February Round-up

Yet again, the last day of the month falls on a blogging day. Plus, since it’s a Sunday and therefore a Sunday Miscellany-themed post a round-up of the month is in order:

  • 4 F.O. – Ishbel, Blackberry Socks (see below); 2 Charity Squares
  • 4 WIPs frogged – Meters of Miter Scarf; Pebble Argosy; Origami Hat; Frou-Frou Swatch (not over the finish line yet but the green alapaca mess has been tamed!)
  • 3 WIPs-not-whupped – GlenvarAgin Cardigan; Not-so Frou-Frou (maybe later this evening); Hat for Co-worker
  • 12 Ravelympics medals – 8 for the two charity squares; 3 Aerial Unwind Events (maybe another later this evening); 1 WIPs Dancing (maybe another later this evening)
  • 2 Meet-ups with others that I’ve only previously “met” online – City Centre SnB at Café Bell and February Spin-in at Powerscourt
  • 2 U.S.A. – Schoppel-Wolle Admiral Ombré from Fourboys; Rotex Metalic Novelty Yarn from Clarabel
  • 1 S.E.X. – Malabrigo Lace in Blue Emerald
  • 1 Major House Task started: Architect hired to develop necessary drawings and documents for demolition of garage and building of deck (yay!)
  • 1 Little lad now no-longer using a pacifier at all (double-yay!)
  • 2 funerals (boo!)

And… don’t forget:

Blackberries in February?

F.O. Blackberry Socks

I only finished these this morning, just in time to wear them to the Spin-in Meet-up at Powerscourt Townhouse this afternoon.

These are so comfy to wear and they generated a very satisfying “Oooh” from everyone at the meet-up. I’m thrilled with the matchy-ness; which I only discovered by accident.

Full-on F.O.

I know I blogged only two weeks ago about my Ishbel being an F.O. but I never showed you it in its entirety.

Besides, the photo I showed two weeks ago was before it was blocked. The transformation post-blocking is extraordinary.

I liked the squishy-ness of it pre-blocking but I have to say that the blocking makes the lacework just sing.



I have Clarabel’s patience and skill to thank for how well this turned out.

An Epilogue and an F.O.

You’ll remember last Saturday that I said I’d tell you more today about the lovely parcel that Fourboys got for me.

Karmic Cycle

Clockwise from the top we have:

  • Schoppel Wolle Admiral Ombré sock wool, with accompanying gift card depicting a crochet octopus because “knitting on DPNs can be like wrestling a squid”;
  • 3 Creme Eggs – in the accompanying crocheted Chick card Fourboys asks: “How do you each yours… Share or scoff?” Not share, anyway!
  • 1 pack of printed tissues “just cos they’re cute” – I quite agree and these will not be used on any old – or young – nose, let me tell you!
  • 1 manicure set: hand cream, cuticle cream and nail board so that I can “give myself a mini-manicure before I sit back on the couch to scoff some eggs and knit socks”. Though we’ve never met, Fourboys seems to know me very well.

I don’t know where Fourboys got the cards depicting a cute crocheted toys. One was attached to each individual item, as well as one for the parcel as a whole:


  •  Centre: Bella, Morella and Fin are bees who love to perform. They have just started up their own singing trio, The Bee Flats. They’ve already lined up their first concert at the local nightclub, The Hive. The word on the street is that the night is set to be buzzing!
  • Top right: Squiddly Dudley is a whizz in the kitchen. He discovered his natural talent when he joined the navy and was put to work in the galley. His eight hands allow him to work at lightning speeds when he is cooking up the most amazing fish dishes.
  • Bottom right: Cheryl the Snail is a relaxed kind of girl. She doesn’t get why these days everyone is always in such a hurry. Her motto is to relax and take your time in life. If you don’t take a look at what’s around you every now and again, you may miss something important… like a tasty lettuce leaf to munch on for dinner! – as Fourboys says: “my kind of girl. Go Cheryl!”
  • Bottom left: Mrs Mittens has known Bubbles the Rabbit since she was a little bunny attemptng to take her first hops around the garden. They’ve been friends ever since. Their favourite weekend outing is to the fancy cafes it the city to sip herbal tea and eat huge slices of carrot cake.
  • Top right: Joaquim is a intelectual chick. He likes nothing more than burying his beak in a good book or discussing philosophy with his five brothers and sisters Their usual topic of discussion revolves around that age-old quiestion – what came first? The chicken or the egg?

This parcel is something of an epilogue to the Irish Knitters Swap. It was originally intended as part of an angel parcel that the swap organiser tried to put together when my original present went AWOL. I had always considered an angel parcel to be token-gesture; a small consolation prize for the main event going awol. On this occasion, the organiser opted to include six other people who’d been in the swap to make up an angel parcel to beat all swap parcels! Each person was allocated one of the seven sins and Fourboys had “Sloth”. It must have been a logistical night-mare, as the seven people cover – literally – the length and breadth of Ireland: Belfast and Cork, Galway and Dublin, Cavan and Kildare. 

After my parcel showed up – and I had got an angel parcel from my knitting buddies in the meantime – Fourboys insisted the organiser forward her presents on to me, rather than have them returned to her. The timing all coincided with me sending her a present for her birthday; so there was a lovely cycle of Karma flowing to-and-fro there.

Before I go, I have a Knitting F.O. to present:

Ishbel by Ysolda Teague in Dazzle BFL from The Natural Dye Studio

This was a perfect filler project in the run-up to the Ravelympics – though a little too addictive as I tended to favour it over poor GlenvarAgin! I have to get more of the Dazzle in a matchy colour from The Natural Dye Studio to make a matching beret. And I have to make this pattern again. Though, I think if I do, I’ll change the double decrease in the lace section from the [sl1, k2tog, psso] as written to [sl2- kwise, k1, p2sso] so that the double-decreases form a centralised spine.

Razzle dazzle ’em

Billy and Company:
Razzle dazzle ’em
Give ’em a show that’s so splendiferous

Row after row will grow vociferous

Razzle Dazzle ’em from Chicago The Musical w. Fred Ebb, m. John Kander

So… you know the way that I’m being monogamous and back on the straight and narrow with DH’s GlenvarAgin Cardigan…


…and I’m not going to succumb to Startitis like I did last month…



Warning: Post-rationalisation disclaimer ahead:

One of the disadvantages of making seamless sweaters top-down is that they get too bulky to carry in and out to work every day, just so that you can do a row or two at lunch-time.


I realised this as I was about to head out the door to work yesterday morning lugging (what seemed like) the heaviest knitting bag in the world.

Wait… Le’mme break out the violins for you here…

The difficulty has arisen now that I’ve finished my Two Hoots! and the Ziggy Socks – my more recent projects for easy, portable, lunch-time knitting fodder.

Whadya want? A rubber medal?

I initially thought “socks” but then it dawned on me that my skein of Dazzle was all balled up and ready for action for the Ishbel I’m planning in Ravelympics.

I see where this is going…

So I cast on:

It's flying up...

And it’s soooooo addictive…

I hear ya!

And it’s going so slowly…


Yeah, I keep stopping every second row to push it into the middle of my cable so I can admire it for a few minutes… 😉

::rolls eyes::

Cue: music…

Billy and Company:
Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah!
Give ’em the old razzle dazzle
Razzle dazzle ’em
Back since the days of old Methuselah
Everyone loves the big bambooz-a-ler

Give ’em the old three ring circus
Stun and stagger ’em
When you’re in trouble, go into your dance
Though you are stiffer than a girder
They let ya get away with a murder
Razzle dazzle ’em
And you’ve got a romance

Give ’em the old
Razzle dazzle

Ravelympics Tournament

The Events List for Ravelympics 2010 was posted up the other day. It’s got me all excited about what medals I’m going to try for this year. So your Tour this Thursday is all about my plans for the Ravelympics Tournament (see what I did there?). 

(Don’t know what I’m talking about? Take a look at this link and it might give you more of an idea.) 

So you might remember from my knitting list for 2010 I was thinking of three main projects over the 17 days. 

Blackberry Socks

WIPs Dancing Queen?

Events: WIPs Dancing and Sock Hockey 

Pattern: Adirondack Socks from Interweave Crochet Fall 2009 

Yarn: ShoppelWolle Zauberball in Blackberry 

This project has been languishing since The Knitting and Stitching Show last October, when a certain colour purple caught my eye and a whole new Glenvar got started. 

I absolutely love working with this yarn, so I can’t wait to get started again. 




King Cole Merino Blend in Pink

Events: Designer Bi-athlon and Hat Half-pipe 

Pattern: my own 

Yarn: King Cole Merino Blend in Pink 

The thing to bear for Ravelympics is “The One Rule To Rule Them All: Challenge yourself by starting and finishing projects during the 2010 Winter Olympics.”

 Writing and publishing a pattern of my own on Ravelry will be quite a challenge for me. I’m planning to give the pattern to P/Hop if I do manage this.



Ishbel and Dazzle

Events: Short Track Shawls and Lace Luge 

Pattern: Ishbel from Whimsical Knits by Ysolda Teague

Yarn: Dazzle BFL by Natural Dye Studio 

I bought the yarn at I Knit Weekender in London last September with Ishbel in mind. Then, later that day, I won a copy of Whimsical Knits in the raffle that P/Hop were running. 

My Knit-night knitting buddies laughed heartily when they saw I had only allowed one week in my knitting calander to knit an Ishbel – one challenge too far, perhaps? 

Perusing the Events List I’m like a child in a sweet-shop. I want to enter into so many events: 

  • The Aerial Unwind Event could be a good one to pick up a few medals and I have two projects in need of frogging. Ravelympics might be just the thing to recapture some lovely yarn from the claws of defeat.
  • I have a skein of undyed cotton – also bought at I Knit Weekender last September – that I could enter in the Downhill Dyeing Event. I’ll need to organise myself with the proper dyes for dyeing cotton, however.
  • I might try for another WIPs Dancing Event. Below you’ll see a jacket that I’m wearing to death these days even though I don’t consider it to be finished. I feel it needs an additional collar all around the front edges. Again, the impetus of Ravelympics might be just the motivation I need to get the hook out again – if I haven’t collapsed in a heap by the end of February.

I have to be honest and admit that the overall challenge I’m setting myself is to collect as many medals as I can. By the above reckoning I count ten.

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

There’s nothing like public proclamations to make one accountable. Just this evening, on the Irish Knitters Group on Ravelry, Aileen started a thread where we set out Ten Goals for 2010. I knew I had a few aspirations floating around in my head; but I surprised myself when I reached ten with some to spare. Here’s my “Ten for ’10”:

  1. Finally knit a cardigan for DH that actually fits him (I’m on attempt no. 3 by now – not counting all the frogging)
  2. Design and knit a cardigan for DD with variagated-blue Lamb’s Pride bought in TIK last WWKIP!
  3. Knit jumper for DS1 using Brown cotton bought at Knitting & Stitching show
  4. Review sock yarn I’ve used to date to establish one or two preferred makes so that I can…
  5. … set up template for socks for DH using Cat Bordhi’s Personal Footprints Method
  6. Bust a lot of my stash by using Tunisian Crochet to make a few shawls & scarves as gifts
  7. Knit something lacey
  8. Go to at least one Knitting Meet-up so I get to…
  9. … Meet some more online knitting friends in the flesh
  10. Publish a pattern on my blog / get a pattern published

I also should have listed “learn how to darn”. I’ve put at least four pairs of socks out of circulation until I figure this out. If I don’t do something soon I might as well adopt The Yarn Harlot’s method: Shout “Darn!” and promptly throw them in the bin.

What hasn’t even made it to the list is “making progress on the Fair-Isle Ouroborus Cardigan“. Hmmmm… is that telling, I wonder?

Now, dare I set down in writing a few goals I have for this week?…

  1. I’ve tomorrow off. I’d like to finally sort out my weekly meal planners / grocery shopping list so I can get back into grocery shopping regularly. Recently, we’ve been doing it in an ad hoc manner and I never know what there is in the fridge.
  2. Start writing Christmas Cards
  3. Actually do something from my list of gardening jobs for December
  4. Knit some Christmas Ornaments for a Sale of Work in our office
  5. Post off my Secret Santa Swap parcel (yes, I can see this one getting done anyway!)

So now I’ve said it – publicly and openly. You are all now not only my witnesses – you are my accomplices! It’s up to you to keep me honest.