Thursday, November 26, 2015

Alpaca madness

Way back in March I helped kickstart Adagio alpaca mills. Yesterday my reward arrived in the mail. Six balls of lovely alpaca in three different colours.


It's very nice, particularly the top two colours. My question now is, what to so with 600 meters of alpaca, in three different colours? Something with stripes maybe? Something that takes advantage of the natural drape of the alpaca? Whatever I choose to knit with it, I'm glad I supported this initiative. Now, if only someone would do the same with milling sheep's wool, I'd be a very happy knitter. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Yarnalong - the one without Kate Davies

This is the first week for three months that I haven't been knitting a Kate Davies pattern! Never fear, everything else is going very nicely and is thoroughly in character.

I'm knitting another Rachel Coopey When Granny Weatherwax Knits Socks club pattern, Draco Nobilis. To go with it I'm listening to the next Discworld book, Maskerade. I'm enjoying both the sock, the book and the pretty colours in the yarn.

I'm reading The Storied Life of AJ Finkry by Gabrielle Zevin. It was one of author Rachael Heron's recommendations, and she just has the best taste in books.

So it's a good week on all fronts. Make sure you click over to Ginny's blog to see what she, and the rest of the yarnalong are up to this week..

Monday, November 23, 2015

Seven Skiens Club week six -Oobits

When i saw this weeks pattern I felt much like I did last week - neutral, maybe a bit puzzled. But last week after I knit them I was even more confused. After knitting this weeks pattern for oobits (felted bracelets) I feel very differently.

I love them. I loved the process, going from a large floppy thing:

to a tight felted bracelet. I'm loving wearing them because they are soft and not clacky like normal bangles.   
They are also very warm, so I can imagine wearing them all the time in winter. I'm already planning to make more, with some left over Jameson and Smiths I have in pretty colours. 


 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A mini tea cosy

We're coming to the end of my Kate Davies fest, and I finally made time to finish the tea cosy I started at the beginning of it. I made it my using charts E and F from the Sheep Heid pattern, using fewer stitches and making it up as I went along when necessary. I'm pleased with how it came out:

I also like the way it looks next to out full size tea pot:

As Leon summed it up "it's so cuuute". And it really is. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Things I bought on the internet part three

Remember when I tried to knit  a toe up sock on 2.5mm needles and it ended up too big and I ripped it? No, I didn't really expect you to. Anyway, I decided I needed some 2.25 mm circulars, since all the toe up socks I have knit on two circulars have come out a little too big. 

I was thinking about buying some more Karbonz,  but I noticed that Knitpro now makes an aluminum needle called Zing that look like the Signature needles. They are half the price of the Karbonz, so I thought I'd try them.


My thoughts are that they are ok, but only ok. They have a sort of rounded tip, and I usually prefer a sharper tip. I'll know more after I knit a pair of socks with them (which I am about to cast on) but at the moment I'm thinking I may still buy a sock set in the Karbonz.

I bought these from Purlwise and Mark provided me with his usual efficient service. I love that online shop a leeetle too much. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Yarnalong -the one where I no longer work full time

I no longer work full time! It's not quite as dramatic as all that, I am on a temporary part time arrangement, where I have every second Wednesday off work, to do with as I please. I am very excited about it,

So, what am I doing on this glorious first day of leisure?

I've returned to knitting my mini-sheep tea cosy. I think I've solved the problem that pulled my up short when I started this, before the Kate Davies madness fully took hold, and it's going very quickly now, probably because it's teeny.

I'm listening to A History of the World in Six Glasses. It's the kind of book I love - a history seen through a micro thing, in this case beverages. And since I regularly consume  four out of the six drinks (they are not all alcoholic!) it's a particualry fun listen.

I'm reading The Guilty One by Lisa Ballantyne . It's a bit of a courtroom thriller, which isn't my usual genre, but it's very character driven and I am loving it. After I finish writing this I'm going to sit in my rocking chair, drink fresh mint tea and see what happens next.

And of course, I'm participating in the Yarnalong with Ginny. Pop over to her blog to see what she and the rest of the yarnalong are up to this week.

Seven Skeins Club Week Five- Giant Balls

I expected a Christmas tree ornament some time in this club, and  it showed up this week. As a non-Christian I though Kate Davies managed this very gracefully, calling them Whigmakeeries, and  describing them as:    
  
a decorative or fanciful object, a piece of ornamentation …a knick-knack, gew-gaw, bauble, fantastic contrivance, or contraption.” In other words, a whigmaleerie is a wee thingumajig, of the kind folk often like to hang on trees at this festive time of year.

I knit them even though I am not of the tree hanging persuasion, because I am working the process for this club. I decided to put a bell in them, and maybe give them to the cats. 




They are huge! Leon and I have been throwing them around like mini footballs. I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do with them.
 
As for the cats playing with them, this is what Tarragon had to say about that idea

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Epistropy complete

This weekend I finished my Epistrophy cardigan! It felt like it took a long time, but really it was only five weeks, and that included knitting the Seven Skeins project as well.

So, my thoughts.

The White Gum Wool is stunning and I will be knitting with it again.

Like all Kate Davies patterns, this one was well and clearly written, but I had to reknit the collar,and the left side still looks a little odd. I hope it will settle down after a little bit more wear.

I choose the music note tape top cover the steek, and I think it looks great.

I deliberately chose low contrast colours for the colourwork. I think it looks quite nice, but I would also like to make it in a higher contrast. Although I won't be reknitting this, both because I rarely reknit things and because of the issues with the fit.
  





Thursday, November 12, 2015

Seven Skeins Club Week Four - Bunnets

This weeks club patterns was a choice of two hats. I really like the stranded one, but I'm going to knit that for Leon's winter set. My intention is to buy more of the yarn, once it's available and knit his the hat and a scarf to match his Pawkies. So that left the stripped hat, for me. 

I decided to rip out my failed mitten, because I love the aqua colour, and wanted to use it, rather than leaving it in a sad, failed mitten. It was a simple, quick knit, quite fun to me doing simple stocking stitch in the round for a change.

Obviously these photos are unblocked, and I don't think a project like this can really be considered done until it is blocked, but I was excited to be finished and wanted to share.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Yarnalong - the one in the rain

I had an hour between finishing work and circus school last night, and it was raining, so I sat under the roof of the convention centre and knit on my Seven Skeins project for this week, which is a slouchy beanie.

While I sat there I listened to Graeme Greene's The End of the Affair. It's kind of sad and kind of slow and I am veering between hating all the characters because they are useless and pitying them because they are so real ... and useless.

I'm reading Ann Lekie's Ancillary Mercy and am just loving it. Well written sci-fi with great characters. It's the third (and last) in the series, so I'm not surprised at how much I am enjoying it.

As always on a Wednesday, I'm playing along with Ginny's yarnalong. Pop over to her blog to see what she, and everyone else, is knitting and reading this week.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Things I bought on the internet part two

In the first post of this series I bought tape for the front of my Epistrophy cardigan. 


Well, I also bought another pair of ribbons, just in case. I really like the one with the aqua squares, but I think I'll use the music note ribbon for Epistophy.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

This wasn't mean to be a hard post to write

This was going to be  about how I went away for the weekend to Marysville , had an amazing 10km trail run as part of the Marysville marathon festival,and happily knit, knit, knit away on my Epistrophy cardigan. All of that did happen, but unfortunately, that is not what this post is about. no, this post is about what happened when I tried on the cardigan, just before steeking it.

It's a terrible photo of my face, but that is entirely beside the point. The point is, look at that COLLAR. It is not meant to sit like that. Like it has not relationship with the cardigan, or my neck, but is just going to hang out there in the air by itself. Not good, not good at all. I'm going to rip it half way back and reknit the second half on a smaller needle and then use a firmer cast off. hopefully that will sort it out, otherwise I have not idea what I'm going to do.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Yarnalong - the one where I can't think of anything clever

I had such a lovely four day weekend, and now I'm back in the swing of normal life and feeling just a little a little bit flat.

I wish I'd managed a picture of Epistrophy somewhere interesting, but I didn't think of it, so here it is no my living room floor! I start the colourwork yoke next, which is pretty exciting.

I'm reading  Ellen Kusher's Swordpoint and loving it. It's sort of fantasy, but not in the magic kind of way. A really fun read.

And I'm between audiobooks right now.

And that's me for another week. Make sure you pop over to Ginny's blog to see what she and the rest of the yarnalong have been up to this week.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Seven Skeins Club Week Three - the thing about colour dominance

When last I wrote about my knitting, I said I was finally getting the flow of my Kokkeluri mitten. When I finished the first one I had a couple of observations:

1. It took forever. A week for a single mitten? I normally knit a pair of complex patterned socks in a week.
2. My hands and arms hurt more than they have in a very long time.
3. It looked like crap.


The tension was uneven, the joins between needles were lumpy and they yarn felt really splitty to work.My colourwork didn't look as crisp as other peoples. Now, I know how to knit colourwork, and I can do it so it looks good. I came up with a theory - I recently looked up how colour dominance is supposed to work, and as Kate Davies writes on her patterns -  the foreground colour is held in the left hand and the back ground in the right. I'm a continental knitter, so I normally hold the yarn in the left hand. I think for all my other colourwork projects I have held the background colour in my left hand, because there is more of it and it feels more natural.

So, for this weeks project, Pawkies stranded mitts I decided to do one using each technique:

And as is blazingly obvious in the one on the left looks much better, which is the one I knit with the main colour in my left hand. It turns out that because I knit looser with my right hand, the colour shows up better if I hold the yarn the reverse way to everyone else. I'm glad I worked this out, and I'm not sure what I going to do about the Kokkeruri mitten. Rip and repeat, or just call it a learning experience and walk away.