Sunday, 27 July 2008

Hundreds and Hundreds of Stitches

I'm working on two projects just now, the vogue shawl, and a BPT jacket from Knitty. I've done another repeat and a half on the vogue shawl, but I'm not taking it off the needles to take pics any more. It's getting to a ridiculous amount of stitches - over 300 at the moment, and I've still got another repeat and a half to go, at least. The rows are taking a long time to get through now, although I'm getting used to the pattern now and only have to look at the chart at the beginning of the row, which speeds it up. Last time I took it off the needles to photograph, it took about half an hour to put them all back on, so I think I'll just complete these 3 repeats then maybe check how big it is then.

The BPT also has over 300sts on the needles right now. It's knit top-down, and I'm at that bit where I'm almost finished the shoulders but not quite, so it's taking a long time to finish those rows too. I'm alternating between the two projects, hoping the long rows will be over soon. Gargh, if only my gauge had been right the shawl would have been done by now!

(Garhgh. Whoever said natural light was best for photos????? The green in the sweater is supposed to be much darker and richer, and generally more lovely. I'll take a better pic and post that soon)

It made me think about just how many stitches are in a project like a sweater or shawl. There must be thousands! If I could be bothered I'd work out the maths, but I don't really need to - I have just suddenly realised how much work goes into making these projects I do as a hobby. It doesn't seem like much as I'm doing it cos it's one stitch at a time, but I guess it must build up!

I am liking both these patterns, and I'm totally excited to finish and get the finished products. I think I've got my big project mojo back now - it felt like ages I was stuck only wanting to make small things, and couldn't think of what to use my yarn for (despite my ravelry queue which is now 1200+), but now I have the yarn set aside for three more sweaters, and I want to make tons and tons of shawls. I'm getting quite a collection as it is :) I'm really excited and want to do all of them at once. But, I can only do one stitch at a time.

Hmmm, I'm thinking there's a life lesson there ;)

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

When Tupac Met Scheherazade . . .

He reallllly loved her. She was so soft and lovely, that he just couldn't resist.

I was having a big tidy in my bedroom the other day, and this is what I found.

Yup, my dog Tupac had somehow managed to get the stole off of the table where it was, and hide it just beside his bed, inbetween it and my bed, so that he could use it as it pillow. Now, it's a big dog-hairy mess!

I was so gutted when I saw that. But at least he only likes to use my knitting as a pillow. I've seen some horror pics on ravlery of puppies chewing knitting to death, so I guess in the grand scheme of things, this is not too bad. Just annoying.

Oh well, all it need is all the hairs picked off (how can all that hair fall off a dog and he still be fluffy, I don't get it!), and a good wash to get the dog stink off. Sigh.

I guess it's kind of cute, that he liked my stole so much he had to rest his head on it, but oh, it did not seem cute when I found it! I'll have to be more careful about where I store my knitting!

Sunday, 20 July 2008

My 1st vogue pattern - (non) beaded shawl

From VK Winter 2007/2008:

I'm not adding beads to this, for no real reason other than I didn't feel like it. I've been photographing it after every repeat:

That last photo is supposed to be it nearly complete, with the last repeat done. Hahahahaha! My gauge appears to be wayyyyyyyyy off! My shawl after this last repeat is only half the size it should be. You can see the difference in open-ness if you compare that pic to the one from the magazine.

After noticing this, I'm a little less keen on this shawl now. I wanted it to be like the one from the mag, dammit! But I suppose there's nothing wrong with it as it is, it's just different. It'll need another 3 repeats or so to make it the right size, and it'll be quite a bit heavier I imagine. A winter shawl! I've got lots of this wool anyway (gray rennie 100% wool off of ebay) so I'll have more than enough to complete it. And enough to make another at the correct gauge if I want, afterwards. So I'll keep going. I just can't bring myself to rip all of that back!!

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

My Sad Seraphina

I made this in the few days after my gran's death. I started it on the day she died, July 3rd, and finished it on July 7th. It went super fast, cos basically it was all I was doing. I poured all my sadness and thought of her while I was making it. I think it's got a few tears on it :(

I had planning to give her a Seraphina shawl for her christmas. I think she would have liked the way it drapes over the shoulders so you don't need to keep tugging it to keep it in place.

This is my second Seraphina Shawl (pattern's here, by the way, and I found this chart super-helpful). Here's the first:

They were both made with Teddy Vanguard 100% acrylic. The first one I made, the red one, was made with a 5mm hook, and the silver one is made with a 6mm hook. I like both, but the 6mm has much more drape and looks more graceful. The 5mm one feels more afghan-y, and is nice and warm. I'm still learning about gauge and the different fabrics you can achieve with crochet.

I hope my gran likes her shawl, wherever she is. I'll think of her every time I look at it. I'm sad I couldn't give her it for christmas, though :(

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Sad :'(

I had some bad news on Thursday. My gran passed away during the night.

I miss her. I'm crying as I write this. I just can't think of any words that could express how much I love her, what a wonderful person she was, so nice and warm, and she just radiated that grandmotherly glow.

She was 75. I still don't know what happened but she evidently died in her sleep at home, with no disturbance.

I'm glad she got to meet her great-granddaughter (my cousins baby) before she died. She loved that little girl and it made me happy to see her happy. The joy that came into her voice on the phone when she talked about her...

I'll be missing from blog-land for a while. The funeral's next thursday, and I'll be at my parent's house without internet all next week. If only I could drive I would be there now, but it's so far away. I've basically been living on ravelry since thursday. You've no idea how soothing it is to read acrylic/natural fibers debates when you're trying not think of how sad you are and how distracting they can be.

I wish I could think of a suitable piece to write about my gran. Maybe I'll be able to write more of what I feel as I get over the shock a little. Until then, all I can say is I love her and miss her, and I hurt :(

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

101 in 1001

I joined yet another internet group. This time, it's 101 in 1001, basically just a list of 101 things I want to do in 1001 days - the link to the main page is here. I haven't actually joined on that page yet, but I've joined the ravelry group :)

teh blurb:

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Some common goal setting tips:
1. Be decisive. Know exactly what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it.
2. Stay Focused. Any goal requires sustained focus from beginning to end. Constantly evaluate your progress.
3. Welcome Failure. Frequently, very little is learned from a venture that did not experience failure in some form. Failure presents the opportunity to learn and makes the success more worthy.
4. Write down your goals. It clarifies your thinking and reinforces your commitment.
5. Keep your goals in sight. Review them frequently, and ensure that they are always at the forefront of your thinking.

Start Date: July 18th, 2008
End Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2011

end blurb :)

Blimey, I hadn't realised the end date was so far away till I used the date calculator! Hopefully, I'll have more luck with this than project 365, although, that's on my list, to complete that also.

So, onwards to Teh List Of Doom! (I have two versions, one just with the random things as they came out my head, and another sorted. I'll post the sorted one, it's easier to see everything).

Creative Stuff:

1. Sew tote bags from pillow cases
2. Sew lined curtains for kitchen
3. Sew curtain for back door
7. get knitting pattern published
10. do project 365 and finish it!
13. sew 10yd or 25yd skirt for tribal
16. draw 10 pictures (any medium) /10
21. write 5 short stories or 1 book /5 /1
24. knit colourwork (fairisle type) sweater
37. make a quilt (doesn't matter what size or complexity)
43. design lace stole/shawl
49. make recycled paper
50. make paper from grass and plants
51. make bf's fahrenheit jumper
54. make a recipe book with recipes I can actually make
56. learn to knit socks on 1 circ
57. take photos of old knitting projects and post to ravelry
62. put up free sock pattern
63. crochet an item of clothing other than a scarf or shawl or hat or gloves
64. knit long socks (over knee length)
65. make inspiration board
66. use up all my crochet cotton thread
67. knit/crochet 5 blankets /5
68. frame, hang up pictures I've drawn
75. think of 500 pattern ideas and sketch them /500
76. write out 100 of those patterns /100
78. visit old graveyard at stirling uni and take photos
80. make my own knitter's almanac
82. draw 5 self-portraits /5

Passive Arts:

11. read lord of the rings /3
12. watch lord of the rings movies /3
46. finish listening to Narnia audiobooks 5/7
47. finish listening to Dark Materials audiobooks 1/3
60. go to a classical music concert
61. go see another ballet
73. read all of 1 James Clavell book
98. read 50 books


4. finish making border in back garden
5. organize and back up ALL computer files
6. get pet insurance
14. get put on list for council house
15. make database of dvds and cds
18. take Tupac to the forest 25 times /25
19. take those overdue books back to the library and pay the damn fine!
20. save £1000
26. phone mum every week for 3 months 1/12
27. phone pamela every week for 3 months 1/12
28. phone dad every fortnight for 3 months /6
36. phone gran every week for 3 months /12
22. paint living room and bedroom and doors.
25. tidy spare room to state of liveability
35. hoover every day for 1 month
45. get a hamster
69. buy an ironing board
74. create hat/scarf basket for hall
84. sort thru clothes, throw away old, non-fitting ones
85. throw out my old guinness t-shirt :(
88. buy a dvd camera
91. for 1 month, wash all dirty dishes before going to bed /31


8. lose weight to below 10.5 st
32. get driving liscence
44. get another tattoo
48. moisturise feet every day for 3 months /93
58. get bikini wax
70. get over my blennophobia
81. get eyes tested once a year /3
90. eat no chocolate for 1 month /31


9. perform solo sword dance
17. organise a bellydance hafla
29. choreograph dance to faddah
30. choreograph dance to indigroove
31. start teaching bellydance
77. choreograph drum solo
83. see bellydance superstars live
94. Finish choreographing Isis Wings - Enta Omri completely
97. learn to do a turkish drop


23. work thru pimmsleur japanese
59. get a japanese penfriend
71. Learn to say "I love you" in 10 languages /10
72. learn japanese calligraphy
89. translate one whole japanese novel (even a small one counts)


40. complete final fantasy x, x2, xii /3
41. complete morrowind or oblivion
86. Create a family on the Sims and play them through until death WITHOUT cheating
92. finish 10 other rpgs /10
93. play thru all silent hill games again /5
95. complete 10 other games


33. go see Rosslyn Chapel
34. go up Wallace monument
42. go to 10 museums /10
87. Go somewhere on my new passport


38. post to my blog every day for one month /31
52. post 20 book reviews on my blog /20
53. submit cd reviews to shimmycast
55. update blog twice a week for a year /104
79. put tags on all my blog posts 23.07.2008
96. get account

Haven't decided yet:
101. make a journal with all of this in it.

I'll update the list as I finish tasks (and actually choose the last few!). Actually, I was thinking of making a whole other blog for it, as it'll be easier to keep track of what I'm doing. Hmm. Need to think about that, but it's a distinct possibility.