5 Feb 2012

Hestia's.....knitting projekt is FINISHED

So, it came to pass that I was given Glamour Knits by Erika Knight as a Christmas present.  Given that I never seem to finish ANY craft projects, I suspect that this gift was given in Hope more than Expectation.

My knitting chums are not easily deterred though, and before I knew where I was, wool was selected, the number of balls specified, new knitting needles purchased and I BEGAN to knit!!!!

Sure, there were a couple of false starts - mainly caused by the fact that I need grammatically correct and properly punctuated knitting patterns or else I just interpret it, in the manner of modern dance.

Above is my first picture - dated 15 January - that shows my initial efforts.  Oh yes, I also discovered that I don't actually KNOW how to knit properly.  I was taught to knit as a shiny-faced primary-schooler by Auntie Chrissie who helped me ingest several packets of Capstan Full Strength as she patiently tried to show a left-handed person how to knit.  Clearly I didn't take it all in.



Anyway, the resulting wonky stitches have a pleasing twisted effect to them, so I decided to just knit that way for the whole pattern.

By the time the final episode of Sherlock came on, I was fairly fleeing up and down the needles.

'Can you measure my knitting for me, honey,' I asks Sonshine. 'It's to be 66" long before I start knitting the other bit of rib for the opposite cuff.'

Happy to be included, but equally engrossed in Sherlock, Sonshine measured.  'It's....well, you've got another 6" to go, mum." he said, snapping his tape-measure back into its casing.

That, reader, was my first BIG mistake.

Sherlock finished and Sonshine scarpered up to bed.  I diligently knitted on and on and on.

I stretched it out, surely to God, that MUST be about 66, I mused to myself.  I laid it out on the floor.
SEVENTY SEVEN INCHES!!! Seventy SEVEN!!!  I measured back to where 66 inches was.  You've guessed it.  Exactly where I was before I started watching Sherlock.

Ripping back knitting is soul-destroying, isn't it?

Ripped back and the ribbing started
the amount of wool I had to rip back - there was weeping and profanity, let me assure you
I chided him about it in the morning before he left for school.  'Hey, you told me I had loads to knit last night and when I knat it, it turned out that I had knat WAY too much.  You measured it wrong.'

He pulled on his jacket thoughtfully.  'Actually, it's your fault for making me MEASURE and DO SUMS in that old way of counting.'

Well, I cannot deny that metrification has left me behind.  I have never made the leap from inches and pounds to centimetres and grams.  Perhaps that's why my baking is a bit hit and miss too.

Aaaanyyyyway, I needed to sew up the sleeves - so that necessitated the purchase of darning needles and a sojourn in the kitchen sewing up in my own inimitable fashion.  I suspect that the first time I wash my shrug, it will become a poncho.  Sewing isn't my strong suit either.  Surprised? No, I thought not.

Sleeves sewn up, I needed a circular needle.  Reader - there was not a circular needle to be had - even in the island's charity shops!  Karen at the bookshop offered to pick one up for me when she went up to Glasgow at the weekend.

This meant leaving my knitting alone for approximately 4 days.  This was clearly the Danger zone.  Once in possession of the needle, would I bother to finish it?  Or would it just be relegated to The Craft Drawer?

The following Tuesday, Karen dolefully informed me that a 7mm circ was not to be had in the knitting shop beneath her Glasgow flat.  There was nothing else for it - I would need to order on line.  Which I did.

I didn't realise that not only were there circular needles, but you get to choose the length of plastic that keeps them both attached.  After a frantic consultation with my Knitting Mavens on facebook - we opted for a 70mm length.

I ordered two - the meerkat's mother had been inspired to also take up the knitting cudgels again and joined me in creating a shrug of her own, so I ordered her a set too.  I know.  Thoughtful.

They arrived within a couple of days and I could not WAIT to get started - although I had not knitted on circular needles before.  Viv, one of the knitting mavens, pointed me in the direction of Youtyoob and knitting tutorials.  Who KNEW there were actually instructional videos on there and not just clips of sleepy baby rabbits?

And so I pushed off from shore in my unsteady knitting canoe, nervously picking up stitches, nervously  joining my knitting so that it was a huuuuuuge tube of plain and purl stitches.....and so I paddled my way around the knitting on circular needles.  And, so, dear Reader, it started to come together....to draw towards completion.

Look, I am CASTING OFF!!!!  The finish line is in SIGHT!

I became quite nervous as I slipped off the last stitch and carefully sewed in the loose tails of yarn into the knitting.  Would it fit?  Would it be something that I'd actually wear?

Saturday, 4 February 2012 
I finished my KNITTING PROJEKT!!

And without further ado - here is is, modeled by me because Sonshine couldn't stand the shame.



Giselle Bunchen and you other super models - look to your laurels.  I WILL get out of bed for less than a tenner an hour.

Please ignore the pile of washing on the stairs, David Bailey wasn't available to take the shots this morning.

The sense of achievement is AMAZING!!!  I am so pleased with myself, I'm like a dog with two dicks.

I may yet finish knitting my socks......

Tell me about a project that YOU'VE decided to complete in 2012!

41 comments:

  1. I am impressed!!! Well done Ali

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  2. That looks great! :D And if you imagine for one second that you weren't going to get mercilessly badgered to do at least one project from that book, you don't know me very well ;D

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    1. I was rather wondering whether ONE was all you were going to badger me into lol!

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  3. I am totally impressed 12/10. That is a lovely shrug that you have made :-)

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    1. Really? You like it?! It's nothing compared to the gorgeousness that you knit, but it's a START, right?!

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  4. I'm so impressed, that is one fabulous creation modelled to perfection. x

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    1. Vix! I so missed you when you were away! I take it that you are still hiding your tan underneath layers of woolly stuffs?!

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  5. Wow! I used to knit. But never got the hang of changing colour and could never make them up so when my Nan died, that was the end of it. But i once knitted my sister a beautiful electric blue mohair sweater and every stitch was a spell. I don't think she ever wore it. :(
    Your thingy is fab though -but not very warm. I don't think I understand shrugs. :)

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    1. Lemme tell you my ARMS are toasty as a very toasty thing! The pattern is free from Canadian Living - it would be a good way to start getting into the knitting again?

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  6. It's fantastic! You are obviously very talented. I learned to knit at school, we had to make a dishcloth but mine looked more like a string vest! Have avoided knitting ever since.

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    1. Thank you - I don't think I'd go so far as to say that I'm talented - but I DID finish it !!!! Woop woop!!!

      My knitting skills need some improvement - even the plain and purl, but I'm determined to master it lol!

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  7. Hello! I just found your blog and I think it's AMAZING! The pics are great and I can see that You really like what you do here! I love people with great ideas, like you!
    Your blog is inspiring! I will follow you!
    xoxo

    http://nikandpic.blogspot.com/

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    1. Well, I don't know about 'amazing', I've been called many things and that's not usually one of them ;-) But that's kind. I'll take a lookie at your blog too :-)

      Ali x

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  8. I'm so impressed! It looks fabulous, it fits and you finished it. I only knit scarves (knitting patterns and I don't get on) and the one I started in November 2010 is still, half finished, in the coffee table drawer!
    Given your inspiration I will *crosses heart and hopes to die* finish the blasted scarf this month. Promise you will hound me if I don't tell you I've done so?

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    1. It really is just a scarf with a bit of ribbing at both ends. Sew up the ends to make sleeves and then in the remaining hole, pick up stitches on the circular needles and knit another 4" of ribbing - and that's it!

      I WILL hound you if you do not report back here before the end of February to confirm that it's completed! Worse, I will set the knitting harpies on to you :-D

      Ali x

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  9. fabulous on every level...........have been inspired by the Hockney show to get back into drawing....one a week!!x

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    1. Thank you! I saw a bit about the Hockney show on The One Show and was VERY impressed by his stuff on the ipad! I'd love to see it - when is it on until, do you know?

      AX

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    2. Ali I believe it's on till thebegining of April....it is so gorgeous especially on a really horrid dull day....x

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  10. Ali, it's flipping gorgeous, well done! Also, YOU are THINNER. You look lovely.

    I like your stair runner too. :)

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    1. I am not thinner, but I love you for saying so anyway lol! Our stair runner is very lovely - not easy to get stair carpets these days - especially horrible when you need two fitted!

      Alix

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  11. ali, it's gorgeous. now can you make me one? please?

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    1. Thank you! You can download the recipe for free from Canadian Living, I think. I'm going to do another one anyway as a pressie for someone..... you should SO do a knitting group rather than your Book Club!

      Ali x

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    2. no shit, ali. i'm heading to book club this saturday and i shall announce that i am leaving on account of no longer wishing to sully my fine intellect with their chronic idiocy... or just that i don't have time to do this (most likely the latter, i could never tell them the truth, that they're too dumb to play in my sandbox).

      as for knitting, ali, i have a huge tin filled with assorted odds and ends of gorgeous wools that my mom got from a friend of hers who is an incredible and artistic knitter (you know, sweaters sold to rich people for huge vats of cash) and i am planning on making the only thing i can make: a scarf (as long as someone starts and finishes it for me).

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  12. I am Very Impressed Ali! I've never attempted sleeves, but am sure if I did I would only be able to stand like a stick girl, with arms out at 45 degrees. Well done you!

    I've belatedly started making cakes this week - the weather told me to combine ginger and chocolate on Wednesday... tonight we have chomped through a massive slab of chocolate cake, with filling and everything. So no to sleeves, hello cake! ;)

    And... I knew your house was Victorian and gorgeous, but WHAT is that impressive white pillar behind you??? That looks very grand and stately home-ish indeed x

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    1. I demand photos of the cake - get them on yer blog!

      The house is Victorian and that IS a pillar behind me, but it's not really very grand, but I have loved it from the first moment that I stepped through the front door! I swept down those stairs for YEARS feeling like Scarlet O'hara EVERY time.

      It's a complete bugger to heat!

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  13. I am indeed suitably impressed, Ali - the first project of many, I hope. Lovely colours - and lovely to see you in it too!
    I am attempting some sewing this year - be afraid....
    PS. I'm all about imperial measures too, the kids don't know what I'm on about! xx

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    1. Looking forwards to seeing the sewing! Imperial is by far the best ;-)

      Ali x

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  14. Wow! I am gob-smackedly impressed with your lurvely shrug! I don't think they ever taught us to knit at school. And though my mum did, I never got into it. I was astounded when a friend crocheted a dress for herself one winter when she stayed with us - I had thought crocheting would only get you a sausage shape of wool. I haz no skillz and no projektz :(

    Or can I count making videos for youtyoob? I know how to detach the audiotrack, paste in sparkly or rolling credits, add a soundtrack and edit out sneezes. Still suck at lighting, but if I didn't have room for improvement it'd probably be boring ;)

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    1. OK making videos for youtube is a VERY clever skill and yes, indeedy it counts on the Projekts front!

      We didn't get taught at school either, I was dependent upon chain-smoking aunties for these skillz!

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  15. Your shrug is lovely!

    When I read this at first, I thought you said Agatha Christie had taught you how to knit.

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    1. Agatha Christie might have had greater success. She would certainly have shown me how to use the circular needle as a murder weapon and how to hide the body......

      Ali x

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  16. I love that shrug. I am deeply impressed.

    I am planning on finishing fixing my dress. I've been working on it for years but now it is a skirt and I have the fabric to complete it so I probably should. :)

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    1. Get it finished! And show me the pix to prove that it's been done lol!

      Ali x

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  17. Hi Ali, I am very impressed. You look lovely in it too.

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    1. You're very kind! My friend's husband looked at it for a few minutes and then declared that it was 'small' :-)

      Ali x

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  18. Deeply impressed Ali,
    it makes my efforts in making a raffia coaster look ever so slighly crap.

    Are you taking orders?
    Will Sonshine wear his next school jumper?

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    1. I haven't ever completed a raffia coaster ;-)

      I have ordered wool to knit it again as a birthday pressie for my SIL.

      School jumpers are a loooooong way down the line - that involves shaping and v-necks and all sorts of stuff. Too tricky for me!

      Ali x

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  19. This is marvellous and looks really useful and fun to wear! You're on a roll now - what next?

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