Sunday, 28 December 2008

Remember the scrummy Misti Alpaca Sock yarn I showed you yesterday?
Well this is what the knitting fairy turned it into. Cosy socks as a belated Christmas present for Mr G's mum. I've got over half the skein left so I might have to make myself something with the left over yarn.

For those of you who are into the technicalities of knitting here are the specs:

Needles: 2.5mm bamboo DPNs for the main body. 2.25mm britanny DPNs for the toes and heel to give a tighter fabric.

Toes and Heels made from Lang Jawoll Superwash Solid Sock yarn which is stocked by the ever friendly I knit. I really like this plain yarn, it's not as cuddly as the Alpaca but hopefully it will make for stronger heels and toes.

Worked toe up to 44 stitches (MIL is a UK size 3) and used the Yarmando Evil Sock Genius pattern for the heel.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Yarn porn

There's not much gong on in GingerKnits Land as we're still flu bound so here's some yarn porn.



Misti Alpaca Handpainted sock yarn from Arequipa in Peru. El Misti is the name of the volcano which sits beside the city.

Here's the blurb from Loop's online shop

"Gorgeous hand painted 4ply sock yarn.
Peace, Love & Misti Alpaca represents the finest yarns from Misti's private handpaint studio in Peru. All collections from from Misti's handpaint studio carry this special label, representing Miguel's commitment to preserving the artistry of handpaint yarns and his mission to provide good jobs and fair wages and benefits to the people of his hometown, Arequipa."

Nom nom nom.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Festive Foliage


I needed to make a Christmas present for Mr G's mum as we were going to her house in France for Chrimbo. Doing some seatching on the magic that is Ravelry I found this hat pattern on knitty.com. Other users on Rav had said how quick it was.
Due to my steroid induced insomnia and having to be up at 4am to catch the Eurostar to Paris I decided to stay up all night and whip up this festive little number. I had some GGH Belair left over from my Mum's Yorkshire Rose hat and combined this with some Rowan kidsilk night to give a bit of fuzz and sparkle.
I cast on at about 10pm and had finished by 2am, knit while watching Father Ted. I wove the ends in on the Eurostar. Great pattern. The Belair yarn is lovely and soft with a lofty feel to it. I'd use it again for hats, especially as I got 2 hats out of 2 skeins with a bit to spare.
Mr G's mum was very pleased with it. She didn't want her face in the photo so I got in her outdoor Christmas decorations in shot instead as they make me smile.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas

Our wee tree decorated with creatures from our travels.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

On the nth day of Christmas my true love...

sent to me....



So much for aiming to post everyday in December. Mr Gingerknits and I have been struck down with a vile lurgy. It's the first time he's taken sick leave in 8 years so it must be bad.

All my knitting projects are at stages where I need to think what I'm doing, not hard normally, but with a head full of fuzz its not possible without cocking up.

Back to bed with a hot water bottle and a hot lemon drink.

Bah humbug.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Double trouble continental style!!!

Or why all my fingers feel like thumbs.

I want to make my BIL an Uncle Argyle Scarf for Christmas which uses a technique called double knitting, where two sides of fabric are knitted at the same time. Trouble is I don't own Stitch and Bitch Nation and as the scarf is the only thing I'd knit from it I'm not forking out £11 for one pattern. Using the magic of the interweb I found a couple of tutorials for Double Knitting. It's a great video but the continental knitting style looks much easier for double knitting. I sort of got the hand of knitting continental when I tried my hand at fairisle but I had one hand doing the familiar english style so I only had to concentrate on one hand. With this I'm trying to do something unfamiliar with both hands and two stands of yarn. Following the example pattern I've sketched out a smaller pattern for a small facecloth which can be a stocking filler if it turns out OK.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Five premie hats...

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me...

I found a super fast crochet pattern for Premie hats on Ravelry so I'm going to try and make one a day til I've made 5.

Here's No.1 made using the acrylic yarn I picked up in France.




Thursday, 4 December 2008

Mmmmmarmalade

I've been a domestic goddess this week. Inbetween knitting my Dad's Christmas waistcoat and faffing over what to knit for other relatives I've been making marmalade.

One batch of grapefruit and one of orange and ginger using this recipe. Bloody hell, marmalade is hard work. I've made jam before. Easy peasy. Put fruit and sugar in a pan. Boil. Done. Not so with marmalade. The cooking part is straightforward but separating rind from pith is thirsty work. It's worth it though as I've got a couple of stocking fillers ready.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

On the second day of Christmas....

Two tiny booties

I finally made the buttons for Phoebe's new booties by felting some Merino balls and cutting them in half. The sewing was a little tough, I had to make a few passes with increasing needle sizes but got there in the end.


Friday, 7 November 2008

Socks for Boots

My lovely friend Alex aka Boots is over from Oz. I've made her some socks as it's a bit chillier here.



Knitty details for those of you who like that sort of thing:
Needles: 2.5mm bamboo DPNs
Yarn: Toes, heels and ribbing - Lang Jawool (ha ha, German Joke) bought in Iknit, Rest of sock - Artesano Alpaca Hummingbird 4ply Colours Woodpecker (E861) and Lourie (E862), bought in Loop.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Snow? In October?


I'd been feeling chilly all day, thought I was being wimpy, maybe a bit tired after our trip to France. It hailed and thundered at about 7pm but I didn't think much of it. I just peered out the window and the garden has turned white. Ah well, it's good knitting weather...




Friday, 24 October 2008

Vive La Ballene


or long live the whale! We had a bit of time to kill at Gare du Lyon so went for a wander to stave off my jet lag after staying up all night. We found this whale made from Meccano outside the station.
I also spotted these Lions of Lyon which looked like they were vomiting flowers. So very French.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Worms

I compost. There are usually a few worms lurking under the lid. After being undisturbed for a few weeks the worms became adventurous. This is what greeted me this morning.


The garden has been a neglected this summer, due to the endless rain. It was a warm sunny morning so I had a quick tidy and discovered an avocado plant which had flourished from a discarded seed, complete with snails eggs. It will probably die now that I've righted the container it is in.


Sunday, 5 October 2008

Harvest festival

Back from holiday and the fridge was bare. No fresh food in the flat. A trip to the farmers market was in order. Despite the pouring rain we bundled up our cotton carrier bags and puddle jumped round the corner to Islington Farmers Market.

Bounty
For £14.50 we got

1 bag of spuds
1 bag of carrots
1 bunch of radishes
1 aubergine
2 butternut squash
3 huge corn on the cob
1 enormous gnarly celeriac which looks like something from an old Star Trek episode
1 bag of pears
2 bags of apples - Egremont russet and Royal Gala
1 bag of red onions
1 bunch of beetroot
3 pak choi
3 little gem lettuces
2 bunches of spinach
1 fennel

and....

... COB NUTS!!!


Having missed these last year I've forgtton what to do with them. Watch this space...

A bargain. Also treated ourselves to 2 cheesy twists and some Hoxton Rye bread. All of which have disappeared.

I noticed the plant man had some cheery cyclamen and some pale blue pansies which would look rather fetching on my back windowsill, more colourful than the bolted radish plants which are currently trailing like the red week from War of the Worlds. After a swift cuppa I headed back to the market, bought said plants. Plant man was suffering from a nasty cold and trying to garner sympathy as he was getting none from the women working on his stall. Poor thing, a severe case of man flu.

On the knitting front I need to decide what I'm going to make Alex's mum for her birthday. She cheekily demanded a sweater last time I saw her. That's not going to happen before Christmas so she's going to have to settle for either, some fingerless gloves so she can do her art without frostbite or some slippers. The slippers, mainly because I want to make this pattern which I bought befpre we went to holiday. They only downside with these is I'm not sure how much yarn they'll use. I see some Ravelry research coming up...

Friday, 19 September 2008

Knitting at No. 10


Over the summer months I took part in Oxfam's campaign against maternal mortaliry, making a giant blanket with each 9''x9'' square representing a woman who'd died needlessly in childbirth.

I'd make mine, sat in front of the TV using up scraps of acrylic I'd bought when I first started knitting, not thinking much of it, just small things to keep my hands occupied inbetween bigger projects. As the deadline approached I sewed my completed squares into a small blanket to help out the brave Oxfam volunteers who had the mammoth task of sewing 250000 squares together.

Imagine my surprise when browsing through the flicker photos for the event, which are worth a look, the blanket is stunning, when I spotted my little bit as part of a larger sub-blanket which had been taken to No. 10.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

One down, 14 to go....

I finished my first WIP Ravelmpics challenge yesterday and have earned my first medal. Woo hoo. Crack open the champers.

Friday, 8 August 2008

I'm too excited

Usually the Olympics pass me by, I may watch a bit of swimming or gymnastics and keep a half-arsed eye on what Team GB are up to. To be honest I find the Paralympics much more inspiring.

However this year my cousin Beth is in the games. I'm giddy with excitement for her. She's worked so hard for as long as I can remember. This morning I'm getting the flat sorted for my knitting marathon so I can watch the full opening of the games and keep an eye out for Beth. Go Team Storry.

Here's Beth trying out her new satanic look. The red contacts to help with seeing through the pollution.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Olympic Training

Tomorrow the world will focus it's attention on Beijing for the opening of the 2008 Olympics. What most people don't know is there is an alternative event happening world wide. Ravelry, the marvellous knitting forum is having it's own Olympian event, the Ravelmpics.

I am being over ambitious and have signed up for:

4 WIPS (Work In Progress)
1 jumper for me
2 hats
1 kid's cardigan
1 toy
1 pair of socks
1 pair of mittens
1 mystery gift
1 pair of mittens
1 scarf

Official start time is the opening of the games, 1pm in the UK. I'm knitting for the superbly named Team Pejorative Epithet aka the Atheist and Agnostic Crafters group.

I've been preparing my projects, printing out patterns and working out my gauge (well sometimes).

Watch this space...