Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Knitting? What knitting?

I have barely touched the needles for a week now. So depressing, and so unlike me. However, there has been a good reason for the lack of anything knitterly - I've got a new job! I am now on a graduate trainee librarian programme for the next year at Mansfield library and am feeling like a jolly happy young badger. Hurray for me!

The little bit of knitting that has been happening is all sock based. I knitted one sock for myself on Saturday. The yarn is Angel Yarns DK angora and was incredibly quick to knit. I'm always amazed at the speed DK socks seem to knit at, at least 4 times as fast as 4 ply for some reason. I think it must be psychological, you see a sock progressing fast so you want to keep going. Maybe. Anyways, this is the solo bunny sock:

My foot feels like it is encased in clouds the yarn is so soft. These are a definate luxury and pure indulgence, but as a new librarian-to-be I feel I deserve them ;)

In other sock knitting news I got some new wool. My dad recently went to America with the badger boy and I requested American sock wool as a pressie. My dad has no knowledge or interest in knitting so I knew this was an optimistic request and when he told me he'd found wool I thought it would be nice but probably nothing special. How wrong could I have been?! I'd asked for specifically Yankee wool and Badger Dad did not disappoint! Check out the close up.

This is handspun from a farm somewhere in Michigan but more than that I know nothing. This is a really soft 3 ply unknown fibre. The weight is just above DK and will make a great pair of boot socks. I'm going to knit the socks toe up so I can use every last inch of yarn.

The other piece of sock news is the posh yarns socks have bitten the dust. They were looking like this

Excuse the crappyy photo, but as the sock is now defunct it's the best you're going to get. I decided the yarn and pattern were fighting each other too much and so I abandoned them and thought a simple stockinette sock with a picot hem would be nice instead. Unfortunately the yarn was pooling too much and so the yarn has now been ditched too. These were supposed to be for a friend so I'm now planning on knitting a straightforward pair of standard socks in opal flamingo as these shouldn't cause any problems (touch wood).

And finally thanks for all the comments on the hat. I have no idea what colour it is, but no doubt the Colinette aficionados out there will let me know. Several of you seemed to be wondering about upsizing it to fit adult heads, but there's no need. It fits!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Sometimes I get bored of big projects and need a little one to while away a rainy afternoon. So I knitted a hat.

It's from Colinette's Jelly Allstars book, knitted in some tagliatelle I bought from their bargain section when I went to the mill shop. Small person likes it so that's all good.

The i cord jumper has stalled for 2 reasons. Firstly, I missed a cable cross on a sleeve and so need to do some surgery. It's a wee bit more complicated than I'd like, but is still fixable without tinking, provided I have a bit of peace and quiet in which to do it. Unfortunately I haven't had any of this for days now, so the jumper will have to wait until the kids have been dosed with gin (or sent to ex badgers house for a few hours). The other reason the jumper is no longer being worked on is that I don't think I have enough wool. I checked the details of the recommended yarn (Mission falls 1824) and I have exactly the same amount of yarn as the pattern requires. I'm using DB cashmerino aran in teal that I bought from Pictish a few weeks ago (surprised you didn't recognise it, Ali!), but my basic maths skills lead me to believe I'm running out too fast.

I deliberately chose to knit the back and then a sleeve so I could see if this took less than half the yarn, but it's actually taken just over half. As there is a neckband to knit as well, there's no way I'm going to manage with just 13 balls. I'm going to have to buy 2 more balls to make sure I have enough, but they will be a different dye lot so I want to use them on the tops of the sleeves, working 2 rows with the major dyelot and then 2 rows with the new. I've ordered the wool and so hopefully it won't be too long before the knitting resumes.

There were some great ideas for the scarf type thingummy in the last lot of comments, but i've still not decided. If you've got any more ideas then keep 'em coming!

Monday, August 21, 2006

A pox be upon my home

Euch, I'm sick. I am ill of the pox, and there is a red cross painted on my door and everything. Please excuse my coughing, spluttering, wheezing and general snuffling throughout this post.

So the gold star goes to Bronte for being the first person to correctly identofy the WIP as the i-cord jumper from Inspired Cable Knits by Fiona Ellis. It is proving to be an incredibly well written pattern and has enough interest to make it a fun knit. I finished the back within 2 days of starting and swiftly began a sleeve. The back looks like this:

This is a piccie of the finished jumper for those who haven't got the book - it's just sooooo pretty!

I've also started knitting a pair of socks for a friend. I'm using the latest posh sock club yarn and am following the PY free sock pattern. I'm really quite ploeased with this, as matching a variegated yarn to a pattern can be a problem for me as I'm a very fussy badger.

I have loads of pictures and loads to say today but unfortunately blogger is playing up, so I'll try again tomorrow and hope for better blog karma.

Oh, a final question: I have a friend who I would like to knit a gift for. It needs to be a fairly quick knit but something special as she is an exceptional knitter. Any suggestions? My thought are something like a drop stitch scarf in a luxury yarn, but any other suggestions would be gratefully received :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I finally finished the socks

And the kimono

I embelished the bib

And I started a new WIP. Can you tell what it is yet?!

Friday, August 11, 2006


This has been a week of getting nice things from other knitters, and as I've been feeling a little bit low the past couple of weeks this has really cheered me up.

The first pressies were a fimo badger from Northern Monkey, and some stitch markers from Hector's House

And next was a prize I won from Lyonheart! 2 balls of Twilleys freedom spirit wool and a pair of absoluely beautiful earrings

And now the kimono - thankyou for all the suggestions, and like most of you I was going to follow Cherry's advice and add a little bit of contrast to the right front, and add some extra motifs to make a design statement. I went to rummage through the stash, but I didn't have any DK cotton. I went to JL to see what I could find, and then an amazing thing happened! I pulled down a ball of the red handknit cotton and found it was from the same dyelot - the reason why this was so amazing (to me, at least) was that the original yarn hadn't come from that shop but was part of my free subscription gift from Rowan and arrived about 5 months ago! Clearly the Knitting Gods are smiling on me. I have finished the kimono now and just need to find some contrast ribbon for the fastening and maybe add a crochet flower like Knityoga suggested. The kimono isn't actually for baby badger, but for a very teeny tiny person who's due to be born in a few weeks. This is a pattern, though, that's crying out to be upsized and so I will most definitely be making one for BB soon :)

And for all those of you who were concerned for the imaginary monkey, please don't be. I refused to go back and rescue him from the shop but he clearly can run fast, as he'd managed to get back in the car by the time we were back on the M1. Seems we're stuck with monkey for a whuile yet.....

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Hearing voices

I have a little voice in my head. It doesn't say much, but every now and again it passes a coment on what I'm doing or about to do. Some people may call this a conscience, but mine isn't concerned with right or wrong, just my rational behaviour (or lack of, mostly).

Today, for instance, the little voice has been shouting at me. I made an executive decision to overrule it (hey, it's my mind, I can do what I want) and these have been the consequences.

  1. I went to IKEA, despite the voice's warning. I went with a toddler and her imaginary monkey to buy a mattress and a few bits and bobs. It wasn't pretty when I ended up smashing all 12 wine glasses I had bought immediately outside the exit, and nor was it pleasant to drag the matress across the carpark with the toddler hanging on to it and screaming that we had left the imaginary monkey in the shop.

  2. I also ignored the voice when it questioned the wisdom of going out in the morning when I was waiting for my new camera to be delivered. Voice was ignored, I missed the postie and now have to collect it tomorrow.

  3. The voice raised a slight concern over the fact I was ordering a large pizza and enough side orders to feed a family of 6 when it was only for me and a small person. The voice foresaw indigestion and was right.

  4. I cast on for a sweet little baby kimono, again from Mason Dixon Knitting. I decided to use stash and chose 2 balls of Rowan handknit cotton. I checked the yardage of the called for yarn, compared it to my Rowan, noticed there was a discrepancy and yet still cast on. The voice murmered a complaint but at this stage knew it was being ignored so dodn't force the issue. The outcome was fairly predictable.

So now I have to decide which is the best course of action to take. Do I attempt to hunt down the dyelot, or frog a bit of the back and left front to make the kimono even ickler? I have a feeling frogging is the only way to go. Next time I really will try and pay attention to the voice.

Monday, August 07, 2006

I'm a follower, not a leader

I'm so weak and easily led. All it takes is Nanatoo to just mention the idea of a KAL for Glampyre's new bodice and I start jumping up and down with my hand in the air shouting "Ooh me, me, me!", when I already have enough projects lined up to last me several years. And then Dreamcatcher shows off a pretty needle roll and without even waiting to catch my breath I order one too. Clearly I'm a born sheep.

I went to JL today and so thought I'd have a fondle of the new Rowan yarns. The one I was most interested in was tapestry, as I quite fancy knitting Sorrel from the new mag. I have to say that it doesn't really look like much on the ball. It's very hard to see how the colours will work as stripes and how they will look when knitted up. I asked if they had any knitted up samples but was told no, and that they had no intention of doing this either. It also didn't feel as soft as I was expecting - it's 30% soy bean, but this hasn't really softened the feel of the wool. I'm not sure that this is a yarn I could wear next to my skin so I'm putting any plans for Sorrel on hold for now.

Romance felt very soft, but was too sparkly for this grungy badger. Little Big Wool seemed nice enough, but the pattern support book, Arabesque, was very disappointing. The best yarn by far was RYC's baby alpaca DK which was so soft and snuggly I wanted to buy one just so I could keep petting it. It's a bit pricey though, so I can't see me indulging in any of this either. Sigh.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Nailing my colours to the mast

Clearly I was too rash with my last post. Firstly, Dee put my mind at rest over the lace yarn and assured me I would be getting silk at some point - thanks Dee, I promise not to be a grumpster any more! Secondly, I didn't put enough thought into my ramblings when I declared Lancashire as part of the same country as Yorkshire. This was a massive oversight on my part and I feel I should now make amends.

I'm unsure as to when I was first aware of my neighbouring county - it was always spoken of in such derogatory terms that I had visions of a barren land, filled with godless heathens and inbred freaks of nature. Oh how we mocked them, their pitiful cities paling in comparison to our glorious epicentres of culture and technology. We laughed when we beat them at cricket, when our football teams showed up theirs to be the lily livered wusses that they were, when our rugby league clubs wiped the floor with theirs. I grew up happy in the knowledge that I lived in the chosen land, truly it was god's own country.

Then, one day Grandpa Badger came home and told us all the dreadful news. We were leaving my beloved Lancashire and going to live in Yorkshire. There was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth (which was quickly stopped when told I could have a pony), and I swore that I would return home as soon as possible. Alas, time had dulled these memories and I had forgotten just how unique Lancashire is. It should be an independant country and I shall never again make the mistake of believing Yorkshire to be its equal in any way. Please accept my sincere apologies, my fellow Lancastrians.

And now onto knitting! The baby cardi is almost done, it just needs some twiddly lacey bits adding and then I can knit something for me (at last). I also knitted this little garter stitch bib for the soon to be born babe:

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There is absolutely nothing fancy about this bib. No cunning little clever techniques that make you go "ooh", no unique construction, nothing unusual at all. It is from Mason-Dixon Knitting, although really a pattern isn't needed, and is knitted in my leftover rowan denim. I have a real problem with keeping all my leftover yarn bits, irrespective of how small the ball may be. In this instance, it was maybe 3/4 of a ball, and I had no idea of what I could do with it and this proved a fantastic little stashbuster. So small, so quick and so useful!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Cackle cackle

"When shall Badger knit again, in thunder lightenining or in rain?"

In all three actually! The weather has turned and the knitting mojo has returned at last. So much knitting, yet so few photos. There will be proper pics next post (honest!).

Anyway, it has been another mail filled week in the Badger sett, and first up was the new Rowan mag. I've been feeling less and less inspired by the Rowan mags over the last few years, so wasn't expecting great things from this one, but I was so wrong - it is excellent! There are ten different garments that I would love to make and only a few that have me reaching for the puke bucket (Murmansk braces anyone?!). I actually already have the kid classic needed to make Eva and so am thinking of making that my next me-sized project. However, the one that leaps out at me, grabbing me by the needles and whispering seductively "Knit me" is Lorelei.

This is the most beautiful sweater I've seen in a long time and I want it now! However, as my fairisle skills are currently non-existent and I don't have the yarn in stash this will not be being made in the immediate future. However, I have already formulated my Lorelei plan and strategies. Firstly I need to learn how to knit fairisle. I've found a pattern for a simple kiddies hat and will knit that as a practice piece. Then comes the money/wool issue. I'm going to demand that Father Christmas brings me the yarn for this for crimbo and so I shall start being a lot nicer and try to cut down on the naughtiness from now until December in the hope that I will get what I want. Sorted!

I also got my posh yarns sock yarn this week. The colour is confetti and very pale and girly. I think I like it, but as it's not 'my' colours, I'm not gushing over it. I think a simple lace pattern would work well with this, what do you think?

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I also joined the posh yarns lace club and got the first skein

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I love the colour, and it is a wonderfully soft blend of cashmere and angora. The only quibble I have, is that apparently members of the lace club are being sent different yarn blends of laceweight. I asked Dee, the owner of posh yarns, about this, and she said that it was because people from varying countries tended to order different yarn blends to each other. This seems reasonable, except that Dreamcatcher mentioned on the AY forum that she got pure silk. Now, last time I went to Lancashire I didn't think it was a different country! Dee has said that all members will receive the same value of yarns over the course of the membership, but she hasn't said that all members will receive the same yarns but just in a different order. There seems a big difference to my mind between the same yarns and same value of yarns - I'll wait and see what happens with the next shipment before deciding whether to be a grumpster about it ;)