Friday, 23 November 2012

Thing A

Thing One and Thing Two duly went off in the post on Monday, and have been approved by Rowan.

I will admit that I was quite stupidly nervous about this, and that it was a great relief to hear that what I'd done was entirely acceptable.   And then they offered to send me something else to knit, and I said yes, despite the Apple Tree Blanket needing to be finished soon.  (I will get it done!)  And that's not even considering all the other things that I want to make.  

So why did I say yes? - well, I've always wanted to knit for Rowan, but it has always seemed unattainable, and it is a very nice thing to be offered.  Besides, it isn't going to be all year round, I'm sure.

Anyway, I said yes, and so a parcel from Rowan arrived for me yesterday.   Once again - a quantity of yarn, a typed-out pattern, a sketch from the designer.  Up to our studio to retrieve appropriate needles, and off I went.   So now I am knitting another photography garment for Rowan, and of course I am not allowed to tell people about what I am knitting, or indeed what I am knitting with.   I'm going to call it Thing A.

Not being allowed to talk about one's knitting is a slightly hampering factor when one is writing a knitting blog.  But I think it is fairly well known that Rowan bring out new yarns each season.  And that these new yarns are nice - I don't think I've ever met a Rowan yarn that I didn't like, with the possible exception of Romance.  And I also think it is fairly well known that some Rowan patterns are very detailed.  And I don't think that anyone who knows me would be surprised to hear that most of my favourite designers work for Rowan.

So on that basis, I'm just going to say that I am knitting with a new yarn and it is truly gorgeous.  I would love to drop hints about the precise nature of the gorgeousness, but I mustn't.    The pattern, which is from one of my favourite designers,  is quite detailed and extremely beautiful.

I think it is safe to say that Thing A is also going to be extremely beautiful.   However at the moment I am not very far along with it and there is a bit of time pressure involved, so I'd better get back to my knitting.

Sunday, 18 November 2012


Thing One and Thing Two are both done now - at least the knitting is done.  I do still have a bit of finishing remaining to do.

Tomorrow morning I shall take some pictures.  I cannot show them here of course, not until the patterns are published.  At that point I shall take great pleasure in showing them online, and talking in more detail about knitting these two Things, which I have very much enjoyed knitting.

Anyway - pictures, and then I wrap the Things up and then I shall take them to the post office and send them on their way.

And after that  I can get on with the Apple Tree Blanket, which really does need to be finished soon.

At the moment I am approaching the 60% mark - there will be five rows of blocks in the finished blanket, so that's very easy to work out.  Much to my surprise, I am starting to remember the pattern.  I do have the chart on my Kindle, though, to remind me.

It is so useful, being able to put knitting patterns on my Kindle - and there is a useful feature whereby I can magnify the charts, very helpful.

I haven't forgotten Fastnet, either.......

Monday, 12 November 2012


Well, that was exciting.  To those of you who responded with advice, thankyou very much indeed, I am very grateful for this.

I had no real difficulties sorting out my email accounts, because I have two-step verification turned on.  If you don't have this - well, I recommend that you do.

It means that if someone tries to log in to your email account from a location, or indeed a computer, that you don't normally use, then they are blocked.  Google won't let them log in, even if they have both your username and your password.  It means that to get into your email, a person needs to have something that you know - your email address and your password - and, because obviously they aren't using your usual computer, it means that they need to have something that you have - your mobile phone.

Whoever it was that tried to access my email accounts would have found they were asked to enter a code which Google would send to my mobile - and of course at that point they gave up.

I think that that something similar must apply to Facebook.  Nobody managed to get into my account, they just tried to, and failed, and then Facebook blocked normal access to the account because they thought (quite rightly) that  something fishy was going on.    I eventually obtained access via my Google account.  Again this involved codes being sent to my mobile phone.

So new passwords all round, and hopefully that is the end of it.

Now - knitting for Rowan.

Obviously I cannot talk about what I am knitting.  Actually it is two things, which will henceforth be known as Thing One and Thing Two.

What happens is just what you'd expect, really -  a parcel containing pattern and yarn arrives at your door, and off you go.  Obviously there is no picture of the finished item - because that's the point of it being sent to you for knitting in the first place.  But there is, in this case at least, a little sketch by the designer, so you know that you're on the right track.

There was bit of a pause over the weekend when I found something questionable in the pattern for Thing One, so I emailed Rowan, set Thing One aside and started Thing Two.   This morning I heard back - my suggested change is approved - and off I go again.....  

Goodness, that doesn't sound very interesting, does it. But the knitting is interesting, and I am looking forward to the finishing.  Yes, I am to do the finishing as well. I'm very pleased about this, because I like finishing and am proud of the quality of my work.

Anyway - lovely yarns, and lovely colours.  But this is Rowan, so that goes without saying really.

I could show you Fastnet, which I have started.  But honestly it isn't worth it.  Imagine 7cm of 2x2 ribbing in the same colour as this photograph - and that's what I've got so far.

I could show you the Apple Tree Blanket - that's coming on quite nicely as travel knitting, and I'm approaching the halfway point.  I might even get it finished before next door's baby arrives.   But I've gone on long enough, and I think that can wait until the next post.

Friday, 9 November 2012

A bit worrying

Well, something is definitely going on.

Today I've had messages from Google telling me that someone  in the US has been trying to sign in to both of my email accounts.  Google stopped this from happening, and told me to change my passwords, so I have.

And now I can't get into my Facebook account.  Facebook keeps telling me to enter the code that they've sent to my phone, and telling me that they are having problems changing my email address.  I don't like this at all, particularly as they haven't sent any code to my phone - not that I'd asked them to in the first place - and I haven't changed my email address.

Advice, anyone?

Thursday, 8 November 2012

In a hurry.....

I have just ten minutes to spare before I go out the door to my Thursday knitting group, so this post is going to be reduced to bullet points.

  • Kaffe Fassett!   Go here, and scroll down a bit.   Kaffe Fassett is visiting John Lewis in Edinburgh on Thursday 29 November, 6pm.  If I lived nearer - it is more than 300 miles away from me - I'd be camping on the doorstep, I think.  There are still some tickets left.  

  • I finished two more pairs of baby socks for my neighbour, wrapped them up and presented them to her.  I think she liked them - she did ask for wool ones.

I was rather pleased with this.  They are incredibly cute - little tiny short row heels, and a decorative Greek cast-off over the top of the toes.  More on that anon, if anyone is interested.

  • I am going to be knitting some photography garments for Rowan.  I cannot talk about the garments themselves, of course.  But I am rather pleased about this, to say the least.  More on that anon, as well.  
Ok, out the door now.....

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Quite a lot

Time for a bit of catching up, I think.

Here is Ross, from Wintertide.

This is made from Rowan Fine Boucle, and I chose the Masham Stripe colourway.  The edgings are in the British Sheep Breed DK, I chose the Brown, this is the darkest shade available.

I do like the fabric,  It is pleasingly woolly, and the variegations of the striping are lovely, too.  I made no attempt to match the stripes at any point in the garment, and I am very pleased with the end result.

I never did get around to talking about Bianca.   I finished this ages ago, back in July, and it really is a lovely garment.

Again, the fabric is a delight.  This is Rowan All Seasons Cotton, worked in a reversible garter rib pattern.

However the garment as a whole does not work for me as well as I'd like.  The collar is very flattering, but is unfortunately not very practical.  The wide sleeves drape nicely, too, but the combination means that I cannot wear this under a jacket or gilet whilst out walking.  Also, this collar does not work well with a scarf.

It looks so good on the hanger, but sadly it just doesn't work in my wardrobe.  So, with regret, I shall be unravelling it, and re-using the yarn.

Finally, I have finished knitting a Color Affection shawl for a friend.  No picture, but I do have a few things to say about the pattern.

So far, more than 6500 people have knitted this shawl.  Skimming through the comments on Ravelry would lead one to several firm conclusions - firstly, that the edge is too tight, and that yarnovers need to be added and then dropped on subsequent rows; and secondly, that the choice of increase (M1) is badly chosen, and that kfb is better for this design.

I disagree on both counts.  The designer has it right!

The shawl is supposed to have a firm edge.  It is intended to be crescent-shaped, with gently spiralling ends - you can see this in the designer's pictures of the original shawl.    And M1 works quite beautifully.  It blends much better than kfb.  Yes, it takes a second longer to work - but in the context of the whole shawl, this is hardly a lot of extra work.

I ended up making this shawl exactly according to the pattern, with just one small change, which I do think is worthwhile.  The pattern says, quite simply, to cast on 5 stitches.  After that, the increases begin, and a two-stitch garter edging is established.  Instead, I began with a garter tab, which replaces the cast-on and the set-up row, as follows:

 - Cast on two stitches and work six rows in garter stitch, to give three garter ridges.  This is your garter tab.  After finishing the last row, don't turn the work around as you usually would.  Now, continuing to work in the same direction, just turn the corner and knit up three stitches along the side of the tab, one in each garter ridge, then turn the last corner and knit up two stitches from the cast-on edge.  There are now seven stitches on the needle, and you can continue with the pattern from Row 1.

Using a tab to begin (instead of a standard cast-on) means that the garter edging is continuous along the length of the shawl, and I do think this is an improvement.

Back to the knitting now - I have three things being actively worked on at the moment.  I am finishing some pairs of baby socks for my very pregnant neighbour, also there is the Apple Tree Blanket which I really must get finished.  And I have cast on Fastnet, for my husband.  I have Tarnish and Bute waiting in the wings - once I get the baby things out of the way, I don't think I'm going to be able to resist the lure of these two, and will probably cast on for them as well.

This has turned out to be quite a long post.  I have quite a lot more to talk about, but that can wait for another day.