Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Wednesday, 27 January 2016
Byatt Shawl:I blogged about my Byatt shawl back in March after I wore it to EYF. I said it was starting a trend for two colour shawls but instead it was the start of a blue and silver trend in projects (some of which are still waiting to be knit). Pattern by Karie Westermann, yarn from Ripples Crafts.
Baskerville Hat and Strada Headband
I blogged about these as well, waxing rhapsodic about the new-to-me superwash BFL from Old Maiden Aunt. I got two finished objects I love out one skein and wore them a lot in the spring, summer, and autumn.
Tryghed Hat: Another hat, another Karie Westermann pattern. I blogged about this back in October. I like the hat: the shape suits me and it's big enough. I never wear the hat: the colour is wrong. It's a beautiful colour and I picked it because it's beautiful, but you only see the beautiful highlights in the sun. The rest of the time it looks like a dark khaki green and that doesn't suit me. This is a hat in search of a new home.
Mithral Hat: I didn't blog about this project, I don't think. The pattern was offered as a chance to swatch the pattern for the sweater of the same name. I actually knit it twice, frogging the first go and reknitting it when, despite getting stitch gauge, it was way too short (row gauge). I've worn it a few times, but I haven't woven in the ends as the style doesn't much suit me and I may need the wool for the sweater in question.
Miette Cardigan: I don't think I ever blogged about this one, last year's big disappointment. The whole time I was knitting it I knew it wasn't going to fit but I knit it anyway and sure enough it didn't fit. If I knit it again, and I may very well do as Miette is a lovely pattern, I'll add another couple of inches across the bust as it fit in across the shoulders and through the arms, it just didn't close in the front. This is the second time I've knit a cardigan with J C Rennie's wool and both have been, ah, disappointing. This is coincidence as the wool is lovely. But my understanding of how to knit a jumper increases so third time will be the charm.
Scollay: This was the big success of the year, my Scollay cardigan. I wear it almost every day and still haven't gone back to re-knit the button bands to be wider. It's big enough - it'll stretch around me and Little Djinn in a pinch - but the button bands pull and I think part of that is being reverse stockingette and part of that is not being wide enough. At some point I will fix the button bands and then it'll be even more my favourite cardigan.
O W L S: I didn't have a chance to blog about O W L S. A friend was having a knitting slump so I went through her queue on Ravelry and found that the only thing we had queued in common is O W L S (there are two kinds of knitters - those who have knit O W L S and those who want to) so I proposed a KAL of our very own. We both ordered wool from New Lanark Mill, the same as my Scollay cardigan though a different weight - she chose "pebble" and I got "blueberry" and she had a number of problems getting started, like the wool not showing up and then not having the size needle she'd need and, um, I knit mine in about a week before she even had her wool. Oops. So I kinda kept quiet about finishing but here it is. I did the math for the number of stitches verses my hips and found the pattern had 9" of negative ease (smaller than my body) so I added 5" worth of stitches and...now I have about 5" of positive ease (larger than my body). Um, oops. Really not sure how that went wrong except, in this case I should have trusted the pattern. The extra increases I added for my sleeves was perfect though. Anyway, instead of being fitted (which I didn't want), it's quite baggy (which is more than I wanted) but still has curves and it's very comfy and I love it.
Cotton Brainless: I cast these on in April and finished them in August. They were my "follow Little Djinn around the Floral Hall" project and she went through a "Mama, carry me!" phase. Is still in it, actually. Cotton sock yarn from Opal in my then-default pattern, Brainless.
Pheasant in the Road: WYS socks in the colourway Pheasant with aferthought round heels. I love my autumnal rainbows. I bought a pair of their ready-made socks in this colourway for Chris and knit the leftovers into socks for Little Djinn. I think I'll like the round heels more than the wedge heels in the pair of socks I'm currently working on.
Skovtur Mitts: Another unblogged pattern by Karie Westermann. I knit these towards the end of October when I was poorly and watching Switched at Birth. These were the second of my blue and silver projects to get knit up (the third, with the leftovers from this was the Skelter Hat for Chris). I love them and I wear them a lot, but they're in a kinds of weird place for knitwear. They're very warm, which is great for cold days, but they're fingerless which is more of a transitional element. I probably should have gone with my first instinct, to turn them into mittens.
Lindgren Mittens: If these look a bit like the Skovtur Mitts, well, it's Karie Westerman again. I only just finished these this month but still haven't woven the ends in. Oops. They're actually not as warm as the Skovtur ones - thick Aran wool vs smooth DK wool/alpaca blend - but they do cover my fingers so that's a plus. The picture is from before I finished knitting them.
Wednesday, 20 January 2016
And I just realized that a green cardigan over a red dress would make me look like a Christmas Tree. Pants. White or pink then. Of course, black would match my shoes. (I love coordinating as much as the next gal but I've got one style of comfortable shoes in two colours - black or oxblood - and those are the ones I'll be wearing.)
Meanwhile, I have the baby sweater I mentioned in my 2015 Gift Knitting Roundup, which I started on NYE. I have one sleeve to finish, blocking, weaving in ends, and buttons to attach and that'll be finished. Easy-peasy, right?
The current issue of Knit Now magazine came with yarn to knit a selection of small items and Little Djinn and Chris both wanted the Owl from the cover (I was leaning towards the zebra, even though that one is crochet and I'm not good at crochet). I knit the body before we left, still need to block it, sew it up, stuff it, knit the beak, wings and eyes (crochet those?) and sew them on. Easy-peasy, right?
I need to weave the ends in on my Lindgren mitts and block them. They're otherwise done. And it's cold so I could really use a pair of stranded colourwork mittens. Easy-peasy, right?
Instead, between loads of laundry and being a climbing structure for a small child (who is very happy to be reunited with all her toys and intends to play with all of them first thing) I am knitting a bright pink cat-bobble hat for that child. We'll see if this is enough to keep her head covered.
Monday, 4 January 2016
I made three "Haps" (and a mini-Hap) all as gifts: a full-Hansel in yellow with blue and green for a former coworker who was getting married; a half-Hansel in green with yellow and blue for Miss Morgan who came to visit; a mini-Hansel for Little Djinn's dolls in scraps; and a sparkling pink/purple mystery shawl (now Havra), a half-hap style construction for Miss Krissy's birthday. Miss Krissy loved hers, though she reports that her taste in colours is getting more muted (Autumnal?). I don't think the other three were particularly impressed.
I knit a pair of little fingerless mitts in pink with white hearts from a Knit Now (magazine) kit for Miss Anya's birthday because it arrived just in time and she loves pink. She made a big fuss about how much she likes them, but she's since moved to England.
For Little Djinn I knit three pairs of socks, two pairs being the same will, frogged to reknit them, both times too small. A third pair seems to be too long. She wont let me measure her. I finished her second Ravi Jr cardigan, this time in an orange that's almost gold.
I also knit her a little hat which, really, I knew better. She doesn't wear hats, unless they're my hats and she snatches them from me. It's a really nice hat, though, Quynn in super soft rainbow wool from a local "natural" dyer. She now says she wants hats with pom-poms so I guess I can try that next? She might wear a hat someday, right?
Her favourite knit has been Fudge the Dog, another kit from Knit Now magazine. Fudge is one of her two favourite toys to take out in the pram, the other being a (storebought) knit kitty, Puddy. Fudge likes to go for walks with us and see the "other" doggies.
On the charity side, I knit a Sheep Carousel to be auctioned at the Highland Wool Festival (didn't win the contest; no idea how much was bid for it) and a couple of small hats for refugees, but then I was poorly on the collection dates so I need to find a new home for them.
Chris did not fair as well in the gift-knitting department. I finished two hats which I felt didn't much suit me and I passed on to him, first the Seaforth which he hasn't taken to, though he has been grateful for it the times we met up in town to walk home and he didn't have a (warm) hat with him. I also gave him the mystery hat, now Skelter, that I knit in November which he likes except the pom-pom bounces when he walks, and I keep borrowing if I'm going out and know he won't be.
The Snawheid hat I knit last Nov/Dec was also given away, because whilst I loved it, it didn't fit well and I knew someone with a smaller head who would appreciate it.
I did work a little on Chris' languishing Terry's Pullover, and finished grafting the sleeves on (pour execution decision - not a design element) and I think I even seamed the sleeves, but faced with weaving all those ends in - and there are a lot of ends as I knit this before I knew about spit splicing - keeps overwhelming me. It doesn't help that he mentioned that he doesn't like to wear pullovers, preferring cardigans, which I feel he could have mentioned before I knit it twice (the first time was too tight).
On NYE, I started a Wee Liesl for a friend who was due that day. The baby in question showed up late last night, but I've finished the body and am working on the first sleeve so I should be done before too long. I picked the pattern because I have the recommended wool in stash, leftover from knitting Little Djinn's baby blanket and a cardigan for myself.
Frozen or Frogged
I started a Wee Melia for Little Djinn in a gorgeous glowing orange, but 3/4ths the way through I realized I need to do the next size up and she now tells me she "doesn't love orange". Gah. I bought more of the same wool in a pinky-purple that hasn't arrived yet but hopefully she'll like. I need to decide if I'm going to try ripping the orange attempt back halfway and making it bigger or swapping the wool or and what pattern to pick for the new colour.
Also in limbo are two pairs of socks for Chris. There's the bullfinch socks I blogged about just before Christmas and the Herringbone Rib socks I started back in April 2013. Yeah. I'm on the cuff of the second sock, but it's not a stitch pattern I can work without concentration so they're just going to have to wait. Or get frogged. Frogging seems more and more likely, doesn't it? They can languish for now.
In December I started a KAL on Google+ for a maple leaf shawl but I'm not feeling the love. I'm thinking the wool I picked would make a better Stella Luna.
Wednesday, 23 December 2015
Tuesday, 27 October 2015
I really hit the ground running with these darling little socks, finishing them in 11 days. I used every last bit of wool, ending with only inches left so the fact that they're ever so slightly too short in the foot is just a crying shame. Little Djinn loves them, but they just shift right off her little feet and no amount of pulling them up can keep them on. Oh well. I tried and I will keep on trying.
At the same time, I knit the first clue of Mithral, which was for the front and back of the shoulders, from the neckline down to the bottom of the armholes (Clue 2 starts with joining the two pieces in the round - the picture above was a few rows into Clue 2). The wool is deliciously soft in my hands but, as I anticipated, that doesn't mean it's easy to work with. It's not difficult, I'm not fighting it, but I am having to check from time to time that I've got the actual stitch and not just fluff and it's very slippy on my needles. Between that and the eternal worry that the finished sweater won't fit or make me happy, and working on it has kind of become duty knitting - I want to finish and wear my lovely new sweater, but I can't be disappointed with the finished object if I never, you know, finish it. The good news is that I thought this KAL ran for the same length as the GBSocksawayKal, 6 weeks, but it actually goes into December! So as long as I do a little work on it here and there, I shouldn't fall too far behind. And, while I like wining, I don't need prizes.
Remember how I said I had two suitable sock yarns for the wool from British sheep qualification for the GBSocksawayKAL? I was wrong. My other wool is, as I said, from the Faeroe Islands. Faeroe. Denmark. Somehow despite typing the word "Faeroe" my brain was still thinking "Orkney". Um, oops. I was faced with two problems here - I like to always have a pair of socks on the needle as "handbag knitting", eg something small enough to be portable and easy enough to be picked up and put down a lot, and I was feeling a lot of envy for the self-striping Pheasant colourway from West Yorkshire Spinner's Birds range. So when my friend Miss Morgan was visiting and short one ball of yarn for a hat she was knitting, I ordered a skein of Pheasant at the same time. Then there was a problem with placing the order, Miss Morgan got sick and left early, and it didn't show up until after she left. Oops. But the WYS pheasant, at least, is as wonderful as I hope.
For whatever reason, WYS doesn't have any publicity shots of the skeins knit up, just in the ball, and when I'd seen people's probjects they all seemed to be like the Blue Tit colourway - stripes but a a lot of mottling of colour between the stripes in the way that Opal does self-striping yarns. Opal is (was?) my default sock yarn, but I mostly thought of picking a colour as getting the least annoying one. Pheasant isn't like that: Pheasant has five tonal colours (rust, pumpkin, goldenrod, navy, and petrol (dark teal)) in clear stripes with a small stripe of grey between each colour. For me that works out as five rows of a colour, two rows of grey, five rows of the next colour. They are stunning. I decided to do a pair of very plain, vanilla socks with an afterthought heel, neither of which I've actually knit before.
I don't know how much is the stripes ("just one more!") and how much is the vanilla sock so it's just round and round, but I have never knit a sock that quickly. I kept making myself work on other things and I still knit one sock in four days. Remember how happy I was above to knit a pair of toddler socks in 11 days? 5.5 days each sock? I just knit a full size sock in 4 days. I put off starting the second one to work on Mithral. And then knit a hat and half a mitt instead - then I checked the timeline for the Mithral KAL and realized I could finish my socks like I want to do anyway. Someone please tell me I'm not the only person who won't let myself do A because I have to do B and so I do C instead?
This is my first time working an afterthought heel, though the pattern I picked, Fork in the Road Socks by Laura Neel, has you work the afterthought heel in the same order as if you were doing a heel-flap and gusset, after the leg and before the foot. I'm not sure I like it from a construction esthetic - and please note this is a critique of the style, not the pattern which is clear and results in a correctly sized sock - the unworn socks look...weird. They don't lie flat. There's a fair argument to be made that because feet are not flat, socks shouldn't be either, and I'll have to see how comfortable they are to wear before deciding if I'd knit them for a non-stripy yarn. For stripy yarns the afterthought heel is perfect as it keeps the stripes in perfect order.
And Chris looked at my beautiful Pheasant socks and requested a pair for himself. I showed him the colourways available and he picked Bullfinch with Cayenne (from their solid "spice rack" range) for contrast cuffs, heels, and toes. I also picked up Blue Tit for when I've knit those, with contrast Blueberry Bonbon ("sweet shop" range) and the limited edition Christmas colour Cherry Drop.
Monday, 26 October 2015
I was there with Little Djinn (as usual) so first thing first we had to look at buttons and we picked up a dozen big round buttons in crayola colours for £1 for her to play with. I'm hoping the orangish-red buttons will work for her Wee Meelia cardigan but letting her have a button stash (and keep her out of mine) is an end in and of itself.
Then it was over to Ripple's Crafts, my favourite yarn enabler. I picked up three skeins from Helen - two skeins of her Suilven 4ply merino/yak/silk blend in the colourways "Orkney Sea and Sky" for Wooly Wormhead's Bedragonned beret I mentioned in my fantasy hat knitting post and "Autumn Sunset" for a maple leaf shawl KAL on google+ I've been invited to participate in in December. I'm starting to worry that it's not going to be enough meterage, so I need to see if she can do up a second skein for me - colour variations would be suitable for the project! The other skein I got was her 6ply DK Doubly Reliable sockyarn in a varigated green called "Wendy", which amuses me as one of the ladies at my Knit Night is named Wendy and she's usually decked out in green. Also pictured is a previously purchased second skein of Doubly Reliable sockyarn in one of unnamed colourways, both intended for winter socks.
I got a rainbow DK skein from a small dyer I'd not purchased anything from previously, Gongcraft (they don't appear to have a website and their etsy shop is empty). I'm not hugely interested in plant dyes as I prefer super-saturated colours, but I'm a sucker for rainbows. I was thinking of making a hooded scarf for Little Djinn, but then I remembered I have a pattern for a Cuddly Chameleon by Browneyed Babs who designed the fuzzy teddy bear I knit. How adorable is this?
There was also a stand selling British breeds wool, which is where I got the six balls of Jamieson's Shetland Heather that I talked about in my last post. Little Djinn rummaged through the stall's (foolishly I didn't write down the name of the business) bins of wool and came up with a ball of Wensleydale Longsheep DK in a bright raspberry. She insisted that I buy it for her, and not one of the 50g 4ply balls, though I bought one of those for myself in cream. I also picked up a skein of John Arbon Exmoor Sock in "Midnight". Another knitter in the Great British SocksAway KAL knit socks in that colour and they looked so lovely, I want a pair myself.
At Yarn Garden I picked up three skeins of 100% Corriedale DK in "raspberry wine". It was half price, only £10/skein so I presume it was being discontinued. I'm thinking of making some nice warm leg warmers for under my trousers at work, maybe Sadler's Wells?
I got an ornament from TJ Frog, maker of lovely Dorset Buttons. I wanted the blue one with silver beads but Little Djinn wanted the purple one with gold beads, so that's what we got. I don't have a picture of it as she insists it's hers, though she is holding it in the top picture.
And finally, Little Djinn picked out a tiny pair of fingerless mitts in a rainbow colourway of sock yarn, which she insists she'll wear but so far has refused to do so. I'd rather buy something she won't use than make it, but we'll see if she's more willing as it gets colder.
We didn't see anyone we knew wandering about, though a few of the knitters from InStitches said they'd be there. Little Djinn and I had some tea and split a traybake in the cafe before heading over to Bellfield Park so she could play until Daddy walked into town, then we all went for a late lunch/early dinner at the tapas restaurant before walking home again. It was a really good day.
* when on fire, plant fibres burn, animal fibres self-extinguish, and acrylics melt. If a baby is under an acrylic blanket - or heaven forfend - in an acrylic hat or jumper, it will melt to the baby's skin and then, when the knit item is removed, it will rip off the baby's skin. You would never buy something for a child that you knew failed fire safety standards - why would you spend your time creating something with such great potential to harm?