Thursday, 25 October 2012

Hooded Cardigan

I've finished knitting my Color Affection scarf/wrap, but I've still got the ends to sew in and then I'll decide on wet or steam blocking.  Quite possibly the latter as I don't think it really needs to be any bigger.

In my last post I said that I'd got 6 x 100g balls of Cygnet wool-rich aran in a light green colour (Pine, it's called) and that I was thinking of making a tunic-style sweater or something like that with it.

That idea was scratched.

Instead, I'm knitting it up into a cardigan for DD1, who is a bit short of knitwear or sweatshirts at the moment (it's her fault for growing).  I had a look through my box file of patterns and pulled out a booklet I bought a while back.  It's Paton's 'Easy Knits' designed for use with their Wool Blend Aran. 

DD1 isn't into fancy knitwear.  She prefers things to be on the plain side; definitely not a flouncy, floral, sparkly girl, but then she is nearly a teenager.  We decided on the women's cardigan, with a hood if I've got enough yarn (I think I do) or a collar if not.  It's this one, but obviously this is the version with a collar:

I decided to fiddle with the pattern though, and knit it from the bottom up in one piece to the armholes, then do the sleeves in the round before joining it all up for the top part.  After a bit of head scratching when my numbers didn't add up - my fault for forgetting that as it's 2x2 rib, I'd need a multiple of 4 stitches +2 - I cast on and by last night I'd done the rib and knitted 28 rows of stocking stitch. 

Progress to date:

The colour's not come out too badly in the photo - it's possibly slightly more green but it's so grey outside today that I've still got on lights in the lounge.

I'll probably make it a bit shorter in the body than the pattern states, simply because although DD1 has a bust size of around 34 inches, she's not tall for her age.  I'm also knitting at what I think is a slightly tighter tension than stated in the pattern because the underarm measurement in the pattern says that the smallest size should come out at 38", which might be a bit baggy, even allowing for some growing room.

Finding patterns for children of DD1's age has proved to be quite difficult.  Children's ones don't go up to a large enough size and adult ones are too big.  Maybe DD1 is unusual in being a nearly-teenager who still likes to wear hand-knitted items and there just isn't the demand for patterns in her size.

This is a mindless knit at the moment, which means I sit there knitting and purling with my e-reader propped up on its deckchair, which suits me fine.  At the end of a fairly long half-term, my brain isn't really up to complicated lace or cables. 

I'm going to do a few more rows while I wait for the postman to arrive as I'm hoping that an order I made from World of Wool on Monday will turn up today.  I got an e.mail yesterday to say that it had been despatched, so fingers crossed.  After that, I've got to go up to Colchester to do some shopping, despite having been to Asda on Monday and Lidl yesterday.  A note came home from DD2's school yesterday saying that tomorrow the children can go to school in fancy dress for a contribution of something like £1 as it's the last day of the half term.  We looked on the Tesco and Asda websites and Asda seems to be my best bet for a Hallowe'en costume in her size (she's 10).  A  bit more notice would have been nice; but at least I don't work weekdays so I'm able to go out and try to find something that she'll like, although I'd planned on not going anywhere today, especially as I bumped my knee on the corner of the coffee table this morning (a definite 'ouch, ouch' moment, which DD2 found hilarious as I hopped around the lounge clutching my leg).  Oh well, the joys of being a parent, eh!

Until the next time, take care :)

Friday, 19 October 2012

Nearly There

I'm now onto the border of my Color Affection scarf/wrap (the dark strip at the top of the photo).

The border's not going to be as deep as the pattern says (which is 2") because I'm going to run out of yarn before then.  According to the pattern, the tension for this should be 36 rows of garter stitch = 4", which means the border should be 18 rows (not that I made a tension swatch for this - it's a scarf/wrap).  I've been weighing the ball of yarn after every row and each loooong row is taking about 4g of yarn.  After ten rows, I've got 18g of yarn left.  As I want to end on a wrong side (even number) row and then do a loose-ish cast off, that means I'll get another two rows of the border left before casting off.  I'm not worried about it.  Certainly not worried enough to buy more fibre and spin it up into yarn.

That's still approx 1300 stitches to knit, including the cast off row. 

Here it is bunched up on the needles, on my rug. It's big.  

You can just see the tips of my Crocs, which should give an idea of the size. 

Apart from changing colour every two rows and doing increases at the edges of the rows, this is mostly mindless knitting (there are short rows, but they're a doddle).  Fortunately, I can knit and read at the same time, so I've been getting through my latest book at a fair pace, especially as I can prop my e-reader up on the deckchair hubby bought me last Christmas.  I reckon I'll get another few chapters read while I finish off the last couple of rows.  Then, I'm going to 'cheat' and just use a bigger sized KnitPro tip to cast off, not even bothering to attach it to a cable.

I'm now thinking ahead to what I'm going to cast on next.  I've got other things on the needles, but I've got 6x100g balls of light green Cygnet aran (originally bought to make an Acorns cardigan, but I've gone off that pattern now) and I'm thinking a short-sleeved tunic-type sweater might be a useful addition to my wardrobe, so I've been trawling Ravelry for patterns.

Back to the garter stitching now! 

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Three Colours

I've now got to the section of my Color Affection scarf/wrap where I'm using three colours and doing short rows to get the sweeping stripes that give it it's asymmetric look.

It's getting so wide now that I decided to join my 150cm KnitPro cable onto the 100cm one I was using rather than just transfer the stitches onto the 150cm one.  It does mean I have to be careful that I don't tangle the cable in the yarn when I'm starting a new row.  At the end of this section, I should have 387 stitches on the needle if I've done the increases correctly, so it's a good thing that it's all garter stitch and I can knit while watching TV.

I'm not that happy with the edge.  It's tricky trying to twist up the two yarns that aren't being used as well as keeping the edge relaxed.  I'm hoping that when it comes to blocking, it'll look better.  If I'm still not happy with it, I might turn the edge over and hem it for a neater look.

I've done half of the three-colour rows and as four extra stitches are knitted per stripe, as well as stitches being increased at the beginning and end of each stripe, I'm hoping I'll have enough of the cream and grey yarns to finish that section, otherwise I'll have to either buy some more of the Shetland fibre and spin it up, or see if the pattern will work ending the section earlier.

Hopefully I'll know in a couple of days and will let you know!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Ten Things

Ten things to summarise Life since my last blog post.

1.  I came down with a real stinker of a cold a couple of weeks ago.  One of the achey, sniffly, chesty, coughy, have-to-drag-myself-out-of-bed-each-morning types of cold.  I'm much better now, but it still hasn't gone.

2.  After just over six weeks of the girls being on summer holidays and then three and a bit weeks of hubby being on holiday from work, I was quite looking forward to getting my house back in my sole possession (at least between 8.30am and 3.30pm) from last week.

3.  Number 2. didn't happen.  Hubby hasn't got anything on work-wise that really requires his presence in London or elsewhere, so he's still at home.  Well, except for last week when on Weds he left the house at 11am, had an evening meeting that went on very late, so he stayed in a hotel overnight and then arrived home at 2.30pm the following day.

4.  After I'd dropped hubby off at the train station (I think that was partly so I could be sure he'd actually gone!!) I went into Colchester, despite feeling rubbish, and did the paperwork to buy DD1's clarinet.

5.  The result of number 3. and 4. meant that I actually had about six daytime hours to myself at home, plus a couple of hours on Weds evening.  I think that makes it a total of something like twelve 'me-hours' since the end of the last school year in July (popping to the supermarket doesn't count).  It certainly feels like it and probably explains quite a lot of things, especially my feelings of irritation and wanting to say "please just all go away and leave me in peace for a bit".

6.  Friday last week I went back into Colchester to pick up DD1's new clarinet.  It's very shiny and nice-looking and she's now getting used to it.

7.  Number 4. and 6. mean that I won't be going to Ally Pally this year because I've spent all my spare money.  To be honest, I'm not that fussed as there's nothing I particularly want to buy or see, so I'll save money over the next year and will plan to go to the 2013 show instead (yes, I know I probably said that last year, but I've still got lots of yarn in my stash).

8.  I've barely done any spinning while I've had this cold (and time constraints), so there's nothing to show.

9.  I've done some knitting on my Color Affection scarf/wrap.  I'm on the middle section where the second colour's introduced and striped with the first colour.  Later today I'm hoping to start the next section where the third colour's introduced.

I'm generally pleased with it, but I'm hoping that I'll be able to make the edge look neater once it's soaked and blocked.

It's difficult keeping the edge neat but relaxed, especially when changing colour every two rows.

10.  I've knitted a hat, but think it might be a bit small. I shall soak and block it and then see what I think and will show you next time because it's a nice pattern.