Monday 30 July 2012

My Olympic Challenge

It's not yet lunch time and we've already watched swimming, rowing and table tennis - wow, I'm exhausted.

For my Olympic challenge, I will be doing something that requires stamina; speed is also of the essence but combined with precision; and determination is probably the key factor.

My challenge is to finish as many knitting and crochet projects as possible WITHOUT STARTING SOMETHING NEW!!!!!  The emphasis here is obviously on the "not starting anything new".  I have seven projects started, all of a significant size and whilst there is so much temptation out there, lots of lovely patterns, I will stay in the zone - stay focused.

So firstly, I am taking the opportunity of Eve being away at a music festival this weekend to work on her crochet blanket.  I think she believes that I have been ignoring her blanket in favour of cardigans - and she would be correct!

She left for the Lake District Thursday lunchtime - Thursday afternoon, take stock of what's been done already.  Only 70 of the 192 squares completed - pitiful!

I'm using a pattern called Never Fading Flower for the motif - available as a free Ravelry download, here, with a combination of four different colours for the flowers.

I crocheted and crocheted and crocheted on Friday and this is how it looked first thing Saturday morning.

Another day of sprinting on Saturday with motifs flying off the hook.  What is the World record for motifs crocheted in one day? - I may be in contention.  By Sunday lunchtime this is how it was looking.

Eve has just phoned to say they have packed up and are in the car park but its gridlock to get out.  It'll be a few more hours until she gets home with her mud encrusted clothes etc.  Here's how the blanket is looking now.

37 squares to go - I'll add a few more after lunch (there's a danger the primrose coloured yarn is about to run out, so I may have to revise my tactics until I can buy more).  She'll be so impressed.  The end is in sight- a great feeling - but this is an endurance event, so six other projects to tackle yet.  Definitely on target for gold!

Sunday 29 July 2012

Olympics and the New Rowan Magazine

Second full day of Olympic competition and how is it going for you?

So far we've watched some cycling, swimming, archery, shooting, judo, handball, volleyball, more cycling and more swimming.  I think we need to pace ourselves a bit more otherwise we'll achieve burnout before the end of the first week.

On a completely different subject, the new Rowan magazine, number 52, is now out.

This edition contains some delicious cable patterns and scrumptious Fair Isles.  I have my eye on these.

At the moment Rowan have 8 of the patterns from the magazine available for free download - so get them while you can.

On my wish list is this gorgeous patchwork blanket by Kaffe Fasset (this is one of the free patterns).

I'll never get round to making it but I can dream.

More realistically achievable is another free pattern for leg-warmers.

Now these are a definite possibility.

I just need to complete the seven projects I've already started!  More on that subject tomorrow.

Thursday 26 July 2012

Olympic Knitting?

Well the Olympics have started.  Last night saw the Ladies Football competition kicking off.  We will of course be watching as many events as possible from the comfort of our living room.  This will give me an excellent opportunity / excuse to sit and just knit & crochet (not at the same time - but then again maybe!).

It would obviously be appropriate to make something Olympic related and to this end, Deramores are offering a free knitting pattern for an Olympic swimmer.

I may knit her up as an Athlete rather than a swimmer, swap the swimming costume for a running vest and shorts.  If I'm in the mood I could knit a relay team - but probably not.

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Walk to Hightown

Well I guess you could call this summer.  The weather has definitely improved.

We (Hubby & me) decided to go for a walk yesterday along the coastal path to Hightown.  It's about two and a half miles there, but a very pleasant walk.

The beach was busy with some brave people venturing into the sea.  Although you can see that some people still had there jackets on.

As you walk along, Formby Point can be seen in the distance.

Lots of lovely flowers to see - don't ask me to name them.

There were plenty of other walkers  and numerous cyclists (the Bradley Wiggins Effect!).

When we got to Hightown we headed for the Hightown Hotel for a refreshing drink.

It was only on the walk home that I thought I should have taken some crocheting with me - it would have been very pleasant to sit in the shade and crochet away - next time, I'll remember.

Suitably refreshed we walked the two and a half miles back home.  On the way back we passed a flock of starlings taking advantage of the sunshine and warmth - who can blame them.

A very pleasant afternoon - and more energetic than I was last week on holiday.

Tuesday 24 July 2012

Holiday Knitting

Prior to the holiday, I wasn't in a finishing mood - but definitely in a starting mood.  I started several new cardigan patterns, as follows...

Pocketwatch by Louisa Harding from the book Queen of Hearts.

So far so good...

Georgia by Kim Harding from Rowan magazine #28.

I have knitted this pattern before but the yarn used, Rowan DK soft was dreadful - they discontinued it pretty swiftly.  Here is the new version.

Not much progress made there.

For the holiday I decided to start yet another pattern.  I had recently got round to buying Rowan magazine #51

and this pattern called Rosa caught my eye.

I'm knitting it up in a very pale pink using Sirdar snuggly 4 ply.

So far I've completed the back and front but, like the others, it's now on hold.  I still haven't finished Grace's surprise sweater for her birthday and the deadline draws ever nearer - so that is now my priority.

They'll all get finished eventually - but as always there aren't enough hours in the day.

Monday 23 July 2012

Holiday Photos

So here we are, I'm organised and ready to go.

For our holiday this year we went to a beautiful village called St Dogmaels which is in west Wales, near Cardigan on the River Teifi.

Our cottage was near the top of a steep hill above the village.  It was surrounded by fields and hedgerows and lots of space.

I'd decided before we went that I wanted a nice relaxed holiday.

We visited Cardigan.

Walked along the river.

Inspected the ruined abbey in the village.

Admired the countryside.

Made friends with the wildlife.

And relaxed.

I got plenty of knitting and reading done and we took a pile of DVDs to watch.  We also watched the daily stages in the Tour de France - watching those cyclists climbing the mountains of the Pyrennees was about as strenuous as the holiday got.

Congratulations to Bradley Wiggins, first British winner ever of the Tour de France - love the sideburns.

I now feel wonderfully refreshed, batteries are fully charged and I'm ready for anything.

Sunday 22 July 2012

Another Project

I'm working my way through my emails that have accumulated over the past week and I've just come across a lovely message from Larissa Liu.  She has sent me a picture of the bear she made as a gift for a friend's baby boy from my Buttercup Bear pattern .

He looks wonderful, so cuddly, and I love his tie which is apparently made from an old shirt belonging to her husband.