Thursday, 8 December 2011

Well, it's been a while in the making, but I'm very pleased to announce the arrival of:

Longdendale Yarns!

I have been hand dyeing yarn for a while now and have started selling it through a local bricks-and-mortar craft shop, Smithy Studios in Glossop (  I have now set up a Folksy shop and a new blog, Longdendale Yarns, where there are also more details of what I can offer.

So from now on I shall be blogging over there - do please join me!

Crafty Giraffe, signing off...

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Another essay, and WIPs...

Yes, I'm in that well-known coffee shop again for another round of me vs essay no 2.  It's not going well, I should be on number 3 by now, but number 2 just isn't inspiring me.  Ah well, gotta get it done.

In a fit of desperation and distraction, I've made a list of all my WIPs:
Lacy top
Cardigan for H
Seaweed Socks
Cowls x3
Celestine - nearly finished (and needs to be finished by the end of this week).  Cardigan for H - started three years ago, currently snoozing gently in the corner, but needs to be woken up, finished, and worn, before they are all too big for it.  The cowls are rapidly rushing to the top of the list as they need to be done by the end of term;  I finished one yesterday on the way home from the beach, but due to being very tired forgot that it needed a stretchy bind off, so I need to rip back the BO and do it again differently. Doh.  The plus side is that I need another ball of wool for one of them, which I will have to order, so I might stretch to a pair of metal knitpro interchangeables, because I want to try them out.  It's for research purposes you see.

We were on our way to the beach yesterday morning, Chris driving and me armed with the OS map of the area we were going to (Llandudno).  I quickly discovered that it's a two sided map and I was on the wrong side, which means opening the whole thing out to turn it round.  I was trying to do it whilst going along, until Chris forbade me because he couldn't see the road. (Honestly.  What do you mean, you need to see the road to drive?  It'll only take a minute...)  So I asked him to pull in at the upcoming petrol station, and got the 'can't you wait until we stop at the services?' answer (he was a bit cross by this point).  To which I repiled, but I need to see the map, if I change it I can look at it now, and to my surprise he said yeah, I see, it's a map, and stopped.  Sometimes we really do think the same :)

Monday, 2 May 2011

Working... or not

I'm currently sitting in Costa a coffee shop belonging to a well-known chain trying to cudgel my brain into producing something vaguely sermon-like,  but failing miserably because my mind is on other things - namely, my friend's new baby that I've just visited, and knitting of course.  The baby is gorgeous (so small!) but has made me realise that really I don't want another (though there's still a small bit of me that is very broody) - I don't think I'd survive.  I'll have to make do with lots of cuddles.  There's something a bit sad, but also a bit liberating, about realising that my baby days are passing.  Rebekah has finally worked out how to crawl, sort of, has stopped breastfeeding, and won't be a baby for much longer.  Steffie is just about out of nappies (yippee!) and will start nursery in September.  Hannah is already at school and getting more grown up and independent (when the mood takes her).  And so we will enter a new phase as a family.  And with it will come other pressures, like whether to work or not, along with Hannah's particular needs which are always there but change over time.  I've thought for a while that no stage is easier, it's just that the challenges are different, but slightly more sleep would be welcome.

But I digress.  I'm really excited about this KAL, I've never done one before and I have all sorts of ideas in my head about what I want to make, which may or may not be possible / sensible.  I also have a baby gift to finish and a few other small things to knit before the summer holidays, plus Rogue to finish off (I've lost my chart for the sleeves, and I really don't want to have to re-do it - it's all coloured in with notes on increases etc, so I need to have a good look for it before I can carry on).

Anyway I'd better get back to work before I run out of tea and laptop battery.

Sweater KAL

Ok, so I'm doing Samurai Knitter's sweater KAL, and I'm really looking forward to it.  I have the wool (Melandra wool rich DK in a dark teal colour) and someone to make it for (Chris).
So, to answer the questions in the first post:
It will be a pullover with a high zip/ribbed neck and full length sleeves, and no shaping. 
No idea how long it needs to be, I'd better go find a sweater of his and measure it!
I might do hems for the cuffs and bottom welt, rather than ribbing.
I think I'm going to use the DK double with 5.5mm needles (I often do this for sweaters, so they don't take too long!).  Next stop - the guage swatch!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Short row shoulders

Or, why did nobody tell me about this before?  The pattern for Rogue uses short rows for the shoulders instead of a stepped bind off.  What a difference!  It’s doubly good because (thanks to another fabulous article by Techknitter) I’ve finally managed to do some decent short rows.  With hidden wraps.  The purl ones weren’t as good but still quite reasonable.  Wahey!

Knitting and other updates

Rogue is coming along, I'm just finishing the upper back now, and then I can move on to the much more interesting upper front.  As I'm changing the neckline (no hood) this could get very interesting.  Watch this space.

Cairn number 1 is finished, but its a surprise so no photos.  Cairn no. 2 is currently stuck in the design stages - I might need to dye some wool for the second colour, shame.  Celestine is also coming on apace but again, no details as its a surprise.

A friend and I visited Fairfield Yarns the other week, which is a fab place - yarn heaven!  Like one of those secondhand bookshops with floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall books and only tiny aisles, this was the equivalent for yarn, complete with old coning machines and something clacking away in the basement.  I came back with some woolly DK and 4ply to dye.  I've been skeining it up, but I really need to get on and dye it.  Trouble is, most evenings are either taken up with meetings or I'm too exhausted to do anything or the kitchen is too untidy.  Fridays are essay writing / sleeping days, so not much happening there either.  Ah well.

We have survived the chicken pox anyway (just about, just a few infected spots to go, yuk) and are now coping with the adult tonsilitis that has followed, so I'm not feeling up to much at the moment.  It has to be said though that quite a lot of knitting has got done in the last couple of weeks, so it's not all bad. (We won't mention the cleaning.  Again.)  This morning I have the house to myself which is rather nice, and yes, I have done some work.  And some washing.  Must be feeling better.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

The wanging stage

Rebekah has reached the 'wanging' stage (as in welly wanging, to throw with force with not much in the way of directional aim).  Her current favourite activity is emptying a box of toys bit by bit and throwing them behind her.  She can get through a lot of toys like this, and create a lot of tidying up.  She does look very cute doing it though, with a mischevious grin and a contented look.  Wish I was one sometimes.

 In other (knitting) news, the new year has seen a plethora of new projects cast on.  Some are secrets for the present so I won't say too much, but the jumper is coming on well.  I went for Rogue in the end, using Wendy Mode chunky so that it doesn't take as long to knit.  Luckily there is a rogue veteran in K1S2 so I can ask questions etc.  So far it is a very enjoyable knit, but it has been temporarily snoozing of late as more time-dependent projects have taken over.  I also finished the first seaweed sock and cast on the second, but haven't got any further for the same reason as above.  I have a whole list of projects to do this year, so it could be a very knitty year (or a very frustrating one, depending how it goes).

Friday, 7 January 2011

New year, new jumper...

I'm still writing my essay, now nearly finished, but I've got distracted by thinking about my next major project.  I've been trying to de-bobble my favourite jumper but with little success; it's still my favourite jumper but it's not desperately presentable any more as it has pilled horribly.  I have also realised that if/when I am licensed I will need a) more smart jumpers, b) ones that don't have hoods so that they'll go under a cassock, and c) ones that will keep me nice and warm in potentially cold churches.  As most bought jumpers don't fit very well especially in the sleeve, knitting my own is the answer.  I haven't knit myself one for a year or two and this is a major decision both in terms of time required and cost.  But very exciting.

After much trawling of ravelry I have settled on doing Rogue, which I have long admired, but without the hood (for cassock reasons) and also without the pocket.  I've already test knitted one of the cables to check that I can actually knit them - and I can, dead chuffed!  The final decision is which wool to use, and I have just ordered some samples this morning.  Like I said, very exciting.  One caveat though:  I have to finish the cup o' tea first so that I can use the needles.