Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cabling along ...

This knitter is very tired from a jam-packed weekend involving finding an outfit for a "formal dress wear" event (gah! where to begin? I'm a girl who wears no make-up and is always found in handknits, jeans and trainers...), to gardening, to blocking current progress on Central Park Hoodie number 2.

I'm fairly whingy at the moment since my back hurts from crawling around in shop changing rooms repeatedly taking trainers on and off, crawling around in the mud gardening and finally, crawling around on the floor blocking a bigger version of a cardi to go around my widening hips *sigh* so I will try to keep this short and sweet.

I'm proud to say that I have managed to complete the back, left front and right front. I'm on sleeve number 1 now. It's been 2 weeks exactly since I cast on. Considering both weekends have been pretty much full of non-knitting time, with one thing and another, I think I've done quite well.

I'm confident that I can complete a (buttonband-less, hood-less) jumper or cardi pattern for the knitting olympics this year.

I love how the cables form from the ribs - so elegant...

There was much more to show and tell, but it will have to wait ... every word I type is deleted and retyped due to the number of tiredness-related spelling mistakes. And so I will go for now.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Firing through the wips

Ta-da! Summertime Tunic is finished! I bought two ribbons for it; a brown velvety one, and a pink gingham one. I love the length, and fit - thankfully, because I couldn't face trying it again. The round and round of the stocking stitch meant that my motivation waned frequently and this project took 8 months to complete.

My second finished project is a neck-warmer. I made it from Posh Yarn's Alice handspun hand-dyed cashmere. I think it's probably the most sumptious yarn I've ever knit with. It only took me two days - cast on 90 stitches and knit until the skein was complete!

I realise that this isn't on my list of wips to complete before the Beijing Olympics, but I had to take a luxury yarn project break.

We were in Oban last week - really lovely place. I dropped by Wool and Needlecraft - it's a great place to get buttons. They had some stunning yarns that I hadn't seen before - not the usual baby acrylic that most small town yarn shops seem to hold.

We were eating our chips in the car, next to the sea. (What else would one have for dinner after visiting a Sea Life Sanctuary?) It appeared that we had caught the attention of the locals ... there was one of the fence in front, one on the bonnet, and one on the car roof of the cars next to us.

The boy thought it would be fun to step out of the car and throw some of our leftover chips at them ...

... at which the two gulls next to my window screamed at every gull on the west coast "free chips, this crazy city boy is giving away free chips!!!!" ...

... about a million gulls appeared from nowhere, crapping all over the car in their excitement as they gave chase to the boy, who was running towards the rubbish bin in a state of shock and fear. I sat in the car just about crying I was laughing so hard.

And finally, another wip has begun. Central Park Hoodie number 2 in a bigger size. I realise that I'm not supposed to be starting anything new, but all I have left is a crochet wrap, pinwheel sweater and luna moth shawl. I've decided that I need something new. I must have something else to knit before I lose my knitty mind.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Glasgow Socks complete!

The sock recipe is complete! A Bosnian toe, a turkish heel and Elizabeth Zimmermann's sewn cast off make a lovely snug sock. The pattern was adapted from Lucy Neatby's Cool Socks, Warm Feet.

I say adapted ... what I mean is adapted with many, many froggings, swear words, loss of heart and lots of tears.

I increased the toe to 80 sts initially; too big. 70 sts for the next attempt. It occured to me on the 2nd attempt that I'd made a pair of Lucy Neatby socks before - maybe I should go and see how many stitches I had for that pattern, as they fit really well. They had 60 stitches ... another frogging.

For a while there I was off - round and round to the afterthought heel. Waste yarn added without a problem.

The heel. Oh the heel. First attempt too big. Tried the second, smaller attempt on the second sock. Too small. Now both socks need their heels frogged and an in-between sized heel added. At least the after-thought heel made this relatively easy, but I was starting to lose hope at this point.

Finally, heels that fit! Now, onto the cast off (both socks were sitting on waste yarn while I used the needles for the heels).

Cast off as normal. Way, way, way too tight.

Cast off one socks with needles 1.25mm bigger. Too tight - can pull on at a push, but cutting off shin circulation *sigh*

Frog back a row on other sock; knit last row and cast off with the bigger needles. Tighter than previous attempt ... what the [insert expletive of your choice here] is going on here!!

Consult the oracle of the toe-up sock for advice and try Elizabeth Zimmermann's sewn cast off. Advise boy to leave the room before trying the socks on.

Perfect fit!!

Why is she taking pictures of her feet and not paying attention to me!? Very well, I shall bite her stupid socks *receives smack and scream from sock owner* ...

... I wonder what'll happen if I bite these? *another scream*

Fun at the New Lanark Mill on Monday. This was the walk to the Falls of Clyde and the nesting Peregrine Falcon at the end. Here I am below, looking all up for it, and stylish in my new fancy wellies...

... which were crafted by evil and far too narrow for my big boat feet. Every step back down was like razor blades on my poor footsies. It was 4.35pm, we were still walking back to the mill and I hadn't yet been to the New Lanark gift shop to score some yarn. Hysteria was setting in. Torn between walking faster and literally shearing my toes off, or walking slower and not getting yarn.
There was a point where the pain almost won, and a fleeting thought of "screw the yarn" may have crossed my brain, but it passed a nanosecond later.

I made it with 15 minutes to spare and dragged my limping, sobbing self over to the yarn, which was (of course) at the far end of the shop. Bought 20 balls of DK for £20.00 - it was worth it!

And these final two shots (both taken by the boy) were of Vane Farm - a lovely sunny hot day. I didn't wear my wellies, and had a great day.