Monday, 21 January 2008

Everyone Loves a Parcel

My Cascade Fixations arrived today, I'm so excited! I just bought a copy of Debbie Stoller's new book Son of Stitch 'n' Bitch, which by the way has some great patterns, lots of plainish but subtley interesting jumpers that men seem to like. The Wolf loved the Look Sharp Socks, and as this is the first thing he's ever asked me to knit for him, how can I refuse? They are knit using the entrelac method, which I have never attempted before but am intrigued by. They also have 29,443 stitches to a pair, which is pretty intimidating.

Mostly though, I am excited because I am going to be using the exact yarn specified in the pattern, which I have never been able to do before. It's always been too expensive or difficult to get hold of, but this time I was determined to track it down, so I asked on Ravelry, and a some very helpful people directed me to Yarns Online, and in a day my order had arrived! That's service for you.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

New Things

It's been so long since I last posted because I have been having computer troubles. My beloved Mac died on me the day after I began this blog, so I've been waiting ever since for another computer, and finally, thanks to a very kind friend, it is here!

At the moment I'm working on "Short and Sweet" from The Happy Hooker, which is a short sleeved lace cardigan thingy without buttons. It's the first thing I've ever crocheted, and I'm fairly happy with the result, although I did have to unravel a fair amount of it on my first go to make the sides join lower down ( I have large shoulders and eveything tends to be tight under the arms).

In the pattern it has short sleeves, but I'm wondering if it would be more wearable if it was sleeveless, with the same edging as around the front edges. The wonderful thing about crochet is that I can try it, and if it doesn't work, just rip it out in about 5 seconds, no picking up a million live stitches!

The other thing that I am knitting is a feather and fan scarf with this amazing hand painted merino from New Zealand. The Wolf's mother brought it back for me when she went on holiday about a year ago, and I still have only done about 20% of it. I feel so guilty every time she asks me how it is coming along, but it is so fine and fiddly! Also I found that the metal needles seemed to heavy for the yarn, and wanted to slip out all the time. Luckily, my darling brother bought me four pairs of Morgan bamboo needles for Christmas, so I will have to have a go with a pair.

And finally, some finished objects. Firstly a pair of gloves I made for my cousin Alice who is freezing herself in London.

Pattern: Fetching by Cherly Naimuth

Yarn: Shepherd Lambswool 12ply

Needles: 4.00mm double pointed

I added two more rows of cables to the wrist to make them longer and warmer. I tried the picot cast-off suggested in the pattern, but I found it was too loose and floppy, so I ended up using an elastic cast-off from DomiKNITrix, which was perfect. I'm pretty happy with these gloves, and the Shepherd Lambswool was very soft and slightly felted, so I'm hoping that will eliminate too much pilling.

My other finished thing was this little Japanese-style patchwork bag, also for Alice. It is from Omiyage by Kumiko Sudo, which has a lot of different patchwork bags and boxes all using small scraps of fabric. The photography is beautiful and she always uses really lovely fabric. The only complaint I have is that the instructions can be a little hazy, and occasionally things have to be tweaked in order to turn out the way they should.

This bag is called Panache! and was fairly simple, although I didn't like the gathered patchworked bottom, and used a simple circle of fabric on the base instead. The fabrics were a combination of printed cottons and vintage kimono fabric I bought from KimoYES which has great packs of quilting size pieces.