Wednesday, 25 May 2011


Yesterday was my birthday.

I think it was the best and nicest birthday I've had for a while. I was really touched by what my work colleagues gave me:

This unrolls to become:

A needle roll! It has wooden straights from 3mm to 6mm. Granted, it's probably not something I would have bought for myself, but this is from people who will happily admit that the most they know about knitting is that I enjoy it, so I was really pleased that they had put so much thought into my gift.

And actually it meant I could re-cast on for a Hypernova Scarf I'd cast on for earlier. I've had this super variegated lace weight for a while and I haven't really known what to do with it, but I thought this would work well. I was using 3.75mm needles, but I wasn't happy with the gauge and wanted to drop down a few sizes, but my 3.5mm's were in another project and I didn't have any 3mm's. So I re-cast on:

I haven't used straights for such a long time. I feel like Bambi again, all fingers and thumbs and it's so slow! I'm determined to keep at it though!

Then, in the evening, I went to a friends house for a barbeque.

There was fabulous company and lots of lovely food:

All in all, a brilliant day. And I still have another two celebrations to go - one with some other friends and one with my family. And I'm determined that this will be the best year ever!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

With Flying Colours

I feel like I've been away for ages, this week has been so crazy busy, I've barely had time to do anything other than think about the maximum deductions for bent arms in support or bent legs (0.5) or for lack of height in flight elements over the bar (0.3) or what that funny squiggle is and if it's worth an A, B, C or D (and that is dependent on the apparatus with beam and floor).

Seriously, I've barely had time to knit! I've done maybe half a repeat of the Spring Leaves and I haven't touched my Pomatomus socks since last week.

It's all paid off though - today I qualified as a Women's Artistic Gymnastics Club Judge. (And I'll admit that I don't know if it was with flying colours, since I won't get the results through for two or three months, but I do know I passed).

I've absolutely loved the whole experience and I'm really looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into judging properly.

For now though, I'm just looking forward to sitting back with my knitting and catching up on blogs on podcasts and everything else I've missed.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

And so it begins...

...the grump that is.

Here are two socks:

Do you see the problem?

The one on the bottom is the second sock - the one knit two years give or take after the first. Now it did occur to me while I was knitting it that it was highly likely that after two years my gauge would have changed, so I did check continuously throughout the process and it seemed to more or less match. Up to the toe, the length was spot on. However, the toe then went a bit mad and seemed to grow to twice the size of the previous sock. I wondered if this could still be passable, but, when it was off the needle, I noticed that the whole thing was a lot wider than the previous sock. Hmm.

So now I have one normal, fitted sock and one giant sock. I haven't quite decided if just blocking them both will even them out enough, or if I should just unpick the toe and see if I can knit it tighter.

So, in the meantime I've been working on my hand dyed Spring Leaves, which I have failed to so far mention and have cast on for some Pomatomus socks using a brownish grey Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock that I originally used for some Outside In socks that ended up being put aside and forgotten about. I'm quite enjoying this sock thing.

In other news, I started on my course today. It's really very intense. Trust me to pick a sport with a rule book one hundred and ninety two A4 pages long!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Forgive Me

A few weeks ago, I posted that I would be going on a course to learn how to become a judge at gymnastics competitions. I've been coaching for about ten years and was a recreational gymnast for ten years before that, so gymnastics has been a part of my life for almost the entirety of my life. I love the sport, but I was never going to be a successful competition gymnast (I'm completely the wrong shape for one thing) and I'm never going to coach an Olympic gymnast either - I just don't have enough time to dedicate to it. So I'm a recreational coach for up to three hours a week (but more likely less). Whilst I do enjoy it (otherwise I wouldn't do it), sometimes recreational (or beginner) can become a little dull. There's only so many forward rolls you can support before getting bored. Any kids who show talent are quickly whisked away to the higher levels for more intense training and are replaced by more kids who can't do a forward roll.

So I'm really looking forward to learning about a different side to the sport and branching out a little bit. I'll be a Woman's Artistic Club Judge and after a year (and three competitions) I can apply for the Regional Judge course and then theoretically (I haven't looked into the further requirements yet), I could then go for National and then International, which could be exciting depending on how much I enjoy it.

Anyway, forgive me for banging on about gymnastics instead of knitting, but there is a reason. This course is taking place over two weekends, Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm. Which means that today was my last day off for three weeks. And I spent it all hungover because I am apparently very daft.

As a result, I don't know how much time I'm going to have to blog, so I might be a little quiet for a while. I don't even know how much time I'm going to have to knit - I may just get home in the evenings and fall straight asleep! I was hoping to have a finished sock to show you as a peace offering, but I'm not quite finished with the toe yet.

Forgive me.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The sad tale of the lonely sock

Here is a sock:

I'm not too sure how long it has been in it's sock form, but I'm guessing about two years. It was the first sock I ever made and whilst I was quite excited when it fit and everything, I wasn't too sure about DPNs and I hadn't particularly enjoyed the process and it seemed really slow. I started the second one, but didn't get past the cuff before other stuff took over. I have knit another pair of socks since, using magic loop, but again didn't enjoy it, so I haven't bothered since.

And my poor other foot has been terribly jealous what with it's boring black socks:

So, while I'm on a shawl hiatus, and in the spirit of liberating my stash, I decided to make the sock a friend:

The cuff was already done, so I just carried on from there and so far have finished the leg and started the heel flap. I guess it's just that now I've had a lot more experience with knitting, but I'm suddenly finding this a much more enjoyable process and much quicker too. I'm liking the DPNs, I'm not getting major ladders like I often do (or overcompensating and ending up with really tight stitches) and all seems to be going well so far.

Who knows, maybe I will end up as a sock knitter after all!

For more WIP stories, take a look at Tami Ami's WIP Wednesday.

Monday, 2 May 2011

A shocking confession

I have something to confess to you.

I don't know if you're going to like it.

So I'll give you a minute to brace yourself.



I cannot knit another lace shawl right now. Even a non-lace shawl would not be fun. I have been busting a gut to churn them out and I could do with a break. I am ahead of myself with the 11 in 11 challenge - I've completed six shawls in five months and have another two way past the halfway mark. Thats a lot of shawls.

So I'm thinking something small for ease me back into other garments. And something in the round - I miss knitting in the round.

Like a hat, perhaps.

And not lace, but not really simple either. Cables maybe.

Oh look:

Ta da!

Autumn Vines Beret in Knit Picks Stroll Sport Hollyberry.

I know it's not hat weather and I am loving the warm and sunshine, but I'm looking forward to wearing it when it does start getting colder again.

Who knows, next time maybe I'll have socks or something really crazy to show off!