Thursday, April 27, 2006

I love Kidsilk Haze !

I started this scarf at work two days ago as a project that was easy to pick up and put down without losing track of where I was. It is a two row lace pattern and very easy to remember. Best of all it takes only one ball of the gorgeous Kidsilk Haze to make a really good sized scarf - I still find it hard to believe that this stuff goes so far. This is going to make it even harder to walk past it in the yarn department of John Lewis. Just one ball wouldn't hurt......
The pattern is by Sue Morgan from Get Knitted. She gives instructions for three sizes which are the scarf, a stole or a wrap. Even the wrap takes only three balls and I think it will have to be added to my list of future projects as I really, really want one. The scarf will be great for gifts.

This scarf should be quite warm despite being the lightest, fluffiest thing ever. Oh, and the colours of the Kidsilk Haze are amazing too. I just love it. It's really hard to tear myself away and get on with the Green Gable top.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Finished Cate

Well , I managed to finished Cate. It was a very quick and enjoyable knit and I loved the feel of the yarn. However, sewing it up was another matter. The Giotto is quite slippery and it is hard to weave in the ends neatly. The seams feel really bulky which I don't like.
Another problem with it was the colour pooling. I knitted with two skeins but seem to have selected two lighter skeins followed by two darker skeins. The back and right front are noticably darker than the rest of it. In future I will examine the skeins more closely in natural light before I start. I think that it just about works despite these minor problems and I really like the style. I'm going to block it gently before I post a modelled shot of it. I have some more Giotto which I plan to make a vest top out of.
I cast on for the Green Gables top last night and am loving the Cotton Fleece yarn - it is so soft. It's a really easy pattern and I love this knitting in the round. Sewing up is my least favourite part of a project so I am now looking for patterns that need very little finishing. After this, I will be casting on for the beautiful lacy jacket by White Lies Designs.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Cate Cardi

This gorgeous Colinette Giotto has been hiding in my stash since I bought it at the Knit and Stitch Show at Alexander Palace last October. It is a really nice colourway called Rose Garden. Originally, it was intended to be knitted up into a big jacket but I changed my mind. I saw the Cate tie front cardi made up on a knitting blog I stumbled across (can't remember which) and fell in love with it. It's a Colinette pattern and is very simple and quick. I like simple designs - Colinette yarns are so beautiful that they don't need lots of fussy details. The left front knitted up in an evening and the sleeve was finished at work yesterday. At this rate it will be finished at the weekend.

As soon as this one is finished I am going to cast on for the Green Gable top. I've joined the Knitalong and have noticed that several other knitters have chosen the same colour Cotton Fleece as me. It's called Wisteria and is a lovely pale purple. The yarn itself is very soft and should knit up well.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Cable Footies

Another finished object ! This is the Cable Footies - another great pattern from One Skein. I just love this book so much. I used the Shepherd's Worsted from Lorna's Laces in Sherbert. I think that the variegated yarn wasn't the best choice for this pattern as the cables don't really stand out as well as they should. However, the yarn itself is amazingly soft and I will definitely use it again. The footies were really quick to knit and the pattern easy to memorise. All in all, a good addition to this years tally of finished objects.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Odessa hat

The fabulous Silk Sleeves from One Skein are finished. They took less than two days and were fun to knit. Simple and stylish. The sleeves are a gift for a friend who loves them and will look fabulous in them. This was a great portable project - very light and an easy to memorise pattern. I would make these again.

I also finished the Odessa hat last night - having got quite a lot of knitting done at work yesterday ( lucky me !) This hat is totally wonderful. It was interesting to knit and looks amazing. It also took less than one ball of Rowan Cashsoft DK which makes it an economical project. It would make a great gift. Little Millie has claimed it for her own already so I am planning to start another for myself immediately.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Silk Sleeves

I started these Silk Sleeves from the One Skein book yesterday and almost finished them this afternoon. I just need a little more yarn which I will purchase tomorrow. This is the first time that I've used Rowan Kidsilk Haze and I now know why it is so popular. The yarn is so light and soft and looks beautiful - great range of colours. This project is only supposed to take one skein but will need just a few yards more. It's probably my gauge that's at fault but I didn't really think it would matter too much on a project like this - I never learn ! I could unwind a little of the first sleeve but I think I may just purchase another. This will leave me with enough yarn for another scarf. This was such a quick, easy project and I think the sleeves will look really good. I hope to post pictures of the finished sleeves tomorrow.
Meanwhile, I have cast on for the wonderful Odessa hat. I am using Rowan Cashsoft DK in a soft green and some glass beads that were left over from a beaded cardigan that I knitted years ago. I have joined the Odessa Knitalong.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Cupcake and finished Hourglass !

After a busy weekend, I am pleased to report another two finished knits. Firstly the Hourglass Sweater is now ready to wear. I finished it on Sunday night and will be wearing it lots before the weather warms up - I love it ! I had read quite a lot about the neckline being too wide on this sweater. Bearing this in mind I did an extra decrease row. It is still quite wide and I would probably do a few more decreases on any future attempts at this sweater. I will definitely make this again - perhaps in a lighter yarn. The Noro Kuruyon makes a very warm, firm fabric and I would like to see this style in something a bit softer. Noro Silk Garden might be nice. The colours are great. What do you think ?

Leigh Radford's "One Skein" is proving to be a real source of inspiration. Small, quick projects that can be finished in an evening are very satisfying. Last night I knitted up one of the cute little cupcakes out of scrap yarn. I like it a lot and so does little Millie. She wants a whole plateful of them to play with. This could be arranged. Great for using up small scraps. I plan to cast on for the silk sleeves today using Rowan Kidsilk Haze as suggested in the pattern. This will be the first time that I have made three projects from the same book. There are plenty more that I'd really like to make as well. This book is just excellent. The One Skein Knitalong is really fun too. Check it out for a whole bunch of really great cupcakes.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

UFO Attack !

No progress on the socks. Somehow, vowing to finish them soon has put me right off sock knitting. Strange that ! However I did feel inspired to search through my pile of UFO's for items that could be finished quickly. I excelled myself yesterday and managed to finish and sew up two items that had been lurking in my big knitting bag for some time. Firstly, the Kemp bag from Simply Noro. I had knitted this bag last year and never got around to sewing it up or knitting the rosette for the front. So, yesterday I did it and it only took about an hour and a half. I ended up with this fabulous bag.

I lined the bag to make it a bit sturdier. It doesn't say to do this in the pattern but it felt a bit flimsy. I can see myself using this bag a lot. It's great ! Love the size, shape, texture, and colour.

The Pattern calls for 200g of Noro Blossom. I only broke into the last skein for the decorative rosette, so could have got away with just 3 skeins if I'd made a different flower. Noro yarns are expensive, so if I make another of these I would probably do that. There should be enough from the last skein to make a small hat or some hand warmers. Noro Blossom is a lovely yarn and would be great for a sweater. I love the way that the colours blend into each other and the texture is interesting yet still very soft.

The second finished item was a hat that I made from a kit purchased from Miss Bell. It's a beautiful handspun variegated yarn and is just so soft. The kit had two different patterns for a beanie hat and I made the one with the small ribbed cuff. This knitted up in an evening and has been waiting for weeks to get sewn up. I like the hat and it is really comfy. There is a little yarn left so I am toying with the idea of a pompom for the top or a rosette for the side. Can't decide which so might make both and try them out.

I still managed to find time to attach the sleeve to my Hourglass Sweater and do a little work on the yoke. It's looking good - I have high hopes of this sweater. The pattern is so simple that you can just get on with it while watching television. Knitting in the round is brilliant. There will be no waiting for this one to get sewn up. Although you do need to sew down the hems around the bottom , sleeves and neck. Anyway, I hope to be wearing this in a couple of days. Then I really must finish at least one pair of those socks....

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A felted clutch bag and half a sleeve

The clutch bag from One Skein spent today felting in the washing machine and then drying out. Tweaking it into an acceptable shape was not easy. I could definitely use more practise at this felting lark. The finished result is not too bad and I would use this pattern again - it will be great for using up odd balls of chunky wool. I have pinned on the handmade felt flower that I bought on holiday in Denmark last year and think it looks quite good. The buttons used on the original bag in the book also look excellent and I will be trying some other ideas on future efforts. Anyway, I have posted a picture onto the One Skein Knitalong blog and look forward to some constructive criticism. This is my first project from the book and the first time that I've taken part in a knitalong. It's fun.

A bit more progress has been made on the Hourglass Sweater. I knitted up about half of the second sleeve this afternoon. It's looking good !

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A fine finished knit !

After the last couple of knitting/crochet disappointments, I was feeling the need for a finished object to be proud of. So I dug out the little number that I knitted just before Christmas and never got around to sewing up. It's the Fiery Bolero from Interweave Knits Summer 2005 in Debbie Bliss Cathay. This yarn was a bit annoying to knit with as it splits really easily but the finished fabric is great. I am so pleased with this - and it actually fits perfectly. Some of my favourite knits have been Interweave patterns. They are stylish, fashionable and well written patterns.

And a back view .....
Spurred on by this success, I cast on for the felted clutch bag from One Skein. I love this book ! Loads of great ideas in it. I just happened to have some of the recommended yarn (Brown Sheep bulky) in a lovely shade of purple which I think may be called Wild Violet. I bought a cone of this yarn to make some felted clogs with and had some left over. It felts brilliantly. A couple of hours later and I have a bag sewn up and ready to felt.
I will be felting the bag tomorrow and look forward to seeing the results. This was a really quick knit and the finished bags I've seen on the One Skein Knitalong blog look amazing. I'm not sure how I 'll be embellishing the bag yet - buttons or flower of some sort. There might just be enough yarn left to make another one. My DD has chickenpox, so we are confined to the house for the next few days. This should mean plenty of knitting time.

The importance of getting gauge...

At last I've finished the Cork jacket - the bad news is that it is much too big for me. I don't know what happened as I checked my gauge when I started and it seemed ok. I guess that I must have relaxed a bit as work progressed and the jacket has relaxed with me ! I'm also not sure that the colour is right for me. I must admit that I would never have chosen this colour if it hadn't been on sale. The pattern is Maggie by Kim Hargreaves from the Rowan Cork Collection. I used Rowan Cork in the Gleam clourway and knitted it on 8mm needles. I probably should have used 7mm needles. The knitted fabric does feel very loose. Despite being a bit disappointed all round with this one, I think it would look pretty good on someone a bit taller and wider than me with longer arms. It will doubtless be donated to just such a person ! In my stash I have two more packs of Cork, in Bug which is a bright green colour, also purchased at a bargain price. I shall be choosing my pattern and checking my gauge very carefully for any future projects using this yarn.

The second disaster of the day has been the crocheted Unseamly Sweater. I had high hopes of this but when I tried on the completed body section it was a bit snug and completely unflattering. I couldn't bear the thought of wasting all that lovely Rowan Calmer so I frogged it. The yarn is now wound into a big ball and waiting for a suitable pattern to inspire me. I think that there will be enough to make a small bolero or shrug. The crochet wasn't a complete waste of time as I learnt quite a bit from it. I think I may attempt another garment soon. This one wasn't so much a gauge problem as the wrong choice of size and style. I can't seem to help seeing myself as bigger than I really am and knitting everything a size too large - definitely need to address this problem. The last garment that I made far too big was the wonderful Rogue sweater . I still wear it a lot and love it but it is undeniably baggy on me. This was a an amazing pattern which I really enjoyed knitting and plan to make again in a smaller size some time.

The yarn I used for the Rogue was not the greatest quality ( another bargain ! ) and has gone a bit fuzzy. In the future I would probably make this about two sizes smaller and buy the best quality wool that I can afford. The pattern is really awesome. I particularly love the way that the hood is shaped. When worn it lies in such a way that the cables show to best advantage. The body shaping doesn't really show on my effort as it is so baggy.

Yesterdays discouraging events have sent me back to my Hourglass Sweater and I have finished the first sleeve and started the second. Lets hope that this turns out to be the wonderful, wearable sweater that it is promising to be. I am also thinking of casting on another small project, such as the small felted clutch bag from One Skein, as I feel the need for a successful finished object really soon.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

And now for some crochet....

Well, I didn't manage to finish the Cork jacket . It's really close with only about half of the belt to go and the rest of it all sewn up. I was really keen to get it finished but then my copy of Debbie Stoller's new crochet book arrived and I was seduced by a new project. I've never actually crocheted a garment before before the Unseamly Sweater looked simple yet stylish and so I dived straight in. I'm using Rowan Calmer which is a very light, soft yarn and should make an extremely comfortable sweater. It is working up very quickly and I'm almost up to the armholes already. I'm a bit worried about the size - perhaps I should have gone for a larger one. Can't bear the thought of frogging it at this point so I'm hoping that it will be ok when it's blocked if I ease it out a bit. .
The waist shaping section is the main problem as it doesnt seem to be as stretchy as the v-stitch sections. The v-stitch looks pretty good though

There are several projects that I really want to make from this book. The Frou Frou Jacket is a definite if this one turns out well and my enthusiasm for crochet carries on. I also really like the Garden Scarf.