Sunday, 26 February 2012

Chunky Ribbed Cowl

I spent a goodly chunk of yesterday working on spinning up the corrie/merino I've had on the wheel for ages. Eventually, though, my thumbs were starting to complain about it, so I decided to move over to the knitting. I was in the middle of a film, so didn't want to pick up any of my complicated WIPs. And thus was the chunky ribbed cowl born!

ribbed cowl 001

It's the second half of the handspun I used last year to make a linen stitch cowl for my mum. I was going to make a matching one for me, but decided that I'd rather have the cowl ribbed to pull in more. Cast on 80 stitches on 6.5mm needles, knit until the yarn is gone or until the cowl is long enough.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

State of the WIPs, February edition

I've managed to rack up quite a few finished projects this year, three outstanding WIPs from last year and two new projects. I haven't touched my Rovaniemi mitts or the black cabled socks yet, but I've been making good progress on everything else. Weaving Friend's wedding is next Wednesday, and I'm planning to take my green shawl along to the rehearsal and the reception. With her blessing, I hasten to add! The crocheted squares are moving along. I'm crocheting them as I get bored with all of my other projects, and actually got to the point of attaching a new row to the blanket itself.

And now that I'm thankfully over my wretched cold, I'll be going back to working on my Vintage Tsocks. I'm planning to work them both at the same time so that I can make them match as closely as possible. I've done the toe and most of the plain foot of the first, so I now need to get on with the second.

I've also added a new project to the roster. Way back in 2008 I bought a bunch of Rowan Pure Wool 4-ply with the intention of making myself a stranded vest. Well, the vest has never happened, and I decided it was high time I actually used the yarn, since 12 balls of the stuff takes up rather a lot of space. I've decided, therefore, to make two pairs of stranded knee-high socks. Each pair will be pink and grey, with toes, heels and cuffs in charcoal grey. They are toe-up, so I've been reinforcing my newly-acquired skill with some practice. Still not keen on it, but learning is good for me. I've done the first toe and started the stranded foot. Hurrah for socks!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

A couple of FOs

Despite an absolutely wretched cold/sore throat combo, I've actually managed to finish some stuff in the last few days. On Saturday I grafted the toe of the second Monkey sock of a pair that I started during my Christmas holiday. I wasn't planning on finishing them this month, but hey, they were making me happy and now I have new socks.

After the socks were done, I was trapped at home with the afore-mentioned cold, unable to concentrate on anything that required any brain. Unfortunately all of my existing WIPs required brain. So I dug out a ball of Rowan Silky Tweed that I bought at John Lewis ages ago and cast on. My intention had been to make a garter stitch hat, but I got halfway through the yarn and discovered that the piece didn't go halfway around my head. It did, however, go nicely around my forearm. So I bound off, knit a second one to match, seamed them and ended up with a pair of rather nice teal armwarmers!

And bonus points for completely using up the ball of yarn, of course.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

New tricks for the repertoire

I'm still plugging away at the little leaves, though I'm not yet finished. Unsurprisingly I've gotten rather bored with them. So a while back I started looking at the sock pattern proper to figure out what I'd need. Turned out that it's a toe-up sock (not my favourite) and it's a toe-tip cast-on, rather than my usual provisional short-row number. The trouble with toe-tip cast-ons, as I discovered when swatching for another Tsock, is that you really can't do them on DPNs. Her Tsockiness prefers to knit socks with two circular needles, and while mostly the patterns are blessedly needle-neutral, there are times when it shows.

So, off I trundled to my LYS to acquire some itty-bitty circular needles in the appropriate size. Of course, having acquired the needles meant that the impetus to cast on was irresistable! It took me two attempts to master the Turkish cast-on, and then it was straight into toe shaping and pattern working. I ended up completely frogging my first attempt. (Pro-tip - mixing wine and a new needle technique and complicated instructions and a poor night's sleep is a recipe for disaster.) The second attempt worked, and I've now got a perfectly respectable Tsock toe! I did miss out one plain row (another pro-tip - read the damn instructions), but it's not noticeable.

The observant among you will notice that the needles sticking out of this Tsock-in-progress are decidedly not circular. Once I'd gotten past the part where that method was necessary, I swapped back over to my beloved DPNs. I want to finish and wear these Tsocks, and I see no point in slowing myself down with uncomfortable needles!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Silk Garden Scarf

library update 018

Plain weave, one-and-a-half balls of Noro Silk Garden Sock. The remaining half ball is going to a friend who has recently taken up frame weaving, so this yarn is all gone!

I ended up doing 75% of it this weekend. It really did go quite quickly once I was actually working on it. And thanks to the central heating it actually dried despite the fact that it's been snowing all weekend. Ick.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Leaf Watch 2012

No, I'm not counting the minutes until spring arrives. Although as cold as it is here, I feel as though I ought to be!

I have decided that February is the month in which I finish knitting all the leaves for my Vintage Tsocks. Current tally is 13 complete, plus the two mini leaves that go in the toes. There will eventually be 34, 8 in each of 4 colours plus the toe insets. They are very cute.

Under the wire

The lilac shawl that I'm wearing to Weaving Friend's wedding (in 28 days!) is finished and blocked! Hurrah!

lilac shawl 001

The pattern is the Gingko Shawlette, size large. Yarn is some well-aged Louet Gems from my stash, just barely more than two balls of the stuff. Knit on a 4mm needle until the last row and the BO, where I used the recommended 5mm needle.

I'm quite pleased with the shawl. The stockinette part was rather dull, but the lace made up for it. Surprisingly, this project is my very first true knitted lace - that is, something with patterning on both the right and wrong sides. The lace was not intuitive for me, but it was worth it for the end results.

lilac shawl 002

I have to say, though, I was less than impressed with the yarn. It's a 2-ply, but while the singles were quite tightly spun, the plying was loose. The ends of the balls actually unplied themselves when I soaked the shawl for blocking. And of the three balls of yarn I used, all three of them had a snap somewhere. One had two. I ended up with silly numbers of ends to weave in as a result! Additionally, although all three balls were from the same dyelot, there's a noticeable colour difference where I've joined on a new ball. Not badly noticeable, but I know it's there.

Still, it's another project finished and some more leftovers into the bag for crocheted blanket squares. And more stash out of my stash. Woohoo!