Monday, 25 August 2008

Finished Photos!

So there was a brief window where the sun came out this afternoon, and we grabbed a few photos of my flutter scarf.

Vital details:

Pattern - Flutter Scarf from Mimknits

Yarn - Posh Yarn Eva 4ply, about 160g. This yarn is divine - it is soft and at this gauge drapes fantastically. It also smells of really lovely woodsmoke! My mum chose the colours when we were at Wonderwool Wales earlier this year.

Needles - 3.25mm Knitpicks circulars

Modifications - I did some extra repeats of the main pattern, a total of 130 instead of the 100 directed in the pattern. I had enough yarn so thought I might as well.

This photo is the most accurate of the colours. A glorious blend of reds, apricot, greens, sunshine yellow, brick, purple.

I love this combination of yarn and pattern. The wide blocks of stockinette (9 stitches) show the variation of the colours beautifully. The simple lace panels and the elegant flutters at the bottom of the scarf lift it from a plain knit to something that is graceful and elegant and interesting. It is the perfect sort of pattern for this sort of yarn, as I think all that fantastic colour blending would be lost in a more complicated lace affair.

And it's a nice quick (took me 2 weeks of not that dedicated knitting) to finish and I think my mum is going to love it! For once I am finished a whole 3 weeks ahead of time rather than frantically trying to dry the thing in time to send it off.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Mmmmm - blueberries

Well - it's the end of the olympics, and I have managed to finish both my intended projects. My Flutter scarf is now blocking, and I still need to darn in the ends, but is dark and all the photos were dismal failures.

Today I was distracted from knitting. In fact, at the moment I am in a sort of between projects quandry. Inspired by the success of my Tangled Yoke (which I wore the whole time I was on holiday and it was much admired - I love it) I want to make more cardigans. The two I am having a dilemma about are either Coraline by Ysolda, or the very famous February Lady Sweater. Both in a style I wouldn't normally choose, neither of which I have the right yarn for. I have enough yarn for a couple of things but I need to design them first. Sigh. Not feeling that mathematical at the moment.

But anyway, the distraction for today was:

We went to our favourite blueberry picking spot, and managed to collect 1.65 kg, before the midges got the better of us and we were driven away. There were LOADS of blueberries, they were big and juicy for scottish hill ones as well. All the rain we have been having recently must have had a good effect on them. It astounds me that no-one else seems to have picked them. We didn't wander more than about 5m from the path up a fairly popluar hill, and we didn't get more than 15 minutes walk from the car part. One woman even stopped to ask us what we were picking (urr, hello, have you not been to the fruit and veg section of your supermarket recently??) and was astounded to hear our plans.

A bit of boiling later, with the help of lots of added sugar, and we had jam!

I can now hear the sound of all the lids popping as the vacuum forms, and it is very satisfying. We need to find a source of more jam jars, because our reccy of the best blackberry spot shows that there are going to be lots and lots in a week or two, and I haven't had bramble jelly for years!

Sunday, 10 August 2008


Yey - a sense of jubilation! I have finished my Tangled Yoke, and it is fantastic. It even fits. This is by far and away the most wearable cardigan I have ever knitted, and I love it to bits.

Facts and figures:

Pattern - Tangled Yoke Cardigan by Eunny Jang, in Autumn 2007 Interweave knits magazine. I love it. I knit it almost without modification, though my gauge was a little off. But I was making a size intended to have 3" ease round the bust (46" size), but calculations showed that with my gauge I would have 0 - 1 inch and so I didnt change the pattern. The only change I made was to the neck and button band. I cast off at the top of the cardigan and did the both button bands and the neck band in , with mitred corners, casting off at the end. Mostly I couldn't figure out how to make the join between the neck and button bands look neat as written in the pattern.

Yarn - Knitwitches Alpaca merino blend that I bought at Wonderwool. This yarn was fantastic value at £5 a 100g skein. It is black alpaca blended with a dark brown merino, light stretchy and with a lovely haze. The fabric has come out lovely and stretchy too, and the cables show up nicely. It blooms fantastically on blocking. I think the advertised yardage was a little off, as I have used 360g of yarn, and have enough left over to make the whole thing again.

Needles - 3.25mm knitpicks circulars, 2.75mm for the button bands.

Me with a silly expression - just concerntrate on the cables please!

And side on! The reason for it not quite fitting round the waist is becoming increasingly evident - once this ravelympics is over it is going to be time to break out the baby knitting. I is due at the start of january.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008


It seems like ages and ages and ages until the olympics start! I am still knitting my tangled yoke, and am drooling at the thought of casting on in some lovely bright coloured yarn and knitting some lace.

There are going to be those mesemerising moments when the yarn colour changes and you get to see how it lines up with the previous row, the flutter scarf is going to have a nice simple easy to follow lace pattern. I have really high hopes for it looking very good indeed in a variagated yarn - not something I normally chose for lace. But this pattern has fairly large blocks of stocking stitch broken up by lace, so there is some nice lacy openness, but enough solid inbetween to make the most of the divine posh yarn eva.

I am so exited about the thought of starting, but as it is a ravelympics challenge am waiting (not very patiently) until the start of the olympic games, to join in what hopes to be the largest mass cast on ever! I have wound two skiens of yarn, which will be more than enough, and they are just sitting there taunting me.

On the subject of the tangled yoke, I have finished my 4" of plain stocking stitch, and am tackling the cabled yoke. I had an absoloute nightmare getting the set up row right. Aparantly, though I have a degree in engineering, 10 years experience of designing foundations and doing sums, 2 A-levels in Maths and grade 8 cello, I am incapable of counting to 10 reliably 24 times. What a dunce.

After 3 attempts at getting the startup row right, with frogging and much counting of stitches inbetween (given my lack of ability in the counting to 10 department, it wasn't entirely surprising that my counting to 276 didn't fare any better), I gave in. I tore up lots of bits of scrap yarn, and put in a marker for every pattern repeat along the row. I then counted, got my husband to check my counting, put the jumper down in disgust, adjusted the markers one last time and then went to bed. The next morning I managed to achieve in 20 minutes, what had taken all of my Saturday afternoon.

I thoroughly recommend the use of stitch markers made of yarn, for where you have to do odd things every 10 stitches with nothing to follow. I didn't realise quite how much of my memorising of a lace pattern involves identifying the correct stitch on the row below and matching the pattern.

Once the cabling was established it was easy to follow the right side rows, but much harder to follow the increases which are done on the wrong side rows. I left the stitch markers in and they were invaluable. I have one more very busy row to go and then it is definatly downhill towards the finishing line! There is only a little bit more yoke to go and then button bands and buttons.

Thouh the ravelympics is restricting my casting on, it has meant that there is going to be no dithering at all over what knitting to take with me on holiday - I have 2 projects that I am on a mission to finish. I hope to have lots of fun lovely finished things to show you all when I get back.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Long time... much fun

Well, there is lots and lots to say.
I have been knitting again, and I am so glad to actually feel that I want to pick up the needles. Round and round and round in stocking stitch (until I got dizzy). This means that I have finished the sleeves on my tangled yoke, and they have been joined to the body. I was nearly giddy with exitement at this point, because I was having dreams of interlocking cables and exitement and somethat that wasn't stocking stitch. Then I read the instructions and it said 'work in stockinette until yoke measures 4"'. 4"!!!! That is a lot of stocking stitch, when you consider that I have 360 stitches on the needles and something like 36 rows to knit. And I do have very broad shoulders, so I was thinking of adding an extra half an inch into this bit to compensate. I am now resigned to going back and forth for a good while yet, but I might swatch the cable beforehand to give me some exitement. I did take some photos, but none of them had any merit and it still looks like a bundle of dark stocking stitch.

I have been looking to the future though - my next thing is going to be the Flutter Scarf (it seems only appropriate). My mum chose some lovely posh yarn eva at woolfest, and I am going to make it for her birthday.

Seeing as her birthday is in September, I need to get my arse in gear. To help with the motivation for this one, I have entered the ravelympics lace weight long jump (sorry for those who aren't on ravelry, but do sign up you know you want to). To give some urgency to the quest for finishing tangled yoke, I have entered that in the Wip wrestling as well. I hereby state that the aim is to finish both of these by the end of the olympics. Gulp.

So here's some eye candy for you:

This isn't my photo - but was taken this weekend by a friend while we were camping on the beach at Morar. It was great, a fire, marshmallows, fantastic sunset, sandy deserted beach, swimming in the sea, so just about the perfect weekend.

I also had a week off on my own - attending Tai Chi Caledonia. It was a great week, not so many parties for me as last year, but meeting up with old friends and making lots of new ones. Learning lots that was really interesting, and having plenty of time to reflect on things. A perfect pick me up week!