Heather Knits

Where Heather waffles on about knitting and anything else which crosses her mind.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Knitcast and felting

I've just discovered KnitCast which is a podcast about knitting. There are the first 5 podcasts up on the site so far, and the interviews are really interesting - definitely worth a listen. I've even managed to get a bit knitted on the latest sock while listening.

In other knitting I have decided that I need a new felted bag. I have one I knitted last year which is dark green and my other half kindly says looks like a carpet tile. It is really useful though, as it has a long strap so I can wear it diagonally and have both hands free, and it is big enough to fit in bit of knitting, along with the obligatory purse and phone and other stuff I usually carry around. It is starting to pill a little now though, and I decided it would be nice to have one in another colour too, so I have set to on a sample swatch using 4 strands of 2ply lambswool from Uppingham Yarns and 8mm needles. It is coming along but isn't great computing knitting as the yarn is oiled and so I tend to grease up the keys - not quite the desired effect. However the library is having a rent 3 DVDs for the price of 2 offer until the end of May so I have got a few things to watch while I knit my sample to be felted.

Knitting with silk

As I said before we had a workshop on knitting with silk at knitting group yesterday, which was great fun. She brought in some Mawata caps which are a big hat shape made by taking the silk cocoon after the caterpillar has emerged as a moth and then soaking it and stretching it to about 12 inches x 8 inches ish. You can grab the top of the cap and pull off a layer of silk which you can then stretch out and roll on your trouser to form a rather primitive type of thread. A way of making silk thread for those who don't spin really. I hope I have remembered that description of the process properly.

Anyway, then we knitted it up trying different needle sizes and stitch patterns and generally playing around with it, and that is the white part of the sample below (the blue is some commercial acrylic yarn I was playing with different needle sizes in stocking stitch and garter stitch).

Silk sample Posted by Hello

I also had to buy a skein of the most beautiful hand dyed silk:

Skein of hand dyed silk Posted by Hello

I'm afraid the picture didn't come out that well, but it is a blend of different blues and greys with silver specks. I haven't worked out what is going to be yet, possibly a scarf?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Finished oddment socks

I finished the other sock, so I now have a pair! As you can see they are very non-identical :-)

Oddment socks Posted by Hello

They fit well though, the extra 5 rounds in the foot and having more stitches in the cuff has definitely made all the difference, and with all the different little odd balls I have had lots of practice on my Russian join!

Today was knitting group at Ash, and we had a workshop on knitting with silk with Priscilla Lowry (I hope I have spelled her name correctly) which was very interesting. I shall photograph my bizarre little sample piece and the lovely yarn I bought tomorrow hopefully. All this excitement has rather worn me out!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Busy week - not much knitting

Well this has been a bit of a busy week, and not much knitting got done. I had a tutorial on Friday so spent most of the week in not particularly productive panic about that. It was a really useful tutorial though and I must write up the things we discussed before I forget it all!

I did manage to get the first of my oddment socks finished, piccie below:

Oddment sock Posted by Hello

I am on the leg of the second. The plain maroon colour in the middle is Jaeger Matchmaker Merino 4ply and I had forgotten how absolutely lovely it is to knit with, really soft. The second sock is going to be even more odd as I haven't got enough of the stripey turquoise to do the whole toe so will have to find another oddment to finish off with - it all adds to the fun! I'll post a picture of the socks on the feet when I finally get the second done.

I also succumbed to the lure of some Schachenmayer Princess yarn from Elann in a black and blue colourway, and some in a green and blue colourway. It is an acrylic and viscose blend, and an aran weight, and looks a bit like a chenille. I ordered it surface mail so it will take about 6 weeks to arrive, enough time hopefully for me to work out what I am going to do with it!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Spiral rib socks for Lucy

I have just finished the spiral rib socks for Lucy (a friend's 3 year old daughter), and here they are:

Spiral rib socks for Lucy Posted by Hello

They do look a little odd, being rather long and thin. The rib is really stretchy though so I hope that they will fit OK.

I am just about to embark on some oddment socks for me, I'm going to experiment a bit with having more stitches in the cuff and a longer foot and see if they will fit a bit better.

I finally got round to washing the swatch for my mitred t-shirt so when that dries I can measure it and see what tension I am getting and then cast on!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Russian join

Since I am knitting the spiral rib socks out of oddments of leftover sock wool I have had to change balls part way through the first sock when I ran out of green, so I thought I would try the Russian join which I had heard about before but never tried. It was so much fun! And I really like the results, it is really not very noticeable (well apart from the drastic change of colour from green to pink!). I think I did get a little carried away and made the overlap rather too long, but it definately wont be coming apart! The upshot is that I am really taken with this way of joining in a new ball, and it would work with any yarn not just wool.

I'm also feeling very pleased with myself. On my way to give blood this afternoon I dropped into our local knitting shop / newsagents to get some more pins, and friday is the day the knitting lady works there so we had a bit of a chat, and she said she liked my poncho sweater which was getting its first outing. So I am very flattered :-)

Thursday, April 14, 2005

A very socky post

Well last night I finished the Regia Stretch socks I seem to have been knitting forever (although it did take me 3 tries to graft the toe!), and today I am wearing them! (see piccie below).

Regia Stretch socks Posted by Hello

I am not totally convinced by the Regia Stretch, because it is so stretchy I found it hard not to pull it too tight when knitting so these have come out rather closer than I normally make socks. Also I found I prefer slightly longer blocks of colour - to me the colour of these looks a bit bitty. I think with the next pair of socks I shall have a few experiments too, I think I shall make the foot about 5 rows longer and I'm still having trouble casting on too tightly, so I shall try casting on 25% more stitches and then decreasing after the cuff.

I had an email from Texere Yarns to say that my order has been delayed as they have had trouble with their suppliers. So in the meantime I have started a spiral rib sock made from oddments of sock wool for a friend's daughter who is 3. I am hoping that the spiral rib will be a good choice as I am not quite sure how big her feet are and as there is no heel in this sock and the rib is very stretchy it will hopefully last a bit longer for fast growing feet.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Annie's Cloche Hat

As I mentioned earlier, Annie, my sister came round at lunchtime for a consultation on her Cloche hat. This is a pattern from the Vogue Knitting on the Go: Caps and Hats book, although Annie is knitting hers in a DK weight wool/acrylic mix I have forgotten the name of. It is coming along really well, she came round as the circular needle she was working on had got too short so she is now borrowing my set of double pointed needles. The hat modeled complete with needles is below!

Annie's cloche hat - nearly done Posted by Hello

Cloche hat from another angle Posted by Hello

Poncho Sweater with body inside!

Annie (little sis) came round this lunchtime for a quick knitting consultation on her cloche hat - more of that later, and kindly agreed to take pictures of me in my finished Poncho Sweater - so here it is! Please ignore the spade, upside down chair and unmowed lawn in the background :-)

Heather modeling the Poncho Sweater Posted by Hello

Monday, April 11, 2005

Boo Hoo

I snapped one of my lovely rosewood sock needles :-(

I got home from my french class and took my knitting out of the bag only to discover that one of the needles has snapped in half - I think I must have packed them badly. I am rather annoyed as they were nice needles. I have swapped to the ebony set though which are really nice to knit with, I think a little more slippery than the rosewood, and have just turned the heel and started on the foot of the sock. The yarns from Texere still haven't turned up so at least I don't feel that I should have finished this sock so I can start on my sister's birthday pressie.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Sock Progress

We went for lunch with the in-laws today which was lovely. A nice bit of board game playing in the afternoon too, I lost moderately horribly but I enjoy the playing so that's what counts!

I got some more of the sock done. I am just about to start the heel so it shouldn't be too long to go now. I'll post a picture when they are finished.

Anyway, time for bed I think. I'll try to get more done tomorrow, in among ringing the plumber about the leaky pipe in the bathroom, doing my french homework for the evening class I go to, and reading up about the history of the Mathematics Association!

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Mitred T-Shirt

My next project is going to be a mitred t-shirt for the summer, made out of some 4ply cotton I happen to have lying around in a bin bag in the computer room :-)

While waiting for the poncho sweater to dry sufficiently that I can photograph myself in it I thought I would knit up a tension swatch and see what it came out like. So here it is:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

It is knitted in garter stitch on 3mm needles. I wasn't sure about the ratio of depth of the stripes so I started off at the bottom with 4 rows navy, then 2 rows green, then changed to 6 rows navy and 2 rows green. I'm still not sure whether the stripiness will make me look like a deck-chair, hmm. I do have lots of different shades of blue and green so hopefully that will make it look more of a subtle gradation and less stripy. The green I used was slightly thicker than the blue but I must check the bag and see whether this was just this ball. They are each made up of several thinner strands wound together, so while the navy is a flat colour the green I used is actually made up of 4 strands of mid-green and one of a medium blue.

So anyway, the swatch is now waiting to be washed and dried to see if I like the fabric while I contemplate the general stripiness problem. In the meantime I am knitting a bit on a pair of socks I seem to have been making forever. I need to free up my needles for when my 4ply alpaca from Texere (http://www.texere.co.uk/) turns up, hopefully any day now!

In other news I had a jolly trip to the Fantasia today (http://www.jwaad.ndirect.co.uk/fan.html) but was remarkably restrained and bought only a lovely red/yellow/orange scarf thing and a malachite and silver pendant. I might get round to photographing them hopefully soon. I need to find a necklace for the pendant but I think I have one lurking somewhere. I haven't quite worked out how to wear the scarf, as I'm more of a wooly scarf rather than a drapy scarf kind of a person, but it was so beautiful I will work something out :-)

Friday, April 08, 2005

First Post Excitement!

Well having joined the world of the bloggers I should start somewhere, so on with the ramblings.

Last night I finished knitting my poncho sweater as designed by Heather Madrone on the Ample Knitters list http://www.ample-knitters.com/ . This morning I washed it and blocked it on the spare room floor (as that is the only large enough flat space in the house where it isn't likely to get sat on or trodden on). So here is a picture of it drying. In a couple of days when it has dried properly, and hopefully when the weather has cheered up a bit I'll bully Paul into taking a picture of me in it.

Poncho Sweater Posted by Hello