Scarf for Pickle

Pickle wants a scarf. He’s been asking for one similar to one I knitted for his older brother some time ago. He’s been asking for about two years. It’s not that I haven’t tried knitting one for him. I’ve cast on several different iterations. I even attempted double knitting, which would make a lovely scarf, but was just such a tediously slow process to actually knit.

Edit: in fact, it turns out I even blogged about the double knitting one, here, almost exactly a year ago. Yeah, I frogged that one!

Anyway, I’m currently rehearsing a show, in which my character appears in three scenes at the beginning of act 1 and three scenes at the end of Act 2. Now that we’ve reached the point where we are doing full run throughs, I have a lot of time in the middle doing nothing, so Pickle’s scarf is now my rehearsal knitting. He picked some colours, I picked a sensible stitch count and I’m finally on a roll with it. He may even get to wear it this winter!

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(I also knit in the car while waiting for the boys to finish run club.)

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Standing tall

The wedding was perfectly imperfectly beautiful.

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The cake stood tall and beautiful, was cut by a beaming bride and groom and was shared with the guests; friends and family from far and wide – until it was all gone.

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The shrug was seamed in the morning and finished and worn very briefly at the end of the day as the weather was so perfect it wasn’t even required!

I can’t quite believe I managed such an ambitious project in just two weeks, but it was a lovely extra contribution to a fabulous day celebrating two very special people.

It’s blocking!

I dont think I’ve ever blocked anything, but this evening I cast off the shrug at last, sewed in the ends where I’d joined in new balls, and dunked the shrug in a sinkfull of cold water. No idea if thats the right way to do it, but that’s what I did.

I pushed it gently under the water to make sure it was fully wet, then drained the sink and gently squeezed out as much water as i could. I rolled it up in a towel, then stretched it out on a dry towel on the sofa and pinned it in place.

Hopefully it will be dry by morning and then all I’ve got to do is sew up each sleeve seam and its done! Amongst all the many other things I have to do tomorrow… *fingers in ears lalala* it’ll be fine! I’m so excited!

Tall cake

Today I am baking. Tins have been hired, boards, drum and dowels have been purchased, the fridge and worktop have disappeared under a mountain of bags of flour and sugar, blocks of butter and I think I bought around 30 eggs.

Today I am baking (part of) my sister’s wedding cake. What an honour!

It’s going to be four tiers, each a different flavour, and each made up of three layers of cake. Something like this one that I found on Pinterest…

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I am baking the most mahoosive chocolate mud cake for the bottom tier, and a coffee sponge for the third tier. Someone else is providing a Victoria sponge for the second tier and another friend is doing the lemon cake for the top. My brother commented that it’s going to be a very big cake. I think he’s right!

 

In other tall news, I am onto the second sleeve of my shrug. I should have a couple hours knitting time once the kids are in bed in our rented apartment this evening, which will hopefully be just enough time to get it finished. I’d like to block it before sewing up the sleeves, but we’ll see how things go.

Tall tales

Progress has been slow. I’ve just worked almost 80 hours in the last seven days, with a get-in for a show, lighting programming and then returning to building panto set, so I’ve not had much time for knitting. I’ve managed the odd few rows during tea breaks, so at least there has been some progress.

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The black yarn is a lifeline and also indicates the end of the first sleeve.

I must admit, hearing that my sister had in fact ordered matching cardigans for me and the other bridesmaid may have taken some degree of urgency out of the project. (I hadn’t told her about my crazy knitting plan in case I couldn’t pull it off!) That said, I still want to get it done if I can.

Tall stories

It’s going ok so far. I’ve knit a whole sleeve, including a whole pattern repeat more than the pattern demands as I wanted it to hit at about 3/4 length rather than just above the elbow. I put in a lifeline at the point where the sleeve becomes the body and managed to add another 12 rows this evening.

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The next few days will be slower progress as we’ve got our summer show going in at work, for which I am involved in rigging and programming the lighting, followed by a couple of days returning to the ongoing build of our Panto set. So knitting time will be restricted by finish times at work, and dependent on how tired I am after full busy days. I’ll get an hour or two at most each evening. Although I could perhaps take it with me to continue during my lunch break – that’d go down without any mocking in the green room, I’m sure!

Tall order

My sister is getting married in just over two weeks time and I will be one of her bridesmaids. I have a gorgeous navy blue dress to wear, and will need a shawl or a shrug to cover up later in the day. We’ve had trouble finding something commercially available, so when my sister suggested that I and the other bridesmaid don’t necessarily need to have matching ones, I had the ridiculous idea that maybe I could knit myself something. In two weeks. Yes. I’m stoopid.

So I found a yarn shop conveniently close to a location I needed to travel to anyway yesterday. They didn’t have the greatest selection of yarns – I wanted something cushy that wouldn’t break the bank – but I found something that I thought would do. I bought Peter Pan Petite Fleur DK in an off white colour, with the intention of knitting the Sonoma shrug, but on a quick double check of Ravelry on returning home, I found the Emma shrug from Quince and Co, which I thought would be a quicker knit as the lacework is less fiddly, and I also preferred the longer sleeves.

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So I duly cast on and after about 12 rows and a couple hours work, I checked the rough guage of the piece and realised it was coming out a fair bit bigger than hoped. Some knit maths and calculating and a little mathematical help from the hubster and I ripped back and restarted on a size smaller and managed to get back to where I had been by the end of the evening. Now I just need to figure out what I’m doing wrong with my yarn-overs because they’re not looking like the open eyelets in the picture, and then knit like a crazy lady for the next two weeks. Cos it’s not like I’m working as well or anything!! Wish me luck!

Rip!

I stalled for some time on my trousers. Partly because I just haven’t had a clear stretch of time to warrant getting everything out and spreading out, and partly because I triple stitched a couple of seams before making a modification I’d intended to. I spent a long time debating in my head whether there was another way to do it, or whether to abandon the idea altogether, but eventually came to the conclusion that since the modification was largely the point of making a second pair, and there was no other way to do it well, I should just bite the bullet and rip the seams out. So I did.

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I used my new seam ripper for the first time (Mothers Day gift from my boys) and it was like a hot knife through butter, so the seam ripping was so much easier than I anticipated. These things usually are, especially if you’ve spent months agonising over how much of a pain it will be!

Now I’ve just got to figure out how this modification will actually work.

Overwhelmed

I’ve been thinking about writing here recently. Right now, I could write this exact post all over again – Knit therapy

Life is all just a bit overwhelming right now. Mostly it’s good, very good, but very full and busy.

Last week we were on holiday in Cornwall, which was honestly the best holiday I’ve had in a long while and the most relaxed I’ve been for ages. We enjoyed seeing a different part of the country, and Cornwall is truly beautiful.

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The boys being that little bit older now, we were able to get out and do some slightly more adventurous things together – long walks, a 20 mile bike ride and even a spot of parkrun tourism. We spent lazy afternoons crabbing in the harbours and eating fish and chips and fudge at the beach.

We nosed around craft shops and art galleries. I even found a yarn shop, though it was closed when we got there. The cottage we stayed in was lovely, spacious yet cosy, in a beautiful location. I really felt like I had space and time to breathe and relax. I read a whole book while we were there – Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier.

Coming home, with a return to clutter and chaos and a busy week of work and activities felt overwhelming and oppressive. I forget how therapeutic crafting can be, yet somehow it’s also part of the heavy weight of physical and mental clutter. I have so many projects half done, half abandoned, half intended, waiting in the wings for the right time or the right tools or the right space. I end up in a brain fog where I can’t get motivated to do anything at all, but just waste any free moments scrolling idly, uselessly through my phone instead, finding inspiration without motivation, ideas but no decisions. But yesterday I picked up some knitting that I hadn’t touched in months. I only added a few rows, but it felt good.

Pokemon cake

Yesterday was cake day again. Pickle had his birthday in the Easter holidays, but had to wait til now for his party, and his fancy cake. This year he wanted Pokemon. We trawled Pinterest together for some ideas, and then I got to work and came up with this.

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It’s my usual Chocolate mud cake recipe, filled and covered in chocolate ganache. I would normally cover the whole thing with rolled fondant icing, but it’s a job I hate, and get stressed about on cake day, and am rarely pleased with the outcome. One of my inspiration cake images used buttercream instead of fondant, so i went with that. Apart from not quite getting the colour I wanted, I find buttercream so much easier to work with. I use a scraper to get it really smooth and with nice sharp edges. The fondant motifs stick really well to the buttercream too, although it is a lot more messy when it come to cutting it and wrapping in paper serviettes for the party bags!

For once, I finished the cake with plenty of time to spare before the party. Birthday boy loved it – especially that he got a new Pikachu toy out of it!

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