Since it’s FOFriday, here’s Bricked Up (my version of Brick by Brick from Michaela Moores) in a lovely burnt orange BFL:
I wore them the other day since it’s still cold here (although things may warm up soon, they say). The combination of knit and purl, and the lustre of the BFL, brings out the colour very nicely – I’m quite fond of them, which is a surprise.
Now, as promised/threatened, here’s a project in bright hand-dyed sock yarn. It’s Unleaving from the latest Knitty:
It’s not that bad, but I think it’s destined as a charity donation because I’m not hugely keen on long scarves at the moment.
As for the WIP, I’m knitting Amelia by Julia Frank from Rowan 51, which is a risky thing to do at the best of times. I’m using Patons Cotton DK, which is highly mercerised, so the project is very probably doomed.
A while back I made the mistake of hand-painting some BFL laceweight.
I love the colours, but what to do with it has become a problem. I started Semi-Precious from a previous Knitty, but the lace pattern was too obscure. So I tried Demiluna and that didn’t look right either. The yarn was just about to be binned when I came across Carie Harling’s Old Man of Storr Shawlette. Will this be third time lucky? Ironically, I named the colourway Smart Step. I hope the eponymous racehorse does better.
And a small confession. On things Rowan, I was passing an LYS in York and fancied a squeeze of Fine Lace. It’s lovely stuff, but the colours are a little on the drab side for me. The staff were very nice and friendly, but I didn’t buy any Rowan (although I wouldn’t rule that out for the future). I bought some Lang Jawoll Magic sock yarn. Why? Because I’ve never bought Lang before. Of course.
It was so cold the other week my hands were hurting from arthritis and I thought some new mitts would help. I had enough baby alpaca left and got started on Jennifer Hagan’s Princess Mitts …
… and of course the sun came out! I think it may be a while before the second mitt is done.
Back to the blue laceweight now, I’m afraid. I have this thing about lace leaves at the moment and I’ve wanted to do Evelyn’s Leaf Shawl for quite some time. I thought I’d make the leaves a little smaller (8 stitches instead of 10):
Where to put the beads? Oh yes, the border! I added one to the knit stitch between the yarn overs and then three per point.
The finished object:
So that’s the end of it!
And for the last item in my stash (some fuchsia Filigran) I chose Sue Berg’s Enzian and I’m adding beads to every flower:
It’s taking quite a few so just as well I replenished my stock at Craft Basics last week with 50g of size 8 and 50g of size 6.
And that means, no doubt, that there’ll be more beaded knitting in the future, and it may be 4-ply ….
I bought 40g of silver-lined glass beads from Craft Basics in York and added three per point:
There’s another 100g skein and a bit left of this yarn and I’m planning something with lots of beads – this was a little practice.
And then another semi-circular shawl, this time from Knitty. I used a skein of Araucania Ranco which wasn’t quite enough for the full design but it’ll do.
This is a nice and easy design that’s quick to knit. I’m not too keen on lattices made from (k2tog, yo) but this works well with the wide lace border. Neither am I a fan of picot cast off, but I always like the result.
So, like the weather, there were plenty of shawls in April.
I love casting on. I get an amazing feeling of satisfaction from a nice tubular 2×2 rib edge:
Anything else, like a cable or long tail, is just a necessary chore. I even use tubular cast on for socks, like my second of 2012 which is the delightfully simple Monkey by Cookie A.
I was talking about sock construction to a knitty friend and mentioned that I hadn’t yet knitted any from the toe up. Which of course meant my third of the year had to use the technique. I picked Cat Bordhi’s Darjeeling from Clara Parkes’ book and went over to YouTube to watch Cat’s tutorial on Judy Becker’s Magic Cast-On. It looked nice and easy in chunky yarn on large needles, but was a bit fiddly on 2.25mm with 4-ply. I gave up my first attempt in frustration but went back to it later with more patience. And so more socks:
At this rate it’ll be 12 pink socks in 2012.
For provisional cast on I tend to start with a crochet chain of spare yarn. So when I read a good blog post on a variation of Turkish cast on for shawl tabs I just had to try it. And try it again.
I suffered a little “startitis” and I have two shawls on the needles. The first, which was the original culprit, is Autumn in New York. Only it’s Spring in Old York:
I had 200g of Noro Silk Garden Sock in my stash, bought for a gift which I made in some hand-dyed instead. I had been looking for something which would show off the best of this wonderful yarn. I came across Andrea Jurgrau’s design on Ravelry and went over to her blog to read all about it.
I’d forgotten how nice it is to knit with SGS. It just slips through my fingers and says “Knit me! Knit me more!”. I couldn’t put it down. But it’s a large shawl and may take a while to finish.
Thinking about the cast on technique, I had the urge to practice it again. I’m trying to use up my early hand-dyed yarns, hence I started Vlad:
I’ve called the project Edward. There’s more silk in this yarn and it’s knitting up a treat too. This one is a reasonably sized shawlette, so it’ll be finished soon I expect.
It’s certainly a mild spring here in York. If you needed a good reason to visit either now or at Easter there’s the award-winning Ramshambles in, of course, the Shambles …..
….. with my hand-dyed laceweight in the window and an excellent selection of yarns inside. The shop is open every day of the week. As if you needed an excuse!
Having decided that 12 socks and 12 shawls were a bit too much for 2012 I got a move on with my first shawl last weekend. I’m not too strong on common sense this month, that’s for sure.
It’s in Perplex, my hand-dyed 4-ply baby alpaca. I’m a bit strange about this yarn: it’s so gorgeous I can’t part with it. I’ve just dyed another 400g, and I really should put them up for sale, but I don’t think I can.
I had quite a bit of trouble concentrating on the design because I was watching some interesting television. So there was a lot to tinking. In fact one night I think I got a net total of one round completed after going back about five. Still, they look good and show off my hand-dyed yarn nicely. I’m very pleased with them.
But I’ve got to get going on the second of my 12 socks in 2012 and it’s definitely going to be from Knit.Sock.Love. Maybe Hedera or perhaps I should do Monkey since it’s so popular.
And I’d just like to say a big thank you to all the bloggers I follow, and all the knitty bloggers I sample from WordPress. You’ve made the last three weeks much better than they might have been with your lively and stimulating posts. And a huge thank you to Fiona Hirst of Grace and Jacob in Barleycorn Yard, York: she may have convinced me to try spinning again!
Sometimes I really disappoint myself. I spent two hours – only TWO – standing with a collecting tin at York station yesterday. I felt pretty chilled at the end of my stint and walked home at a brisk pace to warm up. I had some soup for lunch. Yet I’ve come down with a cold like a character in an Austen/Bronte novel. Honestly!
I was collecting for the York Blind and Partially Sighted Society and really heartened by the generosity of the passersby. There was one wonderful lady who donated a nice crisp fiver. Thank you so much!
Since I felt a bit poorly in the afternoon I did some work on my Mystery Shawl KAL. There’s an option to add beads to the border and, since I’m not that keen on the thing so far, I thought I’d use it as my first beaded project. I’d popped into Craft Basics on Tuesday and bought some nice shiny black size 8′s so I was all set. Well, I’m (crochet) hooked! What a satisfying experience!
Of course I’m thinking about what I could do next and I have a suspicion it’s going to be pink with beads.
I’m collecting for the YBPSS again next Thursday in the city centre, but I’ll dress warmer. Now where’s my Urchin?
My yarns have found a comfy nest! Since last week they’ve been on sale at the “dinky but delightful” Sunday Nest in York. This is a new shop selling handpicked haberdashery (including some very interesting vintage pieces) and gifts – and now my yarn.
The shop is upstairs in Me & Mrs Fisher, a wonderful cake and coffee shop in Lord Mayor’s Walk.
Picture by Jane, owner of Sunday Nest
Notice the brick wall? A happy coincidence. And it’s a building with a very well known gable end.
So I’ve been knitting up a few samples to show what can be done with my yarns, particularly the chunky wrap. This cowl, based on Cowl’d and Frosty Morning by Kelly Herdrich, took only an hour or so to knit.
I’ve been making hay while the sun shines. Not literally of course, but I’ve been packing plenty into these unusually hot and sunny days. Since the heat is so late in the season there’s an obvious urgency to make the most of it. All those housework jobs which I’d put off, waiting for fine weather, have been done. Curtains are washed, cleaning is finished, and now I’m set for whatever winter wants to throw at us this year.
I went along to my second Knit’n'Natter at the Blind and Partially Sighted Society earlier in the week, and enjoyed every minute. It’s really inspiring to discover how knitters are so determined and inventive. To compensate for my lacklustre performance last time, I took a couple of hats, a handful of smartphone socks and my Royal Orchid shawl to sell on the Open Day.
Well, I'll never wear it
I’d asked a neighbour to act as a referee for my work with the Society and she let me know that she’d done the necessary. As a thank you I want to knit her an Ishbel in some hand-dyed merino-silk. She’s a wonderful person and she’s been very supportive.
But I want to do it as soon as possible, so how quickly can you knit an Ishbel?