Monday, 31 October 2011

New things

I finished the blue Smudge Scarf over the weekend - we've been off on the boat again, making the most of the good weather whilst it lasts, and that always means plenty of knitting time.  So once that was off the needles, I cast on for a couple of new things.

First was a scarf, made from a skein of Kidsilk Creation.

This was an incredibly quick knit, you really do get maximum results for minimum effort with this stuff.  You can easily make one of these in a single evening, and the fabric is (of course) stunning.   The colour here is Dewberry.

After that I cast on with yet more Kidsilk - this time, a ball of Kidsilk Haze Stripe, in the Cool colourway.  

The ballband has a pattern for a simple stocking stitch scarf with a little moss stitch border - I am a bit unenthused by stocking stitch scarves, I like scarves and wraps to be reversible, by preference, so I went with another idea.

Instead, I am making a simple top down garter stitch triangular wrap.  Once it is a bit deeper, I plan to work long tails so that it is better for wrapping round.  

The colours are lovely, of course, but my photography is not.  There are deep slatey blues going through to a midnight navy, with brick, blood red, violet, hot pink, and silver...

It really is very entertaining knitting, and hard to put down.  I have a pair of socks that has been on the needles for far too long, and Brier is still languishing in the other knitting bag as well, needing only one and a half sleeves to be finished.  Instead of these worthy causes, I keep picking up this pretty thing.

And I want to cast on for Wild Saffron, as well.  My thinking at the moment is that the stash is taking up altogether too much room, and using up the heavier yarns is going to be sensible.  Ideally, I'd have nothing but laceweight and 4ply - maximum knitting from minimum storage space.....

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Blue Smudge

I've been knitting something new.

This is Smudge, from Alison Crowther Smith, worked in two shades of Kidsilk Haze - the dark blue is Hurricane, and the light blue background is Heavenly.  This particular version is being worked at a longer length than the original, which will make it even more versatile.

It is the most lovely knitting, and I know I keep saying that about projects from Alison, but really it is.

The pattern is simple and very easily memorised, although it doesn't look easy.  The beading, of course, adds a beautiful drape to the soft floaty Kidsilk Haze.

My husband stopped and looked at it the other day, and said, 'That's really pretty.'

And I can but agree.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Picking up....

Picking up on life again.

Nearly three weeks post-op now, and I am starting to feel a bit more normal.  This surgery will hopefully be the last - a very clever surgeon at Frenchay Hospital has tried to deal with the damage to a major nerve, the one that has been causing me so much pain.  It is too early to tell for sure, but right now things are looking good - if it isn't dealt with completely, it is at the very least substantially improved.  I hardly dare believe it!

Knitting has continued apace.

I finished the baby blanket which was briefly mentioned before I disappeared off to hospital - this is another really pretty thing - everything that Alison designs seems to be really pretty!

Once again I forgot to take a picture before I wrapped it up and sent it off back to Alison, but I can show you it in progress -

This is the Little Wooden Hill Baby Blanket.  That's Rowan's Handknit Cotton in ecru, with silver beads.  The finished blanket has the most beautiful drape - the cotton has a good weight in the first place, and the beads add more.  The combination of lace, cables, moss stitch and beading - well, it is lovely.  Great fun to knit, not complicated, and it would make the most beautiful gift for a new baby.

Do have a look at Alison's blog, she takes much better pictures than I do.  She's going to be selling this as a kit.   And you can see her picture of the Vintage Comforter, as well - much better than my pictures!

Before she sends me something else to be getting on with, I have very quickly cast on for something from stash, for myself.

Your eyes do not deceive you, that is yet more grey knitting.

This is going to be Brier, a Kim Hargreaves pattern from Rowan Magazine 36.  I'm using Rowan Classic Silk Wool, in a soft silver grey.  I've had 14 balls of this lovely stuff sitting in the stash for a good while now, and I have kept changing my mind about what to make with it - I made up my mind quite suddenly a few days ago, and the knitting has been going pretty fast since then.

The yarn is lovely to work with, by the way.  A pity that it is discontinued, but you'll still find it available online if you look.

Some adjustments to the pattern are required.  This yarn works up at classic DK tension, 5.5spi, and Brier is written for 5spi.  Rather than work at a looser tension, I've stayed with the 5.5spi fabric and am following the instructions for the next size up - size 40 rather than 38.  A few things need to be changed here and there, because of this - the shaping of the sleeve cap and armhole, for example - but nothing complicated.

This is a garment with a lot of finishing required - I like that, of course. It is all about the detail - many of the seams are worked with the wrong sides of the fabric together, giving a ridge on the right side of the finished garment, and the shaping is worked to be clearly visible as well.  The back is knitted in two sections and seamed down the centre, leaving a vent at the lower edge.  And each of the sleeves is worked in two sections, as well.

So far I have finished knitting the back pieces, and have nearly finished the garter stitch border of the left front.  Today I plan to finish the left front and hopefully get started on the right front, and maybe also block and seam the back....

Convalescence, you see, involves lots of resting in the shade and knitting, enjoying this glorious Indian Summer weather.  Life is rather good all round, at the moment.