Saturday, 31 July 2010

No, it isn't a collapsable Harry Potter broomstick...

Which was naturally my first thought when I spotted that this had arrived yesterday. Instead it is a set of these:
Wires and t-pins for blocking my knitting, very handy! And also not that expensive, at £25 for lots of wires, a yard stick and 30 t-pins (I already have 30, and I ordered more, so I now have 90, enough?)

I got them from the lovely Loop, which has changed bricks and mortar location and I cannot wait to get down to see it. All the posts I have read about the opening weekend said how lovely and light and airy the new shop is!

Other new things are some lovely Noro Kureyon Sock in purples, I got this purely because I saw a beautiful Citron in this yarn and these shades and decided I wanted one for myself!

And some Mirasol Miski in Coral, which is so softy baby llama but I think I need another skein to make a hat, so I shall be hunting that down.

Other then that I have a new project on my needles, This is what I am calling the Bon Temps Marina, as it is knit in my Sookie Stackhouse superwash sock yarn from the Fresh From The Cauldron site.

So far I have managed the first repeat of the second chart, and next I will be getting into the more complicated bits so it is sitting until I can give it my full attention. As you can see the colours of the yarn really work up nicely in this lace pattern, I originally started knitting a different pattern which had a block of stockinette at the top and I ripped it out because it looked awful, lace is definitely the way to go with this colourway.

Also just a little thing, to keep track of my rows I fashioned this little dongle to pop on a bracelet with my row counter on, I am rather tempted to wear it as every day jewellery!

One last little thing which there may be more of soon, I gave crochet a go the other day, it isn't perfect but I was excited:

P.S. Thank you so much for the comments on my Damson, I wore it all day the other day and was mighty proud of myself :D

Friday, 23 July 2010

Finally FO: Damson

Here it is, fresh from the blocking you saw yesterday is my now completed Damson shawl.

I have to say before I go on that I really do love this item, it is the first time I have knit a shawl and it has gotten me wanting to knit more, I have been wearing it all day today to show it off and am really proud of how it looks. Especially because of the mistakes and fixings i had to do!

Damson near Damsons (or plums at least, albeit green ones at the mo.)

First off, after the good blocking I gave it yesterday my Damson measures 53" from point to point across the top and is 14.5" from the top to the bottom of the curve. This is slightly larger then the pattern states because I really wanted to open up the garter stitch a bit more, I like to be able to see the gaps between the rows of bumps. 
Now for the problems I had, I have mentioned already that I had to rip out a few rows a few times when my stitch counts wouldn't add up, well I had to do some more ripping at the end too.
I used the recommended yarn for this project, Malabrigo Sock, and my gauge seemed fine when I tested it, but I must have been slightly off because I ran out of yarn 2/3 of the way through my bind off. I ripped back to bind off in a different yarn and it looked awful, so I ripped back to before the looped edging and was going to bind off there with a straight edge but I found that looked too plain, and then I started to use my head, I only needed a few more yards of yarn, and the last row of increases adds about 1/3 more stitches (off the top of my head) so instead of double yarn overs with knit 1, purl 1 into each yarn over, I instead did a single yarn over and knit 1 purl 1 into that single yarn over, reducing my stitches without losing the style. This is the finished result, and I think it has worked out very well. Unless you compared it with a perfect one you wouldn't really tell that there was a difference.

I actually really enjoyed this learning exercise because I like puzzles, and knitting puzzles are the most fun. I may have gotten sick to death of tinking (and learning how to insert lifelines after the fact) but it was an experience anyhow!

Pattern Name: Damson by Ysolda Teague
Yarn Used: Malabrigo Sock in Cote D'Azure
Needle Size: 4mm circular's with an 80cm cable
Problems: Lost track of stitches a few times, ran out of yarn at the end.
Modifications: Changed edging to *yo, sl1 k2tog psso*. Then next row *k1, p1 into yo, k1* 
Skills Learnt: Triangular shawl construction. Blocking lace.
Knit again: Probably but not for a while!
Score: 8/10

P.S. In case you are wondering, those number play mats in the previous post are from Tesco Extra, they were £4.97, but I just got another set (because one was only just enough for the shawl and I might want to work on bigger things) from Sainsbury's, reduced for only £3 something, I would get them now if you are thinking of it as it seems they aren't available past the summer, I was looking last october and couldn't get any from anywhere! If you can't find any though, Silvia from over here suggested underlay squares for parquet flooring, so give that a go.
P.P.S. Anyone else think it's weird that Toys 'R' Us don't sell these?! At all?!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Sneak Preview

Just a little teaser for a post which should hopefully be up tomorrow.
Weather permitting :)

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Damson Update

So I have an update on this thing. I have been knitting it all week and I have only just gotten the garter stitch section finished. Why is this you say? Surely it should be finished by now?
I had to rip back several rows, twice!

Yes, twice!

I found I had missed a yarn over once, and the second time my stitch marker had slipped and all of a sudden my yarn overs had moved one stitch over, and sometimes I will do a bodge fix, but I really want this to be right as it is my first shawl.

Anyways, here it is.

There is quite a lot of it, which is making it interesting when trying to knit in the sunshine. I am still enjoying it though, even if I do keep making mistakes (which are obviously because I have too short an attention span to make sure I am doing it right!)

I am not sure how well this will show up but you can see the two rows of stockinette here, I am rather happy to see that and know that I have the right number of stitches.

On the plus side, I learnt how to insert a life line after you have knitted past where you need it, which I imagine will come in handy at some point! I found the video here in the fixing mistakes section, the first ripping back I used a lifeline and the second I simply used a second circular needle instead, which is a really good way to make use of interchangeable needles, because then you just swap the tips when you need to start knitting again, genius!

Hopefully this will be all finished in a few days and I can get to blocking it, I bought some special T-pins for the task but I don't have any proper mats, so I shall try on my yoga mat but I might just have to use a towel.