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2009 Round-Up

I've been having my usual look at how 2009 has gone, knit-wise. I've added another 43 finished projects to Ravelry. These have included 10 pairs of socks, 3 adult cardigans and nine presents for babies. I've also got 8 WIPs, 226 things queued and 187 yarns stashed. Quite a few of those are 50g balls but still, that's a lot of yarn. Probably just as well I haven't been able to get to the sales at all.

My greatest triumph was definitely my Kauni which I have been wearing frequently since I finished it. The buttons were definitely a good choice.

I learnt a huge amount from making this and loved it all.

I've also really loved my Kai Mei socks and the malabrigo they were made in.

Even David, the anti-knitting physio, has admired these.

Up until christmas eve I would have said that back-aside, I had had a healthy year. The black dog has been kept at bay even though I changed my anti-d in the summer. Even my back - now that the sciatica is just a painful memory - is on th…

Back, and 6lbs lighter

I had decided to try to drop another half a stone in 2010. I didn't think I'd be doing it in the last couple of days. And I find it hard to believe that anyone has ever visited my MIL's house and left lighter than when they arrived. I seem to have had what I can only describe as gastric flu and have barely eaten a thing since the 23rd. Rather annoying since this year saw a record haul of chocolate and I haven't been able to even think about opening any of it. I also haven't knitted a stitch since xmas day. There. Now you believe I'm ill, don't you. This was me last night on the train home. And this was before it was delayed for an hour.

Fortunately I am feeling a bit better now. As lovely as it is to see my in-laws, it is always so much more comfortable to be ill at home and when we got back last night I nose dived straight into my bed, with my duvet, my pillows, my crocheted blanket. Mmmmmm. Nothing like it.

Before my yuck came on our little nephew, Alfie, s…

Neeeeeeoooooooowwwwwww

High speed blog post. I've been horribly busy the last week and no chance to do anything properly other than eat - so now look a bit like I've swallowed a balloon. I was in company with my mum's cat who had had food left out for her when they went away for a weekend. The neighbour was supposed to dish it out and mum had left twice as much as was usual 'just in case'. The neighbour gave the cat all of it and 'pear shaped' would be a polite comment on her shape. She's always been fairly svelte but she's in a new class in the beauty parade now.

Anyway....I am soon to be published in the online magazine SlashStroke.
I made these pulse warmers for their second issue so I'll link here when the pattern goes up. They were very simple with a bit of intarsia but the team behind it are not familiar with knitting and so were pleasurably amazed. Apparently there was a scuffle over who got to keep them after the photoshoot, which is afterall what every knitter…

Christmas Spirit

I have been trying to feel a bit christmassier (is that even a word - it looks weird). So I have invested in a christmas hits album from i-tunes AND I've put the christmas tree up AND I made some decorations. When putting the tree up I came across the two sequin baubles Nic and I made last year and so I made another one this evening.



So christmassy! I love making these. The others one I made were a tesco kit and have come out surprisingly well.



It's all done with glue - no sewing at any point - so I'm not sure how they'll hold up but they should be fine for this year at least.

Two of them star the Pooch, who is as I type freezing his nads off in the Arctic Circle. It's not some sort of penance - it was his choice and one I gladly opted out of. Sadly Norway with 30 mins daylight per day is not turning out to be as entertaining as he hoped but on the plus side there are at least two knitting shops so hopefully father christmas will have lots to haul my way this year!

I f…

Flickr as a Resource

I think a lot of people just use Flickr to host photos and don't realise what an amazing resource it is. If I ever had to stop knitting, embroidery would be my next thing. These are just a few of my 'favourites'. Anyone can type in 'vintage embroidery' or 'banana' or anything and find images others have done. There are also groups for sharing. I love "Hoop Love Vintage Transfers" and "Vintage Embroidery Patterns". And of course if I get the urge to do some embroidery all I need is a printer and an iron-on transfer pencil and I'm away.

Here are a few of my current faves.



1. WB 003 d, 2. Daphne, 3. Monarch 206 - cat pattern, 4. Super sewing girl! in progress, 5. girl and duck, 6. Untitled, 7. RobotSpring, 8. Birthday Owl Fabric postcard, 9. Y-Yarn, 10. The Acorn Fairy, 11. WB 2-945 e, 12. pink on yellow splat bird

Byrne on Health

Pooch has flu again - the third time in a year. Now Pooch takes care to exercise and eat vegetables. He drinks berocca and consumes fruit for pleasure. I, on the other hand, mainline chocolate and pepsi max like they're about to start rationing and avoid unnecessary fruit and veg unless I have a hankering for some. I have not had flu the whole year. The only real health problem I've had in the last 12 months has been my back and that couldn't have been prevented however many forests of broccolly I had consumed.

So, to summarise my conclusions on this subject:
The human body is a sophisticated machine. It needs gentle maintenance. Suddenly exercising, especially outside when it is cold, is not gentle. You're going to freak out your body.You are self-aware. Your body sends you messages when it's hungry, thirsty, tired etc. And sometimes it tells you it needs fruit or vegetables. Forcing these things on yourself when your body isn't asking for them isn't necess…

So in conclusion

I have come to a conclusion about several things I've been thinking about recently. Here is one.

Byrne on Infidelity

Once someone in a relationship has cheated, that relationship is over. If both parties are willing to try, and the cheater is really lucky, they can build a new relationship. But if nothing changes after the cheating it's like being diagnosed with a major disease and not seeking treatment. That relationship is inevitably going to die.

One of the both good and bad sides of being on sick leave is that you get a lot of time alone. This can be good for thinking but it can also be bad in the same way. I feel like I've had a good chance to think things through but at the same time I know my limited communication skills have got worse. I suppose this is because I've had the majority of my conversations with myself and as my sister recently said "It's ok for you, you don't care about that kind of thing." and so I've got clumsy when chatting to…

D(uc)K Feet

Duck feet booties in DK yarn. Holla.




Yarn: 40g DK yellow. I used Patons Fairytale but anything would do.
Tension: 5 st to 1 inch in stockinette
Needle: 3.75mm circ/dpns or whatever you need to get guage.
Also need: 1 stitch marker.

I did these as magic loop but you could do 2 circs or dpns. If using dpns then will be easier to use 5 rather than 4.


Cast on 32st using your favourite stretchy cast on. Join to work in round and place marker to show beginning of round.Knit 18 rows in 2x2 ribNow we're going to do a short row heel over the first 16 stitches. You can change this to a different heel if you want and just pick up the instructions later on. A tutorial on a short row heel can be found here.
Knit to 2nd to last st, wrap and turnPurl back to 2nd to last st, wrap and turnK to stitch before last wrapped st, wrap and turnP to stitch before last wrapped st, wrap and turnContinue til 6 stitches wrapped on each sideYou'll just have done your last wrap and turn on the purl side. You&#…

Knitting, only knitting.

I have....a Kauni!!!









Those robot buttons really are the business and make it look extra special. It's been an epic journey but I am so thrilled with the result. It's definitely my finest knitting achievement to date.

I went to Greenwich today and I treated myself to a little haul from the button stand in the antique market by the Rivington. Ooooooo.



They were between 45p and £3 per card. These were the cheapest and probably my faves.



Beautiful pale blue with knitted texture. So twee!

I also scored some beautiful trimmings. The middle one is silk and amazingly beautiful. The one on the right is quite wide and really really lovely.



It's all things a woman at the market has had in storage for ever since her mum did a lot of sewing and knitting. Another gem was this, still in its original packaging.



A freebie from an ancient woman's weekly. It's for hanging a ball of yarn from your wrist. At 50p I couldn't leave it forlornly on the stall!

Back to work

My first day back at work was yesterday and it all went pretty well! I didn't manage to get much done because the boys had stuck pictures of a very hairy beer belly over just about everything on my desk and so it took a while to get around that. They'd also stuck my handset to the base of the phone and put a poster of the bionic woman up on the wall with my face on it. Bless them. I think they missed me! It was certainly nice to see them and have some human interaction again. I've promised krispy kremes for tomorrow! It looks like Team Wank are really kicking up a right royal fuss about my project and are going to open a can of whooppee at the AGM but you never know. No point worrying about it yet.

Finishing the Kauni didn't quite happen but I now only need to finish the collar and then sew down the collar steek. Then the last act will be to black and sew on the buttons. I had got some lovely vintage dark turquoise ones picked out but then when I got to work I picked u…

2 days til deadline

I wanted to get my kauni cardigan finished by the time i went back to work. Well, that is happening on tuesday and lo and behold, it's actually almost done. I finished the sleeves yesterday.


I did them both togther in the round with steeks between them. I sewed and cut the steeks, hemmed the sleeves and sewed them into the armholes today. It's all given me a massive headache so I'm resting on my laurels and leaving the sewing down of the steeks, the button band and the collar until tomorrow. I may not meet the deadline, because it's definitely going to need blocking, but I think all the structural stuff will have been done. I haven't decided buttons yet but I am sure something in my vast collection will do the job. Here it is as it stands tonight.



The Kauni has definitely not been a portable project so here are some jaywalkers I've been working on on-and-off for a few months now. The yarn is from The Knittery and ws a gift from a past round of secret pal. It is g…

Pretzel = epic fail

In a way I'm surprised I haven't been blogging more frequently since I've certainly had more time to do my own things. But then apart from endlessly knitting the Kauni and the occasional outing I haven't really been actually doing that much. But today has been a day of high achievement, so pin back your ears.

The day started with the eternal Kauni. Despite having spent hours on it in the last week I still seem to be only just up to the elbows which is where I am sure I was a week ago. Eventually I'll finish those sleeves - but it's going to be hard to stick with it. Getting a bit samey now.

After an hour of Kauni and a Mission Impossible I moved to making pretzels. This is part of my bread fetish which I've developed recently. So far it's been going pretty well but I cna not honestly claim the pretzals were a success. Judge for yourself...


The back left one was ok looking and they don't taste *too* bad but...nah. I tried them about 10 years ago with si…

Sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy

Ever since the op my sleep patterns have gone completely out the window. I obviously haven't been as active as I would normally be but even on the days when I'm out a lot and moving about I still don;t sleep until about 1am and often later - and I used to be a strictly 10.30pm girl. I've been waking up at 8 each morning in an attempt to get into a routine but it doesn't help and although I do get up then I get up feeling exhausted. Except this morning. This morning I apparently slept through Pooch getting up and going to work, slept through my alarm at 8, slept through the 9am community bus that beeps on the road outside promptly at 9am every weekday, and only woke up at 10.15. And I actually felt like I'd been asleep and was waking up feeling refreshed. Bliss. Of course now I won;t get to sleep til 3am. I wonder if I should just give in and move to a 3am-11am sleep cycle but then I am going to start back at work in 10 days so it's not a good option.

I went to t…

Invincible

That's it. I've done a steek. I've now done everything in knitting. Maybe. I've done lace, cables, knitting backwards, steeking, fairisle, intarsia, socks, jumpers, blankets, hats. Any suggestions for what I've missed?

The steeking went well although I did get butterflies when actually cutting the knitting. I just kept thinking of how many hours of work had gone into it. I used both the Knitty article and the pages on it in Alice Starmore's repinted book.

Having steeked and sewn the shoulders we have....






I may still redo the neckline at the front as it is a bit high, but apart from that it looks like the size and fit is pretty good! I've cast on the sleeves

Taking the eek out of steek

The body of my Kauni cardi is now done. There are 4 steeks all together - the big front one, one at each armhole and the neckline one.

Being a champion bodger there are live stitches on holders in random places too waiting to be 3-needle-bound-off and so on. But first the steeking needs to be done to open up the body and create some room for manouvering.

Slowly but surely

My recovery from the op is progressing nicely, if a bit stop and startish. I think this is my own fault though. It's proving difficult to regulate my activity level. I went out for dinner with friends on friday. Then on sat I was a wreck so hardly did anything, but then couldn't get to sleep til 3am. There's no pain - just exhaustion. I did the same thing last night and couldn't get to sleep so I'm planning an outing this afternoon despite feeling like a chewed up dog toy.

Fortunately the Pooch is now back from japan and arrived bearing gifts. I really am a lucky person. Although it does beg the question - what do you do with lace weight mohair?

The colours don't really come across in the photo. There is a very pale almost grey green, a pale green and a dark green. 40g of the first two and 20g of the third. He also came back with some terribly sweet porcelin polka dot cats and two little discs which we think must be chopstick rests.
So cute!
While Pooch was away I…

Aunty Alex and Uncle Grumpy!

Pooch and I are now aunt and uncle to Alife Thomas Coward. Here he is with possibly the proudest grandmother in the whole world!
It all happened on friday night so he's home with his mum and dad now and looking even more gorgeous than in that photo. I'm just annoyed I can't go and visit yet. My stamina is increasing but I am still exhausted after an hour of moving about. However, every cloud has a silver lining and all this sitting is increasing my output. Here is the polka dot bag I started a few days ago, drying out after felting.
It's based on one I queued when I first joined Ravelry - more than 2 years ago. It's perfect for a small shoulder bag and is exactly what I wanted.
The bag was knitted and the dots were crocheted and sewn on before felting. Yarn was doubled for the icord handles.

I've also got back on with the secret wedding afghan, which is no longer a secret. The recipients, who got married in, ahem, august, came round a few days ago and I showed it t…