Some people may look at the picture above and see lamb chops, all I see is yarn! I know this is turning in to an obsession but I don’t really care. To be honest I don’t even know whether the sheep bread is one raised for wool or for meat – I could ask my brother about this as he has just bought his own flock but he is too busy tending to them to answer my annoying questions.
I took the picture on Sunday when I was out for a bicycle ride as a pre-birthday treat to myself. Not being very confident on busy roads I asked my OH (a proper cyclist not just one who does it for about 5 minutes once a flood like me) to suggest somewhere that I could have a bit of a pootle about without worrying about traffic. He suggested the cycle track around Ladybower reservoir and it was perfect, well almost, it was a bit busy with other cyclists and walkers for my liking but that’s just me being fussy. I even took a picture of my little bike out on its jollies.
On the needles
I am still working on the socks of doom (aka the Parker Socks from the Spectacular Sock leaflet that came free with a back issue of Knit Now magazine). I got a few more rows worked at the weekend but I have noticed that I have made an error on the mock cable pattern repeat. This causes me a bit of a dilemma, I know I really should rip them back and sort it out but it has already taken me over 18 months to get this far on the second sock so if I rip it out again they could be on the needles forever. One to think about.
Also on the needles is the first of my Christmas knits – yes sorry I know I mentioned the C word and its only July but I am from a very large family so unless I start early there is no way I will get everything done in time. As it is I suspect this year will be like every other year and I will still end up knitting like a demon right up until the early hours of Christmas day morning trying to finish things off. The pattern I am making up as I go along but its for a skinny triangular scarf with a ruffle edge worked in King Cole Galaxy DK in a red and black colour way (RUBY – 766). One thing I have discovered so far is that this yarn does not like being ripped back, the sequins snag quite easily and as the yarn is a low twist single it doesn’t react well to too much friction.
On the hook rather than on the needles is the crochet blanket I mentioned in my last blog. In a bid to use up my acrylic so that I can replace it with beautiful natural fibres I dug out a range of blues, a white and a pink to make up the blanket. The plan is to work a variation on a traditional granny square but with 3D floral embellishments. Pictures to follow in the next blog.
Off the needles
Monday saw the completion of all three projects I was working on from the Ruth and Belinda website, all three projects were worked in Silky an aran weight alpaca and silk blend (100m/100g). The yarn has a lovely smooshy quality but as it contains alpaca and is relatively low twist it does shed quite a lot of fibre during handling. The patterns are very simple but look really good when worked up, I would add a caveat though – you really do need to do the tension swatch for these patterns, the designer has a very loose gauge so you are more than likely going to need to go up at least 1 if not 2 needle sizes to achieve the correct tension.
Below is the vortex shrug which took me a week to knit, it is worked side to side, seamed and then the ribbed collar added afterwards. When it comes to seaming I can be quite lazy and generally just over sew if its just for me nut as this design is reversible I had to do things properly using mattress stitch. It had never really clicked for me before but I found a tutorial on the Knitty website which really helped and I think I’ll be doing things properly on all my garments from now on.
This is the fanfare wrap (pre-blocking), I worked a few extra rows on the flare at the end as I had plenty of yarn left over so its a bit longer than the pattern calls for.
Finally this is the Frilly ‘o’ wrap, a good bit of tv knitting as its a triangular shawl worked side to side with an easily memorable pattern repeat so you can just knit it on auto pilot until it comes to picking up stitches for the ruffle along the bottom. I added some beads along the bottom edge of the ruffle (approx. 1 every 14 stitches) but if I made it again I think I’d add more as at that ratio they get a bit lost.
Things haven’t gone very well on the baking front this week, possibly as I have been a bit harassed by crafty baby (who is still teething but shows absolutely no sign of actually popping any teeth through any time soon) so I haven’t really been able to give my baking/ cookery the attention it needed. I tried my hand at meringues again but they came out a bit chewy this time which was a shame but oddly they were improved when my OH forgot they were still in the oven and put it back on again to heat up for something else. Unfortunately there was no saving the homemade mayonnaise, it just kept splitting and in the end I just had to admit defeat and opt for a sour cream and horseradish sauce to accompany my salmon for my birthday tea instead.
This week has been all about peas, potatoes and courgettes on the allotment. We chose to grow a tall pea (Aldemans) this year which seems to be quite a heavy cropper but lacks the flavour of the Kelvedon Wonder that we normally grow. Oddly we also got a bit of blight on the potatoes so we had to dig the Bluebell variety up early.
As it was my birthday I thought I would cut some of the flowers we have on the allotment too so I now have this pretty little posy sitting on my mantle piece smelling lovely, it is a mix of sweat peas, roses, lavender and cornflowers – very country cottage!