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Selbu Shetland

Pattern: Selbu Modern byKate Gagnon Osborn

Yarn: JC Rennie Unique Shetland in Laurel approx. 26 grams

and JC Rennie Supersoft Cashmere in Lissa approx. 6 grams

Needles: 2.75 mm / US 2 and 2 mm / US 0

I’ve wanted to knit this hat for ages. I mean it’s absolutely beautiful, the delicate colourwork in fingering weight wool is stunning. I felt the earthy tones and wooliness of the Rennie yarn would work well and I think it’s less of a polished type of hat and has more of a rustic old world charm which is what I was going for.  I’m very very pleased with this hat though it took forever.

I was initially worked that it was coming out too small but the miracles of blocking me that it is comfortably drying over a dinner plate so I hope that it will fit comfortably over my head as well.

I don’t know if I will knit this again, maybe but not for a very very very long time.

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School: working hard as usual, or most of the time trying my hardest to work hard but mostly getting side tracked with online games and videos of Glee routines on youtube. We submit out project choices tomorrow, a very nerve wrecking time for all. I have no idea if anyone else is going for my first choice, two of my flatmates are going for the partner project to mine and I would love to work with either of them (and they have cars which will make my life of so much easier) but I haven’t heard anything about people wanting to do mine. Also weighing up the pros and cons of future career choices or PhD subjects in relation to these choices adds a bit more strength to the panic.

Been striving to get some work done on my fisheries essay but it just won’t come, I will try my damnedest this weekend, but then again working this hard to start an essay more than two weeks before it’s due is a pretty good development. Of course haven’t done jack all for the EIA.

York: Had a really nice weekend in York with C and A. A’s job is going wonderfully and I’m really looking forward to going to visit her at some point. The panto was wonderful though I will admit I didn’t find it as funny as previous years, I think I preferred the old lead boy. Spent too much money but had a lovely time, especially as I won’t be seeing my friends for some time now.

Knitting: Haven’t really done much, the whole school thing always makes it so I don’t do much. I’m still working on the Selbu Modern with Owls languishing in my knitting bag waiting for me to be done with the fingering weight hat. I will strive to finish the Selbu soon. I did manage to take pictures of the mystery socks and to post about both them and my mother christmas shawl so that’s a good thing. Hopefully I will be done soon and have more to talk about. No spinning has been done since November, should do a little of that as well, I probably only have about a week’s worth before plying.

Running: I ran on Jan 1st because it was nice and warm and lovely. Unfortunately the rest of that week was cold and horrible and then I got back to Wales and was jet laggy and depressed. I finally forced myself to go on Tuesday and went for another tonight. When I force myself to go it’s great and I’ve can run 5 minutes straight now with no problems but it does take a bit of effort to force myself to go, I almost didn’t tonight. I’m hoping to keep it up, I think I’m going to move on to week 5 in my next run.

Archery: I sheared the tip off my pressure button before Christmas for the second time so I had to purchase a new one. Last night I moved my nocking point down as it was looking out of alignment with my rest and I’m also changing my draw slightly so with all that my shooting has been a little erratic. Though that said, the changes to my technique my coach is making is actually working and I shot a lot better last night than I had been shooting before Christmas. It doesn’t look like we’ll be able to get together a team for BUTC which sucks as I would really like to go but oh well, that’s life and the problem of going to a club that only has three recurves. At least there will be BUCS.

Castle Ness Shawl

Pattern: Dover Castle Shawl by Judy Marples

Yarn: Belle Epoque Silk Sock in Loch Ness approx. 63 grams

Needles: 3.75 mm / US 5

This shawl was my mother’s Christmas gift this year. I had originally decided to knit her a pair of socks with this yarn but coming off the Falling Leaves socks I couldn’t really face knitting more so I settled on this beautiful shawl.

The pattern is really well written, knits up quite fast and I really enjoyed knitting it. The silk content in the yarn gave it a beautiful sheen and a heaviness that made knitting with it heavenly. When I started I was a little worried that the variegation in the yarn would hide or distract from the beautiful lace but I’m pleased to say that it doesn’t. I plan on knitting another at some point in a subtle variegated yarn.

This pattern was also number 8 on my 10in2010 list and the last project I completed from that list.

 

Falling Leaves

Pattern: TTL Mystery Sock 2010 by Kristen Kapur

Yarn: Cascade Heritage Paints in Fall Foliage (9801) approx. 63 grams

Needles: 2.75 mm / US 1 1/2

I finished these socks ages ago and it’s taken me until today to actually get pictures of them. These took a embarrassingly long time to knit, mainly because they got hit by two rather large assignments which curtailed most of my knitting.

I knit these magic loop two at a time so I could keep up with the pattern as it was released. The method is surprisingly easy once you have about a inch, the first few rows are a bit difficult. The other great upside is that once you’re done you’ve actually got two wearable socks and there’s no second sock syndrome.

Overall I think I sort of enjoyed knitting these, this was one of my very very few spontaneous knits where I saw the pattern, thought I have yarn and decided to knit it. Most of my projects are meticulously planned months, if not years in advance. The never ending cabling was a little hard not to mention the fact that these languished on the needles for way too long. But they’re done, they’re pretty and they keep my feet warm so I can’t really complain.

So I’ve been busy busy thanks to life as a postgrad. The last week and a half has been tied up with stats for the report due on the 1st which we’re all stressed like crazy about. We have been told that simple, clear and concise is the name of the game so I’m trying to keep from going to crazy. I have to print out my Primer stuff and run a few things through spss and I’ll be done and can begin figuring out what it all means and how I want to present my story.

The aborted boat trip was rescheduled for two weeks ago and we got so far as getting on the boat and filling out the emergency contact forms when we found out that due to the conditions we weren’t going to be able to go out. We did get to do a few grabs off the side of the boat just at the dock so now at least I can say I’ve done them and know how they work. We’re on for this weekend for a different trip and fingers crossed it will go as planned as we seem to be cursed and the weather isn’t looking that great.

I finished the arch socks and sent them off so I hope the recipient likes them, I do very much even though I should have finished them ages ago. The mystery socks are coming along. I’m a clue behind am just finishing up the leg now, I only have one more repeat of the tiny trowels to go before I can start the heel. I also have received a commission from one of my house mates to knit her sister who is doing a year abroad in Minnesota a pair of mittens. We settled on a pattern and I suggested some yarn so we’ll talk colours and price and then I can get on those.

Since I started running again two weeks ago I’ve stuck to it and am progressing nicely. I’ve decided to run week 4 again to fully feel comfortable with 5 minutes. I think I can push myself to do it. I also bought a running vest as I wanted something to cut the wind a bit but not be too heavy. It’s great and I really like it.

Suse Socks

Pattern: Arch-shaped socks by Jen Showalter

Yarn: Araucania Itata Multi in Green and Gold approx. 61 grams

Needles: 2.5 mm / US 1 1/2

These socks took entirely too long to knit but the finished project is really very nice, though the pictures here really don’t give them justice. Adding it the ribbing on the foot was a bit tricky as the pattern wasn’t written this way bit if you just for it it seems to work out fine. The main reason I picked this pattern is that the recipient, while having a similar foot length as me has slightly narrower feet and I thought that the ribbing would make up for that.

The yarn is very pretty, a wool/bamboo/silk blend. The silk and bamboo give it a beautiful sheen but I found the bamboo makes it a bit crunchy as it knits up and doesn’t move on the needles very well. The final fabric, especially after a wash in Eucalan is very soft and overall I’m very pleased with the outcome.

These socks where #8 in my 10 for 2010 list. I will probably knit another pair at some point for myself, perhaps using some of the mods other people have posted on ravelry.

Some good quality knitting time has been going on the past few days since I started again on Friday. I finished the first clue on the mystery socks on Sunday night. Two at a time definitely becomes easier as you go along, it still takes a little juggling with multiple balls of yarn and cable and so forth but easier than those first awkward rows. I shudder to think about heels though. I also learnt how to do the cables without a cable needle, it helped tremendously and they’re looking good. The yarn is beautiful, really really soft and the colours remind me of fall leaves, a perfect combination for October sock knitting.

The arch socks are coming along nicely as well. I’ve finished the shaping and am now have about an inch before I begin decreasing for the two. I’m very pleased with how they have turned out.

I’m skipping along with the arch shaped socks, I managed 30 rows yesterday which I think is almost halfway done with the foot. I think I might be able to manage to finish them by the end of the week. But I said that two times before and woefully and spectacularly didn’t make it in under the deadline. They are being knit for my boss who since she asked me has left the organization so I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to connect with her to get the socks to her. I made one attempt which didn’t work out but I have plan.

I cast on the mystery socks. Oh god two at a time on magic loop! It looks like a tangled mess. I’ve only done the first row so I have faith it will straighten out and not be so tangled. The first row is always a bit wonky to begin with.

On the other hand, masters news. We were supposed to go out on the research vessel today to do some benthic grabs and essentially have geeky science fun. I was quite looking forward to it until I heard that it has been canceled today.  At first I thought it was because of the weather as there are heavy rain/flash flood warnings for the area but the hearsay seems to be that our course director had some words with the captain and the captain wouldn’t sail. Seems really childish and unfortunate for us students as the opportunity to use the vessel for a design of our own is a really big part of the course and now we’ll only get to go out the once in two weeks times. Sucks much.

My first week as a Masters student went very well, with a lot of work but quite a lot of fun along the way. It helps when you’re a complete science geek and the people around you are too.

I even managed to fit in a little bit of exercise. I went swimming last night with one of my housemates. It was good fun and good exercise but hard work, especially as I’m not that used to it. I’ll definitely go again. I hope I’ll be able to fit a run in this weekend.

In knitting news, the arch shaped socks are languishing on my desk, I haven’t done any knitting on those since I was waiting at London Euston two weeks ago. I will get cracking on those. I’ve also decided to knit Kristen Kapur’s mystery sock because it is fun and I have some sock yarn that doesn’t have a specific destination. I’m going to knit those two at a time so that I can stay abreast of the clues.

Now dinner and the pub.

My Ishbel

Pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda Teague

Yarn: J.C. Rennie Supersoft Cashmere in Lisaa (046) approx. 43 grams

Needles: 4 mm / US 6

This pattern has become like the secret handshake of knitters and I was very excited to start knitting it. I bought this yarn over a year ago from Di Gilpin in St Andrews. I thought I would need a second ball so I popped by when I returned at the end of the summer to pick up another however I used less than one ball for this shawlette. The yarn has a lovely heathery look to it and a slight variation in colour. I’m not sure if this is actually yarn from their machine knit line which seems to contain more lanolin then their hand knitting line, though the yarn had a very sheepy feel to it. For some reason knitting with it took me back to my week long holiday in Scotland’s north west Highlands, a land of sheep and hills and fog which I loved beyond measure.

The pattern is very well written as can be expected from Ysolda, the lace repeats where easy to remember and with a concentrated knitting effort this piece could probably be completed in a day or two in a push. Before blocking the finished piece seems a bit small but I’m sure it will grow and the yarn will soften some with blocking.

I’m very excited to be able to wear this, a mark of a knitter these days. This was another 10 in 2010 project. I decided to finish the piece specifically on 11 August in celebration of my two year Ravelry anniversary, almost like a gift to myself. I don’t know if I plan to knit another but it will definitely remain on the books as a last minute gift knit or if I really want another one. I would be interested in doing a small/large hybrid or one in lace in the future.