Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Hello Poor Neglected Blog!! (long post!)

A belated Happy Christmas, New Year & Birthday (to me). The time has flown, I can't believe it's almost 2 months since my last post, it wasn't intentional either. I don't know why it's been so long, I guess Ravelry has something to do with it - upload a finished object & it's done, then spend the next 3 hours browsing the site!!!!

I've still been knitting like crazy, anyone want some 'knitty mojo'? I've made Twist from Chicknits in Schoeller & Stahl Zimba Fix. This is my current favourite thing to wear, it's a great pattern to knit, waist-shaping, cables, hood... it's got the lot!

I grafted the hood (after making the sideways socks below, this graft was a walk in the park!)

I'm hoping to make one in Patons Washed Haze aran for a lighter weight version. I seemed to 'acquire' some in the January sales, I've no idea how it happened.

I've always fancied having a go at sideways socks but have read mixed reviews about the Sidewinders. These seemed a better bet. I used Regia Kaffe Fasset Design Line 4 ply in Landscape Caribbean.

140sts on 2.75mm isn't my idea of fun, but I had to have a pair, so I gritted my teeth, ignored the second-sock-syndrome that was gnawing away at me & got on with them. Thankfully, they're dead easy to knit.

This is the final result, they're one of my favourite pairs as they stay up ALL DAY! If you really hate grafting, these aren't for you as that's how they're joined, all 140sts x 2 socks!

Bitten by the sock bug & bugged by the size of the sock stash, another pair was next on the pins. These are the hugley popular Monkey Socks by Cookie A. I used Regia Stretch crazy colour. I don't know if it's the pattern or me, but I was hoping these would stay up in a stretchy sock yarn, but nope, they fall down too, just like my bambooo ones. Because of this, I won't be making another pair.

I'm going away in May & I'm determined to have some stuff ready, nice & early to take with me. This is the first of my Summer knits:

It's Sirdar 8388. I've used Patons Cotton DK in Foxglove. I added some waist-shaping, (nicked from another pattern as I don't know how to work it out) & added 1" to the length. I don't really like knitting with cotton, but I'm really happy with the finished result. It's really hard to knit for the Summer in January & then have to model it outside, I think a snuggly jacket is next up!

Well, that's what I've made since the last post, I promise to be back soon & not leave it so long.

(ps. Patons sent me some vouchers for the mistake in their Zhivago pattern, but refused to accept that it's wrong!)

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Mmmmmmm Cadbury's!

Well, not quite chocolate but the same colour as the wrapper! I got this far before realising the pattern is wrong:

The stated number of stitches don't equate to the finished measurement they put on the pattern. It was coming out far too big, so I ripped the body back to the ribs & re-knitted the smaller size. (I couldn't face re-doing the ribs too).

Here it is finished, it's Ribby Turtle Sweater from Patons Zhivago Weekend Knits book. (excuse the photographers' shadow!!)

I'm really pleased with how this turned out, it's lovely & warm. I added 1.5" to the length & 1" to the sleeves.

I've emailed Patons about the error & they've sent me their standard 'tell her to check her tension' email, back as a reply. I'm really annoyed as I've explained the problem, even done the maths for them 104 sts at 5st per inch = 20.8" x 2 = 41.5" NOT the 39" in the pattern.

My new knit is Twist from Chic-Knits. I'm using Schoeller & Stahl Zimba Fix which is a lovely 80% wool aran weight. One of those bargainous German eBay purchases. I'm nearly up to the armholes:

I didn't give this a second look the first time I saw it, because of the fringed collar, I think. But when they added the new photos with the hood, I just had to make it.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Recent Stuff!

I am still here, but I've been bitten by the Ravelry bug! I had my invite for over a week before deciding to log-in & see what the fuss was all about. I totally get it now, what a time-sucker it is too. I've started to list my stash & after 118 entries, I'm still not done. It's a bit scary to see it all detailed in one place when it's scattered around my house to make it look smaller, I won't even bother with the single odd balls that aren't sock wool!

I finished my Inca Zip Jacket while Rogue was blocking. I just managed to get it under my zipper foot so I machined the zip in. I wore it at the weekend & it's really cosy. Thanks to Littleberry (have a look at her lacework, it's gorgeous) for coming to my aid with the 2 extra balls I needed.

I wanted a 'mindless' knit after making Rogue, so I dived into the stash & came out with 4 balls of Sublime Angora Merino. This is the Big Wave Scarf from the Sublime Merino book. I made it longer than stated - 68" instead of 58". I wore it yesterday to keep the chill out, it's lovely & warm. It was flippin' snowing ALL DAY here in Brum yesterday, but it's thawed now, much to he kids' disappointment.

I've got a new knit on the go (I'm hopelessly addicted I'm afraid). This one is the Ribby Turtleneck sweater from Patons Weekend Knits. I'm using Patons Zhivago as I seem to have a rather alot of that *blushes*. It's a gorgeous purple, Cadbury's purple is a good description, yum, I love the feel of this yarn.

I've just finished the 9" of 4x2 rib for the front. I love the look of rib, but what a nightmare it is to knit on 3.75mm! Hope to get this finished this week - Ravelry permitting :)

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Rogue Hoodie the Finished Object!

Yaaayyyyy, Rogue is finished!!!

I put it on today for the 'photo-shoot' & decided to keep it on :)

I blocked it, sewed on the sleeves then seamed them. The pattern says to sew the sleeve seams then join them on, that sounded fiddly, so I joined & then seamed.

I've decided I like it with the curly hem & have the option of turning it up if I change my mind.

The hood is a little bit short for my swan neck!

The hood needed some surgery (more key-hole than open-heart!) to get it to lie flat. P3tog tbl & SSSK do not give a good look or finish, there must be a neater way (note to self- explore this further before making another!)

The cabley goodness of the hood!

Gratuitous hood graft pic. Thanks to Pumpkin Mama for sharing her Rogue Hoodie Grafting Cheat sheet. It's pure genius BUT don't sit down to start it at 11.30pm whilst watching TV, it needs 110% concentration!

This is nearer to the actual colour, it's darker than those pics shown above

I spent 15 days actually knitting it, then blocking, surgery & finishing took another 3 days. I used Addi 5mm for the main body & bamboo 5mm & 5.5mm for everything else. Using odd pins has prevented it from rowing out & achieved the same tension as the body. Made to the pattern with just 4 extra rows for the sleeves, the body shaping sits nicely on my waist, which is unusual for my long bod! All in all, a very enjoyable knit & I've overcome my fear of cables & charts. I'd iron out the pattern niggles previously mentioned, if I made it again.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Rogue Hoodie Day 10

The last time I knitted with so much excitement (sad, I know) was making my first pair of socks. I really can't put this down. I was up til 1.00am last night catching up as I was out all day & then was wide awake at 6.45am raring to go again while the kids were in bed! I've started the hood today & have managed 20 rows. This is how it looks as of now:

I tried it on & I actually like it with the hem & sleeves curling, I might not turn the hem under. The attaching of the kangaroo pocket is genius, I've never heard of ssk'ing 2 pieces together before :)

I've decided that a better description of the colour is peacock rather than teal.

Close-up of the neck:

There are a few niggles in the pattern that I would change next time. This is what I've found so far:

Page 12 -On the right side of the neck, the pattern has make 2 purlwise, as they're made on the wrong side & purled on the next row, they should be made knitwise.

Page 12 - The centre neck st is left on a holder, the instructions later tell you to just sew it in to get rid of it. I'd knit it in with the last row to make a neater finish.

Page 8 -2nd size, the pattern says to pick up 21 of the 23 cast off sts for the hood & then you have to increase 2 on the first row, so just pick up the 23 to begin with.

It would be nice to have confirmation of final stitch numbers when finishing a process, rather than 'leave remaining sts on holder/bind off' etc.

Some close-up photos of the cables would also be beneficial.

Anyway, they're niggles that can be fixed & I'm still loving it & can't wait to get it finished.

One last thing that just amused me, Hipknits have launched a new range of chunky yarn named after my dd Emilia. My dh will never believe that she was named before the wool !!!!

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Diary of a Rogue Hoodie

I've been dying to own one of these since I first saw the pattern. Definitely out of my league knitwise, but I still want one & I'm not going to let a load of wool beat me!! I got the yarn ages ago from Wolle Hartmuth, it's Austermann Revue a pure merino aran weight & machine washable too. It's a turquoisey/teal kind of shade.

I'm officially the world's worst cable chart reader, basically I've only ever done it for CPH, so this is challenging me to say the least! I thought I'd do the sleeves fist to get me used to the cable & charts. Now I know why they call these things a 'dummy run', because I am a DUMMY! I misread the pattern & forgot the increases either side of the cable so it got frogged. I had more success next time, not the neatest cables, I hope they'll be fine:

I've added an inch to the sleeve length, but only on one in case the pattern length of 17" is long enough, I'm sure I'll need the 18", but I'll wait until I can pin them to the body to check before doing any more on the 2nd one.

I've never used circs in my life for anything other than a button-band (see, I told you Rogue was out of my knitterly league didn't I?). I've done a twisted stocking stitch hem , but I've twisted each row the opposite way to avoid the bias effect as the designer suggests here, what she fails to tell you is how the hell you do this. Why write out 2 simple lines of instructions when you can fill a page & still not tell me? I spent 4 hours fiddling & trying to get each row to lie the opposite way to avoid the bias. The only way I found was to knit 1 rnd as normal, then knit 1 rnd tbl BUT wrap the yarn the other way, ie over the top - clockwise. Please tell me if there is an easier & quicker way. It now looks like this:

I whipped it off the circs onto waste yarn to try & measure it (I'm not paranoid -honest) & it measures 38" which suits me better than the 39" for the pattern anyway. I'm not sure if it's really indicative of the final size but I could always block it bigger if needed.

This is as far as I've got for now, but staying up til 1.00am last night didn't help, it just made me a crabby cow today.

I'm seriously wondering if I'll have enough yarn too, 1200m doesn't seem alot for all those cables, a pocket & a hood. I've actually got 1400m. I desperately want the pocket but don't want to run short.

If I ever post up a progress picture with dodgy cables going the wrong way, please tell me about it while there's time to fix them.

Sunday, 30 September 2007

Recent Knitterly Activity

I've been having a love/hate relationship with Zipperstop since they told me my zips, ordered in June weren't available unless I wanted 12 of each colour. After many emails across the pond, they refunded my money (all of it, despite me already receiving half of my order!) So the search for a teal zip for my ribby cardi began again. Then, out of the blue came another email off Zipperstop to say they's sent the rest of my order anyway & they hoped I could still use it. So I ened up with 10 YKK separating zips for free. The current status of our relationship is BIG LOVE !!!! I've been dying to get this one finished as it's been knitted since June:

Modifications: I added length to the body as the 19" from the pattern would be like a bolero on my long bod. It's now 24" unworn. I also added a zipper placket (is that the right word?) as it was hard to sew the zip to the curling edge. I just picked up a stitch for every stitch & cast off on the wrong side. It made the job alot easier. I didn't want to hide the zip as this yarn has a bit of a fluff to it & I could see it getting caught.

I love everything about this & I'm thrilled with the zip colour, did I mention how much I love Zipperstop right now?

This bodywarmer is knitted in Sirdar Denim Chunky, it's Sirdar pattern 8458.

You'll have to envisage the buttons for now, I hate sewing buttons on. It must be something to do with involving a needle & thread, I much prefer needles & yarn :)

These are my September socks for the sock-a-month challenge. I've made a pair for every month so far, but not actually during every month. They're Ripple Socks from Sandi Rosner's book. The yarn is Lana Grossa Fantasy #4833.

I've got a thing for zippy cardis now I've overcome my fear of the Z I P. I started the one on the left yesterday:

I'm using Patons Inca & this is progress so far. Just enough cable to ease the boredom of the black.

*** editted for Auntie Noo. the ribby cardi is from Patons book 1252 Weekend Knits in their Zhivago yarn. ***