Monday, 30 March 2009

Cloud Three Meltdown

Cloud Three is complete rubbish! It is far too big. I suspect the tension/fabric/material is correct, but I've made the wrong size. I knit the large and it should be medium. I can't decide what to do. Give up. Throw this one away and risk the real yarn (£90? NOO, I'm not up to it!), look for some more practice yarn or frog this one and try again.

The sleeve that I made an inch longer by mistake shows AND affects the way that sleeve sits in the shoulder. It looks all wrong.

And look at the buttons. The first three are sewn on close to the edge and look all lumpy. The last three are sewn on further away from the edge and look fine. That's interesting and a point to remember.

I did some of the lace trim while watching Yellowstone on TV last night. I did quite well, considering I had to be alone in the house when I first did it! I went wrong after about two inches, so I put it away.

Rowan never replied to my query, I think because I mentioned I was making a test garment. It is very short sighted of them, because if I can't master the pattern, there's no way I'm buying Calmer!

Monday morning Coates got back to me straight away and they gave me the number of a mail order stockist. He said he knew exactly which pattern I meant, he'd sold about 50 packs of yarn for that jacket and would make sure I got the right colour. Very exciting. It might seem rash, launching in with the real yarn, given my track record, but if you look closely at the pattern, it is not very fitted so I think it should be right enough within several inches of tolerance. Fingers crossed anyway!

Office Chair Wearing a Shrug

With washing in the background! At last I have finished a garment which looks like the picture in the pattern and fits me. Fourth time lucky! This has got to be a mile stone! The shrug looks better on a person, but I don't think I will make a 'real' one. It's maybe a tall person's garment.

Using progressively bigger needles to make the collar worked very well. One sleeve is wider at the bottom than the other one, which is odd, because the stitch count is exactly the same. I had to frog the I-cord edging three times and they still don't match exactly, but good enough.

Swatch and Frustration

Friday night I got some old Aran out and made a swatch. It's a clever pattern - not hard even for me. The only problem is that on the picture I can see a line running up in between the two chains of cable, and I somehow missed whatever bit of the instructions tells you to do that, but I'll know that when it gets to the real one. They are only two stitch cables, so I'm going to make the whole garment without a needle!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Another Request

We went visiting at the weekend and this magazine had been saved for me. 'That's a lovely jacket,' said m-i-l. The only trouble is, can I find the yarn anywhere? Not a chance! Finally rang the manufacturers, who don't work at the weekend when people might have time to knit, and left a message.

The requests are piling up, but I've had very little time for knitting and none to photograph progress this week. The Aran shrug is nearly done, and it fits!! I just need to undo one of the I-cord edgings on the sleeve. I put on too many stitches and it bells out too much.

Thursday, 19 March 2009


Blogger looks funny today - no little buttons to post photographs so I'll just record that I've finished the cable panels. I need to sew it up to be sure, but I think it will fit.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Reasonable Progress

Just started decreasing for the second arm. Is this going to be the one that fits?

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Knitting a Cosy

My friend's teapot needs a cosy. Here's a picture. I will look for a good pattern. Colour work? Cartoon character? No frills? There's so many things to decide. I'll have plenty of time to decide, because the cream Aran shrug is far from finished. It's been a busy week so not much knitting got done.

I can purl backwards quickly and easily now, so that technique was well worth learning. It makes bobbles easy to do. What I can't get the hang of is cabling without a needle. I did try, but it's so much easier with a needle! Every time I slide the stitches off the main needle they instantly and viciously unravel. Then I have to spend ages poking around with a crotchet hook to get them all back. I've given up for this now, but I might try again on a different Aran project.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Cinderella Shrug

Three and a half diamonds complete. I took it away over the weekend, but I took a cable needle with me, seeing as I was in company. I didn't want to shock anybody.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Cinderella Shrug

Look what my fairy godmother brought me! 24 balls of cream Aran yarn (which smells and burns like wool) for £5. I just happened to walk past a charity shop and it was in the window calling to me: 'Don't give up, Cinders. You shall have a cream Aran Shrug.'

Started right away. I know the pattern off by heart now. The first attempt is on 5 mm needles and it is too tight and slightly too small. Began again on 6 mm needles.

Because there's only one strand, I decided to try cabling without a needle again. I can cross a single stitch OK, but every time it comes to three stitches, the last one pops out of the stitch and begins to unravel. I have to keep a crotchet hook and emergency cable needle close by. Much cursing on my part. Andy said: 'You have a cable needle. Why don't you use it?'
I said: 'Because it's quicker.' He gave me a long, thoughtful look and said: 'It'd be quicker to go to the shop and buy a jumper.'

Well, yes, but that's not the point, is it?

Thursday, 5 March 2009

I give up on the Cabled Aran Shrug

Spent ages messing around - knitting strips to widen the arms (two more seams) then knitting a lambs tail cuff - hideous beyond imagining. Then a ridged cuff - version shown is far too wide. I'd have to frog and knit on half the stitches. And then Andy, kindly, suggested giving up. I hate to throw away three weeks knitting, but it is looking messy. There's no doubt about it. But I WANTED a cream Aran shrug.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Patron Saint of Knitting

Somebody left a very odd comment - pages of Old Testament gibberish. Now, if they had left a neat prayer to the patron saint of knitting, I may well have not just read it but learnt it and said it often. In fact, I was so taken by this idea that I Googled to see if there was one. It appears not. There are several contenders, but no clear winner, so I guess I'll carry on petitioning St Jude, who is the patron saint of lost causes.

My cream Aran shrug has turned out the wrong size! Again! I cannot understand why I don't notice these things until after three week's knitting. I started a new strip, using larger needles and 5 strands of yarn, then I realised I didn't want to knit another one. Instead, I'm putting an extra strip of fabric under the arms to make it wider and knitting a ridged cuff to make it longer. And if it looks rubbish, the whole thing can go in the bin.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

I spend £8

Not a bad haul! It's all 4-ply, but wool, or at least, with wool in it. I've been thinking about making the adult version of Elizabeth Zimmerman's Surprise Jacket - it would be a great stash buster. Looking at people's on the Internet is so fascinating. They all look so different. I like the ones that look as if they have been knitted at a tight gauge - some looked a bit saggy and droopy and being a short and ever rounder person that's not a good look for me. I also liked the ones with thin stripes, which means lots of ends to weave in, the effects were more subtle.

I thought that if I knit with two strands, then I could use up loads of oddments and use a second thin strand that was the same colour throughout to hold the colours together. Say a blue, black, purple, grey, cream version with one strand of vintage 3-ply of dark grey?