Sunday, March 25, 2007

On a whim

Last night I decided to wind the skein of Emily 4ply in "Yodel" into a centre-pull ball. Once I'd seen it wound and how the colours were blending I couldn't resist starting a Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl (clickable).

The picture shows the colours well but they are even fresher and more springlike in reality. This shawl will definitely need to be photographed outside when completed! I'm very pleased with how the Emily blend knits up too, it's gorgeous soft yarn and works very well on the suggested 5mm needles for this pattern. I decided to use straights as I'm currently being driven potty by knitting the jacket hood on circs - I like them but I need a rest from them at the moment!

I also wanted to say a huge congrats to Hazel for her first published pattern in the current edition of "Knitting" magazine. It's a beautiful lace tablecloth in two shades of Sirdar Luxury Cotton. Hazel also has a pattern in the upcoming "Simply Knitting", stay tuned!

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Free knitting pattern - Skye rib hat

I made this along with the Dashing gloves and hat for a friend and her mum. I thought I'd share the pattern. I've now created a PDF file for the pattern, this can be downloaded here.

Skye rib hat - 4x4 ribbed beanie - free knitting pattern

Yarn: Colinette Skye, shade Copper Beeches, one skein (you will use around half a skein), or any similar aran/worsted weight yarn
Needles: 4.5mm circular and/or DPNs
Notions: one stitch marker and a tapestry needle
Gauge: not vital, I knit this probably slightly snugger than "normal" stockinette gauge for this yarn (18st/4"). Since we are using 4x4 rib the hat is very stretchy.

Sized to fit most adult heads.

Cast on 88 stitches (I use cable cast on), place stitch marker to mark end of round and join.

Knit K4 P4 rib to end of round, and repeat until piece is approx 6 inches long from cast-on edge.

Decreases - every other round:

Next round: (K1, K2tog, K1, P4, K4, P4) 5 times; K1, K2tog, K1, P4
Next round: (K3, P4, K4, P4) 5 times; K3, P4
Next round: (K3, P4, K1, K2tog, K1, P4) 5 times; K3, P4
Next round: (K3 P4) around
Next round: (K3, P1, P2tog, P1, K3, P4) 5 times; K3, P1, P2tog, P1
Next round: (K3, P3, K3, P4) 5 times; K3, P3
Next round: (K3, P3, K3, P1, P2tog, P1) 5 times; K3 P3
Next round: (K3 P3) around

Decreases - every round:
Switch to DPNs when stitches become tight on circular needle.

Next round: (K1, K2tog, P3, K3, P3) 5 times; K1, K2tog, P3
Next round: (K2, P3, K1, K2tog, P3) 5 times; K3, P3
Next round: (K2, P1, P2tog, K2, P3) 5 times; K2, P1 P2tog
Next round: (K2, P2, K2, P1, P2tog) 5 times; K2, P2
Next round: (K2tog, P2, K2, P2) 5 times; K2tog, P2
Next round: (K1, P2, K2tog, P2) 5 times; K1, P2
Next round: (K1, P2tog, K1, P2) 5 times; K1, P2tog
Next round: (K1, P1, K1, P2tog) 5 times; K1, P1
Next round: K2tog around
Next round: (K2tog) 5 times; K1 - 6 stitches remain

Cut yarn and thread onto tapestry needle. Draw the yarn through the remaining stitches and secure the top of the hat. Weave in yarn ends.

If you spot any errors please let me know at the address in the sidebar, many thanks.

This pattern is free for personal non-profit use including charity knits. It must not be sold or given away with yarn purchases, nor reproduced elsewhere in any format. E&OE. Copyright © 2007.

Thanks to T for gifting the yarn to me!

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And remember - stay out of Camberwick Green!

The most priceless line yet from series 2 of Life on Mars :-)

I've been concentrating on finishing my Bergere jacket this week, and am not far off completing the hood. It's not helped by the Toison yarn being awkward to knit with! I'm aiming to have this finished before Easter, meaning I can spend time on new projects during the holidays. Pictures when I have it all seamed up!

In the meantime, here's the last instalment of my Fyberspates sock club subscription. This is Blue Faced Leicester and is incredibly soft and squishy!

Because you should not pass up humungous bargains when they are waved under your nose:

Firstly a pack of delicious Jaeger Shetland aran in pink from Jannette's offer email. I've been coveting this for about a year!

Kemp's currently has a lot of bargainous yarn in their sale listings and I snagged 8 balls of Limestone (cream), and Faded Denim, in Sirdar Spree (60% cotton 40% acrylic chunky) for ... 69p per ball!

Claire very kindly sent me these fab skull slipper socks last week, I love 'em!

And finally, a photo from our garden this afternoon. We've been outside in glorious sunshine and the garden is looking pretty darned tidy! The quince flowers are starting to open, how lovely to have blossom in March (clickable to larger photo):

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Quiz time

I've done a few recently, mostly discovered via Gilraen's blog I think!

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

You are The Empress

Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.

The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents,
beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home
decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.

The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Your Vocabulary Score: A-

Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Dashing gloves and a beanie to match

My "emergency" knitting is now complete, firstly here are the finished pair of "Dashing" gloves:

I was pleased with the match I got with the colours from two different skeins of the yarn!

Pattern: Dashing by Cheryl Niamath
Yarn: Noro Silver Thaw shade 9, 2 skeins
Yardage: approx. three quarters of a skein for each glove
Needles: 4.5mm Addi 12" circular and 4.5mm 16" bamboo DPNs

With the third skein of yarn I made a hat to match:

Pattern: Ribbed Noro Hat by Spiral's Free Patterns
Yarn: as above, 1 skein (used around three quarters)
Needles: as above

I liked the shaping effect used in this hat, you probably can't see it too well on my photo but take a look at the original pictures in the link.

Last night I finished a rib beanie hat in Colinette Skye, I'll post this up separately with the pattern I worked out for it (nothing mindboggling I hasten to add, but I was quite pleased with how my shaping worked!).

Here's some obligatory yarn pr0n, a gorgeous skein of Emily 4ply in shade "Yodel", from last week's Posh Yarn sale. The colours in this are just fabulous.

This would be great for the Forest Canopy shawl. I have a skein of Helena in purples and pinks that I was going to make this in first, but I am beguiled by the spring shades in this one!

Two more books have landed on our doormat and they both live up to expectations:

Lace Style has patterns for everyone, there are plenty that I would make. I hear that "Bag Style" will be out in the autumn, another one for the wish list! Fitted Knits is another lovely book, I like the presentation and there are a lot of lovely patterns in there. Two of my favourites are the Bluebell sweater and the Textured Tunic:

Bluebell reminds me of a more day-to-day version of the SKB. Speaking of which, mine is on temporary hold while I finish at least one thing! Must be the knitting version of the spring cleaning bug!

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

And a bit of gratuitous yarn

My quest not to buy yarn has been, er, mostly successful (cough). I snagged one skein in last week's Posh Yarn sale, a delicious skein of Helena merino 4-ply called "Verse":

Yesterday I had the day off work and went shopping, I ended up with these from the LYS to make a tank top:

The gorgeous spring-like colours could not be left in the shop. We had some lovely weather last week and it was great to be out and about in it for a change!

A few knitting books have made their way here in recent weeks, and this week the following arrived from - Victorian Lace Today, A Gathering of Lace, and Rowan Vintage Knits. Lovely books all three, and some amazing lace pattern that I will try - one day! It's more a question of having time and daylight to knit in with lace for me.


Skully sweater, and Dashing part one

At last, a washed, blocked and dried (which took several days!) Skully:

(click for larger image)

Pattern: Skully from Stitch 'n' Bitch
Yarn: Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Chunky in "Damp"; Lamb's Pride Bulky in "Creme"
Yardage: approx. 9.5 balls of Yorkshire Tweed; around one third of a skein of LP Bulky
Needles: Brittany 6.5mm birch and Denise 6.5mm for neckband

Although the yardage of the YT is the same as the original pattern yarn (Lamb's Pride Bulky) it took another couple of skeins over and above that quoted. I guess that could be for any number of reasons! This is an easy knit even with the intarsia. The latter is at its fiddliest on the skull's face, and I have to say the second sleeve turned out a lot neater than the first after I'd found my bearings.

It's a very comfy sweater and will be great for me to wear around the house in the winter - it's VERY cosy! I'm pleased with this as it's my first real sweater for many years, and it fits (no mean feat LOL!).

I don't have much progress to report as yet on the SKB. I've cast on and completed the first set of rows, but firstly tiredness, then some "emergency" knitting, have prevented me getting any further with it. I'll post a picture as soon as I've got to a reasonable point in the proceedings, likely to be where the arm stitches are sectioned off.

My emergency knitting has been the wonderful new pattern on Knitty, Dashing. These (along with a hat) are for a friend's mum who I've found out hasn't been too well over the winter. I'm using Noro Silver Thaw shade 9, gifted to me by the lovely T. I finished the first glove last night and I love the pattern:

The cables are rather obscured with the multicoloured, slightly slubby yarn, but these are great, super-long wristers and the yarn is lovely to wear even before blocking. The thumb seemed to work out much neater and better fitting than on the Fetchings I've made, but I suspect this is partly due to the softer stretchier yarn I'm using.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Skully's almost there

The past week or so has been all about finishing off Skully. Plenty of ends to weave in from the intarsia, then the mattress stitch seaming. Finally it is seamed, washed, and now drying (I finished knitting on March 2nd and seaming on the 3rd):

As I found with the recent hat, Yorkshire Tweed softens up considerably with washing. The sweater is drying on one of the 2-tier drying racks from Lakeland, well worth the investment. It's such a wide sweater that the arms are resting on the lower mesh layer. I suspect it will take a wee while to dry though!

I've tried the sweater on and it does fit, so expect some form of modelled photos on the next update. My next sweater project is the Glampyre Simple Knitted Bodice:

The yarn is Jaeger Shetland Aran, 80% merino, 20% alpaca. I knitted a swatch last night and found I can get the gauge with the suggested needles. However the lace section is a different matter, the upper part of the swatch was worked on 3.5mm, then 3.25mm, needles, and still isn't near the suggested gauge. However, Rain has kindly pointed me towards the Craftster thread on this pattern and it is very useful. It appears that no-one is able to obtain this gauge in stockinette, unlikely really given this is an aran weight yarn. I'm just going to use the recommended needles and I think it will be fine. The pattern itself is already knitted at a slightly smaller gauge than normal for the yarn, which seems to be because the original yarn called for is liable to stretch.

The pretty dragonfly button in the photo is from the lovely Hazel at Knitz and Glitz, this was actually a runner-up prize in an informal quiz a few of us had. Thank you Hazel!

Thanks also go to T who obviously knows me far too well, and sent me this, isn't it great!

We've had some sad news today, our elderly gerbil Xander passed away last night, very peacefully. He was somewhat frail but very active right until the end. We buried him next to his brother Oz, who died in summer 2005. Sleep well Xander, we'll miss you.

Not to leave you on a sombre note, I've been tagged by Donna (fellow SKB KAL-er!) for a books meme:

1. Find the nearest book - OK, as I said to Donna when first tagged, the nearest book to me here at the PC is "Breeding and Caring For Chinchillas", which I'm NOT going to be sharing here! (I don't breed them BTW, it's just an older reference book I spotted cheap at a local pet shop). The nearest "proper" book is:

2. Name the book & the author - "The Hobbit" by JRR Tolkien (there is also a Blake's 7 fanzine, "Varia Lectio", but it doesn't have enough pages to participate).

3.Turn to page 123. - part way through chapter VII, "Queer Lodgings"

4. Go to the 5th sentence on the page & copy out the next three sentences onto your blog - "Come and have some more!" So they all went to breakfast with him. Beorn was most jolly for a change; indeed he seemed to be in a splendidly good humour and set them all laughing with his funny stories; nor did they have to wonder long where he had been or why he was so nice to them, for he told them himself.

5. Tag 3 more people. - I won't tag anyone as more than likely they will already have been tagged - if you want to do the meme consider yourself tagged!

I was also tagged a while ago for a meme about children's books, which I promptly forgot about, and can't now remember who tagged me! I think it was to do with books you remember from your childhood. The one set of books that I remember with great affection are those illustrated books by !Richard Scarry. The watermelon is legendary, in my mind at least.