Thursday, 29 November 2007

Finishing off

I've been so smug this past term at school because I haven't had a cold. Not one little sniffle. Then on Saturday I got the tell-tale sore throat, and by Sunday I had no voice at all! So I've been off work for two days this week (I'm pretty much back to normal now), which although I've been tired, has provided me with a little extra knitting time. I've got lots of things in the almost finished kind of stage. They just need buttons or ribbons or trimmings. I always find this the hardest bit to figure out. I have three finished objects sat awaiting their final adornments. Hopefully I can get them out and photographed this weekend!
About two weeks ago, I started the Airy Wrap-around Cardigan from Stefanie Japel's Fitted Knits. It was an extremely speedy knit (one week!) but the mohair I've used for it is quite thick, so I now have a fat dilemma. It makes me look like a fat hairy green sausage. Honestly! So I need to reduce some of the bulk from the waist. I think I'm going to have to reduce the length of the ties and go for buttons at the sides. Another job for the weekend, and then what to do with the left-over mohair?
Yesterday I started a new design. I'm quite excited about it because it's the first thing that's entirely mine. The lace pattern, the design, everything. It in Rowan's KSH and is a lovely mustardy yellow. It's going to a gorgeous lace sleeveless vest with a cowl neck (or maybe just turtleneck) with beads and a ribbon at the waist. I love it. :)

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Spit splicing and Ball winding

I've always been intrigued about spit splicing, so I tried it for the first time the other day. It's wonderful! I've felted things before, but I just couldn't get how spitting on your wool and rubbing it together could possibly work. But it does. And although it is quite messy (I did spit rather liberally in my hand) it gives a lovely neat join. So this will be my preferred method for joining wool from now on.
Yesterday I went to
The Handweaver's Studio in Walthamstow. It's a fabulous place. I have never seen so many different shades of yarn. And so many different fibres. It was like an Aladdin's cave, and although more geared towards spinners and weavers, there was still plenty for knitters. I got some orange wool/silk and some green mohair, but most importantly, I got a BALL WINDER! I've been wanting one of these for ages now, and it really is the most marvellous contraption. I've been winding up all my skeins and whatnot for the past two afternoons, and now my stash is all nice and ordered. I've labelled everything and listed everything I have on Ravelry. It was a revelation to me all the yarn I've managed to accumulate, and actually quite shocking. Where did it all come from! I think I need to go on a yarn ban for a while...

Friday, 19 October 2007

Inspiration is back

Being a teaching assistant, I'm lucky enough to enjoy the long school holidays. However, I was really disappointed with myself that I didn't do more knitting over the summer. Especially since I want to start designing my own garments more. But I think it was a simple lack of inspiration. I'm very lazy and so I didn't do much over the holidays. Not getting out and about means that you get no stimulus, and hence, no inspiration. Since being back at school, I've had so many ideas for things to knit, but I just don't have the time to do it all! Now my half term hols have just started I will not make the same mistake again.
With this revelation came the feeling that I should make use of this blog. Even if no-one else reads it, it's here for me to see my own progress. I think it's useful for me to talk about how my designs are going and perhaps I'll receive a few kind comments.
At the moment, I'm working on three things. The first is my Print o the Wave Shawl, which is nearly finished, but I'm finding this last slog mind-numbingly boring! My sister's birthday is on 11th November though, so I've only got 3 more weeks to get it done.
Copy of PA090007
I'm onto the final border so hopefully I can blitz it over the next week and then get it blocked out.

My second wip is a turquoise silk shrug that I'm making out of HipKnits Aran Silk. It's a top-down raglan, and the lace pattern I'm using is from
Ysolda Teague's Ariel. I've finished the main body but I'm not sure how I want to cast off. I did a picot cast off, but I'm not happy with it, so I'm going to go back and think it over again. Another job for this week. I think I'm going to add applied i-cord to the fronts and then have a button loop closure.
Copy of PA090006

The third and final wip is an attempt to recreate
this Anthropologie beauty. I've finished the back, so now I've just to figure out the fronts and add the trim. I'm knitting it in stocking stitch because I couldn't figure out the stitch in the picture. It kind of looks like garter stitch, but I didn't want a jacket like that. this space. I'm going to try and finish it by the end of the week. My inspiration is back. With a vengence!

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Lucky me!

I was pleasantly surprised to open my email inbox the other day to discover I'd won a prize draw. And not just any prize draw, but a prize draw for VV Rouleaux, and ribbons and trimmings shop in Marylebone, W. London. I love to go in there and browse; they always have such beautiful things. I was entered into their prize draw when I signed up to their mailing list. And don't they look beautiful.


I almost don't want to spend them!

In knitting news, I'm now on to the final border of my Print o the Waves shawl. I was really into knitting it earlier this month, but now I'm feeling a little fed up with it. The border is very repetitive. I don't have to finish it until November though, so I've got a while. I've also started knitting a pair of socks from the latest Rowan magazine (No.42). I've had to go down a needle size and add extra decreases because I felt they were much too baggy. I often find Rowan patterns come up big and that their wool is rather stretchy. But I do love their designs. Anyway, will post more pics at the weekend.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

An Almighty Mess

So I was quite happily knitting away on my shawl when this horrific mess occurred.


I naively thought that just hanging the hank over the back of a chair would be fine, but oh no. I have spent the last two days, yes, two whole days trying to unravel this mess. The bf was even sweet enough to offer to do some for me, but I think he would have made it even worse. And to add insult to injury, because the yarn is so fine, it's quite fragile, so keeps snapping. I now have several little balls which is annoying because that means I'm going to have knots in the shawl. Grrr. I think it's time I invested in a ball winder.

In better news, my mum came to visit last week and we made a trip to John Lewis (not that I need anymore yarn - my stash has grown at an astonishing rate over the past six months) to purchase the new Rowan magazine. No. 42 is better than I thought it would be. I wasn't too keen on the online preview pics I saw, but flicking through I've already seen quite a few designs I want to make. In fact, I've started a pair of grey stockings in Kid Classic. I've wanted a nice pair of grey stockings for ages so they'll be perfect for when it gets cold. Also, the pattern calls for bobbles (just little ones) which I haven't done before, always thinking them rather hideous, but these are little ones and in fact, rather cute. I'll take a pic tomorrow of my progress so far. I like to pick patterns which incorporate skills I haven't employed before. I'm a rather fearless knitter. I suppose that comes from being pretty much self-taught. (This is kind-of true. My mum showed me how to knit/purl/cast on/cast off when I was little, then I picked it up again when I was about 14/15 and taught myself how again.) The biggest skill I have yet to try is intarsia. I'd love to do a proper colourwork project. I have in mind
these to start with, but I'd love to make a proper Fair Isle cardigan. Maybe next year.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Sea colours

I was very excited the other day to finally receive the yarn I ordered from HipKnits. It's taken a while, but I'm very happy now it's here. I'd forgotten exactly what was coming, so I quite surprised myself that all the colours were very sea like. Here they are:


This is pure silk. I got two skeins, each one about 100g. It's a lovely shimmery aqua blue/green with slight colour variations. I think the camera caught the colours quite well.


This is a gorgeously soft cashmere. It's a bit more green in real life than it is in this pictures, but like the silk, the colour does vary from quite a strong green through to a very pale mint. I've only got two small skeins (about 50g each I think), so not quite sure what I'll be doing with this. Other than rubbing it against my face, that is.

These lovely four skeins are undyed blue-faced leicester. I'm thinking of dyeing it myself. I want to experiment with using beetroot to dye wool. I remember doing it at primary school, and it gives such a lovely deep purple/pink colour. If this warm weather holds up, then I think I'll definately have a go.

But enough of the yarn porn. The reason I bought all this was that I originally went to HipKnits for some laceweight cashmere in order to make a Print o the Waves shawl for my sister's 21st birthday in November. I asked for some undyed cashmere, but for some reason I got sent some in a very pale blue-green. I rather like it, so I decided not to send it back (and I really need to get started on it). Looking at other people's on the web, I'm so excited about this project. I've wanted to knit it for a while now, and I think it is going to be just beautiful when it's finished. I'm not sure whether I'm going to knit the centre panel in two halves or just do one. I'm not too confident about grafting it neatly because it's so fine, and I think I'd like it the waves just went one way. I'll see how I feel when I get nearer that point. Anyway, here's an in-progress pick. This is after about 6 repeats.