On and off the needles

Hi guys, how are you doing these days? I’m doing fine, working full time, knitting and doing some stitch markers, looking for a new house with more space for me to grow my little shop… So my days are pretty much full:)

I have been in the mood for finishing stuff lately and that is a good thing because as a startitis sufferer, I have a certain number of projects going at the same time and so have little UFO bags just about everywhere in the house – a fact I’m not so proud of… but hey, at least now I’m doing some finishing!

So first off, I finished my Enchanted Mesa sweater by Stephen West. That was a very fun knit, very fast also for a sweater I think and I loved choosing my own colours and combinations and mixing different types of yarns in the same project. I have tried it on and it not only fits but actually looks good on me:) Now I just have to either get someone to take my picture in it to show you or have my daughter model it for me to take her picture, after all she has not stopped telling me (every time she saw me working on it) how beautiful it is, how soft the yarn, how she likes the colours and so on. All subtle hints to me that if I feel like it, she would love to keep the sweater herself:) Well that is very pleasing to hear but I’m not sure I’m willing to give it to her, this time I think I might actually keep my handknit for myself and maybe do another one for her where she would choose her own colours. Why not? But hey, I said photo, so here comes:

photo 1 (24) Yes it looks super funny like this but amazingly it fits great. I’m thinking though that I might do another one where I would have both sleeves start at the same place (like the left sleeve here) but the I would probably have to do a “normal”  yoke, not one with short rows like here but I would like to keep the short row shaping for the body as I think that looks really cool. But that is a bit more than just tweeking the pattern and I’m not sure I have the mathematical skills to recalculate the whole thing…

Now I also finally block the cardigan I finished recently for my daughter. Now blocking is a bit like swatching for me, something I skip if I possibly can but this time blocking was inevitable 🙂 The difference in colour between the upper and lower part of the cardigan is just due to wetness, I hung the sweater on a hanger for a while before blocking:

photo 1 (25) Here I used Almerino Aran Baby yarn which is 50% merino and 50% alpaca so very soft and drapes nicely. I love the shaping on the front panels.

 

Now in just a few days it’s my sisters birthday and a long, long while ago she saw me knitting some scandinavian slippers – twined knitting – from the book Scandinavian Slippers by Laura Ferguson. And she immediately asked if I’d give them to her so of course I will. Since then I’m sure she has long forgotten. What happened is that I put them away for a while, then we moved this summer and before putting my book in a box I photocopied the pattern to be able to finish only I did not photocopy ALL the relevant information! So 2 days ago when I came across the slippers and decided it was now or never I discovered there was important information missing so I’m not sure I will actually be able to finish them! If you yourself have this book I would greatly appreciate your help. What I need are the instructions for filling up the gap before continuing on to knit the cuff. Here are the slippers and as you can see, there really is not much left to knit:

photo (14) I’m using two short circulars from Chiaogoo,one bamboo and one Knit Red. The yarn is Sock-a-licious from Kollage

 

I have also been working on my lapghan (lap=afghan) with my hand spun yarn and linen stitch. I think linen stitch is a very slow knit, much slower than I thought and so I feel this is taking forever. I keep this next to my desk and do a few rows every day. Here’s a photo so you can see my progress since last time:

photo 2 (25) The yarn is thick and super soft and as the fabric is really thick this is going to be an extremely warm blanket and as I’m not going to make it very large I’m leaning towards a lap blanket (for when you’re working but are a bit chilly or for knitting in front of the tv on a cold day/night or a baby blanket for the pram for example. What do you think?

But in all this finishing I HAVE to do at least one starting so I launched into some sleeves also for my sisters birthday. She is often chilly and I think this is a great knit as you can wear it as an extra layer for warmth. I’m knitting “Verdant” a pattern I found on Ravelry. I’m using Baby Rooster yarn which is 100% superwash merino yarn and I’m knitting this on my Indian Lake Artisans single pointed needles. Mine are from Cherry wood and I’m using the yarn double so I have needles in size 6.50 mm.  Just for info, ILA are hand made in the USA from quality wood and they are HEXAGONAL yes you read correctly. This unusual shape is ergonomic and helps ease hand stress and gives very even results. I happen to sell those on Etsy so if you want some more info you can find it here:

Now for the photo:

photo 3 (18) photo 1 (26) I love the pattern on the “cuffs” which the designer calls “rich man’s garter stitch”.

Well, that’s all for now. Next time I’m going to be talking about…..

photo (13) Yes, you got it right: HAND DYEING – I finally got some done after a looooooong time without any dyeing.

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