Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Just like buses

Finished projects, in this instance - nothing for ages, then three come along at once.

First, Brier.

This is just lovely, I am very pleased with it indeed.

The pattern is from Rowan Magazine 36, and it is by Kim Hargreaves.  I used RYC Silk Wool, 14 balls of 305 Clay, which is a pretty silvery grey.

I had to make some adjustments because I used this yarn - the pattern is written for a yarn that works up at 5spi, and Silk Wool works best at 5.5spi.  So I followed the directions for size 40, with some additional rows at critical places because of my different row gauge, and ended up with a size 38 cardigan.

This pattern is full of interesting detail, little touches taken from dressmaking - it is all about the finishing, really.

There are the cuffs - divided, overlapping, and held in place with non-functional buttons -

I think they are a real highlight.  I very nearly worked an ordinary garter stitch cuff, and I am so glad that I followed the pattern instead.

Then there's the shaping, intended to be visible -

And of course the decorative seams, making ridges on the outside of the sleeves, made in two parts, and the back with its centre seam and neat little vent -

Really it works very well indeed.  If you enjoy finishing work, as I do, then I can recommend this pattern.

I've also finished my big blue cowl.

This used up the rest of the pack of Felted Tweed Chunky in Wode that I started with the Beech Mitts.  The pattern is a free download on Ravelry, the Gap-Tastic Cowl - more of a recipe than a pattern, really.    I used 9mm needles for a slightly loose fabric, and the only change I made was to use a sewn cast-off so that the two edges look the same, and have the same amount of stretch too.

Now, I have a strong dislike of tight things around my neck - scarfs and cowls need to be loose.  Also I like scarves and wraps to be reversible, ideally.  And this is perfect.  The fabric is very stretchy indeed, I can happily double it around my neck or indeed pull it up over my head as a sort of scarf/hood combination.  And the colour is lovely, I like the tweedy turquoise very much.

So, another pattern that I recommend.

Last - but not least, as far as my husband is concerned - I have finished his socks.

These are made to my standard sock pattern - I think I've linked it in the sidebar - with just one modification, I worked a graduated star toe instead of a wedge toe.  No grafting whatsoever, no ridges - perfection, I think, or something close to it.

On the needles right now - a pullover for my husband in Rowan Lima.  The colour is Pampas, which is actually a very dark green/black.   I am working this from the bottom up in one piece - current thinking is that it will be a raglan, but this may change.   Lovely yarn, by the way.

Also, I have cast on for Nancy Bush's Anniversary Socks in dark navy - very appropriate for the dark of midwinter.

The Cool Wrap is still in progress, there has been a certain amount of frogging and reworking, because I wanted to add some additional increase rows near the beginning to give longer tails.  I'm past that point now, and it is just garter stitch all the way.

Tomorrow is the solstice - we are looking forward to it.

Saturday, 10 December 2011


I almost forgot about these - I finished them a couple of days ago.

These are the Beech Mitts from Rowan 50, pattern by Erika Knight.

I used 3 balls of Felted Tweed Chunky, with more than half of the last ball left over.  The colour is called Wode and is actually a lovely turquoise blue, rather than the denim-y version you can see here.  I am blaming my camera again.

I did alter the top a bit, because I like my mitts to actually keep my hands warm.  The pattern has the ribbing at the top edge starting immediately after the cast-off for the thumb.  Instead, I continued working in cable pattern until after the next cable twist.  I then worked the decreases over the top of the cables, and after that I started the ribbing - and I worked 5 rounds of ribbing instead of 5.  Not really a major change but the extra inch or so of fabric makes these much more useful, I think.

I've finished Brier, too.  Pictures soon....

Thursday, 8 December 2011


Here, finally, is Blake.

This pattern is from Kim Hargreaves' recent book, Shadows.  It is written for Rowan Alpaca Chunky - I chose to use Felted Tweed Chunky in 282 Blue Midnight, and I used 20 balls of this.

Alpaca Chunky and Felted Tweed Chunky very conveniently work up at exactly the same gauge, the only difference is that Alpaca Chunky needs 10mm needles and Felted Tweed Chunky needs 8mm ones - and apart from using different size needles, the only alteration that I made to the pattern was to add some length to the body.  If I hadn't done this, the sleeves and the body would have been just about the same length, and I don't think that would have been a flattering look with this pullover, not for me at any rate.

I made size 38, and used spliced joins throughout, so the only ends to weave in were at the beginning and end of each pattern piece.   The pattern is of course very well written, and I found no errors.  The finishing details are lovely, even though this is a chunky knit  Kim still pays attention to all the little things.

This would be absolutely gorgeous worked in the recommended yarn, Alpaca Chunky - thick and soft and luxurious.  In this yarn, it is of course not so luxurious - still lovely, though.

It is a lovely warm garment, very comfortable to wear and ideal for throwing on over a long sleeved top - I've worn it already, and when the weather gets colder again it will be getting plenty of use, I am sure.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Well, darn.

I have just realised that I forgot to take any pictures of my Fair Isle project before it went in the post.  I must be getting absent-minded.

I've finished knitting Blake, and I'm zooming along with the last sleeve of Brier.  I must pause and do a bit of blocking with the steam iron, then I can start the seaming.   But it is apparent that very shortly I shall have no actual garment on the needles - quite unusual for me.

Next will be a  basic raglan pullover for my husband in Rowan Lima, probably with a shallow V neckline - I shall take my numbers from Ann Budd's excellent Handy Book of Sweater Patterns.

Still thinking somewhat about the stash, which is taking up entirely too much room - I have two large metal shelving units, and if it was all on there, neatly tucked away in nicely labelled plastic boxes, then I'd have no problem with it.  Unfortunately it is not - the plastic boxes are indeed full, but they are not on the shelves, as the shelves themselves are full.

I am going to focus on knitting up the heavy yarns, to start with.  This seems logical, as they take up a lot of room.  So after the Lima pullover for my husband, I shall finally cast on for Wild Saffron.  I seem to remember saying something along these lines last year - the best laid plans, etc......   We shall see.