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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cute as a button

This morning's post brought a fabulous parcel from the lovely Felix. I have to confess that when she texted me from York on Friday to say that she'd been thinking of me in Duttons a little part of my mind did wonder if that meant that some buttony goodness would be coming my way but I really didn't expect so many gorgeous buttons at once!

Button card of joy

Thank you so much Felix!

Luckily I was wearing my raspberry Minimalist cardigan today so I was able to note that the reddish/pink buttons were a perfect match and to earmark eight of them right away. I waas only kicking myself that I didn't have the needles and yarn to get started right away at Bluestockings. Still it doesn't take long to whip up a button band. One episode of The Apprentice and two of Family Guy, et voila!

Button-down Minimalist cardigan

Ravelled: here

I'll hopefully get some better photos tomorrow or at the weekend but I just couldn't wait to share my modified Minimalist cardigan.

Now I just need to plan what to do with all the other buttons.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sweet treats #2

Bakewell tart

Also for the OGWSD sales table during Art Weeks. And I have a question. How much would you pay for one of these (or for any of the cupcakes in the previous post)? As I'm not selling them to make money for myself I don't need to charge for the full amount of time taken (the best part of four hours) but I don't want to sell myself too short. The cupcakes took a much shorter length of time to knit (after I realised that continuing to knit cakes in 4 ply on 2mm needles was going to drive me insane).

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sweet treats

When not knitting daffodil lace, finishing socks or spinning coils (next post) I've been obsessively knitting cupcakes.

Assorted cupcakes

These are destined for the OGSWD sales table so you can buy own of your very own if you pop along to the Stanton St. John village hall during Art Weeks.

Lemon and chocolate cupcake


Spring lace

My lace project for the OGWSD Art Weeks challenge is knitting up surprisingly quickly.

Daffodil shawl

It's just a basic top-down triangle shawl recipe with a little flowers lace motif at the shoulders, then a zig-zag with vertical lines of eyelets which will develop into a daffodil motif at the bottom edge. I'm still not completely convinced by the colours (I wish I'd stuck to yellow and green really) but I'm hoping that blocking will work its customary miracle of making everything look about ten times better then it did pre-blocking.

Daffodil lace

Socks galore

Two pairs of finished socks to report on.

Toasty waffle socks

Shetland socks

Yarn: my handspun Shetland 3 ply (about 175g)
Needles: 3.25mm dpns
Size: UK6
Recipient: me! no way am I giving away my first pair of handspun socks, but don't despair I'm going to be making more of these babies asap.
Ravelled: here

Broad Arrow (tbc) socks

Broad arrow socks

Yarn: Malabrigo merino sock
Needles: 2.5mm dpns
Size: a small UK6
Recipient: me again! what can I say, I need socks.
Ravelled: here

Reports on the other knitting and spinning projects that I've been working on during my period of blog silence to follow shortly.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Toasty waffle socks

With two secret projects on the go I felt the need to cast on something quick and bloggable this evening.

Waffle socks

There's something ineffably satisfying about knitting with one's own handspun. So far sheer contentment and (I have to admit) a fair bit of smugness is being knit into every stitch. The experience is comparable to knitting with a really lovely variegated yarn only instead of going "ooh" at an especially pretty colour I'm going "ooh" at a particularly evenly spun bit of yarn.

I'm knitting the socks in waffle stitch (two rounds of K2, P2, two rounds of K every stitch) as the marled effect means that there's not much point in doing anything fancier.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spinning up a storm

Ok, so I'm miles behind on the blogging but I've just been far too busy spinning and knitting and doing stuff.

I knit a load of baby stuff the weekend before last. Another pair of tiny baby socks and two baby hats. The first is from baby cashmerino, the second from yarn that I dyed myself. I really like the cross-stitch detail, must do more of that.

Tiny socks

Baby hat

Baby beanie

The rest of the time I've been busy spinning. Although I'd started to spin my Spindlefrog birthday fibre using the drop spindle I switched over to the wheel in order to try out some of the stuff I'd learnt at the Wingham Woolworks sampling workshop and ended up with this DKish weight two ply. Do you think I'll have enough for a hat?

Spindlefrog handspun

I'd say that it's the best thing I've spun so far, but then I spun this (I'm in a bit of a spinning groove at the moment).

Cream shetland

Shetland 3 ply handspun

200g of Shetland three ply in cream, grey and moorit. At first glance it looks like there are only two plies, cream and moorit, but the grey is nestled in there making the yarn appear beautifully smooth and round.

Finally we have my 'reward fibre'.

Reward fibre

I picked this up from the Artist's Palette stall at the Cotswold Craft Fair in Cirencester on Easter Saturday and wouldn't let myself start on it until I'd finished plying the Shetland (a resolution made somewhat easier by running out of bobbins).

Artists Palette singles

This is so pretty. The colours apeared really saturated in places in the braid but as soon as I started to pre-draft everything just softened up magically. It's a bit trickier to spin than the Shetland as the staple length is shorter and the fibres are finer and less crimped but I'll just keep treadling away at it.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

All spun out

You know it's time to stop spinning when your hands start to cramp up and you get a serious crick (the sort I used to associate with a 5 hour waitressing shift) between your shoulders but with this Spindlefrog fibre it's just so tempting to see what the next colour change is going to spin up like.

That's my explanation for why I got through a bobbin and a half this evening.

Spindlefrog singles

I haven't been very systematic about either trying to keep the colours distinct or blending them all up anyhow so it's just going to be a glorious muddle of colour once it's plied. I have big plans for making a striped something (probably a hat) with the grey humbug Jacob I spun and plied a couple of weeks back. It's going to be fabulous.

There'll be no spinning this weekend as I'm up north for the footy but I'll have lots of little knitting projects to take with me.

If you think these are cute you should see the smaller size that I'm working on now.

Six needle baby socks

Pattern: Two-needle socks from Baby Knits for Beginners by Debbie Bliss
Size: 3 months
Recipient: Seth (a colleague's new baby boy)
Yarn: Baby cashmerino
Needles: 3.25mm dpns
Mods: Knit in the round, otherwise according to the pattern
Ravelled: here

I bought the yarn and the book between leaving work and getting to the pub for knitting yesterday evening, I felt like I needed a bit of "yarn therapy". Although the book is aimed at beginner knitters (the front section has notes on all the techniques you'll need to knit the patterns) the designs are so lovely that they should appeal to knitters of all abilities. I love the dress with eyelets. It's such a simple design that you could either just knit it as written or add any colourwork or lace that you want to make it more fancy. I can't wait to knit one for Laurie!

What, no owls?

We didn't have a fantastic weekend - first the boyfriend was ill, then I was (thankfully not with the same thing) - but I did manage to knit most of a new vest which I should get a bit of wear out of before the weather gets too warm for bulky wool.

Owl-less vest

Pattern: based on O w l s by Kate Davies
Size: 34"
Yarn: Rowan Country; 7 balls
Needles: 6.5mm and 6mm 80cm circulars

I originally bought the yarn to knit a jacket for Laurie, then realised that there were some sizing issues with the pattern that I'd picked*. The yarn's really a bit bulky for her anyway so I decided to knit something for myself. As the gauge was just about the same as the O w l s pattern I decided to start off knitting that and see how I got on. By the time I reached the armholes I'd worked through 4 of the 7 balls so I decided on making a vest. I chose not to the knit the owls, partly because I wasn't sure whether the placement (right across the chest) would be flattering and partly because they're rather difficult to work in the bulky yarn and I didn't want to be all owled out for when I knit the sweater proper.

The pattern was really easy to follow and the clever waist shaping at the back makes for a flattering fit. Now I have a cute (and warm) vest for spring and a really good idea about what decisions to make when knitting O w l s for real in order to have a perfect fitting sweater. In fact, just think of it as a giant swatch.

* the clue was that one (adult) knitter on Ravelry was able to fit into the 2 year old size!