LouBug’s Back!

back

Term has started and normal service should resume on the blog. A new school has opened up the interesting question of when should I let them know about my crazy knitting habit? I might hide it for a bit (as I tend to blog rather than knit at lunch these days) until they have got used to me. Until then I shall keep on crafting on the QT!

back2

Summer has been a funny one this year, with surprisingly little knitting going on. I blame the general oddness of leaving a job I have had for the best part of a decade, and the resulting freak-out, which has made sitting and knitting for any length of time difficult.

On the flip-side my kitchen has never been so clean and I re-decorated my studio! The best way to channel this lightning storm of energy was to turn to crafts that require more of my focus than knitting (so less brain space for freaking), so I have been mostly cross stitching. I will admit that I have always been a little lost with what to do with finished cross stitch, I have always enjoyed the basic process but I am not a massive fan of framing them as pictures. I had started putting them on project bags (win-win), but then I stumbled across this frame kit in my LYS and it seemed a perfect match. A plan was hatched and so, first up on the finished list, here is this cute little sheep coaster cross stitch combo.

Back3

My plan is to make a set of these coasters (different pictures but all circled with coloured felt) and finally work through some of the mini kits I seem to have stock piled.   Depending on feedback, they might even edge towards the Christmas gift pile, however, Mr LouBug has already firmly turned down one so I might play it safe and stick to socks.

Back4

My big finish of the summer, I can happily report, is the great yellow duck. I started it about three years ago and it has finally been finished!

Words cannot describe the relief to finally finish it, fun though it was I think I will stick to the mini kits for now. I decided to put it on a big project bag, and I think it works well against the pink. Remembering the “fun” I had fixing a previous patch (that was a good 1cm off centre), I took my time getting this on. I am proud how well it has turned out.  I was so impressed by this feat of stamina and stubbornness, that I have strategically put the bag out so that I can admire it while knitting. The red jumper that had been hibernating in the bag has now magically become a go-to project.

back 5

I started this jumper earlier in the year (I think this was an accidental new year yarn buy) and based it on my big grey jumper pattern. Don’t worry folks, by the time it blocks it will fit my delicate frame (at the moment it looks like a good jumper for Jack Skellington). I have faith in my working out.

So if you hear a strangled yell of pain in about two weeks you know to send chocolate!

LouBug

Tangoed By A Knitted Scarf

wpid-wp-1410206868127.jpg

Here’s my latest effort – although, as ever, these terrible images just do not do this scarf justice. It’s orange. Really bright orange. Not even Peter Andre could match this shade, and even if he could I bet his skin doesn’t have light-reflecting particles in it, so there!

It is the same yarn that I used for the day-glow light-reflecting woolly hat earlier this year, the one with the pom-pom the size of a melon. When I put said hat on my young son’s head, his poor feeble neck could hardly hold it up. That pom-pom was heavy.

I deemed it too daft to wear myself, so duly gifted it to my first-born son. Who looks daft now though? Me with my mad high-vis scarf nicely matched with my six-year-old’s day-glow head…ho hum.

wpid-1402925940971.jpgwpid-1388751114695.jpg

Anyway, now for the science bit. I went for a slightly altered version of the open work infinity scarf I made a while ago, pattern taken from Knit 1 LA. With a 12 stitch cast on, it was easy to memorise the pattern and not mess up (in fact there isn’t a single mistake in this scarf, woop woop!). I even managed to complete a large chunky in the gloom of the cinema whilst watching Mr Peabody & Sherman.

wpid-wp-1410196330095.jpgwpid-wp-1410196283647.jpg

Row 1: Sl 1 (slip stitch as if to purl), *K1, (yo, k2tog) twice; repeat from * end k1
Repeat Row 1 every row until you have enough yarn left to bind off.

(Pattern thanks to Knit 1 LA)

wpid-wp-1410196373241.jpg

I left this scarf as a scarf, rather than a cowl, so didn’t sew the ends together. It definitely looks better this way, and the open knit makes it appear less bulky. The original infinity scarf was made from much chunkier yarn, but even with the open weave, it was still very, very chunky!

wpid-1391719436817.jpg

KnitWit

Mad Hatter And The Giant Knitted Hat

wpid-wp-1408917623141.jpg

Oh yes, looks normal doesn’t it? Well – ta dah – it isn’t! Beneath this lovely (birthday gifted yarn – thanks LouBug) cabled and ribbed woolly hat is a crazy inner layer. Not on purpose, natch, but out of necessity.

Despite my best efforts, this hat came out HUGE. My first guess would be dodgy yarn substitution – which is a slight triumph over my last dodgy yarn sub, in the sense that at least this product is still just about wearable, and not teeny tiny doll size. Still, one cannot go around looking like a slightly bonkers Smurf, can one? Smurf was not my deduction by the way, but rather words uttered from my four-year-old’s as-yet-unable-to lie mouth. So assuming that he speaks the truth, the hat had to be ‘dealt with’.

wpid-wp-1408915788487.jpgwpid-wp-1408894066008.jpg

I tried numerous jaunty angles and styles, all as hideous as the next. The only way to make this head-warming-delight even slightly ok was to basically halve it. So, I turned the bottom half into the top half, which by some stroke of luck just left the lovely new yarn on view, and has hidden the older, duller yarn.

wpid-wp-1408917707647.jpgwpid-wp-1408917755974.jpg

One the one hand, I can see that braced against the bitter arctic winds of the upcoming winter I shall be exceptionally toasty. On the other hand, this additional woolly padding does make my head look exceptionally large. Not Cindy doll large, but just enough to give me an Ally McBeal edge.

To counter this unsightly look, I’m going to fashion a large pom-pom to sew onto the top to balance out the width. Perhaps even a pair of 1980s shoulder pads would work, or one of those jackets that look like boiler lagging? Until the weather turns, I still have time to source one of those Puffa jackets from my youth – do they still exist?

For those of you who are tempted to give this a go – the pattern was Tala from Rowan’s Easy Winter Knits and the bright pink yarn which slowly goes into black was Katia CAP ‘junior’, colour 64. Bon chance!

KnitWit

Sock It!

sockit

The pre-summer hoard clearance has had a mixed success, with a number of projects finished (I will tot it up for a future post) and I really did resist casting on! Which obviously led to a massive glut of casting on as soon as summer hit, so I still don’t have any free row counters! I think I might formerly give up on that goal now until February and just buy a bunch of row counters. Why fight the inevitable!

sockit2

A clear winner of this finishing frenzy has been Mr LouBug, as he scored a new blanket AND a pair of socks. I am pleased with how the timey-whimey socks came out (trekking sock yarn for the curious) and I like the way the colour flashes look like a temporal vortex in Dr Who.

sockit3

The only down side to knitting these was the curse of dark yarn. We have all been there. Grab out you knitting at knit night only to discover that the pub lighting is not good for dark yarn and then having to peer like “granny who forgot her glasses” all evening. Not a good look, but worth it all to see his face (and then the look of sadness as he realised that the blazing sun was not sock wearing compatible). Bless him that he wore them for a good 30 minutes before I insisted he took them off before he melted.

sockit4

On a more selfish note, work has begun on my summer neon socks (fluro-mania we love you). Originally I was going to knock out a basic rib candy cane sock (no cuff, k2p2 to heel and then plain) but the yarn needed a little something-something more so I threw in a cheeky texture pattern to add interest.

sockit5

I have often seen this in pattern directories and overlooked it as too blokey, but I am really impressed with how it works with the neon stripes. One to bank for future use me thinks.

sockit6

Needing an easy sock to take along with me, I dug out some less eye watering yarn (Opal “Vincent Van Gogh”) and did do a basic candy cane with them. I am only half convinced over the colour wash (as the blue colour-way ones I did for Mr LouBug were much better) and they are unfairly placed next to the neon socks in my project box.

sockit7

Perhaps they will shine a little more when autumn makes burnt orange and mute colours more perfect.

sockit8

I will confess that I did buy a little more yarn this holiday (not as bad as last year though!). More on that later, but a shout out to Loop, IKnit and Sharpe Works and thank you for being lovely!

LouBug

 

Double Rainbows All The Way!

lego

Ok, so a bit of a cheat as this was finished just before I broke up, but all hail the mighty (and re-named) “Double Rainbow” shawl (pocket gods anyone?). Pinned out for blocking, it looked so much like the rainbow level of Mario cart that I couldn’t resist finding a LEGO car to complete the photo. Obviously this is why it knitted up so fast, it must have hit a booster bonus puzzle box!

lego2

I will admit that this scarf is one of the few things making me wish September closer, as I cannot wait to wear it. Being made from 4ply sock yarn (just 100g, stash dive bargain!) makes it light and wafty (so more a glamour scarf than a heat grabber).

I love, love, love the pattern (“Summer Stream Scarf” by Asami Kawa). I will admit that it took a little while to feel the love, as it is knitted in two halves and grafted in the middle (so each row is twice as long as it should be). And there were hard words said to it on the small subject of yarn colour jumps (the saga of correcting it still leaves a small twitch above my right eye).

lego3

I think you will agree that the hard work of splicing and matching have paid off and I have successfully matched the colours from left to right.

lego4

I am even pleased with how well the middle graft went (which was always going to be a dodgy bit). Admittedly, I did have to re-do it a couple of times, but with some aggressive blocking I have made it as subtle as possible.

lego5

But, who is looking at the middle when there is this excellent lacy trim to pet?

Now all I have to do is seek out some arctic level air-con so that I can justify wearing this early!

LouBug

Knitting Hiatus Is Good For The Soul

hiatus

Contrary to KnitWit’s moaning, I have neither emigrated nor been in a drunken yarn covered heap for the last few weeks. The reality is that, as I am currently in the weird limbo between schools, I will be without a laptop until my most excellent new school gives me one in September. Of all the churning emotional roller coaster moments of my last week with my lovely old school, cleaning out and handing in my laptop was an expectedly emotional moment.

So farewell my constant companion! We have bonded through hours of marking and report writing, we have shared a grimace while booting up on Monday morning and shared bruises when I almost broke a toe dropping you.   I have left some knitting patterns on the hard drive for you, for old times’ sake.

hiatus2

Words really cannot describe the wonders of the summer holiday. It is the trade-off for all those lost evenings, eroded weekends and dealing with teenagers all day. So I have been anxious to cram in as much as possible, which has (ironically) left me with fewer knit hours than normal. However, I do have a lot of unblogged knitting I can use to make KnitWit think that I have been knitting night and day for weeks. Basically now is the time to deep clean, MOT and fix as much as possible around the house. First up on my summer holiday promise list has been to re-decorate my craft room. I went for pale purple (amethyst shower number 5 for the curious).

hiatus3

Normal people look through magazines to help them select their wall colour. I will admit to using my stash, as I do have every shade of purple imaginable accounted for (you might have guessed I like purple) and then finding the Dulux card to match (the pale purple in the top right was the winner). Three bloody days up a ladder later (if I haven’t sweated down a dress size then there is no justice in the world) and all hail the mighty purple room! KnitWit will be pleased to note that I have had a sort out as well and managed to remove two bin bags of stuff. The number that will go up after I have finished sorting the patterns out of the magazines.

I think I will play catch-up with the finished projects over the next few blogs (not that I was pouring my “leaving after 8 years aaaaaghhaaa!” energy into knitting), so I will apologise in advance if there are any repeats or omissions.

hiatus4

So first up is a quick little Christmas knit, from a Let’s Knit kit from a while ago. It’s cute, silly and stripey and I think I will call him Henry. Time allowing Henry might get a lady friend, but we shall see how I get on. I will admit that I find toy knitting both fascinating and irritating. I love the way they look, but I get rapidly annoyed at the number of small parts (and so the amount of sewing up) but then I fall back in love when it comes to putting the faces on. This can be a bit hit of miss (paging my freaky robin) but I think it is worth working at.

And so to the cupboard scrubbing, drawer sorting and garden de-foresting *sigh*. If anyone wants me, I will be in a yarn covered heap in the corner….

LouBug

Happy Feet

wpid-1407420913378.jpg

Hmmm, not so much Happy Feet – more like Hot Feet! It was hotter than the sun in the back of the house yesterday when I took this photo, but one must suffer for one’s art. Heat stroke aside, these man-sized monster booties are a combination of triumph and despair. The triumph is, of course, that they are even finished. This has come at a cost. The precise cost was £13.99. I was mugged at the local toy shop for a box of rubber bands (or Loom Bands to be exact, which were probably manufactured in the Far East for about 10p).

Ho hum, who am I to complain when that £13.99 bought be hours of peace and quiet as my offspring busied themselves making lurid bracelets. Plus side being their hand-to-eye coordination, concentration levels and pincer movement are now A Grade…downside is we all now have matching fluorescent bracelets to wear. A bit like being in a cult.

wpid-1407420808226.jpgwpid-1407421119099.jpg

Anyway, I digress. Rather than using this time to cure cancer or something useful, I used it to blanket stitch my booties together. They do have a distinctive “home-made” look about them, and they are actually massive. Mr KnitWit tried them on, after much duress, and had a slight panicked look about him when I suggested they were a much better fit for him. Another plus is their “danger” element. Life on the edge. Boy #2 succumbed to this danger and before I could say “mind the slippery floor with the iceskate booties”, he came crashing down on the wooden floor.

wpid-1407421073587.jpgwpid-1407421030320.jpg

All in all, I think these woolly delights are better suited to a) carpet and b) bed. I don’t think the soles would stand up to the demands of general slipper wear and it would be tragic after all of this time for them to fall apart. I shall neatly pack them away (by that I mean put them on display for all to see) until such time that my icy extremities need hiding from the world.

The pattern was from Aneeta Patel’s book “Knitty Gritty”.

wpid-1404481106836.jpg

KnitWit

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 354 other followers

%d bloggers like this: