Dithering…

Dithering, stalling, procrastinating, call it what you will I’ve been doing a lot of that this weekend with regard to knitting.  I’ve had nothing on the needles for the longest time and felt no urge to knit either.

Sonia thinks it’s because of my new craft obsession, namely sewing but it’s not that.  I think maybe a collection of things, like the fact that so many of my friends are knitting from their handspun and I’m envious.  I have some other projects I wanted to get done like the Noro stripy socks for Socktober and the Noro stripy scarf for Norovember and Sam’s contiguous jumper and I want to knit them but I want to knit a handspun OWLS too.  Oh I sound like a sulky child and that irritates me, grrrr, suck it up Princess! I think I’m also more than a bit disheartened about having to frog Idlewood and completely re-knit it too, bleugh the self pity! Get over yourself Melanie!

I know there is nothing to stop me knitting whatever I want except that first I must finish preparing the fibre and then spin the yarn and by then it will be too darn hot to knit a chunky jumper.  Tonight at knit night it was 29 degrees C and I managed to knit exactly half a puff!  It’s not even the first day of Spring! As a solution to the handspun knitting envy I’m going to knit some of my handspun singles bits into puffs.  Thanks Katie for the idea.  I have no solutions to the hot knit night problem except maybe a whip round to get some air con for our favourite cafe. As for Idlewood I shall just re-knit that later and I could try to be less annoyingly sulky and self pitying too.

However, I swear after Sam’s jumper I shall knit Ian a scarf and from then on I shall knit spontaneously only what I feel like knitting, no obligation and no planning. So I’m planning not to plan, OMG have I lost it? I’m babbling and dithering, oh dear me!

The dithering hasn’t been all bad though, I have tied up a loose end in that Coraline has finally got some buttons on it and I made the button loops too.  This is the Coraline that I finished almost 12 months ago!  They aren’t the buttons I wanted but they are a cute second best and I love the button loops I will definitely make them again.  Coraline is my favourite cardigan, ever!  So I’m really glad it’s now complete.

I also spun 100g of Gotland/Polwarth carded roving.

I spun it long draw so it looks a bit shit but hopefully after I’ve spun the other 100g of singles and ply the 2 bobbins this weekend it should turn out ok.

Ok, enough exhausted rambling, I’m off to bed, work in the morning, but i had to get it off my chest so I can sleep.  We’ve just had a thunderstorm so it’s cooled down a bit too.

icord + kitchener = failure

I finished the first sleeve on my Coraline cardigan and completed the icord, picked up the icord sleeve stitches and knit the increase rounds for the second sleeve yesterday.  This morning I thought I’d join the icord cuffs on both of them, to make them look pretty and to lessen the finishing at the end, that way I can cast off and wear my pretty new cardigan right away.  Good plan yes?

Noooooooo! The pattern requires the six stitches be kitchenered together, how hard can that be? Three stitches per needle kitchenered together, I have kitchenered before, it’s not that hard really, in fact I can’t understand why people make a fuss. I don’t even have to refer to the knitting help website anymore to get me started.

So why have I made such a fugly mess?  I have kitchenered and unkitchenered these two sleeves innumerable times now and they don’t look any prettier, in fact, they just look like a lumpy tangled mess of incoherent stitches.

I don’t know whether to ignore the fugly lumps or whether to frog and start again, making a short hemmed cuff like the one on the bottom of the body instead of icord.

It feels like this is the way the knitting gods sort the wheat from the chaff and I am clearly chaff!  Cuppa tea and toast is required I think to soothe my frazzled nerves.

ttfn x

WIP's

Thought it was about time I updated you all on my progress with my knitting works in progress.  I can honestly say now that I am not a fan of knitting more than one project at a time, I don’t know why but I really don’t like having projects linger on needles whilst I knit something else.  Anyhoo, enough whinging!

First up is Coraline, the knitted hem was a new technique for me and I do love it I have to say.  I’m loving the yarn and the colour is so me.

Next up is Manu, again a great colour sort of mushroomy but a bit mauve in certain lights.  This would be a fantastic knit whilst watching telly project if the yarn was less splitty but the finished fabric is looking really lovely.

I have also started Clapotis due to my sudden desire to own a red scarfy-shawl thing (thanks Amy Pond) and it being the Richmond knitters KAL at the moment.  I’m knitting it in Adorn Silky Merino DK (8ply) which is 90% merino and 10% silk.  It is a new yarn on the market from the owner of my LYS Woolbaa and the colour is China Red a deep lush red.  I have named it Red Hot Not Itchy Clap, a bit cheeky I know, but really the yarn is so super soft and silky, not at all itchy next to the skin and not only that but machine washable.  It is currently only available at Woolbaa but they do deliver worldwide.

Last up would be Socks for Sam.  As you know two of my menfolk have requested hand knitted socks, in fact Sam has also requested a jumper but he has a list of constraints as long as my arm… not itchy, not shiny, not thick yarn…  Anyhoo that will take some research and maybe even designing something myself so definitely a project for next winter.  I popped along to the Albert Park SnB last weekend to meet up with the lovely and clever Jane AKA Ozknitter who taught me how to start toe up socks, I was a bit hard work to start with but I have finally got it! I have knit the first toe and am onto the boring bit of the foot so I’m going to change to DPN’s as I am not enjoying having the two non-working needle ends getting in the way.  The yarn is by Woolcraft of Bradford in England and was bought online from baaramewe.  Sam loves the colour and Ian’s will be made with the same yarn but in the grey colourway.

It must look as though I have a case of startitis but I can assure you I mean to complete all of these before I start anything else, well kind of, as I will not be allowed to finish Sam’s socks and not start Ian’s and I have some baby things to do for a friend who’s expecting in September.

Eyes bigger than my belly

My Mum always said I had eyes bigger than my belly and this seems to be slipping over into my knitting.  Though, I don’t suppose I am any different from any other knitter out there, which is what Ravelry queues are for.  Right?

Trouble is I can’t shake the monogamous knitting thing, no matter how hard I try.  I thought I could be clever like other knitters by knitting more than one project at once, but true to form I ended up concentrating on just one.  The upside is, my Tea Leaves cardigan is finished.

Sorry about the Photobooth photo

And I love my Tea Leaves, it was super easy and quick to knit and it’s really warm and I really need a warm grey cardigan at the moment.

The downside is, that I have made very little progress on the other two cardigans, (well none on Manu if I’m honest, though not because I’m any less in love with the pattern) and the list of projects I want to knit grows longer by the day.  Yes, I know time spent surfing Ravelry is time not knitting but that doesn’t entirely help matters.  For example whilst watching Doctor Who and knitting away at Coraline I’m suddenly struck by the gorgeousness of Amy Pond’s deep red scarf, teamed beautifully with a teal coat (I have a coat in a similar style but in denim).   I’m now consumed with a need to knit a scarf in deep red like Amy’s which means endless Ravelry browsing for scarf patterns and yarn ideas.  So far though, an Amy Pond scarf pattern has eluded me.  If I can’t find one soon I may end up making Clapotis and killing two birds with one stone.  That is joining 2 Clapotis KAL’s (Richmond knitters and baaramewe) knitting something I have wanted to knit for a while and knitting a long red scarf a la Amy Pond, though, not entirely similar.  So that’s four birds technically I think.

I have also had requests from two of my menfolk for handknitted socks. Yes! Though they mocked my first socks with comments about being able to buy socks cheaper, they have seen how warm and comfy my handknitted socks keep my feet and now covet warm, comfy socks for themselves. I must confess though, I am rather looking forward to knitting socks again it’s been too long since my first pair.

Ho hum… so many projects, so little time!

A tale of three cardigans

I am a knitter who loved to knit garments for herself.  Mostly it’s because knitted garments in the shops are made of nasty, hateful, static-y, sweaty acrylic and I have more luxurious tastes and prefer yarns that are natural and breathable and bloom with age. But fit and colour and the fact that I’m creating something unique are also factors for me. Anyhoo, the seasons have turned to autumn and soon it will be winter and so I thought that knitting a cardigan might be a jolly good thing to do.  I have admired three cardigan patterns of similar styles with slightly differing design elements for some time and couldn’t decide on which one to knit first.  Not exactly a cake or death decision (reference to the magnificent Eddie Izzard sketch and if I were clever enough to do a linky thing I would) but still, it has required some deliberation as cardigans do take some time to knit.

The first design to catch my eye was the beautiful Coraline by clever Scottish Designer Ysolda Teague, a bottom up knit cardigan it has a pretty smocked yoke and icord edging that I think are very fetching but was essentially row after row of stocking stitch till you get to the yoke.  The smocking will take some concentration though as it is an unfamiliar technique.

The second cardigan was Manu by the equally clever Kate Davies who also lives in Scotland, (not a deliberate theme, but my Nana is Scottish and I do feel a connection).  So back to the cardigan, it has very elegant pleats and very cute pockets and again icord edging all of which will involve learning new techniques but again it is essentially row after row of stocking stitch.

The third cardigan is Tea Leaves by Melissa LaBarre which is the simplest of the three cardigans to knit and features garter stitch trims. Otherwise, yep, you guessed it… row upon row of stocking stitch.

All in all I think that there will be just enough interesting-ness as in learning new techniques and just enough telly stocking stitch in all three garments to keep me busy for a while and so I decided to knit all three.

Choosing the yarn for the cardigans has been quite intuitive, time will tell but I think the yarns fit the patterns quite well.  The first two cardigans require 8ply/DK.  I have had a mushroom coloured Jo Sharp Alpaca Kid Lustre in my stash for some time which initially I thought would be perfect for Coraline. However, after swatching I decided to knit the Coraline in the fennel green Wensleydale Longwool DK I purchased at baaramewe as it requires a smaller needle and the Wensleydale Longwool DK looks better knit on a smaller needle.  The Alpaca Kid Lustre will therefore be used for Manu.  Both yarns have a lovely sheen to them and an attractive bloom.

Tea Leaves requires an aran/10ply weight yarn and after knitting with the gorgeous Colinette Cadenza I wanted to try another Colinette yarn.  I fell in love with some Colinette Art a wool/bamboo yarn in beautiful shades of grey called Thunder, given my love of a good thunderstorm how could I resist.  The new header for the blog is a photo of the Colinette Art swatch.

The only thing I need now is way more knitting time, hopefully I will have them knit before spring/summer rolls around, so wish me luck.  I’ll keep you all updated with the progress.  The first to be cast on has been Coraline and I have just finished the hem.  I have been waiting for some more cables and some 3.75mm nickel Knitpro interchangables for the Manu which I will pick up tomorrow and I’m waiting for a swift and yarn winder to wind the Colinette Art with.