Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Best Parents Ever!

My parents went on holiday a few weeks back, on an Alaskan cruise! They were also staying in San Francisco for a couple of days as well, and I mentioned a few yarn stores that they could hit if they really wanted to buy me a present :D


So this is one of the gifts they bought me. Its 50% alpaca, 30% merino, and 20% silk (forgot to mention to them that I don't do silk) and is from here. The best gift, I have saved for the last picture:


That my friends... that is 10grams of QIVUIT fibre!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Its soft and squishy and smells soooo good. Mmm musk ox! Comes from the same place as the yarn, although its not listed on the website. 

Yeah, I have well trained parents :D

xxx Elle xxx
 

Sunday, 20 June 2010

What could have been, and what is...

The socks beneath this... well... they should have been pair #47 in the 52 Pair Plunge III. I just got bored, wanted to knit lace, and time suddenly vanished.

They are here now though!

Pattern: Roman Rib Socks, from the Little Box of Socks
Yarn: Gothic Yarns, in colourway Gothic Rose.



And these socks are the first pair for the 26 Pair Mini Plunge!



Pattern: Dragonfly
Yarn: Gothic Yarns, in colourway Silver Moon Fairy.

This pair served a double purpose, as I'm running a KAL in the UK Sock Knitters group on Ravelry. The prize is a skein of Violet Green sock yarn! YAY!

On a side note... I miss Gothic Yarns. Such gorgeous colours! I think I have one more skein in my stash, and I'll always have my bat stitch markers :D

Currently working on:
  • Simple Skype Socks, in black Regia
  • Diamond Centre Lace Panel wrap from Victorian Lace Today (page 20), in Laughing Yaffle yarn
  • Harry Shawl from my handspun Menace
  • Spinning some deep green Merino which is so soft it feels like butter!
xxx Elle xxx

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

That damn shawl...

If you've followed me over from my old Livejournal blog, you'll quite possibly remember the tale of two years ago that was titled "That damn shawl...". For anyone too lazy to click the link to the blog post where it all started... well, two years ago as a rather inexperienced knitter, I decided it would be the most awesome idea to knit my first lace. Ok, so not such a crazy idea... but wait for it...



Yup, that's cobweb lace. 1 ply. Black.

Anyway, the pattern I'd chosen was from Simply Knitting, January 2008, the freebie pattern "Hearts and flowers shawl". Its beautiful. I cast on July 2008... and turns out I made all kinds of mad mistakes.

It kept being put into hibernation as I found new and more shiny projects to do, like socks! I discovered the joy that is sock knitting! But then I realised it was heading towards two years OTN, and I had to get it finished.



So I did. That picture above is before blocking and having the ends woven in. The picture below is after blocking.



And of course, a lovely close up :)



So those mad mistakes... well, as I blocked the shawl, I discovered a dropped stitch. Then another. Oh, and a third. So before taking the blocking wires out, I fixed those mistakes with the cunning use of sewing. Basically used a crochet hook to pick up the stitch to as far as I could, and then with a bit of the left over yarn I sewed the stitch into the stitch next to it. Oh yes, cunning.

Will I use cobweb yarn again? Quite possibly, but not black. And if as a beginning knitter someone asks me if cobweb yarn would be a good choice for their first lace project, I'd tell them to RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

xxx Elle xxx

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Finished!



The ZigZag Shawl for my nan is finished! Thats a picture of it blocking. I nearly cried when I finished it last night, and if you've ever knit with your own handspun yarn... I think you'll understand what I say:

It is so amazing to realise that you have just finished knitting a project with yarn you have spun yourself. It makes the project even more special. Not only have you given your own time to make this, but you gave your own time to make the yarn in the first place!



Thats a close up of the centre section. I really love the colour changes of this yarn. Squeee!

I finished the first Dragonfly sock, but no pictures yet. I'm halfway through spinning some red superwash merino/tencel from KnitCave, which is looking lovely! Just waiting to see what the yarn comes out like, and then I can assign a project to it ;)

xxx Elle xxx

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Knitting with handspun is the coolest thing ever!

I really do love getting fibre in the mail. Squishing it, smelling it, stroking it... trying to work out what way would be the best to spin it... do I grab bits of it, seperate it, fluff it all out into one big strip... how to ply it... what weight should I try for... is it for me or someone else... what would I like to make with it?!

And then I saw this on Yummy Yarns UK and knew it had to be for my nan:


She looks good in blues, and I've wanted to make her some yarn and knit something with it to say thank you for buying me my Joyce. I knew this merino and trilobal nylon blend would be perfect.



I spun it quite fine, and then plyed it quite loosely as I've noticed the tendency of mine to overply because OMG I don't want it to come undone! Anyway, after washing and drying outside in the sun, its fluffed up quite nicely into a sportweight yarn.

Then came the task of... what shall I make?! I have 350 yards of sportweight yarn. Searching Rav for free scarf/shawl patterns, I found this awesome Zigzag shawl:



I think its showing off the colours perfectly! I've got about halfway through it now (its actually a quick knit!) and I'm going to weigh the yarn to see if I could make it a little longer. I'd definitely recommend this pattern to people, its really cute, and I can't wait to finish it.

Now comes the plan... do I mail it to her once its done? Or wait until I next go down to see her and hand it over face to face so I can see her expression? You know she'll cry right? She cried when I gave her handknit socks!

xxx Elle xxx

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

52 Pair Plung III and 26 Pair Plunge 1

Its over.

The 52 Pair Plunge is done.

Well. I knit 46 and a half pairs. I'm impressed, are you?

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Things I learnt from the Plunge:
  • Slipping stitches purlwise on the heel flap looks neater as the stitches aren't twisted, and gives my hands a little exercise ;)
  • When turning the heel, if I k2tog instead of ssk I don't get a little hole and everything looks neater again.
  • I am more likely to continue knitting a complicated pattern than a mindless one (go figure right?!)
  • I cannot and will not force myself to finish something, it will only lead to me resenting and hating whatever it is I am knitting (pair #47 will be OTN for a while!). I love knitting socks, and I want to stay loving knitting socks.
  • I have enough stash to do it again :P
If that madness wasn't enough... I've signed up for the 26 Pair Mini Plunge this year. Its the first time we're doing it, but so many of us said we'd knit along with the 52 Pair Plungers but only do half, the mods said we'd do the mini plunge!

As a personal challenge to myself, during the 26 Pair Plunge, I will only count adult socks, no work in progresses (thats finishing pair #47 out!), and only patterned socks, no vanilla socks be they stocking stitch or rib, it has to be patterned.

Yeah, I don't want to make it too easy for myself now!

Wish me luck, today I cast on Dragonfly in Gothic Yarns "Silver Moon Fairy".

xxx Elle xxx

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