Blocking magic

Sorry for the long absence, I’ve been a bit busy getting married and starting a new full-time job! More of the first of those another time but for now, here’s a picture of me finally wearing the shawl I made back in April and only just got around to blocking because it was already too warm to wear it by the time I finished knitting!

Little Arrowhead Shawl, pattern by Pam Allen

Committing Cables!

I have 300 things to do at the moment, thus the lack of updates, but I just wanted to show off briefly because, having only started knitting in January, I’m doing cables for my latest project:

zombie viXen mitts by Susan Claudino in Austermann Step sock yarn

These are what I’m working on at the moment:

Graffiti on the Metro fingerless gloves

Fingerless gloves made with lovely Fairtrade Manos del Uruguay merino/silk blend yarn that was very kindly donated to me by the wonderfully generous Mim of Crinoline Robot. It’s the Sagittarius colourway and you can buy it from Oxfam at the moment for truly guilt-free indulgence 😉 I’m loving the way it is knitting up so much that I’ve ordered 2 skeins of Pisces to make a Peggy Sue cardigan for myself. I’m also eyeing the amount left on the ball and somewhat optimistically wondering if there is any way I might be able to get a little beret out of it too!

I’ve also started planning my Christmas present knitting (mad you may think, but it’s a good distraction from stressing about wedding planning, which is the other thing occupying my brain at present!). Last night I succumbed to this beautiful hand dyed silk from Ripples Crafts based up in Assynt, to make a scarf or mini shawl for my Mum – I can’t wait to see the colours in person. I hear there will be a big shop update over at the Yarn Yard at some point today too, which may be very bad for my bank balance as I can see lots of people getting fingerless gloves for Christmas.

For other Making Monday posts, check out the Yarn Yard Blog.

I’ve been busy and then away on holiday but I did finish my Spring Garden Top before I left. Here it is in the sunshine at Dirleton Castle near North Berwick yesterday:


And yes, I am wearing a long sleeved top, a dress and merino tights as well as a merino knitted top in late June – you should have seen the thunder showers we drove through just inland of here! Ah, the joys of a British summer 🙂

I finished my long fingerless gloves:

Colour is somewhat greener in real life but you can see the stitches

Really pleased with how they turned out, although in true Scottish fashion, the weather went from too cold to wear them with bare arms to too warm to wear them at all in a week! Still, it’s not like we can expect this glorious sunshine to last, I expect I’ll be wearing them again soon enough.

And here they are on!

My current WIP is the Spring Garden top which made a brief appearance in my last post. Now on the correct size needle, it is growing nicely, I’ve divided off the sleeves and am working on the main body now. Soon I’ll have the fun of working out what to do with the waist decreases given the pattern as written wouldn’t fit me even if my tension wasn’t off! I foresee a lot of putting it on waste yarn and trying it on in my future…

The last thing I have to show off is new yarn, which isn’t green! This lovely stormy petrol blue arrived from the Yarn Yard last week, courtesy of the Boy for my birthday. Now I’ve seen it, I wish there had been more to order, I think it would make a lovely jumper or cardigan. But even I’m not small enough to get a top out of 420 m of 4 ply so I shall just have to find another use for it, oh the hardship 😉

Yarn Yard Toddy (merino & nylon sock yarn) in Ink Blot

Those of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while will remember that I’m a big fan of green glazes. My obsession with green is now continuing in my knitting – currently on my needles I have the second of a pair of over-the-elbow fingerless gloves in Yarn Yard Stanley merino:

"Kensington Mitts" by Annie Modesitt, pattern available from InterweaveStore.com

And I’ve also cast on for a Spring Garden T in apple green merino, although I’m going to have to buy a shorter circular needle before I can do any more on it. I was over-optimistic in thinking I could do the size 32″ on an 80cm needle (which is all I could get around here) – time to order some new needles online.

Spring Garden T by Alana Dakos, pattern available from Ravelry.com

Drops baby alpaca and silk lace from the Yarn Cake in Glasgow

And to complete the set, this lovely green lace is going to be a stole for me to wear with my wedding dress when I get around to making it. I’m currently thinking Dancing Cranes for the pattern, although I might change my mind, there are so many lovely ones!

Recently, I’ve been making plans and decisions:

And I finally finished knitting my first lace shawl, which just needs the ends weaving in and blocking now:

Art Nouveau

If you’re a fan of Art Nouveau and haven’t caught it so far, I can highly recommend the BBC4 series Sex and Sensibility: The Allure of Art Nouveau. I watched episode 2 last night and really enjoyed it. It charted the history of British Art Nouveau from Aubrey Beardsley with his Japanese influenced, racy ink drawings, through the Arts & Crafts movement, Mary Watts, Liberties and William Morris, to the Glasgow School and how Margaret MacDonald, and her more famous husband Charles Rennie Mackintosh, went on to influence Klimt when they exhibited in Vienna. The presenter is really down to earth and engaging and some of the work he shows is really breathtaking. I want a Margaret MacDonald print for my living room now and Mary Watts’ chapel in Surrey has to be seen to be believed!

There’s a previous episode on iPlayer about the start of the movement in Paris, and next week’s explores Klimt further – I shall be looking out for the museums I visited in Vienna a few years ago.

I can also highly recommend visiting Blackwell, the Arts and Craft House if you are ever in the English Lake District.

(Sorry for my absence recently, I’ve been a tad busy – there’s a Making Monday post to come which will probably give you a good idea of why but my partner seems to have taken my camera to uni with him by mistake so it may not appear before tomorrow)

This post was supposed to go up yesterday but I didn’t get around to taking any photos in daylight. I’m busy working on my first lace shawl at the moment. I had left it for a few weeks because I kept making mistakes and getting frustrated but it’s going really well now. I have 2 rows to do on this pattern repeat and then I’ll have done 3/6 repeats of chart 1.

I love how my life lines highlight how it is growing so I decided to leave the ones marking each full chart repeat in until I’ve finished it.

Yesterday also saw the rainbow beret go on it’s way to my sister – I hope she’s pleased with it when it arrives! I was pretty happy overall as I made a better job of matching the stripes across the sections than I expected. My seams aren’t the neatest though.

My sister loved the rainbow cheat’s mitts I made for her and requested a matching hat so I dutifully cast on for a simple beret pattern a couple of weeks ago. I immediately came up against a problem – the coloured sections in the yarn aren’t long enough to stripe on something so big and it looked awful as soon as I started the increases. Undeterred, I came up with a somewhat mad plan to do the ribbed band as one piece and then knit off it in 4 separate sections, each small enough for the stripes to work, and then sew them together. And it’s working:

Rainbow beret WIP

I just have the last section to knit and 2 more seams to sew and then it’ll be finished.  And I shall never have to knit a hat flat again – the more hems I have to do, the more I’m converted to knitting in the round.

Next week, there may even be something other than knitting to show off – I have some wire work to do for jewellery and I’m thinking of making myself some stitch markers at the same time. I’m going to be casting on for my first lace shawl for about the 7th time so they may come in handy!