11 December 2008

A life in blankets

A blanket takes a long time to make. Invariably it will end up encompassing a time in your life that will be remembered whenever you snuggle up in it.

So far, I have made a blanket a year, more or less, since I learnt to crochet. They rarely stay in my possession long after they're finished. I don't make blankets for specific people; they take too long to get through, but I like to imagine that each blanket finds its new owner itself.

So far,
"Diagnosed with Diabetes blanket 1998" is in my couin's hands, on the back of her couch.
"I've finished secondary school blanket 2001" - unintentionally in my uniform colours - has cozied up to my aunt,
"Underground Student Movement blanket 2004" went to a fired tutor in need of some support,
"I have a boyfriend blanket 2006" - unfinished 'cause I was dumped, is now on my bed,
"Horrible heartbreak 2007" found its home with my then friend, now boyfriend as a thank you for his support through a lot of madness.


I have a boyfriend blanket 2006


Horrible heartbreak blanket 2007

Funnily enough, though, through all of the ups and downs in my life it appears sad times produce the more cheerful blankets, the happy times produce more sedate ones. Maybe they're my form of therapy.

I am a nincompoop

nin⋅com⋅poop
/ˈnɪnkəmˌpup, ˈnɪŋ-/ [nin-kuhm-poop, ning-]
–noun
a fool or simpleton.



I'm almost finished Nana's Sock number two, and what do I discover? I've knit a SECOND RIGHT SOCK! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, even the smallest mental knitting acrobatics are beyond me! I completely forgot to move the cable part of the pattern over to the other side of the foot.

So, the question hangs in the air, ever so ominously:
To frog, or not to frog?

09 December 2008

Patterns For Sale















Oxidise - pdf pattern - $2.00












Penny Feather Gloves - pdf pattern - $2.00













Patrick The Bear - pdf pattern - $2.00













Beyond The Sea - pdf pattern - $2.50












Spring Picnic Hat - pdf pattern- £3.00










Typical!

It really is.

I have arm-warmers, half a sock, a pixie scarf and a felted poinsettia left to do before Christmas dawns and what do I spend a precious day off work doing?

Combining the first season of this:


with 50g of this:


and 100g of this:


From these lovely people.


To create 150g of this:


Productive day, and I now have about 180/190 metres of 3-ply fingering-weight merino I've dubbed "Russet Rise"... but nothing from my Christmas present list has been ticked off.

I'm not sure why I did that...

08 December 2008

05 December 2008

Rock On!

It's funny the things that can come out of a sore head. (No, I don't mean brain goop...) I added a new pattern to my portfoliotoday. The drum cozy idea came out of a night when I had a horribly sore head, and my friends were "trying to play Rock Band quietly"; turning the sound down did nothing to muffle the *%^Thwack!&* of the drums, so I resolved to make cozies.




I like to provide patterns for people to try out, and I truly get a kick out of seeing people's finished projects, but I also think it's important to give people the opportunity to say thankyou for the work that has gone into creating the pattern, if they so wish.

So, I have the pattern written out below, in UK stitch names, but if you'd prefer an easy-to-print pdf of the pattern, with both UK and US stitch names catered for, then please, click below, give whatever you feel is appropriate, let me know your email address, and I'll happily email the pdf on to you.

Thanks!








You Spin Me Right ‘Round
RockBand Drumkit Cozy

This pattern is written with UK stitch names

Artist’s Name:
Aoibhe Ní Shúilleabháin
mise_5@hotmail.com

Materials:
1 ball each of green, red, blue and
yellow. Scraps will do fine.
1 big ball of black yarn, split into
three smaller balls (all will become
clear), or...well, 3 small balls to
begin with..

3.5 mm crochet hook

Finished Size: Rockband Drum pad

Method:

1. Taking 1 ball of black yarn (Black 1) ch 4 and sl st into furthest ch from hook, making a loop.
2. Ch 2, tr 7 into loop and sl st into 2nd ch to close off.
3. Still using Black 1, ch 1 & dc 1 into same st, then tr 2 into next st. Don’t cast off.
4. Using Black 2, cast on to next available st and ch 1 & dc 1 into same st, then tr 2 into next st. Don’t cast off.
5. Using Black 3, cast on to next available st and ch 1& dc 1 into same st, then tr 2 into next st. Don’t cast off.
6. Using Colour, cast on to next available st and ch 1& dc 1 into same st, then tr 2 into next st. Don’t cast off.

This will give you 4 active yarns, three black and one colour. Building these up simultaneously will give the coloured yarn a spiral effect. Every time a yarn change is called for, I suggest you pull a big loop in the yarn you’ve just finished with (or add a clip to stop it ripping).

7. Black 1. tr 2 into each of 4 sts available on top of Black 2. (8 sts Black 1 added)
8. Black 2. tr 2 into each of 4 sts available on top of Black 3. (8 sts Black 2 added)
9. Black 3. tr 2 into each of 4 sts available on top of Colour. (8 sts Black 3 added)
10. Colour. tr 2 into each of 4 sts available on top of Black 1. (8 sts Colour added)
11. Black 1. *tr 1 into first st, then tr 2 into next st available* repeat 3 more times. (12 sts Black 1 added)
12. Black 2. *tr 1 into first st, then tr 2 into next st available* repeat 3 more times. (12 sts Black 2 added)
13. Black 3. *tr 1 into first st, then tr 2 into next st available* repeat 3 more times. (12 sts Black 3 added)
14. Colour. *tr 1 into first st, then tr 2 into next st available* repeat 3 more times. (12 sts Colour added)
15. Black 1. *tr 1 into first 2 sts, then tr 2 into next st available* repeat 3 more times. (16 sts Black 1 added)
16. Black 2. *tr 1 into first 2 sts, then tr 2 into next st available* repeat 3 more times. (16 sts Black 2 added)
17. Black 3. *tr 1 into first 2 sts, then tr 2 into next st available* repeat 3 more times. (16 sts Black 3 added)
18. Colour. *tr 1 into first 2 sts, then tr 2 into next st available* repeat 3 more times. (16 sts Colour added)
19. Black 1. *tr 1 into first 3 sts, then tr 2 into next st available* repeat 3 more times. (20 sts Black 1 added)
20. Black 2. *tr 1 into first 3 sts, then tr 2 into next st available* repeat 3 more times. (20 sts Black 2 added)
21. Black 3. *tr 1 into first 3 sts, then tr 2 into next st available* repeat 3 more times. (20 sts Black 3 added)
22. Colour. *tr 1 into first 3 sts, then tr 2 into next st available* repeat 3 more times. (20 sts Colour added)
23. Repeat sequence until it fits the diameter of the drum pad.

For Red and Green Drum Cozies:

24. Black 2. tr 6, dc 6, sl st 6. Cast off and weave in
25. Black 3. tr 6, dc 6, sl st 6. Cast off and weave in
26. Colour. tr 6, dc 6, sl st 6. Cast off and weave in.
27. Black 1. tr 72 sts. ch 1, turn.
28. Black 1. tr 72 sts. ch 1, turn.
29. *tr2tog, tr 1* repeat over all sts (48 sts) ch1
30. *tr2tog, tr 1* repeat over all sts (32 sts) Cast off and weave in ends.

For Yellow and Blue Cozies:

24. Be aware that the orientation of the cozy pad is important to get all your spirals spinning correctly.

04 December 2008

The sock



I finally get a decent shot. It's so cozy. Until now I had no idea how socks were supposed to feel. Now I know that the shop socks just don't hug your heel as lovingly as they should. I'm converted. I love hand-made socks.

Its partner is also coming along nicely. I've just turned the heel with minimal complications.

This is the pattern I'm following, and I love it! Noro Silk Garden Socks. Nom nom nom!

03 December 2008

It's amazing how...

...one single laugh can make the difference in a day.

Today in work is "the usual". No time, mistakes needing rectifying, last-second text changes, demanding customers and even more demanding deadlines. It's usually enough to ruin what could have been a perfectly good day.

But. Today has quite literally been saved in the space of a few seconds.

We have a gentleman in at the moment, speaking to our customer service about printing stationery. I had occasion to walk up to the counter as he asked "So, you really can print on anything?" Paula nodded agreement and I said "If it sits still for five minutes, we'll print on it" He laughed this deep, genuine belly laugh that truly sounded like happy thunder. The timbre of his African accent just added to the moment.

His first name apparently, is Triumphant; And truly, he is.
Nice going, sir.


I've also spun 80 metres of this on my wheel. It's 3-ply (my first) and was spun from shetland roving.

01 December 2008

A visit to Co. Clare

My sister and I took a trip this weekend, to visit a very elderly relation on the other side of the country. My great aunt is 96, was one of ten children, worked as a nurse in Egypt during the second word war, and has a hugely devoted family. Those of us who have lost our grandparents - her siblings - have fairly adopted her as our own, leaving her to remember countless children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren... not to mention great-nieces and -nephews, the group I belong to. It baffles me how a lady of such advanced years can, despite her frailty, remember who my sister and I are, who our father is, and would remember to ask after our part of the family.

She's a wonder. The last of her generation.

The trip there and back was taken up with sock-making; my first sock ever. They'll be for Nana for Christmas. Last year I gave her a pair of black-and white spotty wellington boots and she loves them, so I know she has a kookie enough mind to appreciate hand-made socks..



You will excuse me the crappy image until I have a good shot of the finished masterpiece I have tucked away in my wardrobe beside the Dé Danann Arm-warmers for Danielle, and the Beyond The Sea hat for Ciara.

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