Thursday, 26 May 2011

More Stripes

Goodness, that was a long time. The truth is that I've been working on another Stripe Study and again, it's really unputdownable and I can't stop to blog. It's in my beloved Felted Tweed. The first colour, starting from the bottom, is Watery. I had an old skein of this in the wardrobe and bought some new - at first I thought the colour had changed a lot, but when they're next to each other the difference is less. The modern shade is just a tad greener. The old one was from the Christmas that I knitted four Harry Potter sweaters, in dark blue, brownish red, dark green and then the littlest one in Watery. The dark green one subsequently had to be re-knitted after an incident with a washing machine.

The dark green is Highland, long discontinued and a real, deep, fir green. The bright splash was also in the wardrobe: I can't remember what I bought it for but it's a very juicy light green, the colour of leaf buds. It's called Avocado and it's the inside of an avocado, not the outside.

This one isn't for me. It's a present for someone but I haven't yet decided what sort of present it is, as her birthday is a long way away.

I want to do a blue one next, for myself. The very first item I ever blogged about was a stripy Brandon Mably jacket in Rowan Summer Tweed, another of my favourite yarns. I just love that crunchy little squeak that it has. I went to vast amounts of trouble to select my own choice of shades and arranging how they would appear. You really have to click to appreciate my efforts.

I knitted most of it.

And then I realized that I had made it too big. I couldn't bear to do all the i-cord around the edge because I knew I would never wear it, and I couldn't bear to frog it because, well, because. But last week when I was in a frenzy about another Stripe Study, ripping it became imaginable after all.

As you can see, I was in an organizing mood when I finished the ripping. The piles are sorted by weight, balls of 1-2 grams, 3-4 grams, and so on. I have a total of 665 grams, although I suppose the 62 grams of the smallest bits don't really count - but I did remember that my mental queue includes Kaffe Fassett's Unwind Wrap so I'm hanging on to that bag meanwhile.

I was fairly sure that I had some whole skeins left over but I couldn't find them - until the next day when I was looking for something else and up they popped. So if I find that it's all getting a bit bitty, I can zoom on with those. Veera has obligingly come up with another stripy geometric shawl called Different Lines so I scooped that up. If you've already bought Stripe Study, you get Different Lines for half-price. There's just no excuse really.

I also started these.

It's the cute little Blu jeans that Mette knitted recently, in Debbie Bliss Cotton Denim Aran. I managed to do one leg before I got sidetracked irretrievably by the green stripes. I hope Baby doesn't grow too much before I finish the second. I would like to knit a Stripe Study in  this yarn, but I expect it would weigh a ton...

There is a new detective series on ITV on Sunday nights, called Vera. It's based on  novels by Ann Cleeves which I haven't read and it stars Brenda Blethyn. I will watch anything that she's in and I found the first three quite watchable - the solutions were daft but it's photographed well and most of the characters have Northumberland accents, so I was quite happy to stick with it. This week's however (which isn't based on one of the books, just on the characters) was utterly daft. The victim 's possessions included hypodermic needles so the detective immediately assumed she was an addict. She had trackmarks too. The pathologist went along with this. Then there was an astonishing revelation when it transpired that she wasn't an addict; she was diabetic, specifically Type 1. So why didn't the pathologist spot that? I don't know what he would have spotted but I'm sure he should have. And anyway, diabetics don't use hypodermics nowadays and don't have trackmarks. This character was also meant to have lived out of sight, keeping herself off the databases and acquiring two false passports with no difficulty. 'She just scanned the details into her birth certificate,' said one of the actors with a straight face. That doesn't even mean anything. She also managed to keep her son out of school, which I suspect isn't that easy.

By this time I was shouting at the screen, 'Where is she getting her insulin prescription?' and, 'She must have a doctor!' 'You can't just buy insulin, you know!' I'm baffled how writers get away with such stuff, espcially now when most viewers could pass GCSE Forensics without too much trouble.

I think next week, Brenda Blethyn or not, I shall watch something more edifying.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Grey Stripes

I've recovered my knitting nerve. I made a Stripe Study Shawl and I'm embarrassed by how much I like it.

The yarn I couldn't being myself to tell you about was a skein of Wollmeise Sock in Jung Maus, a wonderful blend of light greys.

I got it in a destash by lovely Linda, who pointed out that Wollmeise skeins are 150 grams and thus it's not an extravagance at all and is cheaper than, for instance, Lorna's Laces Sock, which you need to buy two skeins to make a pair of socks. This cheers me enormously, as you can imagine. I combined it with a skein of Dream in Color Smooshy in Black Parade, which is black with flashes of green and blue, but for some reason the blue looks green in the final result.

I ran out of that, so the last one-and-a-half stripes are done with Auricania Ranco in PT489, which is a semi-solid charcoal. 

This pattern is brilliant. I admired the shawl from the first time I saw it, but it was only when I started knitting it that the full cleverness dawned on me. On the return rows of the stripes, you keep wrapping and turning and going back to the beginning, so that one side of the V becomes hugely extended and flappy. This asymmetry continually made me think of a fiddler crab. 

It makes a very mathematical knit, which is always sort of exciting. There's another mathematical / optical thing that happens - what would you say is the 'main' colour? 

 When I started knitting, I saw the grey as dominant and it is described as the main colour, but as I went on I realized that there is more of the black - and yet, as you look at it, the grey becomes dominant again and the eye switches back and forth so that the two balance each other. When you look at a lot of the projects on Ravelry, you see the same thing.

 Please excuse the Monday Morning floor. I was going to soak it and dry it, without actually blocking it, but so far I can't stop wearing it. I went up two needle sizes from 4mm to 5mm and I expect it will grow, but at the moment  it is almost exactly the right size. I had thought that I might skip the final stripe in any future ones, but in fact I like this size and I don't think I would want it to be much smaller. Future ones? Well, at the moment I want to do several and I'm sure I will do one in blue and green, but after that we'll have to see.

The pattern is beautifully written and is possibly the best four euros I ever spent, although I did find the yarn requirements confusing. Presumably a lot of people did as many of the projects mention running out. I used 470 yards of the grey and a total of about 600 yards for the black.