Sunday, 2 February 2014


My local knitting shop has asked our Knit & Natter attendees to knit items for a Spring window display.  I thought I would have a go at an Alan Dart pattern for knitted birds that was in Simply Knitting magazine a few issues ago.

I should have remembered how loose my tension is when I got to the instruction "stuff body firmly".  Instead of the svelte little bird in the picture, I've ended up with a bird that looks more like it ate two or three other Robins for breakfast  followed by a chaser of steroids.  This is an English robin by the way, they are normally much smaller than the North American robins. Rob-zilla, however, has a waist of about nine inches.

Rob-zilla is a flightless bird, since its wings are obviously too small to lift its incredible bulk into the air. Basically the wings, beak and legs all look too small compared to the pregnant body, which is entirely my fault and not the pattern. However, DH also queries whether robins have that sort of tail in real life.

Rob-zilla was also incredibly fiddly to make, so I have abandoned plans to knit a companion goldfinch and blue tit. Rob-zilla might eat his smaller companions so why take the risk.

Before knitting Rob-zilla, I also knit a flower for the display based on a pattern I found in Vogue Knitting intended as a bag decoration.  This is knit from the centre out, and unfortunately depends on accurate counting of intervals between increases - something I am consistently poor at and thus one petal is a bit smaller than the others.  The flower is fairly large as well, about eight inches across.

I finished my vanilla socks knit in Schoppel-Wolle Fliegende Untertasse (flying saucer yarn).  Because they were knit two-at-a-time straight from the reel of yarn, they are virtually identical apart from the afterthought heels.

The fine gauge means they are quite comfortable to wear, although I only wear handknit socks around the house as I don't find them comfortable to wear in shoes as I have princess feet :)

Concluding the vanilla socks meant I needed a new portable project for knitting on the train.  I've pulled out one of my older UFOs which is my Haapsalu Shawl in BC Garn Baby Alpaca, which has been languishing for many months since I started it in 2010.  It's in a double Lily of the Valley pattern with nupps, and I need a chart when I am knitting it.  I was reluctant to take it out because the yarn might mat if it is dragged around, but on the other hand it is never going to get done if I never work on it.  So in the last week I've added about 2.5 chart repeats which is more than I've done in the past year.  I finished the first of my two balls of yarn and realised that I am not going to have enough to make it long enough AND knit the edging on.  Of course nobody sells the yarn in the UK anymore but the Danish company still make it so I've ordered it direct from them.  I think it might have been cheaper than I paid at Loop in London to boot, but only if it doesn't get hit for Customs charges.

The new mystery shawl knitalong (KAL) for the Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has started.  The first clue portrays the Lonely Mountain with its entrance.  I am knitting mine in rainbow coloured Araucania Ranco Multy. I really enjoy these knitalongs because each clue has a little story with it about what you are knitting.

On the sewing front, I've felt a bit reluctant due to the poor ergonomics and mainly because that room is freezing (the radiator is turned off and I can't get it back on again because the valve is stuck).  But I have finished assembling the three panels of half-square triangles for my sewing machine cover and sandwiched them up ready for quilting.  I think I am going to look for a secondhand or cheap swivel chair, because it's really bugging me being on a normal chair that doesn't roll or pivot when I want to press or cut something away from the machine.

Still no movement on the house-purchasing front.  I checked with the owners of the house we want to buy, but they still haven't had their offer accepted on the house they are interested in.  It's frustrating because I see things that I might want to buy for the new place, but I don't dare until we know we are definitely getting it.


swooze said...

Point me back to the description/location of the house you want to buy please....

Daisy said...

I think Rob-zilla looks rather sweet! Good luck with the latest possible house - all fingers crossed!

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