Sunday, 30 December 2012

Second Year of Projects Week 27

I think the most important thing to say is that I hope everybody had an amazing Christmas, or other winter holiday. I have to say, all the Christmas present I made were received with joy, and all of them fit perfectly, which was amazing!

I cast on for the Octarine Socks this week, and I have to say that I've had a few problems, some of my own making! When I looked at the pattern, I thought that it looked like an easy lace pattern that I could knit during a busy time, as it wouldn't need all my attention


I have to say, it helps to read the *entire* pattern before starting knitting. I'd completely ignored the back charts, which were definitely not simple lace at all, in fact, they're complicated lace and cables.


Though it is a gorgeous pattern, it is definitely not mindless knitting that I can do whilst holding a conversation. The other problem is that according to the pattern, my feet measurements mean that I should make a size large, which involves casting on 80 stitches. I thought that that sounded like a lot, but I decided the pattern knew what it was talking about, and so, of course, the socks are way too big. I just can't face ripping out all that work right now, so they're in time out for a couple of days, until I'm ready to frog hours worth of work.

We're currently in Cardiff, visiting Connor's parents, so I've been travelling round local yarn stores, looking for yarn and beads to make a Celestarium. Out of 5 yarn stores and 2 bead stores, I have no yarn and no beads, 3 yarn stores were closed, one bead store was close, one bead store had every colour of beads except the ones I wanted, one yarn store was really rude to me, and one didn't have any suitable yarn, but they were totally lovely, and I got some locally dyed Jelliebean Yarns Stardust Sock, in the colourway Tardis Blue, which is gorgeous.



I don't think the universe wants me to knit this pattern!

I hope everyone has a lovely New Year, I'll probably spend New Year's Eve trying to reknit these socks!

Friday, 28 December 2012

FO Friday - Mario!

Another quick FO this week, this time a birthday present for my five year old cousin. Last time I saw him, he was absolutely obsessed with angry birds, so I was planning to make him an angry birds hat, but then I saw him just before Christmas, and he now loves Mario, so it had to be a Mario mushroom hat
I'm really pretty proud of this hat. I've never done colourwork before, and this was a sort of approximation of intarsia in the round, which I just made up as I went along! All the stitches joined together, the gauge is pretty even, and I think it looks really good. The pattern is from these Super Mario Charts, which have various different characters, and are good representations without being too difficult to knit!

For more FO Friday posts, click here

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Second Year of Projects Week 26

I just have one project to share this week off my list, the last of my Christmas knitting!
This is the finished hat for my Dad, made with my first spinning attempt on a wheel. It wasn't the easiest to make, since the yarn was very changeable in thickness, and I wasn't sure what my gauge would be. It took 4 cast on attempts to get this the right size, it kept coming out way too big! I was a bit worried that I wouldn't have enough yarn,as I only had 110 yards, but I came out with only 10 yards left, so it was perfect.

The aim is for him to wear it whilst hunting in the snow, so I didn't need to dye it, it's just a natural colour. It was very difficult to photograph though, the actual colour is much less grey and slightly more cream.

I also have a little FO that's not off my list.
This is Mr Claus, since my Mum was complaining that she didn't have a new ornament for her (super tacky) Christmas tree. I think it's very cute and very silly! It only took an evening to knit, though it was a bit fiddly as all the parts were made separately.

I'm loving being on Christmas holiday, and I hope that everyone has a lovely Christmas, or any other winter holiday that you celebrate :)

Friday, 21 December 2012

FO Friday - Christmas presents!

Well, it's been a long time since I've done one of these! Most of my knitting recently has been off my Year of Projects list, but when I finished all my Christmas knitting, I decided to make a quick hat for my Uncle, or he would be the only person without a knitted gift on Christmas day.

This pattern is Fisher Cable Hat, and it's a very easy to follow pattern that is quick to knit up. I was using aran yarn rather than worsted, which the pattern calls for, so I only cast on 80 stitches, and decreased the amount of plain knitting above the brim to14 rows before decreases instead of the 20 the pattern calls for. I'm pretty pleased with it, it fits Connor perfectly, so I'm thinking it will fit, and it only took 2 evenings to do.

I also have another (none knitting) FO.
I graduated from my first degree last week (we get two degrees on my medical course, one for preclinical/research, and one for clinicals), and I now am the proud owner of a Bachelor of Medical Sciences with Honours, First Class.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Second Year of Projects Weeks 24 and 25

I'm sorry I've been absent again, I'm getting to the point in the term where I don't have the motivation to do anything, even knit!

I have managed to finish the snuggly socks for Connor's Christmas present


They're fraternal twins rather than matching, but getting them to match would have been impossible, since I managed to finish them with only 1g of yarn remaining... They do amuse me, because they're so large they remind me of Christmas stockings. I have also decided I am never making him a pair in sock weight, it would take far too long!

I also cast on for my Dad's Christmas present. He wanted something made from the first yarn that I spun on the wheel he bought me for my birthday, but since it was my first time, I don't have much yarn!


I'm hoping to have enough to make him a hat that he can wear shooting when it snows and he wants to be camouflaged. I cast on 96 in the hopes that it would fit, but it came out absolutely huge! One of the problems is that about 25 yards of the yarn is much thinner than the other 60 yards, so I've done the ribbing on 4mm needles with the thinner yarn, and gone up to 5mm for the stockinette stitch in the thicker yarn. That is giving a very thick fabric for the body of the hat, but I'm thinking it'll be warm which is the point.


I have this hat to finish, and then one more and I'll have done all my Christmas knitting, so I'm happy with how I'm doing. Hope to get both hats done by Friday, when I go to my parents.

I also got feedback for the socks I made for my best friend's birthday. I was Skyping with her, and she not only commented that she'd been desperately wanting to open her present since she got it a month ago (she knew she was getting socks), but she'd put the socks on immediately and showed them off to everyone at work. She also had the dugong I made her for her last birthday on the windowsill when she was chatting to me, so she's definitely proved herself knitworthy and will be getting more socks. She could not stop being amazed at how well they fit, which made me happy as well, since I had to guess at sizing.

I did get some bad news this week, Tomcat needs surgery on his canine, as it's snapped off and is hurting his gum. But the vet thinks it's best to wait 'til after Christmas, because we'll be doing a lot of travelling with him over the Christmas period. I'm just worried in case he's in pain :(

I'm so looking forward to the Christmas holiday, only 5 days left!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Second Year of Projects Week 23

Well, the best news of the week is that I've finished my exams. Paediatrics and the Obs and Gynae practical went OK, but the Obs and Gynae written paper was horrible! Luckily, it wasn't only me that thought that, so hopefully I'll have managed to pass.

In the last day or so, I've managed to finish one of Connor's socks
They do seem to me to be more like stockings than socks, but they fit him, and that's all that matters. I decided fitting properly was better than knittng them as a surprise, but he still won't be getting them until Christmas! 

I do have to acknowedge some amazing people though, over on LSG I was gifted the Beekeeper's Quilt pattern from the fairyhoarmother (yes really), which was a very sweet RAK from one of the student midwives on the university thread that I hang out on. I also recieved 400g of Chocolate alpaca from the UK Karma swaps group, which is amazing and I will be spinning up soon!
I don't really have much to share today, since exams have kind of taken over my life, but I'll be reading all your much more interesting posts tomorrow!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Second Year of Projects Week 22

So I'm taking a quick break from revising to write this post, I've got an exam tomorrow, Wednesday and Friday, and I'm starting to stress a bit!

I finished my little preemie set by making a cabled hat to match the cardi


So on my last day of this placement, I dropped this little lot off at the NICU


It felt like a lot when I was making it, but it doesn't seem like much now. I guess I'll have to get cracking and make some more!

I haven't really had much time for knitting this week, due to the exams, but I have started my next pair of socks

Connor asked for a pair of comfy slipper socks "like yours," so I bought exactly the same yarn but in baby blue, and I'm making him a pair. Not sure he'll think they're very manly, but they very soft and warm, so I think he'll like them. He has size 10 feet, so he's never getting a pair in sock yarn! These are knit in Sidar Baby Crofter DK and I love watching how the pattern comes out as I knit.

So very brief post again, but next weekend I will have nothing to do but knit! It will be bliss and I can't wait!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Second Year of Projects Week 20 and 21

So I missed last weeks post, but i don't think I'm doing too badly since it's the first I've missed all year! I'm a bit snowed under with Uni work, since I have three massive exams starting on 26th November, and I feel like there's know way I can learn everything I need to! I have to learn all the diagnosis, investigations and management of everything I could encounter in Paeds, Obs and Gynae, which feel like an impossible task...

But knitting wise, I finished the Confetti socks last week for my friend. I really want to have a pair myself! I might just have enough yarn left to make some little ankle socks, which would make me very happy

I hope they fit! But I do think she'll like them

In between revising, I needed some mindless knitting, so it's been back to the Preemie outfits.
This is more of a newborn size, because the hospital wanted some larger cardis, and I jazzed it up with some simple cables. I think it's really cute, and I'm currently making a cabled hat to match. I'm hoping to drop off everything I've made so far to the NICU next week. I hope they like everything! And now back to exam work I go...

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Second Year of Projects Week 19

Sorry this post is late, but I was at a Trampolining competition all day Sunday (which went amazing). My only aim was to not land on my arse, and I managed it in both routines. You want to see? Well, I'm sure I can be persuaded:
Yes there is video evidence =P My only aim was to successfully complete both routines, which I did for the first time ever, and I came 48th out of 76, but since I never aimed to win, I'm very happy with that.

Then last night I went to see Evanescence, since there's nothing like some cheesy goth pop to cheer you up.
Obligatory grainy mobile phone picture. The gig was amazing, Amy Lee can really sing live; I was a bit worried, given the vocal ranges in her songs, that they wouldn't come across as well on stage, but she had no problems belting them out. The gig was surprisingly empty though, only about half full, but it meant we got to get really close to the stage, so I was happy.

But anyway, you're here to read about knitting.
I've finished the first of my confetti socks and started on the second. I'm really hoping this socks fits, as I'm working off a shoe size, and even more unhelpfully, when I asked what size my friends feet were, her response was "depends which foot you ask." They're just over a centimetre longer than my foot, and apparently UK shoe sizes go up by about a centimetre each time, so I'm hoping that will be ok. I'm not sure about the seaming for the cuff, it looks a little odd to me, but I like the cuff itself, so I'm not sure that it's that important
I really love this pattern with the yarn, it reminds me a bit of fish scales, which is perfect, as my friend just got a degree in zoology, and has a love of marine mammals. Just need to finish them before her birthday!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Second Year of Projects Week 18

My post is a bit late today, due to a lovely weekend at my parent's house, with terrible traffic both there and back. We travelled at 20mph most of the time, and the 1 hour 45 journey took 3 hours there and 2.5 back.

I've been working on my Confetti socks.
I'm making this sock for my friend's birthday, but I love them. I want to keep them for myself! It's a very simple pattern to follow, but it looks great in hand painted yarn, and it knits up really quickly. I decided to do solid heels and toes, and I'm really impressed at how well the leftover purple yarn matches the purple in the hand painted yarn. And the yarn, Blackberry Ridge Mermade Plus, is gorgeous, these socks are going to be really soft and warm. I also like the cuff, which is made with a provisional cast on, knitting 8 rows then folding it over and knitting two together all the way round. I'm not sure how well it'll hold up, but we'll have to see. But all in all it's a really well written pattern, and great TV knitting.

I also got a good picture of my finished blanket.

I've had a lovely weekend with my parents. On Saturday, my Aunt and Uncle brought over my cousins (one of whom is my Goddaughter), and I got to spend the afternoon playing with them. The little boy is nearly 5 and loves Angry Birds, so he may well get an Angry Birds hat for Christmas! And my goddaughter is nearly 3 and loves ponies and hello kitty. She's so chatty now, and I got lovely cuddles and kisses when they left. i haven't seen them in ages, and it was amazing just how much they've both grown up.

I also indulged in a lot of puppy cuddles
 The "play with me" face.
 She's so cute, and still as mad as ever. She's just like a baby, wanting attention all the time, and not believing that anyone else should get it. She's totally jealous if you fuss the other dogs.
The whole lot, Jessie, the oldest, is sitting as far away as possible, and Siouxsie (Suzie, my Mum likes Siouxsie and the Banshees,) is not meant to be in that crate!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Second Year of Projects Week 17

I haven't had much time at all for knitting, thanks to four 12 hour shifts this week (which I will tell you all about in a minute). Since I've been very busy, and a bit sleep deprived, mindless knitting on a simple baby blanket has been perfect.
This is a mid blocking picture, since it was only finished half an hour ago, so it's not very true to colour, but this is a much better size than the last blanket! It's also been blocked a lot straighter than that picture makes it appear,the perspective is all weird.

So not much knitting, but I have had an amazing, if knackering, week on placement. I was on labour ward for three 12 hour night shifts and a 12 hour day shift, and I've had the privilege of seeing the births of 7 new little humans. It was absolutely incredible. It is amazing sharing the moment of, and just after, birth with the families. I also got to deliver one baby from start to finish, at ten past two on Wednesday morning. I was the first person in the world to touch her, and got to pass her to her mum. It was just an incredible moment, and I was on a high all day.

However, I am apparently an interesting person to have around. Of the 5 normal births I saw or assisted (2 were emergency caesarians), 3 came unexpectedly, with no warning for the midwife. And of the two I assisted on, neither mother spoke English, making things difficult for the staff, both had small children with them, and both had started delivering before the midwife had anything ready for the baby. The second, I was supposed to deliver, but came so quickly the midwife literally had to catch the baby boy. She didn't even have gloves on and I had to run and grab all the stuff needed. The mother went for 1cm dilated to baby born in 13 minutes, which is almost unheard of. Don't worry though, all mothers and babies were absolutely fine, and none the worse for wear, the midwives were just threatening to send me into the rooms of all the women who were having long drawn out labours, in the hope that I could speed them up a bit.

I am so grateful to the parents who let me be in the room with them during these moments, even though it is a very intimate event, and they have every right to refuse. I had a wonderful week, and I will never forget those families, parents and children, and the staff who were so kind to the lost medical student, even though they see different students every week, and have no need to be.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Second Year of Projects Week 16

So I've finished another baby blanket this week. This was great for mindless knitting whilst I was teaching a knitting beginner class on Monday, because it was easy to put down and pick back up every two seconds whilst people needed help. It's definitely making my eyes go funny when I look at it though! It did suffer a bit from the dreaded stockinette curl, but steam blocking seems to have sorted that out, and it's looking much flatter now. The thing that I find odd is that it's so long and thin, even though I was using the same number of stitches and same amount of yarn as the last blanket I made.
I cast on pretty much the same blanket but this time in pink last night. I did cast on about 10 extra stitches, as well as doing an extra two rows of garter stitch at the bottom, and two extra garter border stitches, so hopefully this one will be a more normal shape, and won't curl as much. Again, mindless knitting was needed, because I was attempting to stay up late so that the night shift I'm doing tonight (7:15 pm to 7:45 am) won't be too much of a shock to the system.
I've also been winding yarn for my next pair of socks. It's times like this I wish I had a swift and ball winder. I'm going to make Confetti socks, and I think they'll probably be a birthday present for my best friend, since she'll love these colours.
I've had an amazing weekend. On Friday night, Connor and I went to the beer and cider festival held every year at Nottingham Castle. I got to wear some warm hand knits, drink amazing local cider and watch a (not very good) band or two. It was great fun, and we really enjoyed it! Then on Saturday, we went to a friend's birthday party, the same friend who we had the impromptu dinner party with (which was great by the way). We couldn't stay long though, because I'm doing a 12 hour shift tonight (as I said above), and the next 2 nights as well on labour ward. I'll be leaving home at 6pm, and getting in around 9am. I did try to sleep in today so that I was prepared, but unfortunately I woke up at 12 and couldn't get back to sleep, so 21 hours awake here I come! Looking forward to delivering some babies though!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

WIP Wednesday - Spinning Practise

I had a much needed day off yesterday, and decided to spend my uninterrupted free time doing a bit of spinning practise. A while ago, I acquired some free unidentified wool, and I though, rather than using my nice stuff for beginner spinning, I'd use this, then I could have a play with dying as well.
I'm going to ply it with the unidentified wool and linen blend I also received, and see how the two take up dye differently. My aim was to have an even single that wasn't too thick, so that hopefully the two ply would be around fingering weight and I could make hexipuffs from it. I have no idea if that will work, but the single is relatively even. It was quite sticky wool, I think it still had some oils on it, and so there are a few lumps at the start, where I was getting used to it, but the rest seems to be ok.
I'm still trying to figure out the brake on my spinning wheel. Who would have thought a millimetre difference on a wooden peg would change the bobbin from not picking up anything to splitting the yarn that's being spun. Any suggestions on how to tell how tight the brake should be?

Crewel World (A Needlecraft Mystery, #1)
In terms of books, I've just finished Crewel World by

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Second Year of Projects Week 15

So the Staked socks are finally done!
Although I was not happy with the pattern, I am so happy with the final product! They fit perfectly and I think they look great. And I love the sparkles. They're not the easiest socks to photograph, so just know they look better in real life!

I've also cast on a quick baby blanket with some of the yarn I got from the UK Karma swaps. It was originally meant to be patterned, but the yarn really didn't go, so it's just simple stockinette with a garter border.
It's quite cute, and a really quick knit, so I should get it finished in the next couple of days, which is good since, I wasn't supposed to cast this on. I should be making birthday and Christmas presents....

Very quick post, but apparently we're hosting a dinner party tonight that I didn't know about. One of our housemates from 2 years ago is on Connor's course, and he said she was coming over to do some coursework together. Next thing I know, her and her fiance are bringing wine and dessert. This was sprung on me at 11 last night! It'll be great to see them, but a bit stressful! Need to go buy food now.