Happy New Year, 2017 may be a bit dusty now but I managed to get a post into the first month although it was a close run thing.
Doesn’t time just fly by? It’s been nearly ten years since I wrote this post in praise of the slow cooker. It is still going strong except that it’s now moved out to have a quieter life with my mother. I decided that the time had come to replace it with something larger and multifunctional so now I have a slow cooker that is also a steamer and a pressure cooker. I did have a stove top pressure cooker decades ago but I was always wary of it because of the hissing and spluttering and it didn’t justify the cupboard space so out it went. Technology has moved on, an electric pressure cooker gives off a plume of steam for a few seconds just before it reaches pressure and after that it sits there silently, no steam, no sound, no worries. It has been a good purchase and has saved me even more time as I now cook perfect brown rice in bulk, freeze it and zap it in the microwave as needed. I am saving tens of minutes every time I make risotto because I don’t have to stir it (we are eating more risotto now just because I don’t have to stir it). I’d love to know what I’ve been doing with all this extra time I’ve saved, it’s certainly not gone into blogging.
I’m calling these my Christmas socks as the yarn was under the tree. Both pairs of socks are twinkly, they are so finished that they’ve been through the wash twice and they are mine. One has a heel with a flap and gusset and the one I’m wearing has a short row heel as I was feeling particularly indecisive and hedged my bets with one of each heel. I don’t think that I needed more socks but everyone else had a pair for Christmas so it seemed only fair that these should be for me.
I keep attempting to make myself slippers, I’ve finished several pairs over the years and none of them have gone well. These (or rather “this”) have not bucked the trend. The soles are from Joes Toes, they are thick felted wool and have the sewing holes already punched around the edges. I joined the inner and outer soles together with a crochet hook and the two lined up perfectly. I picked up some stitches around the edge to make a strip running around the sole and then sewed that to my knitted bootee (Himalaya by DROPS). It was a bit big so I threw it in the washer and it came out exactly the right size. I ripped back the second bootee that I’d knitted but not sewed up because I know that I’m not going to wear this one, I’ll cut the top off and reclaim the sole for another attempt some time in the future. I can’t tell you why I don’t like it, I think it’s that the top (even after fulling) has less structure than the bottom, it just doesn’t feel right.
I know that this will pass the wear test because I’ve been wearing it even though it doesn’t have the buttons that it needs. The photo of the flat thing would have been better if I’d taken it after blocking and before I’d started wearing it but I have been wearing it with the ends dangling because it’s turned cold and all my neck things have gone to ground. This is Shapeshifter, I made one some time ago in bulky yarn, this version is much finer and took a lot more knitting. I can live with the weird colour thing it has going on because once it’s wrapped around the neck you don’t see enough of it to notice the flashing. It has buttons at the three points of the chevron and then you button it through whichever hole you fancy. There are holes all the way around the edges and up the middle so there is bound to be one of them in the right place for the look that you want. It doesn’t pull over your head so doesn’t upset your hair, not that mine would be upset even if I was dragged through a hedge backwards. I didn’t entirely follow the pattern, there are new episodes of Sherlock and a series of a swedish crime drama knitted into this but again, once it’s on you won’t see where I messed up the hole sequence through inattention. I picked up and knitted a garter border because I had yarn left over and the edge was wanting to roll.
The fact that I have two swatches, one of which is on two sizes of needle, tells you that I have a tension issue. That I went to so much trouble to get it right tells you that it is something where tension really matters and the size of the cone is a giveaway that it’s a big thing. I am cold, the short term solution is to put the heating on but the longer term solution is a cardigan. I am still wearing my Celtic Dreams but since I’ve lost nine inches off my hips it has become a bit on the big size. I could fix it by sewing a dart at each side and chopping out the excess fabric or I could wear it as it is while I knit myself something new. There’s so much more fun to be had in knitting a new thing, the agonizing over button choices alone could take me weeks. Fortunately I skipped all the yarn decisions by buying something that was very cheap otherwise I could still be faffing about come summer. Hopefully by the next post I will have sorted out my yarn issues and have a chunk of brown knitting to show. If I keep on with being a slacker blogger it could be a whole garment (although probably not with buttons as that’s usually a three week decision)