Thursday, May 22, 2008

love (1)

If you're not on Ravelry the post title may be a little mysterious, but I thought I'd mention some things that I think are rather fabulous, and chuck some positive vibes around the place.

Ravelry is, of course, made of awesome. I love the things you can use this site for. Whenever I need to check my stash, perhaps to see if I already have suitable yarn for a project, it's a click away. I can download it into a spreadsheet too, for offline viewing, and their sheet looks a lot tidier than my original pre-Rav version! The queue is another great tool for me, as although I have patterns all over the place, I never really had a proper "view" of things I may want to make. Every time I want to look up a yarn or a pattern now, I go to Rav. What an incredible resource, and free to boot. Thank you Casey, Jess and Mary-Heather, I think it needs saying! I don't know what I used to do before Rav!

Must also mention the Rav Store, I have some lovely Rav swag now in the form of t-shirts and lapel pins :-) I love my beta tee so much that I had to order some of the new ones.

Much kudos to Stash and Yarnbox for recent orders most speedily filled. It's well worth signing up to the Stash newsletter as they recently had a 20% off sale on everything, including sale items. Even better, it was repeated the following week! I snagged some Rowan Denim in Ecru to make Joy from "Nectar", and later some RYC Cashcotton 4ply for the Apres Surf Hoodie from the summer IK. I just wish the actual magazine would arrive - it seems all subscription copies via UK shops are delayed!

I also signed up to the Yarnbox Club recently which gives a permanent 10% discount on all purchases (again including sale items). I rather liked the cardi on the cover of the latest Simply Knitting, and received very promptly a pack of Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton from the sale.

Speaking of Kim Hargreaves' "Nectar" collection, I've ended up with yarn to make Ripple and also Jasmine (the latter being a kit from Kim ordered with the book). It's a lovely collection and a few of the designs are existing patterns that were only available as kits before.

My Flutter Sleeve Cardi is progressing, slowly but surely, with the back now complete and up to the rib short rows on the first front piece:

The Rowan Calmer is lovely to knit with too. I'm hoping to make some good progress this holiday weekend especially as I have tomorrow off as well.

Big thanks also to the lovely Lynne, who met The Harlot recently at an event and got me a signed copy of her latest book! And she sent me a skein of yarn too!

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Central Park Hoodie

At long last, I had the time to sew up CPH this bank holiday weekend! I took my time with the sewing, using mattress stitch on all seams, so it took quite a while. I like the idea of sewing in the sleeve heads before seaming the side and sleeve seams all in one go, I think the sleeves are the neatest I've done so far.

The Rowanspun Aran (shade Hardy) was lovely to knit with and blocked very nicely, softening somewhat in the process. The only slight down side is that it tends to break when you are sewing up with it. I'd heard this beforehand and even though I took care to try not to leave very much stitching to tighten up at a time, I still had a number of breaks. I'm struggling to remember how much yarn I used in total, I think around 6.5 skeins (time for a stock take in the Rowan department!).

I'm so pleased with how this garment turned out, it's a great fit with some ease so you can easily wear things underneath. I made the 40" size as I'd heard this could run a little small, but after blocking it's just right. The sleeves are quite long but I like them that way, nothing worse than sleeves at "half mast" particularly when it's cold!

I didn't make many mods, I used a three needle bind-off on the hood rather than casting off and seaming (could have grafted it too), and I knit the front bands all in one go rather than each side individually. I made 6 buttonholes and used olive wood buttons.

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Friday, May 02, 2008


This has been finished for a little while, blocked earlier this week:

Alexandra from Fitted Knits, using Rowan Plaid in shade "Sea Thistle". I added a little extra length between the decreases and increases, and also after the increases. This version has an extra cable twist right near the lower edge. I settled on doing short sleeves instead of the three-quarter ones in the pattern. With my mods this only took a little under 4.5 balls of the Plaid, in the 36 size. Needles were Denise 6.5mm circs.

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