Thursday, May 31, 2012

Self portraits in Firelight

After I finished the red shawl for Elise and the red spinning I started knitting a red vest for myself, which I utterly failed to mention, here on the blog. I've really enjoyed knitting this, it's Firelightfrom Knitty. I was thinking earlier how much I love Knitty, not just because it's free, but because it's easy to navigate, the patterns tend to be well written and I love being able to print out spare copies.This pattern fits the Knitty model, and it had clever details, like a seamless construction and wonderful fire cables.
I knit this on some unlabelled 5ply direct from ACS, which is probably Bluebell. It's a cabled yarn, which I don't always love, but I think it looks amazing in the reverse stocking stitch. It was a little bit splitty, but nothing terrible and I love the smooth but slightly woolly feel.

Most of all though, I love the way this fits. I spent quite a lot of time considering the length, particularly as I have a history of getting things a smidge too short,l or a tiny bit too long.  This time I think I've nailed  I've nailed I, although the photos were taken unblocked, as I'm leaving the country tomorrow, and it's blocking right now, but I don't know that it will be dry in time for me to take photos before I leave. That's also an explanation as to why there are self portraits, rather than my usual photographer's work.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Does length matter?

So, I'm going on holiday in ten days, and before I go I want to get everything clear wheel empty, needles back in their boxes and  I really didn't want to leave the beautiful Thylacine fibre sitting on my wheel for a month. So I buckled down, and actually spent some time on it. I was lovely fibre to spin, beautifully dyed, and a wonderful hand and a stunning blend of 80 % superwash BFL, 10 % mohair, 10 %Silk.
Half way through spinning it I made myself a spinners control card, which I think really helped get the second half more even, and I'll definitely be using this tool for future projects.
Finished up, three (Navaho) plied the total length is 307 metres. Boo, I was really hoping for enough to make Wingspan.  That said, I'm happy with the thickness and the texture of the yarn. Maybe I'm not spinning short, as I seem to write here every time I finish spinning something. Maybe my expectations are wrong. We know that handspun is denser than millspun, so I need to stop comparing the weights and distances, and start looking at the quality of my handspun, which I am fairly happy with. Which leaves only one more question.
What to knit?  I'm thinking socks, since that's what the fibre is designed for. Maybe Cookie A's wedge, to play with the stripes, or maybe Yarnmissa's Firestarter  . I'm thinking after I finish this year's Cookie A Sock Club it might be time to diversify a little, and play with a variety of constructions.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Nothing Turbulant about these

Yesterday I finished my fourth pair of Cookie A sock Club sock, Turbulence. I think they are quite pretty and the design was perfect. Something happening all the time, but not so I have to stare at the chart for every stitch. (Yes,. Wayward  I'm talking about you) The Jitterbug ended up having ample- I have x grams left, and there is definitely something to be said for not being a left with half a ball of sock yarn.
But the biggest surprise about these was, when I put them on for the first time, they are extra comfortable. I don't know if it's the way the pattern clings like ribbing but is smooth like stocking stitch, I don't know if it's the yarn, but I do know they are something special.
The only thing I wish I had thought to do was to make anatomically correct toes. The pattern is mirrored, and next time I knit a Cookie A pattern which is different for both socks I'm going to make the toes match my feet. Basically though, this is another Cookie A triumph of a great design, paired with her trademark clear pattern writing style. Now what should I knit while I wait for the 9th of June, when the next club patterns are due for release?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

If I could knit a planet for you

As mentioned previously I told Elise I'd knit her a scarf, and then negotiated her into a shawl. I really love long, thin crescent shaped shawls,   I find them so easy to wear and fun. I finished knitting Magrathea last Sunday, blocked it on Tuesday and rather forgot about it until Elise came over yesterday and reminded me that I had something for her. I told her she could only have it if she let me take pictures.

Elise doesn't love having pictures of herself taken. But she was a good sport for this.


I love the way this came out, I love the way it suits Elise. When she came back over last night for dinner, she was still wearing it. Hadn't taken it off. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Half way there and doing fine

I promised to update you with the Jitterbug Yarn situation when I finished the first sock, which I did last night.

Half way there and 60 grams left, from a starting point of 107 grams. I really do have small feet.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Proceeding fearlessly

While completing Magrathea (it's blocking right now) I decided my next project had to be Turbulence,  the latest Cookie A sock Club pattern.  Looking through my stash I decided it HAD to be in Jitterbug, Velvet Damson, an amazing dark blue. (I took a photo of my skein, but I think Leon has the camera right now. This photo is from Sarah Durrant, from whom I bought the yarn at last year's Bendigo sheep show.)
 Colinette Jitterbug, Colour: Velvet Damson 

The thing was that all Jitterbug is quite short in yardage and this skein is slightly underweight. When I first thought of using it I was feeling very fragile and saying things like "I can't risk it" and "Running out of yarn will destroy me. I simply won't survive". Now I have returned to my usual more resilient self and have  decided to knit on fearlessly. I figure 1) I have very small feet and should be able to finish a pair of socks with 280 meters. hopefully. 2) The colour is still being made 3) I know at least one person who has  with this colour and may have leftovers and 4) It's only knitting.

So stick with me while I walk this tightrope of tension. Will I make it, or will I be desperately hunting around for a matching yarn to finish the second sock toe? Stay tuned and all will be revealed.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Red, in progress

I'm back! I have been knitting pretty much pain free all week, but I was scared to blog about it in case I jinxed it. I started gently, but, as the week has progressed I have ramped up to my usual level of knitting and am doing well.
It's funny, (odd, not haha) how much I missed knitting last weekend when I didn't do it. It was harder for me not to knit that it was to quit smoking. When I stopped smoking, I went "okay, I've finished with this. I'm done" and walked away. I'm so not done with knitting. I have to knit ALL THE THINGS, and then I'll stop.
I've been knitting Magrathea for Elise and I've had a remarkable amount of trouble with it. I don't think it's the pattern's fault, but some of it has just not made any sense to me. I've had to fudge the last bit of lace like crazy, because I just couldn't work out what the problem was. I just want this finished, it's kind of a reminder of the bad times of the last couple of weeks, and I'm going to move into a fresh project and a fresh new time.

Additionally I went back to spinning after more than a month. I'm still spinning The Thylacines sock club, I've decided to Navaho ply it because I love the stripping that's coming out.