Why, what and wow!

13-02-19 Street Style
Why, oh why?

There are three things on my mind today, aside from the usual. First, why has the fashion world forgotten that legs reach to the top of the heel whilst arms finish at the wrist? The ‘street style’ shot above from Copenhagen Fashion Week illustrates the point – sleeves too long, trousers too short. I can see that it is a new twist and makes a fairly standard trousers-jumper-coat combination scream “2019”, but it is not doing it in a good way. In fact, it looks downright silly. The only current trend missing from this mix is the ragged hem which is on 93% of trousers… sorry, we are not allowed to have trousers anymore, I should have said ankle-grazers. Which is very apt, because have you ever grazed your ankle? That’s how miserable you will feel wearing these trousers.

13-02-19 Gaudi
What I’m working on

Yes, Gaudi sat quietly for a couple of weeks and then on Monday I suddenly had the urge to work on it again. That little break has made all the difference. I wasn’t happy with how the raglan sleeve shaping was working which I think was down to the tweak I did with the colourwork, so before I put it away I unpicked to the beginning of the colourwork section. Picking it up again, I have gone back to how the pattern is written and am using a separate ball of the pale yarn to do each side of the raglan shaping. Whilst this is a bit counter-intuitive to me, and it means working with 3 balls of yarn for this section and untwisting them regularly, I am much happier with it and enjoying working on it again. I still love this cardigan.

13-02-19 Minis
Just…. wow!

Today I have been winding the set of Noodle Soup Yarns mini-skeins, which I received at Christmas, into balls so they are ready to knit when the mood strikes me. As I wound each ball, I was able to fully appreciate the gorgeous dyeing; these are truly lovely yarns. I also indulged in a little game of ‘what would I call this colour if I was naming it?’ I think the turquoise and red ball in the centre front of my picture I’d call ‘Helix Nebula’ (real name is ‘Paradise’). The pinky-purply ball to the left of it would be ‘Perfection’ because it is possibly the most perfect colourway I can imagine (real name is ‘Heartbreaker’). Lastly, the brown ball nestled in the middle to my mind is called ‘1973’ (real name is ‘Coffee’). Kudos to Charley for the dye-work on these yarns, and I can assure her that the mini-skeins are doing their work well – I now crave a full skein of every single one, although I must note these exact shades might not be currently available.

I hope you’re having fun whatever you are doing, and that you’ve made it through to the middle of the week unscathed.


 

Knits are progressing

21-01-19 gaudi
Gaudi cardigan by Martin Storey

Since finishing my socks, I have returned to my two works in progress, and things are moving along, albeit a little slowly,

First up, it’s Gaudi by Martin Storey. This is still the back and progress on the colourwork part is picking up again now. I set it aside completely when I was knitting the socks, so in total I’ve only finished up the first diamond pattern since the previous update. I’ve got another 30 rows to complete the back, but they are diminishing in length with the raglan shoulder shaping. Then I will have to decide whether or not I should make a major modification to the pattern and knit it as a jumper, or continue with the original cardigan design. I am really craving jumpers right now, but I know a cardigan would be very practical. I have a lot of cardigans and only two jumpers, but I know I would wear a cardigan through the warmer weather and I’m not so sure about a jumper. I am taking heart from the fact that whichever way I jump, it’s not going to be wrong!

21-01-19 old gold
Same old gold yarn; different project

Although as you know I am not at all a person to have more than one garment project on the go at once, I am breaking my rule and using the old, old-gold yarn to knit a jumper, and this one is definitely going to be a jumper, no chance it will turn into a cardigan. Of course, the yarn was going to be a cardigan, I still have the back and half the front sitting here to prove it, but the yearning for a jumper has conquered me. This is another pattern from the 1,000 Sweaters book I have written about before and I am holding the 4-ply yarn double resulting in a slightly heavy DK-weight. It’s a soothing knit with those simple textured furrows. I didn’t want anything too busy because the colour of the yarn is going to be the main highlight, but I did want something just a little more adventurous than a simple stocking-stitch. This pattern has a turned hem and no waist shaping, set-in sleeves and I’m going to do a crew-neck just because it’s warmer than a v-neck at this time of year.

Whilst knitting, I have been catching up with podcasts or listening to golden oldies – the latest addition to my collection being a Glen Campbell compilation album. By the time he gets to Phoenix I’ll have finished the back of my jumper!


 

A cast-on, an update, and a modification

07-01-19 sock progress
Plain vanilla sock using yarn dyed by Noodle Soup Yarns of Norwich, UK

THE CAST-ON

On New Year’s Day I finished the socks I had been working on seemingly forever, and I put away my sock-knitting project bag so that I could concentrate on the Gaudi cardigan. Then my sister appeared wearing the beautiful hat she had whipped up in a trice from the Noodle Soup Yarns skein that I gave her for Christmas and I suddenly knew I had to cast on a sock with the skein I had gifted myself at the same time. Although this skein is named “Spooky Smog, as I wound the wool it made me think of a kingfisher in a deep, dark wood, so I am calling these socks “Kingfisher in Fangorn Forest”. Thus far, it has to be said, the kingfisher itself is absent, but I am enjoying the forest nonetheless.

This is my standard sock pattern, 60 stitches on 2.5mm KnitPro Zing needles and the yarn base is a 3-ply 80/10/10 mix of Superwash Merino/Cashmere/Nylon. It is a tiny bit thicker than a lot of sock yarns, and I am loving the fabric that this is creating. It is very squooshy. Noodle Soup’s dyeing is very luscious and, even though this is a really saturated colourway, there is no dye coming out on my hands as I knit.

I made good progress after casting-on yesterday, and have turned the heel of the first sock and started working on the foot. One thing I experimented with on my previous pair of socks was using what Interweave Knits refer to as a Barn Toe and I was very pleased with the way this fitted. I will use the same method for these socks.

GAUDI UPDATE AND MODIFICATION

07-01-19 gaudi progress
Gaudi progress as at 7th January 2019

Here is my progress to date on the back of the Gaudi cardigan. I am so pleased with how this is knitting up, although I am debating back and forth with myself as to whether or not I like the yarn (Rowan Felted Tweed DK). So, on the plus side, I love the colours, I love the tweedy effect and I love the feel of the fabric created. The only downside is that I don’t like the alpaca content and that’s something I struggle with regardless of the brand of yarn. I just don’t like alpaca, even a tiny bit. I hate the constant barrage of what look like dog-hairs that come off it as I work and I don’t see that it adds anything of value to the feel of the yarn. However, I am reserving judgement until the project is finished, and it is not something that is going to prevent me from wearing and adoring the cardigan.

Now, to the modification. I remember the good old days, back in December 2018, when I was all gung-ho about how I was going to knit Gaudi exactly as it was written. However, time has moved on and I am a more experienced person now, so I have changed how the colourwork ‘yoke’ portion is knitted. The pattern is written to utilise slipped stitches and I did a few rows in this way without too much trouble. However, the way the raglan shaping is constructed meant that I was stranding the yarn across the back and it seemed to make more sense to me to do the colourwork similarly to how you would do a Fairisle pattern. I ripped back and started working it this way, and I am really liking it – both how it looks and how pleasurable it is to work. Here’s a close-up:

07-01-19 gaudi close-up
Modified colourwork section

I know this is less three-dimensional than it would be with slipped stitches, but it appeals to me.

I hope your knitting, or any other craft pursuit, is going well and that you are making progress towards any goals you have set.