Thursday, 28 February 2013

Some knitting goals...

- to learn continental knitting. I may try a dishcloth or something small to see if I can get an even tension.

- something other than baby knits and scarves! Although I'm not sure I've got the patience to do an adult jumper at the moment, so perhaps a bag will be a good option...

- ...which may mean I need to have another go at lining with fabric. I've done this once before (complete with phone pocket) but it still feels a wee bit scary.

- design something myself? I've adapted a few things, but I don't think I've started anything from scratch. Chunky garter stitch scarves don't count!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Frogging and planning

I have one WIP on the needles, which I hope will be finished during February, but then... there aren't any active projects!  So I'm planning again...

A couple of years ago I knitted some baby kimonos from the Mason-Dixon Knitting book.  I love the simplicity of this design but part-way through one of them I noticed a change in shade when I started a new ball of yarn.  It was supposed to be the same lot but I'd bought it from an oddments bin so no chance to take it back.  I do like the yarn though (a bright green cotton - Wendy Cotton DK), so I've frogged it and will find something small to use the main part on.

I've got one skein left of the Debbie Bliss Paloma, which I started making into some Fearless Fingerless Mitts.  Unfortunately I've realised I need more yarn than I have, so this will also be getting frogged:

I'm looking for similar patterns which only need one skein so perhaps I'll be more successful if I plan better...

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Stash-buster update

February's Finished Objects...

SB Project 2 (100g):
The BSJ has been taking a back seat a little during the month, because I really couldn't decide if I liked it or not.  I've finished it now though...

This is definitely one of my favourite patterns, and I love that I can make small changes each time so that each BSJ is completely unique.  This time I did the increases by knitting into the front and back of the marked stitch and the one before it on the RS, then purled the marked stitch on the WS rows; that gave a diagonal line of knitted stitches over the garter stitch which was quite effective in the finished jacket.  I added a vertical knit line by picking up the stitches for the button band the "wrong" way.

I also cast off a stitch at the beginning of each row after the first neck cast-offs until the button band, in order to get a slightly wider neck.  This worked quite well, although the edge would have looked much neater if I'd finished it off with an i-cord edging.  The buttons were from my button stash, and were originally salvaged from old clothes - I've no idea what now.

I'm quite pleased with how it's turned out, but I don't like it enough to give to my friends when their baby arrives.  It's nice, but not right for their style.  I'm planning to give it to a local charity shop instead so that they can get some benefit from it.

SB Project 3 (100g):
I've already written about completing the Chinook Scarf.  I did manage to block it in the end, by pinning out each of the points and leaving the straight edge unpinned.  That seemed to work quite well, and I was very happy with the finished result.  I've already worn it a couple of times for work; it feels lovely and soft against my skin and is warm without being too much.

I've finally managed to get a couple of daylight pics:

SB Projects 4 & 5 (150g):
I made myself a Bandana Cowl to use some of the Debbie Bliss Paloma yarn I bought with a birthday voucher last year.  The yarn is so soft and squishy and I'd been waiting for the "right" project to match it with.  This cowl worked very well.

I cast on fewer stitches than the pattern said, since I was using a thicker yarn, then did fewer decrease rows so that it wasn't as deep.  I liked the simple design and it was perfect for wearing while in town looking around the shops.  I gave the first one to my 93-year old gran while she's in hospital, and I hope she likes it.  I'd love it to be a hug from me while we're far apart.

So then I made another for myself... I used 3 skeins in total, although perhaps I'd have preferred the 2nd cowl (mine) to be slightly wider - I'm not sure if it was different to the first, but I was so keen not to run out of yarn that maybe I stopped a row or two earlier?

I'm happy with the cosy feel of this cowl - again, it's quite lightweight but it's lovely and snuggly for the recent cold mornings.

So I'm pleased to have completed 4 projects this month, and to have destashed 350g.  There's still a long way to go!

Thanks again to Linda for hosting this challenge.  I'm feeling inspired by all the creative ways people have found to use up their yarn supplies.  And I've enjoyed remembering the stories behind my own yarn purchases.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Knitting and rugby...

...make a good opportunity to work on a scarf for myself!

The Six Nations 2013 rugby competition started last Saturday, so I took the chance to work on my Chinook Scarf while I watched my national side lose bravely (if somewhat predictably) to the English last week, then comfortably beat the Italians today.  It's turning into an interesting competition this year: by the end of tomorrow there should be 4 teams with one win each, the French with no wins (surprisingly) and either the English or Irish with 2 wins.  It's wide open at the moment which makes for fun viewing.

The side-benefit of this is that I completed my second stash-busting project during today's match.  This was a scarf pattern for some Silk Blend I'd bought a couple of years ago then not been able to match to the "perfect" project...

The pattern is fairly simple, but had some interesting touches.
- This was my first built-in i-cord edging and I did like the way this neatened up the edge and added to the sense of quality.
- The lace border took me a few repeats to get into my head but then was a fun start/finish for the rows.
- And the stocking stitch body made for a nice mindless section (perfect for during a good rugby match).

It needs blocking I think, although I'm not sure how I'll do this yet - the i-cord edging is lovely but could be a bit tricky for pinning out evenly.

I wasn't sure at first if I was going to like the finished result, but when I tried it on this afternoon I was very pleased.  It isn't too big but should be a cosy, pretty addition when the weather's a little chilly (which is quite frequent around here!)

This is a wee bit late for Tami's FO Friday, but I don't really want to wait another 2 weeks (I won't be able to get online next Friday) so I'm going to sneak my link in to yesterday's post.  Well, better late than never!

And for the Stash-Buster 2013 Challenge... this is project number 2 and has used up 100g of a lovely soft yarn.

Project 3 (BSJ) has also been growing during the rugby-viewing, and I'm looking at ideas for the next bit of my stash to be busted.  More to follow once inspiration strikes...