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.