Wednesday, 27 February 2013

WIP Wednesday

Hello! I have been poorly for a few days now (including two days when I was too ill to knit) - only a cold but an absolute stinker. All the usual but with added fever, dizziness and earache. Fun times.

Anyhoo, I have realised that I have quite a bit on the go to tell you about. There has been a dearth of casting on and my WIP pile has grown accordingly (this is alongside the two jumpers I talk about last time). Plus the only thing I finished this week was a pair of socks that are a birthday gift due at the end of March, so we shall have to talk about those later.

First off, I decided to knit some gloves for myself - and these are so nearly done I'm just wearing them out and about anyway. They're cast off (and marked as finished on ravelry) but one of the ends worked its way out on the first wear so I'm not counting them as in their final form just yet.

Pattern: Berry Hill Fingerless Mitts by Liz Thompson
Yarn: King Cole Merino Blend DK in #859
Ravelry Project Link

Next up, stripey gloves for my other half. He specified the stripes and the fingers, but fingers make me nervous and I'm not sure how you'd fix them if one finger wasn't the right fatness (for want of a better word). This means I 'need' him to try them on a lot, and with the long distance thing and me not really knitting when I do see him, it's dragging on horribly.

Pattern: Basic Glove Pattern by Harry Wells
Yarn: Artesano Superwash Merino (Navy - remnants from this hat) and Rowan Cashsoft DK (Cream)
Ravelry Project Link

And now we have a third pair of gloves (I seem to be a great one for phases....) - these ones in yellow! Not sure they're for me as they're too small and not really my colour but hey, we're on stashdown here and these have already caused enough problems! This is the third pattern they have been knit into, and the other two that demised got at least as far as separating off for the thumb before they got frogged. These are knitting up quickly, easily and seem to be looking pretty good; hoorah! I cannot wait to see the back of them!

Pattern: Serpentine Mitts by Miriam L. Felton
Yarn:Cygnet Truly Wool Rich 4 Ply in Yellow
Ravelry Project Link

And finally, I did cast on some socks; seemingly, my life doesn't work without socks on the needles.

Pattern: Molly Weasley's Gift Socks by Susan Sharpe (a p/hop pattern)
Yarn: Collinette Jitterbug 4ply in Adonis Blue,  bought at Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show
Ravelry Project Link

The next couple of weekends are going to involve some pretty long train rides, so socks seemed to be the way forward. Only problem is, I think I may need a back-up project, just in case I decide to do what I did with the gloves and rip them back to the start. Twice. I do believe that this pattern and yarn are good combination, but then the Yellow Gloves have caused me all sorts of doubts and second guesses. Fingers crossed I can fight the startosis!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Hangover from 2012

With this knit the queue thing, I have had a little assess of the projects that are still hanging about from last year, and two of them are jumpers.

First off, Lauriel needs a little work - the button band bulges a little about my ribcage (I know, weird place to be unusually fat, such is my lot) so I intend to reinforce it with grosgrain ribbon as in the Knitmore Girls podcast - they made a video about how to do it, by popular demand. I've been planning to do this for about a year now, just I am the master of procrastination when it comes to this cardigan; it has just kicked me one too many times and I cannot face it when there are so many other things to knit that are just as pretty and not so angry. It Just Needs Doing.

The other project I have on the go from Little Red in the City is Skelf, which I was going great guns at before Christmas, but now I've spotted a mistake and procrastinated fixing it enough to lose my place, so I didn't finish it before the new year as I'd hoped, but now it languishes in my knitting bag, also lurking. 

And a third project that has been on the back burner - this is probably a record for me, all be it a depressing one - are the lovely if slightly mad socks I mentioned in my Socktopus post, the magenta ones. I had to ad-lib a bit when it came to sorting out the heel, and there was a big pause while I (freaked out about) carefully considered what to do, as I'm not normally one for deviating from the pattern, especially if it's a pattern I've paid money for. Still, we now have one sock (though sadly no photos as it's for someone who might be reading this), and hoping to cast on the second one for the weekend's train rides.

All this did make be take a bit of a look at the queue. Somehow we are back down at 18 projects, having been at the dizzying heights of 25. Now, I know I finished two last week, I've cast on another two, but we still have two unaccounted for. Clearly, whatever they were, I wasn't that enamored with them as I've totally forgotten what they were! It does seem more manageable now though - and I really want to crack on with them all.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Green Socks, More Green Socks, and a Hat

Of course, as soon as I decide I am going to blog once a week even if i only say it to myself, I utterly fail.  Another gap in the blog caused by another slightly mad period of work and socialising. Ah, the difficult life of a PhD student.

Meanwhile, I have finished a few things; all patterns I loved and would heartily recommend - for me, they were the perfect balance of enough to keep me interested, but not so much I get frustrated. Mostly cracking on with my attempt to Knit The Queue this year - more on that story later!

First up, one of my hangover projects from last year: Mum's birthday socks, first mentioned in my blog post here and finished three weeks ago. The birthday happened so you can see them now

Pattern: Caretta Caretta, from Socktopus by Alice Yu. Good and well-written, and I love this book generally. A pretty classic top-down, flap-and-gusset heel, kitchener-stitch toe jobby, but with some pretty lacework on it.

Yarn: Rowan Cashsoft 4ply in Toxic (shade 459), from John Lewis in Aberdeen. Lovely and soft, with enough stitch definition to make it all worthwhile - though prone to occasional felted stretch of yarn (I have maybe 3 in the project, but only one was so long I did some cutting and Russian joining).

The second FO is the first thing from my knit the queue plans. I have forgotten how fabulous knitting hats is! Give me a short lace repeat and I'll hardly be able to put it down! After a load of socks, it was lovely to be knitting on something that bit bigger. This photo probably shows off the pattern best - it's a good slouchy shape (which you get from going up a needle size) with some good if sudden crown shaping. I think it's come out a bit big for me round the brim - I'd probably knit that portion on even smaller needles if I could have another go at it. But overall, a winning combination, don't you think?

(Apologies for the PJs - long day!)

Pattern: Pavone by Wooly Wormhead. Brilliantly designed and well-written, as always.
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino (DK), partly bought from the sale bin in Wool for Ewe, Aberdeen, and partly scrounged off my lovely (generous!) friend Naomi. The colour is a petrol blue - somewhere in between the two photos, but leaning towards the first.

And last but by no means least, I've finished another pair of socks! These I loved  - or  maybe it's fairer to say I got addicted to them! The pattern is very moreish, and I loved the yarn, a beautiful semi-solid that my camera struggles to capture. Also, I probably should have pulled my socks up before taking the photo.... oops!

Pattern: Hundred Acre Wood  from Socktopus by Alice Yu (again!). Yes I really do love this book....
Yarn: from The Yarn Yard, though actually bought from The Yarn Cake in Glasgow. I have a bit of a thing for this sock yarn, it is beautiful and sturdy.

The socks are toe-up and had an interesting twisted construction, out of which the leaves grow, which I liked. The heel is flap-and-gusset, which I have never done ona  toe-up. Generally, I loved it - except the not aligning the slip stitches on the back - it took about four goes on the first sock and two on the second as I clearly just like things lining up. I would not do that again in a hurry

I guess I have been kinda productive in my absence! I thought I'd show you my success first - there have been a few stumbling blocks lately. More on that story another time.