My officemate Lydia complained that her hands were cold, typing in our sometimes-freezing office, so I offered to knit her some mittens. These are the result, knit from some handspun that I called ‘Silk Cut (with merino)’ because it reminds me of the colours of Silk Cut cigarette packets, and is made from one strand of merino plied with one of silk.
This is mostly going to be a photo post rather than a words post, because I’m so far behind First, Christmas presents for other people…
A scarf for my dad, which seemed to take ages and got very, very boring. But it was worth it because I found out after I’d started that he’d asked my mum for a hat and scarf, and she hadn’t been able to find a scarf to fit his exacting requirements, but had bought him a navy hat. And he loves it
These aren’t technically a Christmas present, but I knit them over Christmas after I realised Ralph had no gloves, and I had some spare black yarn left over from the hat-with-ears. (They’re loosely inspired by pictures of Dashing, but not knit to that pattern.)
I’m now making a third attempt to knit this lovely purple merino into a jumper. The picture is actually a lie, because something went wrong with my gauge calculations and I had to frog, but the second go is going much better, and is nearly at the armholes (bottom-up) at which point I’m going to have to make a decision about what kind of sleeves to have. It’s deliberately plain (no cables on the second version, though there were on the first), so I can knit without looking at it, and therefore read academic papers at the same time, and doesn’t mind being put down in the middle of a row (and the harmony needles are grippy enough that I don’t need to slide them through) so I can stop to make a note whenever I need to. This means I’m getting through it quite quickly
Over a month ago, I was half-heartedly whining about having only one thing on the needles, and the need to go and cast on for something else. Now I once again only have one thing on the needles (the same thing – selbu modern, which I’ve hardly touched in the meantime), but in between I have knit lots of things. My course kindly provides the required reading in A4-photocopies, which are conveniently flat, making it easy to knit and read at the same time as long as I choose my knitting carefully, and I’ve been doing a lot of reading since I last blogged. Sadly, I haven’t yet worked out how to blog and read at the same time.
Immediately after hitting ‘publish post’ on my last post, I did indeed go and start preparing to start something else – I wound some handspun yarn (peacock) into a ball and started swatching. I’d been thinking for a while that this wanted to be a scarf in a peacock-tail lace pattern, and now it is! (Although it still needs blocking…)
While knitting the scarf, I decided that I really needed a new hat. This is my own design, although I misjudged the width of the ribbing – it’s this wide so I can fold back the hem, but I don’t like how it looks folded, so I wear it unfolded and covering most of my face I’m planning to make another, with less ribbing, and then perhaps publish the pattern (heh, I’m always saying that and never do. Eventually!) The hat got christened on a very rainy Reclaim the Night march, and kept my head warm and toasty and dry throughout, so I am declaring it a success!
When I said I only had one thing on the needles, I was using a rather strict definition of the term, because one of the off-the-needles things is a single mitten, the pair for which I’m going to cast on next. This is a modified version of Susie’s reading mitts, worked upside down, with a different gauge and thumb gusset, and with the hem edges knit into the fabric rather than sewed down later. The lace pattern, which was drew me to the mitts in the first place, is unaltered
I spun the yarn for this over my birthday weekend, having given myself the weekend off all study-work and work-work (I’m still behind on both kinds of work because of this, but it’s an article of faith that I don’t work on my birthday). The yarn is rather more brown than I usually like, but I think the colours suit the pattern, and I’m enjoying how the colour shifts in different kinds of light, looking sometimes more purple, sometimes more brown, and sometimes more grey. This is chain-plyed to keep the colour changes intact, but I’ve got half of the fibre still unspun, so I think I’ll two- or three-ply that to see the difference in finished colours. I’m getting quite interested in achieving different colour effects in finished yarn from the same fibre, and I’ve got some ideas about other ways to play with this, which I’ll blog about if I get round to doing it before I lose interest in the idea!
If this doesn’t sound like quite enough knitting in a month to be called ‘lots’, it’s because about half of my November knitting has been on gifts for people who might conceivably read this blog, so the rest will have to stay unblogged until after Christmas!