Monday, August 25, 2008

No she cannot really see me cause she sees her own reflection

spin n knit
I've been having a great time these past few weeks searching for good 'pear colours'. It has made for some slightly weird conversations with purveyors of fine hand-painted wool and also people I bump into in places where wool is sold. I think I just start muttering something about 'good pear colours...sort of organic?' and this doesn't necessarily get across the criteria that make sense in my head.
pears pre felting_img_1581
From left to right: Lincraft Prism, Sean Sheep Armytage (marmalade) - oh Big W, why don't you sell this any more?, Paton's Jet, and Cleckheaton Vintage Twist.
I also recently made a little pod carrying on the theme of Mum's pitcher. I liked that name, Donna Lee!
little stitch top_img_1697
Upside down it makes me think of a tomato.
little stitch bott_img_1698

Saturday, August 16, 2008

You never stop dancing, you don't make much sense

Bryher modelled
My scarf! Mine mine mine. The pattern is the Bryher cable scarf again. The yarn is Cleckheaton Country Naturals 8ply in a lovely dark blue. The photo below is probably the most colour-accurate.
Bryher flat
The yarn seemed drapey and soft, but I worried that I was forcing it to be chunky and stiff by knitting it double stranded on 6.5mm needles. I thought about going up a size but decided to trust the blocking. And it worked, once washed and dried the scarf became softer and drapier just like I had hoped. I completely used 2 balls and it is only just the right length.
Bryher blue
The buttons are a pair of very special wooden beads which have been waiting for just the right project. My sister sent them to me a few years ago and I have always loved them.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Spent all our days holding hands together

First there was Kuka, with her masterful Squirrely Mittens.

Then last winter I replaced my skiing gloves with mittens and was thrilled to find I had warmer, drier (less sweaty) hands all day.

The last couple of months I've been walking to the bus stop with cold hands in old, cold suede gloves, hunching my fingers into fists in the hand part of the glove to try to warm them up. Dreaming of woolly mittens.

When I came across the pronouncement that 'adults should never wear mittens' - one of a series of fashion 'don'ts' in a newspaper style section - that was just the red rag to a contrary adult that I needed.

I've been building up a little stash of 4 and 5 ply wools with stranded mittens in mind. But winter was marching on and I wanted my mittens now!

In the works-in-progress basket was the beginnings of a hat I started on last year's ski trip, in purple Cleckheaton 8ply crepe and mystery green tweedy stuff (maybe Lang something). It was going to be a fancier variation of this hat (which is done in dark green merino totem and the same mystery light green) but I had completely lost interest. So I used the two-colour ribbed band of the hat to guesstimate the number stitches I would need for my wrist and impulsively cast on. After a few rows I tried it on, and decided I had to start again with less stitches.

Each mitten only took a couple of days or so. This is largely thanks to my willingness to leave in many mistakes and miscalculations as I went along. I just wanted warm hands.
mittens img_1566
I muddled through using these instructions and charts from Mostly Mittens by Charlene Schurch. I didn't use her instructions or even use her charts properly (they definitely would look nicer with a stitch border between the thumb and the hand sections). They aren't as roomy as mittens usually tend to be. But they are pretty warm and soft.

Speaking of muddling through, see the zig-zag section on the right hand mitt?
Not supposed to be there. That's the rest of messing up only one line of the chart. Amazing how those patterns shift isn't it? That was the first mitten, and after I saw that mistake I put it aside for a couple of days, thinking I would have to redo it. Then I decided I was fine with it. I never said I was a perfectionist.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Seems that I was busy doing something close 2 nothing

The raspberry scarflet was a quickie present for my sister, just because it was easy and I thought she would like it. It's the reversible cable scarf again, this time in the sadly discontinued Cleckheaton Merino Spun. And she does seem to really like it. However, this mildly double-chinned model is me.

Last month, no, wait (aieee!) the month before now, I was at their house and showed them the blue cable scarf. My brother-in-law really seemed to dig the concept of the efficient short scarf. I have monstrous guilt about an IOU I gave him in JANUARY for a pair of socks for his birthday - the first pair were a success, and he's hard to buy for - they are in progress and not nearly finished yet. And I was in the scarf zone (ya think?). So I whipped one up in Cleckheaton Merino Supreme (also sadly discontinued). I actually made it a bit longer than I meant to but it seems to work quite well. I've seen him wearing it, around the house even, when he didn't know I was coming over. Anyone who has ever given a handmade gift would know that that's a good feeling.

I know the photo isn't great, but I wasn't about to demand that this tired pair move around to pose in better light.

black scarf

Sunday, August 03, 2008

All praise the sheep

After I moved out of home - away from central heating - these ugg boots were the first thing on my wish list for my birthday. Back then they were not a fashion item, at least, not unless you were part of the booner subculture. And now that I think about it, they were in on the skinny jeans trend early too.
well ventilated
In the thirteen years since my beloved uggs have given daily service at home for at least five months of every year. They had gotten very ventilated. I sewed them up Frankenstein-style long ago but more holes appeared since then and it had been a few years since I could wear them without socks. I also had to tie the back of the right one up with a rubber band.
13 years wear
Even so, it was only a couple of near misses tripping over the flapping soles and the fear of a serious injury - seriously embarassing maybe - that finally convinced me to replace them.
new uggs_1
And I'm infatuated. Every day I look forward to coming home so I can put them on. Hey it's been a tough few weeks, and small pleasures are welcome.
new uggs
I love wearing them sans socks. I wore them to the supermarket. If you look closely you might see I've already spilled something on them.

Thanks for saying lovely things about the short scarves. Here's a sneak peek of another one in the parade of scarves (not keeping this one either).