Carrie’s Roller Coaster Ride!!

I have a penchant for Kim Hargreaves designs and when I was looking for a little cotton jacket I came across Carrie in the Misty book and thought this is the one – then the roller coaster ride began!!

kim-hargreaves-misty Carrie

The jacket was made in Rowan’s Fine Milk Cotton which was of course by that time discontinued!!

Aha I thought, I will look for a substitute yarn but no I could not find a yarn and there wasn’t one on the yarn comparison sites so I used my trusty Google search and found some at English Yarns – www.englishyarns.co.uk/‎. I ordered 11 balls  in this lovely Dark Teal shade and put it in my stash.

During the Xmas break I decided to start it . It was straightforward with enough pattern to keep it interesting, the stitch definition was good and as I worked on it in my knitting groups the comments were all positive.

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The back and fronts progressed well and I used short row shaping for the shoulders and a three needle bind off – 2 less seams to sew up (I hate the sewing up part)

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Of course I got involved in several other projects and this was on the back burner but I did get the sleeves finished.IMG_0604

Until now the ride had been fairly smooth but with the end in sight only the collar and drawstring to go the ride became rough and very hairy!!! Here are the ups and downs –

Down – I cast on the collar and horrors of horrors I realised I was using the last ball!!! And no way was there going to be enough!!!

Up –  I contacted English Yarns and they had one ball in their inventory they would cll me back once they had got it from the stockroom

Down – they rang back and couldn’t find it!

Up – I contacted a lady on Ravelry who agreed to send it (from Billings Montana) I paid for it

Double Dip Down – it didn’t arrive and suddenly I was reimbursed the payment – the friend who was posting it for her lost it!!

Ok, now I was going to have to get serious – so hanging on tight I :

contacted several people on Ravelry who had it in their stash – Up

Down – they didn’t reply

I went on the Rowan site  and rang about 20 stockists – Up

Down – no-one had any

I emailed Webs in the USA – Up

Down –  they had none – try Ravelry they said

By now I was getting worried and beginning to feel sick, but I couldn’t stop I had to source a ball otherwise it would forever be in a project bag!

Up – Janice at John Lewis Bluewater contacted all the stores in the hope that a branch would have some

What to do so at the Sunday Knitting Group we talked about it and Susan said what about some forums and later that day she sent me the links for 3 forums – In search of and Rowan Love both on Ravelry and Phoenix Knitting Forum.

Up – I posted on all three

Down – waiting for a response was terrible – people looked at them but no replies

Up – I had a reply and YES she was willing to let me have a ball and it was the same dye lot!!

Up – buttons were bought

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UP – the yarn arrived!

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Double UP – the collar and drawstring were finished!!!!

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Only the sewing up to go – and the roller coaster ride was over!!! I am really pleased with it and the positive comments make the roller coaster ride worthwhile.

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A Grand Day Out

We all thought it was time for a day out and as two of the members had birthdays coming up we decided to go up to London for the day, have champagne and visit a couple of yarn shops – well we are all knitters and that’s how we know each other. So we met up at Harvey Nichols and had coffee. We had intended to visit Patricia Roberts at http://www.patriciaroberts.co.uk/yarn2.php which was just round the corner. But would you believe it but on the day we chose to go the shop was shut. Nothing stops us, so we decided to catch the tube to the Angel and visit Loop instead (I’ve always wanted to go there). http://www.loopknitting.com/.

Here we are considering our potential purchases.

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So much to choose from but we did buy some things and here is Nat making her purchases.

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And yes, I did buy two skeins of Alpaca to make Daughter No 2’s friend a pair of kitten mittens (https://lyndahage.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=326&action=edit) Purrrrfect

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By then we were hungry so off to lunch at Banana Tree an old haunt of Sue’s!

The problem was what to do next, so I did a bit of silver surfing and came up with another yarn shop a short bus ride away in Stoke Newington, a part of London we didn’t know,but we were game and headed off for the bus. We found this neat little shop on the High Street called Knit with Attitude http://www.knitwithattitude.com/shop/ and more purchases were made!

Last of all we settled for Champagne before we set of home here we are with all our purchases.

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We dodged the showers and a little merry we went our separate ways.

 

All in all a GRAND DAY OUT!

Wool Winding

I always used to wind balls of yarn by hand from skeins with them hanging over the back of the chair, it took forever and often got tangled! Whenever I went to Great Balls of Yarn in Lake Worth I was really envious of their skein holder and wool winder but didn’t do anything about it till last year when I purchased the Amish Wool Winder.

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It was bliss, the yarn never tangled and just flowed off the skein as I wound by hand creating balls that rolled all over the floor. so I began to think I needed a wool winder!

The problem was what kind? Hand crank, electric or a Nostepinne?

A Nostepinne? So I did a bit of research and watched a video and thought this is the one for me, sent for one and here it is-

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It looked easy to use so I set up the skein holder and off I went… BUT I just couldn’t do it no matter how hard I tried to make a ball it just didn’t work and it looked so easy on the video. I nearly threw it across the room several times but in the end I just wound by hand as I had always done.

BUT I WASN’T GOING TO BE DEFEATED so I ordered a hand cranked ball winder  to try instead.

The first attempt was a bit loose but I persevered and hooray now I have centre pull balls of yarn that make life so much easier when knitting, especially when Albus and Rosie are around!!!

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So if you want to try a Nostepinne just let me know and I’ll send it to you – Good Luck!

Tribal Lunch

Well at last it’s finished and sewn up although there is another problem there are no pockets! Walking round Bluewater before our Knitting group I realised how difficult it is with no pockets. Where does on put one’s mobile phone? In the waistband of the leggings? Down the top tucked in the bra?

 

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Had loads of time to spare so popped into Starbucks for a coffee and thought I would do a bit of knitting ( the rib of a sleeve) while I whiled away the hours til lunch and all was fine until a young couple came and sat behind me. Hushed tones became a little strident and the next thing I knew was – a domestic brewing, driven out to wander aimlessly for a bit.

Time passed and lunchtime came – 10 of us all knitters sat down in Pizza Express to celebrate Christmas. Lots of pressies exchanged hands and await the heralding of Xmas Day to be opened. Can’t wait for the delights to unfold.

IMG_0350Here we are after lunch, all really happy and enjoying ourselves and not a drop of alchol in sight!

Yarn Overload

You are probably asking about Sisters of the Wool, the shop I found in Westport following the disaster in Tiverton! So I will bring you up to date.

Daughter no 1 and I took the grandson to the park along with hubby and after we entered an aladdin’s cave of yarn!!! There was so much to look at it was like being in a sweet shop!

This was how I came out

I know you say not much! But I couldn’t resist them, no projects in mind but took advantage of Malabrigio, Ella Rae and Madeleine Tosh.

 

 

So with all this yarn did I do any knitting? Completed projects between playing with grandson? Well between naps –

 

 

Sea of Dreams baby blanket for daughter no 2’s friend. And I couldn’t resist using one of the yarns I had bought at Sisters of the Wool so daughter no 1 is now the proud owner of

a scalloped shawl by Malabrigio from their sock yarn beautiful colours and much admired

 

 

 

It was the Reindeer’s fault

Had a really pleasant evening last week when I went to the Rowan “do” at Bluewater. There was a very interesting talk about Rowan’s patterning process. What about the reindeer I hear you say!

I’ll come to that, the speaker was Jennie Atkinson who designs the most amazing garments using fine yarn and beads in the vintage style. http://www.jennieatkinson.co.uk/. My favourite was : http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/beaded-top-2

What about the reindeer I hear you say!!! – so at the end of the evening my friend Nat wanted some yarn for a scarf and I used my coupon to get a ball for her and while I was waiting at the till I saw the Reindeer!!

A flash of inspiration hit me like a lightening bolt!!!!

(Why it happens I do not know but it always means for more work for me!!)

So I took a photo of the reindeer and sent it to daughter No 2.

At this point I have to explain that she is doing an animation course at Westminster University and is currently preparing to make a Stop Motion film about foxes. You can see from the picture where this is going – wouldn’t it be different to knit foxes and use them as puppets I say to her (she can’t knit). No one else will make knitted puppets. So it will give you an edge.

I searched Ravelry for a pattern and came up with Copper the Fox

and of course started a prototype from scraps of Kid Silk Haze that I had in my stash.

Here is the first attempt, we took a couple of photos to check if they would work, daughter No 2 liked them so I was charged with making 3.

Of course I didn’t have enough yarn so we had to go back and buy off white and brown mohair for the bodies and black cotton for the legs. Over the next few days they were made.

Daughter no 2 made the wire skeletons (her contribution).

And here they are!!!

At least I’ll get into the credits on the film.

So now you know why it was the Reindeer’s fault!

Hopes Dashed

Its been a while since I put thoughts to blogging. I have been visiting daughter no 1 and Grandson in Rhode Island the smallest state in the USA and in preparation I Googled yarn shops in the vicinity of Little Compton and YES there was one 2 miles away which seemed to have exciting yarns I was all set and sent the address for Daughter no 1 to suss out as it was near grandson’s pre school.

Horrors of Horrors there was no wool shop! So I did some investigating. It turned out that only an online service was available and no shop to visit as there was some disagreement re signage with the planning department. My hopes were dashed seemed like I wouldn’t get the chance to visit a yarn shop. But when one door closes another always opens and on our second day when we were exploring we found a shop in the same area, it held promise, but as I walked through the door I knew this was not the one.  The yarn was terrible and we left immediately.

Do not despair said daughter no 1 there is a shop close by in Wesport MA how far is that I asked, not far was the reply its about 10 miles and it is on the same road as the play park where I take Grandson. Great I said I’ll have a look next time we go.

http://www.woolsisters.com/Welcome.html

The minute I walked through the door I knew this was the place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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