Sunday, April 28, 2013

This is making me rather nervous

 I decided to knit the Grant Park Pullover for Leon, because I've knit four charted lace projects in a row. Also because, having taken 500 grammes of yarn out of the stash, I can now shut the box!


The pattern calls for 8ply and I'm using 5, because the smallest size written is 39.5 inches, and Leon isn't that big (as the Yarn Harlot says "It's just as easy to love a small man as a large one") I did a gauge swatch, but it felt like it was lying, so I started on a sleeve:


Now my stitch gauge should get me a jumper in Leon's size, but my row gauge is still almost like that called for in the pattern.  The raglan shaping actually works with the diamond stitch pattern on the front. What all this means is that there is a chance that I will get to the end and have to somehow make it shorter. I wish I'd thought of this prior to casting on and used a provisional cast on. Or, I wish the designer had thought to make this pattern top down, so that it would be properly customisable for different heights. Oh well, only time (and knitting time) will show us how this is going to resolve itself.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cleaning out the queue

After I finished the Travelling with Miss Babs shawl, I couldn't work out what to knit next. I have 20 things in my queue, half of which are socks, and three of which I don't actually have the yarn for yet. I have a few jumpers I really want to make, but nothing was jumping out for me to knit next. And then I decided to go through my queue and knit or delete anything that was over a year old. After all, if something has been sitting at the bottom of the queue for a year, without ever moving up, that suggests it might never get to the top.

So the oldest item in my queue was the Blackrose socks. I queued them in February 2012, after I finished spinning the yarn. As noted then, the smallest size calls for 220 meters of yarn, and I've got 214, from 91 grammes. The entire time I was knitting the dark purple was coming off on my hands, so it looked like I was really dirty. Oddly, when I soacked them for blocking, there was no dye runoff at all.
 
The first sock took 45 grammes, and came out a little short for me, so I'll be giving them to my mother, who has even shorter feet than I do. There was a little teeny balls of yarn left after I finished the second sock, so it wasn't as heart-stoppingly close as I feared it might be.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Knitting for someone


After I wrote the previous post I was knitting at lunchtime at work, thinking about what to do with this shawl when it was done. Someone at work suggested that the colour was one worn often by Vicki, a colleauge of ours who is off on long term leave, caring for her sister who has stage four brain cancer. I cannot imagine a better recipient for this shawl, and hopefully its a way of telling her that I'm thinking of her during this difficult time. So, I'm going to send it to her I can only hope that it gives her a tiny bit of comfort during this difficult time.


 Stay tuned, because next week I am going to post some  nice photos of the shawl, which aren't taken at a tram stop...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Its getting a bit crowded in here


This package showed up yesterday. It's Terra from Southwest Trading Company, via Stranded in Oz. I know I said I wasn't going to buy any more yarn. I actually ordered this before I said that, when we were in Adelaide last month. Its for a Grant Park Pullover jumper for Leon, and it's a wonderful bamboo / cotton blend in a really lovely colour.
I knew I could squeeze a kilogramme of sport weight yarn into the stash box. What I wasn't expecting was for the balls to be wound around a cardboard core, making the whole lot quite bulky.
I thought about rewinding every ball, and then I decided to just cram it in the stash box as it. Leon suggested that I store it somewhere else, but I'm having non of it. As long as the top of the box feels flat, that counts as closed in my book.



I guess I'll be knitting this jumper very, very soon.





Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Knitting for no-one

Until this lace shawl everything I've knit this year has been really quick. In the first three months of year I knat 19 things, including  five pairs of socks, two jumpers for me, three baby jumpers, four pairs of mitts, three hats and two scarves. Every project was designed for someone specific, the yarn and pattern carefully  chosen. I knew when I previewed Miss Babs' club that there was a fair chance that Kitman Figoueroa would design a triangle shawl. I don't really wear triangle shawls. The day after I got the yarn I skeined it up and started knitting.


I am loving knitting in laceweight again. I'm loving the colour, the texture, the feel of the yarn. And for once I'm embracing the concept of knitting for its own sake. Once it's finished I'll find a suitable recipient for it, but that's not really the point. This time it's about the making of it, the process itself.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The magic of blocking?


After I finished the Hawthorne hat I decided it looked like a beanie not a beret, and I was happy with that. I thought it was because i had forgotten to change up to bigger needles:

When I reviewed the pattern, I discovered that it says: "The hat can be blocked into a beret shape using a plate, or it can be blocked into a slouch style using a round form. Left unblocked the hat will fit as a standard cap". I like a slouch hat, although I lack a "round form" whatever that may be. I made a blocking thing (that the technical term right?) using some newspaper:


And this is the final result:
 
 I feel like the yarn lost some vibrancy on washing it, and there was certainly quite a lot of pink in the water, despite the fact that it had a bit of a vinegar smell to it.  The shape of the hat is certainly slouchier. The mitts did not grow in the wash, so that's something:
 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Clever, clever pattern

 I decided a while ago to always put a gusset in my mitts. It's not hard to do, and creates a glove that fits properly. When I cast on for the Hawthorne mitts I realised they didn't have a gusset, but I knit them exactly as the pattern was written. I briefly considered adding a gusset, but all the pictures looked good, so I didn't. I'm really glad I followed the pattern as set. Here's the glove before I put in the thumb:

Look how the patterning makes the whole thing hand shaped.

After the thumb is in you can see it even clearer. Such clever detailing has made this set a joy to knit.
Now, I'm a little worried, because they fit me perfectly, and I haven't blocked them yet. I'm going to block both the hat and mitts this weekend, and I'll show you how they look afterwards.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Travelling with Miss Babs; We're going...

... to Japan. Here's my first package: ( I have to point out the box was fine when it arrived, but Leon had to get it in his bike pannier, so he squashed it down)



I opened it


 and it is delightful. Some lovely bits and pieces, a whole travel guide to our "destination" and the yarn.  Oh the yarn. Alpaca / silk lace weight in a pale, pale pink.

And of course, the trip bags, because everything needs its own bag:

The design is, as expected a Kitman Figoa shawl. A traditional triangle lace shawl, called Cherry Me, perfectly matched with the yarn. I'm so looking forward to getting this on my needles.

Monday, April 8, 2013

MY winter set

 I've never made myself a winter set, as such. I've knit myself plenty of hats, scarves and gloves, but never a set. After seeing Ursula's wonderful yellow Hawthorne shawl, I decided to make the Hawthorne set, by Susanna IC, who also designed Annis, which I knit a couple of years ago and love wearing. Brilliant designer. I started it this weekend, because I'm still waiting for my yarn club package, and I thought if I start with the hat  won't be tied up with a big project when the package does arrive. The hat was pretty quick, and a really fun knit. I haven't knit any lace since December, and this was a real pleasure..
 I failed to change needle sizes between the ribbing and the body, (I was at the pub, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it) so it's a beanie rather than a beret, but I like it. I'm blocking it now to see how it comes out, a lot of people says theirs grew, so only time will tell how it will look in the end. I'll get some pictures of it on me, once it's dry.

Now I'm off to work on the matching mitts.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The sneaker liner project pair 7

As mentioned before, I knit a pair of Sneaker liners out of Stranded in Oz yarn. I used my go to afterthought heel pattern.  I don't think this is quite as well fitting as a heel flap and gusset, but I really love being able to knit in stripes of multi coloured yarn without it interrupting the patterning.


See what I mean? Particularly when it's such pretty colours.

So that's another pair done for me. I'm aiming to do twelve pairs of socks for Leon and twelve sneaker liners for me this year, just so I can do a wool wash every three to four weeks, and not have either of us run out of handknit socks.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

That's not yarn

I went to get my package yesterday. The sad thing was that it wasn't the Miss Babb's yarn club package.It was a pair of Converse in camouflage print Converse that I ordered from the US a couple of weeks ago. I can't explain why, but I got obsessed with getting some camo print Cons.

They were new, but I did a couple of CrossFit sessions in them before I got around to taking the photo, and now they don't look quite so new.
Fingers crossed that the Miss Babbs package gets here before the weekend, and before I finish the socklets, which I expect to happen around the same time.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Finishing, Starting and Waiting

 
I had to go to Morwell for work again, so I knew that Tuesday would provide me with some serious knitting time. I only had about half the foot to go on Leon's latest socks, which I did finish on the way up there:
 


What to cast on next felt like a big decision, because I am waiting for my first shipment of Miss Babb's knitting tour. I thought about not casting on anything and just working on the blanket for a bit, but then I realised that the club package could still be a way off. Also, do I really want to be carrying a half completed blanket around the countryside? So I cast on a pair of sockettes for me, also in Stranded in Oz yarn. This is the hank she gave me when I visited at the markets, and it's so pretty. It's pooling a little, but I think in an attractive way.

About ten minutes after I cast these on I got a text message from Australia post, telling me that I had a package! When I went to get it though, it was the covers for our new Kindles, which is almost as exciting as yarn club packages. In case you didn't guess, I chose pink.
 













And then, about half an hour after I got home from the package centre I got another text. There may be yarn waiting for me! To be honest though, there are another couple of things I've ordered in the mail, so it might not be yarn at all. I'll try to go down tomorrow and pick it up. Sometimes the suspense is almost as much fun as the package itself.