November 30, 2006

The Christmas Push

Filed under:News!,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 10:27

A pair of these were always going to be made for Christmas, but I didn’t expect the time for them to be knitted would come so soon. Such is the way of Christmas, I suppose. So here’s the start I made yesterday evening. I’m using Rowan’s Tapestry in Pot Pourri.

I plan to cast on for this today. It’s the Gaiter pattern from One Skein (love that book!).

These two knits are my Christmas Push, because I have got to get them finished for the last posting date for the States 🙂

In other news, I continued to puzzle over my aran design last night. I re-read the first chapter in EZ’s Almanac about aran knitting. Her opinion is that you measure your gauge over st st. Then, take half the sweater (eg the front half) and knit it as a hat. If it measures half your desired width across, then your combination of motifs is good. If it’s too narrow, you can stick in more purl stitches between motifs by using your st st gauge as a guide, and vice versa if it’s too wide. I’ll probably have to knit a few hats :}

I think my welly sock is a bit too big. I am going to finish off and then try it on to get a better idea. It’s hard to tell when it’s on needles, and it’s too much effort for me to string all the stitches onto a bit of wool, try it on, and put them all back on the needles.

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November 28, 2006

1 Year Old

Filed under:News!,Plans-Ideas- Designs,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 10:08

This month, my blog is an innocent one year old. Yay! Happy Birthday blog! There have been a lot of ups and downs. The downs: failed embroidery, the tam o’shanty, and the purple jumper that had a neck hole the size of a pencil. The ups: Mum’s birthday present, my first wearable shrug, and my crowning glory of 2006, the green cardigan. Onwards and upwards!

I actually have something to show on my Dad’s Christmas socks. I ripped them out four times. Ribbing is a weird thing but I got it to work for this sock at least. The nice thing about knitting with aran weight wool is that it is super-quick to knit with, so despite ripping it out four times, it still didn’t take me very long to get to the heel.

I keep thinking, is it too big? The purpose is to fill up the wellies and make them extra snug. Also, my dad has a penchant for tucking his jeans into the welly socks, so maybe the bagginess at the top is a good thing. Hope springs eternal. I am particularly proud of the heel, which I worked out using Dodgy Maths ™, ie I started where I thought looked right and who would’ve thunk it, it worked!

Yesterday, the Winter issue of Interweave Knits finally came through my letterbox. Oh joy! Oh rapture! I have been waiting very impatiently to have a better look at this Refined Raglan pattern. But you know? I don’t really like it now that I’ve seen it up close. It has a traditional EZ hem, which is fine, but I prefer a ribbed hem and cuff. I am not partial to gusts up the sleeve. Then there’s the funnel neck – both the name and the shape. The name conjures up images of cold, greasy car ferries. The shape is just awful and I suspect prone to gusts. I loved the idea of having a cable running along the raglan decreases, but I don’t like the one in this pattern. So! I knitted a swatch and decided to just knit my own variation on a theme.

The yarn is Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed, a bag of which I picked up on discount at Yarn at the weekend. I love the colour (a grey blue)!

Use number 9 for tea mugs

Gauge-wise, I got a very convenient 5 stitches to 1″. I propose knitting a basic bottom-up raglan and sticking in the cable you see above at the raglan decreases. I tried out three different three different positions for the decreases around the cable in the swatch. However, I think what’s used in the pattern (from what I can tell from the photo anyway) looks the best: ssk, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1, cable stitches, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1, k2tog. The extra knit 1 and purl 1 gives the cable its own enclosing border. I think for simplicity’s sake I will just put the cables on the front and not on the back.

!!! I have just looked at the last posting dates before Christmas. I’m going to have to abandon all else and get my sister’s presents done straight away *rushes off*

PS The welly sock is just something I’m making up as I’m going along but if anyone else wants welly socks, I can put up the pattern here when I’m finished the first sock.


November 27, 2006


Filed under:Finished Objects,News!,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 09:59

Yes! They are finished. When I last posted a picture of the second sock, I hadn’t realised that the foot was long enough and could have started the toe shaping straight away. Anyway, I got it finished up quickly enough and here they are. Much as I love to show a good photo, I am not lifting my feet above my head to get them in line with the web cam (actually – my dad found my camera cable! I will have proper photos by next weekend).

Finishing these up really gave me a boost and I cast on for my Dad’s Christmas welly socks straight away. I’m not using any particular pattern. I’ve already knitted about six inches but they’re ridiculous looking. I started off with about 30% more stitches than I need. This was not on purpose. So then I did a pile of decreases and the emerging sock now looks more like an elbow warmer than anything else. It annoyed me so much that it woke me up twice during the night. I kept thinking, if it’s rib, then should I put in negative ease instead of positive ease to make sure they stay up?

Another thing that annoyed me is the ‘Complete Book of Traditional Aran Knitting’ that I posted about in my last entry. I was convinced I owned it. Do I? No! But I do have the Complete Book of Traditional Scandanavian Knitting! They look pretty similar and while I was awake during the night, I came to the conclusion that I must have got it out from the library a few years ago, because I have seen it before. Ok. Fine. I did some reasearch and it would be cheap enough to buy second hand online. Why bother? Because I have now seen this book twice and I know for a fact that it is better than the Harmony Stitch guides, and I can’t afford the Barbara Walker stitch dictionaries. It also has a lot of garment patterns as well as separate cable patterns in it.

I am in a bad mood this morning because I am 1. back in Dublin, 2. back in Dublin alone, and 3. my enthusiasm for college is on a par with elbow warmers.


November 25, 2006

Day at the Wool Shop

Filed under:News!,Stash,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 17:35

This morning, I attended a knitting workshop at Yarn given by Lynn Ross. She lives on the Isle of Arran off the coast of Scotland. I don’t know which coast and Google Maps isn’t doing me any favours! Funnily but unsurprisingly enough, tourists visiting the island wanted to buy aran knitting and, fed up explaining that it was a different Arran island, Lynn designed her own aran knitting and set up a site. Lynn’s background is in both knitting and weaving, but she is also into spinning and dyeing her own yarn with natural dyes. She showed us a lovely rainbow scarf that showed just how strong natural dyes can be. I find natural dyeing to be a fascinating concept, especially after listening to Brenda Dayne’s episode of Cast-On about her experiences with it. Unfortunately it would be just one hobby too many for me to get into right now!

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The end of the class came all too quickly and it was time to be on our way. We all thoroughly enjoyed the class – many thanks to Ger at Yarn for setting up the workshop and letting us run amok in her shop! Of course, I couldn’t come away without taking advantage of our workshop discount… I picked up some Debbie Bliss Country Tweed. This is spun by Kilcarra of Donegal and is right up my street. I love the colour and the texture.

I just lovelovelove the Colinette they have in stock! I picked up some Point 5 because the colours were irresistible. I think a black hat, with this knitted into it in stripes (chevron?) , would be excellent!

I also picked up Knit Today and Simply Knitting. I’m going to have a read of them and see if they are Yay or Nay.

Here is a quick peek at my mum’s Clapotis. I have just passed the halfway point.

…and my everlasting Green Pomatomus socks! Nearly at the toe decreases here. I can’t wait to put these on, if only it being because they’re not on my needles anymore…

I feel super-inspired now! The good thing about knitting an aran jumper is that I’ll probably do it on 5.5mm, if not 6.5mm needles, so hopefully it will be a quick, well-fitting knit! Yay!


November 22, 2006

Bad picture

Filed under:News!,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 20:31

It may be bad, but at least it’s something to look at. I’ve been feeling bad about not posting pictures. Here’s my green Pomatomus sock.

It was much longer than this earlier today but I made a right hames of the pattern and had to rip back. I’m not knitting another pair of these for a while. I’m not sure what kind of socks I’ll make myself next. I’m really tempted to try these in hot red and hot yellow. It’s getting dark at 4pm these days; I need a little hot yellow.

You know what else is moving my boat gently up and down? (I was going to say ‘shaking my tree’ but it’s a bit violent… I’m preparing for an early night) This great cardigan that I’d totally forgotten about. I think colour choice is the make-or-break decision of this pattern. I was going to do it in black and yellow, until Alb pointed out that I would look like a bee. I’m loathe to do the green and red because they’re Mayo colours, and I’m from Sligo (black and white… too Diceman… remember him?).

Speaking of black and whites, I’m not really feeling the piano love. I’m learning a new contemporary Irish piece that makes me want to pour hot wax into my ears. The one good thing about it is that it is concisely written and is, motivically anyway, easy to understand. I have just spent the last month learning a sonata that is very wishy washy and insipid. I’m really not wishy washy. There’s no beef to this sonata. Where’s my beef?! I could go on. The one piece I do love is Spanish. I totally get this piece… but it’s written in such a complicated manner that it’s like trying to read hieroglyphics. Imagine the scene: sitting in an olive garden at the end of June in the middle of the night. Gorgeous. Now imagine me: sitting in a stuffy pyramid staring at the wall with a cup of tea, stumped, because I can’t get from the pyramid to the olive garden (the very nature of being stumped demands a cup of tea).

The Knitting Almanac is providing more than adequate solace. More progress, if any, on the olive garden (and sock) tomorrow.