Sunday, 27 June 2010

We have survived

It was a mammoth week in the Atok household this week.  We had exam stress and  nerves, 16th Birthday  Day events, end of school muck-up followed by her leavers dinner and that was just for the daughter.  Daughter was well and truly described as completely knackered. After getting in on Saturday morning she crashed out.  Unfortunately, the rest of us who were just as busy had to keep soldiering on but she was our sleeping beauty who just snoozed on through Saturday and Sunday.  The first week post exams I think the kid is not planning to do anything but sleep and read.

So it will be a week before the reality of the world comes to my 16yr old and then mother will introduce Chores and the necessity of working for a living.  I managed to finish and sew up her birthday cardigan on Tuesday night with approximately 2 meters left of the last skein.  There were a couple of moments when I thought it would be all curtains.  I was so sure that I had foobared that I was starting to think about a contrasting colour for the button band.  I went back to the font of all knowledge and checked out other projects where they had knitted a similar size and used summer tweed.  Yeap six skeins.  Would I have enough left thanks to my minor adjustment of lengthening it.  I counted again and again and even got J to double check my calculations  Seemed like I had actually got it right.  The maths said that I would be ok. It would be close but I would be ok.

It was suck it and see time and I would not be kidding that when I describe the tension as palpable it was.  The old heart was in my throat and I was estimating how many stitches I was getting per foot of ribbing and looking at how much I had left and how much I was appearing to use for each row of the button bands.  It was a sigh of relief and a double check of the pattern to see if I had anything left that I had not knitted.  It looked right but I just had to check cause I had worked myself into a lather about this project.

To celebrate making a non lace project I decided to cast on a shawl.  Yes I was deluding myself that the cardigan was not lace as it was not a shawl. In response to my delusion about having a break from lace I therefore promptly cast on another lace shawl.  I have made 6 lace shawls already this year and it is just the end of June.  I am definitely on track for the 10 in 2010 shawl challenge.  I will have to continue to think about the next challenge for me .

ETA:  To add the photos now that she is consenting to model her cardigan for me.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

The countdown is on.

Life in this household for the last couple of weeks has been a case of tip toeing on egg shells around a teenage daughter, Ry, who has been stress out to the max with her GCSE exams.  This week is a count down week as we have two exams to go, her birthday and her graduation leavers dinner.

Knitting wise at the moment I am a little shawled/laced out so what did I cast on last Wednesday a lace cardi for daughter.  Rocks in my head.  Well at least there is a big stretch of stockingette as she is a bit of a stretch.  I had a skein of dark grey summer tweed from J's waistcoat. I had managed to get a couple more of the same dye lot just enough for a short sleeved Hey Teach.  It looks like I will cutting it fine.  I started with six skeins.  2 for the back, 1.5 for each front.  I have 1 skein left to do the two sleeves and the ribbon band.

So onwards  I go to do sleeves with lace....  Why am I doing this to myself lace and shaping must be cause I love the mumble mumble ruddy teenager.  I keep putting myself under stress through my repeated habit of short knitting deadline.  I have three days to get the rest of this garment done, sewnup and then wrapped for daughter's birthday on Wednesday.

Saturday, 12 June 2010


In the last 12 months I believe that I have over come my fear of lace and I would describe myself as a lace knitter now.  I have done a fair bit of lace knitting and seemed to stopped crocheting lace.  But my current lace project is the first one I have been disappointed in..... is it that I have become more technical in my knitting or just that I am not getting the bang for my buck that I have got out of other projects.  While I have knitted for many years I still consider myself to be an average knitter and try to set goals for improving my skills.  I have cast off the Haruni  and I would warn anyone the icord knitted bind off takes hours. Some how all my crochet hooks have done a wonder off some where in this tip of a house.

The Haruni is shawl number 5 so I am halfway down on my New Years challenge for 2010.  I have another couple of shawls to knit.  I think I have about 10 shawl project bags already made up and my ravelry queue has about 250 shawls.

For next year I am trying to sort out which will be my next challenge.  I know it is not already half way through the current year but I think that I am well on track for this years challenge and I dont feel that challenged. When I started the challenge I thought I would be but so far I have not been.

The options for next year is between cables and colour work. I have knitted cables again this year and I just disliked it so much that I have not done another cable project since then.  It is either sort out the cable dislike or the fancy colour work dislike. I have done fair isle and interstarsia before liked the outcomes but not been really enamoured with the technique. I think I have a project for the colour work as I have recently queued a duck patterned pair of socks.

Christmas present wise - well I have six months to go but I have to finish graduation presents off and I only have about month to go for the mass graduation weeks. So I need to get a wriggle on. I also have to sort out my fibre for next month as I have signed up for the Tour de Fleece.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

It is now June...

Well yet again I have been surprised by my workload and the continued demand for my services in my paid work.  Add to that the household and other organisations that I am involved in  so life has been a little busy.  But last weekend was a wet long weekend and I actually got quiet a lot accomplished. So much so that the mammoth tinking job was finished and actually finished the shawl.

Yo Mel,  Calling on Mel  Guess what I have some photos .  A couple of months ago the lovely Mel suggested that I provided some photos on my blog.  So a bit of shout for her is necessary.  Lets just say that I tend to be challenged by the organisation required to have nice photos and attach them to projects.  It is actually so bad sometimes items get out the door and I am left waiting for recipients to give me a snap shot. I just have to stop doing last minute rush jobs .....  LOL  that is never going to happen.

This shawl is some Babylonglegs DK in Goblin which I saw at the Ravelry day in Coventry and just had to had cause it was the greens that my Ry would just love. As some lovely commentators mentioned I knit an awful lot of green, yeap I know she has a real green fetish. It has gone past an addiction it is a compulsion which she has great enjoyment in collecting even more green.  I have made this for her birthday, later this month, and being her mother I can guarantee that I most certainly have not let that surprise out the bag cause she would never read a blog in which her mother was talking about anything let alone knittting.  Way uncool.....  Actually at the moment she is pouting cause she thinks that will encourage me to give this shawl to her.  She currently thinks that I am swapping it with someone.

As per normal I had the some difficulties with my swatch it down right lied to me. So I had to fudge some of the charts to meet my metre-age issues.  I can count.  My family knows I can as they hear me every time I cast on when I repeatedly check the number of stitches I have cast on.  Sssh  I am casting on.  God or what ever is their deity help anyone who feels that they will be silly bugger and help my counting with a number interjection.  I have sharp pointy things and I will impale them on these items.  But I somehow keep stuffing up my calculations about appropriate yardage to complete the pattern in gauge.  I can do algebra and calculus but I can not do this calculation.