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.


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