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!