Archive for April, 2010

Eden

You might remember that I did a couple of test knits for a new Tikki pattern a month or so ago.  The pattern was released earlier this month, and to celebrate, a knit along was being run on the Tikki Ravelry group.  Please don’t blame me for not telling you about it until it was too late for you to enter, okay? Because I totally forgot and only just stumbled across it again yesterday. Which was rather convenient, as that was what I was so busily knitting yesterday.

So, my entry to the Eden KAL will be this:

A size 18 months vest version of the pattern (it comes in vest or dress length), knit in 10ply Creative Fibres yarn that I received in the dessert themed yarn swap late last year.  I made a few modifications to the pattern – I knit it a little longer than the pattern, and knit a garter stitch band around the waist instead of 3×1 rib.  I used all 100g of yarn, so it was just as well I had used a little bit of white to stripe through, or it would be just that little bit shorter. Go the stash knitting!

 The wee girl wore this today and I was pleased to get a compliment on it from a complete stranger – always makes a knitter’s heart sing.

Extra knitting time

 I got in a bit of extra knitting time today.  Normally I’d say that was a fine thing. But the circumstances weren’t my favourite ones. I’ve taken a couple of days off work to look after Miss 1 who had an operation this morning to remove a growth by her eye.

Here’s a before pic…

And after…  Hopefully it will heal up super fast 🙂

So while she was in theatre, I knitted.

While she was in recovery, I knitted.

While she was crashed out watching videos post-op, I knitted.

While she played in the awesome wee playroom in the Paeds ward, I knitted.

And once we were home she finally had a nap. Guess what I did?  😉

Anyway, after the girls went to bed, I finished what I was working on – so I’ll do a quick steam block before bed, and hopefully have some piccies for you tomorrow.

All about hats

The knitting around here seems to be all about hats right now. I haven’t got pictures of them all yet, but I thought I’d give you a sneak peek at the second hat I made to test my Calvados Beret pattern. 

I knit it up in Malabrigo Worsted yarn, and it took 65g. It is deliciously soft and looks like it fits its recipent well. I am not sure if it’s the done thing to knit a gift and then ask if you can take piccies for your blog – so here I am modelling it 🙂

Not a super slouchy beret – and before blocking it’s actually beanie shaped.  Love the colour, I have more of this, so I might knit one for me yet…

And from the back…

Cute eh!  I have a couple of people test knitting it right now and hope to release it soon 🙂

By the way, I took these pretty soon after I had my hair cut – what do you think? My sister commented it was getting long and I got a good 4 or so inches taken off it, plus lots of layers reinstated. And a reminder not to leave it so long between haircuts

And, did  you check out that cute brooch in the first picture? It was a gift from a clever friend – I love it!

FO: Branigan Shawl

**warning** **This post contains rave reviews of both patterns and yarn. Skip the text of this post if you want to avoid temptation.**

There! You can’t say that I didn’t warn you. But, oh, I am so glad that today has dawned slightly overcast and shows some promise of rain. Because it is a perfect day to wear my new shawl. I think I’m going to wear it like this.

Right – so, some vital statistics.

The pattern:Branigan by Bronwyn Parry

The yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Sock (95g)

The colourway: Scarlet

The verdict: To die for

Need I say more?

Ooookay.  Um, where to start? The pattern is well written and easy to follow. It offers the lace pattern both in chart and uncharts. I chose to follow the uncharts because I had such a pleasant experience with them on my last shawl. Great! Easy to tell exactly where you are up to, what is repeated and where – plus with the charts there too, you can see a visual representation of the pattern if and when you want to.

The lace portion of this shawl is ridiculously easy. There are just the basic lace manoeuvres, no fancy p3tog to slow you down. All purl rows are purled, so you get a rest from patterning, and the repeats line up nicely so you can always visualise where you are up to in the row and see any mistakes easily (like a missing yo for example. Me, miss an occasional yo? Yup, the secret is out!)  I knit this with no lifeline, it just wasn’t necessary. Yep, I knit this with no ripping back whatsoever.  The occasional tink, yes, ripping no 🙂

See, I told you that this was a rave review!!

The pattern comes with three sizes, and this generously sized beauty is the small!  It used almost all of my yarn. The pattern calls for 2 repeats of chart A, 3 of unchart B (one of the chart) and then one edging chart. I wasn’t sure how my yarn useage would go, so I only knit chart A once. Then I knit chart B the required three times, and weighed my yarn. Heaps left! At four repeats I still had 50g left, so I knit a fifth repeat, making this the same number of rows as if I had done chart A twice. Then I went on to the edging chart and was confident I had enough yarn. This proved to be the case, but I am glad I had my scales for peace of mind – once I knew I was using 2g for a row, I knew there was plenty to last.

The yarn is so incredibly lovely to work with, I just want more! This was my total splurge though, so I might have to wait and perhaps line my sister’s suitcase with Tosh Sock if she comes for a visit. If waiting is indeed possible.  The retail at WEBS is $26.70US which is discountable (20%) in a  larger purchase ($60 or more or 25% if you spend over $120).  Plus postage to NZ. But totally worth every penny. When I handed the shawl around at knitting night last night, one lady (a spinner too) was in awe of how incredibly soft it was, and thought it must contain silk. It is soft and really drapey. I’m just not sure I cuuld ever use this yarn on socks, it is so nice as a shawl. The colourway is nearly solid with enough variation to be interesting but it doesn’t detract from the lace pattern at all. 

So yes, this yarn should really come with a warning: dangerously addictive.  Sorry if you were avoiding it, I’m not being very helpful, am I?

Yes!!

 Excuse the tiny pictures… I found out too late that Dh had been resetting my camera… But, it you get out your magnifiying glass, you’ll be able to see what I’m so excited about…

Yep, that’s my Branigan shawl all finished and blocking on an ugly beach towel.

Minus the cat, who eyed it up and tried to jump on within 2 minutes of me finishing pinning it in place.

These were meant to be close ups…

… but don’t reallly provide much detail for some reason…

But on the positive side, this is like the fastest blog post e-v-e-r thanks to only having to upload postage-stamp size piccies.

I hope we get some sunshine tomorrow so it dries while I’m at work 🙂 Watch this space for bigger FO pics.

Back to work

Sigh.  I have to go back to work tomorrow. I was sooo hoping to finish my Branigan shawl today.

Instead I:

*washed three loads of washing, and folded three loads. DH folded two more.

* Vacuumed the house and tidied the lounge (several times)!

* Did the grocery shop

* Did some baking – fruit buns, chocolate swirl muffins, date loaf, and a double batch of yo-yos, to distract everyone from the fact we will be super busy this week!

* Played with the girls, and helped to host a morning tea picnic for two in their bedroom, prepare a sleeping nest, also for Miss 3 (apparently the bed is more comfy after all that), and clean up myriad playdough messes. I also read lots of stories, and played “row row” with Miss 1 until even *she* had enough 🙂

So I’m feeling very virtuous, relatively ready for a new school term tomorrow, and just a teensy bit frustrated that I didn’t get to finish and block my shawl today in the beautiful autumn sunshine. 

But tomorrow is a new day.

Better than a bought one

Last week I went shopping looking for some winter clothes for work. I was really surprised to see that across the board, the shops are offering plain coloured or striped tops, merino or cotton, and knitwear over the top (or suit jackets which don’t work with my job).  The thought of parting with cash to buy a mass produced piece of knitwear, made from inferior yarn – or worse, acrylic, made me think I had to be able to do better than that!  I had a quick hunt through Ravelry’s pattern database, and my stash and came up with a neat free pattern called Rosa’s Sleeveless Cardi.  It uses 12 ply yarn, huge needles, is knit seamlessly from the top down, and has really simple lines.  In my stash was some soft merino possum yarn that needed a project, and a match was made.

This only took three days to knit up, and took around 300g (less than 570m) of yarn.

After the raglan increases, you knit straight for 30cm and then start increases that create an interesting side detail and funky hem.  Despite the lack of increases, the loose gauge makes this a very flattering fit.

The pattern is for small/medium, which I am not. It gave another cast on size for a large, and I worked with this number, adding further increases to 20 rows, and then casting on a couple of stitches under the arms too.  I knit an extra 5cm in length, and also a couple more increases to get the length I wanted. This did grow a little on washing, so perhaps that was unnecessary.  I didn’t need to block this much – just a wash and then I lay it out in the sun – yay for easy-care garments!

I’m pleased that I knit this up, I hope that it gets lots of wear over the coming cold months. It should make a nice addition to my winter wardrobe – warm but light.


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