Monday, 18 January 2010

Bog-standard Beret...

... and a little bit of construction!

I had just over two balls of yarn left over once I finished the red scarf in my last post and decided that a nice red beret would finish my winter look off perfectly.

I was a little concerned that I might not have enough yarn, so first time I knitted this, I reduced the diameter slightly, and while it fitted fine, it didn't look good. In addition, there was the best part of half a ball of yarn left over. Since the total knitting time was about three hours and only represented an evening's work, I started again.

The second time, I cast on fewer stitches to get a snugger fit round my ears and worked increases to a slightly larger diameter than first time round, then just followed the pattern to the last row. I added a short icord stem, instead of threading the yarn through the last round of stitches and pulling, as I think that this gives a nicer finish.

This time, the beret fits beautifully, and despite still requiring a wet block on a dinner plate, I've worn it several times in the last week.

The pattern is Beret by Twilleys of Stamford.
The yarn is Debbie Bliss Cotton DK (2 balls), in Raspberry (038).
I used 4.5mm needles throughout (DPNs and circular).
In addition to the modifications mentioned above, I modified the pattern to work it in the round.

The renovations have also moved on, the day after my last post, there was a ceiling but no floor, but now we have a ceiling, a level floor and new skirting boards!

Today the plasterer is skimming the ceiling and then it's really just a matter of decorating.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

New scarf and a bit of demolition...

The relentless march through projects goes on - I just can't seem to stop knitting at the moment and most of the projects I've picked have been fairly quick.

The latest is a bright new scarf with yarn I bought in the sales. This stuff didn't even make it to the stash!


The Pattern is 'Brooke's Column of Leaves' by Brooke Nelson.
The yarn is Debbie Bliss Cotton DK in Raspberry. I used just under 5 balls for a 60" scarf.
I used 4.5mm needles throughout.
I made no modifications.

I'm normally veer away from Debbie Bliss yarns (although I still have some old examples in my stash) as they tend to be poor quality, with lots of knots per ball and pill horribly on wearing. In addition to this they tend to be expensive and not good value yardage-wise. While this yarn is quite short on yardage, I only found 1 knot in 5 balls and, in the sale, the price was right. The colour is also fabulous for winter and lifts my brown coat and matches a long-line jumper that I should be able to wear right up until my due date.

In tune with the relentless march through projects, the relentless march through pregnancy also continues. The Resident Radiologist and I are now starting to make serious progress towards a nursery. The room had a cracked ceiling and non-level floor and events are in motion this week to rectify the situation.

When I got home last night, the room no longer had a ceiling at all and I've been assured that, while there will be a new ceiling this evening (cunningly preserving the original mouldings), there won't be a floor! Roll on the weekend when structural integrity should be restored.

Monday, 11 January 2010


This pattern was a dream to knit - the eight row repeat just kept things ticking over nicely and progress was fast.
Sadly the socks are too big for me - the pattern instructions said that the quilted lattice pattern was pretty inflexible, so I cast on four more stitches than usual and scrupulously made sure that the stitches were well-spaced when working the lattice, but they came out just too loose. Happily, they fit my sister perfectly so she now has a new pair of warm socks for winter.

I modified this pattern fairly drastically so I'll discuss this here rather than in the details section: The pattern is written in a toe-up format with short-row toes and heels. I personally don't mind knitting socks this way, but find that they tend not to fit me very well. I re-wrote as follows for top-down with a heel-flap heel...
Cast on 72 stitches and knitted 2x2 rib for 10 rows. Used quilted lattice stitch pattern as written (for in the round) until leg was desired length. Worked heel-flap over 35 stitches using heel-stitch and turned as usual. Picked up stitches for instep and worked foot in round, but only with quilted lattice stitch (as written for working flat) over top 37 stitches. Did usual decreases back to 72 stitches. Normal toe with kitchener grafting.

The pattern was my adaptation of Leyburn by Pepperknit.
The yarn is Marks and Kattens Fame Trend sock yarn which I brought back as a souvenir from my trip to Uppsala in October.
I used 2.5mm DPN needles throughout.
I modified the pattern as detailed above.

The resident radiologist has indicated that he likes these socks and that the diameter was fine on his foot, so there might be another pair of these in my near future!

Friday, 8 January 2010

The Final Installment

December saw the final installment of the Old Maiden Aunt Preview Sock Yarn Club. Both previous parcels had been lovely, but with this one, Lilith outdid herself.

First of all, there was the yarn. A merino / cashmere /nylon blend base that feels so soft and lofty. The colourways are 'Derilict Daughter' - the purpley one and 'Seen the Ocean' - the blue one. These are definitely my favourite colours from this club- really vibrant with great depth to them.

Next there was another stitch marker - a seahorse to go with the Seen the Ocean colourway.

Then there were two mini-skein keyrings. The red one is the 'Last Night's Red Dress' colourway and the brown one is the 'Brass Taps and Oak' colourway.

Finally there was a little jute tote bag to put it in...

All in all, a lovely parcel to get just before Christmas.
This year's sock yarn club for me is going to be the Fyberspates Sheila's Sock club, and already I can't wait to see what Jen comes up with...

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Just in time

Just before we went away to the in-laws for Christmas, I finished the knitting on the Chaton Minet felted cat basket. It was huge, approximatedly 24 inches across when laid flat and very very floppy.


I had a day off work before we left and many loads of laundry to do so I put it in an old pillow case and added it in with the coloured loads. Three 40C cycles later, it was felted nicely and felt really firm so I stretched it over the lid of my big cake carrier to shape and dry.


Within three hours, the cat was in it, and with the really cold weather we've been having every since, she hasn't ventured far from it. It's perfectly Splat-sized (don't ask about the name - it's a vet thing) and makes a great warm bed when positioned in front of the radiator!

Pattern : Chaton Minet by Caroline Dlugy-Hegwer.
Yarn: Icelandic Lopi Roving from Twist Fibre Craft Studio, held double throughout.
Needles: 9mm circulars.
Modifications: None.
Felting: Three 40C cycles in front-loading machine.