Crashing Down

On the morning of the 6th January 2007, my father passed away.
Last winter he was taken into hospital with suspected heart failure, whilst there he discovered he had Renal Cancer with Bone Metastasis. Due to the strain on the heart they decided not to operate and instead monitored him regularly.

My father had been diabetic for years and this was never a problem until Christmas day, when he was taken in hospital in the early hours of the morning, after suffering a hypo. – However he was back at home for his Christmas lunch.

On the 4th once again we thought my dad had suffered a hypo in the evening, and once again called the ambulance however, this time we discovered it was actually the cancer.

Without a doubt my father has been the most influential person in my life. He arrived in the UK with nothing, quickly saved up enough for my mum to travel from South Africa so they could get married. For years, my parents thought they could not have children and when my mum had my sister they were over the moon – 17 months later I was born and they were so grateful for their two blessing, as a result of this we were completely spoilt.

With the exception of knitting all my other passion stem from my dad. As a young child my mum worked evening so my dad looked after my sister and I. He would sit in his armchair, my sister on one arm rest me on the other, watching Batman or a Western on BBC2, which undoubtedly lead to my love of comics. I remember sitting on his knee in the cinema begin scared of the monster at the beginning of Empire Strikes Back.

My dad was determined to offer my sister and I the opportunities he never had encouraging us into further education and showing us the world. As teenagers, our family holidays were to The West Coast of America and Grand Canyon, India, China and Mexico. Leading to my love of learning and travel.

Even as an adult he spoilt, his daughters and even his future son -in-law, if we dreamed of something for our birthdays or Christmas he would always be one to buy it for us, even if he didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Whether it was an iPod, designer handbag or something in a little blue box.

At the moment we are taking each day at a time but I still feel like my world has come crashing down around me.

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Circular Shrug

Circular Shrug

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Maya 13.
Pattern: Circular Shrug.
Needles: 6 mm.
Notes: No one is at home at the moment – and I can never take a decent photo in the mirror, so you will have to imagine what this looks like on me.

I loved this project when I started it – I couldn’t wait to wear it. Unfortunately it got pushed aside in the long hot summer – now that autumn is here, it is the perfect item for to throw over a summer tee.

The pattern is really straight forward – apart from the assembling part – the instructions don’t really explain it too well – once I realised it was meant to be a circle it all made sense.

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Merino Cape

AKA the World Cup Cardigan.

Merino Caridgan

Yarn: Karabella Aurora 4 color 8170 (Navy) and Texere’s King Cole Merino Wool Blend 4ply in Cherry (29)
Pattern: Made up.
Needles: 3.25 mm circulars and straights.
Notes: A basic top down cape – like the Anthropologie-inspired Capelet, use a basic increase instead of the yarn-over.

Rather than, stopping the decreasing when the sleeve stitches meet at the underarm, I continued to increase for half an inch more. The arms were worked straight to create the floaty sleeves, ending with an inch of seed stitch in the red yarn.

 

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Twin Set

Twin Set

Yarn: Texere’s Good Fortune Cotton in Wine (6)
Pattern: Twin Set from Vintage Knits by Sarah Dallas.
Needles: 3 mm, 3.25mm and 3.25mm circular.
Notes: Those of you, who read my blog regularly, will remember my Mum asked me way back last May to knit her the twin set from Vintage Knits. I brought the yarn in July and made the sweater by September.

close-upButton Band

However, she has been waiting a long time for the cardigan. Back in February, I decided that cardigan would look to plain in stocking stitch so made it in diamond stitch pattern.

All the cardigan needed was the button band and add the buttons. Finally, over a year later the twin set is complete.

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Striped Sweater

Striped Sweater

Yarn: Texere’s Good Fortune Cotton in Wine (6) and Rowan’s Cotton Glace in Mystic (808).
Pattern: Made up.
Needles: 3.25 mm circulars and straights.
Notes: I started with 2.5 inches of 1×1 rib, then decreased stitches at each end and increased stitches to form an hour glass shape. I bound off the base of the neckline just after shaping the armholes, to create a deep round neck. The arms are simple cap sleeves with raglan decreases.

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Clean Sweep – March-June

toolsI am having a very busy weekend in between a quick day trip to Le Touquet for a booze cruise/shopping trip, and a visit to Birmingham for a trade show, I have just got time to start my clean sweep for Project Spectrum.

Tools
My faithful Chibi – which holds all my needles.
A crochet hook.
A kilt pin brooch.
Various buttons.

project to finishTo beginning, I am rewinding the calander to March and my Pink/Red projects. To complete, (from the bottom of the photo).

1. I have my Striped Sweater, which I cast on just in March and have slowly been knitting over the last few months.
2. Then, my Mum’s Twin Set cardigan which was started long before PS (last autumn), but I was planning on finishing it in March (I am awful I know).
3. Fast forward to June, when I was watching the World Cup and meant to be knitting a cardigan, this has been pushed to the bottom of my knitting bag, as I am so embarassed that I failed the challenge.
4. The Circular Shrug, I was unsure if this colour was more green or blue and unsure when I should be knitting it – so it was forgotten.
Also, am currently blocking my Stash Busting Bag and Cleo Clutch.

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Project Spectrum

I can’t believe the six month of Project Spectrum are finally over, it has been a whirlwind of colour. Unlike a normal knit-along, this scheme spilled over into all accepts of crafting and even everyday life. You just have to look at the Flickr group to see how people were inspired by colour all over the place.

One of the add joys of this project has been the Postcard Swap over the last six months I have been introduced to six new bloggers, have been impressed with the cards they have send me which, has lead me to be embarrassed with the poor quality of cards I have sent them. At the moment, my final card is somewhere over the Atlantic, winging it’s way Jody at Java Jem probably waving hello as it passed the card she sent me.

September, has become left-over month for Project Spectrum a time to finish up projects from previous months, this is going to be great for me, really all I finished as part of the project was my pink capelet, the two tone pink socks and green surprise socks for my sister’s birthday.

As I didn’t really make anything in April – Yellow and Orange aren’t really my colours, so it was easy to finish my pink projects from March. I just managed to finish the socks in May –on the morning of my sister’s birthday.

My list of unfinished objects is a lot longer, in June, I tied in the World Cup KAL with PS, to make a blue cardigan – which is almost finished. From July, I have a half finished Purple scarf and finally, my Brown mohair sweater from this month.

I believe Lolly is thinking of repeating this Project next year, I would strongly recommend it to all crafters, it has made me more aware of colour, I see it everywhere, in nature, whilst crafting, and even in simple things like a cup or hotel room. If you still need convincing about this check out the Flickr group it has become a place for inspiration, seeing new techniques and to see new knitting patterns (I love seeing peoples FOs).

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Surprise Socks

Socks

Yarn: Opal Prisma in 1192 (Green).
Pattern: Sock it to ’em pattern with decreases for the calf.
Needles: 2 mm DPN’s (5 needles).
ConverseNotes: As I have mentioned, my sister has awful taste in trainers so for her birthday, I had to introduce her to the wonderful world of Converse, but you can’t just have a pair of Converse you also need a matching pair of socks, and so for the last month I have been busy knitting some green socks – the perfect project for May’s Project Spectrum.

I wanted to make knee-high socks, so I started with 80 stitches and decrease a stitch at the beginning and end of each 10th round, to 60 stitches, then followed the basic sock pattern.

I also used Alison’s method for solid coloured heels, but I don’t think it works extremely well with this yarn as the stripes are too short, it looks better on the fatter stripes.

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Two Tone Socks

Socks

Yarn: Sirdar Town and Country 4ply Sock Yarn in Classic Grey and Cygnet Wool Rich 4ply in Rose Pink.
Pattern: Sock it to ’em pattern with short row heel.
Needles: 2 mm DPN’s (5 needles).
Heel Notes: I had about 75 grams of the grey yarn in my stash, and this pink wool I brought for some reason (I have no idea what I was thinking when I brought it), but I decided to make a striped pair of socks – originally as part of March’s Project Spectrum, as I had a limited amount of the pink yarn I added an extra stripe on the foot.

This project was also the perfect time to experiment with short-row heels, as I figured the grey heel would look more symmetrical, I think the socks fits more snuggly this way, but I have to get use to short-rows, I am still not use to this techinique.

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