Time-travelled gratitude

Just occasionally I am grateful to my past self.

I’ve had a shawl/wrap project on the go for a while. By ‘on the go’ I mean I knitted 70% of it – the centre and a chunk of the border – about two years ago and then didn’t like it enough to bring myself to buy a final ball of yarn to finish it. However, I bit the bullet this Christmas holiday when I realised that Lang were discontinuing the colourway and if I didn’t buy it now then I was probably never going to be able to. And then there would be another long pause while I brought myself to terms with ripping the whole thing out and turning it into something else. Which was the least-preferred option. Had to get the yarn from Germany because there was none in the UK, so I think I might have cut it pretty fine.The yarn arrived a few days ago. There were gloves to knit, and a sweater to finish, so I didn’t have to think about it. But finally I sighed, dug out the project and went to look it up on Ravelry to see what the pattern, needles were etc.Reader, I had not Ravelled it. And after two years’ hiatus there was no chance whatever that I remembered what pattern I’d used, what size needles – anything. My best guess was that it was a pattern from Victorian Lace Today…… but had no idea which one. So I started leafing through randomly, hoping I could recognise the pattern, squinting at shawl-centres sideways, waiting for something to feel familiar (not very useful, as I’ve knitted a couple of other things from this book). Then found this.

Enough to tell me that it’s this pattern, and that when I started the border I was using 4mm needles.

Thank you, two-years-ago self.

Warm hands

While this isn’t exactly the winter-to-end-all-winters, nonetheless the children like to wear gloves to school. Which (despite name-tagging) generally means lost gloves. But it was a while since I’d knitted any, and to be honest the youngest’s were too small anyway, so I wasn’t too cross about him losing one. He picked the yarn, and plumped for Flamingo Pink Cascade chunky.

I’ve used the same pattern as a basis for these extremely simple mittens several times, but I can never remember what I’ve done after I’ve finished a pair because I’m always knitting them in different yarns and to fit different children’s hands. The first one always takes a few goes to get right, because we try on as I go, then the second one is the work of a couple of hours.

These fit, but another time I would probably cast on 30 for the cuff and knit it with a smaller needle so there’s enough stretch. There’s enough yarn to knit a third one, which seems like it would probably be a good use of my time…

Probably never going to knit this again

The grey Starshine is finished. It’s in Rowan Superwash Pure Wool DK.

I think the recipient likes it,

and now I get to do the all-three wearing-matching-sweaters-at-the-same-time shot.

You would not believe the bribery I had to resort to for this picture.

Accidental sweater

Well, I had to babysit for a friend, and I didn’t know what size feet the current sock-recipient has, so obvs I had to start something new. And, rather handily, it turned out that the box I thought had Christmas decorations in it ACTUALLY HAD YARN STASH IN IT. So that was exciting, and far better than Christmas decorations. So I had to cast on a sweater.

This is the third time I’ve knit this pattern. Some patterns you just… make friends with. I knit the first one for Eldest Daughter when she was about six, and now the current six year old is wearing it.

Then I knit this one when another pattern didn’t work out that well and I needed something else to do with the yarn.

And now I’m knitting the biggest size. It’s in some Rowan Pure Wool DK that was frogged from a sweater that my mother knitted for Eldest Boy, plus some other Rowan DK that I have no recollection of buying but presumably did because stash fairies AREN’T REAL.

Happily I have discovered that GarnStudio have heaps more sweaters and accessories in this pattern, so I more or less plan to be knitting it until she goes to university or rebels, whichever is sooner.

Knitting weather!

The weather has recently done a temperature step – going from about 22ish most days to 14ish in a matter of 24 hours. This is particularly good because I want to pick up a couple of blankets I’ve been working on and frankly you can’t knit blankets in the summer (or at least I can’t. Too Hot.) This has also coincided with a slackening off of work, to my joy. When I want to knit in the evenings but have to spend them answering emails and catching up on the things I didn’t get done during the day (because I was answering emails) then the pleasure of just sitting in front of Brooklyn 99 with a sock can’t be overstated.

I’ve just finished a pair that are a leaving present for a friend. These are from Opal’s Hundertwasser range. I’d never heard of Hundertwasser before – he was an Austrian-born architect and artist who worked in New Zealand and was also an environmental activist (very much in my wheelhouse these days) – this is his Rainy Day on the Regentag:

Image result for hundertwasser regentag

And these are the socks thereof:Which I think is a pretty good interpretation of his picture. And the current pair on the needles are for Eldest Daughter, who is very much about rainbows and unicorns at the moment. Not sure how Eldest Son will feel about them when she grows out of them and he inherits them in about half a year (knitting socks for children is very much a keep’em coming exercise), but she’s going to love them. Yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners’ Signature 4ply in Rum Paradise

I also bought a new ball when I was in York a couple of weeks ago (because it’s SO RUDE to browse a yarn store in a new city without buying anything…) This is King Cole Zig-Zag, which I haven’t knitted with before, in Holly Berry – looks like a nice Christmassy colourway. These are going to be for a friend who has pretty big feet (as in, a size I didn’t actually know existed) so I’m not sure that one ball is going to cut it, but I’ll see.

Done-duh-duh-done-done-done

Behold, the Crazed Scandinavian Cowl:

This has taken a long time. Partly just because it’s a really long pattern (18 charts! Chart A to chart R!) but also because I was knitting other stuff and also kept running out of money to buy yarn. Happily Debbie Bliss didn’t abruptly decide to stop making Baby Cashmerino in the colours I was using (Ecru and Slate, for the curious).

The finished (unblocked) item is 82 inches long by 11 inches wide which is pretty much exactly the dimensions specified in the pattern – the baby cashmerino is ideal because it’s really soft to go around the neck and also a nice fingering weight. You need very similar amounts of the light and dark colour. I got through seven-and-some balls of the grey and six-and-some balls of the white – a bit more than is specified in the pattern, which suggests 822 metres (seven balls of each).

The only thing left to do is graft the ends together to make the cowl, which I’m a bit hesitant about.

I unpicked the temporary cast-on at the bottom and put the stitches on a needle, ready to go, but I’m not convinced. You can also keep it as a scarf and I’m tempted to do that – just because it gives you more options about how to wear it. I think it looks quite good as a scarf.

Pics of the final beast once I’ve done a big heap of Kitchener stitch…

Sooooooooocks!!

It’s been Too Long since I was able to knit any socks – largely because of the afore-complained-about yarn diet. But also because it felt as though the number of pairs of socks I had was about the right number – or possibly even too many – for one person. But I’m now going to take a stand and say There Is No Such Thing As Too Many Socks.

I’m completely and joyously selfish when it comes to socks – they’re the only thing I knit that I absolutely love wearing and I have done a splurge on not one, not two, but four balls of sockyarn. I don’t even have enough needles to knit them all at once…

I have some Rico Superba Poems in lovely foresty greens and shadows;

(this is already on the needles…

I have some West Yorkshire Spinners in chirpy turquoises and orange, which I’m hoping will knit into one of those clever Fair-Isle-y patterns,

and I have two balls of Scheepjes Our Tribe – one in passionate reds

and another in candyfloss bubblegummy pink.

This is very happy to me.