Saturday, August 27, 2011
I'm into the last third of my long service leave now and so lucky to be spending some time in London.
I had to take this picture, because I am one of three girls and when we were small we used to dress in matching outfits. However they were never *this* precisely matching - Mum would tend to make us things either in matching fabrics and slightly different styles, or the same style with different fabrics/colours.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
For this baby cardigan I went back to a pattern I've used several times before. This time I decided to omit the built-in garter stitch button band, and instead pick up and knit a ribbed band. I wanted a v-neck and didn't completely love the way the garter stitch looked, the last time I did that.
And I used the wonderful Dance of Robots chart by Soile Pyhänniska. I was searching for a single colour motif that would fit on a baby cardigan, and wouldn't be seen to be gender-specific. It's for the newly-weds who received the blanket - baby is due soon, and they chose not to find out if it is a girl or a boy. I suppose some people might think robots are a boy thing, but that's crazy, because robots are cool. Especially dancing robots.
I suspect I will use the whole pattern one day, but this time I needed a baby garment and it didn't come in a baby size.
The red is Filatura Di Crosa Zarina and the silver is Patons Dreamtime.
Monday, August 15, 2011
I realised I left out part of the story of the wedding present blanket. The picture above shows the first square, which was close to finished before I ripped it back, leaving only the centre orange and pink sections.
I'm pretty sure that those bizarre maroon and brown stripes actually looked okay as I was knitting them. It was only after a few more stripes followed them that I realised they were really jarring and weren't going to work. This was disheartening to say the least. I put it aside for a few weeks/months, and started the second square, before I could make the decision to rip.
These photos were taken in January, when I ripped out most of that first square. It felt SO good to get that done and be able to make progress again. It had been sitting there for so long, weighing on my mind. The funny thing is, as I was ripping out, as soon as I had removed the outer stripes and just had the strong pink next to the brown and maroon stripes, it all looked okay again. Which made me feel better about how I had managed to put them in and keep knitting past them in the first place.
So, stripes and colour combinations can be tricky. Colours that all seem to play well together when they are balls of wool in a bag behave differently when placed in a stripe sequence. And you can't see the overall effect of a stripe sequence when you are only partway into it. (This seems more obvious as I write it!). Finally, yet again I had to simplify the set of colours I wanted to work with. In addition to the maroon and brown, I had also thrown some cream into the bag. But in the end I kept it to just oranges and pinks, plus that silvery grey accent. I still would like to do a blanket with lots more colours, and be able to throw everything at it. Maybe a similar design, but with very thin stripes of colour, could be the answer.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
I believe common wedding present etiquette is that you can have up to a year after the wedding to get organised. And if that's true then I made it in plenty of time. The wedding was last October. I can't remember exactly when I started knitting, but it would have been around that time.
This blanket is a variation on one I made earlier. The concept was a lap rug for two, and the two squares were made in the same way as that earlier blanket, then I used the garter stitch border to join them. The red line in the photo below is there to show the only seam I had to sew. It is definitely the biggest thing I have ever knit, and I am glad it was winter when I did the border - that is a lot of wool to sit under while knitting!
When I came up with the idea, I thought it was a kind of a nifty idea for a wedding gift, even if it might not turn out to be practical for two people to actually use at once. But as I was finishing it I had all sorts of doubts about a blanket of this shape/size. Had I just ploughed on with an ill-thought out idea, and made a simply weird object? Well, it wouldn't be the first time I had made something a bit odd, but I was encouraged when the recipients mentioned it seemed like a 'lap rug for two', unprompted.
The colours were taken from the pink and orange theme for the wedding, and it is made from a range of 8 plys including a fair bit of Bendigo Classic 8ply.