Monday, 30 April 2007

Limited Progress

Some progress has been made on Betty over the weekend. Not much I hasten to add - the weather was wonderful and things like painting my garden fence and working in the garden seemed much more appealing than slogging on Betty.

While the physical progress has been modest - I've reached the end of the waist decreases on the back (65 rows and only 7 inches of fabric!) and am about to start the bust increases, the mental progress has been more substantial. Before the weekend, I was seriously doubting my ability to stay the course on Betty - the progress seemed so slow and the pattern never-ending. Now I've turned a corner and she seems more manageable. I think I'm going to knit a piece, put her to the side and work on something else, then knit another piece and so on. In this way, I'm hoping to have her done by the autumn. A major source of inspiration to get her done has been looking at Rebecca's finished version (scroll down a few entries) - it just looks so soft and wearable.

This does mean that I need a summer project - preferably something using Sea Silk. I've only got woolly projects on my list and need a lightweight cardi for summer. I need to have a browse about for pattern for 4-ply.

Friday, 27 April 2007

Not up to much.

It's all gone a bit quiet on the Glaswegian front I'm afraid. Tuesday night was our 'Knit out at the Movies' night - we saw Amazing Grace at the Grosvenor on Ashton Lane. Lovely film - really good to knit to. I took along Betty, but managed to pull several stitches off the needle just taking her out of my bag, so I slid them back on and decided that a darkened cinema wasn't the place to check that they were all still there. Luckily, I'd also taken along a pair of the resident radiologist's socks that he'd put his toe through. The cinema is definitely the place for putting a new toe on a sock, just pick up stitches from below the hole, rip back to there and keep going round and round, remembering to decrease as necessary.

Betty is going to be slow progress and hard work. The pattern requires that on the right side, each stitch is knitted front and back, then on the wrong side, its k2tog, p2tog all the way along. To add to this very slow knitting, for some reason, my row gauge is way off. My stitch gauge is spot on, which is why I've not changed needles, but the row gauge requires 23 rows to 4 inches and I'm getting 32 rows to 4 inches. Not a trivial difference, it meants that I will be knitting one third more rows to get the required length! I've decided to keep going but I'm altering the pattern to take account of the row difference; I've worked out at what length the increases and decreases should occur and am placing them accordingly. This is going fine at the moment, but she's got set-in sleeves so I'm going to have to learn how to recalculate these... I'm lead to believe it involves graph paper... I'm a scientist, how hard can it be???

I'm starting to suspect that the row gauge problem might be due to my yarn substitution. The pattern calls for Yorkshire Tweed DK which is discontinued, and Rowan recommends Scottish Tweed DK as an alternative. The thing is I've got Rowanspun DK and I don't think it has as much 'body' as the other two. Can anyone tell me if this is definitely the case? In the meantime, I'll slog away on Betty and try to take some photos over the weekend.

Other plans for the weekend involve painting the garden fence (shhhh - not that the resident radiologist know this yet) - hope the weather stays as nice as it's meant to be.

Monday, 23 April 2007

The difference half a millimetre makes!

I've been spending a fair bit of my weekend doing this.....

That's right, frogging and re-knitting, all for the sake of a half-millimetre difference in needles. I originally knitted these socks in January on 2.75mm DPNs with 64 stitches as usual. They were far too big - really baggy round my feet. I normally use 2.25mm DPNs, so ripped back to the ankle and used the smaller needles from there.

You can see the difference this needle change makes in this photo taken after the first sock had been re-knitted.

I also decided to put afterthought heels in this time, instead of heel-flaps. This also tends to give me a better fit. I knit a piece of scrap yarn where I want the heels, then continue with the foot and toe. I then pick up the stitches either side of the scrap yarn, remove the scrap and knit the heel.

And the final outcome - socks that fit properly!

Friday, 20 April 2007

A parcel in the post.

A couple of weeks ago I entered Ali's blogiversary draw for goodies from her stash and was drawn second (which tickled me immensly as I never win anything). Anyway, the parcel arrived in the post this morning.

The first thing that I noticed was that it smelled wonderful - a light pretty perfume which I found was coming from the bar of handmade glycerin soap. There was also a bar of fairtrade chocolate (which I love), a colinette pattern booklet, a card and six skeins of Rowanspun 4 ply in absolutely beautiful colours.

And look at the card - it has a little knitting motif at the top - so cute.

I don't know what I'll use the yarn for yet, but I really like Rowanspun 4 ply and the colours are wonderful, so I'm sure they'll not be in the stash for too long! Many thanks Ali!

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Presenting Klaralund...

The finishing went like a dream yesterday evening and in the end I didn't think she really needed a blocking. I crocheted the body to the sleeves, going in through the front of the body just underneath the top garter ridge, then through the sleeve, picking up the yarn loop at the back and bringing it through again. This way there is a tiny row of crochet stitches hidden under the top garter ridge.

The details:
Pattern - my own copying a picture of Klaralund by Cornelia Tuttle-Hamilton
Yarn - Rowanspun 4 ply held double in shades Midnight, Jade and Holly (708, 709 and 712, not necessarily in that order). 12 skeins.
Needles - 5mm circular for body, 4.5mm DPN's and straights for arms.
3.5mm crochet hook for finishing.

The dark blue-green panels are midnight and holly held together, the light blue-green panels are midnight and jade and the green edges are jade and holly together.

The darker panels have come out well colour-wise in the photos, but the paler sections are not so pale as they look and the variation between the colour sections is really quite subtle.

I'm definitely going to knit this again - maybe in Noro for next winter. Two things I would definitely change (possibly the only things), are that I would knit the shoulder saddles a bit broader so that the join sits lower on the body. I think that would give this jumper slightly better proportions. I would also knit the sleeves a bit longer. They were down over my hands when I knitted them, but once I joined them to the body, they were pulled up about 2 inches. Otherwise, I love her!

Wednesday, 18 April 2007


It's knitting night tonight. I love knitting night - all that coffee and those scones and the gossip... oh and of course the knitting. Now that I'm finished with the major project I promised not to mention again, I've been a lean, mean, knitting machine and finished Klaralund too. I pinned her up and tried her on last night - looked very Armani what with all the safety pins holding her together - and she fits beautifully. All that is left is the sewing up (crocheting up to be picky - have developed a definite preference for this lately) and a light blocking.

This means that I'm flat out of WIPs (how exciting).

I have a little list though... really a whopping great big list when I consider all the knitting involved... of all the patterns I've seen and want to knit, several of which I even have the yarn for.

These include:
Gloves for my sister to match her scarf and hat,
Betty from Rowan 38.
Cactus Flower from Knitty.
Tank top from Freedom Spirit.
Nantucket Jacket from Interweave.
Basil from Rowan Summer Tweed.

I'd also really like to knit or crochet a lightweight summer cardi for going over dresses (any pattern suggestions welcome!) and I need to rip back a pair of socks I knit in January and reknit the feet with smaller needles to get a better fit.

Obviously, I can prioritise some of this list: my sister won't be needing gloves again until late Autumn so they can wait, and I don't have the yarn for the Nantucket jacket so that can wait (it also looks like a lovely autumn project), but Betty, Basil and Cactus Flower are all vying for my attention. I think Betty might be first up, but she looks pretty tricky, so I might revise this idea soon...

Monday, 16 April 2007

I Promise...

... that this is the last post in which I'll mention Lizard Ridge.

Here are the details:
Pattern, Laura Aylor on Knitty.
22 balls of Noro Kureyon.
1 and a bit skeins of Rowanspun Aran for sewing up and border.
5mm knitting needles.
4.5mm crochet hook for sewing up and borders.

Here's a (blurry) close up of the back showing the crochet seaming. I seamed 4 blocks into strips along their short sides then seamed strips together.

And here's the finished blanket (pre-blocking). The border was two rounds of crochet, one double crochet and the second triple crochet (British notation - I think). The seaming didn't use too much yarn, but I couldn't believe how much the border took - almost 200m!

Finally, here's an almost action shot of the blocking (with Splat inspecting my work). I had planned to pin out the blanket, then spray it with water until it was thoroughly damp, but this failed miserably. I couldn't spray it enough for the water to penetrate and my hand was aching from working the spray bottle so I reverted to plan B. As the blanket was already pinned out and I couldn't face unpinning it, dumping it in the bath, then putting it on a low spin in the washing machine, I left it where it was, soaked a bath towel and layered this over the blanket, making steam with a very hot iron. I then left it pinned out overnight to dry. This worked almost as well as a proper wet block would have and I'm really pleased with the results.

The finished dimensions are approximately 5 feet by 5 feet which presented me with real space problems for blocking in my tiny wee house!

Friday, 13 April 2007

Just because...'s a beautiful day. The sun is shining, my laundry can dry outside, and I'll get Lizard Ridge blocked today.

Here are some pictures of my cat (she's called Splat - we took her in after she'd been hit by a car, fixed up by the Resident Radiologist back when he was a plain old vet, and then not claimed by anyone) just looking like her usual cute self.

And here is the finished version of the tweed corsage I showed a few posts ago. I finished it off with some french knots in embroidery thread, some with beads incorporated, and sewed a safety pin on the back.

Klaralund is well in hand again. I'm past the elbow on the first sleeve (after much ripping and resizing) and things are looking good. I think it's going to be too warm to wear her by the time I get her sewn up, but she's one of those timeless jumpers that will be with me year after year.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007


Lizard Ridge is done! It's been knitted, steam blocked, seamed and edged. All it needs now is a good wet blocking to even it out. This final blocking will have to wait for more good weather as I have two options: either move all my laundry to dry outside, hoover the floor of the spare room and block lizard ridge there, or block lizard ridge outside. I think the first option is the best as I can then shut the door and keep the cat out while the blocking is happening.

Here are the final six blocks for lizard ridge.

And here are some of the layout options I considered.

The Resident Radiologist, who is particularly gifted when it comes to matching colours, had the final say with the layout but I'm not showing until the blocking is done.

Thursday, 5 April 2007


Well, one ball of Kureyon from the last post has already been converted into a Lizard Ridge block, another is half-way there and I've also done a bit more on the block I'm making with left-overs from other blocks. No photos of this progress though as I've been far too excited by the knitting and the thought of being 'almost there' to stop and get the camera out.

To make up for this photographic inertia, may I present an item from my archives.

This is a stole that I crocheted straight after I finished the ivory one for my wedding. The yarn is Rowan Kidsilk Haze, crocheted on a 4.5mm hook. There are dark red silver-lined glass seed beads at every second intersection (that's an awful lot of beads to string!). It was originally meant to be for my bridesmaid, but it didn't quite go with her dress (slightly too much blue in the KSH burgundy compared with the dress) as you can see from the last photograph, so I ended up taking it on honeymoon to Krakow and sewing her one from a very fine silk chiffon instead. NB The photo taken in the sunlight shows the colour better than the arty one on the tree which shows up the beading better.

Hope everyone has a great Easter.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

More yarn

Look what just arrived - and I really mean just arrived... the package arrived on my desk, I opened it, photographed it and am now blogging about it in less than 10 minutes! I can't wait to get started with it - I might even have a Lizard Ridge in the process of assembly by Easter Monday.

Of course this new arrival means that Klaralund is going to be taking a back seat for a while. I'm really making progress on her now...

...this is the completed body (the colours are slightly stronger than the photo suggests and the deliniation in colour is less marked). I wound the skeins I think I'll need for the sleeves last night and started the first. I much prefer knitting in the round on DPNs rather than on a circular needle so I'm going to enjoy the sleeves more than the body. I don't know if I've mentioned this before but I hate winding skeins. I have a ball winder, but I have to take the yarn off the skein, onto the floor (where the cat insists on 'inspecting it') before I can wind it up. My birthday is coming up and my Dad is a very gifted woodworker so I'm thinking about asking for a swift to make the whole process slightly less painful.

Finally, a gratuitous couple of pictures of my garden. Spring seems to have definitely arrived in Glasgow so I got out into the garden at the weekend and tidied up, moved plants around and added some new ones.