Monday, 30 May 2011

D is for... Dread

I am dreading a lot of things at the moment:

I'm dreading my exam on Wednesday.
I'm dreading failing any of my exams
I'm dreading hating my dissertation.
I'm dreading trying to make my housemate pay her bills and move out.
I'm dreading cleaning the house.
I'm dreading our landlords taking all of our deposit.
I'm dreading forgetting to do something and losing our club's stall at Fresher's fair.
I'm dreading being an awful president of said club.
I'm dreading job hunting.
I'm dreading not getting a job.
I'm dreading getting a job.

I just want to go home...

So to cheer myself up, I cast on the snuggly soft simple socks I've been promising myself I won't start 'til I finish my other WIPs:
I love them! They're so soft and snuggly I never want to take them off, and I haven't even finished one yet!

Wish me luck for my exam?

To see more ABCs click here:

Friday, 27 May 2011

FO Friday - Squares and hearts

Well, I've finished both my squares for the remembrance blanket, as well as a couple of little hearts to put in with them.

I already explained why I chose to do the Celtic knot for one of my squares, and I think the hearts for the other are pretty obvious. What I was surprise by, was how much of an effect blocking had, especially on my cables. As this is acrylic wool, I steam blocked it, and it didn't kill the acrylic at all, but gave it a very nice soft texture with no flattening or blurring of the stitches

It is hard to tell from this picture, but as well as having straight edges, the block grew an inch in each direction, and my cables pop so much more now! The pattern is Celtic Knot No. 85

The other square is adapted from 2 dishcloth patterns, the dark pink being Love Day Washcloth and the light being Have a Heart Cloth. This was my first try at any form of lace (and it is very simple lace,) and I was really pleased how it came out.

The hearts are from my favourite website Mochimochi Land (author of the Amigurumi book from a couple of weeks ago) and are just simply called Hearts.

All of these are amazing free patterns, and I'm really grateful to all the designers who make it possible for me to knit! To see other FO Friday posts, please look here and here.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

C is for... Celtic

Sorry this post is a bit late this week, exams got in the way!

I thought I would make this post about Celtic designs, as I think they're beautiful and really interesting things.

The first Celtic themed design I ever made was this cross stitch of a Celtic horse:
I love the way all parts of the pattern interlock, but you can trace it from start to end. I also like the way that it incorporates parts of a Celtic knot design and yet the purple strands come from the horses mane to represent hair. The only thing I'm not sure about is why it appears to be a seahorse rather than an ordinary horse...

Anyway, I started to look into the meaning of Celtic knots and other Celtic designs. There is a lot of discrepancy in agreement about the meanings, and little documentation, although some meanings are more well accepted than others. In my opinion, there is very little set meaning to the intricately entwined designs, and people can place there own interpretations on what they stand for. There are of course, any different elements to Celtic designs, including knots, animals, crosses, spirals and religious iconography, but the one that really interests me is the Celtic knot.

In particular, I like the description of a Celtic knot as symbolising "no beginning, no ending, the continuity of everlasting love and binding together or intertwining of two soul or spirits." as well as "eternity...the eternity of life, the eternity of nature, and the eternity of love." Any Celtic knot which has a continuous or unbroken path is in fact termed an Eternity knot. They seem to show us how we are all part of a never ending cycle of life, but add our own twists and turns individually to that cycle. To me they symbolise the connectedness and continuity of life.

Obviously, there are some knots that have more apparent meanings, such as the triquetra, or Trinity knot, which is made from a single strand to give a three part design. This can be use to symbolized the connection of the mind, body, and spirit, or in a more Christian viewpoint, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The picture here shows it in its simplest form, but it can be much more complicated than this

Another is the Lover's Knot which it shows two continuous, unbroken strands that are intertwined and inseparable from each other. to me, the very definition of true love. The hearts that we see today in Celtic imagery are a modern addition to these beautiful designs, which are ever evolving. The image on the left shows a traditional Lover's knot, whilst the image on the right shows 2 strands travelling separate, intertwined  paths, then merging to become one before splitting again to become intertwined. To me that separation and yet still unity symbolises true love as closely as anything can.

Now where I am going with this, is that I recently heard of the death of a lady I know's husband, and Ravelry has banded together to make her a remembrance blanket. I couldn't think of anything better to symbolise the love she and her husband felt for each other and the fact that they are still connected and will be for eternity then a Celtic knot. So here is my interpretation for her, and I hope that her blanket brings her comfort through this difficult time.

If anyone else is interested in knitting Celtic knots, there is a Ravelry group called Celtic Renegades which is  committed to charting 1001 Celtic Motifs for knitting, and already has about half of those done, with the patterns all up on Ravelry.

Monday, 16 May 2011

B is for... Bluetits

Well, since I have exams, I have nothing crafty to post, so here's a very short post....

We have baby bluetits! I saw one of them come out to take its first flight a few days ago, and they're so cute. If you go into the garden you can hear them chirping away and watch the parents come and feed them.

Since then i've seen the whole family out together in our tree, Mum, Dad and 3 babies.

They're really fluffy and look something like this:

It makes me smile everytime I see them or hear them cheeping!

Edit: I forgot the Mr Linky! See more ABCs here!

Monday, 9 May 2011

A is for... Amigurumi

I love Amigurumi! I think it's the looks on their little faces and the maternal instinct coming in. In fact, it was discovering amigurumi that really got me into knitting regularly in the first place. In particular, discovering one website: Mochimochi Land. I love it. I have 3 of her patterns and preordered her book when it was first announced.

In fact, I only own 2 knitting books, and they are both on amigurumi
So why can I not finish anything? My ravelry queue is stuffed with cute amigurumi creatures I want to make. My books are waiting for me. I even have all the wool I need for my next amigurumi project, as well as to finish the ones I've got.

So without further ado, I want to introduce you to my poor, neglected little amigurumi creatures

This is Rainycloud, he likes bubble baths and walks on the beach, and is scared of heights and loud noises like thunder. He likes to hide under the bed in storms, and has an alphabetised CD collection. He really would like to meet some rainydrops someday, to cheer him up and be his lighter side. He needs them to encourage him to have fun and to enjoy giggles, laughter and smiles. He is made of James C. Brett Marble and needs someone who can complement him.

This is Bob, the Monster Blob he comes across all happy and smily, but don't let that fool you. He is made of odds, ends and scraps from a long history of wool (my Gran's old stash) but he's carved a niche for himself on my chest of drawers. His life would be perfect is he could only have the one thing he dreams of, some intelligent company. There is only one girl for Bob, and he waits patiently for the day she will arrive. He has had teasers of her, but she never comes.

This is Betty, from the same background as Bob. She has been waiting to be able to finally see him for as long as she can remember, but unfortunately only has one foot, and no face. But she waits in the darkness, in the hope that one day she will finally be reunited with her childhood sweetheart, whom she has known since they were both wools scraps together on the journey through life.

And finally there is Tubby. He is ashamed to show his face as he is all in bits right now, but some day he hopes that he and his bubbles can come together and live happily every after. He is head of something, but it unfortunately is only the head of my queue on Ravelry, and he has much greater amitions for himself. One day he will make something of himself and find happiness.

A bit of a silly post today, but maybe it'll give me the inspiration to actually finish some of these projects and start on some of the myriad of others I have planned. For more ABCs please check here: