Thursday 27 January 2011


Progress has been continuing on the second Pointelle sock, in between working like mad on my day job. There's no point in posting a pic of the progress, it'd look very similar to previous ones. Suffice to say I'm almost at the heel flap. Good progress considering!

I went to The Constant Knitter's tea party last Sunday for the first time in ages. I had a great time, and met lovely knitters I haven't seen for a long time.

While I was there, I acquired some more stash. I swore I wasn't buying anything, but I have an idea in my head and it won't go away, so I bought one ball each of three different yarns to swatch with. The idea I have is for a fine knit top with an empire waist, square neckline, bell sleeves, plain bodice and a lacy type body.

The first yarn I bought:

Garnstudio Silke-Tweed (52% silk, 48% wool) in a luscious shade of dark red. This looks to me like a cheaper priced version of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed. I've knit with silky tweed before and it stretched a lot on washing, so this will be interesting. I do love the drape and feel of silky tweed though.

My next swatch sample:

Garnstudio Drops Muskat. 100% cotton. I'll be interested to see how this drapes & washes. I'm unsure about using this for a top that will be worn next to the skin. But worth a swatch!

My last sample:

Garnstudio Drops Lin, 100% Linen. This is insanely cheap for pure linen. Although I don't think it's wet spun. Still, if it works this could be brilliant for a top as it would be hard wearing and easily cared for.

Wish me luck on my swatching! Once I decide upon the yarn, I need to figure out the fine details of this pattern. I hope it goes well, in my head I know it looks spectacular.

Good knitting!

Sunday 23 January 2011

Knock, knock, anyone there?

Oh my, it's been 13 days since my last post. That's shocking. I do have a good excuse though!
I was working every day for the last 2 weeks, and haven't had a minute. Plus we have builders in for the last 3 weeks and the house is an absolute shambles. I won't be sorry when they're gone, the mess is unreal. For me to notice it and be upset about it, you know it has to be bad.

I have been knitting though!

Pattern: Spiral Boot Socks from Interweave Knits, Summer 2007
Yarn: Reynolds Soft Sea Wool, 2.75 skeins
Needles: 2.75mm dpns
Mods: I wanted to make these socks larger for my chunky monkey legs, so I altered some of the stitch counts - 60 sts for foot & ankle, 70 for leg chart and 80 for calf chart. I also made them toe up so I could try on as I go.
Regular readers will know toe up isn't my favourite, but I will admit that it has its uses in cases like this. I wanted to be sure they fit right. Overall, I'm very happy with them. The yarn is really great to knit with, soft and springy and good stitch definition. The socks are a little bit tight at the top, but I suppose that's better than too loose and falling down!

I had a bit of a crisis of knitting once I'd finished these, I didn't know what to make. Fortunately the day was saved with the arrival of Knit. Sock. Love. by CookieA in the post. Gorgeous doesn't begin to describe the patterns and photography. I tweeted about maybe starting Pointelle, and Cookie herself responded to my tweet to tell me about a KAL on Ravelry for that very sock! With prizes! Once I'd gotten over the shock, I had to join. So, a week later I've finished the first one:

Slow progress to be sure, but like I said, I've been in work every day and come home to the filth pile of a house every night. Not bad going considering. I'm using Berrocco Ultra Alpaca Fine for these socks. It's 50% Wool, 20% Alpaca and 30% Nylon. I went stash diving to see if I could get inspiration for what to knit and this is what I pulled out. I initially thought lace, but I think the Nylon count is too high to be able to block it properly, so socks it is! It's lovely soft yarn, if a little splitty. But I don't mind splitty as much as some other people seem to do, once you take your time it's not an issue. (for me, anyway).

These two socks are part of a Dublin Knit Collective Sock Club for 2011, check out details of it here and here (Ravlink).

I cast on for the second Pointelle sock last night, but I've only done one round. Too much fun was had on Twitter last night playing a game called #PatternWars where we posted pictures of the fugliest patterns we had and generally tried to out-do each other. It was brilliant. I must say I found a few doozies myself! I put them up on Twitpic, but I must see if I can get them onto Flickr later.

This afternoon I'm taking a much needed break and heading to The Constant Knitter's place for a yarn party. This is usually good fun with tea, cake and of course, yarn. Although I keep telling myself I'm not buying any more. But, I have an idea forming in my head for a top for me, knit in lightweight yarn, top down, with an empire waistline & flared body. It won't go away. Still, I can hope she won't have suitable yarn (I'd love linen but costs too much) and I will leave empty handed.

Good knitting and I promise to post again soon!

Monday 10 January 2011

Back Down to Business

After the euphoria of the last few days that saw my pattern released (up to 168 favourites!!!) it's high time I got back to business.

My Spiral Boot Socks are progressing nicely. I've finished the first one:

I'm pleased enough with it. It's a little tight at the top, but I'd rather that than for it to fall down! Plus I'm sure it'll stretch a little bit when washed and worn.

The second one is going at a great pace too:

I'm about half way up the leg. These should be finished by the end of the week. Then I need to decide what to knit next. I really can't decide. There's nothing that's grabbing me by the scruff of the neck and yelling "KNIT ME NOW". I think I'll have to do some Rav browsing.

My attention was brought to this pattern: Dr. G's Memory Vest . This is a really lovely vest that requires a donation to Alzheimers research to receive the pattern. What a great idea. I wish I'd thought of something like this for Dads vest. Hmm. Maybe I'll try and design a womans cardigan for Mam and have that donate to the Irish Alzheimers society, seeing as how she's the one with the awful disease.

In other news, I was back in work today. Boo. I really miss Twitter when in work! But my day was brightened when hubby brought this home for me to cheer me up. Look!

It's a widdle lamb! That's chocolate! Aww. Cutest chocolate ever. Poor thing, he's long dead now though. He got nibbled with a cup of tea a few minutes ago. He didn't die in vain, I made sure I enjoyed every bit and made sheepy sounds while I devoured him!

Good knitting!

Friday 7 January 2011

Howth Vest

I'm feeling very proud of myself today. I've published my first design!

It's a vest I designed for my Dad. It's worked in the round and uses Elizabeth Zimmermann's Kangaroo Pouch technique for the steeked v-neck and armholes. It uses 3.5mm and 4mm circular needles. I chose Drops Karisma Superwash for it as it's 100% wool, therefore suitable for steeking. It's a lovely yarn and also very reasonably priced.

You can download the pattern from Ravelry: Download Now

Please let me know if you knit it, or if you have any feedback on it. Like I said, it's my first ever pattern, so any advice approeciated!

Here's a link to a slideshow of the other pics I have. For some reason, I can't embed the slideshow today.Click!

Wednesday 5 January 2011

Production Increased

I have been very productive so far this year, two FOs already! I'm surprising myself. I think I may be smitten with large gauge knitting, purely for the speed of it.

FO No. 1:

Pattern: Heart on a String Hat by Susan B. Anderson for Spud & Chloe
Yarn: Spud & Chloe Sweater, held double
Needles: 8mm for the hat and 4mm for the icord

I used just under one skein of the turquoise and a smidge of the yellow. I'll have enough to make another one in the reverse colours. I love it, isn't it cute? The yarn is really lovely to knit with, so soft! This took me just over a movie to do, so about 2 hrs. Can't beat it!

FO No 2:

Pattern: Leaving on the Edge Cowl by our very own SheKnitUpThatBall
Yarn: Yummy Irish Kilcarra Aran Tweed, 2 skeins held double
Needles: Whopping great 10mm

I made this yesterday. Took no time at all and I think it looks great! I must admit to feeling really weird knitting with broomhandles such large needles. Something that I think takes some getting used to, especially when I mostly use much smaller sized needles!
Still, you can't argue with such a speedy FO. And the yarn is divine. Proper Irish tweedy loveliness.

In progress news, here's the latest on my Spiral Boot Socks:

It's going ok, I think. I've just done my first increase on the leg and am happy enough, although it's getting difficult to try it on now! I'll probably have to take the stitches off the dpns each time I want to try it from now on. What a pain. But, it'll be worth it to get it right, and I won't have to do it for the second sock, of course. It's a lovely knit, a surprisingly hypnotic pattern repeat. I'm enjoying them. And the yarn is scrummy too. Why wouldn't it be, it's Reynolds wool :D (That's my maiden name, btw)

We had our first knit night after Christmas last night. We hadn't seen each other for a couple of weeks due to the snow, so we'd lots of catching up to do. One of the ladies gave me this lovely present:

A coin purse, that's a sock!!! LOVE! She said when she saw this she instantly thought of me. Best. Purse. Evah. I have to make one of these myself. Isn't it cool? I could have purses to match my socks. Oh yes.

The builders arrived yesterday to commence work on the house. We're getting two bathrooms totally re-done and the conservatory roof replaced with a tile roof & velux windows. We're also getting a radiator put into the downstairs loo. No more cold rooms & toilets! I'm so excited. I just hope they don't make too much mess. They reckon it'll take 3 weeks so I'm a bit nervous coz I'm back in work on Monday and there'll be no-one here during the day. Still! Yipee! Warm!

Good knitting!

Sunday 2 January 2011

Wipdown No. 2 and End of Year Review

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope 2011 is filled with health and happiness for everyone.

Let's start with my second wipdown, shall we?

Pattern: Summit by Mandy Harrington, from Knitty.
Yarn: Malabrigo Lace, 1 skein in Ravelry Red
Needles: 3.5mm KnitPicks Options
Mods: Well, I'll be frank. I cast this on April 3rd. Shocking. I put it down for several months as to be honest, I got bored with it. It's a very tedious pattern. I tried knitting back backwards to lessen the turning, but my stitches were far too loose, so I was stuck with knitting 6 or 11 stitches and turning over and over. What a pain. Although there's no doubting the end result is pretty cool. My compromise was to just use one skein of the Malabrigo and finish it. The final dimensions are 40" long and 22" wide after blocking it to within an inch of its life. I'm quite pleased with it.

So, this means WipDown 2010 was a total success! The only project I had left on the needles on New Years Day was the cardigan for Alice, which I reckon wouldn't have fit her anyway, she's had such a big growth spurt recently. I'll make her another one soon.

Now I can get back to my toe up knee high Spiral Boot Socks I cast on Christmas Eve. I am filled with satisfied smugness at my efficiency. :)

So, on to my end of year round up. How did I do this year? Well, I completed 36 projects, an average of 3 per month! I'm up 7 projects on last year too. Not bad! The breakdown:

Hats - 4
Lace/Shawls - 4 (I'm pleasantly surprised at this)
Socks - 7 (Very disappointed)
Mittens - 2
Scarves - 4
Blanket - 1
Baby cardigans - 2
Jumpers - 3
Booties - 1
Charity Knitting - 1 hot water bottle cover, 6 Dishcloths and 1 brioche scarf.

While I'm thrilled at my lace success, I'm disappointed with my sock output. This must be remedied in 2011. However, my jumper results are quite good, I think. Two out of the three jumpers are self designed, a goal I have wanted to achieve for a while now. My next target is to get these written up. I'm also pleased with my colourwork forays. Two pairs of mittens and a jumper.

So my knitty resolutions for 2011 are:
Write and publish my two patterns so far
Learn proper knitting back backwards
Learn to knit continental purl
Make more socks
Make more lace
Knit myself a proper fitting jumper, or a cardigan
Steek more (it rocks!)

That should keep me busy for a while. I've also a huge desire to knit EZ's Almanac, but January always puts me off. An aran sweater straight away? After hubbys Christmas jumper, I've had enough of sweaters for a while.

Good knitting!