Tuesday, 24 November 2009

One Step Back, But Some Steps Forwards Too

I ripped Navy Ribs.
I feel better now.

The Red Sandstone Cardi marches on. I wish, wish, wish the pattern had a schematic so that I could be sure I'm doing the right thing. I have been peering a lot at ambermoggie's photos for reassurance. I think it should be illegal to publish patterns without schematics, just as it should be illegal to sell dvds without subtitles. So there.
It looks too wide under the arms but I've checked the instructions repeatedly and when I try it on, it's about right. I think I'll need to buy a little more yarn. It is sadly no longer available at the astonishing price it was when I bought this, so a couple of extra balls will cost as much as six did then, so I'll wait until I'm quite sure.

Yes, the rosewood circs are fab, Mary Lou. They're a German brand, Suzanne's. I have a few pairs of the circs and one set of dpns as well as set of their ebony dpns. I found the ebony slightly too resistant for sock knitting, but I expect they would be perfect for some yarn or another. They're made from left overs from musical-instrument making, which is about as close as I'm ever likely to get to playing one.

These are the navy fingerless mitts I mentioned in my last post. It's the Toasty pattern, rendered in navy Jet with flashes of Noro Silk Garden.
Not a good choice for anyone who is inclined to fiddle with things, as I didn't fasten off the green bits very securely, but they'll last a winter.
The Jet is a bit thicker than the recommended yarn, but I cast on the same number of stitches so they fit my huge hands. They're really a swatch for Kaari, because I'm using 5.5mms for the pink jacket and I needed to check what I get on 5mms: I seem to be bang on target.

After I mentioned how nice Jet would be for a Pinwheel baby blanket, I checked out eBay and someone was selling a pack of it in white - serendipity strikes again.
It's not as bright a white as it looks here. It's a nice soft baby white, with a subtle alpaca sheen. If I find out in time whether it is a girl cold or a boy cold*, I might put in a band of colour towards the edge, and I'll do a lace border like I did here, although I think I'll do a different border this time, just for the sake of the change.

I've received a knitting commission, as a birthday present. A retro tank top is required, like this one from the Boden catalogue.

I was surprised how long it took me to track down a pattern: I thought there would be lots, but they mostly have some shaping or cabling or something else which would interfere with the idea. I think this is promising though, and it's in the same gauge as fabulous Felted Tweed. I hope to take the flowers from Ruth Sorenson's (she of the Kauni cardigans) Spring pattern, as seen on the right. I've had my eye on those daisies for a while.

Felted Tweed comes in a good dark sea green and a navy which I think would look fab, but I am awaiting final instructions. I might swatch a flower when I run out of red sandstone Jet, as I have plenty of Felted Tweed lying around, providing temptation to the better class of moth.

Fyberspates will be at K1 Yarns with her yarns on Sunday (at the Glasgow shop on Saturday) and I might go. I haven't knitted up any of the yarn I bought from her at Woolfest, but I have knitted the golden silk I commissioned ... do you think I dare go?

*My wife has a cold but in about a month will be over it. I hope it is a boy cold, but will love whatever the gods send. Oscar Wilde, in a letter to a friend

Monday, 16 November 2009

Old and New

I've finished the latest Forest Canopy shawl, but it isn't blocked yet so it's really not worth taking another snap.

Having grumbled about the rib on the Wrap Top, I picked up the Red Sandstone Jacket again and almost emitted little squeaks of joy while I galloped along the rows with the lovely rosewood needles.

I've done both sleeves and am tearing across the left front now. I discovered that I had done the wrong stitch on the cuffs - I thought double moss stitch was two stitches by two rows, but it's one stitch by two rows. It would have been too much trouble to read the pattern I suppose. I'm doing the right stitch now and I don't suppose it'll make any difference. I used to be a perfectionist, but nowadays, not so much. The Jet is lovely (30% alpaca, mmmm) and I'm surprised by how much I continue to enjoy the colours. I'm not a pink girl, but I love this.

I also knitted a pair of fingerless mitts which I sort of made up and am not entirely sure about, but I left them in my weekend bag in the boot of my niece's car, so you can't see them and give me an opinion until next weekend. I also left most of my make-up in the same place so I'm going to be pale and blobby this week.

I think I've pretty well decided to rip the Wrap Top and re-dedicate the yarn. I'm not enjoying knitting it and on examination I don't think I'll wear it much so there's really no point.

I'll make a simple relaxed sweater, maybe even just knit Navigator again, which was the basis for my Distressed Sweater with the rips in it, which I still love and wear quite a lot. I could knit bigger rips this time. I don't have quite enough yarn but I can probably get more, or add in a few stripes. God knows I have plenty of All Seasons Cotton in different shades.

A couple of babies have just appeared on the horizon, in that way that they do. One is due around February and the other is a bit vague because my source of information is a male (not the father) who seems uncertain about the whole process. So I think that will mean some more Pinwheel Shawls. Jet would make a lovely baby shawl, come to think of it, if the mothers know not to put wool in a hot wash.

Thank you for the compliments about the Golden Gail shawl. Yes, I think it's Portuguese on the blog, Shandy. The pattern is just called Gail, and is available here on Ravelry. It's available in English and Dutch. It is well worth checking Ravelry as a lot of Ravellers have given very useful tips about the charts: I think I would have given up (again; I did give up once) without them. I made a mistake and did the whole chart for each repeat instead of the rows you're meant to do, but it worked out fine. That's why my last repeat is different from the others, because I did it properly to fit in with the edge chart. But none of you noticed, did you? Or maybe you were too polite to say.

And thanks very much for the suggestion about Gaia, Mary Lou. At first I thought I wasn't keen, but when I looked at the others I began to see the atttraction. Maybe when the excitement of tearing along with Jet on 5.5mm needles is wearing off, I'll have a go at that.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Let Me Count the Ways

Well, the wedding went swimmingly well. Everything ran very smoothly so far as this guest could tell, and there has seldom if ever been a happier couple. I'm waiting to see the formal photographs but I'll share this one with you meanwhile.

The kilted chap is English and has a Scottish mother, and the chap in the red dress is Scottish. That's not what you thought, is it?

The Puzzle Stole had a bit of an accident. Can you see?

I think it happened on the way back from London, either in the packing or the unpacking so it's entirely my own fault, like so many things, but I think I've patched it up fairly successfully. Thank the Knitting Gods for Kidsilk Haze, which doesn't unravel but stays happily tangled together while you fetch the crochet hook and the repair needle.

I finished the Golden Gail while I was away but I only got it blocked this week.

I could have got another repeat out of the yarn but I didn't want it to be too huge: the bride isn't a tall girl and I want it to be more of a shoulder shawl. I'm going to give it to her as a birthday present as soon as I get it wrapped up.

This is a lovely pattern and very easy to knit once you get past the difficulties presented by the charts. I made a bodge of the edge chart at the centre point- because I was talking and didn't pay attention to my inner voice - but it's fine. I think I'll probably knit it again. The yarn is 100% silk, custom dyed by Fyberspates.

The title of this post refers to the Navy Ribs which is driving me a bit insane. It's in an irregular rib. I like my fancy knitting to be fancy and my plain knitting to be plain, and this falls between the two. It's decidedly plain but I can hardly take my eyes off it for a moment - 3, 3, 3, 1; 3, 3, 3, 1; 3, 3, 1, er, wait a minute. I'm having serious thoughts about whether I actually want such a garment but I've got myself the 32 cms up to where something happens and I've cast off the 9 stitches at each end, so I allowed myself a break while I pick up and finish the Kidsilk Forest Canopy for my osteopath which has been neglected for a while .

It's a lovely bark-coloured blob of nothingness and I should finish it tonight or tomorrow.

At which point I will have to decide what to cast on next. I will try to keep the Navy Ribs going in the background, and I will pick up the Red Sandstone Cardi again, but I need something else, something um, fancy.

These have been on my conscience since I bought them at Woolfest. They are from the Yarn Yard, Fyberspates, and Ripple Crafts. I have two skeins of the one in the middle.

They're all sort of sock weight and about 400 yards. I'm thinking fingerless gloves, or little shawls or maybe even scarves, or something but in spite of spending inordinate amounts of time on Ravelry, I haven't settled on anything. I think the outer two wouldn't show to their best advantage in garter stitch so I can't do Baktuses and my current Karius is still lurking somewhere so there's no point in casting on another one. The Delft Blue one is strongly tipped to become a Shetland Triangle, but I'm still open to suggestions. I'm very tempted by the smallest version of the Aeolian Shawl but I think it maybe needs a plainer yarn.

I like all of them enough to want to keep them for myself but am realistic enough to be prepared to give the final results away as Christmas presents if I have to. (I'm not quite sure what I mean by 'have to' here, but I expect you know what I mean.)

Here's the ivory and gold dress.

You see what I mean about a happy couple?