Friday, October 16, 2009

a small treat

mmmm soft
Well, after all those wool/acrylic squares for the Macmillan blanket, I really wanted to have a go on something soft and lovely. This hat came from a single skein of 100% alpaca handspun that I bought on UK Ravelry Day from Six Swans. It's so unbelievably soft, knitting with it was like jumping into a river of marshmallows. I was kind of gutted to finish the hat. It was originally intended to be for the baby, but soon after I cast on, I realised it was a little on the big side. Then the voice of Satan started whispering things in my ear like 'he'll only grow out of it' and 'babies wouldn't appreciate the fineness of this handspun anyway'. After a while, I started to agree with Satan. So it's mine! Unlucky, kiddo.

I didn't use a pattern, and kept it extremely simple, I think it's better to let the loveliness of the handspun speak for itself. It's just 80 stitches, knitted in the round, stocking stitch with a couple of rows of garter stitch at the start to stop the edge curling, and an 8 point type decrease at the crown. And now I have warm ears! Hooray.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

crafty balls up of the day

how not to make a cushion
Top tip. When attempting to sew a cushion cover, if you have just put in a zip down one side and are feeling quite pleased with yourself. Before putting right sides together and sewing round the other three edges, it might be an idea to open said zip. Otherwise, as any numpty can plainly see, you are going to have extreme difficulty turning the thing inside out. Leaving you with something that is neither decorative nor useful. *Reaches sheepishly for seam ripper*.

I had hoped I could accomplish a simple cushion cover without recourse to an internet tutorial, but clearly I still need google to hold my hand through this area of textile adventuring.
Maybe I should change my name by deed poll to once-rubbish-now-probably-fairly-average-knitter-but-still-mindbogglingly-thick-at-sewing. Catchy! I bet that userid is still available on ravelry too.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

field of dreams

grassy sunny lovely
It is a lovely day today. The beauty of the sunshine, however, was slightly lost on me earlier this morning. Waking up to such lovely early morning light, Mr. Rubbishknitter had decided to take some photos of the autumn mist, and during the process had dropped my much treasured macro lens out of his pocket and lost it somewhere in a field. They're not cheap, so it could have been an ignominious end for this blog, and my ongoing attempts at taking nice photographs. In horror, I followed him down to said field and scrabbled around in the damp grass for a while. It was mostly a lot longer than the grass in this picture, and quite good at hiding a camera lens. The exquisite morning light shone most elegantly onto our sad faces. Then in a moment of huge relief, I found it. It was a bit soggy and covered in condensation but, miraculously, seems to have cleaned up ok. The lens lives to blog another day!!!1!1

To celebrate, I took some pictures of knitting with an outrrrrrageously shallow depth of field.
So recently, I've mostly been doing a lot of warm but not very exciting stocking stitch squares for a blanket for Macmillan. A few of us from knitting group thought it would be a nice thing to do a charidee project. The website suggests you organise a Coffee Morning to do the sewing up of the different squares, but we thought it might be more fun to have a Beer Afternoon instead.
tweedy vines
In the stuff-for-me category, this is the Trellis and Vines Pullover from the Fall 2009 issue of Interweave Knits. I was possibly a bit rash casting on so quickly after the pattern was released, as sometimes you end up being a bit of a guinea pig, but I couldn't resist. This yarn is Forsell Touch of Silk DK, some ancient long-discontinued line which was mega cheap from Silver Viscount - £4 a cone I think, which is like, nearly as cheap as air, so I bought two. It feels a tiny bit scratchy, but I've heard it softens up after washing. The photos on the website weren't the clearest so I took my chances with the colourway 'Blarney' and bejaysus! It was a pretty tweedy green.

The pattern is great fun so far, nice and quick in a top down raglan stylee. I'm determined to get it done this winter, and break free from my usual pattern of finishing a big pile of warm things in spring when they are no longer necessary.


Thursday, October 01, 2009

the owls are not what they seem

too whit too whatnow?
Well I've finally got to the end of the baby gift knitting, for now! I couldn't resist this little pattern. So cute, and yet so much less effort than the adult version. It's Owlet, by Kate Davies. I knitted it in exactly the recommended yarn, Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran, in exactly the same colour as she used. This may have displayed something of a poverty of imagination on my part, but the mother of the child likes both mustardy yellow and owls, so when I stumbled across this pattern I knew it was spot on. The yarn isn't cheap but it is very lovely - it's really springy soft superwash merino, and I only needed three balls for the 6-9 month size. It was a super quick knit too. I've never done a bottom up raglan before and it was a little fiddly joining the sleeves in but worked pretty well and there was almost no sewing up at the end.

i'm watching you
The only departure from the prescribed pattern was the owl eyes. I had intended to use buttons as the pattern suggested, and got some of the smallest ones I could find. But they still looked a bit big for their faces, and not in a cutesy manga type way. The impression they gave was more like, I'm a top predator with super bionic night vision and I'm going to swoop down and break your arm. This wasn't quite the right sort of ambience for an item of baby clothing. So I rummaged through my drawer of craft related tat and found these plain wooden beads, which had a much less sinister air. It would probably have been easier if I'd thought about this during the actual knitting bit rather than when I'd cast off, then I could have had the option of knitting the beads in somehow. As it was I strung them all onto a piece of thin but super strong quilting cotton and sewed it invisibly round the circumference of the jumper afterwards, tying it in about 150 knots so the eyes don't all simultaneously fall off if the baby sneezes.
beady beady eyes
Not possible to get modelled photos yet unfortunately, so I don't know how the fit is. But the jumper does look like it would accommodate a fat baby belly quite nicely. It was great fun to make - I may even have to do another one for my wee man.