Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Under the Hoodie

[Yay! It let me post pics]

This is how far I've got with Under the Hoodie from Stitch n Bitch - the tension square magically worked itself out once washed. I barely had to pin it - it just 'went' to the right gauge with little prompting. So I cast-on and am really enjoying this.

It's my first time with Addis, and knitting something 'proper' with circs - they really make knitting more portable, although as a 'pit-knitter', I struggled a bit initially.

Brenda Dayne's podcast this week had loads of fun ideas and news that grabbed my attention; like Innocent [the ethical smoothie-makers] requesting tiny hats for their bottles in order to raise money for Age Concern this Christmas - I think I'll take part in this - there's a pattern to knit them up with DK yarn.

She also podcasted about Knitting Pattern-a-day looking for designers for the 2007 edition of the pattern-a-day calenders. This looked like something I could definately get into, especially as it has a longer deadline [January 1, 2007] than Knitty's - which I'm never going to make!

Finally, she podcasted about a Yahoo knitting swap group which seemed like a great way for me to get my hands on some of that American yarn that I so covet ... mmmm...Socks that Rock, Knitpicks mmm...

Picture-less news

Since blogger is being a git and refusing to upload some pretty pics, you're just going to have to put up with a dull text post instead.

So - I've just ordered the first copy of a new UK knitting magazine "Yarn Forward Magazine" Since Kerrie Allman of Magknits is behind this I'm very excited to see what pops through my door!

I could lie and say that Blogger won't let me update this weeks cupcake pictures - Rocky Road Cupcakes - from Cupcakes Galore! but the truth is Evil Estrogen and her pal PMS sabotaged my efforts. They were supposed to take 20 minutes to bake - after 40 minutes they still weren't ready. I'm afraid I lost it a little and 'punished' them to death by burning them into rocks. I was found by the boy in the kitchen crying and knocking on them to illustrate their rock-like state.

He still ate them though - bless him.

I ordered the yarn for Central Park hoodie - Cascade 220 in shade 9430 [see below post's pics], which looks like a variety of foresty greens depending on which online shop photos I look at ... Hopefully it should be there when I get home tonight - just in time to tension square & cast on for the start of the Central Park Hoodie KAL [knit-a-long] tomorrow!

A final paragraph for this post ... knitty-ish t-shirt on Threadless - cool huh? Found by the boy.

Friday, August 25, 2006

deep deep joy!

Thank you everybody who responded on my blog and the many forums that I cried for help on! I have done much researching of substituting and the muddy fog has cleared to a bright sunshine day of understanding! This is what I have learned:
C220 = Cascade 220 / TDT = Tahki Donegal Tweed

Substituting - tips for success:
Weight - Stick to the same weight yarn [i.e. stay with aran / worsted / DK etc] for maximum ease and avoidance of extreme maths in pattern alteration.
C220 = worsted weight / TDT = worsted weight Check!

- This one foxed me the most! How could something with the same stitches per inch, same needle size and same weight have a different length!?
Explanation - different wools, cottons, blends etc are heavier than others. So althought they are both wool - they are from different animals - TDT must be from an animal with a heavier coat as there is less yardage per gram!

Different yardage to the gram means that the FO will be physically heavier or lighter - the greater the difference the greater the likelihood that the FO will not 'hang' right. I think I'll be OK though with this one.

Yardage must be equal or more, or I will run out of yarn before the end.

TDT has 183 yards / 167 metres per skein.
It calls for 7 skeins [in my size] therefore 183 yards / 167 metres multiplied by 7 equals 1281 yards / 1171.3 metres. [it's not hard maths!]

C220 has 220 yards / 200 metres per skein.
Therefore 1281 yards / 1171.3 metres divided by 220 yards / 200 metres equals 5.8. Which means I need 5.8 (or 6!) skeins plus 1 extra for luck! Check!

Fibre - If the pattern is wool, stick with wool. If it's cotton, stick with cotton. Generally anyway - it's all to do with drapes and how it hangs ....

TDT and C220 are both wool check!

- make sure the ply is the same - apparently if you use single ply when the pattern is 2 ply it can make huge differences to the FO.
TDT and C220 are both 'plied' according to yarndex, which I figure means that it OK, so check!

Tension / Gauge
- the final hurdle - make sure these match. As both balls state 18 stitches equal 4 inches / 10cm using 5mm needles then check!

Woo-hoo! Now .... which colour do I choose!

I can make Central Park Hoodie for £34.93 buying C220 from getknitted!

I am so happy, happy, happy!

Under the Hoodie saga continues ... all I have discovered is that for the pattern to work I must not be more than 0.5 of a stitch outside the designated tension requirements. I'm 1.5 stitches out, so will continue knitting my swatch and then wash it and block that mother up to size!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Help!! The technical post ...

Ok .. I'm having a tension nightmare!

No. 1: Under the Hoodie [SnB] - my first venture with the Addi Turbos [so divine to knit with it brings tears to my eyes!] The tension required is 19 sts to 10cm with 5mm. I have 20.5 sts to cm. I have done a tension square ... but I haven't washed it yet. Should I go through this process, or should I get 5.5mm addis and try again?

The sleeves I knitted from scarf style with the same yarn [Kid Classic] 'grew' on me quite a bit. I can fix it with blocking, but not much.

I dont know what to do when the tension doesnt match! It was much less stressful when I didn't swatch ... but Rowan Kid Classic costs so much I can't afford not to!

OK - tension headache No. 2 concerns Central Park Hoodie (pictured below) from this seasons Knitscene - I saw this pattern within it's pages at Woolfest and snapped it up, knowing I had to make this!

It calls for Tahki Donegal Tweed : 183 yd (167m) / 110g - Tension 17 sts & 24 rows = 4 inches.
I thought that Cascade 220 from Getknitted would work, but when I went to buy it tonight I realised that the meterage is all off. Cascade 220 has the same sts per inch but it has 200m per 100g.

My question is; is this OK? As long as I make sure that if the pattern calls for 7 skeins x 167m - as long as I have the same or more and the tension matches, that this will work?

But what does it mean? Is my yarn too thin if it has an excess meterage? Will it be 'gappy' - probably not cos the sts per inch matches. If the sts per inch match how can the meterage be different!?


And, finally - hoodie scarf. Pattern here [PDF]. I love this! At a recent SnB in Mono, Nicola and I were looking at the hemp-y veggie clothes, and came across a fleece version of this, which we both loved, and simultaneouly started thinking about how it could be adapted into a knitting pattern. Viola! Diana has beaten us to it, and taken the hard work away!

Just because

Just because he's so cute, and he hasn't been well for a couple of days and I was worried about him and couldn't get him out of my mind. (He seems OK now - yay!)

New stuff!!

Some fabby Wool of the Andes from Knitpicks, courtesy of my American yarn-enabler Lasandri [check out her site - she has a crocheted be-heading necklace - when worn it makes you look like your head's been severed - genius idea with Halloween just round the corner!]

$1.79 per 50 gram ball - worsted weight 100% Peruvian Highland Wool - isn't that insanely cheap! It's lovely and soft too - I bought it thinking about a bag, but now I'm thinking mittens or armwarmers.

AND ... my first Addi Turbos! Woo-woo! they are so beautiful to behold - I can't wait to cast-on "Under the Hoodie"!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes

No cupcakes last weekend - evil migraine took up my weekend. I just defrosted the rest of my Lamingtons instead - they froze very well. Tasted like I'd just made them once they were defrosted.

So this weekend it was Lemon Meringue Pie Cupcakes from Cupcakes Galore by Gail Wagman [p. 26]

It was a humid day on Sunday. Step 2 involved placing 'lemon cream' in a glass bowl over a pan of bubbling hot water and stirring constantly for 20 minutes until 'smooth and thick' ... 20 minutes later lemon cream still has consistency of milk and I'm roasting and muttering to self "define 'stirring constantly'! is that stir fast or stir slow?" It seemed to thicken slightly if I stirred slowly, so I tried that for a bit.

Then I stirred slower, taking quick 10 seconds breaks for ice lolly as I was sweating by now standing over the hot cooker with the preheated oven below giving it's own heat. Another break to remove socks and then jeans.

With nowhere to tuck my iPod, I tucked it into my pants.

At this point [have been stirring for 30 minutes] the boy walks in, does a double-take and helpfully says "we should have just bought lemon curd" ... grrr!

So it takes 40 minutes of slow stirring to get it as thick as I can be arsed with.

As you can see, the rest went like a dream - I actually managed to get meringues thathad peaks and everything! It tastes divine, and when scooping out the cupcake cores to fill with lemon cream you get a plate of cores, plus the usual too much mix by about 50%, so that makes a fantastic 'mini-treat' whilst waiting for the cupcakes to cool!

The mix made exactly the right amount of cupcakes - too much meringue and lemon cream though - so I'll probably 1/2 the recipe for those when I make these again.

Till next weekend ... happy cupcaking!

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Oh yes! The blanket is 'officially' done! It is currently blocking [a practice I can rarely be arsed with, but this is a present for a baby ... ] using a method that a fellow SnB'er found on the Yarn Harlot's blog called: "Walk around the Block"

I did briefly think of not bothering with this - sewing a thread up all the edges *sigh* and it took so long that I thought the blanket was going to be dry by the time I finished.

I was halfway through when I had a panic about the pastel green cotton that I was using - what if it bleeds with the damp blanket? Those knitters who do tension squares probably would have had the patience to pull out what they had done and re-thread the blanket using white cotton instead.

I couldn't face it. Goody-two-shoes knitter on my shoulder was whispering 'it took you so long to finish this blanket - are you really telling me that you're prepared to risk it all over the 30 minutes it'd take to start again?'

Lazy-arse knitter on the other shoulder won - with her reasoning that any dye-transference could be fixed with a pretty crochet edging.

So far it's still looking OK ...

It felt a bit like I was back in the girl guides tying up all the strings to the pins at the corner; round and under, through the next pin , round and under ...

But it's so 'neat' and straight - I keep turning to look at it more as I type this. Plus it's added a few centimetres to the blanket's size!


The first sock done! DK pattern and Schoeller & Stahl Limbo Color Col: 2539 - bought from Web Of Wool at Woolfest [they have just updated their website by the way - it's great]

I'm totally in love with this yarn! It's like TV white snow but in glorious technicolour. It pains me to stop halfway through - although I have cast on the second sock and done a few rows just to avoid SSS. As it's DK yarn it goes so much faster - and is lovely, cosy and autumnal.

The middle pic is my very first shot at kitchener stitch ... it was doubly-hard as I didn't really understand *what* kitchener stich is. I didn't realise until I saw a finished pic somewhere on the internet that it's a stitch that makes it look like there is no join - just knitting continued around the toe.

Mine doesn't look like that ...

But it's fantastically comfortable, and sock #2 will be better!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Under the Hoodie

My next project is going to be 'Under the Hoodie' from Stitch n Bitch I have waited a long time for John Lewis to start stocking their winter yarns as I have [had!] a voucher from my work colleague for my birthday just waiting to spend.

Well I popped into JL last week for some electronic scales for my cupcakes - after picking myself up from the floor after reading the price I thought I'd amble up to the yarn section.

I believe I may have lost my senses and my mind a bit - I saw some sparkly Rowan Romance, some Rowan Tapestry soy yarn in self-striping colours. I cannot find a nice internet pic of Tapestry but I can assure all of you unable to *touch* it that it is about 300% lovelier in the flesh than any picture on the internet.

I have little recollection of the visit, other than occasionally moaning to myself as new and glorious yarns appeared in my vision. When I came to I had an arm full of Kid Classic and had lost the ability to do the maths required to figure out how much it was going to cost me [I no longer cared anyway]

So my colour choices are;

I think I'll probably go with this as it's so *warm*

or the grey?

or the ice blue?

I have arranged the balls in the stripe order of the jumper.
Whaddya think? I'm still getting the circs I need [my first Addi Turbos - woo!] and have also imposed a restriction on personal knitting until after the 9th September [which is my next stall] as I have iPod cosies to knit...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

SP thanks :)

And I received my final SP parcel this week! Yay :)

Some beautiful Surina 8mm - nice and long for a 'pit-knitter' :) and some Australian 4mm needles "hand crafted from a unqiue blend of all natural materials to create the luxury and feel of real ivory" which look like a dream to knit with - I'll keep you posted. I've never seen needles like these before - see here for the website.

She also sent this poster entitled "Scots Fisher Girls Great Yarmouth 1902" which is inspired considering she is from that area and I'm a Scots girl. I have hung it up in my craft room above the table I work on.

Brilliant ideas - I am ever so grateful to you SP for all the hard work and thought that has gone into spoiling me. Despite my unexpectedly receiving a SP from England, I have received SP gifts that I would have never been able to get myself or even have seen before! She has gone out of her way to ensure that I am spoiled rotten - I can only hope that my SP is as happy as I have been with the SP experience...

Thank you again SP - I cannot wait to find out who you are!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

and the rest ...

I had an 'accident' in Amazon - I blame the 'One Click' system that they have for making it far too easy to purchase yet more knitting books.

Yarn Harlot : The Secret Life of a Knitter by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee had me in absolute stitches. Lying in bed reading about her adventures upon finding a moth had me laughing [under my breathe as the boy was sleeping] so hard that the entire bed was shaking ... a total hoot.

I also got Hot Knits which is full of funky [and also a few not-so-funky] jumper designs - my fav by far is a green intarsia jumper - although I have yet to tackle intarsia without crying & frogging, but soon...

And finally, a big thank you to Kathleen for finding these adorable cupcakes papers - I can't wait to find the right cupcakes for these - I think Christmassy ones will be the ones. They're fabulous!

SP thanks

Opal sock yarn, sea salt soap bar, Surina dpns and amazing gift tag.

Thank you thank you Secret Pal for my giant box of goodness that arrived this weekend - I love the colourway on the sock yarn very much, and Surina dpns!! I coveted these deeply at Woolfest but resisted - and as we are prone to do - regretted not purchasing them on the journet home.

And attached to my lovely Surinas was this adorable gift tag - this sock is THE cutest, and I have planned a knitting bag for my meets that will contain a clear pvc panel at the front behind which will lie this teeny-tiny sock. It must have taken ages and huge amounts of patience to knit.

I also brought the beautiful scarf along to my Stitch n Bitch group meet this afternoon and everyone ooh'd and aah'd over it :)

Thank you again SP - you've made the experience so enjoyable for me :)