Archive for March, 2008

FO Spiral Socks a.k.a rattlesnake socks

March 29, 2008

Spiralclose

My spiral socks are finished and have been renamed my Rattlesnake socks as I think the colour of the yarn is like a rattlesnake’s skin. It doesn’t show really well in the photos but the spirals were knitted in opposite directions.  I wore them this week and despite looking a slightly funny shape they are really comfortable and fit well. But it has put me off knitting knee high socks as the leg section felt neverending. It took me 3 months to complete these which is mainly down to the boring leg part.  They used up almost ALL of a ball of Tofutsies as I didn’t want any of the yarn left over.

Spiral

It doesn’t matter that I don’t love the colour of them either as I will mostly wear them under boots for which they are the perfect length.

I’ve spent ages on Ravelry today looking at all the projects based on patterns from No Sheep For You by Amy R Singer, as my copy arrived yesterday from The Book Depository.  Amy’s book starts with information about several types of nonwool yarns and their properties, comparing them to wool yarns and telling you what they won’t do (cotton doesn’t block very well!).  There’s lots of advice on how to get the best out of nonwool yarns and how to chose what type of pattern to use them for.  Then there are 20 projects using nonwool yarns including a wonderful silk mosaic jumper by Kristi Porter, a lace shawl inspired by Tuscany by Amy herself and a top with a lace back by Jillian Moreno (the three that have really grabbed my attention so far). 

It’s very good timing as next week I’m planning to take a trip to Get Knitted in Bristol and will now be armed with much more information about chosing nonwool yarns.  I will definitely be buying some laceweight yarn as I want to try knitting lace and have 3 patterns in mind so far.  I will probably buy some silk yarn to either knit the pattern by Jillian Moreno or this lovely top from knitty.com.

Looking at the projects from a book on Ravelry is so useful as you can see the garments on real people.  Especially if I can find a photo of someone who is the same body shape as me and then I can tell if the pattern will suit me or not, as all the models in the books are quite tall and thin of which I am neither.  Also, it shows you how many people have taken the patterns and given them their own personal touch so no two are the same.  They may have simply just changed the colour or size but some of them are quite ingenious, by moving patterned bands to waists to take the attention away from the bust area or to give the appearance of a waist, or by adding sleeves and making a t-shirt shaped top into a cardigan with an asymetric fastening.  Knitters are so creative!!

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Matching

March 22, 2008

If you’ve read my ‘About’ page you’ll know that I like my shoes to match what I am wearing if it’s possible. This winter because it is my first with short hair I have worn a hat every day and I’ve realised that I’m not happy unless it matches my scarf and gloves (and coat if it can). I have my green ‘Sam’s Hat’ that I knitted last year which I wear with the apple green gloves and scarf. I have a purple hat bought from M&S last winter which I wear with a velvet purple/pink/green/blue scarf and purple leather gloves. I also have a pair of black and white wrist warmers that were my first attempt at knitting in the round with dpns. I made them in October 2006 and designed them myself – I haven’t blogged about them before as they are BB (Before Blog).

wristwip

Unfortunately I don’t have a hat or scarf that matches which bothers me so last weekend I decided to fix this. I bought one ball of black and one of white Patons Serenity DK (50% bamboo 50% cotton) to knit myself a striped scarf. I’ve had a play and knitted it up in stripes on some 4mm needles in garter stitch and stocking stitch but I’m not sure how I want to make it yet. I want it to be a quick knit and only need the two balls of yarn. I’d like it to look as nice on the back as the front but I don’t want to knit a rib as I’m not very keen on knitting rib. And to top it all off I’d really like it to be striped longways not across the scarf so I think I’m going to have to knit it sideways. So now I have the dilemma of how many stitches to cast on so that it’s the length I want but so that I don’t run out of yarn in a stupid place. Part of me is prepared to have to frog it all when I realise that I’ve cast on too many stitches and there’s not enough yarn and I haven’t even cast on yet!!! Talk about crossing a bridge before I get to it.

This week I’ve been listening to David Reidy’s Sticks And String podcast, it’s a similar format to Cast On but only 30 minutes long usually. David lives just outside Sydney, Australia and has started knitting again a couple of years ago to use the time on the train to work more productively. It’s really interesting listening to his progress as his knitting skills develop and grow, especially as I began knitting properly at about the same time. I also like hearing about knitting in Australia and from a male perspective. I’m very jealous of all the knitting groups and workshops he is able to attend as there’s a lack of them where I live. But I do like that he says jumper when he means a jumper and cardigan when he means a cardigan as in the US these are both called sweaters when to me they are quiet different. This week I’ve heard David’s review of Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmerman and it’s pretty much persuaded me that it’s a book that I would benefit from owning. I’d not ordered it from Amazon previously as I’d not seen it in any bookshop I’ve been in and it’s been around for so long I’d not heard a review of it before.

And the spiral socks are still going….. it feels like the end of the ball is infinitessimally long as it’s looked like I’m almost at the end of it all week and it still looks like that. I’m hoping to finish them over Easter.

A big mistake and corsetted teens

March 15, 2008

I’ve made a totally stupid mistake with the baby jumper!

I decided to be clever and knit the preppie in green jumper in the round avoiding sewing as many seams as possible. This was fine except I didn’t stop knitting in the round far enough down the sides of the jumper body.  I split my knitting when the neck shaping started and quite merrily knitted the front left neck shaping/shoulder, then the right front shoulder and then the back left …. you get my drift.  Then I knitted a sleeve, folded it in half and held it up against the body and ta daaaaaa the sleeve is twice as deep as my arm hole. I’m such an idiot. 

Then I knitted sleeve 2 whilst pretending to be oblivious to my mistake and part of me thinking oh it’ll work out OK.  Well I finished the second sleeve yesterday and now have to face up to frogging the little neck/shoulder bits and unknitting the body until I can fit the sleeves then I’ll have to split it and knit straight for about 1.5 inches before doing all the neck/shoulder parts again. As Homer Simpson would say “Doh!”

Luckily I’m knitting in tiny 0-3 month size so I have plenty of yarn left to fix my mistakes.

Last Friday I received a wonderful thing.  My friend Claudia works in the Children’s department at the head office of a large chain of bookshops and occasionally sends me a box of books and last Friday a really good haul arrived.  It was like Christmas all over again. So this week I’ve read:

Luxesavvysweetfar

The Luxe by Ann Godbersen – set in Manhattan in 1899 it’s the goings on above and below stairs in society famillies and is quite scandalous. It’s more like Gossip Girl than Pride & Prejudiced that’s for certain. One reviewer on Amazon likened it to Sex In The City in even more sumptuous dresses. It was extremely readable and I loved it.
Savvy by Ingrid Law – Mibs’ family are different to everyone else, when they reach their 13th birthdays they receive their ‘savvy’, this is a talent that is out of the ordinary.  Read this book to find out what Mibs’ savvy is and what happens when she gets it.  It’s very funny and moving and reminded me of the film “Little Miss Sunshine”.
The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray – the final book in a trilogy set in the 1890s about a young girl who is shipped from India to a boarding school in England when her mother dies. There she discovers her destiny and ability to enter the spirit world. It’s also full of all the trials and tribulations of being a teenager who doesn’t fit in. I’ve loved this series and can’t wait to finish this final part.

  gamewitchweekcleverclogs

Claudia also sent me two new editions of Diana Wynne Jones books that I love – The Game and Witch Week AND a Cleverclogs Momiji doll. The cover of The Game is illustrated by Rob Ryan who does paper cuts that are wonderful. 

FO Apple Green Gloves

March 9, 2008

Apple gloves

They’re finished!! I’m really pleased with my Apple Green Gloves. I knitted the picot edge last weekend and have worn them all week with my Apple Green Scarf. 

cuff

This is a not very good photo of the inside of the picot cuff because I wanted to show off that I grafted the cuff instead of sewing it.  I didn’t cast off the edge I left the knitting needles through the stitches and then threaded another needle through the stitches at the start of the picot knitting and then grafted the stitches together using kitchener stitch.  It’s worked really well and meant I had the least amount of bulk around the hem. 

Annarella

And these are some lovely stitch markers that I bought from Annarella here as she had a sale on.  The ones on the top left are wooden beads with bees on that I bought for my mum as she likes bees.  Anna also sent me a single green stitch marker as  free gift. I’m always impressed by how quickly Anna sends out her orders and the stitch markers are beautifully made. 

This week I’ve restarted the baby jumper I started a month ago, this time on a circular needle not dpns as the joins were a bit gappy. I’m much happier with it’s progress now.

This and that

March 1, 2008

Not much knitting progress this week I’m afraid.  Stupid cold didn’t help at all.  I have decided that the brown/white/black tofutsies I’m using to make the spiral sock looks like a rattle snake’s skin after watching David Attenborough’s Life In Cold Blood on Monday evening.  And surprisingly this has made me like them a bit more.  I’m knitting a 2×2 rib around the top now until I run out of yarn. 

Millefiori stitch markers

How pretty are these millefiore bead stitch markers? I saw a lovely millefiore bead necklace in The White Stuff today, I wish I could find a supplier of millefiore beads locally. 

Meeting up with some friends tomorrow for a sophisticated high tea.  Now I just have to decide what my “sunday best” is as that’s the dress code. ;o)

Oh and it’s my one year blogiversary on Monday. I can’t believe it’s been a year since I started this. I’m glad I did though.