Thursday, 17 June 2010

Last thing....

We are off tomorrow morning on the boat. We shall be away for about a month, we think, and I probably won't have internet access until we get back, so this will probably be the last post for a while.

Knitting - I finished the latest pair of travelling socks.

Pattern is my own. I love the spiral toe, it gives such a neat fit - and no grafting at all. Needles are 2.25mm, and the yarn is Trekking XL, colour 100.

And I have very nearly finished Pomander as well - I just have to cast off the last sleeve, set it in, and work the side and sleeve seam on that side. But that won't be happening until I get back!

Jess is doing really well. She has stopped nibbling everyones fingers and feet, thank goodness - at one point this week she was being referred to as either Piranha Puppy or White Fang. Teeth like needles, I kid you not.

I've been taking some more pictures.

Here she is sitting in the hallway. This gives a good idea of how little she is - the skirting board is 10cm high.

She love playing in the garden, and is completely housetrained already - she's a bright little thing, very quick to learn.

She's asleep on the sofa right now - she is still sleeping a lot of the time, and she's tired this evening. This is because we visited the puppy class of the local dog training club, which we'll probably be attending when we get back. She sat on my lap and looked at everything - lots of people, lots of dogs - and she wasn't frightened at all, instead she was wanting to get down and join in.

She is very nearly sleeping through the night, now. I am only being woken once, usually at about 4am, and she settles down again immediately after a quick visit to the garden.

I expect it is fairly clear that we are completely besotted with her.

Ok, one more....

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Here she is!

Things have been busy around here.

She is very tiny - just eight weeks old yesterday - and very sweet. Right now she is finding everything just a little bit overwhelming, but this won't last long, I am sure.

She is eating and drinking as she should, and she's taken to the crate immediately. There is a whole collection of toys in there now, she's been carrying them in there one by one.

She is very time consuming. Knitting is sidelined for the time being, you won't be surprised to hear.

For those who have asked - she is an English Cocker Spaniel, and she is blue roan with tan - a very light blue roan. Adorableness is built-in, apparently.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Three days left*

I've got sidetracked again.

I have a large bag - actually an old zipped pillowcase - which is about half full of sock yarn oddments. Every time I finish a pair of socks, that's where the remainder of the yarn ends up. I've knitted quite a lot of socks over the years, so I've got quite a lot of oddments.

A while ago I spotted a gorgeous blanket on Ravelry, made with sock yarn oddments - this one - and realised what a good idea it was. The construction - lots of teeny squares - means lots of edges, and that means added stability, which is a good idea for a knitted blanket. No actual casting off though, and a minimum of casting on, and I can use up every last little bit of yarn.

My blanket will not be quite the same as that one. I am not going to have the zigzag edges for a start, I'm going to have straight edges just because I like it that way, and this makes the construction easier at the beginning - because I can start with just one long straight strip.

Another thing - the ends are all being woven in as I go. I couldn't face sewing in all those hundreds of little ends individually, as on the original blanket.

I'm using 2.75mm dpns, and each little square has a cast-on of 31 sts. And one more change - I'm not using a centred double decrease. Instead I'm just working slip1, k2tog, psso - because it is quick and easy, and also because I want the real focus to be the garter ridges and the stripes they produce, not the decrease line across the diagonal.

So, in summary - just in case I forget what I've decided on -

Knit cast-on 31 sts. (I never use this cast-on usually, but it is perfect here because it has neat little loops which are just what you want for picking up stitches for an i-cord edging.)

Turn, and knit back, - this is the WS - working the last stitch tbl. Every row from now on has the first stitch slipped purlwise with the yarn in front, and the last stitch worked tbl - this makes a nice chain along the edges which is excellent for picking up stitches - and there is a lot of that to come.

Continue in garter stitch, working a double decrease at the centre of each RS row, until just one stitch remains. Break yarn, do not fasten off (unless you've finished a row). Usually this last stitch becomes the first stitch of the next square.

With the next yarn, with the right side facing, and with the last stitch from the previous square already on the RH needle, pick up and knit 14 sts along the left side of the square, plus one more at the corner. Turn and knit cast-on 15 more stitches - and there's your 31 sts for the next square.....

Ends are woven in as you go - always.

These little mitred squares turn out to be quite addictive, by the way. No surprise there.

Despite all that, I've still managed to make some progress on Pomander. The back, the front and the first sleeve are finished, and I'm working the bands along the front opening at the moment. Next, I shall seam both shoulders and get on with the collar. I am definitely going to use more yarn for this pullover than the pattern requirements say, because of my dodgy row gauge. I should have enough, though, because I did order some extra. So that's all right.

On my mind at the moment - we're off for a whole month on the boat, shortly. And I shall want to have plenty of knitting with me, even though Jess will no doubt be keeping me busy. So, what to take?

Current thinking - the current travel sock, which goes without saying; Citron, in Tuareg Blue Malabrigo Lace; Yarnissima's Brainless Socks, in green Opal Solid sock yarn; and something else. A garment project. But what?

I want to make Denim Purl, in ecru - (yes, I know it says Demin Purl on Ravelry, I wish I knew how to change it) - that would definitely keep me occupied, but the hot wash-and-dry to shrink it to the right size would have to wait until we arrived home. I also keep coming back to Jersey - this is a wonderfully classic Martin Storey pattern, a simple striped pullover with little vents at the hem, and I've got some CashCotton DK in light grey, with black for the stripes and edging. Other than that, there is Cardoon, from the new Rowan Revive collection. I'd make this in Rowan Damask, which ought to substitute beautifully.

Or there are several Debbie Bliss patterns that I am also considering. There is the snappily titled Boat Neck Aran/Cabled Pullover (Long), which I would make in Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton - this is an aran weight cotton, and should substitute very nicely. Pale stone, by the way. And there is Julia - same yarn, but pale duck egg blue. I do like those cables, very much.

*Three days left until we collect Jess!