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Thursday, 31 March 2011

Day 4

Day 4 - Whatever happened to your __________?

Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to talk about socks again. A few readers may remember that near Christmas I asked readers to vote of their favourite sock pattern from a List and then I'd knit them and give them out for Easter.... well I choose 10 patterns and then some of you voted and we came up with the top 4 and I started on number 1 immediately. well truth is.... they never really got started. They were the Monkey Socks by my 3rd favourite Knitting person - Cookie A.
The pattern is a lacy-inspired pattern and I used some Rico Microspun in a brown/white colourway. I got to the heel on one sock and stopped..... just stopped. Why? the heel instructions...... I don't like them.
I tried it and then ended up ripping out to just before the heel again. I put the pattern away with the Yarn and the project on the needles intending to find a pattern with an easy heel to apply to them... Christmas passed and they didn't move Valentines..... no movement. and here we are: 3 weeks to Easter and I unearthed them from the stash bag I got from Joanne for Christmas. (they're in the purple bag)

Just they way I had left them. Pattern and all still in the bag along with what's left of the ball of Yarn. I feel kinda sorry for Them. They were thrown in there with some acylic, a Packet of Golden Wonder Crisps(I have no idea when or how) a hair claw and my old Make-up bag. The only thing worth talking to would be the lone ball of Sidar escape who was bought with some Merino, with plans for a fairisle set....
As I am writing this I'm feeling increasingly more sorry for the Cookie A socks... They didn't do anything wrong, one of them hasn't even been started yet. I've felft so bad that Ive took out the pattern and the unfinished sock still on the needles and I worked a few rows. I found a pattern for some easy socks on lion brand website and I have them now halfway along the foot. I made these socks for a small size (about a 4 or 5) so I cannot try them on myself. My mother (a size 5) refuses to try them on with needles still on them and Lady's paws are far too small. I aim to have 1 of these finished soon. Photos will not be far long after it being done.

There are of course another pair of Socks which we havn't seen in a while.... and we won't. not until I can solve a certain issue with them falling to my akles when I make a single step.

Sorry it was a short post but I am kinda in a hurry. Day 5 tomorrow. keep knitting
From Aki

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

3rd day

--- Tidy mind, Tidy stitches ---
How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised? It seems like an easy to answer question at first, but in fact organisation exists on many levels. Maybe you are truly not organised at all, in which case I am personally daring you to try and photograph your stash in whatever locations you can find the individual skeins. However, if you are organised, blog about an aspect of that organisation process, whether that be a particularly neat and tidy knitting bag, a decorative display of your crochet hooks, your organised stash or your project and stash pages on Ravelry.

Alright. As you may expect: I am not tidy. I have way too many creative hobbies to be tidy. I'm going to take photos of each of my stashes, knitting, Jewellery making sewing and cross-stitching. I dont really have a stash for painting; but I will show you my bag of paints. Here goes. This post will be VERY photo-heavy, so please allow time for the photos to load.

Knitting stash 1. (<==) See: messy. I think if I had my own place that I'd have room to spread out my stash over a bigger amount of space than here. The bags on top all contain projects that are on the needles now. The tin contains.... My stash of buttons. And a page reminding me how to work a buttonhole. This however is not my only stash of yarn...
I still have Yarn stash number 2 (right)Which is full of my favourite yarns and odd balls of merino. There's also a large ball of pistachio green pompom yarn, which I plan to make into a scarf about autumn time. I also have a large stash of knitting magazines. I have no subscriptions, but would love one; especially one of the knitter. But theres also other magazines there and a simple knits book that I got for Christmas.
Now my stash of sewing materials. (<==) you see the little blue box underneath my sewing machine? that's full of Fat Quarters and sewing thread. And the gigantic box under my bed..... full of old t-shirts, jeans, various scraps of Fabric and the spare parts for my sewing machine.I know few people who knit.... well I say that but many of the people I talk to knit; problem is: 90% of them are online and at least 50% of them don't live in this country. Not good, especally if someone calls me a weirdo for knitting. I can't exactly turn on my phone a show them my ravelry friends list. They'd laugh 'Have you ever even met any of these people?'.......'no'.
I do make jewellery as well as knit... and here's a photo of my stash of beads (along with some well placed Lush Pots)
I don't make that much jewellery anymore; because DI(disposable Income) Is hard to come by these days. and If I do have DI I'd rather spend it on Yarn online or take my gorgeous boyfriend out to dinner. Beads are not usually part of my wishlist anymore.

That's pretty much all of my stashes that I'm prepared to show you......
Ok then; I hear you..... I do have another way of organizing my stash... other than the  buywhateverIlikeandthenthrowitanywhere- scheme. It's called Ravellry.
I try to keep  my Rav Stash as tidy and as up to date as possible. but half the time I can't. mostly because I use Yarn way before I get a chance to put the Yarn on Ravelry and that proves problematic. Yet again I would really need to move house to get my Yarn stash organised enough to  be proud to show.

on the 4th Day..... well you'll just have to wait and see. tomorrow's the Last of the month (I can't believe we're a quarter of the Year in)
So it's a toodles from me for the moment; talk to you's all again tomorrow
Luv from Aki X

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Day 2

Skill + 1UP – 2KCBWDAY2

Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. Have you learned any new skills or forms of knitting/crochet (can you crochet cable stitches now where you didn’t even know such things existed last year? Have you recently put a foot in the tiled world of entrelac? Had you even picked up a pair of needles or crochet hook this time last year?.
---Skill + 1UP ---
Hello everybody and welcome to the 2nd day of the Annual K&C blog week 2011. Today I will look back over my projects of the past year and  discuss the skills I learnt while doing so.

The easiest way to do this would be to look back in the blog (link) (I love that I can pretty much just see into the past by going onto my blog and hitting a few buttons) And I see that I had few wee projects on the go, including 2 bunnies,  hat (which I can't remember the pattern for and was ultimately ripped) and the  ball of orange Cotton that was going to become an Amigurumi Fox but never really made it to the needles and eventually was forgotten about when I learned how to make a hat in the round. (but not that hat...... it was a differnt hat, made with Big softie and now doubles as an ipod stand cosy when my ipod's not there.

Things I learnt this year
  • How to knit in the round using DPNs
  • Stranded Fair-isle knitting (like the Hat I made a couple of weeks ago)
  • How to teach! (jenni, various people at GB)
  • Cables (the cricket jumper was my step into this skill but now that I'm confident in it, I'm looking for a more complcated sticth pattern)
  • Lace-work (simple lacework, but I do wanna learn more)
I think my biggest skill influence this year would be learning how to use DPNs. Theres nothing like being in GB and knitting (like I am forever doing) and have people looking at you, who know how to knit.... but not in the round. Most are like 'I can just about work 2 needles... 4 looks like you're trying to  knit with an octopus.
I learnt  how to do most of these techniques online. Especially the cables; which I didn't even know existed until I started knitting seriously, which was about 2-3 years ago. That was also when I was awoken to the amazing array of patterns, people and designers of Knitwear online. I'm extestensivly glad that I am quite good at working a computer and the internet to make it do what I want.

Even though my best skill I have learned this year was DPNs it is not my favouite skill.

I first embarked on Lacework in Mid June of Last year. I made up my mind that it was way too hot to knit something that was made out of dense fibre like wool, so I took some cotton and got some  basics down and knit what most knitters would call a swatch. It was going well, As I was knitting the Lace-work seemed to be meeting up well to form the eyelet pattern that was descrbed to me onlne. (it's been that long that I actually cant remember  what site or even what pattern it was.
I love the way Lace seems to come together. It seems to flow gracefully from my needles and As this was a mostly 'yo' pattern dome on 5mm needles the pattern seemed to flow from my needles rather quickly. I eventually Cast off and went to get my phone
(to take a picture...... yeah I don't always have my phone beside me... so usually when I say 'I couldn't get to my phone intime' it accually means 'I couldn't hear my phone cus it was so far awy')
Anyway. I went to get my phone and Lady (who had been sunbathing when I left hopped up on the table and proceded to chew on my lacework. I came back and it was in 4 bits. I thank God I only used Acylic and that I took my baboo needles with me; or else thse would have suffered the same fate.

So I can do Lacework; It's my favouite new skill..... I just have no proof of it....

I'm sorry I can't stay Longer; I have to go to Work (yeah; I'm working all week this week apart from Thursday... I'm thinking of my paycheck at the end of the month)

But tomorrow we have a new post to look forward to; and a new subject too. I won't spoil the surprise but still; see you all tomorrow :)
Luff from Aki X

Monday, 28 March 2011

1st day

Alright; Today's the first day of the of the Knitting and crochet blog challenge that was set out in Eskimimi Knits blog ( Link ) And the challenge is as follows:
A Tale of Two Yarns – 2KCBWDAY1 Part of any fibre enthusiast’s hobby is an appreciation of yarn. Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them.
 ----A tale of 2 yarns----
 Even though I have been a knitter for many years now; I have only just came round to the idea that the Yarn changes the project. You could knit a lovly pair of gloves in acylic and Find that they itch, where if you knit the same pattern in, say, merino or (if you can afford it) Silk then the pattern is no longer itchy, it feels light against you're skin... I guess that's why they're expensive. But today in this Blog post I shall be comparing Yarns... and Fantizing about what I hope to taking with me on Holiday (when I go to Salou in 2 months)
Pictured is A book by Franklin Habit, my second (sorry; Harlot takes 1st) favourite knitting person. I just thought the title of the book accentuates the point I'm trying to make. I'd love to talk about Franklin, Cookie A, Eskimimi and Yarn harlot..But...I'll talk about my knitting people top ten another time :)

---My favorite Yarn---
This was a hard decision, especially since I have knit with only a few of the many fibres out there, I've never knit with Silk, Alpaca, Angora or even Bamboo (I have it in my stash but I havnt knit with it yet), so I won't judge those without experience of them.
The best Yarn I have knit with however would probably be Merino. We are very lucky here to have a supplier called Rico which makes 100% merino Wool. (no blend.... just pure Merino sheep fibre) I comes in 100g balls which gives about 125m of this glorious Yarn. BUT (and that's a large But) it is expesive (well I beleive it is anyway: for my mieger wallet) it is priced at £4 a ball in most stores (although online it is £3.50) and for most of the projects I'd be making with this I'd need at least 6 balls of the same colour. That's £24 without any work doe to it at all. It is my favouite Yarn; But dear gawd it it expesive. It would however be perfect for 'The Holden Shawlette' by Mindy Wilkes. It's the perfect weight and texture for that project. It does however need about 400m of the yarn ; that's about 4 balls with a bit left over for spare finishing and that's £16.... which isn't too bad.
but I'd rather make this... instead. It's the Echo Flower Shawl by Jenny Johnson Johnen ( Link ) And it's made with the same weight of Yarn.... it's just bigger and looks more complcated..... which it probably is lol The Yardage for this is very... spaced. Depending on how long I want this to be: it could be between 402 - 805 m. That's a huge jump. that's a 3 ball jump... (a £12 jump if you're counting) and even though it is nicer It would be my first ever Shawl.
 I have learned not to commit myself to a staggeringly large project (like a certain Cricket jumper: but more on that tomorrow) but instead to ease myself into a new skill like this in smaller, less swear-worthy projects, which is why I'll probably be casting on the Holden Shawletee when I have the cash to spend on the Yarn (aka: next payday..... the end of April) I don't know which colour I will pick but I think I'll just go into Selections and see what tickles me just right. :)
----My least favourite Yarn----
This again was a hard one, hard for a differnt reason though. I already knew straight off the top of my head which type of Yarn I was going to pick and I looked at my stash..... it's full of it. yes people; that Yarn is Acrylic. I know; I know, Acylic has it's uses and a Very wide range of colours and Shades and I know that I knit with it more often than not, that is simply because of it's availability and it's cheapness. I am not a business woman, nor am I overly rich, I don't have the disposable income enough to go out and buy Merino or Alpaca every week.
But, I'f I'm working fairisle (and that's what I am doing most of the time now) and I need the tiniest bit of mustard yellow wool; I know I can buy a ball of acylic at £1.20 at my LYS. I don't like it, But id rather have a random ball of yellow Acrylic lying at the bottom of my stash than half a ball of Merino in a shade that I'll never use again. it would be a waste.
Aslo; knitting with Acrylic.... it just never seems to sit right. And it you knit tightly (like me) then the yarn Sqeeks as it slips between your needles. I don't like that. I don't mean to sound like a Yarn snob, and notice I didn't name any paricluar name, because it is all acrylic. It all squeaks and it's all mostly cheap. I also ashamedly have quite a large stash of it. Around 20 balls or more.....(Aki here realises that her most hated Yarn is actually on the needles at the moment and bangs her head off the table)

So there you have it. My most and least favourite yarns. Tomorrow we'll be discussing new skills that I have learnt.  pictured is the 1 UP mushroom from Mario (yeah someone knitted/crocheted  it) as that is what the post will be called  AnywayIn the mean time; Im off to Fondle some Merino and possibly cast on something very soft and lacy, as the weather calls for something light on my lap. Until next time then Luv from Aki XX

Saturday, 12 March 2011


Alright; I havn't blogged in a while...... various reasons but I'll explain some of them below;

---My mother is starting her Spring cleaning regeme---
Run from my house. Run unless you want to be given a hoover, duster and spraybottle and be set to work. Run. My mother likes to keep a cleen house and most of the day you can see her plodding about  with a duster in her pocket and a hoover training behind her, Washing machine on full load. But around the start of March.... it gets a little crazy around here.
Light fixures are removed, dusted and then replaced. Sheets washed (all of them.... even the summer ones that have been in storage, they were washed before they were put there and will be washed again when they come down, after Easter lol) Cupboards cleared and re-organised
Wardrobes are cleared (It was a sad day for my yarn stash who got muddled while I was out. (don't worry I put them back in they're rightful places. they're cosy again. my mum tried to hoover them..... then realised that my face would scare her a little and desided against it (face-1 Mum-0)
It's not just the house that gets the treatment.I feel sorry for the poor Man from Sky when they sent us our latest bill. (In short: I am now a sky internet customer)

The good news however is that I shuffled stuff around and pleeded a little and now I have my Sewing Machine out and proud. ( A lot of my friends just probably went 'Oh my God she has a sewing machine?'..... Craig just kinda went...'I don't know why I'm surprised')

---Main reason for Hiatus - I suck---
Damn Cricket Vest. That is All I am going to say. I feel like ripping and starting again except for a few things
  • damn thing took me 5 months to get to this stage
  • it's not going to be christmas AGAIN before it's finished
  • Damn thing just needs the collar redone..... but because of my in-ablity to stitch 2 pieces together the Yarn is all over the place and I don't know where to cut.
  • taking Scissors to my knitting scares me anyway
So I am taking the Godforsaken Vest  to Selections soon.... I know all the Girls in there and they WILL know how to fix it.... (or at least I hope they do)

That and the postcast idea didn't work. I suck.
The resulions I made at the start of this year about knitting : none have worked out. I suck

---Why I came back to blogging ---
I missed it. I missed writing out long rants about my knitting and have people come up to me in GB and go 'I read your blog' or people in work go 'I didn't know you could knit'but what amuses me most of all is: My family do not know that I have this blog.The person closest to a part of my family who I think reads this i Craig. My mum and Dad don't know what a blog is. and I've just taught my dad how to put his phone onto silent mode, I'm so not gonna try blogging next. My mum is content that I can order her ironing stuffs when needed and doesn't ask how.

I did knit while I was on Hiatus..... mostly because I really need something to do with my fingers. I finished 2 things. (1 is a half of another thing but the other half of it is on its way) nd started many many others.

FO #1: Red and White Hat
(pictured on Lady... do not worry recipent: my dog is the cleanest Dog in the world. my mother is proof of that)
Made with the Red Yarn that Jenni Gave me (only 1/2 a ball and I got 4 balls, so theres loads left.) and the white left over from the sweet home socks ( again: plenty left) I am thinking of adding a pom-pom to the top.... I'm not sure tho.
This Hat was made with exerpts from other patterns. the main bit of it was made form the Aldephi Hat and Cowl pattern in issue 25 of 'the kniitter'. I added the ribbing on as an afterthoght, because the edges kept rolling up and I wasn't sure it was long enough.

FO #2: 1 Mitten (of pair)
Made with Mint Green  DK weight Yarn (ball band long lost but I think it's wool) and grey DK weight Acylic Yarn that was bought with some cotton.

It has yet to be ironed so it lookes kinda ragity and bampy but don't worry I will Wash the pair when I get the other one done. I'll post a picture of the finished pair here in a couple of weeks
Pattern is Camilla Mittens by SpillyJane (link)
That Link's to her blog, where you can find all her patterns and stuff. some are free and some you have to pay for. But they're all nice :)

On other news: I have a new follower :) She goes by the name Beth (hi beth) and she's a spinner and a Knitter. I've never met a spinner before (and I don't think I will, she's in the US.... and I'm in the UK : (. ) I would love to try spinning, but If u have ever been in my craft room there is barely room for me in here, never mind Fiber and a spinning Wheel lol. That and I think my mum would go mental. (probably something like ' Oh my God Lise What the hell? Another hobby? how many's this? theres Cross stitching, Knitting, Cardmaking, Jewellery making, Sewing, Painting, Cooking and now this? Frig that)

What? Yes I do make cards.... no, not that many and I'm not that good. and yes, I paint too. not very good at it either.

For all the rest of my FO's you can look on my Ravelry Page (I'm Akitombo; Add me if you like)

Me in A Yarn shop or even places that have Yarn is a dangerous mixture. Especially if I have got paid recently.
Like today.... and a few weeks back. I went mental. (yes: I did have to buy another ball of Hayfeild Bonus Aran. I got halfway up the Left side of the V and it ran out. I had a collar to do and arm caps too, so I gave in a spent another £8 on a massive ball of Aran weight.
On the plus side I also bought 4 balls of Sidar Escape (2 blue and 2 Grey) they are probably going to become A fair-isle Hat and Mitt set for someone for Xmas 2011. (Yes I am that far in advance) The Pattern will probably be something from the far reaches of my own mind combined with various Magazine and Web influences.

As of the End of Febuary (Ino; I havn't blogged in awhile; I'm sorry) Me and my other Half are going on Holiday to Salou (Spain). To be more specific we're going to  Hotel Villa Marina Club for 12 days :)  So I might blog to you all from Sunny Spain lol.
We're busy trying to get everything ready for it. and I have no idea what to bring. Knitting wise. I don't really want to be knitting a wooly hat on the sunny beaches of Salou, i'd much rather be knitting a lacy shawl... problem is: Laceweight is expensive.... I wonder if I can find a pattern for Merino Yarn (my fav. yarn btw) for something lacy..... (checks Ravelry)..... finds out there's loads...... Finds this one (opposite) and the one below

They are (in Blue) 
The Holden Shawlette by Mindy Wilkes Link
And (In Red)
Spring Thaw Shawl by Cheri McEwen Link
It's a gorgeous looking pattern but it is MASSIVE, what with having to use a circ (which I dislike doing) and having a gigantic 531 stitches on the neelde at the very end. it also shows a chart for 'EZ' edging. it is the most confusing chart I have ever seen, and I have worked a figging cricket jumper without looking at half of the pattern. In short: I don't think I'll be starting this anytime soon..... although it is gorgeous..... I wonder if I  can make it into a wedding ring shawl if I use laceweight...... I wonder.
--- Blogging Challenge ---
One of my favourite knitting people, Eskimimi, has colaberated with a bunch of people and have came up wih this =>. It's supposed to test your skills as a blogger by setting you a theme for every day of a given week (that is the 28th of March til the 3rd of April) I think this will be a good idea for me and  will ultimatly probably make up for the long periods with no blog that my readers have had to suffer through. If you want to know what is coming up, or you want to take part yourself you can find all the details  by clicking the picture.
I will of course be taking part. and so will many other Knitting and crocheting blogs around the world. so If you come to me eveyday during that week there should be a new post (although that may vary on the times..... some will take longer than others because of the complexity or just the  plan not knowing what the hell to write.
Also I plan to be working a 6 day week that week. so pictures may be scarse until a later date, as I'd be doing it on my phone.

---That about wraps it up ---
Yep; that about wraps it up in the month or so since I contacted you all. Work is a bitch, but I needs the money to keep up with my expensive Lifestyle and my wishlist for the next year-ish.
Until next time toodle From Aki