Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Stripes ahoy

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The first project in my “cleansing my stash & queue” effort, is a project which I had already for years planned. So much planned that they yarn sat on a shelve neatly wound up in cakes for a good number of years. I has travelled to me to 3 continents (yes I am ashamed to say that) and it didn’t cast on… Until now!  

So this feels good, and in retrospect, I really do not know why there was so much activation energy required. After all it was an easy knit, in a nice soft cotton, albeit just a teeny bit splitty (so yes that might be the reason, it required just that small amount of extra attention, maybe not the best yarn for a travel-project). It makes a good item for sping/autumn and of course North-Western European Summers (as a friend told me the other day, summer is only a state of mind this year).

Very early into the project I felt that my gauge was a bit of, but that the fabric was very nice, so I knitted the XS size to obtain a S/M, that worked out quite well. Other than that I made only small changes in the way the shaping of the arm holes and sleeve-caps were done, but really very minor adaptions. Just like I wrote, sometimes one wonders why you didn’t do something way earlier…..

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Summer resolutions

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Before the holidays I thought I should make an effort to reduce my stash in the coming months.Good for finances, good for reducing the yarn laying around here and there "kind of organised" in the house and in the end, I guess also good for morale. I have a nice stash, so knitting it up shouldn’t be a problem, it is mixed as well so plenty to choose from. To really do it I made an effort to put some of the yarn in the stash pages on Ravelry and I will put some more on today. That makes it easier to browse it and to find patterns to match (preferably from my ever so fast growing queue). So all the knitting for the coming months will be mainly reducing stash projects. 

The second (the first one was actually Hélène) item made is another cotton cardigan for M. Elisabeth is the pattern, Ultra Pima fine is the yarn, in a nice cobalt blue colour. I really thought after browsing the projects that 5 skeins of the yarn should be enough for this one. After all M is skinny and I need to knit sizes smaller in width than length for a “normal 10 to 11 year old. But that was assuming that I just would knit the pattern…and that of course didn’t happen. M wanted it to be a bit longer than the pattern and that was that….I am going to run out of yarn. So I had to order another skein and then M had seen this sweater in a shop and wanted one and… and ….. So I ordered yarn for that as well (I actually really didn’t have a slightly thin-thick yarn in my stash to make that sweater and as it will be a kind of own design I thought I could make that exception…)

But I will try to be better in the future…. really no yarn ordering until the 1st of January 2016!

Other than the length I also made another border at the bottom of Elizabeth. Instead of the stockinette rolled hem I made an I-cord finish. I think it fits the lace better, I will still do the rolled stockinette for the front and neck finish.  The only problem with an I-cord is that it takes so long to make it….perseverance required….

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Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hélène

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This will be a short post, still travelling, the last couple of days. One thing good about long train travelling is that one has plenty of time to knit a bit while looking out of the window to a changing landscape… Sometimes the landscape is too beautiful, but ever so often one can just knit a bit...

So Hélène got finished. Not to much to add about this one, except as this is a side-ways knitted lace sweater, be very careful to bind-of very loosely, otherwise the lace doesn’t block fully...

I added two more rows to the neck-finish, but other than that….. no changes at all. Knitted in my favourite linen yarn, Sparrow.


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Monday, June 29, 2015

Not at home....

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As one might see, the vegetation in the photo above is not one from southern Sweden….. We are actually in the tropics at the moment, the Mekong delta… Vacation and only snippets of work filter through (I just send away some long work-related emails, the problem of ubiquitous free wifi…..).  It was another busy year so it feels good to be away and even though it is very warm here, also that feels very very good. Everything turned out perfect this year, we have a recently moved colleague staying in our house (Lund has a crazy house market at the moment, so he and his family were in-between apartments and were looking at a some week's stay in a hotel…. not great with small children) so the cats will feel not abandoned. The travel was OK, but long… and plenty of opportunity to finish Bonny...

I made quite a bit of changes. First the yarn is a sport weight and not a lace weight, so I knitted this on 3.75mm. I went for the XS to end up with a S/M with a bit of negative ease but not as much as in the pattern. There were two reasons for that, first the change of gauge due to the difference in weight makes that it has less elasticity. The contend of the yarn itself (50% linen/ 50% silk) also is less stretchy than wool. I did waist shaping (4 rounds of decreases and increases each) and I knitted I-cord edgings to get a nicer finish around the arm openings. With all that, a pleasant summer top….

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Vietnam is wonderful until now… maybe the topic of an entirely different entry later on….

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Cotton Cardigan....

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The cotton cardigan is done, it really suits M very well, so a good one for the summer (if it ever will start)… The only modifications I did to the pattern is that I did knit the sleeves flat (as to avoid tension differences with the main body), 2 rows of decreases are worked in the sleeve and I made them “bracelet” length on M’s request. Which is a good thing as M’s long sleeved cardigans can get very dirty on the cuff…..

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I really like the results for this one, so I like the pattern, but I didn’t like at all how it was written up. Too many instructions, different numbering for the lace motif and so on. It isn’t a difficult knit, but I just got confused here and there. I understand that my taste of patterns tends to go to the pithy ones as EZ would say, but still….

I also will need to sew some tape on the inside of the front bands. They flip, which is probably due to the fact that I made this one in cotton. Luckily the haberdashery in town has a good collection of ribbons and tape, so we can pick a nice matching one. 

But I do like the lace and they way it gently fans out, especially on the back….

Olinda

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Praising cotton

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At work the other day we ended up in a discussion on diets and such. Me, myself, I don’t really believe in dieting. From my point of view, eat varied and not too much of anything is probably best. And love your veggies…. And try to make things yourself…. And I guess somehow that goes for my knitting too. Every now and then the question comes up, which yarn is your absolute favourite… I just can’t answer that one… Favourite for what? I would not want a winter sweater in Linen and neither do I want a summer tee in Alpaca and apart from that I would also be pretty bored if I just could knit with one yarn… So a bit of variation and not too much of one thing is best for me. 

The other thing that happened this week is that I saw a thread on Revelry where someone asked, could this pattern be knitted in cotton….  The pattern was designed in a cotton yarn, so obviously the answer should be yes. But somehow cotton got the worst reputation. Yes it does not have many give and I can see that this can make your hands hurt, but the right cotton for the right project works really well. And it is a great summer yarn, can have really nice sheen, picks up colours very well and can be easy care too. But yes worsted or thicker cottons are very very heavy and gravity will do its work on a project knitted in those. But a good quality cotton in the lighter weights, is just very good for summer wear. And children’s wear.

So my next project, cotton, a very nice one, Cascade Ultra Pima for a girl’s cardigan… summery and bright!