Saturday, July 3, 2010

Things I should know by now

There are a number of things I feel that I should know by now. For instance I know that any movie involving small children or animals in peril will reduce me to a sobbing mess (just typing Free Willy, Empire of the Sun and Precious has made me mist up); any garment involving gathers makes me look like the back of a bus; and a third cocktail is always a bad idea.

But there are also things I should know by now, but for some reason I feel faintly embarrassed that I dont. Like superannuation. Surely I should have more of a handle on this by now. More importantly, and interestingly and embarrassingly, I dont know what the difference is between worsted and aran weight yarn. Ok, so one is heavier than the other, but just when I thought I had a handle on it, I discovered the intriguing third category, heavy worsted.

My lack of knowledge about worsted versus aran manifested when I cast on the Berkshire Dolman sweater. Initially I cast on in the yarn formerly known as Madelinetosh Worsted, which has been reclassified as a dk weight. After knitting one side it was apparent that the Madtosh was waaaay to lightweight. My second attempt was in Valley Yarns Berkshire, which WEBS called a heavy worsted. While the weight was right, the colour was wrrrrrrong.

Finally I cast on in Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran, and as I slaved away I had a sneaking suspicion that the aran weight was too light too. Still I was determined, and on finishing and checking the pattern specs out on Ravelry, I saw that what I had thought of as an aran weight, was listed as bulky! Arrrrrgh! Now I have a lovely warm sweater, which I suspect is going to stretch like crazy.


But my sweater has secret power. I put it on and it transformed me. Can you see the similarity?

Monday, June 28, 2010

B is for buttons!

Is it so very wrong to start a new project purely because one has found the most gorgeous buttons?

Manu v2

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Long time coming

Yes, its been a while between posts. Still in that time I've managed to produce three substantial finished objects!

All these FOs represent a substantial departure from the philosophy with which I started this blog. Back then it was all about the quick fix from a small object. But after knitting a bazillion (well it feels like a bazillion) socks, the turned heel no longer held any mystery. And now I've just finished two cardigans!

The first is Rosamund, made from Cascade 220. It was the first time I've used Cascade, and it softened pleasingly on blocking. I struggled with gauge on this project, and as a result the button placement is off. I need to sew a hook and eye onto the top of the collar to keep it sitting flat. But overall, this is nice and warm and allows easy access to the milk bar. More on that later.


The buttons are made of horn, and I especially like the way their slightly organic shape works with the cables.


The second cardigan is Manu. I was desperate to make this cardi, and it has lived up to my expectations. It is warm, stylish and the details are lovely! I'm so pleased that I'm waiting to make another. The yarn is Madtosh DK in Tart. It was lovely to work with and deserving of the hype surrounding it. While the pattern recommended using a yarn with a halo to disguise the short rows shaping the neckline, I think the fuzz-free dk coped well with the short rows.


I especially like the pleating around the neckline.


But the most important, and demanding FO at Casa Joy and Widower at the moment is B2! (I suppose he is more of a WIP, really. )

B2 arrived 11 March 2010. Mr Wriggly is taking his big brother role seriously and introducing him to all manner of dirt, earth moving equipment and dinosaurs.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Coraline completed!

Finally, buttons on and the slightly cooler weather has allowed this snap. Its still a bit of a mystery to me how this will look when my body shape is normal, but it seems to fit well around the neck!


Sunday, February 28, 2010

A non-sweat FO

Finally, an FO I can blog about! Its been stinking here in Sydney, and being 9 months pregnant has meant that I currently spend most of my time sweating. We arent talking a little light lady glow here, we are talking the full athletic exertion style perspiration, except that something as un-athletic as turning the page of the newspaper causes it.

I've actually got two other finished objects, both cardigans, to blog about but I cant bring myself to put them on for photographs. Just typing that has inspired a fresh bout of sweating! They will have to wait till post birthday/the onset of more autumnal weather.

Instead I've finally finished B2's baby blanket! Its a Mirabilis in Eco Yarn's worsted weight organic cotton. The colour is called Serendipity.


I'm very pleased with this, not the least because now its done I feel like the baby can actually be born. Phew. Ten days to go (in theory anyway) today!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Tale of Two Cardies (with apologies to Mr Dickens)

As mentioned before, I've become obsessed with cardigans. One of the questions that has seemed to be occupying my mind has been 'how many grey cardigans do I need?'. The answer appears to be 'at least two'.

One is Coraline. This has been a truly lovely knitting experience. The pattern is well written and the instructions were clear enough to get me through several new techniques (such as i cord edging and smocking) without any ripping back. I used Jo Sharp Alpaca Silk Georgette in Pebble, which was a dream to knit.

I made the medium and the only mods I made were to add an inch to the body and arms. If I were to make this again, I'd add an extra inch again to the arms (so 2 extra inches in total) but that's because I quite like my wrists to be warm. As it is, the ends of the sleeves sit just above my wrists, which is fine. At the moment its impossible to tell if the body length is ok and where the hem sits in relation to my waist, as my waist has long since disappeared. I guess finding out how it really looks will be a winter surprise.

Despite wearing it several times, and receiving lots of compliments, I still havent quite finished it. Yup, its the buttons that are yet to be attached. So until I triumph against button inertia, I havent got a proper photo to post. This one will have to do in the mean time.


After cruising through Coraline, Rosamund has proved a bit more willful. Gauge issues and my inability to read simple cable instructions lead to a couple of false starts, but now we are nicely in the groove. I have made a bit of a mistake with the cabling around the first button hole, but I am choosing to think of that as a 'feature' rather than a 'mistake'. Heres an in progress shot.


Its been very hot here in Sydney, so celebrate weather where only the lightest clothes are desirable, I've been laying in stocks of worsted weight yarn. Maybe I'm subliminally inspired by the exceptionally cold weather in the northern hemisphere. I've certainly been inspired by Madelinetosh and her colourways, and in a very short period of time I've managed to get three sweater quantities of yarn in Venetian, Tart worsted weight and Tart in a fingering weight. It seems the grey cycle has broken!

Madtosh Worsted Tart

Lovely Tarty goodness! What will you be?

Madtosh Worsted Venetian

Beautiful Venetian, what gorgeous thing are you going to be?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Long time coming

Well, this blog post has been a long time coming. All sorts of reasons, but chief amongst them has been wips having repeated dunkings in the frog pond, having a sudden desire to make big (for me anyway) projects and most surprisingly of all, managing morning sickness.

Yes, Mr Wriggly will be joined by a sibling sometime in early March. Its been such an enormous surprise. It was a mighty victory for medical technology when Mr Wriggly arrived. So when I felt seedy, bloated and tired I just assumed that middle age was setting in. When the blood test for pregnancy came back positive, I secretly thought I was having some kind of powerful bout of wishful thinking. However ultrasounds and the passage of time have revealed to me that B2 really is floating around soaking up all the extra icecream I've needed to eat.

My Wriggly seems blissfully unaware. Phew. Here is a snap of the bathing beauty, personal styling courtesy of the Knit Widower.

On the knitting front, I seem to have been struck my a longing for cardigans. I forged ahead on Little Birds, but its been resting since I realised its going to be a looooong time before I can fit it around my waist. Still, its looking pretty and is at an interesting stage. Especially now that bloody never ending beaded ribbing is done!


I've also cast on a Coraline, which will be useful for next winter. Its great swathe of stocking stitch is also proving soothing television knitting. I'm quite looking forward to the construction of this cardigan. I'm loving the built in the icord edging and the knitted hem, but am hoping that that roll and pucker will block out.


I've never done a knitted yoke before. Anyone got any tips?