Welcome to the home of my musings about knitting :)

Friday, August 27, 2004

In which Atropos learns the benefits of forward planning

After 2 posts squeeing about yarn I thought I should post about some actual knitting, just to make a change.

So here is a pic of one of my current works in progress - one pair of adult socks and one pair of matching kiddy socks, both in Regia jacquard 4-ply.

Posted by Hello

In general I'm quite pleased with these so far. The adult sock is done using the heelflap method and is a repeat of the same pattern I used for my first ever socks earlier this year. This time however I have little to no laddering, which is no mean feat with double pins. The secret seems to be to spread the stitches between four needles rather than three wherever possible, and to use slightly tighter tension for the first three or four stitches of each new needle rather than just the first stitch. And my kitchener stitch actually looks like it does in the diagrams rather than some strange approximation of my own devising, which has to be progress.

The child's sock is from a free pattern that I was sent by the lovely people at Yarn Shop UK when I bought some Opal sock wool from them. It uses K3 P2 rib around the entire cuff and the top of the foot and has rather a nifty garterstitch roll top, which sure beats trying to start K2 P2 rib on the first row after casting on, that dangerous point where double pins still have a life of their own. Trust me on that one. I will probably give this pair to my nephew when they are done - they will be a bit too big for him now, but should fit him perfectly by Christmas.

So far so good, I hear you say, but where are the other two? Well therein hangs a tale. I knitted the adult sock first, which went quite smoothly and quickly because I had used the pattern before. Two long car journeys and voila - one sock. Except I couldn't quite face on casting on for exactly the same pattern all over again for sock no 2 and I had quite a lot of my first ball of yarn left over. So I thought I'd try the child's socks, thus adding a bit of variety and frugally using up my leftover yarn in the process. This all went swimmingly until I was halfway down the foot of my second sock. You guessed it - I didn't have enough yarn in my first ball to finish the pattern. I wasn't short by much, probably only 5m or so, but it's enough to be absolutely sure that you can't quite get a pair of adult socks and a small pair of childrens' socks out of 2 balls of Regia. Hence the mercy dash to Liberty at the weekend for a third ball of yarn.

Of course now I will have enough left over from that third ball to make another pair of tiny socks :eyeroll: So much for my good intentions. Perhaps I'll keep myself entertained on that pair by learning how to do a short row heel :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

In which Atropos discovers that there is no such thing as Too Much Yarn

Bah - this post is full of pictures with poor colour reproduction because I took them under artificial light. But you know what? I'm going to post it anyway as something Very Exciting happened to me today.

Do you remember that parcel from Apple Laine in Canada that I casually mentioned on my LJ a month or so ago?

It arrived today!

And look what was in it. So much yarn that I felt like spreading it out all over the floor and rolling in it. But as I said to Mr A, if you're going to send off over 5,000 miles for yarn there's no point in placing a small order, right? And you might as well order some lovely yarns that it's pretty much impossible to get in this country.

So, what exactly have I got? First up, four skeins of Apple Laine's own Apple Butter. Each skein is enough to make a pair of adult socks, and that is what they are destined for, but sadly not all for me. The plan is to make this yarn earn its keep by providing Christmas presents for various members of the family.

This yarn is 65% wool, 25% mohair and 15% nylon, which makes it wonderfully soft and the colours are fantasically vivid. I think I should get to keep one pair of socks made out of this haul, don't you? I'm currently veering towards the amazing red on the right.

Then, 10 skeins of the fabled Koigu PPPM. I was beginning to think that, like the yeti, this yarn was actually a figment of other knitters' imagination given the amount of trouble I have had actually getting hold of some. But no - there are ten skeins currently sat on my lounge floor looking up at me. And they are lovely. I couldn't get anywhere near the amazing colour painting on this yarn in artificial light so I have settled for a close up of just one of the colours. Yum - it reminds me of blackberry crumble. Again, this is destined for Christmas socks. I will be Queen of Socks by the time I have finished with this stuff.

And finally, 17 balls of Mission Falls 1824 merino wool in a range of earthy, natural colours, which I will be stashing away to make the Glenora Throw all for myself. There are all kinds of other really nice things in that pattern book too. I can see that I am going to be tempted to buy more of this stuff. But maybe not for a while.

Mission Falls Posted by Hello

So that's it. My stash runneth over. I must get back to my needles and actually do some knitting before it takes on a life of its own and overruns the house.

In which Atropos goes yarn shopping

I went into town for a spot of yarn purchasing on Saturday and came back with.... THIS

Looks exciting, doesn't it? But for once I was a good girl, because all that lovely Liberty bag contained was....THIS

Yep. Just one ball of Regia sock wool. I hope you're admiring my powers of self restraint when it comes to stocking up my yarn stash :whistles innocently:

Why just one ball, when it takes 2 balls of Regia to knit a pair of adult socks I hear you cry. Well it's a long story which I will save for another post. So that's it. Nothing more to see here. Certainly not another picture of rather a lot more yarn that someone may have bought at John Lewis. I couldn't possibly comment (or at least not within Mr A's earshot).

Posted by Hello

You didn't really think I'd go yarn shopping and just come back with 1 ball did you? No - I thought not.

Anyway, what we have here (L-R) is seven balls of Rowan wool cotton which is in the process of being transformed into a baby blanket for my new nephew / niece who is due to arrive some time in early December, some Cygnet double knit superwash which is destined to become "Denis the Menace" socks for Mr A and some Noro Kureyon #124 for a bag for my RL best friend. I was particularly pleased to find the Kureyon as RLBF had her heart set on this particular colour and I have been scouring UK internet sites to try and track some down for some time. Actually finding it on the shelves in John Lewis nearly made me do a happy yarn dance right there in the middle of the haberdashery department. Luckily for all concerned I managed to restrain myself.

The eagle eyed among you will notice that some of the wool cotton has already had the ball bands removed in this picture. There is a sorry cautionary tale behind that little detail, in which I learn that it is not always a good idea to knit in the dark while watching a film, but again I'll save the details for later in the week.

Off to add a few more links to my sidebar now :)

Monday, August 23, 2004

My very first post

Hello everyone. Due to my complete lack of willpower, and the amount of time I spend reading other people's musings, I have been tempted over to the dark side and decided to start up my very own knitting blog.

I'm still trying to get the hang of how this blogging thing works so here's a picture of one of my recent projects as a little experiment. Some of you will have seen this before - it's my finished Rosedale jacket from knitty.com, and the first adult sized garment I have completed (if you don't count socks). I'm still very pleased with it, and am happy to report that it was much admired in Scotland and kept me toasty warm when needed.

My finished Rosedale :) Posted by Hello

Right - I'm now off to work out how to post more than one picture in the same entry and how to add links to my sidebar.