Monday, 29 June 2009

Sock Tour of the North East

I have just returned from a nice break in Newcastle. It was a good chance for me to catch up with family, friends and my previous work colleagues.

However, it also gave my current sock in progress (sock 2 of Cookie's Kai - Mei) a chance to have a Yarn Harlot style tour of the North East:
The sock saw the Tyne Bridge

The 'Get Carter' car park

The Angel of the North

And the Botanical gardens.

While I was away I had quite a lot of knitting time so I started Ishbel by Ysolda Teague. I bought Ysolda's book a week or so ago and was able to cast on almost straight away as you also get a digital copy of the book! What a great idea.

I have never really planned on knitting a shawl as I just didn't think I would ever actually wear one, but after seeing many gorgeous photos of this being worn as a scarf. Especially nice with the matching beret - fingers crossed I have enough yarn left!

I have even surprised myself by liking the variegated Araucania Ranco. After making a pledge to only buy solids or semi solids from now on - I just might have to reconsider after seeing how this is turning out. Let's just ignore the fact that I have messed up the lace...

Monday, 15 June 2009

Treasure hunting...

Had a brilliant Saturday with Mel and Sue - we took part in I Knit London's Knitting Treasure Hunt!

There were all sorts of different challenges:

We had to find 10 sheep around London (pub signs/statues/painting etc)and answer the corresponding 5 questions at each location

We had to collect some treasure including
Photograph knitting with a pigeon

Photograph knitting with a policeman

Photograph knitting in a red phone box

Photograph with knitting on a statue

(I still say we should have got extra points for getting our statue to knit)

Photograph knitting with a celebrity

Photographs with us knitting at London landmarks beginning with:

F - Fountains

L - Lions

E - Eye (London Eye)

E - Embankment

C - Covent Garden

E - Elgin Marbles

We had to buy souvenirs beginning with:
W - Wimbledon Tube Sign
O - Oxford Street Keyring
O - Ran out of time!
L - London Tea

And a postcard with a sheep on it!

On top of all that we also had to fill in the gaps of tube stations / find which letters came from which street signs in Lower Marsh and protect our balloon from being popped by other teams (it was a 5 point bonus if you returned with it intact).

Finally we had to knit a scarf as long as possible during the day!

Overall I think we did really well, especially as we managed to have a lovely lunch in between. And well done to Mel for keeping the balloon safe from attack all day!

Monday, 8 June 2009

The first cut is the deepest

A bit of a weird blog title - but I learnt how to steek (more about that in a bit...)

It was a shame that it was such a wet and dreary day, but that did not stop me (and many others) from braving the rain to visit the outside stalls.

I bought lots of lovely yarn (mainly for socks), some buttons and some fibre (ready for the tour de fleece).

I took part in two workshops – the first of which was Jon from Easy Knits teaching us how to dye.

Well I have attempted dyeing with kool aid before with differing results:

But in this workshop we used acid dyes. It was really fun and although my yarn didn’t quite turn out as anticipated – I love it. Just need to find a sock pattern worthy now!

We really had a laugh and Jon was great – if you ever get a chance to attend one of his workshops don’t miss out! The Gingerbread men that came in the kit didn’t last very long either!

Then time for a bit more shopping and lunch before the Meg Swansen talk. It was really amazing to see the woman herself – a little surreal as she was speaking to us from a church altar. Really enjoyable though.

I then managed to get my ‘Knitting Glossary’ DVD signed and meet the woman herself. Once again I got massively star struck (just like meeting the Yarn Harlot last year) – and didn’t manage to say anything except my name. Oh dear.

Then my second workshop of the day was with Jared Flood aka Brooklyn Tweed. His class was really brilliant aswell – at first I felt really nervous as everyone else in the class seemed to have knitted incredibly intricate cable jumpers before. This however did not seem to matter, and I managed to keep up with the pace.

We did:

Cables without a cable needle

Sewing needle bind-off (really elastic)

Picking up stitches



Now for those who aren’t knitters – steeking involves cutting through the middle of your knitting to produce openings e.g. neckholes/cardigan fronts/armholes.

Steeking allows you to knit your entire piece in the round and then cut these bits at the end.

We learnt how to do a crochet steek:

Here is my swatch -

Basting thread for where I will be cutting -

Crochet chain along both sides -

And cut.....

Although I was pleased with how this turned out – I might still practice it a few more times before using it on a garment!

Monday, 1 June 2009

Etsy Etsy Etsy

I have finally opened my Etsy shop - yippee! Although I have only listed 5 items - I have lots more to come. I am really excited!

It is going to be a busy craft filled summer. Ravelry day on Saturday and on Sunday our local city farm is having a sheep shearing day with spinning demonstrations.

Then it's the I Knit London Treasure Hunt - which my bf thinks I have just made up :)

I have signed up to an online knitting swap (more about that another day)

I am going to take part in this years Tour de Fleece where you have to spin a bit for everyday of the Tour de France!

Hopefully that means that I will have some actual things to blog about - who knows I might even do some actual knitting!