Frog in knots

Knitting, knots and frogging.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Away for a little while

I've had some very sad family news so I won't be around for a little while. I'll catch up with you all again soon.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Time flies...

It hardly seems like 5 minutes since Scarlett was born, so when the invite for her first birthday party came through the door it was a bit of shock. They live at the other end of the country to me so a mammoth train journey dahn sarf was in order. I last saw her when she was 6 months old (about 6 weeks before she started to walk) and although I'd seen her in pictures I was a bit taken by surprise, she's so itty bitty it defies possibility to see her confidently strutting around the house without a care in the world.

Nick and Jenn have truly been blessed with this little one. I only heard her cry three times in four days and she is all smiles and happiness and never stops laughing. Her antics are hilarious and I spy a future knitter, she did a runner with my yarn on more than one occasion as well as making off with various other supplies. Speaking of future knitters, I taught Jenn to purl and decrease while I was there and she made an adorable little beanie with the left overs from a garter stitch blanket she made when Scarlett was born. Plans for more adventurous garments have been made to coincide with my next trip.

Such a pretty little girl needs a pretty little dress so I couldn't resist making this little number from 'Candy Babies' by Candi Jensen. I looked everywhere for Chinese fabric but the colours I found all seemed a little garish for such a little one. In the end I opted for a gorgeous embroidered bridal fabric and then matched the yarn to it. The best match was Rowan Cotton Glace and although it was completely the wrong gauge for the pattern I adapted it to fit. My sewing leaves a lot to be desired, I put the skirt on it on the train, but it's passable despite needing a good talking to with the iron. I made the 18 month size so it will fit towards the summer, but she's such a dainty little tot it may be longer before it will go on her.

I had such a lovely time that I can't wait to see her again. We have a lot in common especially when it comes to cake...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

No sweat!

January tends to see the start of several knit-a-longs that last all year. I've always been put off by these thinking it was a huge commitment or a bit boring to be knitting the same type of item over and over again but when the fabulous Stefaneener came up with a grand plan I couldn't sign myself up quick enough. She has masterminded a Sweater-a-Month KAL.

Uh-huh, I have pledged to knit a sweater a month, every month, through 2007. Am I crazy? You mean you haven't figured that out yet? Of course I'm crazy, just for even thinking it, let alone trying it, but it's do-able right? I'm quite seduced by the prospect of 12 sweaters for myself and have been plotting and planning the year ahead. There's still plenty of time to sign up with the rest of the crazies if you think you're daft enough if you fancy it.

After signing my year away I had to choose a sweater. Unfortunately my big January project can't count because I can't show it off for months. I am knitting like a loon on my Sensual Knits submission for it's fast approaching deadline and so I needed something smaller to make that I could let you see. Fortunately I had a baby sweater planned for Sol's first birthday.

I chose the reindeer jacket from 'Simple Knits for Little Cherubs' by Erika Knight. I've been dying to make this for ages and even though the smallest size was for a 2-3 year old I went ahead anyway. Babies grow and Sol is quite a sturdy little lad.

I made a few changes to the pattern, some for ease of knitting, others to keep my sanity. To start with I used 2x2 rib instead of 1x1. I feel it looks better and a bit more modern. I changed the snowflakes from the bottom as the ones given in the pattern looked a bit floral for a little boy and the trees in the background of the reindeer simply had to go. I didn't like the trees at the top and seriously contemplated changing them, but by that point I was a little fed up with it all and went for the easy option of following the pattern.

I was supposed to be stranding the yarn all the way across the piece but instead I chose to work the reindeer and trees as intarsia. I also knitted the whole piece in one to the armholes which meant lengthening the body slightly so the sleeves sat in the top blue part only rather than cutting down into the white, by doing this it was a bit less fiddly to deal with. I completely ignored the collar pattern and picked up sts around the neck and worked in 2x2 rib for a few inches. I also missed out the snowflakes that were supposed to go around the lower sleeve. I tend to knit the sleeves plain on fussy or very patterned sweaters as I think it can look a bit much to have it patterned all over. I'm pleased with how it came out although the zip was sewn in by hand on the train and isn't my neatest effort. The yarn wasn't anything thrilling, just bog standard aran weight acrylic in navy and white, those little cherubs aren't always so angelic when it comes to staying clean.

Monday, January 01, 2007 with the new

Happy New Year! I hope it's a wonderful one for each and every one of you.

I wanted to start the year with a plan and a few resolutions tentative guidelines to get myself off to a good start.

First and foremost I want to reduce my stash. I won't stop myself from buying more yarn, but I will make more of an effort to try and use what I've got in. Better organisation is also high up on the cards. I've just gone for a new yarn storage system that's less easy to mess up than the last one, rather than needing to dig through tubs I've put it in those underbed storage bags with a clear zip up lid so I can see what's where straight away. I need to update my spreadsheets though and plan to do it using Craftmemo. My patterns are next with a filing system about to be implemented.

I'm also going to keep track of what I'm up to in a knitting diary. I tend to lose sheets of my clipboard or mix up the order so I felt a book would be easier to manage. It's mainly for own designs but will probably end up with lists of things I want to make and whatnot.

I'm fortunate to have two designs being published this year. I have a lot of ideas in my head that I want to get written up and sent off. I really want to push that side of my knitting this year.

I've already mentioned the UFOs that need finishing up, or if I decide I don't really want the item I'm going to frog it rather than leaving it hanging around. I already have a list of things of a few things I want to make this year, but I'm not going to be too influenced or bogged down by it. It's more of a wishlist than a commandment.

Glampyre's Simple Knitted Bodice
Socks (I'm finally joining the dark side)
Super secret ain't tellin' ya lace project.
Crossover cardi from Verena 3/06
Cable and lace jumper from Verena 3/06
Garter stitch jumper from Verena 3/06
Cable cardi from Drops

I'm also planning on a few new techniques. I generally learn new things as they come up rather than go out of my way to learn something new for the sake of it but there are a few things I want to try out at some point. Sock knitting is pretty high on my agenda, I have some lovely sock yarn languishing in my stash and I'll need something small to KIP with in the summer. I'm also going to attempt steeking, Grace is still unworn and unloved but with a bit of scissor action she'll be wearable. I'm going to do some felting this year too. Lace knitting is also creeping in, it's not so much a new skill as something I want to challenge myself with. I'm more of a product than a process knitter so I find it pointless putting so much work into something I won't wear but I have a very cunning plan...

Watch this space!