What’s a girl to do?

What’s a girl to do?

With lace-weight merino, anyway!

I bought the Bella Lace Poncho pattern at the same time I got the Lotus Blossom Shawl pattern. I have a huge cone of grey/black slubby lace yarn which I was planning on making it with. I now have more than enough olive merino to make two of these, but I’m procrastinating! I’ve requested “A Gathering of Lace” from my library, so I’ll have a look at these patterns and see if anything grabs me. If you have any totally favourite patterns for shawls (or stoles, or ponchos, or wraps….) would you mind sharing? I’m not above buying a pattern if it is “IT”. I do have 4 x 980 yds of the stuff, so you can go big!

Oh, Caroline!

And now, for something new!

It is impossible to photograph this colour in any light. It’s like a deep blood red, but in all the pictures I take of it the colour is always more orange!?

This is a straight-up-and-down cabled tank from the free patterns section of Berroco, knit in the Rowan Cork left over from my “Grandad jumper“.

For those not interested in mathematics and probability, look away now!

OK: a straight cabled tank ain’t the one for me. I need a little excitement. So, using my knowledge of maths I went for probability-based cabling.

Here comes the science! For each cable (4 per side, 8 in total) I have a choice of CB8 or CF8 – one option out of two. What has two of something and if you use it, you can only get one result? A coin! If you toss a coin an infinite number of time, half will land with heads, and half will land with tails – with me so far? A coin has a probability value (P) of 0.5, where P=0 is never happens and P=1 is always happens. For example, the chance of the sun rising in the morning (assuming you don’t live in either of the polar circles) is 1 and the chance of me waking up and finding out that I am a fly is (I hope) 0.

I’ve kept the cable crossing on row 9, as per the pattern, but whether or not I cross forwards or backwards depends on the toss of a coin.

I’m liking the way it’s turning out, so far, but I think the true impact will only be seen once it’s full-sized and off the needles.

Martha:

It’s getting colder and knitting with a harsh 4-ply cotton is not fun, but I’m keeping going. The problem with knitting a me-sized garment on 3 mm needles with a 4-ply yarn is the lack of visible progress. I know I’ve knit more than the last time I took a picture (I can see the difference and can count the pattern repeats) but seems like I’ve got miles to go. This is, after all, only the back of the blinkin’ thing. I’m getting seriously tempted to shove it to the bottom of somewhere deep and forget about it until spring, but then I’ll probably never pick it up again. :Le sigh: – onwards and upwards it is then!

Random whinging stuff.

  • Bl**dy neighbours who wont pay twenty flipping quid to a plumber for unclogging a dodgy shared drain that just happens to be in my disabled parent’s back garden (which means they have to go through the stress and literal mess of it all and may end up subbing some people).
  • My incompetence in the general sock-making area (see entry below)
  • The more I revise, the more I realise just how little I’ve learnt during the year, the more upset I get with myself.
  • The more I revise, the more tired I get ….

D’ya get the picture?
Sorry for the moan – I don’t normally vent but apart from Skittermagoo Chris’s socks arriving this morning it’s been a pretty crappy day. I am so over me right now (apart from the cable tank – that’s going really well!) I’ll cheer up after the 17th of October. I promise!

EDIT: I just got the last assignment back that I did for the oceanography course and I got 73%. Needless to say, I’m feeling better!

To show this, here’s a picture of the sky for Sandy.

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Martha gets attention (at last)

Martha gets attention (at last)

Do my politics look big in this?

OK, not really politics, because this is a knitting blog and you do not want to hear my opinion on the social structures of another country. So, hurricane relief: you know where to go.

Martha.

Remember Martha? She’s the cardigan from Rowan International magazine 37 that I started a long time ago. Well, now that my Sockapal2za socks are nearly done (see below) I’ve stopped neglecting her so much and managed to get this far:

Compare this with the last time she made an appearance:

See – progress!

Sockapal2za/Lava Flow socks:

I have toe-age!

Now, all I have to do is learn to graft!

Copper Desert:

Remember the yarn-winding nightmare in the last post? Well, this is the swatch:

Can you see how it biases at the bottom? That’s the result of taking the yarn from the inside of the ball. It put too much twist on it and made it behave like (gets the only spinning book she owns) an engergized single – apparently! So, I switched to the outside of the ball and ended up on 3.25 mm needles.

Looking at the yarn, I think something in stocking stitch, maybe with a simple lace pattern somewhere, will be great. I also get the feeling that the garment will need side seams to stabilize it because it is quite drapey.

Still writing:

My penultimate assignment is done and waiting to be posted. So, just the Oceanography one to do this week and it’s on to revision.

See you later this week (probably). TTFN.

EDIT: the spammers struck, which means I’ve implimented word verification to make sure that it’s a real person on the other end! Sorry about this. It does mean an extra step for you, but no annoying crud in the comments for me.

The Joy of Sox

The Joy of Sox

or “How the west was won”. Or is that something else?

Anyway, I’ve discovered that I’m not entirely rubbish at knitting socks! Yay for me! More on that later; a magazine review, a toy and finally some Martha progress.

First of all, you may have noticed that my knit project tracker images have changed a little (see the sidebar to the right). Thanks to Celia Ng’s significant other, Chris, I can now choose my own colours! Props due to Chris! (did I just say that?). If you’d like the code for your own blog, please, please, please, save the images to your own server. I suspect that someone(s) have been hotlinking some of my images and it pushed me over my bandwidth limit for two days. Five more days like that in June and I get kicked for a week 😦 – so please, please, please don’t be a bandwidth thief! Public service broadcast now finished.

UK Knitting magazine: a review. Having taken a leaf from Queer Joe’s ample book, here comes a personalised and opinionated review of the July 2005 issue. Remember, feel free to disagree with me at any/all point(s).

Fuchsia – a cropped l/s bolero made slightly worse by the addition of bobbles all over the place.
Point Edge Wrap (book extract) – garter stitch shawl – nice and simple but with some lace interest – quite good.
Poncho power – a crocheted poncho for kids – would you like to try and get jam and mud out of those tassels?
Heat Wave – cross-back halter top with lace bodice – really nice and simple, elegant knitwear
Accessories – to be fair, some of them look like hairballs. I think they are supposed to be flowers!
Hippy – a fair isle cropped tank top with a frill – – I’m just stunned into silence really.
Papaya – cropped peplum cardigan with a curved hem and ruffle – would probably look great on a 12 year old for Ballet class.
Blue Haze – a cotton aran-weight fair isle s/s top – I really like this and could actually consider making it.
Vanilla Pod – Irish moss stitch and cable baby jumper – really nice, good, baby wear.
Anarchy – I think it’s supposed to be a scarf but it looks like several dead caterpillars sewn together.
Sky – v-neck tank top with lace bottom edging – again, I could see myself making this, but they spoilt the look with a knitted bow – why?
Ultraviolet – crocheted evening bag – simple, I would make it.
Ballet Class (book extract) – really lovely girl’s ballet wrap cardigan. Now why can’t they do that for use grown up girls?

Overall – could do better. I’m glad I cancelled my subscription now. It’s a shame, because I was one of the first to subscribe right from Issue 1. There seems to have been some kind of editorial change ever since they went monthly. I just don’t seem to like the styles anymore.

Now, on to the knitting.

The Lotus shawl is going slowly (but that’s because I’m increasing four stitches every 2 rows)

I’ve done the decreases on the back of Martha

And I made this in three days!

As for the socks, imagine two rounds of 2/2 ribbing in dark blue sock wool. Imagine two socks on two circular needles, knitted from the top down. Now imagine me taking a photo of it!

Swatch-a-roo!

Swatch-a-roo!

So, two swatches and a 40 degree wash later (all pictures can be clicked on to enlarge them):

It turns out that cotton shrinks. Who knew?! Armed with this knowledge I have been ploughing on at the incredible rate of a row every two minutes. I’ve a feeling that this project is going to be a case of heart over head. My head says: “You have got to be kidding me? 28 stitches over 4″, and in a knit/purl lace pattern!”. My heart says: “Awww, but it will look so purdy, and I’ve always wanted a lacy 4-ply cotton cardigan. It will be so practical!”

Progress so far:

Right Side

And, because I love this kind of stuff, the wrong side (oooohhhh!)

Nothin’ but a Shirt news:

See – I told it was going quickly. And, yes, that really is the shape of my body. Wait until you see the front (there will be a lot of short row shaping).

I’ve also done a teeny swatch for the modified Honeymoon Cami I’ll be doing.

[flash image]

[no flash image]

And look what I got in post this morning, from The Knitting Zone (NAYY):

In there was a row counter (the kind that you hit to count on one), a Fiddlesticks Lotus Blossom shawl pattern, Fiber Trends Bella lace poncho pattern and two balls of Lana Grossa cotton/wool/nylon sock yarn. I’m now looking for a lace weight/light sport weight yarn in either merino wool, or cotton/viscose mix, for the Lotus Blossom shawl, that wont cripple me financially.

EDIT: I had a look at a yarn-comparison chart I had and it turns out the Country Silk (described as a “light sportweight”) is approximately equivalent to UK 4-ply. Therefore, it isn’t going to be as difficult as I thought to get hold of the right kind of yarn!

I’m getting into some heavy biochemistry in my work now, so my knitting is taking more of a back seat than normal. I’d recommend if you pop by here on a semi-regular basis to subscribe via Bloglines or BlogRoll just to make your life easier.

Next time:
I hope to show you progress on my Star Trek Go Team! socks, a completed t-shirt back, a few more rows on Martha, and the start of a self-designed pattern for a cotton Aran cardigan for my mum.

Nothin’

Nothin’

But a shirt, that is!

I really like working with the Calmer yarn, although it is quite slippery. I’ve also discovered a few places where the yarn has snapped (I’m hoping that this is a one off).

I’m working the waist decreases two stitches in from the edge and I really like the way they are working up. (You can view larger versions of all the pictures in this post by clicking on them. The wonders of JavaScript and Peatbogfaery)

It’s also going quite quickly. I put this down to a mixture of a simple pattern, shaping (making it less boring) and the combination method of knitting.

I’ve also made a start on Martha. One hundred and sixty three blinkin’ stitches! What was I thinking?

I was a little concerned that the tension seemed to be a bit loose. So, I cast on 30 stitches, made a “tension rectangle” and washed it.

I will wait and see…

Someone on the Ample Knitter’s list mentioned that (at the very least) it looked quite similar to this cardigan from Cabin Fever (#404 – Checkmate Cardigan). Hmm…. There are differences in the actual pattern and I don’t think that a generic stitch pattern can be copywritten, so nothing illegal has occurred, but quite interesting none-the-less.

I’m considering knitting Mariposa from the latest issue of Knitty. For once, I actually have the yarn in my stash:

King Cole cheap-as cotton/acrylic Stonewash Denim in Red Denim and Sirdar Sorrento in Party Pink. However, I only need 900 m of the denim yarn for Mariposa, but I have 1450 m (1600 yds). This would mean that I’d only be able to make another short sleeved/sleeveless top from the remaining amount. I also have in mind for it a really simple top-down raglan jumper, so I now have to make a decision. For those interested, there is a knit-along kicking off at the end of May.

Oh, and my secret pal (Hi – waves hand in a manic, restraining-order, kind of way) has contacted me and said that my last parcel will get to me by the deadline (end of April) so that the customs forms don’t totally give it away! I’m all done with the parcel-giving and I’m preparing for the “reveal”. I’ve decided against going in for Secret Pal 5 because it will coincide with my exams, and I don’t need any more distractions.