I love seeing what other people are making with yarn and fibre. There are just so many talented people out there, making breathtaking items with delicious yarns. I don’t claim to be making anything breathtaking – in fact, my knitting is a catalogue of errors, featuring tinking, frogging, fudging and occasionally dramatic hand wringing and cries of “Why, my God, why?’
I don’t know about you, but for me, knitting seems to be something that I’m compelled to do. It knocks me down, but I get back up again. One of my first projects was a little cardigan for my then one-year old daughter. I remember throwing it to the floor and jumping on it, because I’d completed two whole rows of moss stitch on a circular needle in the wrong direction. Always remember people, the working yarn is on the right. Still, I did pick up that jumper, and I did finish it. It’s still being worn by babies in Melbourne’s western suburbs to this day.
“So, what are you up to?” I hear you all clamour. Well….
Sapient Pearwood socks by Rachel Coopey
What’s your record for unsuccessful cast ons? This project is definitely mine. I cast on 10 times before I got it right. I used Judy’s Magic Cast on for DPNS and forgot to knit through the back loop on the second two needles the first two times. Then there were a couple of times when I just lost the plot. Then I knit the toe increase and realised I’d done the wrong size because my gauge swatch was wrong because I knitted it continental style. I couldn’t manage that consistently when doing the increases so stuck to throwing. Result: gauge madness. Then there were two more times when I didn’t do the back loop thingy. Then some other stuff happened. I may have cried.
However, perseverance is my middle name, apparently. I will not let a project beat me. Now that I’ve actually got it cast on and going strong, I’m really enjoying it. The yarn is dyed beautifully by my friend Clare, one half of Mr B’s Yarns, in Mother of Pearl. It’s a superwash merino/nylon blend, and I love it. If you haven’t come across their yarns before, check them out. They are really gorgeous.
The pattern is simple but interesting. It features single stitch cables and intermittent twisted rib sections. I haven’t decided which heel I’m doing yet.
Linum Tee by Bristol Ivy
I’ve actually knitted this whole tee before but had to frog it because it was too small. Don’t ask me what happened – I did a gauge swatch and everything! It’s supposed to have quite a bit of positive ease, and I can never tell whether that’s factored into the size or not with patterns, so it might be that I just chose my actual size, rather than my size plus ease. Sigh.
I finished it in early spring last year, put it on, considered losing a couple of stone, and then frogged the whole thing. It’s taken until now to get to the point where I felt ready to do it all over again a size larger. I love this yarn. It’s hand spun by me from some Hilltop Cloud fibre in Romney, silk and linen. It’s light and pleasingly textured. I love its slight roughness on my skin – it’s not at all itchy or scratchy though.
The pattern itself is lovely. It features quite a lot of stocking stitch in the round, which is great for TV knitting or if you’re in the pub trying to have a conversation. I’m trying to become a continental knitter, because it seems so much faster, and so far this whole project has been knit continental style, so I’m quite pleased. The rib was done mostly with my tongue sticking out and some swearing, but it’s there, and it looks good.
Jessica Jones Cowl by SMINE
This is a lovely, super simple cowl pattern in linen stitch, which is divine. It’s quite a flat stitch, and almost looks woven. It’s beautifully drapey and easy peasy to knit. I say that, but I’ve somehow gone astray a couple of rows down and stopped knitting alternate stitches. I’m going to have to tink it back, which is tiresome, but I’ll probably do it on Sunday when I’m at Frome Independent market, where I have to be on my stall all day.
I’m knitting this in Cat & Sparrow Oh-So-Fine! Lace in Rock Pool. It’s a heavy lace in Bluefaced Leicester and silk. I love this yarn so much. It’s so smooth and silky, and it drapes really nicely.
I’m holding it double because the pattern calls for a sock yarn. It’s perfect, because even though I’m using lace weight yarn, I’m using 5mm needles and it’s growing pretty quickly. I don’t think it’ll take me long to undo my mistake, particularly as half the stitches are slipped on each row anyway. I just love how the colours are working together. That bronze is one of my favourite colours to dye at the moment. I’m yet to find something it doesn’t go with.
The project of which we shall not speak
We all have one of these, don’t we? Good. Move along. Nothing to see here.
On the wheel
I have only one spinning project on the go at the moment, which is very rare for me. It’s Cat & Sparrow’s Fibre Club instalment for May 2018, which was based on African wild dogs. It’s the most beautifully soft alpaca top from John Arbon. I dyed it a mix of deep wine red, rust and chocolate brown, and I love how it’s coming out.
I’m spinning it into a low-twist single, and I think I’ll weave it into something soft and snuggly. It will be a treat to wear – it’s like spinning a baby cloud (if clouds weren’t wet).
I’ll be doing a post every month about a previous fibre club. I always make one for myself as well, and I really enjoy spinning with them. There won’t be any spoilers though! I’ll make sure everyone has time to receive the package and squish the contents first.
So, that’s it for me this month. I’ll post some pics of the projects as they grow.