Tuesday, 26 June 2007

A Discovery

It seems that whenever I have too many WIPs, I panic and don't want to work on any of them. I discovered this accidentally over the weekend when I was cleaning the house for a party.All of the knitting and sewing stuff got moved into the bedroom so it didn't end up getting spilled on, and then on Sunday I only brought out the alpaca shawl and the birthday socks. And got a ton done on both! So, I think that for the moment I shall be a two project girl. Two projects out; when I finish one, I get to haul out another UFO, when I finish two I get to start something new. Eventually I'd like to get it down to two projects on the go at any time, plus a handbag project if neither of the WIPs will fit.

Packages of joy yesterday! Domiknitrix did in fact make an appearance, and so did Knitting Lingerie Style! My grandmother decided to go out and get it after seeing the article in the IKnits she sent. Lots of projects, lots of design inspiration.

And the skein of silk from Sundara Yarn. It's incredible. 1000yards, 100g, pure silk. So soft! I'm thinking that it's eventually going to turn into the half-hexagon spider shawl from VLT, but not until I've made some practice lace first. And how goofy does that sound?

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Again with the lack of a camera when I want to post

So, I'm just going to type and maybe add pics later. Or not.

The last few days have been busy on the knitting front. The first sock for mum's birthday was finished yesterday, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I made up a cuff that I hope mum finds as comfortable as I did when I tried it on! I was good and cast on for Number Two immediately to avoid SSS and finished most of the toe during Sharpe last night.

I also cast on for a new project over the weekend. Back in March I acquired 6 balls of Sirdar Peru, a wool/alpaca/acrylic blend in turquoise. It's beautiful, slightly chunkier than normal worsted, and ever so slightly thick-and-thin in texture. Unfortunately, it's a little scratchy to wear as a top, and I didn't buy enough to make a sweater. So, I decided to make a shawl, inspired by the Yarn Harlot. In 'At Knit's End', she tells a story about a magic scarf made for her SIL by dropping every other stitch on a lengthways scarf. Pull on it and it gets longer by two thirds. So, I'm making a magic shawl. CO 210 stitches, leave 5 stitches normally at either end, then drop as per Ms Peral-McPhee's recipe. Basically I'm knitting in garter stitch until I run out of yarn. Happily, this stuff spit-splices very well, so I can use up every last scrap.

I frogged Print o' the Wave yesterday. Basically, it wasn't perfect, and I decided that I would do better to try making my first real lace in a gauge I was already used to, rather than trying to learn how to make lace and learn how to use skinny yarn at the same time. So I'm going to make a kerchief shawl with my new Rowan Tapestry. Weird stuff - it's made of wool and soybean protein. Still, it's soft and it smells good.

(Incidentally, I'm becoming less and less impressed with Yarndex. Neither Sirdar Peru nor Tapestry feature on their list.)

I've decided that the Kaalund is destined to be the cap shawl from VLT. I don't know why, but I seem to be on a serious shawl kick at the moment. Leftovers will probably be made into the Handsome Triangle shawl from the same book.

On the acquiring side of things, life is good. My grandmother ordered Favorite Socks and Knitting on the Road for me a while back, and they arrived yesterday. Just in time for Summer of Socks! I shall be turning my second skein of Jitterbug into the Embossed Leaves, I think. And then, because my mum is wonderful, I have a copy of Domiknitrix and a skein of silk laceweight from Sundara Yarn coming to me in the next week or so.

Yarn! Books! Knitting! Socks! YAY!

Thursday, 14 June 2007

New Book

I got paid back holiday money from a temping agency I was working for last September (!), so I decided that a new shiny was in order. Victorian Lace Today won out, unsurprisingly. There is much goodness in between those two covers. And I printed out the page of errata from the publisher, so hopefully there won't be too many problems making stuff! Now I just need to work out which pattern will make the most of the Kaalund left over from the Print 'o the Wave stole. Of which there should be about 1400m, so I'm not overly concerned about being limited.

Of course, I must knit the full-sized hexagonal shawl.I love it beyond rational thought. 8 balls of Kidsilk is a leeeeetle bit more than I can afford right now, though!

Monday, 11 June 2007

Knitting Squee!

My lovely grandmother decided on a whim to get me a subscription to Interweave Knits, and the first issue came today. I love it! I want to make pretty much every pattern in it. Especially the Entrelac Socks and the funky orange shawl thing. The perfect pattern for my lovely alpaca yarn, methinks.

And then I checked my email and found an email telling me that the new Knitty is up, and I want to knit all of those too. And there are two knitting books coming in the mail soon, again from lovely grandmother.


Sunday, 10 June 2007

Ticking over

This was a weekend of much knitting and very little getting of anything done. Yesterday was World-Wide Knit In Public Day, so the birthday socks and I trundled over to Trafalgar Square to join the other knitters for the afternoon. It was boiling hot and there was a Free Palestine demonstration going on. Of course, the security people were more concerned with the strange group that was either gathering without a permit or doing an unlicensed performance (that'd be us) that with the crazy political types shouting rude racist stuff in front of the tourists. Surely people wielding sharp sticks are scarier to confront than shouty people?

I'm almost done with the foot of the first sock (working toe-up), so I'm feeling rather pleased with my week's work. The yarn is yummily soft and not splitty at all. Although I am having twisting issues - every few rounds I have to dangle the whole thing until it untwists itself.

I also spent a large chunk of today working on the coatigan. This is a picture of a finished back and two fronts. Go me! Coatigan is going to take a break for a while, because I need to sew up the shoulders and the side seams, and work out lots of maths. See, I designed the fronts so that they would have a 2 1/2in selvedge that I would fold under to make self-finishing button bands. But I can't fold them under until I sew seams and figure out exactly how wide I want the front to be. (There are no buttonholes because I'm planning to use toggle buttons and loops to close it.) I also need to work out exactly how I'm going to do the sleeves, since I've got skinny arms and I've never adapted sleeves before. Ok, I've never really adapted a pattern to this extent before either.

Dr Who gets longer, slowly but surely. Now that I'm not running things on Wednesdays, I can resurrect Game Knitting. Which pleases me greatly.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Oops. I started stuff. And bought yarn.

I finished the back of the pink jumper, and decided that it was far too hot to be working on a wool jumper anyway. So it's sitting in the knitting bag waiting, and I've cast on for two new pairs of socks. The first is a plain, boring stockinette sock using my skein of Jitterbug in Sahara. I say plain and boring, but the truth is that a) I love doing stockinette in the round and b) the yarn is so pretty that it wouldn't be boring anyway. I'm knitting it on 2mm DPNs, so the gauge is much tighter than the last pair. Which is good. They were a little loosely-knitted. The yarn is doing this funky spiral thing, wide stripe of burnt orange wrapped around stripe of black and blue and hot pink and purple and leaf green. Very cool.

I'm working these based on Knitty's toe-up tutorial, which is pleasing me no end. I don't mind having leftover yarn after making something (well, as long as it's not blue acrylic), but I heartily object to running out. And since Jitterbug is notoriously skimpy in the yardage area, I figured better safe than sorry. Plus, it means I've learned how to work short row toes and heels. I'm also loving the fact that I can customize them to fit my feet.

The second pair of socks is a special pair that I'm designing for my mother's birthday next month. So no pictures. The yarn is Emily from Posh Yarns, a company that I am really impressed with. The woman who runs it sent the stuff out promptly, after having apologized for not emailing me instantly when I ordered, and her yarn is beautiful. She updates the site once a week, and it pretty much sells out instantly. Except for this one lonely skein of sock yarn in my mother's favourite colours, which sat there for over a week before I finally broke down and bought it. I wound, swatched and cast on as soon as I had opened the parcel! The yarn is a little thicker than the Jitterbug, so I'm working it on 3mm needles.

The other yarn I bought. Yep. One lovely skein of baby alpaca from Farm Yarn, a company that specializes in organic alpaca and sheep's wool. They had a stall at the Camden Green Fair this weekend and had reduced their prices by 50p a skein. So, I bought one, and I'm going to try it out on Mind's Eye Yarns Kerchief pattern. That way, if I like it lots (which I suspect I will), I can buy more with my lovely 10% discount and turn it into a proper shawl, and if I don't, I'll still have a cute kerchief.