Saturday, 25 April 2009

Gardening, not garter stitch!

There's still no knitting of mention going on. However, DD1 and I had a wonderful time last Sunday at the Royal Horticultural Society show in Cardiff. The weather was glorious, and matched by the beautiful array of plants we saw.
Knight Rider tulip
We were able to buy all 19 stems at the end of the day for a bargain price of £5 and split them between us.

Stunning Clematis in full bloom. I'd recently bought the dainty purple one on the top right of the picture. It's still to be planted in the back garden and am really looking forward to seeing it become an established climber.
The bronze and golden colours used in the displays below were stunning. The flowering plant is a Hellebore (I think!).

There was a beautiful display of bonsai trees. The Japanese Maple (below) was planted in 1955 and still less than 2 foot tall. The colours and form of the tree was stunningly pretty.

Spring blooms...

And, of course, the obligatory Welsh rugby player, scoring a try - completely planted out!
Tomorrow promises to be another wonderful day out. I'm off to Wonderwool Wales, a yarn and fibre festival held annually at Builith Wells, Powys. It's a 2 hour drive each way from Cardiff and the girls' eyes are bulging at the prospect of being ready to head off at 9.30am on a Sunday morning! I think the only reason they've agreed to come is they've caught wind of cider and food being available on the same site! Photos will follow!
DD1 sent me a somewhat bizarre text this week whilst I was at work, asking if she could come home for the night to sleep over. No, she was not missing her mum drastically - nor had a fall out with her boyfriend. His pet snake had escaped and she was not returning to the flat till it was re-captured!

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Monday, 13 April 2009

One, two, three ... not out!

The deafening silence here tells you how much knitting success I've been having recently;o)
in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran
Fetching, by Cheryl Niamath, appears to have been my last project that went as intended. The yarn was a dream to work with and I'll happily use it again for some future project. The pattern was very clearly written and the cable work was a really nice re-introduction to cables after too long a break. The construction of the thumb was different and I feel my finishing was a little less elegant than the method used in the Cranford Mitts.

Now more of my knitting disasters!

Firstly, remember these? No Purl Monkeys, hot off the needles for DD1. She wore them once and her boyfriend laundered them....

One of the sad pair now looks like this! Doesn't it look a truly sorrowful wee sight?? And this is the young man who wants to marry my daughter;o) I've soaked it several times and with Herculean strength, and much cursing, managed to get it loosened enough to force on to a sock blocker. I reckon it's a lost cause though ...

To con'sole' myself, I cast on another pair of socks. This time I planned to make the original Monkey pattern, by Cookie. I trawled through my stash and came up with the perfect yarn - a Fyberspates yarn in soft muted shades of yellow, brown and natural. Perfect! This was the 23rd pair of socks I've cast on and, as I've not yet got a pair to my name, were to be mine, all mine... The pattern's wonderful and was flying off my needles. As the length of the foot grew, I tried them them on - or tried to:o( They don't fit my clod hoppers without the risk of cutting off all blood supply to my feet! So, once SSS has been addressed, these may well become the replacement pair for DD1's lost socks!

Next, I cast on Ribby Yoke sweater using Sirdar Eco yarn. How wrong could this go?? Well, true to form I did balls this one up too! For anyone else who starts this project, don't be an eejit like me and misread the pattern:

Work in st-st (throughout) work 89 rows dec 1st at each end of the next and every following 8th row...

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but such a shame it is hind and not fore sight in my case! The pattern was NOT telling me to decrease on the 90th row as I initially interpreted it... Frogging back 102 rows of very soft, slightly fluffy yarn is not fun! The project is now back on track with the back and nearly all of the front done.

The Eco yarn was ordered online and delivery was going to take a couple of days. Could I wait? Nope! Startitis was raging - and I cast on a Climbing Vines sweater. I love this pattern and had been itching to try it out. Unfortunately, it looks like I'll be itching, wearing it! I used some Kilcarra aran that I'd stashed away. Now, the pattern is stunning... The yarn is lovely - but not something that you'd wear next to your skin, unless you have some serious masochistic streak or a very thick vest:o( It's not the pattern at fault, or the yarn - it's the dunderhead knitter that put the two together who's entirely responsible. If anyone can tell me that Kilcarra aran softens up dramatically in the first wash, I'll be delighted. If not, it's to the frog pond for this one too and the Kilcarra will become an outdoor type garment which the yarn currently appears more suited to.

They say that things happen in threes, don't they?

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