June 20, 2006

Dear God

Filed under:Knitting World Cup,News! — Aileen @ 22:34

Dear God, I just checked the meterage between the ‘recommended’ Rowan Calmer and the Phildar Aviso. Calmer is about 160m where as the Aviso is 68m. What is wrong with me?!! I am going to need eight more balls. I think I should abandon ship and just keep the yarn for a vest or something.

What should I do? Order *eight* more balls and struggle on?


We have kick off!

Filed under:Knitting World Cup,News!,Secret Pal 8 — Aileen @ 22:25

I knitted nearly 10cm of dense ribbing yesterday, and no matter how much effort I put into it, ribbing still just looks like ribbing so I hung on until today before posting a picture :)

Pattern: Bliss, from Rowan 39.
Wool: Phildar Aviso, 60% cotton, 40% acrylic.

This is the left front. It took nearly an entire ball to knit the ribbing, which is very worrying, but since i got started, I have reached the armhole shaping on less than a ball. Oh well – I can always order a few more if I need to. I will probably order straight from Phildar if I need to.

This is a close up of the lace detail. Sorry for the flash photo, it was very dull all day today.

Tomorrow I go home because I’m starting my job on Monday. So I had a lot of odd jobs to do today. I went into town in the morning because I had some things to get. I got my next parcel together for my secret pal, had a look in the George’s Arcade, shopped in Penny’s and hunted down some wool. The last bit involved me walking all the way to a shop on Dorset Street – about half the way home – to no avail. For my secret pal, I have got ‘Knitting’ and ‘Anna’ magazine (the latter is an all-round textile craft mag), a big bag of Bewley’s strong coffee powder, two tubes of gourmet jelly beans for her kids, and some body stuff from M&S (royal jelly and honey sugar body scrub, almond and peach hand&nail cream, mud mask/sauna mask/feet refresher soak, bar of Dove), and I just managed to squeeze in a ball of the lovely soft ‘Ladybird’ yarn from Tivoli, in white. Think it’s enough? Think she’ll like it? I was trying to go by what I would like to get in the post and what I could afford :S

Penny’s yielded this groovy bag for a euro! And I finally found a needle gauge that I could afford – every single gauge I have found is about e15. This was e2.25 :D

I am obviously pinching pennies because it will be a while until I get paid, and I want to go to Galway at the weekend to see Alb and the Airshow. (Alb and the Airshow – what a great name for a band!) So I will need at least the bus fare and money to buy an extra ball of Felted Tweed to finish Salina. I finished the first sleeve today, so I’m actually not that far off. Hard to believe, really :D

Thanks to all (SP, Saskia) for the fellow-yippeeee comments about my box finally getting here :)


June 19, 2006

It came!!!

Filed under:News!,Stash — Aileen @ 17:38

A small bald man arrived in the green van with my box at lunch time. What timing! I was speechless. I opened the door, he gave me the box and I just stood there. He started laughing at me. Could it be true?


The box spoke to me. It said, Ouvrez-moi!

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Weekend Antics

Filed under:Finished Objects,News!,Photography,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 10:56

There hasn’t been an awful lot of knitting over the weekend, but I do have a sleeve to show you. Dratted sleeves.

Remember how I was swooning over the fact that I only needed 6 balls to complete this? Well, of course I was wrong! The sleeves are three-quarter length. Such sleeves are useless to me. Since it is 15 degrees or below about 9 months of the year, I need full length sleeves. Then I have the choice to pull them up if I need to. So, instead of knitting the cuffs and sewing them on at the end like the pattern said, and folding them up (why?), I just knit them as normal cuffs and let them add length to the sleeve. I still needed to knit on an extra 10cm for my washing-line-like arms. The result? Satisfactory sleeves, but an increasing likelihood of running out of wool.

But what better excuse to visit Yarn again! Especially since I will be in Galway next weekend for the Air Show!

Yesterday, I went to PhotoFest Ireland out in the Clarion Hotel in Liffey Valley. Note: if you want to go to Liffey Valley, do NOT get the 78A. Instead of just going straight out the motorway like any other sane bus route, it goes via Christchurch, Inchicore, Ballyfermot, Neilstown for goodness’ sake, and finally lands you somewhere near Liffey Valley (but relatively close to the Carion).

There were ‘free’ seminars – it was a tenner in – and there was a room full of vendors and displays. There were some student-types, but I am pretty certain I was the only girl my age there. The nerdiness was tangible! I have to say, I really enjoyed it. Berminghams were there with a Nikon expert and a selection of Nikon lenses to try out. My dad is really keen on getting a telephoto lens for taking pictures of birds (he is an avid ornithologist) and of sports (school games). They had some ridiculous telephoto lenses out. But they also had some small fun ones like a 10mm fisheye, a 105mm macro (very wow), and my favourite for all-round versitality, an 18-200mm DX. Having played about with Alb’s 50mm lens, I have been thinking about getting one myself. But this 18-200mm lens was very impressive. It was quite fast – about f 2 or f 2.8 I think, very light, good and wide with a good zoom too. It was something like e599 or e699 new. I looked up Jessops and they retail a Sigma equivalent for about e420 (incl vat and p&p).

I also got to meet Mr Hand from Hand Imaging. My dad has been sending his negatives, and now his CDs, for processing ever since I can remember. I bought the Irish Photography Federation Year Book and went to a seminar about Photoshop. It was really good, but today, I can only remember one thing that he showed. I wouldn’t mind but he spoke for quite a while about producing a good B&W print from Photoshop, and showed how to produce a convincing sepia print too. I’m sure if I mess around with it, it will come back to me.

Here is a little brooch that I made the other evening. I have yet to weave in the ends and sew on the brooch back, but I think it’s pretty. Dig the Aillwee Caves mug! Ah, happy memories. Time for tea, too, I think :D


June 16, 2006

*insert cowboy anthem here*

Filed under:Crafty Sites,News!,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 19:39

I keep trying to remember the words to “Home on the Range” but all I can think of are pots on a stove singing their hearts out :P Things have been very quiet here since I finished my concerto. I have been doing lots of knitting and lots of practice – although today didn’t have much of either. I got up to practice in the morning, then I went in to accompany my friend Richard for his singing assessment exam. When I got home, I felt a bit sleepy so I said, ok, half an hour, and woke up two hours later. The Argentina V Serbia/Montenegro match was so exciting! And now, it’s 815 and I have done no more practice.

But on to the knitting! I finished my Kiri shawl straight away on Wednesday. Check it out!

my carpet supports the Netherlands

I took this yesterday in pretty poor light. It looks much bigger than it actually is. I had to rip out about 4 repeats to make sure that I had enough to finish it off – in the end I only had just enough. It’s not so bad, though, because it is now the more scarf-like shawl that I wanted and not the triangular monster it was growing into. I have yet to block it. I am still in love with that mohair, but the drawback of the variegated mohair is the total loss of stitch definition. Oh well. When it’s bundled up around my neck on the shortest day of the year, I don’t anyone will care :}

In the absence of my Phildar yarn (yes! still! I know!), I have been zipping along with Salina. I am one of these people who like to get their money’s worth out of a good 100g ball of wool, and therefore am suspicious of these 50g balls that Rowan make. However, I have to say that I am impressed with the mileage I am getting out of the Felted Tweed. I bought the 6 balls recommended by the pattern, and I’d say I’ll have a bit left over. Out of an entire jumper – that’s pretty good. Here’s where I was at on the front yesterday:

I really like the seed stitch detail for under the lapel. I was afraid both sides of the front wouldn’t match up but I tweaked it so that they will.

I have stopped freaking out about my Phildar shipment. I was thinking about it today and usually when I order from Amazon in the UK, it takes more than two weeks. Since this is going to be much bigger than a few books, it’s not surprising that it’s taking longer. I’m just impatient. However, if it doesn’t come sometime next week, I will be in trouble because I have to start work in Sligo the week after next.

A woman beside me on the bus today remarked how astonishing it was to see someone knitting a sock. Indeed, the usual consensus is that it is remarkable to see someone using a dying craft. This drives me crazy. I think knitting, crochet and sewing are skills that everybody ought to know, men and women. A mate of mine in college told me how he learned how to knit, crochet and sew in school. He said the one he used most was sewing on a button and darning a hole in your clothes. See? Ok, people are going to say, I don’t want to know that stuff. But there will be a situation when you’re glad to know how to sew on a button or knit a hat. It’s just how I felt about how to peel a pineapple, wire a plug, and what to do if the sink is blocked.

In other news, check out this cardigan (it might just be worth forking out for kidsilk haze) and this jumper. The latter is also available through The Garter Belt, which has a nice selection of both free patterns and patterns to buy.