Sunday, 5 January 2014

Two Steps Forward

And at least 3 back!

Week in review-

I finished reading 'Rachel's holiday' and also read 'Here's looking at You' by Mhairi McFarlane. Rachel's holiday was another pleasant read. It wasn't challenging in anyway and make good reading while I knit. Likewise Here's looking at you; no brain was needed. I knit vanilla socks and was pleasantly entertained by this story. Both books ended happily ever after. It's been nice to read something I wouldn't normally pick. I'm a sci-fi and fantasy girl usually, while these books have been enjoyable, I'm not inclined to change my reading habits now. I like to have something to get my teeth into. Some action, suspense, mystery rather than superfluous fluff. To that end I read 'Die, my love' by Penelope Fletcher. Sigh! More fluff. I suppose I should have read the synopsis. I saw vampire and thought "ooh, blood guts and gore!" Nope. I got vacuous cack. I have a horrible feeling that there are more in the series. I won't be buying them!  I'm now reading 'The Casual Vacancy' by J K Rowling. I'm not that far in, and so far I'm still struggling with the tone of the book. I know I shouldn't, but I can't help thinking that the language used shouldn't be coming from the pen of the woman who wrote Harry Potter! 

Feeling the love - 
On the crafting front this weeks blog title says it all!  It started so well! I finished the vanilla socks

Despite measuring umpteen times, I still managed to make the leg on the second sock a good inch shorter than the first! For this reason, they're now my socks and Jean will get another pair! 

Mara's mitts saw significant progress - I've nearly finished the first mitt. I ripped it out twice which was no mean feat I can tell you! I'm using Katia Darling yarn. It's a 100% merino single and it's been an absolute swine. Ripping back was problematic because it's fluffy. That fluffiness objects violently to being unknit! Also the yarn has been processed badly in my opinion. It's a gradient, and being a single, it's more delicate to deal with than a plied yarn. I understand this, but when the single broke during processing there has been no care taken in re-joining the yarn. The colour progression stops dead and it's crudely tied to a completely different colour. This means I now have lots of bits of yarn where I've broken the knot and then had to pull out the ball to find the next section which is in the general area of colour change I was at before the break! It's frustrating. My frustration was compounded by my inability to get the Gansey pattern Mel designed. Don't get me wrong, it's nothing to do with the way Mel has written the pattern, it's me! It's not a difficult pattern by any means, but it seems to be beyond me. Dear lord! I've managed the most complicated lacework, and yet knit and purl defeats me! I must confess I've given in and substituted a different pattern into that section. It's a 2 row repeat that I can cope with! I've put them down now because I wanted to buy buttons so I can check the fit. I'm quietly convinced that I've done the arm increases wrong. I don't think the pattern section is going to sit straight on the arm. 

I've done nothing on my KTSSKAL project since New Year's Day. Mara's mitts and the epic fail that is the silver birch sock had taken most of my time. The silver birch socks are now frogged and even deleted from my project page. I just didn't want to focus that hard on a sock right now. The pattern is full of cables and twisted stitches. I also decided I was knitting the wrong size. It's a pattern I definitely want to do, but not now. I've got a complicated pattern on the go in the Peacock Shawl, so I need a mindless project to work on. 

To that end I've cast on a pair of Gansey socks from 'Socks from the Toe Up' by Wendy D Johnson. It's a simple diamond pattern - we'll see how I get on with this Gansey. 

I do have an FO this weekend. I test knit the 'wave and box hat'.  It's a great knit. Just 100 yards and a weekend produced a lovely hat. The simple slipped stitch pattern gives a great effect and the floats give a little extra thickness and warmth to the fabric. It's due for release towards the end of January and I can't recommend it enough. 

On the horizon - 

I'll work on the peacock shawl this week I hope. 

I'll also get some buttons on Mara's mitts and check the fit before I continue any further. 

Then there's my 12 socks in 2014 challenge. I need to work on pair 3 - the Gansey socks. I'm ahead if the game right now, and I don't want to fall behind. I'm thinking that my March - April KTSSKAL project will be a complicated sock pattern. 

Will I spin at all? I hope so

Have a great week guys.