Thursday, 30 April 2009


I've been knitting away on the Apres Surf Hoodie intermittantly for the last couple of weeks and progress has been good. The short lace repeat was easily memorised so I could pick up and put down whenever I wanted without too much reference to the pattern. The nature of the pattern also spurred me on to do 'just one more repeat'.

I've finished the body now and decided that, rather than leave stitches on a holder, I would just get the hood done too. The pattern is beautifully written and the lace pattern flows perfectly from the body into the hood and also lines up at the shoulders which makes me happy.

I still need to knit the band on the hood and neck opening and the applied I-cord at the hemline (I decided that this would be simpler than a provisional cast on followed by putting all the stitches back on a needle and doing an I-cord bind-off. I also have both sleeves to do.

This knitting has now been interrupted by a couple of other projects (more on which later...) but should be back on the needles fairly soon.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

New Beginings...

The Apres Surf Hoodie has been on my 'to knit' list ever since the pattern was published last summer. In fact, it might even have been the reason I bought that issue of Interweave Knits.

In december I went to the John Lewis sale and managed to get enough Rowan Cashcotton 4 ply in their sale for my size - clearly this was meant to be... but then the yarn went into the stash and the jumper did not appear. I just didn't seem to be in the mood for it until really lately (I blame Dad's big blue jumper - I couldn't think about anything else until I knew it was properly finished).

A couple of weeks ago, the yarn came out of the stash and the swatching happened. I knitted two swatches and after washing and blocking, one was the perfect gauge. I liked the look and drape of the other one better though, so I did the maths and worked out that if I knitted the pattern for the 35.5 inch chest in the gauge I liked best, I'd get a size just below the next size up, which should fit me pretty well.

And so I've started something new at last...

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

The Big Blue...

I finished the knitting on my Dad's birthday jumper ages ago - in plenty time for his birthday at the end of February in fact. However, I always had a nagging feeling that the top half wasn't going to be quite right, so I left the lifelines in just in case... nagging feeling turned out to be correct, but in the end the solution didn't require me to resort to frogging to the lifeline (and just as well because this yarn is seriously sticky - a bit like Shetland - and doesn't rip well).

The neck line was way too baggy for Dad. The rest of the jumper actually fitted pretty well (which I was delighted about as it was the first major garment that I've designed myself) but the neck was just too large.

While I was willing to rip and re-knit if necessary, I thought that first I'd try to reknit the neck band a bit tighter. I had to cut out the old band - sticky yarn problems, and instead of picking up a stitch for every row, I picked up two stitches for every three rows and used a slightly smaller needle. I also changed the stitch pattern to 1x1 rib from 2x2 rib, and knitted a facing to the band which I sewed down afterwards.

The effect is quite marked and the fit is much improved. I'm really pleased with the result as while the lifelines were still in, I didn't really feel the jumper was finished and I couldn't move on to a new big project. When the lifelines came out on Sunday after Dad tried it on again, I could heave a huge sigh of relief!

Project details: Yarn - New Lanark 100% Wool Aran.
- colourway = Denim (colour best in top two photos).
- quantity = 8 balls for 56" chest jumper.
Stitch pattern - mistake rib over 4 stitches.
Needles - Addi turbo 4.5mm and 4mm.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Ooh, pretty...

... or at least I think so.

I hope some other people think so too as these are some of the first jewelry pieces I will be listing on my Etsy shop.

Red glass lariat necklace.

Jasper drop earrings.

Black and white lampwork earrings.

Turquoise lampwork earrings.

Biwa pearl and seed bead necklace.

Lavender and pearl pin.

This next pin is not for sale, it's mine (all mine)...

Ocean green and silver pin.

So if you're ever looking for just the right pin to fasten a hand-knit, or a gift for a friend, please come and visit me on Etsy...

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Yarn Fumes...

I was going throught the photos I had taken of my new silk socks when I came across this one and it brought to mind the phrase 'overcome by yarn fumes' - generally used when a knitter tries to excuse the purchase of more yarn.

Splat definitely looks like she's been overcome by the yarn fumes.

These are my leftovers socks knitted with the remains of some Regia Silk 6 ply that I used to knit a pair of socks for the Resident Radiologist. They are 52 stitches around, knitted on 3.75mm needles to my usual pattern.

And these are the RR's original pair. I knitted them as a stealth project last year when the RR was working away from home and gave them to him for Christmas. Since then, they've rarely been out of his work boots or out of the laundry basket for long enough for a photo!

They are also 52 stitches around to my usual pattern. The silk blend yarn is lovely and soft and warm and washes really well, but I don't think that I'd use it again for socks as it doesn't have the resilience of wool and stretches out of shape a bit during wearing.