Sunday, 22 April 2007


At last, I have finished the Laura Long Cropped Cardigan from Yarn Forward Magazine, this looked as though it should have been a fast knit, but seems as though it has been a very long WIP, but here it is all done ;-)

And here is the back view

The underarm feels a little tight, so I am now wondering whether I would have been better doing the large size rather than the medium, but then the body may have been a bit too big and baggy. I think the real problem was down to the length in the raglan shaping, maybe it should have been a little longer, but to get the raglan shaping looking even, you needed to decrease one stitch on every alternate row, but then surely if you knit more rows this way, you end up with very few stitches left for the back of the neck, or do you cast on more stitches in the first place! Confused? I know I certainly am, boy did this pattern give me some headaches, but then that is how to learn and gain experience, maybe one day I shall learn how to adapt patterns. But apart from that, I do love it and will probably actually wear it too, even if it is just for taking Tess for a walk and I am secretly pleased with myself that I persevered with it to the bitter end! Thanks again Roxy, without all your help on this I would never have got to the finishing line!

Work has still been fairly busy, not helped by the end of the Tax year falling right at the start of the Easter Bank Holiday, but that's all done now and sorted, so hopefully things shall get back to "normal" very soon ;-)

Tess would like to say a big thank-you for all the well wishes and is feeling much better now and back to her normal self, the lump has now disappeared with thanks to mum and dad for bathing the infected area, with Salt water and TCP not at all pleasant for the little dog, but far better than that lady vet squeezing, poking and prodding and of course a few Dog Choc Drops just helped the antibiotics go down! So thankfully another visit to the vet was not needed, although Tess says she shall milk the attention for a little longer and make sure she gets plenty of rest in her favourite armchair.

I haven't done much knitting lately, what with the warmer weather, although I did manage to finish The Inside Out Monsoon sock. I have enjoyed making this and the yarn is so lovely to knit with, although knitting on 2mm dpn's, this is not a quick knit and I did find the cables on the leg part a little bit fiddly, although I think this was down to me using longer dpn's than usual, I usually use short Brittany 2.25mm needles, but these do have a tendency to snap and break, so this time I used Clover bamboo instead and these no doubt are stronger, but they are also a bit longer and kept getting in the way, when trying to twist the cable, although fortunately the cable twists are on every tenth row, so there are plenty of plain rib rows in between. I did 55 rows for the leg, which is a good length, but at the same time, still leaves plenty of yarn for the second sock, don't want to running out of yarn after all that work now! I don't think I will get second sock syndrome with these, cause this time I know exactly how many rows need to be worked on each section and will not have to keep stopping to try them on, and also I can't wait to be able to wear them!

The second STR kit, I think, is going to be dispatched this week. I am really looking forward to seeing what this one will be, I did however to help with the waiting, order a couple more skeins this time in the colours Foofaraw and Farmhouse.

These colours are fabulous, the photograph really does not give them justice and it is very difficult to resist the temptation of starting yet another pair of socks, but I can't possibly as those Trekking Socks are still on the needles and I must get them finished first really.

I have started Caister, but only done a few rows so far, for some reason, Tess seems a bit more playful with this, usually she quite happy to sit at the side of me on the settee, whilst I am knitting and usually only tends to jump and pounce if the ball should fall and roll across the floor, but with Caister, four balls jumping up and down in the bag together is too much to resist and has been making her go a little crazy, playfully growling, almost as though she thinks the bag is alive, so I have been only knitting this early on a Sunday morning, whilst her and DB have a lie in ;-) crikey it is going to take forever at this rate!

Hope everyone is enjoying the sunny weather, let's hope it continues ;-)

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Knitting Progress on go slow!

Well, the knitting progress has been somewhat rather patchy over the last fortnight, work has gone busy, what with month end to deal with and also the end of the tax year, so all I wanted to do when I got home, is watch a bit of TV and fall asleep.

However I did manage to start the Monsoon STR sock, after a couple of tricky starts with the toe-up, this as previously mentioned I have never done before, but armed with lots of advice on the kal, I did my provincial crochet cast on, now somewhere I read it's best to do this with a brighter or lighter yarn, so is easier to see when having to unpick, so for some strange bizarre reason I thought I'd use some horrendous bright orange cheap acrylic I had lying around, to be honest I can't even remember buying this particular ball of yarn, as it is so gaudy, I can't imagine wanting to make anything with it, but thought this would be ideal, but oh no, when it came to unpick, the orange fibres got well and truly stuck inside the lovely monsoon yarn. Arggh, I had no choice but to cut that piece off and start all over again, this time using a smooth white 4 ply cotton, I have managed to do a few rows of rib on the foot, and I love the way the colours are pooling together.

I have made some progress with DB's Trekking sock, this also has a short row heel, but the instructions given for turning this one, are different to the Monsoon sock, where as on the Monsoon you actually wrap the yarn round the stitch before turning to prevent a hole, on the trekking stitch you actually do a yarn forward, and then when it comes to working the stitches back up, you need to kind knit into the stitch then knit into the back of the yarn forward to prevent a hole, well I must have tried and frogged this at least four times, but each time ended up with the most wonderful lacy heel you could imagine, not at all right for men's socks so on my final attempt I used the wrap round method and hey presto worked perfectly, so I learnt a good lesson there. Here is the progress on these so far.

Over the bank holiday weekend, with the glorious weather, I have been having a few problems on what to make, you may find this quite strange, but I do not really have lots and lots of yarn in the stash, although I have knitted from an early age, it is only the last year or so, I have taken an interest again, so usually I have only bought yarn for a particular project that I want to make. I never really have much luck with sale yarn, my nearest LYS is John Lewis's in Nottingham, and there actual yarn selection has gradually got smaller over the years, so what yarn they do have on sale is usually just a bucket of odd balls and never enough to actually make a whole garment. My other local store, which is about a 20 minute drive away is Yarn at Beeston, which is a fabulous shop, but parking can be difficult, and I am always a bit wary of leaving the car on the street for any length of time, so I usually have to get DB to take me, so he can wait in the car, while I nip in, but there is nothing worse than feeling rushed when in a yarn shop ;-) and although he says he doesn't mind waiting, I don't think he means hours, which is usually what it takes for me to pick and choose. I do not have much luck with on-line sale yarn either, not sure if it's my moniter but when I think I have a bargain, and the yarn arrives, the colour never looks right and it never surprises me why it ended up in the sale. So here I have four days off work, with some time to actually do some knitting, but not got the right yarn or right quantity in stash to make anything for the summer.I was going to get DB to take me to Yarn yesterday (Saturday) but on Friday poor Tess developed a small lump on a very precarious part of her bottom, although wasn't causing her too much distress, it was upsetting for us, so we booked her into the vets yesterday morning, the job of taking her is easier said than done, she's fine walking up to the door, tail wagging but then with one sniff when the door is opened, thats it, tail between her legs and feet digging into the ground and won't budge, strange when she was younger, she never minded the vet examining her but now she gets so nervous, and although she would never bite, it took the two of us to hold her steady, while the lady vet felt all around her, it appears she has a small cyst, and after a course of antibiotics, she may need to go back to have the lump removed next week. Crikey though, I think I must have chosen the wrong career, we was literally in there for three minutes, and we was walking out with a bottle of fourteen small tablets and a bill for forty-five pounds, not that I am complaining about paying, as with all pet owners, the well being of our little furry animals is something you just can't put a price on!

So after that, I didn't get to go to Yarn and of course the yarn shops are now closed over Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. Still I will go next weekend instead.

Although, I could always start Caister, I am not sure with the stripes, does anyone know if it's best to carry the yarn up the sides or keep cutting the yarn and having hundreds of end to sew in. the stripes at some parts would mean carrying up as much as ten rows and then on some are only two, but if I do carry the yarn up the sides, cause I am working with four colours, would this make the seam too bulky to sew. the yarn used is 4ply cotton, I would appreciate any suggestions!

I have very nearly finished the cropped cardigan, the neckband is now finished and sewn in place, I did the three needle bind off and am very pleased with the result. I just need to sew on buttons and press stud, and I haven't forgotten the promise of a picture, so I will get one ready for next post.

As the weather is nice and sunny, we shall be off on a nice bike ride today on the Harley!!!