Wednesday, January 13, 2010

First finished project for 2010

Well a new year has begun and my first finished project is...wait for it...another shawl!! I started working on Gudrun Johnston's Wast Side Shawl just before Christmas and finished it last week after having left it alone for a week or so. The construction of this shawl is different from anything else that I've tried in that you start with the border (which becomes a huge long chain of points) that you then pick up so that you can work inwards until you get to the top where you usually start a triangular shawl.

The border seemed to take forever, but the pattern works to a really good rhythm that is very easy to memorise, so it's not too painful. Then you work on the Fern lace, which again is pretty intuitive and easy to remember and on to the stockinette portion which just flies off the needles. Before you know it you've finished - smiles all around. Especially when your almost three year old son says "That's brilliant Mummy!".

As for the yarn I used, well yes, it's Malabrigo Sock again. I love this stuff, the colours are great, the yarn is lovely and soft and the yardage is really good for making shawls. Luckily I have a bit more left over in the stash so I'm off to see what else I can make - yippee!!

Oh yes, and I do believe that I've managed to produce something for the Summer of Lace that I told Bells I would join in on. I was starting to worry for awhile there as everything I tried just wasn't working. I've even got a couple of other things in the works that should hopefully count too. So stay tuned!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Yes, I've been AWOL

My, how the time has flown! Now that I look back I've been missing in action from here for quite awhile. Nothing serious, just not much to talk about I guess, and I was sick for about three weeks with the dreaded cold that has been going around so I wasn't really feeling up to anything much.

As you can see by my pictures, I've got knitting, or lack of it, to talk about! I'm sad to say I seem to be struggling with my knitting a bit at the moment. Lots of frogging has been taking place which is annoying, but also liberating. Back in March I think it was, I began work on a beautiful Kim Hargreaves cardigan, but as you can see by the first photo here it's now gone. I'd managed to complete the back and almost finished the left front piece, and then I'd made a mistake. To me, mistakes seem to be the signal to stop a project (until recently that is but I'll get to that later). Needless to say this project languished in it's bag for many months until last month when I decided to take another look at it. I looked, then looked again and it just didn't seem to be right, so I measured it, then I measured it again, and I was right, the whole thing was completely the wrong shape and size. Not sure what happened but I think that my tension is totally different when I'm just doing straight garter stitch and not stocking stitch. So the yarn has been bagged up again until I can find the perfect project for it. There's a few ideas floating around so I'll see what happens with those when the need arises.

I did, however, manage to finish my Eyelet Cardigan and it came out quite just does not suit me. I'm not sure if it's the colour or the shape or a combination of the two but whenever I tried to put it on I felt like a complete frump, it did not look good at all. So, it's been packaged up, and we'll see if Mum likes it at Christmas time. If not, I guess it will be frogged and the yarn used for something else. You see, my fear of frogging has finally gone!

Other attempts at shawls this past couple of weeks have also fallen by the wayside. Firstly I tried Traveling Woman by Liz Abinante (Rav link). It's a really nice, simple shawl pattern that I thought would be good for a friends birthday present. It went along swimmingly until I got to the last row, I made a tiny mistake which I just left thinking nothing of it. Then, I was silly and did an extra row that wasn't necessary, again I left it thinking it would be ok. After that I did the bind off, hmmmm, this didn't look so good. Tried blocking it, still not good. The bind off was obviously way too tight, the shawl just looked misshapen and wanted to fold itself in half when I tried to stretch it out. It sat, forlorn for a couple of weeks until today when I thought I would try to rescue it. Then I thought, why bother, just start again. So it's been......frogged!!

Next, I tried Miriam L. Felton's Seraphim. I thought I would use the beautiful Malabrigo Sock yarn that I have here in the Turner colourway and it was going very well. I spent a week slogging away on the very large, and boring, stockinette section of the shawl and early this week got to the first chart. Something wasn't right, the second half of the pattern isn't matching up with the first half. I counted my stitches, then I counted again. WEIRD!!! I ended up with seven extra stitches on one half of the shawl. Really don't know how that happened, so I paused and thought, and realised that the colour just wasn't working for me in that shawl. Needless to say, it's now gone and another project has been started with the yarn. I'm not going to mention it yet in the fear that I may jinx myself to another failure!!!

One project that has been successful this past month has been gifted, so I can't even pull it out to remind myself that I have managed to finish something lately! It was Gudrun Johnston's Aestlight Shawl (Rav link). Quite a few of these have been popping up on Ravelry and I can add that it's a fun and interesting knit. The construction is quite different from any other shawls I have made. I'm fairly certain that it is mistake free and it blocked out rather nicely. The fact that my friend put it on straight away and left it on for our entire dinner out made me feel good about the fact that I'd passed it on to her. After all, I can always make another one!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bye Bye Blogtober

I've noticed that many of us that have taken part in Blogtoberfest are looking back today at the month that has passed. I too have been thinking about what I would say in this post and basically my main thought is...I've really enjoyed it!

At the start of the month I wasn't sure how I would go with the motivation to keep going and thinking of something to post every day, but really it wasn't too hard. Of course there were days where I thought I couldn't be bothered but for the most part I've had fun with the process of thinking what I'm going to write about and finding the pictures to suit the topic. I wasn't always successful, but then that's also part of the learning process.

Some topics of the past month were geared towards giving me motivation towards a goal, unfortunately I still haven't gotten very far with that! My so called attempt at starting to get fit and healthy again have fallen by the wayside and I'm still trying to master the hula hoop. But I'll keep trying and maybe I will let you know how I get on.

Mostly though I have enjoyed reading other blogs taking part in this little festival, as well as some that aren't, and I can honestly say I've learned quite a lot. I look forward to continuing the learning process and in getting to know a few more of you a little better. I also want to give a big thank you for everyone who has been reading and especially to those of you who have left comments, it really does brighten my day to find that someone has taken the time out of their busy lives to write something in response to my ramblings.

Thanks again everyone and Happy End of Blogtoberfest!

Friday, October 30, 2009


It's about this time of the year when I start to think more of my family and friends, seeing as they are interstate and I don't get to see as much of them as I would like. We usually book our Christmas trip around now so I start to get all excited about catching up with every one again.

Because of that I thought I'd look at a few old pictures, and also to share a couple with you here.

They certainly bring back lots of good, and happy, memories, as they should. Got to love those special dresses that Nana made!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

CastOnItis Strikes Again!

I've gone and done it again, cast on another new project! After yesterdays unhappy attempt at knitting lace I thought I'd try something else with some yarn I'm more comfortable with, a nice lovely 4ply!! When I say lovely 4ply I mean it, Malabrigo Sock yarn is lovely to work with and is fast becoming a favourite along with the Handmaiden Casbah Sock I've used a couple of times.
This time I'm trying Gudrun Johnston's Aestlight Shawl, which has rather a different construction. You start with just one stitch and add to it at the beginning of each row by looping the yarn over the right needle, it produces the open stitches on the edges so that they can be easily picked up for the border to be worked. So far I'm about 60 or so stitches in to a cast on of 154, not too bad for an hour or two's work for me.
This is the easy part, the proof of how successful I'll be in sticking with this project will be when I get to the trickier border and edging sections. But then again there are over 500 projects on Ravelry so it can't be too hard, I hope!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Calling all lace knitters.

Ok, well I couldn't wait to start my Summer of Lace so I cast on the Hidcote Garden Shawl today and I'm not too sure about it. Even though I'm using smaller needles than specified in the pattern it's still looking a little too lacy for me. This is what I have after completing the first chart of twenty eight rows.

So my question is, does this look right to you? I get the feeling it needs to be a bit tighter but I'm also wondering if the yarn will bloom a bit after it's been soaked for blocking. I'm using Knitter's Addiction Lace Weight Cashmere, which I haven't tried before. It seems nice so far, but I'm just not used to using such fine yarn, the Malabrigo laceweight is nice and fuzzy so it doesn't seem so thin for some reason.

Seeing as I'm still very new to this I'm not sure if I should keep going with this needle size or try it again on much smaller needles. I must say that this attempt on 3mm needles does look better than the few rows I tried on the 3.25mm needles. Anyway, all tips and hints will be much appreciated. Thank You!