Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Mea culpa

Thank you to all the people who worry about me if I don't write often (especially Daisy, Vicki, Alexandra and Mary Anne). You're usually correct in assuming that, if I don't write, it's because I'm a bit under the weather!

It's my own fault, really. I have hopelessly overdone it recently, packing more into two months than I usually do in six. Consequently, I am having real trouble sleeping. Isn't it bizarre that, when I really need the sleep, my body won't give it to me? This condition is really screwy sometimes!

I'm having a flare-up of all kinds of symptoms. For instance, I can't really follow stories on TV or in print at the monent, so my audio books have kept me entertained instead. 'The Murder of Roger Ackroyd' by Agatha Christie was especially good. It was read by Nigel Anthony, who did it very well - the reader makes such a difference. I've given up on perfectly good books before because the reading was so bad!

And of course I have been knitting. OK, so sometimes I have just been holding my knitting and looking at it, but I've also been knitting quite a lot.

I have almost finished a hooded baby poncho, commissioned by my sister for her stepdaughter Vikki, who is expecting her first baby in November. I've made the 'two rectangles' type, and picked up the stitches for the hood after I've joined them together. I'm making that in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, in the Egg Yelllow colourway - this is going to be a very sophisticated baby!

I've finished the dye lot disaster for Knitting magazine, and it looks wonderful. I did get the extra two skeins after all, and I'm glad I did. It looked a little skimpy just made with four. The yarn was Blue Sky Alpaca Silk DK - it blooms amazingly when it is washed and blocked, and the stitches even out beautifully.

I've also completed a little I-cord project, and a swatch for a future submission. I'm now onto Linda's poncho, which is in Wendy Pampas in Rich Cream. Gorgeous colour! The yarn itself is similar to, but a little thinner than, Sirdar Bigga, so I'm making it on 15mm needles.

Anyway, that's about it. Normal service will, I hope, be resumed as soon as possible!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Dye lot disaster

I'm back again! And much more quickly than last time. I've been doing some serious resting and sleeping, and it's really paid off.

I'm also really 'in the zone' for the latest item I'm making for Knitting magazine. It's going beautifully, and looking lovely. Of course, this is the second time I've had to make it, but never mind.

You want to hear about my silly mistake? OK, then, you've twisted my arm.

I'm not allowed to give out many details, because of commercial sensitivity (basically, Knitting doesn't want Simply Knitting to know what it has planned, and, no doubt, the reverse is also true). Suffice it to say that the item required six skeins of yarn, held double, and the supplier only had two in stock. Breezily, I announced that it would be fine to send me the two to start with - after all, apart from hand-dyed stuff, all yarn is dyed by computer, right? So dye lots are irrelevant, yes?

No. Oh boy, no.

I'm working the item on circular needles, back and forth, because it has quite a large number of stitches, and even so it is still quite scrunched up. This is the only defence I can offer for not noticing that the four new skeins were a totally different colour until I had cast off and spread the thing out. Plus, it was more noticeable under artificial light than in daylight.

I briefly considered adding fringed bits all over, a la boho look, to try to disguise the colour change, but I knew there was only one sensible thing to do.

Suck it up and frog the whole thing.

I considered just unpicking the first two skeins and knitting downwards, but it would have been quite fiddly because of the way the thing is constructed. It was really just easier to start again.

Anyway, once I stopped kicking myself and sobbing, the new work went very quickly and smoothly. I had hardly broken into the last two skeins, so I should have enough of the second dye lot to make the entire thing, although it may be a little narrower than I planned.


I guess this is one of those situations where you live and learn, huh?

Anyhoo... thanks to littlelixie and Daisy for their lovely comments on the last entry. I love knowing that other people enjoy reading my ramblings, it really gives me a boost!

I'd also like to draw everyone's attention to Mary Anne's new blog, opening shortly on this site. Thanks for the link to this blog, Mary Anne - I feel like a proper blogger now :)

(PS The engineer came out to fix my smoke alarm yesterday. Apparently it went off because it was full of dust, which fooled the sensor into thinking it was smoke. Jacky will now be vacuuming the thing when she does the housework every week!!)