Saturday, August 26, 2006

Back to our regular broadcast!

I missed a week blogging, but have still been toddling around other blogs and forums :-) Some bugs or other are, I am sure, using me as a test subject! Feeling somewhat better now after aching for the past week, which might also be due to my eating foodstuffs that I know don't agree with me (idiot).

In knitting news, I have thus far resisted temptation to start any more WIPs ("medal!" as Muttley might say). I was all set to finish the capelet this weekend, and was happily knitting away last night when I realised I was going to run out of yarn. The horror! About 14 rows of pattern to go then the collar, so I've had to order some more from Jannette's. To make it worthwhile I also picked up a couple of balls of Kureyon 159, all sea greens, blues, and pinks.

Almost finished the left front piece of Ariadne, and judging by the yarn I have left I'm not convinced it will take much more than three "and a bit" skeins.

I picked up a fab bargain on ebay this week, thanks again to the phantom enabler on AY ;-) A Boye Needlemaster set, for much less than they are sold for here, from a US seller. It arrived extremely quickly too. I'm very impressed with the pointiness of the needles, they are coated metal in a rainbow of colours. The coating itself serves to make them less slippy than Addis too. I think I will make good use of these for lacy shawls.

The yarn bargain grapevine was also humming this week, once again Stash Fine Yarns had some great items on sale. In particular, SWTC Oasis (soy silk) and SWTC Bamboo. I'd been eyeing the Oasis for literally months, and having confirmed that 3 skeins is plenty to make a Clapotis, I couldn't pass up both of these yarns at half price. I got 3 skeins of Parrot in Oasis, and 4 of Bamboo in Bougainville. They arrived this morning (free P&P as well until the end of August!), and they are both beautifully soft. I'd never touched bamboo yarn before and really had no idea what it would be like, if anything I expected something a bit more like hemp. The bamboo may well become Ella from Knitty.

Given that it's a Bank Holiday weekend here, and that I now can't finish the capelet until next week, I feel the call of a couple more WIPs ;-) I want to do another cap for the current CFAC recipient, and also start a shrug from DB's "Simply Soft" in Sirdar Click, a gorgeous muted purple shade. Choices choices :-) Hope everyone has a great holiday weekend here in the UK!


Monday, August 14, 2006

Yarn confessional (and some knitting)

Firstly to prove I have not just been off buying yarn and other knitterly items this week, here's the capelet so far - almost at the point of starting the decreases (Hazel you were perfectly correct, the decrease row has an incorrect stitch count!):

There is also another inaccuracy in the pattern - after the last lace repeat the instructions omit a WS row to get you to a RS row to start the 20 rows straight. Maybe the designer thought this was obvious, maybe it is, but it's still a little annoying. I prefer patterns to be clear and not assume huge leaps of deduction in the knitter ;-) I nitpick because one of the things I do at work is write up work instructions for technical testing. These have to be clear enough to allow someone not particularly familiar with the systems, to execute particular procedures or investigations.

I have also finally started on Sgt. Pepper! The centre back piece is complete, picture over on the KAL.

On to yarn acquisitions. Stash Fine Yarns are having a great sale on some lines, including Louisa Harding Kashmir. This is pretty much the same mix as RYC Cashsoft DK, so I snagged some aqua yarn at least some of which will be chemo caps:

I had ordered some silk laceweight from Curious Yarns which turned up this week. The colourway is "Saturn", it's gorgeous stuff. This is going to be the Shoalwater shawl, a Fiber Trends pattern. I also bought the Flower Basket shawl pattern which I will make in either Rowan DK or merino laceweight (picture clickable):

As DH says, plenty to keep me occupied this winter! I also caved and bought some KSH for the first time, one ball in a new violet shade to make the moss stitch scarf that Alice recently completed, and three balls in Dewberry for a Kiri shawl.

You will also spot the "Vogue Shawls on the go" book which arrived today from Amazon. There are some lovely patterns in this, well worth buying if you like shawls and wraps. One pattern for a drop stitch wrap takes only one skein of Colinette Tagliatelle. I've also found a lovely wavy pattern wrap to use the DB cotton from the ex-Tulip. I was going to make Midwest Moonlight with this but I think I'll do that with the Wool Cotton I've got instead.

Not pictured is two skeins of Cascade 220, one in black and one in silver grey. I had already identified these to make Ysolda's Skull Illusion scarf, and since I was ordering some patterns and bits from Get Knitted, I thought I might as well get them! I also got some 4 and 5mm DPNs in bamboo, which will hopefully be a lot easier to wrangle when finishing off hats than the metal ones. Also invested in a 12mm Addi 40cm circ, which looks more like a medical instrument than a knitting needle, but should be great for Colinette hats.


Sunday, August 06, 2006

Capelet progress

A rather washed-out photo of the capelet progress, two lace repeats now done (bar one row):

Just started the second ball of aran tweed, it made a lovely and invisible felted join.

Here's the knitting needle case I mentioned last week. It holds all of my 3mm to 7mm straights, my DPNs (you will see I have very few DPNs!) and all of my Addi circulars. I'm really impressed with it, it is beautifully made and has so many pockets for circs and DPNs. I have multiple pairs of 4mm and 4.5mm needles in there.

Back view (fully opened up):


I bught this from EHwa Aprons on ebay who were extremely fast to ship from the US.


Heart scarf

This is the Heart scarf, all blocked and dry. It is certainly lying a lot flatter now, it was curling quite badly beforehand. I guess this isn't a particularly "lacy" lace pattern and the amount of contiguous stockinette causes all the curling. It is also very soft, the Patons Jet (wool/alpaca) is even softer after washing. I used a smidge under 2 balls, on 7.5mm needles. The scarf is around 5.5 inches wide and 60 inches long:

I had to run a sharpen filter on the photo as for some reason the camera wasn't playing ball with the focus, even though I pre-focused. Maybe it is sulking because I switched the flash off :-) Hazel, I'm going to post this and the boa off to you, I have a few other things to do for the fair which I'll send later on.

I also took a photo of the Chocolate Cherries silk, as the colours are so fab:

Doing quite well with the capelet today, I'm half way through the second lace repeat. DH made me a reversible sign today, I will have to photograph it as it's hilarious - a hint being that I was knitting lace and counting and that isn't compatible with chatting :-) I'm wondering a little about the sizing and gauge on this, it's very hard to tell as there is are a ton of stitches on a circular needle. It says 4mm needle and gauge is 16 stitches - kind of odd figures since the yarn is question would ordinarily knit on a 5mm needle to 18 stitches - you would expect that to increase with a smaller needle, yes? I figured this would be knit in a denser fabric than a sweater as it's technically outerwear, though. I'm sure it will all become clearer as I progress!

The new Knitting magazine arrived today. Frankly it's all getting a bit dire! Several patterns from books, two RYC I think and one from Colinette Femme Fatale. What's the point in buying the mag. if I already have those books? The yarn reviews weren't much use either. Why not review the new Rowan and Sirdar yarns, for example? The ones they picked are tending towards novelty yarns and ignoring the ones you might actually like to make a garment with. The best bit was the letters page, more like the Twilight Zone. One reader wrote in to say the Internet is to blame for the closure of yarn shops, then refers to the 1980s! Methinks someone is a teeny bit prejudiced, and also is talking from somewhere not always associated with speech :-) Strange too that we are seeing more yarn shops opening up now, bricks and mortar versions (and a lot of these have internet shops too). I would use my LYS more (two if you count the haberdasher selling Sirdar and RYC) if they didn't mark up the prices to more than RRP. I do buy some stuff there but most major yarn purchases are via the internet. Roll on October and Yarn Forward magazine, I say :-) A bit of a rant there, goodness me. I just get annoyed by blind prejudice and poor value for money :-)

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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Yarn yarn yarn

First things first, I finished Heart tonight and it is currently blocking happily on the dining room table :-) Pictures tomorrow if it is dry. I've said it before, I am so much better with any lace pattern if it is daylight!

I cast on for the New Vintage Capelet tonight, in lilac Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed. At this rate I'm going to have 4 or 5 WIPs, snce I want to do the Yelena cardigan in Giotto, start Sgt. Pepper, and have a go at the lace scarf KAL on AY :-) I've gone back and forth with patterns for the Giotto, but as I have six skeins I thought a good wearable cardi would use it well. I've also seen pictures of a couple knitted up and they looked really good.

The postie has brought various yarny goodies this week. Apart from the DB Aran Tweed, I also got two skeins of Noro Kochoran in shade 14 from Jannette's. There was a 25% off sale last weekend on certain lines including Kochoran. It's lovely and soft and knits as chunky, I'm thinking about a shrug, maybe. I also bought 3 skeins of Kureyon from another forum member at AY, in shade 164 which is forest greens, gold/browns, and some aqua. That should be enough for a Booga Bag, methinks.

The first shipment from the Posh Yarn lace club arrived very promptly on Tuesday. I got a skein of Felicity, the silk, in the shade Orchid. The silk takes the dye extremely well, it is a rich deep purple with some reddish purple:

Beautiful yarn, not sure if I will do the shawl from the lace club pattern, or something else. I do want to make Kiri though, probably using the pale pink merino laceweight in my stash. I'm also interested in the Fibretrends Shoalwater shawl, as I could use the Yorkshire Tweed DK in Lime Leaf and make a lovely cosy shawl :-)

Today I received 2 skeins of HipKnits aran silk in Chocolate Cherries. This is such a gorgeous colourway, definitely good enough to eat. It is more striking than the picure on the website suggests too. I need to do some pattern research, there is roughly 360m there and I'm wondering if that might make a weeny shrug or similar. I could happily collect HipKnits silk and just look at it and hold it :-D DH really likes the Choc Cherries too (won't suit him though LOL!).

A week or two ago I finally received my copy of One Skein from Amazon. After all the anticipation I'm not overly struck with it. I like the felted bowls and will make those, but the main problem seems to be the yarns/weights called for are often not found in a UK knitter's stash. I'm going to order the Vogue Knitting Shawls book though, I've seen pictures of the patterns here and they look good. I'm a definite scarf/wrap/shawl kind of person as I tend to feel the cold and am always well wrapped up in winter :-D