Wednesday, 26 May 2010

A Wonderfully Soft . . . Swimming Cap

Remember my Blue Odessa Hat? Well, I bought some beads of a more appropriate size and made another, this time using Sirdar Luxury Soft Cotton DK in the colour Lychee. On first glance this yarn looks white, but it is actually a very light blue.

I had such high hopes for this hat. The pattern is wonderful, the fabric is so very soft, the beads are pretty. When I put it on though, DH said "it looks like a swimming cap". Unfortunately, his not-so-tactful observation is probably correct.

I made the hat a bit longer this time, so it can possibly be saved if I frog back to an inch before the decreases and reknit it a bit shorter. But maybe the colour just doesn't work on me in this style? Who knows. The ends are woven in, so this isn't going to be fun.

Having this yarn knitted up makes me see the attraction of the cotton washcloths that people knit. I never really understood why people make them, but this cotton yarn is just so soft and lovely that it would make a really luxurious face cloth.

In other news, I cashed out a £10 Waterstones voucher from an online survey site. I used this, plus the princely sum of 99p of my own money, to buy 'The Happy Hooker' by Debbie Stoller. I have crochet hooks that belonged to DH's late Nan, and I thought it would be nice to learn to use them. Crochet always looked like magic to me - I couldn't figure out how you could possibly keep track of all those lacy patterns and circles and whatnot. Two days worth of swatches later and I am a few steps closer to understanding this mystery. And crochet is so quick! Very good for an impatient sort like me (hey, why do you think I knit so many lacy patterns?).

This is a great book for absolute beginners - I haven't needed to go online to check videos to clarify anything. The instructions are very clear, and the tone stops you feeling like you're doing something terribly old-fashioned.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Cherie Amour is finished!

I have reached a knitting milestone - my first proper wearable garment is finished!

I fell in love with the Cherie Amour pattern as soon as I saw it, and so when the wonderful Kemps listed Patons Sorbet in their clearance section for 79p a ball, the time had come to cast on and see if this slightly unusual pattern would be too much for a beginner.

There are a couple of problems with the pattern - the neckline decrease chart doesn't do what you expect, and you actually have to add in extra decreases which aren't charted. Luckily there are plenty of hints around Ravelry. In my concentration to get the neckline correct, I slipped up on the second error in the pattern which I had already spotted - the symbols in the chart are wrong on Row 21. I made the mistake on both front panels, so at least it is a symmetrical mistake!

When I first tried the sleeveless body on, I was aghast by how wide it made my waist look. It sat around, unseamed, until I had the brainwave of trying it on over a white top instead of black. Much better! I think because this makes the ribbed waistband darker in comparison to the rest, so it appears visually nipped in and smaller. Hoorah.

I'm a dress size smaller on the top than on the bottom, so I started the bottom-up pattern in size S, then reduced the number of stitches on the final row before the ribbing (by more than the pattern says) and did the rest in size XS.

I decreased from 108 stitches to 92 like this:

(k5, k2tog) 3 times, k4, k2tog - repeat to end of row (4 times).

Friday, 7 May 2010

One Dead Jumper

I made the wrong decision to carry on with my teal raglan jumper. I tried it on yesterday after knitting about another 8 inches and it's far too big. After some angst I decided that there was no point carrying on with it.

The only other thing I have on my needles at the moment is Cherie Amour and I needed something straight-forward to knit last night while watching the election results come in.  After some adjustment I cast on for another version of the same pattern. This version will be 4x2 ribbed, with a round neck rather than a v-neck.

I'm hoping that I may get Cherie Amour finished over the next couple of days, while I have one eye on BBC News waiting to see what happens.

Also a couple of finished objects. My Regia Galaxy socks that I was starting to feel like I would never finish:

I cast on one of these too tightly, so I feel like I have to be really careful putting them on!

And, finally, a non-knitting project - a 'sling' peg bag from the book 'Sew What! Bags'. I picked this book up on a whim from the library and have been very impressed by it. I'd already tried a couple of projects from 'Sew What! Skirts' without success, so I was pleasantly surprised by this one. My peg bag broke the same week I brought this book home, which was serendipitous. Really enjoyed making this!