Saturday, October 04, 2008

Catching up

I swear this week has completely run away from me, I really can't believe how quickly it's vanished.

Lunch by you. Lunch by you.

Thursdays lunch was yummy leftover Pizza Hut pizza from lunch on Wednesday (2 slices of my medium make-your-own concoction of jalapenos, chorizo, chicken breast, spicy pork and red onion, and one slice of the Boys large meat feast) with some leftover garlic ciabatta from earlier on in the week, and some home grown salad leaves and avacado drizzled with a bit of sesame oil, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Truly scrumptious.

Most of Thursday was spent filling in my new botanic filofax (you can just about see it in the top left corner of the pizza pic) which I've been lusting after for months. Luckily, we wandered over to Borders after Wednesdays pizza lunch found out that Paperchase was having a 20% off promotion, so I caved in and treat myself to it. It's so so pretty, I spent most of the car journey just looking at it and grinning like a loon! It's such a great feeling to save up and get something that you've wanted for while, I think today's disposable society with so many shops having such a quick product turnover have spoilt us for going after impulse buys.

Anyway, after getting everything up to date and organised I dug out my drop spindle and roving, and tried to rediscover my (somewhat rudimentary) spinning skills. I'd had a smallish ball of cream coloured merino singles lying around for the better part of a year as I didn't have time to knit much, never mind spin last year, and this seemed like a perfect time to try and spin up another single and ply it. After spinning another 3 singles, I plyed the shorter one with the old single, but completely messed it up by putting far too much spin into it! It ended up a completely overtwisted mess, and altough I soaked and dried it to take out some of the twist, Friday evening was spent catching up on episodes of Secret Diary of a Call Girl on ITV catch up whilst rewinding The Hideous Overtwisted Hank with the aid of some scrap material and a trusty peg to take out all of the overtwist. I soaked it again, and it's still damp but seems to have worked.

handspun drying by you.

It's a bit uneven, running a bit thick and thin, but it's a pretty good improvement on my first attempt, and seems to have calmed down into a small but passable length of Real Yarn. Thankfully I learn from at least some of my mistakes, and the remaining 2 singles were plyed together into an even longer and slightly more even length of Real yarn. Spurred on by this apparant success, I've started spinning more inky blue singles. I'm on the hunt for some lime green merino which I think would look rather nice plyed together with the inky blueness.

Also, I finished Dani's neck wrap during the week. I found some lovely small wooden buttons in Fenwicks which look rather lovely with the cream colour of the yarn.

Dani's neck wrap by you. Dani's neck wrap by you.

Improvised pattern
Yarn:Patons Australia Smoothie DK

It's about 3 months late for her birthday but I needed a little something extra to bulk out the presents I already got her, and anyway, better late than never! I saw a similar neck wrap in a little Vogue knitting book in Borders back in September, but wasn't willing to buy the whole book for one pattern, so I decided to improvise my own. It's essentially a mini scarf knit in a simple brioche stitch (or maybe it's honeycomb... I forget) for about 26 inches, with buttons sewn on at one end. I love how versatile the different ways that you can button it up make it, because the stitch is loose enough so that the buttons can just pop through at any point that suits you. I did put little YO buttonholes in at one end, which the above pics are buttoned up to, but you can essentially wear it however you please, using both buttons, or just one.

Dani's neck wrap by you. Dani's neck wrap by you. Dani's neck wrap by you.

I'm not much of a cream/white wearer, but I really love the way the wooden buttons sit against the cream. In fact, I'm so very tempted to knit myself one of these bad boys sometime soon, so long as I manage to wean myself off the long lengths of scarf ends that I'm oh so acustomed to.

Dani's neck wrap by you.

The patten was a bit monotonous (too much purling for my liking) but the end result is pretty worth it, especially for a quick bit-on-the-side knit. One thing I do have to say however, is how much I detest this yarn. Yes, it's soft, and a pretty colour, and budget friendly, but my god does it split. It is by far the splittiest yarn I have had the (dis)pleasure of working with yet, which made it really unpleasant to work with. Having had a little nosey around on Ravelry however, it doesn't seem to be as despised as I would have thought following my experience with it (it's rated 3.5/5) so maybe I just got a bad skein. Still, I won't be rushing to buy it again.

And now bed, and the second half of Westworld beckons.

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