Saturday, July 23, 2011

knit nation

(above: the Wollmeise stand, before it all got devoured by a swarm of yarnlocusts)

Oh yes, last weekend was knitting festival time!!!1!!1! Like Glastonbury, sort of, but with more cardigans. It's taken me a week to recover from the excitement.

Highlights of the day included:

  • Marvelling at the Habu stall. So many beautifully arranged cones of colourful tweedy yarn, I didn't want to ruin the display by buying any. There was a great selection of unusual yarn, silk / stainless steel blends, and paper! (All fun and games until it rains.)
    habu stall

  • Scoring some beautiful Crannog from the Yarn Yard. I went crazy and got a cardigansworth, probably for Laika, but I haven't 100% decided.

  • Finding this cute project bag in the same fabric as my recently acquired needle case

  • Inadvertently wandering across Ysolda's twitter feed. It was Cara who noticed this - she recognised my Tempest cardigan! (the red one)

  • Winning a Knit nation mug! Here it is being modelled by a good strong brew.

  • Relaxing in the cafe with knitting, cake and gentle yarnbanter. cake

  • Last, but very much not least - meeting the very lovely Kate Blackburn, who not only put up with my yarn-based witterings for most of the day, she met me at the station, navigated me to the correct place, and gave me gifts of yarn and cake. Thankyou so much!


Saturday, July 09, 2011


In a feat of spectacular timing, I went camping this week, just after the sunshine ended and the thunderstorms began. There was a lot of sitting in the tent, listening to the rain and doing this sort of thing. Thank the knitting gods for headtorches!

Obviously the sun came out again once I was back home. But at least I emerged blinking into the daylight with a finished tank top.

I basically made this up as I went along then pinched the neckline from High Street, a pattern with the same stitch count which I stumbled upon serendipitously after casting on. My neckline is slightly different; I used 2ply jumperweight, rather than the sportweight in the High Street pattern. Mine's a finer gauge, so I needed to add a bit of extra straight stocking stitch in at the shoulders to keep the depth of the neckline in the same sort of place. This changes the neckline to more of a U-shape than a V-shape, which I think is no bad thing.

There's no waist shaping or anything, just straight up and down, knitted in the round bottom up to the armholes. It was unbelievably easy to make. If you're feeling chilly, it's almost less hassle to knit one of these than getting up off the sofa and going upstairs to get a jumper from the wardrobe. The most laborious bit was the knitted hem, but this only took one game of Scrabble to complete. And I like the sturdy edge it gives.

Also a good stashbuster for small amounts of nice yarn. The finished top weighs about 140g, and the blue stripe is just under one 25g ball of Shetland Spindrift, so ideal if you are a fair isle enthusiast with lots of leftover bits. The brown bit is gorgeous handspun from Wild Fire Fibres. It's spun so neatly you can hardly even tell it apart from the mechanically spun yarn in the white and blue stripes! I like this fact a lot, it's like a little secret that a casual observer would never spot.

It's quite a lot shorter than the tops I usually make, but I modelled the shape exactly on a favourite tank top which I wear all the time, so I guess it doesn't bother me so much for a tank top. I have a couple of longer shirts that I wear under it so I should avoid any alarming midriff exposure. The fit is nice and snug, after my third attempt at casting on! I put a bit of experimental zigzaggy stranded colourwork in, and it's still stretchy enough to put on comfortably. Its shetlandy embrace feels bloody lovely on.

Now then, if you'll excuse me I feel like I need to go and apply for a job as a librarian or a geography teacher or something...