I am Sarena. I live in Geneva. I like to knit.

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Christmas is Over

Well, Christmas is over and I managed to get all of my Christmas knitting finished. I was particularly pleased with the Snowflake Slippers. I only finished them yesterday, but they are going back to england with my mum for my brother. I can't remember the yarn I used as I lost the ball band, but it was an aran weight wool from Manor. I used an aran weight on 5mm needles as the pattern was only sized for children or women. The thicker yarn and larger needles worked perfectly. I just hope he likes them!

I was also pleased with the socks I made for my mum's partner, which I designed myself as I sent along. It's the first time I have ever knitted cables and I was pleased with how they turned out and I managed to get them finished first thing Christmas morning after having to undo my toe grafting the night before because I had grafted them vertically instead of horizontally! I guess I must have been pretty tired!

Lastly there were my mum's Synesthesia Socks. They turned out OK but I did make quite a few mistakes on them. I knitted the heel wrong and there seem to be some extra holes in the pattern. Mum mum still loved them and has worn them about 3 times already! I've been trying to teach her to knit socks but she just doesn't seem to have the patience. I know that she can do it but she doesn't seem to see the point to it all! I have to say that I have gone off knitting socks for just a little while!

Now that my Christmas knitting is over I can finally do some knitting for myself. I have started to make good progress with my Debbie Bliss Rialto bolero and I hope to have that finished in a week or so. Also, I finally got my Rowan Cocoon in Shale so I can knit the Iceland jumper from Rowan magazine #42! I have been waiting since before my birthday for this yarn but neither my mum or the knitting shop in Carouge have been able to get hold of it. As soon as I finish my bolero I will be casting that on.

I have a little more time on my hands to knit now as I lost my job a couple of days ago, I was working on a temporary contract and they have decided not to renew it, which is a bit of the pain as I could do with the money but I didn't like it there too much and I have been a bit poorly lately too, so at least now I have some time to get better. If I can get my confidence up enough I will go and teach English for a while as the hours are flexible so I can look after my health and by bank balance at the same time!

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Knitting Pal and Knitting Socks

I got *the* most beautiful parcel yesterday from my Swap Bot Secret Knitting Pal. It came from Italy and contained 17 (yes, *17*!) balls of Italian yarns, a pattern book and some other little things that my partner knew I would adore from reading my profile, I am so lucky! I can't believe she sent me so much yarn! I will have lots of fun trying to think of new projects!

It was so nice to get the package yesterday as I was feeling a little down in the dumps, not to mention a little hungover but I managed to drag myself out of the apartment in the rain to go and collect it from the post office. I was really surprised when I saw how big the box was, so I knew that I was in for a treat.

I also got a good response to the package that I sent out as part of the swap, I'm so glad she liked what I sent her.

I can't believe it's only 2 weeks until Christmas now. I'm still not doing too well with my Christmas presents. I've only done a small part of Nigel's socks, I just hope that I can get them done in time and I still need to finish off my mum's gift. I'm making up the pattern for Nigel's socks as I go along. If they turn out well, I will post the pattern. It's just a simple cable and rib pattern. At least I have the hot-water bottle cover finished so hope to get that in the post next week.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Quick slipper vent

Ohh, I'm so annoyed, I was just 12 rows from finishing my Snowflake Slippers when I realised at some point during knitting the top of the slipper I forgot to turn my short row so the top of the slipper ended up at the side. I ended pulling out the whole slipper in anger! How irritating.....

Thursday, 29 November 2007

One sock, one slipper

Well, I'm not sure I'm doing so good with my Christmas knitting. I now have one sock, one slipper and a hot-water bottle cover. I wonder how useful one sock or one slipper could be to someone with two feet....

On the plus side, the slipper looks fantastic, even if I do say so myself! It's from Knit: Handmade Style and it't the Snowflake Slippers. The pattern only accommodates a woman or a child's size, so since I am making them for my brother, I used aran weight yarn on 5mm needles and it seems to have worked out perfectly. The other change I made (which was actually an accident) was that I knitted the top of the slipper in stockinette stitch instead of garter, I just didn't read the pattern properly, but I think it makes the slippers look more manly! I will post some pictures soon, I'm at work at the moment. The slipper knitted up really quickly, I started it on Tuesday night and finished it last night (minus the sewing up), so at least I know I will be able to have the pair finished in plenty of time for Christmas. I wonder if I could get away with knitting these for everyone this year? Probably not!

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Christmas Knitting Progress

I don't seem to be doing too well with knitting all my Christmas presents. There are only 29 days left and so far I haven't finished a single gift. I've nearly finished the hot-water bottle cover that I'm knitting from Knit: Handmade Style , I just need to sew it up, which I have just started this morning, but got bored very quickly, which is why I am writing this post - sometimes I think that I have procrastination down to a fine art!

Sorry the picture isn't very good, I was being lazy with lighting, but you get the idea (that's the hot-water bottle cover, in case you weren't sure!). As you can probably see, I am only following the pattern for the actual structure, the colour combination and design is just what I felt like doing at the time. I just hope my friend is fond of green!

I am about 25% into my mum's present, but can't talk about that because she does read my blog from time to time. I will have to take it off my Ravelry project list once her invite comes through, I have been checking the waiting list regularly to make sure I get it off before she's on! I have mad a fairly large mistake with her present, but I am hoping to get away with it as I have neither the time nor the inclination to rip it out, it might just be a bit wonky, I will have to wait and see.

I still need to knit presents for my brother, husband, mum's partner and possibly my dad, but since I don't tend to see him often, that one isn't really urgent, but I figure if I am making him something, I probably should knit my step-mother something too, grr, how these lists grow. I guess I should be thankful that I have such a small family! How I long to be more organised, then I would have made a start on my Christmas knitting in August and would now be sitting knitting my own Debbie Bliss Bolero so I would have that for myself in time for Christmas.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Swap Bot Secret Knitting Pal

So, I have set up a blog for my swap on Swap Bot for the Secret Knitting Pal so everyone who is involved can post entries and pictures relating to the blog. Within an hour or so of setting it up, three people have posted messages, I was very excited!

If you want to have a look at it, click here.

Packages have to be sent out by 3rd December, I can't wait to see what I get...

Friday, 16 November 2007

Christmas Knitting

I think I am going to have to start knitting at lunch time, there's only about 38 days left until Christmas and I'm meant to be knitting gifts for everyone, but so far I'm only halfway through one gift and haven't even started any others, ohh err, I hope I can get some things done, otherwise everyone will be getting IOUs for Christmas!

I'm already addicted to Ravelry since getting my invite yesterday. I think I will be spending a large portion of the weekend inputting my stash! I think that could take me a while...

Thursday, 15 November 2007

And I'm in!

Hey there,

frecklegirl has invited you to Ravelry!

"Here is your invitation! Thanks for your interest in our site.Let me know if you have any questions or problems!


Yay! Will let you know what's it's like (if you're not on there already!)

It was snowing this morning, really need to knit me a new hat!

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

So near....

  • You signed up on October 20, 2007
  • You are #46481 on the list.
  • 632 people are ahead of you in line.
  • 10298 people are behind you in line.
  • 79% of the list has been invited so far
Not long now I hope! I reckon a couple of days.

In further news, I have set up my own secret knitting pal swap on Swap Bot, one of the participants has asked me to set up a blog for the swap so all the other participants can post their photos and stories on there. I'm thinking about it, but I don't want to step on anyones' toes because I know there is another secret knitting pal on Blogspot, so we will have to wait and see.

I knitting progress news, I have very little to say, I haven't really done a lot of knitting in the past week, I have been knitting the hubby a pair of socks, but I'm not too far with that, I'll post pictures soon.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Almost there...

  • You signed up on October 20, 2007
  • You are #46481 on the list.
  • 5637 people are ahead of you in line.
  • 6710 people are behind you in line.
  • 76% of the list has been invited so far
Come on!

Swap Bot Goodies!

My first package of goodies through Swap Bot arrived today, it was very exciting! I got such a beautiful package, my partner had really gone all out to go through my profile to find things I would love. She sent me two really cute place mats with pockets with a pair of chopsticks in them. I love the fabric, it's a blue and brown retro print - just gorgeous! She also sent me a skein of Knit Picks 'Shimmer' yarn - 70% Baby Alpaca, 30% silk. It's really beautiful and soft, I feel a pair of cabled socks coming along there!

I also got a cute notebook and set of 8 funky pens, some chai spiced tea (just finished a cup, very yummy, especially in this cold weather!) and some cute stickers. I really feel like I've been spoiled! I'm loving Swap Bot! My husband keeps asking me what the point of it is, I don't think he understands why I would want to send gifts to complete strangers, but I think that's the whole fun of it. It's such a nice feeling to read about someone you've never met and then to put together a gift for them, I just think it's so charming!

I have actually set up my own swap now on Swap Bot, it's a Secret Knitting Pal swap, of course, although it won't be very secret as you need to know who sends you your gift so you can rate them, but it's still fun! I'm signed up to a few swaps now. My postcards from the Autumn Postcard Swap are trickling in, I've received two out of five so far, they're really cute, we write an autumn memory on the back of an autumnal themed card.

I'm also signed up to a Secret Sister Swap, where you send your partner a gift every month for three months, there's no particular theme, so you just buy gifts based on your partner's profile. I'm doing a Secret Santa Swap and also a Christmas Card swap, it's all very exciting! (I'm sure I'm repeating myself!).

I had a really nice weekend, my best friend was over from the UK, it was so nice to spend some time with her, although we did have a couple of boozy nights! She actually dragged me to work last night, who goes to a club on a Sunday night???! It's just a good thing that I had a day off work today! I was really sad to say goodbye to my friend, she's like a sister to me. She did make me laugh though because she is knitting a cushion, but she's very much a beginner knitter and had made a mistake ages ago and had to wait until she saw me to fix it before she could carry on! She was very pleased when I sorted it out for her so she could get back to it! We did spend a lot of time sitting around the apartment, knitting and drinking tea, perfect activities for a chilly Genevois weekend!

I'm pretty sure that I'm rambling quite a lot, I am still feeling a little delicate after last night, but I really need to crack on and clean the apartment as it's currently looking like a tornado ripped through it over the weekend, put me and my friend together for a few days and you'd be amazed by the amount of mess that we can create!

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Pictures of Progress

Before I get on with my post, I'd just like to make a comment about the picture at the top of my blog. Some of you may have seen a new knitting magazine this month called Let's Knit and you may have noticed that the picture they use for their feature 'Ask Maggie' is the same picture on my blog. I'd just like you to know that I have not stolen this picture from them and that I bought it from istockphoto just so you know!

Anyway, moving on, I have just taken some pictures like I promised. So, let's begin...

First of all, my birthday. Like I have said before, my mum owns her own knitting shop in the UK, so I was bound to get some lovely knitting goodies, and that I did! My mum bought me two balls of Regia bamboo sock yarn, one skein of Collinette sock yarn and one skein of Artesano Jitterbug DK sock yarn. I cannot wait to try them, especially the Jitterbug, I love the autumnal colours and have never knitted DK socks before. I have also never knitted with bamboo yarn before, so that's another thing that I am really looking forward to. Unfortunately, I have barely made any progress on the socks that I promised my hubby, so will not allow myself to knit another pair until they are finished, unless I am knitting them as a gift.

My mum also came through for me on the Debbie Bliss bolero from Rialto that I have been so desperate to knit. She gave me the Rialto book, and a pack of Rialto yarn in red, I was delighted! if you have read my earlier post from last week, you will know that I have already started knitting this (also evident in the photo), despite promising myself that I would finish off all my current WIPs, but you know how it is, plus, I really needed a break from my circular cardigan, and I only have the sleeves left to do (as you will see later).

I also got some lovely books from my mum: Stitch 'n' Bitch Nation; Naughty Needles: Sexy, saucy knits for the bedroom & beyond by Nikol Lohr; It's my Party and I'll Knit if I Want to by Sharon Aris and Louisa Harding'sVenezia.

I think that was everything from her. So, all in all, I think I was a very lucky girl! It's so great to have a mother who owns her own yarn store!

S0, enough about my birthday and how spoiled I am!

My knitting is coming on fairly well at the moment, although I have hardly done any over the weekend as I just haven't really felt like it, although I'm sure that I will be doing some later in the day...

As mentioned earlier, my Debbie Bliss circular cardigan is almost finished, with just the sleeves left to do, but I am putting that off at the moment as I just got a bit bored of knitting it and wanted to do something new.

That edging really took me a long time to do, I think that's another reason why I feel that I need a break from it before getting on with the sleeves, but I am hoping that they wont take too long to do as it's all just knit stitch until I get down to the cuffs, when I have to do that pointy edge again, but at least it won't be over 544 stitches!

I'm pretty pleased with it, but I'm just not sure of how good it looks on me. I might have said this before, but I'm a little concerned that it makes be look a little bit like a snail when I put it on because of the way that it hangs! It doesn't sit too well on my rather ample bottom! I'm just hoping that with a little pressing it will hang better, fingers crossed after all that work, otherwise I may have to find someone with a smaller bum than mine to give it to as a Christmas present!

I never did get around to knitting that pumpkin hat for my friend who has her birthday on Halloween, oops, but I did get her carrot knitted, although I still haven't posted it to her, so I guess she won't be getting it in time for her birthday, double oops. I hope she will forgive me when she does finally receive it, along with a little Smurf sitting at a computer, which I said I was going to buy her last year, but never did (gosh, I'm starting to sound like a complete flake). The carrot looks a little pregnant in this picture, but I think I just need to prod the stuffing about a bit to get it more even. Apart from that, I think it's a very good knitted carrot!

Moving away from knitting a little. I got my partners for my Swap-Bot swaps early yesterday and then went straight into town to get my supplies and managed to get them all sent off yesterday afternoon (hopefully I'm not sounding like such a flake now!). I won't go into detail about what I sent just in case my partner reads this, I don't want to spoil the surprise for her, I just hope that she likes what I sent. I had a look at her profile and blog and tried to send things that I thought she would like. The other swap was an autumn post card swap, where we send autumn themed postcards to 5 different people and write an autumn memory on the back, which was quite sweet. Hopefully I will be able to get my rating up so I can take part in some of the knitting and yarn swaps and maybe even host my own knitting themed swap.

One last photo for you, and of course, Trinny had to get into the picture, she is such a photo hogger! I don't know if it's just because she's so curious or if it's because she genuinely loves having her picture taken! It took me quite a while to be able to get a picture of the circular cardigan as she plonked herself on it and looked at me expectantly as soon as I had laid it on the floor ready for the camera!

Anyway, I bought this yarn at one of the yarn shops in Carouge (not my favourite, but the other one,which I'm not really so keen on). It was only 5CHF (about £2.00) per ball. I have no idea what I am going to do with it, I'm not even sure how much I like the Plassard! I think that it might make a nice cushion and was thinking about making a drop-stitch scarf with the Gedifra, but nothing is set in stone.

I really need to get on and knit some Christmas presents, there are only 58 days left until the day, pretty scary. I finally started one gift today, but I'm not going to say anything about it, just in case the friend who it's for happens to read this. She is coming over to stay for a few days, arriving on Thursday this week, I am so excited. I have the feeling she may have some repairs for me to make to her knitting, I think I need to teach her how to do these things for herself so she doesn't have to stop every time something bad happens so she doesn't have to wait until she sees me or my mum to get it fixed again!

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Secret Knitting Pal

I just discovered Secret Knitting Pals yesterday, and I really want one! The problem is, I seem to have missed the boat on all the latest ones. Knitty do one through their forum, but you have to have at least 100 posts before you can join a swap. I only joined yesterday, so I think it will take me a while to get there, I don't want to post one word answers to other posts, and they don't like you to do that you get your numbers up.

There is also the Secret Knitting Pal on Blogspot, they are up to number SP11 now, but that is just coming to an end, so I will have to keep an eye out for SP12. In the meantime, I have signed up to Swap Bot, although I can't join any of the knitting related swaps yet as some swaps require you to have a certain rating, I have joined some other swaps, like a Christmas card swap, to get my rating up and also it's fun to send and receive things from complete strangers in the post! Some of the send dates are coming up soon, so I will let you know what I get!

I signed up to Ravelry on October 20, so am eagerly awaiting my invitation to join.

You signed up on October 20, 2007
You are #46481 on the list.
11716 people are ahead of you in line.
2102 people are behind you in line.
69% of the list has been invited so far

I think it could be a while before they get to me. My friend from my SnB group said it took about a month before she got her invitation, I just hope I can wait that long as everyone says it is fantastic!

I'm afraid I still have no photos for you as I am writing this at work (it's very quiet in the office as it's 6pm and I'm covering reception), but I will try my best to get snapping over the weekend and get some pictures up so you can see how I've been getting along with things.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Aren't I Awful?!

I know, I can't believe it's been a month since my last post, it hasn't been intentional, I promise. It is for two reasons, although neither are very good! 1. Because my circular cardigan is knitted in the round, it was hard to take a picture that shows how much progress I'd made and 2. I didn't want to post without any pictures, but hadn't gotten around to taking any of anything else (and I still haven't). I know, poor excuses!

So, I finished my carrot, but am yet to send it to my friend (I wanted to take a photo first, go figure!). It's quite cute, but very small.

I have almost finished my baby cardigan, I just need to sew it up and do the embroidery, which could very well mean it's another month before I finish it! I think it's a good job that I did the size 3-6 months as it could be that long before poor baby Nola gets it! It is looking very cute though! I really love the colour and I promise to post photos soon.

I have almost finished the circular cardigan! Yay!! Just have to knit the sleeves. I finally finished casting off last night, it took me days to do that as there were 544 stitches and had a pointed edge, which means each stitch had to be knitted up to 9 times in short rows, phew! I am waiting to do the sleeves for a bit as I really need a rest from it, I got very bored of knitting it towards the end. I'm also not sure if I have enough yarn to finish both sleeves, so may have to wait for my mum to ship some over for me. After all that knitting, I hate to say it, but I'm not sure that I like it, I think it makes me look like a snail because of the way it hangs! I'm hoping that once it's pressed it will look better. It also needs a shave as the "Grace" seems to pill really badly, which is really irritating.

So, when I finally finished casting off last night, I cast on my next project, which I have really been itching to knit, which is a red bolero from Debbie Bliss' "Rialto" book. I only managed to cast on and knit two rows last night, but I already think I'm going to love knitting with the "Rialto", it's 100% merino and is really soft. Hopefully this won't take me as long to knit as the cardigan!

I guess another reason why I have been slack with my posts is that I got a job! It's only temporary for now, but I'm hoping they will keep me on, just need to work hard and to try to stop getting confused!

I never even posted what knitting goodies I got for my birthday. The Debbie Bliss book & yarn for my bolero was one part, I also got some beautiful sock yarn & some more books. When I next do a photo shoot I will include some pics in my next blog!

I promise the next blog will have photos and I'm sorry that this one is so lacking in colour!

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Knitting in the park #2

I think I was just being a bit thick earlier with my photo upload! I won't tell you what I did because it's so silly! So, anywhere, here are some more pics of our little bit of knitting in public this afternoon.

My mum seems to be getting along nicely with her Louisa Harding beret, I think if she hadn't taken so long with her cast on she'd be finished before bedtime!

The Kimono angora is so nice, I can't believe how soft it is when it knits up. Mum says it's lovely to knit with too. I am definitely going to knit myself a beret too, probably in the teak colour, it looks very pretty. Mum has promised to send me a ball when she gets some more colours in, hopefully it will take a while so I won't be distracted from my cardigan!

When we were in the park, some policemen came along and said "Bonjour petites tricoteuses!" That's hello little knitters, we thought it was quite sweet! I was thinking they might tell us off for knitting in the park, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Swiss had a strange law about knitting in public! It would go with their law that prohibits you from flushing your toilet after 10pm and stops men being allowed to go to the loo standing up after 10pm! (I have to say that me and hubby are complete rebels and pay no attention to these silly rules!).

Here's a nice photo of me knitting on the park bench. Still working away at my cardigan. It's really growing now, I have armholes and everything, it's all very exciting. It's definitely the most challenging project I've worked on so far. I just wish there weren't so many stitches! I think I might have to get myself some longer circular needles as I still have another increase to do, taking me up to a total of 544 stitches! I do think I knit more quickly in the round though.

It's a bit difficult to see how far the cardigan's got because of it being on circular needles, but I promise you that it's getting there! It's starting to get quite heavy, but it's very warm and keeps my lap warm while I'm knitting it!

Hubby was very pleased that Man U won the football today, so everyone is contented in the apartment, mum's knitting, hubby's listening to music and the cat is curled up on the duvet on the sofa bed. We are all nicely full too after my roast, which I have to say was very yummy, it's only the second one I've ever made, the potatoes were particularly delicious, even if I do say so myself!

I think we will go off to Nyon for lunch tomorrow and then maybe on to Lausanne if we have time. I plan on having a lovely, relaxing birthday. I'm very excited about the presents I might be getting, I'm pretty sure they will all be lovely, I am a very lucky girl. I'm sure I will have lots of photos to post of all my new goodies!

Knitting in the park

My mother is here at the moment, which is lovely, lots of knitting to be done!

We spent the afternoon today in Parc des Bastions doing some knitting. It has been such a nice day today, so we thought it would be a good idea and would also help to get rid of my hangover!

My mum is currently knitting a Louisa Harding beret from the Venezia in Kimono Angora, it looks like it will be really pretty. She did have a bit of trouble doing the picot cast-on, I think she was a little brain dead this afternoon, perhaps it was all that Rose we drank last night, or maybe it's all that fresh Swiss air! She got there in the end though, but it took a long, long time!

She says that the yarn is really soft and lovely and that she wants to wrap herself in it! I am thinking I will have to knit myself the beret too.

I am still working on my Debbie Bliss circular cardigan, I think it could take a while before I get it finished, I wish I was a faster knitter! I estimated it could be 6 weeks before I get it finished, I hope I can get that time down as I really want to be wearing it! Plus, there are tons more projects that I want to do, but I refuse to start anything new until this is done. I expect to have some new projects tomorrow as it's my birthday and I suspect I may be getting some knit-related pressies!

I have more pictures from today that I want to post, but for some reason the image uploader seems to have stopped working, how irritating. I will try to post them later, but right now I have a roast dinner I need to finish making, especially as I told hubby not to be back late from watching the football!

Friday, 14 September 2007

Finishing Off

I have given up on my orange socks, they are insanely boring to knit and so I have decided to knit my friend a carrot with fangs like in Duckula! Have nearly finished that already so will have it in the post to her next week, she will be very happy. If I'd carried on with the socks, she probably wouldn't get them for at least another month, which would be rubbish as it's her birthday on Halloween and I want to knit her a pumpkin hat (I have lots of orange yarn to use up!)

I was very excited today when I went over to Carouge to the yarn shops and found a ball of Debbie Bliss cotton Cashmere which I need to finish a basket I started ages ago. I never thought I'd get it as a girl at knitting had bought the last lot and it's been discontinued, but I found one lone ball in Tricolaine which had been returned, result! I thought I would either never finish it or have to finish it in a different colour, which I really didn't want to do. I have to say, I think a cotton cashmere basket is a little extravagant, but hey, never mind, it's nice to knit with and I liked the colour for a basket!

I have been out and about in my lovely new tank top today, which was much admired by my friend at lunch and the owner of Tricolaine, I felt very proud! It's just a shame that the weather has suddenly got much warmer, but I was determined to wear it anyway! At least I know that it's very warm!

Just a week now until mummy comes, yay!

Thursday, 13 September 2007

One down, 4 to go!

After knitting furiously yesterday and sewing up all morning, I finally finished my Freedom Spirit vest! Yay! and it fits me! Double Yay! I am very pleased with it. I even managed to do a nice neat neckline, not bad for my second go! I think I could have done with maybe making the vest a little longer, I made it much shorter than the original pattern as I didn't want it going over my thighs, but I might have shortened it a bit too much, but I don't know yet as I haven't tried it on over a shirt, which is what I knitted it for....

Now I can concentrate on some other projects. I really should finish both my pairs of socks, especially the Wendy Fusion ones as they're so close to being done, probably just an hour or so, but I seem to have second sock lethargy! Plus, I'm still obsessed with trying to get my Debbie Bliss circular cardigan done, oh, so many projects, so little time!

I made it to Stitch 'n' Bitch last night after so many weeks away, it was really nice to catch up with all the girls over a knit and a coffee and to see what everyone is working on.

My mum is coming a week tomorrow, I can't wait, I think I will have to try to make a nice itinerary for us, especially as the hubby will be working that weekend, boo. He's away at the moment actually, which is good in a way as I don't feel so guilty for spending my time knitting instead of doing something useful, like working, cleaning, shopping or job-hunting. I need a bit of self-indulgence once in a while!

I'm off to Carouge tomorrow for lunch with a friend I haven't seen in ages. I think I will have to pop into Tricolaine while I'm there, but will do my best not to buy anything, unless she has a ball of yarn I need to finish a basket I started ages ago, but didn't buy enough yarn for, I suspect she doesn't have it though as I know that one of the girls from my knitting group bought her last lot of it, so unless she's got more in, I'll be out of luck so might have to finish it in another colour...

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Working Through the WIPs

Well, I have now almost finished my Freedom Spirit tank top. I can't believe it took me so long, I started it in February! I guess that's what I get for being impatient and starting new projects all the time, nothing gets finished!

I'm pretty pleased with it, I just hope it's going to fit, I might have to get back on my diet! All I need to do now is sew it up and knit the neckline, which I'm not looking forward to, I've only ever knitted one neckline and it turned out all wonky, so I will have to really make an effort to get this one right.

I love the colour of this yarn, it's so warm and vibrant. It was fun to knit with too because of the stripes it creates. The yarn is Freedom Spirit by Twilleys of Stamford in colour 502 - Fire and the pattern is from 'Knitting' Magazine #34, Feb 2007 (although I think it might also be in one of the Freedom pattern books, but I'm not sure).

I'm determined to get this finished within the next couple of days so I can move on to another UFO! I'm still itching to knit my circular cardigan, but may hold that for a bit while I finish off a couple of pairs of socks, especially my orange ones as they are supposed to be a gift.

I'm going to my Stitch 'n' Bitch group tonight, I haven't been for ages and I really miss it. It will be good to catch up with the girls for a gossip and to see what everyone's working on at the moment!

I think that's all I've got to say for myself right now, I want to be knitting, not waffling!

Monday, 10 September 2007

Frogging is so hard to do

I'm back to not working for a bit, well, I will be working freelance for reasons I won't go into right now, let's just say I'm keeping my options open on the job front.

Well, at least that means I have plenty of time to do more knitting (well, in theory, I actually need to be building a website for my mum's new online shop...)

I decided that I have been doing too much knitting for other people recently and that it's about time I got on with some of my own projects, especially now that it's getting colder. I picked up my Debbie Bliss circular cardigan (from Out of Town) yesterday and got on with knitting that, only to have to rip out a ball and a half's worth of work when I realised I'd been following the wrong size, I was so angry. I did think about leaving it, but then it would probably be too small and I'd never wear it, which would be insane as it's going to be so beautiful.

The whole cardigan is knitted in one piece on circular needles, leaving spaces for the sleeves, which are then knitted into the main piece. I'm knitting it in Louisa Harding's 'Grace', colour 09. It's such a beautiful yarn to knit with as it's 50% Merino wool & 50% silk. I quite often have problems with yarns drying out my hands, but I have none of this with the 'Grace'.

I really want to get on and finish this as I think it will be so warm and perfect for these chilly days in Geneva, especially now that the wind is picking up from the lake, it's called le bees (although I'm not sure if that's the correct spelling) and it can be really icy and evil!

I also started my amigurumi doll,I'm quite please with how easy I've been finding it, although I'm not too happy with how it's looking at the moment, but then, it is my first attempt, so I can't expect it to be perfect.

I did start out following a pattern, but then kind of went off at a tangent and have been making it up as I go along. I did kick myself though when I realised that I have a lovely pattern for an amigurumi robot in an old copy of 'Craft' magazine, so I will probably give that a go when I'm a little more confident with my crochet technique. The good thing about these dolls is that you only need to be able to double crochet in a spiral to make them, so that makes it nice and simple for anyone who doesn't know how to crochet very well (ie, me!).

I'm really excited that my mum is coming over next weekend, especially since now that I'm working freelance I won't have to work on my birthday, so we can spend the whole day exploring and looking for more knitting shops. I think we will head over to Lausanne, as I'm sure there'll be a shop there somewhere and I've never really been there, except to a concert once. I know there's a shop in Nyon somewhere too as I drove past it last year on the way to see a friend, but I can't remember for the life of me where it is. If anyone is aware of any good yarn shops in Suisse Romande, please let me know! I know there are two in Carouge that I have been to, including the lovely Tricolaine and there is also a small one up the road from me called d'au d'argent. If we had more time I would take us over to Zurich, but I don't really think it's worth it unless we stay the night,

I saw these cute little chaps last weekend when we went to a little festival in Carouge, I really wanted to shear them and spin their fleeces, they look so lovely and warm!

I have some lovely Garn Studio alpaca that I want to knit some socks with, I think they will be perfect for the Swiss winter, I hear alpaca is extremely warm.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Knitting in the UK

Been busy again with not a lot of knitting time, except for last week when I was in the UK hanging out at my mum's yarn shop, so lots of knitting done then!

I decided to knit a pair of chunky socks for my friend who's going back to Canada next week, I finished them last night.

As you can see, they didn't really turn out to be a pair because the colourways in the balls of yarn are so long, so I have had to knit another pair so I can get matching ones! At least that means that I get a pair for myself, they're super warm and comfy and the cat seems to like them too! They were knitted in Wendy Fusion, but I can't remember the colour, sorry.

I loved making these socks because they were so quick to knit, you can knit one in an evening, no problem. I knitted them on 5.5mm dpns over 32 stitches if you fancy giving them a try yourself.

I really want to learn to crochet at the moment, especially with all the pictures of amigurumi dolls that I have seen lately, I desperately want to make some, but my crochet leaves much to be desired, but then I have only ever crocheted one edging on a baby cardigan and that's it, I guess practice makes perfect.

I love this doll on the right, it's so cute, in fact, I think all amigurumi dolls are cute. This one is from Gourmet Amigurumi.

Talking of cute things, my hubby bought me this cute Japanese cat on the left as a "good luck" gift for my new job. I love it, it's fantastic!

What with the new job and not getting home until 7.30-8pm every night, I'm not sure when I'm going to get time to learn to crochet properly, especially with all the knitting projects that I want to tackle. I got a copy of the new Rowan magazine when I was in the UK and I think there's about ten projects that I want to do. At least now that I'm working I will be able to buy some yarn and won't have to wait until I go to the UK to work in the shop and be paid in yarn! Plus, it's my birthday in 3 weeks and I'm pretty sure that I will get a few gifts from my mum's shop stock! Very exciting!

There's some beautiful things in my mum's shop at the moment, I'm loving this weaving mesh. In this picture it's had Louisa Harding Sari Silk woven through it, it's so beautiful. You just need 1-2 metres of mesh and one hank of silk (although you can weave whatever you like through it), I am very tempted to make one for myself. The mesh comes in different colours, I'm tempted by the cream and weaving a champagne coloured silk through it, very elegant.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Busy Busy

I've not had a lot of time for knitting the past couple of days, and won't do for a few more days.

I spent yesterday struggling away trying to build a new website for my mum's shop Interknit Cafe
(that's not the site I've been building, mine isn't finished yet, she might not even like it!).

Been viewing cars and am off to get my Swiss driver's licence today, very exciting! We have to do it this week because if you leave it longer than a year you have to take a test. Then on Wednesday I get to drive all the way from Geneva back to Farnham. The drive to Le Havre will take me about 7 1/2 hours, then I have a 4 or 5 hour boat ride before arriving in Portsmouth. Phew! It will be a very dull drive, especially since I have no stereo in my car as some kids stole the front of it, along with the gear stick knob! Little scoundrels!

I am looking forward to getting back to the UK though and seeing my mum and raiding her shop! She says she has loads of new stuff in and that the shop is bulging at the seams! So hopefully lots of knitting to be done!

My orange socks are coming along nicely, nearly finished the first one. I have to say that they are rather boring to knit as it's all one colour, but they are going to be a gift and there is a reason why they're orange!

Not sure red was the best background, but I couldn't be bothered to move off the sofa!

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Let me begin

I probably should have started this blog ages ago since I've not been working for the past 13 months and so have been doing a fair bit of knitting. Typically, I start a new job on August 27, so won't have so much knitting time, but I will still fit it in!

I'm sure I won't be waffling on just about knitting, being an expat in Geneva, I'm bound to find other things to go on about.

Knitting wise, my current WIPs are:
1) A bright orange pair of socks (after spending 9 months trying to turn a heel on my first sock and finally doing it a couple of weeks ago, I seem to have become addicted to sock knitting!).
2) A beautiful cardigan jacket from the Debbie Bliss Out of Town book, which I'm knitting in Louisa Harding's 'Grace'.
3) A Freedom Spirit vest from February's issue of Knitting magazine
4) A little baby jacket from the RYC Classic Babies book, which I'm knitting in some Swiss yarn that I forget the name of.

I keep promising myself that I won't start any more projects until I finish the ones I'm currently doing, but I've just found a pattern for a really cute newsboy style hat, which I'm just itching to knit....

Here's that pair of socks that took me so long to do...