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On wheeee!

I seem to be suffering end-of-winter blues, which is not, as you might think, a sadness that winter has ended. While I love a warm fire and rainy days with no guilt about staying inside reading/crafting/gaming, I’m heartily sick of layers, being cold, and being deprived of sun. I need something to bring me out of this wintery ennui.

I did get pretty excited to see the new Knitty up this morning — I only wish I had the patience to finish Camden, but I can’t see it happening any time soon. I’m also quite fond of Abrazo.

Other stuff I’ve been eyeing up…

Right, must be about time for dinner. Perhaps that will sort out my funk!

Back again…

I could get used to this skiing, eating, sleeping, chasing keas thing.

[Photo by the gorgeous and talented James.]

A brief interlude

I’m heading south for a week or so, to soak up the freezing cold and get snow in my pants (my ability to stay upright on skis leaves something to be desired), none of which will affect my blogging schedule in the least — mostly because I just don’t post often enough for you to notice if I take a week off.

I’m taking Aunt Phebe’s Comfort Shawl to work on — it’s easy knitting, even if it’ll still probably take me years to finish — but I’ve also been entranced by Leafcutter Designs’ conceptual knitting ideas. I thought about making a sky scarf while I was away, but I’ve got no money for yarn and I don’t actually want a stripy scarf. I do love the idea though, so perhaps I’ll take a notebook and mark down a variety of things (skifields, half day/full day/none, sky colour, rain, snow), then turn them into something when I get back.

[via: Whip Up]

Headline News

From Stitch’n’Bitch Nation, I present my first completed project knitting in the round: Headline News.

It was the perfect size when it came off the needles, but my stitches were a little uneven. Nothing a little blocking couldn’t fix, I thought.

Blocking certainly evened out the stitches, but my beautiful hat also came out a size larger! I was horrified. Nothing a little trip in the dryer couldn’t fix, suggested James.

I love that man. It’s still a little on the large side so I’ll probably send it for another trip in the dryer sometime, but it’s definitely wearable now.

Circular needles and dpns were something I had a bit of a mental block about. Cables, short rows, lace… none of that scared me, but joining up stitches? Eek!

Turns out my mother was right though: “Oh, Sarah! Knitting in the round is easy, honestly.”

So easy was it that I made two. The variegated version (below) was the trial run. If that worked, I’d make a ‘final’ version. If it didn’t, then the beauty of knitting is that yarn, when frogged, can be turned into something else.

Happily, it did work. My yarn was a little bulkier than the pattern called for so the finished hat feels a little over-sized, but nothing requiring dryer action.

I didn’t have quite enough in my stash to complete the hat, so bought another skein without checking the numbers… Who knew they’d make another grey mix? The edge of the brim is slightly darker than the rest of the hat – I’m not sure how I feel about that yet. I could always try dying it…

The prettiest thing

I’ve held on to this secret for long enough, appalling as it is…

The Stitcher’s Closet is going out of business.

Sheryl’s physical store closes this Saturday, but the web store will stay up until the stock is gone. Everything’s discounted, but, as sad as that is, a parcel of embroidery thread in the most divine colours can really brighten your day.

I’m loving…

…these knitted toadstool baby rattles from The Purl Bee.

Could be the steady stream of grey and miserable weather we’re having, but the colours make me so happy.

Pattern available here, for free. Love it.

Recycled notebook

I’ve been meaning to do this for ages, and last night I finally got around to making one of Martha Stewart’s recycled notebooks (A5 size, with a few alterations).

Because I don’t have a wondrous (and wondrously expensive) stapler as shown in the video, and because I’m fundamentally lazy and dislike the idea of having to make a new book every time I run out of paper, it’s held together with one of those metal folder clip things. Does anyone know what they’re really called?

For bonus environmentally friendly points, the cardboard covers were cut from a FedEx envelope we received at work, which was itself made from recycled material. (Let’s just not go into the aerosol spray adhesive I used to glue the fabric to the cardboard, okay?)

I left the ‘spine’ exposed, and cut a notch top and bottom to loop a snagless hair elastic around — it keeps the pages from flipping up — as the front and back covers both have little flaps so the clip doesn’t show on the outside of the book.

If you do this yourself, don’t forget to fold the fabric to get mitred corners. I didn’t, and now they’re fraying. Oops.