Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Alpaca alpaca and other knitting

Happy New Year folks!

Having fully expected to do another post before Christmas I'm feeling rather sheepish at letting the whole of Christmas and New Year go by without so much as a mention. Our Christmas didn't go quite as planned - nothing particularly awful for us just an unexpected turn of events and the need to just shut my mouth and get on with it for fear of upsetting the whole of my darling husband's family. Marvellous.

So, it's almost with a sigh of relief to come out the other side and find myself with a little breathing space and time to blog again.

Would you be surprised to learn I didn't manage to finish all those WIPs before the end of the old year? Nope, thought not.....I'm nothing if not consistent.

I may or may not have become hopelessly distracted with other, more immediate and more exciting knitting fun. A pre-Christmas meet-up for a soaking wet dog walk and a pub lunch with Trashy merited a little bit of impromptu gift knitting.
Way back in the summer I met up with Trashy and Maria and, as you do, came home with a car-full of raw alpaca fleece (courtesy of Trashy who, of course, knows someone who shears alpacas) and a beautiful old spinning wheel (courtesy of Maria). Now, I've been refurbishing the beautiful little wheel and sorting, preparing, spinning and washing....and washing.....and washing the alpaca for some time and had built up a wee stash, with no real thought as to what it might become until I stumbled across Zeke the Aloof Alpaca on Ravelry. I knew immediately that I had to knit them one each to say thank you....so I did, in two days flat!

Naturally, once my daughter realised there was an alpaca alpaca production line going she put in a request for one of her own. Being Minx, she didn't want to go with the designer's choice of name, Googled Peruvian boys' names and opted for Pierro....here he is...
The design is by Rebecca Danger and if you haven't seen her knitted toys before you really should go and look. I got so very excited after knitting Zeke #1 that I sent her a very high-pitched squealy fan-girlie message on Ravelry, to which I received a very grateful and gracious reply and she didn't even seem to be too scared of me!

Progress has been made on other WIPs. This pair of sunshiny socks were cast on way back in July. I'd done about two-thirds of sock #1 before leaving them to stew but on coming back to them last week, I finished that one and it's partner in two days. They're now living in Birmingham - a 20th birthday gift to my lovely knitting niece.


While we're talking about Birmingham, we went up there last Saturday for a spot of family visiting and at 8 o'clock in the morning with departure imminent for a 2+ hour journey I suddenly realised 'aaagh, no suitable in-the-car knitting!!'. I grabbed my bag of leftover sock yarn, some 3.25mm circular needles and once in the car, cast on.

By the time we got to Brum I'd done most of the leg on sock #1!
I finished them yesterday. Yup, you read that right...yesterday. Two days start to finish. These are fast becoming my favourite type of sock knitting. Bigger needles and two strands of yarn knitted together, they make nice thick quick socks. These are now put away for next Christmas, ready to be given to another of my nieces. I think completing my first piece of Christmas knitting before the end of the first week of January has to be some kind of record!

Had enough yarny stuff yet? I do hope not.

There's been a modicum of spinning. This was done as soon as unexpected/unwanted visitors had departed after their fraught three day stay. Actually not quite as soon as they'd gone....we did really and truly crack open a bottle of bubbly the second they left and it seems to have had a direct impact on the evenness of my plying...
Still, I like it despite it quirkiness and will no doubt find something worth knitting with it. Note to self, don't drink and spin.....much.

Aaaaand last but not least, last night I pulled my socks up and cracked out the enormous crochet blanket of doom again. I did 8 rows last night. That's four colour stripes. That's 2160 treble crochet stitches. I put it on Minx's bed this morning...
I reckon I still have well over twenty of those colour stripes to do - that's 40 rows - that's 10,800 stitches.

Gulp.

The whole purpose of this was to use up a pile of acrylic yarn leftover from other crochet projects, Inevitably I had to buy some extra colours and now I may even need to buy more. It's huge!

Then, of course, I'll have to start another to use up all the leftover leftovers and so it goes on...

Happy hooking and I hope 2013 is as wonderful for you as it can possibly be.

Moogs xxx

34 comments:

Gina said...

I love the way you have to buy more yarn in order to use up the leftovers... my kinda thinking!I'm saving all my odd bits of sock yorn now to make some mix and match socks like yours. How many stitches do you cast on if you use it double?

Locket Pocket said...

Lovely knitting Lesley! But while you've been led astray by exciting new knitting - just as I recommended - guess what i've been doing? Working on my wips of course! Very unusual behaviour for someone with persistent startitis! Xx

Daisie said...

Happy New Year, pesky families spoiling all the fun (join the club), tsk!
Love your wonky ply and can think of at least three things I'd knit in those yummy berry colours.
I especially love the alpacas :)
xxx

Thimbleanna said...

You're hysterical -- always such a fun read! And a girl after my own heart -- I'll get ambitious with the list of my UFO's and then one or two in, I get distracted by a new project. I can feel it coming on ... it's going to happen again.... I LOVE those scrappy socks and I'm SOO intrigued by how you make them. Do you just grab random scraps? Is there any color planning on your part? Since you're on bigger needles, what size are you using? And how many stitches??? (I ususall use US 2's with 64 stitches. Are you at 3's or 4's with 48 stitches? I'd love to make some that have less stitches! ;-D )

(Oh and shoot! I sure wish I lived closer for tea -- I'm betting there's a goooood holiday story in there LOL!)

SaraJ said...

Great post :) Loved my inlaws at Christmas finding a cobweb and so kindly pointing it out to everyone.
Smile through gritted teeth, and have another glass of wine is my motto!

Carol Q said...

love your sox. a great way to use up the left over yarn and your sunshiny sox would cheer up any dull winters day. I've finished my chunchos (on me blog) and have now started another of Sue Grandfield's patterns.

Julie said...

Giggly face here after reading your blog and your friends' comments :-) Aren't relative swonderful! Not! I am in love with Alpacas with tummy buttons. SweeT!

French Knots said...

I think in laws should be banned or at least live on a different continent!

Love the aloof alpacas, such personalities!

quinn said...

The alpacas are adorable!

I am in awe of anyone undertaking an afghan, and even more so of anyone who completes one. (Michaela, where are you?) So I am already in awe of you, and can see clearly that it is only a matter of time before you will achieve pedestal status :)

Well done on the socks! I'm still pretty pedestrian (heh - get it?) in my sock yarn/pattern choices, but have been knitting a scrappy scarf lengthwise to use up some sock yarn bits. The funny thing is, when I actually use up all the yarn from a pair of socks, I feel a little pang of "it's all gone!" Fortunately, there are more hanks in the basket...

dottycookie said...

Loving those mismatched socks. Loving them. And yes, I too have done the "using up" shuffle here - but not just with wool. I do the same thing in the kitchen, but that usually involves buying cream, which, as enny fule no, makes all leftovers better.

silverpebble said...

Those alpacas are utter GENIUS.

Like DC I am swooning over those mis matchy socks. Just beautiful.

dragonfly said...

One day, I will own an alpaca or three (it is my ambition) and then you can show me how to make one too. They are so flipping cute!
Wish I could summon the nerve to finish the second sock I cast on over two years ago...

Calidore said...

Welcome back. Lovely to hear you survived Christmas. Love the socks too - what a fabulous way to use up that stray sock wool of which I happen to have quite a bit - not that I'll mention it of course..lol. The Alpaca's are just stunning. I'm seriously tempted especially as I have some Alpaca already spun. Hmm what projects can I put off. Ok so off to look at the pattern again. Hugs

wonderwoman said...

i loooove my alpaca, thank you sooo much. have not decided on a name yet! love your spinning,just gorgeous! Look forward to seeing you soon, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx socks are just awesome! xxx

Plum Cox said...

Alpacas, amazing socks, work on a WIP AND spinning - award yourself a productivity medal (and put interesting family Christmas tension behind you!). Happy New Year! x

Plum Cox said...

Alpacas, amazing socks, work on a WIP AND spinning - award yourself a productivity medal (and put interesting family Christmas tension behind you!). Happy New Year! x

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shabby girl said...

Love, love, love Pierro! He is adorable!

Marie said...

Hi Lesley. Loving the little alpaca dudes :) super cute.
I'm hoping to pick your sock knitting brains for a moment. I've decided this year is the year I will finally crack my DPN fear and teach myself to knit some socks! Do you have any recommendations for easy patterns for beginners? Revellry patterns or any books you would recommend would be great. Thanks xMx

Leanne said...

LOVE the Alpacas. I drive past an Alpaca farm regularly and if I had a bigger back one I think I would have a pet one. Perhaps I should knit one instead.

Twiggy said...

Blimey those Alpacas are cute. I seem to have fallen off the blogging bandwagon too for one reason and another. Happy New Year to you and yours.
Twiggy x

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