Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ester is Finished

I finished Ester. Here she is in the garden:

I think it's turned out rather well. It's just the job for this time of the year when it's neither hot nor cold but you just need something on your shoulders. It did use up quite a lot of yarn - no bad thing with that green stuff.

Here she is from the side:

Although the blurb says you can wear this either way up, it feels more comfortable for me to wear it this way, so I have added a button to join the front. I didn't bother with a button hole but just sewed the thing together and attached the button over the top. It does mean I can't wear the shrug open and I do need to put it on over my head but this is not really a problem.

This was a quick, easy knit - gave me plenty of practice in making cables without recourse to a cable needle and used up oodles (tt) of the bright green tape, so all in all, a good thing. I'm thinking it might be nice in a slightly fuzzy (tt) yarn. Not so fuzzy that the cables are obliterated but just fuzzy enough to give a slight halo (this is a real technical term) - something like Rowan Kid Classic (if it hasn't been discontinued, something that Rowan is constantly doing. Don't get me started.) I'd probably have to use the yarn doubled to get the gauge, although the pattern is so straightforward, it wouldn't be difficult to adjust for any yarn.

For those who are interested the Sock Blanket is at 287 squares and looking good - I work on it while watching TV that I can't take my eyes off - a great deal of work is going on during the snooker.

The weather at the weekend was lovely, which makes quite a change. I spent some time visiting the Domestic Fowl Trust at Honeybourne (because I'm thinking of getting some chickens) and driving there made me realise how lovely England is.

Even the back field looks nice bathed in sunshine:

I'd better get on with a few more nupps.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


The latest pattern in the Estonian Potpourri has almost driven me to throw the whole thing against the wall. The words don't match the chart. She says the nupps should be made on the private ("wrong") side of the fabric but yet the chart shows them on the public ("right") side. Even though I read the words, I took it upon myself to ignore them and made the nupps on the public side. The nupps weren't great, so I ripped it out and started again. Incredibly, I still ignored the "nupps on the private side" advice and, throwing caution to the winds, I made the nupps on the public side once again. While the nupps looked OK, they looked even better on the private side. That's when I read the instructions for the umpteenth time and came to my senses. Eventually, I produces this:

which I don't think looks too bad at all, considering it's unblocked. However, by this stage, the nupps were starting to get on my nerves, so the Estonian Potpourri has been laid aside for a short while.

In the meantime, I have booked my place at Skipnorth 2009. Ann-at-work and I had such a good time last year that we determined to go again. It was booked up within 48 hours (I blame that Ravelry) and it was only Lixie saving us a place that meant we scraped in by the skin of our teeth. Last year was my first year, so I wasn't involved in the "Have you used up any/all of the stash you bought last year?" but this year I'm sure to get grilled about the fate of the nine (9) kilos of yarn I bought - mostly at the instigation of Sue. Some is already in use - the green cashmerino for the Star "tablecloth":

the fuchsia stuff (technical term) for the Estonian Potpourri above and I'm thinking about Herbert Neibling's Lyra in some red skinny (tt) stuff.

There is an awful lot of yarn in nine kilos. I've got a pile of this:

Love the colour but I don't know why I keep on buying variegated yarn when I know that most of the time I don't like the look of it knitted up.


it doesn't look much better.

I started casting about for something to knit with it. I'm thinking a cardigan, I'm thinking knitted in one piece (or as few pieces as possible), I'm thinking a free pattern.

You'd think, wouldn't you, with all the free patterns available at Knitting Pattern Central, or Garn Studio, or Berroco, or on Ravelry, that there would be a pattern that would jump out and yell, "Knit me, Knit me!" I think the problem is just too much choice. If it were a case of "this or that", I probably wouldn't have a problem. As it is, I'm paralysed, like the rabbit in the headlights.

There are a few I quite like but I think Cinxia from Knitty ticks all the boxes. I've done a swatch (yes, I know, that was a pig flying past the window) and I can get the gauge required using 4mm needles. (The fact that the pattern calls for 4.5mm needles worries me not one whit - I am the original loose woman, after all.) Strangely, I don't have a 4mm circular needle (or at least not one that's available for cast on purposes) and, even worse, neither does my LYS. I shall have to wait.

Hence the frustration of the title. I had to do something. In my search for a suitable pattern for the variegated yarn, I came across Ester, also from Knitty. I have got to knit something and this is as good as anything. Ideally, I'd like to knit it without having to buy more yarn. This is the solution:

It's a cone of some slinky (tt) stuff, bought years ago in Italy. What possessed me? I have no idea.

It's a tape:

and "it's very green" - that from both 'im indoors and #1 son.

I started (without a swatch) on 6.5mm needles and pulled it right out after two rows because it was too big. There seem to be some sizing issues with the pattern - lots of people say it comes out really small, but I don't think it needed to be as big as all that. I started again with 5.5mm needles (and please note - I "wasted" no more time than knitting a swatch would have cost me) and I am off:

25 rows of 2x1 rib followed by the first cable cross:

Progress has been swift:

Here, I've just cast on the extra stitches at each side.

The weather is so vile, there is nothing to do but sit and knit and that's exactly what I'm going to do now.