Friday, 28 May 2010

Dis 'n' Dat

I suppose we've all had our email about Franklin's latest project.

And I suppose we all know what we want for Christmas.

I finished Gaia. I did a Picot Bind Off and had 2 grams of yarn left over, which is theoretically enough to do another row, but I don't have any regrets about not trying to squeeze another one in.

I didn't think there was much point in blocking it properly, given how loosely spun the yarn is, but I've given it a bit of a steam.

These photographs don't begin to show how vivid the colours are: the green is much darker. The green is Teal Feather (but it's not teal), and the blue is Matisse Blue. I went through a panic of thinking they were brash but I've got over that. I think it will look lovely with jeans. I'm going to give it to a friend as a thank you and I think the colours will work well on her. (Can you hear my gritted teeth?) I have some lime green tissue to wrap it in, just what it needs.

I had to rip the BSJ back, because I Wasn't Paying Attention and I'd missed a step. I've caught up again.

I heard this week about another baby, one which I want to do something quite special for. I'm wondering if there might be a christening. Most of my friends are heathens, but there's a distinct possibility this one might be sprinkled. Meanwhile I've cast on the Pinwheel Blanket in All Seasons Cotton for the Dubai baby but the photograph was too dull, so you'll just have to imagine it in cream and jade green (Organic and Sea Spray).

Kangaroo were having a birthday sale and I fell over and bought some Kidsilk Aura in steel grey - I was wondering about an Opal, but I think it'll be another Miss Marple Shawl; I just can't resist that frill. I think I'll increase in every stitch for the border this time, instead of every second stitch.

But that's all vanilla knitting and I'm still dithering about what piece of lace to do. The baby shawl is very tempting, but so are other things. Zetor is nice. I might get some decisions made if I didn't keep watching Janelle Monae. What a girl.

Here she is live. Same song, with added hommage to James Brown.


Woolfest is on in a few weeks, on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 June. It looks as fab as ever, but I can't go this year for an accumulation of reasons. If I were going, I would catch the Scottish Fibres bus, which is excellent - it's the sort of bus which has large storage space underneath for stashing everyone's outrageous purchases. If you want to go on the bus, you can book it here. But do it soon, becaue if there isn't enough interest, there won't be no bus.

Not Knitting
I got this recently. Something for the Knitter who has Everything.

I wonder what 'extract' of cashmere is. It didn't cost any more than any other brand, so it can't be the finest pashmina. And in answer to your question, No, not at all.

Appropriately enough, it's that special time again, when the poo project falls due. I'm not finding it so hysterical this time: maybe I'm growing up at last. Still quite funny though.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Busy Little Swatcher

I've been a busy little swatcher. I acquired some lovely Henry's Attic Kona Fingering from ShadowDancer's destash. Not so much a cake, more a gateau - that floorboard is six inches wide. About 1,000 yards.

First, I tried Caricia. I bought this pattern as soon as it appeared on Knitspot's website and have been looking for the right yarn ever since.

Then I tried this. I've already forgotten what it was.

Then I tried a Shetland Triangle.

Actually, those two pix might be the same thing, but anyway, you get the idea. I definitely did three. By this time I had realized that it's not going to suit lace, because it's too dark and the pattern gets lost.

So I thought, maybe a Featherweight Cardigan.

Not enough yarn. Maybe a Whisper Cardigan.

Not a good style for someone of my shape - that 'skimpy' style reminds me unfailingly of Bill Bryson's remarks about fat American tourists looking like elephants in children's clothes. (Bill Bryson's American, so he's allowed to say that. )

Maybe a Liesl.

Mmmm, maybe.

Or maybe a Pi Shawl, something I've had at the back of my mind for a while. Which is a shawl, which is what I'd decided not to do, I know.

I also made these, which are swatches for a Baby Surprise Jacket.

The left one was made on 3mms and the right one on 3.5mms which was what I finally settled on.
Here it is. Moving the markers every Right Side Row is a bore, but not nearly as bad as all that blessed counting.
The yarn is some Piece of Vermont Fingering in Oh Frabjous Day which I have been savouring for a very long time. Jessie doesn't dye her beautiful yarns any more, but she still has her lovely blog What Housework? with gratuitous farm pictures, and added Milo.

The blue Malabrigo Silky Merino arrived. It is the perfect Matisse blue.

I think I might finish this today. I've done a lot more since this photograph was taken but I can't get a decent pic this morning. Both colours are much more vivid in reality.

I want to finish with a picot bind off. There is much weighing going on.

Not Knitting
A poll has just been done on lying and it includes the top ten lies told by men and the top ten told by women.

Top Ten Lies told by Women

1. Nothing's wrong, I'm fine.
2. I don't know where it is, I haven't touched it.
3. It wasn't that expensive.
4. I didn't have that much to drink.
5. I've got a headache.
6. It was in the sale.
7. I'm on my way.
8. Oh, I've had this for ages.
9. No, I didn't throw it away.
10. It's just what I've always wanted.

It's interesting to see how many of these could be used to explain sudden acquisitions of yarn. If you want to see the top ten told by men you'll have to check them here. Although you might know them already.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Bluey Greens and Greeny Blues, and Some Grey

I've finished the first ball of Teal Feather on the Gaia shawl. I could start on the second ball without waiting until the skein of Matisse is in my hot little hands, but I've told myself I'm not going to. The skein of Matisse that I bought off someone on Ravelry is taking rather a long time to come through the post.

This gives me an opportunity to knock Dapper on the head, which is almost done. I've finished the band of moss stitch around the neck and just have to cast off. The neckband was meant to be done as a separate strip and sewn on, but I'm giving this method a go instead as I think I'll get a neater result. It looks huge, but remember that it's cropped.

In real life, it's a bit greener than it looks, sort of verdigris.

I'm going to do another Pinwheel Blanket in All Seasons Cotton in turquoisey green and cream, but I'm not in a huge hurry to start that. Baby is due in June but it's not as if s/he will need a blanket immediately, is it? The mum is very allergic to everything, hence the ASC, but they live in Dubai so they probably won't need something very warm anyway. Something soft and washable is probably more to the point.

Ithink I've mentioned before that there's sometimes good knitting in the Swedish telly Wallanders. In a recent one, Wallander himself was wearing a knitted denim sweater which distracted me quite a lot from the plot and gave me a hankering to knit a denim sweater again. I thought I had this hankering under control because of the inherent foolishness of knitting something large only to end up with something small, not to mention the achingness of 100% cotton on the fingers, but nothing looks quite like faded indigo, does it?

Many years ago I knitted one of the Rowan Denim sweaters in Dawn French's Big Knits. (It was called Rowan Den'm'Nit then, for some reason.) I wasn't a Big Knits size then so I knitted the smallest size but I think I must have got the gauge wrong (I used to be a tight knitter) because it wasn't as big as it should have been, and it always made me feel as if I was suffocating. I think that after shrinking the fabric just became too dense and I always felt, not to put too fine a point on it, sweaty when I wore it.

I don't think I wore it very often and a few years ago I sold it on eBay, but now I'm thinking of knitting it again, in a larger size. Has anyone else found Rowan Denim clammy to wear? Or should I just go up a needle size and stop worrying? I like some of the sweaters in Rowan Denim and in Denim People, but I think this one is straightforward enough without just being endless stocking stitch.

I have a copy of Denim People, but I don't think I've got Rowan Denim, which is curently on offer on at $175, down from $249. A bargain, obviously.

My neighbours came to collect their plant and tell me all about their trip. They haven't finished weeding out their photos yet, but they did bring me a present.

It's yak, bought in a shop in Kathmandu. I had thought yaks were brown but this is shades of grey. I think it's spun on a white core. It's very floaty and fluffy.

And this too, which is silk. In my favourite colour, just a tiny bit greener than the photograph.

I think the yak will become a stole / scarf, and the silk something tiny and exquisite for around the neck.

A friend is coming round to pick me after (her) work) and take me to vote, and then we're going to get fish and chips. It is hoped that this will cheer us up.