Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Blocked Miralda

Over the weekend, the urge to knit and block something overcame me. I actually have a cardigan on the needles that has stalled (and by stalled I mean, I've lost interest in it and really want to not knit it anymore) but that doesn't count.

For ages I've been threatening to buy some blocking mats but because knitting in Barbados is as foreign as snow here, the only place I can get my hands on them is online. Buying online is another hassle. The skybox type businesses out there like to gouge out customers' eyes with the prices and then when the items get here the taxes are prohibitive. So, in a situation like this, what I am to do? The solution was basically child's play. Literally. I went to the store and bought one of those giant soft foam jigsaw type mats with letters and numbers that kids can put together, covered it with an old sheet and proceeded to block the snot out of Miralda.

Before I go any further, I don't know if I've said it before but I'll say it again here. Sometimes I hate blocking. I'm sure that if I ever got some blocking wires and a proper blocking mat, maybe that sentiment will change but for now, it remains. Blocking bites. The only good thing is seeing your knitting labours change from giant mass of stitches to glorious lace.

Anyways, here is a pic of my blocking efforts. With pins. Ugh.

This was very difficult going - I really had to wrangle with it! I had numerous adjustments to make and several broken pins. The top edge is VERY wonky which is sad because it is such a lovely shawl. By the way, just to get an idea of how big this thing is, our bed is a king size.

Here it is now draped over our three seater. Please ignore the mess in the background!

I really love this shawl and as I've said numerous times in previous posts, I also really love this yarn (Berocco Ultra Alpaca Fine).

Now on to waaaay less dramatic knits. So above took care of the craving to block something, now on to the craving to knit something. I started a cardigan very early in the year and didn't want to discuss it for fear of jinxing it. Well, I shouldn't have been worried as it got jinxed anyways and now I don't know if I want to continue it. See, as I've said before in the past I don't really knit cardigans for myself right now because of my weight loss journey. So I really don't know why I cast on even as it was for a smaller size. Now I can't see myself in it and really want to do something more complicated all in line with the desire to really expand my knitting abilities this year. So sadly, it isn't going to happen with this particular cardigan but I recently got my hands on a pattern that fits the more complicated bill and it will be for my husband. However, I'll need to buy the yarn online and so I'm back to square one.

So, in order to take care of the pressing need to be creative and to make something I cast on for a very simple dishcloth/ washcloth. I knit it in an hour or so give or take the times I had to put it down so it was instant gratification. The yarn is the remainder of the Sugar and Cream yarn left over from my first entrelac attempt some time back, and I have to say, although it hasn't really filled that need to be creative hole, it has started to fill it.

Behold, something small and square and knit for hubby:

So, there you have it. I will be taking another look through my "stash" to see what inspiration leaps out at me. There's still the Juneberry shawl and the Aeolian to complete but I don't know if I'm feeling very enthusiastic about more shawls right now as I still have Damson and Ishbel to block. And really, what good is it having all these shawls besides the pleasure of knitting them, hmmmm?

What next? I'm not sure. Inspiration anyone??

Friday, February 11, 2011

Book recommendation anyone?

Helloooooo!!!! I post with a request of sorts and am hoping that you guys can help me.

After recently reading a "five star" romance off of amazon the other day, my brain officially declared "NO MORE!" It now requires sensible, interesting yet fun fiction to read. It doesn't mean that I'm never going to read a romance again, but maybe not for a little bit. Someone has already recommended "The Elephant Keeper" and Del, I see that you're reading "The Thirteenth Tale". Is it any good? So that is two so far.

Recommendations please! Thanks in advance : )

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year all!

Wishing you all a healthy, happy and prosperous 2011 and beyond. I'm not saying that lightly either. If nothing else, let's try to take care of ourselves and our families this year. If that includes losing weight, quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol, meditating more or whatever will improve your quality of life, just do it.

I had a long almost ranty type post previously prepared and ready to post on December 31st last year but alas I didn't post it for whatever reason and am kinda glad I didn't. It wasn't anything major - just very angry at my sewing machine as it kept breaking the thread and I was so eager to get to sewing a pants and a top for work. It was frustrating!!! Anyways, hubby rescued the thing from the garbage and he's supposed to take it to someone to get fixed.

Because of that, I actually picked back up the needles and started a project!! I won't tell you about it quite yet as I don't want to jinx my mojo. No, no secret knitting for a magazine or anything special like that (as if!) so don't get too excited for me LOL! I also found the perfect cardigan for my hubby and it also comes in children's sizes so my son will get one as well. The hope is to travel this year to family in New York for Thanksgiving so we will need some sort of protection from the chilly climes, so I figure the earlier the better in getting started and finishing well before then. Who knows, maybe we'll all get some mittens by then too.

So here's to a great year of knitting and sewing and crocheting and painting and any other crafty endeavours your hearts desire!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

All the best for the season from Casa KnittyKitty!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. We had a very good day and that was the most important thing. I wish the same for you all!

Monday, November 29, 2010

In a knititng funk... and other stories

Yep, so it's been a very long time since I've picked up my needles and did anything crafty. I've done more looking for inspiration (ever so often at that) on ravelry than anything else. I have more time to knit since finishing exams but really haven't done anything since then. Socks and shawls and blogs are languishing... the start of a cardigan frogged. It's beginning to feel like I need a stressful situation (like studying) to pick up the needles and do something. And no thank you fate, I am not asking for a stressful situation!!

Maybe it's the lack of a yarn store here that I could go in and fondle skeins at will and feel motivated to do something. Online shopping doesn't give that immediate satisfaction that a LYS would. Too many hops and charges just to get it into my hands.

But it isn't only the knitting that's suffering. It's the sewing, the French lessons and the weight loss. I feel stuck. I feel... aimless.Goal less. It feels like forever waiting for the official word on my accreditation. The most I've been doing nowadays is playing Bejeweled and Sudoku on my ipod. Excitement!

Christmas may find me a tad more invigorated but cautiously so as the government here has raised taxes and cut people's income. Luckily for my kids their presents were bought before the budgetary spanking was shared out...

Maybe I need a vacation. A positive change in scenery and something good and wonderful to happen to me...

Maybe by next post!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Drive by post

Hello! Just popping in to say hi. Nothing more. No knitting updates or anything new there either. Thinking of Eileen from knitty.com.

This blog turned 4 years old on October 4th. Forgot it again.

Still trying to learn French.

Thinking of trying to sew a pants. Need a cool machine though.

Hopefully I'll get inspired to actually get past the swatch for Eileen.

How goes the crafty side of life for you guys? Hopefully better than mine!

Friday, September 17, 2010

What to do next...?

Salutations! How is everyone doing? Apart from a slight headache that I'm fighting off and being a bit sleep hungover (I slept away most of the day and am now kinda loopy from it lol!) I'm just peachy.

Nothing new to report today apart from finishing Miralda. Well, I actually finished her on September 7th and have added her to my list of "to block" FOs. I'm very happy with her even though I messed up the kitchener bind off at the end. But you can't really tell that it's a mess because it blends very nicely into the stitches.

Below is my requisite awful photo of a beautiful FO (maybe I'll get a camera for Christmas... or by then the i.P.ads will come equipped with one).

Yarn: Berocco Ultra Alpaca Fine in Oceanic Mix
Needles: Size 6
Start date: August 7
Finish date: September 7

Again, this is a wonderfully simple knit with stunning results (don't take above photo quality word for it LOL!). I had been hankering to make it for a while and now that I have made it, I will say that it is worth every positive review it has gotten. I made mine with the nupps - other people have eliminated them and I'm pretty sure that would have made for faster knitting (I did have a few breaks in between knitting this so it wasn't a constantly going project) but I like the texture of the wearisome nupps!

So my only issue now is what to do next. There's Juneberry that I also want to make. I have the magazine and the yarn and the needles on standby already but it's just to get started. There's also my Aeolian shawl that has been sitting unattended for the past however long. I think I mentioned that the Deep V Argyle was finished as well? I can't remember and am too lazy to back back over my few posts LOL! I finished it August 8 and that too needs blocking.

Here it is (again?)

So apart from the knitting, I've just rekindled my love for the French language and have started taking classes to get back into it. I studied it at school but that was years ago and am rustier than a wrought iron gate by the seaside. But it's fun speaking and relearning it.

Finally, it's the hubster's birthday next week and once again I'm going looking for ingredients to make a no-bake cheesecake. I'm thinking of trying this but the night is young and there's time to find another one that has more reviews. I love N.ig.ella, but it would be comforting to try a recipe where more people can weigh in on it and give advice in case things go south.

What about you guys? What has been keeping you busy?

A bientot!