Monday, 31 August 2009

love lies bleeding

... or at least metres and metres of wool was on the floor this morning. Most of yesterday's knitting bit the dust , so to speak. Not quite literally, the floor had just been cleaned.

I decided that I would make a pi blanket from the Knitter's Almanac, possibly a gift for my sister whose birthday is late September.. I had very many balls of Cleckheaton Country, same colour, same dyelot. I was almost midway through the section between the fourth and fifth increase rows when I saw a mistake.

I counted and counted last night and carefully unpicked a row three times, 288 stitches each time, stitch by stitch. I could not easily see where I'd gone wrong, so left it till this morning. I'd been watching television, football actually, so I could give an account of the game to my son. He follows Canterbury and used to be fairly keen, going to games etc. He's toned down his interest a bit, but still can't pass it up completely. I had thought that feather and fan on 18 stitches which I really believe I can do with my eyes closed after the Liesl cardigan would be easy. Well, i might be able to do it with my eyes closed, but I made two mistakes while I watched the game with my eyes open.

On looking at it this morning I decided the only thing to do was take it out. Because the pattern extends over 18 stitches, the mistakes I had made carelessly could not be easily fixed by dropping down the stitches and picking up with a crochet hook.

The problem was that I had made them early in the second repeat and I was several repeats past that. So I cleaned up after breakfast and coffee, picked it up and went to a well lit space. Rip, rip. Finally I had the correct number of stitches on my needle. Now I'll be more careful.

I'm pleased with the way the whole thing is going, apart from my silly mistake, of course. It's 12 ply with only 71 metres/ball so I'm using them up quickly and the wool will go even more quickly after the next increase row when there will be more than 500 stitches/row. It's stash wool, so that is satisfying too. It will be warm and I think she'll like it. She doesn't wear gloves, scarves or hats of any sort, but I think this will be used as a shawl at the computer or on a bed. She has a significant birthday coming up and the twelfth anniversary of the discovery of breast cancer. It's returned twice and there have been other several other critical occasions caused by a suppressed immune system. She's well now.

Friday, 28 August 2009

milkweed, breiwick and hypatia

I love this shawl and will probably make another. It's Milkweed. It was an easy knit and fairly quick too. Not lacy like Ishbel or Aestlight, but quite unusual. This one is done in some sock wool from Wired for Fibre, sadly closed for at least another few months. I really miss the service and lovely wools and colours from both Katie and Daphne. The wool is 80% wool and 20% nylon in the Rita series. It's 20% nylon and 80% wool. The colourway was called Harmony and it ws indeed pleasant to the eye while knitting and very calming in colour. I used my Knitpicks Harmony circulars, smallest cable and 4.5 mm. The pattern suggests a smaller needle, but I like how this turned out. There were 438 metres in the skein and I used all but a couple of them.
This Breiwick will soon be on its way to the south island of New Zealand. It's not as teal in colour as the photo shows, more like a deep forest green. More Heirloom Merino Magic, 8 ply. My friend knows this is coming but she's away from home right now, so I'll send it in a few days.
I was reading some knitting blogs as one does and found that Taueret had opened an Etsy shop, selling pins, brooches, pendants etc with a scientific theme. Lots of pretty pendants of fossil shapes and other things too. She had this of Hypatia, a woman born in Alexandria in the fourth century. She was a noted mathematician and astronomer, who was killed by some monks. I ordered this as a birthday present to myself and am thrilled with it. I am not a science type geek at all, but enjoy reading about the roles women have played. I really am a Latin/Greek/Ancient History geek and this filled two categories of my interests.

The prices at the shop are more than reasonable and the pieces are lovely. Go have a look. Postage was quick and I'm very happy with my purchase.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

bits and pieces

I've been doing lots, but little suitable for a photo yet. I felt guilty about keeping the Breiwick beret I had intended to send to a friend, so have finished another for her in deep green. Photos later. No real reason to feel guilty as I hadn't told her about it in the fist place. She now knows about the green beret so will send it when she returns from a holiday on the North Island.

I'm about 2/3 of the way through a Milkweed shawl, using some gorgeous stuff from the stash from Wired for Fibre, now closed till at least November/December. The colour is called "Harmony."

Corrie, aka RetroMummy, is having a giveaway of some lovely fabrics from her shop. All you need to do is leave a comment here.

Monday, 17 August 2009

breiwick beret

Here's Breiwick from Gudrun, the Shetland trader, who also has a page of designs on Ravelry. This beret is done in Heorloom Merino Magic, an 8 ply. The wool gives good stitch definition. It was also pleasant to use. The beret was not a difficult knit, it just required me to pay attention to what I was doing. This is the second article I've done this winter with a similar shift of stitches for effect. This one used a simple two stitch reversal of stitches to move the pattern over a stitch. The other was Rose's wristwarmers where there was a definite cable over several stitches. I preferred this method because the needles used for the wristwarmers was small than usually called for for the weight if the wool. This made the fabric fairly tight to manoeuvre. Gudrun warns in the pattern to keep a crochet hook handy as the loose stitch being reversed in order may slip. I had absolutely no problem with this at all. This picture is probably the more accurate portrayal of the colour which is a fairly definite mauve, not a wish-washy colour and nothing like blue at all.
Here's the beret in the flat. I really like the way it all works in to the centre to end. I'll be making this one again. One good reason for making another is that this one is intended as a gift for a friend in cold city on the South Island of New Zealand. Think early through to late frosts and snow as well. I probably shouldn't have tried it on as i discovered I like it on me. However, I wanted a model for a photo. She's had longish hair for quite a while and has just had it cut fairly short so it appears fairly grey all at one time. Her comment was that her ears were freezing in the wind, and that she would like another hat to wear as a change from her merino/possum mix hat.
The neckwarmer/cowl is for the same friend. She cycles regularly. I thought a cowl would probably be easier to manage on a bike without possible loose, flappy ends getting in her face. This lemony yellow cowl is about 2/3 of a ball of Zara liberated from the linga beret shown a couple of posts below. I made myself one in the same pattern last year from some alpaca and thought the soft squishy Zara would work well with it. I haven't given it a credit as I don't know whose pattern it is. I just had a look at what I'd done before. It's not exactly difficult.

Beautiful weather here yesterday and today. 28° was forecast for yesterday in Sydney, ridiculously warm for the time of the year. Up here is always a good deal cooler than in Sydney itself. Our weather station thermometer showed about 20° as the maximum. I did sit outside and knit for a while till the sun moved and the breeze made the shade quite chilly. Today is still col and breezy but quite pleasant.

August textures wrap up

ome more textures for Lynne.
I've been enjoying working on textures, some easy, some new.

These little socks were made for Finn, who turns four this month. His favourite colour is orange. There is a stripe of orange in this Heirloom Jigsaw sock wool and I hope the other bright colours will appeal to him too. Right now, I'd say the pattern came from my own head, but I think I've seen something like it somewhere. It certainly was not knowingly copied without acknowledgment.

The aqua band will be a headband for me when it's dry. I haven't pulled it out at all along the length but have opened up the pattern a bit widthways. It's called Homes of Donegal.

A very warm neckwarmer from leftover Patons Jet. More textures with braid, cables and garter stitch.

Finally for the winter of textures, another beret. Breiwick, from Gudrun the Shetland trader. The link to the pattern is in the sidebar. Also on Ravelry on Shetland Trader page. I enjoyed knitting this. This is a gift. I've tried it on. That was a mistake. I just might have to make another one as I like this one myself.

I've enjoyed branching out into different textures this winter. Thanks Lynne for the push to experiment. Cables, some sample patches of different textures, patterns like this - all interesting and enjoyable.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

linga no longa, zara

Just before I rip it out, here's a picture of linga, from Gudrun at the Shetland Trader. The photo is in the side bar and while you're there, scroll down a couple more pictures and see Breiwick which is currently on my needles.

Linga is done in almost two balls of Zara, and the colour is really a very daffodil yellow. This photo was taken about 6:30 this morning. Flash washed out the colour, no flash made it dark. I liked knitting with Zara and will probably make another Linga. However, I disregarded one of my important knitting rules. I forgot to inspect my knitting regularly. There are two pattern repeats before the decrease shaping. The first turned out well. Details of this pattern can be seen clearly on Gudrun's blog photo. However, on the second, the marker needs to be moved over one stitch several times through the pattern repeat. I must have forgotten to move it at least one of those times and there is a terrible hash as I've obviously tried to make things work without realising my mistake.

The crowning touch was a remark made by my son. He thought the colour and lacy pattern made it look like one of those horrible toilet roll covers with a doll on top and a bright yellow skirt. I think Zara will probably turn into a scarf, I couldn't forget his remark, even without my messing up of the pattern. I wondered why I chose that colour, it's not a colour I would normally wear, although I remember a dress many years ago which I loved. It was a fairly grey day when I bought the wool and perhaps I needed the sunshine.

Breiwick is a different matter altogether. I'm using some Heirloom Merino Magic and am almost through the first ball. Pattern is easy to remember and stands out will with this wool. Pattern is also to be seen on Gudrun's blog , in the side bar. I'll pst a photo when it's done.

Friday, 7 August 2009

aestlight, take 2

Herewith the second version of Aestlight. This is probably reasonably close to the colour which, although dark green, was also fairly vibrant. It's taken with Aestlight clinging to the almost 3 metre high sandstone wall beside our drive down to the garage. Click to enlarge detail.

The wool is Grignasco Bambi which I used some years ago when I made an ill fated pair of socks. The first sock, against which I was measuring the second, was lost on Penrith Station. I think it must have fallen off my lap when I stood up as the train arrived. I didn't discover the loss till some time later. It was quite an involved snowflake pattern and I was so devastated that the part finished second sock and the remainder of that wool now lie somewhere in my sock wool stash, never touched again. I learnt my lesson and if I knit on the train, I now check carefully that I have everything.

However, that's history. I really enjoyed using the Bambi. It was pleasant to use and easy to knit. I think from the tightness of the ply that many patterns would show up well in it, and yet it is very soft and cosy against the neck.

This one is a present for a friend who lives in the Southern Highlands, out of Sydney. Another friend and I are leaving here about 8:30 tomorrow for a visit. If it's as clear and sunny tomorrow as it is today, the drive down will be lovely. Friends' house faces north, gets the sun and has a lovely view with mountains and paddocks . Good company and good food.

Just over a week ago, I ordered two books from the Book Depository. If you use this site and have it marked, check the URL you have. It has changed in the last two weeks and is now .com instead of arrived yesterday in two separate packages. I don't have the invoice handy, but I paid around AUS$25 all up for Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac" and for One Skein Wonders.

This shawl was very quick to knit and so much more pleasant to use than the hairy handspun.

I happened to notice the other day that the Aussie dollar was just over .85 cents to the US dollar. As I had been planning to buy a beret pattern from Gudrun, the Shetland Trader, I raced upstairs and ordered, Linga, Breiwick and Bousta. These can be seen in the right sidebar of her blog by scrolling down. They are also available from Ravelry. The three came to just over $14 Australian. It's a lovely morning here, so I'm about to walk down the hill to Greta's Handcrafts at Lindfield and see what takes my eye to make Linga. They open at 10:00 am and it's now 9:30. Only trouble walking down the hill is that it is up the hill on the way back. LOL. Still, it's fairly gentle, nothing like some of the streets around here which are quite steep. We're on the top of the hill and our land falls away quite sharply in spots.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

play of sun and shadow

play of sun and shadow
Originally uploaded by Jan2132
Here's Aestlight taken for an outing on an absolutely beautiful August morning. It's very crisp and clear and quite chilly, especially in the shade. I love the interplay of light and shade in this as Aestlight hangs from the bare crepe myrtle with its lovely bark.
Clicking on picture will enlarge it so detail can be seen more clearly.

I've already almost finished the garter stitch triangle in the Grignasco Bambi for the next Aestlight which will definitely be much smaller. It's a lovely shade of deep green and very pleasant to knit. The wool feels great too. The romney was somewhat harsh but I notice than now it's dried, it's much more pleasant t feel than it was to knit. A put a squirt of conditioner in the water when i soaked it before blocking.