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Monday, July 31, 2006

With a cherry on top...
Whilst it might not be the cherry surprise you were expecting, here's the adorable hat I made for a friend's little girl, based upon one she'd seen in an overpriced kids' clothing store. Isn't it cute? It only took a couple of hours and I have even managed to write up a fairly respectable pattern.
It'll be on the blog soon, but I am sure I have seen a similar hat somewhere else. No amount of Googling will make it appear for me though. Am I imagining it? I don't want it to look like I am trying to pass off someone else's idea as my own so if you've seen the pattern, please let me know. Or we'll just decide that it was indeed a figment of my over-worked imagination.

Kelly [ 7:22 PM ]

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

It's not knitting but...

Soon I'll do some knitting to attach to these gorgeous buttons. I am going to London tomorrow in search of perfect red or pink wool to make a little cardigan for a little person. Meanwhile, bask in the cherry cuteness.

Kelly [ 5:26 PM ]

Monday, July 24, 2006

Stella... you're on my mind AND my needles...

I couldn't wait to get started on my new toasty winter cape. Yes, I am aware that it's about 30 outdoors, but it certainly won't be in a few months time and I'd rather be enveloped in soft grey cables when that time arrives.

I started with the scarf part - I tried somethingelaborate as a homage to the original but realised the scarf was ending up too big to enjoy knitting. Instead, I opted for a simple braided cable, reminiscent of the one from Coronet on Knitty. It grows rather speedily and I intend to make it rather long so I can swish it over my shoulder in knitted superiority.

I have started to think about the cape itself - I have decided that I definitely want a fat double cable along the center back
and some smaller braided cables.... and a couple of stockinette panels... I'll scan the sketches later.

In the meantime, I found Leroy asleep on my desk with a bal
l of Rowanspun on his head...

Kelly [ 5:33 PM ]

Sunday, July 23, 2006

On FOs and fashion...

Ok, so it's lonely at the moment, but here's the first of many pairs of cabled footies from One Skein. They are speedy and not too thought intensive - cast on during Lost on Tuesday, turned heel at SnB on Wednesday, finished up on train on Thursday morning - but me being me, I have managed to misplace 2 cable needles in 2 days. I am very annoyed about this and although I tried to soldier on with a more slender cable needle, I ended up botching the first few rows of Footie 2 and frogging.

To Ebay, where I have ordered a chunkier replacement that should be here by mid week.

In the meantime, my love of cables was only perpetuated when I spotted this beauty in the latest issue of Vogue...

Mmmm... cabled wool cape. Yummy. But £425? And £595 for a longer version? Sorry Stella, I ain't biting. Not after I bought a load of soft grey merino aran in the John Lewis sale and I have a new cable needle on the way! The cape seems a very simple beast - I daren't go into a shop and start pooking about at one but I think this is how they go...
I am sure this can be done. Now I just have to wait for that cable needle...

Kelly [ 6:16 PM ]

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I was wrong. I don't make mistakes...

I couldn't just leave that beautiful fair isle hat unwearable. So I bit the carefully stitched bullet and pulled apart the crown decreases.

Angry with myself, I added 8 straight rows before beginning the decreases, where I slipped in a couple of even rows for good luck. Et voila - a perfectly wearable hat. While I had the camera out, I also snapped The Boy in this fetching number. It's a quick homespun experiment from a little while ago - the spinning wasn't my doing but the hat is kinda cute.

Which brings me to another problem - my model. He is kinda handsome - hell, that's why I keep him handy! - but whenever he steps in to model one of my knitted creations and I post about it over on the knitting community of Livejournal, more people comment on his dimples than actually notice my lovely stitchery. Grrr!

I'll give him his moment of glory. For now. I was painfully proud as I watched him practice his first Fair Isle at SnB last week...

Kelly [ 6:06 PM ]

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

On the hottest day of the year.... I bring you Rogue in all her glory.

Rogue by Girl From Auntie

This beautifully written is worth every penny - I have no desire to hear your piffle about patterns not being worth paying for when there's Knitty and Magknits. 19 pages of expertly written instructions and charts is worth at least $6.00, ok?

Size: M

This is a terribly generous pattern - you can see from the picture that I am very rarely a medium person...

Rowanspun Aran in Husk, 100% wool

Bought on a whim from the
Cucumber Patch sale, this yarn is a delicious to work with but not as strong as it looks - I had a few unfortunate breakages during tight cabling moments. I used pretty much the yardage stated in the pattern.

Time taken: Oooh, a couple of months, interspersed with other small projects. As it was my first sweater and my first time tackling such elaborate cables, this was not something I could do watching TV or chatting to friends...

Now, let's take a pictorial break...

Close up of side shaping, as provided by the cables.

That wonderful hood...

I won't say that this is the ideal first sweater for everyone, because it isn't, but if deep down you know that there's no way on God's green Earth that you're going to sit through row after row of stockinette to create a shapeless monstrocity, give this one a try. Cabling isn't hard - it's just knitting and purling after all - and you'll soon pick up the art of reading cable charts.

The only modification I made was not to sew down the cuffs and bottom hem - I liked the look of the rolled stockinette and after a wet blocking, they seem to stay put of their own accord. This could also be put down to laziness and my desire just to get the jumper on!

If you need more info on knitting this sweater, the knit-a-long over on Yahoo is pretty dead. However, this thread over at Craftster shows some beautiful results and has some great tips!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Everyone makes mistakes...

No, not the boyfriend. Just the immensely shallow hat on his head.

Pattern: Swell by Kimmie Kemper from Summer 2006 Knitty, size L

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora in eggshell blue (1) and khaki green (2) (ball bands have escaped)

Needles: Denise interchangeables US size 5 17" circ and Addi size 5 double points

Time taken: Only a few hours, but spread over several days

After completing the Fair Isle, I was satisfied with the length of the hat so far. However, I didn't read forward far enough to appreciate the sharp decreases for the crown.... consequently I ended up with a very shallow hat. A very vicious wet-blocking afforded me about another inch, but certainly not enough to recover this ridiculous looking hat.

I refuse to dismantle it, as it did successfully teach me fair isle with minimal tears, but I might have to remake it, giving myself an extra 6-8 rows of straight knitting after the pattern to allow it to ACTUALLY cover human ears.

And yes, I am peeved I messed it up. But it does me good to mess up, right?

Kelly [ 7:02 PM ]

Friday, July 07, 2006

First peeks - a hoodless Rogue

It's either me or a rabbit in headlights!

Body complete and the hood is well on the way. I am so pleased that it fits - I was suspicious the the Medium would be miles too small but it actually fits babout right. The hood is a doozie - I can only work a few rows at a time before getting exhausted. But the end is nigh...

Naff picture though it may be, the cabling looks even better curved to a female form.... however, this pic is a reminder of just how many ends I have left to weave in...

Kelly [ 8:33 PM ]

Summer Knitty ahoy!

How much do I love the latest edition of Knitty?

Enough to have already knitted some earflaps for Swell as a start to my Christmas knitting!

I think this must be my favourite issue yet as the focus is on accessories... I dunno about you guys but I am usually way too impoverished to have enough wool for an entire sweater just waiting in my stash. However, I do tend to buy things in quantites of one of two balls, ideal for accessories. I don't think I can pick a favourite until I have had a chance to knit a few more things!

There's some high-class sock porn there, as well as some gorgeous ideas for jewelery.

I was made redundant on Monday and while I search for a new job (anyone need a sassy, reliable journalist with yarn stash sharing abilities?), I promise to get plenty off my needles. And for my friends and family, expect a very woolly Christmas :)