Posts Tagged cable knitting

Long, Dry January

I don’t make New Year resolutions or set myself lists of targets or challenges – I don’t like the pressure.  I don’t need it.  That doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t randomly decide to do things that stretch me a bit.

For instance, I made a pair of jeans recently that stretched me but, ironically, didn’t stretch enough themselves to fit me comfortably.  As you know, I’m making a coat at the moment which is also promising to be a challenge but, hopefully, will fit me at the end of it.

I also decided to do Dry January again which is a challenge every year and I’m sure they add extra days to the calendar. (For those who are not overly concerned by alcohol related matters, this means not a drop to pass my lips throughout the month of January 😱).  I did briefly consider continuing the abstinence forever but, as I found myself literally counting up how many days were left until 1st February when I was out walking the dogs the other morning, I really don’t think that’s going to happen.  It’s been harder this year as Mr. Tialys didn’t join in so I’ve had to watch him glugging sipping  a glass of wine with his dinner while I’ve noticed that both the frequency and quality of my kitchen dancing has deteriorated since the 31st December.

Anyway, back to the crafting.  I spotted a new yarn by Rowan the other day and also a lovely book of patterns using the yarn designed by Martin Storey.  I fell in love with this cardigan and decided to ditch the hook for a little while and take the needles up again.

My last knitting projects were a pair of socks knitted on a teeny circular needle and a cabled blanket knitted on a massive circular needle.  It felt strange to be holding a pair of needles again and even stranger to contemplate working from a chart.  I usually prefer written instructions and have actually translated the first couple of rows but I think, once I’ve got those under my belt, I’ll be able to just go with the chart.

The beautiful yarn used is Rowan Moordale with is made with British wool and alpaca – however, it costs around £16 for a 100g skein which would make this cardigan cost almost £100.  I baulked at that a bit – especially since I haven’t knitted anything this complicated in a while.  The patterns says ‘expert knitter’ which, although I’ve been knitting since I was knee high to my mother, I’m not sure is how I’d describe myself.

I recently found a site called Yarnsub which will suggest alternative yarns to use if you can’t afford/can’t find/don’t like the one specified by the pattern.  They grade the suggested alternatives by taking into account the density, the ply, the appearance, the cost, etc. and put them in order of suitability.  One of the top ones in this case was a Bergère de France yarn called ‘Lima’ which has the same amount of wool (though French rather than British)  and alpaca and the same ‘haze’ on the finish.  Lima comes in 50g balls – as opposed to the 100g Moordale skeins so I needed to buy double the amount, with a little extra just to be safe.   I went on the Bergère de France site and found Lima to be discontinued so they had it on sale for half price – only £2.20 for 50g which means, if I ever finish it, it will cost me less than a third.  You’ve got to love the internet at times like these.

This is the colour I’m using, it’s a muddy kind of green called ‘Mangrove’ which sounds horrible I know but I think it’s a colour that will be useful as it will make a change from the greys and blues I usually go for.

As I had purchased the pattern book, and there’s some other nice items in there, I went back online and bought some more Lima in a blue colour.  I’m thinking about using it for this one but Mr. Tialys says it looks like it’s been put in the wash and shrunk.

Personally, I like the cropped body, but do you think it would spoil the style if I made the sleeves full length?  I will have plenty of time to make a decision as I don’t anticipate finishing the heavily cabled cardigan before next autumn – it’s not one I can do in front of a Netflix box set that’s for sure.

There is a baby on the way in the family though (for my niece) and I can crochet a stripey blanket while immersed in real life crime stories or a drama that manages to drag on for 24 episodes or so.  I’m using the ‘Little River Blanket’ pattern again but, as I am reliably informed by my sister and  Cathy who is given very particular instructions when knitting for her grandchildren, grey is on trend for the tot about town.  Who would have thought it?

I can’t possibly make it all in grey though – even if those greys are in slightly different shades.  I’ve got two big packs of cotton yarn – one 50g ball in each colour of the Paintbox range and also, in my stash, some sunny yellow Rowan cotton yarn which I thought I’d use for the first and last rows, and the highlight on every 5th row as stated in the original pattern.

This is it so far.  I’m intending to switch subtly between grey through lilac through duck egg blues – don’t know about the middle yet – then repeat in the opposite direction for the other end.  The gender of the baby is unknown. The niece might consider the yellow too bright.

If it’s not ‘baby appropriate’ by the time I’ve finished it, I will still like it myself and I’ll just have to whip up a quick baby hat or something for the niece’s baby as it’s due in February some time.

Advertisements

, , , , , , , , , ,

22 Comments

A Woolly Jumper

 

Sorry, I couldn’t resist that title with my lead photo.

Woolly Jumper

My Mum has been visiting and, usually, I save up or start a knitting project to be companionable as she always brings some knitting.  However, this time, she has decided she wants to get into sewing and so I have been helping her with some of the basics – and I mean the real basics.    She wanted to go into the only local fabric shop so I had to walk past the fabric with my eyes straight ahead  (due to fabric fast) until I got to the woolly bit.  There’s not much choice to be honest and it’s all Bergère de France stuff which I can take or leave and what stock they do have is of the more boring  standard variety and nothing to get excited about.  However, they did have two very large sheep made of wood with thick woollen fleeces.  They were a bit pricey but then I spotted the mini one with hanging string and Mum added it to her magnetic pincushion and cord purchases* and gave it to me as a little gift.

I mentioned before that I was planning on knitting a Kim Hargreaves pattern called ‘Drew’ which is from her ‘Storm’ pattern book.  It is a little different from the humungus blankets I’ve been knitting in that it is only two strands of wool (not six) and quite skinny wool at that.  The needles are 4mm and 5mm rather than 20mm so I’m finding the transition – and rate of growth – a little hard.

From this –

2ndHugeBlanketDuckEggBlue

to this

Drew Boyfriend Cardigan Kim Hargreaves

Should keep me going for a while.

The yarn used is one strand of Rowan Kidsilk Haze and a one of Kid Classic- both with mohair – and they are delightfully soft and luxurious and, therefore, expensive.  I found the Kid Classic in a pale grey – exactly 11 balls which is what the pattern calls for – on Ebay and bid high (although not as high as it would be full price) in order to knock the competition out of the water.  Which I did.  Just.  Then I found the dark grey Kidsilk Haze from another seller and it was, miraculously, only £4 a ball.  So I bought it and waited.  Then I got an email to say the Hazy one was out of stock but should be in by the end of the week.  Then they cancelled the order and refunded me.  I was not a happy knitter.  So I sent them an email and complained because I don’t like it when people sell you stuff they haven’t even got in stock.

Meanwhile, I scoured the internet to find some more hazy stuff because I wanted to knit the cardi but didn’t want to pay umpteen pounds for it.  Of course, I had to find a colour that went with the light grey as you knit the two strands together.  I found a young lad selling some of his mother’s yarn stash and it wasn’t a bad price so I bought it to see how it would look and I figured, if I didn’t like it, a bargain would still have been struck and I could use it on another project.

Then, the seller of the dark grey – chastened by my complaint no doubt – came back and said it would be coming back into stock and, when it did, they would send it to me free of charge.  So, to cut a long story not very short, I ended up with both hazy ones and made a swatch with both to see which combination I liked best and I was going to ask you which you preferred.

This –

AlternativeColourChoiceDrew

or this

Drew Boyfriend Cardigan

but please don’t answer me now, unless you were going to say the second one because, as you can see by the continuation from rib into pattern, I decided on the dark grey.

Another problem I had was with the pattern because when I did the swatch, I cast on 21 sts and knit 28 rows over the pattern, as instructed  to obtain a 10cm square .  However the pattern just wasn’t working out so I contacted the Kim Hargreaves U.K. site and begged asked for help.  Apparently, the pattern is worked out in sets of 4 stitches plus 3 and they suggested I cast on 27 stitches and try again.  Which I did and it worked.  But, dear knitters, should I have known this? If the swatch is knitted over the pattern is it normal to have to work out the pattern first before casting on for the test square?  I have never come across this before.  Shouldn’t they just have you do the swatch in stocking stitch or something.  Is it me?  I will say though, that I was impressed with the speed with which they answered my query.

Now I’m back up to the workroom to help make another  *drawstring bag  😉

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

27 Comments

A Bit of Home Décor For A Change

I finished my mammoth blanket last night

Giant Hand Knitted Blanket Herringbone Tweed

      Once I swapped these

for these

It made life much easier

I love it! It makes me want to roll myself up in it and drink hot chocolate.

Hand Knitted Blanket First Try

For scale, that’s a 2-seater sofa I have artfully fartfully draped it across.

The dog looks like she wants to wrap herself in it too but I’m not sure how the open knit texture would respond to dog claws – not too well I suspect so it will be a human only blanket.

Once my shoulder has recovered from the slight ache caused by the weight of the thing towards the end, I’m going to make another in a flecked duck egg blue.

Looks like knitted blankets might be fighting for space with quilts in my house from now on.  Won’t Mr. Tialys be pleased as, like most men, he does love a cushion and a throw 😉

By the way, if you fancy giving it a twirl yourself you can find the pattern here or on Ravelry under the designer Erin Black.

, , , , ,

21 Comments