Sunday, January 28, 2007


The swift is a welcome replacement to DH's arms for winding up all those skeins, and works better than I imagined.

Interweave Spring preview is up, and looks good, although I draw the line at some of the underwear... My winter Vogue arrived this week, but I'm rather disappointed again. I won't be renewing my subscription.

I dyed more Kool Aid yarn. My favourite is the mango and strawberry, but the grape looks better in real life than in the photo.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Stash matches

One of my goals for January was to stash dive and find some pattern and yarn pairings for future projects.

Tea cosy pattern and chunky slub
I bought these to go together, so this is an easy one, and I hope I can use up some leftovers to decorate the top.

Sunrise circle jacket from IK
Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed - or possibly some Kureyon? The variegated yarn might show off the shape better, but could be too fussy.

Arwen from IK
Soft green Jaeger Aran

Cosmicpluto's top down raglan
Assorted odd colours of Kureyon - I think it will work as a stashbuster to use up different colours
Dalarna is the pattern for the Knitting on the Road KAL. The pattern is fairly plain, so I think I can use one of my wilder colourways for this.

First finished object of 2007

I've finished the booga bag, and it's great. I finished the icord last night and threw the bag into the washing machine while I watched TV. When I pulled it out, I was really pleased with the way the slightly jarring colours had melded together and softened a bit, while the felt is really thick. I was surprised just how much it shrank. I felted a Noro Kureyon for the tote exchange last year, but it didn't shrink as much. This time I ran the 60 degree cycle once; last time I ran the 40 degree cycle 3 times.

Finished dimensions are 8"x7.5"x4.5", which is close to the pattern spec. It's quite small, but I'm delighted with the colours, texture and shape, so I'm sure I'll use it.

No exciting news on the Finn wool sweater. I'm ploughing on, but it's dull. Here's a sleeve shot anyway.

I did weaken on the yarn buying front, and bought a full pack of Rowan Yorkshire aran tweed. On the reduction front, one gift of 100g and the 150g used for the Booga bag. So up 750g this week. Year to date +1800 g.

Blogger finally allowed me to upgrade to the new version this morning, and it certainly seems to work better at uploading photos, so I'm seeing the benefit already.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Wicked temptation

I've been debating whether to join the SKC's latest knitalong. I wasn't sure about Eiffel, and the hemp yarn was very expensive. Wicked sounded interesting, but the photo with the pattern isn't too flattering. However, sknitty has just finished her Wicked and posted a picture. This was much nicer, and tempted me into buying the pattern.

I'm going to try and be good and knit from stash for this one (and wait until I've finished DH's jumper!) Two possible yarns in the stash: a multi stranded mohair and a highly variegated wool. I've been wondering what I could make with only 500 yards of the latter since I got it. I think I could squeeze a short sleeved jumper out of it, and wear over a fitted long sleeve top, as in the pattern photo.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Flipping between projects

I haven't finished anything yet for It's not a Gift, largely because when I pick up the cardigan or bag, my husband fixes me with mournful eyes and says, " Is my jumper going to be ready soon?", so I've been moving on with the guilt knitting. In fairness to him, I have missed the deadline of his birthday, and if I don't get it done soon, he won't get to wear it this winter.

I have managed to turn the heel of the first candy sock, as my excuse is that socks are portable, but the Finn wool jumper isn't. I used the eye of partridge for the first time, and love it. I wish I'd knitted some of the main part of the sock in this pattern, and will certainly remember it for future use. The slip stitch gives a complex fair isle sort of look to the variegated yarn.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Hunting for Kool Aid

Turns out Kool Aid is not ubiquitous in the US. I traipsed around several corner shops and Duane Reades, and got my colleague to find the nearest Food Emporium, but all I scored was a little mango and orange in the Food Emporium. No-one else stocked the stuff, and FE had only the flavours. I don't know where New Yorkers do their grocery shopping, as I couldn't find any large grocery stores.

Still, I now know of a local London source and a UK internet source (3 times the price of that in the US of course), so I can at least get more colours. I'm intrigued by the blue...

The stash reduction is not going so well. The rare trip to the US meant it would be rude not to buy at least a few skeins... I ended up with a kilo of Cherry Tree Hill sock and Blue Heron rayon. I did exchange some of my Christmas Prism for a smaller weight of Parisienne, so got a 300g reduction there.
Net year to date +1050 g.
Need to finish some items...

I got back to the Finn wool sweater, and after a false start, am making good progress with the underarm shaping on the back. DH is going to have to figure out the V neck calcs for me before I can move on with the front.

Also started a plain pair of socks in Posh Yarn Lucia. I tried swatching the candy coloured yarn in a few patterns, but just couldn't find the right one, so decided to go for soothing stockinette. Much faster anyway. The yarn is softer and nicer to knit with than it appears in the skein, and yields a firm fabric.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The wrong direction

Ok, the stash has started going in the wrong direction.
First of all, my updated count of existing start of year yarn (still not complete) is now at 44,050g.
Then I failed to resist buying more sock yarn yesterday +250g
Sock club yarn arrived today +100g

So with a target of -10,000g this year, on Jan 4th I'm standing at +350g. Oh dear.

Moving on to more positive things, I have signed up for the UFO Resurrection Challenge, in support of the finish the UFOs resolution.
I'm nominating a pair of handwarmers for the first item. This should be simple, as the knitting is done, and they just need seaming. However, I really dislike doing this, so will have to force myself. It's getting cold too, so I could use the finished articles.

I've discovered the joys of Kool Aid dyeing. I appreciate this is old news for US knitters, but it's still new and exciting for us here in England. I bought a saucepan and steamer specially, and rustled up some strawberry blue faced leicester. I only used one sachet for 100g, so the colour is quite soft, but I'm pleased with the mottled effect, where more dye has been absorbed in some parts of the skein. I am now busy hatching a plot to get hold of more Kool Aid, which is going to involve my poor US colleagues making visits to grocery stores with a rather odd shopping list.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

It's not a gift items

My first two items for It's Not a Gift are going to be the Jawbreaker cardigan and Booga bag that I started at Christmas. Both are progressing well, although the Prism is dyeing my fingers a rather unflattering shade of purple.

I've finished the fronts for the cardigan, and have started the first sleeve.

The main body of the bag is done, and I'm working the icord. I'm thinking of adding a loopy icord trim along the top, but not sure if this will be a bit much given the number of colours already involved.