Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Silence on the blog means...

... progress on the WIPs! I've been in a bit of a finishing frenzy for the last few days, stemming from the realization that I'd gotten up to an even dozen in progress. Not any more! :D
First up, the fluffy garter stitch scarf I've been working on here and there. fluffy scarfI finished this on Friday afternoon and wore it out that very evening. Took it to a friend's birthday party, where I had an amusing experience. Among the strangers and acquaintances, a former flatmate was there. He remarked that he couldn't imagine me without my knitting! And when another person starting being a bit weird (you know, that whole "why on earth would you knit at a party?" thing), he jumped up and started raving about the wonders of knitting and how cool it is. Yay for great friends who respect my hobby!

On Monday I was good and finished the shawl for hub's Granny. She's much shorter than I, so this will hopefully fit her perfectly.birthday shawl

And this morning I managed to finish my chunky purple hat! Hubs was out at a meeting last night, so I settled in with the hat and a DVD of Twilight that my grandmother sent me. It was good timing too, as it's been pouring rain and windy the last couple of days - I definitely needed something to keep my ears warm!purple hat

Thursday, 14 May 2009

A package in the mail

A couple of days ago I came home from work to find a mysterious squishy parcel sitting by my knitting table. I spotted the return address and ripped into it, 'cause it was the latest installment of my FlockSock Club!

This one is based on the opera 'The Daughter of the Regiment', a rather farcical little comedy. The Tsock has a skirt and brass buttons, so I'm in love. In fact, I love it so much that I wound the first hank of yarn and cast on immediately! Yes, I know I've got a bazillion other projects on the go right now. But this one just looked like fun, and I needed fun. The weather has been awful recently.

The designer has blogged about them in great detail here, and all I've got so far is a little black toe. But it sure is a fun toe!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Small increments of progress

I really should not have compared Granny's shawl to my black shawl. I've basically stopped knitting on it. Oh, I do a small chunk here and there, but not much at a time. I'm honestly not worried about it - given how much time I have before needing to gift it and how quickly it goes, it'll be fine. So instead, I'm working on the things that actually tempt me.

The fluffy scarf that I was finding so boring the other day is utterly appealing right now. I've knitted up about half of the first ball of yarn, putting me a quarter of the way there. And I got out the bigger needles and redid the crown of the purple hat last nights while watching Numbers. A few rows of heel flap here, a row of shawl there, and eventually it all adds up to real progress.

Monday, 11 May 2009

The scarves are breeding again

I had to work on something chunky over the weekend to give elbow and shoulder a break. So, rather than do the sensible thing and pick up the hat I've got on the go, I decided to start something new. There was yarn left after I'd finished the coatigan/cushion - four skeins of it. So I got out my 20mm needles, held all four strands together as one, and knit myself an uber-chunky scarf!

scarf 002

The whole project took less than 24 hours, and I've totally used up all the yarn. Woohoo!

I also had a big tidy-up this weekend. We've been rearranging some of our storage due to builders needing boiler access. (Our landlord just had a power shower installed. It's great.) I cleaned out the storage tub with all my embroidery things in, finding some treasures. A pair of patterns with all the fabric and silks waiting to go. A large freehand embroidery I started several years ago, inspired by a Tarot card. An afghan, embroidered all over with cats and their treats. I miss embroidering. Don't get me wrong, I love knitting and spinning, but sometimes it's nice to just embellish. And to get a finished project that looks exactly like the photo on the pattern - gauge isn't so much an issue when you're sewing.

Friday, 8 May 2009

The next big thing

One of my Mission:Possible goals for the year was to knit a sweater. Any sweater. I have sufficient stash for four, possibly five, adult-sized sweaters, but I was having trouble deciding what I wanted to make next.
One option was a Cobblestone pullover for my husband. He likes it, I have suitable yarn. But it's miles and miles of stockinette, and the yoke is garter stitch in the round. That means lots and lots of purling. Ick. I should have just enough yarn, but I'm currently not feeling like improvising some sort of emergency colour pattern if I run out.
Another was the stranded Ivy League vest I bought all the yarn for last year. 6 colours of yarn makes this far too bulky to carry around, so that's out.
I decided to weed through my queue on Ravelry a while back, and happened to find a cardigan pattern called 'Celtic' from Rowan 40. I'd marked it as "to knit later", but then I noticed that it called for Felted Tweed. It just so happens that I bought two sweater's worth of Felted Tweed in the after-Christmas sales with a gift certificate from my best friend. One lot is going to become Camden (I have to knit this sweater, it's gorgeous and I live in Camden), but the rest? Well, now I can make my lovely cabled cardigan!

Or can I? Looking more closely at the pattern this morning, I discovered that the cuffs, collar and front bands of this cardigan are knit from Kid Classic, rather than Felted Tweed. I'm not a huge fan of this yarn (it was the green I used for the Dr Who Scarf), but it's only around the edges. But I will have to buy some in. And I'm trying to reduce the volume of my stash currently.

So, to justify purchasing two new balls of yarn, I'm committing to finishing:
  • The shawl for hub's Granny
  • The bedspread
  • Mum's shawl
  • The purple hat
  • The fluffy scarf

Once these are all done, I shall shop for two balls of Kid Classic and cast on, guilt-free!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Onwards and upwards

Onto the first big stripe of the ripple bedspread now - 33.5 rows remaining! Each row does take a while though, and I'm still not supposed to be doing much crochet. Darned elbow.

I'm partway through the 6th repeat of the shawl right now. Still motoring on, though I've started having flashbacks to the black dropstitch shawl I finished in May last year. I seem to remembering whining about hating dropstitch patterns and swearing I'd never make another shawl using them. Turns out, though, that the black shawl I made so unwillingly has become one of my favourite garments. And hub's Granny is worth it.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Busy weekend

It was a rather productive 3-day weekend too, especially since it rained and I stayed in! Granny's birthday shawl is well and truly started, despite a complete change of plans. The yarn/pattern combination just didn't work, so hub's granny will be getting a lovely burgundy drop-stitch number instead of the cerulean I'd planned. Ah well. The family tell me she'll like it, so on I go. If I do one repeat a day I'll finish it in a fortnight - and I managed 3 repeats yesterday!

I did do some 'work' on the purple hat over the weekend, inasmuch as I looked at it, decided the fabric was too stiff and ripped it out to restart on bigger needles. I'll pick that up again once the birthday shawl is done.

I did a little spinning and finished preparing the lump of fiber I'm working on. It's coming up as a fairly fine single, so I've got at least 5 hours of spinning left, probably more. And then it all needs to be plied!

The real progress of the weekend, though, was the work I did on the ripple bedspread and mum's heavy shawl. I've all but finished another stripe, which leaves me with only three left. Admittedly two of those stripes are great honking wide stripes, but still. I might even manage to finish the whole thing this month, just in time for summer! And I've finished the plain garter stitch section of mum's shawl, leaving the wide lace border.

I've run into an amusing snag with the shawl. It's currently on a circular needle that's 100cm long - and it's too short! I've run out of room for stitches! I think I've found a solution, though. While digging through my circular collection, I found another 100cm needle in the same size. I'm using it for granny's shawl right now, but once that's done I can stick point protectors on one end of each needle and use them as uber-long straights. That'll save me having to order a 150cm needle from Germany, at least to start with!