Thursday, 26 February 2009

Look! A WIP Actually In Progress!!

icelandic turtleneck wip

It seems like it's not very often these days that I post about a work actually in progress. I always seem to leave it till it's finished, and then write one post about the FO. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with that - after all, it means that I'm busy knitting - but it's nice sometimes to write about something that isn't finished yet.

So here it is, the Icelandic Turtleneck Sweater (rav link), from the crochet me book (amazon link), by Chloe Nightingale.

I've been obsessed with this sweater since I first bought the book, and have been desperate to make it, but I never seemed to have enough suitable fingering weight yarn. So, on the way back from my parents' house last week, I popped into the wool shop at Glenrothes, and bought some :) I went in looking for navy, since I'd used navy Stylecraft Special 4 ply for my CanCans, and figured that would be a suitable yarn. But they didn't have enough navy to make the armwarmers as well, and that's really what makes the whole outfit, I think. So I looked around, and they had this Stylecraft Life yarn in a pink heathery type colour. I know, pink! It's soooooo not me. Usually. But recently I've been kind of drawn to making things in pink (I've no idea why, and I hope this new found girlyness goes away soon, it's just not right, lol!). Anyway, it's working up quite nicely, and it'll be a change to have something in a pastel-y colour.

The yarn seems to be spun exactly like the Stylecraft Special, it has that same splittyness :( My crochet hook keeps going through the plies. But it's soft and makes a nice fabric, as does the Special. The only difference between the two yarns is that the Life has a wool content, and you can feel it in the fabric :) It's an affordable, nice yarn for a sweater or other garment, you just have to watch what you're doing or you end up with split stitches. But it forces me to relax, and slow down, and do the whole zen knitting/crochet thing, which can't be bad really!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Phew! It all went well! :D

Thank you for the good luck wishes with my performance! I'm sure it must have worked, because it went quite well, better than I thought it would! :D

I listened to the song all Saturday, and then in the car on my ipod all the way to the venue, and eventually came up with a sort of plan for the song. Not so much a choreography as a sort of outline of what each part sounded like, and then some moves that I could put in. So long as I listened hard to what part of the song I was at, I'd be fine :) So of course, I got carried away dancing, didn't I, and lost where I was in the song during the 3rd minute! Luckily, the song I chose (Aziza by Hossam Ramzy) has very distinct parts to it, so I was soon back at a place I recognised, and could pick it up from there. I suppose it's a good sign that I got carried away, it means that listening to the song all day did something!

The hafla was great! There were a lot of different types of acts on this year. Me and my friend did Bollywood as well, and there were a few other Bollywood and Bollywood inspired acts. There was a tribal fan dance, a sword dance, a hip hop fusion piece, a couple of acts used veils, a dark tribal solo piece and a dance where the person wore a mask (this was their first solo piece, and it was amazing!) All the acts were fantastic, and watching them helped me forget that I was on at the end. In fact, I could have gone on all night watching them! :D It was a really fun night, and it was good to see some people from other classes that I haven't seen in a while.

I've kind of been away from the blog and ravelry for a little while (it's only a few days, but I'm normally so obsessed that it seems like forever!) I have discovered the deeper aspects of Flickr..... Yep, I am fast becoming obsessed with that too! I upgraded my account to pro, and have been uploading and joining groups, and I discovered the explore page as well, which can suck time like nothing else!

I have been knitting and crocheting, a pair of socks and the Icelandic turtleneck pullover from the crochet me book respectively. I finished a couple of scarves, which I will blog about soon, even if I have to block myself from Flickr! And I'll be going round everyone's blog now, cos good though Flickr is, I've missed you all! :D

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Eep! Isis Wings Tonight!!!!!!

It's finally beginning to hit me that tonight, I have an Isis wings performance!!!! I was kind of hoping to ignore that fact till I got up on the floor, but it doesn't look like that plan of attack is going to work :( I'm all shaky and nervous.

I don't normally get nervous till 5 mins before I have to perform, but for some reason I'm more scared of dancing with Isis Wings. I don't know why, since the drama of the wings actually takes a lot of the pressure off me. People are more busy watching the shiny wings than looking to see if I've made a small mistake :) But maybe the drama makes me feel like I have to step up my performance, and I feel like I have to live up to the shininess of the wings. I don't know exactly what it is, but right now, I'm dreading it. I'm on 2nd from last too, so I'll have the whole show to dread it!!

Part of the problem is probably that I haven't actually practiced with my wings to this song for quite a while, a few weeks at least (no space in the house). I've been listening to the song all day, and thinking of what I'm planning to do, but I think I'll end up forgetting my plan after the first section, like I normally do, and have to improvise. EEEEEEEP! And the song feels so loooooong when I'm listening to it. Who'd have thought 4:56 could feel like an eternity? Why didn't I pick a shorter song? :D (I'm dancing to Aziza by Hossam Ramzy)

I'm sure it'll be fine really, I'm just working myself up into a tizzy for nothing. I just thought I'd come on t'internets and whine a little :)

Monday, 9 February 2009

My New Favourite Shrug

OK, so every time I make a shrug, it's my new favourite one, and I love all my shrugs, which is actually kind of strange really, since I never thought I'd get into them, but I really like the way they look on me with vest tops ;) Like this one:


Pattern: Shetland Shorty, by Gudrun Johnston, from

Yarn: Stylecraft Special 4 ply in black, probably about a ball of it, maybe a little more. It was split over two balls that I'd used bits from, so I'm not really sure about the exact yardage. I'll weigh the shrug later, then I'll be able to tell! :)

I really-really-really love-love-love this shrug!!! It was one of the patterns that I'd printed off ages ago, but never chose the yarn for. Then I bought two balls of Stylecraft Special 4 ply just before Christmas last year, and a couple of weeks ago something clicked, and I realised I could use that yarn. I'm so glad I finally got round to making it! I wore it to bellydance class last Thursday, and it was perfect. It didn't make me too hot, so I could keep it on through the entire class and not get too chilly, and I like the way it ties just exactly under my bust line :) Very useful for seeing how my isolations are going ;)

I would totally make this shrug again, and am even trying to plan what other colours to make it in! It was a really fast knit, only a few days, although sometimes the K2togs got a bit fiddly and time consuming and I wanted them to hurry up! The picking up of stitches for the neckline and armholes felt time consuming too, but picking up stitches always does! It wasn't actually that hard to get the right stitch count for this pattern when picking up, and I like the garter stitch on the neckband, ties and armholes. Very stretchy on the ties!

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Knitting Techniques List

I've seen this list around for a while, and always meant to do my own version, but never got round to it. Then I saw it on Kate's blog, and decided just to go for it :)

The idea is that you mark with bold the things you have done, mark the ones you plan to do sometime in italics, and leave the rest in plain text. I'm going to include things I've done in crochet too. :)

American/English knitting
Baby items
Cable stitch patterns
Charity knitting
Combination knitting
Continental knitting
Cuffs/fingerless mits/arm-warmers
Designing knitted garments
Domino knitting
Drop stitch patterns
Dyeing spinning fiber
Dyeing with plant colors
Dying yarn
Fair Isle knitting
Free-form knitting
Garter stitch
Graffiti knitting
Hair accessories
Hats: Cuff-up
Hats: Top-down
Holiday related knitting
Household items
Kitchener stitch
Knitted flowers
Knitting a gift
Knitting a pattern from an on-line knitting magazine
Knitting and purling backwards
Knitting art
Knitting for a living
Knitting for pets (does a blanket count? Tupac does not have the patience to wear a dog sweater or anything like it!)
Knitting for preemies
Knitting in public
Knitting items for a wedding
Knitting on a loom
Knitting smocking
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on one or two circulars
Knitting to make money
Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with alpaca
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Knitting with beads
Knitting with camel yarn
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with cotton
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Knitting with dpns
Knitting with linen
Knitting with metal wire
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn
Knitting with silk
Knitting with someone else’s hand-spun yarn
Knitting with soy yarn
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Knitting with wool
Knitting with your own hand-spun yarn
Lace patterns
Long Tail CO
Machine knitting
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Moebius band knitting
Norwegian knitting
Participate in an exchange
Participating in a KAL
Publishing a knitting book (Hey, I can dream!)
Short rows
Slip stitch patterns
Socks: toe-up
Socks: top-down
Steeks (Scary, but I want to do it one day!)
Stockinette stitch
Stuffed toys
Teaching a child to knit (just need to find a willing subject!)
Teaching a male how to knit (unfortunately none of the men I know have any interest in knitting)
Textured knitting
Thrummed knitting
Toy/doll clothing
Tubular CO
Twisted stitch patterns
Two end knitting
Writing a pattern

Lion Brand Cowl Neck Sweater

I made this in January, but only just got a photo recently. I'm so bad at photographing my FO's!


It's the Side-To-Side Cowl Neck Sweater, which is a free pattern from Lion Brand. It's a great pattern, very easy with a simple construction, but it looks interesting. It's a great mindless project, lots of crocheting in straight lines.

I adapted the sleeves a little. I crocheted in the round, but turned the work back and forth after every round, so that it would look the same as the main body. I also moved the placement of the armholes, so that the body was longer, and the neck a little smaller.

I'm happy with the sweater, but I can't help thinking it should have a little more negative ease to look better. Half of my brain wants to rip it out to just before the first armhole and basically start again (it's the only way I can think of to make it tighter. But it would mean practically starting all over again.

I think I'll have to let it be for a little while before I decide, but I kind of feel like I've already decided to do it, you know? Sigh. Still, it wouldn't take that long to redo. It's an amazingly quick garment to crochet, and if I stick on some sci-fi series to watch I'm sure it would go even faster! Yep, I'm pretty sure it'll be done at some point, but I just can't bring myself to do it quite yet. :(

Monday, 2 February 2009

January Review

Ooh, that title sounds all official, doesn't it! :)

I just wanted to go over what I've made in January. There's quite a lot, I seem to have been very busy!

All the links are to blog posts, or you can check out my ravelry profile for more info on any of the projects.

I started my Year of Colour with Stripey
Then I crocheted the Cowl Neck Sweater from the Lion Brand Free Patterns Page (more on that soon!)
The Year of Colour continued with a more complicated charted hat pattern - The Norwegian Star Hat.
Then I made two pairs of fingerless mittens - my Pink and Brown crocheted handwarmers, and my CanCans.
Then I started on the Shetland Shorty shrug.

And in between all that, I made three other smallish things, which I can't really write about yet. Boooo! :D

Blimey, looking at it written out, did I do anything else except craft? :) Yet, I did. I started going back to dance classes, and I also started taking a photography and photoshop class. Hmm, I really should write more about that in a bit! And I've been working out to some of my exercise DVDs in a bid to lose a little bit of weight. :) Yet another thing to write about at some point! Maybe I can review the DVDs or something.

I honestly don't know how I've manged to do so much! Something must have been slipping somewhere else, which I'll probably realise next month! :D I hope this kind of productivity continues though, it's fun having lots of new knit and crochet items!