Saturday, June 21, 2008

what did the postman bring?

Sock yarn! hooray!

Some lovely heathery regia 4ply, colour 2143 (linen), courtesy of woolly workshop. I realised when making the rainbow booties how much I had missed making socks. My other ongoing project is a big crocheted blanket so it feels more interesting to make something intricate and fine gauge again. So I've already cast on for Highland Schottische Kilt Hose from Folk Socks. Which is an awesome book, but I haven't actually made anything from it until now. I am making them as a surprise present for a very nice kilt wearing gentleman I know. This may well turn out to be madness as I have no idea if they will fit or not... I may have to recruit some other male sock models with similarly proportioned calves to test my progress!

Check out that picot hem! I am ridiculously overpleased with this... impossible to convey in a photograph how tactile this is. It's a double thickness, like, er, most hems are i guess, so it feels lovely and solid and nubbly.

Friday, June 20, 2008

bootie call

So I finally found a use for leftover sock yarn! These only used about 20g of zitron trekking xxl i had left from making these ages ago. Here they are in ravelry - for the unravelled, the pattern is Christine's Stay on Baby Booties. A nice fun quick knit. Living life on the edge as I invariably do, I decided to risk running out of yarn halfway through by just using the leftovers from one 100g ball. There are plenty of options really if you do run out - it would be easy to use stripes or do a contrast sole, or do the laces in a different yarn. Or even if you end up having to frog the whole thing in despair, really there's not that much work being lost there. Just a couple of train-journeys-worth (from Manchester to London, interspersed with gentle snoozings). Interestingly, if you are 8 months pregnant and knitting on the train I've noticed you tend to attract fond, approving glances from fellow travellers - like, phew, there's another stereotype reaffirmed - rather than the usual head-craning intrigued stares from people who can't quite work out what's going on and haven't quite got the nerve to ask.

This maternity leave malarkey is great. So much knitting time! Hopefully the postman should be delivering more yarny treats any second now... *drums fingers impatiently*. Good tinkering time as well, I have spent the morning playing with xubuntu on an old laptop, so I can now blog / ravelry / generally waste time from the sofa rather than having to walk upstairs. (Yes, I am getting that lazy.) So if this post looks weird, it's because I have shunned all software usage conventions for the day. Take that, establishment!


Sunday, June 08, 2008

the acceptable face of pink

Check me out, with my pictures of knitting and flowers - I am the new yarnstorm!! (although a slightly less classy version with a woodchip background).

I hate the colour pink. Too much of a tomboy I'm afraid, and I get really annoyed when you go to the shops and every electronic appliance you look at has a Ladies Version in pastel pink with a few useful buttons removed. But I'm trying to overcome my aversion. I've decided that pink is acceptable when:

  • It is given to you in the form of a pretty birthday orchid

  • It is a muted dusky rose-type shade, like in this hat

  • It comes in the form of free cashmere

  • It is used as an accent colour with a tasteful grey

So a friend was having a yarn clearout (friends like these are definitely worth cultivating!) and I was unable to resist this lovely soft cashmere, in what I guess you would describe as fingering weight, although it has no ball band so I can't really tell you exactly what it is. Thinner than sock yarn, it's slightly over-delicate - it broke in a couple of places, so I hope my spit splicing holds up to the trials of baby headwear. But it's the kind of stuff you want to hold to your cheek.

There was only a really small amount of this lovely yarn, so I made it into an earflap hat for the scarily quickly expanding bump in my abdomen. I actually got the idea from a picture of me as a baby wearing a pretty awesome handknitted earflap hat. (I'm not going to post this one! too embarrassing). I couldn't find a similar pattern so I made it up. I've written down what I did, but I have no idea whether it'll fit or not yet, so I don't know whether it's worth putting up full instructions. I kept meaning to buy a grapefruit and test it, as this is supposed to be about the same size as a newborn baby's head. But grapefruits are quite big aren't they, and I don't really feel I can look at one at the moment with terrifying myself. So I'll just knit happily away, try not to think about grapefruits and hope the hat fits someone or something.

It's a pretty simple pattern. I made two earflaps knitted flat, then joined them to knit in the round, casting on a few stitches in between for the front and back. For the first time I attempted Meg's Jogless Jog to handle the stripes. This does look a bit better I think, although you can still tell where it is (look at the photo on the right, at the back of the hat - just on the right of the left hand earflap). To stop the stocking stitch rolling at the forehead I crocheted a border all the way around the bottom edge - just one row of double crochet (single crochet if you're from the USA) in grey. Also blocked it gently to encourage it to calm down a bit.