Saturday, February 23, 2008

a lazy saturday evening

red fish - heels

I'm sitting at the giant wooden kitchen table I inherited from my father, feet up on a chair opposite, staring blankly at my computer. Behind me, a load of dripping handwashing is slowly causing a puddle - after seeing Bekki's amazing forecast at a conference yesterday, I was inspired to re-block my increasingly misshapen one. Flatmate-Kirsty is sitting on the floor with her back against the radiator, wrapped in a giant blanket and reading the Guardian magazine. Her hair is alarmingly straightened, after a cut on Thursday. We are both failing to get up and go out for cocktails and general glamorousness, and I'm half re-writing a lesson plan for Monday. We are contemplating making curried parsnip soup for dinner.

Me: I want to blog those red socks but I can't think of anything to say about them.
Kirsty: I think you should say 'Socks. Done. Red! Grrrrrrrrrrrrahhh.'

So, here you go: Socks, pomatomus to be precise.

red fish - front

They are done, and red, though I tend to subscribe to the view all pomatomus should really be blue/ green I somehow felt the yarn called for the pattern. It's Araucania Ranco Solid in case you were wondering.

red fish - sides

They are first pair of socks I've managed the two-socks-at-once trick. Hence the "Grrrrrrrrrrrrahhh" noise. Hear me roar.

red fish do easter island

*sotto voce* though I did cheat for a few rounds at the heel and them worked one at a time, the flap was just getting in the way (admittedly, I was drinking, doing a pub quiz and teaching Kirsty figure-8 caston at the same time, there is a limit to my multi-tasking). I liked this two-at-once business, I'm going to do it again.

Ravelled here. Now I'm off to bake an apple and plum crumble and then an early night. Working tomorrow.

Monday, February 11, 2008

FO: placed cable

This was a project inspired by the yarn. It was a very uncharacteristic impulse buy, which I blame Kirsty for entirely - she sent me to the Liberty's pre-Christmas 20%-off event and, the previous weekend, had me model a gorgeous kid-classic cardigan she'd just finished knitting for an ex-flatmate of ours. Initially, I was planning on knitting Belle Epoque, but as soon as I started knitting up the silky yarn I decided it had to be a cowl-neck, and settled on the simple aran from last autumn's Interweave.

gratuitous cowl shot

Needles: 3.75mm 80cm addi circular.
Pattern: Placed Cable Aran, Cathy Payson, in Interweave Knits, Fall 2007.
Mods: Extensive, see below.
Yarn: Rowan Kid Classic in 'peat', just under nine balls
Ravelled: here.

I modified in two respects. Firstly, actual design: I lengthened the sleeves, cowl and the body by several inches each, and worked the bottom of the body in the same rib as the sleeves. I also added side-shaping and an extra pattern repeat for the central cable, because I thought a longer line in the middle would be more flattering. Secondly, I worked it in the round, and from the top-down (largely to escape seaming such a dark mohair-mix). I started with the back piece, which I worked flat until I got to the bit where the arms divide. I held these stitches, and cast on two small pieces for the front shoulders. I worked these at once (as you would two sleeves at once) before joining at the neck and then working as one piece until it matched the back. Then I joined to work in the round and it was all knitting from then on. For the arms, I picked up with the circular needle and worked in the round using magic loop. I used a k2tog bind off throughout.


Generally I'm pleased with the result. It is a bit sack-like, even with the side-shaping and using a yarn with good drape. A few people who've made it have suggested set-in sleeves might be a good idea (especially as the aran design is so simple, and doesn't really extend to the sleeves anyway), and I'm inclined to agree. Still, I wanted a reasonably baggy jumper, and it's smart enough to where at work. The yarn is a tad itchy - it is 70% wool, but the mohair and nylon take the edge off so I don't find it uncomfortable. Its so lovely and fluffy (without being too fluffy) and silky (without being too silky). For once, this impulse-buy was a goodun.

Sorry about the rubbish in-a-mirror photos. I did take my camera and boyfriend out to the park on Saturday. But the spring-like weather seemed to have brought hayfever along with decent sunlight, and I just didn't feel like having my picture taken. Also, though I'm generally a believer than no responsible blogger should knit with either dark or fuzzy yarn, I do realise this isn't the most photogenic of projects. I'll finish with an 'I'm a little teapot' shot, so you can see the ribbing at the bottom.

I'm a little teapot