Friday, 29 July 2011

Trying to Kick the Funk

So, I have been in a bit of a knitting funk of late. Starting things and partway through, deciding they're not the right yarn/pattern combo, so ripping back. Making mistakes and ripping back. Having things not work and ripping back. Realising something is not the right size and ripping back. Running out of yarn and ripping back. It's not been a good month.

So far, I've only had knitting blips for days or maybe a week, but as you can tell it has been going on for a while. Maybe I've been working hard. Maybe I've been having too much non-knitting fun. But this week I have had to face the music: I am in a knitting funk.

I have tried several things to get out of it, and none of them have worked.... yet!

1. Soldier on

The first is a hat where the ribbed band was way too loose. I have knit the Grace Lace Beret before but in acrylic so wasn't expecting the ribbing to be tight (featured as part of Blog Week), but this yarn had enough wool content that it should have worked. It got this far and was frogged.
The next is the lovely angora mittens. I have knitted these until I have run out of yarn, and have just decided they are too big. Frogged, to be reborn when I can face the maths.
2. Buy yarn for the next project, as an incentive.

This is destined to be a Snowbaby Hat by eskimimi (rav link). It involves colourwork and I have never done that before. So, as everything seemed to be going wrong so far, I have not cast it on -- I was just hoping that a little temptation of future work might make me work harder and so things would go right again.

3. Buy stunning artisan yarn with no project in mind.

Both from The Yarn Yard in Making Mischief (above) and Hare (below). Probably both going to become lacework shawls for myself, unless I am feeling very generous. Though they are both stunning, I still haven't quite pinned down a project for either of them, yet. Though there are a lot of 4ply shawls on my waiting list.

4. Buy a random ball of yarn and then fail to knit anything with it.

Though not for want of trying. This has often inspired me in the past, but all I wanted to make some vanilla socks for some quick gratification. It turns out bamboo yarn was not the answer - the ribbing had no grip. Then I tried to make a lovely lace shawl - the yarn was too busy and obscured the pattern (I did have three attempts at the shawl before giving up). Then some mittlets - they just didn't work at all. They were supposed to be doing some scrunching up on the wrist but, whether it was the yarn, the pattern, or the knitter, it just plain didn't happen. Frogged and this ball of yarn is condemned to the Box Of Yarn That Doesn't Exist.

5. Go to a knitting event with knitting friends
Though I think that is a tale for another day...

Sunday, 17 July 2011

FO: Lush Green Orchid Thief

Some years ago, I bought a lovely green dress for a wedding and, being I was on a short deadline, I bought a cheapo shawl and shoes to go with it. But I felt this outfit could have a shawl knitted for it, to make it more brilliant for wedding season this year. However, having knit it and tried it on with the dress, they don't match. Also, this dress was clearly bought before the advent of the Cake Diet.

I love the shawl, the dress is being donated to a thinner friend.
Yarn: Jawoll Magic 4ply in colour 17 (called grasshopper or apple - either way, green). Bought at Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Fair 2010

Lovely pattern, though be sure to check out the errata and the relevant ravelry discussion before struggling on. And definitely, definitely, use lifelines (unless you are a really really great knitter). The yarn is great if a little prone to felting, but I love how it has turned out.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Second Opinion Required

I just need to know - do you think these socks look stupid?

They're the lovely fan and feather toe-up socks (rav link) but I'm worried that the yarn is too busy for them, and maybe I should rip back to my trusty lifeline and do them plain. however, my knitting mojo is in such tatters lately that I am having an indecisive moment. And I really need this sock knitting this week, with all the travelling I'm planning on doing.

So please give your honest opinion. I can handle it.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

FO: Hello Sailor! Socks

Well, they really did have to be called that, given the nautical stripes and the related pattern - Fishnet Socks from The Purl Bee by Purl Soho. A knit designed to be simple, easy and quick, to counter Orchid Thief. However, I got quite distracted with life / work / holidays and so they took me about a month. (also, in my rookie yarn-buying days, I'd bought a single ball of Regia not knowing you need two for a proper pair of socks, and this used it up nicely). My former housemate was excited when she saw me knitting them, exclaiming, 'Summer bedsocks!!' and since she clearly had a gap in her life for them I gave them away.

The modifications I made were to ssk instead of k2tog for the second sock to that the twists went the other way (which worked really well) and to knit the sole of the sock instead of continuing in pattern, to make it more comfy to walk on (which didn't really work, the twisting stopped for the foot). Only my second pair of socks so still learning but much happier with my picking-up and grafting skills. Though I'm hoping the next pair are toe-up, fingers crossed as I hear they're hard to start...

Woolfest 2011

Woolfest is only the second knitting-festival-thing I have ever been to, but it was just what I'm looking for in one. There was a lot of yarn to keep me happy, enough other aspects of the craft to inspire me to try something new, and some very cute animals.

I went with my mum, and we rented a cottage near Bassenthwaite Lake for a week (though I could only stay for five days) - I've been to a lot of places lately so I'll probably do a proper travel post soon. Here's a photo of everything that we bought, and I think it's quite a haul! The natural roving and the two blur rovings on the left are my mum's, though the herdy notebook is mine.

There are two cakes of roving are Waratah Fibres Polwarth-cross for Stephcuddles (here's a better photo just for you):
This is the one I cannot catch the colour on, sparkleduck self-striping sock yarn - the website is under construction but says they will be at Knit Nation (though I won't be) - well worth keeping an eye on as there was a LOT of beautiful yarn there (including some sparkly stuff which I managed to resist). This is going to be the first pair of socks I knit for myself; two at a time and toe-up.
Some blue sock yarn from Laal Bear. Not sure what I'll knit with it yet but it is very cuddly.

I couldn't even wait for a ball winder to start knitting with this; some toe-up socks for an as-yet-to-be-decided female friend. The colours remind me of one friend, but I only knit her some socks two weeks ago. Hohum.

I also bought myself a couple of hanks of merino roving, in the hope that I can learn to spin soon. I guess I've got a lot of knitting skills lined up so it might be a while. And it seems the purple theme remains....

So, now I just need to get knitting. Bring on the wool!