Monday, 26 April 2010

More Lace, An FO, And Some Seaming

I've finished the main body of the stole now, and am feeling a lot better about the size of it. So far it measures 36x12", but I'm a lot more reassured that it will stretch out. Thank you everyone who commented on the last post to reassure me of that! Thank goodness for the deadline, because otherwise I think I'd have just chucked it in a corner and forgotten about it. As it was, I just kept knitting. And knitting. And knitting. I hadn't realised how soon the birthday is, but I actually only have a week left to knit the border on and block it out.

And did I knit on it yesterday? No :D

I finished up a pair of fingerless mitts

Reverse Rib Fingerless Gloves

Reverse Rib Fingerless Gloves

Reverse Rib Fingerless Gloves Thumb

These are the Reverse Rib Mitts by Holly Terrell. It's a free Ravelry download. I saw the pattern, and thought that some of the variegated sock yarn I have might look nice in reverse ribbing, and it actually turned out really nice!

Actually, now that I look at the pattern page, it appears that I did something wrong on this pattern :/ I just continued in the ribbing all the way up, and they're supposed to have more reverse stockinette in the centre. Oh well, I love them as they are! I made them a bit shorter on the wrist and hand than I would for winter gloves, thinking that the colours make them perfect for spring gloves. I totally love them!

These have been my late night knitting, when I'm completely exhausted from knitting lace. I've had to knit the lace like mad, up to 10 repeats a day, and it melts my brain a little, even though the pattern isn't hard.

I also sewed up the other seam on Mariah, but I realised the zip I got is wrong. It has a closed end, like you would need for a bag or something. So even when unzipped, it's still connected at the bottom. I need an open ended one instead. That's what I get for going on ebay late at night to get a zip! I'm sure I'll be able to use it for something though.

Check out my mattress stitch!!

I Love Mattress Stitch!!

I Love Mattress Stitch!! 2

Arm Seam

Last time I made Mariah, I just whip-stitched the seams. They're fine, but I wouldn't want to show them off. Not like this one! I was sewing it up and was just totally amazed at how un-visible it is! This is the first time I've used it on a garment, and I'm totally converted now! Mattress stitch for everything :)

After I finish this lace, of course :) Off to knit more...

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Lace Doubt

I've been making good progress on the bf's mum's birthday shawl. I've knit a quarter of the middle sections repeats. However, I'm a bit unsure about how it's turning out...

Lace Knitting

Lace Knitting

It looks kind of small for a quarter of a shawl...

I know lace blocks out, but does it really block out that much?? When I stretch out the knitting, it stretches to maybe a foot. But it needs stretched out to the sides as well. It's supposed to be 19"x60" when it's got the border knitted on, and is blocked out. When I stretch it out to the sides, it again maybe measures 12".

I'm hoping that with the addition of water and blocking pins it'll stretch out more... Does anyone know if that's likely?

I figure that stretching sideways is more important at the moment. I can always knit more lengthwise if I need to - I have plenty of this yarn, it's not going to run out any time soon. I'm just not sure yet if I'll need to. Part of me is thinking that I'll need to knit a whole extra foot or so onto it, but then I worry that it will become super stretchy as soon as water hits it, and it'll end up like a mile long.

I have knit some lace before, however that's still waiting to be blocked... (I'm so bad at getting around to stuff like that! When I finally get round to it, I'm going to have like 3 shawls all at once!)

The yarn is more cobweb-weight than lace-weight I think, so that's partly why I'm worrying it'll be too small. It's so thin!! I have to slow my knitting right down when I'm working on this, because otherwise I knit into stitches below and just generally mess it up. It's turning out to be quite zen knitting actually, because I have to actually pay attention to where I'm sticking the needles, and be quite mindful of the process. The lace pattern is simple enough that only a little attention needs to be paid to that, it's all on the actual working of the stitches, which is really nice.

So, if anyone out there has any advice about how much really thin wool yarn will stretch in the actual blocking process, I'd really appreciate it :) Just now, I'm going to keep knitting and see what happens. I still have 6 more repeats to go until I really need to decide whether to knit more onto it, so I'm trying to focus on that and ignore the nagging doubts. Having a deadline is useful, because otherwise I'd get so worried that I think it'd just end up in a bag in a corner somewhere :D

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Deadline Knitting

Not a whole lot of progress to report on my various knitting projects. I 'm still knitting on my 3rd Tubey, still haven't got photos of the 2nd. I did manage to get my 2nd pair of Hebi socks finished, but I haven't taken any more photos of them as a pair yet. And I sewed one of Mariah's seam, and have pinned the other one, maybe that'll get sewed later on today. So progress is being made, just very slowly.

I've had to cast on another project though - I know, how awful!! ;p

I'm going to make "Miss Lambert's Shetland Pattern for a Shawl" from Victorian Lace Today (rav link) for my bf's mum's 50th birthday. Which I have been procrastinating about until it finally dawned on me yesterday that it's in 2 weeks!!! So I guess none of my other projects will be getting worked on much for the forseeable future ;)

She used to knit and had some white laceweight yarn that she gave me ages ago, along with a pattern which was for a similar type of shawl, but all written out in words. Millions of lines of "k2tog, yo, k1" etc. I just couldn't face that. So I handed her Victorian Lace Today, and asked her if she'd like one of those instead. Since this shetland lace pattern is similar, that's what she chose, which is good, because it's just an eight row repeat for the main section, and isn't too hard to memorise or work ;)

The yarn is some sort of Jamieson and Smith laceweight. I'm not sure how old it is, but I think it counts as "vintage" ;) It's sooooooo thin!! I'm using 3.25mm needles, and it's going to be super lacy and airy.

I'm having fun knitting the lace just now. I enjoy having the intricate pattern to think about and concentrate on. I can tell I'm going to hesitate when it comes to blocking (I always do!), but hopefully the fact that there's a really close deadline for this shawl will mean that it gets done!

I don't have any photos of it unfortunately (I've been really lax recently about taking photos of my knitting, must sort that out!) so here's a spring flower instead.

Pretty Flower

I've got a bunch of spring flower photos over on my flickr account. I went to Cambo gardens recently, and went a bit mad taking photos of the pretty :)

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Not So Monogamous Any More

My powers of project monogamy seem to have run out :) I knit all of Mariah, joined the hood and everything, and now it's sitting waiting at the seaming stage. I just can't seem to get motivated to sew it up :( It's only a small amount of sewing as well, since the sleeves are joined to the body already at the yoke. Just the 2 side seams, the 2 arm side seams, and the zip to put in. Hardly anything, really. And yet, it's been cast to the side while more interesting projects get knit on. Poor Mariah, I really should get round to finishing it soon!

I've cast on another pair of my Hebi socks (rav link) This time I'm making them in white. I took a sudden notion for white lacy socks for some reason :)

White Hebi Socks

White Hebi Socks

The yarn is Regia Stretch, in white (colourway no. 1) They're knitting up quite nicely. The yarn feels different to the Regia 4-fadig that I normally use. The difference is that it has polyester in it, which you wouldn't think of normally as making yarn particularly elastic, but it does seem to have more "stretch" in it, at least in yarn form. When it's knitted up, it feels more solid somehow, thicker even. My gauge is the same, so I reckon it must be the yarn. It'll be interesting wearing them to see how they fare against the 4-fadig that the originals were knitted in.

I've knit the first sock, and I'm halfway down the cuff of the second. I'm making them a little shorter than the originals, 15 repeats this time on the cuff instead of 17. They look cute :)

I'm not knitting them monogamously though. All that knitting on Mariah alone seems to have made me want to knit on 3 different things at once. I knit another Tubey sweater, because I still seem to be on the pattern repetition kick, and then immediately cast on another. (pics of them still to come in a FO post), and I knit the Milkweed pattern by Laura Chau. Here's a pic of it before blocking:

Milkweed Unblocked

and as it's still blocking right now, I can't post a pic of it post-blocking yet ;) That'll have to wait for another post too. I used Trekking XXL for this one, in colourway 305. I really like this colourway. The different shades of pink blend together quite well. It's kind of stipey, but not too stripey. Just right :)

I just can't seem to concentrate on any of these for very long at a time, but I suppose it means that they're all getting worked on :) I'm just having fun picking up whichever one takes my fancy at the time!