Sunday, February 21, 2010

Citron Shawlette and Challenging Myself

I realise that it is now nearly the end of February and I'm still lingering hoplessly on the letter C when I should have progressed through the alphabet much further by now. What can I say, I don't do deadlines.

I have a few C-shaped things to report though before moving on to D.

I finished my Citron shawlette, knitted in Malabrigo laceweight, colourway Red Mahogany.

(Here it is held up to the light so you can see the ripple effect.)

(and here, modelled beautifully by the Evilpixie)

I added an extra round of the ruffle and then ran out of yarn before the end of the edge-frill, however I am pleased with the overall result. Given the choice (or another skein of the yarn) then I'd have made it larger. While it will sit happily on the shoulders, this is not how I would normally wear a shawlette. I liked them looped around my neck, and this is not quite long enough for that. As a knit though I enjoyed it, found it stimulating enough to want to keep knitting, but not challenging so good for watching TV or taking to Knit Night. Several pub quizzes were won during the knitting of this shawl! I grew to like the colour in the end and it sparked in interest in semi-solid yarns that will continue into next weeks post (hopefully).

But it wasn't challenging. Nothing I've knitted recently has been at all taxing, and that's been fine, but now I want to stretch myself and tackle something more complex. I've been taking the easy options and knitting things that look more difficult than they are, letting the yarns do the work and taking the credit. Now I want to knit something that will make my brain work as well as my hands.

So I'm starting a pair of socks from Cookie A's Sock Innovation book. I have a skein of Paca Peds sockweight alpaca that I bought in Florida in 2008 that's been languishing in the stash. Now that I've wound it into a ball it's looking a lot more variegated than it looked on the skein. Twisted, the dominant colour seemed to be purple. Now that dominant colour looks to be the green and I'm thinking it will stripe rather more than I want it to. Here is where I need a nice deep semi-solid colour. I'm going to have a try with this anyway. I read through the book and some of the instructions are already making my head ache. Stand back - there may be swearing.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Charity Shopping

I'm all behind with my alphabet challenge. Let's face it I'm just rubbish at this. (Letter C from a building at Cotefield Farm, Bodicote, Banbury.)

And I promised a post about Banbury so here we go rolling it all into one.

A couple of weeks ago Pete and I went to check out an auction near Banbury because Pete wanted to buy some comics they had for sale. (And yes, he did get them, very pleased.) The comics were late on in the auction so we had a bit of time to kill and we went into Banbury for one of our usual shopping trips - coffee, charity shops etc.

I got a phenomenally good haul in the charity shops (known in our houisehold as chazzas). The first shop (PDSA) had a wonderful stack of proofs, some of books not even published yet.

Just around the corner the RSPCA offered up a couple of hardbacks I hadn't read and some quilting patterns for cushions with cats on. I shall use these to make a bright cheerful cushion for the MIL for her room.

Just around the corner the Barnardos shop had some great vintage 1950s fabric - slightly faded in places but lovely just the same.

I also bought a cord skirt I can wear to work and beautiful green velvet hippyish skirt.

On the way back to the car I spotted this pub sign by where we were parked -

Finally, just to top the day off where we were at the auction I spotted a big sign on another of the buildings just round the corner - Hagger's Mill - Alpaca Spinners and Textile Centre. Sadly it was shut but hopefully next time we're in that area it will be open and I can bring you a little peek.