Saturday, 30 November 2013

FOs: Two hats

Oh dear, blogging fell off the end of my to-do list this week! It has been a helluva week - travelling the length and breadth of the country on top of the usual thesis writing. All that travelling did mean I saw lots of lovely people though :)

Anyway, back to catching up on my FOs. I finished a couple of hats that were part of my knitting the queue 2013 plans. Actually, since I last blogged regularly, I started them too - though the yarn featured in an earlier post. It was going to become a hat, but we were fighting about the pattern. Fortunately, we found the ideal solution...

I am really happy with this project - it fits really well and the garter border is really snuggly, and covers my ears which is always a plus. It could probably be a bit more beret-style too, I just prefer my hats further back on my head.

Pattern: Mayrose by Woolly Wormhead, queen of hats [rav link]. Not the first WW pattern I've knitted, and like the others, well written, well laid out and easy to follow.
Yarn: Sublime Extra Fine Merino DK, from the sale bin at Wool for Ewe.

Now, Hat The Second:

A good, solid hat - possibly a little big on me so I might see if anyone would like it for Christmas.

Pattern: Cafe au Lait Tam by Kathryn C [rav link]. A well-written pattern, easy to pick up and quick to knit.
Yarn: King Cole Merino Blend DK in Petrol (Blue/Teal). Bought at baa ram ewe in Harrogate, just because the shop and staff were so lovely.

Friday, 15 November 2013

FO: Dunkerton Sweet and Vorticity

Despite my absence, worry not: I have been knitting. It has been quite a productive month in terms of knit the queue - first off, I have finished four socks. So I don't overwhelm you all, that's all you're going to hear about today.

Pattern: Dunkerton Sweet by Jen Arnall-Culliford [rav link]. Really well-written pattern; I found the lace logical and pretty easy to learn, and the nearly-new thing to me was that they had 'footedness' - I've only done that once before and frankly, I was worrying about other things with that project

Yarn: Skein Queen Entwist in Beauty Berry (cranberryish red), the last of the three skeins of sock yarn I got at Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show 2012. Delicious stuff to knit with, high twist and beautifully semisolid, perfect for socks.

If I had my time again, I might make the leg longer as I had plenty of yarn left - but it would only be by half a pattern repeat and, as they're top-down, that would mean I'd have to think about it. Generally loved the whole project though :)

And here's the second pair...

Pattern: Vorticity by Alice Yu [rav link]. I will admit, it did stretch my brainpower in places, but once I'd got my head around it, not too bad. Delighted with the result.
Yarn: High Twist BFL/Nylon by Wharfedale Woolworks. The inimitable Steph had it custom dyed for me in a colourway called 'A Typical British Summer's Day', so of course it is the colour of the sky just before a thunderstorm kicks off. Fabulous stuff to knit with; I heartily recommend it.

These are a bit of a geeky project, given my love of the weather, particularly storms and wind. Vorticity is a quantity that measures how much 'spinniness' something has - if you can imagine a tornado, it has a lot of vorticity! There is quite a lot of it knocking about in thunderstorms and the sort of things I work on. It seemed like a perfect match.

Both great patterns, both great yarns, and how I have more cosy socks! Hope you stop by again soon to hear more of my knitting exploits.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Yarndale Part 2

I know it was a while ago, but I've been dying to tell you all about what I actually bought at Yarndale [after telling you about the atmosphere and things a while back]. And I promise I'll explain the hiatus, all in good time. On with the show!

My first purchase was the eponymous bag - the stall was right in the lobby, and very busy, even though we got there about 10:15. Sadly, it did get screwed up under everything else I bought, so now it's in the ironing basket...

I scooped up a second mug from Herdy - in both senses, i.e. it's slightly imperfect and I already own one. This time in the purple, of course:

On to the woolly goodness! I got some fibre for my mum. It's a merino/silk in greys - Mum seems to like that sort of thing:

I was only allowed to buy yarn for myself, as I own plenty of fibre but cannot spin it [yet]. First up was 100g of DK in some of my favourite colours, probably destined to be a hat for me (hopefully gloves too, yardage willing!). I bought this partially because the fibre is interesting - 100% llama - and I'm curious to see how it knits up.

Then I got a little Eden Cottage, since their star seems to be rising, people love the yarn, and they had this gorgeous colour - 'Plum'. ,It's 100% superwash merino and it was bought with my bridesmaid in mind, so it will probably become a scarf/ shawly thing for her. 

Finally, I saw a really beautiful shawl on display at Artisan Yarns [whose website isn't playing nicely for me, but they were definitely there!]. I managed to be persuaded that I might want to turn this yarn into a wedding shawl for myself. It is gorgeous, but in my genius I've mislaid the card with the fibre blend written on, and the website seems to have migrated to here where the shop is down. Looking at their yarns on ravelry, I suspect it is a alpaca / cashmere / silk blend; whatever it is, it is delicious and highly strokeable.

Not a bad haul. but not a huge amount of stuff either! Stayed within budget and got some stuff that I'm really looking forward to knitting. Now to just finish off knitting the queue...

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

A Beautiful Thing

Apologies for the hiatus, there will be more on that story later. Meanwhile, here's a post I pretty much had written before things kicked off....

Someone has been kind enough to make me a Beautiful Thing:

I'll start at the beginning. I often knit at work, when my computer is working through something and I need to keep an eye on it. Knitting on DPNs is particularly good for desk knitting, as there are more points you can put it down at if the computer finishes up or fails in its task. However, as is always the case with balls of yarn, it tends to run away from me. This is not great at work, as the yarn tends to end up rolling under someone else's desk, under the desk chairs where it gets caught up in the legs, and heaven defend us when it heads for the cable runs.

Fortunately for everyone, the guy who sits next to me is a problem solver. He speculated whether I could keep the yarn is a bowl to stop it bimbling off everywhere, and when we tried it with a standard cereal bowl, it didn't work. I mentioned the idea of a yarn bowl, and it turns out my neighbour's dad turns wood as a hobby. He accepted the challenge of turning a yarn bowl, but cutting a slot in it made it too weak. Enter the Yarn Tub. So far I have used it without the lid, because I haven't started a project since owning it, but it works very well just like that.

Of course, this was a very lovely thing for someone to do - and someone I'd never met! Enter some vanilla sock knitting, to turn this into a bit of a skills swap.

I guess I'd better get cracking on them!