Monday, 27 September 2010


I've got sidetracked. A sure-fire way for one of my relatives to get me to knit something for them is very easy - just ask.

My mother-in-law asked if I would make her a cardigan that she saw in a recent Womans Weekly. This was a short sleeved V neck cardi, worked in a fair isle pattern with 4 ply cotton. And she 'wouldn't mind' if it was all one colour. Any colour, except red.

That's quite a wide remit, I think you'll agree. And if I had my choice, I'd make it up in fair isle even though it is worked in cotton - interesting knitting, you see.

The pattern in question is Shades of Summer, designed by Sasha Kagan, and last time I checked it wasn't up on her website yet...... Anyway, borders in celadon green, pattern in two shades of purple, with some pink, acid green, white, and celadon. Rather nice, actually - I wouldn't mind one of these for myself. So I was going to send for the yarn kit and get on with it for her, but my husband suggested that I hold fire and discuss it with his sister - because he thought that his mother really meant that she would prefer it in a solid colour, but if I asked her, she was likely to agree to whatever I suggested, regardless of whether she actually wanted that or nor.

So I asked my sister-in-law, and learnt that if I made the cardi in fair isle, my MIL would love it, and would put it away folded in tissue paper, to keep it 'for best'. And never wear it.

I wasn't too keen on that idea, I'd rather make something that she'd feel able to wear. So we decided that a solid colour was indeed the way to go, and my SIL felt that blue was the best choice. So I found some Patons 4ply cotton on eBay in a good rich blue, and cast on.

And do you know, I can't put it down. I am really loving working with the fine yarn and small needles. It is a while since I've made anything with this sort of fabric (other than socks) and I had forgotten how much I like it. So, no hardship involved, at least.

I've already finished both sleeves and I'm almost up to the shoulder shaping on the back.....

Mythos, of course, remains unfinished. I have completed both halves, I now need to graft the centre back join, work the i-cord edging, and whipstitch the lower hem. It will have to wait!

Photos soon, I promise.

Blogging is going to continue, probably at the current somewhat sporadic rate. (We've both had our respective surgeries, and are both recovering nicely, by the way.)

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

This and that

I've not been blogging.

The reason for this is that I've been going through a bit of a difficult patch again with regard to my health - the pain, to be specific - and I do find it hard to talk about. But not talking about it somehow makes it even more of a big deal - then it is the elephant in the corner, if you know what I mean. So I've decided to put my head up above the parapet again, and just deal with it.

I'm having more surgery later this week, a repeat of the last effort which wasn't successful, except that this time we hope it will work. So I'll be disappearing again briefly for a while. It should only be for a little while, I am listed for day surgery and with luck I will actually be able to go home the same day.

If you've emailed me, or messaged me through Ravelry, please bear with me - I will get back to you eventually. I'm not spending much time online at the moment.

Whilst I've been being feeble and keeping my head down, I've also been knitting, and I've finished a couple of things.

First, Cardoon.

This cardigan has turned out to be incredibly useful. I've worn it so much that I've had to wash it already. It is just the right sort of thing for wearing over a tshirt or a vest top when the sun goes in, and that has certainly been happening quite a lot recently.

Pattern is from Rowan's brochure The Purelife Recycled Collection, and is written for their yarn Revive. I made size M, which ought to have needed 9 balls of Revive. I used Damask, though, which has a bit less yardage than Revive, and was surprised only to find that I only needed 8 balls.

No changes to the pattern at all - other than going down a needle size, as appropriate for the yarn - and I'm very pleased with the finished result.

Next, Opal.

This pattern is from Kim Hargreaves, you'll find it in Winter Blooms.

This was a very quick knit - just 4 balls of Kidsilk Aura and 9mm needles. The colour here is Nearly Black, and the fabric is lovely, of course. I only needed to break into the fourth ball of yarn for the cast-off. I used the lace cast-off, which is very very stretchy, and if I had been able to manage to get an ordinary cast-off to work here, then I wouldn't have needed the fourth ball at all.

If you only have three balls of this yarn, then work it just one or maybe two rows shorter. I bet you'll have enough.

Finally, still ticking along is Mythos, made with KF Design Line sock yarn from Regia. I still haven't got a picture, but I think my colourway is called Caribbean Mirage. (Turquoise blue, with green, dark blue, and sandy gold.) I changed the needle size - the pattern recommends 5mm, but this gave a fabric that was just too loose for me, so I went down to 4.5mm and I'm much happier with it. As this changed the tension, I went up a size to compensate. Hopefully this will all work out right!

At the moment I've finished the first half of the cardigan and have just started the second half.

The Zauberball socks are still plodding along - I still haven't finished the first sock. I'm liking the yarn more and more, though. It really is lovely and soft.

Jess is her usual sweet self. She's grown so much I can hardly believe it - she weights 9.5 kg now. And she's teething at the moment. She's lost all her baby teeth now, and the adult ones are coming through thick and fast.

She's definitely perfected the art of looking coyly through her eyelashes. I think cocker spaniel puppies must get cuteness lessons from their mothers.