Tuesday, 30 August 2011


Time for a bit of an update, I think.

The mysterious sparkly thing is finished, wrapped up, and posted off to the designer.  It is very pretty indeed, truly.

This is a rather special scarf - or it would work beautifully as a little evening wrap.  At each end there is a border of the silver Shimmer, and a fringe of Kidsilk Haze.

This was made for Alison Crowther Smith, who is the person to ask if you are interested in one of these for yourself.

Right now, I am back working on my green Truffle.  The yarn  - RYC Cotton Jeans - seems so big after the Kidsilk Haze and Shimmer.  But I am enjoying the quickly growing fabric.  Photo soon.....

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Shimmery stuff

I finished these pretty little mitts a couple of days ago.

I am not usually much for shiny sparkly things, at least in my knitting, but these are just so sweet.  I do wish I could take better photographs, at times like this.

They are soft and comfortable to wear, as well.  I am thinking now of all the possibilities of colour choices, and trying hard not to get carried away.

I've been knitting these for Alison Crowther-Smith, you'll find all the details on her website.

And - of course - now that I've finished the Frost Flowers mitts, I've started something new.  Again, this is for Alison.  I've not got very far yet, as you can see.  But my goodness, it is pretty already.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Blue heaven

I've got something rather gorgeous on the needles at the moment.  I haven't talked much about my paid knitting work until now, but that is about to change, because this is just too lovely.

I am lucky to be knitting at the moment for Alison Crowther-Smith.  And just look....

So beautiful.  It is like an early evening sky reflected in rippling water....

This is going to be a pair of little fingerless mitts, worked with a strand of Rowan Kidsilk Haze held together with a strand of Rowan Shimmer - the pattern is called Frost Flower.

And I am enjoying this knitting so much!

The surprise for me here is Rowan Shimmer.  I've seen it before, of course, but I've never actually knitted with it myself.  It is so much nicer than the previous sparkly yarn from Rowan, which was called Lurex Shimmer.  That was on the hard side, and although it looked lovely, it wasn't lovely to knit with.  The current  Rowan Shimmer is nothing like that - it is soft, supple, beautiful.  I love it.

And when you combine it with Kidsilk Haze, well, I think this is knitting nirvana.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Shades of green

Lots of green, recently.

There is my knitting -

This is going to be Truffle, from Rowan's excellent brochure Summer Delights, worked in Rowan Classic Cotton Jeans, in 361 Jute - discontinued now, of course.  An incredible bargain from Kemps Wool Shop.  That's a very dangerous link, by the way - not safe for credit cards at all!

I think this could just as well have been called Sludge.  Anyway, it is green, and a very Rowan sort of green, and I like it.

And this -

We've been off on the boat, you see.

It brought this to mind, and I've had the tune going through my head for a couple of days now.

Shades of green again -


I finished Baymouth over the weekend, and it has turned out to be very successful.

I made quite a lot of modifications to this pattern.  First, I worked on smaller needles to produce a firmer tension - 4.5mm needles instead of 5mm, and working at 18 sts to 4" instead of 17 sts.  I much prefer the fabric like this, it is only a small change but it seems to make a noticeable difference. 

Next, I shortened it.  I wasn't after a tunic, just a pullover with a good amount of length - so I took it up by 5".  And I also shortened the vents, 4" seemed as if it would be sensible.  The long vents in the pattern meant that it would be easy to access the pockets in my jeans without having to hitch up the pullover, but as I was planning to add pockets anyway, there was no reason to keep the long vents. 

I like the fold up cuffs, and kept that unchanged.  If I fold them up, I have three quarter length sleeves - if I leave them down, I have full length sleeves.  Very useful.

Then I added pockets, once everything else was finished.  I've taught this technique many times, but this is the first time I've actually used it on a garment for myself.  First there is the decision of where to put the pockets and how big to make them - this is very easy, once you've worn the garment for a little while.  

After that, there is the snipping of a single stitch  - just one - right in the middle of where you want the top of the pocket to be.  My husband was fairly horrified by this - 'You're cutting your knitting!?  Why are you doing that?'   Heh.  

Next, there is unravelling across to the markers for the side points, and putting the newly released live stitches on to needles.  Very easy.  

Different size needles there.  4.5mm for the top stitches, which are knitted downward, as the body fabric.  And 4mm for the bottom stitches, which are  worked upward to form a garter stitch band.

The knitting of the band and the pocket goes very quickly.  Then the garter band is stitched neatly to the body at each side, the pocket inner is grafted (hopefully) invisibly to the inside of the garment, just above the lower garter band, and the sides are slip stitched into place as neatly as possible.  

And there's the pocket.  I made two, of course.

So in summary - this is Baymouth, from Rowan Cotton Classics, a design from Martin Story.  I followed the directions for size L, working with a firmer gauge using 4.5mm needles instead of 5mm, to produce size M.  I put some increases along the sides of the sleeves to adjust for my gauge difference so that the sleeve fit into the armhole neatly; I shortened the overall length, reduced the length of the vents, and finally added afterthought pockets.

I used 14 balls of Rowan All Seasons Cotton in one of the printed colourways, long discontinued.  This is grey printed on ecru, I think it was perhaps called Cloud.

Overall I'm really pleased with this pullover, it is being worn a lot and it is very comfortable.  My husband has christened it the Mad Hippy Woman Pullover, and says it looks good.

I've cast on for something else already, of course - two somethings as it happens.   Also, something by the way of paid knitting work ought to be arriving in the post today - a rather lovely something.  More on this, anon.