Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Bank Holiday Weekend

Was really rather productive. I finished the back of the pink jumper (although haven't yet cast on for the front), finished the second of a pair of slippers, and played with lace.

I was going to make the Evergreen Shawl from Handknit Holidays, but decided 5 rows in that it really wasn't a very good first lace project. Mostly due to those 431 stitches you start with. It did teach me a couple of useful things though - I can now do a lovely provisional cast on, thanks to Eunny's tutorial, and I've also discovered that the wonderful Kaalund yarn holds up beautifully to frogging. Yup, that's right, I frogged several thousand stitches of lace just a few hours after knitting it.

So now I'm working on the Print o' the Wave stole. And it is lovely. It took a little while to work out that the pattern repeats didn't fall in exactly the same place on each row of the pattern, but now I'm into the rhythm of it. And it only has 80 stitches per row, which means I can work it on straight needles.

I've also started the second front for the coatigan. I haven't quite finished the first one yet, but I'm going to need both of them to measure the width of the buttonbands.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

WIPs update

The first one to show off is in fact a finished object - the hat that took exactly a week. Literally, down to half an hour of starting time. And it fits! And it's just as warm as I had hoped it would be!

There is also a half of a finished object - the first and a bit of a pair of baba slippers. The first one took a whopping 6 hours to knit. I'm planning to work on the second one tomorrow, should probably finish it by the end of the week. And it's more blue acrylic used up. Two more partial balls already gone and now the skein that I'm using.

Big Black Shawl is on a time-out right now. It's bugging me terribly, and I've run into a stopping point: the circular needle I'm using is too short, and I have no desire to track down a longer one. So, it's been packed away into the sewing box.
To replace it, I've dug out this lovely scarf. I've loved it ever since I cast on, but it was a pain weaving in all the ends, so I retired it. And then I discovered the blissful joy that is carrying the yarn up the sides of the knitting. So, it's out again, and galloping along beautifully.

The llama is actually looking like a llama now. The legs are fiddly, but I'm working on it every now and then.

The pink jumper is wonderful. I know that Wool-Ease is supposed to be dreadful yarn to use, but I'm loving it. It feels soft and smooshy to the touch, and it knits up nicely. I'm still using it as the carrot for working on the other projects, but I'm two scant inches away from starting the neckline shaping on the back. The front will hopefully go quickly, since I've already figured out row counts and things like that.

Dr Who is longer and uglier. Frighteningly enough it's growing on me. 310 of 1040 rows done.
The coatigan is fun, but I'm about to get to a place where I have to do lots of resizing maths, so I'm saving it for a day when I'm wide awake and up to calculating percentages. Left front mostly done up to the neckline shaping. Once it's worked out, the right front will just be a mirror image, no figuring outs. The arms are going to be a nightmare though. I loathe baggy, oversized sleeves, so I have to jig it so that the sleeves are both the size that I want them to be and the correct size to fit into the armholes.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

The thing they don't tell you ...

...in all the Kool-Aid dying tutorials is that while you're doing it, your kitchen will smell like boiled fruit for 3-4 days after the experience. Fortunately I like the smell of Kool-Aid.

I went from two skeins of white sock-weight wool to this:
Fruit Fondue is what I've been calling it, in honour of that lovely boiled smell. And in balls:

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Stashbusting, Stash Enhancement

That was a busy weekend. Bright and early on Saturday morning I finished my stripey Harlot poncho. Three hours to cut and attach the fringe! Good grief! But it is finished now, warm and cozy. And the best part? It used up 11 partial balls of the never-ending blue acrylic and one entire skein that all went on the fringe.

Also on the subject of stashbusting, I started this hat with a ball of mystery acrylic that had been given to me to make crocheted flowers for another hat. I've been needing a hat that fell between my thinsulate hat and my cap on the warmth scale, and this will be perfect. It's using this free Karlchen pattern. I'm loving the top-down construction, since I really don't want any leftovers at the end. The crusade to only have yarn I love continues as I work through the stash.

On the enhancement side of things, I went shopping. My grandmother-in-law sent my husband a birthday card with some money for him and some for me, since she couldn't remember when my real birthday was. So, a trip to my LYS was in order! I love this shop very much. It's more like two shops in one, really. The front half is an emormous bead shop (enormous by London standards, so really quite small), while the back half is a needlework shop. The knitting section is quite small, although they do have a good stock from a range of suppliers, but the real treasure is in the embroidery section. They cater to every kind of needlework imaginable, which means that they carry things like Paternayan wool (very nice for high gauge projects). This is where I found my Kaalund Expressions. I went back on Saturday and bought the last two skeins of it, so I now have enough to make two complete lace shawls. I might even have some left over. I also bought some 2mm DPNs to make socks.

It's interesting - I'm moving slowly but surely into the DPNs in the round camp. I was unimpressed with the Addi circular needle I used on the poncho. I'll have to try some out in a smaller size, because I'm not a huge fan of large needles, but they were way too slippery. I'd love to get my hands onto one of the Addi lace needles, but they seem to be sold out everywhere! I'd also love to try out the bamboo circulars, as I think they might help convince me that circulars are ok. Until then, DPNs and straights all the way.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Well! That was fortuitous!

In my previous post I mentioned that I was going to run out of Elle Monet for the coatigan by about three balls. So, this morning I headed up to the shop to get some more. Now, this shop is not really a yarn shop. It's more a beads-and-sewing shop that also stocks a limited range of yarn for the crazies like me who knit and sew. (It's also where I'm slowly buying all of the Kaalund Expressions.) I had previously purchased 7 balls of the Monet and not worried, as they had tons of the same dye lot left and surely I wasn't going to run out. After all, I've made whole jumpers with only four balls of yarn. Ahem. COAT. Lotsa yarn to make a coat with chunky yarn.

Well, the gods of knit were smiling, because there were EXACTLY THREE BALLS left of the colour. Same dye lot. And that was it. They had sold out of about 25 balls of yarn in a month.

The coatigan is intended to have a hood. However. I'm going to be very very paranoid and careful with the yarn. Body and sleeves knit and assembled before playing with the neckline. If it turns out I don't have enough for a hood, I'll turn it into an over-sized collar and chalk it up to experience. Or maybe raid eBay for an odd ball.