Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Not long to go now

This week, instead of knitting, I have been packing and shopping. I am now really exited because on friday we are going here:

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Yes, this is called extreme civilisation avoidance. Those islands are Pabbay and Mingulay, and are at the southern end of the outer hebrides. There are no people there, no phone reception, no internet, no email, just us (we are going with 7 other friends).

To get there we have found a nice man with a boat from Barra, who is going to drop us off and move us between the islands midweek, but that is the only contact we are going to have with the outside world. We are taking climbing kit, kayaks, tents, knitting (well that might only be me), cameras, fishing rods and swimming stuff.

I hope the lovely weather we have had for the last 5 weeks holds!

Now, any hints on what the per person per day chocolate ration should be? How many meals of pasta and pesto can we eat before we get so bored we'd rather go hungry? How many projects do I need to take (we have to carry everything on and off ferries and boats so weight really is an issue)?

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Now for some knitting

Well - I have been debating starting the sleeves of my holiday cardigan, but somehow not got round to it. I finally sorted out the collar at the back, and am quite pleased with it! So here is the current status quo......

And for my easy relaxing knitting, I have done quite a few miles of tangled yoke. I am nearly finished with increasing to the bust, and then there is a little bit of knitting straight before I start the sleeves.

I love the texture of this yarn, mmmmmm, soft and strokeable and longer than I expected. I only just started the second skein out of 8, so I think I'll have quite a bit left over.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Brain Frazzle

Things that are making my brain frazzled at the moment include work, work, too much sun and too much work! It’s such a shame that I have to have a job – I’d get so much done otherwise.

All of this has left me feeling just a little bit vacant in my spare time. So I came up with the perfect knitting solution – mindless! I have cast on for Tangled Yoke cardigan, by Eunny Jang from an old edition of Inverweave Knits. I have pretty much matched the gauge with my Knitwitches Alpaca/merino mix (this is a lovely dk yarn – 60% black alpaca and 40% dark brown merino) and 3.25mm needles. The row gauge is a couple of rows off, but this can easily be compensated for below the sleeves and by leaving a row out here and there in the yoke. The only modifications I intend to make is the addition of some short row shaping for the bust, (that isn’t going to need any calculation) and the omission of the bobbles on the ends of the cables.

I have lusted after this pattern for a while, admired the cabled yoke, and thought that there is no way I could stand all that rib. Normally I like my knitting to be intellectually stimulating – which usually ends up with me designing something clever with cables or colour work or knitting lacy shawls. This contrasts with all my preferences for clothes, which heavily feature plain stockinette in fine yarns. Nine times out of ten the knitting challenge side of me wins, but at the moment 5 odd inches of garter rib followed by lots of stockinette truly is all that I can manage to think about. The knitting is monotonous but also extremely rhythmic and relaxing as well as surprisingly fast. I have high hopes of wearing this cardigan quite a lot when it is finished.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Swallowtail is finished

Ok - I finished this a wee while ago, and have been wearing it to much acclaim - but behold my finished Swallowtail Shawl.


Pattern - Swallowtail Shawl from Interweave Knits.
Yarn - 116g of Poshyarn Lucia in Hibiscus (I had 6g remaining)
Needles - 4mm knitpicks options
Finished size - 29" by 59" blocked
Modifications - I did an extra 3 repeats of the budding lace (because I could) and the adjusted the numbers for the lily of the valley lace and the border. I just left out some k2togs to increase the number of stitches accordingly.

As you can see - I have replaced the nupps in the pattern with beads - size 6 yellow and pink silver lined beads. The beads were placed using the inside of a bag tie as wire (all I could find in the house) but it worked! It took a while though, but others in the knitalong were cursing the nupps so it's horses for courses.

I like the pointy edge - I added some beads here as well just to make it matchy matchy. Now it has been worn a couple of times it is a little more subtle but I still like it.

Blocking has transformed this scarf - the lucia has a wonderful natural drape and softness that is just sublime. The beads are a cold contrast, but feel fantastic. The size is just perfect for wearing as a scarf at work when the door is open and it is a bit chilly. Mmmmmm - swallowtail love!