Friday, 27 June 2008

Knitting Update

It's been absolutely ages since I mentioned any knitting on here, which is shameful given "knitting" is in big orange letters at the top of the page. But never fear, I have actually been knitting, just, er, not telling you about it. Sorry.

Let's have a round-up of my recent projects then!

Giant Green Clapotis - FO

Before I went to Ecuador I announced that the Giant Green Clapotis was finished - in fact this was done mere hours before we were due to get on the plane, and I was desperate to have it done so I could take it with me. I must say it was one of the most useful things I've ever benefited from on a flight, apart from, possibly, Bernoulli's principle. Warm, soft and cuddly (thanks to the thick, snuggly Noro Cash Iroha), huge enough to swathe myself in, and with convenient breathing holes so I could wrap it around my whole head to block out the light and sleep. Wonderful! It's now getting a lot of use at work as I like to be warm whereas my colleagues prefer the air conditioning.

I didn't block it, and I'm glad I didn't as I like its organic qualities. However its first destination was the rainforest, which is hot and humid, ie optimum blocking conditions. I'm pretty sure it relaxed just enough in these conditions to even out the stitches perfectly without going all flat.

The photo session happened in Mindo, where the light was better than in the rainforest. I'm not usually a fan of knitted items randomly and unnaturally abandoned in trees, as I've ranted about before, but I did take a few in desperation before I found the chair above, and I quite like how it looks like a big hanging sheet of moss in this photo.

I want to do another Clap, or two even, since this one makes me so happy and since there are so many yarns out there which would suit it so well. I am trying to stop myself since this one took me nearly a year, FFS, and I would quite like to do something else for a while.

Yaaaaaarrrn! Socks - FO

So called because they are made from BFL sock yarn by Yarn Pirate. The colourway is "Calamity" and is in fact a Yarn Pirate Booty Club exclusive. I'm not in said Club (or any others actually) but I fell in love with the colourway when I saw some on Ravelry, and tracked down someone willing to sell me their skein on there. Hooray for Ravelry enabling!

I loved the colour because it's a bright clear purple and green on white. The green is two distinct tones, leaf and emerald, and the purple fades in and out of lilac through to amethyst. Stunning. I was thrilled with the colour but less so with the yarn base, as it's very loosely spun and plied, and hence very splitty, with the occasional slub. I would certainly buy Yarn Pirate again but I have heard that the merino base is much better, although the sheen on the BFL is very pretty.

Technical details: exactly the same as my second socks. Exactly. I like this method. Again 60 stitches on 2.75mm needles but this time on Brittany Birches, which do not cope well at my fiendishly tight tension. I snapped two during these so it's lucky that they (via those lovely men at IKnit) replace them. Back to bamboo next time, as at least that flexes rather than cracking.

The socks, by the way, are pictured hanging out on the equator line in Quito. A sock in each hemisphere! They were almost finished bar one cuff when we set out on our way to Ecuador, and I dealt with that on the flight there. I then didn't cast off until the very end of the holiday as I couldn't take my 4mm metal needle for the loose cast off on the plane. Given I actually started them on my flight to New York in March, they are not only very well travelled but two months from start to finish, although two weeks of that was in limbo. Must knit faster.

Preppy Socks - WIP

On that same flight to Quito I moved straight on to another pair of socks, this time in a heavier DK weight yarn from Snarky Design, in a pink-grey-black colourway called "Prep School Dropout". This is amazingly springy, tightly plied stuff, which is just so much fun to work with.

Because these are on thicker yarn I decided to go for a chunkier feel, probably to wear under my regular winter wardrobe of knee-high boots (no, I'm not doing knee-high socks, it would kill me). I am using 3mm needles and a 2x2 rib for the top of the foot, carrying that on up the leg all the way round. I started off on 52 stitches but have increased to 56 at the heel so that it is over 30 rather than 26, as I think the fit will be better with a roomier heel. I didn't reduce back down again for the leg. I probably shouldn't have chosen a rib for this yarn though, as it's making the striping look a bit messy. I much prefer the plain sole, where the colours can show themselves off prettily without clashing with the rib. I'm not one for frogging so ribbed they will stay.

I've finished one sock but haven't managed to make myself do the toe to start off its pair, as that's the one part I need quiet and attention for. I should just do it as the rest of the sock can then motor along whilst I'm on the tube. Will try to knuckle down to it this weekend, although the recent hot weather has made thick socks less of a priority.

"Preppy" is not a word I would ever use, but does remind me of my brother's obsession with Saved By The Bell when he was young. I think it was meant to be some kind of insult, given the sporty one kept sneering it at one of the non-sporty ones?

Feather & Fan Silk Scarf - WIP

I don't know why but I've really been hankering after lace projects over the last few weeks. Before starting a shawl I thought I'd better do something fairly easy, so I decided to give feather and fan a go. Simple enough, you would think, but it took me many, many goes to get it right at the start, punctuated by much swearing. However once I nailed the first repeat it was plain sailing from thereon. I've nearly finished, and might even get the last of it done tonight.

I'd lusted after Skein Queen's "Kimono" aran silk for ages and this seemed like a good excuse, so I snapped up two skeins in a glowing, almost semi-solid orange-pink (I'm on such an orange trip as well as the lace thing) called "Phoenix", which I wound and cast on as soon as it arrived. I adore knitting this, and am dying to use some in another colour for a Clap (see?) when I can afford a custom order that big. It is ultimately luxurious, though I get covered in pink fluff as I knit. Nothing wrong with pink fluff as a look, though.

That's it! I am aiming to be more real-time going forwards, I promise.


KnittingJenny said...

I love the green clap! And, although I've never thought about it, the "convenient breathing holes" sure would come in handy sometimes. I'll have to keep that in mind. Lucy, by the way, I really enjoyed your story about Leonard Cohen. But, and I confess: I had absolutely no idea who you were talking about. So I ran a search on YouTube. I listened. And listened. And two hours later, I still didn't really recognize him. Lucy, will you still be my friend? :-)

OK, the one song I vaguely know of is "Suzanne"----and that's only because it was mentioned (and played) in one of my favorite movies, A Home At The End Of The World, starring Colin Farrell....

Denise said...

Haven't you been busy! Loooove the clap - I mine, warts n all, hanging on a chair in my office. About half the people who walk by comment on it and say how lovely etc.
And two pairs of socks! Wow - you'll have made a (wee) dent in the sock yarn stash then - nice!