Friday, February 18, 2011

What goes around comes around

A few weeks ago I had an email from an unknown knitter in Dublin. She'd started a project which had then gone into hibernation. When the project later came to light, she discovered she didn't have enough yarn to finish the garment. The yarn, had of course, been discontinued. Undetered, this resourceful knitter knew that Google was her friend. She found, via this very blog, that I had bought some of the same yarn in the same colour:

Well, she was very lucky, because I did have some left and was very happy to send it to her to allow her to finish the garment.

And I thought no more about it.

Until I posted here that I was thinking about a huge, skinny lace project but didn't have quite enough of quite the right yarn for the job. Hardly had my fingers left the keyboard, when I had a message from WyeSue, who was offering goodies. Before a few days were up, this little lot arrived:

Almost half a kilo of Jamieson and Smith Shetland Supreme

and this:

almost half a kilo of blue silk.

So, you see, what goes around really does come around.

They are both pretty skinny:

The Shetland Supreme.

The blue silk.

I couldn't help myself. I had to cast on immediately:

This is a swatch (yes, you heard correctly) for the alternative centre of the Queen Susan Shawl. I know, it looks just like all lace looks before blocking.

I did a bit of strectching:

and a close-up:

The yarn is beautiful to work with - slightly fuzzy (tt), so if you do happen to lose a stitch it doesn't fly down to the cast on edge before you can say "Jack Robinson". The pattern suggests pairing decreases (K2tog and K1, sl1, PSSO; or SSK, as I normally do) but actually, with this skinny yarn and needles (1.5mm), I don't think it makes a scrap of difference. The bottom half of the swatch uses paired decreases, the top half has K2tog throughout. Can you tell them apart?

I don't think the swatch is going to come out square (or even be capable of being blocked square), so I'm going to have to do some adjustments.

I don't know what the blue silk is going to turn into but I'm sure it will speak to me before too long.

Many, many thanks to WyeSue, who has cemented her position as the greatest enabler in the universe.

Oh, Sharon, (who left a comment about the blue and cream sock in the last post) the sock is from Stephanie van der Linden's book "Around the World in Knitted Socks". Great book, great patterns. If you are a sock knitter, I think it needs to be on your bookshelves.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

There and back again

I set off from here:

and before long, I was here:

As soon as I was on the train I cast on for a sock:

All my elaborate plans for knitting pair one, sock one; pair two, sock one; etc went right out of the window. I should have been knitting sock two of this pair:

but I couldn't cope with two colours and a chart on a journey, so I cast on for the "Scent of Lavender" socks from Stephanie van der Linden's book "Around the World in Knitted Socks".

By the time we got to here:

I had got to here:

So I decided it was time for a reward:

By the time I got to my destination:

I'd got as far as this:

However, I suddenly realised that SkipNorth is creeping up on me and I know I'll be expected to show at least one item that I have knitted with the vast amount of yarn I purchased last year.

So I decided I'd better get on with this:

"This" is the Fern Glade Shawl by Dorothy Siemens of Fiddlesticks Knitting, looking just as photogenic as lace normally looks until the magic of blocking. The yarn is "Exquisite", 50% mulberry silk, 50% merino wool, 50g/500m, also from Fiddlesticks (though I bought it at the Knitting and Crochet Guild). It's beautiful to work with and the pattern charts are large and clear. It's quite an interesting knit - sometimes the ground is stocking stitch, sometimes garter; sometimes it's patterned on alternate rows and sometimes on every row.

Here she is spread out a bit so you can see a little of the pattern:

Note the trusty running yarn markers - I've almost run out of the bright red crochet cotton and am reduced to white, which is not going to work too well on any white item I might be knitting. That's certainly a possibility, whereas my knitting a bright red item is probably not.

I started the edging:

Apologies for the wonky (tt) photo.

It's very slow going - the edging is attached by k2tog to the live stitches of the shawl every alternate row. I don't know exactly how many stitches there are but it is a lot. I'm almost finished now and the next picture should be of the shawl in all her (blocked) glory.

There has also been movement on the very complex, very skinny shawl requiring the 6000m of yarn but that will have to wait for another day because if I don't get off here and start knitting the border will never be finished.