Monday, 28 December 2009

Christmas Goodies

Santa brought me a lovely book - Richard Rutt's History of Handknitting, an out of print book which is hard to get and goes for silly prices. This is a lovely clean copy and I am exceedingly grateful for it.
I wandered round a local antiques place today, haven't been in months and found this vintage cotton yarn. A couple of the balls are incomplete, but it's a good heavy cotton in three different shades. One ball shows slight signs of damp marks, but I know from previous experience that this will wash out. So now I'm looking for a project for this yarn.
And finally I got off my needles a long-term (august) project. This bedjacket has driven me insane. It's a ridiculously complicated lace pattern, from a 1940s booklet (see previous post) and my original intention to get it finished by November failed due to the sheer tedium of knitting it. I haven't done the knitted edges and neck, partly due to lack of yarn and partly due to desperation to finish it. Instead I did a simple crochet edge, with paired and spaced trebles around the next. Instead of the traditional ribbon tie, I made a lucet cord with what was left of the yarn and threaded it through. So now I can sit in bed and read on the cold nights to come, in comfort and without swathing myself in a crochet blanket, my current practice, which my Other Half finds highly amusing. It will be easier to turn the page wearing this rather than a blanket!

Friday, 25 December 2009

Extra Christmas Knitting

A little extra knitting for Christmas - the Helm (pattern's on Ravelry) which, despite checking my tension before I started, ended up way too big. So I threw it in the washing machine and shrank it. A little stretching while wet and - hey presto - a very warm winter hat, just right for the cold weather.

Have a happy Christmas!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Christmas Knitting Finished!

So it's done, after 5 months of furious knitting, the last Christmas present is off the needles. I still have to add buttons to this cardigan, but that can wait until the weekend when I will scout the antique shop nearby for vintage buttons - I only buy new when I can't find what I want elsewhere.
I've also finished my Sanquhar gloves, ready for a couple of days birdwatching in the great and increasingly cold outdoors. They were certainly challenging, the biggest problem was keeping the tension correct across the pattern and between needles. I wasn't always successful, but it was a great project.

So I'm putting the needles down until the weekend and going cold turkey. Wish me luck!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

A Knitting/Spinning Weekend

At this time of year I like to hibernate with my knitting, and avoid going out. Don't know why, but I'm always the same in December, not very motivated to do anything. This year the weather has been atrocious so I don't have to feel guilty about not getting out in the garden either. So lots of knitting to do - here's a scarf I'm doing for my Other Half, who hasn't got one at the minute. I'm using left over wool from the Lochalsh sweater I knitted for my Mum, it's just a simple garter stitch, nothing fancy.
Christmas Sweater No 4 is progressing well - the chunky yarn knits up quickly and I've already finished the back. It's done in twisted broken rib (Row 1: K1tbl,P1 etc, Row 2: K) and is good for this single ply yarn, adding strength as well as great texture. The wrong side of the fabric is flat, so comfy on the inside of the cardigan.
I finished another skein of Balwen yarn yesterday, so threw it and 7 of its companions into the washing machine for a couple of wool washes to remove dirt and excess lanolin. I now have 16 skeins of this and should finish another skein in the next day or two. It's really lovely yarn, and I am toying with ideas about what I should knit when it's done.

So back to the spinning wheel...

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Christmas Present No 3

Finally finished this, a sleeveless coat made with Debbie Bliss Luxury Tweed Aran, using a pattern from the Debbie Bliss Winter 2009 collection.

It was a fairly easy knit, though I had to knit the neck edge twice as the number of stitches the pattern specifies to pick up seems far too few. So I undid it, and did the number I thought best. It looks rather shapeless on the hanger, but better when I tried it on myself. Anyway, it's for a Christmas present and is now safely awaiting Christmas in its bag.

The yarn is lovely but, like all designer yarns, pricey. What was interesting about it is the fact it is single ply. Now single ply has a tendency to twist and misshape, but the broken rib pattern seemed to counteract this tendency, and, together with the weight of it, no twisting resulted. So broken rib would seem to be a good choice for a single ply yarn.

Now I'm knitting a quick scarf for my other half, who is currently scarf-less, and I am starting Christmas Present No 4, a cardigan for my uncle. I'm on the home straight now, and am looking forward to doing some knitting for me, especially want to finish my Sanquhar gloves!