Saturday, 30 October 2010

WIP: Man Socks

Lymond Socks?
This is my latest WIP. My husband discovered all his hand knit socks were in the laundry and it was cold outside and he was sad. He requested more socks and despite the fact that his feet are a foot long (pun intended) and hand knit socks therefore take ages I agreed. He picked his yarn (Shetland/nylon 80/20 sock kettle dyed in two stages to give a glazed look, dyed by me with food colouring), he specified his sock requirements (plainish with a subtle ankle cable), we looked at Ravelry for patterns and couldn't find anything.

So I hit the books and found a lovely ribbed cable and put together a sock pattern for myself. I've adapted the cable to work in the round and done Hard Sums to make sure the right bits of the cable continue down the  instep and the rest gets absorbed in to a twisted rib heel.

The picture above was taken yesterday under less than ideal conditions and with a less than ideal camera.

Having asked about on Ravelry there seems to be some support for having these available as a proper pattern so I will write these up and publish it, probably in two sizes. The working title is Lymond Socks after my new favourite book character

I have also started a test knit for Fickleknitter which is a lovely lace triangle shawl with a knitted on border. I'm knitting it in YarnAddict Fantasy Sock which is like knitting kitten fur it's that soft. Progress pictures to follow when I've taken some in decent light

Monday, 25 October 2010

Finally finished featherweight

In terms of knitting time this was more of a heavyweight. Also I stand very badly and my new phone doesn't have as good a camera as my old phone. Still, it's finished. I was starting to think it never would be.

This is my Featherweight Cardie (pattern by Hannah Fettig aka Knitbot) in recycled lambswool laceweight from a M&S jumper. It weighs an enormous 80g so will be ideal for travelling and looks far better IRL than in that photo. I wore it to work today and it was much admired. I've been trying to decide how many compliments it will take to outweigh the boredom of the knit and it's definitely a lot. This was definitely a product not a process knit but at least it's finished and I can make a start on something new.

The something new will be some socks for my husband who has picked the yarn from the stash (hand dyed turquoise Shetland/ Nylon 4ply) and made his request (ankle cable only) and so I've picked a lovely ribbed cable pattern from Vogue Knitting: the Ultimate Knitting Book and will make a start in the next few days.

In other news I have put Mizzle out for a formal test so that pattern should go live after November 16th. I'm sketching for a couple of new patterns but struggling to get anything just right at the moment. Inspiration isn't being accompanied by patience unfortunately.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

I did say quilting was quicker...

My first quilt top
So as I said earlier today I wanted a second hobby that gave more instant gratification than knitting. Well you can't get much more instant than this. Since my earlier blog post these pre-cut squares (Moda Dea Fandango) have been washed, ironed dry, arranged, sewn into strips, seams ironed, strips sewn together, seams ironed flat again to create my very first quilt top. It's not hand sewn as I summoned my courage and got out the sewing machine.

Now to buy backing fabric and wadding. I'm thinking of doing the binding edge by folding over the backing rather than a separate binding strip but I might yet change my mind.

I'm rather pleased with myself!

A new hobby

Fat Quarters from the Viking Loom
Although I do really enjoy knitting sometimes it takes so very, very long to get things finished (see the Stripy Jumper of Doom and the Featherweight cardie) and it can be very nice to do something where I can make quicker progress. You might say "try crochet" and I know that crochet is much quicker than knitting and still the yarn family of crafts but I can't crochet. I really can't crochet. I'm not being difficult it's just that my wrists don't like it and my hands think it's weird. They just won't crochet. The most I can manage is a crocheted seam. The way the fabric is constructed makes no sense to me. So it's a definite no to crochet despite liking some of the beautiful patterns by Doris Chan and the colourful projects that Lucy churns out at an amazing rate over at Attic24.

So I'm turning to quilting. Quilting looks like it's not too hard, there's scope to be creative, there are some quite gorgeous fabrics and the end product is useful. And it doesn't take too long. I have a book of weekend quilting projects and some fat quarters from the Viking Loom in York. I've since acquired a layer cake from The Little Fabric Store and Lily has been kindly giving me advice about quilting over on Ravelry.

So my planned quilting project is a lap quilt for my mum for Christmas all hand sewn (my sewing machine is intimidating - a vintage electric converted Singer that could be used in a strong man competition it's that heavy)  using some of the Moda Dea layer cake in Fandango and quilted with buttons rather than sewn quilting. This plan might change quite significantly and I'm getting her books as a fall back position

Monday, 11 October 2010

Posh Primrose

Evening Primrose
Please forgive the messy bookcase although if you're an avid peruser of other people's books then feel free to zoom on in. The bear is called Bear and roars like a dinosaur as the Build a Bear workshop was out of growls

So this very pretty thing is my finished Evening Primrose test knit for Wonk who is producing an e-book of her wonderful accessories (patterns also available individually). I've admired Wonk's work for some time so jumped at the chance to test this for her. I used my precious skein of Posh Sylvia 4ply in Anywhere but Here which suits the pattern perfectly so I'm glad I stopped 'saving it for something special' and used it for something very special.

So keep an eye out for Wonk's e-book, it will be well worth the wait

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Ally Pally

Ally Pally bus shelter
So you know it's going to be a good show when you see a bus shelter decorated as a tester bed.

It was my first time at the Ally Pally Knitting and Stitching Show. I went to Harrogate last year and Birmingham two years before that. I was expecting it to be big, busy and full of woolly goodness and I wasn't wrong.

Some highlights were the lovely lady on the Making Magazine stand, and the stunning and very well dressed ladies at Arbour House, the 10g for 50p random skeins on Colinette, and the Yorkshire Book Company (like book companies used to be...)

And the biggest highlight was the distinct lack of papercrafting stuff. So nice to have a knitting and stitching show that was all about knitting and stitching (and crochet)

The biggest surprise was how restrained I was, especially in comparison to my sisters who each came away with two jumpers worth of yarn and some other stuff although that was because they fell into the Black Sheep yarn mountain and I live quite close to Black Sheep so can visit them at any time. Here's my haul

Ally Pally Haul

That's Knitted Lace of Estonia at the back, and then from left to right: some pretty vintage style ribbons, a normal sized skein of Jitterbug in Popsicle, a smaller skein of Jitterbug in Fire (I think), a small skein of Art, 250g of aran weight wool/mohair and lurking at the back is a Zauberball Laceweight in Cranberries.

I was very, very good - not least because I had a delivery of Ethical Twist DK wool/alpaca from Kemps last week...

On the needles:

My Featherweight Cardie is taking shape. I'm knitting the collar at the moment and then have the sleeves to do. It's looking pretty good so far but I will be pleased when it's done. It's not been an interesting knit but it will be a useful garment. It's taking a short break whilst I do a test knit for Wonk on Ravelry which is...
Evening Primrose in Posh Sylvia 4ply

...not photographing well at all. It's really pretty in real life. It's an end to end (or side to side depending on how you look at things) scarf that forms a wide crescent shape with a deep lace border. It's knit in Posh Yarn Sylvia 4ply in 'anywhere but here'. I love this yarn. It's got wonderful stitch definition and an amazing subtle colourway. It looks a bit washed out here for which I blame a new phone and therefore a new camera that I've not worked out and the rare Manchester sunshine. I'll take better pictures when it's finished. The pattern will be in Wonk's new ebook when it's released and is called Evening Primrose