Wednesday, December 07, 2011

mostly hats

Hello! Still here, still knitting. This month I have been mostly knitting hats, or at least things to go on heads. And a few other things, but here are the hats:

A cowl for me

lacey cowl

OK, not a hat, but headgear. This is Ice Queen from Knitty. The yarn is Manos Lace (and that's where I bought it) and it's as soft and gorgeous and you'd expect for a baby alpaca/cashmere/silk yarn. :) I made this to wear at a wedding last weekend. Didn't actually end up wearing it much, mostly because I was wearing a big flower on my head and putting another layer over the top looked silly. I'm not actually sure how much I'll wear it. Lovely and snuggly as a cowl, but not quite the glamorous snood I wanted it to be. It's a bit more Babushka than old Hollywood, I think. Maybe I should have made it looser?

A beautiful hat

Nettie - detail

This is Nettie (ravelry link) by Katie White, part of her Sweet Little Somethings collection (9 patterns, released in installments. 5 are out so far). The yarn is Artesano Superwash Merino from The Sheep Shop, the new and exciting LYS in Cambridge (they have lots of lovely things).
I totally love this hat! I've always wanted a proper cloche hat, but I've got a big head, so commercially made felt hats tend not to fit me. This has the right shape and the lines, the ruching and the little (removable) bow, make it just right. My only criticism is that my bow is more floppy than I'd like, but that's possibly my fault for not actually knitting at the right gauge. I didn't swatch, just started with the suggested needles in the largest size. This would have made an enormous hat (I stopped before I finished the brim). So I measured my gauge (18 stitches to 4 inches instead of 22) and decided to stick with the needles (4mm) and make the smallest size, which fits beautifully. Of course, had I made the bow at the proper gauge, it might have been a little stiffer.

A hat in progress

almost completed hat

This is a hat to match the mittens in this post (now also competed). The pattern is Anemoi Hat, a free one made to match Eunny Yang's Anemoi mittens which I totally ought to buy because they're beautiful. I semi-followed it, adding in a few things like the braids. I like the lower one, but the upper one sticks out too much when wearing it, so I'm going to rip back and redo it without. Once Christmas knitting is out of the way. :) Yarn is Colinette Jitterbug. I do like Jitterbug's semi-solids for colourwork.

An exciting hat (and socks)

baby things

A simple hat and socks for my sister's very soon to be arriving baby. (She's been having twinges all day, so (s)he should be here very soon!)
The yarn is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino DK, I think. Both on 3.5mm needles. 72 stitches diameter hat, made up the pattern as I went along using Fibonacci numbers for the stripes. Improvised socks. :) I hope they fit! We'll find out very soon.

Lots more finished and on the needles to show off, but I think I'll leave it at that for today. What's on your needles?

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

what I have been knitting

The Noro sock dilemma is still unresolved. But I have been knitting other socks. I jumped on the Yarn Harlot's bandwagon and made some Edwardian Boating socks.

Pretty pink socks for me!

They are very pretty.

I'm rather in love with the little Vs - like rowers on the river.

pink sock zig zags

Pattern: Edwardian Boating Socks (Rav link) by Emma Haigh.

Yarn: 1.33 skeins of Colinette Jitterbug in Alizarine.

Needles: 3mm circs and dpns.

Modifications: I added stitches to make the circumference 72 stitches instead of 64 by changing the linen stitch panels to 8 rather than 6 stitches. The heel flap, turn, gussets etc were adjusted accordingly.

Thoughts: Pretty pattern, and easy to memorise. Eats yarn though. Combined with the shortish yardage of Jitterbug, that mean one sock took 2/3 of a skein.
As written, the heel turn makes an 11 stitches wide rectangle, rather than the normal widening trapezium shape. I assumed this was a mistake and added in the missing k1/p1 after each ssk/p2tog.
It seems to be impossible to prevent Alizarine from pooling at some point. I like the narrow striping on the leg, less keen on the wider pooling/striping on the foot. The second skein (on the LH of the pic above) is noticeably brighter than the first and seemed to pool more.

So, on the whole I like them. That's one more pair of socks for winter wear and 1.33 fewer skeins of sock wool in my stash. Rob will be pleased. :)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

sock dilemma

I have finished (bar the weaving in ends and blocking) a Noro sock.
It doesn't fit. Well, it does, but it's a squeeze to get it onto my foot. The knitted fabric is also a bit stiff and dense for my liking. I'm wondering if it would have been better on 3mm needles. So do I:

1. Persevere, knitting the second sock to match. Blocking might relax the fabric a bit and make it a little bigger. If not, I give the socks away to someone with slightly smaller feet.

2. Rip and reknit on larger needles. A 64 stitch sock on 3mm needles fits me when I use Colinette Jitterbug. It might work for Noro. (NB, I really should have swatched, shouldn't I? But I tend to treat the toe as a swatch for socks.)

3. Rip and reknit on the same needles, but using 68 or 72 stitches. (72 initially looked too wide, which was why I went down to 64. I wish I'd used 68 instead though).


Saturday, April 23, 2011

What I'm up to

Noro stripey sock, originally uploaded by the pig wot flies.

I'm still knitting. I've several things on the go. This is the most frequently knitted on.

It's a toe up sock, in Noro Silk Garden Sock, shade no. 87 (better record it while I can still find the ball band) in four row stripes, alternating opposite ends of the ball. I'm carrying the yarn up the inside, trying to weave it in nicely so the tension's right. I'm also minimising the jog by picking up the stitch below the first stitch on the second round of the new colour and knitting it together with the first stitch. Makes more sense with pictures, I think. This is it.

I love watching the colours change. It makes knitting a plain sock (which I almost never do) that bit more exciting. The red line you can see is where the afterthought heel will go. I want to make a stripey heel, with stripes that go all the way round (like the toe) so an afterthought heel was the way to go.

Also on the needles: a February Lady Cardigan (Ravelry link), mittens (still), a 4 ply Honeycomb Henley (Ravelry link). I think that's it. Oh and a 3 dimensional scarf thing. Must take some pictures of it.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

More Christmas knitting

I loved knitting this!

Pattern: Ella Funt by Flint Knits

Yarn: The main purple colour is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. The patterns are made of various scraps of DK I had around.

Mods: None. I knitted the 18-24 months size.

As you can see, it's a bit big on Sophia here. She was 14 months then. She's 17 months now. I'm hoping it'll fit for a good long while.

More notes and pics on Ravelry.

Monday, February 21, 2011

knee high stripes

As per usual, I've got several projects on the go at the moment: mitten 2 of a pair of stranded colourwork mittens, a cabled cardigan which has sleeves and most of the hem of the body but has got stuck because the pattern's odd, a lightweight probably short sleeved (I'll see how the yarn goes) jumper (sweater) in 4ply which is going very slooooowly and this sock, which is getting most of the knitting love.

I gave up on the cabled cardigan when it got too complicated to knit while watching tv and started a 2x2 ribbed sock instead. As I have 2 100g balls of the yarn (Wendy Happy) in the same colourway (I've got a couple more too), I thought I'd try a pair of knee high socks. I got to the top of the last yesterday and I'm pleased.

The yarn was a gift, one for a birthday, one from Christmas I think. It wouldn't have been my choice for sock yarn - it's bamboo (rayon) with 25% nylon. Obviously designed for socks, the self-striping pattern is probably optimised for 64 stitches, but looks ok on this (which are 72 in the foot and grow to 120 at the calf). It seemed a bit thin and not at all bouncy/stretchy, hence the decision to knit it in rib. Knitted up, it's not bad. It's cooler than wool. I can imagine wearing these in spring/summer with a red or pink cotton skirt. The yarn's a bit splitty, which is a con when knitting in front of the telly (mostly watching Alias with Rob), but it's fun watching the colours change.

Not sure what happened in the middle of the leg - there's suddenly an extra long orange and red bit. It wasn't a break, the yarn was continuous. There were a couple of knots, where I removed a section to make the colours continue as if there hasn't been. Oddly, both of the sections I took out looked like a whole red section. It's like this yarn wants to be red. I prefer the pink/coral/purple sections.

New skills: first time adding calf shaping. I used The Keyboard Biologist's handy calculation tips. Could probably have worked it out myself, but it's nice to have your hand held.
I used Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off at the top, which does what its name suggests. It's simple to execute and very stretchy. I'm not sure whether I like how it looks, unstretched, but when it's on it looks fine, which is what you want.

On to sock 2. Further notes are on Ravelry.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Christmas knitting

Oh dear, I've neglected this blog rather, haven't I?

While I work out what to do with it, here are Christmas knittings.

Totoro hat

This cute hat was for the small daughter of anime loving friends.

Pattern: Top-down bonnet with Anime Character by Adrian Bizilia

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino

Can't remember the needle size. The features were embroidered on rather than crocheted as a. I couldn't find a suitably sized crochet needle and b. I'm better at embroidery than crochet. Just.

Fairisle hat and mittens

Cute hat and mitten set! I improvised the mittens to match the hat.

Pattern: Scrappy Gems Fairisle Hat (Ravelry link) Modded a bit to make it deeper. The top pattern is made by going from row 37 back to row 16.

Yarn: scraps of DK leftover from other things.

This was almost my first attempt at stranded colourwork. (previously I used it to make little sheep on socks). I enjoyed it so much I decided to try something a little more ambitious.

First proper mitten

So, here is my first completed stranded colourwork mitten.

The main pattern is Swirly Mittens. I started with this 2 colour cast on, did the cuff in corrugated rib and then a Latvian braid.

I'm using Colinette Jitterbug on a 3mm circular needle. This mitten clearly needs a good blocking. The first mitten came together pretty quickly in the days after Christmas. (It was a good distraction from excruciating back pain.) Mitten 2 is at the thumb gusset stage and has been for about 6 weeks. I got distracted by other things which are easier to knit while watching TV and haven't gone back to it. It's getting too warm for mittens now anyway, so I suspect I shan't finish it for ages. Mind you, if I ever do finish, I suspect I won't wear them much.

Mitten 2 is also noticeably smaller than mitten 1. I seem to have tightened up as I get better (or more blase) at dealing with two yarns. I'm hoping it won't be too much of a difference and that blocking will sort it. Maybe?