Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Season's greetings

We are all (GruikGruik, Leon, Stephane and I) off on holiday tomorrow for 2,5 weeks. We are going to Paris first and then, somewhere warm (hopefully)...
Some of my friend were wondering how Leon was coping. Well, he is still afraid to fly but we found a great technique (remember these guys?) to be able to take him with us ;o)

Have a great break. Enjoy the festive season!!! see you next year!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Barnacle bill

Over a year ago I started this blog showing you my latest knitting project at the time: a pirate from Alan Dart. I had knitted almost all the pieces and just needed to assemble the all lot. Unfortunately for the pirate, I went on holiday for 5 weeks and when I came back I didn't feel like finishing it.
It is only a couple of weeks ago that I suddenly decided to finish it and here it is:

I don't think I will make another one ever. The knitting part was very easy and quick but the sewing was just endless. I am quite pleased with the result though :o)

I now have to start another knitting project because something horrible happened to me!!!
I can't finish my jacket!
I only have the sleeves left to knit but I realised on Friday that I didn't have any 5mm dpn! I went to the knitting shops in Dundee on Saturday morning and they didn't have any! This is absolutely terrible and frustrating!!!
I have the buttons (bought in Paris last month)...

This pattern is called February lady sweater (free pattern) and is knitted top down.
I bought the yarn, 100% alpaca, earlier this year here. I am knitting with 2 strands of two different colors. I did that initially because I thought I wouldn't have enough yarn of one color (I have 8x100g of each color) but is is plenty (to do the body I used just under 2 balls of each and the sleeves length will be 3/4 only).

I sent an email to my knitting friends, so I am hoping one of them will be able to help!
Otherwise I will have to wait till Saturday when I will be going to Twist Fiber Craft.....

Monday, 1 December 2008

Scarf

This weekend I finished another lace scarf from Victorian Lace Today:

And, I've knitted a christmas decoration: a robin!

I am now trying to finish up the pirate I started more than a year ago. It was my first post on this blog, then, I went to Vietnam for 5 weeks and when I came back, never found my inspiration again until now... I hope that this time I'll finish it before being bored of it again!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Lace shawl

Last week I finished my second lace project from Victorian lace today: Large rectangle in leaf and trellis pattern with trellis border. Although on 43 stitches and 16 rows, the chart for the main panel was easy to memorized so, it was a fairly easy and enjoyable knit (it took something like 65 hours). I am very pleased with it!


Now, I should go back to sock knitting...

Sunday, 23 November 2008

An angel with blue hair

The weather is becoming much colder here and we had snow during the night.

I spent Saturday at my friend Jenny to learn stained glass. I've finished the iris:
Having cut all the pieces last time, I wrapped copper foil around the edge of every pieces before soldering them with an alloy tin/lead (60/40). It is not that easy and needs a bit of practice. If you don't look too close, the result is not too bad for a first attempt.

Then, I had time to make another suncatcher: I decided on an angel and I thought blue hair would be perfect!

I am now ready for my next and more challenging project: a lamp. Jenny made it already so she gave me the pattern. I found someone (thanks to Sheila at knitting) doing stained glass evening classes (here) very close from where I live so I will do the lamp there I think (my friend lives 40 min away by bus). I should start in January...
I also would like to make a lantern and a mirror.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Christmas windows

Diane is posting a lot of details and great pictures about our wonderful weekend in Paris so I've decided to show you some movies of the Christmas windows :

video

video

video

More later...

Monday, 17 November 2008

A weekend in Paris

I spent a few days in Paris with Diane and Andrea. The aim of our trip was the "salon Marie Claire idées". We were very well prepared: our hotel was 10 minutes walk from the salon and we had prepaid our tickets online, but we didn't take into account the lack of organizations and the total inability of most French people to queue... So, although all our careful preparation, it took us 40 minutes to get inside. I also had to queue (be squeezed would be a more appropriate word) to get our tickets: One would think that with computers nowadays, it would be a piece of cake...well, they had no computers, only the listing of people who had prepaid tickets! Oh, and all that was done with the famous French kindness (for people not familiar with French kindness, you should then read: grumpiness). Although we planned to spend most of the day there, we gave up after an hour and a half and went to the center of Paris instead. The place was mobbed and it was very difficult to access anything. Overall, it was OK, but I was expecting something much better.
Before adding this post I did comment on the Marie Claire idées blog to let them know how disappointed I was (and I was not the only one who had complained!).

On Thursday evening we had a wee wandered on the "Grands Boulevards" and watched the Christmas windows of Galeries Lafayette and Le Printemps.


We also went inside the Galeries Lafayette to see the dome and the Christmas tree.

We ended up in the food part of Galeries Lafayette and it was amazing. I didn't take a lot of pictures there, I hope Diane took some and will post them soon...
More later...

Monday, 10 November 2008

Souvenirs

I don't know if you remember, GruikGruik showed you all the little piggies he brought back from Italy, but I didn't put any pictures of what we brought back. Well, I skip the food related souvenirs and go directly to the lasting ones.
Four A3 size piece of hand made Florentine paper:

A numbered print from Itaca art Studio by Venice artist Monica Martin:

A papier-maché mask from Atelier Marega: The shop was so fascinating that I forgot to take a picture of the woman painting masks!
The print and the mask are now on display in our bedroom.

Finally, some lace weight yarn from Beatrice yarn shop:

The chocolate colored yarn (70% wool 30% silk) is being turned into a scarf. The others just fatten my stash...

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Florence

A quick post to show you some more pictures of Florence....




Saturday, 1 November 2008

Bargain

This morning I went to a craft fayre. Stella, from our knitting group, had a stand there and was selling some of her books, yarn from her stash and handspun. I bought a book, 6 balls of Artesano Alpaca Inca Cloud, 13 balls of Lanalpaca (merino/alpaca) and 2 balls of handspun merino/cashmere. All that for £29 !!!
So, the Inca Cloud should be turned into a shawl, the Lanalpaca into a jacket and the merino/cashmere (that one is dead soft) into a scarf.

Some of my friends complained that I wasn't knitting so much anymore. Well, I am just doing longer project so it takes time! Also, I have a full time job that keeps me away from my knitting needles!
This is what I am knitting at the moment: a stole from Victorian knit today. I have 2 more repeat of the pattern to do, then I will have to knit the border.

I am also knitting this scarf, from Victorian lace today again:

I really enjoy knitting lace so I invested in some books: heirloom knitting, the first book of modern lace knitting and the second book. some projects are already queuing...

Last weekend I made a quick project: a pair of cotton slippers for my friend Le Minh. They should be flying to Brussels soon...

Enough for now, I have to do some knitting ;o)

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Siena

From Florence, we took the bus to the medieval city of Siena. Wandering in the streets and savouring an ice cream on Piazza Del Campo was great.

We thought of going up to the top of the campanile but we gave up as the sign said it was very narrow in some places...

We went to the Facciatone instead where we had an amazing panoramic view of Siena.

We visited the Duomo, one of Italy's greatest cathedral, lavishly decorated and featuring work by Pisano, Donatello and Michelangelo.
More pictures of Florence later....

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Florence by night

We arrived in Florence in early afternoon and walked along the river to go to our hotel. We were so tired that we decided to rest before exploring the city. We enjoyed a nice and fresh "vino bianco" on our room balcony (no view from the balcony). In the evening we wandered to the city center, our first sight of Florence was at night. The pictures are not great but I didn't have a tripod...

Stunning panoramic view of the city from Piazzale Michelangelo: The Palazzo Vecchio:

basilica Santa Croce:

Arno river:

Ponte Vecchio: the oldest surviving bridge in the city!

More later...

Monday, 20 October 2008

Venice

Another post about Venice, probably the last one, then, I can show you some pictures of Florence and Sienna.


The weather was so nice that we didn't feel like doing any museum except the Guggenheim collection.
We also went on top of the campanile to have a view of the city from above

We also had a quick look at Lido island (where the famous international film festival-Mostra takes place) and its long sandy beaches...


More later....

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Swap

This morning I receive a parcel from my swap partner in Edinburgh.


In there, I found: a pair of mittens, beret, scarf, chocolate, 3 balls of yarn and a book:

The color is not that bright, it is more burgundy. The mittens are knitted, the beret crocheted and I think the scarf is done using a technique using a knitting needle and a crochet hook (I have to ask). Thanks Kath!