Today is such a lovely cold, bright New Year’s Day, perfect for our planned toddle up Mam Tor. But as we are instead house-bound by a poorly child, I’m catching up on my on-line life after 10 broadband-less days. Click on more to find out all about my yarn-related Christmas gifting, both given and received.
Sorry it’s been so quiet hereabout lately, a combination of viruses (several minor ones in quick succession) and the Christmas Knitting have left me without much to post about.
The Christmas knitting is nearly finished (only 1.5 hats to go), I’ll be sharing photos & details after the 25th. I don’t think anyone who is likely to receive a knitted gift from me actually reads this blog, and I know none of them are on ravelry, but it still feels wrong to post pictures of gifts before giving them. When I was a kid my mum always told me it was wrong to read a book you’d bought to someone else, or try out a toy or listen to a cd, or whatever, before you’d given the gift. Posting pcitures woudl feel like playing with the gift before giving it.
One thing I can post is this hat from the Woolly Wormhead knit-a-long. It was meant to be a gift for an adult, who is petite and unlikely to appreciate a very slouchy hat, so I chose the smallest size. Sizing fail, no way will it fit an adult woman but fortunately it looks adorable on on a 6 year old.
pattern: Mayrose by Woolly Wormhead
yarn: King Cole Mirage, shade 866 Georgetown
Work on my bohus cardigan and son’s blue blanket has been on hold for the Christmas knitting, but I’m looking forward to have a Big Push on the cardigan over Christmas. In other news, I got my Open University results and have passed all my courses this year (2 summer schools + chemistry with hard sums), which leaves me with one more course to do, to complete my molecular science degree.
I took my chemistry-with-hard-sums exam last week. Now I have no studying for a couple of months, until my next course starts in February (although I may do a little light reading in preparation for it). Even though my chemistry studies are over for this year, I still have plenty of new things to learn. I’ve cast on for my bountiful bohus cardigan. This features a couple of techniques I’ve not done before – short row shaping and steeks.
I have done short rows before, but not for shaping a garment. The pattern does give some shapings but I’m going to recalculate my own, as well as tweaking other parts of the shaping, using my hard-won mad algebra skillz. If I can apply the steady state approximation and understand the Langmuir adsorption isotherm then I can damn well work out where to put a couple of bust darts.
Steeks, though! Steeks are a different story. You want me to cut my knitting? I think I’d rather derive some more kinetic equations, thanks. Cut. My. Knitting! ? This is terrifying. But I know lots of knitters who have done it and survived, and they assure me it’s not that difficult but even so, I’m scared. But ’tis a long way off yet. I have started with the sleeves, by way of checking my tension calculations (my yarn is knitting up looser than the pattern so I am following the instructions for a smaller size). I’ve made the sleeves narrower than the pattern has them – I already have one cardigan with big sleeves, don’t really need another.
I did finally finish my summer school shawl, and wore it during my exam – it gets quite cool in the exam hall after 2 or 3 hours sitting still.
pattern: Litla Dimun by Cheryl Oberle (from ‘Folk Shawls‘)
yarn: Jamieson & Smith 2 Ply Jumper Yarn, shade 1403 (the red is slightly deeper/darker than it shows in these photos)
needles: 4 mm
I love the finished shawl, the Faroese shape really does stay on well. And I love the yarn, in all its crispness and slight roughness. This feels like the kind of shawl my great grandmothers would have worn. Airy lace and softy delicate yarns are good for dressing up, but this is an honest, everyday working shawl. Although I wear it for working in the library, rather than the fields or mills. Ah, which reminds me …
I kniktted this ‘U’ for the Poetry Society’s Knitted Poem. They asked you to tell them your favourite poem. One of mine is Digging by Seamus Heaney
But I’ve no spade to follow men like them.
Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I’ll dig with it.
We had a great camping holiday in Pembrokeshire in August. Of course there was knitting on the beach
and by the campfire
and a visit to some lovely angora goats
And I became slighly obsessed with blanket making. The people in the neighbouring tent had blankets to keep them warm round the campfire and we had none. Which is clearly wrong, for a knitter’s family not to have cosy blankets. So when we got back I used up some of my oddments for a crazy cat lady kind of blanket
Now that’s finished, son wants one of his own in blues. Plus, I have finally got around to starting making squares for a sock yarn oddments blanket.
Oh and my summer chevron that I finished ages ago, I loves it. It turns out to be perfect for holidays and got lots of wear
pattern: Summer Chevron by Audrey Eschright (from “More Big Girl Knits”) (with heavy modification, see my ravelry notes)
yarn: Patons UK Vintage, shade 07008 acidic
needles: 5 mm
sari for lack of posting recently, but here’s updates on some current projects:
pattern: Baby Cable Rib by Charlene Schurch (from Sensational Knitted Socks)
yarn: Regia Line Steps Color shade 5371 Granite
needles: 2.5 mm bamboo dpns
Finished at last, after being on the needles for over 2 months. I don’t think I’ve ever taken so long to complete a pair of socks, they were sidelined by the pressures of various presents. I like this pattern and will probably make it again, good for man socks (just don’t tell them the name of the stitch pattern has ‘baby’ in it).
pattern: based on Easy Peasy Catnip Mouse Toy by Meelai
yarn: Patons UK Spirit, shade 4503 Bracken
hook: 5 mm
Because Sparky seemed to like playing with soft toys as big as himself
Shap Blue Socks
We went to Rivington again this weekend and I got some knitting done under a tree in the Japanese garden.
Body & sleeves finished, now just the button bands to do (ugh) and the sleeves to seam (once I’ve learned mattress stitch). I have gnawing doubts about the fit but won’t find out until it’s all blocked …. fingers crossed.
I can’t in all conscience claim that knitting your own things saves money. Even with the cheapest nastiest baby-melt you’d be struggling to make a jumper for less than you’d pay for a new one in Primark. And let’s not dwell on the economics of sock yarns. But when it comes to gift-giving, knitting makes your money go further with the addition of your time and skill and lurv *. Some things I have given to people recently ….
pattern: Owlings by Kerrie James
yarn: Green Eyed Monsters GEM Squirrel in owlie-brown
needles: 3.25 mm bamboo dpns
Made for my sister, with some very gorgeous squishy yarn that lovely Kate dyed to the perfect greyey-brown for me.
Green Fluorescent Jellyfish
pattern: Juvenile Sea Nettle by Hansi Singh
yarn: Rowan Pure Wook DK in Cloud and Cedar; Bernat Glow-in-the-Dark Green Glow
Made for my dear friend and unofficial chemistry tutor, because last year’s Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded for work on green fluorescent protein, originally extracted from jellyfish (and yes, someone has made green fluorescent sheep so all-natural glow-in-the-dark yarn should be on the market soon).
Tasteful House-Warming Gift
pattern: Toilet Paper Roll and Kitschy Doily by Denise Plourde
*At least I fondly imagine this is so (and ignore any nagging thoughts in those wee small hours that my nearest and dearest dread unwrapping the next ‘soft’ present I give them).
I wordled my blog feed
But now I have recalculated my tension issues, checked my workings with maths guru at knit-night, and restarted my decimal. Meanwhile, while I was fell out with my decimal I finished my Owlings instead.
pattern: Owlings by Kerrie James (available as a free ravelry download)
yarn: Artesano Ltd Inca Cloud shade 053 Damson
needles: 3.25 mm
The little owl cables are so cute!
Deciding on which socks to knit next can be a tricky business. You have to try and make sense out of what you want to knit, what your yarn wants to be and what the wearer will wear. It took me a few false starts to work out which pattern was going to best with the black yarn DrM chose for his next socks, but now we are getting along fine
And I finished my bamboo socks, which are a perfect union of yarn and pattern.
pattern: Undulating Rib Socks by Ann Budd, from Favorite Socks
yarn: Violet Green Solemate in Chameleon
needles: 2.75 mm (leg), 2.5 mm (heel & foot) Clover Takumi dpns
love love loving the greens
And now my Owlings are cast on hurray
and I’ll no doubt say it again, and it can never be said enough:
I bloody love ravelry
I’ve been swapping again, and received the most amazing box of lurv from my swap partner, including yummy sock yarns cute stitch markers, a squidy bag and a gorgeous hansigurumi octopus.
I love cephalopoda so much, must get around to knitting up the hansigurumi squid pattern I have.
My partner in the same swap has now received her goodies from me and loved them too, and now I can share a couple of small makes I did for the swap.
pattern: Deep Sea Flower Dice Bag by Nina Hyland
yarn: oddment of Noro Kureyon
made for swap and various other cats of my acquaintance
pattern: Easy Peasy Catnip Mouse by Meelai
yarn: random oddments
In between the sewing, I have managed to get in some knitting time too, enough to finish son’s bee socks:
pattern: basic sock, 54 st, leg in k7p1 garter rib
yarn: Opal Rainforest shade 1613 Bee
needles: 2.5 mm dpns
turn the heel on my second bamboo sock and cast on a new pair of socks for DrM. And I am desperate to cast on a pair of Owlings, after meeting Lucyvanp’s cashmere pair at knit night. I have a single ball of alpaca from a swap, and some matching beads. When my bamboo socks are finished my Owlings are starting.
I have a big project on at work that must be finished this week. So obviously this is an ideal time to blog about some recent knitting progress.
Odessa is a great pattern and goes up quickly. I know pretty much exactly how long it took me to make this one for Mel – one round trip to my parents’ (2 x 90 mins) plus two 6 Nations matches (2 x 90 mins, yay for Ireland and boo for England).
pattern: Odessa by Grumperina (available as a free ravelry download)
yarn: Noro Silk Garden Lite 2032
and then on Sunday I made good progress on my undulating rib socks while watching a third 6 Nations match (let’s not talk about Scotland mmkay?). Have the first one finished now and am love love loving the vibrant greens of this VG solemate (shade = Chameleon). In fact am very loving greens in general right now, maybe it’s a spring thing?