Nearly finished the first section on my Xanthe Shawl by Ambah O’Brien. Finally chose Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Blue Nile and Button Jar Blue and Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in Teacup. I’ve been very picky about the colours – I’ve ripped back a few times and changed the colours and their placements a few times. That’s very unlike me, but I think it I should be more picky in future. I’d rather finish objects that I want to wear instead of just finishing objects for the sake of it.
I’ve knit a swatch for my next sweater, V-neck Boxy by Joji Locatelli in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the Vishnu colourway. My swatch was knit up on 3.5 mm needles, and it’s telling me that I have an extra stitch to every 10 cm, so it could probably end up being a little smaller than the schematic. I hate the fabric on 3.75 mm needles, and it is a very voluminous garment so I’m going to go for it anyways. I’ve had really good results knitting garments from this yarn before, even when gauge was similarly off. I just have to be realistic as to which size to knit (i.e. my size or even the next size up, not the smaller size I’d rather be) with my slightly too tight gauge.
It’s been eons, insert lame excuse here, let’s move on. I’m currently working on many, many WIPs. Occasionally I’m finishing projects. My favourite recent FO is the Eyeball Shawl by Stephen West.
I’ve kind of struggled with brioche in the past; adding the shawl on the being-slipped-stitch seemed awkward and counter intuitive to me. Let me add here that I have always most decidedly been a right-handed knitter, a thrower, to be precise. Even in colourwork, I would use my right hand, even if it meant dropping yarn A to pick up yarn B. My left hand has never been very coordinated, so every time I tried continental, left-handed, knitting it was just too frustrating to keep going.
This summer, I decided to try continental knitting again. I just happened to be working on this shawl, and I when I got to the brioche edging, everything suddenly made sense. Brioche, which I had once thought of as awkward and finicky became smooth and efficient, all because I was using my left hand! I will be trying my best to keep knitting continental from now on, even though basic knit and purl are still frustrating for me unless I’m throwing.
I knit this for my Whovian 10 year old son, who loves it. It was really tight around his head before blocking, but thankfully, blocking did the trick. The yarn is just lovely, silky 100% merino with just a perfect barely there amount of drape.
I knit the medium size, and I followed the pattern, though I did use the It’s not About the Hat pattern‘s colour-work technique. The standard Fair Isle technique of carrying yarn behind the work has never worked out for me, my tension is too uneven, and not even blocking can save the FO. I really love this new-to-me colour-work technique; it’s actually very simple, though there are very detailed instructions in the It’s not About the Hat pattern. I may even use it to substitute intarsia one day.
Next time I knit this hat, I would do about twice as many rounds of ribbing at the beginning, as there is barely enough ear coverage for truly cold days (say, -25C and below).
I made these to match the Dalek hat above (actually, I made the mittens first then the hat). I inverted the colours to make sure that I would have enough to make the entire hat/mittens set.
As you can see in the photo, these mittens are getting a lot of use, especially being snow-covered, jammed into coat pockets while soaking wet, a lot of friction while damp, etc.. etc… And they are holding up really well. I am very impressed. Tosh DK is not the princess-y kind of expensive yarn I was worried it might be. They also dry very fast; my son hasn’t had to deal with trying to keep warm by pulling on wet, soggy, somehow-even-colder-than-outside slush blocks (aka ‘mittens’).
I didn’t quite follow the pattern. I changed the patterning on the palm – the yellow just completely overpowered the blue, it was very unbalanced (with my colour selections). So I just did the simplest pattern I could think of – y,b to end, next round b,y to end, repeat these 2 rounds. The thumbs are knit in the background colour, then the contrast colour is duplicate stitched in. I didn’t quite finish the duplicate stitch chart; I did just enough so that pattern flowed from the hand. Duplicate stitch is just not my thing, but it’s a good idea for the thumbs, obviously.
All in all, I loved knitting the hat and mittens, and I am so happy my son loves them too!
I finished a WIP from last week, the Insulate! mittens, so as one does, I immediately cast on for two more projects. The Insulate! hat is actually done, I finished it last night. The photo was taken yesterday afternoon; immediately after taking its picture, I decided that I had to work on this hat. I pushed everything else aside, including this post, which should have been written and posted yesterday. It’s super cute, though a little small (did I check gauge? no, of course not) but I haven’t blocked it yet, so fingers crossed it will get larger.
I cast on a Hitchhiker as well, I’m using Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock, which is 80% BFL wool and 20% nylon. I love the yarn, and the colours are amazing. I find knitted speckled yarn gives a lovely gentle overall effect, but can still use many wild colours, while variegated can be hit or miss when it knits up. This shawl’s construction is fun to knit, since it goes so fast at the beginning.
I am so close to being done with Chart Three on my Evenstar. Only 1.5 rows of patterning, and 5 rows of plain knitting, left. I can’t wait to start the bind off/Chart Four. I haven’t worked on any of my other WIPs this week, though the socks are bugging me. My daughter hates the toe seams in commercial socks; the guilt of not being a consistent sock knitter (e.g. my Monkey Socks took me just over three years to complete) is really getting to me.
And yes, I did put an overturned box on my back porch to use a table / snow protector to take these photos. On a sunny day, the snow outside (it is everywhere) works almost like a light-box. The colours are accurate for once. Oh! and that overturned box was used to ship an Ashford bottom whorl spindle to me. I plan to learn how to spin, but for now I just want to get my feet wet; I want to master the spindle and enjoy it before jumping into the spinning pool.
I recently cast on these mittens, they are a blast to knit. I’m trying traditional colourwork for the right hand (which is finished), and a new colourwork technique for the left (in progress). So far loving the new technique, but I have to wait for the left mitten to be done before I know the final result. Yes, I am knitting mittens with Daleks on them. Pattern here. This also my first time knitting with tosh dk, so love it, but I have to wait and see how it wears in real life. The blue is spectrum and the yellow is maple leaf.
I’ve also made a little progress on this old friend from 2014, my Evenstar. I should finish the 3rd chart very soon. I will be using beads for the 4th and final chart. This shawl and In Dreams are part of my detention o.w.l. for hpkchc, so hopefully they will both be done by April.
These are the WIPs that I’m not consistently working on, though I should be:
Seriously, there is no reason (other than time) that I’m not working on them / that they aren’t finished already.
Pattern: Aestlight Shawl by Gudrun Johnston
Yarn: Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift in 429 Old Gold and 230 Yellow Ochre
Needles: 3.75 mm
Yardage: 72 g / 335 yards
I had a few skeins of Old Gold in my stash and I wanted to knit it up because it’s really not a ‘me’ colour. (Yup, I’m the kind of person who eats the cake before the icing, most of the time). The yellow ochre is a much happier colour, but I only had one skein so I decided to use them together on this shawl to make the Old Gold less painful. Yes, colour can affect my emotions. It may be crazy but it’s true for me. The honeycomb pattern is ridiculously simple, so simple that I underestimated the amount of attention I needed to use to not screw it up. I was tinking back regularly, but I always caught my mistake before starting the next row. I do love the honeycomb stitch pattern.
Because I used a contrast colour for the garter bands, there was a small ridge along the top edge of the shawl at the colour joins. This bugged me, and since I noticed it while I was doing the knitted edging bind off, when I was done with the bind off I continued with a kind of standard bind off along the top edge of the shawl. What I did (I think) is pick up and knit one stitch from the edge of the shawl, then bound off the first stitch (that was the last stitch of the knitted bind off), then picked up one stitch again, and bound it off, etc.. until I got to the other end of the shawl. This made a nice finished effect, HOWEVER, I used a 3.75 mm needle, which made the bind off too tight along the honeycomb edge. I should have used at least a 5 mm needle. I got into real trouble at blocking because I couldn’t open the honeycomb pattern up at the top ends of the shawl. Evidence:
It was too tight and looked horrible. So I undid that bit of trim(?) and reblocked it:
Still a little tight at the top ends, but better than before. Ideally, I’ll make this one again soon in a colour I can truly appreciate, especially to see if I still get tightening of the honeycomb pattern at the top ends if I use just one skein to knit it.