May 31, 2008
It's my birthday today, Happy Birthday to me!
Yet another year older. Why does each one seem to go quicker than the one before? The family got me another gorgeous Japanese stitch dictionary, amongst other things.
And Twinkie tried to stick herself into a gift bag.
I had a lovely day, spending the afternoon at Stitch n Bitch, and going out for dinner tonight.
Knitting is coming along nicely!
Spirit is almost done.
I actually took that picture this afternoon, before SnB, where I was up to the start of the collar. I've finished the collar now, so all I need to do is cast off, block her and seam her.
Kitri is cruising along nicely, too.
There is an option of doing a fan on the heel, which I really liked, but I thought it might be a tad uncomfortable ina shoe, so I didn't do it. But I'm in love with this sock!
Seeing as it's my birthday, let's have a give away. Leave me a comment on this entry, and I'll enter you in the draw to win this.
It's a hank of Wagtail Yarns 80% Mohair/20% Merino 5ply (Sportweight) yarn, in Deep Violet. There's 375m to 100g.
Just leave your comment before midnight on June 3, and I'll draw a name with a random number generator. Good luck!
May 25, 2008
I was wrong, I'll be the first to admit it! Em wore Flicker-ish today for the photos, and that means she wore it more than once!
She's very happy with the hat, and I'm biased, but I think it looks super cute!
Pattern: Inspired by Kim Hargreaves' Flicker hat, which I made for myself late last year.
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in Childs Play, purchased at Jimmy Beans Wool. (Super quick and super reasonable international shipping!)
Needles: 3.5mm (US 4) and 4mm (US6) Knitpicks options.
Modifications: Again, plentiful. The hat was inspired by Flicker, but it's quite a bit different. The Lorna's is a worsted weight, the yarn used in Flicker is a DK weight, so the stitch count is different. I worked it in the round, while Flicker is worked flat. The stitch pattern is a 3 row repeat, so when it's worked flat, every second repeat is a purl repeat. I didn't bother with that, I just did the three rows, all in stocking stitch. I think that's pretty much it.
But the most important thing is that it was finished for casual day at school, so it got worn at least once in public.
The other projects are all coming along nicely. Spirit is growing in leaps and bounds.
Sleeves and back are done.
Front is about halfway done.
I'm trying to use up a ball a day. Sounds impressive, but in reality there's only 55 metres (60 yards) in a ball, so it's not to hard a task. And right now, each row has 50 stitches, which is why it's growing so quickly.
And Kitri is also coming along nicely.
I've made a few mistakes in this one, but nothing glaring. A few rows have been tinked, but I love the pattern so far.
Twinkie would like you all to know that she gets no peace at all.
She can't even eat in peace!
May 23, 2008
And so, stepping back in time a week or so, David's vest is done.
He's very happy with it, in fact he's even worn it two or three times since I finished it. He could teach Em a thing or two! (The sweater I finished for her a few weeks back? Hasn't seen the light of day yet)
I really, really enjoyed this knit! The yarn worked up super quick, the cables gave me enough entertainment that I didn't get bored, and it fits him well.
Pattern: Cable Vest by Patons Australia, from Paton's "Jet Mens" (#1266)
Yarn: Paton's Jet in Shade 809
Needles: Knitpicks Options in 4mm (US 6) and 5mm (US 8) (Down one size from the recommended due to tension issues)
Modifications: A few, all structural. First off, the pattern calls for you to knit the front and backs separately, then seam them, but I couldn't see the point. So I knit it in the round up to the armholes. The front has more stitches than the back to accommodate the cable, so I had to count a few times to make sure I'd marked the side seams in the right places.
Apart from that, I followed the pattern exactly up to the shoulders. Again, it called for you to cast off then seam the shoulders, but as you've all no doubt figured by now, I'll go to a great deal of trouble to avoid a seam, so I used short rows to shape the shoulders, then did a three needle bind off.
This caused some momentary confusion, because the front shoulders have more stitches than the back, so some fudging had to happen, but there were no major dramas.
Then the neckband and armbands were picked up and knit in the round.
So I managed to finish the whole thing without a single seam. In fact, the only time I had to wield a darning needle was to darn in the ends.
I have raved about this yarn before, after finishing Em's sweater, but it warrants saying again - I love it. It knits up nice and quickly and the resulting fabric isn't too heavy. I soaked it in "Soak" then dried it flat, but I washed it again today by tossing it into the washing machine on the "Wool" cycle, and laid it flat to dry, and it's come up fine.
Final verdict? A+!
By the way, I did finish Flicker-ish, and Em did wear it to school yesterday, but I don't yet have a pic. Stay tuned.
May 21, 2008
Ziggy No More
So here's the update on Ziggy.
Ziggy is no more. It just wasn't working for me, and when I showed Emily how much I'd done, she wasn't feeling the love any more either.
Off to the frogpond.
Of course, this doesn't negate the fact that she wants a slouchy hat in those colours to wear to casual day at school. Tomorrow.
It's based very loosely on Kim Hargreaves Flicker, which I knit for myself late last year. That's the one Em loved, and nothing else was working quite right, so I modified Flicker to work, hence the Flicker-ish!
The rib is worked in 1x1 twisted rib, and the hat is knit in the round instead of flat and seamed. The stitch count is different, and the pattern is a 3 row repeat, so in the original, every second repeat is purl side out, but I'm too lazy for that, so it's all knit side out on this one!
I stayed up late last night to do it, and have worked on it pretty much all day, and it should be done for tomorrow, although it won't be blocked. I don't think she'll care though! (And tough luck if she does!!)
Apart from that, I'm having one of those crazy busy weeks anyway, so I'm behind on my blogging, behind on my emails, behind on my ravmails. If you're waiting to hear from me, I haven't forgotten you, and I'm not ignoring you, I promise.
Twinkie is feeling neglected, and is now looking for nose rubs wherever she can get them.
Unfortunately, Roxie isn't listening either.
Here is a picture of the EmPress in her normal state, undertaking her normal activity. (Whilst trying on, and approving, a hat)
May 18, 2008
Bundles of stuff
Lots of stuff going on, lots of blog posts up in my head. After deliberating, I decided to go with the new knits for today.
No one managed to guess all three new things! I should have made it into a real competition, shouldn't I?
First up, the RYC Classic Alpaca Soft. This came as part of a kit from Kim Hargreaves, for Spirit from the Light and Shade Collection.
Loving this! I may never knit with lace weight again! I cast on for this on Wednesday afternoon, and here's where I was last night.
The yarn is RYC Classic Alpaca Soft from Rowan, and it's really, really nice. I'm not usually a fan of bulky yarns, or of bouclé, but when it knits up this quickly and feels this soft, what's not to love? Although I do kind of wish I'd gone with the Charcoal Grey instead of the Rose now, but I do still like the Rose. It's 50% Cotton, and 50% Alpaca, but I'd never have guessed it was half cotton to touch it.
Project number two is the sock yarn that appeared to be a pinky colour, but is actually red. (Stupid camera).
Kitri Socks! (I typoed that at first as sicks, then as sucks. A bit like my typing skills!)
I've had it simmering in the stash for a while, and every time I opened the sock box, it called to me, so I decided the time was nigh. Haven't got far with it yet, though.
And the final project that no-one managed to guess, is a hat for Emily. (Because she needs another hat to hide in her bedroom!)
She saw Ziggy, and went into raptures, so I ordered a skein of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in Child's Play from Jimmy Beans Wool, and here we are.
I can't say I'm overly happy with it, but I've never been a fan of lace in variegated yarns, but Emily loves it so far, and I guess that's the important bit. Now she wants it finished to wear to casual day at school this week.
I haven't made any promises!
May 14, 2008
An Unusual Situation
Yesterday, I finished David's Vest. It's done, without even one single seam, has been bathed, and is now blocking.
More details and photos at the weekend, when David will be home in the daylight for pictures.
Last night, I also finished David's 6ply Opal socks.
How lucky is he? Socks and a vest, all done.
However, this leaves me in a most unusual situation. I have nothing on the needles.
But I do have plans to rectify that very, very soon. Here's a hint.
(And there's more than one project in there)
May 11, 2008
Happy Mothers Day!
Happy Mothers Day!
I hope everyone is having a wonderful day. I got some lovely, lovely presents.
Tea things, and some p*rn. A Japanese stitch pattern book, my kind of p*rn anyway. I told David and Emily I'm going to use up all my stash knitting up nothing but pretty, pretty swatches.
So the Vest is plodding along towards done. I actually thought it would be done by now, but I haven't knit much the past couple of days. I spent last night plugged into iTunes playing stupid games on the computer.
We're off to my Mum's house for a boozy lunch, so provided I don't drink too much, I should have the body finished today.
Or if I do drink too much, I may have an interesting variation on the other side of the front!
May 07, 2008
The Upside of Project Monogamy
Project Monogamy is just not in my nature. If left to my own devices, with no self imposed rules, I would spend all of my knitting time starting new things, and never finishing anything.
So I normally impose upon myself the 3 Project Rule. One pair of socks, One lace project and One garment at any one time. There's leeway in that, I might have gloves on the needles instead of socks, or a cabled scarf instead of a lace project, but only ever 3 projects at once.
Right now I have just two projects on the needles. David's stripey red socks, which have been untouched for days, and his cabled vest.
This cabled vest is showing me the upside of Project Monogamy. I cast on on May 3, four days ago.
I have just joined in the sixth of 10 balls. I'm halfway through in four days. Lovin' it!
I am not loving the knots I am finding in this batch of Jet. We're not talking about little knots, I'm talking about big fat knots that take 10 minutes to unravel.
(That's a bonus shot of my new sheepy pj's for Evelyn!)
That's happened in three out of the six balls so far!
We'll see how long the project monogamy lasts - I'm meeting a local Raveler tomorrow to discuss sock knitting, so I'm pretty sure the socks will be back out then.
May 04, 2008
The rabbit strikes again
Having finished Em's jumper/sweater, I'd promised David that I'd knit him a vest. Having nothing suitable in the stash, on Friday I headed down to Daisy Designs in Wollongong to get something. Had a lovely knitting day, and picked up a pile of Patons Jet in green for the vest.
I brought home the nice paper bag full of yarn, and put it at the end of the sofa, ready to be cast on.
I didn't get around to it on Friday night or yesterday, and last night we went out for dinner. Arriving home, we settled in and I realised that I could hear a suspicious rustling noise.
Twinkie had found the paper bag.
No yarn was harmed in this process.
A few labels were ripped, but it's not the yarn she's interested in, thankfully.
Last night I cast on the vest, after making a few adjustments to the pattern. I decided to omit the seams and knit it in the round, which wasn't any hassle, but casting on 192 stitches without twisting them turned into a mini drama, as did the gigantic knot in the middle of the ball.
But all is now well, and the vest is cast on, no thanks to Twinkie, or the knot!
May 01, 2008
Another one finished!
I'm happy with it, and Emily professes to like it. In fact, she wanted to hug it.
There's a little room in it too, in case she ever actually gains any weight, and grows around instead of up!
Pattern: Deep Rib Sweater (Style 17) from Patons Australia book No. 1260 "Inca and Jet"
Yarn: Patons Australia Jet, a 70% Wool, 30% Alpaca Blend in Shade 12, a shade that is now sadly discontinued.
Needles: Knitpicks Nickel Plated Options, 4mm and 5mm.
I love this yarn! I made a scarf for a friend in it quite some time back, but this is the first time I've used it in a garment. It's a nice lofty yarn, knit at 16.5sts - 10cm (4"), and it knits up super quickly. I'm so impressed with it that I'm going to get some more and knit a vest for David.
I gave the whole thing a bath in some "Soak" before I seamed it, and I'm pretty impressed with the "Soak" too! I used a sample pack of "Flora", and it smelt heavenly, and the knitting is lovely and even softer now.
Something gorgeous arrived in today's mail, and I'm itching to cast on.
It's the kit for the "Magic Carpet Ride" Scarf from The Woolen Rabbit. Isn't it gorgeous? I'm not usually much into oranges or browns, but this colourway is called "Moroccan Spice", and it's beautiful. I can highly recommend Kim's service, the kit arrived in just over two weeks from the USA, and shipping was exceptionally reasonable.
I'm dying to cast on, but I have to be strong, and wait at least until I get some beads. I'm really trying to wait until I finish something else I started last week.
An Aran Scarf in Sublime Yarns "Cashmere Merino Silk Aran". This stuff is gorgeous, too. Perfect for a scarf, not a hint of scratchiness at all, and the perfect colour to go with my new red winter coat!