Monday, October 30, 2006

Clocks back

It's clocks back day today. We've got an extra hour to play with. What did you do with yours?

I put this together.

OK, it took more that an hour. It even took more than two. I'm very pleased with it, and hope Mr Flajol's Granddad likes it as much as I do. It's going to be his Christmas gift this year.

I'm part of an online quilting community who regularly swap patchwork blocks with each other, and these homespun squares are from our most recent exchange. It includes blocks from the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand and France. I love that something so homey and comforting has been created from the efforts of people from around the world, who have been brought together by their common love of quilting and a particular series of books. It just needs to be quilted - a job for next weekend while Mr Flajol disappears off to Pembury to watch the racing.

I'll also be working on the lap quilt I put together after our last exchange. The brief was to send in blocks based on Amish patchwork patterns. We all bought black background fabric from the same source, so that the blocks would go together well, and each announced which block we would do so as to avoid two people making the same pattern. I chose Shoo Fly - it's the black and orange block, bottom centre. When I got the blocks back, I had eleven different ones, including my own. I didn't want to put two the same in there to make it up to twelve, so I put together the pink and blue Amish Bars block on the centre of the second row. I really enjoyed researching the patterns for this exchange, and I'd love to make a full size Amish style quilt. They really are beautiful. Until then, I'll be happy with my international mini version!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Along came Rose

Rose arrived on Saturday 14th October - all the family doing well. I've only seen photos so far, because Mr Flajol had a stinking cold at the beginning of the week, then he rather generously shared it with me. I've been sat at home feeling sorry for myself for the last few days, willing myself better so I can go visit the new addition to the family.

I have done a little knitting, but I've been feeling so crappy that the last few days have consisted of me lolling around on the sofa, drinking lots of fluids, and doing my dying swan act. Mr Flajol is one of those blokes who doesn't easily admit to illness, and doesn't do lying around feeling sorry for himself. Not me, though! If I'm poorly sick, the whole world better know it, and bring me offerings of chicken soup*, ice cream** and luxury yarns***.

I did finish the surprise baby jacket at the weekend. It lacks only buttons and a baby to fill it. It's probably going to be at least the middle of the week before I get to visit with my new niece. I want to be sure Mr F. and I are both completely disease free before we go a-visiting. On the plus side, it will give me time to whip up a little something for niece number one.

Pictures next time. I'm simply too too feeble to go downstairs and take photos of knitting in progress.

Adieu from the plague house.


*Actually, what the whole world should bring me is tomato soup, because we all know chicken soup is second only to mushroom soup in grossness, unless it's that clear noodle soup flavoured with chicken stock. Best to stick with tomato soup. It avoids tantrums.

**Any flavour but chocolate or mint. Unless it's real chocolate instead of that crappy chocolate flavour. I will eat mint ice cream, but only if there's no other flavour available.

***Who am I kidding? It doesn't have to be luxury. I am a yarn ho.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Newsflash from the frogpond

The cotton sock is dead. Long live the cotton sock.

I finally tried on the Lana Grossa cotton sock. Despite its ribby goodness, it felt like it was trying to cut off the end of my foot.




Thursday, October 12, 2006

Still waiting on the baby...

My brother's baby was due almost a week ago, and we're still waiting. Come on out, already! We're all waiting to meet you! The shawl is delivered and ready to receive said baby - now I've got to get to work on some clothing. I have Elizabeth Zimmermann's pattern for the baby surprise jacket sitting here, waiting to stun me with it's magic folding goodness. Unfortunately, I also have a pile of projects crying out for attention.

I finished the first of the Ripple Weave socks, and I've worked the first pattern repeat on number two already. I also cast on a cotton sock in Lana Grossa Meilenweit whilst I was in Edinburgh. I needed a simple sock for the train journey: one I could work without constantly referring to a chart. I'm working this one in k2, p2 rib all the way down the leg and plan to take the rib pattern along the top of the foot.

I was very well behaved in Edinburgh. I managed to squeeze in three visits to HK over the course of the week. I caved on my second visit, and bought the Lana Grossa sock yarn, a ball of Opal solid in a very girly pink, and a couple of sets of Boye's shiny metal dpns (love those colours!). My friend dragged me along for a third visit - she was being a complete yarn ho, and wanted to get more of the sale yarn she'd found on our first visit to the shop. I escaped this time with a fantastic knitting zine, called Take Back the Knit. I'm itching to make the summer wrap and the goth-style gloves.

Now I'm off to PAD in Preston to check out the National Knitting Week exhibition - Endangered Species. Looks interesting. Of course, all the workshops are on days when I'm working or already have other arrangements. Grrr.

I'm never going to learn how to crochet at this rate!

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Shawl...

I finished the shawl for my brother's new baby today. It's a shawl I've made several times before, but never with the emotional investment that this one has. My first nephew or niece (the jury is still out).

The pattern is from an old Patons' book that my Nanna gave me years ago. In the late eighties she had a couple of heart attacks followed by a stroke, and the doctors told her she couldn't knit any more because of the strain it placed on her heart. She gifted me with her entire knitting stash and paraphernalia. I wasn't sure it was a good idea that she give it all away, but I figured nobody else in the family was interested in knitting, so I might as well take care of her stuff until she changed her mind. She never asked for any of it back, but when she had to move in with my parents for 24/7 care, she'd evidently ignored the doctors' advice and built up a new stash. Yay go Nanna! She'd been a knitter and craftswoman since childhood, and I know it cost her dearly when she thought she had to give it all up.

Well, this pattern is one of my old favourites for new babies. As I've said, I've knitted it more than once, but I only ever knit it for babies special to me. It's a beautiful shawl. The only thng I don't like is the seam, and I'm trying to figure out a seamless version. I am always, without fail, impressed by the end product.

This was knit with Sirdar Snuggly 2-ply. It's a nylon/acrylic (55/45) mix so it washes well and shouldn't turn into a felted ball in the machine. I've dressed it to be a bit larger than advised - 60" diameter instead of "50 - but I think it looks better for it.

Here's a close-up of the feather and fan pattern.

I haven't done any work on the Ripple Weave socks, but you haven't seen them yet, so here's a lack of progress picture...

Sorry for the paucity of new posts, but I've spent the last couple of weeks preparing for a big interview and presentation. I didn't get the job, but never mind - more time to knit! Yes, I am gutted, but we'll not dwell on that.

I'm off to Edinburgh at the end of the week. Knitting, reading, shopping. Maybe a little bit of drinking and making merry too. Well, OK, lots of drinking and making merry.

I also plan to hit a couple of fibre suppliers. More news soon...