Wednesday, 27 May 2009


Apres Surf is off the needles and all sewn up. I'm really delighted with the finished result - this was my best ever attempt at seaming and my best ever set in sleeves. I really feel that I've made progress with this project.

Here are the details:

Pattern: Apres Surf Hoodie by Connie Chang Chinchio
Yarn: RYC CashCotton 4 ply in Citron
Needles: 3.5 and 3.25mm addi lace needles.

Alterations: I knitted the body in the round up to the armholes and neck divide and then flat to the shoulders. I knitted the sleeves flat then seamed them before setting them in. I did a normal cast on for the body and sleeves and then did an applied i-cord afterwards instead of a provisional cast on and i-cord bind off. (I did do the i-cord bind off on the hood and it was lovely but took for ever!).

I still need to re-block since the neck and hood edging was added but I've already worn it a couple of times. The yarn is beautifully soft next to the skin and the shape is really wearable.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Learning Curve.

I've always enjoyed the challenge of learning a new skill and a class I took about a month ago has had me on a fairly steep learning curve ever since. I drove up to Twist Fibre Craft Studio in Newburgh in the north of Fife to learn how to use the drop spindle I bought at Woolfest last year.
I'd had a little go at using it but nothing had clicked and I decided that tuition was the way forward.

Initially, I used a top-whorl spindle supplied in the class and managed to produce some knobbly, hairy almost-yarn from some carded Icelandic wool. I then managed pretty much the same with my bottom-whorl spindle.

I bought some combed silk - merino tops to take home with me and started that evening and fairly quickly produced a spindle full of singles.

A quick watch of videos on the internet and I tried navajo plying it with pretty good success.
These skeins are on the small side and the yarn is a bit hard (I think that I over spun it).

Next I remembered about the mixed bag of combed merino tops I bought from Wingham Wool Work at Woolfest two years ago. I got it out and realised that I pretty much had a whole spectrum of colour. I started at the red end and spun through the colours until I reached the violet end.

This time I tried winding the single off the spindle with my ball winder, to try to control the tension during plying, which worked for a while, but eventually the lovely and obliging Resident Radiologist had to hold the ball and provide tension while I navajo plied (I like three ply - the yarn produced is much rounder so I'm going to stick with this method for a while).

I'm really pleased with the finished product this time. I've soaked and dried it to set the twist and the yarn is beautifully soft. I've ended up with about 80m of 4ply-weight yarn. Clearly I'm nowhere near the top of the learning curve yet, but I've reached a place where I can produce useful quantities of usable yarn.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Little Bits and Pieces

I'm still working well on the Apres Surf Hoodie - I've nearly finished the sleeves and then there's 'just' the blocking and sewing up to do!

In the mean-time though, I've found a great excuse for some instant gratification. One of my closest friends has just had a baby and another is expecting in the very near future. Baby knitting is the best form of near-instant finishing...

There's been an 'On the sunny side' hat, knitted with Colinette Banyan on 5mm needles.

A pair of Saartje's booties in the same yarn, knitted on 3mm needles.

Two pairs of baby socks knitted in Regia Bamboo sock yarn on 2.5mm needles.

I'm not sure I've got the baby knitting out of my system yet so there may be more to follow!