Wednesday, November 29, 2006

worth learning crochet for?

Take a look at these amazing crocheted hyperbolic models from the Institute for Figuring. Me and crochet have never got on well, but if we did, I'd definitely try out one of these.

Here's an article on hyperbolic geometry and crochet from Cabinet Magazine.

Monday, November 27, 2006

yes, I'm still knitting

Hello! Bit of a news blackout, sorry. I have been knitting, but not taking pictures.

Currently being worked on:
Cashmere Diamond Fantasy shawl for my Grandma. I'm 5.5 repeats in. The pattern suggests 6 repeats for a scarf and 10 for a shawl. So far, there seems to be loads of yarn left, but it's a point upwards pattern, so the rows are getting longer. I'm pretty sure I can get 7 repeats out of it, possibly 8. It's quite hard to tell how big the shawl is since I'm knitting it on straight needles. I might transfer it to waste yarn and stretch it out once I've got to 7 repeats. And then I'll take a picture.

Secret Christmas knitting. Only one project of several planned ones is currently happening. It's gorgeous, but secret until after Christmas.

Cashmere shawlette. I'm copying Kerrie and knitting a Cobweb out of some leftover cashmere sock yarn. It's pretty and easy, perfect for TV knitting and non-wool.

Forecast. I'm about halfway down the ribbing on the body. I'm planning to get this finished once all the Christmas knitting is done, or use it as a mindless project when everything else is too complicated. The yarn's wool and not particularly soft, but I don't think it'll be too much of a problem since it's not as close fitting on the arms as Arisaig, apart from the wrists. Maybe one to wear with a long sleeved top.

Thanks for the sympathy about woolly itchiness. Some googling suggests wool allergy as such is rare, but lots of people have sensitive skin and react badly to itchy wools. The yarn I used for Arisaig, although fine, isn't very soft. It's the sort of very grabby wool that would work well in fairisle knitting or something you wanted to steek. But possibly not the sort of thing you want to wear next to the skin. I think I'll think harder in the future about the texture of the yarns I use. It intrigues me that most of the time I haven't knit things to wear next to the skin. Without thinking too much about it, I've chosen non woolly yarns when I want something soft, e.g. a silk Clapotis. I've been intending to make another Clapotis out of something less drapy than silk for ages, but I've never found anything that's both structured enough and soft enough to consider wearing round my neck. Perhaps I already knew that wool was a bad choice and therefore, subconsciously or consciously, avoided it. Anyway, enough navel gazing. Moral of the story - when choosing yarn, think about texture and feel against the skin as well as colour, gauge and the overall look.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

itchy itchy

I've got a horrible feeling I might be allergic to wool. After wearing Arisaig most of the weekend, the skin on my forearms is itchy and covered in little insect bite type lumps. Oh dear. Yesterday I was wearing it over a long sleeve top, but on Friday and Saturday I wore a three-quarter length sleeved top and I wasn't itchy before that, so I suspect wool might be the culprit. (Any wool allergic people out there? Do my symptoms sound like yours?) That would actually explain a few things, like the unseasonal 'insect bites' I occasionally find on my ankles and wrists. Mostly, apart from socks, I don't wear woolly things next to my skin, more by accident than design. It's just annoying to find yet another thing I'm allergic to. No, it's not a long list (cats, nickel, raw apple, tree pollen), just an inconvenient one. Grrr.

Monday, November 20, 2006

arisaig finished

arisaig finished, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I promised an FO picture, here it is!

Started: 6 August 2006, finished 17 November 2006

Pattern: Arisaig by Ysolda Teague

Yarn: 6 and a bit 50g balls of Jaeger Gaelicspun in Blackberry

Needles:2.25mm and 2.75mm straight.

Modifications: The body is knit as written. The arms are narrower than written, to make them very close fitting. Sleeve caps rewritten with lots of help from Jenna Wilson's sleeve cap maths article from Knitty. I didn't do the neckline trim all the way round, just picked up stitches for the ties on the front and at the side seam. There are four buttons on the inside keeping the inner front neatly tucked away.

Notes: I absolutely love this! I finished it on Friday evening and would have worn it all weekend, but for the fact I was singing in a concert on Sunday, so had to wear all black. The fit is just what I wanted, no ease, very close-fitting, which makes the sleeves a little tricky to get on. You can't tell when I'm sitting down, but it wouldn't hurt by being a few inches longer. However, there's very little yarn left over and although I had a go at finding yarn to match it, nothing was quite right. (Rowan Scottish Tweed in Thistle was the nearest I got, but it's darker, thicker and doesn't have the gorgeous depth of purpleyness that this yarn has). Seaming wasn't as nightmarish as I thought it would be. Mattress stitch is magic! This wasn't a quick knit, and you need to pay attention during the front shaping to make sure the decreases are in the right place. However, I think the finished result is well worth it.

Crossposted on Ysolda's knitalong page.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Christmas is coming

Secret knitting has started. I was going to show you a picture, but the intended recipient reads this blog, so all I'm saying is it's red and very pretty.

Arisaig is very very nearly there. I seamed the sleeves and sewed them to the body last night. Now I just need to decide whether I'm going to do the long neck border/ties as written or copy Princess Pumpkin by just having buttons or do something else.

FO pic on Monday, I reckon.

Monday, November 06, 2006

no news = no progress

Arisaig is still in bits and is likely to remain so for a while. I have a super busy week ahead and quite possibly no time to knit. See you in a week or so when I surface again.