High Calibre ebooks!

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a great piece of software.  Many people are now using ebooks, an increasing number of which are designed specifically for viewing on specific ebook readers.  Managing these can be troublesome, and not all formats can be read on all readers.  Well, Calibre overcomes this!  It can aid the management of your ebooks, with libraries for specific genres (for example: fiction, knitting, crochet) and can also upload them to your reader.  Calibre can also convert your ebooks to different formats and allows printing of those viewed via its own viewer (I haven’t used this feature myself but the print preview appears to exclude pictures).

All in all, Calibre is definitely worth getting – especially as it’s free!


Crochet Dreamz

I came across Crochet Dreamz the other day.  I have to say that I love the footwear on there!  The creations, all crocheted, are just delightful.  They have clean, tidy lines and are refreshingly different.  So many bootees and such have, to me, a saggy appearance, but these don’t!  I don’t (can’t) crochet, so seeing these is a touch frustrating, but in all fairness, I just had to share 

Easter Knitting Mix

This Easter weekend has seen me behaving like a grasshopper, in knitting terms.  Sunday saw some growth of the sweater, until my fingers started to hurt constantly, using 3mm metal needles.  If only I could get a pair of bamboo needles in that size!  As a gap filler, when resting from the sweater, I continued work on the sock too, and it’s going well – I’ve even turned the heel.  I also started on making another of the rabbit wash cloths for our youngest granddaughter, which I finished this morning, and another yarn blossom.

Eight inches of rib for the sock seemed to take forever and I expected the same for the rest of the sock, but turning the heel didn’t take long at all, even though I did have to tink (undo stitch by stitch) several rounds because I got confused on the decreases after nodding off…  I do have some decreases to go, but I’m feeling much more confident now.  So, the sock is now at this stage:

Sock WIP02a

Sock WIP02a

Sock WIP02b

Sock WIP02b

The yarn blossom, which I named Spring Camelia, was knitted with a variegated yarn that I found in our stash.  It’s 4-ply and we only had a very small bit left, but I do think that it works well for these blossoms:

Yarn Blossom 02 - "Spring Camelia"
Yarn Blossom 02 – “Spring Camelia”

The wash cloth was knitted using a cotton blend yarn that Jenny found in the stash.  Unfortunately, there was no ball band with it, but it’s 4-ply for sure!  It has a subtle sheen and knits up beautifully, with a softer feel than many cotton yarns.  The photo doesn’t do the cloth justice, being rather blurred and nothing like the correct colour.  The yarn is actually a dusky pink!

Hippity Hop! Wash Cloth
Hippity Hop! Wash Cloth

Sweating Over A New Project : WIP Part 2

I finished the back of the sweater on Thursday.   Now I’m back to using 3mm metal needles to start the front!  Murder on my hands but I’ve only got one, old bamboo 3mm needle.  I’m pleased with the look of the back.

Paul's Sweater - WIP02
Paul’s Sweater – WIP02

Sorry about the poor quality of the photo.

I’ll be glad to get back onto my 3.75mm bamboo needles on the front part!  I’ll also be glad to get the bulk of the black out of the way again, but that’s some days away yet.  I’m still working on other projects to break up knitting in black, and to ease both my eyes and my hands.  The sock is the primary thing but I’ve also started work on making a bag to my own design.

I’m making the bag in Aran (Stylecraft), in a lovely denim colour.  It will feature two cable panels, one on each face, and four two-colour “knot” panels, two on each face.  I’ve written up the basic pattern instructions and am amending it when necessary as I progress.  I’m knitting it in the round, on a 6mm x 40cm circular needle, to minimise sewing and in hopes that it will make the bag stronger.  I was originally planning on using ready made handles but having seen the prices, I’ve decided to knit the handles too, making them double thickness and also knitted as part of the main body, rather than making them separately.  There’s nothing to see yet, really, so I’m not including a photo at this stage.  I’ve yet to select the two colours for the knot panels so I won’t be getting very far just yet, as I’ll have to find the yarn and buy it.

As a substitute “distraction project”, I’ve located some cotton yarn in our stash and I’m planning on making another cloth with that.  It’s quite soft and if it knits up that way, it will become a face cloth for one of our granddaughters   Of course, if that comes to be, then I’m going to have to do another for our other granddaughter 

Yarn #2 : Cygnet Double Knitting

A while back a friend gave me three 100g balls of yarn, all by Cygnet Yarns Limited.  This 100% acrylic yarn is wonderful to work with.  It knits up beautifully soft, unlike some acrylic yarns.  There are 39 listed colours, of which I have 133 Royal (“Royal Blue”, that is), 6869 Bright Lime and 2297 Chocolate.  The Royal and Bright Lime are both vivid colours.  The Royal I’m using for a pair of socks.  This is not an expensive yarn and yet it out performs some that are (relatively).  Cygnet sell direct from their web site, mostly in packs of 10 balls, as well as through retail outlets.

I can most definitely recommend this yarn!

I’m hoping to obtain some of their Kiddies Kaleidoscope DK as I think it will work very well in making yarn blossoms for embellishing other projects.  If it’s as good as the standard DK, it will be a great buy.

Socking and Blooming…

I’ve taken the plunge!  Yes I have, there’s no denying it!  I’m learning to knit socks, on DPNs…  I’ve put it off time and again, because I’ve always found the pattern instructions immensely confusing.  Then, somebody on Ravelry kindly posted a couple of links for online lessons.  I checked them both out and found that I could actually follow the instructions on one of them: Silver’s Sock Class.  I’m now knitting the first part, heading for the heel LOL.  (As an aside here, I was watching an episode of Miss Marple the other evening and I said to Jenny at one point: “Is it sad that I now understand that?”, as one of the characters said that she had been turning heels!)  So far, apart from tangled fingers now and then, I think it’s progressing reasonably well:

Sock WIP01
Sock WIP01

To be honest, it’s now a few inches longer than in the photo.  I’m working in Cygnet double knit, knitting-in-the-round.  It will be more of an occasional WIP, as I’m doing it in between other projects.

As a distraction from the sweater, on Sunday I had a play with a knitted flower: Yarn Blossom.  It only took a few minutes to do but was fun!  I used double knit yarn and 3.75mm needles so it could have been smaller LOL.  I got this result though:

Small Yarn Blossom
Small Yarn Blossom

It can be very relaxing, doing such things in the midst of major projects…

A Complaint….

I’m getting quite upset.   Everywhere I turn, participation in some pretty cool things requires being on Facebook™!  Now, I was on Facebook for a few years, but security breaches have been getting ever worse and I’ve suffered as a result.  I’ve had a Gmail account hacked, viruses have attcked my computer, and I’ve been swamped with spam, and all could be traced back to Facebook, without any difficulty!  As a result, about two months ago, I quit Facebook and have no intention of ever going back to it.

Why, oh why, is it that when Facebook is showing so many more problems, are so many more people using it to promote themselves or their companies?   The decision to make some things, including competitions, available only through Facebook is excluding everybody who has had the good sense to either never join it, or to leave it before matters get worse!

Please!!  Please, I appeal to all company owners and individuals using Facebook in these ways to either abandon it or to offer those who reject Facebook an alternative to it!

It’s A Mystery… The Reveal!

This morning, I finished the Knit-Along.  This was great fun and I’m delighted with the finished object.  It’s a dishcloth/wash cloth featuring the Easter Bunny 

HBYL KAL - Easter Bunny
HBYL KAL – Easter Bunny

This was knitted in 100% acrylic DK yarn (QD Stores Ltd. Knitting Yarn, New Lemon) on UK size 9/US  size 5/3.75mm needles.

How To Decrease Evenly.

This is going to be a much used website for me! I detest the “decrease x sts evenly across row” instruction in patterns!  With this, the headaches become a thing of the past.  Hooray!

Knitting How To decrease evenly..

This is just one of several very useful tools that The Knitting Fiend kindly provides.  Check them out here.

WIP-ping up a hat – Episode 4

After a delay to obtain a small cable-length 6mm circular needle and 6mm DPNs (double pointed needles), I’ve finally finished the smocked tam for Jenny:

Jenny’s thrilled!  :D I must admit that, though perhaps I shouldn’t say so myself, it looks really good.  The smocking process was very simple and gives a very nice effect  It will be good to see Jenny wearing both her tunic and the hat..I’ve still got some scope for other accessories in the same yarn as there was a definite surplus!