Up Knit Creek

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


The secret can now be revealed as this:
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a birthday present for my brother's step-daughter (does that make her my step-niece? Who knows?). She was very pleased with it, but was too tired to try it on as she had had a very long day, so I hope it fits OK.

I have now finished the "Short 'n' Sweet" bolero from The Happy Hooker. I had to fudge things a bit and give it a huge blast of steam, but it fits (sort of) and has already been complimented several times. If I make this again, I will alter the neckline because the V-neck did not turn out very V-necked - the shaping was too close to the shoulders and the slope wasn't long enough or gradual enough. Not quite sure if my crocheting skills are up to this kind of adaptation or whether it was a question of gauge/tension (which, obviously, I checked thoroughly!!! Not). Photos when I remember. (Edited to add: I've remembered!)

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The Sunrise Circle jacket is proceeding nicely - the first sleeve/front is finished and I think it will be more or less the right size this time so the second sleeve has been started, although really it's the third sleeve 'cause I had to frog the original first sleeve. It is now becoming a bit tedious to knit - all that stocking stitch in ever-increasing rows, but I love the style of the jacket so much that I'm determined to get on with it. This got me thinking about whether I'm a process knitter or a project knitter, and in true sitting-on-the-fence- fashion, I've decided I'm a bit of both. The Sunrise Circle jacket is a project that I want to wear, but the process is a bit dull (in spite of the unusual construction) so there have already been a few "process" items interrupting progress - e.g the Short 'n' Sweet bolero (because I hadn't crocheted in ages) and the birthday cardi above (because I wanted to design a short, pink, girly cardi without any sewing!). The Jaywalkers, which are still OTN, are very much a process knit as I certainly won't be wearing woolly socks for a good few months (although, British summers being what they are, that is perhaps a rather rash statement!). My favourite sort of project, though, is one that is not only interesting and challenging to knit but also looks fabulous when finished - I'll let you know if I ever chance upon this Knitting Nirvana.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Secrets & Lies

The secret is this:
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Sorry about the poor quality photo, I forgot to use the zoom thingy on the camera. Anyway, this is a small part of the secret project which will be revealed in all its glory in due course (i.e. when the recipient has tried it on and pronounced themselves satisfied........or not, as the case may be).

The Lies...........
Well now, that could refer to the yarn I bought today - not actually a lie, more of an omission, but too good a bargain to pass over and probably best not mentioned to OH;
Or it could be the lies I tell myself about completing one project before starting another - current WIPs are:

  • Jaywalkers - one sock about two-thirds done
  • Sunrise circle jacket - first sleeve/front about three-quarters done
  • recently re-discovered short-sleeve cotton top that was started about a year ago and has just been found languishing in the window seat amongst the stash, minus its pattern; cue large-scale search through mountains of knitting magazines and books until said pattern re-appeared
  • Crochet lacy cardi from "The Happy Hooker" (Oops! forgot to mention I'd acquired that - another little omission lie )
  • an Elvis wig, also started over a year ago and also found in the window seat. I have absolutely no idea why I thought this would be a good thing to knit, or where the pattern is
  • a Sailmaker top which has been halted for about 4 months because the chart is too damn small to read comfortably

There are one or two other bits and pieces lying around in addition to those above, mostly little try-outs that may or may not evolve into a bona-fide knitted garment, as well as several items in the planning stages (yarn bought, pattern selected, waiting for the green light).

Of course, I have proved to be so unreliable that you really have no idea whether any of the things I have written are actually true or not - you'll just have to wait and see whether any of the UFOs finally materialise. We are going to my parents' this week-end, so there may (perhaps) be a finished object in the not-too-distant future - then again, I might be lying.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


These arrived this morning:
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from my mum and dad, because I haven't been very well. At about 1.00am Monday morning I woke up with what I thought was severe indigestion. This has happened before so I wandered off to find some ranitidine which usually does the trick. It didn't. I took some more and by 4.00am I was still in agony but with no more pills to take. At 8.30am OH phoned the doctor and I was seen at 9.20. The doctor prescribed some more pills and some very yucky medicine which I took straight away and promptly threw up. I took some more and it stayed down this time so I went back to bed. About 3.30pm Lucy came up to see if I was OK and I wasn't, the pain had hardly diminished at all so she phoned the doctor who told her to get me to hospital. OH came home from work and took me to A & E where I was attended to by a doctor who looked young enough to be my grandson (well, maybe not grandson, but he was very young). Two blood tests, one urine test and much poking and prodding later, it turns out that I have probably got gallstones (which had already been diagnosed by Dr Lucy after her research on the internet!). I was sent home with painkillers and strict instructions to go straight back if it got worse and am now awaiting an ultrasound scan to confirm the diagnosis. I am told that most people who have gallstones just get one painful episode and then aren't troubled again, but I have had similar attacks before which were diagnosed as acid indigestion or a possible ulcer. Whatever the outcome, I DO NOT want to have pain like that again. Ever.

P.S. the sunrise circle jacket has been temporarily usurped by the secret urgent project - more details later.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Progress (or lack thereof.........)

There hasn't been much - the Sunrise Circle jacket is not quite back to the point at which it was frogged, but should be in the next couple of days, if I'm not side-tracked by a little project which is potentially quite urgent (can't say too much yet as if it happens it will be a surprise). I also have a request from Bethany to knit a "thing". After a bit of interrogation, it turns out that the "thing" in question is actually part of a costume that she would like to wear to a fancy dress party. Closer questioning revealed that said "thing" needs to be "a kind of knitted tube in soft fluffy stuff in a nice colour that I can wear over another top". I have some soft fluffy machine yarn, that my machine doesn't like, in a nice shade of blue that will do just nicely, I think. If I knit it in rib, it will be fairly self-supporting and the size will not be too critical (or the knitting too complicated - maybe Bethany could even knit it herself!!).

I was having a mosey round some American sites the other day and was bemoaning (to myself, as no-one else here is interested) the fact that Knit-Picks do not ship to the UK, and there is stuff on the website that I would like to try. This started off a more generalised moan about the lack of choice we have here compared to the wonderful array of fibres and colours available in the US; a little later I got an e-mail newsletter from Kaleidoscope Yarns advertising special prices for Colinette yarn - these special prices appear to be about double what I just paid for my latest Colinette purchase, so I stopped moaning! I love the Colinette website and spend many happy hours just drooling over the colours, daydreaming about all the gorgeous clothes I'm going to design one day.

Just had a slight disaster in the kitchen: I managed to knock a container full of assorted sprouty things (lentils, chick peas, mung beans and aduki beans) all over the floor when I was putting away the shopping. I had been looking forward to a crunchy sprouty salad for lunch but the best I can hope for now is a forest of plants growing under the fridge where we didn't manage to get all the little escapees!

Sunday, May 07, 2006


The lack of posts this week has been down to the fact that I am sulking, big time. My knitting hates me and doesn't want to play any more and keeps on laughing at me so instead of trying to put on a brave face I am sulking. Despite lots of frantic knitting this week I've got very little to show for it. The Rock Star cardi was finished on Wednesday morning, but it started being really nasty to me straight away and when I tried it on, it just laughed and laughed and laughed. Why? Because it is miles too big for me, that's why, and it thinks that is hilarious as I spent so much time knitting a tension square that turned out to be completely useless. The yarn I used was recycled from a jumper that my mum knitted over 10 years ago and I have no idea what it is made of - I guess there must be quite a large proportion of acrylic in it which did not respond well to very hot steam blocking. The upshot of this is that the rock star traitor cardi has gone to live with MIL. I don't even have a photo. I will knit another (in the right tension and size this time) but I need time to lick my wounds before I embark on number two.

After that upsetting episode, I decided to start the Sunrise Circle jacket. I knitted a tension square and was spot on with stitches but a little off with rows. Unfortunately, the row count is crucial to this design so all this (yes, all of it)
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has to visit the frog pond.
I have knitted another tension square with 4mm needles instead of 4.5mm, and am still spot on with the stitches but the rows, again, are a little out. If I drop another needle size, I might get the correct row count, but the stitch count will be wrong. I rather foolishly thought that this Colinette was my friend, but even she is laughing at me too!
I am beginning to feel rather paranoid that I am never going to finish anything that will be remotely wearable, except by aliens with 10 feet long arms. The last item of clothing that I finished was this which is the right size but I don't like it!! (Too frou-frou for me).

On a slightly more positive note, we all went to London on Bank Holiday Monday. OH & I did the National Gallery while the girls (and their friend Mark) did Tate Modern (as well as some sights of PPOI* - Camden and South Ken tube). We also had lunch in Covent Garden and wandered around Regent St and Piccadilly. I had forgotten how many foreigners there are in London - we were in Trafalgar Square and heard lots of other languages but hardly any English. (This is not a criticism, merely an observation). I used to find it quite amusing to pretend to be French when I was a student in London but these days I wouldn't get a second glance; how times change.

A bientot, je dois faire le frog!

* Placebo Places Of Importance