Sunday, January 28, 2007

Another WIP and some lovely gifts

Here's what I started last night:

The beginnings of a hat in Posh Yarn Sophia 6-ply (DK), shade "Cover". Sophia is pure cashmere and just a dream to work with.

Next is a lovely gift I received recently from Carrie Anne - a handcrafted stamp in the form of a ball of yarn and needles! Just the thing to use on labels for the hats I make :-) Thanks again CA!

Yesterday I got a great package, this pretty Calorimetry made by T, that I won by guessing the pattern from a WIP photo :-) Even though I have short hair (at the moment) this makes a fab semi-hat and I've been wearing it around the house :-)

A set of Jamiesons of Shetland shade cards also arrived this week, along with a skein of their aran in a very deep purple - it really doesn't show up in the photo and looks black! I thought these would come in useful for future projects, there are so many colours available and it helps to be able to see them as they truly are. I'm also intending buying Rowan and Colinette shade cards in the future.

I updated the progress bars on here last night as I realised that I was definitely more than 15% into the Yelena cardi - the back has been completed for a while, d'oh! Off to make some egg and bacon now I think, after I've done some speed-vacuuming downstairs :-D Blogging before vacuuming though!

ETA - I forgot to add the photo of my Fetchings! I made these at the end of last year and they have had some use already, however I only just blocked them last week. The photo isn't too accurate on colour though, they are in the deep berry red shade of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk aran:

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

3am cable hat in Cotton Fleece

This weeks finished knit is the 3am cable hat! Please excuse the more obvious flash in this week's photos, it has been a bit of a dull day here and I left it later than I should to take pictures.

Pattern: 3am cable hat by S.M. Khan
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, shade Olive
Yardage: around half a skein (this skein made a Blanche hat as well as this one).
Needles: 4.5mm Addi 12"

This was a lovely and very quick pattern to knit, I finished it in two evenings. This is another hat for Caps for a Cure. The Cotton Fleece is fabulous yarn to knit with, it's definitely on my list for a garment one day.

I've almost finished the back piece of Skully, I know a swathe of stockinette isn't the most entertaining photo in the world, but I took one anyway :-)

I've ordered the Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky in cream for the skulls, there are also plans afoot to make a hat with any remaining yarn.

A few skeins of yarn (cough) have made their way here this week too. I placed an order with Elann before Christmas and chose surface mail, it arrived this week and had only taken 5 weeks to reach me. It's Elann Peruvian Highland Wool, the price has to be seen to be believed and it's a good substitute for Cascade 220. With the dollar to pound ratio currently at almost 2:1 it's an excellent time to buy yarn from the US and Canada! This is 1297 Admiral Blue and Nutmeg (currently o/s), intended for a book!Ravenclaw scarf. The right colours are hard to find over here, especially in an affordable but blockable yarn.

I also bought the yarn for Odile from Rowan 38. A few of us intend to make this and we had not noticed this pattern at all until we saw some actual knitted examples - there's one here. Rowan Plaid is currently discounted at some stores as I believe it has been discontinued, I got mine from Cucumberpatch in Lavender Mist. The other yarn is Kid Classic in Crystal and Royal which is from Jannette.

Cucumberpatch also have 2 shades of Rowan Cotton Rope reduced to 1.50 per ball, so I snagged enough to make another project, Antoinette from Rowan 39. I've admired this for a while, I got the Cyclamen shade which is a lovely bright pink - the flash has made it slightly luminous here!

I have a few more things to show but they will have to wait until tomorrow, as I need daylight to take photos!

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Slanted eyelet scarf, and more yarny goodness

Busy bee this week, as I completed the slanted eyelet scarf in 3 days. Washed and blocked on Friday night and ready to wear on Saturday!

Pattern: Slanted Eyelet Scarf, Jan 4th 2006 from the 2006 Knitting Pattern A Day Calendar
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden shade 232, 2 skeins
Needles: 5.5mm

As I noted in an earlier post, I was much more confident knitting this eyelet pattern this time around, and it flew off the needles. The Silk Garden was great to knit with, and softened up some more on washing. It's also lovely and warm to wear.

At the same time I blocked the eyelet scarf, I decided my original Clapotis could do with a bath and a proper blocking. I simply steam pressed it under a cloth when it was completed. The yarn relaxed beautifully and I had to do little more than spread it out to dry. Note to self, definitely block pure wool garments every time. here's a photo, to show how nicely it blocked and to show how it still looks as new, despite being worn 5 days a week all winter so far, and quite a bit during the spring and summer last year too (the yarn is Fyberspates merino DK):

My Fetchings are still drying so I'll take a photo when they are dry.

Here's my recent haul from several Posh Yarn sale days:

At left, Sophia 6-ply DK in Cover. This is pure cashmere and is just the softest yarn I have ever ever touched. I want to make a hat from this, and possibly some wristers if it will stretch to that! Centre is Lucia 4-ply in Twinkle, and right is Lucia in Cancan. I am spoilt for choice for yarn to make the other Diagonals scarf and the Forest Canopy Shoulder shawl now :-)

I also snagged a pack of Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Chunky in "Damp" from Jannette's special offers this week. I've wanted to make Skully from Stitch 'n Bitch for an age, and this is a perfect sub for the Brown Sheep yarn. I'll get a skein of Brown Sheep in cream for the skulls though. I started this on Friday night, I'm just into the stockinette stitch now but this was taken earlier today (I even did a small swatch :-o)

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Coronet hat in Cotton Ease

I finally completed Coronet after having the band languishing for a few weeks while I completed Clapotis!

Pattern: Coronet by Alexandra Virgiel (Knitty Winter '03)
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease, approx. two thirds of a skein
Needles: 5mm 12" Addi circular and 5mm bamboo DPNs

I managed to graft the cabled band from the wrong side after misreading some instructions, but it looks fine and at least you know where the back of the hat is :-D I tried this on and it felt lovely and surprisingly warm. It is intended for Caps for a Cure.

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Clapotis in aran silk

Pictures of the completed Clapotis, knitted in Hipknits aran silk (400g):

(click on the images for larger versions - the smaller pictures don't do the colours justice)

The silk was custom-dyed as an intended copy of "Peony" (seen on annarella's blog), it came out lighter and I named it "Love Hearts" instead. It's so pretty and summery and is lovely to look at on these darker winter days. The silk was nice to knit with, as I mentioned already I wasn't sure if I'd have enough with 400g but I finished with a little yarn to spare. This is a full-size Clapotis as per the pattern. It was also quite a fast knit, I did get a lot of it done while I was on holiday over Christmas though. I also used my Knitz and Glitz Clapotis stitchmarker set which was just the ticket!

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Two scarfy WIPS

Before Clapotis, two scarves I've started this week. The first is the Diamonds on the Diagonal scarf in Posh Yarn Lucia, with two repeats done. This is basically garter stitch with diagonal rows of eyelets. A lovely pattern to showcase any multicoloured/hand-dyed yarn.

I started this one today, and since the picture was taken earlier tonight I've knitted one full skein of yarn - so it's half done already! This is the Slanted Eyelet scarf knitted in Noro Silk Garden shade 232:

This is a really simple 2-row pattern, and I found it interesting how I was flying through it tonight, compared with a year ago when using yarnovers and K2togs this way was new to me, and I had to be quite careful. I do not fear the lace! Well, I do fear the lace in all-over lace patterning on garments with shaping, but one day I'll tackle it and not give up :-)

Well dagnabbit, I forgot to take photos of the Posh Yarn that arrived yesterday. I'll wait until the skein of "Twinkle" arrives and show them all together - those sale pages are temptation incarnate and I'm hopeless at resisting.

Speaking of sale pages, you might like to take a look at the Cucumberpatch Rowan sale page (first text link on the main page). They have added a number of yarns including two shades of Summer Tweed at a bargainous price. I snagged some to knit Cozy from Knitty :-) Cozy is from the same issue as Clapotis, strangely enough, and also the issue (Fall 04) with the PDF file I mentioned in the previous post. I also intend to knit the Unbiased bag from sari silk yarn in my stash. Go Knitty!

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Fyberspates sock club

I received the first of three parcels from the Fyberspates sock club yesterday.

This is alpaca sock yarn (90% alpaca, 10% nylon) and is beautifully soft. I love the aqua and purple colourway. With the first parcel you also get a keychain sock blocker so you can make mini socks if you so wish, with leftover yarn :-)

Not being a sock knitter as yet, I shall reserve judgement on what to make with this yarn. I'm more inclined to make a shoulder shawl or scarf than sock at this juncture! Where socks are concerned I'm much more interested in making the knee-high variety. Socks that could be worn with boots and peek over the tops, or maybe the lovely embroidered knee socks in a recent Vogue Knitting :-) Actually, with the way I tend to wreck the toe pieces of tights and hold-ups, I'd be better making fitted legwarmers! (the knitted equivalent of footless tights)

Thanks to everyone who has commented this week, it's lovely to see some new names! I'll be moseying on over to your blogs very soon. Cathy asked what pattern I used for the Heart scarf. This was Knitty's Fall04 "surprise" and is a PDF file containing the Heart pattern and several more. The link takes you to the download page for the PDF.

Good news, I finished my Clapotis last night! I had a little yarn left over from the original 400g of aran silk, but my advice if you are thinking of making this full-size in the Hipknits aran silk is that you might want to consider purchasing 500g, to be on the safe side. I'm really pleased with the finished product, I need to weave in a few ends and steam press it, so with luck there will be photos tomorrow. I also have some more Posh Yarn to show you. All I can say is, the cashmere 6-ply is the SOFTEST yarn I have ever held, it's fabulous.

Last night I made a start on the Diamonds on the Diagonal scarf, I have one 18-row repeat done and it looks good so far. The eyelets are very visible even without blocking. I also dug out two skeins of Silk Garden I bought last summer, as I want to make another Slanted Eyelet scarf. The original was knitted this time last year in Kureyon, which in hindsight isn't the softest yarn to use for a scarf, and was also a gift. This time I'm making one for me! It's a fairly quick knit too.

Finally, back to Clapotis - my original Clapper knitted in Fyberpsates merino DK should probably take the title of Favourite Knit of 2006 - simply because I wear it all the time! I wear it most days at work either as a scarf or a wrap round my shoulders, it keeps me toasty warm and I treasure it. The yarn is also wearing extremely well!

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Yarn, progress report, and delurking!

First things first, it's Annual Delurking Week. I can't remember whose blog I found the link on originally, but it's a nice idea. If you drop by and read the blog, please leave a comment this week! I hereby promise to do the same wherever possible.

I've snagged some gorgeous yarn in the most recent One Off Wednesday sales at Posh Yarn. The colourways they come up with for these sales are fabulous, always something different and you often end up falling in love with one or two of them.

On the left we have 2 x 100g skeins of "Helena", a DK merino in colourway "Dales". I do believe this will be used for the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl which a number of bloggers have been making recently. On the right is a skein of "Lucia" 4-ply merino/cashmere in shade "Muse", which will be used for the Ilga Leja Diamonds on the Diagonal scarf. That is more than likely to be my next project after Clapotis is finished.

I'm on the last straight repeat section of Clapotis and hoping to finish it very soon. Knitting progress has been somewhat hampered since the end of last week as I have been trying to fight off a cold lurgy. It got me on Sunday night though, I'm feeling a bit better today if a little short of breath. All this because I had 3 days at work last week, and people will insist on turning in when they are unwell!


Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New (Knitting) Year!

A very Happy New Year to everyone :-) I have a few things to catch up with and some photos to show:

Firstly here is the lovely gift I received from my secret santa Hazel:

The most gorgeous skein of Woolly Wormhead handspun yarn, destined for a hat methinks; a pretty sequinned and beaded journal; a yummy lavendar sachet; two glitter pencils, one with a sheep topper and one with a yarn topper; and a pair of funky needles. Here's a close-up of the needles so you can see the wonderful personalised toppers:

Fabulous, non? Thanks so much Hazel! Roll on the summer swap!

I did also receive several knitterly gifts from family members, courtesy of my providing DH with a little list :-) I got the 12 and 15mm needle ends that Denise have just produced, and several books. Not Your Mama's Knitting is a fun book of tips and patterns; Knit Fix is a well-laid-out book, not too much that was new to me but invaluable for anyone starting out; and I also got the Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed pattern book. I've recently snagged enough of the original discontinued DB aran tweed in fuschia (at sale prices) to be able to make something from this book.

I'm quite pleased that I'm only carrying one long-term WIP over from 2006, the BdF jacket. Now this really is going to be completed soon, I was happy to finish the DB shrug in time for Christmas Day, so the jacket is now in my sights. I am not afeared of the seaming!

My current projects are another Clapotis and the Coronet hat. I bought the aran silk for the clapper from HipKnits back in July, and here's how it's knitting up (four straight repeats done so far):

I've finished the cabled band for Coronet and grafted it together (despite misreading the instructions and grafting on the wrong side!). I really need to master the provisional cast-on though. The yarn is Cotton Ease and is lovely to work with:

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