Sunday, January 30, 2005

Sock Triumph

I just finished my first ever sock this morning! I'm very proud of myself but I've decided not to post pics until I've complete the second one - that should give me the motivation to keep going.

I love it that I've managed to finish something so quickly and I could get hooked on knitting socks quite easily I think.

Looking forward to getting details of my SP soon too...

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

SP4 - 26 Questions

This post is for my SP. Please click on the Permalink (3.25pm) below to read my answers.

When I started this blog, I decided that it was going to be about my creative projects rather than me, personally. These questions seem to span the two, but I thought I'd hide them away from those who aren't interested. Anyway, here goes!

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high- a nd/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
I prefer the feel of natural fibres but I also like playing around with fun yarns. I can't stand complete garments in Fizz or Whisper but they're great for accessories and trim.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I don't spin and I'm not great at crochet but I did manage to make myself a little crochet flower corsage which came out pretty well.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
I'm allegic to cheap ham (!) or so I tell anyone asking me to dinner :-)

4. How long have you been knitting?
Since I was about 8 so that's well over 20 years (jeez!)but I went through a barren time between teen years and mid twenties.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I don't, but maybe I should. Sounds a bit too much like a wedding list and most of my friends know what I like but it would be worth it to avoid the howlers.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I'm not a big fan of synthetic scent although I like to wear J-P Gautier if I'm going out. I like natural ginger, cinnamon, coffee, and citrus smells in general.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
YES! It's my only (but deadly) vice. I go for bulky comfort food like cakes and cookies rather than sweets like chocolate or candy.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I like all creative arts for all the senses: I sing, draw, design, make gifts (mostly from scratch but I think the gift-giving process can be very creative too) knit, sew (sometimes), play piano and write - songs, short films etc.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I have iTunes on my mac but no iPod as yet. I LOVE music and my tastes are pretty diverse (see my blog profile). I'm always keen to hear other people's musical preferences.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer?
I'm very much into dark red at the moment - maroon, claret - but also dusky pink. I'm also coming back around to muted greens and browns and away from blue (tho I still like turquoise). I like a bright colour palette if they are the same tone - ie the same level of brightness but different colours. I suppose it's the colour combination which is more important to me than the actual colour.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live with two female housemates and no pets except an evil robotic cat (I don't like cats much)

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
I'm aiming towards a point soon when I can devote most of my time to various creative projects by working part time and freelancing in design, illustration and writing. I enjoy life but working in a big corporation doesn't really suit me.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
Fancy yarns for short projects, tactile natural fibres for sweaters and cardi's.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Synthetics trying to be natural, such as DK wool-look yarn which is 90% acrylic. Sythentics have their place and their place is in the fru-fru section of the wool shop.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
I'm really into structure - how a sweater is put together to fit - but recently I've started experimenting with different stitch patterns too. I would normally buy or knit using a pattern if I liked the structure, I used not to be bothered about the stitch they use, but that is slowly changing.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I always have a garment on the go (sweater or cardi)and then I like to do smaller projects at the same time to stop me getting bored. I've knit scarves, bags, baby blanket squares and Glittens in the past.

17. What are you knitting right now?
I've just started my first ever pair of socks - commuter knitting. I'm also knitting a (modern)multicoloured(vintage)style cardi and I've got a lovely fluffy maroon cardi to finish: It's about half way through but I haven't picked it up in months. It was my own pattern and I've lost my notes so I'm kinda reluctant to continue as I'll have to remember what I was doing!

18. What do you think about ponchos?
Ponchos are permission for large women (like me) to wear tents. Great on skinny girls but not a good look for everyone. Having said that, I have a white lacy-shawl style one that seems to suit me but I'd run screaming from some of the chunky cable numbers I've seen.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
I used not to like circlulars but I've got used to them for knitting large items. Just started to use dpns (for the Glittens)and rather like them now too.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Bamboo when I can get them, plastic are ok, aluminium is just too cold at the winter bus stop!

21. Are you a sock knitter?
Just started (though I started that one about 3 times!), hope to get better though and love the idea of using that funky stripey yarn.

22. How did you learn to knit?
It's so long ago that I can't remember but I think I must've been taught by my grandmother. My mother also used to knit and crochet so it could've been either of them!

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
At the moment it's that patternless maroon cardi which I cast on about 9mths. Before that, I had some wool that I'd bought as oddballs when I was 15. I tried starting it several times with various elaborate intarsia patterns but didn't get past the first few inches. Eventually I re-cast-on when I was about 27 and finished it two years later!

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
I love the cartoon Ren and Stimpy. I also like kittens (shame they turn into cats)and tropical fish.

25. What is your favorite holiday?
I have extravagant dreams - like going to Bhutan or road-tripping in Mexico. But since the things I like to do can be done anywhere, I'd be happy with a warm climate, good food, some cultural treats and pictureque scenery. My best ever 'holiday' was a songwriting course in North Yorkshire.

**STOP PRESS** I've just realised the question is about religious Holidays! I'm in the UK so that's why I was talking about vacations... oh well, it's all good info I suppose. I like Christmas and like the potential of New Year. We used to have a family knees-up for Easter but not so much now. In the UK we get Bank Holidays which is usually a Monday off for some reason or other. I like these too - more time for knitting!

26. Is there anything that you collect?
I like handmade things from around the world. I've got quite a few embroidered and beaded bags. I don't really set out to collect anything though I do have a small collection of pebbles - each has a hole in it. Apart from sugar, my other vice is book-buying: usually non-fiction, some way of learning. My brain is like a sponge.


just so I remember...
this is the code for expandable posts

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Varigation + Texture = ?

Originally uploaded by makeandboo.

Flushed with Glitten success, I decided to make my first attempt at knitting a sock... I'm knitting with this varigated Global wool from Adrifil and 4mm dpns.

It's a lovely colour but is it really worth it? I mean, since I can't ever follow a pattern to the letter, I decided to take a standard sock pattern and add my own cuff detail and eyelet stitch pattern. This is a top down design and I'm quite pleased with the spirally purls on the cuff but the eyelets? Man, that was a mistake. They hardly show up and when they do, they LOOK like a mistake!

I've started this sock 3 times already so I'm wondering whether to do a sort of distressed ladder stitch.

Well if you can't beat 'em...

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Sneak a Peek

Originally uploaded by makeandboo.

I'm knitting a sweater at the moment - or maybe it's a cardi, I haven't decided and won't need to until I've finished the back... Anyway, I'm doing it in this floating mesh pattern as an experiment to see if I can combat the dreaded effects of HORIZONTALLY STRIPED KNITWEAR.

It's looking good so far but since I'm knitting the back of the sleeves at the same time as the back in a big t-shape it's taking me ages just to knit one row. I hate to think how many stitches I've got on my circulars.

More progress pictures to follow...

Saturday, January 22, 2005

An odd pair

Originally uploaded by makeandboo.

Here are my two finished Glittens. Spot the difference? There are about 3 differences actually. The top one is the mutant - all fat thumbs, high crotches and irregular double moss stitch.

The bottom one is the perfectly fitting second one. Like I say, I'm probably not going to get a chance to re-knit the top one (Yarn Harlot would be disappointed in me, I'm sure!) but they'll keep me warm til spring.

I used Rowan R2 Fuzzi Felt and 4mm dpns. The pattern is available free from Redlipstick ( although there are similar patterns around - sometimes called Trigger Finger mittens. I had a ball each of the yellow and salmon (? freebies!) yarn, and I have loads of yarn left...

Friday, January 21, 2005

Mutant glitten

Originally uploaded by makeandboo.

Hmmm... this didn't quite go as expected. I've realised that I just can't follow a pattern (or maybe I just can't read properly). I try to kid myself that it's because I'm creative and want to do it my way but there's something to be said for "First learn the rules, then break 'em" The thumb is way too fat and I have index finger crotch issues.

Annnnyway, I stayed up late to finish the other one cos the weather got so cold recently and I lost my other gloves. I had intended rip this mutant and reknit to match the vision of perfection (picture pending), but I can't see myself doing that before Spring comes!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Back on the Block

Phew! Well I did manage to make all my Christmas gifts and have started on some new projects - for me!

Had a bit of drama with my digicam but it's all sorted now so I'll be posting up photos again soon.

I visited an elderly friend over the Christmas period and she very kindly let me have two vintage Vogue knitting magazines from the 1950s... all cynched waists, tailoring and curves. They're devine, dahlink!

I've got good feelings about creativity this year - despite or perhaps because of what's been going on in the world. In times of strife, it helps to think creatively, beyond the obvious to get the solution.

Peace and Love.