Thursday, May 31, 2007


I resurrected the Vogue Knitting multidirectional wrap for May. I was flushed with the success of the CTH mini shawl, and dug out the wrap again. I also needed something very simple for the flight to New York.

Here's the latest status:

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

So good they named it twice

Two confessions upfront:

I went to New York and
1) I did not visit a single yarn store, despite having avidly read Lixie's yarn crawl guide
2) I had no time to knit

What? Is she sick?

Let me explain. I didn't visit any yarn stores, much to the relief of my companions, but this was because I had pre-ordered my yarn and had no more space. I didn't knit, because I was too busy shopping, eating and enjoying the glorious weather.

Ah, that makes more sense. So what about the pre-ordering?
I had ordered ahead yarn from Knitpicks, Blue Moon Fiber Arts and Webs.

The Knitpicks order arrived in perfect condition and the yarn looks and feels a lot nicer than I expected for the low prices. You need to allow extra time for the shipping from the west coast, but the whole process works well, and you get free shipping.

The Webs orders arrive faster as they are located in the east, but they did make a fundamental error in my order, sending DB instead of Blue Skys Alpaca. It's a real nuisance to have to make a return when you don't live in the country, so points off for that. They have a real time inventory, but it's not perfect, as I ended up with a backorder. Great prices though, and when I emailed a query, they responded same day.
As for Blue Moon Fiber Arts, I have been dying to try Socks that Rock, but after several weeks, absolutely no sign of the parcel. No order confirmation or email either, so pretty unimpressed with that one.

So on balance, it was good to satisfy the yarn itch on arrival in New York, but service is spotty, and it's a hassle if there are any problems with the order.

To the yarn...

Cascade Pima Cotton. To be honest, I'm not crazy about the colours; they are a little 'off'. They are for projects from Fitted Knits.

Cascade 220. I got more colours than shown here, all intended for Noni bags. It's much softer than I expected, and the green colour is gorgeously heathery.

Vacuum bags to make it smaller
Knitpicks Twirl in purple and blue, Berroco Suede and Tahki Santa Fe

Good of the airline to supply yarn bags:

The Piece de Resistance - the Berrocco Bonsai. The colours and sheen are wonderful, and I can't wait to try them.
The yarn mountain.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Three shawls

I finished knitting the CTH simple shawl, although it came out smaller than I hoped. I think I need 200g of sock yarn to make a decent shawl. Not blocked yet, and I think I'll put that off for a week. It's too small for the event I had in mind, so will get to blocking at my leisure.

Flushed with the success of this, I actually started another lace project. I've had Koigu's Charlotte's Web pattern for a while, and dusted it off. I have started the second of the five colours, but it's a great deal more challenging than the simple shawl, so won't work as a travel knit.

Additional colours:

All this lace made me recall the Vogue multidirectional shawl I started last year. I pulled this out, and tentatively added a few rows. It's not actually lace, as it doesn't have any yarnovers, but that makes it a much simpler knit. I don't love the mohair and cotton boucle to knit with; itchy and tough respectively, but I still like the colour and would like to finish it. I think this will be the new mindless knit.

In sock news, I've turned the heel on my simple sock, so hope to free up the needles for something a bit more exciting soon.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Simple shawl

I started on a quick shawl out of Cherry Tree Hill supersock a week ago, and find I'm close to finishing already! There are lots of stocking stitch sections with only a light sprinkling of simple lace, so I actually felt like working on it all week. The bank holiday last week helped too.

Sahara is stalled. I'm finding the pick up of stitches on the sleeve, and subsequent manipulation on dpns fiddly, so just don't feel like working on it. I would however, like to wear the top in two weeks' time, so will probably get back to it.

Don't even ask about seaming the sunrise circle jacket.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Techniques I've tried

This comes from And she knits too

Do this regularly

Continental Knitting
Garter stitch
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Participating in a KAL
Long Tail CO
Knitting a gift
Sweater - well, at least two
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Short rows
Knitting with synthetic yarn - now and then
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with variegated yarn - addicted
Knitting in public
Kitchener BO
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Knitting with DPNs

Done it once

Socks: toe-up
Knitting with silk
Drop stitch patterns - the infamous clapotis
Button holes
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with alpaca
Tubular CO
Lace patterns
English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Stuffed toys - a monkey
Dying yarn- Kool Aid
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Knitting with beads

Plan to do someday

Afghan/Blanket (baby)
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down - no idea how this works!
Knitting with camel yarn
Moebius band knitting
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Dying with plant colors
Designing knitted garments
Knitting and purling backwards
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Dying yarn - acid dyes
Knitting art
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Freeform knitting
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Knitting to make money
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Publishing a knitting book - I wish!
Christmas decorations
Hair accessories

No thanks

Knitting with metal wire - Grumperina's experience put me off
Gloves - all those fingers!
Knitting with dog/cat hair -revolting
Toy/doll clothing
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Machine knitting
Knitting for pets

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

This is not a plastic bag (oh ok, it is)

Well, for all those who missed out on the Anya Hindmarch Sainsbury's bag, I am pleased to report that Asda still have plenty of stock of the less glamorous bags supporting breast cancer for a mere 70p. They are a good size for groceries or knitting.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Computer surgery

Major crisis with the laptop this week! I accidentally hit the Dell media button instead of the on/ off button, and this caused the whole operating system to implode. I seem to remember when I first learned to use a computer that we were told we could hit any key, and we couldn't break the computer. Not true!

After several hours of rebooting, trying safe mode, trying to boot from disk and finally re-installing Windows, we gave up. I've spent much of the weekend shuttling back and forth to the computer doctor, who managed to retrieve the data files. We then had to have a full factory reset. Touch wood, it's working again now, but needless to say, I'm keen to tape over the button that caused the problem.

On the knitting front, I'm making progress with Sahara. I knitted the lace neck edging before finishing the length, as I just couldn't assess how much it would ride up until the neckline was done. The lace is slightly fiddly, but the key is just to keep counting and checking on the increase rows. I picked up a stitch every second row, and did four repeats of the lace pattern instead of three.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Bleeding Cherry Tree Hill

I bought some CTH supersock some months ago, including some nice deep colourways. Listening to Lixie Knits It podcast, I found out that this yarn can fade badly. I'm thinking of starting my CTH shawl after Sahara, so was concerned to hear this. I decided I'd better prewash the deeper colours, but not to bother with the pastels. So I soaked them, and sure enough the green skeins started to give up a lot of dye.

Next step was the vinegar bath:

And even after that and two rinses, here's the water:

I am not impressed. The yarn is expensive, and I'm disappointed that I have to treat it myself. Thank goodness for Lixie or I would have found out after knitting a multicoloured shawl, and ended up with a muddy mess. Still might I suppose, but hopefully it will stop bleeding now.