July 12, 2010

Conveyor belt

I can’t seem to stop knitting. I have been a bit under the weather over the last week – I think it’s weather related. Our weather has gone from hot to cold and wet and now back to sunny-but-cool. It has been a bit of a struggle to get back into the swing of practice so it’s nice to have been productive on at least one front.

I finished my Drops alpaca cardigan. This was my world cup knitting and, even though I thought it would be an unachievable goal, I completed it easily. Got the sleeves set in before half time and now all it needs is a good blocking.

I am still a bit mad about forgetting the buttonholes but the garment fits so nicely and the yarn was so lovely to work with that I can’t really stay mad at it for very long.

I finished up Audrey as well. I was sort of putting off finishing it because I was certain it was going to be too big and floppy. But when I got the button bands and neckband on, I realised that it fit really well.

All I need now are buttons. I am thinking about putting a hook and eye at the very top since I forgot to put in a buttonhole. I will post more detailed, modelled shots when these two are blocked and finished completely. I made a few mods in both which I’d like to document for others to use.

I have been trying to work my way through my backlog of almost-FOs. I did finish off the Minimalist cardigan but really, it’s been a disaster from start to finish. It is the most ill-fitting sweater I have made in a long time and even with my mods for the sleeves, they turned out enormous. But you can’t win ‘em all so I have put it away in the hopes that someone will appear on my horizon that I can give it to. In the meantime, I have dug out my only other languishing sweater – ole Henley Perfected.

All this needs is a sleeve and a half. It got put away because winter came in rather quickly last year and I wanted to move on to woollier things. The yarn is Calmer a stretchy cotton blend from Rowan. It’s usually quite expensive – about €8 a ball – but I picked up a bag of 10 for about €40 last summer in Galway. It’s a beautiful colour and is really lovely to work with.

But really, my tricot du jour has to be Veera’s new pattern, the 3/4 hap shawl. True, when I saw the pattern the weather had just broken and true, when I cast on, it was pouring rain outside. But now that I have started, wild angry crocheters couldn’t get me to put this down.

The green is Malabrigo Sock in Lettuce and I bought it originally to join in on the Annis knitalong at This is Knit. I kind of put off casting on because of the huge amount of stitches to start with and the rumours of nupps. In the meantime, this little gem appeared and I knew what I had to do.

The purple is Brown Sheep Nature Spun Fingering which has been patiently waiting in the wings. It’s a pretty stark contrast but really, purple and green belong together, don’t they?

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January 7, 2010

Distraction

Filed under:Shawls,Startitis,Sweaters,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 13:43

Maybe you, like me, are sick of hearing about snow. Let’s not talk about snow. Let’s talk about far more interesting and relevant things, like knitting!

There’s nothing like a cold snap to prompt a serious bout of startitis. Here’s my Peaks Island Hood. I’m using Tivoli Celtic Superwash which I haven’t used in a few years. They’re now spinning it in Turkey, more’s the pity, but the yarn has changed from being quite scratchy to being very soft and smooth. I am about halfway through but had to leave it down because there is only so much seed stitch I can knit (see: lingering Minimalist cardigan…)

I got a really nice Christmas present of a pile of Rowan Lima to make Stilwell. I love the yarn, I love the pattern…

…but for some reason, my gauge has decided to bump itself up a few stitches in the 30 seconds between knitting my swatch and knitting the garment. When I took the photo this morning, I thought, hmm, that looks a bit small. It’s actually about 14″ across, which means I’m going to end up with a 28″ jumper. I can go no further.

Which is just as well for Alb because it means I am just going to have to resume knitting his jumper.

I stalled out because I wanted him to try it on before I went any further. I am about halfway down the body after joining it under the arms. I got him to try it on last night and the verdict was: 1. The colour is nice. 2. The texture is nice (newsflash! men like plain stockinette!). 3. It’s a bit short right now.

Keeping me going during the Christmas holidays – although, honestly, there wasn’t much knitting as I was very busy with the sleeping and the eating – was another Swallowtail shawl made from Wagtail mohair.

Yesterday I rearranged my bedroom, moved my desk beside the window and put my sewing machine on it. The effect was instantaneous: now I feel like sewing. Isn’t it strange how light and surroundings can affect how much you want to do something? Anyway, I finished up the cutest wee project last night that I’ll show you tomorrow. I have been very brave and have decided to try and sew another skirt. I currently have two Frankenskirts languishing so hopefully this will be third time lucky!

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November 28, 2009

Saturday catch-up

It’s always good to catch up! There has been a lot of knitting but not much opportunity to share it. This is mostly because I am always in a big rush in the morning and by the time I get home, it is far too dark to take photos. It was a close thing today! Between sleeping in (for which I have a new-found love) and the fog, I was nearly caught out again.

Anyway, I have some hats to share. First up is Quincy from Jared Flood’s Made in Brooklyn.

This was a quick and addictive knit because it uses chunky yarn (I used some leftover Rowan Cocoon) and garter stitch.

You can see how the main part of the hat is twisted – very easy to do and very effective! This is a bit loose and short on me, giving a mushroom effect, so I think if I were knitting it again I would use an aran weight yarn and cast on more stitches to make it longer. The book itself is lovely – sort of next generation Elizabeth Zimmermann – and there are a few more projects in it that I would like to make. (I have one lined up for Christmas, actually!)

Next up is a hat made from Game Knitting. This is a fabulous wee booklet I found via Ravelry. It has some patterns but mostly it explains the concept and gives lots of examples and ideas. I knit this hat while watching football and NBA. It’s just a regular 2×2 Rib hat but I changed the pattern when the ball went out of play. It gives a fun regular-random flow to the hat.

If you like the sound of this, I definitely recommend the booklet for loads of ideas!

So Alb’s Jumper has been growing gradually but it still just looks like a grey blob, I’m afraid. Not wholly unrelated, I caved and cast on for Girl Friday

… which is knit out of Garnstudio’s Alaska, the same stuff I knit my Liesl out of. I wasn’t really close to gauge so I did some maths and figured that I could get away with knitting a size smaller at the gauge I had. It looks ok so far!

I was in This is Knit yesterday between lessons and I picked up some of this dreamy stuff.

It’s Wagtail 100% mohair. Shockingly, it has been more than two weeks since I knit a scarf or shawl. This ought to be addressed right this instance! (I am also right about to cast on for a Central Park Hoodie for my mum and also a Hemlock Ring Blanket thanks to seeing Dixie’s amazing sample in the shop yesterday… and also… well, maybe another day!)

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October 25, 2009

FO – Fountain Pen Shawl (and many WIPS)

I seem to have broken the knitting jinx that has been upon me with the completion of my first goat (the second goat is nearly halfway there). While I was casting off the sleeve cap, I was filled with enlightenment (relief) and a voice said to me (Alb) to finish off the Fountain Pen shawl while I was at it (tidy up a bit).

I haven’t blocked it out yet so the lace isn’t stretched to its full capacity. I think it is still pretty, though.

Yarn: 1 skein of Malabrigo Merino Lace, picked up at Fadeninsel in Berlin.

Needles: 3.25mm (I think) knitpicks.

Modifications: Obviously the yardage of the Malabrigo isn’t nearly anything like the Helen’s Lace called for by the pattern so I cut down on the number of repeats of the main chart. I squeezed seven repeats out of it and had a little bit left over.

Verdict: It’s a winner! The pattern was interesting enough to maintain my interest but still be easy enough to keep an eye on something else at the same time. It’s up there with the Swallowtail Shawl in terms of prettiness and knitability. The yarn is gorgeous, very soft, and I think I will definitely be using it again for another project. It is warm and lofty and would make a nice spring garment, I think.

Anyway, so jubilant was my release from the knitting black hole within which I found myself, I have been casting on for new things left, right and centre! (And there are more over there, too). First up is Liesl.

If it looks very small to you, that’s because it is! I got gauge but upon thought and research, decided to knit the 34″ size as opposed to the 38″ size (I would need a 36″ size) because most comments I read oscillated between “really wearable garment” and “stretches out like crazy when you block it”. I have tried it on a few times and am very happy with the fit under the arms and across the back. Obviously, it doesn’t meet at the front but recently I have found that more practical for me, as it is less restrictive when I play or practice. With this in mind, I haven’t knitted in any button holes. If it does stretch a lot when I block it and I find I do need buttons, what I might do is just crochet some loops on one side to accommodate a closure. Either way, it is a ridiculously quick knit – I knit all that yesterday afternoon! I am also trying out a new yarn (to me, anyway). It is Garn Studio Alaska, a 100% wool aran weight yarn that I picked up from the Constant Knitter a while ago.

I like it a lot. It’s got great bounce, stitch definition and yardage for the price (€2.50 for 75m). I have just started my fourth ball of eight so I’m hoping to get a decent length out of it!

Of course, because I had just cast off a shawl, I had to start a new one… Actually, this one has been at the top of my wishlist for a few months now.

The pattern is free here and in my opinion, perfect for showing off those delicious hand-dyed skeins of sock yarn that are far too nice to be knit into socks. I had such a skein that I bought off Clare about this time last year. I love the colours but had a hard time coming up with a sock pattern that would do it justice.

I think there really is something about garter stitch when it comes to self striping yarns.

My sister is home for a short visit and, at my request, brought me Made in Brooklyn. Swoon! More about it soon :)

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