Crazy times

Life has been rather stressful recently. They do say that moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do in life, and I’m inclined to believe them. We’re finally making some progress, so just hoping for no more major spanners-in-the-works.

In the meantime, I’ve finished all my shows and am taking a break from rehearsals. I read two Game of Thrones books back to back and needed a break from that too (partly also to let the hubby catch up with me a bit), and so at long last, I’ve picked up my knitting needles again after too long away from them.

I dug out all my projects and potential projects to decide what to work on.

  • There’s the Clanger which is waiting (in many many pieces) to be stitched together.
  • I have a Leaflines shawl which was nearing the final stages before it stalled, mostly because I decided it was in the wrong colour. I bought a beautiful grad in autumn colours at Unravel this year, which I don’t think I ever got round to photographing, ready for a second attempt at this pattern.
  • I’m sure I have a couple of balls of Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace kicking aorund somewhere, that I’ve had thoughts of turning into some kind of top-down jumper, probably Electricity, but could I find them!?
  • And then there’s Stripes Gone Crazy, which I have loved the look of since I first saw it. I bought the yarn for it at Unravel 2015, but haven’t had the time or courage to go ahead with it before now.

I finally took the plunge and swatched for Stripes Gone Crazy. I was more than a little terrified, since my last cardigan is such a terrible fit, and I’ve never really properly worn it. I knitted a guage swatch, which I’ve never done before, and then spent about a week agonising over the maths. I knitted another swatch, did more maths, realised I probably don’t have quite enough yarn, especially given my tight guage and the fact that I therefore need to knit a larger size than I thought, and took the plunge anyway.

The pattern is really detailed and well written with plenty of explanation and diagrams where needed, and I feel like I’m in good hands. I’m on page 6 already, and here’s how far I’ve got!

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Clangers

Pickle and I went on an adventure at the weekend, taking the train up to stay with my parents for a couple of days. Whilst we were there, I wandered up to the local yarn shop, in search of ‘Clanger Pink’.  The shop assistant was most helpful, and even produced a full book of patterns which I used for colour matching. The best match was a ball of Stylecraft in Pale Rose so, mindful of having to lug a suitcase and a two year old home on the train, I purchased that and nothing else. How very restrained!

I have the pattern already from the CBeebies website and printed it off yesterday, so that I have no more reason to procrastinate over starting it. Aside from, you know, life stuff, which feels a bit crazy at the moment.

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Roundup time

All has been a little quiet here for a while, so I thought it was time to do another quick roundup of what I’ve been up to.

Our back garden has just been completely re-landscaped. We got rid of some rather overgrown conifer trees and cleared the whole space, levelled the ground and returfed everything. It’s much lighter and brighter and so much better. It’s much more practical and appealing for the boys to play out there now. I know, because I’m desperately trying to keep them off the grass until the turf has rooted in! And it’s much lower maintenance which is great for a non green-fingered bod like me, although I’ll still have space to plant a few bulbs and things.

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Lots of space for Pumpkin and Pickle to play

I am between theatre activities at the moment. My current group has just auditioned for its next musical production. I went along to one of the dance workshops, which was hard work but good fun, but ultimately decided not to audition for the show. This is partly so that I am a bit more free over the summer, to go visit my folks for a week or so perhaps, or to go away for a few days as a family, without worrying about missing rehearsals. However, I am getting a little antsy about not having a show lined up, so I’ve just joined a different theatre group, who mostly specialise in plays rather than musicals, so I’ll see what comes up with them.

Knitting has got me all frustrated at the moment. I went back to the bane of my life cardigan, and have started knitting the button-hole band, but I just can’t get the edge to look right. The button side I slipped the first stitch of each row and it kept the edge tidy, but doing the same on the hole side doesn’t seem to have the same effect – I keep ending up with a little bump around each edge, rather than a nice neat series of V’s. I guess a picture is probably more useful here.

Nice neat slipped stitch edging

Nice neat slipped stitch edging

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Horrible little bumps around each edge. Where did it all go wrong?

I’ve tried slipping knitwise and slipping purlwise and neither seems to make any difference to the edge. The two bands feel completely different too; the neat one feels soft and lovely, whereas the bumpy one feels much more hard and stiff. Somebody please tell me what I’m doing wrong, and how I should be doing it! If I can fix this problem, I might actually be able to get it finished and have a FO for my next post!

So, as a distraction from the frustrations of annoying knitting (and because I really am not going to knit anything else until this flaming annoying cardigan is done, I’ve resorted to gaming instead. It’s been years since I really played anything on the Wii, but I’ve had a sudden craving for a bit of Zelda, so I’m working on Skyward Sword. I’m not enjoying the graphics as much as I liked Twilight Princess, and the fighting feels a lot more tactical than any other Zelda’s I’ve played before – I’m more of a whack-it-and-hope-it-dies type player, but I’m not far in, so we’ll see how it develops.

Oh, and has anyone seen the new Clangers on CBeebies? Pumpkin and Pickle are quite taken with it. Pumpkin actually turned to me the other day and said ‘Mummy, for your next knitting, can you knit me a Clanger?’ !! I love his confidence! A quick search on Ravelry revealed several patterns, including an official one on the CBeebies website, so if you’re in the UK you can download it here: CBeebies Clanger Knitting Pattern. I’ve downloaded a copy and will add it to my list of things to make.