A few months ago, I completed the Darjeeling Shawl (Joan Forgione, Interweave Knits Spring 2013) in my sportweight handspun, Passions corriedale/alpaca from Spunky Eclectic. At last! The perfect small project for it!
The Triangle Body and Lace Panel came together easily enough, but things fell apart when it came to the Lace Edging. For the life of me, I could not figure out how to work the chart. Somehow, it seemed perfectly logical that the chart should be worked across the 193 st of the shawl body, but the math just didn’t work out, and the instructions subsequently became incomprehensible. After pondering the problem for 2 days, including searching the Interweave Knits Forum for clues, the penny finally dropped – the 15 st, 6 row repeat needed to be worked at right-angles to the shawl body.
Why do these things always seem so obvious – AFTER you’ve figured it out?!
Net result – one perfectly constructed Darjeeling Shawl that turned out to be a sweet knit after all.
This is the first afghan I’ve begun where there’s been a colour scheme in mind. The finished size will be 140x170cm. Each granny square measures 12x12cm, which means I’ll need 180 squares in total – 12 squares across by 15 squares down. Just need to work out a contrast square now.
Even a cursory glance into my stash tells me that I have gone a little nuts buying sock yarn. Truth be told, I’m never going to make that many socks – for me, or anyone else. Let’s face it: most people would rather wear sweaty nylon socks than sweat-beating merino/silk. So I’m repurposing the sock yarn into a throw, because that’s pragmatic and practical. Somewhere along the way, however, I seem to have unleashed a hitherto unknown masochistic streak… each square is only 4 rounds. About 3″ square. I can hear your palms smacking your forehead (I’ve stopped doing that due to incipient bruising). Anyhow, here’s my start on the little suckers. Wish me luck…
It must be said that I am a World Class Procrastinator. If I can dither about endlessly to not complete something I’m not particularly invested in, I will do it – with bells on. For example, I have been wildly successful in my efforts to take forever and a day on the home DIY front. Really, I’m awesome. You should see the place. Er… perhaps not. But the bathroom’s looking pretty swish, if I do say so myself.
I’m also pretty awesome at UFOs. Starting projects? Not a problem. Finishing the buggers? Not so much. However, I have applied the cane to my butt and not only finished making sufficient squares for my Double Crochet Throw, but actually joined them together! Into a Real Live Throw! Amazingly, it only took a few minutes to assemble them in a pleasing non-patterny layout:
After much angsting about what kind of join to do, I settled on a double crochet join, so you end up with a visible seam on one side (the right side) and a flat seam on the other (the wrong side). All threads were worked in as I went, which prevented that whole life-sucking drama of weaving in your ends. Took a couple of evenings to complete the joining and… ta daaaa!
I had a particular friend in mind when making this throw, and I’m pleased to report that she did exactly what I thought she’d do: snuggled it.
It started with making some 30x30cm squares for the Container Love project… and I just kept going.
20 squares later and I have a snuggly throw – just in time for summer. Um, yeah… I’m getting a head start on my winter projects? Unfortunately, I regret to advise that this has made the most alarmingly miniscule dent in my yarn stash. Worse, I can now see just how much damn novelty yarn I’ve purchased over the last few years. Fortunately, I have a plan to get rid of it – I mean, use it wisely. It’s all going to become a Tunisian Crochet Throw, and I’m going to have to start it straight after finishing the Double Crochet Throw, else I think the throw-equivalent of second-sock syndrome will otherwise afflict me…
At last! I can’t believe how long it takes me to knit something. Even seemingly simple somethings. Case in point: the Hitchhiker Scarf. When you start out, the rows fly off the needles so quickly, and then about halfway through you begin to realise that things have slowed down. By the time you’re two-thirds in, those rows are taking a helluva long time to complete. No, I didn’t time it – because that would just be… demotivating, shall we say. Anyway, the No.2 Hitchhiker I began back on 5 February is finally complete, and I likes it a lot.
Next on the needles is this lovely sweater (Cultivated Vines), purchased from e-patternscentral.com, with Naturally Haven 4ply merino yarn in nearly the same shade.
Wish me luck – this is only the second garment I’ve ever knitted. Must go – I’m knitting a gauge swatch. Apparently they’re important…
The stash-busting, bobbin-emptying exercise continues!
I spent this weekend spinning silk – Bombyx Mori and Tussah. I know silk is the epitome of luxury fibres… well, apart from vicuna, perhaps… digressing… but frankly, I’m not sure it would make it to my list of top fun fibres to work with. It’s incredibly fly-away, and if the top doesn’t get drafted quickly enough, you spin lovely silk rope. Which, admittedly, is pretty easy to undo, but still…
However, all that aside, the end result is lovely. Just 50g of each in this lot, so I’ll definitely need to get some more if I want to make something out of it. Oh go on then – twist my arm!
Next we take a short break from the bobbin-emptying for something Majestic – the Southern Cross Fibre Club offering from November 2009. Told you I was stash-busting! This is oatmeal BFL top and is going to be my first attempt at spinning a 3-ply yarn for socks. Wish me luck, I think I’m going to need it…
I am stash-busting!
Now that I can see the full scale of my fibre stash, I am afraid. Fortunately, I am more afraid of an ‘intervention’, so have committed to spinning my way through my handpaint stash.
It will be fun. I am not at all daunted. Much…
First things first: clear the bobbins. I did a count of how many different fibres I had on bobbins. There were six: alpaca, Gotland, Bombyx Mori silk, Tussah silk, polwarth/tencel and polwarth top. Did I mention I have the attention span of a goldfish? Well, now you know.
After two weeks of spinning every single night (I am SO good!), I have now cleared several bobbins. First off the bobbins was Antarctica from Southern Cross Fibre:
Next was the luscious Hades (polwarth x tencel), also from Southern Cross Fibre, all spun, plied and skeined:
Then it’s back to my psuedo-nemesis: silk. When it behaves, it’s a dream to spin, but when you can’t stay ahead of the drafting zone, it’s a nightmare! Next post will be my proud triumph over both my much-neglected stash of Bombyx Mori and Tussah:
Now that I’ve returned from the shaky South, it’s time to catch up… and display the goodies purchased on my aforementioned road trip to Oamaru.
After a week’s work, the Hitchhiker scarf in Noro Kureyon is coming along nicely. I’m loving the colour gradations, and have been assured that this yarn will relax and bloom after washing. Probably not very bright of me to purchase sock yarn for wearing round my neck, but the colours were irresistable:
Whilst at Ashford, I reluctantly put aside the thought of purchasing a Joy spinning wheel (the treadle action is soooo smooth!) and instead got 2 x 500g bumps of soft chocolate brown merino. This is destined for a jumper, either this winter or next – depends how fast I can spin it up:
In Oamaru, we came across the Oamaru Textile Exchange, which I’d been reading about last month in the Creative Fibre magazine, so it was lovely to actually set foot in the place. I didn’t see any yarn that grabbed my fancy, so got this 3-in-1 tote and Doe Arnot’s handy book on spinning camelid fibre:
My spinning mojo has also returned, and inbetween doing some rows on the Hitchhiker, I’m finishing off Hades from Southern Cross Fibre:
God knows what I’ll knit with it, but it may turn out to just be colourwork edging to something. Not sure yet. Anyway, that’s where I’m at with all my projects. The never-ending Upstairs Shawl is taking a break, but will be dragged out again as soon as the Hitchhiker is done.
That is all. As you were.
I’m going to make these!
Inspired by Monet
Both patterns are ridiculously cheap. I am in dire need of v-neck sweaters for winter and nice patterns are SO hard to come by. After Ezibuy’s dismal effort last season, the only solution is to make my own. I’ve not actually knitted a sweater before, but it can’t be that hard. Can it? I’m not worried though, because I have many talented knitterly friends, so I’m sure it’ll all work out…