Noblin activity of the knitting variety.

Including Noblin Designs, How to identify Noblins,
Advice on how to catch a Noblin, and How to keep your Noblin happy.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Bling for my booties 2

In case we were wondering, here is a shot of the bootie bling in action. It is very nice not counting 17 each time and then 5 and then 17 and so on. I simply have to remember if I'm making one before or after the marker.

The booties are designed using 4ply weight and 2 and 3/4 mm needles whereas I'm using DK weight and 3 and 1/4 mm needles. I'm knitting the 3-6month size so any guesses how large they finished up as? (Answers tomorrow.)

My friend Jamie spent some time in Japan earlier in the year, and I saw him for the first time since returning at the weekend. Not only does Jamie love computers (big in Japan), he also loves sweets (even bigger in Japan) and carried as many home with him as he could. When it became obvious that he can consume more than he can carry, he started looking into ways to buy exotic sweets over here. He found Cybercandy, an importer based in Covent Garden. So we made a date to visit and to go see X Men 3 together, whilst eating everything we bought. (As a note, Chris likes neither sweets nor the cinema).

My hoard is shown in the top two pictures: Jamie's is the bottom one. We also ate a banana kitkat during the day and Jamie had an aruba jam flavour sprite. The film was great and we ate ice cream during it so ate more sweets when we got back home. I haven't eaten a kitkat for years (nestle embargo in my head) so the banana flavour started up a real moral dilemma (so yummy!) which then spread because it turns out Willy Wonka bars are nestle too. Oops.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Bling for my booties

On the needles
As you may know, I go to Angelknits , a knitting group every Tuesday from 6pm in the Angel area of London. I started this group 18 months ago and it has grown into a lovely group of very talented and wonderful people. I'll admit it's mostly women (if you don't count the bar staff it's all women) but the age range is broad and they are the most interesting people I've ever met. I always feel worn out after work and schlepping up to the pub never ranks that highly on my list but I've never had a bad night with them and I'm always glad I've been.

I try to keep an Angelknits blog as well and I always used to email everyone twice a week. The email list got quite long though, and I had to work a bit harder in the office so I stopped paying so much attention. The great thing is, Angelknits now runs itself really. I'll be so sorry to leave it when I go travelling and will miss it terribly when I return but not to London. I will have a few reminders though, not least these:
Stitch markers
Mini Dice
Mini Dice
which wonderful Annarella gave to me on Tuesday. Gratis! She's discontinuing them and knew I liked the dice (I bought some larger ones a few months ago). I finally figured out how to use them usefully on booties and that it was a benefit that they slow my knitting down a little. Using them on dpns isn't great if you insist on putting them on the end of a needle (lots of falling of) but back and forth they are working very well.

SWSU: (Secret Wedding Shawl Update)

Row 480

Both halves of the shawl have been knitted and cast off. Hoorah, hoorah, hoorah, hoooooooorah. Chris was falling more out of love with Nashville as his back became more sore but I am so in looooooooove. Next challenge, though, is to block the hell out of this super curly mess to make two beautiful soft rectangles ready to seam. Hmmmm. I don't want wet alpaca sitting round the house for days but I prefer to soak and smush. I'm tempted to try steaming but I do tend to burn myself really easily. Hmmmm. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Star of the day

This is the pattern from I'm Knitting as Fast as I Can. It's a free pattern, written well and I really enjoyed it. I used 4mm dpns and the cotton/acrylic from Berlin. The lace/flower pattern is great but I particularly love the applied I-Cord bind off and plan to try to use it if I make a jumper for a whole set. I didn't make any modifications to the pattern apart from some very minor tinkering. I added a stripe of a contrast colour towards the middle of the sides sections. I half grafted the last three stitches instead of binding them off and then seaming. I used 5.5mm needle to bind off to prevent tightness. I hope the new baby likes it, but more to the point, I don't think the parents can complain.

This is a picture of my study desk last weekend as I was binding off. The star hat really helped me study and I've cast on for some matching shoes. Hooray for a return to knitting!

Monday, May 22, 2006

The yarn gods are smiling

Weekend knitting went very well. I think naming Nashville helped a lot. Everyone knows if you want to have a successful partnership you need to be on first name terms.

I'm going to see the Da Vinci Code tonight with some of my work cohorts. It's a bit of an office joke so I'm really looking forward to it. Out boss made us read the book so we said we'd all go to see the film together. I expect it to be dreadful but I don't go to the cinema much so I'll definitely enjoy myself.

Studying is also going well. I finished a textbook at the weekend so only have one left to finish. I'll do some in the office this week and then there is a long weekend and then I have a week off and then the exams will be over. Hooray!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Pottering along

I had a comment after the last post that suggested I might be feeling a bit low. Well, I'm not so much depressed as stressed out which does make me grumpy but is far better than being depressed. If I was depressed I don't think there would be any posting. There would be Duvet, Sleep, Tears. There's always chocolate.

The reason I am stressed is the upcoming accountancy exams. I always stress about these exams. Always. It matters not how prepared I am or how likely it is that I will pass. I think it is likely that I will pass these as these are the Final Ones and if I fail I don't think I would bother to retake them. That would mean the last three and some years have been a Waste of Time. Why do all that studying instead of knitting if I'm not even going to pass anyway. So, there's no room for failure. The other side of this is the Battle With RSI and Being Banned From Knitting so I haven't been studying as hard as I want and I haven't been relaxing as hard as I'd like.

There are three full weeks left until the exams. I've decided to try to finish all the studying in the first week and then have two weeks for question practise. Contrast this with having the whole of May for question practise and you'll see why I'm being grumpy.

Also, I received a letter from the exam board yesterday saying I have been awarded extra time and a scribe can be provided. When you're stressed (and ok, a little depressed) things like that can completely throw you. Chris was really pleased and thought I'd be too but I didn't know what to do and where in the next three weeks to I start practising with a scribe and I hope the scribe looks a bit like this

Today is Friday, which means relaxed day in the office and tomorrow is Cath's birthday party. I'm looking forward to a good curry. I may have a finished tiny hat to show at the weekend aswell.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


There are other blogs that speak of the yarn gods who smile or frown upon you from time to time. Although my husband denies it, the knit god is having a good time out of me at the moment. Below is the newly named Nashville 12B.

Meet Nashville 12B I had thought that Nashville didn't like the alpaca. Maybe it was the fibres or maybe the colour but we were having serious problems. Then, after a bit more adjusting for tension, 60 rows appeared as if from the heavens, not a blemish upon them.

Last night, after Angelknits, I was feeling pretty pleased with the whole set up so I though I'd add in the new ball. As Nashville moved along the row, my heart sank and I realised that yes, pride does come before a fall.

Shouldn't that be attached? Oh yeah, like, shouldn't that be attached? No, not if you don't set up the new ball correctly. Then the machine just spits out your ball worth of sweat and tears.
Dropped stitches By the time it had been scraped off of the floor, most of the stitches had dropped a row or two. I couldn't face asking Nashville to take it back when I'd done such a boob so I thread some sock yarn through the stitches and left it.

Chris suggested that as we were getting in such a groove anyway, the time spent reattaching the knitted section would be better spent by just casting on a fresh and that I rip it all back and have some fun with my wool winder but I didn't feel like I could take any more alpaca flavoured excitement. I will be casting on #3 tonight.

Oh look, it's raining.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Ripping progress

This is what happened to the official casting on of the secret shawl. It was ripped and wound up. I cast on 98 ish stitches over 200 needles, which used the whole length of the knitting machine ( I really should name it ). Chris was getting neck and back strain and more importantly, the knitting was getting all snarled up and I had to keep picking up dropped stitches. I was feeling pretty down about it and on Sunday I fetched the remaining 6 balls for the husband's scarf. Chris was wondering whether we could give the present to them as a do it yourself kit.

We decided to work the shawl in two separate pieces as the centre section of the machine seemed to work a lot better.

In the meantime, I cast on some handknitting! I fancied a break from the leaves and saw a cute star hat pattern for free on I'm Knitting As Fast As I Can. I started it on Saturday with the blue cotton/acrylic from Berlin.

I am very pleased except for the big hole in the centre. I'm not sure if that was due to my cast on technique. I'll try to weave the end in in a star type shape. I made a hat for my mum once, with a hole in the middle, and her hair stuck through it in a tuft. I wouldn't want that for the new nephew, especially as my mum' s hat ended up on the snowman and then I claimed it back. Maybe I'll show you a picture of it one day.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

I've been shopping

The plans for the secret wedding shawl continue. Here are 8 of the required 9 balls of alpaca. I'm picking up another 6 balls for a matching scarf for the husband tomorrow. The shawl will be officially cast on tonight. We cast it on last week but a needle needed replacing and the left end of the machine was far stiffer than the centre which had been in use and the right end. We've loosened it up now with an extremely ropey looking swatch so we're all set.
I was in Berlin last week. Berlin is a fantastic city, obviously with a very troubled recent history and much on it's conscience. It also has lots of yarn!
These are all cotton/acrylic blend and were 1.49 euro each. I also saw some Anchor Bamboolo, a cotton and bamboo blend. They were 4.95 Euro each and at the time I thought that was pricey but then I realised I hadn't worked out the exchange correctly. Perhaps my friend in Berlin will be able to go back and fetch me some when I've knitted all of this up.
I have in mind matching raglan jumpers in the pink-multi and the pale blue for my neice and nephew-on-the-way. They'll have to be machine knit but I couldn't resist casting on for a star hat I found on I'm Knitting As Fast As I Can even though I should really be doing other things. I motivated myself while studying by offering myself a round or two if I reached the end of a section. I studied for far longer than I normally do!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Wool winding fun

I am loving my wool winder! I bought it from Ebay for £19.99 and it arrived the next day. Oh the joy! I set to work with the knotty giotto mess and then onto sock yarn. In the process of looking for a sock I found some other things to wind.

It was a handknitted sock - I found one, put it down, found it again, put it down again, found it again, got really annoyed that I kept finding the same one, went away, came back and found two socks sitting next to each other.