Sunday, 31 March 2013

Second Year or Projects Week 40

I can't believe there are only 3 months left of this year of projects, where has the time gone?

I've been working on my Honka scarf, it looks much the same as last week, except twice as long!

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It's going really well, though I was very confused by the fact that I was getting through the purple yarn a lot quicker than the black, until I realised that the purple has 230 yards per 100g, whereas the black has 300, so I'm guessing the black is a bit thinner, though not enough to be noticeable in the scarf.

I've come to visit my parents for the Easter weekend, and since it's still really snowy "oop north," we've had a log fire burning, which is lovely

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It makes you feel warm just looking at the picture!

The cat isn't impressed to be here though, he's spent most of the weekend finding strategic hiding places.

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He had a traumatic journey getting here as well, he managed to poo twice and pee once in the cat carrier on the way here, and he peed just as we hit five miles of standing traffic, so we couldn't stop. At the same time, Connor's phone alarm started going off in the boot, so we had half an hour of standing traffic with a wailing cat, an alarm going off that we couldn't get to, and the music on to drown them both out. After an unceremonious bath with some wet wipes, a washed carrier and a new cushion, he was fine the rest of the way, his dignity was just a bit insulted.

The main reason the cat is not impressed now is because he can smell this thing:

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Sorry for the blurry picture, but she will not stay still long enough to be photographed. At the moment, there is a pitched battle going on over a milk carton that Siouxsie (the middle dog), will not let her have.

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We nearly had disaster when my Dad let the puppy through when the cat was out exploring. Luckily, Connor drew on his several years of rugby training to pick the dog up like you would a rugby ball out of a scrum, and ran with her back to the kitchen. The puppy didn't see the cat, but the cat's face definitely said "OH MY GOD, WHAT IS THAT THING?"

So we have a sulking cat, but other than that, a lovely Easter. I hope everyone else has had a wonderful Easter Sunday.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Second Year of Projects Week 39

Is it really time for another update already? Time seems to be flying by!

I decided that instead of casting on another pair of socks, I would knit one of the other projects from my list, and I settled on Hönkä. I've been meaning to knit this scarf since last year's list, so it was definitely time I started, and I know that it's the end of March, but I definitely have need for a warm scarf, since we have about a foot of snow that's fallen over the last 2 days or so.

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The UK is not meant to look like this in March! This has also meant that we have a very pissed off cat, since he's under the impression that we are magical weather gods, and have sent this snow deliberately to annoy him.

I've managed two repeats so far, and it's very nearly 2 feet long, so I'm thinking 5 repeats will be the perfect length

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The scarf itself is much more purple than it looks in this picture. The yarn is the one I've had in my stash the longest, as it was the yarn I learnt to knit with. However, it was originally knitted into an unfinished scarf which looked like this.

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I think its new incarnation is much nicer, and much more likely to be worn. Plus it isn't triangular and full of accidental yarn overs, which is always a bonus.

I have also cast on for a pair of socks, because I needed a portable project, and two balls of yarn are not easy to transport around

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The pattern is School Days, and I had forgotten how much I hate doing Judy's magic cast on for toe up socks, it took me at least 7 tries, so they're already in time out! Hopefully they can be worked on this week, and behave themselves a bit better.

It's going to be another busy week this week, but I finish my term on Thursday, and I get a whole 10 days holiday, including a trip to Cork for a trampoline competition, so I'm really excited. I've not been on a plane in 4 years!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Second Year of Projects Week 38

I have finally finished my Jera socks, so pleased! It felt like these took forever, and they've been my only project for the last month, which is surprising, as I can usually knit a pair of socks for me in 2 weeks, and these are smaller than I would usually knit.

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A close up of the front pattern. Am I really pleased with them, and I think my Mum will love them. If I was doing them again though, I would continue the side cables all the way down to the toe, rather than stopping them when the front cable stops. The pattern is really well written, and is available in both a written and charted form. The only problem I had with it was that the number of rows and the stitch count for the toe didn't match up, so I went with the stitch count and they came out fine.

I'm debating casting on another pair of socks, or going for a different type of project, feeling a bit socked out!

Need to get on with some work now, as my exams are looming on the horizon, so I'm feeling like I won't get a lot of knitting done now for the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Second Year of Projects Week 37

Again, not a huge amount of progress on the socks, but I have finished the first one

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I've gone by the size of the sock blocker for the sizing, so I hope they're going to fit. It's looking like they are going to take a bit of a tug to get them on, but they should stay on really well when they are actually on. I was knitting on the second one all day yesterday, but since I was at the pub for the LSG UK meetup, I'm not surprised that I didn't get more done!

I also came to do the cabling on the second sock, and realised that I'd followed the cuff instructions for the first, so I had to drop down 8 stitches and pick them back up in twisted rib, which took ages, though not as long as reknitting the cuff would take. This was after frogging the cuff twice because I couldn't get the stitch count right. I think these socks are cursed, and I'm sick to death of them!

I had a great time at the LSG meetup, with a very early start to catch a train to London, to visit the fabulous Loop. I was very tempted by the Woolmeise, but it was just too much out of my budget, so I got some Uncommon Thread Tough Sock instead.

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Who doesn't love hot pink socks?

Then it was onto the pub for lunch and cocktails. Whilst I was there, someone was offering a braid of Angora/Tussah which was partially felted to anyone who wanted to deal with it. It was so soft, and the colours were so yummy, that I couldn't resist. I have no idea how to deal with it, but I guess re-carding it will probably help... Anyone with any suggestions?

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My Celestarium was much admired whilst I was there, and I think I've been an enabler since people have now seen it in the flesh. I was surprised just how easy it is to wear, and how warm and snuggly it is. I think I'm in love! I never want to take it off. Speaking of which, it was featured in the Twist Collective Newsletter, I'm internet famous!

I'm just trying to get the house sorted having been away for a week again this week. Glad to be back, though I am looking forward to my second two weeks there in April. I'm starting Dermatology tomorrow, so that should be fun!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Second Year of Projects Weeks 35 and 36

I don't feel like I've been on here in ages, so sorry for the missing update. There are a lot of reasons, but partly that I have no laptop and partly that I have been staying in a place without internet for the entire of last week and last weekend, and I'm back there tomorrow.

But knitting, that's what you're here for.

I finished my Watermelon socks, and they look and fit great

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They aren't perfectly identical, but they're close enough, which I'm pretty proud of. And I can't recommend this yarn enough, it's so soft and cozy, and it knits up really well! I substituted a wrap and turn short row heel for the suggested flap heel, so that I didn't break the striping, and I managed to use on entire stripe repeat on the heel, so that the stripes down the front of the sock stayed continuous.

I've also cast on my next pair of socks, which are a birthday present for my Mum. They actually weren't on the list, but I did have socks for her on the list, so I've just swapped to these.

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The pattern is Jera, and I was gifted it at Christmas. It's knitting up quite small, though it does go over my heel, so it should fit, as my Mum has smaller feet than I do. They are taking a very long time though, as there are lots of very intricate cables.

In terms of what is going on in my life, I’m currently on placement at Rampton Hospital, which is a high security forensic psychiatric hospital. I've been working with patients with serious personality disorders, who have committed horrendous crimes, which has been difficult but really interesting. I’m on a pre-discharge ward mostly, and those patients are usually very willing to tell their story. I also got the opportunity to go into the prison and see mental health care there.

It’s actually a bit of a break for me, because it’s a not formally assessed, attendance only, optional module. The only problem is, as we’re in the middle of nowhere, we’re in hospital accommodation, and there is no TV, no internet and not even a sitting room. Along with my broken laptop, my plan to spend the evenings working towards my exams went out the window, since I can’t even access phone internet. There has been a lot of DVD watching on the other student's laptop.

Also, poor Tomcat is ill!
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He has the biggest ulcer on his tongue, and his mouth is really swollen. We rushed him to the vet, and had a very worried period when he was having a blood test, because the vet had worried that he'd eaten anti-freeze. Anyway, he's now doped up and looking very derpy.

My other news is that we had the biggest trampoline competition of the year last weekend. It's two days of an inter uni competition, and I missed out on the finals by one place, and 0.1 score difference! I was so gutted, but we did really well as a club, getting about half of our numbers into the finals, and taking a 1st place and a 3rd place.

So yeh, very busy life at the moment, I should really update this blog more often!