Saturday, July 30, 2005

Definitely Mad

Ok, ok, I know this is my second post for today and I know I'm getting a bit obsessive about this. But look!! I have knitted up the test pattern for the mystery shawl KAL and its in my own yarn! I think its lovely but then I would - I'm it's mummy!

The yarn has fluffed up a bit since I washed it to set the twist and now I would say it is slightly less than thick than Opal sock 4ply. It is so lovely and soft!

The test swatch was knitted on a 4.5mm (US7) Bryspun circular and is about 6.5cm high by 18cm wide, unblocked. I used the little 5gm skein to knit this and have used, at a guess, less than about half. I've got another 15gm drying at the moment and will be spinning more soon.

Right. That's it. No. More. Blogging. (Until next time :-))

Post Mad

I've been a bit of a blogging demon this week but that's what happens when they let me off work and I have time to play!

I thought I'd ply the pale green singles I've been spinning because I wanted to see if the resulting yarn would be okay to use for the mystery shawl. Well, what can I say! There are still dodgy patches but the overall thickness is very similar to the Jaeger 2ply I got off Ebay a while ago (my back-up contingency yarn if it all goes pear-shaped!) The picture shows my little skein with the grey Jaeger and a pencil for size comparison.

This little skein only weighs about 5gm and is about 20 metres long. So a long way to go yet, but its a start. Think I'll use to do a test swatch and see how it looks and that will give me an idea of needle size too - probably will go for 4.5mm.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Something New

I've just taught myself how to start a sock toe-up with short row shaping and I have to say I'm impressed with the technique and rather pleased with myself! I'm using a pair of socks I promised to knit for my Mum as the guinea pig. Mum, like all mum's the world over, will love these socks just because I made them for her. So even if they turn out a bit dodgy, she'll love them. Bless her. :-)

To learn this technique, I used a combination of Wendy Johnson's article on Knitty and one of the fab videos from Knitting Help. This first picture shows the provisional cast-on and the toe after I had completed wrapping the stitches. It took me two attempts to do it correctly, not too bad!

This pic shows a close up of the wrapped stitiches.







Next, you knit up the stiches that you wrapped and the toe starts to form.







Here's what the beginning of the side looks like.







Once you've knitted up all the wrapped stitches, you take out the provisional cast on, pick up the stitches and divide them evenly over your needles.





A pic of the side and a close-up.

















Finally, a couple of pics after several straight rows.
















The thing I like most about this technique is it gets around the really fiddly 'knitting with a hedgehog' stage when you first cast on top-down. Also, the shaping is very tidy. Progress seems really fast but that is probably an illusion created by the fact that I'm not ribbing immediately. Best of all you can try them on as you go along making sure they fit. Mum has tried it and yes, it fits!

Something else new... I had a little stash enhancement arrive in the post this morning from Get Knitted. Ordered yesterday arrived today - can't ask for better than that! The pink is Opal Uni colour 15 and is for the Six-Sox-Knitalong's August socks (we've been given a hint that the socks will look best in a solid colour). The multi-colour is Opal Rodeo Cotton (actually 48% cotton, 39% wool and 13% polyamide) colour 1170, no reason just liked it. :-) Finally, I also got a 2.5mm 80cm long Addi circular to have a go at 'magic loop' socks.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Is It Summer?

You'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise on the evidence of the grey, misty, murky weather and my finished objects - a scarf and handwarmers.

I finished the handwarmers from the 'Spin It!' book a while ago but never got around to posting a pic, so here it is.
These are made from 100% merino yarn I dyed and spun on my drop spindle. The yarn is quite thick, probably about aran weight I would think, and it is still a bit uneven but a lot better than the purple in the scarf below.

The scarf is from the same merino tops but the spinning is really uneven.

I started knitting up the scarf just to see what the yarn would look like and then my Mum took a shine to it so I thought I'd finish it. I still wasn't sure if I liked it until I blocked it. I know everyone who knits lace says you musn't judge it until its blocked but its hard to believe until you see the difference. The blocking has really made this scarf!

I knitted it in the 'Old Shale' (or 'Feather and Fan') pattern on 8mm needles and used about 75gm of yarn. Its about 15cm wide and 120cm long.

My spinning skill is developing all the time and, although I'm itching to get a wheel, I love what I'm able to do with the drop spindle. The yarn I'm spinning at the moment will probably turn out to be about 4ply in weight by the time I've plied it. Its a very pale green and I think, if I can spin enough, I'd like to use it to knit the shawl in the mystery shawl KAL. Better get spinning then!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Socks & Flowers

Hmmmmmm... I was going to post this yesterday but the day was blurgh! and I felt blurgh!! so I didn't :-)

I didn't post a pic of my finished Chutes and Ladders socks. I really like this pattern and I think I'll be making it again.

I've made a bit more progress on Branching Out but not enough to post a pic. Now that I'm on hols from work for 3 weeks I'm anticipating some quality time with my knitting and spinning.

Anyway, I spent some time out in the garden on Saturday taking a few pics of the lovely flowers and here they are:































































Pretty aren't they?

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Winnings

A few posts ago I mentioned that I had entered a contest run by the Traditional Knitting group as a part of their Shetland Lace Workshop. Well, I didn't win because there were some absolutely gorgeous scarves entered but the contest organisers decided to reward all who entered - very generous! My prize arrived this morning - a Bryspun US size 7 (4.5mm) 29 inch circular needle! This prize was donated by Dodie of Yarn For All Seasons in Oregon and it took a week to get here from the States so I am quite impressed! Thank you very much Dodie! Thanks also to Liz who wrote the workshop, Connie who organised the contest and also the people who judged. Okay - end of Oscars style speech! Well, at least I didn't cry or thank my Mum!!


As I've never owned a circular needle before, the first thing I had to do was have a go! :-) Of course, don't start with something easy Sue(!), I had to try 'magic loop' knitting and here is my little attempt. I like this technique so much I'm going to get a 2.5mm circular needle so I can make my next pair of socks with it.

Anyway, that's all the excitement for today! I have some absolutely gorgeous pics of flowers from the garden to post tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Branching Out


Just a quick post to say I've joined something else! I've decided to knit 'Branching Out' from Knitty and so of course I joined the KAL. :-) I've got a lot of pics to upload even some finished objects! I'll be doing that after Friday though because, after Friday, I have three, whole, lovely weeks off work. I can't wait! :-)

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Not Much To Report...

...so here's another one of those silly little tests. I don't know if I should be happy or disappointed - apparently I'm normal!! I know people who would disagree with that!


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