Saturday, February 23, 2013

The opposite of socks

I'm making a baby jumper. Something that doesn't need a second, identical one made once I finish the first one. Sounds like I'm suffering from second sock syndrome, except I just power through, so they get done, but that last sock felt a little like the second half of a very long run. You have to keep going because it's the only way to get done.

But now I'm really excited to be knitting garter stitch in 12 ply yarn, and huge big stake like needles. It's Snug, and it's the antithesis of socks.

 

That was close!

For some inexplicable reason, before I started the toe of the first Cauchy sock I weighed the ball of yarn. It said I had 54 grams of yarn left. After I finished the sock I weighed the sock: 45 grams, and the remaining ball of yarn - 53 grams. I looked at the yarn and discovered that it is only 300 meters, and it's a relatively thick yarn. Still I was surprised to run so close. Here's a photo of just some of the leftovers from socks I've made:
 I'm used to having a third of the ball left, even when knitting for Leon. This time the yarn was thicker, the leg was longer, and I have enough left for two blanket squares. Probably.
 Still, I'm very happy with the socks, and even happier to be done. This is great pattern, and it's classic Cookie A, but something about the process irritated me. The pattern should have been just enough to keep my interest, but instead sat in that awkward place where it requires concentration, and yet is not all that interesting. Still they are done now, and they are a very handsome pair of socks, if I do say so myself.
That's Princess Daisy sneaking through the back of the photo.



Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Last Tuesday Melanie  presented me with 240 grams of absolutely gorgeous hand blended, combed fibre, a stunning merino silk blend.

She has named it Midnight in the Town which is a perfect description. It's not as bright as the photo above makes it look, it's deep and muted and rich.


 I thought it was beautiful but, as you all know, I haven't been feeling the spinning love of late. I popped the boxes next to the wheel on Tuesday night and decided to decide what to do with it later. On Wednesday Leon got home from work and we were chatting about our day. While we were talking I found myself spinning, and before I knew it I had spun up the first little nest of fibre.
 It spins like a dream, smooth and fine. Melanie suggested it would make a good shawl, and I'm sure she's right. Once I finish it and see what length I get I will decide on a specific shawl,  I think this would look amazing with sparkly, shiny beads. So there I am, back at the wheel after all this time and enjoying it, rather to my surprise.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

On trend



Fashionable isn't something I seek to be, particularly with my knitting. I figure if I put a whole lot of time and work into something, I want it to be classic and timeless. Still, there are two silhouettes this season that I really like. One is the peplum top. Everytime anyone wears one at work I comments on it. I finally  decided to get in gear and buy a couple for myself. The other look I am loving is the casual, boxy, slouchy, 80s style top, which is exactly how my Bendigo cotton jumper came out. 



I wore it out to Tropfest on Sunday night and it was perfect for sitting outside  a really hot evening, that cooled just slightly as the night went on.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Leon Sock Project - March socks

I know we are only half way through February, but if I'm making Leon a pair of socks a month, these must be his March socks.


A couple of weeks ago Leon said he would like some thinner socks. On further conversation, I realised he meant less warm, for summer. I already had this bamboo yarn, which I got on closeout from Webs, and so I went looking for a good pattern. I wanted a pattern that would not work with the beautiful flickering that you get from hand dyed yarn, something that would benefit from the flatness of this commercial dye. I came across (again) Cauchy, by Cookie A, from her first book, Sock Innovation. I queued these when I first bought the book, in 2009. I even had the yarn picked out, a lightish blue which is still in my stash. But I never quite got around to making them. I think they are going to be a perfect sock for Leon. They are a bit different, since he doesn't have any green socks, or any bamboo socks, although he does have more than his share of Cookie A socks.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Knitworthy

I mentioned the other day that I had a secret project on the go. I made Lu (you know, Lu of the semi fail bikini) a pair of Fallberry  mitts, another wonderful Knitty pattern. I gifted them through her boyfriend, rather than giving them directly to her. When she opened them she posted this on twitter.

Knit worthy? Absolutely.

Monday, February 11, 2013

For the love of cotton

Prior to this project I had only knit with cotton twice. The first time was a long, large heavy cabled jacket made of Rowan Denim. I came out of that thinking that cotton had certain characteristics: it was heavy and dense and made my hands hurt. It took a couple of years for me to approach the idea of cotton again, but I wasn't going to make a bikini out of wool. That would be silly, right?

And I found I really like the way working with cotton felt. It wasn't the cotton that had made my hands hurt in the first place,  I suspect it was the cables. And cotton is smooth and drapey and airy and wonderful, or at least it is as knit up the summer jumper I am currently knitting.

In fact, this has a drape and texture a little like the Wollmeise that I loved so much for Tempest.  I'm already thinking about my next cotton project. Maybe an 8ply jumper for Leon?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Bendigo again

 
While I was looking at the pattern for  this hat, from the ever present KnitScene Spring 2012, I noticed, on the very next page, I spotted a stripped top. Recently Lousia was knitting a stripped jumper out of Bendigo cotton, and I had it in my head that I wanted to do that too. This pattern is perfect for that. Now I know I could have mail ordered the yarn, but I really do like to see the colours myself before I decide on two colours. I asked my boss to send me to Bendigo, and he did. I catch the train to get around for work, and the Mill is about twenty minutes walk from the railway station. 
 Then, I got the client I was meeting with pick me up from the Mill. The guy didn't ask a single question. Not even "what did you buy?".
 

And what I bought is two wonderful balls of Bendigo cotton. I love the colours, I love that I am making something with a completely different shape from anything I have made before, loose and wide. Right, now I'm off to knit 16 inches of stocking stitch in the round. It might be a while before my next finished object post!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Leon Sock Project

Leon started wearing handknit socks a little after we were married. It took a little bit of knitting for me to get the socks exactly right for him. Initially I was knitting them too short, and the first pair I made was from jumper wool and he could feel them underfoot. But, once we worked out what was perfect, he has wholeheartedly adopted the wearing of handknit socks. I need Leon to have as many - or more - pairs as I do, so he doesn't run out between my infrequent wool washes. So, my goal for this year is to knit a pair for Leon every month, if possible.  It shouldn't be too much of a challenge, as last year I made eleven pairs of normal socks, as well as two pairs of knee highs and two anklets. The socks Leon likes best are simple but a little bit interesting. 

The first pair I have finished this year is Hickory, from The Knitters Book of Socks, which perfectly fits that description. I used Malabrigo Sock, which only added to the joy of knitting this. I think I'll be knitting quite a few of these patterns from this book, and knitting this sock has been a very enjoyable start. 
I struggled to get a good photo, because it was a fairly warm night and the cats were busy photobombing. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Does this colour combimation look familiar?

On of the things I love about baby jumpers is that I can almost always make them from stash. I saw the Pueperium Cardigan pattern and thought it was really pretty, and then I made it out of leftovers from my cardigan, and my hat. There is still more yarn, so you may be seeing this combination yet again.

This is a very sweet cardigan, modelled here by Mr Bear. He's not normally a grumpy bear, but I had just told him he couldn't keep the cardigan and so he was sulking.

This is how it looks flat. I chose to make short sleeves because one of the other pregnant women at work told me she thought that was fine and she always layers her baby up, and also I couldn't be bothered getting up to get my 4mm short needles for doing the sleeves. All in all a quick, sweet knit. Now onward with Leon's sock project.