And back to the real world with a bang! I had a full week of work this week which kept me on my toes until I decided to injure myself. While running in the dark on Wednesday morning, I tripped on the uneven footpath and tore my hamstring – a grade 2 tear. So I have been hobbling since then. My views this week are mainly from home with some early morning starts, a Saturday evening sunset with a rainbow and an almost full moon rising above the clouds over the bay. The green picture is of a section of the gardens at my accommodation this week, a very old Army base.
Oh dear, I’ve had a case of castonitis this week! On Friday morning I swatched for the Humulus sweater by Isabell Kraemer. Previously, I’d always swatched flat, even for projects knit in the round, so this time I thought I’d try doing it the right way and swatch in the round. That’s quite tricky because you use the same number of stitches and leave a long thread loose at the back, starting again at the other end. Apart from loose edges, it was fine until I introduced the second yarn and then it because quite unwieldy. As you can see from my pic below, I only managed about 1½ inches and gave up. There are enough stitches to work out the stitch count and the row count won’t matter as you knit to certain lengths throughout the pattern. I don’t think I’ll do this method again as the hanging yarns certainly make it very difficult. I started this project on Friday night and have reached the colourwork section, though I had to tink back more than half a row last night as I’d doubled a section of colourwork by mistake. I’m using Tinde pelsullgarn which is a DK weight. When I’d made my Wa shawl, I’d purchased extra for such projects so I’m using the Natrugra colourway (grey) along with some leftover Petrol (teal) from the shawl.
Another cast on was for my Bell Sleeved Top. I cast that one on Friday night also and I am working through the increases of the top section. This one is a different construction as it’s not a yoke like the Humulus. I had swatched for this one a couple of weeks ago when I was on the cruise. This project is actually on my Make 9 list. I’m using Malbrigo Silky Merino in the Mares colourway and I can tell it will have a lovely drape.
And now for my nearly cast on! This will likely be cast on tonight as my castonitis has not gone away. I have been looking for an all over colourwork for a while. I have some yarn which was a kit for a blanket and I never got around to making it. The yarn is Cleckheaton Country 8 Ply in 8 different colours. A while back I’d seen the Portree sweater and thought it would be a great use for this yarn but the pattern is not available. I had considered the Guthrie sweater but, with that one, you need a main colour with a quantity that I don’t have in one colour. When I saw the Graphica sweater the other day I obsessed over it until I bought the pattern. I think this one will work really well with the yarn, in the order that I have pictured below and inverting them as I go through the rest of the colourwork patterns. I swatched for it yesterday but not in the round as I did with the Humulus above. All three of these new cast-ons call for 4.0mm needles and I had run out so this swatch was done with 3.75mm as I knew that I would need to go down – the yarn is quite plump. As it turns out, this swatch comes in at 20-21 sts and the required gauge is for 24 sts. I may go down to a 3.5mm needle as I think the blocked fabric will benefit from a slightly closer knit and I’ll go ahead with my original sizing. The 3.5mm needles will probably only take the stitch gauge up to about 22-23 but I think it will tighten a little when knitting in the round. My planned sizing will give me 3 inches of positive ease so another inch will be fine if that works out. I will only swatch once and that’s hard enough! I also like the polo style neck on the Portree so I may cast on provisionally and add that later if there is enough yarn left, though it may not matter which colour I use.
I have put in a fair amount of work on my Floozy cardigan sleeves this week, trying to get them done. I only now have about 3-4 inches left but last night I was concerned that this was becoming a game of chicken. I decided to do the button bands and that way I could use whatever is left for the sleeves. You can see in the photo that I have done the buttonhole band and I’m concerned that I did not pick up enough stitches. The pattern called for 3 from 4 along the knitted edge. I thought I did more than that and was concerned I had too many, though I was way under what was indicated in the pattern. I think I’ll undo that band and pick up more stitches. I also keep changing my mind on the buttons. One minute I think they’re fine, the next they are too blue. They don’t look too bad in this picture.
My new 4.0 mm 9” circular needle was waiting for me when I got home on Thursday evening so I was able to get started on the sleeves for my Zweig. Not much to report as I haven’t done much but I have made a start and will be able to do a bit each day now.
Due to all the projects new and old in my rotation, I have set a schedule for my Gable Cap, doing three rows each night. On Friday, I had to do four more 18 stitch cables and had a cable needle this time. It was easier taking the stitches off than with a Chiagoo needle tip but 18 stitches makes for a tight knit when doing them in a cable. I have 17 rows left until it’s finished, including the decrease rows which will be exponentially shorter, and the three rows each night was calculated so that I finish by the end of next week.
I have also set a schedule of 3 rows per night on my Baubles shawl. The rows are quite long now, and still getting longer, so 3 rows is quite a good session. I’m halfway through the last lace repeat and should be starting the final section of lace brioche before next week’s blog.
And lastly on my knitting rotation is my brioche yoke sweater invention. I think it’s working OK but I won’t know until I’ve done this latest section of brioche where I’ll be looking at dividing for sleeves. I’ve just done the third increase and started the dark purple as the main colour.
I’m back at stitching on my Round the Garden quilt. This week I finished adding the flowers and I’ve started the embroidery for branches, stems and leaves. I’m kind of following a pattern but have combined sections and added sections so I need to be creative, which is a scary thing. One thing I noticed, I was able to do stem stitch this time just off the cuff, where I’ve never been any good at it previously when trying to follow directions on how to do it. More leaves and stems to come and hopefully, I’ll be finished this quadrant by next weekend. I still have blind birds!
My only acquisitions this week were two 9” circular needles which were waiting for me from Skein Sisters on Thursday. They were on sale so, when buying the one for my Zweig, I added another to the cart for a size I didn’t have. The only problem is, I did have that size. I’ll see if I can swap that one when I’m in Sydney next. Below is the one I need to return as the other one is on my Zweig already, shown in the picture up above. I’m still amazed that we can actually knit with something so small.
I finished my John Sandford “Virgil Flowers” book, Rough Country, last night which was, as usual, an entertaining read. I’m now excited to get into my next book, Force of Nature by Jane Harper. This is the next book for my Book Club and I’m happy that I’ll be able to participate once again as the next session will be a Monday night. I have not attended a session for well over a year now as they are on Tuesday nights and I’m always in Canberra for work. I’ve also made a huge dent in catching up on my knitting podcasts. I missed a few but can always go back if I now run out. I’ve also added a couple more podcasts that have been referred by the podcasters I already watch. I’m always very inspired by all the nice, new, shiny things! Though I must admit, my projects are mostly ones I already want to make. I think I’ll be well covered with hand knits this winter!
I have so many things to do still on my list for this weekend – maybe I’ll get to a few today. I’ve had a plan in my head for more than a week now of dyeing a patterned self-striped yarn. I may get to prepare that for next week. And I’d like to sew my Brisa top together – one good reason I really don’t like doing pieced knitted garments, as something else always seems to be a better option and it could be ages before they are done, if ever!
I hope everyone has had a great week and, until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!