Friday, 30 August 2013

FO: Hopeless Wanderer

I was doing so well with knitting from my queue this year. I was really proud of all my progress.

But then, something just snapped in me, and I had such a strong impulse to cast on something not on the plan; something beautiful, in new yarn and a new pattern. Not usually one to colour outside the lines, I squashed it and ignored it. And then I heard the wise words of Mumford and Sons:

'So when you hope's on fire
But you know your desire
Don't hold a glass over the flame
Don't let your heart grow cold...'

This instantly validated the impulse. After all, I don't want to fall out of love with knitting! Cold heart, no thanks! Before I knew it, I'd bought the yarn, cast on and was halfway through the plain section of this little beauty.

Yarn: Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply, bought from baa ram ewe, Headingley. Ran out
Pattern: Kirkja Shawl by Karina Westermann, originally in Knit Now magazine, December 2012. I bought it as a standalone pattern when it was on sale for Andy Murray's Wimbledon victory, July 2013.

I really enjoyed knitting this: a well-written pattern, some beautiful easy-to-work with yarn, and perfection together. I think my deviation from The Plan was totally worthwhile.

'Hold me fast
Hold me fast
'Cause I'm a hopeless wanderer'

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

WIP Walk of Shame*

The number of WIPs is getting a bit out of control (for me) these days. Officially, there are ten (!!) things that are not totally finished, or that I'm not totally happy with.

Back in the fold for the past few weeks has been Lauriel. I've been putting off reinforcing the button band for months now, but have finally bitten the bullet and started sewing (using this Knitmore Girls video). The saga of this cardigan has been much-chronicled over the past 2 years, with problem after problem, so was condemned to the naughty corner. Now back in the fold, and fingers crossed I can get it finished before we lose the light evenings.

Skelf has also had a few stumbles on the way; nothing big enough for the naughty corner, but a few time-outs were needed. It's getting big enough that it's difficult to take out and about (where most of the knitting happens these days), and is large enough that it can get a bit too warm to knit in the summer.... excuses, excuses, I know! A slightly cooler week just gone means I've progressed it,  doing the neckline (again) and hoping that we will be ready to do the cast off at the shoulders before too long! [Apologies for the focus on this photo - proper photos when it's finished!].

I've made some good progress on the Vorticity socks I cast on on holiday, though progress has stalled a bit as I don't have enough brainpower at the moment. I am really enjoying the pattern and the yarn, and the two work brilliantly together.

I've also been knitting a shawl, accidentally, as it is not part of the my Knit The Queue plans - oops! I'll tell you the story from beginning to end in a future post. It is very compelling knitting, and progress is good.

I'm also knitting some grey man socks - more on why another day. They are standard vanilla socks in Regia 4ply, that I got with a whole load of other 'man sock yarn' in the Hobbycraft sale. Some excellent mindless knitting, though not currently my favourite project.

The navy and white gloves for OH are not merely on a go-slow as I said in July, but have actually stopped moving at all. Hopefully, taking them away with me this weekend to see said OH will bring back the magic.

Then, there are a few things that are in actual hibernation. First up, we have The Socks With No More Yarn, which I'm still gutted about. However, this week I have actually managed to face them, and get myself stash surfing on ravelry. Fingers crossed, I might actually be able to finish them before too long!

Next up, a glove in yarn that was a present, of which there is only one and I'm not sure I have enough yarn to knit a second one. I'm going to have a bit of an assess (and time with the kitchen scales), and see if we can manage it. Else maybe rip back and turn it into a headband-type thing. 

A hat that I made up the pattern for, but is too short for me. I have more yarn, I just have to rip back to before the decreases. However, it was knitted to match my seriously cold-weather-only coat, which didn't wear at all last year. I reckon that might change this year as I might be further north, so guess I'd better sort this one out as well.

And finally, mittens that are too short at the cuffs. These are waiting on me to finish with some white/cream DK, either from the navy gloves above or from last post's Waterhouse Mitts [rav pattern link]. I then intend to use that to pick up stitches, knit a little stripe and then return to purple. Don't worry, it will sort of match the hat.

So there we have my WIP walk of shame. A lot of it is psychological problems of not being able to face picking up a project that I thought I'd finished, but if I actually want to be able to use the stuff I guess I'd better get cracking!

*With thanks to Steph for the title of this post.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Knit The Queue 2013

This month, I have technically only finished one project from Knitting the Queue. I did additionally make some grey socks for my Grandpa, but as they weren't in the plan I'm not sure if they count - equally, him getting ill wasn't in the plan either :(

On a brighter note, we are down to ten things in the queue! Woohoo! I'm glad to be at this landmark, even if it seems a bit insurmountable at this point (particularly given how many WIPs I have - more on that story later).

Four things I know exactly what they're going to be: the three in the photo are [l-r] Waterhouse mitts, Dunkerton Sweet socks, and Susie's Reading mitts. I also have the yarn and pattern ready to go for the Spoke jumper, but feel like I need something else off the needles first.

Three things I know what they're going to be ([l-r] gloves, hat and hat), but haven't totally settled on a pattern yet. I'm pretty sure the hats are going to be one Rylands Cabled Hat and one Cafe au Lait Tam, but don't know which way round yet - opinions welcome.

There are also a few things in my queue that I'm definitely going to make, but don't have the yarrn yet:

  1. the Bandana Cowl means I have to buy yarn, and don't know what brand/colour to go for. A trip to the yarn shop for a little contemplation is clearly needed ;)
  2. the Star Tea Cosy is something I intend to design myself, in order to make it match my teapot. Needs a little research and time for the ideas to form properly. I know the colours so could probably go yarn shopping tomorrow, but otherwise I have no idea where I'm going with it!
  3. the little knitted stars I plan on making for Christmas need me to finish with some white/cream yarn, from (1) the navy blue mittens I'm making for my OH, (2) the Waterhouse mitts above, (3) the star tea cosy.... alternatively, I might have some standard acrylic white DK in my stash somewhere, so I could just go digging. Though that would defeat the object a tad, of getting rid of scrappy little bits of yarn. 
That all seems fairly under control, right? And not at all impossible by New Year's Eve.....?

Friday, 23 August 2013

FO: Irish Mesh Cowl

Things have gone beyond crazy, lately. I will not bore you with details, but I will say that it's not likely to let up so blogging will remain sporadic. Despite the madness, crafting continues. I have got a bit of a backlog of things to tell you about, but first up is a pretty straightforward cowl I finished a few weeks ago.

Yarn: Bar T'at Sock in Daffodil
Pattern: Irish Mesh Cowl
Mods: An extra pattern repeat to make it wider, plus a few extra rows to sort out the symmetry of that. In the pattern, there are 5 pattern rows in the first block, then 4, then 5; I did 5-5-5-5.

I'm very happy with the result. I think the variegated yarn and the pattern work well together. The stitch pattern was pretty easy to learn, after a little care the for the first few, and after that is became a doddle.

It goes around twice...

...and even three times for a snug fit, which is super-cosy and probably best worn with a thick winter coat. 

Another FO! Another one bites the dust :) Find more at Tami's Amis