Thursday, 31 May 2007

Still here

I am indeed still here, although you wouldn't know it from reading this blog. We are moving house very soon, and I am sorting things, taking rubbish to the local dump (aka household recycling centre), packing boxes, taking things to the charity shop, and selling things.

And no, I'm not selling any of my yarn stash!

I have done remarkably little knitting. Exchequered continues to grow, but the Grasshopper socks haven't been touched. And even though I am not knitting fast at all - thankyou Bronte! - I do believe that there is going to be enough yarn for the sleeves. Probably. And if there isn't, then it will be a remarkably close thing.

One thing I discovered yesterday was that Marion Foale's website has closed, sadly. I am a long time fan of this lady's work. I have an original Foale knitted jacket which I love, my children wore little knitted sweatshirts made from her pattern published many, many years ago in the Sunday Times, and I've made garments from her Classic Knitwear book. This is now sadly out of print, but still to be found on eBay from time to time.

Her patterns and yarnpacks were far from cheap, as with her original garments, but to my mind worth the price. I am sorry to see this enterprise does not seem to have met with success, and I hope that she will be back.

Finally, Kai has tagged me for a meme on 8 random facts about myself. Right now I cannot think of 8 random facts about anything..... next post though. I promise.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Oh, the suspense....

The front and back of the Illusion pullover are both finished. I have joined the shoulders with a three needle bind off, and I have worked the back neckband - this is done in two parts, as extensions from the front. I am not going to seam this as the pattern says, I am instead going to graft the two ends together. It does seem to me that with thicker yarns, one must be more careful about finishing.

However, I may now have a slight problem. I now have six skeins of yarn left out of the original seventeen prescribed by the pattern, plus some oddments, and I am feeling distinctly uneasy about this. Usually I buy an extra skein, just in case. But with this yarn, seventeen skeins was all that there was in stock, so I have no margin for error here.

Will I be able to get a sleeve done with three skeins of yarn?

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Da capo.....

It appears that I have completely forgotten how to follow a pattern. I was so taken up with chatting to different people at my last visit to knitting group, that I left out half the armhole shaping for the Illusion pullover. I didn't discover this until the back was completed. Most annoying. I knew it was too good to be true!

So today, I frogged back to the beginning of the armholes and I'm now reworking it - this time with the shaping.

The citrus lace is no more. I frogged this as well, and took the box of yarn down to my mother, who absolutely loves it. She is planning to make a little short sleeved U neck top from Sarah Dallas' book Vintage Knits - with a little fudging of sizes and tensions, this should be really good. She's getting on well with the Pegasus sweater, as well - she has finished the back and is nearly up to the neck shaping on the front. It is clear where I get my enthusiasm for knitting!

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Rosewood needles, and other things

By popular request - more regarding the rosewood needles. They are made by Oso Lanoso, and they came from Foreign Strand. They really are excellent quality. The points are wonderful, the sizing is consistent, and the finish is perfect. They seem so delicate! - but I am looking forward to casting on with them soon. The merino/tencel sock yarn came from the same place, I believe.

Flicca came with me to knitting group today, and seems to have been adjudged a success. I did not wear it, because summer has decided to return, and today was not cardigan weather at all. I am sure it won't last, though.

The Illusion pullover is going very fast indeed. I have finished the back now, and cast on for the front. I am reluctant to predict how long it will take to complete - but this rate, the middle of next week is not an impossibility. It is very easy knitting, though. Garter stitch in a nice silky yarn - a very pleasant combination. I do enjoy garter stitch, unfashionable though it is. One thing with this yarn though - it is interesting measuring the length - the fabric drops substantially when you hold it vertically.

I still don't love the citrus lace though. The colour is stunning, but it is so 'not me' that I am just not enjoying working with it. I am going to see my mother tomorrow, and I will take it down with me - I think it will be just her cup of tea.

My mother is flatbound at the moment, and says that knitting is saving her sanity. Can you believe this? She lives on the first floor in an apartment block of sheltered housing intended for elderly people, with a resident warden. There are two lifts. They have both been modified, for health and safety reasons, apparently. Because of these modifications, it is now not possible to get a wheelchair into either of the lifts. Madness.....

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Flicca is finished

Yesterday I finished seaming and added some narrow velvet ribbon inside the back neckline. This morning, a quick and gentle press with a cool iron - and we are done. I must say I am rather pleased with the finished result.

This is Flicca - made in the suggested yarn, in the second size, exactly as written apart from using short row shaping and a three needle bind off at the shoulders, and working the collar and front edgings all in one. Yarn quantities given in the pattern are generous - I only used 19 skeins, not 22. A quick and easy knit, this is really nice to wear. It is comfortable, soft and light, and it will be just right for cool mornings and evenings.

I have cast on immediately for the V neck garter stitch pullover from Rebecca 29. I have not worked with any GGH yarn before, nor have I used a Rebecca pattern. This is going to be another simple and quick knit, and the yarn is very pleasant to use - it has a nice silky feel, with some weight to it, and an excellent drape. The tension looked to be interesting - the suggested tension worked in garter stitch for the pattern was exactly the same as the suggested tension on the ballband, for stocking stitch. I was anticipating a problem here, but all was well. A change of needle size did the trick.

I'm on the second skein already. Really, after all that ribbing for Flicca - the whole garment was worked in rib, don't forget! - some nice straightforward garter stitch is just what I need.

I have also cast on for a lace stole to my own design, in citrus yellow Kaffe Fassett Kid Silk. I am not entirely sure about this at the moment, so I will take it to knitting group tomorrow and see what other people think about it - a photo tomorrow if I don't frog it. It is very yellow, and I am not sure whether it works or not. We shall see what the consensus is.

Something else - a birthday gift from my lovely daughter. I was so pleased and surprised when I opened the package! - a set of 2mm rosewood dpns, with a quite stunningly beautiful rosewood tube to store them in, together with my other sock needles - and two skeins of merino tencel sock yarn, in soft greens, greys, and creams. I keep picking the yarn up and stroking it. It is just so soft, and there is a lovely sheen to it as well. Absolutely beautiful, and a wonderful surprise. Things of beauty, indeed.

I have plans for more future knitting, as well. I have already mentioned Brandon Mably's new book, Knitting Color. My favourite project from here is this vest, in organic stripes of several greens, brown, tan, and blue grey. I am very taken with this, and I think it will look even better made up. Very 'Peruvian Connection', don't you think?

And finally, the uncertainty regarding our house sale and purchase is now resolved - today we finally exchanged contracts.

So all in all, it has been a very good day indeed.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Just in case

Just in case anyone reading this is also knitting Flicca - you need to go and have a look here - the May 20 entry.

You might remember that I had been wondering about the depth of the armscye, well, I actually emailed Anna about it, and it turns out that there was indeed a typo.

I have finished the knitting of Flicca now - it took me a little while to obtain a shoulder seam that I was happy with, and eventually I reworked all the shoulders with short row shaping and used a three needle bind off. Following that, it was a surprisingly long task working the collar and edgings, but I am pleased with the result.

All that is left now is to set in the sleeves, seam the underarm and side seams, and neaten the inside neck edge with velvet ribbon. I usually say that the finishing of a garment takes as long as knitting one of the pieces - in this case, it is taking rather longer. But as always, it is worth taking the time, because the finish makes all the difference.

On another note, I have been thinking with some ambivalence about the current STR socks. I am somewhat worried that this lacy fabric will be just too stretchy, and also that the colours of the yarn tend to be lost in the lace. It has crossed my mind that I could make a wonderful pair of socks with this yarn if I just worked the pattern in stocking stitch - because this yarn really is lovely.

However, I keep coming back to the fact that it will do me good to step out of my comfort zone here, and that is what the sock club is about, for me at least. So I think I will stay with the Grasshopper pattern.

Well, probably.....

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Feast your eyes

Well, I did say I liked it. And it arrived really fast, too. Eight skeins of lovely soft fine merino, in the most stunning and subtle range of colours. I ordered the Arioso Scarf Kit, but I'm not going to use this pattern, I shall make the one from Interweave Knits which is much more to my taste - although I shall omit the flower trims. Simple is good, I believe. With colours like this, you can let the yarn do all the work for you.

I shall have to be quite organised when I knit this, some of the colours are very close. But aren't they gorgeous? Right now, I just want to keep looking at them. Whilst knitting Flicca, of course.

I know what's going to be next though. This is GGH Illusion, shade 04, and I bought it at Knit Happens. It is a rather nice mixture of blues and greys, looking quite bright here but less so in reality. This will be a simple V neck sweater from Rebecca 29. First time I shall have used a Rebecca pattern, first time using GGH yarns as well.

The yarn came in a nice sensible drawstring bag, which is big enough to be used to hold the project whilst I'm working on it. I just love little touches like this.

Flicca is going well actually. I am working on the last piece, one of the fronts, and that should get finished today, so I can work the collar and edging tomorrow.

I believe I have found an error in the pattern regarding the armhole depth, it is only there for the first three sizes and it is easy to spot. I have adjusted accordingly, and I am just hoping that it isn't really some wonderfully clever way of giving a better fit, which I have completely failed to understand. I don't think it is - I think it is just a typo. But I am still wondering.

One thing I am going to change, though. The instructions say to join the shoulder seams, and then pick up stitches and work the collar, then to pick up along one front and work the edging, then the other front, and finally to seam the ends of the collar and the edgings together invisibly. I am not so keen on all this, so I am going to work the edgings and the collar all in one, and to that end I bought myself a long 7mm circ this morning. It will be a lot of stitches on the needle, but worth it for the improvement in the finish, I think.

In the meantime, I have just received a copy of Brandon Mably's new book, Knitting Color. Mr Mably does not disappoint. There are a few items that simply defy description - I think they are intended to be joky, but they certainly don't work for me. I was beginning to feel that I had wasted my money at this point, but then I started finding the good stuff, of which there is plenty.

There are many, many beautiful things, including some extremely wearable garments - three of which I want to knit immediately - and some that are stunning, but which I don't think I could ever get away with wearing. I could wear them if I was tall and willowy, but I am not. I am less than 5'4", and I haven't been willowy in the slightest for about 30 years. Never mind. They are still beautiful.

In the meantime, on with Flicca.

Friday, 18 May 2007

It didn't last

The house crisis is averted (again) and all is now back on track. For the time being, that is.

We cannot quite believe that it is going to work, and are waiting for something else to go wrong. It seems as if everything that possibly could go wrong so far, has done. You name it, it happened. Even our solicitor is saying this is the worst she has dealt with for years.

But maybe it will be alright. We aren't going to feel safe until we actually have the keys to the new place in our hands - and that is getting so close now.

So, I am knitting again. And sleeping at night, which is also helpful. And not pacing up and down talking heatedly on the telephone, which is even better.

I am not going to inflict on you any further pictures of the big grey blob which is going be a finished Flicca in the hopefully not too distant future - I will just say that the back is of course done, as are both sleeves, and it looks as if I will be finishing one of the fronts today.

So that just leaves the other front, the making up, the collar, and the front edging. Hmmm. Not impossible, but I do like to take my time with the finishing, it makes all the difference.

In the meantime, I have been looking at my copy of IK Summer 07, which has just arrived. I am not greatly taken with any of the projects this time - but I do like the Merging Colours Scarf by Candace Strick, highlighted in the Yarn Spotlight article. It's on page 10, and Candace Strick's website is here - the colours are just stunning, I think.

Once Flicca is finished, I shall have to decide what to do next. There is the black Cotton Fleece cardi from The Purl Stitch; there is Clovelly in lovely Rowan Cotton Jeans; there is the unnamed lace stole in Kid Silk - or there is some rather nice GGH Illusion which arrived the other day, so soft and silky, in a beautiful mix of blues. This is destined to be a sweater from Rebecca 29 I believe. But which is to be first? I cannot decide.....

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Normal service will be resumed shortly....

Probably, that is. I am sure that I will be knitting again soon. At the moment I can't quite imagine it but it is bound to happen eventually.

Things are rather difficult here at the moment - I won't bore you with the details. When things are just moderately stressful, I knit a lot, and it helps. When things are extremely stressful, I don't seem to be able to knit at all. I pick up my knitting, I knit three stitches - then I think of something else I should have said, another phone call I need to make, another approach that might help ....

At the moment I am halfway up the second sleeve, and it has taken me two days so far. Not very impressive.

I've also been trying to spin, but that seems to be even more impossible.

It can't last. It just can't - can it?

Monday, 14 May 2007

Eight more days.....

Well. I have been knitting Flicca for five days now, in theory. We will ignore the fact that I did no knitting at all on Saturday - not on Flicca, anyway. I did knit the neckband on a pullover that my mother is making - it's difficult when your sight isn't what it used to be. On Sunday I finished the back of Flicca, and then was laid low by a migraine.

Today, I made the first sleeve, so I am approaching the halfway point, and Flicca should be finished in good time, if all goes well.

I've used nine skeins so far, and it's clear that I will have yarn left over. This isn't a problem though, it is a good useful colour, and people always need hats.

From the comments - Natalie - it's interesting that you should suggest forest green for a top down raglan, I had one of those planned for my husband. There is a stack of Peace Fleece worsted in Hemlock somewhere in the stash, which for quite some time has been earmarked for this. I am a huge fan of Peace Fleece, they make wonderful yarn, and I love their colours.

But I have changed my mind about the pattern. In my meanderings through Knitting Without Tears, which I have been slowly re-reading, I find myself increasingly taken with the idea of a seamless hybrid sweater, with a shirt yoke across the back neck.

To my mind, the main disadvantage of a top down sweater is that there is so much of it to carry around, for most of the time. If I work from the bottom up, then as EZ points out, I can make the body and the sleeves separately, and only have the whole huge thing to carry around whilst I am working the top part - much better, I believe.

And I also believe that this sweater shape is likely to fit my husband very well, definitely better than a straightforward raglan.

I am sure you have seen BrooklynTweed's wonderful version of this sweater - if not, then I recommend that you go and see it.

Tomorrow - the second sleeve, I think. The Grasshoppers and Exchequered will just have to wait!

Saturday, 12 May 2007

11 days to go

Here is where I am with Flicca, after yesterday. I haven't actually knitted anything yet this morning, but I should get some more time for it this evening.

I have now finished the 2x1 rib section, and I've started the 1x1 rib. There is just about 4 inches to go before I reach the armhole shaping, and with a bit of luck, I might complete the back this evening. That is skein number 6 there on the chair - which is where I sit and knit outdoors, by the way. Although I won't be doing that today, it is still decidedly damp out there.

I think it is unlikely that I shall be getting any more than the back finished today though, because I shall be driving for quite a lot of the time. The reason for this is the large bag of yarn which you can see below.

I had been looking for some yarn that would substitute in some old patterns that my mother was wanting to make up, and I was very pleased to find some of the original yarn on eBay, much to my surprise.

That is Twilley's Pegasus, described on the label as 8 ply cotton, in primrose yellow and turquoise blue, and I know that my mother will be very pleased with it.

I'm still looking for something that can be substituted for a yarn called Phildar Boule. This was a cotton mix yarn, with a texture approaching boucle, and multicolour satiny slubs through it as well. It worked up at 4 stitches to the inch.

I know the probability of finding any of this particular yarn is vanishingly small, so I'm looking for something else to use instead, and I'm not having much luck so far. Bright, textured, interesting, and 4 spi. That's what we need here.....

Friday, 11 May 2007

Flicca progress

Well, if I keep going at this rate, I shouldn't have any problem at all with getting Flicca finished. However 'if' is the operative word, because I do know that I am not likely to have so much time available every day.

I am making the second size, which will need 22 skeins according to the pattern, and I am partway through skein 4. I've got a couple of skeins extra as well - I always do, if possible. They will get used for hats or something if they aren't needed for this.

I'm now past the 3x1 rib and just into the 2x1 rib section - and of course today is the second day.

This fabric is worked at a nice loose relaxed tension, easy on the hands. However I am still wishing for my circs, because although my hands seem to have adjusted, it is not easy on my wrists having the weight of the work out on these long straight needles.

This yarn is rather good, actually. It's not like working with wool of course, but I greatly prefer this to the Patons Diploma that I am using for Exchequered. Working with chunky yarns is not something I usually enjoy at all, I much prefer four ply, or at a stretch, dk. But this stuff is very pleasant to work with, and I can put up with the big needles because it is rather nice to see it growing so fast. The yarn isn't splitty in the slightest, and in general is very well behaved. There have been no knots so far, and just a couple of big slubs which you can see in the picture. I don't find these a problem and haven't removed them.

So at this point, I really should just go and get on with it, whilst things are quiet.

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Back to our muttons

Now that I have finished being childishly amazed by the internet, and also now that I have finished (well, hopefully) making embarrassing mistakes - thankyou, Anonymous, you know who you are! - some semblance of normality now returns, because I can knit again.

Here is the current state of play with Flicca. I picked it up again this morning and as you can see I have nearly finished the first skein - this stuff does work up fast. It is Sirdar Click, by the way.

Yesterday I managed to find some narrow velvet ribbon for the inside of the neckline, not without difficulty. So finishing will actually be possible. No buttons on this, which also simplifies matters

I have a fancy to wear this to knitting group later this month - it is probably the last time I will be able to get to this knitting group, as we will be moving house next month. The knitting group meets this month on Wednesday 23rd. And today is the 10th - so that means I have 13 days.

I wonder if I will manage it.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007


I've been having an interesting time exploring the statistics that Sitemeter has to offer, and I've discovered that I have readers as far afield as Singapore, Sao Paulo, Israel, Egypt, Finland, Norway, Belgium, Portugal, Queensland, and of course North America - British Columbia, New York, California, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Indiana, Texas - I can't list them all out...

I would never have thought it!

It is really amazing thinking of people so far afield reading this - hi, all of you! - and welcome!

Yet more frogging

Flicca is progressing backwards rather than forwards at the moment. The pattern says 7mm needles - and my beloved Denise's don't have a 7mm needle, so I cast on with 6.5mm. I thought it would be fine. But after about half a dozen rows, it was apparent that the tension was a teeny bit firm. I know, I ought to have worked a swatch, but I didn't.....

So, there then ensued one of those expeditions to the loft where I usually fail to find what I am looking for - but in this case I did come up with a pair of 7mm needles. These are a really, really old pair of long Aero straights, which I have had for more years than I care to think about. They are the only pair of 7mm that I own, it seems.

So, I continued on the 7mm needles - and, you have guessed it - after another half dozen rows it was apparent that although the tension was now correct, the line where I switched needles was actually visible. So I frogged it.

I did cast on again with the 7mm needles straight away, but I have only worked one row. This is because I am having some problems with my left hand. I think it is because I am working with a long pair of straight needles, and my hands just aren't used to it. I've tried switching to combined knitting, but it isn't helping.

So I have come to a halt. Maybe a rest will help. I certainly hope so, I don't like being unable to knit.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Paddington Hat

One more quick project finished. I had four and a bit skeins of the Jo Sharp Desert Garden left when from the top down raglan, and I thought a nice straightforward cotton hat would be just the thing.

The pattern is the Bucket Hat from Bonne Marie and it is a very quick and easy knit. Impeccably written, I should add, as always with this designer. She is a lady for whom I have great respect - her patterns are flattering, reliable, and really very good indeed.

So, here is the hat in the sunshine, looking rather washed out. It isn't really floating in mid-air, it is sitting on top of my button tin, which has the same diameter as my head - although not the same shape, I hasten to add.

And another shot with me wearing it. This time the colour is true.

The pattern comes in three sizes - I made the Medium, which has a finished measurement of 22" around. Now, my head actually measures 23 1/2", and I originally cast on for the Large size, which is 24". I had completed the brim and about an inch of the body of the hat when I realised that, really, this was going to be too big. So I frogged it all - believe me, I didn't want to, because garter stitch with thick cotton on small needles is hard on the hands, and I would have it all to do again.

But if it's worth doing at all, then it's worth doing right. So I frogged it and cast on again immediately for the Medium size, which fits me nicely. After all, knitting stretches.

This took two and a bit skeins of the Desert Garden, so that's more than 120 yards, but less than 180. Say 150 yards. If I make it again, as I well might, I will work another couple of rows in the side of the hat. But, as I said before, I do have a rather big head.

Oh yes - and 'Paddington' because my husband says it looks like Paddington Bear's Hat.

I have just cast on for Flicca, by the way.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

What's missing?

As promised, here are the Blue Moon April socks in progress.

The yarn is Socks That Rock of course - Silkie, which is new, and as the name implies, has silk content - 19%. The colour is called Walking on the Wild Tide, and the pattern is called Grasshopper.

Lovely, lovely yarn to work with, and a beautiful knitted fabric too. Soft to the hands, with that sheen that you only have from silk, and the colours are positively jewel-like.

The tension for this yarn is a little unexpected. The pattern says 8 stitches to the inch on US #2, 2.75mm. But the yarn seems quite thick when you look at it, more like sportweight than sockweight, and I was sure that I was going to have to go down at least one needle size, and very possibly two sizes. So, I worked a little tension square (just like I never bother to do usually) and was very surprised to find that I was working exactly to gauge. 8 stitches to the inch on 2.75mm. I could hardly believe it, and I still keep checking it - spot on every time. It just goes to show - the Blue Moon people know what they are doing.

The pattern is toe up again as you can see, with a simple mesh lace pattern across the top of the foot, and up the leg. The sole is in stocking stitch, of course. There is an option to work this pattern as a knee sock ( you need extra yarn) but I don't think that's for me, although they are extremely pretty.

The cast on for this sock was one that I haven't tried before. You do a backwards loop cast on and knit one row, then pick up in the cast on bumps for the other side. It works very well actually. I am not a particular fan of toe up socks that actually start at the point of the toe, like this one - I usually prefer to work a provisional cast on and a short row toe. But this method does work rather neatly, I must admit.

The heel is going to be interesting. It is worked with a heel flap. I have seen a fair number of patterns like this, but this will be the first time I've actually made one up.

What's missing? - well, that would be two circular needles.

I did try, honestly. I really did. I am supposed to be stepping outside my comfort zone with this Sock Club - trying new things, whether I think they will be to my taste or not. I have worked socks with two circs before, so it's not as if this was a new technique for me. Not my method of choice, I prefer dpns. But the pattern said two circs, so off I went.

And I really did try. I worked the whole of the toe and about an inch of the lace pattern on two circs, according to the pattern. But it was driving me completely bonkers - pulling the cable across to put the stitches back on the needle was not going smoothly at all with the lace pattern section. Inox greys, before you ask. I normally find these absolutely fine - but not for this pattern.

So, back to my trusty dpns. These are gunmetal coloured Boye's, by the way. Pretty colours, nice pointy points, and an excellent finish - what more could I want?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have just noticed some new sock patterns over at Blue Moon. And I absolutely have to go and have a proper look....

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Almost what we wanted

This afternoon I have been taking pictures in the sunshine.

First of all, the Trekking XXL socks.

The colours show rather well here. They really are vivid and interesting, with no pattern repeat at all. This is because of the yarn construction, four plies, each with its own colour change sequence.

My husband says they are Hippy Socks, and he is very pleased with them.

And the top down raglan is finished as well.

The colour is not true at all - this is a good dark navy, and there are no strange horizontal stripes on it. I don't know where those come from, there is nothing to be seen on the garment.

Anyway - the pattern is an old favourite from Knitting Pure & Simple, written for a chunky weight yarn, and I modified it in that I worked at 4.5 spi instead of 4 spi. Very straightforward of course, a bit of arithmetic to identify which size instructions will produce the desired size of jumper, that's all.

The yarn is Jo Sharp's Desert Garden, in Indian Ink. This yarn has an interesting construction. It is technically a cabled yarn - thirteen little two ply strands, all plied together. Yes, thirteen, I thought it was unlikely too. It does tend to be a bit splitty, but it produces a lovely soft thick fabric.

I wanted a plain navy jumper to replace an old favourite Betty Jackson pullover, which has been worn so much that it's actually going into holes - and I am very pleased indeed with this new pullover - the colour, the fit, everything - it is just what I want.

The third FO isn't finished yet, and for that I believe we can blame two large companies who shall remain nameless.

Over the last 24 hours I have spent a quite ridiculous amount of time on the phone to two mobile phone companies. Too many hours, that's for sure.

We have just changed networks, and yesterday our numbers were supposed to be ported across. You would not believe how many different combinations of 'wrong' they managed to arrive at, between them. My phone is now sorted out, but my husband's is not - he cannot receive calls, which is very inconvenient of course. Apparently it will be dealt with on Monday, or possibly Tuesday. We are not wildly impressed with this.

In the meantime, I am going to be looking for some yarns for my mother. She is thinking of making up a couple of old favourite patterns - probably about 30 years old, actually. One of them was written for for Twilley's Pegasus, and the other for Phildar Boule. So now I am off to see what I can find.

STR sock progress, tomorrow!

Friday, 4 May 2007

Losing it

I had a very fraught half hour this morning - I couldn't find my lovely new STR Silkie yarn. Well, more precisely, I couldn't find one of the two balls I had wound from it. One of them was in my knitting bag, together with the band. The other was not.

I found it in the end. It was in my little Go-Knits bag, where I keep the sock in progress. I absolutely do not remember putting it there.

Most odd.

Tomorrow, not just one, but two FO's. Possibly three.

And I will cast on for the Silkie socks tonight as well. Pictures tomorrow, definitely.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007


Completely irrelevant to anything that I am knitting at the moment - but I have thought of a new method of working a buttonhole. At least, it is new to me, and a quick look through Montse Stanley's invaluable book doesn't show it anywhere.

It was EZ's afterthought buttonhole that brought me to this, actually. To my mind, the main disadvantage of the afterthought buttonhole is the fact that the ends needing to be woven in are so small. And then I thought, why not remove the need to cut into the fabric - why not simply 'unlink' two rows of knitting?

So - work across the place where the buttonhole is to be. Slip the buttonhole stitches - two, three, or however many is appropriate - back from the right hand needle to the left hand needle. Then take a piece of contrasting yarn, preferably something smooth to make unpicking easier, and knit the buttonhole stitches again, in the contrast yarn.

And then just carry on. On the return row, simply work across the contrast yarn stitches as usual.

When you are ready to finish the buttonhole, you can simply stitch around the edges, going through each stitch loop twice. You could use back stitch, which would produce a nice neat result - or stem stitch is another possibility. I think I like the idea of back stitch though, particularly on a garter stitch background. Then unpick the contrast yarn - and there it is.

Now, I am not for one minute expecting this to be a new idea - after all, there are few things in knitting that are actually new nowadays - but I am rather taken with it nonetheless.

I'm swatching for the new Blue Moon socks at the moment - some surprises there. More later.