Sunday, 29 April 2007

I like being busy.

So, I finally finished the blanket. Really finished, down to the last little bits of end-weaving and a crocheted border of sorts. The birthday isn't until the 22nd of May, so I'm feeling pretty good about it. And I never have to make another one of these diamonds again.




They are pretty though.









The black shawl trudges along. I've done another iteration and a half since the last post, but it doesn't really look any different, so no picture. The pink jumper is pretty much the same, although that at least I like working on. I just only work on it when I can't stand to do anything else.

Of course, I did start some new projects. Like the afore-mentioned Dr Who Scarf. The colours really are this unappealing, but they are faithful to the original. And the recipient is thrilled at how it's going so far. Of course, this is about 18" of scarf. The finished article is going to be about 13' 6", including the tassels! I might finish it in time for Christmas.






These two lovely skeins are my new Colinette Jitterbug.


They are called Sahara and Bright Charcoal, respectively.
















As for other stuff, well, I've started making a coat. Since it's about to be summer and all. I got some Elle Monet with my birthday money back in March, intending to turn it into some sort of cardigan thing. The thought of a car-length coat just appealed.

I've finished the back and started working on one of the fronts. I love the way the yarn knits up in stockinette stitch, although it looks less appealing in garter stitch. I'm not going to have enough yarn with what I've got, so I'll need to head back up and get another three balls of the stuff. The colours are funky enough that it shouldn't matter too much if they are from a different dye lot.

I've also started a poncho from the Yarn Harlot's pattern. The destiny of this poncho is to use up all of the leftover balls of blue acrylic I've got lurking around the stash. I've already used two and a half, so I'm feeling good. And I do like the colours, so hopefully I'll get plenty of use out of it.

Monday, 16 April 2007

New stuff

I went yarn shopping with one of my friends last Wednesday. He's a bit of a Dr Who nut, so I'm making him a reproduction Dr Who scarf. Someone actually worked out a pattern for this thing. So, we went to get the supplies. Of course, there was no yarn available that had all the necessary colours in one type, so we ended up with four different yarns. Including some in different weights. Still, it's knitting up rather nicely, although the colour combination is very 70s. The thing is going to be huge when it's done.

He also bought me presents as payment for making the scarf. Two colourways of Colinette "Jitterbug" (hello socks!) and an Addi Turbo circular needle (my first!). The needle is for a poncho that is going to use up the last remnants of the blue acrylic that never seems to be gone. I really ought to be good and just make the poncho, but the sexy new yarn is tempting me. I want to use the nice yarn, not the horrible old stuff! Still, if I make a big push, I could be rid of all the horrible acrylic by the end of the year. Woohoo!

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Busy week of holiday time

So, I have been knitting and sewing away. And amazingly, I've only been working on two projects. How? Well, I bought this:


One lovely skein of Kaalund Expressions in colourway Camphor Laurel. 450 yards of joy for £7. I'm seriously thinking about going back and getting the rest of their stock, since it seems to be almost impossible to find. My camera is dreadful, but the yarn is about a million different shades of greens and blues. I don't really like variegated stuff, but this just looks like some underwater fantasy. It's really beautiful.

I decided that until I had finished the two priority projects, I wasn't allowed to do anything with this yarn other than wind it into a ball from the loose hank. (I really need to invest in a swift and a ball winder.)

So, priority project one:


A blanket that I've been working on for two years. It's 16 rectangular patches of seed stitch diamonds on a stockinette background with a garter stitch border. When I'm actually working on it it takes about 8 hours of knitting to complete one patch, but it's so boring that I hadn't really started slogging on it until the last four months or so. I discovered the joys of KIPping, so the blanket has been getting about four hours of airing a week, plus odd rows here and there. The one good thing about it is that the pattern is really easy to memorize, so all I need to carry around with me is the yarn and the needles.
I'm nearly done - just one and a half patches left to knit, then assembling of the last strip and a quick crocheted border. Then my lovely best friend can have the blanket I've been promising her!

The other priority project is a wedding sampler for a good friend who's getting married next month in Tennessee:

And I've finished it! It took a week and a half, start to finish. I think I may now be addicted to blackwork. It's so quick!

Materials:
14-ct white Aida cloth
DMC embroidery floss
Mill Hill seed beads and charm

Pattern and materials came from an eBay store on the UK website. It only cost about £12, so very good value. And unlike other kits, it actually tells you what all the materials are, so you can use the leftovers.

I might make this pattern again. If I did, I would certainly use 28-ct linen instead of the Aida, although I would then have to use an embroidery frame. Aida is stiff enough to hold without one.
(The charm is not actually sewn on at a slant, it's only attached in one place and slid when I took the picture.)

While I had the camera out, I decided to take pictures of my other knitting WIPs:
This is eventually going to be a sleeveless sweater with a half-turtleneck. I'm utterly in love with it, even though I don't really like pink.

This:



although it may not look like it, is someday going to be a llama-shaped handbag. Basically you knit the body in one piece, then pick up and knit the legs, head and tail. It's very cute.

This:


is a drop-stitch shawl that I started in October. I love the fabric, and everyone needs a black shawl, but it's so wretchedly tedious!!!!!!!!! I can't do more than a couple of rows at a time without wanting to strangle myself on the circular needle. Eventually it'll be made up of 28 drop-stitch iterations. I've done 15. What was I thinking?

Oh yeah. I also bought this:

Two skeins of Debbie Bliss cotton DK. It will be joined by one more skein of compatible cotton in a darker hunter green colour and turned into a pair of jelly-bean socks. I've been craving a pair of green socks for a while now.