Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bargain bin finds

So Whitcoulls has been having some trouble lately. There was the receivership thing and the gift card thing, and then there was the new owners thing - which will hopefully turn out for the best.

Luckily for me, in all of this turmoil, I found some awesome knitting books for $1. And that is not a typo.

A few months back, these were selling for $40 each. And while I might not be knitting tonnes of tea-cozies soon, I've found some great pattern ideas that could be adapted for scarves. 

And here's some more cool stuff, just feeding my alpaca addiction.

Some more Naturally Alpaca, this time in 8 ply, and in colour shade 1013. It changes from grey to charcoal to dusty blue, and it is amazing. A really good exchange for writing up some stuff for The Little Craft Store.
It is really not helping me with ban on starting new projects. One of my good friends has decided (and for very good reason) that I'm not allowed to start anything new until the hood is finished. But I'm bored of the hood - and a scarf knitted up in double-stranded alpaca would be so nice and warm this winter.... patience is a virtue.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I've got four projects on the needles

I promised myself I'd never let it get like this. I said I'd be faithful to one project until it was all finished. I blame the friends who encouraged my knitting, by deciding that what I was doing was actually cool rather than something only old ladies with cats did (I have a cat - Sir Dougal has nothing to do with the knitting).

It was them who decided they wanted stuff knitted. They were the ones buying big hanks of Cascade Eco for me to transform into head wear that keeps the rain off. It's not my fault they stopped laughing at my hobby and started appreciating it. But now I have four different projects on the needles and there's no end in sight.

- First there's the hood. It's for a friend. I'm getting bored of it because I've knit one before, and there's another one to make once this one is done. Also for a friend.

- Then there's the alpaca scarf. I love it, but it takes more concentration and energy than I have right now. It's not exactly a knit-while-watching-TV project. I keep making mistakes.

- Don't forget the robot. He's sitting there minus arms, legs and eyes because he's so fiddly and I'm over tiny needles.

- And then there's my new project. A pattern I've kind of created myself, using this awesome zigzag scarf pattern as a base. Instead of making it all knit stitch though, I've made a knit stitch border with stockinette stitch up the middle. I hope it's going to give it a cleaner finish but without the curling. Last year I knitted a red version, without my variation, and I loved it even though it was made with cheap acrylic. It's starting to look pretty tatty though, so I need a new one, and this is much easier to knit in front of the TV.

Monday, June 6, 2011

And yes, I'm still knitting hoods - but there is some sewing to keep it fun!

It just keeps going. The hood itself is finished and now I'm picking up stitches around the opening for the ribbed trim. I'm going to be very over knitting these once I've finished the next one I have to make!

It's coming together very well though - I think the cables are much neater than the first hood, and the colour is great.

This long weekend has been a weekend for sewing; I've been at Mum's helping out with the dress we're making. After a mistake we made with the cutting - laying out on a selvedge instead of a fold which gave us a seam where there wasn't supposed to be one - we managed to pull it all together.
This weekend I learned:
- How to mark the bits where you want to make darts and gathers with contrasting thread.
- How to cut stuff properly.
- How to thread the sewing machine without too many tangles.
- How to tack.
- How to sew facings into a neck - this bit is tricky.
- Sharp scissors are very important.
- To make sure I pick up all pins, because standing on them hurts.
- That sewing does not have to be scary.
Hopefully we will get it all finished next weekend and I can show it off on here.
I also went pattern shopping, and fell in love with a skirt and top from New Look. I grabbed them both, only $10.95 each!

I have great plans for both these patterns - the top (first pattern, on the bottom model) is going to be my first solo project. Patterns credit -