I’ve not managed much knitting this week, after being absolutely knackered for various reasons. And yet I have two finished objects for photos, and a promise to keep on a WiP, and also some lovely lovely lovely secret pal pics after a week of miserable weather. And a little story which may lead to nice things later on.
Ok, first up, a pair of easy chunky socks for Chris at work. Easy, quick and therefore very easy to procrastinate on, and after he complained when he saw me working on something else at work, I thought perhaps it was time to kill the project and shut him up (temporarily – he’ll want other things now, or replacement socks when these wear out).
There. That was easy wasn’t it. I cast on for the second sock last night, finished it this morning. Made in leftover bits of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky, so even in man socks they were knocked out fairly sharpish. Don’t know why I was so lazy over them.
Number 2 – Hourglass!!! It wasn’t dry till this morning, so I couldn’t take pics that justify it (weather issues, filthy mirror, bad hair blah blah blah and all this just in the pic here!).
Made with a large quantity of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran (a theme here?), maybe about 7-800g as I estimate there is about 300g left over in little bits and bats with a couple of good nick balls in there too. The yarn was recycled from another project (remember the ribby cardi of evil? The one that was oh so warm and soft, but looked, frankly, shitty?), so the quality of the fabric isn’t top notch, but is good enough for me. Finished with a week to spare for Project Spectrum 2.0 (if I include blocking) so that was quite good wasn’t it?
I do love this jumper, both for wearing and learning about stuff I’ll use in future in my own ideas (when they happen). Even though the seams took about 3 and a half hours to do (and do properly), I would use that technique again as it just adds a professional touch to the way the garment looks. It would be fab for making glove and mitten cuffs to add some thickness as it is still very forgiving of stretching in the way it is sewn. The shape and the fit of it is great too, and I love the sleeves and the way you only need a few decreases in comparison to the increases at the top – to get that shape I would probably have gone way over the top in shaping… In other words, this is the first garment I’ve made (not including socks please note) that I feel I’ve learnt about construction and design from enough to go out and make one from scratch. I’m impressed with the bottom up one piece method too, although I still feel drawn to top down for the sake of yarn estimates until I get used to the numbers, and I hated doing the decreases for the collar at the start, dragging the sweater round my lap on that circ needle. The only mod I’ve made to this, apart from subbing yarn, is the one everyone else and their dogs use, and made a couple of extra decreases on the collar to save scary 80s flashbacks and shoulder slippage. And it only took about a year to get this done
Trois – a flash at things to come. RPM made in STR Rhodonite for Andrea Not much to show yet, but you can see why I like the yarn with this pattern.
It is starting to stray a little, but I think the play between pattern and colour will work really well even if they don’t move together, hopefully in an optical illusion kind of effect. Should be a good one
I’m also working on Pippa, the felted bag of neglect, who is now officially my oldest project still on the needles. Pippa will not be having a coming out ball by the end of the month. No fancy dresses for her. I have about 80cm of st-st on straight needles to go to finish her off, plus sewing, felting, more sewing and probably a large amount of staring blankly at her wondering whether she will be of any use to me. Well, she might not go to a ball, but she will probably end up in the pub a few times, or be useful as a literal knitting bag. I might even gift her to a particular person I have in mind, but I won’t know that till later.
The best for last. My sockret pal has been having a rough time of it recently, but she still managed to send me a parcel which arrived last weekend in the middle of a major snow, sleet and rain festival. Behold how gorgeous she is
Brooke went with an ‘Alice at the Mad Hatter’s teaparty’ theme, so I have a little tin of chinese flower tea (which I currently can’t bring myself to open in case I drink it all – smells gooood), some hedgehog stitchmarkers, apple-cider lip balm (yum yum, on my lips as I type), a cucumber and green tea soap (another tasty smell, and packaged so beautifully), a sachet of raspberry and cream beads which is in my wardrobe to keep it fresh, postcards of Brooke’s family (only kidding petal ;D), some gorgeous stamps. Oh, and just the best, most fitting colourway of yarn I’ve ever been gifted. Brooke dyed that yarn herself, and it is called Alice’s Garden. It smells of the raspberry and cream but also came with a little lavender sachet too to keep it clear of bugs. I seriously cannot wait to wind and swatch with this to pick a pattern. It fits in with some of next month’s PS2.0 stuff, but I had promised to knit older stash before new ones each time I made a sock for myself. I know strictly speaking the HipKnits cashmere was an older one from stash, so maybe I could be guilt free and remind myself that STR is for someone else…
Brooke, I’ve said this already in my email, but I have the best secret pal. You surpassed all expectations, particularly given your rough year so far. Thank you so much for these beautiful gifts.
Finally, a little story. After many unfortunate occurances this week, I was going to, then wasn’t, then did go to the first Knitting and Crochet Guild open day on Saturday. My mum took me, both of us thinking we could do with a day out and some nice things, plus I was hoping that I might see something special for my secret pal before I send her parcel out on Monday (no such luck – everything they had was stuff she’d already have the thought was there though). I did get the full set of Barbara Walker’s Treasury series, something I’ve wanted for forever (or at least since I saw the first book), and at a much cheaper rate than I could ever get on Amazon or in second hand shops seeing as there are no good ones that would have it round here. Beautiful crisp new copies too. Because I knew I would buy them all and not just two of them like I considered, I bought a single ball of yarn (plus I really really don’t need any more yarn! I’d taken some to donate for them to sell, like a good girl, too). One ball of Trekking Pro Natura (25% bamboo) in colour 1605, a lovely dark nearly solid blue grey blend.
The shade is much more solid than it looks on Get Knitted. No idea if it will knit up like that though! I need more nearly solid yarns to make some of the more decorative sock patterns in my books, so I figured on ball of yarn wouldn’t ruin the stash after donating a big bag full of yarn (perhaps I should mention there was 500g of Jaeger Mohair Art, 400g of 4 ply mercerised cotton in a colour I’ve gone off, and some remnants of the DB Astrakahn which I would never have used. Over a kilo – hoorah!). While we were there, mum bought a big pile of R2 Rag in a coral colour from the yarn mountain, and I picked up some buttons (25p a packet) and some new Inox bamboo 2.5mm dpns to help supplement the increasingly broken/missing collection, and bumped into Amelia who I was totally rubbish with and didn’t recognise till she came right up to me (although I would like to point out that when I shop, I shop and that is all I can concentrate on ;D). Sorry pet! You have every right to smack me one ;p She bought lots of things too, and revealed the very clever idea of putting nice yarn in individual balls in a big vase. Mmmmmmmmm.
After that we popped down to Holmfirth for lunch, then headed to the local farmshop and saw the alpaca again After wandering round the shop and picking up the best red onion chutney ever plus some beer, I asked the lady serving whether the alpaca belonged to the farm, and she told me that a lady was using the field to keep them there rather than them being farm property, and that she was going to sell the fleece. Intrigued, we wandered back outside and put our bags in the boot of the car, spotting that a woman with a couple of boys was in the field. We were parked right next to the field gate, so we thought we’d have a nosy along with quite a lot of other people. The little dark alpaca had a bridle on and wasn’t all that happy about it – it would jump up a little, then kneel down, then the boy holding the lead would pet the alpaca a little, it would feel better and wag it’s tail a little, and get up again for a bit, then get cross again, and the whole thing cycled through a few times while we were there The lady came up to the fence and told us she was trying to get the younger animal used to wearing the harness as she was going to a show soon, but as it was only 6 months old, it hadn’t really had any experience wearing one, and was rebelling a bit. She told me about how she had plans to have a full herd of animals in the different colours, was hoping to get a pregnant female soon, and how alpaca have to live in at least pairs of the same sex as they get lonely and stressed, but that males and females can’t live together. She’d got some fleece from another breeder, and had a few from her own animals, and she spins her fleece into yarn and has plans to knit clothes and sell fibre and so on. I mentioned I was a very amateur spinner on drop spindles and a keen knitter, and we petted the younger animal a little, and she was generally very interesting, and said that she has a business in a mill complex I pass on the way to town and that I should pop in some time. Her and her husband both have their own businesses in addition to the alpaca plans, so she gave me a leaflet and told me to contact her and we’d get together. I’ll be emailing her this week, as she suggested quite a few interesting things, which if they come to fruition could be very cool indeed. If nothing else though, I learnt a lot about alpaca, including that if one of her sons lets go of the lead on the harness, the alpaca will run away very fast and she will be very difficult to catch. We thought we better leave at that point
Ok that’s enough. It is probably a good idea for me to do some more spinning now (it fits in with PS2.0 btw!).