Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Let the Games Begin

Before the Games started I was looking for something else to be knitting, a little extra variety because I am also making the Kidsilk Stripe Scarf. I've had this project on the list for a while and bought the yarn back at the March Unwind weekend - so it was time. It is Kate Davies' Hazelhurst. The yarn is Verandahyarns BFL (Blue Faced Leicester) Sock in Elizabeth Bennett (the red) and Naked. 

But finally the Games began and I could cast on. At times there have been 13 colours in a row however I am following Helene Magnusson's (the pattern designer) tutorials on yarn management and that has been brilliant. So far so good...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

In Training

Well I had a rush of blood to the head last weekend - and decided to enter the Ravellenic Games - a kind of Knitting Olympics. This used to be called the Ravelympics but Ravelry got a 'cease and desist' letter so had to change the name !!!!*!*!*
Anyway, the aim is to select a challenging project and make it during the course of the Games.
I was inspired by designer Helene Magnusson's offer of anyone making one of her patterns and being in Team Iceland thus qualifying for a prize of a 4 day tour in Iceland in November. That could be an expensive prize for me - however......
I plan to make Flag. It means learning the technique of intarsia - another way of working with different colour wools. So I have been practising - and it is paying off!

I am also working on stripe scarf with the most beautiful Rowan Kidsilk Haze sent by my lovely cousin in Canada. It is great for Knit Nights as it doesn't require heavy concentration. The yarn is dyed that way - it's is so soft.

We received our second Winter Sock Club project - and they aren't always socks. This is a beautiful shawl in a soft violet. Not too demanding and I am happy to have it complete before I move on to my Olympian Challenge. And I can wear it of course.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

New projects

 Well my house is full of potential projects so I tackled two this weekend. The first being the skull above - my niece, Lizzie, gave it to me for my birthday a while back. It was a basic polystyrene mould.
I decided it would look good with glitter - and it does. I am still varnishing it - in the hope that the varnish will protect the glitter.
 And I finished 'Anchor Me' - the first WInter Sock Club project. I wanted to get these done because I think we get the second project soon. The anchor is on the toes. There is also a small cable on each side but I haven't shown that too well in the photos. The colour is a lovely deep blue.

 The other project that had been hanging around for some time was the mini Afghan chadors - bought as souvenirs in Afghanistan a few years back. I think they may have been designed as wine bottle covers. I had thought of making a mobile with them  but I prefer this arrangement.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mid-Winter Swap

Last night was the BIG night for our Thursday group's mid-winter swap party. And what a night!
The participants write down some details of their likes and dislikes and then we draw them out of a hat. And it all remains a secret until the BIG night.

I drew Stella, of knitknitfrog, and read that she liked blues, blue-greys and greys with touches of burnt red and orange. So that lead me to the Little squares scarf by Vanessa of doyoumindifiknit. (Vanessa has a great tutorial for making and joining the squares on the left side of the page on her blog).
I went and bought some plain alpaca yarn from Flagstaff Alpacas and proceeded to dye some and crochet a few squares every day. Slowly the pile grew and then I had to decide on the final arrangement - probably the hardest part of the assignment. Lastly I sewed up a few rows every day - and finished it just in time. It's pretty cool.

Stella also collects fountain pens so I couldn't resist when I saw this fabric. I found the pattern/tutorial on the net  (mini zippered bag tutorial) and it went so well that I made second one for Morag, our hostess with the mostest.

Seeing all the gifts that people had made was amazing. The things people think of and the work that they go to.

My gift was INCREDIBLE. Ana had seen that I liked Islamic geometric
 patterns and made me these mitts - and they came with the book!!!
 The pattern is Ruba'iyat Mittens by Heather Desserud
 Ana had modified the design on the thumbs and added a Latvian braid on the cuff - all beautifully done. And what made them so, so special are the colours she chose - my favourite gold/orange and then added the turquoise/blue that is so reminiscent of Iranian mosque tile work.
They are truly a work of art - I feel I need to frame them.

It was also about to be Stella's birthday and she had casually mentioned at our Knit Camp in May that she had always fancied a swimming pool cake. The idea of the pool hooked me and so I then launched into my first ever decorated cake.  It's a bit 'clunky' but it was fun.

All in all the Mid Winter Dinner and Secret Swap was a great success and we will all be looking forward to next year's.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Another shawl and something completely different

Firstly - another Wildflower Shawl - this is for my niece, Laura. She chose the colour (I had 3 possible choices) and it is lovely and will really suit her.

 Next is the project of last weekend. I went to see my cousin in Christchurch and we both had a go.
It was decoupaging with fabric - as per the pdf below
Fabric Decoupage pdf
 I did the stool and cousin Beth did the chair. The chair proved to be a lot trickier but we managed. It was 1am by the time we finished all the glueing. They still need a few coats of polyurethane to finish them. Aren't they cheerful?