Hello everyone! Did you have a good St Patrick’s Day last Sunday? I had lunch with some dear old school friends in Sydney. It was a very wet, cool day and I got to wear my Elton cardigan. Aside from that, my week has been uneventful until yesterday and this morning when I got to spend some time with my daughter-in-law (Kim) and granddaughter (Evelyn).
We had a lot of changing weather this week; a full moon, lots of rain and a beautiful sunrise. I think the rain sparked the rash of mushrooms popping up everywhere (photo above).
This has been a fixing week! My Bell Sleeved top had another setback – when I tried it on to see how it was going, the fit was good but it looked like I had a line across the top of my bust and two separate sections. I had not thought to alternate skeins which, with the raglan increase, I could have done from the beginning. So to frog or not to frog, was the question. I could leave it or I could frog and it may not make a lot of difference. I wasn’t going to frog beyond the sleeve divide so it was 50-50. I decided to frog. My justification was that it may not look different but it could look better. And it was only stockinette, not some intricate colourwork or cable. We are back to the status quo from last week now and I can still see some of the original lighter patch but it’s not a huge great big section like before. I think you can see the difference between the two balls. The one on the right is so much more muted.
My Graphica was another one to fix. I had not noticed in my photo last week that it was wonky. When I left off in last week’s blog, I was going to try it on to see how it fits. It fits just fine but I realised that I hadn’t taken into consideration the short row shaping I added after the rib and before the colourwork. The back of the neck was sitting right on my right shoulder. Sigh. Lucky there were only 3 rows to rip back but the picking up stitches was tedious. Anyway, we’ve moved on from that and now into this section’s colourwork. I have a new Eiffel Tower keyring on my project bag, care of my friend Maria. She always brings us souvenirs from her trips.
And another fix – my Brioche Yoke sweater. I’d noticed last Sunday that there was a mistake in one of the columns right at the front. I have corrected brioche before but haven’t had to since my Harlow hat by Andrea Mowry, which was my first attempt at brioche. I had a lot of practice fixing mistakes in that project. I now find that it’s quite a natural knit but, as with normal knitting, you can make a few mistakes here and there. I’d packed it up to take with me to Canberra this week but it never got there as my husband rescued the project bag from the front lawn after I’d left early on Tuesday morning. I managed to fix it easily enough last night and I’m back on track. I have finished the brioche section and have moved on to stockinette. This is totally made up and I had miscalculated the number of stitches I need for the sleeve separation but, as it turns out, it’s probably best like this because of how loose brioche is. I have one more increase row and will then split for the sleeves.
I have reached the recommended length on the first sleeve of my Zweig and have left the sleeve on a spare cable. I intend to knit the pattern to the same point on the other sleeve and then try it on. The sleeve doesn’t have any decreases until you reach the cuffs so I hope it’s fine. I prefer to have a fitted sleeve but decreasing would have played havoc with the cable pattern so I decided to go with the directions. The rib is to be 5″ and, because that means it’s higher up the arm, the non-decreasing may not be too noticeable.
Finished project: Baubles is finished and so full of squishiness! I have sewn in all the threads but have not yet blocked it. I’m not sure it really needs it though it could be good for the lace parts.
Yesterday was a full session of thread sewing in – I also got Floozy’s threads done. She has had a bath and is now drying on the blocking mats. There was a concentrated section of threads that took some time. The buttons will be next. I did the buttonholes quite tight this time because the ones on my Lush keep popping open – I’ll need to stitch the holes closed on that. I’m having trouble working out where my buttonholes are on Floozy!
Now that we’ve moved into Autumn and started to get some cooler weather, I have cast on the Pop cardigan for Evelyn. I started it this week and am well into the body so it shouldn’t take too long to finish. It has a yoke neck construction and knitted all in one, and I’m using the Knitpicks Swish DK that I posted in last week’s blog.
I found out last weekend that it’s coming up to a special boy’s first birthday soon so I went looking into stash to see what I had. I found the start of a Cabled Cardigan that would be perfect. I think I started this about 4 years or more ago – the evidence is that the project is on straight needles! I had to work out where I was up to in the cable pattern, though later found that I had actually marked the pattern, and I was happy of the proof that I’d worked it out correctly. The pattern is by Sirdar – a real pattern leaflet, and the yarn is Cleckheaton Country Naturals 8 Ply (85% wool, 10% acrylic, 5% rayon). Anyway, in trying to work out what size I was knitting, I realised that the number of stitches actually don’t line up with either 1-2 years or 3-4 years. There are 6 more stitches to the 1-2 years and that will be fine because that’s the size I need now. With the head start on this project, it shouldn’t take too long to complete. The pattern is for seaming separate pieces but I’m knitting the right front, back and left front in one piece. It has a dropped shoulder which will make it very easy to pick up the stitches and knit the sleeves backwards. No sewing required! Otherwise, it will never get finished. (Note, I still have my Brisa top waiting to be sewn up.) And it took me all week to work out that I’d got it wrong straight from cast-on because, instead of the cable going up right next to the button bands, it will be right next to the sleeve. Sigh. I think it will be OK – I’ll just call it a design modification. I’m too far in to rip it out now and I think it won’t look like a mistake. The left photo is about how I found it and in the right one you can see it’s nearly up to the divide for the sleeves, and actually shows the right colour.
I’d recently stumbled over a pattern for a skirt knitted out of Noro Kureyan (aran 10 ply) – the Lanesplitter skirt, a free pattern. I thought I had some of this yarn in stash for some time but it turns out it’s a Kureopatuoa (worsted 10 ply) which is similar. I haven’t really found much that it would suit it. I knitted a beanie for my son-in-law last year from the black/grey version and had started and frogged some mittens from the green/blue one. The pattern calls for 6mm needles and I started with that (top right) but I wasn’t happy with the fabric and then went to 5mm (bottom right). It’s working up really well and very quickly. I love that the colours are changing but I’m looking forward to getting into the red section for a bit of contrast. I’ll keep increasing until I get to the length I’m after then I’ll be knitting diagonally till I get to the width. I’ve been after a knitted skirt for some time and this one ticks all my boxes.
I finished off the hem of my Stevie dress and wore it yesterday. The hem only required turning up 1/4 inch twice and stitching down. I did two rows of stitching. I received some lovely comments from Kim’s girlfriends so I’ll take that as a success! I think the next one will be the size down as it is a bit voluminous, though still very wearable. Please excuse the awkward selfies!
Today, I cut out the Blackwood cardigan by Helen’s Closet so that I can participate in March’s #sewmystyle2019. I’m using some deep teal bonded stretch crepe which is a polyester/spandex mix. It’s a sturdy fabric so should be a more sturdy cardigan – maybe more jacket like. Let’s see if I get an opportunity to start sewing today. At least next weekend is still March!
Stage 2 of my self patterned/self striping sock yarn is complete. It really doesn’t look like much at the moment but the black and yellow should form an interesting pattern on 2.5mm needles. Today, I’ll probably do the next stripe which will be a plain colour. I’ll work out what other patterns I’m going to go for. I think the plain colour will be a turquoise, then possibly a pink/purple section and a red/orange section.
This fits in the dyeing section but could also be under “future plans” or “vicarious knitting”. There’s a new pattern that I found, through Dunderknit’s Knitting Vicariously Ravelry group, called Twist of Fade by Andrea Yetman. I really like it and started thinking about what I could use. The pattern calls for DK weight and I remembered I’d dyed a coordinated set of three last year. As the pattern has a very different colour at the bottom, I racked my brain about how to use this yarn and add something for the bottom. The yarn I have would almost make the jumper but I still wanted a proper contrast for the bottom. It’s a 50% alpaca/50% wool mix and I don’t have any more of it in my naked stash. But, I did find a fingering weight that I could hold together to make a DK weight. The fingering is a 50% merino/25% superfine alpaca/25% nylon and has the same feel, texture and twist so I think it will be perfect. The colour is a bit pinker than it’s showing below, and the variegated one has more pink on the other side of the skein so they should all tie in really well.
So segueing into this section, I made a list of all the projects that I have yarn for and decided to bag them up ready to go. In this photo, you can see some of them (from the top) Carbeth, Koivua, Sunday sweater and Twist of Fade. I watched the Wool, Needles, Hand podcast the other day and Tayler is making the Koivua and made me want to grab my yarn and immediately cast on. She had used a smaller needle for the collar to get a more funnelled look and I think that’s a great idea.
I can’t remember if I mentioned that I was reading Force of Nature by Jane Harper, but it was a really good book – I finished it last weekend. That was one that my local book club is reading and I’ll be able to attend the next meeting as it will be a Monday night. It’s been a long time since I’ve attended one. I started a new book on my way to Canberra on Tuesday morning. The book is Inheritance by Danni Schapiro, recommended by Gretchen Ruben as part of her Happiness podcast book club. It seemed to get lots of high praise and I can now see why. I listened to this book nearly the whole way to and from Canberra; an unusual thing for me with a new book. I finished it yesterday and have no idea yet what I want to read next but I’ll have to make a decision for tomorrow’s trip to Canberra. I’m going to Canberra for Monday and Tuesday only this week because I have an appointment in Wollongong on Wednesday. That means only one night in a strange bed this week!
Something else that has been keeping my attention is the Ologies podcast. They cover so many scientific “-oligies” and recently I’ve listened to Snow Hydrology (snow avalanches), Testudinology (tortoises), Cheloniology (sea turtles) and now Biogerontology (ageing). That last one is really interesting – just a tip, you can slow down your ageing by getting out of polluted cities! They come out once a week and go for 1-1.5 hours with so much interesting information – I have 6 episodes to catch up on, plus lots of previous ones that I’ll get to one day. I’ve also been vicariously attending the Edinburgh Yarn Festival through Instagram and YouTube vlogs – it’s just a little too far for me to attend. Maybe one day – if I’m lucky, along with others such as Rheinbeck.
Well, it seems I’ve babbled for long enough and need to get onto some craftiness! Until next week, I hope you have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!