Thursday, May 27, 2010

In threes

As things are supposed to come in threes I'd better not order any more yarn. Even though I want to very,very much!

Yesterday I got two cardigans' worth of lusciousness. They were irresistible bargains (but then I would say that wouldn't I?) from Kemps.Organic Merino DK, in Felt - £2.50 a ball. Heaven. Enough for an Assemblage but we'll see what the wool has to say for itself.
Summer cardigan territory here - Soya Cotton DK - the deliciously named 'Tangiers' colourway. I took a ball of this with me on a train journey today for swatching and I am definitely enjoying knitting with it. Thinking about how much I enjoyed knitting it I just nipped off then to Kemps to see whether they still have some. They do. £1.99 a ball. Please, go buy it and save me from myself! Mooncalf I'm looking specifically at you as it's envy induced by your wonder bargains from Kemps that convinced me to go for some this time. Seriously though, I am really pleased with both of these purchases. Sensible amounts of good basics at great prices, even if I don't get this knitted this year they are great yarns to have on hand. It's the new phase of stash acquisition. Grown up greed!

Just to round off the yarn-alanche nicely today my May sock club yarn arrived. This is not grown up greed. This is base self indulgence and totally awesome it is too.Hello merino/cashmere/silk blend. I love you! You're here to stay, no need to hide under the porch.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

When Levens met Manos and went to a Wedding

While I was knitting away on the beautiful Levens two things happened. One, I fell in love with some bargain Manos Silk Blend in Atlantic and just HAD to have it. I wasn't too sure what it would become, I went for yardage that would make a Somewhat Cowl as that seemed like a contender. Then thing two that happened was an invite to the evening do of a wedding. By then the yarn was here and it caught sight of Levens and loved the ruching and said "I should be a little shrug with Levens ruches. I would like to be a little shrug with Levensy ruching that goes to the evening do of a wedding." it said. (Luckily having bought Maggie Righetti's Sweater Design in Plain English to help me out with this demanding stuff I find that this kind of chatter is all just fine and not early onset dementia.)

So back before Levens got finished I had to wind some yarn and swatch to see whether it was all talk or if it would live up to its big ideas. I made a kind of miniature prototype minus the sleeves and it didn't look too shabby. Then the lingering doubts set in: could I really sort the numbers out, would it be too warm for a summer do, would I look like a fool in a Christmas sweater?

So the yarn went off for a sulk while I gathered my wits about me. I showed my idea to Mama on Friday and there's nothing like a Mama to help you believe in your abilities. I worked out the maths I needed for the start and I'm nearly to the armpits of the back. Looking good so far. I'm knitting at a loose gauge to get the drape I loved from Levens which I hope will also make this a nice weight garment for a summer evening.
It's not a Christmas red, it's more a cherry red? Hopefully on track for the effect I want. We'll soon see as the wedding is just a couple of weeks away, so I must be bold and knit on if I'm not going to look like a nut with a knitting needle still attached to her outfit.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Tea Cosy

I wish!

Mine is a little more, well, invisible so far. This is Frilly Lily, a pattern designed by Angela Rippon for Marie Curie Cancer Care. The pattern is for sale in their online shop for a mere £2. I'd knit her but I don't need any more distractions at the moment. Each time we get close to a weekend I think this is the one: the one where the ideas meet the graph paper meet the yarn and needles. Maybe this is the one? Mum and Dad are visiting, so maybe not. Still the closing date for tea cosies is August 31st 2010 so there's time yet.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Taking it slow

It was a weekend that was going to be all about catching up, well I suppose in one way it has been. I've slept so much this weekend that I hope the energy reserves are topping up nicely. In the meantime I and the weather were both feeling a little grey for a photo shoot for Levens which I finished this week so no modelled shots. Instead some modest sofa shots. For a project that was all about taking it slowly, being in the moment and not worrying about the end result this is somewhat fitting. It's about the stitches and here they are.
Pattern: Levens by Lily Kate France
Yarn: Dashing in Summer Days from Flamboyance Yarns
Needles: 5mm Circular
Started: March 24 2010
Finished: May 11 2010
Ravelry Page
I like the way this pattern is written. It's fairly simple once you get set on how the ruching works and stitch counts after each stage it is easy to be sure you're on track. The Dashing yarn from Flamboyance Yarns was a lovely yarn to work with. Very soft and springy, the plies are tight so no splitting issues. I love this colourway and think that the pattern is ideally suited to showing off a semi-solid colour. I'm really pleased with the drape when knit with larger needles. Panda feels that you can see the drape much better in this shot.
The slow motion I'm moving in has made hard to muster up enthusiasm for any of the active knits on the go. I'm to the stage on the socks and on Willie that require a little thought. Oof, too much for this weekend so I dug out an older FO - Patti - that is all about the stocking stitch.
I just about made enough notes to make picking this up easy but I must keep better notes when I'm in progress with a knit. I always think I'll make a comprehensive note of where to pick back up when I put something aside for a while but I never normally know that I'm putting something aside when I flit on to something more exciting! Ah well not much excitement here this weekend but hooray for the comfort of knitting.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Weekend in West Wales with Willie

and the baby that will wear Willie some day, some real live dogs, sheep naturally and nearly as common - the odd fortress or two.A fun weekend but being away does leave me feeling constantly miles behind on everything for the week after. Hence, somehow, it's Wednesday before I'm writing about my weekend in West Wales with Willie. Still that does at least mean it's only two days until the next weekend in Oxford when I might get at least back to my normal state of being - ie only just behind on everything!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

So Nice I Made it Twice

Fanfare please - this is a stealthily knit gift for one of my favourite knitting companions. Note it is for the one who just had a birthday who is also the one who owns an Ipod. The less grey one of the two. Just goes to show that sometimes there are greater rewards than just a mere blog post in your honour.
Pattern: iPhone Purse from Cotton&Cloud
Yarn: Rowanspun DK in Cloud (734), Thor (750) and Thorn (748)
Needles: 4mm Bamboo DPNs
Start: 28 April 2010
Finish: 5 May 2010

This time I made it stripey for some extra happiness factor and I knit the inside of both pockets in the blue. Pleasing. I think it's so nice I wouldn't rule out a thrice.

Monday, May 03, 2010

A Bonus Knit & Crochet Week Post

Thank you so much to Eskimimi for organising the fun of Knit & Crochet Blog Week. It's quite a different experience blogging on pre-set topics. Certainly the only way I could ever keep to a daily posting schedule. There was one subject that my beloved thought should have been one of the topics for the week so I thought I'd better fulfil his wish as he rarely gets anything knitted for him and he along with The Panda* are truly my:

Favourite Knitting Companions


They may not knit but they are there by my side through thick and thin. Endless conversations (monologues?) about circulars v straights, the relative merits of Merino over Shetland or whether something might just block out okay. The pleas for measuring the drop from the nape of my neck to my armpit, the patterns and yarn swamping my lap and her seat, the trips to yarn shops (that last nearly as long as the trips to record shops), the endless boxes full, cupboards full, lumps under the doormat that are all more yarn.

These two bear it all with such grace and sometimes even enthusiasm. Through years of dedication to the cause they have justly earned the title of "favourite knitting companions".

*It should be noted that I do indeed have a favourite of my two cats as the other one has decided she loves my next door neighbours more than us and only comes back for her food. If it weren't that she is approximately 911 in cat years I'd swear she was a teenager.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

What a Yarn - knitcroblo7

When I think of yarns I've used and loved it's always the sock yarns that spring to mind (most recently Alchemy Juniper has really stood out as an amazing combination of softness and durability) but there is one amazing yarn in my stash that I have never used.
It's a beautiful luxury cashmere and silk blend from Jade Sapphire which I won from the lovely Gosia of Stitchville way back in 2007. It is the jewel in the crown of the stash. A yarn I would walk over hot coals for but it's very beauty means I just cannot decide what pattern to choose for it. I've been confident that something would one day jump out at me but so far nothing has seemed quite right. There are two things I know for certain about its destiny though. It will be a scarf and it will be a scarf for me!
knitcroblo7

Saturday, May 01, 2010

A revisit to say Bye Bye! - knitcroblo6

I'd like to be revisiting Iris to say that she is one of my most used knits but sadly not. It's time to say farewell to a knit that I have barely (maybe never in public?) worn.

Sometimes I catch sight of her on my projects page on Ravelry and I feel a little guilty that it's up there pretending this was a success. I was sure it was when I finished it. It fit nicely, was such a useful looking little piece I thought I'd wear it in to holes when I managed to block the fronts a bit more sternly so they wouldn't roll but I've tried pinning the thing down and she still edges up over what she is designed to cover. So it's time to be honest about her, take her out of the winners enclosure and reclaim that pretty Calmer back. The irony that one of the knits that I was so diligent about seaming has to be dismantled is not lost on me. Sigh!
knitcroblo6
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