Friday, 30 November 2012

What else?

So what are these other things you say?  

Well a while ago a friend gave me some yummy Berroco Flicker and though it took a while to decide what I will do with it, I eventually decided that there might be enough for a vest, with a little help, help from the very similarly designed Berroco Voyage.  Voyage is just the tiniest bit heavier than Flicker and doesn't have the lovely slipperiness of Flicker.  I'm not sure why but they really are quite different creatures to work with.  The weight difference doesn't seem to be an issue because I am knitting to the same gauge and the Voyage is only on the outer edges.

The last time you saw it it looked like this.  

At the time, I was working the edging in one fell swoop.  I also had about a half a ball of the gray unused.  I wasn't marking corners, just getting a little cocky, I guess, and they were awful.  Truly awful.  I don't think there was a single solitary increase that was done in the same point on the corner.  One set was about 4 stitches away from the closest of the rest of them.  Ugly and I know me better than this.  If I want a point, use a marker.  I can do the fancy lace stuff, mostly without markers, but a simple stack of increases.  Nope.  Zip.  Nada.  

It had to come out.  I decided that since this is a project that is going to come as close as I will ever be to using up all the yarn for it, I was going to use that last bit of gray and knit it just slightly longer.  Next I decided to knit the bottom trim only on the bottom and do the neck edging last.  And next, I changed how I was going to finish it.  I originally intended to do a nice proper hem to accentuate the smooth elegance of the yarns, 

but I really wanted the length.  

I've opted to knit as much as I could and finish the edge with a 3 row reverse stockinette section to stop the hem from rolling and then a 4 row stockinette part to roll.  It seems counter intuitive but it gives me the maximum length and just a hint of a roll, enough that it looks finished and trim and neat.  

I am going to have to go back and rework the garter stitch edging I have on the armholes, but that is not a problem.  The garter stitch was only a stop gap, till I saw if I had enough yarn to do the originals plans hem thing on them.

The bottom is fully bound off now, and I am going to re work the last bit of the sleeves, and then the button band, which is going to be as wide as I can possibly make it.  I'm thinking trim as narrow as the sleeve edging around the neck and on the 'button' fronts as wide as I can go.  This will of course mean I am going to be playing with it a bit, but that is just fine with me.  

This one is substantially done, and from here on in, its just fun!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Getting Night terrors

I was one of those kids who had night terrors.  My dad always tries to figure out what happened that I had them, but I think it is just the way some of us are wired.  
As an adult, I have occasionally had them.  Wake up to an absolutely dark room and can't breathe, can't move and can barely function for fear.  Oh my yes.

But as a knitter?  Maybe not night terrors but before I started this grand knitting adventure, nobody told me there would be so many things fraught with worry and on occasion, abject terror.  

I had taken back the stitches on the olive green sweater I am making for daughter 1, and was re-orienting the stitches before starting knitting again, when all of a sudden I felt something snap and felt an incredible ease come into the needle.     

There was the instant blue haze of terror, and about 3 seconds later, I knew what it was and knew the yarn wasn't going anywhere. Imagine if it was silk! All those stitches would have been undone.  This is one of the reasons I love wool.

The tip had broken off of my only set of metal 3.25 mm needles long enough to make a sweater.  I might have one more shortie and one in wood in that size, but those are both busy at the moment.    

I usually have a replacement, or alternative, but not this time.  I am going to have to buy a needle. That just doesn't happen often anymore.  There is always a needle around with the interchangeables, but this tip falls outside the range of the interchangeables.   Its going to take a couple days to get to the yarn store to find one.

I am going to get some suitable epoxy because I think this one can be usable again, but it has shown me that there to really be comfortable, I need want another needle in that size. Its going to take another day or so to get the repair organized.   I am already hating the wait.

It almost put a kink in my knitting for my lunch hour, but luckily I had a project along that needed some pulling back to get rid of the most atrocious set of corners on the planet.  I did it and started knitting on it.  I'll show you that tomorrow when there is a little more to see.

Maybe not night terrors, but it could be if not for one important thing.  WIPs  And people ask me why I have so many.  Well, here you go. Reason number 1,032.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

If this is Wednesday...

Right.  Wednesday.  Only halfway to Friday and I am really looking forward to Friday.  The last two weekends were knitting lite, so this weekend...

I'm going to have to set up the Christmas trees.  And there is a Christmas party to go to.  Sigh. It will be another week or two till the knitting actually gets back into the mainstream of the day to day world of Chez Needles.  Thank goodness for waking up at 4 in the mornings.  If not for that there would be no knitting at all.

One of the results of all this kerfuffle is that I am having a hard time settling.  It was there before hand and it is so much worse now.  Yesterday morning, I looked at the green sweater for daughter 1 (who shall be so because she is married to son 1 and daughter in law is such a difficult thing to type all the time), but I just couldn't.  I looked at the lace and I just couldn't.  I looked at the pile of stuff and dug.  And I could.

What I dug out was the Icelandic Overblouse I have been working on.  Garter stitch.  Perfect.  Leftover Cascade 220 with no particular role in the stash and no project in mind, leftover from assembling Mr. Needles fair isle vest from a couple years ago.  I'm knitting it similar to what is in the book, but in a colour gradient.  Its the 2nd sweater in the newletter I have linked to.  

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had only a little left of the black to knit before I needed to switch to the first gray, the darker one.  After yesterday and this morning, I am well on my way to the 2nd gray and may even have pictures for tomorrow.  I thought about taking one today, but you really can't see anything.  It's just a pile of black so far, and a pile of black picture is more or less useless if you are trying to show off the knitting.

I  talked about the colours I am using, a black and 2 different grays.  I may add a small bit of white, if I need to.  I only have 1 ball of the 2nd gray and you know me and my fears about running out of yarn.  When it is half used, by weight, I will switch to the white.  Or I might go back to use up the rest of the black.  

I had hoped to use up every scrap of the grays and the black yarn but even a garter stitch sweater isn't going to take as much yarn as I have.  There will be bits and pieces left, to say nothing of the skein of white I 'needed' (even though I might not need it).    

Thus is how a stash of oddments grows ad my stash of oddments is getting fair sized.  I will have to hope to use a lot of it up as Miss Sweet Thing grows (and perhaps has siblings) and loses mittens and hats on a regular basis.  

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Now where was I?

Photos today.  Let us see if I can remember what I wanted to say.............Nope.

I'll think up something fresh.  

This was late evening on Saturday.  The first of the feet was finished and yet, I am not so sure it is right.  It looks awfully small.  

This way it looks about right, and there is no reason to worry that it is going to be too small, and yet I worry.  I'm not going to put away the yarn till Sweet Thing has tried it on and pronounced it good for a while.  Later this week perhaps.  

The whole little set of overalls looks like this.  

I am very very pleased with it.  It is awfully cute.  Especially with both feet now complete.  

I'm going to finish it with snaps.  Snaps is a better option at all times for baby clothes, but particularly where you might have to move them as she squiggles her way taller.  I hope she gets a lot of mileage out of this little pair of overalls.  

I have to say the yarn is yummy.  Very yummy in fact.  I'll be interested to see how it performs.  Once I sorted out the body and the awful pooling thing, as you can see, it worked out nicely. I switched strands every round all the way down to the top of the ribbed feet.  

The original pattern, Pepita, is just as cute as a button but is knit on 2 mm needles with yarn that is finer than this.  I really wasn't going to enjoy knitting on 2mm needles so I adjusted everything to a slightly larger gauge.  It is really quite the cutest thing.  

Next up for Sweet Thing?  Das Monster.  This one is daddy's favourite.  One for mommy, one for daddy.  After that it will be one just for Sweet Thing, a wee toy. I don't know which one yet, but something cute and cuddly with noise things inside, just for fun.

And since we haven't had one for a bit, baby!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Hmm.  I meant to post about the thing I finished this weekend.   I have some really good photos and I had stuff to say about the pattern.  It was going to be a great post a post for the ages. (not really)  But I forgot my camera at home.  It is not good at all without the photos.  I'll probably forget what I was going to say by tomorrow.

So I will post this instead which I saw on tv this morning.

Which reminds me of my favourite Christmas video of all time,

It is that time of year.  

There are a couple of really great magasines out there masquerading as 'gift issues'  of our favourite magasines. My favourite?

It is the IK 2006 Gifts  issue.  It seems to be available as digital download and on a cd sale in a package with a lot of other gift issues at the Interweave store.  I love how a lot of the old magasines are being 'reprinted' as digital download issues.  Get your old favourites here!  And I do.  Well worth the bucks. The best issue ever.

I bought it because it has the prettiest knitted teddie bear in it that I have ever seen but there are at least 5 things in it I want to make.  Brioche gaiter, now called cowl?  In here.  Sweet little sweater and booties for Sweet Thing?  In here.  The lace that I currently obsess over?  In here.

Which is how I was reminded of it.  I don't have a good memory, I have a good remindery.

Friday, 23 November 2012

5 Needles, 2 strings, and a whole lot of waste yarn.

I am so there.

There are two sets of held stitches, one set for the other leg and one set for the stitches that will be grafted at the crotch.  It won't take long now to finish this.  Sort of like knitting a pair of short socks.  The legs are about the size of a pair of socks right now but as you work you narrow down till you make teeny tiny baby socks.  

I don't know if I mentioned it yet, but I love this yarn.  There will be more.  

That is all I have for today, except to say that its kind of a zoo today at Chez needles, and I expect that will continue for a bit.  But soon, very very soon, I hope that my days are not complicated by all this driving and there will be more time to knit.  I'm starting to get twitchy.  Need a whole lot more knitting.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Only Thursday

It feels like it should be Friday.  Inside my head it is Friday, my cars gas consumption says it is Friday, therefore it must be Friday.  Only its not.  This is a really really big shame.  (Now if I were an American, being Thursday would be great, but I am not and we already had Thanksgiving)

Once again, the only knitting in my day was in the early morning and the very last threads of the day.  This other stuff is clearly turning my schedule upside down.  It will be done soon and life should get back to its steady, boring, but for knitting pace.  Crazy, when there is so much I want to do.

Mostly I am knitting on the wee overall.  I'm close to starting the gusset that goes between the legs.  It is starting to look like a real pair of overalls.

But in those tiny moments between, I am starting stuff.  It's completely crazy, and it has got to stop, but I keep starting lacy things.  

I've restarted Bridgewater, the lovely Brooklyn Tweed Shawl designed for Classic Elite Yarns.  As some of you know, it starts with one stitch, increasing and knitting every row.  I think I have 11, or 15 stitches right now, so you know, it hasn't been that many minutes spent on it.  I don't have the burning ache for it before I got the yarn from wheatfran on Ravelry, because I know it will happen. Still, I started it because it is always on my mind. 

I also started this wrap.  I do not know why I started this wrap, but I did.  I think it was sitting to close to me.  Maybe it was just excessive exposure to the yarn, but I am fascinated by it.  I have it in what I call a burgundy, but according to the colour charts, isn't .  Colour 211.  It is stunning.  I think it will look absolutely gorgeous in this pattern with its understated but very sophisticated star design.  I am loving knitting it, even though I made a mistake on the very first pattern row, and have to start all over.  

I'm mulling beads.  If I put a bead on the knit just after the first yarn over in the cluster, it should sit about right.  I already have the beads.  Clear silver lined ones.  Just a touch more to really emphasize the twinkle of the steel.  

Do I sound obsessed?  I might be.  No, I totally am.  I don't know if it is the yarn or the pattern, or the combination.  

I have to get hold of myself though.  I'm a grandmother.  I ought to be a responsible adult.  sigh.  In front of the power of a really great yarn and a simple, delicate starry lace pattern and knitting, I am not.  

Marshmallow.  Just a marshmallow. 


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

I made some time to knit this morning, and can tell you that I am one full round past all previous screwups.  

There no longer is any yarn to work off the outside of the second ball.  Though there is a little on the 1st ball, that was before colour blending.  I anticipate completely fresh yarn soon.  

I really like how this is working up.  

I'm following the pattern, more or less.  You know how it is.  Once you understand a thing, you tweek it to be perfect.  

With just a little luck, my tweeking is behind me on this design and it will be clear sailing down and over the bum, and on through the legs, ending in a nice wee pair of baby socks.  

I'm looking forward to the cuteness of it.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Short Today

All I have for you today is a quick note that along with the various things happening right now daughter in law tried on her sweater.  The depth of the sleeve/ yoke line is right but I think there are too many stitches.  Too many in the sleeves and too many in the back in particular.  The front is OK, but then she is a nursing mum so everything is just a little more busty up front.   

I'm going to pop it back a few increases, 2 increase rows, I think, and then just knit straight before I join.  If 2 ends up being too many, I do have the option to add a few stitches under the arms to get the front and back sleeves right.  I might even drop one more increase on the sleeves.  We shall see.

Anyway, lots of things going on, but none of them knitterly.  Too darn tired to knit.  How can this possibly be?

Monday, 19 November 2012

Adventures in Knitting

I've been focusing on knitting the little Pepita overalls for Sweet Thing.  I need mommy to try on her green sweater before I continue with it.  Meanwhile, Pepita is taking me down the garden path.  

I was done about 2/3 of the body, and could take some good measurements.  It was 12 inches wide!  12 inches on the front and 12 on the back.  EEEEek.  Much too large.  12 inches is good for a 3 year old but not an itty bitty wiggly baby like sweet thing.  She would wiggle her way right out of it in no time flat.  (I have never seen such a wiggly kid!)

So what you see above is me ready to rip it back.  I went back to the ribbed portions and joined in the round again and knit and knit and knit.

And then I noticed this.

The difference in circumference means I have somehow found the perfect size not to knit this yarn.  So, I ripped back.

I pulled out the second ball and started knitting.  Knit another inch, realized I could not have started on a worse place.  The colours were matching so closely,  that you could not have matched them better if you tired.  Not in a million years.  I was still getting nice stripes only broader and worse.

So I ripped back.  

I was very very careful to start where the colours were quite different and it was finally knitting up nicely.

It was a busy weekend, dealing with a little emergency or two but everything came through fine and I managed to keep the knitting going.  I added some increases right about her diaper line.  That way when she needs room, she will have it, and the rest will still fit her nicely.  I'm cruising along and am showing it to Son 2, 

and realized that I increased for her diaper on the front, not the back.  

So I ripped again.

Enough stitches have been made on this wee thing, that I should have completed it, but here I sit, only half done the body, not all that far from where I started on Friday.  What would you do in this situation?

Me?  I cast on another shawl.  But its ok.  I didn't make any mistakes.  Its just garter stitch and 1 increase per row for a long time.  I'm only knitting on it at home when stuff goes wrong.  It's like backing up your computer or something.  

That is my story and I am sticking to it.   

Friday, 16 November 2012

Because I haven't talked Socks...

I haven't talked socks for a while now have I?  Maybe it is time.

I have just two socks on the go right now.  I am not sure how this happened.  I might be worried, but I am ok with it because I have enough socks in my sock drawer at the moment and there have already been a fair number of socks made this year.  It isn't for a want of sock yarn, that is for sure.

These are the 2.  The bright stripey one was started when Sweet Thing was being born.  Birth and new socks seemed to go together.  The black ones..yes.  I know. Black.  I said it wouldn't happen again, but I seem to have lied.  I was so thrilled when I found out about Sweet Thing I thought her dad might need a pair of socks and since he only wears black socks...

I am ribbing them all the way up on the top of the foot and plan to do it for the cuff too.  

 I had hoped to use that to avoid any weirdness that happens so easily with black socks when you can't properly see the things.  As you can see, I haven't.  I think I am going to drop down and fix it because it is bugging me a lot.

I love the squishy goodness that little bit of ribbing provides, and now I am wondering why this one isn't also ribbed.

I have contemplated dropping down and ribbing it, and I might yet.  I'm undecided.  See, then mama could have these.  Is it faster to rip back and reknit?  I hate to do that because these were knit at her birth and that means something to me.  It isn't that many stitches and with a crochet hook, wouldn't take all that long.  Neither would reknitting.  Sigh.

If I did put ribs in them and make them for mama rather than me, I would follow that up by making Sweet Thing a pair using the remainders of both black and colours and they could be ribbed too.  All in the family socks.

I am trying to resist the impulse to do this for Christmas.  

Resistance is futile.  

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Good Morning!!

I had a lovely post planned for today and then I saw that the new Twist Collective is out.  

You must go there.  


Because there is this, which I think is just simply marvelous.  A shawl can be so much more than just lace.  And this, which are just the sweetest little things that make me want to knit mittens and hats when I am not a frequent knitter of mittens and hats.  And this which looks even better when you go to the pattern page.

I'll stop now, but really, you deserve to go there.  

As for me, well, things are looking like this:

 Starting to look like a sweater.  Another inch and it will be ready for a try on. 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Good morning, Good morning

Its going to be a busy morning here so this has to be quick.

Right along with everything else I have been knitting, I have been doodling with yarns left lying about from various trips through the stash.  Some of them you have seen and some you have not.

I don't think I showed this one, most of us have seen this yarn out and about.  Patons Silk Bamboo.  It is a lovely thing, truly lovely with one great big negative.    It is so heavy!

I had two balls of this, bought long ago, just to try it out.  I bought this before I started knitting, I think, certainly before I started knitting lace, which is the only possible thing I would do with it because of its heaviness.  It would be perfect for a small shawl, such as 198 yds of Heaven.  

I was looking for a little something else.  Something even simpler to knit.  I have been looking through all my lace books the last while and it struck me how very pretty row on row of fagotting is.  Lacy without being lacy.  Drapey.  Very low demands on ones time or brain.  

So I started with an ssk variation of fagotting, and knit that till I knew what I was doing.  After a bit, I realized I did not want a whole long scarf of this.  Scarves at this weight of yarn are always too heavy at the back of the neck to wear as jewlery.  Aha.  The obvious solution was to narrow it up, a sort of seaman's scarf variation to fit tidily where fit is needed under a collar, and to frill out right where it needs to frill out, at the neck.

Here you go.  10 minutes here, 10 minutes there over about a week, knit with the stunningly pointy set of Monkey Puzzle needles I have (5 mm)  and here you have it.  

Flirty (OK that might be pushing it), flouffy, but not so lacy, girly that there are only certain places it can go.  Eminently wearable!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Busy weekends.

I had a little friend helping me with stuff on the weekend.  Well, helping it might overstate the case, but lets just say that when Sweet Thing is big enough to get into things...those corners have already been sorted and ordered.  

My little helper, aka, Toby, who belongs to Son3.  It isn't that he was bad, it is more that he looked at everything and oh how I mean everything.  If it was get-into-it-able, he got in.

He did take breaks while I knit.  He would curl up into the smallest little corners, 
 Like the spot there between, side table, chair and knitting bag.  Or this.

Across the way, surrounded by baskets of Works in progress.  Baskets and baskets (I need to work on that again.)

Also making an appearance on the weekend, were Sweet Thing and her folks.  In a grandpa and grannie cheering move, she honoured us with her wakefulness. And we played.  It was great.

Her mommy and I played in the stash while she was sleeping.  Mommy found some yarn that she really liked, and we sorted her out with the right needles, and then we talked knitting.  She is very interested in cables and loves how they look.    She did not know how to make them so we knit a swatch and sorted that out, what happens if you put them to the back, what happens if you put them to the front and how two simple cables can combine to make the look of something dramatic and flamboyant.  We spent some time with Alice Starmore and Barbara Walker and some lesser known talent, finally settling on an intermediate book of patterns with really good information on the chart symbols. We worked a little on understanding chart reading too.

I have to say, this is one amazing young woman.  She isn't a knitter.  YET.  She sure could be.  I am not sure if it is innate talent or if it just the way she has learned to approach knitting but she is intuitive.  Just the suggestion seemed to take her to understanding.  Its is so inspiring watching that.  I can't wait to see what she comes up with!

After all was said and done, and Sweet Thing left for the evening, I closed the door on the study, put puppy down to sleep and slept the sleep of the well entertained.  In the morning, even with my weekend coffee, it was not looking nearly so cheery.

 We went through every box that was not lace and that was not cotton.  We didn't go through nor take out all the things on the shelf above this.  (I didn't want to overwhelm her)  But we did a thorough dig and it looked it.  There were several boxes devoted to scarf yarns and quantities and that is what we spent most of our time on.  Once those boxes were stirred, it was time for a good resort and re-order, as well as putting away the hanks and skeins that have been purchased over the past while.  That took half the day but order was restored and sanity reigned

and the closet doors were ready to close.

I knit the rest of the day.  Lots of bits, but mostly on the young mums sweater.  It looks like this now.

Not a lot different from the last time you saw it, but it did include a complete re-do back to the ribbing.  The knitting was just too tight.  You know how it is when your hands don't feel it's right?  You never feel like working on it.  I took a good long look at it and decided to fix it and do it right. It looks much better now and feels like it has some give and drape, which is important for a pattern requiring drape and give.  Funny how that works together.

I must comment about the wool.  The yarn is a now discontinued sportweight from Elann, Highland Sport, if I recall it correctly.  It shows the difference between good wool that is lowly processed and highly processed wool that is not the best quality.  It isn't bad and will be fine once washed and blocked and worn, but right now?  My thumbs are buzzing.  The nerves of my fingertips are way overstimulated by the yarn rubbing over them as I work.

So a caveat to my words of last week on being an earthy loving yarn person.  Earthy, yes, but not poor quality.  Its kind of sad how the earthy yarns get set aside by people assuming they will be coarse.  Too sad.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Smooshy Goodness

Somewhere between these two pictures, is the true colour of Smooshy Aqua jet.

Too dark

Too pale.

But they yarn itself, in life is just right.  Perfectly little girl climbing a tree overalls.  

I have never used Smooshy before.  I'm generally so busy with earthy crunchy lowly processed yarns that I don't seem to search out these soft yarns.  I just don't get there without help.  

So I have a friend who helps.  A lot.  She leads me to deliciousness in a different way yarns like Madelinetosh and Brooklyn Tweed and most recently Quince and Co.  

I enjoy the trip to these things just as much as I enjoy Einband, Tove, Briggs and Little and my much beloved Mulespun from Custom Woolen Mills.  

I've still only found 1 yarn that I won't ever work with (The slipper stuff from Phentex) and I am not looking for more.  But show me yarns that are different than that one yarn...

I love yarn.  I think I always have.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

The last few days

Its been a little sluggish over here at Chez Needles.  Our weather has been swingy and my hands are not enjoying it at all.  Still a little knitting each day makes the day immeasurably better.

I drove home with Mr. Needles last night, leaving my car in town.  The roads were atrocious.  It means that I am sitting here at my desk at work much earlier than the usual time.  It also means that instead of taking the measured approach to getting ready to leave, I stuffed.  

This is all the knitting related stuff that came to work with me today.  Silly really.  No matter how slow it is, I am not going to need 5 projects to work on.  

Yes 5.  there is a baby sweater at the back looking soft green-blue, two pairs of socks in a bag at the front, a large bag with something soft pink in it and, tucked almost under everything else, is what I really would like to start today.  

Dream in Colour Smooshy.  A cute little knitting pattern (that is going to have to be adjusted for a flouffier yarn, Darn it all) And Sweet Thing's overalls are on their way.  

Well, they would be, if it wasn't 8:00 a.m. and time to get to work for an employer.  Sigh, lunchtime you are so far away.  Sigh.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Fatal flaws

I have just realized that my lovely Daybreak and Dawn shawlette, the one I am making based on Steven West's Daybreak,  needs to be ripped back.  

I had been wondering if I read the pattern right, since my general approach to 'reading' the pattern would be a lot more like general skimming of the pattern and last night, my worst fears were confirmed.  I am putting an extra decrease in the outermost sections.  The shawl is not the shape it is supposed to be.  I know this because I put it on longer needles and laid it out flat.  Where there ought to be a soft gentle curve, I have fugly wings.  

I do not want wings so I have to undo and start the striped section over.  I am heartbroken but not at all surprised, since I did not read the pattern, just a few lines here and there.  

Its taking a bit of a time out.  I found something else to do in the meantime.  

It looks like this, with a little of this

tossed in.  

Just a little garter stitch faggotting shaped into a very narrow seaman's scarf shape. I have plans.

P.S.  The yarn is Patons Silk Bamboo, a longtime occupant of the scarf yarn stash.  Feels nice, but very very heavy.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Saturday monrings

You know how Saturday mornings are.  Get up make the coffee, stumble to study, find something to knit.  Slowly wake up.  

Usually when the find something to knit part arrives, I just pick up whatever is closest to my feet.  Last Saturday, I started a little different.  Last Saturday, I picked up a book. 

I picked up 'Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders'  a stunning addition to the One Skein Wonders series.  Cute stuff if you like books with all sorts of things in it.  Shawls, bags, scarves, baby things, hats, you name it, if it can be made with about 400 metres of yarn, this book has it.  

I had been thinking about knitting something for Sweet Thing.  Those wee socks were a lot of fun, and I wanted more of that instant gratification.  I knew there were some cute things in the book, and sock yarn is the perfect thing for little ones.  The yarn is so very wash and wear, just what mum needs when taking care of baby.  

I had this ball of pink, green and white Zauberball in  the deep Zauberball stash (All the knitters are snickering.  Sure.  They won't admit to having a Zauberball stash, but they have one just the same.)   It looked just like a flower, so I bought it many moons ago, long before Sweet Thing was on the horizon.  It was so girly, I never could decide what to do with it for me, but for Sweet Thing?  Oh yes.  

So I sat down and did a little lace and then knit straight for a while.

and then I did a little fancy footwork and got this

And then did it again but with a little slit in the back, and did a 3 needle bind off because it is easy and got this,

slapped on some really cute little lacy sleeves, some ribbing and two buttons and ended up with this.

Which was a pretty fine ending to a Saturday.  I did some manipulating to shorten and lengthen colour runs in the bodice so all colours were represented.  The extra was used for the back so that back and front match perfectly. 

The dress is the Fiesta Frock, and is sized for newborns to 3 months.  In actual fact though, there is a lot more there than 3 months wear.  The dress is short, like an old fashinoned baby dress ( Short so their cute little ruffly bum diaper covers could stick out) and rather wide. In fact, a newborn will drown in the dress, unless it is tied in the back with a bow to narrow the waist.  As she grows, she will fit the width and can wear it more as an empire waist sweater.  I expect she will fit it till almost a year.

But cute?  OH.  My.  Goodness.  And gratified?

Why yes. Yes I am.  

I am so gratified, I think I should do it again  this weekend.  Not the dress, though.  A wee girl only has so many occasions to wear a pretty little dress.  What this little girl needs is some overalls because as much as tea parties are important, sometimes you just have to climb a tree, you know.  Yes indeedy, a good pair of overalls is just the ticket. Even if she can't climb a tree.  Yet. 

Baby things rule.  

Monday, 5 November 2012

Finding the Right Thing

After feeling yucky most of the week, I know it showed in my lackluster posts, I finally feel almost human again. On the way to feeling human, I played, but just a little.

Do you remember this yarn?  Its a lovely wool and silk that just has the most pleasing rough tussah look to it.  Not at all a fancy silk, just a comfy cozy down home look to it, the kind you can wear anywhere, with anything.

There were a couple of problems with it that made choosing a pattern difficult.  One was it multi coloured ways.  It was going to be prone to pooling.  I really didn't need something so pretty to pool.  The other is the very nature of its multi colouring.  Multis hide any pattern you put into them.  You have to choose with care to match yarn and pattern.

Another problem was that I kept being drawn to triangle shapes and in winter, with heavy coats and caps and scarves, the last thing I need to tuck into my coat is the shawl collar of a triangle shawl.  But I could not find another shaping that spoke to me.  

I started knitting different things with it a couple of times.  Fortunately it is a sturdy yarn and shows nary a sign of wear.   

Sunday afternoon, I began to knit a triangle 'shoulder shawl in Syrian stitch' (pompously named, the pattern originates in 1891) from Victorian Lace Today.  Its a simple repeating v that starts from a single stitch.  Its garter stitch.  

Looks simple enough for any knitting funk, but right about v number 2, I realized, this isn't doing it for me, and put it down.  It just was not speaking a language I wanted to hear.  

I really like this simple repeating pattern.  This rather stiff, crunchy looking yarn benefits from that repeating 'v's.  The rows of yarn overs are going to make it be soft, giving it a drape that just isn't there in the yarn. But I hated the triangle.

And then I had a brain wave.

I was thinking about all the other yummy yarn I have and that I've seen some really really great crochet things on Ravelry lately, sweaters with style and shape.  Maybe thinking about crochet is what made me think of Parul.

Parul is the brainwave.  It is a rather nifty little thing designed to take advantage of 3 small skeins of yarn.  It is designed so that you use up all your yarn.  You do this with the help of a little math after the first ball has been crocheted and then you cruise on to completion making long lovely winged ends that drape majestically around your shoulders.

Its not the crochet nature of Parul that I need, it is the shape!    That v shape will be perfect for this pattern, indeed it will mimic the crocheted form almost to a t.  It takes out the weight of the triangle at the neckline, making a lovely v shape to tuck close to your neck and leaves long elegant ends to drape around your shoulders.  It mimics Shawl and stole and scarf.

That shape is going to be perfect for this project.

I'm sorry.  I need an extra day to work on this thing.  Do you think my boss will go for  a 'deeply inspired by knitting' compulsion excuse and let me stay home from work?  No  Me either.


Friday, 2 November 2012

It is that time of year

It is that time of year.  The time where warmth is uppermost in my mind, but it really is cold enough to require dressing like Ralph's little brother.  

In case this out of season remark catches you off guard

No, this is the time of year where really, everyone needs one of these.

Lopapeysa.  Icelandic style sweaters.  

You really can't do them in yarn other than either lopi or Plotulopi.  I really ought to dig out the box of Plotulopi and make some decisions so I can have a warm sweater before the end of winter.  

I also need new boots but they won't arrive for another week or two. And my car needs new tires.  

Yup.  I ought to be ready for winter, right about the time when spring comes along.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Something finished.

Even though I finished a couple very big things, it feels like it has been ages, millennia, since I finished anything.  It makes absolutely no sense.  

But I finished something and they are so cute.  

Tiny wee baby socks for my Sweet Thing.  For once I did not worry about running out of yarn.  At all.  Not even when I was using the remains of socks.  There is still enough left for another pair, made with the white and the multi swapped around.  There is also enough of the cream for several more pairs of baby socks. More than several if the truth be known.  

I was a little concerned that the sock cuffs might be too tight.  All my boys were chubby little things, with round roly poly ankles and chubby wee feet.  Sweet Thing has lovely long delicate lady feet and incredibly elegant hands.  She takes after her momma and that is such a good thing.  

Still I worried.  32 stitches isn't very big.  I used Jenny's stretchy bind off but the top of the sock doesn't even come close to binding.  I needn't have worried.  

Momma says if you can do this, it will fit just fine.  Might even stay on her feet.

I'm not so sure.  I never met a baby yet who did not have the power to get everything off his feet even before he knew he had feet.  We shall see how grandma's socks do on the test!