Monday, August 31, 2009


P1030902 by you.

I got a tayberry plant a few weeks ago and it’s starting to blossom! Rather excited to try the fruit, I’ve never had tayberries before. I bought it because I thought the name sounded cute and quaint, and I never met a berry I didn’t like. I hope this doesn’t disappoint!

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Friday, August 28, 2009

When in doubt… knit socks


This has been my day. Sitting out in the sunny garden with cherry blossom tea, an audiobook and getting on with my second pair of socks from this stash of Regia sock yarn. I managed to do the gusset and am about halfway down the foot now, so will hopefully have this pair finished by the end of the weekend. Boo to working yet another Bank Holiday weekend, but at least I get the Bank Holiday Monday off…

I still have a nagging urge to cast on for something new, but digging through my stash last night was pretty fruitless. I’m not in the mood yet for chunky berets and none of my lace weight yarns seemed to the right colour. I’m quite fancying some mittens though, or maybe another pair of socks… I’ve got another couple days to decide I suppose!

P1040025 by you.

I managed to quickly block Ishbel since the weather seems perfect for letting it dry outside in, but of course after being lovely and sunny all morning, as soon as I spread it out on the ground it started to rain. I though it’d pass pretty quickly, but no such luck, so as soon as I made the decision to roll up Ishbel and bring all my things in, it stopped raining and out came the sun again. Soooo infuriatingly typical.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

What to knit!?

Ishbel is off the needles.

Although I haven’t wound in ends or blocked it yet, so technically it’s not counted as finished in my book! Problem is, I just don’t know what to do next. I’ve been perusing my Rav queue and favourites list for most of the evening, but nothing in there’s crying out at me to be cast on just yet. I might rummage through my stash next to see if I can get any inspiration from that… My fingers are feeling restless, I’d better find something fast. I’m not a fan of this bout of project ambivalence.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lingering knits

I’m not a fan of the end of summer, the night’s close in far too quickly. I don’t mind so much when autumn is firmly ensconced around us with crisp cool air and crunching amber leaves underfoot, but right now darkening skies at 8:30pm just remind me of how in the blink of an eye we’ll be having evening darkness that starts at 3:30pm. Le sigh.

Ishbel by you.

I jumped on the Ishbel bandwagon almost a month ago now, according to Ravelry. I’m ashamed to say, I still haven’t finished it. Almost 4 weeks on and the poor thing is still lingering on my needles. I’ve had about 5 rows left until the end for about 3 weeks, and I had hoped I’d be able to finish it up using only one ball of my Kidsilk Haze so I could make two of these. I picked it up last night at bedtime and knit away til the wee early hours to find out if it was even possible. It wasn’t. I managed to get to the last 19 stitches of my penultimate row before running out. Ah well.

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P1030774 by you.

I’m just about the worst blogger ever, sporadic to the max. I’m vowing to try harder this time, but I’m sure I say that every time.

I haven’t been quite as neglectful of my knitting, but to be truthful apart from the last couple of months any knitting activity has pretty scant of late. I don’t really know what I’ve been doing with my time!

I have managed a few FO’s, the most significant of which… the Wedding Afghan!




P1030790 by you.

Tree of Life Afghan by Nicky Epstein

Yarn: Texere Yarns Pure New Wool Aran

I absolutely adored knitting this. The first row of trees and flowers was a little bit trying. I was working off the free pattern where the instructions are written out rather than charted so it took a while to get the hang of it, but once you’ve done each bit once, the rest goes a lot easier. A lot if it becomes quite intuitive so you don’t have to spend forever counting stitches in your head. The flowers seemed like a bit of a pain at first, I looked around for a different flower pattern for a while but didn’t see anything else I like so stuck with it, and I’m glad I did. Would be interesting to see about lightly felting the little leaf loops to the background to give them a little more solidarity and less liable to snag, might see about that next time but I expect it’d be a mammoth task as there are so many of them!

The wool was lovely. It was undyed and had the teeniest yellow hue to it. Blocking really transformed it, it washed out the yellow to a lovely creamy colour and really fluffed the yarn up to a lovely squishy warm blanket. The actual blocking process was a bit of a nightmare though, the thing was so huge so I blocked it in the bath. You forget how much water wool soaks up and how heavy it becomes, I must have gone through about 3 sopping towels to press as much water as I could out, and it still took days to dry!

Mods: I was really not a fan of the sculpted tulip border in the pattern, and like seaming even less so decided on a simple mitred garter stitch border. After casting off and blocking the main body I picked up two thirds of the side stitches and (I think) all of the top and bottom stitches. I marked out the centre stitch for each corner and increased either side of it every other row, and just knit plain garter stitch with a smaller needle (think I went down one size) until I was sick of it! I think it worked out as about 2-3 inches. I would have liked to have made the border just a smidge larger, but the damn thing just didn’t seem to be growing at all so I got fed up. I cast off using Elizabeth Zimmerman’s sewn cast off. I really love how it turned out, and I especially like the cast off technique, it’s certainly one I’ll be trying again.

I did toy with the idea of lining the underside of the blanket, but in the end decided against it. Might try it for the next one. I didn’t get the final dimensions of it, but it comfortably covered the surface of my double bed. I did sew a little lavender pillow from some cream linen to keep the moths at bay from the wool though.


folded up and waiting it’s new owners

I do feel a strange little sense of loss now that’s it’s finished and given away though. It’s arguably the biggest project I’ve ever undertaken, and as soon as I cast off that last stitch, and blocked and dried it, I was at a bit of a loss about what to do next. Luckily it’s new owners, Rowan and Jonny, absolutely adore it, and I can’t think of a more fitting couple for such a gift. I’ve been so excited for months to give it to them, and am so glad they like it. I hope they get as much pleasure out of owning it as I had making it and I hope it stays with them for many happy years. I also managed to finish up another little February baby sweater for their new little bundle, made from the same downy soft acrylic as the one I made for little Molly. I used cute little Peter rabbit buttons this time though, I love them!

P1030815 by you.P1030799 by you.

Pattern: Baby Sweater on Two Needles (February) by Elizabeth Zimmermann

Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly 4 Ply

I actually remembered to put the button holes in this time, so they were a bit too close together. I did three buttonholes, but with the narrow spacing 3 buttons looked too much, so I just put 2 on and kind of ignored the third hole! I do need to try a different increase stitch for the yoke though, I’m finding kfb a little too messy so will try something else next time. Again, I put the loose arm stitches on waste yarn and knit them in the round so I didn’t have to seam. I’ve got a lot of this yarn leftover, and it’s lovely and squishy, and possibly more importantly, machine washable, but I think I’ll use a different yarn next time, maybe something a little firmer and less fuzzy.

P1030806 by you.

the whole package

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