November is almost at an end and it already feels like summer here in Auckland. Today we reached 26ºC which is what I consider a late January temperature. With the start of the warm weather my knitting always slows down. There is more time to spend outdoors and really who likes sitting around with extra layers lying across them, knitting hanging from the needles. I haven’t a lot to show you, the project which I started a few weeks back is no more then an inch and has been relegated to the hibernation pile along with my bias scarf which there is no need for at current temperature. I will attempt to do a few rows each night on the first but the later will be in the pile until near autumn I think.
What I do have to share is about the Solid lace workshop of Vintages Purls which I attends yesterday, along with mum. It was interesting to learn what types of lace patterns can work by taking out the holes. So often I see garment patterns which have lace but would be a lot more practical with those holes closed up. It was a bit to take in yesterday but I think I got it so this morning after mowing the lawn I sat outside on the new furniture, which I love, and gave it ago with the pine tree pattern from Mary Thomson’s book of knitting patterns.
The first repeat (bottom) I did with the holes so I could compare, I should have done this with the one I did yesterday at the workshop. Next I decided I wanted my stitches moving away from the decreases so the first yarn over was change to a right increase, the second to a left. For these I used the knit into the stitch below method. For the third repeat I reversed it so my increases were in the same direction as the decreases once again with knit into stitch below method. The last two repeats are done with yarn overs which are closed up on the purl round. I’m really not sure which is which on these so if anyone can tell me please do. I plan to do a bit more experimenting with closing the holes in lace but need to find a stitch guide with more lace patterns.
Oh and yesterday I also purchased a lace weight yarn to make another featherweight cardigan, I hope to get started on this pretty quickly as it is such a great garment to throw on over dresses in summer when it gets a bit chilly. I went with a redish colour way which I hope will complement a lot in my wardrobe. More on that next week maybe.
You know how I wanted some mindless stocking stitch to do, well I found some with the Shapeshifter pattern. I have worked on it as a bit of therapy when I have arrived home from “interesting” days at work. Well now it is all finished and TP kindly has modelled it for us all.
It was a piece of cake to knit, just what I needed. The pattern is one of those great ones that you can use any gauge and just adjust the numbers, which I love for stash busting. I have used the Vero which I still had in my stash, so I guess I could make this a stash crusade project. The buttons were one I replaced from a RTW cardigan which have been sitting in the button jar for a while now. Shame really that this will sit in the draw for a good 6 months before I get any wear out of it but once the cold winter winds arrive I’m sure I will wear it most nights on the way home as it provides warmth to all the areas I need.
Pattern: Accidentally on Purpose by Jamie Chupick from Stitch ‘n’ Bitch Nation
Yarn:Lincraft Double Knitting Acrylic
I don’t really have much insight to tell about this one. TP is happy with the finished result which is the ultimate outcome. The whole time I was knitting this the colour said “Muppet Vomit”, but I hoped once the stitches were dropped it would break it up a bit, which I think it has. It goes with a lot of the colours TP wears so should be a regular in the wash basket. The acrylic isn’t the nicest to work with but it isn’t the worst I have every tried to knit. More photos can be found here.
My arm pain had eased a lot so I have started a summer scarf this week after I finished the vest. A simple bias pattern that I wasn’t too sure about to start with but it grew on me and I’m happy to have committed to it now. Unfortunately after getting out in the garden today with the weed eater the pain is back so I think it will be slow progress. Fortunately for me, Mum whipped me up a scarf this weekend which will provide that little bit of warmth I am needing in the office. Thanks Mum!
Apologies for no craft post last week. Sunday (normal blogging day) we had to abandon ship due to a blocked sewer. Rates to get plumbers out on a Sunday start at $300 which was way out of the price range so we took up the hospitality of my parents. Monday morning it was a mere $115 to get it fixed. Now to cover two weeks worth of craftyness.
I had started a new knitting project last week before things turned to clogged drains which I have continued on. It is a drop stitch vest for TP, came about by TP trying to steal my Accidentally on Purpose vest that I made years ago, and wear a lot. There is no way she is getting that into her draws so I told her I would make her one. This once again put Lossy’s socks on hold, there is something about the yarn that I am hating which is why I think I am finding ways to put them on hold all the time. We raided Mum’s stash again for the yarn for this one, it is a nasty acrylic from Lincraft in Australia, it came to mum via her aunty when they cleaned out her house. Not my choice of yarn but the colours (which looks like muppet vomit) was a hit with TP and at least it will be an easy wash. My Accidentally on Purpose is also knitted out of acrylic of similar quality and it has held up really well. I decided to knit the vest in the round as I really didn’t see any point to knitting it flat and I really don’t like seems for something so simple. I was almost ready to cast off and drop the stitches yesterday but found after trying it on TP that it needed a little more length in the armhole than I thought so I hope to get it done today.
Last Saturday we took in a new craft store which has opened locally. The Little Craft Store opened it’s doors on the 27th of August. It is just a short trip from home so I was excited when I found the blog via Kreachr’s Little Corner the first impression as we approached was this is a cute little shop with a bit of everything. Although stock levels were low (I understand it’s a big investment to stock up a store) there was the promise of great things to come for this little store. TP was particularly taken by the Sweetie Petites Kits. I had seen that she was stocking these from the blog so did a little research before hand on price and was happy to see the in store price was very competitive. The only yarn in store when we visited was Knitsch sock yarn and some rare yarn company stuff, I do hope that this side of the store grows.
The knitting didn’t happen this week like I would have liked it to have. I am stuck with the heel of the socks for Lossy and I haven’t even tried to find the pattern. I guess you could say I have lost my mojo. This seems to happen when I try to knit socks, shouldn’t they be a nice small easy project? When I’m browsing Ravelry I tend to be drawn to garments, its not like I really need any more but I think I am more of a garment knitter.
I have purchased a new dress for work which needs a cardigan to be able to wear it in spring and fall. Once home I could not, for the life of me, find my featherweight cardigan which I think would go with it really well, so I have turned to Ravelry to find a new pattern to knit up. Not that I won’t be able to find the featherweight cardigan again but because it offers me the opportunity to justify casting on another garment when really I should be finishing Lossy’s socks and casting on for TPs, not forgetting that I still have a skein of Needlefood to be knitted up for my own feet.
So this week I am going to do my best to finish at least the first of Lossy’s socks and then perhaps I will allow myself to move onto a new cardigan. It’s not like TP will wear hand knitted sock a lot over the next 6 months.
Oh and just a little picture for you all, TP found this one yesterday and it really cheered me up. It has made me wonder however with the uptake on eftpos how much change really ends up in couches these days?
Berry and Bramble Cardigan
I wasn’t sure if I would get this finished to show you all this weekend but as fate would have it I have had extra knitting time this week. I woke up on Tuesday morning with a rash over my chest & neck along with a sore throat. Headed off to the doctor who diagnosed scarlet fever and put me off work for the week, you can see it on my arms in the photos. Having just had a few days off with the flu it was not good so I called into work and picked up my laptop so I could work remotely, the wonders of modern technology.This meant there was no hour trip home and I was a lot more relax and lets face it, I didn’t do a full 8 hour day, so once “knock off time” came I was ready to sit and knit which is what I did, lucky the rash isn’t itchy.
I’m pretty happy with the finished garments, the yarn was easy to work with no joins mid ball (always a plus) and is super warm being a mix of merino, alpaca & possum. So warm in fact I wonder if it will be too warm, although with a long sleeve t it would have been perfect for today’s weather. I managed to decrease in pattern which took a bit of patience but was worth it. The length I think I have got just right avoiding the rib hugging over my bum but no gap above the pants. The sleeves are the only bit I’m not really happy with, they stick out a bit at the back but I think it’s because it is a bit small across the back but I know from my gauge swatch that it will block out a fair bit bigger so that should fix. I have photographed this pre blocking as Auckland’s weather would mean it would take a few days to really dry but next time I’m at Mum’s I will use her steamer and see if I can stretch it out that way, I’m not really thinking this will work but worth a shot. The pattern was a breeze to follow and I only had to rip back once and that was because I wasn’t paying attention.
Spring starts this week but I don’t think it will warm up for a good month still, I noticed that this time last year we already had flowers on our peach tree where this year there is not even tiny buds. I am glad to have finished this before spring and get a few wears out of it before I have to pack it away for the summer but I’m sure by next winter I will be grateful I have it ready to go.
No finished projects to show this week, I have started on the Berry and Bramble Cardigan by Mary Gehling from the Fall 09 issue of Interweave knits. Lossy thinks this is a hit or miss pattern and having looked at the pictures and finished projects around the web I tend to agree. The main concern I have for myself with this pattern is the rib, my bum looks big enough without having 10 inches of rib hugging it so I have reduced the rib down to just 5 inches and will be making the whole thing a lot shorter than designed. Ideally it will sit just above my hip, I’m hoping this will mean it won’t make my bum look any bigger than it does and I won’t end up with a chilly gap between pants and top.
Before I cast on for the garment I did a gauge swatch, wasn’t I so good, and found that I need to go down 2 needle sizes to get gauge. Another good thing about doing this swatch it gave me the idea to try a couple of different stitch patterns because at first I didn’t like the berry in a box stitch. It was a lot more textured then what I thought it would be. So I pulled out my Ultimate Source book of knitting and crochet stitches and found two stitch patterns with the same stitch count and row repeat, the row repeat didn’t really matter but it was a bonus that they were the same. Having a look at the swatch photo to the left you can see that the two stitches I tried out were more lace then texture and although I really like the one above the berry in a box, after blocking the swatch out I decided that the texture was really need so went with the patterned stitch.
It has been really easy to remember and I motored through the rib and first 8 inches of pattern. I am now up to the neck shaping which I hope to do in pattern, even though the pattern tells me to knit stocking stitch if I don’t have enough stitches to complete a repeat. Others on Ravelry have been able to do this so I’m sure with a lot of frogging I too will be able to decrease in pattern., wish me luck.