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August 2006
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October 2006

Good looks

Every time I think I've found a favourite yarn, other yarns appear and seduce me with their good looks and silky handling! Yesterday I went to Stash Yarns Yarn Tasting Evening for Artyarns and it was great fun; much chatting and swatching took place, accompanied by drinks and nibbles. Knitters and bloggers were out for a good time; including Dawn, Jill and Alice who I already know and Mary and Brigid whose blogs I read. I didn't connect Brigid with her blog until I got home and put two and two together; I can be really dim at times!

On to the yarny stuff. We each had a goodie bag with little balls of 7 yarns, all labelled, and a printed sheet giving all that info we knitters love to pore over including fibre content, gauge, suggested needle size and yardage. Then it was time to play.

Artyarns_1 

Clockwise from top right, Ultramerino 6 (100% merino wool), Supermerino (100% merino wool), Silk Mohair (70% kid mohair/30% silk), Regal Silk (100% silk), Silk Rhapsody (one strand of 100% silk and one strand of 70% mohair/30% silk), Silk Ribbon (100% silk), Silk Fur (90% silk/10% nylon).

Artyarns_supermerino    Artyarns_ultramerino_6

I liked using all the silks with the exception of Silk Mohair (like KSH, I find it difficult to knit - it's like grappling with sewing thread unless I use two strands together) and Silk Fur (a bit tufty for my taste). I loved both the merino yarns. Supermerino (detail, left) is about Aran weight; Ultramerino 6 looks and feels very much like Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK but comes in gorgeous colour mixes, including colour 108 (right). Have to admit that a couple of skeins of this came home with me...


This sock's not for knitting

I'm getting a bit fed up with this sock. The yarn's Trekking XXL in shades of grey and cream, standard sock weight, and I started knitting with my usual needles, 2.5mm Addis, on 60 stitches. The knitting on the cuff looked rather loose and I thought the yarn felt slightly thinner than Regia or Opal. OK; frog and start again with 64 stitches and smaller needles. Oh, and let's do a diddy basketweave pattern instead of stocking stitch. So far, so good.

Trekking_sock

I got in a lot of sock knitting yesterday - bus journeys from Streatham to Clerkenwell to Battersea to Clapham Junction to Putney and back to Streatham - as well as a couple of hours knitting and chatting (but not spending) in Stash Yarns. I tried the sock on last night and it's too small. B*****, it makes you want to spit. I'm now wondering whether to call a truce, stuff it with catnip and give it to Madam....


The Interminable Wrap

The stitch pattern for The Interminable Wrap is really simple; I've used US terminology here. There are links to US/UK conversions in my previous post.

You'll need to begin with a multiple of 8 chains plus 1 - my wrap had 24 repeats across the width, so I made 193 chains [24 x 8 + 1]. I worked until the wrap was the length I wanted, ending with a 4th row, then edged it as below.

Stitch pattern

Interminable_wrap_2_1

Row 1 (right side): 1 dc into 7th ch from hook, *ch 1, sk next ch, 1 dc into next ch; rep from * to end, turn.

Row 2: Ch 4, sk first dc, 1 dc into next dc, ch 1, *[1 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next ch] twice, [1 dc into next dc, ch 1] twice; rep from * ending with 1 dc into 5th of beg skipped ch-6, turn.

Row 3: Ch 4, sk first dc, 1 dc into next dc, ch 1, *1 dc into each of next 5 dc, ch 1, 1 dc into next dc, ch 1; rep from * ending with 1 dc into 3rd of ch-4, turn.

Row 4: Ch 4, sk first dc, *1 dc into next dc, ch 1, 1 dc into next dc, [ch 1, sk next dc, 1 dc into next dc] twice, ch 1; rep from *  ending with ch 1, 1 dc into next dc, ch 1, 1 dc into 3rd of ch-4, turn.

Row 5: Ch 4, sk first dc, 1 dc into next dc, ch 1, *[1 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next ch] twice, [1 dc into next dc, ch 1] twice; rep from * ending with 1 dc into 3rd of ch-4, turn.

Repeat Rows 3 to 5 until the wrap is the length you want, ending with a 4th row.

Edging

Interminable_wrap_edge_detail_1

Starting at one corner with the right side of the wrap facing you, work single crochet round the wrap, working 1 sc into each dc and 1 sc into each ch-1 space across the short edges; 2 sc into each row end down the long edges; 5 sc into the space at each corner. Join the ends of the round with a slip stitch into the first sc.

Work another round of sc, beginning with a ch and working 1 sc into each sc of the previous round; 3 sc into the centre stitch of each 5 sc corner group. Join the round with a slip stitch into the first sc.

To finish off the edging, work a row of slip stitches between the two rows of single crochet. Break off the yarn and darn in the ends. Block. Stand back and admire.


A quick word about crochet

I've read on several groups/forums that many British crocheters won't buy patterns from the US because the terminology is different, and they find it all very confusing. The differences are really quite small; several of the stitches have different names, but the actual crochet process is exactly the same. I use US terminology most of the time as this is what many publishers ask for, but with a bit of practice (and a handy list of differences) it's fairly easy to switch between the two. Go on, have a go!

http://www.kcgtrading.com/conversioncharts.html

http://thecrochetnetwork1.tripod.com/crochetuniversity/foreigncrochet.html

http://www.paulineknit.co.uk/conversioncharts.html


Insomnia

Friday night/Saturday morning at Wibbo Towers was rather sleepless (no particular reason, just a whizzy, whizzy brain that wouldn't switch off); this is the sky at 5.37am on Saturday. I knew it was early when I looked out of the window; I could still see the moon.

Insomniacs_sky

By 10am, I was on a bus going to Stash Yarns, as desperate to escape from my surroundings as the Prisoner of Zenda. I took my usual socks to knit on the bus and a crochet wrap I was trying to finish. I call it The Interminable Wrap; intended as nice quick make but in reality it took me several weeks to get to that irritating almost-finished stage. Had a pleasant day crocheting and chatting to lots of folks including Sue and Alice. I almost reached the end of the wrap before I came home and finished the last few rows and the edging last night.

Interminable_wrap    Interminable_wrap_1

Interminable_wrap_2    Interminable_wrap_edge_detail

OK; the details...

Pattern: my own (I'll type up the instructions and post them later today); size: unblocked, 76cm x 230cm; yarn: just over 10 skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Pioneer, a really nice mix of denim blue, browns, rust, greys; hook: 3mm Clover Soft-Touch.

Shepherd Sock is my favourite yarn at the moment. I think I like it even better than KPPPM (sacrilege, I hear you gasp); it's soft and easy to work with but strong and durable because of the added nylon. The colour range is great. Lots of subtle dark colourways like Pioneer and bright zingers like Bittersweet (below), some skeins of which came home with me from Stash. Oh, and a ball of Trekking XXL. Nothing else. Honest!

Trekking    Shepherd_sock_detail

Trekking_detail

Birthday celebrations are finally over. I made them last as long as I could; you only get one shot at celebrating a Big Birthday! I've seen lots of good friends, eaten an enormous amount of delicious food (special mention here to Pukka and their amazing vegetarian dumplings) and had a really lovely time.


Wags or bogs?

From yesterday's Yahoo News:

A new survey shows that while there are 30 million internet users in the UK, more than half the population does not know a blog is an online diary. A fifth think it is either a footballer's wife or a kind of marshland. The poll, by the website ask.com, also shows that despite millions of website addresses being typed every day, 44% of people do not know addresses are called URLs.