Please go to The Princess and the Pea if you'd like to read any more!
FIRSTLY, WITHIN THE NEXT SEVEN DAYS THIS BLOG WILL BE NO LONGER. The new and longer-lasting one will be The Knitting Princess and the Pea. I know it's bad timing, as I've only just joined UKnitters webring, but my trial period on typepad is nearly up and the blogspot is nicer and FREE. Until the changeover, the posts will be duplicated on the new blog.
Never mind that, though. Look at photo above. Okay, I'm not that fab at the photo thing and it's more a photo of my vase, BUT I'd like to introduce you to Ella. This Lorna's Laces is going to pop out of its chrysalis and emerge in an even more beautiful incarnation of itself(one would hope) but it might take some time. Will let you know how I get on.
Here are the pics of my lovely Noro Blossom Shrug. I know the sleeves are a weird length, but I cannot stand sleeves that drape nicely in the washing-up bowl (no, I do not have a dishwasher and I don't care). And I don't like rolling them up - it can ruin them. I love this shrug; it was so easy and is so warm and soft, not at all scratchy.
Must go and do some knitting. This blog thing is taking up valuable knitting time, but I'm enjoying it immensely.
It's not that I don't know what to do with this beautiful Louisa Harding Kimono Angora. It's not that I bought it just because it was gorgeous, or I was bored, or there was a huge yarn-shaped gap in my soul (athough sometimes it feels that way). No, I really did buy this with a little tanktop pattern in mind. The pattern is from the Louisa Harding Design Collection (something to do with roses, I think) and I did order it at the same time as the yarn - but IT STILL HASN'T BLOOMING WELL ARRIVED. So, despite the fact that I've been knitting the socks for the other half for at least three weeks (and still only have one half of one sock) and despite the fact that I'm still creating my second Broadway top, I'm hankering after starting on this one and can't do anything about it. Which makes me wonder about my motives for all this knitting in the first place. It's definitely not so I can put the finished article to good use - that is just a bonus. It's partly because I enjoy the process of the knitting and the creation of something. But is my guilty secret the fact that, more than all of that, I just like buying the yarn? Taking ages to choose it, looking at the colours and imagining the textures? Wanting all of it but only being able to have a little (at a time) and knowing I can always go back, look some more and acquire some more? But it can't just be that, otherwise I'd have piles and piles of the stuff just sitting there doing nothing. And now I'm thinking of the Flash Your Stash piccies and realising that this must be just the beginning and I'm heading that same way. And no matter how much we all say we're in it for the knitting, how come this yarn is taking over our houses, when we can only knit so much, even if we did it in our sleep? And now I'm all confused and wondering why, really why, what our real reason for doing anything is, and whether we really want, or even ought to know or care and whether it makes any difference anyway?
I'm trying to add the UKnitters button. I tell you, it's driving me mad. It doesn't matter what I do, I can add the link and it works, but that little gleaming button.......I'm waiting for Typepad to assist, but if anyone can save me in the meantime.............before I go over the edge.......
Firstly, I apologise for the pouting sort of pose I have adopted in the picture (my other half informs me this is so). I did not intend this. A woman of my age should know better. But old habits do die hard and all that. Anyway, the photo is really of the top I'm wearing. I knitted it in Lanartus Broadway on 12mm needles. It took 3 balls and I LOVE it. I really love it. I made up the so-called pattern as I knitted (hardly really what you'd call a pattern anyway) and it just went all kind of fab and lovely. Of course, it's meant to be worn with a green or blue strappy top underneath, but there you are.
I've also finished my Noro Blossom Shrug and I LOVE that, too! Will post a photo. I love the Blossom yarn. It's so cosy and yet light, it literally warms up in your hand the minute you touch it. And the texture is all uneven and bobbly and gorgeous. I'm going to make up a variation on the Knitty Tubey in it next. Can't wait.
I know everyone else did this last year (I wasn't knitting then) but I'm going to have a go at the Ella Shawl. I'll be using Lorna's Laces in Irving Park. Don't know about anyone else, but I find it really tricky when I see some great yarn on an abfab American website and can't get it here (and don't want to pay the shipping charges from USA). The thing I find so difficult is tracking down the right substitute. Is there a secret to making this easy? And once I've found a suitable alternative, it takes me ages and much to-ing and fro-ing between online stores, to decide which colourway etc.... In fact, until I've decided, it's pretty much on my mind very waking minute (and sometimes in my sleep). And there is a kind of side-effect produced every time...while I'm looking and seeking and seeking and looking for the right and perfect yarn, I come across something really divine and wholly unsuitable for the application I have in mind and I then I have to think of something I could knit with it and then this newly-thought-up project has to go on a list with all the others and just sit there, with all the other hopefuls, waiting to be realised. This is a never-ending process.
Back to the Ella shawl. At first I found Orangina tricky enough, so Ella should probably go some way towards actually killing me off. And, do I want a shawl, anyway, or is it just the challenge? Is it all just for the challenge?
Well, I have now completed the front of Orangina and 10 inches of the back. I struggled so much with my concentration on the front and I knew that at the time, but it's only now that I realise how much! Like I mentioned in a previous post, it's not that the stitch is difficult at all. The problem was, no matter how hard I concentrated, I just kept losing my place in the pattern repeat. Honestly, I was probably spending almost as much time trying to figure out where I was, as actually knitting. But suddenly it got like a piece of cake! Not only can I now knit the pattern and actually breathe, but I can hold a proper conversation as well. I haven't gone back on a row for days now, which explains my sudden progress. Also, I've realised (not being an experienced knitter) that I should have been able to tell if I was knitting the right stitch by looking at the stitches below. I can now tell if I'm in the right place just by looking (you must know what I mean). So, instead of getting to the end of a row and thinking, "oh! I should have a couple of knit stitches left to do just here" and having to go back, sometimes right to the beginning, I'm immediately suspicious if it doesn't look right. But since I'm so much better at it now, that hardly ever happens.
I've learnt so much whilst knitting Orangina. At first, I was really afraid that, if I needed to unknit some stitches, I wouldn't know how to (I thought I'd only be able to do that with plain old knit and pearl), but I can now unknit, one by one, anything at all! I was also very brave at one point and took the whole thing off the needles and undid a few rows and then put the stitches back on. I realise you are probably on the floor laughing right now, but it was like going off the deep end for me. But, the thrill!! It worked out fine but it was a huge risk for someone like me!
Now I just have to hope the thing fits me! I'm hoping it will be on the snug side, but not so snug that I'm popping out all over, don't worry, I'll include a photo.
I've just got some lovely Noro Blossom, from which I'll make a shrug. It's gorgeous, the photo isn't great, as I've already wound it into balls and the colours don't show.
Must stop being so preoccupied with knitting, though. I've been sleeping really badly, as my imagination is working overtime. The other night (well, the early hours of the morning), I was dreaming, "oh, I'd better stop this knitting now, as it might go wrong, since I'm doing it while I'm asleep". Then I woke up and realised I wasn't knitting at all. But I could have sworn I was really knitting in my bed, in my sleep. Good heavens above, no wonder I look so awful right now.
PS I wrote this post a couple of days ago and have now finished Orangina and am very pleased with the result!
At last, near the end of March, the sunshine in all its spring glory, has visited our garden! I just CANNOT wait any longer for Winter to pass. Winter is fun - at first. But now I have had enough. The weather in England has a reputation for rain, rain and more rain. It hardly EVER rains. It's just grey, grey, grey. We are always under threat of having to queue up and get our water from standpipes every summer (honestly) because it never rains enough year round. Or is it because the water companies let billions of gallons seep through badly-maintained water pipes? But that's another whinge.
Anyway, despite the sunshine I do not feel my usual glowing self today. Knitting is not good for my physical being. Up until about a month ago I was exercising every day and eating very healthily. I FELT GREAT EVERY DAY. Since taking up knitting, I never exercise (preferring to knit instead) and I just grab a couple of biscuits here and there, instead of making healthy and nutritious things to eat. I no longer go to bed at about midnight, preferring to stay up and knit. And when I go to bed I do not sleep. I restlessly dream of knitting/yarn,creating........... I am hunched over my knitting, I will become a hunch-back. My lips are pursed and my brow is furrowed in intense concentration. I am suffering from an acute lack of sleep and a general lack of energy and vitality. But I can't stop.
An item (or two items) that can actually be put to good use and look cool! Yesss! Okay, I know they're only socks but, though they are tiny things, they seem to add up to quite an achievement for me. It's similar to the feeling I'd get on completing a watercoulour painting ( close-ups of plants and flowers). I'd put it somewhere I could see it and then look at it at least 100 times a day and for at least a week. I never had any trouble with overworking a painting - I don't know how but I always just knew when it was finished, without having to give it any thought. But I must admit that with knitting I like the fact that when it's finished, it's finished.
One of the honest-to-God real reasons I took up knitting was that I knew it would help keep me away from the wine aisle in Tesco (apart from being a lovely little relaxing creative outlet). But, you must understand that the deterrent would not lie in the fact that I was too busy to drink or buy the wine. No, it would be because I'm so terrified of messing up my beautiful works of art that I would be taking no unnecessary risks whatsoever (like a foggy wine-head). And it has worked for a month. So far. But despite that, and despite my zone-like level of intense concentration, I AM STILL UNKNITTING AS MANY STITCHES AS I AM KNITTING. It's not because the knitting is difficult. I am a very capable person, until, it seems, it comes to concentrating for longer than your average fruit fly. And this evening I thought "by jove, I think she's got it", only to find that I'd created an extra stitch somewhere on an innocent purl row. Whaaat?!
Tell me the truth, do most people worry about one extra stitch? Shouldn't I just lose it somewhere? Isn't that the sensible and even normal thing to do? After all, nobody would know. Nobody but me. So, I unknitted (one by one) over 200 stitches and eventually found where I'd picked up this little extra one and knew that I could live with myself a little bit more comfortably, having made that extra effort in the name of perfection.
But I am getting nearer to that wine aisle all the time. In sheer incredulity (I think), my lovely Partner in Life said to me this evening, "surely the front doesn't have that pattern on it as well??". Yes, sorry darling, I'm afraid it does.
I would like to add that, despite all this whingeing, I really am having brilliant fun knitting this lovely little number...............
PS The photo at the top shows some ribbon sort of stuff I'm going to use for a halter top. That is my intention, anyway.
Good grief, I swear I will go entirely round the twist before I finish this Orangina. I have been able to knit (kind of. Well, the VERY basics) since I was about six. Never took it any further than scarves. Until now. Yes, I know - it's taken a while (34 years actually). But we do have progress. I have completed my first pair of socks, having ripped the first sock apart at least eight times (honestly) as I just COULD NOT understand what the pattern was getting at. Of course, once I understood in principle what I was supposed to be doing, it turned out to be easy peasy and now I'm trying out a simple pattern on a pair for Charlie Townes. Luckily he does have small feet. But back to Orangina....... Recently I have been thinking that maybe the combination of: staying at home under increasing pressure from the demands of a (sometimes) tyrannical toddler, my age and whatever secret activities my hormones may be up to, lack of available intelligent (or at least intelligible) conversation and a few other things, hold on , I've lost my thread.........You see what I mean? The combination of all those things has done something to my brain power. It honestly feels like my brain is coated in a sort of gooey golden syrup or something. And trying to knit Orangina has almost finished me off and I've only completed a few inches. I just cannot concentrate on the pattern long enough not to lose my place after about 4 repeats. What is wrong with me? It is not complicated. It is rather a pleasure to knit. But I'm spending most of my time wondering why I have one stitch less etc... and every time I have found (after unpicking rows) that I lost my concentration somewhere and did K2 tog twice, or some other nonsense. Tell me, is this going to be a slow demise? I obviously need more omega 3. Just off to get some.