Friday, 29 August 2008

Feast or Famine....

It's definitely feast or famine round here... I have finished Edgy by Susan Pierce Lawrence (yes, the lady who brought us the Forest Canopy Shawl), and it is blocked and photographed (insert smug look here).
And a close up of the lovely laciness!
It's a lovely pattern to knit, and is available for free via the Knotions magazine which is well worth a look - mine's only the second live project on Ravelry after Susan's! I knitted it in Posh Yarn Lei, colour Peacock, which is lovely iridescent deep blues and greens. It doesn't show up too great in the photos, as the light here has been rubbish since I unpinned it. This is version B, which is for 4-Ply (a DK version is available).
So now that my Ravelympics projects are complete, what's next? Baby things - that's what! My Auntie's friend is due to have a baby in November, and that baby will be kitted out in a BSJ in Colinette Jitterbug in Mardi Gras (mad bright rainbow colours) and Hazel Roots' Estonian Lace Christening Shawl, which I am knitting in the lovely undyed laceweight from Andy at Bluefaced, which is now available from Nicki at Laughing Hens in single skeins (look under Bluefaced, then Angel). 1200 yards per skein is pretty good value - it's cobweb weight, but with a slight halo, and is feeling so soft and snuggly as I am knitting it.
Oh yes - and MS4 is starting next week - sign up now via the link on Pinklemontwist's blog. For this, I'm going to be using Fyberspates Nef Lace in Lilac, together with some transluscent opal seed beeds (the beads are an integral part of the pattern this year, and so not optional. Pretty, pretty colour:
OK - so you're probably all linked out now.... so I'll go.

Monday, 25 August 2008


Well - thank you Ravelympics! During the Beijing games, Ravelry's been inviting members to knit a challenge, the start time being the opening ceremony and the end time being the closing ceremony. I committed to 4 projects - to finish my Slow Bee shawl in WIP Wrestling (I was really enjoying the pattern, but with over 800 stitches per row, I was really flagging by the final 2 clies), to knit a Whisp Wrist Warmer from my own handspun, to knit Anne Hanson's Orchid Lace Scarf from Knitspot, and to knit Susan Pierce Lawrence's Edgy Scarf.
So how did I do? Let's see the evidence...
Ravelympics 002
This is the Slow Bee 1 - a Faeroese Mystery Shawl by Monika Eckert. Lovely pattern - using over 2000 yards of laceweight and nearly 2 large tubs of Gutermann 9/0 beads. I've not blocked it too hard, as I wanted a snuggly winter wrap, rather than a gossamer weight wisp of a thing. It's massive - I'm 5' 7", so you can probably get the scale from the photo. I used 100PureWool Merino Lace from Uruguay, bought from Ebay.
Ravelympics 001
This is my Whisp - pattern my Mazzmatazz, and published in the Guardian newspaper (although I am currently having some issues with the Guardian - it seems to be using knitting in a peculiar fashion at the moment). The yarn was some merino fibre from Shunklies on Etsy, which I span myself to about a DK weight on my spindle from Whorl Drop Spindles, then knitted up. This is my second handspun that could be called yarn, and since then, I have joined the Yarn Yard Fibre Club, and bought more lovely fibre from Mam a Mi, so I can quite safely say I am addicted. This may only be a teeny tiny knit, but I am so proud of it.
Ravelympics 003
Finally, my Orchid Lace Scarf from Knitspot. I knitted this with Posh Yarn Eva 2-Ply in Faraway Tree, which was a deep, dark forest green with paler flashes. I love the pattern - simple and elegant. Anne Hanson designs such beautiful patterns that are a joy to knit.
I "failed" on Edgy - I am currently 21 repeats through out of 30. I am loving the pattern, and am looking forward to finishing it in the next few days.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud!

This is going to be a short post, for reasons that will become clear as I type... It's been an interesting month or so. I've had pins and needles in the fingers of my left hand for a while, and when it hadn't gone after a while, and was pretty irritating, I took it to the doctor, expecting to be told that it was OK, and rest would be just the thing to sort it out. Unfortunately, she had a good look, felt my wrist, asked me to move my fingers and bend my wrists, and grip her hand, and came out with the scary words "neurological deficit". Really scary, until she started to speak language I understood, and told me she thought I may have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, when things started to click into place. I'm careful, but I've worked with computers for a lot of years now, and have quite possibly developed this through working over a long time. So. I've been to the Neurology Department at the hospital twice, and have had tests, including an EMG last week (on my birthday, no less, but at least being out of work early, I got to see the climax of the Eventing at the Olympics - every cloud etc), and I'm now waiting for the results of that. If it indicates CTS, I will be discharged to my GP, then referred to the plastic surgeon for the release op (apparently they don't do BOGOF, so my nose will have to stay bent). So it can be painful and annoying to type. It is going downhill visibly - although I now wear a wrist support, I am getting more pain and less pins and needles, and the pain is travelling up to my shoulder. But, all being well, it's fixable, and OK - I know there's going to be a period after the op when it's painful, and I can expect weakness for 6 months to a year, but at the moment, it hurts, and it's embarrassing when I drop things.
So why the mud? Well this week, Jon and I went to the V Festival, conveniently situated 15 miles from his dad's house (so we don't have to do the cold and damp camping thing - clean and warm bedroom and bathroom for me Thank You), in Staffordshire. We had a great time - Saturday was overcast most of the day, and we got to see The Stranglers, Squeeze, The Feeling (fab covers of Video Killed the Radio Star and Take on Me, as well as a great set of their own), Travis, The Kings of Leon (and was I proud when I recognised their intro music - Mozart's Lachrymosa from his Requiem - and yes, I did know all the words, and sang along), Echo and the Bunnymen (perfect as always, AND included People are Strange in the set) and The Verve, who I first saw 10 years ago when they played V98 in Leeds, and who were magical. Unfortunately, during The Verve, and on the way back to the car, the heavens opened, and we got wet through. The rain didn't stop all night, and by the time we arrived for Sunday, the site was deep in mud. When I say deep, I mean that when I was trying to dance, my feet moved, but my wellies didn't! But the weather was warm, and I wouldn't have missed The Futureheads, Maximo Park, Paul Heaton (I must buy his album - the songs are just fab), The Stereophonics, and Muse, whose stage show was amongst the best I have seen - lasers, lights, and over 90 minutes appearing to be over in 90 seconds. We missed the accident on the A5, so managed to be back in the house by midnight as well - where we promptly undressed on our waterproofs, and put the horribly muddy clothes into a black bag. Jon was a hero this morning and washed it all!
So that's it for now - with my knitting, I have finished the Goddess Knits Anniversary Mystery Shawl, and the Slow Bee 1 (a WIP for the Ravelympics), and am on with 3 more Ravelympics projects... Then I will be knitting Hazel's Estonian Christening Shawl. And that's about me. Photos and more soon, promise....