Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Two things finished!

Today, first of all,  I'd like to say thankyou to everyone who has been in touch, both through the comments and otherwise.   We're still feeling a bit stunned here, but I think we're heading back towards normal again.  My husband is still extremely tired, but he is doing well.

I have finished two things over the last couple of days, and they are both for other people.

The first thing is a little Debbie Bliss baby coat with a hood - you might perhaps  have read about it here - unfortunately the hood had accidentally been knitted on back to front, and some sorting out was required.   This was a real crisis for a new knitter, as you can well imagine.

I suggested picking up stitches below where the hood was joined to the front, and also above, just to be on the safe side.  Then it would be possible to snip a single stitch in the middle of the join and unpick out to each side, and so separate the hood from the two fronts.  After that, turning the hood round the right way, and grafting it back in place, taking care to keep the pattern correct.

Jannette would normally have done this herself but unfortunately had hurt her hand.  So between them, she and her customer decided to send it to me for sorting out and finishing.  I was happy to be able to help.

It all worked out beautifully, and I'm very pleased to have been able to post this back to its rightful owner.

Now the second thing!  I am rather pleased about this, too.

I have finished Alison Crowther-Smith's Colourwash Mobius Cowl, and it is just so gorgeous.   As usual my pictures don't do it justice at all.

Alison's colourwash technique produces a gentle shaded colour shift, very subtle and beautiful.  The colours here are Dewberry, Majestic, and Shadow - this takes the colour from a soft true purple, through a greyed lilac, to a pearly pale Ashes of Roses.....

The edge is finished with a soft ruffle - and that in turn is finished with a fluffy cast-off, which really does add the finishing touch.

The construction is a Mobius strip, worked all in one piece.  It is great fun to knit, I can tell you, and it is fascinating watching the fabric grow, forming this wonderful shape.    This is the first time I've made one of these, but I am sure it won't be the last.

Now, back to the Beaded Boa....  I'm having a lot of fun here!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Life is precious

On Thursday evening - goodness, I posted on here earlier that day, it feels as if that was about a week ago - that evening, my husband had what turned out to be a TIA, sort of a mini-stroke.  Fortunately I was with him when it happened, and was able to call for help.  The ambulance arrived very quickly and took him off to the local hospital, where luckily there is a Stroke Unit.  He is now home and although extremely tired, he is basically all back to normal again.

It was not like the thing that we've all seen so much on the television recently - FAST - about how to recognise a stroke happening.  No face dropping on one side, no problems smiling or raising arms, no speech problems, not at that point.  There was one half closed eye, that was all.   I noticed this and started asking questions, which is how I know about there being no problems with those other things.  One eye half closed, that was all.  Then - feeling sick (not that I knew this at the time as he was unable to speak by now, but I didn't know that at the time either), and then being sick.  After that it all got a whole lot worse, very fast indeed.  To be honest I was not absolutely sure what was going on but I just grabbed the phone.

Anyway, thanks to the NHS, all is well.

There has been no knitting progress whatsoever.

I did work on the Beaded Boa for about half an hour on Thursday evening - I was put in a waiting room whilst my husband was off having various scans, and there is nothing quite like knitting to distract one from stressful situations.   But after about twenty minutes I discovered that I'd made a mistake on the row before - not really surprising in the circumstances, I suppose - and had to unpick back to that point.  So I got it all straight again, and then I was called back in.

Yesterday is just a sort of haze.  I had not really slept the night before - perhaps three hours? - and I had far too much coffee to compensate.   Poor little Jess spent the day trying to stay as close to me as possible, and at the same time watch the front door in case Steve reappeared.  She disapproves of one of us being absent at the best of times, and the events of Thursday evening had clearly upset her considerably.

Today we've been talking a lot.

And tomorrow I plan to knit.

Thursday, 14 February 2013


Nothing major, really.  But I just could not resist casting on for something else.

This is another new design from Alison Crowther-Smith, a Beaded Boa.

With pretty silver-lined clear glass beads, as you can see.

My camera is playing tricks again - that ball of Kidsilk Haze is in reality a lovely clear violet colour, 659 Ultra.  Neither of these pictures are actually a very good representation of the true colour, but if you have a look at Rowan's Kidsilk Haze information page - here - then you can see what it is really like.

Anyway, this morning I've been sitting in the tiny waiting area of the local place that fixes windscreens, knitting away on this pretty thing, placing beads and enjoying the sunshine - entirely happy.  (Lots of chips on the windscreen recently, all now sorted out.)

There were plenty of glances at the knitting, and one chap actually stopped and asked me what I was making, because he thought that his wife would like it a lot - that was her favourite colour, he said, and she would love the beads and the fluffiness as well.     I pointed him towards Ali's website.  So, Ali, if you get an enquiry about something that their husband saw somebody knitting in a waiting room - it will be this.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

I'm a happy knitter

Finally a quiet day. The last couple of weeks have been far too busy.  Really, I must try to get into the habit of writing a post first thing in the morning again.  When I don't post for more than a week, I end up with so many things that I want to write about that I don't know where to begin.

What's on the needles is usually a good place to start, I believe.  Even better - what's not on the needles any more.

And that would be Santorini, which is the cover garment from Rowan 53, which I knitted for a private commission.    I've changed the colour presentation to prevent it from being identifiable, which is why it is in shades of grey.  In real life it is not grey at all, but very colourful and beautiful.

I did enjoy knitting this.   Less than three weeks from start to finish, and a stunning result.  And yes, I would make one for myself.  (And that one probably would be grey.)

I do like intarsia, both the process and the result.

On the needles at the moment is something equally gorgeous, and very different.

This is a sample for Alison Crowther-Smith - a new design.  This is a Colourwash Mobius Cowl - and I am having great fun with it.  In fact I can't remember when I last enjoyed knitting something as much as this - if that makes any sort of sense.

Not only I am actually knitting a mobius 'thing', which I haven't, before now - but also I am using Alison's lovely Colourwash technique, which is what produces the beautiful shading.  And all in Kidsilk Haze - honestly, I don't think knitting gets much better than this.

There are only three colours involved here - Dewberry, which is a clear purple;  Majestic, which is one of Rowan's chameleon colours, a sort of greyed lilac; and Shadow, which is a relatively new shade, and which I think is perhaps best described as a pale pearly Ashes of Roses.  It is a very 1930's - ish colour, and very beautiful.

I am currently working on the cast-off, which may take a little while to finish, but is eminently worthwhile because of the lovely fluffy result.

This cowl is very luxurious, and I'm looking forward to seeing what it is like when it is off the needles.

More Kidsilk Haze after that, again for Alison - and then another photography garment for Rowan, in yet another new yarn, which I must not show you and about which I must not drop any hints.  And after that, more things for another designer, for another book....

(Yes, the new yarn is gorgeous. I'm sure I'm allowed to say that.)

My own knitting? - I'll get there in the end!