Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Not for the faint hearted

Apologies for the brightness of the latest FO on offer:


A bit of a departure from my usual colour palette but these were commissioned by a neighbour who has a love of all things Rastafarian.

My idle boast in the pub about being able to knit any colour of socks was nearly my undoing though - who knew how hard it was to find suitable clear, bright colours in a dk weight yarn, suitable for men's hard-wearing boot socks. I really wanted to have all the same yarns from the same range to try and avoid any problems with washing but it proved to be very difficult. Some of my old favourites just didn't have the right colours and finding a good green was a particular challenge but I got there in the end (almost). Patons Diploma Gold dk provided most of the colours needed in the end but my LYS didn't have their red in stock - but I think that the King Cole merino blend is a pretty good match and I was pleased with how they turned out.

In fact, I have enough of the colours left to do another pair - just as soon as I summon up the willpower.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Hardknott Socks - finally

It seems as though this design has been in the pipeline for ages so I am pleased to finally have the pattern published: Hardknott Socks


I used the lovely superwash sock yarn from the Knitting Goddess and I love the way that the simple cables really pop - the stitch definition is fabulous.

The cable design is straightforward and easy to remember and the pattern is given in two sizes - for a medium (UK Size 6) and a large (UK Size 10), although due to the nature of the pattern the stitch count could easily be adapted to fit a range of sizes.


In case you were wondering, Hardknott Pass is a narrow winding road which connects two valleys in the Lake District. My husband loves driving over it and I loathe it in equal measure. With its hairpin turns and 1:3 gradients I always need a stiff drink after navigating it.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Garter stitch goodness

Maybe it is the post-Ravellenics lull or the full on frenzy of school holidays as a working mum** but I have had a sudden urge to indulge myself with lovely, soothing gartery goodness in recent days.

**I do dislike the term 'working mum' as I'm yet to meet a mum who doesn't spend most of her day working (either inside or outside the home). I work 4 days a week and am lucky enough to have a reasonable flexible job.The children are happily ensconced in a holiday club while I'm at work - and they love it which helps to alleviate a little of the inevitable mummy guilt - but with packing lunches, packing bags for 'outings', usual work/home stuff and then desperately trying to fit in the odd play date or two - the summer seems even more frenetic than usual.

Either way, when all is going to hell in a handbasket I can rely on a bit of garter stitch to sooth and relax when my poor frazzled brain needs a rest.

I have cast on a garter stitch baby blanket - in sock yarn (I never said I wanted a quick project)


I also started a pair of these cute garter stitch mittens by the incomparable Ysolda Teague. They are worked side to side using some clever short row shaping and the first one took a little over 90 minutes and approx 10g Rowan Felted Tweed - genius


Monday, 13 August 2012

Romping home

The Water and Stone cardigan is now done, thanks to the wonders of the Ravellenic Games and of course the real Olympics. This project would still be lounging in the WIPs basket if I wasn't spurred on by all the TV excitement and I'm sure that it really did help to focus my mind on Getting It Finished.


Overall I am very pleased with how it has turned out. DH was a bit bemused by the asymmetry of it - there is a front cable on just one side, and the cable at the rear is also left of centre - but I love it.

It has been hanging around for a few days waiting for the perfect photographic combination of good light and husband present - so I have taken an imperfect, unmodelled shot to be getting on with. I did try to get my 7 year old to take a picture, but lets just say that the results were less than flattering and were speedily deleted.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Hexipuffs completed

Not the whole blanket obviously, but the 17 I had pledged to make during the Olympics are done and sitting looking suitably squishy and cute.


They really are amazing addictive and fun to make but with my flea-like attention span I find that my enthusiasm starts to wane round about number 15 or so. Hats off to those fabulous people who have made entire blankets out of them - they all look stunning - but I couldn't even make it as far as a cushion cover :)

Monday, 6 August 2012

The final hurdle

Some people suffer from Second Sock Syndrome. For me on the other hand, my personal nemesis is Second Sleeve Syndrome. I'm sure I can't be the only one who suffers through the second sleeve of a garment - even baby sized sleeves fill me with dread and boredom in equal measure.

I have done the body and 1.5 sleeves of my lovely Water and Stone cardigan and then...nothing. It is sitting in the WIP pile pleading with me to be finished off and in truth there is probably less than 2-3 hours knitting left but I have hit a brick wall.

By way of bargaining I have picked up an even older WIP - a stash busting blanket started ages ago for my DS1. The colours are chosen by him - don't blame me for the eye-searing yellow. It isn't my usual colour palette but he is happy with it.


It is a square blanket knit in the round, after picking up stitches from a central knitted square - I struggle with a central cast on with small numbers of stitches on DPNs so I came up with this more humane method, which works for me.

I promised myself that I would do 2 or 3 more colours on the blanket and then switch back to the cardigan. Hopefully I will get some serious knitting done on it tonight and then be re-invigorated tomorrow for the last leg (sleeve).

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Going for gold

Originally uploaded by l.tilbrook

Spurred on by my Hitchhiker sucess, it's onwards and upwards. Digging out this Water and Stone cardigan (started on Jan 1st 2012 - to my shame) has made me realise how much I liked the pattern. Veera Valimaki's patterns are always very well written and the garments themselves deceptively simple and very wearable. I'm going to cheer on the cyclists this afternoon and see if I can get to the ribbing section at the bottom of the body - go Team GB!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Sprinting for the line

I am pleased to announce that I have crossed the finish line for the Single Skein Sprint with the fabulous Hitchhiker scarf. I am baffled as to why I haven't made one of these before. The pattern is genius - simple, straightforward and practically zero waste. I think I had about 2 metres of yarn left over after I had cast off.


By the laws decreed by the Knitting Gods however, this lovely squishy, sparkly scarf is not destined for me but is to be a gift. Anything I plan to knit for myself inevitably ends in tears and recriminations at the minute, but knitting for other people is fine. I think it must be a curse.

But, no matter. I am determined to end up after the Ravellenics with a wearable garment for me. So I am off to WIP-wrestle with my much neglected Water and Stone cardigan and rescue it from my work basket.