What the knitter did next

Knitting and crochet completed projects

Looking back, I see that the last time I updated my knitting project progress was in March. There’s quite a lot to catch up on.

Legwarmers – April 4th, a commission from my sister to send to a mutual friend’s new baby. The late-night photo has not been kind to this yarn. It wasn’t nearly this orange in real life.

Scrappies – April 22nd

Blanket for Barbies – May 4th (already mentioned in an earlier post)

Bobble hat from handspun – June 3rd. This uses up a braid of Hilltop Cloud fibre, plus my first attempt at navajo plying with some scraps of merino broken tops from John Arbon.

I’ve also been doing a bit more handspun, even keeping up with Tour de Fleece for a couple of weeks until watching Tour de France and knitting socks for Tour de Sock kicked in.

I spun some Masham fibre that I bought at the very first Yarndale. It was 200g of four different natural colours. I worsted-spun a 2-ply at (I think) about a heavy DK weight, maybe worsted weight of each colour and I have plans for this to become a cushion to match, or at least complement, the rug on the living room floor.

Sherilyn shawl – June 17

Tour de Sock rounds 1 to 4 – July and August

With Tour de Sock moving 6 weeks later, it fell at a better time to fit in with work. This meant that I completed 4 stages within the set time: my best result ever. I’m still working on stage 5, which I never really found any flow with. It’s beads and cables, so needs proper concentration. Let’s not talk about stage 6, OK?

Quite pleasingly, this brings my total of completed knitted/crocheted projects for the year to 12 (not counting handspun projects) , thus meeting my target for the whole of the year with over three months in hand.

Current WIPs

Tour de Sock stage 5, as I’ve already mentioned above.

The brioche swatch has not grown any further and won’t do unless I remember what needles I borrowed from it. It just needs finishing up really and then I can cast on a proper brioche project.

I’ve been swatching for a Woolly Wormhead hat from her new collection, Elemental. I’m even using the correct yarns as there was a handy 25% off sale. After doing two swatches, neither of which reached the correct gauge, I think I’m there with the third set of needles so the cast-on will happen when I can remember to gather up some cotton yarn (non-felting) to use for the provisional cast-on. (NB since beginning to draft this post, I am now 75% of the way through this hat and loving the German short-rows).

A pair of Cat Bordhi socks using some Socks that Rock mediumweight. These were my carry-along sock project for a few weeks earlier in the summer before TDS took all my available knitting time. I’m just at the heel of the first sock, so waiting for the urge to knit these to strike again.

The yarn I recovered from the frogged Color Affection has been used to begin an intarsia shawl from Knitty. The colours are looking great, but I’m not convinced how far I’ll get with it.

The other knitting WIPs are, of course, the plankton crochet scarf and the 2011 knit a block a month blanket. The intended recipient of the blanket will shortly be 6 years old. She is not particularly impressed by being told that a pile of knitted cotton squares in a box are for her. I do need to knit an awful lot more in order to make the blanket big enough.

While deep in the middle of TDS, we took the kids on holiday away from screens for a week. My Mum very kindly sent some sewing supplies for them and they both got into sewing. The 9yo managed a pretty good counted cross-stitch piece, as well as some free-style minecraft weapons done mostly in running stitch on Binca canvas. The 5yo also managed some of both. I got very fed-up of constantly re-threading needles and untangling knots, but it was great to see them engrossed in something completely non-screen-based.

All that stitching re-awoke my teenage habit of cross-stitching and I spent some time looking for the big cross-stitch project I got to take away with me to university. After consulting family members, I discovered that someone remembered seeing it at our last house, so that meant it was definitely somewhere here. They thought it had been with “all my knitting stuff”, but it definitely wasn’t now. After much searching, I found it in a box of musical instruments in my office cupboard (along with my ocarinas, which had also been mysteriously missing for a while). The project is a picture of the wizards from the Discworld Unseen University and is probably less than 20% completed. It turned out that I did make friends at university, so the anticipated long evenings of sewing alone in my room never materialised. I’ve spent a few evenings on it since finding it, so I hope to complete it someday. The other cross-stitch kit I have on the go was a present from DH about 2 weeks before I discovered knitting. That one is fiendish, with loads of half and quarter stitches, while the Discworld one is really relaxing as it’s all whole stitches. It is much more likely that the Discworld one will be finished one day.

Spinning

My aim for 2017 of keeping better records of spinning projects has not been met. See above for completed project.

I’m now nearly all the way through a beautiful braid of fibre from Hilltop Cloud. I’m spinning it fractally, so it should be a lovely marled/barber-pole skein when it is done.

2017 First Quarter Knitting

Here’s a reminder of my 2017 knitting/fibre goals.

  • Complete 12 or more knitting/crochet projects
  • Complete 2 or more spinning projects
  • Keep accurate spinning records
  • Knit something from handspun
  • Brioche stitch
  • Watch more Craftsy classes

The year started very well, with finished projects flying off the needles throughout January.

The silk mittens were completed and put into immediate use underneath the fingerless mitts I made last year. For cycling in winter, two layers of gloves are perfect. The silk mittens are quite rustic, as the gauge varies significantly depending on how thin I drafted the silk. If I were to make them again, I’d make the hand section smaller, as they feel a little loose. Having used the Knitters Handy Book of Patterns to make them, I was quite chuffed to get a comment from Ann Budd herself on my project page.

Next, I finally finished my god-daughter’s Christmas present, only a week or two late. It’s a cardigan/jacket knit in one piece, mostly plain stockinette, but with a sideways cabled border round the edge.  This gave me some good practice at grafting in pattern. I’ve since received several pictures of her wearing it, so it has obviously proved popular. The yarn is a cotton-wool mix that should be fairly hard-wearing.

This next project was a first attempt at illusion knitting. The pattern appeared as one of the puzzle weeks that we take part in. Sadly, I was completely stumped by the puzzle, which you can find here, until the solution was revealed, but I decided to knit the mystery pattern anyway. I used some cheap acrylic black and white yarns that haven’t even made it onto Ravelry yet, despite being bought several years ago.

Oh the irony, when I discovered that I had knit the woolmark in a yarn that is against everything that trademark stands for.

As far as spinning goes, I’ve done a bit: turning a gorgeous braid of Merino, Shetland, Alpaca and Silk into some singles. Plying is next on the agenda. The yarn looks as if it is dark red, but it has lovely flecks of green in. I think it will end up looking heathered. I have spent today keeping my Ravelry stash up to date, but can’t really add much to the spinning records until the plying is done, when I can have a go at calculating wpi, grist etc. Perhaps one day this will be a hat.

My intention of learning brioche stitch is making progress, having cast on  a swatch and nailed the basics. It really is a lot easier than I was expecting (and much easier using two colours than it would be using one). I started to look at increases and decreases, then got bored because the swatch really will never be anything other than a swatch as I’m using up scraps of yarn. One of my online friends suggests making an object instead. She may be right. Anyway, it’s a step in the right direction.

I have looked at a few Craftsy classes. The other day I watched several hours on a day I was very tired indeed. It was Stephen West on Shawlscapes. Deliciously eccentric and I learned some interesting ideas for how to change the shape of shawls.

There may have been yarn buying going on.  Most for specific projects. T came to choose some yarn for a scarf and picked Stylecraft DK. Very cheap tastes! The Woosheeps gradient pack was, however, pure indulgence in a colourway called Gothling. I wonder what it will be.

As far as keeping up with my 2017 goals, I think I’ve made good progress with all of them. It would be nice to finish March with another finished item, but then I’ve cast on another new one today rather than pressing on.

WIP update

Sock knitting progress has been mixed. I signed up for Sock Madness, but was defeated by the round 1 pattern, which consisted of half of every row being twisted stitches. It was an interesting fabric, but it met an end shortly after I realised I had misinterpreted the pattern and done all the gussets wrong. In the mean time, I’ve been gradually continuing with the Scrappies,  using up rainbow coloured scraps from my scrap box.  Using some of the Knitting Goddess yarn I got from the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show, I have started a shawl in some simple lace.

During February, I took part in an Instagram game, following yarn-related prompts each day. This got me to evaluate some of my WIPS and so I can admit that the Color Affection that I started with some gorgeous cashmere laceweight has gone to the frog pond. The colours did not have enough contrast for Color Affection so I need to find another use for them.

I’ll leave you with this morning’s work: destined to be legwarmers for a small person. Incredible how fast DK yarn knits up when you are used to fingering weight.

Yarndale 2015

I went off to Yarndale for the Saturday, this time with a friend from my local knitting group. They’ve really got the hang of the logistics now. We didn’t have to queue much at all, except when it got really busy at lunchtime.

Once again, my little corner of the internet came to life. I saw and touched a lot of things I’ve been wondering at buying online. There were examples of various patterns I’ve been reading about (even a Fox Paws attached to a stand). All in all it was a delight.

The one down side to the day was that there weren’t any classes or workshops that I wanted to take. They were all either beginner level or just not making anything I wanted to learn. I spent a little more time than previously just sitting and knitting in the Knit n Natter zone, as a break from the midday chaos of the stands.

It was charming to meet a fellow sniper (and, it turns out, blog-reader) in real life, along with her Mum. Hi Alendra!

There seemed to be a greater proportion of stalls selling completed items this year, but still loads selling yarn and fibre. I bought a few things: only one batch of yarn, but quite a bit of fibre (hover over images for details).

There were a couple of other things that I’ve handed to DH for my Christmas present, so  I’ll try to forget them.

I was being quite strict with my budget, so didn’t buy the gorgeous gradient yarns that I found on the Woo Sheeps stand.  Maybe in the new year.

September

September the 1st is a fixture in my calendar: Sock Sniper begins. I’ve already written a little, but wasn’t able to disclose much in my last post. My heart sank when I discovered I had a Canadian target. This would be the year I discovered the truth of whether Canada Post lives up to its reputation.

It did.

My socks were completed on September 4th and posted on September 5th. The made landfall in Canada on September 9th, but didn’t reach their destination until the 24th. I believe it was Canadian customs, rather than Canada Post itself that was the real culprit, but it was infuriating to watch the tracking websites show no update for weeks on end.

Sniper Socks
Sniper Socks

My death came at the hands of yogaknot on September 24th as well.

Lethal Weapon 2015
Lethal Weapon 2015

In between posting and receiving death socks, I busied myself with a secret project that I must get round to posting to France. Then I decided that I really should do some serious work on one of my long-term WIPs.

The sock yarn blanket scarf has been on the needles for 5 years. It made steady progress until it became too big to carry around in a bag and work on during meetings. Every so often, usually for the olympics, I would set a target of knitting a handful of squares. Looking back at photos, I can see that it reached the designated halfway point before February this year, then I realised that there were ‘only’ about 70 squares left to knit and it sounded achievable.  By mid-September I decided that I wanted to wear it to Yarndale, so I knuckled down and knitted as much as possible. In the last few days leading up to Yarndale I had about 40 squares left to do, plus the applied i-cord border to knit and the ends to sew in from the last few sessions.

I called time on the project at midnight the evening before Yarndale. All the squares were knitted, all the ends were sewn in, but there were still about 14 edge squares without a border. So close. I took it to Yarndale anyway, where I showed it to Joy at The Knitting Goddess, since it is approximately 50% her yarn.  She liked it (and you may see some of these pictures on her blog in the next week or two). I’m keeping the rest of the Yarndale stuff for another post.

After a few days, I finished the final bit of the edging and took it outside for some beauty shots.

This, then, is a history of my sock-knitting up until now. It contains at least one square from every sock (or glove) I have ever knitted. It began only 3 years into my knitting career, when I was concerned that my sock-yarn scraps were getting out of hand. With hindsight, I can see they weren’t out of hand at all. At that time I had knitted only 7 pairs of socks and 2 pairs of gloves. Now, it is well over 50 pairs, so there’s a little more variation as it gets up the blanket.

The question remains: will I actually wear it? It’s a little cumbersome for regular wear, but it is lovely wrapped around the shoulders in the evenings.

Now, of course, I need another sock yarn scrap project. I’m not going to do another of these exactly the same because it lost its usefulness as a travelling project when it got too big.  Perhaps I will make squares of about 25 little squares joined together, then seam them all into a bigger item.

WIP round-up

  • I have started the Snow under Cedar sock. Lovely braided cast-on, some colourwork with beading. The next thing to do is another braid, then onto the main colour chart.
  • No progress on the cotton square a month blanket
  • Still unsure what to do with the Greebo socks. Still probably looking at a restart
  • No progress on the Curl
  • No progress on Color Affection
  • New item: pink socks for the little girl. Last week (when I was in the throes of knitting the scarf) she demanded I make her some pink socks. I promised that when I had finished another project, I would. I’m using scraps from various socks for these. So tiny: only 44 stitches at the ankle, so they shouldn’t take long.

Knitting plans

A friend (and blog-reader – Hi Daisy) has a rather large bump, so I need to knit something for her. Are you bothered about it being a surprise, or would you like to see it growing? I have yarn and a plan.

I’ve bought Ysolda’s pattern collection, Knitworthy 2, and I’m very tempted by the gloves.

Perhaps it is time to bite the bullet and make some knee-high socks. I now have three pairs of skeins set aside for knee-highs. I’ve even bought a nice dress for work that might go with them.

What have I been reading?

  • The latest in the Lord Peter Wimsey books, originally by Dorothy L Sayers, but continued by Jill Paton Walsh. It’s called The Late Scholar. I rather enjoyed it, particularly the references to earlier books in the series.
  • Final Witness by Simon Tolkien. No guesses what made me pick this one up in the library! Simon is JRRT’s grandson. Very different writing style and subject matter, but a cracking read. I love stories where it is not obvious who is telling the truth and you have to try to figure it out along with the main characters.
  • On the road bike: the search for the nation’s cycling soul by Ned Boulting. I’m familiar with Ned from ITV’s Tour de France coverage. This was an entertaining parade of anecdotes and stories of cycling in the UK. The world of cycling seems much the same as many other niche interests in terms of the passion of those involved in organising it (and the resentment aimed at those who either don’t understand it or seem to have betrayed it).
  • Who Governs Britain? by Anthony King, Millennium Professor of British Government at the University of Essex. This is a pelican introduction, so short, well-structured and readable. I bought it before the election to see if it would help me to figure out what is going on.  Any large organisation or institution becomes unwieldy as it grows. This is taken to extreme in government. Each chapter deals with a group having more or less power and influence on government, exploring the limits of their power and drawing together all the strands of influence. I’m left wondering how the country functions at all.
  • Currently I’m reading Bill Bryson’s Mother Tongue: English And How It Got That Way.
  • For work, I’m also reading Memories, Hopes and Conversations by Mark Lau Branson, and St Teresa’s The Interior Castle

The state of the stash

Yarn Weight Total metres Total Grams
Cobweb 240 30
Lace 3102.1 303
Light Fingering 1797.3 425
Fingering 15992.4 4392
Sport 1161 510
DK 2526.2 1395
Worsted 482.8 240
Aran 1502 890
Bulky 919.1 620
Total 27722.9 8805

Thanks to Ravelry, I can look at how much I have quite easily. Last time I did a stash inventory in 2013, I had 8.67kg of yarn. Looks like I’ve been remarkably consistent and only added less than 150g of yarn since then. This is not quite true: I’ve just gone through and excluded all my scraps and leftover balls from my stash, thus bringing down the totals considerably. When it comes to yardage, I’ve added about 2 miles of yarn to the stash. (When I did this round-up in 2013, I converted all the distances to Miles, chains, yards and feet. Can’t be bothered to do that today, so an approximation will have to do).

Weak

Yesterday I started another read-through of the Yarn Harlot’s blog. This is a really bad idea for many reasons, mostly linked to my responsibilities as wife, mother and office-holder, plus the undesirability of prolonged sleep-deprivation, the twitchiness of my left eye and the lack of any real plan for work tomorrow.

Still, here’s a lovely box of wool that is gradually turning into a blanket. The colours are much more vibrant than this in real life.

image

I also have a deep urge to cast on something big and complicated in laceweight wool.
It is possible that the Yarn Harlot’s attitude to life and knitting is somewhat catching. I’m hoping the read-through won’t be a complete one. It was ok the first time because she had only been blogging for 4 years. Now it is 11 years.

In which I go to Yarndale 2014

Having enjoyed Yarndale so much in 2013, I booked to go again in the autumn. My friend Daisy rather conveniently came to visit the week of Yarndale, so we went together.  She’s blogged at rather greater length and with more pictures than me.

The evening before, I did a  thorough analysis of my stash, looking at strengths, weaknesses and gaps. I concluded that I definitely don’t need more 4ply/sock yarn, and probably not any more lace-weight, but any other weight would be reasonable to buy.

The thing is… I’m really good at buying sock yarn. I know what I like, what makes a good yarn and what is good value. I decided that the way to make it not a pointless purchase was to er… buy in greater quantity.

Here’s the sock-weight yarn I bought:

The one on the left is a crochet kit for this scarf. The middle yarn is 200g of Crazy Zauberball: I’m thinking a shawl for this. The right hand yarn is some of the new yarn base from the Knitting Goddess, who is very persuasive in a gentle way. The old KG sock yarn was 75% merino 25% nylon and I love it. The new one uses British wool: partly BFL, partly undeclared along with the nylon. It has the advantage of not crossing the Atlantic to Peru to be spun, but it is, naturally, not as soft as the merino. I’ll just have to knit it and see if I like it. These may well be quite plain, long socks.

Here is the other weight yarn I bought, according to the original plan:

yarnroving

100g of Knitting Goddess roving. I used some of this last year to make my sister’s hat and I rather covet one for me too.

I need a more detailed plan next time I go to buy yarn. I don’t have the experience to buy “a sweater’s worth of yarn”, as I have heard others talk about buying. I need to have a specific pattern in mind before committing to that amount of yarn.

In the afternoon, we did a short course on Latvian knitting, in which we learned some twined braiding, to be used on mitten cuffs. It wasn’t an amazing course for a variety of logistical reasons, but it was interesting and I made this:

Braid sampler
Braid sampler

In general, Yarndale has the advantage of being very focussed (unsurprisingly) on yarn, without the beading, sewing and papercraft that clogs up other local option of the Knitting and Stitching Show at Harrogate. The venue worked much better this year and I really enjoyed it.

And the winner is…

Seems a long time since Sock Sniper started, and indeed it is 2 months. Things got quite tense in the last weeks. I had no idea where my third pair of socks to finish were coming from and it was weeks before they arrived. By that point we were down to the final three: me and two Americans. The day the socks arrived, I heard on the forums that the socks knitted for me had been posted, so there wasn’t a moment to lose. The person who had started the socks had only knitted the first leg, so there was a fair bit left to do.

How fast can I knit a sock and a half? Well, I started at 11pm on Wednesday evening, knitted for an hour, then went to bed. On Thursday, I knitted all day (apart from feeding the children) and kitchenered the toe at 2.30am on Friday. They went in the post on Friday morning and I went home to rest my eyes and hands.

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This week I got back from a few days away, fully expecting to have been ‘killed’, but the socks didn’t arrive until Friday morning, the same day as the socks I knitted arrived in Louisiana, USA. I was killed 5 or 6 hours before the other person, but it was called as a tie by our commander in chief, since it was the same postal day. Cue much rejoicing. Now I am waiting eagerly for the prize to arrive. People keep asking me what I am going to do with 20 skeins of sock yarn. I’m guessing there will be a few people with warmer feet over the next few years. I wonder what else I can knit with sock yarn?

When you get a lovely prize like this I think it is nice to share. So, leave a comment saying what you have done to deserve a free skein of sock yarn and in a few weeks (when the yarns have arrived in the post), I’ll choose the comment that amused or touched me most and post you a skein of yarn.

Do you want to see the socks that killed me?

deathsocks

Aren’t they a glorious colour?

I must figure out sometime just how many pairs of socks I’ve knitted and sent round the world. It’s quite a few now.

Miles of yarn

In my last post at the end of Blog Week, I mentioned that one of my plans for the next year is to end up with less yarn in the stash. In order to do that, I need a baseline to work from. I spent an afternoon with my Ravelry stash, bringing it up to date, and I have some figures to play with.

Incidentally, did you know you can download a spreadsheet of your stash? Just press the excel logo on the top right of the stash page.

stashscreenshot

It is difficult to know whether it will be more appropriate to look at the stash in terms of length or weight, so I have both here. Obviously, using a thick yarn up will have a greater impact on the weight, rather than the yardage and using a thin yarn will have the opposite effect.

In total, in my stash, I have 8.67 kg of yarn, which comes out as 15 miles, 68 chains, 18 yards and 6 inches. (I do like the imperial system for measurements of length, although for small weights I prefer metric – see bottom of post for a little reminder of how it works).

Of this total, a little over half (4.5kg; 8m 48ch 17yds) has been designated for a particular project and a fair proportion of this (1.9kg; 1m 78ch 17yds) is attached to projects that I have already started.

Just over a fifth of my stash consists of leftovers (most of which is sock leftovers that I am working through gradually and incorporating them into my mitred square scarf).

2.87kg (4m 55ch) of my stash is not yet allocated to any project.

So there we have it. I’ll go through my stash next year again and see what the difference is.

My knitting this month is consistently square. As well as continuing with the mitred square scarf, I’ve revived the 2011 KAL blanket that I’m doing in some cotton from Texere Yarns. I can’t remember what made me shelve it in the first place and I’m quite enjoying it. The group used the patterns from a KAL on bernat.com for the first square each month, then added a second, optional, square from a variety of sources. I had both squares for January and February and part of the first March square when I stopped. I have now finished the first March square, started the second one and added another couple of inches to the January square to make it, well… square. When first knitting it, I was a little optimistic about how far it would stretch!

I was very chuffed to discover that I had won a contest this week. I entered the Sanday Spinners blog week competition and was the only correct entry. I’m looking forward to receiving my carbon fibre needles in a few days.

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week Day 2 – A mascot project

Yesterday, in the Fourth Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, we declared our houses, choosing which of four mascots best represents our crafting style. I chose house Monkey – knitting is all about new challenges.

Kniting and crochet blog week house of monkey

Today ( search 4KCBWDAY2 to find other participants), the brief is to describe a mascot project.

Your task today is to either think of or research a project that embodies that house/animal. It could be a knitting or crochet pattern – either of the animal itself or something that makes you think of the qualities of that house. […] Whatever you choose, decide upon a project and blog about how and why it relates to your house/creature. You do not have to make this project! It is simply an exercise in blogging about how you come to decide upon what projects to make. Try and blog about the journey which inspiration and investigating patterns, yarns, stitches, (etc) can often guide you through.

My initial thought, which would have been an easy post, was to choose Cookie A’s Monkey socks. I like Cookie’s designs, I have the book they are in (or could very easily download the original pattern from Knitty for free) and I’m not exactly low on sock yarn either. That doesn’t really meet the brief. Time to think of something more challenging.

Most of the yarn I buy is bought on a whim: single skeins of lovely sock yarn or lace-weight. They are all just waiting for the right pattern to come along. The more expensive the yarn, the less likely it is to end up as socks. Feet deserve a treat, but there is a limit. I’m heading towards a shawl-type project instead, and wanting to use up some of the stash. I’ve made one shawl, one lace-weight stole and one cowl for me to wear. I would enjoy a non-traditional construction, or some new techniques.

Here are some of the fancier yarns I’m looking to put to good use in a project.

Mmmmmmalabrigo

This is some Malabrigo sock yarn, bought at Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show and waiting for the perfect pattern.

webIMG_2803

Here’s some beautiful lace-weight 2-ply that I picked up in York when I needed to make up the amount I was purchasing to enough to use a credit card. 260 yards

webIMG_2747l

More laceweight – a bigger skein (870 yards). Another Harrogate purchase.

So, here we have three options for yarn to use, of slightly different weight and yardage.

The next stage is to hit the pattern section of ravelry and play with the search options. Never done this before? Try it. Seriously, stop reading, click here and come back when you’ve finished. You can narrow down the options in so many different ways.

I’ve gone looking for shawl-type patterns before and queued up some possibles:

Woodland Shawl – a long, thin rectangular shawl. No idea why I picked this one. It looks fairly similar to the Willow Leaf Stole that I made a few years ago. Not sure I want another long, thin shawl at the moment. NB – Free pattern

Simmer Dim – Sort of triangular/semi-circular. Brenda Dayne from Cast On has been talking about this shawl for quite a while and I rather like the look of it. Comes in lace-weight and 4-ply.

Verve – This is a circular shawl, worked flat. It came from Twist Collective Winter 2011, so its been in my queue for a while. I always read Twist and pick out my favourites, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually bought any patterns from them. This could be a first. It has bonus monkey-fodder of having picots, which I don’t think I’ve knitted before. There’ll be a lot of shawl to get through before the interesting bit though.

Windward – Not sure where this idea came from. It’s a Canadian designer, so could be via Yarn Harlot. Described as having a non-traditional construction, which I find interesting (and the description uses the word ‘contiguous’ – marvellous). It is written for Malabrigo Sock yarn, so I could actually use the correct yarn for the pattern – not what I usually do, but there’s a first for everything. So, this is definitely on the short-list.

The next option is to look at Romi Hill. The shawl I made last year is one of her patterns and I loved it. I went looking for lace-weight shawls and didn’t find one that particularly appealed, although Firebird came close.

The final option is to make a standard shawl, using a set of instructions from Laylock, and make the shawl a bit more interesting by adding a pattern. This is what I’m inclining towards for the little ball of yarn, so I can use as much of it as possible. Heart-shaped looks as if it could be quite interesting.

In conclusion, I’ve no real idea what I’m going to do, which is fairly indicative of my knitting style. However, this project will continue in the Extra Credit section of blog week. Within the main blog week there is no expectation of actually making this project – it is just an exercise to look at the process of knitting decisions. For extra credit you can decide to make the project and continue blogging throughout the year. I’ll keep you posted.

 

Sitting in the sunshine

Our new house gets so much light. Having lived in a gloomy modern reinterpretation of a cottage for nearly four years (although in all other respects it was an excellent place to live), I am really rather enjoying sitting by the French windows and feeling the sun move gradually across the sky.

While waiting for the baby (who is pretty much a toddler now) to settle herself down to sleep, I have been updating my Ravelry stash with various bits and pieces I have picked up over the last few weeks. I had some assistance with this endeavour:

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That collection of yarn is for my amigurumi project (including the elephant I made last week). Can you guess what it is going to be?

I mentioned a while back that I had picked up a spindle. Here’s the evidence:

webIMG_2802

I’ve got a little ball of singles from my first session at spindle-spinning and I think I’ve got about the same on the spindle now. Time to figure out plying perhaps.

I also finally plucked up the courage to try spinning on the wheel that I have borrowed. Great fun, but I can see that there is a huge amount of stuff to learn.

I’ve got about half an hour before the little one is due to wake up so I had better go and do some knitting. I’ve got into a groove with the pink socks and they are coming on very nicely. Probably won’t be finished in March, since I’m heading into one of the most hectic working weeks of the year, but I have great hopes for my week off after Easter.