Saturday, May 31, 2008

Rosie's Sweater

Ever since I finished Molly's Swing Jacket, Rosie has, somewhat understandably, being nagging me about knitting something for her. (And boy, can she nag ;)). Avid readers of this blog (ha!) will know that the initial plan was to knit her a rusty red version of the Ink Flare Sweater that I made for myself. But since I dont love that sweater, or knitting with the yarn (Noro Cash Iroha), I just kept putting it to one side for more exciting projects. Then I started a raglan sweater in the same yarn, using the top-down raglan calculator...but again, got bored after a few rounds and kept putting it to one side. Poor Rosie, every time she saw me knitting on something else, she would ask when was I going to knit on her sweater. Ah she does a good line in guilt.

So, finally I decided to go the chunky/big needle route and get something finished. I went with Click Chunky cos a) its, well, chunky and b) its cheap yet soft and springy. Surprisingly so for 70% acrylic. I like it. And I found a Sirdar pattern for a simple raglan the plan was definitely coming together. After a small hitch where I took the yarn but not the pattern on a 3 day visit to my mothers (=lots of knitting time), followed by lots of ranting and stomping then loosing of the will to live as I tried to find something online using her dial up, I finally got started a few days ago on our return.

I knitted up the back quickly, but as I started the front I began to yawn a bit, so decided to stick a pattern on the front. I searched for a dishcloth pattern or similar, but nothing was quite right. So I ended up designing my own fish pattern on graph paper. First one (the little fish) fell foul of that problem where graph paper is square, but knit stitches are oblong, so he is longer and thinner than I wanted. But still OK. The bigger fish I tried to compensate, but he still came out too long. I tried to pretend he was OK and finished the front, but figured every time I looked at it, it would piss me off, so I frogged back and redid it, adding some bubbles this time for a larf. Am quite happy with the result :) It the spirit of sharing, the pattern for the fish is below.

As for the whole sweater, it is pretty snug on Rosie, despite me working to gauge (had to go up a needle size as usual), so I wish I had done the next size up, but hopefully she wont grow too much over the summer. She loves it :) Which is good, because I had started to wonder if I was going to be one of those people who knits awful ill-fitting sweaters that are obviously handknitted that people only wear out of obligation. Maybe I should stick to shawls and bags.....

Moss/Seed stitch Fish pattern

Big Fish (left facing)
Row 1: P1 K1 P1 K18
Row 2: P3 (K1P1)3 K1 P7 K1 P1 K1 P1
Row 3: K2 P1 K1 P1 K4 (K1P1)5 K2
Row 4: P1 (K1P1)6 P4 K1 P3
Row 5: K2 P1 K1 P1 K4 (K1P1)5 K2
Row 6: P1 (K1P1)6 P2 K1 P1 K1 P3
Row 7: K4 P1 (K1P1)8
Row 8: P1 (K1P1)8 P3
Row 9: K4 P1 (K1P1)8
Row 10: P1 (K1P1)6 P2 K1 P1 K1 P3
Row 11: K2 P1 K1 P1 K4 (K1P1)5 K2
Row 12: P1 (K1P1)6 P4 K1 P3
Row 13: K2 P1 K1 P1 K4 (K1P1)5 K2
Row 14: P3 (K1P1)3 K1 P7 K1 P1 K1 P1
Row 15: P1 K1 P1 K18

Small Fish (right facing)
Row 1: K3 P1 (K1P1)2 K5 P1 K1
Row 2: K1 P1 K1 P3 (K1P1)3 K1 P2
Row 3: (K1P1)7 K1
Row 4: P4 (K1P1)5 K1
Row 5: (K1P1)7 K1
Row 6: K1 P1 K1 P3 (K1P1)3 K1 P2
Row 7: K3 P1 (K1P1)2 K5 P1 K1

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My First Lace Project

I finished something! This is the lovely summery vest top with a bit of lace at the bottom I did with the DB Cathay yarn. Its called Soleil and is from knitty. Heaven to knit with (although a bit splitty), it was a perfect first lace project as it wasnt too arduous and once it was done, it was straight stocking stitch in the round. I really enjoyed knitting it. It fits too, although it does feel a bit 'chunky' in this gauge. I imagine it would look smarter in a thinner yarn. But I wore it today, and really enjoyed knowing I was wearing something I made. Yay!

Now I have about 8 skeins of Cathay left over, since I bought enough for a big sweater, so have to decide what to do with it. I am thinking it might lend itself to a really slinky Clapotis, but that might be because I am totally in love with the other one I am making (in Louisa Harding Grace) because I have got to the dropped stitch part......woot!! Such fun. Its true, I am sad!


Who can resist these lovely booties. They are a ravelry favourite, designed by Saartje, and much knitted. They knit up flat, so no fiddly dpns and seaming on such a small item is a breeze. No idea if they will fit, or stay on! I would love to knit a whole mess of these; I definitely need more babies, although not personally, you understand.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I've started so I must finish...

OK so I have a starting problem. Or a finishing problem, depending on how you look at it. Last Saturday I started 3 new projects, while still having 4 on the go, in various stages of unfinishedness. The lure of new projects is too great. Finishing them is boring. Oh dear. In the spirit of transparency, this is what I have on the go at the moment.

1. Rosie's ink flared sweater. A smaller version of the one I did for me, in rust red with grey stripey bits. I am kind of making it up a bit as I go along, a bit risky. Its not so interesting to knit, but she is always nagging me about it so I keep on keeping on.

2. Toddler Coat for C by Debbie Bliss. Its lovely to knit, I should get on with it. But its in size 12-18mths, so no immediate rush.

3. Shawl-collared cardigan by Debbie Bliss for soon-to-be nephew, also C. All done except blocking and sewing. Must finish soon as he is nearly an actual nephew rather than a soon-to-be one.

4. Cotton Lace Shrug. Glorious project in Debbie Bliss cotton angora which is lovely to knit. My first lace. Requires concentration, so I cant do it while I am chatting or watching The Apprentice. So progress is slow.

5. A 'Clapotis' shawl (apparently pronounced Clap-o-Tee), which is meant as a 'thank-you' for a friend. In Louisa Harding Silk and Wool yarn, which I got cheap from ebay. Not sure about it, but am suspending judgement. Anyway, the shawl is fun fun fun to knit, as its done on the bias and then, *gasp*, you drop a load of stitches. Hehehe. Cant wait for that bit. (Bloody hell, I am sad...)

6. A skinny scarf, which is basically DK wool knitted on 10mm needles, so you get a big floopy stitch. So easy and fun. And the wool I am using is Mirasol Hacho which is 100% merino hand-dyed and is gloriously bright coloured. It is from a project in Peru which helps the children of the yarn producers and workers, so I can feel self-righteous as I knit.

7. And finally, since some Debbie Bliss Cathay was finally shipped to me after a 3 month wait and no apology (getknitted, I will not be ordering from you again. Grrr) I changed my mind about what I wanted to knit with it, and am now doing a simple tank top with lacy edging. Its knit in the round and I am enjoying it greatly. The yarn is heaven to knit with. My gauge is off, not having a 4mm circular, so am doing it with 5mm in the smaller size and hoping that it will kind of fit me. If it doesnt, I will give it to someone bigger/smaller than myself, as appropriate.

And I havnt even mentioned the half finished dinosaurs and bags. Gah! Someone slap me with a wet fish if I start something else when I havnt finished these yet.

All the cool kids are doing it...

Yay, I have converted several people to the Joys of Knitting! I feel like a pusher ;) Last weekend 16 mums and some or all of their kids met up in a big house in Malvern for chat, wine, chaos and laughter. And knitting! I got a job lot of cheapo needles from ebay and raided my stash for God-awful acrylic yarn and on Saturday night (after probably too many glasses of wine) we had a little knitting group. My lovely friend Louby, a champion knitter herself, and I coaxed some friends through a good few rows of garter stitch. All but one had previously knitted, but way back then, so we didnt have too arduous a task at all. They did very well, and one went off at a great pace and tried all manner of stitches. I hear she has since made her first garmet. Woot! I think we might have made at least a few converts. Ah to spread the joy. I loved it :)

Sunday, May 4, 2008


This is a chubby one from an Alan Dart Shaun the Sheep Mobile pattern. Weird to knit with the furry yarn, but so cute! Quick to do, although fiddly with the legs and such. He has a bit of a glazed expression, which is quite apt, cos he is meant for my brother. Who is old enough to know better, but doesnt.

My First Sweater

I finished my first sweater, the Ink Flared Sweater from Black Dog Designs. I enjoyed knitting it, but not that happy with the way it turned out. The yarn (Noro Cash Iroho) is mildly slubby, by which I mean there is a sodding great slub every once in a while, but the rest of the yarn is quite smooth. As a consequence, the fabric looks smoothish with a slub here and there which looks more like a snag. Grrr. And it wasnt super great to handle while knitting, although it is soft to wear and quite snuggly.

The other problem is that I dont think it really suits me. The highish neckline makes my boobs look huge! Anyway, it will be a good slobbing around in sweater which is fine, although a bit bloody expensive considering! At least I got the yarn half price on ebay. Oh and the raglan sleeves should have been sewn up differently I think. I am currently knitting a smaller one for Rosie so will try again with that one. Need to do some research.