Friday, 31 October 2008

2...'s not going to be tonight despite our best efforts. It's very close, but I'm not 100% happy with it just yet. So, I'm afraid I'm going to have to keep you waiting just a little longer... early next week it's looking like.


...brand spanking new Skein Queen website on its way with shopping cart allowing you the choice to pay in £ sterling, US$ or euros and a couple of other little surprises on its way.

Could be tonight...

Sunday, 19 October 2008

I'm smitten with mittens and kittens

Just finished these Noro mitts for a recipient-who-cannot-be-named as yet. They are such an easy, quick knit and I love the colours. I've knitted them before, but without the wrist cuff. The pattern is by mimoknits. And I made them using magic loop which I'd never done before. I love the method for speed and lack of fiddliness.

For once, a completed project with no fudging (cough, cough, I mean creative re-engineering). I must admit, due to my tendency to always be doing something as well as knitting, most projects I do end up with a bit of creative fudging due to lack of concentration. Hence you don't see much lacework round these here parts, despite the possibility of using lifelines, at least not yet - although I seem to manage complicated lace-effect pattern in socks. It has to be a really bad mistake for me to frog. But I don't mind that - I like finding creative solutions to problems. And if I wanted to buy a perfect piece of apparel, I'd go to a shop and buy it, but where's the fun in that?

So, I have a question for you - what kind of knitter are you? A creative engineer? A perfectionist? Or somewhere in between?

And I'm in a very inquisitive mood tonight, so I'd also like to ask, what is your favourite method of knitting? Do you like the intricacies of lace work, the effect of cables or the challenge of stranded colourwork?

My absolute favourite way to work is fairisle knitting and the absolute best bit of that? Choosing the colours. I often have to reproduce part of the design on graph paper and try out the different colour combinations to see how they go together. It's so easy to see any mistakes in colourwork almost straight away - that must be why I feel an affinity with it! So, having said that, my first idea for the South Hill Park craft fair we're doing in November didn't live up to my expectations, so back to the drawing board, this time with the thought of fairisle at the forefront.

These almost invisible sock blockers arrived from the States last week (or was it the week before?) I bought them from an Etsy seller called SevenYaks, they will never warp or leave splinters in my socks and have handy-dandy needle measurement holes (which I'll probably never use).

Soooo, I just had to re-photo all my socks with the new blockers wearing them - next step is to actually block them properly.

And finally, one real kitten all tucked up snug

And one Halloween cat of the pink and fluffy variety

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Shop update and Ally Pally

It's a bit of a different shop update today following a request on Ravelry for some special Christmas yarn available in plenty time to allow it to be knitted up for the festive season. I'm planning to update the shop at around 8.30pm BST tonight (Tuesday).

A Plush Christmas in Plushness - 8 skeins

An Opulent Christmas in Opulent - 6 skeins

Seven Swans in Plushness - 3 skeins - one with less orange (see below)

Wedgewood in Plushness - 4 skeins

Cucumber sandwiches in Plushness - 2 skeins
Snow Reflections in Plushness - 5 skeins

Just a reminder of what Snow Reflections looks like up close and personal:

That little lot was how I spent my Friday. Then on Saturday, myself and the Skein Prince made our way up to Alexandra Palace in London for the Knitting and Stitching Show.

It was a three hour journey due to there being no direct trains to Paddington, so we arrived somewhat harassed and in need of food, drink and toilet facilities! After which, we were ready to plunge into the crowds in search of yarn for me and cross stitch kits for him.

We made a beeline for the Socktopus stand. It was great to meet Alice and she kindly let me take a photo of the Skein Queen yarn which she'd put out on the Friday.

I can't tell you what a kick I got from seeing it there amongst all the beautiful hand-dyed yarns she sells. Speaking of which, I couldn't resist some skeins of Koigu which I'd been wanting to try for ages. Yogicknitter was helping out on the stand, and she did a good job of selling me this which she said was like sweeties:

Also spoke to Robynn of Purlescence who had much temptation on her stand and to Knitwitches lady as I spent way too long drooling over some silk/camel. The venue was so huge and there were so many stands, I was like a kid in a sweet shop. Skein Prince purchased a Kittens at Christmas cross stitch kit but then later saw the Stitchtastic stand which does car kits such as Ferraris and Lamborghinis, so he spent a looonnnng time looking through those.

It was good to see the Hyperbolic Coral Reef as we hadn't made it to the Hayward Gallery when it was there. We couldn't resist trying to spot our meagre contributions:

Skein Prince made a red one with a pink edging on the left-hand side!! Whaddya mean you can't spot it?

I made a very brightly coloured one with STR in Sherbet which was tucked away right at the back of this one!!

Scrappy Dappy Doo scarf is now finished - I tried wearing it to Ally Pally, but it was too hot - beautiful autumn weather with no chill in the air at all, so it lived in my bag.

Check out my little girl - they had to dress up as a character from a book on Friday at school, and she chose Lily from the Blue Kangaroo stories.

I made the big blue bow for her and the knitted Blue Kangaroo was rescued from the attic.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Scrappy Dappy Doo

I'm loving making this scarf out of scraps of yarn. I'm using Skein Queen, Sunshine Yarns, STR, Manos and changing every two rows. It's a recipe devised by Zona on Ravelry - a basic K1 YF Sl1 and P1 YB Sl1 on alternate rows. Although I've added a few magic stitches of my own (call them errors if you will, but I call them embellishments) to add to the general, overall woven effect.
I also made a start on some more lavender hearts which may be making their way to the South Hill Park show. I'm brimming away with ideas and have another knittery idea for the show - just hope I've got time to make it.

And a Koolhaas hat for a certain person who cannot be named as yet.

As for yarn, the October Sock Club yarn is all dyed up and ready to go out early next week.

And after Maverick had a bit of a brainwave in the Skein Queenery forum, the next update will be devoted to a special Skein Queen Christmas 2008 colourway.

I'm still working away on ways to improve the Skein Queen yarn buying experience, but it will be a couple of weeks until the plans can be revealed...

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Shop update preview and the Big Knit

Don't faint - but I have a second shop update this week!

Here's the preview and shop will be updated starting around 10am BST tomorrow (Sunday) morning.

Lots of sock yarns, lots of red and some DK Mellow (see above)

Wedgewood in Plushness - 2 skeins
Oasis in Plushness - 2 skeins

Frog Face (reengineering for Plushness) - 2 skeins

Brownberry in Elegance - 2 skeins
Forest Fruits in Encore - 1 skein
Baby Peach in Encore - 1 skein
Ruby Ruby in Encore - 1 skein
Berry Red in Encore - 1 skein

Brownberry in Encore - 1 skein

Rhubarb Crumble in Mellow - 2 skeins

Golden Treasure in Mellow - 4 skeins

Last Sunday, a group of about 30 knitters headed down to Picnic in Reading to knit little hats for Innocent Smoothie bottles - 50p for every bottle sold with a hat goes to Age Concern. It was a great atmosphere with lots of clickety clacking going on and exciting as the number of hats were counted hourly and added to the totaliser. We finished with a total of 109. And a we even made it into the local paper.

Thanks, alabamawhirly, for organising the event.

Thursday, 2 October 2008