I Cheated!

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I am a bad person. The worst. I cheated on the most wonderful thing in the world. Ladies, gentlemen, knitters of the world, hear my shame. I cheated on knitting.

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This wasn’t just the friendly flirtation with crochet (which knitting knows is nothing serious). This was a lost long weekend deep in the arms of cross-stitch. Yes, I said it. Cross-stitch.

Now it is an odd thing. There is a lot of talk over knitters and crocheters being at each other’s throats (which I have never understood as they are basically both playing with yarn); but very little about knitters and cross-stitchers. Even in the great and wonderful world of Ravelry there is little to be said about the two crafts mixing. Perhaps they just attract different types of makers, like blacksmiths and weavers. I have always teased my cross-stitching friends that it is basically painting by numbers (they just point out that I spend hours making socks), but it can be quite restful.

I blame the crazy week before the Easter break (with a serious drop off in available knitting time). All my planned lace knitting went quickly out the window as my poor fried brain needed to re-group.

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Now, it all started innocently enough. I made this cross stitch seahorse as a lavender drawer pouch a few years ago, and I found it while sorting my clothes out. It did seem an awful waste to put it back into the dark for another few years before seeing it again, so I unpicked the back and added it to a project bag. A few sequins later and I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.

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A brief pop to the Tiptree Cheap Shop later (for birthday yarn, more on that later) and I treated myself to a cross-stitch kit. With a certain happy event coming next summer, it seemed like a perfect thing to add to a project bag that could be used for honeymoon shawls. And of course, I added sequins.

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The crazy train was now full power ahead, and I had a sort out of my craft box and unearthed this half-finished kit.  I was given this duck kit about five years ago and I have been pecking at the edges of it on and off (mainly out of guilt, as it was a well-meant gift). The yellow body and one of the legs had been done, and in my cross-stitch frenzy I turned my eye to it and squared my jaw. I have added the legs, flowers and most of the green, but there is a lot of green to go. A serious, unending amount of green.

So, like the big cheating cheater that I am, my heart is turning back to my true love. Knitting, I’m coming home.

LouBug

Booties – To Give Or Not To Give…

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Here they are, the booties. Modelled by Franken-Elephant, no less. These Let’s Knit “Imp” booties are a proposed gift – my first knitted gift to someone with whom I neither share a surname with, nor have given birth to. My agony is this – are they good enough?!

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This is an improvement on my last attempted knitted gift, where the baby bootie was so cute that I kept it (bad person, bad knitter). This is far more serious…serious in the sense that I may need to get myself to the shops before the weekend. Not serious in the sense that I should be poised to call the emergency services/find a fire extinguisher in a “pronto” manner.

It seems there are no boundaries when it comes to adorning my own home with knitted horrors (my latest being a knitted duck, complete with its own knitted pond hee hee). When it comes to cluttering up someone else’s home, I’m all of a sudden hesitant. Oh woe, what is one to do? Hand them over with apologetic mumblings? Stash them away and present an assortment of useful, yet boring, shop-bought baby onsies?

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Technically, they are looking pretty good. No botched stitches or random holes and they aren’t terrible to look at. My fragile knitting ego might not take the rejection though, or there might be an awkward silence when once wrestled onto the baby it transpires they don’t actually fit. Such terrible thoughts! The only reasonable response to this is perhaps to post the booties anonymously, like knitted spam. Either that or I shall get one of my small children to present them, and deny all knowledge. Oh the agonies…

KnitWit

See It Sparkle

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The pink sparkle scarf is now done! After the trauma of the cobweb scarf, it is fantastic to have a scarf that has cast on correctly and powered through with yarn to spare. A most important fact, as my enjoyment of the cobweb scarf is forever scarred by running out of yarn and then having to repeatedly frog and re-do. And frog and re-do. And frog and re-do. And try not to throw against the wall as I frogged and re-did it AGAIN!

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The yarn is “Reflection” by Creative Yarns, and I really like the way that it fades from a dusky purple/pink to a barely -there white/pink. Even better than that, the transition has resulted in three blocks of dark in a nice symmetrical way. You cannot really see in the picture, but there is a sparkly thread running through it which catches the light in a cute twinkle effect. The yarn is also nice and soft (the cobweb scarf had to be so aggressively blocked that it lost all bounce and softness and felt like a Brillo pad).

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One good thing about the cobweb scarf horror is that after 60 stitches for 264 rows, the pattern has burned into my brain and enabled a bit of speed. This has left my 30 stitch rows in 4 ply feeling like hyper-drive as the rows flow past. I didn’t keep a row count (as I am not doing a side trim that needs to be plotted) but it is well over a meter which must be about 150 – 200 odd rows.

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I decided to block it to make it wider (as it was already quite long) which should make it useful as a summer dress wrap (so I can look like a glamour princess). The yarn has remained quite soft (helped by the lack of frogging, which stripped parts of the cobweb yarn bald) and being mainly acrylic it should wash and wear well. There was even enough to make a short jacket scarf.

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Two scarves, and still smiling at the end. Not bad for a yarn that has been gathering dust in a project bag for months!

LouBug

Quack Quack – The Eighties Are Back

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Quack, quack, here he is – the knitted “party” duck. This duck has really lived up to his name – it isn’t so much the jaunty, sparkly crown that has given this duck the “party” look…more the crazy eyes-like-saucers. This duck has accidentally taken on the look of something that has downed 16 espressos,  complete with a cocaine chaser.  The Eighties are back! I am contemplating knitting this duck some giant shoulder pads and a filofax.

Just say “no” kids, let this duck be a lesson!

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Despite my best efforts to get LouBug to sew the component parts together, she refused (the cheek!), and I had to do it myself. As ever, the head was a bit wobbly and left to its own devices the beast does actually just keel over (I blame the crazy eyes). Luckily my ducky has its own pond to swim on, which handily props up my little aquatic friend.

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Yes, the eyes are mad and the finish isn’t perfect but it’ll fit in perfectly with my troop of other misfit knitted animals. Rest assured the (finally finished) knitted fox pillow and knitted gift booties are of far superior craftmanship. More on that later.

The pattern and knit kit for my party duck was from Sue Stratford Knits (The Knitting Hut).

KnitWit

 

Back From The Sun

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Not literally, of course, just back from a holiday “in the sun” rather than “on the sun”. Hey, ho – either way I’m still as pasty-faced as ever. That’ll be the Factor 50 (that is still working its way out of my facial pores, ughgh). Still, better than the “burnt to a crisp” look my fellow compatriots were rocking.

Back to the matter in hand. In a few weeks I shall be welcoming a new baby into our home. Not mine, thankfully – no, an overnight guest plus new baby.

Being “Eco” types, I have decided they would be perfect candidates to receive a hand-crafted gift from me for their precious first-born son.

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My record on this has not been great. A while ago I did knit a beautiful bootie for a friend who recently brought forth life (just the one, I didn’t get as far as actually knitting the other one). Unfortunately, the baby ended up with a present from Gap in the end, as I couldn’t be parted from my carefully knitted baby bootie (yes, it was that good!).

I am determined this will not happen again, so I decided early on that I would get to keep the test bootie for myself so that it can join the other one in the sad collection of lone knitted booties on my bookshelf. The only problem with this plan is that I have been so pleased with my test bootie it has been elevated to the grand status of actual gift bootie, and now that I am on the second one I’m already running out of steam to knit a third. They are so very cute though, and I am toying with the idea of enshrining them in a gift box, stuffed and mounted, so that they can just be admired from afar as a knitted nursery ornament.

(Pattern Let’s Knit)

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As I plough on and knit that twin bootie, I am trying to weigh up whether it would be a terrible social faux pas to instruct the recipients of the gift booties that they should not actually be put on their baby’s feet, but admired from an elevated position. Hmmm…maybe I should head to Gap next week…

KnitWit

Get Stuffed!

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Boo hoo! My lovely foxy pillow is STILL deflated and empty. I just can’t find anything suitable to stuff the poor beast with…and I have tried. Okay, fine…not “tried” in the sense of getting myself down to a haberdashery and parting with cash in exchange for some toy stuffing/miniature pillow. No, I mean “tried” as in prowled around my house in search of something suitable/very much second best. I have contemplated gutting a pillow that currently resides on my sofa, then there was the cute little croc pillow that I saw on Boy 2’s bed. I couldn’t do it though…I feared the reprisals.

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I even ventured into our loft space. Not as bad as you may think, as I have recently implemented a detailed list that lives on the door. I had fears of it becoming an Aladdin’s cave of cr@p, and I wanted to avoid all the childhood flashbacks of toot disappearing up into my parent’s roof and never coming down again. Anyway, my best efforts of keeping the loft in order were not enough – it is still a nightmare of boxes. The one I wanted was barricaded behind other boxes and a light fitting. I couldn’t quite face dragging out the “camping” box in search of a small camping pillow I had a vague memory of, in order for my fox to be completed.

So here we are, un-stuffed. Short of filling it with £50 notes/old DK yarn/cotton wool or unwanted items of clothes (some of my other ideas), the fox will have to wait until I get to the shops…

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In the meantime I have been busy with my duck. The one with the crown. Yes.

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The only thing I have to say about this WIP, is LOOK AT THE TAIL!! Against my better judgement, I followed the instructions for the complicated cast off and (as promised) it resulted in the perfect looking duck tail. Joy!

KnitWit

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