Sunday, 25 October 2009


Another lazy weekend!

Anyway.... I was raking through my stash of lesser yarns, which I bought before I could knit very well and therefore had not discovered the more gorgeous yarns. Mostly Rowan and Debbie Bliss bought for the colour (purples and occasional pinks) I really must have a de-stash, now that I have discovered Juno Fibre Arts, Spindlefrog and Amy'sRainbow on Etsy, which are all UK-based sellers of yummy hand dyed yarns, and they cost more or less what you would pay for the same weight in, say, Mirasol or Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn. I am very much into the ides of supporting small businesses and also it does mean you have beautiful yarns which are pretty much unique, colour-wise. I do love making socks, and scarves are something I want to get into knitting too - particularly lace patterns. So the Rowan -most of it - and virtually all of the Debbie Bliss (apart from the pink Soho, because I'm going to knit a scarf for Saartje) are destined for EBay.

I found some Rowanspun in a lovely pinky purple lavender shade, 10 skeins of it. I'm using it for a Baktus - actually, a lacy Baktus - which will be great for when I'm at the Garden (although I won't need it in the polytunnels!) But the rest of the knitting month will be taken up with some more socks (Mirasol Hacho in DoubleFuschia), finishing off Kernel, and - when the skein of Elvincraft 2-ply I bought arrives - starting a version of (Jane Araujo's)Nightsongs, which Lisa (Red Lisa) has written instructions for on her blog; and she has also been kind enough to give me some much-needed help and encouragement! Aren't the folk from the Knitting Community fantastic?! Really, if I was just plodding along on my own, sans internet, there is no way I would have made such amazingly quick progress with my knitting learning.

So...I've knitted the first 15cm of the Baktus and I'm happy with the result so far:

I've had a fairly good weekend - Mik came over for a couple of days and we went to see Lance at the Duke of Wellington, which he has just bought. Lance is a cellarman of over 20 years experience, particularly with real ales and beers, so he will make the Duke a really popular place to drink decent beers! I opted for a really nice scrumpy, 6 percent...."So it begins" said Lance when I told him what I wanted. And only bout five sips later I understood what he meant!! I don't really drink alcohol because of the effect it has on my overzealous immune system, so my tolerance for booze is way down. What this means is I get drunk very easily, and earned the title "Shandy-Drinkin' Mackem" on Friday!

As for Kernel.....oh buggering blast! I was doing so well; onto the 3rd pattern repeat of the main section's chart, and it was going along really well, and so easily too. Enough variation between rows to keep me interested and still simple enough to knit without difficulty. But on one particular row I suddenly noticed that one of the SK2P's was not in the right place. You know,you get that little sort-of-diagonal 'bar' across, underneath those stitches, and up till then these has all been lined up directly above each other, mainly at the apex of several SSks and K2togs. I had only knitted a little way across that row so unknitted that row and re-started it. Same thing again....GRRRRRR! I unknitted again and counted the stitches....there were still 49, so that wasn't the problem. I tried again, going v-e-r-y slowly and it happened again! I unknitted and tried one last time. This time I got almost to the end of the row and noticed the penultimate repeat's SK2P was 'out'...not only that but I had somehow gained several stitches which couldn't be accounted for....WHAAAAT? No explanation other than a Kitting Gremlin. Normally, if I have made a glaring mistake I can see where and how and correct it,but I counted along from the beginning of the row and all my stitches appeared to be the right I frogged the whole lot, yes, right back to nothing and started again from scratch! Because,you see, I never did learn how to do that thing where you simply stick your needle in the stitches several rows back and only undo the mistake rows (and with lace it would be impossible anyway). So, I have started again and am now back to where I was when I took the photo in my last blog post! Oh well....

I've 'balled' two skeins of Mirasol Hacho - Double Fuschia - ready to start some socks when I get back from work tomorrow. I think I'm going to make some Starflower from Jeannie Fanihi's blog, because they are a bit more challenging than my normal choices but still accomplishable (is there such a word?) They have small cables which I can do sans cable needle, and they make a fab star pattern. crucially, the pattern works if you knit the socks top/cuff-down rather than toe-up. I really hate toe-up the method as the cast on method seems unnecessarily fiddly, and I can't always find toe-up patterns with charts that work if they are 'upside down'. Knitting top-down, then grafting the toe stitches,ismuch easier and hassle-free and I will stick to that for now at least.

SIGH.....So much yarn, so many patterns, so little time to knit....

I made a gorgeous tarte tatin/appelgebaak this afternoon; I mean it was just amazing! Somehow the butter and sugar had appeared to make the puff pastry into something which was almost cake! We ate it with Ben and Jerry's Phish Food and Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice creams. I might make a really big one for the Co-op Christmas Party.

Well, it's now way after midnight and I did intend to have an early night. I'm supposed to start about 9 or 10 tomorrow and I do want to get in on time.

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