Tuesday, 16 June 2009

First Finished Endpaper!

Dead chuffed with myself as I've finished the first mitt. I took it on the train with me on Friday and did the top part of the ribbing on the train and bound off too. Wove in all the ends on the way home and did the thumb that evening. Voila:

First Vintage Endpaper

First Vintage Endpaper

They are a bit tight, and I don't like the way the pattern is a bit more stretched across the main part of my hand, but hopefully blocking will help this.

Didn't get to start the second one this weekend unfortunately. Been completely snowed under at work and I was working this weekend - clocked up a mighty 16.5 hours and nearly 60 for the whole week! Which left no time for knitting. Got a bit of spinning done while waiting for things to upload, so didn't feel entirely wasted. I'm taking Friday and Monday off in lieu, so hopefully can get the mitt done then :)

Nearly finished spinning the first lot of my orange merino! Amazed at how small the cop looks, versus the amount of top I've been spinning. I'm still not a massive fan of the colour, but other people seem to love it. As it's getting a bit warmer I'm felting the end of the roving slightly (oops) due to sweaty paws, but it still drafts well.

Been inspired by this post from Abby on her blog to try and pack my spindles a bit fuller and to experiment more with the shape of my cop. Going for a "pregnant" cop at the moment. Hopefully will get some pictures tonight when(if!) I finish spinning up the last bit.

Should have some new fibre from Limegreenjelly arrive today. I broke a month-long fibre diet to buy something on Saturday night as I think I deserved it after all the hard work I'd done! It's a lovely merino/angora mix - pics when it comes.

I also prepared for my next spinning project last night. Split my pink Shunklies merino into thirds to try and spin a nice 3-ply.

Shunklies - Flumps

Did a test last night - wanted it to come out about aran weight. If I'm lucky, it was DK. AAARGH! All I wanted when I began to spin was to be able to spin fine - now I want to spin the 9wpi yarn I was churning out in the beginning, I can't! So annoying.

And that's all for now! I have promised a pair of Endpapers to someone - I had an Australian colleague help me out with some work on Saturday night and since it's apparently very cold over there (I call 14 centigrade, spring-like, but I guess antipodeans never see much the wrong side of 20) she's in need of some fingerless gloves at work. I should have enough yarn to make a pair in the reverse colours - especially since she has teeny tiny hands and I'm only going to do Chart A once before moving onto Chart B.

OK - got to crack on with some work now - there'll be a post with more pictures this weekend, I promise!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Vintage Endpapers

Been a nice productive weekend! I initially wanted to do some work, to try and get myself a bit ahead for this week - but just thinking about it was stressing me out and I just really needed to relax. So I gave up and instead concentrated on my knitting :)

Finished the iPod Nano Sock last night - and realised that my Kitchener looked so awful on Otto's ears because I was doing it wrong. I kept alternating each move from one needle to the next, rather than doing the knit, purl on the first needle, and the purl, knit together on the second. Got it right this time and it looks good. So cute and tiny:

iPod Nano Sock

iPod Nano Sock

I also finished plying and washing the last of my Texel sock yarn today! I reskeined it etc this morning and it's now sat pretty alongside it's fraternal skein. I also took some pictures during the finishing process, so you can see how it went from curly mess to reasonable looking skein.

Cop on the spindle:

The Yarn Yard - Fibre Club March 2009

Wrapping the yarn in preparation for a bath:

The Yarn Yard - Fibre Club March 2009

The Yarn Yard - Fibre Club March 2009

The Yarn Yard - Fibre Club March 2009

The curly mess it became as soon as it was released from tension:

The Yarn Yard - Fibre Club March 2009

The Yarn Yard - Fibre Club March 2009

After drying:

The Yarn Yard - Fibre Club March 2009

You can see that even after drying it had some kinks and was still twisting, by about one full revolution - means I slightly overplied it. Whoops.

After reskeining it a second time, it became apparent that I have the same terrible yardage as the first skein - between 80-85 yards. The twist has really eaten this up!

Here's the 2 finished skeins:

The Yarn Yard - Fibre Club March 2009

Now to knit this up at some point! I'm much happier with the second skein in some ways. As you can see from some of the pictures as I'm getting it ready to tie, that the stripes look pretty good! When I finishing the 2 singles into my stranded ball, there was only a yard or so difference in both lots of singles - my best result so far.

And finally, what the post is all about - my new Endpaper Mitts! I cast on for these last night - took about 4 tries to get the tubular cast-on right this time - drinking wine and trying to watch Kill Bill 1 at the same time clearly didn't help!

I got about 4 rows done last night, but did the rest of the ribbing and looooads of colour-work today. These go quite quick - already I am up to Chart B - although it will be slower going now I've got to do the increases and pay more attention to the charts.

Vintage Endpaper Mitts

But I adore my colour combo and so far, they do fit! I did the ribbing with 2.5mm needles to give it more stretch and dithered over whether to do the colour-work with 3.0mm or 3.25mm needles. In the end I have gone with the 3.0mm needles again as I reckoned that any potential tightness can be fixed by blocking.

Don't know how quickly I'm going to be able to finish these. They aren't really a train project, esp as I don't have a print out of the chart, so I may have to do my best to finish this in the evenings and at weekends. Hopefully I can get the first mitt finished this week and can start on the second one this weekend. Just hope I can get my gauge to match so they turn out the right size!

It's a nice feeling when you feel like the weekend has been productive, yet restful. Been good! :)

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Endpaper Mitts

Well I cast on for my Endpaper Mitts last weekend! My yarn came on Saturday, which I obtained in a trade for my Antique Luxury Spinner's Set from Spindlefrog. The lady I swapped with offered to custom-dye some yarn for me. Whilst the pink/purple multi yarn came out a bit lighter than I thought, it still looked lovely:

Zitron Trekking Sock Yarn - Custom Dye

It took a loooong time to wind these into balls, I can tell you!

So I cast on for the Mitts last Saturday. The tubular cast-on went really well and did give a lovely finished edge on the 2.0mm needles as I hoped it would. However I found that the yellow wasn't contrasting enough when the pattern started to form:

Endpaper Mitts WIP

You can't really see it. So I took the really hard decision to frog and try again with some other yarn. I though a purple would make a lovely contrast colour, but I didn't want to mix yarn types, so I bought this yarn on Thursday morning and it came yesterday:

Rowan 4 Ply Soft

Rowan 4 Ply Soft (I'm so sad this has been discontinued) in Victoria and Tea Rose. I wanted something purple and pink and I think this colour combination is quite nice and elegant - not at all garish.

I did find the first Mitt I started very close fitting. I don't think I will do the ribbing this time on 2.0mm needles - I think I'll use 2.5mm to give it more stretch as I do have big hands. Then for the main part of the glove I am tempted to use the 3.25mm needles as I don't want them to be super tight. Snug is ok, but I don't want the circulation in my hands to be cut off!

So after frogging the gloves I kinda lost my knitting mojo this week, and Otto has stayed looking like this:

Otto WIP

Although he does now have ears, I've not been very motivated to start his arms and finish his face. Feel like I've made such a bodge job of the ears, but we'll see how he looks when finished.

So I reckon I'm going to turn both lots of that sock yarn, into socks! Been trying to find patterns that will work for my big, wide feet. Doesn't help that I have a problem with my calves swelling up at the moment too, which makes it harder to find socks that fit. But let's see how we go.

In the meantime, I wanted to try a smaller knitting project, just to get used to sock yarn and teeny needles. So I've started a little sock for my iPod Nano:

iPod Nano Sock WIP

iPod Nano Sock WIP

I also finished spinning up the last lot of singles of the Texel sock yarn, which is great! Just need to ply it and finish it now. It's suddenly occurred to me that I have rather a lot of projects on the go... so I'm deliberately going to try and not buy any more fibre and yarn until I've got some stuff done - with the obvious exception of the yarn which just arrived :)