Monday, 29 December 2008

Small but cute

I finished these last night which were a bit of a triumph for me:


First 2 times I tried to make these, it was awful as I couldn't get the hang of working with the fun fur. Third time round, I carried a strand of brown DK yarn along with the fun fur.

They need a bit of brushing to help the fur all lie in the same direction, but I think they're pretty cute. They're called Chewbacca Baby Booties and are destined for a bump that has been nicknamed "Chewie" :)

The other thing I've done today is teach myself how to mattress stitch:


It's come out ok - the bottom (which I did first) isn't as good as the top but overall it's ok I think. I'll get plenty of practice when working on my CPH and this was just to ensure I got the general idea.

I also heard back from New Lanark yarns about their bulky weight yarn that I enquired about. Like the Aran, it's also only £2.95 per ball but it's less yardage at 132yds. It only comes in certain colours, Cherry, Sky, Heather, Blossom, New Natural and Limestone. I quite fancy bright cherry red something... maybe a Vivian which I bought the pattern for the other day.

The final thing I heard about today (you can tell it's everyone's first day back at work after Xmas) was a spinning (fibre, not exercise) course at a shop in London. There is one course I was keen on, which several ladies in my SnB group have gone on - they speak very highly of the teacher, but it's on a Sunday and not easy for me to get to. So there's another store in East London (which lets Trev go and visit the in-laws) which do a 6 hour course on a Saturday for only £45! Bargain! They have dates in Feb, March and April, so I'll try and go at some point soonish.

Very sad to be into my final week off! My mum rang me earlier and requested 2 more pairs of Evangelines to go with different coats of hers... I'm sort of pleased that she likes them enough, but a bit peeved that I have to buy the yarn and find the time to make them. I may not have that much time on my commute since I bought a DS cart that contains 100 classic novels, most of which I've wanted to read for years. I'm such a geek :)

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Bits and pieces

Been a bit of a strange day today. Haven't really accomplished much in some ways, but in other perhaps have got a great deal done!

First of all, I'm going to post the most recent photo of my CPH - which shows that I have made definitive progress on something.


So I'm up to the armholes and have done all the decreases that I need to do and bound off all stitches etc that needed it, and I now just need to work in pattern for 8.5" then I can do my short rows for the shoulders. I had to spit splice and add in a second ball of yarn yesterday - it spliced sooo well and I have absolutely no clue where the join is now. I do love this yarn.

I decided that I'd take a small break from my CPH, to do some unselfish projects for other people so I could get to revelling in my selfishness. So out came the stash box, to pick yarn for said unselfish projects and I've unfortunately spent the last couple of hours doing not much. (In fact it's probably 3-4 hours if I'm honest.) I've been tweaking things in my queue, deciding whether any UFOs need to take a trip to the Frog Pond and generally just fiddling.

I've done some major sorting of my queue on Ravelry and am determined to stick to it as much as possible. Needless to say I've also added a few things to it and it currently stands at 50 items - some of which may come off when I get back to looking at it later.

I've been trying to work out uses for some of my stashed yarn and think I've worked out how to use up a lot of it, which is great - especially the dreaded Lion Brand Microspun. I've decided to frog the Lotus Camisole that I was working on (a crochet hairpin lace project that I've already made a dress version of). Well not frog, so much as just bin. It was coming out ok, but I'd made a few mistakes on it, hate working with the yarn and just couldn't be bothered with it anymore. So that only leaves one unfinished Microspun project - the Hairpin Lace Cardi Wrap on which I think I just need to do the sleeves and block it.

I think that once I use up some of my stash, I won't feel so bad about buying yarns for selfish projects. So here's what I'm thinking:

  • Monster Baby Booties - (these have a deadline) using the Fun Fur I bought along with random DK and aran bits from stash
  • Amigurumi monkey - not sure whether to make this in DK or aran size - don't have enough yarn in the "correct" colours to do either, so need to have a think on this one
  • Evangeline gloves for Gywneth - got chased on these again today :) Use up last of Almerino Aran
  • Hourglass Jacket - Broomstick lace pattern in Rowan Calmer - may need to buy an extra ball to finish this
  • Possible the Short and Sweet - in Microspun, to use that up.
Definitely need to do the first three before I go back to my CPH, although the gloves are a good project for on my commute once I go back to work. The bottom two are ones I'll do afterwards. Everything else in my queue I need new yarn for and will have great fun buying it!

I've blogged a lot recently... I've realised. Probably a combination of making more of an effort and having lots of time off. It's been nice, although anyone who actually reads this is probably sick to death of me by now :)

Saturday, 27 December 2008

New Year's Knitalutions

I've shamelessly stolen the idea from this post from the good ladies of the Stitch n Bitch London group on Ravelry. There's a thread from last year where people listed all their "knitalutions" and are now saying what they managed to do and what they'd like to do next year.

Because I couldn't knit or crochet this time last year, I'm going to put together a little list of my own for things I'd like to achieve in 2009. Here goes:

  • Learn to knit socks (and how to knit them 2 at a time as I already know Magic Loop)
  • Be a selfish crafter - knit and crochet more for myself than I do for other people
  • Learn how to seam knitting properly - I HATE seaming crochet and I'm no good at it, so I need to learn how to seam knitting, especially with my CPH on the needles at the moment
  • Learn to spin! I'm looking at a couple of courses in shops in London. I love the idea of a wheel, but will try out both wheels and spindles to see which I prefer
  • Learn colourwork/stranding/Fair Isle - not too sure I want to learn Intarsia (maybe in 2010) but would love to make a funky Fair Isle hat or something. Thinking Endpaper Mitts (here on Ravelry) to learn?
  • To design something knitted, and maybe something hairpin lace
  • Learn the "raglan" style of making sweaters - learn how to make stuff top-down and seamless
  • Learn more about how garments are constructed so I can make changes and amend things to fit me
  • Learn how to do short row and other shaping to allow for a proper fit in the boobage/waist/hip area
  • Learn all my knitted increases and decreases and more ways to cast on/off
I could probably think of a few more things, but I think that's enough to be getting on with, don't you? And of course, I need to finish my CPH as quickly as possible so I can wear it :)

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Making Progress!

Today has been a good day. Not because it's Christmas, bizarrely, as we don't celebrate it and so haven't done anything Xmas related today. Well, we went out for a curry for lunch (I was told it was Xmas Day, then on Saturday Mum told me it was Xmas Eve... and then we had it confirmed for today) which was lovely. Speaking of which, I gave her the Evangeline gloves to give to Gwyneth, but she has decided to keep them herself as they fit and to save me knitting another pair, which is fine. More time for me!

The restaurant was surprisingly busy busy - clearly lots of people not keen on cooking today! But they did serve everyone free tandoori turkey which I didn't try - Mum swiped it to give to the dog. This dog (who is much bigger since this was taken):


Speaking of dogs, yesterday until this morning we dog-sat this little 'un of my sister's.


They were away in Egypt on holiday and not getting back until this morning. He was staying with my Mum/Dad and their dog, but weren't getting on, so Monty went into kennels and we were asked to have him for the final day.

He came to us in the morning and was super stinky, so we gave him a bath. He was still stinky afterwards (he's a dog, so I guess it's inevitable) but much less so. But very cute. Unfortunately he and Kooky didn't get on, but I'll spare you all of the details. She was ok with him whilst he was sleepy and quiet, but this pup has more energy than Usain Bolt and tended to be like a crazy boisterous thing most of the day which she couldn't handle.

Thankfully we got to give him back this morning (after which I promptly de-doggified the place as he piddled on the floor and was generally a bit stinky - after all I'm used to nice clean cat) but not before we'd taken a few pictures.

Straight out of the bath:


Playing Wii with Trev:


Cute sleepy pictures:




So, back to the knitting!

Been making good progress on my CPH once I finally cast on. Opted to make the 40" size, so it will be snug-fitting, as I think the 44" would be way too big. I may have to make the sleeves from the 44" though, as the dimensions in the schematic are very small - although a lot of people have remarked on the sleeves being tight, so I'm not surprised. Not that I have fat arms or anything, but I don't think mine will fit into the ones I'm meant to make.

Here was my progress this morning, although I'm now 4 and a bit cable repeats up the body now:


I'm really happy with how it's coming out. Perhaps if I make another one, I'll do the ribbing in the same sized needles as the body as it is going to need to stretch a LOT to fit around the ol' hips. But it will fit, especially with blocking.

Enjoying working on it though, just hope I can get lots done over the next week or so. Need to get some Wii playing in though as I have oodles of games I need to finish, despite lending some out. Sometimes I hate having so many hobbies :)

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Ooh Selfish Knitting!

Here is my first FO since I decided to become a selfish knitter:


My finished Evangeline gloves! Yay!

I finished these yesterday morning, when all I had to do was finish off the thumb. The main body of the glove was finished on Sunday. The thumbs always seem to take me forever to do... I don't get it!

As stated in a previous post, this was my first proper Magic Loop project and I'm really happy with how it turned out. I love the portability of Magic Loop, and the fact that I can't poke myself to death with a series of double-pointed needles :) It's also easier to avoid the horrible saggy purl stitches that you can get at the sides of a cable panel. There is a little bit of looseness here, but nothing major and they certainly look much better than my previous attempt.

Here's a list of my mods:

  • 4 cable repeats instead of 3
  • 20 rows of ribbing at the cuff
  • 10 rows of ribbing at the fingers
  • Started thumb on the 3rd knit stitch away from the cable panel, not the first
  • Knit 5 stitches for the thumb on waste yarn - same method as used for Fetching gloves and picked up 22 stitches in total, decreasing to 14 for final rounds
  • Made the thumb longer - 12 rounds in total, with 4 rows of 1x1 ribbing at the top
  • Used EZ’s sewn bind off for stretchiness
  • Magic looped them and had the cable panel, plus an extra 2 purls and 2 knit stitches on each side (total of 24, to prevent saggy purling), with 16 knit stitches on the second needle

These did take me longer to do than I wanted... I would have them done much earlier in the week if I hadn't had to frog back almost all of the cabling due to some mistake I had made.

Wore them out last night and whilst they are beautifully warm and soft, but I have a horrible feeling that I'm allergic to either the alpaca or the merino in the gloves. They were a bit itchy to wear and when I took them off last night, I had what looked the beginnings of little round itchy patches on my hands. Hives, maybe? So sad as they are so pretty! :(



I haven't tried washing the gloves yet, to see if that helps, but they are a little tight across the palm and could probably have done with some more stitches being added there, so I may give them to a lady my parents know who was eyeing them up last night. She tried them on and clearly didn't want to take them off.

My Mum was also in love - she wants me to make her some but in a bigger size/gauge so that she can wear them over other gloves when walking the dog. Not entirely sure how I'll do those... probably go up a needle size and still add more stitches across the palm. Maybe 4 or 8 more. I'll pick up the 22 stitches for the thumb again, but not do as many decreases. So I'll cast on for those soon.

And to cheer myself up, I am going to go and cast on for my hoodie now. I wore the swatch tucked into my bra last night just to make sure I'm not going to have a reaction to this yarn :) Maybe I can make some more Evangelines out of that later.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Plans for the Holidays

As of today, I have two whole weeks off work. Super excited - it's the first time I've had 2 weeks off together since I left school and got married - 6 years. So, I've been planning all of my holiday knitting!

I was thinking that I might cast on for my CPH today but then it occurred to me that if I get started on that, I'm not going to want to make anything else. So I've got a few smaller projects that I need to get done and out of the way first, and then I'll start work on my hoodie.

Hopefully I'll finish my Evangeline gloves this weekend - there was a bit of the glove that looked a bit dodgy, which resulted in my frogging all the cabling I'd done back to the cuff - and it was three-quarters done, which is annoying. But hopefully I'll get them finished tomorrow.

My Mum popped round briefly today, so it was a chance to give her back the 5.0mm needles she lent me - felt slightly sad to see them go!

We don't celebrate Christmas ourselves (religious reasons) and neither do the immediate family on both sides, so there's no plans for presents etc, but what we are all doing is meeting up for a curry on Xmas Eve, which should be quite nice. We all love curry and I don't think we've been to the restaurant so I'm looking forward to it. Although I can't pretend I'm keen on spending lots of time with certain members of my family, I guess that's what Christmas is all about!

So, sitting down to watch the Strictly Come Dancing final, and then I'll see how much of my other glove I can get finished. Can't quite get it into my head yet that I don't have to go back to work on Monday...

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Started my CPH! Well, swatching at least...

Yup you got it! Last night during Stardust (I love that film! Robert de Niro dancing around in drag to the Can-Can has to be one of the funniest things ever) I started to swatch for my CPH. I dug out my 5.0mm inters and a cable and cast on.

Before I blocked it, I got 19 stitches and 24 rows to 4 inches (the rows was to 12 to 2 inches... just doubled it). I soaked it in some Soak and laid it out to dry on top of the tumble dryer.

Just gone and remeasured it now, and my gauge is.... 17 stitches and 24 rows! Yay! Spot on :) That's the first time EVER I've been able to hit gauge.

Miracles do happen!

I'll start on this once I've finished my gloves. Ironically, the colour of my glove yarn matches my hoodie yarn almost perfectly, so I guess I know what I'll be wearing with my finished CPH :)

Trev took himself off to A&E today as he'd been having some severe pains in his appendix area... thankfully it turns out it's not appendicitis, just a severe viral infection. Bless him.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Magic Loop!

I know I posted yesterday about attempting to magic loop my Evangeline gloves and I did indeed make progress!

Here was in the morning:


And here they are tonight!


All I've done today is the ribbing on the top and picking up the thumb stitches. All the rest was done yesterday and all done using the circ.

I've already decided I want more cables and needles - I'm going to want spares of some, and I need to get the other tips in the set. Also tempted to try some of the metal tips for some speedier knitting. Could come in handy for my CPH.

Anyway... made a lot of mods to the gloves that I'll explain when I finish the second one. Just so glad these fit me - I have big hands and making the effort to knit loosely and making my mods has really helped. Also, using magic loop has stopped the really saggy purl stitches you can sometimes get at the sides of cable panels.

Yay! I'm in love!

Unfortunately Trev bless him has been a bit worse today. Hope he perks up soon. Am working from home tomorrow so I can keep an eye on him :)

Sunday, 14 December 2008

What a day...

Well yesterday was a bit of a strange day. Trev has been struck down with "man-flu" for the last few days and so went to bed early on Friday night and slept through most of yesterday.

I had a rude awakening by the postman, who arrived bearing my new Knitpicks Interchangeables (yay!) but most of the rest of the day was spent nursing a very poorly hubby. So as a result I didn't get much knitting done, and haven't yet swatched for my CPH, which I was a bit nervous to do anyway as my new needles looked so dainty and delicate and I was worried about breaking them.

Anyway. Later in the evening, Trev collapsed whilst standing up, and once I got him sat down on the sofa, promptly fainted and was out for about 2-3 minutes - scaring the crap out of me because I couldn't wake him up. I called NHS Direct, who after talking to a nurse, decided to send an ambulance round.

So, somewhere between 11pm and midnight, we had a paramedic turn up, shortly followed by a 2-man ambulance crew, just in case we needed to take him to hospital. He'd been running a really high fever - he'd been burning up all day, with chest pain, and a severe headache.

The 3 men promptly started debating whether or not it was man-flu and whether they should shave Trev in order to attach the little sticky pads to him to do an ECG. After a lot of careful monitoring, they decided not to take him in, but I was left with strict instructions to call 999 in the morning if he wasn't better.

A lot of paracetamol, water and bedrest later, he seems much better, which is great. The 3 blokes did a really good job - I feel bad that they work 12 hours shifts (6pm-6am in this case) and after leaving us said they'd probably be off rounding up drunks all evening. Can't be a fun job. But I am extremely grateful for them coming round and taking good care of the mister.

So as I mentioned above, I had a little play with my Knitpicks yesterday, but not much. I'd ordered the little cable needles to go with them, which look super cute:


I was really worried about starting to use them for something chunky as they do look so dainty and delicate and the last thing I wanted to do was break them. So instead of starting to swatch for my CPH, I've decided to attempt something smaller, still for me, and try out Magic Looping at the same time. I've started a pair of Evangeline Fingerless gloves for myself in the Rooster Almerino Aran. Not made much progress on them yet, but hopefully will do today.


Here are some glamour shots of the needles:




Saturday, 13 December 2008

Finished Trev's Scarf

Yay! I am ashamed to admit that this has taken me 6 weeks, but I'm glad it's finally finished.


It's long, warm and soft. Blocking evened out the stitches beautifully, so where I had some wonky changes in tension between knitting sessions, it's now impossible to tell. I did notice during blocking though that this yarn does bleed a bit into the water - I found that when I washed all of Trev's hats last week, made from the same yarn. Plus they grew a bit, which I wasn't happy about.

The yarn isn't the softest in the world, but it's amazing what a few hours soaking in Soak will do for it.


In the end I bound the scarf off using Elizabeth Zimmermann's Sewn Bind Off which is meant to be very stretchy and great for ribbing. Which it is. However I think I bound off a little too loose, which has caused the edge to flare out slightly, but it's nothing too bad. At least I know for next time.


Overall, pretty happy! Back to selfish knitting now :)

Friday, 12 December 2008

I realised I forgot...

... to post pictures of the new yarn! Still no needles yet - really hope they'll turn up tomorrow.


It's probably a bit darker, more purply and less red in reality, but it doesn't do a bad job of showing off the yarn.

Been a busy few days, knitwise. Posted off Caroline's Fetchings yesterday - hopefully she'll get those soon. I'm waiting for my needles, and I finished Trev's scarf today - I'll blog about that over the weekend.

I've also been teaching a colleague to knit. We went to John Lewis to pick up some stuff a couple of weeks ago and we've been having one lesson a week during lunches at work. Needless to say EVERYONE who walks past laughs at us, but 3 or 4 female colleagues have expressed a desire to learn as well - especially when they see the Fetchings that I gave to her (the purple Cashmerino ones) and are told that they could make these too!

Last week we learned to cast on and knit, and today we covered purling and cables. I might knit a test swatch over the weekend to show her all of the basic stitches. I won't bother with increases and decreases because I don't know them myself yet and the KnittingHelp site explains it so much better than I could.

Have to go and take care of a sick hubby - he really isn't well today. Been feeling faint, dizzy... all sorts. He's occasionally coughing but generally just making really odd noises as he tries to sleep. Bless him. At least the cat is ok - Kooky went back for a checkup today and all is well.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Caroline's Fetchings

I posted these off to Caroline today - I took some photos of them whilst working at home yesterday.

I've already posted about the mods I made in another post, so this post will be just for pics :)

I blocked these gloves before sending them out, just to get the yarn to settle and to soften them up. Some of the colour bled out into the Soak water, but for some reason these photos have come out REALLY faded. In real life they're not like this at all - just as vivid as the Evangelines I started for her and the beanie I made.







Not looking too bad I think! Hopefully they'll keep her hands warm whilst she plays the piano.

I'd hoped my Knitpicks Interchangeables would have arrived today - hopefully tomorrow or Saturday at the latest so I can start to swatch for my CPH :) Then I have 2 weeks off over Christmas when I can start work on it and hopefully make some progress.

I'm looking at using short row shaping and a three needle bind off for the shoulders (based on info from Ravelry and Knitty), but I'm still trying to get my head around that. Can't decide which size to make either - either the 40 or 44 - 40 might be a bit snug as I'm a 38 round the chest, but 44 might be too big?

Finally, our Kooky bear was at the vets yesterday to have her teeth cleaned as they were in a bad state. She had to have a small tooth at the front out, but they're now pearly and white. It was quite cute watching her stroll around the flat like a drunk thing last night - swaying from side to side and falling asleep standing up. She didn't make a sound ALL night until I woke up early this morning to find her curled up on my tummy purring :)

She's been much more herself today which is lovely and she's currently snuggled next to me as I type - no she's not - she's off now Trev's gotten up to get a drink. She has got these funny little shaved bits on her chest and both her front legs where they must have taken blood or inserted the drip - looks quite weird!

Funny how worried you get about them - I couldn't relax yesterday and it wasn't the same here without her. Due to her age I was worried how she'd deal with the anaesthetic, but we'd paid for her to have blood tests prior and fluids during so she was fine. The vet said she was a star - very well behaved and pretty. Ironically, in the morning before the op, Kooky was sat facing the outside of the cage - to see what was going on. AFTER the op, she laid down with her back to everyone. Sounds like my baby! 100% stroppy. But that's why we love them. I think.

Right, I'm off to browse the latest issue of Knitty and maybe to go and re-watch Wall-E - and cry again.

Monday, 8 December 2008


Yay my yarn is here! For some reason Royal Mail delivered it at nearly 6pm tonight - despite there being a label on it that said "Redeliver Saturday 6th". Muppets.

I was so depressed about the lack of yarn this morning I bought myself a set of Knitpicks Interchangeable Harmony Needles (the full site) and a matching little set of cable needles - even though I'm going to try to learn to cable without using an extra needle.

The yarn is lovely - purple with bits of purple and red. I can't tell you how soft and snuggly it is because I haven't opened the clear packet yet that contains the 10 balls :)

Hopefully my needles will arrive in the next few days and I can start to swatch!

I feel like a right proper little knitter :)

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Consoling myself...

In advance of purchasing my Knitpicks Interchangeables (hopefully this week) to knit my CPH with my as-yet non-existent yarn, I treated myself to a present today.

I mentioned Ysolda's patterns in a previous blog post - besides knitting her Vivian hoodie pattern, I'd like to knit this pattern: Snow White. Sooo, four of my Great British Pounds were plonked down this afternoon and the pattern is now mine. Hope to print it off tomorrow and start to highlight the bits I need.

I may also buy the pattern for Vivian once I've finished my CPH, but I'll knit it after finishing Snow White and my CPH, so I don't have too much in my queue at once.

I also managed to get another WIP off the needles this evening. I finished off Caroline's Fetchings. As I thought I might, I had to start to rip back the second half-finished Evangeline to finish it off, but at least it's done now.

With these I added an extra stitch to the thumb on each side when picking them up, making a total of 19 stitches, then over the next 4 rows work 3 decreases to end with a total of 16 before binding off.

Wove in the ends as usual around the thumb, although the holes weren't so bad this time, due to the increased stitches being picked up. I bet this could be eliminated completely if I was to pick up yet MORE stitches.

The gloves are blocking now - hopefully I'll get to take some pictures in the daytime before posting them off to Caroline some time this week.

Back to the grind in the morning!

I hate you Royal Mail!

As hoped on Thursday, my CPH yarn arrived. Or rather, it would have arrived if one of us had been at home to answer the door. As it is, I came home to the red "While you were out" card that Royal Mail like to try and leave.

So, we called the number on the card to arrange a re-delivery - cue being left on hold for 10 minutes and getting fed up.

In the end, we decided to place the re-delivery request online - which we did. We asked them to re-deliver on Saturday when we'd both be home and I got an email back confirming this would happen.

Cue Saturday - no yarn. Not happy :( I wanted to start swatching for my CPH - well not swatching as such because I don't have the needles, but I wanted more new yarn to squish :(

At least on Friday I had a skein of Lion Brand Fun Fur arrive (because at least that could be shoved in our post box) which wasn't quite what I expected when it turned up... bit straggly and not at all how it looks in people's finished project photos.


Well I have something in mind for that - may work on it today, although I have about 5 WIPs that I need to finish...

I'm going to go and fondle my yarn colour chart... since it's the closest I can get to the real thing at the moment!


Thursday, 4 December 2008

Bought my CPH yarn!

My shade card arrived from the New Lanark Mill on Tuesday and so yesterday I ordered my yarn for the Central Park Hoodie.

I've decided to go for the Bramble colour in the 100% wool mix:

I did go slightly overboard and buy 12 balls - I should only need 9-10, but I want to add some more length to it and hope to have enough yarn left to make some matching gloves or something.

Am hoping it will arrive tomorrow (or maybe even today if I'm lucky) - came to less than £42 for all the yarn, including £6 for delivery. Bargain.

However I still need to buy my needles... something tells me I may have done my purchases in the wrong order. Oh well :)

My Rooster Almerino Aran also arrived yesterday. 6 25g balls in Spiced Plum so it works out to be 3 normal sized balls. I love this yarn - used a load of it in a baby blue colour earlier in the year. Just need to decide what to do with it now!


I seem to be developing a bit of a thing for purple... just as well it's "in" this season. First time I'll have ever done anything fashionable - intentional or otherwise!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Gone all Continental!

I made a discovery on the train home tonight. No, not that the trains are massively overpriced and overcrowded.

Oh no. (I think we all know that already.)

I discovered, that despite earlier attempts, I CAN knit Contintental! Woo!

I was working on Trev's scarf and getting sick and tired of how slow it can be to do 2x2 ribbing when you throw the yarn and so I thought I'd try it again, based on the videos I've seen on And I could do it!

Purling is much trickier, but I'm getting the hang of using the middle finger to push the yarn down so that you can pull it through the stitch. Working the first stitch is hard too - because pulling the yarn with the left hand twists the stitch round and makes it hard to work.

But now I just need to practise so I get a bit quicker.

Might actually manage to get Trev's scarf finished before the end of winter :)

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Found scrummy new yarn and patterns!

It hasn't been a particularly productive weekend (as I type this I'm watching Return of the Jedi - a measure of how much I've done). Slept in very late on Saturday, which I blame on the couple upstairs having a VERY loud and protracted argument that ended at about 5:30 in the morning. Was difficult to make out what they were yelling about (after all, if they're rude enough to argue this loudly and at this time of the morning, then we're rude enough to try and listen) but we heard several female shouts of "I hate you" in a particularly shrill voice - so I doubt very much they were arguing about what video to watch or what to make for dinner that night.

Anyway, as a result I got up somewhere resembling lunchtime and the day was gone before I realised. Didn't do any knitting... or anything. Spent most of the day on Ravelry where I was queueing things and discovering new patterns.

I've been eyeing up patterns designed by the lovely Ysolda Teague - have a look at her site here or look her up on Ravelry. She is super talented - recently turned 23 and a knitting wonder! I have to admit to being more than a little bit jealous :)

I found her through an online pattern magazine called Twist Collective, where in the latest issue she has a beautiful design called Vivan (Rav link here). It's a hoodie similar in style to the Central Park Hoodie that I want to work on, but kicks it up a notch in terms of complexity and cabling. Needless to say I won't be tackling this one for a while - but it's in my Ravelry queue. I don't think I'll be buying the recommended yarn - as gorgeous as it is, I balk at paying over £100 for the yarn for one item. I was hunting for some good substitute yarn, which brings me onto my second discovery of the weekend!

On Ysolda's blog, she talks about a visit to New Lanark and the mills and yarn to be found there. She also made a mention of it being CHEAP. Cue a visit to their shop! At the moment they stock some lovely organic Aran and DK weight yarn in scrummy colours. I've ordered a shade card to help me pick the colours I want for the projects I have this yarn in mind for:

  • Central Park Hoodie - the Aran weight yarn - possibly in Bramble, or maybe Heather
  • Snow White (a Ysolda design) - will go for the slightly more luxurious silk/wool Aran weight - not sure on colour
  • Vivian - when they bring out a bulky weight yarn (which I've heard they will) this should be the perfect weight for this project
I'm sure I'll be able to think of plenty of other uses - especially for the DK weight. And it's SO cheap! 100g of Aran weight yarn (approx 176yds) is only £2.95! I'm in love. Can't wait for my shade card to arrive because I'll then definitely treat myself to some CPH yarn. I've seen a few people knit it already using this yarn, so makes me feel a bit more confident.

Also debating whether or not I can afford to get my Knitpicks Interchangeable Needles this side of Xmas. We've decided to sell our Kings of Leon tickets for the gig at Wembley. I know :( I'm gutted. So desperate to go, but we can't really afford it. The extra money for transport and food etc for the night out, is a bit much, and tickets are currently going for a small fortune on eBay, so it makes sense. Kooky needs to have some work done at the vets, and so we need the cash. 

But there's always the chance for more gigs - that's what we're telling ourselves :) It would have been my first ever gig - alas, it's not to be. But if they sell for enough money I might have a little bit of yarn money, so there's definitely a silver lining here.

There is one other pattern from the Twist Collective that I have to share. It's the Sylvi hooded coat. (Rav link here.) I saw this and it screamed Little Red Riding Hood to me. Love it. Oh to have the knitting skills worthy of this and Vivian.

Started on the second glove for Caroline's Fetchings today, so will get as much of that done as possible. Might be able to finish off most of the rest during my commute tomorrow. Am also having a think about changing my blog name. Needs a lot of though, that one. The only other yarn-related thing I've done today has been to frog the neck sock I made back in August in order to use the yarn for something else. I though I had about 100 yards (was thinking Fetchings!) but after measuring it, I only have 57yds. Have cleaned it in some Soak, and it's hanging off the bedroom door with a hangar to weigh it down a bit.

Right, back to Star Wars. (Speeder fight scene just about to start - woo! Reminds of how fun this bit is on Lego Star Wars. Love that game)

Friday, 28 November 2008

Finished Fetchings!

Well they're finished, but I didn't give them to my niece. I gave them to a colleague at work who really liked them and has smaller paws than me.

Here are some pics I took of them finished - not in daylight unfortunately as I'm now out of the house during daylight hours during the week.




The actual colour of the gloves is somewhere in-between both sets of photos. I bound the second ones off as tightly to make them consistent. I did manage to get both gloves out of the single skein - with a few yards left over. Obviously if I managed to make these to fit ME, no doubt I'd need to go onto a second skein.

I started a second pair in the week. The extra yarn I needed to finish Caroline's Evangeline gloves (Rowan Pure Wool Aran in Cedar) arrived so I've started a pair of Fetchings from that for her too. (Many thanks to the lovely Viknits who also makes lovely yarn!) They're coming out MUCH better than the first pair (although the yarn doesn't work as well for them - cable definition isn't as good and they're not as soft) as I'm making a conscious effort to knit more loosely and the first glove (which I finished last night) is bigger and a better fit - must be nearly on the gauge.

If I don't have enough yarn to finish the second glove AND the Evangelines, I'll frog the Evangelines and just send her these, rather than both pairs. These have come out much better than the Evangelines and would rather send these if I have only have yarn enough for one.

Off to start the second now.

Sunday, 23 November 2008


I keep calling these Fetchings because I'm making 2 and it just seems right to say "Fetchings", although the pattern is called "Fetching". Anyway.


I started knitting these yesterday - took a bit of work and practise to work out what the "cable cast on" was. It has nothing to do with cables, but I really like the way the edge looks. I had trouble bringing the yarn through, so used a trusty crochet hook to help me cast on.

The crochet hook had to come out again when I realised I'd somehow managed to drop one of my purl stitches a few rows down. Managed to successfully retrieve it and carry on knitting, so it's all good. Getting there slowly but surely. Also finally starting to recognise when stitches are on the needles the right way, and when they are twisted.

Definitely my most successful project so far in terms of how it looks. I've only finished one glove but it looks lovely.





It looks lovely, but doesn't fit me very well. As you can see from the pictures below, the gloves are both short and too tight. The tightness at the top is definitely my fault - I followed what other people had done and did 9 decreases on the row before binding off, to make the top tighter. Like a numpty I then bound off very tightly too, hence the squeezing going on at the top.

I didn't swatch for these - and just went ahead and did them on 4.0mm needles. I don't know how much of the issue here is my gauge - whether it runs small like it does when I crochet, or whether it's my having huuuuuge man sized hands. Either way, I'll definitely knit these again, but I'll use bigger needles.

I think I've got more than half the ball left so I should have enough to make a second pair on bigger needles once I'm done with these.

I'll probably give these ones to my niece - she wanted some fingerless gloves after seeing me work on my Irish Hiking Armwarmers, preferably in pink, but I think she will like these.

Such a shame these don't really fit me, as I was looking forward to wearing them :( I need them to be looser and longer.

Evangeline annoyance!

I had initially planned to blog on Friday - the post was going to be called, "Why I Hate Commuting aka National Express are Bar Stewards". I was angry, needless to say. Let's say no more. What had no doubt added to my anger over the previous couple of days was running out of yarn for the Evangeline gloves I was making for Caroline.

Managed to get all the cabling done and then worked out that I would run out of yarn approximately 2 rounds before the end of the ribbing and without doing the thumb. So I probably need, about another 10 yards, tops. Super annoying. So I wasn't able to get these finished to give to her along with her hat on Tuesday. Thankfully she a) loves her hat, and b) has given me her address to post them to later!

I've found a lady on Ravelry who has some spare yarn which I am going to buy from her - so I should be able to get these done and also send her some Fetching gloves from the same yarn at the same time - so Caroline can pick and choose the ones she wants to wear.

I'm not desperately happy with how these have turned out... I feel like I've made loads of mistakes on them and that they don't look good. Hopefully a blocking will fix it all.

I've been working on other gloves this weekend and have an update to give shortly. But it's becoming very apparent that I either have issues with my gauge (too small), or that my hands are waaaay too huge for normal patterns. I think it's a combination of the two...

Sunday, 16 November 2008

This is why I hate knitting!!!

Grrr sod it! I have decided that this is why I might end up hating knitting.


In crochet, this is super easy. You frog a stitch at a time, so there's never the risk of the whole thing going irretrievably wrong. Unlike in knitting - at least for me.

Working on my second Evangeline glove today for Caroline (MUST be done by Thursday as that's when she leaves) and somehow, when I got on to the first cable row I managed to cross my cable to the front rather than the back. I blame Top Gear - I was rather engaged in the team trying to make some crappy Renault as fast as a Mitsubishi Evo 10.

In any case, I couldn't figure out how to fix it, and then frogged the whole thing. So I'm starting again.

I really need to get better with the whole "fixing my mistakes in knitting" thing. SOOOO easy in crochet. A nightmare in knitting.


Sunday, 9 November 2008

On a fingerless glove binge!

I thought I'd probably make some more Irish Hiking gloves at some point (which I will), but I'm a bit of a thing with other fingerless gloves in general.

I've always like the look of Fetching gloves (here on Ravelry, or here for non-Ravellers) and they looked pretty easy, so when Trev took me to John Lewis on Thursday night and said I could spend a bit of cash (awww bless him) I had planned to get a sock kit. But then I saw that the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino was only £4.50 or so, and they had dpns for only £2 a pair.


So I bought some and a pair of 4.0mm dpns and a cable needle. I also bought a pair of 4.5mm dpns to make a pair of Evangeline gloves using the yarn that will be left over from Caroline's beanie. Fingers crossed I'll have enough yarn to make a pair of the wrist length gloves.

So I finished the thumb on the first glove this morning!


They are a bit tight on me but I do have massive man-sized hands. Caroline's paws are smaller than mine, so hopefully they'll fit her well. First complex cables I've done - only my second ever cabled project, and second knitting project.

I'm not desperately happy with how the thumb turned out - there are holes at the side from the way the stitches are picked up - I've managed to hide most of it by weaving the ends in the right places. I also bound the thumb off a bit tight, so it is a bit snug, but if I can get them on my huge hands, Caroline should be ok.

Just hope I have enough yarn to do the second one! I do seem to generally have issues with binding off neatly, but I'm hoping a good blocking will ease the fit problems and some of the issues.

For some reason my purl stitches to the right of the cables are ok - nice and tight despite changing needles but the ones to the left are all loose and saggy - despite me pulling the stitches tight to stop this happening. Thankfully once they're on, you don't notice it because they stretch to fit anyway.

They are a bit shorter and tighter than they should be - which is probably a gauge issue. I didn't swatch for these - which I will have to do for Fetching, to make sure I don't run out of yarn.

Love fingerless gloves :)

First knitted scarf - taking forever!

I can't remember whether Trev said that he wanted a scarf to match his Greeny Beanie... well in any case, he did.

So, I've started knitting a 2x2 ribbing scarf for him in his 2 hat colours.

Seems to be taking ages! According to how long he says he wants it, it's about 1/3 done at the moment.

This is currently my commuting project - although it's been interrupted by a crochet project that I'm doing for a colleague who is leaving in a few weeks.

But here it is so far:


Trev really likes it, although he wishes I had more brown yarn left so that I could have done brown and green stripes, or something.

So this is using the Praline leftovers from Trev's 2 beanies, and it's using the ball and a bit of Sage, also from his beanies.

I want to hurry up and get this done, so he can use it before it starts to get super cold.

Irish Hiking Armwarmers

So much for blogging on Monday when I said I would... double ooops.

So, without further ado, here is my first knitted project! I love cables :)



I'm fairly happy with them - my seaming was crap (I hadn't given mattress stitch a go and just seamed these using back stitch) and I made a few mistakes with binding off on one of them.

For some reason as well, the second one feels a bit tighter than the first one, but I'm sure it will stretch with wear.

I wish these had a thumb, but I didn't have any dpns to do that with at the time - although I do now, so I guess I can add that in. I think I'd also do 2x2 ribbing instead of 1x1 at the top, and maybe add some ribbing at the bottom too.

Some of the stitching doesn't look great, but hey, they're my first pair :)

Onwards and upwards!