Monday, 29 October 2012

WIP: Beekeeper's Quilt

When I started the Beekeeper's Quilt, I suspected it might turn into a three-year project or something along those lines. As it happens, it's been almost a year since I began. After 11 months I have reached 40% of the total minimum number of hexipuffs. This is what it looks like, a heap of 149 hexipuffs:
So far I have used a whole 450 g bag of fibre filling in those hexipuffs and just bought another one and I still have lots of leftover sock yarn too. I am not entirely sure where to store all the finished puffs so I may well need to buy a large box to keep them in or move some of my fibre and yarn stash around to make room.

However long it may take me to finish the project, I might need to knit a few more hexipuffs because I might make the quilt twice as large. This way I can use it on the double bed or wrap up in it properly. Also, I have been thinking about knitting a tiny quilt to cover the seat of my ultra-comfy Ikea armchair. But once that's done too, that will be it! No more hexipuffs, ever!

Although... never say never.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Shop Update: Mini Muffin Stitch Markers

They were among the top favourites when I first started making them and now they have made it to my shop: little muffin stitch markers! They come in four different flavours (alas, they are not edible): mint, cherry, blueberry and strawberry.
The hardest part is getting the frosting right! Not too thin, not too much all at once. And it's all done by hand since I don't use molds or extruders and the like. These muffins can take quite some time and you'd probably be faster making real muffins in the meantime.
I have recently started using new types of rings for my stitch markers and they are wonderful. Slim, made of silver, and suitable for needles up to at least 7 mm. They are much better than the large plastic rings I had before, and I no longer have to make do with jump rings that can get caught in knitting.
Lovely!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

WIP: Seascape Stole

Though I was convinced in my last post that I would start a new pair of socks again, I have been feeling like knitting something different. There is a shawl pattern I am keen on, but I don't yet have the right amount of yarn for it. So for now I am finally getting on with my Seascape Stole. It is not as hard to work on as I remembered, but I really need to focus on every stitch and make sure to have a life line just in case. Only last night did I have to undo three of the four rows I knit because somehow I must have knit together two stitches without realising. The yarn is so fine and fuzzy that it is hard to see the stitches sometimes.

There is still a long way to go with this shawl and I have no idea how long it is going to take me, but I am glad I have picked it up again. I would really like to finish it.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Etsy Update: Fishy Stitch Markers

I have a lot of stock waiting to be listed at AbsoKnittingLutely, so I added two sets of stitch markers today. There's something rather fishy about them.
The round fish have been very popular on Ravelry and I sold quite a few of them to friends before I knew it. Now I finally got around to making some for my shop as well and I was once again surprised by how much time it takes to make them. Since I don't use any molds and have to make the tiniest parts by hand, it can take quite a while, but the results are worth it.
The second set of fish markers are new and a much plainer design. They were also fun to make and I love the colour variety.

There are more photos in the shop, so feel free to have a browse.

FO: Wetterhexe

Aaaand they're done! 
My Wetterhexe socks are finished and were a quick knit, really - it just took me longer because I was busy doing other things in-between. It is a very simple, basic pattern and all you need to know is how to knit, purl and decrease. It's a nice mindless knit on the side and looks best in a solid or semisolid shade. Don't do what I do and use yarn with too much contrast unless, like me, you just want to use it up.

Hm, what to knit next? There is a lovely skein of blue-green hand-dyed sock yarn in my stash, but do I really want to knit another pair of socks? Maybe. 

Probably. 

Yes!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Christmas Puddings, Muffins and Apples

I've been busy, but I have not done much knitting or spinning at all in the past week. The socks I am working on are just about finished - I even started the final toe section -, but somehow making stitch markers seemed much more interesting.

The Christmas pudding earrings I made for myself just a short while ago are proving to be very popular, so I have been making more of them for friends. I look forward to wearing them this Christmas.
After a request for muffin stitch markers, I worked on those as well as trying my hand at apple stitch markers. The latter turned out really well and I love them!
I can't wait to try them out in my own knitting. Of course some sets will also be available in my shop as soon as I have taken pictures. Let's hope the weather will be nice enough to give us some good light for photos. Today was lovely, but I am not so optimistic about tomorrow.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Art and a KAL I Never Took Part In

I am a member of a Random Acts of Kindness group on Ravelry and sometimes people surprise you with unexpected gifts. This group is very generous and there are lovely people who spend ages talking in the chat room and the forum threads. I have been a part of the group almost since its beginning and recently won a competition to create the group's official logo.This is the scanned logo of my drawing before it was digitalised. 
And recently one of the members sent me a surprise gift: the chance to take part in a sock KAL whose theme she thought suited some sock yarn I dyed. The topic was "Whodunit" or "Krimi Socken". Sadly, the theme had nothing to do with crime at all and my 'blood-spattered' yarn didn't go with any of the patterns we would have the chance to knit. So I decided not to take part, which made me feel quite bad since my friend paid for it. 

Lucky for me, the KAL didn't quite go as planned and the designer decided to send every registered participant a free extra pattern. It is a very simple pattern, but actually I liked it and immediately started knitting it with my hand-dyed yarn. The colour makes the pattern hard to see, but I don't mind much. I no longer have a guilt conscience because I didn't take part and am looking forward to finishing the pair. One sock is already finished.
My friend didn't mind my not joining the KAL, knowing there is always a chance with a mystery KAL that you might not like the pattern. I am glad I have this extra pair to show though.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Official Facebook Page

It was about time! Abso-knitting-lutely has got its own Facebook page now. Come and have a look around (it's still rather bare, of course), let me know what you're working on at the moment, and just make yourselves comfortable. See you soon!

A Christmas and Maritime Theme

All the new stitch markers are now varnished and ready to be used. There are 5 sets in total, all packed in little organza bags. It is also quite obvious that I am certainly in the mood for Christmas:
I especially like the Christmas puddings, which is why I made two more that I can now wear as earrings. Last year I made gingerbread men, so my collection is starting to grow.
Three sets share a maritime theme and were especially fun to make. The mermaid set isn't new as such. The design is slightly different, but it is a set I made two or three times before, which was very popular. This time, the crab turned out rather huge! The fish have also been popular with knitters who also use them as charms and pendants. The octopuses are new, though. They are tiny and I really like how they turned out. Due to their size it was impossible to give them eight legs, so these are quintopuses, really. Quintopi? I like that. I will definitely make them again.
What to make next?

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Baking Snowmen

In the past few days I have tried to come up with new stitch marker ideas, especially Christmas-themed ones for my shop. The only seasonal ones are a set of snowmen and another consisting of Christmas puddings. However, I have also made a new set of maritime stitch markers with a mermaid, starfish, seashell, and crab. There are a few extra fish I might add to it though and a seahorse. Then there is a newly designed set of octopuses, or quintopuses since they only have five legs. Quintopi? Hm, never mind. And finally there is a set of round fish I have made before and which have proved quite popular.

I want to make a few new things too, but will have to see whether making what's in my  head is as easy as it seems at the moment. My fingers might not be up to the task of creating some of these tiny markers, but we'll see.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Metreage? Good question.

It took me over a year to spin, ply, wash and wind this yarn, but now it's done! This is Laal Bear's Corriedale blend that I bought at Fibre Fest. It was a pain to spin, particularly on my tiniest drop spindle, because of all the material in it that just wouldn't do what I wanted it to do half the time. There is Corriedale, silk, sari silk (a bitch to thin out when drafting), and rayon thread. The red sari silk will make any finished item look stunning, I am sure, and I am looking forward to knitting with this 2-ply lace yarn. I have found a fairly simple shawl pattern on Ravelry that should be suitable to show off the yarn itself rather than the pattern. However, it may take some time till I get around to knitting it.

Unfortunately, I forgot to measure the yarn before winding it and I was not going to unwind it again! I could kick myself now. I am guessing the yarn has a metreage of 700-800 m, possibly more considering I spun 150g of this fibre into laceweight yarn. I will just keep knitting till I run out.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Two Hand-dyed Lace Cakes

These are two skeins of lace that I dyed quite a while back for my shop, but I only got around to winding them into cakes today. The problem was that we sold our dining table some weeks ago and the new table is actually a few millimetres too thick for me to attach my swift to. Unfortunately, I hadn't even thought about that when choosing the table!

After moving a side table around the room and moving other stuff about, I was finally able to get to it and so here are the finished cakes of hand-dyed laceweight yarn. I will be putting them in my shop soon - I have missed adding my yarns. This is the last hand-dyed lace for the moment as I intend to wait for more items to be sold before stocking up on new materials. It's hard to resist, I must admit! My fingers are itching to do some more dyeing, but I expect a large order of stitch markers to come in soon which will take up a lot of my time in the near future.

I wonder what will become of these two yarn cakes. They are enough for a pretty shawl and I hope they will appeal to lots of knitters.

Monday, 1 October 2012

I'm a Winner, Obviously

 I should really play the lottery more often! In the space of two weeks I won in two competitions. In fact, ever since I moved to the UK I have won things quite often even though I rarely take part in giveaways. I ought to rethink that!

This time I won a fabric bundle from Backstitch as featured by the people from Mollie Makes and I am looking forward to seeing them face to... er... fabric. How I wish I had a sewing machine now! I have been wanting one for ages, but right now is not the time to spend money on frivolities (aka necessities, as I call them). I will either store the fabric till I have a sewing machine or I might ask someone to sew something for me as part of a swap. In any case, I am excited!