Sunday, 6 July 2014

Sometime you gotta do whatcha gotta do

Good morning readers.

Welcome to another sunny day on Planet Earth. 

I hope the weather is treating you well wherever you are. For those of you in the US, I hope Endurance wasn't too destructive. 

This week has mostly been about clean starts. 

My evil cats from hell have mostly been bringing catches home and wreaking havoc in the house. We've had a rabbit, a shrew, a mouse and 2 birds. The only saving grace is that they do eat their catches. At least they aren't wasted. The snag with that is that I have to clear up fluff and feathers regularly! I should have stuck with the rats. Much less mess to clean!

I've also come to a major decision. Do you guys remember that shawl I've been knitting since January? Well I've been working on it all week. I mean religiously. If I've wanted to knit, I picked it up. I've completed half a repeat this week, which is no mean feat when you think that a pattern row and a purl row now take me 1/2 an hour to work. 

I discovered yesterday that somehow or other I'd managed to muck up this repeat, I'd worked the same pattern row twice. I don't know how I did it and keep the stitch count correct! But by the time I'd noticed the mistake was about 6 rows down and I wasn't about to tink back to fix it. No worries, I thought, it will be a longer leaf on this repeat. 

Well, last night I let the rats out for a run, and went to sit next to the cage with them. I took my knitting too. As I sat down, I yanked a load of stitches off the needles. Those stitches took one look at
me and ran for the hills. Me? I cried a little inside and then ripped the whole thing off the needles. I
decided it was a sign. I had been knitting venom into that shawl for months. I didn't enjoy the process of knitting it. Don't get me wrong, I loved how it was turning out, it's just that the process was sapping my happiness. I'm very much a process knitter. I think that's why I give so much of what I make away. It's the thrill of making the item that makes me happy.

So this is the peacock's feather shawl this morning. 

But I'm not glum. The pain, disappointment and frustration of frogging is soothed by the thoughts of a new project. This yarn is too lovely to languish in a ball for long. Yesterday there was a truely stunning shawl on the front page of Ravelry. It was a beautiful white lace affair made by Izi. The pattern was called Snow Angel and it was from a collection called Close to You by Boo Knits. 


I had to buy the ebook there and then. A measly £9 got me 5 stunning patterns. Truely beautiful works of art.
And so the Peacock's Feathers will become Almost Autumn. 

Feeling the love - 

Clearly the Peacock's Feather has been given a lot of attention this week, but next to no love!

But all is not lost. I have worked on other things. 

My sock yarn blanket continued to grow. I made myself promise that when I finished the ball I was working on, I'd put it down and work on something else. It has been absorbing most of my time for a while now

I was a good girl, I joined a new ball and set it aside. 

The desire to crochet all the blankets was strong, however!  A trawl through Pinterest (and another hour lost!) saw me try to figure out how to make a spiral blanket. You must understand, dear readers, that crochet is not my natural state! It took a bit of working out, but I'm rather pleased with myself!

As you can see, it's a tad frilly in the middle. I was increasing too many stitches in each round to start with. I've settled in to 8 increases now, and I'm hoping that the excess fabric will stretch out a bit as the blanket grows. I'm using four 400g balls of acrylic/wool blend. It's cheap and cheerful and ideal for blankets that are going to be lived with. 

The rest of my crafting week has been focused on what promises to me my latest obsession. 

Those of you who are at Camp Aloha Friends with me may have an idea already. 


No! Not the spinny things on string! 

Yo-yo's! You know, little pieces of gathered fabric

Get me?! Fabric!!!!

The lovely Deborah from WhipStitch has shown  me the light. Now, I'm not saying that from now on my sewing machine and I are going to be best buddies (it's mocking me from where it's sitting on the living room floor as I write!), but I'm really enjoying this project. 

The joy of camp is that I'm getting to try out things I'd never even contemplated before! 

So, do you remember a while ago I decided to make a project bag? I started out by trying a dummy run with recycled jersey material - FAIL! Well, since then the beautiful fabric has been sitting on my work box sighing at me. Longing to be made into something lovely. 

Then along came yo-yo's. I bit the bullet and cut up that lovely fabric into 120 circles. I also may have bought a couple of fat quarters from Woolfest to complement the fabric I already had.

That also got chopped up giving me a grand total of 180 circles measuring a stunning 7cm high!

I started to stitch. I quickly realised I'd made a boo boo. Once my yo-yo's were made, you couldn't see the lovely patterns. 

But I like the colours, and at least the fabric is being used rather than sitting in a carrier bag. 
My first evening saw me make a good handful

The project suggested for us to make is a shadow box to hang on the wall. Wall space is at a premium in my house, so I lost another hour on Pinterest (sigh!) and came up with the cunning plan of a cushion cover. I also saw a stunning method of storing my lovely yo-yo's 

Flowers are a rarity in my house, so I think this is a much better use of my vases!

On the horizon- 

More yo-yo's!

A new shawl!

Crochet blankets-arama!

I think I'm going to rip out that sock of Ben's that was too small and start again. 

So, lovely readers - have a great week. 

PS - here's what I've been listening to while I wrote to you this morning!

Ellen x