Sunday, 27 June 2010

My Frosty Mitts

For a while now I have been grumbling about how I haven't knit myself anything since I've been knitting this past year. Let me present my first FO, just for me....My Frosty Mitts!

This is the second time I have knitted this pattern (Susie's Reading Mitts). The first pair went to one of the winners of my knitted gift giveaway and I loved them so much that I wanted to make a pair for myself. I get very cold hands you see, especially when I am working at the computer so I needed them!

I took this project with me to Brisbane last week for a baby free weekend of knitting and catching up with my sisters. I am so glad you can knit on domestic flights now! It is the perfect travel project and I happily sat around knitting and chatting to my sisters on Sunday. It is such a rare and special occasion for the three of us to get together without partners and children.

I finished the mitts on Friday evening and am a bit annoyed at myself for not loving them as much as I should now that they are finished and all mine. They fit perfectly around the hand but I can't help wishing they were a little snugger around the wrists. Do all knitters suffer from this? Perhaps I have been subconsciously avoiding knitting for myself because deep down I know that I am an ungrateful perfectionist who will just pick at the flaws.

Rather than dwelling on this situation I have pushed on an cast on yet another project. A Ravelry standard. Can you guess what it is?

I am also very close to finishing my Romantic vest, which has been on the needles since December. Hopefully I will be happier with the outcome of these.

Monday, 14 June 2010

A Bundle of Joy

Can you relate to that really satisfying feeling you get when you pick up a lovely set of needles, a gorgeous yarn and a well written pattern? I had one of those moments last week when I started knitting a gift for a good friend of mine who is expecting her first baby. In this case the needles were Knitpro Symphonie 3mm wooden DPNs (a must for toy knitting in my humble opinion), the yarn was Sublime Yarn's Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK and the pattern was Ysolda's elephant Elijah.

After knitting Ysolda's Sophie bunny earlier this year - and loving it! - Elijah was sitting on my queue just waiting for an occassion to be knitted. The disappearing loop cast-on is still tryingly tricky, but once that is under your belt it really is quite an easy knit. Like Sophie, Elijah is knitted completely in the round and stuffed as you go. After knitting the head, you pick up stitches and start knitting the body, and so on and so on. This time I took Ysolda's advice and used a crochet hook to pick up the stitches, which was much easier.

To make things a little trickier for myself I decided to give Elijah a striped jumper (the arms were the worst - 5 needles, 2 strands of yarn and a knitted head to deal with!). After inspecting the other FO's on Ravelry I decided that it was essential, otherwise the trunk can look a bit odd.

I used Morris Empire 8ply for the jumper and scarf and think that it matches the Sumblime yarn quite well. In fact I think it actually out-performs it, as there was a bit of pilling on the head by the time I had finished. I will definitely use Empire for knitting toys in the future (although I might go down a needle size to tighten up the fabric a bit more).

After a week of knitting my heart out and a very late night on Saturday (note to self: I need more than 7 days to knit a toy!), my little bundle of joy made his way to his new owner as we celebrated the imminent arrival with a delicious high tea at Sydney's Observatory Hotel.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Cedar Leaf Shawlette


The Cedar Leaf Shawlette I have been knitting for my mother in law's birthday (which was on the 5th of May!) is finally finished and on it's way to the land of the long white cloud (New Zealand). I am really happy with how it turned out. I love the design, the colour and of course, the yarn.

This Never Not Knitting pattern is fantastic, it is clearly written and laid out. It was quite a straight forward knit, even though it was my first real experience of short row shaping, using the "wrap and turn" method. I loved knitting the body of the shawlette. I think the fact that you never reach the end of the row makes it quite addictive. Also I like that you knit fewer stitches as you go as opposed to more like some shawls.

I did have a bit of a mishap on the last row of the main crescent part, where you are supposed to pick up the wraps as you knit right across. I don't quite know what I did wrong but I think in some cases I was actually picking up a stitch before the stitch to be wrapped!! I was also a bit put off by the little loops left by the wraps on the wrong side (is that normal?) Anyway, I couldn't figure out how to fix my mess and ended up ripping back to the garter stitch trim (so almost the entire thing). Knitting it the second time in one week wasn't quite so fun but knitting the leaves was enjoyable even if they seemed to go on forever.

If I was keeping it for myself (alas I am not) I would definitely wear it as a scarf as opposed to a shawl but it looks great either way.


Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Happy Blogiversary to me!

malabrigo grey

Firstly, a big THANK YOU to everyone who has been reading my blog over the past year. My Blogiversary was actually on Saturday (29th May) but yesterday a parcel arrived in the mail that gave me a real cause to celebrate. My Malabrigo order arrived from Eat.Sleep.Knit in the US after just 8 days! Talk about speedy service - just the way I like it. I am so happy with my choice of colours in the Worsted Merino: I went with Frost Grey (at the front of the box in the picture above) and SFO Sky (the variegated grey at the back is so much better than I had expected!).

The box also included the urgently required skein of Silky Merino in Lettuce needed to finish my Cedar Leaf Shawlette, which I'm happy to say is finished and currently blocking on my yoga mat in the middle of the living room. I'll fill you in on all the details after I take some FO photos.
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