Niting Blog

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Behold my eldest son’s Mother’s Day efforts! The jury is still out as to whether this delightful celebration entitled “Niting Blog” represents a deep understanding and respect for fibre crafts, a celebration of my literary efforts and creative outpourings…or a sign I spend too much time preening the LouBugKnits blog. I fear I may have infiltrated his young brain with the idea that knitting blogs are VERY IMPORTANT and trump such frivolous pursuits as getting dinner ready on time. Either way, clearly my knitted delights have had quite an impact and are at the forefront of his mind when thinking of how to make an A4 celebration for his mother.

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“This is a girl knitting a flower. Now she is putting her flower on the blog”

In a nutshell, this pretty much sums things up. Things get knitted. Things get put on the blog. I guess he could have written a short story about my other time-consuming pursuits, perhaps laundry or washing-up, so in some respects I feel happy that my five-year-old has seen beyond my domestic servitude. One small step for feminism, one giant leap for clearly not doing enough laundry/washing up for my son to think of my efforts as “domestic servitude”.

Moving on…special mention should go to In-Law-HQ, who gallantly pushed through the crowds at Olympia’s latest knitting show to bring me back treasure!

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A knitted duck, complete with crown! I understand from the front-line report that Olympia this year was pretty good. LouBug and I didn’t go this year, partly because we’re still getting through our autumn loot from Ally Pally!

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I shall be embarking on this aquatic delight asap and reporting back forthwith.

KnitWit

Fox Pillow…So Near…

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But yet so far! The pillow is not only glorious, but veeeeery nearly done. Slight issue regarding what to stuff it with. At the moment it is perched on top of my fox draught excluder, looking like some sort of bank robbing mask for foxes. Below is a photo collection of the pillow, complete with “artistic licence” with regards to the nose, ears and backing 🙂

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KnitWit

Sock It To Them

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Finish Up February is slowly still chugging along (yes, I know it is now March), and has resulted in a new finished pair of socks.  Admittedly the pair breaks the “rules” as I cast on when I shouldn’t have had, but it is my game and I can change it when I want to!  I like the colour-way, as the grey and purple sits well together and being Regia I already know that they will wash and wear like iron.

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And now I have cast on a gorgeous new pair with a really cool colour-way.  It is from the summer yarn holiday explosion (Get Knitted in Bristol) and happily I have three more in the same brand and hopefully the same wash/transition of colours.

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These are just what the doctor ordered as the dreary days are starting to brighten and green things are starting to emerge.  I especially like that they reflect my current garden view of green grass, yellow flowers and blue sky.  I have called them “Sprung”, as I hope that they will herald the new spring (and an end to the dreary wet weather).

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Talking of green things, my Zonki socks are chugging along.  These do require more brain power that I have (as the lace is wonderfully complex) but I really like the way they are coming out.  The leaves have a nice 3D puffy effect and the yarn over pattern really shows it off well.  I shall keep picking at these but I suspect that they won’t get done until Easter.

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Well, my yarn diet isn’t going very well, but I have at least managed a one-in-one-out sock ratio with this lovely yarn now snuggling into the stash.  I like the Vincent colour-way (I used a different one on Mr LouBug’s Christmas socks) and it strikes me as a good autumny colour-way.  The blue will be better for summer, as it is eye-catching and a bit tropical watery.

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I got this on the way to Braintree Free-Port, a little yarn shop that is basically a summer-house at the back of Cherry Tree garden centre.  It is a nice idea, and there are about a dozen of these summer-houses all with different shops in them.  This is nice as it allows small start-up businesses to rent small units that are lockable but also attached to a larger shopping area and is a great place to find new boutique shops.

Time to sit in the sun and knit!

LouBug

A Time For Growing Things

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The foxes can now see! Yep, the buttons arrived and have been suitably placed to give maximum cuteness. So KnitWit, how’s your one fox pillow going….?

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Now I have the glory of a newly finished project behind me, my nose has started twitching as the air of spring is here. In the name of spring-cleaning I have had my stash box out and started dreaming of new projects.

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First up, I have made a good start on my pink sparkle scarf. This has been frogged from an unsuccessful crochet scarf and one of the first casualties from Finish-Up-February. Incidentally, despite only finishing two things, I did reach my goal of six row counters and I think it has helped my knitting mojo to know that the there are no unloved projects lurking around. This yarn is a prime example. It was sitting unloved for the best part of six months and now it is back and knitting up fast (I only cast on last week and I have already reached the halfway mark).

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It is based on the central panel of my disappointing cobweb scarf (ok, I am being unfair, the scarf is fine but it was such a trauma to finish it, I can’t bring myself to use it. Time will heal that I am sure. After knitting with cobweb yarn (think sewing thread), this 4ply is flying along, helped by the fact that it is only 30 stitches (not 60 stitches) wide. The colour transition works nicely and fades from almost white to a dark wine purple. There is also a “Crystal Barbie” coloured thread running through it (hard to photograph) that twinkles in the light.  

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I am also happy to report that by tracking and counting the colour changes I am comfortably sure that I will not run out of yarn. This is a blessed relief after the trauma of being short on the cobweb one! I am already debating using the rest to put a trim on the short ends. Failing that, I might have enough to make a skinny jacket scarf.

So, what yarn have you recently rescued from an unloved corner of your project box?

LouBug

 

Knitting Bleatings

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Ok fine. LouBug wins. I even cheated slightly and ignored the intarsia instructions for the fox ears and LouBug STILL managed to knit TWO fox pillows in the time it has taken me to knit the front piece of one. I’d love to bleat on about how I didn’t have enough time, but instead I’m going to bleat on about my latest knit creation (bleat, sheep…geddit?! Ha ha ha).

Fish-brained as I am with my short attention span, I was merrily grappling with The Fox when the latest Let’s Knit plopped through my door. This month’s free kit was a teeny boucle sheep, needless to say The Fox was merrily cast aside…

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As ever (see Frankenstein elephant and deranged mouse), my sheep is slightly “unusual”. It seems to have eaten too many pies and grown some crazy legs but loveable nonetheless. It also has taken on a slightly depressed look as it can’t really hold its head up properly (despite me trying to sew the back of its head to its body, ouch). I did toy with the idea of knitting it a small scarf to prop its head up, like I did for the poor unfortunate elephant I knitted with the floppy head. I should probably invest in some curtain rings for all of my future knitted toys to give them all a slightly ancient Burmese tribe look about them.

Anyway, distraction over. Back to The Fox. The front is complete (I even found a pair of small brown eyes for it), now to tackle the back. I have a slightly off piste idea for the back so hopefully no more distractions!

KnitWit

Small Knitted Delights

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After the fun of knitting the foxy pillows I have decided to finally give into my inner five-year-old and knit some things just for whimsy.  This may sound an odd thing, but I do tend to knit practical things (socks, scarves, jumpers etc), as a part of me doesn’t see the point of knitting things for myself without a use.  Needing to find a use for things doesn’t always mean I knit boring things, after all my Granny’s Garden blanket was mainly an excuse to find a home for my knitted flowers.

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After finishing the blanket and sewing on the pre-existing flowers I kind of ran out of steam to make any more and I forgot what fun they are to make.  It was really nice coming home in the sun on Friday and casting on a little daffodil and finishing it barely an hour later (although I think I may need to add a sixth petal!).  That kind of quick-win did boggle me (after all I usually count project time in days if not months) and I will freely admit that barely a cup of tea later I cast on a donut.

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I made some knitted cakes for a birthday present a few years ago and I always meant to make myself some (as they were fun to make) especially when KnitWit started making them.  Now, technically this is a pin cushion (after all it must have a sensible use….), but really it is a stress relief knit.  I am especially pleased with the effect of holding a boucle yarn together with a plain to get the iced white/sugar frosted effect.  An evening’s work later and I was reeling from the fact that I had two new finished things.

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I then considered all my plans for knitted Christmas decorations that got pushed out of the way in December, and I have decided to knit them.  Yes, I realise it is March, but when the weather is cold my mind turns to ways to keep warm (and the great Christmas knit is a time of great Time Hoovering).

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So here is the first thing on the way, it will be a crocheted wreath in blue with white snowflakes on it.  Keen eyes will spot that I have padded out a coat hanger with pipe lagging, but I have made work for myself by joining the crochet in the round (I wanted to avoid a seam line) as I keep having to get out of the way of the damn thing.

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I am also in the mood for something silly and big, so I think the time has come to knit a dinosaur.

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Yep, you heard me.  I plan to knit a bright purple stegosaurus, for absolutely no reason other than it looks fun.  I might put a weight in the feet and put it to use as a door stop (so that it has the illusion of usefulness).

Viva la revolution!

LouBug

 

The Difficulty With Not Gloating

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I am not a particularly competitive person.  No, really!  Being rubbish at every sport I have ever tried (or had imposed on me by a very optimistic PE teacher), by being clumsy and neither fleet of foot or swift at swimming knocked it out of me early on.  This, coupled with being the youngest and least academic of three children, has left me little to get successfully competitive about.  Don’t get me wrong, I have had my share of success and glory, but I prefer not to get competitive about them, as there is always someone better (and will happily pop your bubble by telling you).  I prefer to take my glory and aim to improve on personal bests, and I feel that this has made me a happier person.

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So, how best to handle the fact that my incredibly competitive sister has barely finished HALF her pillow in the time it has taken me to knit the front and back of two?

A petty person would dwell on the “butt-slapping” I get each year at the annual 5k charity Race for Life, when I am tragically lapped by KnitWit.  A really petty person would dwell on being top trumped on school reports.   Or the fact that she can eat all the desserts she wants and still weighs less than my head. The potential for evil gloating is spread before me like a carpet of cashmere.

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But, because I am lovely, I will instead dwell on the fact that I have been knitting a clear decade longer than her and that she has never done this technique before.  After all, it was hardly a fair race; it would be like Usain Bolt getting gloaty over winning an egg and spoon race.  Or like winning at cards against a small child.  Or like being better at Suduko than the cat. Hee hee….

So instead of gloating, I will give a slow hand clap to KnitWit whilst I sip wine and lean back on my two foxy pillows and bask in their glory.  Hee hee,  maybe she will try to race me on a pair of socks next!

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Keen-eyed people will have noticed that the pillows are currently without eyes.  Sadly the buttons in the Let’s Knit kit were broken, but after I contacted the lovely people at Let’s Knit HQ they should be with me shortly.  In the end I knitted the back out of the green and then I decided to crochet the two halves together, which has created a pleasing piping effect on the edge.

How is your one getting on?

LouBug

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