Sunday, 29 April 2007

Front finished

This morning I have to pick up stitches from placket opening for the front of Master 2's hoodie.

I got myself into an awful tangle last night. After the stitches were bound off for the opening, the directions suggested using a second ball and working both sides at the same time. My problem was that I was using a 200 gm ball. I carefully fished out the brown from the inside of the ball and wound some up. Somewhat of a guess as I had no idea how much I would use. Of course, I still have some left on that ball and I'll have to use it in the sleeves. There were only a couple of 2-row stripes of the blue, so I decided to use the end of that ball without actually cutting it. I'm glad there wasn't much to knit as I had a horrible tangle by working both sides. It almost looked as if my knitting mother cat had been at it while I slept. I could just manage to pull through what I had to use.

I'm not sure why that was suggested. Practically anything else that that I can remember ever knitting had one side worked, yarn cut and rejoined and other side done, reversing the directions. The directions were exceedingly simple. Knit 10 cm, cast off 5 for neck opening and then one at neck edge in two more rows. No problem reversing that. Not even any shoulder shaping

Next time I'll follow my own instincts.

I'm considering whether to make it with the hood or to pick up stitches and make a collar. Finn doesn't much like hats and a hood is probably warmer than he needs in the winter. A collar would be sufficient.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

hoodie for 2 year old

I like to have projects using different sized needles on the go at the one time. That gives my hands a rest and a change. I really don't like big needles as my fingers and wrists both ache if using anythng much over 6 mm fooo anything but a short time.

This really inspiring photo (LOL) shows the back of a hoodie for youngest grandson, 21 months and a very boyish boy. I had seen this colour combination in children's clothing several times this season and it always reminded me of Finn. I was pleased to find the colours I wanted on the Bendigo shade card.

Photo shows them lighter than is really the case. The brown is very chocolatey and the blue, called Venetian, is more teal than shows here.

The pattern is from the 2005 Pattern-a-Day calendar and is a jumper with hood. This is the back, basically a rectangle. I haven't looked at front pattern but imagine it will be similar and the sleeves also rectangles as the completed garment has drop sleeves. The wool is 8 ply, DK, and I'm using 4 mm needles while the hem was knitted on 3.75 mm. Recommended tension was 22.5 stitches to 10 cm. I'm either spot on that or it's not quite 23 stitches, depending on where I measure. Very close.

Two more sets of stripes and then I cast off. Certainly giving my hands a change from 2.25 mm sock needles.

Sunday, 22 April 2007

burgundy socks

I'm loving these new tiny Brittany birch needles which came from Daphne at the Knittery and which cost $12. They felt odd at first, but I'm used to them now. I have some old steel dpns about 7" long in a 2.75 mm size and my husband cut down some casein dpns, also the same size to about 7". They were 11" to start with, far too long for me to use comfortably with socks and I can't see me doing much else with that size which needed longer needles. If I was doing a shawl etc or something lacy, I'd probably be using a circular with less chance of losing any stitches in a lacy pattern when I put it aside. They flex slightly, so are good for my hands and fingers.

I haven't checked the size against my needle gauge. I see from some knitting groups from the USA that their sizes don't always match up against ours. 2.5 mm is not a common size down here. It's more usually 2.25 mm or 2.75mm. 2.25 mm makes a good, firm sock fabric which wears well, but takes ages to knit, particularly if there is no pattern on the instep to break the boredom of the foot. Lately I have often done the cuff/leg of the sock on 2.75 mm and then switched to the smaller size for the heel and foot. It can be seen if I take a photo of the sock before it's worn, but really, it makes little difference to the appearance of the sock on the foot, while it does make a difference to the wear.

I've never used any reinforcing on either heel or toe and I often use pure merino wool in socks, especially for me and occasionally also use machine wash pure wool. I rinse them out by hand, although that's not the question here. I've had no problems ever with holes or thin patches and my socks get a lot of wear. #1 grandson ran around the yard wearing a pair of Lionbrand Magic Stripes socks I had made. Not good, especially considering the tussle he had with his dog which grabbed the sock. Socks came off second best, but I really don't consider that normal wear and tear, even for children. Still, the wool was cheapish and I bought it for children's use.

This is the burgundy wool bought from Bendigo Mills along with the rest of the wool shown in the picture in the post below. I've used Heirloom Argyle before and liked it. I would like them to add a few more colours to their range, but what they have is nice and the wool is pleasant to use.

As you can see, these lovely needles and this wool are making a pleasant firm fabric which also feels good. My knitting is very even with these needles and I'll get some more with another order. There's little variation at all showing up in the stitches. The colour was a bit hard to get accurately. It's a deep burgundy and this shows up reasonably on my monitor. It's very grey outside, although it's not raining, more's the pity. I used the flash, but that washed the colour right out. The ball of wool seems hardly touched, so I should get the pair out of the one ball. I'm not sure which grandchild will get these. I have 52 stitches on the needles and usually use 60 for my own socks, 64 at the absolute most. Theoretically they should fit grandson #1, Master 8, but I'm not sure. I'll show them to my son before I do the toe or even get too far down the foot. I haven't looked at his feet for a while, althugh I do have a measurement of length. It's actually the leg part I'm not sure about. He's awfully skinny in the body, although he eats a huge amount for his age, but I can't remember if his legs are as skinny. He's 8, but could wear size 4 pants, apart from the length! Size 8s need a belt or they fall down as he walks, even with elastic. LOL. He has his father's and my father's build. I wish I'd inherited that from Dad!

Thursday, 19 April 2007

at long last

Donna, the owner of the Aussie webring listed here, sent me a friendly reminder yesterday about updating. Yes, it's been a while and I've had a lot on my plate, most of it quite stressful. I haven't updated here, my other blog has also been sadly neglected, as have my Yahoo knitting groups.

Mum, who turned 87 last Saturday had a staph infection in her hand where a germ got in when she gashed it in the garden. 4 different lots of antibiotics and a repeat on each. She's been fragile, due I think, as much to the antibiotics and their effect on her, as to the infection which is a common one in hospitals.

My sister had a couple of ambulance trips to hospital with very irregular heart beat. She takes medication for it, but the stress of the renewed cancer treatment overruled them. She was also in a critical care bed in the ICU for several days after a full hysterectomy. None of this helped Mum. Both are now recovering, but slowly.

Things haven't been easy at home but I've been unwinding this week. My husband left last Saturday for several weeks overseas and I was surprised how long it has taken for me to unkink some very taut muscles. I don't usually comfort eat, but have been making things for dinner which he hates. And I've bought some wool. Comfort stash expansion. LOL Then there's been work related stress and I very nearly threw it all in there, but I think things are sorted now.

The ball with the needles comes from Daphne at the Knittery. It's sock wool, colour called Kilim. I think the colours are fantastic and I also can't recommend Daphne's service highly enough. I've had sock wool from her before and it's just gorgeous to touch, knit and wear. Very prompt delivery too. The needles are 2.5 mm Brittany birch, 5".

The rest comes from Bendigo as can be seen from the labels. The sock wool is the ahem,,,unbranded stuff we all know down here which costs twice as much in the shop. They had only light or dark grey and the burgundy. It was $4/50 gm.

All the rest is 8 ply in 200 gm balls. The three dark blue are in the Mystique range, 75% wool, 15% mohair and the remainder alpaca. It was $16/200gm and is called Britannia. I prefer the Colonial pure wool range, but much of the rest is destined for grandkids and is Classic, machine wash. I love the dark brown, Mulga and the sort of aqua, Seaquest. The dark, single ball is Venetian and the lighter brown is Pampas. All the Classic was $10.70/200 gm.

I've been doing some knitting. Made myself the Tahoe jacket from Knitty. I enjoyed the knitting but hate the result. Tension was fine but the thing just looks awful on me. I've thrown it in a corner while I decide what to do. Rip it and reuse the wool, try and fix. This is decidedly not appealing. I could even cut and make bags and felt them or perhaps even try felting it to be a jacket. The last is an unlikely fix. If it doesn't sit right now, felting probably won't help that.

I've done little hats for African AIDS babies but have only done two jumpers there. A couple of pairs of socks and I'm almost finished a pair of Hedera socks, ( don't have link handy) in a grey/green St Ives sock wool from stash.