Sunday, January 28, 2007

Getting back into the swing of things

With Christmas & New Year being closely followed by our trip to France, it is only now, the end of January that I finally feel as though life has got back into its normal.

There has been knitting. I even have an FO to show you! I was lucky enough to receive Victorian Lace Today from my parents for Christmas. Despite the fact that the book’s patterns consist entirely of Victorian lace patterns, the shawl and scarf patterns are very contemporary, and many are simply breathtakingly beautiful. All of the shawl patterns feature knitted on borders – something I have never tackled before. I decided to start with a simple lace scarf, unimaginatively titled “Scarf”. Even though the lace pattern is very straightforward, it involved a new technique for me. Basically you cast on and knit the first border (sideways), then bind off (all bar one stitch), turn the work and pick up stitches along one edge. Then you knit the main part of the scarf, then cast on stitches for the border at the other end, and knit the border whilst at the same time knitting off the stitches for the main part of the scarf. I’ve made that sound horribly more complicated than it actually is – really it’s pretty straightforward.

I’m determined to overcome my irrational fear of charts so am forcing myself to use the charts in the book (this is helped by the fact that the patterns are not given in any other format!).

Anyway, here is the finished “Scarf” pre-blocking

The yarn is the Handmaiden Sea Silk in shade Lily Pond which I frogged from the previous scarf I was knitting with it. The yarn stood up very well to being frogged. I used 5mm Addi Turbos and the whole thing took about 12 evenings to knit.

It actually looks very nice as it is, but I think blocking will really help the pattern to stand out.

Those photos suck. I'm really not sure how best to photograph lace. Outside shots of shawls artfully draped to display the lace pattern work well (though outside shots are not really an option here at the moment!), but scarves, being so much narrower, seem so much more difficult to photograph well.

I’ve already cast on for another scarf pattern from the book, so it looks as though the lace bug has bitten me!

The goats were all sheared a couple of weeks ago, which has given us the chance to have a good look at the does in kid and see how they are doing (impossible to tell when they are in full fleece!). Thankfully they all look very well, and all 14 have the tell tale rounded tummies.

They now spend a lot of their time doing this (they always make me think of galleons in full sail!)

And who can blame them when they’re lugging this extra weight around?

Kidding should start anytime from the middle of next month. Yesterday we got the pregnant ewes in so that we can start feeding them up ready for lambing in mid March. A busy few months ahead!


Blogger cpurl17 said...

I have the Victorian lace book too but haven't been brave enough to attempt a project yet. The scarf is pretty and I agree, blocking it will make those stitches pop!

Looking foward to seeing the babies!

5:45 pm  
Anonymous Caroline M said...

Does she pose for the camera naturally or was there an off camera food bucket? Bring on the baby goats because I'm all for it being Spring.

I cancelled my Victorian Lace order because I got sick of waiting for Amazon to produce it.

5:58 pm  
Anonymous cathy said...

The scarf is gorgeous :) I'm glad you're getting over your fear of charts. I love charts. They make me happy. 10 pages of written out directions confuse me.

I can't wait for the babies. Lambs (and kids) mean it's spring!

8:03 pm  
Blogger Fair isle faerie said...

Not long now is it !

We're due our first lambs early april & have quite a few who regularly produce twins or triplets.

Also got piggies arriving soon !! 4 wee girls... 3 destined for the freezer, 1 we are keeping & finding her a nice boy piglet. Its all go from this time of year onwards !!

Mind you, i am enjoying spending hrs in the pollytunnel getting everything started off !

11:32 pm  

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