Wednesday, April 30, 2008

what a letdown

well, it's been another one of those weeks here (and hey, it's only wednesday!). in fact, it's been another one of those months. you know the kind - where nothing serious is wrong, but somehow, little things keep going wrong all over the place.
i'm still, STILL struggling with my online shop (i'm not linking to it, because it's either not there or incredibly ugly, & neither of those options are great for promoting my little business). & i'm at the point now where i'm in discussions with a lovely person who i will hopefully be hiring to design the shop site for me - i've given up, it's time to call in the professionals -but they need admin access to my server, and i've done something which has essentially broken my site so badly that i can't get admin access to my own server, let alone give it to somebody else! my hosting tech support is looking into it, so now i just have to wait (im)patiently until they get back to me, and hope that they can fix it soon. it's been giving me a serious headache, and taking away from my oh-so-valuable knitting time.
as a result, my april sweater-a-month project is definitely not finished - i have about a hundred rows to go, and with approximately five hundred stitches per row, i'm not going to finish before the end of april (that is to say, in less than six hours!). i'm a little disappointed that i didn't finish it within the month, but i think i may have overestimated the amount of uninterrupted knitting time i actually have - this wasn't a pattern i could work on while distracted, so i was limited to working on it in my (fairly non-existent)"quiet time". but i'm consoled by the fact that it's so, so pretty:

april closeup
look how pretty i am!!


i am bloodied but unbowed, however, and have already cast on for my may sweater ("everyday tweed" by marie grace, which is an actual sweater this time). i'm making it from the colinette cadenza that i bought on my trip to their mill shop, which has already been knitted into almost an entire sweater before mercilessly being ripped out (not the yarn's fault - it's lovely, i just wasn't happy with my sweater design). the may sweater is a top-down, one-piece raglan-in-the-round, and is mainly stockinette with a little shaping, so it should be something that i can work on steadily no matter what distractions come my way! & i'll continue working on my april shawl whenever i have a little quiet time - maybe i'll get that done in may as well, and that way my knitting average is still a sweater a month.
hopefully, things will pick up here soon, and i'll be able to post something a little less grumpy!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

sweet solitude

the RSA has a very social weekend planned with friends - lots of drinks, concert tickets, dinners out etc. & since i'm not, by nature, a very sociable person, i opted out of all the plans in favour of a weekend of sweet solitude. so i'm taking myself off to the middle of nowhere - a cottage a few hours away, owned by my aunt, who is quite lovely & lets us use it pretty much whenever we like. it's several miles from anywhere & anything, in a tiny hamlet of about six other cottages, surrounded by hills & woodland & absolute silence - there's no tv, no internet connection, & only a sporadic mobile phone signal. i'm only going for a couple of days, but somehow, i've ended up packing all this stuff:


i'm quite possibly the world's worst packer; i always end up bringing far more than i could ever possibly need, because i'm worried that i won't have brought enough (& this picture doesn't even show the cooler packed full of food & treats). in my defense, though, only about 10% of this pile of stuff is clothing & toiletries - a big part of it is bedding & towels (it's only polite to bring your own), and the rest is all the things i'll need to entertain myself on a weekend alone (with no tv, even!) - lots of books, lots of knitting (of course), and my lovely little majacraft spinning wheel along with a big pile of fibre (i plan to be quite productive). & of course, i can't forget this:


because even though the RSA is his most favourite person ever in the whole entire world ever, & i'm a far, far distant second, a weekend in the countryside wins every time. we'll come back when he's smelled every single blade of grass & every leaf, & explored every single bit of field & woodland, & splashed in every puddle & stream ... or on sunday, whichever comes first.

Friday, April 11, 2008

dawn till dusk

i have finally answered the age-old question: how much yarn can one dyer dye, if they dye from dawn till dusk?

a day's work!!


ok, so it might not look like that much - but that's 50 skeins of yarn hanging to dry, all dyed up in one day in a rush of energy & enthusiasm. most of it is going to K1, but some of it will be heading off to anne (who will be combining it with her amazing sense of knitting design to come up with some exciting new patterns). and yes, elaine, your special-request sock yarn is in there too!
& now, i'm exhausted, so i'm taking a tip from this wee one:


& i'm heading off for a weekend of napping.  hope your weekend is restful too!

Monday, April 07, 2008

hello april

now that the march sweater is finally finished (ok, i'm calling it "finished" even though i still need to sew the ends in - so there), i can, at last, think about april! & i've already decided on my next sweater-a-month project...

waves in the square


ok, so it's not technically a sweater (it is, in actual fact, a shawl). but i'm quite prepared to call it a sweater, & here's why:

  1. it will, like a sweater, cover my arms from shoulder to wrist & my torso from neck to waist (or, possibly, even longer).
  2. it takes 1200 yards of yarn to knit, which is about the same amount as an averge-sized adult sweater takes.
  3. it's a shawl, but it's a square variation of a faroese-style shawl, which means it will wrap completely around me (none of this tiny triangular shawl nonsense!)
  4. i'm knitting it in posh yarn's 100% cashmere laceweight, and i needed to come up with an excuse to use this absolutely heavenly yarn. like, NOW. everyone needs a little cashmere in their life.
  5. after the seemingly endless march sweater, i'm a little bit ...whispers... bored with sweaters at the moment.

if none of these sound like good reasons, how about this one: it's my challenge, and i'll do what i like!!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

better late than never

a few days behind schedule, but finished nonetheless...

march sweater


the march sweater, for my sweater-a-month challenge!
project specs:
started: 2nd march 2008
finished: 5th april 2008
pattern: my own, based on elizabeth zimmermann's "seamless saddle shoulder" design
yarn: rowan felted tweed in "whisper", 7.5 balls
needles: 3.5 & 3.75mm addi lace circular needles

march sweater detail 2

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

failure

march - not finished!


well, it's official. since the month ended on monday, and the march sweater is still going, i guess we have to class this as a failure. it's not all bad though - i now have everything united to work the yoke, and i've even started the decreases for the saddle shoulders, so the work left to do should go fairly quickly. and although the "official" deadline was monday, i had given myself a little bit of leeway on this one & set myself an actual deadline of this friday (the sweater is a birthday present for the RSA). & if all goes well, i should be done in time.... or is saying that tempting fate?...