Sunday, November 30, 2008

God Bless Scotland and God Bless You!

Happy St. Andrew's Day to one and all!

Special greetings go to Scots, Russians, Greeks, Romanians, Sicilians (new one on me), fishermen and people called Andrew.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tearful and disgusted to the core

A person loses their life so others can get cut-price goods.

Thanksgiving? Christmas? Don't make me laugh.

One of the reasons I'm so upset is because it could've happened just as easily here on Boxing Day as it did in the U.S. on Black Friday.

News Story

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hats Galore!

Hi, how have you been?

I've been fine and having fun knitting some hats.

First finished was Gretel by Ysolda Teague made from Rowan Pure Wool Aran.

This was a fairly challenging knit for me because I'm not an experienced cable knitter, but the
pattern was lovely and clear and held my hand every step of the way. It was good value for money at £3 for the download. I put in lifelines at strategic points because this one is being sent off to Santa and I knew I couldn't afford the time for a complete Frog Fest. If I were making this for myself I would go for the Slouchy rather than the Regular size but my friend does not have a large dome like me and wears her hair short.

The next one started as a swatch and was zooming up so quickly and beautifully it just turned into a hat. It is a variation on Tychus, a design by Brooke T. Higgins and published for free in Knitty Summer 2005. It's made from two ends of the same ball of Noro Kureyon. I had read on Ravelry that those with smaller heads may prefer to only do four wedges of short row shaping as opposed to the recommended five. I was fine with five because I do have a fairly big head, plus I had gone down in needle size to suit the Noro. Most of the pictures on Knitty show it with a brim rolled back- I'm not into that, but if you are, then be ever so neat when sewing up and weaving in your yarn ends. If I were to make it again, I'd cast on fewer stitches to take into account the lack of roll-back on the brim.

There are several more views of this on my my Ravelry page for this item

Last one is another Tychus, but this time made in RYC Extra Fine Merino. What a beautiful yarn! It flows through the fingers like liquid. This one was supposed to be a gift but by the time I goofed about with the pattern and added a wee stalk to the top it looked a bit too acornish for a man. I'll happily wear it parading the streets of Dumfries and Galloway, but it is a bit elfish, there's no getting away from it. (Just four wedges this time, but the short-rowed garter stitch is wonderfully stretchy.)

I should probably mention that I did a provisional cast on to start both hats with the intention of learning how to graft garter stitch. I must admit that this did not happen, I just did a three needle bind-off at the end and was very pleased with the results.

I've had loads of orders for these hats from friends and family. Some in jest, some in earnest. Be careful what you wish for!!! x K

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Chunky Wool Hit; Chunky Wool Miss

After swooning over my friend Heather's Rowan Colourscape Chunky at a recent Sunday meet-up, I took the plunge and bought a couple of skeins for myself. Not cheap at £10.95 per skein, but lovely, lovely, lovely wool. I'm really happy with the texture, it is very even and consistent and has a nice "rolled" feel to it which tames it well. Happy to spend this on a Christmas present for someone who doesn't read this blog. Or if you do, just smile and act surprised. Pretty please!
This is the colourway "Northern Lights" and I'm knitting it into a scarf which has a lot in common with Sarah Hatton's Tainted Scarf. Ravelry link

The colours are pretty and it's knitting really nicely into the pattern. I'm just over half-way at the moment. Chunky Wool - Hit!!!

I've had some Naturwolle Handgesponnen in my stash for some time (Jan 2006). I decided I would work it into another pattern from the Colourscape Chunky Collection, a waistcoat called Valour- Ravelry link . Loving the pattern, loving the yarn, but unlike the Colourscape, this yarn runs thick and thin. Now I'm no expert, but I'd hazard that this is because it's handgesponnen. Anyway, the swatch looked gorge (yes I did swatch!) although I had to go down 1mm in needle size, but the garment is not knitting up well. You know that quirky characterful look you get in slubby yarn in garter stitch and stocking stitch? Well it just looks like you can't knit very well when done in k3 p1 rib. Yes, the pattern has you swatch in st st then work in rib.I've deliberated for a couple of days but I've known in my heart since Friday that it has to go. Froggy Mac Rip Rip.
Chunky Wool- Miss.
Must find another pattern for this lovely stuff. There's a nice short-sleeved cardigan in the pattern book which would work and I have enough yarn for. Very Noro-tastic. But if I'm cold enough for a bulky top I'm too cold for short sleeves. Short sleeved cardigans for me are for light cover-ups when it's just a little bit cool, not for winter warmers.
Anyway, the good news is that the Christmas gift is the one which is going well. I'm working to a bit of a schedule here. As for the Ingeborg Michels Handgesponnen, if it has languished in my stash for two years plus, it can wait a little longer for the ideal project . x K