Monday, December 24, 2007

A Very Happy Christmas!

I am sorry, I have been the worst blogger ever recently! A fall, subsequent wrist injury and the worst viral infection and chest infection I have had for YEARS has meant very little knitting chez Aknita, although I have been up to lots of other things.

Anyhow, I'd just like to wish everyone a peaceful and Happy Christmas. The nativity set was knitted by my mother many years ago, and is a real family treasure.

I shall see you all in the New Year!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Normal Service WILL be Resumed - sometime!

Where are the days going? The Advent Candle is burning lower every evening, and December is flying by.

I have lots to tell you, little knitting progress sadly but not to worry.

I need to apologise to Christina and to Paula. Today is the first day I have logged in here for ages, and I have managed to delete rather than allow your comments. I am so sorry both of you, I wasn't expecting unmoderated comments here as I hadn't received email notification of them and managed to tick the wrong box in my excitement !

I'll be back, as Arnie would say, but possibly not till after the weekend. TTFN

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I Knit London, Ravelry Meet Up, a Technicolor Dreamcoat and a couple of WIPS!!

Now I've been and gone and loaded these photos in the wrong order! Bear with me, some of my photos are better than others, but I want to show you all the full flavour of the last few days! And what a last few days they have been!

Yesterday though, I went to Colinette. The lovely blogless No1Alicat suggested a Ravellers meet up at Colinette, and yesterday was the day! It was great for me as it meant I could also go to visit mum again as she has been a bit under the weather recently. As it turned out she had forgotten I was going bless her, but all in all yesterday was a lovely day. It was so nice to meet such lovely people, Chrispindle , Eluned , WyeSue, KraftyKath Alison and Lindsey.

Geographically WyeSue and I aren't that far away from each other - yet I keep meeting her at far away places, Colinette, Harrogate, London..... Sue, we must Knit and Natter together one evening.

I was very good yesterday. Eluned, I have discovered, is an enabler, and she enabled me to this lovely Jitterbug in the Sale Room. It is to make the lovely Swing from the Jitterbug book.

The lovely Sue gave me two skeins of this - it's the DK Colinette used to make before Cadenza, the colour is Sahara, isn't it lovely! Thank you Sue.

Now I hope that those of you who haven't been to Colinette will get a flavour of what it's like from these photos. It's impossible really to show the explosion of colour that hits you when you walk in, but it's a real inspiration.

And here we are, a Rogues Gallery! Mr A did remark that mine was the smallest bag, well spotted Mr A!

From left to right, me, Eluned, KraftyKath, No1Alicat and Chrispindle, and in the bottom photo Lyndsey. Sue had left by this time!
It was a pleasure to meet you all, I am sorry you couldn't make it Christina, hopefully next time!

I was almost home, and was overtaken by a police car, ambulance and two fire engines as I approached Fromes Hill, as I came down the other side I saw where thay had been heading to, they ( and others ) were at the scene of fatal accident. It was a sad end to a lovely day, and a test of my local geography as I found an alternative route home. And a salutory lesson to one who is sometimes not the most patient of drivers when stuck for miles behind a lorry! Sue, I will be more careful when I attempt to overtake in future, I promise!

Months ago I booked a ticket for myself to see Joseph, the plan was train down, lunch with my son, and maybe a couple of hours shopping. So I thought it was really thoughtful of IKnit London to organise the S'n'B day to give me something to while away my morning!!!
What a fab few hours - I managed to say hello to Woollywormhead who is looking just wonderful, Badger, who is looking equally wonderful, and spent a lovely couple of hours with Franney, Auntie Noo and the blogless Glynis and her lovely daughters! It was great to see you all, and I was sorry I had to leave when I did, but I had a wonderful time.
I was very good too! It seems I can resist everything with the exception of Socktopus and her wonderful yarns!

This is the Fyberspates Stall, featuring Sublime Spindles. I hadn't realised till I saw them that spindles come in different sizes for different yarns!!!!!! These spindles are works of art!

My camera took some absolutely rubbish photos on Saurday and I was so disappointed! But I would love to mention the lovely Knittiotherapy from whom I did some early Christmas shopping. Her shawl pins are fabulous! I took a photo but you wouldn't thank me for posting it!

Here are Auntie Noo and Franney.

A quick lunch with my son and it was in the theatre for 3:00 for Joseph! It was fab, and while Lee Mead was good, he wasn't great. The Narrator was exceptional though, as was "The King", all in all a good show to go and see.

A couple of WIPs - DD wants a black scarf - a PLAIN black scarf! Now I love my daughter, but this is doing my head in. I have 30" so far, 100g of Aran down, 100g to go! The Pattern is the One Row Handspun Scarf by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and it's a great little pattern - just mind numbingly monotonous in black aran! But it's plain enough for DD, and beats garter stitch any day of the week!!!!!!

And a booga bag awaiting felting in Debbie Bliss SoHo - thank you terri! Started Friday evening, finished on the return train home, i-cord made Sunday.

And finally - yes, it's a FCS! In a Cadenza of unknown colour from Colinette's saleroom, this is currently being auctioned for Children in Need on the Crafty Threads'n'Yarns forum.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Paying it Forward

All in all there is a great deal of goodness here in cyberspace. I've been very fortunate through forum life and blogland to meet both virtually and irl some lovely people. I think it must be a common interest in both knitting and craft making generally that sparks a friendship, and it's not that I don't have "real" friends or anything, but there is something very special about virtual friendship too.

So when I came across Paying it Forward on Becca'sblog I knew it was something I wanted to do. I was thrilled, if not a little nervous, about making something for such accomplished craftsters as Anni, Terri and Piglottie, and my initial plan was to sew something for them.

Then Anni, Anni of all people who designs and knits such wonderful shawls and lace, bid on, and narrowly missed, my FCS that I auctioned for Terri's Great North Run. Anni said several times that she always intended to make one, so I thought "why not make a FCS for Anni for PIF?" I had a yarn in mind, but when I went to Ally Pally and found Socktopus and her Smooshy yarn I thought "Anni" and so I bought a skein of Wisterious and here it is. The yarn knits like a dream and I love it! There are four extra pattern repeats in the shawl.

Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl

Yarn: Smooshy 100% Superwash Merino

Shade: Wisterious

Needles: 5mm Pony Straights

I always find pink yarns so difficult to photograph accurately, but I hope you get the gist of the colours which are just lovely.

Now we move on to Terri. I had a different project in mind for Terri, but then thought perhaps I ought to spend the same time and effort on all my PIF gifts. So another FCS. Perfect, I thought, I have just the yarn, some Fyberspates Silk/Alpaca that I bought from Woolfest. I switched down to 4.5 mm needles, but after 2 pattern repeats I wasn't happy so switched down to 4mms, but still I wasn't happy with my efforts. So it was off to The Knitting Parlour for some inspiration, and I came home last Thursday with three skeins of Colinette Cadenza in Moss.

Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl

Yarn: Colinette Cadenza

Shade: Moss

Needles: 5mm Pony straights

It took 4 days to make and two to block, and I have to say Cadenza is joy to work with and grows so fast. There are three extra pattern repeats, and I used every single scrap of yarn. I love the subtle shades of green.

And finally, Piglottie's shawl, the second of the three that I made. Piglottie was very complimentary of the last FCS I made in the Autumnal colours of Yarn Yard May Club Yarn - you can see it here at the end of this post and incidentally it went across the pond to Holly who won my prize draw recently.

I found I had some Autumnal shades stashed away in the shape of Fiddlesticks Country Silk in # Desert Sand and so here is Piglottie's shawl. I used about half of the yarn, and again knitted extra pattern repeats, but I can't remember if it was three or four, either way I have enough yarn left to knit another at some stage. I have to say this is my favourite FCS of all, but it feels very different to the others - must be the silk.

Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl

Yarn: Fiddlesticks Country Silk Yarn

Shade: Desert Sand

Needles: Size 7 Aero straights.

So, there we are, my PIF knitting. I can't tell you how hard it was putting them all in the post yesterday. Mind you, it's even harder sitting here waiting to hear that they have arrived and I just hope that Anni, Terri and Piglottie like their knits as much as I have enjoyed making them for them. I think there is at least one "design feature" in each of them!

I have one more FCS blocking, for a special occasion. I'll post it on Monday, but it will be my last one for a while I think.

And now I need to concentrate on Christmas. I have two scarves, two swaps and several cards to make. There's just over six weeks to go now - and unusually for me I have done nothing. I do believe all this unseasonally mild weather leads one to believe it can't possibly be nearly Christmas!

And finally - one of my other passions in life is Liverpool Football Club. I try not to bore everyone in blogland with football, but I can't let an 8:0 victory go unmarked. In the words of Max Boyce "I was there" and what a night it was! Come on you Reds!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Autumn Colours

Yesterday Mr A and I visited Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire, and what a wonderful day for driving through the Cotswolds it was. We did suffer the ignomany of being charged OAP rates to go in - but hey that saved £2:00 which went towards a slice of carrot cake in the restaurant there, so every cloud as they say!

Not a lot to write in this post, the photos will tell their own story I hope. I can thoroughly recommend a visit to Westonbirt at this time of the year although this year the colours are particularly beautiful.

Do I look sixty?

And finally - I slipped earlier this week as I didn't post a photo of a FCS! I really am going to have to find something else to knit all my sock yarn with, but right now I LOVE this pattern, and it's a nice gift for a friend or thank you to someone, so I expect I shall continue with them for a while. It's stashbusting really!

Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl

Yarn: May Sock Club from the Yarn Yard

Needles: Size 7 Aeros

This was made as a gift for someone special - I do hope they like it!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I am off to Knit and Natter with my friend Hils tonight, and thought I'd pop in here with Ula before I go. Ula is from the new Iona book from Colinette, and I am very pleased with the end result. Iona yarn knits very quickly, and is a dream to knit with, and VERY warm - just what I'll need for cold night shifts in the coming months.

Here she is - Ula!

Pattern: Ula from Colinette Iona
Yarn: Colinette Iona in Velvet Plum
Needles: 4mm and 4.5mm Aero needles

She took 6 skeins to make, one less than recommended, and was a very quick knit - 10 days from start to finish. I'd like to thank Linda for her sizing advice - I was all for making the 40" but Linda said no Joy, the 38" will be right - and it was!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Change is as Good as a Rest!

What a wonderful three days I have just had! I'm shattered mind, but it's been well worth every single minute.

I took the 7:19 to London on Wednesday morning. I made straight for John Lewis, where I managed to buy some black aran for a scarf for DD - her request - and a copy of Rowan Studio 5 which I have wanted for ages.

I then made my way to the Embankment where I spent a lovely hour in the Embankment gardens with the sleeve of Ula it was a pleasant but overcast day and nice enough to sit out.

I was on my way to the South bank - The National Theatre to be precise - for a performance of Rafta Rafta which was a wonderful observation of life withtin the extended family, both happy and poignant, and the best £10:00 I've spent in ages!

Getting from the Embankment to the South Bank meant crossing the river by bridge on foot. Those of you who met me at Get Knitted earlier this year know that I don't do bridges and I don't do heights!

But cross it I did - I even stopped for photos half way across, but it was such an overcast day they aren't brilliant.

Have you ever been on the Eye - having just said I don't like heights, paradoxically the Eye doesn't bother me in the slightest, and I can recommend it.

This is one of those living works of art on the South bank.

And here is the new statue of Lord Olivier.

I then spent a very pleasant evening in the company of my son, then having spent the night at his flat was up and off and out by 8:00 to travel to Clapham Junction to meet Noo , Noo's mum Jessica and Franney and we all made our way to Ally Pally!

We had a wonderful time, later meeting up with blogless Jobo, and my resolve to spend cash instead of using my card leated all of five minutes! Here is a Sunflower Swift in action on the Get Knitted stall.

It's impossible to show everything at Ally pally but it's just great there. It was so nice to met Colinette again ( I can't believe she remembered me from the recent Workshop! ) It was also lovely to say hello to Gill from the Woolly Workshop and Bruce from SKD

I made one or two *ahem* modest purchases - there were 11 balls of Sirdar Peru in Pacaya for that lovely jacket, and 14 balls of Schoeller and Stahl Big Print for the Wrap Cardigan from Web of Wool , which I had tried to buy at Woolfest but they hadn't enough yarn left to make the correct pack for my size. I'm intrigued by the construction of the cardigan.

Now then this Smooshy yarn is from Socktopus who I cannot recommend highly enough. There are 450 yrds of handpainted Australian Superwash 100% superfine Merino on those skeins for £12:00, my colours are Dusky Aurora and Wisterious.

Did I mention the Knitpicks Options from GK? I also did some secret Santa shopping there!

And a group shot, including Yarn Forward Magazine which I collected there to save Kerrie posting. It's a great issue this time.

And finally, if all that wasn't enough, yesterday I went to visit my friend Blossom, and met her little boy and new baby which was such a treat. This is the cardigan I took, based on Devan which is knitted in January Sock Club yarn from the Yarnyard and I just had enough yarn for the 6-12 month size. Blossom can hopefully incorporate the leftover yarn into her mitred blanket, which is just stunning.

I won this yarn in one of Piglottie's auctions - it seemed somehow fitting that yarn purchased to help someone celebrate the life of a friend should be used to make something to mark a new life coming into the world.

And here they both are - with mummy's permission - my two new favourite boys! Aren't they just gorgeous!