28 February 2007

New wool, woo hoo, mess

I wandered into a half price sale in the single local wool shop the other day, and actually found some stuff I wanted. Ended up with 550gm Patons Fusion in a red/pink/purple colourway, and 100gm of the same stuff in blueish mixtures. It's 45% acrylic, 55% wool, which is more acrylic than I'd usually buy but for 1.50 a ball it's pretty damn good. I'm thinking of a sideways-knit sleeveless jumper with the red stuff, and a bag or hot-water-bottle cover with the blue.

Also, I got 300gm of this 70% wool, 30% alpaca multicoloured stuff which is fabulous! I've no idea what it will be, but I love it.

Now I've got to find somewhere to put it. I used to feel quite smug about the STABLE (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy) people whose garages and attics are lined with vacuum bags and storage boxes of unused yarn, as being a wool snob with no money I never had a problem with space. However, what with spinning, dyeing, Ebay, and funding, my poor boyfriend has to live with this:


26 February 2007

Radioactive-snot-coloured cardigan

This is nearly a cardigan, the first fruit of my new year's resolution to make this the year I finish jumpers. This is becoming urgent, as I find myself not buying knitted jumpers because they're not up to knitterly standards, but not producing them myself either, and in our freezing flat you need a lot of woolly layers.

I did little cables up the middle of the front, back and sleeves, and along the raglan decrease lines. With a bit of tinkering these end up in a 4 by 2 rib pattern, which continues up into what's going to be the hood.
The violently green shade of Rowanspun Aran, with little specks of darker green and orange, looks like the product of some very ill person's sinuses, but in a good way... Radioactive snot colour is surprisingly fetching on pasty redheads.

25 February 2007

Big pink sock

Me and the man went to Amsterdam for a few blissful days. I couldn't face going without knitting, but neither could I face lugging around 700gm of cardigan, so it was out with the Christmas present sock yarn (Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Bittersweet) and on with some travel knitting.

Here's a short row toe, nestling beside a glass of tea.

I now realise that, meaning to take holiday photos with knitting in them, I've actually taken photos of my knitting and left Amsterdam out of shot! It's like my dad taking millions of photos of deserted mountainsides that mean nothing to non-climbers.

This is my first afterthought heel.

Next time I do these I'll try decreasing more slowly, to make a deeper heel. This one fits OK but I prefer the heel part to cover more of my foot, and I think it would wear better that way, too.

I did the leg in a double eyelet rib, which makes the finished sock stay up really well, finished off with a bit of plainer rib at the top.

I had the usual trouble casting off loosely enough, but after a few attempts with different techniques and needles, the sock no longer threatens my circulation.

Yay! Halfway there, but back to the cardigan...

22 February 2007

I am not the only knitter of things other than pastel baby clothes in Northern Ireland

This is something I tell myself a lot, in moments when my beloved's sweet but unconvincing attempts at enthusiasm about my latest masterpiece/experiment/discovery are not enough. Usually, I tell myself 'I am not the only knitter of things other than pastel baby clothes in Northern Ireland. There's Anna as well, and she's bolshie enough to count for a few'. Now, however, I am spinning round the office on my twirly chair with excitement, for not only does yarnmonkey (http://yarn-monkey.blogspot.com) live in Belfast, she is part of a Stitch n Bitch-type knitting group that just started here. So our only-gay-in-the-village days may be over.

09 February 2007

Dye Happy

I have roving dyed in my kitchen that doesn't look too mangled, and a digital camera that works! My cup runneth over.

This is some of the Bluefaced Leicester I got for Christmas, after some encounters with Jacquard acid dyes. There's 45gm of the first one, which came out in colours I didn't mean to use at all, but I like surprises! I doubt I'll ever know enough about dyeing to get more than semi-predictable results, but seeing how it comes out is the most exciting part so I'm happy to muddle along serendipitously.

There's 95gm of this one, which is beautiful. I have to put it somewhere out of the way before I pet it to death. The greens are stronger and bluer than in the photo. I can't wait to spin it, but I don't want to start it until the Bosworth arrives. I might ply it with a plain purple single.
By the time the Bosworth gets here, something even more exciting might have arrived. I did it...I ordered a Lendrum. As soon as a long, inefficient chain of postal fairies do their mysterious work, which may take months, I will have a wheel. Right now, I just have the fast flyer that goes with it, sitting on my desk looking enticing.