Thursday, 28 August 2008

Stringing some ideas together...

... I've not really been knitting much lately, though I have finished a long-standing WIP which I'll blog about once I've taken some photos.

I have however been beading.

I've been feeling the urge to get the bead stash out for a while now and last weekend proved to be just the time.

It started with a shawl / cardigan pin I bought (in an unbent form) at Woolfest, which I shaped up with a spring bend (wound one and a half times round a pen) and embellished with bits of amethyst, a few pearls and some other purple and white beads I had lying around. I enjoyed that so much I wasn't quite ready for it to be over, so I got out some monofilament and before I knew it, I had a matching necklace...

These are going to be a back-to-school gift for my sister who's a teacher.

It didn't stop there though - I ripped out a necklace I made a while ago and remade it with a stronger support wire so that it sits better, and the dangles for a pair of earrings to match (I don't have any ear-wires to mount them on at the moment though).

I also made a simple memory-wire necklace with mixed seed beads and horn heshi discs...

a beach-comber style knotted necklace with some embroidery cotton...

And a macrame beaded bracelet.

This is all a bit of a build up for this weekend really. The Scottish Bead Fair is on in Perth on Sunday and I'm going for a little look round (though I'm going to have to take it easy as I've just come down with shingles so am feeling a little under the weather). Mostly I'm going to be browsing for stash and ideas, but I also have a little list.....

Thursday, 21 August 2008


A month or so ago, I was browsing the Get Knitted site, like you do, when I noticed the link to their sock club. Now, I've been considering the idea of a sock club for some time, and when I realised that the Get Knitted one was using specially-dyed Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, I jumped on the band-wagon immediately.

Here's the first installment:

Colourway 'Fandango'.

I've no idea what pattern I'm going to knit yet, or when, but the yarn is sooooo pretty, I think I might just look at it for a bit!

Monday, 18 August 2008

The before and after shots...

Hanami is off the needles and in blocking. I am so pleased about this I can hardly say.

It's turned out really well and the size is good. Before blocking, it measured 18 inches wide by 52 inches long. I've blocked it to 15 inches wide and 72 inches long which seemed like a good size and proportion and it isn't too stretched so I think that it should keep these sizes and not bounce back in too much.

I used Fyberspates Scrumptious laceweight which is a merino / silk blend and size 3.25mm Addi Lace needles. The yarn was beautiful to work with and I've got enough left over to knit a small triangular shawl (something similar to Swallowtail) or a lace scarf. There was not a single knot in the entire skein!
I knitted an extra repeat of the basketweave chart and an extra repeat of the last cherry blossom chart.

The one thing I think I might change, were I to knit this again, is that I might introduce a little variation into the last chart. After the wonderful flurry of blossom in the second-last chart, the blossom in the last one just seems a little too regimented.

The blocking was a bit experimental - I've wanted to use blocking wires for ages as they strike me as being much simpler and more effective (for straight edges) than a squillion pins, but they're hard to find in the UK. Here I dug out a box of my grandmother's old knitting needles (she had about 20 pairs all 2.5mm or smaller) and used them. It worked like a dream and I'll definitely be doing this again!
You can just about see them in this close-up of the end...

All I need now is to find a gift box to fold it into and the Resident Radiologist can present it to his mother on Sunday...

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Another update

My needles are still clicking away on the Hanami stole for my MIL's birthday and I'm well on with the cherry blossom section.

The occasional drift of petals has started to become a flurry and I'm on the second-last chart.

I'm getting a bit impatient with this now for a couple of reasons; I want to get it blocked to put my mind at rest about the length, and there are so many other things I want to knit at the moment.
Just another week of knitting monogamy and I'll be free to knit whatever I want...

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Still knitting like a mad thing...

... but progress is definitely being made.

When I cast on for Hanami, I thought that I might be on a real hiding-to-nothing to get it finished in three weeks, since currently I'm out playing tennis or doing other things that interfere with knitting time at least three evenings a week. Added to this, the first repeat of the basket weave pattern made me want to cry, I had to tink back or pick up missed yarn-overs so many times.

However, a week later and the basket weave is all finished (8 repeats in total - I added one for extra length), I've completed the transition chart and I'm into chart A of the cherry blossom. I never did manage to memorise the basket weave pattern, it was just too long with too many changes of direction so I always had to have the chart on my lap, but I did get enough of a feel for it that I could tell when something wasn't right.

I'm hoping that the stole will block out quite a bit as currently in it's unblocked blob-like state, it's only about 30 inches long and I'm just over half-way. I generally think that stoles need to be at least 6 feet long to be useful.

I'm out tonight and thursday playing tennis and I don't think that Hanami will make for a good knit-night project as I would probably have to rip out all progress made afterwards to correct a gossip-induced mistake, so there might not be too much progress this week. On the other hand, I thought that about last week and it's amazing what a couple of rows here and there will do.

I need this off the needles by two weeks tomorrow so I can block it before the Resident Radiologist flies down to Cambridge the following weekend.