Sunday, September 30, 2007

Rebecca! How could you do this to me!

This is my first ever no-photo post, and it is just to say AARGH! Rebecca! How could you do this to me! For the very first time I am utterly let down by one of your designs! I love your wrap-style jumper. The body looks unusual but sexy and stylish. But the arms! The first time I put on the jumper, I had to put it on over my bra alone, for no t-shirt would fit underneath those circulation-destroying arms. And for a deep-V jumper, that's not a good look. Small body translated to neat fit on a medium me; small arms were like something from a bustle dress circa 1890, you know the ones that ladies had to be sewn into. So I knit a medium sleeve. Which just about met around my wrist, but I wouldn't swear that a t-shirt would have fitted underneath the armpit either. And now, I am finally after finishing a LARGE sleeve to fit on a SMALL jumper, and if it doesn't fit after knitting FOUR sleeves for it I'll, I'll, I'll make a hat of the whole project, so I will. BAH.

Oh OK, I feel guilty about not having a picture. Look! Conkers! Autumn is here with a vengeance, and where is my warm jumper, eh?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Knitting Frenzy

What do you think is the very best thing to do when you're starting a new job that could be make or break for your career?

That's right, get knitting-obsessed. I blame, of course, Ravelry for everything. Not my obsessiveness. Nor my lovely ladyfriend's ordering of giant oiled cones of yarn (more later.) Not my feverish desire to get jumpers finished before the autumn comes. No no. It's all Ravelry's fault.

(I'm Glitzfrau on there, but currently I am obsessively cataloguing old projects that you all know far too well, or at least, those of you who follow this blog, that is.)

So I have completed all of the pieces of my Rebecca wrap jumper, only to be caught out by the bane, the horror of the knitting life:

picking up stitches. Well, it's not the greatest horror, but it's frustrating. The border pulls and tugs at the already skimpy top and bah, it won't fit. Meanwhile, the jumper is blocking, so I have to wait for it to dry before I can rip out the ribbing. OH MY LIFE IS SO HARD. Well, perhaps not.

Pieces blocking. It's eyarn, by the way, vintage superwash, dirt cheap, cheerful of colour, rough on the skin and pleasing to the purse. I like it.

Of course, because I am a sheep and an obsessive, I already have another project in mind for the oiled yarn: Interweave Knit's Tangled Yoke cardigan. Though not in fancy Rowan tweed, heavens no. In the looky-likey King Craig's Fabrics silk/wool mix. This is coated in oil for machine knitting, and after consulting the wise Livejournal knitting community, I'm going to go ahead and knit it as-is, and wait for the final blocking to bring out the yarn's Glorious Bloom. In the meantime, it kinda reeks. And feels manky. But it's cheap, OK? All about the cheap right now. For your scientific interest, here's the difference between the unwashed swatch: smells like a mechanic's underclothes, stitch definition crisp -

and its blooming washed sister, felted and fragile and (almost) fragrant. Like the mechanic's underclothes on a date, let's say, but a date with a farmer's underclothes that aren't that fussy either.

I'm a teeny bit nervous about the fabric - it feels a bit sheddy and scary, but so does luxe yarn, I must remind myself. Fine tweedy yarns aren't intended to be robust, right? Right? (That's why I feel safer with superwash, mind.)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A long summer, with much learning therein

Oh, no. Another hiatus, and after I'd got my knitting mojo back, and all! I am so sorry, friends. In exculpation, here is what I have been doing this summer: finishing a book, going on holiday to Portugal in a heatwave, moving country to the England, and starting a new job. Is quite a lot, no? And my trusty knitting has been keeping me company - indeed it has - but my blogging ability hasn't really. I am indeed sorry, fine internet friends. Now that I am here, can anyone recommend any knitting shops in Yorkshire? Apart from the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate, that I know about, but O! November is a long time away, and I long to be stroking luxurious yarns before then. Please help!

So, I said I learned lessons, and the main one is: Yarn Will Be What It Wants To Be. Lesson one:

Variegated sock yarn is for socks

For real. Like My Fashionable Life says, variegated yarn for clothes is... tie-dye, and well, nothing wrong with tie-dye, but I am not fifteen. Hence, these glories:

Quite easily the most expensive socks I have ever knit, but so so pretty, and just look at that sheen! And utterly absorbing, utterly lovely to knit. Hooray for Cookie A. And hooray for not having knit a variegated skimpy vest that, let's face it, would have got divil the bit of wear this sad sodden summer.

And now, lesson two:

If Glampyre says a cardigan should be cropped, it should be cropped

You may remember my bulky cabled cardigan of yore. It's a Glampyre pattern, but because I was drowning in long smock tops, I decided to knit it long and baggy and... well. It started out shapeless, and I told myself that would be fine, because it would be a snuggle-up-at-home type cardigan. But then, the weight of all the extra wool began dragging it off my shoulders entirely, and I couldn't even get warm in it, because my poor neck was frozen. So last weekend, I finally bit the bullet and reknit it in small, with a couple of short rows, but otherwise much, much more according to pattern:

There. That's more like it, isn't it? Slightly longer button bands, no mixed colours, and snuggly warm shoulders. Chunky knits are in this winter, I believe, friends, so we are in LUCK.

Otherwise, there has been experiments in mitred knitting, which leaves me a bit baffled:

This is one colourway of Noro Kureyon. Number 170, to be precise. And people knit themselves jumpers in these nutso colours? I ask you. Anyway, mitred squares turn out not to be hard at all, but I'm not so sure about the end result. It's a cushion cover, and I'm sure it'll be snug, but well. Yes. Thanks to Radegund, anyway, for the kind gift of yarn!

And now, it's back to my real knitting obsession: sleek little knits for layering. O Rebecca, let me hear your siren song:

Too pink? Or not? The yarn will lead me, I promise.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

In which I learn a stern truth about life

Want to know my stern truth, O readers?

Sock yarn. It's gorgeous. It calls to you, Make gorgeous vests of me! Knit me into a fine lace shawl! Shower your wardrobe with my variegated beauty!

But you know what sock yarn is very, very best for?

Socks. Mm-hm. No more poor sad random camis for my Lorna's Laces, no. She's coming home to where she belongs. That said, she's quite the most expensive sock yarn I've ever bought, so nothing but the most beautiful pattern for her.

Pomatomotamus, Hippopotamus or... well, you know what it's really called. When this pattern first came out I thought to myself, "one day, when I'm a really clever knitter, I'll make that pattern. One day." Of course, that was nonsense. This pattern is beautifully written, clear and elegant, and fiendishly, fiendishly clever. You don't have to have any brain at all to follow it. The fiendishly clever one here is Cookie A. I tell you. This is an old pattern, so you've probably drooled over it already, but look, look at the clever heel flap:

with the scales of the pattern flowing into it. Beautiful.

I'd forgotten how wonderful socks are for taking the edge off. Small and manageable and elegant and so very silly. There's a lot of changes coming up ahead, and I need some truly beautiful socks to help me stride through them, I think.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

FO: ravelled bolero

Or, you know, insert pun of your choice about shrugging or boleros here. It's done! Done! All nine inches of ribbing, done!

FO: Rebecca Bolero

Pattern: Bolero mit Lochmuster, from Rebecca 31, in the larger size

Yarns: Vintage Jaegar Langora, 70% lambswool 20% angora 10% nylone, in colour 353. It took 12 20g balls. Far more than I thought.

Needles: 2.5 and 3mm circs

Time sucked: A month. I wasn't knitting constantly, but still, 3mms take their time

Pattern modifications: I didn't knit it in merino? Also, I am incapable of picking up stitches to order, counting what was it? 366 stitches exactly along the outside edge? How can any mortal figure out what intervals to pick up at? I just pick them up, damnit. Hence, the ribbing probably flares more than it should.

Here's a back view:

Not the neatest lace graft ever, but it will do, it will do.

Verdict: Well. I got gauge all right, but angora is considerably less stretchy than merino, and it's quite a bit baggier than I thought it would be. When I think shrug, I think vanishing little confection, just hugging my shoulders; this has more the ease of a full-on autumn cardigan. So, on the one hand, I'm not that sure it's all that flattering.

On the other hand, even before I'd finished the ribbing, I was more than a little tempted to just cast it off and wear it a few days this week, such is the gap in my wardrobe for a fluffy brown shoulder-warmer this cool, unpredictable summer. It's perfect for the colours I wear. It's small enough not to look wintry, it's fluffy enough to look luxurious, I will wear it and wear it. I hope. Also, it's a Rebecca pattern, the second I've knitted, and they're just so nifty, you know? Here's the Eureka moment when I folded the blocked garment together...

and the polyhedron did become a jacket, after all! Like a miracle! It feels thought-through and properly designed, is what. And maybe some day I will put on half a stone again (probably, indeed), and I will still be grateful of fluffy fitting warmth around my shoulders, and in general, I'm pretty happy.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

good lord, Blogger pictures seem to be working!

Hooray for posting yesterday! I totally got my knitting mojo back. Knitting mojo hooray!

That means, of course, that my work mojo is for the birds. But oh well. It's July, it's cold and wet, and to be honjest, no-one is actually paying me to do work, so yes, sod it. So! While the peculiar polyhedron is drying, I've been busy, oh so busy...

Swatching for Serrano, for one thing, in my Russian wool-angora. For a wool angora blend, it isn't half stiff, and that's after I've washed it with conditioner. The gauge is odd: 26 stitches and 32 rows, I think, which is slightly off the Serrano gauge; but the designer gives two gauges, one blocked and one unblocked, which suggests that the yarn she's using has an awful lot more bounce in it than this one. So I don't know. I might actually write to her once I actually commit to the project, because from all I've read, it's a tricky, complex design, and I might as well get it right from the start. That doesn't sound like me, does it?

No, what would be more like me would be bating into a vest top in the round without the slightest thought for swatching or design. I took my lovely Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock for this first try, and put in the sweet eyelet pattern above... but I got only about eight inches into it before I had used half the yarn available, and the fabric was far too dense. A shame, because it's cute, but no good. This is in the nature of a perverse project for me, seeing if I really can get a camisole out of two skeins of pricey sock yarn, so I will not be defeated! Not I! I will rip back and start again on larger needles and with a more open stitch pattern...

This is the beginning of Katie's Razor Cami, a light sexy knit with sufficiently skimpy yardage to make me think that I might get there. Except, of course, that it's a non-shaped tube just like Orangina, and we all know how well that went. Not well. So my plan is to knit the first skein as far as it goes, block it, and Think Again. I think this may have to have a solid bodice with darts, if the yarn holds out, if if if. Designing on the fly and me: not the best of histories. But it's fun. And best of all, I'm knitting from stash, right?

So! To finish up, more from Family Knitting. This time, it's for the fellas. Roll up, oh dream hunks!

This set is called Big Softie. Presumably because Mr. Blonde Beard is mug enough to take your first fair-isle attempt off your hands, smile gamely while wearing it, actually think it's a thoughtful present, and hold out hopes for a proper date next time. Keep hoping, Mr. Blonde Beard. You know the knitting lady's affections are engaged elsewhere...

Mr. Star Spangled is a-coming knocking, with a veritable galaxy of Romantic Love tumbling down the back of his royal blue cardi! You can't compete, Blonde Beard. No. Knitting Lady has fallen hard, and is about to present Mr. Star Spangled with the ultimate romantic gift...

A King of Hearts themed tank top! But look! It's not just a natty reference to the dashing pursuit of Solitaire, the only thing that filled Mr. Star Spangled's life until Knitting Lady turned up. No. Do you see what she did with the heads? YES! Mr. Star Spangled's head is the King of Heart's head! What a card!

Dear sweet god. Whatever about the Cold War, the nuclear threat and mass emigration, if ever I saw an argument for thanking the stars we don't live in the eighties, it's that creepy jumper. Brrr.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

family knitting

What? What?! A whole month since I updated?

I have been knitting. Just not very fast. Good grief. How did that happen?

Anyway! The Rebecca bolero is knitted and blocking, ready for assembly.

angora bolero, blocking

Well, it fits the schematic. If any of you can offer any hints, any slight hints whatsoever, as to how on earth this strange polyhedron possibly turns into a garment, you know, those would be very welcome. Really. Any advice welcome!

So my next project...

cupboard of doom

Is somewhere in the bottom of this cupboard. Yes. Our house is on sale at the moment, and the yarn was hurriedly stashed away in order to give the house that Aspirational Urbanite as opposed to Crazy Knitting Lesbian Ladies look. It's in there, I know. Somewhere. I'm just not sure that my mental energies are equal to battling through it...

Remains only our old favourite, wild futureknitting fantasies. And while in a charity shop, my eyes alighted on a book called Family Book Of Knitting, gloriously and unabashedly from the 1980s. Classic knitting, I thought, hardly changes at all! Look at all the cute 1940s knitting patterns there are out there! I bet with a little change of colour, these patterns will look fresh and funky in a second!

And look at the cover pic. Very funky, non? I'm not about to knit quite that much fine-guage lurex, and boob tubes aren't really me, but this is pretty great, right?
And then... you open the book. And it is hard to figure out where the glory even starts. Let's start here, though, will we? Gilt-Edged Cardigan
Gilt-Edged Cardigan
Perfect for wearing with Bacofoil skirts! And for disguising ill-fitting bras! And... for matching wedding cakes? Yes. Maybe something with a waist?

Those of you who struggle with hair straightners, just think. One whisk of the time travel wand, and you too can tgravel back to 1983, where frizz is cultivated. That's true femininity, right there. Sure, it's a lot of stocking stitch for one skirt, but if it's going to give you milkmaid hips like that, who's complaining?
Paisley Skirt And Top
OK, you don't like the bunchy waisted look. It's dated. Family Book Of Knitting does have the answer though...
Mustard 'n' Dress
Look, with a trilby over your eyes, no-one will ever know it's you. That's got to be a comfort, right?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

angora and lace - implacable enemies or a lovably mis-matched couple?

I've been away, and back, and away, and back, so sorry, no blogging! I was even in Nuremberg in the pouring rain, and tracked down the yarn shop five minutes after it closed. That was sad. I could even see the latest issue of Verena smiling at me through the shop windows. No luck. No Verena or Rebecca for me this year, it seems.

But buying knitting magazines is only going to do bad things to my stash, and my stash is for busting, this summer. So first up: remember this springy Langora in an autumnal colour?
the lambs of spring
I decided that a Rebecca pattern was the way t magic it into a summery garment:

Bolero from Rebecca 31

A wee shrug, because I didn't know the yardage of the yarn; it's 280 grammes, which seems quite little, but then again it's 14 balls, which is quite a lot. So I decided to err on the side of safety.

Rebecca bolero sleeve 1

Evidently I am wildly conservative, because that's two balls there, and it's the guts of a sleeve. I suspect the whole confection will take 7-8 balls, which will still leave me some stash to bust. I may even have to swap some of it... then again, can one ever have enough baby-soft chocolatey cardiganness?

The prevailing wisdom says that angora and lace don't mix, because the yarn is too fluffy to show any pattern. This is a pretty simple pattern; what do you think?

Angora lace, close up
The yarn is very unstretchy, presumably because the fibres are short, so I'm not sure how it will block... but it's all a brave adventure, right?

Monday, May 14, 2007

rusted fox

So, alas, Orangina. It could possibly be fixed by unknitting the ribbing and (groan) either starting it further up or (double groan) extending the lace and having only a couple of inches of lace lower down.

Or, you know, I could stick it in the back of the wardrobe and clock it up to experience. And possibly recycle the cotton later, because it is nice cotton. Yes.

But! At a loss for a shrug pattern, and wondering what to do with all that gorgeous cashsoft yarn I bought at the knitting and stitching show, all the sexy knitting photos of Rusted Root caught my gaze. I didn't even mean to knit it. It wasn't a plan. And I had 500g of that cashsoft, far too much for a short-sleeved top. Didn't I need a cardigan?

No use.

FO: Rusted Root

Rusted Root 1
This is awesome. Look at the pink and the curves and the puffed sleeves! And I didn't even mean to knit it. Honest.

Pattern: Rusted Root, by Zephyrstyle, in medium

Yarns: 5 skeins of RYC Cashsoft DK, in a discontinued colour (512), 57% extrafine merino, 33% microfibre, 10% cashmere, 130m per 50g.

Needles: 4mm Addi Turbos

Time sucked: Two weeks, is all. It zips along.

Pattern modifications: Ah HA!

Rusted Root 2

The magic of short rows, is what I added. Thanks here go to Fantasy Knitsfor her curvalicious inspiration. I only added three short rows; Fantasy Knits added six, and if I had to knit this again I'd do the same. But look at the difference they make! Normally, high-necked puff-sleeved tops make me look like a potato sack with an elastic tied around it, but with the rows of joy, no-one is safe from my curves.

I wore it to a style bar on Saturday, and no-one booed me out. No one even raised an eyebrow. A handknit, in a style bar! That's how rocking this is, yo.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

not scarlet, but orange

Ack, it has been a while. As ever, it feels as though there's been no knitting at all, and as ever, I find to my surprise that actually, I've been knitting almost without thinking in the holes of a really ridiculously busy fortnight. In fact, I've f'ed some o's, who would have thought? So first up:


orangina fini

Teeny tiny needles, endless ribbing, tough (though softer than usual) cotton: I finished it! But... I'm not sure. I really amn't. Everyone I read online said to make sure that I knitted it a size smaller than usual, so I did: this is an S, and I am definitely an M. And yet, look: I blocked it as narrow as I could, and there's still something slightly loose and baggy about it. Moreover, the nice scallops at the neck, which stick up sweetly in everyone ELSE'S version, don't seem to work on mine. My lovely lady friend says she thinks that perhaps the main problem is that the ribbing beings in the wrong place: nowhere near my natural waist, making me look a bit pointless-shaped. Perhaps. I don't know. It's not a complete disaster, but I'm not sure I'll be wearing this in public any time soon, either. (Even with a vest underneath.) What do you think?

Pattern: Glampyre's Orangina

Yarns: Rowan 4-Ply Cotton in a discontinued shade called Rosehip

Needles: 3 1/2mm circulars

Time sucked: A month or so

Pattern modifications: Not that many, really

Sunday, April 22, 2007

stella nova, reviewed

On my travels, besides knitting frantically on the ribbing of Orangina (which never, ever will be finished) I also picked up two gloriously lurid balls of Debbie Bliss's new yarn, Stella. (I would link directly to the Debbie Bliss site, but weirdly, the yarn's not up there yet.) It's 60% silk, 20% rayon, and 20% cotton, a rather heavy aran-weight combination that gives a very average yardage of 88m per 50g. The colours are absolutely amazing:
the price is a bit jawdropping. It's silk, and priced accordingly, but it handles like a short-fibred cotton yarn, not a sheeny, long-fibred silk. On casting on, the yarn is every bit as fray-ey and splitty as it promised to be in the ball, alas. It's lovely and soft to knit, and much easier on the hands while knitting than cotton is, but it splits like crazy. Another very unimpressive quality of the yarn is the number of knots - lots of little ones holding together separate plies, making for lots of annoying little ends to be woven in to the back of the work.

On the plus side, the stitch definition is, as promised in the brochure, quite good - better than I would have thought - and the fabric it knits up into is really lovely, felted-feeling and cuddly and heavy. Also, it seems to hold its shape quite well. But still, the finished product sheds.

I had a wee stroke of Debbie Bliss's other new summer yarn, Pure Cotton, which is the most sumptuous, silky, gorgeous aran-weight cotton imaginable, and at a much better price. Stella doesn't seem to do anything that this yarn doesn't do anything that that one doesn't, apart from having the heavier, warmer qualities of silk. That said, the colours are amazing.

So what did I actually make with the somewhat maligned ball?
one skein wonder back
Another Glampyre knit, because clearly, I am unhealthily obsessed. Some day, I will knit up everything Stephanie ever designed, and then you will see a whole new theme for this blog, I swear. In the meantime, I've been slightly obsessed with this pattern: it's the nearest you can get to an accessory while still being a garment, I think, the slightest, scrappiest jumper imaginable. Does it really have a function, I asked? The answer is, surprisingly, yes, actually: it's not just bright and fun and a super-quick knit, but worn on a fair spring day over a cotton t-shirt (as in the pic), it's a really welcome hit of warmth over the shoulders, almost as good as wearing a full cardigan. That would be the silk in the Stella, I guess. Well done, Glampyre, for whipping up a natty solution to a problem I didn't even know existed. That's true science for you.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

instant sun top!

Ever woken up to sun, glorious sun, and wished that you had a brand-new hand-knitted top to swank around in, without actually having to knit it?
violet sun
Ta da! Just overdye an old one, and swank away! Well, swank away happily until you look at the photos and realise quite how much non-toned tummy is on view. Whoops. Just as well I knitted that extra round of lace edging the first time, no? It's last year's Soleil, overdyed in violet because, well, I just couldn't get my head around that mottled ducks-egg thing that the top had going on. Whereas violet is rock. Just to make sure that no-one mistakes me for a goth, I'm being sure to accessorise with rainbow belt and scholarly own. It's a queer-tastic purple vest top, not gothy purple lace, OK?

You are all, by the way, to be admiring HOW MUCH MY HAIR HAS GROWN in the year in between, OK? It's hard work, growing my wimpy hairs, I can tell you. A full time occupation.

And then I wandered out in the gorgeous spring sunshine to This is Knit's new shop in Blackrock, to drool and admire Lisa and Jacqui's gorgeous new premises. They recognised me as soon as I went in! Even though I've been in Northern exile for so long! That's knitting community for you. The shop is absolutely lovely, and so are the Lorna's Laces yarns. I have a job now, and I had to succumb, if only for the fun of using the ball winder:
lorna's laces
Then down to the beach for a bit to gaze over Dublin Bay into eternity, while waiting for the train. I love my city. Lorna's Laces-enabling job or not, I can't wait to be back.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

FO: it's amazing what a giddy rush of colours can do

It is truly astonishing what a giddy rush of colours can do to a knitter, isn't it? The label on my multicoloured merino yarn said, adorably, Make your yarn happy - Knit It Now!. So I did. Fast.

FO: City Shawl

city shawl ta-da!

Tad-da! It's Glampyre's City Shawl, scaled down for a much finer gauge. While I was knitting it, I thought I was slightly crazy. And now I've finished, I think that yes, the yarn was slightly crazy, but the shawl is also awesome. This would have made great socks, but the shawl is something else.
Pattern: Glampyre's City Shawl, modified to suit a much finer yarn. The pattern as written is for chunky yarn. And once I was mistress of the mesh pattern, I started winging it, adding drop-stitch rows and garter-stitch rows at will, as the fancy took me.

Yarn: Celestial Merino Dream, in colourway Fiesta, on sale from Get Knitted. That's just one skein, people. 100 grammes, 280 metres. I can't really believe it myself.

Needles: 5mm circ.

Time sucked: A week. Glampyre suggests a weekend, but there's a lot more mileage in finger-weight yarn.

city shawl unblocked

Unblocked splendour. Check out those colours!


Oh, come on. It's awesome. Isn't it? I had moments of doubt knitting it, but the simple pattern turned out to be just perfect for such a nutso yarn. This one is for summer afternoons in the park, listening to hippy drummers and eating Mr. Freezes in the least natural colours possible.
city shawl smile

In other news

orangina progress
There's my orangina, lickety-splitting along. Glampyre, she is a genius for the simple and effective. It took me a while to become one with the pattern, though. I think there's three stages in knitting lace; first, the set-up rows, where you have no idea what you are knitting and any mistake could be fatal; second, once you have a general feel for the pattern's rhythm, and have somewhat memorised it; and third, when you really know what function each stitch has in the pattern, and can instantly spot and correct a mistake. It took me a few days to get to the latter stage with Orangina, simple lace though she is, but I'm there now. Roll on summer!

We won't speak of Ivy. Not right now. But thank you, thank you for your kind words!

Friday, March 30, 2007

It all seemed so happy

Oh, last Sunday! My parents had just left me; the sunshine was beaming in through my bedroom window; I had no work to do, and Ivy had just been knitted up. All she wanted was careful, neat sewing, and I was so excited about how clever this pattern is, how scrupulous in its details, that I was prepared to spend hours getting the seaming elegant and strong.

I seamed the shoulders. I seamed an arm. I tried it on. It billowed, it blew, it looked handmade and lumpy. I checked the other arm, and found that somehow, I had gone way off gauge, and the arm was 5 inches wider across at the shoulder than it should have been. It didn't look puff-sleeved; it just looked crap.
bah, ivy, bah!
So, yeah. There was nothing for it. I ripped the shoulders back. I love that pattern so much, and I won't have it looking lumpy and sad, you hear me? I won't! But I have this awful crashdown now; I was so looking forward to the finishing line, and to showing off a truly elegant handknit garment. I think the thing that I find most discouraging is that I don't really know why the sleeves went so horribly wrong; I couldn't make either one add up to the pattern, both went way too wide, and yet I got gauge, so I have little real hope of being able to fix it. I mean, I'm trying, but the yarn is a mess now it's ripped and has a different gauge, and in short, I have lost the love. This is a shame, because it was going to be so pretty. I will try harder, I will!

Here, have some Happy Colourdy Spring Photos instead, yes?

spring is sprung

Look, bright green new spring sandals, and sunny forgetmenots to dance on!

one skein of joy

And this, this is an impulse internet purchase: those colours. Could you have resisted? Now really, could you? I'm sighing and lusting and stroking it, and its dizzying kaleidoscope is taking my mind quite away from the sad Ivy mess.

It's sock yarn, really, 100 grammes (or 280 metres) of it, and of course it would make glorious socks, but I think I don't want it for zany socks. I am torn between making it into a One Skein Wonder shrug, and a very plain openwork shawl. What can you do with 280 metres of fingering weight? Tell!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

the first day of spring, the first day of lace

Look at this!
second tie
Yes, I know it's a dark and obscure little photo. The point is, it's the last tie for Ivy. And that when this is done, I will have all the pieces finished, and will only have to sew it up, and it will be DONE. I have a few wibbles about the size of the pieces - my shoulder decreases on the sleeves would and would not work out, no matter how I tried, so I have a feeling it'll be a little bit puff sleeved - no bad thing in itself, right? But in general, it's going to be a slim slim cardigan in this season's silver, and of course youse are right, I am going to keep it silver for as long as metallics are in style. Next winter it can preen as an all-new violet or green garment; for now, it can stay as it is.

The ties are actually quite painless, particularly if you knit them on DPNS, rather than wrestling with a big long circular that engages in intimate embraces with a long dangling string of knitting. Zip! Zip! Watch this spot!

Last week, you may remember that the heavens were shining, I was trying on new green sandals, and spring was in the air. The soft red cotton of Orangina called to me, and I cast on. Oh, luxe yarns! This is the nicest cotton I have ever knit with, for real: soft and non-splitty and with amazing definition, definitely and definitely worth the extra you pay for Rowan if you don't get it at a bargain price off eBay. Go Rowan.

orangina 1

So I sat on the train, and chatted about politics and poetry, and the train sped ever-northwards, and the wind blew stronger, and flurries of snow started dancing alongside the window, and now it is about zero degrees and all thoughts of pretty light cotton lace seem as folly and vainglory. Oh well. I made a start.

orangina 2

My thoughts are also turning towards that vintage chocolate Langora yarn, and I suddenly was caught by the thought that I haven't yet made a long-armed shrug, and that those are actually perfect for this season's dresses and the breezy Irish weather. But are shrugs completely, utterly, indelibly over, friends? Do you know? What do you think? Would you ever speak to me again if I knitted a shrug?