Sunday, 27 January 2008

A Right Shawl

Last weekend I took Catbert's Diamond Fantasy Scarf to a swimming gala. Now the thing about swimming galas is that mostly all you can see is a lot of splashing, and you can't talk to anyone because you either can't hear them over the sounds of the screaming supporters and the organisers' announcements, or you are being told to be quiet so the swimmers can dive off the side in peace. And they go on for hours and hours. They are ideal for knitting in fact. I confidently expected to complete another repeat at least. After two rows I saw I had made a mistake, and the pattern was one stitch out along the whole row.
What would have been the sensible thing to do? Yes, dear reader, I should have tinked back to the start of the row and sorted it there and then. Instead I thought "it probably won't show" and carried on knitting. I carried on for six rows. Each one looked less alright than the last. Finally, I came to the point where if I knitted another row I would be casting off 5 stitches, and I realised I would have to either rip back or forever hold my peace. It really didn't look right, so I began tinking. By the end of the swimming gala I was nearly back to where I had been at the start.
I spent most of the next morning with my teeth clenched and snarling "I'm knitting lace" whenever anyone came near me, trying to work out where the mistake had come from and how to fix it. In the end I worked it out, and began reknitting, and now I have finished the rows I had to undo and a couple more. I'm still really cross with it, so I've put it in the naughty corner and have been doing crochet for the rest of the week. It looks OK though! and it is going to be very, very nice.

I have finished the first Snowflake sock, with a variegated toe, and I really like it. I'll do the second one soon, no really I will.

Here's the crochet I have been doing, as part of the 2008 Quiltalong on the Crafty Threads and Yarns forum. Yes, I do know it's not a quilt. The theme for January was Snowdrops, so I have interpreted it in colour as crochet squares, using the Babette Blanket pattern from Interweave Crochet. My idea is to do squares from it each month, and have a finished blanket at the end of the year. The photo shows the squares so far, and the colours I have assembled. I will have to be careful not to use too many different colours, so it doesn't look a mess.

I've also restarted my crochet cushion with granny squares that I did last year on the flights to and from New Zealand. The first thing I have done is undo and redo one square, which I didn't think was quite right from a colour point of view, and now I'm going to crochet some more squares. I'll show some photos when I have made a bit more progress.

Friday, 11 January 2008

In Which the Week Ends Better Than It Began

Oh my, I wasn't in a good state on Monday was I? Well, it's Friday now and my cold is better, the weekend is ahead and I bought some yarn this afternoon. I got some Regia Crazy Colour, which looks fun, and some black St Ives sock yarn, which I think may be useful for some Skully Socks I have in things are looking up.

I had a bit of an Amazon moment, too, and I have "Favourite Socks" on its way. And aren't the Snowflakes coming on well? This one is up to the toe now. 100% of readers who expressed a preference were in favour of a contrasting toe (thanks Franney!) so that's what I've decided to do.

Soooo, what would I like to do in 2008? Mmmm, chews pencil thoughtfully.
As far as knitting is concerned, I think I'd like to do the following in 2008:

- Design something and then knit it
- Knit a lot more than I did in 2007
- Knit more socks using my impressive sock yarn stash
- Knit up some of my impressive laceweight stash
- Knit some cardigans and pullovers (maybe even ones I have designed)
- Knit some scarves
- Maybe knit a toy...or a Dalek
- Buy quite a lot more scrumptious yarn which I haven't bought before to replace what I will be knitting up (yeah right).

Most important of all, enjoy knitting and playing with yarn.

I do have a mental list of some patterns which I already know I would like to knit, but I think I won't list them, I'll let it be a surprise!

I'm also doing a Quilt Along on the Crafty Threads and Yarns Forum. The idea is to do a square each month around a defined theme. The square can be quilted or knitted. I do quite like the idea of making an afghan for 2008, with a square for each month, but after my catastrophic failure to qualify even for the Wooden Spoon award for Sock a Month 2007, I don't want to set my expectations too high. January's theme is Snowdrops, and frankly my brain hurts just thinking about it.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Hello Cruel World...

In the end I took the rest of last week off, I just could not face returning. So this is my first day back. It was cold and dark when I got up this morning. I have a cold. I couldn't remember my password when I arrived at work (what am I saying? I could hardly remember my own name), so I entered the wrong one three times and was locked out of my account until IT could get around to unlocking it.

All the things I didn't have time to do before the break haven't got done by themselves, so I still have to do them.

I hate January.

I think I need to buy some yarn...

When I'm in a better frame of mind I'll post a picture of my first Snowflake sock, which is nearing completion. Should I do it with a contrasting toe as well, I wonder?
I'll also see if I can think of some objectives for 2008. Groan.