Tag Archives: knitting

Things, various

I got out my spinning wheel again for the first time in *cough*years*cough, and made this rather uneven yarn! Think I might do some more spinning, though, and hope to produce better next time.

Purple chain plied yarn

Purple chain plied yarn

And then I went to Yarndale with Frax, and restrained myself from buying fibre, because I’ve already got loads. But we saw sheep:


And tree decorations:

Tree decorations
Tree decorations
This tree is covered in bees!
This tree is covered in bees!

And I did buy a fairly large quantity of yarn (for a jumper, a cardigan, a pair of gloves, and a load of hexagons), some beautiful buttons, and some needle tips for my Chiaogoos.

The haul
The haul

Just before Yarndale, I fell in love with the Under the Party Tree mitts, and bought the pattern and cast on within about two hours of first seeing it. Lots of knitting time at the weekend, and I’m nearing the end of the first one:

Under the party tree
Under the party tree

And I’m already planning for my next project, using some of the Yarndale haul. Look! A swatch! I’ve even blocked it, and it’s sitting drying next to me as I type…


Scarves and elephants and pattern writing, oh my!

Ralph's scarf

I finished Ralph’s scarf (pattern: Clincher by Ash Kearns; yarn: Malabrigo sock in Ravelry Red and Knit Picks Palette in black), and he’s been wearing it around the house even though the weather is warm :-)

Green elephants on parade Purple elephants on parade

And off the back of publishing the one-size version of the Dylan’s Elephants pattern, I’ve written the sized-up version (four sizes: 0-3m, 6-12m, 12-24m and 2-3y) and am test knitting one of them in an assortment of bits of left over sock yarn. If anyone reading this knows doubleknitting (or wants to learn) and has someone in their life who’s under 3 and would like an elephant cardigan, email me – I could do with another test knitter.


Four sets of interchangeable needles

Addiction to interchangeable needles

I have a bit of an addiction to interchangeable needles. Yesterday I bought my fourth set, and I’ve already started lusting after the set which might be my fifth.

Denise needles
Denise needles

I started with Denises – the only ones easily available in the UK at the point I was sure enough that the knitting bug was going to stick. The idea was revolutionary for me, but the physical objects never melted my heart — there’s no joy, or luxury, or fun in the way they look or feel. I don’t use them at all any more.

KnitPro Harmony needles
KnitPro Harmony needles

My second set was KnitPro Harmony (then called KnitPicks) — such a difference! Beautiful coloured wood, smooth surfaces, sharp points, purple cables. The case broken and I replaced it with a roll-up multi-pocketed pencil case, the needles aren’t size marked, the joins sometimes come unscrewed, and several of the cables have snapped or pulled out of the join, but I do still love these, and still use them a lot.

Addi Click needles
Addi Click needles

The third set was Addi Click. The click join is clever (needs no key!) and has never yet come undone for me, the needles are size marked,  and so are the cables. But the join is a bit bumpy, and the tips aren’t as pointy as I like.  I use them a lot, and particularly enjoy the ease of swapping needle tips without hunting for they key, but they’re a teensy bit disappointing.

ChiaoGoo Twist needles
ChiaoGoo Twist needles

So the fourth set, bought yesterday at White Hart‘s Purlescence birthday party, are ChiaoGoo. This presented a bit of a dilemma, because they make two sets: the Twist have metal needles and tough plastic-covered-metal cables; the Spin have bamboo needles and cables with swivel joints. I wanted metal needles and swivel joints, so I bought a small set of Twist (I rarely use needles bigger than 5mm, and couldn’t quite justify the complete set), and supplemented with some Spin cables, since the two types are interchangeable. Early indications are that they’re going to be my favourite. I love the swivel joints, the joins are smooth, and they’re pretty pointy (not quite as pointy as the KnitPro, but way more than the Addi). Both needles and cables are size marked, and the case is both pretty and well designed.

(Now to start scheming for how to get my hands on the Lantern Moon set.)

Breaking knitters’ block

(Also bloggers’ block, I suppose!)

I’ve been working on Arietta for nearly a year, and have been stalled on it for only slightly less time. Every time I pick it up I make a mistake, or get confused, and stop again in favour of patterns which require less attention.

But because of getting confused about quantities and washableness of Koigu when planning a present for a brand-new baby, I had a 50g skein of sock yarn in rather fetching reds and pinks, and decided to make a mini-Arietta with it, in the hope of finally getting the pattern.

And I think, cautiously, that it’s worked. This is my mini-Arietta blocking:

It’s 48″ long and 14″ wide at the widest point, which is plenty big enough for a small shawl or a scarf, and it’s lovely. And now I’m working again on its red laceweight sibling…

Ribbed fingerless mittens

Pattern: Lydia’s mitts

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.

Lydia’s mitts pattern available to download from Ravelry.

Blocking lace

This is Annis, pinned to the futon in my library, blocking. I added some more rows of plain stocking stitch with a row of eyelets just before the cast off edge (ribbon is threaded through them in the picture, although I haven’t decided yet if I’ll wear it with the ribbon or if it’s just a blocking aid). I went round the cast on edge afterwards with a teen tiny crochet hook (three single crochet to each cast on loop) and added beads to each point.

This is to wear for a friend’s wedding in a week and a bit, and I’ve been putting off finishing the edging before suddenly realising quite how soon it is!

Talking of things I’ve been putting off… the sheer weight of unblogged projects has been hanging over me and harshing my blog mojo, but I got fed up with it ;-) I might blog the unblogged stuff; I might not. For now, I’ll just do a list of things I’m currently working on:

  • Rogue – this is a reknit. I made the cardigan version years ago and it never quite worked, so I’ve unravelled and am reknitting as a jumper, with – I think – better gauge. I’m about 20 rows into the hood, so nearly finished, and very excited about it :-)
  • Still knitting Henry for large-male-friend-R. About halfway through, and sort of hoping to be done for Christmas this year (and hoping/planning to make a hat for his daughter and mitts for his wife to accompany the gift).
  • Space-invader-yoke cardigan for toddler-L (reknitting the star kimono and Tomten he’s grown out of). I got a fair way into this before being seized with doubt about the sizes of toddlers, and after his mother had wielded the measuring tape, it was confirmed that the internet had lied to me, so I had to start again, and lost motivation.
  • Oh god another reknit: the suffragette socks! The double-knit cuffs are great, but the first version of the sock body (so to speak) was too tight. I should know better! So I’m reknitting those, to be grafted to the cuffs. Eventually.
  • And finally, not on the needles, but in planning: I made C a simple ribbed cowl for her birthday, and I really want one myself! I’m wearing pashminas-as-scarves a lot, but getting really fed up with the dangling ends. It only took an afternoon to knit C’s, so all I need to do is choose yarn and find time…

Oh, and I knit yet another pair of baby Coriolis for the imminent arrival of T’s baby, but despite finishing them ages ago, I have not yet posted them, and the baby was due a couple of days ago. Note to self: post socks.

Suffragette socks in progress

These are the four faces of my first suffragette cuff. Naturally, I prefer the purple side :-)

There are some mistakes in the white side, although I’ve checked and they’re mistakes in the knitting, not in the chart, so at some point soon I’ll publish the both-sides-right-way chart to go with the simple one. (It’s very exciting publishing a pattern on Ravelry and then watching people adding it to favourites and queue!)

I’m also planning some adjustments to the chart to suit a wider range of stitch counts – it should be fairly easy to narrow the pattern in several places. And I’m thinking about serifs…

Suffragette socks!

OK, I’m way behind on blogging. I’ve finished all kinds of things since I last posted, and started planning several more…

…One of which is planned enough to share the chart here. This the chart for my Suffragette socks, to be knit as the cuff of an otherwise-purple, 72-stitch sock. I’m planning to do it in double knitting, because I prefer it to stranded (and am more sure of my tension), but I’m currently working on how to write the chart so that the letters are the right way around on both sides, which involves non-symmetrical double knitting, which I haven’t done before. I’ll post that chart when it’s finished, too.

Download the PDF from Ravelry.

Longer time no blog!

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 :-)
Dad's staggered rib Christmas scarf

A hat with ears for my friend V’s baby. Ears to please mummy, goth black to pacify daddy ;-)
Lucas's hat with ears

And four identical pairs of cable mittens, for three of my best friends and me, with a deeply symbolic four-strand cable design.
ACLV mitts

And a finished birthday-and-Christmas present to myself (because apparently you can never have too many pairs of fingerless mittens), the modified reading mitts, which I’ve been wearing all the time:
Modified reading mitts

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.)
Ralph's gloves

In fibrey gifts, my parents gave me some spinning wheel bobbins and a rather steam-punky bobbin winder, which I haven’t photographed yet, and my in-laws gave me this lovely fibre:
Fibrey gift

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 :-)
Purple picot hem

And finally, the first FO of 2010! Felted slippers, to an improvised design with stripy double-knit soles, and felted to exactly the right dimensions so they fit perfectly!
Felted slippers