Well, I told you this week would be very intense! I'm glad I'm on sick-leave, as I'm not sure I would have found the energy to participate in all the knitting meetings I've been to this week. But it's been fun, and I've gotten pretty much done! I'm done with the incredibly boring leg-warmers, but I haven't even bothered to take a photo of them as they are only two brown, ribbed tubes. They look ok though, and I think they will be exactly what my mother asked for, so I'm ok with them anyway. She'll get them next weekend when we celebrate my grandmother's 70th birthday (she'll probably not get them at the actual party though...).
I've also knitted a lot on the pink candle flame shawl, and let me tell you: This yarn is PINK! I love it though, and I think I've used up about 1/3 of the skein. I haven't taken any new photos of it yet, I think you'll have to wait until it's finished. But as it's knitted from the tip up it's getting wider with every row, so it takes a little while now. I haven't counted the stitches for a while but I'm guerssing somewhere around 150 now. And I don't want to stop until I reach at least 400. It's a great pattern that you can choose to end almost whenever you like, and I had it memorized after two repeats so it works pretty fast too. It's just that the yarn is so thin so it doesn't grow as fast as I think it should :) Oh, and Kate asked me in the comments what I think about working with beads? I love it! I found a site somewhere online, I can't for the life of me remember where, that described how you put beads in as you knit, so you don't have to do the pre-threading. As I can't find the page, I thought I would show you how I do it. The method I found uses a small-gauge crochet hook, but I use a needle threader instead.
Ok, you start by putting the bead onto the needle threader, like this:
It's a little hard to see the actual threader wire, as they are so small, but there is a metal loop coming out of the bead, I promise. You then take your stitch where you want your bead, and lift it with your fingers off the needle:
It's easiset to place a bead on the sticht you've just worked, as it is loose enough then to givve the loop a tug to make sure you don't drop it. I know that some times when I worked the purpple giant shawl I forgot to put some beads in and had to do it on the next row before I knitted that stitch on the wrong side. It is possible, but a little trickier as the stitch then is surrounded by other stitches and doesn't have as much give.
Anyhow, when you've got your stitch between your fingers, you put the loop in the threader and pull it through the bead, as so:
This will give you a stitch with the bead at the bottom:
You then just put the stitch back onto your needle, with the bead below the needle, and continue knitting:
Don't you love my Zephyr needles? I think this is a great method, as you can use beads with very small holes in them. Just make sure that the hole is large enough to admit a double-folded stitch (that is, four strands of the yarn together) through, as this is what happens when you do the pulling of the yarn. If you use a crochet hook instead, the stitch won't have to be folded as you can place the hook into the stitch loop. The problem for me with crochet hooks is that I don't own any small enough to use for this, as I have found some pretty small beads. I hope you got the explanation anyhow, and have fun knitting with beads!
Back to the rest of my knitting: I've not worked much on the Lettuce coat, as it's getting a bit too bulky to take with me to the meetings. It's looking great though, and I love the striping of this yarn. I can't wait to show it to you when I model it! It needs to get a bit longer first though. The finishing of it includes two I-cord edgings on the front, and I can't do these until the length is finished. And thus the coat doesn't really close yet, as it's going to get a little bit wider too. And I think I'll need to block it a few cm as well, but that shouldn't be a problem. And I have to get some buttons for it too! I'm thinking something in brown or possibly black, large buttons on the front and smaller ones on the cuffs. Oh, I think I'll have to work on it some right now, I'm getting very motivated!
And the gloves are hibernating for a while, as I've managed to break two of my size 2 mm Harmony needles while making these! I think I'll invest in some metal ones instead in this tiny size, as I seem to be knitting very tightly... Maybe I'll bend those instead? I've ordered some 10 cm glove needles (that is, they are short, not a huge circumference...) in the KnitPicks order, which I hope will arrive some time next week, so I'll use those for a start to finish the first glove. I'm not sure that those will be long enough to do the whole hand of the next glove though, so I guess I'll have to decide which to buy before I make that one.
Oh, and today I got to see one of my very best friends, Klara, get her doctor's hat! The university has a great, pompous cermony for this two times a year, when all the PhD students that have finished get their diplomas and their hats. The participants have to wear really formal clothes, like ball gowns and dress suits (you know, the ones that makes the men look like penguins :), and it was a really beautiful cermony. I'm just glad I as an audience member didn't have to dress up like that, as the only really formal wear I own is my wedding gown! And I don't think I could've fitted into that if my life depended on it, as I've gained about 10 kg since my wedding, due to the anti-depressants... Klara moved to Liverpool in Great Britain in October this year to start her post doc, and I miss her a lot, so it was so much fun to see her. We got to speak a little while to her after the ceremony which was so much fun! We are four girls from work who've spent a lot of time together during the years we've worked there, and now Klara has moved, and in April Jenny (not me, another Jenny) will move to Amsterdam in the Netherlands to do her post doc there. I guess this is only natural when hanging out with PhD student, but it sucks anyway. At least they are both staying in Europe, so it's possible to visit some times at least. Anyhow it was great to see Klara again, and we've decided to meet again when she comes home for Christmas again.
Now I'll dig out the Lettuce coat from the yarn stash bag, and do some knitting before I go to sleep!