Sunday, April 29, 2007

First fitting

The trying on session yesterday went quite well; actually considering I might have been way off track it went really well.
She fits nicely across the back and doesn't seem too snug around the front, I figure the double breasted effect gives a little room for manoeuvre here. It was definitely worth the fuss of putting the stitches on to yarn and giving it a try on as I did decide to put in some of the increases planned for further on straight away to give a little more ease around the chest.

The session also confirmed my concerns about the length. After Cara's version I was already hoping to be able to lengthen her a little and having measured out where she would come to if I stuck to the pattern measurements she definitely needs a little more length for me. The only issue with this is how much yarn I will have as I didn't do the sensible thing and buy one skein over. My plan is to finish off the skein I am on and then go back and do the sleeves and collar; I can then return to the body knowing I am free to carry on as far as I need to.

I also spotted that I had misread the instructions and got the first button hole in the wrong place. She's a beginners sweater alright: I learnt to do make one increases for under the arms and one of those has left a nice neat hole where I must have knit into the front rather than the back of the new stitch and the shaping for the sleeves has a similar gap. Still I think these will be easy enough things to hide with a needle and thread and it has been a great learning experience.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Amazing April

Apparently this is the warmest April on record in England. While I understand the concerns about climate change and do try and do my bit to be as green as possible there is a large part of me that is just glad we have had such a sunny month.

Not quite strawberry season yet but I couldn't resist these from the shop today; they taste of summer to me.

Also made a little stop at the lovely yarn and fabric store, Masons in Abingdon. I went to look for buttons for Flair (not that I'm quite at that stage but I thought it would encourage me to stay focused) and found some really lovely shell ones. It also seems that I found a couple of skins of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk. I was enchanted by this the last time I visited and I have decided to make my Mum a scarf from it based on the Easy Lace Scarf pattern from Knitter's Review.I am hopeful I may get it out of one skein and so get two? Not sure this will help me with focusing on Flair but it is truly gorgeous yarn.
It would seem that I'm not the only one enjoying the sunshine today, our cat Lilith is normally firmly attached to her sofa but today she has a little more bounce in her step!

Well enough of being indoors I'm off out to the make the most of the day, Flair will be keeping me company.

Friday, April 27, 2007

She's Growing





This week I have dedicated all my knitting time to Flair and it's been very pleasing to see her grow. I'm enjoying the pattern and should be at the trying on stage this weekend when it will be interesting (read please don't make me rip out) to see how she fits.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Nice to be Home

I'm back from Vienna where I had no spare time and so no woolly tourism to share unfortunately :( however I do have some finished socks to show off :)
Pattern: Garter Rib Socks from SKS
Yarn: Woolcraft Superwash Sock Yarn - just over half a ball for both socks - feels good to knit with so I'm interested to see how it wears
Needles: 3mm bamboo DPNs
Started: 12 March 2007
Finished: 21 April 2007
New Skills?: Slip stitch for heels
Notes: Ooh I love the SKS book - very easy to follow patterns and clear guidance on sizing - obviously all wasted on me! I went for a straightforward pattern to start but as I got to the foot of the second sock I spotted that I had messed it up - after the heel you should knit the top of the sock in the same pattern as the leg - I forgot to do this so ended up with plain ribbed feet. I'm happy enough with the appearance so I didn't feel the need to rip out 1 1/2 socks... As for the sizing - it gives US sizes or actual foot measurements - not knowing either of these of the top of my head I didn't trouble myself to find a tape measure and guesstimated my foot size and as a result the socks are a smidge too large but hey, whats a bit of Nora Battyesque sagging between friends. I really like the slip stitch heel and the garter border to the heel - very nice touches.
I love the SKS book so much that I have already started on another pair from it. These will be the socks for my Mum in the Lana Grossa yarn from Salzburg (which I remembered to pack for the trip to Vienna). I was aiming for Bluebell rib but couldn't quite get the hang of the pattern and ended up with larger holes than I should have, so I swapped for the Chain rib for ease - only one pattern repeat in but I think its a keeper this time.

Not much to report on Flair - just a few rows in - but Cara I am so glad that you shared your notes on the increasing I would have done just what you did. Thanks for saving me from the heartache :) I like the new buttons on your Flair and am glad it is getting plenty of use.

Off to make the most of the weekend knitting hours after a quick catch up on the blogworld.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

First Flutterings of Flair

Isn't it funny how it is suddenly the right time for a project? I've been keen to knit Flair since I first saw the photos of it on Knit and Tonic and I've had the yarn and pattern for quite a while now. Last night I was ticking away on the Garter Rib Socks planning which pair of socks I wanted to do next and then suddenly I was struck with the urge to swatch for Flair. It doesn't really make sense to start now as I'm away again next week but I'm learning it's best to knit what you really fancy and then it flies along. I got gauge with the recommended needles and this Blue Skys Cotton is just sooooooo soft I'm loving it.Off to read up on Cara's advice, and be inspired again by her finished Flair and then it's time for cast on :)

PS - Horace says thank you to everyone for complimenting him so thoroughly and asks me to advise that he will be available for autographs next month as he understands that his life is no longer his own now he's appearing in the Bears United gallery.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Horace

Finally I am pleased to introduce Horace.
Isn't he an adorable and entirely unique chap? Yes his arms look like wings, yes he has eaten too much stuffing and yes his eyes are a little curious but he's a bear of character and I think character goes a long way in this world!
Horace enjoys the sun.













And flowers too.







Pattern: Horace by Amanda Hone. Please visit: Bears United to see some friends of Horace who may stand a greater chance in a bear beauty contest!
Yarn: Sunbeam Sumatra - a bargain from ebay and suitably soft and fuzzy for a bear
Needles:5mm plastic straights
Started: November 2006
Finished: 24 March 2007
New Skills?: This pattern was my first experience of increasing and decreasing which was one of the reasons I wanted to try it.
Notes: The pattern is great, easy to follow and I think if you bought the right stuffing (I had acrylic rather than cotton which I think is too springy and stretchy and I am blaming it for the wings issue!) and some proper eyes you would easily to be able to recreate a bear of dashing good looks as well as tremendous character. Having created Horace as he is I feel it is too cruel to take off his eyes etc but I expect I will make this pattern again and will note the above notes when it comes to making up!

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Woolly Tourist

Salzburg Airport offers some views that Stansted doesn't:I found it to be a lovely, friendly little city with some beautiful architecture, lovely squares and the magical castle overlooking it all adds a great dimension to many views:















































Another quick post as I am sneaking some blogging time as am spending the first half of the Easter weekend with the almost in laws and I haven't as yet confessed about my blogging habit to them as I feel strangely shy about it.

I didn't return to the lovely wool shop (see below)
on Tuesday for needles and survived the week somehow. I used the time to catch up on my neglected reading - got through a couple of trashy novels and one of the best books I've read in a long time - The Pursuit of Happiness by Douglas Kennedy, it was almost worth the knitting sabbatical!

And saving the best photo for last, my purchases of Lana Grossa yarn:The Dasolo Stripes is for a hat for the 1TB (a tradition now I think) and the sock yarn is for some socks for my Mama's birthday (not till July so should be fine).

Wasn't I restrained, it was either this or one of every shade of sock yarn there was - another suitcase would have been required...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Hello from Salzburg

Just another quick photoless post (promise some pretty pics of Salzburg next time). Have a few moments of downtime so I thought I would note that Salzburg is a lovely, charming city. I have completed my mission and found a yarn shop and was most restrained and made a couple of petite purchases (though I do have a free afternoon on Tuesday when I may have to head back for some of the lovely bargain Lana Grossa sock yarn).

There is just one thing wrong - I forgot to pack my knitting! Argh my fingers are itching for some stitching! Where was my head when I was packing? I had a quick look in the yarn shop for needles but none were on display I may be braver (read - more desperate) by Tuesday!
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