Sunday, 11 May 2014

Where did my weekend go?

Hello there! How the devil are you all? 

Happy Mother's Day to you guys on the other side of the Atlantic. I hope you have had a lovely day. 

I'm confused. My weekend vanished. I've achieved little. 

I'm currently doing a leadership course. It's run by The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education who are based at Manchester University. Most of the courses they run are distance learning, or evening meetings lasting a few hours which take place locally. This course, however is a pilot. It's a 4 day course run face to face with a group of 28 delegates at the university's conference centre. It's been really interesting, not only learning new skills, but taking part in the dry run. Giving feedback on the course has made me think more about what I'm learning. Friday and Saturday saw us all undertake the two day residential. At first I wasn't sure, Saturday is my family day. I get my housework done and spend time with Ben. 

On reflection having an overnight stay was brilliant. It gave us all a chance to get to know each other better. No matter how much group work you do, or what you chat about over lunch, it isn't the same as socialising with no work pressures. It proved to be a great opportunity to get to know some great people from areas of the industry I would rarely come in contact with. Who know when these contacts will come in handy. 

Needless to say, arriving home at 5pm on Saturday threw a spanner into the works. I had to cram my whole weekend's worth of tasks into one day. Thankfully Matthew had done the washing and Jean cooked for us on Saturday evening which took a great deal of pressure off my shoulders after a long drive home. So today involved cooking, grocery shopping and homework. Not overly exciting. 

Ooh, but what was exciting was that we went for a little trip out this morning. One of my friends is selling their camper van. We went to have a look at it. It's 28 years old and hanging on in there - just. The price they want for it is reasonable, but there's work to be done that we weren't expecting. So, the hunt goes on. Hopefully soon the stars will align and the right van will come our way. 

It was a shame, Ben got really excited about it. We all did, but it just want the right van for us. 

The hunt continues. 

Feeling the love - 

Wwwwweeeeelllllllll.............. - remember last week when I said I'd be working on WIP's?
Wwwweeeeeeeelllllllllll that didn't really happen very much. 


I did work on Hana Hou, don't get me wrong. It's just that it's a big project and I can't take it everywhere I'd like to knit. 

I'm working on the armholes on the back right now so as the stitch count decreases, my work rate should visibly increase. I'm still loving the fabric this yarn is making. LOVE!!

So, to remedy the lack of portable project I started a new Piper's Journey. I'm using my Violent Violet Sock yarn this time. The pattern calls for sport weight I think, but I really fancied seeing how my yarn knit up into something other than socks. 

When I dye my yarn I split the 100g skeins into two 50g cakes to get the colour effects. I knew I wanted to use the whole 100g to get a decent sized shawl so I knotted the skeins together using the magic knot. The nature of my dying process means that the outside of the cake is a different colour to the inside, so I knotted the skeins at the inside of the cake if that makes sense. This way I'll get a colour progression from dark purple to a lighter plum and back to dark purple.

You can see how dark purple the centre of the shawl is and the outside of the cake

A cunning plan I thought. But then I remembered Sue's Journey. I used Opal sock yarn for that project. I love the way the colour repeats merged and flowed into one for the garter stitch body of the shawl. The applied edging, however, has a definite striping about it. Now, it's not that I don't like the effect, but what I didn't want to happen on this Journey. If I knit the edging as described in the pattern the colour would change from left to right as the edging is knit on. 

So I'm thinking as I work on the body. I'm going to use the increases and the overall shape of the shawl as written in the pattern, but instead of applying a border, I'm going to transition into a lace edging. As I write, the epiphany telling me what to knit and how hasn't happened yet, but I'm hoping for inspiration before I reach the halfway point!

I've been faffing about with my sock yarn blanket too. I knew I wanted to frog the Six'es blanket, so I ripped that out on Tuesday. Wednesday saw Matthew and I travel to Newcastle for an appointment so I decided to work on a new pattern. I tried the mitred square blanket, but decided it want for me when I realised there would be miriad ends to weave in. Not a chance! So I decided to make a version of the nattily entitled 70629AD. It's  one of Lion Brand's free patterns. It's designed for much heavier weight yarn, but my thought is that I'll keep going until I run out of yarn or get bored.

As you can see, I've got a way to go yet. I'm using simple half trebles and the occasional spike stitch for excitement. 

Those hawk eyed out there may have noticed the row counter safety pinned to the middle of the work. It's there to remind me how many stitches I have between increases. I keep forgetting and having to go back and count. With this, my problem is solved........ unless I forget to move it on! 


When I was packing for the trip away I finally settled on taking two projects. I took the blanket with a few little balls of yarn to work on, and I took a brand new pair of socks. 

I'm completely mesmerised by the joys of this yarn. 

I can't sing the praises of this yarn loud enough! The transition between colours is so crisp. The colour saturation is stunning. I LOVE. These socks. This colour way is called 'Bitter Sweet' and it's fab!

This afternoon I've been studying. In order to keep me focused I decided to ply the blue jewel bug single I finished last week. I hoped that a week chilling could be sufficient to relax the single enough to chain ply it. 

I'm really happy with the results. I didn't measure it (I lost count!) but I think it will be a DK to sport weight. LOVE!

I've no idea what it will be yet. 

On the horizon - 
More homework than is amusing!

I'm spinning some BFL/silk I bought from Woolfest last year so that will hopefully see some action. 

I'm working on Hana Hou honestly!

The sock yarn blanket is still exciting, so that will feel the love

And sfter that - socks? My new Journey? 

We'll see
Have a great week.