Friday, 30 July 2010

Knitting in Circles

I realized that the baby who is getting the stripy green Pinwheel Blanket

will also need a Daisy Hat.

Then it occurred to me that her big sister should have a Daisy Hat too, since she has probably outgrown the one I made for her when she was born, so I bought some Handknit Cotton in Delphinium but I haven't cast on yet.

Then I realized that of the two babies due before the end of the year, at least one may be a girl so I had better have a Daisy Hat ready for that baby.

And whatever the one in Australia is, her/his big sister will need a new hat too. I wonder what colour she would like.

The new ball of Rowan Handknit Cotton, the beautiful tender pale pink which I thought might be called Peony, but is called Shell, is noticeably softer than the bits and pieces of Handknit that I already had in my stash. It's softer to the touch, and it wasn't nearly so tough on my pore ole hands. I usually can't knit for very long with 100% cotton, but this was fine.

I blocked the white Swallowtail Shawl and although it's very pretty, it is indubitably also too small to be used as a christening shawl.

I'll have to have a think. Perhaps the mother would like to have it for herself, as a reward. Is white too limiting a colour?

I did three repeats of Lily of the Valley pattern. I think it might be because I used the yarn double that it didn't grow so much when I blocked it. A single strand of cobweb seemed impossible to knit with, but now that I've used it doubled, I can't wait to use a single strand. Watch this space.

I did some swatches for the Aeolian Shawl but none of them really works.

From the top: Rowan Kidsilk Spray in Medici, Kidsilk Night in um, black, and Kona Superwash Fingering in a custom dye. I need to use something lighter. As I've established before, the lace pattern is lost in the splashes of the Kidsilk Spray (the paler blue one). When the Citron Shawl pattern first appeared, I thought, 'That's lovely, but of course I would never knit it,' but as time goes by I see more and more that are lovely and I think I might. This would be a very good yarn for it.

I had an eye test recently and collected my new glasses this week. They were so shockingly expensive that I don't think I'll ever be able to buy yarn again, although a small voice is pointing out to me that if I want to make any say, sweater-sized purchases, it would be a good idea to do it before VAT goes up in January. I think I must be incorrigible, a hopeless recidivist.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Pink and White and Blue


Some finishing and some starting here. I did the tricky bit of the summer pudding Looped Bracelet,

and then I finished it. I made the tabs a bit longer this time.

I've started another one, with 10 stitches instead of 12. It's Koigu so 10 stitches should be a little daintier. Lynne has added some more bracelet patterns on her website. I've started Waves twice and am having a which-is-the-back problem, but someone on Ravelry has done it. There's a new Lynne Barr Ravelry group here.

I finished the latest Pinwheel blanket, the stripy green one, but I keep forgetting to photograph it. I finished the white Swallowtail and it looks like a piece of ectoplasm. I'll block it soon.

I've been swatching for some lace but I haven't blocked those yet so they'll have to wait.

And, before I knew it, I'd started this. It's another Swallowtail Shawl.

It's Ella Rae Merino Lace in a very beachy blue. Wendy of Wendy Knits made her Exonumist's Shawl from this yarn and I fell instantly and heavily for the colour. There are patches of a sort of pebbley colour, which I think is why it makes me think of beaches. I tried to wind the wool with my nostepinne but between my inexperience and the incredible bounciness of the yarn, I ended up with an enormous fankle which I had to rewind twice. I still love it though.

I found this knitting clock on John Naughton's blog. It's the work of Siren Elise Wilhelmsen and it takes a year to knit a two-metre scarf. I think we've all done that.

If you want to know more about it, look here.

I got the set of Yves St-Laurent docos, His Life and Times and 5 Avenue Marceau - thanks very much for the recommendation, Gretchen.
The first has a lot of talking, which is good, and the second has lots of fabric and talking and smoking, which is even better. I had no idea that being a muse was such hard work: it involves lots of cajoling and suggesting and enthusing, and long hours.

By chance a few days later I came across some more YSL visual goodies. When I'm not looking at knitting on Tinternet, one of my other vices is reading the Real Estalker, a real estate blog which concerns itself with the 'homes', never 'houses', of actors and other celebs. It's funny and well written. Just after I'd watched the YSL docos, what should I find but a post about YSL's properties. It starts by describing his pad in the 7eme (where else?) but also has links to the house in Tangiers, and the jaw-dropping Chateau Gabriel in Deauville, where the helipad has been disguised as a landscape feature.

And there's a post about the pied-a-terre in 5th Avenue, NYC. It all adds up to an awful lot of frocks. And maquillage. And scent. And shoes.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Looped Bracelets

I couldn't help it, I cast on for a Looped Bracelet on Saturday, and cast off too. I found some very vivid sock yarn in my stash. I can't remember what this was, Regia or something, but I knitted a baby hat out of it once.

When I had knitted a couple of stripes of the bracelet I discovered that I had already 'edited' the yarn and taken stripes out of it, leaving large knots behind but I couldn't bear to rip it back so I had some ends to weave in later. This is the clever bit.

Those are 2mm needles. The instructions are beautifully clear, as always with Lynne, and I was amazed at how easy it was. Here it is.

And the other way up.

I've already cast on two more - I couldn't decide between yarns so I started them both. The one on the right is some Koigu in the purps and pinkles of summer pudding and I can't remember what the other one is.

Lynne has got some other bracelet patterns on her website. I've bought Wave and expect I won't be able to resist casting on, just as soon as I have a pair of toothpicks free.

Virtual Knitting
How have you survived without any Knitting apps, Lisa? Not that I ever use any of mine, it has to be said. I'm glad you asked though, I've been meaning to write about the Vogue Knitting App for the iPhone / iPod Touch. It costs $3.99 or £2.39. You can add information about Projects, Needles, Hooks, Yarn and Books. It containds a Stitchionary, a How-To and a list of terms and Abbreviations, and has a calculator for substituting yarn.

The info about Projects doesn't link to a database, and neither does the section for recording your stash - none of it does, but I mention these because we've come to expect a pattern database and a yarn database if we've been using Ravelry. It does however enable you to record where you are in a project, row counts and increases and decreases.

The Stitchionary is odd, to say the least. Divided into Knit and Purl, Cables, and Colourwork, the selection seems arbitrary and the examples are shown in no order that I can detect. They're drawn from the volumes of the Vogue Stitchionary but I didn't see a copyright notice (I didn't look very hard, but it should be unmissable). Even the website doesn't indicate that the Stitchionary is a series of books.

I can't really see what this is for, or rather who and when. Given that the gadget that it's for has internet access and you could look these things up in a more organized fashion, I can't see why you would want to carry around this random selection. Is it useful to have a chart for leopard print when you're on the move? The same chart is available on the website anyway, without paying $3.99.

The whole thing has that VK air of lacking joined-up thinking, and there are existing apps which perform all of these functions and although I suppose it's handy to have them together, the thing is done with so little flair that it certainly didn't make my heart beat faster. I know that having done such things on an industrial scale professionally, I tend to underestimate the charms of recording one's projects or cataloguing the stash, but I can't see why anyone would record projects here when they could do the same on Ravelry (without the row counter, but still). Maybe someone who uses knitting apps on their iPhone will put me right about this.

To me, it just highlights how much we need a Ravelry app. There is one in the works and I can access the website of course, but something more specific would be zippier and possibly not such a strain on the eyesight.

Pure Tech
For those of you who are interested in the Huawei E5830, it is also apparently the same thing as the Netvigator - you might find the information given here helpful. Don't ask me any questions, though, cos I don't understand any of it!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

You Have Not Selected a Floor

I didn't get on so well with my bright idea about lining up the patterns on the Swallowtail Shawl. I started off doing it, and then on the third row I found that I'd made a mistake on the first. I took it back (after waiting for the regulation three days while I calmed down) and started it again on Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile I had calculated that what I was doing would only give me four bells on the lily of the valley pattern, so I went back to the original pattern. After I had done a few rows of that, I realized where I had gone wrong in my first set of calculations but it was too late for me to face taking it back again. I was trying to line the ssos up with a budding lace patetrn, and the lily of the valley up with the next, when actually I only needed to line up one of them. Oh well. To be fair to myself, I really wasn't well on Saturday afternoon and it was only a fit of colossal stubbbornness that got me through the rows I did. I've done the first set of lilies now and am about to start the second. I might do a third.

If I knit the pattern again soon, I should be able to get it right then. The nupps really aren't bad at all, especially when you consider that I'm using the yarn double-stranded so I've got ten loops on the needle instead of just five.

I finished the back and cast on for the left front of Billie. The back was 131 stitches and the front is 102, so it's not a huge difference. Still very happy with it.

Lynne Barr has added a brilliant post to the Knitting New Scarves Knitalong, called Turning Scarf Ideas into Bracelets. It's about doing exactly that, and she's even given us a new pattern for a Looped Bracelet. This is what they look like. Aren't they cute?

She's done a little Flapper Bracelet too. Do go and have a look.

There's also a new group started on Ravelry for fans of Lynne's work, the Lynne Barr's Genius Group - you can join here.

iPod Touch
Don't let me put you off iOS4 entirely, Mary Lou. It does sharpen up the screen resolution, which I thought couldn't be improved but it is, gasp; and it introduces folders that you can put icons into. So, for instance, if you have a lot of knitting apps, you can put them together in a folder. Do this a few times and you can reduce the number of start screens significantly.

This is a routine about Scottish people and voice recognition software: I've never had this problem in an American lift, but I've certainly had it on the telephone to England: after long experience, I now have a special accent for reciting my postcode. If you are of a sensitive nature, you may wish to skip it, as there are ahem, a couple of rather coarse expressions in it. (There, that'll make sure you all watch it.)