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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Clapotea and biscuits

I made an impromptu swing by Knit Nation in South Kensington today. I'd been on duty baby sitting my niece in North London, got off duty a bit earlier than expected, and thought that as I was in the area I could drop by, hopefully meet up with a few people* and scope out the yarn.

It's been a while since I went to one of these things and I think I was thrown by the range and quantity of yarn on offer. And I was literally dazzled by the wall of Wollemeise. Seriously that stuff is bright. Anyway I spent a long time looking at and squishing yarn but not really matching any of it in my head to a potential project.

Until I made my second pass by the Fyberspates stand and remembered that since I'd bought a ticket for the Knit Camp Clapotea party I'd better turn up having knit a Clapotis. I've made a few starts on one before but not for a few years and never with purpose bought yarn.

Scrumptious DK by Fyberspates

[Scrumptious by Fyberspates in Biscuit]

I'd seen this yummy stuff (seriously it's like very soft shiny butter) at Bluestockings when Helen was knitting up a Tamesis sample for Lien and it should be perfect for the Clapotis. After some fairly complicated lace on little needles I'm really looking forward to knitting something soft and drapy on big needles.

* this was very successful - I ran into Sara from Bluestockings with her friend Amy, Ruth and Judith from Sticks'n'String, Kate and her sister, and Sarah (ex-Bluestockings).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sneak preview

It's really difficult taking photos of yourself modelling a skirt (even harder than taking sock photos!) so I don't yet have a good shot of my new Vogue skirt.

Grey Vogue skirt

Luckily I'll be hanging out with lots of friends at the weekend so if I wear it then maybe one of them can take a snap for me (hint hint).

Monday, July 19, 2010

Short cuts

I love taking short cuts. I love thinking you're miles away from the finish and then one quick short cut and presto you're there.

Pattern: Arisaig by Ysolda Teague
Needles: 2.75mm
Yarn: My handspun Shetland in fingering weight
Ravelled: here
Mods: it's sleeveless!


Looking back at my notes in Ravelry I started this almost a year ago (24/07/2009). I made good progress and then got stuck on "sleeve mountain" in November. I did have another go at scaling that particular summit when I picked this up again last week but then decided that life was too short and that I quite wanted a sleeveless top anyway.


I'm especially pleased with the ties which look very neat in 1x1 rib and were nowhere near as soul-destroying to knit as you might think. They really whipped up.

Arisaig detail

I think that this is the first non-sock or shawl garment that I've knitted from my own handspun and I'm really happy with how it's all turned out. In fact I'm ridiculously proud. I have to restrain myself from going up to people and telling them "I made this, I made this out of fluff!". Hurrah for the miracle of spinning.


My favourite thing about Ravelry is the Friend Activity page where I can see what everyone's knitting and what everyone's loving - for instance I'm definitely keen on knitting one of these pumpkin hats like Aliki's soon.

But my two most recent projects have been things that I've seen people knitting at Bluestockings on Wednesdays.

Pyroclastic socks

Pattern: Pyroclastic from Knitty Winter '09
Yarn: Louet Gems Opal
Needles: 2.5mm

I'm pretty pleased with these. The gusset/arch shaping is very neat and I like the pattern. If I knit these again I'd use a slimmer yarn for a stretchier sock and I'd start knitting the heel a few rows earlier or later so that the decreases across the top of the instep didn't coincide with the start of the lace repeat. I really love the eye of partridge heel - it's time I've knit this heel and the effect is very pleasing. I'm also really pleased to have finally knit something up out of this yarn which I bought at the I Knit show a year ago (I think it was a year ago anyway - blogger is being slow so I can't delve into the archives to check). Now I just need to knit something from the other two skeins of Louet that I bought at the same time.

Shimmer socks

Pattern: Shimmer by Meg Croft
Yarn: Merlot in Slim Sock from The Knittery
Needles: 2.5mm

Now these I wanted to cast on for as soon as I saw Felix knitting them in her lovely green Skein Queen yarn. This is such a cool pattern. Quick to knit, easy to memorize, and very effective (i.e. a lot of show for not much effort). I'm already on to the gusset shaping which I'm doing under the foot and I think I'll do another E-o-P heel - I assume it will look just as good toe-up as cuff-down, right?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

FOs - Monkey socks and Vogue skirt

Monkey socks

Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A.
Needles: 2.5mm
Yarn: Blissful in Ring a Ring o Roses by Skein Queen

Vogue skirt

Pattern: V8560
Fabric: Sun spots by Amy Butler
Size: 14

What do these two have in common? It turns out that just one isn't enough. According to Ravelry I've now completed my 11th pair of Monkeys and I've just started my second skirt in this pattern - this time a slightly shorter version in a gorgeous grey cotton I bought at Darnit and Stitch.

American Vintage fabric

It's almost a shame that the zipper is such a perfect colour match as the method for inserting the zip is so neat that you can hardly see it.

Skirt rear view

I love the pleats - they're very satisying to do and give the skirt a lovely full shape.

Skirt front view

These photos btw were taken with the aid of our new mirror. We got it at the same time as the rest of the furniture but it's been standing in a box in the hall until this week. Now it's standing on the floor in the living room until we work up the nerve to hang it. I want to hang it over the dining table or the sofa but it's very heavy and I'm rather paranoid about it falling off the wall and killing us whilst we eat dinner.

Oak mirror