Maths, twists and frivolity

Last night at knit night with the Richmond Knitters I finished the second sleeve and joined the sleeves to the body of Manu.  No mean feat considering I only do social/easy knitting on these nights and had been imbibing alcohol (and steak, desperate need due to weekend of abstinence).

So as new friend Vintagenettles quite rightly pointed out last night, this is some cause for celebration due to the fact that the majority of the knitting is over.  However, with Manu this only means all of the brainless knitting is over, the rest requires some concentration and the ability to count.  Whilst I am capable of both ordinarily(honest!), it does mean that Manu is no longer a social project.  It’s also not portable due to the change in weather as alpaca/silk cardigans draped over one’s knees in 30+ degrees anyone?  It seems then that it is the perfect time to cast on for the Vintage-esque boot socks.  These will be knit mostly using my old fave David’s toe-up sock cookbook with a twist.  That twist comes in the guise of stripes which strangely is something I have never knitted before.   Also, the socks are going to be knee high to keep me snug when wearing boots, I’m desperate for some cute wellies.  The vintage bit comes because the colours are a bit “land army girl” and that era to me.

So these will be my on-the-go and knit night project.  Talking of knit night, last night I revealed a kind of knitting blasphemy to Sharondoubleknit…

…I prefer knitting vanilla socks!!!  So there, the honest truth, now I shall await the looks of incredulity from my knitting friends.  Whilst I am being honest, yesterday I made a frivolous purchase…

Sock blockers! Yes, I know they are completely unnecessary but they make your socks look pretty and it means I don’t have to scare you with photos of my pasty white legs.


Melanie x


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.