As I said, I have been trying to finish things off as well as casting on for new things. Sometimes it’s hard to get the balance right and I feel like I never finish anything and there are pieces of various garments spread all around the living room. Actually, whether I’m finishing things or not there is knitting all over the place…
Anyway, I have managed to make myself work on things and get them done which has been really nice. I’ve also not let myself cast on for new things as soon as I finish something which means that the number of projects on the needles has fallen slightly. I do like to have variety and I’ve accepted that I will go through phases of casting on for tons of new projects and then periods of feeling snowed under by them and wanting to complete something.
This is the Lace Ribbon Scarf from Knitty which I finished in December.
The yarn is Rowan Damask in a colourway very oddly called Molasses. Personally I’ve never seen green molasses but maybe it’s a speciality item or something. Anyway, I used just under 5 skeins to make a very long scarf and I’m really pleased with the way it came out. It’s probably the longest scarf I’ve ever knit and it wraps around my neck many times which balances out the warmth factor considering that it’s made from cotton and linen.
Next up was my Dad’s Christmas jumper.
This was a long simple knit and I was really pleased that I finished it in time for Christmas and that it took me just under 2 months to make considering it’s really long and was a 44/46″ chest! The yarn is Sirdar Crofter and the pattern is View D from the Crofter Family Sweaters booklet.
I had intended and was on schedule to finish off two more projects before the New Year but they had to be put off due to my Uncle’s death and the travelling that I did instead. However, rather than leaving the projects laying around for months almost completed I did get them done at the start of January.
First up was my Ripple Blanket, please excuse the number of pictures, I’m very proud of it!
As you can see from the first picture it’s just about big enough for a double bed which was the size I was going for even though it’s destined to live over the back of the new sofa I’m buying in a few weeks time! I used 20 different colours for this and did 4 stripes from each ball except for the peach which ran out quicker than the rest. Actually, the navy blue also ran out but I had some Rowan cotton in the same shade so I used that to finish the fourth stripe.
There was no set pattern with the stripes, I just tried not to use 2 colours next to each other more than once and I think I only failed in one place where I didn’t realise I’d done it until I was another few stripes on.
This was the first project I’ve ever crocheted and I’m really pleased with it and enjoyed the process. I’m looking forward to making something else soon and am contemplating the Babette Blanket from Interweave Crochet in shades of green. I had a look through the stash last night and I have a few colours I could get started with I just need to take some time and learn how to make the squares as I’ve never done that before and also decide whether I want to follow the colour instructions in the pattern or just randomly make squares.
So, onward to the Sienna Cardigan which sat waiting for me to sew it up for literally months. I have no idea why I didn’t just get on with the damn thing, especially after I finally got around to knitting the front bands and the collar, but at least it’s done now.
I wanted to make this from the very first time I saw the pattern (it’s from Interweave Knits Fall 2006) but I had a hard time finding yarn that would work to the right gauge. This yarn was only 69p a ball believe it or not and I’m so happy with the way it looks. It’s a cotton mix by Patons called Sorbet and I have enough for another project in another colour. The buttons are wooden and pulled from my button box, I had 4 different sets I could have used but I liked these the best.
Both the blanket and the Sienna Cardigan were completed in January. In the same month I completed another Phiaro Scarf, pattern from Knitscene Winter 2007.
As I’m showing this scarf it’s timely to show you my haul from the Knitting and Stitching show back in November. My Mother and I had a good day, although we didn’t think that it was quite as good as the previous year. I managed to spend half as much as I had done last time and was very happy with my purchases.
I got the Noro Catwalk Two pattern book as there are only about 3 projects in it that I don’t want to make! Of course I won’t be using Noro for them though! At the front is a huge crochet hook from the Rachel John stand. I want to crochet some giant granny squares at some point. Behind the hook is the yarn for the above scarf. I can’t remember who made it as it was on a booth stacked high with the yarn and none of it had labels. I believe it was Araucania but I can’t be sure, all I do know is that I bought it from Wool Fish… Behind that are 5 cones of linen and a cone of cotton/linen mix that I got from Texere, I think the whole lot cost me something like £17 which was amazing! The linen is what I’m considering using as the base colours for my Babette Blanket. The small blue lump is some very very soft cotton from the Japanese company that I can’t remember the name of to save my life at the moment. That tiny skein has almost 500 yards on it so I’m looking for a project to use it all up, although it won’t be any time soon as my ball winder went all funny, we had a fight and it ended up in the rubbish bin, so until I’ve replaced it I’m not even contemplating winding 500 yards of thin laceweight yarn!
The final project I have to show you I’m actually wearing at the moment and very warm and comfortable it is too! The yarn again was stupidly cheap (from Kemps), I think 49p a ball this time. It’s Washed Haze which has been discontinued but I had wanted to use it for years as it’s so soft and I thought it would hold stitch patterns well (I’m using some of the Aran for a Central Park Hoodie at the moment). The pattern is the well known Amelia from Knitty.
There are so many nice details on this project and the pattern is really easy to follow. The only change I made is that my neckline is higher. I hate things that fall off my shoulders and also I was a few rows short of getting 5 buttonholes in it and wanted one right below the collar so I kept going until I reached that point. The numbers were all the same, I just finished casting off for the neckline about 2 rows before I cast off completely so it worked out just fine. I can’t remember where the buttons came from but when I saw them in the button box I knew they would go really well on this.
It’s knit back and forth on circulars which meant that the rows were really long. I also didn’t realise until I got going on it that there was the panel of twisted rib on the back (no, I don’t read patterns fully a lot of the time, the surprises keep it interesting!) so I had thought it would be a pretty quick knit, however the twisted rib takes longer than plain knitting and also meant I needed to pay attention to it more so progress was a little slower than I would have liked.
The only thing I’m not happy with is that the front bands roll under. I blocked it and pinned them flat but it doesn’t seem to make any difference at all and I guess I will just have to learn to live with it.
Looking forward I am going to set myself an Olympic challenge to finish 3 more projects. I have done the body and 1 sleeve of the Twisted Tree Pullover for Jim so I just have a second sleeve and then the yoke for that which is doable. I’d like to sew together my extreme knitting kitchen mat which I finished the knitting on in December and did a little bit of sewing up on last month but needs to be laid out flat on the floor now to stop me sewing it too tightly and making a giant hat rather than a circular rug. The third thing I think I could finish are the ribbed socks I’ve been working on half assed for ages. I am on the heel flap of the first one and stalled because I need to figure out the numbers for turning the heel but once I’ve done that it’s easy sailing so I want to get them done and dusted. I have a second pair of socks half done and the shawlette that only needs another 4 repeats that I could work on if I finish off those projects but I’m thinking 3 should be enough and is doable, anything more is just a bonus.
So, there we are, up to date. I’m now off to rip out a ball and a half of slippy Bamboo Tape as my Mother noticed last night when I happily showed her my progress on Mariko that I have been given 2 different dyelots. I think I should hopefully have enough to do the back in one lot and the fronts in the other but it’s going to be close on the fronts. I’m really annoyed as that’s not happened to me before. Checking the other yarn I have it’s happened one other time where I’ve got a whole bag of one dyelot and then 2 balls of another but everything else is in order. I must remember to check the dyelots when the yarn arrives so I don’t get caught out again.
I’ll shut up now…