Thursday, 27 September 2007


I have just finished (having taken queen of froggers advice and knitted faster and faster) with 11 yards to spare. What a relief.

Now I just have to graft something that has slip 2 k3together and yarnovers in it.

See you in about 15 hours when I have done it wrong about 56000000 times. I hate grafting.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Am I going to make it?

I have been frantically knitting all night - and I am now very very worried....

(I still love the border and think that the picot pointy edge is fantastic)

Though it doesn't totally come across in the picture, I have two corners and one end of edging still to apply, and there really isn't that much wool left. The former fat and squishy centre pull ball has only a few turns left. I have weighed on my kitchen scales, but that was inconclusive because they only weigh to 1g accuracy and that isn't accurate enough to be able to do any calculations. I tried. I can only hope........

See the photo from before the weekend - nearly 1/3 of the way up the side of the scarf and there is a comforting thickness to the ball. This edging is really really eating up the yards! I didn't expect to be anywhere near in this position considering that I had only used a smidge over half when I started the border.

Keep your fingers (and toes) crossed for me - I have to go to bed now, be up early in the morning to go on a site visit (and the forecast is good) and then I have tai chi in the evening (regular class followed by an extra hour with my teacher) so it is going to be ages until I can solve the will she/won't she mystery.

My (ever optimistic) view is that there is going to be JUST enough wool, and there is always my swatch!

Thursday, 20 September 2007


I am really really really tired. I had a day off work today to put a concrete floor in our cellar.....

I know it is a really fuzzy dark photo, but I am too tired to do anything about it (like get up and walk to the cellar to take another one). Anyway, a very very nice man came with his concrete lorry with it's very long chute and dropped about 4m^3 through the window. So even though we didn't have to carry the concrete anywhere, there was an awful lot of shovelling involved. But it is a very good floor, flatter than I could have hoped (flatter than any other floor in our wonky old house) and means that we can put the wall back together (only half this room is ours, the other half belong to next door) and finally be my utility room.

This afternoon I was bushed, but managed 3 hours vegged out on the sofa, comforted by my lizard ridge blanket, adding edge to the harebell lace shawl. Nothing very interesting to say about it (the pattern is very pretty, I have made lots and lots of picots, even slip2 k3tog psso doesn't go too badly on the wonder addi turbo lace, and there are lots and lots of repeats to go).

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Weekend Distraction

Mostly this weekend I have been distracted from everything that I should be doing. I finally finished stripping, sanding and finishing a cupboard that I rescued, when clearly judging by the state of the washing pile I should have been sorting the washing and doing the ironing.

Then my brother in law phoned to announce that we have another niece as of yesterday. We have been designated as god parents, so on finding out that it was a girl of course needed to knit somethings. I am really looking forward to having a god daughter - so far everyone I know has managed to produce boys, so it was a welcome change to be able to knit in pink! I am really exited about being able so spoil/be a bad influence/knit for a girl.

Introducing the very pink stripy hat.........

Finished object statistics....

needles - 3mm addi turbos, 80cm long
Yarn - King Cole anti tickle merino in shades 1, 146, 67 and 29 (white, salmon, fuschia and a slightly pinky red).
Pattern - made up as I went along, inspired by one that I saw someone else knit, but I have no idea who it was.
Cast on this morning and took about 6 hours to complete - with a break to bake coffee and walnut cake in the middle.
Gauge - 7 stitches per inch
Finished circumference (unstretched) - 12.5 inches, which is sort of large newborn size.

The pattern was really simple. Cast on 90 stitches, and join in the round. Because this was always going to be a fairly simple little project I thought I would try out some new skills and so knit it all using the magic loop technique.

Knit 1.5 inches in red. The colour sequence goes salmon, white, fuscia and then back to red.

The stitch pattern is 1 row purl and then 5 rows knit. This makes very pleasing little bumpy coloured lines where the colours change. I also slipped the first stitch after the purl row to make a sort of jogless join.

Work until the desired length (in my case the red starter row and the four stripes) - 90 stitches.

The decreases are all worked on the last row of the stripe. Change colour (to salmon for me) purl one row, knit 4 rows and then work one round of knit 4, k2tog (75 stitches).

Change colour (white), purl 1 row, knit 4 rows and then work one round of knit 3, k2tog (60 stitches)

Change colour (fuschia), purl 1 row, knit 4 rows, and work one round of knit 2, k2tog (45 stitches)

Change colour (red), purl one row, knit 4 rows and then work one round of knit 1, K2tog (30 stitches).

Change colour (salmon), purl one row, knit 4 rows, and then work another round of knit 1, k2tog (20 stitches)

Change colour (white), purl one row, knit 4 rows, and then again work a round of k2tog, k1 (this will end with a k2tog) (13 stitches)

Change colour (fuschia), purl one row, knit 4 rows. Work a round of K2tog, k1 again ending with a k2tog (8 stitches). Knit 4 rounds. K2tog four times (4 stitches). Work about 2 inches of 4 stitch i-cord, break thread and pass through the 4 stitches pulling tight to secure.

The russian splice does have one fantastic advantage, which was that the only finishing required was to darn in the end from the casting on. I generally thought it was a bit of a pain in the ass, but once I had got into the rhythm it wasn't too bad. It is worth a bit of practice of working out where the join is going to fall and getting the colour change in the right place. Bear in mind that it did tend to move a bit on the next round for me. By the top of the hat it was all looking pretty good though.

I did like the magic loop as well, not so sure I don't prefer 2 circulars, but this did have the advantage of only needing on needle and not having so much dangle. Definitely more portable.

The hat is great fun though, and I think it is going to be repeated in a slightly larger size for my brother's girlfriend this christmas. The decreases worked exactly how I intended in that they give a point at the top of the hat but aren't silly santa hat shape. I might even quite fancy one myself (in green though.....)

Much progress has been made on the harebell scarf as well...... another few repeats of the main pattern brought me to the point where I had to start experimenting with the edging.

I had a look at a few books for some ideas, but in the end I decided to use the outside portion of the origional chart. Miles and miles of picots ahead! I am applying it using the same join as on the myrtle leaf shawl - which is joined on the front of the scarf rather than the normal method on the back. I quite like the effect though. What do you think?

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Lots of shopping......

If I had a camera this post would be full of photos.......

I bought a lovely pair of shoes in the sales this summer. It was total love at first sight and even though they were green I just had to have them. Green and olive with flowers on them.

But then I realised that I dont have very many green clothes at all, so the natural reaction was to go yarn shopping and think about starting me a jumper. I found some lovely green malabrigo worsted weight in lettuce, with a skein of oliva for some contrast. No definate plan, but I'll get there!

And then today at lunch time I accidentally discovered a fantastic felt handbag from one of my favourite shops.... (no picture on the web of the bag, but it is totally fantastic) and I am thanking the god of credit cards that the red boots werent available in. my size (they had a pair of the knee high ones in non patent red leather - divine).

On the knitting front plenty of hours put in, and another 10 repeats on the harebell lace scarf to show for it. I am half way along the skein, and I think another 5 repeats should be enough before I have to decide what border to do. I am back to thinking that the outside section of the origional harebell lace pattern could be knitted on in all it picot glory, having been round the houses a bit on other edging possibilities. I will have another think in 5 repeats time!

Friday, 7 September 2007

Secret Hat for my little sister

I have finally finished something - a hat for my little sister for her birthday. In fact this is a minor miracle, because there are still 3 weeks to go until her birthday, so this time there is a vague chance that she will get it in time!

Finished object statistics......
Wool - some random 4-ply shetland wool bought very cheaply from ebay, in Bright Pink and Bright red. Also the end of a skein of sock yarn that I dyed myself ages ago.
Needles - addi turbo circulars, 3mm in various lengths.
Pattern - made up as I went along (more about that later)
Cast on - earlier this summer
Cast off - yesterday!
Tension - 8 stitches and 8 rows per inch

The pattern was remarkably simple and went like this:

Cast on 160 stitches using a provisional cast on in pink wool and join in the round. Purl one round, and then knit one round. Then make up some patterns using a piece of graph paper (making sure you can fit the repeats into 160 stitches). I went for naughts and croses, and then some lettering (can you guess what my sister is called) to add a personal touch, and then another repeat of the naughts and crosses.

The top section of the hat is knit from a very simple pattern with a 4 row repeat, diagonal crossing lines in pink. This is nice and easy to remember! When the desired length is reached (I did just a smidgen less than 5") place 8 markers evenly round the circumference of the hat (every 20 stitches).

Decrease round - knit to 2 stitches before the marker maintaining the pattern, k2tog in red. Repeat 8 times.

Knit one round in pattern (making the stitch before each marker red). When there are too few stitches for the 40cm needle move to knitting either on 2 circulars, or dpn's or a magic loop.

Repeat these two round 9 more times.

Work 10 decrease rounds. Break yarn, pass through the 8 remaining stitches and pull tight.

Place the stitches from the provisional cast on on the 40cm needle (picking up one extra stitch at the join) - you should have 160 stitches, and join the sock yarn. Mine was 100% cashmere and very soft, but choose something that will prevent any itchy forehead (cotton or silk would have preferred but I didnt have any in the stash) and preferably unsuitably bright!

For the first round, knit 8 k2tog. Repeat 15 more times. (144 stitches)

Knit in the round for some depth - I chose to end when I reached a stripe of plain knitting in the hat, just above the lettering. Whip stitch the live stitches to the purl bumps on the inside of the hat, remembering to miss out 1 purl bump in every 10 to make up for the decreased stitches.

Block and wear (or give to someone as a present)!

Monday, 3 September 2007

A week minus husband

So I survived my end of week working in Belfast (only just mind, it was a close run thing - I got hideously lost driving round some one way nightmare looking for my hotel, but I got there in the end) and made it back home. In a drive to only take hand luggage I left my knitting behind so it feels like weeks since I have even touched the needles.

But the good news on that front is that I have a whole 2 weeks mostly to myself and so there should be plenty of scope for sitting down and getting stuff progressed.

I am going to start with finishing my sister6's birthday hat, and then fingers crossed make plenty of progress on the harebell lace scarf. Having had an enforced break I am now raring to go!

But no pictures for a while because of course himself has naffed off with 'our' camera. Hrumph.