Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Rock Star Dashings

My bf has been playing a lot of guitar recently, and it's been freezing! So I figured he needed something to keep his arms warm, but still leave his fingers free to play the guitar. And after seeing the YarnHarlot's Dashings, I figured these would be perfect. And good for stash busting too! So I went ahead and made them.

I really like the cables on them. The kind of remind me of wood - bare tree branches winding around each other in the autumn. Something about the pattern seemed a bit un-intuitive, but nobody else seemed to have had any problems with it, so I carried on and just knit the pattern as it was written. And it worked out brilliantly! They're black (the bf doesn't like colours) so the cables are really hard to photograph, but they look really nice on. I knit them with 2 strands of 4 ply wool held together cos I didn't have any black wool thick enough to hand, and wanted to make them right away. They're really warm and cozy, just the thing for the cold winter!

Of course, the bf doesn't like patterns either. I figured he might like these cables, cos I didn't think they were too girly. But, apparantly they are. So these dashings now belong to me. Not that I'm at all bothered. I love them! So he's getting another pair, the same pattern but without the cables. Basically a tube with a thumb, but he's happy with that. And more of the stash gets used, so I'm happy too! :)

Shimmer Shrug Done

I love the way the arm flares out over the hand - it's so cool! And the sleeves are actually a decent length in this pattern! I always have to lengthen them, but these are great!

The lace pattern was a pain though. Is the last line in the pattern right? The way I read it, it seemed that the whole lozenge pattern moved a stitch to the right. But I looked on Ravelry, and Google, and couldn't find anyone who'd noticed this. All I could find was people having problems with incorporating the lace pattern into the raglan decreases. But I thought there might be a problem even before the decreases. Anyway, I just totally winged the lace pattern, basically making it up as I went along. But I think it turned out ok, and I'm pleased with it.

I really like this pattern. I think maybe the 19" size is maybe a tad too big, but it's fine just now - just hope it doesn't stretch in the wash. Next time I make it - I think there will be a next time cos it's a really great shrug - I'll make the 17" version.

Sunday, 16 December 2007


Oh, I am sore today! I had my last dance classes of this year yesterday, and boy, did our teacher work us hard! In my belly dance class we were doing undulations (camels, body rolls, or whatever else you call them) going up and down, and my back is paying for it today. Also, in my tribal style class, we were drilling some moves, and we've also been doing arm work to strengthen our muscles. The arm work is also very tiring on the back, but I'm noticing an improvement in how long I can hold my arms up while doing tribal. That was a big problem when I started - you have to keep your arms up for a long time, and most people haven't developed the muscles required for that, myself included. I do have the Arms and Posture DVD by Rachel Brice, but I need to use it more. I end up just standing watching her, she's so beautiful and inspiring and such a good dancer. It's a really good DVD, even when I skipped through it the first day I got it, I got loads of helpful tips. The work is very muscle intensive, so needs lots of practice lol!

So I was going to practice more today, but I think I should leave it till tomorrow. I think today I'm just going to lie around and complain about being stiff!

Friday, 14 December 2007

Shimmer Shrug

In an effort to destash some cotton I have, I'm now knitting the Shimmmer Shrug from Knitty.

I'm using some Patons 100% cotton that I bought off ebay last december. I remember buying it cos I thought the postie had stolen it (well, not my postie, cos she's very nice and doesn't steal things, I just mean the post office in general), cos it had been AGES and two other packages I ordered at the same time didn't come (they did just disappear), but it turned out that the seller had actually forgotton to send it. So that's how I remember that particular purchase. I remember that at the time I had also decided that it was going to be used to make the Shimmer shrug, but somehow never got around to it. Ah, I know what it was - I got confused with gauge. The pattern said to get gauge of 20 sts with 5mm needles, and I got confused because I got it with 4mm needles. Somehow that threw me, and I never got round to realising that I could just make it with the 4mm needles and it would be the right size. That didn't register for some reason. But now I know better, and I'm finally making it. I'm doing my usual worrying about if it's going to turn out too big (I'm making the 19" back size, and I'm wondering if I should have made the 17" inch size). I get a bit confused about the sizing for shrugs. But I'm just going to make this one at 19", and if it's too big, I can rip it out and start again. I'm getting better at realising there is the option to rip knitting out, and not throwing something in the corner to forget about it because I'm worrying about something. And this is a very quick knit. I only started two days ago, and I've done both sleeves and I'm half way up the back already, so I'm sure there's nothing to worry about. :)

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Checking Back In

Erp! I didn't realise it had been so long since I posted! I've been really busy, mostly with dancing, but also with preparations for christmas. Next year, I swear I'm going to start getting presents and stuff in October, just so I'll have enough time toget it all done. I always leave it till the beginning of December, and one month just dosn't seem long enough. It should be, but it's not. I still have a few presents to get - I've given up on the idea of making them.

Dancing-wise, it's been all go until now, and now there's nothing till after xmas! Boo! I performed at a hafla a couple of weeks ago, which was fun, then last week I performed at a charity event. It was a supposed to be a duet, but my friend had to pull out at the last minute, and I ended up performing in front of a group of strangers all on my ownsome! The weird thing is, that wasn't the scary part for me, the scary part was having to go in and introduce myself and talk to everyone. The dancing was the easy part - just listening to the music and making sure to keep my smiley face on. Most people would say it's the other way round, but I have to be different! I suppose when I'm dancing I have something to concentrate on, but when I'm not my social anxiety goes into overdrive.

The main dancing thing I'm working on now is an Isis wings routine for a hafla in March. I even dreamed about it last night, that's how much I've been working on this, and thinking about it, and listening to the music, and imagining bits of dancing that might go with it. All while I'm supposed to be Xmas shopping, aarg! Still, I'm planning to have it all done by Thursday. Let's just hope that goes to plan.