Frog in knots

Knitting, knots and frogging.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The sweater that almost was

So much for me finishing my two cardigans this month. After the breakneck pace of last month I decided to finish the vest I started for Scarlett while I was visiting. I just needed a bit of mindless stocking stitch that I could lose myself in for a few days. It's actually the Argyle Slipover from Debbie Bliss's Special Knits. I'd taken the book with the Eyelet Vest in mind but Jenny preferred this one instead. I only had the main colour with me (DB Baby Cashmerino kindly given to me by the fabulous Nanatoo) so I started with the intention of duplicate stitching the diamonds on later, I'm going to use the deeper pink and white only my LYS don't have any of the deeper pink in at the moment. I made the biggest size which won't fit her for ages anyway so I'm in no hurry.

While I was doing that I had an idea for a sweater that just couldn't wait. All my other plans went straight out the window and I got to work with the Patons Crystal that I showed you in the last post. Unfortunately, as it's something I was designing myself I could only guess at my yarn requirements and have run out just before the end.

It's supposed to have a yoke worked in the lace pattern, these wee hearts, but I'm a ball short. I've been considering my options and can't decide if I should make the sleeves shorter - they're 3/4 length to start with, or if I should frog the body. I could easily go down a size as there's plenty of ease in it as it is, but at the moment I just can't face it. The thought of doing the hem again doesn't appeal to me. My LYSO has been a superstar trying to get more but can't get hold of any. If any of you see it on your travels, please can you let me know.

As for the two cardigans that were part of the SAMKAL, they've been postponed until May unless I can fit them in before. Tomorrow I'll be casting on for Glampyre's Simple Knitted Bodice and the month after I have a gorgeous cardigan calling to me. Maybe next month will be a little more successful.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Love is Blind

You know when they tell young lads that too much solo sex will make them go blind? Well it's the same for us knitting gals. Too much SEX (Stash Enhancement Expedition) will produce the same results. Yes, you'll get a warm tingly feeling inside, but you will indeed go blind. Blind to the fact that you have nowhere to put it, blind to the fact that you don't have a project for it, blind to the fact that you probably won't use it for at least a year and blind to the fact that you don't really need it and probably can't afford it. So girls, practise safe SEX - don't go yarn shopping with people likely to encourage you, leave your credit cards at home and only shop when you need it. Who am I kidding? It's been a positive orgy of yarn pr0n here recently so you should all share the love and go indulge yourselves.

These two were from a local market stall that sells mainly acrylic but have a lot of nicer 'seconds' for sale. Usually the problem is that the ball was the wrong weight rather than there being anything wrong with the yarn. The lilac one is Sirdar Country Style DK in Viola and was 69p per ball. I bought 700g, some for a sweater for me and the rest for something for Scarlett. The darker one is mystery yarn (please let me know if you recognise it), it's black and deep purple and has a brushed look. It's very fine. I also have small amounts of this in deep/light pink and blue/turquoise and would love to know what it is. It feels really soft. This was only 59p a ball so I bought 6 in case I wanted to use it doubled.

My LYS has had a great January sale, this Patons Crystal was in the bargain bin at 65p a ball, it's been discontinued. It's microfibre acrylic but is made the same way as DB Cathay so would make a great sub for it. I have 5 of the brown and 6 of the red and am thinking it would make lovely summer tops.

They also had the great yarn mountain out again. They pile up packs of yarn in the middle of the shop and if you want to know what's in there you really have to get down and dirty on the floor to have a good rummage through. I came away with a kilo of Sirdar Country Style in Lichen and 500g of RYC Cashsoft DK in Crush. Both were half price. The Country Style is for one of my own designs and the Cashsoft is because it would have been rude to leave it behind.

I've also been bidding away on eBay. I'm not even safe staying at home these days. I'm starting Glampyre's gorgeous Simple Knitted Bodice next month as part of an informal KAL with friends. I initially wanted the Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora (vintage rose), but even at half price had a bit of a wobble on the cost (I need two 500g packs) so I bid on the Patons Diploma Gold Aran (kilo pack) instead. I was out bid and bought the DB as a consolation only to find out I'd been given a second chance to buy it after the winning bidder didn't pay on time. It was a huge bargain, about a third of the retail price and more than enough for a sweater so I grabbed that too. Needless to say I need to take a leaf out of Mary-Lou's book and start hiding it behind the bath panel. So much for knitting from my stash....

Just in case you were hugely disappointed that this wasn't the kind of sex you had in mind. (Sorry Jen - forgot you weren't up with the latest knit slang). You need to practise safe sex for the other kind too, or you'll end up with one of these...

and adorable as baby James is... I'd rather have cashmere. He's from last year's batch of summer babies and is now 7 months old (where does the time go?) He's a very smiley little chap and keep his mum on her toes with his mischief.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A game of two halves

Maths was never my strongest subject at school but even my wee brain can figure out that two halves make a whole. So instead of making a whole sweater in February for the Sweater-a-Month KAL I'm going to be cheeky and knit two half sweaters. Two halves of these sweaters in fact or they'll languish in my 'can't see it, pretend it's not there' cupboard forevermore.

The first is the green cabled cardi that I've been threatening to finish for the past 12 months. It was my pre-olympic warm up that I started around this time last year which got pushed to one side and forgotten about after the event. I still have the best part of the sleeves and the button bands (*sob*) to finish. It's a Patons pattern from their Summer collection 1987!

The other is a sweater I started at the end of last year while waiting for the yarn for my Sensual Knits submission to arrive. I have to finish the fronts and make the sleeves and collar. It's from Verena (Herbst 2006) - a German knitting magazine that produce the most fabulous patterns once a quarter. There are around 80-100 designs in every issue so if you speak German it's well worth getting. It's supposed to be in DB Cashmerino Aran but mine is in acrylic that was in my stash.

It's also covered in dog hair because a certain overgrown puppy was caught red-pawed rolling around on it when my back was turned.

I'm still trying to use stash yarn where I can but my next post will reveal sordid SEX tales that will make your hair curl.