Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ripley - March Hat

The March hat is done, and boy, was it a quickie. This is Ripley, by Ysolda Teague. Knit in Baby Alpaca Grande.
I wasn't intending to make any 'slouchy' hats, but I really like this one. The 'slouch' is taken up by the pleats in the back, which are really easy to knit.A close up of the pleats....
Simple crown decreases are pretty enough.
I had read a ton of people on Rav say that the edge band was really tight, so I chose this bulky alpaca yarn, thinking it would stretch on blocking. It definitely needed that. Admittedly, I have a large noggin, but I could barely get the 'large' size that I knit, over my head. After blocking I can - just!

If I knit this again - and I most definitely will - I will knit more garter rows on the band, then do fewer increase stitches.

Pattern: Ripley by Ysolda Teague

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Look what I found in my (pot) garden today. I'm dying to get planting some 'crops'. Soon......

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Stuff and Nonsense

I am ridiculously happy to see that The Principles of Knitting is finally scheduled for reprint. I used to check this book out of the library all the time when I was doing the TKGA Level 1 Masters Course. The author is quite opinionated, and this puts some people off the book. It is though, the most comprehensive book of knitting techniques I've ever seen - 704 pages people! If you have $45 to spare, it is available for pre-order on Amazon. Click Here :0)

I'll be pre-ordering my own copy once we move house. Yes, we bought a new house. In the community we've been living in the past (almost) 2 years. Our scheduled closing date is 1st April. Don't know if that's some cosmic house-buying joke on us, considering our less than successful history with houses.

You know what a new house needs? This new pattern from the gals at Mason-Dixon Knitting? Be still my beating heart, Noro and log cabins. And I've always wanted to do a mitered square. And proceeds to Japan. Of course, I purchased the pattern right away. Now to work out how to pay for all that Noro.

Last year I made myself some ankle socks to go with my Birks. They fit my 5 year old better than they fit me (below left). Not because my gauge was *that* off, he just has big old feet. And if you make one child a pair of socks, the other has to have some too (below right). They've both been well worn this winter, like, as soon as they're washed, they're on the feet again.

Happy Sunday :0)

Friday, March 11, 2011

TTL Mystery sock

Well, the mystery is why I haven't blogged these before now. This pattern is the Through The Loops Mystery sock 2011, which I knit, way back in October.They started off great, with a twisted, cabley cuff. Looked good and was fun to knit. Then the first portion of the leg pattern was a checkerboard kind of a pattern. I wasn't overly thrilled with the look of that. It sort of puffed out the sock. As it turns out, this is great. The sock is long on the leg and I need it to be a wee bit wider at that calf point.
The lower part of the leg, and the foot of the sock, was cabled and I think they look like wrapped sweeties :0)
The heels and toes have the 'ribs' continued onto them.
The yarn is The Plucky Knitter's MerinoCashmereNylon. Sooooo soft and wears similarly to the Malabrigo sock yarn, in that it makes for a very thin fabric, which it turns out I prefer.

I love the sock as a whole and enjoyed the week by week pattern postings. It didn't seem to take long at all to knit up each portion, two at a time.

Pattern: Through The Loops Mystery Sock 2011 by Kirsten Kapur
Yarn: The Plucky Knitter MerinoCashmereNylon Lite in Blue No.1 (very inventive name)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Uncle Franks for Harry

Thanks for all the positive feedback on the monkey bones hat. It is being modeled on 'the head' until the March hat is made, then it will be put away for Christmas. With plenty of time to look at it, I think I love it just the way it is. I will make another though, too much yarn to waste in stash and the call of fair-isle is a loud one.

While I was knitting up the brim of the hat, Harry sent me this message on Facebook:

i would really love a pair of hand nitted socks as i cant stop wearing my mums so i would love it if you could make me some. my shoe size is 6. thank you"

Now, apart from the appalling spelling and grammar, doesn't that warm the cockles of your knitterly heart? A 13 year old boy who loves hand-knit socks. Be still my beating heart. Another message narrowed down his requirements to 'blue' with 'some sort of pattern'.

Well, the knitting Gods have been smiling down on me. I just happened to have on the needles already, a pair of Uncle Frank socks by Irishgirlieknits, in a lovely shaded blue colourway of STR Heavyweight. They had been conceived as a gift for my Taid in Wales, but I really think they need to be on bigger needles for his size feet. But they'd be perfect for Harry :0)

Here they are, all finished up within a week of the request. The pattern was easy to follow and pretty intuitive, especially if you can count rows past your previous cable.
This is such a great guy sock pattern. The ribs and cables are so manly. What's not to love?
And perfect boy colours. They're all blocked and looking pretty, so they'll go in the mail today.
I'll report back on Harry's reaction :0)

Yarn: Socks That Rock Heavyweight (mill end?)

Monkey Bones February Hat

The monkey bones hat is finished. I love this hat SO much. Last weekend it was almost an obsession to work on this. I hope monkey-mad-godson Harry will like it. It's nice and snug, as you can see on the model head. And a little bit poofy on top, so he can wear it with a little 'slouch', or pull it down around his ears for warmth against that cold, harsh, English wind :0)Speaking of the top, did you notice the cool decreases? They're kind of stripes, but they look like a star from the top. I'll take another picture after it's blocked (couldn't wait to show this off).
What do you think of the colour combo? I went with the sock monkey theme. Do you think the red stripe in the centre of the bones is too harsh? As you can see, I have plenty of leftovers to experiment with other combinations on this theme. And I think I will :0)
All in all, not a bad first fair-isle project :0)
Pattern: Monkey Bones Super Slouch Hat by Wendy Bernard

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February Hat - Monkey Bones

My February Hat is Wendy Bernard's Monkey Bones Super Slouch. I loved this hat the moment I saw it. And I had someone in mind for it too. My 13 year old Godson in England has always been a fan of the monkeys and I've previously made him a Knitty Sock Monkey Hat.

One problem with this project, is that I had never knit fair-isle before, and this project is all about the fair-isle. I also wanted to make the hat in somewhat traditional sock-monkey colours.
What's a girl to do then, but take a class about colour and fair-isle. This I did at Stitches West, with the wonderful (and fellow Brit) Fiona Ellis. Here are my class swatches (not related to the hat), showing the difference the background colours make, when the same pattern colours are used. Quite a startling contrast, right.
And while I'm showing my Stitches swatches off, here's the one I made in Candace Eisner-Strick's "Traditions!" class. That's a latvian braid right in the middle, looking a bit like arrows, or birds' feet. She was also a wonderful, and very funny, teacher :0)
I digress, so, back to the hat. Not finished in Feb, but started in Feb. I ordered the yarn (Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport) as soon as I got home from Stitches ('cos there was, like, no yarn at Stitches!!!). I had to think really hard about which colours to choose. I only made one big mistake, selecting a colour that was too yellow to complement the tan colour for the monkey's bones. A quick search on Ravelry found me a much better match (I hope - it's on its way right now).

I did cast on for the ribbed brim though and managed to complete that in just one afternoon. Man, I'm impatient for the yarn to arrive so I can get on with this. I think I caught the colourwork bug bad. Watch this space.....