ignored urge to do some craft spring cleaning. I look around our tiny home, and shudder at the wips and ufos that are lying about, adding nothing but an air of clutter and an atmosphere of crafting guilt at their unfinished states to our home. I feel like they are dragging me down, down, down to the very depths of a rut of incompleteness. And that, to quote Mary Poppins, will never do!

So this morning has been spent finding all these projects, and deciding what to do with them. The above was formerly the back of the lovely Cherry by Anna Bell, which for some reason that I seriously cannot fathom now was lying in a box under the bed with it's needles pulled out. Taking it out and shaking off the dust, I tried to read my knitting notes (I take copious notes when knitting - does anybody else?) but found them to be as unilluminating to my mind as hieroglyphics. What the heck was I jotting down? Unable to interpret myself, I frogged with a grim face, and decided that this project could be tackled at a later date, once other things had been completed and the weather was more suitable to wearing a cute summery cardigan.

I will admit to a slight twinge of sadness as I frogged - I remembered so very clearly beginning the cardigan as I sat next to Grumbles on the front stoop of our old home, I basking in the sunshine as I cast on and wrangled with my cable needle, Grumbles besides me slurping away on a succession of home made frozen yoghurt icy-poles, watching our hunky, usually shirtless neighbour berating his girlfriend at the top of his voice - even, at times, chasing her down the street as she sped off in his car - before turning to us, giving a friendly wave and saying "Hey duuuudes, how ya doin?" Apart from the whole yelling-at-his-girlfriend thing (and to totally honest, she ignored him completely, so she didn't seem to bothered by it all) he was a pretty friendly guy. I miss those days!

Oh, and don't fear, fellow knitters, about the frogging - to be honest, my tension was spectacularly crap, as I hadn't really gotten the hang of knitting with cotton at that stage, so it truly is all for the best! That's what happens why you focus more on the sunshine, Grumble's company and the street's spectacles than knitting with cotton. Lesson learned.

Back to spring cleaning: My other Yoga Wrap, which travelled around Europe with us, only to be worked on for a couple of rows at the very most before I realised that knitting on trains gives me motion sickness has been pulled out, with a pledge to finish it before the cool weather disappears. Likewise the coat and dress I have cut out and sitting on top of the buffet that houses all of my sewing gear - these too have been moved up the sewing queue.

And yesterday I finished the summer cardigan I have been working on for Grumbles (pics soon, promise!) so really, things are moving along at a cracking speed. And that, my friends, feels gooooooood!

If only I had such a can-do attitude to spring cleaning the dust bunnies under the bed...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Spotty Sewing

Ack! It has not been exactly a barrel of laughs chez Jorth of late. Firstly I got a sore back - which, I can assure you, wasn't enhanced by falling down our stairs a few days later - and so have been seeing a chiro for the last few weeks. She's doing a fabulous job, but oh my goodness my poor stubborn muscles are not liking being forced back into their original configurations, much preferring their lazy, hunching positions thanks very much. I can almost hear them muttering to themselves: "Why let Jorthy stand up nice and straight when she's the one who has made us hunch over a computer/sewing machine/knitting needles for all these years? The crafty old sod deserves all the pain we can give her!" So it's constant hobbling and wincing from me at the moment, hence the lack of, oh gee, any projects whatsoever. Seriously - some mornings sitting down to eat breakfast has been an ordeal, so crafting has been totally out of the question. Sigh.

However I had pretty much reread the entire Bill Bryson oeuvre for want of anything else to do, so not all is lost.

Poor Galumph, meanwhile, did something nasty to his neck on Friday, so he's been flat on his back for the last five days, only raising himself up with moans and groans to see the osteopath, who makes him moan and groan some more. It's been so pathetic around here (truly, there is no other word!) that Grumbles has taken to wringing her hands and declaring to the world at large that "My family is falling apart on me!"
Still, I do feel somewhat better (and more mobile!) today, so I have cut out a new project. Huzzah! Is this, perchance, a sign that life may life soon be returning to normal? I BLOODY WELL HOPE SO!