What a boring title.
This afternoon was British Summer Time, so I forced my significant Creature of the Night out of his tenebrous cellar, blinking and meeping, into the lacklustre light to model his Bloody Stupid Johnson hat. But it was worth it: despite his wailing and chittering, and his frequent swinges into the shadows to check for tell-tale signs of ash forming on his pallid skin from the influence of the evil Day Star, the cables showed up well.
As for him - anyone would think I'd asked him to bathe, for sheeshs' sake. Honestly.
Also forthcoming, more pics of the Ba's socks. Not a lot to say here - they're based on Lion Brand's Child's Solid Socks pattern (you might have to register to look, though it is a freebie). Not having Woolease within several thousand miles, I've been using what I have to hand - DK in the case of the beige ones in the previous post (Robin DK) and the dark brown (Patons Fab) and red (mystery) pairs here, and 2-ply pure wool, double-stranded, for the striped pair. Even in the DK pairs, there have had to be slight alterations as none of the yarns are the same gauge - brown and beige were 24st per 4in, close enough that I could use the pattern sizes given, but the red yarn was 26st/4in, so I had to go up to 44st cast-on.
At this point I unvented a 50-50% rule for turning the heel - half the stitches are used to work the heel, short-rowed down to a quarter overall. It may not be pretty, or anthropometrically accurate, but it works. The blue and yellow striped pair had a gauge of 32st/4in, even with the yarn doubled, and follow this rule. I have a Fibonacci striped pair on the needles right now, blue and yellow in alternating 1,2,3,5, and 8-row paired stripes, with the final 8-row split across the heel in the other colour, then 5,3,2, and 1-row paired stripes down to the toe - though I've had to do 4 rows of alternating-stitch colour changes to make the footbed long enough.
That turned out to be more than I thought. I'm planning to make a few more pairs.
I also got round to making His Wee Nibs' Sirdar Bigga weskit. I've called it the Bookem Dano, as it is the Hawaii colourway (groan!). It took almost 2 balls. I hadn't intended to put buttons on it, but I think I might try a duffle set, with a loop instead of buttonholes. I've unplied the remaining yarn and am hoping it will be enough for the Berroco Kap with a bit of fudging. It's like the hat worn by Grandad Tumble, from the Mr Tumble series on cBeebies, which HWN loves, and I'm hoping he'll like a Grandad Tumble hat...
One last thing: my niece Ava's Little Pink Riding Hoodie, from Drops Design, using that weird pink mystery yarn I got in the Bull-ring. Quite a quick knit really, slowed down by my crappity attitude towards the sewing (~shudder~). The first pic shows it right side out, the second inside out, and the third is a close-up of the hairiest part of the sewing (~shudder~) around the armhole. Just to show that, actually, I am not such a crapilicious seamstress* as I fear myself to be. Go on, find a stitch. Yeah, you. See any? Do ya? DO YA? No.
That is not half bad for an awkward seam in a bulky, 6wpi yarn. I kind of mattress-stitched it from the right side, using a nylon-y fibre with cellophane strips which I unplied from the yarn itself. Y'see, I really can sew. I know all the moves. I know lingerie techniques lost before La Revolution. My homies called me Madame St Cyr down le 'Ood. I used to have a little notebook with beautifully stitched and pinked samples of my needlework. Exquisite, it was. Of course, for every charming little gingham sampliaire in it, there were twenty blood- and tear-stain'd rejects, pin-rusted and spraying pulled threads, lying in a bin somewhere...
Now I just have to screw my courage to the sticking place and line the blasted thing.
* - Having started the post with the Terry Pratchett-inspired hat, I feel I should probably point out that when I say 'seamstress', I do mean the female personages wot sew, not the ladies of negotiable affection...
ETA: I have Kool-Aid! w00t!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
What a boring title.
Monday, April 21, 2008
My dad died a year ago. We were not close, and disagreed about most stuff. I don't recall him ever calling me by my name, and he certainly didn't know where I lived - not just that he couldn't remember my address off the top of his head: he didn't know what country I was in, let alone what city. He only began to warm up a bit when my son was born, the image of him as a child. There was no broken home or damaged relationship to explain this. He simply wasn't interested in his daughters. We were the waste product of having real children - sons. My sister lived nearby and was able to force some recognition out of him. In many ways I regarded him as a rather eccentric relative that I didn't see much. I was fond of him and recognised his good qualities, even though I knew they would never be applied in my direction. He was a good man, loyal to a fault, kind, tolerant and good with children. I wasn't terribly upset, just shocked when he died. Now mostly I'm angry at him for dying at only 69 and denying my son the chance to get to know him.
Mum is lonely since he's gone. She has a lot of support in her church, and always had a life apart from him, so she is bearing up well. But she doesn't have to run around after him any more - checking that he's taken his pills, has his wallet, isn't eating junk (he was a diabetic), etc. - and is a bit lost. They spent a lot of time together and they talked about everything under the sun. Except food. Dad could get her to stay off the subject of food for hours - I wish I knew his secret. She was on the phone daily over the anniversary weekend of his death, even though my brothers and sister were there for her. Not to talk about him - she didn't mention his name once, even when she phoned minutes before the actual time of his death. I can't have been much comfort, I just let her blather on.
Tiny Husband is in a poor way atm. He fell over in the car park at work a fortnight ago and wrenched every joint in his body and a handful of ribs. He had spectacular bruises from wrist to elbow on both arms but otherwise was okay (!). Then his calf muscle began to hurt. It bruised and swoll up about twice its size. He went to the Haemophilia Unit several times and was sent away because it was clearly a bruise, not a bleed. Finally they gave him Factor, crutches and 3 different painkillers including codeine phosphate, and an appointment for physiotherapy. It looked like it was working, but over the weekend it swoll up again: he spent Sunday at the unit, and had to go back the following morning. They didn't keep him in then on condition he went home and rested. So he lied to them and went to work anyway.
Today at work, he had Disability Awareness training on blindness - how not to be patronising towards disabled people. Though come to think of it, One is not sure how he can tell people are blind over the phone. The chap had the grace to look embarrassed as he delivered his spiel to the guy on crutches...
It's been a knackering few weeks. Emotional turmoil, and the bulk of the housework, shopping and childcare to do as well - TH is very useful about the place, deffo no Elektra complex in this marriage. However, I've managed to do quite a bit recently.
I'm just finishing a third pair of socks for Ickle Baby Cthulhu. They're just quick acrylic knits. His feet are very broad but not big, so it's a struggle getting his (shop-bought) socks on. I've been using DK yarn, but that's a bit bulky. I've some 2-ply pure wool I might try next.
I also made a Bloody Stupid Johnson hat for TH for our wedding anniversary. The pattern's not 100% clear here and there, and I goofed a bit on the crown. Also, the head band is supposed to be grafted but with the cabling that's just as messy as sewing it. So I did. It turned out fine, a bit better if anything as it's longer to the crown than it should be. Just like TH.
I really ought to have finished the Drops Hooded Cardigan from the Bullring mystery cotton blend for my niece, but decided it really needed to be lined. And that, as we know too well peeps, means sewing (~shudder~). More specifically it means finding something to line it with, which translated into a couple of weekends bombing round the Rag Market. Then a few more weeks umming and ahhing as I tried to figure out the best way to line it - before or after assembling the pieces? during, whilst sewing it into the seams? and when should I knit (and line) the hood - before or after or...? Oh the dilemma. Trilemma? - there are 3 options. See how I suffer for my art? Oh the PAIN!!!!!!!!
Cillian's Trellis Cardi is also finished, apart from tidying up the ends from sewing on the buttons. As he's now 15 months, this may have to become Adam's Trellis Cardi - depends on which size I made. Durned if I can remember. I also have a crocheted knitting-needle roll (OH! the irony...) almost done, just a closure to do. I also found this very, very old (well, from just after I restarted crafting) project lurking in plain sight on the Baba's bedroom floor: a rug crocheted from old sweatpants*!! My sister sends me these things even though she knows I don't wear them (?!?!). So I cut off the cuffs and waistband, slit them up the inside leg and one side-seam, then cut them up into a single strip about 1" thick, which I crocheted up with the thickest crochet hook I had - an 8mm I think. It would have looked neater if I'd rolled the strips so only the 'knit' outer was visible, not the fleecy lining, but PATIENCE IS NOT MY VIRTUE DAMMIT!!!!!!! The Ba used to lie on it for his kicky sessions before he was mobile - more comfy than the hardwood floors. Now he uses it to slide along the same floors, wheee!
What else? Plans for making a bunny from a swatch. Oh yes, and I'm now a Proper Ol Designer, Ravelry-accredited n evrathang! My totally amazing scrunchie pattern has been downloaded loads! LOADS! more than I thought it would be... both from my Ravelry Designer shop and from the linky on the sidebar here. Well, shucks. Thanks to all the lovely people who thought it worth the bandwidth. Srsly! Now I'll have to put some more up. TH has been on at me to write up the pattern for my Corset Cosy, and there's the neck-warmer thingy, maybe the toddler gloves...
More pics to add later!
* aka fleece-lined track suit trousers. Aka Fat Couture. Aka Oxfam-bin fashion for the woman who's given up the struggle with weight, pregnancy, baby puke, personal hygiene...
Saturday, February 23, 2008
I is brekin mi duk.
I have #1 of a pair of socks for Tiny Husband on the dpns. They are from a Regia Bamboo kit I purchased from PurpleLinda, 10% off atm. The maddcolorz are befuddling my eyes a bit, but I have about 4cm done so far. The yarn feels nice, but the dpns included, man oh man, very loooong, very sticky.
The 100% bamboo Silk Slip now has 2 boobies, and I've begun the rib-band. It has two hundred and stupid stitches, so I am going to take my time!
I also have, on bamboo circs and in 100% mohair, a sweater loosely based on Irina Poludnenko's Ruffled Collar Pullover, published in February's Knitting magazine as Moonlight Cashmere Top. The gauge was fine, but I didn't care to trust the sweater to fit itself so I started at the bottom with 7mm circs for about 10cm, and switched to 6mm for 3 rows and finally to 5mm. I shall reverse the process when I need to expand for the bust. I have no idea whether I will ever wear this. The pattern is HAWT, and the yarn is HAWT red, a colour that looks particularly HAWT on me. However - it's mohair. The result might merely be hot, as in sweaty. And it's mohair. As in, adds a stone to my already overloaded arse.
Oh yes: and the bamboo circs, they do not like the mohair.
Really must try to get back to my WIPs, too. I have crocheted another leg for my amigurumi unicorn - just another 2 legs and ears, a horn, mane and tail to go.
This really doesn't belong here, but I'm venting anyway. I was perusing my local Freecycle (go join) posts today and saw yet another appeal for Playboy-related tat to decorate a girl's bedroom - pictures, lamps, duvet covers, etc. This really disturbs me. Since when has it been socially acceptable to allow your daughter to indulge a morbid interest in the seedy world of pornography, much less involve others in your lamentable parenting? If you're teaching your daughter that spreading her legs for the titillation of the smut-buying public (including her dad, uncles, brothers) is okay, then do it on your own - and take responsibility for the fallout from providing your child with her own Barbie Brothel.
Much as I want another child - no daughters, thanks. I cannot raise a girl in a society this sick.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Let me backtrack...
I have a wedding to go to next week back in Ireland - assuming I get there: the school has had my absence request since forever, but won't give me a decision. Or rather, the deputy head, Mr Piggy McPigpig who doesn't want me knitting on the school grounds, won't give me a decision. At this stage, I might not be able to afford the flights (Rant over). This weekend is the only time when I can look for something to wear both for myself and Ickle Baby Cthulhu - thanks to recent family events, everyone has seen all my current dressy-uppies, and IBC's growth demands new frillies for him.
Being of a somewhat Mediterranean physique, I was approaching the shopping trip with trepidation. Britain is not a good place to locate suitable clothes if you're a busty long-waisted hour-glass type of gal, let me tell you. I'm three different sizes here - about 18/20 bust, 8-10 waist and 12/14 hips. In addition, to get tops that don't look cropped, I need to go for Extra-Tall ranges, but I have to go to the Petites section to get skirts and trousers with a waistband in the region of my real waist instead of my nipples.
Needless to say, I have very few dresses.
And trying on clothes is so much fun. I have had to be extricated from clothes more than once by the shop staff. That smock thing I tried, with the zipped placket. I zipped it up - and halfway up it stuck. Crushingly tight. Pinky and Perky jammed flat, hardly able to breathe. Interestingly, I could have made another top out of the excess material round the waist - if I had any talent with a needle - even though I was about five months pregnant at the time. I struggled with the damned zip til I was sweating and panicky and scared I was going to rip it, before crawling out of the cubicle to ask for help from a snotty stick-insect (who nonetheless had a very fat waist for her size, snerk), giddy with embarrassment. And the trousers. Though that really wasn't my fault - the zipper came off the zip when I was doing them up. But even so... Big old grey knickers of course.
I dropped in to the Bull Ring yarnshop as normal before commencing on the clothes shopping. Nothing too interesting - well, some Aran-weight cotton, but I restrained myself. However, I noticed a nice colour in the corner of my eye, a softish purple, similar to a wildflower that's frankly a bit of nuisance back home - grows everywhere and hard to eradicate, but pretty. Mum would know the name. Some kind of willow-herb. The yarn is a 20% wool yarn that I've got before - not great quality but cheap. I immediately started thinking "dress". I'd seen a knitted dress last week in Rackham's sale which had taken my fancy, but I hadn't bought it because it was a) Empire line - not so flattering if you're top-heavy, b) knee-length - never a good look on me, though higher or lower hemlines are fine, and c) Khaki green. Nothing wrong with khaki green - I spent 8 years wearing it professionally, it matches my eyes, and lends me a certain exotic mystique that most women get from black. In fact khaki IS my black, my standby. Black is more like my everyday. When I don't necessarily want people realising I'm gothick, I pull out the khaki. I even had a DPM ballgown, once upon a time. Yes, that's right - my Little Black Dress was GREEN. Wonder what happened to it?
But I digress. I just didn't want a green dress because I wanted something that I could wear to work later, and I have lots of green that I wear to work. Time to throw something else into the mix. So purple yarn. Lots of it, too: at least five 400g balls that I could see, surely enough for a dress. But again, I restrained myself. Seriously, 6 days isn't enough time to knit a dress, especially when I'd have to come up with a pattern. I've seen a few on Ravelry, but I'm thinking more Stephanie Japel Fitted Knits extended down into about mid-calf. Though I suspect the precise thing I want is lurking in one of my vintage knitting books - I'm almost certain there's a 1940's fitted New Look style dress there somewhere.
This set me on my way. Debenham in the Bull Ring had a 70% off sale on, and lo I found TWO knitted dresses, one cerise and short-sleeved, and one mock pinafore in black with a white 'under' blouse. The cerise looked hideous on - my biceps are too butch for short sleeves (thank you, IBC) and the colour was too bluey. So that left the pinafore. A nyim over knee-length. I also found a John Rocha boiled merino jacket in a nice muted cranberry which will look nice over it - something like this, but with 3 huge buttons and no stitch detail at all. Almost got a JR lace wrap too, but restrained myself. I am getting SOOO good at this! The fact that it was described as crocheted when it was clearly knitted helped. As was a JR scarf - well it was obviously crocheted but said knitted on one label, and crocheted on the price tag. Really John Rocha! You work in IRELAND for pity's sake! You should KNOW this stuff. Grannies on the bus should have beaten it into you by now.
Total cost 35 pounds. T'was only on getting it home that I realised it was a maternity dress... Oh well. That would be funny if we hadn't been ttc for the last 18 months.
Still, it will look hawt with my Pirate Argyle stockings, if I ever get round to casting on. Especially since I scored a pair of Demonia Bat coffin heels (PU version) for only 25 pounds to go with it!!!!
No knitting or crochet of consequence occured recently. I have put in a little work on Cillian's Trellis cardi and Libby's unicorn, have almost finished a crocheted knitting needle holder (OH! the irony), and crocheted a couple of hair scrunchies from fancy fur and eyelash yarns. In khaki.
Troublingly, I actually paid cash money recently for Sirdar Bigga MULTI... Hawaii AND Etna... I have to go and lie down every time I think about this...
Sunday, September 23, 2007
This is the little set I made for my nephew. The only negative point my SIL made was that it was a pity it wasn't bigger because he'd grow out of it too fast. But look at the folds at the waist, and the cuffs are rolled up. Mind you, look at the socks. They must be four-year-old's socks, poor kid.
In the second photo, it looks like the collar's loose enough to go over his head without opening the buttons. The hat I made in a hurry, so I didn't put the pattern on it. I was already in Ireland, and had to make it overnight. It'd have taken a couple of days if I had put the pattern in. It's a long rectangle, seamed up the back and across the top. It should have pom-poms, but I made i-cord horns at the corners instead.
He's such a sweet child. He's very interactive - tries to get your attention and then burbles and babbles at you with a serious little expression on his face as if he's trying to hold a conversation. Mum says if you sing to him, he yodels and crows along until you stop!
Tiny Husband's sweater continues to knit up fast. The body and one sleeve are complete, and on a long circular needle ready for the EZ finish, and the second sleeve is well underway - 23r in, 100r to go. I laundered the two swatches I made from the yarn, one wash at 30deg only, one wash at 30 deg and tumble dry at 90deg. No effect, except maybe a very slight felting at the cast-off edge on the second, without shrinkage. Unfortunately this leaves me none the wiser as to fibre content. I was veering towards thinking it was wool again, as I read somewhere about one-plied wool that was intended for felting, but I doubt even superwash wool would survive being tumble-dried until, well, dry. Hey ho. So it is probably synthetic.
I just had another great idea for a sweater for my son. When I was pregnant we called him Ickle Baby Cthulhu (Destroyer of Waists, Bringer of the Nappies of the Elder Gods, etc.) or IBC for short. It was quite a theme. We even found a little line-drawing of a Cthulhu in a nappy, which I used as an icon on my pregnancy blog, and a plushie Cthulhu was the first toy we bought for him. So I spent most of the day making a Cthulhu chart for a little sweater... To add to the Bob the Builder (yarn purchased) and the Thomas the Tank Engine sweaters already planned.
And sod the baby socks. I want THESE. I've already fed my numbers through the Hourglass Knee-length Sockulator - though I'd rather have over the knee, maybe stockings? Something to scare the kids at school with...
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
According to mum, SIL is delighted with the Drops Norwegian set I sent her, and the ba hasn't been out of it since! She was thrilled with the colours and the pattern, and was particularly floored by the label.
Pics to follow once mum sends them over...
Hubby's sweater grows apace. I have the body completed to the EZ seamless sweater join-up point, and one sleeve almost done after a bit of a hunt for 6mm dpns - I had to settle for 40cm circs in the end. I also had to adjust for TH's elongated torso, as he's 6'1" but his chest's barely 36". I've decided to do the collar as a polo neck, so he can roll it up or down as the weather dictates, and I'll probably have to twiddle the decreases so they don't interfere with the Aran panels. TH can't wait to get his Goth Aran!
I've also begun the calculations for a version for my son - I think the panel plus 7st to either side will be big enough for his wee chest. don't know about the sleeves yet. I've also found a Bob the Builder chart which I might try on the grey marl background, and a Thomas the Tank Engine one currently under consideration. So that's four ideas for him so far, including the Drops!
My own pinwheel cardi has stalled because - aaargh! - I'm running out of wool. As it's vintage, the chances of getting any more are pretty much nil. And it's RED, so I'll never match it... So I have to finish the sleeves, see how much wool is left, then unravel or devise a trim to suit.
And God help me, I want to knit socks...