July 11, 2020

An Update on WIPs

It is surprisingly difficult to write an update on my works in progress, after not having written one in so very long. As one project ends, another is begun; invariably I have two or three projects in various stages of completion at any one time and it can be difficult to know when a good time to dip in and share progress is. It is curious how such small things can create resistance, and curiouser still how the rumination on such curiosity creates a self-perpetuating procrastination. Even that sentence is a procrastination. And this one!

How about some progress on Lucy? I got the body finished!

I cannot remember if I mentioned that my wooden needles were slowly doing me. The wool is still very oily from the fleece (deliciously so! It smells amazing! And not in a bad way either) and it was sticking to the needles. I took myself along to This is Knit, got myself a pair of metal tips and I haven’t looked back. (It was so nice to visit there again! You can make an appointment so you don’t have to queue or anything to have all those lovely wool fumes to yourself). I have since started…

..and finished a sleeve. There is a lot of knitting in a sleeve but thankfully, from the top down, they get smaller as you go so it’s a bit like going down the hill on your bike. I also tried the jumper on when I finished off the body and how glad was I that it fit so snugly! I expect that when I wash it in some wool soap that it will loosen out a bit and fluff up, so a bit of snugness is no bad thing. It is incredibly warm. I cannot wait to finish it!

As I near the completion of one thing, I think forward to the next. I have been mulling over Kate Davies’ Seavaiger since May. A drapey batwing sweater with two colours of stripes, I think the design was published in the Spring of 2019. It is interesting to consider the role that colour plays in the portrayal of a design – it can really make or break an otherwise excellent pattern. Case in point with Seavaiger, I think, as the original colourway was so disinteresting to me that I passed over it completely. She updated the pattern this Spring in a different colourway: two shades of teal and worn with a orange red skirt (more on that in a minute!). I was instantly hooked. Sometimes I am drawn in by the quirk of an item but on further consideration, conclude that it is not really my thing or not something that I would ever realistically wear. Testament to this design is the fact that I am still obsessing over it nearly three months later.

So, what of the orange red skirt? The colour has been another preoccupation of mine this Spring. It is one that I fall in and out of love with regularly. Being such a strong colour, I think that I struggle with what to pair it with, but seeing it with teal (a colour I wear a lot) really clicked for me. And let’s face it: there comes a time in your life when you have to accept that not only do you want an orange and pink jumper, but that you want the orangiest and pinkiest jumper – in the world – ever – since the dawn of woolkind!

I have spent the last three months searching for the perfect orange, which is in fact neither orange nor red. Does anybody know the name of that colour? Tomato red? Killer Flamingo? Let me know. Anyway, I finally found the colours in a new-to-me 4-ply at The Constant Knitter. It’s from a brand called Rial Filati. This 4-ply, Baby Supremo, comes in a fab range of colours, and you can’t really go wrong with 200m for €3.99. My only criticism, if you could call it that, is that it is extremely soft yarn. Great for a drapey batwing jumper, and for baby knits, but maybe not so great for a jumper that you’d be knocking around in. Really looking forward to starting this and it will be the perfect antidote to the oatmealiness of my Lucy jumper.

Yet more colour to finish up for today: a pair of colourwork socks. Despite my longstanding love for knitting colourwork mittens, I had not to date tried a pair of socks in the same fashion. About two years ago, I happened upon a book on Ravelry called SoxxBook by Kersin Balke. It is in German and published by a company called Topp. As you’ll see from the Ravelry link there, it is full of vibrant colourwork designs with a warm, retro aesthetic. It has since been published in English but seeing that it was quite expensive, as a hardcover edition, I forgot about it. Imagine my delight then, when I happened upon the paperback edition quite by accident in the Liber bookshop in Sligo when I was last there! Obviously it had to come home with me and obviously I had to cast on immediately.

The red is a Drops Fabel, the turquoise is West Yorkshire Spinners 4-ply in Bubblegum and the purple is Schoppel Admiral. All very affordable and the latter two come in big 100g balls so I will have enough for probably two more pairs! I must admit that I was concerned about my gauge and how the colourwork might make them unwearably tight. But no, they fit great and I have half of the second one knit already. More soon!

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November 9, 2013

Saturday Socks

Filed under:Finished Objects,Knitting,Socks — Aileen @ 08:00

It has been a long time since I shared any knitting here but that’s not to say I haven’t been doing any. The truth is that even though I still knit every single day, a lot of it is pretty perfunctory stuff. And I suppose one must face the fact that, after many years of sweater knitting, you don’t need that many jumpers. I wear handknits constantly (particularly Salina, my red hoodie, my Graystone sweater…) but haven’t felt a particular need for anything new now in a while. I cast on for a Larch cardigan last weekend in a teal merino. At the moment it’s just a big square but I’m hoping to get to the armholes over the next few days. It is perfect tv knitting.

Otherwise, I’ve been knitting socks. Lots of socks.

For these I used Katia ‘Darling’ from This is Knit (see here). I bought two balls but only used maybe a third of the second one. Obviously there was a bit of wastage (sort of) by making them as identical as I could but I have very small feet so I knew I had yarn to spare.

I tried out an afterthought heel on these and it worked really well. It meant I could just plough on knitting my tube and think about the heel much later. I think Elizabeth Zimmermann talks about it in at least one of her books, and I found actual numbers and directions in Lucy Neatby’s ‘Cool Socks Warm Feet’. I couldn’t knit just one pair, so I tried a different colourway.

I love these! They’ve already gone a bit bobbly from being worn around the house.

The downside to the afterthought heel is that without reinforcement (like nylon or whatever), I doubt they’ll hold up to the test of time. We’ll see!

I finally finally finally knit myself a boring plain pair of socks. Need I mention that these are the ones that get the most wear?!

You’ll have to take my word that they are, in fact, the same length. Have a great weekend, one and all!

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May 24, 2013

WIPS

Filed under:Cardigans,Knitting,Lace,Shawls,Socks,Stash Down — Aileen @ 11:58

Between the last Masters I did and finally finding a job with decent hours (love my job, by the way!), the last few years have meant that I have had to scale back my knitting alot. Sewing has had something to do with it, but not as much as you’d think…usually I sew when I can’t knit and vice versa. I’ve also had a recurring tension problem in my left arm that is often exacerbated by knitting, but not by sewing. Anyway, all this to say that I still knit almost every day but it tends to be very plain and easy to knit!

Example one: a wool shrug in Jamieson shetland.

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The pattern is called ‘Biston’ and it’s a downloadable from one of the Wool People magazines. This is perfect TV knitting and just as well, as I’m working with 2.5mm needles. It’s slow going.

Example two: a replacement pair of Welsh Country socks. I was really upset when my brown and cream pair shank. I invested in two balls of Brown Sheep Wildfoote, which washes beautifully. I finally got to the toe of the second one last night. These I found to be hard work on my hands – 2mm metal dpns are unforgiving.

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Lastly, I casted on for yet another shawl in the Blue Sky Alpaca ‘Silkpaca’ (correct me if I’m wrong, I’m not sure of the name). This stuff is just heaven! Love! Considering what I have planned for summer sewing (an unmentioned jacket maybe…) this will really for the bill.

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I think another part of my knitting slow down is alot to do with the fact that I have many, many hand knit items that I love to wear still and don’t find myself lacking too often! Aside from one or two ‘top up’ sweaters or cardigans, I will probably devote much of my summer and autumn knitting to adding to Alb’s and my Dad’s currently measly collection.

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March 4, 2013

Ka-nitting

Filed under:Socks,Sweaters,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 14:50

I’ve been working on some things for myself since finishing my Dad’s jumper (which fits really well!). First is a pair of navy socks from some plain old Opal yarn.

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Yes my feet really are that tiny. I take a 3.5UK. It means I always get shoes in the sales!

The other thing is a sweater, Pomegranate, in Rialto DK. The colour is beautiful and will go lovely with my million navy items. I don’t like how I worked the rib decreases here though, so I’m going to rip back and rework it.

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That’s it for now. I started sewing my green dress today so hopefully will have photos soon.

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January 24, 2012

Welsh Country Socks and some facecloths

Filed under:Finished Objects,Socks,Stash Down,Zakka — Aileen @ 07:38

I put these on this morning and realised that I had never shown them here.

Pattern: Welsh Country Socks from Folk Socks by Nancy Bush.

Yarn: The brown is from Lidl and the white was one skein of Brown Sheep Wildfoote. I used about 1.5 balls of the Lidl yarn and one ball of the Wildfoote. The Lidl yarn is great and I will definitely buy more for socks when I see it on sale – they sell 4 balls for about €5.

The pattern was very straight forward to follow – I put the pattern on the toe section as well. I saw someone else had done the same thing in this colour combination and I thought it was really pretty. I wear these socks all the time. Now that I think about it, I think it’s partly because of the colour and also partly because of the length. I got the book on sale and picked it up primarily for this pattern, but it is terrific reading with many other attractive patterns that warrant closer inspection. Nancy Bush never fails to educate and entertain the knitter, I think.

I was tidying up and found a ball of Louisa Harding Ianthe that I bought to experiment with. It’s 50-50 merino-cotton and I had been thinking about a summer top, perhaps. I changed my mind subsequently and figured that some washcloths would be a good use. You can see how what size I think the hooks in the bathroom are changes…! The yarn was really lovely to work with , not very splitty at all and would make a nice top, were one so inclined.

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