Well, 5 days after my last post I finished my James jumper. That's 6 days for a sleeve compared to 6.5 weeks for the first one. I am loving it as much as the first one I made and it went into immediate rotation in the wardrobe. The neckline was greatly improved by using a firm cast on compared to the first one. Still have to go back to the green one and add a crochet chain around the neckline to tighten it up a bit. It is quite boatlike at the moment due to the loose cast on I used.
The boys were next on the knitting list.
I had already been working on a pair of socks from a Bendigo purchase for the middle and they were finished up a couple of weeks before his gloves.
Middle kid wanted the yarn he dyed during the June school holidays knit up into short fingered gloves and youngest wanted his knit up into a hat with ear flaps. I searched Rav for a tip down glove recipe and came up with this tutorial. I wasn't sure how long the middle kid wanted his gloves so didn't want to run out of yarn so tip down it needed to be. His gloves came together reasonable quickly once all the individual finger pieces were done. He is very pleased with the result and they have frequently been worn to bed. I have found him a couple of times with both his gloves and socks on in bed but no pj's because he is too hot! No idea why, who can figure out kids!
The hat for the youngest was just my basic top down, with a 1x1 rib band and then I did some short row ear flaps. I winged them and next time would do them slightly differently as they poke out a bit. The youngest is however very pleased with them.
Both of the children were very pleased to have finished objects from yarn they had dyed themselves and I was pleased for them that I pulled my finger out and did it for them! Must mean eldest is next up.
I had started working on a pair of socks for myself in early July. They were very slow to get going. The pattern just couldn't seem to stick in my head at all. But I loved the colour combo of the yarn, a teal and purple stripe, so I just kept plugging through the notorious* first sock. After finishing up all the stuff for the boys I decided to go all out and finish up these socks. After eventually getting to the end of the first sock and being pleased with the fit, I launched into the second and for some reason the pattern all of a sudden made sense and Zooooooom the second sock flew off the needles and onto my feet just in time to be a Birthday present for myself :-)
With one pair of socks off the needles, I immediately started another pair this time a 3x1 rib essentially plain sock. In eight days I had these babies done and on to their new home!
Another ongoing project was a second hitchhiker for myself. This one has been knit out of Malabrigo sock in the Cote D'Azure colourway, a navy with flashes of white in it. This was a lovely simple knit and was carried around in the knitting bag attached to my handbag while it was in progress. With the weather warming up it is unlikely to get much use in the coming months, but I am now well prepared for Autumn.
In long term WIP's, I have a blanket underway using yarn that has had a previous incarnation as a crocheted flower motif which was neeeeverrrrr going to be finished so I frogged what I had done and am now happily knitting mitred squares in a colourful array of brights. Very cheerful. It will get as big as it gets with the yarn that I have to hand. Goodness knows how big that will be, but I have a few younger nieces now, so if it isn't big enough for anything useful to a grown up it will probably be fine for a dolls bed or something. This one will be a long term ongoing project as there is no immediate need for the finished object and there is always something more interesting to knit!
A Hemlock ring blanket from someone else's handspun: I got past the centre piece and am onto the neverending rounds of feather and fan. This would be a great one to pick up when I watch the tv but I keep forgetting it's there.
A reversible scarf from 10 ply Cormo which I am quite ambivalent about. It's probably a bit densely knit and I would be more likely to wear it if it was more loosely knit but I am also of two minds about the yarn as well, so this pretty much only gets a look in when I run out of everything else I have on the go.
Lastly a skirt for one of my nieces which just needs some sort of waist treatment so it doesn't fall around her ankles! This would probably only take 10-30 mins of my time and I really should just pull my finger out for it so she can wear it before it gets too short.
New WIP's because hey when you've got stuff to ignore you really should cast on more stuff!
A Featherweight cardigan for me in Black. I lost my last black cardigan quite a while ago now and it is well past time to replace it. I am knitting this in a lovely Wollmeise lace, so it will be lighter than the previous incarnation of black cardigan but hopefully will be very versatile. Today I got to the separation for the sleeves so now I am working on just body stitches and all of a sudden with 176 sts less per row it is zooming along! But yes the picture looks like a puddle of black.
A new pair of socks needed to be on the needles so I pulled out The Knitter's Book of Socks by Clara Parkes. It's a great book with lots of theory and info at the beginning and a whole range of socks by different designers in the back. I had a look through and the Darjeeling socks really appealed. I had recently made it around to a yarn shop I had never been to before in Northcote called Woolarium. It was such a lovely shop to visit, all light and bright and well lit with lots of interesting yarns on display. I escaped from the store with two skeins of Shibui knits Sock in the Peacock colourway and this is what I decided to use to make the Darjeeling socks. After a false start due to the sock being too loose, I tried again on less sts and zoomed along the foot until I got to the heel flap. Now I'm not a huge fan of knitting toe up socks, I find it really hard to predict when to do gusset increases and heel shaping but I translated my gauge and stopped where I needed to and did all the heel stuff fine and dandy until I got to the heel flap, where I took leave of my common sense and could not for the life of me work out why the heel flap looked and felt wrong. The rest of the foot was fine, the heel shaping was fine, it was just the heel flap. After knitting a few rows and pulling them out at least 5 times I got on to Ravelry and looked for errata for the pattern. There weren't any, and not only that, no one who had completed the pattern and written notes seemed to have any trouble at all with the heel apart from complaining about the twisted stitches. So I pulled the book out again and took a closer look at the instructions and sure enough I was doing it wrong. Totally my fault, the pattern is perfectly fine. Definitely a case of user error. Doh! The sock actually fits perfectly, I just have to finish up the leg and move on to the second sock.
As a present for myself, from Birthday money, I bought myself the eBook of Mystic Shawls by Annna Dalvi. There are some simply stunning designs in this book very light and delicate through to slightly more sturdy shawls. My favourite is Mystic Earth but I am not currently in possession of the right weight and quantity of yarn to complete it so instead I have cast on Mystic Fire using the Wollmeise Sock wool in the colourway Sonne (Sun) which seems like such an appropriate colourway to use. This will be very bright and cheerful next Winter.
I plan on heading back to the Woolarium shop sometime soon because they had some Spud and Chloe cotton/wool mix yarn on the wall and I haven't been able to get it off my mind. I'm thinking my next jumper may need to be knit from it. First I have to figure out what that jumper might be!
* see previous post about First sleeve syndrome.