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.

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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

Fetching!

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.

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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.

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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.

Frogging.

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.

Poop.

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.

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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!

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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:

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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 :)

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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!

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Monday, 3 November 2008

Ooops

It just occurred to me whilst I'm sat here at work typing, wearing my new knitted fingerless gloves/armwarmers, that I haven't blogged about said gloves! I took a ton of pics of them the other night but somehow have completely forgotten to blog about them.

Oh dear.

I will do that later - maybe at lunch if I get the chance, otherwise once I get home tonight. They've turned out ok - not 100% happy with them, but they are my first knitted project, so I can't expect them to be wonderful. The yarn isn't great either and is getting all fluffy etc after a bit of wear.

My niece wants me to make her some in pink - I need to see if I have a suitable yarn kicking around somewhere. The only yarn I do have, I think might be a bit too chunky...but I'll see what I can think of. (Plus it's a nasty acrylic and I don't know how well that will knit up on plastic needles...)

Currently working on the scarf for Trev - it's probably about 25-30% done (he wants it to be long) and this is helping to wile away some of the time on my commute. My tension is coming out a bit funky... i.e. not great, but hopefully this will improve the more I do.

Anyhow this was only meant to be a short post because I'm working (or meant to be!). Double oops...