Sunday, 30 December 2007

I bought yarn!

So, Posh Yarn were having a sale today. I've been oogling their yarns for a while now, so with sale prices beckoning, how could I resist? Their stuff usually sells out pretty quickly, but today it was manic. The online shop was opened at 6pm, and by 6.45pm everything was gone. It was entertaining just to watch the sold out buttons popping up. Perhaps I found it more entertaining because I got there early, and managed to get the three skeins of yarn I was hoping for. I bought two skeins of 'Emily' sock yarn (a cashmere/angora/merino blend), in Treefrog (bright greens) and Mesmerize (navy blue/red/turquoise). I also got a skein of laceweight cashmere in Veldt - a greeny/browny colourway that reminds me of the woodlands around here at the moment, which I plan to use for a floaty lace scarf. I'm looking forward to feeling the yarns in person - I've heard a lot about how lovely they are, but nothing beats the real thing eh?

So it looks like I have more sock knitting in my future. And lace, eek!

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Sweet is now Wicked

One of my Ravelry projects is called 'Caramel Sweet Cardigan'. Or rather it was. I was supposed to be using some of my handspun yarn to make a Rowan cardigan called 'Sweet', which I picked out a few years ago from Rowan Mag no. 26. I made test samples of the yarn, blended the fibres on my drum carder (caramel coloured CVM wool, angora rabbit fibre and tussah silk), carefully spun and plied the yarn. All of which took me many weeks to do, spaced over a couple of years. I finished the last of the spinning a few weeks back (shortly after I found the Lime and Violet podcasts, which have given me something highly entertaining to listen to while I spin - hence much more spinning is getting done). The yarn's turned out beautifully, it's soft and touchable, in this gorgeous light caramel colour. And then I sat down, knit a gauge swatch and disaster! My gauge was off. Not just by a little bit, but by five stitches over 10cm. Five! It was supposed to be a dk yarn knitting to 23 stitches/10cm, instead I'd spun an aran weight that knit to 18 stitches. No idea how, I'd been checking my yarn size over and over while I spun it. I think the yarn pixies must have come along and switched it. Either that, or my measuring was wrong. Nah, it must have been the pixies...

Anyway, it is a beautiful yarn, so I set about finding a different knitting pattern for it. And this is what I've come up with: Wicked, a sweater pattern sold by Zephyr Style. It seems very popular on Ravelry, and I'd been looking for a cosy casual sweater with a pocket on the front. It's knit from the top down, which I haven't tried before, so it should be interesting. So, I bought the pattern and cast on yesterday. The cabley bits at the neckline were a bit fiddly (I blame my left handedness for that). But the neckline was done pretty quickly and I'm now onto the increases for the sleeves. It's a great pattern so far, really easy to read. And the best bit? That yarn is some of the loveliest stuff I've ever knit with, well worth the effort of spinning it.

Here's my progress so far:

And here's a close-up of the knitted yarn, complete with one of the beaded stitch markers I made a couple of weeks ago (admire the angora-silky yumminess of it, wish I would upload a swatch here so you could feel it):


As if I didn't have enough to do in the lead up to Christmas, I started a new project the week before. Socks! Only the second pair I've ever made, and the first pair don't really count as I managed to shrink them in the wash before I'd even worn them. But these are different. They knit up pretty quickly, and whenever the pre-Christmas frazzle was getting to me, I found knitting them was surprisingly relaxing. They only took a week to make and I'm dead chuffed with the result. I used a self-patterning Opal yarn, didn't bother trying to match the two socks as I was in such a hurry to finish the pair. And these guys are really comfy, I keep looking at my feet when I'm wearing them. Now I just have remember to keep them away from the washing machine...

Monday, 17 December 2007

My daemon

I'm going to see 'The Golden Compass' tonight, so it seems appropriate to find out ahead of time what my daemon might look like. Here he is, cute isn't he?

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Yay, a blog!

My first post, hurrah! I thought since I've been spending so much time setting up my projects on Ravelry, it's about time I have a blog to journal my crafty progress.

I'm currently knitting an alpaca cardigan with yarn that my brother brought me back from his epic journey to Peru. It's a skinny four ply baby alpaca yarn, which is taking ages to knit up, but it's so soft and huggable that I'll forgive it for being so skinny. Actually, the alpaca-ey softness keeps calling to me, and I can't keep away from the stuff, so in a little over a week I've finished the back of the cardigan, and half of the left front. Being a left-handed knitter, who is often confused by written patterns, I might be knitting the right front. I guess I'll find out when I've finished it...

This is the completed back:

And here's the left (or right) front, in progress:

The squiggly blue bits are ruffles, they took ages to cast on, there were something like 450 stitches for the back. And when I'd almost finished casting on for the back my circular Boye interchangeable needle came undone and I lost about half of the stitches. But that's another story. Suffice it to say I yelled a lot that day. Current progress is, however, good.