Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Procrastination

Really, you know, I am just putting off the decision to cast on for miles and miles of ribbing in black Calmer.

Anyway. This was the thing. That's a Ravelry link. If you can't access it, try this - (scroll down to 2008/04/03.) I saw it, and I loved it. It is just so organic and textural and beautiful.

And here is what I have to show.



This heap of gorgeousness is Rowan Chunky Print and Rowan Big Wool Tuft, both discontinued, but still fairly readily available, I found. Most of the Chunky Print I found here - and more here, and the Big Wool Tuft I found on eBay.

I am going to actually crochet something - Anna Tillman's Bark, from Rowan 38.

I only have two balls of the Big Wool Tuft instead of the three that the pattern prescribes, but according to Ravelry several people have made it with just two balls, and I've got an extra ball of the dark brown Chunky Print just in case - I'll sort something out. It's a long time since I've actually crocheted a garment of any sort, and I don't think I've ever crocheted something for myself before.

In the meantime, I'm knitting reverse stocking stitch in the round, every row purl, for the collar of Clovelly. My left hand is letting me know that it is not happy with all this purling, so I'm glad that it will soon be finished. And then I can wear it to work tomorrow. Definitely, this time.

Wednesday

I didn't get Clovelly finished for work yesterday..... just too much knitting. But I will get it finished today.

I now have my usual dilemma - what to make next? I had intended it to be Truffle, and that's still a strong contender. But some yarn that I've been waiting for has finally arrived, and I could also start Scree - or Stripes Galore.

Or Tender, from the Calmer Collection - I think this may be what I go for. I can't find a picture of this - it is a Kim Hargreaves pattern for a roomy pullover in fisherman's rib, and I will be making it in black. It will be wide and loose. The pattern has long wide sleeves with foldback cuffs - I'll be changing this. Wide sleeves that are the right length, thankyou very much, and with no foldback cuffs to fall down and get in the way, I think. And the pattern also has a cowl neckline - I'll see what I think about this a bit nearer the time, I think that I will probably change this to a loose funnel neckline.

It isn't the most exciting pattern in the world, but it will be really useful to wear. It is easy to go for things that are exciting to knit, but wearing the finished garments is what it's all about, right now.

Picture of Clovelly later, with luck. And after that, for some days it will be miles of ribbing in black, for Tender.

Except that I do have a slight distraction. The yarn has arrived for something that I shall also be starting later today. Just a small project, but I really want to see how it works up. More later.

Monday, 28 April 2008

What was I thinking?

Unravelling from a ribbed edge just does not work.

I cannot remember when I last tried to actually do this, and although I sort of knew that it was supposed to be A Bad Idea, I had thought to myself - how bad can it possibly be? I'm sure I can manage it! Then I will avoid having another join, and there will be two less ends to weave in.

No. I can't manage it. Weaving in two extra ends is as nothing to this, truly.

Undoing the cast-on edge isn't too bad. That isn't the problem. And the actual fabric of the knitting unravels just as you'd expect it to.

The problem is that at the end of every row, and also wherever there is a switch from knit to purl, or purl to knit, there is a bit that doesn't unravel neatly and has to have the yarn tail carefully pulled all the way through. And - hello? - this is ribbing at the edge here.

If it was just a few rows, it would be do-able. But pulling the whole length of the unravelled yarn through, every three stitches, for the entirety of six rows of ribbing and then at every row end for some inches of stocking stitch - no. I may be a bit slow sometimes, but I can learn. This was not the way to go.

Instead, I picked up the right hand leg of every stitch in the eighteenth row of stocking stitch. Hooray for nice pointy Knitpicks Options.


And then I snipped a single stitch in the row below, and unpicked in both directions across the row.


Current stay of play - the neckline stitches are sitting on an Options cable with endstops. One sleeve is shortened, set in, and the side seam and sleeve seam on that side have been worked, and all the ends sewn in. The second sleeve is what you see above.

I do want to wear this to work tomorrow.......

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Darn, and other comments expressing frustration

There will have to be some frogging, I believe.

I've just reached a point with Clovelly - where I could pin it all together and try it on, so that's what I've been doing. Shoulders seamed, neckline part worked - pin the side seams, pin one sleeve in place, pin the sleeve seam. Try on. Carefully, because of pins. A worthwhile exercise - much better to discover anything that needs fixing before everything is seamed.

My point of doubt was regarding whether I would have enough yarn to work the neck as deep as I wanted it to be. I've used one ball of yarn on the neck so far, and it measures just about 8 cm. The pattern says 19 cm, plus four more rounds, plus the cast off. Not the same as standard tension for this yarn, as it is worked on smaller needles, in case you're wondering. Anyway, that is maybe one-and-a-half more balls of yarn still needed. I've got one and a bit, so things might be alright.

Anyway, I tried it on. The jumper itself is really rather nice, and the deep neckline is good too. But the sleeves.... the sleeves are too long. I knew they were going to be long, and I suppose I had been trying to convince myself that they were going to be long in a good way.

This turns out not to be the case. I'm not a willowy 5'6" plus model with long elegant slim arms - I'm a curvy 5'3-and-a-bit" with arms that are a fairly normal length (I think) and although sleeves a bit on the long side are fine in their place, they aren't right for this jumper, not when it is worn by me anyway. I need to make the sleeves shorter. So there will now ensue the undoing of the cast-on edge for both sleeves, and unravelling up to the appropriate point, and reworking the ribbing, and a sewn cast-off.

Annoying, because this means I won't get it all finished tomorrow. On the other hand, it does mean that I will definitely have enough yarn to work the neckline as deep as I want.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Friday

Clovelly is past the waist shaping now, nearly up to the point where I divide for the neckline. I didn't get very much done yesterday, not at all - and today, although I'd like to be working on this, I think it will have to take a back seat.

The reason for this is that tomorrow I'm teaching a session on different cast-ons and cast-offs, and I really do need to work some swatches so that I can show people what I'm talking about. It's all very well saying, the cable cast-on produces a firm edge, the long-tailed cast-on has more stretch - but it is a lot better if people can see for themselves.

So today, lots of little squares, instead of my jumper. But it only needs doing once, after all. Next time that I teach this session, the preparation will be already done. And I need to write some handout sheets, as well. Mustn't forget those.....

Kim Hargreaves new book is out, by the way. It's called Nectar, and it looks very, very good!

Thursday, 24 April 2008

A short post

Clovelly is coming along nicely.

I won't bore you with another picture of beige knitting - I'll just say that at this point, the back and both sleeves are finished, and I'm past the waist decreases on the front. Maybe I'll get it finished this weekend.

Next will be either Truffle in the lovely Silk Cotton yarn, or Spook in the equally lovely but very different Kidsilk Haze.

This year is definitely the year of the sweater. What is it so far? - six, I think. Clovelly will make seven. I must get Pia and the Cobblestone Pullover finished, as well.....

You know, it is very nice making actual garments for myself, rather than other people as it has always tended to be in the past. I am definitely inclined to carry on with this.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

The good and the bad

I've got a new favourite blog on my reading list. Whoopee. Go and read it - this is excellent stuff. I don't add a new blog lightly, but this one is there to stay.

That's the good bit.

More of the good bit is that I have discovered something that I haven't seen since childhood - or only very occasionally - and it is a real pleasure.

Cowslips.

Don't laugh. I remember seeing whole banks of cowslips forty years ago - and then over the years they became more and more uncommon, until it was rare even to see one, all by itself.

Things are different here in the West Country.

I first noticed a bank of cowslips about a week ago, as I was stopped at a roundabout on the way to work. I was amazed. I could hardly believe what I was seeing - but there they were.

And now I am seeing them even more. I've spotted them in at least four other places. Not just one or two - but whole banks of them. Beautiful golden bells, soft and delicate - I remember them so clearly from when I was a child. These are at the side of a busy road, so I can't stop and touch, or smell - but I remember. And they brighten my day.

The bad?

Someone stole my glasses today. It couldn't have been a mistake, it had to have been deliberate. They weren't anything special, apart from the fact that I needed them, and they were just right for me. They were on my table at work, lying across their case, which was open. Someone folded up my glasses, put them in the case, closed the case, picked it up and walked away. And they took my pen as well.

I know, its only a pair of glasses. But it feels like an invasion. I've never had anything stolen before, and it really isn't nice at all.

I think I need to go and do some nice therapeutic knitting. With wine. And quite possibly chocolate as well.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Monday morning

Where on earth did last week disappear to? Five days since I last posted. One of those instances when life in general just takes up time. But I have at least been knitting, and Clovelly is coming along nicely.

I finished the back the other day, and here is where I am at the moment. This is a sleeve - the second, actually.

Here is the first one.


There was much racking of brains about how to work the cuffs on these sleeves. I was not too enamoured of the 2x2 ribbing on the original, particularly in combination with the half- cable twists at the top, and the row of eyelets. I think you can just about see this in the original here. Or maybe not so much. Anyway, there is three by three ribbing along the lower edge of the body, and garter ridges around the edge of the cowl neck, so quite a lot of different finishes. I definitely didn't want the eyelets and the twists. But I did like the idea of a bell sleeve, and I did like the three by three ribbing. So, what to do?

I did consider a good length of three by three ribbing, and just omitting the half-cables and the eyelets. But in the end I went with a rather smaller cast on number, and a short three by three rib, exactly the same as the body. When in doubt, the simplest option is often the best, I think. And the result is what you can see here.

The only problem with working from stash yarn is that it would be next to impossible to match the dyelot, if I ran out. But I think all should be ok here. The pattern says 17 for the size I am making. I had 17 to start with, and I've got eight left. So I think that will be alright.

I've been wearing Mine to work, by the way, and I'm still really pleased with it - and yes, extremely proud of it as well. I haven't noticed it dropping in wear, and none of the beads have come off - and I've stopped worrying about this happening. Really, those beads shouldn't be going anywhere. The nylon monofilament is strong stuff, although I do keep getting told horror stories about superglue disappearing in the wash, which I must admit does sound a little surprising and hard to believe.

But anyway, when I wash this - I'm wearing it over a tshirt all the time - when I wash it, it will be by hand and with extreme care. The beads don't seem to get in the way at all when I'm wearing it, which is perhaps surprising. Even the ones around the armhole don't bother me - I think it is because the armholes are quite deep, and the weight of the beads makes them drape down even further. And the ones around the neckline - well, I've said it before - it feels like putting on a beautiful heavy necklace.

Regarding other things, still knitting related, though - I have something nice to look forward to, at the moment. In about a month, I'm going up to Holmfirth for a few days.

I don't think you will be surprised to hear that I am quite ridiculously excited about this.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Wednesday

I meant to post this morning, but completely forgot. It's been such a lovely day today.

Here is Clovelly, sitting on the table in the conservatory in the morning sunshine.


This is from the Rowan Classic book Coast, and it can be made in either Rowan Classic's Natural Silk Aran, or Cotton Jeans. I'm making it in Cotton Jeans, in 360 Canvas - it's a nice mixture of grey/biscuit/natural, and I'm liking the fabric - pleasantly solid, as this is 100% cotton in an aran weight - and nicely drapy. Beautifully soft, too. This is going to be lovely to wear.

In the end I went for size 16 - to fit bust 40". I don't think that negative ease is necessarily quite what I want with this fabric, and I should have enough yarn for this size - so that's a decision now.

No going back.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Shades of grey

Mine is finished.


This is really, really beautiful.


In retrospect, I wouldn't change a thing. The beading is absolutely worth it. Slow, careful work - and a lovely result.


To recap - this is Mine, from Rowan 43. I used the yarn recommended by the pattern, Rowan's Bamboo Tape, in Storm. This is size 14 (UK sizing of course) and I used 9 out of the 10 skeins recommended. The beads are 8mm Swarovski dark grey crystal pearls from Creative Beadcraft, and silver lined clear glass beads from Rowan. They are attached individually with clear nylon monofilament sold for beading, with a simple knot at the back after every fourth bead, and the ends of the monofilament secured with a knot and a tiny dot of superglue to hold it.

It is not really possible to use any other method with these beads - and believe me I did consider all sorts of possibilities. But the pearls have a fine hole which cannot take anything other than a beading thread of some sort - also, they are really heavy, the pearls used on this garment weigh about 200 grams. Also, they have a reputation for sharp edges to the hole, which will cut through thread. Hence the choice of monofilament, and individual stitching. Actually, the individual stitching is what Rowan recommend in the pattern instructions - and it is a good way to go.

Putting this on is just wonderful - it feels like a beautiful heavy necklace.

And tomorrow, I shall have the pleasure of wearing it to work.


I'm looking forward to that.

Three needle grafting - how to do it - (or, Kitchener stitch without a yarn needle!)

First of all, I'd like to emphasise that this is not the same as a three needle bind-off or cast-off. That is a different thing altogether.

This produces a result exactly the same as Kitchener stitch - the two sides are grafted together - except that you don't use a yarn needle to work it - you use three knitting needles.

So, I've called it three needle grafting.

It is an extremely useful technique, especially for sock toes, because you don't need anything apart from the needles with which you made the sock. And a pair of scissors to cut the yarn, of course.

You need, as usual, to have the stitches from each side on a separate needle, and to hold the needles side by side. Now, cut the yarn, leaving a tail of a suitable length for grafting whatever number of stitches you have. I've only got four stitches from each side of the sock toe, but I'm still leaving a decent length of yarn tail for clarity. (Well, hopefully.)

As with Kitchener stitch, there are two steps at the beginning. Start by knitting the first stitch on the front needle.


However, don't slip the stitch off the left hand needle. Instead, pull the new stitch out into a long loop - and keep pulling it out -


- until you've pulled the yarn all the way through the original stitch. We cut the yarn already, remember?



We do this with every single stitch. Instead of leaving each newly formed stitch on the right hand needle, we pull the yarn all the way through the old stitch. Every time.

Now, the back needle. Purl the first stitch.


Don't slip the stitch off the left hand needle. Pull the new stitch out into a long loop -


- and pull the yarn all the way through.



From this point on, there are just four steps, which are repeated.

  • Purl the first stitch on the front needle. Slip the stitch off the left hand needle in the usual way -
- and then pull the yarn all the way through. I've got three stitches on the front needle now.

  • Knit the next stitch on the front needle. Leave the old stitch on the left hand needle, and pull the yarn all the way through it.

  • Now the back needle. Knit the first stitch on the back needle. Slip the stitch off in the usual way, and pull the yarn all the way through. Now there are three stitches on each needle.

  • Purl the next stitch on the back needle. Leave the old stitch on the left hand needle, and pull the yarn all the way through it.

And there you have it. Purl, knit - knit, purl. The first stitch on each needle is slipped off in the usual way - the second stitch is left on the needle. And the yarn is always pulled all the way through the old stitch.

When you've got just one stitch left on each needle, finish (as you'd expect) by purling the stitch on the front needle, slipping the stitch off the left hand needle in the usual way, and pulling the yarn through - and then finally knitting the stitch on the back needle, slipping the stitch off the left hand needle in the usual way, and pulling the yarn through.


And there is your three needle graft.

You'll never need a yarn needle to work Kitchener stitch again!

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Sunday morning

I still haven't finished Mine, mainly because it's actually quite difficult finding the time to work on this. I've finished beading the neckline, and I'm just about halfway around the first armhole at the moment. Yes, that's all I've done.

You see, I usually work on my knitting in the evening rather than during the day - there are other things happening during the day, of course, such as work, and life in general. Except that with this project, working with the fine clear nylon monofilament requires good light, and not just a project lamp either - daylight. So I sit at the table in the conservatory, which is one of my favourite places anyway, and the light is about as good as it could possibly get. But not in the evening, of course.

Now, however, I have two clear days ahead of me. Barring unexpected visitors (which is what happened last weekend, a lovely surprise actually) I should get plenty of work done on this. I'm not going to say that I'll get it finished, although it should be possible. I'll just say - we'll see.

It is beautiful though. The other day I took it in to work, as one of my colleagues has a lot of experience with beading, and there was general approval of my method and also of the way it was looking.


I must say that I'm rather pleased with it myself. If I could take arty photos with any degree of success, I'd be taking them. It is a wonderful combination - the subtle sheen of the Bamboo Tape, and the beautiful heavy liquid drape of it. Add the weight and texture of the grey crystal pearls, and the silver lined clear glass beads.... I'm looking forward to wearing this, with black linen trousers and a plain tshirt, I think.

Just to recap, as people have asked - this is Mine, from Rowan 43, the current issue. I've been working with Rowan Bamboo Tape, and the colour is 716 Storm. The pearls are from Creative Beadcraft - they are the 8mm Crystal Pearls from Swarovski, and the colour is dark grey - 6. The clear silver lined beads are from Rowan, it says J3001008 on the label.

I'm attaching the beads using fine clear nylon monofilament sold by John Lewis (you'll find it in the beading section of the haberdashery department) in little packs which contain 5 metres of the stuff (3 packs will be enough) although in retrospect there is a huge choice of threads on at Creative Beadcraft, and I can't think why I didn't look there in the first place. Except that I do know, its because I still don't know what things like Fireline actually are.

In effect, I'm working back stitch, and threading a single bead onto the top loop of each stitch. I'm placing an overhand knot around a loop at the back of the work after every fourth bead, and I'm securing the ends of the monofilament with a good knot and a little dot of superglue.

And now I must exercise some willpower and haul myself away from the Creative Beadcraft site - so many pretty things there - because I want this finished and wearable - and soon!

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Of knitting, superglue, and spring. And indecision.

Well, its definitely spring. Over the last week the hedges have greened up, the ash buds are breaking, the chestnut leaves are unfolding themselves, and the fields are full of little wobbly lambs.

This means also, of course, that we are having interesting weather. Some lovely sunshine that has been making it feel more like summer - and also rain, hail, snow, sleet, wind, and frost. I don't think I've missed anything out. You know what they say about the English weather - if you don't like it, just wait. It will change in a minute.

I have still not finished Mine.


I've finished all the knitting, of course. I've also worked all the bands, all the seams, and woven in all the ends. It is rather nice - in fact, more than nice, it is lovely. It works very well indeed. But, of course, that's not all there is to it.


It's the beads, you see - they have to be attached one at a time, and this is going incredibly slowly. So far, I've nearly finished beading the neckline. I still have to bead all around each armhole, and although I'm loving the result - this is stunning, you know - I'm not loving the process one bit.

I'm using the fine nylon monofilament sold for use in beading, because glass beads such as these Swarovski pearls may have sharp edges to the hole, which can cut through thread. The monofilament is, I am reliably informed, much less susceptible to this, so that's what I'm using.

But it is not nice stuff to work with. It wants to bend in the wrong direction all the time, it springs out of your hand when you least want it to and catapults your beads across the room - and to add insult to injury, when you knot it, the knots don't want to stay done up.

Also, of course - and not least - it isn't any sort of a fibre, and that grates. I don't like using something that feels so very plastic, as part of my nice knitting. The only positive point about it is that I don't need to use a beading needle, I can just push it straight through the beads.

I do wish I could work a bit faster though. I need good light for this, so I can't work in the evenings. I'm placing a simple knot at the back behind every fourth bead - not every bead, that idea didn't last long. And at the each end of every piece of monofilament there is a good knot, and a teeny drop of superglue. Just around the knot, you understand, not actually coming in contact with the knitting at all. Hopefully.

It feels so wrong going anywhere near my knitting with an open tube of superglue - but it is necessary. The things we do......



Actual knitting - well, not so much. I've worked a little more on the first Kaffe Fassett Earth Stripes sock. When I get to the toe, I'm going to do the grafting without using a yarn needle, hooray. Excellent thought. If I can get my act together, I'll put up some photos and a 'how to' - maybe others will find this method as useful as I do.

Still need to finish Pia, also the Cobblestone Pullover. Both of these have rather lost momentum, as I'm sure you've observed.

And after that - I know I said that Spook was next. (In Anthracite KSH) However I am back in my usual state of indecision, because I am reminded that Clovelly and Truffle are both waiting too. Also the Grandad Top from Studio 5, and also Tender from the Calmer Collection. I may not have mentioned these before.

Currently I think that Clovelly is in the lead, mainly because it will be the quickest to knit. (Cotton Jeans, shade 360 Canvas, by the way.) I intend to change the sleeves a little - I am not so keen on the little half-cable-y bits at the top of the ribbing. Just some nice straightforward bell sleeves, I think. I was wondering about a garter edging, to match the edging at the neckline - but it occurs to me that it will want to flip up, because garter edging in a situation like this always does. So maybe ribbing instead, to match the lower edge of the body.

That's if I ever get these beads done, of course. Really, I'd rather be knitting.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Monday morning - and some beading advice wanted, please?

I've finished the front of Mine.


Here it is looking very short and wide and strangely pointy at the sides - well, it is short and wide. And pointy too. Currently I am working the neckband, and later today I will get the armhole borders done.

Then comes the big decision - how to stitch the beads in place. I have a strong suspicion that the 4 ply cotton just isn't going to go through the holes in the grey crystal glass pearls, unfortunately. So, what to use instead?

I have some nylon thread sold for beading and jewellery making - it looks like fine clear nylon fishing line. I'm not too sure about how well that will knot, though. I do want to secure each bead individually - the thought of the thread breaking at some point and the whole lot just dropping off the garment is not a good thought. So, a knot behind each bead, I think. Will the nylon behave when it is knotted, or will it want to come undone? It's the ends that matter, of course. And just how strong is it? Is it even suitable for something like this - glass pearls? I don't have any feel for this, so I am a bit at a loss here, although I suspect this may be my best option. Maybe.

Or I have some very old (but strong) quite heavy cotton thread that my grandfather used to use for the rigging when he was making model ships in bottles - I think it was originally sold for shoemaking. That certainly looks like it would do the job, and it was certainly very strong to start with, but it is rather old. Probably about 50 years old, so maybe not...

Or there is some ordinary Gutermann polyester sewing thread. I'd use it double, at least. Again, I have my doubts. Maybe the edges of the glass pearls will tend to cut it? I'd use silk thread if I had any - the sort of thing you usually use for stringing pearls or semi-precious stones, but I haven't got any.

I'd really appreciate some advice here, if anyone can help?

Friday, 4 April 2008

Friday

This arrived in the post today.


This is Patons Street Smart - the booklet with the Urban Aran pullover, and also the Must Have Cardigan. It is a bit difficult to find over here, and I bought my copy from Elann in Canada. I am always surprised by how fast Canada Post can be - this took exactly one week to get here.


Looking at the Urban Aran, I can see why people have been making it into a cardigan - it very nearly looks as if it is one already.


And the Must Have Cardigan is a nice straightforward basic.

I have no idea how long it is going to take me to get round to these patterns, and I certainly haven't got any yarns picked out - so I'm not even putting them in my Ravelry queue just yet. There's restraint for you.

My husband has been looking at knitting patterns too - I haven't knitted him a full size pullover for a while now, and he likes several of the patterns in Classic Knits for Men.

In the end, he has decided on this striped pullover worked in Scottish Tweed DK - but with red in place of the sunset orange. I think that's a good choice for him, the orange is certainly bright, and that's a nice red, in real life rather brighter than it looks here, actually. And it is always nice to change just one little thing, you know.

I wonder how long it will take me to get round to it....

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Nobody expects.....

Have you read this?

The bit where Wendy mentions someone who was sure that she (Wendy) seemed to be knitting Alba, not Lismore? That 'someone' would be me.

You see, in my copy of the Celtic Collection, there is a pattern called Alba, which has a whole series of pictures with it. This is the pullover that Wendy is knitting.

And there is a pattern called Lismore, with another whole series of pictures. This is not the one that Wendy is knitting. I remembered it, because it had crossed my mind that this would be lovely made up with some solid natural grey Kauni, and some Kauni EN, the grey/cream/beige colourway.

So, who is right? Wendy is. Definitely. Look at this. That is what Wendy is knitting, that is Lismore, and my book is wrong.

My copy of the Celtic Collection has the photos for these two designs transposed. This is what is labelled Lismore in my book.

Not what one expects.....

Thursday morning

Mine is coming along nicely.


Considering the length, I measured a favourite top yesterday - one which is wide and drapy - and discovered that it was only 22" from the top of the shoulder to the hem. Mine, according to the pattern, is 21 1/2" in length for a size 14, so I just added another half an inch to the straight section before the armhole shaping, and now this should be just about perfect.

The sides of this are going to fall in lovely folds and hang down in a point, I do like this look. The armholes do seem a little odd at the moment, but the armhole borders are going to be quite wide, so that will return things to normality. Incredibly drapy fabric here, almost liquid in one's hands. Gorgeous, really.

That's the fourth skein in the picture. I think I may actually have yarn left over from this project, which is reassuring, because that's much more normal for me.

I should finish the back this evening, I have less than ten rows to go before I start the back neck shaping. So this time tomorrow, work should be underway on the front.

Today the Kaffe Fassett sock in earth tones is coming to work with me. This sock was used to demonstrate a heel turn in my recent sock classes. I haven't got any more timetabled just yet, so this is now my travel knitting. I don't often have time to actually sit and knit at work, but today we're trying something new - a drop-in knitting clinic - for a couple of hours this evening, with no booking required.

So the likelihood is that either I will be inundated with a dozen people all turning up at once, or else nobody will turn up at all. So I may - or may not - get some knitting done myself. We shall see.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Idea

You may have noticed that my Kauni cardigan has stalled. I don't know quite why - I still love the chequered garter stitch border, but I seem to have fallen out of love with the rest of it.

But I do want to use this yarn for something.

I think I've mentioned before how much I love this pullover - this is Ingrid, by Wendy Johnson. The pattern is in her book, Wendy Knits.

It occurred to me the other day - why don't I frog the unloved cardigan and turn it into a rainbow Kauni Ingrid?

I think it would work.

Tuesday

Mine is continuing.


Nearly up to the armhole shaping now - just about 10 or 12 rows still to go. That's the side edge, of course, so you can see how much of a trapeze shape this top has - it is a lot wider at the hem than at the underarm. That tape measure is lying on a vertical line.

I'm wondering whether to add a little to the length. Sizes 14 and 16 are both just 21 1/2" long, according to the pattern - I'm making size 14 here. The sides will hang down longer of course, in a nice drape. But even so, maybe another couple of centimetres would be a good idea? I'll see. I don't have to decide just yet. This yarn has a reputation for making garments that grow in length when worn, so maybe I won't need to change anything anyway. Also, I think that it would be a good idea for me to measure some tops that I have in the wardrobe already, to see if I think this length will work for me.

That's the end of the third skein there, and I think that will see me up to the armhole shaping. I think that the neckband and armhole borders will use the whole of one skein, and I've got 10 skeins in total. So I don't think that I'll have any problems if I do decide to add a little bit of length.

The beads are not knitted in, by the way, they are stitched on afterwards - I think this is sensible and Bamboo Tape is rather too wide for bead threading. The grey pearly ones are Swarovski Crystal Pearls, from Creative Beadcraft - and they are really, really lovely. I've got some silver lined glass beads from the same place, which I may use - but I think they may be a little large. I've also got some Rowan silver lined beads as well, which I think I will probably go with.

I'm still thinking about Ghost. Currently I'm leaning towards Elegance and Jacob. I love the greys in the picture, but I will have Spook in Anthracite, and Birch in Smoke.... so maybe a different neutral would be good. And I love the bronzy colour of Elegance, and the soft dusty brown of Jacob - I think the combination of the two would be beautiful. I could wear it with black, I could wear it with jeans, I could wear it with beige linen.

Also, I'm getting more and more keen on another Birch, in Jelly. Have no idea what I would wear it with, though - I just love this colour. Do I dare...?

But Spook will be next. I'm still waiting for some colours of Cotton Glace to make Kaffe Stripe and Stripes Galore, so I can't start either of those yet. So, Spook is next in line.