February 16, 2010

Ravelympics: Day 5

Filed under:Hats,Knitting Olympics,Spinning,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 10:21

…Or Knitting Olympics, or just plain knitting-while-you-watch-the-olympics… whatever you want to call it, I’m doing it! The whole idea is to set yourself a challenge and try to complete it within the olympic window (17 days). As I said before, I set myself the challenge to finish off my Minimalist Cardigan. Needless to say, I haven’t even touched and instead, have launched myself with full gusto into the Flying Camel spinning event.

Remember the red stuff I posted at the weekend? It’s all plied up now and drying on the line. It turned out lovely and I can’t wait to knit with it. Yesterday was a bit of a struggle for me because I wasn’t feeling very well. Luckily for me, I remembered that I had a mixed batt from Laura Hogan sitting in my stash. I promised myself that if I did all my work and got through my lesson in the evening, I could start spinning this up when I got home.

You can’t see it very well on the bobbin but it is a mixed batt of regular merino dyed green, white and bright pink with blue silk mixed through it and some creamy, fluffy, silky bits through… AND some blue sparkly bits too! The sparkly bits tend to show up out of the blue (I’m so funny!), which delights me no end. Of course, the whole point of the Knitting Olympics is to challenge yourself. I’m using this batt to teach myself some new things: I’m spinning ‘from the fold’, I’m using a long draw drafting technique and I’m planning on Navajo or chain plying the bobbin when I’m finished. If you’re not into spinning, all this means is that I’m hoping to end up with a fluffy, light yarn as opposed to a smooth, dense yarn (which was the way I spun the red stuff).

Of course, I couldn’t just procrastinate on the Minimalist on one front. I cast on for a balaclava on Saturday, too, for the Hat Halfpipe event.

It’s From Russia With Love. Doesn’t it look snug? I’m using Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and so far, have already used nearly two balls for just the neck part. Just as well my head isn’t very big. I hope everyone elses’ projects for the Olympics are going smoothly!


February 5, 2010

No limit to the WIPs

Filed under:Cardigans,Hats,Mittens,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 14:14

Hi everybody! Apologies for the long silence. College has been very busy but thankfully there has still been time for knitting. These days I have been mostly knitting the Girl Friday cardigan from Knitty.

I would have finished this at least three weeks ago only I was struck by what can only be described as utter stupidity when casting on for the body. I didn’t want a 37″ body and decided to take 20 stitches from either side of the side seams. This left me with a very peculiar body. Unfortunately I didn’t really notice until I had completely finished the body and grafted the shoulders together! Anyway, I ripped it all out and reknit the 37″ size as written. It is a much more sensible size and I am almost finished the shawl collar and button band. Hopefully I will finish it off at the weekend and tell you all about it in more detail.

In the meantime, I just had to cast on for a new pair of mittens. My brother gave me a very beautiful chocolate-brown skein of hand- and naturally-dyed sock yarn for Christmas. So, when I saw these mittens, I knew what it was destined for. I wanted a nice stone colour to go with the brown. Initially I chose a cream-brown Noro Silk Garden Sock but it didn’t match the thickness or texture of the other yarn very well. In the end I found a King Cole 4ply merino in the yarn shop in Rathmines that matched perfectly.

These are going slowly at the moment because I am not the most attentive in the evenings these days.

What else? I knocked out a Shroom for a quick hit.

The only problem about asking Alb to take a photo of a hat is that he takes a photo of me. Still, you get the idea. If I were to make it again, I would probably shorten the rib a bit and make the body of the hat longer. Speaking of Alb, I also finished off his jumper but that really deserves a post of its own!

Mostly though, my biggest WIPs have been what I am working on for school: Brahms D minor violin sonata, Beethoven piano concerto (the 4th!), Copland duo for flute and piano, Fauré Dolly suite (piano duet), Bach English Suite (the 2nd! my favourite)… and literally a million songs that I play for singers to make money. I am working as an accompanist for NUIM (Maynooth university) this term, too. It is all going really well, though, and miraculously I manage to make a living whilst being very much a full-time student. I have made some decisions regarding what I will specialise in, based on what I have found out during the first term, and it’s made my life a lot easier!


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!)