Sunday, 29 April 2012

will knit for childcare

The Vital Statistics
Pattern: Improvised - this is just 15 blocks square of basketweave stitch with a garter stitch border.

Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in 'pink-a-boo'.
Needles: 4mm.
Start to finish: 15 March to 12 April 2012.
Stash/recycle content: Stash! Actually, yarn purchased at Value Village.

Comments: This is my first commissioned knit! The mother of one of miss bear's schoolmates asked me to recreate her younger daughter's baby blanket. She also offered to pay me but I wasn't really interested in that; instead, she looked after baby b while I did the knitting. Lovely quiet knitting time, even if perhaps not on my first choice of project.Basketweave is a pain to knit, pulling the first and last stitch of each block tight so that it doesn't ended up being too loose all over.

Verdict: Will knit for childcare.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

the cat on the hat

The Vital Statistics
Pattern: Color-work chullo by Donna Druchunas from Kitty Knits: projects for cats and their people.
Size: Small.
Yarn: Quite a collection! Cascade Yarns 220 Heathers in 9452 'summer sky heather' (100 per cent wool); Cascade Yarns 220 wool in 9404 'ruby' (100 per cent wool); Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in cream (100 per cent wool); Rowan Lima in 893 'Argentina' (84 per cent alpaca, 8 per cent merino, 8 per cent nylon ); Rowan Pure Wool 4ply in 'gerbera' (100 per cent wool).
Needles: 3.75mm needles and a crochet hook, maybe 3mm?
Start to finish: 21 March to 22 April 2012.
Recycle/stash content: Yes!! All from stash actually.

Comments: I held the Rowan Pure Wool 4ply doubled and it was a good match for the worsted weight yarns. I could not for the life of me manage the cats using the stranded knitting technique so I ended up doing them in duplicate stitch instead - worked well. I also did a three-stitch wide i-cord instead of a crochet chain for the cords.

Verdict: Fun to knit and a successful end product. This is the third in my suite of hats for our lovely neighbours. Their ten-year old daughter wanted a chullo so we trawled ravelry for a suitable pattern. She loves animals and chose this version. Also my first tassel - fun to make.

Sunday, 22 April 2012


The Vital Statistics
Pattern: Winnowing by Bristol Ivy from Brooklyn Tweed | Wool People Vol. 2.
Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Loft in colourway 'truffle hunt', the most perfect grey/brown ever; 100 per cent wool; 3.1 skeins.
Needles: 3.5mm.
Start to finish: 6 January to 21 March 2012.
Stash/recycle content: We-e-ell, some of the yarn was left over from Cladonia but then I purchased two more skeins in order to have enough. So, no.

Comments: I am in love with this yarn and particularly with this colourway, truffle hunt. It even sounds delicious. The photo above shows the wonderful blue flecks in it. The fact that I just jumped in and started knitting is testament to the beauty of this shawl and my love of this yarn (or to my foolhardiness). It really was a case of wanting it at first sight, all other knitting plans thrown to the wind. And I did have some yarn left over from Cladonia (which has, alas, since been frogged but that's another story) so there was nothing to stop me.

The pattern is excellent, well written, well laid out and the designer was very helpful when I contacted her with some questions about the yarn-over increases in the setup chart. I actually make my yarn-over increase between a knit and purl stitch and between a purl and knit stitch differently. The resulting yarn-overs have a different orientation and to knit through the back loop of the stitch creates a different effect for each; that is, either an open eyelet or a closed stitch. I think that in the end I opted to knit the eyelets closed.

Verdict: Fabulous - fabulous design, fabulous yarn, fabulous shawl. However, I do not think that I could possibly ever knit it again, knowing what I do now. This is a wonderful knit but it is also an endurance knit, one that requires stamina, the sort of stamina that it is better not to think about before you are already dozens of rows in with hundreds of stitches on the needles. In twisted rib.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

heroine swatches

This is an assortment of swatches in that I knit and fulled as practice for knitting Heroine. They are, variously:

- Berroco Ultra Alpaca in 6294
- Cascade Yarns 220 Heathers in 9452 Summer Sky Heather
- Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool
- Louisa Harding Thistle in 15 'Herb'
- Mirasol Yarn Qina in 910
- Schulana Pacolana in 10
- St-Denis Nordique in 5820 'Blue Eggshell'

And the verdict? Cascade 220 works best (the recommended yarn - what do you know?) and it shrinks by about a third (like every other felting project I've ever done). Oh well, at least I'm satisfied.

I do still have to find the right colour though and they only have a few hundred to choose from ...

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

baudelaire [les chausettes du mal]

The Vital Statistics
Pattern: Baudelaire by Cookie A, available free from Knitty.
Size: Umm, my size (9.5). I didn't do the high instep modification.
Yarn: Froehlich Wolle Special Blauband in 177 - claret, bought in Zurich way back when; 2 skeins.
Needles: 2.25mm
Start to finish: 10 November 2008 to 31 March 2012.
Stash/recycle content: Not really.

Comments: What is there for me to say about these socks that I have not already over the course of the past three-and-a-half years? It's not the pattern that's evil, just this pair. Well, pair is a bit idealised - one is certainly harder to get on than the other, and one is two rows of ribbing short but oh well. These socks were one of my New Year's Resolutions to finish last year.
Verdict: Done.

Monday, 16 April 2012

sweet home


Alabama Chanin!

I fulfilled a dream and went to Florence, Alabama for a weekend by myself to a sewing workshop at Alabama Chanin. It was really wonderful, the people were lovely, the inspiration was overwhelming, the beauty was palpable. I have all three Alabama Chanin books and have worked (sporadically) on my dress; still, it was incredible to actually be there and touch real Alabama Chanin-made Alabama Chanin garments. And they are exquisite, really exquisite.

Now I'm home sweet home in Seattle - the best thing about going away.

Monday, 9 April 2012

march reading

The Adderall Diaries: a memoir of moods, masochism and murder by Stephen Elliott - meh, wish I hadn't bothered.

Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell - when will she stop writing these?? When people stop reading them, I guess. I'm not helping much there