May 30, 2011

Vado, ma dove?

Filed under:Cardigans,hoodie,Music,Shawls,Stash — Aileen @ 12:48

It has been constantly one thing after another since my last post. There has been knitting interspersed but not an awful lot, unfortunately. So shortly after my last post, I got to play for National Music Day. Directly after that, the violin duo I played in won the Elsner cup for Duo playing at Dublin Feis. Between that and Easter, I spent trying to recover a concert I had spent the last six months organising in Viarmes, France. My violinist decided to… not do the concert… with less than two weeks’ notice. I have a flautist friend who wanted to go instead, so all was not lost, apart from my Easter holidays which I spent learning an entirely new programme!

We travelled to France over the May bank holiday weekend. My point of contact was the lady who heads up the town twinning committee for Viarmes with Tubbercurry (which is where I’m from). She was nothing less than utterly amazing in her organisation so I knit her this shawl in the delicious Blue Sky Alpaca Alpaca Silk.

It was a much easier knit than I expected it to be. I used three skeins of the Alpaca Silk and although it was already far too warm there for her to wear it, she loved it.

When I got back from France, I was busy playing for my students’ practicals in the IT, in NUIM, for end-of-term concerts for DIT Chamber Choir and of course, my own Masters recital! Through all of this mayhem, I was receiving my monthly installments from the Hedgehog Fibres fibre club. One package was this…

…and another was this, with its own matching draw-string bag…

I’m saving them all for the Tour de Fleece!

Like I said, there has been sporadic knitting. Although I am finished with college, I still have more exams to play for in NUIM and to compound my stress levels, I agreed to be rehearsal pianist for La Traviata for the next two weeks. I just wanted to start things that I knew I liked. Like another Heather Hoodie.

And another Audrey in Unst.

I can tell you now that there won’t be much time for knitting over the next two weeks but I’m going to post photos from the rehearsals to keep you guys up to date ;)

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January 19, 2011

FO: Heather Hoodie

Filed under:Finished Objects,hoodie,Sweaters — Aileen @ 08:44

This wasn’t in the mood to be photographed with its buttons closed properly today, so excuse the sloppiness.

Pattern: Heather Hoodie from Knitscene, Fall 2009.

Yarn: Twilley’s Purity from This is Knit, in the colour Clay, 9.5 balls.

I love this yarn. I’d never used it before. It’s pretty soft for such a sheepy wool and it blocks out wonderfully.

Needles: 5.5mm.

This is one of those great layer pieces that you can use pretty much all the year around. During the snow over Christmas, I wore it all the time over a lighter handknit sweater.

The only thing I’m a little annoyed about is the hood. The way it’s written is absolutely perfect. I just got bored and decided I was finished with it two inches before it was properly done. It’s a bit tight when I put it up but it keeps my neck really warm the rest of the time.

Buttons were from Knopenwinkel in Amsterdam. I’m thrilled to finally have knit a sweater worthy of these buttons. Such happy memories!

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January 16, 2011

Hibernation and WIPs

I went into total hibernation this week and really got stuck into some work. I’m sort of paying for it a bit this weekend but it was worth it. I’ve been working away on some things, like my Austin hoodie.

This is coming along really easily. I’m nearly finished the front now and from there, I’ll be just two sleeves and the hood from a nice, wearable spring garment.

I did some tidying up and while I was at it, I found some handspun that was too nice to ignore. I had a huge pile of silk-merino singles from the summer. What better way to use it than for a shawl – Ishbel, another Ysolda classic.

I’m pretty surprised at how… normal… it is knitting up. I always have the impression that the yarn I spin is completely unknittable, but apparently not.

Yesterday was a truly attrocious day, with howling wind and rain from morning ’til night. Despite getting some work done, I felt like I never woke up properly. In that spirit, I cast on for just about the most mindless, chicken-soup-esque hat I could find.

Thorpe (pdf link) has been on my wishlist for a long time. I knit this on and off yesterday evening so that’ll tell you just how speedy a knit it is. Here are the specs!

Needles: 5.5mm dpns and then 40cm circular.

Yarn: Leftover Twilley’s Purity from my Heather hoodie (1 ball) and Debbie Bliss Soho (long discontinued, 1 ball). The Soho was the very first yarn I bought online along with the Denise Interchangeable needles. I got them for Christmas. I remember they were delivered on Christmas Eve and I was absolutely dying with a cold at the time. I’m going to hazard a guess that this was in 2003? Definitely time to use the yarn.

I made the medium size and it fits fine. I’m going to use the remainder of the Soho and Purity to make another in reversed colours. I will probably make the small for a snugger fit.

It was a lovely sunny day today and so nice to see such a stretch in the evenings already. I took advantage and got my resident photographer to take some of those modelled shots I was talking about. Stay tuned!

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January 5, 2011

Ath-bhliain faoi mhaise libh

Filed under:Cardigans,Finished Objects,hoodie,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 15:47

Happy new year! Am I a bit late? I ended up taking an unplanned and extended break over the holidays. My dad had a health scare the week before Christmas so things were a bit mental between the horrible weather (snow! how I hate the word!), making sure he was ok and making sure everything else was ok. Not to worry – thankfully all is well now.

There has been much knitting. My heather hoodie blocked out wonderfully well and I wore it incessantly through Christmas week. Modelled shots at the weekend! Speaking of incessant wearing, these never came off either.

My last FO of 2010 ended up being Folded. I wore it on Christmas Day.

I promise I will get modelled shots of this soon because it is far, far too pretty to keep under wraps. It is possibly the nicest sweater I’ve knit since this. I put off finishing it ad infinitum because I was worried I wouldn’t have enough yarn. In the end, I decided to knit exactly to the sleeve length specified in the pattern – I always make sleeves longer because of my orangutan arms – and whaddya know? I had a little yarn to spare. I made some modifications to the body which I will write about in greater detail when I post better photos.

First FO of 2011 was Pole (sorry, only a Ravelry link is available for this). I usually have some sort of mental knitting queue that gets jiggled around constantly depending on what I come across on Ravelry or my needs. Occasionally, I find a pattern that usurps all of it and demands to be knit immediately. Faster than immediately! Faster than instant coffee! Is-it-a-bird-is-it-a-plane!

I was smitten by the idea of a Malabrigo blanket. And the sleeves! Oh, the sleeves. I knit this in ten days flat, finishing it on New Year’s day and I haven’t taken it off since. More details to come when I get it blocked out.

This was my ninth year travelling home for Christmas so I was sensible this time. Sort of. I brought one work in progress to finish off and two new projects. You’ve seen what I’ve finished off and the first of my new projects. You can do the maths… I’m running low on my last project.

The beloved Austin Hoodie. I spent much of 2010 stalking this pattern. I even bought yarn that I thought would do the job for it but it never quite got me hooked. And then, one fateful day, I was standing in This is Knit when I spied the most perfect colour in Malabrigo sock: ink.

This pattern has you knit the body at a loose-ish gauge and then a bit tighter for the yoke. This combination of floppy knitting and the yarn means that I am running dangerously low on yarn. I only brought one skein (I don’t know why, ok!). I might be able to get through the next 24 hours. We drive back to Dublin tomorrow morning… but we might be playing a bit more I Spy than Alb is prepared for.

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