Saturday, September 23, 2006

not so big bad

First, yay for more finished lovemeknots.

Thanks for the comments about the felting. I think Lisa is right about handknit + washine machine = bad idea, even for yarn with that nice little "machine washable" label.

I have to ask though, what is it with knitters and felted bags?

I'm not making a bag. Taking Ysloda's lead, I'll give you a "pictorial" guide to what I have done. They are all thumbnails, click on them to see larger version.

Sewed up one of the armholes...

top sewn up

Cut down the middle of the back to the next armhole.

cutting through middle

Baked some gingerbreadmen.

it's a biscuit

Ta-da! A Scarf. A (little red riding) hoodscarf. Complete with fairy-tale pointy top.


scarf longer hoodie

Red riding hood was delivering cookies to her Granny. Both my Granny's died years ago, but I've always had a great set of Great Aunts. One of my aunt's died last week, another is very ill in hospital.

This scarf is in honor of them both, and all other "mature ladies" (aunts, neighbours, grannys, members of knitting groups...) who deserve spoiling with cookies once in a while.

That said, these cookies are going to a friend for his 26th birthday. I'll save one for my Graddad though. And maybe my little brother if he's lucky.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My washing machine hates me

I'd been working on a cardigan with some deep red Matchmaker DK. The yarn had haunted my stash for a while. Once upon a time it was my First Knitted Sweater. It had turned out badly (surprise surprise). I frogged it and re-balled and it had sat waiting for a decent project for over a year. At first it was destined to a jumper like this, but as Matchmaker is 100% wool I worried about getting an itchy chest and tried to find a non-sweater use for it.

I designed a cardigan/ shrug and it worked. Really well. Bright red and covered in large cables - how very this season. I didn't blog about it because it was going so well I thought I'd submit the pattern.

Anyone who read the post's title can probably guess what's coming. I carefully set to a minimum spin cycle. But the machine decided otherwise, and spun the thing so hard it felted. Felted machine washable wool. I didn't know one COULD felt Matchmaker, in fact I've tried and failed to before.

If I'd wanted the felting, it did do it beautifully. There is something pretty cool about a felted cable. My flatmate got me to try blocking it into a shape that might be wearable, but it wouldn't work. The design required elasticity.

Grump grump grump.

I would stomp around while grumping but when I tried this I stomped into the washing machine and scraped my leg so bad it bled. I told you that thing hates me.

I do have a plan to save the fabric into something beautiful, functional and generally happy though. News of this will follow.

Friday, September 15, 2006

to infinity and beyond

What's this? Soy silk. Laceweight. It's destined for the crochet hook. A very small crochet hook. All will be revealed in a later post. The yarn is, worryingly, called Infinity. This project may take a while...

I passed my transfer "exam". Although it was so unlike an exam it seems silly to call it that (they told me I passed as soon as I'd sat down) it was really just a chance to sit with a group of academics in my department and go through in some detail the work I've done so far. Useful though, and I now have a much tighter plan for the finished thesis (not to mention fear of how on earth I'll get it written before I'm 30). Plus it means my funding is confirmed till April 2008.

Back to knitting, my lace chart from the weekend now looks like this:

Knitted up, it looks rather like a lace pattern I've seen in a Harmony guide, so I probably could have saved myself the maths. But to be honest that was the main attraction.

I'm off to Whistable in a few hours, a long weekend with boyfriend. We plan to eat oysters, drink ale, go "ooo pretty" at boats, avoid seagull poo and generally laze about. I've been taking exams this week and he's been organising a load of them, so we both could do with a few days out of the city.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


The picture above is an alternative chart I've worked out for Melanie's new snowflake socks pattern. The original pattern uses a 13st repeat which is a bit limiting in terms of doing larger/ smaller sizes. It also has a slightly odd thick column in the middle of each pattern repeat. So I thought I'd play around with it a bit. However I'm yet to try it out on anything other than paper - this version may look terrible. We shall see.

Thanks for the suggestions about the wool. I really like the idea of a felted bag. But I don't think I'd use a felted bag. And I want to make something I'll wear. So it may well be fair isle legwarmers, which'll give me a chance to use one of the amazing pattern books my SP7 secret pal, Marion, sent me. But I'm going to leave it a month or so, till it's nearer legwarmer season.

I have an exam this week. Well, the closest to an exam British PhD students ever have - it's a sort of half-way check up. But I need to pass it for my funding to continue. Plus I've been interviewing authors and illustrators the last few weeks, so I have a chunk of transcribing to do. Internet off, knitting away and back to work. On a Sunday. I know. (I plan to have a bit of a break for Simpsons later).

Sunday, September 03, 2006

on the line

Pictures of my current WIP.

Veronique sent me this gorgeous yarn a while back. She remembered me saying I wanted to make an exchequered for myself, and that she thought the yarn would be perfect. The colours are amazing. The blue is like a jewel and the brown is a great match for it - it's rich enough not to dull it's glow.

I started playing with it and decided the rectangles-based pattern wasn't what I wanted. I think I was just bored by it and wanted to try something else. Something more delicate. So I played around with about 100 different arrangments of squares/ rectangle (plus a few more complex fair-isle designs) and settled on this diamond pattern.

Still, I'm not sure about it still, maybe I should just go with the exchequered pattern afterall. I might frog.

But the frogging isn't just because the pattern.

*clears throat*

I have a slight allergy to wool. It's only really an issue round my neck and chest. It's fine while I'm knitting, touching my hands - I'm thinking "mmm how lovely and soft this is". Then I swing it round my neck and oh how it itches. I just need to admit (properly) to myself that this is a problem and avoid 100% wool for certain garments. Scarves. Jumpers.

I really want a good project to use this yarn with. The colours really are just yummy and it was just a thoughtful gift. Legwarmers? Fair-isle legwarmers?