Sunday, November 26, 2006

Knitting ADD

Eddie’s chunky scarf only took a couple of days.

Since then it’s taken a while to decide what to knit next. There are so many projects I would love to knit, and so much yarn in my stash…… Actually, I seriously think the size of my stash has become a hindrance rather than a help. Like a kid in a sweetshop I’m sometimes overwhelmed by the amount of choices I have. I have nothing in my stash that I don’t really really want to knit – some yarns are still waiting for inspiration in the form of the perfect pattern to arrive, whilst others have been notionally allocated to a project for months.

Added to which, whilst rummaging through the bags (and bags) I can’t quite help feeling slight pangs of guilt about just how much yarn I have. I’ve never felt this way before and can’t explain what’s brought it on now, but I think I must just STOP buying yarn until I use a fair proportion of what I already have.

There, I’ve said it. Now, can I do it??

In the end I, unusually for me, decided to start on two projects. I saw this from a link on the Yarn Harlot’s blog and immediately fell in love. As luck would have it I have a skein of Hand Maiden Sea Silk in my stash. Perfect!

I found the stitch here, but I’m using ktbl as per Clapotis, rather than the method described here to keep the stitches either side of the dropped stitches nice and neat. So far, so good. But knitting a scarf on 2.5mm is sloowwwwww. Also, does anyone else find stitch markers really slow them down? I have 10 in this project and I really do think that without them I’d be zipping along a lot faster. Anyway, 4 repeats done, 43 to go…….

For more instant gratification my second project is a top down raglan cardigan

In Rowan Kid Classic which has been in my stash for nearly a year. This is more like it; I only cast on last night so not bad so far. Of course the increases will soon mean it takes me a good 10 minutes to complete a row (it’s always such a relief on a top down garment to get to the point where the sleeve stitches get put aside).

I’m not entirely sure how working two projects at once will work out – maybe I’ll try knitting each one on alternate days. Or something.

Not much to report on the farm. The goats that hadn’t yet been brought in (this year’s doe kids, the pygmies, the wethers, and the does not being bred from this year) have all now decided they don’t want to go out anymore. It’s so odd how they suddenly decide they’ve had enough. They still have access to the fields now, but haven’t moved outside the barn for the last week. I think once we have a cold snap and the grass stops growing they lose interest in eating it. Unlike the sheep who will only come in if the weather is really bad, and will happily graze all year round. You’d think they’d want to go out, if only for some fresh air and to stretch their legs a bit, but no. Of course, we’ve caved in and they’re getting hay morning and evening now, and the kids are still getting hard feed too, so now that they’re being waited on hand and foot there’s really no need for them to go out!

The breeding does have been taken away from the bucks now and are all in the “Nursery pen”. They are starting to show the first signs of pregnancy, and are all taking life very easy. The bucks are all back together, so that’s their excitement over for another year!

Our fleece is cleaned and ready to go the mill for processing into yarn. I’ve eventually decided to have half of it mixed with silk (70% kid 30% silk), which will be a lace weight yarn and half of it mixed with merino (80% kid 20% merino), to give a smoother yarn that will still be incredibly soft. This should hopefully end up being double knit/sport weight. I think it will be a few months before we get the final product back but I can’t wait to see how it’s going to turn out. Of course between now and then I have to think about how I’m going to sell it……

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Laughing in the face of adversity

For the last two weeks I have been working on a “project”. It was a design I could picture perfectly in my head: Top down, slightly boatneck, lace detail at the top, closely fitted body, widening to an A line, with lace detail repeated. Three-quarter sleeves, ending with the lace.

In a nutshell, I couldn’t make it work – at least not as well as I wanted it too. To be fair, the body worked well – probably the most flattering item I have knit if judged on the shaping alone. But it just wasn’t quite right. The problems were with the sleeves. With the double knit yarn I was using, for some reason the weight of the sleeves seemed to drag on the neckline, pulling the garment off my shoulders. I couldn’t stand wearing something I constantly needed to hitch up to cover my bra straps. So, the whole thing has been frogged, and the yarn will become something else. Someone else’s design, while I try to learn more. I have absolutely no desire to be a knitwear designer, but I love the thought of knitting something specifically for my body.

Oh well, it was a start, and a good learning process.

Yesterday, Eddie asked me out of the blue if I would knit him a scarf. So I let him choose any yarn he liked from my stash. *Sigh* he chose the Jaeger Natural Fleece in a black & white fleck I had earmarked for a sweater. Well, I love my man, so the Jaeger Natural Fleece it is. Lucky it’s a chunky knit, and even I can’t make a balls up of a 2 x 2 rib.

Since my last posting autumn has definitely arrived. The trees have turned, and on a beautifully sunny day like today the colours zing. The creeper that grows along the back wall of the house is laden with berries.

I wonder if this means we are in for a hard winter?

Only 38 days to Christmas, and so far this year I have no plans for any Christmas knitting. Last year I knitted scarves for my two younger nephews and my brother, and a beautiful silk Clapotis for my sister in law, but this year I haven’t been inspired to knit for my relatives. Maybe it’s because Christmas this year will, for us, be superseded by our next trip to France – booked for 7th January – which we are looking forward to so much more, as it will be our first proper house-hunting trip. We’ll be busy between now and then scouring the web for properties that might be suitable, and trying to get viewings arranged. Exciting times.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Just in time

The sweater is finished.

Well, it needs washing and blocking. You can see how much yarn I had left over. That’s what I call cutting it fine!

It strikes me that this is not the most stylish garment I’ve ever knitted, but it is warm, and perfect for pulling on to walk the dogs on a cold winter’s day.

Talking of which

We’re having a wonderful spell of weather here – crisp frosty morning walks with the dogs, and glorious, sunny – but short – days.

So is it winter? Not according to the woods at the edge of our land.

(I love the way my shadow appears in these photos - I look like the Michelin Man!!)

Is it me, or is autumn very late this year? For trees still to be in full leaf at the beginning of November doesn’t seem right.

So, the needles are empty and I have to decide on the next project. The weather makes me want to rustle up a scarf and gloves, but I’m also itching to start on a new sweater I’ve been planning. Decisions, decisions…….

Oh, and I passed my exam :)

<< *.* >>
Subscribe with Bloglines