Monday, March 31, 2008

A busy Easter holiday

I have had such a busy week, I don't know where time went! I had very little time - or energy - to knit, so I can't show any FOs. :( The first part of Project Spectrum is on his last day and I still have a ton of projects to finish. I'm of course eager to start the new colours and new projects, but I will try to finish some Fire projects first.

The Easter weekend we went to Germany with the dogs, and this is how we spent our time :

Germany 01

Ok, maybe not really, maybe it was more like this :

Germany 02

We went walking both days, morning and evening. It was tiring, but I felt quite ok. My hips hurt like hell by the end of the second day as I'm not used to walking, and surely not in the mountains. Well, hills, sorry. But it does give you quite some energy and the fresh air did us all some good!

The dogs were off the leash most of the time, hence the first picture. Letting Esna off is no problem at all, but Aife was a bit of a guess. The first evening - we arrived late Friday night as the weather of course had to turn horrible that evening, for the first time we had snow this Winter and it had to be the evening we were leaving for Germany! - we lost her in the dark woods. Stupid thing to let her off the leash, it's all so new and exciting for her! She returned after about 10 minutes, but I should have known it was a forebode!

On Sunday we were walking up a mountain through some cut woods, going towards a small open space in between the trees. The dogs were quite a bit ahead of us but that was usually the case when there was open space in front. All at once I saw something running (I first thought it was a rabbit, but it was quite big for a rabbit!) and of course our dogs went chasing it. Esna stopped quite soon, but Aife dissapeared in the woods, chasing a deer!!! I panicked. And well, for good reasons. We kept shouting for 20 minutes before she finally returned. By then I was in tears and totally upset, thinking I had lost her. At dog school they learn us that when you keep talking/shouting to a dog they have no reason to return to see you as they can hear you. But I was to scared to stop shouting, thinking she would wander off and we would loose her. I think the shouting was the reason she was away for so long, but at least she returned! Later on the walk another deer crossed out path right in front of us, and she was going to chase her again. But I yelled "Stop" so hard and quick she just stopped. Me thinks she's learning she can't go off like that. It's all so new to her.

All in all it was a nice time for us all, though we were all exhausted by the time we returned on Monday morning.

There was some knitting in Germany, but not much. Most was done in the car, but evidence of that later! I spent the last week teaching a horse riding camp at the riding school and I was exhausted every day. And here is some proof one should not knit when so exhausted, not even something as simple as a sock!

Misknitted sock - part 1

See the problem? I know it's a lousy picture and a black sock, but just look at the heel and the toe. See it now? One would think this is my first sock. Well, it's not, and it's not my first toe-up either. But I did manage to knit the heel the wrong way! And I didn't even notice when putting the sock on a couple of times to fit it! I only noticed yesterday when trying to flatten it!

These socks are supposed to become the embroidered knee highs for the PS3 Fire. I knitted the foot on 2mm and then changed to 2,5mm for the leg (I like the fabric of 2mm for the foot - better wear - but I want the leg to go faster so I'm using 2,5mm for those). I'm doing them toe up for no good reason, I should have done them the regular way, top down, as I can shape my leg just as well that way. But hey, live and learn. The idea was to generate a general way of knitting so I can create more of these, first for PS, then for other socks. I was going to take good notes so I could reproduce easily.

Anyway, I don't like the toes of toe-up socks, I prefer a round toe. So this morning I arrived at work and had some spare time, so this is what I did :

Misknitted sock - part 2

I picked up the stitches right under the toe. I wasn't planning on ripping the whole sock, so this seemed the best solution. I unravelled the sock from the top, but after a while, and breaking the yarn twice, I decided to just cut the whole toe off and throw the yarn away. It's not like I don't have enough sock yarn.

Misknitted sock - part 3

Sock ready to get a new toe, a regular round toe top down! :D And tada :

Misknitted sock - part 4

A perfect round toe! Me likes this way better!

Now the sock is far from perfect, but these are experimental in many ways so it's ok. The problem is that the sock is way to wide around the ankle. I should have knit a bit more before changing needles. 68 stitches on 2mm needles is perfect for my foot (I think I could even do with 64 depending on how stressed I am) but it's to wide on 2,5mm needles for my ankle. I'll see if the embroidery pulls it in. Need to knit the second sock similer (though I might do it top down, nobody will notice that), but from then on I'm knitting top down.

I should find a good recipy to knit my socks toe up because I often want to knit till I run out of yarn. I've tried doing the round toe toe-up and it's possible, even very similar to the top-down version. But you have to figure out your numbers better before knitting, as it's not like you can increase till you are at the right number. Maybe I should take some time to sit down and knit a pair of socks with a notebook. But preferable with more energy!

So, soon there should be a pair of socks to show (this is only the first sock, but it should go faster from here). I still need to embroider the fingerless mitts and I'm not sure if I'll be able to finish the gloves any time soon. I want to do it to complete my project. I have some DK weight wool dyed up in fire colours so I might use that instead of sock weight yarn (the original idea) as I don't see myself knitting up a pair of gloves in sockweight yarn, plus all the stuff I want to do for the next round of PS3!

Now I really need to get some work done!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Fire socks

And the knitting slowly continues. Through all the hardship. I'm having a very rough (sp?) time at the moment at home with some very hard decissions to make in the near future. I don't want to bother you with it all, but it might influence my blogging quite a bit. Not that I'm such a big blogger anyway. But still, it might be a bit difficult for me to sit down and write here. I'm still at Ravelry, trying to keep my project page updated, for those also on there!

But, the knitting. Last weekend I washed all my handknit socks and had to put them all in the drawer next to my bed. I came to the conclusion they no longer all fit in there! :D Means I have quite a bit of socks! Also means I have a small drawer, really. But I will have to look for a bigger drawer/closet to store the handknit socks!

So the pair added are my Fire socks. I was a bit obsessed with finishing a few socks in self striping yarn and because I didn't want to do plain knitted ones (they bore me a bit) I decided to go for ripples. And though I'm not about repeating to many patterns I already did (there are to many nice patterns out there I want to knit) I decided to do another pair of Jaywalkers.

PS3 Fire - Fassett socks

Pattern : Jaywalkers

Yarn : Regia 4-Ply, Kaffe Fassett, Landscape Fire (a bit less then 2 skeins)

Needles : 2,5mm for the upper part of the leg, 2,25mm for the lower part and the foot

Started : February 15, 2008
Finished : March 19, 2008

I knitted these 2 at the same time using the Magic loop method. Somehow I don't really like this method. I don't often suffer from second sock syndrome, for me the second sock is usually faster and easier to knit. I used this method before and I just didn't like it. But it's easier to knit 2 socks exactly the same, like changing needles at the same time. I often don't take enough notes and end up not being able to reproduce a copy of my first sock. So even though I'm not a fan of this method I might do it again in the future!

So what's on the needles now? Well, a few sweaters, socks, scarfs. A baby knit that should have been finished ages ago but as I hate the yarn (some cotton/acrylic blend) I hate knitting it. Some active, some hibernating. The urge to cast on new stuff is not as big as usual and I'm pretty committed to the projects I start now. So that's ok. It's harder to dig up the older projects though!

Well, we are leaving on a little holiday over the weekend. Just 2 days, leaving tonight and returning on Monday morning. To Germany, small mountains and hopefully some snow (will be the only snow I'll have seen this Winter, if there is any, how pathetic is that?). With the dogs, so I'm planning lots of walking and hiking, and nothing much more. Knitting a bit too, of course, but with the current circumstances at home I'm even afraid to take yarn with me. :( Oh well. We'll see.

Have a happy Easter all!

Monday, March 10, 2008

I'm still here!

I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted! Oops! But I have been knitting, so let's just jump to that! :D (I have been ill again as well, seems like I'm not getting rid of it this Winter, pff!)

First off, I knitted 2 scarfs in very short periods of time. One I don't have pictures of. My sister asked for a scarf for a friend about a week in advance. Didn't need to be anything special as she apparently only gets stupid stuff from the friend. So I took some white superwash wool and knitted a quick small scarf. Didn't like it that much in the end, but it's gifted and well, wasn't to badly recieved!

Then, the second one I knit up was in PS3 colours, lots of red! :D

PS3 Fire - Scarf

Pattern : My So Called Scarf
Yarn : Thick 'n Thin wool from a cone, 200gr
Needles : 8mm I think
Started/Finished : March 2nd till March 9th

Quick, nice knit and the scarf is a lot longer then I had planned! But I just kept knitting till I ran out of yarn. I still need to measure it, but it's long!! :D

PS3 Fire - Scarf (close-up)

Slightly shows the texture, but I need better pictures. I do like how it turned out (most of these are knit out of a very regular yarn).

Then I also spend a lot of time knitting some easter decorations! And i loved it! Here ya go :

Easter eggs 01

Easter Eggs 02

I'm now officially labelled totally crazy by my family. But I like these!

Pattern : Knitted Easter Eggs by Little Cotton Rabbits

Yarn : various sock yarns, left overs!

Needles : 2.5mm

I used polystyrene eggs as the "filling". I might knit a few more as I dyed up some yellow and green yarn to get some more done. My socks yarns are very limited in colours, or at least the solids are ! Again I need some better pictures but I didn't want to go any longer without blogging so I took them rather quicky in the morning light.

Last week I went to a handwork fair and brought home some yarn that's a bit out of my comfort zone. I wanted a warm brown, but didn't find it (mind you, there were only 2 interesting yarn booths at the fair!). With PS3 in mind I decided to go for some dark red/orange yarn. I think I'll like it! Well, I do, but I'm curious how it'll knit up!

Swatch Bluebell Sweater

It's Highland Tweed from Klaziens Kreatie (Dutch store). I'm swatching and I think it'll become the Bluebell sweater from Fitted Knits by Stephanie Japel (Ravelry link). Rather difficult decission as I like many sweaters from this book, but I need to start somewhere!

There's more to write about, but it's late and I want to knit a little more before I go to bed! Happy knitting!

Ps.: Someone reminded me my blogs anniversary is coming up. Didn't even notice it last year, so I'll try to remember this year!