Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Exams are finished!

I thought I would go mad with excitement at the idea of free time but all I have done so far is loaf about and fail to get anything done. I have a couple of FOs and a WIP to show though...
Firstly, the interesting hood! A little unseasonal, but still pretty cool
The idea is that you'd wear it with the bottom tucked under a coat. Then, a green meshed scarf:

As you can see on the right hand side, there are a couple of mistakes but I'm thinking I'll block it and offload it on a family member! Finally, my current work in progress is a lacy wide scarf made with the awful angora wool. I had forgotten how awful this wool is. It's incredibly prone to snapping and sheds fluff like a lunatic. It's just a shame it knits up so nicely...

So soft...so evil...
I'm leaving my house at the end of this week and returning to my parents for an unknown length of time...I plan to set up my shop and get ahead on my knitting, as well as making business cards and attending a few jumble sales. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my life in the general long-term, but apparently my sister is very good at acting, especially as a prostitute. I'm glad she's sorted.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Nails and Fails

So, I am having a particularly unpleasant exam season.
But enough on that! Look at my nails!
Snazzy, no?
I was worried that, due to my pretty nails and knitting skills, you might all think I was artistically skilled. I don't want to lead you on, so here are some pictures from my design notebook. These are my best sketches, and I usually work from the picture writing the pattern as I go.
This is a cape. It's going to be one of my first projects for the summer. It's black and will be knitted up on 8-10 mm needles in doubled up DK black wool. I'll then get a test knitter and put up the pattern in my shop!

This is a Carmen Miranda/Bjork inspired headband festooned with multicoloured pom-poms. See how happy my model is to wear it! It has a pencil cross on it because I made it, although the one I made had fewer pom-poms. Feel free to try this design yourself!

This is what I'm currently knitting. The idea is you wear the hood as a sort of bonnet/cowl and you keep your hair dry without ruining your haircut unduly. I don't know if anyone would actually want to wear it...I have a friend in mind who I think would love it, but his style is unique, ie super-gay. Please note also the prophetic statement regarding meerkats, and another smiling model. No high fashion grumpy pouts here! I'll possibly be putting up this pattern too, interest dependent, but I think that the wool I'm using to make it is the real reason it's coming out so nicely. This is what test-knitters are for, I suppose.
If anyone wants to volunteer for test knitting, leave me a comment. All of you, try not to be jealous of how blessed I am with good looks, charm and artistic ability. I'm sure there are lots of things that you can do that I can't. If we were all the same, then everyone would be wearing knitted hoods.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Presents for people and presents for my tummy

My parents are having their silver wedding anniversary soon, and my present to them is going to be handmade socks! My mum is getting something like these from my friend Megan's blog, and my Dad was originally going to get these socks, which are the ones the Joker wears in the latest Batman film.
However, as much as my Dad enjoyed Batman, I don't think he paid attention to the socks so instead he'll get red socks with sheep on (he's Welsh).
The other present I finished was the starfish with a collar and tie.

I'm not sure quite how 'on the mark' he is. He's very cuddly though.
The last few days have also been characterised by delicious treat foods. This morning I had breakfast in bed with golden syrup pancakes!

Notice how I have three different things to drink. I am a hydration fiend! I am also a DIY candy from Japan fiend. This series of photos shows me making candy crepes.

I am immune to the sugar in these somehow. You can buy your own from Cybercandy, look for 'Popin Cookin.' My boyfriend always buys me these to cheer me up or apologise for being such a good looking idiot.
I have also been thinking further about starting my online shop and even starting a real business. I would sell made items and knitting patterns, as well as group and individual lessons. What from my blog would you want to buy? What that is not from my blog would you like to see? Market research, starting small!

Friday, 13 May 2011

Why you should Google before you work

So, this girl I knew from school contacted me through Facebook with a grainy picture of some amateur looking gloves, asking 'Can you make these? They're like Harley Quinn's!'
I did make them, in 2 days, despite the fact I knew Harley Quinn's costume is red and black and the gloves in the picture were red and blue. I then googled 'Harley Quinn gloves' for some help in placing the final touches, only to discover these are professionally made gloves that are in fact red and black, it was just the picture making them look the wrong colour.
So now I have some gloves that are the wrong colour, and if I make them in the right colour, I can't sell them. So, either of us Googling 'Harley Quinn gloves' 3 days ago would have been smarter. Never mind. Here they are, modelled by me and my excitingly long talons.
I was so disheartened by the whole affair I barely had any inspiration or inclination to knit anything new. My stash of wool is running a bit low and I don't want to knit anyone else's patterns because they hinder my ability to sell. I decided to experiment with making a little hood/bonnet with some black and white variegated yarn but the wide rows mean that progress is sloooooow. As soon as I have the time and money, I am bally well knitting myself a 1920s jumper, all in monochrome with no waist. I am so repulsed by primary colours at the moment, I can't even stand to knit toys.
Such a grumpy day.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Looking Sharp in Socks with Sandals!

The frilly socks are finished! Here they are protecting my feet from being torn to shreds by my pretty sandals.
They have cheered me up a little, since exams have just started and everything is dreadful. I also designed a pattern for the gorgeous soft wool my sister bought me for my birthday. Using drop stitch and 15mm needles, I conjured up a shrug in an evening and wore it out the next day.

So snuggly! I've been commissioned to make some Harley Quinn-esque gloves so I toddled down the the wool shop. On my way I saw this dog-

closely followed by this cat-

and this parrot-

All of these animals ignored me, especially the cat.
My knitting friend came over and allowed me to indulge in showing off how great I am at knitting (what's the point of trying to impress non-knitters? They think a scarf and a jumper are equally difficult). We discovered-I knit horrendously tightly, and always through the back loop, which is wrong-that I could make a knitting and cooking show called 'Why does my scarf smell of garlic?'-and that toe-up socks are the only way to make socks, especially if, like me, you never use patterns.
I am a little tempted by some of these patterns though. I'm so in love with the 20s at the moment!
Other relevant news is that Tabio's blogging event is tomorrow, and I'm invited! They're launching a new product and are holding a party in return for my loyalty. They already have my loyalty-they do things with socks that will make you drool. In a good way. That's such a weird sentence...but you'll understand after I post all the pictures.
I'm really wanting to knit myself a jumper at the moment but the combination of exams, commissions and having to move house at the end of the month despite the fact I have no new house arrangements are all conspiring to stop me from spending that much time on myself. Besides, it's not really jumper weather...
Oh, and a lady at work said I had 'beautiful, glowing skin' so I've been smug about that ALL WEEK.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Make up and socks!

I went to a careers dinner held by my college last night. I had some delicious ham terrine and some technically OK but nevertheless boring paella/tortilla. While at this dinner, I received advice on working in journalism and advertising and was encouraged to become an entrepreneur vis-a-vis knitting. I also had some advice from a professional blogger (in that he was a professional, and he also blogged), who recommended that a really good blog should have a very narrow focus-a knitting blog, for example, should be exclusively about knitting. I had previously thought the thing to do was have more diversity in order to attract more people. Hm.
Disregarding his advice completely, allow me to tell you about the new eyeshadow I bought. It's by 'Make Up Academy,' is sold in Superdrug for an introductory price of £1, and is so purple.
The picture doesn't do it justice, it's very intense and it's iridescent too! I have come into a little money lately and I'm blowing it all on makeup.
There is knitting news too! After a whole day practising knitting lace in the round I found the perfect pattern (yo twice, sl1-k2tog-psso) and am slowly making myself some summery socks to protect my feet from flesh hungry sandals. Here they are thus far-
The lace looks like rows of little shells! I was having such issues with lace that looked as 'holey' knitted round as it did flat, but I finally triumphed. They're only going to be little ankle socks so they shouldn't take long. I might put ribbons through them!
The knitted chain is on 10 links now, but I got a bit sick of knitting tubes, hence the socks are giving me a little break.
The hot weather finally broke and it rained today. My cactus is having a little holiday on the outer window ledge and my umbrella is having a whale of a time knocking things off shelves when I go shopping.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Bells and Smells

Whilst out in Kensington today, I saw Tank Girl on the floor!
She was outside an art shop. My boyfriend (shadow on the right) was proud to have spotted her first.
I burned my thumb on the grill yesterday making cheese on toast (with guacamole!) and the skin has gone all scaly. I also started househunting yesterday and am going to look at a place in Ruislip tomorrow. It's further out of London than I ideally want but it is slap-bang next to a massive HobbyCraft. Shop shop shopping!
Knitting project wise, I have been a little lazy of late. I am currently making a knitted chain necklace, but I thought I would jazz it up a bit by making it more multisensory-stuffing it with bells and lavender, for example (hence bells and smells!). No pictures yet as I'm only on link 2...
Slightly more brain time has also been devoted to the idea of combining my knitting with hats. Imagine...the Loch Ness Monster...on your head. Yeah.