Sunday, 17 August 2014

Only Lefties are in their Right Minds

Happy Sunday folks!

I last wrote to you at the very beginning of my holidays, and here I am already at the end of them! I'm not quite sure where those 14 days went, but this time tomorrow I'll be knee deep in work, the memories of the last two weeks fading fast! ;-)

It has been a busy two weeks, I've lots to tell you about!

I've ticked many things of my to do list.  Sadly most of them are housework related and therefore far too boring to tell you about. Suffice to say, my cream carpet was returned to it's original glory for all of a week, now, sadly there are dirty marks on it again from a welding project brought into the house by the other half - sigh.

We went to a local exhibition centre called Rheged. There are a few shops there selling Cumbrian wares. The exhibition hall changes frequently. At the moment there is a Lego exhibition on by Warren Elsmore.

The Olympic Park in London

The Trevi Fountain in Rome

It was quite a sight to see - buildings from around the world made of Lego. The centre piece was St Pancras Station. Stunning. 

 My only complaint was that it wasn't very inspirationally displayed. St Pancras Station sat in the middle of the room with the other buildings under glass set on plinths around the room. It felt like they'd been plonked there. The room wasn't decorated, there was no flow, odd. There was, however, a couple of tables in the entrance to the exhibition where children could build their own Lego sculptures. Over all it was ok, thankfully it only cost us £1.50 each. If it had been any more, I'd have been a tad miffed.

There has been much crafting this week, so let's get to it!

As promised last time, here's a photo of my completed fulled single yarn. I'm really rather happy with it, but lord knows what it'll become.

Feeling the Love -

What a fortnight it's been. I've made progress left, right and centre, but there has been only one FO! My Enforced Monogamy socks are done. All hail sport weight socks I say!

There is quite a lot of yarn left over. I think that together with my other Regia 6 ply, it may make a rather cute stuffie!

OOOH! OOOH! OOOH! I lied!!! I have another FO!!!!!!

I'm really rather pleased with myself! I made a skirt!!!! I know!! Get me!?!?
(sorry for all of the exclamation marks, but I'm really chuffed!!)(sorry again)

This is one of my Camp Aloha Friends projects. I'm delighted with the results.
It's an A-line skirt with an invisible zip. It fits a treat. I'm so happy with it I might even be tempted to try my hand with another project sooner rather than later.

Definitely done with the FO's now. Promise.

I do have a couple of HO's though. Both Ben's second socks and my It's All Xraymd's fault socks have felt significant love. Ben's second sock is still a toe, but my second Thanks sock is racing down towards the toe.

The Thanks socks have been an interesting knit. I'm knitting along with Andrea and I'm helping her wrestle with the chart aspect of the pattern. I'm having to knit and conciously think about what I'm doing. Rather than blindly following the instructions, I'm thinking about what I'm doing and why, how can I best describe this in plain language to someone who's never knitted from a chart before. It's been an eye opener and seeing as how I have a pattern out at test knitters now, I'm thinking about how best I can change the instructions to be more clear. Stand by! In an effort to describe the sock to those who've never knitted it before I made a quick YouTube video.

In other Camp Aloha Friends news, a little while ago I made paper beads with using a tutorial from Zena. I knew I wanted to make stitch markers with them, it just took me a while. So Friday I got out my equipment and had a play.

Now, our Camp Director, Mel, wanted us to take a step in her shoes. She wanted to think about what it is to teach or coach someone. She asked us to put together a tutorial, she told us to think about anything, any task, and work out a way to present the information to someone else. "Stretch yourself" was her only guidance. So, I thought that making our beads into stitch markers would be a nice tutorial. I set up the camera and started. Sadly, however, I neglected to factor in the disruption two 11 year old children can have on your plans! It took many takes, and in the end I settled for the best of a bad bunch! The end result sees my hands wander out of frame often, but you can't hear the kids hollering and having fun, so it's the lesser of two evils!

It's been a fortnight filled with helping. At knit night a couple of weeks ago, one of the ladies came in wearing a Leftie by Martina Bhem. Much cooing over it ensued and Karen decided she must make one! It is, after all, an excellent way to use up all of those sock yarn scraps. Karen got stuck! She emailed me for help with the pattern. So, I brought up the pattern on my ipad one morning, got two balls of sock yarn that hadn't been put away yet (*coughs*) and cast on. I followed the pattern past the first leaf, making notes as I did to clarify the pattern instructions and emailed them to Karen and ripped out the swatch I was playing with. Karen informed me she is flying with the pattern now. I was left thinking of all the colour and yarn combinations that Leftie would look good in. I was reminded of the yarn I used to make Inspira and Mara's Mitts. How lovely would the body of the shawl look in that dark fading black colour of my Inspira? And those leaves would look great in Mara's yarn. Hmmm, I thought. All of my sock yarn scraps have been made into gigantic magic cakes for my sock so new yarn may have to be purchased (*coughs* again). A quick trip into town saw me return with a black ball of Jawoll Magic and a gorgeous 50g ball of bright rainbow happiness that I promptly lost the tag of! Both are singles, and are knitting up lovely. I'm happy with the results, but picking up wraps when your yarn is a single who's sole purpose in life is to split and cause probems has proved tricky! But I'm inspired to keep on knitting, both Zena (littleyellowuke on rav, instagram and twitter) and Deb of the World of Imagination blog are also knitting it and their progress photos are inspirational.

I'm loving how the leaves are slowly changing colour. I'm also weaving in my ends as I go. The idea of leaving them all to the last minute fills me with dread.

I've spent a great deal of time on my sock yarn blanket. I'm about halfway through one of those giant magic cakes I mentioned earlier. I've got another two made and I'm thinking that when these are finished, I'm going to call the blanket done.

Since I last wrote, Mel of the Single Handed Knits blog and video podcast has had a revelation. She's moving away from that blog and has started another. With Mel Dot com is a thing of beauty. The photography is nothing short of stunning and, as always, Mel writes in a wonderfully inspirational way.To celebrate her new blog, she's designed a lovely shawlette. She has been giving the instructions for the pattern in weekly instalments. I did some stash diving and came up with a ball of Opal Say it with Flowers. I'd scored it a while back on ebay for a song, but didn't really know what I'd do with it. It's a hand dyed effect yarn with red and blue mixing in the middle to make shades of purple. I wasn't sure how it would knit up in Mel's pattern Menehune. It's knit with an applied edging and I was concerned that I'd end up with odd striping as I knit that edging. As it stands, I'm really happy with my progress. Here I am, Sunday afternoon, and I'm already waiting for the next set of instructions just hours after Mel released this week's video.

On the Horizon -

I'm hoping to at least finish my Thanks socks this week, I hope to make progress on Ben's socks too.
Mel has thrown another WIP-shaped spanner in the works! Tomorrow sees her release another pattern. Hapa is another garter stitch shawl with fabulous colour work. I've caked my yarn ready.

I'm using two skeins of hand spun. The blue is spun from BFL batts I bought at Woolclip a while back. The red is Merino from Forest Fibres.

So between going back to work and having new shawl goodness to work on, I'm not sure that my existing WIP's will see much action!

Have a great week,
See ya!
Ellen x

P.S. This week's photography is courtesy of Ben. He wanted to help. I think he did a good job! naks Ben x Love ya!! ;-)