Friday, 16 December 2011

More Successful Knitting. . .

I've been knitting up a storm lately and really enjoying it. It's definitely become my latest obsession but completely relaxing and creative and fun.  And with every new project, I always try a new technique, so my knitting skills are improving bit by bit.  I'm working up to that sweater!  There are two projects I've completed recently that turned out as good as I'd hoped and I really LOVE wearing them.  The first came about when I learned to make a bobble.  And immediately thought a bobble scarf would be really fun for winter.  I had three skeins of this really soft baby alpaca and this was the result, which I designed myself (not that it's a particularly difficult design, but what I love about knitting is that with a bit of patience and some tweaking and swatching, you can really create exactly what you want).  This scarf is so warm and cozy.  My recent hat attempts were all in aid of matching this.

My colleague gave me a very funny Christmas gift this week - the DVD of the Royal Wedding.

We were working a conference in Jasper, Alberta at the time (which is seven hours behind the UK) and sharing a hotel room.  Now, I really like watching these spectacles live and since the coverage was starting about midnight, I decided just to stay up all night.  I wanted to see ALL the hats.  Perhaps though, this was not the best choice when I had to work the next day and the last time I pulled an all-nighter was decades ago.  My colleague was a great sport about it insisting she could sleep through the light of the television which was turned down low.  However, she  could not sleep through my loud curses at about 2am when it started to snow outside and the storm knocked out ALL the channels, just as things were getting exciting.  I was flipping madly and getting only static until for some reason at the very high numbers, I got some sort of specialty U.S. channel  (TLC maybe?) that was carrying it (with fairly stupid commentary, but at least I got the visuals).   I woke my friend up as requested when Wills and Harry left the palace and all went well.  We watched up to the balcony kiss, while ordering breakfast via room service, and made it to work on time.  I was extremely tired that day, but I'll always remember how much fun it was watching it with L. and discussing it ad nauseum with my other good girlfriends on that road trip.

Okay, what does this have to do with my knitting?  Well, do you remember a few days later, Kate was seen shopping at Sainsburys wearing this?

That shawl inspired many knitters to get busy. There are lots of patterns out there, but I loved the one by Vancouver designer Cat Wong, entitled The Milk Run Shawl.  It's a free pattern but she had the terrific and appropriate idea of asking instead for a donation to a local food bank, which I was more than happy to do.  The pattern is great - full of options for creating something slightly different versions - and full of good tips and funny instructions (the last one is to brush your hair until it shines before wearing it).  You can get the pattern here.  I chose to knit mine in a Donegal tweed, more olive-green-brown than Kate's version, and I was a bit worried about whether it would drape as nicely, but I'm very happy with how it turned out. I like to wear it around my shoulders when I'm reading at night in bed.  It was my first time doing ruffles (which go on FOREVER) but it was exciting when it all came together.

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