It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I did try some Christmas shopping this week but I wasn’t terribly successful. At least I’m getting my head around it. Today it’s going to get to 30 degrees Celcius and it’s looking quite hazy over the bay. That should clear a bit later. This is what it looks like, and then my views for the week – some pics from a lovely garden. I also took a pic of the mess I made when making coffee yesterday – it’s amazing how you can get such a lovely pattern from such a mess.
I managed to pick up all 602 stitches for Clue 5 of my Texture Time MKAL. That took a couple of sessions and knitting a couple of rows is like knitting a whole section on a normal project. Slowly but surely with this one, as there’s certainly no rush now.
I finally picked up the Cerisara cardigan again. It’s hard to pick up when it’s not a straightforward knit. I managed to do quite a bit on the sleeve and I will now do the same on the other side. When I get to the same point I can judge how much yarn is left to decide whether it’s three-quarter or full-length sleeves. I hope not to take as long to make a start on the other sleeve! I want this finished by Christmas and it shouldn’t take too long to get these sleeves done.
My Sharman Cocoon is definitely growing. I’m not entirely sure how it lines up with the pattern but I’m past the number count indicated. It’s definitely not long enough so I thought I’d keep going, firstly because it’s too short but also because I have a few more colours I want to add – 3.5 more actually. I’ll have to do some math to get the sleeves separated – I’m hoping that the same ratio will work. I think the difference may be the row count – I did swatch but don’t remember the row count. My row count never matches. Anyhoo, I’ll carry on and we’ll see how it goes. The top of the back will need a good blocking. I did the three needle bind off on the band and that makes it a bit curved underneath. The pattern shows that bit flat, the band is not sitting up the neck. I think it will be a very cosy knit.
The socks are nearly finished now. Last night I managed to get one of the afterthought heels done. I like to watch the YouTube videos I have when doing this – especially considering this is my second attempt. There are two I like – one by the Knit Girllls and the other by the New Leaf Podcast. You can see the difference with and without the afterthought heel – the without doesn’t look anywhere near the same size.
Speaking of swatches, I did manage a swatch this week. This one is for Anna’s cardigan by PetiteKnit. The pattern is DK weight for which I’m using Heirloom Merino Magic 8 ply and I have also added some Indiecita Baby Suri Silk Brushed Hand Paint, 74% baby suri alpaca/26% mulberry silk. The needles recommended are 3.5mm so I thought I’d start with that but soon confirmed that the fabric was too dense. I then vacillated between using 3.75mm or 4.0mm and went with the latter. The main reason was that I knew I didn’t have any spare 3.75mm needles lying around but also thought that the 3.75mm would still be dense. The final fabric is perfect and the gauge turned out that I have 19.25 sts and 28 rows, the pattern calling for 22 sts and 31 rows. My calculations show that I need to do the smallest size and will still have ease. I will also start with fewer neck stitches as I think it’s a bit more open than I prefer and then I’ll increase to get to the correct number. This will also give me a few more rows and account for the difference in row gauge as it’s top-down construction – once I split for the sleeves it will be just a matter of knitting to my preferred length. The pattern is quite sparse with information; very different from the ones I’m used to but I think I’ll be able to follow it.
I got to wear my Elton cardigan on Friday night and it’s a great success. I’m pretty useless at taking decent selfies but settled on this one after taking a few. The cardigan does do up but I forgot to re-adjust it after each selfie. It’s a little boxy so hangs nicely from the sleeve seams which are several inches down the arms.
I managed the next step on the Inka the Little Llama blanket and did all the little baubles – currently sewing in the ends. Next step is the head.
And a little bit further with the Granny Square Dress – look at all those horrible ends!
I have sewn together 5 rows of the HST quilt. This is probably the most tedious part, trying to get those points matching perfectly. Because I know Evelyn will notice! Haha. I’m hoping to have the rest done this week – one bite at a time.
I dyed up 1000m of mohair on Friday. I have no idea of the composition of this mohair but it is very similar to the Debbie Bliss Angel mohair which is a mohair/silk blend. I bought this Caress mohair several years ago and it’s languished in the undyed plastic box ever since. I used my normal yarn dye method but discovered that it’s probably not the best way for mohair. It still worked, though quite tonal as it was hard to get the colour inside the skeined yarn. I think space dyeing may be more successful so I’ll store that little bit of wisdom for the next time. The main reason that space dyeing may be more suitable than immersion dyeing is that the mohair wants to mat with the other strands – there would be less need to stir or move the yarn. Anyway, it turned out just fine.
I had some happy mail this week. The first picture shows some Twice Baked Yarns I ordered. These are little mini balls that total about 400gms. The composition is supposed to be wool, cotton and acrylic. I have no idea what I intend to do with them. It came up on Facebook and looked good. The second arrival was a skein of Gauge Dyeworks “which is divided into three sections: stripes, heel/toe, and a contrast colour. The socks are self-striping, with a short section of stranded colourwork at the cuff”. This looks really great except it appears that I now need to buy the pattern for $US8. Considering this can only really be used for this pattern, I would imagine that it should come with the skein. I should be able to work it out when I’m balling it up. Obviously, the heel/toe will be one bit and the stripes then another separate section and these should work fine with a vanilla sock with afterthought heels. The main problem will be knowing the stitch count required to achieve the patterned cuff. A little trial and error should work that out.
This week’s Picmas photos have been going up on Instagram and Facebook on each of the days. Here is a summary.
I also managed to make some stitch markers yesterday. I’d been putting it off for quite a while – you know what it’s like, I have plenty of time to get that done. Yeah, right. Of course, I couldn’t find my jewellery pliers so I had to resort to my husband’s old rusty pliers. Seems I’m just as uncoordinated with those pliers as I am with the jewellery ones though they did the job just fine. I had Amy from the Stranded Podcast to keep me company. There’s also a pic of the absolute chaos that was in front of me during that time. And then, the behind the scenes photos of Day 8 of Picmas – the battlefield of getting the decorations onto the Christmas tree!
I finished my Michael Connolly audiobook while at my sewing machine and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was definitely action-packed – there’s was so much happening! I think I may move onto the latest Jack Reacher book now and I’m happy to see it’s the usual narrator. I’ve been watching lots of Vlogmas from several of my favourite podcasters. There are far too many to watch all of them. I’ve been watching Dunderknit (Vicariously Vlogmas), Stranded, Suburban Stitcher, Skeindeer, Babbles, Crazy Sock Lady, Once Upon a Corgi, Brooklyn Knitfolk, The Woolen Homestead. I think that’s all and it’s definitely plenty! Lucky they only last 5 to 15 minutes each otherwise the list would be much smaller. Apologies for no links but that would take forever! Just put those names into the YouTube search if you want to find them. I have also managed to squeeze in a few normal podcasts. Netflix has suffered but it’s not going anywhere.
Until next week, here’s hoping you have an easy week with lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!