Thursday, November 30, 2006

solace on fair isle

wip shot - lost hat!

Downloading* photos from my camera yesterday, I found I a WIP shot of the lost hat. I'd completely forgotten I'd taken it. So I can share quite how lovely the colours were.

Easing my pain, I found a use for the blue and brown wool Veronique sent me. I finally got the hang of holding a colour in each hand, and am breezing along.

fair isle wip

I was going to do legwarmers, but I'm still worried about wool-itch. I'm pretty sure it'll be a bag, but if I felt it (yet to test a swatch) I could cut the fabric up for something else. It'd probably make a great bag, I'm just not sure I need one.

* Or is it uploading? In fact, what's the difference? When is the computer up or down?

Monday, November 27, 2006

problem with t'noggin

I knitted a hat.

Using Wormhead's ingenious Whirly Rib pattern, I striped Kureyon with a solid purple Cashmerino. To avoid itching from the wool, I worked cashmerino only for the rim, then striped in the gradually. The yarn and the pattern worked so well. The colours; gorgeous. I finished at the end of last week and already had compliments from non-knitters and knitters alike.

Lack of photographic evidence?

I left on the bus this morning. I was tired and frustrated by seeing the bus I was going to change onto pass us. I might be able to try the London Transport lost property office, but don't hold out much hope.

Grump grump grump. I was planning on blogging about it this evening and really looking forward to it.

But in good news I drunkenly made my boyfriend wear my pink scarf on saturday night (went surprisingly well with his yellow tee-shirt). Now smells of him. Which is comforting considering the lack of whirly wool hat to keep my noggin* warm.

*Brit slang - I mean head. Though you probably worked that out.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

FO - woodland fairy bag

Another FO! I'm just chugging them out. That's a lie. I did this AGES ago, but like the shibori scarf, it was a present so kept off the blog. My current knitting is actually going quite slowly (frogged a sleeve of forecast, grumble, grumble).

Enough of that, the FO. Ta-da! It's a felted bag, a birthday present for my friend Alexis, who recently emigrated to LA.

alexis' bag portrait

I did the knitting, felting and embroidery for the outside. Kirsty (Alexis' cousin, my flatmate) sewed all the inside, making a super-strong lining, strap and zip. Plus she chose a cute button from her grandmother's button box to neaten the front pocket. I used green fuzzi felt with a loose lace design suggested in the second R2 book. Felted it, cut bits out and crocheted hexagons in some pink/sparkly scraps I had around.

Years ago, back when we were slightly punkish, slightly gothish teenagers, I made Alexis a similar bag which we both decided looked like Barbie's puke. I've decided all the green fuzzi felt makes this more like the bodily fluid of a woodland fairy. We left the front bit open as an extra pocket, so she can play with the "boobies" that are made by the embroidery. I have to stop knitting things with breasts.

boobies inside alexis' bag

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

birthday scarf for my mum

Before I forget, thanks for all the comments about my recent FOs. I tend not to reply to comments unless I have something productive to say, but I do always read them and go over to any link that's left with them - I've found a load of new knit blogs from comments.

So, another FO. I finished this ages ago. But it was a gift for my mother's birthday, so I had to hide it. I used about two and a half balls of luxury tweed. It was just a simple st st scarf on 3.25mm needles. When finished, I arranged some marbles at each end - kept inside the fabric with rubber bands - and threw it in the washing machine for a spin. As previously documented, our washing machine loves felting.

Once dry, I removed the marbles and popped the bobbles out. I'd been wanting to try this technique for ages and very pleased with the result. The colour should suit my mum well, and it's not too fussy (without being something too simple and boring for a birthday present). It's also incredibly warm and soft.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

FO - "mermaid" legwarmers

One fish.

one fish

Two fish.

two fish

More green than blue fish.

The yarn is from curiousyarns, back when they sold sockyarn in 70g skiens (with a 30g contrast colour for toes and heels).

It's been sitting in my stash for about six months, teasing me with how perfect it'd be as a pair of pomatomi. Three problems with this: it's 100% wool; I don't really need another pair of socks; I didn't think the yardage was quite enough.

I can't believe it took me this long to work out the solution - legwarmers. Well more anklets than full legwarmers, but I wanted something neater than my big baggy sparkly pair. I just worked the cuff chart for the pomatomus pattern an extra repeat and finished with a sewn bind off. They fit neatly over a pair of standard socks, or even bare feet on days when I'm wearing grown up shoes. Perfect.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

FO - silk sash for wedding

silk sash

I decided to knit this to go with the dress I wore to my cousin's wedding, and it was my project for the train up there. In the end, it didn't quite go with the dress in (not quite thin or wide enough) but did work VERY well in my hair instead. It'll probably work with other dresses, and again in the hair. And maybe as a very small scarf come spring.

Pattern It's a long rectangle... the stitch pattern for those who want to play (multiple of 4 sts, +1):

Rows 1 and 3: knit
Row 2: p1, *p3tog put don't drop the st off the needle, yo, then purl another time into the p3tog before releasing the stitch (i.e. you make three sts into a double-decrease - neat!), p1**, repeat from * to ** till end.
Row 4: p3, then * to ** until last 3 sts, p3.

It was a really fun stitch pattern, I know the photos (black yarn!) aren't that great, but the effect is sort of like crochet. I'm thinking of doing a pair of mittens using it.

Yarn Debbie Bliss pure silk in black. Lovely to work. But you know all the complaints about cashmerino pilling? Imagine a yarn that pills as you knit it. What is with all the cable patterns she's done for it?! It feels lovely and has a nice sheen, but I wouldn't cables it (even if you could afford a silk cable jumper!).

Needles My smiley face 3.25mms.

Monday, November 06, 2006

soysilk tablecloth - done!

I'm back from Edinburgh and my cousin's wedding. Which means the tablecloth has been given and I can show it off!

This was a bit of a toothpicks and dental floss project, but I did enjoy it and am pleased with the results. The only thing I didn't really like about it was knitting-to-deadline, but that's my own fault.

Yarn: laceweight soysilk. It's a bit like cotton, but not so strong, and silkier knitted up. I tried to do some research before I bought it but I couldn't find a knitter who had used it. In the end I thought it was worth a try, and I'm glad I took the risk, because it is fantastic. Recommended. It does smell a bit odd when wet though, sort of chemical.

Pattern: Find it and other's here. It was hard. But I wanted a challenge. I ended up charting out a lot of it because it was much easier to read, but that's often the way. I started each motif with the magic adjustable ring rather than the way it suggested and simplified the boarder a little, but otherwise I didn't do any mods. There were places where instructions could be more clearly expressed, but it all seemed to be correct.

Needles: 2mm brittany birch dpns, 2mm addi turbo 80cm circular and a 1.75mm metal crochet hook. The birch had too much friction and the addi's were slippery but neither was too much of a problem. It was a vintage pattern and suggested working the 800+ sts for the boarder on dpns - thank goodness for circulars! I *hated* the hook - way too slippery. Either I get a wood one of that size or there is no way I'm crocheting at that gage again.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

train knitting

I'm off to Scotland in a few hours for my cousin's wedding. I just have a few moments to blog my first SP9 package (!) and show off the projects I'm taking for the train.

First up. The dress I'm wearing to the wedding needs a sash. A great excuse to try a yarn I wouldn't normally have a chance to play with (Debbie Bliss 100% silk). I'm normally of the view that bloggers shouldn't knit with black yarn, and when they do they shouldn't photograph it. But I can't resist.

The green underneath was the dress I was wearing yesterday, not the one I'm wearing to the wedding, which is also silk and a sort of grey/ purple. I love that I'm knitting this super-glam yarn with my smiley-face needles. You'll just have to imagine how lovely it is to work with.

The silk is such as small ball this won't take long. The main project I'm taking is my brother's birthday present. When he was little he lived in his Superman cape (well any fancy dress... pirates, Peter Pan, knights, but mainly Superman) and one christmas asked Santa for "super-boots". We couldn't find any, so I made some out of a pair of red wellingtons, with the superman symbol in gold paint on the side. For his 21st (last week) one of his presents from me was a voucher saying I'd do him a knit slipper-sock version if he told me his feet measurements. I'm using EZ's moccasin sock pattern with Paton's woolrich DK (for his sensitive skin). It'll be mainly red, with dark blue soles. I thought about a gold for intasia symbol, but I'm just going to paint it on.

And, leaving the best till last, my first SP9 package! The parcel arrived yesterday afternoon long after I thought the post had already come and gone (along with my train ticket - so I was VERY pleased with the postman!). The parcel was just small enough to go through the letterbox and landed with a great thund on the carpet. I investigated the front for clues - somewhere in the USA. Then opened it - chocolate (now packed for the train), a flower notebook, a writing set (and I've been meaning to write some proper old fashioned letters recently!). Plus an aran sock pattern from knitpicks and oh, can my fingers feel some yarny goodness? By golly they can - some beautifully autumnal-coloured knitpicks sock yarn.