Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The wedding shrug - a sneaky peek

I finally finished my shrug yesterday, with the final construction element only making to me sense after a couple of apple ciders.
Here she is! It's the Safran Shrug by Kristeen Griffin-Grimes and considering the fabric grew a bit after blocking (yes, I know, I freaked out too! I measured it a million times!) she's come out okay.
I had to undo one of the little tucks along the seam to make the armholes sit more evenly, but other than that, I'm pretty happy.
Photos of me actually wearing it will come after Saturday.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The final rush pre-wedding

I think this next week is going to be pretty busy. Yesterday was spent collecting fairy lights, dropping off cake toppers, buying the drinks and doing a serious amount of knitting. The wedding shawl is about half way through construction - just stitching up the tucks before I start grafting. Then I have to figure out the seam. 

I started off by blocking - directly on the carpet because my blocking mat wasn't big enough.
To kill some time while drying, I finished a baby hat I started working on a couple of days ago (leftover yarn from Olive & Emma, and I definitely have enough to do another one) and read  my new book, Knitting for Good by Betsy Greer. Betsy writes one of my favourite blogs, Craftivism, and I had to check out her work.

A bit of a hiccup; the rectangle stretched by a few inches after I blocked it, so now my tucks are a little bit off.

I'm hoping you won't really notice - there's now way I'm frogging some of it now.

And I've blocked all of the bridesmaids gifts ready for wrapping - plus the baby hat. Wish it was my size, the stripes came out so well.

I'll keep working on the last few tucks this evening and hopefully graft it tomorrow.
I'm taking a few days off work before the big day, so I hope to find a bit of time to sit down and figure out how to finish the seams. 

Only six days to go now - the last month has completely disappeared. I'm so excited about taking this next big step, here's just hoping for amazing weather on Saturday.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Only 10 inches and 12 days to go!

The countdown is on. 
The wedding in 12 days away.
I'm mostly under control. 
There's a few little bits and pieces to organise, but it's mostly all sorted.
It's kind of only just hit me that we're actually getting married in less than two weeks.
You put a lot of time and energy into the planning, and kind of don't realise the enormity of the step we're taking.
And there's only 10 inches to go on the shrug!
I can definitely get the knitting done this week, maybe in the next couple of days. 
The construction will be the hard bit though - I might see if some of the nice gals at knitting group can help me on Sunday if I get there... pretty please...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Books that taught me to knit

I read a great post recently on The Zen of Making blog, where Haley Pierson-Cox lists the books she credits with teaching her how to craft. It gave me an idea. Before I realised Ravelry existed, I was turning to books to find patterns - this was the only place I really knew to look. 

At that point I found yarn stores a bit intimidating (and in some cases I still do - I tend to get a lot of my yarn online) and didn't know which knitting magazines were good to read. I found the lingo intimidating, and I needed a translator. 

So I went to the only other place I thought I could find some help without not knowing where to start online - I grabbed a bunch of books from my local library shelf and started there.

For me, the best beginner book I've read, that really appealed to me as a 20-something (oh golly... 26 in two weeks.... ) was Stitch 'n bitch: The knitter's handbook by Debbie Stoller.

For someone who had no idea where to start, this book was completely eye-opening. 
My first big project, a Peppermint Twist sweater, came from here, and even though it's not perfect, I'm still proud of it.

Debbie's follow-up, Superstar Knitting, I've found equally useful, especially for help in recent dabbles in lace knitting. Sure, this book is only an introduction to more complicated techniques, but I've found the information is really good and the section on designing your own sweaters is very clear to follow.

I've heard that Margaret Radcliffe's book on colour knitting, The essential guide to color knitting techniques,  is one of the best. I can't really compare because I haven't read any others, but this was so handy when I was learning stranded knitting.
I'm yet to delve into some other techniques - entrelac just looks too terrifying at this stage in my knitting career.

And this is the book I hope will help me next. I've had it on my shelf for ages, and I've read if from cover to cover. Maggie Righetti's Sweater design in plain English is quite an entertaining read, and if I can follow all the math correctly, I'll try and design myself a sweater next year.

What are some of the books that have helped you craft? I'm always looking for more!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

And the knitting goes on around the distractions

I'm at an estimated 27 inches into the wedding shrug, and I've hit the wall. No matter how much I keep knitting, it's just not growing. Admittedly though, I'm going to start making excuses about my lack of progress (even though I'm working on it every day). I got a Nexus 7. And I love it.

I love being able to take Entangled Magazine on the bus without having to read it off my phone.
Tweeting just seems more fun on it.
I've going to buy a tonne of e-books and save some shelf space and trees.
No more printing knitting patterns, losing pages and getting confused. They will all be saved on here.
And I'm really looking forward to accessorising it. I need a case - seen some really cool chevron patterned ones on Etsy - and I could knit up a little cozy for it too. 
This new toy could revolutionise my life.
But after the wedding. Must focus. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Frankie issue 50 and wedding snacks

It's finally here! I've been waiting for what seems like months for this issue of Frankie. I've been making trips to Whitcoulls in my lunch break every day for the past two weeks in anticipation, and today it arrived on shelves.

And look at the embossing! It's like almost real embroidery! Even the inside cover has the little reverse-embroidery details. Can't wait to get my read-on.

And yesterday was spent sampling the wedding food. Pretty much the end of the best weekend.

This was the first course.

And it was amazing. I was so full after. My mum and her helpers are amazing cooks - I just hope prepping for 50 people isn't going to be too crazy for them.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

When the boys are away...

I live with three boys, plus one male cat. Instead of the usual ceramic ornaments to decorate shelves, we have action figures. I have no issue with this, but when the fiancĂ© gets dragged out of bed at 6.30am by the boys to go on his stag party for the weekend, I'm really not complaining. I love our geekiness, and I love how our home is a bit different to most peoples' in their mid-twenties, but it's great to have some girl time. 

So far this Saturday has been very productive. Firstly I got brunch with one of my girls and hit the op shops.

More plates and doilies.

Another picnic blanket that Dougal's already adopted.

Then it was time for the main event - wedding craft day!

My pal Cara came around to help with making the bunting. We decided to go with a mix of cut-up comic books and doilies.

There were also cookies and cupcakes. 

And paper everywhere.

The baking was amazing.

And the final result? Not too shabby!

I have enough left over to make a lot more, so we should have heaps in time for the big day.