Friday, 25 November 2011

Fingerless mitts

I have actually finished something else, in my current pause from sample knitting.   Am I starting a run of accessory knitting, with two sets of fingerless mitts in a row? - I hope not, and in truth it isn't very likely.  I like knitting garments.

These are the very straightforward Fingerless Mitts from the book Knits Men Want.  They really were an extremely quick knit, and a good thing too as all the fingerless gloves and mitts that I have knitted over the years for my husband seem to have disappeared with the start of the colder weather.

I used less than one ball of Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran, bought long ago from the bargain bin at Fabric Magic here in Trowbridge, and 4.5mm needles for a nicely dense fabric.  I made the second size, no changes to the pattern at all.

That's quite a good book, actually.  The blurb says that it has the only 10 patterns you'll ever need when knitting for a man, and it could actually be right, or almost right, at least.  Basic stuff, but sometimes it is nice to have it all set out for you.  I think the best thing is that all the patterns are written for a range of different tensions, so you can use whatever yarn you like, pretty much.

I still haven't finished Blake.  I decided in the end to reknit the back - my tension was definitely adrift at the beginning, and the easiest way to deal with it was to pull the whole thing back and reknit.  I'm about half way to the armholes, at the moment.

The stealth knitting is nearly done.  I shall talk about it after Christmas, once it is with the recipient.

Currently I am longing to make myself a Korsnas sweater, as seen on the front cover of Knitting Traditions - much like this one, on Lene's blog.  And like the one you can see in this post, in progress - scroll down past the (completely gorgeous) gloves at the top.   These pullovers are mostly worked in tapestry crochet - the knitted part is just the central section with the lice patterning.  At the moment I am wanting one to a quite unreasonable extent - it would take me ages, and I've never made anything of that size with tapestry crochet, and I've got lots of other things I'd like to be getting on with, already.  And I have no suitable yarn, either.   I think I'd want to change the colour scheme, though, even though it would be going against tradition -  maybe a very pale grey for the background, and an indigo blue instead of red?

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Interweave Knits, and other things

Knitting has continued apace, but I haven't got much to show for it.

Blake is on hold close to the halfway point - back and one sleeve finished.  When I finished the back, I realised that my row gauge was a bit more compressed than it should be, and much heart searching and indecision ensued.  I've only seen little colour-chart snippets of Alpaca Chunky, the yarn for which the pattern is written, but it is undoubtedly a very soft yarn with a good deal of stretch - a good deal more than Felted Tweed Chunky, with which I am working.  This is basically a good stable round yarn with a pleasing solidity - and it won't stretch much under its own weight.

But knitted in the original yarn, I am pretty sure that Blake would have a strong tendency to drop a bit.  I ought to add some more length to take account of this.  Also, this stitch pattern is very stretchy in itself, and doesn't make measuring tension easy at all  And my row count is definitely a bit short.  Too many things to consider, but they all come down to the big question - Will I have enough yarn?   Hence, lots of indecision, and I've resorted to that time honoured method of saving yarn - stopping for a bit.

I moved over to some other knitting which will be a gift.  I can't show this here (which is a great pity, as it is extremely pretty) or even talk about it in too much detail as there is a possibility that the intended recipient might read this.  What I can say is that if you haven't got your hands on any of Rowan's new yarn Fine Tweed just yet, then you are missing a treat.  This is a very nice yarn indeed.   Right now I am ticking along with my usual two-handed fair isle, and just loving it.

I mentioned Interweave Knits.  I have decided that I want to reduce the size of my knitting library - also my wardrobe, but that's another story.   Anyway, I have some back copies of Interweave on eBay at the moment - you'll find them here.

I thought I would mention this here in case anyone is interested - this is ostensibly a knitting blog, after all.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011


Over the weekend I felt the need for a little instant knitting.  Something for myself, something quick.

So, here is (are?) Whittle.

These are long fingerless mitts, worked with 2 balls of Rowan Lima, which I bought a little while ago.  The colour is 880 Andes, a silvery grey - and this yarn is just gorgeous, by the way.

The pattern is by Kim Hargreaves, and you'll find it in her most recent book, Scarlet.  These mitts worked up very quickly indeed.  The fabric is soft and luxurious, and the ribbing makes them very stretchy and easy to wear over layers - they've been getting worn already.

Also, my Felted Tweed Chunky is on the needles now.

I am making Blake, from Kim Hargreaves' book Shadows.  This is a classic ribbed Sloppy Joe pullover, with an interesting neckline.  Kim has written the pattern for Rowan Alpaca Chunky, which works up at exactly the same tension as Felted Tweed Chunky, but needs larger needles to do so - the pattern says 10mm, and I am using 8mm, which is the recommended needle size for the FT Chunky.

It is not very often that you'll find me working with chunky yarn - I find the big needles hard on my hands, and I can't get any real speed going with the knitting.  But there are so few stitches on the needle, that the garment can't help but grow quickly.

This is the back, and I am nearly up to the armhole shaping already.

Right now, quick is good.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Picot picot picot

Yet another new thing.....

I took this picture yesterday, things have moved on since then and I am now working the picot edging.  Lots of picots, really a lot, but very much worth it for the lovely effect.

This is, of course, another sample that I am knitting for Alison Crowther Smith.  It is the Judith Boa, and it has pretty bell-shaped ruffles along each side.   This one is worked using Rowan Fine Lace in Vintage and Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Majestic - I do like Majestic, it is a real chameleon colour and so beautiful.

When I've finished this, I shall get back to Brier. I'd like to have that done, so that I can wear it.  I've got one and a bit sleeves still to work, plus a whole lot of seaming, which I always enjoy - I love seeing a project coming together.  It is the finishing that makes all the difference, I think.

I've got more things in mind to knit - something with Rowan Fine Tweed, and some things with Felted Tweed Chunky.  I don't often work with chunky weight yarn, but there are some wonderful bargains around for this yarn at the moment - we know what that means, of course - and I couldn't let this chance pass me by, because when it is gone, it really will be gone.  I like the Felted Tweed Aran very much - that's what I used for Victor(ia), which by the way fits me very well and is starting to get some wear now that the weather is cooler - so it seems logical that I will like the chunky weight of this yarn as well.

And I think I shall also spend some more time working on my Earth Stripe Curtain - the thing about working with Kidsilk Haze for any length of time, is that when you stop, you miss it.....

Edited to add - I have just heard from a very reliable source that Felted Tweed Chunky is NOT discontinued, it had been added to the discontinued list by mistake.  So I really did get a bargain!