Saturday, September 23, 2006

Current WIPs

Here's the sad and sorry KSH moss stitch scarf - hardly anything done on it, and no enthusiasm to continue! It's a lovely fabric but the fundamental problem seems to be that the yarn is SO fine, I find it difficult to handle. Maybe my fingers lack the dexterity for knitting with sewing cotton :-)

My other WIPs are of course listed in the sidebar, main progress has been with the shrug in the last week or two. I now have all the pieces completed, the next job is to seam the shoulders and knit on the ribbed edgings. I dug the BdF jacket and yarn out of the wardrobe and after the shrug is complete, that is next to be finished.

I placed my first order with recently too. I decided to make Ivy from the latest Knitty, and worked out that even with air shipping, it would cost the same or cheaper to buy the original alpaca yarn from elann, than buy a substitute over here :-) Elann were extremely fast to ship and the yarn arrived in double-quick time. It's the Peruvian Quechua which is 60% alpaca, 40% tencel. I got the Saxony Teal as used on the original garment, I love aqua/turquoise/teal shades and I wasn't disappointed with this one. When I checked a few days ago the Saxony Teal looked to be sold out, glad I didn't dither too long :-)

Here's the end result of an ebay purchase I made a couple of months ago. I bought a kilo of Rowan Calmer which was sold in 2 skeins, one twice as big as the other. The larger skein was too big and heavy to use the swift so a chair back had to do! I'd wound the smaller skein into balls not long after I bought it but hadn't had enough spare time to attempt the bigger one until this week. It's shade Kiwi, a pretty soft lime colour. This should make a sweater and something else smaller, I have the Calmer pattern book and there are a number of garments in there that I like.

I received a lovely package in the post this morning, courtesy of Hazel of Knitz & Glitz. Firstly there is the pretty Helix Pin:

And secondly the lovely set of Clapotis stitchmarkers. These have extra-large rings and will cope with up to 10mm needles:


Capelet completed

Pattern: New Vintage Capelet by Michelle Kissoore (SpunMag)
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed (recommended yarn)
Yardage: Four skeins, plus approximately two-thirds of a fifth for largest size
Needles: Denise circular 4mm

I'm pleased with the way this turned out, despite my not bothering to swatch! The pattern has one or two obvious mistakes which were easy to fix, but I think I should realistically have gone up a needle size. That said, it has made a lovely drapey warm fabric so I can't complain. The yarn definitely benefited from a bath and being pinned out to block. The lace evened up and the fabric softened up somewhat. This is still slightly on the scratchy side though, but I didn't feel particularly uncomfortable with it next to my skin.

Here's how it looks on, thanks to the excellent self-time facility on the camera:

You can see it isn't quite the same overall shape as the example in the pattern, but it feels great around the shoulders. Please excuse the complete lack of coordination in clothing, it's too warm to dig out winter tops just yet! The brooch is silver with an onyx centre, by the way. I have the Glamour Capelet pattern too and may make that in green Rowanspun Aran.

I used more yarn than the pattern stated (4 skeins specified for the largest size), I do think the gauge give would be awkward if not impossible to get with this yarn without making too loose a fabric, I think it's more a case of fudging by making a larger size than you normally would.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

And there's more ...

Firstly I'd like to give a mention to Hazel and her brand shiny new eShop, Knitz & Glitz! There are all sorts of beautiful items made with beads, and knitted goods too. I am particurly enamoured of the "Clapotis" stitchmarker set, it's a great idea for projects where you need a large number of markers :-)

I'd also like to point you in the direction of Yarnivorous yarns, run by my good friend Lynne. She has hand-dyed yarn and doubtless will be adding her handspun creations to the site. I bought this amazing stuff from her recently, 200g of DK pure wool dyed in lovely brights, like a parrot in lush foliage!

Thanks to Rain for pointing out that you can buy those tiny bobbles from craft shops, to attach to the "innocent" mini-hats. If I'd realised I'd have sent DH into Hobbycraft yesterday, as he was at the same retail park at Borders! I love the idea of Harry Potter themed mini hats too, I can certainly make Gryffindor and Hufflepuff with yarn I already have.

You may have spotted I've added the Bergere de France jacket back onto my current projects list - I figured it was about time I dug it out of the cupboard and finished it!


Ariadne bodice top in Colinette Lasso

Pattern: Ariadne from Colinette "Muse" pattern book
Yarn: Colinette Lasso, shade Jamboree
Yardage: Less than three skeins, although the pattern called for four
Needles: Brittany birch 4mm, Denise circular 4mm
Seams: fake grafting at shoulders, mattress stitch on sides

I'm quite glad to finish this at long last! The armhole ruffles took a lot less time than I had feared, after the interminable neckline. I sewed up the seams with the Lasso, in hindsight it may have been better to use a toning plain DK yarn. Lasso is very adept at catching up on itself. I'm not sure I'd use it again to make a garment, although it might be good as a slinky scarf. I also should have made the next size up, as it is very slightly snug across my chest! It fits nicely everywhere else though.


Friday, September 08, 2006

Blanche hat

This was finished last night, and I also managed to complete the left front of the shrug in the same evening.

Pattern: Blanche hat by Jannelle Schlossmann
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, shade Olivette (worsted weight)
Yardage: around half a skein
Needles: Addi 12" 5mm + DPNs for last 2 rows
Amendments: I added one more pattern repeat of four rows which I think it needed, the first one I made as per pattern is slightly shorter than I would have liked.

I've almost finished the first armhole ruffle on Ariadne, and might even have both done tonight. I can't wait to seam this and add the finishing touches.

We went to our LYS tonight to pick up some 3.25mm bamboo needles. I have some in metal but they are hard on my hands. I wanted them for the Innocent "Supergran" appeal - tiny hats to knit, and 50p from each sale goes to charities including Help The Aged. I even found a set of plastic pom-pom templates, the smallest of which might well do to make matching bobbles.

I also found a box of Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed outside the shop! No lilac-pink unfortunately, but I picked up some fuschia pink (I love the black and red tweedy bits in this shade) just for good measure - it *was* on sale after all! I also snagged some RYC Cashsoft DK on eBay today at a good price, I love this yarn for making chemo caps, especially Odessa.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

WIP update

I was holding back from posting until I had some completed knitting to show, but thought I could at least give a quick progress report:

Ariadne now has a completed neck ruffle. This is a LOT of stitches. I was going to wimp out of the armhole ruffles but DH informs me that I should do them, so I will ;-) I used my new 30" cord and Denise needles to do the neck ruffle and they worked very well with the Lasso. I'm hoping to complete Ariadne this weekend or very early next week. It looks like this will barely take 3 skeins of yarn, the pattern calls for four at my size. Hopefully it will be OK size-wise!

The poor capelet is still not finished, due to a wee holdup on the yarn arriving. It looks like that will be the first item to be completed when we are on holiday from work the week after next.

The shrug is progressing nicely, the back piece is now completed. The Sirdar Click is very pleasant to knit with. The pattern is the shrug with collar from Debbie Bliss "Simply Soft", the book written for her Cashmerino chunky yarns.

The KSH scarf has been sitting looking at me for a week or so :-) It will be picked up again in due course! I'm currently working on another Blanche hat as I need to get the three hats washed, dried and sent off to the summer group from CFAC. For this one I'm adding one more 4-row repeat of the main pattern. No more work has been done on Sgt. P, but I'm treating this as a carryalong project, alongside others, and there is no rush on it.

A few of you asked about how the Boye set compares with the Denises. I haven't used the Boye needles just yet but have had a play with them. The cords are a lot less flexible than the Denise equivalents, but they don't appear to want to curl up like some I've seen. I like the feel of the needles, they are metal but coated which gives a decent measure of grip. They are also rather pointy, the Denises are not but then again they are plastic. I've used the Denise set for all sorts of things and have not had any problems with them.