Saturday, 30 June 2007

And They're Off!

Well, the first clue for MS3 was issued a little earlier than expected yesterday and people are knitting feverishly around the world. Just as I had printed it out a friend came to visit, so I wasn't able to pore over the chart at my leisure as I'd planned to do that afternoon. Around five hours later, I logged on to the MS3 group to check whether anyone had posted any clever last minute tips only to find someone saying that they'd already finished the first clue! Thank goodness it's not a race... I'm a pretty slow knitter, so I'm only just at the beginning of chart B (~row 57). I'm using beads, and that slows me down even further, but they are looking pretty; they're rather subtle actually. Here's a picture of my progress so far...
Hmmm, based on this picture the beads may be a little too subtle. What do you think?

Thursday, 28 June 2007

MS3 starts tomorrow!

Woo Hoo! Can't wait! But, will I still be so excited a week from now when I've been struggling with adding the beads, and keep losing stitches as the YOs jump off my needles with no effort on my part? I hope so.

To keep myself amused whilst I waited for MS3 to start, and for the first time in my life, I did a swatch. It turned out to be pretty illuminating. The yarn was a gorgeous silver-grey 100% silk. But it was much finer than I expected (even allowing for the fact that it was oiled). There was almost no differentiation between the stocking stitch and yarn overs - big disappointment. What I should have done was re-ordered it, requesting that Colourmart wind it double; but I didn't, I sent it back and got a full refund. I have not had much luck with yarn substitutions in the past, and was so keen to ensure that I finished a stole that worked out perfectly, that I lost my nerve, and ordered exactly what Melanie chose to make the original stole (even down to the colour and using the needle size that she is using).

So here is my first ever swatch. This is also the first time that I've ever tried blocking anything. What a difference it made. The YOs are pretty clear IMHO. I am inordinately pleased with it. The only niggle is the two almost invisible beads that I added (in the downward points of the middle row). They were a little fiddly to add with my itty-bitty 0.75mm crochet hook, and you can't even see them in the pic! Ah, well... perhaps when I've added a couple hundred in the correct place per the pattern they will glisten.

So to finish off, here is a picture of the materials I plan to use for this project. I'm all a-quiver...

Monday, 25 June 2007

Kindness of friends

I have recently had a major operation which has meant that I am off work for several weeks. The nature of the operation has had me house bound for several weeks already, and being pretty limited about the things I can do for myself. It is at times like these that the people whom you least expect step up to the plate to help you. For example, a male work colleague whom I don't know very well, but who lives in my area has volunteered to do small local jobs for me; another friend from my previous company has visited several times to help me with household chores; the ladies of the book club has been keeping me stocked with great books; and the nicest thing of all...

I received a care package from one of my oldest friends. It was so unexpected! I saw the card last, so I had no idea who it was from, but as I removed each item from the parcel, I kept saying to myself "Whomever sent this REALLY knows me!" A couple of things are missing from this photo - Heat and O (Oprah) magazines, and the chocolate which was scoffed in double quick time! I have great friends, and I don't mind saying so...

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Fresh Start

This is my first post. I am new to blog writing, but not new to reading other people's blogs. Although I love to knit and to read about knitting, I have other interests so this will not be a blog exclusively about knitting. I am currently lacking a digital camera - ok, my existing camera isn't working. But I'm working on either getting it fixed or getting a new one, so this blog will have pictures soon.

I have joined the Mystery Stole 3 knitalong [KAL]. (Image from the Yahoo MS3 KAL group site). I
have not done a KAL before, and am really excited about being part of a very large international community of knitters working on the same project at the same time.

I had some difficulty with my original yarn choice , a 4/56NM 100% silk in Silver Grey. But this was more about my own lack of knowledge about NM numbers rather than anything being wrong with the yarn. I was able to return the yarn and Richard gave me a full refund. Since I want this project to come out as perfect as possible, I decided to stick with the designer's specified yarn and beads.

I am reading the Yahoo group posts regulary. I love looking at all the swatches that people have posted: the different yarns and colours chosen; the choice of bead, complimentary or contrasting; whether or not people have practised adding their beads, and if so where they have placed them. I have just blocked a swatch that I am happy with in Vanilla Zephyr with crystal rainbow beads. I think EVERYONE has put their beads in a different place! Some have put loads, and some (like me) very few. That could be laziness on my part though... I can't wait to see what the pattern calls for.