Sunday, September 10, 2006

Ongoing Projects

This is my third "TV jumper". As you can see, I've finished the back, am currently working on the front but I often stop to work on other things so it'll probably be finished by Christmas.

I forgot to say in my other posts about the TV jumper: the first one I knitted (the purple one) was slightly short for wearing with jeans, though it's okay with skirts, so I added 20 rows to the second jumper (the blue one), and have added 20 rows to this one too. There is enough yarn in the 5 balls of wool to do this.

This is another ongoing project, "Gemma", taken from one of the Rowan magazines (number 38, perhaps?). This is the sleeve. I knitted the sleeves first because the detail at the bottom of the sleeve covers the whole of the front and back so I thought I'd better practise. It took me a while to get the hang of dropping the loops off, and there is no mention in the pattern of WHAT I'M SUPPOSED TO DO WITH ALL THE ENDS.

After reading Jen's blog, xtreme knitting, I will attempt it on a circular needle when I next have the patience to work on it. I've completed both sleeves and part of the back:

The colours on the sleeve are a truer representation than the colours on the back. It will be stunning when it's finished but progress is slow so I expect it will take me another two years to finish it.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Blue and Purple Winter Wear

These are my (almost) finished winter accessories. The purple looks darker in the photo than it actually is . I finished the hat (taken from Rowan's Little Book of Big Accessories) mid-week and spent some of yesterday finishing the body of the second mitten.

Although I have the Folk Mittens book, the pattern I used for these mittens was given to me by a Danish friend who had got the pattern from a magazine back home. She photocopied the pattern and translated it!

The pattern for the scarf was taken and adapted from Vintage Knits. I used Rowan Calmer instead of a 4 ply as I wanted a chunkier (and less time consuming) scarf. I also 1 x 1 ribbed the middle section of the scarf so it would be double sided.

The hat is knitted in Big Wool. The Mittens are knitted in Jaegar 4 ply. I just have the thumbs to finish and then my winter knitwear accessories will be complete. I didn't want the hat to have too much blue in it so just added some blue Big Wool to the pom poms.

This is the first time I've successfully knitted using more than one colour. I can cable beautifully but multi-colour skill has always eluded me so I'm quite pleased with these. I will definitely knit another pair of mittens, however, these have been more than a year in the making as it requires complete concentration when following the pattern. The second mitten is also better than the first as I'd learned how to knit a looser tension. It won't be too noticeable when I'm wearing them but my next attempt will be better.

I had considered making mittens for my friends for Christmas but, frankly, it's too much work!

That's all my knitting for now, and that's me up-to-date with what I have here to show you. Maybe next week I'll pull out the projects I'm working on (currently TWO).


Purple cosy jacket

This is also from a back issue of one of the Rowan magazines, also knitted in Rowan Polar, also bought from Cucumberpatch. Again, I had one ball left over from what the pattern said.

As you can see, it's fairly pookie, and big clumps of wool hang off the cardigan all the time, though I constantly pull them off. I think that's the reason Polar was discontinued and the Rowan team produced a more reliable chunky wool in its place.

No matter, I got the wool at a good price (£3.50 a ball) and it is the cosiest thing I own. I like that it buttons right up my neck, so no need for a scarf. All four pockets are obsolete and if I knitted it again I'd probably keep the bottom pockets but lose the top ones.

I spent a long time choosing the buttons as I didn't want something that dominated the jacket. I like the ones I chose as they're bold but don't overpower and they remind me of granny-sweets as they're coloured and semi-transparent.

Rowan Polar Bag

This pattern was taken from one of the earlier Rowan magazines (I bought 4 back issues for £10 from the Rowan website, which I thought was a BARGAIN). It's knitted in Rowan Polar, which is discontinued but I bought it from the Cucumberpatch website. I would highly recommend buying wool from Cucumberpatch as I have ordered wool from them twice and the wool arrived the following day!

The pattern said 3 balls of wool were required but I actually only used two, and had some left over from that.

I lined the inside with some cotton fish fabric I bought in John Lewis.
I think it turned out rather well!

Medieval Black Sideways-Knitted Top

I knitted this in about 4 hours from start to finish. It's from Rowan's Big Just Got Bigger, knitted in Chunky Print, 8mm needles :).

The whole top is knitted sideways, with leather thonging through the back, so it's quite medieval and unusual. The thinner I am the better it looks, however. It doesn't really suit a chubbier frame!

It's washed fairly well, a little bit pookie but not too bad.

I would model all my garments but I'm home alone at the moment, except for Meg WHO BROUGHT A MOUSE HOME AT 1.30AM A FEW DAYS AGO.

I was asleep in bed and woke up to hear scuffling noises. I knew it was the cat and got up to check she was okay. When I got downstairs she was on top of the beanbag, trying to get to something that was behind the beanbag.

I pulled the beanbag away from the wall, expecting to see a large house spider (which we get plenty of in August), and instead there was the sweetest little black mouse. Of course Meg instantly jumped on the mouse and got hold of it in her mouth!

I impressed myself by quickly assembling a glass of water to sprinkle on Meg (in the hope she would let go of the mouse), a cardboard box lid to put between Meg and the mouse when she put it down (she growled at me when I tried to take it from her mouth), and some tissue paper to pick up the mouse once I'd managed to separate it from the cat.

It took a few attempts, which ended upstairs, but Meg finally put the mouse down and before it ran off again I placed the lid between them and picked the mouse up in the tissue.

It was completely fine and ran off into the night when I put it outside in the garden. For two seconds I considered keeping it as a pet for me and Meg but I don't know what mice eat and could envisage a kind of "There was an old woman who swallowed a fly" scenario developing in reverse.

The back of the garment:

Secret Santa in August

This is my Autumn "Secret Santa" present, given to me by my colleague Anna, who also sews and knits. Somehow we got on to talking about Christmas and Secret Santa in the office about three weeks ago, and I suggested we did a Secret Santa now, so we could all get a present. Nobody was very interested, especially when I suggested it was conditional to make the present, except Anna.

Isn't it amazing?

I made her the hat with ear flaps from Rowan's Little Book of Big Accessories. I made it in Big Wool in the two-tone pink colour. Didn't manage to take a photo before we swapped pressies but will try to catch her wearing it later in the year. I have to say it was the jolliest colour of wool I've ever knitted! She was very pleased with her present too.

It was great fun to make and swap presents and to have completely free rein(sp?) as to what we made. I did consider making her a pair of my moss stitch slippers (which I've since remembered came from an Erika Knight book) but thought she would like the hat better.