Meandering Through Saturday


Discovery

There will still be bad days, even with the new meds.  Had one Thursday, and today’s none too good.  Still, I’ll be fairly content if I get back to more good days than bad.

Well, Puzzle Me!

Yep, I’m doing puzzles again.  Crosswords, preferably cryptic, are a favourite.  I also like ‘killer Sudoku’ but can’t find any so I’m rattling through ordinary ones instead.  At least it’s a bit of mental exercise.

Double Disco’ Day

Today’s another double disco’ day for Jenny.  One this afternoon and another tonight. So, I saw her up until noon and probably won’t see her again until the early hours.  Bad timing with how I feel, but there’s no way I could ask her to stay home!  Between working full time and caring for me the rest of the time, she needs time off.

Requested Artwork!

You probably recall the mention of Reuben and his artistic talent.  Well, I’ve given him some food for thought.  I’m going to need a cover for my new novelette/novella.  I’ve given him the details and am now hoping that he can do the necessary.  I think it’s challenging, but then I don’t have anywhere near his talent at art!

I also suggested that he and his friends might like to have a go at making a video trailer for my books.  He’s not too optimistic on that one.  I just thought it might be fun for them.  We’ll see how it goes…

Paperback Perils

The first paperback copies of one of my novelettes hit a bit of a snag.  The printer made a mess of things by not cropping the covers square.  Not the fault of skoobebooks, though.  Keith there has done a great job, and still is!  Poor chap was mortified.

The other novelette that’s been being processed has now reached almost final stage.  With FeedARead, however, I can’t release the book for sale, even on their own site, until I’ve seen a proof printed copy.  The problem?  I’ve had to buy a copy!  Not amused!  Considering FeedARead are ‘Arts Council Funded’, it’s costing me more!

Needless to say, all future paperbacks will be put with skoobebooks!  At least I get a free courtesy copy from them, and genuine, one-to-one help and advice.  With FeedARead, all I get is pro forma emails that can’t be replied to!

Handicrafts

The other day, I considered doing some cross-stitch.  I’ve got a big project that needs to be completed.  Naturally, shortly after thinking about it, I discovered that it would be very unwise to do it!  I developed some very nasty little white, itchy lumps on two fingers.  I could just imagine what threads would do to them.  Project back on hold.  Most frustrating!

Follower Numbers Growing!

Since restarting this blog, and changing its mission, the number of its followers has increased rather dramatically!  I would like to think that it’s because folk have been enjoying my posts on Imagineer-ing, but there’s no way I can really make any assumptions.  Still, it’s a nice thought.  If you’re a new Follower – thanks!  If you’re not – thanks again – and I’m amazed you hung around for so long, when I wasn’t posting!  I’d love to hear from you, whichever you are: do you only read this one of my blogs or do you read Imagineer-ing too?

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Experimentalism!


A little while ago I was asked to make a scarf for somebody I know through the internet.  They want one that is in all black, which is murder on my poor old eyes.  I agreed to have  a go but had to think of some way to alleviate the problem of knitting with black yarn under artificial light.  In the end, I opted to experiment.  I’m delighted to report that the experiment is a complete success and the scarf is growing fast!  Basically, it couldn’t be simpler…  I’m using ordinary DK yarn but with 10mm needles!  The results are a delight.  It produces a light, soft, warm fabric that’s ideally suited to a scarf.  It’s also far less stressful on my eyes!

10mm Scarf

10mm Scarf WIP

The open texture gives a lace-like appearance.  I think this technique would be equally suited to tights, socks/stockings/tights, shawls, blankets and Afghans/throws.

iPod and Socks…


Following being given an iPod touch for my birthday, the first thing I did was to make a knitted cosy for it:

iPod cosy

iPod cosy

It’s based on the iphone case by Charlotte Nash.  I had to adjust the size some, and I added the flap, which is secured with a large bead.  A lightning fast project!

Today will see the completion of the first of the dayflower socks, which had reached this stage when I wrote this:

Dayflower socks WIP01

Dayflower socks WIP01

I love this pattern!

With regard to the iPod, I’m using the app KnitMinder by Quilt2Go to record my projects, and to provide a range of handy counters.  I tried the Lite version first and our eldest son bought me the full app as a surprise!  I’d love to know what JKnit is like to use but there isn’t an evaluation version and it’s rather pricey to take a risk on…

 

Scarf Working


In the midst of all the other projects I’ve got on the go, I started developing another new scarf on Saturday.  It’s destined for our younger son’s partner so there’s definitely a desire to get it right!  It’s based on the feather and fan lace pattern with one or two twists of my own.

Dawn's Lace Scarf

Dawn's Lace Scarf

I’m using Cygnet DK, Shade 3501 – Mulberry Mix.  While it may be 8-ply yarn, the lace pattern makes the scarf much lighter than might be expected.  Hopefully this pattern should be a good, gentle introduction to lace knitting for those who have never tried it, whatever their level of experience.  I’ll release the pattern through Ravelry as soon as I’m satisfied with it.

Sock It To Me… The Sequel : Part 2


I’ve completed the first of the classic cable socks for Jenny:

Classic Cable Socks - WIP03

Classic Cable Socks - WIP03

Just have to knit the second one now!

Sock It To Me… The Sequel


I’m making progress on the classic cable socks for Jenny:

Since starting these socks, I’ve learnt something new.  Apparently, there’s a rule that the pattern instruction Sl 1 means Slip 1 stitch purlwise unless otherwise stated.  Having encountered patterns where this is stipulated and those where some other action is dictated, plus several where no guidance is given, I naturally assumed that you slip stitches in the manner of other stitches in the row – i.e. slip knitwise on a knit row or purlwise on a purl row.  When I reached the heel flap and turn heel, I followed that assumption.  Not having reference books or a computer handy at the time (we were out and about), I had no chance to investigate the undefined instruction.  I find it odd that the pattern includes the definitions:

ssk (slip, slip, knit) Slip next 2 sts as if to knit, one at a time, to right needle; insert left needle into fronts of these 2 sts and k them togther

and:

sl = slip

but the sl definition doesn’t simply add the word purlwise for clarity!  Why?  Why assume the reader knows the rule or can look it up?  It seems very odd to me…

Well, all my slipped stitches are done wrong, except the SSKs, but I’m not going to “fix” them!  I actually like the effect I’ve got, especially as it cushions the back of the heel.  What a pity, though, that the confusion arose because the pattern writer thought that one eight letter word was superfluous…

Sock It To Me…


Yes, I’ve finished my first ever pair of socks!

Sock WIP03

Sock WIP03

I’m delighted with the result.  And now I know how much more comfortable they are than bought socks, I’m going to be making more!  In fact, I’ve already started making a pair for Jenny – Lion Brand’s Classic Cable Socks.  A bigger challenge, using DPNs and a cable needle… but so far, so good.  I’m making them in Cygnet Yarns DK Shade 150, Heather, on 2.75mm DPNs (the smallest I’ve used so far).

Edit to add WIP photo:

Here’s a WIP photo of the Classic Cable Socks:

Classic Cable Socks - WIP01

Classic Cable Socks - WIP01

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 

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…