Heather Knits

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

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Cotton jumper progress

The multicoloured cotton jumper is progressing, though rather slowly now. I have just joined into the round and am knitting away on the jade green stripe (it is more green in real life than on this picture).

A little bit bigger Posted by Hello

Its good fun, choosing what colour to put next and what stitch pattern livens up the knitting. It is growing quite slowly now though as the rows are pretty long. I've got quite a while of just knitting along before I need to worry about the underarm or the neck. I'm not quite sure yet due to the angle of the diagonal whether I will have to split for the neck or the underarm first, when it is a bit bigger I shall try it up against myself and see what I reckon.

I'm using my coil-less pins that I bought from Schoolhouse Press a couple of weeks ago as stitch markers and they are proving very useful and convenient, I would really recommend them. It is handy to be able to mark a particular stitch rather than the gap between stitches for the design I am working on, and they don't ping off the needles like other stitch markers do. It is one of the reasons I haven't bought any of the beautiful beaded stitch markers yet, because I am worried I will ping them off and lose them or bend and snap them like I have with the plastic ones.

The latest issues of Interweave Knits and Knitters arrived last week so I am reading through them at the moment. Lots of interesting articles, but nothing I have found yet that I would really like to knit. I've got plenty of things in the would-like-to-be-started pile though so it is possibly a good thing that I haven't found anything else to add to it!

Women's semi-finals at Wimbledon today so a bit of knitting and watching time this afternoon I think. I shall just have to hope that the matches aren't too stressful and so don't ruin my tension!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Cones from Coldspring

These are the cones I ordered from Coldspring Mills that arrived last weekend. Aren't they pretty colours?

Cones from Coldspring Posted by Hello

From left to right they are: Baby Cashmerino, Cotton Cashmere, and two cones of Cathay. There should be enough on each cone to knit a garment for me, although I'm not quite sure what yet. They are lovely and soft, and at the moment the box is sitting on one of our dining chairs so I can stroke them as I pass.

The weather has cooled off a bit today so it is a bit more like knitting weather. It has been really quite hot and humid the last week. We went into London for a birthday party on Thursday night and I tried to knit the latest sock on the train but hardly got any done because I was so sticky.

The multicoloured cotton jumper is progressing, I'll try and photograph it tomorrow. I have just joined the front to the back and am now trundling along in a nice bright teal colour. Kate recommended a Knitty article on weaving in ends which I have just had a go at, and it is really good, much less noticeable than my previous efforts. I am having a go at weaving in some of the ends as I go along with the cotton jumper so the horror isn't too great when I actually finish the knitting.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The last hat and a cotton jumper

Our internet connection seems to be back up and running again, thank goodness! It has been driving me mad. NTL are going to replace our cable box in a couple of weeks as the one we have is rather ancient, hopefully this will solve some of the connection problems, and the freezing up that the telly does sometimes. It has taken me two tries to get this posted, the connection just seems to be variable at the moment.

Anyway, I have finished the last hat for Nanny, I think 6 should be sufficient to keep her going for a while :-)

Last stripy hat Posted by Hello

The background is a DK weight cotton I had lurking in the spare room, and I managed to use up the last of both colours of the Schachenmayr Princess. I think I have got the hat knitting thing out of my system now.

I had been going to start my mitred t-shirt which I did the tension square for ages ago, but I've been distracted again. It was knitting group on Wednesday and Audrey was showing us the method she used for making some jumpers using handspun. The idea being that you start at the centre bottom with 3 stitches, then on every other row you increase on each end of your piece, and on either side of the centre stitch until the base of the triangle is the width required for the body. Then you carry on increasing on either side of the centre stitch, but decrease at the sides every other row until you are up to the neckline, and then shape the neckline and shoulders.

I don't spin, but I did think this would be a great way to use some lovely colours of DK cotton I have, without doing horizontal stripes. It will also cope well with the fact that I have lots of some colours and not much of others. I am hoping for a kind of random effect with the colours, and patterns. I'm not usually very good at doing random things so we shall see whether it comes out ok or not. It is really good fun so far. I am twiddling with Audrey's original pattern in that once I have made my first triangle big enough width-wise I shall knit another the same, and then join them so that I can knit the bulk of the body circularly. I think I am going to make a V-neck, and I would like to somehow knit the sleeves on too, but I am still working through the logistics of that one. I had a thought about it the other morning just after the alarm clock went off, but I was rather asleep at the time so what seemed like a brilliant idea then may turn out to be rubbish. I've got a way to go before I need to worry too much about the sleeves though so plenty of time for inspiration to strike.

Anyway, here is a picture of what I have knitted so far.

Cotton jumper in progress Posted by Hello

Did I mention I like bright colours? :-)

Monday, June 20, 2005

Bad day computer wise

Our internet connection seems to be being a bit dodgy at the moment which is rather annoying. I have taken a photo of the latest hat and some of the yarn which arrived on Saturday, and have spent since Saturday trying to upload them to the blog all to no avail. At least things have improved a bit. Over the weekend I wasn't even able to send emails, at least I can do that now. Just to add insult to injury something ate by blog template over the weekend too, I think it might have disappeared while I was trying to change something but couldn't upload due to problems with the connection (oddly I can view pages fine, so info is coming in, it just doesn't seem to be going out). Luckily I had saved the template on my computer so I have managed to get back half of it (well better than nothing), I think that was the limit of the size you can cut and paste. I have been trying to paste back in the other half but don't seem to be able to save it. Oh the annoyance.

Anyway, rant on the uselessness of computers over. I have pictures, really, and will be uploading them as soon as NTL get their acts together. The purple felted bag has just come out of the wash and I am going to look in by button box for a nice button for it. I've cast finished my Lorna's Laces Rainbow socks, and cast on for a pair in Purple Club, I haven't got very far yet though.

I have got a lovely "Heather Knits" button now, created with help from the long suffering other half. It should be down near the bottom of the right hand side, once I get the template up and running again. Feel free to save it to your own server and use it to link here.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Yet another hat

Goodness it is hot here today! I think summer has definitely arrived. I shall have to find some suitably summery knitting to do.

I have finished yet another stripy hat. The background this time is some double knitting cotton I found in a bag in the spare room - you never know what you might find in there! It is so nice to be knitting with a yarn where you can actually see the stitches.

3rd Stripy Hat Posted by Hello

I've also finished the latest felted knitted bag, this one is purple. It is in the washing machine as I type, although I think it will probably need to go through two washes to be shrunk sufficiently. I'll post some pics when it is done and I have selected a button for it.

I had three knitting related parcels this morning which was rather exciting. Traditional Scandinavian Knitting by Sheila McGregor arrived from Amazon, a parcel with some coil-less safety pins, some buttons and a bag with the Elizabeth Zimmerman quote arrived from Schoolhouse Press, and 4 cones of ex-Debbie Bliss yarns arrived from Coldspring Mill. Wow! What a day! I am going to go and stroke it all now.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Another stripy hat

The hat obsession continues ... Here is another stripy hat with the colours the inverse of the last one. I was concerned that the last one was a bit big so I doctored the pattern this time around, and only cast on 102 stitches, then worked 5 stripes instead of six.

2nd Stripy Hat Posted by Hello

There is still more yarn left so I am going to have a dig around for some cotton I have lurking in the spare room which I think will be in a colour to go with this.

I've just ordered some gorgeous sounding ex-Debbie Bliss yarns for an absolute song - hopefully they should arrive early next week so piccies will be posted, and much drooling will occur (at least from me).

I seem to be being inspired by loads of things lately, it is one of those odd things that it seems to go in waves. Some months I hardly see anything knitting related I want to buy and others I see loads. I rather like some of the patterns at Vermont Fiber Designs, and I'm still thinking about the Hanne Falkenberg Mermaid, and you can buy blocking wires at Heirloom Knitting. Wow, what a lot of choice, I shall have to think on it some more.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I knew there was a reason I fixed the doorbell

I finally got round to replacing our doorbell at the weekend. It had been a bit iffy for ages and then on Saturday it stopped working altogether. And now I have my efforts amply repaid! I ordered some sock yarn from Get Knitted a couple of days ago, and it arrived this morning.

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn Posted by Hello

Aren't they beautiful? The colours are, from left to right: Tahoe, Get Knitted, Purple Club, and Irving Park. Also a fun pen and soap were in the parcel too, I love a nice surprise!

In a bizarre coincidence, the latest KnitCast which came out today is also with Get Knitted.

Now the big difficulty of which to cast on with first!

The hat obsession still hasn't worked itself out, although I have high hopes that it may end soon, more pictures of hats to come later.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Oh! the embarrassment

I was checking my Amazon recommendations today (not really to be advised since I don't have space on the bookcase for the books I do have let alone the ones I haven't bought yet), and one of the books recommended was Traditional Scandinavian Knitting by Sheila McGregor. It looked interesting, but slightly familiar, so I dashed downstairs to see if it was already on the bookshelf. After much hunting about I decided it would probably be sensible to actually arrange the books in some kind of order, so I have now grouped together the knitting books, and the machine knitting books, and the knitting reference books and the other crafts books. The knitting books have also been arranged alphabetically since there are rather a lot of them (what a surprise). I discovered that while I did own two books by Sheila McGregor, neither of them was the Scandinavian one. I did however discover that I had not two, but three copies of the Batsford Complete Book of Traditional Knitting ... oops. There was only one other duplication though so I think all in all I have done ok :-) I must remember to take the extras to Knitting Group and see if anyone would like them.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Hat mania

I've come to the conclusion that I go in phases with what I am knitting, and I am definitely having a hat phase at the moment :-)

I finished the stripy hat, another hat for Nanny using Schachenmayr Princess yarn (72% acrylic, 28% viscose) from Elann, and here is a picture.

Completed stripy hat Posted by Hello

I'm slightly concerned that as it fits my big head it might be a bit big for her, we shall see. One of the difficulties of this pattern was that no tension was given just a needle size so I wasn't quite sure how big they intended it to turn out.

As I still had most of a ball in each colour left over I thought I would have a go at the aviator cap also from Headhuggers. I started twice since I thought that the 5mm needles seemed too big for this yarn, and then ran out of yarn when I was about 3/4 of the way through. At that point I decided that the pattern really didn't work in that yarn, since the yarn is so textured, the texture of the pattern was completely lost, and I was concerned that the shape of the hat was coming out a bit odd. To cut a long story short, I unraveled it all and am calling it A Learning Experience (TM). I have cast on for another stripy hat with the colours the other way around, which I am making with 12 fewer stitches around and 8 fewer rows in the stripy bit, and 2 fewer rows in the crown. I am currently on stripe number 4 and I still have loads of yarn left!

I am getting perilously close to giving in and ordering some more sock yarn from Get Knitted, they have some gorgeous colours, and I am really enjoying working with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn.

PS. Hi Emma! Yes I am Val's daughter. I'm definitely hoping to be able to come along to your knitting group next time I am up in the frozen north visiting the parents!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Hat Progress

Wow! Two posts in one day!

As promised here is a photo of the stripy hat in progress.

Stripy hat in progress Posted by Hello

I started off knitting this on a set of 4 Pony metal double pointed needles, and discovered that though I love knitting socks on my bamboo and ebony double pointed needles I absolutely loathed knitting with this yarn on metal dpns. I have now switched to a Milward metal circular and though it isn't as nice as knitting with my Addi Turbos (which I don't have in the right size) it is much better. I am having a go at the magic loop technique as I decrease for the crown, but I might have to give in and switch back to the dpns soon.

Anyway, the sun is out, the sky is blue, and I am about to attack the weeds in the front garden ... I may be some time.

Yet more pictures

I've been having a play around with the template of the blog and now have pictures to link to my finished projects! Its so much fun!

It got me to thinking about photographing some of my older knitting too so I thought I would start with my big knit from last year, my wedding dress:

Paul and Heather Posted by Hello

In case you hadn't guessed I am the one on the right :-) The other one is the long suffering husband. We got married on May 15th at Leatherhead Register Office.

I designed the dress myself, it is knitted top down on circular needles and turned me into a total convert to that method of knitting, it really helps when attempting to get a good fit to be able to try on the knitting as you go. It is knitted using Jaeger Cadiz, 50% silk and 50% viscose, and the colour is Malachite. According to the ball band this is an aran weight yarn but after I knitted a few sample pieces I decided I liked the fabric best when knitted using 3.5mm needles. It is mostly stocking stitch, with 2x2 cables. I got so paranoid when buying yarn for this, since in typical Heather fashion I only discovered it after it had become discontinued! (although it did mean most of the yarn was on sale), that I bought so much yarn that I have enough left over for a matching cardigan, which I will get round to some time. The dress is really heavy but it doesn't seem to have stretched and is very comfy to wear. I wore it again this February with a black cardigan to go to another friend's wedding.

In other knitting I haven't done much on the purple felted bag, hopefully I'll get back to it soon. The latest hat for Nanny is coming along though, I have just started the shaping for the crown. Its a lovely day here today so I will get the camera out later and take a picture of it.

I heard back from Kangaroo and unfortunately they don't have all the colourways for the Mermaid, and they wont do yarn snippets of the colours they do have. They referred me to Hanne Falkenberg's website but that unfortunately doesn't solve the problem of my monitor possibly not displaying the colours properly. It seems quite a lot of money for a kit which I am not quite sure that the colours will be what I expect. This bugs me a little about Hanne's designs, that you can't buy the pattern separately and then select your own colours from a source where you can actually go and see them and make sure they are all colours you like.

OK, you can take your hands off your ears now, I've finished ranting :-) I think I shall go and knit some more hat now.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Terrible Temptations

I've finished the second hat for Nanny's birthday, same pattern as before (the Braid-edged Cap by Judy Gibson), and also same yarn (Schachenmayr Princess, 72% acrylic, 28% viscose) but in a different colour.

2nd hat for Nanny Posted by Hello

It actually used less yarn than I had thought so I have embarked on a stripy hat with the yarn I have left over. I have done three stripes so far and will hopefully take a picture of it in progress soon.

The purple felted bag is coming along, I am onto the strap now so the end is in sight. The black and red bag has had a couple of outings already and has proved to be a good size. Thanks for the comment Jocelyn, I am hoping to carry the idea of shading colours a bit further with the next bag which is purple and black, and entirely in my head at the moment!

The new edition of Knitting arrived a couple of days ago and I am part way through it. Seeing the ads from the various UK online knitting shops always inspires me to go and see what they have got in at the moment, never a good plan for the poor beleaguered credit-card. Anyway, to cut a long story short (too late!) I see that Get Knitted has got a whole load of lovely looking sock yarns in colours I don't have yet, even though I need new sock yarn like I need a hole in the head. Also to add insult to injury I have fallen in love with the new Hanne Falkenberg kit, Mermaid. The only dilemma is the colour, I am in an agony of indecision over colour 4, blue, turquoise, and green, or colour 5, black, dark green, and kingfisher. I am worried that my monitor doesn't always display colours very accurately and that colour 4 might be paler than I think, or that the colour is accurate and colour 5 is rather dingy. I might email them and see if they could send me a little snippet of the appropriate colours. Unfortunately I think I see a rather large credit card bill in my future ...