Thursday, January 31, 2013

Babies and spinning

You'll be seeing a fair number of baby jumpers on the blog in the next few months - five people at my work are pregnant. One of the baby jumpers I wanted to knit is the Snug, but I didn't have any suitable twelve ply yarn. I did have the lovely dark grey four ply that I made my Laika out of.
Before
 I ran three strands of it through the wheel, and I'm really happy with the result.

After
I really haven't done any spinning for the last six months. I don't think this has returned my spinning mojo, but it is nice to know I can utilise this skill in a useful way, and I've found myself tootling away on the spindle a couple of times since I finished this, so who knows, maybe the love will return.

Do you have a "go to" baby pattern you like to use? If so, let me know in the comments, because I've got two  more to go, and that's after I actually knit Snug.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Shhh, it's a secret

We've had a long weekend, and I've been working on a secret project. I'm pretty sure that the person I'm knitting for doesn't read my blog, but just in case, I'll not tell you what it is. If you're one of my Ravelry friends, you can pop over there and take a look. What I will say is that the yarn was red and it was Madeline Toshsport weight.

 I got so many comments on how beautiful it is, and I loved working with it so much that I am about to put in an order of Madeline Tosh. A jumpers worth of 5 ply and some worsted for a good friend of mine who asked me for a cowl.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chapter 94 - In which things match‏

 I love the yarn I used for my stripy cardigan. It's soft and smells just very faintly of sheep. I love the ways the colours look. So I made a hat to match the cardy.

It won't surprise you that the pattern came from the same copy of Knitscene as the jumper, I'm basically knitting my way through the stripe story (called "selfishly stripped") in order. I did add a couple of extra repeats to the hat, to get just the right amount of slouch, particularly since I didn't want to block it. I really like the way the body of it is textured and I didn't want to reduce that effect. It was a really quick, fun and satisfying knit. The weather had suddenly turned cool, so I might even wear it today.
 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bits and peices

At Richmond Knitters on Monday night I mentioned that I am "working" on a sock yarn blanket. Working in the broadest sense of the word. I've blogged about it exactly once , way back in 2011, and rarely add even the odd square.
Yesterday I went to Traralgon for work - two hours there and two hours back - so I got the Fair Isle socks finished,
   And I thought it would be really fun to use the three colours on the socks for three adjoining squares.

 So I did. The blanket is slowly growing, I think I might be somewhere near the halfway point. Obviously it would grow faster if I knit on it more often, although now is not the time really, since it's the middle of summer and has finally become hot. At the very least, I want to get in the a habit of knitting a square every time I finish a four ply project. By my calculation last year I used a total of 23 different sock weight yarns, on jumpers, shawls and of course socks. So this year I am aiming for at least that many squares. I've already done three, so that's somewhat of a start.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Duplicate stitch for the win‏


I had a bit of trouble with the colourwork on my Fair Isle socks, I think because on the chart the main colour was purple and the contrast colour was plain white. In my head the main colour should have been plain white, and I had to rip a number of times because I reversed them. When I was done I breathed a sigh of relief and knitted down the single colour leg. When I got to the heel I noticed that I had completely stuffed up one side, and one side only of the colour work.
 
I tried to convince myself that I could live with it, but I couldn't. I'm not a perfectionist, but the longer I'm a knitter the closer I get to perfectionism.  Before ripping back the entire leg of the sock I decided to try duplicate stitching it. I used a tutorial from Knitscene Spring 2012 (you know, the one that I talk about ALL THE TIME)

I think it came out quite well. It's a little bit messy, but blocking will help that, and I can certainly live with it as it is. Now to actually finish knitting it!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Buttons from stash

I mentioned in a previous post that all I have to do is buy the perfect buttons and the cardigan will be done. I was planning on going to the button shop on Monday, when I decided to check my button stash. I don't have a huge button collection, and most of them I inherited from my Grandmother. I went through them and found these, which I think are perfect on this jumper. 
After sewing the buttons on I'm reblocking it, because I'm not 100% happy with how the button band is sitting, and seams just demandblocking prior to wearing. I'm hoping a bath will smooth out the buttonband, otherwise I'm going to rip and reknit.
If it all worked out, I'll try for modelled photos some time this week.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Working it


I knew that after I finished my cardigan (which I seamed yesterday and am doing the button band on today) I would need another project. Something simple, since I'm meeting friends at a bar after work tomorrow, and Saturday is Ballarat Beer festival!    But what I wanted to knit next were socks for my father's birthday. Fair Isle socks. So, I started knitting them at lunch times this week. I will get through the 21 rows of Fair Isle before I go out tomorrow, and then it's rib, rib, rib, all the way down.
 
I'm loving the colours - both of my contrast colours are left over from last years Cookie A Sock Club, and I've paired them with some Pediboo. I love the way this yarn looks and feels, but it's only 233 meters, so making these socks, with the three colours and a contrast toe, should make the short skein stretch further.

Monday, January 14, 2013

In pieces

The instructions on my cardigan tell me to finish knitting the five pieces and block into shape, before sewing up. I ransacked my memory for a bit, to see if I could remember blocking before sewing on any other projects. Then I had to torture my memory a bit more to try to remember when I last knit something that required seaming. Eventually I enlisted the aid of Ravelry and discovered that the last jumper I knit with seams was an argyle vest, in December 2010. Since then I have knit 14 adults jumpers and six baby jumpers, with nary a seam between them. It's not even that I hate seaming, it's just those are the designs that appeal to me. So here it is, in bits, blocking and waiting only for the seams, button bands and that most important of accessories, the buttons themselves, which haven't been purchased yet.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Chapeter 94 - Where a sleeve takes a very long time

I went back to work on Monday, which has really cut into my knitting time. Work itself is fine, quiet and a little dull, but I do it because they pay me, and I use the money they give me to buy yarn and cat food. I've been knitting on the Manayunk Cardigan by Kate Gagnon Osborn. The back went really quickly, but the now I don't have as much time to knit and this sleeve feels like it's taken a really, really long time.
The yarn is Pear Tree mill ends I bought at Bendigo this year and I love it. It's soft and lovely and the colours are just perfect. Because it was mill ends the balls are between 25 and 50 grams, but it's feltable, so I've been spit slicing the ends as I go along.
I've already knit a hat and jumper from this issue of Knitscene, so its proving to be very good value! Perhaps not by coincidence, my next big project is also from this edition of the magazine, the 
Roxborough Dolman by Courtney Kelley which, has no sleeves at all!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sure, it's cute but what am I going to do with it?

At the beginning of this two week staycation that finished up today I say my sister in law, brother and their kids at my parents place. I mentioned to my SIL that I've got a jumper in mind for my neice, and showed her the pattern, Listowel, from contemporary Irish Knits. It's a little shrug, with a heart pattern on the back, and I think it's just very, very sweet.
 
 The next day I texted her and asked her for my nieces measurements, and she never got back to me.

I knit it anyway, because I had decided that I really wanted to.  I was using 8ply yarn, instead of the Aran specified in the pattern and it has come out a little smaller than I hoped, although my niece is quite small for her age, but I am reluctant to go chasing for her measurements. 
There are a couple of other friends I have with little girls, and I could give this to either of them. The other issue though is that I bought the wool from Spotlight. I figured it's 100 percent wool, its not luxury, but it's fine. Normally I would order from Bendigo Woollen Mills, or whatever, but they were closed over Christmas, I I wanted to make this immediately. After I finished it I realised the wool is a little bit scratchy. I've soaked it in fibre conditioner, but that didn't help much. So I have this super cute little girls jumper, that I'm not sure who it will fit, knit is slightly scratchy wool,  and I really don't know what to do with it.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Bigger on the Inside - complete

I finished Bigger on the Inside socks. I don't have much to say about them, except I love them. The yarn - as mentioned before, dyed by Ursula - knit up into a really lovely, beautifually nuanced semisolid.
 The design worked well - and now I'm really looking forward to making the shawl where I discovered the TARDIS  chart,

They fit especially well



 And Leon loves them. All up they only took about four days of actual knitting and  every stitch was a pleasure.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I'm going travelling with Miss Babbs

This year I'm not doing any big trips. This is not to say that I won't get holidays. Leon and I are going to the Adelaide Fringe for a week in March, and we're doing a long weekend on the Great Ocean Road in May, and hopefully Brisbane later in the year. But, due largely to leave constraints, we are not heading overseas or anywhere particularly exotic. So, when I saw that Miss Babbs was running her armchair traveller Knitting Tour again this year, I had to join. I've very exited, particlarly as the designers on this club Kitman FigueoraFranklin HabitSpillyJane, and Stephanie of Verybusymonkey, are all people I have heard of but never knit from. And I adore miss Babbs yarn, she is a very talented dyer and I have non in my stash right now. Also, I think I might be addicted to getting packages in the mail, and now I have them arriving all year long.