Merry Christmas!

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This will probably be the last blog post of 2013, which will complete LouBug and KnitWit’s first year of blogging!

LouBug has gone AWOL with some foul bug picked up at work, damn those pesky germ vectors/students! I will be AWOL for different reasons over the next week or so, no doubt involving me searching for batteries for rogue children’s Christmas presents/scoffing Christmas chocolates thus preventing my hands from doing something more creative.

The end of the year is not complete without a few NYkR (new year’s knitting resolutions)…

1. Put some more marketing effort into my Stitch n Bitch group…knitting alone in a pub is starting to lose its appeal.

2. Actually read the three Stitch n Bitch books I bought over the summer.

3. Plan more projects ahead that can be easily picked up. I need to separate the planning and the do-ing, so that I can just get on with a project in the evening.

In the meantime, below is my newly knitted angel for our Christmas tree. The wings were substituted with tinsel ones, as I was momentarily blinded with panic and confusion with all the YO and SSK instructions for the knitted version. Hey ho. Need to add that to my list…4. Learn how to YO and SSK properly.

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Merry Christmas!

KnitWit

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What an Angel!

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My cosy Rowan bargain yarn blanket is coming along nicely. It’s a great one for my Friday afternoon knit group, no mistakes so far (unlike the deformed wrist warmer that I had to rip back…). It also has the added bonus of keeping my legs warm as I knit, drink and bitch chat.

In the comfort of my own home though I have been trying something slightly more challenging. I unearthed a festive Let’s Knit free Christmas angel kit I got from Ally Pally and thought I’d give it a go.

Admittedly I haven’t got very far, but there is a definite time limit on this one so I’d better get a move on. A knitted angel this time of year is an outstanding object to have adorning ones shelves. A knitted angel hanging around in the bleak month of January just looks like it missed the last storage bus to the loft.

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If this delight comes out as glorious as it appears in my mind’s eye, then it will take the prime spot on top of our Christmas tree. Our real Christmas tree…REAL! Oh yes, how my life has taken a dramatic turn for the better this year.

No more risk of small pine needles being transferred from hot little hand to salivating mouth. No danger of being pulled down in a dramatic tree meets toddler embrace. One year our sad little table top tree was almost brushing the ceiling to prevent an eager pair of mitts getting to it. Thankfully this year, dreams of Santa loot is IN and attempts to shorten ones life through fairy light electrocution/tinsel strangulation is OUT, at last!!

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Anyway, best get cracking with that Angel…

KnitWit

Purple Hug

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Drum roll please, I have now finished my purple cardigan!

It is made from Rowan Calmer (cotton and microfiber) and adapted from my first ever self-designed cardigan.  It has now successfully emerged from the washing machine without any dodgy shrinking/growing.  I can now breathe a sigh of relief and let the glory wash over me.

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You might remember the mis-adventure of the bust darts (which looked fine on, but all kinds of freaky when the front was opened). I will admit that it did result in the project being left in the naughty corner to Think About What It Had Done.  But I am ever the optimist, so I bit the bullet and frogged back a good 3 inches of side and back and ploughed on.

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And here it is (the other arm is there, but fell out of shot).  The shaping went well and is rather flattering when on and I do like the way that the trim gives it a slightly jackety look.  The sleeves work well – the trim makes them easy to flip over (as I am always needing to roll sleeves back at work), without altering the look of the arms.

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I especially love the large heart buttons (which I think came free with a magazine about 5 years ago) and the way that the mother of pearl grey works with the lilac purple.  This is actually the first time I have done a proper button band (as opposed to zips or buttons over pop studs) and I was annoyed with the way that the weight of the button made the button holes sag.

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Thankfully, the hive mind of my stitch group came up with a plan of sewing a strip of ribbon to re-enforce and stabilise the edge.  Happily I found some organza ribbon (pale pink and slightly sparkly) which doesn’t look too odd when the cardigan flaps open.

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Even better, I have been left with four balls left over and, as I have another bag of green, I should have enough from the two yarn bags to make three cardigans.  Nothing like a free jumper’s worth of yarn to make the day more shiny!

LouBug

Calling all Debbie Bliss fans!

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Check out this webchat with hand-knit designer, yarn developer and author Debbie Bliss.

Debbie Bliss webchat.

I particularly liked the answer to one question

“I still see myself as being a small cottage industry. I’m licensed to Designer Yarns limited which means that they deal with all the buying and selling of the yarn, warehousing, export etc, which leaves me free to concentrate on what I love – designing, choosing yarns, and the whole journey from first finding a yarn to the final stages of photography.

I work in a studio at home with Theresa, my assistant, and my daughter Nel has now joined me to work on a new product side of the business. This means that work life is firmly entwined with home life, which means the day being interrupted by two manic dogs and our ‘office baby’ who comes in with mother Charlotte, who is also working on a product line. I also have a freelance pattern checker and pattern complier who work from their homes. I love to work like this. There’s nothing corporate or heirarcichal about it. We occasionally dance if something comes up…”

KnitWit

This I Have Learnt #stitchnbitch

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The above (tragic) photo is of me ripping back some dodgy cable on the wrist warmer twin. It was supposed to look like the other one (see below), but I have defied all previous evidence that ladies can multi-task.

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I attempted to knit the other warmer whilst also ‘bitchin’ at my Stitch ‘n Bitch group. Clearly a big mistake. My cable was all over the place, I kept having to count my stitches over and over again. Either I have grown a man brain over night ,and can thus only do one thing at a time, or I have to accept that decrepitude has set in.

With this in mind, I have devised a few rules for myself for my Stitch ‘n Bitch outings:

1. Don’t attempt anything more complicated that garter stitch.

2. Leave patterns at home, unless to be used as a handy coaster.

3. Leave the G&T alone…nobody likes to see a staggering mother armed with knitting needles at the school gate at 3pm.

4. Only bring projects that require chunky yarn and giant needles. This will disguise the disproportionate amount of ‘bitchin’ compared to ‘stitchin’.

With this in mind, I have flouted my own rule number 1 and am attempting a super-chunky lap blanket in basket weave. Those readers, who haven’t already clicked away, may recall a long-abandoned scarf I was going to knit, but only managed one square:

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This is the basis of my new ‘off-piste’ blanket. Below is what I managed on Friday, in between cackling at the previous night’s memories of disgraceful antics at the school-mums-on-the-razzle-Christmas-party and sipping a latte:

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Lots of little squares are the way to go, I think. Knit, knit, sip, sip, natter, natter.

KnitWit

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