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March 2006

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Olympia!

25/03/2006

Well now I have returned from Olympia and have slept and had the opportunity to review the day here is all the news and the views (and pictures!). Essentially the show is much as it was last year, just slightly bigger. There were, as always, a fair few stands selling uncraft related tat (such as pillows and old lady clothes) but generally a good mixture. The focus is very much on stitching and cross stitch in particular but the first floor did have a good number of stands for card making and knitting.

The exhibitions were OK – interesting to see the cross stitch designer’s stands and the winners of the scrapbook competition were very good but the knitted wedding display was all of about 5 photos and there was nothing to match last year’s tapestry display.

I do think the embroiderers guild coloured blocks were fantastic though.

This year I think the reason I really went was for the classes and workshops which are still excellent and very good value although I think you have to choose carefully. I went for two from the Royal School of Needlework which were brilliant and then one called “off the sheep’s back”!

The first RSN class was whitework (as in christening frocks) and it is really beautiful. We also have a project which we could actually finish in the alloted hour, and here it is:

It is actually white but to be able to see the crazy daisy I have to do a bit of camera trickery so it has come out grey!

The second class was silk shading and ta da:

It’s a flower!

My spinning class was not successful encough to merit a photo but was also lots of fun!

I also acquired ten balls of pure alpaca in a gorgeous purply blue which I will use to knit myself a cable jumper just as soon as I find the right pattern! If anyone knows of any good patterns let me know!

Progress on most of my knitting has taken a bit of a hit as the colour for the main part of Carolina leaks all over my hands and needles and I have had to return it to John Lewis. Still in the meantime I have plenty of projects to keep me going including plotting for my Rowan Exchange and making a project spectrum project for April in orange or yellow – hmm time to get the thinking cap on!

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Carolina vs Washing up

19/03/2006

Well what did you think?

Of course I did the washing up

THEN I cast on for Carolina!

Unfortunately there is a little bit of a setback in that the colour of the Vino KSS which I am using for the main part of Carolina comes off on my hands. I’m thinking this isn’t a good thing and neither do the girls on the Rowan site so it is about to be carefully packaged up and sent back to Rowan – waaaa

I did really like the pattern though.

This leaves me with the sleeves which are very complicated but also in a different non-hand colouring colour. At the moment I’m just trusting the pattern and hoping for the best as it’s very complicated and looks quite strange. I might post a picture soon when I get something worth showing!

Hope you all had a happy weekend and don’t have pink hands!

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Test

18/03/2006

I seem to be having blogger problems – testing to see if post will publish

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Electra Finished

18/03/2006

Oo dear I have just realised that this blog is woefully overdue an update, so here it is. The title somewhat gives the game away but nevermind.

After I last posted I finished one side of the front split. Then on Wednesday I started the other side and on Thursday I finished it.

Then all of Friday night (and a little bit of this morning) produced this:

Which left this:
Add the Commonwealth games, me feeling really poorly and two rugby matched and I now have this:

I am very pleased with it and I really like the colour combination – I’ve noticed that most people who have changed the colour combination have gone for clearer colours to show the pattern better and it is definitely worth it. The final seal of approval is that the BF thinks it looks very good (and he was a little unsure of the colour combinations initially) His photography does need improvement though!

The Knitty Gritty

Pattern: Electra from Rowan 38 in size 34.

Yarn: The main colour is Felted Tweed in Midnight (133). I started with one ball less what I used in Drizzle and I have about the same left of the second ball. The contrast colours are Yorkshire Tweed DK in Goose (352) – small kiwi sized ball left – and Felted Tweed in Ginger (154) – half the ball left, together with KSH in Heavenly (592) – knitting in two strands using two balls I probably used a quarter of each ball.

Needles: I used bamboo 4mms for the rib but found that it ‘snatched’ the yarn too much – the rest of it was knitted on metal needles which was generally fine although a little slippy on the KSH rows.

Comments: This pattern is great fun to knit up and doesn’t take too long (apart from bending in all those ends!). I started this on 20 February so it has taken a little under a month – yay! It is a snug fit which isn’t a particular problem but anyone not so small on top might find it more of a squeeze. It could also be quite easily knitted in the round until the start of the armhole decreases which would save a lot of effort. My final thought is that I need to learn a better cast off for rib as the rib case off around the neck is a little tight but not at all bad. I have also learnt the power of steam pressing as a method of blocking – this top has not been blocked – mainly because I don’t really understand how to do it and also because the top looks fine after its pressing.

So the next question is: do I do the washing up or do I cast on for Carolina?

Answers on a postcard!

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Sundays are great

12/03/2006

It’s the weekend and what better to do than curl up in a ball underneath a blanket, knit and watch telly. I am proud to announce that today my achievements are as follows:

1, Made the BF lunch ( fried chicken sandwiches adapting a recipe for fried pork which he said was delicious but wierd as he kept expecting to eat chicken. He thought it was very nice with chicken). For anyone into food; coat chicken in breadcrumbs and parmesan using an egg, mustard and orgegano bind and shallow fry – yummy.

2, Made the BF supper – roast beef and roast potatoes no less. The poor wee man is studying very hard for a new job at the moment and therefore requires his sustenance!

3, Made serious progress on Electra (yay!). Yesterday I cast on (3 times before I remembered how to make the rib work – I know I said my aim was to cast on for the front but I had expected to get further) and did about 15 rows of rib. Today:

As you can see I have now got to the neck divide AND the armhole shaping – the FO banner is in sight but I think there are still a few miles to go – not least the ends that will need bending in (see previous posts on the subject) and working out how to do the sleeve/neckline ribs. I’m thinking of doing at least the arm ribs on DPNs in the round because that would just be like doing socks – I’de just have to make sure I got the round going the right way round! Also must acquire DPNs in correct size.

However, on that note I do have the Olympia show rapidly approaching and I have high hopes that it will yield some nice new needles and possibly some yarn. I also have serious designs on one of those little sheep tape measures if I can track them down!

Anyway, my telly schedule for today is not quite complete, having viewed Poirot, the Bahrain Grand Prix and another Poirot I now have Planet Earth – wow! So ttfn.