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October 2006
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December 2006

No exciting knitting happening here

Well, nothing exciting that I can blog about; all the exciting stuff is either work- or Christmas-related. After making several of these, I cast on a shawl which is the same stashbusting idea but bigger and triangular in shape - a snug-it-over-your-knees-when-it-gets-chilly sort of shawl. The shape came from here, but I realised (after a couple of evenings of knitting and denial) that I hated the straggly fringe thing happening down the sides. I didn't like how the fringe looked or its potential for having a red rag effect on a small black cat who loves dangly things. I frogged and started again, this time making tiny knots to join the yarns like I did for the scarves. Ditto the knitting, dislike, denial and eventual frogging. Desperate to avoid a sewing-in-of-ends scenario, I've finally settled on knitting the ends in by working six or seven stitches using both yarns. I don't know whether I was being a ditherer or merely a perfectionist (groan - and yes, I do sort my CDs into separate categories...and arrange them in alphabetical order inside each category...) but I'm fairly happy with version 3. It's coming along nicely now...

Stash_shawl_purples    Stash_shawl_detail


Porcupines

I'm knitting a pair of wristers after seeing Dawn's pair on Saturday at Stash Yarns where Jill was knitting some in Shepherd Worsted. Polly's pair are now finished; mine are taking a little longer. I frogged wrister #1 yesterday (didn't like the Kf&b increases or that the bottom bands of rib was K2, P1 and the top band K2, P2 and so didn't match), fiddled with the pattern and reknitted #1 plus about half of #2. Dawn and Polly added thumbs to their wristers, I didn't.

Wrister_1    Wrister_2

They're knitted in Malabrigo Merino, colourway Violettas, and the yarn colour is fairly accurate in the first pic. The second pic is testament to my inability to get to grips with the 3.75mm dpns I bought to knit the yarn. I struggled with them for about half a cuff, muttering uncomplimentary things about porcupines and other spiky things (being polite here), frogged the cuff (messy, ladders) and started again on two circs. Much more comfortable to hold, no ladders and my knitting looks better!

Dawn brought her copy of this into Stash

Victorian_lace_1

It's one of the nicest knitting books I've seen - I reckon that I'd be happy wearing about 90% of the designs which range from easy to seriously challenging. It's a Big Glossy Book (26cm x 28cm), beautifully photographed in and around Cambridge (that's Cambridge, UK, in case you're wondering) and with lots of extras to help the chart-phobic amongst us. I'd already ordered it from The Book Depository and my copy arrived this morning. If you like knitting lacy shawls and wraps, this book is a must-have.


Tasting yarn and some FOs

I went to another Yarn Tasting Evening at Stash Yarns yesterday. This one was for Lorna's Laces and was just as enjoyable as the first one in September. Dawn and Jill were there and several other knitters I hadn't met before, including blogger Ingrid from Tales of the knitty. The evening went by like a flash (natter, knit, natter, knit) and we all thoroughly approved of the yarns we swatched.

Tasty_lornas_laces    Tasty_still_to_sample

Swatch pic - clockwise from top left, Lion & Lamb (50% silk/50% wool), Shepherd Bulky (100% superwash wool), Shepherd Worsted (100% superwash wool), Swirl DK (85% merino wool/15% silk). Yarn pic (I was too busy talking to swatch these!) - left, Helen's Lace (50% silk/50% wool); right, Shepherd Sock (80% superwash wool/20% nylon).

Tasty_came_home_with_me

I've knitted with Lion & Lamb before and can report that it's just as nice to work it with a hook as it is to knit. I really fell for the Shepherd Worsted though; it's soft, non-tickly against your skin and takes colour wonderfully. I bought two skeins in the Berry colourway to make a scarf. Isn't the colour glorious?

Kiri_blue    Kiri_blue_detail

Kiri's finished! Blocked, it measures 85cm x 170cm and was such a lovely pattern to knit (thanks, Polly) that I'm sure I'll make it again. Also finished is a black silk scarf knitted in one strand of Tilli Tomas Rock Star and one strand of Anny Blatt Kanpur (thanks, Liz). I tried out several ideas, all of which proved far too complicated for the yarn, and finally settled for garter stitch which is reversible and shows off the beads really well. I love it; really glam!

Rock_star    Rock_star_on_chair    Rock_star_detail


Heck of a sunset

Nov_5_sunset    Nov_5_sunset_later

Pics taken a few minutes apart through the studio window; the sky has now darkened to deep carmine/crimson.

It's been one of those catching-up-with-chores weekends. I have clean clothes, food in the fridge and a fairly clean flat for a change. Just the washing-up to finish, then I'm done!

On the knitting front, I'm making a couple of scarves for Xmas presents (no pics as the recipients are blog readers) and I'm about halfway through Polly's Kiri Shawl in Rowan 4ply Soft for me. The yarn's a nice mid blue (bit of a change from purple) and it was reduced to £2 a ball at Get Knitted. It's got great yardage (175m per ball), is soft 100% merino wool and you get a lot of knitting for your money! On the lots-for-your-money theme, some Knit Picks Options needles and colour cards arrived this week, thanks to a friend in the US who sent them on to me. It's really annoying that Knit Picks only deliver to addresses in the US and Canada....

Knitpicks_are_pointy    Knitpicks_options

Aren't the tips nice and pointy? Purple cables too....

Knitpicks_gossamer_shimmer    Knitpicks_shadow_palette

I like the colour cards - nice idea to have little knitted samples for the multi-coloured yarns.