Sunday, 19 October 2008

Vini, vidi, vici ...

... sewn up and about to be blocked!! My battle with the February Baby Sweater on Two Needles, by Elizabeth Zimmerman, is over:o) Conquered is obviously too strong a term. 'Survived' may be closer to the mark.

February Baby Sweater on Two Needles

Many knitters love this pattern. With apologies to Zimmerman fans, I didn't find this an enjoyable knit at all ... and gritted my teeth to get it off the needles. I struggled with Elizabeth Zimmerman's style of instruction and pattern detailing. If anyone undertaking this pattern in the future finds themselves struggling (cursing, swearing and generally looking boogley eyed with the whole blooming process), there are some helpful guidelines and information here on Ravelry. I genuinely don't want to see anyone else struggle with a project - but the knowledge that I'm not the only Zimmerman-dozyhead did keep me going!

I hope to block the cardigan tonight and then it's off to little Grace ... and if anyone fancies a copy of The Knitters Almanac, please let me know;o)

On the other hand, Norah Gaughan's patterns suit my need for detailed instruction much better - and look what arrived in the post this week, Norah Gaughan Collection 3. The booklet contains a number of beautiful patterns - including Loppem, Eastlake Sweater and East Scarf.

I'm gasping to cast on either of those sweaters, but WILL finish one of the half-done creations lying around the house first:o(

Good news on the health front too this week. I was seen by the Chest Consultant and the results of the recent Sleep tests show I don't have Apnea. However, the results do confirm I SNORE!! Like that news to anyone in the Blethers household;o) The Consultant reckons the excessive fatigue results from a combination of factors - (1) having an inflammatory disease and (2) a side effect of the Methotrexate. That explanation seems to fit for me ... the higher the Methotrexate dose has gone, the more knackered I've felt! He's writing to the Rheumatologist to ask that the Methotrexate be stopped and that the new anti-tnf's are considered.... Roll on my appointment in December!
Just wanted to end with a picture that represents an issue most parents will recognise - sibling rivalry.
Islay's sister came over to play! They are both arguing over Islay's favourite toy ... and looks like her sister's winning! Look at those teeth!

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Elizabeth Zimmerman....

... and I are not friends at the moment! I'd great plans of whipping up a little February Sweater on Two Needles as a wee token for my colleague's new granddaughter, thinking it'd be a breeze having already finished (stress free) three of the adult version. How wrong I was:o(

This blessed thing has become my knitting nemesis; leaving me scratching my head, stomping about my lack of knitting prowess.... The baby is now here and the blessed top is still on the needles! I've become a Zimmerman 'groupie' and am now a member of every EZ group on Ravelry. I've stalked poor knitters on Ravelry who have teasingly posted the cardigan on their finished project pages and hounded my knitting buddies on knitting forums (Thank you, terri!)....
Other knitters love this pattern and I absolutely agree the finished sweater is really sweet. My difficulty has come from trying to interpret the pattern instructions. For me, the instructions are somewhat sparse - the entire pattern is described over only 11 lines, with the gull pattern detailed as a seperate 4 lines. The sleeves have been where my problems arose. Patently, I've misinterpreted and was knitting the sleeve over 42 stitches initially - which may have worked for a baby with the arms of an navvy... I'm on the right lines just now and am working the sleeves of 28 stitches.

I will not be beaten;o) By next weekend, our battle of wills should be over and I'll be posting pictures of the completed garment!

However, there are positives from this experience:

  • I have new friends on Ravelry

  • I can absolutely vouch that Crystal Palace Bunny Hop yarn is a star which copes well with being knitted, frogged, re-knitted, re-frogged.... Despite all the abuse I've thrown at it, the yarn still looks and feels like a soft, squishy dream.

  • Insight increased too. It seems I am a technical, rather than process knitter. Give me instructions - direct, line by line instructions and I'm a happy knitting bunny. I don't do abstract or obtuseness in knitting, though seem happy enough to work with very loose parameters in other walks of life?

Look no further if less than keen on reptiles!
DD1 was off house sitting with her boyfriend the other week and left me babysitting! She's the proud 'mum' of 2 Bearded Dragon Lizards and absolutely dotes on her 'babies'...
Saying hello for the first time
Friendships made
(Female at back; male in foreground)
Sitting pretty?

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Hangdog made me do it!

HangdogBlethers looked at me beseechingly, sending telepathic dog-waves saying that we were both in need of some retail therapy. How could I say no!

So the two of us set off on some serious Internet browsing and found some absolute treasures!
Firstly, some gorgeous yarn from Fyberspates

The colours are beautiful - muted, soft greens with soft browns. Fingers crossed this is destined to become a Forest Canopy shawl (by Susan Lawrence), a Christmas present for my mum. Be warned, there may be some shouts for help as I tackle the dreaded lace for the first time in years!

One of my colleagues is expecting a little granddaughter to arrive at any moment and the poor mum has had quite a difficult pregnancy. I wanted to make a little something to welcome the new child and to let them know they are in my thoughts. Given my recent affinity with the February Lady Sweater, I reckoned the Baby Sweater on 2 needles, by Elizabeth Zimmermann, would be perfect. The pattern appears to cover a range of weights of yarn ~ the weight selected will affect the size of the garment. I've never used any Crystal Palace yarn but thought that Bunny Hop looked a lovely option. I acquired a small selection of Bunny Hop from Button's stash page on Ravelry. Thank you, button!

A little more bedtime reading fell into my shopping cart, making its way recently from the States. For anyone who likes aran patterns, this comes highly recommended with a fantastic range of patterns. There are several projects I'd like to tackle .... ohhhh for a 45 hour day!!!

I loved these buttons too! I haven't a clue what they will eventually fasten - but in the meantime I'm happy just to view them as eye candy!

Many of us have become more environmentally conscious and try to contribute to re-cycling projects etc. I had to include this! This is how I found Louise, our grey tabby, this morning! All cuddled up inside a carrier bag on MissBletherTheElder's bed. The bag did say it was re-usable and Louise and certainly put it to good use!

A very special thank you to terri who very generously sent me an award (blushing like a school girl here!). Please check out terri's blog to see the fabulous knits she creates ... and the nearly-most-handsome dog in the world. Sorry, terri, my 3 would never forgive me if I publicly announced Scooby was better looking;o)

Labels: , , , , ,