Sunday, 30 June 2019

Weekend WIP


I've been working on these for about 3 weeks. I had to rip back part of the cuff on the first one because I'd pulled my floats too tight, but were it not for that they'd be even closer to being finished. DK socks are speedy, and therefore perfect for somebody who is really busy. I started the second one at knitting group yesterday and I'm almost ready to start the colourwork on the foot already.

My first top down socks and I don't hate it, although Kat had to graft the toe for me at knitting group yesterday (thanks Kat) because I am inept. I do well out of knitting group, people are always doing helpful things for me. I lead a charmed life, truly.

I messed up the pattern a bit because the toe and cuff and heel should all match, but obviously don't on sock one and so won't on sock two either. But it matters little.

For the foot of sock one and all the colourwork since, I have followed the suggestion in the pattern instructions and knitted it inside out, giving plenty of play to the float by holding a finger between the yarn and the sock so it doesn't pull tight. It has worked a treat. A little fiddly, but that's the benefit of the DK, I suppose - there are not masses of stitches to worry about.

Weekend FO

I finished this about three weeks ago but, yknow, June. Every year the end of it catches me by surprise.


 Pattern: Bee Happy Shawl by Samantha Hinks
Yarn: Unbelieva-wool Sparkly Sock. Most of two skeins (a bit less of the grey)
Needle: 3.75mm
Mods: I knitted the moss stitch sections as moss stitch as I know it, rather than as instructed. I skipped the final two rows of yellow garter stitch and went straight into the cast off. The designer was selling the kit at Wonderwool without the sparkle, and reluctantly swapped them out for me after explaining that she really didn't want me to run out of yarn, so I came up with a couple of contingency plans. My other thought was to knit the bind off in grey, of which there is more left, but in the end I liked the yellow edging with the yellow beads.


Blocking, Wrong side up. Sunny day. I liked the light and shadow but it doesn't make for a great picture, sorry.

I couldn't get on with the picot edging instructions. I couldn't make the yarn overs work - I think I was having brain freeze. Moreover, I couldn't find an instructional video or website that used the same instructions, so in the end I used some others. K1, CO 1, BO 1st knit stitch, CO1, BO 1st CO stitch, place bead, CO 1, BO beaded stitch, K1, BO1, K1, BO1 - each picot bound off 3 shawl stitches together with 3 cast on stitches. It looks good. 


It is just as well that I kept on with this until I'd finished, even when it looked like Naomi wasn't leaving in July - she got a last minute reprieve and is heading back to Northern Ireland at the end of this term. Very sorry to see her go but delighted to get this done in time.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Weekend WIP

I am very close to finishing the bees shawl, thanks to half term and a whole Saturday spent knitting, between knit group and the Flock gathering hosted by Birdstreet UK. I had stiff hands by the end of the day, but it did mean that this afternoon I was ready to start the beaded picot edging.


Six picots down, 165 to go...

I found the instructions a little confusing and difficult to work - lots of YO, bind off stitch over YO, but then a weird instruction about picking up the last bound off stitch in each picot and passing the YO over it. Well, I couldn't make this work - I kept losing my last YO. I went away and watched picot edge videos on YouTube, read picot edge blogs and looked in my stitchionary, to no avail. I don't think there's anything wrong with the instructions: I just can't make them work for me. So, in the end, I am doing something a bit different -

K1. Cast on a stitch. Pass the knitted stitch over to bind off. CO a stitch, pass one over. Bead that second CO stitch. CO another stitch, pass beaded stitch over. K1, pass over, k1, pass over. 

It's going to make a pretty, wavy edge when it is finished. If I can do 20 picots a night, I should be able to FO it next weekend....we'll see. It's not the funnest bind off ever. 

Monday, 27 May 2019

While-ago FO

I forgot that I hadn't posted about Mother Hand's cardigan. Here we are, a scant two months after Mother's Day and it's already finished! (Heavy on the irony). I finally sewed on the buttons last weekend when Mr Z was rewinding the shawl yarn. They're nice horn ones that I got from Brimstone buttons at Wonderwool.

 Sans flash.

Pattern: Shapely Boyfriend Cardigan by Stephanie Japel along with a charted motif based on Sarah Lund's jumper from The Killing. Mother Hand and I are having a Scandinavian holiday this summer, so it seemed apt.
Yarn: Laal Bear, from deep stash. It's been in a hatbox for so long it smells of Lush now, instead of sheep. It took just over 5 skeins of cream and just under 1 skein of brown.
Needle: 5mm
Mods: I knitted it in the round from the neck down and steeked up the front. I started in one size and increased to the next size up after the waist shaping.

Avec flash.

I really hope it is a good fit. In the end, I just oversewed the colourwork edges with the ends when I was weaving them in; the crochet reinforcement held where it was just over the cream rows, so hopefully it will hold. We're off for a little spa break with gin tasting and afternoon tea this week, so I will hopefully be able to add some pictures of her in it to this post after I get back.

Weekend WIP

I've been working on this bee shawl for Naomi for the past week and a half.


It's a kit I bought from Wonderwool. It's knitting up really soft and with just the right amount of sparkle (which you can't really see in the picture).

Naomi is a colleague who loves bees. She announced her intention to leave at the end of this school year, so I got started asap. Well, she hasn't yet found another job, so I guess I have a bit longer to finish, but since it has a 500+ stitch picot beaded bind off and exam marking starts in 10 days, I'm still knitting as fast as I can.

I had to take a brief hiatus last weekend when I had a catastrophic ball collapse. It took Mr Z the best part of two days to untangle the skein. Now I'm up to row 110ish, which is around 350 stitches of moss stitch per row, 16 times. Sigh. It is slow going. The pattern calls this moss stitch but then instructs me to purl every stitch on the wrong side. That's not moss stitch, in my book, so I am knitting the purls and purling the knits, which means it is going even slower than it needs to. After that, though, it's only three more sections until the bind off. I'm feeling determined.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Weekend WIPs

Technically this should be a FO post, but I need to weave in some ends and get it blocked before I will declare it FO'd.


Bonus toes in this one.

I bought this yarn at Wonderwool in 2017 and fully intended to knit them into this Spice Market for myself, but then decided to knit it as a gift for Mother Z, a decision I regret only more keenly since Fivemoons didn't have any mini moon sets on her stall this year - I can only assume she's not creating them anymore, which is sad if true. The colours are just lovely and blend very subtly. I am also a big fan of this pattern. It is written for six colours but I made it work for five without too much trouble - I think it is probably 12 rows shorter than it should be, but it's not exactly noticeable. I went up a needle size from the last time I knitted it so it should block out to have a nice drape.


Damn me and my altruism. I knew there was a reason I only ever knitted anything for myself.

I dived straight into my next shawl project this evening, a Bee Happy which will be a gift for Naomi, a colleague who's probably leaving at the end of the year. I wanted to get right on with Volt but I'm afraid that when exam season hits there will be no time to finish a shawl and I don't need a DK jumper for summer anyway (though I did wind the yarn for it today).

Once I've finished the shawl, I will be over halfway to my best ever yarn total for a year (2016: 8,163m) and it will only be halfway through the year. I might have finally found my knitting mojo again.

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Sunday Selfie

I have been looking through my pictures and GoPro footage from Alabama and came across this accidental capture. I spent a lot of time shouting GOPRO TAKE A PHOTO at the GoPro, with limited success, so in the end I set it to image burst and took a dozen or so each time. This was a side capture and quite blurry but it was good early morning light and I was filled with pancakes and therefore extra cheery.