Saturday, October 29, 2005

Move out Kate, I'm checking in

Now that Kate Moss has checked out of the Meadows, I might just take her place, for fear of being hooked on the sock knitting thing.

Everywhere you turn lately in blogland, you bump into a sock. I even went out shopping today to buy a coat, what did I come back with? A pair of socks.

I have tried many a time to knit up a sock, let alone a pair. However, I could barely manage 4 rows. Those double pointed needles should bare a health warning, let alone come free with a pair of divers goggles.

Thanks to Lolly's Socktoberfest I decided to pull my dpns out and try again. I hate being left behind, or to be missing out on anything. Know what I mean?

Thanks to the this tutorial, I managed to complete my first sock, with only one blip which was at the beginning when joining the yarn to start working in the round. I don't think I pulled tight enough. Lesson learned and its pair will shortly follow... without the blip.

All in all, I absolutely love this sock. I feel its a real accomplishment. I'm chuffed to bits and dead proud, can ya tell?


Friday, October 28, 2005

The All Important Gauge

The all important gauge swatch. Something I assume most of us are very lazy about. Something I know not all of us knit up. Something that is so necessary, yet so boring. Who actually knits up a swatch anyway? I'll admit, I only ever knit up a gauge swatch when I substituting yarn. Naughty, I know. Or simply, I trust the manufacturers details on the skein label.

This is the gauge square for my next project. I'll be substituting Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino with Rowan All Seasons Cotton. It will be another one from Special Knits by Debbie Bliss.

The simplest way to do the math for substituting is to get your stitch gauge and divide it by the pattern's stitch gauge. Once you find your new number, use that to modify the pattern. i.e. Where the pattern says cast on 100, multiply that by the new number you have, round it down or up to the nearest whole number and cast on as new.

The same principles go for row gauge.

Do you remember the two cable and moss stitch cardigans that I knit up for the twins that came unexpectedly early, well Mummy and Daddy absolutely loved them, what a compliment. I haven't met the twins yet, but they are both home and doing fine. They are about two months old now and 5lb each. They've got a lot of growing to do before they fit into their new cardigans.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Whose this Gorgeous young thing?

Introducing my grandmother. Here is Mama wearing the Debbie Bliss cabled jacket. It suits her much better than it does me, and that's gotta be telling you something when a 79 year old looks better in your clothes than you do!! She looks great in it and more than anything, I know she loves it.

Pattern: "Cabled Jacket" from The Cashmere Collection by Debbie Bliss.
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino SuperChunky, Purple 20, 15 skeins.
Needle: 6.5mm and 7.5mm Addi Turbo Circulars

I found that this Debbie Bliss pattern was similar to most other Debbie Bliss patterns. Firstly, that I had to check the Debbie Bliss website for errors in the pattern and secondly I had to do a lot of thinking for myself. I find with some of her patterns that she is not very clear in explaining or setting out her patterns clearly. I did have to keep referring to the picture to see where I should be placing cables and bobbles.

I replaced the horseshoe cable on the sleeve for two sets of the blackberry stitch, as it is in the pattern picture.

Overall, I did enjoy knitting this and the yarn was definitely luxurious to work with. I even think this was my neatest making up yet.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Oy, I'm turning into Pat Butcher

Firstly, I cannot begin this post without the much deserved mention of the Eastenders Mitchel brothers return to our screens. Welcome back Phil and Grant, we missed you. Last nights episode with their return, was explosive.

Amidst the Mitchel's return, I managed to sew all the pieces together of the Debbie Bliss cardigan. I still need to complete the finishing touches and sew in all the ends. In any case, I snuggled in and tried the chunky cardigan on for hubby, it is so soft and beautiful, I love it, I just love it. He ummed and arred, well.... what do you think? "Its a bit Pat Butcher, don't you think?" Pat Butcher. In cashmere. Do we watch the same Pat Butcher every night.

Ok, it is slightly oversized, but the pattern only came in the one size. Because of its size, I must admit, its hardly flattering and certainly not complimentary for someone who's looking to lose a few pounds. Its an instant gain. But you know what I will wear it, especially since we are expecting our coldest winter on record.

These are the purple shell buttons which deserver their own mention. Nice, shiney and crisp and very effective against the yarn.

Im still busy working my way through my first sock. Here is how its looking so far.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Preview on the Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket

Don't you find there are chores in the house that you hate doing. I don't mind putting a load of washing on, but I hate ironing it. I don't mind hoovering, but I hate emptying the bucket. The same is to be found with knitting. I love the knitting, but hate the sewing it up. It never takes very long, but its one of those things that you look at and say, I'll do it tomorrow.

Considering my pet hates, I have managed to complete the making up and it looks very tidy.

I am no longer on yarn watch. I think I have enough left to complete the collar and all the finishing touches. I've found some gorgeous purple shell buttons for this jacket. I'm so excited about showing them to you. I show you tomorrow.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

X Factor, knit style

The knitting world has jumped on the X Factor bandwagon. Or to be more specific, Scotland has set up a competition - X Factor style.

Click here for more details.

A tiny Island just off Scotland called Fair Isle is holding an X Factor type competition for someone to live and KNIT on the Island. Life cannot get more exciting than that. Live among the sheep, sleep among the sheep and to breath... you get the picture. Walking yarn balls!! Can you tell I'm a city girl who buys her yarn over the internet.

Anyway, the deadline for applications has now closed and the results will be drawn in May 2006. Can't wait to hear about the lucky bugger!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Knitting nerves

Don't you get nervous that you haven't enough petrol to make it to the station. That you'll just run out of petrol just a few yards away from the station. Or nervous that you haven't got the right change as your heading towards the toll bridge. Worse still, you haven't got any cash in your purse at all. Well, at least you get a warning. A light comes on when your running low on gas, and you always get signs showing that there's a toll bridge ahead so you can exit beforehand.

You just don't get a warning with a ball of yarn. And, I'm becoming increasingly nervous as I near the end of my Debbie Bliss Cabled Jacket. I'm working from a cone, one of my bargain buys from Coldspring Mill. I've got one more sleeve and the collar to get through else, I'll have to make do with a different dye lot for the collar.

I bought about 6 cones of Debbie Bliss cashmerino from Coldspring Mill back in the summer for a penny a gram!! Definitely, my best bargain EVER!! Their website shows its a camping shop but they do yarn too. Unfortunatley, they aren't stocking the Debbie Bliss anymore. Bummer.

If the baby's cute, buy it!

I received two great books for my birthday yesterday from one of my dear friends. They are what I call "a good trashy read". I rarely judge a book by its cover, when I'm in a book shop I always read the first paragraph, if grabs me, then I'm hooked.

Dear Diary, Today I had the most embarrassing experience - with one of my regulars. Howard was flat on his back enjoying our threesome with Allison when I decided to straddle him backward - something I've done hundreds of time. So I carefully lowered my body, confident that my acrobatics looked like zero effort.
Diary of a Manhattan call girl by Tracy Quan.

I'm gonna love this book. Move over Bridget Jones, Nancy Chan is in town!

As for my knitting books, I buy most of them from Amazon, so it literally is a case of judge a book by its cover. If the baby's cute, buy it!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Look who's turned 4!

It was only four years ago that they placed this tiny, wrinkly little baby in my arms. "It's a boy!" I remember Hubby saying as we both cried with joy. "Happy Birthday, Darling" The Bubela was born on Hubby's birthday, you couldn't wish for a better present. Four years on and that tiny gorgeous baby has grown up to be a beautiful and lovely little boy. My little Bubela.

Yesterday, the Bubela had his 4th birthday party and Stripey Wipey entertained all 30 kids. You didn't hear a peep out of them, they loved it... so did the parents!

Debbie Bliss Jacket is coming along great. Two fronts and a back completed, and I'm very excited to wear it. It does look a little on the large side, but I'm sure it will be very cozy to wrap up in.

Its Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky, of course it's going to be luxurious to wrap up in it.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Bet you can't juggle with 5 double pointed needles...I can

Finally, and successfully I have completed a lace project, River. Something I thought I would never accomplish. After clearing one hurdle, I thought I'd try my hand at knitting socks. So last night, me, 5 double pointed metal needles, a ball of magic stripes and a sock pattern by Nancy Bush curled up on the sofa for a go... oh, and a handmade (by me) stitch marker, can't forget the blessed stitch marker which was more of a hindrance than a help.

I casted on 60 stitches, juggled with the dpn's for a bit then shared them between 3 needles and attempted knitting in the round. Attempted! Tell me, is it easier to knit socks on 4 needles? *scratching head and thinking there's gotta be an easier way to do this*. It was my first attempt, not a very good one at that, but you know what they say... practice makes purrrrrfict!

So, I'm going to change my strategy a bit. Either, look for a simple sock pattern, beginner style, or start on this cape creation.

This is the City Slicker Cape, Knit 1 (premiere issue). This is one of those projects that I instantly loved, so I bought the yarn and automatically added it to the pile of projects waiting to be started. One minor issue holding me back... amongst the hundreds of pairs of needles (some doubles), I do not possess a pair of 8mm. *Wickedly smiling* I see another set of bamboos coming my way *he he*.

Monday, October 03, 2005


Here is the photo that graces page 3 of The London Jewish News.

The Bubela celebrates the New Year at school with his friends.

River runs through Venice

Have I mentioned how much I love River. Its soft, its pretty, its very girly and versatile. I love the colour.

I've worn River so many times now. Here in the cool British weather as a scarf. Roaming Venice in a shawl to keep off the chill.

Pattern: "River" from Rowan 38.
Yarn: Rowan Kid Silk Haze, Grace, 2 skeins.
Bamboo straights, 7mm.

Back from Venice

A motorway drive, an airplane, a coach, a water taxi and a few good bridges to bring to you - a yarn store. Impressive or what.

Actually, I'm not showing off here, but there are two yarn stores in Venice! One is tucked under a bridge and the other shares its shop with underwear. *Why?*.

The best is yet to come.

Hand in hand we walked over ever bridge and down every lane in Venice. We still know how to romance you know. The scenery was picturesque, the architecture was magnificent and the food was delicious... You can't beat a proper spag bol!

As we walked past the Institute of Art, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye. Well, you could hardly miss it to be honest.


Not one, not two, but three big balls of wool. Oy, wool heaven!