Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's official ...

... I have startitis at the moment. I've kept it reasonably under control so far but I can't guarantee that will continue. It must be Spring and the extra daylight adding a little more va-va-voom in the knitting department :-)

My first WIP is Alhambra mentioned in my last post. I had a 55g skein of Eva 2-ply in stash that I decided to use for this, as it only really asks for 350-ish yards. I think a solid colour would be better for this pattern but I like the way the Eva is knitting up into curvy diagonal stripes of colour.

I'm quite pleased with my progress on this, as previously I'd been a little put off knitting with finer yarns. This was down to using KSH, which is of course incredibly fine AND fluffy. The Eva is lovely to knit with and I think I've now grasped the various directions of yarnovers. Not to mention doing the p2togtbl correctly. It seems I was not doing it correctly at first, and I struggled away, and ended up messing up the stitch counts by one on a few rows in the first repeats. It doesn't look disastrous though andI decided to leave it as something that showed a learning curve. Strangely I had looked up p2togtbl some time ago, and found some directions, but when I checked the video on Knitting Help I found it was being done differently - and more importantly in an easier way!

I finished off the second sleeve on Alexandra on Friday night, and that is now blocking. I did short slightly puffed sleeves in the end, as I thought I'd get more use from it to wear over a long sleeved top in the colder months. Besides the fact I don't have 6.5mm DPNs, or even 2 circs, and using one Denise set wasn't exactly fun!

Having done the above I happily cast on for the Flutter Sleeve Cardigan from Spring 08 IK. I'd originally wondered about using DB Cathay but I should have remembered this really is a thinner DK yarn and doesn't make a suitable fabric on 4.5mm needles. The swatch confirmed this, so I had another think and finally hit upon Rowan Calmer, from stash. The swatch performed perfectly and I'm now up to the ribbing at the waist on the back piece:

I'm still trying to find time to sew up CPH, and am keeping my fingers crossed for this coming Bank Holiday weekend.

I could really have done with blogging last weekend too, after our week off, but it turned out fairly busy and I reluctantly deferred it a week. We did get plenty done around the house though, and managed a couple of days out too.

The first trip was to Coldspring Mill and Haworth:

You can see some cones of yarn through the windows in the picture. As usual there was plenty of temptation to hand inside. I came away with 2 packs around the 500g mark of Twilleys Freedom Spirit, and a cone of DB Cathay in pink. The latter was intended for Flutter Sleeve but as noted above, wasn't suitable. I've got plenty of alternatives to use it for though.

It was a lovely day weather-wise, quite breezy but not overly cold. You can see how bright and Spring-like it was in these photos of Haworth:

The Parsonage, taken from the churchyard

The main street

There was a lovely exhibition of historic photographs of Haworth and its environs, in the old school rooms near the parsonage. This was the original school built by the Rev. Bronte. One photo showed the day the Parsonage opened as a museum, in 1928 I think. The narrow street leading to it was literally jam packed with people, and everyone was wearing a hat. Well, I did spot one man in the middle of the picture who wasn't!

A couple of days later we went to Farfield Mill near Sedbergh, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. This was originally recommended by Donna, and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit. The mill was rescued some yeas ago and some of the original looms were also saved. They now weave on those very same looms as a commercial venture, and you can watch them in action.

The building is divided into four floors, and we started on the top floor, which is a lovely exhibition of hand looms and spinning wheels. On all of the floors there are studios for craftspeople, there was no-one working or demonstrating there that day though. I didn't get any photos of the looms up there, too busy looking at them!

On level 2 there is a big display of the history of the mill, and some of the older looms that were used to weave cloth:

Level 1 houses a lovely cafe, and also the commercial weaving rooms. We sat next to the window through to the weaving room and watched the weaver winding yarns from large cones onto smaller ones. I managed to snag a photo through the glass doors as were were leaving:

Apologies for the slightly blurry photo as I was using the camera on "museum" setting, this is in the room next to the looms, but I'm not 100% sure what was being wound onto what!

They use yarn made from the fleece of the local Rough Fell sheep. I believe this next picture, taken of the field just outside the mill, is of those same breed of sheep. They were not at all impressed at someone getting out of a car to take their photo, and set up quite a noise!

We've not long since finished watching the Spanish Grand Prix, quite an interesting race and another one with a high level of attrition. I'm somewhat gutted for Nick Heidfeld having to serve a 10 second stop/start penalty, as he had no choice but to pit during a safety car phase. I guess that is a risk they run if they leave pitting until the last possible moment, but all the same he did manage to regain a reasonable placing. Well done to the winners, and all the best to Heikki Kovalainen who had an awful crash due to what sounded like a foreign object that caused a tyre to blow out.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Beret in Posh Yarn DK

Used just over half a skein of the Helena merino DK left over from the Forest Canopy shawl - I now have a matching shawl/scarf and beret! Already worn when I went shopping this afternoon :-)

The pattern is from Twilleys Freedom Spirit book 455. I'm going to make another to match my original Clapotis too.

This week I've been working on Alexandra from Fitted Knits. I'm just finishing off the garter stitch edging then casting off the main body. This is a very quick sweater to knit. I'm using Rowan Plaid in shade Sea Thistle.

I didn't bother to add extra cable for the photo so the lower edge looks small in the photo. I've been trying this on as I go along and I'm very pleased with the overall fit. I've added a little extra length in the body, both in the mid section between decreases and increases, and also after the increases to incorporate a fourth cable set.

I've just bought some lovely lace patterns from Knitspot - Gale, Alhambra and Hypoteneuse. Gale will be perfect in some purple Rowanspun 4ply from my stash, and I'm thinking of using one of my 55g skeins of Posh yarn laceweight for Alhambra. I don't know whether to start one of these next, or make the Earth Maiden wrap by Ilga Leja. Definitely in a lace knitting mood though.

Great news, our tickets for the Mighty Boosh were delivered today - and we have seats 5 rows from the front in the stalls! *happy dance* Very glad to at last know what seats we were allocated, as the original priority booking just said "general admission".

Finally I've added my pattern notes for the Glam Rock Ski Hat to the original post, linked from the sidebar. The pattern is also now linked in on ravelry, although I seem to be having a few issues being able to have my own "designer" linkup on there - more on that depending on further developments!

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

And the winners are ...

Announcing the winners of my blogiversary giveaway!

Firstly the winner of the laceweight yarn is:

RooKnits !!

And the winner of the "regulars" giveaway is:

Liz !!

I'll be contacting you shortly!

Draw conducted using this random picker.

Very happy with the results of F1 Bahrain qualifying today - BMW Sauber have done extremely well with (I have to say this) a Pole on pole! Congrats to Kubica for getting pole and to Nick for coming in at #6. Should be a good race tomorrow.

I took the opportunity to sew up my beret during the qualifying too, and the CPH pieces were all blocked at the start of the week. Hoping to sew up at least some of CPH tomorrow. I've also got the yarn out to start Alexandra from Fitted Knits as currently I have nothing OTN!

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