Monday, August 25, 2014

Craft Fair Books

Just a quick post today as I have broken my phone and haven't been taking photos all week and can't upload any. Thankfully I a getting a new phone tonight and I can get back to instagram (I'm faeryfay) and taking photos of my knitting and garden. I have missed not having a phone!

Anyway, I bought two fabulous books from Can do Books . It is the best book shop ever for crafty books. I buy from them online, but if I get the chance I love to go to their stall at craft fairs and spend ages going through all their fabulous books. I could have bought about ten books, but narrowed it finally down to two. Victorian Lace by Jane Sowerby and Creative Knitting by Mary Walker Phillips. They are equally fabulous. Every page I turn to of Victorian Lace I just melt and want to knit it! I chose Creative Knitting because it is a little different and views knitting as an art form which I really like. I would like to experiment with some of the ideas from this book.

I am currently still working on the Evenstar (Pandorf) and my own twisty sock pattern as well as the shawl I am designing with the Waratah silk/merino blend. I have completed the Craftsy course Craftsy Shawl Scapes with Stephen West. It was such fun. Stephen is fabulous and so inspiring. I love his teaching and his shawls. I'm also going back and enjoying the Kristin Omdahl Sweetheart Shawls class also.

I am also loving http://www.theknitgirllls.com/wordpress/ podcasts. Such fun!:)

My knitting group at the library is growing. We are knitting Stripy Socks in September and it should be lots of fun. I've ordered some Opal self-striping yarn from www.purlwise.com.au. I can't wait for it to arrive. It is in a purple/lilac colourway and it will be gorgeous knitted!:)

The sun has come out here and I have my first daffodils of spring in flower in my garden. I'm enjoying the prospect of warmer days and nights. Happy Knitting.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Cascade Alpaca, Casting On and Rheumatoid


 Ohh La La! I love this yarn. Cascade Alpaca Lace is my fave yarn which I use all the time in different colours for different shawls and lace projects. I bought four skeins from www.purlwise.com.au. I also bought my gorgeous Hiya Hiya sharp tips from there too. After my swatch of the evenstar-shawl (susan pandorf) I decided to order the 2.75 needles as the 3mm were too big. However, my needles still have not arrived after more than two weeks! It is only coming from NSW! Anyway, Purlwise are sending me another pair and I am very grateful:) Purlwise provide fantastic service.
 .Here is my tricky cast on for the Evenstar Shawl.


I have been loving listening to podcasts and finding more knitting websites. Some I've enjoyed this week are:
http://www.theknitgirllls.com/wordpress/
http://www.fifikins.com/
homespun House
 I've been doing a fabulous on-line course artists-studio-journal-a-designers-workhorse . In my design journal I've been exploring colours and experimenting with yarn, textiles, painting and collaging. Cutting out with my left hand is challenging, but I did ok!(my right hand is sore).
 My rheumatoid is relentless and despite the huge amount of medications I'm taking I still have pain. My right wrist is very sore and in the evenings my elbow and shoulder ache too. My hips and knees have also been horrid. I've been going to the pool and trying to get some relief. The water is warm and it is nice to float and move around without as much pain. I am currently on Humira injections fortnightly and I am waiting for them to start working more so I can reduce my prednisone steroids. Anyway, that's enough about my joints!:) As I can't knit much today I'm blogging (however this also hurts my wrist!) The sun is shining so I'll pop outside with a cuppa and breathe in the fresh air!

As always; Happy Knitting!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Lace Evenstar Swatch 1 & 2





 I did swatch one on 3mm needles and it was 1 inch too wide. So I did swatch two in 2.75 needles. It is almost perfect. To be honest, I think 2.25mm would be better, but the hiya hiya needles sharps only go down to 2.75 and I'm committed to them now. The second swatch I tried a different way to do the 7incin3 evenstar stitch. I just did k,p, seven times into the same 3 dec stitch.  I really love this delicate stitch.

I have cast on with dpns. The Emily Ocker's Circcular Cast On (youtube circular cast on) works out beautifully. It's a bit tricky with such fine yarn. I am enjoying the challenge of new techniques in lace:) I'm sharing my progress on instagram. I'm faeryfay on instagram:)

I am waiting impatiently for my 2.75 hiya hiya sharp tip needles to arrive in the post from http://www.purlwise.com.au/
I bought my cascade yarn and needle cables from Purlwise and have ordered yarn form them before and I am happy with their selection and service:)

The sun is shining here this morning so I'm going to grab a cuppa and my knitting and sit outside in my garden:) 

Happy Knitting:)




Monday, July 14, 2014

Iced Snow Angel Finished

 I finished my Ice Angel Snow Angel (Snow Angel designer Boo Knits). It was a lovely pattern to knit and seemed to knit up quickly. I started the edge with crochet method, then changed my mind and took it back and did the knitted picot edge.



I really do love knitting lace, especially with beads. I have had a lot of pain from rheumatoid arthritis in almost every joint in both hands, so knitting is slow some days. I find I can only now knit with light lace weight and fingering yarns.  Some of the medications I'm taking for the autoimmune arthritis gives me double vision too, so reading the charts has been a challenge some days. I'm very pleased with my Snow Angel and am now planning my next lace project: Evenstar/evenstar-shawl by designer Susan Pandorf
Evenstar Shawl (designer Susan Pandorf
Happy Knitting to you!:)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Slow and Cold


 It is cold and wet here today. I have a sinus infection and am sitting rugged up with heat packs, hot water bottles, anti-inflammatory cream (for my sore neck and shoulder) and hot cuppa tea.

This is silk/merino blend and I'm still undecided what to do with it. Baby hat?


I frogged the baby/toddler cardigan and knitted up aSwirl Hat (Mandie Harrington). I hope it fits my little nephew. 



This little magpie has come and joined me several times this week as I sit with a cuppa on my front step. She just jumps on over and sits next to me. She doesn't seem to want food or anything, just company:).
 I have been loving Russian Joins. Joining two pieces of yarn without a big ugly knot! It is fabulous and can be done on any type of yarn and any ply. Youtube has many people showing how to do it. I like the Jimmy Beans one.Russian Join


 I'm up to the last row of the Snow Angel (BooKnits). I can't knit today and finish it though as my shoulder too sore for it:(.
My lovely sister bought me these gorgeous sunflowers. It brightened my spirit lots!:) I wish you sunshine wherever you are:).

Monday, May 26, 2014

What was I thinking?





 

be right substituting with my gorgeous hand dyed skeins from the markets. There was my mistake. I don't know how many times I have done this and regretted it later.
 
So I knitted the back and started the left front and have realised there is no way I'm going to have enough yarn! I've almost finished the first skein already. I figured that I could turn it into a vest instead and not knit the sleeves, but knit a little bit around the armholes in rib or half fisherman's rib. Now I don't think I'll have enough wool to do even that. Then I had a thought, I could phone the markets and ask for the details of the stall holder and try to buy a couple more skeins. Do I want to try though, or is it all too much trouble? I could just frog it all and knit some beanies and socks for him instead? Golly! What a disaster! I have enjoyed the pattern so far and the fisheman's rib is a lovely stitch to knit. However, I have found knitting in 8ply very tough on my hands and shoulders. I only knit lace weight and fingering, so knitting with a heavier yarn has actually been a bit harder on my arthritic fingers. I have rheumatoid in almost all the joints in my body. I have found knitting in a slightly heavier weight quite hard going. I think I might just put the UFO on the shelf for a day or two and focus on my other projects while I think about the cardigan situation.I'm still going on Boo's Snow Angels, which is lovely. I think it will be magical when finished:)
 I've also been spinning a little on my spindle. I'm trying to spin finer yarn. It is really fun, although I'm not that good at it yet. 



The wrist warmers I was planning ended up being the wrong gauge and I am now knitting socks with the soft blue alpaca. The
 design is my own. I just made a twisty, cable chart which I'm enjoying knitting on my karbonz dpn needles. I love them so much I"m going to order some connected karbonz for lace shawl knitting. I just can't decide what size to get as I often use 3-4-5 mm needles for shawls.

I feel like all the projects I have planned lately have ended up being wrong, or needed changing in some way. It really makes me realise that planning a knitting project involves so much more than just a pattern and some wool! I am also realising that modifying or changing things is ok too. Perhaps that is part of the knitting process -trying things, assessing how it is going and then changing directions or modifying the plan somehow.



 In my garden at the moment I have little jonquil bulbs popping up. I bought some delphinium seedlings form the markets also and they are very happy in my greenhouse:)
 Well, enough of my woolly banter. By the way, I'm not sure why some of my text today is blue and underlined. I can't seem to figure out how to undo it. Sorry. Happy Knitting!:)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Socks, Library Display, Textile Fair and New Projects!

This is the beginning of the beautiful beaded shawl http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/snow-angel-4 Snow Angel by Boo Knits. I'm placing the silver lined myuki beads on the misty blue alpaca and am up to the lace chart now and loving it.
 
I finished Nancy Bush's Birch Sock shttp://www.ravelry.com/projects/FayKnits3/birch-leaf-socks from the book "Gathering of Lace"(Meg Swansen). They fit nice and snuggly. I finished them in perfect time as it is getting very chilly here in the mornings and evenings.

 
 Here is a picture of the knitting display I set up last week at our local library where my knitting group meets. I started the group last year, with just one or two ladies coming to learn to knit. Now it has grown to nearly twenty knitters and crocheters. I needed some help getting all the items in the window (arthritis)  and I was really nervous setting it up as I wanted to label each item with the crafter's name. I made two boards with photos of other items the ladies have made that couldn't fit in the display. The librarians were very happy and impressed.



 Yesterday Mum and I went to the Textile Fair and had a blast! She went crazy and bought heaps of black velvet. One of my daughters, Hope was going to come too, but had a sore throat and missed out:( I bought gorgeous yarn from Waratah Fibres. It is 50% silk and 50% wool. I'm not sure what I'll make with it yet. I also bought a fabulous book by Jane Hall "Reflections of Nature" about her wonderful artwork and embroidery. It was a bargain and is a beautiful book.  I bought some silk threads and bits as mum and I have signed up to the embroiderer's guild.

I also ordered a drop spindle and bought some lilac tops. I can't wait for the spindle to arrive! I think I'm going to love spinning on it.


That's it. I've been quite busy really when I think about it. I think I'll get back to it then with some more knitting. Have a happy knitting week!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Frogging:)

 After a cuppa and not too much thought, I decided to frog the misty blue cowl as the beads were weighing it down way too much after  only 10 rows of beading (20 rows). I figured that after 50 more beaded rows the yarn, as delicate as it is just couldn't hold up. so, pulled it back and started another BOO! shawl, this time the stunning http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/snow-angel-4
I think the misty blue alpaca will do the pattern justice and I have the myuki silver lined crystal beads (although I did put in an order for some more just in case:). I totally adore all Boo's designs and am enjoying getting stuck into another.

I am past the heel on the second sock of my Birch socks by Nancy Bush. I'm loving this pattern and the colour yarn.
 Isn't it just divine? While knitting the gusset, I came upon a youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/TheKnitGirllls podcast TheKnitGirllls . They are two amazingly knowledgable ladies who chat about all things wooolly or yarny or fibrey! I loved it. It is well worth tuning into. I think I may find them quite addictive:) I really enjoy hearing people chat about stuff I'm interested in.
 Hubby and I spent a lovely morning in a little cafe we discovered near home last week. He read and I knitted. Loved it:) I ate a frangipani tart and he drank coffee.

 Yes, check out my stunning pins. I was looking mighty fine in my daughter's socks I knitted her that (many moons ago) have many holes in them now and crocs.
I've enjoyed a quite afternoon knitting. I hope you find some time to enjoy a spot of knitting too!:)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Yarn Along



 
I am joining Ginny at her Yarn Along

this week. I have cast on jeweled cowl by Knittimo. It is coming on nicely in the Misty Blue Cascade Alpaca and myuki silver lined beads. I think the beads are too big and may make it too heavy on the lace beaded part of the cowl, but I've started now and it is so lovely knitting this pattern with the sparkly beads I hope it works out ok. It is going to be a birthday present for one of my twin daughters, Hope in May. I also am going to start a pair of lace fingerless gloves in alpaca when I finish the above Nancy Bush Birch Tree Socks . I'm almost up to the heel on the second sock now:) The fingerless gloves will be for my other twin daughter May from a pattern from an old Vogue Knitting magazine:) I know I give myself ridiculous deadlines! So I had better get back to it! Happy Knitting:)!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Blocking Bella





I love the pattern flow and stitch patterns. It is also a lovely size. I've been thinking of designing my own lace shawl but keep getting side-tracked by other patterns (Boo, Snow Angels). 

What have you been knitting?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Misty Blue Alpaca:)

 Golly, what a week! I received some gorgeous yarn from Purlwise, Cascade baby alpaca in Misty Blue. It is not as blue as I expected but I'm planning a shawl with darker blue sparkly beads, which I think will bring out the blue more in the yarn. I have finished one of the Nancy Bush Birch Socks. I love this pattern and am enjoying knitting them with my new needles, which are beautiful. I've started the second one on the needles now.
Below, I am still on the edge of the Bella Botanica http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#query=bella%20botanica. I am placing beads every other row and it is exciting getting nearer to the end! I'm looking forward to blocking this one.





I am loving knitting all my projects at the moment and am planning some designs of my own in April. Happy Knitting!:)